Monday, June 26, 2006

Spiritless eulogy

Last week, Huey Duck's old buddies at Aikins MacAulay and Thordvalson finally relented and sponsored a Chamber of Commerce luncheon so their former co-woker could spread his sage advice and political wisdom as the keynote speaker.

First off, we are concerned for Huey's mental state, as it seems he cannot go through an entire speech without evoking the the former premier's name. No, not Filmon, but Pawley. How horrible Hugh's teenage years must have been under the Pawley NDP as Hugh's reaction seems disturbingly Pavlovian. Stand next to Hugh utter the name Howard Pawley and we bet his eyes begin to twitch.

However, we can sympathize. Sometimes we feel compelled to complain about the dirty days of Walter Weir. (Who doesn't, right?) Sometimes, it's so intense we find ourselves howling towards the ceiling, yelling "Weeeeeiiiir. Weeeeiiiir." For some reason it seems to annoy people around us.

But we digress.

Back to Huey's speech and his vision for the future. Does his vision include hydro as a key part of our future? Apparently not.

Maybe that's because when Hugh and the boys were previously in power they killed Conawapa and their best idea for business development was to loan scads of money to call centres.

What about hope for Aboriginal Manitobans as being vital to our future -- did he mention that? Mmm, not so much.

Maybe because Aboriginal people just aren't on Team Huey's radar. Never have been.

Did he mention alternative energy like wind power or ethanol, and biodiesel or biotech and nutricueticals to help the rural economy? 'Fraid not.

As a matter of fact the only mention of rural Manitoba was his intention NOT to dismantle rural regional health authorities while he pledged to, well ... maybe, we're not sure, perhaps, but it might be a good idea to, um, dissolve the Winnipeg RHA. (And this was the only item of news interest out of the whole chin wag.)

Of course, as we detailed here before, he was a senior advisor in the former Filmon government when RHAs were created with not one, but two, RHAs for the city of Winnipeg. Wethinks he calls to, perhaps, slay the monster he helped create.

Attaboy tiger. Go get 'em.

Seriously, for a moment, it is a worthy policy plank to seek to keep health spending in check. Hardly original, but hard to say that the Tories are wasting their time thinking about it. But apart from the siren call of US-style private medicine, Huey has only the the "possible" dismantling fo the WRHA as his approach on health care?

It's pretty thin gruel in itself, let alone the inherent irony in Huey choosing that target considering his former employment history.

On other fronts, he reportedly also made a call to bring back the Jets.

Oooo-kay. Forgive us for being a tad picky, but wasn't it the Filmon government that ran on saving the Jets in 1995? Then afterwards they failed to build a new arena and then the Jets went away? (They also said MTS wouldn't be privatized in that election, but so much for that, too.)

And wasn't it in fact the Doer government that partnered with Mark Chipman to build a new downtown arena, which has invigorated the Moose and breathed life into downtown, positioning us well if it were ever possible again to bring the NHL to Winnipeg?

We are thinking that Huey Duck's "Back to the Future" campaign theme he's developing may not exactly bowl over the Manitoba public.