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A newspaper owned and operated in Newfoundland & Labrador

Vol. 2 Issue 22

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Sunday, May 30 - June 5, 2004

www.theindependent.ca

$1.00 (including HST)

Not tolerated in ‘white community’

Business Union crab Page 17

Former social workers in Sheshatshiu say community in desperate need of help By Connie Boland For The Sunday Independent CorNEr Brook

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International Voice From Away Page 19

Fashion trend or statement?

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Heather Taylor, Laura Nobel-Wohlgemut and Megan Robins wear Newfoundland “nationalism” merchandise. Do rising sales have more to do with politics or marketing? See story on page 7.

In Camera Twillingate Page 13

‘God sent me here’

Is FPI’s biggest U.S. competitor interested in buying the company’s American arm?

Sports rob Efford Page 25

Quote of the Week “Tell him I said he’s much too old and it has nothing to do with the chronology of his age, but everything to do with his ideas.” — Ed Broadbent on John Crosbie’s possible return to politics See story page 10

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ishery Products International’s biggest competitor in the United States is said to be interested in purchasing the seafood company’s marketing and value-added arm south of the border, The Sunday Independent has learned. The possible sale of 40 per cent of FPI’s American marketing and valueadded operations, which have been described as the company’s “jewel in the crown,” to Icelandic Freezing Plants Corporation, raises a multitude of questions. Until FPI’s recent annual general meeting, a representative of the Icleandic company — which already owns 15 per cent of FPI — served on the company’s board of directors. Another FPI competitor, Clearwater Fine Foods, which owns 12 per cent of FPI, still sits on the board. (John Crosbie also left recently.) News that FPI is looking to sell approximately 40 per cent of its American operations in a bid to pay down its $75 million debt has been around since The Independent broke the story last week, but the company has yet to brief its shareholders on what’s going on. “I can confirm that we’ve had some preliminary discussions with the province regarding certain opportunities that we’re

exploring internally,” says Russ Carrigan, spokesman for FPI in St. John’s. “However, because we’re a publicly traded company and subject to disclosure (regulations) it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time,” he says. “Our policy is not to comment on rumours. However, we’ve publicly stated that we are always reviewing alternatives and considering any opportunities to enhance shareholder value and do what’s in the best interests of FPI.” When FPI was taken over several years ago in a somewhat hostile takeover the new owners predicted share prices (which were then $11.95) would rise to the $20 mark. Share prices are currently selling for around $9.20. A move by the Icelandic company to buy a chunk of FPI’s U.S. division would apparently circumvent the FPI Act, which prevents a single shareholder from owning more than 15 per cent. That raises the question whether the company is trying to do through the back door what it couldn’t do through the front. Premier Danny Williams says FPI came to him and laid a proposal on his desk for review. He and Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor have already had preliminary meetings with company officials. Continued on page 2

Continued on page 21

New Newfoundlanders — Part 2

Icemen cometh By Jeff Ducharme and Ryan Cleary The Sunday Independent

olleen White drove to Sheshatshiu, Labrador, with a smile on her face and a one-day-at-a-time attitude. Like most newly minted university graduates, she was ready to change the world. White had heard the horror stories. She’d seen the drama that is Sheshatshiu play out in the media. She’d been told social workers burn out quickly in the troubled town. Still, she was interested in aboriginal issues, and eager to understand the Innu way of life, not change it. “I thought I would be there for years,” she says quietly. White lasted eight months. The registered social worker was employed with Health Labrador Corporation’s Child, Youth and Family Services district office in Sheshatshiu. She left because she felt powerless. The immedi-

acy of the crisis-oriented work was overwhelming. Making the situation worse was that no one outside the community of 1,400 seemed to care. But this story didn’t play out like so many others. Rather than leave in silence, White wrote and circulated an honest portrayal of what’s happening in Sheshatshiu. The 15-page report, titled Social Work in Sheshatshiu: A Unique Helping Landscape, outlines her experiences and the reality of the system. It also advocates for change. “I need to believe the people who have the power to make a difference are not fully aware of the extreme situation for clients and workers in this community,” White wrote in the report, a copy of which has been forwarded to Lloyd Wicks, the province’s child and youth advocate. “Otherwise, I would lose all faith in a

Pilar Muñoz and her family never expected to have to move to Newfoundland … now that they’re here they’ve found peace Editor’s note: This is the second in The Sunday Independent’s six-part series on The New Newfoundlanders — snapshots of some of the new faces and cultures that now call our province home. By Stephanie Porter The Sunday Independent n spite of all she went through in her home country, Pilar Muñoz’s first concern is that people not get a bad impression of Colombia. “My wish is not to talk about the very bad things in my country, the political situation, the guerrillas, the paramilitary, because my country is very beautiful,” she says. “I love my country.” It does sound lovely — and varied — with mountain ranges, savannah, plains, desert, jungle, beaches and large urban centres. It’s the only country in South America to border on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Even so, she and her family had no choice but to leave two years ago. Muñoz, her husband, and her two children moved to St. John’s in March 2002. “It has been difficult for me, and especially my children,” she says. “My husband is more relaxed.” Back in Columbia, Muñoz worked three job: She ran a small family consulting business; carried out contract

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Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Pilar Muñoz and her children, Esteban and Andrea, at their St. John’s home.

work at the university in Cali; and rented a house to people who paid to be taken care of. It’s that last job that brought on the trouble. Muñoz says she’s unsure of what exactly happened. “There is war in my country. If you go, you say, ‘Where? There’s no war here.’ All look very good,” she says hesitantly, still uncomfortable in conversation in English. “But the war is in the land, outside the

cities, and they have many problems … I’m here because I help one family … I take this family in my house for six months. These people (paramilitary) call me and say, get this family out. “After they go, they kidnap me — ask where the family is. It was very difficult for me to understand what happened. Over time, I help many people, and I never had a problem like this. This time I have this problem.” She survived the kidnapping, but knew

she and her family were in danger. She moved from village to village for a while. Eventually, word came that her family of four could move to St. John’s. Muñoz currently attends the English as a Second Language school on Elizabeth Avenue in St. John’s. She lives just down the road from there, in a place she says is a little Colombia — there are at least four other families in the vicinity. Continued on page 21


Page 2

NEWS

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

‘Couldn’t walk away’; social worker From page 1 system that does not support its own mandate to make efforts to intervene early in the lives of children at risk and to prevent child maltreatment and family breakdown.” Social workers in Sheshatshiu carry caseloads that are more than twice the provincial average. They often find themselves being reactive instead of proactive. Because of the language barrier, they are teamed with community service workers who — in their official capacity — accompany social workers on home visits, contact clients and serve court documents. Unofficially, community service workers indoctrinate non-Innu social workers into a unique culture. White, an articulate young woman in her late 20s now working in Wesleyville, was afforded a one-week learning curve after arriving in Sheshatshiu. “I couldn’t walk away and not speak out about the things I’ve seen,” she says. “I have to see if I can make a difference. I firmly believe the things that happen up there would never be tolerated in a white community. “You go in fresh and you gain confidence very quickly,” White continues, noting that in different circumstances Sheshatshiu would be an ideal training ground. But over a period of time your enthusiasm falters, she adds. “Knowing that you aren’t getting to the work that you should be doing, and feeling that you are failing families, is

White and was in her office only one hour before being handed more than 40 case files. The two formed a lasting friendship and Gallant, a graduate of McMaster University, helped White put together her report. Most people only see the media image of Sheshatshiu, Gallant says. “They see the stories that make the news, the negative and very rarely the positive. There’s more here than that. These are good-hearted people. Everybody helps everybody else, and there’s a lot of forgiveness.” “These are people with dreams, disappointments and struggles,” Gallant, currently a social worker in Flowers Cove on the Northern Peninsula, points out. “We were invited into the country with them. That’s where they get back their true identity. People who have a Greg Locke/ PictureDesk problem with alcohol in the comInnu children play in a house in the Innu village of Sheshatshiu, near Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The Innu band munity don’t drink in the county. is one of the native groups in Labrador and has been hit hard by poverty and substance abuse. They go there to heal. They live off the land and it’s amazing.” hard to take.” ity to ease the pain.” intrusive’ depending on the case, These social workers, who agoSocial workers are only able to White understands Sheshat- White explains. “In Sheshatshiu nized over their report, want peoprovide children in Sheshatshiu shiu's problems are generational there is no in-between. If a child is ple to see the community through with care that is less than ade- and deep-rooted. But they can be at risk you remove the child. There their eyes. Their report has been quate, White continues. addressed. “When your household is no time to counsel the family. presented to the community’s band “They live in homes where is struggling with addiction and “We have an act that’s just a council. social workers are aware of con- then you walk out the door and all piece of paper. It means nothing,” “Acknowledgement that social cerns around school, domestic see your friends and your commu- she says, clearly frustrated by the work in Sheshatshiu is severely violence and neglect but because nity struggling … It’s hard for situation. “People outside the com- lacking in the fulfillment of its the situation has not reached a anybody to break out of that,” she munity know exactly what’s hap- mandate to intervene in the lives sense of immediacy there is no says. “But this isn’t about money pening and they don’t care. It’s of children at risk is needed,” response. Social workers have to or relocating. It’s about support.” OK because it’s not happening in White stresses in her cover letter to wait until the situation cannot be The Child, Youth and Family a white community.” Wicks. “A commitment to provide And there’s another side to She- the quality of services that is ignored any longer. These chil- Services Act states that social dren learn to survive in their own workers are supposed to intervene shatshiu, one not often talked deserved by clients must follow. way, resorting to gas-sniffing, in the ‘least intrusive’ way into a about. Stephanie Gallant arrived in These children and families delinquency and sexual promiscu- family’s life, increasing to ‘most the community just days before deserve nothing less.”

Williams mum on possible deal From page 1 The premier says government lawyers have told him to keep mum on the subject, since any comments could affect stock prices and make the province libel. “… if they decide they are going to go ahead and proceed with (what) we think is in the adverse interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, then we have an option to legislate, but that’s not something we are contemplating at this time,” says Williams. Liberal MHA and Fisheries critic Gerry Reid says the premier has changed his tune. Compared to the attacks he launched at Reid when he was minister of Fisheries during the overthrow led by Derrick Rowe of then CEO Vic Young, Reid says

the premier’s stand has softened. “Two years ago when this same company was about to change its board of directors, a private company, this same individual, Danny Williams, said that we should prohibit this company from electing a board of directors,” says Reid. “So he has two standards, a standard he had prior to the election and then one he has now.” Reid says that Williams, a business tycoon in his on right, will be sympathetic to the concerns of FPI shareholders.

Williams says the Tories “are all over it.” “Anytime a government legislates on a business, it’s a business issue and this was a national issue the last time,” says Williams. “But ultimately our responsibility is to safeguard Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.” Reid and Williams agree on one point; FPI is very much woven into the fabric of Newfoundland and Labrador. “ … it has been a successful business and it needs to flourish

and expand within the limits (but) still fulfilling its social applications to the province that created it and that’s the bottom line,” says the premier. Without the marketing arm of FPI, Reid says it will be “only a matter of a year or two and the company is gone in Newfoundland. “Without FPI being a strong company, certainly on the Burin Peninsula, on the south coast, on the Bonavista Peninsula and in the Triton area, you are going to see large portions of rural Newfound-

land and Labrador wiped out, there’s no doubt about it.” The U.S. arm of FPI that’s for sale includes 40 per cent of the marketing and value-added arm. Much of the fish processed in Newfoundland and Labrador is shipped to the American-based plant where it produces a number of products. The U.S. marketing arm then markets the products across North America. In 2003, FPI’s marketing and value-added arm recorded sales of $487 million.


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

NEWS

Page 3

Foreign-caught fish processed locally

Insurance reform will force rates down

By Ryan Cleary The Sunday Independent

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he province’s Fisheries Department has confirmed for The Sunday Independent that fish caught by foreign trawlers outside Canada’s 200mile limit is being processed in fish plants here in the province. At the same time, the Fisheries Act prohibits government officials from releasing further details. “Because three or fewer companies are involved we’re not able to give you the information,” an official told The Independent. “The department is bound by secrecy not to divulge the information to protect the privacy and confidentiality of private companies.” According to figures from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, an estimated 43,000 tonnes of fish caught by foreign factory freezer trawlers just outside the 200-mile limit was landed in Newfoundland ports over a 12month period ending October 2003. The landings included 25,000 tonnes of shrimp and 13,000 tonnes of groundfish species such as turbot and redfish. Most of the product was landed in ports here for “trans-shipment” to markets around the world. In last week’s edition of The Sunday Independent, provincial Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor said he isn’t aware of fish caught by foreign trawlers outside Canadian waters being sold in local markets. Sources told The Independent that has indeed been the case, which would seem to undermine efforts to end foreign fishing on the high seas. Sources also say that some of the fish has included cod and flounder, species under moratoria. The continued fishing of migratory fish stocks outside Canadian waters has been blamed for the steady decline of fish stocks off the province’s shores. Groundfish species such as northern cod have been declared endangered, despite the closure of most domestic commercial fisheries since the early 1990s. Foreign trawlers are routinely cited for illegal fishing practices, including the use of undersized mesh and fishing for species under moratoria. Ironically, some of the shrimp that’s landed here ends up in European markets, although it’s not subject to the same European Union tariff of 15 per cent that’s tacked on to the price of Canadiancaught shrimp. Thousands of tonnes of foreigncaught fish are landed every year

Savings driven home By Jeff Ducharme The Sunday Independent

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Paul Daly photo/The Sunday Independent

At least three fish processing companies in the province are processing fish caught by foreign vessels outside the 200-mile limit. Under the Fisheries Act, Fisheries officials are prohibited from releasing details.

in Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, and Coley’s Point — ports in the riding of MP John Efford, Newfoundland representative in the federal cabinet. Once the fish is landed, it’s stored in freezers before being shipped to foreign destinations. Foreign ships also buy fuel and supplies, creating an industry worth millions of dollars to local economies. Efford says he’s well aware of foreign-caught shrimp being landed at local ports. As for foreigncaught groundfish being processed here, he pleads ignorance. “I’d be an awful angry person if I knew that was happening,” he

told The Independent. According to Efford, the Nunavut government made a request to DFO recently to hire a foreign trawler to catch a small turbot. Efford says he made sure the request was denied. “There’s absolutely no way will any foreign vessel come into our waters and harvest our fish when we have Canadian vessels in there and they’re out there raping the stocks on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.” Efford rejects the notion that the shipment of foreign-caught fish from Newfoundland ports and resulting industry is undermining efforts to end foreign fishing. “I’ve never said that foreign

ships should not be fishing the international waters … the Spanish and the Portuguese fished out there probably before Newfoundland did 500 years ago,” he says. “What I’ve said is that Canada should have custodial management — not to drive away the ships that are out there fishing but to make sure that they’re fishing under conservation rules implemented by Canadian science.” In the past, Canada has closed its ports to countries such as the Faroe Islands as punishment for overfishing. The ports were reopened after the Faroe Islands promised that fishermen from there would mend their ways.

he Danny Williams government has made good on one of its election promises and introduced legislation that will save drivers as much as 20 per cent. An Act to Amend the Automobile Insurance Act is expected to be passed this week. It’s said to be one of the final pieces of legislation to be tabled by the Tories before the House of Assembly breaks for the summer. Drivers in the province have long grinded their gears in frustration over high insurance premiums. The new legislation will force insurance companies to give drivers a break, with average rates on the Avalon dropping to $990 from $1,140. Labrador rates will drop to $595 from $710 and the remainder of the island will see some of the largest savings as premiums plummet to $630 from $765. The new rates will be frozen for one year or until a “closedclaims” study is completed and hearings conducted by the Public Utilities Board. Insurance companies will be required to issue rebates to drivers for the remainder of any outstanding policy. While insurance companies will no longer be able to rate drivers because of a lapse in coverage (undisclosed convictions, missed payments or having a licence suspended due to driving with no insurance are not covered), the jury is still out as to whether government will also force insurance companies to stop rating drivers based on age, gender or marital status. Companies, however, can’t refuse coverage based on such rating guidelines. The legislation also carries a penalty for insurance firms that decide to fold up their tents and leave the province. Companies now have to give six months notice or face penalties that start at $100,000 and go as high as $1 million. Drivers who choose to thumb their noses at the law won’t be left off the hook. The fines for those nabbed without insurance will increase to a minimum of $2,000 for a first offence and rise to a maximum $4,000.


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The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Gospel according to John An independent voice for Newfoundland & Labrador

P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C St. John’s, Newfoundland A1C 5X4 Tel: 709-726-4639 Fax: 709-726-8499 www.theindependent.ca The Sunday Independent is published by The Sunday Independent, Inc. in St. John’s. It is an independent newspaper covering the news, issues and current affairs that affect the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.

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he one certainty about John Crosbie’s election campaign, if there even is one, is that he won’t be knocking on many doors. For that he’d have to take certain steps, and even baby ones these days seem to be a chore. The first book of Crosbie’s life was titled No Holds barred and the second may just as easily be called No Olds Barred, which is precisely how John Efford, the other driver on the Avalon raceway, pronounces the first book anyway. Crosbie is an old man, but a game one, give him that. If only there were as many spirited 70 year olds. The best and worst thing about returning to politics after retiring and writing a book is … the book. It was seven years ago in 1997 that Crosbie laid out 505 pages of his best secrets and strategies in black and white. He assumed he’d never need them again, which was a wrong assumption. For a man of such admitted intelligence, Crosbie forgot the first rule of politics: Never say never. Could that be a sign of creeping years? For someone who spends so much of the day (media interviews anyway) with his eyes closed, he shouldn’t be overly worn. But then it’s also been said he thinks with his lids down, which would make the campaign steps even trickier at the age of 73. Given the memoirs, it’s not necessary to interview Crosbie for his views on various topics. Too bad the book doesn’t come with a mike for The Independent’s electronic friends. Find Crosbie’s thoughts on patronage on page 402. I believe in political patronage. Leaders shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about looking after their supporters. Patronage is a good thing. It’s essential to the democratic process. It makes the party system work. We should have more patronage, not less. Count on Crosbie to tell it like it is.

How about his stand on joint federal/provincial fisheries management, a topic that never quite goes away. When Crosbie was federal minister responsible for Fisheries, he had the power to make joint management so, but didn’t. Joint management would have given Newfoundland control not only over fish quotas for Newfoundland fishermen, but over some fish taken by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick fishermen as well. Joint management couldn’t work unless all four Atlantic provinces, plus Quebec agreed. So joint management is out if the Conservatives win and Crosbie returns to Fisheries, which isn’t likely with Loyola Hearn in the mix. But then will the federal Tories (if the new party still goes by the same nickname) have a chance of winning the election given its rickety start in life? My later experiences, however, taught me that what counts with political parties is not their name, but what they do and whom they are led by. Would Stephen Harper put Crosbie back in cabinet is another question? Crosbie can be a loose cannon in the House of Commons, at least now he wouldn’t have Sheila Tequila to get him going. But then if Sheila had of given politics another shot, Crosbie would have told her again to just

quiet down baby. Sheila’s big problem was having no sense of humour. Jumping ahead a few pages there’s mention of the time in the early 1990s that Crosbie told a roomful of 400 PEIers the poverty line had dipped since the Tories took office. “… and that includes 297,000 fewer children and 333,000 fewer adult women, if there are any.” Crosbie probably doesn’t get birthday cards from many women’s groups. But then he’s probably not waiting at the end of his drive everyday for the mail to arrive. He’s been around long enough to have certain statements come back to haunt him. It was early in 2003 that he described Ottawa as a “wasteland.” He predicted at the time that the Tories would never join forces with the Canadian Alliance and the Alliance will never win power on its own. Here we are a little more than 18 months later and the parties have been merged and Crosbie is talking about a resurrection. He knew when to leave in 1993 before Kim Campbell was slaughtered at the polls. Does he see a ray of hope now, 11 years later? The thought of a heavyweight bout between Crosbie and Efford is exciting, a title match the likes of which this province hasn’t seen

since Crosbie tangled with Joey for the reigns of the provincial Liberals. Efford would knock on more doors, no doubt, but Crosbie would still pack them in at the legions and star of the sea halls. The question has to be asked whether Crosbie is considering a return for the right reasons. Does he still have a contribution to make, or is he more interested in wiping the smug smile off Efford’s face? Could it be that Crosbie is sacrificing himself for the greater good? That question is also addressed in the book. After a life in politics, I deeply regret that I cannot encourage my own children to leave their careers and take up the challenges of elected office. They would be risking their own future and the security of their spouses and children. But then why should the next generation miss all the fun? Crosbie was expected to announce his candidacy this past Friday but Lady Jane took ill. Perhaps that’s a sign for the Codfather. Jane certainly knows her man well. “Every square part of him is a politician,” she once said. Get well Jane, and talk some sense into your man. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Sunday Independent rcleary@theindependent.ca

© 2004 The Sunday Independent

Letters to the Editor

LETTERS POLIcy The Sunday Independent welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be 300 words in length or less and include full name, mailing address and daytime contact numbers. Letters may be edited for length, content and legal considerations. Send your letters in care of The Sunday Independent, P.O. Box 5891, Station C, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5X4 or e-mail us at editorial@theindependent.ca

‘Shackled’ by Terms of union Dear editor, There is probably not a Newfoundlander alive today who is not aware that it was the Canadian Supreme Court, at the bidding of the federal government, that ruled: (a) The obscenely unjust Churchill Falls contract to be legally binding. (1983 and again in 1988). (b) The legality of Canada’s claim to ownership of Newfoundland’s offshore oil and gas resources (1984). (c) The legality of Canada’s claim that jurisdiction over Newfoundland’s fisheries extends from management and protection to include absolute ownership and the right to exploit the resource in the

best economic interest of the nation. (Reaffirmed by the Ward v. Canada case, 2002). It is well know the manner in which this later law has been applied. What is, perhaps, not considered to the same extent is the fact that each of those near mortal blows were delivered during the watch of governments led by federal Liberal prime ministers. Having been relieved of almost every means of self-sufficiency, Newfoundland has not fared well in Confederation, and, except for a couple of relatively brief interludes, our dance into oblivion has been called to the rhythm of a Liberal tune. Had Joe

Clarke and John Crosbie not been such fools, our situation, at least with regards to sharing in the wealth of our offshore oil and gas resources might have been different. However, with Trudeau and his lieutenant, Energy Minister Marc Lalonde, returned to welcome in the 1980s, and about to embark on their infamous National Energy Program, it was kiss good-bye to any hope of that happening. While it was the Supreme Court that had the final say on all those contracts, it would be foolish to blame the court, for the judges merely ruled on their constitutional legitimacy. For the source of our

subservience to those contracts we must go back to what was signed on our behalf by the silly six in 1948 and subsequently compounded by Smallwood in 1966. It is the socalled Terms of Union that is our nemesis. That is what must be fixed if we are ever to prosper in this Confederation, but, assuredly, that will not happen by continuing to send representatives, cap in hand, to that same Liberal political regime that was responsible for writing those shackling Terms of Union in the first instance. Lloyd C. Rees St. John’s


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

NEWS

Page 5

West Words

by Frank Carroll

Atmosphere of fear T

he schoolyard at Sacred Heart Elementary in Placentia wasn’t the safest place on earth for a guy like me. It was bad enough being a new kid in town, but when I transferred from St. Peter’s in Jerseyside, I had hair down to my shoulders and looked like a girl. I was small, bookish and a little soft. It was all more than enough to bring my sexuality into question. One of my most vivid memories from Sacred Heart is of an older and much tougher boy threatening me in the schoolyard. I remember him calling me a fag and saying he wanted to beat the crap out of me. What I remember most, though, was the look of hatred on his face. That’s the way it was back then, even if you were just suspected of being gay. If I had known then the origins of the word fag, I would have been even more scared. It comes from the word faggot — a bundle of firewood, a holdover from medieval times when homosexuals were burned at the stake. The word has lost some of its power but is still fearsome to gays because they know it can be a harbinger of violence. The rumour that I was gay followed me into high school. Most

people were observant enough to academia and the gay rights see that I liked girls, but the threat movement into the mainstream — of violence remained — if not homophobia, a fear or hatred of against me then against guys who homosexuals. If the person who either were gay or were merely coined the term meant to put disaccused of it. dain for homosexuals on par with Things aren’t the same way racism and sexism, it worked. today. Young peoLast week, a ple have a much Leger Marketing more liberal outpoll suggested that look, a reflection of almost 60 per cent For centuries, what’s going on in of Canadians homosexuals have believe that homothe rest of society. Harassment and been vilified. Today, phobia is as bad as violence against many people of faith racism. homosexuals still In many ways, exists, but not as are vilified for their that’s good news. common and cer- beliefs. Perhaps one Hatred is hatred, no tainly not as acceptmatter what group day we’ll settle on it targets. To verbaled as they were when I was a kid. ly or physically a more civilized This change in abuse people, to approach to attitude is hardly deny them employnew. As a young ment or educational discussing reporter, I could see opportunities, to differences the tide turning stereotype, shun or within the decade in any way treat of opinion. after my graduation them unkindly from high school in because of their 1981. Teens were sexuality is wrong. speaking out openly in classrooms Beneath the surface of the Leger against the mistreatment of homo- Marketing poll, however, is a trousexuals — something that just bling issue. Just what constitutes wasn’t done in my day. homophobia? What exactly is During the 1980s a new word being equated to racism? emerged from the obscurity of Are people who oppose gay

marriage on religious or ethical grounds automatically homophobic? Of course not. Yet that accusation is often leveled against them. It is not necessarily homophobic to believe that children are best raised in a stable home by a loving mother and father. Neither is it necessarily homophobic to believe it is easier to raise children in a society that reinforces the traditional family model. For those who support gay marriage, it is a matter of individual freedom and equal rights. For those who oppose it, it is not just a matter of personal morality but also one of societal values that affect the environment in which their children are raised. It is unnecessary and unproductive to demonize anyone on either side of this clash of values. Furthermore, a thorough and honest discussion of these issues is unlikely to occur in an atmosphere of fear. In my experience, I’ve learned that people are more afraid of embarrassment and shame than just about anything else. And nothing could be more shameful in our society than being equated with a racist. The word homophobe has been

Rant and Reason

used legitimately against hatemongers and thugs. But it has also had the effect of stifling an open and thorough exploration of very important questions on child rearing and the nature of human sexuality. Many people are afraid to broach these issues for fear of being branded homophobic. For centuries, homosexuals have been vilified. Today, many people of faith are vilified for their beliefs. Perhaps one day we’ll settle on a more civilized approach to discussing differences of opinion. Frank Carroll is a journalism instructor at the College of the North Atlantic’s Stephenville campus. He can be reached at frank_carroll_nf@yahoo.ca

by Ivan Morgan

‘Asinine, pointless and pathetic posturing’

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isibly shaken, a man calls his family members to the kitchen. Kids pull reluctantly away from the TV. A son comes in from outside, where he has been shooting a street hockey ball against the garage door. Entering the kitchen they sense something is wrong. He tells them. “I’ve lost my job. I’ve been laid off in the latest round of cutbacks. There’s no work for me in the community — hell there’s nothing in the area. It isn’t like I can do anything about it. I’m too young to get a pension. Without that job I can’t afford the car — I can’t afford this house. We have to move.” Good-bye friends. Good-bye family. Good-bye community. A woman sits quietly in her living room. The TV is on softly in the background, but she doesn’t really notice. Sitting quietly with a cup of tea, you’d never guess that her heart was near pounding out of her chest. A tumour, the doctor said. Hopefully, he said, it won’t spread before the tests begin — in a couple of weeks … hopefully. Her mind races. In St. John’s a highway exists that has never been driven on, never opened, but is slowly

developing cracks and the beginnings of a few potholes. These are some of the many problems that plague the people of this province. In the idiotic upbeat jargon of modern politics, they are “challenges” that people are elected to solve. And are the people elected to oversee the spending of our hard-won and begrudgingly-given tax dollars working tirelessly to over come them? No. Instead we are treated to the spectacle of Percy Barrett and Fabian Manning. Here’s a few words to describe your behaviour, gentlemen. You have been behaving like a pair of puerile troglodytes (here’s a hint — get one of your executive assistants to look those words up for you). Are you insulted yet? Read on. Like many Newfoundlanders, I have taken the time and trouble to read a few books and try and build in my consciousness a crude sketch of the litany of folly and suffering that we euphemistically refer to as our “history.” Whether local or global, as a young man I wondered in amazement how things could go so wrong. Not now. When I watch the

goings on in the House of Assembly, the catcalls, the jeering and, now, the infantile, pathetic bully-boy posturing of the likes of Manning and Barrett I understand all too well how things can go from bad to worse. It is one thing for a government (think the last administra-

The country is saddled with the worst debt in our history. Our resources continue to be shipped, trucked or flown away at an alarming rate. We see little or nothing in return. Our children leave the province never to return. tion) to be asleep at the wheel. It is quite another when members of the legislature are so stupid, so self-absorbed, so apparently indifferent to the fears, aspirations and desperate dreams of the people they purport to represent that they have crawled into the back to fight, and then bawl at us about whose ‘fault” it might be as we cling grimly to our seats, watching in

slow motion horror as the bus we are all in careens off the highway into the abyss. Excuse me for running with that metaphor a little far. I’m upset. If either of you two are reading this and wondering if you can sue either me or the paper then you are even stupider than I thought. This might come as a revelation to you, but a lot of us out here are living month to month on a wish and a prayer, hoping that we don’t end up looking down the barrel of one of the “tough decisions” you clowns keep making in between your stupid, pointless, childish games. The House of Assembly is supposed to be about us. It is not and never was supposed to be about you. It is we who pay for it. It is we who pay you to be in it. It is we who drag our weary selves home at the end of the day and turn on the evening news, not expecting to be subjected to your asinine, pointless and pathetic posturing. The province is saddled with the worst debt in our history. Our resources continue to be shipped, trucked or flown away at an alarming rate. We see little or nothing in return. Our chil-

dren leave the province never to return. Schools are too crowded, hospitals over worked, our roads and bridges are crumbling. And instead of any kind of solution — or even the appearance of a solution — we get you two a-holes — and I don’t know if Cleary or the paper will let me use this word, but boys oh boys that is the word — squawking at each other on the evenings news. It is enough to make you weep. We are in one hell of a big mess. We need politicians who will work hard to help us find our way through it. We do not need this adolescent rubbish cluttering up our news broadcasts. Gentlemen, get over yourselves. Ivan Morgan can be reached at imorgan@elvis.com


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Opinions Are Like...

NEWS

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

by Jeff Ducharme

Caught in the headlights Q

uick, somebody get the lifejackets out because the lemmings’ four or five-year run to the sea is about to begin in earnest. It’s hard to have faith in an electorate that acts more like lemmings looking for a cliff to leap from than entities capable of rationale thought. NDP leader Jack Layton is right about one thing: Politics in Canada is a popularity contest. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover for the presidency of our neigbour to the south. But had TV existed, FDR would never have even received the Democratic nomination. At the age of 39, FDR was stricken with a disease that robbed him of much of the use of his legs. He often had to seek the respite of a wheelchair when his legs could no longer carry him. His handlers went to great lengths to ensure that he was almost never pictured in a wheelchair or using crutches. A man who couldn’t walk under his own power, it was thought, could hardly make a strong president. FDR, you may recall, was the American president who uttered those unforgettable words, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” FDR knew those words all too well. He not only uttered them, he lived by them. At the 1924 Democratic convention he made a dramatic appearance on crutches — it was a moment that would have snuffed out the political aspirations of any man. The electorate, then or now, isn’t known for supporting cripples. Had there been TV cameras during the 1932 presidential campaign, Hoover would have been elected and history would have been very different. There would have been no New Deal and no one to bring the world’s largest democracy out of the darkness that was the Great Depression. FDR served four terms and endeared himself to a people and a nation, all the while sitting in a wheelchair. TV has provided us with a very different way to judge potential leaders. Nice hair and teeth are often more important than good policy or decisive action. Image has become more important than substance. Ask most Canadians why they voted for a specific politician and they’ll look at you with a vacant gaze akin to a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Just like that deer, they know the car’s

going to hit them, but they just don’t know what to do next. One would have hoped that scandals would have become the wheelchair of our time, but nothing could be further from the truth. The media flogs politicians for every misstep, but it seems that when it comes time to go into the voting booth and mark an X, the electorate suffers from amnesia or maybe they just see those headlights coming their way again. Prime Minister Paul Martin’s sponsorship scandal is hardly the worst scandal this country has ever faced. My goodness, it was only $100 million. That’s hardly a ripple in the political-patronage trough that rules this country. If the sponsorship scandal were, in fact, the worst scandal to plague this country, then we’d be in pretty good shape. That cold shiver I just felt on the back of my neck was Brian Mulroney tapping me on the shoulder and asking me if I own any airline stocks. One day, maybe, Canadians will tell the media to go to hell and refuse to act like lemmings gleefully running towards the nearest ocean bluff. The hell with how nice a politician’s hair looks under the lights of the camera or how white the teeth are. Don’t let the media tell you who to vote for or why. Don’t let polls tell you who you should vote for. Vote based on the issues. Vote for the person you believe in. Vote for the person you feel can make your corner of the world a better place. And then if they don’t deliver, make them accountable; dog their every step. On June 28 the headlights will be pointed in the direction of every Canadian — don’t stand in the middle of the road and let the campaign busses run you over. Jeff Ducharme is The Independent’s senior writer. jeff.ducharme@theindependent.ca

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Goalie’s burden Tyler Smith of St. John’s carries his net away after a recent game of street hockey. He was headed home to join his pop for a cup of tea.


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

NEWS

Page 7

‘Free Newfoundland’ The truth about nationalism — is it alive and well or a gimmick to sell T-shirts? By Alisha Morrissey The Sunday Independent

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-shirts and underwear scream Free Newfoundland and anti-Confederation statements seem to be all the rage on open-line shows, but is nationalism alive and well in this province or just the flavour of the week? Depends on whom you talk to. Bill Rowe, host of VOCM’s Open Line, says there are an increasing number of discussions about Newfoundland’s place in Canada on his popular morning radio show. “I know personally as a Newfoundlander I feel it and I think more of the people who call Open Line feel oppressed by the lack of political power, the impotence of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada,” says Rowe, referring to the fact this province has only seven of the 308 seats in the House of Commons. The feeling that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians may never be able to pull themselves up by their boot straps is a source of frustration for those tuning into Rowe’s show. “I do think there’s a feeling of — not nationalism — but of serious discontent,” he says. “There is that feeling of we are as good as anybody else, no better than, no worse than, and we need to be treated in a fair and rational way in Canada.” Nationalism these days comes in many forms. T-shirts, baseball caps and even swimsuits show off the pink, white and green of the old Newfoundland flag. Stores are cashing in on the movement, for lack of a better word. Anita Carroll, owner of Posie Row, a shop on Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s, says the customers who understand anticonfederate sentiments are the ones who buy nationalist merchandise. The customers who ask about the meaning of the flag often buy other souvenirs. “We couldn’t keep them when we got them first,” she says of the Free Newfoundland T-shirt design that’s now printed on everything

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Jennifer Dyke (left) and Karen Williams window shop outside Posie Row, a shop on Duckworth Street in St. John’s.

from notebooks to thong panties. Carroll says customers often buy the items to send to Newfoundlanders living away. Customers want the products with the Newfoundland flag for two reasons, she says. One is the way this place has been treated by Canada. “We’ve gotten a raw deal here,” Carroll says. The other reason is that despite hardships Newfoundlanders have an unrivaled sense of humour about themselves. “It’s a tongue-in-cheek sort of comment,” she says, glancing at the T-shirts that show Newfoundland’s “Liberation Army” — a group of silhouetted artists holding up various musical instruments, as opposed to weapons. Peter Boswell, a political science professor with Memorial University in St. John’s, says references to this province having once been a republic are “nonsense.”

“It exists only in the figment of someone’s imagination ... Newfoundland was never a republic,” says Boswell. In fact, Newfoundland was a dominion before Confederation. Boswell questions the theory of a resurgence of anti-confederate ideas. “It’s been going on for ages,” he says, adding he called it neonationalism during the Brian Peckford years of the 1980s. “This whole bit of Newfoundland independence, Newfoundland separation, whatever you want to call it, is not in the mainstream consciousness of Newfoundlanders … I don’t think it has any currency in Newfoundland politics.” Boswell says nationalism is really about having a sense of humor about the treatment of Newfoundlanders. “It’s almost a joke. It can’t be

taken seriously in a political context.” Roger Grimes, leader of the Liberal Opposition, says he believes last year’s royal commission that explored the province’s place in Canada created awareness and maybe even a resurgence of nationalism. “In my view it’s that more and more people are clearly coming to the conclusion that within the federation of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador isn’t getting their fair share,” he says. “We are generating terrific amounts of economic activity and wealth but it’s not staying in the province.” In a March interview with The Sunday Independent, Grimes spoke of the new wave of “Newfie pride.” “I think it’s here,” he said at the time, going so far as to call for the

creation of a bloc-style party in this province, similar to the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec. “It’s in coffee shops, in social clubs, it’s in people meeting and chatting. I’ve been in all kinds of conversations where people have really looked at it.” While Grimes understands the province’s desire to get a better deal with Ottawa, he says the battle is to get the right treatment rather than go off on our own. “I still feel in balance that we can be better off globally as part of a nation like Canada than trying to stand on our own. It’s just that we have to better educate Canadians.” Grimes says one of the best ways to educate mainlanders is with a sense of humour. “There are many, many ways to get to get a point across … You can sometimes educate people with a light hearted joke (the same) as a dissertation.”


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NEWS

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Photos by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Loyola Hearn, Peg Norman and Siobhan Coady.

Voter focus Are the electorate of St. John’s South more concerned about local issues or the bigger question — who will lead the country? By Clare-Marie Gosse For The Sunday Independent

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ith the federal election less than a month away, voters in St. John’s South are trying to decide where their political priorities lie. A slew of government changes have dominated this past year: Canada has a new prime minister in Paul Martin, and a merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance has created a viable – albeit controversial – contender for the top spot in the form of Conservative leader Stephen Harper. Are voters concentrating on the campaigns of their local candidates, or will concern over the future leader of Canada cause them to broaden their focus? Conservative candidate Loyola Hearn is confident in his campaign for re-election. He was elected as MP for the riding in a May 2000 byelection and reelected in the general election of November of that same year when he won by more than 9,000 votes. “It would be very unfair not to offer (my services) again to the people. We have a few issues that mean a lot to our province, and I think I have been instrumental in getting them on the agenda, and I’m not sure if anyone else will pick them up,” he says. Hearn has proved his willingness to fight for the province by recently spearheading a private member’s motion calling on Ottawa to take custodial management of the Grand Banks, which helped draw attention to foreign overfishing. Despite his popularity, Hearn is now working under a completely new party regime. “Times change and issues change,” he says, “things could be different. We could do better,

or we may not do as well.” Liberal candidate Siobhan Coady is hoping for the latter. She has been exhaustively promoting her electoral campaign. A self-confessed “hard worker,” Coady boasts an impressive resume of business and volunteer commitments, and has been exceptionally enthusiastic in terms of advertising, with signs posted days before the election call. “I’m very passionate about this place, Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s South. I want to ensure that we have every opportunity available to us under the Government of Canada,” she says.

“I’m very passionate about this place, Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s South. I want to ensure that we have every opportunity available to us under the Government of Canada.” — Siobhan Coady

“We have a great opportunity, and we’re working very hard. We’ve been out for the last several months, going door-to-door and talking with people.” Coady is confident she can win this election, dismissing the hold the Progressive Conservatives have held on the riding in the past, saying there has always been strong support for change. Outspoken NDP candidate Peg Norman is another significant contender. “I’m frustrated and angry and disillusioned with what’s been happening in Ottawa,” she says. In her nomination speech she called Martin “a big white Liberal elephant”

and Harper “a growling Reform/Conservative woolly mammoth.” She admits to being someone who “rarely ever backs down,” and when asked about how many votes she hopes to land, she exclaims “The majority of them.” “If we continue to send Liberal and Conservative members to Ottawa they will continue to be muzzled. They forget where they come from,” she says when asked about the continuing problem of the province’s exploited resources. She challenges the voters of St. John’s South to force a change and subsequently witness the results. The four candidates possess widely contrasting personalities, but when it comes to the important issues affecting their campaigns, they all cite health care and local resources as their top two. Self-described as “solid and honest,” Green Party member Steve Willcott says his No. 1 reason for getting involved in the election is health care. “No politicians across Canada have taken a strong enough stance, if they had, I wouldn’t feel such a need to run.” He explains how losing two family members to cancer within just a few years really allowed him to see “how the system runs.” He says he wants the government to stop throwing money at problems, and to tackle the relevant issues with adequate education, by informing people of the right ways to take care of themselves, nutritionally as well as academically. He mentions his own $40,000 student debt as an example of the difficulties faced by society. Hearn holds similar views regarding health care. “We throw money as our social safety net simply because people are in need.” He goes on to say that if

people were better educated, without “incurring a debt that will be hanging around their necks for the rest of their life,” they would become better contributors to society and generate more money. “To me it’s a nobrainer.” Both Coady and Norman relay concerns about areas such as pharmacare, medicare, home care and child care. Norman is worried, however, that the issues “will be left off without the NDP influence.” “We have to fix our health care,” says Coady. “It has to be a partnership, there has to be discussion between all the provinces.”

All four candidates agree that better controls over the province’s offshore resources and fisheries are of vital importance. They also agree that health care is in crisis and that Ottawa should pay attention to what the province needs. “During the election you’re going to find many people basically fighting each other,” says Hearn, “but you would find that if you were to put us all in the one room and take off the party labels, most of us would understand fully the issues.” What voters in St. John’s South have to decide is who in that room will have the strongest voice.


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

NEWS

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The two Johnnys Riding of Avalon may be the one to watch if Crosbie gives it a go

By Jeff Ducharme The Sunday Independent

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ith weeks to go until the federal election, Newfoundland is shaping up to be one of the most watched regions in the country. “It’s going to be the riding to watch not just in Newfoundland, but in much of the country,” says Ray Andrews about what he calls the “two-Johnnys” race in the federal riding of Avalon. While Tory heavyweight John Crosbie called off his election announcement late last week due to a family illness, he still may announce the political comeback of the decade and do battle with federal Liberal cabinet minister John Efford. Andrews grew up with Efford in Port de Grave and worked on Crosbie’s campaigns during the glory years. Andrews, who ran unsuccessfully as a Tory in two provincial elections, says it’s just too close to call, but someone with the name Johnny “is going to win. “It’s the most interesting election federally that we certainly have had since the last Mulroney victory back in the late ’80s,” says Andrews, 63. The latest poll, conducted by The Toronto Star and Montreal’s La Presse, shows Paul Martin’s Liberals leading with 38 per cent and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives slowly gaining ground at 30 per cent. The NDP has 18 per cent support. “It’s going to be hard fought

Photos by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

John Crosbie and John Efford

and there’s no question about it this time that, I would think, most people who are being completely honest would admit that there’s the real possibility of a minority government. What people are really wondering out loud is who is going to be the minority prime minister,” says Andrews. According to the same poll, undecided voters are hovering

close to 50 per cent. Peter Fenwick once stood at the helm of the provincial NDP and jumped to the now-defunct Alliance party in a failed bid to win a federal seat in the 2000 election. He says voter turnout numbers that traditionally float near 60 per cent show that many Canadians consider trudging to the polls simply not worth the

effort. “The rest of them (undecided voters) look at it and say it’s not worth it,” says Fenwick. The political commentator and owner of a bed and breakfast in Cape St. George, says the NDP’s best hope to win a seat is Father Des McGrath in the riding of Random-Burin-St. George’s. McGrath, who helped form the

Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union, will duke it out with onetime Tory and now Liberal incumbent Bill Mathews. “I used to say that Des McGrath was the only priest who will be written up in Newfoundland history books in a positive manner,” says Fenwick. “The guy went way beyond t he normal bounds of what priests do and made a social difference. “I’m not saying he’s going to (win) because it’s a hell of a Liberal bastion to knock down …” While the polls say that the Liberals will likely retain power, the party’s grasp on a majority may steadily be slipping away. “There was a time, even a few months ago, that I thought (a Liberal majority) was a forgone conclusion … but I think now it’s a wide-open race and there is a remote possibility, maybe even a good possibility, that Harper will, in fact, lead a minority government,” says Andrews. While the numbers are expected to change little in the west, Quebec or even in Atlantic Canada, the election is expected to be won or lost depending on how the cards fall around Ontario’s 106 seats. “When one party takes 97 or 98 per cent of the seats two elections in a row, the chances of doing that the third time especially with all the issues and people we have on the carpet right now — there’s no chance of that happening,” says Andrews. “The Liberals will lose a goodly number of seats in Ontario and that’s the key to it all.”

Making movies More than 20 film projects under development in the province this year By Alisha Morrissey The Sunday Independent

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f the $1 million spent last year by the province’s film development corporation on 20 projects, only four documentaries and three television series made it to the screen. But Leo Furey, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, says that’s not the only measure of the corporation’s worth. “Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t,” says Furey. “Through sheer volume some have to come through.” During 2001 through 2002 three big budget films — Rare Birds, Random Passage and The Shipping News — brought in $20 million to the provincial film industry, says Furey, adding the spinoff revenues were “phenomenal.” He says he’ll “keep the development cooker hopping” until the film development corporation reaches its goal of generating $20-million worth of business a year and employs 700 to 800 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. “If we can sustain that ... it’ll be a legitimate industry and we won’t have to worry about Hollywood and Toronto.” The corporation has been allotted $1 million a year (including 2004) by the

provincial government. In turn, the corporation issues small repayable grants to film and television projects. Furey describes the $1 million pot as an advantage to the local film community. “This is a game of leveraging funds,” he says, explaining that it’s much easier for a film to drum up further funding once there’s seed money already in place for the production. Worthy projects that follow guidelines set out by the corporation can receive up to $250,000. The catch for filmmakers is that every penny must be paid back by the shooting of the first scene unless the corporation green lights another grant to the project. The film corporation also provides a tax credit of 40 per cent to filmmakers for each local resident they employ. Since salaries usually eat up about half the cost of a film’s budget, Furey says the tax credit can be tempting to international filmmakers. “That’s money that’s new money coming into the province ... from broadcasters.” Furey says there are at least 25 film projects under development in the province this year, including a pilot television show with Mary Walsh for CBC television and a television series for the Family Channel. Several locally produced films will also be set aside some funding for production this year.

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Leo Furey, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corp.


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NEWS

The Sunday Independent, May 03, 2004

Not dead yet NDP legend Ed Broadbent talks about Crosbie-induced nightmares By Jeff Ducharme The Sunday Independent

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f John Crosbie runs (and wins) and Ed Broadbent takes his seat, their first encounter in the House of Commons might be one of the more entertaining moments to watch for. “Oh it will bring back nightmares,” says former NDP leader Ed Broadbent of Crosbie, his former political sparring partner. “I don’t know (what will happen) but I’m sure he’ll have a word for it,” Broadbent told The Sunday Independent in an interview from his home in Ottawa. Political comebacks may just be the biggest news when the ballots are counted in the June 28 federal election. At 73, Crosbie — a Troy stalwart for 20 years and possible candidate (an announcement is expected early this week) for the new Conservative party — may run in the federal riding of Avalon. The seat is currently held by another noted character in Canadian politics, Natural Resources Minister John Efford. Broadbent, 67, will go after the Ottawa Centre seat that has been painted Liberal red for 20 years. According to a poll conducted by the NDP, Broadbent’s name on the slate has more than doubled NDP support in the riding to 54 per cent. Crosbie has conducted a similar poll, but has yet to release the figures. Crosbie retired from politics in 1993. “I remember lots of boisterous exchanges that provided, more often than not, lots of heat but not much light. I normally found myself not agreeing at all with what he said, but enjoying immensely how he said it,” Broadbent recalls. Broadbent, who was leader of the NDP from 1975 to 1989 when Crosbie was at his political peak, plants his tongue firmly in his cheek when lobbing shots at his former political foe. “Tell him I said he’s much too

old and it has nothing to do with the chronology of his age, but everything to do with his ideas,” chuckled Broadbent. “Though I disagree with John on many things, I’ve never discounted his passion for his view of the public good even though I think he’s cuckoo at times.” The two political heavyweights have more common ground then either would likely admit. Crosbie has said he’s considering entering the ring because of the political “dysfunction” more than a decade of Liberal rule has brought and Broadbent says he’s returning to the political arena to fight “inequality” that has been bred by Grit arrogance. “One thing that characterizes both John and myself, we have lots of energy and lots of passion.” Broadbent says things have gone horribly wrong since the late 1960s and 1970s when all the leaders worked for a country built on a foundation of equality. The late Tory leader Robert Stanfield, and even former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, all believed that Canada needed to be more inclusive — not less. “It was a real stipulated goal and commitment of all political parties to build a more equal Canada, but that’s dead now,” says Broadbent, his tone becoming more somber. “That’s gone with the dodo bird with Paul Martin as leader of the Liberal party. Reducing child poverty, equality for all provinces, women’s rights, and decreasing the gap between the rich and poor is what Broadbent says brought him out of retirement. “I care about these types of issues and I’m the kind of guy, I suspect John is too, that will be active until I die. And so why not be active in the House of Commons?” And, says the elder statesman of the NDP, there was no “bribery” involved in convincing his wife Lucille to let him return to the Hill,

Former federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent came out of retirement to run in this year’s federal election. “I still have hope for John,” he says of Crosbie, his political contemporary.

but he imagines that the negotiations between Crosbie and his wife Jane were among his old adversary’s most complicated. “I know her. I can imagine. I’m surprised she hasn’t said, ‘Enough of you John. Period,’” says Broadbent with a chuckle. Broadbent takes one last partisan, but good-natured shot at his old rival. “He (Crosbie) hasn’t reached maturity politically. My father was Conservative until his 60s, but then he changed. I still have hope for John.”

Shipping News Keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s Harbour. Information provided by the Coast Guard Traffic Centre. MoNday, May 24 Vessels arrived: ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Lady Sandals, Cayman Island. Vessels departed: Cabot, Canada, to Montreal. Tuesday, May 25 Vessels arrived: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from FPSO; JE Bernier, Canada, from south coast. Vessels departed: ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Corner Brook. WedNesday, May 26 Vessels arrived: Irving Eskimo, Canada, from PEI; Alex Gordon, Canada, from Marystown. Vessels departed: ATL Kingfisher, Canada, to Terra Nova; Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Hibernia; Lady Sandals, Cayman Island, to Glasgow Scotland. Thursday, May 27 Vessels arrived: Sikuk, Canada, from Valleyfield; Cicero, Canada,

from Montreal; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova. Vessels departed: Maersk Bonavista, Canada, to White Rose; Irving Eskimo, Canada, to St. John; JE Bernier, Canada, to sea.

Friday, May 28 Vessels arrived: JE Bernier, Canada, from sea; Ann Harvey, Canada, from Lewisporte. Vessels departed: Cicero, Canada, to Montreal.


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

NEWS

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Where to from here Labrador Inuit ratify land-claims agreement, but may be another year before deal done and new territory established Happy Valley-Goose Bay By Bert Pomeroy The Sunday Independent

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or more than 30 years William Andersen III has dreamed of the day when the Labrador Inuit would take control of their own destiny. With the ratification of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement recently by the Labrador Inuit, that dream is about to become a reality. “I have been involved in this process for the past 31 years,” says Andersen, president of the Labrador Inuit Association. “It’s been a part of my heart and soul for a long time.” The Labrador Inuit voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal. Just over 3,700 of 4,300 ballots cast or 86.5 per cent voted in favour of the land-claims deal. A total of 2,151 votes, or 50 per cent plus one, were required to ratify the agreement. Less than 10 per cent voted against, and six ballots were rejected. While it has been accepted by the Labrador Inuit, the agreement still has to be ratified by both the federal and provincial governments, a process that could take as much as a year, says Andersen. raised WitH Williams “It’s difficult to determine when the province and the federal government will ratify it,” he says, noting that he has raised the issue with both Premier Danny Williams and the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, Tom Rideout. “We are hopeful it will be ratified by the House of Assembly by this September,” he says. “With the federal election on the go right now I don’t expect the federal government to ratify it until next

Photo by Bert Pomeroy/The Sunday Independent

William Andersen, president of the Labrador Inuit Association, at a recent press conference. Labrador Inuit voted overwhelmingly last week to accept the ratification of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

spring.” Andersen says he’s confident the provincial and federal governments will ratify the agreement, and that it will become official by April of next year. Meantime, there will be a transition period for the Inuit association, during which its board and executive will act as the transitional government. Once ready, elections will be held to form the governing body for the new territory of Nunatsiavut. The self-government provisions of the agreement also provide for the creation of five Inuit community governments, which will likely function the same as community councils, says Andersen.

The agreement also provides for the establishment of Inuit community corporations to provide for the representation of Inuit living outside the settlement area. Future in doubt Andersen says it’s still unclear what will happen to the Inuit association once the Nunatsiavut and community governments are established. “The LIA could either dissolve absolutely or it could remain as a small association acting as a trust for the agreement,” he says. The agreement sets out details of land ownership, resource sharing, and self-government, and provides for the establishment of

the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area totaling about 72,500 square kilometres in northern Labrador, including 15,800 square kilometres of Inuit-owned lands. It also provides for the establishment of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve, consisting of about 9,600 square kilometres of land within the settlement area. Ottawa will transfer $140 million to the Labrador Inuit, as well as $156 million for implementation of the agreement. All levels of government will be democratically responsible and financially accountable to the electorate. The Nunatsiavut government will be able to make laws applicable to Inuit in Labrador as

well Inuit lands and Inuit communities with respect to culture and language, education, health and social services. It may also make laws for the administration of Inuit law and to establish necessary enforcement structures, including an Inuit law enforcement agency and an Inuit court. While Andersen says he doesn’t foresee any major bumps in the road during the implementation process, the Labrador Métis Nation has served notice that it intends to take legal action to stop the agreement from becoming law. The nation has stated that the agreement will have serious implications on the rights of its members and the communities in which they live because it will preclude both the federal and provincial governments from accepting other claims. The Métis Nation is an organization of about 6,000 members living primarily in central and southern Labrador. CritiCal oF deal Some members of the Labrador Inuit Association have also been critical of the land claims agreement. Andersen says he hopes “the dissenters” will accept the will of the Labrador Inuit and stand behind their new government. “We live in a democratic society and the majority has spoken,” he says. “You are always going to have a certain degree of people who are not going to agree. My hope is that they will fall in line.” The Inuit association represents more than 5,000 Inuit living primarily in the northern Labrador communities of Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet, as well as in the Upper Lake Melville area.

Happy campers Striking Aliant workers say morale still high By Alisha Morrissey The Sunday Independent

L

eading into week six of labour action, picketers line the exterior of Aliant headquarters in St. John’s, but instead of sullen faces and angry glares the strikers are all smiles. Burgers fry on barbeques and the kettle is on as picketers look more like gravel pit campers than angry employees fighting for a contract. “We work with a sense of humour and we strike with a sense of humour,” says Paula, who wouldn’t give her last name. The shelters have become deluxe accommodations with several rooms and even furniture in some locations. Brookfield Road’s picket line even has electricity. At the Mount Pearl location one picketer has brought in a DVD player. A crowd has gathered around to watch films. Some sing and dance to keep warm; they tell jokes and compliment the chef on the great food.

“Good eatin’ and we’re gaining weight like crazy,” says Keith Perlin, adding he’s gained five pounds since the beginning of the strike. Another striker says he’s gained 10 pounds. The coffee runs. Fast food, fried eggs and bologna in the mornings keep the strikers going through the day. “If it (the strike) goes until Christmas I’ll have my turkey dinner down here. I did it last time and I don’t mind,” says another man, who also refused to give his last name he was also part of the 1984 strike. Beyond the food and fire barrels one man says it’s the conversation that keeps the workers united and strong. “We talk about history, we talk about politics, we have become great conversationalists.” If the strike does go on all summer, says one woman, that will be alright with her. “We’ll all be out here tanning while the managers are in there pasty white.”

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Tonya Guy, Trudy Rockwood, Corinna Miller and Randy Chafe on the Aliant strike line.

As of The Independent’s press deadline Saturday, no talks were

scheduled between the two sides. Outstanding contract issues are

said to include job security, pensions and seniority.


Page 12

NEWS

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

It’s not easy being green Green Party still on the fringe of Canadian politics

By Jeff Ducharme The Sunday Independent

T

hey don’t have a marijuana leaf on their letterhead and they don’t believe in mystic levitation for the good of the country, but the Green Party of Canada is still on the political fringe. “So many people see the process as so cancerous that it’s not even possible to work within it and achieve any goals,” says Lori-Ann Martino, Green Party candidate in the federal riding of Labrador. “That’s my big challenge, to try to get those people who ordinarily wouldn’t vote and are not politically affiliated to give the Green Party a look. “There are a lot of alternative fringe values that are increasingly becoming more mainstream through non-government organizations; anything from the environmental network, conservation corps, even to the women’s centres.” Martino has penciled herself in as the candidate in four federal ridings for the June 28 election but then backed out when other candidates stepped forward. “I’ve just found that when I put my own name on the line people are more confident of taking the plunge and maybe coming on as a candidate,” she told The Sunday Independent.

That’s part of the game when you’re running for a party that’s on the outside looking in. “Now I’m finally in Labrador,” says Martino, a resident of St. John’s. “This is the thing about working on the fringe, you have to be willing to be flexible.” Martino is the election organizer for the Green Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has a total budget of $400 for advertising and organization — a drop in the bucket compared to the average $60,000 that will be spent by most individual mainstream party candidates. While her chosen party may be on the fringe and even Martino admits to being a little “different,” she’s no fool. The Stephenville native has a master’s degree in political science. At the rather politically tender age of 25, the former member of the youth wing of the Progressive Conservative Party has done what her Green Party predecessors couldn’t — collected a slate of seven candidates. All the candidates, except for two, are 30 years old or younger, including: Justin Dollimont (Random-Burin-St. George’s), Steve Willcot (St. John’s South), Scott Vokey (St. John’s North), Steve Durant (Humber-St. Barbe). The elder candidate on the party’s slate is 70-year-old Don Ferguson

Photo By Paul Daly

Lori-ann Martino is the provincial organizer for the Green Party of Canada. She is also running in the riding of Labrador.

(Avalon). But what will likely leave many people thinking the Green Party is still on the fringe of political normality is the party’s candidate for Bonavista-Exploits — former wrestler Ed “Sailor” White. This is not White’s first leap from the turnbuckle and into the political ring. He last ran in a 2000 byelection but lost to Tory Loyola Hearn. “It shows we are democratic and if people want to put their name out there, they want to get their ideas out there, I mean why not,” says Martino of White, who

embodies being on the fringe more than any of the other candidates. “It would be wonderful if I could have this beautiful candidate list that everyone in the middle class would feel good about, but society is not like that.” The Green Party, political insiders say, is poised to become Canada’s fourth truly national party depending on how it fairs in the federal election. The party’s leader, Jim Harris, has pledged the party will field a full slate of candidates in all 308 ridings. He has made an even bolder statement by saying

Glass Houses

that the party will form the official Opposition by the end of the decade. That’s a pretty gutsy statement considering the Green Party only has five per cent support nationwide, but that’s a huge leap when compared to its less than one per cent support in the 2000 federal election. Harris had hoped to be part of the national leaders’ televised debates, but it was vetoed by the Grits, Tories, NDP and Bloc. Martino has faced the same issues locally, but she’s also been pleasantly surprised with the attention she and the party have received. “It’s very frustrating but it also speaks to the democratic problems in Canada,” says Martino. “I’m not too discouraged because I wouldn’t want The Economist to interview me because they’re not going to like what I have to say.” At the same time, Martino says it’s a little disenchanting when even her own grandmother questions her political affiliation and the sanity of it. “ … my historical context is quite different than someone who is 85 years old and grew up in a time where there was so much hope for Newfoundland. It could only get better, was everyone’s belief and now we’re not so sure that everything is going to get better.”

by Jeff Ducharme

‘Since donkeys don’t have horns …’ Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from hansard, the official transcript of the House of Assembly, for the week of May 25-26. While Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are familiar with comments from the daily, 30minute question period, Glass Houses takes a look at the less glamourous debates that occur in the House each day. Jeff Ducharme, The Independent’s senior writer, also adds his twocents worth.

ED BYRNE (PC, Kilbride): “I said early, several weeks ago in this House, that if I listened to the Opposition each and every one of us in the government would have to walk in through the door and get our horns and tails. The fact of the matter is, that this is a government that is new. This is a government that is trying new initiatives, and this happens to be one of them. I am not ashamed of it. I am proud of it, and if we need to fix it at some point or tweak it to make it better, the.n we will not be ashamed to do that either.” Well, since donkeys don’t have

horns, one would have to assume that Byrne was referring to the Tories being made to look like devils. The Liberals have been beating on the Tories like a rented donkey over Premier Danny Williams’ dogged pursuit of setting up a Newfoundland and Labrador office in Ottawa. GERRY REID (Liberal, Twillingate-Fogo): “All your office is going to do in Ottawa is spend $350,000 of our taxpayers’ money that could be spent, I would say to the member, far better here in this province in some of the rural communities of this province who need $350,000 today to keep an office open; keep a welfare officer on Fogo Island, I say, Mr. Chairman, rather than waste it in Ottawa where we have seven senators up there today and seven MPs who are doing what for us? Who are doing what for us? They are being paid by the federal government to do a job. I say to the minister, if the premier and his cabinet are not going to do any better than the bunch we have in Ottawa today I would say take the money and give it to my constituents so they can set up an office in St. John’s, Newfoundland, not in Ottawa.” Considering the overpass syndrome, maybe Reid is right. Newfoundland’s MPs in Ottawa have been elected and are already well paid to do what Williams expects his Ottawa office to do. If voters judge MPs on performance rather than the colour of their political stripe, maybe, just maybe, we

wouldn’t need an office in Fat Cat City to do what our sometimes lame-duck MPs can’t or won’t.

LOYOLA SULLIVAN (PC, Ferryland): “I just want to take a minute or two to comment on what the member indicated. She is basically saying we do not need an office in Ottawa, we have seven offices of the members there. She said five or six Senators. I am not sure how many there are. I thought there were six. There are six, so that is 13. I have not spent most of my time following the Senate, to be honest with you. “I am not necessarily a believer that it is a structure that represents the parts of our country properly. I think if we are going to have a Senate, as a second sober thought, it should be done to neutralize the geographical disparities that are in the country. We should not be giving all the senators to Ontario and Quebec and the major centres. The United States Senate gets two per state.” Ohhhhhh, now I understand. This

province’s problem is that our Senators and MPs add up to unlucky 13. And we all know that the number 13 is bad karma, bad mojo. Maybe Sullivan and the other MHAs who chimed in are right, the only way to fix the disparity between the big and the small provinces in this country is to have a triple-E senate — elected, effective and equal. JACK HARRIS (NDP, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi): “I would submit that it is worth trying. It is worth trying. There is nothing, frankly, to lose by sitting together as three parties in this House for a couple of days and say: OK, let’s put together a Newfoundland and Labrador all-party manifesto that we would ask individual candidates to sign on to, to endorse and to be committed to championing when, and if, they are elected. “Some of them, of course, will surely be to the House of Commons on June 28. That is my plea, Mr. Speaker, that the members opposite join in, what I believe, is a sincere and positive approach to try and get some unity from members of this House and from the political parties on matters that are vitally important to us. Lay aside our provincial differences now.” Yes, and while were at it, let’s sit cross-legged in the centre of the House and meditate for world peace or maybe join hands and sing kumbaya. Harris is right, the MHAs have an issue staring them

right in the face that would prove to the people of this province, possibly the country, that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians stand as one and know who and what to rant and roar at — the feds.

DAVE DENINE (PC, Mount Pearl): “Mr. Speaker, I must say you are the first one who said that you couldn’t hear me. When I was teaching, Mr. Speaker, they told me I could teach from any classroom on the top floor and teach the whole floor, because I had such a big mouth. That is true, I believe that.” Big mouth or otherwise, Denine still couldn’t be heard over the din in the House. While the recent brouhaha between Tory Fabian Manning and Grit Percy Barrett has led to MHAs behaving more like adults, many MHAs must, at times, feel like a tree in the forest and wonder if there’s anybody listening or exactly what is the sound of one hand clapping?


may 30, 2004

Page 13

The Sunday Independent

In camera

Those who live in Twillingate know all about its natural beauty and, more and more, they’ve found ways to market it to the world Photos by Paul Daly / Story by Stephanie Porter


Page 14

‘Word is getting around’

C

ecil Stockley, a.k.a. The Iceberg Man, strides into his store — The Iceberg Store — windswept and tanned, fresh off the water and his latest boat tour. “You can’t know the mind of an iceberg,” he says seriously, explaining that it’s a beautiful day on the water, but there’s only one berg close to shore. A few days ago, there were more in the vicinity of his Twillingate-based operation — but they’ve since moved on. Tomorrow, he adds, there could be more. Hard to say. He’s got to work his business around the mammoth visitors from the far north. Go overtime when the going’s good, and be upfront with his clients when there’s not as many icebergs or whales to see. That’s the way it goes in this community of about 5,000, touted on much of its tourism information as “the iceberg capital of the world.” But, like Stockey says, bergs or not, there’s plenty to take the breath away up here on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. Twillingate is picture-perfect with its rugged hills, clean coastlines and well-maintained buildings and streets. There is little obvious evidence of the rural devastation that has hit much of outport Newfoundland. Built on two islands — Shoal Tickle bridge connects the Twillingate north and south — Twillingate boasts ample coastline, and both sunrise and sunset reflect off the waves. “A lot of people come a long way up the highway to see this, and find it very enriching,” says Stockley, looking out over the water. Stockley, a retired physical education teacher, began the area’s first iceberg boat tour operation in 1984. “I’ve done a bit of travelling myself, and I realized that the icebergs in my town are spectacular and that people would eventually come see them. “I remember starting this tour like it was yesterday — I was the only one, out there in a 19-foot speed boat, giving tours to a couple of people at a time. And I grew from there.” As has the town’s tourism industry. Back in ’84, there was one motel, and one “nice restaurant.” Now there’s a motel, a dozen bed and breakfasts, cabins for rent, and three restaurants — not to mention the other boat tours that moved in, starting a decade ago. “Competition, that’s fine. It kind of hits you in the stomach when it comes right at you like that, but you have to be professional. I want this town to grow, for this province to grow, so it’s got to happen. “I’m still the Iceberg Man.” Stockley says he was right to hop into the tourism business. The future of the town may rely on it — although Twillingate’s fish plant reopened as a shrimp and crab facility a few years ago, and there are two fresh fish markets, it’s not what it used to be. There was a time when Twillingate was the hub of the lucrative Notre Dame Bay fishery and seen as Newfoundland’s northern capital. The town was once a large producer of cod. When the fishery came tumbling down a decade ago, Stockley says, Twillingate tumbled with it. The town’s deputy mayor, Christopher Spencer, agrees. “Our tourism industry has really picked up within the last five years,” he says. “It’s a lovely spot and word is getting around.” He points out that Twillingate won a Tidy Town award three years ago, and just won another award for marketing. Spencer isn’t sure how many tourists walk the winding streets each year, but figures the number “must be way up there.” The busiest time of the year, without doubt, is during the annual Fish, Fun and Folk Festival, scheduled for five days in late July. Festival co-ordinator Audrey Dalley estimates up to 8,000 people — tourists and Twillingate natives who have moved away — come through that week for the music, food, dancing, crafts and family-oriented good times. “The festival is growing and growing,” she says. “A lot of people are really getting into it, and keep returning.” Dalley reports that all available accommodations in town are already booked up for that time, and the parking lot by the church is sure to be blocked with campers and trailers once again. Born and raised in Twillingate, Dalley reflects on the changes in the town. The traditional ways of life are still evident. There’s still the fishing, and sealing, and some backyard farming. Everyone knows everyone else, and family ties are still most important. But then the town, like many in Newfoundland and Labrador, is finding its way to move on. “Tourism is going to be the biggest industry in this town. It already is. Every day you hear people opening something, and it’s all to do with tourism. It’s amazing how far word has reached. I’ve had calls from as far away as Australia. “This place is nothing like it was.”

In Camera

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

In Camera

Page 15


Page 16

In Camera

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Gallery John Andrews Photography

J

ohn Andrews’ recent trip to New York City was, first and foremost, his honeymoon. But it also proved the perfect opportunity for him to pick up the manualfocus film camera he’d set down in favour of ever-popular digital technology. He and his wife had both been wanting to visit the bustling centre for years. “New York — you hear about it and see it your whole life,” Andrews says. “It’s one of those cities that everyone should see and experience.” “It was a photo project in waiting. It’s been about two years since I’ve shot film … it seemed the right time to get back to traditional photography considering the subject matter.” It was also a break from the deadline-driven and downloadable world of media and communications. Andrews, an established graphic designer, currently does freelance work for various independent and new publishers including Rattling Books and Boulder Publications. He recently co-published a poster called Where Once They Stood, a Newfoundland history poster illustrated by Boyd Chubbs and available across the province. Andrews is also layout editor at The Sunday Independent and does conceptual and design work for books, newsletters, promotions, magazines. He published Celtic Crossword: A Book of

Newfoundland and Labrador Crossword Puzzles. Andrews began taking photographs as a serious hobby about seven years ago. Books and trial and error taught him the basics; his colleagues in the media and communications industry offered more than a few hints along the way. “I guess over time, I picked up the right way to shoot a photo from working in the newspaper industry; about what works and what doesn’t visually,” he says. He’s entered the provincial arts and letters competition three times, and each time his work was selected for the final exhibition. A couple of years ago Andrews, like so many photographers today, went digital — especially useful technology in his line of work. Satisfied with many of his photographs from the Big Apple, Andrews figures he’ll be using both types of cameras from now on. “There’s something more satisfying about shooting film, developing film, and making our prints, more satisfying than pressing a button and watching your image show up immediately on a computer screen.” — Stephanie Porter

The Gallery is a regular feature in The Sunday Independent. For further information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail editorial@theindependent.ca


May 30, 2004

Page 17

The Sunday Independent

BUSINESS & COMMERCE

Photo by Jeff Ducharme/The Sunday Independent

Dockside grader Terry Chafe sorts crab as forklift driver Johnny Pike waits to load them into trucks. The catch is from the Katrina Charlene.

‘The union boat’

Company with close ties to FFAW fishes crab; at least one fishermen claims unfair competition By Alisha Morrissey The Sunday independent

T

he Katrina Charlene was in St. John’s harbour on a recent weekday morning unloading a catch of crab from the Grand Banks. To most passers-by, the sight is a common one; nothing unusual about a fishing boat returning from sea. But this boat isn’t an ordinary one. To most fishermen it’s known simply as “the union boat.” “You can ask any fishermen and the talk on the street is that she’s the union’s boat,” says Doug Williams, a fisherman from the Southern Shore. He feels the “union boat” is in competition with his own, the Stephen K., and others like it. “Jeez yes, it’s bad enough to have your own union in competition with you but they got a million-pound quota too,” he says. “They got it all

covered up. There’s something wrong if your own union has a onemillion pound quota. It’s all a bluff, it’s all a bluff.” Williams admits that most of the stories he’s heard about the Katrina Charlene are hearsay that can’t be proven. The boat was built in the late 1990s by the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters Inc., a company with close links to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ (FFAW) union, which represents most of the province’s fishermen. The company was formed in 1996 to retrain deep-sea trawlermen displaced by the collapse of the cod fisheries in the early 1990s. According to Bob Fagan, spokesman for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in St. John’s, the Katrina Charlene was granted an exploratory crab quota of approximately 535 tonnes in 1996. Fagan says the quota has been issued

Call For submissions

Gallery

every year since. The quota is to be fished in the southern Grand Banks outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. Ches Cribb, CEO of the Offshore Fish Resource Harvesters Inc., known in fishing circles as the offshore trawlermen’s co-op, is also vice-president of the FFAW’s deepsea division. At least two other company directors are also FFAW executives. All directors and crew are union members. Cribb says he’s “drove cracked” by all the media attention that has surrounded his boat in recent years. “I’ve been crucified by the media so I’m little bit shy of them,” he told The Independent. Cribb adamantly defends his company and advises the media and anyone else interested enough to go to the Bank of Nova Scotia and ask who financed the boat. The banks would never release such information, of course, which is

In an effort to support and promote the province’s art community, The Sunday Independent invites visual artists from across the province to submit work for publication in the paper. Our newspaper gallery will appear regularly, profiling one artist or collective each time.

Cribb’s point. “It’s private and confidential. If it was union it would be public, wouldn’t it? The union got 20,000 members in the province … it would be public and would be accessed by 20,000 members,” he says. Cribb says the main purpose of the vessel is still to train and educate trawlermen. “Up to this day we have 25 people employed, fishermen that were ousted by the moratorium and those that weren’t,” says Cribb. “Those that are working and have training needs and things like that and if they need funding for certification we’ll help them out.” Williams still isn’t convinced. “What are they training fishermen for if there’s no fish?” he asks. “There is no fishery,” he adds, laughing. “Are they going to send them to Portugal to fish?” FFAW president Earl McCurdy wasn’t available for comment.

Interested artists or groups are invited to submit a selection of work for consideration. High-resolution digital images are preferred; slides and negatives of work are also accepted. If chosen, the works will be published in a special section dedicated to the artists of Newfoundland and Labrador.

For further information, or to submit proposals, call (709) 726-4639 or e-mail editorial@theindependent.ca.


Page 18

Business

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Time to sell the farm

2003 income on Canadian farms shrunk to worst levels in 25 years; Newfoundland one of three to show increase The Canadian Press REGINA

S

truggling to rebound from back-to-back droughts and the crushing weight of the mad cow crisis, Canadian farmers saw their net cash income shrink in 2003 to the lowest level in more than 25 years, Statistics Canada reported this week. Net cash income — the amount of money taken in by farmers after expenses — fell more than 43 per cent in 2003 to $4.2 billion. That’s 37 per cent below the previous fiveyear average and the lowest level since 1977. Realized net income — the amount of money farmers make after expenses and the depreciation of their assets  — actually fell $300

million into the negative. “These are tough time. Let’s face it,” says George Brinkman, an agriculture economics professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario. “The farmers we’ve got out there are some of the best. They have survived the 1980s when we had tough times . . . and now they are really getting hit with another set of factors outside their control. “It’s making it tough. There is no question about it.” Statistics Canada cites back-to-back droughts in 2001 and 2002 and the discovery of a single case of mad cow disease in northern Alberta last year as reasons for the drop. Net cash gains were recorded in only three provinces —Newfoundland, Quebec and British Columbia — with Prairie farmers feeling the

brunt of the declines. Net cash tumbled by more than 72 per cent in Alberta, more than 69 per cent in Saskatchewan and more than 51 per cent in Manitoba. Revenue from livestock shrunk 11 per cent to $16.2 billion in 2003, the biggest decline in more than a decade. Crop revenue fell 10 per cent to $13 billion, the lowest level in 10 years. The declines came despite recordhigh payments from various government and insurance programs, which reached $4.9 million in 2003. That’s nearly $1 billion more than the previous record of $3.8 billion in 1992. “Despite record high program payments, lower receipts for crops and livestock dragged down the total farm cash receipts,” Statistics Canada says.

“In total, farmers received $34.1 billion from all revenue sources last year, down 5.8 per cent from 2002. It was the lowest level since 2000, yet was still above the average for the previous five years.” Marvin Shauf, a vice-president with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, says he doesn’t doubt some farmers are packing it in because of tough times. “It gets to be very, very difficult to make a living at it,” says Shauf. Brinkman says what he also finds troubling is that farm debt loads have increased sharply over the last few years. Interest rates are low right now, but an increase could spell real trouble. If interest rates start rising, says experts, the problems that farmers

face now are going to look pale by comparison. “The problems that we are facing are getting beyond the capacity of governments to solve by simply throwing money at them,” says Brinkman According to the numbers, cattle revenue decreased by more than 30 per cent in 2003 to $4.6 billion. Much of the loss came from a 67 per cent decrease in export revenue. Almost all Canadian cattle exports are shipped to the United States, but that market closed May 20, 2003, when the case of mad cow disease was found. The Statistics Canada numbers recently and will be reviewed one more time, later this year, before being made final.

Petro Canada talking gas with Russians The Canadian Press CALGARY

P

etro-Canada is in talks with the world’s largest natural gas producer about building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Russia valued at more than $1 billion US. Calgary-based Petro-Canada confirmed it is holding “very preliminary” with Moscow-based OAC Gazprom regarding a terminal that would liquefy gas from Siberia, making it available for overseas export to the United States and other consuming countries. “We don’t normally comment

on our day-to-day business operations but Gazprom has, and so yes, we have talked to them about LNG opportunities,’’ says PetroCanada spokeswoman Michelle Harries. Gazprom’s deputy chief executive, Alexander Ryazanov, told Bloomberg News and other media at a conference that the proposed plant near St. Petersburg would cost $1.3 billion US. The city in northwestern Russia was formerly known as Leningrad. Harries said this is Gazprom’s “interpretation of the value of the project” and PetroCanada has not yet arrived at its own cost estimate. But she confirmed that Petro-

Canada, which is aggressively expanding its international operations, is interested in LNG — natural gas chilled to below -160 C, at which temperature it liquefies, significantly reducing its volume and making it easier to transport by ocean-going tankers. “LNG is a growth area for us and we are interested in LNG,” Harries says. “It offers a long-life potential that we’d like to have more of in our exploration portfolio.” Energy analysts say it is little surprise that Petro-Canada is looking around for LNG opportunities around the world. The potential Russian LNG facility is the second big project to

Newfoundland’s Northstar twinkles on world stage ST. JOHN’S — Northstar Network Ltd. is brighter in the business sky after signing three new agreements with international companies. New Brunswick-based Arvin Machine Works Inc., Florida’s DataMetrics Corp., and Web Spiders Ltd. of Calcutta, India have all signed affiliate agreements with Northstar. “As affiliates of Northstar Network these new members now have cost effective access to a wide array of business development, research and marketing services.” says company president Howard Nash. “They gain the added boost of international market exposure and contact with large prime contractors. This gives them a significant advantage over their competitors without adding to the cost of

doing business.” With the signing of the new agreements, the company has successfully increased its affiliated organizations to 23 companies, agencies and educational and research institutions. Together the network has industry-leading capabilities in precision machining, electronic contract manufacturing, elearning and information technology. Nash says Northstar has “built strong working relationships with many tier one and tier two defence contractors over a number of years. “We are now in a position to start taking full advantage of the strengths of the network that we have built to capture a substantial amount of that business,” he said. 

come to light for Petro-Canada. The company says it will spend $840 million US, or about $1.15 billion Cdn, to acquire Londonbased Intrepid Energy North Sea Ltd. Intrepid’s main holding is a nearly 30 per cent stake in the Buzzard oilfield in the North Sea that is being built by EnCana Corp., Canada’s largest oil and gas producer. Petro-Canada chief executive Ron Brenneman says the company was “anxious to grow and expand” in all of its businesses, including international and domestic operations like offshore East Coast, the oilsands, conventional western Canadian gas, as

well as its downstream refining and marketing operations. Many of the world’s largest energy companies are actively pursuing liquefied natural gas opportunities as conventional gas supplies wane in North America and Europe. Companies such as TransCanada Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas shipper, are hedging their bets, trying to get involved in both northern pipelines and potential new LNG facilities that will need to be built along the Atlantic seaboard. While there are numerous proposals for LNG terminals in the U.S., there are also plans to build terminals in Atlantic Canada.


May 30, 2004

Page 19

The Sunday Independent

INTERNATIONAl AFFAIRS

AFP PHOTO/Findlay Kember

An Indian vegetable vendor measures chills at his stall, as a porter carries a load of potatoes in Daryaganj Vegetable Market in Old Delhi. The wholesale market is where many of the capital's restaurant owners and chefs come in the early morning to buy vegetables in bulk for use in their day's menu.

‘A whole other life’

Derm English’s four-month sojourn to India has only begun … Voice from Away Delhi, India By Derm English For the Sunday Independent

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am writing from a tiny Internet cafe on Main Bazaar in Paharganj, just off Old Delhi. I am in culture shock with the smells and the noise and the dogs and every type of vehicle all trying to kill me, and each other. For the first time in my life I notice how much my thoughts are Western thoughts, concerned with hotel rooms, hot water, noise, being hassled. This is what it is like in Delhi. I expected it and accept it, yet my thoughts are thoughts of comfort and isolation. I guess I am beginning my journey into the other side of the world. I have never believed in planned vacations. Every time I came home to St. Johns for a visit, I always felt like I needed a vacation when it was over. Stringent itineraries and especially group tours are definitely out. Yet going aimlessly and not caring where one ends up is a game best left to the youthful and inexperienced minds. I have discovered, though, that a mix of the two approaches can be beneficial to enriching whatever kind of travelling one embarks upon. The rambler’s predilection need not be abandoned when incorporated into a broad-based research method to gain a general overview of the geographical and cultural landscapes of a planned destination.

I didn’t go to travel agents to plan my trip except to purchase a one-way ticket to Toronto where I shopped for a ticket to India. I will eventually make my way south to the west coast along the Arabian Sea. Six hundred kilometres south of Mumbai (Bombay), from Goa to Kerala, a 1,000-kilometre stretch of palm trees and beaches, I will search out a place to lay my computer, and write my thesis. I arrived three nights ago at three in the morning and had arranged a ride from the airport with a hotel. The drive from the

airport reminded me of the opening scenes of a post-apocalyptic movie, such was the construction, garbage, people sleeping in the streets, and general activity at that time of the night. When we finally left the main road to go into the bazaar area, I thought we were driving through back alleys as a shortcut. It looked very desolate and slummy, with dogs and cows everywhere, and the odd beggar. We stopped and my seemingly 14-year-old taxi driver said this was it. I collected my bags and guitar and we proceeded up an

alley to the Namaskaar Hotel at 4 a.m. where I had to wait a half an hour while Surinder checked in some folks from Sweden. The room was fine. All I saw was the bed, and I slept. When I ventured out into the “alley” in the morning, it was a little market. And when I made it out of the alley onto Main Bazaar, a back alley to me last night, it was the most amazing scene of people, colours, noise. A vibrant, living, breathing market, the likes of which I have never seen — and I remembered that I had thought the

same thing a few days ago in Kowloon. A funny analogy has been stuck in my head for a day now and I must get it out. I have gotten over jetlag with a nice 14-hour sleep, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the Main Bazaar in Paharganj. It is like the Regatta except that cars would be allowed to drive around the lake, sometimes more cars than people, and the cars have all the rights. Six people die every day in Delhi from traffic mishaps. I don’t know how people are not killed every minute. But this is their city, and their way, and they are very good at it. It is funny to watch new backpackers arrive each day and make their way through the bazaar for the first time. I’ve been here like, three days, and I feel like a vet, yet I will never really be. I am still observing, getting my bearings, and soon I head for Mumbai to connect to a bus to Goa and the beaches. New Delhi, the British constructed section of the city south of here is more ordered, with wider streets and sidewalks. Countless tourists visit India Gate, museums, government building, embassies, and many other attractions every day. Not being one to hire guides or join a tour group, yesterday I found myself being shooed away by a soldier with an M-16, while photographing the Presidential Palace. A little later, I found myself enjoying a knowing smile when I didn’t see any skateboarders

Derm English relaxing in India.

Continued on page 20


Page 20

INTERNATIONAL

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

‘They are in my home’ China detains dissidents as Tiananmen anniversary approaches BEIJING The Associated Press

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hinese political activists say they have been detained at home in an apparent government effort to head off public memorials for the 15th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. The effort to block dissent about the June 4, 1989 event, even 15 years later, highlights the communist government’s enduring sensitivity to a movement that brought thousands of people to the square in the heart of Beijing to demand a more open political system. Some of China’s most prominent activists say that in recent weeks, police have been posted outside their homes around the clock, their phones tapped and access to the Internet restricted. “The 15-year anniversary is a big event,” says Ren Wanding, who spent a total of 11 years in prison for advocating Westernstyle democracy. “Things will only get worse as the date gets closer.” Ding Zilin, a 67-year-old retired academic whose son was killed in the crackdown, says police have been posted outside her family’s apartment since Tuesday. She says she is allowed out only to buy

food or to go to the hospital. “I ask who authorized this action and they say their superiors, but they won’t say who,” says Ding, spokeswoman for the group Tiananmen Mothers, which represents families of people killed in 1989. “I say, ‘I’m not your enemy. What law gives you the right to do this?’ but they don’t answer.” Six other activists contacted by phone described similar restrictions. Phone calls Friday to the Beijing police headquarters weren’t answered. The communist government routinely detains activists to prevent protests during events such as the annual meeting of China’s legislature or on key political anniversaries. Dissidents and family members have been demanding the government overturn its ruling that the 1989 protests were a counterrevolutionary riot and declare the demonstrators patriots. Chinese troops killed hundreds, possibly thousands, when they attacked protesters who had gathered for weeks on Tiananmen Square demanding an open political system and end to corruption. A group of Chinese and foreign academics issued an open letter last week asking for an investiga-

tion and for those responsible to “openly ask for forgiveness of the people.” “As a Chinese I feel very mournful. This is a government that is scared,” Ding says. “They’ve done bad things, but not only do they not apologize, they keep on doing them.” Liu Xiaobo, who has written essays criticizing the government for bringing subversion charges against Internet dissidents, said police have confined him to his home. He says phone calls are disconnected if sensitive topics come up. Hu Jia, an AIDS activist, says police have arranged for him to leave Beijing. “They won’t let me back until June 10,” Hu said. “They were watching the outside of my home earlier this week. Now, they are in my home.” Ren, who marked the anniversary by posting two essays and one poem on the Internet, says at least five police officers began watching his Beijing home around May 15. He’s only allowed out to buy groceries and his phone is tapped. “It’s been this way for me for dozens of years. I’m almost used to it,” says Ren. He said he expects to be taken out of Beijing before next week.

Sudan’s humanitarian tragedy UNITED NATIONS The Associated Press

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elief workers are racing against the clock to keep hundreds of thousands of people from dying in Sudan’s western Darfur region, in what has become the biggest humanitarian crisis of “our age,” a UN official says. With the rainy season two to three weeks off and about to make it difficult to bring in relief by trucks, the number of people in acute need of food and medical help has nearly doubled from 1.2 million to two million, Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland says. The UN Security Council this week put new pressure on the Sudanese government to end the conflict in Darfur, where thousands have been killed in fighting between Arab militias

and the black African population. The 15-country council also called for the immediate deployment of international monitors to the region. Egeland and humanitarian organizations have said ethnic cleansing is sweeping the region — a claim denied by Sudan. Egeland says the Sudanese government has held up visas and travel permits for relief workers, exacerbating the disaster. “If the government continues to insist on these obstacles, we will not win this race against the clock and many people will die,” Egeland told reporters after briefing the Security Council. Egeland said the United Nations has one-fifth of the resources it needs to avert a disaster. “We have $50 million from the world donor community. We

need four to five times that to be able to care for the two million beneficiaries,” he said. “It is the most dramatic race against the clock that we have anywhere in the world at the moment,” Egeland says. “If we lose, hundreds of thousands of women and children, mostly, will perish.” Egeland said he is calling for a high-level donor meeting in Geneva on June 3, together with the United States and the European Union, to raise $200 million in Geneva. In a development that could alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan’s government and southern rebels signed a peace deal Wednesday, resolving disputes over power sharing in their effort to end 21 years of civil war. Egeland expressed hope that this would lead to improvements in Darfur.

Need protection? STOCKHOLM, Sweden The Associated Press

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eeling frisky but forgot to get condoms? If you’re in Sweden, fret not. Protection is on its way. Hoping to increase the awareness of contraception and stem the spread of sexually transmitted disease, the Swedish Organization for Sexual Education, or RFSU, plans to deliver condoms by car in a hurry. Using the name Cho-San Express, the organization will have four cars loaded with con-

doms patrolling the streets of the capital, Stockholm, along with a pair of vehicles each in Goteborg and Malmoe, Sweden’s second and third-biggest cities. For people in the mood but without any contraception, they can call the express and have a 10-pack of condoms delivered for about $9 Cdn. Ten-packs sell for $9.42 Cdn at a state-owned pharmacy. “With this campaign, we believe that the RFSU will reach young people with a humorous twinkle in their eye,” says

spokesman Carl Osvald. “It’s our hope that the contraceptive will be perceived as a fun sex accessory and not just as a way to protect against infectious, sexually transmitted diseases.” The group is staging the campaign because of an increase of venereal diseases among young Swedes. Osvald said 26,802 Swedes contracted chlamydia in 2003, a nine per cent increase over 2002. The biggest increase was in Stockholm. About 17 million condoms were sold in Sweden last year.

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

The biggest city square on earth, Tiananmen covers 100 acres in the very centre of Beijing. The square was the centre of world attention during the student demonstrations in 1989.

‘A whole other life’ ing as I ate my breakfast on the next roof over from my hotel, there were three radios all tuned scooting around India Gate. to different stations — one for There are dark sides to my the waiters, one for the cashier, thoughts as well but I will let and the cook was listening to them simmer for a while. Dark- Bollywood show tunes. ness like urine and garbage, Every morning I awake to the deformed begging children, and sound of a street vendor wandercows living off the garbage, and ing the alleys off Main Bazaar, Indians living off tourists. But wailing mantra-like, “Vegetables there is much to be fascinated for sale, vegetables for sale,” in with here in Delhi. Hindi. Of course I didn’t know One of my favourite experi- what he saying, but on the third ences so far is sitting up on the day I had to get up and see who roof of my was becoming hotel in the my alarm evening. Up clock. His cart above the conalways seems gestion of the to be full. A The Main Bazaar in alleyways M o n t y Paharganj is like the below, there is Python-esque a serenity not Regatta except that cars t h o u g h t thought possioccurred to would be allowed to ble from me that he is drive around the lake, below. Lookactually a forsometimes more cars ing across the eigner as well, roofs of the than people, and the cars and when he city reminds first arrived he have all the rights. Six me of downwas duped by people die every day in locals who town St. Delhi from traffic John’s rooftranslated, tops that might “You’re all mishaps. go on for *#?&!% arsemany more holes,” for miles, except “vegetables that the view for sale.” And is dotted with mosques rather so he wanders the alleys and than church steeples. There is a wonders why only the occasionwhole other life here: People eat- al foreigner buys his fresh food. ing, washing, smoking, holding I am not so awash here in this hands, living. It would be spec- crazy and exciting city, but I am tacular if the dense pollution did- close. It’s time to head south and n’t limit the expanse. Each night find that beach I’ve been dreamI clean gobs of black dirt from ing of. my nose. I am also transfixed by all the Derm English is a graduate Indian music that seems to come student at Memorial, currently in from everywhere and nowhere. India writing a thesis paper to Invisible radios. The beats are explore a philosophy of listening. intricate, sometimes reggae-like, He can be reached at dermengand it is always loud. This morn- lish@yahoo.com. Continued from page 19


May 30, 2004

Page 21

The Sunday Independent

LIfE & TIMES

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Pilar Muñoz and her children, Esteban and Andrea in theis St. John’s home. Muñoz’ husband is currently in Montreal on a conference.

‘It’s very good place’ From page 1 The Columbian community in St. John’s is growing quickly. Muñoz and her 13-year-old daughter, Andrea, made a list of all the Colombians they know in St. John’s. They came up with nearly 50, and figure there might be nearly another 50 they haven’t met — yet. Of those others, Muñoz says some moved here for work or marriage, and haven’t connected through the Association for New Canadians. When the family first moved here, Muñoz says she spoke more with other Colombians; now, many have found work and the ties aren’t as strong. After she gets her English skills up to par, Muñoz hopes to study social work at Memorial University. “My husband says I’m always trying to help people,” she says with a smile. Her husband, currently away at a conference in Montreal, is already at the university, studying business administration. Their two children, Andrea, 13, and Esteban, 16, are in MacDonald Drive Junior High and Holy Heart High School, respectively.

When asked, both children say they’re liking school — though they find classes easy. “All classes, like math and geography and science, my son knows all these things, because in Colombia he studied very well in school. He finds it very boring, he’s already done it. School is very very easy,” Muñoz says. “It is a difficult time to move, as teenagers. My daughter has found friends and she likes music, movies, likes to play basketball. My son, he likes the computer, like play computer all the time. I worry he has no friends.” The children say they knew little English when they came here. Now, their mother often looks to them when she’s stuck for a word. Muñoz admits she misses her home country. “But I think God send me here,” she says, adding that she has no plans to leave. “At the moment, I don’t want to go back to my country. St. John’s is very good for my child,” she says, starting to cry. “It is very peaceful … in Spanish we say cielo.”

She draws clouds on the paper in front of her. “What is that … the sky. I think people here are from the sky. People are very good, very nice. “Some say to try for another province when I come here. No job here, no money here. But I’m not here for money, I find peace. No find money, find peace. Live in peace. No wish many things. No wish big house, no wish big car, I wish peace for my children and my family. It’s very good place.” On the way out of their home, Muñoz and her children offer a guava fruit jelly they found in a local grocery store. They were excited to find the taste from home, and eager to share with a visitor. “There weren’t many, so we bought all we could,” Andrea says, giggling. Muñoz knows she’ll never live in Colombia again. She says it’ll be at least 10 years before she can return for a vacation. Before ending the conversation, Muñoz reaches across the table to say one more thing: “Thank you St. John’s, thank you. I have surprise for me to live here. But there are many people who help.”


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LIFE & TIMES

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Standing Room Only

by Noreen Golfman

Sacred art A

lmost exactly 20 years ago a scheduled exhibition of the work of artist Peter Walker, called Sacred Art, was put under such pressure that the show closed before it had even been mounted at the LSPU Hall. The exhibition had been deliberately timed to coincide with Pope John Paul II’s visit to the province. Not to put too fine a point on it, authorities representing the Roman Catholic Church and various likeminded community interests railed against what they deemed to be Walker’s too irreverent depictions of holy figures. You wonder whether any one of these authorities could have located the LSPU Hall on a map, but the point is that the show, so brazenly about repression and selfcensorship, never saw the Newfoundland light of day and the province lost the talented but bitter Walker to Nova Scotia. Time really does take care of short-term hysteria. The Pope might have smiled, waved, and blessed from here to Flat Rock but the imminent devastation of the Mount Cashel scandal and cover up would be littering the Pope’s wake like rusted cars in the neighbour’s back lot. Art mattered enough to threaten what we used to call the authorities. Walker really was on to something. Indeed, his art was more sacred than anyone realized. Only a couple of decades past, but the flack around that

show seems to have taken place much longer ago. It all seems so foolish now. But could the same thing happen in another context today? Or here? Last weekend a provocative hard-hitting documentary by American filmmaker Michael

Thankfully, Fahrenheit 9/11 shows less of Moore and more of the facts. I am sure I am not alone in hoping in the electoral summer of 2004, as Americans ramp up to a fall election and wrestle with their albeit slim ideological choices, that Moore’s film will make a difference.

Moore won the celebrated Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, arguably the most prestigious film award in the world. France, the host country of the festival, boasts 350 different kinds of cheese, the best wines, women, and perfume. France invented good taste. Michael Moore is a scruffy boyman who probably weighs 350

pounds and sports a Detroit Tigers baseball cap (when not wearing one that reads “Made in Canada”). He is the deliberate emblem of bad taste. Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore’s award-winning documentary about the dubious connections between the White House and the Saudis, received a 10-minute standing ovation at the festival. Cannes patrons are used to hissing and booing, maybe scattered whistling, not offering extended ovations. It just isn’t cool to exult about anything in public in the land that invented haut couture. But Fahrenheit 9/11 is obviously the right film at the right time and place, a scathing indictment of George W. and the tangle of deceptions that led to an invasion of Iraq. In France, the country that Americans have been encouraged to boycott due to lack of military interest, Fahrenheit 9/11 must seem like a timely vindication. That said, and as Moore’s official website likes to announce, the Cannes jury included four Americans, not just spiteful lefty celebrities with euro trash passports. It is still unclear whether Fahrenheit 9/11will ever be released widely in North America, because Disney, the family-values distributor, has now notoriously refused to carry the film into theatres. It is clear that there is egg all over Mickey Mouse’s face in the light of the Palme D’Or, because

such self-censorship doesn’t speak well of the ostensible home of life and liberty, democracy and free speech. There is no small irony in the fact that the very values George W. keeps championing as motive for ‘freeing’ Iraq are the very ones a huge corporate outfit like Disney have squelched — like church authorities censoring Walker’s show about censorship. To disclose for a moment, I have never been a rabid admirer of Michael Moore. I thought his much vaunted documentary on those troubling high school murders in Colorado, Bowling for Columbine, was an unmitigated fraud, proving that you really can fool almost all the people most of the time. That box office hit is an openly manipulative exercise in garish provocation, replete with phony set ups, lousy factoids, and a sanctimonious Moore bullying himself into as many frames as possible. Shut up, Michael. Rent Gus Van Sant’s Elephant if you really want to see an insightful examination of the Columbine murders. Thankfully, Fahrenheit 9/11 shows less of Moore and more of the facts. I am sure I am not alone in hoping in the electoral summer of 2004, as Americans ramp up to a fall election and wrestle with their albeit slim ideological choices, that Moore’s film will make a difference. Maybe enough voters will see it and consign George W.

and his gang of bandits to the dustbin of history. Maybe Stephen Harper will even hear about it and wonder whether he should take his children. In awarding Fahrenheit 9/11 the grand prize, the Cannes jury has validated its anti-war argument. In censoring it, Disney has given the documentary a life well beyond its initial expiry date. Prone to cynicism, we tend to think that at least in the western world art really doesn’t count any more, that its influence is negligible, its value too arbitrary, its reach shallow. But when church authorities or the 21st century’s ideological masters, the priests of the entertainment industry, get so worked up about it, so transparently threatened that they marshal all their resources to shut you down, it is comforting to know that art still matters. Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and film studies at Memorial University. Her next column appears June 13.


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

LIFE & TIMES

Page 23

On The Shelf

by Mark Callanan

Playing the fool The Sandblasting Hall of Fame By Lawrence Mathews. Oberon Press, 2003

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ccording to Larry Mathews, the characters from The Sandblasting Hall of Fame, his first collection of short stories, are “clowns … in the sense that they see the Fall of Man whenever they slip on a banana peel … and pilgrims too, always looking for something they usually think they’ve found.” As such, they follow in the tradition of such great, flawed heroes of contemporary fiction as Saul Bellow’s Moses Herzog or Martin Amis’ John Self. Bellow’s 1964 novel Herzog is a third-person account of the mental decline of a university professor and one-time author, obsessed by the failure of his two previous marriages and driven on an irrational epistolary mission — large sections of the novel are occupied by the manic letters to friends and lovers, psychiatrists and politicians that Herzog composes in a bid to maintain a grip on the sanity that, day by day, slips further from him. John Self, the narrator of Amis’ 1981 novel Money, is an overweight, self-destructive, alcoholic filmmaker, prone to drinkinginduced memory lapses, who maintains an un-shaking belief that mankind is on its way to hell in a handbasket. Both Bellow’s and Amis’ characters see themselves as entities apart from the masses, seers or Shakespearean fools amid a mob unwilling to face the truth. Readers are meant to perceive them as ludicrous in their idiosyncrasies and laughable in their pretensions to wisdom. But despite the comedy of their existence, both Herzog and Self do occasionally provide meaningful insight. So too with the characters of Larry Mathews. The narrator of Mathews’ “Flower Heaven” lives in a basement residence below a young woman named Crystal. He spends much of his time studying Crystal’s living habits based on what muffled noise he can hear coming through his ceiling.

“Did I mention that I live in the basement,” he asks near the beginning of the story, “I don’t have to live in a basement. I choose to live in this basement because of its proximity to my workplace.” The defensive nature of the narrator’s tone immediately suggests an inconsistency between objective reality and the truth that he imposes upon us. His perception is just off-kilter enough to make anything he tells us suspect. Mathews enjoys playing with versions of the truth in similar fashion throughout the book, often to comic effect. Gilbert, the narrator of the collection’s title story, is an aspiring fiction writer and confessed disciple of the de-motivational tapes of one Reverend Polymer. “‘Love not the world’ is Polymer’s gist and pith. How right he is.” The entire narrative is filtered through this embittered consciousness in the form of Gilbert’s diary entries on his work at Blifco (a suitably anonymous, generic office working environment), on his own pseudonymous column of art criticism, and on Angela Oregano, his coworker and asexual obsession. In much the same way as Moses Herzog’s perception is defined by the poverty of his mental state and John Self’s by his rampant alcoholism, Gilbert’s own distorted viewpoint is informed by his subscription to Reverend Polymer’s philosophy. This is literature of the psychologically, physically and spiritually wounded. If I had to name a prevailing fault in the writing of Martin Amis, it would be the palpable sense of self-satisfaction that is embedded in much of his prose. Amis often gets carried away by his own technical virtuosity, never missing an

opportunity to display his literary pyrotechnics. While often entertaining, this tendency towards showmanship can detract from the overall effectiveness of his work. Larry Mathews suffers no such infirmity. His prose may not possess the same explosive capacity as that of Martin Amis, but it is an efficient and deeply layered system of meaning that carries readers into foreign minds and lives, however deluded or caricature-like

they may be. The voice whispering in your head, Crystal, the one your mother denies when she speaks mockingly of flower heaven, the voice that comes from deep within the foundations of your house (your mother’s house!), the voice that would shake the foundations with its calm words of enlightenment, the voice of unprepossession, that voice, Crystal, is mine.

Beneath the self-deprecating, rueful comic tone that colours most of this collection, there is a voice that speaks, if not an entire, then at least a partial truth— as much as any piece of literature can hope to attain. Mark Callanan’s next column will appear June 13. He can be reached at callanan_ _@hotmail.com


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LIFE & TIMES

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Theatre arts

Stephen Drover, an assistant director at Stratford, promotes the ‘experience’ By Alisha Morrissey The Sunday Independent

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any may say the difference between theatre and film is pretension, but Stephen Drover says the real difference is interaction. “Theatre is pretty much the only art form that takes more than one person to make it happen. I can go see a movie by myself and there’s no one else in the room and potentially even miles near me,” the Spaniard’s Bay native says. Seeing a movie, says Drover, is a lonely experience of “watching light dance on a screen. “As a society we hunger for human interaction and some sort of event and this goes back to sitting around a campfire telling stories.” Drover has worked in theatre circles for much of his adult life. After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in theatre at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, he moved on to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to get his master’s degree in arts. Drover is now working as an assistant director with the Stratford Festival, the largest and oldest theatre festival in North America. This is his first contract at the Ontario event. “It wasn’t so much the play itself but being offered work by the Stratford Festival … It’s just the chance to work here that attracted me to it.” With four Shakespearian productions already under his belt, the production of King John at this year’s festival will be another intimidating — but fulfilling — experience for Drover. “You’re working on these words that have been said hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times by some of the world’s greatest actors and you always think this has been done better than I could do it,” he says. “You’re also supported by hundreds of years of tradition and after a while, a play like Hamlet becomes almost a myth … it goes beyond just being something that somebody wrote, it becomes ingrained in our cultural con-

“I’d have to wait ’til Newfoundland wants me to come back” — Stephen Drover Photo by Jeff Ducharme/The Sunday Independent

sciousness.” Drover says it’s a great feeling to work on a project with such prominence. “You feel like you are standing on the shoulders of really great artists and you get to share that with them.” As much as he enjoys the chal-

lenge of Shakespeare, he’s beginning to believe he will never escape the bard, and it has become a joke of sorts to his friends. After seeing the rest of the country, Drover says there is a place in his heart for Newfoundland but no money there for his pockets. “I’m not stupid. If someone

handed me a ticket and said go home to Newfoundland for a while I would … I’d have to wait ’til Newfoundland wants me to come back.” Drover repeats that he will never say never but adds, while there are benefits in the theatre community in Newfoundland, there are equal-

I’se The Girl

ly devastating drawbacks. He says Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province where you do not have to be part of the Canadian Actors Equity Association, which is similar to an actor’s union. That allows performers to work whenever they want at whatever they want. “Pretty much anybody can make a play,” he says. But the work is seasonal at best in the province. “The possibility of someone being an actor in Newfoundland, and only being an actor and making all their money through theatre, that’s pretty remote.” There’s “slim pickings” in Newfoundland from November on when it comes to stage production, says Drover. “You work as an actor for the summer and the rest of the year I don’t know what you do, you get a real job.” Drover believes in the importance of the theatre-going audience. “A good production is not just the actors’ responsibility … consequently the spectator has a hand in the pot to contribute to what the evening is like,” he says. The interaction may be the key ingredient in making a stage production work, but Drover says too many productions are all about enjoyment and entertainment rather than edification. “That’s on par with eating just cause you’re hungry, but you can actually eat food to nurture your body — and why not do both? “We have the opportunity and the responsibility to feed the hunger that’s not satisfied elsewhere.” For a play to move a person and possibly to open up an audience’s mind Drover says there needs to be substance that viewers don’t get from the movies. Though many people have speculated on his directing dreams Drover says he will probably not be an Oscar winner anytime soon. “I’m a theatre artist, not a film artist … don’t get me wrong, I love films. I love hamburgers too, but I don’t want to make them for a living.”

by Deborah Bourden

Hockey starlets M

onday night hockey? Yes, it was supposed to be the last night of the season so I excitedly pulled into the parking lot (a little late as usual) only to see 22 women standing around looking anxious. “Great, I’m not really that late,” was my first thought, followed by, “What the heck is happening?” Turns out the sign in front of the arena for the past month that announced “Ice on until the 25th” was not so. What a disappointment. For months the routine of Monday night hockey was something I had looked forward to, craved even. Ice hockey you say? You bet. It’s one of the fastest growing female sports in Canada and I’m hooked. It’s hard to believe that before October 2002 I had never really played ice hockey. I still snicker at the reactions I get as I dash from meetings with a quick

apology: “Got to go. I have to be on the ice in 30 minutes.” The best reaction was going to trade in a helmet that didn’t quite fit. I stood at the counter explaining to the salesperson that it was too narrow and that I wanted to trade for a slightly wider model. He listened carefully, nodded, looked around and said “so where’s the young fellow?” At first I was confused, but quickly responded “that’ll be me.” So what’s this all about, the idea of a woman at my age and particular point in life picking up the game of hockey. Not a simple question to answer but I’m certain it’s not for the beer drinking in the dressing room afterward. (Sorry guys, we don’t get what that’s about.) We all rush to the stadium and, once the game is done, rush back to our frantic lives. Maybe that’s part of the answer; for about 50

minutes we’re free on the ice. Free to chase that silly black disk around and around; racing up and down the ice and occasionally getting that incredible opportunity to score a goal. There just isn’t a better feeling than seeing the puck pass the goal line and knowing that it came off the end of your stick. I know because I can proudly say I’ve had the experience twice — once for my team and once for the other side. Does the game get rough? Anytime you have 12 people on the ice all wanting the same thing — control of the puck — anything can happen. The recreational league is noncontact, which it is if you eliminate the times when someone just can’t stop. I love the pick-up games we play for fun outside the league where we spice it up a little and friendly rivalry gives way to the odd bit of one-upmanship.

There the moves of some of the more skillful player are to be admired and, for a novice like me, envied. Most of us don’t shy away from the corners and an easy turnover is the last thing on anyone’s mind. It’s all in good fun and so far the only injury I’ve suffered is the occasional mild bruising of my pride. And we have referees. Some people think women rec players don’t need referees — not so. We take our hockey seriously and are just as frustrated when the ref misses an offside call or when an icing call that we desperately want gets waved off. Since I’ve started to play the game my respect for the role of the referee has grown. Can you imagine having 12 women telling you all at once what they think the call should have been? I can’t picture my life today without hockey, although the summer games aren’t slated to start

until July and, until then, I’ve hung up my skates. I don’t know whether the almost overnight craze for women’s hockey has somehow changed the game but I would like to think I’ve discovered something truly special. Whether it’s the friendships that develop naturally through playing a team sport or whether it’s the fact that I feel great when I get off the ice, I know that hockey is now a part of me. I’m not a great player, I’m not even a good player, but by golly I have heart and a helmet the fits properly.


May 30, 2004

Page 25

The Sunday Independent

SPORTS

Solid Efford Golf pro loves his job and has some advice: If you’re right handed and golfing left, then you’re probably doing it wrong By David Manning For The Sunday Independent

R

ob Efford knows what golf is all about. He’s the envy of all his old high school mates, who are probably all wishing they started golfing at an early age like he did. As golf professional at D’Angelo’s Golf on O’Leary Avenue in St. John’s, Efford, 30, is one of the few people who have a job doing what they love. In Efford’s case, golf has been his love for almost his entire life. “Yeah, I had my first set of golf clubs when I was five,” Efford says with a smile. Introduced to the game by his father, golf meant father-son bonding time in the Efford household. “My father and parents were involved with the game and I just started going there (the course). At first it was just somewhere to go with dad instead of troutin’,” says Efford. Instead of spending lazy weekends next to a pond catching fish, he chipped and putted his way around the golf course. Being introduced to golf at an early age was an advantage for Efford, one that resulted in him having early success with the game. “Whenever you get good at something you like it more and more, that’s why I was drawn to golf.” What began as a bonding activity soon turned into an obsession with long summer days spent at the course. “Growing up, during the summer I was at the golf course morning, noon, and night. I played every day, hit balls at the range, then I started working there. Instead of being a rink rat, I was a golf course rat,” Efford says. It was that sort of dedication that led Efford to his eventual career as golf professional. A former Newfoundland and Labrador amateur champion, Efford’s game developed to a point where it was suggested he make a career out of it. “I guess I was about 19 or 20 and people would say ‘You’re pretty good, you should start teaching or become a professional,’” says Efford. Solidifying his choice, Bally Hally and its golf professional, Bruce Emery, were looking for an assistant golf professional to take care of the kids’ program. “I started teaching the kids, looking after them and started playing some events on the Canadian and Atlantic tours,” Efford says. Not just any aspiring Tiger Woods can become a golf professional. It’s a five-year process, says Efford, entailing an entrance playing ability test, an apprenticeship, and various courses over that time. The whole process is capped off with an ability test. Simply put, once someone is finished their training they know the game inside and out and are deserving of the title professional. In Newfoundland, being professional generally means you teach

Photo by Paul Daly/The Sunday Independent

Golf professional Rob Efford.

golf. In other provinces professional tours pass through numerous times during the summer. Newfoundland, however, has the misfortune of having only one professional event during the golf season. “That’s my biggest regret about turning professional … the tournaments,” says Efford. “I’m not in Ontario, there aren’t many pro tournaments around here.” Efford enjoys teaching the game and living at home. “Seeing your students get better for sure is rewarding. When people come back to you and tell you they’re

getting better, it gives you a good feeling,” he says. His students have included some golfers who have gone on to play NCAA golf in the United States, which is proof that the game is growing and evolving here in Newfoundland. North American has experienced a boom in golfing and Newfoundland is no exception. Efford accounts this rise to one thing — perception. “The accessibility of golf here in Newfoundland has risen over the past number of years. People thought it

was a rich man’s sport, but really it wasn’t.” Golf in this province may be growing as a sport, but it’s also growing in another way that Efford doesn’t like. “People have to realize that a golf club isn’t a hockey stick,” Efford says, laughing. “Because they shot left in hockey they play golf left-handed, that isn’t the case most of the time.” Efford says most people are right-handed and should golf with their dominant hand. “A lot of people in Newfound-

land are playing left-handed and struggling with it. There’s nothing in the water that’s producing lefthanded golfers, people are just playing the wrong way,” stresses the teacher. Admitting he gets tired of the game from time to time, Efford loves his career choice. It has one drawback, however. “When I go to the course, it still feels like work,” he says. “People sometime pester you with questions because they know you’re a professional, when you just want to play yourself.”


Page 26

SPORTS

The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

This Sporting Life

by Shaun Drover

Between a Rock and a clay place

I

tem: New Jersey prosecutors announce they will retry former NBA star Jayson Williams on a charge of reckless manslaughter. Comment: The announcement was welcomed after the ridiculous results of his first trial were released. On April 30, a jury acquitted Williams on charges of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault, but was unable to reach a verdict on the reckless manslaughter charge. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, let me fill you in on the specifics. Williams was at a club where he and his entourage spent a night partying. He ran up a $600 bar tab before leaving the club in his limousine. While back at his estate, and in a drunken state, he decided to show off his shotgun. He removed it from a cabinet, yelled an obscenity at the limo driver, and “accidentally” fired 12 bullets into the chest of the limo driver who died minutes later. Shortly after, Williams allegedly plotted a cover up. I believe it’s not a matter of fame or stardom that gets a man off, but the size of his pocketbook. If it wasn’t for the high-priced lawyers that Williams was able to afford, he’d be waiting to be put away for good. I don’t care if the weapon misfired; if it has the chance of misfiring 12 bullets into another man’s chest then you shouldn’t be handling it in the first place. If a deep pocketbook is all you need to get away with terrible crimes, than I guess Kobe Bryant must have his book, Life After Rape, near completion. ••• Item: The Newfoundland Rock prepare for their first Rugby Canada Super League match on June 5th. Comment: The Rugby Canada Super League has expanded to a total of 14 teams. The expansion clubs from Niagara and Quebec join the Newfoundland Rock in the east division, leaving both east and west divisions with seven teams each. The Rugby Canada Super League is the highest calibre rugby in the country with many national level players competing within the league. The sport’s popularity is growing in Canada and the level of competition is getting better each year. With a combination of returning players and new talent, The Rock should put forth a strong effort in the east division.

REUTERS/David Gray

Fourth seed Andre Agassi of the U.S. serves to Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne January 23, 2004. Agassi won the match 6-0 6-3 6-3.

Coached by our own rugby guru, Pat Parfrey, the Rock is looking for some hometown support when they play their three home games here in St. John’s. They will open on the road with games in Ottawa

and Quebec before returning home for three straight games. The Rock will host the Toronto Xtreme on June 26th, Nova Scotia Keltics on July 3rd, and the Niagara Thunder on July 24th.

The Rock has had success in the league’s seven-year existence. Just two years ago they made the championship only to lose to Vancouver. This year should be a huge challenge as a full seven-team eastern division will be difficult to conquer. The Toronto Xtreme should once again have a strong team and with an emphasis in the league’s format to win round robin games. The June 26th match here in St. John’s between the Rock and the Xtreme will be one to look forward to. ••• Item: Andre Agassi was on the losing end of a huge first-round upset at the French Open. Comment: Could this be the beginning of the end for the colourful superstar? I don’t think he’s ready to give up just yet, but poor outcomes such as this won’t be easy for Agassi to swallow after his years of success. Agassi was obviously struggling with his clay court game as he lost in straight sets to France’s Jerome Haehnel. Word of his loss spread quickly around Roland Garros as fans there were thinking they may have seen Agassi at the French Open for the last time. He seemed distraught after the upset, and with opportunities dwindling every tournament, Agassi may be done with clay. He usually performs better on harder surfaces and will be sure to play the hard court tournaments for some time. But is it worth his time to be struggling to find his game on clay at this point in his career? At an older age, he focuses more on fitness than tennis travel. This limits his clay court practice and his game just wasn’t up to par at the start of the French Open. His priorities must be shifting, especially now that he has two young children.

THIS WEEK S THEME:

SONG TITLES

Cooper s CrissCross is a typical search-a-word puzzle except “The Badger ________ ” you must first decipher the “Ferryland___________ ” word list based on the clues “Gonna be a time ____ ” provided. All the clues have “Heave away, my _____ ” a Newfoundland and Labrador “The ___________ waltz ” flavour. Good luck!

“ __________ old times ”

“I’m my own _________ ”

“The Ryans & the _____”

The word list and Answer grid “The Kelligrews ______ ” can be found below. “ _______________ boat ”

“Mussels in the ______ ” “Northern lights of ____ ” “ ______________ Polina ” “Paddy McGinty’s ____ ”

“Saltwater ___________” “Star of ______ _______ ”

“ ____________ Monday ”

“ _________ Cove Pond ”

“ The ___________ song ”

“ Wave ________ wave ” Created for The Sunday Independent by John Andrews

Solutions DRIVE SEALER TONIGHT JOHNNY HIBERNIA GRANPA SOIREE LUKEYS MAUZY MUMMERS

CORNER LABRADOR OLD GOAT RARE PITTMANS COWBOY LOGYBAY TICKLE OVER


The Sunday Independent, May 30, 2004

Page 27

Events May 30 • Tourist Trap, written by Lorne Elliott, featuring Pete Soucy and Frankie O’Neill, LSPU Hall, St. John’s, (709) 753-4531. Final performance. • Connie Parsons School of Dance yearend performance, St. John’s Arts and Culture centre, (709) 729-3900. • Roz Butler piano recital, Labrador West Arts & Culture centre (709) 944-5412. • Family day at MUN Botanical Gardens, St. John’s: hikes, story time, puppet shows, arts and crafts, (709) 737-8590. • Annual spring flower show, MUN Botanical Garden, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hosted by the Newfoundland Horticultural Society, (709) 737-8590. • Artists’ talk: Bonnie Leyton and Kathleen Knowling speak regarding the issues and development of their current joint exhibition at the RCA Gallery, LSPU Hall, St. John’s, 2-5 p.m. (originally scheduled for May 16). • Kevin Major will be the guest speaker at The St. John’s Library Board’s Annual Literary Tea, 3 p.m. The Crypt, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. John’s, (709) 7372133. • New music concert: music of the moment Rob Power, Adam Staple and Sean Panting direct St. John’s high school music students in writing, rehearsing and performance of new works — all in one day, 8 p.m. May 31 • Mount Pearl School of Dance year-end performance, St. John’s Arts and Culture centre, (709) 729-3900. • Labrador canoe regatta committee public meeting, College of the North Atlantic, room 217, 6:30-8:30, (709) 8968299. • Canadian Diabetes Association orientation session, Health Sciences Centre lecture theatre A, St. John’s, (709) 754-0953, ext. 2. June 1 • Lewisporte Collegiate spring concert,

(709) 753-3680. • Dermot O’Reilly at Erin’s Pub • Matt Mays & El Torpedo with The Novaks at the New Junctions, St. John’s. June 5 • Gander Shriners garage sale, Gander Curling Club, 9 a.m., (709) 256-8618. • Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation Miracle Network Telethon, CBC Television, (709) 777-4382. Continues June 6. • Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador annual celebrity lifestyle auction, Bella Vista, Torbay Road, St. John’s, (709) 579-1009. • Newfoundland Historical Society symposium History of the Conception Bay fishery on the Labrador, Lions’ Club, Bay Roberts, (709) 722-3191. • Dermot O’Reilly at Erin’s Pub • Matt Mays & El Torpedo with The Haters at the New Junctions, St. John’s. • Plant sale, Memorial University’s botanical gardens, 10 a.m. Matt Mays and his band El Torpedo play the New Junctions, St. John’s, June 4 and 5.

Gander Arts & Culture centre, (709) 729256-1082 • Newfoundland & Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) annual conference and entrepreneur of the year awards. Holiday Inn, Portugal Cove Road, St. John’s, (709) 754-5555. June 1 • Lupus Newfoundland and Labrador card game, Park Place Community Centre, Park Avenue, Mount Pearl, 8 p.m. June 2 • Glass Slippers Dance Recital, Grand Falls-Windsor Arts & Culture centre, (709) 292-4520. June 3 • The Ultimate Idol, presented by Kim

Wiseman and students, Gander Arts & Culture centre, (709) 729-256-1082. • Glass Slippers Dance Recital, Grand Falls-Windsor Arts & Culture centre, (709) 292-4520. • St. John’s Boys and Girls Club Envirofest 2004, Mundy Pond Boys and Girls Club, St. John’s, (709) 757-3155. • Labrador City Recreation Department polar bear dip, registration 6:45 p.m., event starts at 7 p.m., Tanya Beach, Labrador City, (709) 944-3602. June 4 • Mount Pearl School of Dance year-end performance, St. John’s Arts and Culture centre, (709) 729-3900. • Ocean Net Oceans Day community cleanup blitz at various communities throughout the province, contact Sharon Kavanagh,

In the gallerIes: • Gatherings, an exhibit by Stephanie Barry, Libby Moore, Susan Furneaux, Catherine McCausland opens at the Craft Council Gallery, Devon House, (709) 753-2749. • Newfoundland … journey into a lost nation, photos by Greg Locke at the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, Baird’s Cove, St. John’s. Until June 1. nOte: • Call for entries for the 15th Annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. The deadline is May 31, 2004. The entry form can be downloaded at http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/english_entry_form.pdf Please submit your events editorial@theindependent.ca

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2004-05-30