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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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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