Now, in the southern and central part of New Brunswick, we especially thank the power linemen from here and nearby for helping restore power to our homes. The mighty wind and rain were the latest climate disaster to hit our region over the last year. But, once again, this event brought out the best in our people, whether giving a hand to a neighbour, helping out at the local warming centre, or doing everything possible to keep the home fires burning.
It has been a horrific year for the world, with wars, hatred, and death. We must do better in 2024.
This season is also one when many people and their caregivers succeed in finding strength despite serious illness. Still others mourn dear friends and family members they have lost. Recently we have also become very aware of the suffering brought about by homelessness, a hardship far more serious than being out of electric power for a few days.
May we all experience joy and happiness in this holiday season.
Peace & Goodwill to All!
Letters to the editor are a key part of a Free Press!
On the path that Brunswick News has chosen, researchers in this province could soon have precious little basis on which to write the history of the province.
Furthermore, Brunswick News (BN), has failed in a current example to uphold the obligation of newspapers to publish letters to the editor, including ones it disagrees with. As a former editor of a small New Brunswick newspaper, I can attest that this is a vital obligation.
There are, of course, some incendiary letters, ones that advocate violence or are in bad taste, for which exceptions can be made. In other cases, severely limited space could also be claimed. But there is no good reason to refuse to publish a letter solely because it expresses a different opinion from that of the newspaper. The example being cited in this column shows that freedom of the press for the writers of letters to the editor is being put in danger in New Brunswick.
Word that the St. Stephen community organization, Neighborhood Works, has come forward to run a 24-hour drop-in centre for the homeless in the town is heartwarming. It is a strong initial response to New Brunswick Safety Minister Chris Austin’s heartless comments about St. Stephen’s plea for help.
Minister Austin had dismissed as “frivolous’ the town’s declaration of emergency which it had made after Adam Nickerson, was found in a local park, and later died in hospital. Austin wrote to the town immediately to overturn the declaration and did not publicly express any sympathy to the Nickerson family.
For her part, Liberal Leader Susan Holt stepped up to counter strongly Austin’s comments in the Legislature: “I am stunned that the minister has just gotten up and blamed the people of St. Stephen.”
The suicide a few days ago of 12-year-old Carson Cleland in British Columbia due to sexploitation, brings up the memory of Amanda Todd, 15, who committed suicide in a similar tragedy in 2012. The two cases highlight the dangers for some young people in this internet age.
Police say sextortion is a type of extortion usually targeting teenagers. Typically, the perpetrator befriends youths online and eventually persuades them to send a revealing photo or video. The perpetrator later threatens to distribute the image or video if the youth does not pay money or provide sexual favours. The relationship puts a frightening hold on the life of the young person.
Canada’s Solicitor General, Dominque LeBlanc, says the federal government is giving strong consideration to bringing in legislation to combat what is sometimes called cyberbullying. For their part, parents of victims often urge greater involvement of other parents in the online life of their kids. Both these approaches would no doubt be helpful.