COLUMNS: ‘Alternative facts’

Given the growing number of sports stars we have it makes sense for city council to develop a policy to support players.

Given the growing number of sports stars we have it makes sense for city council to develop a policy to support players that represent Williams Lake on a national level. Or international? The latest star is Brock Hoyer, the first person ever to win a Snow BikeCross gold medal at the 2017 X Games in Colorado. I have a personal interest in this. Brock’s wife is my GD#3. She and wee GGS#5  (he travelled in a snuggly) were in Aspen to cheer Brock on.

• So far no word about the 70 new residential care beds. In the meantime, a new review of B.C.’s 292 government-subsidized care facilities found that about 90 per cent of them don’t meet the Health Ministry’s recommended minimum of 3.36 hours of direct care per patient per day. Those hours include helping seniors with eating, bathing or going to the toilet, access to therapists, etc. Isobel Mackenzie, BC’s Senior Care Advocate, is quoted as saying she’d hoped last year’s poor review would encourage health authorities to find more funding instead of moving “a bit backwards.”

Of the 26 facilities that met standard, 23 were run by health authorities.

• Mines Minster Bill Bennett says he was shocked to learn his ministry hasn’t secured enough money from the mining industries to clean up after themselves. Obviously he’s forgotten former BC Auditor General John Doyle’s scathing criticism of the ministry’s oversight failures that included securing adequate cleanup funds.

• Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is said to be ending the controversial practice of cash-for-access fundraising. B.C. Premier Christy Clark is not.

• England’s prestigious Economist has dropped the U.S. from its list of “full democracies.” The U.S. is now a “flawed” democracy. The magazine says President Trump is the result, not the cause of the demotion, the U.S. democracy is failing because many Americans lost trust in their institutions and hope Mr. Trump will fix things. Canada is still considered a full democracy.

• President Trump’s counsellor Kellyanne Conway says giving “alternative facts” isn’t lying. Not bad, but George W. Bush was the champion of alternate language. He had some lulus. My favourite was his warning people not to “misunderestimate” him.

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

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