VOL. 2 ISSUE 41
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10-16, 2004
$1.00 (INCLUDING HST)
Cost benefit analysis Is Newfoundland and Labrador a drain on Canada or vice versa? OPINION
Ray Guy: ‘Makes the Cold War look almost fun’ Page 3
INDEPENDENT ATTEMPTS TO ANSWER QUESTION VIC YOUNG’S ROYAL COMMISSION LEFT HANGING By Ryan Cleary The Independent
Harbour Grace-native Geoff Weeks in Sweden Page 19
tarting in its next edition, The Independent will begin what may be the most ambitious editorial project ever undertaken by a Newfoundland and Labrador media outlet — a cost benefit analysis of Confederation. Over six weeks, the newspaper will examine the province’s contribution to Canada since 1949, and Canada’s contribution in return. The series will examine six distinct topics — oil and gas, transportation, natural resources, finances, hydro and Terms of Union. The key element of each front page for the duration of the six-week project will be a balance sheet, updated weekly until the final totals are presented in the last installment. For 55 years, Newfoundland and Labrador has been seen as a drain on the Canadian economy, a have-not province that, despite immense wealth in natural resources, can’t seem to get ahead. Since Confederation, the commercial
Why exactly did Danny Dumaresque go public about Newfoundland Hydro — politics or principle? By Stephanie Porter The Independent
Geoff Drover wraps up Blue Bombers’ season Page 25
Continued on page 2
No walking away
LIFE & TIMES
Photographer Sheilagh O’Leary’s Irish connection
groundfish fishery has collapsed, to the point the once-great northern cod stock may be declared endangered; hydroelectric resources in Labrador have been developed for Quebec’s gain; oil resources have been brought on tap in such a way that Ottawa is the principle beneficiary; double digit unemployment has persisted for 30 years; and, in the last decade, 70,000 people — 12 per cent of the population — have been lost to outmigration. Those facts were pointed out by the 2003 Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada. The question the commission didn’t answer is whether this place is capable of getting to its feet — or whether, indeed, something is keeping the province down. The Independent will attempt to answer that question with research and facts, analysis and interviews. The financial benefits this province receives from the federal government include obvious ones — equalization, transfer payments and old-age pensions. In return, the province gives back taxes — personal, corporate and retail. Headed by Vic Young, the commission concluded that federal spending in the province since 1949 exceeded the
anny Dumaresque insists his complaints about the operations of Newfoundland Hydro — which he went public with last week, two weeks after being asked to leave the corporation’s board of directors — have nothing to do with sour grapes or resentment, and everything to do with the public good. Not to say another run for public office would be out of the question. “I’m not trying to embarrass anybody, I’m just trying to account for my position, demonstrate that I took this job serious,” he tells The Independent. “If
there was an issue I believe that wasn’t in the best interests of the people, I’m pleased I took it to the public. I’ll be delighted if all the requests I’ve made are taken care of.” Dumaresque has three major beefs with Hydro and the structure of its board of directors: millions of dollars are being spent without proper accounting and disclosure; board members don’t have the time or resources to get to know their jobs; and Labrador is not receiving its share of the company’s revenues. The former parliamentary assistant tackled the first issue at a modest press conference in St. John’s late last week.
‘Narrow place in the river’ Sheshatshiu still struggles with gas sniffing and alcoholism, but Labrador Innu community may be slowly on the mend
Continued on page 8
Sheshatshiu By Bert Pomeroy The Independent
“I did have some goodies flown in for the kids, and I also flew in some Mary Brown’s … but I did not bring in any booze.”
— Penote Ben Michel, newlyelected president of the Innu nation on his election campaign
Paul Daly/The Independent
Paul Daly/The Independent
Innu elder Sabastien Penunsi lives in Sheshatshiu.
abastien Penunsi remembers a time when life seemed so much simpler. “I miss being in the country,” Penunsi tells The Independent through a translator. “I miss the food and that it is so quiet there.” Penunsi says he wishes he could go back and bring today’s generation with him. The respected Innu elder has seen many changes in his 74 years. He was among the first to settle in the community of Sheshatshiu in the late 1950s.
“There’s been a lot of changes — not only for me, but for other elders too,” he says. “Lots of the children have changed their attitudes, and a lot of the kids are sniffing gas and taking drugs. That was not the way it was when I was young. “I am very sad about what I’ve seen in the past, but I’m even sadder now.” Penunsi blames “the white school” for many of the problems facing Innu children today. “The children used to be taught in the country, learning the Innu way of life … their culture,” Penunsi says. “It was very good — there was nothing in the country like alcohol or drugs. Now the children are being taught differently.” Penunsi says he fears the younger gen-
eration will lose touch with their culture. “There are not many elders in the community anymore, and many people are working at Voisey’s Bay. If we can get the children to go back into the country, that would help a lot in healing the Innu.” Prior to the settlement of Sheshatshiu — translated as “narrow place in the river” — the Innu were a nomadic people, spending most of the year in Labrador’s interior, gathering, trapping, hunting and fishing. With pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and the provincial government, they quickly found themselves being integrated into mainstream society. The establishment of schools in the
1960s separated children from parents and prevented many of them from experiencing their traditional way of life. In the mid-1970s, the introduction of the federally-funded “out-post” program allowed many of the Innu from Sheshatshiu to travel into the Labrador wilderness for several months each year and live off the land. The program also allowed elders the opportunity to pass down their traditions and heritage to the children. But the costs associated with transporting people to and from the country increased, as access to traditional hunting grounds for many families was no Continued on page 11
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Foreign trawler denies access to inspectors By Ryan Cleary The Independent
citation was issued Oct. 4 to the Spanish factoryfreezer trawler Freiremar Uno after the captain refused to allow Canadian fisheries inspectors inside a storage area aboard the vessel, The Independent has learned. Fisheries officers were permitted access to the disputed area several hours later after inspectors aboard the European Union patrol vessel Jean Charcot arrived on the scene and boarded the ship, which was fishing turbot on the nose of the Grand Banks at the time. Oddly, Canadian inspectors did not find any fishing infractions once they were granted access to the storage area. Morley Knight, head of conservation and protection with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s, is at a loss to explain why Canadian inspectors weren’t allowed in the storage area if there was nothing to hide.
“I really don’t know,” he says, “and why risk getting a citation issued to you for that?” ‘STAYED ON BOARD’ Knight says the Canadian inspectors stayed aboard the Spanish vessel during the several hours it took for the Jean Charcot to sail to the area. “We have no indication that there was anything that the captain or crew could have done there,” he says. “And like I said, we stayed on board.” Canada won’t find out until September, 2005 during the next annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), the group that monitors fishing outside Canada’s 200-mile limit, what became of its citation against the Freiremar Uno. Knight says it likely won’t be upheld because the EU inspectors didn’t have a problem entering the storage area. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one that they say they could not confirm,” he says. “Upon being directed (by the EU inspectors) the captain did open the storage
area and, therefore, if someone says ‘Did you find any resistance?’ they could say no, therefore we can’t confirm.” The citation issued to the Freiremar Uno represents the seventh citation issued to a foreign trawler by Canada since May. Infractions range from the use of undersized mesh to the catching of endangered species such as cod. SIX CITATIONS Only three of the six citations were upheld by EU inspectors; the other three citations were disputed and dropped. As of Oct. 8, 22 foreign trawlers were fishing groundfish, redfish mainly, just outside Canada’s 200mile limit. Another 14 vessels were fishing shrimp. “It looks to us now that there are somewhat less (vessels) than there would normally be this time of year,” Knight says. “But who knows, in two weeks … there could be more again. But we’re optimistic that the numbers may be down a little bit here.” During question period in the
House of Commons Oct. 8, Tory Fisheries critic Loyola Hearn asked Prime Minister Paul Martin whether the federal Liberal government plans to follow through on its pre-election promise to implement custodial management over fish stocks on the Grand Banks. In response, federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan said Canadian inspectors have made more than 130 boardings so far this year. “In fact, they have found evidence that infractions have decreased as a result of these efforts,” he said. “We also know that one-third less foreign boats are on the nose and tail this year. The fact is that our strategy is working.” Under NAFO rules, Canada cannot follow through with court action once a citation is issued. Rather, it’s up to the home country of the vessel in question. Well over 300 citations have been issued against foreign trawlers since the early 1990s. It isn’t known whether any of the citations resulted in disciplinary action.
THIS WEEK In Camera . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Business & Commerce . . 15 International News . . . 19 Life & Times . . . . . . . . . 21 Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . 18 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
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Is the federation working for Newfoundland and Labrador From page 1 amount of revenues Ottawa has collected in this province “by a wide margin. “In the past decade, that gap has been very large, ranging from between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion a year. In 2000, federal spending was approximately $4.8 billion, against revenues of about $2.2 billion, a difference of some $2.6 billion.” But those aren’t the only amounts to be added to the balance sheet. How much is Labrador’s iron ore worth to the factories and plants in Ontario and Quebec where kitchen sinks and bicycles are made? How much is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery worth to the foreign plants that process
fish caught off the province’s How many federal jobs does collect all the profit from the shores? What’s the total of the this province have compared to upper Churchill? Why didn’t ongoing tradeoff? What’s been the the rest of Canada? How much in Ottawa give Newfoundland and cost of Ottawa’s failure to end subsidy does Ottawa give New- Labrador a corridor back then for overfishing? foundland and Labrador every power to be delivered to the UnitCan a price tag be put on the year to grow food? How does that ed States? Will the federal gov197-mile economic zone ernment grant the Newfoundland and province one today Labrador gifted to Canafor the lower In its final report, the royal commission da on the day the 200Churchill? stated that when provincial governments mile limit was born? Boiled down, the have engaged in balance-sheet exercises, Where do the profits go question The Indefrom the pulp and paper pendent will attempt the results have been “fruitless debates mills that chew through to answer is this: with the federal government over the forests? “Who’s getting a barassumptions, use of data, methods of Who makes more gain here — Canada from Grand Banks’ oil or Newfoundland analysis and items to be included. — Ottawa or Newand Labrador?” foundland and LabIn its final report, rador? the royal commission The federal government pro- compare with what other stated that when provincial govvides a link across the Gulf, but is provinces receive? ernments have engaged in balthe service what was signed for in How much money would this ance-sheet exercises, the results the Terms of Union? province have if Quebec didn’t have been “fruitless debates with
Police force will remain at current strength for now
rime rates may be on the rise, but the provincial government doesn’t have any plans to beef up the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary beyond budget increases announced in the March budget. “There’s a linkage between the number of property crimes and armed robberies and increased drug use … and there’s increased criminal activity due to the increased misuse of prescription drugs,” Tim Buckle says Diane Keough, spokeswoman for the Justice Department. “But there’s no direct link between resources for the RNC and crime rates. There’s no evidence to suggest that there’s any link there at this point.” The Constabulary currently has 306 officers on the force. Thirty new recruits are currently in training, but the earliest those officers will be on the job is September, 2005. “At this point there’s no plan to
change any of the implementation dates that were outlined in budget 2004,” Keough says. “Policing competes with health and education and all of the other things for limited resources.” Tim Buckle, the new president of the association representing RNC officers, has said the biggest issue facing the force is a lack of staff. Chief Richard Deering said recently the Constabulary doesn’t have the staffing levels to respond to alarm calls. The Constabulary’s area of jurisdiction includes the greater St. John’s area, Corner Brook and Labrador West. The rest of the province is covered by the RCMP, whose contract for policing in the province runs until 2012. “At this time we’re not considering extending the RCMP service into RNC jurisdiction,” Keough says. “It’s not being looked at, at this time.” — Ryan Cleary
the federal government over assumptions, use of data, methods of analysis and items to be included. “Battling over balance sheets is not constructive; it does not lead to progress. It should be avoided so as not to distract the provincial and federal governments from focusing on what really matters — ensuring that the federation works for its constituent parts.” But is the federation working for Newfoundland and Labrador? That may be the ultimate question for a renewed debate to answer. To make the balance sheet as accurate as possible, The Independent welcomes all contributions and suggestions in the form of e-mails or letters to the editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Independent, October 10, 2004
U.S. Navy Close to War: Winston Churchill crossed the Atlantic in battleship Prince of Wales to meet President Roosevelt off Newfoundland in 1941. Together they drafted the Atlantic Charter, setting out their aims for war and peace.
‘Burns in right to the bone’ W
hat they want, they take; what disagrees with them, they punish; what opposes them, they destroy. This describes (A) the Mongol hordes, (B) the Spanish Conquistadors or (C) the USA. The answer is all of the above. But the first two have gone down the tubes of history. For us it’s the USA today. It is the rotten fortune of the world that the long standoff to the Cold War ended with the U.S. holding most of the Big Bangs and such brutish thugs as George W. Bush and Company lording it over the universe. Ah, those Big Bangs … also known as nuclear weapons. I can barely remember at the age of five or six in a small and isolated village hearing the various “Uncles” gravely discuss the news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “There’s little white specks like snow falls out of the sky,” they reckoned, “and when they pitches on you they burns in right to the bone.” Here was another detail to enliven the nightmares of youngsters already come to crawl, walk and run with the Second World War playing in the background. Not a second, day or night since then has passed without the strong possibility of glancing up to see an almighty blinding flash and the end of things created. Fifty or 60 years of that sort of strain. Small
A Poke In The Eye RAY GUY wonder sales have stayed brisk for “Tums for the tummy.” As time went on the growing child was taught to duck under a school desk or look the other way at the first hint of a Big Bang. The bikini swimming costume arrived — itsy bitsy teeny weeney, yellow polka-dotted — named in a twisted sort of humour after Bikini atoll in the South Pacific where the French tested their own bombs. The main race for the most was between the USA and the USSR but France had them, Britain had them, the USA gave some to Israel and, at one point, Israel tried to sell some to South Africa. Today, China has them, and India and Pakistan and North Korea ... and maybe anyone quick enough to pick through the shambles of the former USSR. Looking back, it’s hard to believe how we coped. Joey Smallwood appointed his old nemesis, Peter Cashin, director of the local EMO or Emergency Measures Organization. Cashin caused tall poles topped with loudspeakers to be erected
around St. John’s. Due to moisture in the works, these went off at all hours keeping those ladies subject to the vapours in a wretched state. There were periodic drills by the St. John Ambulance and others; there was a special emergency band set aside on the radio; fallout shelters were the rage in some spots including the “Diefenbunker” outside Ottawa. In those 50 or 60 years of the Cold War no one, unless lightly timbered in the rafters, relaxed completely but just as in the Blitz there were efforts to escape momentarily the stress and strain. A popular movie was Dr. Strangelove … Or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb. Peter Sellars played three or four roles in it. There was the melancholy On the Beach by Nevil Shute in which the Big Bang comes and one submarine remains to check for signs of life. Or Planet of the Apes in which Charlton Heston discovers at the end how humans destroyed themselves and the monkeys had to start over. Decade after decade we trudged along with the great end-all hanging over us. The atomic bomb gave way to the hydrogen bomb and that was replaced in turn by a miracle explosive that killed all the people but left buildings, bridges, roads and factories intact. We were all invited to visualize what “100 Hiroshimas” or “1,000
Nagasakis” might be like. A peak of some sort was reached with some policy aptly named MAD or mutually assured destruction. This meant that the USA had enough big bangs to destroy the USSR and vice versa. So hush little babies don’t you cry. But the race continued.
It is the rotten fortune of the world that the long standoff to the Cold War ended with the U.S. holding most of the Big Bangs and such brutish thugs as George W. Bush and Company lording it over the universe. We often heard on the evening news that there was now enough to destroy the entire world 20 or 30 times over. Ridiculous excess, surely … unless to the militaryindustrial boys who were never richer, never happier. Our bleak comfort was in the supposed balance. The US and the USSR had the means to squash each other. What would be the point? But then some bluebirds of happiness began asking “What about
mistakes?” “What if a madman hits the automatic button?” “What if moisture in the wiring …?” Come to that, what about a Cuban Missile Crisis in which nobody blinked? By the time I had a couple of children of my own in the crib some scientists were predicting that if even a fraction of the nuclear bombs in the world were set off the atmosphere of the earth would catch fire and burn away. To make a long story short, the USA had enough dollars to drive the USSR into Cold-War bankruptcy. Good. Better the Yanks than the Ruskies. After all those long and fraught years the USA now had the definite upper hand in the world. All we had to do now was to believe that nothing but good could come out of America and for the first time in a lifetime we were safe in the arms of Jesus. What we have, unfortunately, is the darker half of the USA, land of our second cousins. At least for the present. The imbecilic bully George W. Bush and his slavering company have already shown that what they want, they take; what disagrees with them, they punish; what opposes them, they destroy. Makes the Cold War look almost fun. Ray Guy’s next column appears Nov. 7.
The Independent, October 10, 2004
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ow for the anxiety behind our page 1 story. It’s not an easy decision to describe a project as “the most ambitious ever undertaken by a Newfoundland and Labrador media outlet.” The choice of the word ambitious could be taken as cocky and boastful, as if there’s a chance in hell of nailing, within a billion dollars or two, a cost-benefit analysis of Confederation. Forget the numbers, how do you even know what to ask for? How many jobs can a million tonnes of Newfoundland and Labrador ore create in central Canada? Is there a calculator out there that can tally the mounds of money, times the multiplier effect? It’s too bad Ontario doesn’t have a Department of Industry Created with Stuff From Newfoundland and Labrador, with impressive officials to interview and pick apart. Would Quebec Hydro be willing, once The Independent rings up, to fork over its third quarter profit this year from the upper Churchill and tell us where exactly the tens of millions were directed? Good luck with that one. (Although The Independent will most definitely make the call.) Are the minerals and fish and
offshore oil and pulp and paper and electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador what keep the country’s engines running? And is that all that the province is good for — a fuel supply? Have we become a gas tank for the luxury vehicle that is mainland Canada? The numbers in a Confederation balance sheet are endless and unnerving; the math — which most journalists aren’t renowned for — equally as intimidating. And who’s to say another media outlet hasn’t carried out a project more important, more ambitious, than a dissection of a marriage by dollars and cents — keeping in mind not all assets, ours or the mainland’s, Canada’s as a whole — are as tangible as that. The Confederation debate is as old and worn as Parliament and Confederation Hills. What new can be said about the 55-year union? At what point do the gripes begin to grind? Ambition doesn’t guarantee success; it simply sets the bar. The Independent hopes to raise the debate above emotion, evaluating the union from a fact-based financial perspective. There’s a certain stigma that comes with being a Newfoundlander or Labradorian. Other Canadians see us as an odd people —
funny and warm; poor and uneducated; barnacled and backward. We’re known as newfies, not always in a negative way, but more often than not in a derogatory fashion. Newfie rhymes with goofy, two words that are synonymous to a certain element of the Canadian populace. Our stock comes from fishermen, the most noble of professions, although the social safety net has been drastically strengthened over the years, to the point of impacting the work ethic and culture.
Jesus Christ Himself was a fisherman, but then he didn’t have to worry about earning enough stamps to collect Employment Insurance over an outport winter. Jesus Christ Himself was a fisherman, but then he didn’t have to worry about earning enough stamps to collect Employment Insurance over an outport winter. For all the good Confederation has brought us, there are troubles in the land, there are always troubles in the land. Why can’t this place get ahead? A simple enough question, one that has never been answered. Will there ever be a
Thanksgiving that we don’t thank God for turnip and cabbage and make-work projects? Why is unemployment so perpetually high? Why can’t our sons and daughters stay here if they so choose? Why are we, a prideful people, so desperately poor? Is there a way for us to make it onto our own feet or is there some unseen hand keeping us on our knees? It’s time that these questions were answered once and for all. It’s time to stop bitching and bawling, put our heads down and move to make this a better place. First the facts, of course. The Independent isn’t so confident as to expect our research will be without holes. A cost benefit analysis is awfully intimidating to an editorial staff of five reporters and a lone photographer. It’s the effort that counts, however. We ask our readers to fill in the holes as they see them. Advice and suggestions are more than welcome — they’re crucial to the success of our endeavor. At the very least, the end result will be a lively debate about our place in Canada and Canada’s place in Newfoundland and Labrador. Every marriage needs a wake up call at some point. This union is no different. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to the Editor
© 2004 The Independent
Every Newfoundland gambler knows ... LETTERS POLICY The 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 Independent, P.O. Box 5891, Station C, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5X4 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Dear editor, Regarding Stephanie Porter’s story (Riding shotgun, Oct. 3 edition of The Independent) on the return of Dean MacDonald to the chair of the board of directors of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. It was a well-written and informative piece on a young man of determination and confidence, of business education and proven experience who calls this province home and wants to live and work right here. I found Paul Daly’s accompanying photo very interesting. MacDonald has the look of a player watching the dealer’s hand, waiting for the cards that will be dealt him. Yet, I am sure he wouldn’t be
so naïve as to play any game on a mirroring tabletop. In the photograph, it is the minor detail of what looks to be an aluminum soft drink can that also interests me. Isn’t that aluminum can, and all the other things made of aluminum we encounter every day, value-added electricity? Representatives of Alcoa of Pittsburgh, Pa. were in this province a few years ago scouting likely sources of electricity for aluminum production. Aren’t there others in the same business in this wide world? Where are the Chinese, the Japanese, Australian, and Norwegian aluminum producers? By the way, what’s new with Alco since? It might be worthwhile to con-
sider Happy Valley-Goose Bay with its huge airport, and seaport at Tarrington Basin (what an industrial park). Gull Island and its potential 2,200 megawatts is 90 kilometers up the Churchill River from Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s town center; Muskrat Falls with its potential 800 megawatts is just 40 km upstream. And why not Happy ValleyGoose Bay as our Fort MacMurray? There is natural gas off Labrador’s shore. There is uranium in Labrador. Both can be harnessed to produce electricity. The ice that covers Lake Melville and Hamilton Inlet for much of the year has never been insurmountable. Large industrial plants such as
aluminum refineries and aluminum smelters have two, three, four or more independent production lines. They also have periods of routine maintenance turnaround each year. If scheduled maintenance and employees’ annual vacation times were taken place in June, July and August, couldn’t excess electricity be then available to be sold in the lucrative demand markets of New York, New England, Quebec, and Ontario? To conclude and finish, thank you, young MacDonald, for saying no and daring to resign the last time you were chair of the board of directors of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Tom Careen, Placentia
The Independent, October 10, 2004
‘Double dog dare ya’ I t’s a pretty sad comment on the state of politics in Newfoundland when you have to look to the Tobin administration for examples of real leadership. It might seem like I am picking on the Williams administration a lot these days — and maybe I am — but if I am it’s only because they are really begging for it. I’m weak — I can’t resist. I suppose I could spend a lot of time memorizing the finer points of government policy and then regurgitate it here for people not to read, but I guess I’m lazy. It’s easier to pick them off on the easy stuff … like their astonishing lack of leadership. It’s astonishing because it was the foundation of their campaign. Leadership is one of those silly words that people like to toss around because it really doesn’t mean anything. It sounds good, people are in favour of it, but good luck trying to quantify it. Well, here goes. I know what it isn’t. I offer as an example of their lack of leadership in their handling of the issue of same-sex marriage. The Williams administration has announced it will do nothing about the issue (meaning it is still not permitted in this province) until they hear what the Supreme Court of Canada says on the subject. The court held hearings recently and we will hear from them in a couple of months. I am guessing they are going to make it legal, noting that banning it contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s a done deal. When Tobin was premier he took done deals and made them look like he championed them himself — like adding sexual orientation to the Human Rights Code. That was a done deal, but he made it sound
Rant & Reason
IVAN MORGAN like he was defying the odds and doing it anyway. He did the same thing with education reform. In the case of legalizing samesex marriage, the Williams administration has again dropped the ball. It’s another no-brainer. If (as I suspect) the Supreme Court supports it, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will be legally obligated to sanction it. So the smart thing to do — the thing Brian Tobin surely
Danny, you always position yourself as a man of action. Here’s a no-brainer. Do a Tobin. would have done — was come out and announce that the government was going to show leadership in this area by taking the bold step of legalizing it now. The newspapers and television would then dutifully trot out pictures of happy gay people exchanging rings and smooching in front of smiling relatives. A few religious types would squawk about the decline of civilization (like they haven’t been doing that for 2000 years) and we would all soon find something else to worry about. But no. Instead, the Williams administration will now be seen as having to be dragged into the 20th century. What is the problem
here? Are they opposed to it? What’s to oppose? Some religious types are saying that it threatens marriage. How? I wrote a column once stating that if the religious types were so worried about the institution of marriage, they would lobby to have infidelity made a criminal offence. That’s not going to happen because if it did, a healthy percentage of every denomination in this country would find itself behind bars. So what is it? We heard so much about strong leadership during the election campaign. Leadership? Where? You know you might have a problem when Tobin showed more leadership than you do. Danny, you always position yourself as a man of action. Here’s a no-brainer. Do a Tobin. I double-dog dare ya. I promise to sing your praises (for a little while anyway). The courts are going to make you do it anyway. Turn a negative into a positive. What the hell? I’m not holding my breath. It’s kind of sad, really. You read so much of this government’s silly business hype about Newfoundland and Labrador being “world class” and “globally positioned” and all those stupid buzzwords. Maybe the colourful brochures should say “backwards” and “narrow-minded” and “intolerant.” And what about my gay friends and their overweening desire to get married? I have a hot flash for them: careful what you wish for — you might just get it. It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. As a clever fellow I met recently wryly advised, “Don’t bother getting married. Just find someone you can’t stand, and buy them a house.” Ivan Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Daly/The Independent
This 600-pound, one-and-a-half metre leatherback turtle washed up recently on the shores near Port Rexton. Cathy Roberts, a veterinary technologist with the province, takes measurements.
Letters to the Editor
‘Stop this damned newfie nonsense’ Dear editor, pendent where the pink, white and It never ceases to confound me green flies proudly at the mastwhy so many Newfoundlanders, head is a perfect example of what otherwise sensible, choose to I mean. Surely, it is not the intent embrace the denigrating newfie of The Independent to condone, label; seemingly unmindful of its much less perpetuate, any part of terrible destructiveness of our indi- the newfie stereotype: that misbevidual and collective dignity and gotten view of us as a race of loveself-respect. However, that is one’s ably dumb saltwater hillbillies into prerogative and that I can accept. It which fellowship outsiders can be is only when some individual initiated by kissing a puffin’s arse. brazenly capitalizes that word, thus When then-minister John Crosdignifying it as a bie, preliminary to proper name — his ill-fated budget Newfism is a which, of course, it is speech, plunked his not, and then uses it, mukluks on the subculture, and particularly in the desktop and donned used in that public media, to his pseudo newfie context the word accent, he personidentify me and others of my people that probably has some ified that stereotype I am infuriated. place. But, don’t and, in my opinion, Newfism is a sublooked very foolish. anyone insult culture, and used in An impossible me be calling me scenario, yet if one that context the word probably has some can imagine it, be a newfie either place. But, don’t anysure that had a Quedirectly or by one insult me by callbec minister, in siminference. ing me a newfie ilar circumstances, either directly or by behaved in such a inference. The name manner, the people bequeath to me is one of honour, would have torn him limb from dearly bought, and, unlike its limb. We simply grin and bear it. shaming diminutive, one I can car- Isn’t it time we put a stop to this ry with pride, no matter where I go. damned newfie nonsense, for be Born out of derision and contempt, assured until we do we will never applied, and still applied with cruel rise above where we are: the laughintent, this hateful word has no ing stock of the universe. And redeeming qualities, but rather, like don’t anyone tell me to “lighten up some insidious canker, creeps into b’y” because that’s the sickest joke every unspoiled place, sickening it of all. with its presence. The incongruity of seeing this word in The IndeLloyd C. Rees
No such river as ‘Lower Churchill’ Dear editor, There is no such place, or such project, as “Lower Churchill Falls.” There is a proposed Lower Churchill project. It would be located at Gull Island Rapids, and possibly at Muskrat Falls as well, on the lower “Churchill” River. “Lower” would not be capped because it is not part of the proper name of the river, even if it is part of the proper name of the project. There is no such river as the “Lower Churchill,” any more than there is a “Lower Exploits” or “Lower Humber.” I write “Churchill” in quotation marks because it’s really the Grand River, in English, a direct translation of the Innu-eimun Mishtashipu. Except in the pages of the ill-
informed media and the imaginations of ignorant journalists, both local and further afield, there is not now, and never has been, any such place as “Lower Churchill Falls.” It simply doesn’t exist. Renaming places, just because you can, is one of the world-wide trademarks of a colonialist relationship between colonizer and colonized. Self-styled explorers, politicians, business types, and journalists from outside Labrador should really stop re-drawing the map of Labrador as it suits their fancy. After several hundred years, it does get tiresome. That type of behaviour should have gone out with Smallwood and his “grand imperial schemes.” Wallace McLean Ottawa
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Information denied Federal Fisheries refuses once again to release details on foreign fishing By Ryan Cleary The Independent
Letters to the Editor
‘Best example of journalistic pornography’ Dear editor, I am writing in response to your editorial (Police Story, Oct. 3 edition of The independent by managing editor Ryan Cleary). As a retired police officer with 22 years service with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, I failed to find your editorial funny or newsworthy. As a matter of fact, I consider it to be the best example of journalistic pornography that I’ve every read. I thought journalists were supposed to be able to back up their stories with at least two credible sources. What you wrote was complete gossip and slanderous against a whole police force. Not to mention completely unprofessional. The purpose of a journalist is to present both sides of a story completely unbiased and to ask the questions the public would ask, if they were there. That’s not what you did. You based your story on a tip from “a possible witness” who “heard about” the incident, and anonymous police officers, who cared so much about the reputation of the force that they called the media with the latest gossip! Even after getting the correct story from Staff-Sgt. June Layden, and knowing no complaint was filed, you still chose to write an editorial with the direct intent to destroy a man’s career and a police force’s reputation. I find that very malicious. I find it interesting that The Independent was the only media to report this story. Obviously the rest of the media have standards. To be quite honest, I am sick of journalists like you who are completely uneducated about police business but pretend to be experts. I am tired of your Tim Horton donut jokes; I’d like to see you try to do one 12-hour shift. Another thing I am sick of is these “anonymous police officers” that call the media with the latest
gossip. You are no better than this so-called journalist. You’re not destroying the chief or his reputation; you’re destroying your own. Think about what you’re doing. How is this making the force look good? How do you think the public perceives members of the RNC now? How can you call yourself a police officer and then hide in a corner and call the media with the latest gossip? Hasn’t there been enough damage done to the reputation of the RNC? Put a stop to it! LOW MORALE You mention, Mr. Cleary, that morale is at an all-time low. But I ask you, whose fault is that? These anonymous police officers who call the media with “garbage” information or journalists like yourself who publish complete gossip with no proof to back it up, certainly don’t help morale. I feel sorry for the men and women who are professional, competent police officers — the majority of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary — who wear their uniform with pride and dignity and give 110 per cent everyday of their careers. I worked with the RNC for 22 years and I can honestly say that I have worked alongside some of the best cops in this country. The public needs to hear about the crime that is being solved, the training the police officers do have, and the good police work that is being done everyday. I am very proud of my career with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and I display my badge with honour. I take great exception when I see people try to belittle the officers who put their lives on the line everyday so “fools” such as yourself have the right to “free speech.” Interesting enough Mr. Cleary, you get to sit back on your morals, or lack there-of, and be an armchair critic. How about if we aired your
dirty laundry in public? Didn’t you leave The Telegram to “write a book” or at least that’s your story and you’re sticking to it. I guess it was a “best seller?” Weren’t you also fired from The Newfoundland Herald? It’s a long fall from a daily newspaper to the weekly tabloid. I guess the rats knew who to run to! Don’t you travel in some sort of pack? I hope Brian Dobbin, as a respected businessman and proud Newfoundlander, will get rid of you. I don’t think at this point in his life Mr. Dobbin needs to build a reputation on smut. I would expect nothing short of a full retraction and an apology to the men, women and management of the RNC for your lack of decision making, good judgment, investigative skills, report writing … oh, these are just some of the things a police officer must be good at. To those remaining within the rank and file of the RNC, please do not stoop to this level … this type of individual “needs” you to keep himself in a pay cheque. Don’t lower yourself to fulfilling his dream of being an award-winning writer — oh, I guess that was a dream! I left the force to pursue other avenues. I did not leave because I was ashamed of you or anything you did. I would suggest you take a long hard look at yourselves, brush the dust off and get some of the pride back that was once there, and I’m quite sure “you” still have. Sgt. Robert Escott, retired, St. John’s Editor’s note: The column in question was based on an interview with Staff-Sgt. June Layden. As a newspaper, The Independent’s role isn’t to serve as public relations for the Constabulary, but to print the news — positive and negative — in a fair and balanced manner.
he federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is again refusing to release information relating to citations issued to a foreign trawler on the Grand Banks, citing six sections of the Access to Information Act. The sections say Ottawa can withhold any information that may be damaging to international relations, impact on “negotiations,” or reveal details that may infringe on privacy laws. In a formal request filed by The Independent, Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan’s office was asked for a copy of all correspondence between him and his officials regarding a May 4 incident outside the 200-mile limit involving the Portuguese factory freezer trawler, Aveirense. The vessel was found to have substantial amounts of American plaice on board when boarded by Canadian inspectors on the high seas. “We found moratorium species in very curious places like crew’s quarters, as if they were really trying to hide what they were up to,” Regan said at the time. The citations issued to the Aveirense include one for failing to wait 30 minutes before retrieving fishing gear after being advised by inspectors they were coming on board. The second citation was for intentionally fishing for species under moratorium. Both citations were dropped when challenged by fisheries inspectors from the European Union. In response to The Independent’s request, 11 pages of correspondence between the minister and his officials were released — although all information on the pages had been erased. The Aveirense has a history of illegal fishing on the Grand Banks. In May 2003, DFO officials identified the factory-freezer trawler as one of four European Union vessels suspected of fishing moratoria species on the tail of the Banks. Continued foreign fishing of endangered species such as cod and flounder just outside Canadian waters — an area monitored by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries
Organization (NAFO) — is blamed for the continued decline of stocks in domestic waters. In fact, a group of experts that assesses and designates which wild species are in danger of disappearing from Canada — the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada — is holding public meetings around the province this month to gather feedback on their intention to designate northern cod as “endangered,” and cod off the island’s south coast as “threatened.” The committee’s definition of endangered is a species facing imminent extinction. The definition of threatened is a species likely to become endangered. In another request filed with DFO earlier this summer, The Independent had asked for copies of correspondence between Regan and the Portuguese government regarding another May incident of alleged illegal fishing by the Brites. The crew cut the fishing vessel’s nets soon after being boarded by Canadian fisheries officers. The net from the Brites was eventually retrieved from the ocean floor after a 30-hour search by the Canadian Coast Guard and displayed on the waterfront in St. John’s. The net had mesh 107 millimetres wide — 23 mm smaller than the mesh size allowed. Fishery activists in this province have been pushing Ottawa to take custodial management of fish stocks that migrate over the 200-mile limit, a move that the federal government has been reluctant to make. In September 2003, Canada released its assessment of fishing compliance within the NAFO zone. Recommendations included beefing up sanctions with the expulsion of vessels from the NAFO zone, reductions in quotas and the placing of third party observers on foreign vessels. The impartiality of observers on foreign fishing vessels has been questioned. In June 2003, Canada issued a citation to a Faroese vessel for failing to have an independent observer on board. The Kappin identified the cook (as documented on the crew list) as the observer.
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The Independent, October 10, 2004
Untying the knot Divorce rate in Newfoundland and Labrador country’s lowest By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
efore he and his wife had even exchanged their vows, Dean placed a bet in the family pool on how long the marriage would last. Dean, who asked that his real name not be used to protect his children, says he won the pool, betting the union would last only a year. “I won actually because I said it would be a little over a year and it was a year and a week,” he says, adding he got married for the wrong reasons. “I wanted to because I hadn’t been married before — then I could get a bachelor party … that was the wrong reason,” he says. “Then it just got more and more complicated with the kids and all this kind of stuff. Then it was better for the kids if we weren’t together.” Dean says the process of getting married shouldn’t be as easy as it is. “It took me a year and a half to get a divorce so it should at least
Paul Daly/The Independent
take around that amount of time to get married.” Provincial government figures show that in 2002 there were just under 3,000 marriages in the province. Statistics Canada pegged the divorce rate that same year at
just over 21 per cent — compared to a national average of 37.1 per cent. The province has the lowest divorce rate in the country. That doesn’t make things any easier at Unified Family Court in
St. John’s. Berkley Reynolds, spokesman for the court, says since 1986 when he began working there he’s been busier than ever and the number of judges has doubled in the past few years. One trend Reynolds has
noticed is that in more and more divorces husbands are getting custody of children — a trend that has picked up nationwide. Statistics Canada reports that in the year 2000 the fate of 37,000 children was determined by their parents’ divorce proceedings. Custody of 53.5 per cent of those children was awarded to the wife — a steady decline from when statistics on divorce were first compiled in 1988. That year 75.8 per cent of custody battles gave full custody to the wife. Many couples that split settle child custody outside of divorce proceedings, to allow for a more flexible visitation schedule. Dean now shares joint custody of his two children with their mother. The children spend half a week with their father; the other half with their mom. He says that’s the most difficult part of divorce. Dean and his ex-wife have a child together; the other child is from her previous relationship. Dean and his ex separated when the child they had together reached the age of two. The divorce, a messy one, took a year and a half and cost $14,000. “Painful?” Dean asks. “The divorce, no. When it came to the kids, yes …” Kendra Wright, a lawyer with experience in divorce, says children are often used as pawns, especially if the parents can’t afford to play legal games with each other. “The kids, it just depends on the case, but half the time they’re pawns. Moms and dads using the kids to try and get what they want, and that’s the worst part about divorce … these kids are caught in the middle.” For Dean, splitting the assets was the easy part. “All that stuff was minor,” he says. “She did up a list of her stuff and my stuff. I said perfect. We both got our moving trucks separated, and then just communicated when we were picking up the kids.” Wright says she’s seen plenty of fights over matrimonial assets — especially during time she spent in Alberta. “Coming form Calgary, all of my clients were in the oil industry earning $100,000 a year so divorce was never an issue, they didn’t care if they played games because they could afford it. Here people can’t afford it,” she says. “When you only have a population of 500,000 you’re not getting the same types of cases, or people just don’t have the money to run this stuff through the court system. So a lot of people will settle, there’s probably a lot of people out there who just agree to split their assets 50/50.” Dean has been in a happy relationship for the past two years, but says he’ll never get married again. “I don’t believe in it. I think it’s just a piece of paper and that’s not real. If you have a commitment, then stay with them — if you don’t, then leave. I don’t see the purpose in it anymore,” says Dean. “If you think it could work go for it. I mean there are people who have met after three weeks and are together their whole lives ... it’s a pretty weird thing though, divorce, but I don’t recommend anyone stay in a relationship that they don’t want to be in … life is too short.”
‘I’ve got some attention’ From page 1 His target: the Labrador Hydro Project Fund, which he says has spent $57 million in the past six years, without any accounting to the board of directors. He has seen a list, often vague, of expenditures totaling $30 million — but no evidence of the other $27 million. Since that press conference, Energy Minister Ed Byrne has promised to release the documentation Dumaresque has requested. Sitting in his St. John’s home a day later, Dumaresque can only say “I’m not popping any champagne corks yet. “I’m saying, let’s just wait. It’s easy to talk … are the documents going to give us the actual (costs), item by item, with every item substantiated by documents to show it was done under the proper process? “If the documentation is given, then fine … I would hope that my goal right from the beginning — get accountability for the taxpayers’ money — would be reached.” The next step, he continues, is to have the corporation’s budget “put out there in the legislature and debated.” LIFE-LONG LIBERAL Dumaresque is a life-long Liberal. He was elected twice as an MHA for southern Labrador, before losing his provincial seat in 1996 to Yvonne Jones. She lost the Liberal nomination to Dumaresque that year, but defeated him as an independent candidate. Jones was eventually welcomed into the Liberal fold. Relations between the two reportedly aren’t exactly warm. Dumaresque was later involved in a high-profile conflict with Roger Grimes as a result of the divisive 2001 Liberal leadership race. Dumaresque, who led the campaign for John Efford, admits he was “very aggressive” in promoting his candidate. Grimes was apparently left with hard feelings. Among other things, the then-premier said: “I would never be able to sleep any one night in comfort knowing that I had the full support and confidence of a minister that has Danny Dumaresque as an adviser to him.” Dumaresque threatened a libel suit and Grimes apologized. When Grimes appointed Dumaresque to Hydro’s board in 2003, many saw it as an attempt to mend rifts within the party. Dumaresque had only served one year of a three-year term when Williams asked him to leave. Dumaresque says it’s “the premier’s prerogative” to choose who to work with. He adds, however, that his opposition to some of the accounting practices of the board may have given Williams more reason to let him go.
The Independent, October 10, 2004
No easy fix New Innu Nation president focused on turning communities around Happy Valley-Goose Bay By Bert Pomeroy The Independent
alcohol to his supporters in Sheshatshiu. “I want to deal with the (alcohol) problem in Natuashish,” he he newly-elected presi- says. “People want to see the dent of the Innu Nation is problem dealt with.” calling on all leaders in Michel says steps have to be Sheshatshiu and Natuashish to taken to ensure alcohol isn’t a put politics aside, and to work factor in future elections involvfor the bettering the Innu. ment of both He says he Labrador com- “I did have some goodies would welmunities. come changes flown in for the kids, and to the electoral Penote Ben Michel defeat- I also flew in some Mary process, and ed incumbent Brown’s chicken from intends to raise president Peter Goose Bay, but I did not the issue with Penashue, who leaders from bring in any booze.” held the post both communifor 12 of the ties. — Penote Ben Michel, last 14 years, “ We ’ r e by 80 votes going to have Innu Nation president during Innu to make sure Nation electhat the rules tions Oct. 6. Michel says his vic- that govern elections are looked tory was a clear indication that at. I would like to see some people in both communities changes.” wanted a new approach to goverMichel says he’s looking fornance. ward to the challenges that lie “People wanted change, they ahead and working with leaders want to take a new approach to from both communities. dealing with the problems, and I “We have to bring the two want to deal with the problems,” communities back together and he tells The Independent. “I want work to address our problems to work with the people, to listen and concerns.” to their wants. It’s a hard task to The final tally saw Michel deal with the problems — it’s with 434 votes, compared to 344 not something that’s going to be for Penashue. The other presieasy to fix.” dential candidate, George Riche The election campaign was of Natuashish, finished with 100 marred by heavy drinking, par- votes. ticularly in the community of Elections were also held for Natuashish on Labrador’s north the position of vice-president coast. Some community leaders and 12 directors — six from there have accused candidates of each community (three male and buying votes for booze. Michel three female). There were seven admits that was the case, but candidates seeking the position denies having been involved. of vice-president, with Damien “I did have some goodies Benuen coming out on top. A flown in for the kids, and I also total of 17 women and 14 men flew in some Mary Brown’s ran for directors positions in Natchicken from Goose Bay, but I uashish, while 19 and 15 ran did not bring in any booze,” he respectively in Sheshatshiu. says. The Innu Nation is the politiSince the election, Michel has cal association of the Labrador publicly admitted to providing Innu.
T Danny Dumaresque raises concerns about Hydro.
“They want to continue to have these Hydro funds as a selective cash cow, to be able to — particularly the premier’s office — … to go and grab the cash, go around the world, hire their lobbyist friends, do all this without having to account for it. “That’s what they still want to do, what I’m against, and what I’ll continue to fight against.” In the meantime, Dumaresque has his fingers in a number of other pies. He answers frequent phone calls over the course of the interview — selling fish, talking price, setting up meetings. He’s sole owner of a number of businesses, including a fish plant, restaurant and craft store. He’s got three plants producing fish for him, to his specifications, and spends much of his time searching for, and developing markets for the products around the world. Just back from Madrid, Dumaresque says he’s found a Spanish market. Within the next few weeks, he plans to head to Japan and Hong Kong. Given that his wife is from Mexico, he says that’s just another reason to target markets there. But first, it’s off to Labrador, on business, and to go public with another issue he has with Hydro. This one “the position of Labrador in this province,” gets Dumaresque going. He says there are some $40 million in revenues the province receives from Hydro (raised from the province selling some of its portion of the generated electricity back to Hydro Quebec) that were “put there solely for the betterment of Labrador.” But that’s not the way he sees it working out. “That money … it comes into the bank account of Hydro, and the government is taking every cent of it. “Lab West pays 100 per cent more for electricity than the island … I see people being denied a road, Happy Valley-Goose Bay needs cash to try and attract another industry … now that I’ve got
Paul Daly/The Independent
some attention I want to try and get some debate of that issue in particular, and see that proper accountability is provided on the other one.” Dumaresque says his final complaint is there are fundamental flaws with the structure of Hydro’s board of governance: the directors meet once every two months, usually on a Friday, for somewhere between two and five hours. The way Dumaresque sees it, that’s hardly enough time to get to know the organization, let alone make decisions about its direction or expenditures. And because everyone is trying to manage his or her other jobs in the meantime — well, he says, there’s just not enough time. REVISIT COMPENSATION “They need to revisit the compensation they give to board members and allow the board to reach out to other bodies, other sources of information,” he says. “More time and a better structure that would allow for a broader picture of the corporation to be given to the board of directors.” In the end, Dumaresque says he couldn’t “just walk away and allow these things to continue, knowing what I know. “Whether it’s going to be good for me or not, I don’t know.” Which means what, exactly? “Well, I don’t deny I have an interest in public life. I’ve no immediate plans to run for office, I do have a lifestyle I am comfortable with, a young family I’m looking forward to spending time with.” But would he ever run for leader of the provincial Liberal party? Does he have the ambition to be premier? “I’d be lying if I said it had never entered my head,” he says. “Yes, I’ve thought about it. But right now, as I said, I have no plans … “Besides, the job isn’t open right now.”
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The Independent, October 10, 2004
No ‘great appetite’ to bring government down: Doyle By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
ewfoundland and Labrador issues may not be enough to bring the minority federal government down, but local MPs are keeping a close watch over House proceedings, especially after the absence of provincial concerns in the throne speech. “We heard from Mr. (John) Efford — that was weeks ago — that the Atlantic Accord would have to be amended to give affect to federal promises to give Newfoundland and Labrador 100 per cent on its offshore resources,” St. John’s North Tory MP Norm Doyle tells The Independent. NO REACTION He says Efford’s lack of reaction to the absence of any mention in the throne speech of Canada extending custodial management over the Grand Banks was “disappointing.” Peter Stoffer, the NDP’s Fisheries critic and MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Sackville-Eastern Shore, says as Newfoundland and Labrador’s “buddy,” he intends to raise many provincial issues, including the fishery, aboriginal concerns, 5 Wing Goose Bay, economic development and oil and gas revenues. When questioned about custodial management, Stoffer says it’s already been a unanimous recommendation of the House of Commons. “When’s it going to happen?” He says he plans to raise over 20 private members motions in the Commons over the next week. Stoffer says he was pleased to
hear talk in the throne speech of further financial help for caregivers because his party has been working on caregivers’ legislation for years. ‘AGING POPULATION’ “In Atlantic Canada as you know, we have a very aging population, faster than other parts of the country and our caregivers (and) children have moved away, especially in Newfoundland. “We need to bring in legislation that makes it more accessible and easier for people to care for their loved ones to prevent them from becoming institutionalized, which saves in the long run, a lot of money.” The opposition MPs says forcing an election would be against the best interests of the people at this point. “I don’t believe that there’s any great appetite among the various parties to bring government down,” says Doyle. “We have to come to grips with the fact that the people of Canada elected this government to govern, and I think we all have a duty and a responsibility to see that it governs because this is what the people want us to do.” Stoffer predicts the current government will last at least 18 months because no party is financially ready for an election. The Independent attempted to contact Efford but he failed to return calls. Of the nine minority government’s in Canada’s history, none have completed a full mandate. According to reports, the average duration of a minority government is one year, five months, 27 days.
Paul Daly/The Independent
‘Way too early to even comment’ Province’s new Health minister focuses on restructuring; no word on program cuts By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
ewly appointed Health and Community Services Minister John Ottenheimer tells The Independent it’s too early to predict if the province can expect cuts in healthcare in the near future. He also says the possibility of consolidating certain health services and practitioners within specific regions has not yet been discussed. “That is an issue that we have not even addressed as a government,” he says. “It’s way too early to even comment because we haven’t even looked at it as a government or as a cabinet.” The minister adds his department is focusing entirely on the upcoming provincial health board amalgamations, which are slated to drop to four from 14 in January. “I guess what’s important here is repeating the fact that we’re adhering to our timetable, and that our schedule date of early 2005 is still our target date and we very much anticipate that the structuring, in terms of governance and administration, will be in order by then,” Ottenheimer says. He compares the upcoming health board cuts to the education reforms earlier this year, when the provincial school boards were reduced to five from 11. “As in education, we did not anticipate any impact on students and any impact on classroom learning, and that appears to have
been the case,” says Ottenheimer. “Similarly we’re taking the same view in (the Health) department in terms of the delivery of services and in terms of the providing of health services to the public of the province. We are not anticipating change.” A new health deal recently hammered out between Prime Minister Paul Martin and the premiers will see this province net an extra $293 million over six years. TRIMMING FAT Premier Danny Williams and his officials, however, haven’t said whether any savings from socalled program renewal — the province’s ongoing attempt to trim excess fat — will be redirected back into the health-care system. John Peddle, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Boards Association, says he hopes new federal funding will be targeted at specific programs and services, adding the association is working with a spring budget and finding it hard to make ends meet. “Because there was no additional money in that budget for new programs and to cover the cost of inflation, to cover the cost of increased demands and so on, it’s going to mean that we have to look at each of the services and programs we provide and try and identify ways in which we can actually come up with savings. And that’s the reality of what we’re into right now,” he says.
Peddle talks about the provincial trend towards decreasing beds for inpatients and increasing the volume of outpatients. Although predominantly a cost-saving measure, he says the changes are a major improvement in the quality and delivery in services. He says the increase in outpatient care may help decrease wait times for beds in some departments but serious procedures will probably remain unaffected. “It may mean that we’ll be able to do more of these non-serious or non-major procedures, but as far as increasing outpatient services at St. Claire’s, will that reduce the cardiac wait list? Probably not.” Peddle says he thinks the scheduled date of Jan. 1 for the board restructuring process, is probably too ambitious. “It’s got to be an advertising and recruitment process to hire these four new CEOs,” he says. “It’s going to be difficult to do. Prospective CEOs may have to give at least two months notice in their current positions. But I don’t think any of the activities in government will cause major delays.” Andrew Major, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and a doctor at St. Claire’s hospital in St. John’s, says there have been cut backs in bed numbers at the hospital and others in the province, as a way to improve “efficiencies in the system.” Major says he’s unaware if any future cuts are proposed for St. Claire’s, or any other hospital.
Police have several suspects in C.B.S. assaults
fficers with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary have identified several “persons of interests” in their ongoing investigation into two violent sexual assaults in Conception Bay South this past summer. Pressed for further details, Staff-Sgt. June Layden, spokeswoman for the Constabulary, would only say police are waiting
to receive the results of forensic tests. “Unfortunately, that’s something that we have no control over, sometimes it’s a lengthy process,” Layden says. Police, she adds, always encourage anyone who may have information to step forward. “There may be individuals that we haven’t spoken to who may have information and not realize
that it may be very pertinent and valuable to this investigate.” Police believe the man behind the August assault in Foxtrap was also behind another violent sexual attack in Kelligrews in July. In both cases the women were walking alone late at night and were attacked by a young man with his face covered. — Clare-Marie Gosse
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Hacking into the loggers’ strike
can’t help but feel sympathy for workers who go on strike to get a better deal from their employer. I’ve been there myself. I know what it’s like to go without a regular pay cheque for two months. It takes a long time to recoup such a loss in the form of wage gains or concessions from a company. Workers have to be sure it’s worth their while to go out on strike — or at least to threaten job action. And that’s what ultimately leads to a strike. Workers know that the most potent weapon they have against an employer is the threat of strike action. When it comes down to it, it’s one of the few bits of leverage they possess. If you utter the threat, you have to understand that you might have to back it up. Most workers hope the threat will be enough, but sometimes it isn’t, as in the case of some 400 loggers and silviculture workers who struck the AbitibiConsolidated paper mills in Grand Falls-Windsor and Stephenville
West Words FRANK CARROLL recently after a month of failed negotiations. This particular strike raises some interesting questions about the extent to which a company is responsible for the well-being of its employees. DISPUTED ISSUES The Communication, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union says the main issues in this dispute are pensions and early retirement for loggers, who did not have an adequate pension plan until about 15 years ago. As a result, some of them are still taking down trees with chainsaws in their late 50s because they can’t afford to retire. I’m only 40, and I have to admire the toughness of a man approaching 60 still trudging
through the woods with a chainsaw. Actually, I was surprised to learn that people are still using chainsaws, that it isn’t all mechanized. As much as I admire people who work hard for a living, I want to play devil’s advocate by tossing out a few questions. If you’ve only been paying into a pension plan for 14 years, why should your company foot the bill for your early retirement? Many people work for companies that don’t have pension plans, so they take care of their own retirement by investing in RRSPs and other funds. Why should a company be expected to pay for what some would regard as a worker’s lack of foresight and financial planning? Small business owners, such as the sawmill operators who are being shut out by the strike, don’t have pension plans either. They must save for their own pensions. Why couldn’t the loggers do the same? If these questions sound simplistic, it’s because they are. I bring
them up because I know there are people out there who think this way. If loggers were late getting a pension plan, it may very well be partly the company’s fault. There is a long-standing tradition of companies recognizing the contribution of employees by looking after the long-term welfare of these same workers. Why did it take so long for loggers to obtain such consideration? FALSE COMPARISON As for the argument that loggers should be able to save for their own retirement in much the same way private operators do, that’s a bit of a false comparison. If a person decides to go into business for himself, he chooses the benefits and responsibilities that come with it. On one side is the benefit of being your own boss and enjoying the tax breaks that come with it; on the other, you must save for your own retirement and fairly recompense your employees.
If you choose to be an employee, you choose the responsibilities you have toward your employer and, hopefully, the benefit of a steady pay cheque. Beyond that, it seems workers have traditionally had to fight for further benefits. When you’re a working man or woman, it’s often a struggle to save for your retirement without contributions from an employer. And, in many cases, wages are not a sufficient recompense for the work done by employees. Heavy manual labour takes a toll on the body. You can bet that the fruit of the loggers’ labour has been far more profitable for AbitibiConsolidated than it has for the workers. If the company was slow off the mark in contributing to a pension plan for its loggers, now is the time to make up for it by granting some of its older workers an early retirement package. Frank Carroll is a journalism instructor at the Stephenville-campus of the College of the North Atlantic. email@example.com
Making make-work … work By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
h fall, a season of pretty colours, evening sweaters and make-work projects. The provincial government has set aside $4.25 million for make-work this fall to help an untold number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For the province, the attraction of EI is that it’s looked after by the feds, as opposed to welfare, which comes out of provincial coffers. Municipal Affairs Minister Jack Byrne says this year’s make-work budget is the same as last year’s. Seasons change; governments change. The need for make-work apparently stays the same. STRONG NEED “We have the fishery, the forestry (industry), people going outside the province to make that connection between not getting enough EI qualifications, then qualifying for EI over the winter months,” says Byrne. “We want to get away from that, but at this point in time there’s people out there needing it, and desperately needing this, and that’s why we’re doing it.” According to Byrne, between 700 and 800 people worked on make-work projects last fall. He expects the numbers to be similar this year. Roland Butler, Liberal MHA for the district of Port de Grave, says there needs to be even more money spent on make-work to protect seasonal workers from doing without
during winter months. “A lot of businesses that I speak to, their business is on a downswing this year.” PROJECTS PENDING Byrne couldn’t say how many projects will be approved this year because applications are still coming in. Factors such as the size of a project and dollar value impact on the number of projects approved. “It could be the same as last year, it could be more projects, it could be less projects, it could be more substantial projects — it just depends on what comes in,” he says. Any municipality, organization or group can apply for funding for various make-work projects. The jobs created are often geared toward the fishery, but also forestry and construction industries that provide only seasonal work. Butler says he’s already received requests for make-work from at least 25 of his constituents who need anywhere from 50 to 200 hours of work to qualify for EI. Byrne says there’s no limit to what kind of work the projects could create. He says last year the program included everything from improvements to public buildings to tourism development. Butler says he and many others have been critical of make-work projects in the past — projects that aren’t beneficial to a community or the employees. “All too often we hear about those job-creation programs … that they pick up a rock in point A and move it to point B.” Butler says in recent years projects have focused on community-related projects like improvements to church halls and recreational centres.
The 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, OCT.4 Vessels arrived: Cabot, Canada, from Montreal; ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from Terra Nova; Lauzier, Canada, from Long Pond; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Sikuk, Canada, to Wesleyville; Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Long Pond; Burin Sea, Canada, to Terra Nova. TUESDAY, OCT.5 Vessels arrived: Maersk Norseman, Canada, from Hibernia. Vessels departed: Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, to Long Pond; ASL Sanderling,
Canada, to Corner Brook; APPAK, Canada, to fishing. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6 Vessels arrived: Maersk Placentia, Canada, from Long Pond. Vessels departed: Atlantic Osprey, Canada, to Spain. THURSDAY, OCT. 7 Vessels arrived: Irving Canada, Canada, from St. John; Ciciero, Canada, from Montreal. Vessels departed: None FRIDAY, OCT. 8 Vessels arrived: Borgin, Lithuania, from sea. Vessels departed: Ciciero, Canada, to Montreal; Maersk Challenger, Canada, to White Rose; Newfoundland Lynx, Canada, to fishing.
“Every dollar that ever come into this district in the past, and I’m sure will in the future, it will go into projects that people can actually come and see … It’s not just being money wasted for the sake that we’re looking for money,” he says. Butler says it may take years before makework is a thing of the past. But he’s hopeful. “I want to go back to what this government committed to prior to being elected and,
more or less, they where saying they were going to revitalize rural Newfoundland and I’m looking forward to that day,” he says. “We will always need what is called a jobcreation program, make-work, enhancing, whatever, we’ll be in need in certain areas of this province. I mean let’s face it, some areas there’s got to be some major changes to take place before we are in (that) position. “God bless them. I hope it happens faster then what I think it’s going to happen.”
October 10, 2004
‘It’s not all bad’ Sheshatshiu stories aren’t strictly negative; good things are happening, too PHOTOS BY PAUL DALY / STORY BY BERT POMEROY
‘A real sense of change’ From page 1 longer possible by foot or canoe. The Churchill Falls hydro project resulted in the flooding of much of the Innu territory in Labrador, and access to areas that were not under water could only be made possible through the use of floatplanes or helicopters. While the out-post program still exists, because of funding restrictions not all Innu are able to take advantage of it. “We got to get the kids back in the country, so that they could be taught,” Penunsi says through the translator. COMMUNITY TARNISHED Sheshatshiu and Labrador’s other Innu community, Natuashish, have been tarnished by chronic alcohol, drug and solvent abuse for years. (The federal government was shamed into building Natuashish to replace Davis Inlet, which made international headlines in 1993 when news reports showed children sniffing gas and screaming that they wanted to die. The Innu started moving to Natuashish in 2002). While many of the news headlines still paint a bleak picture of both communities, many Innu in Sheshatshiu say there are plenty of goodnews stories that never get reported. “It’s not all bad,” says Jerome Jack. “There are a lot of good things going on, but we always hear the negative stories of people drinking.” Jack says he’s been sober for four years, and is now trying to find ways to improve his community. On this day, Jack and his brother, Paul, are campaigning for Peter Penashue. (The former Innu Nation president eventually lost the election to Penote Ben Michel.) It’s two days prior to the Innu Nation election, and there are media reports of a massive shipment of alcohol into the northern community of Natuashish. Some community leaders there have accused candidates of buying votes with booze. That’s also the case in Sheshatshiu, says Jack, although it’s not as noticeable or widespread. Meanwhile, an advance poll is taking place at the Innu Nation office. Joseph Rich stands at the entrance to the building. “It’s very quiet,” he says. “There is nobody around.” He suggests a visit to the ice arena. It’s quiet there as well. The story is pretty much the same a day later when Penunsi insists the community is on the mend. “The arena is good for the community, and that it is good to see more children involved in playing sports — it gives them something to do,” he says through the translator. The arena is a multi-million dollar recreation complex that opened last year. The year-round ice-surface provides opportunities for children to participate in a variety of programs, including figure skating and hockey. There are also plans for a new school, equipped with computer and science labs, a gymnasium, industri-
al and technical sections, a cafeteria and a multi-purpose room. While he blames “the white school” for the change in the attitudes of many Innu children, Penunsi says education is still very important to today’s generation. “It’s a good thing for the kids to stay in school; that it is good to understand English,” he says. “I wish I could understand and speak English.” Lynn Gregory, a human resources worker for the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, says there are many programs taking place in the community that are often overshadowed by media reports of gas sniffing and alcohol and solvent abuse. “There’s so many good things happening,” she says. “The children are one of the community’s top priorities, and many steps are being taken to address some of the issues and concerns surrounding them.” There’s talk of establishing an Outward Bound program in an effort to build self-esteem amongst many of Sheshatshiu’s youth. The worldrenowned program provides challenging wilderness expeditions to people of all ages. A similar attempt to establish the program three years ago resulted in the training of two people at the Outward Bound facility in British Columbia in 2001. “They were trained to deliver Outward Bound programs, but the initiative didn’t go much further than that,” says Gregory. “We hope to pick up on what was learned then and build on it.” ‘INNU HELPING INNU’ There is currently a group of elders participating in a family program at Lobstick Lodge, just west of Churchill Falls. The program, entitled Uauitshitun, or “Innu helping Innu,” runs until the end of this week. “The program basically allows for the elders to share their desires and wishes of how they want to see their community look,” Gregory says. “It provides an opportunity for them to try and help in creating more positive feelings within the community.” Gregory says there’s a real sense of change taking place in Sheshatshiu. “There’s a tremendous increase in the number of children attending school and there appears to be less people drinking,” she says. As well, employment levels in the community of 1,200 are probably at the highest they’ve ever been, mainly because of Voisey’s Bay, says Gregory, adding that plans are under way to provide programs for financial management. “People probably have more money than they’ve had before.” Other youth programs are in the works, and Chief Anastasia Qupee and the First Nation band council are committed to seeing more programming take place outside regular office hours, notes Gregory. “I think the community is learning from the challenging things that have taken place and turning it into some-
Chief Anastasia Qupee
The Independent, October 10, 2004
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Jerome Jack and his brother Paul campaigning for (former Innu Nation president) Peter Penashue.
Translator Clementine Kyper and Sabastien Penunsi
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Gallery Jordan Canning Photography
little over a year and a half ago, Jordan Canning began to feel the next stage of life coming on. A year left in university, the 21-year-old began to think about growing up, growing old, making decisions, on-coming freedom — and responsibility. She and her boyfriend decided to plan a trip for the summer after graduating from university. “I can’t quite remember now how we came up with the idea,” she writes in the first installment of her on-line travelogue. “I think we were trying to imagine the most adventurous, most extensive vacation we could afford. Or maybe we were just listening to the not-so-distant teenage voices in our head. Either way, all our instincts and inner voices seemed to scream: road trip.” Last April, Canning graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with an undergraduate degree in creative writing and community and ethnic studies. She’s been taking photographs for herself, and the student press, since she bought her 35 mm camera five years ago. In May, after calling all the friends and family they knew across North America to book couches to sleep on, the couple packed up their camping gear, and the road trip began. They drove from St. John’s to Victoria,
B.C., down the west coast of the continent to California, to Nevada and through the desert, then through the Midwest, up to Ontario, and back home. The 22,000 km journey took over three months. “For me, the highlight was California, and the Redwoods,” Canning says. “Tim really liked New England. Saskatchewan was nice, which we were really surprised by. Oh, we drove through Kansas, Missouri, Michigan — these are places I never thought I would see.” Along the way, she regularly posted both writing and photographs on-line as a travelogue. Back home in St. John’s, Canning is now facing the decisions of life and career she saw coming more than a year ago. For now, she’s painting houses, freelancing for CBC (a piece she did for CBC-radio’s Performance Hour is scheduled to air Saturday, Oct. 30). She’s also doing a photography apprenticeship with St. John’s-based photographer Shane Kelly … and enjoying her time away from school. “I was planning on going into journalism but I keep switching ideas,” she says. “For a while I was like, I want to do photography for a living … and I don’t know, maybe I still will try. I will at least do it creatively. “Sometimes I wish I was still driving.”
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For further information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
October 10, 2004
BUSINESS & COMMERCE
Paul Daly/The Independent
Life on the farm
It isn’t so bad in this province; industry growing inch by inch, row by row By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
ewfoundland and Labrador has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — food for starters. The province’s agriculture industry is worth $500,000 a year, but with the right investments — a little water and sunshine, and a whole lot of TLC — experts say the agriculture sector could be worth up to $900 million within five years. Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne says opportunities are being developed on all agricultural fronts — from the fur industries to berries, from root crops to dairy farms. “We could essentially see an increase in the size of the industry probably by 40 to 50 to 60 per cent in the next five years.” Lester’s Farmers Market on Brookfield Road in St. John’s is a perfect example of a successful farm, growing by five to 10 acres per year. John Lester and his wife, Mary, realized they couldn’t sell their produce to supermarkets in the province because of stringent food-safety laws set down by the federal government. Lester says he understands the intentions of government and the chains of supermarkets who want to protect consumers, but he says they’ve gone too far.
“They have to be accountable for every- what we would consider mainstream agrithing they put on their shelves … but there’s culture or traditional agriculture.” no need for them to get on with some of the Wiseman says the functional food indusregulations they get on with.” try is growing rapidly, with a new trend So Lester and his wife began a gradual leaning towards “neutra-ceutical,” or foods transition of their farmland to include a with a medicinal value, adding value to market. plants like blueberries that The farm is now are grown in the province. licenced provincially as “We’re finding that in a retail food outlet. the biotech industry we’re “We could essentially For the past 10 years creating new plants by see an increase in the or so customers intercross-breeding and so on, ested in buying fresh genetic manipulation and size of the industry local products have so on. MUN Botanical by 40 to 50 to 60 been able to pick up Gardens is one of our best their produce at a reaexamples …they’ve develper cent in the next sonable price in front of oped some of this bio-tech five years.” the farm. knowledge and are ready “You can see the peoto have it commercial— Ed Byrne ple that produce it, you ized,” says Wiseman. can see the people that “We’re actually at the eat it,” says Lester. top of the heap there when The market has been it comes to having the a hit for many reasons, not the least of capacity and talent to do it, to expand and which is a good product, Lester says. build on that industry.” Merv Wiseman, president of the NewWiseman says the redefinition of agriculfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agri- ture will allow the province to open up new culture, says he’s been working with Byrne, avenues and opportunities, including secwho’s been in his portfolio for about a year. ondary processing, manufacturing and even Wiseman can see an improvement in the packaging. industry already. “It’s a great testimony to the people of “I think that agriculture, in a lot of Newfoundland to look at someone in the aspects, has been kind of redefined … from dairy industry starting to produce secondary
yogurt on the west coast, where we’re finding that these guys, when they decided to get into dairy business, they didn’t just decide to stop at a small — or mediumsized farm, they’re actually one of the biggest dairy operations east of Montreal.” Byrne says secondary processing will soon be an integral part of all divisions of agriculture in the province. “You’ll see some of that coming very soon in terms of the root-crop industry and now we’re trying to move that forward, expand that industry, because in root crop for example, we import most of what we consume so in that there’s an opportunity for us to locally grow what we need and displace imported products,” Byrne says. He says another integral part of the province’s agricultural strategy is to identify an additional 20,000 to 25,000 acres of farmland and focus on the industry in Labrador. “There are significant opportunities in Labrador with respect to the northern agrifood strategy, where we see potential for development of agriculture in Labrador,” says Byrne, adding he’s set aside a “significant bulk of money” to fund projects and support opportunity in the Big Land. “There are potentially significant export opportunities available in Labrador — to Nunavut, for example — so these are the things that are on the horizon.”
The Independent, October 10, 2004
ACOA by the numbers Small business owners helped by the agency praise its value By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
eborah Sheppard, owner of thedog8it! Inc., a St. John’s-based gourmet dog biscuit outfit, says if it wasn’t for a loan from ACOA, her company wouldn’t be around today. She says the small, no-interest loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency kept her in business, providing money for marketing and new equipment. The agency also provided her with a list of consultants who could help with her marketing plan. “I got lucky,” she tells The Independent. “One of the consultant’s fathers was a baker so he was familiar with what kind of equipment I needed.” Sheppard says the money allowed her to travel on trade missions and buy booths at trade shows — which can be pretty
pricey at $6,000 a pop. She says because of those trade missions and the marketing she’s done, her business will be featured soon in Ladies Home Journal and Town and Country magazines. ACOA PRAISE “We would have never been able to do it without the federal government,” says Sheppard. Those kinds of compliments aren’t universal. It’s widely feared that ACOA would vanish under a Conservative government, which leans more towards across-theboard tax decreases than regional funding agencies. Still, Sheppard and many more like her have nothing negative to say. Since April 1, ACOA has approved loans for 264 projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, for a total value of $42.9 million. Over that same period, ACOA has given
out — through its business development program — non-repayable grants to community groups, research development agencies and non-commercial enterprises totaling $79 million. ACOA has given $86 million in loans, through its business development program, an average of $24 million a year for the past five years. But wait — those numbers don’t add up. Doug Burgess, spokesman for ACOA, says that’s because as the loans are repaid to the agency the money is recycled back into startup costs or capital for other small businesses. Burgess says $33.5 million has been repaid to the agency over the past five years. “More comes in every day,” he says. Neil Chaulk started his company ICAN — a navigation and securi-
ty systems company — with a little help from ACOA and is now using another agency program to hire on more employees. He describes his experience with ACOA as “fairly painless. “If you’re going to avail of some of these programs you have to expect some bureaucracy,” he says. Chaulk says the due diligence he’s seen at ACOA is “comforting.” He’s audited by the agency every year and is pleased to see the federal government doing something substantial with the tax money at its disposal. “After all it is our money.” The money Chaulk received has gone to creating new technology and improving his products. “You’ve got some risky business going on, a business with some risk involved, these programs help you push the limit,”
says Chaulk. “Risk and reward are commensurate.” He says banks — “despite what they say on TV” — are often reluctant to loan money to businesses with any amount of risk. His first ACOA loan is almost paid back and he says that process was a fairly easy one. “They were forcing you to do what you had to do anyway,” he says, adding developing business plans and finding other outside funding sources are difficult for business owners to do when starting out. Chaulk says he had some tough times starting out and is glad there was an agency there to help. “All these things help us … if I look back I say ‘Geez, how did we survive’ and I look back and say ‘Aw, that was hell,’ but certainly ACOA has helped us get where we are.”
Safe harbour Starting soon, cruise ships from Europe will have to clear customs in St. John’s or Corner Brook; outport tourism expected to be impacted By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
n official with the Canada Border Services Agency confirms increased customs security regulations for cruise ships will be put in place as of Jan.1, 2005 — despite objections earlier this year by the Cruise Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as MP Lawrence O’Brien. The change in policy — yet another increase in security following 9/11 — requires all cruise ships visiting the province to report to either St. John’s or Corner Brook for customs clearance. That means smaller adventure/expedition vessels coming from places like Norway across the North Atlantic will be forced to sail past coastal Labrador and the island’s northeast coast on their way to check-in with customs. As a result, it’s feared out-of-the-way outports will lose thousands of dollars in tourism revenue. Jennifer Morrison, spokeswoman for the border agency, tells The Independent the large geography of the province, as well as a lack of available staff for the various port locations, limits security options. “(The regulations) have been implemented and will be implemented and a lot of notice has been given to the organizations that are involved.” If a particular ship is unable to report to one of the designated ports, Morrison says it might be possible to fly customs services to a more convenient location upon request, but the ship would have to cover the costs. “Every trip is different: the passengers on board, it’s a different situation, where they’re arriving from is different, other work that’s being done. It depends on the operation at the time … but there is a possibility of looking at that,” she says. The changes in border security could mean certain destinations in northern Canada may be removed from cruise ship itineraries, which
would mean the loss of millions of dollars in tourism revenue. As a result of terrorism concerns, national and international port security measures are continually on the rise. In July, a new regime called the International Ship and Port Security code was established to create co-operation between governments and the shipping and port industries, increasing security within international trade.
“You can never have a perfect security system but I think ours is pretty good.” — Vanessa Vermette Ports in the province were assessed in terms of vulnerability and had to submit a security plan to Transport Canada, in accordance with the code. Both Corner Brook and St. John’s were subsequently certified as meeting the requirements. The port of St. John’s now has two full-time security enforcement officers, as well as restricted areas of access and compulsory buffer zones. The buffer zones surround and separate foreign vessels such as large cruise ships, which are considered particular security risks. Transport Canada won’t discuss any specific security details (for security reasons, of course), but Vanessa Vermette, a department spokeswoman, boasts Canada’s
transportation system is “one of the safest and most secure in the world. “You can never have a perfect security system but I think ours is pretty good.” Transport Canada also conducted recent consultations in cities throughout the country to address another proposed hike in marine security regulations. The program — dubbed the “next step” towards building on the security code — would require background security checks for port workers who require access to certain restricted areas or occupy certain designated positions. “This program would be similar to what’s in place right now on the aviation side,” says Vermette. “Employees at ports in Canada (would) have to go through a security clearance process.” Transport Canada, she says, is also considering the possibility of fining people who don’t comply with the marine transportation security regulations. Although cruise ships and fishing vessels — particularly foreign ships — are under the security of the St. John’s Port Authority when they arrive in the capital city’s harbour, Canadian Navy ships operate under their own code. Despite the security risks a defense ship might encounter, the buffer zone around a Navy ship is often less pronounced than the buffer zone for cruise ships. St. John’s Harbour Master Henry Flight says that’s probably because the Navy vessel has not travelled outside Canadian borders.
Of more concern, however, is the Navy’s practice of picking up family members, and dropping them off at another port of call. For whatever reason, the only security generally enforced is a cursory ID badge check, meaning anything could be smuggled aboard inside
luggage. Questioned by The Independent, a spokesperson for Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax would not divulge their security regulations. Said the official, “We’re not really worried about family members.”
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Province’s mining industry expected to be worth more this year than last By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
he province forecasts this year’s mining industry will be worth $828 million — up from $775 million in 2003. The revenue generated will come mostly from iron ore production in Labrador, but smaller mines throughout the island portion of the province contribute to the overall numbers. Gerry O’Connell, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources, tells The Independent the 21 mines in the province produce about $1 billion worth of product a year. “Obviously it costs a lot to actually produce that amount so the actual inputs come back to the province in terms of wages and services and machinery and all the things that go around the mine,” he says. “I suppose most of it comes back to the province. Obviously some of the parent companies of these corporations will take a bit, they have to pay back capital costs and that kind of thing.” O’Connell says any mine can make money as long as there’s a demand for the mineral and the product is high grade. “The profitability of any individual mine would depend on the individual mine,” he says. “The definition of ore is anything you can produce at a profit — anything else is just rock … regardless of what’s in it.” Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne says the province is currently going through a surge of exploration and over the next year there could be news of another mining windfall similar to Labrador’s Voisey’s Bay. “What you’re going to see over the next 12 to 18 months are a succession of probably good news stories in rural parts of the province with respect to potential mining sites, both on the island and in Labrador,” says Byrne. He wouldn’t comment further on the development of those projects, saying the information is commercially sensitive. “We’ll continue to move ahead and there’s things I’d love to be able to tell you … but I will say to
Paul Daly/The Independent
One of the murals on Bell Island, a tribute to the once-lucrative mines there — and the thousands who worked in them.
you that there are pretty serious and important developments around the corner, primarily in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.” MUCH EXPLORATION O’Connell says there’s been plenty of exploration for gold, although searching for mineral deposits in Labrador can be costly. “Labrador is barely explored so anything can pop out of there, but it’s going to take a bit more effort to actually find it.” O’Connell says mineral potential is especially attractive because of a strong market and good prices
for precious metals. “There was a long period in the late ’90s when metal prices were very low and projects kind of sat on back burners,” says O’Connell. He says there aren’t many people skilled in mining who are “walking the streets right now” because anyone skilled has a job within the industry. The province’s mining industry employs an estimated 2,800 people. By the time Voisey’s Bay is up and running, it’s expected the industry could be supporting 4,000 direct jobs. Smaller mining projects, mostly on the island, have drawbacks like short production schedules, but Byrne says the projects play a significant role in the industry. He uses the examples of two small gold mines on the Baie Verte Peninsula owned by Richmont Mines Inc. Martin Rivard, spokesman for Richmont Mines, says the company is currently working on its third exploration project in the province. The company began operations at the Nugget Pond
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gold mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula in 1997. That mine closed in 2001 after almost 170,000 ounces of gold had been removed from the site and reserves had been exhausted. “You’re going to need to close it someday,” says Rivard, adding nothing lasts forever. MINE PURCHASE Shortly before the closure of Nugget Pond, Richmont Mines purchased the Hammerdown gold mine near King’s Point, also on the Baie Verte Peninsula, where mining began in July 2001. By June, 2004, reserves from Hammerdown Mine were also exhausted. There is currently no production taking place at Richmont’s mill in Nugget Pond, says Rivard, but exploration on Valentine Lake, a property south of Buchans owned by a local company, Mountain Lake Resources Inc., has begun. Rivard says a deal has been struck with Mountain Lake that means if Richmont Mines spends $2.5 million in exploration by the end of October, 2007, Richmont
will acquire 70 per cent of the interest in the mine. O’Connell says the gold deposit will be “fairly small,” as will be the mine itself. “But it still all helps.” While Rivard says the company has no idea how much gold is in the land or when they will begin production, Richmont is prepared to take risks. “This is the industry we are working in, there’s risk involved in the exploration, there’s risk involved in the production and we’re taking some risks,” he says. “If we’re going to do some exploration in Valentine Lake it’s because we already have some investments in the province — we have a mill, we have people that are working with us in Newfoundland.” Richmont currently employs 10 people at the exploration and administration levels for Valentine Lake. Another small mine, the Beaver Brook antimony mine, opened and closed in the 1990s, but renewed interests and increased prices for the metal that has many uses — including the hardening of lead alloys, solder, lead batteries and mascara — could see the mine back in production soon. There have been obvious successes in the mining industry in Labrador, especially Labrador West, says O’Connell, adding the success can only increase the value of metals coming out of the province. “The whole west of Labrador is basically dependant on the mines. Therefore, all the businesses up there are ultimately dependent on the iron ore mine making money,” he says. “Voisey’s Bay — that was basically a winner as soon as it was found.” Recent strikes — one settled at the Iron Ore Company of Canada and the continuing Wabush Mines labour dispute — have affected production. According to Wabush Mines, for every week the strike continues annual pellet production is reduced by 109,000 tonnes. The strikes should have little or no effect on the market, says O’Connell, adding the demand for iron ore is too great. “We’ve got a strong industry and when Voisey’s Bay comes into production that could add another $500 million to that $1 billion in production.” Byrne says his department is trying to lure strong investments to the industry. Prospects may just be lining up at government’s door. “It’s fair to say, that from a mining industry perspective, the future does look bright and we’ll have more to say on that in the very near future on a couple of fronts.”
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Chipped economy Continued job action at paper mills will hurt entire province: union and company officials agree
By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
ood supplies at the Abitibi-Consolidated mills in Grand FallsWindsor and Stephenville are expected to last three months, says Rod Goulding, spokesman for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union, representing 400 striking loggers and silviculture workers. Picketers are preventing any more wood product from entering the yards. Roger Pike, spokesman for Abitibi-Consolidated, says local economies depend heavily on the mills. “We spend approximately $50 million a year on the local economy in Stephenville, everything from toilet tissue to light bulbs to oil to whatever, and Grand FallsWindsor would be in the vicinity of $60- (to) $70-million a year. So the economy of not only the region but the province would be affected by this,” he tells The Independent. Pike says he can’t speculate as to how long the strike might last or what the implications for the company might be. The 400 workers are striking over issues including pensions, early retirement, wages and training, and Goulding says despite the fact the labour discussions between Abitibi and its employees have been on-going since May, there was no negotiating the most recent contract offer Oct. 4. “We had two contracts presented … and the two contracts were turned down 100 per cent,” he says. “So it’s pretty strong, you
can’t get any stronger. If they’ve got to go on strike for a long time, they’re prepared for it.” Picketers have started to build make-shift shelters in anticipation of colder weather. Goulding acknowledges the potential economic impact if the strike continues much longer, but says the union won’t consider backing down as the contract offer stands.
INDEPENDENT CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Recedes 5 They marched west to find Fort Whoop-Up (1874) 9 Squeeze snake 12 Spanish house 16 Sped 17 Hodgepodge 18 Broadcast 19 Soldier’s plain clothes 20 Not responsible 23 At last (Fr.) 24 He doesn’t thank you 25 Wed. preceder 26 U.K.’s Tony ___ 27 Curvy shape 28 Stem ___ 29 B.C./N.W.T. river 30 Arena footwear 33 Black ___ (Michel Basilieres) 34 Solidify 35 Comedian Broadfoot 38 Conflicts 39 Author of Sisters in the Wilderness 40 Cross-dressing 41 City with most snow days:___ d’Or, Que. 42 Short alias 43 It travels on a string 44 Oryx and ___ (Atwood) 45 Galileo’s birthplace 46 African thumb-piano 48 Weaving device 49 Traveller’s stop 50 The twinkling of a star 54 Large, venomous African snake
He’s keen to enter into negotiations, however. “I’ve been saying it from day one and I still say it, even now we’re out on the picket line and we’re striking. The door for my office and the union office is open. If the company wants to get back and sit down and discuss these problems, we’ll be more than happy to go there and see if we can resolve this as soon as possible.”
Paul Daly/The Independent
Merle Lingard, area superintendant, with a woodpile outside of the Abitibi Mill in Grand Falls-Windsor.
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57 Egg-shaped 58 Bag for miscellaneous articles 62 Cowardly complainer: abbr. 63 Native playwright Daniel David ___ 65 Nota ___ 66 Tibetan gazelle 67 Country lodging 68 The basics 69 Gypsy men 70 Pull an all-nighter 71 Tie up (a boat) 73 By way of 74 Bata ___ Museum, Toronto 75 Rub 76 “The City of Light” 78 ___-yourself 79 Tall, extinct bird 80 Site of world’s largest non-polar ice field: St. ___ Mountains, Yukon 81 Ice jump 82 Bigot 86 Seize 87 Unification 89 Piece for nine instruments 90 Fur trading co., once 91 Smallest part 92 Florence’s river 93 Took advantage of 94 Expert ending? 95 Cockpit face 96 “___ we forget” DOWN 1 Needle case 2 German capital, once
3 Boast 4 Open ___ (Alice Munro) 5 Genealogists’ concerns 6 Hint 7 Max.’s opposite 8 It may be thrown on a wheel 9 Confused noise 10 Many Louvre works 11 Exist 12 Nova Scotian who founded a shipping line 13 Written statement confirmed by oath 14 Recipe direction 15 Department of E France 19 Black: prefix 21 Lawyer’s job 22 “Should ___ acquaintance ...” 26 Where water collects in a ship 28 “Later!” 29 Breach of security 30 X’s and o’s alternative 31 New Zealand parrot 32 Dying sea of central Asia 33 Pop singer Adams 34 Native grass: blue ___ 36 Bud holder 37 Mideast carrier 39 Asian desert 40 Funny 43 Workout place 44 Soft drinks 45 Ocean ___, Nfld.
47 Novel ID 48 ___ of Girls and Women (Munro) 49 ___-in-one 51 Puccini opera 52 Topic 53 Charged particles 54 Disfigure 55 Part of A.D. 56 It has a single wing 59 Taj Mahal city 60 Meat ___
61 Crippled 63 Author Gallant 64 Japanese sashes 65 Roots offering 69 Rootlike 70 Pop singer Kreviazuk 72 Brought up 74 Drunkards 75 Musical epilogue 77 Engrossed 78 Dolt 79 Olympian’s hope
80 Love god 81 Throws 82 Singer from Cape Breton 83 Joyce’s country 84 Pros and ___ 85 Tie a ___ 86 Wildebeest 87 Tai ___ 88 Quebec law
October 10, 2004
Paul Daly/The Independent
To Sweden, with love Harbour Grace-native Geoff Weeks may not like his job — but he still says he’s ‘living his dreams’ Voice from Away By Geoff Weeks, in Sweden For The Independent
jena, mitt namn är Geoff Weeks och jag bor i Sverige. That basically means What’re y’at? My name is Geoff Weeks and I live in Sweden. Unlike most Newfoundlanders living abroad, I’m not here for work. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I quite dislike my current job. I just see it as a means to an end — that end being living in Europe. I’m originally from Harbour Grace in Conception Bay, but moved to Marystown on the Burin Peninsula towards the end of high school. After a year on the work force I was off to Fredericton, N.B., to go to university. While wandering the university corridors one day I haphazardly saw a poster advertising a meeting about the university’s international exchange program. Studying abroad seemed like a good way to travel so I jumped at the opportunity. I’d always wanted to come to Europe, and I’d always had some sort of fascination with Scandinavia. Sweden became my first choice among the places I could go: I attended the international studies program information meeting in February, 1999, and in August I arrived in Örebro, Sweden, to do one year of university studies. FIRST 24 HOURS There are a few things I remember most about my first 24 hours in Sweden. Being away from home was nothing new to me, as I had moved to a different community as a teenag-
er and had then spent two years in I met at university. When my two New Brunswick, but I remember semesters were over and the relavividly the bad vibe I had after tionship was still going strong we awakening from a nap I took imme- found ourselves with a bit of a probdiately after arriving on campus in lem — that is, how we might conÖrebro. tinue seeing each other. To solve that I dreamed I was still in New- problem she did the international foundland with friends and family exchange program at UNB. and the feeling I had We both finished when I awoke was our degrees at the something like Oh same time and the On any given day I frig, what have I gotobvious choice was can be seen riding ten myself into now? to move back to Instead of sitting Sweden. I’d loved my bike across the alone in my room and first year there city centre on my way my letting homesickness and had only take over, though, I to work. Since I arrived scratched the surwent to the campus here, my time has been face on understandbar and honestly I ing the country and primarily divided haven’t felt a flicker language so I was between working at eager to get back. of homesickness since. a geriatric centre and Thoughts of movI also remember ing to Newfoundsubstitute teaching. the bicycles. Tens of land didn’t really thousands of bicycles enter my mind. So, everywhere you look. here I am, a permaIn many places in Europe, where nent resident. cities are generally more compact On any given day I can be seen than they are in North America, bicy- riding my bike across the city centre cles are the preferred mode of trans- on my way to work. Since I arrived portation. Nowadays I hardly even here, my time has been primarily notice all those bikes. divided between working at a geriI was up all that first night in Swe- atric centre and substitute teaching. I den due to the time change. As I’ve also had a short stint as a gardener. said, I arrived in August and since On a typical day my off-hours are Sweden lies as far north as it does, filled with playing the drums in a the summer nights provide only a band, sitting around the cafés or few hours of twilight. I remember socializing at the pubs and clubs. standing there looking out my winI like life here in Sweden. I can’t dow wondering if the huge hare on say if I’ll stay forever but right now the back lawn was in fact a hare or a it’s where I want to be. Of course, big dog with a weird limp. sometimes I get a bit disillusioned During that first year in Sweden I and feel like saying the hell with it became involved with a Swedish girl and packing it in and moving home
to Newfoundland, but in those dark moments I try to remind myself of how I felt when I first moved here. I was so deeply impressed by the architecture and culture, but I hardly even notice them anymore. I used to dream about one day being able to speak Swedish and now I’m fluent, speaking it all day everyday. I try to remind myself of those things and how I should appreciate them more. Though it may not always seem like it, I try to remind myself that I am in fact living my dreams. FELLOW COUNTRYMEN I’m lucky enough to have fellow countrymen around me who understand exactly what it’s like being a Canadian living here. One of my good friends is from Ontario and there are a few other Canucks around. Unfortunately, I’ve only ever met one Newfoundlander during my time here — in fact on all my travels in Europe. We met coincidentally at a party during the Swedish midsummer holiday. We sang a few traditional songs and The Ode to Newfoundland as the night wore on, but he was just travelling and we parted ways when the party wound down. I hope I’ve been able to give a little insight into living abroad and perhaps even inspire a Newfoundlander to give it a try. Or at least to travel more, because doing so makes one appreciate and perceive home in an entirely different way. Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please email us at email@example.com
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Taking the 2004 Slacker Oath Friends, ou may have heard by now that the Michigan Republican Party has called for my arrest. That’s right. They literally want me brought up on charges — and hope that I’m locked up. No, I’m not kidding. The Republican Party, yesterday, filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutors in each of the counties where I spoke last week in Michigan. My crime? Clean underwear for anyone who will vote in the upcoming election. Each night on our 60-city “Slacker Uprising Tour” through the 20 battleground states, I’ve been registering hundreds (and on some nights, thousands) of voters at my arena and stadium events. I then ask for everyone over 23 who has never voted (or didn’t vote in the last election) to stand up. I tell these slackers that I understand and respect why they think politicians are not worth the bother. I tell them that I may have been the original slacker, and that I do not want them to change their slacker ways. Keep
Guest Column MICHAEL MOORE sleeping ’til noon! Keep drinking beer! Stay on the sofa and watch as much TV as possible! But, please, just for me, on 11/2, I want you to leave the house and give voting a try — just this once. The stakes this time are just too high. If they promise me that they’ll do this, I give the guys a three-pack of new Fruit of the Loom underwear, and the women get a day’s supply of Ramen noodles, the sustenance of slackers everywhere. I then close by having them repeat the 2004 Slacker Oath: “Pick nose! Pick butt! Pick Kerry.” It seems to have worked, as each night the volunteer tables are swamped afterwards with hundreds of new and young voters signing up to campaign for regime change for the next four weeks. The satire of all this seems to
have been lost on the Republicans. Or maybe it hasn’t. The state of Michigan (where we spent most of last week) reported that over 100,000 young people recently registered to vote, a record that no one saw coming. The Slacker Tour has turned into a huge steamroller with a momentum all its own. So, the Republican Party, to show their gratitude that so many young people will now be involved in our system, has demanded that I be sent to jail for trying to “bribe” students to vote. Of course, this would be quite laughable if they weren’t so serious about their charges. But they are. I may soon be a wanted man in Michigan — simply because I convinced a few slackers to change their underwear and eat a healthy meal of artificially flavored noodles. I thought I’d seen it all this year — Disney refusing to distribute the film they paid for, right-wingers harassing theater owners who showed “Fahrenheit 9/11,” conservative action groups trying to get the FEC to kick our film ads off the
air, the unnecessary restrictive Rrating that forced teenagers to sneak in to see it, and all the stupid, crazy attacks on me and my movie that I’ve had to listen to as I watched the public ignore them and pack the movie houses anyway, where my film was being shown.
The Republican Party, yesterday, filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutors in each of the counties where I spoke last week in Michigan. My crime? Clean underwear for anyone who will vote in the upcoming election. And when all that failed, five different Republican groups made five different attack dog tapes (oops, “documentaries”!) against
me in a period of about six weeks. But they were all so bad, so boring, so right-wing, no one wanted to watch them and they too went away, a sad waste of good videotape. Now, after enduring all this, with no tricks left in their bag, they’ve just decided, “Let’s toss his sorry ass behind bars — him and his noodles and his gift of clean underwear!” My friends, they will not catch me. Though I may be on the run, and I may never be able to return home to my beloved Michigan, I make this solemn vow to you and yours: the slackers of America shall not be denied their noodles, they will proudly wear their clean underwear as free Americans, and they will vote Bush out of office come Nov. 2 (though they will not show up to the polls until well after noon). Stay strong, stay slacker, and please remember to turn the underwear inside out every three days. As for the noodles, add boiling water, stir. Yours, Michael Moore
If Europe voted … As U.S. elections approach, Europeans lament Atlantic sea change PARIS The Associated Press
n Paris, a hairdresser says with a laugh that if he can’t vote on Nov. 2, at least he is splashing Heinz ketchup on his steak-frites as his contribution to the momentum against U.S. President George W. Bush. In Oslo, a young Norwegian expresses his thoughts on a Web site that takes advantage of Norway’s two-letter Internet code: www.tellhim.no Even in Warsaw, where many support Bush, Poles question the president’s Iraq policy. “He banged his fist on the table,” says Ewa Wojcik, a 44-year-old journalist. “Whether it was the right table remains a question.” Opinion surveys concur that Europe heavily favours Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. But, beyond the numbers, conversations reveal a broad belief that the Atlantic Ocean is wider than at any time in modern memory. From Britain to the Baltics, many sense a sea change in sentiment toward an America they once admired — largely linked to what they call an arrogant contempt of others after 9/11. Cedric Judicis, 51, the ketchupeating coiffeur, normally pays scant attention to U.S. presidential contenders, but this year he knows all about aspiring first lady Teresa Heinz Kerry, heiress to the H.J. Heinz Co. fortune. Heinz Kerry
gained much of her $500 million US portfolio through her Heinz inheritance, but she does not serve on the board and is not involved with the management of the company. Like many Europeans who see the American chief executive as reshaping their world, Judicis wishes he could vote. He has made six trips to the United States and, unlike some others, he is eager to go back. ‘RULES BY FORCE’ “But America is different now,” he says. “It rules by force, not by the weight of respect. There’s a sense of ‘do what I say and not what I do.’ It was always so open. Now it seems to us totalitarian.” Jillie Faraday, a British filmmaker based in Paris, still loves to visit American friends. She knows the society well, avoiding generalities that often lead its critics astray. She thinks a Republican cabal is conning an apathetic, foolish mainstream. She is outraged, for instance, at the new electronic voting system in Florida, which leaves no paper record. “If they tried to do that in anywhere in Europe, people would riot in the streets,” she says. “Americans are fed propaganda, and they say it’s democracy.” Most Europeans questioned said they were more opposed to Bush than in favour of Kerry. Few have firm opinions yet on the Democratic candidate. Many question his ability to rally Europe on Iraq,
should that be his intention. In Poland, the mood is mixed. Three of four Poles questioned by The Associated Press said they would not vote even if they could. “Kerry seems weak, unconvincing,” says Piotr Sakowicz, 44, an avionics engineer. “And Bush seems incapable of continuing his task.” Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, 29, on leave from Norway’s Socialist Left party to run his tellhim.no Web site, posted a letter to Bush, saying Norwegians respect America’s “strength, generosity and creativity.” But, he added, four out of five Norwegians oppose the war because Bush’s policy “only fosters resistance.” In Britain, where Prime Minister Tony Blair supports Bush, polls suggest a two-to-one preference for Kerry. By telephone, a sampling of Britons explained why. At 32, Chris Hoe, a British treasury employee, said he grew up with America as an example of an open-minded and free-spirited country. “Now,” he said, “I’m afraid that’s been pushed aside by an ugly isolationism.” Views are poignant in Germany, where fresh generations are rejecting the old postwar attachment to an American ideal. Vending machine executive Paul Bruehl worries about what he calls Bush’s Christian fundamentalism. “In world dealings, you need intercultural dialogue, with Muslims, with Buddhists, with everyone,” he
said by phone from Cologne. But the strongest feelings are in France, which dates its transAtlantic friendship to the Marquis de Lafayette’s help against the British in the American Revolution. French Foreign Ministry officials say privately they laugh off anti-French slurs. But they describe a deep-seated unease with Washington, pushing them closer to European partners. Among ordinary Frenchmen, the feeling is clear. “We no longer feel much sentiment for America,” remarked Laurence Torno. Her husband, a dentist, agreed. “It is too aggressive, too full of itself.” Their son, Pierre-Charles, 17, saved for years for a post-high school grand tour, starting in Florida and ending in New York. This summer he graduated and went to Australia. “Before the Iraq war, my friends and I all felt a strong sympathy with America,” Pierre-Charles explained. “Now we see no respect for people’s human rights or international agreements.” One friend who went to America told him he was pushed around by kids wearing buttons that said, “After Baghdad, Paris.” Now he has revised his dream of studying medicine in the United States. “I loved Australia,” PierreCharles concluded. “It was very open, friendly, a great place. I’d had it with America.”
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October 10, 2004
Faces & names
Sheilagh O’Leary photographed half the portraits in her current exhibit in Newfoundland, half in Ireland By Stephanie Porter The Independent
hat do David Hynes, mayor of Wexford, Ireland, and Joel Hynes, 20-something St. John’s writer and actor, have in common? How about engaging, elderly storyteller Mary Power from the Avalon’s Southern Shore, and freckle-faced young Emmet Power from Waterford? Their surnames are the same, of course. But photographer Sheilagh O’Leary — inspired by that most evident association — is looking for something else. “Obviously these are not genetically related people, not likely,” she says. “But there is some connection, something that they share …” ‘ALL THE O’ NAMES’ O’Leary has taken hundreds of photographs of men and women for her current art project, called Twinning Lines. She searched out, met, and photographed Newfoundlanders of Irish origin — paying careful attention to the last names: Furlong, McGrath, Tobin, Hearn, “all the O’ names.” Then, in September, she went to Ireland for three and a half weeks to find and photograph Irish men and women who share those same surnames. “I don’t really care about the genealogy; this project is very non-academic,” she says. “I started out thinking ‘I’ll get a Power with a Power and a Murphy with a Murphy … I’ll find someone in Ireland who looks the same and someone from Newfoundland.’ But of course that doesn’t happen.” Instead, the final exhibition will pair individuals who may, at first glance, appear to share little more than a name — they are so different in age, sex, style. O’Leary says it will be up to the viewers to study the faces, examine the details, and draw their own connections and conclusions. As she sifts through her negatives and contact sheets, she’s finding some of those links for herself. “I am interested in the visual end of things. I want to look at an O’Leary and see traces of something I recognize — my dad or my family. That’s obviously what this project has been all about.” O’Leary says Twinning Lines is a natural extension of her work. She’s carved a niche for herself in the community, specializing in black and white photography, often focused on the most intimate and emotional moments: breastfeeding mothers, parents, children, maternity, nudes. “I can’t get tied up in all the technical stuff, your soul gets lost in those things,” she says. “My work has got to be driven by people.” As she gives a tour of the house, describing some of her work on the walls, it’s evident she delights in texture, shape, bodies intertwined with natural landscapes. She’s open and engaging — big genuine smile, enthusiastic stories — and her love of, and sensitivity to, human interaction comes through as much in conversation as it does in her work. She’s aware of these skills — and wants to test them. “I really wanted to go to Ireland, and see if I could get into the same spaces there that I could get into here,” she says of her latest project. “That’s a huge part of why I do this … it’s a great opportunity to meet all kinds of excellent people.” O’Leary says she arrived in Ireland not quite knowing how she was going to get in contact with the people she wanted to meet. She worked with the staff of the art centre in Waterford to do a small media blitz, and invited locals to an open house/tea at the gallery. She photographed nearly 20 people out of that meeting. The locals pointed her in certain directions — where pockets of people with certain surnames could be found. Then off she went, to the regions and communities near Waterford. Paul Daly/The Independent
Continued on page 23
LIFE & TIMES
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Long live Rock Can Roll RockCanRollRecords Compilation / Volume 1 (Independent Artists Co-operative, 2004)
hat’s not to love? The flashy layout is eyecatching alone, the coloured waves indicative of the calibre of craft within. There’s a thick piece of the St. John’s independent rock scene, past and present, within. Let’s not forget the fact that it had some good ol’ government bucks for support, too. Rock Can Roll Records features 16 tracks — an agreeable gathering of bands on this compilation, and despite the evident differences in style, they’ve come together to rock hard. Lizband sing an absolutely soothing pop lament into an all-out rock brawl for the first song Man Who Can Go (I Need A). Liz Pickard’s vocals manage to range from sweet and pleading to enduring authority, and always powerful. Over the bare-bones melody and sudden fuzz from her longtime band mates, it makes a decisively strong start. Summer Birthday, a live recording by The Coast Guard, keeps the momentum and has similarly sugary indie-pop leanings, with Rhiannon Thomas belting out those vital notes on top of a wall of guitar with neatly cut corners. The breaks are tight and the sound is clear for a live cut, yet retaining enough room sound to give the raw edge. Of the tunes on Mark Bragg and the Black Wedding Band’s first disc, Country In The Girl rocks right away for me. Nice choice to include this one, a dirty ramble through slide guitar solos, screaming backup vocals from Mike Davis and Mark Bragg’s signature low, animated tales of back-road darkness. From there we get to rock acoustically with Jody Richardson’s vivid Dogs, a short tune with
Local Spins RICK BAILEY additional depth from bass, electric feedback and Richardson’s voice multiplied and lingering in the environment. When a song this stripped down jolts your attention, you know there’s something cool about it. Five Star General continues the moody theme on Demon Sugar Fight, beginning with melodic guitars that shift to cry distortedly between sections of aching utterance by Clinton St. John. The guitars have a nice, crisp high-end and the vocals bounce across
In homage to the notorious songster, Impossible Love by Mike Wade Band is a warm tribute in the mix. This song is classic rock ‘n’ roll on a rampage — snarling guitar, bass and drums barreling forward, with Wade tossing lyrics and screaming wildly. He’ll live on as a funloving punk rocker.
throbbing rock. A perfect fit for the college radio circuit. Keep ‘em Comin’ by Hero Gets Girl takes it into pop-punk territory with chugging, fast-moving riffs backing good-natured yells from Ritchie Perez and company. It’s the kind of head-banging song that’s always fun and eagerly con-
sumed, like peanut butter on toast. The Black Bags consist of members of Lizband, with Marcel Bag cramming catchy lines of lyric with growling guitar on Never Get Enough. The simply organic trio chiseled this fine nugget off the rough-hewn rock mountain. Nice speaker fade to mess you up at the start. In homage to the notorious songster, Impossible Love by Mike Wade Band is a warm tribute in the mix. This song is classic rock n’ roll on a rampage — snarling guitar, bass and drums barreling forward, with Wade tossing lyrics and screaming wildly. He’ll live on as a fun-loving punk rocker … anything’s possible. Next, there’s a trip to Mothership Radio, a lo-fi space-rocker by The Origin of the Sound. Strangely, it sucks you in with muddy, industrial synth drums, bass fuzz and constant keyboard sounds that must have been born in the engine room of the mighty vessel. This one surely rocks though, with much dial-twisting and buttonpushing, feedback, and quirky lyrical accompaniment. Long live four-track recording. Parasite Drag’s Wireless is another harsher rocker, full of frenzied stops and starts, warped chord aerobics and running from Cabot Tower, sweaterless. I had to fix the mid-range EQ to rescue Geoff Younghusband’s lyrics that were buried in fuzz in the first verse, which was the real drag. I suppose that’s what equalizers tailor our preferences for, but this was more song necessity to not lose the plot (dot-dot-dot). I did get the message, finally … and it’s damn hard to balance every rock song equally. Everything sounds different, so you deal with it. Difference is everything in the following tune, She-Male Order Bride, performed with gusto by Hot Nuts. Lots of oozing vocal harmonies layered on busy punk rock motoring from Phil Winters and Don Ellis. The song’s hilarious
topic is undisputedly odd, however the presentation is tight and nearly flawless. Just like the subject matter, I presume? Victory Cigarettes then lowers the tempo a notch to fire a straightup hard rocker in The Water Witch. Meaty guitars from the start, Jonny Harris’ memorable rum and rock n’ roll vocals and dreamier breaks, the bass and drums in force at the right spots, and the tune ends swiftly before you can say it’s too long. A concise and controlled rock single. MELODIC ROCK This is followed by a gloomy melodic rock analysis in Self Conflict by Mojo Pin. Pensive vocals are the main focus here, with sporadic dips to heavier guitar parts and colorful percussion. Executed very well, but this style of emotion-drenched rock leaves me unsettled at the edge of a foggy bridge. It doesn’t quite grab me. Cost Down by Ex-Nihilo is pretty dark, too, with an eerie, recurring high-pitched guitar run and Chris Brown’s repeated brooding and shouting. Combined with Kenneth Thistle’s perpetual drum-
ming, the rhythm could conceivably end up anywhere at the end. Wickedness. Geinus begin their track, Brand New Coma, with a gradually rising riff to stomp to, giving way to irregular tempo structures and mad distortion. Steve Abbott screams some verse over his searing guitar and breaks it down for a furious jam to finish. Packed with progressive punch. Twin guitar licks kick the final submission into high gear for Bung’s Wankfest. Jon Whalen’s sneering rhymes carry it through, with no shortage of evil crunch. Slowing the vocal pitch at the very end slides the disc to a satisfying stop. This is a really impressive assortment of music — all the artists rock the way they want, sounding and looking professional in this slick design. The songs are shuffled well, and it’s a positive step in promoting independent rock in the province. Boy, am I thankful for rock. Let me know when Volume 2 rolls. Rick Bailey is a musician and radio DJ. His next column appears Oct. 23.
Going to the show
Paul Daly/The Independent
Three members of the Art Association of Newfoundland display examples of their art. These and other pieces will be on display during a one-day art exhibition and sale at the Capital Hotel, Kenmount Road, today (Oct. 10). Left to right: Linda Coles holds The Moratorium; Randy Blundon with his October Barrens; Cathy Marsh with Celebrating the Great Outdoors.
The Independent, October 10, 2004
LIFE & TIMES
Music of Newfoundland composer Jennifer O’Neill catching on; if only it could pay the bills Alisha Morrissey The Independent
ennifer O’Neill will be celebrated alongside Beethoven on Oct. 15 when one of her compositions will be played by the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO) on its opening night of the season. O’Neill, a native of St. John’s, graduated from Memorial with a bachelor of music and went on to the University of Calgary, where she earned her masters. “I left as a student of composition and came back as a professional,” O’Neill tells The Independent. The orchestral composition selected by the NSO, called Rising Moon, took O’Neill eight months to complete. She says it’s a great honour to have her work performed in her home province, by a company with the reputation of the NSO — a company she got her start in, playing trombone. At the age of 28, O’Neill says she’s proud to call herself an
accomplished composer. Her work has been played on CBC Radio. One of her pieces — Sketches, a solo saxophone composition — was played at the World Saxophone Conference XIII
Paul Daly/The Independent
in Minneapolis. She’s also worked with the Calgary Philharmonic. O’Neill says composition is a complex art. She describes how many elements float around her all the time, ready to be captured
on paper. One of her inspirations is the imagery of the natural landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador. “My reaction of it, it’s an emotional reaction … it’s not trying to
be literal,” she says, trying to explain how a landscape can be depicted in music. While O’Neill says she enjoyed her six years in Calgary, she was anxious to return home. “I just woke up one morning and I knew it wasn’t right … mountains are great, but they’re not the ocean.” The next step for O’Neill will be to spend some time writing more compositions and, hopefully, more collaborations with local artists. “Music is a live, interactive thing,” she says. “Music is a collaboration.” O’Neill says in 10 years she’d like to hear her “contemporary Canadian classical music” being played in venues across the country. Back in St. John’s a little over a month, O’Neill is still looking for a day job. She’s looking for fulltime work in arts administration, a position similar to one she had in Calgary. “Composing doesn’t pay the bills,” she says with a laugh. “Most composers do have a day job.”
‘Lineage and connection’ From page 21 “I went through the process of calling all the post offices ahead of time and asking about people,” she says. “But as it turns out the best way to get to someone is to go to the pub. Walk in, and if they’re not there, the people there will tell you where to go. “It’s very much like Newfoundland, you could approach anyone, talk to anyone … I didn’t have anyone turn me down.” And she discovered, as fascinated as people in this province are with their Irish heritage, the people of Waterford are also very aware, and interested in, their connection with Newfoundland. WATERFORD CONNECTION O’Leary has done this kind of project before. In the early ’90s, she and writer Rhonda Pelley travelled around the coast of Newfoundland, photographing and profiling older women in various communities. They’d spend two or three days in a place at a time, getting to know their subjects. The resulting exhibition of photography and text, Island Maid, was a success. Although she spent less time with each person this time around, the depth of their stories comes through the portraits. She also knew that, for this project, she wanted to move away from “constantly doing older faces, with stories inside the folds of their skin.” In the end, O’Leary says the portraits that will hang, in pairs, on the walls of the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford, show “a myriad of faces that are so interesting and so diverse.” The show opens there on Nov. 4. It will open in Newfoundland sometime in 2005 before finally settling in St. John’s City Hall. “There isn’t really an ‘Irish face,’” O’Leary says. “This is more about lineage and connection, less about finding the exact replica.”
LIFE & TIMES
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Dark destiny Frank Barry reflects on wrongful conviction, St. John’s mannerisms, and why he can’t seem to write a comedy By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
nspiration seems to assault playwright and actor Frank Barry at every turn — but it’s driving him crazy. All he wants to do is write something funny; instead, he says he can’t stop channeling those deep, dark, human emotions that inevitably crop up through a regular day of reading newspapers and watching TV. “I’m actually a comedian myself,” Barry says before the opening night of his “tough” play, 3 Dogs Barking, presented by the Resource Centre for the Arts at LSPU Hall. “I’m a very funny guy. I am really. I can make people laugh. I’m writing a one-man show which is a comedy, right? Comedy is my thing.” 3 Dogs Barking, which Barry wrote and directed, does have some great comedic moments — local jokes ranging from mullets to alter boys — but the subjects covered couldn’t be more dramatic. There’s murder, suicide, sexuality, profanity, kidnapping, and humiliation. “There’s a lot of politics. It’s set in the idea of a person making a false confession, and for whatever reasons; that’s why I wrote it. Why would somebody — and this actually happened in St. John’s — confess to this hideous crime? What is it about their life that would make them do that?” THREE-MAN PLAY 3 Dogs Barking is a three-man play centered around Shea Heights local Jim Larkin. Larkin has deliberately incriminated himself as the perpetrator of a brutal murder, but DNA evidence reveals he’s innocent of the crime. The action on stage explores Larkin’s relationship and history with his arresting constable, while court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. John St. John tries to understand the motivation behind Larkin’s false-confession. By turns, audience members guiltily catch themselves mid-grin as subjects seamlessly morph from hilarious to brutal and back again.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Frank Holden (Constable Coveyduck) and Steve O’Connell (Dr. St. John) in 3 Dogs Barking at the LSPU Hall.
“There’s a lot of violence and hard language in the play, and I think this particular subject demands that,” Barry says. “It’s not gratuitous at all, it’s just, you know, the main character, he’s from where I come from, Shea Heights; those are the attitudes. That’s the way you speak. And very intelligent people come out of that place, but are hammered down by the stigmatization of being from that place. I came from there and conquered St. John’s — there’s a play right away. “Like when somebody from there is accused of something, the idea in St John’s is they are guilty until proven innocent, not the opposite, right?” Despite his roots, it’s difficult to compare the unruffled, easy-going Barry with his tumultuous protagonist. But then, it’s all about acting, and award-winning actor and writer Joel Hynes performs Larkin dead-on, with all the sorrow and joy spun from the character’s
colourful history. Frank Holden plays Constable Ted Coveyduck as if he was Barry’s inspiration for the character in the first place, and Steve O’Connell effortlessly pulls off the self-assured and subsequently humiliated Dr. John St. John from posh Forest Road. TIMELY SUBJECT Although the subject of wrongful conviction is very timely in St. John’s in light of the on-going Lamer Inquiry into the cases of Newfoundlanders Randy Druken, Gregory Parsons and Roland Dalton, Barry says this was not the original catalyst behind 3 Dogs Barking. The play had already had one run, in August 2003, before the inquiry began. The idea came from notes Barry scribbled down years ago. “Strangely enough, many years ago a very hideous crime happened in St. John’s, I don’t even want to name it because of the
parents of the child it happened to … she was a young girl and she was murdered really brutally, sexually violated … It was the most heinous crime that had ever happened in St. John’s. You know what we’re like; we’re a small place, things like that don’t happen here. And it was terrible and they never found the killer, but this man confessed to the crime — he didn’t do it, they proved it, and I wrote those notes down. “I just thought: Why would you do that? Why would a human being take on the most heinous crime? “Then later on when the things happened here in St. John’s – before the Lamer Inquiry, but they were happening – it struck me that that’s a really interesting way to deal with the subject. Someone confesses to a crime that they didn’t commit, for the reasons they know they’re going to be accused of it anyway.” A public forum and discussion
to address the issues broached in the play and relating to the Lamer Inquiry will be held following the Oct. 13 performance. Hosted by Noreen Golfman, the panel will include lawyers, an investigating officer from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and a cognitive-forensic psychologist. And Barry’s still having a hard time understanding why he keeps plowing through deep, controversial issues when all he wants to write is a good St. John’s comedy. He was right in the middle of one … “ … then I read this article in the Globe and Mail about Brooks, Alta., about these Newfoundlanders and Angolans and Sudanese that were working there (at the meat-packing plant) and I went, ‘donk’ — I’ve got to write this story. ‘Cos, I’m the guy, right? I’m the guy, I’m the guy who’s interested in that stuff. I can give them their voice and make it funny and mystical and I’m the guy that’s got to do it. “And I was so hurt, I was going, ‘No!’ Because I really wanted to take a break and write a really funny play about St. John’s mannerisms and stuff, about artists in general about you know, how bullshit we are. And I was writing like a dog here, I was really having a lot of fun and enjoying it…” Whether he likes it or not, Meat is Barry’s current work in progress, and at least it’s technically dubbed a comedy — for now. 3 Dogs Barking is a surprising, relentless, 70-minute thriller. “At the same time, I say this, but there are a lot of funny moments in (3 Dogs Barking), because the language of people in that situation is smart and funny, it’s not academic or dead. “They’re not really discussing the whys of things, they speak to each other in very real terms, and usually human beings under stress will laugh, or find ways to laugh. So I think, strangely enough, as dark as the thing is, it has our St. John’s sense of humour.” 3 Dogs Barking continues nightly at the LSPU Hall, 8pm, until Oct. 17th.
October 10, 2004
Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Geoff Drover (right) misses the pass while covered by Montreal Alouettes Reggie Durden, during second-quarter CFL action in Montreal last season.
Football fields of Drover By Darcy MacRae The Independent
hen it comes to football, there’s one scene Geoff Drover is very familiar with. The quarterback approaches the line of scrimmage, accepts the snap, takes three steps back, cocks his throwing arm and searches the field for an open target. For three seasons Drover was one of the targets Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterbacks searched for when under attack from opposing linemen. But this year the Kilbride native has had a different take on the field — breaking up such plays; not completing them. Drover made the switch from wide receiver to safety at the opening of Winnipeg’s training camp in May. Moving from offence to defence came as a surprise to him, especially after he spent the entire off-season preparing to haul in passes as a member of the Blue Bombers’ receiving corps. Although Drover had never played safety before, he had little choice but to learn the position quickly. “I knew I was going to have a tough camp ahead of me because we had a lot of proven veterans at that position,” he tells The Independent. “But the coaching staff figured my best chance of making
this team was at safety so I took advantage of the opportunity and I’m still here.” Drover took to the new position quickly, often getting the nod as a starter early in the season — despite being short on experience. His play improved with each game, a credit to his outstanding athletic ability and commitment to a simple game. “I try to keep everything in front of me,” he says. “I want to get a good read on the quarterback and try to knock passes down and make tackles.” TEETH-RATTLING HITS Pounding receivers with teethrattling hits and dragging down opposing ball carriers are Drover’s favourite parts of playing defence. For three years he was on the receiving end of several punishing collisions with opposing safeties. This season he gets to dish out some pain. Drover’s favourite hit of the 2004 campaign came during an Aug. 12 home game against the Edmonton Eskimos. With Winnipeg leading late in the contest, Edmonton wide receiver Brock Ralph caught a pass from quarterback Jason Maas and raced toward the end zone with what appeared to be a clear path to a touchdown. But before the speedy Ralph could score the major, Drover stepped
into him with every bit of his 5’11, 200-pound frame and sent the Edmonton receiver sprawling into a sea of Winnipeg teammates standing on the sideline. The thunderous hit brought a packed Canada Inns Stadium to its feet and reminded Drover of why he loves this game so much.
“Thirty thousand fans go crazy when you catch a ball, but they also go crazy when you hit somebody.” — Geoff Drover
“Thirty thousand fans go crazy when you catch a ball, but they also go crazy when you hit somebody,” says Drover, laughing. “When you can make a play like that, it makes football a lot of fun.” Switching positions has not been the only element of change Drover has endured in Winnipeg this season. The 28-year-old has seen his team’s inconsistent play result in the firing of head coach Dave Ritchie and the trading of their No. 1 quarterback and former Canadian Football League MVP
Khari Jones. Ritchie’s departure was an emotional one for Drover, who credits the veteran coach for much of his success in professional football. “He’s basically the reason I made it to the CFL and is responsible for me making the team this year.” While Drover and his teammates were sad to see Ritchie get the pink slip, they have responded to new head coach Jim Daley, going 4-4 since he took over Aug. 9. Khari Jones injured his throwing shoulder in the midst of this stretch, and backup QB Kevin Glenn stepped in and stole the starting job by simply outplaying the veteran Jones. With Glenn leading the way offensively, Jones was shipped to Calgary in a blockbuster trade on Sept. 26, a move that was no surprise to Drover. “Any time you’re hurt and your replacement comes in and plays better than you, there’s going to be controversy. That’s the way football is,” he says. Drover was on the receiving end of passes from Jones during his first three years in Winnipeg, and says he will miss his former QB both on and off the field. But despite the fact that he enjoyed hanging out with Jones in the locker room before games and practices, he realizes player movement is a fact of life in profes-
sional sports. “I feel bad for Khari, he was a good friend. But at the same time I can’t concern myself too much with the trade because it could have just as easily been me who was shipped out of town,” Drover says. “Competing for a job is something we all do. It’s something you can’t control and have to accept.” SEASON WINDING DOWN With the 2004 CFL campaign winding down, Drover says his off-season plans are still up in the air. He may return home for a few months and work part-time as he has in the past, or he might do some travelling. But given his team’s current situation, he admits that the off-season is the furthest thing from his thoughts lately. With just three regular season games to go, Winnipeg is in a dogfight with Saskatchewan and Edmonton for the final playoff spot in the CFL’s Western Division. With a record of 6-9, the Blue Bombers will almost certainly have to win all three remaining games if they wish to see post-season action. Drover says he and his teammates must play mistake-free football if they want a shot at the Grey Cup, something he personally strives for every time he takes to the field. Darcy_8888@hotmail.com
The Independent, October 10, 2004
When Shelley met gym
wo weeks ago, I took my son and daughter to the Provincial Training Centre in Torbay for a cross-country meet. First time I’d been out there in a while. It was a great day, with over 1,000 people, kids and parents on the scene. All that was fine, but what was disturbing to me was the gym. We had access to the facility to register our kids and patronize the canteen, but the doors to the main part of the facility — the gym — were locked. It’s been like this since April, 2002. While watching all the little ones give their best, I wondered why our government hasn’t been able to do the same by either repairing or replacing the Rec Centre. I even spied Minister Paul Shelley, whose department is responsible for the centre, at the competition. I wonder how he feels about the situation? I’d bet loads of money that Shelley is fully aware of the importance of such a facility. As old and decrepit as it was, the training centre meant a lot to our provincial athletes. Without it, our best are at an even bigger disadvantage when we compete on a national stage. Our athletes — and not just the elite ones — deserve better. Again, Shelley understands this, I’m sure, but what can he do to solve the problem? More to the point, what is Danny going to let him do? Yes, there are other matters to be concerned with, but you can mark me down for one of those people who believes sports and physical participation can cut rising health-care costs. That’s a fact — and not enough people today believe it. We have always been able to produce really special athletes and teams, in all sports. But there’s no question they suffer from a lack of facilities. It doesn’t have to be this way, especially when you consider the money squandered in keeping the heat on in the Rec Centre, something government has done for over two years. I can think of a few places where that money would be better spent.
The Provincial Recreation Centre in St. John’s is a falling down mess with no plans to repair or replace it.
WIND BENEATH JORDAN’S WING Scottie Pippen, one of my favourite NBA players of all time, retired last week — leaving a career that should rank with the game’s greatest. Without Pippen, Michael Jordan would not have been Michael Jordan. Simply put, Jordan will be forever known as one of the greatest winners of all time, in any sport. One of my all-time favourite quotes came from Chicago Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach. “It’s time to release the dobermans,” he’d say when Pippen, all long, lean and frightfully fast, would unleash a defensive attack that, in my view, gave the Bulls’ their championship swagger. Jordan, of course, was a nice dog to have too, but while Jordan took over on offense, Pippen did his thing on defense. Jordan reaped the benefits by putting the ball into the hoop, often off turnovers created by Pippen’s menacing assault. What’s this? A player who unselfishly
gave up a chance at the spotlight so his team (and its superstar) could reap the benefits? The NBA today needs more like Pippen, who went to Central Arkansas University — not as a player — but as the team’s manager. He eventually got on the floor and his career took off — six NBA championships with the Bulls, two Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 and a spot on the NBA’s 50 Greatest list. People might say that Pippen would not have been the player he was without Jordan, and I would agree. But answer me this: would Jordan have been the player he was without Pippen? STANLEY’S WAIT The NHL should take a page from the CFL, and learn a thing or two from its history and how it operates today I’ll admit I enjoy watching NFL football more, but the CFL is a fairly healthy operation, keeping in mind it has had many struggles over the years. In the early 1990s, the CFL figured it
would be wise to expand into the United States. Some teams met with moderate success; others faltered from the start. The CFL, to its credit, scrapped its lofty plans and now has a solid league in major and mid-sized Canadian cities. The operating scenario fits the fans, the country and the market. It helps that NFL money has been pumped into the league over the years, but the league has managed to stay afloat. Now take the NHL, a league that also expanded quite ambitiously down south, and is now faced with some difficult decisions. One thing is for certain: it can’t return and expect to operate in its present state. Perhaps admitting some mistakes would be a wise first step towards a healthy recovery. The Grey Cup rests on a pedestal a few levels lower than the Stanley Cup to most Canadians. At least the Grey Cup is certain to be hoisted this year and for the foreseeable future. Lord Stanley’s mug might be collecting cobwebs for a long time.
Solutions from page 18
A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME IS ALL WE ASK. CONQUERING THE UNIVERSE IS OPTIONAL. Think it requires heroic efforts to be a Big Brother or Big Sister? Think again. It simply means sharing a few moments with a child. Play catch. Build a doghouse. Or help take on mutant invaders from the planet Krang. That’s all it takes to transform a mere mortal like yourself into a super hero who can make a world of difference in a child’s life. For more information...
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland 1-877-513KIDS (5437) www.helpingkids.ca
The Independent, October 10, 2004
Events OCTOBER 10 • Crush with guest Nathan Wiley, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 729-3900. • 3 Dogs Barking, by Frank Barry, continues at the LSPU Hall, 8 p.m., until Oct. 17. 753-4531 • Old Dogs New Tricks, Rik Baron and Dave Panting’s CD launch, The Ship, 8:30 p.m. 576-8508, email@example.com. • Special Thanksgiving service, Rev. Sandra Tilley invites past and present students, faculty and staff of Queen Elizabeth regional high school. All Saints Anglican Church, Foxtrap, 3 p.m. OCTOBER 11 • Tommy Makem in concert with special guests Evans and Doherty, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 729-3900. • The Pottle Centre at 323 Hamilton Ave. offers a basic literacy program, Mondays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 753-2143 • Blood donor clinic, 7 Wicklow St. St. John’s, continuing through to Thursday, 12 p.m.-7 p.m., 1888-236-6283. OCTOBER 12 • Tommy Makem in concert with special guests Evans and Doherty, Cornerbrook Arts and Culture Centre, 637-2580. • Arts and Heritage Career Showcase, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 729-3900. • Voodoo Science – SARS and Synthetics, public lecture by Dr. Ugis Bickis, MUN Arts and Administration Building , 7778397. • Kids Eat Smart program, Minister of Education, Mr. Tom Hedderson will visit the Kids Eat
Smart Club at Prince of Wales Collegiate, 8 a.m. 722-1996. • Just for Laughs, Mile One stadium, 7:30 p.m. 576-7657.
Rhythm of our land
OCTOBER 13 • A public forum to discuss topical issues from 3 Dogs Barking, by Frank Barry, follows the play at the LSPU Hall, 8 p.m. 753-4531. • Assertive Communications, a six-week course, 7–9 p.m. Contact Sr. Loretta Walsh, Family Life Bureau, 579-0168. • Soup suppers and desserts, presented by St. Thomas’ Church, Canon Wood Hall, Military Rd, St. John’s, 5;30–7 p.m. $5 adults, $2.50 children. OCTOBER 14 • The Inuit of Canada: Charting the Future in the New Millennium, lecture by Jose A. Kusugak, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, MUN Education Building, 737-7626. • A Night of Tales, St. John’s Storytelling Circle, the Crow’s Nest Officer’s Club, 7:30–9:30 p.m. Dale Jarvis, 685-3444. • The Open Book Literacy Council holds an orientation session for prospective tutors and volunteers, Room L216, College of the North Atlantic, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. 758-7428. OCTOBER 15 • Debut Atlantic Encore, Gander Arts and Culture Centre, 2561082. • NSO Masterworks Concert #1, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 729-3900. • Sons of Erin, Erin’s Pub, 7221916. • The Writer’s Alliance Annual General Meeting and Profes-
St. John’s-based watercolour painter Cathy Driedzic’s first solo exhibition, The Rhythm of Our Land — a juxtaposition of intimate on-site studies and large, serene panoramas — is on display this month at the Gander Arts and Culture Centre gallery.
sional Development Weekend, Cornerbrook, call the WANL, 7395215. • Reading by John Steffler, award-winning author, The Tudor Room, Glynmill Inn, Cornerbrook. 739-5215. OCTOBER 16 • Debut Atlantic Encore, Cornerbrook Arts and Culture Centre, 637-2580. • The Amazing Kreskin, presented by PQ Entertainment, St John’s
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Arts and Culture Centre, continues until Oct. 17. 729-3900. • Putting Your Garden To Bed, fall gardening workshop, MUN Botanical Garden, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 737-8590. • Ocean Net’s annual beach/shoreline and underwater cleanup and Pumpkin Carving Contest, Topsail Beach, CBS, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. 753-3680. • Tom Badcock, author of Honour Thy Mother, will be signing at Coles, Avalon Mall from 2 p.m.
IN THE GALLERIES: • Donna Ramsey’s photography exhibition, Balance Restaurant, 147, LeMarchant Rd, until Oct. 16. • Water flowing to the sea captured at the speed of light, Blast Hold Pond River, Newfoundland, 2002-2003 by Marlene Creates, Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s, until Oct.15. • St. Michael’s Printshop Portfolio, featuring work by Tara Bryan, Boyd Chubs, Di Dabinett, Scott Goudie, Elayne Greeley, Christine Koch, Bonnie Leyton, Julia Pickard, Elena Popova, Allyson Stuckless, Will Gill and Anita Singh, until Oct. 17. • The Art of Wine, special fundraiser for the Anna Templeton Centre feat. Work from 20 local artists, 739-7623. Oct. 16. • Open Studio Weekend, Craft council of Newfoundland and Labrador, 753-2749, Oct. 16-17. • As Seen With The Listening Heart, featuring the textile landscapes of Karen Colbourne Martin, Craft Council Gallery, Devon House Craft Centre, 753-2749, until Oct. 31. • Dusk, new paintings by David Marshak, at James Baird Gallery, Duckworth Street, St. John’s. • Contemplating Re-Tox, new oils by Ran Andrews, Christian’s Pub, St. John’s, until Nov. 11. • Les Terre Neuvas d’Anita Conti — Anita Conti and the French Fishermen on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, photographs by Conti, Newfoundland Museum, Duckworth St., until Jan. 16. • Bridging Sea and Sky, by Linda Swain, Pollyanna Gallery, Duckworth Street, St. John’s, until Oct. 30.