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Robust

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It's a bad sign when a journalist wants to ban a word, but that's what I want to do with "robust."It's the new favourite word at the Manitoba Legislature, and it's everywhere. Politians throw it around like yesterday's "multi-pronged integrated community partnership."Latest offender: Justice Minister Dave Chomiak, otherwise a very literate guy. The country's justice ministers are meeting this week in Winnipeg and they've got a "robust" agenda, according to his press release.I don't really know what a robust agenda is, but I'm pretty sure the justice ministers don't have one. It's gonna be another meeting of ministers where they all kvetch about how the young offenders' act needs reforming and Ottawa needs to do more to battle organised crime. Not much of substance will actually be accomplished, kind of like the environment ministers meeting here a few months ago. They'll put out a communique later in the week full of platitudes and motherhood statements, demanding Ottawa take action. Ottawa will say, don't worry, we're about to take action. Reporters will dutifully write the story.I'm going to work on a "robust" reason not to bother.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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