The little hydro pole that could

Most papers run the quirky photo because, well, why not?


CP/Jocelyn Riendeau

Jocelyn Riendeau was up against some formidable competition in this morning’s newspapers, but the Quebec-based photographer more than held his own with a glorious photo of a—wait, a hydro pole? This morning, both U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s mugs feature prominently in the papers. Obama, who would look photogenic in the middle of a sneeze, is pictured on The Globe and Mail’s front page, gently kissing Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the cheek. Harper, whose facial expressions range from serious to really serious, is framed at yesterday’s meeting of the Canadian American Business Council. Meanwhile, the papers run photos illustrating the ongoing hostilities in the Middle East.

None of those photos carried Riendeau’s credit. But he was the lucky photographer who snapped the quirky photo of the day in most major papers—which, by the way, originally appeared in the Sherbrooke Tribune. You see, that hydro pole, which stands tall in the middle of a provincial highway in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, was the result of an unfortunate miscommunication between various Quebec transport and utility authorities. Apparently, the pole has been there for some time—ever since the highway was rerouted around it. The problem pole isn’t long for the middle of the road, however, and it should be gone in a matter of days.

So why is this news, anyway? Did the hydro pole cause mass confusion, or lead to collisions with casualties? Plenty of confusion, probably, but authorities say the pole caused nary an accident. Sometimes, news is just quirky. Jocelyn Riendeau probably doesn’t mind.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Israel’s killing of a senior Islamic Jihad official. The National Post fronts the New York Times reporting Hamas militants daring Israel to invade Gaza. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a Palestinian man who lost his whole family after an Israeli air strike. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the firing of a local Salvation Army boss due to financial mismanagement. iPolitics fronts Environment Minister Peter Kent’s declaration that Canada won’t adopt a cap-and-trade system even if the United States goes down that road. National Newswatch showcases a CBC News story about a confidential document detailing Canada’s new, trade-focused and economically driven foreign policy.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Human rights resignation. Shirish Chotalia, the chairwoman of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, resigned from the position four years before her term expired amid internal turmoil.
2. Aboriginal incarceration. Few provincial courts actively produce Gladue reports, documents that are meant to consider cultural mistreatment in cases involving aboriginal defendants.
3. DND spending. The Department of National Defence will spend $2 million to an outside contractor that will monitor the department’s progress in meeting cost-cutting objectives.
4. Fish quotas. The Canadian government defied environmentalists and pushed—unsuccessfully—for an increase in bluefin tuna quotas in the Atlantic at an international convention.

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The little hydro pole that could

  1. Just wanted to drop in and thank you for the “Stories that will be (mostly) missed” feature.

  2. Everybody but everybody is missing the best part of this story. Look at the dark van that is driving toward the pole. Look at how badly the driver respects the lane he’s driving in. Look how, if he keeps driving that way, he will inevitably drive right into the pole.

    In short, the perfect summary of Quebec drivers on Quebec highways.

  3. HIT ME! I’m English!

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