Shall We Cut Amanda Lang Some Slack

Amanda Lang may be in the spotlight and bruised from an alleged journalistic indiscretion but I suggest that some context is appropriate.  Canadians have long supported the CBC.  The funding of this archaic institution is rarely seriously challenged by taxpayers.  As a publicly funded body, one might argue that it should be free from political bias and editorial direction but in practice it is broadcast by imperfect people at least potentially tempted by influence in spite of ideals which it may purportedly possess.  In the event that you’ve forgotten, the top marginal personal income tax rate in Alberta is 39 per cent and apparently junkets by journalists still go on at the CBC.  Yes, I realize we pay “other” taxes as well.

Amanda Lang had taken on a programming role with the CBC which appeared to more entertainment oriented than news oriented and any prominence acquired through this role may have garnered her attention by corporations such as the Royal Bank of Canada.  Then again, perhaps there’s more to Amanda Lang’s resume which would inspire shareholders of RBC to condone the alleged payment of a speaking fee.   Since she reports on business or has in the past, why would there be no disclosure requirement by the CBC ensuring notification from its journalists who acquire private speaking contracts from corporations?  Preclusion from earning income outside a “job” should rarely be the policy but certainly in the journalism business disclosure should be required by a body who professes ideals of fact based reporting.

I suggest that the CBC and its laxity in constructing a programming model in line with its values is more to blame than Amanda Lang for any perception of reporting bias.  Apparently, the CBC has now implemented a strict policy on the topic to prevent any future indiscretions. I suspect that Amanda Lang did not set out purposely to trigger a debate on journalistic integrity nor to manipulate a message because of the forum afforded her but she simply wanted to capitalize on a circumstance made convenient by her employer.

Sales Tax On The Table For Aberta

The problem with a consumption tax is that it discourages spending and it’s distasteful to an electorate which prides itself by being sales tax free .  Implementing a sales tax now would be done amidst a climate of mismanagement operated by the PC government over the past ten years.  Pay raises to the provincial public sector have significantly outpaced private sector pay.  An entitlement culture has permeated the halls of Edmonton’s legislature and the old boys’ club downtown Calgary is starting to feel the pinch with the oil price falling off a cliff.

At one point our old Premier Stelmach attempted to make a course adjustment with his new “royalty framework” which ultimately had the goal of capturing more of the resource revenue for the benefit of the province’s purse.   We know what happened to him and we know what he’s thinking now in the context of the red ink starting to flow from the pens of government accountants and big talk of a new sales tax.

New revenue generating ideas concocted by the Prentice government will all be perpetrated from a position of weakness generated by years of “living for today” and cowering to the demands of public sector unions and oil executives.  Is he now asking for a “mandate” or will he step up and lead the province with some acknowledgment that it’s not the average tax paying Albertan who has created the revenue mess – it’s the policies and mismanagement drummed up by his party.

Orderly Exit of Target From Canada

Good riddance.  The contemptuous posture taken by management upon entering Canada was truly remarkable.  Imagine – we’ll bribe you with a five per cent discount if you fork over your banking information!  Ultimately compromising the data without implementing sufficient security measures was the last straw.  Canadians stood up to the idiocy.  Proud of ya!

Not Such a Quiet Ski Day

What started out as a lone trip up to Nakiska for skiing took an interesting turn mid day.  You see – I met this skier – let’s call her Jo.  I have never met someone as passionate for the sport.  Although now well into middle age, she’s discovered skiing by moving through what she thought was a hurdle of not knowing anybody with whom to ski.  She started talking to people around the sport and agreed to head up with an acquaintance.  One new friend led to another and soon she found herself in the company of advanced skiers looking to take her to the double diamonds.

On this day, she was determined to practice some drills solo with the purpose of keeping up with her new ski network.  I was delighted to have her shimmy up by my side at the lift station for the ride to the top of Nakiska Gold at which time I exclaimed “it’s a hard life”.  With her giggle, I became suspect that we may just share some adventure tales, and perhaps the late sun softened snow together.

Jo works two jobs but still projects around 80 ski days this season.  We pondered the fate of those facing the drudgery of work or the boredom of channel surfing when we were breathing the fresh mountain air and peeling off a sporty fifteen run day.  Her willingness to learn select advanced level tips was practiced in tandem as we carved symmetrically together down the slope.  She glowed at my suggestion that she was on the precipice of expert form at which time we targeted weight transfer and angle of attack.  Having apparently corroborated her friend’s notion that the deliverance of more mindful aggression would translate into spontaneous turning opportunities on the steeper pitch, her excitement for possibility shone bright.

After last run, Jo and I headed in for some left over lunch and après ski beverages.  We were literally the last guests to leave the lodge on this memorable day.

In the instance of one early afternoon lift ride to the top of Nakiska Mountain Resort in early January 2015, my easy going quest for some solo outdoor exercise turned into an exhilarating ski experience in which the finesse of the sport was revisited and my passion for winter fun was rekindled in good time for a promising upcoming season.