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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.

  • Pallister faces no-win scenario

    It took less than a year but Brian Pallister may already be facing his Kobayashi Maru. Admittedly, this is likely to be the first time anyone of my craft has endeavoured to tie the Manitoba premier with the fictional world of “Star Trek,” but for a moment or two please humour me. There is a plot line in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” starring Canadian William Shatner, in which trainees for command had to save a fictitious ship known as the Kobayashi Maru. The ship put the trainee against what was considered to be the unwinnable scenario. There were two choices given — save the other ship while almost certainly leading to the destruction of their own or leave the other ship and ensure their own safety, but move on in the knowledge the Kobayashi Maru would ultimately meet its demise.
  • Council misses point on Blue Dot Movement

    As David Suzuki once said, he is in the twilight of his life — the “death zone” as he calls it — so he has little fear in challenging the establishment. The aged scientist and television host, in his never-ending quest to support a cleaner environment, launched a movement to integrate ecological and environmental change. That movement sought to drive governments to strive for cleaner water, improved air quality, safe food and a stable climate. Founded out of that messaging was the Blue Dot Movement, a group of like-minded individuals who take their name from the thought our planet, when photographed from deep in space was a mere pale blue dot. Noted author and astronomer Carl Sagan said it best when he so poignantly shared that our responsibility to earth was to “deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot (Earth), the only home we’ve ever known.”
  • Mayday cry from Green Party leader

    Elizabeth May could be the most powerful leader ever to represent a party of one. Since she was first elected in 2011, the 62-year-old American-born Green Party leader has carved a niche for herself, and the Green Party movement in the House of Commons. Although unable to secure some familiar faces within the ranks of the Green Party in the 2015 election, she continues to be one of the most respected members in the House.
  • Grits finally moving on inquiry

    It may have taken more time than many had hoped, but the Liberals are doing what they promised. A panel of commissioners are in place to move forward on the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in this country. There has been an appetite in Canada for some time to examine why there was — and continues to be — a disproportionate number of MMIW. The need for answers eclipsed the previous government and was long considered a sticking point for former prime minister Stephen Harper. For most of his government’s final term in office, there was an outright refusal to budge on the issue, with the Prime Minister’s Office noting that resources would be better allocated elsewhere by seeking justice for those who were seen as the cause of the epidemic.
  • Port problem challenges prosperity on the Prairies

    American journalist Don Lemon once said “there is a degree of deception in silence.” Deception was front of mind for the residents of Churchill this week after learning American rail company Omnitrax was cutting the balance of their ties with the northern community. The company’s response, or lack thereof, following the layoff of its workforce and scaling back of rail service speaks volumes for their time in the community, and has forced the region to come to grips with cutbacks that affect the very lifeblood of the far North in Manitoba.
  • A tale of two Brandon air routes

    Close to six months ago I sat in front of this same, well-worn keyboard putting together a column in response to a tweet from WestJet’s Calgary office. The airline had announced that four times weekly it would provide service from Brandon to Toronto, on a trial basis, beginning in early July. Residents of this region would have the opportunity to access the long sought after eastern route, pushing us off easily to destinations both tropical and abroad. Followers of this column would know a recent trip allowed me the opportunity to experience both of Brandon’s airline routes in the span of less than two weeks. First, the strong and near capacity western route, and then in stark contrast the small busload of people returning to our city on a Boeing 737 jet from the east.
  • Brexit fallout: From Netherlands to Germany

    This is the follow-up to a two-part column logged during my time touring through the United Kingdom and Europe. NETHERLANDS — First of all, thanks to those who took the time to drop me a note after last week’s column. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the U.K. and Europe.
  • Brexit vote leaves a country divided

    The following is the first of a two-part column logged during my travels in the United Kingdom and Europe. As a traveller, it was an interesting opportunity to be a witness to history. A fly on the wall listening in on how Great Britain may come to terms with the choice to exit the European Union, while others within the EU are left wondering what is next for a region experiencing a great deal of political upheaval.
  • Hope, not intolerance, the lasting lesson

    “If you want to be a super right-wing conservative Christian, then go and do that, but don’t spread the hate. Just accept that everyone is going to do their thing and accept that if people want to host a big parade with a bunch of rainbows, then they are going to do that.” —Brandon University Students’ Union president Nick Brown
  • Hanover School Division's stance is troubling

    “Ethics is the difference between knowing what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”— Potter Stewart If Hanover School Division is any indication, the question of ethical choices falls well below the idea of doing what they feel is best for their community.
  • Time for gun control solutions

    As local members of the LGBTQ community gather in our city for celebrations and events, many within that tight-knit group will also try to come to grips with one of the deadliest and most violent acts of terror in modern United States history. One week after gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people in an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Fla., society is left to wonder whether this may finally be the watershed moment for our neighbours regarding their antiquated beliefs surrounding gun control.
  • Parties jockey for position over electoral reform

    Sometimes leaning on your majority is not the best way to do business. Never was that more evident than this past week when the Liberals backed off on the gung-ho nature of their promise of electoral reform.
  • Teflon Trudeau frustrates opposition

    Much to the chagrin of dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives everywhere, it seems like Canadians just can’t quit Justin Trudeau. Either Trudeau is on a prolonged honeymoon or this truly is a relationship built to stand the test of time. Close to seven months after the election where the Liberals rose to power, Trudeau and his party have inched 7.2 per cent higher in a recent opinion poll. The latest numbers have pushed the party to 46.7 per cent backing nationwide and positions Trudeau at 57.9 per cent popular support.
  • 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.
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