VOL. 3 ISSUE 23
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 5-11, 2005
$1.00 (INCLUDING HST)
OPINION PAGE 11 AND 25
COLUMN PAGE 3
John Crosbie on the ‘desperate’ PM; Siobhan Coady on good and bad guys
Ray Guy on what Premier Danny Williams got for us
Grading the future Students at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s with social studies teacher Andrew Woolgar.
n a social studies classroom on the second floor of Holy Heart of Mary High School in downtown St. John’s, 10 of 13 students raise their hands to the question: how many have immediate family members living outside the province? The high school students are gathered for a group interview/discussion with The Independent about their own futures and how they perceive the future of Newfoundland and Labrador. At first shy and somewhat self conscious about voicing their opinions, it
doesn’t take the 10 girls and three boys long to warm up on subjects such as outmigration, job prospects, travelling and their expectations and concerns. Ranging in ages between 16 and 19, most are preparing to graduate this month and all have exams looming. The young people are at an age of contradictions. Some have already solidly decided on specific career paths, such as Kathleen Ring, 18, who will be leaving in August for Quebec to attend military college. Others like 17-year-old Amanda Reid, who wants to be a neurologist, have already pinned down their ideal occupations. More have yet to decide. But amidst all the sensible talk of careers and pressure, these students are still hovering between child and adult-
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
First of a two-part series. This week The Independent speaks with graduates of Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s, the largest high school in the province. Next week: Fortune Bay Academy.
hood. They speak of becoming doctors and lawyers one moment and laugh as they define the term “skeet,” discuss the implications of bumping into teachers on George Street on the weekend, and describe building forts and having snowball fights in winter. The big bad question is: what do you want to be when you grow up? “One of the teachers, he gives us the gas-station lecture,” says 16-year-old Robyn Breen, who wants to continue dancing through university and eventually teach dance in the province (assuming there are enough children left after the brain drain to teach). “If you don’t go to university — do math and what not — you’ll work at the gas station, pumping the gas, but if you
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “If a male recognizes himself as a sexual assault survivor, the first thing that becomes an issue is your sexuality.”
Foreign-owned ship suspected of illegal fishing continues to operate in Canadian waters
High school students reflect on their future in Newfoundland and Labrador
— Sean Beulman of St. John’s has launched a human rights challenge against the rape crisis centre
BUSINESS 25 Brian Tobin
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Ontario plans to give paper companies break
Captain Canada speaks Brian Tobin says life after politics not so bad STEPHANIE PORTER
rian Tobin may have sworn off politics three years ago, but he can still slip into his Captain Canada cape when the opportunity arises. While he appreciates the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are speaking with a strong voice these days — and tips his hat to Danny Williams for the Atlantic Accord deal, if not for tearing down the Canadian flag — the prevalence of the pink, white and green flags does little for him. “Newfoundland pride is a great thing, but I also think Canadian pride is
a great thing,” the former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and federal cabinet minister tells The Independent. “I would say the same thing to Quebec separatists as I would to Newfoundland separatists: what are you afraid of? If you’re saying the big bad world is too tough for you, and you want to live in a smaller world, that is not a very courageous outlook. “If we’re afraid of Canada, we’ve got some maturing to do, we’ve got to work at our arrangements. It doesn’t mean we’ve got to leave the country.” The Canadian federation is one of those topics that gets Tobin going. One of the province’s best-known politiSee “I’m not in the game,” 4
Defenceman John Slaney fights for Calder Cup Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10 21 24 31
foreign-owned ship under investigation by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans for fishing infractions, the Tenor, is currently fishing inside the 200-mile limit with Ottawa’s blessing, The Independent has learned. Federal Fisheries was unable to provide the details because the probe is ongoing, but charges are pending and part of the catch was seized after an investigation carried out last month in Bay Roberts. The vessel is said to be currently fishing shrimp and turbot and is registered to a Nova Scotian-based company, Baffin Shipping Inc. — a company with only a post office box. The Tenor is a Norwegian-owned vessel that is being leased by Baffin Shipping. The ship has been reflagged a Canadian vessel and has been certified by Transport Canada. A similar move infuriated fishermen and fishing advocates in Atlantic Canada last year when the Baffin Fisheries Coalition leased two foreign vessels in an effort to create a turbot fishery in northern waters. Critics charged Newfoundland and
go, you’ll own the gas station.” The rest of the class laugh, but the gas-station fear is just a simplistic way of summing up what they’ve heard their whole lives. And they’re paying attention. Every single one of the students says they intend to go on to university or college. “If you don’t go to university people look down on you,” says Adam Shea, 17. Shea, tall, outgoing and light-hearted, says he hasn’t decided on a specific career yet — but he does have one goal. “I’m going to be the richest man in Newfoundland and that’s all I’ve figured out.” See “What should I do,” page 9
Labrador vessels could have fished the quota without having to bring in foreign ships and crews. But the Tenor — which was once owned by the fishing company Royal Greenland and called the Kaassassuk — is well known for having questionable fishing practices, although there have been no citations levelled against the ship in NAFO waters under either name. The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization regulates fishing in international waters outside Canada’s 200-mile limit. The vessel is now owned by the Norwegian fishing and shipping company Sætremyr AS. That company owned the ship when it was charged and fined by the Norwegians for illegal fishing practices. The ship is currently listed “for sale” on a number of websites. Gunnar Album, of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, says the Tenor was fined $60,000 US for “cutting the fish illegally” while in Norwegian waters. “The catch for factory trawlers is estimated on the basis of the produced filet,” Album tells The Independent. “It does not matter to them, thus, how much fish they catch, but how much is sold. Because the machines are set for See “It’s a matter,” page 2
JUNE 5, 2005
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Kolosovs still in sanctuary
t’s been more than a month since Alexi Kolosovs stepped into sanctuary at the West End Baptist Church in St. John’s — and there’s no break in sight. The Russian came to Newfoundland as a fisherman aboard a Latvian vessel seven years ago — and stayed, seeking refugee status. His son came to Newfoundland too, and has since had four children with his Newfoundland common-law wife. Kolosovs worked until his permit was revoked a couple of years ago. He’s been on social assistance since, caring for his grandchildren, keeping busy around the house — and waiting to find out if he will be able to call Canada home. A month ago, he got word: he was to be deported to Latvia, where he has no friends, no family, and little chance of finding work. He approached the church and asked for protection. Leah Miller, a volunteer with the Refugee Immigrant Advisory Council in St. John’s, says
Kolosovs’ case has been gathering interest. “We haven’t heard from any elected officials,” says Miller. “But one woman has gotten a group together, brainstorming, and they’ve started letterwriting campaigns and such. “She’s rallied people together which is good, because I didn’t know what to do for him anymore.” Ann Bell of St. John’s says she’s already held one public information session and the group has begun lobbying politicians to allow Kolosovs to stay. They’re planning an event for June 20, to mark International Refugee Day. Miller and the advisory council have launched a website (www.geocities.com/riaconline) where the public can go to find more information about Kolosovs’ case — as well as a support letter, printable for those who wish to participate in the lobby effort. — Stephanie Porter
Capt. Enrique Davila Gonzalez, former skipper of the Estai.
Paul Daly /The Independent
‘It’s a matter of concern’ From page 1 a certain size of fish, they cut bigger fish far behind the head to make them fit the machines.” The result, says Album, is overfishing and inaccurate reporting. The Baffin Islands Fishery Coalition currently has two vessels fishing turbot and shrimp in waters adjacent to Baffin Island. One of the vessels, the formerly Estonianflagged Salles — now the Inuksuk I — has been fishing for years on the Grand Banks and reportedly has a record of poor fishing practices. The Inuksuk I is still said to be partially owned by Royal Greenland. The other vessel, the Norwegian longliner West Freezer, and its owners and managers, were charged in 2003 with one of the largest violations of fishing regulations in Norwegian history. “The West Freezer, sent to Canada in the same operation, is a well-known poacher, blacklisted in Norway,” says Album. Morley Knight, director of conservation and protection with federal Fisheries in St. John’s, says it’s not the vessels that concern them — but those that operate the ships.
Correction The gallery feature carried in the May 29June 4 edition of The Independent misspelled the name of photographer Donna Ramsay. Sorry, Donna.
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“It’s a matter of concern if there are people on vessels that have a tendency not to follow the rules,” says Knight “If there are irregularities or irregular patterns that are noticed ... than we use that as well as all other relevant information to help us decide whether we should do an inspection.” St. John’s South MP and Opposition Fisheries critic, Loyola Hearn, says the decision to allow such ships inside Canadian waters sends “terrible signals. “We wouldn’t let an individual in (this country) with a criminal record,” says Hearn. “And here we have a boat that apparently has been cited in the past.” As with the two other vessels — not all the Tenor’s crew are Canadian. Three of the 19 crewmembers are foreign. Transport Canada spokeswoman Tracey Hennessey says the vessel and the crew have met all the requirements under the Canada Shipping Act. “For a vessel under Canadian flag, all the personnel that are required to hold certificates must hold certificates certified in Canada,” says Hennessey. “So they would include masters, mates, engineers so they can be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident as defined by the Immigration Act.” Hearn says while the argument could be made that no such Canadian vessels are available, qualified crew members are. “These are heavily crewed (by foreigners) and they take a few local people just to say ‘we have local people involved here,’” says Hearn. “The utilization of any resource, whether it be the harvesting or the processing or the offloading, it should done maximizing the benefits for our own people and we’re not doing that.”
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
Guts and dory
By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
all them what you will: adventurers, visionaries or lunatics, but crossing the North Atlantic Ocean is a feat few have the guts to try. Hundreds of attempts have been made from this province to cross the wide expanse in hot air balloons, small aircraft and even smaller boats. Last week, an English rowing team began a second endeavour to span the North Atlantic. The team had to be rescued in 2002 when the boat’s rudder broke off in a storm. In 2004, Alex Ransby travelled from Portsmouth, Eng. to St. John’s and back in a 40-foot sailboat called Hip Joint. “The only thing I would say … (is) when you think that you’ve done your best and you haven’t got anything left, you’d be surprised,” Ransby tells The Independent from his St. John’s home. Originally from England, he married a Newfoundlander after finishing his mission. “I’m not the most recent lunatic,” he says. “These bunch of Englishmen … I really hope they do it. I have half a mind to, if they make it, to try it next year.” Ransby, who has suffered from arthritis all his life, says he originally built the boat and planned the journey as a test and to raise awareness about juvenile arthritis. “For some reason, I think I had something to prove to myself. I wanted to see if there was enough of me left to be worth hanging on to. It was my second chance in life. “I just wanted to see what I was capable of if I put my mind to it and I guess I found out.” The first half of the journey lasted five-and-a-half weeks or 6,800 miles. His return trip took 13 days and totalled 2,700 miles. “When you’re sailing from here to there you’ve got all the current behind you, the wind is behind you and everything is going the right way.”
Crossing the North Atlantic is no small feat
And it often does. In 1881, two Englishmen, Olsen and Trynor, left St. John’s and travelled in an 18-foot dory to Falmouth, Eng. In 1969, Tom McLean, a British sailor, rowed from Newfoundland to Ireland. From there he began making world records. In 1982 he crossed the ocean in the smallest boat recorded and did it again in an even smaller boat in 1983.
In 1987, McLean crossed the ocean in 54 days — a record that stands to this day. In 1998, a boat made of recycled materials — including logs and foam from New York City streets — sailed across the ocean. Not all floating missions are successful. In June 1980, Andrew Wilson left St. John’s never to be seen again. His boat
was found nearly a year later on a Scottish Isle. Peter Bray, an accomplished English boater, left St. Johns in a kayak in the summer of 2000 only to be rescued from a hurricane. In August 2004, Bray and a team of rowers were rescued again. Future travellers may want to pick up a copy of Ransby’s recent book, A Boat Called Hip Joint, which he dedicated to
Dan Frampton, the Canadian Coast Guard officer who answered Ransby’s call for help when nearing St. John’s in 2004. By the time of the call, the boat had flipped over, Ransby hadn’t eaten or slept in days and was sure his “number was up.” He says Frampton asked if he needed to be rescued. Ransby said no. “I’m damned if after all this effort I’m going to let somebody come and get me,” he says. “I just wanted somebody to know where I was. “I was stressed to the max. I had no way of steering, I had no navigation and I just talked to him and he just calmed me down and made me laugh.” Frampton says he was just doing his job. “I think he had a certain amount of anxiety and that’s not uncommon,” Frampton says. “Over the years we have seen everything from small sailing vessels to, a number of years ago, there was some sort of cardboard boat configured, that ended up here and eventually made it.” Frampton couldn’t say how many adventurers he’s helped rescue. “Sometimes you get to know them … and other times they’re just a call on the phone and you deal with it.” When an adventurer gets lost or hurt the Government of Canada pays for the rescue, Frampton says. It’s a part of a world-wide agreement that helps Canadian sailors, too. Ransby says he never believed he couldn’t make it across the sea. “I always felt that … whatever it was that people have inside that makes them able to dig deep, when everything else that was around them was falling apart, I always thought that I had that,” he says. “Half of that was because I’d never done it. “When I went to leave St. John’s … it was, ‘why in God’s name would I want to try it again. I proved that I could do it, but I only just made it last time. What in the hell makes me think I could do it the second time?’”
‘We got it! Weee got it!’ RAY GUY Poke in the eye
how us what you’ve got, Danny. It’s been many months since the Dear Leader (as they say in Korea) returned in triumph from Ottawa. Every patriot heart fluttered as Dan the Man waded through a sea of idolaters at the airport and spoke the words which will surely echo down the ages: “We got it! Weee got it!” Every now and then this pivotal moment in the history of the land we love so dear is replayed on television. The rapturous crowds. The arms raised in victory. The fists clenched in ... something or other. “We got it! Weee got it!” Never, I suppose, since Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came a-tumblin’ down has a greater glory shone down upon … well, the St. John’s Chamber of Commerce. And seeing the rapture of our plain men of business, what more could the rank and file do but echo the joy. Out of the billions would surely trickle down a few thousands here and there to the boarding house keepers of the city. But a triumph of that magnitude is hard to maintain these days. Our attention span is short. Even exciting news has a brief shelf life — i.e., the war in Iraq and the Michael Jackson trial. It’s going on six months and we need some reinforcement. Show us what you’ve got, Danny. You’re beginning to look like a one-trick pony. Back in the days of poor Mr. Smallwood these things were more leisurely. For years, the voters could still be amazed and entertained by that triumphant bellow now seen only in wistful historical TV clips: “This is OUR land! This is OUR river! This is OUR waterfall!” Even up to the time of the jittery jumping Peckford a couple of years of political mileage could be had from a single slightly crazed cry: “They sold the shop!” Meaning, of course, the Liberals had brought us to death’s door and our only salvation was young Alfie Peckford and his Trojan Tories.
Premier Danny Williams in his Dodge Prowler.
Alas, we are not so easily nor so long amused. Or impressed. At this juncture I don’t suppose there’s much Mr. Williams could do to keep the fire burning brightly. My sources tell me there was a plan to have a $2-billion cheque printed off on a sheet of plywood (as they do with the big lottery wins) and have Miss Ottawa pass it over to Miss Newfoundland in a special ceremony. But the fellow who thought up that gimmick has been let go for an indefinite period of rest and recreation.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Blame shifting is always a familiar tactic, but poor old John Efford looks like a tomcat who’s been out on the paths a few nights longer than was good for him. Norman Doyle and Loyola Hearn have taken to sleeping with their pensions under their pillows. Ottawa, as a whole, has always made an unsatisfactory whipping boy because so many of our cheques have Ottawa on them. No, Danny’s rapture at the airport has just about melted away into the mists. Familiarity breeds contempt and from St. Shott’s
to Buchans Junction you’ll hear the jaded expression, “What’s $2 billion, anyway?” Folks are harking back to the codfish closure when Ottawa sent us along upwards of $5-billion to cover our temporary embarrassment. And how far did that go? A choice few bought $80,000 automobiles all of a sudden and moved into new houses with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. There was a great mushrooming of “colleges” where former horny-handed fisherfolk were trained in unisex hairdressing and snowmobile repair. But once they’d cut each other’s hair and repaired each others’ Ski-Doos they were, for some strange reason, out of customers. For $5 billion we became the well-groomed owners of smoothly running ATVs. Those brighter lights among us who couldn’t quite see this as an appetizing future had the good sense to shag off west with the cowboys. And just the other day the doleful news that even the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition couldn’t see it as any fit job for a grown man. Roger bows out. Grimes didn’t even stick around to go through the motions. For it is true, in Newfoundland, that we never vote anybody into office. We wait until the hum from the bunch that’s in there gets too ripe and vote them out. The opposition, heretofore as useless as tits on a side of bacon, then falls into the hole thus vacated. So Mr. Grimes’ labours were not at all heavy. All he had to do was warm his seat on a decent salary until the Williams gang collapsed into their rotten foundations. Second smack at being King Roger ... as easy as that. What we’ve got now is something that hasn’t been seen in Newfoundland politics within living memory. A plain man of business who claims he’s only in it as a hobby. Ah, but doesn’t much crave more? There’s a comforting thought — Newfoundland being ridden as Danny Williams’ hobbyhorse. “We got it! Weee got it!” Got what? No opposition, another $2 billion supposedly somewhere in the pipes, a special committee of business-minded folks set up to allay any fears that the booty might fall into unworthy hands. Oh yes, we got it. But just who is “we” and what is it we’ve got? Do you get the uneasy feeling that it may not be you?
JUNE 5, 2005
4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Questions raised whether fishing net at centre of 1995 turbot war was from Spanish trawler Estai By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
he St. John’s lawyer representing the Spanish captain and owners of the Estai — the trawler at the centre of the 1995 turbot war — says the event was nothing more than political grandstanding. John Sinnott has produced documents that seem to show altered federal Department of Fishery and Oceans briefing notes. He says the information calls into question whether the net retrieved from the floor of the Grand Banks by the Canadian Coast Guard belonged to the Estai. The same net was later transported to New York City where it was displayed for the international media by then-federal Fisheries Minister Brian Tobin. In 1995, Tobin took definitive action against foreign overfishing outside Canada’s 200-mile limit and sent the
coast ship Cape Roger to arrest the Estai, firing machine gun bursts across the Spanish vessel’s bow. The Estai made a run for it after cutting its nets, which were later recovered — or so it was believed. Sinnott says the position given by the coast guard as to the location of the nets is almost eight kilometres from where the Estai was fishing when its nets were cut. “A new briefing note was issued on March 16, 1995, giving the new position,” Sinnott wrote in a letter to The Independent. “In short, the record was changed to make it appear that the gear had been hooked at the position previously given by the Leonard J. Cowley (another coast guard ship).” Eventually, the Spanish vessel was towed into St. John’s harbour. The skipper of the Estai, Enrique Davila Gonzalez, was charged and released on bail, although the charges
were later dropped. Gonzalez and the ship’s owner are currently suing Ottawa for $1 million, charging that Canada had no right to arrest them in international waters and that the gear recovered did not belong to them. Federal Fisheries has declined comment on the matter because the judge still hasn’t made a ruling in the civil case. FORENSIC ANALYSIS Sinnott maintains Ottawa sent pieces of the net to the RCMP for forensic analysis. RCMP Sgt. Peter McKay of the St. John’s detachment says the matter is before the courts and it would be “inappropriate” for the Mounties to comment. “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the file as I don’t have the file to reference,” says McKay. Sinnott says the captain of the Estai
was stymied by federal Fisheries officials when he tried to get the results of the forensic investigation. “When representatives of the captain requested sections of the warps in order to have an independent analysis conducted, DFO claimed that all four sections as well as the retrieved warps had been lost,” Sinnott says. Tobin spent millions to have the net taken to New York on a barge so the United Nations could see it first hand. In the end, Ottawa paid for the Estai’s lost catch and fishing time while it remained tied to the dock in St. John’s. Sinnott also says that the manufacturer of the trawl doors confirmed the doors of the net that were retrieved were made in 1988 and for an entirely different vessel. The Grand Banks is known to be littered with nets that have been lost or cut. Called “ghost nets,” they continue to kill fish for years.
“When civil action was tried in the Federal Court of Canada this past January-February, the Government of Canada did not lead any evidence to attempt to show any relationship between the retrieved gear and the gear of the Estai,” Sinnott wrote. “The evidence shows conclusively that there was no relationship.” In 2004, the Portuguese vessel Brites cut its net as Canadian fisheries observers approached the vessel outside the 200-mile limit. Eventually recovered, the net was brought to St. John’s and media were invited to view the undersized mesh, complete with redfish no bigger than the palm of a hand. On May 19, the Russian trawler Odoevsk was cited by Canadian fisheries inspectors for using an illegal liner inside its nets. Similar to onion bags, liners prevent little or nothing from escaping.
‘I’m not in the game’ From page 1 cians, Tobin is remembered for his fierce campaigns against overfishing, his notone-spoonful stance on Voisey’s Bay, his organization of a massive pro-Canada rally in Quebec — and his equally fierce ambition. Though Tobin has lived in Toronto since he abruptly stepped out of his federal cabinet position — and politics — in January 2002, he follows the issues of his home province closely and passionately. Unprompted, he defends his decision to live full-time half a country away. “I live in Toronto because Toronto, more or less, is the centre of business for a great many of the sectors of Canada,
finance and so on. “I confess, I spend a little bit of time on the road too … This is a good pivot point.” Tobin insists he’s enjoying life as a private citizen, and generally tries to keep out of the media, other than regular commentary with CTV. He says he rarely agrees to interview requests — he gets plenty — and also turns down most invitations to speak for riding associations and fundraising events. “I know if I start doing all those sort of things, people will say, ‘Well, look, he’s obviously back in politics,” he says. “And that’s not what I’m at right now. What I’m about right now is trying to make a contribution in the various busiGENERAL MANAGER John Moores email@example.com
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ness opportunities and responsibilities I have.” Of course, whether Tobin likes it or not, his name consistently pops up in the national media. There is no shortage of references to the “rat pack” days and his past, defiant, actions, like ordering the arrest of the Spanish trawler Estai in 1995. There’s constant public gossip about his future (he’s often considered to be waiting in the wings for Paul Martin to step down) and his links, real and imagined, to today’s politicians — Belinda Stronach, who he advised during her leadership campaign — is a favourite subject of speculation. “I’m not in the game,” he says, firmly. “It’s very hard to be in politics for most of your adult life and then to have no interest. I still have a very strong interest in what’s going on, but not as a practitioner of the craft.” Having answered the question about his future 1,000 times before, the mediasavvy Tobin pauses for just a breath. “You’re gong to ask me next, ‘Are you saying never?’ And I’m going to respond by saying, ‘Never say never.’”
In the meantime, Tobin has more than a few irons in the fire. He works with Fraser Milner Casgrain, an international business law firm — that’s his “day job.” He’s an investor in “some oil and gas junior companies and some technology companies,” and sits on a number of cor-
porate boards, including Lion’s Gate Entertainment, Acon construction and Persona Communications. He’s an advisor to half a dozen other corporations across Canada, and a volunteer with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and the Innu Healing Foundation. “It keeps me plugged into a number of interesting areas of the economy,” he says. “And I am busy, but with all that, I’m far less busy than I was in politics. Politics, you’re working seven days a week, 15 hours a day. It was a tough grind. “So I’m doing a little less than I used to, and having fun doing it.” Drawing on his business and political experience, Tobin is quick to offer thoughts on Newfoundland today: how the province is changing, and how it can hope to get ahead. Not surprisingly, he says the key is proper resource development. “We’ve never been a poor province, we’ve been poor negotiators, we’ve signed poor deals,” he says. “The thing we have to learn as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians is, at the end of the day, we get the deals we negotiate. Nobody else negotiates for us … there’s no sense being mad at the world because we got a bad deal on Churchill Falls. Our government did the bad deal. “The lesson is go slow,” he continues. “I think there’s a mood now that says … we, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are prepared to be patient.” Tobin sees not just a change in politicians — who he says are not going to be rushed into one-sided deals anymore — but, more importantly, in the people of the province. “We’re not content to take whatever’s offered up, we now are looking to be treated fairly and in a reasonable fashion. We’re not so desperate for a job, much as we need them … we’re now looking to the next generation.” Reacting to the news of the day, Tobin is pleased to see federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan taking a strong stand on overfishing (“the only way some of these captains will behave is if there are arrests”); he says Stephen Harper made a fatal mistake trying to “stampede” into an election; he believes the majority of Canadians appreciate Paul Martin’s attempts to keep the government alive and functional. And he takes a moment to wish Roger Grimes — who became Liberal party leader, and premier, in the wake of Tobin’s departure from provincial politics — well. He knows the road that lies ahead. “I know that Roger, in about three months’ time, this big cloud is going to clear, a big weight is going to come off his shoulders and he’s going to begin to understand what the average citizen most days feels like. “That is, he feels a measure of freedom, personal privacy, and an ability to go to bed most days and hopefully get a good night’s sleep. “He’s about to discover there is life after politics and it’s not so bad.”
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
‘Top secret’ Three countries vying for 2007 America’s Cup testing hulls at MUN; private and public interests compete for research time in wave tanks By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
which simulate marine environments — it’s hard to justify turning down high-paying commercial work. s tumultuous as the simulated Currently, Oceanic is testing yachtwaves within the marine ing models for three syndicates from research tanks at Memorial America, Switzerland and Italy respecUniversity’s Institute for Ocean tively, in the run up to the 2007 Technology in St. John’s, is the top- America’s Cup, to be held in Valencia, secret, day-to-day work itself. Spain. Even since tests conducted at the “It generates a great deal of money tanks helped propel the Swiss yacht, actually,” he tells The Independent. Alinghi, to victory at “Last year Oceanic did the 2003 America’s over $4 million worth of Cup, demand for the and 93 per cent “The America’s Cup business facility from worldof our commercial revclass yachters has enue came from outside work is certainly been through the Canada. top secret … people roof. Not only do we genDan Walker, preserate business but we that work here ident of Oceanic generate new money Consulting Inc., the aren’t fully aware of into the provincial econlocal company that omy.” what goes on.” spearheaded the As well as testing research, says jugsuper-sleek yacht hulls, Derek Yetman gling current the entire facility America’s Cup work researches everything and the public-secfrom oil rigs to navy tor research programs of the university submarine designs, within three differand National Research Council (NRC) ent pseudo-marine environments. An of Canada, can be difficult. ice tank — which simulates arctic con“What happens is, they’ll plan a ditions — is the longest of its kind in research program and we’ll have a the world. A second tank, called an offcommercial client come along and say shore engineering basin, has been used they want to do work at a particular to test platforms like Hibernia and time and then we’ll go to NRC and White Rose. The third is a 200-metre Memorial and sometimes dance and towing tank where most of the scream and yell until they move their America’s Cup projects take place. research programs.” Oceanic Consulting is the only priAlthough Walker says Memorial vate company to work in alliance with University and the National Research the institute and they pay a lump sum Council technically have first dibs for the privilege of using the marine when it comes to use of the facilities — technology, which is considered among
Dan Walker, president of Oceanic Consulting Corp., poses with a test hull at the Memorial University's marine research facility. Paul Daly/The Independent
the most accurate in the world. Derek Yetman, the institute’s communications co-ordinator, says the public- and private-sector scientists try to compromise when it comes to claiming the work space. “There haven’t been any critical problems there … there have been scheduling conflicts, but you get that everywhere and you just work it out.”
Security is a major issue facing the team of 46 people employed to deal solely with the America’s Cup projects. Nobody with Oceanic has access to more than one syndicate’s information and even Walker, as president, has no knowledge. “The America’s Cup work is certainly top secret,” says Yetman. “Even people that work here aren’t fully aware of
what goes on. We have a secure building. There’s only one entrance for the public and we have a commissioner (overseeing security), no cameras allowed, we have locking mechanisms on all the doors and everybody in the building has a pass card and that card is keyed to areas that you’re allowed to access, so if you aren’t permitted in a particular area, you can’t get in there.”
Elliot Leyton, spokesman for the St. John’s Rod and Gun Club, as well as a criminal anthropologist and gun owner, says people should have a reasonable amount of fear when it comes to guns, but not to the point of hysteria.
America, especially in Newfoundland where virtually every rural and many urban homes already have firearms. So the transplantation of a couple of guns from one home into the hands of some moron break-and-enter artist is of very little threat or significance. “They are often disposed of immediately or thrown away because they are so easily traced.” Because guns are so easily traceable nowadays, he says they are almost
never used in a serious crime. “Media and urban, middle-class people hate them (guns) and of course they’re fearful of them. “They’re dangerous things and when they go astray it’s quite natural to be concerned. “I’m not saying don’t be concerned. I’m saying have a realistic level of response to it, not the kind of hysteria that has accompanied these things.” — Alisha Morrissey
Gun crimes down
he use of firearms in crimes may turn out to be lower this year than in previous years, according to police statistics. There were 81 crimes committed with a gun to date this year, which is lower than this time last year, says Staff Sgt. June Layden, spokeswoman for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. In 2004, there were 238 crimes committed with a gun, and 221 in 2003. “So we were only up 17 over an
entire year and to date we’ve had 81 and so to date we’re probably down,” Layden tells The Independent. With recent reports of stolen guns, armed robberies and home invasions, she admits she thought numbers would be a little higher. “This stuff comes in cycles so from that perspective if you get a cluster of three or four counts right together … that’s what’s most recent and that’s what hits you.”
LITTLE THREAT “What happens is that every time a gun is stolen there’s a huge panic in St. John’s,” he says. “Guns are widely available in North
eeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s harbour. Information provided by the coast guard traffic centre. MONDAY, MAY 30 Vessels arrived: ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Santa Mafalda, Portugal, from sea. Vessels departed: Oceanex Avalon, Canada, to Montreal. TUESDAY, MAY 31 Vessels arrived: Newfound Pioneer, Canada, from Bay Roberts. Vessels departed: Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, to Terra Nova; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to White Rose; ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Halifax; North Atlantic Osprey, Canada, to Come By Chance. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1 Vessels arrived: none Vessels departed: Gulf Spirit 1, Canada, to sea; Maersk Nascopie, Canada, to Hibernia. THURSDAY, JUNE 2 Vessels arrived: Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova; Cabot, Canada, from Montreal; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: Maersk Placentia, Canada, to White Rose. FRIDAY, JUNE 3 Vessels arrived: Maersk Challenger, Canada, from White Rose; Cicero, Canada, from Montreal;
Paul Daly/The Independent
Anticosti, Canada, from sea; Concordia, Bahamas, from Bermuda; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from Terra Nova. Vessels departed: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to Bull Arm; Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Cicero, Canada, to Corner Brook.
JUNE 5, 2005
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Go Danny go T his week I finally heard something that gave me real hope things may be starting to change in this land. Danny met with some oil executives in Nova Scotia and informed them it will not be business as usual dealing with the province’s royalty regimes, and if necessary we can leave the oil in the ground (or under the water actually). Some of the language he used was particularly inspirational for me. To paraphrase, you are doing the poor denizens of Newfoundland and Labrador no great favour when you agree to come take our resources. Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Well, it has not been the case here in my generation. The truth of the matter is poor people rarely make good decisions. Desperation has a nasty way of forcing positions on you for short-term gain that you would be much better off complete-
Publish or perish
ly avoiding in the long run. We love to talk about the terrible deal that was Churchill Falls. I am completely convinced that kind of a deal could have easily happened here again in the past 10 years. Our $100,000-per-year top bureaucrats who we rely on to guide our neophyte political leaders in billion-dollar decision making are no match for arrogant $300,000-per-year federal bureaucrats who quite literally look down their noses at their provincial brethren. They are certainly no match for the $2-million-per-year oil executives and lawyers who have a playbook full of phrases like “economically sound” and “high-risk
developments.” Simple math. It would be like sending my 10-year-old son in for a few rounds with Mike Tyson. Let’s be clear here: last year Mobil Oil, the ringleader of oil developers off our coast, declared a record profit of over $25 billion US. $25 billion US! Let me put that in perspective. I believe it to be the highest annual declared profit from operations of a company in the history of man, and that is after some of the brightest accountants in the world have buried mountains of additional profit. That is also after the whole oil industry culture of buying the best and biggest available. In a former life I sold aviation fuel for Mobil. When I visited the Atlantic head office, I saw an Internet for the first time — this was 1986. We had not even heard of the Internet then, PCs were a new thing, but the oil company had developed its own
Internet for its employees. I remember watching in fascination as the local manager communicated over his PC to his colleagues in Calgary. At the time, most companies were still figuring out how to use their fax machines, only a company with very deep pockets would even think to pursue technology this expensive. I am deeply proud of what my uncle has created in Canadian Helicopters, and besides some strategic genius in his deal making, the smartest move he made in the last number of years was basing the biggest part of his business on servicing oil companies. That’s how you grow into the biggest helicopter provider in the world. There’s business, there’s good business, and then there’s the oil business. If you cannot make great profits when having the oil industry as your main client, find another occupation. So after seeing the sharp edges of
Danny exposed to our own, like the unions and the crab fishermen, which was a bit painful, and his fighting with our federal brothers, which was quite enjoyable, I am licking my lips in anticipation of his battles with the oil companies. There are some roles for our premier that I do not think fit him very well, not this one. He is a smart and aggressive lawyer, he is a passionate Newfoundlander, he loves a fight, he owes no one for his campaign donations, as far as I know none of his close friends are oil company lobbyists, and he is too bright to be told by bureaucrats with little perspective what he can or cannot do. Yeehaw! After seeing with my own eyes some of the crazy deals that did and did not happen here around the oil industry over the last two decades, I’ve got one thing to say to the witting and unwitting who have held back our benefits for so long: boys, there’s a new sheriff in town.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Province owes Abitibi ‘nothing’ Dear editor, I wish to compliment Jeff Ducharme for his report on the illegal activities of foreign trawlers fishing off our shores (Cloak & Dagger, May 29-June 4 edition of The Independent). How I wish he had been similarly objective in his recent articles on the operation of foreign corporations in our forest industry. What he wrote was interesting enough from Abitibi Consolidated’s point of view, but hardly a critical review of the merciless exploitation of this resource. Speaking with Roger Pike concerning that operation is akin to speaking with one of the family that owns the facility in Bay Roberts that accommodates the provision and trans-shipment needs of the foreign fishing fleet — predators of the deep. In his May 15th article (Victim of ‘sick’ industry), Ducharme writes the Grand Falls-Windsor mill alone pumps $45 million into the provincial economy. The question I ask is this: at what cost? Abitibi is still operating under terms of leases issued over 100 years ago by the old Dominion government. For forest, mineral and water rights to many thousands of acres of land, they pay less than one-third a cent per acre in royalties. Incredibly, they pay no stumpage fees. They harness our rivers for hydropower, free gratis. We, the taxpayers, supplement the cost of planting trees and building woods roads for their convenience at a cost, annually, of many millions of dollars. Why? Limited space prevents more than a mere mention of some of the environmental atrocities perpetrated by this corporation upon our land. An over flight, or cross-country trek, will reveal — not pine-clad hills — but a scene of devastation aptly described as a “moonscape,” or in some in-
stances, “little Hiroshimas.” In Star Lake they, along with CHI Canada Inc., slashed and burned the trees — hundreds of cords of good wood — in order to clear the site. They flooded, with impunity, far more land than their permit allowed, resulting in the poisoning of fish in the lake. The construction of the dam seriously silted Red Indian Lake. What was once beautiful cabin country has been completely destroyed. They get to keep — not only the 15 MW of power generated there — but also the carbon credits which they sell to Ontario Hydro. In return, we get one part-time job for a watchman on the dam. Thanks to the clear-cutting of its watershed, Gambo River is now a dry riverbed, and the lake a stagnant cesspool. Abitibi not only drove a woods road across the tall grass marshland of the upper Gambo, a unique ecosystem famed for its mention in the Viking sagas, they even built a monstrous steel bridge across Triton Brook so that nothing would remain beyond their reach. Perhaps the most outrageous act in this whole bizarre scene is that of Abitibi Consolidated, a multi-billion dollar corporation, attempting to con the hard-pressed taxpayers of Newfoundland into further subsidizing their operation by contributing to the cost of operating their mill in Stephenville. The chances are the government will oblige them. Surely we have intelligence enough to use our common sense, our ingenuity, and the God-given resources with which we are also bountifully blessed, for some better purpose. Newfoundland-Labrador owes Abitibi Consolidated nothing. Begone I say! Lloyd Rees, 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 • firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
Read this, Mr. Martin P
lease excuse me this week, regular reader, this column is not written for you. ••• Good mornin’, Mr. Prime Minister, and welcome to Town, as we call it. They said you’d be here today and planned to pick up The Independent. (Your people were good enough to call in advance and order copies to be dropped off at the hotel.) There’s always an audience, but it’s a little different knowing someone really special will be in the crowd. It’s like being in the middle of cooking Jigs Dinner and finding out the Queen will be dropping by for a plate. Make sure you sample John Crosbie and Ray Guy, Mr. Martin, they’re our salt meat and cabbage. Siobhan — whom you know as a fine, upstanding Liberal — is our fresh beet, as in beat you over the head (more of a gentle tap, actually), no matter who you are, if she thinks you have it coming. (See page 25 — “both Liberals and Conservatives appear to have done something unsavory,” re those audio tapes.) No doubt, prime minister, you’ve already taken in the wonderful view of the harbour. The cruise ships, which will be arriving soon, can barely squeeze through the slit in the hill we call The Narrows. There are always ships coming and going, mostly fishing boats freckled with seagull shadows. They say there was a time when a man could walk across the harbour on the decks of fishing schooners anchored side by side. Don’t try that today, Mr. prime minister, you’ll get soaked and covered in condoms. The sewage treatment plant will be under construction for a few years yet. Thanks for the federal contribution, by the way. You might say the fishing isn’t what it used to be. Now, before you ask yourself whether this is an unload-on-Paul Martin rant, relax — it’s not. But there are certain realities that must be pointed out, like the fact
Fighting Newfoundlander Newfoundland is an island dependent on fish and there are hardly any left. Thanks, too, for increasing the surveillance of foreign trawlers, which certainly helps, but it would help a lot more if Canada could actually arrest the foreign pirates that rape our precious Grand Banks — instead of sending them home for discipline that never comes. If you’ve got time during your visit you should take a dart down the Southern Shore to Trepassey or hitch a helicopter to Harbour Breton. Wear a black suit, if you have one with you, the towns are still mourning the death of their futures. There’s nothing special about those Coast Guard ships you see on the southside of St. John’s harbour — they’re always there. There was a big stink a couple of years ago when it was revealed the Coast Guard didn’t have enough money for gas because of budget cuts. FILL UP YOURSELF If you want a ride on one you’ll have to fill up the tank yourself. By the way, that ugly rust bucket of a boat tied up on the Coast Guard wharf is the Portuguese trawler Santa Mafalda. She was arrested recently for illegal fishing in Canadian waters, charges levelled back in 2003. Enforcement officials couldn’t pull her in until they caught her inside the 200-mile limit again — which they did. She’s been cited 14 times over the past 10 years for illegal fishing. The moratorium we’ve been dealing with since 1992 wasn’t extended to foreigners. We stopped fishing; they didn’t. Any decision yet on custodial management? Maybe you’ll consider the idea come next election. Just say you won’t forget about it again when the election’s over.
St. John’s harbour actually looks similar to Halifax, don’t you think? There’s one exception, of course — there aren’t any navy boats; they’re all tied up in Nova Scotia. Strange, considering we’re on the edge of the North Atlantic. What’s that about, can you say? There aren’t many federal jobs around here period. Newfoundland and Labrador is almost like an abandoned federal outpost. The offshore is booming, mind you, and the new Atlantic Accord money will come in handy, but when exactly can we expect the $2.6-billion cheque? Is Scott Reid with you, by the way? Hey Scott, have we paid enough yet for last fall’s flag flap? Now that you’re here you can look in our faces — stop us in the street, if you like — and repeat what you said. Hopefully, Mr. Prime Minister, the weather today will be half decent so you can take a walk yourself. Take The Independent with you so you can read the special series we’re running about young Newfoundlanders. High school students here are worried about their future. They question where the jobs will come from; whether the population will continue to decline; who will look after the old people that are left. You’ll also come across signs of hope. Have a look over on the top of the southside hills, high over the parked Coast Guard ships and the Santa Mafalda. See the flag there, the pink, white and green — the same one that flies from our front-page masthead? Four of our young men took it upon themselves recently to sew it together and raise it over St. John’s. The flag represents the new Newfoundland and Labrador — passion, drive, determination. If you take anything back to Ottawa with you sir, take that. Enjoy your day, Mr. Prime Minister. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
How-to guide to winning premier’s office P
ssst, hey you. Yeah, you. Want in on an opportunity? We don’t know each other, but if you would like to be premier, read on. I got a plan that’ll make you premier in six years. How do I know we don’t know each other? Because I wouldn’t be selling this to any Liberal in the current provincial constellation. None of them has a monkey’s chance of being premier in our lifetime. But you might, whoever you are. So listen up. With Roger Grimes being gathered to his political rewards this week, the Liberal party can finally start on the long road back to power. You should light the way. They are going to need you. They have been lost in the wilderness for a while. When Tobin left, he left a very big hole. A few of the second-in-commands did battle, and Roger won. But he wasn’t filling that hole. In retrospect, it appears John Efford probably couldn’t have done it either. As we move away from it, in time, that battle between Grimes and Efford looks more
Rant & reason and more like a cheesy low-budget monster movie — Godzilla versus Rodin: Battle of the Has-Been Dinosaurs. No, my friend. That hole needed to be filled by a new Messiah — which it was. Problem was, that Messiah played for a different team. Everyone loved him, and your crowd was left out in the cold. Now the love affair with the new guy is beginning to wear off. For the right person — and you might just be that person — the path to victory is clear. But you have to start soon. If you haven’t already, you should join the Liberals. Gerry Reid will keep the leader’s seat warm until the next Liberal convention, which will be in 2006. A decent and capable fellow, he will do the thankless work of rebuild-
ing and refinancing the party. He might even, in his quiet moments, think about offering himself up for leadership. Anyone can dream. But aside from dreams, the leadership of the Liberal party is yours for the taking — if you have the royal jelly. Do you? Can you make your fellow Liberals pulses race? Can you make their wallets open? Clyde Wells did. So did Brian Tobin. Since then it has been same-old, same-old. Think hard about this, oh unknown one: winning the leadership might be tough, but dealing with the Williams administration will be a lark. Your opponent is a guy who can be played like a fine old fiddle by anyone with half a clue. Is he competent? Absolutely. A worthy adversary? Very much. But that’s the point. It’s just him. He’s the sort of fellow who does not brook any strong personalities around him (notice Elizabeth Marshall still sitting in the back). So when he goes — and he will go — he will leave a tired party and another very big hole. Being in opposition will be a turkey shoot.
Loads of fun! Until he goes you can play his thin skin and hot temper to your advantage. Or amuse yourself by picking on the various what-are-theirnames sitting around him.
Being in opposition will be a turkey shoot. Loads of fun! You will need allies, but that won’t be hard. Danny is making them for you. The unions will be mad as hell and looking for blood. Like always, they will pay lip service to the New Democrats and then vote for the party they think will serve them the best. If you play your cards right, that should be you. And the cool part is that Danny and the Tories will have their expectations so lowered that you won’t have to promise them too much to win their
support. Sweet! Crab fishermen, plant workers, teachers, nurses — the list is just getting started. Who knows who will be on it in the years to come? As they are made to knuckle under they will all become automatic converts. You need only meet them at the door with a friendly smile. You have six years from today to get all this done. By then the Tories will have been in power so long they will be sloppy and lazy, like your guys were. By then your party will be lean and hungry enough again for a good fight, like the Tories are. And I would guess Danny will leave the place in pretty good shape — relatively speaking. Ironically, we will all be half starved by then, but the government will probably be in great shape. Not a bad plan. And all yours for a buck. Except you haven’t started yet. Or have you? Ivan Morgan can be reached at email@example.com
YOUR VOICE Why decks and patios should be smokeless, too Dear editor, Government’s new ban on smoking in all public places including bars and bingo halls is a tremendous step forward for public health in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since the new law was passed, however, a few people have been grumbling that it’s unfair to ban smoking on decks and patios. I think it’s only right to ban smoking on decks and patios and I offer, what I feel, are two good reasons. The first reason for supporting the ban on smoking on decks and patios is that it maintains fairness for the industry. Banning smoking inside bars but allowing it on patios and decks would amount to government legislating a competitive advantage to bars with decks and patios. Some bar owners are not able to build decks and patios onto their establishments because of building-code regulations, lack of space, zoning regulations, etc. To my knowledge, the industry had asked government to maintain a level playing field and if there was
going to be a ban inside bars, it must also be extended to outside decks and patios. Government seems to have listened to this concern. Another reason to support the ban on smoking on decks and patios is that many of them are partially covered by large awnings, canopies, etc., that prevents smoke from escaping into the atmosphere — meaning staff suffer the effects of secondhand smoke. Also, it is impossible to escape the smoke from 30 or 40 cigarettes on a deck on a breezy day. Many bars also serve food on their decks and customers have to contend with smoke and ashes blowing into their food and drinks from neighbouring tables. I’m glad government has taken action and finally closed the last doors on the public’s exposure to second-hand smoke. There is no excuse for needlessly endangering people’s health. Michael Roy, St. John’s
How could The Independent forget Dear editor, I am writing to address an omission and an error in an article (A real celebration) in the May 29-June 4 edition of The Independent. In the list of festivals you did not include the 29th annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, which takes place this summer in Bannerman Park on the weekend of Aug. 5-7. I did find this surprising as the photograph accompanying the article was taken at our festival last year. The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival is the largest folk festi-
val on the island, and it presents folk artists from all over the province on its five stages. It really should be included in any list of significant summer festivals. In addition, the festival is not properly named in the photo credit, where it is referred to as “Last summer’s Folk Festival in St. John’s.” We would greatly appreciate it if you could address these two items in a future edition of The Independent. Jean Hewson, 29th annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
Dr. Sean Buckingham, who practices on Queen’s Road in St. John’s, is facing 30 charges including sexual assault and drug trafficking. His bail hearing is due to continue June 6. Paul Daly/The Independent
Don’t bet on gambling ban Dear editor, Much has been written and said in this province about electronic gambling of late, stimulated by the news that electronic Keno is about to be introduced in the province. NDP MHA Randy Collins has enlarged his banning rant from video lottery terminals (VLTs) to include electronic Keno. I do not dispute for a second Mr. Collins’ best intentions, but I do take issue with his banning solution — i.e. ban VLTs, ban Keno, and ban what next? Banning anything related to gambling in this province is not going to happen any time soon for a couple of very good reasons: people who use the games recreationally have a right to play them, and these games represent a cashcow for the province. Banning — while it sounds laudable and heroic — is not the most viable or salable solution to address gambling concerns. Development of sustainable, and expeditious availability of publiclyfunded education, prevention, and treatment programs to address potential negative effects of gambling is exactly where Mr. Collins and others should
focus energies. This approach will pay solid dividends in the short and long term for society as a whole, as with other sustained public campaigns (safe sex, for example). Informed people generally make good decisions. Potential problem gamblers need to be educated about the developmental elements of gambling problems, prevention skill-sets and treatment alternatives. Robert Bourgeois, an Atlantic Lottery spokesperson, stated, “people don’t become addicted because they are playing a certain type of game ...” (Heartache by the numbers, May 29June 4 edition of The Independent). I agree totally with Mr. Bourgeois. Problem, pathological gambling is an indicator of a larger, more pervasive problem that needs to be identified and addressed. Government has done an absolutely miserable job on these fronts, to the point of negligence. There is no systematic educational programming in this province for the general public. The human resource capacity of the provincial addictions
services staff to provide such services is — and has been for many years — a major problem, neglected through the years. I would ask, where are the education and prevention programs? Where is the staff to develop and present them? Where are the sustained media education prevention campaigns? There is not now, nor has there been, a campaign for many years in this province since the elimination of the alcohol and drug dependency commission more than 10 years ago. It is neither responsible, nor good enough to say that actual clinical treatment is available when the resources are so seriously insufficient, and when it can take months to access. Banning of games will not happen anytime soon — most likely not at all. Government simply needs to be asked every day where and when will the sustained, meaningful education, prevention and adequate treatment programs be available for the gamblers in this province? Ronald Tizzard, Paradise
odds of winning are approximately 1-500
JUNE 5, 2005
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Grading the future First of a two-part series exploring how young Newfoundlanders see their future, and that of the province. Next week’s piece will feature students of Fortune Bay Academy.
Literacy study to be released this fall; first in 16 years By Allison Furlong For The Independent
ewfoundlanders and Labradorians will soon know if their literacy levels are on par with the rest of Canada. An adult literacy and life skills survey will be released by Statistics Canada this October, containing provincial figures to replace a dated 1989 study, which tagged the province as having the lowest literacy levels in the country. Another literacy study released in May compared Canada’s literacy levels as a whole to other nations internationally, but did not contain a breakdown of the literacy rates in individual provinces and territories. The survey indicated that literacy levels throughout Canada haven’t significantly changed in the last decade. Another literacy survey was released in 1994, but the sample sizes were so small that the Atlantic provinces were grouped together. That means the literacy study being released this fall will contain the first provincial literacy findings in 16 years. Based on the May 11 survey, Kim Gillard, administrative co-ordinator of the Literacy Network Ad-Hoc Group, says provincial literacy findings to be released this fall likely won’t improve either. “Based on the national data, we’re not expecting to see much change (in provincial literacy rates) at all this fall,” Gillard tells The Independent. “We could be shocked with the findings, but I don’t think we will be.” There is no standard way to measure literacy in the province. Most studies break down literacy into levels, ranging from one to four — one being illiterate and four being able to meet everyday literacy demands. The 1989 literacy survey indicated 24 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have literacy levels in the level two range and below, in comparison a Canada-wide average of 16 per cent. On average, 62 per cent of Canadians have the literacy skills necessary for everyday requirements, compared to 39 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
Jessica Yetman and Gabriel Jaimes, students of Holy Heart.
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Rural vs. urban
Students from around the bay have higher university dropout rate than city kids By Darcy MacRae For The Independent
hen it comes to Memorial University, rural students have a higher dropout rate than their city counterparts, a study suggests. The majority of students who drop out do so during the first year of study, as many rural students struggle to adapt to their new, big-city surroundings. Rural students take longer to adjust academically and often have considerably lower grades during their first semester than urban students. MUN professors Shelly Birnie-Lefcovitch, George Hurley and John Garland began a transition study in October 2003 to find solutions to the problem. The study looks at the differences between rural and urban students as they make the transition from high school to university. “In the end we hope to develop useful and practical intervention strategies to help both
Grading the future universities and high schools combat the problem of rural dropout and keep these folks in university,” says Andrea Pike, the study’s coordinator. Pike has conducted in-depth interviews with both rural and urban students from across the province in their last year of high school and again after their first semester at university. Topics discussed included social integration, life stresses, coping strategies, social support, university goals and expectations, and perceptions of the transition from high school to university. “In essence, we asked students to talk about their lives in both their home and university environments. We talked about their experiences and thoughts regarding life as both high
schools students and university students,” Pike tells The Independent. Past studies have indicated that rural students view life outside the city in a positive light, especially the sense of home, family and community. The students often feel outsiders at MUN, due to the dominant urban culture (created by the high number of students and faculty from urban communities). A solution to this problem could be to make university life more similar to rural communities than urban ones. “It has been suggested that university society would be better if it had characteristics more like a rural environment,” Pike says. The study’s first phase is expected to be completed by summer’s end. Memorial admits one of the highest proportions of rural students in the country, and has the second highest rate of attrition in the country, trailing only the University of Regina, which admits an even greater proportion of rural students.
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
Sohiba Ametova and Adam Shea leaving their social studies class at Holy Heart.
By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
ifteen high school students in Grades 11 and 12 at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s filled out anonymous surveys about their future in Newfoundland and Labrador for The Independent. The survey had five questions, centering around what students want to do upon graduation and where they plan to live and work, as well what they see as the future for the province. The overall responses were mixed, ranging from students who are convinced finding a job will pose no problems, to those who are adamant they will have to leave to be successful. Seven say they would like to leave the province after completing their education, although some mention they might consider returning if the work is here. Eight say they would definitely like to stay in, or near, St. John’s. Although when referring to their individual aspirations, the students seem optimistic, many of the phrases used to sum up the potential of Newfoundland and Labrador are less positive. “Empty island.” “Outmigration.” “Population depletion” “A province in a development process.” “Going downhill.” Most of the terms follow comments such as,
Survey says “I think Newfoundland’s population will decrease because of the lack of jobs. Also more people will become unemployed. People will move away to big provinces.” All of the students questioned say they fully intend to continue their education after high school, 13 to university and two plan to follow specific trades. Many have decided on specific jobs such as teachers and nurses — almost all narrow their preferences down to a particular field, such as science or business. Three of the six graduating this year have already made plans to leave. Two of those are foreign students who expressed a preference for larger areas such as Ontario. All the students come across as ambitious and motivated and insist they will continue their education past high school. Many say they are beginning to become more aware of the problem of outmigration and raise
‘What should I do?’ From page 1 Although the students are thinking about their futures, and voice concerns about finding work and fulfilling careers in Newfoundland and Labrador, their outlooks are understandably “excited” and positive, and their worries are more immediate. The realities of student loans and employment seem far away. Andrew Woolgar, the group’s 30-year-old social studies teacher, sums up his students’ thoughts on their futures, saying rather than exams, they’re probably worrying more about the upcoming prom. “Whether it’s their age, or their youth, when they say they don’t have a lot of worries, a lot of them don’t. They don’t know that the money’s out there for the taking (student loans). They’ll take it when they get it and at the end of university they’ll look back and say, ‘Oh my God, I owe $40,000.’” As David Cooper, principal of Holy Heart, says, however, “these kids have grown up their whole lives, getting news that’s been fairly bleak. “This closes, that closes. We keep waiting for oil to be the big thing for the province; maybe that’ll happen, maybe it won’t.” Although city students don’t face the same daily realities as their counterparts in rural areas of the province, the employment and economic issues of the province have been duly noted. The main concern among the group — made up of nine Newfoundlanders, three South Koreans and one Columbian — is: will I find a career that I enjoy and will there be a job for me? Although they would like to travel, at least half the students say they want to stay and live and work in the province (although their
teacher reminds them of the countless times he’s heard the standard phrase, “This place is a hole and I want to get out of here.”) “What should I do?” says Mark Cooper, a 17-year-old from St. John’s who says he wants to stay in his hometown. “Should I do something that I really enjoy, but I can’t actually stay here for it? Or something that I enjoy, kinda, and I can stay here too?” Several of the group mention their families when they speak of the future — not wanting to leave them behind and wanting to live up to expectations. “I think my biggest fear is not getting a job,” says Gabriel Jaimes, 19, one of 65 ESL (English as a second language) students at Holy Heart. “You grow up and you see your parents working hard and trying to give you everything that they can and they expect for you to be better than they are.” Some of the students, such as Sohiba Ametova (who’s hoping to be an engineer and is leaving the province for university in September) and Kathleen Ring, are already on their way down specific career paths. They say they worry they’ll go so far and discover they’ve made a mistake. It’s a realistic concern and one echoed by their teacher. Woolgar is only 12 years older than many of his students. He says it took him a while to realize his calling as a teacher. “I want them to have an education to give them the option to do what they want to do, and when they realize they’ve got options, they’ll be much better off,” says Woolgar. “It’s not all about the job and what you’re going to do with the rest of your life either. “I want them to know that they have a world of opportunity; a world of options.”
Grading the future
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
concerns about finding work and getting accepted in their chosen fields. “At the rate people are going now, I think there will be many educated people without jobs,” says one 18-year-old girl. “… people could end up becoming too stressed due to a high level of competition.” One boy, 17, has issues with the premier. “I can see Newfoundland and Labrador almost becoming an empty island because of Danny Williams cutting so many jobs away from people and then they are going to move away and never come back.” Another focuses on the oil industry. “Right now the future does look bright but only due to the Atlantic Accord deal that has been signed and passed through parliament.” That same student says he would like to stay and help the province expand. “I was born and raised here and I would love to stay, to work and live, to see the economy
Grading the future
grow.” Two students suggest that with an aging population, there might actually be more job opportunities by the time they finish their post-secondary education. In all cases, students say their parents would be supportive of their career choices, no matter where they decide to live, although one girl, 16, says, “They would like me to get out and go to different places.” Showing they were paying attention in their social studies classes, several references were made to categories of industry in the province that need to expand such as “tertiary” (profitmaking such as cinemas, supermarkets etc. and non-profit such as hospitals and schools) and “quaternary” (information technology). A couple of the students say they would like to move to Alberta where there are more jobs with better pay — and in some cases the students had family there. Overall, it’s clear the students have fond feelings towards their home province and several mention feeling “safe” in Newfoundland and Labrador. All, however, focus more on the province’s problems than its strong points. “I would like to say I feel positive, but it’s not entirely true,” writes one girl, 16. “Many of my friends and schoolmates plan on moving away. If many people my age plan to do this, Newfoundland and Labrador may be going downhill.”
JUNE 5, 2005
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Why don’t parents have to pass a test first?
‘Biggest man in the world’ MERLE BAKER 1919-1998 By Pam Ghent For the Independent
erle Baker became known simply as Uncle Merle. He was the oldest of 14 children, born in the outport of Lally Cove, and relocating to the nearby community of Harbour Mille in 1966 as part of government’s resettlement program. Uncle Merle was a dwarf, but those who knew him say he stood tall enough in his ration of four feet. He never had children of his own, but he lived with his sister Alma, her husband Roy Keeping, and their brood of six, and was special to each and everyone. But it was the youngest girl, Cathy Ann, and her own daughter, Crystal, to whom his heart belonged. When Ann was young, Uncle Merle filled her world. “I wouldn’t eat unless Uncle Merle was there,” she says. “At bath time he had to sit on the stairs until I was done.” Uncle Merle watched her go to school, and watched for her to return. Ann remembers his kindness, his patience. “He would stay all day, as long as I was there,” she says of her idle time spent picking berries on the hills surrounding her pretty home. And he followed her down to the ocean when it struck her to go. “One time he came back telling mom
that he almost lost the little maid,” Ann chuckles, referring to herself. “I walked off in the water and he struggled in to get me, the water was as high on him as it was on me.” Ann became a teenager. Gone were the picnics of Polar Bars and Hickory Sticks. Ann began spending less time with him and more with her friends. Uncle Merle didn’t complain, he did for her what he had done for others before her. He watched from the window each night she went out, going to bed only after he saw her coming up the path. Ann became pregnant at a young age and brought her daughter, Crystal, into their home. Uncle Merle now had another charge. “When Crystal was a baby he was always going in to check on her,” Ann smiles at the memory. “Once Mom was painting our room and had moved the baby to hers and when Uncle Merle went to check, she was gone and he ran down saying the ferries had taken the baby.” He scolded her to never move the baby again. Uncle Merle loved to dance, he loved to laugh and those who loved him say they never saw him mad. Ann walked in one day to find him laying on a hair-covered pillow. Crystal had decided she wanted to cut his hair. “I says to him, ‘Uncle Merle, what are you doing?’” Ann says, “and he says, ‘I’m getting my hair cut.’” she laughs. “I tell him she don’t know how to cut hair, and all he says is it will grow back.” Uncle Merle only went as far as Grade
2 in school, but his time spent at one end of the table while Ann, and then Crystal, learned their ABCs had taught him to write his name. The girls had each taken their turn playing school with him, and were proud of what he could do. They never saw a man with limitations, but one who was strong, healthy and full of love. “Uncle Merle was never sick a day in his life,” Ann says, explaining he took molasses as a tonic, believing it would keep him well. It seemed to work, only entering a hospital three days before he died. When he came home he sat for a long time outside the house he had lived in all his life. “The last things he asked for were me and Crystal,” Ann whispers. “Mom told him Crystal was asleep in the next room so he would rest.” Crystal and Ann reflect on the man who taught them so much, on all the things he loved in life. “He loved bluebells,” Ann says of the little flowers that dot the rocks around town. “He would say that when you see these bluebells you’ll hear them jingle and that will remind you of me.” After Uncle Merle’s death, his nephew found a poem and a photo he had stashed for his quieter moments. In the poem, wrapped up in its special words, was a photograph of he and Ann together. “He was small in size but had a really, really big heart,” Ann says of Uncle Merle, “and that made him the biggest man in the world.”
few months ago, I was sitting at a local watering JEFF DUCHARME hole enjoying a frosty bevA savage erage and some barstool prophesizing with a relative stranger journey when the cellphone rang. It was my father. It was a normal conversation. He Par for the course, I guess. just wanted to say hello and make Nothing so important is taken so sure his son was doing well. After much for granted — as fathers. a few minutes of chatting, he Even the less-than-stellar ones began to say his goodbyes and I make sacrifices, but children never finished the conversation the way see it until they’re no longer chilthose calls always end — regard- dren. There’s this strange belief in less of where I am or who is sitting the back of our heads as children beside me, “All my love, Dad.” that we’ll have more than enough Turning to the stranger, I apolo- time to make it right, to do right by gized for the interruption. our fathers (and mothers) and “At least your dad calls you,” he make good on everything he gave said, looking down at his beer. us, everything he’s done, everyStrangely, at a loss for words, I thing he’s sacrificed for us. just sat there. My heart sank thinkBut it doesn’t always work that ing that a father wouldn’t call his way. child, that a father would ignore a For daughters, it’s usually easier, life he helped create. But it is, after more natural for them to express all, a cruel world. Far too cruel, at their emotions and tell their mothtimes. No one ever said life would ers what they mean to them, to probe easy, a fact this poor fellow fess their love. knew all to well. Sons are another matter. It has Parents aren’t perfect, but chil- something to do with that macho dren often lose sight of what par- thing and not telling another man ents are thrown into — parent- they love them — homophobes are hood. Parents often say “you’ll us. understand when you become a Men aren’t supposed to cry and parent,” or something to that they sure as hell aren’t supposed to effect. The words are borne out of express their love for another male frustration, but no phrase eventual- — at least not in public. You can ly rings more true. know in your heart that you love While there are parenting class- your father, but the gods of es available, there’s no require- machismo will smite you dead if ment to take such courses. You you dare utter the words. need to study and pass a test Far be it for me to preach, but before you get a license to drive a too many times I found myself liscar, own a gun or even catch a fish, tening to a buddy tell me how he but any idiot can be a parent. Most never told his father he loved him, aren’t idiots, they’re just horribly never had the chance before he unprepared. We expect them to died — a life-long regret and pain learn how to be good parents by that can never be eased. learning from their An old Jewparents. Frightish proverb ening, since if sums it up: those parents were when a father An old Jewish less than stellar, gives to his than those bad son, both proverb sums it up: habits just keep laugh; when a being repeated. A son gives to his when a father gives child is either the father, both cry. Father’s Day beneficiary or the to his son, both laugh; is just around victim of their enthe corner and vironment and when a son gives to while a tacky parents create that his father, both cry. tie might be a environment by good gag gift their actions or inor a new golf actions. club will make Parents make mistakes. They screw up royally. dad smile, neither will be of the Some mistakes are monumental ages. But there are four words that and others are just bumps in the will — I love you, dad. Don’t be one of those sons who road. It’s easy to reflect on these things stand over his father’s coffin at the when you get to my age and realize funeral home weeping and saying what a proper little bugger you in a childlike voice: I never got the were and feel remorseful about the chance to tell him I loved him. torment you put your parents Because the truth is you always through. The sleepless nights as had the chance, but you just never they waited for you to come home took it. after a night out with the boys or the horrible report cards that led Jeff Ducharme is The Indepenthem to nightmares about their dent’s senior writer. soon-to-be-a-vagrant son. firstname.lastname@example.org
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SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 5-11, 2005 — PAGE 11
Former FBI official W. Mark Felt (aka Deep Throat) addresses reporters with his daughter Joan Felt last week.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Secret’s out, debate begins Was Watergate tipster hero or villain? Scholars, Nixon-era insiders disagree WASHINGTON By Tim Harper Torstar wire service
he question that tormented W. Mark Felt for 33 years is no longer the private demon of an elderly man, but the subject of debate splitting the nation. Was Deep Throat a hero or a villain? The former second-in-command of the FBI broke the law, betrayed the organization to which he swore allegiance, was likely motivated by a sense of betrayal over being passed over for the top job, was later indicted for arranging illegal breakins, then flatly lied about being the famous source for The Washington Post. Yet, without overstating his role, he exposed the lies and illegalities of a corrupt government, refused to allow Richard Nixon to politicize the FBI, helped force the U.S. president from office, and likely even was partly responsible for the ascension of the Democrats under Jimmy Carter.
Saviour or criminal? “I think that anytime wrongdoing Surely there are many shades of grey in occurs, it’s important that that wrongdoing this compelling tale and no one in the be reported. And I think that’s appropriupper echelons of today’s White House — ate,” he says. acknowledged mas“Now, who one reports ters of controlling the that to — the authorities is message — was willone thing, or somebody else ing to pass judgment. “Those calling him a is another.” “It’s hard for me to But therein lay the conunjudge,” says U.S. drum faced by Felt in 1972 ‘traitor’ didn’t want President George W. — if he took his concerns Watergate revealed.” about Nixon’s impeding the Bush, artfully dodging the question of Watergate investigation to whether Felt was an his superior, he would have Stephen Hess, American hero. been appealing to L. Patrick presidential scholar “I’m learning more Gray, who was appointed about the situation. interim FBI director by All I can tell you is Nixon with a mandate to that … it was a revelation that caught me quash the probe. by surprise, and I thought it very interest“It’s an easy call,” says Stephen Hess, a ing.” presidential scholar at the liberal-leaning Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Brookings Institution, but a former memhimself a member of the Nixon administra- ber of the Nixon White House. tion, was only slightly more forthcoming. “Those calling him a ‘traitor’ didn’t
want Watergate revealed. They say he was a disgruntled employee, but I don’t give a damn about his motivation. “He played a major role in bringing down a corrupt administration. He is a hero.” Robert Dallek, a presidential historian, says there will always be shades of grey and quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said history turns all heroes to scoundrels and all scoundrels to heroes. “If he had been identified at the time, I think Felt would have been celebrated for standing up for constitutional principle,” Dallek says. “But over time, questions would have been raised.” Dallek agrees that Felt had broken the law but, like Hess, he agrees there were times that such action was justified. Hess mentions the civil disobedience of the civil rights battles, but Dallek uses a more stark analogy. See “Sneaking around,” page 13
Desperate Martin clings to his office PM recklessly disregards democratic principles to gain time to bribe electorate
ince my last column, Belinda Stronach (B.S.), having run for the leadership of the Conservative Party in March 2004, and being elected as the Conservative MP for Newmarket-Aurora last June, defected to the Liberal party led by power-mad Paul Martin on May 17. This party believes itself to be the natural governing party of Canada, to which so many of those mainly interested in power, privilege and patronage move to have their interests and ambitions served. B.S. has been chosen to become minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines “perfidy” as “breach of faith, treachery.” B.S. is not the first
The old curmudgeon Canadian Conservative politician to demonstrate perfidious behaviour in moving to the Liberals. She follows in the footsteps of Jack Horner, the Alberta MP who in 1976 ran against Joe Clark and others for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives. He lost to Clark but became minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce for Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau several years later, moving to the Liberal government with the same
opportunism and lack of integrity now demonstrated by B.S. Horner was defeated in the election of 1979 and never surfaced in federal politics again — which I forecast will be the fate of B.S. as well. The result of her decision, however, was the Martin government survived with a tie vote in the House of Commons on the second Liberal-NDP budget. On May 10, a majority of the House of Commons voted 153-150 and passed a non-confidence motion recommending the government resign — but the Liberals simply ignored that vote and carried on. History professor and constitutional expert Michael Bliss wrote at the time
that it was an “unprecedented situation of having a prime minister who is clinging to office by recklessly disregarding the fundamental principles of our democracy” and concluded, “I am not sure that Canada has ever had such a serious parliamentary crisis.” DESPERATE POLITICIAN Surely Canadians have noted that the prime minister is a desperate politician who has broken fundamental conventions of the parliamentary system, completely changed and disregarded a budget presented to Parliament, and brought in a second budget dictated to him by the NDP. Following his television address on April 22, he has made announcements
of 122 projects totalling some $22.3 billion in spending, to attract the support of various client groups and provinces across the country. All this just barely saved his government! In putting off an election by securing a tie and having seduced B.S. to join him, all Martin accomplished was to give his government another 10 months or so of scheming time to bribe the electorate. Will we allow this perversion of our democratic parliamentary system to continue? Is the obvious desperation of Martin to stay in power caused by the fact that there is much more than the sponsorship scandal in Quebec that he See “May be” on page 14
JUNE 5, 2005
12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
VOICE FROM AWAY
‘Everybody is super, super friendly’ Hare Bay native Crystal Oram is adjusting to the cold, 24-hour daylight, and expensive food in Iqaluit By Allison Furlong For The Independent
ike many other students, Crystal Oram is in debt. Determined to deal with the situation, she packed her bags, left her hometown, and headed north. Oram moved to Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, in March. She works two jobs in the town of 6,000 — one at a hotel, the other at a grocery store. “I was back home in Hare Bay (a community on the northeast coast of Newfoundland) and I didn’t have any work,” Oram tells The Independent. “What I could have worked at was only paying me minimum wage, and I had a major student loan to pay off. I was just struggling, so I just decided to come here because the money was good, and it just seemed like the thing to do at the time.” Oram attended Memorial University and, unsure which career path to take, enrolled in general studies. She later applied to study primary/elementary education — twice, with no luck. A discouraged Oram decided to leave Memorial for good. “I had a student loan, and the longer you are (at Memorial), the more money you are wasting for nothing. I just couldn’t deal with the fact I was going further and further in debt for nothing, and there was nothing else that I wanted to do at the time. Now I’m just here trying to pay it off.” The 22-year-old “loves it” in Iqaluit, but says there were things that took a while to get used to. “When I stepped off the plane and it was 52 degrees below, I thought ‘oh my God, I will not be able to handle this,’” says Oram. “But it’s a different kind of cold than home … it’s really dry … you just have to dress for it.” Oram was also taken aback by the homes in the area. Everybody has the same style of bungalow, but the houses don’t sit on the ground. Because of permafrost, which can crack the foundation, the buildings are supported by poles. “First when I got here it looked so funny to me,” she says. “But it’s just something that they have to do in order to keep their houses.” But what Oram has the most trouble adjusting to these days is 24-hour daylight. “You don’t get in that sleepy mode like you do when you look outside and it’s dark out,” she says. “But we cover our windows so that we can sleep in the night … and kids are outside playing, they’re playing all night because it isn’t dark.”
There are quite a few people from the Atlantic provinces living in Iqaluit, many of them Newfoundlanders. “I work at one of the local grocery stores, and you can tell who’s a Newfoundlander, they walk through with all Purity stuff.” Oram says there are immense employment opportunities up north. Locals get first dibs on most jobs, she adds, but there are many positions waiting to be filled, and not enough people to fill them. Although she usually works seven days and five nights a week, Oram is happy with the decision she made. “It’s such a great opportunity for anybody that’s young, who have debts to pay off, or just want to come and make quick money to get started and get on their feet,” she says. “You have nothing to spend your money on ... it’s basically just your cost of living.” But the cost of living — particularly eating — is high. Two litres of milk is around $8, and a 12-pack of beer, if you can get your hands on it in the “dry” town, is about $60. Groceries are expensive, but Oram says costs virtually even out, because she makes a lot more money than she would at home in Newfoundland. And if she grows tired of cooking with expensive groceries, there are other options in Iqaluit, including Subway, KFC and Pizza Hut. While the younger generation in Iqaluit is growing up differently than their parents did, Oram says the older traditions and culture are being preserved. “They still teach their kids how to do things so that they won’t lose their way of life,” she says. “They still take their kids out and teach them how to hunt and live off the land … they speak their language when they talk amongst each other … they still do all these things, but they have adapted to our culture as well.” Oram says she’ll leave Iqaluit next year, and will enroll in the community studies program at the College of the North Atlantic’s Bay St. George campus. After graduation, she plans to return to the north. “Everybody is just super, super friendly,” says Oram. “They remind me of home in Newfoundland.” Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please e-mail us at email@example.com
An Inuit man watches fireworks at midnight in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
EU scrambles to save treaty BRUSSELS Torstar wire service
op officials in the European Union are blaming the leaders of member states for a growing revolt that has plunged the ambitious post-war project into a deep crisis. The finger pointing at EU headquarters came as politicians scrambled to salvage the union’s proposed constitution, which has been firmly rejected by French and Dutch voters in back-to-
back referendums. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder flew to Luxembourg last week for crisis talks with Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who currently holds the presidency of the 25-member EU. Schroeder called for calm and urged the 13 countries yet to ratify the proposed constitution to continue the process, even though the treaty has already failed to get the unanimous approval needed to become law.
“Every form of overreaction at this stage is wrong,” says Schroeder, whose parliament ratified the treaty last week. But at an emergency session at the EU’s parliament in Brussels, Schroeder and other leaders were blamed for the backlash that has all but killed the union’s first attempt at a constitution. The most surprising attack comes from Margot Wallström, a vice-president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive, who publicly lashed out at her political masters.
The former Swedish cabinet minister says leaders of member states had sown the seeds of the referendum rejections by repeatedly using the EU as a scapegoat for their domestic troubles. “There is a price to pay if one week you insist on blaming Brussels for everything that is evil and then the next week you say, `Please say yes to this (referendum).’ “The blame game cannot continue,” she tells the EU parliamentary committee that helped draft the treaty, designed
to govern a recently enlarged union. The committee’s vice-president, Johannes Voggenhuber, suggested the centre-right governments in Europe actively sabotaged the constitution because they prefer the less socially oriented treaties that now govern the political and economic union. “They didn’t try to win their populations over. They were not the advocates of the constitution,” says Voggenhuber, an Austrian Green party member of the EU parliament.
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JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 13
Martin, Harper fates rest with two provinces It is tough to say which of the two leaders faces the biggest challenge OTTAWA By Chantal Hébert Torstar wire service
hey are sister provinces in all but language. These days, Ontario and Quebec share similar values, diverse urban populations, vibrant metropolises and even the same brand of provincial government. They are comfortable enough with each other that, for almost 40 years, Ontarians have time and again supported prime ministers from Quebec. On the other hand, Quebecers claim Paul Martin, an Ontarian by birth, as one of their own. And yet this spring, Ontario and Quebec’s conflicting attitudes to the ruling Liberal party have brought Canada to the brink of a political impasse. Ontarians, or at least enough of them to propel the Liberals back to the front of the federal pack, appear to have recovered quickly from their initial shock at the sponsorship revelations. But in Quebec, voters are still itching to run Martin’s party out of the province. To get to the root of this divergence, one has to dig deeper than the geographical epicentre of the scandal. To most Canadians, NAFTA and the patriation of the Constitution are historical facts of life. Today, both enjoy widespread acceptance in Ontario and Quebec. But to find the fork in the Ontario/Quebec road, it helps to travel back to these two pivotal events. In the early 1980s, Ontario was a major player in the Liberal undertaking to patriate the Constitution. Quebec sat on the other side of the
Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.
table, never to be formally reconciled with the deal signed by its federal and provincial partners. But when free trade and NAFTA came along a few years later, the shoe was on the other foot. Despite the deep reservations of Ontario, Quebec’s elite embraced Brian Mulroney’s vision of a common North American market. Each of those battles left lasting political scars on the victors. Since patriation, the federal Liberals have largely been shut out of francophone Quebec.
McGuinty seeks more cash $5.75 billion federal money not enough, he says OTTAWA By Andrew Mills Torstar wire service
remier Dalton McGuinty is pressing on with his quest to get more federal funding for Ontario, despite the additional $5.75 billion he negotiated with Prime Minister Paul Martin last month. “We took one step forward at that time,” McGuinty told reporters, referring to last month’s late-night bargaining session with Martin. “I indicated to the prime minister that after the first step, I would like to take the second step, I’d like to take the third.” Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale has said only about a third of the $5.75 billion is new money. McGuinty has been trying to make the case that Ottawa should address the fact Ontario pays out $23 billion more
than it receives from the federal government in programs and services. In what he called “equalization by stealth,” McGuinty said that Ontario gets less per capita than the other provinces and that’s not fair. “We support equalization, without hesitation … this is why we want to narrow the gap — not eliminate it,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Newspaper Association. The argument that Ontario is getting a raw deal fell largely on deaf ears among Liberals in Ottawa — until a spring federal election looked likely. In early May, the situation was ripe for McGuinty to strike a deal with Martin for an additional $5.75 billion over five years. But McGuinty said that Ontarians are still receiving “second-class services simply by virtue of living in our biggest province.”
Sneaking around corridors in the middle of the night Continued from page 11
‘old man’ handled it badly,” he told The Associated Press. “What if someone had assassinated “But he was not brought down by a Adolf Hitler?” he asked. “It would cer- band of angels. He was brought down tainly have been a crime, but would we by a band of Nixon-haters ... and who have condemned them in history?” we now learn used a snake in the FBI.” Felt spent years in conflict, and, Charles Colson, a former Nixon according to Vanity Fair author John D. adviser who did seven months behind O’Connor, he once bars for his role in told his son Mark Jr. Watergate, said he that being Deep Throat could not approve of “The informer is was nothing to be Felt “sneaking around proud of because inforin the corridors, pednot wanted in our mation should not be dling information in the leaked. middle of the night.” society … that’s But Tuesday his Nixon clearly one thing people family held out hope thought he knew what the country would see the verdict on Felt line up against.” him as a hero. would be if they could “As he recently told prove he was the leakRichard Nixon my mother,” said er. Nixon, according to grandson Nick Jones, White House tapes “‘I guess people used from Feb. 28, 1973, to think Deep Throat was a criminal. believed Felt would crash and burn if But now they think he’s a hero.’” exposed. Pat Buchanan, the Nixon speech“The informer is not wanted in our writer-turned-conservative commenta- society,” Nixon said. “Either way, that’s tor, was among the cabal of former the one thing people do sort of line up administration insiders who tried to against. They say, ‘Well, that (explepaint Felt as a criminal. tive) informed. I don’t want him “We’ve always conceded that the around.’”
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In the four federal elections that have followed the ratification of the first free trade agreement in 1988, the Conservatives have all but disappeared from urban Ontario. Along the way, other events have had the net result of placing the burden of proof even more squarely on the federal Conservatives in Ontario and on the Liberals in Quebec. In Ontario, the Canada Health Act enshrined the perception that a Liberal federal government could be counted on to champion the social rights
of ordinary Ontarians. The act was primarily a response to the extra-billing practices of Ontario medical specialists. Quebecers, by comparison, have little use for the so-called social conscience of the federal Liberals. What comes across as social activism in many Ontario quarters is widely seen as meddling in Quebec. How could Quebecers not be perplexed when they watch Ontario scramble to sign a child-care agreement with Martin these days? With no federal help or guidance, Quebec already has in place a program second to none. And then, ask Ontario voters why they fear Stephen Harper and many will mention former Ontario premier Mike Harris. With the Harris episode still fresh in their minds, progressive Ontarians have no appetite for a federal repeat of the Common Sense Revolution. By contrast, Quebec’s most recent memories of a Tory government hail back to Mulroney’s Red Tory-style administration, a regime under which the debate on the death penalty was brought to a halt, the restrictions on abortion disappeared and the popular Meech Lake Accord was negotiated (and then died the death of a thousand — mostly Liberal — cuts). Only if Martin brings Quebec around to a more benign view of his party’s record does he stand a solid chance of ever winning a majority. Harper will only ever become prime minister if he overcomes Ontario’s distrust of his agenda. It is awfully hard to say which of the two leaders faces the biggest challenge between now and the next election.
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JUNE 5, 2005
14 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
Public enemy No. 1: ‘ladies bars’ 50,000 dancers in Mumbai feel the heat as politicians and police attempt to clean up the city’s image MUMBAI By Martin Regg Cohn Torstar wire service
A police file photo of bar dancers in Mumbai.
the deputy chief minister leading the state crackdown. “They are a threat to civilized society.” But if the music stops, dancers fear they will be forced into the flesh trade. Many are the daughters of sex workers and dread a return to the city’s sprawling red-light districts. “They will be driven into brothels, where the pimps and brothel keepers are much more wicked,” warns former police commissioner Julio Rebeiro, who opposes the crackdown. For their part, the 50,000 dancers of the Ladies Bars are not taking this sitting down. If Bollywood superstars can shimmy their shoulders for the amusement of moviegoers, why not working girls in dance bars?
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athed in bright lights and stale smoke, her lithesome figure reflected in wall mirrors, Divya Raj sways her hips and tosses her hair back suggestively. Looking up from his beer, a brooding spectator — eyes riveted on her bare, gyrating midriff — peels a 10-rupee banknote (30 cents) from the wad on his table and tosses it her way. Alongside Raj, a dozen competing dancers pout seductively on stage or lip-synch to the beat of a Bollywood soundtrack. Aging male admirers shower them with money as bodies and bangles glisten in the mirrors. The ritual is repeated nightly at the Karishma — one of Mumbai’s fabled “Ladies Bars,” where nubile dancers indulge the fantasies of leering male patrons for a few rupees. But Mumbai’s long tradition of titillation may be on its last legs. In a crusade to clean up this port city’s image as a den of iniquity, politicians and police have declared war on Ladies Bars. Accused of corrupting the morals of performers and patrons, bars have been declared Public Enemy No. 1 by the Maharashtra state cabinet, which is threatening to revoke their licences. Known until recently as Bombay — home to the Bollywood studios that produce far more films than are made in Hollywood or anywhere else — Mumbai has long revelled in its reputation as a city of sin, where prostitutes and gangsters rub shoulders with starlets and tycoons. But now, India’s biggest and brashest metropolis is recasting its image: clearing out slums, tearing down risqué movie posters and cleaning up the Ladies Bars. “The bars are corrupting the moral fibre of our youth,” argues R.R. Patil,
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to heels. No lap dancing. The dancers’ appeal has resonated with the citizens of Mumbai, sparking a media frenzy and political storm. Union organizers led sit-ins this month at the historic Azadi Maidan park, where Mahatma Gandhi once led freedom marches against British colonizers. Now, the women say they are being oppressed by Indian men who are sticking their noses in the wrong places. “For this government, dancing is a crime,” scoffs Varsha Kale, head of the Indian Dance Bar Girls’ Union. “They have decided this with their middleclass mentality.” Not only will her members lose their livelihood, Mumbai will miss out on its tradition of tribal dancing inspired by courtesans through the centuries. Dismissing allegations that the bars often serve as fronts for prostitution, Kale points to a far graver danger: the proliferation of discos that surely would replace dance bars. Kale led a delegation of dancers to the capital for an audience with India’s
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“This is the only work I can do,” explains Raj, 25, between numbers at the Karishma (Miracle) bar. “We’ll be thrown onto the street. This is my only way of earning bread,” she adds plaintively, perched on a barstool. With her large, expressive eyes, dimpled smile and multiple nose rings, she is a favourite with well-heeled customers. A single mother from tribal Rajasthan state, she supports two young children with tips from her toil — up to 500 rupees ($15) nightly. “It’s hard work, but there is no alternative,” Raj continues In a city of more than 15 million struggling souls — where children sleep on the streets and slum-dwellers beg in tattered clothes — the impulse to thrust Ladies Bars to the top of the public agenda seems surprising. As nightlife goes, performances at Mumbai’s estimated 700 dance bars are relatively tame. The dancers are draped in traditional chania choli dresses or sequined saris with only their backs and midriffs partly exposed. No stripping. No touching. No stilet-
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most powerful female politician, Sonia Gandhi, head of the governing Congress party. A sympathetic Gandhi asked the Maharashtra state government to let the music play on, but her appeal fell on deaf ears. Local politicians and police insist Mumbai’s morality is non-negotiable. At police headquarters, deputy commissioner Sanjay Apranti takes time out from the crime blotter to explain his priorities. Why the fuss? “When a girl makes obscene, provocative, inviting gestures, then the man gets seduced, loses control, because he’s drunk,” says Mumbai’s most quotable cop. But why close dance bars while brothels do a booming business? It’s not just male propriety that is at risk, but female virtue, Apranti argues between sips of milk tea. “When they’re dancing to make money, then it becomes prostitution,” he declares. “Not every woman knows she is a victim, so isn’t it society’s responsibility to inform them?” Such sentiments reek of condescension and hypocrisy to the dancers, waiters and owners of Mumbai’s dance bars — who must regularly fend off gangsters, pimps, politicians and police officers encroaching on their turf or extorting protection money. Behind the pink neon sign of the Karishma bar, Manjit Singh Sethi is standing his ground. As president of the bar owners’ association, he accuses the government of seeking retribution only because bribes went unpaid. “I’ve been in business for 20 years, so how come it’s becoming illegal?” The owner boasts he takes good care of his 35 dancers, providing a minimum take-home pay of $9 nightly. A princely sum by Indian standards, Sethi points out, though he concedes it’s a brutal business. “It all depends upon the charms of the lady and how long she keeps herself fit, because ladies have a tendency to get fat after delivering (babies),” the proprietor avers. After all this time, the tips keep coming for Raj, the single mother who dances while her children sleep. “I’m hoping that my younger brothers will grow up and support themselves,” she says brightly. “Once they start working, I won’t have to do this.”
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Continued from page 11 does not want exposed to Canadians? The most recent event that needs investigation involves what took place when Martin’s chief of staff, Tim Murphy, met with Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal just prior to the nonconfidence vote, to discuss the possibility that Grewal might help the Liberals avoid defeat. Both NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe have called for the RCMP to investigate Grewal’s tape recordings of the conversation. In the tapes, Murphy makes no specific offers, noting Grewal and his wife (also a Conservative MP) could abstain from the vote, but stating it would be “a bad idea, truthfully, to have any kind of commitment that involved an explicit trade.” The move of B.S. to the Martin cabinet may be a Magna move, encouraged by her former associates at the autoparts firm, such as her father Frank Stronach (a former Liberal candidate) and former politicians in the Magna sphere of influence such as Liberals Brian Tobin and David Peterson. It is a Machiavellian, deceitful, perfidious and cunning move, of which the many Liberal princes will be proud. Are Canadians proud and supportive of such duplicity? John Crosbie’s next column will appear June 19.
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15
16 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
JUNE 5, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 5-11, 2005 — PAGE 17
Men need not apply Sexual assault victim turned away as volunteer at assault centre, files human rights complaint By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
Duffy says that’s all the resources they can offer. “Eighty five per cent of victims are ean Beulman sees it as the latest women, so how effective would a cen“slap in the face.” The St. John’s tre be that serves the three men a year man has filed a complaint with that come forward? We can’t get fundthe Newfoundland and Labrador ing for the nearly 3,000 calls a year we Human Rights Commission because he get — at least 1,200 of those are crisiswas turned away as a volunteer — try- based.” ing to help victims of sexual assault, a Only recently, says Duffy, has the subject he’s far too familiar with. centre begun to track calls on the basis Beulman himself was a victim of of gender, although numbers aren’t yet sexual assault at home and in foster available. Only six per cent of female homes. As a child, he was victimized sexual assault victims ever come forby males and females. ward — the number is even less where “If a male recognizes himself as a male victims are concerned. sexual assault survivor, the first thing Beulman says he sought help and that becomes an issue is your sexuali- was lucky to find it, but he worries ty,” Beulman tells The Independent, about male victims that give up look“especially if your offender is a male as ing. well. It’s 10 times worse if it was a “The person that’s going to the cenfamily member.” tre and asking for help, you’re not well, The Newfoundland and Labrador you’re hurting at that time,” says Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Beulman. “And when you’re discrimiCentre advertised recently for volun- nated against, you don’t have the teers and Beulman saw it as an oppor- strength to come back up ... all it does tunity to fill a void is bring you further — few services are into that victim available to male mode.” “How much more victims — and he A lot of what Beulapplied. man says he’s heard stress can you put Beulman was is only “words” turned away. when it comes to on a person when Tracy Duffy, the helping male victims you’re kicked?” centre’s co-ordinator, and the inaction is says she understands just another “slap in Beulman’s frustrathe face. Sean Beulman tion, but the centre’s “How much more mandate doesn’t stress can you put on allow for male volunteers. At the same a person when you’re kicked?” he says. time, the centre’s mandate dictates it “I don’t think it’s anything that is won’t discriminate based on sexuality. insidious. I think it’s something that’s “You see, that’s the great debate complacent and I also think it’s somebecause the mandate speaks to services thing that’s widely accepted. Overall, I we provide,” says Duffy. “We don’t think the problem is men fall into the consider being a volunteer as a service. category of offenders, females fall into Volunteering here is not to serve you as the category of victims.” a survivor; it’s meant to help surRegardless of the rationale, Beulman vivors.” says it’s discrimination. She says the centre struggles to sur“I do believe that (the centre) has vive and simply doesn’t have the chosen to be part of a mandate that dismoney to deal with a problem she allows men and gives them the right to knows is out there — male victims of discriminate against men — that’s a sexual assault. The centre offers a choice,” he says. referral service and will even accompaSee “Outside the realm,” page 24 ny male victims to the hospital, but
Paul Daly/The Independent
A different world
St. John’s man finds many things to love about Natuashish By Stephanie Porter The Independent
hris White is all enthusiasm when he comes to the phone. “You wouldn’t believe it, it’s still light here,” he says, noting it’s almost 11 p.m. in Natuashish. “You wouldn’t see this light in St. John’s — maybe for five minutes — this is like a really, really slow sunset, it’s just amazing.” White has three weeks left to go in his first year of teaching in the Labrador community — and it’s the first time the days have been this long. As the conversation continues, it becomes clear the summer light is only one of many impressive things White has encountered since arriving last September. Of course, as a first-year teacher, born and bred in St. John’s, moving to the northern community held its share of surprises and personal challenges. “One of the first nights here, before school even started, I was in my classroom, and there were little rocks going off my window the whole time,” he says. “And I thought, this is it, I’m going to be killed … “But when I left, all these kids came up to me and were like ‘What’s your
name? What’s your name? They were just curious, looking to make friends.” White teaches a class of nine students in a level called “primary pod C,” roughly equivalent to Grade 2. He struggles to describe what captivates him about the children he’s met, both in his class and outside. “They’re so carefree, happy … but they’re really tough kids,” he says, searching for the right adjectives. “The kids are so unreal; the amount of spirit they have is beautiful … and they are given a lot of freedom, much more than we’d be used to.” The kids are always out and about, he says — playing, stopping by for water or cookies, zipping around on skidoos or quads. White, an avid chess player and teacher, began a chess club in his school. Just a few days ago he returned from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, where he took two of the Grade 6 students he taught to participate in the Labrador Open tournament. “The boys, I was really pleased,” White says, “They came low in the standings but one got a win and the other guy got a draw against a guy in high school … “I was especially happy with the way they kind of fit in in the chess commu-
Chris White with his students last winter.
nity, they just got along with everyone, they’re really social. They’re up here … I mean, a trip to Goose Bay, they were on top of the world.” Teaching is, he says, a “tough job,” particularly at first, because of the language barrier. White — like the majority of the teachers hired to work in the community — had no English as a second language or equivalent training.
There is a teacher’s assistant/Innu translator in the classroom, to help bridge the gap. White says without the translator, Katie Pasteen — a native of the community — he would have been lost. The two formed a close bond and working relationship. “Just seeing what’s on TV, it’s really hard to see that (the Innu students are) being compared with other students in
Newfoundland and Labrador,” he says. “Because we’re doing the same curriculum with these kids who are Innu, many come to school in kindergarten knowing little or no English … you hear statistics saying they’re so many years behind other children, but of course they are. “These people, I really think they should be proud of their educational achievements, considering they’ve held on to their native language (Innueimun). It’s a beautiful language and it’s amazing they’ve held on to it and that’s not talked about enough.” When not teaching or leading the chess club, White plays music. He’s in a band with two other teachers, and has jammed with a local, very popular, band called Mushuau Shipu. The music in the community, he continues, is another thing that’s blown him away — whether it’s the Innu rock, traditional drumming, the beloved local musician Peter Gregoire, or the offerings of students. White is all too aware of, and frustrated by, outsiders’ perception, and media coverage, of the town. “It’s such a different world, and you can’t know it unless you’re here,” he says. See “I will ... miss it,” page 24
JUNE 5, 2005
18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
GALLERYPROFILE EILEEN GEAR BRAGG Visual artist
ileen Gear Bragg loves flowers. She loves their form, colour, texture and the continuously evolving life cycle they represent. Mostly she paints single blossoms, up close, often from unusual angles and laid against vibrant backgrounds. With every image she explores a sense of depth and drama. “I’m really in tune with nature,” says Gear Bragg, a St. John’s resident who was born and raised on Bell Island. “I’ve always camped and I’ve always hiked and to me nature and the natural rhythms of nature are dear to my heart. “You look at something and you see the realism as I call it and beyond that you can see the abstraction, so you’re looking at something deeper and, I don’t know, more profound. It’s really emotional for me because it represents something so deep.” Gear Bragg is soft spoken, but animated and passionate — particularly when talking about her work. It’s hard to believe that four years ago she was only just rediscovering her artistic talent, after a busy career with Memorial University as an educational instructor for faculty. Now in her 50s, Gear Bragg says she reached a point in her life where she started craving visual creativity over academic. She immediately began taking art courses and officially retired last year. “I’m really pleased to be at the age I’m at. You feel you have more control over your decision making,” Now she can’t stop painting and even teaches her own parttime watercolour classes. Throughout the month of June, Gear Bragg is showing her first solo exhibition called
Nature: Looking at … Looking beyond, at Victoria Manor Shoppes and Gallery in Harbour Grace, an area where her grandparents came from. Gear Bragg’s series of flowers, such as the Amaryllis, Bird of Paradise and Calla Lilies, explore the vibrancy and purity in nature, boldly expressed using her favourite medium — watercolour. “I think watercolour is almost an act of nature in itself … it’s the water interacting with the pigment, interacting with the surrounding air … to me, watercolour moves on paper like nature.” Although her husband is a gardener, Gear Bragg says she often favours more exotic flowers that don’t grow locally and she always keeps fresh blooms in the house, particularly as she paints with them right beside her. She recently took lessons in photography to help capture the fleeting freshness of her subjects, which are apt to quickly wilt and transform before paintings that are often three feet square can be finished. Gear Bragg says every image brings a new challenge and exploring creative techniques and capturing just the right feeling in the painting is harder than any doctorate. With a PhD in education — she should know. “What you have to learn to be a really good artist is beyond what I ever imagined … so I’m there thinking, ‘Oh my God I’ve only got 30 years to learn how to paint.’ “It’s only now I’m trying to learn what art is really about because I know that I want to create and I know there’s a challenge in the expression of it.” — Clare-Marie Gosse photos by Rhonda Hayward Nature: Looking at… Looking beyond runs until Aug. 4 at Victoria Manor Shoppes and Gallery, Harbour Grace.
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19
Music of the moment
Guided by three prolific local musicians, a group of students will compose, practice and perform a new music concert — in one day By Stephanie Porter The Independent
n as-yet-unknown number of junior high and high school students will assemble at 10:30 on Tuesday morning at Memorial University’s School of Music. Nine-and-a-half hours later they will take the stage for a public performance of works they composed and practiced — under the leadership of musicians Rob Power, Adam Staple and Sean Panting — during the day. New music doesn’t get any newer than that. This is the second year for the musiccreation project, designed and devised by Power, Staple and Panting. It’s a three-stage process, says Power, an instrument builder, composer, performer and assistant professor of percussion at Memorial. The first workshop, which was held at six high schools and one junior high on the Avalon Peninsula, is hands-on. “We open up the topic of improvising,” Power says. “We get the kids involved in improvising, using the instruments they brought and we brought, and we get some ideas together to write their own pieces.” By the end of the first one-hour workshop, three pieces have been recorded and titled. The second workshop is a listening class — students listen to the pieces they developed, to selections from other schools, and to work by other improvisers. The third segment — the only one outside of regular class time — is the Sunday concert. It’s open to any student keen and interested enough to show up and take part. It’s a different way to learn and play music, but one students seem eager to participate in. “For a lot of the students, it’s the first time they’ve gotten used to the idea of music not being on the page, particularly in a school setting,” says Staple, an accomplished percussionist, composer and producer. Panting, a prolific singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor, adds “a lot of (kids) have been taught to believe music is
Adam Staple, Sean Panting and Rob Power in the studio.
like a sport that you can win … There’s a few preconceived notions you have to address, but by and large the students kind of got it right away. “The idea of hitting a piece of metal with a stick appeals to everybody. It appeals to me, certainly.” Improvisation is an important part of the work of all three St. John’s-based musicians. “Being a drummer it’s always improv,” says Staple. “I think even when you’re playing stuff that’s written on a page, a piece … the page is just a suggestion.”
Paul Daly/The Independent
For Panting, currently recording a CD, even the structured pop or rock songs he writes come from “trying things out, improvising, thinking things up.” Power says learning to improvise allows students — indeed, anyone — to let their creativity out, without worrying about making mistakes. “I think in music training in general kids are so scared they can’t play the same number of notes as the person next to them,” he says. “I have a feeling they could certainly learn a little bit earlier that they have something creative inside and there’s
different ways to express it other than being proficient on your instrument.” The three musicians can say little more about the project’s final concert, fittingly titled Music of the Moment, except that it will feature music never heard before, a host of players of varying ages — and perhaps some room for audience participation. “Whether we get 40 students or five, it’s going to be a beautiful concert,” says Power. Although there were some confused parents in the recital hall last year, Panting says most enjoyed watching
their children go through the creative process, and appreciated the end result. And the students themselves? “Maybe if they’d heard this stuff two years ago they would have thought of it as random noises,” Panting says. “But now they understand there is a point, an order to it. We want to make people aware of this kind of music and that it happens in this town.” Music of the Moment, presented by Sound Symposium, gets underway 8 p.m., June 5, at the D.F. Cook Recital Hall, Memorial University.
It’s great to be Adam Sandler right now … The Longest Yard Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock 1/2 (out of four)
TIM CONWAY Film score
n casting a remake of 1974’s The Longest Yard, one would expect a search for this year’s equivalent to that year’s Burt Reynolds. A poster boy it’s anything other than what it is: straightforward for testosterone, with looks to weaken the knees of mindless entertainment. most women and some men, the successful candiWhile director Peter Segal, who’s built a career on date would become an immecomedy, still appears to have diate star, recognized and much to learn about comic idolized around the world. timing, he does manage to Of course, if you have your keep the film moving at a own production company, and decent pace, once the setup is sizeable clout at the box office established. From that point already, you need not measure on, the film hardly wanders yourself against young Burt, from the field, so there’s plenor even old Burt. You can ty of activity to keep us busy. dang well cast yourself in the The cast is an eclectic compicture, and to boot, hire the bination of comic actors, athreal Burt. Don’t tell me it isn’t letic individuals, and former great to be Adam Sandler and current professional athright now. letes, sprinkled with a few So it is that we find Sandler character actors, rapper Nelly, in the role of Paul Crewe, forand Burt Reynolds. No one’s mer NFL MVP, who’s now stretching anything other than the Pete Rose of the profesmuscles and tendons here, but sional football world, having they do take their respective thrown a big game. Although roles seriously enough to he saw no jail time for his maintain an energetic level shady activities, his subseand keep our interest. quent downward spiral finds The Longest Yard is far him doing three years at Adam Sandler is Paul Crewe in The Longest Yard. from perfect, even on its own Allenville Federal terms, especially when some Penitentiary in Texas. of the comedy falls flat onto the field. Still, it manWhile his conviction was in another state, his trans- ages to dust off old material effectively enough that fer to Allenville was arranged by the prison’s warden, it almost looks like new. By the time the big game Hazen (James Cromwell), a man of ambition who comes around, our interest is peaked, and by the sees an opportunity to increase his profile on the time it’s over, we’ve been entertained. backs of the institution’s prison guard football team. Over the years, Hazen has selectively hired his Madagascar employees with the team in mind, but despite his Starring Chris Rock, Ben Stiller efforts, it’s been years since he’s had a winning (out of four) team. With Crewe under his thumb, he expects his fortunes to change. Crewe’s answer to the team’s malaise is an exhiChris Rock is serving double duty on movie bition game against a weaker team to boost morale. screens these days. In the animated feature Start ’em off with a victory before the season begins, Madagascar, we find him providing the voice for and they’ll be confident and ready to go from day Marty the Zebra, one of a number of animals at New one. In this case, the hapless opponents are to be a York’s Central Park Zoo. group made up of prison inmates, assembled and We meet up with Marty on the day of his 10th coached by Crewe. birthday, middle age for a zebra, and coincidentally, With the assistance of the prison scrounger, the beginning of his mid-life crisis. Caretaker (Chris Rock), Crewe begins to hoe the Having lived all, or most, of his life in the zoo, same rows as numerous other sports films. A num- Marty is lately distracted with thoughts of living in ber of misfits, each with special skills, are brought the wild. together to form the basis of the team. It’s up to Availing of the first opportunity, he escapes, with Crewe to try and whip them into shape so that his concerned friends Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), they’re not completely humiliated come game day. Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and His burden becomes somewhat lighter when Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) in hot pursuit. The whole batch of them end up on a ship, tossed another football legend emerges from the ranks in the form of Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds), who into the ocean, and eventually on the shores of Madagascar, far from their cushy environs at the zoo. takes over the coaching duties. Suddenly, there’s no one to bring food, and friendTo the benefit of the film, and subsequently the viewer, The Longest Yard exhibits no pretense that ships begin to erode as the call of the wild beckons.
In the wake of Pixar’s animated features, this one from Dreamworks seems pretty bad. It’s not the visual aspect of the film, however, which returns to a style similar to typical hand-drawn cartoons, but the writing and direction. The jokes are not neatly written into the story, but tossed around and thrown about in the hopes of hitting something. Moreover, in a film that’s going to appeal mostly to young children, there’s an uncomfortable tendency towards coarse language whereby one would have to listen very closely to realize that the charac-
ter says something that only sounds like what your mother doesn’t want you saying. In one case, a multi-syllabic epithet is left unfinished, but there’s no mistake about where it’s going. Uneven and erratic, Madagascar is sure to appeal more to the kids than the parents. The young ones and the grown ups will have had a few laughs by the end, but it’s unlikely that they’ll have shared any. Tim Conway operates Capital Video in Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His next column will appear June 15.
The P.J. Gardiner Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and the Faculty of Business Administration
The Business Families Forum For Business Families and Professional Advisors
When: June 15th, 2005 8:00am to 2:00pm
Offering sessions throughout the morning on Family Business topics: Succession Governance Conflict Resolution Human Resources
Luncheon Keynote Speakers Philippe and Nan-b de Gaspé Beaubien Founders of the Business Families Foundation
To register contact Cathy Miller 737- 8855 or email@example.com
Forum Fee: $150 + HST (includes: breakfast, lunch and parking)
JUNE 5, 2005
20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
The sea shall give up her dead The Town that Forgot how to Breathe By Kenneth J. Harvey Raincoast Books, 2003. 480 pages.
entral to the plot of Kenneth J. Harvey’s latest novel, The Town that Forgot how to Breathe, is the development of a mysterious disorder that afflicts the inhabitants of Bareneed, Newfoundland. The disorder has no apparent physiological cause and manifests itself as an inability to breathe without conscious effort accompanied by outbursts of highly aggressive behaviour and eventually, amnesic loss of sense of self. It is a devolution somewhat akin to the widespread loss of sight in Jose Saramago’s novel Blindness or the bubonic plague that ravages an Algerian city in Camus’ The Plague — in all three cases illness is meant to precipitate an understanding of human nature. In Harvey’s novel, the illness is accompanied by increasingly strange phenomena: sightings of mythical sea creatures, the perfectly preserved bodies of those drowned centuries ago washing up on the beach. As such, the supernatural plays a large role in this book. Characters commune with the spirits of the dead; several of the outport’s inhabitants experience regular precognitive episodes. These instances of occult phenomena are relics from an older Newfoundland, one in which science played a subordinate roll to belief in ghosts, fairies, and various superstitions. According to Harvey, our age of electricity, cell phones, computers and television has split the connections once held between us and the dear
MARK CALLANAN On the shelf departed, the ancient world of living spirits. In a particularly telling passage, technology is drawn into a symbiotic relationship with the violent, hypersexual state induced in one of the main characters by the breathing disorder. Joseph, estranged from his wife Kim and vaguely contemplating his neighbour Claudia as a potential partner, is the character through whose eyes we see the full, first-hand development of the disease. Here his thoughts are rendered in a language saturated with the voyeuristic talk of television: The Sunday sanctity of the parlour was being violated by his voracious smut. A racy loop kept replaying. In his mind, he was caught in a copulating stutter, humping away at Claudia like a maniac […] Televisceral flickerings behind a pulled screen. Prime time ensured. The audience would be anticipating Kim’s arrival, would delight in her staged gasp as she nonchalantly strolled in on their animal antics. The audience would bellow a collective “Oh-no” or sounds in keeping with their astonished bemusement. If Joseph is the product of a “televisceral” world, then the town elder Eileen Laracy — another of several main characters from whose viewpoint the story is told — is the incarnation of Harvey’s old Newfoundland and the primary advocate for the superiority of
bygone days. “We be all ‘afbreeds dese days. Narry an idea where we come frum. Young’ns widt mouths on dem straight frum da television.” As it turns out, the cause of the disorder (stop reading here to avoid a spoiler) is modern disconnection from stories of the past; ancestor worship abandoned in a fetishistic adoration of false, technological idols. Storytelling is the cure. The singing of old songs, the recounting of family tales passed down, each of these are ties binding the afflicted to the tradition in which they were raised, to the lineage from which they were born, ultimately restoring them to a sense of being and belonging. Clearly, Harvey has some important things to say on the subject, and a novel way of saying them. Night insects drawn to a bright light are described quite beautifully as “a swell of black shudders”; the ongoing degradation of Joseph’s mind is rendered in a fluid, dreamy style in which homicidal urges are seamlessly woven into routine thoughts (“Should he check on Kim, make certain she was okay […] hold her hand, plead to resolve their differences. Smother her with a pillow”). Yet in his role as fabulist Harvey has created an all too simplistic system of morality (tradition is good, technology is bad) that refuses to acknowledge shades of grey between the black and white dichotomy of his vision. This oversimplification is best evidenced in the book’s three-page epilogue in which the community of Bareneed has returned to an Amishstyle existence that rejects the convenient evils of technology. It is, as Lawrence Mathews points out in a Canadian Literature review, “A smug-
ly Luddite epilogue [that] expresses the naive view that communal salvation for Bareneed (and, presumably, the rest of Newfoundland) lies in turning back the clock.” Despite my difficulties in accepting Harvey’s prognosis and prescription, I can’t deny that he has hit on a very important theme in contemporary Newfoundland. In a world that is saturated by media, just how much future generations will feel alienated from
familial and cultural inheritances is difficult to tell. But Harvey’s message is clear: it is only by maintaining contact with the past through telling stories that we can hope to remember who and what we are. Mark Callanan is a writer and reviewer living in Rocky Harbour. His next column appears June 19.
Anka hits crooners Nirvana Why follow in Michael Bublés footsteps when you’re a Hall of Famer? By Vit Wagner Torstar wire service
aul Anka, at age 63, still insists on doing it his way — even if it’s a song by Nirvana. On his new album, Rock Swings, the Ottawa-bred crooner takes hits by Oasis, Soundgarden, Van Halen and others and arranges them for big band. The disc arrives in stores June 7, two days after his induction into the Canadian Walk of Fame — an honour he also freely interprets from his own perspective. “Like many artists, I’ve gone through some bumps up there (in Canada) because of lack or acceptance or whatever it was,” says Anka, on the line from his home in Los Angeles. Anka, who was awarded the Order of Canada earlier this year and who has been a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since 1980, can’t put his finger on why he has felt unwelcome in his home and native land. “There was a time when it was kind of touchy,” he says. “It could be a sense that ‘you’ve left us and become successful. You’re not here anymore.’ I don’t know exactly what that syndrome is.
“But in the past few years I’ve felt more at home. It is my home. I am a Canadian.” Anka, who already has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, rocketed to public attention at the age of 16 with his first hit, Diana, followed in relatively short order by Put Your Head on My Shoulder and Lonely Boy. CALLING CARD My Way, Anka’s arrangement of the French song Comme d’habitude, became a calling card for Frank Sinatra. But it’s the infamous Sid Vicious version that Rock Swings perversely resembles — except that instead of stripping a big band tune to its purgative core, he has charted the opposite course by bringing fingersnapping, ballroom glitz to selections from the rock canon. “You can take a great song and interpret it any way you want,” he says. “I’ve had a Top 50 record every decade for five decades. And looking at each decade and myself professionally, I thought, ‘What can you do now? … that has integrity and will fit with a music business that is kind of teetertottering right now?’” Ultimately, Anka fastened on the
idea of interpreting the music his five daughters, now aged 25 to 36, grew up with. Eventually, he put together a list of tracks ranging over a variety of styles. Some, like Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel and even R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts, weren’t such a stretch. Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, he concedes, is a little more out there. Not everything made the cut. “I had to represent Michael Jackson,”he says. “Set aside everything else, the kid is talented. He had his run. One of the best arrangements we had was Billie Jean, but I just couldn’t get the words ‘Billie Jean’ out of my mouth. “So I threw it out and put in The Way You Make Me Feel, which came together. It was the same with the others. Once I got into my gait and understood what I had to do with each of them, they all just fell right in. A hit is a hit is a hit. And a good song is a good song.” Anka, whose summer schedule includes dates at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Niagara Fallsview Casino, still performs about 150 shows a year.
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21
Ways to go By Alisha Morrissey The Independent A view of Youth Courtroom 5 in St. John’s.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Youth crime and punishment Questions have been raised whether new criminal justice act too lax. Is the system too easy on young offenders? By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
f children are the future, what kind of leaders will come out of Court Room No. 5? Boys, without a scrap of facial hair, defy courtroom rules forbidding baseball caps as they joke and laugh in the back of the room. Girls wear provocative clothes, too much makeup and huge hoop earrings. There’s a defiant fake confidence in their voices. And rage in their eyes. As each name is called, children stand and walk to the defendant’s bench at the front of the room. Charges from public disturbance to assault are read. Most plead guilty to their crimes. The Crown prosecutor, legal aid lawyer and Judge Lynn Spracklin carry on conversations about the law as it applies to each minor, but the kids don’t seem to care. A break is called and in the waiting room mothers stare at their shoes or look away from their sons and daughters. Many of them have been here before. Three teens sitting on the wooden benches break into conversation about what they’re there for. One girl stares away while her boyfriend rattles off a few minor crimes. But he won’t appear today. Today it’s her turn. “She’s got a sheet as long as her two arms,” he tells his buddy in the tiny room. He glances at his girlfriend’s sour face and says, “You got your smoke, now what have you got to complain about?” The question of what punishment the kids will face is up to the judge and the Youth Criminal Justice Act of Canada, but the question of what punishment the kids deserve is debatable. Since the overhaul of the youth justice act in 2002, critics have argued sentences for underage offenders are too lax. Advocates claim community-based sentences and rehabilitative programs are better for troubled youths. Marvin McNutt, director of corrections and community services with the province’s Justice Department, says an upswing in community-based rehabilitation has led to fewer offenders being sentenced to the Whitbourne Youth Detention Centre, the province’s only closed-custody facility for young offenders. “The most immediate impact that
There were 72 males and 16 females remanded or sentenced to the Whitbourne Youth Detention Centre in 2003/2004.
Average age 15.9 15.4
Average sentence 111 days 59 days
Average time served 69 days 56 days
Offences • 17 males and 4 females served time for crimes against a person • 28 males and 4 females served time for property crimes • 2 drug offences, both male • 7 males and 2 females served time for breeches • 18 males and 6 females served time for other criminal code offences Source: 2003/2004 statistics from Justice Department
we’ve witnessed is of course … were two major social policy objectives with respect to that legislation,” McNutt tells The Independent. “No. 1 was to develop programs and services within the community so that fewer young offenders would be sentenced to terms of custody and secondly, to offer more alternatives in the community so that fewer young persons would be going to court at all.” Capacity at Whitbourne is 60, but two of six units have closed, leaving room for only 40 — with one unit for females. NO PROOF McNutt says there’s been talk about high crimes among young people, but he’s never seen proof. He adds youth crime has been decreasing on a national level for years. “A lot of them do come back to the Whitbourne facility … I would suggest that of the young people who were admitted to the facility in the past 12 months, 40 to 50 per cent have been in Whitbourne before,” he says. “If you intervene early enough, if you identify young people who are at risk … and provide the programming they need to target the risk factors then your rate of re-offending will decline significantly.” With community programs, McNutt says he’s seen a 30 per cent decline in re-offenders compared with youth who weren’t exposed to programming “Punishment in and of itself does not work.” He says inmates come out hardened and “more prone to criminal activity than before they went in.” Cynthia Burke, treasurer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), the union representing union youth-care workers at Whitbourne, recently attended a public forum on
youth crime and the implementation of the youth criminal act in Grand FallsWindsor. (Another will be held in Corner Brook on June 9). She says the act needs a total overhaul. “We know the youth criminal act is not going to work in Newfoundland and Labrador the way it is now,” Burke says. “The act, I would say, is too open, it’s too slack. Young people are getting away with offences.” The current act’s section on sentencing lays out the only times when a young offender can be sentenced to closed-custody. The youth must be convicted of committing a violent crime, breech of a judge’s order, a probation order or a conditional sentence. A youth is also sentenced to Whitbourne if they’re convicted of a crime that carries a two-year sentence for an adult. Burke couldn’t provide statistics about the youth-crime rate, but points to recent news reports on armed robberies and home invasions. “If people are going to continue to … get a slap on the wrist, certainly the rise in the crime rate is going to go through the roof.” She says suggestions made at the public forum, sponsored by NAPE, included stiffer sentences and adding more programs for young offenders. “Someone’s got to take the lead and make sure the system works for everybody,” Burke says. “Those people need rehabilitation. “If they don’t keep a program together and if they don’t keep that facility together, it’s going to cost the government more in the end.” There may be no right answer in the debate for and against punishments for young offenders, but the future of one young girl in the waiting area of court room No. 5 may depend on it.
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oliticians come and go. Some departures make front-page news and leave a lasting mark; others are forgotten on the bookshelf of history. Roger Grimes’ retirement probably won’t go down as a historic shocker (although it was definitely a surprise), but some of his predecessors made a splash that will be recalled for years to come. Joey Smallwood’s resignation was one of the most reported political stories of 1972. JRS will resign next week: “Like a boy out of school,” read the headline on the front page of the Jan. 14, 1972 edition of The Daily News. Smallwood resigned when a majority Conservative government was elected days earlier. He was quoted as saying “the strain is gone.” In total, three of the front-page stories carried in the News that day were about Smallwood’s impending resignation. His official resignation was announced on Jan. 18 and an editorial in the Jan. 24 edition was headlined The most remarkable era. It spoke of how Smallwood “brought a convulsive change in the social development of the province,” and what would be thought of the former premier months, years and decades down the road. “It will be hard for successive governments to maintain and hopefully improve on the standards of the amazing complex of public services that has been established,” the editorial read. Another famous resignation was that of Sir Robert Bond, Prime Minister from March 1900 to March 1909, who was accused and convicted of corruption. The newspapers wrote wild stories of the dirty deeds Bond had committed. Headlines in the Evening Chronicle included Bond’s bad policy, Bond sacrifices Kent and country, and Bond’s bungling.
The March 3, 1909 edition of the Evening Chronicle — under the headline Resigned. Bond goes out. Morris takes office. — was a story about rumours Bond had tendered his resignation and Sir Edward Patrick Morris had formed his own government under the Newfoundland People’s Party. The new government was to be sworn in that afternoon. Bond returned to politics, though, and served as leader of the opposition for four years before retiring from politics altogether in 1919. Michael Cashin served as prime minister of Newfoundland from May 1919 to November 1919. On the frontpage of the Nov. 17, 1919 edition of the St. John’s Daily Star was a huge headline Cabinet sworn in. The story was brief and didn’t describe Cashin’s defeat at the polls. There hadn’t been an election in six years due to the war. The story included a list of key cabinet ministers in the new Richard Squires government, but no follow-up stories in the days and weeks that followed. Cashin did return as opposition leader until 1923. In March 1989, Brian Peckford resigned his post as premier, leaving his seat empty for Tom Rideout, current Minister of Transportation, to step up and try out the premier’s chair. Rideout lasted 44 days and lost the provincial election to Clyde Wells. The Sunday Express published an interview with Jacinta Rideout in the March 19, 1989 edition. Headlined How a little girl from Baie Verte becomes the wife of a premier, the article discussed Jacinta’s first cocktail party, how she loved to read Danielle Steele books, and her first meeting with her husband. A brief story about the May 5 swearing in of Wells was printed in the May 7 edition of The Sunday Express. It told how just two years before, Wells was a successful lawyer who had just quit to run for leader of the Liberal party. “On Friday he was sworn in as the fifth premier since Confederation and the second in 44 days.”
JUNE 5, 2005
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
The Colonial Building, home to the Newfoundland legislature from 1850 to 1959, is one of the most important historical buildings in the province. When the Confederation Building opened in 1959, the grand building on Military Road in St. John’s became the site of the provincial archives, which it remained until last month. As the archives staff finish their move to The Rooms, photographer Rhonda Hayward and senior editor Stephanie Porter visited the nearly empty Colonial Building for a look back. This is their report:
t’s the smell that really brings back the memories, Shelley Smith says, walking around the virtually vacant Colonial Building in St. John’s. She has a melancholy moment, brought on by the dusty, thick scent of an old building heavy with history. Smith, director of the provincial archives of Newfoundland and Labrador — housed from 1960 until a few weeks ago in the Colonial Building — first came to the building in 1981 as a Memorial University student. With the exception of a fouryear stint at a different job, she says she’s pretty much been there ever since. “Myself and the other longeststanding staff member, it’s almost like we grew up here,” Smith tells The
Independent. Last month, Smith and her coworkers gathered together to toast the old building and bid it farewell. The archives, as of June 29, will be open to the public in their new — modern, spacious, and temperature-controlled — home at The Rooms. Before the archives moved in, the Colonial Building had a 110-year life as home of the Newfoundland legislature. Built between 1846 and 1848, the building holds as many stories as bricks in its walls — home to glamorous balls, debates, political controversies and more than one riot. These days, the front steps are more likely home to skateboarders than royalty or angry townspeople. Inside, the legislative chambers and most rooms are empty, save a few pieces of
furniture, boxes of paper to be shredded, and a layer of dust. Only two offices, on the lower floor, are still occupied: the provincial historical society and archives association still have staff working there — though there are many days there’s no one in the building at all. Smith’s tour begins in the former legislative council room or upper house, to the right of the main lobby and staircase. “This is the most stark representation of where the archives have moved out,” she says. “This is where everyone researched.” Now there are only a few reading lights and scraps. The next-door storage room is even more barren — all the shelves and material are gone, leaving behind only dust bunnies.
“We’d have 70 people a day on average in here,” says Smith, adding that number went up in the summer, and dwindled in the winter. “And, believe me, when you have 90 people through in the run of the day, it gets very hot in here.” The room itself is not huge, but its high ceiling, balcony, ornate chandelier and detailed paintings on the ceiling and walls leave visitors with the sense of being somewhere stately. The paintings were completed in 1880 by Polish fresco artist Alexander Pindikowski — and restored once, in 1940, by St. John’s painter Clem Murphy. Smith laughs as she retells the story of Pindikowski, who came to Newfoundland to teach art — but became better known for attempting
to cash forged cheques. While serving time at the penitentiary, the artist was put to work painting the ceilings of the Colonial Building. As a reward for his work, his sentence was reduced by one month. Smith, moving from the former research room, walks through several deserted offices, many with beautifully tiled fireplaces and well-worn desks and chairs. Then she enters the main attraction: the former House of Assembly, used until 1959, when the Confederation Building was officially opened. The leather speaker’s chair is still in place, as are the old media booths and public gallery, the large clock and chandelier. A handful of desks used by former house members are still in the room.
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 23
A different era: the Colonial Building during a riot on a foggy day in 1932. Courtesy Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador
Smith opens one with a smile. There, scrawled on the back of the drawer in ink, is “Brian Tobin + Jodean Smith, Dec. ‘72” — written proof of the former premier’s participation in a youth parliament event held in the room decades ago. “There’s never been much in the government budget for maintenance of buildings,” she says. “But fortunately they’ve never done anything horrible to this building. “Nobody ever got the brilliant idea to paint over this. Even renovating the bathrooms, they worked within the space we had … we had horrible bathrooms, but we appreciated why they did it.” Smith runs her hand along one of the walls. It’s one of the exceptions:
Pindikowski’s work was painted over. She tells other stories about the room — there’s a steep spiral staircase in one corner, she says, which then-prime minister Sir Richard Squires used in 1932 to escape a nasty riot, by sneaking out a side door. Standing by the speaker’s chair, she points to the left side of the room. “The government sat on this side, this is one of only two places in the Commonwealth where the government sat on the left,” she says. “Because that’s where the fireplace was — so the government could be nice and warm …. They maintained that tradition in the Confederation Building.” The room provides much closer quarters than today’s House of
Assembly, with smaller desks and only a slim divider between the media and the politicians. “During some of those raucous debates it must have gotten pretty scary in here,” she says. Smith has many tales of political action and intrigue to tell — and some anecdotes about old, noisy heaters — but not a single ghost story to report. Brent Meade, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Department of Tourism, says the future of the Colonial Building has not been fully determined yet, though a management plan — including possible uses for the space — is complete. He says the plan will be given to cabinet shortly, and hopes to be able to have some definite answers in the next couple of months.
“We would like to see the building remain accessible to the public,” Meade says. “And whatever use comes to the building, that it respects (it) as a provincial historical site, with such significance to our political history.” Smith says the archives staff has mixed feelings about leaving. “It’s a great place,” she says. “Because it was never really easy to do what we wanted to do here — we had a really small budget, we had all the challenges the building provided, it really made for a strong team.” The challenges? Limited space, no temperature control, a finicky furnace, no wheelchair accessibility … and fluctuations of heat and humidity dangerous to archival materials. The Rooms will be a different
world, with double the research area, triple the storage space, comfortable chairs, and plenty of public meeting rooms. Any nostalgia Smith feels for the Colonial Building is overwhelmed by excitement about the move and increased programming possibilities. “But I don’t want the Colonial Building to seem like a tired, sad, empty place,” Smith says. “It deserves better than that. “I’ll be looking forward to seeing this building cleaned up, refurbished, brought back to life. A building like this can’t stay empty for long.” With information from an exhibition by the provincial archives:The Colonial Building: If These Walls Could Talk, curated by Patti Ryan.
JUNE 5, 2005
24 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
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EVENTS JUNE 5 • Concert Under the Dome, Gros Morne, Queen of the Long Range Mountains, Cochrane Street United Church, 3p.m. Tickets: $10 ($7 student/senior), Tel: 729-3900. • ImprovNation, hosted by the Generalissimo. ImprovNation is an elimination style event where the audience scores the scenes, Rabbittown Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $5 Tel: 7398220. • MUN MED for the Janeway, a family-oriented run/walk charity event benefiting the Janeway Foundation and their annul telethon. The start/finish is at the west end of Long Pond, behind the NRC building. Starts 8:40 a.m. • Sound Symposium Presents: New Music Concert Music of the Moment, 8 p.m. D.F. Cook Recital Hall, MUN School of Music. Admission to the concert is free.
JUNE 9 • Blackmore Dance presents Ready to Go, 7 p.m. at the Arts and Culture Centre in St.John’s. Tickets are available at the Arts and Culture Centre box office. • Public meeting Targa Newfoundland. The City of St. John’s will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Pleasantville to discuss an application that has been received from Targa Newfoundland to hold a Targa Stage in Pleasantville. For information contact the Traffic Division at 576-8402 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. • A Night of Tales, St. John’s storytelling circle. An informal gathering of storytellers and lovers of a good story. Both experienced storytellers, newcomers and listeners are welcome. Crow’s Nest Officer’s Club, 7:30- 9:30 p.m.
JUNE 6 • The Anna Templeton Centre for Art and Design will be offering Print Making with Jerry Evans. Weeklong workshop. Call 739-7623.
JUNE 10 • The Moron Terror, presented by The Weapons of Mass Destruction. 7:30 p.m. at Rabbittown Theatre. Call 7398220. • Fundraising concert for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Accused, featuring the Novaks, Damhnait Doyle, Ron Hynes, more. Hosted by Mary Walsh, at the Bella Vista, 9 p.m.
JUNE 8 • The Anna Templeton Centre for Art and Design will be offering Pastel Florals with instructor Jim Maunder. 4 Wednesdays, June 8-29. Call 739-7623.
JUNE 11 • Cake Walk. Eastern Edge Gallery (72 Harbour Drive) is holding the city’s first ever Cake Walk Fundraiser, 3 p.m. Tea and cake will be served. Tickets: $7. For more information, contact 7391882, email@example.com. • Bluegrass Bonanza AIDS Benefit, Fort Pepperell Mess, featuring Savage Creek, Crooked Stovepipe and the Avalon Ramblers with Jimmy Linegar. Tickets at Fred’s, O’Brien’s and Bldg. 309. Call 570-4586.
IN THE GALLERIES: • Seasons of the Heart, an art show by Michelle Whitten LaCour, will be on exhibit at MUN Botanical Garden Until June 26. Exhibition hours will vary. Please call 737-8590 for information. • Cultural Barometer, 10 artists’ respond to the cultural climate in Newfoundland and Labrador today, RCA Gallery, LSPU Hall, until June 14. • Nature: Looking at… Looking beyond, Eileen Gear Bragg showcases her first solo exhibition at Victoria Manor Shoppes and Gallery in Harbour Grace. Until Aug 4. Tel: (709) 6907776.
CONFERENCE ON WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS
Ron Dalton (above) will be moderating It could happen to me, it can happen to anyone, a panel discussion 3:30 p.m. June 11. Dalton spent eight years in jail for the murder of his wife before a second trial found him not guilty. The panel, also featuring Stephen Truscott, David Milgaard and Gregory Parsons, is just one part of Wrongful convictions: between a rock and a hard place, a weekend conference, luncheon and concert presented in affiliation with the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, June 10 and 11. The conference takes place at Memorial University's science building. For more information, visit www.aidwyc.org or call 739-4141. Paul Daly/The Independent
‘I will really, really miss it’ From page 17 “There are concerns, but I see so much hope here … there is much support for education, for activities.” There is a high turnover rate for teachers in the community, but this year, White says, 19 of 25 will return in September — more than usual. He won’t be one of them. “Making that decision was the hardest of my life,” he says. “We were in Goose Bay and one of the boys asked me what was going to happen next year with the chess club, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God.’” White says he will likely return to the community for a longer stay in the future. “I’d like to say that the most rewarding thing that I took away is what I learned from (the students), rather than what they learned from me,” he says. “I will really, really miss it.”
Outside the realm of innocence From page 17 Duffy admits her group needs to clarify its mandate, but abandoning the national organization would leave the centre here — the main crisis centre for all of Atlantic Canada — with even less funding options, and no voice to lobby government for more funding. “We would love to see 10 more crisis centres for men, children, whoever,” says Duffy. “We would support that endeavour, but we can barely get funding and we’ve been around 27 years.” Barry Fleming of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission wouldn’t speak to the specifics of the complaint. He says the commission must walk a fine edge when it comes to such complaints. “You could have a situation where an unscrupulous citizen or somebody who doesn’t really know their rights or isn’t particularly careful in terms of the allegations, they make could make a series of allegations,” says Fleming. “Turns out that those allegations are
unfounded yet you have the initial brush of being targeted with a human rights investigation when, in fact, no such investigation was really warranted.” The first stage of the complaint process, which calls for a response from the group or person the complaint is lodged against, could take up to nine months. Beyond the challenge, Beulman says society has to change its outdated attitudes when it comes to male victims. He points to the recent case in the United States where former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau had sexual relations with a 12-year-old student. She was convicted of rape and served seven years. But shortly after her release, the two were married and the media made the couple out to be a modern-day “Romeo and Juliet. “There’s quite a difference between two (consenting) adults and being a child,” says Beulman, “being forced into a sexual act that is completely outside your realm of your innocence.”
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 5-11, 2005 — PAGE 25
Kenora, Ont., Mayor Dave Canfield was in St. John’s last week for a municipalities conference.
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Fighting fire with fire Ontario planning to give paper-making companies a break to save jobs; this province may have to do the same By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
s world paper markets shrivel and die because of increasing production capacity in Asia and South America, governments are poised to offer financial incentives to pulp and paper companies in a bid to save jobs, setting up a battle royal between provinces. Abitibi-Consolidated is the largest newsprint producer in the world. With mills in Stephenville and Grand Falls-Windsor, company officials have made it clear they intend to consolidate their front-office operations and close one of three machines in the province — throwing more than 250 people out of work. Abitibi has already laid off 56 workers this year at the Grand Falls-Windsor mill. With threats of paper machines being shutdown in Ontario, as well as the outright closure of mills, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, says he’ll announce financial incentives in a bid to save jobs. “What’s important now is that we have companies, as you do, that are about to make some decisions on their future,” Ramsay tells The Independent. “So I think the companies need to know what financial support there might be there for them.” Ramsay wouldn’t give details, but says when he releases a report by stakeholders — expected this month — recommendations
will include financial incentives. “... we’re not rolling in money, but we feel there needs to be some support there for the industry and some of that could be immediate and some of that could be ongoing,” he says. Compared to Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario is in a far better position to hold on to jobs than this province, says Bonavista-Exploits MP Scott Simms. The first-term Liberal member now finds himself in the middle of a David and Goliath battle and he’s worried. “If that’s the case, then the Newfoundland government has to fight fire with fire,” says Simms. “If the Natural Resources minister of Ontario is putting up incentives for the industry, then that just puts the onus on Newfoundland to do the same.” Provincial Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne has already threatened to pull timber rights from Abitibi if the company closes a machine in Grand Falls-Windsor, and government is negotiating with the company in an effort to reduce energy costs. Byrne declined comment. Ramsay says Newfoundland and Labrador is ahead of the game. “I know, through talking with the companies that have operations in Newfoundland, that they’ve had some ongoing discussions with the government there and that’s the way to do it,” says Ramsay. Simms says it’s time for Ottawa to deal with the pulp and paper dilemma.
What a week it was I t’s been an interesting week. I wonder if this week is a microcosm of our development as a society or an anomaly — I truly hope it’s the latter and not the former. In this week’s media there were reports of a number of interesting events that shaped our world. The national press ran videotape of one of Canada’s richest and most powerful businessmen supposedly taking files that the court had ordered him not to remove. Conrad Black is under a cloud of suspicion. Questions of misappropriation have been raised for quite some time, inspections have been ordered and the courts have been on their toes. Next were the secret tape recordings of our elected officials. Whether it was a sting, a betrayal, doctored tapes or an offer, it doesn’t really matter — both
The bottom line Liberals and Conservatives appear to have done something unsavory. The set up, the clandestine taping, the information release, the innuendo, the denials — all of it taints politicians and the political process. Then front-page news that Deep Throat — the whistle blower responsible for confirming details of the notorious Watergate scandal — was introduced to the world. It was interesting to meet the man responsible for an important point in history, although it was disappointing to learn he was
“There comes a point where we have to do it on a national basis,” says Simms. “I don’t want the provinces to be battling with each other especially coming from Newfoundland and Labrador with a population of just over, 500,000 people. We just don’t have the fiscal capacity to compete with some of these larger forestry provinces.” Ramsay says the feds need to loosen the purse strings and help provinces save jobs. “This is not just an Ontario or Newfoundland problem, this is a Canadian forestry problem and I’ve been working with the federal government and hoping that they will come aboard,” says Ramsay. LEVEL THE FIELD Simms says Ottawa has to “level the playing field” because jobs saved in Ontario could come at the cost of jobs in this province. “We seem to have more economic barriers in our own country then we do with other nations around the world,” says Simms. “I mean it’s getting ridiculous. The newsprint industry is currently running at an eight per cent overcapacity in North America. Idling or shutting mills and machines is a common tactic by mills — supply goes down, demand and prices rise. The northern Ontario city of Kenora is one of 39 communities dependent on the forest product industry in that province. The mill in Kenora is being threatened with closure and
prompted to release the information because he was passed over for promotion. More in this week’s news from the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the conviction of Arthur Anderson LLP, the firm responsible for the audit services to Enron. We all know the Enron case is one of lack of corporate governance and effective monitoring. Now on a technicality, the firm accused of persuading its employees to purge and shred company records as the Securities and Exchange Commission prepared to investigate, had something to celebrate. I don’t know if failing to instruct a jury properly gives much exoneration. Here on the home front the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary arrested members of the medical profession for
the loss of hundreds of jobs. Mayor Dave Canfield, a 32-year veteran of the mill there, says mill towns across the country are facing futures that are uncertain at best. “Here’s the unique situation for us, Newfoundland is a have-not province, Ontario is a have-province, but we live in the have-not end of (Ontario),” says Canfield. Northern Ontario is two-thirds of Ontario’s landmass, but only has two per cent of the population. “... there’s a lot of feeling in northwestern Ontario that we’re not important enough,” says Canfield. “The auto industry is front and centre — it is the largest industry in Ontario — but the forest products industry is the second largest and the largest in Canada.” Ontario’s $500-million auto industry fund was put in place to create and save jobs. The feds recently got into the act putting $55 million on the table to help ensure a Toyota plant locates in Ontario. Using various incentives, Toronto battled with Vancouver over the lucrative film industry — Vancouver was forced to almost double film industry tax credits. Ramsay maintains it will be the companies, and not government, that determines the fate of mill towns. “... it’s not the government that’s going to make the decision in the end,” says Ramsay. “The companies will make the decision as to what they do in Stephenville or Kenora.”
sexual assault and drug trafficking. The medical profession is self regulated and has moved slowly to address some of the major concerns raised about the drug Oxycontin. Surely in this age of technology it must be easy to track prescriptions and monitor abuse. Why did it take so long before action was taken? I am a big proponent of self-regulation. Professionals should ensure effective practice and protect the public from unscrupulous behavior. Lately there has been a considerable amount of discussion nationally that professional self-regulation is a relic of a by-gone era and should be seriously reconsidered. I hope, for business sake, we fix the system rather then disregard it. It was quite a week. The drama, the power, the money — it felt more an
episode of 24 then it did reality. Where was Kiefer Sutherland to diffuse the media bombshells? One can only hope that something is learned from this week in history. As I said in a previous column, we deserve good corporate governance and good government. All of us are responsible to ensure we have it — whether you control a multinational, a country, a profession or your home. The bottom line is the events of this week are not a microcosm of our society — it is our society. In today’s electronic communication age we have access to more information then ever. There were always good guys and bad guys, cops and robbers. It’s just harder to tell them apart. Siobhan Coady’s next column will appear June 19.
JUNE 5, 2005
26 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
Tax season clues up average year; more people file electronically By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
or the first time ever, more than half of all tax returns filed with the Canada Revenue Agency in St. John’s were filed electronically. Canadians in the Atlantic region and parts of Ontario, all filing returns with the St. John’s taxation centre, received tax refunds averaging $1,133 a pop. The average pay-in amounted to $6,700. Roy Jamieson, spokesman for the Canada Revenue Agency’s Atlantic region, tells The Independent this year’s tax season was standard, with the only changing statistic being the number of returns filed electronically. Paper returns, filled out by Canadians and mailed or dropped off to a taxation centre, made up 49 per cent of all returns. The St. John’s taxation centre saw 999,982 paper returns and 1,245,652 electronically filed tax forms. BULK PROGRAM “Paper returns certainly are the most common, and still is the single most common, but with the electronic returns what’s really driving the growth is net-file, which is where people file their own returns online,” Jamieson says. “The biggest area is still e-file, which is where people file through their tax preparers H&R Block or their accountant or whatever and then they file them with us through a special bulk program they have.” The third electronic method isn’t exactly burning up the phone lines. “The tele-file takes a while because you know you have to go through all the lines and listen for the prompts,” Jamieson says. “So I can see why people would move away from that to online filing.” Despite electronic filing, Jamieson says job retention at Canada Revenue hasn’t been a problem. “What’s happened is that we’re mov-
Tax employees at the Revenue Canada office in St. John’s.
ing people from the front end to the back end. “So, as we’re using less people to key returns and data-enter returns, we
Paul Daly/The Independent
have more people to do verification and checking of returns.” Still, many seasonal employees weren’t called back at the beginning of
the tax season, Jamieson says. There are 481 seasonal employees at the St. John’s taxation centre, about half of the centre’s total employees.
These employees work from February to June, with most of them finishing up in the past couple of weeks.
Health-care amalgamation could see jobs cut; number unclear By Alisha Morrissey
Paul Daly/The Independent
s few as 10 or as many as 100 people may loose their jobs after health board amalgamations take full effect this fall. Cynthia Burke, treasurer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), says the Health Department hasn’t released any details to the union. “It will certainly have a negative effect on our members because they are the ones that are going to be directly affected here,” Burke tells the Independent. She says the amalgamation will have a “major effect” on administration in all areas of the province. “We’re in a waiting mode until they start making a move as to where they are.” The province announced the amalgamation of 14 health boards into four in early September 2004. The boards will now be based on regions — eastern, central, western, and Labrador. Burke says NAPE members feel the whole health system will be negatively. CEOs for the majority of the boards are already selected and more senior management will be named in coming weeks and months.
Officials with the Health Department refused comment as they are continuing work on the amalgamation process. John Peddle, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Boards Association, which oversees the province’s health boards, says amalgamation really began in 1992 when government began restructuring health care. He has no idea if it will ever end. As for layoffs, Peddle says it’s possible attrition will make up a good portion of the jobs to be cut. “What’s happening, though, is that there are a lot of senior people retiring, going elsewhere and so on,” he says. “Yes, there’ll be reductions no question, but numbers I couldn’t tell you. “On the front-line we’re a long ways away from even considering that,” he says, adding until the higher levels of the new boards are in order there won’t be front-line layoffs. Even then, he says unless there is a departmental restructuring he doesn’t see much of a change. As for administration, he says it’s likely that’s where any cuts will be made. He says he’s looking at putting an “outplacement service” in place, See “Might be as low” page 27
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 27
‘Out to party’ Karaoke singing has taken off; busiest night of the week for many By Darcy MacRae For The Independent
araoke has become big business in this province. Long thought of as a way for a few friends to get together for a good time, karaoke night has become one of the busiest evenings of the week for many local bars, drawing people of all ages to the stage and dance floor. “We always get good crowds on karaoke nights,” says Gloria Peddle, manager of Stanley’s Pub in St. John’s. “Everybody enjoys the music, they’re out to party.” In the past, karaoke nights have attracted a few dedicated singers and their friends. These days, however, it seems party goers can’t get enough of the talented — and sometimes not so talented — local singers. And people aren’t just at bars to listen; more often than not they want their chance to rock the mike. “When you go to a bar, there are so many people looking to sing that you’re lucky to get one song in all night,” says Jason Pike of Lewisporte. Pike knows first hand how popular karaoke has become, after serving as host of karaoke nights at the Captain’s Pub in Lewisporte for more than two years. He also travels throughout central Newfoundland with his brother, Adam, to perform karaoke acts at various bars and halls, attracting up to 400 people, depending on the occasion. He is somewhat of a celebrity in the region since making it to the top 100 of the original Canadian Idol in 2003. Pike feels that since the show — and others like it such as American Idol — debuted, bars have enjoyed better business on karaoke nights. Peddle shares the opinion, noting business has picked up at her bar since the programs hit the airwaves. “Talents who were hidden before want to come out now and find out if they’re any good,” says Peddle. “You can have a gong show here some nights,” Peddle says with a laugh. “It’s part of the fun.” Despite the fact your lack of musical talent may be exposed, nothing gets in the way of a wannabe rock star. Part of the reason performers are so willing to put themselves in the line of fire is because karaoke crowds are as forgiving as they are plentiful. “It’s a pretty easy atmosphere. It’s not so much about how good you are as it is how good a time you have,” says Lisa Butler, manager of The Grumpy Stump in St. John’s. When a singer is having a blast on stage, the vibe usually transfers to the crowd. Within minutes the dance floor is full and rounds of drinks are
Erika Williams performs in the semi-finals of the Coast 101.1 karaoke competition at Tols's Lounge in Mount Pearl last week.
ordered. “They want to hear everything,” Pike says. “Anything you can get up and dance to.” Traditional favourites at most karaoke bars include Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun and Right Said Fred’s I’m too sexy. Choosing one of these
CanWest appoints new media chief; income trust plan could be affected By Rick Westhead Torstar wire services
anWest Global Communications Corp., Canada’s largest media company, says a recent management shakeup might influence its plans to consider a spinoff of its Canadian media operations into an income trust. The development came after the June 1 announcement from the Winnipeg company that one-time National Post publisher Peter Viner would immediately replace Rick Camilleri as president of its Canadian operations, just seven months after Camilleri was named to the post. A former TV sales executive who has worked for CanWest for 25 years, Viner, 59, recently has been employed as a “strategic adviser. “A possible income trust remains under active consideration,” president and CEO Leonard Asper says in a statement. WRONG TIMING “However, this change in Canadian leadership could affect the timing of any such decision.” Converting to an income trust will help the company avoid taxes by paying much of its cash flow to investors. CanWest owned the St. John’s Telegram before it was sold to Transcontinental almost two years ago. A CanWest spokesperson said neither Viner nor Camilleri were available for comment. “I intend to focus strongly on improving the financial performance of our core Canadian businesses so we can create tangible shareholder value,” Viner says in a statement.
The developments come after the company announced in October it was rebranding its Canadian broadcast, print and Internet divisions under the CanWest MediaWorks umbrella, and delegating its Australian, New Zealand and Irish interests to CanWest MediaWorks International. At the time, Camilleri, a former official with Sony Music’s Canadian unit, was given the chance to bring in his own management team, and the company lured five U.S. executives who were to bolster the company’s print business and help its ailing Global TV Network reverse its fortunes. But Global’s TV ratings have sagged this season, says one media buyer, and the National Post, CanWest’s flagship paper, has struggled to maintain its readership base. CanWest, meanwhile, had said as recently as April that it was getting closer to deciding whether to pursue a plan to spin off its 11 Canadian newspapers, including the Post, Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen into an income trust.
‘Might be as low as 10’ From page 26 which would provide support to workers who lose their jobs. “When I asked the four boards what they expected the number would be, they couldn’t give me one. When I’ve gone out looking for expressions of interests from consulting firms to provide the service, I’ve used the number somewhere between 50 and 100 but I have no
idea — it might be 10. “To me 100 is by far a maximum number but it might be as low as 10.” Many of the jobs within the health-care sectors of the province are unionized so bumping rights may be an option for some, Peddle says, but where they can exercise seniority to take another position is another question. The issue there, he says, is all the sites are different bargaining units and the amalgamation may or may not change that.
tunes is sure to make a singer popular with the crowd on hand, regardless of how they sound. “Even those who aren’t great singers, they can pick a song that is fun to sing,” says Butler. “Songs that get everyone on the go.” Given the social atmosphere a busy karaoke night creates, it comes as no surprise that some
Paul Daly/The Independent
singers have troubles remembering all of their lines after a few trips to the bar. But every now and then, a truly talented performer takes to the stage and catches the attention of everyone in attendance. “Once in a while you’ll get a really good singer who makes you say ‘wow’,” Pike says.
28 • INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION
JUNE 5, 2005
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION • 29
JUNE 5, 2005
30 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
‘Hot spot’ Province’s film industry heating up; 10 productions in works By Darcy MacRae For The Independent
he province’s film industry is booming, with 10 productions in the works over the next year. Feature films, mini-series and documentaries highlight an impressive list of films to be shot across Newfoundland. “It’s turning out to be quite a year for the province,” says Leo Furey, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corp. It should come as no surprise the province has become such an entertainment hot spot. Given the mainstream success of born and bred Newfoundland and Labradorians such as Rick Mercer, Mary Walsh, Rex Murphy, Mark Critch and Gordon Pinsent, Furey says production companies can’t wait to tap into the talent pool here. “The talent is definitely here,” Furey tells The Independent. “(Our) reputations are going to help bring projects here.” Not only do film productions give local actors, writers and producers work in their home province, they also provide jobs to behind-the-scenes workers — not to mention spin-offs. “Most people think just of what happens on-camera, but there is an awful lot of work available off-camera,” says Sharon Halfyard, the film development corporations’s professional development administrator. “Most productions hire between 60-90 people for off-screen positions. “When production companies come here, they spend money on hotel rooms, equipment and catering services,” Furey says. “The films also help with tourism. When people see projects like The Shipping News and Random Passage, they want to come to Newfoundland and Labrador.” A list of current and upcoming productions taking place in the province
The pilot episode of Hatching, Matching & Dispatching, the comedy starring Rick Boland (above) and Mary Walsh, has won the Golden Sheaf Award for best writing and best comedy at the Yorkton film festival. Written by Mary Walsh with Ed Macdonald, six more episodes are scheduled for filming this summer. Paul Daly/The Independent
include: Above and Beyond, Pope Productions ($9 million budget): a four-hour mini-series period piece about Canadian, American and British air forces flying the Hudsons out of Gander during the Second World War. Currently in pre-production. Will shoot all summer. Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, Rink Rat Productions, co-produced with Newfoundland and
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Ontario ($4.2 million budget): six half-hour shows for CBC. Mary Sexton and Mary Walsh, producers. Shooting in July. Hey Day, co-production between Newfoundland and Ontario ($3.7 million budget): a movie of the week starring Gordon Pinsent, shooting in late August. Young Triffie, co-production between Newfoundland and Quebec ($3.3 million budget): a feature film based on Ray Guy’s play. Directed by Mary Walsh. Co-produced with Oscar-winning Quebecer, Denyse
Robert. Shooting in the fall. Life With Derek, now in its second season, 13 renewed episodes for the Family Channel, ($4.8 million budget): co-production between Newfoundland and Ontario. Shooting at the sound stage in Corner Brook in the fall. Rabbittown, a half-hour pilot for the CBC ($700,000 budget): producer is Jennice Ripley. Local writers/actors Adrianna Maggs and Sherry White. George Street TV, six half-hours for the Comedy Channel ($770,000 budget): starring Kent Brown and Donald
Goobie. Third season, national exposure through the Comedy Channel. Legends and Lore of the North Atlantic, 13 half-hours for Global ($1.3 million budget): produced by Paul Pope. Ferry Command, a one-hour documentary for CBC on the Atlantic ferry operation during the Second World War ($460,000 budget). Keeping up with Cathy Jones ($340,000 budget): Life and Times Documentary for CBC. Producer, Barb Doran of Morag Productions.
Imports hold back growth, economy expands 2.3 per cent, other indicators show strength By Steven Theobald Torstar wire service
he domestic side of Canada’s economy continued to roar in the first quarter but a huge jump in imports held growth to a
slower-than-expected 2.3 per cent, slower inventory accumulation sigStatistics Canada reported recently. nals businesses are adjusting, he said. Though imports jumped at an annu“Together, these two facts suggest al rate of 10.6 per cent in the first that net exports and inventory accuthree months of 2005, exports mulations could turn supportive of rebounded, climbing 5.9 per cent GDP growth by year-end. With a redafter falling the previous two quar- hot domestic economy in tow, real ters. GDP growth is expected to accelerate “Almost all sectors of the domestic to an above 3 per cent pace.” economy rose more strongly than A 15.6 per cent rise in pre-tax corexpected as low interest rates contin- porate profits helped backstop a 12.7 ue to fuel demand.” per cent rise in The central bank business invest“Debt service costs has ample room to ment spending in keep interest rates the quarter, up remain manageable, steady for at least from a 9.9 per cent the rest of the year, gain in the previbut only because countered Avery ous quarter. Shenfeld, senior “Although the interest rates are economist at CIBC overall economy World Markets, grew at a muted 2.3 near historic lows.” stressing that the per cent clip, there bottom line is weak was enough good Avery Shenfeld economic output news in the rest of growth. the report to keep “Simply put, too much of what the Bank of Canada wide awake and Canadians bought was sourced from on its toes,” says Marc Lévesque, imports or goods already in invento- chief strategist at TD Securities. ry.” Low borrowing costs are likely a StatsCan revised its estimate for key reason the personal savings rate fourth-quarter growth, to 2.1 per cent dipped into negative territory — from 1.7 per cent, helping to blunt minus 0.6 per cent — in the quarter, disappointment over the slower-than- says Shenfeld. expected first-quarter performance “Debt service costs remain manbecause the starting point was higher. ageable, but only because interest The drop in net exports combined rates are near historic lows,” he says. with lower inventory buildup shaved The economy ended the first quarabout 3.5 percentage points off the ter on a sour note. Real gross domesgrowth rates, says John Anania, assis- tic product, the value of goods and tant chief economist at the Royal services produced, shrank 0.1 per Bank of Canada. cent in March from the prior month, More important, real exports rose led by a 0.6 per cent drop among for the first time in three quarters, and goods producing industries.
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 31
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Wallowing behemoth, for short 6 Joe Batt’s ___, Nfld. 9 Nigerian people 12 Appears 17 Salty expanse 18 Homemade soap ingredient 19 Pet’s plaint 20 Quebec City university 21 Poet Erin (Search Procedures) 22 Needlefish 23 Exactly 25 Quebecois neighbour 27 Actor Silverheels (Tonto) 28 Add one’s two cents 29 Prescribed amount 30 On the ___ (alert) 31 A winkin’, blinkin’ or nod 32 Poppy substance 34 Serpent’s mark? 35 Lois Marshall or Measha Brueggergosman 39 Gather 40 French author, Dreyfus defender 42 Ultraviolet rad. 43 Outlaw 44 Buck-stopping spot 45 WWW address 46 Compass reading
47 Hater: suffix 49 Gone by 50 Two-wheeler 52 Ont. town with large spaceship (roadside attraction) 54 Still serving 56 Coal pail 57 Bumps off (2 wds.) 59 Oil-drilling site off Nfld. 61 Peter or Ivan 62 Criticize non-stop 64 Solos by Jon Vickers or Teresa Stratas 66 Driver’s reference 67 Born (Fr.) 68 Identical 69 Bio-evidence 70 ___-jong 71 Wordless complaint 72 Saskatoon’s Bessborough, e.g. 73 Ruler of Afghanistan 1996-1001 76 ___-life crisis 77 Eminent 78 Is able to 79 Huron or Loon 80 Togs 81 Its capital is Port-auPrince 83 Take advantage of 84 Banister 88 Quebec funny man: Yvon ___ 90 Watch pocket 91 Early explorer of
Prairies: ___ Kelsey 92 Plentiful 93 The ___ is cast 94 Globe 95 Loud 96 Vanquished one 97 It does a bang-up job 98 ___ the piper 99 Metric weight DOWN 1 ___ sapiens 2 Computer image 3 Perhaps (Fr.): ___etre 4 Heaven 5 Burdensome 6 Pond scum 7 NFB prodigy animator who made the famous “Walking” (1968): ___ Larkin 8 Maid’s introduction? 9 Skewer 10 Emerald or aquamarine 11 Be in debt 12 Err (2 wds.) 13 Not so taxing 14 Tied 15 Boy or man 16 Like a fox 24 Hot chocolate 26 Suffix for bilingual or Tao 27 Computer language developed by Canadian
James Gosling 30 Swimmer Marilyn 32 Greek end 33 Narrow-minded 35 Author of Marine Life: Linda ___ 36 Detest 37 Arrest 38 Impersonal pronoun 39 Detection cry 40 Conductor Pinchas 41 Galena or cerussite 42 Italian one 46 Affirmative action 47 Kind of pressure, for teens 48 Possesses 50 Drooler’s accessories 51 I have 52 Giant N. Zealand bird, once 53 Feather accessory 55 Acapulco aunt 56 The Tragically ___ 58 Nominated 60 No 61 Crumpet eater’s beverage 63 Set 64 Summer time in N.S, N.B., P.E.I 65 Cellular letters 67 Knob on a branch 68 Mexican hat 70 Obsession 71 P.M. Pearson, to pals 72 Construction work-
er’s headwear (2 wds.) 74 Eaves dropper? 75 Swimmer 76 Largest town in
Queen Charlottes (B.C.) 77 Idol’s follower 79 Maritime wildflower 80 Garrulous
TAURUS - APR. 21/MAY 21 Encouraged by what you've accomplished recently, your ambitions will be at an all-time high. With your progressive thinking, you will be able to improve on the details of a current project. GEMINI - MAY 22/JUNE 21 Difficulties at work or home could be smoothed out easily with a bit of compromise on your part. However, a bad attitude could worsen the situation. CANCER - JUNE 22/JULY 22 Just when you thought life was boring, something exciting happens. You will suddenly feel lighthearted and enthusiastic. LEO - JULY 23/AUG. 23 You could find yourself working on many projects at the same time. Don't bite off more than
86 Iraq’s neighbour 87 Harplike instrument 88 Indian lentil 89 Alta. summer time
WEEKLY STARS ARIES - MARCH 21/APR. 20 At work, you will have to put in extra effort to get the results you want. Your patience will be tested by a co-worker. Try to keep your cool.
81 Blood: prefix 82 Snakes near the Nile 84 Israeli folk dance 85 Unsigned, in short
you can chew. VIRGO - AUG. 24/SEPT. 22 Your workload will be larger than usual this week. Overworking may cause stress, so find the time to rest and relax. LIBRA - SEPT. 23/OCT. 23 This will be an especially satisfying week concerning work or business. You will accomplish a great deal and gain the rewards to prove it. It will be worth taking the chance on a business deal, but get professional advice before signing any official documents. This weekend will be great for social outings of any kind. SCORPIO - OCT. 24/NOV. 22 Saturday will be an ideal day for light entertainment and company. On Sunday, you could tire yourself out by too much travel. After the weekend, you'll be doing some much-needed financial planning. SAGITTARIUS - NOV. 23/DEC. 21 A friend will come to you for advice. Take a logical point of view when speaking to her.
CAPRICORN - DEC. 22/JAN. 20 You will be faced with an important decision. It will be best to follow your instincts. Make sure you make your feelings known. AQUARIUS - JAN. 21/FEB. 18 You will be spending a lot of time outdoors, enjoying the weather with friends and family. You will do exceptionally well in any sporting activity you're involved in. PISCES - FEB. 19/MARCH 20 You may be feeling a little unhappy about the behavior of a close friend or relative. Don't let this distract you as there is not much you can do about it. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS JUNE 5 • Mark Wahlberg, actor JUNE 6 • Prince, singer JUNE 7 • Liam Neeson, actor JUNE 8 • Joan Rivers, comic JUNE 9 • Michael J. Fox, actor JUNE 10 • Elizabeth Shue, actress JUNE 11 • Joe Montana, athlete
Where Hurricanes Go To Die You get off the plane or the ferry in a rage: Spouse ran off with a young one, Boss promoted his girlfriend instead of you, Daughter wrote a book about fiendish parents That nobody believes is fiction — Write your own scenario. You have a boozy lunch with cousins, A heart to heart with an old friend, A scalding row with a sibling punctuated By apologies, tears, who knows what. You meet a Water Street panhandler Who gives back change, Encounter a moose on the road, Take a long walk on the coast, Glimpse a whale breeching Wind dies over cold water, Clouds empty and dissipate — This is why you came home. A wonderful poem by Robin McGrath from her new book of poetry, Covenant of salt.
JUNE 5, 2005
32 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
Devil picks St. John’s Fog Devils took part in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League expansion draft on June 1 in Chicoutimi, Que. These are the team’s 24 picks:
Pre mie rS oc
NAME HGT WGT POS DRAFTED FROM Scott Brophy* 5’9 162 C Gantineau Wesley Welcher* 6’0 175 C Moncton Marty Doyle 6’1 215 RW/LW Shawinigan Ilia Ejov N/A N/A G Shawinigan Kyle Stanley 6’2 190 D Cape Breton Brett Beauchamp N/A N/A LW Lewiston Luke Gallant 6’2 203 D Cape Breton Brandon Verge 6’1 166 G Chicoutimi Jonathan Cameron 6’1 200 D Lewiston Pier-Alexandre Poulin 6’4 226 C Gantineau Anthony Pototschnik 6’3 200 LW/RW P.E.I. Zack Furlatt N/A N/A LW Halifax Phillippe Cote 6’1 185 LW/RW Baie-Comeau Olivier Guilbault 6’0 185 LW/RW Rouyn-Noranda Dominic Tweed 6’3 202 LW Rouyn- Noranda Brandon Tidball 6’0 208 LW Quebec Sebastien Bernier 6’0 180 D Quebec Wahsontiio Stacey 5’8 150 C Drummondville Maxime Parent6’1 196 C Victoriaville Langelier Rodi Short* 6’0 178 D P.E.I. Etienne Grandmont 6’3 218 LW/RW Val-d’Or Nicolas Bachand 6’1 165 LW/RW Rimouski Maxime Robert 5’10 190 C Acadie-Bathurst Pier-Antoine 5’11 176 G Acadie-Bathurst Guillemette * Newfoundland-born player (Brophy is from St. John’s; Welcher is from Paradise; and Short is from Goulds).
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Carlos Delgado says he’s not bitter about the way he parted ways with the Jays PITTSBUGH By Richard Griffin Torstar wire service
t seems odd for an athlete who dominated baseball in Toronto the first part of this century, but the closest former Blue Jays star Carlos Delgado will be in ’05 to the city in which he grew up as an athlete and a man is PNC Park on the banks of the Allegheny. Since he wasn’t coming to see us, we came to see him. Delgado claims he’s over his Toronto experience. Perhaps, but judge for yourself. I entered the semi-deserted visitors clubhouse at PNC and found him thumbing aimlessly through a local paper, passing the time, waiting. After a touch on the shoulder he jumps to his feet with a big smile. The first-year Marlin ushers his visitor to a chair near his locker. He’s eager to catch up on any and all news concerning his old team. Vernon, Cat, Orlando, Doc, even the fans. His curiosity knew no bounds. “It was fun, but I had time to prepare myself to leave,” Delgado philosophizes about his reluctant departure. “The all-star break rolled around (last year) and I knew I wasn’t going to be back. They didn’t make a whole lot of effort to bring me back.” Of all the many situations the Jays have botched over the years, the way they gave their classy leader the bum’s rush out of town and made it look like his idea, is the most offensive. The Jays kept insisting they were interested in Carlos, but only if the 32-year-old, first-time free agent gave the po’ boys of the AL East a break. They even asked for a favour. If they offered arbitration could he promise to turn it down so they could get a compensation draft pick? Well, no. When he didn’t play along, the Jays ripped him to fans as not being co-operative towards an organization that treated him so well. Yes, they were done with each other. “I appreciate the way the people in Toronto treated me,” the Jays’ all-time homer and RBI leader says. “The fans understand that it is a business. A team that didn’t have a huge budget had a guy who was making a lot of money. They were trying to rebuild, make the ballclub better, make the economics work. I miss it, but sometimes it’s time to move on.” Coincidentally, shortly after he left, Ted Rogers bumped payroll by $20 million (U.S.) per year. There was no insidious master plan. Ownership finally concluded they couldn’t compete without a payroll bump. The parting of ways was clearly best for both sides, but Delgado handled it far better than the Jays. “After (the Jays) didn’t offer me arbitration, I knew I was not going there,” Delgado says. “I was very grateful for all the people that I met. It was great. I still have my boys with the team. I keep in touch. I watch the scoreboards to see what’s going on, but it’s a new page. Life goes on.” Yorkville to South Beach. For a man from the north shore of Puerto Rico, it sounds like major culture shock. Delgado downplays the differences. “I’m biased,” Delgado says, in comparing cities. “I lived in Toronto 11 years. I had a good setup. I knew the city like the back of my hand. You don’t need a car. Our ballpark, now, is way out, almost in Ft. Lauderdale. The city is a little south. But I’m here to play ball. It’s going to take me a while to get to know the city, the different spots.” One key consistency between his old and new homes is he can still go out when he is away from the game and not be harassed. “Where I live, nobody recognizes me, which is perfect,” the ever-private Delgado says. “Farther south is more Cuban. It’s got baseball tradition. Where I’m at, is (more diverse). They don’t care for baseball and I’m completely fine with that. “Canadians were respectful. They recognized you, but left you alone. They were happy to say hello and `How was the game?’ but that’s about it. That’s one of the things that I like about Toronto and Canadians. They’re very, very nice.”
Fighting for Argo spots By Rick Matsumoto Torstar wire service
This summer former Premier League soccer star Ian Marshall
ALL TAXES EXTRA.
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t takes more than just a strong body to be a football player. It requires a tough skin, as well. Both Lal Knight and Chris Cunningham were cut by the Argonauts during the course of last season; told they weren’t good enough to be part of a team that would go on to win the Grey Cup last November. Yet, both players are back again with no guarantee that they won’t once again be cast adrift. “You do it for the love of the game,” says Knight, a 28year-old receiver from Los Angeles, who admits the experience of being cut can leave “a bad taste in your mouth.” Knight first joined the Argos in 2002 and got into two games that season. In 2003 he dressed for all 18 games (started 10) and caught 27 passes for 580 yards and three touchdowns. But last year as the Argos recruited former NFLers such as Robert Baker, R-Jay Soward and Johnny Mitchell, Knight didn’t get past training camp. Argo vice-president of football operations Adam Rita says he had no qualms about inviting Knight back. “I don’t know why he’s not playing for someone,” says Rita. “I like to give a player a chance, especially when they have good work ethics like Lal.” Like Knight, the diminutive Cunningham understands there are no guarantees that he’ll be any more successful this year than he was in 2004. Last year, he impressed the coaches enough in training camp to begin the season on the practice roster before being elevated to the game-day roster for the fourth game of the schedule. He dressed for the next seven games only to be shunted back to the practice roster. Frustrated, he left the team later that month. But this spring, Cunningham picked up the phone in Houston and called the Argos, asking for a chance to return. “It’s just that fire and drive in me that won’t allow me to give up,” says the 5-foot-7, 23-year-old receiver. “We have a world- class receiving corps here, I know that. I know I’m not the best receiver in the world, but that doesn’t stop me from working to be the best. “I just missed being around the guys and playing football. I just wanted to come back up here and give it another shot. “If they don’t keep me I’ll walk away with a smile.”
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 33
Rolling with the punches Disconnected from the fight game, ex-champ builds a foundation — and will have his name added to Canada’s Walk of Fame By Donovan Vincent Torstar Wire Service
s compelling lives go, former Canadian heavyweight champion George Chuvalo ranks right up there. Born in Toronto’s Junction, Chuvalo would go on to use his imposing strength and large hands to his advantage in the boxing ring. He would become Canadian heavyweight champion from 1958 to 1979, amassing a solid record of 73 wins (64 by knockout), 18 losses and two draws and was never knocked down. Inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and given the Order of Canada in 1998, Chuvalo fought a number of worthy opponents including George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Jerry Quarry and Floyd Patterson, building a reputation for being tenacious and able to take a good punch. His most notable fights were with the great Muhammad Ali, who won both by decision. Later in life, Chuvalo would be hit with a series of blows that left him dazed and reaching for the ropes. In what he calls his “personal holocaust” he lost his wife and three sons. Son Steven Chuvalo died in August, 1996 at age 35 of a heroin overdose in his sister’s West End Toronto apartment. Three years prior, son George Lee, 30, died of an overdose and Chuvalo’s first wife Lynne, 50, committed suicide two days after George Lee’s burial. In 1985, son Jesse Miles, 20, ended his battle with drug abuse by shooting himself in the head. Now George Chuvalo does public speaking in schools, and his Fight Against Drugs organization warns of the perils of drug use. On June 5, Chuvalo will have his name added to Canada’s Walk of Fame. At 67, remarried with a surviving son Mitch and daughter Vanessa, four grandchildren and two stepchildren, he’s still fighting. What was the hardest punch you’ve ever taken in the ring? Mike DeJohn hit me with a good right upper cut. My knee sagged about an inch. That’s the first time that ever happened to me. I knocked (down) Mike DeJohn twice in the fight to win a 10-round split decision in Louisville, Ky. (in September, 1963). Do people still stop and ask you about that gross scene in the movie The Fly where you arm wrestle and your arm snaps off? Yeah, they do. Young kids come up Solution for crossword on page 18
George Chuvalo (right) with son Mitch
to me. I say, “Yeah, it was me.” They say, “Yeah, yeah it’s you,” stuff like that.
Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star
Any more movie roles in the near future for you? No, I don’t think so. I’m waiting to
play the leading man (chuckles). What’s your involvement in boxing right now?
I have no connection whatsoever to boxing. Could you summarize your reasons for that? I was disappointed in the fighters (he was managing and promoting) who didn’t want to put out enough. The guys didn’t want to do what I did. They didn’t have the ambition. If you think you want to be champion of the world you have to work like you want to be champion. What’s the state of professional boxing right now? It’s lousy in Toronto. You just can’t promote. But you know people have been saying the state of boxing is bad for some time, but there’s always a new star coming up, some kid from Mexico or New York. Someone’s going to pop up. But the heavyweight division is usually supposed to be the most exciting division, but for a long time it’s been pretty flat. (WBC heavyweight champion Vitali) Klitschko is not exciting. He’s a big strong guy, but he’s kind of boring. What’s the best boxing movie ever made? The Harder They Fall with Humphrey Bogart, and Requiem For A Heavyweight with Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleason. What did you think of the film Million Dollar Baby? It didn’t smack of reality. She gets a title shot, I dunno. First of all, in boxing movies the fight scenes are always a bit overworked, a bit overplayed. So you’re not exactly waiting with bated breath for Rocky 13 or whatever the next Rocky is called? (Chuckles) No, but then again you can’t beat that first Rocky movie. The first one was the best one. How many speaking engagements do you do? A couple a week. I don’t work in the summer hardly. You’re retired, so you’re getting a pension. Yup. It isn’t much by the way, $827 a month. Were you able to save money from your boxing career? I never made much boxing. For instance, how much do you think I made boxing Ali the first time, after everyone was paid? … It was $9,000 (Canadian). I made about $35,000 for the second fight with Ali. You’re not struggling now are you? I’m alive. I do all right. It’s a struggle. Life’s a struggle. I hope to retire in about 20 years (laughs).
JUNE 5, 2005
34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
Hockey warrior Mark Tobin’s hard-hitting, in-your-face style helped Rimouski win the Quebec league title; it could also get him to the NHL By Darcy MacRae For The Independent
Newfoundland native John Slaney
No regrets for Slaney From page 36 players. “It’s a huge sports town, so we don’t get as much publicity as some of the other teams. But for a minor league team in a big city, we’ve done pretty well,” Slaney says. “In game six against Providence (on May 29) it was just like the Flyers were playing. The fans were loud and it was just fantastic.” While he has had limited success in the NHL, Slaney has been one of the AHL’s top rearguards since entering the league in 1992. In both 2001 and 2002 he was named the AHL’s top defenceman, and just this season led all Phantoms’ D-Men in scoring with 44 points in 78 games. Slaney’s offensive production is actually lower than it might have been had he played the way he did when he first broke into pro hockey. Back then he was all about offense. But at 33, he is the undisputed veteran leader on a very inexperienced Phantom’s blueline, and as a result has changed his style to better compliment the young talent that surrounds him. It is a sacrifice Slaney is willing to make since it not only helps the team and aids in the development of his young teammates, but also gives him a head start on life after hockey. “I want to get into coaching, so it was a good stepping stone into that role,” he says. “I really enjoy helping the young kids become better hockey players. I accept my role, and really like going to the dressing room and hearing the young guys talking and laughing. It brings back memories of when I was that age.” Throughout his days in the AHL and the old International Hockey League, Slaney has spent time in cities such as Baltimore, Milwaukee and Las Vegas. He has played on as many as three teams in one season, as is the norm for a long time minor leaguer. But for the past five seasons, Slaney has clearly found a home in Philadelphia. He admits it is unusual for any player to spend five years with the same AHL club, and is thankful he’s had the opportunity to do so. “I’ve been really fortunate. In the past five years, I probably could have played with five different teams, but that’s not easy to do when you have a family,” says Slaney in regards to his wife Brenda (a native of Albany, NY)
and three-year-old son Tyler. During his time in Philadelphia, Slaney has also seen spot duty with the Flyers. His most recent call to action was during the 2003-04 campaign when he registered two assists in four games. Although he knows his role in the organization is with the Phantoms, Slaney says he appreciates the opportunities the Flyers give him in the NHL. “Since I was a kid, I wanted to be there. So If I do get a chance to get back to the NHL, I’ll be happy to play there,” Slaney says. Over the years, he has entertained offers to play in various European leagues. Many AHL veterans such as Slaney jump at the opportunity to earn higher paycheques in the European elite leagues, but a move across the pond just does not appeal to Slaney, who prefers to live where his family is happiest. “I’m not the type of person to go to Europe. It’s not in my blood,” he says. “I only want to play for a couple of more years and I’d like to do that in North America. There’s no question there’s big bucks over there, but does that really bring happiness?” Since he first turned pro in ’92, Slaney always maintained he would retire when he was 35. That gives him two more years in the sport before he begins searching for a new career, most likely in coaching. As to where he will live once his playing days are over, Slaney is unsure if a full-time return to this province is in the cards. Both his wife and son have spent their entire lives south of the border, which is also where the majority of pro hockey coaching positions are situated. “I’ve been living in the United States for 14 years, and it’s nice to see sunshine every day,” Slaney jokes. “I’ll always visit family and friends back home. I’ll always have roots in Newfoundland.” In the midst of his 13th pro season, Slaney says he is pleased with all he has accomplished in hockey. He feels fortunate to have been able to play the game for a living, regardless of what level he has played at. “I don’t have any regrets,” says Slaney. “This game has been great to me.” Darcy_8888@hotmail.com
he 2005 Memorial Cup is not an event Mark Tobin will soon forget. The St. John’s native made it all the way to the championship game with his Rimouski Oceanic on May 29 before falling to the host London Knights. Many hockey followers are calling it the best Memorial Cup tournament ever, making the experience all the richer for Tobin. “It was the only hockey going on in Canada, so it was a really big deal,” Tobin tells The Independent. “It was a class event. London did a great job of hosting it.” By all accounts, the 2004-05 season was a good one for both Tobin and the Oceanic, led by superstar centre Sydney Crosby. (Tobin says they’re good friends). The team won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title and enjoyed a 35-game unbeaten streak after Christmas. However, the fact they came within a game of claiming the Memorial Cup does not make Tobin smile, as he insists a victory in the championship game is the only thing he wanted to take home. “Everybody wants to win, so it’s disappointing finishing in second place,” Tobin says. “There really isn’t any second place in that tournament, there’s a winner and a loser.” London is considered by many to be the greatest junior hockey team in the history of the Canadian Hockey League (the umbrella organization that oversees Canada’s three major junior circuits — the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). The Knights began the season with a 31-game unbeaten streak before going on to run away with the OHL title. It could be argued that the only stiff competition they faced all season was from Tobin’s Oceanic, who took London to overtime in the Memorial Cup’s opening round-robin game before the Knights won 4-3 in extra time. Although the clubs’ rematch in the final resulted in a 4-0 win for the hosts, the score might have been closer had Rimouski not had to play a semi-final game with Ottawa the previous evening while London enjoyed three days of rest. Tobin admits the Oceanic felt fatigued taking to the ice for the final just 18 hours after wrapping up their semi-final win. He says his team matched up better with London than the 4-0 score indicated. “I thought we put up a good fight,” Tobin says. “They might have had more depth but we were two fairly equal teams. We had a 35-game undefeated streak; they had a 31-game streak.” On a personal level, the past hockey season was a successful one for Tobin. He picked up a career high 50 points in 68 games and cemented his reputation as a tough, hard-hitting winger. He is what hockey people call a warrior; the type of player who may not necessarily be a huge offensive contributor, but has the ruggedness and character every team needs to win. Whether through a big hit or his relentless work in the corner, Tobin contributes every time he steps on the ice. Players of that mould are often more
Mark Tobin of St. John’s
associated with the OHL and WHL, while the stars of the Q are best known for their flashy, flamboyant offensive talents. Sometimes it can be difficult for an athlete with Tobin’s skills to get noticed in this environment, which is another reason why he was so excited to play in the Memorial Cup. “I felt the Memorial Cup was a good test for me,” says the 6’3, 210-pound left-winger. “It was good to play against the other leagues’ big guys. I thought I held up well.”
“I felt the Memorial Cup was a good test for me. It was good to play against the other leagues’ big guys. I thought I held up well.” Mark Tobin Tobin hopes his play in London further impressed the Tampa Bay Lightning, who selected Tobin the second round of the 2004 NHL entry draft. Tobin hopes to land a spot on the team’s AHL affiliate in Springfield, Mass. next season, but his future with the organization is clouded by the ongoing NHL labour dispute. “I’d like to sign, but there’s no NHL now so that’s a big hold up,” Tobin says. “Right now I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. There are a lot of guys in the same position.”
Tobin could end up back in the Q next year as an overage player, but even that scenario leaves him with more questions than answers. The Oceanic have six players eligible to return as 20-year-olds but can only carry three. That could force them to trade a player such as Tobin, who would surely land them a high draft pick or two in return. The possibility that the St. John’s Fog Devils will make a push for Tobin’s services still exists, although they certainly won’t be the only team interested. Even Tobin’s summer plans are affected by the uncertainty surrounding his status with Tampa Bay. The Lightning may want him to train under their supervision, but until he signs a contract that can’t happen. He’s also considering spending the summer in Ottawa training with a number of pro players and admits he may yet return to St. John’s to workout with renowned trainer Bob Thompson. The latter possibility would certainly not disappoint Tobin, especially when he considers all Thompson has done for his career. Tobin says his sessions with Thompson have helped him become a better skater and are largely responsible for his rise from the local Junior B ranks (Tobin suited up with the Celtics of the St. John’s Junior Hockey League prior to playing for Rimouski) to the Memorial Cup in London. “Bob is an intense guy. He’s there to get the job done, he’s not there to shag around,” says Tobin. “We do a lot of plyometrics, weight training, cardio and sprints. It’s a lot of fun to train with him.” Darcy_8888@hotmail.com
Bright future for Suns From page 36 wasn’t working the way it needed to. The NBA, however, has the world’s highest paid athletes. Even the guys on the end of the bench who hardly see any playing time are set for life. Why would they jeopardize that? At first I thought cooler heads would prevail and both sides would do what it takes to avoid a strike, but it seems more and more likely players and owners are getting ready to dig in for a dirty battle. Many NBA teams share arenas with NHL teams so can you imagine how
those cities and arenas would be able to cope with having two major tenants on strike? Ouch. ••• The end came last week for the Phoenix Suns, knocked out of the NBA playoffs in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals in five games by the San Antonio Spurs. The loss marks an unpleasant departure for the Suns, who finished with the league’s best record at 62-20. The Steve Nash-led team was having a dream season. Nash, the league’s most valuable player, had a year that will go down in the history books. In the end, the Suns did not have enough to get by the Spurs, who will win the league title. The one area where San Antonio had an edge, and managed to exploit Phoenix’s shortcomings, was depth. The Spurs, NBA champs in 2003, had more contributions from their bench, something the Suns simply did not get. As I watched the series unfold and hoped for an extension to the Suns’ season (it was the best basketball I’ve watched since the 1980s of Bird and Magic lore), it struck me that the best is yet to come for Phoenix. In their first
year together, the Suns took the league by storm and, if not for an untimely injury to starting guard Joe Johnson in the conference semifinals against Dallas, the series may have had a different outcome. But looking at the roster, the Suns have a bright future, and it might not be because they have the reigning league MVP. The team’s best player, Amare Stoudemire, was a beast for even the mighty Spurs to contend with, and this playoff experience will only make him grow into a stronger force. Seriously, there is a very good chance Phoenix could have back-to-back league MVPs, as Stoudemire’s rise to that level should continue to gain strength. As much as Stoudemire was a huge factor in Nash winning the NBA’s top individual award, he too has a chance to take home that prize one day soon. And, of course, he has Nash to guide him there. As for the rest of this season, look for Miami to get by Detroit in seven games, and San Antonio to take the Larry O’Brien trophy in five games. Tim Duncan will get the nod as playoff MVP. Bob White writes from Carbonear. firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 5, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 35
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 5-11, 2005 — PAGE 36
Slaney’s slapshot He may be best known for the winning goal in the 1991 world juniors, but John Slaney is one of the AHL’s top blueliners — competing these days for the Calder Cup with the Philadelphia Phantoms DARCY MACRAE
ohn Slaney may have spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues, but he’s a household name to many hockey fans across Canada. He’s best known as the hero of the 1991 World Junior Hockey Championship in Saskatoon, Sask. “It’s been 14 years since it happened, but every time I talk to somebody from Canada they bring it up,” Slaney tells The Independent. “I just met two guys from Nova Scotia a couple of weeks ago and the first thing they said was ‘I’ll never forget sitting on the couch watching the big game and then you scored that goal.’” That goal is one of the most memorable in the history of the world juniors. Canada needed a win over the Soviet Union in its final roundrobin game to claim the gold medal, while the Soviets needed just a tie to win the top prize. With the score dead locked at two with just minutes remaining in the third period, Canada pressed relentlessly for a third goal. A Russian defenceman picked the puck up behind his net and, in a state of panic, rifled the puck off the left side boards in an attempt to clear his zone. Waiting at the blueline for the puck was St. John’s native John Slaney, who quickly unloaded a heavy slap shot toward the Soviet net. The fans watching in the rink and at home on TV let out a deafening roar as the puck found its way through a series of bodies, past the Russian netminder, and into the net to give Canada a 3-2 lead. Just a few minutes later Slaney and his Canadian teammates mobbed goalie Trevor Kidd as the final buzzer sounded, celebrating their gold-medal performance.
Considering the magnitude of the goal, Slaney says he doesn’t mind having it serve as his legacy. “It’s something I’ll always remember,” he says. “The biggest thing is that I did it for my country. Winning the gold in my home country was exciting.” A lot has transpired in Slaney’s hockey career since. He has played 268 NHL games with Washington, Colorado, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, where he currently resides as a member of the Phantoms, the Flyers’ AHL affiliate. On June 2 the Phantoms began the AHL finals versus the Chicago Wolves, giving Slaney his first shot at the Calder Cup. “No matter where you are when you start a season, everybody is aiming to win a championship. Right now, it’s a matter of us putting everything together and hopefully we’ll get the victories we need to win it,” says Slaney. “We feel pretty confident, we just beat three good teams (Norfolk Admirals, WilkesBarre/Scranton Penguins and Providence Bruins). We have to play as a team and continue to believe in each other.” The Phantoms’ march to the Calder Cup finals has thrust Slaney and his teammates into the limelight in Philadelphia. The city is home to several top-level professional sports franchises — the Flyers, MLB’s Phillies, the NBA’s 76ers and the NFL Eagles, leaving little room for the AHL Phantoms. But in a season where the Flyers and the rest of the NHL are absent, the Phantoms are on top of the hockey landscape in the Pennsylvania city. The added attention has resulted in increased attendance (the Phantoms averaged close to 8,000 fans a game this year) and a stronger feeling of pride for the Phantoms’ See “No regrets,” page 34
Philadelphia Phantom John Slaney
Devils get their due (from Q) T
he Fog Devils seem to have made some solid choices with their picks in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s expansion draft. With native sons Scott Brophy and Wes Welcher, the team’s top two picks (first and fourth overall respectively), the Fog Devils got a couple of quality players who will likely be called upon as leaders when the Fog is unfolded this fall. Other players selected in the draft, according to the stats they accumulated with their respective
Bob the bayman teams this past season, will provide a certain element that will probably leave a few opponents foggy on the ice. I’m talking about glove-dropping grit and intimidation. All the players selected in the expan-
sion draft are known commodities, in the sense that they have already produced tangible results in major junior. However, the players chosen by the Fog Devils in the June 4 midget draft are going to be nabbed based on their potential, a more risky proposition but one where bigger dividends can be reaped. Brophy and Welcher, both with Q experience, will have an easier time adjusting to the pressure of playing at home. There will be lots of attention
directed towards the Fog Devils in their first season — especially any Newfoundlanders on the team. If any local players are selected in the midget draft, they will not only have to get used to playing at a higher level, but they will have to do so while bearing the burden of being hometown boys and all the distractions that come with it. Regardless, I’m sure any player would love to jump on for the ride. ••• The NBA is in danger of risking a
promising future, on the heels of a financially healthy season, with the impending labour talks. The chances of the league competing with the NHL for the most extensive strike coverage are very real. Unlike the NHL, the NBA was making money and has the potential to easily continue that trend, but it could all be trashed if the season tanks. The NHL needed to be fixed, to be overhauled, because the system just See “Bright future,” page 34
Published on Jun 19, 2011
Published on Jun 19, 2011
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