When the Grey Cup Champion Roughriders play at Mosaic Stadium there’s a neat little ritual that happens at the end of the third quarter. The crowd stands, and a mascot known as Worksafe Bob leads everyone in a little sing-song.
It’s a message about safety in the workplace, but Bob is basically a public employee. In November 2007, when the Riders had their first home playoff game in 19 years, Bob wasn’t allowed on the field. He was regarded as ‘political’, and an election was just 2 days away.
In Manitoba the same strange logic is being used by the NDP government of Greg Selinger in a much more serious situation. Because of two bye-elections taking place in rural Manitoba later this month, the government is refusing to release the report of a major public inquiry into the death of 5 year old Phoenix Sinclair.
In 2005, the child was murdered by her mother and stepfather in what was clearly a colossal failure by Manitoba’s child welfare system. The inquiry cost millions of dollars and heard testimony for almost two years. Retired BC judge Ted Hughes was the chair, and he delivered his report to the government on December 15th.
The report will undoubtedly lay out the details of what was a tragic horror story with a helpless innocent victim. The NDP have been the party in power in Manitoba for almost 15 years, and they’re likely to catch virtually all of the political blame. Hopefully Ted Hughes has made recommendations which could prevent such nightmares in the future if the proper action is taken.
Selinger and company are way behind the opposition Conservatives in the polls in Manitoba, but they’ve made a strange choice here. They have zero chance of winning either seat in the bye-elections anyway.
Why not face the music and get on with the job of making life better for unprotected children.
I’m Roger Currie