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As I See It

About Shaun Cameron:

Shaun Cameron is a lifelong Brandon resident. He has dabbled in politics and is now chair of Renaissance Brandon, the city's downtown development corporation. His column appears regularly.

  • City on right track with cultural plan

    The City of Brandon has a plan. It may sound optimistic, but there is some reason to believe this time will be different. Clearly over the past decade, city “plans” have made headlines in many editions of this fine publication for reasons both good and bad.
  • Freedom can be fickle when votes needed

    There is an antiquated belief that has been around for generations that goes as follows: “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” The basic premise is that without some form of discipline, in this case corporal discipline, a child’s behaviour will be maladjusted or unruly. In the political realm, it is almost exclusively the duty of a party whip that discipline is upheld, votes are attended, and party members act according to the banner under which they were elected.
  • Bokhari’s departure signals rough waters for Grits

    For the Manitoba Liberals, 2016 will clearly go down as a case of “what could have been.” The final nail in the post-election coffin struck this past week with a rather low-key announcement that leader Rana Bokhari would be calling it quits after a little more than two years and one election at the helm of the beleaguered party.
  • Helwer victim of a leaner style of government

    You kind of have to feel for Brandon West MLA Reg Helwer. One of the loyalists of Brian Pallister’s members over the last four years, Helwer found himself in the audience last Tuesday as opposed to being on stage when the new Progressive Conservative cabinet was sworn in at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. To be fair to the new premier, he did state there was little to no guarantees for the city, or our MLAs going into this election. With that said, there was a substantial swath of armchair politicos who believed the member from Brandon West was a clear-cut choice for a number of potential portfolios in government. Helwer has proven likable, energetic and hardworking as a member of the legislature, and without a doubt the fact he was not chosen has to sting a bit, and rightfully so.
  • Parking key to boosting Keystone revenues?

    As the Brian Pallister Progressive Conservatives slowly take the reins from the battered NDP, the coming weeks will be littered with plenty of questions about the future of projects throughout the province. Ideas will begin to percolate as to the funding structures for formerly committed projects, as well as the operational models for complexes currently beholden to government — none bigger than the Keystone Centre. The Keystone has been closely tied to the NDP government, for better or worse, during its entire tenure in power. Now that the Dippers are in full reboot, it leaves a centre like the Keystone wondering what comes next under a new government.
  • Isleifson's win puts new face on Brandon East

    It may have taken close to five decades, but the Progressive Conservatives have finally planted their flag on what longtime NDP MLA Drew Caldwell called the “island of sanity in a sea of Tory blue.” The victory, the first of its kind in the former labour-heavy area, indicates a shift at play in what once was considered the union-dominated workers’ constituency.
  • Brandon promises in stark contrast

    It’s almost over, folks. After four weeks of campaigning and a fairly muck-filled lead-up to the big dance, the provincial election is mere days away, with candidates and leaders alike squeezing in last-minute stops in key battlegrounds. Many a page in plenty of publications has been dedicated to dissecting this race — and going further back, even more has been said about the long-standing government of today’s NDP.
  • New leadership may turn back the clock on Tories

    Fresh off picking up another solid majority in Saskatchewan, the chorus attempting to draft Premier Brad Wall for leader of the federal Conservative party will reach a crescendo, whether or not he finally expresses interest. Ever since Stephen Harper stepped aside following his party’s drubbing at the hands of Justin Trudeau, names have begun to float around as to who his successor would be. Peter MacKay, Jason Kenney and Lisa Raitt all have been batted around as potential candidates, but none has garnered the fervour for Mr. Wall.
  • Disqualified candidates a black eye for Grit hopefuls

    Whether it was as a result of understaffing at Manitoba Liberal headquarters or the fault of the official agents for a handful of competitors, the fact the party lost five potential candidates to what they are calling “technicalities” in the final days leading up to the nomination deadline puts the Liberals in a precarious position as the 41st provincial election looms. For the first time since way back in 1999, the party has had the papers scrapped for candidates hoping to vie for a seat in the legislature. Back then, the party was seven shy of the mark to field a full slate. This time, they were only five off, but the numbers don’t matter as much as the perception, and the result leaves us Manitobans less than optimistic about their ability to maintain organization.
  • Pallister targeting 'sacred cows' plays into NDP's hands

    “There are no sacred cows,” Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister said as he hinted at things to come should his party win the provincial election on April 19. In taking on those untouchable portfolios, Mr. Pallister seems to have put every aspect of non-essential government services on notice that changes will take place under a Tory government.
  • Will anyone give voters hope?

    With the official drop of the writ on Wednesday, the 41st incarnation of a provincial election in this province got underway. Plenty of ink has already spilled on prognosticating the outcome. With surgeon-like dissection, many an editorial has dealt with each of the party leaders, and much has been said on the rhetoric that ramped up at a torrid pace since the ill-fated PST increase of 2013.
  • Measuring progress more than just mega-projects

    “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time” U.S. general Creighton Abrams once mused while tackling a particularly difficult situation during the Vietnam war. In the long sought after revitalization of our city’s downtown this analogy may be suit our city’s approach to urban revitalization.
  • Push for full slates waters down the candidate pool

    A warm body and a name on a ballot does not always equate to success in the political realm. There are plenty of instances where candidates have “parachuted” into ridings or constituencies just to fill the slate for a political party. Often they are not successful in their bid for election as they are usually up against a particularly favourable incumbent, or spend little to no time actually hitting the doorsteps. In rare cases, though, like the NDP orange crush of 2011, they end up actually being elected.
  • WestJet rolling dice again on Wheat City

    It was an announcement that caught most casual observers off guard — a single tweet from WestJet’s Calgary based office on Monday sharing that the airline would be expanding its services temporarily in the city of Brandon by opening up the long-sought-after eastern route to Toronto. It was welcome news for this community.
  • New ad political gamble for NDP

    It was shaping up to be one of those weeks again for Premier Greg Selinger. Recent polling on his popularity has the leader last among his peers, his party still trails well behind the Progressive Conservatives in popular support, and it is looking more and more each week like the NDP are in for a bumpy ride come April. Not much has changed on that front yet, but enter star candidate Wab Kinew, enter the rehash of a cost-share funding commitment for the Keystone Centre, and lastly enter a new advertising strategy for the Dippers and party fortunes look a bit rosier than they did a few short weeks ago.
  • ISIL strategy risky but right move for Grits

    Long before becoming prime minister, Justin Trudeau touted his plan for putting people in positions where their strengths could be on display. His latest play may ultimately test that skill as Canadians change how they fit into the bigger picture battling the rebel militant group ISIL. Appearing before the National Press Theatre in Ottawa earlier this week, Trudeau — flanked by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau — laid out the Liberals’ plans for pulling the controversial CF-18 fighter jets out of the embattled Syrian region and upping the Canadian commitment to the mission by putting more forces on the ground.
  • Kinew move puts Bokhari on shaky ground

    Just when Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari thought the stars had aligned to usher her into the legislature and alleviate some of the financial strain her wage presents to the recently surging Manitoba Liberals, in stepped Greg Selinger, pulling a proverbial rabbit from his well-worn hat. The sleight of hand that saw former CBC radio personality Wab Kinew come forward as the NDP’s shining star in Fort Rouge — the same constituency that Bokhari is seeking a seat in — caught most political pundits completely off guard and sent Bokhari a bit off-step as well.
  • O'Leary's attacks on Notley laughable

    Just when you thought Canadian politics would settle down to a dull roar, media personality and investment guru Kevin O’Leary broke the silence by calling for Alberta premier Rachel Notley’s resignation for her “mishandling” of the Alberta economy. Calling Notley unqualified for the position, the former “Dragons’ Den” member spent the week firing salvos at the premier, including a promise to invest $1 million in the Alberta energy sector should Notley take his advice and resign her post.
  • Ottawa must do more to support soldiers

    “It’s shocking in Canada that we would have any veteran who is homeless, but it is a sad reality.” — Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s top military commander
  • Pallister, Bokhari close in on Fortress Winnipeg

    If the election were held today, Manitobans would elect a Progressive Conservative majority government. The last time the governing NDP, a party known for the “Manitoba miracle,” was truly challenged, United States President Bill Clinton was freshly cleared on impeachment charges, “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace” was dominating the box office and Facebook was still almost five years off from joining the lexicon of everyday life. Puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?
  • Selinger playing any card he can

    It is an act of dominance or desperation. In either case, Greg Selinger’s flirtation with new taxation for some Manitobans will have voters seeing red while Tory top dogs jump for joy ahead of what could be a very prosperous new year for them.
  • Politicians filling their stockings with rhetoric

    If the Tories truly have the inside track right now en route to the legislature, they sure aren’t doing themselves any favours in finding that lane. While the NDP promise machine ramped up to epic proportions prior to Christmas, the Progressive Conservatives are doing the exact opposite in staying mum on any sort of commitments ahead of the final quarter before the election.
  • 21st-century post-secondaries must work in harmony

    It is antiquated thinking that universities and colleges would exist in a single community and not work toward some form of common goal. As Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College embark on new beginnings and joint programming in a handful of sectors, that sentiment should ring true.
  • 8th St. bridge solution lies in Winnipeg

    Brandon City Council has a monumental decision on its hands — what to do with the Eighth Street bridge. The bridge’s fate has been batted around this community for a number of years and in the past couple, has made an appearance or two in this column.
  • Demographic shift creates unknowns for parties

    For the longest time, political parties across this country could count on one thing — seniors would show up to vote. By far one of the largest and most engaged voting demographics in all of Canada, seniors presented a world of opportunity for political parties nationwide. They supported politics both on an electoral level, but more importantly on a financial level, which in plenty of cases kept the ideologies and the parties afloat.

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