VOL. 3 ISSUE 34
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-27, 2005
$1.00 (INCLUDING HST)
WORLD PAGE 11
IN CAMERA 20-21
Michael Harris compares GG-designate opposition to fight from dead dog
Fog Devil wannabes heat up the ice at Mount Pearl Glacier
Shrimp shut down
ONE FIELD TO THE NEXT
Industry suffering from high Canadian dollar, 20 per cent EU tariff and market glut due to foreign overfishing ALISHA MORRISSEY
he shrimp industry may be teetering on the edge of collapse, industry representatives warn. Fisheries Minister Trevor Taylor says the industry is in the worst shape it’s ever been. With American seafood markets weakening, a spiked Canadian dollar deterring American buyers and — the biggest issue — a 20 per cent tariff on shrimp going into the UK, Taylor says a creative solution will have to be found soon or fishermen and fish plants in the province could be in trouble. “I can only surmise, but the consensus seems to be that the whole fishery will probably close down in fairly short order,” Taylor tells The Independent. “I don’t know if that’s true — markets See “Million dollar question,” page 4
The Sea Rose FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading) vessel was moored in Mortier Bay off Marystown Aug. 19 before sailing off to the White Rose oilfield on the Grand Banks. White Rose is the third major offshore project in the Jeanne d’Arc basin, following Hibernia and Terra Nova. Husky is the majority owner of the oilfield. Ray Fennelly/Husky Energy
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I can’t get into it. It is a political question and one that unfortunately I’ve got to avoid. I’ve got several views on it quite frankly but I can’t give them to you.” — Danny Williams on how he feels about the pink, white and green Kelland-Dyer
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Ivan Morgan on rebranding the province
Researcher, policy analyst, radio call-in queen, Sue Kelland-Dyer says lower Churchill power should stay in-province CLARE-MARIE GOSSE
ue Kelland-Dyer, an energy researcher and former senior policy analyst with the Grimes administration, says the province must immediately produce its own energy plan. She says the only way to successfully develop the lower Churchill is to keep the project — as well as the resulting 2,824 megawatts of power — in-province and model Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro after HydroQuebec. Kelland-Dyer worked as a consultant under Loyola Sullivan during his tenure as Tory leader, as well as for for-
mer Liberal premier Roger Grimes, spending a year developing an energy policy. “An energy plan of mine would never see a megawatt leave the province,” she tells The Independent. “Once you have the energy go, the people follow … if you say to Labrador we’re going to develop 2,000 megawatts of power and we’re going to sell it to Quebec and Ontario, you’ve effectively told the people of Labrador that they will not have any industrial development for the next 25, 30 years.” The province recently released a short-list of potential developers for the lower Churchill. Earlier in the year, the Williams administration announced intentions to See “Who cares,” page 2
Noreen Golfman on CBC withdrawal Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10 10 18 22
The unifier Bishop Michael Fleming built the Basilica, brought in Mercy and Presentation nuns, sobered the men, and changed life in Newfoundland STEPHANIE PORTER Editor’s note: Sixth in a series of articles on the top 10 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians of all time. The articles are running in random order, with a No. 1 to be announced at the series’ conclusion.
n the early 1800s, at a time when England and her church held much of the power in Newfoundland, Michael Anthony Fleming, a young Irish priest, arrived in St. John’s. Over the next 25 years, Fleming transformed the political and religious — not to mention physical — landscape of the colony. Serving as bishop for two decades, Fleming developed a strong, organized Catholic presence across Newfoundland, building new churches, opening chapels and cemeteries, restructuring parishes, and recruiting Irish priests. He also paved the way for the education of thousands of young girls, and envisioned one of the first large-scale, permanent buildings in St. John’s. The Basilica of St. John the Baptist was more than a place of worship; it was an imposing statement that the people of Newfoundland were there to stay. Paul O’Neill, a former journalist and author of The Oldest City, a history of
St. John’s, says Fleming saw Newfoundlanders being treated the same as the Irish in Ireland — and wouldn’t stand for it. “We were both ignored by England,” O’Neill says. “Fleming had a big role, to get people together, as individual Newfoundlanders, rather than English colonists … he was a great man.” Fleming was born in Ireland in 1792. Encouraged by his uncle, the young man entered the religious life, and was ordained in 1815. Eight years later, he was asked to cross the ocean to work as a priest in St. John’s. From the outset, Fleming was determined to change the way things were done in Newfoundland, a “country where the executive power was exclusively Protestant,” as he wrote at the time. His invitation to two orders of Irish women was perhaps the most notable part of his drive to increase the strength of the Roman Catholic Church. “(Fleming) realized girls should be educated,” says O’Neill. “There was no girls’ school here in St. John’s as such. He went to Ireland, and brought back the Presentation Sisters. “When they opened their school on Duckworth Street, they had 450 little girls show up on the first day. And they were of all denominations, not just See “Genuine faith,” page 2
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
AUGUST 21, 2005
SHIPPING NEWS Keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s Harbour. Information provided by the Coast Guard Traffic Centre. MONDAY, AUG 15 Vessels arrived: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from White Rose Oil Field; Jim Kilabuh, Canada, from Lewis Hill Oil Fields; ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax. Vessels departed: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to Lewis Field; Maersk Placentia, to Lewis Field. TUESDAY, AUG 16 Vessels arrived: Bear Cove Point, Canada, from Fishing; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova; Maersk Nascopie, Canada, from Hibernia. Vessels departed: Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Lewis Hills Oil Field; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Halifax. WEDNESDAY, AUG 17 Vessels arrived: Discovery, Bermuda,
from L’Anse Au Meadows; Atlantic King Fisher, Canada, from Terra Nova; Akademik Mistslau Keldysh, Russia, from Sea. Vessels departed: Jim Kilabik, Canada, to Lewis Hills Field. THURSDAY, AUG 18 Vessels arrived: Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from White Rose Oil Field; Irving Canada, Canada, from Saint John, NB; Cabot, Canada, from Montreal. Vessels departed: Maersk Nascopie, Canada, to Hibernia; Anticosti, Canada, to Orphan Basin. FRIDAY, AUG 19 Vessels arrived: Burin Sea, Canada, from Terra Nova; Cicero, Canada from Halifax; CJO Deep Pioneer; Marshall Islands, from Bay Bulls. Vessels departed: Discovery, Bermuda, to Trinity; Atlantic Hawk; Canada, to White Rose; Akademik Keldysh, Russia, to Kiel, Germany; Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Burin Sea, Canada, to White Rose.
‘Who cares if it’s a decent price if it’s not reliable?’ From page 1 prepare an energy plan. Kelland-Dyer calls Hydro-Quebec “probably the best energy company in the world” and says Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy plan should follow its example. Hydro-Quebec rakes in around $1 billion a year from the upper Churchill and as a Crown corporation, has managed to creatively re-direct profits into a range of social, cultural and educational programs. The practice has relieved various Quebec government departments of certain expenditures, while reducing Hydro’s profits at the same time. As a result, that province netted hundreds of millions in equalization that wasn’t clawed back. Kelland-Dyer says Newfoundland and Labrador could benefit in a similar way by adapting its hydro company and could attract energy-starved industry with the promise of cheap, reliable power from the lower Churchill. Both Ontario and Quebec realized the importance of developing longterm energy plans as far back as the 1960s and as a result, industry flocked to set up shop. Now, with a current energy draught threatening central Canada, industry may be forced to look elsewhere. Years ago, Ontario deregulated and privatized its energy system, tapping into a larger North American power grid. As a result, it was hit hard during the power blackout two years ago. Quebec — which took the risk of buying out all its local private energy suppliers under Hydro-Quebec — created a more reliable network, giving some of its power, but blocking any return. This meant it was unaffected by the blackout.
“Who cares if it’s a decent price if it’s not reliable?” says Kelland-Dyer. She would like to see Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro encompass all the province’s energy suppliers, including Newfoundland Power. The resulting long-term energy plan would address marketing the province to attract enough extra industry (and subsequently population) to use the 2,824 megawatts of hydropower from the lower Churchill. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro would also be in a position to plan for the eventual reclaiming of the province’s share of the upper Churchill in 2041, when the original 1969 deal expires. “It does see and should predict an extra 100,000 people in Labrador and I don’t know why that’s far fetched. “It’s more than that project (lower Churchill) it’s all of our hydro electric resources, it is, in fact, our oil and gas resources, it’s everything … anywhere that (regions) are fortunate enough to have hydro, they use hydro for themselves. The other assets such as oil and gas are sold out to the market place.” Starting off her career as a reporter, Kelland-Dyer first grabbed public attention in the mid 1990s as a major opponent against then-premier Clyde Wells’ plan to privatize Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Through her career as a researcher, consultant and policy analyst, she continues to remain involved in current affairs. She says her “pet project” has always been energy. The issue of natural resources was the motivating mandate behind the beginnings of the relatively short-lived Newfoundland and Labrador party in 2000, which Kelland-Dyer helped form. “As unsuccessful as the structure (of the party) may have been, it was the
catalyst that started all the resource debates … and I think that that carries through even today.” Kelland-Dyer says although she isn’t sure Danny Williams will successfully pull off a development on the lower Churchill, she’s convinced the province could financially produce the estimated $5 billion in funding — particularly with the $2 billion Accord cheque as healthy debt equity. “I’ve never heard Danny Williams saying that we cannot finance it ourselves,” she says, adding the federal government should be right on board — particularly as Ottawa previously failed to enforce the constitution and subsequently a power line through Quebec. They also have Kyoto commitments to fulfill. “We have laws and sometimes we forget that, we forget that back in the ’70s we put a law there called the Lower Churchill Development Act, which is the federal statute, then a provincial statute and, we both agreed to work in partnership and develop that resource. So we’ve been kind of letting them off the hook for 30 years.” Question is, can Williams succeed where all previous premiers have failed? “I think everybody is nervous about doing the final deal, I don’t care who they are. “I look at Danny Williams and I challenge him a bit further … you are the business man, you are the guy that beats up on Ottawa until you get your thing; you’re the guy now that’s chairing up an energy council. You’ve got 2,000 megawatts of power to sell in your own province. Do you think you can market it? And if you cannot do that you are the wrong man for the job.”
‘Genuine faith’ From page 1
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Catholics.” That was in 1833. In 1842, he asked the Sisters of Mercy to come to Newfoundland, also to teach young women. “They did such wonders for the school system,” says historian John FitzGerald, who wrote his PhD dissertation on Fleming. “But the biggest legacy they left was musical and cultural, no doubt. “The nuns, what they were doing with music education, cut completely across religious boundaries … it was the nuns who embraced the music festivals; they were the ones who were playing the organs in the Catholic churches who invited the Anglican organists and United Church organists up. We have pictures of it.” The denominations also came together to build Fleming’s other great legacy. The Basilica — the largest church in North America at the time — was built because of Fleming’s international connections, determination, and ability to organize people in the region. “He got people of all denominations to get out in their boats and bring back stone from Kelly’s Island (in Conception Bay),” says O’Neill. “He worked as a unifier … A lot of people think he was pro-Catholic and anti-other things, but that’s not quite true.” “He was possessed by this; he was almost mad to finish the cathedral … Part of it was religious zeal; he was a zealot,” says FitzGerald. “Part of it was genuine faith and a desire to give glory to God. “But (the Basilica) also symbolized a faith in the place, a faith in the people.” Today, in the archives next to the Basilica, there is a book called the Cathedral register, kept in Fleming’s handwriting until his death. It lists about 10,000 Newfoundlanders who donated materials and efforts to the construction site.
“I’m looking at this,” says FitzGerald, “and I’m saying … it was these church people who were the first to believe in Newfoundland as an entity. “If you’re only going to be here temporarily, you’re going to slap up a building out of wood that’s going to rot in 30 years. They built the first permanent large-scale buildings that stated ‘we are here and this is us. And deal with us.’” Fleming gave the first mass in the unfinished cathedral just before his death in 1850. The Basilica was completed five years later. O’Neill brings up another, lesserknown legacy of Fleming’s. Back in the 1830s, O’Neill says, employers used to give out glasses of rum to the working men as young as 12 along the waterfront. “Fleming was so disgusted by this drunkenness, and that these young boys were heading for a career as drunken husbands, that he had a law passed that juveniles were no longer able to be given tots of rum,” O’Neill says. “He founded the first organization to get people sobered up … it’s what the AA is today. He realized that booze was the biggest enemy the Irish had. Still have, maybe.” Fleming is not free from criticism or fault, of course. He was known to be confrontational and dogmatic. O’Neill says he was a “domineering type”; FitzGerald says he was both admired for his audacity, and tarred for turning a blind eye to “certain things going on politically.” At other times, he was scorned for being too vocal about his political opinions — and for some of his priests, who were known to encourage their congregations to vote a certain way. England, FitzGerald says, tried her best to get rid of Fleming, going so far as to attempt to negotiate a deal with the Vatican for his removal from the colony. That strife could be felt at times between the Irish and English in St. John’s. “He was upsetting the apple cart,” FitzGerald says. “He wanted his own cathedral, he wanted the Irish to do their thing in politics, he didn’t want people ruling the place like a British colony … “But neither did the locals, that’s why they thought Fleming was so great.” Although he was never actually a Canadian, Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming has been designated a person of national historic significance to Canada by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A plaque in honour of this designation will be unveiled at a public ceremony at the Basilica, 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2005 — 150 years after the realization of Fleming’s vision for a cathedral in St. John’s. Judges selecting Our Navigators: John Crosbie, John FitzGerald, Noreen Golfman, Ray Guy, Ivan Morgan and Ryan Cleary.
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
Berry Newfoundland By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
arly settlers, shocked and appalled by the harsh Newfoundland and Labrador weather and the apparent barrenness of the land, no doubt jumped for joy around late summer when the berries began appearing. The land would gradually become awash with low bushels of what are today known as bakeapples, not to mention dark, sweet, little crowberries, tart, ripe partridgeberries, higher growing squashberries — not forgetting the ever-popular wild blueberry. “It’s a traditional thing, I guess,” says Steve Knudsen, owner of Dark Tickle Company, a business on the Northern Peninsula that produces a wide variety of local berry products. “Years ago, traditionally, all those berries had their medicinal uses. They were a very strong part of their history in the past, not only the aboriginal history but also the early European history … all the berries were used for different things.” Knudsen knows berries. Dark Tickle even has its own berry museum, which has been up and running for four years. “It seems to be taking hold and I think it fits very well into where Newfoundland and Labrador is going, which is the key assets, because the berries are unique and so is the geology and the botany.” In fact, berries are a million-dollar industry in the province, both wild and cultivated. Close to 100 per cent of the ever popular blueberries produced here (particularly the cultivated variety) are exported to the mainland, but the wilder, lesser known berries make their way into local products such as preserves and wine. This year, Knudsen says crowberry and squashberry crops are looking good, however bakeapples (also known as cloudberries) are virtually non-existent. He wonders if it has something to do with the dry summer. “I think they had a frost, probably some time in June and we’ve had exceedingly dry weather and I don’t know if the
cloud in cloudberry means anything, but overcast is sort of damp weather and that would have an impact as well.” Dealing with unpredictable wild fruit, Knudsen is always prepared for the worst. “When we buy, we freeze everything anyway so we carry a big inventory, because we expect this sort of thing.” The late June frost also seems to have had an impact on blueberries. Darryl Taylor, executive director of the Blueberry Development Corporation, says numbers are down a bit this year. The blueberry corporation was registered in 2000 and began with a five-year mandate to help revitalize blueberry cultivation in the province. An average of 2.5 million pounds of blueberries — cultivated and wild — are produced in Newfoundland and Labrador every year. “Our mandate is ending March of next year and at that time we’re also looking at the process of broadening our mandate and carrying forward another term to include marketing,” says Taylor. Although blueberries are a big exporter for the province, Knudsen says marketing the other berries seems to have been less successful. “My understanding is … the shipments of partridgeberries haven’t been as strong, traditionally, as people would like by any means. Cranberries are still much more widely known, as are blueberries.” He says wild-picked berries are generally harder to market because they’re more expensive — although tastier — than cultivated berries. The curiosity factor with the lesser-known berries is always an attraction when it comes to tourists, however. Winston Jennings, co-owner of Weil Winery in Twillingate, says his company sells lots of wine made with berries most people can’t find elsewhere. “If it wasn’t for Newfoundland fruit and berries we wouldn’t be in the wine industry. Everything that we do is made with fruit and berries that come from Newfoundland and Labrador.” The berries here are Weil’s alternative to grapes — just as they were for the early settlers. “I guess in Newfoundland, we never ever had any grapes to make wine with, so we always made wine with Newfoundland fruits and berries.”
BERRIES OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR Bakeapple (cloudberry): the name bakeapple was derived from a French term (Baie, qu’appelle?) meaning ‘what is this berry called?’ It has the appearance of a raspberry and the similar colour and (some say) taste of an apricot. They are generally ready for picking around mid-August and are extremely rich in vitamin C. The juice has been used in the past to treat hives. Partridgeberry (lingonberry): partridgeberries are a relative of the cranberry family and grow in dry, acidic soils around Newfoundland and Labrador’s barrens and coastal headlands. The berries ripen through September’s frost. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants and are said to have many medicinal qualities, including aiding with the prevention of certain forms of cancer. Crowberry (Newfoundland blackberry): crowberries are similar in appearance to a black partridgeberry or blueberry. Their season usually begins in July and lasts until first snow. They grow in similar areas to the partridgeberry and are almost completely devoid of natural acid. These sweet berries have almost twice the vitamin C of blueberries. Squashberry (highbush cranberry, mooseberry): squashberries are part of the honeysuckle family and thrive in middle elevations in Newfoundland’s moist forests, rocky slopes and wetlands. They ripen from August to October and persist through winter’s first frosts. Squashberry bark was often chewed and the juice swallowed to cure ailments such as lung colds. Wild blueberry: a worldwide berry, with one or two species growing in Newfoundland. The picking season is between mid-August to late September and with a sweet taste that is far superior to their cultivated cousins, with high levels of vitamins and antioxidants, these berries are said to prevent a wide range of ailments. — Information compiled by The Dark Tickle Company
The cost of oil and Hubbert’s Peak Editor’s note: the following column appeared last week in The Record, a New Jersey newspaper. Reprinted with permission.
orld oil prices pushed up to $67 a barrel last week. Is it just a seasonal phenomenon, a reflection of summer driving patterns, a sign of Saudi intransigence, a conspiracy by the oil companies? Perhaps. But far more likely, it has something to do with Hubbert’s Peak. In 1956, Shell Oil geologist M. King Hubbert made a startling prediction. Judging from the rate new oil was being discovered, he calculated that American oil production would reach its peak in 1969. The prediction received little attention. After all, people had been predicting that oil would eventually run out since Colonel Drake drilled the first well at Titusville in 1859. These pessimistic forecasts had always proved wrong. But Hubbert had some logic on his side. A veteran prospector, King had noticed that — largely because of
requirements by the Securities Exchange Commission — oil companies did not immediately add new discoveries to their official “reserves” as soon as they were found but parceled them out year by year. This created the illusion that new oil was continuously being found. In fact, said Hubbert, when oil reserves were assigned to the year in which they were discovered, a startling fact emerged. American oil discoveries had peaked in 1935 and declined steadily since then. Probably well over half the oil that was ever going to be discovered had already been found. Calculating that production usually followed discovery in a 40-year cycle, Hubbert predicted American oil production would peak in 1969. He was off by one year. We briefly pumped 10 million barrels of oil a day in 1970. Then production went into a gradual but inexorable decline. (We now pump about 8.5 million.) All the fantastic new technologies — the 3-D computer imaging, the horizontal drilling, the pressurized recovery methods — have not lifted us back to where we were in 1970.
The consequences were immediate and extraordinary. In 1970 we were importing 15 per cent of our oil. The production peak went unnoticed, demand continued to rise, and within three years we were importing 30 per cent of our oil. This left us sitting ducks for the 1974 Arab oil boycott. There is now a theory that world oil production is approaching the same “Hubbert’s Peak.” Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton, author of Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, is one of the principle proponents. Applying Hubbert’s techniques to world oil, Deffeyes found that non-OPEC discoveries peaked in 1975. That means we should be approaching peak production right about now. As for OPEC production — who knows? The Saudis are still highly secretive about both their reserves and their production capacity — as are all OPEC nations. OPEC parcels out its production quotas on the basis of reserves — which prompts all OPEC members to exaggerate their capacity.
In addition, the countries are constantly cheating each other through overproducing and don’t like to make the numbers public. The most reliable figures — if they can be considered reliable — come from Petrologistics, a small Geneva firm that claims to have spies in every OPEC nation’s ports. What all this suggests is that $67-a-barrel oil is more than a passing phenomenon. What may be happening is something one school of geologists has long predicted — world oil production is topping out. “We’re not going to feel anything when we pass over the peak,” says Matthew Simmons, a Texas oil investor whose recent book, Twilight in the Desert, predicts that Saudi oil may also be approaching its pinnacle. “The only way we’re going to recognize it is in the rear-view mirror.” Passing over Hubbert’s Peak doesn’t mean we’re “running out of oil.” It means we’re running out of cheap oil. Saudi wells, Caspian wells, Nigerian wells, Texas wells — all will continue to pump
oil. But like Alice and the Queen of Hearts, we’ll have to run as fast as we can just to stay where we are. Meanwhile — unfortunately — demand will continue to rise. China and India are rapidly increasing their demand, Europe still has high demands, and of course the United States’ thirst for oil — despite all the talk — continues to rise unabated. That means rapidly rising prices. Will paying $50 to fill up the tank make Americans start thinking more sensibly about alternative means of power? Will gas-electric hybrids start to look more attractive? And if people start refueling their cars on the power grid, where will we get the electricity to accommodate them? We’d better not start blaming this all on President Bush or wailing about the perfidies of the oil companies. The time has come to start rethinking our energy future. William Tucker is an associate at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, one of America’s largest think tanks.
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4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
AUGUST 21, 2005
We interrupt our regular broadcast … CBC lockout will impact return of one-hour suppertime TV news By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
urn back to channel 5 — channel 3 is on the fritz. An announcement by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that this province’s supper-hour news show would return to a full hour of local programming in the fall may have excited workers at the corporation, but the recent lock-out of 5,500 workers across the country has left the program’s future up in the air. More than 160 CBC TV and radio workers in this province have been walking picket lines since Aug. 15. The CBC and the Canadian Media Guild have been in bargaining mode since the contracts for reporters in TV, radio and Internet, as well as technical and support staff, expired at the end of March 2004. Both sides hit a wall on at least two central issues — contracting out and bumping rights. Union officials say they are not opposed to some contracting out (one third of those on picket lines in this province are temporary or contract workers). Rather they refuse to become part of a “disposable workforce.” It was announced on June 30 that CBC’s local television newscast would return to its original one-hour format in September. When the show was cut to a half hour in 2000 the number of nightly viewers dropped to 40,000 or less from 100,000, union officials say. They add that since the lockout began viewers may be down to as low as one in 10. Jason MacDonald, spokesman for CBC, says the ratings during the strike
CBC Radio reporter Suzanne Woolridge on the picket line with some of her colleagues. In total, 5,500 CBC workers — from receptionists to reporters — are locked out across the country. Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
aren’t as low as CBC expected they would be and local broadcasting is simply on the backburner until the labour dispute is resolved. “As far as what our plans will be come September, well you’ve got to give us some time and hope that we can get back to the table and hope that we can get something negotiated before then,” MacDonald says, adding national programming will be monitored for the GENERAL MANAGER John Moores email@example.com
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duration of the lockout and adjusted accordingly. “Obviously it puts things up in the air as to what we will do six, seven, eight weeks down the road or whatever the case may be,” he says. “But as for saying definitively what we’re going to do in the first week or the second week of September, you’re going to have to get back to us.” He says the labour action will “go on
as long as the union wants it to.” Bob Sharpe, provincial representative for the Canadian Media Guild, who works on the technical side of radio production, says this is his third time on strike in six years with the CBC. While he wouldn’t talk about what would happen to the supper-hour news program on CBC TV in the fall, he says the CBC is losing viewers every day because of the work stoppage and there
Won’t be long now By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
ark Oct. 11, 2007 on your calendars, the day the province goes to the polls for the next provincial general election. Premier Danny Williams says he has no idea why there was so little media coverage of such an “important” piece of legislation, which was introduced last December and will change the way elections are called in Newfoundland and Labrador. In case voters hadn’t heard — Oct. 11, 2007 will be the start of fixed-date voting. Every four years on the second Tuesday of October, voters will go to the polls. Williams says Bill 40 will allow all parties in the province to have a fair playing field when an election is called. “(That was) our experience when we were in opposition and we felt it was appropriate that we had a fair playing field,” Williams tells The Independent. “You could have a situation where a person who’s not elected carries on govern-
ment and, you know, during the Grimes era the Voisey’s Bay deal was done and there was an attempt to do the lower Churchill deal which are two very significant projects. “This really ensures that the people have a say and that government is accountable.” Williams says past premiers could call an election any time within their fiveyear mandate, giving the sitting government an edge over the opposition. “They could be opportune, and take, announce it like the Accord, or an achievement like the Accord and jump on the back of that and call an election immediately you know, so this allows for a fixed-date similar to the American experience.” Other provinces, including British Columbia and Ontario, have recently passed similar legislation and some organizations are calling on the federal government to adopt the practice. Legislation in the province has also been changed when it comes to byelections and replacing a suddenly departed
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premier. If a premier resigns within his first three years, the new party leader must go to the polls within 12 months of taking office. As for byelections, Williams says they now have to be called within 60 days. “When a district is not represented that’s a very serious matter.” The recent departure of Roger Grimes left a vacant seat in the district of Exploits, which Williams said he’d wanted to fill immediately. In the end, the winner, Tory Clayton Forsey, added another seat to Williams’ side of the House. As for the date of the upcoming election, Williams says it was chosen because it was around the time the current government was elected. “The fall is generally a good time for an election as well because of the weather. Generally spring can be difficult in this province because as you know February, March or April the weather can be very unpredictable ... and the summer is never good.”
‘Million dollar question’ the EU pay preferential tariffs — or none at all, including Iceland and Greenland. Norway pays a 7.5 per cent tariff into the European market, but only after the first 5,500 tonnes. “I think it can be said that our failing is that there’s not enough emphasis on the cold-water shrimp as there is on softwood lumber and cows and beef. It’s federal jurisdiction to fight for tariff rates in foreign markets, it’s not Newfoundland’s jurisdiction — although we do as much as we can, but we can only put pressure on those who have the jurisdiction.”
From page 1
has been a hostile response from across Canada. “The supper hour news in Newfoundland was an astounding success — even when it closed down (to a half an hour).” Sharpe says bargaining with the CBC was going around in circles with the corporation offering the same package at every meeting — just tied up “in a different ribbon.” When asked about standard salaries, benefits and hours, Sharpe would only say employees worked “tremendous overtime” and technical workers make an average $25 an hour, though that can go up. “This is not about money.” Talks between the union and corporation have been stalled since Aug. 14. It’s said dozens of issues are still on the table, a detail neither side would confirm. The membership voted 87 per cent in favour of strike action before being locked out by the corporation. Back in Ottawa, MacDonald says he’s fielding dozens of media calls a day from various organizations. “How is it being in the media spotlight? I mean we prefer that the spotlight’s on the programming that we’re putting on air and the exciting new programs that we have in the can and the programs we are getting ready to launch and those sorts of things,” he says, adding reporters are supposed to report the news not make it. “It’s unfortunate that it’s a work stoppage at the national public broadcaster, but it’s a decision we made for all the right reasons and it was absolutely necessary.”
are so tight, the margins are so tight that you can’t continue much longer under these circumstances.” The tariff in the European Union (EU) is set at 20 per cent for Canadian shrimp entering the market after the first 7,000 tonnes, which is only subject to a six per cent tariff, provided it’s processed in Europe. Canadian quotas caught in 2004 were sent to Europe where most of the shrimp sat in storage, while the first 7,000 tonnes went to market, Taylor says, pointing out the rest of the fish caught in 2004 has already consumed the preferential tariff for 2005. “So everything that’s going into Europe is going in at 20 per cent, couple that with the American dollar, the softening of the U.S. market and we’ve got ourselves a real challenge. Add to that the price of fuel for harvesters and it’s not a very good recipe.” Industry experts, however, say there’s another problem. Countries such as Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway are catching huge amounts of shrimp outside Canada’s 200-mile limit and selling it to the EU through Denmark tariff free, creating a glut in the market. In addition, the shrimp catch is based — not on quota — but on sea days. Experts say foreign vessels are catching twice the recommended catch. Sea days are applied to the Flemish Cap, a fishing zone west of the 200-mile limit, and quotas are legally overfished according to the rules of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Taylor says the issue will have to become a priority for International Trade Minister Jim Peterson. “This issue is a small issue in the
international trade business, but a huge issue in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Taylor says two companies in Denmark — Royal Greenland, the biggest processor of shrimp in the world, and Polar Seafoods — are against lifting the 20 per cent tariff. Denmark, again, is the same country selling foreign-caught shrimp from the Grand Banks to the EU. David Wells, a fisheries consultant since 1988, says he’s seen fisheries come and go. “The odd thing is the market isn’t horrible, the market is good, but it’s just that Canada has a big penalty going into the market place,” Wells says. “The U.K. wants our shrimp and they support the reduction or elimination of the tariff.” Wells says many countries outside
ONLY SOLUTION Federal pressure is the only solution to the tariff, Wells says. “If you do go after other markets obviously you are going to begin to neglect your primary market which is, again, Great Britain. We’ve built up a terrific relationship and our product has a fantastic reputation,” he says. “The jurisdiction lies with the federal government … we may have a louder voice, but theirs is the official voice. “Even though it might seem like we’re banging our head against the wall we have to keep fighting for this tariff to be reduced or eliminated.” Derek Butler, executive director of the seafood producers association, representing most of the province’s fish plants, says industry has fought the tariff for years with little success — outside the lesser 7,000-tonne tariff. “That’s the million-dollar question. How do we get the Canadian government to adopt this file as one of great importance in this industry and go to Europe in the face of everything else they have to discuss with international trade and say ‘Gee, today we’re concerned about Newfoundland shrimp’?”
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
New car smell
Province purchased 135 new cars over 2004/2005 fiscal year, spending estimated $3.3 million By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
he provincial government’s vehicle fleet has grown by 135 over the past fiscal year under a bulk-purchasing program instituted by the Transportation Department, The Independent has learned. Two more vehicles will be purchased for the province’s Fisheries Department before the year is up. Transportation Minister Tom Rideout says the last administration had a freeze on buying or replacing vehicles for government departments during its last two years in office. The current government has lifted that freeze. In fact, the Tory administration has spent $3.3 million on the purchase of new vehicles this fiscal year. Another $417,000 was spent on long-term vehicle rentals, as well as $843,000 on maintenance. “Up until this year each department would go out, if they had a budget, to purchase their own vehicles. We’ve instituted a bulk-purchasing policy whereby we do one tender for all of the whole government (except the RNC) … for vehicles, cars and trucks $20,000 and under,” Rideout tells The Independent.
“You have to have a constant replacement policy to keep your fleet up to date. If not I think Murphy’s Law steps in and you’re spending more on maintenance than you are getting bang for your buck.” The policy would explain why the Tory government has actually increased the number of cars on the road — despite a pre-election promise to “downsize accordingly.” The Independent reported last week government’s vehicle fleet had grown to 863 from 846 at last count in February. But many of the new vehicles were actually replacements, so that the true number of new vehicles wasn’t immediately obvi- Provincial government vehicles. ous. keep it but after a certain number of kilometres The average age of vehicles owned by the and age and so on then it would make better sense provincial government is six years or older with to replace it,” he says, adding it’s not just about an average of 120,000 kilometres on each engine. saving money, but keeping up a standard. Some of the older cars, however, have hundreds “If the vehicle is justified and the need for it is of thousands of kilometres on the odometer. justified then the vehicle should be provided. If, The fleet includes sedans, vans, pick-ups and on the other hand, we’re providing too many vehifour-wheel drives. cles well that’s something that if we’re going to be Rideout admits the numbers may not come diligent with taxpayer’s money we should look at. back showing savings for the government this “One of the hardest things to pry out of some year but will increase over time as maintenance people’s hands are the keys to a vehicle.” bills decrease. Former auditor general Elizabeth Marshall “Obviously you’ll try to keep the vehicle while compiled a report based on the wasteful usage of it has good life and it makes economic sense to government vehicles, describing vehicles in the
Not all leaky roofs repaired DARCY MACRAE
wo-dozen schools in the Eastern School District had their roofs repaired this summer, but some students will return to schools with leaky roofs this fall. The buildings still in need of roofing repairs may have the work carried out in the near future, however, according to a spokesman for the school board. “While some of them haven’t been repaired, we expect tenders to be let, even in the next week or so,” says Dr. Bruce Sheppard, director of education for the Eastern School District, which consists of 127 schools, approximately 45,000 students, and 4,000 teaching and support staff on the Avalon, Burin, and Bonavista peninsulas. Sheppard couldn’t say exactly how many schools are still in need of roofing repairs. “There is ongoing roof work every single year,” Sheppard says. “Every single year, there are roof replacement projects. The roof on a flat-roof structure needs to be replaced every 20-25 years. It’s a regular part of maintenance.” Last winter, after the provincial government announced in its budget that extra funds would be made available to school boards for repairs, the Eastern School
District applied for $9 million for emergency work. Of the $9 million, $6 million was needed for roofing repairs — although only $4 million was approved. Over the summer, 24 schools in the district were marked for roofing work. “Some of them were partial replacements, others were complete replacements,” Sheppard says. Sheppard says 20 schools in the district had major leaks last year, while close to 50 per cent of the district’s schools reported minor leaks. There were disruptions at several schools due to leaky roofs — some classrooms were littered with buckets to catch drips, while others had plastic containers running from the ceilings to catch water. “Last winter was a unique winter weather wise,” says Sheppard. “What we had was a major thaw and then a freeze up. Any time we had snow and then a thaw, the ice was moving the water on the roof around. If there was any weakness on the roof we were experiencing significant leaks.” Hazelwood Academy, an elementary school in the west end of St. John’s, experienced severe leaking problems, says Sheppard. Some classroom areas had to be vacated as did some classrooms all together. As a result, some grade levels had to be moved to a different part of the school. “That’s one example; we experienced that in quite a few schools,” says Sheppard,
adding the $4-million project over the summer was the biggest in the area in years. “To this extent, it’s been quite some time.” The sad state of roofs in the Eastern School District can be attributed to harsh winters and years of budget restraints by the provincial government, says Sheppard. “It’s been a combination of both. There’s no question whatsoever that the dollars put into capital over the past number of years … these dollars have certainly not been sufficient,” he says. The projects that begin in the fall shouldn’t negatively affect students, says Sheppard. If the repairs create interruptions, he says steps will be taken to deal with the issue. “We’ll be doing roofing as long as the weather co-operates,” he says. “Generally that can be done with little disruption to the school. We’ve got a couple of metal roofs, and when you have to repair those it can be quite noisy. We’re somewhat concerned about what we can do about that.” Although he doesn’t know how much money will be made available by the provincial government for roofing repairs next year, Sheppard says it will have to be at least equal to what the school district received in 2005. “Anything less than what we got this year will find us back in major difficulty in the years to come.”
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
six-year-old range as being “beyond their economic lives.” The 1997 review of the province’s cars noted the fleet, which numbered 869 light vehicles at the time, had travelled in excess of 24 million kilometres with operating and maintenance costs of almost $4 million. The report recommended downsizing. In a 2000 update, the auditor general noted many problems associated with the fleet had persisted. Marshall was unavailable for comment. Current Auditor General John Noseworthy says he has no plans to look at the fleet.
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
AUGUST 21, 2005
The two-month year A
number of years ago my blood pressure jumped considerably when I read one day the comments of the Fortis CEO who suggested that tourism in Newfoundland was a bit of a folly, as there were only really two months that you could reasonably expect to sell. At the time we had just started the Strawberry Hill Resort development in Humber Valley, and had taken a leap of faith that we could generate enough cash flow to survive by the time our original investment ran dry. Given we chose the winter of 1996 to start, our timing could not have been worse. For those of you who don’t remember, that was the year of the winter washout in western Newfoundland, and also the season that Marble Mountain opened its doors after building its new infrastructure. To call that winter a tourism disaster would be generous. We watched as our operating capital set aside for the first year disappeared in the first two months and Marble Mountain succeeded in cutting its skier visits in half —
Publish or perish and that was after they spent about $30 million sprucing the place up. It was not a pretty time to be staking your future on the growth of tourism in western Newfoundland. I remember the lengths we went through to keep the doors open, including one of our managers going to the ski hill and inviting acquaintances back to Strawberry Hill for dinner. Any misconception they had about the generosity of the gesture was cleared up when they got the bill after the meal. We did what we had to do, which included our accountant and lawyer cooking and cleaning, and I became very familiar with the serving stations and the bartender’s manual. We survived, and that experience ended up being of greater benefit to us than any seminar or management
course. I would hope by now the success of Humber Valley Resort has proven false the misconception of Newfoundland tourism being a two-month year. The fact of the matter is that the St. John’s tourism market is about two months long, if you exclude the yearround George Street tourism industry. Once you get off the Avalon Peninsula there are many spectacular places to be found, and although not all have a winter product to compliment the summer and fall seasons, I can say with some authority that the environmental conditions are much nicer. I always assumed it was our ocean currents that make St. John’s weather so inhospitable — often too cold in the summer and too warm in the winter to have consistent snow. The really unfair part of the equation is that the rest of the province gets branded with the capital city’s international reputation for rain, drizzle, and fog. There have actually been times when I have left the west coast in June (the month of the largest discrepancy in my opinion) and
have seen a 20-degree C difference in the weather … not to the benefit of the east coasters. Just ask Jean Claude Van Damme. He has apparently been floating in Notre Dame Bay for the last weeks in a private yacht with his own group. When I heard that all I could think of was the Belgian film star lounging in his euro-skimpy swim trunks around the docks of my fishermen friends in New World Island and Twillingate. Ask George Bush, who has come every year for fishing in either Labrador or Long Harbour, still accompanied by a consortium of secret service. Luckily, the only real danger the former president has seen in Newfoundland has been from a bog hole. I cannot write about the particular people who have come into Humber Valley Resort and discovered the province, but getting chased around the Valley one weekend by a paparazzi was an unusual experience. After stalking through the woods, the photographer managed to get a picture of her prey, which showed up the fol-
lowing week on the cover of a prominent European entertainment magazine. The funny part was that a lot of us were in the picture too but got airbrushed out before it went to press. Oh well. But faithful reader, after 10 years struggling and hustling to make tourism work here, there is one feature of this province that makes it a very natural place for success in this industry, any month of the year and in any corner of the land. It’s the people. Having been around most of the world by now, and having been to many destinations that were billed as the place to be, we have something here that is more valuable than any beach or weather condition or reputation — the most beautiful, sincere, generous, fun-loving, and genuine people in the world. It’s not just my opinion, it’s the No. 1 comment (by a long shot) that we get from our clients as they come here to find a piece of the world where they can relax and enjoy themselves and spend their money. Not a bad industry, is it b’y?
YOUR VOICE ‘Canada is a world leader in fisheries science’ Dear editor, The Aug. 14th article by Alisha Morrissey entitled Economic Suicide purports to compare fisheries research efforts of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with those of other countries. However, the article made a fundamental error that misrepresents DFO’s science initiatives. The major mistake came early in the article, and compounded all that followed: “Canada’s exploration of the fishery off Newfoundland and Labrador’s coast seems to fall flat compared to other fishing countries around the world.” The reporter compared only DFO’s research off Newfoundland and Labrador’s east coast — just a portion of DFO fisheries research conducted in Canadian and international waters — to that of the total marine research programs conducted by entire countries in their respective coastal waters. In fact, Canada has 22 vessels engaged in its at-sea science program, not just the three the reporter mentions working off Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, DFO has extensive research partnerships with the fishing industry to provide valuable
information on the state of Canada’s marine resources. Having stated that Canada’s efforts seem to “fall flat,” the article then states, “Countries including Russia, New Zealand, Australia and even South Africa have more than adequate research vessels …” The reporter wrote that European Union countries have “several” vessels, and that nearly all these countries charter “a few vessels.” “Several” and “a few” are not the basis on which to compare anything. The article quoted two former DFO scientists critical of the department, yet there was no view from those who know best — those currently working in DFO science programs, and those who know that Canada is a world leader in fisheries science. What should have been mentioned is the more than $11 million recently committed by Minister Geoff Regan to science on the Grand Banks as well as the building of two new, state-ofthe-art research trawlers announced in the federal February budget. Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright Assistant deputy minister, science DFO, Ottawa
Quebec can’t colour inside the lines Editor’s note: the following is a copy of a letter sent to Quebec Premier Jean Charest. Dear sir, It was a great pleasure to receive your tourist information brochures enclosed with my July/August issue of Canadian Geographic. However, I noticed a rather large printing error in these brochures I feel I must bring to your attention to avoid any potential embarrassment on your part. It seems that the graphic artist who prepared and coloured the maps printed on these brochures had difficulty keeping within the lines. I know that in times of budgetary restraint a great deal of this work is contracted out and that a lot of it is performed by the most junior person on the staff, who was probably handed the task on Friday afternoon when he, or she, wanted to get off early and head down to Rue Ste Catherine to get an early start on the weekend, but this is really inexcusable. When I was in the army we used to joke about how secure we felt knowing our rifles were manufactured by the lowest bidder. You see, this is the type of thing that happens when you go with the lowest tender. I know that it’s very difficult for
young people to keep inside the lines when they are learning how to colour. God knows, my knuckles still remember Sister Mary and her ruler but, with lots of practice, I did learn. I realize you are busy and can’t review everything that goes on within all your various departments. Perhaps you could have the minister responsible have a chat with his people about proof reading these things before they go back to the printer for production. You might also remind them that the international border between the Dominion of Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland was settled in 1927 after a joint submission to the Privy Council in London and was recognized under international law. Oh, and before I forget, your government website under the heading, “Geography,” states Quebec is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. I assume they are referring to just the Gaspe and north shore of the St. Lawrence, otherwise, they have misplaced Newfoundland and Labrador. Most curious. You might want to take a look at this too for clarification. I thank you for your attention to this matter. Edward Power, Upper Gullies
AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
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Old school Y
ou know it’s a shagged up week when you find yourself missing Roger Grimes and all he had to offer. A tragedy really: Grimes’ story. He was the premier, remember, who promised to do away with school fees if elected back to office, an offer most people rejected as a desperate stroke for desperate Liberal folk. The poor man was trampled by Danny’s white horse galloping toward our destiny. And so we’re stuck with school fees. Used to be all a student needed to go to school was himself. Borrow the stub of a pencil from one of the girls, who always carried overfed pencil cases, and rip a sheet of paper from a scribbler. Today a kid needs colour-coded duoTangs (to add flavour to the rainwater that collects in buckets in the middle of the classroom, one presumes. What else would you need two packets of Tang for?) and insurance and glue sticks and scrapbooks and workbooks. The list goes on … all the way to the bank. The total cost for school materials and course materials (there’s apparently a difference) for two kids at a certain St. John’s school for the first day of class rings in at $105.80. (The cost breakdown was conveniently included with last year’s report cards. There are always a few coppers for photocopying bills.) To the penny: $63.55 for the Grade 5; $42.25 for the Grade 1. That doesn’t include “classroom supplies” — rubbers (the old-fashioned kind), loose leaf, paint sets, tissues, sneakers, haircuts, the gas it takes to get the kiddies to the door, film for the camera and a bucket or two to collect the water pouring in from the roof. Oh right, the roofs were fixed over the summer (guess the Tang won’t be necessary). Well, not exactly. The Eastern School District needed $6
Fighting Newfoundlander million for roof repairs but only got $4 million. Some leaky roofs will have to wait until there’s money for tar. Funny — get a leak in the roof of the house and, come hell or high water, it’s fixed immediately. Get a leak in a school and you’re forced to wait, come hell or high water, until the provincial budget is passed to see if roofs are a priority. Another of Grimes’ legacies was in
But it’s the CBC that totally shagged me this week. No news in the morning, no news in the evening — the days lost their beginnings and ends. the news this week — Voisey’s Bay. First for the history lesson and another example of how this place gives in and is done in. It was Brian Tobin who first uttered the words “not one spoonful” in reference to the amount of nickel that would be shipped out of Labrador for processing. But then Tobin moved on and Grimes took over, exchanging the spoon for a barge to ship ore to the destitute provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. Only for a little while, of course, until our processing plant is up and running, then mainland ore will be shipped back here. (By then our
schools will be capped with gold and adorable little leprechaun-like Tobins will play spoons on the rooftops as the children, down below in the classrooms, perform water ballet in the rain buckets.) So much for the ore — at least we have the jobs. Now we learn Voisey’s Bay workers don’t even have to live in Labrador; the company will help them fly back (picking up 80 per cent of the tab) to civilization on the mainland when their shifts are over. How well that worked out for us — like everything else. Towns like Goose Bay, Wabush and Labrador City were supposed to become bedroom communities but turned out to be closets to hang the hard hats and store the steel-toed boots. Why is it we can never win? There was good news this week. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans wrote The Independent a letter (see Dear editor, up and to the left) to say Canada is a world leader in fisheries science. Well that’s a relief. Now, finally, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can go to sleep at night knowing all is well and our cod stocks are in good hands. There for a minute I thought they were in danger of commercial extinction, which would never happen with such good science. But it’s the CBC that totally shagged me this week. No news in the morning, no news in the evening — the days lost their beginnings and ends. Sat down one night this week to watch a movie (Old School) with the kids on CBC television. Good clean family entertainment, I thought, until the two young girls wrestling in KY jelly raised their T-shits to an old man named Blue and he dropped dead of a heart attack. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. email@example.com
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
What does rebranding mean?
Joey wanted us to burn our boats, Peckford said have-not will be no more, what’s Williams’ brand?
o I am reading the best newspaper in Newfoundland and Labrador (here’s a hint — you’re holding it) and I come across a word. The word — rebranding — was used by Leslie Galway, the new deputy minister of something called the Department of Business, to describe what she was going to do in her new job. She feels part of her duties include rebranding the province. I don’t know what that word means. So I asked a few people. What was fun was that three different people gave me three different answers. I mean no disrespect to Ms. Galway, who has the reputation of being a genial and competent person, but rebranding sounds like a buzzword, and I have a deep distrust of buzzwords. So what does it mean? Ms. Galway had this to say: “the challenge with branding the province is to bring that fresh, youthful look and creativity.” Please God I hope that doesn’t mean
Rant & reason another series of glossy ads in national magazines featuring smiling politicians and spectacular local vistas and claiming that we are “Open for business.” We have been there and done that. That had nothing to do with business and everything to do with a national profile — and I don’t mean for the province. I hope it means more than creating a fresh, new look. Every political party that has marched into government for the last 100 years has done that. Such is the nature of new administrations. Joey wanted us to burn our boats. Brian Peckford was all about have-not being no more. The list goes on and on. We are continuously rebranded. It never ends. And now it is Ms. Galway’s turn. I
don’t like the vague term rebranding. As deputy minister of Business, I hope she sees her task as sending a message to the corporate world that we aren’t pushovers anymore. I hope she is going to get the message out that we are fairminded but tough and looking for the best deal for Newfoundland and Labrador. But if that is her goal, then her boss is not making her job easy. Danny Williams had the chance to send that message to corporate Canada by getting tough with FPI. But that wasn’t the message sent by the famous “free vote.” It didn’t exactly leave FPI shareholders quaking in their boots. I watched the good people of Stephenville on TV recently meet with Ed Byrne in an arena in the town. Like a similar meeting between the people of Harbour Breton and the premier this past spring, there was a lot of emotion in the air. Unlike his fearless leader, Ed kept his cool as presenter after presenter asked — pleaded — with him to cut a deal with Abitibi. They’re sweating it.
And who can blame them? Abitibi thinks, like all big corporations, that we are a bunch of pushovers — they said as much in the offer they made to the province in order to stay. Is Danny going to “get tough” with Abitibi? Is that where we will start rebranding? What will that mean to the people of Stephenville? Joan Burke, minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, is facing several hundred-plus unemployed people in her own riding if they don’t do something. She might have her own spin on taking a principled stand with Abitibi. How will Ms. Galway be able to do her job if Williams caves to Abitibi like he did to FPI? How will they stay in power if he doesn’t? Sir Richard Squires went to the polls in 1923 after putting up millions of our own money in guarantees to the private companies who wanted to invest in pulp and paper on the west coast. He won, of course. He got the votes; they got the profits. That’s how it has always
worked. Politicians know this. Company executives know this. Ms. Galway’s task seems to be to change these attitudes, over a century in the making, while responsible for a herd of bureaucrats and having to report to Danny Williams. I don’t know about her, but the idea makes me nauseous. I wish Ms. Galway all the luck in the world. Her success will be our success. But it is going to be a tough job. To do her job right is going to take nerve. I hope she has the intestinal fortitude to deal with attitudes about us that are deeply ingrained. I hope she has the savvy to pick through the endless political minefields that she will come across. Most importantly, I hope she has the steel to tell her boss what he needs to be told — not just what he wants to be told. She is going to need good advice. Perhaps she should have lunch with Elizabeth Marshall. Ivan Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR VOICE Help solve a Beothuk mystery Dear editor, As a former resident of Southside Road in St. John’s, I found it odd when the work on the sewage treatment plant commenced at the head of the harbour. While living on the southside, my kids and I frequented a monument located on a large grassy hill just a short walk from our house and directly across from the dockyard. While the kids played, I remember reading the monument and found it interesting that the location was the site of St. Mary’s, an old church that fishermen from around the island would frequent while away from their homeports. The monument went on to say that Shawnadithit, the last known Beothuk, was buried close to the site, along with other notable natives. In the course of my research I did come across some conflicting reports. There was once an Anglican cemetery near the site of St. Mary’s, torn down years ago and the road widened I came across another article describing the last days of Shawnadithit. She succumbed to pulmonary consumption on June 6, 1829 and was buried two days later in the military and naval cemetery on the southside near riverhead. A monu-
ment to her memory stands somewhat to the east of the general site of her burial. Are we to believe that the future site of the Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Facility is being constructed on top of a small cemetery or a military and naval cemetery? As I recall it didn’t work out too well in Poltergeist, the movie. I wonder how much time was invested researching the site? I’m wondering if any readers would have more information on the subject. I would like to know if the thousands of tons of gravel carted from the southside of St. John’s contained the remains of unknown soldiers or of the last known Beothuk. On a lighter note, the City of St. John’s felt that it was important for the name of the new wastewater treatment facility to reflect the history of this area. St. John’s city council approved the name “Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Facility” for the new facility at a special meeting of council on March 21, 2005. I guess they did not want to call it the Shawnadithit Memorial Wastewater treatment facility because of the bad press? Shannon Cleary, St. John’s
ATV owners and riders advised to speak up Dear editor, The recent consultation process initiated by the Department of Government Services is very unfair to tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador. The purpose of the consultation is supposed to be gathering the opinions and wishes of people concerning government’s Proposals to Amend Legislation for the Use of Snowmobiles, ATVs and Dirt Bikes. Yet the way in which Government Services is proceeding with this consultation is leading to a situation where the people most interested in how snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes are regulated won’t be able to have a say. Government Services has done very little to inform people about this important consultation process. It was undertaken during the summer with no
public notice, when most people are on vacation and while the House of Assembly was not sitting. It’s important the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, in particular those who are owners and riders of snowmobiles, ATVs or dirt bikes, know this consultation process is going on and that they only have until Aug. 31 to make their opinions known. We urge all owners, riders and dealers that want to have their say about how they, their family, their friends and their fellow enthusiasts can use their snowmobiles, ATVs and dirt bikes to seek out a copy of the government’s consultation document and send in their comments on the proposals before the Aug. 31 deadline. Robert Ramsay, president Canadian All-Terrain Vehicle Distributors Council, Toronto
Arthur Miller's The Crucible will be performed at the Reid Theatre, Memorial University, Aug. 26 and 27. The play is a reunion project of Dick's Kids Productions, a group of friends, colleagues and former students of Dick Buehler, a retired professor. Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
St. John’s ‘uglier than ever’ Dear editor, Newfoundland has a great deal to learn. Here it is 2005 and many of our people have had a chance to see and experience design and architecture through travel and study, and St. John’s is uglier than ever. (For me it’s two major things: those damn cheap black signs with cheesy neon lettering — you can’t go 10 metres on Elizabeth Avenue and not see one. That, and the profit-driven development of pockets of land wherein the trees are all razed and as many sloppily built, identical “dream homes” as can be put in the space constitute a new “neighbourhood.” My favorite is Grovesdale Park off Thorburn road: in case you developers don’t know, a grove involves trees. Leave a few around for the kids for God’s sake.) A new bit of news came to me last week — the architect for Wells’ new Loblaw’s sell-out at the Quidi Vidi park area, will be none other than the local
favorite, Philip Pratt. I mean, have you seen The Rooms? This is sound contemporary architecture? Give us a break — we’re not all narrow-minded fools who’ve never seen anything. Have you been to Amsterdam lately? It’s awash in clever, stylish, concerned new architecture. SMALL-TOWN AIRPORT The Rooms, on the other hand, looks like an airport in a small town in Manitoba. It offers us green glass (dead since the 1980s, and oversold then); a limited view (potential for the greatestever sweeping panorama of the town and harbour squandered); polished granite (zzzzzzz) giving the whole place a creepy and cheap shine; exposed ducts, cold materials, and poorly-finished detailing of handrails, etc., throughout the expansive hall (so when you come up the stairs and look up you see no art, and everything is hard and cold. Why didn’t they hang
that whale skeleton in that space?); and a cramped reality in the galleries (they packed in the museum collection so it looks like a junk shop) which betrays the uselessness of the empty space in the hall. Couldn’t we have had a board of real architects review this work? Holy moley Danny, you tell us to come home, to help build the province, and then when we get here we see the same old boys’ network undermining the potential, wholly lacking in vision, and paying each other off with handout political projects. The only thing worse than how The Rooms (and the new Dominion) look in 2005, is how embarrassing they will be in 15 years. But then who’ll be living here anyway, in over-priced “dream homes” with the politicians singing the same old song about dear old Newfoundland. What a farce. It’s no wonder everyone leaves. G. Donald Neil, St. John’s
AUGUST 21, 2005
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘Staying power’ Pink, white and green not just for T-shirts; part of pop culture By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
ome people are fanatical about it. They get out of bed and wash their face with pink, white and green soap. Haul on their pink, white and green T-shirt and any number of pieces of pink, white and green jewellery. Grab their pink, white and green purse. Snatch their pink, white and green keychain. As they start the car they take one fleeting glance at the pink, white and green flapping next to the front door. Nycki Temple, owner of Hempware in downtown St. John’s, says some of her bestsellers have the tri-colour emblazoned on them and she’s proud to see it. “I think it’s just people getting connected to their roots and just wanting people to notice that we know where we come from and … that we’ve been around for a while and that we haven’t always been part of Canada,” Temple tells The Independent. “It’s just really nice to see that young people, even though it’s the cool thing now, that people are actually recognizing where they came from and our heritage,” she says. “If you can make something that’s part of someone’s heritage a cool thing I think that’s pretty neat.” Dave Hopley, owner of Living Planet, home of the FREE NFLD. Tshirt, says he’s selling a lot of pink, white and green right now. “Whether it’s going to peter out it’s hard to say. I think it’s just because … (of) people being passionate about the place I think that it’s got staying power,” Hopley says. “It certainly seems to have a lot more resonance with people than the current flag.” Scott Crocker, a sociologist at Memorial University, says he finds it “interesting” how a flag — known as the people’s flag and “designed in opposition” — has become so fashionable. “The commercial interest — whoever is making them — they can be largely indifferent to the meaning. It’s a commodity, if they could make more from making green peas or something then that would be equally good,” Crocker says. He says it’s the people who buy the
Colleen Power at Living Planet in St. John’s.
products that raise the question of trend or tradition. “It points to a strong sense in Newfoundland that people are formed in opposition to the official state and this has been around for a long time in Newfoundland’s history, it goes back to the early debates of whether it was legal to stay here over the winter. “It doesn’t represent any clearly defined political program, but that’s what’s refreshing about it, it represents some kind of oppositional current that no matter who operates the official reigns of power.” Crocker owns a Newfoundland Liberation Army T-shirt.
Paul Daly/The Independent
“You’ll find the rich and the poor flying it, you’ll find it in urban and rural areas, anyone can tap into that because it’s something that flies underneath official political culture.” James McGrath, former lieutenant governor, had the flag incorporated into his family crest. “Whether or not it’s part of our identity, it certainly is part of our heritage,” he says. Randy Simms, host of VOCM’s Open Line, says the people of the province are proud to be Canadian and he doesn’t “think that that would change as a result of these symbols existing, if you will, almost in harmony.”
Simms owns a pink, white and green ring which he picked up during the Atlantic Accord dispute last fall. Local musician Colleen Power says she’s incorporated the pink, white and green into her posters and she’s picked up plenty of merchandise bearing the tri-colour. “I believe that the pink, white and green flag shows more of an independent Newfoundland, not being driven by any other culture but our own,” Power says. Premier Danny Williams says the colours are certainly trendy, but isn’t sure whether the flag is a fad. “I mean it’s trendy now is what it is
… I noticed even Rex Goudie in his performance a couple of weeks ago had a pink white and green on,” Williams says. “So it’s trendy, it’s fashionable and where it will take us from there, I mean, I have no way of predicting that.” He says it’s not likely the flag will be incorporated as part of the province’s upcoming re-branding exercise. As for how the premier feels about the unofficial flag … “I can’t get into it, it’s a political question and one that, unfortunately, I’ve got to avoid. I’ve got several views on it, quite frankly, but I can’t give them to you.”
people would like to know, who Mr. Smallwood is acting for. Is it for himself or for the Canadian government, or simply for his constituents? He will be hard put to it to convince me it is simply and solely the latter.” Malcolm Hollett, delegate for Grand Falls, said he, too, was offered a bribe. • “I myself was offered a senatorship … I fail to see how any man who has an honesty of purpose, who has the public welfare of the people his this country at heart, can be dancing around this town of St. John’s, in and out of hotels, offering jobs in Canada if we voted for confederation.” Smallwood admitted he had told Harrington he would make a good delegate, although the future premier said he did not promise anything. “I shall not appoint it. I suppose I would be lucky to be on it myself.” As for Hollett’s alleged senatorship, Smallwood denied offering him one. “Firstly, because I have no senatorship to offer. Secondly, because if I were going to offer him any job it would be something on a much lower level than a senatorship.” Delegate Edgar Roberts of St. Barbe accused Smallwood of hurting Newfoundland’s chances for decent
terms with Canada if confederation actually came about. “When we read the history of this country and see the raw deals that have been received, confederation may be another one of those deals. If we approach Canada as Mr. Smallwood would have us, saying we are a poor, ignorant, ill clad, diseased, starving people, do you supposed we can expect generous terms? I would say no?” Pierce Fudge, delegate for Humber, had this to say: “It appears to me, as a judge of all trades, that the pro-confederates have a boat for sale and that boat is called the Newfoundland, and before there is a bid on it at all, it is pronounced 100 years behind the times, leaky and rotten. How can you expect to make a sale and a good deal with I.” In the end, Smallwood’s motion was defeated. However, an amendment to the motion did pass, allowing a delegation to be sent to Canada a few months later in 1947. The background for this column is from The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-1948, by James Hiller and the late Michael Harrington, available through the Newfoundland Historical Society and various retail outlets.
Smallwood: ‘We are not a nation’ A review of the Newfoundland National Convention (1946-1948) By Ryan Cleary The Independent
h to be a fly (one with a video camera around its neck) on the wall of the Colonial Building in St. John’s on Oct. 28, 1946 — the day Joey Smallwood introduced a motion to send a Newfoundland delegation to Canada to explore Confederation. The place went up in a tooth-and-nail fight that lasted days. The convention was held to review Newfoundland’s finances and decide whether the colony was self-supporting, as well as to explore its options postcommission government. Smallwood, “the self-appointed apostle of Confederation,” was accused of offering bribes to convention delegates in the form of future Senate appointments and luxurious trips to Ottawa if they went along with his motion — accusations he denied. Anti-confederates felt Newfoundland should return to a democracy (responsible government) before making any decisions. Confederates, even those on the fence when it came to Confederation, felt all options should be explored. The debate over the motion resulted in outstanding
Road to CONFEDERATION AN ONGOING SERIES oratory (on paper anyway), but then the entire 16-month convention was an exercise in passion and patriotism. Smallwood himself was in top form. The quotes are too good to paraphrase. • “… we are so used to our railway and our coastal boats that we scarcely see them; so used to our settlements, and roads, and homes, and schools, and hospitals and hotels and everything else that we do not even see their inadequacy, their backwardness, their seaminess.” • “Our danger, so it seems to me, is that of nursing delusions of grandeur. We remember the stories of small states that valiantly preserved their national independence and developed their own proud cultures, but we tend to overlook the fact that comparison of Newfoundland with them is ludicrous. We are not a nation. We are merely a medium size municipality, a mere miniature borough of a large city.” Then there was the other side.
Most of the delegates didn’t want to be associated with Confederation in 1946. But they were willing to entertain terms. Michael Harrington, delegate for St. John’s West, said Smallwood was “jumping the gun” in wanting a delegation to travel to Canada, considering the convention had only begun to assess Newfoundland’s financial status to determine if it could be self-supporting. Harrington told the convention that Smallwood had tried to bribe him. • “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. It’s get what you can for yourself, and don’t be bothered by scruples. Proponents of this doctrine always make one mistake. They forget the integrity of the individual conscience; that because they are clever in duplicity others may be just as wise in honour; are quite blind to the fact that some men will not barter that honour for a nice trip to Ottawa, the bait that was privately offered me, and goodness knows how many others, if we supported the motion now before the House. To put it even more clearly, I was told by Mr. Smallwood that I was slated to be a member of the delegation and that I should play ball to see that this motion was carried.” • “I’d like to know, and a lot of other
YOUR VOICE ‘Lottery games are a cash grab’ Dear editor, I came upon a rule of 20 per cent being the maximum amount any charity can offer ticket sellers. But in my experience over the years I’ve seen far more than 20 per cent of donations being kept by ticket sellers. I reported these details of how charities offer ticket sellers a third and in some cases even nearly half of the funds collected from sales. They are all aware of the rules, but people lack integrity and honesty when handling money. My point is, when I reported this to the provincial government, I was told there isn’t anything they can do about it because they simply don’t have the staff to check things out. They recommended I bring my information to the
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, which I did, but they said if an audit isn’t done to provide proof then no one can be charged. So here is where the problem sits. You have a system whereby any ticket seller can go to a willing charity and ask to sell tickets for more than 20 per cent commission. The charity can offer them as much as they like because they know the system won’t follow up on their activities. They can justify giving any amount of money out to ticket sellers as long as they don’t say anything to anyone about it. The money is all straight cash, no paper trail except for a simple requisition form, which the charity provides. That can be simply laid to one side and a verbal agreement made between tick-
et sellers and the charity. The unsuspecting public is unaware of the scheme behind the neatly printed posters and shiny prizes sitting in the hallway at the mall. The tickets look proper, the business looks clean and above board, however, a sly game is played behind the scenes. As a member of the disabled community, I feel it is wrong to shortchange the disadvantaged this way. These charity lottery games are a cash grab, I know, but there still needs to be some accountability. These charity organizations receive very good support from the public purse, they shouldn’t be having the wool pulled over their eyes in this area of making contributions to a worthwhile cause. Either the game of skimming extra
money off the ticket sales gets stopped or the public ought to be made aware of it happening with their money. In my opinion, when any ticket seller makes up their mind to sell tickets for 20 per cent commission, if they feel that’s not enough, the proper process is to write letters to government stating the reasons why the percentage ought to be increased. Many ticket sellers do not even have a disability, yet they feel the charity fundraising for a disability group can give them extra money out of the donation funds generated by charity lottery games. As a disabled person, I feel this is an injustice within the system. Anthony Fagan, St. John’s
More than ‘super’ hockey player Dear editor, I read your article about Ryan Clowe (Almost there, July 31-Aug. 6 edition of The Independent by Darcy MacRae) and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. We live in Cleveland, Ohio and are fans of the Cleveland Barons. We are so lucky to have met and gotten to know Ryan through the various events with the Barons. Not only is he a super hockey player, he is very mature beyond his years. While we enjoy watching Ryan play, we know he is ready for the NHL and will be a great player for the Sharks. Tim Stovering, Cleveland, Ohio
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
AUGUST 21, 2005
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘He enjoyed the rush’ Brian House of St. John’s was well known on and off the motorcross track Brian House 1972-2005
By Darcy MacRae The Independent
ne term nobody could use to describe Brian House was shy. Everywhere he went — work, the motocross track, golf course or movie theatre — he met and made friends. “He was very outgoing, friendly to everybody,” says Gary Young, House’s friend and business partner at Dynamic Physiotherapy in St. John’s. “Everybody always knew when Brian was on holidays, because the clinic was so much quieter. He wanted to know everybody. It didn’t matter who you were, even if he just met you he’d sit down and buy you a beer.” During the three years Young and House ran Dynamic Physiotherapy, House’s outgoing personality set the tone throughout the office. He frequently met clients with a quick smile and a big hello, and both gestures always came from the heart. “He didn’t have patients at his clinic — he had friends,” says Neil Croke, a close friend of House’s since kindergarten. “Everybody who came in, he
Brian House and his wife Danielle.
made them his friend.” House passed away on July 30 at the age of 33 when he sustained fatal injuries in a motocross accident in Moncton, N.B. He left behind Danielle, his wife of just under a year, his parents Levi and Donna, his brother Leon, as well as other countless family and friends. He will be remembered best for loving life and always seizing the moment.
“You can sit back and say he was taken way too young, which he was, but another thing you can always say is that he lived his life to the fullest,” says Croke. “If Brian wanted to do it, he did it. He didn’t say, ‘I’ll do that another day,’ he went out and did it — which is what we all should do.” House was a good athlete growing up, excelling in various sports. But by far his favourite sport was motocross,
an activity that offered challenges he thrived on. “Brian was into motocross since he was old enough to walk. He followed the footsteps of his big brother, Leon, who was also into motocross,” says Croke. “He loved the thrill of it. He enjoyed the rush and it was something he was naturally talented at.” House enjoyed participating in motocross so much that he was willing to travel across the Atlantic provinces for competition. His passion was well known, with many fellow riders leaving their favourite stories about his drive on the Atlantic motocross website’s message boards (www.atlanticmx.com). “It never ceased to amaze me how Brian and Danielle would show up out of nowhere, at a small race, as far away from home as possible, and have a great day racing, then turn around and head back home,” Darren Van Snick of Nova Scotia writes. Not only was House’s dedication and drive apparent to those on the motocross circuit, his friendly personality also impressed those who competed with him. “The summer of 1989 brings back many great memories. Glen Hoar and myself travelled to St. John’s for the last regional race to be held in Newfoundland. Brian and the crew greeted us with open arms and the hospitality they showed us will never be forgotten by Glen and myself,” writes Larry Northrup of New Brunswick. Danielle House accompanied her
and the existing conditions are likely to continue until the government makes it worthwhile for suitable men to enlist. A recruit receives at the rate of $1 a day for the first year and then for five years after is paid $1.05 per day, and after another five years receives another five cents.” — From The St. John’s Daily Star, May 15, 1916
FROM THE BAY “The good price attainable for shore fish this year should lend encouragement to continue fishing operations into the winter months. Stormy weather has caused little delay this year and even at this date the majority of the fishermen can get on
the grounds three or four days of every week.” — From The Fisherman’s Advocate, Port Union, Oct. 18, 1929 YEARS PAST “There is a scarcity of men (for the Newfoundland Constabulary) it is true
AROUND THE WORLD “The Pope’s visit to Canada next September will cost at least $15 million and may generate $40 million in sales of such ‘quality’ souvenirs as Pope John Paul T-shirts at about $8 each … “The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops … stands to net as much as $4 million from royalties.” — From The Daily News, Dec. 17, 1983
husband on nearly every trip he made to the mainland, and says the long drives together were the couple’s favourite part of the experience. They used to tell their friends and family “we’re the best team. “He was my best friend,” she says. “If you had to pick a best friend, what qualities would you like? My husband had all of those qualities.” Danielle adds that her husband had such a love for motocross that he never planned on giving up the sport. “We always said that someday we’d go riding with our canes and walkers and he would help me and I’d help him get on the bike,” she says. “He was never going to give up riding.” House was also a fine hockey player, having played a key role on the Holy Heart High School hockey team in the late 1980s and into the ’90s. Upon graduating from Holy Heart in 1990, he attended Memorial University and earned a physical education degree. He went on to do study physiotherapy in Manchester, England, where he met his future business partner Gary Young. A couple of years after graduating with a degree in physiotherapy, House and Young opened Dynamic Physiotherapy, a business that has grown steadily since. “There’s a reason the clinic went from being brand new to one of the busiest in the city,” Croke says. “Brian’s personality attracted people. He was so friendly that people wanted to be around him.” email@example.com form of government. This paper is equally opposed to any return of the evils that grew up around the practice of Responsible Government. We want to find out just what kind of government the people want. This paper is published to be a means of giving the Newfoundland people a voice, a medium through which to discuss this subject” — From The Express, written by publisher Joey Smallwood, Feb. 15, 1941 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Hold back your fish and you will be masters of the situation.”
EDITORIAL STAND “This paper is opposed to the present
— Robert Bond on negotiating fish prices, from The Evening Chronicle, Jan. 6, 1909
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-27, 2005 — PAGE 11
Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper
Harper shows maturity But Martin only builds on the missteps of past with Quebec-Canada file By Chantal Hébert Torstar wire service
hen he settled on Michaëlle Jean for governor general, did Prime Minister Paul Martin walk into a political minefield with his eyes wide open or with a blindfold of ignorance? It is unlikely that Canadians will ever have a definitive answer as to whether Martin — with full knowledge of Jean and husband Jean-Daniel Lafond’s backgrounds — failed to foresee a predictable storm or whether he simply did not know what he was getting into. What is certain, though, is that the way the controversy was handled has done little to put to rest the issue of Martin’s clumsiness on the Quebec-Canada front. It builds upon a track record that already included other missteps. Think of Martin’s glib referendum reference to the loss of one million jobs in the event of separation. The assertion put the
“No” campaign on the defensive at the ing blind through the flak of allegations worst possible time. that it should have seen coming. Think of the prime minister’s decision to In fact, the only surprise should have keep Stéphane Dion, the architect of the been the source of the accusations laid federal post-referendum against the next vice-regal strategy, out of his first couple. cabinet even as he was No one in his right mind recruiting Bloc could have foreseen that it … the only surprise Québécois co-founder would be hard-line sovershould have been the eignists, rather than the Jean Lapierre to act as his Quebec lieutenant. media or the opposition source of the accusa- parties, who would step The moves needlessly alienated his federalist to the plate to question tions laid against the up base. Jean and Lafond’s past Finally, ponder next vice-regal couple. politics. Martin’s sense that he is That was one of so rooted in his adopted Martin’s lucky breaks. province that he need If the information had not worry about the relative paucity of been brought to light by a more neutral Quebec-savvy advisers in his immediate source, the dynamics of the controversy environment. could have been dramatically different. That latter assumption was once again If the story had come from outside the put to the test over the past week as the province rather than from within their own Prime Minister’s Office seemed to be fly- ranks, Quebecers would have reacted with
more outrage. Jean’s written assurances that she and her husband are committed federalists would have come across in Quebec as a demeaning concession to the intolerance of other Canadians. Elsewhere in Canada, critics of the appointment would have been less mindful of playing into the hands of sovereignists. Martin’s other lucky break was Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s steadfastness under fire. If this episode has had a pivotal political character, it has been the leader of the official opposition. All week Harper held his finger in the dike of public opinion, querying Martin but not withholding his support for the appointment. In so doing, he stood against the flow of his own base and the advice of some of his advisers. See “Harper gave Jean,” page 14
‘More fight out of a dead dog’ Not surprising how GG-designate Michaëlle Jean is generally accepted despite toasting separatists — appointment is political
iberal Canada has always been a place where what the Boss says is final. Nothing has changed in the past week. In that respect, the Michaëlle Jean Affair is just another tempest in a wine glass. Prime Minister Paul Martin has the power to make anyone he wants Governor-General of Canada, the same way he can stock the RCMP, the diplomatic corps or the Supreme Court by personal fiat. The system reeks of old leather and stale cigar smoke and its machinations are rarely reversed by so mild an irritant as public opinion. In the current case of imperial prerogative, there is no turning back. The photogenic television presenter and her separatist-toast-
MICHAEL HARRIS The Outrider ing hubby will be taking up residence in Rideau Hall. It is not surprising how docile our politicians have been in accepting the Jean appointment. I’ve seen more fight out of a dead dog. They, as well as the prime minister, understand how deeply political a move this really is. Michaëlle Jean is about votes in and around Montreal. That’s why Martin appointed her and that’s why both the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti
Quebecois are soft-pedaling the issue. None of them are thinking of Rideau Hall, just the next election and those ridings around Montreal that might be swayed by the choices of the city’s large Haitian community. As for Stephen Harper, his limp objections to this unfolding tale of split allegiances and thin resumes quickly gave way to uncritical acceptance of statements by the PM and the GG-designate that avoided all the evidence against this appointment. Yet again, the mouse failed to roar. Gratefully, the electoral trap is about to be triggered and hopefully the poor creature’s demise will be eye-poppingly swift. Still, it is rather surprising that so many ordinary Canadians cling to the
quaint notion that fitness for the post is still part of the job description. On that score, Michaëlle Jean brings a radiant smile, her immigrant past and her work on the CBC as her principle assets. When the first Canadian who filled the Vice-Regal Office arrived on the scene back in 1952, he had already served as first Canadian Minister to Washington and High Commissioner to Britain. He had also chaired a Royal Commission that gave this country two enduring institutions, the National Library and the Canada Council. Admittedly, Vincent Masseys don’t grow on trees, but his C.V. was as solid as the walls at Rideau Hall and his knowledge of the British connection as deep as his experiences at Oxford.
Yet it is not the light-weight resume that raises legitimate questions about the Michaëlle Jean appointment. Everyone accepts that Andre Agassi is the seer of our superficial times: “Image is everything.” Jean is female, immigrant, and urban, a poster-girl for contemporary Liberalism and the markets it wants to reach. What bothers Canadians is not Michaëlle Jean’s assets but her baggage. There is the fact that she is a citizen of France as well as Canada, an undisputed and built-in division of loyalties. How can a citizen of a republic become the vice-regal representative of the heaviest monarchy on earth? If she See “Who would she,” page 14
AUGUST 21, 2005
12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
Oops, another forecasting error Goodale, take note: Ottawa’s hefty annual surpluses are fuelling provincial resentment By Carol Goar Torstar wire service
f all goes according to plan, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will emerge from his autumn ritual unscathed. Around mid-October, the government will confirm what is now informed speculation: Ottawa’s latest surplus is indeed double or triple the $3 billion Goodale projected. The finance minister will cheerfully explain that the economy performed better than expected, tax revenues were surprisingly robust and his earlier warnings that the cupboard was bare were made in good faith. If there is any grumbling, Goodale will point out that a windfall is better than a shortfall. He’ll remind Canadians that Ottawa’s fiscal record is the envy of the world. And he’ll assure taxpayers that their money is in safe hands. With luck, the nation will nod tolerantly — or indifferently — and the finance department will set to work on its next budget, padding it with so many contingency reserves, rainy-day funds, inflated spending estimates and conservative revenue forecasts that the same thing is sure to happen again. The formula has worked seven times for the federal Liberals. Why abandon it now? There are strong philosophical reasons, but they’ve never carried much weight with the finance minister. Low-balling the surplus deepens
public cynicism, strips Canadians of the right to decide how billions of their dollars are spent and taints all the information coming out of Ottawa. Lately, however, significant political drawbacks have developed. Goodale might find them more compelling. The first is that he is coming under attack from both sides of the political spectrum. Until recently, it was primarily left wingers who took umbrage at his budgetary sleight-of-hand. They accused him of fudging his forecasts in order to dampen demands for spending on affordable housing, child care, the environment and foreign aid. But lately, right wingers have joined the outcry. They claim the minister is hiding the bulges in federal coffers in order to keep taxes needlessly high. An eighth “surprise surplus” could be enough to convince Goodale’s critics to make common cause. The second is that Ottawa’s hefty annual surpluses are fuelling provincial resentment. Every time the federal government collects billions more than it needs to meet its financial requirements, it strengthens the provinces’ contention that they deserve a larger share of the country’s tax take. The two government services that Canadians value most highly — health and education — fall within provincial jurisdiction. Both suffer from funding constraints. Meanwhile, Ottawa is swimming in unbudgeted cash.
Finance Minister Ralph Goodale
One more whopping surplus would make the mismatch between the nation’s priorities and distribution of its tax dollars painfully apparent. A third factor Goodale can’t afford to ignore is the loss of credibility he suffered last spring when the government hatched its budgetary deal with the New Democratic Party. Any pretext that Ottawa’s spending
plans and revenue projections are carefully calibrated went out the window when Prime Minister Paul Martin found a spare $4.6 billion, two months after the budget, to buy support of the NDP in a crucial series of non-confidence votes. Goodale grudgingly admitted the new expenditures — on foreign aid, tuition assistance, low-income housing
and public transit — were affordable. With this as a backdrop, the finance minister is going to have a tough time convincing Canadians that a forecasting error led to this fall’s revision of the surplus. Finally, there is the fact that an election is not far off. Treating voters like dupes may be expedient when they’re not in a position to do anything about it. But when they’re months away from going to the ballot box, the risks become much greater. To spare his Liberal colleagues the embarrassment of reconciling their party’s promises of openness and integrity, and with his department’s miles-off-the-mark forecasts, Goodale needs a better defence than “oops, we goofed.” At a minimum, he owes Canada a plausible explanation of what went wrong and a serious plan to produce more reliable numbers. It is possible, of course, that luck will carry the minister through another budgetary cycle. It is imaginable — though depressing — that Canadians are so used to getting untrustworthy information from the federal finance department that they no longer care. It is conceivable that none of the opposition parties will be able to capitalize on the Liberals’ record of misleading taxpayers. But there are trouble signals in the air. Goodale would be wise to heed them.
N.B. to get $20 million in mill sale By Bruce Bartlett Telegraph-Journal
The mill in Nackawic, N.B.
Ron Garnett/Air Scapes
Old-fashioned answer to gas woes
New Brunswick man has a couple of vehicles for sale to anybody who’s sick of bloated prices at the pumps. Gary Wiley is selling a couple of four-wheelers, one horsepower each. Literally. “I had these on the lawn there but they’re really not lawn ornaments and I was thinking somebody could use them,” Wiley says of the two horsedrawn carriages he’s selling. He had the nearly-century-old wagons stored in Sackville but recently brought them to his home near St. Stephen. “With the price of gas right now, I
just thought somebody might be able to use them so, they’re for sale.” He collected the wagons when he used to be involved with horses several years ago. He used them in parades and even hitched them up to ride the country roads on summer evenings. Gas prices near his home this week were almost $1.13 per litre for regular. That doesn’t help Wiley when he has to fuel his truck but he expects it might drive the sale of his wagons. “Anyone who has a nice quiet horse that thinks they’d like to cut down on their gas consumption, these are for sale.” — Telegraph-Journal
he company hoping to rescue the bankrupt St. Anne Nackawic Pulp Co. Ltd. is offering to pay $20 million to the New Brunswick provincial government to buy out its interests in the mill. And the American owners, who were owed more than $35 million when bankruptcy was declared last September, will only be out about $5.5 million once the deal closes. Those figures are contained in documents set to go before a bankruptcy court hearing in Fredericton. If the judge approves, it will be a major leap forward for the new company, AV Nackawic Inc., formed by Quebec forestry giant Tembec and Aditya Birla Group of India. In April they proposed converting the mill to manufacture a mix of papers, including dissolving and specialty pulps used in the production of rayon. An affidavit by David Touchie, the
civil servant in charge of the St. Anne Nackawic file, details the difficulties overcome to find a new buyer and reach a deal on the mill. On Sept. 15 last year the long-time owners, Parson & Whittemore of New York State, placed the company in receivership and closed it in the middle of a maintenance shutdown. The mill’s boiler was completely taken apart when workers were escorted off the premises, leaving the plant vulnerable to winter damage that would have made it worthless. The province with the help of the federal government provided more than $5 million to repair the heating system to protect it last winter. The $20 million purchase price to be paid to the province for its interest in the mill and woodlands will come close to covering what it has invested in St. Anne Nackawic. The owners of the mill will recover their $35 million loan made in 2002 from their first claim on the receivables, inventory and equipment.
The mill had been in difficulty for several years before its bankruptcy. In January 2004 George Landegger, whose family owns Parsons & Whittemore, wrote an open letter to all employees saying the mill had lost money in four of the last six years. He cited mills in the Southern Hemisphere producing pulp at a cost of $160 per tonne less than St. Anne’s costs, as well as the rising Canadian dollar and high transportation costs. He asked the employees to take a reduction in their fringe benefit programs. That same month he also wrote to Premier Bernard Lord asking the province to increase its loan to the mill. A meeting took place but no loan was made because during the spring of 2004 the price of pulp increased and the Canadian dollar decreased. In August 2004, less than three weeks before the company declared bankruptcy, pulp prices fell and the Canadian dollar rose, Landegger again wrote to the premier asking for a loan, but was turned down.
Talking buses hit Toronto streets
oronto’s talking buses will get moving next month amid criticism the transit authority is “dragging its feet” on making the system easier to use for the blind. As part of a six-month pilot project, 15 buses will have audio systems that use global positioning technology to automatically announce all stops, while displaying the same information — including significant addresses such as hospitals and schools — on a monitor near the driver. There will also be symbols and buzzers announcing “accessible” stops. “During September, we’ll be looking for feedback from the users,” says Bob Boutilier, of the Toronto Transportation Commission.
The global positioning technology could be expanded to the TTC’s 1,500 buses and 250 streetcars at an estimated cost of $3.5 million. The project is in part a response to mounting criticism the TTC ignores those with accessibility needs, but it doesn’t go far enough for David Lepofsky, a blind lawyer who has battled the transit authority for a decade. In June, Lepofsky won a human rights tribunal decision forcing the TTC to make consistent, clear subway stop announcements. The tribunal ruled that the TTC discriminated against visually impaired riders by not regularly announcing upcoming stops. “You don’t have to be a Harvard grad to know if you’ve got to
announce subway stops, you’ve got to announce bus stops,” says Lepofsky. “Every driver has a mouth: ask them to announce each stop.” Current TTC policy calls for bus drivers to call out major stops and any stops that are requested. But Lepofsky says they often forget. Boutilier says bus drivers new to routes may not know all the stops. And volume, enunciation and accent can vary from driver to driver. For consistency’s sake, Boutilier would rather have an automated system. “I want to make sure whatever we do works,” he says. “I don’t want to start something off here and ... it’s not sustainable.” — Torstar wire service
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 13
VOICE FROM AWAY By Stephanie Porter The Independent
Krista Vincent as Mozart in a Dutch-language reworking of Peter Schaeffer’s Amadeus.
‘I just make sounds’ Lewisporte native Krista Vincent is on the cutting edge of Amsterdam’s electronic music scene
rista Vincent says this is the offseason in Amsterdam, at least in terms of art and music events. But there’s still an overwhelming amount of things to do. “Any night of the week you can go to a fantastic restaurant, or hear great music,” says the Lewisporte native. “It ranges from high opera, high symphony orchestra stuff to smaller chamber works to solo musicians to really experimental dance and music. “It’s very inspiring for me to come here and be part of that.” Vincent began music lessons at age seven, and hasn’t stopped playing since. She completed a bachelor of music at McGill University — and, wanting to continue her studies and gain experience abroad, she looked to Europe. “I had a good friend from Holland, who suggested a school in the Hague,” Vincent says. “The school was known for a very good departments of jazz, and early music, and was really well known for electronic music, which is what I wanted to do there.” Vincent studied the electronic music program, then completed her master’s degree in performance-based art. Her goal, she says, is to “combine in a performance way, sound — not necessarily music — with something visual.” During her four years of study, Vincent made contacts in her chosen field, in school and out. “I got involved in doing a project, someone saw that project, invited me to do another project, and that’s kind of led me to where I am,” she says. Vincent has now been composing and performing in Amsterdam professionally for two years. She and her husband purchased a home in the city, and have no immediate plans to relocate. Electronic music is not quite what Vincent’s parents had in mind when they enrolled her in music classes all those years ago. “There’s a bit of an education process,” she says. “They know what I’m making … though they don’t understand how it’s made. “But they’re incredibly proud, and are wishing me well. And wishing I would come home.” Vincent rarely writes music on paper, turning instead to a small tape recorder,
computer, and software in her home studio. “The simplest way to explain is that I just make sounds,” she says. “In my house or on the street, I take my little recorder and record things. And it could be anything — I sit at my table and click a couple of pens together and record that sound, or run some water and record it. “The interesting part is when I take it back into the computer and modify it; I look for things within the sound that are interesting, I slow it down or speed it up, transpose it and see if there’s anything there. Sometimes in one session around the house … I’ll find a fragment of sound that has a lot of possibilities, rhythmic possibilities or harmonic possibilities and start working from there.” There is a live component to
“I’m really interested in performing my own work … on stage as opposed to someone who presses a button. I like to incorporate myself into the story.” Krista Vincent Vincent’s work. Sometimes she plays the piano or accordion, depending on what kind of sounds she’s looking for. Other times, she’ll sing along, or play along with the computer-generated music with a variety of instruments. “There’s lots of good software now, and lots of electronic music in Amsterdam,” she says. “I don’t think that’s the selling point of what I do, I think it’s the performance aspect. “I’m really interested in performing my own work and acting as a performer on stage as opposed to someone who presses a button. I like to incorporate myself into the story.” Most recently, Vincent composed the music for Paradox of Desire, by choreographer Suzy Blok. The show was
performed for three weeks in Amsterdam earlier this summer; it will remount for a tour of Holland in September. Paradox featured seven performers on stage: four dancers, two actors, and Vincent, in a small role. “I’ve had no formal (dance) training, but I have no problems learning,” she says. “But 90 per cent of the show there’s music happening, I have to be in control of that — me standing behind my computer on stage, it doesn’t leave me very free to boogie.” The show received positive reviews in the papers — and was an education in inter-disciplinary work and communication for all involved. Next up, “most important at the moment and challenging,” Vincent wants to develop her own show, based on an opera by Mozart, translated into modern times. It’ll be a massive undertaking, and she’s using this month of her off-season to “build up energy stores” for the season and projects ahead. “I’ve been busy non-stop the last two years, if not in a project, then working on a project,” she says. “And if I’m working on one, I try not to distract myself. “Right now, I’m just kind of enjoying having lunch in Amsterdam, checking out a couple of museums now that I have time.” Amsterdam is comfortable and productive for now, says Vincent — there is an established and vibrant new art and music scene. She would love to someday work in Canada, and recognizes there are cities — such as Montreal — with modern art scenes she could fit into. “But it would be like starting over,” she says. “In two years, I’ve grown into something resembling a career. It will be hard to give that up.” As culturally cutting-edge as Amsterdam is, Vincent says she still misses the laid-back live music of Newfoundland and Labrador. “It’s rare here, that you can just go out, sit in a bar, and listen to music,” she says. “That’s what I love about coming home — lots of my friends playing guitar and just hanging out.’ Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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1-800-378-CCFF • www.cysticfibrosis.ca
AUGUST 21, 2005
14 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
The world’s most northerly community greenhouse INUVIK, N.W.T. here is a rumour in the north that, during the summer’s 24-hour daylight, a sunflower will twist off its own head trying to follow the sun. Now, seeing that sunflowers don’t exactly flourish in the harsh, treeless tundra, there aren’t many places where you can test out the hypothesis. But one of them is the Inuvik Community Greenhouse. If you start in Vancouver and drive north, about 4,000 kilometres, you’ll end up at the end of the road, in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The town of 3,450 people is the administrative centre of the Western
Arctic. More multicultural that many southern towns, it is a base for two native communities — the Gwich’in and the Inuvialuit — as well as southerners from as far away as the Sudan (during the weeks of the midnight sun, local Muslims use Edmonton time to figure out when to perform their sunset prayers). When the town was trying to figure out what to do with their old hockey arena, they decided, hey, why not set up the world’s most northerly community greenhouse? The greenhouse opened in 1999 and was an instant success. On the main floor (there are still puck marks on the
back wall) there are now 89 raised plots for the community. On the second floor, there is a large commercial greenhouse that makes enough money selling bedding plants and hydroponic vegetables to help cover about one-third of the cost of the whole operation. The rest is made up, in part, by plot fees (around $50 a plot, if you clean it out yourself at the end of the year), and membership fees (for $20 members can attend workshops on everything from bedding to composting). Yoenne Ewald, assistant co-ordinator, explains: “The greenhouse has had a tremendous impact on the community. It’s pretty amazing the number of
people involved. We have a very exuberant bunch of gardeners. There are less people up here and we get way more participation than they do down south. The volunteer firefighters even help with the watering. It’s really building a community.” One of the reasons can be found in the vegetable section of the local grocery store. The fruit costs a fortune and looks tired. At the greenhouse, many people taste fresh-grown fruits and vegetables for the first time. Ewald explains that before the greenhouse officially opens in April, they bring seedlings to places like the elders hospital so that the patients can watch the plants come to life.
“For many, it is the first time they see beans grow. They are so excited. It is very touching. And one young volunteer from a northern community was amazed at the ants and insects. He’s never seen them before.” On their small plots, amateur gardeners will give anything a go. The midnight sun helps, prompting some plants to spurt up as much as a centimetre a day. At the height of summer, the old rink is bursting with broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, strawberries, squash, zucchini, sage, oregano, basil, beans and lavender. — Torstar wire service
Harper gave Jean benefit of the doubt From page 11 It is easy to say that had the Conservative leader acted otherwise, he would have traded short-term gain for potential long-term pain. But it is also undeniable that the embattled Harper used up precious political capital to give Jean the benefit of the doubt. Had he not done so, it is unlikely that Jean’s belated statement would have stood as good a chance of reversing the tide of concern about her imminent arrival at Rideau Hall. Harper has been criticized in the past for failing to project beyond his narrow base, most recently last June when he questioned the legitimacy of the samesex marriage law because it was passed with the support of the Bloc Québécois. In this case, though, he has shown himself to be well up to the task of making the measured judgment calls that Canada is entitled to expect of mature national leaders.
Who would she have applauded? From page 11 had been in Montreal in July, 1967, who would she have applauded — Charles de Gaulle and his “Vive le Quebec libre” or Lester Pearson for his “Canadians do not need to be liberated?” And although Prime Minister Martin told Stephen Harper the GG-designate and her hubby didn’t socialize with separatists, who was that lady drinking toasts with some of the hardest line separatists in Quebec, including the terrorist founder of the FLQ, Pierre Vallieres? You remember him. He was the fellow who directed the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte, got a one-year suspended sentence and then accepted $100,000 a year from the Canadian government under a book development grant. Vallieres is not the only terrorist that pops up on the vice-regal couple’s resume. The film about Quebec separation made by Jean-Daniel Lafond, Michaëlle Jean’s husband, was made with the collaboration of former FLQ terrorist Francis Simard. Simard was a member of the Chenier terrorist cell that kidnapped and murdered Quebec Labor minister Pierre Laporte. ‘WITH BOTH HANDS’ In the 1991 documentary, Pierre Vallieres says, “Not only should Martinque go to independence, but to revolution, as Quebec should.” Michaëlle Jean replies, “Yes, one doesn’t give independence, one takes it.” Lafond himself said in a 1993 book that he would applaud “with both hands” Quebec separation. Before I applaud with both hands this messy vice-regal appointment, I would like to know if Michaëlle Jean and her husband supported Quebec sovereignty in 1995. It is the sort of question Jean herself would have asked as a journalist, which is of course why we will never find out. She no longer breathes the air of journalism but the old leather and stale cigar smoke of the establishment, the place where journalists are pests and the people are the ones who get to eat cake. Given her previous occupation, how very telling that the GG-designate and her handlers ruled out a television interview as a means of reassuring the country about her politics. It was, they decided, too undignified. The establishment is very big on dignity. Dignity, you see, is the opposite of accountability Michael Harris’ column will return Sept. 4.
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15
Israeli troops forcibly remove Jewish opponents of the Gaza pullout from the synagogue at the settlement of Neve Dekalim, Gaza Strip, late last week. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
Showdown in the synagogues A Jewish girl cries as she is removed by Israeli troops from the women's section of the synagogue. Oleg Popov/Reuters
Despite violence, removal of settlers nearly complete NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip By Mitch Potter Torstar wire service
sraeli withdrawal forces stripped Gaza’s synagogues of their most militant Jewish activists late last week in a decisive day of battle that saw as many as 20 soldiers doused with acid during one vicious confrontation. The combined tally of injuries — 47 police officers, 31 soldiers and 22 civilians — was far and away the worst in five days of clashes against radical opponents of the Israeli pullout. The flaring violence overshadowed the dramatic pace of withdrawal from the territory occupied since the 1967 Six Day War. Israeli officials last night declared 16 of Gaza’s 21 Jewish settlements virtually empty. “What we saw here crossed all boundaries,” Israel Defense Forces Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel said at the isolated settlement of Kfar Darom, where disengagement forces were sprayed with a caustic substance as they scaled the outer walls of a synagogue in a bid to arrest diehard activists on the roof. “Everybody who was now on the
roof will be arrested and put in prison.” Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz condemned the assault as hooliganism dressed up as Zionism. “We thought a Jew does not throw acid on another Jew. Unfortunately, there are Jews that have no limits to their violence,” PinesPaz told the Israel Web portal Ynetnews.com. More than 50 activists were arrested at Kfar Darom, where pullout troops arrived Aug. 18 despite earlier indications the devoutly religious settlement would not be approached in the coming days. The vast majority of the enclave’s residents left without serious incident. Radical youth from the West Bank and Israel proper were believed responsible for most of the violence. Israeli forces deployed water cannons and at one point attempted to trap the rooftop extremists with the use of a crane-operated steel cage. The activists also pelted police and soldiers with eggs, paint-bombs and watermelon, witnesses said. In a separate confrontation, more than 1,000 disengagement troops ended a daylong standoff at the main synagogue complex inside Neve Dekalim, the largest
of Gaza’s settlements, by raiding and forcibly removing hundreds of mostly teenage activists holed up inside. The dramatic deployment of soldiers and police came after eight hours of failed negotiations toward a peaceful surrender. The male and female hold-
“You are not Jewish. You wouldn’t be able to do what you are doing if you were.” Teenager pulled from synagogue outs ignored the final deadline, spending their last moments singing, dancing and praying in separate synagogues inside the complex as troops closed in. Soldiers locked arms to bar escape as the locked glass door of the synagogue was carefully removed. Then, working in teams of four, troops moved inside to pull worship-
Ice picks allowed on board? U.S. may relax air security rules to be more ‘customer friendly’ WASHINGTON, D.C. By Tim Harper Torstar wire service
mall knives, bows and arrows, ice picks and possibly even box cutters could again be allowed on planes in the United States under proposals being floated by the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA, in a bid to be more “customer friendly,” is also mulling plans which would reduce the number of passengers chosen for secondary screening, meaning fewer passengers would undergo security “pat downs” because agents would be given discretion to wave those wearing tight-fitting clothes through checkpoints. Fewer passengers would also be required to remove their shoes before going through security under the proposals to be considered later this month. They would also allow more discretion on who is chosen for more stringent screening, eliminating the almost automatic scrutiny of anyone flying on a one-way ticket or who changes travel plans at the last minute. MORE FREEDOM Toronto passengers flying to Washington’s Ronald Reagan Airport have already been granted more freedom after the Department of Homeland Security last month removed the rule requiring all passengers remain in their seats for 30 minutes before landing or taking off from the airport. TSA may also try to compile a list of those who would be exempt from security screening, including state governors, cabinet ministers, federal judges and military officials. The new regulations would pertain to all U.S.bound flights from Toronto and other Canadian airports where passengers are pre-cleared before arriving in this country. Canadian authorities moved to ban lighters from U.S.-bound flights in April to conform to the decision made by the TSA to ban lighters. Any moves toward more relaxed security stem from improvements in other areas, particularly cockpit security, U.S. security officials say. “The process is designed to stimulate creative thinking and challenge conventional beliefs,” Mark Hatfield, the TSA’s spokesperson, says.
“In the end, it will allow us to work smarter and better as we secure America’s transportation system.” Another TSA spokesperson says the agency did not believe box cutters posed any threat, even though that was the weapon used by hijackers who flew planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Scissors and razors would also be allowed in carry-on baggage. A similarly controversial “no fly list” — and Washington’s demand that Canadian airlines provide passenger lists for any flights which pass over the U.S. — does not appear to be ready for an overhaul, however. As the U.S. moves toward more relaxed carryon and other security regulations, Canadian Transport Minister Jean Lapierre said this month that Ottawa is moving to establish its own “no-fly list” by 2006. The Canadian list will bar those who pose a terrorist threat from domestic flights which often fly over U.S. territory, widely seen as a response to Washington’s demand that passenger lists be provided to U.S. authorities on Canadian domestic flights which pass over American airspace. Canada initially resisted the Washington demand, saying it infringed on its sovereignty. The U.S. “no-fly list” has been regularly criticized and ridiculed because of the number of innocent passengers snared because of similarities to names on the list or because names on the list have been misspelled. Among those who have been barred in the United States are veteran Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, and the son of Canadian Senator Colin Kenny who has chaired the Canadian Senate’s security committee. Yesterday, the list came in for more ridicule when Associated Press revealed infants, including newborns, have been barred from flights because their names match ones on the list. It’s said some 89 infant names have been submitted to a security ombudsman because they are erroneously on the list. Of those, 14 are under the age of two. Tim Sparapani, of the American Civil Liberties Union, told AP the inclusion of babies on the list shows it doesn’t work.
pers from the building, one by one, and take them to waiting buses. Some were led away on foot; most were carried passively, while others still thrashed and wailed in a bid to break free of the soldiers’ iron grip. Some continued their resistance even after they boarded the bus, attempting to kick out windows. “You are not Jewish. You wouldn’t be able to do what you are doing if you were,” one teenage boy shouted as he struggled against four police officers pulling him inside an idling evacuation bus. Teens encamped in the women’s side of the complex were pulled out with significantly less resistance by female police and soldiers. Some read passages of the Torah, tears streaming down their faces, as they were led to the fleet of buses. The Neve Dekalim operation resulted in more than a dozen minor injuries to police and civilian activists. But over the course of the day, with the main body of protestors holed up in the compound, pullout troops succeeded in emptying the settlement of its remaining residents.
As of Friday, just seven families remained, an Israeli military official said. Though the swift completion of the pullout now appears inevitable, with some Israeli officials predicting the full evacuation of all Gaza Strip settlements will be finished as early as Monday, protests continue. Two major Israeli intersections were blocked Aug. 18 by anti-disengagement activists, and another fake bomb — the third of its kind to be discovered in recent weeks — was found in Jerusalem. As the process unfolds, Israeli and Palestinian officials remain on high alert, mindful that the potential for extremist attacks by either side is significant. An Israeli who shot dead four unarmed Palestinian workers in the West Bank Aug. 17 was unrepentant later in the week. “I’m not sorry for what I did. I hope someone also kills (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon,” said Asher Weissgan, 38, of the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rahel, as he arrived at court for a remand hearing.
16 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
AUGUST 21, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-27, 2005 — PAGE 17
Photo of Sheilagh O’Leary by Paul Daly/The Independent
Portraits from Newfoundland and Ireland
By Lisa Moore Editor’s note: the following article appears in the latest edition of Newfoundland Quarterly. Reprinted with permission.
he Newfoundland actor, Brian Hennessey, has a distinctive nose, very similar in shape and size to the nose of the Irish theatre
director Ben Hennessey. Both men have similar shaped foreheads. They both have a gaze that is receptive and engaging, commanding and inclusive. Most telling, perhaps, both men have handsome, enigmatic half-smiles, seemingly full of wit. And they also share, of course, the surname Hennessey. Can any other cultural, historical or genealogical conclusions be drawn from putting the portraits of
these two men side by side? Portraiture is a compelling art form because it creates, in the viewer, a craving for narrative. It is impossible to look at a good portrait — one that captures an ineffable presence — and not want to know more. Who are these men and women? Are they married? Do they have children? What is important to them? What do they have in common? Can such characteristics
as kindness, intelligence, wit and honesty really be read in a person’s face? It could be argued that a portrait is always a work involving three creators: the subject, the photographer and the viewer. Perhaps it is because Sheilagh O’Leary is charismatic and bristling with curiosity herself that these subjects, to a person, appear See “Sense of kinship,” page 19
The dog whisperer By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
very first Saturday afternoon of the month, a crowd of people spill out of the compact pet store, The Dog House, on Duckworth Street in downtown St. John’s. The reason (aside from the ever popular merchandise) is Glenn Redmond, a local dog obedience and protection trainer who stops by for free, a couple of hours every month, to chat to people about their
pets. New puppy parents, with their recently acquired furry maniacs bouncing off the walls, listen with rapt, sleep-deprived attention as he helps explain the ins and outs of their seemingly complex — but as it turns out — perfectly logical canine companions. “The thing is, with dog behaviour, you can read it like a book,” Redmond tells The Independent, “and it’s action and reaction … we’re consistently inconsistent when we’re with our animals so the same prob-
lems are usually a symptom of the same actions by people.” Sitting in a leather chair in his home in Foxtrap, Conception Bay South, Redmond talks easily, with a depth of knowledge even a non-lover of animals would find fascinating. What he doesn’t know about dogs probably isn’t worth knowing. His own canine companion, Dakota, a golden, eight-year-old wolf/shepherd cross See “It’s science,” page 18
Glenn Redmond and Dakota
Paul Daly/The Independent
AUGUST 21, 2005
18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
rtist Sherri Winsor may be just getting her career off the ground but she says she’s been an artist her whole life. After studying visual arts at the College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, Winsor says she finally has the technical skills to start creating the artwork she’s stored in her head her whole life. Like most artists, Winsor started by doodling in school. “When I was in school I spent most of my time drawing the teachers. My notebooks were filled with sketches. I was worried that I’d end up a starving
SHERRI WINSOR Visual Artist artist, so I figured I’d give university a shot. I tried geology but physics was quickly my downfall, so that was that.” Winsor mostly paints but enjoys pottery and printmaking. A self-described visual junkie, Winsor has drawn on her
extensive travels to enrich her art. She moved to England with some of her friends after leaving university, an experience that she says changed her outlook on life. “It was an incredible time. Some days were magical but most were just awful and difficult. You learn a lot about yourself in those conditions,” Winsor tells The Independent. “I feel as if I have a better grasp on the world now. In terms of my art, I found a visual context to put things in. The better you know the world the more your eyes are open to realizing what’s special.”
Winsor uses photographs as source material for most of her paintings and enjoys painting foreign landscapes and architecture. She says she allows her more abstract side to come out through pottery. “Clay is such a great material. My favourite use is in sculpture. You can make anything you can dream up and just get lost in the clay for eight or nine hours. Painting takes so much patience and concentration. I prefer to work fast.” Art school is just a stepping-stone in an artist’s career, but Winsor can’t seem
to decide where to go from here. “I guess the problem now is knowing what to do next. I would really love to set up a studio, but I’d also like to do some more travelling. Ideally, I’d like to set up a studio in South America or the Mediterranean and sell through a gallery in Canada. It would be great to be somewhere warm, by the beach. I would never want to live inland. I’m too much of an island girl for that.” —— Evan Careen is a journalism student at the Stephenville campus of the College of the North Atlantic.
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail email@example.com
POET’S CORNER Born This Way by Leanne Averbach
Hair of four colours, a fetching freak at birth. Gray makes five. My mother, accused, snarled Born that way, hair and all! and they shut up, disbelieving. I grew accustomed. Always had a wild taste; the sea, never far. A span of attention short and forgiving as a Newfoundland summer. Capsicum addict, food ruby hot. My lips, wandering and fleeing, learned from my ancestors. Language my demiurge. Intolerant: of ideology, people arranged in circles, intolerance. Apostate, actor, bumbler, recluse. Gray makes five. Fire in my mouth, Russian steppes in my blood. Lips that live. Averbach will launch her new book and CD, Fever, at the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, St. John’s, Aug. 25. Author Joel Hynes will also read new work. Readings begin 7:30 p.m., reception to follow.
‘It’s science, it’s not like some kind of guru stuff’
AUGUST 21 • Family fun: explore a variety of art and craft materials at the Anna Templeton Centre with instructor Pheilm Martin. Parents and children ages six and up welcome, 739-7623. • All ages show at Junction’s, St. John’s, 4 p.m. Featuring In Case of Emergency, Yesterday’s Hero, more. • Peter Pan Festival, Bowering Park amphitheatre, 576-6134. • Tuckamore Festival finale concert, Petro-Canada Hall, MUN Music School, 8 p.m., 737-2372. AUGUST 23 • Open mic at O’Reilley’s pub, George Street, with Larry Foley. • Depression and anxiety support group, 7-9 p.m, 753-8871. AUGUST 24 • Folk club with Alan Byrne at the Ship Pub, St. John’s, 9:30 pm. • Neil Diamond dinner theatre, 7 p.m., Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., 579-3023. • Stones in his Pockets featuring Aiden Flynn and Steve O’Connell, Rabittown Theatre. 7:30 p.m., 7398220. • Ron Hynes and The Accessories at the Rose and Thistle pub, Water Street, St. John’s. AUGUST 25 • Book launch and reading: author and actor Joel Hynes reads from new work; Leanne Averback performs work from her new CD and book of poetry, Fever. 7:30 p.m., Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, reception to follow. • It’s All Gone Pete Tong, directed by Michael Dowse. Empire Studio 12, Avalon Mall Cinemas, 7 p.m. Fundraiser for the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. • Active-Vision, live music for silent films, presents a Betty Boop Retrospective. Choral Room, MUN School of Music, 8 p.m. Free admission, food bank donations accepted. AUGUST 26 • Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, presented by Dick’s Kids Productions, a collaborative effort of friends, colleagues and former students of retired English professor Dick Buehler. Reid Theater, MUN campus, 8 p.m. Continues Aug. 27. • All-ages Punk Rock Prom at the St. John’s Curling Club, 6 p.m. Semi-formal with live bands. Tickets at the door. • Wine and Words with award win-
From page 17
A Betty Boop retrospective, accompanied by live improvised music, takes place Aug. 25 at MUN Music School.
ning author Robin McGrath, 7:30 p.m. at the Newman Wine Vaults, 436 Water St., 739-7871. • Mark Bragg with Defendant, live at Junction’s bar, McMurdo’s Lane. • Cruise with the Karaoke Kops on board the Nouvelle Orleans at Pier 7, 834-6663. AUGUST 27 • Blue Kaffee benefit concert, Bowering Park amphitheatre, 2 p.m. Nine bands for $5. • Lunchtime Concert Series. Janet Cull performs at Harbourside park, St. John’s, 12:30 p.m. Free, 6915480. • Equestrain show. 754-2349, www.webpage.ca/nea IN THE GALLERIES • Express ’05: 24-hour Art Marathon at Eastern Edge Gallery, Aug. 27-28. 72 Habour Drive, St. John’s • Summer Dance: 17 artists doing work and sculpture and paint reflecting dance, Leyton Gallery of Fine Arts. • Pien Ashtunu: Pien builds a Canoe, showcasing traditional Innu canoe building, The Rooms. • Pen and ink drawings by Christopher Peet, Balance Restaurant, 147 LeMarchant Rd., 722-2112. Until Sept. 24. • Annual members’ exhibit, Craft Council Gallery, Devon House, until Sept. 3. • A Brush with History: the Gardens of the Colony of Avalon, watercolours by Margaret Best, in the Colony of Avalon Building, Ferryland. Until Aug. 31.
is gracefully passed out at his feet. In the building next door to Redmond’s house is his “personal care facility” for dogs (and soon cats too). The set-up is an intimate boarding kennel with eight all-wood pens, a communal doggy lounge with a television set and two large outside runs. He explains the name of his boarding and training facility, Billy Nudgel’s K-9 Services, came about after he and his Australian girlfriend, Natasha, were traveling through her home country and came across an impossibly tiny town called Billynudgel. “The whole premise was that we wanted to market someone but not me. So Billy Nudgel becomes this fictitious character that we can create … ‘If you don’t know ask Billy.’” Redmond laughs as he describes how amazed people are after they come to him with their dog problems and he can immediately tell them exactly what they’ve unwittingly been doing wrong. “It’s science, it’s not like some kind of guru stuff.” Redmond only recently moved back to Newfoundland and Labrador two years ago. He grew up in Torbay, but relocated to Ottawa to study (human) psychology and criminology and worked for a number of years as a behavioural therapist. After becoming disillusioned with the social services system he decided on a career change. With a long-time love for dogs and a desire to continue using his psychology training and have his own business, he moved to Vancouver and studied dog obedience and protection. Redmond stayed on the West Coast, managing his own boarding and training facility and also training dogs for movies and television. He worked for three seasons as the head trainer and stunt man on Animal Miracles. “My main job was to co-ordinate and train the animals for the script that I had, but if there were police takedowns, I would always play the bad guy and do the stunt work.” Displaying his forearms, Redmond shows a few bite scars, old and new. He explains he also teaches a form of dog training called Schutzhund, a sport derived for working breeds, focusing on tracking, obedience and protection. The protection aspect involves training the dogs to bark at and hold a captive. Redmond says he and Natasha decided to move to Newfoundland
because of their increasingly hectic schedules and the high cost of B.C living. He already had the plan for Billy Nudgel’s K-9 Services in mind; it was just a matter of finding the right location. Since setting up in Foxtrap, the demand for Redmond’s services has sky rocketed. He’s also managed to continue his television work, recently directing some canine stars on the set of CBC’s Hatching, Matching and Dispatching. “It’s taken off big time,” he says with some amount of disbelief. “I mean this summer was really crazy.” Redmond says the biggest mistake owners generally make with their dogs is to attach human qualities to them. “When you come from that philosophy of treating the animal like a human being you’re almost behind before you even start.” He adds hierarchy is key. “Dogs are great leaders and they’re great followers and they’re comfortable in either role, but they need to know what that role is. If they’re allowed to be leaders sometimes and they’re expected to be followers other times they’re always vying for position so you’ll have a dog that’s always testing and testing and testing.” Even Redmond knows what it can be like to get frustrated with a dog. His own pet, Dakota, had severe separation anxiety when he first brought him home from an animal shelter in B.C. It took almost two years to calm him down — which Redmond admits was a bit embarrassing at first, considering clients would often ask to see “the trainer’s dog. “He’s got some wolfy problems ... I literally could not walk outside my house. To bring out the garbage would mean to come back to a mess, or if I went to the store to get a pop or juice I’d come back to, literally, no seat left in the car.” Redmond says most people generally have no idea how much work a dog can be and are often apprehensive to train them properly because they worry they’ll inhibit the dog’s personality. “So many people call and say, ‘Well I want a great dog, but I still want him to be a buddy’ … with more respect comes a better bond and your dog doesn’t change. “If it’s done well, in respect to the dog and is not forced on the animal, this is something that the dog will want to do.”
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19
‘Sense of kinship’ From page 17 generous, forthright and emboldened. O’Leary’s exhibition draws from the viewer a similar curiosity, and raises important questions concerning our assumptions about race, history and culture. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of O’Leary’s exhibition of Newfoundland and Irish subjects paired by the simple virtue of sharing a last name is the compelling desire she stirs in the viewer to discover physical similarities between both subjects. We find ourselves looking for these similarities despite the subjects’ obvious differences in gender, age and the lack of any hard evidence, other then a shared surname, concerning a genetic link. Nevertheless, it’s hard to look at the portraits of Tina Brennan and Alex Brennan and not notice their shared dimples, fair complexions, and their strangely similar, ultraluminous grins. What traces of our Irish heritage are still visible in the Newfoundland face? And most importantly, what does this link mean politically and culturally in the age of globalization? In many ways, Sheilagh O’Leary is being parodic with the notion of a quest for Newfoundland’s Irish ancestry. Reliable genealogical records concerning Newfoundland ancestry are scant and much specific information of this sort has been lost. The idea of creating a sense of kinship, belonging and strengthening notions of nationalism by virtue of shared genealogical roots has, historically speaking, been full of political nettles, sometimes causing an atmosphere of exclusivity, even tragedy. In the age of globalization, with mass immigration and racial intermarriage, it becomes impossible to identify an Irish face. Old stereotypes of the Irish — red hair, fair skin, green eyes — can no longer encompass the rich variety of Irish faces, if they ever did. And yet many Newfoundland authors, performers and visual artists have recently been seeking to re-establish cultural ties with Ireland. There is a renewed curiosity about our shared heritage. This probably has much to do with Ireland’s recent economic boom, coupled with the arrival of a generation of Newfoundland artists too young to have experienced Newfoundland as a sovereign nation. Unlike our parents, many working Newfoundland artists were born Canadian. Though we entered Confederation in 1949, a province rich in natural and human resources, we have not fully benefited from them because of unfair transfer payments with Ottawa and a general attitude held by the rest of the country that Newfoundland and Labrador is a have-not province in search of charity. In the face of this disparity it is not surprising that Newfoundlanders are returning to our European roots to strengthen our notion of cultural identity. Why, then, examine these important and complex questions of cultural identity with portraiture? Because each portrait engages the viewer’s imagination in a rich and compelling narrative, similar to the narrative posed by the list of passengers coming to the new world — the details in both cases are few and superficial — a list of names and dates in ship’s log, or in the case of portraiture, a whole personality suggested by a glint in the eye. But these details are enough to make us crave more of the story. O’Leary’s Twinning exhibition ran in Waterford, Ireland in the fall of 2004. A St. John’s showing is planned for Thursday evening, Sept. 15, 2005 at City Hall to coincide with the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. For further information, visit her website at www.sheilagholeary.com
Debbie Cooper in the CBC television studio in St. John’s prior to the recent strike.
Paul Daly/The Independent
I want my CBC W
aking up is hard to do. Most of us require some NOREEN graceful transition time GOLFMAN from the bliss of silence that comes with sleep to the vulgarity of noise Standing room only that comes with daylight. It’s hard to trust people who bound out of bed with their senses on orange alert. ber music program, and laugh at a clip Before I am ready to accept the from a City Council meeting. That squawking of gulls or the hammering sort of mix can set you up well for just of workmen across the street I need to about any conversation during the hear voices of reason. I particularly day. need to hear the reassuring voices of There’s no reason to be ignorant. the CBC radio announcers — that is, The network covers, discovers, and the men and women who speak at an uncovers the waterfront. unhurried pace, clearThe alternatives, ly, and with good as I have discovered grammar. I now know for certain to my horror during I would rather not the CBC lockout, are that I do not want to appalling. That is, if wake up to news of suicide bombers havyou are lucky wake up with Jesus, enough to be living ing done their business in the middle of in a part of the whacky games, or the night, or of crashprovince that has ing planes, toxic alternatives. ballads about the spills, or abandoned Citizens of St babies, but if I must John’s have a small girlfriend leaving, leave sweet oblivion measure of choices and enter harsh realion the AM and FM the dog dying, and ty I need to do it with bands, but the same the truck on fire. help. By the time I cannot be said for get to work I might many others, where not be fully awake to the world but the CBC dominates the airwaves. Of yet I feel like an informed citizen, bet- course, the network is still operating, ter prepared to deal with the world’s as management keeps reminding us, chaos. but only at 10 per cent capacity. That The beauty of CBC radio, especial- means if you wake up to the CBC in ly when you are waking up, is that the Cartwright or Burgeo you are forced network offers an appealing mix of to hear about weather forecasts from international and local content. In the sea to sea to sea but you won’t learn space of 20 minutes and without com- about whether it will rain in your own mercial interruptions, one can get a backyard. pretty good sense of just how insane And so it is that weary of listening things are on the Gaza strip, listen to a to the fake, 10 per cent, repeat-broadrange of views about the closing of casting and irrelevant CBC I have the food fishery, enjoy a story about been experimenting with other this year’s Tuckamore Festival cham- options. Whereas CBC on the a.m.
dial is clearly a news and information broadcaster, the commercial stations specialize in everything from religion to golden oldies, with almost everyone playing the ubiquitous “classic rock,” a term that generally means at any time of day you can hear someone, somewhere, spinning Stairway to Heaven or Hey Jude. Well, I have learned the hard way. I now know for certain that I do not want to wake up with Jesus, whacky games, or ballads about the girlfriend leaving, the dog dying, and the truck on fire. I don’t want to wake up with Paul or George, let alone Elton or Elvis, and I am now suspicious of people who do. I certainly don’t want to wake up to cheery conversations between radio hosts who always find each other’s jokes hysterically funny. While it is true commercial radio offers a modicum of news, the information is delivered so quickly, briefly, and unhelpfully the only sensible way to react is to burrow deeper under the covers. Does anyone really need to know that the traffic on Kenmount Road is flowing smoothly, as if we were living in Scarborough? Can anyone tell where the ads end and the so-called real information begins? Why do commercial radio announcers scream at us in those panicky voices? Why is the music so consistently jarringly awful? Is everyone on
black coffee and uppers? I know the world divides between those who like commercial radio and those who do not, and I really do have respect for the way the world divides. But when the public broadcaster disappears you really notice the difference. CBC produces a rich and healthy culture of interest and diversity, a community of listeners who know where they are and why. It isn’t perfect but it aims high and refuses to sound like every other station, without hysteria, hype, or false intensity. And so over the last few days I have teased myself by switching back to CBC, just to see what the network was doing with its 10 per cent capacity and in some vague hope that the lockout was all a dream. But instead of hearing familiar voices at their rightful times I keep hearing repeat broadcasts of Quirks and Quarks or short introductions to long songs I never want to hear again. It’s all like some publicly funded satire. Enough is enough. I want my CBC. I know I’m not alone when I say that I am desperate enough to welcome back Promo Girl, even in the morning. Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and women’s studies at Memorial. Her next column appears Sept. 4.
A LITTLE OF YOUR TIME IS ALL WE ASK. CONQUERING THE UNIVERSE IS OPTIONAL. Think it requires heroic efforts to be a Big Brother or Big Sister? Think again. It simply means sharing a few moments with a child. Play catch. Build a doghouse. Or help take on mutant invaders from the planet Krang. That’s all it takes to transform a mere mortal like yourself into a super hero who can make a world of difference in a child’s life. For more information...
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland 1-877-513KIDS (5437) www.helpingkids.ca
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Stoggers’ Pizza The“best The “bestpizz zzain intown” town”is is
20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
‘Can’t wish for anything better’
AUGUST 21, 2005
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21
Hockey players from Newfoundland and Labrador, the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and Europe took to the ice at the Glacier in Mount Pearl last week as the St. John’s Fog Devils opened their inaugural training camp. Reporter Darcy MacRae and photographer Rhonda Hayward stopped by — and saw some young players facing the first major test of their hockey careers.
here’s a buzz in and around the Glacier in Mount Pearl. Teenaged boys dressed in khaki shorts and collared Tshirts flood the hallways. They chat nervously with their parents, then strip down to their boxers in a dressing room to be weighed and have their measurements taken. It’s registration night for the inaugural St. John’s Fog Devils training camp, as the team prepares for its first season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Standing nearby is Paradisenative Scott Brophy, the team’s first pick in the expansion draft. Brophy jokes he’s not looking forward to having his height measured. “I always hate this part,” laughs Brophy, who at 5’9” is one of the smaller players in the arena. While many players are nervous on the eve of the biggest challenge of their young hockey careers, Brophy and fellow Paradise resident Wes Welcher look relaxed while standing at ice level, watching a group of novice players learn the finer points of the game. Both have played in the league before — Brophy with Gatineau the last two years and Welcher with Moncton in 04-05 — and know what to expect during the camp. “Right now my confidence is a lot higher,” Welcher says. “I know what I’m getting myself into. I know what’s coming up and hopefully I can have a good camp.” A year ago Welcher was a 16year-old rookie in his first training camp in Moncton. He recalls the nervousness that comes with the uncertainty of a major junior tryout and feels for the players experiencing what he went through last year. “For the 16-year-olds coming in, they don’t know what to expect in camp,” he says. “They’re coming to a different province, they don’t know anybody here and have to stay at different houses with different families with different cultures. “There’s a lot of stuff people don’t always think about. There are a lot of changes you have to make.” Welcher’s family is housing Fog Devils’ hopeful Zach Tessier throughout training camp. Tessier, a 17-year-old from Moncton, N.B. says he’s excited about his first major junior tryout and doesn’t feel very nervous. Having Michel Breau, his teammate on the Matieu Metadors high school hockey team
last year, also in camp makes him feel more comfortable. “It sure does make it easier,” says Tessier. The next morning, players show up ready to take to the ice. Prior to the first practice, Fog Devils’ equipment manager Shannon (Shaq) Coady is in the hallway preparing coloured jerseys and their corresponding socks. After several years with the St. John’s Maple Leafs, Coady is no stranger to training camp and says even though this is a new team, there’s one familiar face around. “I’m still here,” he says with a smile. Soon players are flying around the ice with much more speed and skill than one would expect from a teenager. Assistant coaches Darryl Williams and Doug O’Brien explain drills to players who are uncertain of what their roles will be with this new team — but anxious to find out. “I can’t wait to get started,” Welcher says. “It’s a new experience. I’m not a rookie anymore, so I have a new mindset heading into camp. Having a new expansion team here and playing at home is going to be great.” Nervous parents, siblings and girlfriends watch every move from the bleachers, hanging on every pass, every shot, and every goal. “My parents didn’t get the chance to see me play too much last year,” Welcher says. “Having my friends and family come watch will be a totally different experience from last year.” After the morning workouts, team officials take players on a tour of the city. They check out the usual sights and sounds, and by all accounts are impressed by the provincial capital. “It’s a nice place,” Tessier says. “I really like it. The view (of the ocean) is just excellent.” Although the regular season doesn’t begin until mid-September, the air at the Glacier is thick with excitement and anticipation. It gives followers of the team the impression something special is about to be unveiled. “It’s going to be a pleasure to play here,” Welcher says. “When I found out I got picked (in the expansion draft), I was ecstatic. You can’t wish for anything better than to play in your hometown.” firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 21, 2005
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Lake SE of Whitehorse 7 Vocalist Harmer 12 Eau de vie from cherries 18 Cut into 19 Arbitrary command 20 Feel intense aversion 21 Free 22 Ladies of Limoges 23 Ensnare 24 Fish with long beaklike jaws 25 Plunge a knife into 27 Remains of a fire 29 Small island 30 Equal (Fr.) 32 Snow in the city 35 Even in verse 36 Galileo’s birthplace 37 Medieval stringed instrument 39 No ___ Mischief (Alistair MacLeod) 41 Longed 43 Salmon ___, B.C. 45 Some votes 47 Midnight number 48 Amorous involvement 51 Talent 53 Make diet-worthy 57 Nigerian people 58 Joint 60 Lag behind 62 Identical
63 ___ L’Argent, Nfld. 64 Blissful spots 66 Killed 68 Revival technique, briefly 69 French seasons 71 Slope 73 Vronsky’s beloved 74 Unit of electrical resistance 75 Spanish sherry 77 Ice cream unit 79 The Twins 81 Small amount 83 Theme 85 Winter mo. 86 Frenchman who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope (1859) 90 Three Musketeers author 92 Hemispherical roofs 96 Nimbus 97 Chatter 99 Down garment 101 Unclothed 102 Genetic material 103 Waned 105 Like failed humour 107 Sold(i)er material 108 Nurture alternative 110 Nickname of Soviet leader who started democratic revolution 113 List of lapses 115 Model society 116 Standard of perfec-
tion 117 Spay or ___ your pet 118 She founded the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus 119 ___ Dame de Paris 120 Fast DOWN 1 Pooh’s striped friend 2 Infuriate 3 Beetle in Egyptian hieroglyphs 4 Set on fire 5 Wife of Osiris 6 Twiggy digs 7 The Nickel City 8 Short alias 9 Meadow butter? 10 Crossing the ocean 11 German state 12 Facial tissue (brand) 13 Charged particles 14 Refuse visitor 15 Stress and ___ 16 Pierre’s chair 17 Group of seven 26 Math subj. 28 ___ Nostradamus (Douglas Coupland) 31 Turn over a new ___ 33 Search 34 Has not 36 Inquires impertinently 38 Atwood novel: Oryx and ___
40 Rips 42 Help 44 Looks after 46 Italian staircase 48 Diminish 49 Lobby 50 Staggers 52 Wild ass of Asia 54 Quebec way 55 Both: comb. form 56 Time in office 57 Goat-antelope with long curved horns 59 Perform 61 Covered on the inside 65 Ornamental hairnet 67 Having a label 70 Inuit goddess of the sea 72 Add to (2 wds.) 76 Heavy-hearted 78 Fine cotton 80 Computer image 82 Legendary Plains Cree chief 84 Sask. town named for Scottish essayist 86 ___ and Bailey (circus) 87 Crescent-shaped 88 Gifted speaker 89 Catch 91 Snow runner 93 Undergo a change 94 Polished prose 95 Pertaining to the number six
98 First Quebec woman in House of Commons 100 Cries of agreement 103 Shallowest Great
Lake 104 Dead as the ___ 106 Get the veggies ready for the chef
109 Lines at a checkout?: abbr. 111 No longer working, in short
112 Tender spot? 114 Sherbrooke street Solutions page 34
WEEKLY STARS ARIES - MAR 21/APR 20 Things are looking up this week, and you can expect to hear some good news. Make the most of this stroke of luck, Aries. Share your good fortune with others. TAURUS - APR 21/MAY 21 You will have much more responsibility to deal with this week, Taurus. Don't let it get you down, though. Higher-ups will be watching and taking note of your work ethic. GEMINI - MAY 22/JUN 21 You may think you have everything under control, but when you least expect it, your life will go topsy turvy. The only thing to expect, Gemini, is the unexpected. Fill in the grid so that each row of nine squares, each column of nine and each section of nine (three squares by three) contains the numbers 1 through 9 in any order. There is only one solution to each puzzle. Solutions, tips and computer program available at www.sudoko.com THIS WEEK’S SOLUTION ON PAGE 34
CANCER - JUN 22/JUL 22 Eliminate the negative thinking that has been holding you back, Cancer. By changing your outlook, you'll certainly change the way others interact with you.
LEO - JUL 23/AUG 23 Expect hidden issues that will leave you with a dilemma. Avoid relationships with coworkers, Leo; it could only lead to trouble. And you don't need any more trouble in your life. VIRGO - AUG 24/SEPT 22 Don't overspend on entertainment just to impress someone, Virgo. This person should like you for who you are, not what you have. Move on if you feel unappreciated. LIBRA - SEPT 23/OCT 23 You're confused about a particular situation, Libra, and not seeing events for what they really are. Keep quiet or else you're bound to start trouble unnecessarily. SCORPIO - OCT 24/NOV 22 Someone is trying to take advantage of you, Scorpio. Don't give away all of your secrets - you know
you're smarter than that. A “friend's” true colors will show through. SAGITTARIUS - NOV 23/DEC 21 You're invited to be part of an influential group, Sagittarius. Don't pass up the opportunity, even if it requires a financial contribution to get you started. CAPRICORN - DEC 22/JAN 20 Don't mix business with pleasure this week, Capricorn. Otherwise you'll be the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. Pay attention to subtle clues from your peers. AQUARIUS - JAN 21/FEB 18 Think about what your partner would love to do, Aquarius, and then plan the week's events around his or her likes. You'll win plenty of brownie points. PISCES - FEB 19/MAR 20 Watch out for potential money-
makers in the week to come, Pisces. You can end up with more cash in your pocket if you play your cards right. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS AUGUST 21 Kim Cattrall, actress AUGUST 22 Howie Dorough, singer AUGUST 23 Jay Mohr, actor/comic AUGUST 24 Marlee Matlin, actress AUGUST 25 Elvis Costello, singer AUGUST 26 Macaulay Culkin, actor AUGUST 27 Sarah Chalke, actress
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION â€˘ 23
Fuel for school
Kids Eat Smart supported nutrition programs offer a healthy start to the school day, and provide the energy students need to concentrate and learn. Pictured here are students of Holy Cross Junior High School in St. Johnâ€™s enjoying good company and a good breakfast at their Kids Eat Smart Breakfast Program.
Of course every parent wants to do everything they can to help their children be healthy and happy while at school. A large part of maintaining health, both physical and mental, is the food kids eat in school and at home. Establishing healthy eating patterns during childhood can even help prevent major health problems such as obesity and heart disease later in life. Healthy food provides the energy and nutrients kids need for concentration and learning, energy to play, and overall growth and development. And when children are hungry they are more likely to be irritable, feel tired, and be disruptive.
A good breakfast is one of the most important things a parent can do to help their child perform well at school. But sometimes, in the morning rush to get ready for school, breakfast gets missed. The Kids Eat Smart Foundation supports nutrition programs for school children. There are 160 Kids Eat Smart nutrition programs throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, and approximately 16,000 children participate. More than 4,000 volunteers run programs, going to the school or community centres to prepare the meals, which typically include cereal, milk, toast, yogurt, fruit and juice. At many schools, students volunteer and may even take ownership
of the programs at the high school level. The goal of the programs is to ensure that all students have the nourishment they need to focus on their schoolwork, and any child who didnâ€™t have breakfast at home is welcome to participate. Though most programs are breakfast, the Foundation also supports snack programs and lunch programs. There is no charge to participate, but each program has its own fundraising capacity and has support from their local community. Parents, grandparents, community service groups, church groups, local businesses and others donate financially, with food
products and volunteering their time.
Lunch For parents who have both the time and financial stability to provide their children with adequate nutrition on their own, what to give that child is still a conundrum many face. Maybe you have a child who is easily bored and wants a different lunch every day, or maybe you have a picky eater who has dislikes almost everything! For those parents who have the time, packing a lunch for your child can have many benefits.
24 • INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION
AUGUST 21, 2005
Mom and dad can be sure kids get foods they like to eat, and they can plan a nutritious healthy meal. Although there’s never a guarantee your kid will actually eat it! Here are a few points to remember when packing a lunch for your child: • The lunch should attempt to have one item from each of the five food groups • It should have no more than one item high in sugar, fat or oil • It should contain high-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads, vegetables, and nuts whenever possible • And perhaps most importantly – your child should actually enjoy eating the food you pack! As for what foods to include, here are a few simple combinations that don’t need to be refrigerated in the few hours from leaving home to lunch hour: • Banana bread with peanut butter, sliced cucumber and pre-cut melon cubes. • A bagel with cream cheese (or minibagels), sugar snap peas, and a box of raisins. • A tortilla rolled up with a slice of mild cheese, baby carrots, and a small orange.
• Half a pita with shredded carrot and mild cheese, and an individual cup of applesauce.
After School After-school snacking is an important part of every child’s diet. At the end of a busy and often stressful day at school, taking time to sit back, relax and refuel is essential. Children need a certain amount of nutrients and calories each day, and meals and snacks added together should provide that amount. Therefore, snacks should be part of the bigger plan. If the snacks kids are eating are nutritious healthy foods, then they don’t need to eat so much at dinnertime to meet their daily nutritional requirements. And, if the snacks are wholesome foods, you don’t need to be concerned that empty-calorie foods are crowding out what they really need. So, encourage your child to snack healthily after school, and don’t sweat it if they don’t eat a huge dinner. As long as they’ve met the daily requirements, when they’ve eaten is of little consequence.
We all know what to do for back to school basics: new notebooks, backpacks, shoes and clothing. But what about outside of class? Every parent knows the importance of extracurricular activities for children, but there are so many choices it can seem overwhelming. Getting involved in new activities with new people is a great way to challenge your children to grow and explore. Extracurricular activities help in other ways too; it looks good on college applications, it’s an important way for children to meet other children and it’s vital to maintaining emotional and physical health. Guiding your children, into constructive extracurricular activities can be difficult when there is so much to choose from, so we’ve chosen a few activities you can explore locally to help narrow the field.
Music So many children demonstrate and apti-
tude for music and song early in life. It can prove to be an outlet for teenage frustrations, a way for younger kids to express themselves and a great way to meet other children. The fact that music is fun should not be underestimated. Stimulating activities like playing music will capture and hold children’s deepest interests. It also encourages the development of the whole child by enhancing cognitive, social, physical, and emotional skills. Norris Music in Mount Pearl has been serving the complete needs of students and parents for more than 18 years. They provide a wide range of instruments, from tin whistles to saxophones, and ukuleles to guitars. They also have a very knowledgeable staff, useful for parents who aren’t 100% certain what their children’s needs are. Owner Marilyn Norris say’s “Back to school means back to music,” and she’s right – for many kids, music lessons fall to the wayside in the summer
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION • 25
Connie Parsons of Connie Parsons School of Dance
Lyle R. Wetsch of Dive Newfoundland
months, and instruments lie gathering dust. That’s where another program offered at Norris Music can come into play; trade-in, trade-up program that allows parents to trade one instrument in on the purchase of another. This can provide a measure of insurance to parents whose children lose interest rapidly and it’s a great feature when kids need to move to a more advanced instrument as they
become more proficient.
Dance Dance for children isn’t just fun but, also has therapeutic benefits such as building character, selfesteem and self-discipline. Dance classes can build social bridges, and can help growing children learn about and accept their changing bodies.
Connie Parsons School of Dance stays up to date on the latest trends in dance and is able to provide classes in current as well as classic styles. “Hip Hop is really big these days”. We offer everything from ballet to breakdancing” says Parsons. Their on-site specialty dance and active-wear store, The Dance Spectrum, has everything any parent might need for their child’s dance class. In addi-
tion to dancewear, The Dance Spectrum has clothing and accessories for gymnastics, figure skating and yoga. For especially busy parents, there’s even an online buying feature www.dance-spectrum.com
Scuba Diving Scuba diving may not be the first thing that pops to mind when par-
ents think of extracurricular activities for their children. But, most children love being in the water, and for those who don’t, the elimination of fear, and learning to swim are important lessons. It provides a chance to give a child increased confidence, additional water-safety skills and a lifetime love of the water. Dive Newfoundland offers several
26 • INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION
unique scuba diving opportunities for children and adults. Almost anyone over the age of eight can participate. Dive Newfoundland is offering a Back to School promotion that allows you to try scuba diving in a pool for only $10 per person. For younger kids, from eight to ten, there’s the bubblemaker program and kids ten and up can enroll in a Discover Scuba experience. Everything is provided for the child except swimsuit. Scuba diving is an unconventional and incredibly fun activity for the entire family to enjoy together, as children as young as 10 can become certified and can dive with their parents or a dive professional. After school activities are vital to a child’s development and growth, they empower a child to trust in their own abilities and decision making powers, they serve as a source for kids to explore social and even career options, and teach responsibility and teamwork. With so many options out there, it may take your child several trys to find an activity they truly love, so it’s important to be patient and supportive because in the long run, they’re sure to find something that makes both them, and you, happy.
P rivate L essons
AUGUST 21, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-27, 2005 — PAGE 27
George Murphy, a researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Burning money Williams leaning towards another fuel rebate but consumer groups want HST removed entirely from home heating By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
he province and the federal government may be closed to the possibility of removing gasoline taxes, but the removal of HST on home fuel — as well as electrical heating — is still up for debate. Danny Williams has indicated a possible continuation of last winter’s $250 fuelrebate program for qualifying low-income households, but consumer groups are pushing for more. George Murphy, a researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices, tells The Independent the group is hopeful the HST issue will get resolved this winter, despite the fact it needs co-operation from the feds and the other Atlantic provinces. “We think there’s a pretty good chance there,” he says. “The reason being, if you go back to when we presented the petition in the
house, that was March 28, 2001, it was (Minister of Natural Resources) Ed Byrne who said that it would be their mandate to ban, outright, the HST on all sorts of heat.” Murphy’s group is hopeful the upcoming Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, to be held in St. John’s this month, will give the Williams administration a chance to seriously address the issue. ‘VERY WORRIED’ Rosemary Lester, executive director of the Senior Resource Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador, says her organization is “very worried about what’s going to happen this winter.” She says many seniors require more heat as a result of living in old, inefficient houses in need of repair. The association has a home-repair program, but the list is long.
“We hear about it (heating issues) mainly through our toll-free information line and yes, I couldn’t tell you the numbers, but certainly we get a considerable amount of calls about that.” Lester approves the potential removal of HST, rather than a $250 issued-uponreceipt rebate. As well as obvious gas and heating costs, residents and businesses in the province are feeling the pinch in every aspect of consumption. Whether individual business sectors will be overtly affected still remains to be seen. Marilyn Thompson, president of the St. John’s Board of Trade, says the association has looked into two particular sectors, exporting and tourism, to see if there have been any significant declines. “I guess if there was one real impact that might set us apart from anywhere else it’s that we export so much in raw material, so we’re paying the cost of fuel twice. We’re sending things out and we’re bring-
ing things in.” She says there haven’t been any visible changes to business yet, but it may be too early to tell. IN THE MIDDLE Due to the current price of oil driving up costs on an international level, Thompson says Newfoundland and Labrador’s exported products (falling under the higher Canadian dollar) probably won’t be affected. Oil and gas prices in Canada are varied across the provinces and at the moment, Newfoundland and Labrador is hovering in the middle range, with Quebec showing the highest rates, and Alberta the lowest. David Toms, acting director for the province’s petroleum pricing office, says the discrepancies are due to the varied provincial tax structures. “Actually, Newfoundland and Labrador See “Consumers,” page 28
Industry vs. consumer
Economist says billions in oil revenues will leave province; consumers won’t benefit By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent
ewfoundlanders and Labradorians along with the rest of North America are reeling under rising fuel costs, but will increased provincial revenues generated by offshore developments be enough to soften the blow? Jim Stanford, a former energy economist currently with the Canadian Auto Workers union, says probably not. “I’m not sure how much extra money the province will get, because those royalty programs were designed very favourably for the oil companies, so clearly, it’s the companies and not the government that are capturing the
lion’s share of that,” he tells The Independent. “Then, because the companies are all owned either elsewhere in Canada or outside of Canada, that wealth will be nominally accounted for in Newfoundland and Labrador’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but billions of it will never set foot on Newfoundland’s soil.” Recent oil prices have been pushing as high as $68 US a barrel and consumers are calling for governmentimposed regulations to help with oil and gas costs. On the other side of the coin, provincial royalty revenues are expected to pull in at least $700 million this fiscal year — over twice as much as predict-
ed in 2005’s budget. The current royalty regimes for Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose are based on a formula that combines a
“It’s the companies and not the government that are capturing the lion’s share.” Jim Stanford low gross royalty in the early years with a higher net profit royalty following the recovery of invested costs.
Due to high upfront expenses, Hibernia’s regime is particularly favourable towards its owner companies and it’s unlikely the province’s royalties will ever move beyond five per cent of revenues. Terra Nova, on the other hand, may achieve payout as early as next year, which will boost provincial royalties to as much as 30 per cent of revenues. White Rose, with its similar system, isn’t expected to begin production before 2006. Premier Danny Williams says he is not prepared to renegotiate existing royalty regimes, but he does expect more favourable benefits from any new developments, including Hebron-Ben Nevis.
The province and Chevron are currently negotiating for the potential development of the offshore site. Aside from dealing with high fuel costs, Stanford says the rising Canadian dollar could pose more problems for Newfoundland and Labrador’s consumers. “If you don’t work in the oil industry, what does the dollar mean?” says Stanford. “For the fishing industry it’s a clear negative, because it means that it’s much harder to sell product in the U.S. or anywhere else. When you add up all of the different loops and all of the different connections it’s not at all clear that Newfoundlanders are going to benefit.”
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28 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
AUGUST 21, 2005
Fairmont Newfoundland still on market
he Fairmont Hotel in downtown St. John’s doesn’t have a for-sale sign out front, but it’s still on the auction block, company officials confirm. Officials with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts would not comment on who is looking to purchase its property or exactly what the asking price is, but did say many potential buyers have come forward. “We have received a number of inquiries from interested parties, but we’re just continuing with the selling process and we haven’t identified any potential buyers,” says Denise Achonu, executive director of investor relations for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The Fairmont Newfoundland has been for sale since June 7, with Collier’s International serving as the broker. No deadline has been set for completion of the sale. “Once we do have a final sale agreement we will be making a public statement,” Achonu says, adding “we don’t have anything new to report.” The hotel has 301 guest rooms and 14 suites, a health club, fine dining for up to 2,000, and 16 meeting rooms. It is rumoured Fortis Properties, one of St. John’s biggest real estate companies, is interested in buying the Fairmont Newfoundland. Fortis Properties own 15 hotels across the country — including the Holiday Inn and Delta, both in St. John’s — and appears to be a natural suitor for the downtown hotel. — Alisha Morrissey
Continuing a busy cruise season, the Discovery was in St. John’s this week, carrying 640 passengers. It will go on to make stops in four ports around the province. Fifteen cruise ships were scheduled to come into the capital city this year. Paul Daly/The Independent
This idea deserves to clean up
Vancouver company proposes to clean up PCB sites — including the Sydney tar ponds — using ‘world’s biggest vibrator’ By Tyler Hamilton Torstar wire service
ape Breton may very well be one of the most scenic places in Canada, but in the middle of that East Coast paradise sits Sydney, an industrial eyesore known more for its tar ponds than anything else. It’s the result of nearly a century of coal mining and steelmaking, which left behind 900,000 tonnes of chemical waste and untreated sewage. About five per cent of that waste, or 45,000 tonnes, is contaminated with dangerous concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. First discovered in the late 1800s, PCBs were used throughout much of the 20th century as a fire-resistant ingredient in industrial materials such as inks, paint, caulking compounds, coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment. By the late 1970s links to cancer, skin diseases, nervous system disorders, birth defects, reproductive problems and other health issues led to a North American ban on the substance in 1977. Last spring, Ottawa and the Nova Scotia government said they would spend $400 million over 10 years to decontaminate the tar ponds, with $120 million in federal money coming from $3.5 billion earmarked in the 2004 federal budget.
“This material will be removed and safely destroyed using a proven technology such as high-temperature incineration,” states the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency on its website. “Incineration is currently the most commonly used method of destroying PCB waste in North America.” Most common. Maybe. But is incineration the best way to go? “I’ve seen these ponds myself, and it’s a nasty mess,” says Adam Sumel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Sonic Environmental Solutions Inc., who believes he’s got a better way to clean up Sydney’s contaminated soils. In essence, Sumel wants to give the soil a good shake, using what he describes as the “world’s biggest vibrator.” Sonic Environmental has developed and patented a system that uses the natural resonance of a 14-foot, 2.8 tonne steel bar to create an effect known as “sonic agitation,” which removes PCBs from soil and then destroys them completely by altering their chemical composition. Resonance can be a powerful thing when properly harnessed. Ever had an annoying vibration in your car when it’s in a certain low gear? Ever used a tuning fork, or slid your finger around the rim of a crystal wine glass only to hear a vibration sound grow louder and more intense? What you’re experienc-
ing is the natural resonance of objects. “We actually drive this steel bar into its resonance, capture its energy and then apply it,” says Sumel, explaining that each end of the bar is suspended by large magnets, allowing it to vibrate without touching — that is, destroying — anything.
“To do something good for the world and make money is quite honestly a good feeling.” Paul Austin
Sodium is then dispersed into the PCB-filled solvent. Again, the intense vibration of the steel bar accelerates a chemical reaction, stripping chlorine from the PCBs — in other words, destroying them. When the solvent is recovered from the soil, the end product is salt and low-grade fuel. And, most importantly, clean soil. Sumel says incineration has many problems. First, you’ve got to relocate
the soil to an incineration facility that could be several hundred kilometres away. Not only can this become costly, some people don’t take kindly to having trucks hauling contaminated loads through their communities, even if they’re en route somewhere else. Another risk with incineration, which is why many countries have banned it, is incomplete combustion of the PCBs could lead to the release of even more toxic particulates into the air. On the other hand, Sonic Environmental’s system is mobile. And it’s relatively “green” in the sense it doesn’t carry the same risks — and risk perceptions — of incineration. Sumel says it also uses less power than a typical incinerator system, meaning it’s spewing fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Environment Canada said earlier this month it will begin cleaning up the first 100 of about 4,000 contaminated sites under the responsibility of the federal government, including the Sydney tar ponds. “We know there are a few of those heavily contaminated with PCBs,” says Sumel, who says he’s met with Environment Minister Stéphane Dion to discuss the problem. “We’re moving towards getting a piece of that. One of the first things we need is a demonstration site with the government.” But he doesn’t expect to get any traction from government anytime soon. It
could be nearly a year, for example, before there’s action on the Sydney tar ponds. As far as Canada goes, Sonic is in talks with a large international company about cleaning up a private site in eastern Canada. Similar partnerships are being discussed on other fronts. Sonic Environmental is heavily focused on creating joint ventures in the United States, the European Union and Japan. And it’s not just environmental regulation creating these opportunities. Land for development in certain highpopulation cities is becoming scarce, forcing developers to clean up dirty or “brownfield” properties that in the past have been overlooked. Japan could offer a unique opportunity. “Japan is addressing the soil problem right now,” says Paul Austin, vicepresident of marketing at Sonic Environmental. “You’re starting to see the big manufacturers looking for innovative technologies they can import to deal with this problem. The fact is, you can’t incinerate in Japan.” Over time the sonic generator will be adapted for many different industrial applications — such as mixing chemicals — but Sumel and his team decided to prove the concept by attacking the PCB problem first. “To do something good for the world and make money is quite honestly a good feeling,” he says.
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is doing quite well with respect to others … if you take away the impact on the differences in the taxation you’ll see that we’re actually even better placed compared to the other provinces.” Although there’s not much the province can do about globally-imposed oil prices, Toms says a second local refinery — a potential project favoured by Williams — might make a difference. “Theoretically it could, depending on what kind of marketing objective it might have … if it had as a corporate objective, intention of captur-
ing a significant part of the local market, we might see some strategy in place to try to compete on a local level against current market suppliers.” The existing refinery at Come By Chance receives its crude from developments outside the province and after processing, sends stores back out again. It does not process oil from the Grand Banks. Toms predicts consumers will likely find themselves practicing energy conservation, which over time will lead to possibly driving smaller vehicles and switching to alternative heating, therefore minimizing demand and gradually reducing oil prices.
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 29
‘Suburbs in the country’ Campers appear to prefer private and provincial parks over national ones By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
he Cochrane Pond Park about 20 minutes’ drive west of St. John’s has been blocked all summer, to the point that the owners are expanding. Jeff Petten, the owner’s son and park manager, says only a half dozen or so of the seasonal campsites haven’t been sold out for the season. He can’t say exactly how many seasonal sites there are because the number is constantly increasing. He says families started coming in on the May 24 weekend and renting sites for the season, parking their campers and taking up residence in the park — even commuting to work in the city from there. The park has 76 campsites in total — 60 of which are unserviced. Sites are being converted from nightly or monthly rentals to seasonal at a rate of a few a week. “It’s become a community,” Petten tells The Independent. “It’s a family campground … with a lot of kids — that we encourage. They come here and kids make their own friends.” The private park, he says, wasn’t doing too well in the beginning, but has grown every year for the past few years. “This campground, it now sort of centres around senior citizens, which is quite compatible with young families and other than that they cater a little bit to the travelling tourist,” Petten says. “It’s like a suburb in the country. “We turn more tourists away than … right now we can’t accommodate them.” Private parks are doing well this summer, but so are provincial parks operated by the province’s Environment Department, says Minister Tom Osborne. Government officials expect attendance numbers to come in on par with previous years. “Some of our parks have experienced a significant increase in visitation this year such as Cheesman Park out near Port aux Basques. We’ve had some that have experienced a decrease in visitation and that’s pretty normal,” Osborne says. He says the park with the lowest number of visitations this year is Pistolet Bay on the Northern Peninsula and the park with the best attendance is — as usual — Butterpot Park, about
California’s film tax credit A generous film and television tax credit proposed for California may hurt the competitiveness of Ontario's reviving production industry if the bill in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's state is passed. “It (the credit program) will keep TV movies and smaller studio pictures in California,” says Don Carmody, producer. He has helped bring such films as Chicago and Resident Evil to Toronto. But larger feature movies will probably be unaffected, he says The bill proposes a 12 per cent tax credit on program spending in the state, with a cap of $3 million (US). An additional three per cent credit will be offered for television movies. If the bill, headed to a state Senate revenue and tax committee, is passed, Ontario will be in direct competition with California for smaller productions with tight budgets. In January, the Ontario government increased the tax credit for domestic productions from 20 per cent to 30 per cent and for foreign films from 10 per cent to 18 per cent. The credits are for labour, and have no cap. The change in credit has increased production spending by $200 million in the first six months of the year. — Torstar wire service
Campers enjoy their days in Pippy Park — rain or shine.
half an hour away from St. John’s. attendance at the park is down 10 per In fact, Butterpot generally has a cent over the same time last year. He waiting list and turns away as many says the season started off slowly this people as there are year due to bad campsites in a seaweather, but has son. “It’s hard to say since stabilized. why, but year to “This weekend “People are moving to year you will see coming up (Aug. 20certain parks with a 21), it (the park) of the RVs and to the huge increase in course is going to be serviced campsites.” numbers.” full because of the Osborne says he, folk festival,” he along with everyone says of the annual Ken Kennedy else in the tourism Twillingate Fish, Fun industry, has and Folk Festival. noticed a sharp “So what happens it decrease in the use of national parks. goes up on the weekends about 80 or 90 Greg Stroud, manager of visitor serv- per cent capacity and then it goes down ices at Terra Nova National Park, says to about 65, 70 per cent capacity on the
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
weekdays.” Stroud says national parks don’t sell seasonal campsites and the prices are generally a bit higher per night, though early-bird season passes are available that provide discounts to visitors and those who like to camp at the park. Ken Kennedy, spokesman for Gros Morne National Park, says camping numbers are down more than 24 per cent. The park’s visitor centres show attendance is down about 10 per cent since 2001. “That being said I hear that the private campgrounds are seeing a significant increase. They offer a different level of service than we do at Parks Canada in western Newfoundland,” he says.
The Gros Morne campground offers only un-serviced or semi-serviced sites, he says. “People are moving to the RVs and to the serviced campsites so that’s probably one of the reasons people are moving to that service offer.” Kennedy says camping in a national park compared to a private or provincial park is a different experience and the federal government doesn’t want to compete with those options. “We don’t want to be out reducing our prices and subsidizing the camping offer such that we put a private operator out of business. “We want to work with them to grow their business and make sure they’re viable too.”
FPI not fishing for income trust investors just yet By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
ishery Products International hasn’t raised the $100 million from its income trust idea just yet, company officials say. Russ Carrigan, spokesman for FPI, says the company is currently dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on paperwork and hasn’t yet gone to public markets to try and sell 40 per cent of its American-based marketing arm in the form of an income trust. “At this point the work that we’re doing is internal. Again, it’s related to financial data and some of the legal work that they have to do dealing with the regulatory authorities involved,” Carrigan tells The Independent. “There’s a lot of people with their sleeves rolled up and beavering away over the summer to get us to the point that we need to be as fast as we can get
there.” The plan to sell a portion of the Massachusetts-based Ocean Cuisine International was controversial, but approved June 24 by a free vote in the House of Assembly. The sale of the marketing and valueadded arm would take the form of an income trust that would allow investors to profit, but not allow them any say in how the company is run. Stipulations of the plan, however, require FPI to give the Town of Harbour Breton $3 million in income support and access to a redfish quota. The company must also help out several other struggling communities, including Fortune. Carrigan says the company may be ready to accept offers for the income trust as early as the fall. “At that time the determining factor would be market conditions. Unless there’s an unexpected change in the
conditions to launch an income trust public offering of the sort that we’re talking about then we’d anticipate going in the fall,” Carrigan says, adding a lot of interest has been expressed in the market place. “There are calls from time to time about are you guys still thinking about doing an income-trust transaction with one of your divisions. “So there’s a healthy amount of general interest out there, but I can’t comment on that. “If we don’t think it’s going to go well we’ll delay it that’s the way that kind of thing works, but at this point we don’t anticipate that market conditions will be a problem.” Carrrigan says the company is look-
ing forward to the capital that will come in from the transaction to pay down a $30-million debt and invest in information technology and its operations in Burin. Ocean Cuisine International is responsible for marketing and sales in North America. In 2003 the company’s sales topped $487 million Cdn. The federal and provincial governments formed FPI in the early 1980s from a number of bankrupt fish processing firms. Even though FPI is a private company, it remains governed by the province’s FPI Act, which limits the amount any one investor can own, up to 15 per cent.
30 • INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION
AUGUST 21, 2005
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION • 31
32 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
AUGUST 21, 2005
Power boost from $1B tunnel Niagara hydro plant gets upgrade; will help growing energy needs By Richard Brennan Torstar wire service
Niagara tunnel project
$1 billion hydroelectric project at Niagara Falls, billed as “one of the biggest tunnelling projects in the world,” will help feed the province’s growing appetite for power. The new tunnel, announced late last week by Ontario Power Generation, will supply additional water from above Niagara Falls to OPG’s Sir Adam Beck hydroelectric generating complex at Queenston Heights. Increased water flow from the tunnel will allow the station to generate an additional 1,600 gigawatt-hours of energy annually. That’s enough to meet the annual energy requirements of a city twice the size of Niagara Falls. The 14 per cent increase will take the energy production of the Beck complex from 11,800 gigawatt-hours annually to about 13,400 gigawatt-hours annually. “It will be one of the biggest tunnelling projects in the world,” an OPG official says of the 10.4 kilometre-long tunnel, adding that it’s the largest construction project of its kind since the Beck tunnel was constructed 50 years ago. The tunnel will be 140 metres below ground and have an internal diameter of 12.7 metres, making it wider than the two 7.6-metre-wide individual train tunnels of the Chunnel linking Britain and France. “The new tunnel will be able to better utilize Niagara River water for electricity generation, while not detracting in any way from the beauty of the Niagara Falls,” says Jim Hankinson, OPG’s president. The senior OPG source says the $1 billion price tag can be justified because the tunnel will help supply “clean renewable power over 90 years — by comparison a natural gas plant has a life expectancy of 20 years.” OPG had considered adding a third generating station to the two existing
The Niagara River gorge cuts through Ontario Hydro (left) and the Robert Moses Power Plant (right).
stations that now make up the Sir Adam Beck complex at Niagara Falls, but decided there was not enough water flowing over the natural wonder to sustain it. Preparation work on the tunnel will start next month, with additional power generation expected to be ready for the Ontario market by late 2009. That preparation includes construction of a 14.4-metre-diameter tunnel boring machine thought to be the largest in the world. The machine will cost between $75 million and $80 million and will take up to a year to build. OPG awarded the $600 million contract to design and build the tunnel to Strabag AG of Austria, a major firm with extensive experience in large tunnel construction. The overall project is expected to cost $985 million and the
province of Ontario has committed to provide OPG with the required financing for the project. ILF Beratende Ingenieure of Austria, Morrison Hershfield of Toronto, Dufferin Construction of Oakville and several other local subcontractors will support Strabag. Energy Minister Dwight Duncan says the project will be an “economic boon” to the Niagara Region with approximately 80 per cent of total project construction dollars spent in Ontario. The site construction work force is expected to average about 230 full-time workers, with peaks of up to 350 workers over the four-year construction period. The additional water flow provided by the new tunnel will complement the
upgrading of the 16 generating units at the Sir Adam Beck 2 station that was completed in May. This upgrading increased the potential peak power output of the 16 units by 194 megawatts, bringing it up to a total capacity of 2,081 megawatts. While the increase seems like a small addition to the total output of the complex, OPG stresses the tunnel will ensure a constant, reliable source of water power to the two generating stations. On high demand days, Ontario needs 25,000 megawatts of power to meet its needs. Several times this summer, power supplies have been so tight that power system operators have imposed brownouts to avert the need for rolling blackouts.
Ontario Power Generation plans to start work in September on a 10.4-kilometre tunnel to divert more water to its Niagara Falls hydroelectric generating complex in a bid to help satisfy the province’s power needs. Energy production: Energy output will be boosted by 1,600 gigawatt-hours per year, enough renewable electricity to power about 160,000 homes — or a city twice the size of Niagara Falls — for a year. Total Cost: $985 million. OPG has awarded a $600 million contract to Austrian company Strabag AG, which has expertise in tunnel construction. Local subcontractors will help with the project. Schedule: Work is expected to be completed by late 2009. New jobs: The construction workforce on the four-year project will average 230 full-time employees, with peaks of up to 350 workers. Plenty of local employment and business opportunities are also expected. Dimensions: A tunnel-boring machine with a diameter of 14.4 metres will operate 140 metres below ground to excavate the 10.4kilometre tunnel, which will supply additional Niagara River water to the Sir Adam Beck Generating Complex at Queenston Heights. Source: Ontario Power Generation
CTV News wins with CBC lockout By Antiona Zerbisias Torstar wire service
BC workers may be locked out but CTV is striking. Canada’s largest private network is taking advantage of the giant gap in the TV news market created when CBC management shut out its 5,500 Canadian Media Guild members Aug. 15. Late last week, CTV began its offensive with two half-page ads, in the Toronto Star and in The Globe and Mail, which, like the network, is owned by Bell Globemedia. Both informed viewers that had a 10 p.m. alternative to CBC-TV’s flagship The National, now off the air due to the labour dispute. That option is the Atlantic edition of The CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson on CTV Newsnet, much higher up the cable dial than CBC Newsworld, its chief rival. “Basically, this is an appeal to CBC
traditionalists and loyalists in Ontario up 48 per cent since July 2004. and Quebec, telling them that there is a Now Hurst is pouring “several huncredible, good, solid, national newscast dred thousand dollars” into it and done by Canadians available at 10 “bringing on more crews, more editors, o’clock — and it’s on News-net,” says more staff to deliver more news and CTV News president Robert Hurst. more urgent news.” He’s adding an That’s one more reason that CBC’s entire new shift and creating new daydecision to lock out time newscasts. its workers will be Some of these CBC might incur far costly. Once CBC changes were in the viewers realize they works anyway. The greater losses if Hurst only difference is, have an option, they will exercise it. to CBC’s goes raiding for talent thanks True, CNN is the labour woes, Newstop news dog among net has bumped up on its picket lines. specialty channels, its overhaul. with an average audi“Last Monday ence of 24,100 viewers aged 25-54. morning, I said to my senior staff, I Newsworld draws about 60 per cent of want you to come up with an immedithat, while Newsnet gets about 30 per ate plan,” Hurst recalls. “There’s an cent. obligation for us to try to serve But CTV’s share is climbing. Nielsen Canadians with better, more aggressive Media numbers supplied by the net- news.” work show Newsnet’s audience has Clearly, it’s been a very good year for grown by 19 per cent since June and is Newsnet, which now just breaks even.
But there was a big threat on the horizon: last winter, CBC executives told Parliament’s Standing Committee on Heritage they would be restoring many of the 60-minute local supper-hour newscasts, and investing in late night and weekend local news as well. So Hurst and his team were already on alert to increased competition. Last month, says Hurst, veteran CTV Newsnet vice-president Derwyn Smith was “released’’ and a “hot, young, under-40” trio — Jana Juginovoc, Jonathan Kay and Jon Taylor — was installed. They quickly went to work to revamp Newsnet. Their strategy is to stick mainly with breaking news, and to avoid the softer programming offered by Newsworld (Fashion File, Antiques Road Show etc.). So there are no plans to produce legal or political shows, although the nightly Countdown with Mike Duffy will get a splashy launch next month. Indeed, breaking news is CTV’s
strength. CTV News now has some 120 camera crews across the country, while CBC’s resources have contracted, limiting its ability to be first with the story in many regions of the country. The irony is it used to be the other way around. CBC’s network operation could count on its local “farm teams” to not only feed it stories and images, but to also nurture the talent that would one day make it to The National. CBC might even incur far greater losses if Hurst goes raiding for talent on its picket lines. He says he’s hiring — and with many CBC workers disgruntled and facing a management push to put them on short-term contracts, Hurst could land some very big prizes. “We deliver locally, we deliver nationally and now Newsnet is going to make a promise to deliver much more,” Hurst says. “So, is it a lucky break for us? Well, if we don’t deliver, it won’t have been. But we’re going to deliver.”
Breathe through a straw for 60 seconds. That’s what breathing is like with cystic fibrosis. No wonder so many people with CF stop breathing in their early 30s.
Please help us.
1-800-378-CCFF • www.cysticfibrosis.ca
AUGUST 21, 2005 By Rick Matsumoto Torstar wire service
amon Allen was back in his customary role as the Toronto Argonauts’ starting quarterback last week. That puts Michael Bishop back on the sidelines waiting for the next call to arms — be it next week, next month or next year. The pressing question for the Argos, however, is whether Bishop possesses the full package to eventually replace Allen, even though the CFL’s elder statesman continues to defy Mother Nature at age 42. For the answer to be “yes,” Bishop must show that he is more than the owner of a right arm that can heave a football 70 yards downfield while throwing off the wrong foot and tough enough to run over would-be tacklers. He needs to develop the mental ability of a Russ Jackson, the leadership qualities of a Warren Moon, the heart of a Ron Lancaster, the gutsiness of a Matt Dunigan and Allen’s coolness under fire in seeking out alternative receivers. Those are the qualities displayed by the top CFL signal-callers over the years. The 29-year-old Bishop, a Heisman Trophy candidate in his final season at Kansas State, won the battle for the Argo backup job last season when the team traded Marcus Brady to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. And when Allen suffered a broken leg midway through the year he stepped in to put together a 4-3-1 record as the team’s starter. He got the call again Aug. 12 against the Montreal Alouettes when Allen was hobbled by a bone bruise in his right ankle. However, he struggled through the first two quarters and head coach Mike Clemons turned to Allen in the second half in a desperate attempt to salvage a victory. The bid fell short, 18-10, despite a sterling effort by Allen. Dunigan, who returned to the television booth this season after one ill-fated season as Calgary Stampeders’ general manager and head coach, has watched Bishop over the past 3 1/2 seasons and says he’s puzzled by the quarterback’s failure to develop more quickly. He says he was disappointed by Bishop’s performance against the Alouettes. “I saw hesitation, unsureness,” Dunigan says. “I saw a quarterback who was not sure of what he was seeing. To me, that can come with rust and lack of playing time. You give him the benefit of the doubt. But how long do you give a guy? How long do you give a Marcus
Grant happy to be back on the blades By Scott Briggs Telegraph-Journal
here was a noticeable absence when the Saint John Sea Dogs hit the ice last week for their first-ever training camp. Defenceman Alex Grant, the club’s first overall draft choice and this year’s number one pick overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, didn’t play in the ‘Quest for the Best’ minitournament due to a minor back injury. In fact, the Sea Dogs brass opted to keep their prized pupil away from Harbour Station entirely during the two-day event. But Grant received medical clearance to skate with the team early last week on the third day of camp. The 16year-old sustained the injury earlier this summer at a hockey school in Ottawa. “I wound up for a slapshot and just cramped up,” Grant says. “I guess it was a sprain. It felt really tight and I couldn’t straighten out.” Saint John general manager Tipper LeBlanc was pleased to see Grant lace up. “Seeing him on the ice is a big relief,” LeBlanc says. “He’s going to be a big part of what we’re going to do.” Grant played last season with his hometown Antigonish Bulldogs of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. In 50 games, he scored seven goals and nine assists for 16 points. Grant also helped Team Atlantic make history last season when it won a bronze medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Grant added some muscle this summer to his lean 6-foot-2 frame. Central Scouting listed his weight at 170 pounds last season, but he now checks in around 190. “I hit the gym pretty much every day, so I feel I’m in pretty good shape,” he says. Grant became the third straight Nova Scotian selected first overall in the QMJHL draft, following Sidney Crosby and James Sheppard. “I feel good coming in,” he says. “Being drafted that high, I definitely feel some pressure, but I’m just putting that aside and playing how I normally play. It should be fine.”
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 33
Does Bishop have a prayer? The jury’s still out on whether the Argos’ backup quarterback has what it takes to replace Damon Allen
Toronto Argonauts quarterback Michael Bishop has all the skills, but has yet to put it all together at the pro level. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski
Brady, a Marcus Crandell, a Michael Bishop?” Dunigan wonders if that missing item is a full mental commitment to their work. That, and not the physical aspect of the game, is the biggest adjustment a quarterback must make when he moves up to the pro ranks from college, says Dunigan. “You really have to pour yourself into it mentally,” he says. Dunigan wondered aloud why Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray was able to come in so quickly and grasp the nuances and subtleties of the Canadian
game and perform well enough to earn a year with the NFL’s New York Jets. He suggests it was the off-field studying Ray was willing to put into his work. Bishop doesn’t necessarily buy Dunigan’s position on the key to success. He feels the place to learn the game is on the field. “They can teach all day in the film room, but you actually learn on the field going through the live bullets,” says Bishop. “You can be the best student inside the film room, but if you can’t do it out there on the field it’s a big waste.”
Argo general manager Adam Rita remains hopeful that Bishop can be Allen’s successor. Rita says no team can be sure that the understudy will ultimately be able to take over from the master and perform at the same level. He says the only way for a young quarterback to challenge for the starter’s job is to get the opportunity to play and he acknowledges that backups rarely get that chance. Dunigan doesn’t buy the argument that a lack of game experience has stalled Bishop’s development as a quarterback capable of being a starter.
“I had 26 passes (in 1983) when Jackie Parker gave me the reins (from Warren Moon who left for the NFL in ‘84),” says Dunigan. Bishop’s self-confidence is unwavering and he says he’s not concerned with any controversy as to whether he has the capability to one day take over from Allen. “I’m not worried about that,” he says. “Regardless of whether I play here or not, I’m going to be playing football somewhere. I don’t care less what people think as long as I know within myself that I can play.”
Cherry in limbo during lockout Didn’t even know he was in union By Chris Zelkovich Torstar wire service
on’t expect to see Don Cherry hoisting a picket sign over the shoulder of one of his signature loud sports jackets. In fact, if the CBC lockout runs into the NHL season, Hockey Night In Canada’s biggest star might even cross picket lines. Cherry says that he’s not sure what he will do if CBC workers are still locked out when the network airs its first game on Oct. 8. But the bombastic commentator was less than supportive of the Canadian Media Guild, which represents 5,500 members including him.
“It’s a funny thing that I didn’t even know I was in the union until you told me,” he says. “That’s how many times they’ve been in contact with me. “All the times that I’ve been hanging by a thread, 99 per cent being fired, I never once had a call from the union saying, ‘We support you, Don.’ And now that they’re in trouble, I’m supposed to say I support them.” Asked if he would cross picket lines if the CBC allowed workers to break union ranks, Cherry says he expected the labour impasse to be solved by then. If not, “I’ll have to wait to see how things unfold, what I do. But if I hear the word salary cap I’ll know we’re all
in trouble,” he adds with a laugh. Media guild national president Lise Lareau notes that Cherry has been a member of the union for several years but says she understood his frustration. INDIVIDUAL ISSUES “Don’s problems with the CBC over the years involving statements he’s made on Hockey Night In Canada were never collective agreement issues,” she says. “They were individual issues between him and CBC management about content. We don’t get involved in those sorts of things.” The guild was quite vocal when announcer Chris Cuthbert was axed last winter in a cost-cutting move pre-
cipitated by the NHL lockout. “That was a collective bargaining issue,” she says. Lareau noted that CBC stars such as Cherry make their own deals above the minimum salaries negotiated by the union. “For significant personalities like him, the role of the union may not be as important as perhaps the rest of the members,” she says. She recalls talking with Cherry in 1999 and giving him advice on how to deal with a potential labour disruption. “I recall him telling us how his father was a good unionist, but I understand if he feels he’s on his own,” she says.
34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
AUGUST 21, 2005
‘This is my last chance’
Forward’s reinstatement proof Olympic team’s been hijacked by NHL interests
From page 36
By Damien Cox Torstar wire service
“When I came back, I was thinking that was my last chance,” he says. “I was wondering if I made the right choice in coming home.” Even during his outstanding rookie season in the local junior league, Halbot had a feeling of regret when he thought of what might have been had he stayed in Ottawa. That is why the opportunity given to him by the Fog Devils means so much. “I don’t want to look back and regret it, so I figured why not give it a shot and see what happens,” says Halbot. Upon meeting the players he was up against in competition for a roster spot with the Fog Devils, Halbot says he realized just how little hockey he has played. Many of the young men talked about the different teams and leagues they’ve played for, sometimes spending the entire year on skates. Halbot admits he can’t help but wonder where he would be now if he had the same opportunities, but adds he doesn’t regret anything about growing up on the south coast of Labrador. “I played with my dad in the senior league since I was in Grade 9, so if I was living in town I probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity,” says Halbot. Back home in Lance-au-Loup, Halbot has 600 people cheering his every effort. He regularly receives emails from friends, family and young fans, all wishing him well and congratulating him on making it this far. Halbot knows that although he didn’t make the Fog Devils’ final roster, his hometown will forever be proud of what he accomplished. As far as he’s concerned, it’s all part of what makes taking to the ice so special, whether at Mile One Stadium or on the frozen ponds of Labrador. “I just love the game. That’s why it’s such a thrill to get this opportunity,” Halbot says.
s it turns out, Hockey Canada only preaches a clean game. By including Todd Bertuzzi on the roster for the Olympic orientation camp, which began last week in Vancouver, Bob Nicholson and those who operate Hockey Canada have adopted a rather hypocritical, Rafael Palmeiro-like posture. Moreover, by announcing Bertuzzi’s inclusion in the camp last week, just hours after he was reinstated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Hockey Canada officials appeared obscenely eager to welcome Bertuzzi back into the fold. They couldn’t even wait one day. Those “Relax, It’s Just a Game” commercials ring a little empty now, don’t you think? If you didn’t believe before that the Canadian Olympic program has been hijacked by NHL interests, this was proof positive that such is the case. An obviously contrite Bertuzzi tried to say all the right things as he spoke at a press conference wearing a Team Canada cap and jacket. But while he talked of becoming a “better person on the ice” he made it clear the events of the past 17 months haven’t convinced him of any need to alter his approach to the sport. “I’m not going to change,” he said firmly. Which brings us back to Hockey Canada. The problem for Nicholson et al is that by including Bertuzzi they have embraced the outlaw element in the sport and turned their back on many of the principles for which Hockey Canada is supposed to stand. In promoting its well-meaning Speak Out campaign, for example, Hockey Canada says its “primary interest is the well-being of its participants.” Unless, apparently, you’re Steve Moore and the guy who gooned you is a world-class player. In its Fair Play Code, the organization urges parents to “understand that children learn from adults, and my behaviour reflects what I want children to learn.” In this case, that lesson would be that attacking a smaller player from behind and breaking his neck does not preclude a player from representing Canada at the highest level. Here’s another edict from the Fair Play Code. “I will encourage my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.” See, by making Bertuzzi part of Team Canada, Hockey Canada is either telling the country that its most elite program exists outside the rules and concepts that guide the national body, or it is admitting that when it comes to Olympic competition it is completely beholden to NHL values and priorities. “He’s just too good a player,” says Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky. Which means nothing else matters, including whether Bertuzzi embodies the values Hockey Canada supposedly cherishes. This is not to say that Bertuzzi should never again be permitted to play for Canada. Just not yet. From a Canadian Olympic perspective, it would have been reasonable for Hockey Canada to have required him to first rehabilitate his tarnished image and earn his way back into Olympic consideration through strong
Rock on a mission From page 36 Todd Bertuzzi was recently reinstated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and was quickly invited to the Canadian olympic hockey team’s orientation camp in Vancouver last week. His presence at the camp angers some, who believe his punishment for attacking Colorado’s Steve Moore was not severe enough. Reuters
play and spotless behaviour. After all, the best result from this ugly episode would be to see Moore get back to the NHL some day and to watch as Bertuzzi does a Stan Mikita and transforms himself into one of the cleanest players in the sport. But Hockey Canada didn’t want to wait for that process to even begin. And Bertuzzi, sadly, apparently isn’t inclined to reform. This is part of the problem with including professionals in the Olympic process. The Canadian Olympic hockey team is now only about winning, and winning by NHL traditions, certainly not the traditions of Father David Bauer. That includes buying into the NHL’s addiction to brutality in the sport and its incessant need to rationalize that addiction. Despite the enormous hits in revenue and reputation the game has absorbed in recent years, the NHL is still terrified to conduct business without fighting and all the related vio-
lence that comes hand-in-hand with officially sanctioned pugilism. Indeed, less bothersome than Bettman’s weak-willed decision to immediately reinstate Bertuzzi was the fact the NHL has done nothing substantive to curb systemic violence in the sport since it was last open for business in June, 2004. The elimination of the red line was discussed ad nauseum, but not fighting. Shootouts have been rubberstamped for the season ahead as part of a parcel of offence-enhancing rule changes, but nothing has been done that would prevent an incident similar to Bertuzzi’s attack on Moore in the future. Moreover, recent personnel moves suggest enforcers and intimidation will be very much a part of the “new” NHL. Andre Roy was hired to ride shotgun for Sidney Crosby. The Maple Leafs couldn’t bring back Joe Nieuwendyk or Brian Leetch, but heavyweights Tie Domi and Wade
Belak both received two-year deals. Colorado, Moore’s erstwhile employer, made the most startling move by acquiring muscular winger Brad May, a former Bertuzzi teammate who was recklessly outspoken in his belief that the Canucks needed to get even with Moore for daring to bodycheck Vancouver star Markus Naslund. There was little doubt Bertuzzi would play again in the league. The only surprise was that Bettman didn’t at least force the Sudbury native to sit out a few games to start the 2005-06 season in the interest of optics. But why does Hockey Canada have to march to the same tune as a disastrously run, morally bankrupt league that has reduced its business presence in our country over the past dozen years and is barely relevant on the overall North American sporting scene? Mostly, it would seem, because those entrusted with the care of our national game have sold their souls in the craven pursuit of Olympic gold.
Raptors’ GM eyes possible guards By Doug Smith Torstar wire service
t’s on to Plan B for Rob Babcock. Quickly. Foiled, as expected, in his attempt to sign Chicago point guard Chris Duhon and now with some tax relief thanks to the departure — again — of Alonzo Mourning, the Toronto Raptors general manager says he’ll accelerate his search for a third point guard. “We’ll make some decisions in the next three or four days on what we’d like to do,” Babcock says. “We
absolutely want to carry three point guards.” There are only a few point guards available who would fit Babcock’s criteria. Memphis’s Earl Watson, Miami’s Damon Jones and Atlanta’s Tyronn Lue are three who are still available but likely too expensive for Toronto. New Jersey’s Travis Best and unsigned ex-Raptor Milt Palacio remain on the market. It was no surprise the Bulls matched the Raptor offer for Duhon, nor was it a surprise that Toronto waived
Mourning, again, to clear approximately $4 million this season and next from the Raptor salary cap for luxury tax calculations. With Mourning now gone, Toronto will have about $57 million in salary obligations this year; the dollar-fordollar tax kicks in at $61.7 million. Having the Duhon money freed up also brings restricted free agent Matt Bonner back into the picture in Toronto. The Raptors have made an offer to Bonner already, but it’s for less money and for fewer years than the second-year forward wants.
But if Bonner wants anything close to the five-year, $15 million deal that Boston gave free agent Brian Scalabrine, he’s not going to get it from Babcock. There were few surprises in the NBA’s one-time tax amnesty that ended last week. One name that will be sure to get Toronto fans all up in arms was Jerome Williams, who was waived by the New York Knicks. And while some fans would certainly be excited about the possibility of the Junk Yard Dog coming back, it’s doubtful. Solution for Sudoko on page 22
vindicated Todd “I should be in jail” Bertuzzi was permitted to attend the camp, much to the delight of fans everywhere. This was most definitely a relief. After all, what nation wouldn’t be proud to have a sucker-punching thug represent its people at the most prestigious sporting event in the world? These players’ attributes and abilities will be on display all winter, making Gretzky’s decision as to who makes the team really easy, with or without the ridiculous camp. Considering how utterly pointless the event was, I think I’ll stop writing about it right now. DESERVING CHAMPIONS Even if you’re not a sports fan, you have to be thrilled the Newfoundland Rock won its first Rugby Canada Super League championship on Aug. 13 in Regina, Sask. Any organization that displays the passion and dedication of the Rock deserves to accomplish its goals, which is what makes their championship run so special. After losing in two of the last three league finals, the Rock stated from day one this year they would be happy with nothing less than the super league title. Everybody in every sport tells you they want to win, but when members of the Rock said so, it was tough not to believe in them. I remember watching an early season practice back in the spring where it looked like the Rock players were going to knock each other senseless before the 2005 campaign even started. The intensity they displayed convinced me right then and there that the loss in the 2004 final was indeed a wound that did not mend and that it would serve as motivation for a title run this year. They never let up from that point on, and deservingly so, reaped their just rewards last weekend. email@example.com
Solution for crossword on page 22
AUGUST 21, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 35
Ready for the ‘Challenge’
Coming off disappointing 2004 season, Mount Pearl hopes to show Challenge Cup victory two years ago was no fluke By Darcy MacRae The Independent
hat a difference a year can make. This time in 2004, the Mount Pearl Challenge Cup soccer team was entering the playoff round on a low note. They were the defending league champions at the time, but were coming off an unimpressive regular season that saw them finish just a hair above .500 and entered the playoffs looking like anything but contenders for the league title. They failed to repeat as Challenge Cup champs, and left some wondering if the win in 2003 was merely a fluke. At the end of the 2005 regular season, however, it’s obvious the Mount Pearl squad is back to their form of two years ago and are once again ready to challenge for the championship. “Last year we took some things for granted, coming off a championship the year before,” says Walter Mavin, head coach of the Mount Pearl squad. “We found ourselves in some games where our preparation and execution weren’t what they were the year before. On some occasions it was a lack of focus.” Mount Pearl was back to their winning ways in 2005, compiling a 14-4 (wins/losses) record to finish second in the regular season standings, just three points behind first place St. Lawrence. Their performance has impressed many who follow the league, and has surprised a few fans as well. “I don’t think people thought we were going to do as well as we did,” says Bernie Manning, veteran forward with Mount Pearl. “We didn’t have a great season last year and didn’t perform up to our potential. But we’re playing much better as a complete unit this year.” Manning says the biggest improvement on his club has been defensively. Far too often last season Mount Pearl let their competition get too many quality scoring chances, often leading to disappointing losses. Manning says this season has been a different story. “We’re not allowing as many goals as we did last year,” says Manning. “We’ve minimized the number of
Mount Pearl’s Alec Turpin (23) fights off a Holy Cross defender while teammate Bernie Manning tries to get open for a pass during Challenge Cup playoff action.
attacks against our team.” Manning has been one of the team’s leaders on offence, finishing the regular season with a club-high 10 goals. Ryan Caines was also a factor offensively, bulging the twine eight times. Shaun Manning, Ian Power, Mark Reddy, Jeff Walsh and David Bailey also made big contributions to the offence, giving Mount Pearl arguably the most balanced attack in the seventeam provincial league. “We’ve had a couple of players who’ve been scoring regularly, other than that the goal scoring has been shared around,” says Mavin. “That’s the good thing about this team —
we’re not relying on any one player to put the ball in the net for us.” Manning says another factor in the team’s turnaround this year has been the chemistry in the locker room and on the pitch. A good mixture of youth and experience helps the team through tough times, and provides for more than a few jokes toward veteran players such as Manning and Alec Turpin. “The boys on the team call me dad,” says the 35-year-old Manning. “They get a couple of digs in about us being old school, but we don’t mind.” Although they like to clown around, Manning says the team’s younger players are also very serious about winning
the 2005 Challenge Cup. “People might think we’re there to keep everyone in line, but that’s not it,” Manning says. “A lot of them come from elite soccer, so they know what’s at stake. Keeping their heads on straight is not a problem.” Mount Pearl began the playoff round with a pair of wins, putting them in good shape to qualify for the semifinals on Sept. 2. Not qualifying for this game would guarantee the club would have to play three times in three days in order to win the Challenge Cup, a feat they accomplished in 2003 but do not want to attempt to repeat this year.
Paul Daly/The Independent
“We’re gunning for one of the top two positions. Our goal is to make the one/two game on Friday night,” Manning says. Mavin cautions that the quick start in the playoff round does not guarantee success the rest of the way. He wants his team to be confident, but also to remember there is still a lot of soccer to be played. “We’ve got a tough road ahead of us,” says Mavin. “You hope players bring their best for every game in this round. Every time out, you want to at least match, or even improve upon, the effort of the previous game.” firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, AUGUST 21-27, 2005 — PAGE 36
Rhonda Hayward/The Independent
Long shot By Darcy MacRae The Independent
ll Marc Halbot ever wanted was an opportunity. Growing up in Lanceau-Loup, a community of 600 on the south coast of Labrador, he fantasized of some day playing high-calibre hockey, but knew the chances of achieving his goal were slim. He played a lot of hockey as a kid, but mostly on frozen ponds. When he did play indoors, it was only for a few months a year since the ice in local arenas was natural, not artificial. Despite the obstacles, Halbot never gave up. “Ever since I was young I dreamed about getting somewhere with hockey. To finally get the opportunity is just exhilarating,” Halbot tells The Independent. Halbot was one of 14 players who advanced from the St. John’s Fog Devils Newfoundland Dream Shot camp to the QMJHL team’s main training camp last week. He was one of seven players released on Aug. 19, but his breakaway speed, quick and accurate shot, and magic hands made him impossible to miss at the Dream Shot camp. He picked up a goal and an assist in
From the frozen ponds of southern Labrador to Fog Devils’ training camp, Marc Halbot has come a long way the camp’s final intrasquad game, but despite his strong performance, the 19year-old wasn’t taking anything for granted. “I was pretty nervous waiting to get in and talk with the coach, not knowing if I had gotten past the first camp,” Halbot says. “I was pacing back and forth in the hallway. I’d say I burned a hole in the floor.” Halbot made waves in local hockey circles last year when he was named the St. John’s Junior Hockey League’s rookie of the year as a member of the Avalon Capitals. He tallied 27 goals and 16 assists for 43 points in 27 games, first on his team
and 10th overall in the league. As impressive as his stats are, they are even more extraordinary when one considers that it was the first season Halbot played contact hockey. The town of Lance-au-Loup runs its own minor hockey program, covering the insurance needs of the players on its own. As a result, they couldn’t afford to allow the older players to check. Halbot says over the years he probably played in only six or seven games where checking was allowed, so when he joined the local junior league last fall he quickly discovered he’d have to get used to the physical play. “At first, it was a little scary,” Halbot admits. “I was wondering ‘How can I compete with these guys and what can I do to keep myself away from the checking?’ until I got used to it.” Halbot grew accustomed to checking, and by the end of the season was giving as good as he got. Although he took a few lumps along the way, he loved every second of it. “The biggest thing was that I got to play hockey for a full season,” he says. “I played from the end of September until the middle of March. There were competitive teams and it was contact hockey.”
Growing up, Halbot played with kids of all ages until he was 14 and joined his hometown’s senior men’s team. But the short season of indoor hockey just wasn’t enough to quench his thirst for the game, so he and his older brother Shannon (a teammate with the Avalon Capitals last year) took their game to the ponds of Lance-auLoup. “We’d be up clearing the ponds off with 2x4s and plywood just to get on the ice,” says Halbot. “We even tried to cut holes in the ponds and then go up with buckets so we could flood the ice just so we could get a skate in the middle of December.” With the help of his parents — Elaine and Wayne — Halbot used the big ice of the frozen ponds to become a prolific skater and master puck handler. He would eventually play a few games with the Labrador Huskies midget AAA team before heading to Ottawa at 16 to try out for a junior A club. Although it appeared he had a spot on the team, Halbot decided to return home upon discovering he would have to complete Grade 13 in Ontario to finish high school. It was a decision he questioned in the two years that followed. See “This is my,” page 34
Not worth the hype A
complete waste of time. Unnecessary. Useless. Pointless. And for those who like fancy words, superfluous. That’s my best use of terms to describe last week’s orientation camp for the Canadian men’s hockey team that will compete at the upcoming winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. For five straight days the who’s who of Canadian hockey flocked to B.C. to practice and scrimmage in front of the media cameras. Close to 40 players attended, with about 10 times as many journalists looking for the big scoop. But for all the effort and time put into such an extravaganza, I have to wonder
The game if any of it was worth so much as a second look. I grew up playing sports, and know the reasoning behind holding tryouts, which is exactly what this orientation camp was — even if Gretzky and company don’t want to call it that. Coaches have to get a look at players if they are to properly decide who makes the team and, as I discovered far too often, who
is to be cut. The St. John’s Fog Devils inaugural training camp was a perfect example. With more than 60 players vying for 23 spots, the major junior club had some tough decisions to make. Real Paiement and his assistants drafted or invited each player to camp, so they are aware of each kid’s strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, the Fog Devils’ brass had never actually seen a good number of the players perform in person, making the hopefuls’ play in training camp the deciding factor in whether they make the team. But in the case of Team Canada, no tryout was necessary.
These players are stars. Most of them have been since peewee hockey. Their strong points and weaknesses have been on display for several seasons, so they weren’t going to do anything at the orientation camp that hasn’t already been seen before by each and every hockey fan in the country. The bottom line is that last week’s camp will have little to no effect on who makes the team this winter. Really, what is Gretzky going to do if Michael Ryder is leading the league in goals by January, leave him off the team because he wasn’t invited to the orientation camp? Suppose Sidney Crosby proves to be
every bit as good as we’re hearing and he’s in the top five of NHL scoring by Christmas. Do you think for one second his absence at the almighty orientation camp would keep him off the team? The hoopla surrounding the glorified tryout was even tougher to stomach than the camp itself. Major headlines on sports web sites “shockingly” informed us Mario Lemieux would skip the camp … but was still penciled in as the team’s captain and first-line winger. Another headline blissfully told the tale of how recently freed and See “Rock on a mission,” page 34