Weekly Commentary  

Psst, secret numbers here

The mystery continues. Why the national media outlets dislike headlining positive news is something I have never figured out. No sense complaining or whining. If I did that, somebody would say I was complaining or whining. So I won't.

Instead I'll just give you the numbers as reported, though not in headlines anywhere.

Last month was the fifth month in a row showing increased manufacturing output in Canada. And remember, this is happening at a time when our dollar is strong, making our manufactured exports more costly.

Here's another. Last month the increase in Canada's GDP (overall economic output) was the largest in the last three years.

Want more? The GDP increase in the last six months was the largest since 2000! I highlighted here last week another non-headline, that GM in Ontario had hired another 700 workers.

Are you ready for yet another? Honda Canada just announced the hiring of another 400 workers. And still no headline!

We all know that if a dozen people were being laid off in those, or any other plants, it would be headline material. But when a major hiring, or some similar positive event takes place, it rarely gets top billing.

Here's another quirky aspect of reporting. Why is it that victims of serious traumatic crime are often reported as 'unhurt'?

Case in point…this week an assault on an 11 year old girl was reported. The article described how she had been kidnapped, stuffed into the trunk of a car, and held hostage (and who knows what else) in a secluded location.

At some point she was thankfully found alive and rescued. As there were no visible injuries, the story ended by saying the girl was eventually returned home 'unhurt'.

Unhurt? Excuse me? The girl was traumatized for life! The story should have said 'the girl may never be the same for the rest of her life'.

And it could have gone on to say that the Tories are trying to pass legislation that would require mandatory jail time serious sexual crime.

We are trying to pass that legislation.

We still face opposition to that in the House of Commons.

One of the challenges of being in a minority situation in government is that you can't always do what you know a majority of Canadians would support. We will keep the pressure on and do all we can to make sure that serious offenders are prevented from repeating their crimes.

Locally, I am meeting this week with Dan Ashton to continue discussions on the matter between the CPR and the Penticton Indian Band. As I said last week, the negotiations over some of the KVR lands are between the CPR and the Band. The Government of Canada does not have a legal claim to the land and no legal right to expropriate it.

The ongoing matter which started in the courts years ago is still being worked out between the two parties.

All parties, including the Band and regional authorities have been very clear regarding the necessity of public input. It will be important to have that involvement once all of the many legal points still outstanding, including boundaries, are eventually settled.

We will make sure that an orderly process is in place and ready to go, well before any final settlement is arrived at.

I have asked for complete and public updates on the ongoing progress of negotiations.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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