One of the currents crisscrossing the Highlands lately concerns the steady drip-drip of public sector contracts lost by local businesses. It’s an important topic because for most of the year, the public sector is the main source of money coming into the Highlands economy.
Add the salaries of municipal and county employees, teachers, healthcare workers, grant-receiving non-profits to all public sector money that is used to purchase goods and services from local businesses, and it’s by far the largest contributor to our economy.
Nobody knows how large – and I’ve tried to get that kind of information – but I’d venture to say that at this time of year it’s in the range of 75 per cent or higher. When you add in the CPP, OAS, allowances and benefits paid by the federal government, the figure could be much higher during our long, relatively quiet winter. (Bram Lebo Publisher… Winging it. As per. When in doubt? Pick some numbers. Any numbers! just make sure they support your shit for farthing thesis!)
Does anyone know what this guy Lebo is aiming at? If so get back to me… Stat
EDITOR EMERITUS – BAM! MEGO…
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I would like to bring your attention to the very (and Only) cogent part of Highlander Publisher, Bram Lebo’s latest lacklustre screed…
And it goes like this. I will quote the meager patchwork upon which this man bases his whole argument in the other 2,876 words (Winging it here!) of his remarkably rotund and vexatiously venal verbal assault upon our better sensibilities.
And here… is the nut.
“Nobody knows how large – and I’ve tried to get that kind of information – but I’d venture to say… ” Bram Lebo in this week’s myopic and moribund Highlander essay.
I stopped there. Because any assault that continues will include some unresearched fuddle duddle on a par with the fair and balanced screeds which emanate from that most noxious of networks… FOX NEWS.
They do this all the time. They grab a soundbite. They manufacture their spin. And they repeat it enough times in the course of their jaunty meanders through the world of their manufactured news day in order to corroborate their thesis with some oft-repeated and totally baseless facts.
So Mr. Lebo has invented a number. Let’s say it’s 75 percent. Or higher.
And now. With that faux factoid ingrained in our noggins?
Let’s head down the rabbit hole with Mr. Lebo leading the way. I am going to ask a pretty cogent question here.
Has Mr. Lebo been down to Colorado of late? To watch a Matt Duchene shinny game? And while there? Did we partake freely of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High? In Colorado?
I had to ask. Because when one starts blowing smoke that liberally? There’s usually a nice source of hemp in the picture.
I will throw a bone to Mr. Lebo. He sure knows pandering. Pander Pander Pander.
In this and his other huge tomes (disguised as editorials) Mr. Lebo wants you Highlanders to know that he is on your side.
So when public sector organizations decide to save money, their actions have a serious impact on the Highlands economy. Lately they’ve been forced to, not because of overspending or mismanagement on their part, but because their funding comes from a province that throws away money like a kid in a leaf pile. For the province to continue giving $500 million to offshore power plant investors, and it seems weekly six figure severances to incompetent and/or avaricious Crown corporation employees, it has to squeeze thousands of small towns and organs of civil society to give at least the impression that someone cares about what happens to taxpayer money. (Lebo… using his baseless flim flam facts to support his thesis that government is hammering his neighbours.) But while we’re here… If Haliburton’s kids are really throwing money around in their leaf piles? Can things be that bad? I mean. Folks. I gotta’ rake… lead me to that mother lode of unattended government waste hiding in a Haliburton leaf pile!!
We digress. As Mr. Lebo. Did. Above. We have drifted from Haliburton to the North Atlantic. Or maybe Nassau, Bahamas? I have no idea how we got there? But wheeeeeee! Isn’t it fun? Following Mr. Lebo to the darkest depths of Mad Hatterville? To call the rest of this flimsily structured essay on the economy of Haliburton a complete and total sham? Would be an understatement.
Winter road maintenance is a good example of the false economy inherent in these myth-driven policies. In olden times, (ed’s note… My first editor would have kicked my arse up a tree for the liberal use of such anachronistic and hackneyed plop) the plow driver (ed’s note- ditto first note and BTW? Any plow drivers in the county?) worked directly for the town. If he was late, he’d get a call from his boss. And if he really screwed up, he’d have to face the ire of his neighbours. (ed’s note- Hmmmm? An interesting take on workplace management. Probably explains Mr. Lebo’s epic fail over Christmas. Who’s running the road’s department? In Mr. Lebo’s olden days metropolis? Someone remind me. Cos’ I’m fucking confused as hell!)
More recently, such jobs were often outsourced to local businesses who could generally provide the same services at a lower cost while still making a profit. Though the driver’s accountability was no longer direct, the owner of the business was still a phone call away from the nearest reeve who would be on the horn in no time with a what-for if the job didn’t get done properly. That same owner knew he would also suffer the wrath of friends and neighbours were he ever to leave them skidding on the roads, just as the owner of this paper knows that the local supermarket or community event is fair game for any and all complaints about what you read here or the state of the world in general.
That is accountability. (Lebo… getting lost in the abyss of good old fashioned county politics in the olden times… where fiefdoms ruled via the party line… who needed the NSA when you were attached to 23 neighbors on your home phone.)
Oh? That’s not accountability. That’s poppycock.
My uncle Henry Davidson, was a maintenance grader and winter roads worker for a township for over 30 years in Siglunes, Manitoba. His brother, my uncle Pete, a rancher was the reeve.
Mr. Lebo. What the fuck? Do some goddam homework. I mean seriously? “Get on the horn?” WTF?
Both of my uncles had jobs. They went to work. They did their best. Doing work for the county. They did it for the county. They were paid by Siglunes. And if any neighbor had dared tro get on the horn with Uncle Henry or Uncle Pete? Other than through appropriate channels? Well, let’s just say the neighbors would draw the ire of some big stocky Icelanders. By the way? Who in the name of god are “the neighbors?” Why does Mr. Lebo insist upon couching such vague Bo-diddly Bebop into his unfathomably scattershot pieces of tripe and lard?
Here’s a fact. It’s winter Lebo. We will skid on the roads. That is inevitable.
So Mr. Lebo? Slow the fuck down.
And while we’re here? Get someone to check your bloody piss-ant facts. Or do some research. Or hire a researcher. Please pay that researcher on time! And don’t try to pull the Icelandic wool over our eyes.
The kicker and our lowest hanging bowl of fruit?
The header on the piece… To Wit:
The Value of Nothing!
Mr. Lebo has no sense of humor.
So I am guessing the irony? As usual… was lost in the mainframe of his noggin in this latest edition of the… Lebola Virus.
Get BAM! @BAM-MEGO!
(Editor’s Note: BAM! Mego is a writer with Shrike.ca and the editorial staff supports his right to pound on Mr. Lebo in the name of free speech and because we believe in Karma. The editor would like to know when the Highlander is going to do some maintenance on the website. Please. It’s worn out, ugly and dying. And it never started out to be a neighborhood joke! BTW? The site was designed by the apparently not-for-profit Terrance Gavan Foundation for Saps, Suckers and Mother-……. Ah, Mother I miss you! Anyway. Karma rules!)