MONTREAL- The Champlain Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.

Not literally right now, but it needs to be replaced.

The Tories did a pretty quick about-face this week.

They released a report on the Champlain Bridge after realizing that keeping it secret wasn't playing too well with Quebecers, particularly the ones who cross it every day.

It will cost up to $25 million a year just to hold the span together.

This should have been dealt with years ago.

How many bridges could we have built instead of the big O?

You probably could have a new bridge for what we spent on last year's G8 summit.

While it is more expensive I like the idea of a tunnel.

How about a high speed passenger ferry service as well? And more trains.

Ottawa should show some leadership on this, and Quebec should watch closely and release the study on the Mercier Bridge because keeping us in the dark only makes us think the worst.

One more note for Quebec Transport Minister Sam Hamad: Don't take us for idiots. You may think we might not understand, but trust me, we will get it.


Toronto has a bright idea

We don't often take lessons from Toronto but here's one that's worth looking at.

The City of Toronto is offering buyout packages to about 17,000 of its municipal employees and the positions will not be replaced.

Why can't we do the same here?

Our taxes are always on the rise, and public services cost more.

It costs more to drive and more to park because of taxes and fees, and we spend millions on those Bixis.

All those boroughs and councils (19!) and separate public works and services departments mean we pay and we pay.

We are overtaxed and over governed ad that doesn't even include the built-in corruption premium that we all pay one way or another.

We have the largest elected municipal structure in North America, if not the world; little fiefdoms scattered everywhere which need to be eliminated.

We should look at how Toronto is doing it, because small is beautiful when you and I are paying the bill.


News of the World: shameful

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

What happened in the UK with the phone hacking scandal at News of the World was journalism at its absolute lowest.

It was theft and abuse of personal information.

It's tragic and perhaps a wake up call for those who bend the rules but it was in the end a victory for journalism.

It showed that no company or person, however powerful, is above the law.

I am happy that News of the World is dead and buried because at CTV and in other newsrooms around Canada and around the world, we do try to make a difference; to illuminate dark corners with objectivity and a sense of decency.

We inform and even amuse.

We've been telling your story for 50 years, and we will continue to do so for the next 50 with both substance and, we hope, a little style.