VOL. 3 ISSUE 47
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20-26, 2005
$1.00 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $1.50 RETAIL (HST included)
OPINION PAGE 11
Let it snow: John Crosbie’s in the mood for a Christmas election
An evening with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets
‘Bring it on’ Sister of Jody Druken talks about her family’s shocking past. Donna Reid says her husband didn’t kill her brother Derek Druken — Jody did. See pages 8 and 9.
Donna (Druken) Reid
Paul Daly/The Independent
Students, teachers give an A to Grade 8 Newfoundland history
CBC radio studios moving uptown; to share space at television station
By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
istory got a lot more exciting this past September. Lauren Dwyer, a Grade 8 student at St. Paul’s School in St. John’s, says she was never interested in social studies before this year’s new Newfoundland history course. All 6,400 Grade 8 students across the province (including French immersion) are currently studying the same history course with the same textbook. Lauren gives the class an A. “You’re getting to learn about places that you’ve actually seen. Like ‘Oh, that was out by Bonavista,’ and you can say ‘I’ve been there’ and think about how it’s changed,” she tells The Independent. The textbook Voyage to Discovery is filled with colourful pictures and covers topics from the colony’s first settlers to the 1970s cultural revival of CODCO and art based on the exploration of Newfoundland heritage. Kellie Rodgers, Lauren’s teacher, says the book appeals to an adolescent learner because it’s “rich and colourful.” The course is not just about memorization of facts, but hands-on work, fieldtrips and projects. As a result, Rodgers says her students should do well on exams. “In the old program … we’d study world cultures like Japan and you’d have to try to make it as real as possible with video or whatever because, of course, we’re not going to Japan,” she says. “Now we only have to book a session at
C Kellie Rodgers and Lauren Dwyer
Paul Daly/The Independent
The Rooms or at the Ryan Premises (in Bonavista) and the kids can actually learn no to gut fish.” The class particularly enjoyed a daytrip to Ferryland’s Colony of the Avalon where they experienced culture from the perspective of 17th century settlers, Lauren says. A video on an archaeological dig just wouldn’t have been as exciting for the students, Rodgers adds. “Some of the kids, when we left, who perhaps might not
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “He always said it was the bunch up in Russia … and they were experimenting with some kind of highfrequency whatever they put up in the sky.” — Cynthia Bickford on her father’s Bell Island bang theory, see page 3
See “The culture,” page 2
Ray Guy says hospitals give as good as they get
BC Radio is moving. The downtown St. John’s home of CBC Radio One and Two will be vacant and for sale by June 2007, says Diane Humber, CBC’s regional director for radio. Radio personnel will pack up the Duckworth Street station and move it to CBC’s television studios on Westerland Road off the Price Phillip Parkway. “It’s all to do with having all of our employees — radio and television and support — under one roof because we are seen in the community as one entity,” Humber tells The Independent. The move comes just weeks after the end of a two-month lockout of CBC employees, although it’s not about cutting jobs or costs, Humber
insists. Rather, it’s about reinvesting money saved from maintaining two buildings. “If anything it would probably improve the career opportunities afforded to both our radio and TV folks,” she says. Bob Sharpe, president of the St. John’s local of the Canadian Media Guild, representing CBC workers, doesn’t mind — “As long as there’s no layoffs.” Employee reaction was mixed, Sharpe says. Some people were attached to working downtown, he says. Many moved into the area hoping to be within walking distance to work. At least a few employees will have to invest in vehicles in the coming months, Sharpe says. For others, the television station next to Memorial is a much more convenient location. Television workers
Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Professionals. . . . . . . 26-27 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
See “No interruption,” page 2
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
‘The culture is there to access’ From page 1 have been very much interested in social studies, said ‘Miss, I thought we were going to a museum and it was going to be really boring and we wouldn’t really have much to do,’” Rodgers says. “They got to move (around).” Fieldtrips are a big part of the course — in the city and around the bay — says Walter Hammond, the social studies director of Holy Cross Junior High School in St. John’s and the only teacher involved with developing the Newfoundland history curriculum. “You don’t always have to say well, we’re not in St. John’s so we don’t have access to (whatever) because the culture is there to access around the province,” Hammond says. “Money is a little tight for field trips, but the thing is anywhere you are in the province teachers should be taking advantage of the fact that culture is in your community.” The students are incredibly responsive to hands-on learning, Hammond
says, adding his students are asking a lot of questions — never a bad thing in a classroom. “You get some really good discussion on the go. And I guess it’s more prevalent here in St. John’s than outside of the city that the students don’t … they’re not familiar with, say, the fishing culture,” he says. Teachers facing the new curriculum for the first time are going to feel the growing pains, Hammond says. They may even stick to the textbook a little more than teachers who piloted the program for the past two years. Resources — including an online discussion board — have been set up for social studies teachers just getting into the swing of the course. At St. Paul’s, Rodgers says the message board is a relief. “You kind of put your heads together as teachers,” she says, adding social studies teachers across the province have access to an online forum where they can discuss teaching methods and course recourses. “In the end this is one of the best courses I’ve had an opportunity to teach.”
No interruption in programming From page 1 are said to be excited to be under one roof. Preparations for the move have begun as renovations to a wing of the television building are getting underway and a media project co-ordinator has been put in place. Both Humber and Sharpe insist there will be no programming interruptions. Humber says programming will end on a Friday and by Monday morning the new studios will be up and running. “Our radio folks will move into their new digs in television and we’re not expecting any interruption in programming at all.” CROSSOVER SKILLS The CBC has been encouraging employees to learn crossover skills for radio and television across the country. Amalgamation of television and radio stations has recently taken place in Edmonton, Ottawa, and Quebec City. The high cost of maintaining two buildings — with the radio station being the older, high-maintenance structure — were among the deciding factors in relocating the radio offices, Humber says. She couldn’t say how much the move and renovations will cost. The current radio building was built in 1946, while
Scene from the CBC lockout earlier this fall.
Paul Daly/The Independent
the TV building is only 41 years old. “There are problems with this (radio) building, that anyone who works here will acknowledge,” she says, noting the need for a new roof and
a recent sewage backup. “It’s an older building for a very modern enterprise … and the upkeep on the building given the business that’s in it has been considerable.”
eeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s Harbour. Information provided by the Coast Guard Traffic Centre. MONDAY, NOV. 14 Vessels arrived: Oceanex Canada, from Montreal; Ann Canada, from sea; Maersk Canada, from sea; Penny Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Penny Canada, to sea.
Avalon, Harvey, Viking, Smart, Smart,
TUESDAY, NOV. 15 Vessels arrived: ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Maersk Placentia, Canada, from Hibernia;
Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Terra Nova; Shoshin Maru #80, Japan, from Ireland; Mathilda Desgagnes, from Pugwash. Vessels departed: Burin Sea, Canada, to Terra Nova; Oceanex Avalon, Canada, to Montreal; Teleost, Canada, to sea; Wilfred Templeman, Canada, to sea; Maersk Viking, Canada, fishing. WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16 Vessels arrived: Ann Harvey, Canada, from Sea; Maersk Nascopie, Canada, from Sea; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, from Hibernia; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Hibernia; ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Halifax.
THURSDAY, NOV. 17 Vessels arrived: Alfred Needler, Canada, from Sea; Cabot, Canada, from Montreal; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, to Terra Nova oil field; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, to White Rose oil field; Maersk Nascopie, Canada, to Hibernia. FRIDAY, NOV. 18 Vessels arrived: Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Mathilda Desgagnes, Canada, to Pugwash; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova.
Correction The article Made for walking in the Nov. 13-19 edition of The Independent incorrectly stated the Grand Concourse Authority had mailed commemorative walking maps to households in the St. John’s area at a cost of $57,000. The 57,000 should have referred to the number of maps mailed out. Sorry, Grand Concourse Authority.
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NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
theory Mystery of 1978 Bell Island blast solved, eyewitness says
ynthia Bickford can’t forget the day she thought the world had come to an end. On the morning of April 2, 1978, Cynthia, her mother Susie and father James were startled by a loud squealing noise and an explosion that would change their lives forever. The bang — theorized to be a lightening bolt, a meteorite and even space aliens — damaged their house and left a three-metre crater in the Bickford’s backyard. But James Bickford had yet another theory — one that cousin and reporter Paul Bickford would apparently prove correct. “He (James) always said it was the bunch up in Russia — it was the Russian military — and they were experimenting with some kind of highfrequency whatever that they put up in the sky,” Cynthia tells The Independent from the same house on Bell Island. Paul Bickford interviewed retired military officers who confirmed the blast had indeed come from the thenSoviet Union. Cynthia Bickford reluctantly describes the events of that April day as
she has year after year when tourists and kind of low or something and she would curiosity seekers show up on her turn white … and she figured oh, my doorstep. God it’s going to happen again.” Her mother was cooking Sunday dinLynne Wilson of MOARAG ner — as always, Cynthia says — when Productions, a local film company, prothey heard a sound like feedback from duced the documentary The Invisible an old-fashioned microphone and then a Machine about the blast and the possibig bang. bility it was an experimental use of an Cynthia, 28 at the time, says she was electromagnetic-pulse weapon. The stunned to look out the window at a documentary was based on the use of cloud of red dust that she guesses came such a weapon — used to permanently from the iron ore mines far below the shutdown any electronic equipment in island’s surface. “I said ‘Oh, my God.’ the blast area — by countries around the Let’s face it, I thought it was the end of world. The film, shown recently on The the world. I really did.” History Channel, points out the use of It was only later, when the family was such a weapon by American forces in a looking around the house that they real- 2003 attack against Iraq. ized wires had been blown out through In the film, researchers claimed the the walls. Fuses light emitted from the blast had rocketed from on Bell Island — equal to the electrical the detonation of a nuclear “It was a nice day panel down a 20weapon — was consistent and everything was foot hallway, with the possibility of early leaving readable Russian experiments with normal and it was imprints of the electromagnetic pulses. amperage on the The experiment failed just bang.” wall. when the iron ore under The summer Bell Island acted as a magCyril Bickford shed had its roof net, drawing the weapon’s blown off and blast, Wilson says. there were dead hens in the barn. Cyril Bickford, a second cousin who The house was without power for a lived near the blast site, says he was in while, Cynthia says, and had to be his father’s garage pumping up a flat rewired at her father’s expense. tire when he heard the bang and ran out (Government claimed it was an act of to see sparks twinkling in the air. God.) Cyril says he also thought the world The day after the explosion, right out was coming to an end. of a science fiction film, Cynthia says “It was a nice day and everything two men from Los Alamos, Texas was normal and it was just bang.” arrived. All the light bulbs in Cyril’s house “They went on down (to the crater) exploded, he says, and the radio and with their bucket and their shovel and some appliances were burnt out. their long trench coats and their hats and “I figure it was lightening bolts. they went on down and they never came That’s about it,” Cyril says, adding he in to say ‘Well I’m so and so from wher- was puzzled by what he overheard the ever’ because then dad would get suspi- two Americans say to one another when cious,” she says. examining the hole in the Bickford’s Other houses on the island also felt yard. the effects of the Russian experiment “They looked at it and one guy said to the gone awry. other ‘I thought it would be more damage Some houses had TVs burn out; one than that.’Some people say that it could have oilstove spewed a fireball into the been experimental weapons from outer house. The original bang was heard space,” Cyril says, adding they’re all nuts. across most of the Avalon Peninsula. Back at the Bickford place, Cynthia says Appliances in homes as far away as she’s stopped telling the story and didn’t parPortugal Cove-St. Philip’s and Pouch ticipate in the documentary. Cove were fried. “When you talk about it for so long … I Cynthia’s nephew, Darrin, was even get tired of it and there was people here all the blown off his bike. It was lucky no one time,” she says. was hurt, she says. “This would be the worst (thing that ever “My mom — it happened in April of happened to me) and for so many years not ’78 and she died in November of the knowing what happened … same year — and it affected her mental“It’s something you (see) in the ly, right,” Cynthia says. “Every time she movies — not expecting to see in a litwould hear a plane go over and it was tle small island.”
The day the upper Churchill gave away H
ospitals have done so much to me that I don’t care what I do to hospitals. Last time I was in hospital a doctor told me he’d never seen anyone so chock full of, er, crap. Over the years so many have said so. I was pleased at last to get a medical opinion. Well, sir, they stuffed me with dam buster from all directions at once. But I would not be taken short. Some brighter light must have decided that in an absent-minded moment I’d swallowed the car keys and I was sent down for X-rays. It was there that the upper Churchill gave way. I believe they had to bring in an extra shift of janitors, probably at gunpoint. But as I say, I don’t care because hospitals give as good as they get. The first time I was in hospital it was the Lady Walwyn Cottage Hospital at Come by Chance. Today we have the war on terrorism. Then it was war on tonsils. A tonsil then was considered every bit as evil as Osama bin Laden is today. There was a holy war on them. I doubt there is a full set of tonsils between any
A poke in the eye 1,000 Newfoundlanders of my generation. Which enables some slut of a doctor to say now: “Pity you had your tonsils out at an early age. Latest scientific studies show that people with tonsils live a longer, healthier more active life and screw like rabbits well up into their 90s.” It was probably the whoreson’s great-uncle who took them out. The little kid in the cot next to me bawled and roared in hysterics. A nurse, some local Florence Nightingale, told him to shut up or she’d chuck him through the window. This must have played on his nerves and he chewed five thermometers to pieces. So he lay there all night tossing around in glass crumbs and blobs of mercury ... I often wondered if he snuffed it early or went on to join the provincial cabinet. An old gent on the other side told me to say my prayers then popped an eye-
ball out of his face and stuck it in a we here? Oh, the patient is supposed to matchbox. I had no prayers for that take responsibility for his own wellgrade of terror. What did I know about being. The patient is supposed to be glass eyes … I was only eight years old “proactive” — stupid patient, it’s all his and not even a Canadian. fault anyway. But times change. It’s the change that I say, earn your money, boyo, and confuses some of us knock off that bilge. today. We have had to You’re the one with turn full circle as What kind of derelic- seven years medical regards medical scischool and a few tion of duty have we more to specialize. ence. It used to be that a the one who here? … The patient You’re doctor’s scientific can read X-rays, CAT method was to twist scans, bodily fluids, is supposed to be your foot or poke your bits and bobs, spots “proactive” — stupid and zits, technical gut until you screamed at which point he said, reports, charts and patient, it’s all his “Umm hmm.” Then it graphs, powders and was either cold compills … or would you fault anyway presses, opening medrather not? icine or what was Have they all called going under the knife. This latter become a bunch of scandalous slackmeant you should make arrangements ers? A recent joke describes a doctor as with your Maker and Carnell’s. someone who stays one jump ahead of Today’s doctors are pretty useless. you on Google search. The pill monWhen was the last time you heard one gers used to advise you to “Ask your say, “Unnn hunn.” The fools don’t tell doctor.” Now it’s “Tell your doctor.” you what’s wrong with you; they They may soon say, “Knock your docexpect you to tell them! tor down and jump the guts out of him What kind of dereliction of duty have until he gives you ... the all-new purple
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pill, Pissant.” We must blame the dastardly billiondollar pill makers for much of this mess. It seems they invent new ailments and rush in with just the pill to cure it. Bam, bam, bam … the U.S. television news is punctuated with pill commercials. Then the news helps out with “news” of some new disease just discovered. With or without doctors, these mighty pill peddlers will push product. Regard those commercials where some citizen wants to stuff his gob with mittfulls of grease and sludge. No worries, mate, let him heave down Burpo Jismo first and he can stuff himself right to bust. Another thing I find with today’s medical profession is, it’s all your fault. They tell you you’ve been an a—hole all your life (which is no great news) and the federal government pays them for this. When they stop blaming you they turn on your mother. If your ma hadn’t had that craving for mustard pickles something wouldn’t be killing you today or driving you off the
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4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
A letter to Ferryland L Premier Danny Williams answers questions last week.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Reward time By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
n unexpected one per cent wage increase handed out to public servants by the provincial government hasn’t made Debbie Forward’s day. Forward, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union, says the province’s nurses are concerned with more than salaries in upcoming negotiations — though wages will be one of many issues on the table. The one per cent pay increase was given to five bargaining units within the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) — representing workers’ comp and group home workers, among others — when they reached a tentative agreement with the province. The increase was extended to NAPE and CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) workers legislated back to work in May 2004. Their 2004 contract saw zero per cent wage increases in the first two years, two per cent in the third year and three per cent in the fourth. The rate will now see three per cent increases in both the third and fourth years of the contract. Both nurses and teachers have been without a contract for over a year — essentially fulfilling a first year zero per cent increase and closing in on a second. However, Premier Danny Williams
says the recent wage announcement won’t be a benchmark for negotiations with teachers or nurses in the new year. Nurses have been surveyed by the union and a list of concerns are being prepared for government’s consideration, Forward says, adding they won’t be released to the public. “We want to improve our collective agreement so we will not be, and do not want to, negotiate concessions,” Forward tells The Independent. The province’s improved financial situation and an “impassioned plea” from NAPE president Carol Furlong were the deciding factors in handing down the increases, Williams says. The one per cent increase will cost government between $12 million and $14 million, Williams estimates. “We feel that this is a reward for them of their involvement in (the improved fiscal situation).” Forward says she’s not prepared to say whether the zero/zero/three/three offer will be “good enough for nurses.” Kevin Foley, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association couldn’t be reached for comment. Meantime, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, representing doctors in the province, reached a tentative agreement with government on Nov. 18. Meetings are scheduled with doctors around the province with a decision expected Dec. 3. GENERAL MANAGER John Moores firstname.lastname@example.org
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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
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ast month, I was fortunate enough to sail out of Venice on one of those very high cruise liners, mind unwinding but still partly home. Through a light warm rain and from the very top deck, a water-ribbed model Venice lay out below me punctuated with spires and monuments. I could even see in over the high red brick walls of the Arsenal, that 800-year-old naval shipyard that for centuries made Venice Mistress of all these Seas. I remembered a footnote recording the sale of Newfoundland salmon in Venice about 1680; the brilliance of some Venetian glass jewelry unearthed at Ferryland from that period. As we steamed out beyond the last sandy strand of the Lido, the brightening Adriatic seemed strangely familiar. I tried to imagine the letter home from one of Lady Sara Kirke’s vessels in 1680 — Lady Sara being a resident of Ferryland and Newfoundland’s biggest merchant at that time. On board The David of Ferryland At Venice Oct. 2,1680 My Lady Sara, I pray this finds My Lady in good health and that the fall fishing was a success. We arrived at Venice by way of Livorno a fortnight past with a sound ship and cargo having lost one poor youngster overboard and two lightly wounded by the Turks at Gilbralter. Upon arrival, we attended to the Church of Santa Maria della Salute. This new and most magnificent church abuts the Customs House and was built to thank our Lady for ending a great plague some 60 years ago which scourge has not since visited. The Venetians swear by that place. Bills in your favour in the amount of 1,780 pounds have been obtained — half by Master Palazzi, a leading merchant of this place, and half by Master Pardo, a respected Sephardin jew who are very strong here. The bills will go this day by way of Frankfrut and Amsterdam to your agent in London in a manner said by all to be safe. This letter and maps of the kind you requested will accompany them. Venice is vast with 150,000 souls or more built to entirely cover islands 3 miles from the mainland and entirely given over to trade. The wealth of this place is immense and chiefly comes from engrossing the Turkish trade with all of Europe. The Turk we run from in the Straits is here a welcome fellow trader. Your agent at Livorno was well informed as to
CABOT MARTIN Guest column
the better prices to be had by coming here directly opposed to shipping overland from that place. The fish brought one half more and the salmon, which is a rarity here and much prized, brought twice as much. The voyage east of Naples is less endangered by the Turks than at Gibraltar but should not be attempted without a pilot. The Venetians, though much reduced from days past, still keep the Turks at bay for the most part. I have acquired the goods of paper, glass and damansk as you instructed both for your own use and for trade in London. We will try at Malaga for raisins at a good price as the troubles in the Straits have made a good market and will load salt at Cadiz. My Lady would find many marvels in this city. Great churches and palaces richly decorated all cut round with great and smaller canals by which people and goods of all kinds move constantly. The harbour and roadsteads are well protected by outer islands and are crowded with ships from all parts. The people are exceedingly fond of music, gaming and the carnival. Their chief saint is Saint Mark whose winged lion is everywhere. The Venetians are proud to say they stole his body from the Turks at Alexandria to the great blessing of their city and have painted a scene of the very theft on the front of their Basilica. There is no wall or fort being so strong at sea that none, not even the Turk, dare come against them. A great Arsenal has been built around a great pool with a high brick wall to a length of 3 miles. It is said that 3,000 men work in that place and that a great galley can be started at sunrise and launched at sunset. The Newfoundland Trade is well known to all of the chief men of this place who are exceedingly proud of Master John Cabot, who they call Zuan Caboto; we were taken to see the house where he lived for many years. It is said that a great map of all the known world with our Island prominent covers a large wall in their Rulers palace. I beg My Lady to pray for God’s help on our return voyage. I remain your most obedient Servant, Martin Cabot Martin’s column returns Dec. 4.
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NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
Question raised whether Grenfell campus will ever be independent university By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
Comparing Atlantic Canada’s universities
hile the premier may want Memorial’s west coast campus to be set up as an independent university, the new Education minister and student union president say it won’t happen anytime soon — if at all. Danny Williams commented recently he would like to see the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook as a stand-alone university — the province’s second. But with the high likelihood of increased costs, and no evidence of direct benefits to the province, newly-minted Education Minister Joan Burke tells The Independent the college and university will have to find a “happy medium” between the current setup and complete autonomy. Burke says there are no immediate plans to give the college independent university status. “Right now there’s a lot of dissatisfaction expressed around the relationship between the (Corner Brook) campus and Memorial University,” Burke says, adding the college could be given more control over its budget, as well as the right to expand and manage the curriculum. She says she’s unsure of the total costs associated with creating a second university in the province. Burke also says she’s unaware of any direct benefits from having two universities instead of one. “I’d really love to dig in and see just where we stand, but I seem to think that Memorial University has a very high quality of education and that people who graduate from Memorial are able to compete on a global basis with any other university for jobs.”
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND University of Prince Edward Island Tuition: $5,492 Enrolment: 4,000
Memorial University’s St. John’s campus
Paul Daly/The Independent
Williams has spoken of the potential for competition between universities — similar to competition between the nine universities in Nova Scotia. There is competition between Atlantic Canadian universities in terms of recruitment, Burke says, but the reputation of Memorial graduates is positive — including graduates from Grenfell. Cletus Flaherty, Memorial’s student union president, says he doesn’t see Grenfell as its own university for at least 10 to 20 years. “There are a lot of reasons why it should be an independent university or that it could operate as an independent university,” he says, adding he doesn’t endorse the idea. Flaherty says there’s ongoing miscommunication between the two schools, but it’s not enough of a reason to allow
Grenfell to break away. He also says he doesn’t see how it could be of any particular benefit to the province’s profile. Even if the two schools become independent, he says they will still have to work together. “I think it’s just the logistical problem of having the St. John’s campus trying to manage an ever growing and ever evolving, campus on the other side of the province,” Flaherty says. “It’s just like a parent having to let go of a child — eventually the child grows up — and if that’s what’s going to happen with Grenfell? I’m not so certain.” Memorial president Axel Meisen, as well as chancellor John Crosbie refused comment on the issue. The university’s board of regents were to meet on the topic in late October, but postponed the meeting until Dec. 7.
Each year Maclean’s Magazine ranks the performance of Canadian universities under several categories. Here’s where Memorial University stands this year: Finances Operating budget: fourth Scholarships: ninth Student services: fifth Classes Classes taught by tenured professors: eighth Class size for first- and second-year students: first Class size for third- and fourth-year students: second Faculty Professors with PhDs: eighth Professors with awards: eighth Professors with arts-based grants: 11th Professors with medical and science grants: 11th
Students Average entrance grade: 34th, with an average of 80.7 per cent Proportion who graduate: 39th, with 77.5 per cent of students graduating Students with awards: ninth Library Books per student: first with 280 Acquisitions per student: seventh Spending on library: first Reputation Best school overall: 22nd Overall standing: fifth.
Excepting the categories reputation and overall standing, Memorial was ranked out of 11 general studies universities
Just turn your head, doctor From page 3 head or making you slack in the member. It’s all down to something you or your mother did. Research continues and they have great hopes of laying the blame at the doorstep of your greatgreat grandmothers. But you remain the greatest culprit. You’re paying for folly that doctors, those geniuses, didn’t mention at the time. If you’d never laid a finger on Philomena Pendergrast. If you hadn’t lived downwind of Argentia naval base. If you hadn’t rolled around in a hospital cot on a mercury-soaked pillow. It’s not only the past but every day you do something else to screw up your
health. News comes thick and fast. Is there much left on the shelves of Wal-Mart et al that is not now or shortly will be, hazardous to your health? WONKY WILLIES Pills and doctors to pass out pills. A few years ago half the population was convinced it had gone nuts and along came Prozac, a great advance on Valium. Then there was an epidemic of wonky willies among the male contingent and to the rescue came all those stiffy pills. Isn’t modern medicine wonderful ... for some. Africa is fertilized by the corpses of those dead of AIDS and TB
and a pity it is they haven’t got the income or the Medicare to pay for pills. Save some of your scorn for the giant oil bosses to lay on the megapill moguls. I’m trying to achieve a state of Zen, if not Bay, in medical matters. When I was a lad penicillin was new and it allowed me to stay in the game. There’s been nothing much of interest to me since then except heroin, that is to say the refined juice of the blessed poppy. If leaving on the morning tide becomes overly tedious I expect heroin and lots of it, maybe even too much. To ensure this desired end I have a column in a safety deposit box. So turn your head and cough, doctor. Or else.
NOVA SCOTIA: Acadia University (two campuses) Tuition: $7,937 Enrolment: 3,400 Cape Breton University Tuition: $5,675 Enrolment: 3,500 Dalhousie University Tuition: $7,452 Enrolment: 15,500 University of King’s College Tuition: $6,668 Enrolment: 1,100 Mount Saint Vincent University Tuition: $5,949 Enrolment: 4,800 Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University Tuition: $5,788 Enrolment: 1,000 St. Francis Xavier University Tuition: $6,560 Enrolment: 4,000 Saint Mary’s University Tuition: $6,062 Enrolment: between 6,000 and 7,000
Université Sainte-Anne Tuition: $5,538 Enrolment: 425 NEW BRUNSWICK Mount Alison University Tuition: $6,260 Enrolment: 2,200 St. Stephen’s University Tuition: $12,950 (includes required living on campus) Enrolment: 60 St. Thomas University Tuition: $4,426 Enrolment: N/A University of New Brunswick (two campuses) Tuition: $5,150 Enrolment: N/A Yorkville University Tuition: $6,400 Enrolment: 83 University of Moncton (three campuses) Tuition: $4,955 Enrolment: 5,205 NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR Memorial University (two campuses) Tuition: $3,012 Enrolment: 17,785 All figures show tuition for one year including all mandatory fees
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
An agenda of fairness A
s the outgoing leader of the New Democratic Party and veteran of 15 years in the legislature, I welcome the opportunity to comment on the state of our province and prospects for the future. As a people, we have come a long way in the last 50 years. Over 75,000 people have graduated from our great university. We have had a cultural revival and revolution with no equal in Canada. We have matured as a society and now have visions of prosperity with our position as an oil producer, with mineral, gas and oil reserves that will allow us to take our place as true participants in the good things Canada has to offer. Rising notes of Newfoundland and Labrador nationalism, with interest in the flag and questioning of the Terms of Union and the decision to join Canada, all attest to our increased prosperity, our cultural and political confidence and pride, and our desire to be masters in our own house. The people of Labrador have had stirrings of the same kind, and the First Nations are coming into their own in demanding control of their destiny and a share of the land, and all are wanting a say in the devel-
Guest column opment of the resources around them. That is not to say there haven’t been failures. Mismanagement of fishery and forestry resources has led to significant job losses, out-migration and uncertain futures for individuals, families and communities relying on these industries. But we are coming upon an era of much greater prosperity. The price of oil, increasing as our oil and gas development starts to mature, will mean significant new revenues for our province. We have already seen the effects on the province’s financial picture, and recent projections, along with the improved Atlantic Accord, will make it possible for the government to fix the unfunded pension liability, the only real problem with our public debt. But what’s the good of increased prosperity if we don’t use it to build a fairer society — a place where everyone shares in the wealth we are blessed
with as a province, and every child has the same opportunity and reason to expect to use their talents to succeed in life? We do have control over the kind of society we live in, and government’s role is crucial. Historically, we Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have a great sense of ourselves as an egalitarian people. Despite the past reality of the fish-merchant mentality and the existence of some elites, we generally see ourselves as cut from the same cloth, no one better than anyone else, tolerant and equal, deserving of the same things out of life. But the reality of Newfoundland and Labrador life does not match the myth. We have the highest rate of poverty in the country, highest unemployment, childhood obesity, diabetes and other measures of social inequity. Our main challenge, in my view, is to build a better, fairer and more just society in our province. More equality in health care means access to drug therapies and help with medical transportation costs. The same motives — high cost and lack of access — that drove people to demand and support Medicare should now apply to drugs. More medical treatment is now
done with drugs than ever before, and many people suffer a financial burden or do without treatment because of the cost. Only seniors on old-age supplement and those on income support qualify for drug cards, and only a portion of the population have work-related plans. Thirty-five per cent of our people have no access to a drug plan at all. We need a fair means of helping people with drug costs, such as a provincial pharma-care plan for all those not covered by a workplace drug plan. The gap in access to good dental health is even starker. Those without a workplace dental plan are almost always without proper dental care, and many suffer as a result. Even childhood dental care is unequally available, and funding has not kept pace with increased costs. Improvements must be made to our home-care program, with trained workers receiving fairer wages. This will lower hospital costs and allow people to live independently in their communities. Inequality in education is growing. Our K-12 system needs a major boost to ensure a level playing field for our children and to provide a healthy environment. We need a comprehensive
program for physical education, junk food elimination, good nutrition choices and a universal school meal program so no student goes hungry. We must eliminate school fees and provide free textbooks for all our children. Right now, the burden on poor families is too much. Post-secondary education and training must be accessible and affordable for everyone, in a strong public system. We need to level the playing field for those who must live away from home. Costs are forcing people to lower their educational goals. Pay equity commitments promised to the women of the public service by former premier Brian Peckford must be kept. There is no longer a fiscal excuse for not keeping this promise. Gender equity also requires a truly affordable child care system with better incomes and training for child care workers. Health care, education and gender equity are only three of the many areas in which significant changes must be made. There is plenty to do for those whose vision of Newfoundland and Labrador is a more equal, fairer and more just society. Take up the challenge.
YOUR VOICE The newspaper scene: read all about it Dear editor, statement. Our only local daily is After reading Ivan Morgan’s self- afraid to tackle serious issues, and indulgent love letter to newspapers while The Independent may run inter(‘You can’t laptop train a puppy’, esting and informative articles releNov. 13-20 edition of The vant to Newfoundlanders, they all Independent), I couldn’t help but represent the same bias, and are often write in. I doubt environmentalists recycled issues. The Express is a who appreciate the decent read (before the conservation of trees design change), Saying St. John’s although the best news will agree with his superficial reasons to work is indeed by has a “host” of preserve the printed Craig Westcott. word, but it is his newspapers may be I wonder if Morgan comments on the read the review of an overstatement. local newspapers done local newspaper scene that have by The Express? It is a earned my criticism. good example of how to judge the For starters, that “smarmy college competition without trying to get a paper” is the alternative publication cheap one-up, and it certainly doesn’t Current, which caters mainly to the stroke its own … ego. downtown and business community. My final question: if The IndepenThe local university paper is The dent is the “coolest, most informative, Muse, and while we may have an odd vibrant publication to appear in this obsession with sex, we really don’t place in the last 400 years,” why does care how much your home costs. it fail to turn a profit? Saying St. John’s has a “host” of Alex Bill, newspapers may be a bit of an overNews editor, The Muse
‘All parties have scandals’ Dear editor, The rush to a Christmas election is further evidence of how out of touch with Canadians the opposition leaders are. The only reason they are forcing an election the country is not ready for is because they believe it will be the worst time for the Liberal party. They hope voters will be too caught up in the festive season to pay much attention to the issues, helping the opposition make corruption the primary ballot question. Ironically, they are not being truthful about their motives in a campaign they hope to focus on ethics. Jack Layton, who is causing this election, is doing his party, and our country, a great disservice by playing into the hands of Stephen Harper’s extreme Conservatives and the separatists. There is no legitimate justification for a Christmas election. There was hardly anything new in last month’s Gomery report, other than the exoneration of all currently elected Liberals, who will now have as much claim to integrity in the campaign as any other candidates. Layton was aware of what happened in the advertising scandal last
spring, but still chose to support Paul Martin’s government for more than a year. What has changed? Canadians do not want an election at this time because it is premature, the wrong time of year, and unlikely to resolve anything. The current situation allows the NDP to have more influence on policy than they are likely to have after the next election. If the opposition makes it a one-issue election, it could lead to a Conservative government that is unlikely to be more sympathetic to NDP policies. If they fail, the Liberals might win a majority. Either way, the NDP would not have the leverage they have now? Voters are too smart to vote only on the scandal issue. They know the Liberal candidates will be just as ethical as the others, and were not responsible for what went on in Quebec. And they know all parties have scandals. The opposition’s self-serving motivation for causing an election the country is not ready for is a scandal in itself. They may be surprised by how voters react. Walter Noel, 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 • email@example.com The Independent is published by The Sunday Independent, Inc. in St. John’s. It is an independent newspaper covering the news, issues and current affairs that affect the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wait for the book T
o do it justice, the Druken story should be told in a book, nothing less. A big, fat, dog-eared paperback, with 1970s family portraits planted in the middle of Ma Druken and all her children before they started dropping like flies from drug overdoses and picking each other off with bullets and blades. That sounds sensational, I know, but the Druken story is over the top. And true, every unbelievable, tragic word of it is, as true as God is our witness (and there have been too few witnesses, at times, in the case of a Druken). The book will have to wait, unfortunately — column first. The Drukens, the ones still amongst us today, don’t talk to each other and vow never to do so again for as long as they live. Donna wasn’t even mentioned in her mother’s July 2003 death announcement, which listed off everybody but her. “Shirley Catherine (Druken) Ring, age 66 years. Predeceased by her sons Gerry, Derek and Paul. Leaving to mourn, her husband John Ring; daughter Sharon; sons Patrick, Randy and Jody …” Patrick, the eldest, is still around St. John’s and reportedly doing quite well, for a Druken. Gerry died years ago; some say he had a bad heart — Donna swears it was the result of an overdose. Next comes Sharon, a hard ticket/prescription drug addict well acquainted with the law for unruly behavior and petty crimes. She thought she had lived through it all until her son Rodney died in July at the age of 27 of a drug overdose. In a recent interview with The Current, she described her son as “always polite; he’d say Mr. or Mrs. and he looked after his brother who is autistic.” Donna comes next. She’s been in trouble too, although nothing too bad (You wouldn’t cross her in her younger days, she’ll tell you that — I wouldn’t rile her today myself). Like most of the Drukens, she’s smart as a whip when her mind isn’t under the influence of one thing or another. Donna and Gary celebrate their 25th anniversary together this year. Donna is mad as hell these days — swearing, on the lives of her two daughters, her husband did not kill her brother Derek. She swears her youngest brother Jody is guilty of the murder.
Fighting Newfoundlander I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Derek, 33, was shot to death on the streets of St. John’s nine years ago today (Nov. 20) as he was leaving Theatre Pharmacy on Queen’s Road in downtown St. John’s. Of all the Drukens, Donna says he was the meanest, baddest of them all. Donna keeps Polaroids of the worst beating Derek ever gave her, spreading the pictures out on her dining room table (No word on what Derek’s face looked like after Donna got her smacks in.) Randy comes after Derek. Randy was convicted of the 1993 killing of his then-girlfriend Brenda Marie Young.
On Friday nights when the kids were growing up, Ma Druken said she slept with a scanner on her bedside table. Brenda was stabbed 31 times and found on her living room floor, underwear wrapped around her neck, by her then nine-year-old daughter Cindy. I first met Randy at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in 1995 after he was convicted of second-degree murder. He swore on the lives of Brenda’s two children that he didn’t kill their mother. I remember thinking he was either absolutely innocent, or absolutely insane. Randy kept a collage of pictures of himself and Brenda and the kids taped around an inked cross on a poster board above his prison cot. “I remember the faces of all of us laughing,” he told me of the good times. Randy was later cleared of the killing and is seeking compensation for wrongful conviction. Donna and her mother believed from the get-go that Randy was innocent of the crime. The way they figured it, Derek killed Brenda because she knew Derek had robbed a St. John’s bank a few years earlier and was going to rat.
(No one has ever been convicted of the bank job.) On to Paul, who died of a suspected drug overdose in 1999. Turns out, Paul was implicated in Young’s murder after his DNA was found at the scene. Finally, there’s Jody. He initially confessed to killing Derek but recanted and got off with the murder charge. He pled guilty to manslaughter earlier this month. Outside the courthouse, Jack Ring said his son was innocent and Jeff Brace, Jody’s one-time lawyer, agreed (on TV no less) that he didn’t do it. Jody says he’s guilty but his father and former lawyer say he’s not. What a tangled web the Drukens weave … All this brings me back to the mother of all Drukens. I first met Ma Druken (“Mrs. Druken,” to her face) in her daughter Donna’s kitchen. It was 10 years ago, just after Randy had been found guilty, and I wanted to write a story on his life and conviction. On Friday nights when the kids were growing up, Ma Druken said she slept with a scanner on her bedside table. She wouldn’t let herself fall asleep until the police mentioned her children and what they were up to over their radios, crackling Drukens and 10-4s. She talked about how her kids nicknamed her Furback, a play on rat, because she always turned them in when they broke the law. She supplied an alibi for Randy the night he was alleged to have killed Brenda, saying he was asleep in her home. Ma Druken was later charged with mischief, although she wasn’t lying (her other son Paul did it, remember). The Druken story isn’t just about crime and punishment. It’s also about the police and how they screwed up royally. Drukens, like everyone else, do not deserve to be charged because of their last name, or because they’re most definitely guilty of something anyway. The Crown screwed up too. Two killers have gotten away with murder: the killer of Brenda Marie Young; and, to date, the killer of Derek Druken. Maybe the book should be dedicated to them. Maybe Ma Druken deserves the honour. Maybe someone should write it first. Ryan Cleary is managing editor of The Independent. email@example.com
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
All I want for Christmas is political peace And who can bring that, you ask? Why Santa Joe Clark, of course.
oe? Joe? Where are ya, Joe? The nation is weary of scandal, political gamesmanship, anger and accusations. We are looking around for a break. Enough already! Even I, the world’s most obsessed political watcher, have shifted to English politics (Blair is up to his neck in it). I am tired of politics done badly, and that is what we are seeing in Ottawa. What are we going to do? Paul Martin is no leader. He hasn’t got the “royal jelly” of a Trudeau, or the spine of a Chretien. He has gotten where he is through backroom politics. The stink of that will never leave him. Nor should it. I don’t know if I can bear four more years of him. Stephen Harper is just plain and simple nasty. His terribly strained relationship with the equally nasty and unethical Peter McKay is plain for even the most casual political observer to see. Do you want those two in the highest echelons of government for the next four years? Do you want to see Stephen Harper standing on a podium grinning ear to ear with Dubya (George W)? God Forbid. You can market him any way you want — he’s nasty, and so are
Rant & reason his followers. Jason Kenney? Monte Solberg? Diane Ablonczy? Nasty. Nasty. Nasty. And the New Democrats aren’t going to form either the government or the opposition — so what’s the point? Vote for them and you’ll get four more years of minority government. Four more years of this? Someone get me a chair. Hell, I’d vote for Gilles Duceppe in a heartbeat if they weren’t fixing to break up the country. CAN’T HELP IT And all this makes me think about Joe Clark. I can’t help it. Where is Joe when we really need him? As they did so often in the past, I think the Progressive Conservative movement — the red Tories — dropped the ball. Getting eaten by the Reform Party was the biggest of a long series of mistakes. I think if Joe Clark
was leader of the official Opposition a country tired of Liberal arrogance and corruption, and afraid of the avenging swords of the western crusaders, would turn gratefully to the venerable, decent, honest and — yes — boring leadership of elder statesman Clark. The Liberals have always been Canada’s natural governing party. Now it is time for them to go. They are as bad as they were at the end of the Trudeau era. Arrogant, corrupt and worst of all, tired. Tired and bankrupt of any initiative short of trying to bribe us with money they took from us in the first place. But who to vote for instead? It always comes back to this quandary. The Progressive Conservative movement was traditionally an amalgam of folks who couldn’t stand the Liberals. The very name Progressive Conservative — oxymoronic, as some wit labelled it — made sense only to Canadian political observers. It said: we are ahead but careful. We are progressive (socially) but conservative (financially). We know it’s a stupid name, but we tried Not the Liberal Party and it didn’t test market well.
And now we desperately need a Not the Liberal Party. But the Conservative Party of Canada is really not the Liberal party. They are not ahead socially. They are socially conservative, which is a euphemism for homophobic and possibly worse. ... SO SORRY And that is where Joe comes in. With the scandals and the games and the missteps and all the crap … and then a Christmas election campaign! It makes me tired just thinking about it. Please forgive me for this line, but I even sometimes wonder … occasionally … for a minute or two … if Mulroney would be better than this lot. (I’m sorry. I’m sorry.) And then there’s Joe. Imagine how wonderful it would be to slip out on a frosty morning certain that the choice you were about to make was one that would relegate the counter-productive, negative, Ottawa-based politics to the background for the next four years? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get back to the business of fighting amongst ourselves as Canadians, rather than watch Ottawa insiders bashing each other for
fun and profit? Joe would bring that all back. Joe, with his goofy chortle, even sounds like Santa Claus. Santa Joe? Please bring me political peace for Christmas. Please? But we grown-ups know a thing or two more about Santa than we want to. And, sadly, the same applies to Joe. Joe’s dead seriousness, his personal decency and his grandfatherly ways would be the perfect Hallmark solution to our dysfunctional political scene. If you absolutely cannot abide the idea of Clark, replace him with Ed Broadbent leading a party that could get elected. There … isn’t that nice? Doesn’t that say it all about what we face in this upcoming election campaign? Christmas, however wonderful, is a fantasy. And so is this column. The truth is, on some cold grey morning sooner rather than later, we are all going to have bundle up, scrape the hard frost from our windshields, shuffle stiffly into the polls and choose between corruption, malevolence or irrelevance. Ivan Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
No Santa for taxpayers Dear editor, Great news! Ralph Goodale is supposed to announce tax cuts for Canadians. Ho ho ho! Yes, and I remember Paul Martin’s promise in June to amend the Atlantic Accord and turn over the royalties to Newfoundland. Ho ho ho! (Remember the fight Danny Williams had in order to get Martin to keep his promise — seven months late.) I REMEMBER … I remember the Liberal’s promise on daycare. Ho ho ho! I remember the Liberal’s promise in 1993 to do away with the GST. Ho ho ho! Remember John Efford and how he would not be able to sit in cabinet if the Martin gov-
ernment passed the same-sex law. Ho ho ho! And then of course there’s Efford again who is “too sick” to go to work but not “too sick” to go to Florida. Of course if I was raking in over $214,000 a year on the backs of the suckers who elected me, I might “phone in sick” and go on vacation also. Yes, if you believe Paul Martin, Ralph Goodale and John Efford, then you do believe in Santa. Good luck! Be prepared to be disappointed when you go to your “tax” stocking next year. Go ahead suckers, vote Martin and his clan in again. Don Lester, Conception Bay South
‘Pigotry on ice’ Dear editor, The article Bigotry on ice by Alisha Morrissey (Nov. 6-12 edition of The Independent), should have been called Pigotry on ice. Paul Watson may be a kook and crackpot but he is also pig-headed and when pushed, there is no extreme to which he and his “species” will not go to get attention and make an easy buck. Mr. Watson calls his organization the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, now what sheep have to do with the sea I don’t know and as for conservation I suspect that the only creatures Mr. Watson and company
are really interested in conserving are themselves. Therefore, he should re-name his outfit the Sea Swineherd Conservation Society. While Anne Ferncase, a Californian, may be shocked to find that there are creatures like Paul Watson still living among us, we Newfoundlanders are only too familiar with them. So let’s let Anne Troake have the last word. She said: “I don’t really want to engage in-depth with that kind of pigotry,” oops, my mistake it should read “bigotry.” Joe Butt, Toronto
Alberta-bound Gutted, head on, tail between our legs; nothing but the dregs, son, alas, the fish are gone! Forced to close up shop make-work, the dole, can prop us up no more, we have to leave our homes, this sacred shore. Alberta-bound, we’ve found new jobs, new ground to set our roots, in oil, not toil, at sea, or soil.
Our out-migration, sad, but true, not new, our diaspora; like the Jew, we’ve learned to live with, e’en embrace, this seemingly fated decimation of our race. Like homing pigeons, we’ll return at least to visit, often, yearn for homeland, seal and tern, the things that matter, learn to savour what we’ve lost, preserve, O ye that stay, delay, the inevitable, at all cost! Bob LeMessurier, Goulds
Lisa Neville, general manager of Mile One Stadium, says although concert promoters gave employees of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment (SJSE) the opportunity to purchase a limited number of tickets to the Dec. 13 Rex Goudie show before the official opening of sales, no discounted or free tickets were made available. She says no more than 40 tickets were purchased by SJSE employees. Close to 1,000 additional tickets for the concert go on sale Nov. 21. Paul Daly/The Independent
Doyle ‘reinforced’ need for voters to reconsider Dear editor, Let us not forget that Norm Doyle, I would like to thank Norm Doyle for along with Stephen Harper and his his recent letter to the editor on the other fellow Conservatives, voted downgrade of the employment insur- against tax reductions for medium and ance system (EI system small businesses, downgraded, Nov. 13-19 against improved public edition of The housing, against Was it not your Independent). increased support for His article reinforced and against party, Mr. Doyle … students, the need for climate change initiaNewfoundlanders and tives. that would have Labradoreans to reconIn Mr. Doyle’s critisider how they will vote voted against this cism of the NDP, he is in the next federal electruly grasping at straws. budget no matter Was it not your party, tion. Mr. Doyle, one of our federal Conservative Mr. Doyle, under the what … ? MPs, has admitted he leadership of Stephen cannot swing results for Harper that would have us, his constituents. voted against this budget no matter Indeed, Mr. Doyle summed it up what programs were included in it? nicely: speaking about his concerns It is rather ironic that Norm Doyle is with the EI premiums in the House has trying vainly to show support for had no effect on getting improved ben- improved EI benefits, when an imporefits for seasonal workers. tant component of the Conservative
agenda is massive tax cuts for the very richest in Canada. The NDP, who spearheaded the budget that truly reflects the values of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, currently hold the balance of power. If any of the seven New Democrat candidates had been elected in the last federal election, they would now have a strong influence at Jack Layton’s table. They would make positive changes for us, the kind we need and want. With another federal election waiting in the wings, I would encourage people to vote in a way that is different. I believe that by having NDP MPs in Ottawa, they can work to create and support more programs, like EI, that actually improve the lives of the people of our province. Then the lights next door will be on, and there will be no empty places at the supper table. Janine Piller, St. John’s
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘Gary would sooner
Donna Druken defends her husband’s reputation; calls for justice system to make
onna (Druken) Reid has a lot to say about her infamous family. Two brothers dead from drug overdoses, one brother murdered, an estranged sister, and two other brothers tangled up in ongoing murder cases that the justice system can’t seem to resolve. Donna also has plenty to say about a bank robbery over 12 years ago, which she blames as the catalyst for her family’s troubles since. Right now, all she knows how to do is what she has always done best — fight. This time it’s not a fight for the freedom of her wrongfully convicted brother Randy Druken, or a fight for her still-tobe sentenced youngest brother Jody — or even a fight with another family member. This time Donna’s fighting for Gary, her husband of 25 years. “If Gary killed Derek (Druken) I’d be the first to say he did it,” she tells The Independent, “just like when Jody said he did it and I firmly believe Jody did … Derek was a tortuous person.” Jody Druken, Donna’s youngest brother, pled guilty earlier this month to manslaughter, admitting he killed his brother Derek in self-defense. But then Jody’s father, Jack (John) Ring, told reporters his son was innocent, a stand backed up by Jody’s former lawyer, Jeff Brace. The only other identified person with Jody nine years ago today (Nov. 20) when Derek, 33, was shot twice in the parking lot outside Theatre Pharmacy in St. John’s was Gary Reid. Gary Reid wouldn’t speak to The Independent, but Donna defends her husband with a passion. “Everyone’s left with this big cloud of suspicion,” she says. “Gary would sooner go back to trial. Let him have his say. He never ever had a chance.” Gary Reid wasn’t called to testify during Jody Druken’s trial. Donna, 45, sits at her kitchen table in the cozy, neat apartment she shares with Gary. Scattered around her are Polaroid photos taken after one particular encounter with Derek in 1996. The pictures show Donna pale faced and sorely beaten. Derek did this to her, she says. As she speaks about the latest twist in the Druken family saga, it’s clear she’s furious. “I think Jeff Brace is a disgrace as a lawyer,” she says emphatically. Brace was once Donna’s lawyer. He also represented Jody in the murder trial
Donna Reid at home.
but he was forced to step down during the manslaughter plea — despite the fact Jody appeal because of a conflict of interest. isn’t expected to serve any more time in Brace is no longer involved in Jody’s jail. case but behind the scenes he’s throwing At the judge’s request, Brace agreed to the court process into turmoil by profess- send any evidence he had to Jody’s curing his former rent lawyers. The client’s innocence. case is set to “Everyone’s left with this big resume Monday, In a rare legal move last week, Nov. 21. cloud of suspicion … Gary Supreme Court Donna says the Judge Carl twist sheds more Thompson ordered would sooner go back to trial. suspicion on her Brace to the stand. Gary. She Let him have his say. He never husband Under questionsays Brace once ing, Brace said he even implied she ever had a chance.” had evidence to might have been support Jody’s involved in Donna Reid innocence, but Derek’s murder. couldn’t reveal anyIf Brace does thing due to solicitor client privilege, reveal something substantial, a new murwhich Jody refused to waiver. der trial may be held. Surprisingly Jody (supported in court When asked what evidence she thinks by his brother Randy) didn’t seem he may have, Donna is at a loss. She susannoyed by Brace upsetting his pects Brace is just playing for attention.
Twelve years later: the aftermath of Bren
Paul Daly/The Independent
erhaps the most shocking event in the Druken family saga was the murder of 26-year-old Brenda Marie Young on June 12, 1993, and the subsequent conviction of her then-boyfriend Randy Druken. Young was discovered by her nineyear-old daughter, Cindy, who at the same time as calling 911, had to keep her threeyear-old brother away from the scene. The children’s mother had been stabbed 31 times and left on the living room floor of their Empire Avenue apartment in St. John’s. Druken was convicted of second-degree in 1995 and spent six years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence. His case is currently under review as part of the Lamer inquiry. Headed by Commissioner Antonio Lamer, the inquiry is examining how the justice system dealt with three different
Into the wardrobe O
ne of the most memorable times of my life was when I discovered Narnia. It wasn’t as if a lightening bolt hit exactly, it was more a gradual dawning. I can’t really remember when my parents began reading me all seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia, including the famous The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I remember when I became old enough to read them for myself. I think it was the first time I realized there was such a thing as escapism. I soon became hooked and began to devour all kinds of books from every possible author I could find. My friends at school would dart me perplexed looks when I’d occasionally choose to grab a paperback from my bag and slip away during a rowdy recess. I might have grown up a bit since reading about four children finding a mysterious wardrobe in an old English house and through it, entering a fantasy world cursed by eternal winter, populated by talking animals, witches, goblins and a great lion, Aslan, but I’m still a hopeless romantic bookworm with a craving for a fantasy land.
CLARE-MARIE GOSSE Brazen Everyone has a vice, a form of escapism. It could be books, movies, food, music, alcohol, sex, drugs, even sleep. Everyone has at least one method of entering a world through a rack of musty old coats, into the back of a wooden wardrobe and out the other side. Sometimes it can be a good thing, other times it becomes the only thing and that’s when you’re in trouble. At this time of year, with the dreaded Christmas approaching, I find it all too easy to reflect on the terrifying absurdity of the last 12 months. What with freak, devastating natural disasters like the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the flooding in New Orleans and the earthquake in Kashmir and Pakistan, there are a lot of people out there in need of some serious escapism. Some of the most vivid images from disasters like these have been of those too
defenceless to help themselves. Stranded pets in New Orleans, orphaned children in Asia; those are the hardest to watch. For most people, childhood is a happy time — granted, strewn with many tantrums and vows to run away from home — but also strewn with the knowledge there was always someone there to pick up the pieces and maybe somewhere in the house a magic portal to another universe where there was a big hairy lion to kick your brother’s mean ass. Christmas is one of those times when light is shed on the fact that for so many children around the world, this isn’t the case; they don’t really get a proper childhood. When I read an article in The Globe and Mail about a small boy starved to death by his grandparents, or even in our local news, about a woman from Clarke’s Beach who railed abuse upon her own children, I wonder how these kids found their escape. As inadequate as it may seem, a good, solid copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or a Harry Potter book may have helped them out for just the briefest of moments.
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
go back to trial’
quent problems within the Druken family are the result of a still-unsolved bank robbery in early 1993. Donna fought for Randy’s innocence in Young’s murder all along, but she admits she always thought Derek (who had been informing the police against Randy) had committed the crime because Young knew he had robbed a St. John’s bank. Randy, taking his first fall for a crime he apparently didn’t commit, was charged with the robbery and sent to prison for six months. He was later freed — because of Young, Donna says. “Brenda was the one that got Randy freed by a polygraph test,” she insists. “Brenda would have had to say who robbed the bank … Brenda had made it very clear that Derek robbed the bank.” Donna says Derek was never questioned by police. Although Paul has been connected to Young’s murder, Donna still thinks Derek played a significant part. “I think Paul did kill Brenda and I mean, like, they’re trying to say that it’s got to do with she was having an affair with someone in the family — don’t trash her she’s dead — no, I truly believes Brenda’s dead over that bank job.”
Paul Daly/The Independent
When questioned by The Independent, Brace wouldn’t comment on the record. Could he be in possession of the gun, which was never found? “I doubt it, no I doubt it,” says Donna, “but with Jeff Brace, anything can be possible.” She’s so convinced Jody shot Derek that she swears to the fact. “My God, on my children, my grand kids — if I thought there was that much of a doubt, I’d be the first to say.” Donna isn’t one to hold back from expressing her opinion, particularly about Derek — although she does say she doesn’t want to upset her father Patrick, the only Druken family member she still keeps in touch with. “Derek tortured my family, tortured my daughter, in fear, crucified us,” she says, her voice a grazed whisper. She says everyone, including Jody, was afraid of Derek, who managed to constantly avoid recrimination from
police. “(Jody) lived in the same fear we did. The same hell we did.” When asked if she was relieved to hear Derek had been killed that day in 1996, Donna pauses for a moment. “Yeah I was; I never expected to hear it. I was shocked and relieved, yes I was. After this I still ask myself, I mean, what way do I feel about it? I think that everyone, we tried so hard, we tried so hard…” her voice trails off and she looks upset. She says the justice system has a lot to answer for. Although Donna becomes clearly distressed when talking about her family’s troubles, the one subject that brings her to tears is the murder of 26-year-old Brenda Marie Young. Randy Druken was convicted in 1995 of her murder two years earlier but was later exonerated by DNA evidence placing brother Paul Druken at the scene. Donna says the murder and all subse-
PAST PASSION Despite Donna’s past passion for protecting members of her family (as well as speaking up when she thought they were at fault), she says she’s had enough now. “I don’t know Randy as much as I thought I did …” She doesn’t trust her siblings anymore. “I don’t know, honest to God. They’ve been so manipulative in the past … I mean you can’t take them for face value.” Donna says she doesn’t want to fight with her family, she just wants the justice system to make amends. “How can you expect the public to believe anything? They look at this, this is a charade. Bring it back to trial, bring it back to trial.” Most importantly, Donna says she wants her husband’s name to be cleared, once and for all — even if a potential new trial has him as the key suspect. “So be it, I mean they tortured him anyway, they tortured him anyway. If that’s what it takes … well then bring it on. “Because I guarantee, this is a fight, and this will be won and that man (Gary) will walk away an innocent man and Jody Druken will be found guilty in the end. That’s all I’ve got to say, bring it on.”
da Reid Young’s murder murder convictions in Newfoundland and Labrador — Druken’s included. The Independent spoke to Cindy Young (now in her 20s) in November 2004 when the Lamer inquiry was in the process of re-examining the Young murder case. Although hesitant to revisit that period of her life (“It was really hard. It’s still hard, something that I’m not going to get over — ever”), Cindy, who lives in Ontario, did express her opinion of the inquiry into the botched conviction. “It just really makes me angry, what’s going on, and I think that the people that are responsible for messing this case up should really pay for what they did,” she said. “The police department, I don’t think they know what they’re doing.” Throughout the course of the inquiry, it was revealed police based a large amount of their evidence against Randy Druken on information provided by an informant,
later revealed to have been his notorious older brother Derek. DNA evidence later suggested another brother, Paul, had been present at the scene of the crime. Paul died in 1999 of a drug overdose. Although the case remains officially unsolved, the new evidence suggests Paul was responsible for the murder; there are also implications suggesting Derek may have been involved. As the only (indirect) witness, the Crown also based a lot of its evidence on Cindy’s testimony (she was in bed at the time and claimed to have heard voices and a loud bump.) Although Cindy originally told police she couldn’t be sure if the man’s voice she heard was Randy Druken’s, she later testified in court that she was sure it was. “Back then, I really didn’t know how I was supposed to be dealt with,” Young said in November 2004. “But looking
back now and just hearing all that stuff come out … I don’t think they did a very good job.” Around the same time, Druken told The Independent he felt the police “used Cindy.” He said he often worries about what she and her brother went through during that time. “What they put her through, and then they didn’t try to get her any help (counselling) … I mean this is a child. I mean the things they said to her and the things I read back then; they put things in her head.” Lamer’s report into the wrongful convictions is slated to be released before the end of the year and the provincial Department of Justice expects the compensation phase of the inquiry to be finished within the following six months. — Clare-Marie Gosse
A scene from the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia.
I know it’s been said hundreds of times before, but J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, really did manage to turn millions of children towards reading and for that I have huge respect for her. If
there has to be one big, filthy rich writer in the world, I’m sincerely happy it’s J.K. Rowling. If C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) could drastically alter my worldly perception at a young
age, judging from Harry Potter mania, I can only assume she’s doing the same thing for her readers. There’s a scene in the 1993 film, Shadowlands, which is based on the true life of author C. S. Lewis, when the young son of the woman Lewis falls in love with, discovers an old wardrobe in the writer’s attic. As a huge fan of Lewis’ recently published book, the boy is absolutely convinced he’s found the magic wardrobe, the doorway to Narnia. But when he runs into it, he discovers it’s just a regular piece of wooden furniture, with a good solid back. He’s instantly devastated and inconsolable. I guess you can’t always expect to escape, but there’s no harm in trying once in a while. As for me, I’m planning on taking two particularly childish escape routes over the next two months: one to the new film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; the other to the new film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I may not be a kid anymore, but I can still find my way through that rack of musty old coats.
Handel’s Messiah Friday & Saturday, December 9 & 10, 2005 Basilica of St. John the Baptist – 8pm
Douglas Dunsmore conductor Meredith Hall soprano Christianne Rushton mezzo-soprano David Pomeroy tenor Calvin Powell baritone Philharmonic Choir of the NSO
A traditional way to begin the Christmas season—a performance of Handel’s Messiah in the magnificent setting of the Basilica. Mezzo-soprano Christianne Rushton joins Newfoundlanders Meredith Hall, David Pomeroy, and Calvin Powell for this ever popular oratorio. Tickets: $25/$21; $20/$17; $13/$11 Not available at the door. Available at: NSO Office 722-4441 Bennington Gate, Churchill Sq. 576-6600 Jungle Jims, Torbay Rd. 722-0261 Jungle Jims, Topsail Rd. 745-6060 Fred’s Records, Duckworth St. 753-9191 Provincial Music, Campbell Ave. 579-2641 The Guv’nor, Elizabeth Ave. 726-0092 Sponsored by
Peter Gardner General & Artistic Director Principal Conductor Marc David
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
LIFE STORY FROM THE BAY “On Wednesday night at the opening of the new United Church School at Cupids, one of the distinguished speakers, a man of thorough learning, stated that it is possible to have too much of certain kinds of education and not enough of the right kind. We agree. A boy or girl attends school so many hundred days in a year for 10 or 11 years and is supposed to have an education. Are they really educated to the point where they can take their place in the world that is advancing at a tremendous speed? In many cases the answer is no.” — The Speaker, Nov. 7, 1955 YEARS PAST “The failure of the British market for fresh fish to maintain itself should tend more than ever to convince us that our future market lies on this side of that water, rather than Europe. “First there is the question of Icelandic competition. Being situated much nearer to England than we are, it is possible for the Iceland fishermen to rush their fish to British ports in the fresh state, instead of fresh frozen as in our own case. In addition to this, being government subsidized, the Icelanders are able to put their fish on the market and say, ‘What will you give us for it?’” — Fishermen-Workers’ Tribune, Jan. 19, 1940 AROUND THE WORLD “The U.S. Army — some of whose scientists have claimed they could have launched an earth satellite before the Russians — has been given a chance to show what it can do in that field … there were reports the U.S. Army might be ready to go in less than six weeks, after some modification of rocket equipment. (Defence Minister Neil) McElroy said it would use its Jupiter-C test vehicle, a huge rocket it used more than a year ago in firing the test device.” — Stephenville News, Nov. 23, 1957 EDITORIAL STAND “I might as well confess, to me pool is one of the most skilful games I have ever seen. The man who thinks there is no skill in it is just foolish that’s all. Of the fine points of pool there is no end. I mean that absolutely.” — The Humber Herald, Jan. 3, 1931 LETTER TO THE EDITOR “Mr. W. Blackall is guilty of a gross abuse of his official position when he tries to use that position to hinder the work of the prohibition campaigners … that protest Mr. Editor is too thin for a man of Mr. Blackall’s position, tho’ not too thin for a man of his character.” — The Daily Star, Nov. 1, 1915 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The days of hook and line are past — departed never to return.” — Albert Bradshaw, The Indicator, March 30, 1888
Father of Newfoundland radio Oscar Hierlihy 1912-1996 By Jenny Higgins For The Independent
n 1930, a St. John’s department store called Ayre and Sons had a problem: it was trying to sell radios in a city that didn’t have a fulltime radio station. Fortunately, one of the store’s employees, 18year-old Oscar Hierlihy, was an electronics prodigy. He built a small station for the store — VOAS (Voice of Ayre and Son) — that broadcast from its building. Radio sales improved. More importantly, Hierlihy went on to build some of Newfoundland’s earliest radio stations and its first television station — CJON-TV (you know it now as NTV). Born in 1912, Hierlihy grew up in Bay Roberts. His father, George, was a businessman; his mother, Nellie, a switchboard operator. When he was two years old, Hierlihy contracted polio. Oscar Hierlihy As a result, he walked with a cane and a brace around his left leg for the rest of his life. industry soon noticed Hierlihy’s talents. Hierlihy didn’t consider that a shortcoming — By 1932, he got a job building a new radio he believed it helped him excel in the field of station in St. John’s — VONF. electronics. Two years later, he made history by broad“I have always felt that my skill in electron- casting the Regatta at Quidi Vidi Lake in east ics was a gift with which I was divinely end St. John’s for the first time. endowed,” he writes in his autobiography, In 1937, the Avalon Telephone Company Memoirs of a Newfoundland Pioneer in Radio hired him to help build Newfoundland’s first and Television. “I think, perhaps, because of my form of long-distance communication — a handicap I learned to develop a sixth sense.” radio/telephone circuit between St. John’s and That sixth sense formed early. In the summer Montreal. of 1915, Hierlihy heard Morse code for the first But for the first time in his life, Hierlihy time during a family boat ride to Labrador. He found his groundbreaking work was suddenly was three years old and his life changed forev- taking a back seat to a woman named Joan er. Butler. “I recall sitting on the deck outside the wireThe two met at a dinner party in 1938. A few less room, being fascinated by the sounds of the days later, the smitten Hierlihy had to go to dots and dashes, and wondering how the sound Montreal on a business trip. could possibly go through the air,” he writes. “She was constantly on my mind,” he writes. That fascination developed into a lifestyle. “I was most anxious to get back home and get By age 11, he’d already built his first radio (his to know her. workshop was the family’s dining room table). “I knew immediately when I saw her again Hierlihy’s mother wouldn’t let him take a that I was in love for keeps.” radio correspondence course — “She thought One year later the two were married. They that radio was only a new fad which would had four children together — Marilyn, Jim, Josoon wane.” — but she continued to buy him Anne, and John. radio parts after his father died in 1923. Hierlihy’s eldest son, Jim, remembers his Self-taught, Hierlihy’s knowledge of elec- father as a consummate worker. tronics grew in leaps and bounds through his “He worked at his radio morning, noon and teenage years. After he started working at night — he lived it,” he says. “I remember him Ayre’s, Newfoundland’s burgeoning radio doing things like sticking his finger into a cir-
cuit to see if there was any voltage there.” “Dad walked around with a transistor radio in his pocket,” adds his youngest son, John. In 1949, Hierlihy was again asked to help build a new radio station — this time by Geoff Stirling. Two years later, CJON Radio was up and running. Although radio was Hierlihy’s first love, he soon succumbed to a new and irresistible challenge — television. By 1955, Hierlihy built the province’s first television station, CJON-TV — and he did it almost single-handedly, says Jim. “One of the first things they (Hierlihy’s bosses) did was send him to New Jersey to take an introductory course in television,” he says. “When he came back he had all the manuals for the equipment and spent weeks lying on the chesterfield in the evening reading them. When the equipment arrived, the engineers (in New Jersey) said ‘We’ll send somebody down to put this together,’ but by the time he arrived, dad had it done. “They walked in and said ‘You can’t do this!’ But he said ‘I did,’ and it worked.” Jim says that kind of determination was typical of his father. “Lots of times the transmitter would go down on a winter day,” he says. “I remember being a little kid, hauling him on a sled to get him from the road to a building where the transmitter was. I’d pull him on a slide because he couldn’t walk in the deep snow.” Hierlihy’s skill not only brought him public respect, but the occasional perk as well, says Jim. “When the announcement came there was going to be a TV station, all the stores wanted to say that it was their brand Oscar Hierlihy was using,” he laughs. “We had about 10 TV sets in our living room at one point. Not that we’d ask for them, they’d just send them.” Hierlihy worked for CJON until his retirement in 1977. In 1991, he became a member of the Order of Canada. Five years later he had cancer. True to his nature, it wasn’t the illness that was on Hierlihy’s mind — but radio. “When he was in the hospital … friends were still coming in talking about technical stuff,” says Jim. He even tried to bring his ham radio set into his hospital room at one point, says John, but that wasn’t allowed. Oscar Hierlihy died on Dec. 18, 1996 at the age of 84. John says his father was sharp as a tack right up to the end.
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20-26, 2005 — PAGE 11
In the end, Black amounts to little Columnist casts media baron as a conspicuous underachiever By David Olive Torstar wire service
lateralized the foundation of his business strivings. He had the good fortune in his youth to fall in Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! with a tight group of “grinders” — notably long— Percy Bysshe Shelley time lieutenant David Radler, indicted for fraud in August, and later to plead guilty — who negotiator all his renown, Conrad Black didn’t ed acquisitions at rock-bottom prices, then amount to much. He bloviated with a cer- squeezed papers until they yielded fat profits of tain dreary menace. But in the end, he 30 per cent to 40 per cent. proved to be a conspicuous underachiever. And Black was repeatedly blessed with Black, indicted last week in Chicago on eight serendipity, stumbling across trophy assets in the counts of fraud and now faces 40 years in jail if hands of owners with a shaky grip at the Argus convicted on all of them, has for decades been Corp. conglomerate, London’s Daily Telegraph Canada’s answer to the over-exposed Donald and the venerable Southam Inc., Canada’s domiTrump and Richard Branson. Yet the chronically nant chain of big-city dailies. money-losing National Post is Black’s only creLast week brought the penultimate moment of ation of note. Almost everything else was a fleet- schadenfreude — or revelling in the misery of ing speculation, something to be bought, dressed others — for Black’s multitude of detractors, up and flipped. including victims of his libel writs, disdain for It was the glamour of newsminority shareholders and papering and his larger-thanaggrieved former employees of life persona that caused Black Dominion Stores Ltd., whose It has seemed to me to be caricaturized long ago as pension fund his company once the stereotypical Canadian unsuccessfully tried to raid. It since he burst on the tycoon — or, as then-Ontario will be topped only by the day premier Bob Rae once assertis convicted, should it scene in the mid-1970s Black ed, an example of “bloated come to that. capitalism at its worst.” But this is a bad day for that Black is an essayist U.S. Attorney Patrick Canada. For two reasons. Fitzgerald offers a more preBlack had the opportunity to who was miscast as an cise description. The prosecutransform Argus into a worldentrepreneur. tor alleges that Black and class conglomerate, a Canadian three of his former business version of General Electric Co. associates indicted last week or Warren Buffett’s Berkshire “decided to line their pockets” Hathaway Inc. But he busted it at the expense of investors in the Black-controlled up, instead, to seek the fame that comes with Hollinger International Inc. of Chicago. In the media ownership. $83.8 million (U.S.) fraud of which the defenBlack had the chance to eclipse the Murdochs, dants are accused, Black and his co-defendants, Sulzbergers, Grahams and Berlusconis with the Fitzgerald alleged, lied to the Hollinger board and first-ever collection of prestigious newspapers on the company’s shareholders. “They told lies,” several continents, falling short in the U.S. but says Fitzgerald, and when their stories aroused achieving that goal in Britain, Canada, Australia suspicion, “they told further lies.” and Israel. It has seemed to me since he burst on the scene But crippling debt and preoccupation with neoin the mid-1970s that Black is an essayist who con pontificating (Black found more time to was miscast as an entrepreneur. Serial abandon- counsel British and American politicians to repument is his motif, at Dominion Stores Ltd., diate the European Union than to monitor Massey-Ferguson Ltd. and even his beloved Hollinger International director Richard Perle’s National Post. out-of-control expense account), found Black So far as I can tell after years of study, Black hastily dumping papers by the late-1990s. invested a grand total of $500 of his own money Between 2001 and 2003, the company lost more in a business that grew to become the world’s than $400 million (U.S.); and the firm’s stock didthird-largest newspaper empire at its zenith in the n’t show signs of life until the day Black was late 1990s. ousted. Black picked the right parents and grandparSee “Napoleonic,” page 12 ents, from whom he inherited the money that col-
Conrad Black in happier times: the one-time newspaper baron holds the financial section of the inaugural National Post in October 1998. Andrew Wallace/Reuters
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
What’s wrong with winter? It didn’t stop the Liberals and NDP in 1979 when they toppled Crosbie and the rest of Joe Clark’s Tories
n his attempt to avoid an election now, Prime Minister Paul Martin has had his House leader, vacuous Tony Valeri, warn the Opposition parties that they will have to justify to Canadians an election over the holiday season. That Canadian voters do not want an election is neither true nor relevant. I remember the completely different approach by the Liberals and NDP when I presented a budget as Finance minister in then-PM Joe Clark’s Conservative minority government on Dec. 11, 1979. The Liberals and NDP defeated it two days later, causing an election to be called for Feb. 18, 1980
The old curmudgeon (campaigns were longer in those days). The non-confidence motion was moved by Bob Rae. ALL ABOUT THE WIN No Liberal or NDP MP cared what voters thought about the election taking place over the Christmas season. They only thought they could win — as the Liberals did.
It is long past time that an election was forced to prevent the present Liberal party from continuing to plunder the public treasury, as the recent AdScam report and the Dingwall Mintmining severance scandal have amply illustrated. The basic strategy of the Liberal campaign of 1979-80 (as described by their pollster Martin Goldfarb) was to keep Pierre Trudeau out of sight and make Joe Clark the issue. “You win elections on dreams and fears. This one was a fear election. We had to create over time what the people had already sensed, that Mr. Clark was inept,” Goldfarb has said.
This is exactly the Liberal strategy today — focusing on public fears about Conservative leader Stephen Harper. ARROGANT The Canadian political system has been dominated by the Liberals for 55 of the 70 years since 1935, resulting in the arrogant and corrupt behaviour we have experienced since 1993. Such behaviour can only be stopped by an election that replaces the party in power. Just look at the arrogance of former PM Jean Chretien asking our courts to investigate Justice John Gomery! What
See “This is a non-issue,” page 12
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Chretien should do is apologize abjectly for initiating the “unity fund” and permitting the advertising scandals revealed in gory detail at Gomery’s inquiry. It is the result of the maladministration under Chretien — without any attempt by Martin to stop it as the second most powerful man in the government — that has caused Quebecers to be more ready today for separation than at any time since the 1995 referendum. As for David Dingwall, since his electoral defeat in 1997, the former Chretien minister became a golden boy of Liberal patronage. He first failed to
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Authored by Walter Andrews and Illustrated by Boyd Chubbs • Where Once They Stood is a unique Newfoundland & Labrador chronology presented as a beautiful poster. • An accumulation and cataloguing of our history and cultural development, the material is presented in a continuum of time from the ice age to the Twentieth Century, supplemented by sidebars of interesting information and statistics. • The poster is of significant interest and informative to history buffs (young & old), tourists, expatriates, cultural supporters, education developers, tourist operators and the general public. Poster measures 2’ x 3’.
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NOVEMBER 20, 2005
12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
Ottawa’s latest headache
Can Charest and Martin hold their rather modest ground against Boisclair and Duceppe? By Chantal Hébert Torstar wire service
he 60,000 members of the Parti Québécois who handed the leadership of their party to André Boisclair on a silver platter earlier this week are either exceptionally reckless or else Quebec Premier Jean Charest is in even worse trouble than is generally assumed. At almost 54 per cent, the strength of Boisclair’s mandate was a surprise even to his own organizers. While he had started off as the front-runner in the race, it is a rare lead that sustains the kind of hits Boisclair took over the course of the campaign. Indeed, not since Stockwell Day beat Preston Manning in the 2000 Canadian Alliance campaign has a leadership candidate triumphed in the face of such a solid body of negative editorial advice. From the moment he admitted to having used cocaine in his past life as a cabinet minister, Boisclair never managed to put the issue to rest. His clumsy handling of what should have been a manageable crisis caused many PQ
insiders to question his judgment. Some suggested he withdraw from the race for the good of the party. The PQ happened to have a risk-free alternative at its disposal in the shape of Pauline Marois. And yet even the winning combination of strong ministerial credentials and a flawless campaign
was not enough to force the leadership vote to a second ballot. Marois’s gender might have been an issue with some Quebecers but it did not make the difference in Boisclair’s favour in the PQ vote. Voters who will not support a woman for a leadership position do not usually fall back on an
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openly gay candidate. If Boisclair beat the odds so convincingly against as formidable an opponent as Marois and in such difficult circumstances, does he not stand to make mincemeat out of Charest — a premier who has been reaching new lows in popularity in Quebec for months — come the next election? And what of Boisclair’s prospects in another referendum? Canadians will get the beginning of an answer to those questions first on Dec. 12 when the voters in the provincial riding of Outremont go to the polls in a by-election and then in the federal election expected in January. Outremont is a rare francophone riding that has traditionally sided with the Liberals at both the federal and provincial levels. Knowing how high the stakes are this time, Charest is leaving little to chance. He has recruited Raymond Bachand, a businessman who once served as an adviser to PQ premiers René Lévesque and Pierre-Marc Johnson but who has now converted to federalism, to run as his candidate. Should Charest fail to hang onto the riding despite his efforts to stack the
nationalist deck in his favour, the drums will be beating loudly to replace him. After all, the easiest way to avoid a referendum repeat is still to prevent the return to power of the PQ. Meanwhile, last weekend in Montreal Prime Minister Paul Martin delivered a rare speech almost entirely devoted to national unity. By portraying the coming federal election in Quebec as a choice between sovereignty and federalism, Martin is hoping to convince the scores of Liberal voters who sat out the 2004 vote in Quebec to support him against the Bloc Québécois this time around. The Prime Minister will be spending the next campaign in Quebec wrapped in the Canadian flag. That means that between now and the end of January, Canadians will have a chance to see how the current champions of federalism in Quebec stack up against a reinvigorated sovereignist movement. If it turns out that Charest and Martin cannot hold their rather modest ground against Boisclair and Gilles Duceppe, the federalist camp in Quebec might as well consider itself leaderless.
U.S. detainees would nearly fill stadium The United States has detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the National Football League’s largest stadium. The U.S. administration defends the practice of holding detainees in prisons from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay as a critical tool to stop the insurgency in Iraq, maintain stability in Afghanistan and get known and suspected terrorists off the streets. Roughly 14,500 detainees remain in U.S. custody, primarily in Iraq. In Iraq, the U.S. Defence Department says 5,569 detainees have been held for more than six months, and 3,801 have been held more than a year. Some 229 have been locked up for more than two years. — Torstar wire service
Napoleonic over-reaching From page 11 Then there’s the blow to Canada’s reputation. His legacy would not, after all, take its place alongside that of Garfield Weston, Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Thomson and other Canadian industrialists who made good on the world stage, but has instead joined the ranks of spectacular Canadian flameouts along with Robert Campeau, the Reichmanns and Garth Drabinsky. Adding to Canada’s embarrassment, it was regulators, prosecutors and institutional investors in the U.S., not Canada, who brought Black to account. THE PARIAH And triggered the great unwinding: the accusation by Hollinger International that Black and his colleagues ran a “corporate kleptocracy”; forced sale of two Black homes, with another on the auction block and the Park Lane Circle manse mortgaged to the hilt; the eviction from 10 Toronto Street; the return by Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel Black, to London last summer to be greeted by a Daily Mail profile of the couple titled, “Return of the Pariah.” Black once told biographer Peter C. Newman, whom he sued for libel last week, that “I have always felt it was the compulsive element in Napoleon that drew him into greater and greater undertakings, until he was bound to fail.” But for Napoleonic over-reaching you end up in St. Helena. What Black faces now is a bleaker type of forced idleness; and the irony is not lost on him that he once, briefly, owned the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times.
‘This is a non-issue’ From page 11
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follow the rules when he worked as a federal lobbyist. As CEO of the Mint, he cost more than $1 million in salary and expenses in a single year, finally resigning in September, three days after revelations that his office ran up expenses nearing $748,000 last year. Dingwall left his post after 23 months of a five-year appointment, blaming the “firestorm” over his expenses. His character is shown by his requesting the Mint, owned by the taxpayers, to pay him severance — even though he quit voluntarily (in my view, he should have been fired). Gomery’s assertion in his Nov. 1 report that Martin should be exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct in AdScam is not sensible. To exonerate is to free a person from blame. Martin, as the senior minister from Quebec and Finance minister, could not avoid knowing of the scandal. To most Canadians, it seems more likely that it was not in his interest to engage in a battle about these matters with Chretien, which might interfere with his attempt to succeed him. With Lightweight Jack Layton’s attempt to press the Liberal government for a deal on health care now dead, the time has come — the time is here — for his NDP to reverse their acquiescence to Liberal patronage and corruption, and bring down this government. Now, not months from now. A December or winter election will not affect how Canadians vote. The 1979-80 election clearly shows this is a non-issue, put forward only to assist the Liberals in waiting for a time that best suits them. No amount of time in government will satisfy the Liberal lust for power. John Crosbie’s column returns Dec. 4
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 13
VOICE FROM AWAY
‘This place can be addictive’
In spite of the smells, the jostling and the dog stew, Clarenville native and Buddhist Greg Demmons in enjoying South Korea By Greg Demmons For the Independent
s a Newfoundlander working as a language instructor, I encourage my students — mostly men working for multi-nationals — to tell Canadians they meet in their travels that their English teacher is a Newfoundlander. That leads me into a discussion or lecture on Canadian culture and its immense diversity. More importantly for those students, they get to cause a roar of laughter from those who think that a Newfoundlander teaching English is some sort of crime. I come from Clarenville, which only had 3,000 people (maybe) when I left at age 22 to move to New Brunswick to pursue a degree in English. My parents were “come-from-aways” that settled in Clarenville in 1964 or ‘65. I was born in 1966. My father worked for the railway and moved back to New Brunswick in 1986 just before everything closed down a couple of years later. When I moved to New Brunswick, I thought I might like to become a writer. My mother thought I would make a good teacher. I thought she was crazy. Left: Greg Demmons (bottom left) with his parents and partner, Patti. Taken during the Demmons’ visit to South Korea last year, this style of dinner is called hanshik (literally, “a Like many Newfoundlanders who travel to hundred dishes”). Above: Demmons as a monk. other provinces, I had a reputation to uphold. Moreover, when you are a university student, for- communities, including a two-year stint as a slightly annoying to jail time. Drinking is a pasThe jostling for a spot at a bus station ticket merly of Blackall House, MUN (back when it was Buddhist nun at Gampo Abbey, a Tibetan time here, and this has landed a couple of Cape booth, old men and women strong-arming you in an infamous male residence) there is a deeper tra- monastery in Pleasant Bay, N.S. She recommend- Bretoners in jail, as a drunken brawl is considered the marketplace to get past, or newly converted dition of alcohol consumption that must be main- ed I spend some time at the Abbey to deepen my taboo here, especially if you are a foreigner and Christians yelling at you in the subway because tained. I did my best. understanding of the Buddhist path. I spent six you win. you are not Christian, have faded a little. They still Long story short … after the breakup of a long- months there, both as a monk and a layperson. Open markets sell every imaginable thing from happen, but I don’t notice them anymore. term relationship and the suicide of my best After this amazing experience, Patti and I head- the sea, clothing that has obviously be “diverted” Soju, a cheap 22 per cent liquor, and kimchee, a friend, I decided I had to ed to Korea, but we were from the intended American military base cus- fermented oriental cabbage with super spicy pepfigure out what the hell I only going to stay for a tomer, dried centipedes, animal body parts I have per sauce are standard fare that one gets accuswas doing with my life. I Drinking is a pastime here, and year. We, like many oth- never heard of and, probably most famous in the tomed to. The hot, sweaty summer and the bonemoved to Dorje Denma ers, thought we would west, dog meat. The markets are held every five dry chilly winter is a shock to the system the first this has landed a couple of Ling, a Buddhist Retreat save some money and days, regardless of weather. year. centre in Tatamagouche, come home, buy a house Korea may generally want the dog meat issue to However, for those brave souls who learn a litCape Bretoners in jail, as a Nova Scotia. and settle down … for a go away, but everywhere you can find restaurants tle Korean and make a few Korean friends, this Nova Scotia, you may serving “boshintang,” dog stew. I have had it a place can be addictive. We have decided to stay drunken brawl is considered while. It was not to be. not know, is the home of We have been in Korea couple of times, and I thought about my dog for a few more years, much to the chagrin of my one of the first lineages of taboo, especially if you are a for over two years, now, Angus through the whole thing. I mean, I couldn’t parents, who wish I lived closer to home. Tibetan Buddhism to and we have been given, stomach eating cod tongues or cheeks at home and My advice to anyone coming here to teach or foreigner and you win. become rooted in the West. yes, given, a western-style here I am eating dog. visit is to be prepared to experience an interesting It was founded by home to live in by a forThe smells in the streets are of rotting vegeta- and challenging environment. Keep an open mind Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a meditation master mer student of Patti’s. He owns a housing con- bles and garlic some days, sewer and soot on oth- and realize that a stranger who tells you that you who can be largely credited for introducing struction company and decided it would be inter- ers. If you go to the coasts you will find the salt air are too fat here, is merely concerned about your Buddhist thought in English. esting to have foreigners in the neighbourhood. of home, laced with the distinct odour of doenjang health. There I met my wonderful, beautiful partner The hardships of living in a country like Korea jigge (pronounced “dwenjawn jigay”), which I Do you know a Newfoundlander or Patricia (Patti), Ottawa-born, British Columbia- (which fancies itself to be a modernized country remember as the smell that came from my hockey Labradorian living away? Please e-mail editoriraised. She had spent a lot of time in Buddhist but in reality is not there yet) can range from bag after the summer dormancy. email@example.com.
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
14 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
Waging war on Wal-Mart Retailing giant faces intense scrutiny; new film adds to mounting pressure WASHINGTON By Tim Harper Torstar wire service
The stakes are so high, Wal-Mart tried to slip in a spy to see Greenwald’s first screening in New York earlier this month. He was identified and ejected, barely escaping the tar and feathers. The charges against Wal-Mart are familiar, but when catalogued by its opponents this week, they appear devastating. The Greenwald film and various websites and media events chronicle the way Wal-Mart shuts down small businesses and sends its employees to the state for government-subsidized and taxpayer-supported health care, the choice of last resort for this nation’s poorest.
pies and turncoats. Duelling propaganda films and war rooms, backroom operatives and political attacks. A battle so crucial, according to one side, America “can’t afford to lose.” These are all elements of a campaign against retailing behemoth Wal-Mart, nothing short of a continental call-toarms against the world’s largest company. It is the most expensive and likely most sophisticated offensive against a company in North American history, a battle being waged by unions, liberal advocacy organizations, Democrats and church, environmental and women’s groups. For years, frustrated unions have hurled stones at Wal-Mart. Now, facing boulders instead of sporadic pebbles, Wal-Mart is doing something it never did before. It is fighting back, establishing a war room in its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters where the most revered political strategists from both U.S. parties — including Michael Deaver, the man credited with covering Ronald Reagan in Teflon — plot public relations counterattacks. The campaign hits a crescendo this week, with some 4,000 anti-Wal-Mart activities planned by WakeupWalmart.com and Walmartwatch.com, founded by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Service Employees International Union. The centrepiece of the week of activity is the official release of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, the $1.8 million (U.S.), 98-minute movie done by the darling of the American docu-
A shopper leaves Wal-Mart in Tennessee
mentary left, Robert Greenwald. But Greenwald has competition. Brothers Ron and Robert Galloway of Augusta, Ga., debuted their $85,000, 72-minute documentary Why Wal-Mart Works: And Why That Makes Some People Crazy at a theatre near the Bentonville corporate headquarters on Monday.
And Wal-Mart has released a 28page rebuttal to Greenwald, calling him a “failed fantasy filmmaker” and accusing him of serial fabrications in a document it calls “The High Cost of Low Credibility.” The company also held a full-day forum in Washington to explain how it gives back to communities in the U.S.
The case of the missing rum
ROCK-BOTTOM WAGES It details its rock-bottom wages — its employees draw an average annual salary of $13,861, below the U.S. poverty rate — and says it draws down retail wages in this country by $3 billion. Critics detail the unpaid overtime socalled “associates” must work and quotes former employees who watched colleagues go hungry at lunch hour because they were too poor to eat. The company is accused of practicing gender and racial inequality, fouling the environment, employing workers in Chinese sweat shops who are paid less than $3 a week, hiring illegal immigrants and locking them in the stores overnight. It is portrayed as a company that receives hundreds of millions in government subsidies and is the most aggressive anti-union employer on the continent, using anti-union cameras, spy vans and 24-hour hotlines. In a special addition to his film, Greenwald explores the decision to close the Wal-Mart in Jonquière, Que.,
after workers there received union certification. The company counters that employees voted against the union, but certification was allowed by the “labour-backed” provincial government. “Wal-Mart sells itself as the allAmerican company, but it violates American family values every single day by mistreating its workers” Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy said last week. “This is not just a congressional fight — it is an American fight that we should all join.” Wal-Mart counters with some facts and figures of its own. It says it saves the average American household $2,329 per year, created 210,000 jobs in 2004. It employs 1.6 million worldwide (1.3 million in the U.S.) and has 5,900 stores, including 3,600 in the U.S. In Canada, Wal-Mart has 256 stores and six Sam’s Clubs, employing 65,000 Canadians. It is opening 20 new stores each year and it says it poured $8 billion into 6,000 Canadian suppliers in 2004. Wal-Mart in the U.S. last week reported its smallest quarterly profit in four years, 3.8 per cent. In the third-quarter in the U.S., sales hit $75.4 billion. Meanwhile, the battle continues on the big screen. “Our feeling is that this movie is nothing more than a thinlysourced attack ad,” says Kevin Groh, of Wal-Mart Canada Corp. The Galloways made their film on two credit cards. Greenwald says his was bankrolled by two anonymous benefactors, but two others backed out for fear of retaliation from Wal-Mart, the largest retailer of videos in North America. The films do have one thing in common — Wal-Mart will not carry either.
KNOW YOUR ARMY
Good-natured ‘panic’ setting in as province faces shortage of popular brand By Kathy Kaufield Telegraph-Journal
hite Star rum has been Bob Snodgrass’s drink of choice for over 50 years, since he snuck into his father’s liquor cabinet at 14 to have his first taste. The 66-year-old New River Beach man loves the smooth amber rum so much that he calls himself a “White Star man.” He drinks it just about every night, sometimes with ice and coke, sometimes in a concoction of hot water and sugar — “a hot one.” He’s travelled to Trinidad to tour the distillery, and he credits the occasional White Star for his good health. So when he discovered about two months ago that New Brunswick liquor stores were facing a shortage, he felt a little, panicked. “I don’t think it’s life threatening. Yet,” he says. “Yet is the word.” He’s only half joking. “A lot of the boys like that product and then all of a sudden it’s gone and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of explanation.” So, Snodgrass has become a man on a mission to discover why. And like any good New Brunswicker with a concern, Snodgrass called his MLA — Charlotte County Liberal Rick Doucet. And like any good MLA, Doucet took his constituent’s concern seriously, asking NB Liquor CEO Barb Winsor about the mystery of the missing rum during a Crown Corporations committee meeting in the legislature last week. Doucet says he’s been flooded with
over a dozen calls and even more emails from White Star drinkers who want answers. “I’ve never come across an issue like this … It’s so widespread. (People) are driving way outside of Charlotte County as far as Sussex to grab the last of the bottles off the shelf. It’s like panic mode,” he says. A smiling Winsor agrees the situation “has caused great distress among our consumers. It’s a very, very good rum that a lot of people obviously like.”
“I’ve never come across an issue like this … (People) are driving as far as Sussex to grab the last of the bottles off the shelf.” MLA Rick Doucet She says there may be a bottle or two left on a liquor store shelf somewhere in the province but the supply has dried up and she’s not sure why. She says White Star is bottled in Newfoundland, but they can’t seem to get a supply of it from Jamaica. “We’re trying to get it,” she says, assuring Doucet it wasn’t discontinued. Her words were little comfort to Snodgrass, who pointed out that
White Star doesn’t come from Jamaica, but Trinidad. Snodgrass says he’s written letters and e-mails to the company in search of some answers and a steady supply of the sweet stuff. “The distillery didn’t burn down. What’s going on here?” he says. He says the company can’t explain why it’s not making its way to New Brunswick, suggesting it could be a problem with the distribution company in Western Canada. Snodgrass says his circle of friends in Charlotte County and Fredericton are just as concerned. “I had a guy in my yard today practically in tears,” he says. The man was on his way to his hunting camp and couldn’t bear the thought of taking Captain Morgan with him instead of White Star. Snodgrass, who hid away a case of White Star when he first learned of the shortage, took pity on him and dug out a bottle to give him for the weekend. Mr. Snodgrass’s stash won’t last him past Christmas and then he doesn’t know what he’ll do. So how about switching brands? “Don’t start talking this way. I don’t want it to come to that,” he says, laughing a little. “I imagine we will all have to go to Trinidad. We’ll have to charter a plane and go down there. “We want to take this lightly. But it is serious.” He’s hoping some publicity might help his cause. “You’ve gotta help us,” he says. “We’re hoping for a Christmas miracle. Little kids have their dreams. We have ours.”
Indian soldiers practice Malkhamb, an ancient form of gymnastics, during a rehearsal of the Know your Army exhibition in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. The exhibition will be open to the public until Nov. 21. Amit Dave/Reuters
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15
Volpe’s stories don’t fit facts OTTAWA By James Travers Torstar wire service
A Jordanian policeman stands guard at damaged lobby inside Hyatt hotel in Amman. Jamal Saidi/Reuters
A survivor yearns for Paradise Newfoundlander caught in blast cuts short Mideast trip to go home AMMAN By Mitch Potter Torstar wire service
hen a suicide bomber ignites himself the next stop is paradise. Or so he is led to believe. When Canadian traveller Cheryl Fisher stumbled out of the smoke-filled corridors of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Nov. 14, she knew instantly that Paradise was her next destination as well. Having survived the Jordanian terror onslaught with millimetres to spare, all Fisher could think about was cutting short her first-ever journey to the Middle East and going home. And home is truly Paradise — Paradise on the outskirts of St. John’s. “Nothing ever blows up in Newfoundland. There’s nothing to bomb,” an exasperated Fisher, 30, said yesterday during a chance encounter in the lobby of another, thus far, unblemished Amman hotel. “The closest we’ve even been to terrorism is when Newfoundlanders opened their houses to all those people whose planes had to land suddenly on 9/11. “Otherwise, Canada is the safest place in She had just finished the world, and Newfoundland is the a swim in the hotel’s safest place in Canada. And that’s where I’m second-floor pool and going: home. As soon was handing back her as possible.” Fisher, an internalocker key when the tional recruitment officer for Memorial walls in front of her University, was just three days into a buckled. A suicide Canadian-government sponsored tour to pitch bomber had detonated Mideast students on in the lobby bar … the merits of continuing their education in St. John’s. Safety, ironically, is a central feature of the recruitment drive. She had just finished a swim in the hotel’s second-floor pool and was handing back her locker key when the walls in front of her buckled. A suicide bomber had detonated in the lobby bar one floor below, sending a massive shudder through the building. “It was mayhem. Total mayhem. The wall in front of me just sort of collapsed. And then everyone was screaming in Arabic,” she says. “I’m not a calm person. But somehow we made our way out. I found myself on the street, looking at glass everywhere … “All I could think was, ‘Please, let it be a propane tank.’” Fisher spent 90 minutes outside with other shaken guests watching the blur of ambulances and rescue workers. The Hyatt management then regrouped, dividing guests into groups and leading them on foot to shelter at other nearby hotels. Though Fisher describes her parents as “not CNN watchers,” news of the blast reached them even before the reassuring phone call from their daughter two hours later. Cheryl was safe. Fisher was expecting to enjoy a bit of down-time this week, with plans to pamper herself with a mud bath at a Dead Sea resort. And then on to Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait hunting foreign students for Memorial. But that was the old plan. Instead, she spent Nov. 17 as a guest of one of the Canadian Embassy’s Jordanian staffers and planned to wing her way back to Canada the next day. “I just can’t see carrying on in this frame of mind. I knew it was a rough neighbourhood. But this is so unfortunate because Jordan is a beautiful place. I walked around, I felt safe,” she says. “But after this, I’m doubting I could ever come back.”
ith a winter election looming and Liberals desperate to hold the ethnic vote, Immigration Minister Joe Volpe is telling fanciful stories about the success of immigrants that just don’t fit the facts. Volpe, who also happens to be Paul Martin’s Ontario political boss, is promoting the notions that new arrivals are doing rather well and that Canada is ready to throw its doors open to a swelling new crowd. Nothing could be further from the truth. Documents circulating through select government departments and obtained by the Star reveal disturbing results suggesting a ruling party concerned more with national interests than electoral advantage would put immigration increases on hold. Research by his own department blows a gaping hole in Volpe’s claim that within five years those who choose this coun- Immigration Minister Joe Volpé try match the economic performance of their Canadian peers. The There’s much, much more and grim statistical fact is that it now it doesn’t get better. Overall, takes more than 10 years to catch immigrants are less likely to be up, and some new immigrants, consistently employed, enjoy the particularly those in the most protective benefits of unionized politically sensitive family reuni- labour or be well paid. fication class, are too often left Researchers capture the scope behind forever. of the problem as well as the chalWorse still, the newest lenge for a country that increasCanadians are driving big-city ingly must look offshore to meet despair. In Toronto, immigrants skills shortages and stabilize a increased poverty levels by nearly population battling low birth 3 per cent, reversing all gains rates. Since 1980 the percentage made by non-immigrants, a pat- of dirt-poor immigrants has risen tern repeating in Montreal and from about the national average of Vancouver. 17 per cent to over 20 per cent, No matter what Volpe claims, while the trend for non-immithe bottom line is that in major grants is happily tracking down to urban centres, the ones that attract 14.3 per cent. most new arrivals, low-income If it weren’t for politics, Volpe’s rates rose between 1990 and 2000 peculiar policies and pronouncefor one big reason — increases in ments would be baffling. In April, immigrant poverty. Across the he announced Ottawa would triple country, more than 35 per cent of the acceptance of parents and those who had lived here five grandparents, one of the most years or less by 2000 were earn- politically attractive but worst ing low incomes. performing groups, and then in a
series of media leaks promoted what was expected to be a wellreceived 40 per cent jump in overall immigration. Most remarkable is Volpe’s reference to studies that show new immigrants make a slower economic start than native-born Canadians, “but after five years they do catch up and surpass them.” There’s been a lot of backtracking since the minister astonished experts with that claim, as well as his plan to pump more people into an already overflowing pipeline. Stephen Heckbert, Volpe’s communications chief, now says the minister was referring only to the most successful economic immigrant group and that the current priority isn’t to increase levels from about 235,000 to 328,000 annually but to fix the system. This week’s pre-election minibudget promises $1.3 billion over five years to support resettlement
programs now falling far short. But internal documents make it clear Liberals are throwing money at a problem the government doesn’t fully understand. Questions about why immigrants fare so poorly outstrip answers. Equally worrying, there is no reason to believe that Ottawa has any immediate hope of matching applicant skills to labour market demands or channelling immigrants to regions that current residents are abandoning. What this country needs is a thoughtful policy overhaul, not a sudden influx of immigrants whose great expectations are certain to crash headlong into the harsh realities of unrecognized credentials, low incomes and a future as part of an entrenched urban underclass. To bring people here with empty promises is cruel. Canada needs new immigrants but they must be able to contribute more than keeping wages low and reelecting Liberals who lean on them to control hotly contested candidate nominations and win constituencies with high ethnic concentration. If that seems too cynical to be credible, consider this: Liberals in the ’90s made the politically popular decision to increase family immigrants and throw millions at the backlog while knowing that group lags economically and strains social services. Volpe’s stories are so out of whack with his department’s research and Canadian realities that voters should be putting tough questions to Paul Martin. A good first query would be why he gave one minister two jobs that should be kept far apart — immigration and political responsibility for Ontario, the province Liberals must hold to keep power? Then they could demand that the federal government designs and debates a strategy with a reasonable chance of again making Canada a promised land. Anything less is just a fantasy with real-life power to ruin lives.
16 • INDEPENDENTWORLD
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20-26, 2005 — PAGE 17
The 510 Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s.
‘Best kept secret’ Cadets have long been a part of the lives of Newfoundlanders; now more than 4,500 members of air, sea and army corps
By Darcy MacRae The Independent
oining cadets is a great way to build confidence, social skills and prepare for life after high school. Just ask Jackie Maddicks, a former cadet who went on to join the military reserve. Maddicks, a lieutenant with the 510 Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in St. John’s, first joined the program when she was 12. Now 23, Maddicks says she didn’t know much about cadets when she first checked it out, and had no intention of becoming a long-term member. But like the 4,500 kids across Newfoundland and Labrador who
are members of air, army and sea cadets, Maddicks quickly found herself drawn to the program. “I loved the respect aspect. You mature so much faster by being in cadets because you learn skills such as leadership and professionalism, skills that are not necessarily taught in school,” Maddicks tells The Independent. “We have cadets who are 16 years old who can fly planes — they can’t drive a car yet but they can fly planes. “Cadets is the best kept secret.” Cadets Canada strives to provide dynamic and structured activities for the nation’s youth between the ages of 12 and 18. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are 90 cadet corps (air, sea, army) spread across the province.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Once a week during the academic school year, cadet corps meet for classroom sessions where they learn about everything from how an airplane works to the proper way to greet a fellow officer. The classes stress developing leadership skills, self-discipline (there is zero tolerance regarding drinking, drugs and smoking) and citizenship skills. The training is not only useful during a meeting, says Maddicks, but also during every day activities. “The cadet program motto is to learn, serve and advance,” she says. “In civilian life, I automatically walk into work and know how to act around people and how to approach certain people. It’s great to put on a resume. It helps create professionalism.” During a recent Thursday night meeting at St. Bonaventure’s College, the 510 Lions Air Cadets hurried into classrooms dressed in
their blue uniforms — the same type of uniform worn by Canadian soldiers — to prepare for the evening’s lessons. They marched up the stairs in an orderly fashion, demonstrating the control and discipline expected of air, sea and army cadets. Once they entered the classrooms, their instructors were not much older than the students. As is the custom, cadets teach cadets. Maddicks says having teenagers a few years older than their students helps create leadership abilities for the teacher and gives the pupils goals they can work towards. “It boosts their confidence so much,” Maddicks says. “When you come in at 12 years old, it can be intimidating at first. But then you see a 16- or 17-year-old running the show, you start setting goals for See “I can be that,” page 22
‘Connected to the place’ Dave d’Entremont left St. John’s once, and never will again
By Darcy MacRae The Independent
ave d’Entremont’s second move to St. John’s turned out to be permanent. When he stepped off the plane more than 30 years ago, he was on a vacation from Toronto. D’Entremont had no idea he would soon become a life-long resident. “I’m connected to the place now,” he tells The Independent. “I developed roots and realized how special this place is.” D’Entremont grew up in Halifax and moved to St. John’s with his parents during his senior year of high school. But after graduating from Brother Rice, he left days later for Ontario. He
worked at a number of jobs, including a bakery and a nickel mine. But after coming to Newfoundland for a vacation, he realized the place he left years earlier wasn’t such a bad spot after all. Of course, it didn’t hurt that during the trip he met the woman he would one day marry. Since 1975 d’Entremont and his wife Mary have operated Long’s Hill Convenience in St. John’s — a traditional corner store. Through talking with the various individuals who come through the door on a daily basis and spending his free time getting to know the city, d’Entremont realized how much more comfortable he was in St. John’s than Toronto. “The people and the pace of life,” the
58-year-old says when asked his favourite aspects of Newfoundland culture. “The people are very genuine. “The air is cleaner here, you can go to the country and relax.” As the owner and operator of a busy corner store, d’Entremont doesn’t have much time to relax. He admits that had he chosen another profession, he might be retired by now. That said, he insists life as a shop keeper in St. John’s is a lot of fun. “It isn’t the hours of work that I like, I’ll tell you that,” he says with a laugh. “But the sense of being self-employed is always good.” Perhaps the greatest part of owning a See “From every spectrum,” page 19
Paul Daly/The Independent
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
RYAN DAVIS Photographer
yan Davis’ latest exhibition of photographs is the edited result of some 90 rolls of film, shot over more than two years of travel and two separate trips to India, China, and Southeast Asia. The shots are colourful, warm, and full of personality, telling stories of adventure and people met in jungles and big cities, markets and monasteries. “When I see them, I see memories,” says Davis, looking around the walls of the Sprout restaurant in downtown St. John’s, where his photographs will hang for the next two months. “I’ve had an interaction with almost all the people in the pictures and they’re really great memories … I feel I somehow got the best, or the best in what I saw in them came out in the photos.” On both of Davis’ two lengthy trips, he left his native Newfoundland with a one-way ticket
and little in the way of agenda. His last voyage lasted a year and a half: six months in India, six months in Thailand, three months in Laos, and then back to India. He spent three weeks studying yoga, 10 days learning to bellydance, went into a silent retreat … but the highlight was living three months with an Indian family. “On my other travels, it was really great to move around and see lots of things but you’re only just scratching the surface,” he says. “There, I got in a little deeper. “They really brought me in, I spent the days shoveling (manure), watering the flowers, and I always had to let the chickens out in the morning and they’d run off and they’d come back 6 p.m. on the dot, run up the stairs and jump into their box.” Davis’ stories are endless and delightful, proof of his curiosity, thirst for adventure and ability to communicate across language barri-
ers. Before setting out overseas, Davis graduated from Concordia with a degree in communication studies. He specialized in television production and documentary — his skills in photography were gained through trial and error and the inspiration provided by new sights and sounds. Davis says his desire to travel was helped along by his parents who told stories, hung maps on his walls, and gave him a childhood game called Globetrotters — a game of adventure
complete with travellers’ cheques and airline tickets. “Now I’m understanding why I had this impulse to go off,” Davis says. “My mom travelled when she was young and knows what it’s like and how it’s a great thing.” These days, Davis is working in St. John’s, teaching yoga, belly dancing (“at home only”) — and resting. “India really wore me out,” he says. He plans to mount another exhibition next spring, and maybe even stay put at home for a while.
“I know with the last show, people felt very much moved to go see somewhere new,” he says. “I feel there’s a lot of joy in a lot of these photos. They’re not dark and there’s not much sadness in them, because my interactions were quite happy and pleasant. “I’m hoping it’ll put a smile on people’s faces, if anything.” For more, visit www.alchemyofmotion.com or stop by the Sprout Restaurant, Duckworth Street. — Stephanie Porter
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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You are ready for this, head edged into the wind that rips leaves from trees, topples restaurant road signs, twists your matted hair into furious motion. You curl one finger around a stray pen in your pocket and think of all the words that have fallen in between the minutes, the hours and days that have passed. It is raining now and the drops are finding new ways to touch flesh, strafing under the lips of umbrellas to strike the face, soaking your hair into fine points lancing out in all directions. And all you can do is grip down on the gust with your teeth and keep moving, tough pavement coming up to meet the soles of your shoes — sharp raining teaching you the exact shape of the wind. From the 2003 book Scarecrow, by Mark Callanan.
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NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19
‘From every spectrum of the world’
From page 17
Shawn Flynn is one of the exhibitors at the annual Fine Craft and Design Fair, at the Convention Centre in St. John’s until Nov. 20. Paul Daly/The Independent
Meandering, lifeless, pointless Tim Conway says 50 Cent’s story endlessly boring; Derailed not much better Derailed Starring Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston and Vincent Cassel 110 min. (out of four)
TIM CONWAY Film score
ectic mornings seem to be the her participation in the film has been norm at the Schine household, played up to the extent we’d hardly where Charles and Deanna are expect anyone else to have a sizeable rushing to get ready for work while role. As it is, her screen time becomes daughter Amy needs help with a book fairly limited halfway through the picreport. Today is a little more frantic ture, a potential source of dissatisfacthan usual, and with the extra hustle, tion with some viewers, a blessing for Charles arrives at the train station just others. in time to miss his usual run. The greatest disappointment, howevMore than 20 minutes later, well er, is how unremarkable the film is. We under way on the next available train, have the typical Hitchcock scenario of Charles’ misfortune begins to flourish. an ordinary guy finding himself trapped When the conductor asks to punch his in extraordinary circumstances, with a ticket, he discovers, to his embarrass- plot that borrows heavily from the film ment, that he has forgotten to purchase noir era of the last century, yet the one. To further complicate the situa- whole thing comes across like the cinetion, easily rectified with cash, Deanna matic equivalent of store-bought white had emptied his wallet just before she sliced bread. left for work. Already late, Charles The novel receives high praise, and must get off at the next stop, and buy a the couple of pages I found on-line ticket for the next train. were a captivating read, and I wouldn’t To his rescue comes the attractive be surprised to hear that the screenplay young woman who has commanded the itself is a real page-turner. The irony of attention of the car’s male passengers the novel’s lacklustre transition to film since they left the station, and without a is that Siegel and novelist James fuss, she offers to Patterson (Kiss the cover his passage. A Girls, Along Came a grateful, and perhaps Spider) are supposedThe greatest disapcurious and hormonly mutually fond of ally affected, Charles one another’s work, pointment is how moves to the seat and the big screen opposite her, offering unremarkable the film incarnations of the lathis thanks, and reaster’s works are only is … the whole thing marginally better than surance that he will pay her back. — if you’re comes across like the average Of course, repaying looking for a thriller, her kindness means a cinematic equivalent of either will do the job. subsequent meeting. Although there are If these attractive india few moments in the store-bought white viduals were both sinfilm that are startling, sliced bread. gle, we’d be rooting shocking, surprising, for such a rendezvous, and downright brutal, but knowing that each is married, we’re they play out like the usual tools of the aware that any future encounter genre. Likewise, Vincent Cassel probetween the two brings them one step vides the picture with a nasty villain, closer to trouble. What we, and they, yet we get the feeling he’s capable of so don’t anticipate is the extent of the peril much more if challenged. that lies ahead. A movie titled Derailed sets itself up Based on advertising executive for innumerable bad puns when it putJames Siegel’s popular novel of the ters along like this one, and we’ll spare same name, Derailed features Clive the cheap shots. What is more signifiOwen in the role of Charles Schine, and cant is that a story and cast that has so Jennifer Aniston as Lucinda Harris, the much potential only works when the “other woman” Charles meets on the right craftsman can skillfully maniputrain. Owens’ increasing number of late the elements on screen with one fans can appreciate his efforts here, hand, and the audience with the other. although he’s still not completely conIn the case of Derailed, everyone vincing as a guy who can be so easily behind the scenes seems to have thrown bullied. their hands in the air and left the story Fans of Jennifer Aniston have a little to play out in spite of itself, and the more to gripe about, especially since audience to bear the results.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Joy Bryant 134min. (out of four) Despite its failings, Derailed tells a story at an acceptable pace, and like the adaptations of James Patterson’s novels, serves up a basic thriller if you’re in the mood for it. Get Rich or Die Tryin’, however, moves at a glacier’s gait, and by the end, two hours feels like four, especially since most of us already know which of the two choices presented in the title, wins out. Loosely based on the life of rap superstar 50 Cent, featuring the man himself in the lead role, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is sure to find its fans. But the guy’s story, whether real or fictionalized, could have played out much better than this. First off, the film comes to us from generally the same place as 8 Mile, a successful film on many levels. The forces that be, figuring that lightning can strike twice, take a second kick at the cashbox with 50 Cent’s story, though this time without writer/director Curtis Hanson. Six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father) is hired only to direct the film, despite that a majority of his Oscar nods have come from writing, and his two nominations for best director were for films that he had at least a co-writer credit. The screenwriter, Terence Winter, is a celebrated professional with years of experience, in television. Winner of two Emmys for his work on The Sopranos, there’s no doubt that the guy can stitch a few scenes together on paper. Until now, however, he has always had the luxury of having audiences “tune in next week for the continuing story...” Up to this point, we have no one comfortably settled into his or her usual working conditions, and to this we add a first time acting performance by 50 Cent. Say no more. The result is the meandering, lifeless, pointless, and seemingly endless journey that is Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Sure, there are worse bio-pics out there, but the powers behind this one should have resisted the urge to get rich for a little while longer, and at least waited until Sheridan could have some time with the screenplay. Tim Conway operates Capital Video in Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His column returns Dec. 4.
corner store in the city, d’Entremont says, is getting to know the variety of people who come through the door at Long’s Hill Convenience. He says they come from every walk of life, and each one makes an impression that affects d’Entremont in one way or another. “They’re from every spectrum of the world,” he says. “It’s educational. It gives you a different reflection on life I suppose.” D’Entremont does indeed meet people from different backgrounds, including hard cases. Just last week his store was held up by a man wielding a knife. (The man was later arrested by police.) D’Entremont says he has no hard feelings against the man. He says the guy in question was rumoured to be living out of a tent, and was probably just looking for a way to spend the winter in a warm, dry spot — even if it was prison. “These people are in desperate shape. Quite often they’re on drugs and they’re not thinking with a full deck,” d’Entremont says in a sympathetic tone. “We’re so quick to condemn these people, but there’s a lot of hardship. A lot of hungry people have fallen through the cracks.” D’Entremont has seen people who are at a great disadvantage enter his store on many an occasion. Quite often they cannot read so much as a bus schedule, and have to bring what they suspect may be important mail to
d’Entremont to be read to them. Meeting such individuals plays a part in d’Entremont’s passion for serving as president of the Read to Ride Literacy Program, a volunteer program in the city. “I know we’re helping kids, there’s no doubt in my mind at all,” d’Entremont says. “You become more passionate about it as you go along. It consumes you, and it’s a great feeling to know you can make a positive influence in someone’s life.” D’Entremont’s compassion must be contagious, considering the number of volunteers he’s found over the past 10 years to help him run Read to Ride. Says d’Entremont: “For every act of violence, there are probably a million acts of kindness.” email@example.com
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
The Newfoundland and Labrador division of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) assists more than 2,000 members in the province with visual impairments — from babies and school-age kids to homemakers, professionals and seniors. Picture editor Paul Daly and senior writer Clare-Marie Gosse spent a day visiting clients with the organization’s staff to experience life from their perspective.
ulie Gates bounces her ninemonth-old son Brennen on her lap. Unlike most babies his age, Brennen wears a tiny pair of perfectly proportioned glasses on his nose. He yawns sleepily and squints, looking like a small, cute, mildly disgruntled professor. Everyone in the room, including his Dad, Nathan, watches Brennen to see how he reacts to black and white pictures and swatches of multi-textured material passed to him by Robin deVerteuil, the family’s CNIB counsellor. Just a few months ago Julie and Nathan discovered Brennen had a visual impairment. deVerteuil’s role is to help counsel and inform the family, as well as to help Brennen with the challenges he faces as an infant developing with limited sight. “There is vision problems, but we don’t know the extent of it,” says Julie. “We don’t think he can see very far away, but he can definitely see me when I’m this close because he just looks at me and laughs.” DeVerteuil’s role as a child and family counsellor is only one of several amongst the staff at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s office by Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s. In-house and office visits span many different areas of expert-
ise, including adult counselling, vision rehabilitation, technical aids, technology counselling (for specialized computer software) and orientation and mobility training. The charitable organization deals with roughly 631 clients in the St. John’s area and 2,251 across the province; young and old, no matter what level of visual or physical impairment they have. Because Brennen is so young and he can’t vocalize how much he can or can’t see, deVerteuil says it’s just a matter of watching and learning with him as he gradually adapts and reacts to his environment. DAY BY DAY “It’s just day by day,” says Julie. “We don’t really know what to expect in the future.” First-time parents Julie and Nathan already seem naturally accustomed to Brennen’s unique needs. They say he can’t stand harsh light, which hits the back of his retinas too intensely, and he has especially acute hearing and tends to startle at sudden noises. As if to prove their point, a sudden flash of the camera makes him jump and wrinkle his nose. Due to his visual uncertainty, Brennen’s physical co-ordination is
slightly delayed compared to most babies his age, and as a photographer, Nathan says taking portraits of other babies and seeing the developmental differences can be disconcerting. Amongst the multi-coloured toys and visual aids in his playroom, Brennen also has a mini wooden physiotherapy bench, so the family can practice for his physiotherapy appointments twice a week. “If he can’t see something he’s not going to reach out for it,” explains Julie, “and the same with rolling. He’s not going to roll somewhere if he doesn’t know where he’s going to end up.” DeVerteuil says having children’s eyes tested in infancy is crucial and often overlooked by parents. “Vision is so important to their early years,” she says. “It’s amazing how many children haven’t been to the eye doctor, ever.” Julie admits being told to visit the CNIB was a difficult moment. “When we brought him to the eye specialist here at the Janeway and she gave us a referral to the CNIB, I was totally freaked out, a panic attack,” she says. “You hear the words CNIB and know the word blind is in there … and he’s not blind and I didn’t even consider
that.” Like many people, Julie says she used to think of blindness in terms of black and white; either a person could see or they couldn’t. This is one popular misconception amongst many others concerning loss of vision, and deVerteuil says the CNIB is trying to help educate the general public. SCARY THING “It would be a scary thing if someone tells you you need to see the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and your baby’s looking at your face,” she says. “You think, ‘Why do I need this?’” Kelly Hatch, the organization’s manager of client and volunteer programs, says probably only 10 per cent of CNIB’s clients are “totally blind.” The World Health Organization defines “profound blindness” as the inability to count fingers at a distance of 10 feet or less. According to statistics, 77 per cent of people with impaired vision have enough sight to recognize friends close up (blind people rarely feel other people’s faces — another common misconception). At the CNIB offices, clients can purchase a range of tools to better
help them with their visual needs on a daily basis. From talking computer software, books and magazines on CD and high-performance magnifiers, to speaking watches, extra large phones and TV remotes and even little plastic sock-sorters to keep coloured pairs together in the laundry. Hatch says people often don’t realize how independent and accomplished a blind person can be and this can be a particular problem when it comes to employment. “We just did a national study called Unequal Playing Field and it was released last week,” she says. “Even though most blind and visually impaired people are on par with the general population in terms of education, there’s a 71 per cent unemployment rate across the country … the challenge is, from their perspective, employer attitude.” Hatch admits government funding is another major issue in the life of a blind or visually impaired person. Although school and university students can apply for funding to cover the costs of additional specialized equipment such as Braillers (special typewriters) and computer programs while they’re still studying, there’s no such opportunity in the work place.
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
Some provinces across Canada have what Hatch calls an “assistive devices program,” which means local government helps subsidize the cost of the equipment and she says the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of CNIB is pushing government here to adopt the same program. “Really it’s quality of life,” says Hatch. “If you’re a computer user and all of a sudden you can’t use your computer to communicate or connect to other people and you can’t afford to purchase the technology …” Hatch adds most expenses are oneoff and relatively minimal in the whole scheme of things. Lori Shey, a 32-year old CNIB member, is one person who knows what it’s like to have sight one moment and lose it the next. She says she can picture what people mean when they mention colours and objects because her sight loss occurred eight years ago. Shey, accompanied by her black lab guide, Karoo, has come to visit Hatch
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21
at the CNIB’s St. John’s office. She’s trying out a new CD-playing device, which is specifically designed for the special unabridged recordings of books, magazines and textbooks CNIB members can borrow through a national library mailing system. The organization carries a huge range of up-to-date, volunteer-read publications. Shey laughs and says she probably “reads” more now than she ever did. “I never thought I’d be able to read,” she explains. With degenerative sight as a child Shey says she always knew “there was going to be a time when (blindness) would occur, it was only a matter of when.” She admits her vision loss was still a shock — although she adapted well. “You just deal with it,” Shey says. “Some people deal with it a lot quicker than others. It depends on your attitude I think. “Keep moving forward and don’t give up.”
Her words echo the sentiments of several of the CNIB counsellors and educators. Some people find losing their sight much harder than others and the needs of one blind person compared to another can be vastly different, depending on personal lifestyles and personalities, as well as physical requirements. With the help of CNIB’s technology counsellor Penny Abbott, 11-year-old Tyler Butler is about to discover the benefits of being able to use a computer like the rest of his classmates. On a house call at Tyler’s home in Foxtrap, Abbott installs a vocal software program on his computer, because as he announces to his Mum, Dianne: “I don’t want you reading my e-mails.” Dianne laughs and explains he already has about 20 in his inbox which he’s dying to access. Tyler has been blind since birth and although he’s experienced the same developmental challenges as all chil-
dren with his disability — today it seems he’s completely caught up with his sighted peers. He just moves a little more cautiously. Despite this, not much holds Tyler back. He says gym is his favourite subject at school — he attends the local elementary — and he loves to bike ride around his quiet neighbourhood. There are signs around the family’s home, warning drivers and Dianne says everyone in the area knows him. She says the most difficult thing, now that Tyler is getting older, is keeping him busy. “He just wants to be kept on the go. When Saturday comes and there’s nobody around, ‘I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m bored’ … it’s a job to keep him occupied.” Dianne and her husband also have a 13-year-old sighted son called Zachary, and she says the best thing for Tyler has been to let him do all the things any other child might do. “We let Tyler do whatever he wants
to try, he’s been up in a two-seater plane, he rode a horse, he was on skates. He’s more eager to try it all than me.” Dianne’s one particular problem, at the moment, is how little student assistance Tyler is receiving at school (all children with special needs in Newfoundland and Labrador attend mainstream schools). She says government cuts have meant his assistive hours have been declining since he started kindergarten, causing him to either fall back on school work, or forcing him to work extra hours at home. These kinds of challenges are all part of what the CNIB is trying to deal with on a daily basis, striving to fulfill its mandate of “independence” and “equality” for all its members. “That’s what our goal is, that’s why we’re here,” says Hatch. “We just want people to remain independent, live the quality of life they choose to live no matter what it is and to reach their potential.”
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
The intriguing Mina Hubbard The Woman Who Mapped Labrador Edited and introduced by R. Buchanan and B. Greene (biography by Anne Hart) McGill-Queen’s University Press
n The Woman Who Mapped Labrador, McGill-Queen’s University Press — already a frequent publisher of works of Newfoundland and Labrador history and biography — makes available for the first time in published form the expedition diary of Mina Hubbard, the first white woman to cross Labrador and the first person to map the Naskaupi-George River area of its interior. For those unfamiliar with Mina Hubbard, here are the bones of her intriguing story: in the summer of 1903 the American journalist Leonidas Hubbard set out from North West River with his friend Dillon Wallace and a guide named George Elson to travel and record the unmapped river systems leading to Ungava Bay. The trip was an unqualified disaster, ending with Hubbard’s death by starvation on the banks of the Susan River. The newly widowed Mina commissioned Wallace to write the story of the group’s misadventure. She took exception to the manner in which her husband was portrayed in the resulting 1905 book, The Lure of the Labrador
MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Wild. When Wallace announced his intention to reattempt the failed canoe trip, Mina decided to beat him to the finish with an expedition party of her own. The two accounts were later published as Hubbard’s A Woman’s Way Through Unknown Labrador and Wallace’s The Long Labrador Trail. The Woman Who Mapped Labrador is the newest addition to what is already a growing body of literature on Mina Hubbard. It has three main divisions: the first is a series of introductory writings by the editors (Roberta Buchanan and Bryan Greene) under the heading The Text and Context of Mina Hubbard’s Expedition Diary; the second is an informative biography of Hubbard written by Anne Hart; the third major division is Hubbard’s annotated expedition diary. The whole book is interspersed with photographs, while Mina’s diary features numerous maps denoting her party’s position at various stages in the journey. As far as multidisciplinary scholarship goes, you can’t find better than this. The introduction presents Hubbard’s diary within its wider historical and cultural context, greatly facilitating understanding (here, Buchanan’s piece on gender, race and class is par-
ticularly enlightening). The diary’s numerous footnotes explain difficult allusions, offer scientific analysis to supplement Hubbard’s laywoman’s understanding and otherwise bolster and interpret the text (Greene’s notes on the finer points of canoeing are a great boon here to uninitiated readers). Finally, Hart’s biography allows us a view of Hubbard’s life, which provides a unique entry point into the diary’s text. Buchanan, in her examination of the diary’s aesthetic observations of Hubbard’s environment, notes that while “the machismo rhetoric of male exploration culture” typical of that period’s writings focuses on hardship and the harsh nature of Mother Nature, Hubbard “views Labrador as a land of incomparable beauty, teeming with life, far from desolate or empty.” WILDERNESS HOMELAND Meanwhile, an overview of the 1905 expedition by Greene suggests Hubbard’s four native male companions, each quite at ease in the bush, “gave her their sense of the wilderness as homeland, a view that permeates her diary, gives it its distinctive character, and makes it exceptional in the chronicles of conflict that constitute the exploration literature …” In her diaries, Hubbard proves herself aware not only of this aspect of her view of the Labrador, but also of the men’s contribution to that mode of perception: “I do not feel far from home but in reality more at home than I have
done since I knew my Laddie was never coming back to me,” she writes, referring to Leonidas; “But then I have felt none of the real stress of wilderness life. Everything is made easy for me. I have none of the hard work, everything has gone well with us, we have never traveled in the rain, I have had no hardships to bear and at the same time am having a chance to do some interesting work and work which will forever associate my husband’s name with the country where he hoped to begin his work of exploring.” This last quotation is also instructive in its provision of Mina’s motivation for undertaking the Labrador trip. Once
‘I can be that 16-year-old’
From page 17
NOVEMBER 20 • Allan Ricketts art exhibition opening and performance, Rock Crest Cottage, 792 Main Road, Pouch Cove. • Mandolin workshop with Dave Panting and Dan Rubin, 17 Waterford Bridge Rd., St. John’s, 335-7007.
yourself. You start thinking ‘I can be that 16-year-old.’” Once the weekend arrives, cadet squadrons often take to the outdoors for activities. Instruction includes navigational and survival skills, sports, rifle training, and in the case of the air cadets, flying and gliding exercises. “We have something for everybody,” Maddicks says, adding that just recently the 510 Lions Air Cadets travelled to Foxtrap to learn to build a shelter, start a fire and hunt.
Air, sea and army cadets have always been prominent organizations for youth in the province. Even in large centres such as St. John’s and Corner Brook — where kids have a range of extracurricular activities to choose from — cadets have remained popular (Maddicks says numbers go up and down depending on the year, but the number of cadets have been steady across the province). In rural communities, cadets play an even larger role. “It’s huge,” says Maddicks. “I have friends from rural communities, and cadets was the only thing they had. I’ve worked with (rural) cadet squadrons and they didn’t have a lot of extracurricular activities to do. Cadets is a way to keep kids out of trouble. You’ll see them grow that much faster.” Cadets not only take part in exercises in their hometown, they also have the opportunity to travel. Cadets can advance to summer training sessions within the province and across the country based on their achievements and level of instruction. For cadets in their first year, the annual summer camp is a huge thrill, says Maddicks. She remembers taking part in her fist summer session, and recalls it was a major selling point in convincing her the air cadets was an activity for her. “Your first summer camp is what holds you,” she says. “You’re away from home for the first time, but you’re staying with all kinds of 12 and 13 year olds who are also away from home for the first time. All of these kids are from different backgrounds, but they learn to grow together. “They interact, they make friends, and it’s those social networks they make that keeps them in cadets.”
NOVEMBER 21 • Book Club for grown-ups who love kids’ books. Marnie Parsons hosts a discussion of Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, 8 p.m., Granny Bates, 2 Bates Hill, 739-9233. NOVEMBER 22 • A tribute to balladeer Omar Blondahl, featuring Larry Foley, Ron Hynes, Sandy Morris, Anita Best, Gordon Quinton, Neil Rosenberg. LSPU Hall, 8 p.m., 753-4531. NOVEMBER 23 • Folk night at the Ship Pub featuring Larry Foley and Pat Moran, 9:30 p.m. • Peter Barnes’ comedy Red Noses, staged by the English 4401 production class at Memorial’s Reid Theatre, 8 p.m., runs until Nov. 26.
she has arrived safely at George River Post and is struggling to compose what will eventually become A Woman’s Way Through Unknown Labrador, she worries if she is capable of making the book “what it ought to be, something which will live and speak for him.” It is a theme echoed throughout the diary. In her devotion to Leonidas, in her child-like awe at the beauty of the Labrador interior and in her vilification of Wallace, this “brave, stubborn woman” proves as dynamic and captivating a character as any in the history of Canadian explorers. Perhaps most interesting is the sheer force of will that propelled her, a woman in an age when little was expected of women and much discouraged, into an unknown wilderness to travel hundreds of miles on a trip her husband had died undertaking. There is, I would suggest, one last chapter to the story — Mina Hubbard set out to immortalize her husband’s name, to forever associate it with great accomplishment. Likewise, Buchanan, Greene and Hart have conducted years worth of research and writing in tribute to hers. Their labour has produced a text that combines rigorous scholarship with a spirit as adventurous as its subject’s; The Woman Who Mapped Labrador deserves to be read with something of that shared spirit of discovery. Mark Callanan is a writer and reviewer living in Rocky Harbour. His column returns Dec. 4.
NOVEMBER 24 • Andrew LeDrew Ladies Lookout CD release party, Bridie Molloy’s, 8:30 p.m. With guest Jill Porter. • Beni Malone and Marian Frances White launch The Sights Before Christmas, 5-7 p.m. at the Masonic Temple. Performance at 5:30 p.m. NOVEMBER 25 • B.A. Johnston at the Ship Pub, with The Black Bags, The Haters, 10:30. NOVEMBER 26 • The Ultimate Actor’s Nightmare III: Pinter’s Revenge. A classic play staged by top actors — without rehearsal. 8 p.m., LSPU Hall, 7534531. • Mark Bragg CD release, Junctions, with special guest Hey Rosetta! • Christmas dance for people over 40, at The Old Mill, 9 p.m. Tickets must be picked up in advance, 739-5097. IN THE GALLERIES • FLUX and the Alchemy of Motion: by photographer Ryan Davis. At the Sprout Restaurant, Duckworth Street. • Homolka/Medusa by Sara Tilley, at the Rogue Gallery, Eastern Edge, Harbour Drive, until Dec. 12. • Virgin Territory, land and seascapes by Clem Curtis, RCA Visual Gallery, LSPU Hall, until Dec. 4. • The Limestone Barrens Project at The Rooms, until Jan. 8. • Petit Monde, an exhibition of the photography of transplanted New Yorker Nathan Gates, Balance Restaurant, until Dec. 3, 722-2112. • Interior Light, Newfoundland landscapes by Gerry Squires at the Emma Butler Gallery, 111 George Street West, until Nov. 24. • Christmas show with new work from 16 artists, Red Ochre Gallery.
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20-26, 2005 — PAGE 23
McDonald’s on Torbay Road, St. John’s
Paul Daly/The Independent
South coast plant produces fish for McDonald’s outlets across Canada By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
cDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is made right here. The sandwich is a blend of Alaskan pollock, tartar sauce, processed cheese and bun that company officials say has been around since “the beginning of time” in Canadian stores. Since 1993 the fillet found in the FiletO-Fish has been processed at Ocean Cuisine International’s plant in Burin Ocean Cuisine is a division of Fishery Products International. With “tens of thousands” sold every year across Canada, the sandwich is one of the products that keeps the 220 employees at the Burin plant employed year round. Buying fish from the plant fits with McDonald’s commitment to use local suppliers where possible, says Russ Carrigan, FPI spokesman. He says secondary processing for companies like McDonald’s is what insulates the Burin plant from the challenges facing other Newfoundland fish plants. In 1982 the Burin plant closed as a primary processing facility. The plant was rebuilt and reopened in 1987 as FPI’s secondary-processing division. “Secondary processing is what moved us from a fish operation into a food operation,” Carrigan tells The Independent. Another product being produced at the
Burin plant is a shrimp product known as That said, FPI is said to be reviewing Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Shrimp its operations in light of multimillion-dol(the three varities include Jammin’ Jerk, lar losses. Derrick Rowe announced in Island Lime, and Calypso Coconut). late October he would be stepping down The shrimp aren’t from local waters — as CEO on Dec. 31. The company had they’re a warm-water variety grown on recorded a third-quarter loss of $5.1 milfish farms, mostly in Asia (warm-water lion. shrimp are larger than the cold-water The company is currently carrying out variety) — but they make for busy hands a review of its operations to cut costs on the Burin Peninsula. “from the boardroom to the plant floor.” “There is a demand There’s no word yet and we’re more than Secondary processing on whether the Burin happy to oblige,” operation will be Carrigan says of the impacted. Meanwhile, a for companies like American grocery and plan to convert FPI’s McDonald’s is what club store market that U.S.-based value added the shrimp product is and marketing arm into insulates the Burin geared for. While there a publicly traded income hasn’t been a full prodtrust has been postponed plant from the chaluct launch in Canada, indefinitely. Carrigan says FPI had planned to lenges facing other Margaritaville products sell 40 per cent of the are available locally at trust to international fish plants. The Seafood Shop in investors, with a goal of Churchill Square in St. John’s. raising about $100 million. The money While the world’s supply of aquacul- was to be applied towards investments in ture seafood products has increased, the aging Newfoundland plants, paying down wild supply hasn’t. In fact, certain fish debt and building a war chest for acquisistocks such as northern cod have actually tions. declined from levels recorded in the early FPI isn’t the only fish processing com1990s. pany going through hard times. Like any fish-processing company, FPI Down the road from Burin, the future must shop around for low-cost, high- of Clearwater’s primary processing plant quality products to process at its two sec- in nearby Grand Bank is unclear. ondary-processing plants in Burin and For 13 years employee Karen Barnes Danvers, Massachusetts. has been earning her living in the plant’s
prime cuts division where she packages surf clams. Barnes was told last month the work will transfer to China where costs are cheaper. “I was told I was out of a job, but I’m still there for now,” Barnes says, adding she doesn’t have enough seniority to move to another area of the plant. She’s hopeful casual plant work will keep the wolf from her door. While she knows it’s useless to worry, she can’t help it. “It gives you a bad feeling knowing that you don’t have a job,” she says. “This is my only income, I need this job and am willing to work, but that isn’t enough.” For now, she waits … Carrigan says the industry faces a double-edged sword. On the one hand “lowcost producing countries are a threat to our primary fish processing businesses, but using them as potential suppliers to secondary processing helps us shop around for the best price.” Global purchasing takes away supply problems and provides the Burin secondary-processing plant with stability currently not available to most primary plants. The demand for the secondary products made at the Burin facility shows no signs of slowing down. According to the National Fisheries Institute, shrimp leads seafood consumption in the U.S. and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is still popular in its 1,375 Canadian restaurants.
Arbitrator rules against Abitibi workers Fifty-six employees at Grand Falls-Windsor mill to be laid off; no word on reopening Stephenville operation By Alisha Morrissey The Independent
n arbitration ruling regarding 56 workers laid off at Abitibi Consolidated’s Grand FallsWindsor mill earlier this year has been handed down — and it’s against the workers. Meantime, Abitibi Consolidated and its employees, represented by the Communications, Energy, Paperworkers’ (CEP) union, are remaining tight-lipped about ongoing negotiations over the future of the Stephenville mill. Max Michaud, Atlantic vice-president of the CEP, says he’s surprised and
disappointed the union lost the arbitra- making machines in Grand Fallstion case. Windsor wouldn’t have resulted in job The decision affects 56 workers at losses, Michaud says, had a hiring the Grand Fallsfreeze, bumping Windsor mill, as well rights and earlyas up to 4,000 workretirement packages The saving grace in ers in 13 other mills been implemented. in Atlantic Canada. The arbitrator Grand Falls-Windsor … The union claimed agreed the company is Bill 27, which allows couldn’t argue a shutting down papermaking machines market slump was a the province to revoke good enough reason (like the No. 7 machine in Grand to lay off workers, timber rights Falls-Windsor) but sided with the because of a slump in company under cerbusiness broke contract obligations tain job-security loopholes in the with the union, says Michaud. union’s last contract. A shutdown of one of two paperMichaud says that loophole will be
plugged in the next collective agreement. The saving grace in Grand FallsWindsor, says Michaud, is Bill 27, which allows the province to revoke timber rights should the company shut down a paper machine. “We loose Bill 27, we’re going to have problems,” Michaud tells The Independent. “No doubt about it.” An Abitibi spokesman refused comment on ongoing negotiations between the company, the province and the unions. The CEP representative for Stephenville also refused to talk about negotiations, saying the company and union agreed not to bargain in the
media. The Stephenville mill has been idle since late October, despite the fact the Williams government recently stepped in with an energy subsidy framework agreement for the mill. The deal would see the company receive $30 million over the next three years. In an interview with The Independent last month, Stephenville Mayor Tom O’Brien said he hoped the mill would start producing paper again by December. At the time, O’Brien said many people had already left Stephenville in hopes of finding work elsewhere in destinations such as Alberta, with more hot on their heels.
24 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
Snap election threatens $30M salmon fund
CLEARY’S NEW JOB
By Richard Roik Telegraph-Journal
protecting and enhancing fish stocks and their habitats. “The rubber has to hit the road now if this $30-million endowment fund to restore fund is to materialize by the end of the year and Atlantic salmon and its habitats in the begin giving the support we expect to cashwild is unlikely to get off the ground if a strapped groups that are hanging on by their fingeneral election is called by the end of the gertips,” Taylor says. month, says the federal fisheries minister. “Since February, we have participated in Geoff Regan admits it will be “difficult” to good faith in consultations on how the fund get all the necessary should be administered so approvals before an expected that this desperately needed Nov. 29 vote on the federal “The bureaucracy has endowment would be set up government’s political and become operational future. moved so slowly that we quickly to give some relief to “This is one more thing volunteer-driven projects … are now in a crunch.” Unfortunately, the bureaucrathat could be jeopardized by (a snap election),” Regan cy has moved so slowly that says. “I’m very concerned we are now in a crunch.” Geoff Regan that if the opposition votes But Regan insists he’s been no confidence and the gov“very anxious” to get the ernment is defeated it will be difficult to get this fund established. He adds, however, that estabdone.” lishing the fund has been a time-consuming Regan’s comments come as the Atlantic process of consulting with the various provinces Salmon Federation has stepped up pressure on and industry players to determine how the fund Ottawa to speed approval of the fund, first should be administered. announced in the February budget. He says an umbrella organization has since Foundation president Bill Taylor charged this been established and it has tabled a proposal for week that bureaucratic foot-dragging in Ottawa operating the fund. has stalled the establishment of the fund, which He says his department is now reviewing the in turn prevents interest from accruing to proposal and, if it is acceptable, must still be finance the various projects in the region for taken to the Treasury Board for final approval.
Wages spur inflation fears
nion successes at the bargaining table are boosting inflationary pressures, giving the Bank of Canada more reason to continue hiking interest rates well into next year. Unions negotiated average annual wage increases of 2.9 per cent in September, more than double the pace of 2004, raising the prospect that inflation pressures are building. Statistics Canada data released last week show average hourly wages rose at an annual rate of 3.9 per cent in October, compared with a 2.5 per cent average increase last year. “Wage inflation hasn’t been an issue for years in Canada,” says Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns. “This is the first inkling for quite some time.” The 2.9 per cent average wage increase, up from 2.4 per cent in August, represents 25 con-
tracts that cover 126,000 workers, the department of Human Resources and Skills Development reported. So far, StatsCan’s inflation data show that higher energy costs haven’t yet filtered through to core inflation. Canada’s inflation rate is running at 3.4 per cent. The risk, however, is that Canadian workers demand and get wage increases to offset higher gasoline and home heating costs. Firms, in turn, pass along higher labour costs to customers by increasing the prices of their products and services, raising the overall price. And keep in mind that the unemployment rate is at a 30-year low, Porter notes. “That could very quickly lead to at least a mini wage-price spiral, the last thing the Bank of Canada wants to see at this point,” he says. — Torstar wire service
Joan Cleary, mayor of the town of Come by Chance — and a defeated Conservative candidate in the 2003 provincial election — was appointed president and CEO of the Bull Arm Site Corp. last week. Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne has rejected opposition charges the appointment is “crass political patronage.” The position pays an annual salary over $100,000. Paul Daly/The Independent
Region’s cities hit stride Southern N.B. cities increasingly home to wealth, population growth MONCTON By Nina Chiarelli Telegraph-Journal
Len Weeks, manager of Business New Brunswick’s knowledge industry sector, told the conference his department’s most recent numbers indicate an even rosier picture. tlantic Canada’s wealth and population are “The trend is much stronger than what’s predictconcentrating in its six fastest-growing ed here,” he says, of the growth in information cities, driving young people and employ- technology and business service sector. ment opportunities from rural areas, says an ecoThose two industries and Fredericton’s architecnomic think tank. ture and engineering and scientific services sector Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, account for 86 per cent of the labour force growth Charlottetown, Halifax and St. John’s account for in the cities. an ever-increasing share of economic activity in But the province’s big three southern cities must eastern Canada, says a report by the Atlantic keep outside forces in check if they wish to continProvinces Economic Council. ue to prosper, according to David Chaundy, the “Our cities are changing in terms of their rela- council’s senior economist. tive importance,” says Elizabeth Beale, council He told the conference that New Brunswick, president and CEO, who presented the group’s like the rest of the world, is facing the impact of first cities report at its 11th rising energy prices. annual economic outlook “It’s not just oil prices that conference last week. have increased — it’s natural The report is a clear indicagas, coal.” Atlantic Canada’s six tion the council’s economists, Chaundy says energy who have focused the provinprices climbed 50 per cent fastest growing cities cial economies, are turning between December 2004 and their attention to what’s pushnow account for between last month. ing these urban centres. “With higher energy prices Atlantic Canada’s six 40 and 60 per cent of the and interest rates, there’s fastest growing cities now going to be an impact on provinces’ employment. account for between 40 and spending on bigger ticket 60 per cent of the provinces’ items,” he says. employment. Together Together they’ve increased However, Chaundy says they’ve increased their popumajor world economies are their populations by lations by 50,000 in the last predicting only a small slowdecade. 50,000 in the last decade. down. At 34 per cent, the six cities “So far, there’s not much are also home to the biggest pass-through from high enershare of young people aged gy prices to core inflation.” 20 to 34. For Business New “There’s a clear trend towards our population Brunswick Minister Peter Mesheau, the answer is living in urban areas,” Beale says. innovation. As younger people continue to move to Saint “We must face these challenges head on,” he John, Fredericton and Moncton, the economic says. “Innovation just isn’t a process for big corimpacts will continue to shine in urban New porations. It must become enriched in our ecoBrunswick, she says. nomic culture here in Atlantic Canada. Fortunately, there is no urban area emerging as “It’s rethinking about how we do our work.” a clear leader in New Brunswick, says Beale, Yves Gagnon, a visiting executive at the adding each centre is already carving out niche Atlantic office of the Natural Sciences and markets. Engineering Research Council, says innovation Saint John’s $3.2 billion in gross domestic prod- funding is increasing among governments who see uct accounts for 16.6 per cent of New Brunswick’s the value in building the economy. provincial GDP. It has seen the biggest jump in the “Research and innovation in the last year has computer services sector. been an important component of government. A Moncton’s customer contact centre sector added lot of public funds are increasingly being put in the 1,700 new jobs between 1996 and 2002. federal and provincial levels,” he says.
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 25
Former Newfoundland fishermen don’t regret selling fishing licences By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent
ormer south coast fisherman Alphonsus Windsor knew what was coming in September 1993. “There was no price on lobsters, there was no cod,” he tells The Independent from his home in Brooks, Alta. “So I put a bid in, they accepted it, and I sold out.” Six months later Windsor packed his wife and his two teenage children and left his outport home in Harbour Mille on the Burin Peninsula for good. In his early 30s and still young, Windsor agreed to a federal government buyout of his commercial fishing licence. After the federal government closed the commercial cod fisheries in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador in the early 1990s, Ottawa followed up with various aid packages — totalling more than $4 billion. Tens of millions of dollars were set aside for licence retirement — removing hundreds of licences, fishermen and crews from the fishing industry, which was suffering from severe overcapacity. Windsor joined 49 per cent of fishermen in his age group who agreed to a buyout and left the province. “Alicia didn’t like it at all,” Windsor says of his daughter’s initial reaction. “She did a lot of crying and we went through a hard time with her.” The family held on to their outport home — “just in case” — for three years, before selling it and settling into their new lives. “We battled it out as best we could … you know, life without
salt water and trees.” But Windsor felt he had found the land of plenty in Alberta, not the one of poverty he felt they faced by remaining on the island. Windsor and his wife found work with Lakeside Packers (the same Alberta company that was on strike recently for three weeks) and stayed with the company for seven years. For the past three, Windsor has been working construction outside Drumheller, getting only every second weekend off. His wife works nights at the local Wal-Mart; his son works “the rigs;” and his daughter is a stay-athome mom. Windsor gets home at six each evening, showers, eats and rests up for the next workday. He’s busy, but grateful to have a high-paying job. Other fishermen used the moratorium as an opportunity to retire. In 1993, at the age of 57, Fred Fitzpatrick of Lord’s Cove on the Burin Peninsula says he decided it was time and sold out. “I could have kept on,” he says, adding that his brother still fishes the St. Pierre Banks and has no trouble rounding up a crew. “For every fella that goes there’s a half dozen more who wants to.” Fitzpatrick sometimes goes along for the trip. “If things were different I would still be fishing. “Some people sold their life for $70,000 and then needed to go out and make a living, but you won’t find them around here now, they’re long gone.” Gone like Windsor, who, at 46, still has years of work ahead of him. Thoughts of retiring in Newfoundland fade with every grandchild born out of
Paul Daly/The Independent
Newfoundland. But Windsor has no regrets. “We went back this summer,” he says of his Newfoundland hometown. “We wouldn’t move back now. It (selling his licence and moving to Alberta) was a good decision.” While many fishermen have gotten out of the fishery since the moratorium, others like Robin Butler of Foxtrap have recently jumped in. Butler got into fishing six years ago to help his father who was ill. “It takes five years to get to a level where you
can take over a licence,” Butler explains, adding he had to go to school to get to the point where he could take over the enterprise. Butler left his work in the diving industry to fish for crab, cod and lobster from the Foxtrap marina. But it hasn’t been easy shifting from full-time employment to the seasonal, unstable world of fishing. “This season for crab was late starting and the price was down,” Butler says, “but last year was good and I’m glad I got into it.”
Windsor was happy to fish familiar waters this past summer — taking part in the south coast recreational or food fishery. “I don’t miss fishing for a living,” he says, “but I misses that I can’t get it to eat.” For Windsor, home is now Alberta. “Brooks is no longer just a town,” Windsor says proudly. “It takes 15,000 people to become a city and we hit that number two months ago,” he pauses before adding, “I can’t leave now, I’d mess up the numbers and somebody would be pissed.”
Cure for bandwidth arrogance
Newfoundland sociologist Richard Fuchs says Canada needs open-mindedness to help developing countries By Carol Goar Torstar wire service
yberspace was a tantalizing new frontier in 1990 when Richard Fuchs, a rural development worker and a bit of a gadget freak, sent Labrador’s first email message. He was convinced that online communication offered remote communities an opportunity to leapfrog into the 21st century. Nobody was terribly impressed, Fuchs recalls. It took 45 minutes for the modem to connect. But the Newfoundland sociologist went on to become one of Canada’s digital pioneers, using information technology to deliver everything from health services to business intelligence to isolated outposts. Fuchs was telling his email story to Venancio Massingue, Mozambique’s minister of science and technology, at a conference not long ago. It turned out that Massingue, a computer engineer, had been doing exactly the same thing in his country — two years earlier. The lesson, says Fuchs, is that North Americans have to rethink their smug notions of advanced and backward societies, developed and developing nations, First and Third World economies. “We have bandwidth arrogance,” he says. “But when mobile phones converge with the Internet, it will shape an entirely different type of information economy.” Cellphones are already more pervasive in Uganda than in rural Canada, Fuchs says. In India, 3 million people sign up for cellphone service every month. That compares to 14 million subscribers in Canada. “We need to understand our niche rather than patting ourselves on the back.” Fuchs, who now heads the information technology branch at Ottawa’s International Development Research Centre, believes Canada has a role to play in helping poorer nations “climb the wireless ladder of social and economic trans-
in Uganda, Tanzania, Benin, Ghana and Malawi. The more time he spent on the continent, the more impressed he became with the imaginative use of technology that he saw there. He watched a farmer in a cornfield in Senegal get price quotations from the market in Dakar. He watched a midwife in a remote Ugandan settlement, three hours south of Kampala, use distance medicine. “I’m not saying tear down hospitals and put up Internet cafés,” he says. “I don’t want to suggest you’ll eat better if you get a cellphone. “But farmers’ incomes do go up when they’re connected and affordable technologies do improve health outcomes.” Fuchs is reluctant to call Canada a world leader in applying information technology to the challenges of international development. He prefers the term innovator. GOOD EXAMPLE As a country with far-flung communities that have moved from resource reliance to participation in the knowledge economy, it has learned what works and what doesn’t. As one of the first nations to connect its schools and libraries to the Internet, it has set a good example. “People are willing to work with us because they’ve heard we do good things,” he says. “It’s An Indian boy plays with a toy cellphone. Three million people sign up every month for cell service in the country. Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters surprising how much they know about Canada.” As Fuchs looks down the road, he can see the formation.” But it will take open-mindedness and their work. That is what Fuchs and his colleagues Internet being used to boost women’s participarespect for what they’ve already achieved. from Ottawa’s most unconventional crown corpo- tion in the African economy, deliver education to kids in bookless villages and give citizens a voice He intends to display both at the World Summit ration plan to do. on the Information Society, which opened last They will not, Fuchs stresses, promote in the political process. He thinks laptops and cellphones will be instruweek in Tunis. Canadian technology or services in the African The formal deliberations — in which Fuchs will capital. “We’re not going to sell anything. We’re mental in combating AIDS and averting other epidemics. He envisages African entrepreneurs using not be participating — are designed to put in place there to transfer ideas.” legal and political protocols for the Internet. Fuchs has seen a lot of Africa since his mobile telephony in ways most North Americans Government officials from 80 countries will be Newfoundland days. In the mid-’90s, he parlayed can’t even imagine. The prospect excites and humbles him. He taking part. his success in promoting rural development into The informal purpose of the meeting is to give an international business. As founder and presi- wants to be part of it. He wants Canada to help researchers a chance to brainstorm and showcase dent of Futureworks, he helped set up telecentres make it happen.
26 • INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION • 27
Humber Valley Resort, located in the heart of the beautiful Humber Valley on Newfoundland's west coast, is a vacation destination for internationals and locals alike. Comprised of some 2400 acres of forested mountainside vistas along the Humber River, the Resort offers a world class lifestyle not only to its guests, but also its employees.
SALES AGENT Competition # HVR-2005-23
Reporting to the Director of Property Sales, Humber Valley Resort, you will be challenged with the pivotal responsibility of executing property sales which is instrumental to the development and sustained growth of the Resort. Specifically, the role will entail: • Representing Humber Valley Resort which targets international clients and business from foreign countries; • Hosting and providing exceptional hospitality to international investors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe and the United States; • Planning, executing and evaluating the activities of the Sales Department regarding Inspection Trips by foreign clients; • Negotiating the sale price of property with a thorough knowledge of foreign exchange and investments and managing property sale agreements and closures; • One on one sales interaction with prospective buyers and current clients; • Guiding property tours with complete knowledge of all accommodation designs, lot availability and prices; • Expediting presentations and representing the Resort in trade shows or other official functions. All applicants are required to have: • Successful completion of post-secondary education; • 5+ years of experience, within a fast paced international company; • 7-10 years experience in an international environment, preferably in one of our key market areas; • An extensive file of potential clientele who would be of the appropriate demographic level; • Strong sales techniques which have previously lead to proven experience in meeting and/or exceeding sales targets and percentage gross profit margins; • Full-cycle sales experience; from business development and cold-calling, actual sales and realizing repeat business; • A flexible schedule with the ability to work varying hours and days; • An outgoing, confident and influential personality; • Demonstrated superior verbal, written, presentation and time management skills; • The ability to promote something with the enthusiasm as if you've just experienced it for the very first time; • Prior attendance in a sales capacity at trade shows or on road shows. Applications must be received by 4:30 pm Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005 Please quote competition #HVR-2005-23 when forwarding your resume, cover letter and references in confidence to: Human Resources Humber Valley Resort P.O. Box 370 Humber Valley, NL A0L 1K0 Fax: (709) 686 1249 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
w w w. h u m b e r v a l l e y. c o m
28 • INDEPENDENTFUN
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Prim and ___ 7 Encouraging words 11 Nfld. feast: fish and ___ 17 Having branches 18 Equip anew 20 Guinea pig, e.g. 21 Levelled 22 Bouquet ___ 23 One-celled organism 24 N.B.’s tree: balsam ___ 25 Sask.’s official logo: wheat ___ 27 Sask. town with mushy postmark 29 Coton de Tulear, e.g. 30 Not for 32 Velvet ending? 33 B.C. falls, highest in Canada 35 Hither 36 You toss it or sit on it 38 Rescued 39 Tips off 40 “Put a ___ on it!” 41 Itchy bumps 42 The sun (myth.) 43 Wearied 46 English royal house 47 Dog River is its alias 51 Single entity
52 Takes a risk 53 Irish parliament 54 Tidnish tanning time 55 ___-Atlantic (accent) 56 Food on a skewer 57 Part of WWII 58 Understood 59 ___ voyage! 60 Stratford’s river 61 ___ of Short Duration (Richards) 62 Inconsequential 63 A Great Lake 65 The Restigouche 66 Insect that eats into trees 67 Psychedelic drug 68 A Mansbridge 69 Poppy mo. 70 West Indian sorcery 73 Has on 74 Alta. town with statue of explorer David Thompson: Lac ___ 78 Insult 79 Main idea 80 Scrooge’s scoff 81 Libido 82 Golf norm 83 Kind of tide 84 Long tales 86 Hook shape 87 Mob member 89 Pathogenic bacteri-
SOLUTION ON PAGE 29
um 92 Nullify 94 Hope (Fr.) 95 Reinforcing rod 96 Norwegian Arctic explorer 97 Annually 98 Indication 99 Get in the way of DOWN 1 Built off-site 2 Steep-sided valley 3 Mafia code 4 Flash locale 5 Summers on the Saguenay 6 Anne of Green Gables, e.g. 7 Morse Robb’s invention: electric ___ 8 Turn over a new ___ 9 Goof 10 Cdn. identifier 11 Accolade for a diva 12 Italian capital 13 Shogunate capital 14 Hoe 15 Innate 16 Phases 19 A Villeneuve 26 Brain test, briefly 28 Aged 31 Firth of Forth, for one 33 Swiss resort 34 At any time
35 First black Canadian to win the Victoria Cross 37 Auction action 38 Back of a tape 39 Homonym of wood 41 Second largest Great Lake 42 Gumbo and loam 43 St. Thomas, Ont. statue: “___ the elephant” 44 Negative particle 45 Did not 46 Forbidden 47 Closer to extinction 48 Avid 49 Worship 50 Speak 52 Filmmaker Cronenberg 53 “There’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of ___” 56 Photographer of the famous 57 Henry VIII had six 61 Unit of volume 62 Film 64 Wing-like 65 Quantity of paper 66 Robert, to some 68 Spring ___ (frog) 69 N.W.T. park 70 Fish-eating bird 71 Author Clark ___ (Time Lord)
72 A moon of Jupiter 73 Certain hockey assoc. 74 Fall behind 75 Area in front of the
goal 76 Was the emcee 77 Ancient Middle East sect 79 Unforgettable Fox
80 Child (Scot.) 83 Author Bissoondath (The Unyielding Clamour of the Night) 84 Smelting refuse
85 Line of sewing 88 Rocky peak 90 These (Fr.) 91 Kimono sash 93 Econ. indicator
WEEKLY STARS ARIES: MARCH 21/APR. 20 A run in with an old flame leaves you frazzled, Aries. Let it run off you like water from a duck's back instead. Concentrate on current matters rather than what could've been. TAURUS: APR 21/MAY 21 Your ability to see the positive side of things will be put to the test when a challenge arises on the homefront. Be patient, and things will work out for the best. GEMINI: MAY 22/JUNE 21 The impending holiday season has you worried that you won't have enough time to get everything done. Rest assured that with a little help from friends, you will. CANCER: JUNE 22/JULY 22 There's no point in concentrating on what's been going wrong so far, Cancer. Rather, focus on what has been going right. Just a small
change in your outlook can mean a lot. LEO: JULY 23/AUG. 23 Hidden purchases put a damper on your upcoming holiday spending, Leo. Curb that credit card use until you get your finances in order or else you'll blow your budget. VIRGO: AUG. 24/SEPT. 22 A fresh start is what you need to gain a new perspective on your life, Virgo. Relocating or changing careers can provide the boost you need. Just don't run from your problems. LIBRA: SEPT. 23/OCT. 23 A move you were planning on making just isn't wise at this junction in time, Libra. Plus, the deal isn't quite as good as it's being presented. Wait for a better opportunity to come along. SCORPIO: OCT. 24/NOV. 22
When a coworker resigns this week, you'll realize how much more work will be on your shoulders, Scorpio. Just learn how to delegate properly to take the pressure off you. SAGITTARIUS: NOV. 23/DEC. 21 There's no time like the present to mend relationships with family members who've been distant. Be patient because some of them may be reluctant to come around. CAPRICORN: DEC. 22/JAN 20 A fight will ensue between you and a family member this week, Capricorn. It will put a chasm in your relationship with this person, even though you've been previously quite close.Int AQUARIUS: JAN. 21/FEB. 18 A financial investment is too good to be true, Aquarius, so pass it up. Relegate purchases to the
safer sorts instead of risky stock picks or even worse … gambling. PISCES: FEB. 19/MARCH 20 The time is right for some rest and relaxation, Pisces. Get a close friend in on the fun and double your chances for time away. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS NOVEMBER 20 Bo Derek, actress (49) NOVEMBER 21 Bjork, singer (40) NOVEMBER 22 Jamie Lee Curtis, actress (47) NOVEMBER 23 Steve Harvey, comic (49) NOVEMBER 24 Colin Hanks, actor (28) NOVEMBER 25 Dougray Scott, actor (40)
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 29
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 29
Pulling Argos back from the brink
CFL team nearly folded two years ago; will host Grey Cup in 2007 By Chris Zelkovich Torstar wire service
K David Oritz
‘Papi’ robbed in MVP voting By Richard Griffin Torstar wire service
he baseball writers made a mistake, voting Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez as the AL’s most valuable player over Red Sox inspirational designated hitter David Ortiz last week. The fact A-Rod played a position made the difference. The converted shortstop accumulated 16 first-place votes and 331 points to Ortiz’s total of 11 first-place nods and 307 points. The other first-place vote went to Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, the defending MVP. “There’s probably 15-16 offensive categories and I led in 10 or 11,” Rodriguez says. “Being a balanced ballplayer and saving runs may have been an influence. Defence was probably the determining factor.” The Blue Jays witnessed that subtle MVP difference, first-hand, in a September game at the Rogers Centre. On a hard ground ball, with the tying run crossing the plate in the ninth, A-Rod went to the line to field a grounder, spun and started a fabulous game-ending double play. Ortiz never had such opportunities. But does the simple “d-factor” mean Rodriguez should have received the MVP nod? It depends on how one interprets the loosely worded voting criteria. For those who saw Ortiz report to work for the Sox every day, he was clearly more of a contributor than was Rodriguez in the clutch. Big Solution for sudoko on page 28
Papi’s .300 batting average, 47 home runs and 148 RBIs came in more timely situations than did A-Rod’s .321 average, 48 homers and 130 RBIs. While Ortiz was a galvanizing influence in his clubhouse, Rodriguez was sometimes divisive in his own lair, filled as it was with offensive superstars looking for their own share of the spotlight. Does that balance ARod’s defence? Maybe. Some other differences: Ortiz makes other good players better. ARod is made better by other good players. While the first reference in virtually every A-Rod story is to his $252 million (all figures U.S.), 10-year contract, nobody outside of New England can tell you that Ortiz was, willingly, the ninth highest-paid Red Sox player in ‘05 at $5.25 million. He had negotiated a discounted deal to remain in Boston. A-Rod and Ortiz were named in the top two on 27 of 28 ballots by a committee of baseball writers. The other ballot listed Guerrero first, followed by Ortiz and Rodriguez. Guerrero’s first-place vote looks odd, but had that top spot gone to Ortiz, it would not have been enough to put the Dominican slugger over the hump. Rounding out the AL top 10 were Manny Ramirez (Red Sox), Travis Hafner (Indians), Paul Konerko (White Sox) and Mark Texeira (Rangers), then Gary Sheffield, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, all of the Yankees. Solution for crossword on page 28
eith Pelley remembers the Toronto Argonauts’ darkest days quite vividly. The new Argo president, who admits he had no idea what he was doing, was operating out of CFL headquarters because the team had no offices. It also had no staff, no coaches, one sponsor and 3,200 disaffected season ticket holders. “The Argonauts were such a damaged brand,” he says. “We had an awful lot of calls not returned and a lot of doors shut on us.” Recalling those days maybe requires some stomach, but it doesn’t require much of a memory. We’re talking about the winter of 2003. Yet here the Argos sit two years later, a team reborn. Further exercising their newfound muscle, the Argos announced last week they will host the 2007 Grey Cup. Considering what a dud the big game was the last time it was held in Toronto, that’s quite a statement. That’s the same year, by the way, the team expects to turn a modest profit after losing $50 million since 1991. The roster of season ticket holders has more than tripled to 10,000, a feat accomplished without cutting prices. After last year’s startling success, the team sold 15 sponsorships worth about $1 million this season. Average attendance, a paltry 11,600 under the peripatetic ownership of Sherwood Schwartz, is now 30,196. The story of how the Argos came so far in such a short time is in many ways the story of committed ownership, hard work, clever management and a bit of luck. After developers Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon defied logic by paying $5 million for a team in tatters, one of their first moves was to hire Pelley to run the show.
BOWLED OVER As president of TSN, Pelley had a secure job but was bowled over by the team’s new owners after CFL commissioner Tom Wright set up a meeting with Sokolowski. “I came home and told (wife) Joan I had met the warmest, nicest, most impressive man I’d ever met and he talked to me about being president and CEO of the Argonauts,” Pelley recalls. “She was reading a book, put it down, looked at me and said, ‘The Toronto Argonauts? Yeah, right.’” The first challenge, besides hiring a staff and some coaches, was to find out where the Argos fit in the Toronto marketplace. It was a crowded place, dominated by the Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors. A full event team was brought in to manage appearances. Argo players, led by coach Pinball
Toronto Argonauts quarterback Damon Allen. J.P. Moczulski/Reuters
Clemons, were everywhere. There were breakfasts with Pinball, lunches with Pinball. There was an Argo presence at every community event imaginable. Suddenly the team had a presence. Getting sponsors on board was the next goal. It wasn’t easy, but slowly people started to believe. Then came what Pelley calls “fixing the game-day experience.” The team invested $250,000 in dressing up the Rogers Centre to make it look like the Argos were more than itinerant tenants. But the big challenge: putting more fans in the seats. A staff of a dozen was hired to sell tickets, with the commitment of the new owners as their main selling point. It worked, especially when corporations bought blocks of discounted upper-level seats. But getting bums in the seats wasn’t enough to keep them coming back. “We knew we had to sell a football atmosphere,” says Pelley. Helping that was a winning team and a surprise victory in the 2004 Grey Cup.
‘Not sure what we’re getting into’ From page 32 Grand Falls-Windsor regularly drawing between 800 to 1,000 fans per game while Corner Brook has been known to play in front of close to 3,000 fans at the Pepsi Centre. But with just three teams comprising the west coast league, fans sometimes get a little disinterested in seeing the same teams over and over again, says Grand Falls-Windsor general manager David Canning. He says visits from Southern Shore, CBN and Torbay will help keep fans happy, and expects his team’s followers to really get excited when Mount Pearl comes to central Newfoundland. “From the fans I’ve talked to, telling them it looks like we’re going to have that schedule, they were excited about it,” Canning says. “There’s ties between Mount Pearl and Grand Falls-Windsor. (Mount Pearl head coach) Terry Ryan (Sr.) is originally from here.” Berry agrees that adding new teams to the mix will please west coast fans. He says he expects a lot of emotion to be on display when Avalon east clubs venture to west coast arenas. “There’s always been a grudge between the west coast and east coast (hockey teams). There has been for years and I don’t think that will ever change,” Berry says.
One of the few items to be finalized in the arrangement is the matter of cost sharing. Teams on the west coast are confident the extra fan support they expect to receive when Avalon east teams visit will make up for the extra cash required to travel to and overnight in St. John’s during their trips to the east coast. However, Maynard points out that Avalon east teams are hoping their counterparts in Corner Brook, Deer Lake and Grand Falls-Windsor will aid them in their travelling expenses. “We’re trying to do a cost-sharing arrangement with the teams on the west coast where we expect them to draw more fans to the games,” says Maynard. “It’s in their benefit to make sure we’re happy with the whole venture so we can do it again next year. If we go out there this year and they say ‘You look after your expenses, we’ll look after ours,’ well b’ys, we won’t be going back next year. “I think they’d like to make this a long-term venture and I think they’re willing to subsidize our cost somewhat.” West coast teams are uncertain they want to take part in such a system, Canning says. “We’re willing to look after our expenses to go to St. John’s,” Canning says. “But the issue is St. John’s teams want some financial help to come here. That’s hard to do. If we have to help take care of their expenses, we’re not sure what we’re getting into (in terms of finances).” Both sides expect to work out an arrangement soon, and the interlocking schedule could begin as early as December. However, a more realistic start time will be after Christmas. email@example.com
30 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
DEVIL WEEK DEVIL STATS
Josh McKinnon, defence Age: 17 Hometown: Charlottetown, P.E.I. School: Holy Heart High School Last year’s team: Summerside Capitals of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League Favourite hockey memory: “Playing for Team Atlantic at the 2004 World Under-17 Championships.” Favourite television show: The O.C. Favourite movie: Remember the Titans Who has helped you the most in hockey? “My mom (Jennifer McCarron). She drove me to all my games and practices.” What is the toughest aspect of playing major junior hockey? “The travel. It’s hard to keep up with school when you’re on the road.”
NAME Oscar Sundh Scott Brophy Nicolas Bachand Luke Gallant Marty Doyle Matt Fillier Sebastien Bernier Pier-Alexandre Poulin Wesley Welcher Olivier Guilbault Zack Firlotte Anthony Pototschnik Maxime Langlier-Parent Pat O’Keefe Philippe Cote Jean-Simon Allard Matt Boland Josh McKinnon Kyle Stanley Steve Tilley
POS. LW C RW D RW LW D C C RW D RW LW D RW C D D D RW
# 10 12 23 6 43 27 44 18 14 21 5 24 16 11 22 4 26 8 3 25
GP 16 19 22 23 23 23 22 23 23 23 23 18 20 15 20 23 8 12 20 22
G 5 7 9 6 3 4 1 4 3 3 2 4 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
A 16 12 8 11 7 5 8 4 4 2 3 0 1 4 2 3 0 0 0 0
GOALTENDER Brandon Verge Ilya Ejov Matthew Spezza Devin O’Brien
W 3 3 1 0
L 7 7 1 1
GAA 4.08 4.64 3.00 5.06
S.PCT .893 .860 .914 .855
PTS 21 19 17 17 10 9 9 8 7 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 0 0 0 0
All stats current as of press deadline Nov. 18
HOMEGROWN “Q” PLAYER Robert Slaney Colin Escott Ryan Graham Justin Pender Brandon Roach Mark Tobin Sam Hounsell
HOMETOWN Carbonear St. John’s St. John’s St. John’s Terra Nova St. John’s Pound Cove
TEAM Cape Breton Gatineau Gatineau Halifax Lewiston Rimouski Victoriaville
GP 21 19 23 7 23 22 2
G 1 2 7 0 7 7 0
A 4 4 2 0 14 5 0
PTS 5 6 9 0 21 12 0
GOALTENDERS Ryan Mior Roger Kennedy Jason Churchill
HOMETOWN St. John’s Mount Pearl Hodge’s Cove
TEAM P.E.I. Halifax Saint John
W 8 3 7
L 12 1 12
GAA 3.83 3.94 3.18
S.PCT .901 .869 .909
Thumbs down for Link Gaetz By Peter McGuire Telegraph Journal Maybe it’s a good thing that making a living as a hockey heavyweight is no longer a priority for Link Gaetz. If it were the case, the former NHL enforcer might go hungry. Gaetz joined the Canadian Elite Hockey League’s Saint John Scorpions last week and picked up 24 penalty minutes in his first game. We’re giving his CEHL debut a generous grade of D+, only because he got in two fights (the league maximum) against fellow heavyweight Mark Black of the Cape Breton Crush before hitting the showers. To put it kindly, the former San Jose Sharks brawler looked out of place in front of what Scorpions’ general manager Steve Vair says was close to 1,200 fans. He bore no resemblance of a man who once skated in the world’s premier circuit. It is well documented that Gaetz was involved in an NHL career-ending car accident several years ago that resulted in a serious brain stem injury. Now all he appears to have is a memorable name and a reputation. Watching his short, choppy strides attempting to support his overweight 6-foot-3, 260-pound frame, Gaetz was shaky at best. And then when he got around to doing what he once did best, the fights were so staged, they would have made Hulk Hogan blush. It’s not like there was any animosity built up between Gaetz and Black. The league-issued press release claimed they were “spirited bouts.” Huh?After their first scrap, the two enjoyed a friendly chat. It was clear they weren’t trading
threats or cursing each other. There was more nodding in agreement going on than unpleasantries being exchanged. Gaetz was likely trying to explain why he left his right glove on for most of the tussle. “That’s what they do,” says Vair, when asked what he thought of the premeditated pillow-fight. “The heavyweights line up and go, just like they do in the NHL.” Having said that, Vair deserves an ‘A’ for effort. You can’t fault a guy for trying. He has assembled a highly skilled team in the newly formed CEHL with former Saint John Flame Todd Hlushko and Fredericton’s Brad Englehart leading the way. There are other players, too, who have been impressive like Robbie George, Mike Allaby, Adam Nelson and goaltender Matt Davis. And while his heart was in the right place in his latest attempt to provide entertainment, we’re giving the Link Gaetz Experiment two thumbs down. Gaetz, the former second-round draft pick of the Minnesota North Stars, arrived on the scene in hopes of filling a void that Vair felt was necessary to protect his talent. It was a piece of the puzzle he thought was lacking after Englehart, the league’s leading scorer, was manhandled the week before on home ice. “Heavyweights are not easy to get,” says Vair. “No question he’s not what he used to be but like Todd Hlushko said to me this morning, ‘Everyone played five inches taller.’ That’s what he does for you. We were happy with it.” To say he’s happy with Gaetz only means Vair must be easy to please.
Get over it already … From page 32 Stadium (the San Francisco Giants’ spring training site) during the World Baseball Classic this spring. I can’t figure this move out at all. The logical choice would be to have Canada play its home games at Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome) in Toronto, a state-of-the-art domed stadium. I can only imagine the atmosphere under the roof when Canada battles opponents in the first best-on-best baseball tournament of its kind. Chalk this up to yet another mistake by Major League Baseball in its attempt to attract new fans. Get over it already … I have it on good authority there’s still some animosity coming from management at Mile One toward the St. John’s Fog Devils. Last spring an employee at St. John’s Sports and Entertainment told me it was “like a funeral” in the office when word got out that Derm Dobbin was awarded the franchise and it is apparent there has been a steady flow of sour grapes from the losing side since. With the
exception of the coaching staff, Fog Devils employees are lucky if they’re given so much as a parking space at Mile One on game nights. TAKING OUT BITTERNESS It certainly appears that management — not the everyday employees, who for the record are a pleasure to work with — is taking out its bitterness by making things difficult for the Fog Devils every chance they get. For Pete’s sake, the store in which Fog Devils’ merchandise is sold is still called Leaf Wear! Judging by the pettiness and lack of professionalism shown by the powers-that-be at Mile One thus far, it’s little wonder the QMJHL thought Dobbin was better suited to own the franchise. Owens not so bad … I might sound crazy, but I don’t think Terrell Owens is the villain people are making him out to be. He shoots off his mouth, yes, but he has never been arrested or caught using illegal drugs, which is more than I can say for a nice few NFL stars. firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER 20, 2005
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 31
By Darcy MacRae The Independent
ocal martial artists will step into the spotlight Nov. 26 when the sixth annual Battle on the Rock provincial open martial arts championship takes place in Mount Pearl. Close to 350 martial artists from several disciplines — including kata, weapons, point sparring, and continuous kickboxing — are slated to attend, making the Battle on the Rock the biggest competition of its kind in the province. “This is one of the absolutely most exciting sports around in terms of the speed, power and the control that is displayed and how good these guys are,” says Mike Foley Sr., event organizer and promoter. “It’s really something to watch. There are some unbelievable skills shown. The guys are strong, fast, tough athletes.” Competitors will be of all ages, but the main attraction will be the black belts. Of particular interest to those in attendance — more than 600 fans are expected to cram into the Mount Pearl Intermediate School gym on fight night — are local black belts Tommy Hawco, Sean Hunt, Steve Ryan, and Foley’s sons Mike Jr. and Jason. WORLD CLASS “These guys are national and world class,” Foley Sr. tells The Independent. “These are people who’ve done a fair bit of overseas competition.” Hawco and Hunt each claimed medals at the 2004 WPKA World Kickboxing Championships in Greece. Hawco, 21 and from St. John’s, won a silver in semi-contact while Hunt, a 22year-old Spaniard’s Bay-native, won two silver medals — one for continuous kick boxing and the other for point fighting. Although both men are world-class competitors, they are not assured success at the Battle on the Rock. They say black belt fighters from the Avalon and the rest of the province have trained diligently for many years and are capable athletes.
Sean Hunt and Tommy Hawco.
Biggest martial arts competition in province creating ‘major buzz’; world-class competitors set to clash “Everyone is really strong at this level,” Hunt says. “A lot of training and conditioning has gone into it. In terms of a broader picture, a lot of the competitors at the battle have won provincially, nationally and internationally.” Throughout the day of the event, combatants of various ages and levels will take to the mats in search of victory, but Hawco and Hunt are expected to be the major drawing card.
Allison denies rift with Quinn
espite a series of denials last week, the issue of Jason Allison’s ice time is threatening to become a major distraction for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Allison, coach Pat Quinn and GM John Ferguson Jr., all disputed reports that say the big centre went to the general manager to press his case for more playing time. “No, I didn’t go to him (Ferguson),” says Allison, who has acknowledges approaching Quinn two weeks ago to ask for an expanded role. “That is false,” says Ferguson. “I will unequivocally tell you it did not happen.” However, a source told the Toronto Star that Allison did indeed trump Quinn by taking his request for more ice time to Ferguson. The source also says that Allison’s agent, Eustace King, has been phoning teams to tell them Allison might be available in a trade. The repeated questions about “Icegate” created a major headache last week for a Leafs team trying to climb the Eastern Conference standings. Quinn, flatly denying reports that Allison “went over his head,” was fuming at suggestions the Allison affair had exposed a rift between coach and GM. “It’s factually incorrect,” Quinn says. “They (media) throw garbage out there and here I am having to answer questions about it. It’s a shame in (the
Paul Daly/The Independent
media) someone can throw that up on a wall and it sticks. It’s been a five-day story here and there’s nothing to it.” Both Allison and Ferguson denied that the player had challenged his coach’s decision. “In Toronto, these are the stories you hear here. What happened and what was reported are two different things. Someone ran with it and quite frankly, I’m (mad) I have to comment on it,” Allison says. Allison, though, remains more in the spotlight than any other Leaf in these salary-cap-conscious days in the NHL. The veteran centre is third in team scoring but will earn up to $4.5 million (U.S.) this season if he realizes all his performance bonuses. There have been suggestions the Leafs were interested in sending Allison to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were eager to acquire a big forward after losing Rick Nash to injury. That door seemingly closed when the Blue Jackets acquired Sergei Fedorov and his $6 million salary on Nov. 15. Allison is miffed by the growing number of stories about his unhappiness as a Leaf and his desire for more ice time. While he did approach Quinn, both sides say the meeting was amicable and centred on how Allison could increase his contributions to the team. — Torstar wire service
“The major buzz is for the black belt level,” Foley Sr. says. “These people have some tough competition.” Hawco says when the black belts take to the mats, the 600 fans expected to be in attendance (the past five competitions have drawn similar numbers) should really get into the combat. “It’s what a lot of people try to stick around and watch,” Hawco says. “The kickboxing division is growing rapidly.
A lot of people are really getting interested in it. With point fighting, all the other rings are shut down just for this main event and everybody gets into it.” In addition to fighters from Newfoundland and Labrador, Hunt and Hawco may also be opposed by martial artists from the mainland. In past years, up to 30 combatants from Ontario and Quebec made their way to St. John’s for Battle on the Rock. As of The
Independent’s press deadline, Foley Sr. wasn’t sure how many mainland fighters will attend this year’s event. He does say a group from Ontario has expressed serious interest in making the trip. The calibre of the mainland athletes is always high, says Hawco. He points out that if a martial artist is willing to travel from Ontario to Newfoundland for a single competition, he’s likely quite capable of handling himself. “They give us a good run for our money,” Hawco says. “They have different fighting styles; they bring a whole different level of competition. They’ve travelled to international competitions on a regular basis. They bring a different aspect of the sport.” In addition to the one-on-one combat, the show will include several martial arts displays. Among the more eyecatching events will be kata (an exciting display of detailed patterns of defence and attack movements practiced either solo or in pairs), with Foley’s son Jason again expected to woo the audience. “It’s one of those things to rev up the audience because it looks really good,” Hawco says. Although the black belts will be the main attraction, the young competitors should also impress the audience, says Hawco. Along with Hunt, Ryan, and Jason and Mike Foley Jr., Hawco is an instructor at Foley Sr.’s martial arts schools in the greater St. John’s area. Hawco sees first hand the development of the region’s up-and-coming martial artists, and says he’s looking forward to watching how they fare at the Battle on the Rock. “A lot of the kids are really good and they’re coming up pretty quickly.” Hunt adds he will make time to watch his students at the competition. “I love to compete, but I really enjoy watching as well,” he says. “You can’t help but love it. You’re rooting for them from the side. They’re trying to do their best and you’re hoping they come out on top.” email@example.com
SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20-26, 2005 — PAGE 32
The Deer Lake Red Wings and CBN Cee-Bee Stars during last spring’s Herder Memorial finals.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Back in the game East and west coast senior hockey leagues to play interlocking schedule this winter; gearing up next year for provincial league By Darcy MacRae The Independent
he first steps toward the formation of a provincial senior hockey league appear to be under way. Although it won’t happen this season, news that the West Coast Senior Hockey League and Avalon East Senior Hockey League are finalizing a schedule to play interlocking regular season games this year indicates such a league may be a possibility for the 2006-07 campaign. “Down the road that’s probably the way senior hockey is going to go — provincial again,” says Art Berry, president of the West Coast Senior Hockey League. “That’s what it’s gearing up to be. This (the interlocking schedule) is a test to see what kind of fans we can draw, what kind of interest is there.” There hasn’t been a provincial senior
hockey league in Newfoundland since the league president Joe Maynard says all 1980s. The winner of the west coast and that’s left to do is cross the Is and dot the Avalon east league meet each spring in the Ts. Herder Memorial Trophy finals, but fans “Let’s say it’s finalized,” Maynard says. have long voiced a desire “We hope to play eight for regular season play games on the west coast between clubs from both eight games on the “This (the interlocking and ends of the island. east coast.” Followers of senior Games between west schedule) is a test to coast hockey will almost cerclubs (Corner tainly get the chance to Brook Royals, Deer see what kind of fans watch traditional powers Lake Red Wings, Grand like Southern Shore and we can draw, what kind Falls-Windsor Cataracts) Corner Brook hook up and Avalon East teams of interest is there.” before the Herder finals (Torbay Steelers, Mount this winter. Pearl Senior Blades, The two leagues are Southern Shore Breakers Art Barry close to finalizing a deal and Conception Bay that would see west and North Cee-Bee Stars) east coast teams play interlocking regular won’t simply be exhibition games either. season games this winter. Although a deal Points accumulated will count in each has not yet been completed, Avalon east league’s standings, as will all statistics
picked up by the individual players. “That’s the only way to make it worthwhile. You have to make it worth something,” says Maynard. The interlocking schedule should help teams in both leagues attract added fan support, especially those clubs in the Avalon east. Torbay in particular has had difficulties attracting fans to Feildian Gardens in St. John’s, but Maynard says that could change when west coast league teams come to town. “We expect to get more fans if Torbay played Corner Brook at Feildian Gardens because you’re going to have people from Corner Brook who are here (St. John’s) going to school and working coming out to see their team,” Maynard says. Teams on the west coast are accustomed to solid fan support, with Deer Lake and See “Not sure,” page 29
So much to say, so little time T
here is a lot on my mind these days. The Fog Devils are winning (at home anyway), the NHL is worth watching again, baseball’s free-agent season is heating up, the CFL playoffs are in full swing and the NFL is past the mid-way point of the 2005-06 campaign. Simply put, there’s too much I want to say to dedicate 700 words to just one topic. Instead, I offer a montage of sports thoughts for your reading pleasure. Classless move by Olympiques … I was disappointed in Gatineau Olympiques’ head coach Benoit Groulx’s decision to scratch Colin
The game Escott from the lineup when his team strode into Mile One to face the Fog Devils earlier this month. Escott is from St. John’s, and didn’t deserve to be humiliated in front of his family and friends. I understand Groulx was upset his team dropped a 2-1 decision in the first tilt of a two-game set on Nov. 4, but Escott barely saw any ice time in
that game, so why should he be blamed for his teammates getting outworked? If Groulx wanted to send the 16-yearold a message regarding his play, surely he could have waited until the next game Gatineau played. This was as classless a move as I’ve ever seen. ADJUSTING Allard will be just fine … There is no reason to be alarmed that Fog Devils first-round pick Jean-Simon Allard has only three assists and no goals in the team’s first 23 games (all stats as of press deadline). Like a lot of 16 year olds, Allard is still adjusting to playing
against guys who are three and four years older and a lot bigger and stronger. In fact, it’s not uncommon for players of all ages to struggle in their first year of major junior. Corner Brook’s Jason King scored just three goals as a rookie with the Halifax Mooseheads in 2000, before scoring 48 goals the following season and then 60 in 2002. Purcell among USHL’s best … St. John’s native Ted Purcell continues to make quite a name for himself in the United States Hockey League (that country’s top junior circuit). He is challenging for the scoring title and is help-
ing to once again make the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders one of the top teams in the league. Purcell will play with the University of Maine Black Bears next year, on a full scholarship no less, and will very likely play pro after he graduates. His story could, and hopefully should, inspire more players to look at the U.S. college route when considering their hockey future. Why not Rogers Centre? … It turns out Canada will play its “home” games at Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks), and Scottsdale See “Get over it,” page 30