TV and internet news networks talk an awful lot about Mike Duffy and Rob Ford, so much so that it’s hard to hear about anything else. This week alone, the CBC featured Duffy, Ford, or both on its list of top stories every single day of the week. Canadians could smell the liquor through their screens! The good news is that there’s more happening in our fair country than the major news networks care to cover, so here’s a regional roundup.
Firstly, there was breaking news in rural Alberta this week. The Cold Lake Sun reported that the results of the Bonnyville 2014 census had been made publicly available. It turns out Bonnyville grew by 1% over the past two years, and now boasts a population of over 6,900 people. This number drew ire from the town’s Chief Administration Officer because it didn’t include the shadow population, which the town believes is necessary in order to maximize grant funding. The biggest news, though, was that ~28% of the people of Bonnyville completed the census online! This deserves applause. Unlike the federal government, the Town of Bonnyville is actually collecting data, using it to inform public policy, and working with online tools to aid in the process. This goes to show that it’s always sunny somewhere, even during the dark ages.
Moving further east, things really started to heat up, but not because Mike Duffy impregnated a South American. Remember months ago, when The True North Times reported on the issue of drunk driving in Prince Edward Island? On July 24, Charlottetown’s The Guardian reported on the same issue from a slightly different angle. A Nunavut MLA pleaded guilty in a Charlottetown court to drunk driving and evading police, yet he received no jail time. The man in question, David Joanasie, tried to run from police after driving drunk in the wrong direction on a one-way street with a flat tire.
At first, this sounds terrible. However, if you’re an Islander, this might just be the excuse you’ve been looking for; it’s evidence that drunk driving is an external problem…it came from Nunavut! Sure, some may try to blame the PEI legal system since the fines the PEI judge gave the Nunavut man amounted to a figurative slap on the wrist, but really, let’s not forget, the drunk guy came from Nunavut! Then again, maybe the courts are the reason they call it “the gentle island.”
Way off in Newfoundland, big news surfaced at the annual recreational fishery in Notre Dame Bay. A woman caught a 22 kg cod! She told the CBC that she caught it with a hook-and-line (ya right, don’t we all?), and said that she was gonna deep fry the poor sucker when she got home. Based on that information, it’s a fair bet that she named the fish Kathy Dunderdale. Whammo! Is a catch like that big enough to declare the fishery open again? The True North Times was unable to reach Brian Tobin for a comment, but we assume he would have had a strong opinion. Stay posted for updates.
Finally, and most importantly, the Cape Breton Post reported on what might be the most disgusting story in municipal politics across the country. There is way too much “dog crap” at Lake O’Law. In a Letter to the Editor published July 23, 2014, a Cape Breton woman said that there is so much crap on the ground that she can no longer use the area park. In a desperate plea to bring those who dirtied the park to justice, the woman begged to whoever would listen, “I only wish we had cameras to catch these people.” Talk about a tall order! Is public surveillance coming to Cape Breton? Will Lake O’Law soon live up to its name? More importantly, why is no one paying attention to this story, which features a delicious combination of public health and privacy issues? Maybe it’s time we tuned in.
Seriously, try reading some local news every now and then. Better yet, try reading some from outside your province, and outside your region of the country. You’ll find that there’s a lot of interesting and controversial stuff going on where you least expect it, and that most of it has nothing to do with the major news media’s flavour(s) of the week. How about that dog crap in the park? And no, we aren’t talking about the congregation at Rob Ford’s barbeque last Thursday.