Noteworthy issues

Diana French, in her column, highlights recent news stories from around the globe.

Media headlines that caught my eye last week:

Huffington Post —  “BC Health officials fired for snooping.” Margaret MacDiarmid’s first job as Health Minister was dealing with seven employees who allegedly “inappropriately accessed sensitive medical records.”

Note: Ms. MacDiarmid is a family physician; the new education minister, Don McRae, is a teacher; the new seniors minister, Ralph Sultan, is 79. Sounds like good matches to me.

Globe and Mail — “Citing threat to global peace, Canada cuts diplomatic ties to Iran.” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says this was necessary because Iran is a “significant threat to global peace and security.” Ken Taylor, a former Canadian Ambassador to Iran, says he was surprised. As a diplomat, he believes negotiations should “never end.”

BBC — “Arctic ice melting at amazing speed, scientists find.” The record-breaking melt has “profound” implications and is alarming scientists. Politicians don’t seem to care.

Times Colonist —  “B.C. regulators say fracking causes minor earthquakes.” Some 272 mini-quakes have been reported in B.C.’s Horn River Basin where companies are drilling for natural gas. Experts say they are too small to worry about but the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) acknowledges seismic activity is of concern to the public.

Williams Lake Tribune — “Boitanio Park bear put down.” A bit close for comfort but I’ve heard of a number of local bear incidents, stories of a cougar or two, and reports of coyotes attacking dogs. Deer in city backyards are commonplace.  What’s going on?

National Post — “Prince Harry suits up, deployed Afghanistan combat duty.” The other side of the playboy? Not exactly a headline, but Sun columnist Pete McMartin notes in the 1980s and 1990s Quebec elections were a huge concern to other Canadians because we feared the province would separate. In light of the huge issues facing us now, McMartin feels most Canadians have other things on their mind than Quebec sovereignty.

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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