Column: Elbowgate diverts attention

Oops. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slipped off his pedestal last week. He forgot the hugs.

Oops. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slipped off his pedestal last week. He forgot the hugs.

If he’d barged across the floor of Parliament and hugged the opposition MPs instead of appearing to bully them, all would have been well. Speaking to the kerfuffle, Green Party leader Elizabeth May called the Prime Minister’s actions “unwise” but she also noted the others involved could have acted with more maturity. Whatever, the incident certainly gave the media a heyday and diverted public attention from other issues.

***

Last week I’d planned to comment on some local political decisions but as it was “ love your local government week” it didn’t seem appropriate.  My thought was that sometimes local politicians make choices that don’t fly well with their constituents,  like the city’s plan to sell small city parks and the zero tax increase. I didn’t hear the public demanding either one. The suggested park sales triggered an outcry and there is some apprehension about the zero tax thing. Is going for it two years in a row a good idea? Zero tax increase means cuts in services unless the city gets more taxpayers or the assessments increase. Hopefully council has some reason to see both happening or we could be in for more snowy streets next winter. It always baffles me why community members are quick to jump on city councillors for whatever annoys them but rarely say boo to anything regarding the CRD or school district. Is this because CRD directors and school trustees govern perfectly? Or is it that nobody knows what they’re doing?

Case in point. A delegation went to city hall to protest the city’s support of the Atlantic Power bid to burn railway ties. The CRD board also voted to support the rail tie burning, but as yet, no protesting citizens have appeared before them. Why not? On the subject of parks, a recent study by Environmental Health Perspectives  found that people living in neighborhoods with attractive greenery (shrubs, trees, etc.) tend to live longer than those who don’t.

***

We had May weather in April. Are we now getting April weather in May?

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

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