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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.

  • Is ending homelessness at home possible?

    It is a surface issue few really want to acknowledge exists in our community, and it is an issue that in a time of rising costs and few options may continue to grow: helping put an end to homelessness must be a priority in our city. In recent weeks, the city of Medicine Hat made a splash with the claim it has effectively ended homelessness in that community.
  • Tories sticking to the message

    Which door will he take? That was the question hammered home by Progressive Conservative MLA Kelvin Goertzen last week in the Manitoba legislature, a question that spoke to the NDP’s severance package of almost $700,000 paid to departing staffers for myriad of reasons after the slow-motion coup last March.
  • Alberta election results may ripple across Canada

    With a resounding and decisive victory in the heart of Canada’s oilpatch, the NDP has accomplished something no party has done since the days of Ernest Manning and his Social Credit party — knock off a Tory government in Alberta. To put it into perspective, when Alberta’s courtship with the Progressive Conservatives began, Pierre Trudeau was prime minister, Richard Nixon was U.S. president, U.S. troops were still two years off from exiting the Vietnam War, the Montreal Canadiens were Stanley Cup champions, Apollo 15 had just returned from the moon and George Harrison’s hit, “My Sweet Lord,” was topping the charts.
  • Pair of moves will impact Westman

    What could be one of Premier Greg Selinger’s final cabinet shuffles reflects a party that is still dealing with a divide of sorts, with a hodgepodge of faces rounding out the ranks of the NDP’s inner circle. As names new and old swirled following the Wednesday afternoon presser, two stood out that will have an immediate impact on Westman in both a positive and negative sense.
  • Return of the rebels a political gambit

      Either Greg Selinger will be remembered as the ultimate salesman for uniting a party with plenty of detractors, or he will be remembered as the one who let the wolves back in the farmyard.
  • Daycare should be national concern

    Having to line up sometimes days prior to secure a daycare spot is an absolute shame. To learn after all that time that the waiting was for naught is the injustice that stands as bitter icing on the cake. As was shared in the Sun earlier this week, many parents were left without options after spending hours in line to try to secure spots in the YMCA’s before- and after-school programs through È cole Harrison School.
  • In the minority again?

    It is something that hasn’t happened in Canada since the early years of Stephen Harper’s regime, and it appears he and his government may bookend their time with what pollsters believe could be a slim minority government. This news comes on the heels of the latest EKOS poll that notes Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party has sunk close to 10 per cent in overall support, placing them within range of what once was the trailing Conservatives.
  • Toxic political climate around K-3 initiative

    If you are a Brandon School Division trustee, it is becoming harder every day to like the hand you have been dealt by the provincial government regarding the kindergarten to Grade 3 class size initiative. We are far past the argument as to whether the idea works, or whether smaller class sizes benefit young children. It is pretty evident that more one-on-one time with the talented early years teachers the school division is blessed to have on staff is good for our children’s development, and that is a positive thing for the entire community.
  • Council finds its way through unity

    “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a moulder of consensus.” — Martin Luther King Jr. When the current regime took over at city hall close to six months ago, many council members were coming off election campaigns run on a policy of stable, fiscally responsible governance.
  • Other opportunities exist for rebellious Gang of Five

    When the dust settling from last weekend’s NDP convention, only one gunslinger remained in control of the party he has seen through plummeting support. Premier Greg Selinger, as many Manitobans already know, survived his dust-up with longtime adversary Steve Ashton and upstart contender Theresa Oswald, with the province remaining in the tenuous grip of the premier after a razor-thin victory on Sunday.
  • Oswald has most at stake in NDP showdown

    She has flirted with the idea of a run for leader before, she once was seen as the clear-cut “next in line” to the throne for the NDP and she is a smart and savvy politician. But it all comes down to one weekend where her political future and career hang in the balance.
  • Final land acquisition paves way for future development

    It is often the last piece of the puzzle that is the trickiest to place. It has lingered longer than others to find a home in the bigger picture. Renaissance Brandon hopes that last piece is falling into place, and in this instance there is good cause to agree with them. Having spent a couple years at the helm of that very organization, I am keenly aware the work that went into the land assemblage at the corner of Ninth Street and Princess Avenue. It was not something that just happened overnight and was met with more than its fair share of naysayers in assembling the land for a greater purpose.
  • Province leaving holes in BSD budget

    Budgeting for one of the largest employers in the city while serving a “client base” of more than 8,000 members can be tricky business. It is often the job of CEOs and financial managers in companies and comes with a level of pay befitting the responsibilities associated with that task. It is also a job many communities such as ours saddle school trustees with, in a thankless scenario of spend enough to meet the needs, or trim to maintain low costs, causing issue with staff in the process.
  • Adams has a long road ahead

    Eve Adams sure knows how to make a splash. In a whirlwind, she has gone from a tarnished MP in the ranks of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to the shiniest new member of Team Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada.
  • Severance disclosure a triumph for Tories

    It must feel pretty good to be in Brian Pallister’s shoes right now. Coming off polls that continue to place him post-election as the heir apparent to the premier’s chair, a freedom of information request has come to light pointing out the close to $150,000 in severance pay made to Premier Greg Selinger’s former chief of staff.
  • Dedicated fund for Keystone makes sense

    When the residents of this city are asked what they believe is the single most important economic driver for the community, many will point squarely at the Keystone Centre. Even though the structures housed within have evolved and been reborn over and over again throughout the centre’s 40-plus-year history, the time appears to have come to commit a steadier stream of support for capital projects and its long-term future.
  • CentreVenture review may have local implications

    As the land deal for a hotel near Winnipeg’s Convention Centre begins to unravel, some of the overarching implications of an impending CentreVenture internal review has placed the downtown development group in the crosshairs of Winnipeg’s new mayor, Brian Bowman. Bowman noted that the way CentreVenture Development Corporation has acted over the last while is “unacceptable” as it pertains to real estate holdings and deals in the city.
  • Witnessing the effect of falling oil prices

    As the price of gas continues to drop, many of us happily top up tanks that just a few short months ago may have required financial assistance to fill. Without a doubt, the trip to the pump has been easier on the pocketbook, and for the most part is not seen as a problem by those not directly connected to the oil and gas industry. Although those cheap gas prices have sweetened the deal, looking around there are small indicators that we have begun to feel the effect locally.
  • Councillors wade into provincial pool

    So it would appear an endorsement by two Brandon city councillors for NDP leadership candidate Theresa Oswald has stirred a bit of debate online and some colourful responses on both of their Twitter handles this past week. Councillors Jan Chaboyer, (@ChaboyerJan) of Green Acres, and Lonnie Patterson (@MBLonnieP), the new councillor for South Centre, caused a bit of a buzz and took some heat for publicly backing Oswald in her bid to unseat current Premier Greg Selinger.
  • Last days for the NDP?

    Well, it didn’t take long for a foggy outlook in the latter part of 2014 to turn to downright zero visibility for the provincial NDP and its leader, Greg Selinger. Mired for the better part of the last year in the basement as far as popular support, and currently splintering off in a couple of directions with leadership contenders in Theresa Oswald and Steve Ashton, it appears that the final months of power may be upon the beleaguered Selinger government.
  • The gifts we shared in 2014

    As we sit smack dab among the plethora of holiday parties and family gatherings, I thought this to be an opportune time to revisit an idea started last year right here — a chance to celebrate the many gifts we shared over the past year and to examine what made this community tick. In last year’s offering I spoke about the opportunity and gratitude I have in sharing thoughts with you weekly through the “As I see it” column. It is an honour I do not take lightly and having the pleasure to each week look at happenings on the local, provincial and national stage through the various lens this column provides is a truly special experience.
  • Finding balance in a vastly different NDP

    At a time when their poll numbers continue to slump, a face from the NDP’s past has reappeared in the vicinity of the party he once manned for more than a decade. Now to be entirely honest, the return of former premier Gary Doer to Manitoba was not to make a play for the reins of the beleaguered party, but more so to spend some time near old haunts over the holidays and make a couple of public appearances in the process.
  • Budget puts council to the test

    Now almost two months into their mandate and with a few meetings under their belt, Brandon’s new city council is officially knee-deep in duties and staring down one of the most significant challenges of any government’s mandate — the first budget. As our previous council can attest, budgets at times can be a blood sport. They are, to say the very least, challenging and often draw in previous political promises as part of shifting mandates.
  • Canada's veterans deserve better

    It is becoming less and less likely that veterans returning home or leaving the service will find the care and transitional aid they need. That lack of care has thrust Veterans Affairs to the forefront and Conservative Minister Julian Fantino into hiding while a controversial auditor general’s report was debated in the House of Commons.
  • Still good reason to save Strand

    As one of those people standing on 10th Street watching the marquee light up once again, I was filled with optimism for a group that had tripped on more than its share of hurdles. The Strand lights were symbolic of what was thought to be a rebirth for the project — a new beginning with fresh sets of legs to help those who had toiled for years at a project they saw value in, a project that if successful would be a tremendous benefit to the city.

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