Back in the day when I was a cub reporter at the London Free Press, I learned a saying from Doug Bale, the newspaper’s theatre critic. It went like this: “I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew, their names are what and why and when and how and where and who.” Bale, who wore a cravat, was quite a dandy by comparison to the others in the newsroom. I later learned that he was quoting a poem by Rudyard Kipling, but it did not take away from what he taught me about how to write a news story. The words were an important lesson about life, too, namely, always be curious, and ask questions about what’s happening around you.
In that vein, my first question today is this: Why don’t I read a lot more about Justin Trudeau’s abysmal 34 percent approval rating? The American media constantly reminds us that President Joe Biden’s approval rating has sunk to 38 percent. Nor did I see any Canadian media have some fun with Trudeau’s haircut. In the U.K, The Guardian had photos of Justin and actor Jim Carrey looking silly on the front page but there was no such light-hearted approach here. The Canadian media seems cowed by Trudeau, just like they were by his father, even though Justin is half the man Pierre was.
On another topic, who sets gas prices at the pump? Six weeks ago, regular gas was $2.06 per litre. Then it was announced prices would come down in steps by 20 cents a litre. And so they did, all the way to $1.59 only to bounce up and down and settle in yesterday around $1.66. How does every gas station in town and beyond know when to bump it up or down by four, five or six cents overnight? Is special notice given via some online portal? Is there a cartel? Why does no level of government investigate this price fixing?
Question number three involves Pierre Poilievre. Why do I have such trouble spelling and pronouncing his name? Maybe it’s because he is a despicable man. Not because he wants to fire the governor of the Bank of Canada or bring in crypto currency, but because he brings out the worst in people. That’s not what leadership is all about, leadership is about bringing people together, bringing out the best in people, building relationships and communities. I can only hope he falls on his face, otherwise all we’ll be left with is another question: Why did we let him get away with it?
I also have trouble pronouncing and spelling Polievre (QED). I can’t believe he could be prime minister of Canada. His claim to fame is Stephen Harper’s attack dog. What credentials.
Rod – this is one of your most important columns, especially with respect to your third point.
The brutal blow recently dealt Lisa LaFlamme only highlights matters.
Interestingly, Trudeau’s current approval rating almost matches voter turnout in my riding during the most recent federal election. I wonder what Kipling’s ‘six honest serving men’ might unearth about that “What? Wait…” story.
As for gas prices, even notwithstanding the head of the UN calling out companies’ excessive profits, would the PMO have remained tight-lipped on the matter because all the while Ottawa’s coffers were spilling over in tax revenue scooped up from us drivers?
Your remarks about Poilievre beg the question: are we past the full meaning of ‘civil servant’, exemplified by past company like Stanley Knowles, Lester Pearson, Flora Macdonald, Tommy Douglas, Judy LaMarsh and others? Let’s only hope that the growth in numbers of aggrieved, populist voters turns out to be a passing fad; that before long cooler heads will prevail.
Thank you Rod.