Annapolis Valley Register : 2018-12-27
REGIONAL : 9 : 9
A9 VALLEYREGISTER.CA THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2018 opinion Managing Editor: Jennifer Vardy Little Numbers are not an asset P olitical polls have come a long way from being infrequent snapshots of a specific period in time. In this age of modern analytics, they hold considerable sway gauging the mood of the public. Trending poll numbers now result in resignations and demands for change – starting at the top. Polling is non-stop and nothing is left to chance – from products to politicians.
A recent Angus Reid poll ranked the recognition factor and performances of federal cabinet ministers in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s inner circle. The holiday message for prominent Atlantic Canadian cabinet ministers is far from positive and should provide much to ponder over the Christmas break.
A federal election is coming up in October. The date now seems solid following comments from the PM that he has no intention of going earlier than the legislated date. Polling suggests Trudeau is slipping in terms of performance and leader preference. For the first time since his 2015 election, he is not the leader seen as the best prime minister.
As the PM’s numbers slide, so do those of his supporting cast. Polling numbers suggest Atlantic cabinet ministers are increasingly vulnerable and the election will be more interesting than might have been believed, even a few short months ago.
Consider Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan. The Newfoundland and Labrador MP is among the most recognized cabinet ministers, thanks to his previous career as a national television host. But his performance numbers are falling, largely from recurring problems within his department.
Try as he might to change policy, he admits the mindset continues inside the department which prefers to say no rather than yes to veterans and their concerns. The delays in dealing with wait times for veterans’ benefits have moved seamlessly from Conservative to Liberal governments.
Then there is Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay from P.E.I. He was flying below the radar in cabinet for two years, but his recognition factor shot up in 2018, thanks to NAFTA negotiations and the concessions made by Canada in supply management with dairy, poultry and eggs. Farmers and others were outraged, and MacAulay’s recognition numbers skyrocketed, while his performance numbers plummeted.
New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc, a close friend of Trudeau, was considered untouchable until Canada’s ethics commissioner ruled he broke conflict of interest rules for awarding a lucrative clam fishing licence to a company connected to his family. His recognition level remains high but his performance rating crashed.
Nova Scotia’s Scott Brison has a high recognition factor but his performance rating also dropped for no obvious reason, except perhaps, guilt by association, although the Phoenix pay system boondoggle is finding a home at his doorstep.
The poll reflects general declining support for Trudeau and his Liberal government. The numbers are worse outside Atlantic Canada but are growing in this region as well.
High recognition numbers are usually considered an asset. With Trudeau’s Atlantic ministers, it’s an increasing liability as the region connects failures to names and faces. YOUR SAY A thrilling walk down memory lane What a thrill for me on the evening of Oct. 14, 2000 when I was inducted to the Hall as a Builder/Historian and to receive a beautiful certificate signed by Acadia’s president, Dr. Kelvin Ogilvie.
That moment will never be forgotten. To add to the emotional impact of that never-to-be-forgotten weekend of activities, I was further honoured by being named parade marshall for the Homecoming Parade. Dear editor:
I thoroughly enjoyed the reading of a recent article by John DeCoste in reference to the history of the Sports Hall of Fame at Acadia University.
As an original selector of the inductees to the Hall, I have wonderful memories of those days of some 30 years ago. As an individual with a passion for the pursuit of Nova Scotia sports history, I was particularly aware of the contributions to provincial athletics of individuals and teams associated with the activities of the late 1920s to the mid-1960s. By the way, by the mid-60s, Canadian championships had replaced provincial and Maritime titles as the hoped-for results.
What a thrill for me to go down memory lane with the likes of sports icons Gertrude (Phinney) Beattie, Wallace Barteaux, Connie MacNeil, Neil MacVicar , Jimmy Gray and so many others as they reflected back on their memorable moments on sports fields and hockey arenas while wearing the famed garnet and blue colours of their beloved Acadia. As I researched their achievements at this beautiful and unique university located in the Valley, it was such a pleasant and privileged task for me to write a citation for each person and team to be entered into this prestigious Hall of Fame. Personally, this yearly routine lasted for close to a couple of decades.
What a thrill for me on the evening of Oct. 14, 2000 when I was inducted to the Hall as a Builder/ Historian and to receive a beautiful certificate signed by Acadia’s president, Dr. Kelvin Ogilvie. That moment will never be forgotten. To add to the emotional impact of that never- to- be- forgotten weekend of activities, I was further honoured by being named parade marshall for the Homecoming Parade.
Although I have not been a selector for the Hall for several years, I continue to have many requests from “old-time” graduates who seek me out for their statistics when they performed here at Acadia and to make inquiries regarding the Hall. It is enjoyable for me to provide them with as much information as possible. Go, Acadia, go!!
Sincerely, Burton Russell (Kentville) Acadia University: Class of 1957 contact us The Valley Register welcomes letters on matters of public interest for publication over the writer’s name. All letters must be accompanied by the author’s name, address and telephone number so that they can be verified. Letters are subject to editing and limited to 300 words. Copyright in letters and other materials submitted to the Publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the Publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, the Valley Register, its Publisher or Publishers and SaltWire Network do not necessarily endorse the views expressed therein. Website: Fax: Mail: valleyregister.ca 902-681-0923 28 Aberdeen St. Suite 6 Kentville, NS
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