Sunday, September 30, 2007

Teenage Waist Land: Society's unHealthy Conflicts of Interest

Business, government & society have an unHealthy conflict of interests.

People want better health, safer food, better and Honest nutrition labeling, and better health care. Government wants less health care costs, the tax dollars from the food industries, plus, employed citizens in the food and restaurant industry. Food businesses want your money, every legal way there is to get it, no matter what the consequences to the individual and to the health care system. Government do not want to be seen to be as anti-business by promoting too many public service health announcements that nullify the happy messages from fast food chains - those that tell you to treat your gullet to harmful food pollutants.

A smattering of healthy eating commercials is really lip service, as the population bulges wider and wider. The problem is getting worse as more teens are broadening their horizontals. The teenage obesity rates are through the walls, and very high in Newfoundland and Labrador. The chances of much avoidable health care costs are widening as there becomes a greater risk for teens to get type 2 diabetes, heart and circulatory problems, and various forms of cancers.

Recent serious mistakes in radiology reporting is an area to analyze. What went wrong, where does the problem lie? There are dangerous staff shortages at the emergency room at the HSC. With $billions put into healthcare many doctors are still over worked. With an aging population of over 65ers increasing more each year, the stresses of the healthcare system looks like it will heave and swell.

Sickness and conditions will always be. Some just happen despite an individual's best health efforts. Many other problems chances of happening are increased by peoples' behaviour - in other words, those under our control - smoking, drinking, lifestyle, overeating harmful food, and not getting enough physical activity.

Preventative medicine can take a couple of forms. One may still cost the health system money, the other, none at all.

The first refers to people going for testing before a problem is either diagnosed or apparent at all. For example, heart exams, prostate cancer checks, blood work, blood pressure, mammograms, etc. Some argue that this doesn't save any money. If it does or doesn't, it's been known to do what's most important, save lives. The second preventative measure is where we as individual who are free to control what we do and eat, exercise discretion in what we decide to feed our nutrient-hungry body cells.

Many health problems can be avoided, and there are scattered advertisements which promote healthy eating. There could be much much more. The anti-smoking campaign was/is on fire for years. So if too much fat, trans fat, sodium, sugar, preservatives, plastic container chemicals like bisphenol-A, and additives are negatively affecting health, which all have been reported to be, then shouldn't there be more public warnings about avoiding bad foods?

It could save 100's of thousands of lives and improve peoples' quality of life. Of course, stepping up public service announcements above lip-service level will rile food businesses whose profits are based on the public's no fear attitude about clogging the human circulatory and plumbing system full of sludge.

How many $100s of millions could be saved in the health care system, which, despite Canada being a G7 nation and a multi-billion dollar surplus recipient year after year, still is ailing. Health Canada Should educate the public more on healthy eating and healthier lifestyles. If that negatively affects the sale of burgers, poutines, and curly fries, then so be it. If people avoid more of the garbage and eat more healthy, then the mystery meat kings of food can adjust their menus more.
Here is a helpful link called Teaching Nutrition to Teens.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Emergency Room for Error

Facetiousness aside, there apparantly are serious problems now at the emergency room at the Health Science Complex - read the previous blog post link. Of course, health care problems are an eternal problem facing society, but what can government do? It's only the 10th straight year that there have been obese surpluses, almost $14 Billion in the most recent fiscal year. Can we not afford to properly staff hospitals and emergency rooms?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Situation Critical!

This is a link to Geoff Meeker's blog post. Today he shares a letter "delivered to him in the night" by an anonymous health care worker from the HSC emergency room unit. The letter describes in shocking detail, stressful and dangerous ER situations at the Health Sciences Centre. Staff are overworked, waiting times are very long, and more patients are sent back to ER from other hospital sections. The pressure on the ER medical team is immense, and their pleas fell on deaf ears at higher levels of HSC exec. Here's the blog post and letter.

Evolving from Old-Fashioned Politics and Attitudes

Having a strong, vocal, analytical, constructive opposition should ideally be a positive thing for a governing party. In fact, it should be desired by them. Let's dream in technicolor and imagine that we have evolved to a mature standard, where having a "wonderfully large" majority is not seen by the majority party, as an ideal governance structure for a province, but rather, as making them more prone to err, and rule recklessly.

For example, a government of 48-0 or 46-2 puts all the pressure on the majority governing party to be correct on all the big issues and developments facing the province. When there is a huge majority with very little oppoistion, what can follow is an outward attitude of pomposity, and an attitude of appearing falsely and misleadingly confident. That is old-fashioned politics. It's time to transcend the idea that once you're the government, you're right.

There may also be the short-sighted attitude that "we are so powerful with so any MHAs in government, that whatever we say, goes... and we will be seen as being correct in every decision until such time, and after much historical digging has taken place, that we will already have been lifted to a pedestal from the accolades of the people."

Certainly each party leader will wish that their party's candidates, whom they would have befriended, will, just because of being human, want that candidate to get elected.

Unfortunately, there has to be unsuccessful candidates in elections. Let's hope that - well it's simply going to be Danny Williams this time again, that he and the PC party, hope that there is a strong and constructive opposition. Why? To make the government think twice on issues, to offer different perspectives on proposed deals, to question government initiatives, and policies, to suggest alternatives, to simply criticize for the sake of doing what's right for the province.

Objectively looking at opposing party's perspective, and accepting that wisdom can come from any wise person, should give the governing party more confidence to sign deals, that is, when doubt subsides, and rational deliberation has lead to a stronger consensus among all parties.

The evolved political attitude towards an opposition party should be one where, they are seen not as an opposing hockey team competing for the annual cup, but a group of constructive and necessarily critical watchdogs, who are appreciated (albeit likely to be on the q.t.), by a thankful governing body, to have a second set of eyes, opinions, information, and options.

Craig Westcott on CBC's Here & Now last evening, also suggested that a government without any opposition can be dangerous. Absolute power can and unfortunately do corrupt. There can very well be a false sense of bullet-proof righteousness when there is no one in opposing positions to take shots (and not insulting shots, but shots aimed to help immunize the province from missteps). To err is human. Being human, people also do not like to admit it when they do, so they will swagger as if their position was infallible - that is old-fashioned politics, just like the deceit in the spending scandal is an old-fashioned tradition. Now that that Pandora's box has been opened, future politicians will hopefully learn, evolve, and transcend that tradition.

A government which possesses a more evolved political attitude ought to be thankful to have a strong oppositon so that there is a rational, objective, and a comprehensive analysis of major developments and financial deals, before dotted lines are signed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Election Comes Alive

Congratulations to all three debaters, Mr. Reid, Mr. Williams, and Ms Michael. To this observer all three made great points, and displayed with conviction, their concerns for the province. Up to this point the election has been really just a waiting game, almost a waste of a campaign, because Premier Williams public support is so high, over 75%.

It's been interesting to drive around St. John's to see a noticeable decrease in the number of campaign signs. It could be for several reasons - voter apathy because of the spending scandal, or just that "what's the point of spending energy on supporting a candidate who will likely lose". So this election has lacked any measure of suspense so far, any anticipation of a close race.

The dabate tonight was very lively, heated, and impressive in some ways, and not, in another. You can't help but appreciate the pressure that a live debate puts on political leaders. They are expected to know the issues, know the province and party histories, policies, and have ideas to offer the public. For their strong individual performances they are all commended.

While the debate was lively, it was also annoying. NTV's Fred Hutton is a good newscaster, my aunt loves him. However, during this debate, he made Jerry Springer look like a good moderator. The liveliness was mainly ignited by Liberal Gerry Reid. He was very fiesty, and convincing in his "seriousness" (anger) about issues like the energy plan, and his assertions that Williams ignores Labrador on various issues. Unfortunately, his spirited verbal shots were allowed to be totally out of control by moderator Mr. Hutton.

The debate was too loose in the two way exchanges. Reid was not only louder than Williams and Michael but was almost non-stop talkative while the others were responding. Reid made many points but he really should have allowed the others proper opportunities to respond, rather than continue nearly shouting. It was next to impossible to hear Williams replies many times. There should have been better moderation of this debate.

Lorraine Michael was excellent! She came across as very well spoken, level headed, calm, yet assertive, sincere and bright.

Danny said things that his supporters wanted to hear, "no more giveaways", "we're entering a period of transition to 'have' status". He has not lost any political ground from tonight. Lorraine represented the NDP very well, and if they gain more seats, it would probably be at the Liberal's expense.

With huge developments on the horizon for the province it would be better to see much more debate/discussion time on one major development issue at a time. For example, set aside at least 20 minutes to discuss the Hebron Memorandum of Understanding, 20 for the Lower Churchill Development, 20 for the energy plan, etc. Perhaps the media should consider this to allow more open discussion of significant developments that will affect NL's people and their future.

Famous Moments in Political Debates

Political debates have gotten very scripted, orchestrated and somewhat predictable in recent decades. Certain questions and topics are givens to be raised, so carefully planned responses, and gestures, can be rehearsed by politicians. The power of visual image grew as more people tuned in to the tube.

In the famous 1960 U.S. presidential debate, a pale Richard Nixon, sporting a five-o'clock shadow, faced a tanned, healthy looking, and telegenic John Kennedy. It's been said that radio listeners had a different perception of the debate than television viewers. Kennedy's slim victory could have owed to the televised candidate contrast.

That debate has so frequently been mentioned that it has likely influenced the "production" side of debating more than any other factor. As we know, a tidy, confident, and stately appearance has become a major factor in how the public perceives or rates the performance of candidates. Still, it must be combined with carefully worded responses, the kind that listeners "want to hear". A neatly groomed debater can look and act the part of leader but words have to match the image - and that does not always happen as we will see.

In the 1988 U.S. Vice-presidential debate, Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen delivered a stinging jab to Republican candidate Dan Quayle.

In his campaign, Quayle had been put on the defensive for his political inexperience. Leading up to a live televised debate, he had been known to compare himself to John Kennedy, to send the message that relative youth in politics is not necessessarily bad, but can represent vigor, promise and talent, as Kennedy did. (Bentsen had reportedly heard these comparisons before, and may well have had his sail-bursting response ready before the tv debate.)

When asked by moderator Tom Brokaw about his qualifications for acting as President,

Quayle answered: "... I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency ..."

Bentsen's response: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy: I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine.

"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy,"

(A lot of audience shouts and applause followed.)

Quayle: That was really uncalled for Senator.

Bentsen: You are the one that was making the comparison, Senator — and I'm one who knew him well. And frankly I think you are so far apart in the objectives you choose for your country that I did not think the comparison was well-taken.

Dan Quayle dropped the Kennedy comparison for the rest of the campaign. The moment was replayed over and over, and was raw resource material for comedians.

One joke went "What did Marilyn Quayle say to Dan Quayle after making love? 'Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.'"

*   *   *

A couple of Reaganisms
What an ambitious person Ronald Reagan was. He studied economics and sociology at College, was a radio announcer, acted in 53 films, was president of the screen actors guild, was governor of California, and re-elected in 1970, then became President in 1980.

In his quest for Presidential re-election in 1984, he had to face Democratic candidate Walter Mondale in a live televised debate. At 74, most people would have experienced nearly ten years of retirement, but this man was applying for the mother of all jobs, and his competition was 56 years old. In the debate, Reagan's actor skills would serve him well when he smoothly, and good-naturedly quipped to Walter Mondale,

"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign ... I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

Reagan was seen as being sharp, calm, and upbeat, which endeared him to Americans for two terms as President.

In the 1980 debate with President Carter, Reagan asked,

"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

The timing of the question was deadly for Carter, as American hostages were still not released by Iranian hostage takers at that point, and under Carter's Presidency. That question seemed to have struck a contemplative chord with voters.

*   *   *

Given Premier Williams recent remark about Liberal leader Gerry Reid's so-called "scowl", for tonight's debate, Williams might joke that Reid take a tip from former Presidental candidate Bob Dole. In 1996, Bob Dole insisted that his wife be visible to him at all times, because "her job was to remind him to smile."
*   *   *

It is rare for a "knock-out punch" to be landed in a political debate, but that is what happened in Canada's 1984 election debate between PC Brian Mulrooney and Liberal John Turner. The knock-out punch is when a quip decisively turns the election in one candidate's favor.

At this point, the Liberals had been in power, for what seemed like forever. Pierre Trudeau had retired from Politics in 1984, and John Turner had manned the post that year. Trudeau and the Liberals had been in power since 1968, with the exception of a brief PC Joe Clark 9 month PM stint, beginning in June, 1979.

Mulrooney was young, fresh, and hungry for the big job. During the 1984 debate, John Turner was drilled on the issue of patronage, by Mulrooney. Turner's response that he had to rubber-stamp Trudeau's patronage appointments, had raised the already temperature-rising debate to a trigger point, when Mulrooney responded with,

"You had a choice sir. You had a choice."

Mulrooney's expression was with such conviction and strength that it made Turner look weak. Mulrooney went on to win the election.

There may not be a crippling blow tonight - then again, there are plenty of issues that the opposition can take to the premier, and really drill him on. Likewise, the Premier, who is perched high, is positioned to sling some shots while affording some support loss.

Election debates are usually interesting, and historical in any event. Best wishes to all three leaders, Gerry Reid, Lorraine Michael, and Danny Williams. May they perform to the best of their abilities, and may the exchange be for the betterment of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Baby Plan a Gamble - Check the Bonus Numbers

C.D. Howe Institute researcher, Kevin Milligan, who analyzed Quebec's baby bonus program, says that while incentives like the $1000 per baby, can increase family size, the "effective cost per desired result may be very high." Milligan says, that between 1989-96 the birth rate in Quebec increased by 14.5%. Here's a quote from Milligan's assessment:

"A percentage increase of 14.5 implies that the program “created” only 14.5 of each 114.5 children born — the other 100 would have been born even in the absence of the program. In other words, the subsidy was “wasted” on the families who would have had children had there been no program." (p.7)

Quebec had initially started their "Allowance for Newborn Children" program with a $500 per child incentive, and it was later raised to $1000, and later, a third child would be rewarded with a series of monthly payments amounting to $8000. From 1989-96 this costs $15,000 per child.

"Is $15,000 per child a lot or a little? Because no one can quantify the total benefit brought by having extra children, this question is difficult to answer." - Milligan

In 2004, Newfoundland and Labrador had 4488 births. So if you were to round that to 4500 and for arguments sake, multiply by 15%, the birth rate would be increased by 675 per year, for a total of 5175 births. But it would be 5175 x $1000 which is $5,175,000 per year for births alone (excluding parent subsidy). Another way to look at it is that $4,500,000 will be paid out for babies born anyway, without the incentive.

Certainly, any expectant parent would hardly turn down a $1000 cheque for a new baby.

Part of the rationale for a birth incentive program is to increase future sources of taxes (people) to continue social programs. Quebec's birth rate did increase for a while but slipped back down again to pre-incentive times.

In years to come, even if the birth rate had increased by 30% for a few years, who can say that that population increase will stay in the province by adulthood.

Bonus numbers are worth reconsidering. What is also worth considering are other ways to keep people in the province now, and for in-migration to begin. It is the task of government to promote the province, encourage and help facilitate business development. It is ultimately the employers, business and public service, who should step up to the plate to, at least, not look at individuals as disposable expenses, but as provincial assets, contributers, and what makes society and the province more valuable, and most importantly, human beings who can be happier workers, and more interested in their jobs.

If machines could do more of business's tasks, and cost less than keeping a person on payroll, often the attitude is to let the person go, even if profits are still good. If a business thinks that two or three employee tasks can be squeezed into one employee, that becomes an option, and often a reality. It is not however, always beneficial to the individual who has to doubly, multi-task. Maybe from a business perspective, good business sense. From an individual's point of view, no sense.

Employers should recognize that the better the employees are treated, in terms of work load, and salary, everyone can be winners, including the province, which is faced with high unemployment and out-migration, the consequences of hiring too few people, low opportunities, and people dissatisfied with their salaries here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First Draft Election Campaign Slogans

For the Progressive Conservative Party
(a few added from comments)

Danny Williams double 0 7
(from commenter npc)

Williams for Premium (npc)

Danny & Hebron Oil
Go With the Flow

For a Bitter
Newfoundland & Labrador
Vote PC

At 76% in the polls, You Know What to Do

Just Do it!

The PC Party. It's a gas gas gas (npc)

Danny Williams Afraid of nothing (npc)

Deal or No Deal

I'll Even Bring the
Cod Fishery Back

Ye Can All Come Home Now

Like, What ev er!?
Just Vote Already

I'm Infallibull
For the New Democratic Party

Our Father Who Art in Heaven Hallowed be Thy Name ...

Free Everything for Everyone

For the Liberal Party

Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven ...

Danny's 5% Equity Steak in the White Rose Expansion is Just Boloney

I Can Take Danny in an Arm Wrestle

Vote Liberal. Drinks are on Us
Perfume & Panties for the Ladies

Ye Can All Come Home Now,
My Ass!
So the PCs Got a Secretive Hebron Memorandum of Understanding
- Big Deal!

We Did Get the Voisey's Bay
Deal. Even Danny Said that was Good. So There!

We Got the Upper Churchill
for ya, Didn't We?

Liberals Will Complete the TLH
We Booked the Queen
for a Visit to The Big Land

Other tossed election Slogans

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Premier Gets a Bumpy Reception in Labrador

It's not surprising that Premier Williams and the Minister for Labrador Affairs, and Transportation, John Hickey, were put on the defensive regarding the province's energy plan. People, including mayor Leo Abbass of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, residents, and local councils, oppose Williams' plan to run the Lower Churchill transmission line to the island portion of the province.

"So what's going to happen is that industries are going to look more to Newfoundland than Labrador to set up because there's not going to be no grid or anything for industry to set up to get cheap power," said resident William Burden

Williams' response was "When it comes to this new power, I can tell you categorically that that industry is going to be here in Labrador." (see CBC article. The report did not say whether the Premier elaborated with further details, but the assumption may be, not.)

Yvonne Jones, Liberal critic for Natural Resources, also spoke out against the Williams' plan for the Lower Churchill energy. She also reminded listeners on VOCM this morning, as has been repeatedly made known by the highly researched, and incisive WJM, that very little progress has been made on the Trans Labrador Highway, despite many pronouncements and promises from Minister Hickey, that more much of the TLH would have been completed by this time. WJM and others have pointed out that there were/are plenty of words, and pronouncements that sound good, but have been misleading, and failed to deliver.

It will be interesting to see if Hickey can hold onto his seat given his record among Labradorians.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Population Problem Has Hardcore Solution

Premier Williams says that money can buy you love. If you deliver triplets, expect a $3000 cheque in the mail. The idea was fathered in Europe and Quebec, to make the population, well, grow. Williams is concerned that the "race" will continue to decline, unless we take explicit action.

Basically there is an aura of optimism in government, and with incentives from the Dept. of Procreation, it reflects the expected era of "wealth", for the province. The $1000 dollar per baby, bonus, plus the $100 subsidy per month for new parents, will make it easier to raise a child. It's good news for out of work fishery workers. Banned from catching cod, and perhaps hesitant to have a child, they are now encouraged to get jiggy with it.

It's not like making $1000 under the table - well, it could be. Couples who were holding back on conceiving, can now flirt with the idea. So if you want to make the family, and your bank account grow, take advantage of this offer at every conceivable opportunity.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Predictions for Election 2007

PCs: 41         Liberals: 6         NDP: nun

It's a given there will be a lopsided win, but it would be good to have (former Sister) Lorraine Michael back, and more opposition - NDP and/or Liberals than the current standing of 34/11/1.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Former MHA Paul Dicks Called to the Bar

Known to be quite Liberal with the booze, former Finance and Justice Minister Paul Dicks, might paint the town red since he has been asked to serve as bartender at one local Liberal's victory party. Dicks was staggered when news broke that he spent $34,000 on alcohol while representing the public as an MHA. This has come as quite a surprise given his calm, controlled, and sober demeanor. He was reached Friday for comment. "I am sick of all the slurs", he said in a rye tone, and he has been on the Lambs ever since.

It's no surprise that the headaches from the stress and embarrassment is enough to make you go on the Bayer. Oh well, he couldn't expect to get off Scotch-free forever. Now that the story is out, he should clear his conscience and maybe something positive will come out of this. It might make the Guiness record books as the most money spent on booze by an elected official - while in office Dicks had many a Guiness for lunch. So the public should not get on his case.

It's not only Paul Dicks who used public funds for liquor, but Liberal MHA George Sweeney did the same. However, Dicks could "drink him under the table", with Sweeney's meager $10,325 alcohol bill. It is sad though that the price of public humiliation is even higher. As a ripple effect, the Kenmount Rd. liquor store had to close due to low sales.

In times of political scandal, we are reminded that honesty is the best policy, and responsible people should resist the temptation to drink from the till. These are pints that any politician should take home to digest. One more piece of advice for Mr. Dicks - when you attend the next Liberal party, BYOB.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sealed With a

Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS is apparently considering spending some time on the Rock to protest the annual seal hunt, just like protestors do every year, via a reality tv show of course. Simmons is quoted as saying,

"The idea that anybody would call that a sport is delusional."

Yes, the idea that you could be used by animal rights activists (ARAs) groups to help continue to line their pockets by feeding you malicious lies is what you should consider delusional, Mr. Simmons. If he thinks that the seal hunt is a sporting activity then he must think that livestock farmers really laugh it up when they are out hunting chickens, pigs, and the sly slippery and elusive cow. It is hard to imagine killing animals, harder again for sport. Having heard and seen interviews with sealers you realize there is no fun, but dangerous hardship, an occupation on the sea which, like the fishery, has carried on for centuries.

Like a reality tv show, the shadowy seal hunter/monster psycho barbarian script has already been written, and the predictable fiction has had many characters play the would be hero or heroine every year. The seal hunt as Paul Watson has openly admitted to it, is the biggest fund-raiser for ARAs. As a matter of fact, in reality it is a safe bet that they do not really want the seal hunt to end because it would cripple the most lucrative fund raiser for them. So connivers like Watson and his disciples pitch images of natural tear secretions from young seals to "innocent" people like Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed, and they fall for the idea that the poor white coats are crying like a human.

The script of misinformation, lies, prejudice and hate was written by the Shakespeares of the ARA fundraising genre. Like Othello, it's played out annually, and like Iago tricked others, the general public and celebrities are duped into believing falsehoods that are promoted with spite and hatred. What is not a tradegy, not even sad really, just irritating, is that those in public eye, celebs, show their ignorance, and impose their influence on what it has appeared to be, a shinking population, of Canadians at least, who will be blindly led to donate their money to a cause that is without foundation.

Mr. Simmons will no doubt be conducting more research into what veterinarians have to say about the seal hunt. He is bound to read their reports and consensus that it is one of the more humane animal culls, and that even included the use of the hakipik when that method was practised. Since Saturday nights are used to unwind he will probably spend time reading blogs with related information. So here's a link to read more from a report by the Royal Commission on the Seal Hunt.

Mr. Simmons, just in case you want to edit the reality tv script a little, don't forget some facts, real things that should be in a reality show. Such things are: white coat seals are no longer hunted, it is illegal to do that, and please don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise; sealing is done with rifles and not clubs; the seal hunt is short seasonal employment, and humane, and it is not a sport. One more thing, you would wish you could sell as many new CDs as the population of seals. Come out with some killer music and you will surely harvest new herds of actual music fans.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Amiela Fish Profits up

Who says the fishery is dead? So much for the alledged comment from Barbara Amiel that people like unemployed fishery workers should be "stomped under the heals of her shoes". Earlier this year, Amiel and former first lady, Mila Mulroney, bought out FPI, to do their part to revitalize the fishery, employ people and help stop outmigration. People who have the impression that social elites wouldn't be caught dead in poor old Newfoundland will be surprised to learn that when Ms Amiel and Ms Mulroney are not dining at Bistro 990 at Bay St., they are overseeing retraining at the Gaultois and Marystown fishplants. "Quality control is the area that has facilitated the company growth so far," says Mulroney. Having worked on the gutting line of a small fish plant near Baie-Comeau, Quebec, and also having been knees deep in the fishmeal sections, Mulroney is no stranger to the fish processing line. Barbara Amiel told reporters that for the former first lady to step up and out of Brian Mulroney's shadow, took guts. What every Newfoundlander and Labradorian needs, is Amiela Fish. What does the future hold? They are planning the development of a spiny-back jellyfish farm to increase production and employment. Kudos to these trans-planted ladies, and may this success be an example for the Toronto Fish Plant Workers Association.

(Writer's note: My original fake story has gotten some attention from a site called Toronto Life. Blog commenters in a debate about Conrad Black referenced it. At least one thought it was real, which sparked shots from other commenters to the first. Later someone made the point, and a good one, to make sure you check the source and credibility of the site from which you find information. I wrote it just because the idea was absurd, and with a little curiousity to see how such a fake story would be seen by people outside the province, and to turn an everyday NF phrase into a fake company name.)