03.22.2016 07:11 AM

Brussels, budget, Bombardier, bypass (updated)

Allow me the alliteration: it feels like all that there is to smile about, as we start March 22, 2016.

So, I listened to CBC Radio, as I do every morning, and I found myself wondering about the choices they had made.  The mass murder in Brussels – with 30+ dead, and about a 100 gravely hurt) topped the newscast, but today’s federal budget was close behind.  Then there was an analyst predicting that Bombardier would get its $1 billion, even though it is still “outsourcing” Canadian jobs to places like Mexico.  And then, of course, there were stories that bypass all of that: basketball, traffic, the weather.

It’s not like this sort of dilemma doesn’t happen every day, of course.  I will always recall listening to CBC Radio on the morning of 9/11, and how the discussion was with Chuck Strahl, talking about something in Ottawa – just as the world was ending for some 3,000 people in New York City.

Choices are hard, I guess.  So what would you do, if you were today running a news outlet somewhere?  What would you lead with?

  • Brussels: On the one hand, the death toll is very high, the attack was apparently meticulously planned, and Belgium is a nation well-known to many Canadians.  On the other hand, it is regrettably something that happens a lot, these days, and it is happening far away.  Oh, and (forgive me for stepping out of my neutral stance, and openly detesting this sort of soulless relativism) you are far more likely to be killed by a runaway train than a terrorist.
  • Budget: On the one hand, it is the first budget of the new Liberal government, and it will dramatically change the fiscal approach of the past decade – and it will (reportedly) mean a lot to First Nations and provinces.  On the other, it is just another budget – one that is mostly leaked in advance, and whose measures have little to no effect on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people.
  • Bombardier: On the one hand, it is probably much more fiscally revealing than the budget, it will advance federalism in Quebec, and it has ample precedent.  On the other hand, it is an actual scandal – it puts Quebec before the West, it throws good money after bad, and it doesn’t even guarantee that jobs stay here.
  • Bypass: Who knows? There is nothing I can do about any of it.  I prefer People magazine and Grey’s Anatomy.  I am an ostrich.
  • UPDATE: And now, Rob Ford has passed away.  Incredible.  Good luck getting your budget even noticed, Mr. Morneau.

So, a poll.  Vote now, vote often, etc.  What would you do?

[polldaddy poll=9358118]


  1. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    If the coverage of the Islamic terrorist attack in Brussels resulting from the capture of the Islamic terrorist responsible for the previous Islamic terrorist attack is to simply explain that none of this has to do with Islam, then we might as well talk about the budget.

    • smelter rat says:

      Right on cue, another simple minded comment.

      • Lyndon Dunkley says:

        Then please enlighten us with your high minded analysis.

        • Steve T says:

          Lyndon, you are probably new here, so I’ll explain how it works. Smelter Rat never actually puts forward any cogent arguments, or factual support for his allegations. He just criticizes and lobs ad-hominem attacks at people he disagrees with. Best to just ignore him.

          • Warren says:

            And he needs to cool it or he will be asked to leave.

          • Lyndon Dunkley says:

            I find it curious that the progressive stance on Islam is that we must not criticize it or we contribute to the conversion of its moderate followers into more radical practitioners (who if they act upon their newly strengthened beliefs, will no longer be deemed to have anything to do with the religion). To suggest 1.6 billion people live on the razor’s edge of peaceful co-existence or “joining ISIS” seems bigoted.

          • doconnor says:

            It is wrong to equate Islam with ISIS just as it is wrong to equate Branch Davidians with the United Church of Canada because they are both based on Christianity.

            Condemning all of Islam, as people like Trump implies, could push those few disaffected youth who are on the edge over to supporting ISIS, which is not what you want if you want to reduce terrorism.

  2. doconnor says:

    The media spends way too much time speculating about announcements that will happen in the future. There is plenty of time to talk about what’s in the budget after it has been announced. These days they put more effort in analysing thing before they happen then after, often missing important sublities.

    I thought the unidentified disfiguring disease hiting that native community is a important and interesting story.

  3. ottawacon says:

    Not necessarily a choice for this morning, but I find it startling how thin CBC’s coverage of Brazil’s political crisis has been.

  4. Matt says:

    Interesting the Liberals hired American company Morgan Stanley to advise them on the federal bailout for Bombardier. It’s going to happen, though I suspect it will be seperate from the budget.

    If Trudeau gives Quebec company Bombardier $1 billion and there is only the $250 million – $350 million already announced for Alberta/Sask to help deal with the drop in oil and the 70,000 job losses that resulted from the oil crash, look out. Canadian unity problems rears their ugly heads again.

  5. BillBC says:

    Aw Warren…stop seducing me…I’m no Liberal, never have been, but here you are, a Liberal, with two intelligent observations, opposed to Liberal policy, with which I totally agree: the item about the Senate, and your observation on Bombardier. Makes me think that some Liberal are capable of independent thought…

    Not the party line…don’t expect a Senate appointment any time soon, but please keep writing….

    • Maps Onburt says:

      Other than for his passion for punk rock, Warren has shown an amazing amount of common sense on many issues. His Liberal party is one that I suspect many of us on the right could live with… Trudeau’s… not so much.

  6. davie says:

    At 1st surf of tv 24/7’s this AM, RT had full coverage of Brussels, CBC, Global and CNN showed me Obama making speech in Havana.
    Budget is this afternoon. Bombardier is yet to come. Above comment on Brazil is right on.

    When I see scenes of destruction and suffering such as the pictures from Brussels this morning, I think of the same scenes of destruction and suffering that occur in the Middle East, Yemen, East Africa, and Pakistan/Afghanistan so often.

    Now CBC is explaining to me a face book ‘safe check’ so that a person can check in on face book to let others know s/he is okay. Beneficial use of media!

    I wonder if Brussels being HQ of NATO made it a target for these bombings.

  7. lou says:

    Unfortunately Warren, I look at all 3 and see a common link. The make-up of our current government will stick their head in the sand and hope that doing the same thing over and over again will yield a different outcome. Insanity it’s called. There will be not attempt to fix or change the “root causes”, just closing eyes, crossing toes and hoping it turns out differently. Sunny days indeed.

  8. Ted H says:

    So, now Brussels now. Does that mean that all the bullshit theatre and indignity we have to put up with going through airport security is going to get even worse?

    • The Doctor says:

      Well, that raises an interesting point — we’ve put in all these security measures to make sure planes can’t get blown up, but the entire concourse/public of an airport is still a fairly soft target. And that really hasn’t changed much since those guys shot up those El Al counters in Rome and Vienna back in 1985.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Contrary to popular belief, having a quick scan of individuals and or purses/bags/suitcases going into an airport off the road is not a friggin’ big deal. If it was everyone, so be it. Or if was it was just folks that are suspicious or at random, it would be even faster.

      There are checks many times in Beijing subway stations where they check all purses/bags/suitcases. Sometimes it is everyone and sometimes it is dependent on the officials there. Sometimes where there was a check one day there and the next day there isn’t. I have always wondered when this would arrive here. It will now be sooner than later.

      The truth is that there was CCTV in Brussels, but no one caught the two guys who had only one glove on on each hand. Pathetic. Would not have happened in Jerusalem.

      Also pathetic is if this is true:


  9. Riaz Khan says:

    The collapse of the state authority and order will become the new global order. Things in the Mid-East are getting from bad to worse. Europe is now the new battleground. It is not a question of pessimism or optimism. These are indeed false dichotomies. The only thing which matters is the reality on the ground. I travel the globe regularly and let me tell you, the world is not like Canada. For me, the hardest thing is to explain tragedies like this to my two growing boys. I know there are many parents today who are in my shoes.

  10. Stephanie Powers says:

    Belgium. Large numbers of people despise freedom because it is a messy, incoherent and confusing state of existence. There have been movements in the past 100 years that were anti-freedom, from fascism to communism. Political Islam is yet another incarnation of an anti-freedom movement. Budgets, basketball, Rob Ford… all of these won’t matter if the free world is in retreat.

  11. Vancouverois says:

    I do not think that throwing more money at Bombardier will advance federalism in Quebec.

    It may make Bombardier’s incompetent owners happy; and maybe even those Bombardier employees whose jobs remain in Quebec will be grateful for it. But I see no reason why most regular Quebecers would see it as anything other than a wasteful federal government throwing their tax dollars at a greedy corporation that doesn’t deserve them – especially when Bombardier continues on in the way that has already brought it to this pass.

  12. Rich says:

    If he has not already done so, I would like to hear Trudeau say that he holds ISIS responsible for genocide . They are only words but I think they ramp up the concern about the horrors to a more appropriate level.

  13. e.a.f. says:

    If I were handling the news it would have been the 1. the budget, 2 Rob Ford, 3. Brussels and then the rest in any order. Of course something I didn’t know might be good.
    The budget impacts everyone in Canada.
    Rob Ford was the Mayor of Toronto and love him or hate him, he was a figure in Canda.
    3. Brussels, because its international news of some interest to some, but really if it hadn’t been bombs killing a lot of Europeans, would this have been all that big a news story? So perhaps Bombadier ought to be 3 and Brussels 4.

  14. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Most important item of the day is the attack in Brussels. US has just put out a travel alert for Europe, more attacks expected in the “near term”.

    Great Britain votes in June on its future in the EU. They’re going to take a walk, they don’t need this crap.

    Europe is up to its collective ass in one helluva crisis, and most of its political leadership has yet to face up to reality and deal with it head on: Time to declare all out war on ISIS and Al Qaida, and then go after the lot of ’em with everything they’ve got. If they’re sitting around waiting for a useless dork like Obama to lead the way, it will never happen. They’re running out of time, if saving the EU is any kind of a priority.

    As for today’s budget, or from the “talk’s cheap” dept…

    I seem to recall getting a lot of flack here over deficits under the CPC government, forget that it was on the heels of the 2008 crash, and how the LPC, being the great financial managers they are according to pretty much everyone, would straighten things out pretty quick and put an end to that! Well, except for the $10 billion/year infrastructure spending over the first three years of their term, ’cause, you know, that would be different…ya see.

    Ummm…$29 billion, eh? And that’s just for this year? And hardly any of it on “infrastructure”?

    Uh huh.

    Gonna be a looooong, and exceedingly costly, four years.

  15. David York says:

    I was curious how Obama would respond to the Brussels attack, so turned on CNN yesterday morning. Obama mentioned it briefly, then moved on to a vintage Obama speech on Cuban/American history and relations. It was smart, erudite, delivered cooly, but with some passion at times. He is a lovely talker. All the while, CNN was running split screens of smoke, debris, carnage from the airport in Brussels. It was surreal, and golden if you are a Republican.

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