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Cheers and Jeers (June 17)


Fans cheer on the Raptors on Thursday night from Rogers Square in downtown Halifax. - Ryan Taplin
Fans cheer on the Raptors on Thursday night from Rogers Square in downtown Halifax. - Ryan Taplin

CHEERS: To the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA championship on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors. It was the first time the Raptors (and any Canadian team for that matter) won the championship. But it was more than a sporting event. As the Raptors kept winning, Canadians from across the country got on board and cheered for the team, regardless of whether they were basketball fans before the playoffs. The viewing parties got larger, including in Regina at the 33,000-seat Mosaic Stadium, and of course Jurassic Park. In many ways, it brought the country closer together and the Raptors became an ongoing topic of conversation and debate in coffee shops, barber shops, pubs and workplaces. It was fun ride for all of us and a proud time to be a Canadian.

JEERS: To the federal government for not fixing the problems leading to delays in forensic testing in criminal cases. It’s not unheard of for the courts in P.E.I. to hear there will be delays of six months or more in getting test results back in criminal cases. Some of the delays have been attributed to the previous Conservative government’s closure of three forensic labs, including one in Halifax, although there are other contributing factors. Canadians have a right to have their court cases dealt with in a reasonable amount of time. P.E.I. is lucky to have a criminal justice system that moves along much faster than in other provinces, but these delays are unacceptable.

JEERS: To Charlottetown city council for taking the easy way out when it comes to the floating dock at Victoria Park. Council voted this past week to launch a pilot project for this summer where the dock will be put in but no craft will be allowed to launch off it. The original plan was to allow non-motorized craft such as canoes and kayaks to use the dock. What is the sense of having a dock if you can’t, well, dock? Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chairman of parks and recreation, said this was a compromise after there was some opposition to the dock. The dock can be taken out as easily as it is to put in so why not try it, allow kayakers and canoeist to use it, and if things don’t work out, haul the dock out? Council is to be commended for improving access to the water at the park but they resorted to half measures in this case.

CHEERS: To the City of Charlottetown for holding this year’s Bike to Work and School Day on June 21 in honour of Josh Underhay and his six-year-old son Oliver. In April, Josh and Oliver died tragically in a canoeing accident. At the time, Josh was a candidate for the Green Party in District 9 in the provincial election. Josh was an advocate for bicycle safety and cycled to work in all weather conditions. He also took Oliver and his younger brother Linden to school on his bike as often as he could. The Bike to Work and School Day event is one of several events during Bike Week, June 15-22.

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