Now that the post-holiday headache is beginning to wear off, and the season of merry-making and celebration is done for one more year, we note that this is the traditional time of year to make new year’s resolutions — you know, the kind that we decide to break in a few week’s time, if not forget about the very next day.
In past years, as part of that tradition, the Brandon Sun has published lists of resolutions made by local politicians and other notable people about town. This year, however, we’re changing things up.
With the somewhat chaotic year that has just elapsed in mind, we have compiled a list of new year’s resolutions we would like some folks to keep in 2013. (Whether they happen to agree with our suggestions, well, that’s beside the point.)
Mayor Shari Decter Hirst
• Continue pushing to get commercial passenger flights into Brandon’s airport — there is every reason to believe that WestJet could make a favourable announcement this month.
• Remember the tax debacle of 2012 when working on the 2013 budget.
• Fight the urge to slap councillors.
Manitoba NDP Premier
Ohhh ... we’ve got a long list of resolutions for you, good sir. But we need to keep it short. So we’ll keep it to these:
• Try ... really try ... to rein in your government’s spending. Lip service simply isn’t enough.
• While you have reduced the number of RHAs in this province, that will do nothing to reduce wait times in ERs and for patients generally. We’d like to see that change.
• And instead of forcing yet another hike in the provincial minimum wage on Manitoba businesses this year, change things up a bit and increase Manitobans’ basic personal tax exemption.
Provincial Exhibition of
Manitoba CEO Karen Oliver
• Get Display Building No. 2 — the Dome Building — restoration completed in time for its 100th anniversary in 2013. It has been a long time coming and we’re very happy to see the work to reclaim this landmark has continued to move forward. But the centennial celebration for the Dome Building would be even sweeter if it didn’t look its age.
• Pray the rain gods stay asleep for the 2013 Summer Fair this year.
YMCA board of directors
• While we’re on the subject of project completion, we really want to see the Dood Cristall Family YMCA open this spring. This project promises to be a fantastic fit for Brandon’s downtown.
The Keystone Centre board
• It’s simple really — stay solvent in 2013, too. For the first time in 15 years, the Keystone Centre turned a profit on its operations in 2012, making $38,120 when capital needs and infrastructure deficits are not considered. It was fantastic news. Let’s hope you can keep the facility on that trend in the new year.
Brandon firefighter and union boss Wade Ritchie
• We think 2013 would be a could year to concentrate on putting out fires, literally and figuratively. Case in point: while we understand it’s a negotiation tactic, your union’s request made in 2012 for a 17 per cent wage increase over two years, a 30 per cent increase in benefits for firefighter/paramedics, and a 34 per cent increase in pay for dispatchers, strikes us as stoking the flames rather than dousing them.
CMHA regional director Glen Kruck
• Your plan to build affordable housing at the site of the former Brandon Police Service building on 10th Street fizzled in 2012, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying to help folks in need. While we don’t agree that every new development should always have a subsidized housing component, the Massey Manor development looks to be a success. Please keep trying.
Brandon East NDP
MLA Drew Caldwell
• Try to convince your boss, Premier Greg Selinger, that the province should reinstate snow-clearing services on major provincial highways outside of Winnipeg. Saving $2.3 million is great, but not on the backs of rural Manitobans and trucking companies travelling our highways.
• Avoid using the term “fast-track” for anything.
Brandon West Progressive Conservative MLA Reg Helwer
• Keep holding the NDP provincial government’s feet to the fire for wasteful spending.
• Avoid flip-flopping on issues, such as the $50 million in unpaid fines the province finally started to collect upon — after you criticized the government for first ignoring them, you then criticized them for being too aggressive.
Leader Brian Pallister
• Be a little quicker on the mark when media come a calling or when party controversy rears its ugly head. Taking four or five days to respond really won’t help your cause — not in this day and age.
• Get a new slogan for the Tories in the new year. As we’ve said before on this page, “Aim Higher” is pretty lame, actually, and it didn’t do your predecessor much good anyhow.
Happy New Year everyone!
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 2, 2013