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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.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to share with you

    This column has to be both the easiest and most difficult one I have had to hit the print button on. For close to five years, it has been an honour to share so many thoughts with you on a weekly basis, but at this time I have decided to “hang ’em up” on As I See It.
  • Holding out hope for a school in the south end

    As Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon approached the lectern, undoubtedly trustees for the Brandon School Division gathered around a computer or two awaiting word on the Pallister government’s plan for the upcoming session. I don’t think they heard what they were hoping to hear. A south end school has languished on the government radar for years; with the proposal being a political football of the highest order. Originally pitched by the now distant memory that was Greg Selinger’s NDP government, the promise of a new elementary school did not come to fruition until it was a long-shot hail mary by a party going through the throes of death before our very eyes.
  • Many challenges for Liberals after historic election

    Liberalism in North America took a bit of a beating last week. Fresh off the finest example of demagoguery becoming the leader of the free world, the Canadian Liberal movement took a hit from a couple of different sources in the same passage of time.
  • Trudeau must meet challenge of dealing with Trump

    What a week it has been south of the border. Pollsters and politicians alike are in for years of reflection and study dissecting Donald Trump’s unlikely path to victory Tuesday night.
  • Pallister not pulling punches

    It may have taken a bit longer than the NDP soothsayers would have predicted, but the Pallister Tories are putting a firm stamp on this province. The premier and company have pulled few punches as of late in their assessment of various projects and high-level government strategies. The Progressive Conservatives also appear unwilling to budge on their stance with wages in the province, using the University of Manitoba as their litmus test for wage freeze possibilities. Although the Tories have said they are neither bargaining for U of M management nor faculty, the very fact they floated a proposed wage freeze caused faculty to hit the picket lines earlier this week.
  • Liberals must steady the waters with youth

    It was far from a week to remember for Justin Trudeau. His Liberal candidate, Stan Sakamoto, was trounced by Conservative rival Glen Motz in an Alberta byelection in the riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. Motz even took the opportunity to use his victory to take a jab at the prime minister for visiting the Gas City in support of Sakamoto.
  • Trudeau gov't facing monumental challenge

    Although marked up at times over the past year, most of the way has been sunny for the Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government. With the Grits now officially one-quarter into their term, members of the media and political pundits alike took to composing a scorecard of sorts for the government, while the government took to celebrating their paper anniversary.
  • Council faces challenges with third budget

    Nobody said it would be easy to please everyone. In the world of municipal politics, that mantra could pretty much act as a credo for those who take up the yoke of leadership. On the heels of two civic budgets that saw a less than one per cent combined increases the members of Brandon’s city council will be faced with some tough decisions in the third budget of their administration.
  • NDP desperately seeking suitor

    One can only imagine what the personal ad would sound like. Wanted. One leader. Must enjoy long walks back to your balcony seat in the legislature. You must relish the thought of clamouring for someone, anyone to glance in your direction. Be prepared for plenty of long hours, for little pay and even less reward. And finally, you must embrace the fact it may be close to a decade before you can say you were successful in your post. Please apply within.
  • Pallister sings familiar tune with funding review

    When Manitobans elected Brian Pallister and the Progressive Conservative government in April, they had to know that they were in for some major changes. After a half-decade too long in power, the outgoing NDP had lost its way. Announcement after announcement categorized the “steady growth and good jobs” New Democrats were envisioning for the province, and with each successive delivery from the orange pulpit of Greg Selinger and company, another project made the list of the soon to be Pallister government’s “value for money review.”
  • Grits should avoid extradition treaty

    Fresh off a field trip of sorts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be making all kinds of new friends on the playground, friends like Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Trudeau recently returned from a diplomatic trip to China, where he and his government attempted to mend fences with a Chinese government that had grown used to the icy reception often conveyed by former prime minister Stephen Harper.
  • Mulcair could save face in walking away

    For Tom Mulcair, the next 13 months of his political career may very well be the most trying time of his years in public office. Although garnering enough support from the NDP caucus to hold on to his waning leadership, party members maintain that their “top dog” will still be shown the door next October — a stance that leaves many to wonder why he would bother sticking around.
  • Tory contest caught up in Trump-style politics

    The Conservative Party of Canada is continuing to cobble together a plan for their new captain. Although still in doubt as to whether some of the big players, such as former Tory defence minister Peter McKay, will step into the ring, much has been said by some of the smaller names to come forward.
  • Casino debate our never-ending story

    Buckle up, Brandon — you are about to drive headlong into another casino debate. The closure of the Askeneskak Casino operating on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in The Pas sent ripples through the water, and got tongues wagging online about the best home for the gaming centre, should the province OK its move.
  • 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.
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