BONAVISTA P. O. Box 10 Elliston, NL A0C 1N0 Phone: Toll Free: Fax: E-Mail:
709-468-2626 1-866-663-2626 709-468-2642 firstname.lastname@example.org
Working for You!
Polaris Building 61 Elizabeth Dr. Gander, NL A1V 1G4 Phone: 709-256-3130 Toll Free: 1-877-256-3130 Fax: 709-256-3169 E-Mail: email@example.com
Cindy Hooper Saunders
1A Pinsent Dr. Barry Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2S8 Phone: 709-489-8470 Toll Free: 1-877-489-8470 Fax: 709-489-8478 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
133 Confederation Building House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 Phone: 613-996-3935 Fax: 613-996-7622 E-Mail: email@example.com
Working for You! Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor
As summer approaches, it is now time for me to update you on some of the issues I have been working on. I continue to work in the best interest of constituents and in the best interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Since my last report, the 39th session of Parliament resumed in January. I was honoured to be appointed as Liberal Opposition Critic for Fisheries and Oceans as the fishery is a major industry in my riding. As well, I was asked to be a member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Again, I was honoured to accept this responsibility. During this sitting, we discussed several important issues including the ongoing sealing industry issues and the proposed new Fisheries Act. Budget 2007 was brought down by the government in March, which caused a great debate. I voted against the budget on the grounds that equalization promises were not kept by the Harper government and the budget provided little benefit for our senior citizens and our students. I congratulate the Town of Gander, surrounding town councils, the Gander Airport Authority and the community action committee for pushing hard on the airport issue with the federal government. I will continue to work with them to see that a promise is kept. Recently, the Airport authority accepted an offer from the federal government that will see them short $1.l million of the previous offer in November. Of course, in the central area another major issue is the Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill and its restructuring plan. In this regard, I have met with stakeholders and I will continue to fight for a national forestry initiative, one that is advantageous for mill workers and loggers in Central Newfoundland. I have been working with the mayor and councillors in Botwood in order to have the port of Botwood turned over from the federal government to the local authority. This has been an ongoing issue and the stumbling block at the moment is the responsibility for any environmental cleanup identified after takeover. There have been major cuts to social programs including Status of Women Canada, Literacy, the Court Challenges Program, the Community Access Program, and others which impact our area. Recently I see that there has been funding announced to continue with literacy and adult learning projects in the province, no doubt as a result of cries from the Opposition and stakeholders. The greater driving force is that the election is looming.
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Captain John Russell’s 100th Birthday - Bonavista Bonavista Seniors’ Christmas Party Newtown Dinner Theatre Barbour Heritage Site Botwood Collegiate Awards Little Stepping Stones Bishop’s Falls
January • • • • •
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70th Anniversary - Trans Atlantic Flight Dinner-Gander Fireman’s Ball-Musgravetown Lewisporte Academy Breakfast Program
March • • • • •
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Gander Academy - Teaching Excellence Award - Jim Cornish China Delegation Dinner Gander • Visited May Burry -Glovertown - 99th Birthday • Fisheries Advisory Committee Meeting - Gander • Seldom Fireman’s Ball •
I continue to work on the Fallow Field Private Member’s Bill. It is indeed an honour to represent you and I continue to enjoy my position acting in your best interests and on your behalf. My offices are listed on the back of this householder. Feel free to contact the office nearest you for assistance.
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Relay for Life Cancer Launch • Grand Falls-Windsor Boy Scout Meeting - Gander March Hare Reading - Gander • Issues and Answers - NTV College of the North Atlantic Human Resources Management Class
Salvation Army Men’s Fellowship - Gambo Fireman’s Ball - Five Coves Kiwanis Festival Highlights Grand Falls-Windsor Calvary Tabernacle Pentecostal Dinner - Bishop’s Falls 87th Anniversary Dinner Knights of Columbus - Grand Falls-Windsor Fireman’s Ball - Musgrave Harbour
April Gander Academy - Readers as Leaders Fallsview Figure Skating Ice Show - Bishop’s Falls All Ranks Mess 9 Wing Dinner - CFB Gander 90th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge - Botwood VON Broadening Horizons Fundraising Event - Averil Baker & Friends Easter Atom “K” Minor Hockey Tournament - Opening Ceremonies - Botwood Bonaventure - English Harbour Development Association - 20th Anniversary Bantam “C” Minor Hockey Tournament - Grand FallsWindsor Peewee “B” Hockey Tournament - Lewisporte Alexander Bay Lions Club Annual Seniors Dinner Glovertown
Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Municipal Rural Infrastructure Program Funding Local Service District of Gander Bay South Town of Glovertown Town of Happy Adventure Town of Hare Bay Town of Lewisporte Town of Seldom-Little Seldom Town of Tilting Town of Centreville-Wareham-Trinity
$ 236,850 137,823 21,790 895,849 319,577 136,141 740,275 96,612
These projects are cost-shared federally, provincially and municipally. Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund -TCH Road Repairs Gander-Glenwood - $2.74 million Bishop’s Falls Bond Bridge-Scott Avenue, Grand Falls-Windsor - $2.9 million West Boundary of the Terra Nova National Park -Gambo - $2.47 million Southwest River Bridge - $200,000 - repairs
With Sergio Sikorsky and Pat White 70th Anniversary - Transatlantic Flight Gala
Beaver Brook Antimony Mine Re-opening in Glenwood The antimony mine, which will employ 60-70 people, is now preparing for production for the fall of 2007. This mine has a life expectancy of 10-12 years and will provide much needed employment in this rural area. Funding to help women re-enter the workforce More than $300,000 in federal funding was recently approved by Human Resources and Social Development Canada to help 114 women prepare for the workforce. The funds will be administered by the Women Interested in Successful Employment programs in St. John’s and Gander.
With members of the Catalina Port Union - Melrose Fire Department
With Capt. Ray Cole, Royal Canadian Air Force Veteran and Jiggs Borland, Canadian Armed Forces Veteran
NEW - Ombudsman for Veterans Veterans will now have a Veterans’ Bill of Rights and an independent ombudsman to ensure their concerns are being heard. It will operate at arm’s length from the government and will report annually to the Veterans Affairs Minister and Parliament. Air Canada - Daily Flights from Gander - Halifax Air Canada Jazz will be offering two daily flights direct from Gander-Halifax starting on June 30, 2007. Flights will depart Gander at 6:00 a.m. and 3:10 p.m. daily and arrive in Halifax at 7:00 a.m. and 5:10 p.m., respectively. Flights from Halifax will depart at 12:15 p.m. and 10:55 p.m., arriving in Gander at 2:45 p.m. and 12:45 a.m. Congratulations to all groups involved in securing this new service. I commend Air Canada for their commitment to Gander by providing this enhanced service.
With Grand Knight Don Pelley Notre Dame Council 2053 - Knights of Columbus -Grand Falls-Windsor
With Christine MacMillan Salvation Army Commissioner
With air cadets from 512 Exploits Squadron - preparing packages for Afghanistan
News Releases Liberal Critic Defends Seal Hunt March 2, 2007 Bonavista - A motion calling for a ban on the importation of deer and boar products from Germany was tabled in parliament today by Liberal Fisheries and Oceans critic Scott Simms. “This week Germany’s agriculture minister announced plans to introduce a bill to ban the importation of all seal products from Canada,“ said Simms. “Canadians should be exasperated by European politicians who allow themselves to ignore the facts about the Canadian seal hunt.“ Simms, whose riding of Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor is home to thousands of sealers, pointed out that in Germany 1.2 million deer and over 500,000 boar are slaughtered annually, most of which are killed for sport. The Canadian seal hunt, conversely, is highly regulated and closely monitored.
With Corporal Mark Russell, presently deployed in Afghanistan, and Mayor Betty Fitzgerald
“Germany claims to have the same stringent regulation of their hunt but provides us with no proof,“ Simms said. “Why should we accept their word when they refuse to honour ours. This is pure hypocrisy.“ Despite years of factual presentations by successive Canadian governments dispelling the myths about the hunt, European Parliamentarians continue to ignore the facts. “If they are so determined to reject the science and the sustainable use principles that govern Canada's seal and other hunting operations, perhaps we can force Europeans to put their own hunting practices under closer scrutiny,“ Simms said. "If politicians there want to take up the cause of humane hunting perhaps they should start in their own back yard."
Simms: Cuts to Seal Quota Severe For Immediate Release Bonavista, March 30, 2007. Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Bonavista-GanderGrand Falls-Windsor, in reaction to the seal quota announcement stated that he was shocked to see such a drastic cut in the quota for this year.
With Roy Oldford - Relay for Life Launch - Grand Falls-Windsor
With Botwood Sea Cadet Leah Hemeon-Vimy Ridge Ceremony
It was my understanding following the consultation meetings held between the sealing industry stakeholders and DFO officials in Halifax last fall that the industry would not be averse to a cut of around 20,000 animals. The 2007 seal quota, however, amounts to 84,000 seals less than last year’s quota of 335,000. With the announced quota of 270,000 seals, which includes a carry-over from the 2006 hunt of 19,000 seals, the real quota is only 251,000. “I have always advocated a sustainable hunt based on sound scientific data. While no surveys have been conducted since 2004, it is inconceivable that this decision to cut the quota to this level is based on science,” said Simms. Factoring in a price reduction for seal pelts and the quota reduction, the negative economic impact to sealers is approximately $6 million. “This drastic measure by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is more about catering to the animal rights groups than about a sustainable seal harvest”, stated Simms.
With son Jackson - 2nd Swearing In Ceremony Member of Parliament
Question Period House of Commons
FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Ice Compensation Program This year has seen some of the worst ice conditions on the northeast coast in its history. I have been getting numerous calls with regard to extending Employment Insurance benefits for the fishers affected as they are in dire need of assistance because they are unable to go fishing. I have been actively pursuing a solution to this problem and posed the following question to Minister Hearn in the House of Commons. The response from the Minister indicates that he is the only person involved that doesn’t appear to believe that help is now needed in this crisis situation. Monday, May 7, 2007 Mr. Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is now experiencing the worst ice conditions in decades. Unable to get their fishing gear in the water, hundreds of families have been without any income for about a month and, as a result, many are unable to provide for their families. The minister has stated that he is monitoring the situation but time is running out. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done right now. Will the minister stand in the House and announce an ice compensation package for fishermen on the northeast coast? Hon. Loyola Hearn (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. The northeast coast of Newfoundland has experienced the worst ice we have seen in probably 30 years. It was evident by the number of sealing vessels trapped over the last few weeks. We have had discussions with various ministers who would be involved in such a program. We are aware of it. Yesterday, I spoke to the president of the union and we had a discussion on possibilities. We are monitoring the situation and, if help is needed, help will be provided.
Front: (L-R) Barry Randell, Scott Simms, Rick Kean: Back: (L-R) Albert Johnson, Jack Greenham, Hedley Butler, Fred Cuff (staff), Paul Kean, Glen Best, Tony Spurrell, George Feltham Missing: Brian Taylor, Jack Troake
The first meeting of the Fisheries Advisory Committee, made up of stakeholders from various parts of the riding, was held in Gander on January 17 - 18. The committee is made up of stakeholders from various parts of the riding. There were a number of issues/concerns discussed including the following: • • • • • • • • • •
small craft harbours management plans vessel replacement rules observer coverage and cost fleet sectors fleet separation policy employment insurance early retirement and license buyout secondary processing Transport Canada regulations
The two day session was very worthwhile and provided me with invaluable insight into the complexities of the fishing industry. I am now more aware of the concerns of harvesters and plant workers and have a better appreciation of how government policies affect the daily lives of those dependent on the fishing industry to make a living.
BUDGET 2007 Canada Summer Jobs—New Initiative The budget brought down by the Conservative government in March ignited discussion between Newfoundland and Labrador, and other provinces, with Ottawa. From our point of view the federal government did not meet its pre-election commitment of allowing 100% exclusion of our resource revenues from the equalization formula. The issue was debated hotly in the House of Commons and as a result of my stand, that the Harper government should meet its election promise, I tendered a Liberal Opposition motion stating in part the following: The government has abandoned the principles respecting the Atlantic Accord, equalization, and non-renewable resources as articulated in the motion it put before the House on Tuesday, March 22, 2005. This is a complete betrayal of what was promised during the elections of 2004 and 2006 when the Conservatives guaranteed that no province would be adversely affected from changes in the equalization formula. We fought the good fight; however, with the numbers in the House of Commons, the budget was approved. Although there were several positives in the budget, I felt it was lacking in a number of areas including limited income tax relief for senior citizens. Income splitting is fine, but it doesn’t help single seniors and those who have lost their partners. I have received a number of calls on this issue. The budget does nothing for working parents still struggling to find adequate, affordable child care. The Conservatives created zero new child care spaces in 2006. This is a far cry from the 125,000 new child care spaces over 5 years they originally promised to create. I was disappointed that there were no changes to the Employment Insurance program. I would have liked to have seen the number of hours for sick leave eligibility reduced. In the opinion of stakeholders, the qualifying period for sick benefits should be reduced from 600 hours to 420 hours. Also, the length of time you are eligible to draw sick benefits should be increased from the present maximum of 15 weeks. This, in some cases, is insufficient time for convalescence. I have brought this issue and other related EI issues to the Minister’s desk on several occasions.
I am very disappointed with this government’s lack of vision in the recent demise of the Summer Career Placement Program for students. This has had a devastating effect on many communities’ abilities to provide programs and important employment for students in the riding. I have been active in the media and have written Prime Minister Harper, Minister Solberg, and Minister Hearn on this matter. Many of the affected groups have been vocal as well. I believe we have the government’s attention on this matter and I am hopeful of a reasonable resolution. This is another example of the Harper government’s cuts to our very important social programs. It is not only a matter of the much needed student employment, it is a matter of the excellent services this program provided to our communities, filling a void with recreational, tourism initiatives, etc. that could not otherwise be provided. The previous program was working well. There was local input on the approvals of sponsors, thus ensuring worthy programs were approved and the number of positions were evenly distributed. Why did this government so radically change a successful working program?
NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS New Horizons for Seniors is a program where seniors involve themselves and contribute their skills, experience and wisdom in community support projects. Applications for project funding are accepted from: Voluntary, social economy and non-profit sector organizations, community based coalitions, networks and ad hoc committees; Municipal governments, band/tribal councils and other aboriginal organizations Deadline for Applications: June 29, 2007 Applications should be mailed to: New Horizons for Seniors Program Human Resources and Social Development Canada P.O. Box 12051 St. John's NL A1B 3Z4
REMEMBRANCE DAY 2006-BONAVISTA
Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Certificate of Achievement
Jim Cornish - Gander Academy
Official opening of the new Botwood and Peterview water system plant
With Leo Tulk, Mayor of Traytown and Dave Saunders, Mayor of Glovertown Glovertown-Alexander Bay Lions Club Senior’s Dinner
Buchans Christmas parade
With Knight Ron Southcott & wife Rita 87th Anniversary Notre Dame Council 2053 - Knights of Columbus Grand Falls-Windsor
With Gerald Strickland MB, Newman’s Cove, who will receive a Medal of Bravery from Her Excellency the Governor General on June 15, 2007
Delegation from China visits Gander Flight Training School
IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS House Debate Bill C-45 On February 23, the new Fisheries Act, Bill C-45, to replace the 138 year old Fisheries Act, was debated. The government is attempting to push the bill through and I and my colleagues felt that these important changes to our Fisheries Act were not given sufficient study and that in depth consultation was not carried out with stakeholders. I have heard from many of my constituents as well as stakeholder groups and fishers across the country confirming this fact. It was clear with the present numbers in the House that the bill might pass into legislation. I therefore stood on your behalf in the House of Commons and presented a Hoist Amendment Motion to the second reading of Bill C-45. Excerpts from the debate include the following: Mr. Scott Simms (Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, Lib): Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be standing here today to be talking about this significant act, there is no doubt about it. This is something that replaces an act that existed for well over 137 years, so certainly we take this very seriously. What I would like to do in my allotted time is just point out some of the questions that surround this particularly thick piece of legislation. Questions, I am afraid, probably outnumber all of the comments, all of the negativity, and even the positive comments that come from this. This is what is troubling to us. For the record, we had requested the government to send this to a committee before second reading, to widen the scope and to gain some insight from across this country. This will not be addressed by sending the legislation to committee after second reading. Unfortunately, it was dismissed and here we are finding ourselves today at second reading. The stakeholders across Canada are voicing disapproval with the Bill. The common theme here is lack of consultation. After second reading to go to committee is not the proper way to management. Therefore, I move the following amendment: That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after â€™Thatâ€™ and by substituting the following therefore: Bill C-45, An Act respecting the sustainable development of Canadaâ€™s sea coast and inland fisheries, be not now read a second time but that it be read a second time this day six months hence. Let the stakeholders have their say.