The other day in the crush and bewilderment that many of us feel about the terrible situation in the Middle East, I remembered a story aired on CBC Television several years ago about the friendship of two men, Moshe and Munir, one an Israeli and the other a Palestinian. The journalist who brought her report to Canadians was Adrienne Arsenault, then the Middle East correspondent for the CBC and now one of the hosts of The National and the Chief Correspondent for the network.
It was an amazing piece of journalism which made a deep impression on me. Although, I have never been to the Middle East, I have always been concerned about the millions of Jews murdered in the Nazi Holocaust and, as well, the plight of the homeless Palestinians in the disputed lands in and around what is now Israel.
When I launched this Blog, I promised that it would not always be about hard and difficult subjects. Occasionally, I would write about other topics that are softer and gentler. Lately, I have been writing about tough things, such as war, addictions, and sports betting. Today, I offer readers an article that could be called “and now, for something completely different.”
This is about my special relationship with our dog Lupin. She is a gentle and friendly yellow Labrador who, through some sort of wires crossed genetics, speaks human and I speak dog.
When we finish a walk together at our front door, she waits faithfully for my rendition of a simple little ditty which I sing in my off-key baritone: “Were you ever in Quebec, donkey riding, donkey riding, were you ever in Quebec, riding on a donkey?” This was a song I used to sing to our kids when they were little, balancing them on my leg, and increasing the bounces, faster and faster.
With her amazing linguistic ability, Lupin adopted this song as her mantra. It became a kindly command to come into the house. Now, she waits outside the door until she hears her song. When Lupin will not move at the front door, my dear wife says to me: “Can you call Lupin?” I begin that favorite song and in Lupin comes.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s Medical Officer of Health did not distinguish herself before the province’s Public Accounts committee on Thursday and the government of Premier Blaine Higgs does not deserve praise for its public health print-out either.
In his early days as Premier, Mr. Higgs treated “politics” as a dirty word, something he would not soil his hands with. But in his handling of the COVID pandemic, the Premier has acted in a highly “political” way, demonstrating that he did not want the Medical Officer of a Health making decisions about how to protect public health in the province.
The classic example of this occurred in the summer of 2021 when the government lifted all protective measures against COVID 19. This action was widely viewed as premature, and likely to expose the province to further public health dangers. Today, COVID is bursting out again, and New Brunswick's COVID-19 hazard index is the highest in Canada, according to a recent study by a respected researcher.