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VOL. 3 ISSUE 7

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13-19, 2005

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OPINION PAGE 9 AND 19

SPORTS 25

John Crosbie and Siobhan Coady join The Independent’s editorial team

Paddy Daly on future of Newfoundland senior hockey

‘Pulling down the picket fences’ With only 20 municipalities out of 284 with populations greater than 4,000; rural communities must share services to survive: Brett By Stephanie Porter The Independent

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or Herb Brett, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities and deputy mayor of Arnold’s Cove, rural Newfoundland is, and always will be, home. “I wouldn’t change where I live for anything,” he says of his community, about an hour and a half drive west of St. John’s. “It’s a wonderful quality of life as far as I’m concerned, as long as I have water and electricity and the road is clear and my taxes are onequarter what they are in St. John’s, and I’m living on the water …” Brett may not want to change where he lives, but Arnold’s Cove itself, like virtually all communities in rural Newfoundland, is changing — and not always for the best. Late last week, 125 layoffs at the Arnold’s Cove fish plant were announced, compounding the already exiting concerns about unemployment and its spin off — out-migration. “The (workers) are getting a bit concerned,” Brett tells The Independent. “And the town council is too …

Paul Daly/The Independent The provincial government, through the recently launched rural secretariat, is investigating ways to revitalize rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year the federal and provincial governments spent more than $34 million on make-work. The project above involved workers digging rocks from the shore of Winterton to repair holes in a nearby wharf.

“I don’t know what the answers are.” While the fishery may always be the province’s backbone, and the search for sustainable sea products its great hope, communities are now looking to new industries and new strategies — and

new government programs — to support themselves. In some cases, their very survival depends on it. The province’s rural population, particularly the younger segment, has decreased sharply since the 1992 mora-

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The powers I have are astronomical in terms of investigation. They just don’t want me looking at their files. This is their protected world.” Bill Rowe

All lines are open… Bill Rowe listening to any and all offers; won’t say if Open Line is among them JAMIE BAKER

I

f it’s a done deal Bill Rowe is returning to VOCM’s Open Line radio show, Rowe himself says he’s not aware of it. Rowe, who resigned his position as the province’s representative in Ottawa last week, citing family responsibilities, says he’s anxious to return to some role or roles in the media, but denies speculation he had any kind of contractual clause with VOCM that would allow for him to return as Open Line host. “That’s not correct — my leaving VOCM was with mutual respect, but with absolutely no commitments on either side. When I took this (Ottawa) job I did so with no arrangements made with anybody in any media in

— Fraser March, Citizen’s Representative

Paul Daly/The Independent

the province,” he says. “Between now, my resignation date and after, I will certainly be making some inquiries as to possibilities in the media, but it’s all based on my pursuing possibilities rather than having any firm commitments from anybody.” Rowe wouldn’t confirm whether VOCM is actively pursuing his return to the station, saying only he’s listening to any and all media offers. “I didn’t speak to anyone before my resignation, but since my resignation I’ve received calls from media in St. John’s ... I haven’t had an opportunity to follow up on any of them yet. “I am against nothing — I just want to get back in the media and I’m excluding nothing in my mind. For many years now the media commentary role — Open Line, television Continued on page 2

BUSINESS 19

The dollars and cents of wedded bliss

LIFE 15

Tim Conway has a visit from The Boogeyman Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

torium. As jobs vanished, businesses closed and youth moved away, residents were left wondering what exactly the future held. The questions are still unanswered. Over the next two weeks, The

Independent will take a deeper look at some of the issues facing rural Newfoundland and Labrador, visit two different communities, speak to people Continued on page 2

‘Not acceptable’ Government officials mum on plan to re-register population with new MCP cards; auditor general’s recommendations not followed ALISHA MORRISSEY

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wo years after the province’s auditor general recommended revamping the MCP program — which, at the time, could not account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital billings — officials are no closer to carrying out the overhaul. A spokeswoman with the Health Department tells The Independent there has been no movement on the MCP (Medical Care Plan) file since a costbenefit analysis was completed in late December. That analysis was initially expected to be completed by the end of August — at which time the MCP office was to re-register the entire population of Newfoundland and Labrador with new MCP cards, the first re-registration since 1969. In fact, $900,000 had been set aside for just that purpose. But the re-registration was never carried out. Government officials can’t say when, or if, it will be. In his 2003 report, Auditor General John Noseworthy wrote a scathing review of the MCP program. He found that $4.6 million was paid in out-of-

province medical bills — including $320,000 to terminated or invalid cards. Under reciprocal billing arrangements, the Health Department in this province is required to pay for the medical services of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians elsewhere in Canada. Noseworthy says the losses for this past year were probably the same as in 2003, when he carried out his investigation. “Why would you expect it to drop off to nothing the following year? I would assume all things being equal that it’s up there somewhere around that number,” says Noseworthy, who reviews his findings and recommendations every two years. He says he has no influence over MHAs or the policy that’s made once his report is released. In other words, he can’t force government’s hand. “My role is clear: I report to the House of Assembly and the 48 members … and my role is to simply do my reviews, make my observations, make my recommendations and then leave it with the elected officials and then they will determine our policy.” In his 2003 report, Noseworthy wrote there are more than 81,000 MCP cards than there are residents in the province. Continued on page 5


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

‘Told you he was a wing nut’ W

hat’s in a word? A lot, when you make your living from them. I care about words and I care about language. I care about how words are used. You can tell a lot about a person by the words they use — and how they use them. Words reflect the mind. That’s why I hate jargon. I haven’t the faintest idea what a dictionary defines jargon as, but to me jargon is useless or meaningless words or phrases that people use to sound important. Like when a politician says “at the end of the day” — as in, “Regardless of what decision we make here today, at the end of the day we will be accountable to the electorate.” I heard that once and wrote that down. I won’t embarrass the person who said it by publishing their name, but I ask you — what does this mean? Is it a warning? A threat? By at the end of the day, I presume they mean “in the next election.” So why say “at the end of the day?”

IVAN MORGAN

Rant & Reason I have a theory why. Jargon flows from the top down. An important person uses a phrase and others try to emulate him or her. Someone thinks, “Hey, I want to sound like them.” That is how these idiotic words and phrases become part of the culture and, slowly over time, drive me to the point of distraction. Drive me to the point where I cannot pay attention to the topic anymore. A piece of jargon has been bobbing to the surface of the media flow as of late. With all the congratulatory rhetoric flying around over the past few weeks, I keep getting hit in the face with one word: “file.” As in, “The premier’s handled the offshore oil file very well.”

“There are other files that need my attention.” “I have been on this file from the day I got here.” File? I know they mean issue, topic, cause or problem, but they don’t say those words. They say file. Why? For a bunch of reasons. One is because that’s the culture. These people all want to sound like they know what they are doing — so they emulate others who they think know what they are doing. Another reason is to try and sound “bigger” than the issue. There is a dismissive flavour to the term. It makes the person who uses it sound far superior to the issue they are addressing. You don’t want to use the word “problem.” The word “problem” is too negative. Problems have to be solved. A problem can turn around and bite you on the ass. Files just sit on your desk. A problem passed to someone else looks like you are shirking your responsibility. (I resisted saying “passing the buck.” Good for me.)

A file can be passed and it looks like an assignment. I am actually starting to hate the term. Government has a lot of problems to deal with. There are issues that need the attention of the premier and his ministers. I can even accept the politically correct and optimistic term “challenge.” The government faces many challenges. Sure, why not? I can live with an upbeat euphemism. But not file. The people of the south coast are desperate for work while FPI executives and shareholders — who wouldn’t exist without the help of our hard-won tax dollars — ship fish to China. Why are they doing this? For the greater good of the executives and their shareholders. This is a problem. This is an outrage. This is a major issue which needs more public attention. This is not a “file.” Before you begin with your e-mails, I know I frequently use imperfect English in this column. I do it for effect. I’m not a policy wonk. I am not using

the media to try and get a cushy government job, and I am not writing communications drivel. I am trying to inform, challenge and amuse (and not necessarily in that order). So save it. I have a problem with this newest incarnation of bafflegab. And I can’t let it go. I imagine people handing folded copies of the new Independent to a friend or loved one across a coffee table, pointing to my column and saying, “Read this. Told you he was a wing nut.” I don’t care. This is a big issue with me. So I ask the body politic as a whole — not individual politicians — to please stop referring to the issues they grapple with, the problems we elect them to solve, the challenges, which they face everyday — as files. No really. Think about what I’m saying, and then think about what you’re saying. Ivan Morgan can be reached at ivan.morgan@gmail.com

‘I told the premier I could wait no longer’ From page 1 commentaries, radio commentaries, columns — has been the love of my life.” Meantime, it’s business as usual for current Open Line host Randy Simms. If there’s a plan to bring Rowe back to the helm of the highly rated morning call-in show, Simms says he’s hasn’t been told about it. “I can’t speculate because I don’t know the circumstances beyond he has family commitments to meet. Hosting the program is enjoyable, it’s

a good job, it’s a good show — I’m enjoying it.” Simms says he understands Rowe’s desire to return to the province and admits news of his resignation caught many off guard. “I think everybody was surprised by this — I don’t think most people anticipated he would have to leave the position so quickly,” Simms says. Whatever media role Rowe finds himself in, after his six-month stint in the provincial ambassador’s role (he’ll officially step down on March 15), he figures he’ll have lots to talk about. “This was a tremendous experience

I’d like to share with Newfoundland and Labrador … and point out some of the problems that exist within Newfoundland and Labrador’s place within Confederation.” Rowe says he spoke to Premier Danny Williams about his resignation prior to handing it in, but “he and I agreed I would hang on until the Atlantic Accord had been put to bed. With that brought to a tremendous conclusion, I told the premier I could wait no longer.” Rowe, the youngest provincial cabinet minister in the province’s history and one-time leader of the provincial

Bill Rowe

Paul Daly/The Independent

Liberal party, ruled out a return to politics. “No, I don’t honestly think I would

ever consider active, elected politics. I’ve had a tremendous experience in that field — my pursuit will be in the area of the media — all aspects of the media.” The province plans to advertise for Rowe’s replacement. He’s adamant the office is crucial for the province in dealing the federal government. “Based on the time and experience here, I think the presence of such an office in the capital city of our nation is absolutely vital for Newfoundland and Labrador if we are actually going to take full advantage of our opportunities within Confederation.”

‘It will take a spirit of co-operation’ From page 1 around the province, and examine strategies, hopes — and challenges — of the future. Grant Tucker, a retired schoolteacher and long-time resident of Winterton on the Baccalieu Trail, says he keeps “coming back to the children. And when I see no children, I see no future.” Tucker says outport communities are shifting, not just in terms of demographics, but in spirit. “When I was growing up … We were more co-operative, because you had to be,” he says. “You didn’t know when you’d need your neighbour to help you. Nowadays, we have the welfare system to count on.” In his town, barely a handful of worshippers show up at Sunday church services. The school is still there — but serves more and more communities as other schools close up along the shore. “When a school closes … you’re taking the backbone out of the community,” says Ron Harnum, principal of the school in Winterton. “It’s a time of unrest … Schools, churches, they all cause the same emotional upheaval, don’t they?” Charlene Johnson, Conservative MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, says one of her reasons for running for office was to help revitalize the rural areas of the province — where her heart is. “We cannot put a price on rural Newfoundland and Labrador,” she says. “For over 500 years (it) has served as the heart and soul of our province.” Johnson says the recently launched rural secretariat is consulting with rural leaders to identify growth opportunities. But she says for the outports to flourish once again — and she’s determined they will — patience is required. “We need to create real concrete opportunities, not Band-Aid solutions, and this will take time. It will take a spirit of co-operation between communities, levels of government, organizations and business.” There are currently 284 municipali-

ties in the province — only 20 of which have 4,000 or more residents. Another 20 communities have a population of less than 100. The shrinking tax base makes a number of things more difficult, from providing municipal services, to getting new businesses off the ground. In a press release issued last April, the federation of municipalities estimated it would cost $3 billion to complete municipal water and sewer systems in the province. Recognizing that clean water and proper waste disposal are the foundations of healthy communities, Brett said at the time, “the whole house of cards is looking very shaky for many regions of the province.”

“I know there are a lot of councils … that are feeling down and out and don’t see a lot of future to their town.” — Herb Brett, NLFM president Brett can’t bring himself to say the word amalgamation — “the big A” — but he says there’s going to have to be some regionalization to make stronger municipal entities, with more substantial tax bases and lobbying power “I look at Iceland as an example. If a community can’t balance its budget in three years, it’s forced to join on, I think we have to start thinking about that, about pulling down the picket fences between the communities. “I don’t know if that’s the big A or something else, I think we need a better word because there’s no doubt, when you say the A-word, people … are afraid they’re gong to lose their town.” He picks the newly amalgamated Trinity Bay North, a combination of the

towns of Catalina, Melrose and Port Union as an example. Each town kept its own name — but there is one administrative body, with one, more substantial budget. Like Johnson, Brett says it’s going to take time and flexibility to change the prevailing systems and mindsets. “Maybe we just talk about the sharing of services,” he says. “Maybe that’s the first step to working together, maybe you’ve got to take it a step at a time.” The business community will also have to evolve attitudes. “If someone wants to start something in Harbour Breton or Eastport, there doesn’t seem to be the same support (as there would be in St. John’s or Mount Pearl) from government and funding agencies,” he says. “They think there’s a much bigger risk and we’ve got to get past that if we’re going to develop.” Above all, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador must make a conscious decision, Brett says, to take matters into their own hands — whether it be searching out new products to process at a fish plant, planning new ways to attract tourists, or simply deciding to stick around. “I know there are a lot of councils (and individual members) that are feeling down and out and don’t see a lot of future to their town,” says Brett. “We’ve got to get that mindset into a more positive thing.” Nancy Reid, curator of the museum in Winterton, agrees. Reid lives in Green’s Harbour, and commutes daily. “You’ve got to change your way of thinking,” Reid says. “We’ve raised a generation who expect that they have to leave … when I got out of school 10, 12 years ago, it wasn’t if you were going to go, it was only a matter of where.” Reid’s got year-round work and is working with the town to develop projects to make sure her job sticks around — and more will come. “Towns like this have to come on board and say ‘You have a choice to stay,” she says. “I did.”


FEBRUARY 13, 2005 By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent

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oss is nothing new for the many small towns in rural Newfoundland and Labrador — loss of schools, churches, fish, people and, often, entire communities. A vacant building here or there is an inevitable result of diminishing populations. A school fallen by the wayside, a reminder of regionalization. But how does it feel to stand by and watch another piece of day-to-day life dissolve? “It seems every day you get up and there’s something new that you’re losing,” says Rex Matthews, mayor of Grand Bank on the island’s south coast. RECENT LOSS Matthews has a particular problem with a recent loss suffered in his community, a loss that wasn’t the result of a lack of demand or need. A health clinic, commissioned by the province, began construction in 2003, but with a government changeover the project was put on hold for financial reasons. After the 2004 budget, it was essentially cancelled. Now a $3.5 million frame with a roof sits abandoned in the town. “The community’s very, very disappointed,” Matthews tells The Independent. “Our current structure was built in 1935 and it’s in a dilapidated, antiquated, run-down condition. “We have two major processing plants here and we have a lot of small industry in this particular area and that (health) facility is so important to all our people … it’s probably the most busy health-care clinic in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Matthews raises another point: how are communities supposed to attract businesses and new residents without basic, adequate facilities? Even banks have disappeared, leaving just one to serve 6,000 people in the region. The less industrial area of Trinity Bay lies northeast across the map of Newfoundland. It’s a popular coastline with tourists, who enjoy picturesque scenery and cultural attractions, but not many visitors make it up as far as the small community of English Harbour. The once bustling fishing outport is down to less than 100 people and only one of those is a fisherman. “English Harbour is a lovely community,” says Kim Paddon, who owns a summer home there. “It’s probably architecturally one of the most

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3

‘Gaping hole’ Out-migration not only takes people away, but banks and churches and schools …

An abandoned school in the town of Burin.

unspoiled communities, simply because it hasn’t been developed.” Paddon, whose family originally came from the area, is trying to save the centuries-old Anglican Church of All Saints from demolition. The congregation has declined to the point it’s no longer feasible to keep the church open. “That would be heartbreaking because churches are really landmarks and in those small outports they’re probably the largest, most substantial buildings in the community and in this case this is an old timber frame, neo-gothic, a beautiful building. “It would be quite a blow, having lost one to fire the year before and they sort of sit across from each other, so it would be like this gaping hole in the community.” Paddon recently rang Don Burrage for advice on how to preserve All Saints. Burrage is with the heritage commit-

Paul Daly/The Independent

tee responsible for saving St. George’s Anglican church in Brigus from being sold last year. Since then, three weddings, a concert series and some plays suggest the future for St. George’s is bright. “We have a much smaller population to draw on, but we’re fortunate in that we have Trinity,” says Paddon, “so we’re looking at the possibility of putting another anchor attraction in English Harbour. “It’s a gorgeous area and there’s a wonderful opportunity with all these old churches in creating something that would bring some life back into rural Newfoundland.” Besides the many abandoned churches across the island, at least 200 schools have closed since the collapse of the fishery in the early 1990s. The main reason is a decline in enrollment and a necessary amalgamation of the communities — which has led to 22 new schools being built in areas suited to reach a wider geography

communities now work together and talk about how to improve their situations. “It’s a wonderful thing (regionalization) to see. It hasn’t happened so much in the past … we know that if St. Anthony moves ahead they will too.” Lorne Whalen, mayor of Flower’s Cove on the Northern Peninsula, is looking at possibilities for resurrecting his town. He says the community’s population has halved in recent years. Although he’s seen public services spread thin, and more and more young people up and leave for lack of jobs, he’s hopeful his town, like others, can find a new niche. Whalen has his sights set on the much hoped-for fixed link between the island and Labrador. “I think if the Northern Peninsula could get it on the go and they could channel a lot of people through our area then that would give a great boost to the Northern Peninsula. That would probably bring back the life to us.”

of students. In 1992, there were 125,133 students attending school across the province. The number today sits at 81,458. Ernest Simms is a former teacher and the mayor of St. Anthony on the northern tip of the island. Although it’s the smaller, surrounding communities that have lost schools over the years, and now send their children to his town, he says attendance is down by about 30 per cent, leaving empty classrooms and more courses taught through distance education. “It’s not actually taught by a teacher anymore, it’s just students gathering at a computer terminal and it works that way,” he says. ‘A BIG DENT’ “It’s made a big dent into what a student’s education really is. You don’t have the opportunities, you don’t have the choices anymore.” Simms says one positive outcome from the declining populations is that

‘Only pile so many people into St. John’s’ Memories of resettlement still fresh; regionalization or sharing of services new social engineering plan By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

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osaphine Johnson was only 10 years old when her family was resettled from Little Bay in Smith’s Sound to Trinity in 1964. She remembers her father not caring about the move, her mother embracing it, and her grandmother saying it was the worst thing that ever happened to them. The resettlement policy of today’s government is more politically correct than Joey Smallwood’s forced resettlement of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Emphasis these days is on regionalization in which smaller communities share services like snow clearing and garbage collection. Three Newfoundland communities have been resettled in the past three years. Resettlement is voluntary — 100 per cent of the population must agree before government gives the green light. The province hasn’t been presented with a resettlement case since last year when the community of Beaches applied for relocation. (After conducting a costbenefit analysis the province decided against funding the move.) Regionalization requests, however, have been flooding in to the Municipal Affairs Department.

As of 2001, there were 20 communities around the province with less than 100 residents. Many of the communities are unnamed in reports completed by Statistics Canada because they are not considered organized municipalities. Municipal Affairs Minister Jack Byrne says many small communities are choosing a regionalization plan, which can save millions of dollars — without amalgamating. “Instead of having five fire departments in five communities maybe we should look at coming together,” says Byrne. “Anytime I meet with a municipality or groups of municipalities I say that something you should consider is sharing services.” AGAINST RELOCATION Herb Brett, president of the province’s federation of municipalities, says he and the federation are against relocation of any kind, but would like to see more regionalization. “I think the government got to take the initiative to build that part of the province … you can only pile so many people into St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise and stuff like that,” Brett says. He says municipal and provincial governments are going to have to come up with a plan that allows for sustainable

rural living “Every resident in the province wants to be living in a place where they got all the services they should have and they can have a quality of life that’s second to none.” ANOTHER NAME FOR RESETTLEMENT Brett says there is another name for resettlement — out-migration. In Harbour Breton, where a recent fish plant closure has left at least 200 workers unemployed, the town clerk says people are packing up to go look for work. Carl Farrell flies out Monday for work on the mainland. He says without some help from government he can definitely — “without a doubt” — see the town going away to nothing. He hopes the people that stay behind don’t look at the option of resettlement. “This is a beautiful prospering town that I definitely no way in the world, would like to see it happen to,” he says. “I don’t even like to think in them terms.” Back in Trinity Bay, Johnson says her children never understood her thoughts on resettlement and fears few people do anymore. “When I speak about what life was like for me and all the changes, they (her children) just look at me,” she says,

Resettlement by the numbers: Population (total) Communities with: More than 5,000 1,000 – 5,000 500 – 1,000 100 – 500 0 – 100

1991 568,474

1996 552,156

2001 512,930

17 91 110 143 13

19 89 107 158 16

17 72 98 170 20 Source: Statistics Canada

“There’s been a lot of things that have happened in the name of progress that have not been all that great. “They (the resettled people) lost some of their identity.” Johnson, now 53, tells The Independent her father received $3,000 for their house and property as part of his resettlement package. There was also the “chance at a brighter future. “Where we were there was no cars, there was no roads, there was no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no television.” Johnson says resettlement seemed forced upon many of the older residents of the community as every household had to agree to move to a designated “growth centre.”

“What you had there, was brother pitted against brother, neighbour against neighbour. Some were quite satisfied to stay and they didn’t want to move to foreign territory.” In a press release dated Oct. 29, 1957, then-premier Joey Smallwood announced that 200 communities “with no great future” should be resettled. Between 1954 and 1975 more than 300 communities (one quarter of all the communities in the province) and 30,000 people (one-tenth of the population) were relocated from small coastal communities. Every family in a community had to agree to the relocation and were paid $150 to move in 1954 (up to $3,000 in future years).

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FEBRUARY 13, 2005

4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

‘Ready to break’ Communities in southern Labrador struggle to survive; 30 per cent drop in population HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY By Bert Pomeroy For The Independent

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obert Russell left home when he was 14. Like others his age in the tiny island community of Williams Harbour on Labrador’s southeast coast, he had no choice but to say goodbye to his family and friends in order to further his education. “I was extremely homesick,” recalls Russell, who spent three years attending high school at Mary’s Harbour, managing to visit home a couple of times each year. “We left home so young that we never really lost our connection to the community — there was a romantic sense of community,” he tells The Independent. Russell graduated from high school in June 1992, a month before the federal government announced a twoyear moratorium on the northern cod fishery. “My father and mother both worked at the fish plant,” says Russell, who now lives in this Labrador town. “Everybody worked in the fishery.” INDEFINITE MORATORIUM That was the case in most communities along the southeast coast and Labrador Straits. The two-year moratorium was extended indefinitely, forever changing a way of life in one of the most rural areas of the province. “The decline in the fishery has had a devastating impact,” says community activist Jessie Bird of Cartwright. “We started to see cod stocks decline in our area in the mid-1960s and early ’70s, then we lost our salmon fishery and now there’s problems with the crab fishery. “The future is getting awfully dark,” says Bird. “We’ve been chewing at the rope and it’s getting ready to break.” The completion of the TransLabrador Highway from Red Bay to Cartwright has had some positive impacts, but changes in the delivery of marine and air services have been to the detriment of the region, says Bird, who chaired the South Coast Transportation Committee. “We’ve seen a big decrease in air traffic in the past 10 years,” she says. “At one time, the provincial government provided a travel subsidy which enabled people to move about more economically — a return trip from Cartwright to Goose Bay or to St. Anthony only cost about $100, compared to more than $400 today.” The frequency of flights to communities along the southeast coast also decreased, adds Bird, noting that Air Labrador will stop providing a scheduled service to the region at the end of next month. And while Cartwright residents will still be able to access flights through the air ambulance service — when space permits — there will be no options for those in other communities once Air Labrador pulls out, Bird says. “The road has been good for a variety of reasons, but it’s not open yearround,” she says. “With no scheduled flights, many communities will essentially be cut off from the rest of the

world.” Bird says the provincial government’s decision to reduce the scheduled number of ferry runs between Cartwright and Happy Valley-Goose Bay to twice a week has hurt the region’s tourism industry. So has the decision to ship freight from Lewisporte to Cartwright once a week. “The purpose of a road is to join two ends,” she says. “It doesn’t make sense to have a ferry service operating out of Lewisporte as well.” Communities south of Cartwright receive the bulk of their freight by road, but the cost has increased, Bird says, compared to when they were serviced by freight vessels. “And there are fewer vessels operating now than in the past. Not all of the changes have been for the better.” The cost of passenger fares on the Sir Robert Bond and the Northern Ranger have also increased significantly in recent years, Bird says. “People can’t move as freely as they once did.” She says more and more people are leaving the southeast coast to attend post-secondary institutions on the island and elsewhere in the country. They seldom return. “There are no jobs to come back to.” Forteau Mayor Stelman Flynn says the decline in fish stocks has not only hurt local economies, it’s impacted all aspects of life in communities along the Labrador Straits. ‘VERY SERIOUS CONCERN’ “We’ve seen our population drop by about 500 in the last 10 years — that’s 30 per cent of the people disappearing,” he says. “It’s a very serious concern.” Rural communities, Flynn says, need to “think outside the box” if they are to survive. “We need to focus on the resources we have and to find ways in which to market them on an international scale,” he says. “Instead of throwing male caplin away, we should be looking at how best to process them and find markets. We should also look at our berries — too many are going off our coast and being processed elsewhere.” The region’s tourism industry has huge growth potential, says Flynn, a past president of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador. “But little is being done to help it grow,” he says. “The provincial government has a lot of difficulty marketing Labrador because there are so many challenges.” Those challenges include access to the region and the lack of proper port facilities, he says. “We’ve been fighting to have a secure port in Labrador in order to accommodate the cruise industry. Boats are leaving England, Iceland and Norway and passing right by our door because we don’t have a secured port.” The completion of Route 138 along Quebec’s lower north shore into the Labrador Straits will provide a major boost to the region, Flynn says.

‘Looking under every rock’ Fraser March says he’s the target of a campaign by bureaucrats and politicians to oust him

Fraser March

By Jeff Ducharme The Independent

C

itizen’s Advocate Fraser March says he’s the target of a directed effort to fire him because his wide-ranging powers make bureaucrats and politicians uneasy. Auditor General John Noseworthy released a scathing report recently that questioned some of March’s travel expenses. He filed $52,000 in travel claims over a 29 month period. Noseworthy called some of the claims excessive — in particular some $4,000 in mileage claims for travel from March’s home in Blaketown to his St. John’s office. Child and Youth Advocate Lloyd Wicks was taken to task for a charging a personal trip to Calgary. Wicks, who plans to reimburse government, has since resigned. “Certainly there are people in the House of Assembly and who work for the House of Assembly and some government departments, who quite frankly think if they could get rid of me, their lives would be more peaceful, more tranquil,” March tells The

ing powers his office has. He charges Noseworthy was “upset” because he couldn’t get access to certain files. “That hardly warrants a response really,” says Noseworthy, who says he isn’t influenced about what to investigate. “What he (March) has access (to) has no impact on my work at all.” In fact, Noseworthy says he was “surprised” by what he found. “My credibility and my independence, I mean that’s it, that all I have,” he says. “That’s all the office is, if we don’t have that we have nothing.” March has asked the Speaker of the House, Harvey Hodder, to call for an inquiry. Hodder has so far turned down the request. Taking Noseworthy to civil court in a bid to clear his name is not an option since the office of the auditor general has parliamentary privilege and can’t be sued. Paul Daly/The Independent March is currently gathering cell phone records and asking people to Independent. sign affidavits in an effort to clear his March stops short of calling the name auditor general’s report a witch hunt Noseworthy also questioned how (he and Wicks were appointed by the March could drive 1,000 kilometres in previous Liberal government). He says one day and conduct 10 meetings as he some bureaucrats believe the province claimed he did. can’t afford an ombudsman. Others, he “If I come out and say something, says, don’t appreciate having him you can bet, you can bet a lot, that I looking over their shoulders. have the evidence,” says Noseworthy. “The powers I have are astronomical March says he has no idea where in terms of investigation,” March says. that charge came from. “They just don’t want me looking at “Honest to God, the best I can do, at their files. This is their my age, is two … the protected world.” 10 meetings is just Liberal leader crazy,” says March. “If I come out and Roger Grimes says Until he finds a say something, you way even the suggestion of to clear his a witch hunt is a red can bet, you can bet name, March says he herring. resign. But he a lot, that I have the won’t Doing away with maintains that there is Wicks or March won’t a certain faction in evidence.” change anything, government that is John Noseworthy, Grimes says, in that trying to find “just their successors will cause” to fire him. Auditor General “I’m an old labour have the same powers. person so I know He says the spotlight has been aimed at the two men as the how difficult that is and they’re lookresult of “inappropriate or question- ing under every rock right now,” he says. “They’ve made their minds up able” expense claims. March contends that the auditor gen- and now they’re just looking for a reaeral wasn’t pleased with the wide-rang- son.”

Announcement Jamie Baker has joined the staff of The Independent as a reporter. Jamie comes to the paper from The Labradorian, where he worked for two years as editor. Jamie, a native of Dildo, Trinity Bay, has 10 years experience with the media as a columnist, writer, photographer and desk editor. Welcome aboard, Jamie.


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5

Insult to injury Japanese vessel involved in fuel spill was carrying ‘baby’ redfish; DFO investigation finds ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ Jamie Baker The Independent A Japanese fishing vessel that was involved in a fuel spill at Long Pong last week was also carrying a quantity of undersized redfish, charges fisheries activist and one-time FPI executive Gus Etchegary. He says the vessel, which is being investigated by Transport Canada for two fuel spills that occurred while docked in Long Pond harbour, was carrying 19 containers of small, sexually immature redfish. “This event in Long Pond is really a miniature representation of what’s going on in our fisheries off the East Coast of Canada,” Etchegary tells The Independent. “Here you have a vessel from a foreign country, 10,000 miles away, fishing on our continental shelf and landing in a Newfoundland port, getting all the services they need — fuel, provisions, and the ability to be able to

change crews — and loaded for transhipment they have 19 containers of what we call baby redfish.” The Department of Fisheries and Oceans disputes Etchegary’s claim, saying two inspections have been carried out onboard the Zuiho Maru — one on the Grand Banks Feb. 3, and another in port on Feb. 8. DFO spokesman Morley Knight says nothing out of the ordinary was found. In fact, Knight says about 90 per cent of the 400 tonnes of fish found onboard the vessel Feb. 3 was actually turbot. “Everything was in order at that time and everything was in order when we did the inspection in Long Pond.” Knight did say that much of the redfish in the area where the Zuiho Maru was fishing is known to be small — at an average size of 22 centimetres. He also says it’s not unusual for considerably smaller fish to be mixed with an overall catch. “Once you sort 15 tonnes, you’re

likely to end up with mostly average — some big and some small among it,” Knight says. Given the state of the domestic groundfish fishery, Etchegary says he can’t believe such vessels are even serviced in Canadian ports — especially when they’re offloading their catch as unemployed Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are forced to look on. And the fact there was an oil spill, he says, only adds insult to injury. “This is happening at a time when thousands of Newfoundlanders — 350 to 400 in Harbour Breton alone — are standing on the wharf with no fish to process and nothing to do,” Etchegary says. “At the same time they’re doing that, they come into this beautiful Long Pond harbour and careless enough to dump diesel fuel twice in 24 hours.” Etchegary says the situation shows the desperate need for better surveillance and inspections aboard foreign fishing vessels. “The Coast Guard ships are tied up on the south side of St. John’s, in many

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent The Japanese trawler Zuiho Maru tied up in Long Pond, Conception Bay South.

cases, with a budget that doesn’t allow them to get fuel to carry out surveillance work. Nobody’s watching them — who knows what’s out there?” Knight says the Zuiho Maru hasn’t been charged in recent memory for fisheries violations outside the 200mile limit. The vessel was the only Japanese trawler fishing redfish in the area. Japan has a 550-tonne redfish quota in international waters on the Grand Banks.

‘Honest mistake’

Ineligible beneficiaries

St. John’s lawyer promises to show up to next court date — on time By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

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ob Buckingham is embarrassed. The question has been asked how one of the highest profile defence lawyers in St. John’s could forget the court date for one of the highest profile cases this year. Another question is whether the lawyer could face disciplinary action for his absence. Buckingham tells The Independent there was a “very simple” explanation for his failure to show up at the start of the trail of David Nagle, who pled not guilty last June to charges of assault causing bodily harm stemming from an alleged altercation with Danny Williams Jr. — the premier’s son — on George Street in April, 2004. The trial was scheduled to take place Feb. 7, but Buckingham and his client failed to show up. Buckingham says he wrote the court date in his day planner under a giant No. 7 in the month of February — meaning Feb. 7. Weeks later when he checked his day planner he mistook the No. 7 for the week of the year — which would have meant the trail was set for Feb. 14. He was off by a week.

Lawyer Bob Buckingham

It appears that Provincial Court Judge Gregory Brown and Nagle aren’t planning to file complaints with the Law Society of Newfoundland against Buckingham. The judge accepted Buckingham’s explanation and Nagle says he still has confidence in his lawyer. Buckingham could still face ethical charges — though it’s not likely. Richard Devlin, a professor of law at Dalhousie University, teaches professional responsibility and says a lawyer has several obligations to fill. “They have an obligation of basic

integrity of both their professional and personal lives, so clearly integrity would include, for example, showing up in time for your client,” Devlin says. “Lawyers also have duties to the court and they must treat the court with courtesy, candour and respect. So there’s a potential issue.” While Devlin says he doesn’t know the details of the case, he says there are many reasons a lawyer wouldn’t show up in court. “Obviously, people can have occasional lapses, but the question is, is there more to this than there appears. “That the premier’s son is included in this, there may well be conspiracy theories going on, but there’s not always truth in conspiracies.” Buckingham says it was a matter of human error. “This is absolute nonsense,” he says of rumours that he was stalling. “The only plea bargain that would be acceptable … would be for the prosecution to withdraw the charges,” he says. “The plea from the beginning was not guilty. The plea will remain to be not guilty. “A lot of people asked me why I didn’t go ahead with the trial,” Buckingham says, explaining he had

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, FEBRUARY 7 Vessels arrived: Maersk Placentia, Canada, from White Rose; ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Marystown. Vessels departed: Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, to Terra Nova. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Vessels arrived: NFLD Alert, Canada, from Catalina; Maersk Norseman, Canada, from Hibernia; Cabot, Canada, from Montreal. Vessels departed: ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Corner Brook. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 Vessels arrived: Atlantic eagle, Canada, from Bull Arm; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, Terra Nova. Vessels departed: Maersk Placentia, Canada, to White Rose; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Flanders, Canada, to Bell Island; Maersk Norseman, Canada, to Hibernia.

Paul Daly/The Independent

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Vessels arrived: Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova; Gesmer 1, Canada, from Sea; Teleost, Canada, Sea; Atlantic Vigour, Canada, from Grand Bank. Vessels departed: Atlantic King Fisher, Canada, to Terra Nova; Teleost, Canada, to Sea; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Bull Arm; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, to White Rose. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11 Vessels arrived: Maersk Nascopie, Canada, from Hibernia. Vessels departed: Teleost, Canada, to Dartmouth.

As for the fuel spills, the Canadian Coast Guard and East Coast Response Corporation (ECRC) remain busy late last week trying to contain and clean up the site. Transport Canada is continuing its investigation to determine whether there have been any violations of the Canada Shipping Act. Spokesperson Tracey Hennessey says the ship will remain in port until the investigation is complete.

cleared his schedule for the week of the seventh to prepare for the court proceedings. He admits he’s embarrassed over the issue, but Buckingham says it’s odd that a George Street brawl receives such media attention — likewise for a missed court date. “But in this case they both did.” Buckingham says most of the media attention that’s been focused on the impending trial is directly related to the fact the premier’s son is involved. Since taking on Nagle as a client, Buckingham has maintained that politics are playing a role in the prosecution. “When you live in a fishbowl … my clients come to me because of the highprofile cases and if you take on those files you have to take on the consequences.” The Law Society of Newfoundland doesn’t intend to lay charges unless the client complains, says executive director Peter Ringrose. “It was an honest mistake.” While anything is possible, Devlin says it’s unlikely any ethical issues will arise out of missing the court date. The trail is scheduled to proceed on Monday, Feb. 14. Buckingham promises to show up.

From page 1 Some of the extra MCP cards that are in circulation may be attributed to deceased cardholders whose deaths haven’t been reported to the Health Department, as well as residents who have moved out of province. It’s also possible that medical services are being purchased by ineligible beneficiaries. Noseworthy says approximately 50,000 of the more than 600,000 cards in circulation haven’t been used to bill a service in the past 10 years. Recommendations in both the auditor general’s report and the cost-benefit analysis suggested MCP cards should have expiry dates, and the full name and birth date of the card holder, as well as other possible identifying marks. The MCP office has flirted with the idea of a photo ID, although officials have expressed concern about the cost. In 2003, then-Health minister Elizabeth Marshall said at a Social Services Committee meeting that Newfoundland and Labrador spent $3,018 per person in health care that year — compared to $1,713 in 1995, or about $336 more per person than the average Canadian.


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

OUR VOICE

How do you like us now I

f The Independent was a child, a reader might say we’re growing like a weed. And it is, only the management and staff of the province’s only locally owned and operated provincewide newspaper wouldn’t describe it as a weed. On the contrary, our ultimate goal is to raise a flower, one that blossoms and flourishes at the side of a prospering Newfoundland and Labrador. That’s a bold statement, but it’s what we’re about. These are bold times. Since the birth of The Sunday Independent on the eve of the last provincial general election in October 2003, the newspaper has undergone its share of growing spurts — and pains. The paper was started with the best of intentions by a group of forward-thinking Newfoundlanders and Labradorians whose weakness, in hindsight, was an unfamiliarity of the newspaper business. It’s one thing to come up with a newspaper concept, quite another to make it work.

Make no mistake, it’s a tough business, this newspaper racket. Creating a newspaper doesn’t necessarily mean readers will come. Circulation, distributing the paper to homes and outlets, is a science in itself. Drivers and airlines must be co-ordinated to distribute The Independent around the province, from Port aux Basques to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Even then, not all stores and shops will immediately agree to sell the newspaper. “Where can I buy The Independent?” is a common question. And another, “Why can’t I buy it everywhere?” Just because there’s a new newspaper in town doesn’t mean retailers will automatically carry it. Some chains take a while to warm up to something new. But they are warming up, in increasing numbers. Our readership climbs every week. Our phone lines ring every day with orders for the paper. The flow of letters to the editor — the best indicator that pages are being read — has increased to a steady stream. According to market research, an estimated 30,000 sets of

eyes read The Independent every week — taxi drivers and clerks, policemen and Supreme Court justices. The Independent is handed around, from reader to reader (on both sides of the Gulf), until it’s good and worn. One of our first changes was to drop Sunday from The Independent’s name. The news stories, columns and pictures found in this newspaper are relevant every day of the week — not just Sunday. This particular paper you’re holding is another example of our constant evolution. We’ve changed the format of The Independent from the somewhat awkward broadsheet front page and tabloid centre to a traditional broadsheet design. Readers can continue to expect the same high journalism standards. Our writers, photographers and graphic designers share the same passion — for the product and the place. From last fall’s six-part cost/benefit analysis of Confederation to our current series on rural Newfoundland and Labrador, our mandate is to inform and educate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians everywhere about issues relevant to this

place, as well as to deliver broader news from across the country and around the world, to put our province in a global context. INDEPENDENTLY OWNED As a newspaper, The Independent fills a void in the newspaper market. Again, we are independently owned and operated (thus the name). Most every other newspaper in this province — from the St. John’s Telegram to Corner Brook’s Western Star to most weekly papers across the province — are owned by Montreal-based Transcontinental. The weekly papers feed the dailies with stories so that the news you read in one paper is much the same as the next. Competition is a good thing — good for news, good for business. The Express newspaper in St. John’s ran an ad in last week’s edition that prominently displayed a Telegram newspaper. (The Independent was there, too. There’s no hiding from us.) There was a day, when the old Sunday Express was still kicking around, when whoever took that photo-

graph and designed the ad would have been fired on the spot. Competition means diversity of news and story angles. Competition means better services. Competition means better prices. Competition is a good thing. The Independent is ultimately a business. Advertising pays the bills; if we don’t sell ads we won’t stay in business. So if you’re a business, consider us for your advertising needs. If you’re a reader, make sure you continue to pick us up every week. Tell your friends and family about the paper and spread the word. Ads may pay the bills, but — unlike other papers around these days — we want to create readership on the basis of a solid editorial package. Advertising will follow. Attitudes are changing in Newfoundland and Labrador. There’s a new spirit in the people that wasn’t there a year ago — a spirit of hope for the future, and pride of the past. The Independent’s mandate is to reflect that spirit, foster it, and help it grow. We are The Independent, Newfoundland and Labrador’s newspaper.

YOUR VOICE

‘Gospel of hatred’ opposing same-sex marriage should Dear editor, I was shocked and alarmed when I lose their tax-exempt status, insuring read in the Feb. 7th edition of The that taxpayer’s dollars are not used for National Post that powerful religious unjustly attacking a minority group. Homosexuality occurs naturally in extremists from the U.S. are sending money and support to opponents of dozens of species other than humans and to me this demonstrates the Hand fair marriage (same-sex) practices. of the Almighty is If Canada started not on the side of sending money to these religious Muslim extremists The opposition to fanatics. To advoin the U.S., the same-sex marriage cate circumscribing Americans would rights of homoexplode in anger. is rooted in prejudice the sexuals is to spit in It’s bad enough that the face of God and we have to tolerate and bigotry. those who do homegrown bigots; should be ashamed we shouldn’t have to listen to the poisoned rants of some of themselves. There are people who claim that hysterical outsiders. The opposition to same-sex mar- their intentions and objections are riage is rooted in prejudice and big- based in faith and therefore, their erroneous deductions should be protected. otry. A tenant that dehumanizes a human I’m sure this was the same way many being is not a defensible religious people of “good” conscience defendbelief and should not be protected ed the keeping of slaves. With the passage of time we realized the true dasunder the law. Rastafarians are banned from using tardly nature of this practice and we their sacred herb, marijuana, because evolved socially. It’s a pity that some civil authorities have decided that it is still have not been able to make that simple theological step. not a defensible religious practice. We’ve seen the damage the extremMARRIAGE BIGOTRY ist religious right has done to the If this is the case, I think the same political process in the United States, should apply to same-sex marriage where these days it seems that even bigotry and statements promoting this SpongeBob SquarePants is not gospel of hatred should be treated as immune from their collective patholevil an action as any anti-Semitic pro- ogy and paranoia. Let’s not make the nouncements. dreadful mistake of importing this Religious groups enjoy the freedom virulent political disease into our provided by the Charter of Rights and democracy. Freedoms and shouldn’t be allowed to abuse others who are protected by the Wallace Ryan, same Charter. I feel that any religion St. John’s

Marriage, in a word Dear editor, To give equal financial rights, marriage was redefined in legislation, then mistakenly taking out of context to give same-sex marriage. We now have marriage, commonlaw marriage, same-sex marriage, same-sex female marriage, same-sex male marriage, common law samesex marriage, common law female same-sex marriage, common law male same-sex marriage, differentsex marriage, common law different sex marriage, male marriage, common law-male marriage, female marriage, common law female mar-

riage, male-female marriage, common law male-female marriage, and considering female rights, femalemale marriage, common law femalemale marriages, yes, even animal marriage, etc. But as yet, without legislation. Great job, guys, but wouldn’t it have been easier to just come up with a new word as we’ve always done? Complete, 100 per cent. Animal and human rights without the dictionary mistakenly included. Peter Best, St John’s

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

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

PUBLISHER Brian Dobbin MANAGING EDITOR Ryan Cleary SENIOR EDITOR Stephanie Porter PICTURE EDITOR Paul Daly

All material in The Independent is copyrighted and the property of The Independent or the writers and photographers who produced the material. Any use or reproduction of this material without permission is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. • © 2005 The Independent • Canada Post Agreement # 40871083

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 editorial@theindependent.ca

Warts and all T

he Independent’s front-page photograph of a make-work project should shake, to the core, every Newfoundlander and Labradorian who casts eyes on it. Those are rocks the outport woman is lifting under each arm. Those are rocks the outport men behind her are digging from the shoreline, in the year of our Lord 2005, with spade and pick and gloved hand. Those are rocks, bloody rocks, foundation of the make-work stereotype that so many Canadians believe us to be. Believe this: there are rocks being piled in rural Newfoundland and Labrador today as a way to make a living, to get by, to not have to move away, to survive — here. From fish to rocks, the fall has been slow, and hard — to our people, to our pride. The decision to use the picture was a damn hard one. On one side: what would the Margaret Wentes of central Canada think of this place at all, with outport people piling rocks for a living? Sure that proves the central Canadian snots are right, that rural Newfoundland is indeed a vast and scenic welfare getto. By publishing the picture, isn’t The Independent encouraging the stereotypical image that so many mainlanders have of us, the image behind the goofy Newfie brand that is our cross to bear across the country? Forget the mainland, what would the townies think of the baymen once they see the shot? Whose side is The Independent on that it hangs out the dirty rural laundry for the uppity urbanites to see? And what of the people in the picture, the men and women of wonderful Winterton, Trinity Bay, the faces that work the rocks from the beach and cart them to the nearby roadside, where they were to be picked up later to repair holes in the local wharf. There’s so much more to the community than a make-work project.

RYAN CLEARY

Fighting Newfoundlander There’s the fish plant that’s making a go of it, 13 years after the cod moratorium was introduced, producing nontraditional products like mussels vacuum-packed in garlic butter; the boatbuilding museum; the hiking trails; the full-service trailer park. There are the matchbox houses that face the white-capped fields, empty now, except for the scraps of fish that are left. There are the people, older ones mostly, the heart and soul of what remains of rural Newfoundland, such a special place.

From fish to rocks, the fall has been slow, and hard — to our people, to our pride. Should their secret — for no one in Winterton would want their town associated with a make-work project, especially one that involves the lifting of rocks — be shared with the world? Is it fair to the community that the frontpage picture is of make-work when there’s so much more to the community than that? On the other side: is there nothing more than can be done for rural Newfoundland and Labrador than make-work? Year after year, decade after decade, make-work projects play a critical role in the continued survival of the outports. So many of the politicians we elect, term after term, offer no better way than counterfeit stamps. In recent times, an average of $4 million a year has been spent by the provincial government to help people

qualify for Employment Insurance. The province doesn’t have to pay for EI; it does have to pay for welfare, the alternative to EI. Last year, ACOA, a federal Crown corporation, got into the make-work business, setting aside a $30-million pot to help “cod-affected workers” land enough insurable hours of income to qualify for pogey. Between the province and ACOA, an estimated 3,600 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians worked on make-work projects in 2004. Make-work is degrading, it is an insult to a people bred on character and work ethic. Rural Newfoundland is bleeding its people and culture, has been for years and years, and the best both levels of government can offer from the medicine cabinet is a used Band-Aid. We could demand better treatment, but we haven’t to date. That can’t continue. It’s a job to find a school roof without a leak in it; the provincial debt is completely through the roof; hospital waiting lists are out the front door, around the corner and down the street; roads are poked with potholes. It would take 10 times the $2 billion from the new Atlantic Accord deal to do the work that needs to be done. Make-work and EI are good for the moment, but not next year or the year after that. It’s killing us — who we are and all that we can be. Our problems won’t be solved until they’re acknowledged and addressed. We must demand more from our leaders. More importantly, we must demand more from ourselves. Turn back to the front page and have a second look at the photograph. What you see is what The Independent is in the business of providing — truth. There will be no shying away from that in the pages of this paper. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7

‘Our salvation is our people’ W

elcome to the new look of The Independent. I particularly like the new format as I was getting sick of watching people try to open the old one for the first time, only to see the insides fall out. When I first saw The Independent, sitting on a hotel counter in late 2003, I was struck by the fact someone had actually done what I had wondered about for some time — why didn’t we have a Newfoundland and Labrador newspaper that could tackle Newfoundland and Labrador issues? That started an odyssey for me that became quite a learning curve. From minor investor to publisher, I have become aware of a lot of realities about the newspaper business. But then trying new things has never been a big fear for me. What’s the worst that could happen? You fail? Big deal. Get up and try again. That’s a lot of what The Independent is about in my mind —

BRIAN DOBBIN

Publish or perish introducing new ideas and perspectives to the province. We are what we eat, and we are trying at The Independent to serve up a menu of stories and news with a Newfoundland and Labrador perspective. Not just local interest, but bigger issues that dramatically affect our quality of life. Everyone understands how painful it is to enter a hospital these days with chest pains, only to be told to return in two or three months for tests. But how many equate hospital waiting lists to the fact we only see a pittance of revenues from energy generation. The money lining the pockets of multinationals like Mobil should be

paying for diagnostic equipment and decent wages for health-care professionals. I despair when I hear the passion that goes into the fight of public-sector unions for more wages than government can afford, but so little passion when royalty schemes are announced that carve billions out of revenue streams we should be seeing. I compare the province to a rural landowner who’s told he has a treasure lying under his fields, but all he can get out of it is some extra money from renting his rooms to the people digging the treasure. OUR SALVATION That’s talking resources — but resources in the ground or under the ocean are not our panacea. Our salvation is our people, a resource that we have squandered over the last generation to the point that I believe there are more Newfoundlanders and

Labradorians accomplishing great have to give some sugar with the medthings outside our homeland than here icine, so we are also expanding our at home. If we can begin to fix some of other features and hope to give people the structural problems we have, we some entertainment with their news. can talk of providing I have heard the opportunity for comment that an rewarding careers and Independent reader We are what we eat, needs a couple of colincentives for entrepreneurs so more of degrees to get and we are trying at lege our genius can stay. through the newspaChange is required. per. The Independent to It can’t happen I find that funny as overnight, and has no I don’t have a degree. serve up a menu of chance of happening But we do recognize at all if we, as a peo- stories and news with that you don’t open ple, cannot appreciate the paper every week a Newfoundland and just to get a civics the realities of why we can’t afford to and economics leskeep doctors or fix Labrador perspective. son. I hope you like roads or invest in new the new look and I industrial growth and welcome the new our people. columnists. I don’t think we’ll be runWe have been trying at this newspa- ning out of things to say or people to per to address those problems and will say them to anytime soon. continue to do so. That said, you also Thanks for reading.

JOHN HOWARD SOCIETY WEEK

YOUR VOICE

‘We do have hope’ Dear editor,

• With higher oil prices, the province will incur higher costs of living as oil The following is a projection of where costs impact transportation and heating Newfoundland and Labrador will be by costs. 2010: • The greater St. John’s metro area • The province’s total debt will be will experience an increase in growth of reduced from $12 billion to $8 billion- 12 to 15 per cent — including populaplus. That’s achieved by an initial sum tion, housing, new commercial developof $500 million (25 per cent of $2 bil- ments — largely at the expense of rural lion) put down against the debt, plus all areas that will experience greater than a interest from the unspent amounts of the 20 per cent reduction in population. initial $2 billion, and new revenues • No new offshore oil field will come directed towards the debt. on stream. However, natural gas • The population will drop to reserves will near agreement for com480,000, a decline of 35,000 people mercial development. (with a median age of 40-plus, and • Lower Churchill power will remain climbing). undeveloped. Its cost competitiveness • There will be slightly fewer, year- will remain marginalized against natural round jobs than in 2005. gas costs and wind power. • There will be 15 per cent fewer • Quebec will become increasingly schools and 20 per cent fewer commu- disenchanted with Canada and will be nities. closer to becoming a sovereign state. • The per capita debt Newfoundland and will decline by 30 per Labrador will ponder cent to slightly under its increasing isolaAdmittedly, $17,000 per capita. tion, and consider its • The province will capability to be indetoday is a time for enjoy its fifth straight pendent in lieu of its year of current account vulnerability within celebration but surplus. About 60 per Confederation. cent of the $2 billion • There will be litpublic scrutiny must will be spent on baltle, if any, electoral or ancing the budgets in be greater than ever. parliamentary reform. each of the next five The same central We do have hope. years. Canadian federal gov• The remaining ernment system that $300 million accordwe have today may be deal money will be spent on infrastruc- on the brink of losing its hold on the ture renewal and development and country. health care. (Labrador will be accorded Well enunciated are two defining special attention.) facts that have stymied the province’s • The education budget requirement success to becoming a prospering part will reduce from about 20 per cent to 17 of the country: one is the failure to manper cent of the total budget, a reflection age the fishery, the other is the failure to of a declining birth rate and out-migra- create permanent employment from nattion. ural resource development. • With the aging population, healthSummary: in this 2010 projection, the care expenses will climb from 39 per Newfoundland and Labrador economic cent of current account expenditure to base will peak in five years on current near 45 per cent. offshore oil revenues. • Debt servicing costs will drop to Admittedly, today is a time for celeeight per cent from 14 per cent. Along bration but public scrutiny must be the way debt servicing costs will greater than ever. We do have hope. increase through higher interest rates, Being a Newfoundland and Labrador although offset by more favourable politician today must be the best of provincial credit ratings and by apply- times and the worst of times. We must ing more royalty revenues towards the continue our effort with vigour and pasdebt. sion to grow this province’s population • The price of benchmark oil will rise and its economic base. from its current $45 US a barrel to over Fred Wilcox, $70 US. St. John’s

This is John Howard Society week in Newfoundland and Labrador. The society, which represents offenders, has been in the province since 1951. Carolyn Hapgood (left) and Michelle Park run a treatment program called Counter Point, which is designed to address the crime cycles of repeat offenders. Paul Daly/The Independent

Post preaches sky-is-falling gospel Editor’s note: The following letter was mailed to The National Post, with a copy forwarded to The Independent. Dear editor, Ever since Prime Minister Paul Martin delivered on his promise to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on the Atlantic Accord during the last

‘Where is the accountability’

‘Nail on the head’ Dear editor, I’m writing to say that Ivan Morgan’s column (Brian Tobin has left the building, Feb. 6-12 edition of The Independent) was a very good read. I’m a regular reader of The Independent and, frankly, I don’t generally enjoy his column. However, I must say that Ivan’s most recent column hit the nail on the head. As a young Newfoundland and Labradorian, I have had only a brief experience with provincial politics. During his time as premier I foolishly thought that Brian Tobin was the best thing to happen to Newfoundland and Labrador. I was hurt when he left us in what is now an obvious failed personal agenda. I was even more upset that he left us in the fumbling hands of Roger Grimes. So now it is with great pleasure that I see in power a premier who is in office for what most would consider the “right reasons.” He is a great leader of people and is very intelligent. And while I

federal election, you have been preaching the gospel of “the sky is falling” in your cartoons and editorials. To quote: “Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories are looking for a similar deal. Other Provinces will follow.” Have you ever asked yourself the

question, why is Alberta such a rich province? Could it be they have a much better arrangement with the federal government on their resources than that of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia? If that is the case, why is it fair for Alberta but not for Newfoundland and Labrador? Also, why shouldn’t Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories be looking for the same deal as Alberta? I think it is about time that you undertake to do a little more research, show a little more fairness and endeavour to present a more accurate viewpoint on this important issue. Burford Ploughman, St John’s

“Our Danny” Williams

defend “our Danny” in any political arguments I may have with my peers, I am also very adamant that he must be held to task, just as any person in power should. I agree with Ivan Morgan that Williams has many policies that are somewhat suspect with regard to their effectiveness and I am among the first to say so. I am excited that we have a leader in

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

power who has integrity and a sense of professionalism that has been lacking in this province for decades. I, too, hope that this represents a change in the Newfoundland and Labrador political culture, because if that is the case then we are looking at prosperous days ahead indeed. David Lane, St. John’s

Dear editor, with their hand out for more? This is I am totally disgusted at this time your hard-earned money paid to the each year when provincial and federal government by way of a payroll deducauditor generals bring down their annu- tion. Just because you don’t see it, al reports. should you be less concerned? Time and time again, they reveal Who should be held accountable and mismanagement of the treasury and responsible with the advancement of abuse of public funds for personal gain. such funds? We are not even locking Whether it be trusted the door after the horse individuals in important has bolted as the same positions or groups in come to light I am completely problems First Nations communiyear after year. Where ties and so on, the blatant are the checks and balbaffled by abuse continues year ances to ensure that this the continual after year. It seemingly never happens again? incompetence only comes to light Many of us who work retroactively when indeas volunteers are conand lack of pendent bodies carry out tinually reminded that public uproar! their respective reviews. we have a fiduciary Don’t get me wrong, duty to our organizathese individual services, tions and to the public, causes and group resources are provid- regarding the spending of funds. In ing badly needed support in all com- fact, we are even personally liable as munities. My point is, where is the board members for not being financialaccountability? If repeated incidents ly responsible. carry on year after year, why is more So where is the accountability and money advanced on an annual basis whose job is it? I am completely bafwhere mismanagement is suspected, fled by the continual incompetence and never mind actually proven? I cannot lack of public uproar! What and where believe the complacency of the general are your thoughts? public. Would you continue to loan Dave Rudofsky, money to someone who squandered it St. John’s


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

For rent: one forehead, two arse cheeks

LIFE STORY

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e all need extra coin to get us through the year. For JEFF DUCHARME most of us, our real jobs A Savage barely pay the bills and part-time work is the only option if you want to Journey stay one step ahead of those nasty bill collectors. Some of us make lovely crafts and bucks isn’t totally bizarre, it does open sell them to tourists, while others — a whole Pandora’s Box of social ramthe highfalutin among us — make art. ifications. Think about it — you’re sitting in a Still others will fix cars on the side or do bookkeeping or even carpentry — bar trying to have a conversation with odd jobs that make Christmas bills an attractive woman and she has an less painful or ones that allow you to advertisement for a sex-change clinic stamped on her forehead. As you sit afford that trip to Disney Land. But some of us neither have those there reading the advertisement (at hidden talents or the gumption to get least you’re not staring at her cleavoff the couch and work any more age) you’re left thinking two things: is hours then we absolutely have to — this woman just a shameless profiteer we make do with one solitary source or did she, or possibly he, get a deal on the procedure because she, or posof income. But Andrew Fischer of Omaha, sibly he, agreed to have the clinic’s ad scrawled on the Neb., has found a melon. rather lucrative way A few years ago, to make a few A few years ago, I I won the muchbucks and avoid won the much-coveted coveted Biggest excess effort or the need for talent of Biggest Gourd contest Gourd contest at a newspaper I any kind. All he has at a newspaper I worked for at the to do is be seen in So there’s no public and keep his worked for at the time. time. shortage of adverbangs cut short. The 20-year-old webSo there’s no shortage tising space on the front of my noggin. page designer has rented out his fore- of advertising space on But the space I’d love to rent head to a company the front of my noggin. really out is more south. that’s shilling a Yes, you guessed it, snoring remedy. It gives being in the right head space a I’d like to rent out my butt to businesses, government or social activists. whole new meaning. My marketing would be more target For the next month, Fischer will have the SnoreStop logo plastered on marketing than just advertising, aimed his pate for the world to see. But at the great unwashed masses for a before you start calling this enterpris- sleeping remedy or a new car. For instance, I’d like to offer my ing Yankee a moron, take into account that he’ll get paid $37,375 (US) for big, and somewhat hairy arse, to a sealers’ rights group and have KILL the use of his forehead. The head space was auctioned off THE penciled on the left cheek, with DAMN SEALS penciled on the right on eBay. “People will always comment on cheek. Then I’d travel to every something out of the ordinary,” International Fund for Animal Welfare Fischer said in his eBay sales pitch. office in the world and drop my drawers so they could get the message first“People like weird.” There’s nothing weird about this. hand (or first arse). Better yet, draw a lovely little It’s damn innovative and requires whitecoat on one cheek and then on minimum effort. “I look forward to an enjoyable the other cheek draw a picture of the association with Andrew, a man who same seal with a gaff buried in its clearly has a head for business in skull. Sometimes a picture is really every sense of the word,” SnoreStop worth more than 1,000 words. And CEO Christian de Rivel, said in an with a little work on the gluteous maximus muscles, I might even be able to Associated Press interview. Fisher has some scruples as he get the seal to slyly wink on the one won’t accept any advertising that’s in cheek and then wince in pain on the other. And don’t doubt for a moment poor taste. Most city streets are already littered that I’d be dropping by Bridgette with walking billboards. Marketers Bardot’s place for a special, one-time have somehow convinced people that only command performance. After that advertising campaign, I’d it makes perfect sense for Joe and Joanne Lunchbox to spend their hard- be off to Montreal and the Hydro earned money to buy a sweatshirt, Quebec head offices. And in this case jacket or hat that has a company’s (your imagination can run wild as far logo on it. No longer do companies as the wording of the message would give such wearable advertisements go), I’d gladly rent the space for free. away. Now we pay for the pleasure of Jeff Ducharme is The Independent’s advertising Nike or Reebok. While scribing an advertisement on senior writer. jeff.ducharme@theindependent.ca your forehead in a bid to make a few

Mike Zagorski

Greg Locke/Sound Symposium

‘Profound impact on students’ Editor’s note: Life story is a new weekly feature offered by The Independent that profiles the lives of people who have made an impact on Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mike Zagorski, 1941-2005 Teacher, friend and musician By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

T

he psychologist with an ear for sounds who co-founded the world-renowned Sound Symposium died suddenly in a car accident on Jan. 16. Mike Zagorski, 63, was an experimental musician and a retired member of the faculty of psychology at Memorial University in St. John’s. His work with psychoacoustics, or the study of how people hear and react to music, was radical, his friends and colleagues say. Zagorski also invented and patented a revolutionary hearing aid that allowed hearing-impaired people to pick out sounds in a crowd. Good friend Michael BruceLockhart, a professor of engineering at MUN, says he’ll miss talking to Zagorski most of all. “He just was marvellous fun to talk to and he was extraordinarily good to people,” Bruce-Lockhart tells The Independent. “And his twinkle. “He liked to push at people — he liked to make people think. So he would push at you and challenge your ideas

and then he would get this twinkle and you’d know he was just fooling around.” Zagorski was born and raised in Indiana and was a physicist until his path changed to accommodate a love of music and people. As a musician, he played with a band called Fusion and more recently with improvisational band, The Black Auks. Band mate Neil Rosenberg says Zagorski was “just a nice friendly guy. ‘ALWAYS HAD A SMILE’ “Mike always had a smile. He always had a friendly, upbeat personality and point of view.” As the synthesizer player with The Black Auks for the past five years, Rosenberg describes Zagorski as a musician worth playing with, a musician who responded and fitted in well with the music. Zagorski was somewhat unlucky in love — his brief one-year marriage to a professional pianist in the late 1960s was a testament to that. He never remarried or had children, but carried out many relationships with female friends, says Bruce-Lockhart. “If it was a woman, and it was an attractive woman they may have become lovers or they might not, but it really didn’t matter to Mike. He was always friends first and last,” he says. Bruce-Lockhart says music was one of Zagorski’s great passions. “When you could talk him into doing it — which wasn’t very often — Michael would sit down at a piano and he would start playing and he could play

the most extraordinary stuff. “What you’d discover is he was playing — not from a knowledge of music or a theory of music — but from his deep understanding of the way people hear.” His second passion, Bruce-Lockhart says, was teaching his thoughts on music to his students. “He had a profound impact on students. Many of them didn’t understand him, but there was the odd student who just said, ‘My God, this man is just so different.’ “He was very good at reaching out to students, and seeing something in students, that other people didn’t see.” Bruce-Lockhart says there are a number of former students living around the world who think Zagorski was “the best prof at Memorial. Full stop. Period. “He was one of the finest minds … out of anyone that I have ever met. “He was a classic non-linear thinker. He thought right outside the box.” One of the last memories that BruceLockhart has of his late friend was during Christmas Eve dinner. He says Zagorski never liked Christmas and used to “go underground” over the holidays, but this past season he joined his friends for the meal. “He actually said to my wife ‘I’m not really as big a curmudgeon about Christmas as I let on … but don’t tell anybody.’” Zagorski died in a highway near Carbonear when he was thrown from the rented car he was driving. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

PAPER TRAIL

In the beginning… By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

N

ewfoundland and Labrador is known for its rich culture and ancient history, but tales told by seniors, high-school teachers and history books don’t tell the whole story. While most of us know about Confederation and Joey Smallwood, the railway and its subsequent removal, and the 1929 tsunami on the Burin peninsula, how many readers know the year Abitibi-Price took over the linerboard mill in Stephenville (or even that a linerboard mill ever existed there), or the story of how television came to Port aux Basques? The more intimate history of the province — the people stories — cannot be condensed to fit into a single book on the history of this place, let alone the mind of a high-school teacher or grandparent. Paper Trail, a new weekly feature, will review the true records of the province’s history — the newspapers of the day — and bring forward long-forgotten stories. Since 1810, more than 240 newspapers have been published in Newfoundland and Labrador, and — with the help of the staff and archives at the A.C. Hunter Library in the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s — The Independent will dust off the papers and bring their stories to light. Newfoundland and Labrador has had its share of advocates and posts, heralds and standards,but many more newspapers had names with a local flare, including The Skipper from Foxtrap, the Barrelman (later called the Newfoundlander) from St. John’s, and Argentia’s Foghorn. The papers are listed in the Historical Directory of Newfoundland and Labrador Newspapers. Dozens are focused on political opinion of the day, written for the pleasure of those who

Confederation was the great news debate of 1948.

shared common views. The Independent of today is nothing like The Independent of 1948, when most newspapers had something to say about the pros and cons of Confederation (Well, maybe we do have something in common). The 1948 Independent was published by the Responsible Government League, and lasted from March 22 to July 15, 1948. ‘WHERE ONCE ...’ The masthead — while sharing the same font as this paper — had the slogan, “Where once our fathers stood we stand,” blazoned beneath. The paper featured columns by The Roving Reporter, who spoke to the tailor, the fisherman on the street, and anyone else he came across about the pitfalls of Confederation. The editorial written by Malcom Hollett in the second edition of the 1948 Independent read:“It’s gratifying to “The Independent” to be able to state although only one week has gone by since its first issue was published, already we are receiving hearty

approval of our Charter — and this in spite of the fact that so far the paper can have been delivered only locally.” (The text is exactly as it was written.) Papers were started here for many reasons, but The Morning Chronicle, also known for a time as The Day-Book, was started out of spite. Francis Winton left The Daily News in St. John’s — which he originally started with his brother — and began publishing a rival daily paper. The paper ran the Supreme Court docket, the “Shipping Intelligence” and ads for miracle pills that cured everything from gout to “worms of any kind” to “weakness from whatever cause.” In the first edition of The Day-Book, released on Jan. 1, 1862, there was a list of the previous year’s events, which included a riot in Bay Roberts, and an “unusual meteoric phenomenon observed near Cape Pine.” Flipping through the pages of the past is more than nostalgia — it’s a history worth remembering and preserving. To borrow a tried and true cliché, how can you ever know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?


INDEPENDENTWORLD

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13-19, 2005 — PAGE 9

Former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien in St. John’s.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Gomery: the stars, but little else OTTAWA, Ont. By Chantal Hébert

T

he stage of the Gomery commission was set for a clash between Liberal super-egos this week; instead Canadians were treated to a Batman and Robin act. On the heels of Jean Chrétien — unity warrior, it was Paul Martin — junior partner and deficit slayer who showed up at the witness bar of the sponsorship inquiry yesterday. While his testimony was predictably more deferential than that of his predecessor, they had an obvious common thread. Over the life of the sponsorship saga, the leading figures of the Canadian government were too preoccupied with the heroics of saving the country from political breakup and financial ruin to involve themselves in the minutiae of the program. Chrétien may have exhibited all the symptoms of a control freak, hanging on to

the strings of the sponsorship purse against Until then, he claims, he was never comthe repeated advice of the country’s top pletely aware that a sponsorship program civil servant, but he maintains he was com- had become a central part of his governpletely detached when it came to its dis- ment’s unity strategy. bursement. In theory, it is certainly As for Martin, the evipossible for both a prime dence suggests that his minister and a finance proverbial intellectual Balls of all kinds were minister to be consumed curiosity was on hold for with matters other than a very much in the news program of the relatively the duration of the affair. Yesterday, he conmodest magnitude of the firmed he did authorize over the past few days, sponsorship initiative. the funding of Chrétien’s Except that this program unity reserve from 1996 but this was really not a was a very political one, onward. designed to week for home runs. specifically But he says he never tilt the Quebec balance in knew what it was being favour of the federalist spent on. While he came camp in a battle for the across pieces of the sponsorship puzzle life of the country. over the years, none apparently made an Between the two of them, Chrétien and impression on him. Martin probably had the best possible set of It was not until 2001, when the problems Quebec antennas over that period. that plagued the program came to light, that Each had a compelling interest in keepMartin says he started to get the picture. ing his ear to the ground; one was in the

process of wrestling control of the party from the other. And yet, neither managed to pick up a hint that sponsorship money was finding its way into all kinds of unusual places. Martin’s professed lack of engagement in his government’s unity strategy also requires a leap of faith. After all, if federal efforts had failed, he might not have had a country to inherit from Chrétien. Balls of all kinds were very much in the news over the past few days, but this was really not a week for home runs. For the capital’s political junkies, Chrétien’s golf antics were the main hit of the week. But beyond the Parliament Hill beltway, they are unlikely to have done his party any good, in particular in Quebec where the sponsorship affair is no laughing matter. Ditto for leaks of Martin’s warm endorsement of Chrétien’s testimony Continued on page 10

You don’t get Newfoundland Toronto-centric newspaper control freaks missed the point on offshore resources

O

n Jan. 28 in Ottawa, the long dispute between the federal government and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia regarding the sharing of revenues from offshore oil and gas resources ended with a significant victory for Premiers Danny Williams and John Hamm. They forced the prime minister to fulfill his election promise of June 5 last year to ensure, in the context of Newfoundland and Labrador, that it was “the primary beneficiary of its offshore resources.” This applies to Nova Scotia as well. Paul Martin finally accepted the proposal first put forward by Williams in March 2004, after Martin had spent

JOHN CROSBIE

The old curmudgeon seven months trying to weasel out of his electoral commitments. In that light, I wish to comment on the myopic, Ontario-centric reaction of those who write editorials for newspapers, headquartered in Toronto, which purport to be “national” in scope. The reaction of these Toronto elites to this dispute is instructive. The editorialists were put out, disappointed with, chagrined by, did not understand, and were not supportive of what one

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described as “a sweetheart deal.” The writings of these pundits reveal that they understand neither the issues nor the facts and historical background that led to the dispute. One so-called “national newspaper” said the deal was much in keeping with Ottawa’s relationship with Atlantic Canada who, because “they’ve been receiving federal cash for so long, have turned into economic dependencies of Ontario and Alberta.” But if receiving federal cash has turned the Atlantic provinces into dependencies of Ottawa, what about Quebec and Ontario? Apparently, Canada can advance billions of dollars to such corporate giants as Bombardier, located principally in

Quebec, and to auto giants such as GM, Ford and Chrysler, located principally in Ontario and Quebec, without such eminences suggesting they’ve been turned into dependencies of Ottawa. Nothing could make up to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia for the favourable federal treatment given Alberta and the other prairie provinces when the sub-soil rights to oil and gas and natural resources were passed to their control in 1930, and in 1912 to Ontario and Quebec with respect to their northern areas. Why didn’t the coastal provinces receive equal treatment? If they had, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia would not have had to battle this issue from the

From its earliest days Memorial University has been central to the social, cultural and economic life of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since it’s beginning, Memorial

1960s to today. Now-wealthy Alberta received transitional payments from Canada after getting equalization transfers from 1957 to 1965 as it became a have province. Why not Newfoundland and Nova Scotia? Other historical facts that our Ontario-centric Toronto intellectual elite don’t remember, if they ever knew them, are: • Canada first took an interest in claiming our offshore resources on the East Coast in 1961; • The Trudeau government made a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada, which decided in March 1984, that the undersea and undersoil

Go further with your degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

has developed research expertise in a broad range of academic disciplines, making vital contributions to the development of our province, the country and the world.

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Students studying at Memorial benefit from a variety of programs and award-winning student services, outstanding facilities and competitive tuition rates. Memorial has something to offer you. Memorial University is your university. Apply today!

Continued on page 10

www.mun.ca


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

10 • INDEPENDENTWORLD

‘They know the ocean and her ways’ Rigid law doomed ship and men aboard, Atlantic fishermen claim; more tragedies feared NEW BEDFORD, Mass. The Chicago Tribune

“Maritime law says that a captain is the master of his vessel,” said New Bedford Mayor Frank Kalisz, who along with national officials such as U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has been lobbying the fishery council to revamp many of its regulations. “But some of these rules put them in a position where they feel like they no longer have the authority to make the decisions that they are qualified to make both by training and by decades of experience.” The scalloping rule has become the perfect example of the collision between those who fish New England’s waters and those who are charged to protect them from overfishing. The rule was introduced last year when a previously closed swath of water southeast of Nantucket was reopened. Although ground fish were still struggling in the area, scallops had grown rich, and fishermen were being allowed back into the waters to catch up to 18,000 pounds of scallops.

J

ust days before Christmas, five sailors died off the shores of this fabled New England fishing community. Seas were violent; the Northern Edge took on water; the sailors were lost even as wives and mothers lit the traditional candles in the windows back home for them. Because so many fishermen have died on rough seas in this region over the years, funerals have become as much a ritual as candles. But what has been very different in the case of the Northern Edge is the public outcry that has followed. Even as federal investigators try to piece together the events that led to the region’s worst fishing disaster since the sinking of the ship that inspired the book and movie The Perfect Storm, fishermen up and down the eastern seaboard have speculated that they already know why the men died. Many of them squarely pin the blame on a new government regulation that penalizes scalloping vessels and costs them potentially tens of thousands of dollars for breaking a trip and returning to shore before catching their limit — even if they are coming back to find safe harbor from inclement weather. “Regulations have become so rigid for our fishermen that there is no discretion left to them anymore,” said Matt Thomas, the city attorney for New Bedford. VOLATILE OCEAN “They’ve started to look at fishing like a science, like something they can study in a lab and a beaker, but that’s not the way it works with something as volatile as the Atlantic Ocean.” In the midst of this debate, the body that oversees fishing in the region, the New England Fishery Management Council, met this week in New Hampshire. In response to the uproar, the council voted to temporarily reverse the controversial rule pending a review by regulators at the National Marine Fisheries Service. For now, no penalty will be levied against fishermen who leave before catching their limit for any reason. Regulations like the one for scallopers — dubbed the “broken trip” rule and were initially put in place in an effort to limit the number of trips scallopers would make into waters that also contained high numbers of endangered ground fish such as cod and haddock that inadvertently get caught in scalloping nets — have become increasingly common in recent decades.

Scallop fishermen at work. A new U.S. government regulation penalizes scalloping vessels for breaking a trip and returning to shore before catching their limit — even if they are coming back to find safe harbour from inclement weather. Marcel Mochet/AFP Photos

The goal is something most fishermen and conservationists can agree upon: protecting and rebuilding dwindling ground fish and shellfish populations in the region in order to ensure that the waters remain viable fishing grounds for generations to come. But the devil has been in the details. Depending on who you ask, the debate over the increasingly numerous fishing regulations can be summed up one of two ways: conservation vs. common sense or responsible regulation vs. a small subset of renegade rule breakers. “Enforcement can be patchy sometimes,” said Pat Fiorelli, a council spokeswoman. “It’s not like you can have ‘fish cops’ out on the water with the same ease as you have cops on highways to stop speeding. So the need to regulate appropriately is important.” But fishermen say they are being regulated to death. They complain of being allowed less than 50 days per year to fish for certain species such as cod and haddock today, compared to the more

than 225 days they routinely fished 20 years ago. They bristle at high-tech vessel monitoring systems that allow the industry’s enforcement officials to track where

“Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of fishing in the weather I fish in now.” David Goethel, New Hampshire fisherman they are fishing at all times. And, perhaps most of all, they denounce any kind of rules that might make a vessel’s captain worried enough about the financial penalties of returning to shore that he stays at sea long after pitching waves and relentless winds should have

Gomery might be the loser From page 9 behind the closed doors of his national caucus on Wednesday. Still, the prime minister probably achieved as much as he could hope for on the damage control front. The Liberal party ends one of its most trying weeks no more divided than it was going into it. To Martin’s probable relief, the former prime minister left no doubt he was in the driving seat of the sponsorship initiative and that he was in no mood to entertain any backseat driving, not even from Stéphane Dion, his handpicked post-referendum point man, and certainly not from his rival. In the end, if there was a loser this week, it might well be Justice John Gomery. Both past and

present prime ministers pretty much got their way with his inquiry. It’s a toss-up as to whether Chrétien’s hard-ball style or the soft balls the commission spent throwing at Martin took the biggest toll on the inquiry’s credibility. What is certain is that as Martin treated them to irrelevant budget anecdotes, including a play-byplay of the mid-’90s Mexican peso crisis yesterday, the high rollers of the commission looked more like a bunch of star-struck groupies than like legal eagles on an expensive truth mission for the Canadian taxpayer. Chantal Hébert’s column originally appeared in the Toronto Star. Reprinted by The Independent with permission.

made him turn back. “Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of fishing in the weather I fish in now,” said David Goethel, a New Hampshire fisherman and new member of the fishery management council. “But they’ve got us regulated into such a box that I have no choice but to go out there to make my living.” Last week’s decision — which affects only scalloping vessels — may well be just the beginning of changes for the fishing industry in places like New Bedford, where fishing remains a more than $1 billion-a-year source of commerce. Arguing that some rules are making one of the nation’s most dangerous professions even more unsafe, fishermen and elected officials throughout the region are urging government agencies to re-examine a long list of regulations. They would like to discuss the rules for cod and haddock fishing, for shrimping, even for lobstering, long one of the region’s mainstays.

$18,000 FINE Because it was feared it would be difficult to monitor vessels making numerous trips in and out of the waters, the council decided that if a boat left before catching its limit, it would be docked 3,000 pounds from its total allowable catch, a penalty that amounts to more than $18,000 at current market prices, according to fishermen. Fishermen have been upset about the regulation since day one. To begin with, they protested that they were only allowed to fish the waters between November and the end of January, the tail end of fishing season and the onset of the region’s dangerous winter storms. Even more, they argue that vessels would not willingly go back and forth between the far-away waters because of high gasoline prices. “It would make no sense for them to be going in and out of there,” said Deb Schrader, who works for Shore Support. “The only reason they would come back to shore before catching their limit is if they had serious equipment problems or because of dangerous weather, and we should not have regulations that discourage them from leaving for reasons like that. It’s just common sense. “It would be one thing if these guys were out there being cowboys … But they want to come home safely as much as anyone. “The government can not be putting these men in the position where they are not the master of their vessels. We have to trust them to know the ocean and her ways.”

‘Ill-informed and biased views’ From page 9 resources off east-coast Newfoundland were owned by Canada and not Newfoundland, just as Canada had earlier owned the resources under Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, northern Ontario and northern Quebec; • It took from 1961 (mostly under Liberal governments) until the Mulroney government resolved these disputes via the Atlantic Accord, signed on Feb. 11, 1985; • The Atlantic Accord is not a mere agreement between governments, nor is it a mere unilateral program controlled by Canada, as is the equalization program. The accord is grounded in legislation approved by parliament. • The accord recognizes “the right of Newfoundland to be the principal beneficiary of the oil and gas resources off its shores.” • Canada will continue to receive all its federal excise, income, sales and other revenues from the offshore, but in future such federal revenues will be 53 per cent of the total revenues rather than 88 per cent. In receiving 100 per cent of provincial royalties and taxes, Newfoundland and Labrador will receive 47 per cent of the total revenues.

• Ottawa used the equalization program to justify its failure to carry out the agreed purposes of the Atlantic Accord by using that program to clawback benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. The Jan. 28th agreement permits the two provinces to escape the burdens wrongfully imposed on them by Canada. This will not entrench the region’s dependency on the rest of the nation, as is foolishly suggested, but help Atlantic Canada become more self-sufficient . I conclude that the Toronto gadflies who inhabit the editorial precincts of our alleged national papers should cease to promote incorrect, unintelligent, insensitive, ill-informed and biased views that ignore the history of the problems, and are oblivious to issues not perceived as national by those same Toronto-centric control freaks, who should try to increase their understanding and knowledge of what is happening in Canada outside the heartland. Which, by the way, is not necessarily the brainland of our country. John Crosbie’s column, The old curmudgeon, will next appear Feb. 27.


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTWORLD • 11

Forget Charles UK media await his sons’ weddings LONDON Reuters

“Charles and Camilla don’t sell magazines any more,” she says. “They were hounded by the media before they came or the hungry hounds of the out of the woodwork (by acknowledgtabloid press and celebrity ing their relationship). Now you can’t glossies, the wedding between even give away pictures of them. 50-somethings Prince Charles and “This is not Brad and Jennifer,” she Camilla Parker Bowles will never adds, referring to the 2000 wedding match the appeal of other famous nup- between Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt tials. and Jennifer Aniston. “They are midUnkind comparisons between the dle-aged and boring-looking.” matronly figure of Parker Bowles and Steven Barnett, media professor at the fresh-faced beauty of Lady Diana the University of Westminster, says the Spencer at her wedding to the heir to days of royalty automatically boosting the throne in 1981 are inevitable. media circulation figures are over. The civil wedding between Charles “What are missing are the key and a divorced mothcelebrity ingredients: er of two will also youth and attraction. pale next to the fairy“Charles and Camilla To be a celebrity you tale day when hunalmost certainly have don’t sell magazines to be under 40, probadreds of thousands lined London’s streets under 30, and posany more … Now you bly to see the young cousibly even under 20.” ple tie the knot in the The ferocity of the can’t even give away grandeur of St. Paul’s competition to get pictures of them.” Cathedral. exclusive stories and “No doubt many images from celebrity — Judy Wade, forests of newsprint events is based largely will die, but I don’t on economics. Hello! magazine think this wedding Barnett estimates will be the world’s that a major celebrity biggest seller,” Peter story, like the Scottish Preston, former editor of the Guardian wedding between Madonna and Guy broadsheet, told Reuters. Ritchie in 2000, could boost the sales of But he added that for the royalty- a British tabloid newspaper by tens of obsessed mass-circulation tabloid thousands of copies, for example. media, the April 8 ceremony would at One industry circulation manager in least provide “blessed relief” from an London said the sector could expect an election campaign that most pundits average increase in sales of 10 to 12 per predict the incumbent Labour Party cent as a result of the Charles and will win comfortably. Camilla wedding, with tabloids such as Prime Minister Tony Blair has not the Daily Mail set to benefit more than yet formally announced an election centrist broadsheets. date, but campaigning has begun in But for a more significant royal cirearnest and the British media widely culation boost, editors may have to wait expect it to be May 5. for Charles’ sons William and Harry to Judy Wade, royal correspondent for walk down the aisle. With youth, looks Hello! celebrity magazine, says readers — and occasional bad behaviour — on were always fascinated by royal wed- their side, the brothers still enjoy dings but that the cast of characters and celebrity status. the likelihood of stringent media con“Come the day when the princes get trols over covering this one may dull married, all hell will break loose,” the impact. Barnett predicts.

F

Photographs of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles dominate the front pages of British daily newspapers on display in a newsagents in London, England. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

British royals lead the world for news, scandal LONDON Reuters

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n Holland they ride bikes. In Japan, they are closeted from public gaze. And in Spain, they command huge respect. But Britain’s royals enjoy no such dignity or discretion — the dysfunctional House of Windsor is a national soap opera. Like so many other royal disclosures, Prince Charles’ announcement of his engagement to long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles garnered instant headlines around the world and set off a frenzied reaction by Britain’s royalobsessed media. For Charles, it was a rare positive twist in the often humiliating tale of his failed marriage to Princess Diana and infidelities with Parker Bowles. But why such enduring global fascination with the Windsors? “It’s partly because the institution is so old and so venerable: it’s always been clouded in mystery and lots of ritual,” media professor Steven Barnett told Reuters. “Whereas if you look around Europe, they are much more monarchies of the people. There’s a certain way of life which corresponds to the very old-fashioned British aristocracy — hunting, shooting, fishing — which is quite other-worldly.” The Windsors’ long history does give them enduring appeal, but they are not the only royal family with such a back-

ground. So what else keeps them in the media goldfish bowl? For a start, their own recent history of sexual peccadilloes, scandals and gaffes is unmatched by any other royal family. From the Queen’s husband joking about “slitty eyes” in China, and an adulterous Charles telling Parker Bowles he wanted to be reincarnated as her tampon, to the death of Diana in a car-crash, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife photographed topless and Prince Harry wearing a Nazi shirt, there’s never been a dull moment. None of this is at all new to British aristocracy. “Royal families in this country have been traditionally pretty dysfunctional. They’ve done some weird things in their time,” Barnett says. WOULDN'T HAPPEN IN JAPAN Through it all, the Charles-DianaCamilla love triangle has been the central narrative of the last 25 years. Diana, who died in Paris in 1997, was the star. “No other royal family has produced anything quite like her,” royal biographer Robert Lacey says. Americans, in particular, love following the trials and tribulations of the British royals. “America won its independence from the British government, but never from the British royal family.

They are obsessed with it,” Lacey says. Of course, no one would have known about most of this had it not been for dramatic changes in British society, and i the press’s attitude to the royals. Deferential and kow-towing at the start of the 20th century, the British media began to take the gloves off from the 1980s and now don’t hesitate to publish, however embarrassing. “The kind of detached respectfulness the press used to have for the royal family has gradually vanished, led by the (Australian-born media baron Rupert) Murdoch press who take their cue from their proprietor, a staunch Republican, and are prepared to leave no stone unturned,” Barnett says. “Part of the international fascination with the British royals comes from seeing the stories exposed in the British tabloid press — the telephone calls, the bugs, the extra-marital affairs. You’re just not going to get tabloid revelations from Japan about the Emperor.” Ironically, despite the headlines, Charles is actually doing a pretty normal thing for 21st century Britain. One in three marriages ends in divorce, and most people see no problem with his re-marrying. “The unofficial royal laws on marriage have been forgotten. Fifty years ago it would not have been allowed but now it is,” says royal expert Harold Brooks-Baker, referring to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII to marry a U.S. divorcee.

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FEBRUARY 13, 2005

12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD Voice from Away By Rick Martin Dalian, China

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tanding on the 12th floor balcony amid deafening cracks and the heavy smell of gunpowder, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous as rockets whizzed past, no more than 10 feet in front of my face. “They know what they’re doing,” my Australian friend reassured me as we gazed down upon some kids on the playground below. As one tiny boy near the monkey bars was sweet enough to light the fuse for his girl’s explosive, I began to have my doubts. But you couldn’t help but be giddy with laughter in the midst of such noise, color, and light. So I raised my glass of white into the thick smoky air, and managed to yell over the continuous din of explosions “A toast! Thanks for coming out. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!” China can be overwhelming at times. The language, the food — the “culture shock” that we’ve all heard about. If you went any further away from Newfoundland, you’d have to be an astronaut (not that I’ve never been called that before). When I first arrived here, I sat and waited for this culture shock thing to set in. Things were OK, I thought. Sure, it’s a little bizarre seeing a horse and cart trotting across a six-lane highway amid shiny BMWs, black-tinted government Audis, and an endless supply of wine-colored Volkswagen taxis. There is definitely something new here that will raise your eyebrows on a daily basis. But that’s part of the reason I’m here. It’s never boring. If you come here as an English teacher (as most people do, and as I have), you are entering a flawed system that the government has allowed to evolve gradually rather than intervene with set guidelines. If you’re not a flexible person who can handle a speed bump here and there, don’t even think about coming over. Be prepared for the worst, because it may very well happen. A lack of rules in this industry allows for those in high positions to abuse power. Be prepared for a lesson in politics. Those people who run into such problems usually do one of two things: they either pack it in and go home with an abundance of horror stories in hand, or they find a reason to stay for a while. From my own experience, here’s what I get from being in China: 1. A chance to learn about the world’s fastest growing country with the world’s fastest growing economy. China was, until about 20 years ago, largely inaccessible. 2. The opportunity to study one of the world’s most widely spoken languages

Children dressed in traditional make-up and clothes are carried around a temple in Beijing where thousands flocked for Chinese New Year. Chinese across the world welcomed the Year of the Rooster with residents in the capital and all over China enjoying the 7-day Lunar New Year national holiday. AFP Photo/Peter Parks

Happy New Year Amid the celebrations, Newfoundlander Rick Martin reflects on his current life in China in your free time. I’m trying, but my Chinese is still pretty modest. You can study whatever subject you like, really. I’ve also been toying with web design, since my computer skills are not quite up to par. As a teacher, your work hours are way below the national average, while your salary is way above. Go figure. And my personal favourite: 3. Cheap food, cheap beer, and for dessert, cheap fireworks. What I will take away most from this experience, however, are the people I’ve met while here. Not only Chinese people. In most every Chinese city, there is a pretty vibrant ex-pat community.

This is my second year here in Dalian, an hour east of Beijing by plane. While last year I settled pretty comfortably into the bar scene, this year is different. This year I’m working in a newly developed area of town called the Software Park. Countless big software companies — both foreign and domestic — have set up shop here, bringing a significant amount of foreign employees with them. The majority of these foreigners, we’ve found, are Japanese. In any other country there is no obvious common ground any westerner might share with a Japanese person. But every laowai (“foreigner” in Chinese) feels homesick sometimes,

feels alienated sometimes, or just feels like speaking their native language sometimes. This draws us all together — people from Canada, America, Australia, England, Japan, everywhere. INTERNATIONAL FOODS We can throw a New Year’s party with Timtams (delicious Aussie biscuits), proper Japanese sushi, dark German chocolate, and — from Newfoundland — some partridgeberry jam and crackers. A few of my friends are musically inclined, and we’ve put off some really nice impromptu concerts. Usually it’s one or two Englishmen on guitar, accompanied by a Japanese girl or two

on vocals. It’s pretty amazing. Picture the United Nations if they served alcohol. That’s about right. While most of my Chinese friends are spending their holidays at home with their families, I’m lucky to be able to spend times like these with so many good friends, despite the fact we are all far from home. Next order of business: please send over a bottle of Screech. Rick Martin is originally from St. Shott’s. Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living out-of-province? Please e-mail us at editorial@theindependent.ca.

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS Smoking at the city’s international airport is a thing of the past, though the national carrier Cubana will continue to let passengers smoke on some of its flights, the airline said. Many Cubans are skeptical that the new regulations will stick in a country where smoking is so ingrained that the Communist state still hands out subsidized cigarettes with ration books to Cubans over the age of 50. — Reuters

Indonesia’s sad New Year

Police patrol a beach in Cuba, where smoking has been banned in public places. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Cuba bans smoking HAVANA Cuba, which evokes images of cigar-chomping revolutionaries, banned smoking in public places last week, an uphill struggle in a country synonymous with fine tobacco where more than half of adults smoke. Cubans are no longer allowed to smoke in airconditioned areas, offices, schools and sports centers in an island-wide health drive by President Fidel Castro’s government. Castro, once a famous aficionado of Cohiba cigars, gave up smoking two decades ago to safeguard his health. But many Cubans continue to be heavy smokers and it is common to find people smoking in hospitals, elevators and even crowded buses, despite previous attempts to curb the habit. Cigarette vending machines have been banned outright as part of the drive. State-run bars and restaurants must set up separate smoking areas, although few have done so yet. At the Floridita bar, one of writer Ernest Hemingway’s favorites in Havana, a busload of Russian tourists puffed away, happily drinking frozen daiquiris in a smoke-filled room. “Maybe tomorrow,” says a barman.

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia Ethnic Chinese Indonesians in tsunami-hit Aceh province ushered in a sombre Lunar New Year last week, their small but economically important community devastated by the giant waves six weeks ago. About 20 survivors gathered in the morning at the biggest Chinese temple in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, to mourn the dead with prayers and incense, hoping for a better year ahead as they try to rebuild shattered lives. “New Year last year was much bigger than this. Most people are in Medan now,” community leader Tasman says, referring to a city 450 km to the south where most of Banda Aceh’s estimated 6,000 ethnic Chinese fled after the tsunami. “Nobody is selling New Year’s items like cakes. There is nothing here.” At least 600 members of the tight-knit community are believed to be among the tens of thousands who perished in Banda Aceh. Ethnic Chinese people, many traditionally traders and shopkeepers, have long faced discrimination in Indonesia. Thousands were killed during anti-communist purges that brought former President Suharto to power in the 1960s. Ethnic Chinese have only been allowed to celebrate their traditional New Year since 2000, when the government lifted a ban

on overt displays of Chinese culture following Suharto’s downfall. “We have to keep up our spirits,” says shop owner Bakrie. “I urge my friends and family to come back to Banda Aceh, because this is our home.” — Reuters

Reporter in hiding MONTERREY, Mexico A Mexican investigative journalist has gone into hiding after gunmen sprayed his car and home with machine-gun fire, the Committee to Protect Journalists says. Jorge Cardona, a reporter for a Televisa affiliate,

went into hiding in the northern city of Monterrey after the attack, which came just days after Televisa aired Cardona’s reports about drug cartel enforcers involved in a wave of kidnappings in the crime-wracked border city of Nuevo Laredo. More than 20 U.S. citizens have been abducted or simply disappeared in the city since August. Law enforcement sources says most of the victims were apparently involved in the drug trade. The reports carried an interview with a masked man purported to be a former member of a renegade band of paramilitary enforcers working for the Gulf cartel drug gang, who alleged that some abductees were fed to lions. The U.S.-Mexico border is a dangerous place for reporters. Last year two border newspaper journalists were killed for their work, and a third was stabbed to death in disputed circumstances. — Reuters


INDEPENDENTLIFE

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13-19, 2005 — PAGE 13

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

Arts Major There’s a lot more to Newfoundland author Kevin Major than books. For starters, there are other people’s books. This is his third year as chair of the arts and letters awards.

By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent

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riginally better known for his young adult fiction, awardwinning author Kevin Major has subtly branched out in recent years. His resume now boasts a history book, children’s picture books, plays, verse fiction and a soon-to-be completed adult novel. But one constant throughout the Stephenville native’s work has been his focus on Newfoundland and Labrador, an inspiration that grew from time spent teaching in small communities during the 1970s. “One of the things that I noticed, was there weren’t many books available for my students to read that were in any way dealing with contemporary Newfoundland,” Major tells The Independent. “So in a sense my early writing was somewhat a filling-in of what I perceived as a need. I would have written anyway I think, but it just sort of steered me in that direction.” Thoughtful and serious as he sits back in his chair in the lobby of the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, Major thinks back to a time when people “felt very positive about the possibilities for outport Newfoundland and Labrador. “It was only after I left (the west coast) that the cod moratorium came in and had such a devastating effect on most of rural Newfoundland … I’ve dealt with that to some extent in some of my books. “If you look at some of the school popula-

tions, they’ve halved from what they were 20 years ago. It is sad and it’s hard to know what to do about it.” Major says he hopes his own two sons, Luke, 21, and Duncan, 18, will feel they have an option to stay in the province if that’s what they want. Now a resident of St. John’s, the author is doing his own part to promote and encourage arts for both young and old — amateurs and professionals alike. Major’s entering his third year as chair for the government-sponsored annual arts and letters awards. Each year, up to 1,000 applications in a variety of categories ranging from visual to literary work are submitted and assessed through a blind adjudication process. This year’s deadline for entries is Feb. 25, and the winners will be announced May 28. “It’s really interesting to see that sometimes really unknown people will rise to the top and win an award.” Born in 1949, the year of Confederation, Major says there weren’t many career prospects for artists in the province when he was growing up, and he almost accepted a position studying medicine before turning to teaching — which led him to full-time writing. “Newfoundland per capita has a much stronger artistic population than practically any other place in the country. I think that’s what really separates my growing up from people in the arts today,” he says. “You do have a much stronger sense of there being around you a group of people who make their living from writing, or from other aspects of the arts.” As the youngest of seven children, living next to a large American air force base in Stephenville, Major says he grew up with a lot of positive and diverse influences. His father was a fisherman by trade from Bonne Bay, which is now part of Gros Morne National Park. Although his father moved to Stephenville to work at the base, Major remembers him going out to fish every summer. “He still kept some of that Newfoundland heritage.”

Major himself has delved into the heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador of late. In 2001 his book on the history of the province — As Near To Heaven by Sea — was published and stories unearthed in that have inspired much of his work since. “I was commissioned to do it by Penguin Books and it was not something that I’d ever thought of undertaking, not in my wildest imagination, but in the end the challenge of it was too much to resist.” Ann and Seamus evolved from his historical research and was published in 2003. It tells the true story — through verse and illustrations by artist David Blackwood — of a shipwreck and rescue mission in 1828 off the coast of Newfoundland. Major’s current work in process is a piece of historical fiction for adults, but past those details, the author remains a closed book. He gives a self-conscious smile and a shake of the head, when pushed for more. “I do have a children’s book coming out,” he offers, by way of compensation, “I think, this fall, or at least it’s scheduled for this fall — a picture book for kids … a tentative title is Aunt Olga’s Christmas Postcard.” LIVE PERFORMANCES Fans can also catch live performances in the form of play adaptations of Major’s books, produced by Rising Tide Theatre. A yearly favourite is the First World War drama, No Man’s Land, which is going on tour across the province in April. As Near to Heaven — an adaptation of Major’s novel, Gaffer, with incorporated elements from his history book — will run this summer at the Trinity festival for a second season. “It’s the story of somebody who’s just graduated from university, having to undertake the perennial trip of having to leave the province and wondering why, and this person appears from the past with the ability to pull him through different parts of Newfoundland history to try to come to some understanding of why we ended up as we did.”

LIVYERS

‘Out on the water’ Oliver Coates of Winterton kept fishing long after he retired Editor’s note: Livyers is a new feature to run weekly in The Independent. Much the same as Voice from Away (Page 12 this week) profiles Newfoundlanders and Labradorians living around the world, Livyer will profile those of us still here. WINTERTON By Stephanie Porter The Independent

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liver Coates went on his first fishing expedition when he was 11 years old, a trip to the rich cod fishing grounds near Baccalieu Island, just off the Bay de Verde Peninsula, at the mouth of Conception Bay. The trip lasted nearly a week, and was one of three the young Coates

would take during his summer holidays that year, 1937. “My father and his uncle had a what we’d call a bully boat, 30-feet long,” he tells The Independent. “We would leave Sunday night after midnight, then we’d steam down to Baccalieu. We’d fish until Friday afternoon, and come back on Friday … we’d split the fish, salt it in aboard the boat. “We’d come home, and Saturday unload and wash out the fish, get it ready to put out on the flakes … There was no break at all whatsoever.” Coates was born and raised in Winterton, a then-bustling town of about 1,200 people. He still lives in the community, in a comfortable house with his wife. His son, Kevin — an accomplished woodcarver and craftsman — lives not far down the road,

something few in town seem to be able to brag about. “Most everyone in Winterton was fishing at some time when I was growing up,” Coates says in a deep, slow voice. “I fished for quite a while myself, and then in 1955 I started as a taxi driver to St. John’s, I’d make one run every day.” He only did that for about a year, then began moving around to various construction jobs, as a truck driver and, later, a welder —the power plant in Chelsea; Gander airport; Argentia; back to Gander. In 1960, suffering a back injury, he had to give up his job and head home. Not long after, he went to St. John’s, back in the high-pressure pipe welding business — but gave it up again, in 1967. A few years later, when con-

Oliver Coates

struction started at the Come by Chance oil refinery, he signed on — and then, beset by back problems, he

Paul Daly/The Independent

gave up welding once and for all, in Continued on page 14


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

14 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

Fascinating stories, ‘poverty-stricken’ writing Untold Stories of Newfoundland By Jack Fitzgerald Creative Publishing, 2004

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ack Fitzgerald has a good thing going. For years now he has been regaling his audience with tales of supernatural occurrences, grizzly murders, tragic shipwrecks, and many other stories of (in the words of the jacket copy from an earlier book of his) “the amazing and the almost unbelievable happenings culled from the archives of Newfoundland’s history, and from its folklore.” In his 19th published book, Untold Stories of Newfoundland, Fitzgerald delivers more of what his avid readers have already come to love. Divided into nine chapters, the book ranges over a diverse number of subjects, full of littleknown facts about our capital city, anecdotes from wartime St. John’s, heroic tales of Newfoundlanders at war, accounts of Newfoundland crime and justice, bits of curio dealing with Newfoundland songs, reproductions of old poems from the local paper and a number of miscellaneous facts that don’t fit easily into any given category.

MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Of these chapters, my favourite is easily the section on wartime anecdotes in which Fitzgerald makes it his business to connect Newfoundland (on every level he can) to a world at war: Hitler personally vetoed a proposal to launch intense submarine action in Newfoundland waters; fluorspar, a crucial ingredient in the construction of the atomic bomb, was mined in St. Lawrence; paper supplied by Grand Falls helped keep Malta’s newspaper in publication when the island was being bombed by German pilots; dead Nazi spies are buried in Argentia. All of this may sound like tabloid fare, but that’s part of the appeal of Fitzgerald’s books. Occasionally, Fitzgerald appears to be scraping the well-worn bottom of his barrel of narratives. In chapter six he relates an incident involving newspaperman and Member of Parliament Don Jamieson. While on a trip to Winnipeg in 1948, Jamieson was witness to the

death of a Canadian Armed Forces paratrooper whose parachute had failed to open during an exhibition. I’m not sure if it is with solemn respect or morbid glee that Fitzgerald concludes this anecdote by describing how the soldier’s body “landed less than 50 feet from Don Jamieson.” In either case, it seems a bit of a throwaway. A friend of mine recently suggested that writers like Jack Fitzgerald are the missing link between our oral and written cultures, storytellers in an age when oral narrative has almost entirely succumbed to print. I’m still uncertain whether the comment was made in absolute seriousness, but it struck a bit of a chord with me. I would venture to say that Jack Fitzgerald is one of the most read authors in Newfoundland. If the stock of province-wide supermarket racks and corner store book bins are any indication, then it’s a pretty close contest between Fitzgerald and Earl B. Pilgrim. These are the storytellers most of us here are still listening to. While the stories Fitzgerald tells are fascinating, stylistically, his writing is poverty-stricken — he employs whatever stock phrasings he can scrounge and

has a threadbare sense of rhythm. More than anything, though, it comes across as being plain careless. In his first chapter discussion of Flipper Smith and Caroline of The Kelligrews Soiree fame, Fitzgerald describes the duo as being “among the guests of Clara Nolan’s Ball.” Clara Nolan’s Ball, however, is only ever

Anything but stereotypical Local rock outfit Stereotype cranks out debut CD By Jamie Baker The Independent

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eaturing a diverse blend of musical styles, the debut CD for St. John’s-based rock group Stereotype is nothing like their name suggests. The group, made up of Don-E Coady (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Armondo Fowlow (lead guitar and vocals), Mike Dowding (bass) and Brad Wheeler (drums and vocals) draws on a wide variety of influences, all of which are evident on the 10-song compilation. “The CD says a lot about the kinds of music we like — one minute you get a reggae verse with a pop hook while the next song might be straight acoustic or even a folksy tune,” Fowlow tells The Independent. “We do a lot of disco and kind of ’80s-style stuff as well. It’s a real blend.

“It’s interesting pop music, not disposable pop. There’s kind of an art to writing a song that can appeal to your grandmother and your little sister — it’s a tough thing to do.” Having such different backgrounds in a group can often prove difficult in producing music, but in Stereotype’s case, Fowlow says it’s never been an issue. Wheeler and Dowding had been playing with Margarita’s Calling, which Fowlow describes as “a funky, big band doing James Brown and Jamiroquai type stuff,” while he himself had previously been with Max 80, a west-coast rock group. “When I moved to St. John’s I got a hold of a couple of guys I wanted to play with, even though we weren’t really from the same genre. I was tired of the straight rock where we would play like, Tragically Hip covers, and they were tired of all the big band with the

Don-E Coady, Mike Dowding, Brad Wheeler and Armondo Fowlow Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

horns and stuff. Basically, I was funky enough to hang with them and they were aggressive enough to hang with me.” Fowlow engineered and produced the CD at his home studio, where he’s otherwise known as the Basement Ninja. “The CD was a lot of work because it was all self-done. I worked with Louis McDonald from the Catch for a long

time so I learned a few tricks from him.” Although the CD was originally intended to be a seven-song demo, Fowlow says the further the group got into the recording, the more they liked what they heard. “It started to sound pretty good so we thought, why not take it further? “Don-E came to us with Patient pret-

mentioned at the beginning of the song: “You may talk of Clara Nolan’s Ball or anything you choose, / But it couldn’t hold a snuffbox to the spree at Kelligrews.” The rest of the song details the happenings, characters and menu at the Kelligrews Soiree, not Clara Nolan’s. This sort of thing may seem like needless nitpicking, but it serves to illustrate a larger point. This just isn’t very good writing. When Fitzgerald writes a zinger like “its legality was upheld by the British Government which declared it was perfectly legal” I am reminded of the horrible atrocities I have, at one time or another, committed against the English language. And I get a little embarrassed on behalf of the book and its author (not to mention the editor — my God, the editor). Truth be told, I’m not sure why I find Jack Fitzgerald so entertaining. Maybe I’m drawn to the macabre details and bizarre factoids of his accounts. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. I like to think it’s because I enjoy a good yarn. Mark Callanan is a writer and reviewer living in Rocky Harbour. His next column appears Feb. 27.

ty well done. We reworked it into more of a rock format, but then we turned it into a darker acoustic piece. You Don’t Know was the first song we really wrote together, and it was the same with Waiting and Hit the Ground Running and stuff like that — we try to write most of our stuff as a band.” Finding material, he says, wasn’t tough — in fact, they’re already looking at putting together a second CD. “There are four original songs we’re playing now that aren’t on the CD and there are others we’re working on. We’re definitely looking at another CD. We don’t have plans for world dominance; we’re just trying to write interesting music, not necessarily tortured artist stuff.” Although the band has carved a reputation with followers for their cover work, Fowlow says the focus now is mostly on the original material. “To really promote the original stuff we kind of had to cut down on the covers. I’m not saying we’re above doing covers or anything like that, but to give original songs and the band a fighting chance you have to do it the right way.” The CD release party for Stereotype’s self-titled debut will take place at Club One in St. John’s on Feb. 17. The show, opened by Copperfield, is slated to begin around 9 p.m.

‘I love out on the water. Love it.’ From page 13 1972. But injury hardly held Coates down. It was back to fishing, usually cod and turbot. “I went back to my roots,” he says. “Then I kept fishing until I retired … until after I retired.” He smiles. “I love out on the water. Love it.” Coates’ official retirement came before the cod moratorium in 1992, though he was still active and out and about on the sea. But his wife, a fish plant worker of 22 years in nearby Hant’s Harbour, retired only after the announcement. Coates has seen the ups and downs of the fishery — and lived through many of them. “In the earlier years, mostly everyone was fishing but they didn’t make any money. In those days the mer-

chants robbed the fishermen, I guess you’ve heard that one before. “You couldn’t make money, not fishing, not like you could today or in the years …,” he trails off. “In the latter years, I know this, some of the fishermen became greedy. Yes they did. I saw that. They, some of them, wanted to put their arms around it all and not leave anything for anyone else. “The moratorium, (we did it to ourselves), yes, a lot of it we did. You can’t blame the foreigners for it all.” Coates also believes that the exploration of the Grand Banks disturbed the ecosystem and, subsequently, the fish stocks. Coates was on the town council for a dozen years, through the 1980s, a time when roads and maintaining water and sewer were the main con-

cern. When asked about the future of his town, Coates says “it’s all right, I suppose.” He stands firmly behind the current premier, saying if anyone can help rural Newfoundland, Danny Williams can. His fishing years long behind, these days Coates stays active in the community. He looks after the cash for the Monday night TV bingo, and the Wednesday night bingo in the lodge. Coates gets up from the table for a moment, and vanishes to the basement. He emerges again, holding a multi-level bird feeder. Inspired by the shape of the Hibernia platform, the feeder is a true luxury model, carefully designed and finished, with levers and trapdoors. He points around the room at other woodworking he’s done. “I’m busy,” he says, still smiling. “I keep busy.”


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

‘Don’t come here for news’

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i there. My name is Victoria Wells-Smith and I’ve been given the best job in the province: to write THE column for the age 18-30 demographic of Newfoundland and Labrador. I love this place. I love that I don’t have to worry about my friends when they’re late or I can’t find them (the likelihood that they’ve been VICTORIA abducted or the victim of a gang WELLS-SMITH rape is remote). I love that we Hip have hills. I love that talented people can usually find somewhere to grow — be it a hockey rink or one of the arts and culture stages in the province. I love that we don’t see -40 C. I love that we have just enough big-city style to have expensive clothing stores and nice restaurants, but a BMW is not a pre-requisite to being an active player in our economy. I love that we have our own music, food, traditions, etc. We are very fortunate. And the most fortunate of all are those of us who are in the process of moulding our lives and futures right here in the province. For you to understand the shape this column is going to take, you must first know a little about me. I live with my parents and my little sister in St. John’s. The practical side of me is currently studying business at Memorial, which I surprisingly love. I’m also very involved with the artistic community. I dance at The School of Dance on Water Street in St. John’s. I’m assistant choreographer and a dancer in Chicago, which you can only catch for two more nights at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre — tonight and Tuesday. Kelly-Ann Evans, who plays Velma, is a powerhouse and makes Catherine Zeta Jones look average in more ways than one. I recommend you see the show and I promise you’ll love it; Newfoundland and Labrador is just bleeding mind-blowing performers. I also work with Spirit of Newfoundland, a dinner theatre company in town. I’m an avid movie goer, and the best of troublemakers (just not in the theatre). I spend far too much money at Twisted Sisters, a downtown boutique. I like good conversationalists and long walks on the beach. I worship Sex and the City, which happens to be the show that inspired me to delve into column writing in the first place. (Sex and the City and a stubborn objection to having a real job working in retail or something). I like sleeping, and eating crap. I go drinking every Friday night with a group of girls who are borderline too much fun and who also provide each other with a second family every other day of the week. I love to write. So here we go. The first thing I want to tell you is don’t come here for the news. Sure, you’ll find the odd comment on our world’s latest (I’ll give George W. Bush credit for one thing: he’s impossible to ignore). But Hip is going to be more personalized to the daily lives of my readers. I want to write about subjects you can relate to, subjects that are components of your headspace when you aren’t reading my column. I want to spark an interest or a new train of thought. I want to entertain you. What you can count on are my thoughts and opinions on an ocean of issues. This column will look at everything from the depressing downfall of SNL to my personal vendetta against how the media is disfiguring music. Preview: “The state of the music industry today causes a fingernails- down-the-chalkboard type of reaction in me, it makes me want to close my eyes and cover my ears.” You might see a column about the different drugs on George Street. I’m equally likely to write about creating job opportunities, or shopping, or infidelity, or how and why Halo 2 is taking over the world. In other words, all things that apply to the very colourful lives of the young and the restless of Newfoundland and Labrador. My point is, don’t be surprised by anything. I love random. And I love hip. Stay tuned. Victoria Wells-Smith’s column appears every second week.

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 15

Boogeyman a nightmare The Wedding Date Starring Debra Messing, Dermot Mulroney 1/2 (out of four)

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resumably, the last wedding Kat Ellis attended was her own, and she still hasn’t gotten over it. It seems that on the happy day, everything fell into place except her fiancé, Jeffrey, who decided to call it off at the last minute. Now, two years later, she’s about to head home to England for her younger sister’s nuptials, where the groom’s best man is none other than Jeffrey. Determined to demonstrate to her ex that she’s put him far behind her, Kat, with some trepidation, enlists the services of Nick Mercer, a professional escort. Based on Elizabeth Young’s debut novel Asking for Trouble, The Wedding Date features Debra Messing (TV’s Will & Grace) as Kat and Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding) as Nick. This is Messing’s first starring performance in a motion picture, and she handles it easily, since the role gives her very little to do. Mulroney, likewise, has few demands placed on him beyond exuding charm and confidence. With little to work from, both actors make their respective characters likeable, and while there’s very little chemistry between them, the audience wants to see them become a couple by the end of the picture. In this respect, the film works. Otherwise, beyond a few attractive shots of the English countryside, the pickings are pretty lean. There’s very little story to speak of, the characters seem to be picked from the shelves of the movie-making department store, and most of the comedy has been around since talkies became the norm. Regardless of its literary source, there are numerous opportunities available here for the film to explore directions that could prove more interesting and entertaining. Had the people behind the scenes aspired to something beyond mediocre, they could have easily constructed a better motion picture. Unfortunately The Wedding Date plays like a work in progress, and would probably work better combined with a bit of live theatre. At the end, an actor could come out and address the audience as though we were studio executives. Pitching a few ideas for additional script writing and extra shooting to complete the project, he could throw out a dollar figure, and we could vote on whether we believe it’s worth the extra expense or cut our losses and shelve it. At least there would be a justifiable reason for the movie as it stands.

Photo by Kirsty Griffen

TIM CONWAY Film Score Boogeyman Starring Barry Watson, Lucy Lawless 1/2 (out of four) Tim Jensen was eight years old when his father left, and his memory of that night plays in his head like a nightmare. Unfortunately, his recollection of the event is that the nightmare is real, despite the contrary assertions of everyone else in his life. Fifteen years have passed, and he still cannot shake the fears that have plagued him since childhood. Upon the death of his mother, Tim returns home to arrange her funeral and make one last effort to confront his torment. Monstrous entities bent on harming humans have been a staple of motion pictures almost from the beginning, yet it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for the Boogeyman (“Boo Darby” where I come from) to get his name on a movie. This malevolent incarnation, one of the many behaviour-modifying tools available before child rearing became parenting, served the multipurpose role of ensuring that children were safely tucked into their beds at a decent hour while providing Mom and Dad with the opportunity to play hero, with the promise of securing the child’s safety during the night. Sadly, our old nemesis doesn’t really get

his due. Boogeyman lays out a number of possible sources of Tim’s anxiety. He could be imagining or dreaming everything, his family home could be haunted, he or someone else could be responsible for nasty things, or there could be some evil force at work. Unfortunately, the filmmakers know the answer already, but don’t appear sold on it. These other possibilities are raised, but not explored to the extent that they form any kind of mental challenge to the audience. We don’t do a whole lot of guessing. Where we do exercise our brains, however, is trying to reconcile the way events play out in the film. The question “Why?” comes up a lot, but our inquiries are never explained. It’s as though a dozen different teams are responsible for separate sections of the story, and none knows what the other is doing. Should Bugs Bunny or Charlie Chaplin walk through a scene, we’d be no more surprised. Boogeyman seems more comfortable with odd camera angles and low lighting to create an unnerving atmosphere, than cheap gimmicks to startle viewers. A sudden, loud noise, and the visual equivalent of “boo” and these guys figure they’ve done a good job. Sure, some audience members can’t get enough of this kind of stunt, but for many of us, it gets old pretty fast. In a just world, the people behind this one have already had nightmares where the Boogeyman has shown up demanding an apology. Tim Conway runs Capital Video, Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His next column will appear Feb. 27.


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

16 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

IN CAMERA

‘We roll with the

Sunday service is held in the annex of the Anglican church in Winterton because the room is easier and cheaper to heat than the main building. The between six and 15 people who attend every Sunday don’t need much room anyway. Winterton’s population is less than half what it once was — but no one’s giving up. Paul Daly, photo editor, and senior editor Stephanie Porter spent two days in the community recently. This is their report:

WINTERTON, TRINITY BAY

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ven on a cold blustery day in winter, the view from the gazebo at the top of the Sugar Loaf trail is spectacular. Though partially blurred by light blowing snow, it’s still possible to see well up and down the steep coast of Trinity Bay north, cut by the stark and frigid beauty — familiar to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians — of grey ocean and white caps. The trail’s end also looks out over Winterton, population 560. A fish plant, wharf, and two good-sized churches, all blanketed in white, immediately stand out. There’s also a school, town hall, post office, museum, lodge, old-age home, gas station, grocery store, and a couple of hundred homes, some occupied, some empty (only empty for the cold season). Frank French, a year-round resident, says it’s not the place it is in summer, when the population virtually doubles, the RV park is in full swing, the hiking trails and ballpark are in use, and people are out and about. And from the top of Sugar Loaf, there’ll be icebergs and whales and beautiful blue ocean to be seen, a tourist’s dream come true. “You don’t have to be too innovative to get people here in the summer,” says French, a member of the town’s heritage and futures committees. “But you do, to get people here winters.” That is basically what the futures committee is all about — it’s a steering committee, made up of members from a number of different community organizations: town council, harbour authority, fire department, recreation

and heritage committees, and other private and public interests. The group’s mandate is to “create a common vision of the future of Winterton,” to make sure the town does, indeed, have a future. To do that, efforts are co-ordinated in terms of attracting tourists, businesses — and government funding opportunities. ‘LOTS OF MONEY’ Deputy Mayor Jim Harnum sits at a table in the Winterton town hall with French, Melvin Green — retired schoolteacher and member of the heritage committee — and Nancy Reid, curator of the Winterton Boat Building Museum. All are volunteers except Reid, who has a full-time position. All four are members of the futures committee. “It’s all about the lobbying power of a larger organization,” Harnum says of the committee. “And I think there’s been a lot of money come here … I have brought a lot of money into this town.” Pressed for details, Harnum is mum on a total dollar figure. He makes no bones about it: the survival of his town depends on the funding he, and the town’s committees, have been able to access. All at the table agree that most, if not all, of the community projects they’re most proud of have been funded by ACOA or HRDC: the network of hiking trails, the museum, the full-service trailer park. The tourism infrastructure is growing, and they’re planning to continue the push. The Winterton Boat Building Museum, housed in an old United Church school, is closed this time of

year. The space is dedicated to preserving and promoting the town’s history of shipbuilding, and includes an example of a traditional motorboat (made last summer from scratch), and interactive exhibits. There are a number of plans for the museum, including developing a travelling exhibit and launching a yearround “ship-building experience” — a small-scale boat building school, where interested people from around the world could participate in the construction of any of a number of traditional Newfoundland boats. “We should be the centre of traditional wooden boat building in the province,” says French. The RV park is Harnum’s pet project. He says it needs another $47,000 or so to complete, with 70 full-service sites. This summer, he figures, the park will be busy enough (20 of the sites have been booked for the season already) to employ six people. And then, there’s the “really big project. “We’re after, with the harbour authority, to build a breakwater and marina,” he says. “It’ll be a recreational-type thing for boaters who want to

come, maybe see the museum — and also the plant, they could get a lot more landings here. We don’t really have a safe harbour yet.” The price tag for the project is $2 million. But Harnum and the others seem confident construction will start later this spring. He’s working hours everyday, on the phone, in meetings, writing proposals, to make it happen — and doesn’t seem the type to take no for an answer. “You know what they say about the squeaky wheel,” Green says with a laugh. “Well, there he is.” MEN AT WORK Just behind the town hall, down on the shore that was once dotted with fishing stages, seven people are at work. Dressed in wind and waterproof gear to fight the weather, they’re picking up rocks, by shovel and hand, and piling them near the road. Later, the rocks will be used to repair the holes in the existing wharf — necessary, Harnum says, if heavy equipment is going to roll in and build the breakwater and marina the town is hoping for.

Twenty-seven people applied for the jobs. When asked what he thinks of the term “make-work” — a phrase that’s fallen out of fashion with most government funding agencies, town councils, and many individuals — Harnum shrugs. “I don’t mind make-work as long as the work is useful, if it has a purpose,” he says, adding that the goal is more than to put a few dollars in the pockets of his townspeople. It’s a sensitive subject. Harnum and his colleagues are all too aware of the stories, put front and centre by the press for years: Newfoundlanders, moving rocks from one side of an area to another, only to move them back again, anything to put in enough hours to get their stamps. “These people are doing good, useful work,” Harnum says, forcefully. “I wouldn’t let it happen otherwise.” EVOLUTION Although the stages are all gone, the fish plant is still the main employer in Winterton. Started as a groundfish operation by the Green family in 1935, it’s evolved over the years, and now


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 17

punches’

says, by bringing in new species, and maintaining a flexible, positive, and relatively young staff. There’s about two dozen workers there on this day, packaging mussels for sale. The mussels were farmed and harvested in central Newfoundland, then transported to Winterton via truck. There, they’re washed, weighed and sorted. Ingredients are added, the bags are sealed, cooked, cooled and frozen. Voilà — microwaveable mussels in garlic butter sauce. “Newfoundland has relied too much on the fishing industry,” says Green. “We need to rationalize, specialize, and get into more value-added work, which is easy to say, but it’s a challenge.” processes only shellfish: crab, mussels, welk and sea urchins. “We’re in transition all the time,” says Derek Green, the current plant operator. “We’ll focus on the species we process now. If something new comes along, we’re not opposed to change. “Right now, we maintain a workforce of 65-70 people, most probably work 30 weeks a year.” The proposed breakwater, he says, could mean an additional 25 jobs — as well as the opportunity to better use the cold-storage facility on site, which is now virtually empty. Green remembers the days leading

up to the cod moratorium in 1992, when stocks were noticeably declining. “There was a period when it was looking pretty bleak,” he says. “I remember sitting down here on the wharf doing a newspaper interview, it was a Saturday afternoon, both my brother and I were on the wharf; not a soul was working, nothing happening … I said things then I wouldn’t repeat again. “But it was reality. It was down and out. I thought it was over, I honestly started to get my thoughts together that I’m going to end up leaving like everybody else.” The plant survives to this day, Green

‘I DON’T SEE IT’ While there is much vision and determination among the residents of Winterton, there are few topics that quickly turn an upbeat conversation, solemn. Like most communities in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, unemployment is an issue. Maintaining services and infrastructure is an on-going struggle — one some say could be eased by regionalization or even amalgamation — but it’s a tough sell to nearby communities fighting for their own survival, struggling to maintain their own identity. Out-migration is as painful for

Winterton as any town. “There’s two left from here last week, five gone from Hant’s Harbour (a neighbouring community),” says Harnum. All seven moved to Alberta. Setting up temporary office in the town hall building, Grant Tucker, a retired school teacher, runs a tax business this time of year. He has lived in or near Winterton virtually all his life. As a boy in pre-Confederation Newfoundland, he remembers a town of some 1,200 people — and lots of kids to play with. “One time, this was a community filled with children,” he says. “Now you notice each year the decreasing population of children, and the increase in the population of older people … and that’s sad, because without children, there are no families. Children make your town grow, prosper. “How’s that going to change? I don’t see it.” There is another change in demographics: there are suddenly Americans (14 families and counting, according to the postmaster) and people from elsewhere in Canada snapping up homes in town. “It’s great, there’s more taxes being collected and everything … but it’s only for another 10 years and then it’s gone. They’re gone to an old-age home, or they die,” he says.

EMPTY CHURCH The doorway to the Anglican Church is drifted halfway up with snow, though little has fallen since the previous week. The congregation is growing smaller as the years go by, and now, about six to 15 people show up on a regular Sunday. The minister has stopped holding weekly services in the main church. Instead, the congregation meets in the annex, much smaller and easier to heat. The United Church isn’t attracting many more people; the Salvation Army Citadel is, mainly because it services more than Winterton. There’s still a school in the community. Perlwin elementary teaches kindergarten through Grade 9, with students from Winterton and six nearby communities. After Grade 9, the students must be bussed to high school in Carbonear or Old Perlican — the high school in Heart’s Content, the next community over, closed last year after a long and bitter fight. “Enrollment has stabilized at about 140 children,” principal Ron Harnum says. “But you have to remember of course, that nothing is stabilized very long. “You never know how each year is going to unfold … We just roll with the punches and hope that things will maintain themselves, and maybe even get better.”


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Lash 5 Unwanted e-mail 9 Tax 13 Emote 17 “My wild, Irish ___” 18 Charged particles 19 Stew 20 Look lasciviously 21 Undoing 23 Mono: ___ fever 25 Even 26 Gumbo vegetable 27 Scottish Celt 28 Privileged few 29 Peter Pan villain 30 Singer Arden 31 Like P.E.I. soil 32 B.C. Kootenays lake 35 Marsh 36 Actor/singer Jackson 37 Bottom line? 40 Swiss lake 41 NAC Orchestra conductor: Pinchas ___ 44 Swing music 45 Pitcher 46 Stockings 47 Strike decider 48 B.C. tourist slogan: ___, Natural British Columbia 49 Excavate 50 Winnie the ___ 51 Expert ending? 52 Gist 53 Muslim salutation 55 Summer time in B.C.

56 Front, often false 59 TV adjunct 60 It’s not liquid or solid 61 Singer Voisine 62 Grosse-___, Que. 64 Stuffing for pillows 67 N.B.’s official tree: balsam ___ 68 St. John’s site used by Marconi: Signal ___ 69 Good-luck stone 70 Norway’s patron saint 71 “Sweetheart” of silents: Mary ___ 73 Wall section 74 Fitted or fated start 75 Jamaican genre 76 Extreme reverence 77 Thin candles 78 Silken trap 79 Eye in Aix 81 Central part 82 Secord lady 85 Sated 86 Appearance 87 Outer edge 90 Expose to radiation 92 Central American democracy 94 Pole 95 Structure: abbr. 96 Eight: comb. form 97 College on the Thames 98 Uninteresting 99 Satiate 100 Japanese flavouring

101 Comically idiotic DOWN 1 “King Kong” actress 2 Perfect 3 Doesn’t exist 4 Opposite of beaucoup 5 Rower Laumann 6 Pear in Percé 7 A McGarrigle sister 8 Flavour enhancer 9 Our highest mountain 10 Our first woman cabinet minister (1957): ___ Fairclough 11 Perfume sample container 12 Hither and ___ 13 First Canadian musician to perform in the USSR 14 Citrus hybrid 15 Venetian feature 16 Roll-call call 22 Canadian harpist Judy 24 Judge 27 Pledge 29 Duelling souvenir 30 Jest 31 Sexsmith of pop 32 Sleigh 33 Stephen ___ 34 Greek end 35 Shrub 36 Faucet 37 The Tragically ___ 38 Serpent’s mark?

39 Ocean 41 Kind of lens 42 Iron oxide 43 Mrs. in Montreal 44 Ukrainian mayor of Winnipeg, 1957-77 46 Photogenic frost 48 ___ a Long Journey (Rohinton Mistry) 50 Bundle 51 Student cards, e.g. 52 Table salt (chem.) 54 City in W Ukraine 55 Vancouver’s Stanley ___ 56 Pleat 57 A Schoemperlen 58 Senior 60 Savings instr. 61 To laugh (Fr.) 63 Anguillidae 64 Japanese carp 65 Everything 66 Bud 67 Minor falsehood 68 Wolf song 69 Jest 71 English tavern 72 Bomb 73 Winter garment 75 Like the dodo 77 First Inuit in NHL: Jordin ___ 78 Ire 79 Better 80 Mournful poem 81 Prices paid 82 Branch

83 Dying sea 84 Bear in the sky 85 September season

86 Positions (geom.) 87 Singer MacNeil 88 Graphic symbol

TAURUS April 21/May 21 What you think is a problem this week really isn’t a problem at all. It should not concern you much — move on to other things that can occupy your mind. GEMINI May 22/June 21 It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world outside of your door, but rather what is going on in your head, Gemini. Change your perspective for the better. CANCER June 22/July 22 You will enjoy what you have to do on the work front this week,

and because you enjoy it, you will do a good job. Your reputation is strong with those who matter. LEO July 23/August 23 You will look at the world in a more relaxed way this week, Leo. That’s a good thing, because you generally take yourself too seriously. Loosen up and let go. VIRGO August 24/September 22 Give that special someone the benefit of the doubt, Virgo. But if a nagging voice raises your suspicions, heed your gut instinct and be cautious before acting. LIBRA September 23/October 23 This is a great week for all kinds of relationships, but particularly for affairs of the heart. You’ll find it easy to get along with people and that they want to be around you.

92 Dot follower 93 The ___ Sisters (Tomson Highway)

POET’S CORNER

WEEKLY STARS ARIES March 21/April 20 This week you will have more charm than you know what to do with, Aries. Actually, you know exactly what to do with it and will waste no time twisting people around your finger!

89 “___ are called ...” 91 Inuit Broadcasting Corp.

SCORPIO October 24/November 22 If you need a break, take one, no matter how much others might try to persuade you that you must keep pushing yourself above and beyond your normal limits. SAGITTARIUS November 23/December 21 A little charm will go a long way this week, Sagittarius. Think about how best to apply that charm to those around you to persuade them to be on your side. CAPRICORN December 22/January 20 No matter how many upheavals there have been at home lately, you can put things right again, Capricorn. You will find it easy to rebuild bridges and put negativity out of your mind. AQUARIUS January 21/February 18 Keep your ear to the ground this

week, because you could hear something that is to your advantage. Usually gossip doesn’t move you to action ... this time it will.

Editor’s note: The Independent welcomes poems about Newfoundland and Labrador.

PISCES February 19/March 20 Don’t get worked up about your financial situation this week, Pisces. It won’t do you any good mentally or physically. A break is ahead.

Here am I caught by the foaming tide, On the cliff’s sharp slope and ragged side, by a timeless scene of sea’s breaking down as they end in a roar on the shallow ground.

FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS February 13 Peter Gabriel, singer

With the mist to show for its labour of pain has the boundless immortal torn out its gain. Through eons pounding on this place has the agony been chiselled into its face.

February 14 Yuka Sato, athlete February 15 Matt Groening, cartoonist February 16 John McEnroe, athlete February 17 Denise Richards, actress

Newfoundland

Yet, these dark stones are just as strong, Because this mad struggles continued on. Here majestically the Bluff’s stand tall, boasting their will with a lonely call. Yes, here am I caught by foundering tide, on the cliff’s sharp slope and ragged side. By a timeless scene of Life’s mystery, and the invincible Spirit it’s given me. — Phil Earle, Carbonear


INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13-19, 2005 — PAGE 19

’Tis the season to plan a wedding and buy a dress. For the fashion conscious, the latest fad seems to be sand vases.

CLARE-MARIE GOSSE

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bride and groom-to-be could well get hysterical when faced with the mammoth task of planning a wedding. Not only is getting married these days a blow to the bank account, but the list of seemingly necessary to-dos would send the most organized person running into the arms of a wedding planner. Still, an average of 3,000 couples in Newfoundland and Labrador tie the knot every year and spend as much as $10,000 on the reception alone. In fact, so many people seem to want to get hitched, that industry professionals recommend booking everything at least a year in advance. Rhonda Angel is a bridal consultant at The Model Shop in downtown St. John’s. A look of incredulity crosses her face at the idea of purchasing a dress less than six months before a wedding. “Book a year ahead,” she tells The Independent. “It takes up to four months to get a wedding gown in, then you have to have time for the alterations …” The Model Shop’s bridal section caters to a high demand all year round. Angel and her colleague Annette Conway say there might be a lull around November, but as soon as January sales kick in, brides are out again in full force. “I wouldn’t even know where to start, it’s that many,” says Conway, trying to pin a number on the dresses the store sells annually. “In the January sale you’re selling hundreds. I would say close to 1,000 by the time the year is done.” Conway and Angel say the most popular style is a strapless A-line gown in either ivory or white and prices generally range from $99 (sale price) to $1,800. The average price is around $900. A couple planning a standard wedding these days needs to think of more than simply a church, food, a dress and a honeymoon. Amusing slide shows, gifts for the guests, games, disposable cameras, pillows for the rings and even vases of sand are trends that have become standard. “Almost every year you get different things,” says Everett Burden,

owner of Party and Wedding World in Mount Pearl. “A new thing this year is the pouring of the sand. There’s actually three vases and one has got white sand and one has got black sand and the bride and groom each pour the sand into the vase.” Burden is just the person to sort out wedding woes. Party and Wedding World will do as much or as little as any couple needs, from invitations to decorations, and carries a 200-page catalogue full of everything from garters to tiny little cake people. Burden’s been in the business almost 20 years and he says although many couples get married in the province and many return home especially for the occasion from the mainland, more and more people are opting for a sunny package deal. “A lot of people go to Dominican (Republic) to get married and then what they do is they go down there and get married and then they come back and then they have a reception after … it’s unreal how popular that is.” Burden says it’s a way of saving money, with a wedding and honeymoon combo and a cheap and cheerful party back home. A good option, given the lengthy guest-lists favoured at traditional weddings in recent years. “I think 100 would be fairly small,” says Burden. “There’s people coming in here having 250-300 people and when you get into that you’re talking

about a lot of money.” The standard sits between $5,000 and $10,000 for a reception, including decorations and music. Burden says most couples get a helping hand from their parents, and some, if they’ve had the foresight to plan ahead, might have managed to save up. A former widower, Burden even had some trouble booking his own reception when he remarried two summers ago. “When we went to look to try to get a place, we had so much difficulty. We managed to get a place for one day in August only. That was on a Friday. Other than that we would have had to wait for the spring.” One organized bride-to-be is Corina Prince. Back at The Model Shop, she browses the racks of satin and chiffon. It’s her first wedding-dress outing since getting engaged last July. “I’m very organized, sometimes a little too organized,” she says. Prince and her fiancé David Yetman already have their 225-guest reception booked for Oct. 15, at the Terra Nova Golf Resort in Bonavista Bay, and a church booked in Bunyan’s Cove, near the bride’s home town. Prince says they picked October — not because of a lack of summer availability — but for the fall colours. She envisions a simple, but elegant wedding, as well as a tasteful dress. Although she admits to having some worries about the cost, she says their parents are helping out financially — as well as artistically. “Dave’s dad is going to make us little (wooden) dories, so we’ll be putting those on the tables for the favours and inside there’ll be some saltwater taffy candies.” Sometimes amidst all the madness, it’s the little details that count. Photo Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

‘Just the beginning’ T

he changes we sought for so long to the Atlantic Accord have now been finalized and the rejoicing is fevered. The issue has been a contentious one for years; it’s been a long and arduous road. Our plight was finally heard and rectified by the prime minister and MP John Efford. Premier Danny Williams deserves all the accolades he has received for finally making it happen. It is imperative, however, that we all understand this is just the beginning. Tomorrow when the deal is inked, let’s not close the chapter on the issue, but open a door to all possibilities. Newfoundland and Labrador has a history of strength, tenacity, hard work and challenges. Like the old country, we have struggled financially. Ireland has finally turned the corner on its economic

SIOBHAN COADY

The bottom line struggles — thanks in large part to the assistance, policy decisions and encouragement of the European Union. Now, with the support of the federal government, Newfoundland and Labrador can make the same economic leap forward. Recent changes to the offshore oil revenue sharing deal are but one step in a long journey. We must now recognize — not only what needs to be done internally — but externally as well. What are the key priorities that need to be addressed with Ottawa in order to make that quantum leap?

One of the issues we must address is the federal government’s investment in the province — both in terms of people and the procurement of goods and services. The federal government contributes to the development and growth of the country, and provinces. Yet there’s disproportionate investment across the country. In this province, the number of federal civil servants, for example, is not growing at the same rate as elsewhere in the country. Between 1999 and 2002, federal government employment grew nationally by an average of 6.2 per cent. At the same time, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the smallest increase — 0.7 per cent. In some provinces, the level of federal employment is disproportionately high,

while in other provinces the relative number of federal government positions continues to fall. There is no Atlantic regional headquarters here in the province. Why not? There’s one in each of the Maritime provinces.

There is no Atlantic regional headquarters here in the province. Why not? There’s one in each of the Maritime provinces. Procurement — the purchase of goods and services — has also declined. According to the Centre for Spatial Economics in Ontario, federal spending

in Newfoundland and Labrador has declined as a share of spending throughout the country by 0.5 per cent over the last decade — the largest decline of any province. Imagine the spin off if we were to increase the level of federal public servants and the amount of goods and services purchased in the province. Perhaps our dependence on equalization would lessen as a result. Another must is an agreement for a north/south, east/west energy corridor to allow for the development of numerous energy initiatives — most importantly, the lower Churchill. There’s also the possibility the federal government could be a partner in the project. The return on investment in the Hibernia project Continued on page 20


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

20 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

Stamp of approval Manufactured Right Here campaign having definite, positive impact on sales By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent

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ewfoundland and Labrador is a proud province — business savvy, too. No better is that represented than by Manufactured Right Here, a promotional program aimed at stressing the importance of buying locally. The Newfoundland and Labrador division of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters came up with the trademark logo over 10 years ago to help educate people. Today, more than 100 products bear the stamp. “I don’t think there’s another provincial division that has its own trademark program like Manufactured Right Here,” vice-president Bill Steele tells The Independent. “It makes people aware of products that are manufactured here in the province. They can see something on the shelf that’s made here and it gives them the opportunity to choose whether they’re going to buy a product that’s made here or something that’s produced elsewhere.” Every year, almost 100 different member-companies like Purity, Brookfield and Labatt’s Brewery set up stands at a trade show for Manufactured Right Here. Last year over 13,000 people passed through over two days. Local companies don’t automatically qualify for the right to use the stamp. “Essentially you join our organization,” says Steele. “It’s available to any member of the Canadian Manufacturers

Marketing manager Rick Greenwood of Specialty Apparel.

and Exporters. There’s a bit of a misconception that it’s a public domain program — that any Newfoundland company can use it, but that’s false.” Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, a national organization representing companies across the country,

has a Made in Canada program. Steele says the focus on a local initiative, however, is important for both large and small companies. “A lot of our larger members like North Atlantic Petroleum, who use the logo, are more interested in the advoca-

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

cy activities we have. “For smaller companies we do a lot of work on a one-on-one basis, or with small groups of companies to help solve their particular issues.” Steele says research carried out a few years after the launch of Manufactured

Right Here, showed the circular stamps bearing the Newfoundland and Labrador flag were having a definite, positive impact on sales. He adds it might be about time to conduct some new consumer surveys. Although locally made food products can proudly bear the Newfoundland and Labrador stamp for supermarket shoppers to see when they’re browsing shelves, some companies incorporate the logo in a different way. Rick Greenwood is the marketing manager for Specialty Apparel, based in Mount Pearl. He says the clothing company — which specializes in outerwear and fleeces — finds Manufactured Right Here useful for decorating quotation forms, magazine ads or anything relevant to promotion — especially when they ship out of the province. “On a local level and (for) ex-patriots living away, I think the pride in seeing the Newfoundland symbol is important. “We sell throughout Canada and the States and a little bit overseas, but in the States they don’t really care about the symbol that much, unless I’m dealing with a Newfoundlander — then it’s a whole different story.” Greenwood says with the widespread use of the stamp and the popular annual trade show, word of the high quality of local products is spreading. “It’s pride in manufacturing in Newfoundland and Labrador. I think basically it proved that we can do anything anyone else can do.”

Debt relief only a small step for Africa CHIROMO, Malawi Reuters

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he African nation is $2.9 billion in debt but the cash that was borrowed hasn’t done Simao Aloni or his home village of Chiromo any good. Campaigners for debt relief argue that as a result, the people of dirt-poor Malawi shouldn’t be burdened with it. The Group of Seven wealthy nations

pledged recently to help to rid the world’s poorest countries of their weighty debt, launching a program that fell short of the immediate action demanded by Africa. The compromise deal pledged only that the G7 would look at cancelling up to 100 per cent of the debts owed to international institutions by the poorest countries on an individual basis. The misery of places like Chiromo highlight the urgency of the task but

also underscore a brutal fact: debt relief will be only one small step towards filling the chasm that exists between Africa and the rich world. “If people see electric lights here, it’s a novelty,” says Aloni as he washed dishes for his employer, a city businessman in Aloni’s home village of Chiromo on a camping trip. His meager wages in the commercial capital Blantyre help to support his family in Chiromo who, like almost everybody else here, eke out an existence from fishing or farming. Malawi’s accumulated foreign debt which is equal to about 154 per cent of its gross domestic product has certainly not been spent here. Once a bustling trading town across the Ruo River from neighbouring Mozambique, Chiromo has sunk into squalid poverty. The former police station is now a roofless shell. Inside, it is overgrown with a riot of wild vegetation. Roads that were once paved are now sand-tracks full of potholes. Villagers living in simple brick or mud huts on the river banks have no electricity. Most are clothed in rags. Hand-hewn wooden canoes are the main mode of transport. People who bathe or wash clothes in the river because they have no running

water run the risk of being eaten by crocodiles. These are scenes that can be repeated endlessly throughout the world’s poorest continent, where much of the money that has been borrowed — or simply thrown at governments as aid — has been squandered or stolen. HUGE GAP Despite decades of aid and borrowing, Africa has grown steadily poorer, the income gap between places like Chiromo and the rest of the world, steadily wider. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) says that subSaharan Africa’s per capita GDP — the economy’s annual output divided by the number of people — was $469 in 2002 compared with $22,987 for the affluent members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. According to the World Bank, in 2003, gross national income in Malawi, a sun-drenched and fertile land that is once again confronted with food shortages, was only $160. Malawi’s foreign debt is crippling and any relief would be welcome. But much more than that needs to be done. “The most powerful tool toward closing the disparities between Africa and the rest of the world is market

access. These countries must grow their export base,” says Robert Bunyi, Africa economist at South Africa’s Standard Bank. Boosting exports is easier said than done. Malawi’s government has made cotton and textiles the linchpin of its development plan as it attempts to diversify an economy heavily dependent on tobacco and sugar exports. The fact that it is pinning its hopes on a cotton-driven industrial revolution, over two centuries after Britain’s began, throws its state of underdevelopment into sharp relief. And the debt relief initiative coincides with an end to a curb on clothing imports from developing nations to rich countries which is expected to hit African textile producers hardest as they face stiff competition from Asia. American economist Jeffrey Sachs has recently argued that more — but well-targeted — aid is needed to pull Africa out of its “poverty trap.” Africa’s extreme poverty, he argues, has led to low savings rates. As a result, the level of capital is so small that it falls below the threshold needed to start modern production processes. In Chiromo, the people have nothing to save. And they are unable to pay off debts incurred over decades that were squandered elsewhere.

Resource protection may be main issue From page 19 should help the federal government realize the benefits of being in business in the province. We also need to address the transportation of goods and services. Much has been said about Marine Atlantic and I’m

sure the most recent panel will have a solid report. If we can’t have a free flow of goods and services then we’re doomed for failure. Ask any businessperson the challenges in exporting goods and you’ll hear a tale of woe. The Gulf service is part of the national highway system and it should be treated as such.

The federal government must also focus on the fishery. Policies that govern fish resources must meet the demands of the industry and market. We seem paralyzed in indecision and it’s time to make bold moves. The protection of the resource may be the No. 1 issue, but a strong second is the continuing improvement of the industry. We must also find ways to gain access to restricted markets. The 20 per cent tariff on Canadian-caught shrimp entering the European Union must be lifted in order for the province’s shrimp industry to grow. I’ve listed a number of critical policy areas that need discussion. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I haven’t even started on the military. It is but a mere indication of the number of policy areas we need to discuss with the federal government in order to advance the province. So when the prime minister is in , let’s take the opportunity to invite him to an open dialogue on the province. In discussions with him in the past, I know he’s sincere in helping Newfoundland and Labrador achieve success. The bottom line is we need to have a constructive dialogue on how the federal government can work with us to improve our economy. Siobhan Coady has numerous business interests in the fishery and biotechnology. She’s a past chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, representing over 170,000 businesses on federal issues, and has been named a top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada. Siobhan’s column appears every second week.


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 21

‘Balls guts’ and

If you think drilling oil on the Grand Banks is easy, try getting the estimated five trillion cubic feet of natural gas to market. Husky Energy is on the case.

Ruud Zoon

By Jeff Ducharme The Independent

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atural gas may be the next financial boon on Newfoundland and Labrador’s horizon, but Husky Energy must first pioneer a way to safely get it to market. Along with the oil that’s been discovered beneath the Grand Banks is a large natural gas reserve. “That second rig that we’re hopefully going to bring in is going to find out how big the gas is, because from that we can then determine what the best way (is) for this to develop,” says Ruud Zoon, Husky’s general manager of east coast development. Husky is currently drilling the White Rose field on the Grand Banks in anticipation of the completion of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), which is being fitted out in Marystown by Kiewit Offshore Services. The SeaRose, a state-of-the-art vessel, is expected to be launched this summer, with first oil pumped from pre-drilled holes shortly after. While the White Rose project may only pump oil for 15 years, natural gas could extend the life of the field a decade or more. “The problem with gas is the transport,” Zoon tells The Independent. “You can have a lot of gas, but if you don’t have an economic way to transport the gas to shore or to the market, the economics get affected.” Transporting oil is far less complex — wells are drilled, oil is pumped out of the ground, and then transferred to a tanker that transports it to shore. ICEBERGS A THREAT Husky is examining the use of pipelines, but icebergs pose a serious threat as they scour across the ocean floor, making an environmental nightmare a real possibility. “It’s very difficult to protect pipelines from icebergs scouring, plus you’re looking at very long distances. You’re looking at thousands of kilometres.” Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a

Paul Daly photos/The Independent

technology waiting in the wings, but the technology needs to be developed and perfected. The practice would compress the gas, enabling it to then be loaded on tankers. “The problem with CNG is that nobody has applied that technology successfully,” says Zoon. “We think it can work, but we don’t necessarily know how expensive it is, how many tankers we need, what the schedules

“We’re spending two and a half billion dollars before the first drop of oil comes to the surface, before the first barrel of oil.” Ruud Zoon going to be like.” Husky currently has a number of “pre-engineering” studies underway looking at whether the technology is even feasible for the estimated five trillion cubic feet of natural gas that’s known to exist in the White Rose, Hibernia and Terra Nova fields. The price of natural gas has risen 18 per cent over the 2003 average price. In 2004, 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas cost an average of $6.27 US. Husky estimates the natural gas potential of White Rose at more than 450 million cubic feet a day. Until a decision is made on the commercial viability of bringing the gas to market, Husky will use the gas for such things as fueling the production facility. While Husky may profit if the technology ever makes it to the production stage, contractors will be responsible for determining the feasibility of using compressed natural gas. Looking at only oil, Zoon expects Husky to be on the Grand Banks for 12 to 15 years. “... but then that depends on the oil price, it depends on operating costs, it depends on the fiscal system here,” says Zoon.

“But it’s important to say, though, that that is only the amount of oil we’ve discovered to date ... we’re going to bring in another rig, we’re going to drill more wells, hopefully find more oil and our expectation is we’re going to find more oil.” Zoon points to a field in the North Sea that he headed. Production there had begun in 1975, with an anticipated life of 15 years. That field has now been in play for 30 years and they expect another 20 years of production before it’s tapped. “I’m not saying that is going to happen in White Rose, but our current estimate of 12 to 15 years is on the conservative side and I would expect that to turn into 20 to 30 with the additional oil that we might find, with the gas development, new technology applied.” If Husky does find more oil, at least another five years could be added to the life of their oil play here. “... and then it’s a gas development that takes place and then you talk about 20 to 30 years and maybe beyond.” Technology — how much oil can be extracted and at what per barrel cost — and the price of oil will all be part of the equation. Oil is currently flirting with the $50 US mark. Industry experts don’t see oil bottoming anytime soon, but the profit windfall of 2004 isn’t expected to repeat in 2005 and prices are expected to decline. The Canadian Oil and gas industry raked in more than $22 billion in profits in 2004. In 1997, Hibernia reserves were estimated at 615 million barrels of oil. Those estimates are now pegged at 940 million barrels. White Rose is considerably smaller and is expected to yield 200-250 million barrels of oil over the field’s life. Zoon says the east coast is “a core area” for Husky and makes up 20 per cent of the company’s production. “It’s a very significant place for us to be,” says Zoon. “In the global scheme of things, it is significant. If you take Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose, you’re looking at half a million barrels a day.” If Hebron comes online, that could

BUSINESS IN BRIEF US curbs class action suits WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate has approved a bill that was sought by business to curb class-action lawsuits and is part of President George W. Bush’s drive to overhaul the civil justice system. The bill would shift most class action suits from state to federal courts, historically less friendly toward such cases. Advocates said the measure would reduce lawyers’ forum-shopping for state courts with track records of big settlements. Opponents, including consumer, environmental and civil rights groups, fear overburdened federal courts will not take many of the class action cases, making it harder to hold big companies accountable for their products and

actions. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill this week and send it to Bush for signing into law. Bush praised lawmakers for moving to rein in “junk lawsuits” he says are hurting business. — Reuters

Trump TV movie LOS ANGELES Hoping to cash in on the fame of a rival network star, ABC has approved plans for a television movie about New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who hosts NBC’s hit reality show The Apprentice. Now all ABC needs is an actor with a lot of attitude and a loud voice. Combed-over hair would be a plus. No air date has been set for the as-yet

untitled film, but casting will start immediately, and the movie could begin shooting as early as next month, ABC executives said. Although celebrity biographies can be commonplace subjects on primetime TV, it is rare for one network to enlist the star power of a competitor’s existing talent roster in a bid to boost its own ratings. Trump himself is not cooperating with the project. Instead, ABC has acquired rights to Gwenda Blair’s 2001 book, The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire, which will serve as source material for the movie. ABC said the film will cover the past 25 years of Trump’s roller-coaster business career and personal life, which has long been fodder for tabloid headlines chronicling his casino deals and relationships with supermodels. — Reuters

add another 100,000 barrels a day to the production total. Oil reserves on the Grand Banks and in waters off the coast of Newfoundland have been known for decades, but the environment is one of the most hostile in the world when it comes to production. Vicious winter storms and beautiful, but deadly icebergs make production dangerous and costly. Hibernia was forced to build the massive concrete Gravity Based Structure at the staggering cost of $5.8 billion to protect against icebergs. HALF THE COST Using the FPSO technology, which can disconnect and move out of harm’s way, the White Rose project is less than half the cost of Hibernia. But the cost of developing and then producing oil on the Grand Banks remains high. “We’re spending two and a half billion dollars before the first drop of oil comes to the surface, before the first barrel of oil,” says Zoon. “So it takes a lot of balls and guts to spend some

money here because it’s expensive.” When White Rose is in full production, Husky estimates the cost of producing each barrel of oil at $3.30. Over the life of the project, royalties to the provincial government are expected to reach $450 million, with $336 million in corporate and personal taxes. With high development and production costs, Zoon says the deal oil and gas companies strike with the Newfoundland and Labrador government isn’t the sweetest in the industry, but he admits that the deal they strike with the province is “very critical” when companies decide where they are going to drill. “If I compare the fiscal regime here to other places I’ve worked, it’s certainly not a sweetheart deal,” says Zoon. After 30 years of oil production in the United Kingdom, companies face no royalties and only a 32 per cent taxation level. “Here we’ve got our taxation, which is a lot higher than 30 per cent, plus we’ve got royalties.”


22 • INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION

FEBRUARY 13, 2005


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION • 23


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

24 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

EVENTS

A codfish reaches for food on the surface at an aquaculture cod farm in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland. With the demise of the northern cod fishery aquaculture is seen by many as a way to preserve the species and continue the cod fishery. Greg Locke/Picturedesk International

Fish farming the next revolution

Question is, what’s the industry’s explosive growth doing to the environment? By Juliet Eilperin Washington Post

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board the Aqua Leader, the harvesters had been hard at work since 8 a.m. in the evergreenlined cove off New Brunswick’s Lime Kiln Bay. A humming vacuum hose was sucking silvery 10-pound salmon from their watery pens — giant plastic cages measuring 230 feet around with 42-foot-deep nylon nets underneath — and depositing the flapping fish onto a metal slide. There a punch machine rapidly stunned and killed them before workers slashed their gills to bleed them before dumping them into the hold of the 65foot-long ship. In four hours, they collected more than 5,000 fish to be transported to a nearby processing plant and then shipped to Boston restaurants the next day. Cooke Aquaculture Inc., the Canadian company that raises and processes the fish in Reserve Cove, is a major player in what has become the next agricultural revolution: fish farming. The sector’s explosive growth is being hailed by many policymakers and entrepreneurs as a source of jobs and a way to satisfy the world’s growing demand for protein, but environmentalists warn that aquaculture facilities also threaten to cause ecological damage by releasing nutrients and domestically bred fish and chemicals into the seas. Observers on both sides agree, however, that fish farming could transform the way Americans eat — and, to some extent, work and live — in the next two decades, and ultimately replace the last commercial food-gathering system based on hunting wild animals. The George W. Bush administration has vowed to quintuple the yield of aquaculture — the fastest-growing sector of U.S. agriculture, with $1 billion in annual sales — by 2025. That same year, forecasts say, half the fish consumed worldwide will be farmraised instead of wild-caught. The government hopes that fish farming will erase the country’s $8 billion seafood trade deficit: with $11 billion in imports in 2003, fish is second only to oil among imported natural resources.

“We have to keep looking for a good supply of healthy seafood for U.S. citizens,” said William Hogarth, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s assistant administrator for fisheries. “Aquaculture is extremely controversial, there’s no question about it. (But) the time has come for us as a country to have this open dialogue.” The recent push to boost fish farming, which has been practiced for thousands of years but took off commercially only in the 1980s, is driven by several factors. The United States and other nations are demanding more seafood: by 2025, the U.S. market will need 2.2 million tonnes more seafood than it now produces. Meanwhile, the total global catch of wild fish has levelled off at just under 100 million tonnes. BURGEONING DEMAND Many nations, including China, Japan, Norway and Canada, have started farming fish to meet the burgeoning demand. China leads the world, with as much as 70 per cent of the world’s aquaculture production; by comparison, the 4,000 U.S. fish farms produce one to two per cent. New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture processes 100,000 pounds of fish every day, seven days a week, and can ship it to anywhere in the United States within 24 hours. “Nobody can get it from the water to the plate like we can,” boasted Nell Halse, the company’s spokeswoman. Salmon farming has brought jobs to once-struggling areas, such as New Brunswick’s Charlotte County, where it now employs a quarter of the local workforce. But environmentalists say the aquaculture boom is masking problems with the world’s fisheries and wreaking new ecological damage. Gerry Leape, vice president for marine conservation at the Washingtonbased National Environmental Trust, said U.S. officials see that “the oceans are in crisis, and what’s their response? To allow the enormous expansion of this industry that’s proven to have a negative environmental impact.” Much of the controversy has focused

on the fish feces and excess food that build up beneath the floating net pens and can form bacteria mats on the sea floor that harm marine life. Many scientists say these problems can be reversed by rotating the pens and allowing some to lie fallow, and most growers now use closer monitoring to reduce excess feeding. But salmon waste off the British Columbia coast still releases as much excess nitrogen as sewage from a city of 250,000, according to some estimates. Many commercial fishermen are more worried about two other factors: the spread of disease that comes when animals are crowded together and the use of chemicals to combat these illnesses. In Maine, Canada and elsewhere, farmed fish have passed sea lice, which eat salmon flesh, to their wild counterparts. Infectious salmon anemia, a lethal disease first discovered in Norway in 1984, has spread globally, prompting one Maine fish farm to kill more than 1.5 million fish in 2002 to try to contain the infection. Escaped salmon, which compete for natural resources with other fish and can sometimes interbreed with their wild counterparts, pose another risk. Fred Whoriskey, head of research staff at the Atlantic Salmon Federation and works on saving the few thousand wild salmon that still live in North American waters, found more than eight times as many escaped fish-farm salmon as wild salmon in New Brunswick’s Magaguadavic River last year. Mitchell Shapson, a lawyer at the San Francisco-based Institute for Fisheries Resources who represents wild-catch fishermen, says his clients resent aquaculture’s impact on their hunting grounds. “If you destroy the environment and you destroy the wild fish, there won’t be anything left to fish,” he says. Fish growers say they have made progress on several fronts: according to industry officials, the number of escaped Atlantic salmon in B.C. dropped from 89,000 in 1998 to 2,500 last year. This article first appeared in the Washington Post. Reprinted by The Independent by permission.

FEBRUARY 13 • St. John’s Choir Valentine’s Dessert and Tea, Wesley United Church, Patrick St., 2-4 p.m., $10, 754-0379. • Ron Hynes, Evening of Love Songs, LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria St., 8 p.m., $20, 753-4531. • Chicago, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, $28 ($23 student/senior), 7295243.

FEBRUARY 20 • Concert Under The Dome. The choirs, orchestra and bands of Holy Heart high school, 3 p.m. Cochrane St. United Church, $10 ($7 student/senior). • Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7 p.m., $24.00 ($22.00 student/senior), 729-5243.

FEBRUARY 14 • Open mic. with Jim Bellows, Fat Cat Blues and Jazz Bar, George St., 10 p.m., 739-5554.

IN THE GALLERIES • Landscape New Perspectives, RCA Gallery, LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria St., until March 8. Emerging artists Corey Gorman and Michael Connolly combine their talent celebrating landscape and nature, painted from photos from storm documentaries. Oil and water on aluminum, copper zinc and glass. Tues-Fri, 10-5 p.m. Weekends 2-5 p.m. 753-4531. • Emerging Artists Show of the Year, Leyton Gallery, Clift Baird’s Cove until Feb. 28. Margaret Best, Christine Blackwood, Kathy Browning, Mike Connolly, Tia Connolly, Kym Greeley, Elaine Krueger, Libby Moore, Genevieve Parsons, Pia Pehtla, Margaret Ryall, Eleanor Wells. 722-7177. • Art Exhibit, Rounding Error, Eastern Edge Gallery, 72, Harbour Dr. until Feb. 19. A series of three video and sound compilations. A selection of works from the last 3 years of commissioned and curated projects chosen in relation to transient architectures with narratives of escape technologies, urban paranoia and mobile structures. Tues.–Sat., 125 p.m. 739-1882. • Healing Garden Exhibition, Craft Council, Devon House, 59 Duckworth St., until Feb. 25. A group exhibition that uses a variety of media to describe and explore the multiphrenic metaphor of a physic garden, a secluded, healing, contemplative space. 753-2749 • Playing Dress Up Exhibition, Craft Council, Devon House, 59 Duckworth St. Until Feb. 25. An exhibition of artist books, paperbased toys and origami pieces by Lori Doody that explores, through printmaking, the theme of the artist’s childhood interest in clothing. 7532749.

FEBRUARY 15 • Chicago, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, $28 ($23 student/senior), 7295243. FEBRUARY 17 • Debut Atlantic presents A Trio of Talent, MUN School of Music, DF Cook Recital Hall, Peter McGillivray, Christianne Rushton, Robert Kortgaard, $18 ($15 Student/Seniors). • Stereotype CD Release Party, Club One, George St., with special guest Copperfield. Showtime 9-12 p.m. $10 ($5 with CD purchase) 753-7877. • CBC Radio Noon presents a Canada Reads Book Fair, The Fluvarium, Nagle’s Place, Pippy Park, 7:30-9:30 p.m. FEBRUARY 18 • NSO – Surprise! Surprise! St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 8 p.m., $15-$31. • Small Worlds Sharing Friendship Multicultural Arts, Bishop Field elementary school until Feb. 18. A series of creativity workshops for children and parents, designed to raise awareness of peace through the arts. Fridays, 3- 4:30 p.m. $40 per person for 5 weeks. FEBRUARY 19 • Ed Kavanagh and Friends in Concert, Gower St. United Church. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $8 from Auntie Crae’s, O’Brien’s Music Store, and Fred’s Records. Tickets at the door $10. • Scott Tournament of Hearts, Curling, Mile One Stadium, Feb.1927, 576-7657.

HARPIN’

Harpist Ed Kavanagh — who has already sold out two pressings of his recently-released CD Weaving the Wind — will be performing Feb. 19 in the Gower Street United Church Hall in St. John’s. Dave Panting, Christina Smith and Dan Rubin will join Kavanagh for this, the first in a series of evening acoustic concerts presented by Second Stage arts management. The show begins at 8 p.m. Paul Daly/The Independent


INDEPENDENTSPORTS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13-19, 2005 — PAGE 25

Paddy Daly sits in an empty dressing room at Brother O’Hehir rink in St. John’s.

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Gong show of a league’ Coach of former Outer Cove Celtics predicts demise of Newfoundland senior hockey By Darcy MacRae For The Independent

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he Outer Cove Celtics may be finished playing hockey this season, but their head coach hopes their folding will teach the rest of the province a lesson. Paddy Daly guided the Celtics to a frustrating 2-16 win/lost record before the team folded on Feb. 7. He said the team was having trouble coming up with its league fees, but their desperate season provided much of the incentive to close up shop. The only positive Daly can take from the situation is that he hopes it sends a message to the other senior hockey clubs — especially those in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League. “The Avalon East is a farce of a league,” Daly tells The Independent. “It’s a twotiered league between the haves and the

have-nots. Southern Shore and Harbour Grace are very much the haves and a lot of that is because they were able to entice players because they have deep pockets. They say they don’t play players, but that’s bull.” Daly says the league’s top two clubs — Southern Shore Breakers and Conception Bay North Cee Bee Stars (who play out of Harbour Grace) — have too much influence on decisions that affect all five of the senior circuit’s member teams. DEFUNCT FLYERS He uses last fall’s dispersal draft of players from the defunct Flatrock Flyers as an example of what’s wrong with the league. The Celtics selected four players from Flatrock, but were only able to sign one. Like other clubs that drafted former Flyers, the Celtics were forced to sit and watch many of the draft choices hold out until

the Avalon East League is the fact that several of the Avalon region’s top hockey players jump on a plane every weekend to play in the West Coast Senior Hockey League. Weather it be with the Corner Brook Royals, Deer Lake Red Wings or Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, players are leaving in droves for more than the love of the game. “This three-team gong show of a league entices the cream of the crop from the east coast with money to go out there and play — much to the detriment of our league,” Daly says. Cataracts general manager Paul Glavine says teams in the West Coast League bring in players each year to plug holes in their lineups. He says players are willing to travel such distances because they enjoy playing in front of passionate fans. “I’ve been to several Avalon East games after Jan. 10, when, according to a league and in the St. John’s area there are usually rule, they could sign with any Avalon East only 40-50 people at the games. They have team they wished. very little fans, while on the west coast there The rule is not only in place for dispersal are 700 to 2,000 people at each and every drafts, but for any player whose rights are game,” says Glavine. “It’s the big game in owned by an Avalon East town, while in St. John’s the senior club he does not wish big game is the Leafs this to play for. “Who is going to year and probably the Fog Daly says the players have Devils next season. I know watch Harbour figured out that if they sit out the players prefer playing in a few months, they can play of 1,000 fans instead of Grace pound the front wherever they want. He says in an empty arena.” that makes for a disastrous Daly doesn’t argue that Celtics 12-1?” situation. west coast clubs draw more “The players you took didfans than those in the Avalon Paddy Daly n’t have to play for you if East League, but he has his they didn’t want to,” Daly own theory as to why fans in says. “They had to simply wait for Jan. 10 St. John’s ignore the Celtics (who called the and go play wherever they saw fit. It puts all O’Hehir Arena home) and the Torbay the power in the players’ hands. The Steelers (who played out of Feildian patients are running the asylum now.” Continued on page 26 Combined with the problems that exist in

‘A time of national mourning’ Lower the flags, wear black arm bands — the NHL season is done

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y now, it’s probably over. The National Hockey League lockout has gone from an ever-sofaint glimmer of hope to an officially lost season. There should be a few gulps, a couple of pauses and slumping at the shoulders while coming to grips with that statement, but most people I talk to are past the point of caring. Yawn. Yeah, whatever. And that’s scary. For both sides, having such apathy from the fans’ perspective is downright sacrilegious when you think about it. I mean, this is Canada. I’d bet a large sum of sports fans in

BOB WHITE

Bob the bayman some NHL cities in the U.S. are not even aware — let alone care — about the NHL quagmire. But, in the Great White North, this should be a time of national mourning. Lower the flags. Do something! Alas, a shrug of the shoulders and we’re on to the next thing. We’ve entered a no-man’s land of uncertainty. The only thing we can

know for sure is that both sides — players and owners — have lost. Some would say fans have lost the most, and that’s probably true. But if players and owners don’t get this thing fixed before next season gets chopped, the loss won’t seem that severe because fans will have moved on and learned to live without NHL hockey. Time will do its healing, and repairs can be made to the damaged psyche of our once strong, now fragile hockey followers. Time can also shroud our memories in a cloak of painful recollection. We’ll bury our former passionate feelings for the coolest game on ice, probably

because we don’t want to get burned again. As fans, all we wanted was for them to play hockey. Just play. We’ll watch. To the average fan, the integrity of that simple equation was compromised by the oldest of all evils — greed. I’m not saying both sides started from the beginning with an eye to making the most money possible. I am saying that somehow, somewhere, the NHL tried to become something it wasn’t supposed to be. You could make a link between the NHL and some Internet startup businesses that tried for too much and then self-destructed. In general terms, what

happened to some companies in the dot.com-world was they never expected the bottom to fall out so quickly, or they never anticipated financial stagnation when they began expansion. What has transpired in the NHL wasn’t a sudden development. Rather, it was a gradual, methodical plan to try and enjoy a level of wealth similar to other major North American sports. I’m sure the NHL powers-that-be did not predict their attempt at securing big TV money from the American networks was going to fail. But it did, and without that money, the NHL can’t Continued on page 26


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

26 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS By Darcy MacRae For The Independent

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an White has heard it all before. Since he was a teenager playing hockey in his hometown of Steinbach, Man., he has been told he’s too small to make it as an NHL defenceman. Despite the skepticism, White has excelled at every level and has, at times this season, been the St. John’s Maple Leafs most consistent defender. “If my size hurt me, I wouldn’t know how it did because I don’t know what it’s like to be bigger,” White tells The Independent. “I’ve been hearing that since I was 13 or 14, but it certainly hasn’t stopped me from getting to this level and so far I’ve succeeded fairly well. It basically goes in one ear and out the other.” Standing 5’9 and weighing 180 pounds, White is by no means a small man. But in the world of professional hockey, where any player under six feet faces questions about his size, his ability to compete with taller and heavier opponents will always be debated. Whether it’s laying the body or controlling bigger forwards in front of the net, White’s capabilities versus bigger men are always under a microscope. But if his performance in the Baby Buds’ 4-3 shootout win over the Rochester Americans on Feb. 9 was any indication, it appears White has found ways around his lack of size. With the Americans pouring it on offensively mid-way through the second period, White battled Rochester captain Chris Taylor for position in front of St. John’s goalie Jean-Francois Racine. A point shot found its way on goal through a series of legs and sticks, with the rebound bouncing behind Racine and to his right, leaving the 6’1, 200-pound Taylor with an unoccupied net to slide the puck in. But before Taylor had the chance to bulge the twine, White muscled his way in front of him and lifted the Rochester forward’s stick with his own, redirecting the puck behind the net and out of harm’s way. White’s ability to control a bigger player impressed the 3,000 fans in attendance, as well as his defence partner and Baby Leafs’ captain Marc Moro. “He’s been absolutely outstanding,” says Moro. “Sometimes with guys who were known more for their offence, their defensive abilities get overlooked. But with a plus/minus like Ian has (White leads the team at plus 15), it’s obvious he’s getting the job done.” White came to St. John’s late last sea-

Little big man

First-year pro Ian White may be 5’9 and 180 pounds, but he’s a growing force with the St. John’s Maple Leafs

Despite being told he’d never make it as a defenceman in the NHL, Ian White has proven otherwise.

son after completing his fourth year with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. He compiled 222 points in 246 career games as a Bronco, establishing himself along the way as one of the premiere offensive defensemen in all of Canadian junior hockey. White showcased the skills that made him a junior star during the Feb. 9 win, connecting with teammates on several long-range passes and scoring his fourth goal of the season early in the second period. White’s marker did not result from his powerful point shot. Instead, it came about as a result of his offensive instincts. After Leafs’ centre Kyle Wellwood dropped a pass back to White off a faceoff in the Americans’ zone, White glided along the blueline to his

SPORTS IN BRIEF Michael Jordan wants to own NBA team

Your Name Here: Boston arena naming rights on eBay

RALEIGH, North Carolina Michael Jordan wants to own an NBA team. “I’m being patient, waiting for the right situation,” Jordan told The New York Times. “Basketball is still my passion. If the right situation comes up, it will happen.”

BOSTON, Mass New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena is giving publicity hounds a chance to stamp their name on the facility for a day. Bidding opened recently on online auction site eBay for single-day naming rights to Boston’s Fleet Center, home to the Boston Celtics basketball and Boston Bruins hockey teams.

Maris’s son seeks probe into Canseco drugs claims RALEIGH, North Carolina Former home-run king Roger Maris’s son wants baseball authorities to investigate accusations by former slugger Jose Canseco that he used performance-enhancing drugs with some of the sport’s top players, including Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi. “Whatever decision Major League Baseball makes about this, the Maris family will stand by it,” Kevin Maris told the New York Daily News as he called for an investigation of accusations Canseco makes in a book to be published soon.

IOC chiefs vote to expel vice-president Kim TURIN, Italy Olympic chiefs called this week on their fellow International Olympic Committee members to throw vicepresident Kim Un-yong out of the organization. The decision-making executive board agreed with the ethics commission’s report that the 74-year-old, jailed in his homeland on corruption charges, had “seriously tarnished the reputation of the Olympic movement.” — Briefs by Reuters

left before stopping just inches from the left side boards. He initially contemplated unleashing a slap shop on goal, but upon seeing the legions of bodies just a few feet in front of him, decided to float a high wrist shot toward the net. With a heavy screen set, the puck drifted past Rochester goalie Ryan Miller and into the top right-hand corner to give St. John’s a 2-0 lead. OFFENSIVE FLAIR That type of offensive flair was expected of White this year, and he has delivered in spurts. But overall, his offensive numbers are down compared to his junior days. Despite the drop in offensive production, White’s confidence in his abilities to lead the rush has not faltered. He

Paul Daly/The Independent

insists that as he matures as a player, the points will come. “Getting points is a little tougher here (in the AHL), but down the road when I get a little more comfortable I’ll probably take some more chances,” he says. “The offence will take care of itself.” White’s smooth passes, laser-beam shot and ability to quarterback the power play made him an attractive prospect in junior, and helped him win a spot alongside Moro on the Leafs’ top defensive pairing this year. The duo has performed well together, often matching up against other clubs’ top lines. The task has helped White develop his game but has also offered a number of challenges. For starters, White has little room for error when the likes of Manitoba’s Jason King or

Rochester’s Derek Roy are bearing down on him with visions of goals dancing in their heads. He either stops them, or watches them get a quality shot on net. Such a job can be nerve wracking for a first-year pro, but according to his defence partner, the 20-year-old White is handling it exceptionally well. “I don’t look at him as a first-year pro,” Moro says. “The ability is there and he’s so confident in his game. I’m very comfortable playing with him.” Being comfortable in the St. John’s locker room certainly wasn’t a problem for White this year. Former Swift Current teammates Ben Ondrus and Jeremy Williams are also on the Baby Buds, as well as four members of the Canadian National Junior Team White won a silver medal with at the 2003 World’s in Halifax. Kyle Wellwood, Matt Stajan, Brandon Bell and Carlo Colaiacovo joined White on the team that fell to Russia in the tournament final, and the five players still enjoy talking about the experience today. “The World Juniors was one of the most memorable experiences for all of us,” White says. “We can always look back and reflect on that. We became friends, so it definitely made coming here a bit easier.” As close as the five friends are, White knows that someday he’ll be in a heavy competition with Colaiacovo and Bell for a spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ blueline. The three are similar in age (Bell and Colaiacovo are 21) and skill level, leaving many to believe they could be the future of the Leafs defence in seasons to come. But just who will break through first and secure a spot in the NHL is sure to be debated by fans in St. John’s and Toronto. “We all realize it will probably be the case some day, but we all get along on and off the ice,” White says. “We support each other and help each other become better players. But that competitiveness keeps you at your highest level all the time.” Darcy_8888@hotmail.com

‘It would spell the end for our team’ From page 25 Gardens). “Who is going to watch Harbour Grace pound the Celtics 12-1?” asks the Celtics’ coach. Daly would like to see Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador introduce a rule that forbids east coast players from travelling to the west coast to play senior hockey when there is a game for them in their own back yards. But if such a rule came into play, he says teams like the Cataracts and Red Wings could be forced to fold. “It would spell the end for our team. We’d be back to having five teams on the Avalon Peninsula and no teams elsewhere,” says Glavine. “It’s a little

tougher to maintain a core of hockey players out here. A lot of the better ones are away either for school or work. That leaves us with a lot of holes in our roster, that’s basically been to the tune of five or six players a year from St. John’s.” Not surprisingly, Daly thinks differently. “Then don’t have a team,” says Daly. “Don’t have a league and don’t pay players to make your little three-team circus better and make our league worse.” Between the problems that exist in the Avalon East League and the annual parade of talented players to the west coast (often for what is suspected to be a lot more than gas money and hockey

sticks), Daly doesn’t see a bright future for senior hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. “This will be the last year of the Avalon East Senior League in its current form. If this is how they go at it next year, I predict they won’t get through the season,” says Daly. “All the people who think they’re doing the right thing by supplying their clubs with lots of money and enticing average players with enormous sums of money and free equipment and flying them around the island, they’re the ones who will be directly responsible for the ultimate demise of senior hockey in this province.” Darcy_8888@hotmail.com

Successful teams still losing money From page 25 afford to be what it is. Or what it would be if there wasn’t a cancelled season. From the Avalon East senior hockey league to the Southwest conference of the NHL, teams are built towards achieving one, straightforward goal — winning. In the NHL, more wins should mean

more money for players and owners. But that’s not necessarily the case — at least not anymore. The money coming in just doesn’t amount to the money going out. Successful teams — at least those that win more than they lose on the ice — are still losing money. The league is broken; it needs to be fixed. In the Avalon East, teams try to

attract the best players with the goal of winning their version of Stanley’s mug — the Herder. Whether individual players are getting paid to play, or are offered various “incentives” to lace ’em up, is open to debate. Regardless, just like the NHL, there are serious problems with parity when one or two teams manage to “attract” the better players. The most talented teams usually have more financial success, because fans show up to watch them win. Take the Cee Bees, for example. Prior to this season, when the team had a major overhaul and a significant infusion of talent, the Conception Bay team didn’t win much, and many fans didn’t show up. In a perfect world, a healthy senior hockey circuit would see each team with an equal amount of talent. Drop the puck and go from there. A level playing field is pretty hard to come by, though. The NHL wants to create parity, and has made some steps to that end. But other steps taken in the past have gotten in the way. Any new steps that need to be taken will have to be mindful of not treading on the shards of a shattered league. The owners and league officials made the mistake. The players are counting the cost of that mistake. The fans — the game itself really — are paying the price. Bob White writes from Carbonear. whitebobby@yahoo.com


FEBRUARY 13, 2005

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 27

Alpine skier Bode Miller, the reluctant hero ketable racer capable of attracting the crowds from north America to lpine skiing badly needed a Norway. Tomba’s status is demonstrated charismatic champion and in American Bode Miller the whenever he returns to a race as a sport has found a man who can appeal commentator or sponsor’s frontman — he is surrounded by autograph-hunters beyond the ranks of enthusiasts. Miller has dominated men’s events and people desperate to have their at the world championships, winning photo taken with the former Olympic gold in super-G and downhill and even champion. Tomba grinned capturing the spotlight when asked about in defeat. “You have to be on top Miller’s one-ski perHis attempt to comand offbeat plete the Stelvio and then you can talk. formance approach. course on one leg after “When I was kissing losing a ski during the The public like Bode — the snow and jumping combined race will be either he wins or he around in my underbetter remembered wear I was winning,” than many of the techfalls over. He isn’t Tomba says. nically perfect win“You have to be on ning runs in the Italian interested in finishing top and then you can resort. second or third.” talk. The public like The crowd lapped Bode — either he wins up Miller the showAlberto Tomba or he falls over. He man even if head isn’t interested in fincoach Phil McNichol was less impressed by the showboat- ishing second or third.” The public do indeed like Bode but ing that risked serious injury. The one-ski exhibition was typical the problem is that Miller doesn’t Miller — doing what comes naturally always enjoy the attention. After his sizzling start to the season, without worrying about the consewhen he scored six wins including a quences. When on the World Cup tour in triumph in each discipline, he says he’s Europe, Miller, who was brought up in considered quitting the sport. “The interviews with the media and a cabin without electricity, lives in a camper van dubbed “the Bodemobile” the stuff with the fans border on harassment,” he says. rather than in the team hotel. “At the end of the day that’s not Asked recently by a journalist how much energy he needs to compete in something I want to subject myself to, all the sport’s disciplines, Miller’s if I can help it. Whenever I quit, that’s deadpan reply was: “47. I need 47 probably what will make me stop, not failing athletic ability.” energy.” Yet it was only two years ago that Rather than basking in his success at these championships he talked in a Miller won a giant slalom at Alta newspaper column about quitting, or Badia wearing a helmet emblazoned taking a year out, or forming his own “For Rent” due to the absence of a sponsor. team, or even his own rival tour. The sponsor he found was an Italian “You just don’t always know what you’re dealing with or what his atti- pasta company and not an American tude is going to be on any day,” coach hamburger firm, demonstrating vividly that Miller lives in two very differMcNichol says. It is this willingness to break con- ent worlds. In Austria a tabloid newspaper ventions that makes the 27-year-old from New Hampshire stand out on the splashed a photo of his Austrian girlfriend on the front page. Italy’s circuit. Austria’s Hermann Maier, whose Gazzetta dello Sport provided details gold in this past week’s giant slalom of his drinking after his super-G gold. completed a remarkable return from a Everywhere on the circuit he is the career-threatening motorcycle injury, centre of attention. But Miller could walk down a busy is a man who demands and merits the street in New York City without turnrespect of all in the sport. While Maier appears on talkshows ing a head and the impression is that is and magazine covers in Austria where how he likes it. If his success continues at the he is the country’s No. 1 sportsman, his Winter Olympics in Turin next year, international appeal has been limited. Not since Italian Alberto Tomba has such anonymity might prove a shortskiing had an internationally mar- lived luxury. BORMIO, Italy

A

Derm Dobbin at a press conference in St. John’s.

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

‘Sad day’ for hockey Fog Devils’ season over before puck drops; Dobbin and city failed to reach deal

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he feuding between Fog Devils’ owner Derm Dobbin and St. John’s Sports and Entertainment — the City of St. John’s group that runs Mile One — is sending hockey to the penalty box, at least for the upcoming season. Dobbin, and his brother Craig, won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise earlier this year, beating out the city group headed by Councillor Keith Coombs. The Q, as the league is known, had set a deadline of Feb. 10 to ink a deal on the lease of Mile One. The deadline came and went, and now next season is done. “This is a sad day for hockey fans in the province,” Dobbin told reporters at a Feb. 11 news conference. “The Fog Devils will not be lacing

up their skates this fall.” Both sides have taken verbal slap shots at each other. St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells called the Feb. 10 deadline “a fraud” designed to pressure the city into giving Dobbin a better deal. OPPOSITE ENDS Both sides have found themselves at opposite ends of the ice, with Coombs maintaining that Dobbin wants the city to subsidize the rental of Mile One. On the other side of the red line, Dobbin says Coombs and the city expect the Devils to subsidize Mile One’s yearround operations. “I do not, and have never asked for, one cent of subsidies from the city,” says Dobbin. “I am prepared to pay more, much more than fair value for 35 nights of hockey.”

Dobbin says he was prepared to pay $10,000 a night to rent Mile One. Dobbin maintains that the deal he offered the city is the twice the deal the Q’s other expansion team negotiated with St. John, N.B. — $910,000 as opposed to $360,000. “It’s a sad day for the 14 employees who are now facing layoffs, people who have worked so hard to make the Fog Devils happen,” says Dobbin. The current major tenant, the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League, will be lacing up their skates in Toronto next year, leaving hockey fans in the province without a team. “It’s a sad day for the taxpayers who are going to pay for a beautiful, big empty building.” — Jeff Ducharme

Canseco says he injected players with steroids RALEIGH, North Carolina Jose Canseco is not backing off claims that he injected several of his team mates, and some of baseball’s biggest names, with steroids. “I injected them, absolutely,” the former Oakland Athletics slugger tells the television show 60 Minutes, according to a partial transcript of an interview released by network CBS before the show’s broadcast Feb. 13. Canseco, an admitted steroid user, talks at length during the interview with Mike Wallace about using steroids with former single-season homerun record holder Mark McGwire. He also admitted he injected players Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez. All have denied using steroids. “I injected him (McGwire) probably twice ... I mean we would just walk in (a bathroom stall) and a lot of

times (steroids) were in pill form,” Canseco said. “An athlete may prepare his needle

“An athlete may prepare his needle and may ask another athlete to inject him quickly and that’s the way it works.” Jose Canseco and may ask another athlete to inject him quickly and that’s the way it works. “The first time injecting them in (McGwire’s) buttocks. “It wasn’t like you gave it a lot of thought. It was something so com-

mon.” When asked by Wallace about Palmeiro, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Canseco replied: “I injected them. Absolutely.” McGwire has admitted using androstenedione, a testosterone-producing supplement, which was available over the counter and legal in baseball at that time. He has denied using other steroids. The comments are the first by Canseco about his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, which will be released on Monday. The CBS release said Canseco wrote that he and McGwire injected steroids together too many times to count. During the interview, however, Canseco said he actually injected McGwire, his Oakland Athletics team mate, only a couple of times.

SPORTS IN BRIEF his relationship with tennis star Anna Kournikova, his lawyer said last week. Dmitry Ragulin said he filed a $10.65 million suit on Jan. 31 in a Moscow district court against Arbat Prestige Telegid after it ran a story on Bure’s relationship with Kournikova.

Hockey star sues magazine over Kournikova report MOSCOW (Reuters) — NHL all-star Pavel Bure has sued a Russian magazine for more than $10 million over what he said were “false claims” about

WORKERS WIN WHEN WE BUY LOCAL • FRANK TAYLOR OF THE CAW SPEAKS OUT FOR RETAIL WORKERS • WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION: MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES • THE LABOUR RELATIONS AGENCY MEDIATION MAN: JOE O’NEILL • IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NANCY RICHE • YOUTH & WORKPLACE SAFETY • RELUCTANT HEROES: THE ST. JOHN’S REGIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS • WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT: NO JOKE • THE FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE: ARE THE OIL COMPANIES CALLING THE SHOTS? • DANNY WILLIAMS: WORKING TO BECOME PREMIER •LOBLAW’S STADIUM DEVELOPMENT: GOOD FOR WORKERS • HIBERNIA WIN HUGE VICTORY FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS • THE WORKING POOR: GOOD PEOPLE WITH A HARD LIFE • ANNA THISTLE-MINISTER OF LABOUR • THE MINIMUM WAGE: RAISE IT NOW! • LABOUR HISTORY:THE TRAGEDY OF ST. LAWRENCE • PASSPORT TO SAFETY • WHEN THE JOB OVERWHELMS YOU • TOM HANLON OF NAPE • THE YOUNG WORKERS’ VOICE • RURAL NEWFOUNDLAND: LET’S STOP THE BLEEDING • THE HUMAN TOUCH: A TRIBUTE TO OUR NURSES • VOISEY’S BAY:MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS • THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM • THE OCEAN RANGER • LABOUR HISTORY: EARLY STRUGGLES OF WOMEN • WORKING WITH HUMOR • THE MARYSTOWN SHIPYARD: BUILDING A BRIGHT FUTURE • COAKER & THE FISHERMEN’S PROTECTIVE UNION • BILL PARSONS: OFFSHORE OIL & GAS BENEFITS:WHERE ARE THEY? • UP CLOSE: WAYNE LUCAS OF CUPE • THE CONFEDERATION DEBATE: DISPLACED, MISPLACED & OUT OF PLACE • HEALTH CARE SURVEY: PUBLIC OR PRIVATE HEALTH CARE? • STRESS: OBSTACLE OR OPPORTUNITY • BANKING: IT’S ALL ABOUT PEOPLE … OR IS IT? • LABOUR DAY • WORKPLACE EDUCATION: BACK AT THE BOOKS • UP CLOSE: WAYNE RALPH OF THE UFCW • THE (UN)EMPLOYED: WORKERS WITHOUT

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PAY EQUITY Lawyer Sheilas Greene battle for justice ILL THE CUFFER QU Workplace questions answered

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WORK • JACK HARRIS • UP CLOSE: ELAINE PRICE • SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT: TURNING THINGS AROUND WITH HUMOUR • A DAY IN THE LIFE: THE CITY OF ST. JOHN’S REFUSE COLLECTOR S • THE UNRECOGNIZED STRUGGLE OF HOME CARE WORKERS • THE GROUP OF SIX BILLION AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE G8 SUMMIT • UP CLOSE: DEBBIE FORWARD OF THE NURSES UNION • OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY AVOID HEARING LOSS • COLLEGE GRADUATE WORKING WITH THE UNITED NATIONS • WORKERS DAY OF MOURNING: THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE • A DAY IN THE LIFE: CORRECTION OFFICERS OF HM PENITENTIARY • UP CLOSE: EARLE MCCURDY OF THE FFAW/CAW • Q AND A WITH PREMIER ROGER GRIMES: CANDID QUESTIONS CANDID ANSWERS • WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: DEVIL OR ANGEL • COMMISSIONAIRES: PRIDE THROUGH PSAC • NO WAY TO LIVE: GETTING POORER ON THE MINIMUM WAGE • PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS? • VOICE FROM THE PAST JOSEPH R. SMALLWOOD: BURN YOUR BOATS? • UP CLOSE: MARGIE HANCOCK • WORKPLACE SAFETY 3220 DUNNE MEMORIAL ACADEMY ST. MARY’S • VICKI STOKES ON THE JOB AT CORNER BROOK PULP AND PAPER • UP CLOSE: FRED DOUGLAS OF THE NLTA • SOCIAL WORKER KAREN BABB ON THE FRONT LINES • ABORIGINAL LABRADORIANS IN THE WAGE EARNING WORLD • THE DOMINION STORE LOCKOUT • GUEST COLUMNIST LORRAINE MICHAEL OF THE WRDC • UP CLOSE: GUS DOYLE AND THE REGIONAL COUNCIL • DAY IN THE LIFE WITH A SEALER HAYWARD REID • UP CLOSE: GEORGE KEAN OF THE UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA • INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY • SECOND DAY ON THE JOB WAS HIS LAST • REG ANSTEY OF THE FEDERATION OF LABOUR • WORKING IN THE ARTS • BIG BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT POLICY: PUTTING THE BOOTS TO WORKERS •GUEST COLUMNIST: PATRICIA DODD OF THE INJURED WORKERS ASSOCIATION • GIMME THE MONEY! THE IMPACT OF ARMED ROBBERIES ON EMPLOYEES • UP CLOSE: TOM RETIEFFE OF THE CEP • THE CUFFER QUILL: DAVE MORRIS ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS • UP CLOSE: Q & A WITH NAPE’S LEO PUDDISTER • GUEST COLUMNIST SHARON KING PUT HEALTHCARE BACK ON COURSE! • THE WORKING REALITIES OF WRITERS • WHEN SEX WORKS: A CALL FOR WORKER SOLIDARITY • GUEST COLUMNIST ANN MARIE HANN OF WHSCC • JUNIOR RESOURCE COMPANIES: OUR PROSPECTS ARE GOOD! • THE SMOKING BAN A HAZY ISSUE • UP CLOSE: ANN GEEHAN PRESIDENT OF THE IBEW LOCAL 2330 • UP CLOSE: DAVE PEARCE OF TEAMSTERS • THE IRISH TIGER & ICELAND: WHICH ONE WILL WORK HERE • UNEMPLOYED RIGHTS, WHERE? • THE SOUTHERN CROSS SINKING • GUEST COLUMNIST JEANNIE BALDWIN OF PSAC

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FEBRUARY 13, 2005

28 • INDEPENDENTARTS

GALLERYPROFILE ELIZABETH DILLON TUCKER Textile Artist

A

love for fabric has always fueled Elizabeth Dillon Tucker’s artistic drive. But it took the death of her grandmother to set her towards her craft, and another 20 years and a brush with breast cancer before she realized her real potential as a traditional rughooker. “I moved away when I was about 17 for a year, and when I came back my grandmother had died the year I was away and I found her hook in my mother’s house. “I asked mum, ‘What’s this?’ Mum told me basically what it was and I went off to the second-hand stores to try and find a frame and I found just a little wooden frame that worked and the pieces of burlap from a potato sack and I gathered up all the pieces of yarn I could find and hooked a mat.” Dillon Tucker used her first mat as part of her portfolio to get into craft school, but with so many other types of art to experiment with — not to mention teaching and raising a family — mat-making fell by the wayside. “When I was around 38 I got breast cancer and then after that I decided, if I’m ever going to do my own stuff, I better start thinking about it, so when I turned 40 I gave myself an expensive gift.” Dillon Tucker started a two-year textile studies program with College of the North Atlantic through the Anna Templeton Centre in St. John’s, and rediscovered rughooking. Now she teaches at the Anna Templeton Centre, while trying to keep up with the demand for her art, which often sells before reaching the exhibition stage. One mat hangs in Rideau Hall (Government House in Ottawa) under the care of Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. A work in progress commissioned by the provincial government, hangs from a traditional wooden frame in

Dillon Tucker’s front room. It’s a squid, floating on a swirly, Van Gough-ish ocean. The piece already exudes the cheerful intensity and vibrancy that punctuates all her work. Every mat is unavoidably unique, because the material comes from unwanted clothing — what might be a hideous skirt can translate into a stunning marine backdrop. Laying the frame between two tables, Dillon Tucker demonstrates how she tears pieces of fabric into strips and tweaks them through the holes in the stretched burlap, with the dainty hook — an oversized, curved needle with a soft, wooden handle. Busy with family life and teach-

ing, Dillon Tucker says she’s looking forward to having the summer off to concentrate on her work and plan for another exhibition in February, 2007. Although she says she likes to design her mats so they can be displayed flat or hung up, Dillon Tucker admits not many people actually use her mats as mats. “The person who bought this put it on the floor,” she says, showing a photograph of one of her earlier mats. “They had that in the middle of the hall and they had no children and no pets, but the woman told me that her husband comes to it and he jumps over, he won’t walk on it. “I thought that was really funny.” – Clare-Marie Gosse

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


2005-02-13