Column: As the world turns

On the global scene: I believe in freedom of the press, but freedom carries with it responsibilities.

On the global scene: I believe in freedom of the press, but freedom carries with it responsibilities. The freedom of my fist ends at your nose. Freedom of the press/speech is not a licence to fan the fires of hatred.

It’s bad enough that nations can’t get along with each other, and that a few groups are intent on terrorizing the world. We don’t need humourists, be they cartoonists, film makers, whatever, adding fuel to the fire under the guise of freedom of speech. It shouldn’t be a killing offence, but surely there are enough things in the world to poke fun at without being hurtful or antagonizing people.

Federally: Rookie MP Erin O’Toole, a war veteran, has replaced the unpopular Julian Fantino as Veterans Affairs Minister. Mr. O’ Toole’s first move was to tell an advocacy group for wounded and psychologically injured veterans it is no longer a stakeholder adviser to the Veterans Affairs department.

Provincially: Out of sight is out of mind. Those of us living in the Interior might not know or care that sea creatures are sick, dying or disappearing at an alarming rate all along the Pacific coast.

There are dying oysters, bleeding herring, melting star fish, hungry Orcas and sick seals. The latest are dead seabirds, hundreds of wee cassin auklet bodies washing up on beaches.  Some blame ocean acidification for the devastation, others wonder if it’s radiation fallout from Fukushima. Whatever, it might be helpful to find the cause before all the creatures are gone.

On the local scene: City council has opened the doors on its financial planning process. Along with holding public meetings and having information available on-line, Finance Chair Scott Nelson is seeking people’s suggestions on how to balance the budget.  The city has three choices;  raise taxes, dip into reserve funds or cut services. Taxpayers have ample opportunity to indicate their choices. Let’s hope they do.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.