Alberta Sends Hunters after CWD Infected Deer
Two more cases of wild deer have been found to be infected with Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, near the Saskatchewan border (http://www.gov.ab.ca/acn/200510/18840C10A54A7-951A-46E4-82DEF28FAAF1FC5E.html). CWD is a type of disease in the same line as BSE or Mad Cow Disease, although the Alberta government is very strongly trying to put out the message that the two are not the same thing (http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/diseases/CWD/index.html).
In order to deal with the additional cases, the Alberta Government has authorized a larger number of hunting licenses for the area, and is recommending that hunters turn in their kills to the provincial government for examination. What this means, though, is that the Alberta Government is relying on hunters to kill animals which the World Health Organization recommends they do not eat, and wants them to deliver the heads for examination to the Alberta Fish & Wildlife department. Now so far as I’m aware, hunters typically hunt because they either want the meat, a trophy, or both. Yet the World Health Organization is saying they shouldn’t use the meat, and the Alberta Government wants the trophies.
In other words, this program is basically just for those people who like to go into the woods and shoot things. Do we really want to be encouraging that?
Federal Government Legislates Surplus Spending
Until recently, the federal Government was required by legislation to take any unanticipated surpluses and devote them to paying off the national debt. Last week, however, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale introduced legislation that would divide any such surplus into thirds. One third of the surplus would go to providing one-time tax relief, a second third of the surplus could be assigned to government priority programs, and the last third is still to be devoted to taking care of the national debt (http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=173439).
This is particularly useful for a federal government that it looking toward an election in the early spring. Imagine the goodwill the government can generate for itself by giving all families a significant tax break right as people are filling out their tax forms. In addition, this will enable the federal government to provide extra money to post-secondary education, health care, affordable housing, and foreign aid–in other words, all of the hot-button issues that people have been talking about lately.
Not that I’m complaining about this. After all, a surplus is our money so it really should come back to us, it’s just always amusing how it seems to get stuck somewhere between the elections but always manages to be found right around the time that Canadians will be going to the polls.
The more elections I live through, the more obvious this becomes. If only we could have elections every year.
Canadian Teens Trading High Art
Who knew that Canadian teens were so cultured? It seems that some of the pictures that a number of teens have been collecting and trading amongst themselves are now being recognized as modern art.
Which pictures? Why none other than the ones available on cigarette packages. The Museum of Modern Art in New York is preparing an exhibit on things that were made to aid comfort, safety, and relief from stressful or dangerous situations, and the Canadian warning pictures on cigarette packages are to be included (http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=173479).
According to the federal Health Minister, Ujjal Dosanjh, these pictures were the world’s first pictorial health warnings. So now those pictures of the cancerous lung and damaged heart will be recognized as the bastions of Canadian culture that they truly are.
To be honest, I think our government should have declined this dubious honour. Do we really need to add any sort of prestige or mystique to purchasing cigarettes, especially in a time where provincial governments are lining up to sue the manufacturers over not revealing the dangers that these pictures were designed to reveal?