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Looking back at old news that could be today’s headlines

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Son #2 found some pages of an August 1951 Vancouver Province when he was cleaning out a shed recently, and he rightly guessed I’d like to see them. The pages are torn, with bits missing, but the three editorials are intact. All three could have been written today.

The lead editorial accuses the federal government of “whistling a cheerful tune” about inflation and prices while forgetting its own Bureau of Statistics’ “clammy evidence” of the ever increasing cost of living and rising prices. The government at the time was Liberal, led by Louis St. Laurent. Remember him?

The second editorial, Arson In The Woods, stresses the importance of forests to our economy, then rants about the “imbeciles” who set the woods on fire either by accident or deliberately. It urges everyone to help authorities detect and punish these “fools, lunatics and criminals.” Forests are still important to our economy, but arsonists aren’t the only ones destroying them.

While the first two editorials deal with issues that are still with us 70 years later, try the third one on for size. Titled Political System In Danger, it asks if North Americans, particularly in the U.S., are losing their political sense. It suggests that when special interest groups, i.e. management groups and labour unions, have too much influence, it skews the democratic political system which is based on free elections. I wonder what that editorial writer would think of the political chaos in the U.S. today? Or of the freedom/rights protesters who want to overthrow Canadian government? Some things don’t change, they get worse.

At the Conservative leadership’s all-candidates meeting last week, all six hopefuls said the economy was the top election issue. If anyone mentioned climate change, I missed it.

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