Editorials - May 5, 2023
Build a better community
While Zorra Township may have a few hurdles to overcome before it gets a new school, Mayor Marcus Ryan is ensuring that all the levels of government are committed to working together by passing a resolution that the school board, county, library board and township will work in partnership to investigate several multi-service joint projects.
He recognized that by combining and sharing resources, there is an opportunity to co-build major assets that would save the taxpayers money and maximize the use of these large, expensive buildings. Projects like a combined school and community centre would allow the school board and the municipality to offer more services by sharing things like gyms and ice surfaces. Primary users of the school board’s resources are typically there during weekdays and the bulk of community centre use is on evenings and weekends, which could result in a single complex that is full all week and year-round.
While each level of government and other taxpayer-funded agencies like libraries and schools need to ensure that their constituents’ needs are being met, everyone has to remember that there is only one pool of taxpayers paying for it all. Creative synergies like co-built complexes are the kind of ideas that municipalities need to carry the ever-increasing load of services that they are asked to provide for the complex communities that are developing around us. – DS
The tip of the iceberg
Mass shootings, homelessness spiralling out of control, drugs, Pride flags causing fights at school board meetings, the slow and steady erosion of human rights for anyone who isn’t a rich, white, American man - it can all be a bit much. Thankfully, we have Newfoundland.
Known for its funny and suggestive community names - Dildo chief among them - our care-free and fun-loving cousin out east may have just peaked, as Ken Pretty of the aforementioned Dildo photographed a very penis-like iceberg floating in the province’s Conception Bay. If anywhere could give us such a heaping handful of penis jokes, it was almost certain to be Newfoundland - a place full of people with a refreshing reputation of not taking themselves too seriously.
At a time of political unrest here in Canada, when party leaders like Pierre Poilievre and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will never miss an opportunity to challenge each other to an iceberg-measuring contest in the House of Commons, it’s nice to just sit back and have a chuckle.
Furthermore, it’s a reminder to us all - who maybe take life a bit too seriously, at times - to embrace our inner Newfoundlander. Not unlike Krystle Collier, the Ports aux Basques woman who lost her home in post-tropical storm Fiona late last year, but was photographed happier than a clam when she found her fridge with a few White Claws intact, we all should remember to look on the bright side of life, even when it’s hard. It’s alright to have a laugh at a picture of a phallic iceberg.
There is so much out there to depress us and, with social media being what it is, you don’t have to look very hard. So, when something like a penis-shaped iceberg floats into your life, embrace it. – SL
Working, laughing together
On April 29, the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in Washington D.C., a tradition dating back to 1921, masterfully hosted by comedian Roy Wood Jr., famous for his correspondent appearances on American news-satire program The Daily Show.
Wood Jr.’s hilarious routine fired upon multiple targets, including President Joe Biden, the media establishment in Washington, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and “King of Scandals” Donald Trump. Some of the humour was dark and provocative, some light-hearted, but all very, very funny. During his performance, Wood Jr. also took a moment to remind local journalists of the importance of their work. He stressed that a decrease in the number of local reporters leads to blind spots that hinder the nation’s collective ability to solve its problems.
The Correspondents’ Dinner also featured a special surprise reunion between former action hero and ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Twins, Junior, and Last Action Hero co-star Danny DeVito. The duo kicked off the event with a pre-recorded introduction video, which also included Schwarzenegger’s pony Lulu and donkey Whisky. DeVito was shown feeding the animals crackers, while Schwarzenegger praised the press for their role in informing the public and shining a light on the truth. President Biden also took the stage, making light of his age and mocking Fox News over its legal woes. Biden’s decision to participate in the event contrasts with that of his predecessor, who refused to attend the event while in office.
There are many problems within American democracy. The political divide in that country is troublesome and the result is a system stymied by dysfunction. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner serves as a reminder that the ability to speak truth directly to power is a fundamental necessity of democracy. Losing that would be no laughing matter. – SBS