Deveryn Ross

  • Flood recovery initiatives need better oversight

    BRANDON -- As the three levels of government prepare to write cheques totalling hundreds of millions of dollars to cover damages suffered during this summer's flooding, they would be wise to first consider lessons that should have been learned after the 2011 flood. In the months following that flood, there were numerous allegations of evacuees who chose to live in hotels and receive other subsidies and "reimbursements" despite the fact that they had other places to stay and did not need the money. In some cases, the evacuees weren't evacuees at all -- they didn't actually reside in the evacuated area.
  • Gateway debate trapping opposition politicians

    BRANDON -- Is it a blunder by a disinterested leader with his eye on the door, or a tactical master stroke? The actions of a tired government that has lost its way, or a trap that will ensnare and ultimately doom its rivals? In the aftermath of Tuesday's announcement that the federal government would conditionally approve Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, the immediate conclusion of some in the media was that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has bungled the issue and backed the Conservatives into a corner that could ultimately doom the party in next year's federal election.
  • Sex-trade law protects young girls

    BRANDON -- Last month, I told the story of a Winnipeg teenager who was lured into prostitution and injected with meth by men much older than her so she could turn tricks for days on end without sleep. She was rescued when a wound caused by the injections became so infected she required medical treatment. One of the men involved had recently pleaded guilty to living off the avails of prostitution and had been sentenced to two years in jail. I argued that wasn't sufficient; that provincial criminal property-forfeiture laws should be used to seize the property of johns and pimps, and the hotels where prostitution is tolerated.
  • Court suit a no-win for NDP

    BRANDON -- The Selinger government may win its court case against Brian Pallister's challenge of last year's PST increase, but they will not emerge as winners. Last July, the Tories announced they would launch a legal challenge to the government's decision to increase Manitoba's provincial sales tax without first holding a provincewide referendum. They followed through on that promise in February, with the filing of a notice of application in the Court of Queen's Bench.
  • Allum needs lesson on facts

    BRANDON -- If James Allum wishes to be taken seriously as minister of education and advanced learning, he would be wise to begin acting as if he takes his portfolio seriously. On an almost daily basis, he is asked questions by Opposition MLAs about the many problems facing Manitoba's education system and his response is almost always the same -- the Filmon Tories fired 700 teachers and the Pallister Tories voted against Bill 18 last year.
  • Pallister has right idea, wrong script

    BRANDON -- Politics is nothing more than a public argument between groups of citizens and, as in all arguments, the winner is often the one who gets the last word. That is why successful politicians and their parties never let an attack against them go without a firm response. They have learned that turning the other cheek may work in church, but it will get you killed in politics.
  • Seize property of johns, pimps

    BRANDON -- It is a story that again proves the need to drastically change the manner in which Canada addresses its prostitution problem. A Winnipeg courtroom was told recently a teenage girl was repeatedly injected with crystal meth by a man to keep her awake and working for days at a time for an escort service being run out of rooms in two city hotels.
  • Can Bokhari rise to the challenge?

    BRANDON -- Minutes after becoming Manitoba Liberal leader last October, Rana Bokhari declared her first priority was to build the party's membership base and bank account. She said "there's a lot of work to be done, but I'm up for the challenge." Six months have now passed and a growing number of party supporters are wondering if Bokhari was as prepared for the challenge as she claimed.
  • Fixed election dates compound voter fatigue

    BRANDON -- It is a problem democracies throughout the world are struggling with, and it will soon be Manitoba's problem. A number of studies have concluded "voter fatigue" exists and is a threat to the proper functioning of democratic systems of government. It can cause high voter disengagement and lower turnout, magnifying the electoral power of votes cast by supporters of extreme ideologies and issues.
  • Tories need some help from Grits

    BRANDON -- The value of public-opinion polling is not found in the numbers produced by a particular poll, but rather in the analysis of those numbers. In the absence of context and informed insight, the raw numbers in any poll can lead to conclusions that both mislead and misinform.
  • Wounds to credibility self-inflicted

    BRANDON -- The danger inherent in any political strategy is that it might look good on paper, but it is easy to go too far in its execution -- and political novices often don't realize they have gone too far until they are there. A good example of the hazard of a poorly conceived and executed strategy is a statement made by rookie Health Minister Erin Selby last week.
  • Selinger clings to Conawapa plan

    BRANDON -- Now Manitoba Hydro has admitted that a natural gas-fired electricity generating plant is a viable alternative to spending more than $11 billion on the proposed Conawapa generating station, will the Selinger government abandon its two-dam plan that will burden Manitobans with tens of billions of dollars in debt, dramatically increase hydro rates, cripple Manitoba's business competitiveness, and cause immense environmental and social harm? Don't count on it.
  • NDP's playbook is all about fear-mongering

    BRANDON -- In the world of politics, fear works -- and nobody knows that better than Manitoba's New Democrats. A report prepared by senior NDP campaign officials following the 2011 provincial election, which saw the party win its largest majority in its history, provides a fascinating insight into the devastating effectiveness of fear as a political tool.
  • NDP sinks Manitoba deeper in red

    BRANDON -- As Manitobans digest the details of this afternoon's provincial budget, the first question many of them will ask is how much money it is going to cost them. The second question they should be asking is how much of this budget they can believe. They have plenty of reasons to be skeptical, starting with last year's budget, which raised the provincial sales tax by one percentage point.
  • Pallister's PST court challenge no stunt

    BRANDON -- Last July, Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Party announced it would launch a legal challenge to the Selinger government's decision to increase Manitoba's provincial sales tax without first holding a province-wide referendum. They followed through on that promise last week, with the filing of a notice of application in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. The move was immediately panned by NDP Finance Minister Jennifer Howard as "just another political stunt" and by provincial Liberal leader Rana Bokhari as "political posturing" and "a waste of tax dollars."
  • NDP must explain $75-million sale

    BRANDON -- Was this the best deal that could be made, or did the Selinger government dispose of an important and profitable Crown asset for more than $100 million less than it is worth? Last week, Finance Minister Jennifer Howard announced her government had sold the province's property registry (which includes the land titles system) to Teranet Manitoba for $75 million. Under the terms of the deal, Teranet will invest in new technology and will pay the province an $11-million royalty annually.
  • Attack ad is baseless

    BRANDON -- Last weekend, Manitoba's New Democratic Party released a television advertisement attacking Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister. The ad is a series of false and misleading statements. Even more disturbing is the fact the NDP seeks to bolster the veracity of its message by trading on the credibility of both the Winnipeg Free Press and the Winnipeg Sun.

About Deveryn Ross

Deveryn Ross joined the Free Press as a political columnist in 2011. His columns also appear in the Westman Journal and other community newspapers throughout Western Canada. He has also served as a columnist for the Brandon Sun, Brandon Today and several rural Manitoba newspapers.

Born and raised in Brandon, where he still resides, Deveryn has been active in politics at all levels for more than four decades. He has worked in various roles on dozens of election campaigns in several provinces and has provided strategic advice to elected officials and candidates from all major parties.

Deveryn holds a Juris Doctor degree from Dalhousie University and Bachelor of Arts from Brandon University, where he was awarded the medal in political science.
 

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