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Political Dustup in New Brunwick/ Phone In: The Time Crunch

Behind the Photo-Op: Every now and then, the backdrop behind the exquisitely-crafted political photo-op is raised and the public gets to see the workings of the party machinery. And that seems to be the case with a split between Federal Tories in New Brunswick. Greg Thompson stepped down as the Minister of Veterans' Affairs in January and announced he wouldn't re-offer in the next election. He had a reputation as a MP who worked cooperatively with the provincial premier in New Brunswick, regardless of political affiliation. But this week, he went public because of what he sees as political interference by Keith Ashfield - a fellow Tory and his successor as Regional Minister for the province.
What raised Mr Thompson's ire was an email he obtained recently, written by Mr Ashfield's chief of staff, Fred Nott, regarding a funding application for infrastructure in the village of St. George, which is in Mr Thompson's constitutency. The email from Mr Nott states : "My opinion - put everything on hold in that riding until there is a nominated federal candidate, and preferably until after Sept. 27." That's the date of the provincial election. And no Conservative candidate has been chosen to run in Mr Thompson's riding in the next federal election.
After Mr Thompson spoke with Mr Ashfield this week about the email, he told the Telegraph-Journal that his successor stated, 'We're not going to be carrying the province on our backs to the next election.' The CBC's Jacques Poitras contacted Keith Ashfield and asked if any federal projects were being held up - either because of the provincial election or because the Conservatives haven't yet chosen a candidate in Mr Thompson's riding.
By the way, one of the people interested in running for the Tory nomination in Greg Thompson's constituency is John Williamson, a close friend and long-time communications adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Run Ragged: As you collapse into bed every night, are your last conscious thoughts about what you didn't manage to get done that day ? Or are they about all the things you'll have to do tomorrow when you wake up after not getting enough sleep ?
The mind and body have their limits, and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing's latest report suggests too many of us are pushing them to the brink. In the words of the CIW's chair, Roy Romanow, "People are struggling to meet the competing demands of a workplace that can reach out to them 24/7, caring for children and aging parents, and their own need to refresh body and mind. As individuals and as a society we are paying a steep price for this time crunch. We're less healthy, both physically and mentally and we have less time for leisure and relaxation with family."
Well, if you're time-crunched person, you might hear that and start feeling guilty about not spending enough time relaxing with your family. The demands of family - perhaps a couple of generations at once - are joined by demands of the workplace and community organizations that need your help as a volunteer. And try as you might, balance - a balance that includes time to genuinely relax and enjoy life - is proving elusive. Our guest was Lynne Slotek. She's National Director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, an independent, non-partisan organization whose mission is to report on the quality of life of Canadians, and promote a dialogue on how to improve it through policies based on evidence. Our question: "What would help you get out of the time crunch ?" To read a summary of the CIW report, click here.]


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