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The canary

March 4th, 2008 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues | Personal

It’s finally warming up a bit here in Ottawa (probably just until the weekend, but it was nice to leave the house without my long-johns anyway). I’m curious to see how long it takes all this winter to melt once it really starts – We’ll probably be soggy until June.

But I digress…

I enjoy being back in a place where I’m forced to pay attention and know what’s going on. When I was in journalism school it was drilled into us that we should always have read a paper, watched the news, kept up on the latest – and not just for news quizzes. Our first week of j-school was a frosh all our own – including a day spent at a nature reserve where one of my profs (Rob, I’ll never forget this) told us that if he ever saw us in the morning without a newspaper under our arm we would be in big trouble (I imagine a pop quiz on the morning’s top stories in the middle of the hallway would have been the result). It made sense – We were learning to write those stories, we should be reading them.

Sadly, once I went into journalism I didn’t have any time or energy to actually pay attention to anything that required me to think deeply (Hence my regretable dedication to the first season of Paradise Hotel, which required no thinking at all but made me feel dirty in a very bad way). When I went back to school I still had little to no time to pay attention – I was busy working and trying to figure out how the hell to write an essay. By third year I had some balance. My editor took on so much of the paper work herself that I had a lot of down time to check websites and cbc.ca was my go-to. It was how I found out about the shooting at Dawson College and we were able to cover it – And I renewed my love of being the first to know things, which was one of the reasons I went into journalism in the first place.

Yesterday morning I was doing my usual media monitoring and I thought I heard the CTV news anchor say something about a libel suit and the Prime Minister. I looked around and couldn’t find anyone – including ctv.ca – reporting the story. Then they repeated it, so I sent around an e-mail saying “CTV reports Harper has served Liberal party without notice of libel.” The big boss in the office (the one I’m afraid to talk to) came in and asked if there was any more information and I had to tell him I was looking but no one else had this story.

He referred to me as the canary in the mineshaft.

And I realized, for the first time in a long time, that acting as that canary – Being the one on alert and the person who has to find the information so everyone else can know – that is something I really, really enjoy.

Not to mention the fact that I am really excited by this whole libel suit. I’m intrigued to see where it goes from here. I am not a fan of the Prime Minister, but this is a ballsy move and I, for one, believe him. I believe that he is a smart enough man to not risk filing a lawsuit when there’s a chance that he’s wrong. And watching him stand up in question period yesterday – He looks tired, stressed and really, really angry.

Now, since I am back in the loop and I do know what’s going on – What the hell is up with the freaking Liberals?

The vote on their own amendment on the budget was held last night – Their own freaking amendment – and 7 of them show up? SEVEN? THEY WON’T EVEN SHOW UP TO VOTE FOR THEIR OWN FREAKING AMENDMENT?

They’re that much afraid of facing the Canadian public in an election?

The party higher-ups have said they won’t go to an election until they’re sure they can win. Well, let me tell you, they’re not going to see their poll numbers going anywhere if they keep going like this.

</>rant

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