Despite what the weather might suggest -- the weather having gone Chaotic Evil for the entire year to date -- we are rapidly approaching the summer, and summer in Manitoba means that political news and current affairs almost completely disappear. Media outlets are left to fill the void with festival coverage and crime stories; fortunately for them, festivals and crime expand almost exponentially in the summer. (The system works!) But City Council winds down to a summer stop, and the Legislature (usually) wraps by cottage season, so regional politics enter almost a reverse hibernation: the warmer it gets, the less movement occurs.
Yes, like most forms of entertainment, political coverage in Manitoba goes into reruns for the summer; here are a few of the episodes that are set to repeat themselves in the weeks to come, accompanied by some relevant images I'd whipped up when they first arose.
Firstly, Joe Chan has filed to appeal his trial defeat last month; this means we can expect more stirring of pots by Harvey Smith, whose impishness in the leadup to the trial inspired me to mint this set of images:
In provincial news, meanwhile, the NDP government's dogged insistence on hiking the PST to 8% may cost the Legislature its summer vacation; the government's strategy for allaying the resulting public outrage and frustration has been, as it always was and always is, to blame the Filmon government.
Research found that the NDP mentions the prior government an average of one dozen times per day; Filmon has not been in power since the days of Mambo No. 5, but the Selinger government continues to hang a dozen a day on him regardless.
So if there's anything at all that you've found less than satisfactory in the past fourteen years of New Democratic reign, including the current unrest over the planned PST increase, please rest assured that your government has a perfectly valid explanation:
Yes, and whenever you cringe at the ongoing lack of solutions for our many lingering and worsening provincial problems, take great comfort in the government's repeated insistence that they hadn't been solved fifteen years ago either.
The NDP History Channel is basically just this show running 24 hours a day. (Was that last joke too meta? That was probably way too meta. James, stop typing. JAMES, STOP TYPING)
And then, in keeping with the theme of blaming disastrous decisions on somebody else's government, Russ Wyatt -- the Deputy Mayor of Winnipeg, remember, the man the Mayor has handpicked as his most trustworthy councilmate -- think about that for a minute -- Russ Wyatt reacted to the proposed PST increase by flipping a shit and threatening to cut everything.
The Arlington Bridge? Cut it! Close the bridge! The City's Dutch Elm prevention and maintenance? Cut it! Death to the trees! A grant to the Winnipeg Arts Council? Cut it! Artists are meant to starve! The funding the City just committed to the Canada Summer Games? Cut that too! I know we literally just said that we'd pay for it, but we didn't really mean that; we were hoping someone else would see us take out our wallet, be all like "no no I insist", and then pay for it for us!
Have you ever noticed -- just generally, of course, not namin' anyone specifically here -- that the kind of people most interested in hearing their own voice "start a discussion and debate" are also always the least interested in hearing opposing viewpoints on that subject? It's funny how that seems to work out, isn't it? It's an interesting bit of euphemistic language.
(It put me in mind of this, more than anything. And that didn't end well for anybody either.)
Wyatt, in this case, certainly doesn't want to hear discussion or debate about how much we'd save by cutting the Plessis underpass -- $77 million, which is more than every non-Rapid-Transit cut on his list combined -- and he absolutely, definitely, especially doesn't want discussion or debate about his proposals at an actual committee meeting. Oh, goodness, no. Shot that right down, he did -- because, he explained, he doesn't intend to officially file the cuts until the province officially finalizes the PST hike.
GOTTA START THAT DISCUSSION, THOUGH. EVERYONE BE QUIET, I WANT A DISCUSSION.
Now, as we've just seen in the stories above, the Province may not actually get its PST hike implemented on schedule, so we don't know when Wyatt will actually let people formally tell him how badly he's handled this. But as soon as the provincial mandate does come down, nothing -- nothing (outside of Transcona) -- is safe.
But I suppose this was to be expected; as the following file photo shows, Russ Wyatt is always rarin' to get cutting.
Just by comparing the Wyatt image to the Filmon image, you can tell I've been trying to get better at Photoshop lately. Right? Noticeable improvement, yeah? I think it's going alright.
Thank you for reading Slurpees and Murder: tomorrow's (and yesterday's) news stories, today!