The Comment

To whom much is given, much is required

TORONTO – As often happens, Biblical passages become reference points as we grope in the dark for some explanation of why “things happen”, to justify our collective outrage or to “beg for common ground”. The headline is an appeal to act according to sense of “common decency” for the “common good”.

Today, a “more pedestrian expression” references a biological excretion of human liquid or mass designed to draw attention to the disgust that the speaker “feels” at having to deal with a decision. It is emphasized by descriptives such as “incredibly”, made popular by political personalities unfamiliar with idiomatic expressions evolved through the ages –  like, “noblesse oblige”.

It is becoming that kind of week when “comeuppance” (Kharma) or hope for the same to be visited on our “enemies”, is the order of the day.

The Bell news network (BCE) shed 4,800 jobs (9% of its workforce) closing news outlets – radio, TV, community newspapers – around the country, to compensate for a $40 million shortfall, loss, in its communications empire. It still had net profits of $2.93 Billion last year compared to $2.5 Billion the previous year, according to Statista, and (as at 2022) it was valued at $24.144 Billion, earning a gross profit of $16.553 Billion.

Too much detail? Along with Rogers Communications they share a virtual monopoly on the infrastructure to provide communications carriage to Canadians. In simple terms, without them you cannot turn on a service button. Oh, by the way, last year Bell received in excess of $146 million in “Regulatory relief” (tax write-offs) from the Federal government, worth… a net $40 million. Cry me a river, says another idiomatic expression.

“Wasn’t my fault”. Bleated the PM, as he described the effluence he was emitting to describe his “anger” at Bell’s decision. Bad for unity; bad for the economy; bad for creative content providers; and, worst of all, bad for Canadian journalism, he said, in feigned anger.

Forgive our crass response. The PM spent ZERO dollars last year in advertising the activity and goals of government programs , as delivered across 48 of its institutions, so that the “ethnic minorities” – 25% of the population – might know how they fit in the grand scheme of things. One guesses he does not think they do.

He will have calmed down by the time the King of Jordan, who is engaging in some serious international diplomacy with President Joe Biden in an effort to bring peace to the Gaza Strip, stops by to pay a courtesy call to our Canadian head of government.

The international community generally considers King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein to be a “moderate and enlightened” ruler in the turbulent Middle east. It is no secret that he is travelling abroad to explain, in no uncertain terms, that an Israeli attack on Rafah in Gaza would be brutal, unnecessary and catastrophic (read yesterday’s joint news conference with President Joe Biden, click here). He wants a sustainable, durable ceasefire.

Two of his sons are involved in the flights providing humanitarian aid to Gazans in distress. More than 25% of Jordanians are Palestinians. Right wing Israelis urge Jordan and other Arab states to open their doors to the rest of the Palestinians under fire in the Strip.

We will today know what innovative solutions Canada will offer. The hundreds of thousands of participants in pro-Palestinian demonstrations throughout Canada will beholding their breath for nuggets of wisdom untainted by colloquialisms.

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