Many assume the Dexter Government made a mistake when it asked school boards to consider—and report back on—the consequences of a hypothetical 22 percent cut in their budgets. They say this gave the boards and the NSTU a license to frighten voters, and thus rally support for their comfortable status quo. Contrarian reader (and retired Education Dept. bureaucrat) Wayne Fiander puts the case vividly: Having served two premiers in this province, I can say with some confidence that a real education "right sizing exercise" is necessary to preserve public education. No government has yet tackled this issue correctly. They start...

Readers have responded quickly to my challenge for new ideas to deal with the real crisis in provincial education funding, and the dominant theme so far is school size. Stephen Moore wants to eliminate small schools: My suggestion, though it will likely be unpopular, is to close smaller schools. There are many schools with extremely small classes sizes (and some instances of miltiple grades in one room). I agree that small classes can be beneficial and that small schools are a resource for rural communities; however, these are communities with declining enrollments and an aging demographic....

The folks at Informationisbeautiful.net got their numbers wrong by a factor of, er, 10. The amount of CO2 emitted by the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano was not 15,000 tons of CO2 per day, but 150,000. To their credit, they owned up to the mistake, apologized fulsomely, and published a revised graphic: Although the planes vs. volcano equation is more of a saw-off than it first appeared, the eruption still looks like a net gain for the atmosphere (or it was until flights resumed today). This is a useful reminder of the adage,  garbage in, garbage out — especially important when it comes to vivid...

Several readers argue there's nothing wrong with the Harper Tories steering infrastructure money to their own ridings, or pushing out deputy ministers who object, because (1) the money will be spent anyway, (2) the Liberals did it too, and (3) most senior civil servants are Liberal appointees. After the jump, a spirited response from longtime gadfly and former Dartmouth City Councillor Colin May, but first, contrarian reader Wayne Fiander weighs in: 
Since you went to great trouble to note [ousted Deputy Transport Minister Louis] Ranger's expertise, you should have also informed your readers that Mr. Ranger "in the mid 90's, took a two year assignment with the Privy Council Office. He then returned to Transport Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Transport in 2001"  and was appointed DM at Transport Canada in 2002.  His connection to the Chretien Liberals is quite deep and therefore sheds the full light on his obviously political comments.
Good point. I should have noted that. But the implication that a two-year stint in the PCO 15 years ago justifies Ranger's firing is bogus. The Harper crowd used public money for partisan purposes. That's corrupt. Full stop. Getting rid of qualified civil servants who raise objections to this corruption is of a piece with that.