In addition to the exciting story in the TJ quoting yours truly and focusing on New Brunswick blogs, there were a lot of stories in the NB press that caught my eye as well as one from the Globe & Mail.
1. The Telegraph-Journal and the Daily Gleaner both report that Fredericton MP and former cabinet minister Andy Scott will seek re-election to a sixth term in the next federal election. It also states that Bernard Lord will not be a candidate against Scott.
2. The TJ reports two top NB Power executives were let go this week, the announcement came from Tory appointed president David Hay, who had a rocky relationship with the Liberals when they were in opposition, and it is unclear whether this is a government-led, Hay-led or joint effort. In any event there is some hillarity in that apparently the crown corp's spokesperson is on holiday and her voicemail directs calls to one of the two who were fired. Whoops! Interestingly, other than Hay, these are the only NB Power executives who came from outside of the company.
3. Wide reportage on the new Self-Sufficiency Task Force today. In what is becoming his trademark style, opposition leader Jeannot Volpé managed to overlook substantive lines of attack to go for the nonsense line instead. Volpé screams that Francis McGuire, who isn't being paid, and Claudette Bradshaw, the former labour and homelessness minister and head of Moncton Head Start, are examples of patronage where "Mr. Graham ... giving back some money and prestige to some people who were on the bus during the last election." I roll my eyes. I guess baseless attacks of supposed patronage are better than Bernard Lord's claim during the election that New Brunswick thinking of being self-sufficient was as realistic as him thinking of joining the PGA Tour.
4. The Gleaner reports that the Tories are pouring money all over Atlantic Canada this week with announcements from all three regional ministers in all four provinces. Greg Thompson is doing announcements in Moncton and Fredericton, Peter MacKay in Charlottetown, Halifax and Antigonish and Loyola Hearn somewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday. I smell a writ, as we say, in an election year, if it moves pave it, if it doesn't, hire it.
5. UNB has risen from 26th to 25th out of 50 in terms of research dollars in Canadian universities. When you note that 16 of the 24 schools ahead of UNB have medical schools which draw in money UNB could never hope to see for research, that is not bad. UNB is, in that vein, 9th out of 34 schools that don't have medical facilities.
6. Education Minister Kelly Lamrock muses that there may be big changes coming to immersion programs in New Brunswick schools in the wake of test results that show fewer than half of immersion students can speak French at the level they are meant to.
7. The Globe and Mail reports that Stéphane Dion is "no fan of nuclear power". His exact quote is "as long as I have not received a convincing strategy for the waste, I am not able to look Canadians in the eye and say, 'I'm comfortable with the waste,' I will not recommend it." I think that nuclear power, though not ideal is the answer. It is the cleanest, in terms of production, and the safest countless studies have shown. If the alternative is running 1000+km power lines that will lose half of their power in transmission or smog creating coal plants, I don't see why were aren't embracing nuclear. To me, nuclear power is the easiest way to reduce emission and combat climate changes, I have never been able to understand environmentalists who oppose it. The Canadian Shield - massively unpopulated solid bedrock - seems like a safe place to store the waste, at least until science finds a way to dispose of it.