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Kerry Nation

About Kerry Auriat:

Kerry Auriat is a lifelong Brandon resident and an advisor with a local brokerage firm.

  • Allowing tuition hikes strikes right balance

    In your life, spending money is a clear reflection of your personal priorities and values. Investing in a house, travelling abroad, buying new golf clubs, or pursuing higher education — these are all decisions about how you view yourself and the world. Money, simply, is the tool you use to fulfil these wishes. As a laissez faire individual, this columnist really has few issues with how anyone chooses to spend their money, but hopes it is done wisely. In other words, short of destructive habits, I respect your individual freedom.
  • Development fee a bad idea in principle

    Even though I already own a home, allow me to state for the record that I stand in opposition to the general principle of development charges on future home building in Brandon. This is a highly complex issue with many moving parts. No one has all of the information required to make a complete determination on whether we should institute this tax, as has been proposed by the city. Why do I stand against it?
  • Storms bring out the best and worst in us

    “You know, we’re living in a society. We’re supposed to act in a civilized way.” So spake George Costanza in a classic “Seinfeld” episode. He was frustrated by his inability to access a pay phone being monopolized by another customer at a Chinese food restaurant. In addition to being hilarious, it also reminded
  • What we shouldn't be taking sitting down

    One is a video, substantive and full of “value” discussion. The other is a still photo of a woman, sitting on a couch, texting. Both were a focus of attention for media consumers this week. The still photo was of U.S. President Donald Trump’s special assistant Kellyanne Conway, sitting on a couch in the Oval Office with her feet tucked underneath. She was wearing a short skirt and typing on her smartphone. This photo has captured the ire of the anti-Trump/Conway folks.
  • 'Anti-vaccination' headline doesn't tell the story

    They grab our attention, but sometimes the headlines just don’t do justice to the facts of the story, or so I found perusing The National Post this week. The headline? “Ontario High School Teacher Who Pushed Anti-Vaccination Views Found Guilty Of Professional Misconduct.”
  • Are Trump's follies enough disruption for you?

    During the U.S. election, Donald Trump often fell back on the themes of “draining the swamp” and “can it get any worse?” In other words, while voters may have been taking a risk on an inexperienced Trump, he argued things were so ugly under President Barack Obama there was literally no risk in electing The Donald.
  • Downtown deal raises hopes, questions

    As a cautious but consistent supporter of most things Brandon, I want to both congratulate and warn our city council, Renaissance Brandon and Brandon University after Monday’s exciting announcement.
  • Let's focus on real issues confronting Manitobans

    Welcome to Manitoba, where all problems must be inconsequential. After all, if the two biggest stories about our province over the last few years were about Winnipeg being racist and Premier Brian Pallister’s Costa Rican vacation home, then it must be good to be us. Of course, that paragraph drips with sarcasm — that is entirely intended. Manitobans face a massive deficit and compounding debt and no promising way to get out of this morass. We clearly are a have-not province and face challenges on a compendium of social and economic fronts.
  • In praise of a prudent budget

    This week, after lengthy deliberations, Brandon City Council brought forward an annual budget with a tax increase of 0.94 per cent, including an increase in infrastructure spending of one per cent. Mayor Rick Chrest, justifiably, boasted of his council by stating “I’m extremely proud of the work our council has done during this budget process. Not only did we achieve a tax increase below inflation for the third year in a row, but we were able to enhance many services, and also accumulated spending on infrastructure in a meaningful way.”
  • Welcome to the Trump years

    It’s hard to believe we finally got here, but Friday was the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States. After all of the tweets, the inarticulate and irresponsible personal attacks, and the wrongheaded policy statements, the wait is finally over. Donald J. Trump is the president, my friends, and so the fun begins. Trump begins his term as the least popular president-elect in four decades. In some respects, this doesn’t matter at all, for he has the immense power incumbent to his office. Concurrently, he faces challenges as both Congress and the Senate will be aware of his popular support numbers (or lack thereof) in their dealings with the White House.
  • In praise of 'steady as she goes'

    The editor of the Brandon Sun may, in an unguarded moment, reveal that this columnist tends to disagree with the paper’s positions too often. Thankfully, he views the role of the columnist, and the editorial, as fomenting debate and encouraging free thought.
  • If they took a holiday … so what?

    Why do we care where our elected officials vacation? In this past year, stories of Premier Brian Pallister or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vacationing abroad have appeared on a regular basis, with the obvious intent of fostering voters’ ire. After all, if we are stuck here in the frozen north, why are these two, among others, enjoying the warmth of southern climes?
  • Israel might want to listen to U.S.

    @03 Body Copy:<t-1f$>Eight years of increasing tensions, between two very close friends, blew up this past week as the United States chose to abstain from a vote in the United Nations. The Security Council vote went 14-0 and the resolution was passed.
  • Syria solutions all complicated

    This week, the tragic situation in Syria took yet another ugly turn as Aleppo, a major centre held by rebel forces, fell to the combined forces of Hezbollah, Russia and the Syrian government of Bashar Assad. Assad has used chemical weapons and barrel bombs in his fight to regain control of Syria. The prospects for Aleppo’s residents are not promising as of this writing.
  • Will fickle voters turn on Trudeau?

    Just a few weeks ago, this columnist gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals a pass on the so-called pay-for-play fundraising scandal. After all, in light of the outrageous political happenings south of the border, Canadians looked parsimonious and modest in their scandals. Yours truly incorrectly assumed this scandal would go away. I was wrong. As previously noted, Canadian politics are generally quite even-handed and mild. Our debates are not raucous affairs. In fact, they tend to be policy-heavy and lack all of the drama of a Trump-Clinton free-for-all.
  • TV shows highlight growing disparity

    When you’re storm-stayed in a Winnipeg hotel for a couple of days, as yours truly was this week thanks to the biggest blizzard in recent years, there’s not an awful lot to do. In fact, if you’re like me, you spend hours watching real-life detective episodes of “The First 48” followed by Oscar-worthy programs like “Beachfront Bargain Hunt.” The time was not completely wasted inasmuch as it led me to broader observations of the United States and, perhaps, a greater understanding of why the recent election worked out the way it did.
  • Canadians deserve better

    “You supported Stephen Harper, right?” Yup.
  • Tories can't just spend, spend, spend

    In a time-honoured tradition, this week Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon read the throne speech, prepared for her by the Brian Pallister government. It outlined the government’s plans for the upcoming term. There were not a lot of spending surprises. By “not a lot,” I mean essentially none.
  • Wisconsin voters cheesed off

    Last weekend, following the U.S. election, this columnist embarked upon a mini-listening tour to Wisconsin. Like a taller version of Paul Simon or a straight-haired Art Garfunkel, I walked off to look for America. My focus was simple — talk to Wisconsinites about the presidential election and why it unfolded the way it did in their home state. Why Wisconsin? A so-called swing state, Wisconsin voted Republican in the presidential election for the first time since Ronald Reagan was on the ticket. Yet, Hillary Clinton lost the state.
  • Trump's rhetoric will be hampered by reality

    Now that all the dust has settled, and concession and victory speeches have been made, you may be wondering what the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States will mean to Canada. In regards to something as important to Canadians as the Keystone XL project, Trump crowed: “absolutely approve it, 100 per cent.”
  • Clinton would be all but unelectable if not for Trump

    Why does every column about the U.S. election make me feel so dirty — like a vote for Hillary is dancing with the devil and a vote for Trump is a deal with the dunce? Supporting Bill and Hillary Clinton has always been about making a bargain — accept their personal foibles in return for their progressive policies. There may be movement on women’s rights and welfare reform, but voters also get Whitewater, emails and defining what “is is.”
  • 'Pay-for-play' issue more symbolic than relevant

    The “scandalous” news out of Ottawa in recent weeks is the apparent “pay-for-play” occurring between the federal Liberals and so-called big donors who have been paying as much as $1,500 to attend private events with cabinet ministers, with the proceeds going to the party. While this smells to high heaven, is it really an important issue?
  • Gap between elites and the rest of us keeps growing

    If you ever wonder why people are mad at government, consider the following National Post headline from earlier this week: “Ontario Liberals Spent Almost All of $12M Budget for Hydro Rebate on Consultants, Ads, Energy Minister Admits.” The budget for this program was $12 million. The Liberals lavished $11.7 million of this budget — $9.3 million on consultants and $2.4 million on advertising and media buys — and spent little on the intended recipients.
  • Americans mired in mud-slinging instead of issues

    I absolutely refuse to quote Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s taped “hot mic” comments released this past weekend. While the language is familiar to adults, sad as it is to say, it isn’t something that we should be accustomed to hearing from presidential candidates. Rather, let’s spend our time reflecting on last weekend’s tumultuous events. Trump’s inappropriate comments drove reaction from all sides, including his own Republican Party mates. In fact, they had the most to lose due to Trump’s madness. Down-ticket voting is now much more aligned with the top of the ticket than it has even been.
  • Tax-related stories in Canada, U.S. raise larger questions

    Two very different tax-related stories hit the news in the last week — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 1995 loss of nearly $1 billion and the projected tax breaks he received as a result, and the targeted taxes aimed at slowing Canada’s overheated housing markets. As a simple rule, my belief is the “you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax.”
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