VOL. 3 ISSUE 37
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2005
$1.00 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $1.50 RETAIL (HST included)
ST. JOHN’S ROUND-UP PAGE 20 – 22
Wondering who’s running for city council? Meet the characters inside.
Aikido at Memorial is mind over muscle
STILL TICKIN’ TOUR
Fifty-six years into Confederation, province has never had judge appointed to Supreme Court of Canada; may not change anytime soon STEPHANIE PORTER
rovincial Justice Minister Tom Marshall recently wrote his federal counterpart a letter, offering congratulations for opening the selection of Supreme Court of Canada judges to the public. And he had another suggestion for the feds. “I did point out that in the last 56 years there’s only been (Atlantic Canadian) judges from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,” he tells The Independent. “And I referred him to Chief Justice (Clyde) Wells at the court of appeal and Chief Justice (Derek) Green of the trial division of the Supreme Court, and I told him I thought they would be outstanding appointments … we’ve never had a judge from here on the Supreme Court of Canada. “To have one would certainly show that we’re valued.” But if tradition holds, it may be at least 20 See “Everybody is going,” page 2
Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers — Wayne Chaulk, Kevin Blackmore and Ray Johnson — kicked off their provincewide tour on Sept. 9 at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. The Newfoundland entertainers promise to combine their best-known numbers with a few new skits. Paul Daly/The Independent
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “My response is Baychick is making an observation. I definitely judge people who move away; I’m a fairly cruel person when it comes to people bailing on Newfoundland.” — Tonya Kearley-Russell, Trinity cartoonist, page 3
St. John’s hotel known for its harbour view may get more than a face lift from new owner: mayor By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
et this: the hotel with a “million-dollar view” will soon be sold to the owner of the Hotel California, a Newfoundlander. And the Battery Hotel and Suites may eventually be replaced by a bigger, better structure, The Independent has learned. St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells says it’s his understanding the Battery, located at the foot of Signal Hill, is sold and could be demolished and rebuilt by new owner Rick Butler.
Butler, a former professor of political science at Memorial University, also owns the Hotel California in Santa Monica, Ca. When contacted there by The Independent, Butler refused comment, saying he will make a public announcement next month. The sale agreement is expected to be finalized by September’s end. Wells says he had lunch with Butler recently at the hotel — none of the staff knew who Butler was — where they discussed the future of the property. See “Million-dollar view,” page 4
Siobhan Coady gives municipal advice OPINION 7
Ivan Morgan on the new old flag Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Professionals . . . . . . . . .
Scholar, hunter, character and ‘old curmudgeon,’ Prowse pioneered Newfoundland history ALISHA MORRISSEY Editor’s note: ninth 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.
Paul Daly/The Independent
10 10 26 27
hough Judge Daniel Woodley Prowse’s A History of Newfoundland has been discredited time and again since his death in 1914, his book remains a staple in collections of Newfoundland literature, considered one of the most complete and meticulous colonial history books in existence. Born in Port de Grave in 1834, Prowse was known — not only as a historian — but as a “real character,” an outdoorsman and hunter, a stickler for detail and a passionate Newfoundlander. Called the “30-day judge” by some and “old curmudgeon” by others, few Newfoundlanders haven’t heard the name Judge Prowse, says Leslie Harris, writer of the forward to the 2002 reprint of Prowse’s A History of Newfoundland. Most people are more likely to know Prowse’s work than the man himself. Harris, a former Memorial University president, says the circuit
court judge was known as an advocate against alcohol smuggling from St-Pierre-Miquelon, and aside from being the sole author of his life’s work, A History of Newfoundland, he was the sole salesman. In his forward, Harris says Prowse would force the book — which cost about $5 — on people who had never owned, or possibly even read a book in their lives. “There were many histories of Newfoundland before that, of course, but none had really got into the documents, most had repeated what others had said and Prowse was the first to really set about doing all of the research into all of the documents of England, France, Portugal and Spain,” Harris tells The Independent. The facts, he adds, have been disputed in many history books since. “For a pioneer effort it was a terrific effort. I must say, I would certainly rank him very highly (on Our Navigators’ list).” As a public figure, Harris says Prowse was known for “all kinds of gribbles and foibles.” Not the least of which was the description of Prowse himself in The Book of Newfoundland. Hard of hearing, Prowse “roared as if everyone else suffered from the same complaint.” Prowse has also been called “the 30-day judge,” Harris says. “That was one of his favourite sentences, ‘30 See “Provoked mirth,” page 2
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
‘Provoked mirth’ From page 1 days in jail.’ That’s a bit of myth actually. For example, in card games in Newfoundland, even today, a hand with three 10s is known as a Judge Prowse. “(He was) a man that provoked a lot of mirth and laughter, a lot of jokes told about him and of him — some of them may be true and some of them not — but that happens to people like
that in the public eye.” Paul O’Neill, author and historian, says Prowse wasn’t loved by everyone. He had enemies in government (who called him irresponsible, which eventually ruined Prowse’s dream of knighthood) and was considered “sort of an old curmudgeon, I believe, with his wife and family and friends and so on,” O’Neill says. “In his personal life I don’t think he was a saint … but he lived to himself
Correction A story that appeared in the Sept. 4-10 edition of The Independent (Raw State, more than 42 million pounds of unprocessed fish shipped out of province since 2001) contained incorrect information. The amount of fish processors
requested to be shipped, unprocessed, out of province between 2001 and 2004 amounted to 42.7 million pounds, but the actual amount permitted to be shipped out was 3.91 million pounds. The paper apologizes for the error.
and wrote this tremendous book.” O’Neill says he doesn’t have the patience Prowse must have had to compile the information contained in his famous A History of Newfoundland. In Prowse’s time it took six weeks alone to get a letter overseas. “Here’s this poor old man, who probably had to wait three months, not three weeks, to get a reply.” MOMENTOUS ACHIEVEMENT Gavin Will, owner of Boulder Publications and responsible for reprinting Prowse’s A History of Newfoundland, says the book is known in historical and literary circles as one of the best colonial histories ever written. He says he wasn’t surprised to sell 5,000 copies of a rather pricey book. “It was a momentous achievement, the level of detail, and the book is quite extraordinary in a time when they did not have Internet,” Will says, adding the book alone is reason enough to
have Prowse on the top-10 list. “If it wasn’t for him I believe that much that has been chronicled about Newfoundland history would have been lost. At no time since the publication of this book has there been such a definitive history of Newfoundland, none have been as popular.” Noreen Golfman, professor of women’s studies and literature at Memorial University and a member of the Navigator’s panel, says the History of Newfoundland should be standardized reading for every school child. “It’s not clear where the guy got the energy or determination, but he sure was driven by a need to document, catalogue, and narrate this place, giving it identity and nationhood through his colourful writing,” she says. “They sure don’t make them like that anymore.” Judges for Our Navigators include John Crosbie, John FitzGerald, Noreen Golfman, Ray Guy, Ivan Morgan and Ryan Cleary.
Would you like to swallow 20 pills every day, just to digest your food? If you had cystic fibrosis, you’d have no choice.
Please help us.
1-800-378-CCFF • www.cysticfibrosis.ca
May cause an adrenaline rush. Heart may skip beats. Sudden gasping for air is also common. Effects may reduce slightly over time, but will persist.
Tag Heuer watches start at $850. Main Floor, Terrace on the Square, Churchill Square Store Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00am to 5:30pm Phone: 754-9497 diamonddesign.com
‘Everybody is going to scream murder’ From page 1 years before that happens. The federal government recently launched a national ad campaign, inviting the provinces and the general public to put forward candidates to fill the vacancy left by retired Justice John Major. It’s an effort to make the process of selecting judges more open and transparent. At the bottom of the ad is an important note: according to “long-standing practice,” the new judge must come from the same region as the retiring judge. In other words, the judge to fill Major’s shoes will also be from the western region. There are nine Supreme Court Judges. Traditionally, three are from Ontario, three from Quebec, two from the west, and one from Atlantic Canada. It is tradition only — as Marshall points out, the regional delegations are not mandated in law or the Constitution. The current judge from Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick native Justice Michel Bastarache, was appointed in 1997. Like all justices, he is due to retire at age 75 — in other words, the next official search for a replacement will likely take place in 2022. (Since 1949, there have been four different judges from the Atlantic region.) “If the government decided to change something regarding the appointment process, it could be done,” says Memorial University political science professor Chris Dunn. “It is perhaps time to add a few deviations.” Dunn and Marshall both point out that no judge can show favourtism towards his or her province while adjudicating a case — they are, after all, representatives of the law, not of a specific place. “But it would be nice (to have a judge from this province),” says Marshall. “It’s important to have our perspective brought to the table so there’s someone there that understands our society and what’s important to our society and can make other judges aware of our point of view. “We have judges and lawyers here that are as good as anyone in the country and certainly would make outstanding judges in the Supreme Court. “I look forward to that day.” Dunn paints a larger picture. “From a symbolic standpoint, this is important,” he says. “In 50 years of Confederation, you’d think the subject would have come up before this. “If you take a look at the federal court of Canada and the tax court of Canada, there’s only been one judge from Newfoundland on each of those … according to my last calculations. “There’s only been one deputy minister from Newfoundland and Labrador in the federal government … when you talk about the lack of numerical equity in the public service, lack of regional headquarters. “If you put it all in context, it does get annoying.” Dunn says this is an issue worth noting, and worth taking some action about. He brings up Prime Minister Paul Martin’s frequent speeches about the Liberal democratic agenda. “We could make a case the regional element deserves to be a part of the democratization as well,” he says. Letters such as Marshall’s may be a good first step. But, Dunn admits, change isn’t going to come easily. “Everybody is going to scream murder,” he says. “Particularly whoever’s ox has been gored.” Francois Giroux, a judicial affairs advisor in Justice Minister Cotler’s Ottawa office, says even within regions, there is no requirement for rotation through the provinces. “The person selected is the best candidate for the region,” he says. Giroux says the current selection process, though open to public input, will abide by tradition. He says there have been a number of candidates put forward from across the country — including from Newfoundland and Labrador. “And people say, ‘You’re asking for candidates from the Prairie region, but there’s a judge in this province or jurisdiction and he would be the perfect person or she would be the perfect person for the job,’” he says. “They’ll all be put into the file with the recommendations, but as the notice says, the ones that will be considered will be from the Prairie region.” Marshall sent his letter to federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler Sept. 2. He has not yet received a response.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
‘Underneath, she’s a hulk’ Tonya Kearley-Russell developed Baychick to speak her mind about the future of Newfoundland, stir debate — and maybe put some misbehaving trawler captains in a headlock By Stephanie Porter The Independent
onya Kearley-Russell describes her cartoon alter ego, Baychick, as “a smart, cheeky girl who’s been around the block and is worldly.” She’s beautiful and voluptuous, has some super powers, and fearlessly speaks her mind, though “she’s not a gossipy hen from around the bay.” Above all, she is a proud Newfoundlander, fighting for the future of her province. In Baychick’s debut appearances this summer in the weekly newsletter Trinity Times, she managed to cause quite a stir. “The one we did with (Baychick) as Uncle Sam, that one generated a lot of response out here,” says KearleyRussell. “People get their backs up, they feel like I’m judging them because they’re moving to Fort McMurray. “My response is, Baychick is making an observation. I definitely judge people who move away; I’m a fairly cruel person when it comes to people bailing on Newfoundland … It keeps me awake at night how frustrated I am seeing my community dissolving in front of my eyes.” Kearley-Russell, a teacher and folklorist, is from Topsail; her husband, musician Kelly Russell, is from St. John’s. They used to own bed and breakfast operations in both St. John’s and Trinity; a few years ago they decided to move to Trinity full time. Just before the summer season hit, they launched the Trinity Times, a weekly one-page, double-sided newssheet. It features historical nuggets, articles of local interest, and area event listings, catering to tourists and residents alike. To Kearley-Russell’s surprise, the
enterprise broke even on its first summer out. “There are lots of communities in our area,” she says. “The only thing in the area that covers all the events is us.” Kearley-Russell pegs the genesis of Baychick on three distinct events. The first was an all-too typical moment in a junior high class she was teaching. She asked her students where they thought their future lay: nine-tenths of them pointed to Alberta or Ontario. “One kid asked ‘What do I have to
do to start considering Newfoundland my future?’” she remembers. “I said, ‘The first thing you have to do is put your hand in your pocket and stop looking for a hand-out.’ “A number of kids looked at me as if I was accusing them of something — but it was more of an epiphany for me.” Kearley-Russell says she realized some of the things she wanted to say were no longer politically correct; that the fear of offending people — fisher-
men, politicians, unions leaders, teachers — may be keeping people from saying what’s on their minds. “Part of the great tradition of Newfoundland raconteurs is they’re able to communicate, to say it like it is, but not anymore.” (Baychick “does not have a still tongue.”) Not long after, Kearley-Russell was looking through photographs of resettlement. Her mind twisted the images around: what if the merchant class of St. John’s had to pull their homes from Circular Road, down Prescott Street, and into the harbour? “Would it be ironic if the shoe were on the other foot?” she says. “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see those mansions being floated on barges and barrels out around the bay? “And I thought, that’s the problem with Newfoundland. The shoe is never on the other foot.” (Baychick, she continues, is always able to see both sides.) The third event Kearley-Russell describes happened last spring. Her seven-year-old daughter spent a month in hospital, much of it in Halifax. A friend came to visit, and brought a shirt with the slogan Newfoundland girls kick ass. Despite initial worries the shirt might not be appropriate for someone so young, Kearley-Russell encouraged her child to wear it with pride. “I thought, Newfoundland girls do kick ass. And I started thinking, if I were a Newfoundland girl and I were a superhero, who would I be? “And that’s Baychick.” Kearley-Russell develops the concept and text for each cartoon panel. Her stepdaughter, 22-year-old Laura Noble Russell, does the artwork. Noble Russell, fascinated with Japanese culture, spent time in the
country as a teenager, learning the language and developing her artistic skills. A fan of Japanese animation and the popular — and cheeky — Manga characters, Noble Russell fashioned Baychick in that style. Although the artist is attending university and working as a digital animator in Vancouver, Kearley-Russell says she “loves that she can be Baychick-involved as far away from the bay as she can get.” Kearley-Russell will continue to develop the Baychick character, giving her more superpowers in a greater variety of situations. She plans to print “sassy” Baychick T-shirts. And the Trinity Times will continue to roll off the press. “I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve run businesses and I’ve hired people,” she says. “I’ve worked in the cultural industry. I’m doing my part, as is my husband, as are my colleagues, as are my neighbours. But there are not enough people down in the trenches with us, working to make Newfoundland meaningful and worthwhile to young people and old people. “There’s a great quality of life here … but you’ve got to make your own sky blue.” Part of the reason Kearley-Russell moved to Trinity was to work in a rural school, but finding that work has been tough. But she keeps at it — and is tireless in her advocacy for this province. “Newfoundlanders have to remember that there is something unique and powerful about being from here,” she says. “Baychick, I’m imagining, has never forgotten. “Underneath, she’s a hulk. She could bust out of her T-shirt at any minute and wrestle any factory freezer trawler captain. She could have leapt out on the deck of the Estai and put everyone in a headlock.”
Gas pains Rising fuel prices impact outport commuters, taxis and SUV sales By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
fter more than 20 years of commuting, the price of gas has forced Art George to relocate closer to St. John’s from Aquaforte. To get to work from Aquaforte, roughly 80 kilometres drive from the city on the Southern Shore, it took over an hour each way. In August, he bought a house in Mount Pearl to conserve gas and, more importantly, money. “The budget just wasn’t there anymore,” George says of his daily travels. “We had two vehicles going and with both of us driving different schedules our mortgage is what our gas bill was.” Rural Newfoundland has suffered from out-migration since the early 1990s when the commercial cod fisheries collapsed. The saving grace for many communities on the eastern Avalon has been their close proximity to the cities and the job opportunities they provide. Many towns get by as bedroom communities, with residents commuting back and forth on a daily basis. Lower house prices and property taxes are the most obvious incentive. The skyrocketing price of fuel may change that. Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs says gas prices have gotten to a point where people are rethinking
the money they save by living around the bay. “Maybe they can’t stay around, but if they have to move out because of gas prices then who is going to buy their home?” he asks. “Twenty years ago when you could fill up your car and go all week I commuted to St. John’s for a year and a half.” Coombs says people have to weigh the pros and cons. “I have to go to town a couple a times a week — it’s now $100 up from $60 to fill my van. I’m going the same distance and it’s costing a lot more.” Still, outport residents rely on the incomes they get from jobs in the city — people like Val Perry, who has commuted from Harbour Grace to St. John’s for 23 years. While the cost of living keeps going up, she says she’s dealing with a three-year wage freeze. “You get your cheque every two weeks, “ Perry says, “but the price of gas keeps creeping up and while it goes down sometimes it never goes down as much as it goes up.” A few months back, Perry’s daily trek cost $16 a day — Friday she spent $30. “I don’t even know what it will cost me next time,” she says of fluctuating prices. Perry just purchased a new home, and she doesn’t want to leave Harbour Grace if she can help it. “I’m a home-town girl and gas isn’t up there long enough yet,” she says, “but talk to me in a month and I may have
Harbour Grace, C.B.N.
my mind changed.” Commuters aren’t the only drivers suffering from high fuel prices — taxis are taking an obvious hit. Rob Stead of Jiffy Cabs in St. John’s says rates are regulated by the city and they can’t automatically pass on the increased cost of gas to their customers. “These guys put a lot of kilometres on their cars and they go with V8s (engines) because they hold up better,” he says of his drivers’ choice of cars. “But with cars running 24 hours a day it is getting expensive and this increase comes directly off the top for
them.” Ann Price of Conception Bay South-based Ann’s Taxi agrees, adding the latest increase on the meter rate was 10 years coming. She stresses most taxi drivers don’t want to see their costs passed onto their many seniors, students or otherwise fixedincome customers. “Taxi drivers have big hearts,” she says, “we can’t change the meter rates like they change the gas prices, and we don’t want to.” Newfoundlanders may also be changing their buying habits when it comes to vehicles.
Tom Lambert, sales manager at Hickman Motors Ltd., says people are paying more attention to fuel consumption. “People are looking at smaller vehicles, at trading in their big SUVs, but for us,” he pauses, “who’s going to buy it? The demand is not there.” Still, Lambert is optimistic about the market. “While gas consumption is one of the top three questions people inquire about when buying a new vehicle, it’s still behind overall performance and crash test ratings,” he says. “People are still putting the safety of their families ahead of gas consumption.”
2006 Ridgeline * from $ ,
Kenmount Road 579.1999 / 800.667.9900 www.cityhonda.com
34 800 Quadruple 5-Star Safety
g for Wo
All Honda vehicles are delivered with a full tank.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Ready forION! 4WD ACT www.honda.ca
*MSRP based on new 2006 Ridgeline LX Automatic (model YK1646E). Freight and PDI, license, insurance, taxes and registration are extra. †: Quadruple 5-star safety rating based on crash tests by NHTSA on 2006 Ridgeline for driver, front passenger and rear seat passengers in both front-impact and side-impact crash tests, www.nhtsa.com. See dealer for full details.
4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Job-less Few federal jobs in province, minister can only complain By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
View from the Battery Hotel.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Famous ‘million-dollar view’ From page 1 Wells says he doesn’t “want to say too much,” but understands Butler would like to put a “pretty nice” development on the property. “I understand that he’s probably going to be building a brand new building and stepping it into the hill,” the mayor says. “This is one of the premier sites in the city and the owner kind of wants to make sure that it, you know, looks good.” Wells says he’s heard the new owner would like to hold a worldwide architectural contest where
designers can plan the building, with the winner taking a cash prize and winning the building’s contract. “I think what they want to do is, all the proposed designs and models will be put on display at City Hall and the public will be invited to comment and who ever wins gets $100,000,” Wells says, adding it’s a good idea. The hotel won’t go through a messy rezoning, Wells says, as the building — currently six stories — is permitted to expand to 10. The Battery has 125 guestrooms, a pool, sauna, 13 meeting rooms, and restaurant and lounge with that
famous “million-dollar view.” While listed for sale on the Royal LePage website at $7.4 million, the city assessment for 100 Signal Hill Road in 2002 put a price tag on the property of $3.4 million, with an additional $2.9 million for business occupancy. Susan Morrison, real estate agent for Royal LePage Commercial Inc., where the property is listed, refused comment on the sale. According to the advertisement listed by Royal LePage, occupancy rates in the St. John’s area at an all time high of 92.8 per cent with “profit and revenue steadily rising.”
he province has yet to receive an answer from the federal government about the disproportionately low number of federal government jobs located in Newfoundland and Labrador. Provincial Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Tom Marshall says he sent a letter on July 29 to Lisa Fruella, minister responsible for the federal Public Service Commission — the same day he circulated a press release regarding the federal government’s decision to shut down the commission’s offices in St. John’s. The letter, he says, explained the province’s disapproval of closing the office and a lack of federal government jobs in the province. He says his office received a response on Aug. 16. “I got an acknowledgement saying that they will take my recommendations under consideration and that’s it,” Marshall tells The Independent. “So I’m going to continue to monitor the situation and continue to follow up. I know that my colleague, the minister of Finance (Loyola Sullivan), has also issued a press release on that point and I know the premier has expressed concern on that point and so we’ll continue to monitor and if we don’t get action we’ll continue to follow up.” Press releases from the provincial government indicate a 39 per cent drop in the federal presence in Newfoundland and Labrador between 1990 and 2004. Between 1992 and 2003 the number of federal employees decreased to 8,322 from 13,239 or 37 per cent. The Canadian average for federal job losses was pegged at 18 per cent in 2004, according to Statistics Canada. The study — which included federal Crown corporations like the CBC and Canada Post — did not include a departmental breakdown of the job losses. “It’s an economic issue … and also it shows that they don’t value us,” Marshall says. “I met with the interior minister of Intergovernmental Affairs who indicated to me that Ontario was under-represented in the federal government. I mean, they have a totally different idea of this country than we do.”
The Public Service Commission is the subject of the most recent federal cut back and will see 16 offices across Canada reduced to seven. IN THE NAME OF EFFICIENCY Officials with the commission say 94 employees — some of whom are expected to be stationed in Newfoundland and Labrador — will be declared “surplus” in the name of efficiency. Other federal jobs lost from the province in recent years include the Gander weather office. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Toxic Chemical Program may also be shut down. Mark Butler, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federal Council — a committee representing various federal government departments — asks when “enough is enough” when it comes to the province’s complaints about a shortage of federal jobs. Butler says he can’t answer that question. “That’s not for me to determine. Unfortunately I can’t make a comment on that so I mean I know there’s been concerns raised … and there’s no doubt that we’ve taken a disproportionate share of cuts over the last few years,” he says, adding there have been benefits for people using government services — especially Internet services. Butler says the concern should be whether services are being delivered efficiently rather than “whether we have 10 less people. “It would be nice, I suppose, if somebody decided to relocate a major office here because of the salaries and the buying power that brings in. So strictly from that point of view, I would say yes, there would be concerns any time you get a reduced number of high paying jobs.” Marshall says his hands are tied when it comes to forcing a change in the way the federal government distributes its resources. “I can only implore the federal government as to how they should spend their money, my colleagues will support me in that, I know the premier will lead us in that, and we will encourage our federal Members of Parliament and Senators of all parties to continue to press the federal government the importance of additional federal investment here.”
‘It’s just wrong’ International Trade Minister says Newfoundland shrimp high on priority list By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
esponding to criticism from Danny Williams that when compared with softwood lumber Newfoundland shrimp is low on the federal priority list, International Trade Minister Jim Peterson says the premier is off the mark. “It’s not worth responding to
because it’s just wrong,” Peterson tells The Independent in an interview from Ottawa. “It’s very high on our list and I’ve asked our officials to investigate the possibility of a working group so that we can co-ordinate our efforts with the producers.” Peterson says he’s currently working on removing — or at least lowering — the 20 per cent tariff on Canadian-
GENERAL MANAGER John Moores email@example.com AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 Website: www.theindependent.ca
OPERATIONS CONSULTANT Wilson Hiscock firstname.lastname@example.org
CIRCULATION MANAGER Derek Frampton email@example.com
PRODUCTION MANAGER John Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com
caught shrimp headed into the European Union (EU). He says the department has contacted each EU capital and has been unilaterally trying to reach an agreement. While Peterson admits individual negotiations aren’t going well, he says there’s one more avenue to explore. World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations over Non-Agricultural Market Access, slated for Hong Kong in December, may be the last chance at eliminating the tariff. “We think this is our best hope for getting them to lower those tariffs because we’ve been advocating in all the European capitals to let our shrimp in and I don’t think they’re going to do that unilaterally, but they’ll do so through the WTO,” Peterson says. “We understand that the markets could absorb a great deal more and we’re trying to show the Europeans that it’s to their benefit to have lower tariffs and allow our products in because our products are highly desired.” Canadian-caught shrimp has been subject for years to a 20 per cent EU tariff. The tariff has been loosened somewhat in recent years in that the first 7,000 tonnes is subject to a six per
cent tax. The tariff is one of the reasons pinpointed for the collapse of the province’s shrimp fishery this year. Shrimp plants around the province are shutting down and an untold number of shrimp plant workers are laid off. Industry representatives have recommended the industry be shut down. Besides the 20 per cent tariff, they blame the industry failure on legal and illegal foreign fishing outside the 200mile limit, the subsidization of foreign fleets and a shrimp glut in the marketplace. Foreign fleets fishing shrimp outside the 200-mile limit on the Flemish Cap do not fish by quota, but by sea days — a system that allows them to legally overfish suggested catch limits. Banned from Canadian ports since last December, vessels from Greenland and the Faroe Islands have disregarded shrimp quotas and set their own — directing hundreds of more tonnes of shrimp into the world market. Finally, fishing vessels from the Faroe Islands are said to receive a hefty government subsidy, giving them an unfair advantage over domestic fleets. Representatives also say Royal
Greenland, the largest producer of cooked and peeled shrimp, has been creating problems as the company has been catching more shrimp as opposed to buying directly from Newfoundland companies. Peterson says he’s unaware of the Royal Greenland issue, but will look into it. “I am trying to knock down the barriers in Europe to our shrimp and I will do everything I possibly can. I will continue to fight for our producers.” Meantime a loophole has opened markets to Canadian-caught shrimp at a seven per cent tariff. The loophole, brought in place to help Indonesian tsunami victims, allows shrimp to enter the EU market under tight restrictions and a slashed tariff. “I understand some Canadian shrimp has gone in and that’s good,” says Peterson, adding the loophole is not a solution for harvesters or plant workers. “The EU has said that if too much comes in from developed countries as opposed to the tsunami victims they’ll close it up, but we’re pressing them that they’re just hurting their consumers, the people who want our
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
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. SEPTEMBER 5 No report SEPTEMBER 6 Vessels arrived: Silver Whisper, Bahamas, from England. Vessels departed Gulf Sable, Canada, to Orphan Basin; Louis M. Laurier, Canada, to Toronto. SEPTEMBER 7 Vessels arrived: Vega Desgagnes, Canada, from Quebec City; Atlantic Ospray, Canada, from White Rose Oil Field; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova. Vessels departed: Silver Whisper, Bahamas, to Halifax; ASL
Left to right: Shelley Neville, Cherilyn Carroll, Petrina Bromley, Sheila Williams and Kelly-Ann Evans will perform the Broadway musical Nunsense in Ireland Sept. 17 during the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. Paul Daly/The Independent
‘Wild West’ campaign Candidate for St. John’s council says system wide open to abuse By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
imon Lono, candidate for councillor at large in the upcoming Sept. 27 St. John’s municipal election, compares the race to the Wild West. The electoral system “benefits incumbents and enfranchises the dead,” he tells The Independent, adding the new mail-in system is open to fraud. Lono says candidates are operating under what he sees as a grossly shortened election period, with results stacked in favour of candidates with name recognition and running bigmoney campaigns. Lono has a problem with campaign spending in that only the successful candidate has to disclose cash contributions of over $100, and they do not have to declare in-kind contributions. Candidates aren’t required to declare their expenses, nor do they have to disclose what they do with any surplus campaign funds. Unlike federal or provincial elections, city clerk Neil Martin says there are few guidelines on campaign spending. “The act grants municipalities the authority to create regulations but that has not been done,” he says of the City of St. John’s. Voters in the capital city will vote this election using primarily mail-in ballots. St. John’s is the first jurisdiction in Canada to try such a system. Beginning Monday, city residents will begin receiving their ballots in the mail.
Included with the ballot is a voter declaration form, but Lono says there’s no safeguard in place to ensure voters are who they say they are. Given the recent vandalism of incumbent candidate Kevin Breen’s campaign
“If you raise $1,000 in a municipal election. That’s a real $1,000.” Simon Lono signs, Lono says nothing should be ruled out. “The same kind of motivation that makes someone do that is the same one that will drive someone to go out, collect 1,000 ballots and vote their way,” he says, adding anyone paying attention to the trash in most apartment buildings can easily grab ballots, fill them out, and forge signatures on the declaration forms. Lono says there are no checks or safeguards for voters or candidates. With no limits on spending, there’s quite a difference in election campaigns. Some candidates are spending very little; others are spending upwards of $20,000. “The worst thing that can happen is that you wake up the 28th of September, lose and be out $10,000,” says Geoff Peters, Ward 4 candidate in St. John’s. Peters says it’s easy to spend $7,000
in signage alone, and Lono agrees, saying even small 4x8 signs cost over $100 a piece and he has five. Lono expects his entire campaign will cost around $3,000. Peters says the object is “not to overspend everyone else.” He would like to see changes to the Elections Act to allow campaign contributions to be tax deductible — as is the case with a federal election. In a federal election, for example, if you donate $1,000 you get back $800 as a tax deduction — not so with a municipal election. “If you raise $1,000 in a municipal election,” Lono says. “That’s a real $1,000.” Ron Ellsworth, another candidate for Ward 4, is said to have spent a bundle on his campaign. He has dozens of signs around town, ads on buses, a campaign office, website and pamphlets in practically every mailbox. Ellsworth admits he’s running a highend campaign, and estimates his spending to date at around $18,000. He predicts the total will hit $20,000 — 90 per cent of which will come out of his pocket. Ellsworth, who has been linked to Danny Williams through business and a government appointment, says he hasn’t received any money from the premier or his family. Ellsworth and Peters agree with Lono that changes are needed to the Election Act, an issue the next council is expected to deal with. “Anything that we can do for someone new — not only the incumbent — would level the playing field,” Ellsworth says.
Sanderling, Canada, to Halifax; Vega Desgagnes, Canada, to Holyrood. SEPTEMBER 8 Vessels arrived: Cabot, Canada, from Montreal; Anticosti, Canada, from Orphan Basin; Maersk Placentia, Canada, from Hibernia. Vessels departed: Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; Cabot, Canada, to Montreal. SEPTEMBER 9 Vessels arrived: Cicero, Canada, from Halifax; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from White Rose; Maersk Norseman, Canada, from Hibernia; Wilfred Templeman, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Anticosti, Canada, to Orphan Basin; Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Terra Nova.
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Oops ... I did it again W
ell faithful reader, I am really starting to enjoy this columnist job. My last column seems to have raised the ire of some, especially the CBC employees who cancelled their subscriptions. I apologize if I offended, but the way I see it, the only difference from my taking offence at some of the CBC pieces over the years and my giving offense, is that I paid for the right to say what I said, and I paid for the right to say what they said … thank goodness we live in such a strong social democracy. I’m not kidding about that. I take it everyone has had the same response as me when seeing the horrible events that are taking place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I have spent the last two weeks abroad and the headlines in every country I have been in have been focused on the degradations that are occurring in the southern States. I know we do not have the urban issues in our little corner of the world that plague
Publish or perish
some of America’s largest centers, but does anyone really believe those horrors could happen anywhere else in the civilized western world? I believe the U.S. is reaping the results of a society that is too right of center. I am a staunch capitalist and believer in Keynesian economics, but only because it allows the most able among us to create wealth for society as a whole, not just for the privileged few. One of the things I am most proud about in Canada is our level of social commitment. We complain about our taxation levels, and the frustration at seeing those tax dollars abused and wasted is very real, but as a philosophy, I think
the amount of our resources we commit to our social safety net is utopian. My anger over the CBC funding is not because I pay a lot of taxes, but because I think those tax dollars would be much better spent on our health care and education systems. My admiration for the U.S. as the democratic light in the world is high, but if you cannot reconcile social equality with equality of opportunity, then you are destined to see things like are happening in New Orleans right now. What I find particularly disturbing about the U.S. in the last 20 years is the growing influence of the religious right in their domestic and foreign policy. The irony of the American perception that Islam is a dangerous religion would be funny if there were not hundreds of people dying daily in the Middle East as we speak. Democracy is a natural political evolution of the human species — if history has taught us anything, it is that enforcing the will
of a few over the many will not last. But deep thought about democratic reform is hard to do when you go to bed hungry every night. The neo-conservative cabal of George Bush Jr. believe that military might will force democratic reform and therefore prosperity, but I believe a lot less blood would have been spilled and reform started by escalating the economic war on Saddam, rather than sending in a bunch of young men and women to kill and be killed, especially when a vast number of them thought they were signing up for weekend exercises and to get help with their college education. If you are reading this on Sunday, it is the fourth anniversary of 9/11, the planes flying into buildings. I think the intent of those young men who sacrificed themselves was to force the U.S. out of their part of the world. Pretty amazing, the events that have occurred since. In fact, the actions of that day got
George Bush Jr. elected again, gave an excuse for the Republican hawks to invade two Middle East countries, and allowed the far right to influence the direction of America completely out of proportion with their numerical status. I wonder if they met their 77 virgins after, because by any other measure their mission was a bit of a screw-up. If there is a silver lining in the Katrina cloud, it is focusing the Americans on the massive social discrepancies in their nation. Seeing the bodies of the underclass floating around what used to be New Orleans has a way of making for societal selfexamination. The good thing about democracies though, is that it allows the reasonable majority to push back to the center. I have no doubt that will start to happen in the U.S., and these Katrina events will give a strong impetus. Perhaps we can export the CBC down there to work on their culture for a while.
YOUR VOICE What’s with Promo Girl? Dear editor, For half a century I’ve been listening to the CBC. Before the advent of radio in my community on the northeast coast of Newfoundland, men would climb a mountain peak called a “Quidnock” to search the bay for winds, tides, and ice movements. In the black night they would go outdoors and examine the sky, then predict the next day’s weather. On first rising in the morning they would go to the window, look at the sky, examine the wind direction, and then decide on the day’s work. In summer, they predicted storms through the movement of horses. Then came radio with the news, especially the Gerald S. Doyle evening news, Saturday night hockey, and a hell of a lot of other stuff. Among the other stuff was the Fisherman’s Broadcast. Men in particular glued themselves to battery-operated sets to hear weather forecasts, presence and movements of ice, sightings of seals, fish prices and ship reports. The Fisheries Broadcast remains the epitome of who we are as a people. Five days a week we listen to the voices of men and women detailing the intricacies of their lives, lived in daily intercourse with the sea. We even get exposes of how Canada, through the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, perceives us. For the most part, we are infuriated. Thank you CBC. The Broadcast (Land and Sea, too)
has been successful because of the diligence and dedication honed over time by committed, professional people like Hal Andrews, Dave Quinton, Jim Winter, Jim Wellman, Pauline Thornhill and Chris O’Neill-Yates, to name but a few. My CBC day starts with the Ode to Newfoundland, just before 6 a.m. For the next three hours we have the seductive voice of Geoff Gilhooly cementing us all to this massive landscape. Over the years we’ve developed our own addiction to Peter Gzowski, Shelagh Rogers, and Michael Enright. (We deeply miss Peter’s humanity.) In Newfoundland we have a wonderful example of long-term commitment. Three men, from different places on the planet, gave half of their professional lives to produce the internationally acclaimed Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Such a work could never be accomplished in the work culture that you seek to perpetrate. The CBC is critical to the diverse regions of the country. In your absence we are living lives incognito within our own communities. We feel alienated from the rest of the planet! Could it be what stands in the way of a collective agreement is a lunatic cell operating on the fringe of the CBC, as evidenced by the insulting Promo Girl. If this is the limit of your imagination, then we should probably start climbing the mountains again. Larry Small, St. John’s
Please sir, spare a dime Dear editor, Brian Dobbin has “a huge problem with supporting this broadcast empire (CBC) out of tax dollars,” because of its, as he sees it, far left persuasions, its 14-week holidays and its wacky pay scales (Die CBC die, Aug. 4-10 edition of The Independent). Having self-credentialed himself as “left-of-centre” (what did he do, vote Liberal? Hardly a claim to any lefty leanings considering how far to the right of the median the Liberals now place themselves), Brian Dobbin shows his true political stance by claiming the CBC is out of sight on the left. Out of sight meaning unseen might be the proper designation as the CBC struggles purposefully and reasonably to bring us as many sides of an issue as there are. But comrade Dobbin’s stomach churns as he pays his taxes — a real leftist there! I know people who would love to pay taxes — it would mean they have a job.
The good comrade wants CBC privatized, inferring that it would be a good thing to see the union go, too. More leftist cant. There is no “indoctrination” at CBC. There are no 14-week vacations. The pay package is not out of line with what people make in the private sector. The commissar would have CBC employees paid like burger flippers or donut dippers. And then somehow or another, he veers into questions of culture and art. Ever the proud leftist, supreme leader Dobbin wants our Canadian and Newfoundland culture preserved, but not by public spending. Perhaps his pals at NTV, VOCM and The Telegram are busily protecting it, but the signs are scanty. “Imagine if we had to spend money to preserve our Newfoundland culture.” Imagine, indeed. How would he do it? Drop some change in their coffee cups? Perhaps we’re all meant to perform for free. Mack Furlong, St. John’s
AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 www.theindependent.ca • firstname.lastname@example.org The Independent is published by The Sunday Independent, Inc. in St. John’s. It is an independent newspaper covering the news, issues and current affairs that affect the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.
PUBLISHER Brian Dobbin MANAGING EDITOR Ryan Cleary SENIOR EDITOR Stephanie Porter PICTURE EDITOR Paul Daly
All material in The Independent is copyrighted and the property of The Independent or the writers and photographers who produced the material. Any use or reproduction of this material without permission is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. • © 2005 The Independent • Canada Post Agreement # 40871083
The Independent welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be 300 words in length or less and include full name, mailing address and daytime contact numbers. Letters may be edited for length, content and legal considerations. Send your letters in care of The Independent, P.O. Box 5891, Station C, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5X4 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Right here and now I
t’s been a roller-coaster week here at The Independent, but that’s what happens when the publisher says he wants the CBC dead. Die CBC die read the headline draped over Brian Dobbin’s column last week. Impossible to mince the meaning: Dobbin wants it to be lights out at the CBC, which automatically means every one who works at his newspaper, this newspaper, also doesn’t give a fiddler’s fart if the corporation keels over. That’s the opinion of the locked-out crowd — who believe The Independent must pay for the sins of the father (Dobbinhood, we’ll call him for this column’s purposes). I have my own opinion about the CBC (Dobbinhood doesn’t pay his merry men and women for their silence). Personally, I don’t wish the CBC dead. I’d be satisfied with having it beaten to within an inch of its pompous life and left to die in a ditch. What crawls out would be worth performing mouth to mouth on, rushing to hospital, and trying desperately to save. What dies wouldn’t be mourned, or thought of ever again (once Dobbinhood retrieves his arrow). My opinion of the CBC is partially clouded at this particular time and place on two fronts: locked-out CBC employees are refusing to work for the paper as a form of protest against a publisher who wants their jobs dead, and, secondly, I’ve been forced to write about it. There’s little time left to save the Memorial Stadium property from turning into a supermarket and ruining the old east end — the most precious part of Town, for those unfamiliar with the city (that doesn’t stop them from wishing it disfigured, a form of Townie bashing). The ink really shouldn’t be wasted on the CBC right here and now. But it can’t be helped — the CBC can’t do a superb job of telling the story all the time (although don’t say that to certain bighead employees) — at a certain point they must be told. To begin, I may not agree with Brian Dobbin, but I respect his right to express his opinion. More than that, he has a point. Can private industry perform the same service as the CBC for far less money? The answer is yes. CBC employees are the highest paid journalists, by far, at
Fighting Newfoundlander least in this province. Is taxpayers’ money used to subsidize a public service in competition with private industry? Tick yes again. Can journalists in the private sector operate with as much balance and objectivity — free of the evil influences of the advertising dollar — as the CBC? “Yes sir,” says he who does it. The CBC is not an essential service — the country (Newfoundland and Labrador included) would go on living and breathing if the corporation suddenly collapsed of a heart attack. Three weeks into the strike, 61 per cent of 1,000 Canadians polled said they felt no impact from the lockout. Only 10 per cent said it was “a major inconvenience” to their lives. (They don’t know what they’re missing.) The CBC is a luxury Canada can afford because it’s well to do — fact. If the country woke up one day stuck for cash the corporation would be chewed off at the elbow quicker than Carl Wells could ask, “Are we on?” There’s another side to the story (isn’t there always): while private industry can provide the same service as the CBC — it generally doesn’t. The quality just isn’t there. Second point: it’s harder for the editorial department of a private media outlet to resist the temptation of the advertising dollar when we need it to live on. Any private station or paper that says differently is lying through its teeth. There’s no denying it — journalists at the CBC enjoy a level of freedom to poke and prod that many of their counterparts in the private sector never experience. It’s a fact CBC employees are paid better, but it’s nice, from this perspective, to have a bar to shoot for. Unlike most every other journalist, the CBC are actually paid close to what they’re worth — and they’re home in time for supper every night to sit down with the kids. On another item the CBC is quick to point out: it’s easy enough to talk quality and commitment when you’ve got a fat budget and a guaranteed hour for
lunch and dinner and a pension for later in the evening. So much has been made of the fact the CBC isn’t able to paddle the streets of New Orleans, and there’s truth in that, but the images are still getting out, the story is being told. The lead story in last week’s Independent was written by a lockedout CBC employee. His headshot appeared on the front page above his story — five pages in front of the Die CBC die headline. That didn’t go over well on the picket line and the journalist won’t be writing for the paper again any time soon. Neither will any other locked-out CBC employee — or so they’ve been told. Newspapers are forums for opinions — even ones you don’t agree with. If the CBC doesn’t understand that fundamental principle of journalism and democracy, then it most certainly doesn’t deserve to live. ••• And another thing … I will not vote for any St. John’s city councillor who had a hand in the decision to turn the Memorial Stadium property into a supermarket. When I see that end of town I see relatives and friends buried in cemeteries on either side. I see my Grandmother (God rest her soul) down by the bandstand every Regatta Day waiting to pass me $10 to play the spins. I see history made and in the making. I do not see tractor-trailers and grocery bags blowing in the wind and ducks making homes in shopping carts. Andy Wells says it would cost $15 million to turn the property back to the city. Let’s say that figure is accurate (it’s not), how much has been lost by poor decisions and poorer city management? At the time the stadium property was sold it was zoned open space. How much would the property have gone for if it was zoned commercial in the first place — if developers knew they could have had their way with it? This is a city and province that allows the Colonial Building and the old Newfoundland museum to remain empty, used and discarded. It is shameful. Development is a wonderful thing, but our soul is too dear a price to pay for it. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. firstname.lastname@example.org
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
Raising a new flag
Ivan Morgan says the Pink, White and Green should be made the provincial flag
’m watching a documentary on Hinduism on cable one night, killing time waiting for World’s Greatest Police Chases IV to come on. Suddenly my daughter is looking at the screen and laughing, incredulous. “What? Are they kidding?” Covering all the walls of a Hindu temple were thousands of swastikas. She couldn’t believe it. I tried to explain that long before Hitler and his Nazis, the swastika was a good luck symbol for Hindus. I remember the look on her face. “Yeah. Right.” No really. That’s the nature of symbols. You see what you are taught to see. Flags are potent symbols too. Our Danny lowered the Canadian flag and all of Canada huffed and puffed. The Canadian flag is a deeply important symbol to many of us; it’s bad medicine to mess with it. So why is that? They’re just pieces of coloured cloth. It’s because it isn’t the cloth, it is what we project onto that cloth. Take, for example, the Pink, White and
Rant & reason Green. Over the past decade I have watched this obscure flag grow steadily in prominence. In my youth, in less politically correct days, I heard people call it “the Catholic flag.” It wasn’t the provincial flag — that was the Union Jack. Some said “our” flag was the Red Ensign, but you saw that even less than the Pink, White and Green. So when the flag started popping up on T-shirts and flapping from trendy flagpoles, some people took offence. I got a kick out of what different people saw. Some people saw it as the old sectarian “Catholic” flag. It is sad that, even today, old prejudice still festers under a few rocks. Some sneered that it was the “yuppie flag” — the flag of the downtown trendies and the greying rubber-boot brigade. Historical purists lectured me on what it wasn’t. It wasn’t
the “old” flag of the Republic of Newfoundland. We were never a republic. Others seethed that CFAs flew it like it was the flag of Newfoundland, which it wasn’t. Stupid mainlanders. They always get it wrong. Then an upstart newspaper began with this flag on its masthead. Now people wear this symbol on their ball caps, coffee mugs, and designer bags. Now it is everywhere. So while I knew very well what this flag wasn’t, I began, slowly, to see what it was. I think this flag has grown to symbolize for many of us our potential. I think this might just be our flag. I think that this flag might be a symbol for those of us not happy with the status quo, a symbol of our resentment at the way we have been treated by Canada. A flag for a younger, newer Newfoundland. I think this flag is a symbol that has been adopted by people who have a new idea of what this place could be. Not what it once was, or is right now — but what it could be. Our “official” Newfoundland flag is
that triangle thing Peckford and some committee foisted on us. That was a typical Newfoundland event. Here folks — here’s your new flag. A nice enough flag for sure, but hardly a symbol that came from the streets. It is a “top-down” flag. This new flag — the Pink, White and Green — has come up from the streets. So then I got this wicked idea. Look what happened when Danny lowered the Canadian flag. It was nothing — just some coloured cloth and a flagpole. And what a stink. So here’s my idea. As a way of seeing what kind of clout we “new Newfoundlanders” might have, and as a way of proving that our “beer philosophers” have some political clout, why doesn’t someone start something gloriously pointless, just to make a point? Could we make the Pink, White and Green the provincial flag? Dispense with the current one, and adopt the Pink, White and Green? How hard would that be? How big a fuss would there be? Who would object, and why
RAY OF TERROR
would they object? Is this silly? Did we need to be renamed Newfoundland and Labrador? I don’t think it is any sillier than that, except this would be a popular movement — not some stupid order from the eighth floor. I would love to see that happen. For the debate. For the spectacle of politicians wrapping themselves in whatever flag they think will get them elected. For the reaction from other parts of Canada. For the boost I think it would give us all. I am not interested in whatever that flag might have once symbolized. I have grown to see it as a symbol of our hopes and dreams for the future. I think a battle to have the thing flying from every provincial building would be a grand lark. Why shouldn’t it fly in Ottawa — right next to Quebec’s fleurde-lis? Look at the boost we all got from Danny lowering a flag. Imagine the boost from getting him to raise one. Ivan Morgan can be reached at email@example.com.
POET’S CORNER Pull the plug b’ys A Newfoundlander’s rant for independence Secede, I say, and stop this farce; lance this boil on Canada’s arse; preserve the dignity we’ve got, and say begone, goodbye, you lot; an enema’s what Ottawa needs, applied, where we ’bide, with pride of place and time forgot; caught with our flag down, on our knees, as supplicants, pissin’ ’gin the breeze; Pink slip, White-wash, too Green to burn, Is that our banner — never learn? Or is it the ‘shaft’ we fly so high, Golden, or otherwise, we decry its symbol, its irony; Are we brave enough to go alone; take our chances, not bemoan, our fate, while grovelling at Ottawa’s gate? Let’s slip these surly bonds and soar, free and proud, like before, with Labrador, if she’ll have us, bones to pick, galore; Iceland’s our model and Ireland too; let’s get on board with all the crew who’ve done it, earned their stripes and slew the colonizing dragon-Norse and Dane and Brit; Canada’s a decent country, yet we’re unhappy in its clutches, why? the truth is, we’re not sure, b’y!
St. John’s mayoral candidate Ray O’Neill caused a stir this week when he crashed an NTV studio where Andy Wells was being interviewed to demand a debate. O’Neill made an attempt last spring to start a boycott of European wine to protest foreign overfishing. Paul Daly/The Independent
YOUR VOICE The Rooms must be transparent Dear editor, We now have a formidable public building for our art as well as for the archives and the museum. In the art gallery, we have the physical basis for safely receiving, displaying and storing any work of art, whether from here or far away, including the finest and most valuable. We even had a director, Gordon Laurin, who had the full and enthusiastic support of our art community. The firing of Mr. Laurin has spoiled all of that. The gallery is open and we are enjoying the building, the excellent displays and activities, but a properly run gallery is not a static show. Rather there should also be a parade of splendid works entering and leaving. This dynamic is now in doubt. With priority given to this reorganization and reduction of staff, professional standards cannot be main-
tained. The trust that other galleries must have in our ability to properly look after their treasures is not being earned at present. The Aug. 30 article in The Globe and Mail notes that the organization representing the Atlantic Provinces Art Gallery Association has already advised its members not to co-operate with The Rooms regarding loans etc. The local organization, Visual Artists of Newfoundland and Labrador, has also expressed its opposition to the dismissal of Laurin, as has the current artist in residence, calling for the resignation of CEO Dean Brinton. Then there is the question of whether adequate information has been released. The article in The Globe also quotes Brinton as being puzzled by all the attention that Laurin’s dismissal has received. Since July 14, when the director was fired, I have been one of those trying to understand
what happened. To me this is not private, but very much a public matter. Where public money is involved, transparency is expected. For a public matter, far too little information has been released. Not only has public money gone into this potential house of treasures, but we have waited for access to it a long time. Even after the building was finished, entry was withheld from us for another whole year. We are like kids at an old-time birthday party, bidden to keep our distance from a glorious cake for a very long time. Naturally, all that waiting has increased our interest. Anyone who is going to stay in the position of CEO of The Rooms had better expect the public to give close attention to the art gallery and be prepared in future to offer us real transparency. Joan Scott, St. John’s
‘Matador of money’ Dear editor, As far as I know your publisher was not forced into the world of business, yet there he is in print (Die CBC die, Sept. 4-10 edition of The Independent) whining about how risky it is. He compares it to hunting where one is “forced everyday to kill something so (you) can eat that night.” Give me a break! Does this mean that, because he has been successful, he sees himself as the great white hunter, the Hemingway of the local
entrepreneurial bull ring, the matador of money? He goes on to present the standard, worn-out, right-wing arguments for dismantling the CBC — no surprise there. What is interesting is the resentment he expresses towards CBC employees; he is aware of the skills and intellect necessary to work in the best media organization in the country and possibly in North America (some of his best friends are CBC employees) but because the corporation has not adopted what appears to be his core philosophy — I came, I saw, I made
money — he assumes an overpaid, media cult of left leaners. He also assumes, incorrectly, that CBC employees do not work as hard for their “game” as he does for his. Two final things: cultures do evolve, but they also disappear — especially with the anythingfor-a-buck Leviathan to the south consuming the planet; and two, if Mr. Dobbin’s opinions are left of centre, as he seems to believe, than Ayn Rand was surely queen of the socialists. Peter Kennedy, St. John’s
Frankie, Danny, Brianey & Clyde Tried to stem the tide that hurt our pride, our independent spirit ’lowed to rot, but not forgot, and still intact, but we must act, or our demise will be a fact; So, put us adrift to sail alone, chart our course, set our tone; follow our conscience, tho’ troubled, forlorn; but proud and stubborn, nor liking the scorn and ridicule, the putdown and ‘joke’; we are a great crowd but still in a yoke so tight we can’t breathe; that can only be saved by release and reprieve; Our ranting and roaring has made us all tired; time to get off the pot, speak up, get wired; we’re distinct and we’re special, peculiar, contrary, likeable, lovable, kindly and verysmart, resourceful, helpful and funny; rich in resources but without enough money to keep us afloat, with a debt that would sink the most seaworthy boat; But, what odds, me b’ys, we’ve been at this before and we’ll be at it again, ’till our ship comes ashore, and it will, mark my words, but it won’t be a lark; ’twill take gumption and grit and plenty of spark, to make it a go, on our own, in the dark, as it were, for awhile, ’till our bearings confirm that our course is right on, our resolve ever firm; Then, by God, we’re reborn; unfettered, unshy, but now shorn of the shackle the ’40s have wrought; we know our own money has already bought and will buy the meal-ticket we need to survive and e’en thrive; Are we state, or solitude, or what? What choice have we got? To rot? And decay, in dismay, of our lot? Whine some more? Woe, we’re the poor, hangsashore? Or, no more Can we take it; enough is enough of rebuff; being ignored by the bored and the board, O Lord, have mercy on our soul. Amen. — Bob LeMessurier, Goulds
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
READING THE NEWS
YOUR VOICE Recall John Efford Dear editor, The notion of recalling, calling home or demanding the resignation of any politician — call it what you want, has never been in such urgent need for public debate and address given the current debacle starring John Efford. There are times when elected representatives, driven either by personal greed or simple incompetence, are obviously not acting in our best interest or that of their province. I believe John Efford is simply incompetent on the federal political scene and does not have, or has lost, the necessary level of integrity to resign. The man is choosing to ignore the howling from practically every kitchen and corner of Newfoundland and Labrador, even that of his own body (if we can believe him), that he should pack it in and come home (politically, at least). John Efford, our man at the table in Ottawa, has demonstrated again and again his political and personal ineptitude and incapacity to function effectively as a federal member — indeed, as our representative in Ottawa. It is
clear he is not respected or heard by his colleagues. It is embarrassing for all of us, and the horror of it all is that he’s getting in the way of energy development. John Efford, unfortunately, is yet another bump in Ottawa for this province to overcome, and he should resign. No publicly elected official should be permitted to remain in office when it is absolutely obvious that he/she no longer represents the will of his voters, and is no longer interested (forget even appearances) in representing the best interests of his province. If John Efford continues to refuse to step down, then that should reinforce the need for some mechanism to recall him, and others like him in the future. We could call the legislation the Efford Bill, a fitting monument to any politician who just couldn’t get it — i.e. the call from his province to quit, come home, move aside, get out of the way, whatever works. Ronald Tizzard Paradise
Debbie Cooper and Jonathon Crowe read the paper on the picket line outside CBC-Television in St. John’s. CBC TV was scheduled to return to an hour-long format on Monday, but the lockout has thrown a wrench in those plans. Paul Daly/The Independent
A Newfoundland rec room
Faith in the premier
Dear editor, I remember fondly my high school days — the hockey rallies, all that ol’ school spirit. Everyone together to praise the team, before the big game down at Memorial Stadium. The Roman Catholic schools and the Protestants schools, where many a friend attended, fond memories of bitter rivals gathering for “pretend war” in the spirit of sport, not in hatred or any other disposition. The true legacy of a Newfoundlander goes beyond religion; it’s a love for all mankind. The religious rivalries in our history run deep, but it’s the means by which we overcame them that makes us so unique. We’re survivors, we’ve learned to live together, and fight together in places like Memorial Stadium. For Memorial Stadium represents all of us, including our veterans, the ones we lost, fighting other people’s wars. My fear now, is that the war for their respect
Dear editor, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are finally blessed to have a leader with the vision and fortitude to attempt to develop the untapped lower Churchill. The province’s request for expressions of interest and proposals on the lower Churchill development has allowed our government the opportunity to explore and evaluate the various development options available to it. Newfoundland and Labrador is a province rich in natural resources. Unfortunately, as a result of years of Liberal government give-aways, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have seen minimal benefits from these resources. The current premier’s commitment to secure maximum benefits, both economic and employment, from the lower Churchill is a complete shift in what we were accustomed to seeing for so many years under the former Liberal regime. The lower Churchill is a significant renewable energy resource, which if developed correctly, could bring great benefits to the province for many years to come. It appears government is simply exploring all of its options with respect to the development of the lower Churchill, including the possibility of taking on the project itself under Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Rest assured, however, the premier is not about to expose the province to any
of the Dominion of Newfoundland will soon be lost to a Corporate Dominion. That the fighting Newfoundlander is no more, that we’re too busy these days to remember who we are, and what we fight to keep. Maybe we just think it’s too late. Right now, I’d settle for a farmer/fish market indoors in the stadium in the winter and out in the parking lot in the summer. A place where the craft fairs and flea markets would finally have a place to call home. Where the arts community could capture the music and acting style in dinner theatres and song and dance. Outdoor concerts would be ideal in the parking lot as well. A place where amusements like Thomas Amusements could have fairs and other circus-like activities. A Newfoundland rec room of fun — like it’s always been. Bob Butler, Goulds
unnecessary financial risk. Mr. Williams has earned himself quite a reputation, both provincially and nationally, when it comes to fighting for our province’s rights. I have no doubt that he will do everything in his power to ensure the lower Churchill is developed to produce maximum benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador. Tim Scott, St. John’s
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
Guilty as sin
‘Fiddling while Rome burns’ A review of the Newfoundland
CLARE-MARIE GOSSE Brazen
National Convention (1946-1948) By Ryan Cleary The Independent
particular co-worker at The Independent office has remarked on more than one occasion that I always seem to be writing stories about dogs or religion. As it happens, he has a fair point. In particular, I seem to write a lot of articles involving churches and priests. I can only put this down to guilt, a widespread affliction known to many lapsed children of devout Catholic parents. Some part of my brain is apparently thinking, “If I’m not going to attend church, I can at least write about it. Maybe that will save me from the fires of hell.” The dog thing is less obvious to me (aside from the fact I like dogs and happen to own one). It could be sub-conscious — dog is God spelled backwards. So I guess I’m experiencing the eternal guilt of a thoroughly sin-ridden adult who as a child was raised to go to church every Sunday (as well as occasional weekdays), attended Catholic school (my father even taught religious education there) and recite family rosaries in the evenings (and on long car trips). I happen to believe in God, it’s just the whole organized religion thing that turns me off. Despite my evolved distaste for the make-up of the Catholic Church and the fact I’m sure I’m a fairly nice person, I still suffer the guilt. And I know I’m not alone. I’ve met many lapsed Catholics who admit the same thing. These fallen children of the church can often be spotted by their incessant compulsion to apologize profusely, due to their natural tendency to assume everything is their fault. As young adults, they become experts at convincing their church-going parents they never get drunk, use foul language, have sex, use contraception, or think they might be gay. One of the worst moments of my life involved at least two of the above illusions being shattered in the presence of my mother. In my first year of university she walked into my room at residence to announce my grandmother had just died — only to find me in bed with a boy (who really was just a friend) and still drunk from the night before. I still have no idea if she ever told my father, but there’s a lot to be said for writing a column printed in a country in which your parents do not live. (I never could understand how authors of scandalous autobiographical novels ever managed to face their families again.) It seems Christianity is feeling a little put upon in the West lately, despite enjoying the right wing, ultra-conservative support of the all-powerful Bush
The Roman Catholic Basilica in St. John’s.
administration. A book called The Criminalization of Christianity: Read This Book Before it Becomes Illegal! was published this year. It’s about how religious liberty is being threatened in the Western world — most notably North America. The book outlines prejudices against Christianity such as children not being able to pray at school and people being criminally charged for publicly condemning homosexuality. My father informs me that in the flamboyant British city of Brighton you can be arrested if you’re overheard expressing a negative opinion about homosexuality. Obviously the same repercussions don’t apply to negative comments about Christianity. I informed him it would be unusual for someone to get the living crap beaten out of them for being Christian (in this century of British rule anyway). Being gay, of course, is another matter. The Catholic Church does get its fair share of hassle. I feel bad for priests who automatically get tarred with the child-molestation brush, due to a handful of corrupt and disturbed colleagues. As much as I disapprove of the make-up of the Vatican, it also bothers me that media have thrown around the
Paul Daly/The Independent
term “Nazi Pope” when referring to the recently appointed German pontiff, Benedict XVI, who was forced to serve a brief stint in the Hitler Youth. He later managed to drop out due to his intention to join a seminary. More recent news stories have focused on the Vatican considering banning gay men from becoming priests. Apparently they’re concerned about the young men being exposed to temptation during their seminary studies. Only problem is, it can be hard to figure out who’s gay and who’s not. Much more entertaining, however, was a recent Globe and Mail article all about Pope Benedict’s new secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein. The Monsignor is young, “extravagantly handsome” and has been compared to George Clooney and Hugh Grant. He’s setting hearts aflutter all along the Vatican tour track. “Shame he is taboo for us women,” one admirer was quoted as saying. Here’s a thought: maybe the Catholic Church shouldn’t ban gay priests, just good looking ones. It would be far easier to judge (either you’re hot or you’re not) and if all your study buddies are ugly, where’s the temptation then?
Dear editor, I like to respond to the article Staying Power (Aug. 21-27 edition of The Independent). It’s nice to know so many people have a great deal of respect for the pink, white, and green.
This flag was designed right here in Newfoundland and represents most, if not nearly all our people. Come on Danny Williams, do something for out tri-colour — it’s meant for uniting. As you know, people fought and died for this flag, although it wasn’t official during our years as a Dominion. I don’t like the adopted
579-STOG 77 Harv Harvey ey Road
YOUR VOICE ‘The prettiest pink’
Cashin, minister of Finance in the former responsible government, argued the original agreement under which he 2004 book, Great Canadian Newfoundland gave up its democracy Speeches, includes some of the stated it would be restored immediately finest speeches in Canadian his- upon straightening out its finances. tory and public discourse. The list of He charged Great Britain and Canada speechmakers includes with delaying the return Sir John A. Macdonald to democracy to give Road to making a case for them time to plan Confederation; Louis CONFEDERATION Newfoundland’s entry Riel pleading his case to A N O N G O I N G S E R I E S into Confederation. a Regina jury in 1885; Previous columns have and Pierre Trudeau and René Léveque reviewed Cashin’s reasoning, which has facing off in the 1980 Quebec referen- never been denied. dum. On Feb. 3, 1947, he gave a speech that Newfoundland had two entries: Joey surely resonated in every corner of Smallwood, 1946 (Newfoundland wants Newfoundland (the speech aired on in) and Peter Cashin, 1948 VOCM, which was around even in those (Newfoundland wants out). Both days). speeches — made during the National “Today I see it (the National Convention — will run in The Convention) as a premeditated design to Independent as part of this column at a keep us out of control of our own counfuture date. try, so that time may be afforded those in Indeed, the National Convention power to complete their campaign of resulted in some of the most passionate sabotage. And so, I see this Convention oratory in our history (you’ve read that and its activities as something in the statement before in this column, no nature of fiddling while Rome burns.” doubt, because it’s worth repeating). The riveting speech must have lasted Facing bankruptcy, the colony signed over an hour. away democracy in the form of respon“If Canada is prepared to accept us in sible government in 1934 in favour of a confederation, then be assured it is only government led by an appointed com- because she wants something we have, mission. and that she wants it very much. If she By 1946, Cashin — leader of the wants us, she wants us for her benefit, anti–confederate forces — wanted the not for ours. And if she offers us one dolcountry to return to a democracy. lar, you can be certain that she counts Smallwood and his followers were pro- on getting two or three of ours in return. Confederation all the way. Remember this, to any such deal Great The two often went head to head. Britain must be a party, and so it would The specific purpose of the National all boil down to a clever game between Convention was to review Canada and Great Britain in which they Newfoundland’s finances to decide would take the winnings and whether it could make it on its own. Newfoundland would be the pawn.” Most of the first few months were taken Still more … up with presenting reports on various “For a change I should like someone sectors — transportation, the forestry, to tell us not why we should go to the fishery, education. Canada, but why Canada should want By February 1947 (six months after us at all. Is anyone within the reach of the convention started), Cashin rose to my voice, I wonder, so innocent as to his feet in the Colonial Building in St. think that a big country ever yet cared a John’s to say he had had enough. hoot about the welfare of a little counHe charged the review of New- try?” foundland’s financial position was a Cashin argued a general election “glorified stall” in that it had been under responsible government should be revealed as early as 1941 that held in the spring of 1947. Newfoundland was self-supporting. His pleas were met with deaf ears. Further, the delegates to the convention The background for this column is (45 elected officials from around taken from The Newfoundland National Newfoundland) were often unable to get Convention, 1946-1948, by James information on Newfoundland’s Hiller and the late Michael Harrington, finances from the commission govern- available through the Newfoundland ment — which simply refused their Historical Society and various retail requests. outlets.
provincial flag; it looks like a Union Jack with a sword running through it. I don’t want a symbol to remind me of colonial days. I can remember hearing my grandmother say the prettiest pink that you will see is on the Newfoundland flag. Ron Durnford, Stephenville Crossing
Stoggers’ Pizza The “best pizz zza in town” is
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
‘He was friends with everybody’ Peter Barry Duff 1967-1984 By Darcy MacRae The Independent
eter Barry Duff always had a soft spot for the underdog. Whether it was a friend with a broken heart, a teammate who needed a pat on the back, or an animal that required help, he was willing to give the shirt off his back. Few people who crossed paths with Peter ever forgot him, which is why his death in a drowning accident in 1984 hit so many people, so hard. He was just 17 at the time, but had packed a lot of fun, adventure and compassion into his young life. “He was a little bit of everything,” says Tina Duff, Peter’s sister. “He took things on and saw them through. He did science fairs, math competitions, and was athletic.” On Monday (Sept. 12), the grand opening of the Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park in Paradise will take place at 10:30 a.m. Local school kids, former hockey teammates, family and friends of Peter’s will be on hand for a walk through of the 28 acres — 20 of which were donated by Peter’s father, Glad — dedicated to a young man who
FROM THE BAY “Harry Warren, telegrapher and resident of Heart’s Content, pleaded guilty to passing worthless cheques in the Magistrate’s court last week. There were four counts involving $228 against him.” — The Bay Roberts Guardian, March 27, 1937.
Peter Barry Duff
touched many people in a special way. The park includes a baseball field, soccer pitch, softball field, playground, swimming pond, walking trails, basketball court, tennis court, and skateboard park. Also on the grounds of the property — which was once a Duff family farm, the same land on which Glad and his son grew vegetables — is a sculpture honouring Peter’s memory. The 30-foot sculpture features a boy releasing an eagle into the sky — just
YEARS PAST “Effective from Jan. 15, 1948 the price of Sunlight Soap will be eighteen cents per cake, an increase of two cents over the previous cost to house holders. The general public is now so accustomed to frequent mark-ups in essential commodities that they are accepted as the normal course of events. Should
as Peter did just prior to his teenage years when he found an injured bald eagle, took it home and nursed it back to health before setting it free. The sculpture actually stands where Peter said he would one day build a house. As far as Tina is concerned, the sculpture is a fitting addition to a park she is proud to have named after her brother. “It’s the only park of its kind on the island,” she says. “It’s specifically designed for youth. A place for families to come with their kids.” The Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park is exactly the type of place the person it is named after would have loved. Peter was said to be an active person — he loved the outdoors and wildlife, and enjoyed several sports — baseball, softball and soccer. Peter’s first love was undoubtedly hockey. He enjoyed every aspect of the game, and it showed in the way he played. He led Holy Spirit High to a provincial 4A hockey championship when he was in Grade 11, the winter before he passed away. Although he did not attend Grade 12, his graduating classmates chose to honour Peter by dedicating their yearbook to him. Inside, a passage written about what he meant to them also describes the type of athlete Peter was.
“Peter often displayed his true intensity in the hockey rink. There was no half-measure, it was all out or nothing. He was probably the finest player, and certainly the most prolific scorer, to ever play hockey for Holy Spirit … last year our school lost a student, an athlete and a friend,” the passage reads. Peter’s love of hockey was evident to all who knew him. In fact, when Tina was sorting through pictures of her brother for the opening ceremonies of the park, she couldn’t help but notice how often he was photographed wearing a hockey jersey — even in the middle of summer. “His dream, like every little boy, was to play in the NHL. But he had a pretty good chance of actually doing that,” she says. “I remember Mark Messier coming here to do hockey camps. Peter did three skills camps with him and he (Messier) told Peter he definitely had what it took.” Despite being his school’s star hockey player, Peter never acted like the stereotypical jock. He didn’t exclude anyone, and certainly never believed he was better than anyone else. Tina believes that’s why he had so many friends. “He had quite a collection of friends — they were from every walk of life,” she says. “They weren’t just the jocks
or the studs; he was friends with everybody.” Those hardest hit by Peter’s death were his family — his father Glad, mother Patricia and sisters Tina, Lisa and Gina-Mary. But Peter’s death may have been hardest on Glad, who was more than a father to Peter — he was a friend. To this day, Glad has difficulty speaking about his son, and has admitted to being a changed person since the tragedy. Tina believes donating the 20 acres for the park — land that could generate close to $2 million if sold — is her father’s way of ensuring Peter’s memory and legacy live on. “My father could be a millionaire, but money and possessions don’t mean a whole lot to him. He’d give the million dollars over and over and over if he could have him back,” Tina says. Watching kids play in the Peter Duff Memorial Park brings joy to the Duff family. The fact that generations of youth will grow up knowing a little something about the young man for whom the park is named brings a smile to their faces. “To have kids have these places to go to and experience things they probably never would have brings a bit of comfort,” Tina says.
prices go down it is recommended that measures be taken to have the news broken very, very gently. The shock of such good news, if released without first paving the way, might well have disastrous results.” — The Twillingate Sun, Jan. 24, 1948.
EDITORIAL STAND “We have no intention of allowing ourselves to be subjected to mud slinging or character assassination. Least of all will we resort to the use of stupid cartoons, and poetic ignorance as a means of increasing our circulation.” — First editorial of the Wabana Star, September 1961
why the government, persuaded by the justice to the arguments of local manufacturers, moved to prevent the dumping of trashy and unreliable American footwear into this country.” The letter was signed the Shoe and Leather Association of Newfoundland. — From The Evening Advocate, Oct. 18, 1923.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR “This foreign footwear was being dumped into the Newfoundland market to enable manufacturers to keep foreign workmen employed. It was enabling some of the local shoe trade to make a quick turnover of sales and speedy handsome profits. That was why the Shoe Manufacturers of Newfoundland appealed to government and that was
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Lest you forget, Mac, tax deadline is April 16 … ‘Do I have to report my winnings from the swish (Newfoundland Poker)?’” — From The GAB (U.S. Air Force newspaper published for personnel of the Goose Bay Air Base), March 24, 1956, about American soldiers in Labrador.
AROUND THE WORLD “It’s not generally known that the Queen is one of very few people who never has a holiday. Last year her majesty was obliged to append her signature to some 50,000 documents. The queen gets up at half past seven … she has frequently been kept at work all day and is often called up in the middle of the night.” — The Times, May 20, 1891.
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2005 — PAGE 11
A stranded resident as he prepares to evacuate New Orleans late last week.
A five-star oasis
The best of grace and humanity shows up in the most surprising locations NEW ORLEANS By Rosie DiManno Torstar wire service
n the grand ballroom of the Astor Crowne Plaza, the boys are peeling a bucket of fresh shrimp. Kurt Wolf, the sous-chef, is thinking of frying them up in a bit of butter and hot spices. Or maybe just boil the things — peel and dip, all you can eat. I don’t know where Kurt got the plump crustaceans, in a city feted for its culinary delights, where no refrigerator now works, and most stragglers are making due with bologna sandwiches from the Salvation Army van. Nor will Kurt say where he got the ribeye steaks that he prepared the other night, with sautéed aubergines and sticky rice. Served with a lovely California burgundy and ice cold Heineken. Such a cornucopia might, amidst such
dreadful need, seem unforgivable. But this water in underground garages. is what should be known of the Astor: the The balance of “guests” were New deluxe hotel took in and cared for 2,000 Orleans citizens and French Quarter locals people at the height of the hurricane crisis, who had thrown themselves on the mercy one of the few establishof manager Peter ments that continued to Ambros, a 61-year-old function — an oasis of hotelier with all the culingenuity and resourceIt was Ambros, calmly tured elegance of his fulness — during all the native Vienna. puffing on his cigar, long days and nights It was Ambros, calmly when relief agencies puffing on his cigar, who who repeatedly refused repeatedly refused to were nowhere evident. The staff did not all these to evacuate all these evacuate skedaddle or abandon refugees, even when the this mass of humanity to New Orleans Police refugees. fend for itself. Only Department kept telling some of those who him to send them to the enjoyed refuge at the hideous Superdome or Astor were actual paying guests who had the just as wretched convention centre. failed to evacuate when they had the Ambros sent out scouts to assess those chance, as Katrina warnings grew more venues and said, no way. “It’s not safe. It’s urgent, or were unable to depart afterwards filthy. I won’t turn them out,” he steadfastbecause their cars were submerged in ly asserted.
Among his displaced, Ambros had senior citizens in wheelchairs, mothers with babies, a fellow with a pet iguana, families with dogs and cats, a heart attack victim, an AIDS sufferer on a feeding tube and one Toronto Star reporter who wheedled the last available room. Somehow Ambros and his valiant, endlessly patient crew, clearly devoted to their boss, managed to keep all of us sheltered and fed through the worst of times, scores sleeping in the hotel’s public areas when no more rooms were to be had, the kitchen staff — under the tireless leadership of Gatean “Frenchie” Croisier, the directfrom-France executive chef, and his wife Jocelyn — turning out macaroni, hamburgers, pork and beans. While breakfast was two rashers on white bread and dinner often no more than peanut butter and scavenged sweets, these See “A light for,” page 13
Ottawa should heed echoes of ’95 By Chantal Hébert Torstar wire service
decade after the fact, the main federalist protagonists of the last Quebec referendum still cling to the belief that its close outcome was the result of a freak political storm. That sense is front and centre in a Radio-Canada/CBC documentary broadcast this week in the lead-up to the 10th anniversary of the 1995 campaign. To listen to former prime minister Jean Chrétien, the federalist campaign was derailed by Lucien Bouchard’s unique connection to Quebecers, a phenomenon that unfolded outside the reach of conventional strategy. Throughout the documentary, other federalist strategists expound on the same theme. To hear them, the 1995
close call was the result of a political tsunami, an extreme event that is statistically unlikely to happen again anytime soon. But what if they are wrong? The notion of an unforeseeable act of God is a convenient rationalization for a retired prime minister who came perilously close to losing Canada in the 1995 referendum process. SAME FORCES But it may be a dangerous over-simplification for a country that may yet be tested again by the same forces sometime soon. While the documentary goes out of its way to connect the dots between Bouchard’s epic battle with flesh-eating disease and the positive turnaround of sovereignist fortunes in the referendum, that storyline ends up competing
for attention with another compelling and ultimately more ominous tale. What the documentary exhibits is a federal government so blinkered from Quebec reality as to be blind to the dangers that are staring it in the face. Does that still sound familiar today? In one of its most surrealist sequences, Chrétien’s nephew Raymond Chrétien — then the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. — recounts how he spent a dinner warning his uncle that Capitol Hill was abuzz with questions about Canada’s imminent demise. A little more than a week before the vote, he worried about the absence of a plan for the day after a ‘Yes’ victory. Meanwhile, back in Ottawa, federal ministers from the rest of Canada were See “Little evidence,” page 15
‘Yes’ vote supporters march in Montreal in October 1995.
12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
VOICE FROM AWAY
Not far from home: Killybegs, Co. Donegal, is not far from Inver, the community Earlene Kelly lives in.
Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
‘I hit a snag …’ Rocky Harbour native Earlene Kelly went to Ireland for job experience to bring back home to Newfoundland — little did she know the turn her life would take By Stephanie Porter The Independent
uring all her studies, Earlene Kelly concentrated on community economic development for one reason: so she could stay at home. But of course, life never turns out quite as expected. “I worked with a lot of regional economic development boards while I was at home,” the Rocky Harbour native says. “Everything I did, my ultimate goal was to get enough experience under my belt so I could go home and knock their pants off and say ‘Look at me, I’m here, I can do the job, I’m staying home and everybody else is going to stay home too.’” Part of her experience was a sixmonth contract in Sligo, Ireland. The position — to work with young people towards the national President’s Award (similar to the Duke of Edinburgh award) — was sponsored by Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic. During those six months, Kelly travelled around much of Ireland, enjoyed the work and the challenges it presented. Her final paper detailed the ways
the young people she met were socially ostracized due to economic factors. “The job had its ups and downs,” she says. “I grew along with the rest of the crowd.” The six months up, Kelly was content she got what she wanted out of the experience, and knew it was time to head back to Newfoundland. “But I hit a snag,” she says, pausing. “I met a man … and you know, what do you do? I went home anyway, because I didn’t know him that long and I wasn’t in a secure working situation. “And then I wasn’t home very long and he came over and got me. I’ve been here in Ireland ever since. I guess when it happens, it happens — and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sounds corny, but it’s true.” That was in the fall of 2000. On her return to Ireland, Kelly got a job in a “corner shop — not the most prestigious job,” but it did help her get to know the people in her community. Her then-boyfriend, Eamonn, works for the Donegal county council, a permanent job he enjoys, and the primary reason the pair settled in Ireland instead of Canada. In February 2002, they were married. They now have two children — Luke
and Laura — and Kelly is living a life she’d never imagined. “Luke’s name precedes him,” she says. “Luke Kelly would be an icon over here … tied to the rebellious strain of Irish traditional music. He’s quite a character for three years of age; he’s great craic.” The family lives in Inver, a town of
“People must think I’m a bit silly … talking to somebody in the post office, I don’t know who they are, but I know they’re from the community.” 2,500 in county Donegal. A former fishing community, the locals are heavily involved with farming these days. “Everybody is so spread out, you don’t get to see everybody unless there’s a play at the community centre or if Santa is doing his thing at the centre,” she says.
There aren’t street addresses in her area, she says, but every home has a name. Theirs is called Talamh an iasc, Gaelic for Newfoundland. “There was a lot of homesickness when I first came,” Kelly says. “But I’ve settled myself now.” She’s become involved in community organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul society, and has stayed involved in the President’s Award program, though as an arm’s length volunteer. After nearly five years in Ireland, she’s picked up much of the accent and local phrases — though every once in a while, her Newfoundland roots peak through. “I’ve started this ad campaign,” she says. “I’m going to try to find out where the Newfoundlanders are in the northwest (of Ireland). They haven’t come out yet, but they know where I am.” Kelly’s starting another campaign, to bring the Newfoundland openness — and gift of gab — to her community. “Back home, you go to pick up your groceries, I always end up in a conversation. But here, it’s kind of like, get in, get your stuff, get out. It’s not that they’re not as friendly … “People must think I’m a bit silly
over here but I’ll stand up, talking to somebody in the post office, I don’t know who they are, but I know they’re from the community. “So I’m making an attempt, and I say ‘Look, I’m living here now, this is my life and my kids are up there and they’re going to be going to school down the road and we just live up the road and you’re welcome to come by for tea whenever you want. “A few have taken me up on it,” Kelly laughs. “I think they’re just curious — ‘What is this woman about?’” Kelly says the family might yet move back to the province she cares so passionately for, though the career in politics she imagined she’d have by now is probably no longer in the cards. But for now, she sounds bubbly and happy, with a healthy young family in a safe town. Inver, in all, is “a nice place” — and she says she can’t think of a better spot to raise her children. “There’s very nice people who live here,” she says. “They must be nice, because they live by the salt water.” Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 13
New CBC chairman lifts hopes OTTAWA By Sean Gordon Torstar wire service
he federal government has appointed screenwriter and journalist Guy Fournier as new chairman of the CBC’s board of directors, prompting hope among the broadcaster’s locked-out employees that the board will move to resolve the fourweek-old dispute. Fournier, who was also instrumental in founding Quebec’s Télévision Quatre-Saisons network, was named to the board for a four-year term in February and takes over a top job that
has been vacant throughout the buildup to the labour showdown. Heritage Minister Liza Frulla extolled Fournier’s virtues as a veteran of both the English- and French-language services of the CBC. She says he will be the right person to lead the broadcaster’s board once the labour standoff with 5,500 employees in the creative and news divisions across Canada is resolved. Frulla also says there’s a silver lining to the dispute. “I think there is going to be something positive out of this conflict,” Frulla says. “Why? Because then again, you know, we have to re-launch and
A light for internally exiled
when you re-launch, you ask yourself questions on the content,” Frulla adds, insisting in the same breath the government remains a strong booster of public broadcasting. Those comments provoked the ire of NDP culture critic Charlie Angus, who says the dispute threatens to cripple the broadcaster’s ratings at the workers’ expense. “It seems to me what she’s saying is ... CBC management has taken money out of employees’ pockets for four weeks and now can use it toward new programming,” says Angus, who called Frulla’s position “insane.” The Canadian Media Guild, which represents CBC workers in every
province except Quebec (and Moncton, N.B.), welcomed Fournier’s appointment in hopes it will give the board “more of a backbone” in helping settle the conflict. “I think the fact there hasn’t been a chair has led to some of this tumult,” says Lise Lareau, the union’s president. Lareau says the Guild hopes Fournier will curb the influence of CBC President Robert Rabinovitch, who the union contends has had a free hand since former chairperson Carole Taylor stepped down in the spring. “There has effectively been no checks and balances in the system, the man who has managed this lockout has
also effectively been chair of the board,” she says. But Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an independent watchdog group, poured cold water on the hope that Fournier’s appointment — which is expected to easily pass muster at the Commons’ Heritage Committee — will help break the labour impasse. “Guy Fournier is a very talented person, but Canadians would be misled if they thought this will affect the current situation. The president is not accountable to the board ... until that issue is dealt with nothing can really change,” says Ian Morrison, a spokesperson for the group.
It’s about time.
Continued from 11 angels of mercy managed to pull together one filling lunch meal every day. A back-up generator provided charging for cellphones and emergency lighting. Irving Novack, director of engineering, would daily head out in a forklift truck in search of diesel fuel. Bruce Perone, the food and beverage manager, was aide-de-camp in charge of pretty much everything. Chief auditor Anna Mothershed deployed a legion of cleaners, disinfectant bottles in hand, to keep the premises at least minimally tidy. BUCKET BRIGADE Dave Ovans, ordinarily in charge of convention services, hauled a giant fan into the dining room and rounded up flashlights. James Buckner, from the food and services department, filled samovars with drinking water. And a gang of locally drawn hands would each afternoon man the bucket brigade in the outdoor pool, filling canisters with water for flushing toilets. “If we’d been in charge of the city, New Orleans wouldn’t be in such a mess,” observed Hector Garcia, the systems administrator who did yeoman work until finally pulling up stakes with his wife and two young children, bound for Houston on one of the 10 evacuation buses privately chartered by Ambros. (The buses he earlier had secured for this purpose had been promptly commandeered by police, who said the vehicles were more urgently needed elsewhere.) During the most awful days last week, the Astor, from its prime location at Canal and Bourbon Streets, was the only downtown hotel, possibly the only hotel in the entire city of New Orleans, that still had a light in the window for the internally exiled. Even when tens of thousands of refugees were on the streets, fleeing from the horrors in the convention centre and the Superdome, all these other hotels were barred and protected by pitiless security details. At the Marriott, across from Harrah’s Casino, the most that remaining staff would do was toss out mattresses for people to sleep on along the sidewalks. BECON OF ORDERLINESS If this column sounds like a plug for the Astor, I don’t care. Long before the TV crews arrived, before the military descended, when there was utter anarchy in the city, the Astor was a beacon of orderliness, a gracious port in the storm. In the evening, reluctant to retreat to our pitch-dark rooms, we would linger on the hotel’s elegant terraces, huddled around transistor radios, collectively carping about the disgraceful inefficiency of the rescue and relief efforts. Why could the professionals up in Washington and the myriad disaster agencies not manage to do what these courageous employees at the Astor had achieved? Why had local authorities not prepared as wisely as had Ambros and his staff, with their 9,000 quarts of drinking water stuffed into garbage containers? Most of the staff has gone now, too, having decamped in the past couple of days for points all over the United States. Irv no longer gets on the public address system to wish everyone a good night and sleep well. I was the Astor’s last evacuee, transferred to a sister hotel a few blocks distant that has opened its doors to the horde of journalists, so many of whom spent night after night sleeping in their cars, humping every afternoon back to Baton Rouge in order to file their stories and photographs. When I last saw him, Mr. Ambros sat at a trestle table, playing solitaire and smoking his cigar. God bless you, sir.
From the minute you arrive to the moment you leave, Humber Valley Resort is dedicated to giving you the time of your life, in an unspoiled land of natural beauty and abundant wild life. With large, private, vacation homes on forested lots. With golfing, skiing, fishing and outdoor adventures of world class standing. With fine restaurants and bars, a club house, beach house and marina. It’s all about having a great time at one of the most internationally acclaimed vacation destinations in the world.
Don’t you think it’s about time you gave us a call?
Three night package from $305*/person. v
Package includes 3 nights in a luxurious 3-bedroom chalet and one of the following: 2 rounds of golf/person v 3 days in kid’s camp/child v 8 hours of water sports/person
www.humbervalley.com or 1.866.686.8100
* Limited time offer, all taxes extra. Price per person, based on 6 people sharing in mid-season. Other prices available for different group sizes. Based on availability, certain conditions apply.
14 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Minister counters Harper in McKenna’s defence OTTAWA By Richard Roik Telegraph-Journal
tephen Harper’s verbal dismissal of Canada’s Ambassador to the United States this week is proof the federal Conservative leader “doesn’t get” Atlantic Canada, says the lead federal minister for New Brunswick. Native Affairs Minister Andy Scott says he is “shocked and surprised” by Harper’s claim he would never have appointed former New Brunswick Liberal premier Frank McKenna as Canada’s top diplomat in Washington. “I have to believe it is indicative of an impression Mr. Harper has of our part of the country,” says Scott, the Liberal MP for Fredericton. “I think it’s frankly the reason why he hasn’t been embraced in our part of the country. Mr. Harper just doesn’t get it as far as Atlantic Canada and New Brunswick are concerned.” But a spokesperson for Harper says the Conservative leader stands by his comments, which were made in a speech during his party’s national caucus meeting in Halifax last week. “The facts are there and you can read Mr. Harper’s statement,” says Carolyn Stewart Olsen, the Conservative leader’s press secretary. She repeated Harper’s claim McKenna was also “blindsided” by Prime Minister Paul Martin even before he assumed the diplomatic post in March. Following his appearance before a Commons committee in February, McKenna suggested Canada was already part of the ballis-
tic missile defence system with the U.S., prompting Martin to reveal two days later that Canada had already opted out of the controversial system. “That is right at the Liberals’ door,” Stewart Olsen said. “They are acting very defensively over it, and I think Mr. Scott just proves Mr. Harper’s point.” Harper’s claim came as he argued the federal government needs to appoint a special envoy to rebuild Canada’s troubled trade relationship with the United States. He added McKenna is not up to the task because Americans doubt he has the ear of his own government. “He would probably not be perceived in Washington as having the full knowledge and confidence of the Prime Minister,” Harper said. Scott says such assertions are laughable. “I think it’s rather shocking. Most people I know believe Frank’s just the kind of guy we need. He’s high energy and he understands both public policy and politics. “I see McKenna more out there and in the face of Americans — in challenging times — than I ever remember any ambassador before him.” He says Harper has a history of failing to understand Atlantic Canada, including Harper’s claim three years ago that there is a “culture of defeat” in the region. “I don’t know of anybody less infected with a culture of defeat than Frank ,” Scott says. Stewart Olsen refused to be baited by Scott’s partisan shot. “We probably won’t get into this, certainly not with someone like Mr. Scott,” she said.
Two elderly Palestinians stand inside a damaged building in the town of Khan Younis near the demolished Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. The Israeli army blew up military buildings and packed up the last of its equipment Sept. 9 in final preparations for a pullout from the Gaza Strip. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
Planetarium out, condos in
What can these dates do for you?
Come in and see—and hear—for yourself when you attend
Beltone’s Repair Clinic with our factory trained specialist on site —2 days only!
• Free hearing test—$30 value • Free cleaning, check, and minor repair of your current hearing aid • Free pkg of batteries with each pkg purchased • 10% off any new Beltone hearing aid purchased
Wednesday & Thursday, September 21 & 22 from 9am to 5pm (No appointment necessary)
Paton Medical Centre, 3 Paton St., St. John’s, NL 1 800-563-8083 www.beltone.nl.ca
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) wants to demolish the defunct McLaughlin Planetarium and replace it with a 46-storey tower that will house multi-million-dollar condos. An employee of Graywood Developments Ltd., which has partnered with the ROM to develop the property, says the tower would have four condos per floor, each about 3,000 square feet. The estimated asking price would be around $3 million, with the penthouse costing as much as $50 million. Forty floors would be condos. The proposal will likely be opposed by at least two residents’ groups, who say it is too big. But William Thorsell, director and CEO of the ROM, said it means the museum can pay for the next phase of its Renaissance ROM project, in which the museum is being renovated and
expanded to give the public access to more of its collections. The ROM has applied to have the property rezoned to permit the development. The area is now zoned institutional and the ROM has requested it be changed to institutional/residential. According to the ROM’s website, the first five floors of the building would provide offices, storage and a link to the museum’s main building. Located at 90 Queen’s Park and called ROM South, the plan also calls for a public plaza and improved subway access on the site that now houses the planetarium, long used as a storage site by the museum. It will include a pedestrian overpass connecting Queen’s Park and Philosopher’s Walk. — Torstar wire service
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15
Clinton signs on to a dream
Kofi Annan ‘accepts criticism’
By Carol Goar Torstar wire service
he day Bill Clinton said yes, Shelvan Kannuthurai went numb with shock and anticipation. The dream he’d nurtured for so long — and heard dismissed so often as a utopian fantasy — was about to become a reality. On Oct. 18, the former president of the United States will deliver the keynote speech at a 1,000-person gala in Ottawa, launching Professeurs Pour la Liberté, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free online education to every village in Africa. Here is how it will work. Bright, highly motivated students from every country in the world will be offered scholarships to come to Canada and take a two-year accredited course in information technology. As a condition of acceptance, they’ll have to make a commitment to spend two years in Africa setting up the online learning network. The computers, technical equipment and books will be donated by North Americans who no longer need them. Gadgets and texts that are considered obsolete here are still state-of-the-art in Africa. The course content will be supplied by post-secondary institutions from the world’s richest nations. Kannuthurai is asking every degree-granting institution in North America, Europe and Japan to contribute one accredited course. He hopes to have the first degree program (applied health care and sanitation) online next year. BIG IDEA Eventually, he envisages a new, environmentally sustainable campus on Toronto’s waterfront that will produce 100,000 graduates a year. In the early stages, participants will be enrolled (at reduced tuition) at the Canadian College of Business and Computers, a for-profit information technology institute that Kannuthurai now runs. “It’s a big idea,” he concedes. “Even I sometimes wonder how I came up with it.” Kannuthurai is not a wealthy philanthropist. He is not a well-connected power-broker (although he has won the backing of some senior politicians.) He is certainly not a household name. He is a Sri Lankan immigrant who came to Canada 10 years ago, hungry to succeed. He left his home, a small farming village, at 17 to study in Dublin. “There was a good harvest that year. That was the only reason I got to continue my education.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation engineering from the University of London and a master’s degree in control systems, across town, at City University. He arrived in Canada at 32, convinced that an education abroad could open doors. He set up the Canadian College of Business and Computers and launched an aggressive recruiting drive, travelling the world in search of top students. He had no trouble attracting kids from rich families in poor countries. But on each trip, he’d see young men and women with enormous potential who couldn’t afford to come.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton.
While Kannuthurai was wrestling with this dilemma, former prime minister Jean Chrétien was urging the leaders of the rich industrial nations to build a new partnership with Africa. He highlighted the need for a massive development drive at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis three years ago. That convinced Kannuthurai of two things: He had to think bigger and he had to focus on Africa. “We needed to create an unprecedented transfer of knowledge and we needed young people to do it.” For three years that has been his mission and he has pursued it with extraordinary doggedness. He phoned Eddie Goldenberg, Chrétien’s chief gatekeeper, almost daily for 18 months after the Kananaskis summit, requesting an appointment with the boss. Finally, he got his wish. The then-prime minister warmed to the plan and promised to help in any way he could. WINGS ON HIS HEELS He systematically approached Members of Parliament from all four parties seeking endorsements. So far he has secured 125, some more enthusiastic (and informed) than others. And he sent letter after letter to Clinton, describing the project, promoting it and entreating the former president to champion it. On May 16, Clinton agreed. Kannuthurai told Chrétien about his coup. “He didn’t seem surprised.” The 42-year-old entrepreneur doesn’t underestimate the obstacles he’ll face. But right now, he feels as if he has wings on his heels.
Little evidence government is alert From page 11 contemplating a future without Chrétien at the helm or their Quebec colleagues at their side. Brian Tobin speaks of gathering a number of ministers from outside Quebec in a Hull restaurant to hash out the issue of who was to speak for Canada after a ‘Yes’ victory. John Manley bluntly states that it would not have been acceptable for a prime minister from Quebec to represent the interests of the rest of Canada in such a context. And Allan Rock, then attorney-general, speaks candidly of scrambling to explore the fundamental legal issues deriving out of a ‘Yes’ vote — questions the Chrétien government had blithely overlooked because it was so confident that it had a referendum victory in the bag. Ten years later, and notwithstanding the Clarity Act, there is precious little evidence that the current federal gov-
CBC alternatives emerge First there were the rival podcasts. Then there was Toronto Unlocked, the competing morning show with Andy Barrie on Toronto’s FM dial. Now some of the 5,500 locked out CBC workers are taking on management with the launch of a national online news service, CBCUnlocked.ca. “While managers are locked in CBC buildings, the talent left on the street by this lockout is doing everything it can to restore the national conversation,” say CBCUnlocked.ca organizers in their news release. Operating from a rented newsroom in the University of Toronto area, the site is produced by volunteers who are providing original news and features in both English and French. They say they are following CBC’s strict journalistic policy. — Torstar wire service
ernment is any more alert to the fastchanging Quebec climate or more prepared for a storm. Yet support for sovereignty is as high today as in late October 1995, a fact that flies in the face of the thesis that Quebec was temporarily overtaken by a spell of Bouchard-mania 10 years ago. The referendum fatigue that had so far prevented a rematch has largely faded, in no small part because of the sponsorship scandal The Parti Québécois is in the process
of choosing a new leader. All its leading candidates are committed to holding another referendum. The federalist government of Quebec is trailing enough in the polls to suggest that the PQ’s return to power could be only a provincial election away. It is true that none of the PQ candidates is shaping up to be as charismatic as Bouchard. One can only wonder whether that is comfort enough for Prime Minister Paul Martin.
massive five-volume probe into the U.N. oil-for-food program has left none of its main players unscathed, sharply criticizing the United Nations and its top leadership, as well as powerful Security Council members for overlooking mismanagement, corruption and kickbacks that let Saddam Hussein illegally pocket some $10 billion (US). And, it concludes, the U.N. requires stronger executive leadership, thorough administrative reform and more reliable controls and auditing. The report tabled last week by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker rapped Secretary General Kofi Annan for letting the program slip out of control. It studied the performance of his Canadian deputy, Louise Fréchette, who was given oversight for the Office of the Iraq Program, including supervision of Benan Sevan, the program’s executive director, now accused of accepting kickbacks. Volcker says it was “one clear example of the clouded lines of responsibility” that existed during the program. Volcker says Fréchette had not acted upon serious problems in the $64 billion oil-for-food operation, which allowed Saddam to sell oil under U.N. supervision and to import food and humanitarian goods to soften the effects of international sanctions. “No one seemed clearly in command,” Volcker says. The report found no evidence of wrongdoing by Annan during its investigation of a possible conflict of interest involving his son Kojo’s relationship with a Swiss company awarded a contract for Iraq. Although Annan was not found guilty of influencing oil-for-food contracts, the litany of criticisms of his
management of the program amounts to a vote of non-confidence at a time when he is trying to push through the most sweeping reforms in the U.N.’s 60-year history. “The report is critical of me personally, and I accept its criticism,” he says, adding it was “deeply embarrassing to us all.” But, he says, “I don’t anticipate anyone to resign. We are going on with our work.” The report exonerated Canadian former U.N. envoy Maurice Strong of wrongdoing in his relationship with Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park, one of two lobbyists who received more than $1 million from the Iraqi government to win over then-secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Strong was later appointed co-ordinator for U.N. reform by Annan, and, the report said, “in the course of Mr. Park’s relationship with Mr. Strong, he obtained $1 million U.S. in cash from (Iraq) which he used to consummate a stock purchase in a company controlled by Strong’s family. “The committee found no evidence that Mr. Strong was involved in Iraqi affairs or matters relating to (oil for food.)” Annan says the report emphasized the need for adopting the reforms it says are badly needed. “We need to take steps against those who have been found (responsible) for any wrongdoing. We need to ensure that the lessons are learned and we move ahead and strengthen the organization to be able to play the role that is so essential for it to play,” he says. The administrative reforms are alongside other, sweeping reforms that include a massive anti-poverty program that is aimed at halving the worst world poverty within a decade. — Torstar wire service
16 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2005 — PAGE 17
Newfoundland drawn Kent Stetson’s relationship with this province’s artistic community began 30 years ago. Now he feels like he’s writing about it. By Stephanie Porter The Independent
ontreal-based writer and director Kent Stetson has penned four plays for Rising Tide Theatre, but it’s this latest one — he finished the first draft just last week in Trinity — that has really resounded within him. “It’s about a writer who comes from the outside and finds a real, natural empathy with the (Newfoundland and Labrador) culture,” Stetson says. “He then starts to write from within the culture and finds a new lease on life.” That writer is Ontario journalist Norman Duncan, born in 1871. Duncan made a name for himself as a travel writer, virtually opening up the Middle East to North American journalists. Sent to Labrador to interview Wilfred Grenfell, Duncan became extremely ill on the coastal boat. He came ashore on Exploits Island and was taken in with the Manuel family, with whom he developed a lifelong friendship. That relationship, Stetson says, “opened him up as a writer and made him a fortune.” Duncan’s best-known book, The Way of the Sea, might have been the first English-language book about life in outport Newfoundland — and, even more likely, the first to “render the Newfoundland dialect phonetically.” “It’s amazing,” says Stetson. “Once you get your ear tuned to (the text), it’s what you hear now on the upper shore. “For this play, I’m dramatizing three of his stories, using his work and my work, mixing it up and putting it into context.” Stetson did not have quite the same dramatic — and physically taxing — introduction to Newfoundland and Labrador. But he has equally developed lifelong friendships and working relationships with people here, and grown in his career and skill because of it. It was about 30 years ago Stetson first met Donna Butt, the powerhouse artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre. He caught her performance in a play What’s that got to do with the price of fish? in Halifax, and was blown away. “There were 20 hats on a bench and she was playing 20 different characters, each with a different hat,” he
says, still visibly impressed. “It was incredible on stage. We had a friend in common, and I asked him ‘Who is that extraordinary woman and how does she do that?’” The two met up afterwards, and a working relationship was forged — as well as an introduction to the province. Stetson also directed The Hangashore (the CBC-TV production of Ted Russell’s Tales from Pigeon Inlet, during which he again met Butt. In that same time period of the late1970s and early ’80s, he met the “equally remarkable” and inspiring Rick Boland, Ray Guy, Kevin Noble, Janis Spence and Mary Walsh (Stetson also directed the pilot episode of Up at Ours). When Butt created Rising Tide in the 1980s, Stetson was asked to help with dramaturgy (basically, editing and working through the plays in terms of plot, characters and other elements). “It was about the time when people here were moving away from group writing to individual work, which is my background and my realm,” he says. “Donna said ‘Come on over and help out,’ and I’ve been coming back ever since.” The first play commissioned by Rising Tide was Warm Wind in China, performed at the Arts and Culture Centre in 1989. The next, Harps of God, was based on the Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914. That play premiered in Trinity, garnered rave reviews and went on to win the 2001 Governor General’s Award for literature. It was translated into French and recently had an extended run in France. “From Trinity to Paris … How do you translate outport Newfoundland English into French?” Stetson asks, grinning. “The translator found some new and old seafaring phrases to colour the Parisian French … she did a great job. “There’s natural conflict within the play itself — the subject matter of the play and the sensibility of that country. But there are a lot of farmers and fishermen in the country; everybody isn’t Brigit Bardot.” Stetson’s other business, MasterPlay Works, is a home-based dramaturgy/story editing service. It’s introduced See “It’s all exciting,” page 18
Paul Daly/The Independent
In the blood
DFO scientist Bruce Atkinson may be retired, but will never shy away from a rant about his passion — the fishery By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
Paul Daly/The Independent
ince his retirement last spring, former federal Fisheries scientist Bruce Atkinson admits when he sees the fishery in the news he does “a lot of muttering about it.” Atkinson tells The Independent the fishery is still his passion after spending nearly 30 years working his way up “from the bottom rung” of the Department of Fisheries and
Oceans ladder. As for DFO’s critics — and there have been a few since the collapse of most commercial groundfish fisheries in the early 1990s — Atkinson says any reasonable solution would be welcome. “It’s fine to say it isn’t working, but what is going to work as a replacement? Given the realities, nobody is going to throw bushel baskets of money at it. It’s not going to happen and so you do what you can with the resources you have.”
Atkinson says what frustrates him most is the misinformation generally believed by people in this province as well as others — and how the media promotes the misinformation. “That stuff Averill Baker had in there. Oh Jesus, she drives me crazy it’s just utter and complete garbage,” he says of the local columnist who was taken to task recently by DFO for presenting facts the department See “Paper fish,” page 18
18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
All around the Mulberry Bush P
rintmaker Lori Doody calls her- ing the clientele of printmakers, bookself a “paper pusher” — and the binders, painters and sculptors. group exhibition she’s currently The handmade paper, all imported curating features a number of her from Japan, comes in different thick“addicts.” nesses, textures and colours. Some is tisAll Around the Mulberry Bush fea- sue-paper thin, other pieces are thick tures nine local artists who use washi enough to be used in making parasols, (Japanese paper) in their work. The screens or even lining kimonos. It can pieces on display are as diverse as the be made from mulberry, silk, rayon, or varieties of paper available, from other material. Charlotte Jones’ watery “The paper holds more traditional Japanese pigment (than Western woodblock prints to paper), it’s easier to mold, Jennifer Armstrong’s it folds better, it’s more vibrant digital work to malleable,” says Doody. Beth Oberholtzer’s sculp“When you’re printing, it tures. holds more ink than other Back when Doody was papers, it picks up lines a visual arts student at Lori Doody. curator that just seem like the Grenfell College in Corner Brook, artist faintest scratch on western paper.” Audrey Feltham noticed her using very She returned to Newfoundland with a thin paper in her prints. Feltham sug- hefty stash of paper to work with and gested Doody try Japanese paper, gave share. “Instead of a drug pusher I think I her a piece — and she was hooked. was a paper pusher at St. Michael’s Doody moved to Montreal five years Printshop,” she says, laughing. ago and got a job in a Japanese paper Painter and bookmaker Tara Bryan store, printing for the owners and meet- often turns to washi for her bookwork.
Her pieces in the show include blocks covered in paper and decorated with linocuts, and a palm-sized book featuring a five-foot long pull-out print inspired by the Great Wall of China. For another book, featuring Bryan’s text about “two people named Dan who died,” she turned to the lightness and durability offered by the paper. “I wanted it to have sort of the lightness of a shroud, without it being a shroud,” she says. Yet another of Bryan’s pieces is a Jacob’s Ladder, with different images showing, depending on which way the tiles fall. “Because it has to fold flat, I really needed to use this paper.” The piece, which is meant to be played with, also has to be durable. Jennifer Armstrong’s work involves manipulating and layering photographs and text using her computer. While working towards an exhibition a couple of years ago, she printed a finished image on traditional western glossy paper and wasn’t pleased. “It looked like an ad I’d do for a
client,” says Armstrong, a graphic designer. “Lori suggested the Japanese papers and of course when I printed it, it gave me the colour and texture I wanted. So I’ve been doing it ever since.” Doody has some of her own work in the exhibition: delicate prints of blackbirds and tiny origami kimonos, made of paper she printed, hanging on clothesline-like wire. Doody grins as she looks around the gallery. It’s the first show she’s ever curated, and she’s pleased with the way it’s come together. Cathia Finkel, Jennifer Morgan and Stephanie Barry also have pieces on display.
“I thought of this show about two years ago because I realized there were quite a few Newfoundland artists who use mainly these papers,” she says. “I’m totally in love with this stuff.” All Around the Mulberry Bush opens Sept. 11, 2 p.m. at the Craft Council Gallery, Devon House, St. John’s. — Stephanie Porter
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail email@example.com
‘It’s all exciting’ From page 17 him to a number of writers and provided him with some income — but he’s just about ready to pack it in. Because the year ahead has a new challenge: Stetson’s publisher has just given him a contract for his first novel, and a year to deliver it. “I just had lunch with Kevin Major,” Stetson says. “It was really useful. We talked about writing plays and writing novels … it’s all exciting.” Stetson has one week left in a monthlong residency in Trinity. Though he’s been working furiously on the draft of his play and evaluating some of Rising Tide’s current repertoire — and is nervous for the first read-through of his new script — he
says he’s completely relaxed. “I have no phone or e-mail out there,” he says. “If it rains for five days, I might not leave — it could take three or four days for a message to get to me.” The son of a PEI potato farmer, Stetson says he loves the quiet community and the early mornings of writing. He’s back to Montreal shortly to write and “rattle around” by himself, but he knows he’ll come back to Newfoundland before long — he always does. “And I’ll always work with Donna,” he says. “Her work is great, and it travels well.” Rising Tide’s theatre season continues through the fall, visit www.risingtidetheatre.com or call the box office at 1-888464-3377.
‘Paper fish’ From page 17 claims are incorrect. “She is one of these people who take a whole bunch of truths and string them together in a way that’s quite untruthful and it leads to false conclusions,” Atkinson says. “All the numbers she came up with you can come up with that if you have a NAFO quota table and a pen and pencil. But it’s exactly what it is — it’s paper — paper fish.” Atkinson says he gets frustrated with people who may as well be saying “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts. “I really, really don’t think that the fishery can take its place in this province until people get past that and start accepting the truth, regardless of how ugly it might be and how hard it might be, but it’s only when everybody’s on that wavelength that you can start moving ahead in these things.” Born in Waterloo, Ont., Atkinson says it was in 1971 — after a summer vacation to the province with a university buddy — he decided to move to Newfoundland to complete his PhD in biology. “And the weather was terrible, rain, drizzle and fog, when we got off in Argentia, but by the time I got to St. John’s I said ‘I’m going to live here.’” Though he never completed his PhD studies Atkinson says he found a place for himself here. “So I was kind of left hanging around wondering what the heck I was going to do … in the meantime, a job came open at the marine lab (Memorial University).” Atkinson worked there for three years until he took a year off, bought a motorcycle and spent the summer driving across Canada and back. He laughs at the mention of wild and crazy days. “Yeah right,” he says. It was then he returned to St. John’s and the marine lab and learned of positions available with DFO. “I guess it kind of chose me. I guess jobwise that’s where the opportunities ended up being,” says Atkinson. “But why the fishery? I don’t know. It was
interesting. It wasn’t all the controversy going on in those days. God, if somebody had of said when I started in ’77 that in 15 years the cod fishery would be closed you would have just laughed at him,” Atkinson says. He says in his nearly 30 years with the federal government department he didn’t learn any one particular skill. Rather, he learned fisheries science — slowly. “We were really fortunate when we started … there was already a number of people there in the system and they were always around until the late ’80s before they started to retire,” he says. “People back in those days didn’t talk specifically about mentoring and that sort of thing, but these people were mentors.” Atkinson lists off a number of names of people who had time to teach him what the fishery was all about — people who paved the way, but generally people unknown outside fisheries circles. “The difficulty now is that … there’s not the young people coming in so there’s not the overlap in the young people there and the old people for the same amounts of time so you got to learn an awful lot quicker,” Atkinson says. “There’s a lot of corporate memory that’s going to be gone out the door, going out the door, in the next few years. It’s going to be hard to be recovered.” He says he’s gotten “out of the loop pretty quick” since he retired, though he does keep up with some old friends. Married for the second time to wife Mary (they each have a grown son from previous marriages), Atkinson says he’s doing lots of gardening and spending plenty of time at his cabin in Salmonier. He says he has been fishing some trout, but gave up on salmon and in the fall and winter he hunts and cross-country skis. He says he belongs here now — not in Ontario. The last time he was in Ontario was after the death of his mother in 1993 and “there was no sense of belonging” there anymore. “I came back and I said to Mary, I’ve got no affiliation at all to the place and I got no desire to go back there.”
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19
Mystery, suspense, intrigue — and mindless gusto TIM CONWAY Film score
The Constant Gardener Starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz 1/2 (out of four) After delivering a speech on behalf of his superior, Justin Quayle, is taken to task by a member of the audience who, in turn, is accosted by the rest of those in attendance. Justin finds himself to be the only person in the room jumping to the young woman’s defence, citing her right to contrary views and how it helps the process in the long run. That’s the kind of guy we find in Justin. Composed, stiff upper lip, yet sensitive to those around him. He admires this young woman who is so passionate, fearless, confrontational, and outspoken, but little does he know that in no time at all, they would be headed to Africa together as a couple. Likewise, he has no idea she is never to leave there. When Justin Quayle goes to identify his wife’s body, his co-worker Sandy tags along for support. Upon viewing the state of the corpse, however, Sandy breaks down into convulsive vomiting, and Justin ends up comforting him. Again, that’s the kind of guy he is, composed, yet sensitive and caring. Along with the theory that Tessa Quayle’s motor vehicle was attacked by thieves of some sort, comes the news that she had spent the night with a man in a hotel. Had Justin been curious initially, this news regarding the circumstances of his wife’s passing raises personal questions. He then begins a process of reflecting back on their relationship and applying his memories to what he discovers as he explores that aspect of his wife’s life from which he had been excluded. The Constant Gardener features Ralph Fiennes in the role of Justin Quayle and Rachel Weisz as Justin’s wife, Tessa. Fiennes is perfectly suited to the part, creating a character that is immediately endearing, establishing a connection that helps guide
Jason Statham reprises his signature role as Frank Martin in Transporter 2.
us through the film’s events. Weisz’s Tessa adds an element of bold energy to the mix that brightens and enlivens an otherwise repressed and brooding tone. Whenever Tessa’s on the screen, we know things are going to happen. As directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God), we find a motion picture guided more by a passionate heart than skilled hands. There are moments of insight, sensitivity, suspense, and intrigue, presented with a style and flair that is often effective, but the whole process seems a bit erratic, as Meirelles struggles to keep the numerous story elements under control. There is a lot of material here, however, and the director and his team are to be commended for bringing it together as well as they have. One could easily expect a second viewing of the film to offer a closer examination of the film’s strengths
and easier dismissal of its structural weaknesses. Based on the novel by John Le Carré, The Constant Gardener is a romantic tale steeped in mystery and political intrigue. A thoroughly satisfying motion picture that endeavours to tell the story of a couple caught in an intricate web, it also seeks to shed some light on how such circumstances could come about, by exploring the plight of the people in the region. A first class effort with superb results, The Constant Gardener is definitely worth making the time to catch on the big screen. Transporter 2 Starring Jason Statham and Matthew Modine
(out of four) We met Frank Martin a couple of years ago and enjoyed the high
MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Open Country By Ed Brophy Pennywell Books, 2004
hough Flanker Press has been in operation for little more than a decade, it has already proven itself a dedicated publisher and promoter of Newfoundland and Labrador books. Recently the press made further advances in the industry, launching two imprints under which it will produce its work; Brazen Books promises “books that are both offbeat and gritty” while Pennywell Books, in a sweeping gesture, will include literary fiction, short stories, young adult fiction, and children’s books. Published under the Pennywell imprint, Open Country is Father Ed Brophy’s first foray into publication. In an introductory note, he has this to say of his motivations for writing: “In Africa, they say when an old man dies, a library burns down. I have watched many libraries burn down.” Through these 18 pieces of short-fiction Brophy obviously intends to tell the stories he has shared in over the course of his years as a priest in outport Newfoundland so that they do not die with him. Hunting and fishing are Brophy’s main narrative preoccupations, with a straight and clearly demarcated line drawn between killing for sustenance and killing for entertainment. While the former is accepted as a necessity, the latter is deemed a sadistic, pointless act. “That bird wasn’t doing me any harm,” the narrator of OneEyed Hawk begins, speaking of a hawk he killed one day while hunting partridge. His regret at having killed purely for sport is paired with the animal pride that comes with holding the power to bring about death. Brophy generally writes in an action-driven style with little in the
Her mother answered. “Is Emily there, please?” And Emily was there. And he said: “Hi.” “And she said “Hi.” And he asked, “Would you like to go for a drive?” And she said, “Yes. That would be nice.” And she added, “Thanks.” And they went to Gunstock and listened to the radio and talked a little. Brophy is equally capable of straightforwardly disarming phrases. “The gun looked as innocent as the broom behind his mother’s kitchen door,” he writes in A Bird in the Tickle. In Grey Day Fishing he memorably describes two brothers standing in their boat as being “like dumb animals, condemned eternally to see, but never speak.” This is not to say that the book is
Jason Statham, who first made a name for himself in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch before going on to The Transporter, has lost none of the charisma that worked so well for him in the past. Likewise, his previous athletic experience as a champion high diver stands him in good stead here, as he once again adroitly accomplishes the martial arts aspect of Frank’s repertoire. It’s all about the thrills here, and Transporter 2 does this well. The one element missing from the previous picture is the Mediterranean setting, which offered a refreshing change. This one, set in Florida, deprives us of that exotic bonus, but fortunately, it’s the only concession, and all of the fun and fantasy we expect, remains. Tim Conway operates Capital Video in downtown St. John’s. His column returns Sept. 25.
Building a library way of ornamentation. Sentences are stunted, delivered in rapid-fire succession but with a strangely engaging rhythm accomplished by use of repetition and parallel structure. There is a childlike beauty and simplicity in the rendering of such stories as Saturday Sundays:
octane melee that ensued when he broke one of his own rules and opened a “package” he was paid to deliver. This time around, we find Frank taking a break from his chosen career and his world of moral ambiguity, as he does a favour for a friend. Unfortunately, even simple tasks can turn dangerous, with the most innocent among us imperiled by the actions of those looking for international attention. So it is that Frank finds himself up to his two eyes in it again. Fight scenes and car chases, presented with style and energy, is what we expect to find here, and Transporter 2 delivers this with all of the mindless gusto we found in its predecessor. The stuntmen and fight choreographers are to be commended as much as anyone else in this production that focuses more on visual thrills than replicating real life scenarios.
FACES without serious faults. Most stories in the collection fall below the potential evidenced in select passages and no single story is quite at its best. The Middle of the Hail Mary, for instance, relates the killing of a rabbit by a mink in painfully exhaustive detail. The mink is alternately referred to as a “brown affliction,” a “furry leech,” a “trap,” a “bucking bronco cowboy rider,” a “vampire beast,” and, once the killing has been accomplished, as a self-satisfied “Jack Horner.” The cumulative effect is one of unintentional comedy — quite out of place in a piece that aspires towards a philosophical examination of predation and our human obsession with death. But then, that’s the story of Open Country: good ideas tarnished by unfettered description, beautiful passages concealed under layers of lazy formulations. That Brophy can so aptly describe a rabbit as having “two big pink-red ears that let the sunlight through like stain glass windows,” and yet in the same story fall back on a limp string of metaphors, just goes to show the unevenness of the writing. Other faults are even more pervasive, if somewhat less intrusive. Brophy’s long period of time is always “forever;” unintentional tense shifts are rampant; the frequent appearance of “almost” in passages of description pulls Brophy back from the precipice of having to make a definitive statement about anything. Brophy has obviously given great thought to the human predicament as it is manifested in Newfoundland culture and he has a sympathetic eye for the small miseries and joys in the realm of human experience. Yet I can’t help but wonder what the book might have been if its stories had been given more time to gestate, if they had been more rigorously edited. As is, Open Country will still prove interesting reading to many, but it is not yet up to the literary par to which Flanker seems to be aspiring in recent days. Mark Callanan is a writer and reviewer living in Rocky Harbour. His column returns Sept. 25.
Furrow here, and line there, Glacier crack, deepening crevasse; Every acre of the face Is planted with sun or rain — The fertile skin tells the complete story. The deeper the furrow The richer is the long cold harvest. All roads and marked maps, the hows and whys, Lead toward the basement mind Full of the journey’s nuts and bolts, used toys. Emotion’s signatures The scars of happiness, and of rage, Blooms like a veined leaf with age — Stains on a page. A poem from the 1985 book Beginnings by Robert Burt.
20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Meet the candidates
David St. Onge vacuums the St. John’s council chambers.
Paul Daly/The Independent
MAYOR RAY O’NEILL ANDY WELLS Occupation: Mayor of St. John’s Education: bachelor’s degrees in arts and education as well as economics study (not completed) Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Absolutely.” Why are you running? “ ’Cause I think I’m the best person for the job.” First on your agenda: “If there’s a majority of the next council in favour of stopping Loblaws — stopping the stadium — my first priority will be to stop them because they’re going to cost us 15 million bucks.” Website: www.andywellscampaign.ca
Occupation: owner of Ray O’Neill’s Driving School, part owner Play It Again Sports Education: St. Bon’s High School and some time at Memorial University Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No, I’m 100 per cent opposed.” Why are you running? “Because of the Goulds eight, eight women who (protested for water and sewer services and) were arrested by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary at the direction of the Mayor Andy Wells.” First on your agenda: “A by-law that will provide any neighbourhood group, any person, the opportunity to speak at the regular meeting of council.”
DEPUTY MAYOR DENNIS O’KEEFE
Occupation: full-time councillor; retired teacher Education: bachelor of arts and education, masters in history. Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “The Loblaw proposal is not a bad proposal, it will be good for the city and the area … It’s not my first choice, but there were no viable alternatives.” Why are you running? “I had two terms as councilor at large and I thought I could make an even greater contribution to people and the city as deputy mayor.” First on your agenda: “We have to have a very equitable balance of economic development and quality of life … for instance, I’ve been very adamant that our water supply remains at the high quality it is and that we have an abundance of it.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: environmental consultant Education: PhD in Newfoundland history Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I’m against the current proposal, absolutely.” Why are you running? “Because I believe I have the understanding to stand up for issues that are important to St. John’s.” First on your agenda: “I’m running on a green initiatives program; removing chemicals going to the landfill or the harbour … having a curbside recycling program … we need a retrofit program for old houses and people living on a fixed income.” Website: www.fredwinsor.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21
WARD 1 JOHN DICKS
Occupation: Director of marketing with Destination St. John’s
Occupation: managing director of Puddister Shipping Limited (Marine Shipping)
Occupation: works with the Health Care Corporation of St. John’s
Education: bachelor of business from Memorial University
Education: bachelor of arts (folklore and sociology), safety engineering tech diploma, certificates in Newfoundland Studies and Criminology
Education: bachelor of commerce
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium Development? He is in favour citing polls with 60 per cent of people who agree with it. “I find it hard to refer to Memorial Stadium as a Memorial to the war vets in the state that it’s in.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I don’t agree with it, but I accept it — that’s democracy and it’s time to move forward.”
Why are you running? “I feel very strongly about the whole prospect of economic development for the city and I think we just have such a great future and I think it’s time that we put some professional people in place down there.” First on your agenda: “To create a direct line of communication with the Ward 1 constituents … they don’t feel that they have access to their councillor.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium Development? “Yes”
Why are you running? “I’d like to continue the work that I started in 2001, I believe that the city needs to spend more money on our infrastructure … and we need to provide good basic services to the people in this city.”
Why are you running? “I believe I can make a definite change down at city hall and I also think that a women’s perspective might bring a little bit of a different view to issues concerning the city of St. John’s.”
First on your agenda: “Phase one of the storm sewer system in east end and Ward 1 … my goal right now is to have phase two done — from Torbay Road to Ottawa Street — that’s going to be at a cost of about $4.2 million.”
First on your agenda: “I will be a full-time councillor and I will be accessible.” Website: www.ward1.ca
Occupation: “Owner of three businesses, one of which is photography” Education: diploma in professional photography management, courses in human resources and sales management Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “The mess that’s created should have been avoided four years ago … there’s nothing we can change now unless we go to plebiscite … it’s a done deal.” Why are you running? “I’ve had a keen interest in politics since I was a teenager … the City of St. John’s has been very good to me and my businesses, and I want to put something back into the community.” First on your agenda: “Two days after I’m elected, I’m going into Cabot Street and call a meeting of the residents and see what we can do with (the area playground).” Contact: email@example.com
Occupation: principal of McDonald Drive junior high school Education: Memorial University Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Yes.” Why are you running? “I’m running because I believe there is a lot of potential for growth and prosperity in our city and I believe I have the attributes to lead us through that period.” First on your agenda: “To looks at ways and means to increase our expenditures into such things as paving of roads, new sidewalk construction, upgrading of existing sidewalks.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: City councillor, author, retired educator Education: bachelor of arts, master’s of education Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I voted four times against the zoning to commercial from open space/recreational.” Why are you running? “I want to be of service to the people of the ward … I see challenges in the area of heritage preservation, the development of green space, and the improvement of parks in the area.” First on your agenda: “To develop a balance between economic development and heritage preservation, and lobby to increase funding to repair streets and sidewalks.” Contact: campaign headquarters, 738-7070
Occupation: retired Education: University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No.” Why are you running? “I wanted to show my commitment to the city I live in. I chose Ward 3 because I was concerned with some of the issues Councillor Coombs was putting forth.” First on your agenda: Electoral reform – to make the position of city councillor a full-time one; introduce legislation capping each councillor’s service at no more than 12 consecutive years; and reduce the number of councillors. Contact: www.lionelwest.blogspot.com
WARD 4 KEVIN BREEN
Occupation: regional director for Atlantic Canada, Chicago Title Insurance
Occupation: president of CableLync
Occupation: retired Education: Memorial University, Concordia University
Education: diploma in business management from Keyin College
Education: St. Bonaventure’s College Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Yes.” Why are you running? “This is my second term, and from the previous term I have a mandate of projects that I’d like see through ; I have a vision for the city that I want to help develop.” First on your agenda: Addressing needs in his ward, including the completion of the upgrading of Airport Heights Drive.
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development?
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? No
“I’m not against development at the site, but I’m not convinced Loblaws is the right developer for down there.”
Why are you running? “Because I’m committed to making this city a better place in which to live.”
Why are you running? “To try and make Ward 4 and the city at large a better place for all of us.”
First on your agenda: “I’d like to have a good study on the operations of city hall — how it all works. Like any new company, I want to know how all the pieces come together.”
First on your agenda: “Make sure we’re open and honest with our public.”
GLORIA STEPHENSON BILL STANLEY
Occupation: healthy baby club facilitator with the Kilbride Toothferryland Family Resource Centre Education: journalism diploma, Stephenville campus of the College of the North Atlantic Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “That has been decided by the present council … if it comes up again … I will review it then and make a decision.” Why are you running? “By giving to the community you can get back from the community. The goodness of your community depends on what you put into your community.” First on your agenda: “Water and sewer and improved road conditions — that would be for the whole ward.” Contact: email@example.com
Occupation: fire protection officer with provincial Transportation Department Education: Grade 11 Brother Rice; forth class stationary engineer certificate and burner mechanic license Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I would not put taxpayers’ money at any further risk. Council should have looked at rezoning the property before it was sold.” Why are you running? He wanted to run in past elections but couldn’t because of a perceived conflict with his job, which at the time fell under the Municipal Affairs Department. First on your agenda: “To say thanks to the people who voted for me and worked for me. I want to be there to help the people.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: co-ordinator of independent living arrangement with Health and Community Services
Education: Grade 11, Bishops high school Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? No comment. Why are you running? “I just want to help the people in the area, to carry on what (Councillor) John (Dinn) did, what he started to do. I’m going to finish it off.” First on your agenda: “I don’t want to talk about that until I’m officially elected into office.”
Education: Cabot Institute; psychiatric nursing assistant Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “To some degree. The land could have been sold for more than it was if it was rezoned first. The rezoning changed the value of the property.” Why are you running? “It’s like the saying goes, if you want to have something done, do it yourself.” First on your agenda: Martin, who’s been trying for some time to get a playground for his subdivision of Richmond Hill, says he would see the project through. Contact: email@example.com
Education: high school and some post-secondary Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I think council made a horrendous decision to sell the property, made worse when they rezoned. I’d like to see the land gifted back to the city.” Why are you running? “My main reason is I abhor the treatment of the residents of Goulds.” First on your agenda: “To see the water and sewer project already started in the Goulds to its completion.”
Education: high school and qualified seamstress Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I’m totally against the supermarket. The property should have gone undeveloped.” Why are you running? “I feel I’m the best candidate for Ward 5.” First on your agenda: “To meet with all the groups of Ward 5. To find out what they want — to talk and to listen.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: realtor Education: Memorial University Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “At the end of the day it’s hard to stop the big boys … it’s a grin-and-bear-it situation. If the original decision was put to me today I’d be inclined to vote no.” Why are you running? “I wanted to run years ago but my full-time job wouldn’t allow it. As a realtor and with the kids grown, I have the time to give back to the community.” First on your agenda: “I’d monitor the water and sewer program in place to make sure everyone’s happy with it. The second issue is flies. Something has to be done about them.” Contact: email@example.com
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Occupation: executive director of the School Lunch Program
Occupation: Retired nurse
Occupation: small business consultant
Occupation: owner of two Mr. Sub franchises
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No.”
Education: bachelor’s degree in business and “numerous courses in mentorship and leadership.”
Occupation: media and public relations consultant; spent 25 years in broadcast media
Education: bachelor of arts (education and English), professional accreditation of APR (public relations)
Education: bachelor of arts and business, certificates in business and public administration
Occupation: student of political science and Newfoundland studies at Memorial
Education: two-year broadcast communications program
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? While he wouldn’t have been in favour of it, should he have been on the deciding council, now that the courts have decided, the final decision is made.
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium Development? “I would have liked to see anything but a supermarket there … I just have a concern with a supermarket at the head of a park.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I wanted to make this a referendum issue … the people should have had the final say, and I think most of the people in the city are opposed to it.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I’m in favour of it maintaining its existing zoning. In other words, no supermarkets.” Why are you running? “Because I’ve enjoyed my past terms on council and I enjoy being part of municipal government because it’s the government that’s closest to the people, and it’s exiting times here in St. John’s right now.” First on your agenda: “To continue to maintain the financial integrity of the City of St. John’s, in other words, don’t spend like drunken sailors … so that we’re always in a strong positive financial position as we move forward.”
Education: degree in sociology and an RN
Why are you running? “Because I am interested in the future of my city, I enjoy helping people and my experience allows me to be very effective in dealing with municipal issues.” First on your agenda: “To resolve the issue of solid waste management in the city. That’s the most important outstanding environmental issue and to me that has to be given very high priority.” Website: www.shannie.ca
Why are you running? “To provide input into city development and activities.” First on your agenda: He would like to see the end of remuneration of councillors for serving on city committees. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “The planning process is still on-going, we need to let the process work its way through before I can say.”
Why are you running? “I think the city has an obligation to the citizens of St. John’s to make sure the infrastructure and everything else that goes along with the heavy growth of a city is also maintained – and I don’t think we’re doing that.”
Why are you running? “I have a lot of experience in planning and this seems to be the most confrontational area in the city; I think I can help resolve the confrontation between developers and citizens’ groups.”
First on your agenda: “The city is just like any other business, you need to sit down and discuss the issues that need to be discussed and have a healthy discussion not a personal one.”
First on your agenda: “The city should do a fiveyear plan for budgeting and an analysis of where we collect our taxes. And we need a city manager.”
Education: bachelor’s degrees in physical education, education, environmental design studies, architecture; masters certificate in project management
Why are you running? “I’ve been involved with so many community organizations and volunteer groups and helping the city that way, I decided to see if I could do my part to help the city on city council.” First on your agenda: “I want to focus on neighbourhood and community groups … encourage the creation of those organizations and support those that are there already.” Website: www.votehanlon.com
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “I’m running under fiscal accountability and we’re not going to be able to buy back that land for even $2 million.” Hann has a suggestion: that Loblaws gift the land back to the city, and the city make other land in Pleasantville available for the supermarket. Why are you running? “I’m concerned about fiscal accountability, deteriorating infrastructure while we spend money and have operating deficits such as Mile One and the basic services are not being provided.” First on your agenda: “I’m going to try to become a little more professional than they are on city council right now … and I want to do something about the crime rate here in the city.” Website: www.tomhann.ca
Occupation: marketing for provincial department of tourism, culture and recreation
Occupation: student and entrepreneur (Hudson’s Distributing)
Occupation: carpenter, maintenance custodialEastern School District
Occupation: retired contractor
Occupation: independent communications consultant
Occupation: computer programmer
Occupation: retired firefighter/inspector/investigator
Education: midway through a business degree (Memorial)
Education: College of the North Atlantic
Education: St. Patrick’s High School
Education: Memorial University and Rhode Island College
Education: currently taking computer science program at Memorial University
Education: Memorial and Dalhousie universities.
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Unfortunately, the previous council decided to sell it, the zoning has been changed … it’s done and there’s not much council can really do.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Yes.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No.”
Why are you running? “To add a new perspective, a new voice for city hall.”
First on your agenda: To bring stability and credibility to city hall meetings. “It’s nothing but a big argument down there.”
Education: bachelor of physical education/education, masters in sport administration Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “Yes.” Why are you running? “I’ve always been interested in working for the community and offering myself for city council was the next step, with one term under my belt I think I can be even more effective.” First on your agenda: “To try to help the city focus a little more on transportation: road rehabilitation; … completion of the east-west arterial; working with airport authority to market St. John’s as a tourist destination.” Contact: email@example.com
First on your agenda: “One of my main goals is prioritize the financial requests and requirements for City Hall … and, personally, piloting a (curbside) recycling program.” Website: www.brianhudson.ca
Why are you running? “I believe I can make a difference for the residents of the city.”
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? No comment. Why are you running? “There’s not a job on city council I’m not qualified to do.” First on your agenda: Snow clearing on sidewalks Contact: 722-4967
Why are you running? “I want to make sure that the basic everyday priorities of the residents of St. John’s are the basic everyday priorities of city council.” First on your agenda: “To bring city hall back to basic priorities.” Contact: www.simonlono.com
Why are you running? “To present a unique and different perspective and help citizens of St. John’s have their voices heard.” First on your agenda: “Reform council to ensure the voices of citizens play a more active role in determining the decisions of council.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you in favour of the Memorial Stadium development? “No.” Why are you running? “Municipal accountability. We need to report more to the people. There needs to be more progress reports to the public on how things are going, on our financial situation. First on your agenda: “Greater transparency. Plain language.” Website: www.paulsears.ca
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2005 — PAGE 23
Paul Daly/The Independent
Chris Carew of Carew Services
By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
ewfoundland rocks are no longer a dime a dozen. Rocks — the slate variety, used in landscaping, roofs, chimneys, fireplaces etc. — are in, costing between $3 and $10 a square foot. The Stone Yard, a division of Hurley Slate located in Long Pond, Conception Bay South, has already sold out of its rock supply three times this year — and there are two months left to the season. “We have doubled sales over last year and increased wall rock sales tremendously,” says Graham Hanley, who runs The Stone Yard. Hanley, a retired teacher, teamed up with Hurley Slate at the end of April 2004 and they were busy until late November last year. “It was surprising to us that there was so much interest late in the year,” he tells The Independent. “We had an excellent season with interest all across the island.” This year has proven to be even better. Slate and flagstone (the rock you walk on) is used by businesses and homeowners alike. It’s found on patios, walkways, around pools
Full slate Business of Newfoundland rock picking up and edging, flowerbeds and driveways. There are stone retaining walls, entrances, steps, stone pillars and chimneys. Inside the home it’s found in fireplaces, replacing the more traditional brick. Why is it so popular? “Mostly because of its natural look, and it’s long lasting,” says Dave Carew of Carew Services in Portugal Cove. “It’s replacing concrete,” he says. “People started using flagstone as an alternative to pressure-treated decks.” Carew says that’s because slate requires less maintenance, and is free of toxins or
preservatives. “The look is a big thing,” Carew says, “it’s nicer to see stone around your pool and flowers. “Natural stone has been on the cliffs for millions of years,” says Hanley, joking it has yet to rot. Stone, he says, wears well, the colours and patterns are unique and it’s competitive, from a cost perspective, with other wall and patio materials. “About 95 per cent buy to do the work themselves,” he says, which makes working with stone even more affordable. Carew Services sells its rock materials raw,
provides contracting services and quarries raw materials from sites around the island. “We’ve been into stone work since the 1980s and started our own quarries in the ’90s and it keeps a seasonal crew of six or eight busy,” he says. And that’s just the employees doing installation — there are another 27 working in the quarries and offices. There’s a lot of manual labour involved in making money from rocks. The rock has to be taken out of the ground, transported, sorted, and then split or cut. The rock is heavy to work with and transportation costs can be high. The rock used by The Stone Yard is quarried in Burgoyney’s Cove, Trinity Bay. “If it was sitting on the Southside Hills (of St. John’s) it would be cheaper because it’s right next to your market,” Hanley says, “Three-hour tractor-trailer costs can drive the costs up.” But the stuff lasts forever. “There is rock quarried in the 1890s used in different buildings and churches around and there is no damage from weathering,” Hanley says. That’s way better than a deck you have to treat every year.
And we’re off H
ere we are in the midst of a municipal campaign. Ballots are in the mail and the voting is set to begin. Over the next while, decisions will be made as to whom we want to represent us in council for the next four years. It is commendable to see so many men and women offer themselves for public service and each deserves credit for doing so. Having gone through the experience, being a candidate is a lot of time, work and effort well spent. St. John’s is growing at an impressive pace and all indications are that the growth will continue. We have emerged as a hub for oil and gas activity with a growing ocean-related industries sector. The city is a centre for innovation — recognized as one of the most costeffective cities in which to do business. This election is an important crossroads for the city. Its future growth, prosperity and development depend on the very people we elect to govern its affairs. Questioning candidates on their views on planning and development, taxation and infrastructure will help provide us with an insight as to how this council may progress. I was glad to see that the St.
property values were last reassessed, however this decrease was not the equivalent value of the property increases. The overall tax burden may increase depending on what your new council decides.
The bottom line John’s Board of Trade is circulating a questionnaire to candidates to get their views on these and other important topics. In considering who to vote for, I will give thought to the following issues: TAXATION Property owners, both residential and commercial, will have their properties reassessed this year in preparation for the next reassessment cycle. As the city is experiencing impressive growth and development, it is likely that most properties have increased in value as they did during the last assessment cycle. The question is whether we will have a comparable decrease in the mil rate or if we will be faced with an increased tax bill due to higher property values. Some may recall that the mil rate was decreased by a half a point when
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT Investment in a safe and adequate water supply and proper sewage treatment is essential. On this we all agree. Continued investments are required to upgrade, improve and ensure adequate availability. The next council will be faced with increased pressures of an expanding, yet aging, city. More development, not less, will be required. This high priority area requires strategic thought so that the infrastructure deficit we face is reduced and improved. Upgrades to roads and sidewalks continue to be a priority. We need a systematic approach to redevelopment that ensures ongoing maintenance and upgrading along with new development requirements. PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT The city needs a strategic plan for develop-
ment. While there are rules and regulations, heritage plans and other mechanisms — there really needs to be a holistic approach to development that focuses on the kind of city that we want to live in. Expansion, redevelopment and redeployment of land use are inevitable factors of development. Let’s ensure that there are considerations and plans in place that enhance our city rather than cause division that hurts this city’s development reputation and causes our citizens concern. CRIME Property crime is on the increase in the city. Commercial break and entries and armed robbery increased 50 per cent last year over 2003. It is an epidemic that causes us all to be concerned for our safety and well-being. Over the term of the next council this serious issue will require attention and resolution. The bottom line is this election sets the tone for the city for the years to come. Capitalizing on the growth and success of our community requires a commitment to action by this new council. Our vote sets the direction.
SAVINGS THIS GOOD ONLY COME ONCE A YEAR.
THE 2005 VOLVO SENDOFF. WE’RE MAKING ROOM FOR OUR 2006S. SAVINGS ON EACH AND EVERY 2005 VOLVO MODEL PUT LEGENDARY SAFETY, PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN WITHIN YOUR GRASP. DON’T WAIT. DRIVE THIS SUMMER IN A VOLVO.
2005 VOLVO S40
2005 VOLVO S60
2005 VOLVO V50
2005 VOLVO V70
2005 VOLVO XC70
2005 VOLVO S80
2005 VOLVO XC90
VOLVO OF NEWFOUNDLAND 934 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl (709) 368-7683 www.volvoofnf.com ©2005 Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. “Volvo. for life” is a registered trade-mark used under licence by Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. Always remember to wear your seat belt. Visit volvocanada.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
24 • INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
he prime minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, is slated to visit the province Sept. 16-17, with meetings scheduled with Premier Danny Williams and MP John Efford. Ahern is also expected to tour The Rooms and Basilica of St. John the Baptist. In an interview with The Independent in June 2005, Ahern — then-president of Europe — said his dream for decades was to visit Newfoundland and Labrador. “My father was farm manager at one of the main Catholic seminaries in Dublin, where priests for the Diocese of Newfoundland were then trained … many returned on visits and, in my youth, I often listened with fascination to their stories,” Ahern said at the time. When Ahern took power in Ireland in 1997 he was 45 years old and the youngest Taoiseach (Gaelic for prime minister) Ireland had ever had. He was reelected in 2002, and began his short tenure as the 25-nation EU president Jan. 1, 2004. Ahern said he has come to see the province as an economic, trading and business partner, as well as a place for cultural and educational exchange. Asked if he has any advice to offer Newfoundland based on his country’s own success, Ahern took time to reflect back over the past decade. “Investment in education was key to raising the productive potential of the labour force, which is vital in an economy focused on export-led growth,” he said, recalling the abolition of postsecondary tuition fees in the 1990s as one of the major education initiatives. “The plentiful supply of a highly-skilled workforce played an important role in creating and then sustaining the high growth rates of the 1990s. The rise in labour force participation of women and the ending of net emigration were significant.” — Independent staff
Irish PM to visit St. John’s
Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin.
Paul Daly/The Independent
N.B. wood leaving for Maine, Quebec mills A glut in local market forcing large industry and small woodlot owners to sell outside province By Derwin Gowan Telegraph-Journal
ills in Maine and Quebec are the beneficiaries of a softwood glut in New Brunswick. Wood cut on both Crown and private lands by large corporations and private woodlot owners is heading out of the province in an effort to find a market for softwood. Late last month the provincial cabinet approved requests from J. D. Irving Ltd., Fraser Papers and Bowater Inc., along with a group called the York Management Team, to deliver almost 300,000 cubic metres of wood from provincial Crown land to Maine and Quebec. “It’s a function of the fact that we have less and less places in the province to send it,” says Mary Keith, spokeswoman for J. D. Irving Ltd. A shrinking demand for North American pulp along with the closure of mills in Miramichi, Nackawic and Bathurst has reduced the local market for pulpwood, forcing companies to look beyond New Brunswick for customers. The government gave J. D. Irving Ltd. the right to sell up to 180,000 cubic metres of softwood pulpwood
and 7,500 cubic metres of poplar to buyers in Maine and Quebec. Woodlot owners hope to sell their own wood in Maine and Quebec too, says Ken Hardie, spokesman for the 40,000-member New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot owners, but his members don’t like the idea of competing with large industry players. “We’re concerned on that basis that it’s displaced us from some markets… the potential volumes we could fill,” Hardie says. “This is Crown wood, again, competing with us.” For instance, Hardie says that negotiations by three forest products marketing boards in northeastern New Brunswick to sell softwood pulpwood to the Kruger mill at Trois-Rivières, Que., came to a standstill when companies with mills in New Brunswick offered to sell the same grade of wood. He says J. D. Irving Ltd. informed woodlot groups that it would supply 150,000 cubic metres of wood to Kruger, moving it by barge from Miramichi, and rail from Moncton. Keith did not have figures on how much wood her company will deliver to which particular mills in Quebec. But she says the wood being piled on the wharf at Miramichi now likely comes from both Crown and industrial freehold land.
Hardie says losing the UPM Miramichi kraft pulp mill a year ago left both woodlot owners and the government, as custodian of the Crown land, with a surplus of kraft grade pulpwood. “I’m sure there is some way they can amend their harvesting program to take account of the current situation,” he says, adding that uncertainty over markets and prices makes it difficult to find contractors to work on private woodlots. Keith says the province cannot completely stop cutting wood on Crown land, explaining that, among other things, it provides employment to cutting crews. “The viability of the industry is equal to the full use we are able to get out of every tree,” she says. “It’s all part of the value chain.” In addition to J.D. Irving’s allotment, Fraser Papers has been allowed to sell 3,000 cubic metres of tamarack, hemlock and white pine in Maine, 36,500 cubic metres of mixed hardwood to Maine and Quebec, and 18,450 cubic metres of poplar to Maine and Quebec. The York Management Team may sell 3,000 cubic metres of tamarack, hemlock and white pine in Maine and Bowater may sell 25,000 cubic metres of poplar in Maine.
CanWest to spin off papers To sell 28 per cent of newspaper, online units By Rick Westhead Torstar wire service
anWest Global Communications Corp., Canada’s largest media company, said late last week it would sell a 28 per cent stake in its newspaper unit in an income trust initial offering that values the business at $2.2 billion. CanWest said it would keep a 72 per cent interest in the income trust, which includes 12 daily newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen, 21 non-daily community papers in B.C., and interests in two free commuter papers. The company’s flagship paper, the National Post, won’t be part of the income fund. CanWest is the latest of more than 200 Canadian companies that have converted to the income trust model in a bid to pare taxes and bolster the share price, prompting the federal finance department yesterday to say it’s considering ways to recoup the $300 million worth of tax revenue lost last year to such trusts and limited partnerships. “We have been considering this transaction for some time, as a way to unlock what we believe is significant shareholder value,” CanWest’s president and chief executive officer Leonard Asper said in a statement. “We believe that this offering will be well received by the investing public.” The trust, which will be known as CanWest MediaWorks LP, will also include stakes in online newspaper
operations, including classified advertising revenue and other income from CanWest websites such as Canada.com and online business research site fpinfomart.ca. There were 209 income trusts in Canada with a total market value of $148 billion at the end of June, according to the TSX Group website. That accounts for about nine per cent of the
“We have been considering this transaction for some time, as a way to unlock what we believe is significant shareholder value.” Leonard Asper S&P/TSX composite index. Winnipeg-based CanWest, whose spin-off will be the biggest income trust IPO since Yellow Pages Income Fund raised $1 billion in 2003, said it expects to receive about $1.45 billion in proceeds through the initial public offering and bank debt raised at the income fund, which it will use to reduce debt. The 12 biggest newspapers to be included in the trust have combined
daily circulation of 1.1 million, or about 30 per cent of the English-language Canadian newspaper market, according to CanWest’s sale prospectus. The Vancouver Sun is the largest with a daily paid circulation of 182,663, followed by the The Province of Vancouver (153,856) and The Gazette of Montreal (143,569). It’s unclear what the spin-off means for the relationship between the Post, CanWest’s Global TV, and the papers included in the income trust. In the past, CanWest’s daily newspapers have typically included a spate of unpaid ads promoting the Post and Global, a former CanWest executive said. If the ads had been sold at market rates, the newspapers would have likely generated at least several millions of dollars, the official said. CanWest said its publication unit recorded net income of $33.9 million in the 12 months ended August 2004, up from $8 million for the comparable period a year earlier. The publishing division in 2004 posted sales of $1.1 billion, up $25,000 from the prior year. The income trust group would have had cash available for distribution to shareholders of $198.5 million for the 12 months to May, the documents said. The prospectus doesn’t include an expected yield for the units but will likely be priced in coming weeks. The $1.45 billion raised by CanWest will include roughly $830 million in new credit lines. The balance of about $620 million will be in equity.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENT BUSINESS • 25
Learning from Leonard Cohen’s mistakes Poet says he trusted his advisers to properly manage his financial affairs By James Daw Torstar wire service
t age 70, expatriate Canadian writer and performer Leonard Cohen is suing to recover $5 million (U.S.) that he expected would bankroll his retirement and, ultimately, go to his two children. The money came from the $8 million that Sony Music International paid for all rights to future artist royalties on 127 songs he had written up to 2001, including Suzanne, Bird on a Wire and Hallelujah. Most of us will have trouble relating to such a large sum of money, and how Cohen says it fell from his hands. Yet his predicament can teach us about some mistakes and perils to avoid in our own lives. We should realize it’s risky to rely on verbal agreements and to give others — even dear friends or family — unsupervised control of our bank accounts, property or important financial decisions. We should be wary of elaborate transactions we do not understand, and advice from professionals whose interests or loyalties may be in conflict with our own. Finally, lawsuits are costly and uncertain. Last month, Cohen’s lawyers filed a civil complaint in Los Angeles where he is a permanent resident. In the legal action, Cohen blames his loss on a former business manager, a Kentucky lawyer introduced to him by his former manager, and up to 50 others not yet named. The 33-page statement reveals that Cohen had placed his complete trust in his manager, a woman whom he acknowledged had been a sexual partner and who helped raise his children. Cohen had been paying her a 15 per cent management commission under a verbal agreement, and she thus earned $1.2 million when she proposed and helped negotiate the sale to Sony. He had given her full authority to sign and speak for him while he devoted his time to his art, travel and meditation. Cohen accuses the Kentucky lawyer of professional negligence in the design of a tax deferral scheme that involved putting the money into a company that was to pay Cohen a retirement annuity starting in 2011. He claims the lawyer never told him the business manager would own and control the new company instead of his adult children, or that the children would receive nothing if he died. (Cohen did, however, get some of the money to help his children buy homes.) “Had Cohen been fully and accurately informed by his professional licensed advisers ... Cohen would not have agreed to the transaction as it was implemented,” according to his statement of complaint. None of Cohen’s allegations has been proven in court, and only the Colorado money manager has responded formally.
It could take years for courts to judge whether Cohen deserves compensation for his loss. Sandra Foster, a certified financial planner, author and financial consultant at Headspring Consulting Inc. in Toronto, advises people to be wary of complicated transactions they do not understand. “When I see investors with companies and trusts with complicated paperwork, I ask: ‘Do you understand all of the paperwork you have signed?’ Frequently, the answer is no,” Foster says. “They don’t understand the structure, or the rights that they may have signed away. “It is difficult for clients to understand how much of the powers are given up in the structure, or how much of those powers just make it easier for the trustee or manager to carry out their role from day to day.” When there are holes in a structure, a person may be at risk if someone assigned to carry out their wishes lacks competence or ethics, or has personal financial problems that could rebound on them. Seniors who have assets accumulated over a lifetime are particularly vulnerable. They need to consider carefully before they choose an investment adviser, or decide to make potential heirs the coowners of property before their death, or name someone their personal attorney in the event they become disabled. Younger persons could also suffer losses simply by deciding too soon in a relationship to pool their savings in a joint bank account. “I warn clients they need to be sure they have independent legal and accounting advice when they set up a structure (to hold their assets),” Foster says. “Very often, when a structure is set up on behalf of one party, it may not represent the best interests of the other party.” Consult your own lawyer before signing an employment severance agreement, or a divorce or pre-nuptial agreement drawn up by a lawyer other than your own. Consult a financial planner who knows your complete circumstances before taking financial advice from someone who stands to gain from a financial transaction. “Have someone look at it with your eyes and your interests at heart,” Foster says. She urges clients to look beyond historic returns when considering an investment. Look into the underlying investments from which those returns have come, and consider the risks involved. “If you don’t understand, get a second opinion. Don’t assume it’s a problem with you. You may not be being snowed, but either get someone to explain it to you in better English, or ask them what would happen if you wanted the money back tomorrow. How much would you get?”
Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen.
CP PICTURE ARCHIVE/Montreal Gazette-Dave Sidaway
Firms boost mileage rate By Everton McLean Telegraph-Journal
igher gas prices have New Brunswick provincial government employees who drive their own car on public business paying too much from their own pockets, says a union official just a month after the province raised the reimbursement rate from 32 cents a kilometre to 35 cents. But the province has no plan to increase the reimbursement rate suddenly, even though some private-sector employers in New Brunswick are prepared to. Tom Mann, the executive director of the New Brunswick Union for Public and Private Employees, says due to
high gas prices and escalating costs in car maintenance, government employees expected to use their own vehicles for job related travel are paying more than $4,200 a year for which they are not compensated. He says it’s unfair to the 250 union members who have to do that. Mann says the union has been negotiating with government for five years to boost the reimbursement rate, but the new rate still doesn’t compare with Nova Scotia’s or the federal government, who pay over 40 cents a kilometre. Winsor defends the rate, saying the province “can only increase things as we can afford them.” The reimbursement will increase to 38 cents per kilometre in April, and
climb yearly. In the private sector, some businesses that reimburse staff per kilometre of travel are reworking their numbers. J.D. Irving spokesperson Mary Keith says the company is reviewing its policy now on compensating employees, and reminding them of the option of renting cars and having the gas and rental charge reimbursed. Joel Levesque, vice-president of public affairs for Moosehead Breweries Ltd. in Saint John, says the company will likely adjust the reimbursement rate, which includes insurance and car maintenance as well as gas. “The last time there was a huge hike in gas prices we did adjust it upwards,” he says.
26 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Philatelists collect them 7 Cassowary cousin 10 Deadly 16 Small lobe 17 Drop off 19 Baltimore ___ 20 Tooth covering 21 Vanquished one 22 Muse of astronomy 23 Curvy shape 24 Sets straight 26 Dropper’s exclamation 28 Small barrel 29 Opinions 31 Plaything 32 Paella ingredient 33 Chef’s offerings 34 If all ___ fails ... 35 Suffix for a doctrine 36 Amish, e.g. 37 Spiny shrub in sandy areas 38 With: prefix 40 Temporary cessation of breathing 42 Assam or pekoe 43 Boggy terrain 46 Boor 47 A Kreviazuk 51 They’re not pro 52 Eng., e.g. 54 Homonym of pear 55 Cask serving 56 Post-game event, sometimes 57 Sudden attack 58 Sleeps briefly
59 Killer: suffix 60 It’s not free of charge? 61 Leather (Fr.) 62 Walk through water 63 ___ beaver 64 Pertaining to dreams 66 Most densely populated prov. 67 Pertaining to the number six 68 Actor Francks (“Iron Buffalo”) 69 Not being straight 71 Shortened alias 72 Canadian Peter Robertson’s 1908 invention 75 Actor Raymond (“Ironside”) 76 First ___ 78 “Star Trek” android 82 “Excuse me ...” 83 Blah 84 Insect that sprays formic acid 85 Soffit locale 86 Young fellow 87 Moonfish 88 Grandparents 90 Little rascal 91 Glacial epoch (2 wds.) 93 Bald raptor 95 Elude 97 Actress McCarthy 98 Wild animal’s scent trail 99 Tidy 100 ___ and tongs
Solution on page 30
101 East (Fr.) 102 Registers DOWN 1 Magician’s hiding place 2 Lymph gland 3 Humiliates 4 Silent 5 Entreaties 6 Hold a sale 7 Black wood 8 ___ marketing 9 People of the Colorado Plateau (U.S.) 10 Magnifying glass 11 Drops the ball 12 Spanish relative 13 Goose 14 They’re not from here 15 Sports group 17 Ontario steel maker 18 Beethoven’s third symphony 25 TGIF part 27 Halloween mo. 30 Vest 32 Coral ___ 33 Sound of complaint 35 Gerund ending 36 Yukon town with record coldest temperature 37 Equipment 39 Affirmative reply 41 Enough water for a duck 2 ___ and that 43 “The Magnificent”
Lemieux 44 Marriage 45 From ___ Orchard (Findley) 47 ___ Tormentine, N.B. 48 Subarctic zone with coniferous forests 49 Birch 50 Wary 52 Of the flock 53 Demeanour 54 Cushion 57 Undoing 58 Labrador Inuit community 59 Country with longest single national highway 61 Smart bird 62 Author of English words to “O Canada” 63 “___! A mouse!” 65 As before (Lat.) 66 Fire: prefix 67 Heavy-hearted 69 ___ Bight, Nfld. 70 City with most freezing rain 72 West Coast First Nation 73 Latin dance 74 Buy back 75 Feather stole 77 Mineral: suffix 79 Pilot a plane 80 Ire 81 Trees with fluttery leaves 83 Most easterly point of N. America: Cape
___, Nfld. 84 Pass out 85 German city
87 Watch, wolf-style 88 They may need massaging
89 Parliament Hill’s long-time “catman”: ___ Chartrand
92 Goal 94 Jungle creature 96 Feline
WEEKLY STARS ARIES - MARCH 21/APR. 20 When an opportunity comes your way, it seems too good to be true, and it probably is. In business, it's best if you stick with the sure bets instead of risky ventures, Aries. TAURUS - APR. 21/MAY 21 You're all smiles this week, Taurus, probably since a romantic interest is back in the picture. Make the most of your time together while it lasts. Others are envious. GEMINI - MAY 22/JUNE 21 You're called in to help out a family member who is in trouble -and it's not the first time either, Gemini. This person really needs assistance, so don't feel too angry. CANCER - JUNE 22/JULY 22 You feel you've been put through the wringer, Cancer, but it's just a matter of doing some hard work.
Don't whine ... just get the job done quickly. LEO - JULY 23/AUG. 23 You desire a much-needed rest from those with whom you share a home. Take a vacation, visit a friend or family member, or just find a way to sneak out for a quiet stroll. VIRGO - AUG. 24/SEPT. 22 Stop being so bossy, Virgo. You are really getting on the nerves of others. They know you mean well, but it comes off as an abrasive attitude. Worry about yourself instead. LIBRA - SEPT. 23/OCT. 23 You may have just found the perfect love match, Libra. Hold on to this person if you're single. If you're already attached, move on and don't look back. SCORPIO - OCT.. 24/NOV. 22 Nighttime hours have been full of
vivid dreams, Scorpio, and they're not about to end anytime soon. Listen to the messages of these dreams, but don't take them too seriously. SAGITTARIUS - NOV. 23/DEC. 21 You're making many enemies, Sagittarius, and it's time to step back. Contrary to what you believe, you don't know it all. Therefore, be a student instead of a teacher. CAPRICORN - DEC. 22/JAN 20 Someone in your life is ready to ask you a big question. It has the potential to impact your life greatly. Enjoy the moment, because it truly will be memorable. AQUARIUS - JAN .21/FEB. 18 You've gotten bored staying in one place, Aquarius, but now is not the time to make a big move. Stay put and ride it out for a while. You'll be happier in the long run.
PISCES - FEB. 19/MARCH 20 You're getting on someone's nerves, Pisces. It's better if you change your tune, or else you will lose several friends. Rethink your attitude. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS SEPTEMBER 11 Harry Connick, Jr., singer/actor SEPTEMBER 12 Emmy Rossum, actress SEPTEMBER 13 Fiona Apple, singer SEPTEMBER 14 Sam Neill, actor SEPTEMBER 15 Oliver Stone, director SEPTEMBER 16 Richard Marx, singer/songwriter SEPTEMBER 17 John Ritter, late actor
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 SOLUTION ON PAGE 30
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION • 27
28 • INDEPENDENTSPECIAL SECTION
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 29
Give new rules a chance, says Martin Brodeur
By Paul Hunter Torstar wire service
Nicole Mailloux (10) of Ontario tracks down a stray ball with Germany’s Laura Grab (11) in hot pursuit during an exhibition game between the Canadian and German women’s under-17 soccer teams at the King George V soccer pitch in St. John’s on Sept. 7. Germany won the game 3-0. Paul Daly/The Independent
Mitchell shrugs off prognostications By Doug Smith Torstar wire service
am Mitchell would prefer the Toronto Raptors actually play their games this season to find out how many they’ll win rather than concern himself with summer-time prognostications. Even those from his team’s general manager. “I expect us to compete hard, play hard, play the right way. I’m not worried about how people pick us or how many wins and losses they say we’ll have,” the Raptors’ head coach says. “I’m excited about where we are.” Toronto general manager Rob Bab-
cock, who is in the midst of a rebuilding process he expects to take at least one more season, has asserted since June that the Raptors are committed to playing young players — a plan that doesn’t often translate into NBA success. The Raptors have won 33 games in each of the last two seasons and this year’s team should be the youngest of the bunch. Rookies Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and Jose Calderon are expected to see significant minutes off the bench and all three will be adapting to the NBA as they go. Perhaps inadvertently, Babcock’s rebuilding plan and his public discussion of it has put Mitchell in an unenviable position. The coach must now face a locker room with more
than a few veterans — guys like Jalen Rose, Morris Peterson, Rafer Alston, Aaron Williams and Eric Williams — and try to coax effort out of players who might not be part of the general manager’s long-term plan. Mitchell needs the young players to develop quickly as he doesn’t want to be saddled with another bad record. But his roster has shortcomings. There are only two point guards and Calderon has never played in as much as an NBA exhibition game; two aging veterans in Aaron Williams and Eric Williams who’d rather be playing anywhere else, and a rotation that is going to have to include Calderon, Villanueva, Graham and likely centre Rafael Araujo.
here is no truth, according to an NHL spokesman, to the rumour that goaltenders will be wearing advertising on their new, slimmed-down jerseys this season. But to hear New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur tell it, it’s the blueliners whose uniforms could have something extra, like perhaps a target. With the NHL cracking down on obstruction, taking away the defenders’ ability to slow forecheckers, combined with limiting the areas in which goalies can handle the puck, Brodeur figures the defencemen will often be defenceless as they hustle back to retrieve dump-ins. “Guys are going to go back and pick up the puck and goalies aren’t going to be able to help them out anymore. So I think you’ll see a lot more banging and maybe your top defencemen getting hurt because your goalies can’t interfere and make plays for your own team,” he says. And Brodeur, it must be pointed out, is generally an enthusiastic supporter of giving the new rules and rule interpretations a try. However, if one thing was clear last week as 10 NHL players — including Brodeur — took part in a media conference call, it’s that it remains very unclear as to how the style of play is going to unfold this season. The game is changing but no one, not even the guys who play it, are sure where it’s going. For example, both Keith Primeau and Mark Recchi, Pennsylvania rivals with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively, believe the removal of the red line will be exploited to create more offensive chances. But the Islanders’ Alexei Yashin, who grew up without a red line, thinks otherwise. “I think a lot of teams will play a trap,” he says. “It will just move
from the red line to the blue line.” Added Boston’s Glen Murray: “I think 10 or 15 games into the season, you’re going to see a lot of breakaways, because the D-men aren’t that smart sometimes. They’ll be way up by centre ice. By the time they realize we get more room with the two-line pass, I think it’ll be trapped up again.” THE CRACKDOWN And so it goes, from skepticism about the crackdown — “I have doubts like everybody else,” says Buffalo’s Daniel Briere — to hope and optimism that the NHL indeed follows through on its promised standard of enforcement for obstruction. “If they call all the stuff, like they say they’re going to, I think it’ll open it up,” says Ottawa’s Dany Heatley. The team hurt the most by limitations on puck handling by goalies is the Devils. Brodeur is the best in the game and, with Jersey losing Scott Niedermayer to free agency and Scott Stevens to retirement, their play in their own end will take a hit. “When you played New Jersey before, it’s been really tough to forecheck them because Martin is out there playing the puck every time you dump it in,” says Leafs captain Mats Sundin. “Hopefully (now) you can put a little more pressure on them.” While Brodeur says he’s “not really thrilled” about losing an important part of his game, he says it’s important that everyone waits to see how the game evolves before making judgments. “I’m really excited about the changes the NHL decided to make this year, trying to get more offence and trying to get the game more exciting,” says Brodeur. “I think the players and everyone should give it a chance before really judging how it’s going to work.”
30 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
Members of MUN’s Aikido Club don’t focus on their opponents, but on themselves By Darcy MacRae The Independent
embers of the Memorial University Aikido Club may spend three nights a week flipping each other on their backs and locking each another in various holds, but they insist the activity is a peaceful one. Sitting inside the MUN combat room watching the club’s members execute their moves, it is surprising to learn such action can actually promote relaxation. The reason, says instructor Ivan Booth, is that aikido is about more than physical attributes and exertion. “You’re training to this goal of understanding aikido — for personal development, an understanding of the techniques and the ideas behind it,” Booth tells The Independent. Aikido is a form of martial arts that features a wide range of techniques that use principles of motion and energy to redirect, neutralize and control attackers. Training is not done by sparring, but through mutual technique. In fact, aikido is one of the few martial arts that does not include combat of any kind. Instead of focusing on competition, athletes focus on inner strength and personal goals. “The philosophical reason is that in competition, you tend to focus on winning the competition instead of goals of improving yourself and helping others around you improve,” Booth explains. The absence of competition does not seem to bother members of the university club. Some insist it’s the reason they were attracted to aikido in the first place. “I really like the fact that its focus is not on competition; it’s on strengthening yourself physically and mentally. It’s more about personal development than competition,” says Gabrielle Martin, a club member for just over a year. “You’re not competing against your classmates — you’re helping each other learn. It’s a really nice environment.” Another reason there is no competition is safety. Wrist locks, arm bars and the use of pressure points are effective ways to subdue an attacker, but Solution for crossword on page 26
Yolanta Lagowski (right) and Ivan Booth demonstrate the finer points of aikido during a Memorial University Aikido Club class last week.
could result in broken wrists and arms or separated shoulders if used in the combative style of martial arts such as karate or judo. Despite the potential for injury, Booth maintains size and strength have little to do with mastering aikido techniques. Instead, club members excel by focusing on technique and understanding how the body moves. “There’s a physical component of aikido, but there’s also a large component of understanding body mechanics — how to apply force and where to apply force,” Booth says. “There’s also an element of understanding how people physically react to things and the physiological stuff — how their minds react to things. So people can be small but know how to apply their force effectively and to a place where the other person can’t apply force to resist it.” Booth demonstrated the importance of technique during the club’s first class after summer holidays on Sept. 5. Demonstrating in front of the class,
Solution for crossword on page 26
which featured several newcomers, Booth routinely flipped veteran club member Bob Robinson over his back and over his hip — despite Robinson being the much larger of the two. At first glance, Booth says it may appear as though he out-muscled Robinson, but in fact he used very little physical exertion. “The position I was taking there was such that any weight that was applied was applied to my legs and hips rather than my lower back. Plus, my position was such that when I moved to throw him that way, his center of gravity was above my hips so he sort of fell over me instead of me physically lifting him,” he says. Perfecting aikido techniques is an on-going process — one that never stops, says Booth. That is why several club members — including Booth and head instructor Shin Chin — headed to Corner Brook last month for a week-long seminar with Y. Kawahara, technical director of the Canadian Aikido Federation.
Paul Daly/The Independent
More than 40 people from across Canada attended the seminar. Throughout the week, black belts such as Booth and Chin trained alongside those new to aikido, providing benefits for all, says Geoff Aylward, a 12-year member of the MUN club. “Each time you’re practicing aikido, you not just practicing the level you know, you’re refreshing yourself on the basics, which are essential,” say Aylward. As well as improving their technique, members of the MUN Aikido Club also further embraced the spiritual side of the marital art in Corner Brook. The calming, soothing influence aikido has on them is not only apparent during their classes at the MUN combat room, but also in their everyday lives. “Since I’ve joined, things don’t frustrate me emotionally,” says Katie Vokurka, a university student who began aikido a year ago. “It causes you to stop and look at what’s happening. I look at things and say ‘Big picture — what do I have to focus on?’” email@example.com
New directions for Sea-Hawks From page 32 TRANSITION PERIOD AT MUN Another benefit of September’s arrival is the beginning of the university sports season. This year will be an interesting one for several clubs at Memorial, since they appear to be heading in new directions. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have to make due without the star players who led them in recent years. Jeff Saxby is gone from the men’s club, while both Amy Dalton and Jenine Browne will be dearly
missed by the women’s team. Replacing impact players is never an easy task, but it is an inevitable one in university sports. My money is on Leonel Saintil to emerge as Saxby’s replacement — the player given the ball when the game is on the line. Saintil was the Atlantic University Sport rookie of the year last season, and could find himself a firstor second-team AUS all-star by the end of the year. Leslie Stewart should help soften the void created by the absence of Browne and Dalton for the women’s team, and
like Saintil, could end up on an AUS all-star team at season’s end. Not to be forgotten in the year of transition at MUN is Melissa Oates’ debut behind the bench of the women’s volleyball team. Oates, a former star for the Sea-Hawks in the late ’90s, has a tough task on her hands — rebuilding a team that recorded just one victory in AUS play last season. Hopefully she can use her experience coaching at the provincial level to identify and secure some top recruits for the ailing program. firstname.lastname@example.org
‘People are intimidated to compete’ From page 32 sugars. You start having withdrawals,” Smith says. “Things you take for granted when you’re not doing a show hit you a different way when you can’t eat them.” Smith eliminated all takeout food, chocolate bars, chips and almost anything that contained sugar. Combined with his intense workouts, he dropped 30 pounds and currently carries 235 pounds on his 6’4 frame. When the Heavyweights Classic ends, he expects to quickly resume carrying his customary 260 pounds. “Usually everybody goes out and eats everything they can possibly eat the first couple of days after a show,” Smith says. “Some people put on 20-30 pounds in the first two weeks after the show.”
Although Smith has an athletic background — he has lifted weights regularly since he was a teenager and played both basketball and volleyball growing up — some first-time bodybuilders are entirely new to athletic competitions. Quite often they turn to King for advice in how to best prepare for a sport with regiments as strict as bodybuilding. “Throughout the year, we helped them with their training and once they start their serious diet, we coach them right on through,” King says. “We’ll modify their diet, maybe recommend certain supplements, help them with their training. We take them by the hand and walk them through.” On the day of the Heavyweights Classic, bodybuilders take to the stage at 10 a.m. for pre-judging. Half an hour before hand they will be busy applying their third coat of self tanning oil — it
makes their muscles more visible under the lights — as well as a light coat of sheen or cooking oil to further enhance their muscles. Bodybuilders can also be seen sipping on red wine and devouring yams before walking on stage. The wine increases vein size while the yams are a clean carbohydrate that gives their muscles fullness the judges love. King expects the first-time competitors to have a few butterflies before the event, but adds that once they are before the judges, all the hard work they put in will give them the confidence to strut their buffed physiques with pride. “People are intimidated to compete, so we let them know anybody can compete if they know how to do it,” says King. “All you need is the discipline and drive to do it.” email@example.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 31
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2005 — PAGE 32
Bodybuilders pose for the judges during last year’s Heavyweights Classic Fitness Expo in St. John’s. The second annual Heavyweights Classic is set for Sept. 17, and promises to be bigger and better than the first. Paul Daly/The Independent.
Bigger and better Bodybuilding competition promises to be best ever By Darcy MacRae The Independent
he second annual Heavyweights Classic Fitness Expo will be a joy and a relief for Jamie Smith. The 28-year-old is one of several new bodybuilders who will take to the stage at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Sept. 17. His preparation began six months ago and shifted into high gear over the past 12 weeks, leaving him lean and muscular, but also fatigued and craving a good feed of takeout. “I’m excited, but I can’t wait for it to be over because of the diet. It’s really strenuous,” Smith tells The Independent. “Going to the gym twice a day, preparing all your
meals, plus working 40 hours a week — it’s a lot.” Between 25 and 30 competitors are expected to take part in this year’s Heavyweights Classic, almost double the number who took to the stage last year. Rob King — who along with Fraser Senciall, and with some help from Andy Pratt, organizing the fitness expo — is pleased to see added interest in the sport. He says reaction to last year’s show was nothing short of fantastic, a factor in attracting twice as many bodybuilders this time around. “The show was so successful last year, people liked what we did so much, that more people wanted to get involved,” King says. Not only will twice as many athletes take
part at this year’s event, it will also be held at a bigger venue (last year it was held at the St. John’s Convention Centre) and will include arm wrestling and weightlifting competitions. Guest poser “Marvellous” Melvin Anthony — ranked in the top 10 in the world and the 2005 recipient of the Ironman Pro Best Poser Award — will also perform. Fitness professionals and supplement companies have rented 20 booths at the arts and culture centre for the occasion in anticipation of a large number of fans attending. King expects an atmosphere of excitement — one that will attract athletes to future Heavyweights Classics, much as the inaugural contest did last year. “We’re trying to encourage people to
compete,” says King. “Most people don’t understand much about it, so the more you can educate people about bodybuilding, the more people get involved.” The Heavyweights Classic features men’s and women’s bodybuilding, as well as a women’s figure competition. Athletes often began preparation six months to a year before hand and intensify their training in the 12-16 weeks leading up to the show. Daily cardio routines ranging from 30 minutes to two hours, up to six days a week of weightlifting and a strict diet form a regiment that is tough to follow. “It’s hard because you don’t get your See “People are intimidated,” page 30
inally, September is here. It’s time to pick your spot on the couch, hide the TV remote in a safe and secure location, and sit back and enjoy what promises to be some of the best races to the post-season in recent Major League Baseball memory. The possibilities for post-season berths are endless. There are four teams competing for the American League (AL) wild card slot (Yankees, As, Indians, Twins) while five clubs are in the hunt for the National League (NL) wild card (Astros, Phillies, Nationals, Marlins, Mets). The battle for the AL West should also go down to the wire, as will the annual September slugfest between the Red Sox and
The game Yankees for the AL East crown. The result is that there’s no sure-fire way to know who will make it to the playoffs (unless you’re a sports writer with his own weekly column). Here is a list of guarantees of what to expect this September. Guarantee No. 1: The Boston Red Sox will win the AL East. After entering the playoffs as the American League wild card the last two seasons, the defending World
Series champions are finally going to top the Yankees in the regular season this year. The Red Sox will do it with their explosive offence, not their mediocre pitching. Guarantee No. 2: The (damn) Yankees will make the playoffs. Believe me, I didn’t want to write that. If there is one team I’d like to see choke and tumble in the standings, it’s the Yankees. What’s not to dislike about this crew? They have the most overrated player in the majors in Derek Jeter; Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown are jerks, and Gary Sheffield wears Velcro strips on his cleats so his pyjama-style pants never leave his shoes when he runs the bases. And did I mention their team payroll of $100 billion?
Alright, that number may be a bit exaggerated (I might be off by a dollar or two), but their spending habits are grotesque to say the least. Guarantee No. 3: The Atlanta Braves will win the NL East. Not that this was really a burning question, but I thought it was worth pointing out since it will be Atlanta’s 14th consecutive NL East title. Quite an impressive streak — even if they have choked more often than not in the playoffs. Guarantee No. 4: The Angels will outlast the As in the fight for the AL West. This is going to be a battle, but the Angels starting pitching depth (Bartolo Colon, Paul Byrd, Jarrod Washburn,
John Lackey and, if healthy, Kelvim Escobar) is going to be the deciding factor. Guarantee No. 5: The New York Mets will win the NL wild card. They have a few teams to jump ahead of, but I think the Mets will make a September run that will propel them into the post-season. They also have a very tough schedule, but their games against fellow wild-card pursuers — Washington, Philadelphia and Florida — could allow them to gain ground. Whether Mike Piazza returns from injury is insignificant since the pitching staff appears to prefer throwing to Ramon Castro. See “New directions,” page 30
Wondering who’s running for city council? Meet the characters inside. ST. JOHN’S ROUND-UPPAGE 20 – 22 ALISHA MORRISSEY STEPHANIE PORTER Siob...