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About James O'Connor:

James O’Connor is the Brandon Sun’s managing editor. He writes a column of his personal views on various issues and events.

  • Fight the power!

    Hundreds of those involved with the fourth and fifth estates grabbed hold of some prime downtown real estate in the province’s capital last weekend. Holding Power to Account: International Conference on Investigative Journalism, Democracy, and Human Rights attracted a reported 320 people from 15 countries for three days of speakers and panels, receptions and networking.
  • PC vs NDP on PST = $$$

    You know what doesn’t come cheap? Publicity.
  • Raking Isleifson

    Deputy mayor and Riverview ward Coun. Len Isleifson did one good and respectable thing this week — he announced he won’t be seeking re-election to city council. Instead, he is seeking the nomination to represent the Progressive Conservative party in Brandon East in the expected spring 2016 provincial election.
  • School of hard knocks for tweeting trustee

    The case of Brandon’s tweeting trustee raised many issues this week that simply can’t be fully explored in any number of 140-character micro blogs. After the Brandon Sun exposed a series of anti-Tory tweets by veteran Brandon School Division trustee and NDP member Jim Murray, both the municipal politician and the mainstream media outlet were taken to task.
  • Youth gone wild

    The kids are not all right in Westman. And the problem of youth hooliganism — with crimes committed at all hours of the day and night — is especially apparent in the city of Brandon.
  • Omniscient O'Connor

    With candidates in Winnipeg’s municipal election sprouting like so many tulips in spring, where are the people who are going to steer The Good Ship Brandon forward come this fall? The Oct. 22 election for city council and school trustees is 185 days away.
  • Looking at Winnipeg from both sides now

    “As a city of 700,000, Winnipeg is too small to be cosmopolitan but too large to be folksy. Big-city complaints about violent crime compete with small-town gripes about the absence of privacy and if you’re single, a terribly shallow gene pool.” — Excerpted from “Stuck In The Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg” by Bryan Scott and Bartley Kives, published by Great Plains Publications.
  • 'Liars, liars, liars'

    Under pressure from @PCMBCaucus in QP #NDP Ed. Min. @jamesallummla said @BrandonMBSD “had no reason” to cut 11 positions. #bdnmb #mbpoli — James O’Connor @Monstereditor tweet from the legislature’s press gallery
  • Training my sights

    While it seems one piece of vitally needed infrastructure in Brandon is in the news almost daily, I’m going to pass over that bridge to discuss another bothersome bottleneck. The Eighth Street Bridge — one of the city’s few north-south routes — has been closed to vehicular traffic since a lateral support beam was hit by a privately owned five-ton garbage truck Jan. 14. That means extra traffic has been diverted to the three remaining routes.
  • A lesson in learning

    Dump the school board. Yup, I said it.
  • END-DP

    “A resolution, passed by the convention, said ‘mainstream media is rarely onside’ with the party’s beliefs and ‘ignores or perverts’ its accomplishments.” — From a Winnipeg Free Press story on last weekend’s NDP convention
  • 'Tis the time for the silly season

    Drew Caldwell is between a rock and a hard place. Results from two Brandon Sun/Probe Research polls show the NDP is dropping like a stone in Westman — mirroring the governing party’s poor popularity across Manitoba. And unless the New Dems are blessed with nothing short of a miracle before the next election, there is a very strong likelihood they would lose Brandon East, which has voted orange since the constituency was created in 1969.
  • Hey Pally, please shut up!

    “Brian Pallister is going to win the election for us.” — Says any NDPer you ask If only Progressive Conservative Opposition Leader Brian Pallister would zip it for a while, he could sew up the next provincial election.
  • SDH makes radio waves

    “I know no one likes to pay taxes — myself included.” — Mayor Shari Decter Hirst on CKLQ 880 this week.
  • Pink Lady’s armour now full of chinks

    “As mayor, I will not shy away from public questioning. I promise that I will open City Hall and the Office of Mayor up to scrutiny by the people of Brandon.  “I believe in dialogue, NOT monologue." — Shari Decter Hirst, Oct. 22, 2010
  • Blurred lines?

    It’s an age-old tradition. Even more than a tradition, the separation between a mainstream media’s newsroom and advertising department is an ethical cornerstone that has helped print and electronic media earn trust with readers and viewers over the decades.
  • Could it be RCMP?

    The Mounties always get their man ... er, person. But should the City of Brandon be on the hunt for the Horsemen — ... er, Horsepeople — in an attempt to rein in spiralling policing costs?
  • If you talk it, ya gotta walk it

    I’ve known Drew Caldwell for 30 years. And over that time, we’ve become very close friends. 
  • It's tough being a tory

    Politics is a bloodsport. And writing about politics can be a fun sport.
  • Fun with flyers (#2)

    “These are very factual bits of information. This is an election campaign where people need to know who they’re voting for.”
  • Just the facts on Justin

    It was a tweet heard around ... well Canada, at least. Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau was greeted like a rock star at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation on Wednesday, where he spoke to a gym full of mostly high school students, teachers and community members. The students at the elementary school were all still in class when he arrived.
  • Libs on a poll roll

    “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind.”
  • Fun with flyers (#1)

    As we head into the backstretch of the Brandon-Souris byelection, your mailboxes will start to receive campaign material from most of the candidates. And if it isn’t a flyer of some shape or form, it could be a print ad in a fine publication such as the Brandon Sun, or a “door-knocker” card hanging off your doorknob informing that you missed a chance to speak with the candidate in person.
  • Anatomy of an email

    “I wish I had the courage to say no ... when this monstrous political scheme was first ordered. That’s what this Senate is about, sober second thought, not taking dictation from kids in short pants down the hall.”          — Embattled Senator Mike Duffy, to the Senate
  • ‘Safe refuge’ or common sense?

    The all-day workshop was “a closed event for pre-registered participants; however, members of the media will be provided an interview opportunity with facilitator Lindsay Marsh between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.” Staged by the City of Brandon’s Community Services Department, the Safe Harbour: Respect For All event on Oct. 3 promised “a vision in action: providing opportunities for businesses, institutions, agencies and municipalities to create respectful, welcoming workplaces and communities.”

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