VOL. 3 ISSUE 24
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 12-18, 2005
$1.00 (INCLUDING HST)
COLUMN PAGE 19
BUSINESS PAGE 25
Noreen Golfman on art versus tourism
Sweet dreams in your local B&B
Ron Boland returns to dugout after nine years
Safer seas All fishing vessels to be tested for stability in light of Ryan’s Commander tragedy; crew not at fault: safety board JEFF DUCHARME
lmost nine months after the sinking of the Ryan’s Commander and the loss of two lives, the federal Transportation Safety Board has recommended more sweeping changes to fishing vessels and cleared the crew of any negligence, The Independent has learned. As a result, Transport Canada will require all vessels — including those currently on the water over 15 tonnes and up to 65-feet in length — to be stability tested and carry a stability data book, beginning some time in 2006. The average incline test costs $2,000 and vessel owners will be responsible for the fee. An incline test actually tips a vessel to find the point of no return, the point where it would capsize. Ships will also be required to have a “maximum operating draft mark” that will tell the crew if the vessel has been overloaded. Fishing vessels are currently the only commercial ship exempt. The Ryan’s Commander, a 65-footer, was lost on Sept. 19 off Cape Bonavista, taking the lives of David Ryan, 46, and Joseph Ryan, 47. Maurice Landry of Transport Canada says the exact details of how the new regulations will be instituted are still being worked out. See “Dave and Joe,” page 2
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “If we really wanted to keep youth in the area we’d give them a lousy education.”
— Dr. Ivan Emke, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Page 8
Geoff Eaton expands RealTime Cancer Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Voice from Away . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Left to right: Travis Hodder, Ashley Harris, Ashley Keating, Travis Hynes, Shane Stewart, Megan Myles, and Matthew Myles — students of Fortune Bay Academy in St. Bernard’s, Fortune Bay. Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
The bags are packed ST. BERNARD’S, FORTUNE BAY By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
Grading the future
he effects of outmigration are plainly seen in the decline of the student population at Fortune Bay Academy, a kindergarten to Grade 12 school in St. Bernard’s near the head of the Burin Peninsula. The school began its life in 1999 with the amalgamation of two local denominational schools. At the time there were 234 students and 24 graduates. Six years later, the school, servicing six local communities, has 188 students and 11 graduates. The bus ride for some students is 45 minutes each way, during which they routinely see moose, seals, foxes and other wildlife. The winding rural road takes them through spectacular scenery; the communities huddle under the protective arm of majestic hills and cliffs. All but one of the 11 students say they would love to live in Newfoundland and Labrador once they complete their post-secondary education and settle down to raise families. As for the chance of that actually happening —
Only one of the 11 graduates of Fortune Bay Academy, Class of 2005, expects to be able to live in their hometown once they settle down. Last week’s piece, the first of a two-part series, focused on the graduates of Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s. of them living in the area where they’re from — only one graduate gives a definite yes. “Ideally I would love to live in Newfoundland, realistically not here in my hometown, but maybe St. John’s,” says Ashley Harris, 17, the daughter of the local Anglican minister. Her older sister moved
away to study dance and now lives in Gander and runs a dance studio there. “You can’t wait to get out,” says Heidi Hodder, 17. “But you’re going to miss all these people.” These kids are close. Of the 11 graduates, all but three are from the town of St Bernard’s; most of them have been together since kindergarten. Their days together are numbered. Harris is one of the students who will be going away to school in September. “I’d love to stay in Newfoundland, like St John’s,” she says, “but I don’t know if that’s possible.” “You’ll flunk out and come back to us,” Hodder teases. “I hope everyone has a good long-distance plan,” says Harris. “I was just hoping to forget about them all,” Hodder says with false bravado. Topics of conversation alternate between the need to be together and at home to being glad to finally leaving this “ghost town.” “My Mom already has my bags packed,” Travis Hynes jokes, while others speak of the tears their parents are bound to shed once they leave. See “I could end up anywhere,” on page 9
Guilty until proven innocent? Media attention impacts how an accused is perceived by the public; opinions differ on what to do about it STEPHANIE PORTER
mmediately after the day’s bail hearing is over, Dr. Sean Buckingham — hands cuffed behind his back — is escorted from provincial courtroom No. 7 to a nearby elevator. Flanked by two sheriffs officers wearing bulletproof vests, Buckingham quickly moves through the group of radio, television and newspaper reporters, not meeting anyone’s eyes, not answering any questions. The scene will be replayed at least once on the evening news; photos will show up in the papers. Buckingham is facing 30 different charges, including sexual assault, drug trafficking and uttering threats — and public interest is high. Minutes later, Buckingham’s lawyer, Averill Baker, leaves the court-
Dr. Sean Buckingham
room. She pauses for a few minutes, taking time to answer reporters’ questions. “Media, frankly, is usually helpful,” Baker says after the scrum has broken up. That said, she’s very aware of the buzz her client’s case has attracted, the
scrutiny he faces, and the impression left by the image of a man — legally presumed innocent — in handcuffs, accompanied by security. “We really can’t do anything about the fact that sometimes (the media) sort of focus on the negative element,” Baker says. “That can always (affect) public opinion. “At this level, the attention does not affect the case,” she continues. “If it were a jury trial, it would be problematic … right now, it would be near impossible for Dr. Buckingham to get a fair jury without moving outside of the province.” For this reason — and the nature of the case — Baker says her client will probably not face a jury. Brian Callahan, a journalist at The Telegram for 15 years, is an experienced court reporter and has been covering the Buckingham trial. “The hardest part is that he is, in theory, innocent until proven guilty,” says Callahan. “But once he’s out there in
the public eye and you run his name enough times, unfortunately the public perception is going to lean towards his guilt.” Callahan says for him, knowing what to report becomes instinct — his goal is to keep an “open and unbiased mind,” and not be more sympathetic to one side or the other. “You’ve got to look at it from a different point of view than the family sitting in the back or the Crown that really wants to roast the guy … you hear the open-line shows, and you know the way people think.” CBC television’s Deanne Fleet, also well versed in court coverage, says “we have discussions about this all the time (in the newsroom), about how to be fair and the importance of it.” She has a recent example to illustrate: on June 8, the day the summations were heard during Buckingham’s bail hearing, she did not broadcast the See “People are smarter,” page 5
JUNE 12, 2005
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘Dave and Joe had to die to get it that safe’ From page 1 “That’s all part of the discussions right now,” Landry tells The Independent. The board has also released a safety bulletin calling for all vessels with stabilization tanks, or anti-roll devices, to be stability or incline tested. The Ryan’s Commander, a state-of-the-art $1 million-plus vessel, had just such a tank. A previous bulletin called for crews to be trained in the use of such tanks, a technology common on modern fishing vessels. While problems have surfaced with the design of the Ryan’s Commander vessel, the safety board’s chief investigator says they can’t force the changes. Rather, the safety board makes recommendation and it’s up to Transport Canada to enforce them. “We don’t tell people how to fix their problems ... we just say there’s an issue here that should be investigated or looked into,” says Capt. Michael Kruger. He says “nothing derogatory” will be in the final report about the crew. “Every member of that crew was well trained, was well experienced,” Kruger says. “They worked very well together. It was very impressive the skill and ability of this crew.” Johanna Guy has fought for the changes since her brothers were lost in the tragedy and while she always believed it was the design of the vessel and not the crew’s negligence that caused the capsizing, the official news the crew did nothing wrong causes her to struggle with another battle — her
Johanna Guy, sister of Dave and Joe Ryan who died in the sinking of the Ryan’s Commander.
emotions. “Maybe it puts it to rest in other people’s heads so now they can get down to what really happened and not look at blaming the b’ys or thinking that there was something (wrong) somewhere,” says Guy, her voice cracking, eventually turning away and falling into the arms of a family member.
Landry says mandatory incline testing will be brought in as changes to the Canada Shipping Act 2001. “We’re reviewing all regulations applying to fishing vessels and developing new regulations such as mandatory stability requirements for vessels less than 24.4 metres in length,” says Landry. “This helps the master determine
Paul Daly/The Independent
under which conditions he can safely operate his vessel without risk of capsizing.” Transport Canada has been harshly criticized by the safety board for not moving faster, but Landry says the proposed changes took exhaustive consultations, covered a huge geographic area and included thousands of stakeholders. In Atlantic Canada,
there are 18,000 fishing vessels and more than 40,000 fishermen.” “Newfoundland itself is huge, if you include Labrador it’s huge ... we can’t be everywhere all of the time,” says Landry. “You need buy-in from the fishermen that regulations that are in place are reasonable, are practicable.” Kruger says the final report will include “five or six things” that need to be addressed concerning fishing vessels. One of those issues will be Ottawa’s vessel-replacement policy that forces designers to limit the length of the vessels to under 65 feet, meaning owners and designers are forced to build vessels that can, in certain conditions, become top-heavy. “The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have been told over and over again and over again by various other government organizations such as the search and rescue people in Newfoundland, the Canadian Coast Guard and a whole slew of experts (have told) them to revisit it, revisit the 64-11 rule and to their credit DFO did issue a request to industry,” says Kruger. Guy says the changes will save lives in the future. At the same time, those changes have come at a heavy cost. “I think (the fishery) just got a little safer,” says Guy. “It’s just unfortunate that Dave and Joe had to die to get it that safe. “I wish it was hindsight now,” she says. “I vowed when this all started up and when I got involved in it that I would not let (their deaths) be for nothing.”
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JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
‘Nothing short of phenomenal’ smart cars are all the rage
By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
he first thing you notice when you look at the smart car is that the corners of your mouth immediately turn up. “My favourite part is it makes people smile. People laugh at it,” says Robert Purchase, of Atlantic Computers and owner of one of the best marketing tools to cruise the streets — a smart car (smart is the actual brand name). “There are people out looking at it now as we speak,” Purchase tells The Independent from his storefront location in downtown St. John’s. The teeny, tiny, park-it-in-your-pocket car, made by Mercedes Benz, has been for sale in Canada for a year and it’s been selling out at dealerships across the country. A quick spin in the pint-size vehicle with Lorelei Welcher, manager of Atlantic Computers, not only shows off smart’s many favourable features — including push-button, standard to automatic transmission — but its curb appeal as well. She says the smart is fun, efficient and it draws a lot of attention — the only part of the car she doesn’t like. Heads turn and grins appear in the smart’s presence. Stopping at a red light, construction workers shout questions to Welcher about passenger space. She rolls her eyes. “How fast can she go?” shouts another man further down the road. “140 (kilometers per hour),” Welcher responds. “I don’t believe that,” the man shouts back.
Al Andrews, a salesman with Tom Woodford Ltd., on Topsail Road in St. John’s, the only place in the province that sells smart cars, says the 12 cars he had in stock sold out fast and 12 more 2006 models are backordered. Customers won’t see those cars until the fall. “The response to this vehicle has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Andrews says. “Every car we could get we took and every car we got we sold. If I had 50 cars here I’d have them all sold.” SELLING POINTS Fuel economy and safety features, like the ridged-steel frame known as a “tridion safety cell,” which can supposedly withstand a collision with a fourdoor sedan with minimal damage, and “aluminum struts” in the door panels, are two of the biggest selling points of
the smart. Compared to the Toyota Echo, which gets 18 km per litre of gasoline on the highway, the smart travels 20 km per litre in the city and 26 km per litre on the highway. The car burns diesel fuel only and can be filled up for about $20. The smart weighs in at 1,700 pounds, compared to the Toyota Echo, which weighs 2,200. “When we first bought the vehicle I put $17 worth of fuel (22 litres is full) in her which filled her up,” Andrews says. “We drove that car for 643 km, and I’m talking about test driving customers and that.” The “fortwo” model is eight feet long, five feet wide and five feet high and holds two passengers, but look for the “forfour” or four-seat model to be available next year. “If you’d sat in it you’d notice how
much room is in it for such a small car,” Andrews says. So what’s the catch? “Getting one right now,” he says. “I don’t think they envisioned this car being this popular this fast and it sort of caught everybody by surprise.” He says it’s a “back-up order situation” across Canada right now. “It’s almost going back to the Cabbage Patch era. It’s new, people want it, but it makes so much sense is where I see it making inroads.” St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells says he’d like to see the environmentally friendly cars catch on as they would shrink parking spaces in the downtown area of the city, where spaces are at a premium. Two to three smarts could fit into one parking space sideways. But don’t ask Wells to give up his Land Rover.
“I like the four-wheel drive because of our winters, but I think if I had the money I would certainly probably be driving something smaller around town during the summer months.” Back at Atlantic Computers, Purchase is just happy he has the car and all the attention it garners. “I needed transportation for a technician to go onsite for businesses and I needed to have low operating costs and at the same time this serves as a promotional vehicle,” she says. “I take it every now and again just for fun … they’re real fun vehicles.” “This is why Atlantic computers bought that car — it’s the visibility of it,” says Andrews, adding people visiting the dealership now ask for the Atlantic Computers’ car. “If you stop that car for five minutes you’ll have people around it.”
‘Exemptions are granted’ Locally caught fish is being shipped to foreign markets for processing, but provincial Fisheries needs more time to tally the numbers Editor’s note: the following is a letter written by provincial Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor in response to The Independent’s requests, filed since mid May, for information on the amount of locally caught fish exported to foreign destinations such as China for processing — a practice that goes against legislation that states fish caught off the province’s shores must be processed here.
am writing concerning The Independent’s request for information about fish caught off our shores which are locally handled, packaged and frozen, but which are then exported for other processing. Each year, the minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture advises all local seafood companies about the minimum amount of processing for each species. These levels are usually met. We have the most stringent minimum requirements of any jurisdiction in Canada, and perhaps North America. I can confirm that from time to time exemptions are granted to allow companies to ship specific amounts of identified species out. These exemptions can be granted for a variety of reasons. In some cases fish is shipped out in a whole fresh or in a frozen state to meet certain market demands. In the case of turbot, this has occurred since at least the late 1980s. Large turbot has been shipped in a whole frozen state to meet the market
demand for that type of product. In the case of greysole, since the late 1980s there has been an exemption for whole fresh product that is shipped primarily to an ethnic market in central Canada. These exemptions have been issued and reissued by every minister since at least the late 1980s. Yes, these exemptions have been granted by me in the past season, as well as two that had not been granted previously. One was for a specified amount of redfish from Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) area 30. Fish caught in this area is usually of a smaller size than that found in other stock areas, so it is rarely cost effective for the local industry to harvest and process this fish. Since it had been an unregulated stock within the NAFO regulatory area, any participation by NAFO fleets helps to build history and establish share. For these reasons, I granted an exemption for this fish to be packaged and shipped unprocessed, to assist in the establishment of our own fleet history. Additionally, in 2004 I granted an exemption to allow the shipping of unprocessed yellowtail for fish less than 400 grams. Of course a 400-gram yellowtail is a small fish and we would rather that it was not harvested. The small fish protocols applied by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) are much more rigid than they were in the 1980s with more extensive
observer coverage, dockside monitoring, and closures of areas where the incidence of small fish exceeds five per cent of the total catch. Nevertheless, some small fish unavoidably get caught. The question for industry and government is whether
Paul Daly/The Independent
to dump this fish as was widely done in the 1980s, or do we land it, report it against the quotas, and try to get some economic return from it as we do today. In recent years, much of this small yellowtail went into fish meal and cat food. My decision to allow the fish to
be shipped in a whole form was based on the desire to increase the value of this fish to the industry. For the same reasons, exemptions have been granted by ministers who preceded me, including Gerry Reid (which he forgot to mention in a recent interview with you). I will ensure that The Independent’s request for raw numbers is fulfilled. This information must be complete and accurate. It will include whether companies acted on their exemptions. However, please bear in mind that Section 4 of the Fisheries Act stipulates that data identifying a specific company can only be released with that company’s written consent. Unfortunately, your request coincided with the start of the crab fishery. I ask for your understanding that this is an exceptionally busy time of year for the staff that has to gather statistics by going through files for each plant. These same people are implementing initiatives related to the Dunne report, such as the newly appointed licensing board, the allocation of shares for crab, documents to enforce the sharing pilot project, and data entry for the processing information being supplied to government. This information will be provided as promptly as possible. In the meantime, let me assure you that we will continue to maintain the strictest production requirements of any jurisdiction in this country.
JUNE 12, 2005
4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘They can get aggressive’ Black bears in this province aren’t known to attack humans, but they will defend themselves if threatened By Darcy MacRae The Independent
ewfoundlanders shouldn’t fear bear attacks, but caution is advised if one crosses your path. Bear attacks made the national news recently after Isabelle Dube was killed on June 5 after being attacked by a grizzly in Canmore, Alta., raising the question whether a similar attack could take place in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are no grizzly bears in this province, but there are between 8,000 and 10,000 black bears. Standing six feet tall on its hind legs and weighing between 300-600 pounds, black bears are among the biggest and strongest animals in the province’s woods. They generally avoid humans but, as is the case with all wild animals, their behaviour is unpredictable. “Like most mammals, black bears will defend their young. If they feel their young are threatened, they can get aggressive,” says Wayne Barney, species management co-ordinator with the province’s Environment Department. “And a black bear is quite capable of defending itself.” There are no records of bear attacks on humans in the province, but negative encounters do occur. The greatest defence against such inci-
dents is avoidance. Try not to approach a bear in a threatening manner and always watch for bear tracks, scratch marks on trees and diggings in the ground.
“Like most mammals, black bears will defend their young. If they feel their young are threatened, they can get aggressive.” Wayne Barney, Department of Environment If you find yourself standing between a black bear and her cubs, watch for aggressive behaviour such as the bear pawing at the ground or circling you. Never climb a tree as a means of escape, since black bears are excellent climbers. “With black bears, you have to try to be more threatening than the bear is,” says Barney. If no escape route is available, make as much noise as you can, shout loudly at the bear and
make yourself look as big as possible, he says. Anything that can be thrown at the bear should also be utilized in your defence. However, avoid direct eye contact with the bear, since the animal may see such action as overwhelmingly aggressive and further agitate it. Like other wild animals, most problem black bears are those accustomed to receiving food from humans. Feeding them results in difficulties for both bears and humans. “It’s probably one of the stupidest things a person can do,” says Barney. “Semidomesticated animals, wild animals being fed by humans, are the most dangerous animals out there.” There are two black bear hunts in the province a year, one in the spring (May 14 to July 9 this summer) and another in the fall (Sept. 10 to Nov. 12). Approximately 500-600 black bears are killed each year during the hunts, which excludes female bears with cubs.
Who owns the fish in the sea? By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
arbour Breton’s attempts to secure a groundfish quota for its idle fish plant raises the question whether fish are, in fact, a common property resource owned by all Canadians.
If quotas can be leased and sold, some industry experts say that’s not the case — the fish in the sea are not owned by all. Fish quotas and enterprise allocations are the responsibility of the federal government. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is the guardian of stocks and
the gatekeeper when it comes to quotas — a right it was given five years after Confederation in 1949. David Bevan, assistant deputy minister of DFO in Ottawa, says the true legal definition of common property resource means unrestricted access. “The fact is, under our understanding of the law, it is a common property resource, however that has not been taken to the end of that kind of logic,” Bevan tells The Independent. “Theoretically, all Canadians own it and maybe they all should have access to it, but that’s not the case.” In Harbour Breton’s case, the community has appealed to Fishery Products International (FPI), former operator of the plant, to hand over a groundfish quota, but the company is reluctant to do so. And DFO apparently can’t make it. FPI retains the rights to quotas for such species as northern cod, which has been under a moratorium since 1992. Still, the quota hasn’t reverted back to the federal government, raising the question whether FPI or any fish processing company holds the rights to quotas in perpetuity. In the processing sector, which falls under provincial jurisdiction, plants that are inactive for two years lose their licences. Bevan says a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy would put stocks under even more pressure. “We didn’t want to force companies to go out and fish something that they didn’t want to fish just because they had a quota and wanted to keep it,” says Bevan. Former provincial Fisheries minis-
ter Jim Morgan says the sense of ownership has evolved over time. “It’s almost like it’s … been assumed by people who have licenses to harvest certain quotas that the quotas belong to them,” he says. Provincial Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor says fish remain a common property resource. “The Government of Canada owns and manages the fish in the sea on behalf of all Canadians,” says Taylor. “Ownership is only temporarily assigned to others by using allocations and quotas.” FREE FOR ALL Without such measures, he says the fishery would become a free for all. “Without proper management, the free and intense competition on the open water would likely see the resource wiped out. A good example of the downside of true common property is the unrestricted foreign overfishing that occurred in the 1960s.” Pulp and paper companies hold timber rights on much of the Crown land in the province. Depending on the permit issued, such rights are not transferable and legislation on Crown land stipulates companies will be charged a yearly fee of 78 cents a hectare for land that is in use. Once that land is no longer in use, the charge jumps to $130 a hectare. In 1968, Garrett Hardin published a scientific paper called The Tragedy of the Commons, renewing debate over the loss of what was an ancient global ideal. The “commons” is any resource shared by a group of people. GENERAL MANAGER John Moores email@example.com
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In its most simplest sense, that includes such things as air and water. Ownership of such things as timber rights or fish quotas has all but killed common property. Bevan admits it’s a bit of a grey area. “While that is a function of government to manage the resource on behalf of Canadians, obviously there has been some treatment of the quotas in the past as pseudo-property by the users.” David Vardy, chair of the Industrial Adjustment Services Committee for the Town of Harbour Breton, has been at the forefront in the fight to secure a quota for the community. Fishery Products has offered the town the plant for $1. Vardy says without a quota, the issue is moot. But if quotas were treated as a common property resource, then the town would have an opportunity to revive the plant. He says quotas have become assets to companies such as FPI. “Certainly in today’s world these quotas are considered to be assets,” says Vardy. “The whole transition is a gradual thing as opposed to being sanctioned by law.” QUOTA PURCHASE In 2004, the province paid $3.5 million for a quota from seafood giant High Liner after the company announced it was walking away from the Arnold’s Cove plant. The 3,676 tonne groundfish quota was then leased to Bruce Wareham and Icewater Seafoods was born. New Democratic Party MP Peter Stoffer, a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, says the law may say one thing, but reality is quite different. “In legality, the stock belongs to all Canadians, but in practicality it is controlled and owned by private corporations.” Stoffer says there simply isn’t the political will to enforce the law. “The right thing, of course, is you’ve gotta do what’s in the best interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and that stock is a common property resource,” he says. “It has to benefit the majority of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador, not just a few shareholders and a board of directors of one particular company.” Bevan says companies require some sort of “tenure” when it comes to quotas and the idea that quotas could be revoked would throw the fishing industry into turmoil.
Correction A story published in the June 5-11 edition of The Independent, headlined Top secret, Three countries vying for 2007 America’s Cup testing hulls at MUN; public and private interests compete for research time in wave tanks, incorrectly referred to the Institute for Ocean Technology as being part of Memorial University. In fact, the institute is funded and operated by the National Research Council of Canada.
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
Pressure on government to study link between electrical emissions and cancer By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
the concern. “We will look at that,” he said. “Officials who we consider expert officials in it will make rom New Zealand to Vatican City to a recommendation on whether we should proNewfoundland and Labrador, the health ceed and do something of an extensive nature.” controversy surrounding public overexFor Higgins, finally getting some kind of posure to electrical emissions appears to grow local recognition was significant, but he curmore widespread every day. rently has more immediate concerns. His wife A documentary about the health effects of recently found out the breast cancer that previpower lines is currently ously spread to her brain underway in New Zealand. and then went into remisJust last month, three Vatican sion, has returned. “It would be my radio officials, including a Members of organizacardinal, were given 10-day tions across Canada, fightpreference that jail sentences for violating ing for national guidelines Italy’s standards regarding around the issue of electrogovernment proves emissions. magnetic fields, have been to the public that Organizations across following Higgins’ battle. Canada are raising their Phyllis Morris, the deputy there is no risk, not voices in the hope governmayor of Aurora, Ont. ment will officially study the that the public should spoke of the growing conissue and set guidelines to cern amongst municipalities have to prove to them in her province at the recent monitor electromagnetic field exposure. Excess emisFederation of Canadian that there’s no risk.” sions have been scientifically Municipalities conference proven to increase the risk of in St. John’s. Morris, a forPhyllis Morris, childhood leukemia, as well mer political columnist and as exacerbating other cancers television producer, is a Aurora, Ont. and chronic illnesses. member of a taskforce set Gerald Higgins, a resident up to monitor and lobby of Norris Arm, has become the spokesman for local hydro companies. the cause in this province. He has support from “My intention is to meet up with Mr. Higgins countless professional organizations around the … to see if there isn’t someone who would be world, from Australia to the Sierra Club of willing to help him. He has enough on his plate. Canada, which has officially called for a study You need someone who’s not as emotionally to be conducted amongst the many small com- entrenched in it and that needs to be a politimunities across Newfoundland and Labrador. cian,” she says, adding she has spoken with The study would compare cancer rates with Aurora’s local MP, Belinda Stronach, on the electrical readings in the areas. issue of electromagnetic fields. Stronach has Elizabeth May, executive director of the asked for an official from Health Canada to Sierra Club, is due to visit the province in two meet with Morris’ community. weeks and plans to address the issue during her Morris also plans to follow up contacts she stay. has made within the Federation of MuniciIn January, The Independent first document- palities and to apply for a grant to fund official ed Higgins’s story, which began five years ago studies into electrical emissions. when his wife, Margaret, was diagnosed with “If they could do it in Newfoundland, why breast cancer. Taking note of the many other not? Why not go there? I’m optimistic that this instances of cancer in his community, Higgins issue is not going away now and some of us began to notice a connection between victims won’t give up until we’ve at least got an and how close their homes were to power trans- acknowledgement that Health Canada’s going formers. to set about putting some standards in place. He has since spoken with thousands of can“It would be my preference that government cer sufferers across the province with similar proves to the public that there is no risk, not concerns and has been in touch with several that the public should have to prove to them politicians, including Roger Grimes, former that there’s no risk.” Researchers say the biggest challenge facing head of the provincial Liberal party. Grimes recently addressed the issue in the those trying to get recognition of the dangers House of Assembly, calling for government to of high levels of electromagnetic exposure is examine Higgins’ research. At the time, acting the liability this would place on hydro compaHealth minister Loyola Sullivan acknowledged nies.
‘People are smarter than we give them credit for’ From page 1
the provincial court, located in Atlantic Place, downtown St. John’s. story she had planned for that evening. “People are shackled, presumed innocent peo“I came back and started writing the story, and ple, and marched back and forth in a public then I talked to my lawyers,” she says. “We did- forum,” he says. “It’s quite demeaning. n’t broadcast the story because of comments “It does pollute the environment out there and (Buckingham’s) own lawyer made, in the interest it does make it difficult for a person to get a fair of fairness.” trial and that, at the end of the day, that has to be It was a decision made late in the day, and there a societal concern and a media concern because a was no time to alter her piece. Fleet says she’s fair trial is in the interests of everyone.” aware of the publication bans in place during a But Buckingham also believes in freedom of bail hearing — and didn’t want to affect, in any the press — and of information. way, the legal proceedings. “We have to balance the rights of the media, “This is a 14-month, 17-month investigation,” balance the rights of the public to know, and balshe says. “It’s costly, time-consuming, Dr. ance the rights of the individual,” he says. “It’s Buckingham spent a lot of time in jail — would not easy.” he want to have to start this whole thing over ••• again? Jim Furlong, prominent “Sometimes it’s like dancing broadcast journalist and NTV on the head of a pin, but you news director, says things “We see Dr. want to come down on the side have “certainly changed” in Buckingham paraded of being fair to the process and the courts. the person. “I’m like a hundred years back and forth on tele“I’m not afraid to do a tough in this business; I’ve been at it vision day after day, I story, but I do want it to be fair. for 27, 28 years. When I was That’s the difference.” in radio in the business, don’t think that affects raised ••• even naming an accused was St. John’s criminal lawyer something that didn’t happen. people’s judgment on Bob Buckingham (no relation The name wasn’t used until his innocence … I think the conviction was registo Sean) reflects back to spring 2004, when he represented a if he’s found innocent, tered.” man accused of assaulting Furlong says, as best he can Premier Danny Williams’ son he’ll be back in practice recall, that all changed with on George Street. the scandal in the Catholic in Newfoundland.” “Ordinarily, a George Street Church in the 1980s. “It was incident doesn’t get a lot of Father Jim Hickey, that you Jim Furlong, NTV press, and I wouldn’t make a couldn’t go on anymore comment on it,” he says. “But I (referring to) a ‘42-year-old thought this was just an unbelievable, unrealistic St. John’s man’ … now that’s changed completeand irrational media frenzy … you respond to ly.” those sorts of things in that situation.” While Furlong says he has confidence in the The inference was made, Buckingham says, in safeguards in the system to look after the rights of a police press conference, and by the premier the accused, “there’s no question that being himself, that the assault was related to the reported in the news media as being accused of a impending public sector strike. crime … it’s not the sort of thing that you’d want “It was stressful for my client, given the to have happen to you.” province is on the brink of a strike, and he finds As Baker, Sean Buckingham’s lawyer, has said himself, an ordinary fellow, in the midst of all publicly, should the doctor be cleared of his this,” he says. “It was frustrating for me that there charges, he intends to return to his practice. was a lot of pressure on my client, that is, you Furlong can’t see why that would be an issue know, presumed innocent.” for the public. Buckingham says the media has to be con“We see Dr. Buckingham paraded back and cerned that focusing on a specific high-profile forth on television day after day, I don’t think that case does influence and bias the public. He has affects people’s judgment on his innocence … I asked for a change of venue in certain court cases, think if he’s found innocent, he’ll be back in practo get around the weight of public opinion. tice in Newfoundland,” he says. “Sometimes I take the position that if a person “Especially in Newfoundland, given the events is charged, perhaps their name and picture should in recent years, I don’t think people are so stupid not be publicized until there is a conviction to think everybody who appears in court is guilty. entered,” he says. “People are smarter than we give them credit He also expresses concern with the set up of for.”
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
JUNE 12, 2005
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
What is rightfully ours F
or most of this past week, it appeared The Independent would not have a chance to add its voice to the debate over proposed changes to the FPI Act before they were passed, or defeated, in the House of Assembly. The proposed amendments were unveiled on Monday and were to have been voted on by the legislature this past Friday — hardly enough time for the media to disseminate the information, let alone time for the public to digest it. That, in itself, was an injustice to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This province’s fishery was 500 years in the making — it deserves more than two days of debate to chart its future. The thought process behind such a move was driven by skullduggery, stupidity or apathy. The bandage can be torn off fast to ease the pain, but the scab will still bleed. MHAs had been called back to the House for an emergency session to
vote on the proposed 40 per cent sale of FPI’s value-added American marketing arm. That alone isn’t a bad thing. FPI needs cash, and an income trust is a creative way to raise $100 million in capital. Critics, Derrick Rowe for starters, say FPI can’t survive such hurdles as competition from the Chinese and a falling American dollar under the current legislative set up. But the foundation of the FPI structure cannot be disputed: the federal and provincial governments created the company in the early 1980s out of the ashes of a handful of bankrupt fish companies, saving the industry and much of rural Newfoundland from collapse. The money and legislation used to forge FPI inextricably links the corporation to the public good. The fact the structure is being compromised now via the income trust fund proposal does not change the reality of the corporation’s birth and, therefore, public responsibility.
The heart of the FPI Act is the ownership provision that prevents a single individual or entity from owning more than 15 per cent. Such a stipulation prevents the company from being taken over by a single interest and being driven strictly by profits, without a social conscience. Under the proposed changes, for example, Icelandic interests, which currently own 15 per cent of FPI, could buy out the entire 40 per cent income trust — thereby owning a controlling interest in the company — and, consequently, the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. One solution would be for the province to insist the 15 per cent ownership restriction be applied to the income trust. The ownership restriction is the only thing holding FPI to the myriad of hollow promises it has made over the years. Regardless of what FPI may cry, the company has profited because of the resources that swim in the waters off this province’s coast, as well as the
blood, sweat and tears of thousands of plant workers and fishermen. Premier Danny Williams says he won’t vote for the deal unless Harbour Breton gets a quota — proper thing. A $1 plant is absolutely worthless without a quota. As Harbour Breton goes so goes the Connaigre Peninsula. Rowe says his company isn’t about to give up what isn’t FPI’s in the first place — fish. As a common property resource, the fish in the sea belongs to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Indeed, all Canadians. At what point did companies such as FPI claim ownership of the fish that founded this place? The federal government, which was handed the resource with Confederation, has relinquished control to corporations — foreign and domestic. The federal government has said it has no interest in buying a quota for Harbour Breton, or creating a new one, because every community will expect similar treatment.
Considering Ottawa’s blatant mismanagement of fish stocks led to the collapse of the groundfish fishery, Ottawa should do the honourable thing and make right by looking after Harbour Breton and any other communities that find themselves in the same boat. Quotas that aren’t used should revert to the federal government, the same as processing licences revert to the province after two years of inactivity. Without a quota for Harbour Breton, the deal must die. Anything less will result in the death of rural Newfoundland — the outports and the people who built the fishery in the first place. MHAs are divided on how to vote on amendments to the FPI Act based on how it may impact —positively or negatively — their districts, a vote that may now come on Tuesday. But this isn’t about securing votes in the next election, it’s about standing united as a people and protecting what is rightfully ours.
YOUR VOICE The new Newfoundland — and Labrador? Dear editor, First the nice stuff. Kudos to the staff of The Independent for producing a refreshing alternative to the increasingly tired “other paper.” I keep meaning to take out a subscription but, as a friend says, “I’m not a procrastinator, I’m just not ready yet.” The not-so-nice stuff will take a little longer. I’m interested to know just where Labrador sits in what seems to be a nascent nationalist movement. Don’t get me wrong, it’s high time people here became more assertive when dealing with Ottawa, as well as outside business interests. However, before the rhetoric gets ramped up too high someone maybe needs to point out that the emperor may not have any clothes on. Alternatively, while the emperor may be covered with the pink, white and green, the white, green and blue is not much in evidence. I was born on the island, moved to Labrador at age four (days) and recently settled in St. John’s after 20 years upalong. It’s wonderful to be back and I am equally fond of both parts of the province. It’s easy for me but difficult for those who are serious when they don one of those “Free Newfoundland” T-shirts. Some anecdotal evidence: I climbed up the south side hills overlooking St. John’s to have a look at the flag a few days ago. The attached sign mentioned something about the pink, white and green being the flag of Newfoundland and Labrador, but it appeared to me that the latter had been added as an afterthought. I could have sworn “+Labrador” was written with a different marker, but I could be wrong.
There is a vaguely angry song about these days called The Islander. The first two lines refer to the author being a Newfoundlander born and bred as well as a proud islander. No mention of Labrador there but I don’t envy those who have to get an idea into a limited space as well as make it rhyme! Oh well, perhaps it’s a song about the Island only. But what’s this? A few verses on there’s reference to Frenchmen in Montreal having designs on Labrador and how the author will fight if they try and take “our Newfoundland.” What do you know — Labrador is included, sort of. Finally, there is an editorial in this week’s edition of The Independent that directs Prime Minister Paul Martin to take a look at the aforementioned flag and realize that it represents “the new Newfoundland and Labrador.” Hmmm, I shouldn’t presume to talk for my fellow Labradorians, but I don’t think the editor should either. You might want to do a little survey in the Big Land and see just what your flag means there. Sorry to be such a wet blanket but it seems to me that a Newfoundlander’s attitude towards Labrador mirrors a Canadian’s attitude toward the north in general. Both are a source of pride (not to mention wealth) and a sentiment which, if put into words, might translate as “well I might even go there if I had to!” In summation, if the pink, white and green revolution (that’s awkward too) is to proceed then its proponents need to sort out just where Labrador figures into it. Dave Paddon, St. John’s
Reporter captures essence of ‘making art’ Dear editor, I want to commend Clare-Marie Gosse on her style of interviewing and her accuracy of reporting with regard to my profile in the June 5-11 edition of The Independent. I was delighted with her professional, sensitive, personable style of interviewing and, more importantly, how she captured the very essence of what
“making art” means to me. She has great listening skills and the ability to write in a creative, succinct manner. I have recommended her to art colleagues who may have “art” stories to tell The Independent. Eileen Gear Bragg, 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.
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Rare ambition O
f all the ambitions listed below the names and photos of the 38 graduates of the Class of 1984, St. Francis Central High School in Harbour Grace, the fishery is not among them. Nuclear physicist is there, as is heavy equipment operator, MP, police officer, computer science, lawyer, mechanic, physical education teacher, power engineer, scuba diver, journalist, soldier and, of course, the ever-popular undecided. But not one of the young men, and there were only men back then when St. Francis was guided by Christian Brothers, wanted to be a fisherman or a plant worker. (Keep in mind the town fed on fish.) In fact, there’s hardly a hint of fish or the sea in the ’84 yearbook, except for the ship stenciled in the school’s Coat of Arms, stamped on the cover, and that boat looks more like a 17th century Spanish galleon. (The only other identifiable image in the Coat of Arms are two crossed forearms, which you can tell are pure Catholic flesh by the stigmata blob on each palm.) And, if you look closely, the Kyle can be seen in the background of a picture at the tail-end of the yearbook, a photo of a skinny guy in a headband running up the north side of Harbour Grace. (A few heroes actually ran the annual walk-a-thon. Most took the full school day to crawl the 10 kilometres, so there wouldn’t be a chance in hell of returning to class.) Twenty-one years ago, not one single member of the graduating class at St. Francis wanted a career in the fishery. (The closest to the water was a marine biologist.) And that worked out for the best, considering the plant in Harbour Grace was razed a few years later. There were days, in the mid ’80s, when the smell of fish overpowered the town. The plant operated full tilt back then, processing cod mostly, shipped to markets around the world in frozen blocks. A good part of the stench actually came from the highway, where fish
sloshed over the sides of the dump trucks that transported it from further up the shore to the meal plant. The windows of St. Francis were closed tight on warm spring days to keep the fresh air in. And that was all right — the teachers were interesting enough. Especially ed duggan, who signed his name with small letters to show his high school English students how unimportant he was in the greater
Of the 38 graduates of the class of 1984, 21 of them — 55 per cent — live in Newfoundland today. The other 45 per cent live on the mainland, as far west as Vancouver. scheme of things. “We are but a speck in the universe,” he often said. One September, duggan, as he was called in the corridors, wrote a sentence on the chalkboard and asked the class to add a line every week until a poem had been created. “A seagull nestled on the rock …” it began. And the class would look out the closed window, to the harbour beyond, for inspiration. Most of the class of 1984 had family who worked in the plant, or on the water. But the fishery wasn’t a future. The fishery was what you did when you didn’t have a future. No one encouraged the fishery as a career — not the teachers, not the brothers, not the
priests, not parents. No one. Not much has changed. This week The Independent wraps up a two-part series in which we prodded and probed high school students at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John’s and Fortune Bay Academy in St. Bernard’s, Fortune Bay. Of the 13 graduates at Holy Heart, no one wants a job in the fishery. Of the 11 students at Fortune Bay Academy, none of them plan a life on the sea, either. The fishery has a bad name, which is half the reason why it’s in the state it’s in. The industry may have a billion-dollar value, but it’s not worth a nickel in the eyes of young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. They question the future of this place. Most would love to live and grow old here, but they don’t count on it. St. John’s and urban centers like it will do all right, young people say, but rural Newfoundland and Labrador is pretty much doomed. Face it: the outports will never make it without fish. The fish will never rebound until they’re given worth — both in terms of dollars and futures. Could government do more to turn the stocks around? Of course it could. Do this province and its people insist on it? No, they don’t. The fishery is in desperate need of a makeover, and the people — young and old — are in need of an attitude adjustment. Of the 38 graduates of the class of 1984, 21 of them — 55 per cent — live in Newfoundland today. The other 45 per cent live on the mainland, as far west as Vancouver. Of the 16 who remain here, two ended up working indirectly in the fishery, servicing foreign trawlers that unload their Grand Bank catches at local ports for shipments to markets around the world. The smell of fish may be the same, not so bad in fact, but the taste is rotten. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
Moral implications of making money Is it cheaper to ship local fish to China for processing — not for the people of Harbour Breton
was pretty sure they wouldn’t shoot me dead, but pretty sure isn’t even close to good enough outside Hotel Newfoundland. What pissed me off the most was that the police, the Chinese Secret Service, the Mounties, the RNC, CSIS, and the people being escorted inside acted like I was the jerk. It was April 1999 and the Liberals had invited Chinese Premier Zhu Ronji for lunch. He was going to tell them all about how eager the “new” China was for their business. And I objected. I joined a group there to protest the repression of the people of Tibet and the massacre of peaceful university students in Tiananmen Square. I was there to try and get people to understand that Mr. Zhu and his crowd are not nice people. Not nice at all. I objected to the fact the Liberals were buying him a salmon lunch with my tax dollars. I objected to the fact that his “government” had brutalized — not only their own people — but the people of Tibet. I objected that his gang — and
Rant & reason I mean gang as in Hell’s Angels — had ordered the massacre of hundreds and possibly thousands of bright, brave, beautiful young university students who had crowded, peacefully, into Tiananmen Square to demand democratic reform. I objected to our officials referring to him as premier, and to his gang as a government. Premiers and governments are elected. Premiers and governments are not above the law. Zhu and his “government” are nothing more than thugs. Murdering thugs. I know his history and at a certain level I appreciate the fellow. He started clawing his way up through the Communist Party as a young man only to find himself on the wrong side of the
YOUR VOICE ‘If there is an ounce of pride left’ Dear editor, The Independent’s coverage of the boarding and charging of a Russian trawler outside 200 miles, as well as DFO finally nabbing the Portuguese vessel Santa Mafalda after 14 infringement citations, were noteworthy events in the continuing saga of foreign overfishing. Foreign trawler owners and crews have the same level of respect for conservation measures and sustainable fisheries as the captain of the Santa Mafalda, who — when charged and given a date to return to court — said he “wouldn’t be in court, but would be on the fishing grounds.” Bringing the Santa Mafalda to port two years after being caught fishing inside 200 miles underscores once again the demoralizing impact of overfishing on rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The endless repetition of Canadians boarding and arresting foreign vessels for breaking every conceivable fisheries regulation, followed by DFO’s public relations army praising the effectiveness of Minister Geoff Regan and DFO bureaucrats is not only unacceptable — it’s repulsive. The truth is the fishery adjacent to our province has been mismanaged to the brink of commercial extinction by the most incompetent group of politicians and senior bureaucrats ever assembled in the Ottawa offices of DFO. If there is an ounce of pride left we have an obligation as citizens of this province to force our political leaders
to take the same stance with Ottawa as was taken at the height of the Atlantic Accord negotiations and sustain that pressure until Ottawa understands clearly its responsibility to rebuild our fisheries to the level we delivered in 1949. A fishing moratorium was imposed on Canadians in 1992, leaving the fish pirates of NAFO free to fish what was left of the resource using every destructive means available. The owners of those foreign enterprises have three important objectives in mind when they come to our shores: to amortize an expensive factory trawler over its useful life; to pay crewmembers a living wage; and to make a profit. Those familiar with the attitude of fishing interests from Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, Russia and other members of NAFO will know there is just no interest whatever on the part of those fishing nations to conserve our groundfish fisheries and it will never change. Why does the federal government continue with an open-port policy? Surely someone in Ottawa must know it’s uneconomical for foreigners to fish off our coast without the use of our ports. Meantime, Harbour Breton is closed, as is Trepassey, Ramea, Burgeo, Gaultois. Twelve per cent of our population has left rural parts of the province and more are leaving. Where is the leadership? Gus Etchegary, Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s
Long may premier’s ‘big jib draw’ Dear editor, Recently an item in your widely read and esteemed newspaper appeared concerning Premier Danny Williams’ rejection of the oil industry criticism. It makes me laugh to say the oil industry officials were stunned by comments made by Mr. Williams. The fact is they where surprised with the stand taken concerning the development of the Hebron-Ben Nevis oil field. Over the past 50 or so years all that was required for the big companies to do was say, ‘here is what we are going to do,’ and develop when they please. The end result, in terms of benefits to the province, were scraps from the table, and lots of publicity praising the
companies for what they were doing. A good example lately is Abitibi Consolidated trying to force the province to subsidize the operation of its Stephenville mill. We could be one of the richest provinces in Canada if, over the years, we only had leaders with the ability and know-how to negotiate better deals. Another great deal by the present government is the Atlantic Accord and the present government deserves a lot of credit. In conclusion, I say to Mr. Williams and his crew — keep up the good work and long may your big jib draw. It should be the policy at all times to give credit where credit is due. Christopher Cleary, Cupids Crossing
Cultural Revolution. He learned his perfect English secretly listening to radio broadcasts during the five years he spent shovelling pig shit being “re-educated” on a collective farm way out in the sticks. (In my weaker moments I like to think of our own government officials and business “leaders” who I would pick as candidates for “re-education.”) OK. So life’s a bitch and he’s a survivor. So what? So the 16th anniversary of Tiananmen has passed, and what has been the legacy of all those deaths? We buy more and more goods made in non-unionized, undemocratic, authoritarian China. Our fish is being shipped there for processing. It is cheaper to ship fish to China than it is to process fish in Harbour Breton. My question is this: cheaper for who? Certainly not for the people of Harbour Breton. Business may be business, but the flower of a generation was butchered by the people in power in China. Sound familiar? Every July 1st we mourn the
massacre of a generation of our own. Why does that resonate with us more than the death of those hopeful, brave kids in Tiananmen? Careful with your answer. I am not anti-business. If life has taught me anything, it has taught me government couldn’t run a corner store profitably. But it has also taught me that the point to business is to make money. Period. So it is up to us as citizens to worry about the moral implications of making that money. Would I go to China on a business junket? In a heartbeat. Would I remain silent on the human rights of their own people? Not on your life. Would that sour the deal? You tell me, gentle reader. That day at the Hotel Newfoundland, I was asked by a very attractive TV reporter from Hong Kong to theatrically unfurl a Tibetan flag for her cameras. It is illegal to do so in China. Being a typical male, I was putty in her hands. As I did it, the Chinese Secret Service
accompanying Zhu Ronji lunged forward yelling at me and reaching into their coats. In a carefully orchestrated macho dance, the Mounties held them back. They scared me half to death. What a guy won’t do. But I was a big baby to be so afraid. Less than a month ago two young men, both Buddhist monks (Lobsang Khedrup, 22 and Gyalpo, 26), were sentenced to 11 years in jail by the Chinese “government” for doing the very same thing. Well, not quite the same — they were hoisting their own flag in their own country. This paper featured some young men doing the same thing on the southside hills in St. John’s a few weeks ago. Flags are important. We have one that flies proudly from our front page. Want to go to China on business? Terrific. But before you go, just stop by. I have a lapel pin I would like you to wear. Here’s a hint — it ain’t pink, white and green. Ivan Morgan can be reached at email@example.com
Record-setting American aviator John Lanoua and co-pilot and navigator Mark Rebholz of the Vimy Atlantic Project land their WWI Vickers Vimy replica aircraft at St. John’s airport June 9. The Project is the re-creation of Alcock and Brown’s historic 1919 Transatlantic Flight — the first of its kind and one of aviation’s first and greatest non-stop flights. Paul Daly/The Independent
What else can Conservatives be blamed for? Dear editor, It’s all clear now! The political events of the last number of weeks and months have made for some very interesting television viewing. Another benefit for me is that it’s allowed me to fully understand and grasp the concept of “we get the government we deserve.” The mud slinging, questionable tactics, spin doctoring, and general lack of respect and decorum in the House of Commons (and politics in general) occurs because it works! The battle is not for the hearts and minds of the public, but for the opportunity to implant in the voter a highly spun, party-centered, hot-button message to influence fickle and mercurial voting patterns. Two recent examples of this illustrate the point precisely. Loyola Hearn and Norman Doyle have been painted by our Premier, Danny Williams, and others as being
akin to traitors of this province for not supporting the federal budget/NDP amendment. A local paper reported recently that “everyone from the St. John’s Board of Trade to thousands of people on the Fair Deal for Newfoundland website have written Hearn and Doyle, urging them to vote in favour of the budget [amendment].” They say in politics “six months is an eternity.” How about six weeks or six days? How quickly we forget, or, more precisely, how quickly and effectively can a well-oiled and practiced spin machine — such as is the federal Liberal party — generate mass amnesia in the electorate? Through the Conservative party, Messrs. Doyle and Hearn, to this writer’s view, have worked tirelessly and intelligently to a) put the issue of offshore revenues on the table once again, b) coherently outline their party’s position and how it differed from the Liberals, c) have the Atlantic Accord agreement crafted,
and d) attempt to repeatedly have the agreement fast-tracked through separation from the main budget bill. They have been met with Liberal opposition, reticence, and intransigence from the outset. Now, it seems that, by not giving in to Liberals’ blackmail policy of “my way or the highway,” “take it or leave it” — they are being branded as less than loyal Newfoundlanders. This brings me back to my original point that “we get the government (and the political processes) we deserve.” I truly believe most Newfoundlanders have accepted the highly spun view that Messrs. Hearn and Doyle were to be blamed and held accountable if the budget bills had not recently passed. This is sad. What next? Maybe the Conservative party can be blamed for the rise of sovereignty sentiments in Quebec! Go figure. Phillip Perry, St. Philip’s
odds of winning are approximately 1-500
JUNE 12, 2005
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Grading the future
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Student population dropping; rural education adapting: Hedderson By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
s Education Minister Tom Hedderson acknowledges, a lot has changed since he graduated from high school in Newfoundland and Labrador in 1971. Perhaps, most notably, student numbers. “I was one of 161,000 students in the system in that particular year in ’71,” he tells The Independent. “In 2005 that’s cut in half and we’re down to under 80,000 now and by 2010 we should be leveling off at around 60,000; you can see the drastic drop. So the challenge now is to continue to provide educational services given the geography and the changing demographics and it’s not going to be easy.” Despite the fact students numbers are down, Hedderson says the popular belief that outmigration is pulling graduates away from the province to jobs elsewhere is a misconception. He says at least 70 per cent of Memorial University’s graduates are currently working in Newfoundland and Labrador. To deal with diminishing populations in the province’s more remote areas, Hedderson says there are two
Grading the future main strategies currently in place. One is the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI), which provides students with supervised, online access to a wide variety of curriculum courses. The second is the provision of a bursary to students who “feel their needs cannot be catered to” locally. “They can use those bursaries, then, to board out in a larger area, attend the school in that area and sometimes, you know, return home on the weekends,” says Hedderson, adding the service is not yet used on a wide basis because of the popularity of distance learning. “When we look at the public exam results from the CDLI, we find that they’re at a level, and sometimes better than the provincial average.” Hedderson also says Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the highest national averages of students continuing on to post-secondary education. “When I speak to students in the
secondary level, I always certainly qualify that, obviously a high school education is great, however, if you compare where it was 20 years ago … for you to move on into any type of a career, or whatever, you absolutely need at least two years of post secondary, at least two years — and that’s equivalent to what probably was a high school diploma 20 years ago.” And although the education department isn’t about to start fully funding those essential post-secondary years after high school, Hedderson says the grants paid to organizations like Memorial University, as well as the consistent tuition freeze, works out to be around $10,000 per student. As exams loom and the summer beckons, the province is looking towards setting some new initiatives in place for September. “We are introducing, on a full scale, a Newfoundland and Labrador history course … that is a compulsory course, it’s now going into Grade 8, as of September 2005 and it will look at giving our students a sense of who they are in regard to the history of the province.” Hedderson says the Education Department has also made it compulsory for students to take required credits in physical education starting in September, to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle. He says the department’s biggest aim is to ensure high school graduates are prepared as they go out into the world — whether they leave the province or stay — to be informed as to what their options are and confident in their abilities to make decisions. “We’re looking at compulsory courses that would deal with making informed choices as to where you go forward … in a general sense, it is the preparation, especially preparing them to be lifelong learners, to be healthy and able to continue on.”
Learning to leave
Increasing number of educated young people leaving province for mainland By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
he majority of people leaving the province in the most recent wave of outmigration have a high school diploma and some post-secondary education — if not a degree, statistics reveal. “That’s a bit of an irony because you want to give young people the best education possible, but then you realize you’re doing that at a cost,” Ivan Emke, a professor of social and cultural studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, tells The Independent. “If we really wanted to keep youth in the area we’d give them a lousy education. The sort of things kids learn to do though popular culture aren’t the kinds of things available in rural centres, so that’s more than just trying to make your communities attractive.” The Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency reports in 20022003, 50 per cent of those who left the province were ages 15 to 29. And while a survey of the postsecondary class of 2000 (surveyed in 2002) showed 78.4 per cent of graduates stayed in the province, the number of those leaving with degrees or diplomas appears to be rising. A labour market study compiled by the province’s Labour Department states, “The percentage of outmigrants who have university degrees increased from 11 per cent in 1996 to 30 per cent in 2001.” Emke too completed an informal study when working with a group of Grade 7 and 8 students on a recent skilled-trades education program.
He asked two questions: do students want to leave Newfoundland and Labrador when they complete their education; and do students expect to leave when they finish their education? He says far more students expected to leave than wanted to, adding that’s a cultural issue. “That’s already a part of their expectation even before they get into high school. So if you talk about streaming them into a program to get them to stay, well that’s got to start pretty early.” Emke moved from a tiny farming community in northern Ontario and says outmigration shouldn’t be a concern — it happens everywhere. The concern should be drawing “inmigrants” with good educations. “So the question we sometimes need to be asking is how we get people to come into our communities — not how do we stop the young people from leaving, because they are going to leave, it doesn’t matter if we have a MuchMusic studio right in the middle of Corner Brook. They’re still going,” he says. “I think young people sort of leave where they come from and a certain percentage of them always will. Emke says the rest of rural Canada has seen a brain gain, and that’s possible in Newfoundland and Labrador, but only in larger centres — not in places like St. Anthony, for example. “The way in which we represent rural and urban in popular culture makes it more attractive to be in an urban centre than a rural centre, and so kids grow up with the assumption that rural is a nice place to visit but who wants to live there?”
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
Rural survey says ST. BERNARD’S, FORTUNE BAY By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
‘I could end up anywhere’ Grading the future
From page 1
“I could end up anywhere,” says Tristan Bolt, adding he has relatives in Toronto. Megan Myles would like to stay close to home. After she finishes her commercial cooking course she hopes to work for the Canadian Coast Guard, with Newfoundland as home base. Shane Stewart wants to see the world with the army. The personable young man is fit and ready for anything. Stewart’s father is a local fisherman, and his dad, like other fishermen around here, does not want him following in his footsteps. “Dad doesn’t want me to go out in a boat,” he says, “Mom fishes with him and I just hates it ... I don’t want to be at it, not enough money in it.” Ashley Keating brags she can filet fish. Her classmates are impressed — it’s a skill not easily learned. Bolt and Matthew Myles have fathers who are welders and work away for part of the year. Myles will follow in the family tradition of welding. His father works for Voisey’s Bay and Myles says the prospect of living in St. Bernard’s, the town he loves, two weeks out of six is perfect. Bolt’s father works in Alberta. “I’m used to it,” he says of having his father away for months at a time. Bolt has a different plan for his future. “It’s all about money,” he says, “and I think I can make it in marketing and sales.” Math, physics and chemistry teacher Shane Mayo joins the discussion. He has been a teacher here for five years and has a special relationship with his students, one he attributes partially to the smaller class size.
“I’ve had these kids for three years,” he says. “You get to know their strengths and weaknesses.” Mayo lives in Marystown and commutes, as many teachers do, yet he still gives extra time to the kids at the end of each day. The class is grateful. Many credit Mayo with getting them through high school in every way, including tying their shoes, they tease. To his credit, many of the students who plan to further their education (nine of the 11) want to pursue the sciences. One artistic soul wants to travel, while another will join the army. Principal Colleen Scott is from here. Many of the children in the school are the sons and daughters of her classmates from the class of 1981. She and 11 others graduated that year. She says about half are still around. Scott has been principal for three years. She says many of the graduating class of 2002 have left the community. Others, including graduates of one-year programs or those who took a year off, may not stay long. Of this year’s crop of graduates, many see themselves leaving. Most hope, eventually, to be able to return to some part of Newfoundland. Only one isn’t sure. His mother lives in Toronto and his father died when he was 15. The young man now lives with his stepfamily, but may head out to Alberta to find work for the summer. And then, who knows. St John’s is a popular destination
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for many and most say they will raise their families there. But not just yet, finishing school is important to each of them. “This class is excellent,” Mayo says, “they all have high aspirations, and all have the skills to make it.” There aren’t many opportunities for these kids to work throughout the year or over the summer. The discussion becomes animated as some conspire to try and get jobs on the power lines or on one of the local summer-work programs. All the students want money for the summer, and to put away for school in September, but they show they’re just like kids everywhere when Travis Hodder speaks up. “I thought a lot about what I want to do this summer,” he pauses dramatically, before adding, “and I’m just going to party.”
ear the base of the Burin Peninsula, 260 kilometres from St John’s on the east side of Fortune Bay, is the town of St. Bernard’s. Men from here once crewed the schooners that plied the Grand Banks. Today, many men still work away, but in Alberta. A few months away working long days and hard hours usually provides a year’s salary. Others work in Marystown, Voisey’s Bay, or offshore. Still more are inshore fishermen, fishing cod, lobster, crab and herring. In the valley that is St. Bernard’s, opposite a recent new housing development, is Fortune Bay Academy, a K-12 school, home to 188 students from the fishing communities of Harbour Mille, Little Harbour East, Little Bay East, Bay L’Argent and St Bernard’s-Jacques Fontaine. The graduating class has 11 students, six of whom have been together since kindergarten, the rest since Grade 8. There is a closeness between the students that isn’t found in bigger schools. “It’s not like you can ever escape from these people,” one student quips of being from a small town. The graduates agreed to fill 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 as what they see as the future of the province. Many of the responses were similar, with the exception of one 17year-old. The young man plans to attend college and become a welder like his father. He says he will live in his hometown of St Bernard’s, going away to work as needed. His father works in Voisey’s Bay — away for four weeks, home for two. Besides one “not sure,” his was the only affirmative answer to the question: Do you expect to live in your hometown after you finish your education? Many answered there aren’t jobs around for the occupation they’re interested in, or simply stated “no.” While one student plans to live in his hometown, all but two want to make Newfoundland their home — eventually. Most see St John’s as the ideal location. What do they plan to do after graduation? One plans to travel, one
wants to join the army, and the rest have school plans — some at the College of the North Atlantic campus in Marystown, a 45-minute drive from here. Others will attend Memorial University in St. John’s. At least two plan to attend university in other provinces. The group has a potential dentist, a future forensics expert, comic-book designer, pharmacist, teacher, and an expert in sports medicine. Most say their families are supportive of their career choices, and while nearly all want them to live close to home, they know that might not be possible. One wrote that as long as he was “reachable,” his folks were fine wherever he ends up. One 18-year-old says he wants to travel, explore, and write. His parents want him to follow in the family tradition and become a sea captain. The last question on the survey split the responses. Besides one “unsure,” the answers to, “How do you see the future of Newfoundland and Labrador?”, were either very optimistic or very pessimistic. Six of the 11 have high hopes. “I see a bright future for NL because of the large amount of smart individuals pursuing prosperous careers,” wrote one student. Another sees a bright outlook due to the tenacity of the people. He wrote, “We’re a kind province and our people can aspire to anything.” Others weren’t so sure, including one who wrote, “How can we have a future when there is no one here?” Another felt the same about outmigration. “It’s too bad because Newfoundland has many other things to offer people and young families.” One 17-year-old wrote that Newfoundland will soon be populated only with “old people,” while another 18-year-old seemed to have a negative view of the world in general, writing that in a few hundred years Newfoundland will be a “wasteland like the rest of the world.” The six hopefuls had the most to write, and their comments spoke of the future possibility they may be able to return home to live. They wrote of tourism, of the oil and gas industry. One 17-year-old hopes the unique culture of Newfoundland and Labrador will always remain bright and strong. While some wrote the current state of the province is poor, they also wrote that when they’re ready to return, things would look brighter. Wrote one 18-year-old, “I feel NL will become successful and useful, job-wise, for most of us in the near future.”
JUNE 12, 2005
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Uncle Dave and Uncle June Niece of men lost on Ryan’s Commander reflects on what her uncles meant to her By Allison Furlong For The Independent
avid and Joseph Ryan are remembered provincewide as two brothers who passed away during the sinking of the Ryan’s Commander on Sept. 19, 2004. But I know them as Uncle Dave and Uncle June. As an aspiring journalist, I want to succeed in the field. Since the tragedy, however, I sometimes wonder why I bother. I can vividly remember taking the ferry back home to St. Brendan’s in September immediately after the tragedy. My brother, Ronald — the skipper of the Ryan’s Commander, and a survivor — was heading home, too, for the first time since the accident. He was standing, talking to the b’ys on board about what happened on that terrible night. I looked over to the corner, and tucked away, scribbling on her notepad, was a Globe and Mail reporter. I felt sick. Following the tragedy, whenever I read articles about my uncles an uncomfortable feeling would come over me.
Dave and Joe Ryan
My uncles weren’t David and Joseph Ryan — not to me. They had it all wrong. I’ll tell you who my uncles were. Uncle Dave, 47, and Uncle June, 42, grew up on St. Brendan’s Island, Bonavista Bay. They made their living on the water, like their father Joseph (Joe) and his father before him. They fished their whole lives, even in the
mornings before school. While their formal education was limited, they were two of the most self-educated, intelligent people I have been blessed to know. Uncle Dave and Uncle June were similar in ways. They both had remarkable drive and determination to succeed. They went from fishing in an open speedboat along the shores of home to launching a remarkable $1.7 million vessel. In other ways, my uncles were like day and night. Uncle June was the funny, more reserved one; he was always tormenting me about something. He was well dressed and wore a warm smile. Uncle Dave was the argumentative, outspoken one. While he didn’t mind stating his opinion, everyone knew his bark was worse then his bite. He had an emotional side as well, perhaps something only those close to him knew. Growing up on St. Brendan’s instills certain morals and values. Family doesn’t consist of just parents or siblings — your immediate family — but uncles, great aunts and third cousins, all gathering at Nan’s for Sunday dinner. Uncle June, his wife
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was during another night of celebration in Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s. My cousin was celebrating his wedding. After the night was through, I said my goodbyes to my family members. Looking back, it was an emotional time. My parents and I were driving across the province the next day. I was headed to the bigger and brighter world of post-secondary education — the journalism program in Stephenville. I had a few scuffs and laughs with Uncle Dave, and was calling it a night. I had gotten in a cab and the driver was about to pull away when the door opened and Uncle June plopped a crisp bill on my lap, saying, “Don’t spend it too wisely, Allison.” That was the last time I saw my uncles. The loss of Uncle Dave and Uncle June affected me, my family, St. Brendan’s and the entire province. Friends, relatives, shipmates and skippers came from everywhere to mourn the loss of two remarkable men. I am glad to call them my uncles. Allison Furlong is a journalism intern from the Bay St. George campus of the College of the North Atlantic.
Old MacDonald had a … smash-up derby B
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Yvonne and their kids would always arrive last. The rest of the family would have to wait for dinner until they turned up. I can still hear Uncle Dave’s laugh, followed by everybody else’s laugh — at him laughing. Our family is a strong one, with strength enough to get through the hard times. Uncle Dave and Uncle June were both active members of the community. They were avid church-goers — both families sitting in line at the front of the church. They were participants in whatever was happening in the community — when they weren’t on the water, that is. In May 2004, my uncles, brother and crew brought home the Ryan’s Commander for the first time. They tied up “down below,” near where the ferry docked years ago. They built the boat and the wharf, putting their hearts and souls into both. The whole community lined up on the wharf to welcome them home. Soon, the rum and beer flowed and everybody celebrated. It was a community event. The last time I spoke to my uncles
ack in my teenage years, the boys would load up the motorcycles and take off to a buddy’s JEFF DUCHARME cottage in the Ottawa Valley almost A savage every weekend. Those were our mental health days. (They were at least journey mental, the healthy part of the equation remains a matter of conjecture.) Otter Lake, it was a lovely spot — from the festivities. Ontario’s cottage heartland — big “Why are we parking in the lake, bigger trees. Like every other boonies?” I asked. lake in Ontario, it was ringed with cot“Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon tages, a suburb on the lake. enough,” he replied. During one particular trip the realWhen the flag dropped, the drivers ization hit me that the maximum rammed each other at full steam; it was amount of beer one could take on the mechanical carnage. Engines back of a motorcycle topped out at two screamed and metal crunched. One car cases of 24 piled on top of each other. was hit so hard it flipped onto its side, The additional weight seriously the driver frantically waved at officials changed the motorcycle’s centre of to stop the race, terror beamed from gravity. The practical side of physics (I his eyes. Other drivers lined him up for should have stayed awake in class) had the final hit, revving their engines, become apparent as totally unconcerned the bike dipped and that one hit could weaved around turns. send this guy to the Indeed, it was barely After the last car had big grain silo in the manageable. sky. Eventually, the My science teacher fallen to bits before our demo heat was was right: one day stopped and buddy eyes, everyone made was pulled from his you’ll need physics. Using our limited his life noticetheir way to the beer car, engineering skills and ably still flashing dozens of bungee his saucertent to celebrate the before cords, our precious sized eyes. cargo was strapped The top two cars fact that no one had onto the back of the from each demolition motorcycles. Bungee been seriously injured heat would move on cords went every to the final, but few or killed — another which way. Had one of of the advancing cars those cords snapped, could actually successful year. well, it’s all a lot of fun advance. The cars until somebody loses were smouldering an eye. wrecks. Few could attain a speed of more than a few miles SUSPENDERS AND RUBBER an hour as tires wobbled and smoke BOOTS IN VOGUE belched from beneath the hoods. The Now this area of the valley had been demolition derby had become bumpfarmland forever and a day, an area of kin bumping; tractors in low gear Ontario where you wore your John moved faster and hit harder. Deere tractor ball cap with your After the last car had fallen to bits Sunday best. Suspenders and rubber before our eyes, everyone made their boots were not a fashion faux pas. way to the beer tent to celebrate the To celebrate the end of summer, the fact that no one had been seriously locals got together for a festival, the injured or killed — another successful name of which has long faded from year. memory. In the middle of a field, they When last call sounded, the farmers erected tents and booths and celebrat- in their John Deere hats and sused what their fathers and grandfathers penders made their ways back to their had done before them — raise things cars — many of them were 1960ish and then kill them. Chevys — gargantuan four-wheeled The highlight was the demolition beasts that resembled more of a fleet of derby. Farmers and their sons would boats than cars. take whatever wrecks happened to be “OK, let’s go,” I said. rotting in the fields, knock out the win“Nope, not yet,” my buddy redows, paint a number on the side and sponded. “We’ll just wait a while until have at ’er. With railway ties marking the other folks leave. It’s not safe” the area for the derby, fans were kept at This, he said, was the real entertainbay with a thin yellow nylon rope. It ment of the evening. hardly offered any protection for the Seconds after car doors closed and fans had one of those cars catapulted engines started, metal could be heard itself over the railway ties, but it was a grinding and crunching. The real demrisk most were willing to take. This olition derby had begun; the farmers was an Ottawa Valley Saturday night; were leaving the parking lot and going it made a Sudbury Saturday night look home. like a church meeting. Jeff Ducharme is The Independent’s One of the lads, who was schooled in the ways of valley festivals, made us senior writer. firstname.lastname@example.org park what seemed like a mile away
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 12-18, 2005 — PAGE 11
Canadian Medical Association President Schumacher leaves Supreme Court in Ottawa. The court overruled a Quebec law banning the use of private health insurance to pay for procedures normally covered by medicare, a decision that could pave the way to wider use of private medical facilities. Jim Young/Reuters
Striking at medicare’s heart
Implications of last week’s decision to allow private health insurance in Quebec will reach across Canada By Thomas Walkom Torstar wire service
he Supreme Court has delivered a hammer-blow to medicare. Technically, last week’s 4-3 decision to allow full-scale private health insurance in Quebec affects only one province. But the implications are grave for a medicare scheme that — thanks in large part to years of government cuts and years more of federal inaction — is still badly strained. The reason, simply put, is that Canada’s medicare system is built around insurance. That’s how it was designed. That is what makes it work. In some countries, public medicare schemes were constructed through direct government intervention, often by putting participating physicians on salary. But the Canadian version, pioneered in Saskatchewan and exported in the late ‘60s to the rest of the country, was more subtle, more flexible and in important ways more
successful. that included the healthy as well as the Rather than have the federal government sick, costs for all would be kept down. intimately involve itself in the provision of Overall, the scheme worked. Costs were health care, Canadian medicare focused on low and quality good. Canada still spends the money. far less on health care per capita than the It was a dramaticalU.S. and yet Canadians ly new kind of health are, by normal scientific insurance plan, one measures, significantly that would cover Canada still spends far healthier. everyone — at least But it worked only less on health care per because it was sustained for so-called medically necessary procedures by a delicate balancing capita than the U.S. involving physicians act between federal and and hospitals — and governments, and yet Canadians are provincial that would be paid for all backed by a supportive mainly from taxes. significantly healthier. public. To make it affordThe federal governable, medicare’s ment set overall condidesigners figured, this tions for medicare universal scheme had to operate as an through its Canada Health Act. But it left insurance monopoly. individual provinces to decide how to keep If everyone were covered, then everyone enough doctors engaged in the system and would have to pay in. And by creating the how to maintain the all-important public widest possible pool of contributors, one insurance monopoly.
In practical terms, insurance was an issue for only the bigger provinces. Private insurers weren’t much interested in small provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador so most of these didn’t bother enforcing the public monopoly. But in the larger provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, where private firms were interested in offering coverage, governments formally banned private insurance in areas covered by medicare. This control over insurance was linked to another key element — the supply of physicians available for the public system. In theory, all provinces allow doctors to opt out of medicare. But at the same time, most have rules designed to make sure that opting out won’t be so widespread as to ruin the overall public system. Ontario, for instance, allows doctors to opt out of medicare but won’t let them See ‘The Worst” on page 14
From chaos to commerce
List of North and South America trade pacts grows; no replacement for responsible government NEW YORK f you thought the issue of free trade was long settled, a battle raging in Washington over a small tariff-cutting treaty in this hemisphere should make you think again. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) is supposed to be the brightest new addition to the spider’s web of trade pacts slowly enmeshing North and South America in the name of greater hemispheric prosperity. It would slash import duties between the U.S., El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica — as well as the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic. Things aren’t going well. CAFTA has become entangled in a mud fight in Congress, where lobbyists have per-
Global context suaded a majority of legislators to keep it bottled up in committee. Failure to win passage in Washington would be a wounding blow for President George Bush. CAFTA’s significance goes far beyond the treaty itself, which involves a tiny $15-billion regional market. The debate has proven a handy opportunity for worried Americans to rethink the free-trade arguments of the 1980s and 1990s.
“With CAFTA, American livelihoods It doesn’t help that among CAFTA’s would be sacrificed in the name of a most powerful opponents is the heavitrade model that is a proven failure,” ly-subsidized U.S. sugar-beet industry, U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold wrote in a which fears a flood of cheap sugar letter to The New imports from York Times last week. Central America’s Time to evaluate one “In my state, cane fields. But the Wisconsin, working CAFTA squabble of the key premises families have already is more than a been devastated by rehash of old arguof free trade — that NAFTA and GATT, ments: it’s the which have taken beginning of a liberalizing markets away family-supportmore nuanced ed jobs and offered analysis of what will reduce poverty. only lower-paying free trade does — jobs with fewer beneand doesn’t — do fits, or no jobs at all in return.” in the increasingly global economy. Here we go again. As usual, it’s hard The analysis is worth thinking about to disentangle self-interest from reason- in Canada, too. Ottawa already has a able arguments. free trade agreement with Costa Rica,
and is negotiating similar pacts with other Central American nations. The fact is, there hasn’t been a better time to evaluate one of the key premises of free trade — that liberalizing markets will reduce poverty. “People say the facts speak for themselves,” says Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobelprize-winning economist and former World Bank official who has become one of the leading critics of globalization theory. “In fact, they don’t.” Speaking at a panel sponsored by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York last week, Stiglitz pilloried some of the assumptions of pro-free traders, such as the idea liberalizing capital markets See “You’re in trouble,” page 12
JUNE 12, 2005
12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
Israeli border policemen arrest a Palestinian protester during a demonstration against Israel's controversial barrier in the West Bank village of Ramadin near Hebron last week.
Wrath of the Hebron settlers A journey through the second holiest site in Judaism is ‘like poking a stick in a beehive’ HEBRON By Mitch Potter Torstar wire service
he fist-sized stones come out of the blue, arcing toward you like so many fly balls. You take cover, where the shock of the seemingly arbitrary, unprovoked attack by a handful of angry young Jewish settlers is tempered by a strangely comforting sensation. They are only stones, after all. A refreshing change from nearly five years of bullets and bombs. The oldest mess in the Middle East seems to have come full circle, back to the comparatively benign rock wars of September 2000 that marked the ignition of intifada. Then, thwack. Sharp pain courses up from your left thigh. Not so refreshing. The bull’s-eye throw was no pop fly. This was a vicious line drive from a skilled hand no more than 12 years old. A hasty retreat is made and the day’s plan is scrubbed. You and another reporter, together with a Palestinian translator, came on this Saturday afternoon to take the pulse of inner-city Hebron. You scaled stone walls, tramped through private gardens to see how Palestinians come and go from their homes inside the expanding Jewish settler enclave of Tel Rumeida. But you don’t get far. There is a ceasefire, now nearly four months old. You want to see for your-
self why it appears not to have taken hold especially well here in the settlements of Hebron, home to many of Israel’s most ideologically intense Jewish settlers. One theory making the rounds is that the hardcore religious Israelis fighting to reclaim this hallowed ground are beginning to lose it as their own government’s plan for an August withdrawal from the settlements of Gaza progresses. Frustrations are spilling over, the thinking goes, because Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. President George W. Bush and the whole outside world, it seems, are determined to undo what the settlers view as God’s work: the biblical redemption of Israel. STONES FLY There are no more than 15 Jewish families in Tel Rumeida, not including the soldiers who protect them. And in the five nearby settlements, including the oldest and largest, Kiryat Arba, just 6,500 Jews in all. All around them are the 150,000 Palestinians of Hebron, the territory’s second-largest city, after East Jerusalem. Just moments after the stones begin to fly Israeli police arrive in a blue armoured Jeep. Israeli army commanders come next, and one takes control. Press credentials are studied. A detail of a half-dozen soldiers is formed to escort you through the crowd of settlers.
The plan is on again. You walk gingerly through the crowd, insulated by Israeli army protection. The settlers are no more impressed with the Israeli soldiers for leading us to the door of our afternoon appointment with one of the last Palestinian families in the neighbourhood.
The oldest mess in the Middle East seems to have come full circle, back to the comparatively benign rock wars of September 2000 that marked the ignition of intifada. The members of the Abu Aishe family cling doggedly to their home in Tel Rumeida. The entire façade of the Abu Aishe’s three-storey house is wrapped in chain-link to protect against projectiles. A carpet of broken glass at the entranceway testifies to thrown bottles. The family says eggs and rocks are common, too, in a campaign of harassment. “There is always someone here,” says the matriarch, Reem Abu Aishe. “We don’t dare leave the house empty.
We take shifts.” The family says its worst casualty was Walid, a four-year-old relative living in the house, whose arm was fractured last month by a hard-thrown stone. Raja blames the Gaza withdrawal for the renewed tensions. Her Jewish neighbours are acting out their frustrations, she says, as the pullout approaches. The day continues with additional tales of Palestinian grief from Tel Rumeida. Hashem al-Azeeh, 43, shows us his lattice of dying grape vines, each one cut at the stalk by a chainsaw. His telephone landline has been cut so many times he no longer bothers attempting to reconnect. When his wife was about to give birth to their second child this year, no car was allowed in. Hashem helped her scale the two-metre wall in the back to reach the hospital in time. ONE REAL ATTACK People like Torbjorg Raen of Norway and Eeva Aura of Sweden — who work for the EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel) — describe similar encounters. Part of the Scandinavian duo’s routine involves escorting Palestinian girls age 6 to 16 to and from nearby Qurtuba School. One morning, they arrived to find the school’s double steel doors torn away
and lying in the road, with a Star of David spray-painted on the wall. But there was only one real attack, on May 11, when a group of female teenage settlers sprang upon the Palestinian students as classes let out. A few days later, you ring up David Wilder, the most articulate spokesman among the settlers of Hebron, as you try to make sense of it all. “There is a tremendous amount of frustration,” says Wilder. “Yes, there is a backlash against Israeli government policies … look, there’s a lot of balagan (turmoil) here. There has been for a very long time. “But when the Palestinians tell you we are going to take over their house, that’s a bit of an overreaction. There’s a limit to what we are able to do. The army and the police certainly are not bashful. The army is not going to let it happen.” Yet Wilder is surprisingly candid about stone-throwing children. The image of Tel Rumeida’s boys letting fly with rocks is not something he can bring himself to defend. “What can I say? As a spokesman, there are things you can bullshit around. This is not one of them. If you ask, ‘Where are the parents?’ I agree 100 per cent. I think it’s wrong. “But Hebron is not a kibbutz. Anyone who walks in there, especially on the Sabbath, has to understand how flammable things are. It’s like poking a stick in a beehive.”
‘You’re in trouble when you claim your project will save souls’ Continued from page 11 always leads to economic growth. “If you have high unemployment to begin with, liberalization can just lead to higher unemployment,” he said. “In order to profit from free-trade treaties, you have to have well-trained, educated people who have the information to compete in the marketplace,” Stiglitz says. CAFTA demonstrates Stiglitz’s point. The region is only just emerging from a long nightmare of violence and military dictatorship. Although all the countries have elected democratic governments, they are riddled with poverty and corruption. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman says CAFTA represents a vote of confidence in a region that has “replaced chaos with commerce,” and will be a new instrument for setting fair labor standards and increasing government transparency. President Bush raised the rhetoric even higher last week, when he made CAFTA seem like a weapon for spreading democracy rather than a simple economic deal. It will “advance the stability and security that come from freedom,” he insisted. THE GAP IS CLEAR It’s a good sign you’re in trouble when you claim your project will save souls. The truth is, of course, no economic theory can replace responsible government. The gap between the two has already become clear across Latin America, where a decade of free-market policies has enriched a small minority of entrepreneurs and left millions still mired in poverty. Skepticism about Washington’s free-trade argu-
ments is one reason the prospects for a Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (ardently supported by Washington and Ottawa) now look dim. Across the southern continent in fact, neo-liberal governments have been voted out of office, replaced by leaders determined to play a larger role in determining social priorities. The chickens are coming home to roost in Central America, too. While all the region’s governments are ardently pro-CAFTA, domestic skepticism is growing. Widespread anti-CAFTA demonstrations in Guatemala, the region’s biggest country, have already resulted in several deaths at the hands of nervous authorities. GAM, Guatemala’s leading human rights group, reports that a decade after peace was declared between the factions that plunged that country into a murderous 30-year civil war, “government ineptitude” has brought things to a boil again. “The levels of unemployment, illiteracy, access to basic services, and salaries are lower now than in 1960, when the internal armed conflict began,” GAM reported last year. Can free trade make a difference? Maybe, but only if the benefits of economic growth are fairly shared. “What’s missing in many developing countries,” says Stiglitz, “is social capital, or trust, inside civil society.” The problem, in other words, is not the lack of democracy, but poor governance. A free trade treaty won’t change that. It may even make things worse. Stephen Handelman is a columnist for TIME Canada based in New York. He can be reached at email@example.com. His next column will appear June 26.
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 13
VOICE FROM AWAY
‘No trees and really, really flat’
The Prairies were as Mount Pearl native Scott Downey expected — but with more music, arts, and a lot of friendly people By Stephanie Porter The Independent
hen Scott Downey moved to Regina, Sask., he says his first priority was to find a community band to play with. The second thing on his list was to find an apartment. Downey, a native of Mount Pearl, played with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band (“The best damn military band on the planet,” he says) for eight-and-a-half years. Now he’s a member of the Prairie Winds Concert Band. Downey may have travelled thousands of kilometers away from home, but he didn’t leave his favourite tunes behind — he’s introduced music like Jim Duff’s arrangement of Petty Harbour Bait Skiff to his band, which quickly became a group favourite. Downey graduated from the College of the North Atlantic’s school of health sciences with a diploma in respiratory therapy in 2001. It wasn’t long after that he headed for Regina, with “very little” to call his own — two suitcases and a couple of boxes, by his count. “The transition was a little rough at first,” he admits. “I slept on a borrowed air mattress (for a month) and then I finally bought a bed.” Like most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who move west, he made the move for work. And in that regard, the travel was a resounding success from the start. “I love my job,” he says. “I really don’t know how often someone can say that, but it is true. I work with all patient groups, from premature babies to the very oldest of the senior population.”
Downey is a member of both the neo-natal and pediatric transport terms. He works most often in critical care, but also does patient and family education on home oxygen, ventilation, tracheotomies and asthma treatment. Southern Saskatchewan is just what people would expect, says Downey: no trees and really flat. But just a few hours’ drive north of Regina, he says, “it’s just like being in central Newfoundland.” Despite the extreme seasonal temperatures — which range from -40 C in the winter to 35 C in the height of summer — Downey says Regina is “a fun city” with a thriving arts scene. And a healthy music community, which he’s proud to
say he’s been a part of since the start. “There are festivals all summer long … I just got back in the house from the multicultural festival. Lucky for me, the Irish pavilion is across the street,” he says. “Golfing is a popular pastime, and even during the winter there is always something to do.” Of course, he notes, if winter chill grows tiresome, Mexico is just a three-and-a-half hour flight away. One of Downey’s first, and lasting, impressions of Regina is that the local people are quite friendly. “Although I can look out my front door and count on one hand the number of houses with the light on over the porch.”
Regina does have its share of crime, he admits, especially car thefts, and he misses being able to go to bed at night without worrying about locking the doors. Even if he might like to return to his roots, Downey says the possibility of moving back to Newfoundland is becoming more and more remote every day. “The healthcare system (there) has more than enough casual and part-time respiratory therapists that it is virtually impossible to think that I could squeak out a living there,” he says. “Though occasionally a job will pop up in an area where it is hard to attract someone, like in St. Anthony.” He does look forward to eventually coming a little closer to home, at least as far as the Maritimes. Downey says Regina has a “strange little Newfoundland community.” At one time, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians accounted for one-third of the respiratory therapists in the city. “There are still days when our supervisors are wondering if we are speaking English,” he says. “We are highly respected at work and can always be counted on to give 100 per cent and at times 101 per cent.” Downey says he’s heard more Newfoundlanders are making their way to Regina in July for work. “Just like the rest, they will be welcomed with open arms and treated like family,” he predicts. Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE 12, 2005
14 • INDEPENDENT WORLD
‘Spills bill’ gives monitors more power; firms can be charged up to $100,000 a day TORONTO By Kerry Gillespie Torstar wire service
says. When the bill was introduced last fall it encountered a furious lobby from petroleum, chemical, mining, ompanies that pollute the envi- plastics, auto, cement and steel indusronment — even through acci- tries, which banded together under the dental spills — can be fined on title of the Coalition for Sustainable the spot under a new Ontario provin- Environment. cial law. David Surplis, chairman of the Bill 133, which passed late last group, says they aren’t opposed to legweek, gives government inspectors the islation to protect the environment, but power to fine compathey have several connies up to $100,000 a cerns with how Bill day, and individual 133 does it. Fine money will employees $20,000 a They are particularday, for toxic spills. ly concerned that it go into a fund to “There was a good requires businesses to cover the costs deal of evidence that prove a spill doesn’t … in those jurisdicviolate the law rather of cleaning up tions where civil than have the governpenalties are used that ment prove it does, toxic spills. the incidence of spills and that a fine has to is significantly be paid whether it’s reduced,” Environment Minster Leona accidental or deliberate. Dombrowsky says. Robert Wright, managing lawyer of “It will likely be next summer the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, says before all the necessary regulations are he is “pleased that the government is in place and fines can actually be keeping its promise of laying the handed out,” she says. groundwork for cracking down on But the law dubbed the “spills bill” major industrial polluters. is about more than just penalizing pol“The spills bill follows good comluters. mon sense: polluters who want to stop It also requires companies to have paying will have to stop polluting.” spill prevention plans in place. Fine The legislation was introduced after money will go into a fund to cover the chemicals from Imperial Oil leaked costs of cleaning up toxic spills. into the St. Clair River near Sarnia in “Instead of taxpayers in those com- February last year. In 2003, there were munities paying (for the cleanup) it reports of 102 illegal spills into the will be the companies,” Dombrowsky province’s waterways.
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How a hip made history MONTREAL By Miro Cernetig Torstar wire service
e’s got the hip that just might have changed Canada’s medicare system. George Zeliotis thinks he made history last week, having won his Supreme Court of Canada battle to force the medicare system — though only in Quebec for now — to let him buy private insurance if he wants to, so he can jump over those nasty queues. He detests waiting lists. Eight years ago, arthritis was eating away at his left hip, a pain he remembers as being so bad he thought he might die. Instead of a replacement, he got a number, putting him behind a year’s worth of other needy patients. “I’m so happy I contributed something to my country,” says the 74-yearold pensioner, his titanium hip long in place. “I feel great.” Isn’t he worried he will now be labelled the man who helped undermine universal health care, one of Canada’s cherished programs? “No way,” he says, “I’m the guy saving it.” Zeliotis’ logic, a twist from the usual private-versus-public health care debate, is that his victory will mean
politicians will now have to start pumping money into the health-care system. He wants to restore it to the halcyon days of the ’60s and ’70s, when the system was flush. Even if he has lent his name to a case many now say undermines a universal health-care model, Zeliotis is no right-
Isn’t he worried he will now be labelled the man who helped undermine universal health care, one of Canada’s cherished programs? wing ideologue, trying to build a twotier system, he says. In fact, he confesses, if he gets sick, there’s no doubt about what his first stop will be: “The public system — but I’d like the option.” “We’re normal people,” explains his wife, Sandra, sitting on the patio of the couple’s modest but spotless home. “We’re comfortable, not affluent peo-
ple. We heard a hip replacement in the U.S. would cost $35,000. We can’t afford that. Maybe with private insurance, but we’d still like to use medicare.” It’s easy to see why. Despite that waiting list that made him so angry in 1997, this retired chemical salesman is a walking medicare marvel. Consider his history of costly procedures, all etched into his body with thin white scars. In 1992, there was his triple bypass, after a heart attack. In 1996, he received his first hip replacement. The next year, he got his second artificial hip. And just three months ago, he got an artificial left knee, with a very reasonable wait of a few months. All of it was paid by medicare. In fact, Zeliotis got his first hip before he even started his court case. The legal battle began after he was contacted by Dr. Jacques Chaoulli, who had seen Zeliotis’ complaints about having to wait for a new hip in the newspaper. “I looked him up in the phone book and asked if he would like to be coplaintiff in my legal challenge,” said Chaoulli. “I told him that I would pay all the costs. Happily he agreed.”
The worst of all possible worlds Continued from page 11 charge more than they receive under the public system. So few bother. Quebec allows opted-out doctors to charge patients whatever they wish. And in a few high-profile situations, some have done so. But at the same time, Quebec has kept a lid on the number of opted-out doctors by refusing to let patients buy private insurance to cover these hefty fees. With last week’s decision, that counterweight is gone. The balance is disrupted. Now, in Quebec at least, the potential for doctors to opt out of medicare profitably has increased dramatically. So far, Prime Minister Paul Martin and other government ministers are putting a brave face on the court decision. They note, correctly, that the court did not rule that Canadian medicare
contravenes the Constitution’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Rather, it made a much more limited decision — that one specific aspect of medicare in one province contravenes that province’s laws. But the court also served warning that it may not be as forbearing the next time. NAIVE ARGUMENTS Of the seven justices hearing this case, three — including Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin — argued that the ban on private insurance contravened the Canadian Constitution itself. As dissenting justices Ian Binnie and Louis LeBel noted, some of the threesome’s specific arguments are naïve — particularly when they compare the Canadian system to European medicare schemes that are profoundly different. Still, the McLachlin trio was on to something: There is an unspoken political deal around medicare.
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The public is willing to support the idea of a public health insurance monopoly as long as it delivers the goods. But for too long, governments — and the federal government in particular — have failed to deliver. As prime minister, Martin claims credit for putting billions back into health care. But it was this same Martin, as finance minister, who oversaw its gutting in the mid-’90s. So now, the worst of all possible worlds is at our doorstep. An activist court is threatening to take apart the medicare piecemeal. Meanwhile, in Ottawa, politicians spend their time squabbling over which of them is the most corrupt. Yesterday, former federal health commissioner Roy Romanow called the court decision a wake-up call for Canada’s dilatory political elite. We can only hope.
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15
Militant PQ faction may have shot itself in foot OTTAWA By Chantal Hébert Torstar wire service
f the battle for the hearts and minds of Quebecers was one of personalities, Quebec would already be out of the Canadian federation. When it came to charisma and popular appeal, Lucien Bouchard clearly outshone Jean Chrétien. Yet the former PQ leader could never create what he described as the “winning conditions” for a referendum rematch. By the same token, the departure of Bernard Landry — regardless of who succeeds him — does not automatically make a winning referendum more likely. It does not even make the return to power of the Parti Québécois after the next Quebec election a foregone conclusion. Few front-runners ever completely recover from the inevitable wounds sustained in a leadership campaign. Remember Kim Campbell and John Turner? If the arrival of a new PQ leader triggers a comeback by Premier Jean Charest — or his replacement by some-
one who commands a larger francophone audience — all bets about the outcome of the next Quebec election would be off. Ironically, whether their next leader is the best choice to win an election will not necessarily be uppermost in the minds of the PQ members who took down Landry last weekend. While many Quebecers worried that Landry would rush into another referendum episode, many of the sovereignists who opposed him feared he would drag his feet on sovereignty. Those same activists cheered Bouchard’s exit a few years ago, even though it meant trading a popular premier for a less popular one. The only PQ leader who ever found favour with that particular group was Jacques Parizeau, a premier who so spooked moderate nationalists that he had to hand over the leadership of the Yes camp to Bouchard in the middle of the last referendum campaign. To fully understand the perverse dynamics that led to Landry’s demise, think back to the 1990 abortion debate in Canada. At the time, the intransigence of right-to-life supporters led them to
instruct like-minded senators to defeat a bill designed to impose restrictions on the procedure. That ensured the bill’s death in the Senate, but it also created a Canadian legal void on abortion that endures to this day. In the same manner, the militant section of the PQ may have shot itself in the foot last weekend. The timing of Landry’s resignation
VANCOUVER By Daniel Girard Torstar wire service
o Don Copeman, it’s simply filling a void, giving patients more access to doctors’ time and expertise so they can live longer, healthier lives and be less of a burden on a health-care system focused almost exclusively on managing scarce resources. But to critics — and already there are many — it’s yet another example of the undermining of Canada’s most cherished social program, a place where once again the fatness of your wallet dictates the swiftness and quality of the health care you receive. The Copeman Healthcare Centre, which bills itself as Canada’s first private clinic for advanced primary care, is to open its doors in Vancouver in October. A similar clinic is planned for Toronto within a year. For $2,300 a year, plus a $1,700 initiation fee, B.C. patients will get boutique-style medical services including health education and promotion, advanced screening for early signs of disease, and the management of chronic problems such as diabetes, chronic pain and congestive heart failure. They’re services that family physicians in Canada just do not have time to provide in a system which requires them to rush patients through their offices in order to be able to bill medicare enough to make a good living, Copeman says. “There’s no volume-based mentality here,” says Copeman, who will be paying the clinic’s nine physicians an annual salary of $275,000, which is more than double the average in British For $2,300 a year, plus Columbia. “The focus a $1,700 initiation fee, of the doctor is on the patients’ end outB.C. patients will get come.” The clinic, which boutique-style medical will operate in the same Vancouver services including office building as the private False Creek health education and Surgical Centre, of which Copeman is advanced screening part owner, promises a physician-to-patient ratio four times that of the typical family practice, giving doctors more time to deliver personal care. Other clinics are also planned for Montreal, Calgary and Victoria within a year, he says. The centre will combine public and private services. Doctors, who will be general practitioners with special interests in fields such as cardiology, sports medicine or urology, will bill the provincial public system for services that the centre covers, including what Copeman describes as “lumps, bumps, stitches and sneezes.” The centre will also operate as a walk-in clinic for nonmembers when space allows. But for their membership fees, patients will receive services not paid for under the provincial public system, which in B.C. includes such things as physical examinations, fitness and dietary counselling, electronic health records and even occasional house calls. Copeman, who insists the clinic will not violate the Canada Health Act, stresses that no queue-jumping services such as MRIs will be offered or surgeries performed. Despite the fees, Copeman says there is “a noticeable absence of the rich” among the 40 people who signed up as members June 1, the first day of business. But the clinic has drawn fire. B.C. Nurses’ Union president Debra McPherson slams it as “cheque-book medicine” and “Club Medicare,” noting walk-in patients who are non-members will only be seen if those who have paid are taken care of. The provincial New Democrats, Hospital Employees’ Union and other critics are calling on Victoria and Ottawa to make it clear this clinic is not in the public’s interest. “(It) stands for everything that medicare founder Tommy Douglas despised — a two-tier system where those who can pay get better health-care treatment and those who can’t must wait longer for doctors’ appointments,” says Maryann Abbs of the B.C. Health Coalition. Federal and provincial officials says they will look at the clinic’s operation.
Pre mie r Le agu e
$2,300 for a ticket to ‘Club Medicare’
has already thrown a wrench in the Bloc’s election strategy. It gives the Quebec Liberals lots of time to become more competitive before the next provincial election. None of the serious contenders for the PQ leadership is more likely than Landry to endorse short cuts to sovereignty. Neither Gilles Duceppe, nor former
finance minister Pauline Marois — the only declared candidate to date — would agree to substitute an election for a formal referendum on sovereignty. Because of their ages, all the prospective candidates have reason to move slower to achieve their goals than the 68-year-old Landry. A note in closing on Duceppe’s succession: if he does leave the federal arena, the Bloc may well look beyond its caucus for a replacement. Among the long shots whose names are mentioned as possible contenders for Landry’s job, two stand out as potential Bloc leadership material. André Boisclair and Joseph Facal have both held portfolios in recent PQ governments. Each is fluently bilingual and well-versed on Canadian affairs. They are both currently out of active politics but clearly not out of the game. One or the other would be a compelling alternative to the other three leaders in the next federal election. Back in the Pearson and Trudeau days, Boisclair and Facal would have typified the rising Quebec stars that the federal Liberals used to be able to attract.
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16 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
JUNE 12, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 12-18, 2005 — PAGE 17
Paul Daly/The Independent
Reaching out Geoff Eaton and RealTime Cancer spreading across Canada as support group for 15 to 30 year olds; personal and corporate donations welcome CLARE-MARIE GOSSE
his year is a big one for Geoff Eaton, founder of RealTime Cancer. Not only did he wake up on New Year’s Day a married man, free from leukemia for nearly four years, but his peer-support organization is set to sweep the nation, reaching out across Canada to youth affected by cancer. Eaton tells The Independent RealTime’s vision is to become “the No. 1 cancer resource in the country for young people when they’re looking for inspiration, information and support. “We looked across this great big country of ours to find out other cancer organizations that are focusing on educating and supporting these people (ages 15-30) when they’re dealing with cancer and we found nothing,” he says. Realizing Newfoundland and Labrador wasn’t the only province with a black hole when it comes to cancer support for those between child and adulthood, RealTime Cancer started to network. It now has promotional partnerships with cancer centres and organizations in almost every province. Such a venture takes time and effort. As Eaton sits behind a swamped desk, facing pictures he still hasn’t got around to hanging on
the walls of his office of nine months, he marrow transplant, a life-threatening infecadmits he sometimes finds it hard to take it tion resulting in a coma, remission, a sudden easy. relapse and a stem-cell transplant — Eaton “I really try to slow down … and I still need can relate on a personal level to each member to slow down more than I of his organization. do.” “(RealTime Cancer) Although Eaton, 29, was a coping mechanism “We looked across says he’s enjoying makfor me. I had come ing RealTime Cancer less through this thing for 18 this great big country about his own story and months, chemo, transof ours to find out other plant, ICU … I had a more about all young people affected by cancer, he desire to do something. I cancer organizations has become a household had to go do something. name in Newfoundland “I deal through doing that are focusing on and Labrador. … I didn’t know that at Eighteen months after the time.” educating and supportbeing diagnosed with Although he has been acute myeloid leukemia at healthy for almost four ing these people (ages the age of 22, Eaton years (“it’s about a year15-30) when they’re established RealTime and-a-half further than Cancer to focus on public many doctors expected dealing with cancer education for students, me to get.”), Eaton is takand since then he has visone day at a time, tryand we found nothing.” ing ited over 80 schools, both ing to stay in good shape. here and on the mainland. A huge hockey fan, he Geoff Eaton Today, his organization recently played his first helps young people congame in six years. nect over mostly non-medical issues related He grabs an apple off his desk to show he’s to cancer, such as dealing with friends, also eating well (occasional pizza and A&W careers and the side effects of treatment, aside). He and his wife, Karen, recently including possible sterility. joined a gym (he wants to put on 10 to 15 With family members affected by cancer pounds) and he has regular health check-ups and as someone who against the odds sur- and visits a homeopathic doctor. vived a leukemia diagnosis, treatment, a bone “Karen is a nice balance for me, to say, you
know, ‘let’s do this now,’ or, ‘you’re not doing work tonight.’” Eaton’s not underestimating the importance of taking care of No. 1, although he still hasn’t had a honeymoon and he’s always fighting his tendency to over work and over think. But he says the connections he has made through RealTime Cancer often force him to stop short and take a moment, particularly when someone doesn’t pull through. “That is very difficult. It is. I think it’s a good wake-up call in a bad way. It’s a good reminder … having buddies close to you that lose their battle, but I don’t like to think of it that way, move on to the next stage, whatever that is — which I think about a lot.” RealTime Cancer celebrates its fifth birthday this month and the organization is launching its first community appeal for personal and corporate donations in an attempt to progress as an established, fully-fledged national organization. They have the statistics to back up their cause. After deciding to expand in 2003, RealTime Cancer conducted research and discovered 70 per cent of high school students in the St. John’s and Mount Pearl area had already had a diagnosis of cancer in their family. Through a study by a doctor named Archie Bleyer, RealTime also discovered that 15 to 25 year olds get cancer as much, if not more than kids under the age of 15, yet there See “A huge coup,” page 19
Me and my junk’ By Stephanie Porter The Independent
ary Young’s husband built her a small shed at the end of their driveway, on the Southern Shore highway, near Mobile. The one-room shed was to be an ongoing flea market, a home for Young’s vast and varied collection of “stuff” for sale. “I wasn’t long outgrowing that,” Young says with a laugh. “Lord Jeez, I need a stadium over there now.” That building is full to overflowing. Items for sale are also on display on several tables outdoors. Furniture, windows, and an old wood stove line the driveway. The main floor and loft of the family garage are blocked with literally thousands of tools, books, electronics, toys and everything in
between. More items are on display in several places on the lawn and backyard. “It’s 10 acres of junk,” she tells The Independent. “My kids say ‘Mom, if anything happens to you, there’s a dumpster coming up here.’ They hate it.” Young, from Shea Heights, is a retired student assistant. She and her husband moved to Mobile 17 years ago for “a bit of space and quiet.” Their five children — three girls and two boys — live in St. John’s. Young says she’s always enjoyed going to flea markets, digging around, hunting for different and interesting things. “Years ago, one of my aunts was a packrat,” she says. “I must turn after her … flea markets, it’s in your blood. You never know the treasures you’re going to find.”
Now that she’s retired, Young has turned her pastime into a full-time hobby. “I just started one day, putting a bit of stuff out, you know, and a few cars stopped by. And it got worse and worse and worse … I’ll never get it organized, not in 100 years. Because I’m always buying and selling.” One of Young’s best finds was an old kettle she picked up “with a pile of stuff one day.” She brought the kettle to the Antiques Roadshow when it was in town earlier this month — and it was appraised at $1,000. Young says she and her flea market have a reputation. She gets regular calls from people looking to get rid of a load of old possessions. She also attends estate sales, other garage sales, and flea markets. “Do I ever turn anyone away?” she
Mary Young of Mobile
laughs again. “Not very often, as you can see.” And there’s no shortage of customers either. “Everybody comes here, from all over, all over the States, everywhere. They come packing around, looking
Paul Daly/The Independent
around, come around here for hours.” Just last week, some people working on the St. John's-based production of Above and Beyond came to visit Young. The four-hour Second World See “People will buy anything,” page 19
JUNE 12, 2005
18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
GALLERYPROFILE DIANA DABINETT AND CAROL BAJEN-GAHM Visual Art
lthough artists Diana Dabinett and Carol Bajen-Gahm were friends, colleagues, represented by the same gallery — and even took a week-long artist’s trip together on the Northern Peninsula — they hadn’t planned on exhibiting together. “And then Christina paired us up,” says Bajen-Gahm, referring to Christina Parker, who represents both artists through her gallery. “And we decided it would be fine … we’re both very interested in light and colour, though she has a more realistic approach.” That’s putting it mildly. At first glance, the works of Bajen-Gahm and Dabinett seem to have more separating them than pulling them together. BajenGahm works are abstract, done in oil and acrylic, inspired by recent trips to places as diverse as the Cape Spear bunkers, Costa Rica, Florida, and New York. Dabinett’s pieces are also the product of travel. But in her case, a week-long canoe trip down the Churchill River provided creative fodder — particularly the photographs she took of the water’s surface. Dabinett chose to work in a different, very traditional painting process, called egg tempera. Working this way involves a long process of first building and coating a handmade panel (15 times) to work on. The paint is made by combining finely ground pigment, water, and egg yolk. The painting must be built in careful layers — and, finally, covered with an egg yolk finish. “It’s a very old, very durable way of working,” she says. “And you can get really bright colour … I like that sort of transparent brightness.” It’s a switch for Dabinett, who wanted a “complete change” after years of working primarily in silk and watercolours. She also wanted to step away from her usual landscapes, eliminating virtually all vegetation and focusing instead on the moving, tumbling and swirling water. Dabinett, who lives in Shoe Cove, is already readying more panels to paint. “Every so often in my career, I get frus-
Flow 10 by Diana Dabinett
Florida Sands #2 by Carol Bajen-Gahm
trated with the process I’m working in,” she says. “But I’m having so much fun with this and that in the morning, I can’t wait to get up and work.” Bajen-Gahm, a native of Boston who recently bought a home in Torbay, also plans to further explore the themes,
Cape Spear Battery #2 by Carol Bajen-Gahm
places, and colours on display. “Even though my work is abstract, I can see how I’m absorbing the landscape and putting the feeling of the landscape into my work,” she says. “Each series, place, has its own palette, and when I want to return to that palette,
Lollipop, Kingston NY #2 by Carol Bajen-Gahm
I’ll return there.” The joint exhibition is called LightStream, a name selected by the artists, and one which captures the connection between the two bodies of work — a sense of movement, travel and radiance. “I think they look very nice together,”
Dabinett says. “But they are very different.” Light-Stream is on display at Christina Parker Gallery, St. John’s, until June 18. View at www.christinaparkergallery.com — Stephanie Porter
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 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19
‘A huge coup for us’ From page 17 are no support mechanisms in place to deal with their psychological and social needs. RealTime Cancer has since started to work with Bleyer and other doctors across the country. In September, Eaton says RealTime Cancer is hosting a Newfoundland and Labrador weekend retreat for young survivors across the country, in the hopes of building a national community. “We’ve connected with young-adult survivors, for example, in Montreal, one of the biggest cities in the country and they say there’s not much going on here for young adults. So the other part, the business side of me, wants to have some of them go away from here with the RealTime Cancer vision, to start local chapters in their environment.” Eaton also hopes to conduct a type of clinical trial through the RealTime Cancer Portal, an on-line support group for members to share their experiences. The trial would be a way of officially proving how important peer support is, something RealTime Cancer already knows, through surveys conducted amongst the 4,000 people visiting the portal every month. “If we can pull that off in the next year or so, that will be a huge coup for us because we will be one of, if not the only, peer support tool for young adults in the world, that will have a study behind them that says, you know, this is how this tool is helping — this drug, this tool — and these are the ways it’s helping.”
‘People will buy anything’ From page 17 War historical drama by Pope Productions is slated to air on CBC. “They came up here and got some stuff off me the other day that was good enough for the movie … old airplanes, some office stuff, old typewriters, phones, books …” Young points to all the furniture out front: a couch, chairs, table. It’ll all be gone by the weekend, she says — people frequently stop by to pick up bits and pieces on the way to their cabins. “People will buy anything, anything. And believe me, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, it’s true.” Young also sells the lighthouses her husband makes — handmade out of wood, with working lights and plenty of detail. “My husband likes all this too,” she says. “There’s always someone coming in to talk to.” Though her hobby keeps her busy, Young says it doesn’t bring in much by way of money. “Though if I sold every item for a dollar, I suppose I’d have a fortune,” she laughs. “But I love it and I’ll stay at it as long as I can … me and my junk.”
Where art, culture, and toursim meet: actor Ruth Lawrence in the annual Trinity Pageant, a major attraction for visitors.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Seasonal disorder W
ith the way things are going on the mainland, the province will soon see more tourists than ever rushing here to escape stifling humidity and smog alerts. But even before greenhouse-gas temperatures started soaring in Ontario and Quebec, the tourist season was well underway. Visitors have been spotted stalking the streets of St. John’s for weeks now. They are easily identified reeling in the wind while attempting the obligatory hike up Signal Hill. Others are marked by the layers of fleece on their shivering bodies as they dart in and out of shops in search of unique souvenirs. Still others can be spotted taking pictures of sloping streetscapes and Victorian houses, pointing their cameras through a blur of drizzle and fog. It is hard not to feel ambivalent about these seasonal migrants. Like so many modern travellers, they have come to experience the strangeness of experiences and destinations other than their own, an impulse at least as old as Columbus. With all good intentions and a measure of disposable income, they want to experience cultural tourism. In making a journey this far east they have presumably rejected mass tourism in favour of an appreciation of the environmental, cultural, heritage, and historical features of this place. They are quite a different breed from the Newfoundlander who flies south to Florida and Disney World every spring, in precisely the opposite direction, eager to embrace the sameness of consumer tourism, excited about fitting in, for a change, with mainstream North American culture. Being different can be exhausting and so sometimes you just want to lose yourself in the faceless crowds, where no one knows your name and you can find peace on a well-
NOREEN GOLFMAN Standing room only traveled highway. Paradoxically, the visitors who manage to make it here are actively seeking difference. These are special interest travelers, and we like that about them. But as the number of such tourists grows the impulse to present the province as a spectacle also intensifies. This trend began most blatantly with the large scale Cabot celebrations of ’97 and has pretty well carried over into an ongoing program of packaging official culture for tourists, the popular pageant in Trinity being one of the most sustained and successful examples. And so it is that while we naturally admire anyone who admires us, we are also uneasy about the sight of so many Tilley-topped tourists roaming about. We are anxious about the gap between the Newfoundland they are seeking and the one they are being offered. You can see signs of this gap in the rows of so-called local books for sale at the St John’s airport, in the proliferation of gift shops from coast to coast, in the production of oddly similar quaint things, and in the tired sameness of crafts, jams and soaps. Has any other province dared to produce a tourist guide like Patrick O’Flaherty’s unforgettably titled Come Near at Your Peril? At the annual arts council awards gala in May, writer/comic actor Andy Jones drew one of the loudest rounds of applause of the evening when he observed that the award he was handing out was in honour of art, not tourism. Although it is hard to resist embrac-
ing his sentiment, it is a bit hypocritical of us to think the two activities are so discrete. The economy needs help. Tourism is good for the economy. Moreover, tourists return to their homes, boasting of their encounters with local culture, which, in turn, translates into sales of more CDs and novels and paintings. As much as we might hate to admit it, tourism can be good for art and artists. Of course, it can also be deadening. Besides this provincial government, which administers Tourism, Culture and Recreation as one formal unit, only two others have clustered culture with tourism — Manitoba and Nova Scotia. Most others have separated these categories out from each other under separate departments. PEI has grouped community and cultural affairs separately from tourism, an interesting distinction that implicitly locates the cult of Anne of Green Gables under the auspices of tourism, not art. No argument there. Saskatchewan gathers arts, culture and recreation under one banner and tourism and travel in another. New Brunswick distinguishes between tourism and parks on the one hand and
culture and sport on the other. Alberta doesn’t appear to have any ministry governing arts or culture at all, about which no comment is necessary. The point is that we have solidly wedded tourism to culture (and recreation) and are proceeding accordingly, dangers ahead notwithstanding. Such a marriage can mutate into some pretty peculiar attractions. We’ve already brought the Queen of England in touch with a Viking replica. One can imagine a future of even weirder marketing, like a spectacle of iconic lifestyles. Imagine a tour of Rick Mercer’s childhood hangouts. How about a postmodern trip to Petty Harbour, where at once you can see abandoned fishing wharves and Alan Doyle’s first guitar? The alleyways in Grand Falls where Gordon Pinsent snuck a few smokes? We need to be careful. Mixing culture and tourism can be dangerous for our health. Spring is here and we are open for business, sure, but thank God we’re surrounded by water. Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and women’s studies at Memorial.
JUNE 12, 2005
20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
Outside the box
The demise of the fishery gave birth to another industry in Cape Broyle: manufacturing wooden caskets. Now a successful business on the verge of a major expansion, the company is shipping goods across the province and to Iceland and, most recently, Greenland. Picture editor Paul Daly and senior editor Stephanie Porter spent a day touring the facility, meeting the folks who build coffins for a living.
ddie Aspell pauses midway through a tour of his workplace. “Everything we does is buried,” he says. “I guess we’re not very good carpenters.” Aspell grins, patting a just-finished oak casket beside him. Despite his wisecracks, he’s actually quite proud of his work, and that of his co-workers — and happy in his full-time job. Aspell, from Admiral’s Cove, was a long-time fisherman and plant worker until the cod moratorium in 1992. Wind taken from his sails, livelihood gone, Aspell didn’t sit idle long. He’s now put in more than 10 years at Dalton’s Casket Manufacturing located in Cape Broyle on the Southern Shore. “I was brought up with a hammer in my hands,” Aspell says. He credits
his father, a carpenter and boat builder, for teaching him what would become his trade. “I miss fishing, all the time. I’d rather be fishing. But we have no other choice.” Aspell smiles again. “And, you know, we never get any complaints from the clients … they’ve never came back and said they were uncomfortable.” Patricia Carew has worked with the company since it opened 14 years ago. It was smaller then, a one-room operation that has grown into two floors of workshops, storage and office space. Like the other employees, Carew says it’s never bothered her to be around caskets all day. “I always liked wood, woodwork-
ing,” she says. “The first time I ever saw a casket here I liked it, because it was shiny, nice, well-made … I appreciate it, like any piece of furniture.” Opening the front door, visitors are greeted with a line of finished coffins, covered in plastic, ready for shipping. Some are flat-top — these are lower on the price scale — others rounded, and made from oak, ash, or birch. To one side is the door to the sewing room, where casket linings are sewed, stuffed, and fixed in place. In the next room, Aspell fixes latches and handles into place along the side of the coffin. Next comes a big workshop, with stacks of wood pieces for the bottom, sides and top of the product. Jeremy Aylward, in his first year with the
JUNE 12, 2005
company, is face and eyes into putting a casket together, carefully gluing and nailing. To one side is the “spray room,” heavy with fumes even when the sealer or lacquer isn’t being applied. Andre Lahey, responsible for doing the spaying, says the smell doesn’t bother him any more — “but most people just come in here and choke.” Depending on the type of coffin, some require three or more coats of sealer, and four coats of lacquer on top — with 30 minutes drying time between each. It takes an average of 10 hours of work to assemble and finish each coffin, says Aspell. In the past year, the crew has completed more than 700 — including one or two pet caskets. The caskets, which range in price from
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21
$2,000 to $5,000, are also available for rental — though the lining will be completely replaced before the coffin is used again. Kevin Dalton is the owner/operator of Dalton’s Casket Manufacturing. Since opening the doors in 1991, he says orders have grown a little each and every year. Dalton who also operates a Foodtown, Home Hardware and an Ultramar station in Cape Broyle, says he was looking for a change of pace when he started up this company. “We just wanted to diversify from retail, into manufacturing or tourism or something,” he says. “We went looking around, asking around, and found this guy in Carbonear, making some (caskets), at the lower end of the scale.”
Dalton bought out that company, moved the operation to Cape Broyle, and has been growing it ever since. His largest market is still St. John’s, but he’s distributing around the Avalon Peninsula, the west coast of Newfoundland, and into Labrador. “In some places, places like Hopedale and Nain, they’re too small to have funeral homes, so they’re selling out of the general store,” he says. “We’re shipping to all of them, every spring and fall we get a little boost from those orders.” The company also ships regularly to Iceland, and just sent off a container load — 21 caskets — to Greenland, a contact four years in the making. Dalton says his company is going to have a “major change” this fall. He won’t divulge many details, only that
they will offer “different product lines” and “a full range of everything.” He is looking at expanding the operation, keeping his current employees, and hiring more. And the manufacturing will still happen, without a doubt, in Cape Broyle. “We’ll be as big or better as the mainland companies,” he says. “On Sept. 30, we’re starting in … a year afterwards, I’d say we’ll have the lion’s share of the Newfoundland market. “Right from the beginning, we were determined to make it work … to offer decent wages for skilled work, and keep it in Cape Broyle.” Downstairs, Colin Lahey is cutting plywood boards to make boxes for the finished caskets to fit inside. He start-
ed work with the company less than a month ago, and says he’s enjoying it. “Full-time work is hard to come by,” he says. “Most of the work around here is seasonal, and you’re lucky to get a season … hopefully this will turn into something good. “If it wasn’t for Kevin here around the bay, there wouldn’t be anything here.” Lahey’s grim as he says the crab fishery looks to be going the way of the cod — another industry could die sooner rather than later. But coffins, he says, will always be in demand. “You’re going to die, put it that way,” he says. “There’s always going to be caskets, whether (this company) has the market or not, there will be caskets.”
JUNE 12, 2005
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
High-tech TV shows a turnoff More products tinged with anti-TV hysteria By Vinay Menon Torstar wire service
coast to continental coast. TV B-Gone is a universal remote that allows the user to switch off just about ast month, Gillian Swan, a 22- any television. Don’t feel like watching year-old student at Brunel Canadian Idol at the local pub? Tired of University in London, intro- the widescreen plasma sets humming in duced the “Square-Eyes,” an electron- department stores? Pull out your trusty ic insole that records the number of key chain and turn them off. One persteps a child takes each day. This total son decides for everybody else. is then used to calculate a healthy For this year’s TV Turnoff Week — amount of TV viewing time. that annual orgy of misplaced activism According to experts, boys should and alarmist doomsaying — culture walk about 15,000 steps a day while jammers and anti-TV guerrillas were girls should get a minimum of 12,000. determined to do more than just hector. But Square-Eyes is more than a passive Armed with TV B-Gone remotes, they pedometer. It communicates directly spread out across the planet, bravely with the family TV. A transmitter dis- disrupting TVs in public places. In a connects power once the allotted time pre-Turnoff interview, Kalle Lasn, edielapses. tor of Adbusters, said he used his TV BIn the middle of a fascinating docu- Gone to shut off TVs in his Vancouver mentary about saltwater crocodiles? bank. Learning some new words on Sesame “It was a beautiful moment,” he said. Street? Too bad, so sad. Better strap on “It was a moment where I felt that we your Nikes, little Johnny, and run were in control, rather than the bank around frantically to earn a few more with its TV sets. People’s reactions precious minutes. were interesting. Before, everybody The idea, of course, is that watching was kind of standing there with their TV contributes to obesity. I don’t know. heads slightly lifted toward the TV sets. Type “makes you fat” into Google and Nobody was talking to each other. But here are some things that pop up as a few seconds after those TVs went off, potential causes — stress, your brain, people were suddenly talking to each blogging, moving to the U.S., urban other and looking around.” sprawl, milk, driving, poker, swimYeah. They were probably looking ming, love, protein, variety, extreme around, hoping to have a few words weather. with the ass who turned off the TVs. On the flip side, researchers at In one event, a public school in Vanderbilt University Medical Center Washington capped the Turnoff festivitold an obesity conference this month ties with a cake party for students. that laughing out loud for 10 minutes a Great idea. Replace tube deprivation day can burn as many as 40 calories. with a sugar high. Maybe they can give How did they test this hypothesis? the kids crack next year. They recruited students and measured After decades in which technology energy-burning as subjects watched TV was used to make television easier comedies. Okay, not (remote control) or exactly groundmore enjoyable breaking science. (surround sound), Once upon a time, But put a cautious we’re now seeing the quaint notion of check mark on the products tinged “TV Can Be Good with anti-TV hysbalance, moderation For You” side of the teria. ledger. (This may In the recently or, heaven forbid, also explain why published Everyviewers of AcBad Is Good personal responsibility thing cording to Jim tend For You, author toward the chunky.) Steven Johnson had some currency. Once upon a time, argues that popular the quaint notion of culture is actually balance, moderation or, heaven forbid, making us smarter. Where TV is conpersonal responsibility had some cur- cerned, shows such as 24 or The rency. Today, from politics to religion Sopranos have multiple narrative to health care to the media, it’s all about threads, layered themes, involve dozens the blame game. of characters and, as a result, are more And when it comes to finger point- cognitively challenging. ing, television is always a safe target The haughty experts hell bent on for intemperate bursts of cultural out- drawing simple cause-and-effect equarage. tions from television to every imaginaSo, not surprisingly, Square-Eyes has ble social ill would have us believe that earned raves from all predictable cor- TV is the great evil. ners. In underlying philosophy, the Alas, if they watched more televidevice is quite similar to TV B-Gone, a sion, they might have a better perspecfascist gizmo recently glorified from tive.
Younger-than-ever shoppers are buying revealing clothing.
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
‘Look at the things Jessica Simpson wears …’ Schools bring in dress codes as ‘tweens’ dress with less By Allison Furlong For The Independent
arbie has long been an icon of youth culture for young girls. But some of today’s youth wouldn’t dare be caught playing with such a thing. They’d rather dress like her. “Tweens,” a name given to youth aged eight to 14 — not quite kids, not yet teens — are a hot target for today’s retailers. And while it’s an age-old adage that sex sells, the clientele seems to be getting younger. There is more than one store in St. John’s selling string bikinis and matching leopard-print undergarments, sized for 10-year-olds. A store manager of a teen/adult clothing store at the Avalon Mall in St. John’s, who requested her name not be used, says she has noticed a definite increase in sales to younger age groups, but says there isn’t much she can do. “I can’t tell them ‘you can’t buy that,’ but I can give my opinion,” she tells The Independent. “There’s no age limit on what a child or teenager buys. But a lot of them do come in and they try things on and I’ll just say ‘that’s a little short’ or ‘I don’t know if your mom will like that,’ and then maybe they will put it back and get something a little less revealing.” The manager says most of this sort of shopping occurs when the girls are shopping with friends, going after the latest styles: short shorts and skirts, halter tops, and thongs. “We have ladies underwear in our
store … ladies underwear,” she says. “Kids — literally 12-year-old girls — are buying them hand over fist. I guess they see Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera going around with their thongs on, and they think it’s cool.” She believes parents should have an input into clothing choices. “When they are still spending mom and dad’s money, and the parental influence is big, there should be a say,” she says. “And some parents do still shop with their children. A lot of kids, when they are with their parents, they won’t buy things because they know their parents won’t approve. Then you get the problem of kids coming in and buying things, going home and then the parents bring it back.” NO PRESSURE Pamela Burke, 16, a student at Bishop’s College in St. John’s, says she doesn’t feel pressured to dress like many of the girls in her school. “I just sort of do my own thing,” she says. “We had hot weather last week, and a lot of the girls had short skirts and tops on … not me. Our school came on the announcements and talked about dress codes, but I don’t think the teachers enforce it that much.” Joanne, Pamela’s mother, says her daughter manages to keep with the latest styles without going to extremes. “When she’s dressed, she’s tastefully dressed,” Joanne says. “It’s never too revealing.” Lyn Moore, principal of Beaconsfield Junior High School, says her
school follows a dress code policy. Her students are not allowed to wear spaghetti strap shirts without anything over them. Suggestive t-shirts, or shirts featuring beer ads or drug use are also prohibited. “It’s for their protection, as well as the protection for the adults in the building,” says Moore. “We have to be careful because teachers are working with the students side by side, and it is so easy to be accused of something, even in terms of looking down a shirt or whatever.” Moore says she is aware of an increase in provocative clothing styles for youth, and believes it is more of a societal issue than a parental one. “School is just a reflection of society,” Moore says. “While it’s fine to say ‘yeah, it should be a parental responsibility,’ that’s very hard to monitor because many parents are not aware of some of the things their children do.” Often, she adds, parents never see the way their children are dressed for class — they may leave home dressed one way, and turn up at school in a different outfit. “Many times, you have kids in this age level who are very independent, making their own decisions, and sometimes they don’t make the best decisions.” If retailers and the celebrity media didn’t promote skimpy clothing — and glamourize the people who wear it — Moore says students would be less likely to dress inappropriately. “The media portrayal … look at the things that Jessica Simpson wears.”
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JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 23 By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
Paul Kaye plays Frankie Wilde in All Gone Pete Tong.
More than spin It’s All Gone Pete Tong, from makers of Fubar, dips into spoiled-celebrity global DJ culture By Ben Rayner Torstar wire service
J-ing, at its best, is indeed an art form, but there’s always been something silly about the lionization of dance music’s most esteemed turntable technicians. These are, after all, people rewarded with obscene amounts of money, first-class plane tickets around the globe and rockstar adoration and celebrity for, essentially, playing other people’s records in creative sequence. Some, like Canada’s own John Acquaviva, treat their vocation with workmanlike humbleness and quiet gratitude for being allowed to make a living doing something slightly ridiculous. At the other end of the superstar DJ spectrum, one finds divas of the Junior Vasquez variety, people who’ve developed an inflated sense of their position in the world and who should take a moment or two to remember that entertaining a roomful of clubbers isn’t the same as curing cancer. Frankie Wilde, the doomed anti-hero of Fubar director Mike Dowse’s newest feature, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, falls in this latter category. A celebrated nightclub mainstay on Spain’s notorious party island, Ibiza, for 11 years, Wilde has parlayed his skill behind the decks into tremendous wealth and fame and an extended, nihilistic freefall that sees him indulging in enough booze, cocaine and groupies to give the members of Mötley Crüe pause. As played — fearlessly, hilariously and quite brilliantly — by British actor Paul Kaye, the perpetually soused Wilde is an objectionable, self-centred character with little more to offer his neglected family and the world beyond the dance floor than witless observations like “I’m the Imelda Marcos of the flip-flop world.” He’s due some sort of comeuppance, and when years of high decibels and hard living conspire to rob him of his hearing, it arrives. It’s All Gone Pete Tong (British rhyming slang for “it’s all gone wrong”) is not a flattering portrait of the DJ lifestyle, by any means. So it’s an impressive show of good sportsmanship on the part of Pete Tong himself to have lent not just his name, but his time, advice and musical know-how as an executive producer to the project. Tong is, after all, arguably the most popular DJ in Britain, thanks to his long-running weekend show on BBC radio. He is exactly the sort of globetrotting record spinner the movie lampoons so viciously. Calgary-raised Dowse was brought on board after Fubar — the beloved cult “mockumentary” about a couple of dimwitted, Western Canadian ultra-hosers — screened at London’s Raindance Festival in 2002, despite knowing very little of the dance scene about which he would shortly be writing and directing an entire feature. “I came in a little bit cold,” he says. “I did my research and I’d been to a couple of raves in my life and had experienced it and stuff, but I was never a huge fan of it. “I come from a much more Fubar, rock ‘n’ roll background … the most iconic and the most ridiculous character is the DJ. It’s just such a funny lifestyle. They’re bigger than rock stars over there and there’s no splitting of the profits — it’s just them.” There are no sacred cows in It’s All Gone Pete Tong, whose first half is a veritable, vomit- and snot-splattered orgy of excess and unpleasant behaviour. It is notable for several appearances by an enormous, coke-encrusted badger wearing a pink apron and a cameo by Fubar stars Paul Spence and David Lawrence as short-tempered Austrian musicians trying to record an album with Wilde. Things level off after Wilde, with the aid of a comely therapist (Beatriz Batarda), begins to come to terms with his hearing loss, as Dowse’s script suddenly allows for the same sweetness and humanity that lent Fubar’s second act (during which one of the bangers loses a testicle to cancer) an unexpected emotional depth. “You get the darker and the funnier humour out of putting characters in the darkest situation,” says Dowse. “In Fubar, it was Deaner losing a nut and in this one, it’s Frankie losing his hearing. It’s a lot more fun as a director and a screenwriter to just kick the crap out of your main character. And then, how they react is the humour. Just do the worst possible thing to your main character and see what happens.” While critical reaction to It’s All Gone Pete Tong — which, despite premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, has only just opened in Canada last week — has ranged from delight to revulsion, Kaye has drawn near-universal praise for his delirious portrayal of Frankie. Dowse is, in fact, already scheming to drum up Oscar buzz for his lead. If the film takes off, then, where does this leave the DJs it holds up to public ridicule? Can their egos suffer such bruising? “I’ve never been an advocate of us taking ourselves too seriously,” says Tong, who briefly appears in the film alongside such fellow jocks as Carl Cox and Tiesto. “We’re in the entertainment business. You get the benefits and the trappings of the success, so you’ve got to be prepared to laugh at yourself, as well. I think that’s very healthy. “And I think it symbolizes, in a way, kind of the end of an era. That side of DJ-ing — swigging whiskey all the time and living life to the last — I think that kind of went out of fashion at the end of the ’90s. Everything’s a bit more technical and a little more professional.”
he saga of Puddister vs. Furlong is over and the newly elected president of NAPE says she’s ready to move on with the job. Carol Ann Furlong tells The Independent that ever since the results of the four-candidate election came in late May (she gained 51 per cent of the vote), most media attention has focused on Leo Puddister’s defeat — rather than her victory. That and their colourful past, involving a previous election in 2003 (Furlong lost that one), and a behind-the-scenes battle that lasted for months. Furlong, a former secretary-treasurer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, the province’s largest public-sector union, is currently occupying a temporary office at the association’s headquarters in St. John’s, as she waits to officially assume the presidency on June 21. “It’s a bit of an unusual phase because you’re here with no real authority.” Furlong says she hasn’t seen or heard from Puddister since the election and although she acknowledges an encounter might be awkward, she refuses to dole out any further criticism of the former president. “I will acknowledge that Leo has dedicated many years to the labour movement, he’s made contributions and I don’t think anyone would want to diminish his contribution, but I think people were looking for change.” And change they got. Furlong couldn’t be more different from the outspoken, colourfully dressed, former correctional officer. As the first woman ever elected to the position of NAPE president, she calls this time “the end of an era.” On first impressions, it’s difficult to imagine Furlong fighting the kinds of battles NAPE has become renowned for. She is soft spoken, well presented and educated up to the eye balls with three degrees, but it soon becomes clear she approaches challenges in a different and no-less effective way. She says she’s a person who throws herself into a job and deals with challenges in a “smart” rather than “tough” way. “I’m looking for a more proactive approach to members’ issues. I’d like to try and deal with the issues before they actually have a detrimental effect on the membership. For example, if the employer is saying there will be layoffs, I don’t want to wait until layoffs occur before we react to that, I would like to find some solutions … to try and resolve that issue.” Furlong also has an extensive background working in various public-sector fields, such as healthcare and education and says she knows where members come from in terms of the issues they face. “I believe that we need to solidify the union,” she says. “The strength of the union is in our solidarity and the employers know
Carol Ann Furlong
Paul Daly/The Independent
‘End of an era’ Carol Ann Furlong shakes NAPE’s Puddister image that and it is a very important part of who we are.” As one of NAPE’s major employers, Premier Danny Williams will soon find himself dealing with a whole new style of bargaining. With Furlong’s thoughtful approach and sometimes unsettling way of imperceptibly raising an eyebrow, he might get thrown off guard. ‘FRANK DISCUSSION’ NEEDED “I feel it’s very necessary to sit down with the premier and have a frank discussion, a rational discussion. “Over and over and over, public employees have been expected to accept, or to take the brunt of cuts when the situation has been fairly poor for the province. We’re in a fairly good era now, though, I think … it’s time for government to recognize the contribution and the value of employees.” Furlong says she has received massive support in her journey to accepting the presidency, even from the locals in her community in the east end of St. John’s, where she
was brought up. “It’s amazing how very close the networking is, even now people will phone me and say, ‘Oh we’re so proud of you,’ or, ‘Your mother and father will be so proud of you.’ They’re just really excited for me, because a lot of the people who are there were all like one big family and it was tremendous, still is.” And should Furlong be toppled in the next NAPE election, she already has a fallback career in mind. Over the last two years, she won two local writing competitions: one for a short story and another for a paper on the emancipation of women and how they can promote world peace and harmony. For now, Furlong’s role is likely to be anything but peaceful. She says the large turnout of NAPE voters shows the members have active concerns they need to have addressed. “I have heard what people have said, they want to have some say in their union and I think that it’s very important for me to listen to that.”
JUNE 12, 2005
24 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
How FPI was spawned By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
T Kurk Brown, 24, skateboards at the Northwest Rotary Skatepark in Mundy Pond, west end St. John’s. The rotary, which built the park in partnership with the City of St. John’s, was recently presented with a “significant achievement award” for its sponsorship of the park. Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
EVENTS JUNE 12 • Donald Barry will sign copies of Icy Battleground, published by Breakwater Books, at Chapters, St. John’s, 2 - 4 p.m. • Walk for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Registration at the Mews Centre, Mundy Pond, at 12:30 p.m., walk begins at 2 p.m., 747-5109 • Juvenile diabetes research foundation presents Walk to Cure Diabetes around Quidi Vidi Lake and a family fun-filled afternoon with Sky High Amusements, a magic show, entertainment by Terry Rielly and more. Registration at the Legion Branch 56, Pleasantville. • Erin’s Country Jam, hosted by Sherri Ryan at Erin’s Pub, 4-9 p.m. • John Sand, presented by George Street United Church, 7 p.m., 726-8775. • Quintessential Vocal Ensemble performs at St. George’s heritage church in Brigus, 3 p.m. JUNE 13 • Le Leche League breastfeeding support group of St. John’s monthly information session, 73 Jordan in Shea Heights, 8 pm. All pregnant and breastfeeding mothers — and babies — are invited to attend, 754-5957. • The Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre meeting, 8 p.m. Sobey’s Community Room, Merrymeeting Road, St. John’s, 579-1009. • Railway Coastal Museum presents museum week celebrations: puppet shows, knot-tying, prizes, and more, 495 Water Street, St. John’s, 724-5929. Until June 19. JUNE 14 • Donald Barry will sign copies of Icy Battleground, published by Breakwater Books Ltd., at Coles (Village Mall), St. John’s, 7-9 p.m. • CNIB Visions Golf Tournament starts at Bally Haly, St. John’s, 8 a.m. Golf will be followed by steak dinner, awards and silent auction, 754-1180. • Rug hooking workshop with Elizabeth Tucker Dillon at the Anna Templeton Centre, Duckworth Street, St. John’s, 739-7623.
Paul Daly/The Independent
JUNE 15 • Donald Barry will sign copies of Icy Battleground, published by Breakwater Books Ltd., at Coles (Avalon Mall), St. John’s, 7-9 p.m. • Rajaton perform at Gower Street Church, 8 p.m., tickets $23/$15, 738-6013. • Spring plant sale at MUN Botanical Gardens, sponsored by Friends of the Garden. A members only pre-sale will be held from 5-7 p.m. • Folk club at the Ship Pub, featuring Heather Dale and Brian Deschamps. JUNE 17 • Murder mystery cruise includes entertainment, a three-course meal and a four-hour cruise, St. John’s Harbour front, 7 p.m., 834-6663. • Ron Hynes performs at the Seabird Festival/MIANL summer showcase in Newtown. • Moving Pictures: reel dance on the road, a prelude to the opening of the Festival of New Dance. LSPU Hall, 753-4531. JUNE 18 • Jack Fitzgerald will be doing a book signing at Costco on Stavanger Drive between 2-4 p.m. • Spring plant sale, MUN Botanical Garden, 10 a.m.-noon. • Stained glass introduction with
VOLUME 2, NUMBER 7
Wo kers’ R Rkers’ Voice MAGAZINE Newfoundland & Labrador’s Independent Magazine for all Workers
Young Young Worker Safety
THE CUFFER QUILL Mary Shortall answers your workplace questions
Offshore Revenue Agreement Jack Harris Speaks Out
PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT # 40827005
Williams & the
President James Clancy
Fox Henhouse in the
Teamsters Oppose Fisheries Observer Changes
NOTES • Host families needed: AFS Interculture Canada is looking for families in the St. John’s/Mount Pearl/Paradise areas, interested in hosting foreign exchange students (ages 14 to 17) for one month this summer who will be in the area to attend classes at O’Donel High School in Mt. Pearl. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Haines (Regional Coordinator) 747-3587.
‘SUPER FISH COMPANY’ In the January 4, 1984 edition of The Daily News, Gus Etchegary was named the interim head of Newfoundland’s “super fish company.” He remained in that position until a new board of directors was appointed in March 1984. The Metro, a St. John’s paper that ran from November to Dec. 30, 1984, had little to say about the merger of several fish processing companies into what FPI is today besides an ad that ran as part of fish and seafood month. “FPI is not simply a fish marketing company which sells Newfoundland fish. “Collectively we are one of Canada’s largest fish exporters and in Canada exports are the foundation of our economy. FPI is you and I building a successful enterprise for the future of our province,” the ad read. Metro folded Dec. 30, 1984 — the day before the provincial FPI Act was signed. The legislation would outline certain restrictions, including the maximum 15 per cent ownership clause.
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IN THE GALLERIES • Cut Flowers, oil paintings by Barbara Pratt, Emma Butler Gallery, until June 17. • Journey on the North Atlantic, prints and textiles by Sylvia Bendza and Cecil Day. Craft Council Gallery, until June 17. • Good in Bed, a group exhibit on sex, eroticism and pornography. James Baird Gallery, until June 15. • The Hand You’re Dealt, exhibit of hand-tinted lino-prints, Craft Council annex Gallery, until June 17. • Light-stream, works by Diana Dabinett and Carol Bajen-Gahm, Christina Parker Gallery, until June 18. • Land of Weather, by Louise Sutton, at the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art.
DENIED A LOAN One story, under the headline Things don’t look good for plant owners, described how Marpro Ltd., owner of the South Dildo fish plant, begged the provincial government for money after it failed to pay its bills and was denied a loan. Two days later, reports in The Daily News explained how bill C-170 was about to be passed in the Senate. A week away from becoming law, the bill would institute legislation to restructure the fishery and fish plant operations in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec. It was hoped the formation of a new “super fish company” would be completed prior to January 1984 when the offshore fishery began, the article explained. Another story, published on Nov. 30, 1983, detailed how the House of Commons had given final approval of the bill that would allow $138 million in spending on two super companies (one in Nova Scotia and one in Newfoundland), and the restructuring of Quebec’s Pecheurs Uni. The article stated that Newfoundland had agreed to merge six fish processing companies and would obtain ownership of the Nova Scotia scallop fleet. On Dec. 1, the fisheries bill became law as it passed the third reading in the Senate. The Dec. 2, 1983 edition saw thenprovincial Fisheries minister Jim Morgan meet with 20 fish processors to discuss the industry’s future. On Dec. 3, The Daily News ran the headline Cashin’s plea: don’t give away our fish. Cashin, then head of the province’s largest fishermen’s union, took issue with a quota offered to foreign fleets
instructor Brian Drover, at the Anna Templeton Centre, St. John’s, 739-7623.
he birth of Fishery Products International in 1984 was a fascinating event, although somewhat overshadowed by the months of labour leading up to the delivery. The news reports started in November 1983 in the back half of The Daily News, one of the more popular and longest running newspapers in St. John’s. As time went on — leading to the eventual merger of various fish processing companies into Fishery Products International — the story inched its way closer to the front page until it made itself a regular home there. The fish processing companies that came to form FPI relied on deep-sea trawlers. To stave off collapse, the federal and provincial governments arranged a restructuring in which all deep-sea fishing companies were combined into a single company — FPI. Stories about failing fish plants started in the Nov. 28 edition of The Daily News.
— 20,000 tonnes in total. He claimed governments were giving away the fish in the ocean. Brain Mulroney was only in the House of Commons three months when The Daily News reported on Dec. 5, 1983 that Mulroney would scrap fishery plan except in Newfoundland, where there was a “need for radical surgery.” Reports in the same edition explained how Nova Scotia demanded access to northern cod stocks as part of the restructuring plan, sparking one of the biggest debates in the fight to begin FPI. Morgan, an outspoken fisheries advocate to this day, spoke out in several editions of The Daily News in December 1983 against the idea of Nova Scotia having rights to a proposed 5,000 tonnes of northern cod. In the paper’s Dec. 10, 1983 edition, then-premier Brian Peckford spoke of meetings he’d had with then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau about failing cod stocks and Nova Scotia’s claim. ‘Our’ northern cod not for other provinces, read the headline. The cover and majority of the inside pages of the Dec. 16 edition of The Daily News were based on the codbelongs-to-Newfoundland argument. Nova Scotia Minister defends 5,000 tonnes of cod, calls Nfld. greedy, read one headline. MHAs agree Newfoundland owns the northern cod, read another. Cashin weighed in and gave a bleak outlook for the inshore fishery. By the Dec. 19 edition, the Nova Scotia restructuring plan was on hold and Newfoundland’s total allowable catch of cod was pegged at 260,000 tonnes. Morgan said he “couldn’t accept” the allocation of cod to Nova Scotia. After Christmas it was announced fish plants in St. John’s and Arnold’s Cove would be re-opened early in the year.
Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion?
The Summer issue of the Workers’ Voice Magazine, our province’s independent voice for all workers! Young Workers’ Voice: Safety on the Job Teamsters Oppose Fisheries Observer Changes Guest Columnist Earle McCurdy of FFAW/CAW Collective Bargaining in Canada: Human Right or Canadian Illusion The Cuffer Quill: Your workplace questions answered
The Workers’ Voice Magazine is published quarterly (March, June, September, December). Annual subscription rate is $24.37, includes postage and tax. Make cheque or money order payable to: The Workers’ Voice Magazine 38 Pearson St., Suite 315, St. John’s, NL A1A 3R1 Ph 709-738-7117 email@example.com
Jack Harris speaks out on what the Offshore Revenue means to us Volunteers in the Workplace ...and more, all
INSIDE The Workers’ Voice
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 12-18, 2005 — PAGE 25
Emily Swain, a housekeeping assistant at Leaside Manor Heritage Inn, makes up a bed in the Parker Suite.
R honda Hayward/The Independent
B&Bs and CFAs
Bed and breakfasts are popular with come-from-aways, using charm and tradition to lure customers By Darcy MacRae The Independent
here’s more to operating a bed and breakfast than meets the eye. For the casual observer, it may appear as if there’s little more to do than provide clean bed sheets and a decent breakfast. But those in the industry are all too familiar with the reasons many B&B owners look to sell after only a year in operation. “A lot of people get into this and realize it’s not what they want to be into,” says Neil Oates, owner of the Bluestone Inn in downtown St. John’s. “Sometimes they don’t realize what goes along with the upkeep, the staffing and long hours they have to commit. The ones who stay in are the ones who came in on the ground floor.” There’s plenty of competition in the B&B industry, with 35 in St. John’s
alone. Given the recent addition of new hotels and expansions to existing hotels in the city, it would appear B&Bs would be in a fight for their survival. Many B&B operators, however, say the influx of new hotels has little, if any, effect on their business. They say B&Bs offer customers a different setting, most notably a cosy, intimate, environment. “If we only had hotels, we would underserve the client,” says Elaine Hann, owner of Leaside Manor in St. John’s. “I give tourists contact with a local family. That is really half the reason they come to a bed and breakfast.” Many B&Bs in the city are set in old, historic homes that combine tradition and class. Customers enjoy spending time in a house they know has served as home to generations of families and feel more connected to the city they’re exploring. Visitors
also take advantage of the fact the owners are on hand to share a meal with them and help guide them in the direction of some of the city’s finer tourist destinations. Most B&B customers may come from away, but some have roots in the province. Often their parents or grandparents were from Newfoundland and Labrador and they want to discover what life was like for their ancestors. “Those are the ones who touch your heart,” says Hann. “The ones who come home to find their past, and find themselves.” Attracting that type of visitor is often the biggest challenge facing B&B owners. In the past, they relied solely on word-of-mouth referrals, but thanks to the Internet, they can reach potential clients around the world. “The Internet has put us on a level
playing field with any major hotel,” says Oates, who also serves on the board of directors of Destination St. John’s as B&B representative for the eastern half of the island. As is the case with hotels in the city, the 35 B&Bs require qualified staff to help ensure operations run smoothly. The industry employs more than 120 workers. (City officials have yet to put a dollar value on the industry.) “The service is as discreet as the customer wants,” Hann says. “You have to be good at determining how much in-your-face treatment a client wants.” Leonard Clarke, owner of both the Abba Inn and Gower House, agrees with Hann, pointing out elderly couples on a tour of the city are often more in the mood for conversation than travelling business people. “Tourists are more into coming down in the morning and having a
chat,” he says. “You meet a lot of nice people, and make friends with those you see year after year.” B&B prices in the city range from $79 to $260 a night, depending on the time of year, size of room, and overall quality of facility. Most are much busier in the summer than any other season and, contrary to popular belief, do not rely on overflow from hotels to attract business, although that does happen on occasion, like it did recently with the Canadian Federation of Municipalities conference, which brought an estimated 3,000 delegates to the city. Hann says once people experience the qualities a B&B has to offer, they don’t go back to staying in hotels. “We get people and we keep them,” she says. “I got two clients from a full hotel and I’ll keep them for ever. I’ll service them to death.”
Province’s seaweed resource yet to be tapped into; Chinese ahead of game By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
ewfoundland and Labrador has always recognized the value of its traditional forests, but for centuries it has ignored a new frontier, one that could be worth even more money to the province’s economy — kelp. Phillip Davis of North Atlantic Biopharma Inc., a partnership between four Memorial scientists in St. John’s, says history and tradition have kept the potential under water.
“It’s the traditional fishery here, nobody goes outside the boundaries of the traditional fishery,” Davis tells The Independent. Davis was among 500 marine scientists taking part in the Memorial-sponsored International Marine Biotechnology Conference in St. John’s last week. “... we’ve never focused on the plant life in the ocean, just missed the boat up until now.” Asia has long known the medicinal values of seaweed. Kelp has been used for 3,000 years in herbal remedies. The
demand for kelp in China was so great that scientists there imported it — it doesn’t grow in Chinese waters — and then cultivated it in specially prepared facilities. Dr. Song Qin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who took part in the conference, says the potential sitting off this province’s coast is huge. “Newfoundland has an abundance of seaweed as resource, but you seldom use it,” Qin says in broken English. He says the most important market factor beyond having the resource is having a tradition-based demand for
such a product, something China has no shortage of. “The second depends on the market and necessity, because China has a lot of people and we are developing very fast, so we have a market and necessity. “You have natural resource, abundant resource but you have much less people, too much land,” says Qin. Kelp can produce drugs used to treat heart and kidney diseases. It’s even been used to create a high-end biodegradable plastic container. Davis says the potential is limitless.
“It would be limitless only by the market and if you talk Asia then there is no limit to the market,” says Davis. “We simply wouldn’t be able to supply enough.” Newfoundlanders have long used kelp as a fertilizer, but its properties also include a natural pesticide that could be marketed. The United Nations released a report last week calling for restrictions to be but in place because it worries the potential of sea life as pharmaceuticals See “Newfoundland,” page 26
JUNE 12, 2005
26 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
‘Newfoundland has an abundance of seaweed as resource’ From page 25 is only just being realized. The UN cautions that species could be wiped out by “bioprospectors” in a rush to find cures to various ailments and create industries. Qin maintains that’s not a concern when it comes to kelp. “You have plenty of resource and also the seaweed can be cultivated artificially, so don’t worry ” says Qin. One of the issues, says Davis, that has slowed the development of the industry is that Memorial University has mostly concentrated on the traditional fishery, but he’s hoping the partnership with Qin will change that. “If you have to start recruiting expertise in this area for the university faculty, traditionally it will take six months to a year just to hire the first person and you really need a concentration of people — one isolated scientist doesn’t work really well,” says Davis. “You need that feedback and interchange with your colleagues.” The industry would create “hightech jobs” for the province. And, unlike the traditional fishery, the product would be value-added — secondary processing would be done here because of high shipping costs. In the traditional fishery, many of the processing jobs that were once here have been lost to China because of inexpensive labour. “We’ll actually be doing all the processing here and they’ll be buying the product,” says Davis. “I think that’s a good switch.”
Dr. Song Qin is working with Memorial University scientists to develop a seaweed industry in the province.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Molson merger to be examined By Dana Flavelle
Torstar wire service
olson Coors Brewing Co.’s merger has been handed what at least one analyst fears could become another distraction amid a difficult period in the global brewing industry. The world’s fifth-largest brewer said yesterday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked it to produce certain documents related to its recent merger and financial results.
The regulator’s request comes after nearly half a dozen class-action law firms filed suits against the company on behalf of investors, the company notes in a public filing with the regulators. Investors sued the company after Molson Coors released unexpectedly poor first-quarter results, wiping out millions in market value. The company says it believes the lawsuits are without merit and would be vigorously defended. Molson Coors says it is co-operating fully with the regulators. It added that the SEC has made it clear it does not believe Molson Coors has violated any laws. The company disclosed the informa-
tion to investors in a securities filing late last week. Molson Coors spokesperson Sylvia Morin could not be reached for further comment. Lawyers for angry Molson Coors investors say the regulators’ inquiry could potentially help their case against the company. But they also note the request is very “preliminary” and may end up producing nothing. “They (the SEC) may decide after reviewing the documents that they’re not going to pursue it,” says Eric Belfi, a lawyer with Murray, Frank and Sailer LLP. The New York-based law firm is representing the Drywall Acoustic Lathing and Insulation Local 675 Pension Fund, a Canadian institutional investor. A Molson Coors shareholder dismisses the lawsuits and the regulator’s inquiry as routine posturing in cases where mergers initially disappoint investors. “It’s not uncommon with mergers and acquisitions that don’t initially work out for people to raise a stink and go get the regulators to look and make sure things were disclosed properly,” says Brett Barner, portfolio manager with STI Capital Management, in Orlando, Fla. But at least one observer fears that the inquiry, combined with the lawsuits, could become a serious distraction for the company during a highly
competitive period in the industry. SEC inquiries can take at least three months and as much as a year to resolve while lawsuits can take even longer. SEC officials did not return calls. “We believe that defending against the suits is a potential notable management distraction at a particularly challenging time for the company and its key beer markets,” Mark Swartzberg, an analyst at Legg Mason Wood Walker, writes in a note to clients. FAILED TO DISCLOSE The lawsuits allege the combined company and its affiliates, including Molson Inc., failed to disclose unfavourable trends in Adolph Coors Co.’s U.S. business prior to a Feb. 9 shareholder vote on their merger. A few months later, on April 28, Molson Coors issued unexpectedly poor results in its first combined quarterly financial statement. The company says it lost $46.5 million (U.S.), or 74 cents a share, during the quarter. Special one-time charges to cover merger-related costs, including severance for 12 former Adolph Coors Co. executives, made up the bulk of the loss. However, the company also reported lower sales volume in both the U.S. and Canadian markets during the quarter.
Ontario expected to help out paper companies; announcement Monday with Hydro Quebec to develop the lower Churchill power project. Ironically, if Ontario gets the go ahead, the project could help fund the ntario will fire the first shot Monday in the incentives that could seriously impact the forestry battle for paper mill jobs. Canada’s eco- industry here. nomic powerhouse will announce finan“Churchill is very important because it’s a clean cial incentives that could leave reliable source of power,” says Ramsay. “It would Newfoundland and Labrador waving a white flag. supply 945 megawatts to the province of Ontario The Ontario government will release its long and this certainly would be a benefit to our prianticipated report on the future of the forest indus- mary industry and also to our residents.” try and it’s expected to carry Ramsay brushes aside sweeping changes and money charges that Ontario could fire to ease the financial crunch on the first major funding volley in “Churchill … would paper giants such as Abitibi a war that will drive poorer Consolidated. provinces further into debt supply 945 megawatts because their pockets aren’t That company owns mills in Stephenville and Grand Fallsdeep enough to hand out bigto the province of Windsor. After laying off 56 dollar incentives. people at the Grand FallsThe incentives could also Ontario and this would cause Windsor mill, Abitibi put workmill operators to shut ers and the province on notice down operations and move to be a benefit to our priit intends to make even deeper other provinces in search of cuts — more than 250 with the mary industry and also sweeter incentive deals. closure of a paper machine in “I think all the provinces, to our residents.” Grand Falls–Windsor and the probably except Alberta, are consolidation of front-office very limited in the amount of David Ramsay operations. money they have available and Contacted by The each province is going to help Independent, Ontario’s ministheir industries as best they ter of Natural Resources David Ramsay refused to can,” says Ramsay. release details of the plan prior to the official Kenora, Ont., Mayor David Canfield was on the announcement. council that prepared the Ontario report. His “Nice try,” Ramsay says from his Queen’s Park Abitibi mill is one of the mills the company has office. “No way. Just put on the headline Ramsay put on the chopping block, but it could be saved says ‘No way Jose’” from the axe come Monday if Ontario writes a big The plan, says Ramsay, will contain financial enough cheque. incentives; it will also consist of changes in how In a recent Independent interview, the mayor of the forestry industry is managed by the province the northern Ontario town said with two-thirds of — services will be streamlined, reducing costs to the province’s land mass and only two per cent of companies such as Abitibi. Newfoundland and the population, people there often feel ignored by Labrador is currently negotiating with Abitibi in a Ontario’s provincial masters. bid to reduce energy costs. Ramsay says that attitude is about to change. Ontario currently has a proposal on the table “He won’t feel that way on Monday.” By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 27
What water ban? Capital city sets out to conserve every drop — through conservation order By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
t’s beginning to look a lot like summer, and in the City of St. John’s that means using water wisely. As it looks now, city officials won’t be imposing a water ban this summer. Rather, a water conservation order has been in place since May 1, allowing residents to water their lawns, hose down driveways and play in their sprinklers — in moderation. Water cops may still roam the streets later in the summer to keep up with the list of complaints from tattletale neighbours, and people will be restricted as to when they can water their lawns, but they will be allowed to wash their cars and water plants and shrubs anytime as long as it’s done with a shut-off nozzle hose. Mayor Andy Wells says city residents tend to over-water their lawns — especially when the summer heats up — but by using water responsibly residents may avoid a ban this year. “We’re OK on water. I mean we’ve made improvements in the system. I think we’ve got more capacity than we had last year but that doesn’t mean we’re going to allow water to be wasted,” Wells tells The Independent. “We don’t want to torment people who are spending enormous amounts of money on their lawns and on their shrubbery and what not. I mean, we don’t want to be punitive, all we want is for people to be responsible.” The mayor says water regulations are
Gerard Morrissey washes his car at U Auto Wash in St. John's.
a little more relaxed this year compared to last year, but Wells stresses the conservation aspect. A mature lawn only needs about an inch of water a week, Wells says. “And people are out there whackin’ the water to them and people are over watering and we just want to discourage that.” Out at Windsor Lake, the source of the city’s water supply, Paul Kieley, manager of water supply systems, says this year’s water regulations are very lenient compared to last year’s all-out
ban. “If you have the time and you use the time that we’ve allotted, then you will get lots of water,” Kieley says. He says as of last week there were six extra inches of water on the lake. This time last year the lake was eight inches below normal at what’s called zero level. One inch of water on Windsor Lake is the equivalent of 30 million gallons or 57 million two-litres of Pepsi. “We had a fair bit of rain. The pond
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
filled up in December,” Kieley says, adding the lake has been overfull since January. In total, last year the pond sank down to 50 inches below zero level. “If we don’t have the precipitation again there’s a good possibility we could end up with low water levels, but we’re in much better shape than we were last year,” Kieley says. Back at City Hall, Wells says he recently announced new spending on water-conservation education programs
and leak-detection initiatives for the coming year. “We’re going to tighten up the system. We know there’s leaks out there, we know there’s problems and we’re going to tighten up the system. I mean the water is a free good … so the more we can save, the more we can tighten up the system then the cheaper it will be.” People in the city use about 300 litres each of water a day — a little lower than the national average of 326 litres per person a day.
28 • INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION
JUNE 12, 2005
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INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION • 29
JUNE 12, 2005
30 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
Foreign fishing effort on Grand Banks not tracked; numbers don’t show drop By Jeff Ducharme The Independent
od and other groundfish stocks may be under a fishing moratorium since the early 1990s, but the fishing effort — measured in days — of foreign vessels operating outside Canada’s 200-mile limit hasn’t drastically fallen off. In 1995, three years after the northern cod moratorium was announced, Ottawa recorded 17,315 fishing days by foreign trawlers chasing groundfish and halibut only. That’s 3,000 more days than were logged in 1985. According to an official with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), that number is misleading because before 1995 the shrimp fishery on the Grand Banks was almost non-existent. The numbers rose after longliners turned their attention to shrimp. The halibut fishery also received far more attention as fishing companies transferred their fishing effort to other species that were previously underutilized. The Independent initially asked DFO almost two
months ago for information to compare foreign fishing effort — whether it’s gone up or down — but the department failed to provide the data. There are no current numbers available on fishing effort as DFO doesn’t compile such data on a yearly basis. Officials also say comparing such long-term trends is “extremely complex.” In 2004, DFO estimated fishing days at as many as 13,000 — mainly shrimp and groundfish. Fishing effort has also been affected by such events as the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many of those states joined the European Union, which increased the numbers of vessels on the Grand Banks. Fish stocks outside the 200-mile limit are governed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization which has regularly been criticized for handing out quotas to member states that it doesn’t enforce. Members can object to a given quota if they feel the share is too low, making enforcement impossible. Federal Fisheries has told The Independent that an in-depth analysis is currently being carried out, but officials were unable to give a completion date.
Paul Daly/The Independent
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTDIVERSIONS • 31
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 People of Scandinavia 5 Bulletin board fixer 9 Comedian Cullen 13 Small songbird 17 Man who took a ribbing? 18 Horn 19 Receive wages 20 Wing (Fr.) 21 Standard 22 Recall past experiences 24 Dec. 25 25 Attempts 27 Loathes 28 Refine metal 29 Jacket with a hood 31 Variety of cannabis 32 Dead or Aral ___ 33 Knifes 36 Giuseppe’s God 37 Actress Cardinal (“North of 60”) 41 Private chat (3 wds.) 45 Subterranean vault 47 Have 48 Goof 49 Close at hand 51 Japanese ___ ceremony 52 Peter Pan pirate 53 Garlic mayonnaise 55 Medieval stringed instrument 57 The ref drops it 59 Meal 61 Boscs or Bartletts
63 Lake near Banff 67 Invention of Canadians Kroitor, Ferguson and Kerr (1968) 69 Fear greatly 71 Took on cargo 72 Grape-pressing residue 75 Sharp bark 77 Sea nymph 79 Brain test, briefly 80 Translate a soundtrack 81 The Way the Crow ___ (MacDonald) 83 Subject of many a living-room painting 85 Arctic winter vehicle 87 Mug alternative 89 Laughing carnivore 90 Hockey great from Parry Sound 91 Prune 93 Comedienne Andrea 97 ___ Manan, N.B. 100 Promises 103 The ___ Man’s Daughter (Findley) 104 Verdi opera 105 Relating to the elderly 107 Cheers for a matador 108 Belgian singer, songwriter 109 Lament 110 Reign 111 Handle the situation
112 Mail 113 Miss in Marseilles: abbr. 114 Anguillidae 115 Picnic pests DOWN 1 Spanish saint 2 Embellish 3 “The Magnificent” Lemieux 4 Put in a liquid 5 Rocky peak 6 In the sack 7 ____-by-Chance, Nfld. 8 She swam all the Great Lakes in 1988: Vicki ___ 9 Related to quakes 10 Nfld. town in Bonavista Bay 11 Curving courses 12 Wind dir. 13 He was King of Kensington 14 Frost 15 Airline to Ben-Gurion 16 Spot for a brood 23 Poverty 26 Worship of Satan 28 Place in The House 30 Anna McGarrigle’s sister 32 Alta. town with “UFO Landing Pad” 34 Polar ___ 35 Throat infection, briefly 38 Stompin ___
39 Take credit? 40 It’s next to nothing 41 Salty drop 42 Shallowest Great Lake 43 Too much, to Michele 44 Grew less 46 Nope’s opposite 50 Long 52 Gull-like predator 54 Non-clerical 56 Angler’s basket 58 Chilly spell (2 wds.) 60 Author of Stanley Park 62 Singer McLachlan 64 An ___ whose time has come 65 Ooze 66 Sharp quality 68 Noon numeral 70 Gainsay 72 Rx writers 73 Bird once native to Nfld.: Great ___ 74 Baseball stat. 76 Of the chest 78 The same work (Lat.) 81 Canadian-born actor Glenn ___ 82 Guess 84 Samba 86 Kiefer’s dad 88 Kind of fine cotton 92 Bishop’s headwear 94 First Intendant of New France: Jean ___ 95 Maladroit
96 Snoops 97 Chatters 98 To laugh (Fr.)
99 Alta. town at U.S. border 100 Stem ___
TAURUS: APR. 21/MAY 21 Career prospects surface, and you will be faced with a very important decision. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons carefully. GEMINI: MAY 22/JUNE 21 This will be a non-eventful week, but it will be a productive and relaxing one. You should be able to tackle the tasks you've been putting aside for months. CANCER: JUNE 22/JULY 22 If you find yourself caught up in the middle of a family argument, try to stay neutral. If you don't, you could end up looking like the culprit. LEO: JULY 23/AUG. 23 Romance will be the highlight of
the week. You may even start thinking seriously about marriage. VIRGO: AUG. 24/SEPT. 22 There may be some frustrations regarding finances and business dealings. This could mean waiting longer than you had expected for cash or a loan. Think wisely in your own interest and try not to be too extravagant. An exciting and romantic weekend is in store for you. LIBRA: SEPT. 23/OCT. 23 Romance is looking good. If single, you could meet that special someone. If in a relationship, you will enjoy a very romantic weekend. SCORPIO: OCT. 24/NOV. 22 It's possible that an attractive business opportunity will come your way. Jump on it as soon as possible.
105 Attractive leg 106 These (Fr.)
WEEKLY STARS ARIES: MARCH 21/APR. 20 You'll welcome extra privacy during the evenings as days may prove stressful and emotionally demanding.
101 Yukon: “Canada’s ___ North” 102 Threshold
SAGITTARIUS: NOV. 23/DEC. 21 The main accent is on home and family matters. Now is the time to clarify emotional issues. Around midweek, your tendency to be introspective and insecure may surface. You must try to fight these feelings in order to make progress. CAPRICORN: DEC. 22/JAN. 20 Be cooperative with sensitive family members. Someone close to you will reach a milestone. AQUARIUS: JAN. 21/FEB. 18 Get ready for an especially enjoyable weekend spent with close friends. You will be very in-tune with your feelings and the feelings of those around you. PISCES: FEB. 19/MARCH 20 Both work and personal projects should go smoothly, and you
will gain a great sense of satisfaction from the work you accomplish. It's a good time to plan a vacation. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS JUNE 12 Anne Frank, Author JUNE 13 Tim Allen, Actor JUNE 14 Boy George, Singer JUNE 15 Courtney Cox-Arquette, Actress JUNE 16 Bryan Adams, Singer JUNE 17 Venus Williams, Athlete JUNE 18 Paul McCartney, Singer
On the edge Shirtless we played along the shore in summer freedom Shabby sneakers fought up-turned rocks Creatures lured to tin coffins On faded shirts we piled the season’s loot urchin shells, gull feathers, bits of glass From lumpy kelp we burst the sea’s salt wine Sun baked eyes saw no reprieve until the creeping fog cut short the day No one knows the hour. Angela Otto, St. John’s
JUNE 12, 2005
32 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
Annika’s heroics mostly ignored By Dave Perkins TorStar wire service
nnika Sorenstam blitzed another LPGA field on June 5 to win her 61st career tournament, which is scarcely news given that she is doing the unthinkable in pro golf this year by winning more often than not. But it was under-reported that she moved into third place on the career-wins list, nudging past the 60 achieved, in another lifetime, by the great Patty Berg. Ahead of her, and ever-increasingly in range given the Swede’s pace of 43 wins in the past four-plus seasons, stand only Kathy Whitworth, with 88 victories on the LPGA Tour, and Mickey Wright, with 82. One could argue that Sorenstam’s relatively modest major championship harvest — she has won eight — precludes her being called the greatest in her game’s history. Berg won 15 majors, Wright 13, Louise Suggs 11 and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the choice right now if we must go to the wall on greatest of them all, won 10 majors in a short career. GREATEST OF HER GENERATION Suffice it to say Sorenstam easily is the greatest of her generation, more dominant in her game than Tiger Woods in his, at least lately. And what is all this getting women’s golf? Not much, unfortunately. The LPGA, even with a megastar who has won five of seven events, just seems to keep getting smaller in the big picture. Michele Wie playing against men is a bigger story (although that angle has become boring) than Sorenstam winning repeatedly. This is difficult to understand, given that men’s pro golf was never more popular than when Woods was dominant, winning seven of 11 majors at one point. Sorenstam has won five of seven tournaments this year and finished second in another. When she shot 64 on June 5, punctuated by a 40-foot eagle to finish and win by four shots over fellow hall of famer Juli Inkster, it gave her 19 rounds (of 26) in the 60s. She leads in scoring average, eagles, top 10s, greens in regulation, driving distance, you name it. (Along the way, one Jimin Kang shot a ridiculous back-nine 27, best nine holes in LPGA annals, on her way to 62 and a share of seventh place. It, too, barely got a blip). Sorenstam won the year’s first major, the Kraft Nabisco, and aims for her second consecutive LPGA Championship this week in Havre de Grace, Md. Show of hands for all those who have even heard the word Soren-Slam, much less considered it. Consider, too, that the first two days of TV coverage are limited to the Golf Channel. Now, God bless the Golf Channel just on principle, but it is not equated with televising big-time stuff live. Locally, the Canadian Women’s Open is set for midJuly in Halifax — exactly the same days as the men’s British Open, the world’s greatest annual event. This is terribly bad timing for the women, pure and simple. Is it any wonder that the title sponsor, the Bank of Montreal, is getting out of the golf tournament business, or that the Royal Canadian Golf Association has not yet been able to replace it as main sponsor? Granted, plenty of sports out there are a tough sell and wish for a bigger audience. It’s not only women’s golf that’s scuffling. Few of them have such a dominant superstar as Sorenstam, though. She’s amazing, but she’s not getting her props.
Toronto Blue Jays rookie designated hitter Aaron Hill follows through on a two RBI triple off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Claudio Vargas during inter-league action in Toronto. REUTERS/Mike Cassese
Hill example of Jays plan College player steps easily up to pros; better batter’s eye leads to more hits CHICAGO By Geoff Baker Torstar wire service
orget about Blue Jays’ infielder Aaron Hill being any kind of expert on getting this whole amateur draft business. It was only two years ago this week that the Louisiana State University product, fresh out of the College World Series, was selected by the Jays in the first round. As the Jays selected lefthanded pitcher Ricky Romero No.6 overall out of Cal State Fullerton University on June 7, Hill was hitting better than .300 for Toronto — seeming to make him the dream prototype for any team looking to see their picks graduate quickly to the major leagues. But Hill said there’s no surefire way to guarantee that a pick will rise through the minors so quickly. “I was always really confident in my ability, but I never thought it would happen so fast,” says Hill. “But here it is. This is what I’ve always wanted and now it’s time to get to work.” Hill says he’s actually finding it easier to see the ball when he’s at the plate than he did in the minors. He credits the “batter’s eye” hitting backdrops beyond the centre-field fences for that, saying the versions found in major-league
parks are far superior to what he’d seen in Double A and Triple A. “Personally, I think I do see the ball better,” he says. “In some (minor league) stadiums, the hitter’s eye, or batter’s eye, is not very big and you can catch white signs out of (the corner of) your eye every now and then. “Obviously, everywhere I’m playing now it’s in a new stadium, but so far it’s been great. “I’m trying to feel comfortable and relaxed up there,” he says. “I take deep breaths before every pitch and try to put a good swing on the ball.” Aiming for mature, hard-working college players with their first-round picks is something the Jays have insisted on since J.P. Ricciardi took over as general manager in December 2001. Jays’ left fielder Reed Johnson, a Cal State Fullerton product like Romero, got to know Toronto’s top pick while playing against him in alumni games at his alma mater. The Jays asked Johnson about Romero’s personality before using their high pick to draft him. “They knew what they were getting physically because they’d seen him pitch more than I have,” Johnson says. “They asked me what type of kid he is. He’s a great kid. There aren’t too many guys that come out of that organization at Fullerton that are bad kids. By the time they’re
going to be a sophomore or a junior at Fullerton, if they’re a bad kid, they’re going to be gone.” Hill doesn’t know what the magic formula is when it comes to drafting players. But he also sees the same traits in many of Toronto’s other picks and prospects that have been used to describe Romero. ‘PLAY HARD AND HAVE FUN’ “Honestly, the Blue Jays have always been big fans of guys who like to go out and play hard and have fun,” he says. “And that’s the way I’ve always lived my life and played the game. Play hard and have fun doing it. Hopefully, it shows.” Making it to the pros out of college helped give Hill a certain comfort level. But he cautioned that not all college players shared the type of experience he had at LSU and might not take away the same things he did. “Going to the kind of college I did and having the kind of pressure and the fan atmosphere that we did definitely made you mature baseball-wise,” he says. “I think it helped me out. But when you get into pro ball and everything, you’ve still got to perform no matter where you’re drafted. If you’re not putting up numbers, it doesn’t matter.”
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Mavs were right to turn him down By Rick Westhead Torstar wire service
t’s easy to love Steve Nash. He happily tears up his knees and elbows, diving after loose balls. He makes his teammates look great and, with one high-profile exception in 2003 when he went public with his belief that the U.S. should not have invaded Iraq, he avoids controversy. What’s not to like about the 32-year-old? His contract, for starters. History will show that even though Nash this season became the first Canadian to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award and acted as the catalyst for the Phoenix Suns during their march to the NBA’s Western Conference final, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made the right call last summer when he decided not to match Phoenix’s six-year, $66 million (all figures U.S.) offer for Nash. Nash is a basketball warrior and that’s a troubling attribute for a 6-foot-3, 195-pound player who seems on a daily basis to drive to the lane and emerge on the wrong end of a collision with a thick forward or centre. For the six seasons Nash spent with the Mavericks, Cuban had the chance to enjoy his point guard’s on-court exploits, yet also watched as Nash iced his knees, grunted on the trainer’s massage table and gingerly lowered himself into the team’s whirlpool. It was an all-too-familiar routine that
rightly made Cuban wary of spending $11 million a season on the “kamikaze” point guard. “I have seen the pain he goes through before, during and after games, yet he still manages to trot out there and play at an incredibly high level,” Cuban writes on his website, defending his unpopular decision to let Nash leave Dallas. “Our feeling was that we were fortunate that Steve had been so injury free, that it was only a matter of time before his style of play caught up with him.” With the NBA salary cap exacting a tax on teams whose salaries this season exceeded $43.9 million, $11 million a season was a gamble for an aging point guard like Nash, who Cuban argued still faces the prospect in coming seasons of a serious injury. In the years on the back end of Nash’s contract, before it expires following the 2009-2010 season, committing more than $11 million a year makes him more than a gamble. It’s hard to imagine today, in the wake of his 15.5-point, 11.5-assist-a-game season, but his contract might make Nash untradeable, even to the Raptors, whose marketing team would love to take advantage of his roots. With a body battered and bruised by spending more than a decade in the NBA, Nash might eventually wind up in the role of a modern-day Vin Baker or Shawn Kemp. The Boston Celtics couldn’t have traded Baker for a Raptors season ticket in 2003-04
when the centre made $13.5 million in the final years of a seven-year, $86.7 million deal. Kemp similarly was considered damaged goods in his final season of a seven-year, $107 million deal with the Trail Blazers in 2001-02. “In the pre-luxury tax days it was easier,” Cuban writes. “If you made a mistake and overpaid someone, it wasn’t difficult to move him ... now, if a team is at risk of going over the tax threshold or the cap, they won’t make that move.” So Cuban, who had offered Nash $9 million a season guaranteed over five years, let Nash leave Dallas, declining the point guard’s offer to match the Suns’ bid. “It was Steve’s choice to leave for money,” Cuban writes. “It was my choice not to pay him the money.” Most of the decisions made by NBA executives have as much to do with salary cap implications and bonus money as they do with dribbling and shooting. Cuban, who said yesterday in an e-mail that “there is nothing more to add” to his memories of the failed Nash negotiations, made the right decision in letting the popular Canadian walk. Thanks to Nash’s willingness to sacrifice his body, there’s a good chance that four or five years down the road, the Suns might be calling the Raptors to pitch a trade for Nash. And there’s a good chance the Raptors would have reason to say no.
JUNE 12, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 33
Net gains Fog Devils confident in goaltending tandem of Verge, Ejov; Corner Brook’s Bradley Dyke also figures into equation By Darcy MacRae The Independent
other,” Paiement says. “They will bring out the best in each other by competing for time in net.” The third goalie who figures into oaltending is the least of the St. John’s Fog Devils’ worries. the Fog Devils’ netminding equation Following the Quebec Major this year is Bradley Dyke of Corner Junior Hockey League expansion and Brook. The 17-year-old spent the past midget drafts, the team holds the season with the Western Kings of the rights to five goalies. Despite the provincial midget AAA league before absence of a marquee name, the club being selected by St. John’s in the feels they are solid between the pipes. midget draft on June 4. Paiement says “We’re healthy at the position right the team was happy to have the now,” says Réal Paiement, Fog Devils’ chance to draft Dyke and considers the move a steal. He adds that while head coach and general manager. When the Fog Devils begin the Dyke still needs some seasoning, he Quebec league regular season in early could play a big role with the team in September, Halifax native Brandon future seasons. “We think that if more people saw Verge is the odds-on favourite to be the club’s No. 1 goalie. Verge, who him play, he would have gone earlier turns 20 later this month, spent the in the draft,” Paiement says. “I don’t past three seasons in the Q, playing know about this year, that depends on with the Sherbrooke Beavers in 2002- how he performs in training camp. 03, Lewiston MAINEiacs in 2003-04 But in the future, he has the potential and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens dur- to play here.” Jordan Fisher was another midget ing the 2004-05 campaign. He is a goalie selected on technically sound June 4 after a stelgoalie who knows lar season of the league’s style Midget AAA in and shooters very “Ejov has a lot Quebec. Like well. Dyke, he is seen as “Verge had a very of up side. He has a potential goalie solid season with a of the future with good team this year. a chance to get the Fog Devils. He brings stability to drafted to the NHL The fifth goalie the position,” Paiewho will receive a ment tells The Indethis year; there’s look at training pendent. camp is PierVerge saw action a lot of talk about A n t o i n e in 32 games with Guillemette, who Chicoutimi, finishthis young man.” spent the season ing with a record of playing Junior A in 14-13-2 (won-lostReal Paiement Quebec but also tied), a goals-against saw action in three average of 3.01 and games with the Q’s a save percentage of .901. The Fog Devils selected him in Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Although Verge and Ejov are the the eighth round of the expansion draft, four rounds after they plucked front runners to make the team, 18-year-old Ilia Ejov from the Johnson points out that how players perform in training camp will have a Shawinigan roster. Ejov never actually saw action with lot to do with who sees time in the Shawinigan, but did have a stellar sea- crease. “We’re a new team, and there are 20 son with Hawkesbury of the Central Junior A Hockey League in Ontario. spots open right now,” says Johnson. Ejov helped Hawkesbury advance all the way to the Royal Bank Cup (the SURPRISE MOVE Prior to the expansion draft on June national Junior A championship), impressing many scouts along the 1, many Fog Devils supporters speculated and hoped that Hodge’s Cove way. “Ejov has a lot of up side. He has a native Jason Churchill would tend chance to get drafted to the NHL this goal for St. John’s next year. The San Jose Sharks’ draft pick lost year; there’s a lot of talk about this his No. 1 job with the Halifax young man,” says Paiement. Mooseheads late last season, and was BACKUP NETMINDER expected to be exposed in the expanAlthough he was selected earlier sion draft. But in a surprise move, than Verge, Ejov is expected to be the Halifax added him to their protected Fog Devils’ backup netminder. list before trading him to the Saint However, he is a wild card in that he John Sea Dogs. has the potential to become a quality Johnson admits that Churchill starting goalie, one who could catch would have been a fine addition, but many in the Q by surprise. says that a deal to acquire him could “We hope that he comes in and is a not be completed. good No. 2 this year. But you never “That was a possibility,” Johnson know, he could beat Verge and be the says. “We talked about it and would No. 1,” says Bob Johnson, Fog have liked to have him, but it didn’t go Devils’ chief scout. “We hope he has a through.” good year and then the following year The Fog Devils final opportunity to he’s our number one.” nab a goaltender comes June 24 when Ejov is a tall goalie who takes up a the Canadian Hockey League’s lot of room in the net, posseses a fast European Draft takes place. However, glove hand and moves quickly around the chances of St. John’s selecting a the crease. netminder are very slim. He is exactly the type of goalie who “It was something we looked at will push an experienced puck stop- seriously before we were able to get per like Verge to be at his best all the our hands on the quality of goalies we time. got,” says Paiement. “Verge and Ejov will challenge each Darcy_8888@hotmail.com
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JUNE 12, 2005
34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
Boland wants to ‘give back to the game’ From page 36 current teammates Tony Hawko and Blair Langmead, two holdovers from the years Boland previously played. “Tony is 42 and Blair is close to 40, and I’m on their team so I feel a little bit better,” Boland says with a chuckle, adding there are other benefits to playing the sport well past your 40th birthday. “The young fellas feel a little bit sorry for you, so they don’t seem to hit you with as many pitches and give you a little more of the plate. They take it easy on you,” Boland says. As his quotes indicate, Boland is as smooth verbally as he is with the bat. He’s quick to crack a joke, many of which regard his age. His wit and easy-going personality enable him to mix well with his new teammates, regardless of their age. When it comes to his younger teammates, Boland says he likes what he sees. He feels the young blood filling rosters both with The Sundance and throughout the league today would be competitive in any era. “We have as good a pitcher in Matt Bramwell as anybody I’ve seen. He should hold up well against Ward (Gosse) and the other top pitchers in the league,” Boland says. “A lot of people say ball is finished, but that’s not true at all. We have some really talented players here. I don’t see a lot of difference. The hitting and pitching are still quite good.” As much as Boland enjoys being back in the game, he doesn’t regret leaving the sport nine years ago. He left competitive fastpitch because his daughters Megan and Katie were heavily involved in soccer and rowing, and he wanted to both watch and coach them. “Like a lot of parents, I wanted to get involved with what my kids were into,” he says.
Coaching his daughters came naturally to Boland, who is accustomed to dealing with youth thanks to his job as a teacher at the Brother T.I. Murphy Centre in St. John’s. He enjoys passing along knowledge so much that he plans to use his return to competitive fastpitch as a gateway to his next venture in sports. “I want to familiarize myself with some of the better ball players and get involved with coaching ball in a year or two,” Boland says. “I want to give back to the game. I’d like to take a junior or senior team to a national title some day.” Until the day comes when he enters coaching, Boland says he will continue to simply enjoy playing the game. He would like to crack the roster of the league all-star team that will compete at the 2005 nationals, but says what really brings him joy are the little things the sport offers. “Just going up to the plate has been great. Putting on a uniform and playing a game that actually means something are what I enjoy,” says Boland. “I just love playing ball. I don’t know if anybody quite enjoys playing a game of ball as much as I do.” When asked the single greatest thing about returning to fastpitch, Boland pauses briefly before reminiscing about his first game back this season. He came to the plate with two runners on and ran the count to three balls and two strikes. With a crucial pitch about to be fired his way, Boland turned to the catcher and umpire and said three simple words: “I love this.” “I just love being in those moments,” says Boland. “You only get those chances so many times in a lifetime, and I cherish every one of them.” Darcy_8888@hotmail.com
Game seven of the famous eight-game series between team CCCP and team Canada in 1972. Seen here in action are No. 17 Valeri Kharlamov being checked by No. 3 Pat Stapleton as No. 35 Tony Esposito and No. 17 Bill White look on. IHA/Icon SMI
Soviet superstar in hockey shrine Late Valeri Kharlamov’s son thrilled about the recognition By Paul Hunter Torstar wire service
he late Valeri Kharlamov and Bobby Clarke, respectively victim and perpetrator in one of the most infamous stick-swinging escapades in international hockey, have been reunited in the Hockey Hall of Fame. A brilliant and sublimely creative winger with the dominant Soviet Solution for crossword on page 18
teams of the 1970s, Kharlamov was elected to the hall last week along with prototypical power forward Cam Neely and Murray Costello, long-time president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, predecessor to Hockey Canada. While Kharlamov was part of eight world championships as a crafty scorer with the Soviets and 11 league championships with Central Red Army, it was for being at the wrong end of a stick that he is largely remembered by Canadian hockey fans. During the tense and dramatic 1972 Summit Series, Clarke’s two-handed chop broke Kharlamov’s ankle in Game 6. Canada trailed 3-1-1 going into that game but, with Kharlamov out of the picture — he returned for Game 8 but was ineffective — the Canadians won the next three games to capture what many consider to be the greatest hockey series ever played. Kharlamov’s son Alexander, calls Clarke a “great hockey player” and dismisses the incident as “just a hockey game.” “I’m so happy,” Alexander, once a top NHL draft pick, says of his father’s election during a conference call from Moscow. “I can’t believe it. I want to say thank you to all Canadian people who remember my father.” How could they forget? In retrospect, it was perhaps the ultimate
compliment that Kharlamov frequently received the roughest treatment when Canada played the Soviets. He was pummelled and bloodied by Rick Ley during the WHA’s series with the Soviets in 1974. And Kharlamov was crunched by Philadelphia’s Ed Van Impe in 1976, prompting the Red Army team to threaten withdrawal from a North American tour. Clarke, in a 25th-anniversary documentary of the Summit Series, recalls how assistant coach John Ferguson urged him to slow Kharlamov. “Fergie leaned over the boards and said, ‘Break this guy’s ankle. He’s killing us.’ I kinda hunted him down and gave him a whack across the ankle. At the time, everyone thought it was a pretty good thing to do …. It became a pretty bad thing, but it wasn’t … I was never ashamed of it.” Kharlamov was killed in a car accident, along with his wife, in 1981, his stellar career cut short at age 33. He becomes the second member of those famed Soviet teams to make into the hall without playing an NHL game. Goaltender Vladislav Tretiak was so honoured 1989. Hall chairman Jim Gregory says it shows the hockey museum has not “shut its eyes to what is going on in other parts of the world in hockey.” Kharlamov, Neely and Costello will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 7.
Rautin’s coaching style revolutionary — but risky From page 36 help conduct the session — was when Rautins recalled meeting Nash when the MVP was still in high school in British Columbia. As he spoke to the local hoopmen, Rautins made sure to point out that Nash wasn’t any different than the kids in front of him — in size, in stature, in dreams. Nash just worked hard, and then he worked some more. REFRESHING, NOT INNOVATIVE From a basketball development standpoint, Rautins’ take on how to best play the game was refreshing, but not altogether innovative. He emphasized the basic skills of shooting, passing, defense and teamwork. And, as a real kicker, he felt the game was being overcoached in many cases. Hmm, I thought to myself, here we have the national team coach and he wasn’t getting us all bogged down in different sets of Xs and Os, but stressed the importance of doing all the fundamentals right. And not stopping until you get it right. His message was to simplify and let the players you have dictate the style of game they play. Revolutionary. But also risky. There are other schools of thought, but the best school is always the one that wins, I guess. Control-freak coaches will probably have some issues with Rautins’ style, and could be more successful in a
given situation. If a team lacks great players, coaches who dictate everything a team does on the floor can win with marginal talent. But they never win the big prizes. TOUGH RACE Unless Rautins can attract the country’s top players, Canada will be in tough to get to a level considered successful on the international scene. That is, of course, the Olympics. For all of the top basketball playing countries in the world, Canada is the only one without a professional league. Perhaps that fact doesn’t need to change and Canada can achieve success internationally without having its own circuit. If the best show up to play, Canada will be able to hold its own. The country has great athletes and more will start to play basketball. Not so much because of Rautins. Or Triano. But because of Nash. Rautins would be extremely fortunate to have Nash play this summer as Canada tries to qualify for the Olympics, but it won’t happen because of Nash’s family commitments. But hey, Nash has given his due to the national team. They would be great with him, but if Rautins can get talented players and have them buy into his philosophy, I think it will pay off. For the team and, ultimately, the sport in this country. Bobby White writes from Carbonear. firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNE 12, 2005
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SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, JUNE 12-18, 2005 — PAGE 36
Paul Daly/The Independent
on Boland was once one of the best hitters in provincial fastpitch softball, but several of his current teammates don’t know it. It’s been nine years since he played the sport competitively, but now that he’s back, the game’s young guns are taking notice of what he can do. “I think they’re looking around wondering who the old guy is,” Boland tells The Independent. Boland last played in the Molson St. John’s Senior Men’s Fastpitch League in 1996 before returning this year with The Sundance, at age of 48. Since leaving the competitive side of the sport, he played recreational slo-pitch in the summer, keeping his skills and interest intact. But no matter how much he played just for fun, there was still something missing. “I missed the challenge of facing a topnotch pitcher. Guys like Ward Gosse or Harold Kelly. Guys of a high calibre,” he says.
Glory days It’s been nine years since Ron Boland played competitive fastpitch, but he’s ready to compete again
Taking your cuts at pitches from Gosse and Kelly can prove to be challenging at the best of times — especially when you’ve been away from the game for nine years. But so far Boland has fared well, using his sweet swing to pick up his share of base hits. He credits his past experiences on the ball diamond, which include competing at the nationals (15 times) as part of city all-star teams, world championship’s (four times) with Team Atlantic, and at various events as a member of the Canadian national senior men’s team. “I’m a little bit late on the ball, but not too bad though. I see the ball well,” he says. “When you’re used to playing at a high level for so many years, you get a lot from memory. You use your smarts.” Fielding and base running have also come back easily to Boland, thanks to his lifelong commitment to physical fitness. Years of rowing, running, and weight lifting enable him to compete as well physically now as he did when he last played in the local fastpitch league. He says other players close to his age are also benefitting from an active lifestyle, referring to See “Boland wants,” page 34
Hoops future so bright, gotta wear shades
few months back, as I expressed in this space, I thought Basketball Canada made a mistake in letting go Jay Triano as the national men’s team coach. A lifer if ever there was one, Triano’s name is synonymous with hoops in this country. After many successful years as a player, Triano transferred those winning ways to the sidelines as coach. The first Canadian to ever become an NBA coach, Triano has been working for the Toronto Raptors for the past
Bob the bayman three seasons and is still on the payroll. He had the full support of Steve Nash, the NBA’s current MVP, who spoke out unfavourably about the national association’s decision to axe Triano. Months ago, I wrote there was no
one with the qualities and skills of Triano to replace him. I was wrong. This is not a slap against Triano, but the new men’s coach, Leo Rautins, is as good a replacement as one could expect to find. The former national team star and NBA player was also a successful player overseas. In many people’s eyes, Rautins is the second-best player to ever come out of Canada — behind Nash. Rautins was in St. John’s last week-
end to conduct some clinics and help spread Basketball Canada’s message to all corners of the country. I attended a coaching clinic put off by Rautins, and while it was only a two-hour session and just skimmed the surface of several basketball coaching strategies, I’ve got a good feeling about where the sport in this country — and the senior men’s team — can go under Rautins. For one thing, he managed to keep my attention for two-hours while talking (not an easy task!), and he can talk
with the best of them. For those of you who follow basketball and the Raptors, Rautins is never stuck for a word when it comes to talking hoops. But I mean that in a good way. His words are not just to fill up dead air — they carry important messages. One thing that really resonated with me, and I’m sure with the other coaches who showed up — but, more specifically, with the 12 or so high school athletes who were on hand to See “Rautin’s coaching,” page 34