Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Royal Addicts

We’ve never fancied ourselves monarchists. Most of us never drink tea. Nor have we officially requested a royal designation from Her Majesty (at least not yet). But we like how “The Royal Addicts” resonates nonetheless. So very, very regal!

On this note, Kevin Prokosh, in today’s Free Press, suggests the Manitoba Theatre Centre is on the cusp of receiving the “rare” royal designation.

Unfortunately, in his list of royal things in Winni-Toba he fails to mention the Manitoba Royal Winter Fair – the largest annual event held in Brandon, and one of Western Canada’s largest agricultural events. It was bestowed royal patronage in 1970.

The Royal Addicts will not tolerate this level of perimeteritis endemic to Winnipeg media. We will fight it in all corners, and in all manifestations.

After all, if the Royal Addicts don’t stand up for Brandon, who will?


One of our favourite bloggers turned pollster is given the closing word in today’s Free Press business section in an article suggesting Manitobans are confident about our economic future.

We have two critiques:

First, the suggestion by Curtis Brown that “the Canadian economy, on the whole, seems to have righted itself” seems inconsistent with the Bank of Canada’s revelation a few weeks ago that the output gap is actually larger than expected and that the Canadian economy will only return to full capacity a full year later than initially expected.

Furthermore, this revised prediction is encased in an ominous statement suggesting that heightened tensions in currency markets could result in an even more protracted and difficult global recovery. That is, a currency war that could negatively impact manufacturers and exporters in Manitoba and Canada.

Second, it’s unfortunate when pollsters ask the public’s opinion, receive a response, and then proceed to provide what appears to be their own individual rationale for why the public feels the way they feel.

We would love to see how many of the 1,002 adult Manitobans actually said, as part of their response to Probe’s survey, that they’re optimistic because “the Canadian economy, on the whole, seems to have righted itself” as Mr. Brown suggests. Before feeling optimistic, we always check to ensure the economy's righted itself!

It’s becoming more and more acceptable, unfortunately, for pollsters to suggest correlations exist between items that were not, in fact, tested in surveys. And this is one of many reasons why political parties do their own research. It’s normally best to hear from the public why they think the way they think rather than relying on untested speculations.


What’s with Dauphin’s fascination with beavers? Or, more specifically, why are Manitoba Conservatives so preoccupied with beavers?

Many of our readers will remember the following 2007 Question Period exchange between Stan Struthers, MLA for Dauphin, and Heather Stefanson, MLA for Tuxedo:

Oral Questions
October 4, 2007

Mrs. Heather Stefanson (Tuxedo): Mr. Speaker, in July of this year the Minister of Conservation announced further initiatives to deal with the problem beavers in Manitoba. While I applaud the NDP for carrying on a program initiated by the previous Progressive Conservative government, I was shocked to learn that the method by which the NDP government chose to achieve this goal was through a program known as the Beaver Deceiver program.

Mr. Speaker, is it not enough that the NDP has chosen for eight years to deceive the people of Manitoba that they now have to stoop so low as to deceive the beaver population as well?

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Stan Struthers (Minister of Conservation): I can't help but think a trap has been set for me to step in, but what the heck, Mr. Speaker. This is the same population of beavers that's deceived this government on the other side for how many years?

Mr. Speaker, this is a serious problem in rural Manitoba. This problem causes us millions of dollars in damage every year in Manitoba, every year to our infrastructure. We need to be working with the R.M.s of the area which we're doing, trying to think of ways–

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Stefanson: Mr. Speaker, as hard as they've tried to deceive even the beavers of Manitoba, even the beavers have outsmarted them. Manitoba beavers have a right to know how many of their relatives have been deceived as a result of this government's Beaver Deceiver program?

Mr. Struthers: It's good to see that my colleague from Tuxedo has finally found an issue she can sink her teeth into. I think maybe, Mr. Speaker, after those comments I will simply remain listening to the next question that my honourable colleague from Tuxedo brings forward.