Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It is a familiar story.

Someone says the sky is falling. Everyone laughs.

Ibsen put it on stage with "An Enemy of the People."

Spielberg scored his first huge hit with "Jaws."

There's a shark in the water.

No there isn't.

Yes, we've seen it.

No, we depend on happy tourists so it can't be. Relax and have another beer.

Now, this:

L'Aquila, capital of the Abruzzo region, about 100 kilometres north of Rome, bore the brunt of the quake, which struck just after 3.30am. The epicentre was five kilometres beneath the town. Thousands of the city's 60,000 residents, fearing aftershocks, fled their beds and ran into the streets.

150 dead, 1500 injured and tens of thousands homeless.

A seismologist warned everyone who would listen that this tragedy was on its way.

Nobody listened.

Now, that creepy crook who is disguised as the Premier of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, has flown to the region and, among other things, utterly discounted this warning by a real scientist.


The numbers are discouraging.

62 cruise departures from Vancouver cut by Carnival/Princess/Holland America.

20% port biz lost.

$120 Million loss to local biz like produce suppliers, taxis (already reeling) and hotels.

21.5% decline in commercial container traffic since February.

For those who continue to believe that this is a community fueled by latte and condos, wake up and smell the deep. This is a maritime town. No sail, no loot.

Some 62,000 people visited in recent days the new addition to the port side Trade & Convention Centre, believing as the politicians who spent the money to build it, that this is a structure important to our local future.

Certainly, the worldwide economic collapse cannot be put on the shoulders of local planners and politicians.


What, if anything, have the Powers That Be, the Folks Who Should Know Better, been doing to avoid this disaster? Has there been any foresight in this matter? Have locals met with Trans-Pacific shippers or Cruise Line brass?

Or Scare Canada?

One of the reasons that the cruises have relocated en masse to Seattle is the prohibitive cost of connecting air fares.

One for The Good Guys

The RCMP finally has something to cheer about.

An Ontario Supreme Court judge has struck down a section of the RCMP Act that precludes unionization as unconstitutional.

Punchline - Mounties can now, like every other police force in the country, belong to a union.

I'm not sure how, if at all, that will effect you and me, but it might have some push in re-energizing a group that has spent so much time in recent years on the ropes.

None of us is happy bitching endlessly about an institution in which we once had considerable pride.

Most of us would like to see the force right itself and make us proud once again.

Perhaps this rightful decision will help.