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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 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.
  • Greenspace won't help HUB grow

    In a time when all signs point to bolstering the population downtown as a revitalization tool, you have to wonder why a concept to make the property at Ninth Street and Princess Avenue greenspace made it as far as it did. The recommendation came as part of a report prepared by a third-party agency that will be tweaked and presented to council early in the new year. It spoke to the need to add greenspace on the now vacant and once contaminated strip of land along Princess that was home to the Brandon Inn — coincidentally a piece of land kitty-corner to one of Brandon’s most active sites for summer events, Princess Park.
  • Many missing out this holiday season

    You had to know it was coming. Westman has officially kicked the holiday season into high gear and you can already feel the amped-up anticipation of the impending candy-cane hangovers all around us. The look of storefronts changes as shops peddle their holiday wares, downtown streets take on an extra glow with some colourful lights and the festive season gets an official launch today with the Santa Claus parade.
  • NDP dissidents protect their own interests first

    First off, before we dig in, I would like to congratulate new Mayor Rick Chrest and council for taking the oath of office this week. Your job is unenviable at times, but a whole city eagerly awaits the direction you intend to take Brandon over the next four years. Now down to the meat on the bone this time around and the travelling sideshow that has become life on Broadway in Winnipeg. You have to have been holed up under a rock over the last week to have missed the provincial soap opera playing out within the government and more specifically around the leadership of embattled Premier Greg Selinger.
  • What's the NDP's next move?

    It’s well past high noon — and to say the very least this has not been a good couple of weeks for “Today’s NDP.” Slumping numbers, calls for the premier’s job, a pair of trouncings for known NDP members in civic mayoral elections and a handful of high-ranking NDP MLAs speaking out against their captain in the media is just a smattering of what the past fortnight has offered up for the beleaguered government.
  • Chrest taking reins at tumultuous time

    Well, nobody ever said it would be easy. As the dust settles from Wednesday’s municipal election, Rick Chrest will trade offices from his west-end business to the heart of the city for the next four years.
  • Will Liberals find bang for their buck with PST plan?

    Members of the Manitoba legislature are not short on ideas for spending the increased PST that came into effect under the Selinger government. From Tory promises to scrap it to NDP reaffirmations of its value to Manitobans, MLAs throughout the legislature and staffers within the parties have spent plenty of time crafting their response to the political dynamite that the one per cent increase has become. Now politicking over the PST in Manitoba is nothing new and it seems everyone has had their say, good or bad on the increase. Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister shared months ago that they would repeal the tax, which they dubbed regressive, within a short time of taking office.
  • Look beyond students' test scores

    Learning benchmarks for Manitoba students should always be front of mind for school boards across this province. That said, we are in challenging times for educators — which is why this week’s release of a study by the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program stating Manitoba students were at the bottom of the class for various disciplines set the government a-whir with spin doctoring.
  • NDP tripped up again by MPI consultant

    Just as fortunes began to look up for Premier Greg Selinger, a revelation by Progressive Conservative MLA Kelvin Goertzen has left the NDP cancelling its order for rose-coloured glasses while the Tories smell blood in the proverbial political waters. Following a standing committee meeting on Manitoba Public Insurance this week, news broke that MPI’s former CEO, Marilyn McLaren, has been “on the books” for what the board had deemed consultant fees to the tune of $24,000.
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