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VOL. 4 ISSUE 11

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 12-18, 2006

WWW.THEINDEPENDENT.CA —

IN CAMERA 16-17

SPORTS 28

The Independent takes a tour of Parker’s Cove with Mayor Cyril Synard

‘Hope’

$1.00 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $1.50 RETAIL (HST included)

Memorial’s Ainsley Decker sets swimming records

PADDYWACKED

1984 letter shows Quebec will bend on upper Churchill CLARE-MARIE GOSSE

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complete copy of a 1984 statement of intent in which HydroQuebec agrees to address inequities in the upper Churchill contract has been released publicly for the first time. Vic Young, former chairman of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, one of the two signatories on the document, along with the then-head of Hydro-Quebec, tells The Independent the contents of the letter are significant today in light of the province’s plans to develop the lower Churchill. “It is a document whose content we will ignore at our peril,” he says. The five-page letter, which established a basis for Churchill power negotiations, was obtained by The Independent through the Freedom of Information Act. Although excerpts from the statement have been previously released (the letter’s existence first came to light when Brian Tobin quoted from it in 1996 to rally national support for development of the lower Churchill), a secrecy clause worked into the original document kept it from full public access — until now. “What is so important, even today, is

that Newfoundland and Labrador has a signed document from Québec that clearly acknowledges the necessity of a fair and equitable return to Newfoundland and Labrador as the owner of the Churchill Falls resource,” Young says. Other major points made in the statement of intent include a need for Newfoundland and Labrador to access additional energy from the upper Churchill at prices no more than those paid by Quebec, and a review of the 25year automatic renewal clause, which extends the contract from 2016 to 2041. Due to the lopsided nature of the 1969 contract, Hydro-Quebec is currently earning an annual profit estimated to be close to $2 billion, compared to Newfoundland and Labrador’s $32 million. The statement of intent was first drawn up as a result of an attempt by then-premier Brian Peckford to regain provincial rights to the Churchill Falls water lease. Faced with a court case, Hydro-Quebec agreed to re-negotiate its financial dominance over Newfoundland and Labrador’s hydroelectric resource. In return, Hydro-Quebec wanted recognition of the risks it had taken in developing the upper Churchill and an end to all legal action.

See “Looking to the future,” page 20

‘Capital I ironic’ United States bans Canadian seal products despite condoning own hunts ALISHA MORRISSEY

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espite a U.S. ban on seal products, Canada’s closest neighbour has two seal fisheries of its own. One hunt in Alaska sees about 2,000 seals and several hundred sea lions killed each year. The other hunt in Washington allows natives to kill what they need. Merv Wiseman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fur Breeders’ Association says it’s hypocritical for the United States to ban Canadian seal products when America sanctions its own hunts. “I think it’s a very loud statement about the inconsistencies and the hypocrisy and the frustration that we face about it (the animal rights move-

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “… the parties agree to devise a formula whereby Newfoundland would receive a fair and equitable return.”

— 1984 Hydro-Quebec statement of intent regarding redress of the upper Churchill contract. See page 20.

ment) … it speaks to the fact that there’s very little factual information being considered within the realm of the argument,” he tells The Independent. “I would maintain that we have the same cultural connections.” Other seal hunts around the world don’t get the same attention as Atlantic Canada’s. Greenland’s unregulated seal hunt takes between 70,000 and 150,000 animals a year, despite an import and manufacturing ban on Canadian seal pelts. Annual hunts are also carried out in Norway, Russia, Iceland, Sweden, and Namibia. Canada’s seal hunt is the largest in the world with the 2003-2005 catch set at 975,000 animals. Mike Turek, who studies subsistence living for the state of Alaska, See “Hypocritical,” page 4

Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Movie review . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Pete Soucy, a.k.a. Snook, gets into St. Patrick’s Day spirits.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Wish list

From a trip to Disney World to a simple locket, foundation makes dreams come true STEPHANIE PORTER

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obert and Johnena Quirke can remember everything about the week-long Caribbean cruise they took with their daughter 17 years ago: the clothes she wore, the places they stopped, the food they ate. The way she and her best friend would sneak in, giggling, after the on-board disco shut down for the night. Most memorable of all, they remember how good Loretta looked.

“I don’t think she’d ever looked better, been healthier,” says Johnena. “She wasn’t coughing at all, had lots of energy, there was no stopping her.” At the time, Loretta was a spirited 16year-old who never let the fact she had a fatal illness get in her way. Her week aboard the cruise with her parents and her best friend was a wish, literally, come true. The trip was organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation. It’s just one of more than 400 wishes granted to seriously ill children in 20 years of operation in this province. “Trip of a lifetime” and

ing n e p p a h 's t a h w t u do check inside to fin

“memories to last forever” sound like clichés — but the looks in Johnena and Robert’s eyes as they talk show the truth behind the platitudes. When Loretta was six weeks old, her parents were told she had cystic fibrosis, and would be lucky to live to age eight. A genetic disease, CF affects primarily the digestive tract and lungs, where thick mucous makes breathing difficult and infection frequent. “The bottom fell out of my heart,” Johnena says of that day. “And then I realized, if I was only going to have her for See “I wanted,” page 2


2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MARCH 12, 2006

‘I wanted to meet Wayne Gretzky’ From page 1

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eight years, they were going to be eight memorable years. “We had 20 years with her, 12 years more than we were supposed to. Every day was so precious. Our life revolved around her.” “It’s been 12 years and there’s not a day we don’t talk about her, think about her,” adds Robert. “She was something else, if you met her, you would never forget her.” Wish child Craig Pike was also granted a family trip — and then, he got another surprise. Born with spina bifida, a spinal cord defect, Pike estimates he’s had more than 60 surgeries on his back and legs over his 25 years. “When I was a year old, my parents were told there was a very high chance I would never walk, and they had to prepare for it,” he says. “And if I did, they said I’d probably have to use a walker or crutches.” As with the Quirkes, Pike’s parents were determined to fight the disease and ensure their child had all the support he needed to make the most out of life. “There’s been a lot of sacrifices on the part of my family to get me to where I am today. They got me to where I had to be and I’ll do the rest.” Pike eventually became fully mobile. Although he says his legs have never been quite as strong as most kids his age, he was able to get around, even join his friends for street hockey as a teenager. Between surgeries, there have been good times for Pike. And there have been really tough years when Pike has battled to stay positive between the pain and hospital visits. The year 1992 was a rough one, when Pike underwent nine surgeries in a 12-month span.

October 2005

Johnena and Robert Quirke

About then a family member got in touch with Children’s Wish, and the organization agreed: it was time to give this kid a break. “My initial reaction to the wish? I didn’t even have to think about it, I wanted to meet Wayne Gretzky,” says Pike. But after a year of trying, an encounter with the hockey great was still not coming through. Pike’s second-choice wish, a trip to Disney World with his parents and sister, was granted — and he wasn’t disappointed. “We were treated like royalty,” he says. “Anything we needed, we had it. It was out of this world. We came home totally reenergized … it was a dream

Paul Daly/The Independent

vacation.” A few months later, out of the blue, Pike’s mother answered the phone and was told to pack suitcases for herself and her son immediately: Wayne Gretzky would be at a charity event in Toronto the next day, and they were going. “We were there, and he sat down next to us, there was nothing rushed about it, he spent about 15 minutes, just talking,” Pike gushes, more than a decade later. “I didn’t think the other wish could be topped, but it topped it, 10 times over. It blew my mind. “It was the highlight of my life, outside of my wedding.” These days, Pike is starting a psychology degree, enjoying the first year of marriage to “his angel,” and making time for motivational speaking and volunteer work. “I’ll be on pain pills the rest of my life,” he says. “But if I had the chance to go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.” Derek deLouche, provincial director of the Children’s Wish Foundation, has 15 years worth of stories like these. An enthusiastic storyteller, it’s not hard to tell deLouche believes in what he — and hundreds of staff and volunteers — work so hard to achieve. “People say ‘Oh, it must be a hard job, working with these sick children,’” he says. “And it’s not. We are there for the hard times, but a wish, it’s amazing what it can mean.” Many, but not all, of the children deLouche works with have terminal illnesses. Without exception, he says, the kids are remarkable. “I’m always amazed by their courage, amazed by how they are older than their age, amazed at how often their only worry is that everybody else is going to be OK,” he says. For deLouche, some of the most memorable wishes are the simplest ones, the cases where the foundation staff take time to think out what else they can do for the child. “One case, a little girl wanted a locket to put a picture in so her mom would never forget what she looked like,” deLouche says. “Or you press the child and we’ve had responses like ‘a Barbie doll’ and we’re going, ‘OK, you need to dream bigger … we’re able to let you dream bigger.’ “We will do anything and everything that’s possible and safe for the child.” Over the years, Children’s Wish has granted countless cruises and trips to Disney World. They’ve bought bicycles, toys, computers, entertainment centres, redone rooms and arranged for Santa Claus to pay a special visit to the Janeway. Although celebrity wishes can be the most difficult to arrange — especially with the time constraints some children face — the foundation has been able to arrange meetings with sports stars, Willie Nelson, Sharon, Lois and Bram, and Bob Barker. “The magic of these wishes, we don’t know all of the things that happen,” says deLouche. “Because luckily, people care. People in the community find out a wish, find out it’s going ahead. Companies and volunteers and friends often step in and provide other things, a camera or luggage or whatever else they need that we don’t know about.” The Quirkes’ rec room is filled with reminders of their only child. There are pictures of her throughout her life, from infancy to her wedding, just seven months before she passed away. (“I told them they could get married, as long as they realized they’d have to live in this house,” says Johnena with a laugh.) Loretta lives on in pictures and in the volunteer work she inspired her parents to continue. The Loretta Quirke-Dwyer annual golf tournament, which was to be a one-time fundraiser for a lung transplant operation, is now in its 12th year, and has raised more than $500,000 for children’s charities. “To me, that says a lot about Loretta and what she gave people,” says Johnena. Looking at the four framed pictures from the family’s wish cruise, Robert breaks into a grin again as he talks about the bikini his daughter wore on the boat, horrifying his fatherly senses. “What a time we had,” he says. “It’s all so vivid.”


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3

SCUNCHINS

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A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia

emember Penn Jillette? The Independent carried a frontpage story on the wellknown American comedian (better known as the big guy from the duo Penn and Teller) not so long ago, after he said some naughty things about Newfoundlanders on his New York radio show. “Of all the racial slurs, Newfoundlanders are the only ones that Penn Jillette are accurate. Big, stupid, people. I’m one of them,” said Penn, whose grandparents were Newfoundlanders. He later apologized and said he didn’t mean it. All is most certainly forgiven now that Penn has profiled PETA and its “plethora of double standards” on his TV show, aptly called Penn and Teller: Bullshit. You may also remember PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — from Larry King Live after Premier Danny Williams mentioned the group. Danny said the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s terrorism division has a file open on organizations like PETA that are solely interested in making money. Back to my story … Penn’s show is all about ripping PETA’s credibility to shreds. “What do you expect with a group that puts ethical right in its name?” Penn asks, alleging PETA, the world’s largest animal rights group, euthanized more than half of the 2,103 dogs and cats it had stored at its Virginia headquarters in a single year. At the same time, a PETA official was quoted saying “we want total animal liberation.” Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, went so far as to say “the animals of today are slaves.” There’s more … PETA has juxtaposed the images of Nazi concentration camps over livestock farms. Penn is bad, though — at one point he had a flock of chickens eating out of a bucket of Kentucky Fried. PRICELESS FEEDBACK The Penn and Teller show drew a fair bit of electronic feedback. Comments worth noting: “PETA equals People Eating Tasting Animals”; “Nice work Penn and Teller, if God didn’t want us to eat animals he wouldn’t have made them taste so good”; “No matter what their point was, the fact of the matter is that Penn looks like a freakish child molester when he wears biker gear.”

PETA PROTESTS The Centre for Consumer Freedom, a non-profit coalition of restaurants, food companies and consumers focused on the right of adults and parents to choose what they eat, drink, and how they enjoy themselves, reported in 2004 that PETA had donated over $150,000 to criminal activists — including those jailed for arson, burglary, and even attempted murder. In 2001, PETA donated $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front, a criminal organization that the FBI classifies as “domestic terrorists.” And since 2000, rank-and-file PETA activists have been arrested over 80 times for breaking various laws during PETA protests. Maybe Danny had a point.

KEAN OBSERVATIONS The famed sealing captain Abram Kean wrote a paper in the 1930s saying he was convinced “that we are more indebted to the seal fishery for the early settlement of Newfoundland than to any other industry … the demand for labour in the winter months for the building of boats and other material for the sealing outfit dealt a death blow to the Abram Kean diehards who could see nothing in Newfoundland but a summer fishery.” Figures contained in the same piece showed that between 1805 and 1936, the most seals taken in a single year were 686,836 animals, harvested in 1831.

READ ALL ABOUT IT John Risley of Clearwater Fine Foods makes his journalism debut in the March/April edition of Atlantic Business. Quote: “Our rural communities for the most part are struggling to hold on to jobs, witnessing outmigration sometimes in favour of urban centres in Atlantic Canada and sometimes to cities elsewhere. Moreover, they are not attracting the investment necessary to ensure their future. What are we doing about it? What can we do about it? How can we re-invent rural Atlantic Canada so our young people and others see these communities as attractive places in which to grow their lives?” Wait a sec … aren’t you the same John Risley who led dissident shareholders in the hostile takeover of Fishery Products International a few years back? Given the shape FPI is in these days, maybe Risley isn’t the best man to help save rural Atlantic Canada. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

PANL

‘What the flag means to me’

Editor’s note: the following are excerpts from speeches given March 7 at the Holiday Inn during a speak-off organized by the Rotary Club of St. John’s Northwest. High school students were asked to write on the topic, “The Pink, White and Green, Newfoundland and Labrador’s future flag?”

JESSIE POWER, GONZAGA HIGH SCHOOL In 1840, when the Pink, White, and Green was created, Newfoundland was still its own country. The flag, being made at this time, represents for many people, our independence. It shows that Newfoundland and Labrador was once a country of its own, and that, while we are proud to be a part of Canada, neither our land nor our people are dependent on others for survival. It represents to many that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are our own people, and our own society. For Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the Pink, White, and Green is so much more than just a flag. It symbolizes our province, our culture, our heritage, and our independence, and that is why I believe that the Pink, White and Green should be our provincial flag. LOIS BRAGG, HOLY HEART OF MARY Some people feel our provincial flag is a mess of triangles — arrows, blue, red, white and gold, with very simple representations. The blue representing our vast and beautiful oceans, red symbolizing human effort, white standing for our snow and ice, and gold representing our confidence. It was created for the sole purpose of a provincial flag — no history, no meaning, nothing we can call our own. Who wants a simple, plain, artificial representation? However, there is an alternative. A flag with meaning, a flag that represents our past, a flag that could represent our future — the flag I’m talking about is the Pink, White, and Green. The Pink, White, and Green is not just a flag created for our province. It is a flag created from

controversy, arguments, unkind fellowship, to bring peace to our province many decades before now. The flag has come to represent our Newfoundland background. While the flag is a reminder of our heritage, our past, our ancestors, our old way of life, it is not just simply that. The meaning behind this flag is so much more than just the settling of a dispute in our great province. The colours are also able to represent what our land stands for — its beauty, and its grace, and our people, our kind, gentle, friendly, and neighbourly ways.

REBECCA COLLINS, ST. KEVIN’S HIGH SCHOOL In recent months the provincial flag has become a controversial issue and a question has been raised: should we keep our current flag, or should we adopt the Pink, White and Green as the official flag of Newfoundland? To be honest, my immediate reaction to this proposal was, “what’s wrong with the flag we fly right now?” Like many of today’s youth, I find myself lacking the political knowledge to take up an opinion on many of the problems facing our province. However, I was keenly interested in developing my own opinion on this matter. It is clear that both flags visually illustrate a rich history, but they both hold a place in the hearts of Newfoundlanders for many different reasons. The Pink, White, and Green is certainly controversial as it has come to mean different things to different people. Some feel it is a mark of rebellion, and a symbol of independence from Canada. They believe a provincial flag should not carry connotations of a separatist attitude. Others are deeply attached to the tri-colour because they feel it is symbolic of a better past, when Newfoundland was an independent country. They also perceive it to be a display of religious peace between two opposing groups of people. During the recent winter Olympics in Turino, Italy, Brad Gushue proudly represented our

province in his amazing gold medal performance in men’s curling. When he waved the flag of Newfoundland high over his head in pride of his home, did it matter whether it was the current flag or the tri-colour? Newfoundlanders would still have felt the same pride, regardless of which flag had been presented. I believe that flags are a remarkable way of showing pride for where we live. The flag of Newfoundland identifies us for who we are: people of this province. It is for this reason that I do not have a preference. I know that no matter what design, if it is recognized as the official flag of my home, that’s enough for me. It doesn’t matter if it is the same flag we’ve had for 20 years or the Pink, White and Green or any other flag — I will be proud of it. Because it’s not about what’s being represented on the flag, but about what the flag represents. For me, Newfoundland will always be home, and that’s what the flag means to me.

JOHN HENNESSEY, O'DONEL HIGH SCHOOL The flag of the Newfoundland republic no longer holds any real credibility regarding a political or moral movement. The flag is, if anything, a fashion statement more than a political movement. For any Newfoundlander who feels our province needs more independence reverting to the old tri-colour is counterproductive. Bringing back the old republic flag would only open up old wounds long healed. Simply put, the only flag that this province need care about is its own, current flag. The old symbol of the republic holds no place in the future of the province, only in her past. In essence, the tri-colour flag is simply a fashion statement that plays on the notion of the independence of the province. To suggest that the tricolour could represent our province not only brings to the surface long-dead issues, it hinders the progress of our province.


4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MARCH 12, 2006

‘Hypocritical’ hunt

From page 1

Two sealers drag their recently killed harp seals towards their boats during the Canadian east coast hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Paul Darrow/Reuters

says the seal hunt there is restricted to people in coastal communities who use seal products for food, clothing and trade. “It’s customary trade so you can’t sell like the raw hides. There has to be some sort of handicraft involved before you can sell the product,” Turek says. “There is trade within the communities for pelts, but that’s, you know, customary trade there’s no money there’s no profit involved with that.” Alaskans harvested just over 2,000 seals in 2003 — about 11 per cent of which were “struck and lost,” meaning the injured animals escaped. “Numbers wise, it’s nowhere near what you guys harvest, but it’s a significant hunt in that it’s culturally very important for the food and particularly for the blubber for making oil,” Turek says, “So it has a long tradition and its culturally very important.” Phil Jenkins, a spokesman for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, laughs out loud when he hears the words “long tradition” and “culturally very important,” as quoted by Turek. “That’s one of the arguments that Newfoundlanders use for legitimacy of the seal hunt here,” Jenkins says. “One of the strongest reasons for the people who engage in this hunt is there are very few economic activities for them and there’s an abundant herd on their doorsteps. It’s a legitimate activity; DFO monitors this herd. I mean this is a conservation success story for DFO and so that’s why I laugh, because that is kind of capital I ironic that they use that kind of argument.” Animal rights groups have protested Canada’s seal hunt for decades, although such groups have never complained about the subsistence or native hunts, Jenkins points out. For his part, Wiseman questions the difference between subsistence hunts and hunts to pay the bills. “Economic survival, I think, is the operative there … we’re talking some fairly insignificant semantics there.” Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout remembers when the U.S. ban on seal products was implemented in the 1980s. He says it’s had little effect on the hunt or exports since the province found markets for the seal products around the world. “The ban on seal products has been in place for decades … and we can sell every seal pelt that we produce and at a good price,” Rideout says. “It’s rather hypocritical, isn’t it? You know they (the U.S.) have a seal hunt themselves and yet they feel so self righteous that they don’t allow the import of seal products from elsewhere, including Canada, so you know to put it mildly it’s at least hypocritical.”

No Canadian crabs at Playboy Mansion Seal hunt protestors boycott Canadian crab; damage to industry in dispute

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By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

dd the Playboy Mansion to the list of Los Angeles-based eateries boycotting Canadian snow crab in protest of the seal hunt. Depending on who you ask, the yearlong boycott may be costing as little as nothing or as much as $160 million. According to officials with the provincial and federal Fisheries departments, the boycott has had nearly no effect on sales of crab south of the border. Meantime, officials with the Humane Society of the United States claim the boycott by restaurants and individuals cost fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador between $139 million and $160 million last year alone. Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout says the boycott really hasn’t affected the province’s crab fishing industry. The proof, he says, is in the simple fact that all crab inventory in the province has

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

been sold and shipped. “You’ll hear Lady Heather Whashername throwing out (numbers), well it’s not costing us anything,” Rideout says, referring to a recent broadcast of Larry King Live where former Beatle Paul McCartney and wife Heather Mills denounced the seal hunt in a debate with Premier Danny Williams. During the show Mills stated, as a matter of fact, the boycott costing Canadian fishermen $139 million in 2005. “I mean the fact of the matter is crab prices shot to the ceiling a couple of years ago and now they’re gone the other way. So is the boycott responsible for shooting them to the ceiling? No, I would suggest. Is the boycott responsible for the drop in the last number of years? No, I would suggest. I would suggest it’s the normal cyclical reality that we find in the fishing industry.” Phil Jenkins, spokesman with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says while the crab industry is

struggling right now, it’s more about the marketplace than the boycott. “The boycott has had almost zero effect. First of all they (crab fishermen) had a strike, second of all they had an infestation of soft-shell crabs … thirdly there was a glut of crab products from other countries such as the State of Alaska, fourthly there was an unfavourable Canada U.S. exchange rate and fifthly there was a whole disruption in the southeast U.S. market as a result of hurricane Katrina and those are the things that have contributed to the decline in the price (of crab).” Exports of crab have actually increased since the boycott began, he says. “What we find is that not a single one of those (restaurants) that have joined the boycott have the sort of intellectual rigour to pick up the phone and call Fisheries and Oceans … and talk to us about the other side of the story.” The society’s website claims to have received pledges from 55 restaurants

in Los Angeles and more than 120,000 individuals to boycott Canadian crab. John Grandy, senior vice-president of the humane society’s wildlife and habitat protection division, says restaurants didn’t want to ban all Canadian seafood so the society decided to focus in on the crab. “The snow crab is primarily captured by fishermen from Newfoundland and they also are the people who are killing the seals,” Grandy says from Washington. “So we have tracked very carefully the decline in snow crab sales and the decline there has been between $156 million and $160 million since we began our boycott.” The humane society requested that its members refrain from buying any Canadian snow crab after the first day of the 2005 hunt. “We think it was the method of last resort, we tried everything we could to avoid a boycott,” Grandy says “I feel certain its having an effect and we’re

GENERAL MANAGER John Moores

getting more and more chefs signing on all the time, we’re getting more and more restaurants signing on all the time, we’ve been getting 10 to 20 a week in the L.A. area for a long while.” One of the restaurants that refused to sign on to the boycott was Red Lobster, a popular American seafood franchise. “We aren’t asking them to boycott them (Red Lobster), we’re saving the word boycott for Canada, but we have asked our members to eat somewhere else other than Red Lobster, that’s true, or if they go to Red Lobster to let Red Lobster know that they don’t want them serving Canadian seafood.” Back in Newfoundland and Labrador, Rideout says the seal hunt has been prosperous, and he’s expecting another record year. “We’ve had those do-gooders on our soil now for decades and the industry has survived and despite their best efforts … they’re not winning the war, we are and we’re quite pleased with that.”

Boston fish party

john.moores@theindependent.ca

SALES MANAGER Gillian Fisher P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, gillian.fisher@theindependent.ca Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 PRODUCTION MANAGER John Andrews Website: www.theindependent.ca john.andrews@theindependent.ca sales@theindependent.ca • production@theindependent.ca • circulation@theindependent.ca

579-STOG 77 Ha Harv rvey ey Road

Stoggers’ Pizza Rethink your Pizz Pizza! a!

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he province will participate in the world’s largest seafood show this weekend, but on a lesser scale than the Maritimes. Newfoundland and Labrador will have eight booths at the annual Boston Seafood Show, showing off companies like the Barry Group, C&W Industrial Fabrication and Marine Equipment, Quinlan Brothers and Newfoundland Seafood. The province’s presence is small compared to Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick — which have 11 booths each. Nova Scotia has 15 booths. The Boston Seafood Show is the biggest annual gathering in the seafood market, with 1,200 companies from 90 countries participating in the trade show. An estimated 35,000 are expected to attend. Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout will host a reception during the threeday conference, which he hopes will be an opportunity to promote the province’s seafood industry. “Our marketing down there is crab, shrimp, groundfish that kind of thing, it’s our major market,” Rideout tells The Independent. “The U.S. is very much an important market and we’ll have a big presence in Boston as we should and as we do every year.” — Alisha Morrissey


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5

ACOA applications stalled due to change in government

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Paul Daly/The Independent

Making work

Harbour Breton has little to show for $4 million in government cash

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By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

ore than $4 million in government funding has been pumped into Harbour Breton since the closure of the groundfish plant there two years ago, with little to show for it besides make-work and an incomplete business plan. The town has received non-repayable grants from various government agencies, including Service Canada (formerly Human Resources Canada), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the province’s Industry Department. The money has gone to make-work projects, retraining and a business plan that’s still in the works. The Harbour Breton fish plant was shut down by Fishery Products International in the fall of 2004, throwing about 350 people out of work. Since then the plant has been dormant and the community has been struggling with outmigration. Industry Minister Kathy Dunderdale says the province identified $1.25 million for the community in June 2005, with plans to spend about $250,000 on the town’s business plan. That cost was later absorbed by grants from Service Canada, although Dunderdale says the entire $1.25 million in provincial funding will “no doubt” be spent in the community. “Over the next 10, 15, 20, 30 years they’re going to need a whole lot more money than that to sustain themselves and hopefully the plant in Harbour Breton will be the anchor of the economy there and provide a good strong healthy living and a future for the people in that area,” Dunderdale tells The Independent. About $375,000 of the $1.25 million has been spent to date, with more money to be spent on make-work in the coming months. “We identified it (the $1.25 million) for a number of things … if there was quota available to be purchased or to facilitate job creation, generally to be used to the benefit of people in Harbour Breton and so the initial immediate need was job creation and so that’s where the funding has gone to date.” Dunderdale was unable to say how many make-work projects were created out of the $375,000, although about 70 people were employed during the current round of funding. “We promised everybody out of that plant that they would have one round of project employment from the job-creation program that we put in place between the federal and provincial government.” ACOA funding totals $1.7 million. Spokesman Doug Burgess says about $1.5 million of the nonrepayable grant has been disbursed — mostly to

Harbour Breton cash

• ACOA has approved $1.7 million in grants for the town; $1.5 million spent to date. • The province has set aside $1.25 million; $375,000 spent to date. • Service Canada has earmarked $1.24 million.

Service Canada’s contribution • $138,000 to set up and run adjustment committee. • $250,000 to create business plan for the plant and town. • $488,000 for make-work. • $9,900 in self-employment benefits to set up a new business. • $303,000 for retraining. • $48,000 in youth skills programming (for people under 30). — Source: Service Canada Breakdowns of ACOA and Industry Department grants were unavailable as of The Independent’s press deadline.

make-work projects related to tourism. While Burgess can’t say how many people were employed on projects like renovating a local theatre and building a museum, he says 1,590 weeks of work were created. Bob Picco, regional communications manager with Service Canada, says he doesn’t know the number of make-work programs created by the agency’s funding or the number of people they employed in Harbour Breton. Nearly $490,000 of a $1.24 million grant was spent on make-work. The federal department also took responsibility for paying for a town business plan. Harbour Breton’s Industrial Adjustment Services Committee was set up to investigate ways to keep the town alive, but was disbanded Jan. 31 after the town handed in its preliminary business plan to the province. The plan — which would have cost up to $17 million had its recommendations been followed through — hinged on a 4,000-tonne shrimp quota from Ottawa, and suggested alternative industries like fur farming. Government officials turned down nearly all the proposed ideas in the draft business plan. On Feb. 7, Premier Danny Williams and Bill Barry, owner of the Barry Group of Companies, announced an agreement between the Town of Harbour Breton and the company. The agreement would see the Barry Group attempt to land a quota for the plant to process mackerel, herring and caplin, with the by-products made into feed for the company’s aquaculture and mink interests. Barry has offered to pay for the stock assessment in the area in hopes of proving a commercially viable herring stock exists off the south coast.

SHIPPING NEWS Keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s Harbour. Information provided by the Coast Guard Traffic Centre.

MONDAY, MAR. 6 Vessels arrived: ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Maersk Placentia, Canada, from Hibernia; Zuiho Maru #88, Japan, from Long Pond. Vessels departed: None.

TUESDAY, MAR.7 Vessels arrived: Oceanex Avalon, Canada, from Montreal; Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Terra Nova. Vessels departed: ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Corner Brook; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova Field; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to

White Rose Field; Zuiho Maru #88, Japan, to Flemish Cap; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, to White Rose.

usinesses and organizations after ACOA and federal cabinet representative for Prince funding may be wondering why they Edward Island. The foreign affairs portfolio is a hefty one, haven’t yet received word on their applications. It seems the change in federal leader- and with two recent, high-profile Canadian murship earlier this year has temporarily stalled ders in Mexico still unresolved and the public scrutiny of Canadian troops serving in project approvals. Doug Burgess, spokesman for the Atlantic Afghanistan, the new minister has his hands full. Canada Opportunities Agency Upon news of McKay’s in Newfoundland and appointments, Wayne Easter, Labrador, wouldn’t comment Liberal MP for the P.E.I. riding on how many, if any, applicaof Malpeque, expressed contions have been approved “We anticipate cern the new minister may since the beginning of January, moving forward on have been given too much but he says the organization is and wouldn’t be “in a transition period with the a number of projects responsibility able to pay enough attention to new federal government. ACOA and P.E.I. “That entails a significant in the near future.” Burgess couldn’t say if the amount of briefing and informinister’s hectic schedule may mation exchange as with all Doug Burgess, be stalling progress at ACOA. incoming ministers,” Burgess “We continue to receive the tells The Independent. applications, we’re doing our “I wouldn’t be able to disdue diligence and evaluation cuss projects that may have been approved recently but are not in the public on the projects … I wouldn’t be able to give any specific comment on what the minister’s role domain.” He says ACOA respects a “holding period” of would be right now.” He adds it’s not unprecedented for an organiup to 60 days from the time it formally allocates funding to publicly announcing the fact. zation like ACOA to experience an orientation Burgess also couldn’t say how many applica- and review period in the wake of a change of government. tions ACOA has received in recent months. “We anticipate moving forward on a number “We don’t normally discuss applications received either because it may create a perspec- of projects in the near future,” Burgess says. ACOA is a federal government department tive of activity that’s not going to come to pass … about 50 per cent of the applications ACOA responsible for helping build economic capacity Newfoundland and Labrador receives are not in Atlantic Canada. Through non-repayable and repayable funding the organization helps appliultimately approved.” Peter McKay, the recently appointed minister cants start-up and expand business ventures. of ACOA, is also minister of Foreign Affairs – Clare-Marie Gosse

Have you noticed the benefits our oil and gas industry is bringing to Newfoundland and Labrador?

17,000 jobs.

WEDNESDAY, MAR 8 Vessels arrived: Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: None. THURSDAY, MAR 9 No report.

FRIDAY, MAR 10 Vessels arrived: Burin Sea, Canada, from, Terra Nova; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: Diamond Star, Canada, to Terra Nova; Johanna Princesa, Portugal, to sea; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova.

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6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MARCH 12, 2006

Hillbilly heart of Newfoundland I

’ve just come back from a tour of the province with Rising Tide Theatre’s REVUE, and again I was struck by the differences between Town and beyond the overpass. St. John’s is enjoying an oil boom, not with the kind of surplus that Ralph Kline is getting, but there are condos on every corner and Beemers by the bushel. The rest of the island is stunned by a series of blows that include mill and plant closures and moritoria. The unlikely saviour (or should that be prop) is the tourism industry. This got my warped mind thinking about Dogpatch — the mythical heart of America created by cartoonist Al Capp in the 1930s as an antidote to the Great Depression. Dogpatch was filled with political incorrectness … L’il Abner, Daisy Mae, Smoos and Kickapoo Joy juice. So with apologies to Al Capp, here’s a yarn about Oilpatch and Codpatch, the hillbilly heart of Newfoundland. ••• It was a beautiful morning, as beautiful as they get in June and Emma Jean and Wilber had gone around to Indian Point for a mug-up. In fact, all of Codpatch was there taking in the summer sun. Emmer Jean’s dipper was full of berries and Wilber’s belly was full of homemade

RICK BOLAND

Guest column bread and trout. All seemed right with the world. “You know, Wilber, I could never leave Codpatch, not in all my borned days. We got our salt water joys, and I got my saltwater toys,” says Emmer as she snuggles up to her boyfriend. “Do ya want to go into the woodshed Wilber?” Wilber was taking in the rays, fishing with the trouting line tied to his big toe. “Now Emma Jean, what would I want to go and do that for?” he says. “I’m fishin’.” Emma Jean looked into Wilber’s eyes. “We could make babies Wilber. We could get a baby bonus.” “Can’t you see I’m busy right now. Git me a Black Horse will ...” The peace and quiet of Indian Point was broken by a loud squelch! Emmer and Wilber turned and saw a shortish, stoutish fella with a megaphone. “That looks just like me Member,” says Pappy Pokeum. “Hello taxpayers. It’s me, your

Member. I have come all the way from the capital city,” says the fella, all the while kissing a few babies. “The Member has come to Codpatch Emma Jean,” says Wilber, who had seen a notice in the paper. “The last time he came we joined Canada,” says Emmer, repeating Daddy Snook’s frequent rant. “It must be an event of national importance,” says Wilber, suitably impressed. The great man lit a long cigar and climbed up on a soapbox. “Or there’s going to be a hideous change in the Codpatch way of life,” says Emmer, who came from political stock. “People of Codpatch,” intoned the Member. “Sad news! Your days are over. I’ve tried everything I could. I asked them to put in a ski slope, but the crowd on the west coast called it unfair competition. I suggested a golf course, but the premier has got a monopoly. I thought we’d have a festival, but Donna Butt vetoed me. “What about fishing?” asks a voice in the crowd. “The fish is gone. The fish is over, don’t go back to the fish,” says the orator. “No, I’m afraid … the federal government has done a study and found that Codpatch is the most unnecessary, noaccount place in the whole country.”

Wilber and Emma Jean were in shock; the whole town was stunned. “What’s going to happen to us now!” says Aunt Jessie Toope, not for the first time. “Well, the good news is you are all going to be moved!” says the Member, trying to put a good spin on it. “Well, evacuated actually so that the U.S.A. can drop rocket parts here.” “But yer honour, can’t we stay?” asks Wilber. “We could make a great business selling dem dere parts for scrap.” “It’s too late,” says the Member, jumping back into his SUV and driving off. Codpatch is abuzz. The people heave a collective sigh and go about the business of getting ready to move, because like Wilber says, “They ain’t much we can do … the Member must know what he’s a doing or we wouldn’ta elected him in the first place.” Emma Jean doesn’t think so though. She’s uneasy. “Codpatch is worth something to me,” she thinks to herself. “There ain’t no better place to have babies … iffin I could only interest Wilber in making babies!” Later that evening, when Emma was on her way to the licenced river, she ran across a fella what looked like he had sold a few Gremlins and Darts in his day. And indeed he had. Robin Steal had

bought and sold just about everything in his rise to the top of the Codpatch business community. “How’s it goin’ mam?” asks Steal. “What an idyllic little spot. A great place for raising babies.” Emma Jean is taken aback. “You’re not from here are you?” she says, looking at him strangely. “How do you do. Robbin Steal is my name. I have a little resort on the Humber and I am interested in acquiring some real estate in this here neck of the woods.” “Codpatch is not for sale!” says Emma, perhaps a little too ferociously. “Of course it is mam. Everything is for sale. All I ask is that I set the price and I’m in control of everything cause I could invest my money elsewhere. “You don’t take no risk? Yer a merchant ain’t ya?” says Emma “Now, ain’t you smart,” says Steal, surveying the cove with the practiced eye of a relator. “Hmm. It’s kind of pretty here, in a rustic kind of way. I could see rich Americans living here, or Germans. I think we could even lure some Japanese from P.E.I. …” And that was the beginning of the end for Codpatch. Stay tuned when we will find out what’s going on in Oilpatch — the provincial capital.

YOUR VOICE ‘Airy-fairy and wacko’ Dear editor, I enjoyed your column about the seal hunt (All you need is a club, March 5-11 edition by Ryan Cleary). Please don’t misunderstand, I openly oppose the hunt but I respect your comments. More importantly, I recognize your courage for speaking out about something that many islanders are very passionate about defending. Your last sentence is probably one of the most intelligent, compassionate and logical statements I have ever read in a column regarding the seal hunt. It’s true that many protestors are only concerned with raising money for their cause, but there are some people who truly believe the slaughter is wrong. I am one of them. Like most people, I had an idea about what happened, but once I saw it my life changed forever. Before I share this with you, you have to understand that I’m not a green-haired, tattooed, multiple-pierced bunny hugger out to save the world. I’m a university educated, married, soon-to-be father who likes to look at things logically and base my decisions on what I feel is right. When I saw the clips of the seal hunt on the news I was horrified and couldn’t get the images out of my head. I wrote a letter to the paper and it was printed. It got a response so I wrote another letter, and it continued from there. Eventually someone from DFO told me there was no difference between what happened on the ice flows and what happened in a slaughterhouse. True enough, when I researched slaughterhouses it changed my life. In one evening I instantly became a never-eat-anything-with-apulse vegetarian. It’s only been about 10 months but I have no desire or

intention of ever again eating the flesh of a living animal. I have never been healthier, happier or more at peace with the world. I know that sounds all airy-fairy and wacko, but unless you’ve experienced it for yourself you really can’t understand. There will always be people who oppose the hunt for the cruelty aspect, but I believe most people oppose it because of the waste of life. Killing a seal just for her fur is wasteful. The meat could easily be collected and given to homeless shelters, food banks or a number of areas that will help a greater number of people than just those who wield the clubs. I understand that seal hunting is a tradition, but I would think most people would jump at the opportunity to do and be more than a seal hunter. I can’t imagine a father being overly proud if his son says he wants to grow up to be a seal hunter. I’m not trying to criticize, but I would think all parents want their children to be better off than they are. Newfoundland has a chance to reinvent itself. Traditions of the past have to be discarded to make way for new ventures that are more humane, profitable and globally accepted. Anyways, I respect your opinion and I’m glad you looked at the seal slaughter from another point of view. You have the ability to reach a lot of people with your words and I’m glad you are using your gift with words to encourage openness and discussion among people. I’ve always said that conflict creates conversation, and conversation creates solutions. Mike Rogozinski Port Coquitlam, B.C. See seal letters, pages 22-23

An organic fishery? Dear editor, As a consumer of organic products, I understand the frustration of finding products here. Even at the large supermarkets it is very sporadic as to what’s available, but that’s not what I want to comment about. Looking at the volume of organic food business in the U.S. and U.K., are we missing the boat, perhaps literally, when it comes to our fishery? With all the talk of production going to China and trawlers scraping the ocean floor etc., why is our fishery not going organic? I am no fisherman and do not pretend to understand the industry, but I am a consumer of

organic products. Why are we not marketing fish caught by handline and small net? We should promote fish that is not causing environmental destruction. I realize that the catching of fish the “old-fashioned” way may not be as efficient, but have you ever looked at the price of organic meat? People pay a premium for these products. There are consumers in Toronto, New York, and London will pay more for a bit of fish, when the label tells them it was caught in an environmentally friendly way. Edward Martin St. John’s

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

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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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All material in The Independent is copyrighted and the property of The Independent or the writers and photographers who produced the material. Any use or reproduction of this material without permission is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. • © 2005 The Independent • Canada Post Agreement # 40871083

The Independent welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be 300 words in length or less and include full name, mailing address and daytime contact numbers. Letters may be edited for length, content and legal considerations. Send your letters in care of The Independent, P.O. Box 5891, Station C, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5X4 or e-mail us at editorial@theindependent.ca

A real rebranding A

s a Newfoundlander, what drives me mad more than anything else is how goofy newfie we can be, just like so many mainlanders say, and that’s the simple truth of it. For the record, I believe we’re a chosen people living on a precious patch of God’s own country, but then my family tree is rooted in Town and around the bay, and I couldn’t imagine otherwise. We’re certainly not a stunned people, I’d never say that … but we are more than capable of doing monumentally stunned things. Blame it on our immaturity as a people, blame it on our naïve and giving nature, blame it on home-grown scoundrels and scumbags and scatterbrains. A share of the blame is most definitely ours — seals, foreign skippers and evil come-from-away forces can’t take all the credit. Our goofiness began with Confederation in that the Terms of Union are ridiculous. We gave away the fishery, lock, stock and barrel. “Here, please take this burden from us Canada. Take all the fish we have in the sea and look after them for us. We don’t want anything more to do with it. We’re incapable of taking care of ourselves.” That’s exactly what we did in 1949 — we washed our hands of the gift our forefathers left us. We gave away the farm and walked away without a wave or a kiss me arse. But this particular column is not to knock Confederation — I’m simply saying the Terms of Union (outside the clause protecting our right to continue making margarine) weren’t well thought out or negotiated on our part. The goofy list goes on … Labrador’s upper Churchill, Stephenville’s liner board mill, Mount Pearl’s cucumber farm, Holyrood’s rubber boot factory … I don’t have to paint the picture, the images should be burned into your brain by now. I came across yet another example of our continued stupidity just this past week with the news of an ammonia leak aboard a vessel tied up in Harbour Grace harbour. The news made it

RYAN CLEARY

Fighting Newfoundlander

across the country — 20 people working on the wharf were taken to hospital. Turns out they were fine … thank heavens. But the media spotlight missed another, bigger story that sums up all that’s wrong with this place. The ship that suffered the ammonia leak was an Icelandic factory-freezer trawler, the Petur Jonsson, the same vessel that was sited Feb. 21 for illegal fishing on the Grand Banks, a story carried in the pages of this paper. The Petur Jonsson was allowed to sail into Harbour Grace and unload hundreds of boxes of shrimp to be stored in cold storage. The shrimp will be shipped out once a market is found, probably to the European Union.

The goofy list goes on … Labrador’s upper Churchill, Stephenville’s liner board mill, Mount Pearl’s cucumber farm, Holyrood’s rubber boot factory … I don’t have to paint the picture, the images should be burned into your brain by now. Here’s the kicker: the same vessel cited for breaking the rules off our shores will likely end up selling its shrimp catch to the EU, the same country that subjects Canadian-caught shrimp to a 20 per cent tariff. Now does that make sense to you? Because it doesn’t make sense to me. I’m from Harbour Grace myself,

where a fish plant once employed hundreds. The building was torn down years ago and in its place was built a cold-storage warehouse, with a handful of workers hired to load and unload boxes of foreign-caught fish from the Grand Banks. This is what we’ve come to. Our fishery, what’s left of it, is a complete and utter disgrace. Iceland and foreign countries like it have an increasingly larger role in our industry, fishing our paper quotas while our communities fade away. Companies like FPI want to ship small, undersized flounder to China for processing to offset the cost of processing the larger fish at plants like Marystown. This may be a stupid question (I’m full of them when it comes to the fishery) but how do stocks recover when you kill the baby fish? I’ve said it before, what needs to be done is a complete inventory of the quotas of the northwest Atlantic and a breakdown of who’s catching them. Our new Fisheries minister, Loyola Hearn, is making industry observers nervous. They’re already questioning whether Hearn is man enough to follow through on his pre-election promises. Meetings in Paris with countries like Namibia and Chile don’t exactly fit the definition of taking action. It’s time for a royal commission on the fishery. We’ve had one on our place in Confederation; we’ve had one on seals — outport life is equally as important. We need a blueprint for renewal … it’s the only sensible thing to do. One last word about the Petur Jonsson. In August 2005 Greenpeace activists branded the word Legal? on the side of the ship as it fished the Grand Banks. The move was in protest of Iceland’s decision to disregard shrimp quotas and set their own. Maybe we should take similar action and brand an X on the side of all foreign trawlers that illegally fish off our shores. We could paint it with blood from the dying outports. Nothing goofy about that image. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7

Gentle Bob O

Ivan Morgan on a local columnist he will dearly miss f all the rackets, journalism is one of the toughest. I’ve never been a full-time journalist, but many of my friends either are, or at one time were, so I have a good understanding of the job. Are they writers? Some say yes, some say no. Are they professionals? Some are, some aren’t. Are they talented? Ditto. The term journalist is almost as abused as the term engineer. Once upon a time the term engineer had a specific meaning. Now we have software engineers, maintenance engineers, sanitation engineers … the term doctor still usually means someone you go to when you are sick, but there are still a few people with the gall to insist that their PhDs entitle them to be called doctor. (Note to post-graduates — if you want me to call you doctor, you better be able to ease my arthritis). And I never did know what the term executive meant. The term journalist also has a broad definition. The crew of The National

IVAN MORGAN

Rant & Reason

and the crew of ET Canada both refer to themselves as journalists. It is a word often spit out of the mouths of politicians. It is popular to note that next to lawyers and politicians, journalists are held in the lowest esteem by members of the general public. I always wonder what it is that these “general public” people do for a living that is so virtuous? It is a profession that can be very hard on people. The hours are long, the stress can be brutal, the tangible rewards few, and outside of a few cushy positions, the job security is iffy at best. I have lived long enough to see what the job can do to people. I am not being overly dramatic when I say I

YOUR VOICE

have seen it kill people — or at least not exactly help them live a long life. Something happened to me this week that made me think a lot about the profession I’m associated with. By a weird confluence of fate, I happened to be watching CBC “personality” George Stroumboulopoulos’ show The Hour when I was told that local journalist and fellow columnist Bob Benson had died. I did not know Mr. Benson personally, outside of a few joking exchanges over the years at the local newsstand or coffee shop, but I was a great admirer of his column. The profession of journalism and column writing has developed a hard edge these days. It is considered fashionable (and I include myself in this) to “come out swinging” — to be acerbic, combative, sarcastic, or witty in an acidic, cynical way — in an attempt to become and remain noticed and read. Stroumboulopoulos’ strategy appears to try and be edgy and cool. It

UNION FEARS

doesn’t work. Almost to a person, journalists are not hip or cool. As a matter of fact (and excuse the paradox) not trying to be cool makes them cool. In journalism, trying to be edgy or cool is to court professional death. If you think Paul Workman, Adrienne Arsenault, Stephanie Nolan, Roy McGregor or Stephanie Porter are “cool” then odds are it is their work you admire. If you don’t know these names, it is your loss. Find them, read them. Their work is important. It is their work — not them — that makes them cool. They don’t have to know all the latest teen gestures and lingo. Their work stands out by itself. George Stroumboulopoulos doesn’t seem to grasp this. I think he is silly, which is not cool. Bob Benson was not cool. Bob Benson was not edgy, harsh or acerbic. I have been reading his column for years, and the word that I think best describes his work is gentle. He had a

gentle approach and kindly outlook that is sorely lacking in a lot of today’s journalism. There was a layer of compassion in his writing that I don’t often find in others. His is a voice that I will miss. He had an outlook that was hard won, but through it all he seemed able to hold on to a gentle humour and wit. All that is now lost to us. I often found myself, after reading one of his columns on growing up in St. John’s, looking at the city differently. He gave depth, colour and personality to the dirty streets we race through as we desperately try to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I’d love to think that he has influenced me, and that I will adopt a softer, more gentle approach to politics, life, and my flawed efforts at column writing. But I doubt I will. I don’t have the guts.

Ivan Morgan can be reached at ivan.morgan@gmail.com

Praise for Olympic curling coverage Dear editor, I’d like to share my comments on the Olympic curling competition as posted on TSN’s website. After Team Gushue beat Britain and Switzerland on the third day of the competition, I read numerous e-mails posted on TSN’s website and felt the strong urge to share with the country’s sports enthusiasts my thoughts on Team Canada’s success to that point. After the loss to Italy, naysayers from coast to coast dominated TSN’s website with some uncomplimentary remarks. However, from the second half of the Italy contest, the Gushue team began an unprecedented display of the type of curling that won them

the awesome right to represent our country. With the pressure of the world on their shoulders, Team Gushue methodically forged onwards toward their ultimate goal, culminating in the fairytale ending of achieving the gold. At that point, with my eyeballs sweating, to TSN’s website I meandered to again share with fellow Canadians my final thoughts. Thank you for your time, and I trust you’ll see fit to allow your readership to be privy to the enormous pride I felt (and still feel). Gary W. Gulliver, Kelligrews (former teacher and new curling fan)

Government has supported sealing industry

Dear editor, I’m writing this letter in response to the suggestion by Mike Kehoe in his letter Blood on the ice always works (March 5-11 edition) that the feds have “failed miserably” to support the sealing industry over the last 35 years. Notably, the feds supported sealing with the Canada Community Development Grant in 1984, the Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing in 1985, and annual funding for the Canadian Sealers Association, which continued to receive grants until March, 2000. The termination of these grants were linked to the return to self-sufficiency by the sealing industry. Unfortunately for the sealers association, only four per cent of qualified members contributed the $25 annual

So much to be sorry for

fee and a 25-cent pelt levy. This lack of support by sealers has been described as “disgraceful” and the demise of the association in March 2004 can only be attributed to sealers themselves. Furthermore, the provincial government has no choice “to let the federal government control the response” as sealing is a cross provincial industry involving P.E.I, Quebec and Nunavut. Constitutionally, marine regulation is a power reserved to the federal government. Indeed, where and when possible, provincial ministers and elected officials have always vociferously supported the sealing industry. James Vaughan, St. John’s

First point of contact — a lie

Dear editor, Last weekend saw full-page tourism ads in The Globe and Mail by the Newfoundland and Labrador government that recommend calling to “ask Allan for more info” (another advertisement suggested “Kate”). I telephoned and a polite person said that neither was available. After light pressing, it became clear there were no such parties in employ. Is it in the best interest of tourism, or the province in general, to present a lie as our first point of contact? Not to mention that the staff have to make excuses, and lie again on 6 ndethe 2/16/0not Indepeof 1.5x3.5 (“he’s nt 1province behalf available now”), and when pressed

have to concede that her boss is misleading the caller, who has come to find out how wonderful we are, so they can visit. One assumes it is done to suggest callers will get personal service, but isn’t that clearly betrayed by this lie, since those “persons” are not at that number? Canadian standards in advertising clearly sates, “Advertisements must not contain inaccurate or deceptive claims, statements ... either (sic) direct or implied, with regard to a product or service.” So we broke that rule, blatantly.

9:50 AM

Page 1

Allan Moulton, an employee of the FPI plant in Marystown for more than 30 years and the union representative, stands on a bluff overlooking the plant. Late last week FFAW president Earle McCurdy warned of massive layoffs in Burin Peninsula fish plants after weeks of intense talks Paul Daly/The Independent with FPI.

Gerard Whelan St. John’s

Editor’s note: the following is a letter written to Heather Mills McCartney, with a copy forwarded to The Independent.

I am a Newfoundlander and well informed on the happenings in my province, so I have followed with interest your recent actions regarding the seal hunt. Yes, I do feel sorry for you. I am sincerely sorry that you are being so used by a group that has capitalized on your fame and fortune. I am sorry you were never taught the rules of common courtesy in a conversation. I am sorry you have the title Lady, as you clearly do not conduct yourself as such. I am sorry you do not know the geography of our diverse country with its plethora of cultures, and I am sorry your husband looked so uncomfortable and worn on Larry King’s show. The young boy from Liverpool, England, who was, and is, a brilliant songwriter and musician, is not the cheerful young man he once was, and is allowing his reputation to be endangered more than any seal. Because of his recent activities, Beatle albums, cassettes and CDs are being thrown in the trash in this

part of the country. Your husband, if he had stuck to his field of expertise, would always be known as an idol of our youth, instead of a person who entered Canada, with his wife, broke our federal Canadian Marine Mammal Act, and sat and watched his wife perform so terribly on television. He looked uncomfortable and embarrassed. Now he will be remembered for his recent activities more than any other accomplishment. I am sorry you are riding on the fame of one of the true idols of our time. I am sorry you were not educated enough to know that once you touched that baby whitecoat seal (which are not hunted or killed), you left a 99 per cent chance of leaving that seal abandoned by its mother, because you would have left the scent of a human on the animal. I am sorry you are not aware that Omega-3 seal oil capsules are manufactured here in Newfoundland and Labrador and are used to treat heart disease and various other illnesses. I am sorry you did not think things through before you yelled and interrupted Premier Danny Williams when he tried to make his points on Larry King Live.

‘We will not go quietly’

Dear editor, I’m trying to locate more information on the Eastern Health Board and the problems with their lab testing as mentioned in this article on Gerry Rogers (Not pretty in pink, March 5-11 edition). My grandmother was just diagnosed with lung cancer and her oncologist informed her that four years ago when she had her breast removed because of cancer she was given a false negative test result. Because of this, she was taken off the drug Tamoxifen and

for the past four years, cancer cells have spread into the lining of her lung. I have not had much success in locating anything regarding this story, except your article. I am outraged that no one is raising alarm bells regarding this issue. Not to mention the disgraceful behaviour of the board for not even having the decency to contact patients. I’m hoping you could point me towards an appropriate person or persons that I can contact regarding this issue (other patients, lawyers, etc.). I

Most of all, I am very sorry that you both were clearly misinformed and now so much damage has been done that will always be remembered, just as the Bridgette Bardot debacle is still remembered. I feel sorry that your husband had the poor judgment to wear a jacket with Canada written across his chest. When you get a moment, would you please return that jacket? We like to keep our Canadian emblems in safe hands! I too am sorry that tabloids in your own country, papers that worshipped your husband, are now printing headlines such as Embarrassed to be British. That surely must hurt him and I truly hurt myself to think of that situation. I am sorry this has been such a late-in-life learning experience for you both, and most of all, I am sorry this whole thing ever happened, an event which will, in all probability, bring you legal and personal angst in the months to come. I end by saying I am sorry you both have been so used by a group that obviously misled you. To be exploited to this degree is very sad. Bonnie Jarvis-Lowe, Shoal Harbor

would greatly appreciate anything you can do for me and my family. We will not go quietly and watch my grandmother die in silence while these people are never called to answer for their actions. Thank you for having the courage and the journalistic integrity to print this article. From what I have been able to find, you are the only voice these people seem to have. Norma Markle, Brampton, Ont.

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MARCH 12, 2006

8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

LIFE STORY

May 3, 1957, NL Weekly

AROUND THE BAY “The feast of St. Patrick, Ireland’s illfated apostle, was celebrated here on Wednesday last with due solemnity. High mass was celebrated … the alter was decorated as usual with the exquisite taste by the good and zealous nuns. The singing and instrumental music of the well-trained choir was very effective. The various hymns, appropriate to the occasion, were listened to with marked pleasure and attention.” — Harbour Grace Standard, March 19, 1897

YEARS PAST “During the past few weeks the committees of the Star of the Sea Association (in Placentia) have been busy preparing for the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. For this special occasion, the society endeavours to provide the best entertainment for members and friends and in this we will again be privileged to have the services of Mount Cashel pupils and Old Boy’s Association … to climax the events of the day a grand dance will be held in the Star Hall beginning at 8 p.m. Mount Cashel Orchestra will supply the music and during the evening the Star Ladies will serve meat and refreshments.” — The Daily News, March 16, 1953

AROUND THE WORLD “Unverified estimates received by the Denton Evening News early tonight were that perhaps several hundred persons were killed in the tornado which struck West Frankfort, seven miles south of here late today. Between 200 and 300 children were said to have been killed or injured when a school house blew down. Between 60 and 85 bodies have been brought to Denton, according to reports. — Daily Globe, March 19, 1925

EDITORIAL STAND “A black outlook such as only happens in Newfoundland under Tory rule can never cause people to look happy or become happy. It disheartens them because their earning powers become so reduced in value and the fear is always over them of uncertain employment when business people, forced by high taxation, are obliged to curtail business development.” — The Daily Tribune, April 5, 1927 LETTER TO THE EDITOR “Please allow me to make a few remarks in your paper about poor old Newfoundland, with decay marked upon everything this side of Greenspond. And the great cause of this decay is the seal fishery. Had our rulers put $20 fine on every old seal brought in there would be some seals left for all to get and also there would not be so much starvation in the country today.” Signed, Old Fisherman. — Harbour Grace Standard, March 26, 1897 QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Many people have not favoured NAFEL (Newfoundland Associated Fish Exporters Ltd.) of the saltfish industry, but it has at least eliminated cut-throat competitive selling. It looks as if something should be done to prevent such practices in the fresh fish industry. If some controls are not instituted over marketing, the loss is always borne by the producer — in this case the fisherman.” David R. Abbott president of NAFEL. — Newfoundland Weekly, March 22, 1957

Wilfred Templeman

‘Our anchor’ Wilfred Templeman 1908-1990

B

By Katie Smith For the Independent

orn into a family with a connection to the fishing industry of more than 200 years, it’s no surprise Wilfred Templeman went on to become one of Canada’s leading fishery scientists. Born in Bonavista in 1908, Templeman spent much of his youth fishing with his father and relatives, learning the trade. But he wasn’t meant for a life on the sea, so much as a life studying the sea and the creatures in it. After years of university, Templeman earned his masters

and his PhD at the University of Toronto. He went on to teach zoology at McGill University in Montreal, before returning to Newfoundland to head Memorial University’s Biology Department. Templeman spent most of his life learning about the Newfoundland fisheries and educating others about it, writing more than 250 papers. Edward Sandeman, who read the eulogy at Templeman’s funeral, worked with him for more than 25 years as a research scientist. “He was a very good scientist. He was an extremely hard worker. His life was his work,” he tells The Independent. Sandeman says Templeman was one of Newfoundland’s most famous scientists. “I would say he was probably No 1. He was (also) one of Canada’s No. 1 scientists, there’s no doubt in my mind at all.” Templeman had a strong work ethic. Between his career and his family (a wife and four daughters), there was little time left for anything else, Sandeman says. “He worked all day and he worked all night and still managed to raise a family.” Templeman’s job changed somewhat after Confederation in 1949. “He became the director of the lab. Along with directing it, he took a very strong interest in all things fisheries,” Sandeman says. “He pointed out to the industry that there were many more species other than cod, lobster and herring (the major catches before Confederation).” Templeman’s research led companies to fish for species other than cod on the Grand Banks. It also led to the development of trawler fleets, as opposed to solely inshore fisheries, Sandeman says. “His work and the work of his colleagues became the mainstay of the modern development of the fisheries off the Grand Banks.” Templeman’s research was known the world over, Sandeman says. “He was a fisheries biologist par excellence.” Sandeman learned a lot from Templeman, as did many other scientists. He was inspirational and a good teacher, Sandeman says. “He was a really wonderful person in so many ways. He would be down in the lab with his staff, working and gathering data from the fish. He was one of the workers himself.” Although he officially retired in 1972, Templeman continued to maintain contact with the labs and continued to work right up until his death in 1990. Among his many honours and accomplishments, Templeman was named to the Order of the British Empire in 1948. Templeman also had a Canadian Coast Guard vessel named after him. His granddaugher, Barbara Nowe-Cleary, remembers a quiet man, but one who always listened and paid attention to his family. “He was always aware of what was going on. “He loved the outdoors and was very interested in everybody being educated and saving money.” For all his education, Nowe-Cleary says her grandfather’s favourite books (outside research books and papers) were paperback westerns — especially Louis L’Amour. “My grandfather had hundreds and hundreds of books in his basement. He read and reread them. He kind of just lost himself in them after working all day on his research. “Grampy was always there. He was our anchor.” Katie Smith is a journalism student from Holland College, PEI.


INDEPENDENTWORLD

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 12-18, 2006 — PAGE 9

Canadian soldiers in a LAV III drive past the ruins of the King's Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. The troops are some of the first arrivals for Operation ATHENA, Canada's contribution to the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul. Sgt Frank Hudec/Canadian Forces combat camera

Secret surge to stronger mandate 1993 fight altered Canadian doctrine; Afghanistan brings broader agenda OTTAWA By Graham Fraser Torstar wire service

C

anadian foreign and military policy suddenly changed direction on Sept. 9, 1993. That was when the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, assigned to Croatia, was caught between Serbs and Croats — and involved in the fiercest fighting Canadian troops had engaged in since Korea. “The fundamentals of Canadian foreign policy changed with the Balkans and with the onset of the kind of inter-ethnic rivalries and civil wars and interstate conflicts that arose in the early 1990s,” observed a senior Canadian official in Foreign Affairs. But for nine years, the battle of Medak Pocket was a virtual secret, the result of two factors. There was little Canadian media in the tiny corner of the former Yugoslavia, and the Department of National Defence was still publicity shy

because of the recent Somalia mission. the horrors and violence of wars in foreign While no Canadians were killed at countries, and have actively fought in Medak Pocket, four were wounded when those wars without Canadians ever hearing they were forced to respond to Croatian much about it.” fighters opening fire with machine guns As Canadian troops are taking casualties and artillery. in Afghanistan, the full But the Somalia scandimensions of that new dal, which involved the reality are clearer. Peacekeeping of the torture and shooting of Since 2001, Canada civilians and led to the has deployed more than sort Canada pioneered 6,000 troops to disbanding of the elite Airborne Regiment, left Afghanistan. Ten in the 1950s, seems a military and political Canadian soldiers and leaders unwilling to disdiplomat Glyn Berry relic of the Cold War. cuss how peacekeeping have died. had changed. Peacekeeping of the “Canada has assigned itself the role of sort Canada pioneered in the 1950s, seems peacemaker: It’s in our mythology, our his- a relic of the Cold War. tory and our foreign policy, but as a nation “Conventional wisdom seems to indicate we are colossally deluded about what the that we’re doing our part for the ‘war on role really entails,” wrote Carol Off in her terror’ — tacitly supporting the U.S.’s book, The Ghosts of Medak Pocket: The global post-9/11 strategy while sidestepping the politically tricky question of Story of Canada’s Secret War. “That delusion has meant that Canadian deploying to Iraq,” observed Robert soldiers have repeatedly been sent to face Muggah, project co-ordinator of the

Geneva-based Small Arms Survey. Even if the United States nudged Canada to participate, he suggests Canada is serving in Afghanistan with NATO to advance its own, broader agenda. This involves demonstrating its capacity to move beyond peacekeeping to combine diplomacy, defence and development, as described in last year’s foreign policy statement. There is a clear line from the Medak Pocket to Kandahar. Canada’s policy has shifted from traditional peacekeeping to a harder-edged, tougher diplomatic and military posture. As foreign affairs minister between 1996 and 2000, Lloyd Axworthy focused on human security — threats to human safety rather than to national borders. It was an overarching concept that stretched from the ban on anti-personnel mines and the establishment of the International Criminal Court to the protection of refugees, women See “Which foot,”page 11

VOICE FROM AWAY

On assignment

Photographer Jonathan Hayward of St. John’s has shot his share of famous people — and been shot at himself

I

By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent

n a telephone interview from Ottawa, Jonathan Hayward reads a recent e-mail he received with information on the start-up date for the 2006 seal hunt. “DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) is saying the week of the 20th (of March) as the beginning of the hunt,” he tells The Independent. “Last night I heard it was the 16th. I guess it’s all over the place. I guess it’s when the seals are actually considered adults.”

Hayward will be shooting at the hunt for the third year in a row, but as a freelance photographer for Canadian Press, his shooting style is a little different to that of the other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on the ice floes. Hayward, who grew up in St. John’s, says as a Newfoundlander it can be difficult finding un-biased ground to stand on when surrounded by animal rights activists protesting the hunt and sealers defending their livelihood. “You’ve kind of got to be totally independent of both, but as we all know a picture definitely shows the bad side

of the seal hunt.” Hayward studied photography at Ryerson University before taking a job as a staff photographer with a local newspaper in St. John’s. He stayed in his hometown for three years before moving to Ottawa almost a decade ago. He says he loves living in the capital city — but with jobs freelancing for Canadian Press, Time magazine and various other news outlets, Hayward travels a lot. He recently returned from covering See “You just can’t,” page 11

Jonathan Hayward with former primer minister Paul Martin

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MARCH 12, 2006

10 • INDEPENDENTWORLD

Federal finance minister decries equalization ‘mess’

T

By Keith Leslie Torstar wire service

he equalization program that sees richer provinces sharing money with poorer ones has been rendered a “mess” by the former Liberal government’s side deals with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, says Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Flaherty says allowing those two provinces to exclude their oil and gas revenues from the calculations for equalization has resulted in two different formulas for determining which are the so-called “have” and “havenot” provinces. “There were some agreements entered into by the previous government that have resulted in the equalization situation today, quite frankly, being a mess,” he said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Flaherty isn’t specific about the new Conservative government’s long-term plans to address the equalization issue, but he did indicate the oil and gas deals with the two Atlantic provinces could be scrapped. “Right now we have two equalization formulas that the previous government is firmly committed to — both of them,” he says. “So you start there. We can’t be firmly committed to two equalization programs.”

Ontario complained bitterly when Ottawa inked the deals with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005, and Saskatchewan — now considered a have province — has been pushing for a similar agreement to exclude its own oil and gas revenues from the calculations.

“Right now we have two equalization formulas that the previous government is firmly committed to — both of them.” Jim Flaherty

Having recently met with Ontario counterpart Dwight Duncan, Flaherty says his negotiations with the provinces about the so-called fiscal imbalance are “broader” than equalization, but he pledges to work with them on the issue. The provinces complain the federal government has posted multi-billiondollar surpluses each year while they struggle to balance their books, but

Flaherty notes there is no agreement among the provinces on how it should be dealt with. “We acknowledge the fiscal imbalance in Canada, and one can get into significant debates about the size of it with respect to specific jurisdictions,” he says. “We also acknowledge that in a fiscal federation, if it’s going to make sense, that there is an interest among all Canadians of sharing, that wealthier taxpayers in wealthier provinces do wish to share.” Flaherty calls the equalization program “a Canadian tradition” that’s enshrined in the Constitution, and says he will wait for several reports now being prepared before deciding how to deal with the issue. He says the fiscal imbalance problem won’t be addressed in the Conservatives’ first federal budget this year, but promised to listen to the provinces’ financial concerns. “I acknowledge the spending pressures on the provinces. I was here,” says Flaherty, who was Ontario’s finance minister under former premier Mike Harris from 2001 to 2002. “In health care in particular there are tremendous spending pressures, and tremendous challenges there. And hopefully we’ll make progress on that across Canada in the next while.”

Voters seeing double At least twice a day, Jack Carr is mistaken for his identical twin Jody Carr, the newly appointed New Brunswick Post-Secondary Education and Training minister. And now, after seven years of voters mistakenly directing comments, questions and even complaints his way, Jack Carr wants to be a MLA himself. The former radio announcer and journalist is running for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the newly proposed riding of Grand LakeGagetown. If Jack wins the nomination, he and his brother would become what is very likely the first set of identical twins to

run in a New Brunswick provincial election campaign. And if the brothers both win their seats, they would likely make political history again as the first set of identical twins to serve together as MLAs in a legislature. “I expect people to do a double take (as I campaign) ... And I welcome that. It’s going to be fun,” Jack says. The 30-year-old twins are wellknown in political circles and in the Fredericton area. Jack has been at his brother’s side during all his past election campaigns and more recently as a communications officer for the backbench government MLAs. — Telegraph-Journal

139 prostitution arrests Police have made 139 arrests and laid 175 criminal charges in the latest sweep of men seeking prostitutes in the Parkdale area of Toronto. As part of Project Sweep, female undercover officers posing as prostitutes are placed as bait in areas frequented by men looking for sex. Community concerns have been raised about fights between prostitutes and fights between prostitutes and drug dealers. In what police say is a disturbing trend, some of the men who approached undercover police officers were accompanied by children. One night, a man with an infant child

approached an undercover officer who was posing as a prostitute. “The officer tried to avoid the man because of the very young child, but the man was not deterred and told his child to wait in a bus shelter,” police stated. “The man persisted and was arrested.” Further, it is alleged that the agreedupon sex act was to occur in the man’s home. The officer was told not to worry about the man’s child in the bus shelter. In two previous operations, men with babies in car seats have solicited undercover officers, police say. The oldest “john” arrested was 72, the youngest 16. — Torstar wire service


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTWORLD • 11

Pedal to the metal

Stephen Harper finally gets a licence to drive the country and crashes the car

T

MICHAEL HARRIS

The Outrider

hink of Canada as a car and Stephen Harper as a teenager. Young Steve asked to borrow the keys and the owners said yes. The hope was Steve would drive the car more carefully than his reckless predecessors. If he does, he gets to keep the keys for longer than his distant cousin Joe, who blew the engine in just nine months. But there is already the smell of burning rubber in the air. Steve, you see, has undergone something of a change. After locking the doors and turning up his collar, he has exhibited a hitherto unseen trait — the capacity to surprise. Before Steve even got rolling, two strangers popped up in the front seat beside him: David Emerson and Michel Fortier. Despite knocking over the garbage cans on his way down the driveway, Steve didn’t look back. It should be pointed out that neither of his chosen companions had been given permission to ride in the car by the owners. Let’s be fair. Steve was bound to make mistakes, like failing to signal a few abrupt turns or grinding the gears. The car’s owners are usually quite forgiving. So Steve was a little surprised when he saw that red cherry flashing in his rear-view mirror. It was Officer Shapiro. He had received a complaint that one of Steve’s passengers had traded stolen property for a ride in Steve’s car. The complainants wanted their riding back. And there was also the ticklish question of

Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

receiving stolen goods. Steve had never liked Officer Shapiro. In fact, he was already planning to run him over, now that he had the car. So Steve told the officer to have a nice day, stepped on the accelerator and covered Shapiro in the gravel of nasty press releases. The car does that to people. Undaunted, Officer Shapiro set out on his motor-scooter to do his duty. “Good luck officer,” cried a few people who were already concerned about Steve’s driving. But in their hearts, they knew that Officer Shapiro was proba-

bly a goner. The open highway is a lonely and dangerous place for an appointee without an appointer. In the meantime, Steve picked up some army buddies and they and his new friends decided to take the car to Afghanistan. Now this was one of the places that the owners of the car didn’t necessarily want Steve going. But having the keys, Steve declared that he would go wherever he liked. If he wanted to squeal the tires he would do that too. And it wasn’t debatable. Sounding to some like the alpha

Reuters

jackal from a nearby republic, he ordered all flaccid wimps who disapproved of his driving to rally round the mission or shut up. Steve’s supporters cheered. The Democratic deficit was almost fixed. But a few of the car’s owners still complained. Some of Steve’s friends added to the confusion. Gordon O’Connor, who runs our military, said our troops in Kandahar were not there to conduct combat operations. Commanders in the field, however, spoke of “taking the offensive” to the “enemy.”

What did it all mean? Kill more “scumbags” as Generalissimo Hillier called them, or deliver parcels of food to people who had not yet connected the notions of privation and sudden death with liberation? Steve had an answer: these were questions for another day. He had more important things to worry about, like how to keep his hands on the car. That would be difficult with just 36 per cent of the country in favour of the current arrangement. But Steve is learning fast. He now takes the car to Quebec for all its servicing. His closest pals tell him that while you may not be able to actually own it, La Belle Province is still the best place to arrange a long-term lease for the car. Although Chief Mechanic John Gomery has suggested we put a governor on the car to prevent future drivers from abusing its power the way the evil Grits did, Steve is not so sure. He is taking a shine to the high-rise cam and those churning cylinders. Instead of taking the clerk of the privy council out of the PMO, as the chief mechanic recommended, Steve has made him ambassador to Italy. Soon he will have his very own clerk to do for him what Alex Himmelfarb did for Chrétien and Martin. As for the owners of the car, they’ve seen it all before. Many have piously begged for the keys to the car only to turn into spittle-flecked road hogs when their wish is granted. The press conferences of the new government already look like an episode of Jerry Springer gone wrong. Soon they will look like Question Period. As for the guy behind the wheel, he is starting to bear an uncanny resemblance to previous crash test dummies. Michael Harris’ column will return March 19.

‘You just can’t leave your place’ From page 9

the Olympic Games in Turin, Italy and before that trailed the federal election campaigns across the country — including a few visits to Newfoundland and Labrador. Hayward says living in Ottawa means a lot of political assignments. “The election campaigns are always fun. You get three or four weeks of going between, say the Liberals and Conservatives, you get to see how both machines work, it’s kind of cool. You’re right there when something happens.”

WARTS AND ALL With an up close, warts-and-all view of the various federal parties, Hayward was still keen to cast his vote and is passionate about the importance of doing so, although he won’t say which party he chose to back. “I tell people it doesn’t matter how you vote, just make sure you vote.” Hayward’s line of work has given him the chance to shoot some big names — U2’s Bono, the Pope — but people in Newfoundland might know him best from his famous photograph of a massive iceberg towering behind Fort Amherst’s lighthouse. He says he doesn’t get star struck during high-

‘Which foot are you on?’ From page 9

and children in conflict. Canada helped create the UN International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty that endorsed in 2001 “the responsibility to protect,” saying that the international community has not just the right but the responsibility to intervene when a country is unwilling or unable to protect its citizens. In 2004, then-prime minister Paul Martin asserted that repairing failed and failing states should be the main focus of Canada’s role in the world, saying: “That’s where the threat to national security comes from.” But the increasing emphasis on the military as the appropriate tool worries many in the aid and NGO communities, who point out that the flaw in a “hunt them down and kill them” strategy for dealing with counter-insurgency is that with every counter-insurgent killed, 10 more emerge to take his place. Gerry Barr of the Canadian Council on International Co-operation points out that trying to stabilize a situation is very different from intervening to protect a population that is threatened. “Which foot are you on?” he asks. “A policing and stabilization foot, or a war-fighting foot?” Canada’s mission in Afghanistan has been trying to do both. It remains to be seen whether these two objectives can be achieved at the same time.

profile photo ops (“afterwards you kind of go, ‘oh that was very cool’”), but some of his assignments, like photographing Nelson Mandela, stand out as particularly memorable. “I think one of the coolest things I ever saw was when (Fidel) Castro came to (Pierre) Trudeau’s funeral,” says Hayward. “That was the first time he’d left Cuba and it was the first time I’d ever seen him in person, but it was also the first time I’d ever seen him in a photograph or footage not in his (military) fatigues — he was in a suit.” Some assignments might be enjoyable, others dull, but some can also be harrowing. Last year, Hayward was part of a group of press and antisealing protestors observing the seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence when tempers flared. Shots were fired and a struggle broke out when one sealer rushed at a photographer while wielding a gaff. “I know these guys are passionate and I know a lot of them would never hurt anybody, but this definitely scared me last year, that’s for sure,” he says. “The kicker was when one guy got off the boat and shot above our heads. That was when I was … OK this is now getting really ugly.” When asked how efficient the killing process seems to be — a big bone of contention for protesters who claim the hunt is inhumane —

Hayward says from what he’s been able to see it seems “very efficient” 80 per cent of the time. But it’s hard to get close enough to really know. Sealing regulations mean observers have to keep at least 10-metres away. “That’s a part of the problem, I find. The sealers won’t let journalists up close enough to find out if they’re doing it totally properly.”

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY Sealing aside, some travelling assignments can be a “great experience.” Not only did Hayward manage to avoid Ottawa’s coldest weather period while he was shooting the Turin Olympics, he also got to be part of the action. Although he was disappointed he wasn’t assigned to the curling, particularly the gold medal game. Hayward might have shot the Pope, but he didn’t get Gushue. “There’s not many Newfoundland photographers over there, if any, and to be there when that was happening was cool. But I was covering all the alpine sports and I begged, I stealed, I tried to do anything to get in — but you just can’t leave your place.” Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please e-mail editorial@theindependent.ca

Jonathan Hayward at the Olympics in Turin. Bernard Brault\La Presse


MARCH 12, 2006

12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD

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30


INDEPENDENTLIFE

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 12-18, 2006 — PAGE 13

Waterford harbour in Ireland

Photos by Paul Daly/The Independent

Irish wave Half of province’s population may be of Irish descent; reason to cheer on St. Paddy’s Day

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By Katie Smith For The Independent

he Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century brought thousands of people to North America. The influx of the Irish was noticeable all over, but not so much in Newfoundland. John Mannion, an expert on Irish immigration, says the Irish stopped coming here about a decade before the famine struck. “They didn’t come here. There was just a trickle,” he tells The Independent. Partly because the trade between Newfoundland and Ireland stopped around 1835, says Mannion. Plus, the mainland was opening up. Provisions started coming to Newfoundland from places like the Maritimes, New England and Quebec, so Irish trade became less important. “Even if (Newfoundland) could accommodate a massive famine influx, the shipping had dropped off,” Mannion says. “Ships from Ireland coming across the Atlantic were increasingly going to New Brunswick for timber, and passengers would go aboard those timber ships. They weren’t coming to Newfoundland. “The place had filled up, so opportunity for work wasn’t as great.” Then at what point in time did Newfoundland see large waves of Irish immigrants? Mannion says the Irish started to come here in the late 18th century and the chief reason had nothing to do with famine and everything

to do with economics. “They came here primarily because the wages paid for labourers was three to four times what they would get in Ireland. That’s the main motivation.” About 90 per cent of workers with the migratory fishing industry who came to Newfoundland before 1790 returned to Ireland. After that point it was the other way around, and about four of every five stayed. “They didn’t go home because they had nothing to go home to,” Mannion says. “The place was over-populated.” SEASONAL STAYS Memorial University history professor Peter Hart says for a long time during the 1700s many of the Irish who came here either stayed for a season or a winter, but then returned to Ireland. “It wasn’t really until the end of the century that you got people coming and staying permanently,” says Hart, adding many of the Irish who came to Newfoundland over that time came from southeast Ireland, a wealthy area. “There was a great deal of commercial activity. There was a lot of successful businesses.” But Ireland was swelling rapidly and many Irish migrated to Newfoundland for work, adding to the island’s population, he says. “For transitory migrants, the majority, some would end up staying.” One of Mannion’s papers, Tracing the Irish: A Geographical Guide, states over 85

One of the many stately merchant homes in Waterford.

per cent of Irish immigrants to Newfoundland came from four counties in the southeast of Ireland: Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary, primarily because of the relative distance from their ports to Newfoundland. “For more than a century Waterford was the primary port of embarkation for Newfoundland and the great majority of migrants and emigrants came from places within a day’s journey of the city,” the article states. Memorial University professor and historian John FitzGerald says there were huge fortunes to be made in the migratory fishing industry. “If you went home with one boat load of fish back to Europe, in today’s standards it would be worth between $7 and $8 million … very substantial.” The wealth can be seen in different counties in Ireland, he says, specifically Waterford. “The waterfront of the town and many of the buildings were built by the proceeds of the Newfoundland fishing trade.” Waterford crystal came about as a result of those profits as well, says FitzGerald.

“William and George Penrose (who founded the Waterford Crystal Company) made their fortune off the Newfoundland fisheries before they went back to Ireland to capitalize on their glass works.” The Irish came to Newfoundland to find work and today their names are passed on through their descendants. Mannion says it’s hard to know what percentage of Newfoundlanders are of Irish descent because there was a lot of intermarriage during the 20th century, but a rough estimate can be made. “It’s hard to get this number. Let’s say if you want to define Irish as one ancestor or two of your great-grand parents, it would be about 50 per cent,” he says. And so, the Irish heritage in Newfoundland lives on. March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, and with half the population having its roots in Ireland, there’s sure to quite a celebration. So raise your glasses of green beer in memory of those who became a part of Newfoundland’s history. Katie Smith is a journalism student from Holland College in PEI.

LIVYER

Another brick in the wall

Gonzaga student Leia Feltham ponders the meaning of life … after high school

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our months. The countdown has begun. The day I’ve been waiting for — graduation. Books will burn, and the school reduced to a pile of rubble by a cheering mob of students. Not likely. For a long time I thought I had everything figured out. My life laid out perfectly like a road map with all the stops and exits marked. With a flawless plan like that there was no way I was going to get lost. Yet here I am, filling out my MUN application and I can’t escape the feeling that I haven’t a clue where I’m going and I’m too stubborn to ask for directions. How am I supposed to choose the exact course I want my life to take when I’m not even sure what I want to eat for

lunch? I’m blindly making decisions at this point and hoping for the best. If I’m honest with myself I’ll admit I’m inexperienced, and lacking the confidence I need to truly believe that I can be something. What that is yet I don’t know. There’s always what parents want their kids to be — doctors, lawyers, anything that sounds important and makes lots of money. No thank you. I’d rather not see blood on a daily basis or defend murderers. I’m not criticizing those jobs either, I admire anyone who can do them — they just aren’t for me. These choices are all so daunting. High school was so much easier than this. I could sit all day in class and stare out the window and let my mind wander and drift to wherever it wanted to go. I

could be on the moon while a teacher was explaining the history of the Russian revolution and they’d never know. I miss feeling like nothing matters and any mistake I make will be pushed aside. After all I still have my training wheels on for this life thing. I’ve been dying for freedom, to ride on my own for so long and now that it’s within reach I want a oneway ticket to sitting on my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I have my dreams. See the world, indulge recklessly and come home broke but with stories to tell. I think I have a better chance of watching the school fall to pieces. Leaving school for me has meant facing See “Facing realities,” page 18

Photo by Paul Daly/The Independent


MARCH 12, 2006

14 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

GALLERYPROFILE

Mary at Juan les Pins, 1959

New York #1

New York #2

Ships Masts

RAE PERLIN Visual Artist 1910-2006

M

Untitled

Newfoundland Scene

So, come to The Rooms and start the week with foot stomping, loud singing and Irish eyes smiling. You won't want to miss it!

arian Frances White recalls the day she came face to face with the impressive amount and variety of work Rae Perlin created in her lifetime. “I was in her living room, I asked if I could see some of her work,” says White. “She asked how much time I had, and I said ‘All afternoon,’ and she laughed and said, ‘Come, and I’ll show you.’” White was led into a back room filled with “shelves upon shelves of sketches, paintings, watercolours and you name it.” There were many, many sketchbooks and journals of visual art and writing, many never seen by the public. That was in the mid-’80s. It took White years to go through all the work — with Perlin’s assistance — and compile and edit it down to the 200 pages of Not a still life: the art and writings of Rae Perlin, the book she published through Creative Publishers in 1991. Perlin was born in 1910, the youngest of six children. She attended Bishop Spencer School in St. John’s, going on to study nursing in New York in the 1930s. It was there she discovered her love of art. Taking advantage of the flexible hours of nursing, for the next few years Perlin worked evening or night shifts, studying or practicing art during the day. By 1945 — after only two years of nursing in St. John’s — she decided to devote her life to her creative side. Perlin studied in New York and Paris, and travelled extensively in France, Italy and elsewhere along the Mediterranean, painting and writing as she went. “She had these beautiful little sketch books,” says White. “She didn’t just paint, but on the other side of the page she would write a little commentary about it. She was very torn between the writing and the visual art … there was an extraordinary artist within her. “No question about it, she was ahead of her time. When she came back to St. John’s in the ’50s, art was really just being born here and she got in on the ground floor.” “She was an individualist,” says Brenda McClellan, owner of the Red Ochre Gallery and art dealer for Perlin’s work. “She didn’t draw what the public expected or wanted, in terms of pretty painting. She worked for herself.” McClellan says Perlin was “instrumental” in establishing and promoting the burgeoning artistic community in St. John’s in the late-1950s and ’60s, becoming a regular art commentator and reviewer for The Daily News, The and The Evening Telegram Newfoundland Herald. She was also a devoted volunteer, giving much of her time to women’s organizations and other charities. In recent years, Perlin suffered the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. She passed away March 5 at the age of 95. “She may not be as well known for her work as she should be,” says McClellan, who is currently devoting much of her gallery space to the artist. “That may start to change.” “She’s someone that definitely will live on in her art, because she has left so much with so many,” says White. “I really think that is reassuring and a comfort.” Some of Rae Perlin’s work can be viewed at the Red Ochre Gallery, Duckworth Street, St. John’s. — Stephanie Porter Ships Masts, collection of the Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. All other work shown, Collection of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Used with permission.

9 Bonaventure Ave. 709 757 8000 www.therooms.ca

The Gallery is a regular feature in the Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, call 726-4639 or email editorial@theindependent.ca


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 15

What was Milla thinking? Ultraviolet 88 mins Starring Milla Jovovich 0 stars (out of four)

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ver the last few of years, we’ve seen The Matrix decline into sequels that exemplify overindulgence, especially thanks to the increased capabilities of computer animation. At the same time, the technology has helped filmmakers bring things and situations to the big screen that otherwise would be impossible or unconvincing. Some, like Sin City and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow have created whole computer generated worlds in which actors play out stories. While these have offered more style than substance, there is no denying the style is incredible, affecting our senses more than our reason. If this a step in the progression of computer animation, Ultraviolet offers a giant leap backwards. Computer generated sets and effects form most of what we see on the screen, but with substandard images, a comic book style that vainly attempts to bridge live action and computer generated visuals, and a moronic storyline, Ultraviolet provides us with another example of Milla Jovovich’s potential as an action movie heroine, but nothing else. The set-up for the events that transpire here is long enough to warrant another film. As conveyed to us through voice-over narration that goes on forever, it seems that a virus, developed by the military in a quest to create super soldiers, got out into the world, dividing the planet into two groups, the infected and uninfected, forming an environment that allowed a militant government to take over, promising to rid the world of these new mutants. Our intrepid heroine and narrator became infected while she was pregnant. Forced by the government to terminate her pregnancy, she escaped and vowed revenge against healthy humans. As the film opens, the interminable narration is carried over Violet’s infiltration of a fortified laboratory where she attempts to intercept a weapon that would jeopardize the existence of her kind. The intricate verification process she undergoes to prove that she is not a Hemophage in disguise is probably intended to give us a sense of the totalitarian regime that runs the government. Instead, accompanied by innocuous verbiage that is meant to depict language in the future, the whole scene accurately foreshadows an incompetent attempt to blow our minds by a crowd who can barely blow their own noses. Poorly filmed action sequences featuring activities that require explanation that isn’t provided are interrupted by lame dialogue and lines, and endless posturing. The whole presentation comes across as the product of a group of people who’ve read nothing but comic books their whole lives, but have never seen a motion picture. Perhaps this is the best they can do, and maybe they’re proud of their accomplishments, but even within its own realm, this picture is the worst of them. 16 Blocks 105 mins Starring Bruce Willis, Mos Def and David Morse 1/2 (out of four) On a good day, New York City Police Detective Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) can reach into his lower desk drawer, retract a bottle, and start work with a good stiff drink. On this day, the bottle is empty, offering no hair of the dog to address the hangover that by now seems to have become as much a part of his life as the badge he’s been carrying for years. He’s the poster boy for “over the hill,” a distinction that he appears to have accepted without question. Worse

POET’S CORNER Full candle

Like music, the voices blend in greeting perfume of coriander, cumin, curry on the summer breeze that drifts warm into the kitchen and turns the white sheers in a tantalizing dance. Dishes filled to brimming, and then plates loaded down, we find our place at the table. The candle is lit. The flame glows gold in our faces shines through the fading of the day. We women gather, heads bent over the treasure trove of food prepared for the soul purpose of enjoyment,

Milla Jovovich stars in Ultraviolet.

Bruce Willis stars in 16 Blocks.

still, today is not a good day. Having done his time for this shift, Mosley’s just about to head off when he’s handed one last assignment. It’s a task that’s simple enough to perform, but then again, if it weren’t, the job would have been entrusted to someone else, for anyone else would be deemed more capable. Despite being a detective, Mosley’s the guy easily spared to menial duties that ordinarily would be the domain of a rookie. He’s to escort a prisoner to the courthouse, 16 blocks away, to testify in a trial, and he has about two hours to do it. The man in question, Eddie Bunker (Mos Def), despite his incessant chatter and irritating nasal voice, doesn’t put up much resistance to the transfer, and compared to how much more difficult he could make the process, he’s relatively co-operative. Mosely’s responsibilities here do not extend much further than those of a cab driver. Everything would have gone swimmingly but for the couple of guys trying to kill Eddie when Mosley stops to pick up a bottle of whiskey. Suddenly, a simple job has become complicated, with further obstacles ahead. With the clock ticking down, the short jaunt to the courthouse has become like a trip to the moon, with a lower chance of survival. There was a time when pictures like 16 Blocks were standard popular entertainment on TV and at the movies. While we have had always Law and Order with us, the last few years has

seen a resurgence of the genre on television, and with the motion picture industry generally assuming a role of following trends rather than setting them, chances are that they’ve discovered the time-honoured police story. Bruce Willis fits the bill as the burned out policeman who’s coasting to retirement, while Mos Def skillfully walks a fine line between endearing and irritating. David Morse, who always brings a level of class to any project, takes a turn as Mosley’s former partner, providing the film with believable menace. Director Richard Donner, an old hand at this kind of picture, keeps things moving along, although the film’s frequent pauses are variously engaging. Donner has no trouble with the action scenes, but when it comes to personal interaction in the film, he has trouble maintaining momentum. For the most part, however, 16 Blocks is entertaining, which is the primary purpose of these things. Reluctant heroes, good guys and bad guys, immersed in conflict and tension for the better part of two hours, facing situations slightly larger than real life, draw many of us to the movies. There’s been somewhat of an absence of this lately, and while 16 Blocks isn’t the best of them, it certainly does the job for now. Time Conway operated Capital Video in Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His column returns March 26.

Stop a heart attack before it starts. Your support is vital. Research into the root causes of heart disease and stroke will help millions live longer, healthier lives. As a leading funder of heart and stroke research in Canada, we need your help. Call 1-888-HSF-INFO or visit www.heartandstroke.ca

reds and greens and yellows Oh, the opulence of time spent in the company of women the fullness of our friendship emerging as the veils are removed, one by one, the magic thread of who we are woven through our stories, intricate, common.

Too soon, the candle breathes its last, and we tumble out into the black silk night, lantern moon lights our way, the laughter like bells fading into time. The laughter that will be remembered in the more ordinary days to come. — Lori Savory, St. John’s


MARCH 12, 2006

16 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

IN CAMERA

Times they are a changin’

Parker’s Cove is a picturesque, safe community on the Burin Peninsula. But it’s also dealing with declining population, tumbling school enrollment, the impending death of the dart league, and the fact that many of the men in town still have to go to another province to find work. Photo editor Paul Daly and senior editor Stephanie Porter spent a day with the mayor.

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yril Synard says there are times he wishes he’d moved out of Parker’s Cove 20 years ago. It’s not the first comment you might expect from the mayor of a community, but Synard is starting to personally feel the effects of changing times in rural Newfoundland. Parker’s Cove, population 340, is nestled along the coast of the Burin Peninsula, in a sheltered inlet of Placentia Bay. It’s picturesque, well kept, and very quiet this time of year. Never much of a fishing community, a large percentage of the men there have earned their living by working away — at sea, on the rails, up north — usually for months at a time. “You talk to anyone in Parker’s Cove and we grew up seeing very little of their fathers,” Synard says. For 30 years, Synard has worked as a cook at sea, generally alternating one month away, one month on shore. “It’s a different way of life, but it’s a fact of life. Just that now, the last few years, with the downturn in the fishery and everything, there’s more people going.” And, more and more, people are choosing not to come back. Like Synard’s son, who has a full-time job as a surveyor in Alberta. “My son, he’ll never live in Parker’s Cove, and that’s sad,” Synard says. “To say we’ll ever be together as a family, it’s not in the cards … we’re not very optimistic. A few years down the road, there will be only old people.” The town is staying afloat, Synard says, though the churches are struggling and the dart leagues have fallen from a total of 140 players to barely a dozen. He wonders aloud if, had the family moved to St. John’s or elsewhere years ago, his children would stay closer to home. “We’ve thought about moving, but now the time has passed,” he says. “But then, we could leave today and go to Marystown, and we don’t need to lock the door. The crime rate is next to nil. But there’s not a lot to do … we’re all getting older and it’s hard to get people to do things in the community.” But Synard has had good times in the

town he was born and raised in. As he gives a tour of the community, he’s full of stories, gossip, and memories. Walking along one of the wharves, he points to where there used to be an outcropping of rocks. “We used to call this Lover’s Lane,” he says. “It’s where we did all our courting.” Before courting age, it was still a favourite hangout — Synard laughs as he points to where he and other youngsters would hang out on warm summer evenings, spying on young couples at play. “We’d bring a lunch, crawl under the wharf, and watch,” he says. “We learned a few things that way …” He lists a number of people in town that are in Alberta working — many do the long commute home every month or so, some have gone to stay. “There were two brothers here, always fishermen, and last year they tied up their boat and went to Alberta to work,” he says. “It’s a bit of an adjustment, for them, and for the family too.” Synard stops to talk to Pat Halpert, in his stage by the water. Halpert is working away on a 16-foot dory, handmade from wood cut nearby. It’s a hobby for Halpert, something to keep him busy during the hushed winter months. He hopes to sell the boat for about $900 when finished, if he can — people these days usually want fiberglass vessels, he says with a shrug. Down the road is the former school — now a recreation hall — Catholic church, and “the town council shack,” as Synard describes it. The school closed in the 1970s. Students from Parker’s Cove now attend Christ the King School in nearby Rushoon, which now serves several communities. When Synard started kindergarten, there were 17 in his class. Currently, there are only 13 children in town under the age of 5. Of his 17 classmates, Synard says about 10 are still in the area, including Harold Murphy, the town’s deputy mayor (and half-time mayor, when Synard is at sea). “You know, the only person who went to university in my age group in

Parker’s Cove, that’s my buddy Harold,” he says. “The rest of us couldn’t wait to be 15 to quit school and go to work. These days, everybody’s going to university or trade school.” Murphy, currently vice-principal of the local school, agrees with that assessment. But, he adds, with the high wages being offered in western Canada these days, it’s still a job to convince some kids to stick around. “It’s hard to counter some of their arguments,” he says. “Some are already starting to fan out and go on to Alberta, they can go on and make $100,000 doing labour work. “I grew up here and I know when I was in school in the late ’60s and early ’70s most people didn’t finish high school because the option to work with CP rail was there. Most of my friends now, they are still following the work around. Some have done well, and some are struggling.” For those who choose to stay in their hometown, many no longer have to go away for months at a time. Murphy estimates between 30 and 40 men (and at least one woman) go to northern Alberta for usually six-week stints, followed by two weeks at home, with the flights on the company tab. While away, the men work in camps, with accommodation and food taken care of. “They make a good wage and everything they make, they save it,” says Murphy. “One guy told me, he didn’t spend 50 bucks … “I’ve been fortunate, I haven’t had to leave, but for those people who have, I would assume this is the best they’ve ever had it, in terms of their wages, accommodations, and the length of time they stay.” When first-time visitors arrive in Parker’s Cove, Murphy says they’re impressed. “They say this seems to be a fairly well-to-do community,” he says. “Most of the homes are nice and that’s one of the things that keeps people here.” As for his school, things are going well, even as the enrollment drops and teachers are working to adjust accordingly. Last year, 31 students graduated


MARCH 12, 2006

from Grade 12. This September, he expects six children in kindergarten. Murphy’s wife, Elizabeth, has been a teacher at the school almost since it opened in 1977. There’s a student lounge — where kids play ping-pong on lunch breaks — a lunchroom, a large home economics room, and a significant amount of storage space. None of those perks existed before, when classes and classrooms were larger. In the primary and elementary grades, some have already had to double up (Grades 1 and 2 together, for example). But it’s immediately obvious that this school has definite advantages. The teachers and students seem to have a good relationship — Elizabeth attributes it to teaching the same children every year, and getting to know them as they grow. There’s a computer lab, a science lab, and one of the last high school industrial arts workshops in the province. The gym is bigger than most in St. John’s, and well maintained. Last year, the school hosted the provincial volleyball championships. Elizabeth points to the ceiling. “Here’s an example of community work and cre-

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 17

ative recycling,” she says. In constructing the facility, a number of nails were left exposed, coming down through the ceiling, meaning death to many a volleyball. When the cod moratorium hit, Elizabeth says the fishermen donated their useless nets and devised a mesh cover for the ceiling, keeping inflated balls out of harm’s way. The school staff and surrounding communities are working to keep the building vibrant and viable, even as student numbers tumble. Rooms can be booked by community groups, the computer lab is open to the public in the evenings, and the gym is used for aerobics classes, recreational floor hockey, and other sports. Back in the heart of Parkers Cove, Mayor Synard stops by to visit his neighbour, Larry Hayes (or “Brud,” as he is better known). Hayes is just back from a winter travelling back and forth to a camp near Fort McMurray, lending his skills as a carpenter to the Long Lake oil sands project. He’s taking a month off before starting his regular summer employment with the provincial transportation department. He says the work out west was “differ-

ent, interesting,” and less grueling than he’s sometimes used to. (It was so cold up there the men would often work just 15 minutes at a time, then spend another 20 or so warming up in huts.) “You’re six weeks on and 18 days home, that’s perfect for almost everyone,” he says. But the drawbacks are getting to him. He’s used to going away, and says the money’s great. But he misses his family — he and his wife have three children, ages 22, 17, and 5 — terribly when he’s away. “We’re coping, it’s alright to put up with it for a while,” he says of the travel. “Being away isn’t fun and games. The money’s good, but money’s not everything. “You’ve got to draw the line at some point and be content where you’re to.” Synard nods. “It’s true, you never get used to it,” he says. “I’ve been going away for 30 years and that first day, the day that I leave … the morning I’m driving up the hill to go away, it’s not a good feeling. “But at least I know, 28 days from then, I’ll be back home.”


MARCH 12, 2006

18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

EVENTS

MARCH 12 • c2c theatre presents The Zoo Story by Edward Albee, directed by Brad Hodder, featuring Neil Butler and Phil Churchill, 8 p.m., Masonic Temple. • Heavenly Creatures Furry Friends Fundraiser, Empire Theatres Studio 12, Avalon Mall. Visit furry friends and catch the new movie The Shaggy Dog, www.heavenlycreatures.ca or 739-0077. • String quartet concert at the D.F. Cook Recital Hall, 8 p.m. Featuring Rachel Moody, Heather Kao, Sonya Probst, and Heather Tuach. MARCH 13 • Theatre workshop with Irish actress Joan Sheehy, focused on scenes from the plays of Synge, LSPU Hall, 6-10 p.m., 753-4531 to register. • Winter blues guitar workshop begins, The Music Studio, 50 Mayor Ave., St. John’s. Relaxed, beginner group workshops, 579-4626. MARCH 14 • Lunch with traditional music fea-

turing Frank Maher, Rick West, Stan Picket and Andrew Lang, Auntie Crae’s, 272 Water Street, 12:30 p.m. 754-0661.

MARCH 15 • Folk night at the Ship Pub featuring Dave Penny, 9:30 p.m. • Lunch-time music featuring the Great Casavant Organ, David Drinkell, organist at the Anglican Cathedral, 1:15-1:45 p.m., free.

MARCH 16 • MUN Cinema series: The Passenger, 7 p.m., Studio 12, Avalon Mall. • BlueJazz Night featuring the Mary Barry Quartet, Bianca’s Bar, 9:30 p.m. • O’Donel High School presents Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 8 p.m. Continues through March 19. • Paddy McGuinty’s Wake, musical comedy and dinner at the Majestic Theatre, Duckworth St., 579-3023. Also March 17. • The Scruncheons percussion ensemble, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, 8 p.m.

• Ron Hynes at the Rose and Thistle pub, Water Street.

MARCH 17 • St. Patrick’s Day featuring Chris Hennessey, Fergus O’Byrne, Bob Taylor, Celtic Fiddlers, Masterless Men, Siochanna, Dungarven, Kilkenny Krew, O’Reilly’s Pub, George Street, 7 a.m.-close. • To The Wall, written and performed by Andy Jones, directed by Charlie Tomlinson, 8 p.m., LSPU Hall.

MARCH 18 • St. Patrick’s Day ceili at Bridie Molloy’s, George Street, featuring the Shawn Silver School of Dance and the iDance Performance Group, 2-4 p.m. • Local hip-hop and breakdance group East Rock Crew headlines Neighbourhood Dance Works’ Spring Showcase, LSPU Hall, 8 p.m. Also 2 p.m. matinee March 19. 753-4531. • All ages show with Born obedient, Prime Suspect, Cider Squadron 666 and more. St. Andrew’s Church (The Kirk), 6 p.m.

Under fire MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Zeugma Edited by Meghan Beresford and Tomasz Mrozewski Published independently, 2006. 48 pp.

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iterary magazines are a tricky thing. You take two of the least valued genres — namely poetry and short fiction — and make them the very heart of a journal publication and things are bound to get interesting. Despite miniscule readerships that would have most publishers dissolving handfuls of tranquilizers into their morning coffee, despite lack of grant funding, lack of circulation, lack of anything remotely resembling commercial success, literary journals persist. In provinces all over Canada there are publications that have been around for years, dodging bullet after bullet to publish a new offering each quarter. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there have been no literary magazines to speak of for the last few years. TickleAce has not published a new issue since 2003. Beginning in the year 2000 I helped edit a magazine called Signal that ran for a paltry three issues. Novelist Kenneth J. Harvey used to produce another by the name of X-it that lasted for a few years. But in periodical publication, as in life, ambition alone is not enough to guarantee longevity; it has to be matched with an abundance of guts, body armour, and the tenacity of a loan collection agent. Into the fray, then, comes a new contender: Zeugma, a magazine edited by two masters students at Memorial University. The inaugural issue boasts a beautifully spare white card cover (imprinted with only the Z! title symbol of the magazine) and a hand-sewn binding courtesy of Running the Goat Books and Broadsides. The print job on the inside might not look like much (other than faded, cloudy print and blotchy image reproductions) but they haven’t exactly got the working budget of the Atlantic Monthly either so we’ll forgive them that. The editors’ aesthetic is eclectic, from found poetry through standard short story right up to rambling epistle. Zeugma also includes examples of photography and drawing. Though most of its contributors reside in province, others live in parts across the country and places as far flung as Massachusetts, California and Beijing. Contributors also range from firsttimers to authors with several published books (Mary Dalton, Monica Kidd, Steven Ablon). You’ll find some welcome discoveries herein: Adam Beardsworth plays with internal rhyme in Girl from Dos Passos — let’s drop our glasses and clot this vertigo, strike out into that great black chunk of cold hours, hold each other’s grievous hearts in our palms and fold them into origami flowers.

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Facing realities From page 13

realities. Life doesn’t always go as planned for one. Money really does make a difference. People can and will leave your life. Growing up and having the proverbial blind pulled from my eyes and seeing life after school hasn’t been fun or easy, but somehow it’s exactly what I wanted. There’s so much more than I had ever imagined to see, to experience and all these possibilities are waiting for me and anyone else who wants to take a risk. I need to find my own path, even if it isn’t the one my parents, or anyone else wants me to take. Sometimes your own happiness is just too important to give up on only to please someone else. I can’t imagine sitting in a cubicle for the rest of my life banging away numbers and statistics into a computer. I will not be a drone. If all else fails I’ll let the current take me and see where I end up. Maybe I don’t need those training wheels. A few good crashes and injuries will do me good. It’s how you learn, and school can’t teach you that. I’m not leaving completely lesson free though. Don’t eat anything off the floor — ever; stay to the right of the hall or get trampled; and don’t fake sick … too often, to name a few. All of these still apply somewhere in life. There are even some aspects I’ll miss, and others I most certainly will not. Like classrooms you swear are a hundred below in winter and the surface of the sun in summer. Some teachers with ego swollen heads the size of blimps, or giggling bubbles of girls and suctioned couples in the way of my locker. I will miss the sense of being

— creating poetry that is at once sonically dense and lyrical; Jacob McArthur Mooney’s Casanova’s First is a bouncy little love poem with an arresting rhythm: Do you remember your stickysweet shampoo? Baby, I’ve never felt so daddyended, so anatomically true.

Sarah B. Wiseman’s On Married Women is like slow and tender foreplay — the tension of possible physical union strung throughout the poem:

In between digging for the footings and when the concrete was poured in those brief moments when I came up from the dig, fingers maroon with clay, the near core of the earth exposed below us, I thought then, that she would kiss me.

These are just a few of the magazine’s rewards for reading. There are others. In terms of the visual arts, there are also things here well-worth seeing. Sheilagh O’Leary’s untitled black and white nudes, like the bulk of her work, are stunning. James Poborsa’s photographs prove to be interesting documentary pieces of other cultures. And while all the visual art included in this first issue is poorly reproduced, I’m sure the situation will improve as the magazine grows and increases its means. Not all work here is of the same good quality — there are certainly pieces better left on the cutting room floor — but the sheer range of voices will at least guarantee something for everyone, and as with most literary magazines, you’ll just have to pick through the lot to find the gems. So for any of you intent on contributing to the next issue’s success, the deadline for submissions (zeugmamag@gmail.com) is March 31. The editors accept fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, “neat ideas,” reviews, comics, visual art and photographs. As their call for submissions at the end of this first issue runs, “saucy and cheeky works” are “especially appreciated.” For those of you who prefer to observe, Zeugma shows some future promise and is worth checking out. Now if only it can weather out the storm. Mark Callanan is a writer and reviewer living in Rocky Harbour. His column returns March 12. callanan_ _@hotmail.com

together, a safe reassurance that the next day you’ll see the same familiar faces. I should have taken time to truly get to know some of these people after all these years, but high school is strange like that. All its politics and influence go unnoticed until it’s too late. We may hate school, but that doesn’t change the impact it has had. So can I say high school has been the best years of my life? I’ve heard it enough times. No, I don’t think so. I think maybe in time when I’m feeling a little less bitter and a little less frustrated at life for being just what it is, unfair, I may see things differently. There have been moments though I wouldn’t ever want to forget, and I wouldn’t trade the people I’ve met in school and called friends for the world. I’ve gained a lot, but lost a lot too. It’s been interesting if nothing else, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to weep with outstretched arms on the last day. I’ll most likely walk away without a single thought or a second glance for the school. It’s only a building, like every other school. The people made it what it is. So until that day comes, I’m going to take in all that I can. Enjoy what remaining time I have left where not a whole lot matters and do what students do best — nothing at all. I want to be with the people I know, and have a laugh. After all, that’s all high school has ever really been about. Leia Feltham is a Grade 12 student at Gonzaga High School in St. John’s completing a co-op program with The Independent.


INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 12-18, 2006 — PAGE 19

Chris Janes of the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation.

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘A conversation piece’ Condominium sales appeal to ageing population, luxury market

C

By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

ondominiums are hot property in St. John’s, despite low construction numbers, real estate representatives say. Condos have all kinds of benefits, says Chris Janes, senior market analyst with the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation. Owners don’t have to shovel or mow the lawn, living in a building provides security and shared interest in the maintenance — all the things an older person is looking for in a home, he says, and with an ageing population, condo ownership may well grow in the coming years. The exact number of condos in St. John’s isn’t available, but the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation is currently preparing a report to examine market saturation. For now, Janes says, condos continue to represent only one per cent of new home construction in the province — with an estimated 75 to be constructed this year, compared to 1,450 new-home constructions. “As well, on the luxury segment side of the condo market that seems to be performing better than anybody has expected,” he says. “We’re seeing these companies who are undertaking these developments, I guess they’re engaging in a lot of direct marketing, so we’re even seeing people coming here from outside the province and buying condos as well for rental purposes or just as a second home. So that’s really incredible.” Janes says direct marketing has created a buzz in the city. “The main reason I think there’s an increase in exposure

Counting condos

• Condo prices have gone up 104 per cent over the last nine years. • Condo starts represent just over 1 per cent of housing construction since 2000. • The lowest priced condos in St. John’s are pegged at about $100,000, rising as high as $500,000 or more, though the average asking price is about $200,000. • Condo fees can range between $100 and $400 a month on top of the mortgage payment. • An average condo is about 1,200 square feet or the same size as a bungalow.

from that perspective is just the advertising. We’ve never seen a whole lot of advertising before,” he says. “You see a price of a condo at $300,000 you expect that to be in Vancouver of Toronto, not St. John’s, so it’s a conversation piece for sure.” Although interest may not be skyrocketing in the condo segment of the real estate industry, prices certainly are. Janes says condo prices are up 104 per cent since 1997. “To give you numbers we’ve gone from about $65,000 on average … to $135,000 in 2005.” Maureen Baker, a real-estate broker with RE/MAX United, says condos are becoming a big part of city living. “It’s definitely a fast-growing market because I have sev-

eral clients who are leaning either towards purchasing a small house or a condo,” Baker says. “One time you couldn’t buy a condominium in this town that was anything more than an apartment, but a lot of them now … they’re beautiful, they’re like a home.” In fact, she says buying a condo is much like buying a home in that a lawyer reviews the condo bylaws, building inspections can be done at a buyers’ request and even the sizes — ranging between 700 and 1,200 square feet — are similar to that of a small bungalow. “We live in an age now where the baby boomers are spending half their winters away and the other half here and they like the security of a condominium and the lack of work that a home or the lack of maintenance at a house involves,” she says. “People just don’t want to shovel snow anymore, it’s an age thing. They want to be able to go down south in the winters and not worry that their house looks unlived in and it’s just a lifestyle change.” Since condominiums are merely large, high-end apartment buildings, Janes says there can be drawbacks to living in one. “Land, there’s zero land, you’re contained in a building so that would be a drawback as far as I’m concerned, and then … I guess your independence or freedom shall we say — in terms of having your own house to come and go to and from — when you’re in a condo, you’re in a building and you lose a certain level of privacy as well.” Condominiums also may have expensive monthly fees because owners share responsibility for maintenance costs.

Good news with the bad

Seafood analyst says all-time low crab prices will rebound; when is the question

I

By Alisha Morrissey The Independent

Crab counts

• In 2004, crab landings dropped 4.7 per cent to 55,636 tonnes, but the landed value increased to $301 million from approximately $264 million in 2003. • In 2003, crab landings were up five per cent from the previous year to 59,422 tonnes, with the landed value totaling $236 million, up eight per cent over 2002.

f hitting rock bottom is the beginning of a turn around, this year’s crab fishery may be the low point that ends a three-year downturn. Industry analyst John Sackton may be predicting an all-time low price for crab this year at 98 cents a pound, but he’s optimistic the market will make a positive turn in the coming years. “On crab I definitely think that it will go up, that’s the definition of a market bottom — that after you experience a sort of market bottom, prices sort of rise again,” Sackton tells The Independent. As in any market, low prices increase demand, he says, but low prices also decrease the fishing effort and the amount of product available, which eventually causes prices to rise. Other factors, however, including the rising Canadian dollar and low demand for crab, will still affect the industry. “Although I’m confident that we will see an increase in demand spurred by low prices and then subsequently

some increase in prices, it’s very difficult to predict when this will happen and it may not happen in time for this particular crab season,” says Sackton, a Massachusetts-based seafood consultant who visited St. John’s this week to speak with industry stakeholders. “At the moment we’re living with just fluctuations of fish prices which are natural events in terms of the seafood market.” Despite the fact the province’s largest seafood export is in a downturn, he says Newfoundland and Labrador is still a major player in the seafood world. “Newfoundland has significant supply — they’re the biggest producer of snow crab in the world … and it’s because of having these large supplies that makes them a sort of player in the world’s seafood industry,” Sackton says. “But there are two negative problems that are affecting us right now. “You can’t really have much control over the fact that prices tend to fluctuate up and down. I think that from a long-term point of view … stronger

branding and so forth might be helpful.” Sackton is a proponent of seafood marketing and branding, explaining some countries have marketed themselves into prosperity — despite product issues. “That’s a multi-year commitment and it takes a lot of money and it takes a lot of commitment on the part of both processors and the government and so forth to see whether a plan like that will work,” he says. Groups in other producing areas like the Norwegian Seafood Export Council, the Alaskan Seafood Marketing Institute, and the Association of Chilean Seafood Producers put extensive resources into promoting and marketing the products of their regions. “I don’t see any reason why Newfoundland couldn’t be successful with the same kind of mechanisms, but its not a quick fix, it doesn’t happen overnight, it needs these organizations and associations have been in existence for 10, 15 or 18 years,” Sackton says. “I don’t know what the solution is, I just think it will be a very difficult year.”


20 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MARCH 12, 2006

A letter in perspective F

rustrated with Quebec’s refusal to allow Newfoundland and Labrador the right to wheel power through its province from the future development of the lower Churchill, then-premier Brian Peckford turned to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1982. Faced with legal action in the form of the Water Rights Revision Act, HydroQuebec swiftly reconsidered its position and offered to enter into negotiations on the basis should an agreement be reached, all legal suits would be dropped. The Peckford administration passed the Water Rights Revision Act in the House of Assembly in an attempt to reclaim water rights granted in CFLCo,’s (Churchill Falls Labrador Corp.’s) 1961 water lease. The province claimed the lease was the cornerstone of the upper Churchill development, without which, nothing could have been built. If the Supreme Court of Canada was to accept the legislation was within the constitutional powers of the province to enact, Newfoundland and Labrador would potentially gain rights to recapture 5,200 MW of power or $600 million a year in lost revenues. The threat caught the attention of Quebec politicians as well as HydroQuebec officials and led to a February 1984 statement of Intent, signed by Vic HVR_snojam-indy.qxp 3/3/2006 12:30 Young, then-chairman of Newfoundland

Statement of Intent regarding Churchill Falls Negotiations (Excerpts)

and Labrador Hydro, and Jean Bernier, then-secretaire general of Hydro-Quebec. It was the first and only time HydroQuebec has officially acknowledged a need to revise inequities in the upper Churchill contract. As well as declaring it would negotiate to devise a fair return for Newfoundland and Labrador, HydroQuebec stated it would agree to allow the province access to additional power at the same price paid by Quebec; it would review the 25-year renewal clause; ensure the financial viability of CFLCo.; and combine efforts to develop the lower Churchill. In return, Hydro-Quebec wanted recognition of the risks it had taken in developing the upper Churchill and an end to all legal actions. The letter concluded with a statement suggesting an agreement might be reached by March 30, 1984. Negotiations, proposals and refusals were passed back and forth, but without any resolution. After Newfoundland and Labrador refused what seemed to be Quebec’s final offer, both sides withdrew to await the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on the validity of the Water Rights Revision Act. The court ruled against Newfoundland and Labrador, stating the act constituted interference with the existing contract PM Page 1 between the two provinces.

Following meetings in Montreal and in St. John’s during which Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Hydro-Quebec had extensive discussions, it was suggested that, as a meaningful step in negotiations between the parties, a general framework should be established within which negotiations could be carried out. The purpose of the present document is to define this general framework which is to be used as a reference within which the negotiations are to be pursued in good faith, the whole without prejudice to the respective positions and rights of the parties should they fail to reach a final definitive agreement. ••• Bearing in mind the need to reach a compromise approach to a more equitable return to Newfoundland as the owner of the hydraulic resources of the Upper Churchill, the parties agree to devise a formula whereby Newfoundland would receive a fair and equitable return for the electricity produced, taking into account the need to adapt the terms of existing arrangements to the new reality which has arisen since the original arrangements were entered into. ••• The parties agree to review the present renewal of the power contract (the current contract expires in 2016, when a 25-year extension automatically kicks in). ••• The parties agree to negotiate … mechanisms of co-operation concerning the future development of the Churchill River Watershed and the Lower North Shore rivers … ••• The parties hereby agree that they are willing to pursue the negotiations within the general framework hereinabove described, seeking to achieve a settlement prior to March 30, 1984.

‘Looking to the future’

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From page 1

An agreement between the two parties following the document’s signing was never reached and Peckford’s water rights case was overruled in the Supreme Court of Canada. Despite the lack of a resolution to negotiations in 1984, Young says the revisions listed in the letter are still viable. “Whatever those changes might have been in 1984, they obviously have been magnified several fold by 2006 with world energy prices at record levels.” Jason Churchill, author of a report on the history of Churchill Falls hydro that was included in 2003’s royal commission into the province’s place in Confederation, says the letter shows what Hydro-Quebec is willing to do under pressure. Churchill is currently with the Conference Board of Canada in Ontario, working on a national energy framework examining the adequacy of Canadian energy policies. “There’s a pattern, and it’s happened on several occasions,” he says. “Whenever it was in Quebec’s interest … we get these hints that they’re willing to move on the 1969 contract.” Churchill cites the deregulation of the North American energy market in the 1990s and Tobin’s nationwide public relations campaign threatening to pull the plug on the upper Churchill as another example of Hydro-Quebec bending under duress. Among other concessions, Tobin scored a winter availability contract from Hydro-Quebec with the company agreeing to pay $34 million a year for guaranteed peak power supplies. Ed Hearn, one of the lawyers hired by Peckford in the 1980s to work on overturning the upper Churchill, says although the statement of intent holds no legal impact today, it bears a moral one. But that’s irrelevant, he says, because Newfoundland and Labrador still needs a bargaining chip. “That’s why I feel strongly about the utilization of 92a,” says Hearn, “and I think actually it was a background to this (the 1984 statement of intent).” The Canadian Constitution was revised in 1982 and with it came a new clause called section 92a. If implemented, the clause could give the province the right to tax Hydro-Quebec for Newfoundland and Labrador hydroelectricity. It would mean millions of dollars more in revenue, while at the same time sending a firm message to Quebec. Churchill calls Hydro-Quebec’s tendency to respond to pressure a “glimmer of hope” for future negotiations. He adds Quebec has lost its ability to withhold transmission rights from Newfoundland and Labrador in the face of a desperate modern energy market and tighter U.S. regulations. “(The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) are developing these regional transmission organizations and essentially they’re arguing two things,” he says. “One is you have to practice what’s called fair market practices, which means you must allow others to wheel energy through. “The other second part is the idea they (utility owners) can only charge other people using their infrastructure the same price, the fair price they also charge themselves … Quebec can no longer block our access to the American lines.” In January the province announced it was supporting Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in an application to HydroQuebec’s transmission division for the right to wheel future lower Churchill power through Quebec. Although the province is considering three expressions of interest (including one from Hydro-Quebec), it has consistently maintained a preference towards developing the lower Churchill independently. Premier Danny Williams has previously stated the province is assessing ways to re-evaluate the upper Churchill, including the possibility of implementing 92a, but he wouldn’t comment on the 1984 statement of intent. In a previous interview he said any co-development of the lower Churchill with Hydro-Quebec would have to include the upper Churchill. Sylvain Therberge, a spokesman for Hydro-Quebec, also refused comment on the 1984 letter when contacted by The Independent. Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne says he expects current public discussions towards formulating an overall provincial energy plan to wrap up shortly and he estimates the final plan will be ready within eight months. For now, the province is remaining silent on any lower Churchill issues, which hasn’t deterred the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in both Quebec and Newfoundland from joining forces in anticipation of work. Newfoundland local 1615 held a press conference last week in St. John’s to discuss its contribution to provincial energy plan discussions. The union advises the province should develop the lower Churchill independently, with financial aid from Ottawa. In a surprising move, Denis Morris, business manager from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Quebec, flew over to offer his local’s support. Morris, whose division represents 20 per cent of Quebec’s electricians and linesmen, says Hydro-Quebec’s own internal union has shown a reluctance to form inter-provincial partnerships in the past. “Maybe the big part of the problems comes from there,” he says. “We’re looking to the future … if we have a good relationship and the manpower and good mobility we’re going to be able to build the lower Churchill.”


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 21

W

ELLEN ROSEMAN Torstar

hen you get started as a real estate investor, you buy a house to rent out to tenants. If you cover the costs and property values increase, you buy another house — and so on and so on. Soon, you own a bunch of properties, scattered all over, that take time and money to maintain all by yourself. Wouldn’t it be easier to buy a small apartment building? You could collect rents in the same place. You could even hire a superintendent or property manager. “If you can afford to buy a building with five units, you’re better off with that than owning five single houses,” says Mitchell Chang, senior vice-president and of Re/Max partner Commercial Focus Inc. in Toronto, which specializes in apartment buildings. There are economies of scale with a multi-unit residential property. For example, repairs are easier when everything is under one roof. Tradespeople — electricians, plumbers, painters and, yes, roofers — can charge less when they don’t have to visit several sites. But while a large property is easier to manage, you may find it harder to sell at a profit — especially when times are tough. Multi-unit buildings are volatile in price. They may sell at a premium during a real estate boom, but can be hard to unload during a downturn. “In the early 1990s, large rental buildings sold for a big discount and no one wanted to buy them,” says Chang. A single-family home is more liquid. It can be converted from rental to owner-occupied status when there’s a lull in the real estate market. Also, buying a multi-unit residential building is more complex than buying a house. It requires more specialized knowledge. “You need to understand how things operate,” says Danny Iannuzziello, principal broker of Skyview Realty Ltd. “Are the rents legal? Are the expenses in line? Are there work orders against the building? Does the superintendent have any employment issues?” Iannuzziello has been investing in rental real estate for 25 years. He started with triplexes and graduated to apartment buildings with more than 50 units. He thinks it’s important to find a real estate agent who has experience with multi-unit properties, someone who can help you avoid making an expensive mistake. First-time apartment buyers are often surprised by the closing costs, which tend to be much higher than when you buy a house. Here’s a look at what you may encounter when buying a six-unit building, according to Peter Cook, assistant vice president of commercial lending at

First National Financial Corp. Lenders insist on an appraisal, which costs about $1,000 for a six-plex building. That’s different from a house purchase, where the buyer doesn’t usually pay for appraisals. An environmental assessment, which costs about $1,200 may also be required. “This is a visual site inspection, where an engineer walks around looking for red flags,” Cook says. Is the property next to a former gas station, which had leakage from an underground oil tank? Is it near a plaza with a dry cleaner, which poured cleaning products into the drains? If so, the lender will ask for a second environmental report, with actual soil tests. “To remove the contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill may cost another $4,000 to $5,000. At this point, the owner may say `forget it. I’m not selling the building now.’ “ There are fees for loan processing, legal services, title insurance, structural and fire safety reports. And you may face additional insurance requirements. As well, you will have to wait longer for the deal to close. “Lenders can turn around a house mortgage in a day,” Cook says. “But an apartment loan may take three to four weeks to approve.” First National is one of Canada’s largest apartment lenders, with $20 billion in mortgage assets under administration. “Rental real estate is not a quick hit. You don’t make money overnight,” says Cook, who approves about 150 loans a year on commercial property. “Those who are successful take a long-term approach, holding a property for eight to 12 years.” Also, successful investors don’t over-leverage their properties. They’re not always pulling out equity to buy something new. With too much debt, you won’t be able to hang onto buildings when the market cycle turns — as it inevitably will. Another cost is retrofitting a building to conform to the Ontario fire code. This requires fire separation between units (walls, ceilings and doors), a means of escape for tenants, working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and possibly sprinkler protection. Paul Schuster, a retired fire prevention officer, started a business providing real estate buyers with fire safety inspections. He charges $200 to $700 for a written report. “The fire department will do it on request, but they can’t do it in a timely fashion,” he says. “And if there’s a major issue, they tend to prosecute the existing owner.” Sellers are terrified of the cost of retrofitting for fire safety, he says. They know it can cost $10,000 to $15,000 just to build an exit into a basement apartment. Schuster, who calls himself the Fire Guy (http://www.thefireguy.ca), tells buyers not to write a fire safety inspection into their contracts. Sellers will strike it out. “I know a lot of realtors who bring me in at the same time as a building inspector. So, the seller doesn’t know I’m there,” he says.

CARRIER OF THE WEEK

The ups and downs of apartment investing


22 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MARCH 12, 2006

YOUR VOICE Blood on the ice makes people ‘listen harder’

Dear editor, I watched my favourite premier debate Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney over the seal hunt March 3 on Larry King Live. I spent the rest of the night thinking about what I might have said had I been in Danny’s position. I’m not going to go into both sides — I suspect most readers have a basic idea of what everyone’s been saying. I’m simply going to express my humble opinion. I think there are two major issues here: first, celebrities (and consequently the public) are misinformed regarding the inhumanity of the hunt; and thanks to this misinformation these powerful people are fighting an insignificant battle. If Sir Paul wants to use his fame most effectively I think he should go public with an issue such as diminished cod stocks. And even that, globally speaking, is not near the most pressing issue. What about global warming, a blatantly obvious and serious problem? I suppose the hardest aspect of this debate is that we’re arguing different points. One side is saying “stop the seal hunt”; the other side is saying “stop wasting your time.” Unfortunately we face a reality that people listen harder when they see an animal commonly modeled for stuffed toys bludgeoned to death on a crimson red surface. Dave Lane, St. John’s

Humane action secondary to making money

Dear editor, Is the U.S. Humane Society interested in animals being treated in a humane way or are they more interested in producing propaganda films? The answer, according to a statement by Heather McCartney, is producing propaganda films. “Humane Society U.S filmed a young pup (seal) dying for an hour and a half before it choked on its own blood,” she stated. How can a group that presents itself as humane stand around for an hour and a half filming a wounded animal choking on its own blood? The answer is obvious: taking humane action and putting the poor animal out of its misery was secondary to producing a film to use to collect money for their misguided campaign. What kind of person would stand by and allow this to happen? Bill Sears, Seal Cove, Conception Bay South

Premier Danny Williams in a seal skin coat.

Paul Daly/The Independent

SKINNING Revoke Sir Paul’s knighthood Editor’s note: the following is a copy of a letter forwarded to the editor of the London Daily newspaper.

Dear editor, On the March 3 Larry King Show Sir Paul McCartney abused the position and honour of his knighthood by lying about the Canadian seal hunt and accepting his wife’s references to Newfoundland’s sealers and her people as barbaric and inhumane. I would like to remind your readers that we Newfoundlanders were the ones who fought and died for king and empire in France during the First World War. In 1916’s battle for the Somme, at Beaumont Hamel, Newfoundland’s regiment paid the ultimate price when 90 per cent of its soldiers were disseminated and slaughtered in one hour. Newfoundland seamen fought in the

British Navy in the Second World War and Winston Churchill referred to them as “the finest seamen afloat.” In 1983, Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Carbonear on the royal yacht Britannia to honour Britain’s oldest colony at the only site, Carbonear Island, in which our people twice, in 1696 and 1705, were the last undefeated holdout against the French, thus holding on to the colony for England. It would be hard to imagine that part of the stipulations required for knighthood by the Crown would not require, or at least infer, that each recipient’s character be of the highest honesty and integrity. Sir Paul has done great harm to the people of Newfoundland by partaking in a program — viewed by hundreds of millions of people — that was based on the false portrayal of the seal hunt and a slanderous lying attack on

‘Truth’ doesn’t get in way of seal story Editor’s note: the following is a letter written to Larry King, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney, with a copy forwarded to The Independent.

Dear sirs and Lady McCartney, While CNN and you, Larry, tried to display a balanced perspective on the Newfoundland seal hunt, there were significant elements of “not letting the truth get in the way of a good story.” This latest onslaught against the seal hunt is little more than a socio-economic terrorism campaign against the people

of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am an engineer in the petrochemical industry and my ancestors have been on Newfoundland’s shores since the mid 1500s. I have had a personal-use sealing licence, for mature adult seals only, whenever I lived in Newfoundland and ate what I hunted. I am very conscious of what I eat and stick to organic, naturally raised or sustainable/wild-caught animals and fish products. Likewise I am conscious of the clothing and products I buy, gravitating towards cotton, hemp, silk, flannel, leather, fur, etc. — all biodegradable. In

fact, when my sealskin boots of 18 years service were finally beyond repair, the boots and felt liners were put into my compost heap to eventually be recycled into fresh vegetables. I wonder what could be said of Lady McCartney’s much-touted synthetic boots, manufactured from non-renewable petrochemical resources in polluting plants. I think Lady Heather and Sir Paul would find it difficult to accuse the same Government of Canada of lying about a small rural cottage industry as the seal hunt, while being such a stalwart supporter of Lady Heather’s ban on land

the true character of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sir Paul’s actions have brought degradation to the title of knight. I ask the British people who read this letter to

send letters to their Member in Parliament requesting Sir Paul McCartney’s knighthood be revoked. Philip Earle, Carbonear

mines and its 40-year history of international peace keeping activities. Sir Paul, your desire to completely stop the seal hunt is a case of tunnel vision brought on by the propaganda. Speaking of which, I think it’s time Premier Danny Williams launches a lawsuit against using the whitecoat pup image as fraudulent misrepresentation, since the federally regulated hunt does not permit hunting and killing of these animals in the whitecoat stage. Furthermore, Premier Williams should request Congress and the FBI to do a forensic audit of the Humane

Society of the U.S. and any other agency that uses the seal hunt as a revenue-generation mechanism Sir Paul, if you are looking for a just cause in your golden years, then put your weight and wealth behind stopping EU overfishing on the Grand Banks. Help restore a sustainable cod fishery of 500 years to its former abundance and the outport reliance on the seal hunt will taper off accordingly. Desmond McGrath, A “Newfoundland patriot” living in Louisiana


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 23

YOUR VOICE Call back the ‘English hounds’

John Efford.

Rhonda Hayward/The Independent

THE ISSUE Surrounded by ignorance

A harp seal pup lies on the ice as Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney hold a media briefing on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Paul Darrow/Reuters

Dear editor, On March 3 our premier found himself surrounded by ignorance … geographical ignorance, historical ignorance and worst of all, social ignorance. Larry King thought he was connected to a studio in Finland, Paul thought he was in Newfoundland, and the female, referred to by some as “Lady,” didn’t know where she was, and most likely didn’t care as long as Larry allowed her to interrupt the premier. There are those who are born to become Ladies, they have class, are educated and are not ignorant. Then there are those who have had the title “Lady” thrust upon them without having to qualify, except to become aligned with a one-time celebrity, as in this case.

Why didn’t Sir Paul save the foxes first? Dear editor, Well, it’s another March in Newfoundland and Labrador, and another millionaire (in this case billionaire) rock star or movie actor has come to protest our seal harvest, grab the requisite photo op with a whitecoat and garner heaps of free publicity. (It won’t hurt sales of the new album, hey Paul?) To Paul McCartney I say if you want to save animals from cruel and inhumane treatment, why don’t you start in your own backyard? I’m sure there are a few foxes in England who would appreciate your efforts. It appeared from the get-go that the

Larry King Live show was slanted in the McCartneys’ favour. Heather Mills’ behaviour, in particular, struck me as juvenile — the eye rolling, the exasperated huffing and puffing, the rudeness in dismissing our premier and scarcely allowing him, or her husband for that matter, to get a word in edgewise (hardly what one would expect from a mature, well-informed woman). The couple still accomplished their goal: lots of publicity. And although I sent the premier an e-mail commending his efforts, he helped them get it. I am, however, proud of him for trying. And really, who’d listen to Heather Mills if

she wasn’t the wife of a pop culture icon — though even he is gradually sliding down the has-been trail. (It’s been 40 years since Beatlemania, and can anyone remember anything Paul’s done since Band on the Run?) These people seem to think their wealth and fame gives them the right to tell the world how to live — because they say it’s so, then it has to be so. Such arrogance. If he really wants to “save the baby seals,” why doesn’t he put his money where his mouth is and contribute some of his millions to furthering the eco-tourism he was touting on the show and create some jobs for our

Dear editor, Well I see someone left the circus door open again. Two clowns, Sir (puke) Paul and Lady (deadhead) were spewing their venom on the Larry King show. They must have been “higher” than their helicopter as they didn’t even know what province they were in. Larry could have told them they weren’t in “Newfinlan.” A seal snapped at Lady Deadhead. It must have been an English seal — no self-respecting Canadian seal would take such action and poison itself. I guess they got what they came for — publicity. They are both such hypocrites. So how come Lady Deadhead and Sir Paul are not in the “old country” protesting. I’ll tell you why, because they don’t have the guts. They are two measly little cowards — afraid that Sir Paul’s CD sales would drop. Danny Williams buried them with facts that they didn’t want to hear — especially Lady Deadhead. I thought the English were known for their good manners. Poo poo to that fantasy. The English raped Newfoundland from 1497 to 1949 and then passed us over to Canada like a worn-out rag. England took our cod and gave nothing in return except the “barter system.” She killed off a generation of Newfoundlanders between 1914-1918 and came crying at out doorstep in 1939 for our small-boat men to help bail out her sorry butt again. Thank you very much Liz. And by the way, do us a favour — keep your pet dogs home please. We don’t want your English hounds over here. Don Lester, Conception Bay South

Paul! It was very clear that you were embarrassed and uncomfortable by the performance of your wife but these things happen. I realize, of course, that you’re walking a fine line with those animal rights organizers who’ve got you on the run. Try not to let the show get out of hand or things could backfire — imagine if the seal harvest were to end and their money came to an end. God forbid! They would probably engage some rich American oil tycoon and zero-in on your fox hunt, now wouldn’t that be a disaster? Paul, let’s get serious for a minute. What do you really know about the seal harvest? What do you know about Newfoundland? Do you have any idea how many young Newfoundlanders were laid to rest on your soil fighting

for the freedom that allowed you to become super rich? Sir Winston Churchill expressed his gratitude to the Newfoundlanders who so willingly answered the call. I wonder what he would think of your actions. Is interfering in a traditional Newfoundland industry your way of showing your appreciation? If it is, then shame on you! The benefits of a democracy are enormous and if you wish to wear canvass shoes and relax on fabric sofas as opposed to leather that’s your choice, but please don’t use your money and influence to torment our hard working Newfoundland fishermen who already have it difficult enough trying to make a living. Ivan LeDrew, St. John’s

people? Ah, but I forgot — rock stars don’t give their own money … they just sing songs and tell other people to give theirs! To Paul McCartney I say: Go home and rest on your millions and thank whatever God you believe in every day that you don’t have to brave cold and hardship to feed your family or make your mortgage payment. And next year? There will be another celebrity who’ll just happen to have a book, movie, or CD coming out. They’ll come here and lie on the ice and get their picture taken with a whitecoat. The media will chase them all

over writing and recording every selfserving and self-righteous word that falls from their lips. Then they’ll get on their private planes and fly away, having had interest rekindled in them and their projects that will result in huge sales of their products and millions of dollars for themselves and the animal welfare organizations. And us? Well, we’ll still be here, doing our thing, trying to make a living and shaking our heads at the arrogance of those who know us not, but judge us anyway. Ada Bradbury, Upper Island Cove


24 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

Location: St. John's, NL

MARCH 12, 2006

Mobile Computing Analysts

Mobile Computing Analysts Ad #: Mobile Computing Analysts-CB

YOUR FUTURE STARTS HERE… …AND NOW.

Charles River Consultants has provided Technical Help Desk Support, Application Development and High Definition Imaging personnel to Major Corporations for long-term assignments for over twenty-three (23) years. We are currently searching for two additional Mobile Computing Analysts. Responsibilities include:

CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES

• Mobile and Remote Access Platform System Configuration • Work in conjunction with the Mobile Remote Experts group to identify and resolve issues with remote remediation efforts to patch and update remote machines • Trouble Shooting remote connectivity issues • New and Emerging Technology Evaluation/Piloting • Off-Site Conference Remote Access Solutions and Support • Training users on procedures and policies, as well as the use of Firm's remote access tools • Train divisional helpdesks on supporting all remote access methods and tools • Mobile System and Technology Administration • Advises client users on the capabilities of client Mobile Computing and Remote access capabilities and recommend the best fit for their requirement - Supporting Dial up, Broadband, VPN, Citrix, and various other remote technologies • Administration of authentication tools such as SecurID and Active Directory • Application support including but not limited to Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and various other browsers, VPN, Firewall, and Antivirus software • Supporting high profile clients including top level executives and managing directors • Supporting wireless devices such as RIM Black/Blueberries • Assisting users with the post cloning process to configure freshly built machines to connect properly and carry over their settings from regular profile.

CAREER FAIR

Date: March 16th, Time: 11 am - 6 pm At our location!

760 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland A1N3J5 Join us at TeleTech where our fun, fast-paced team has been providing global telephone support and business solutions since 1982! Our primary goal is to help our clients satisfy the business needs of their customers. Come join our team of incentive-driven professionals today and enjoy great financial rewards, outstanding opportunities for career development and so much more! As a Customer Service Representative in our customer management center, you will handle inbound phone calls and provide concise, quality customer service for a large telecommunications provider. Individual headsets, workstations, and a month in advance work schedule provided. All of this in addition to great pay and benefits! Positions start at $8.50/hr with the opportunity to earn more based on individual performance. Qualifications include: • Goal oriented/dependable • 6 months previous experience • Ability to work 8am-2:30am M-Sun • High school diploma or GED • Strong computer experience

Skills/Qualifications

• Computer Science Degree or Diploma in Computers preferred - Certifications would be considered an asset • Minimum of 5 years experience required • Extensive knowledge of the following: • Windows XP • VPN • Broadband(DSLCableISDN) • Active Directory • Wireless (802.11 b/getup/IP) • Blackberry • Candidate has to pass security background checks, including financial • Documentation experience with a minimum of 5 - 10 years business experience

Must be able to pass a criminal background check. Want to talk with us sooner, apply online at:

Please email résumés with salary range expectations to hrtech@crc.net and include Mobile Computing Analysts-CB in the subject line.

or in person at 760 Topsail Road, Mount Pearl- A1N3J5. Your future can start right here…right now! EOE

Arborist Ad #: CB-arborist

utility arborist / crew leader We require a certified utility arborist / crew leader to head up our arboriculture services sector. Must have completed a recognized course in safe climbing and working in trees, as well as a powerline hazards course. Salary determined by experience and qualifications.

Send Resumes to: Murray's Horticultural Services PO Box 601, Portugal Cove, NL A1M 3R6

Ad #: 200511-1535-CB

e-mail to murraygc@nfld.com

Nobody should have to work on their birthday. Have you ever noticed how some jobs don’t feel like work? We do.That’s why we go out of our way to make sure our inbound customer service reps love coming to work every day. For starters, they get to take their birthday’s off... with pay. Sound good? Well, we’re hiring. You: • are a people person • have excellent written and verbal skills • can work evenings & weekends • know your way around the internet • are dedicated to customer service

We: • are locally owned & operated • promote from within • will respect your opinion • have competitive pay & benefits • host family & holiday events

If you’re ready to finally love your job, we want your resume. Email us at careers@telelinkcallcentre.com

We’ll answer your call. 44 Austin St. • 722-3720 • www.telelinkcallcentre.com

Please quote CB-arborist

ROV operators / Technicians Ad #: CB-ROV/0106

Oceaneering Canada Limited is a leading contractor in the provision of Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) services in Eastern Canada. Due to the continued growth in our local operations, we are seeking qualified personnel for positions based in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador. ROV operators / Technicians Successful candidates should possess academic background in electronics/hydraulics and a minimum of 2 years ROV and offshore experience and the ability to work offshore as part of a project team. Oceaneering Canada Limited offers attractive salaries and excellent health and pension benefits. Oceaneering Canada Limited is committed to promoting diversity in the workplace and considers this fundamental to business operations and development. In line with the Accords Act, residents of Newfoundland and Labrador will be given first consideration for training and employment. Apply in writing either by e-mail, facsimile or mail, with a full resume quoting #CB-ROV/0106 and cover letter to: 23 Dundee Avenue Mt. Pearl, NL A1N 4R6 Fax: (709) 570-7063 Email: tlawrence@oceaneering.com No Phone calls or agencies please

Call Center Management Positions (various levels) Ad #: CB-0209-CCM

Help Desk Now is a growing company and requires qualified individuals for various management positions at our call center location in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland. We are seeking career-minded, experienced and self-motivated individuals to help manage our business. We are interested in candidates who have at least 3 years relevant experience, are focused, can demonstrate effective communications skills and are able to work flexible hours. Experience in a call center environment is preferred. HDN is a large outsourcer providing inbound customer support solutions to clients. We offer opportunities for advancement, a competitive salary and benefits package. If you are interested in becoming part of our dynamic and growing management team and willing to relocate, please send your resume: • By email at: careers@helpdesknow.com • By fax at: (709) 292-8709 Please quote #CB-0209-CCM We thank all applicants for their interest in our company, however; only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 25

Construction Manager

Construction Manager Ad #: CB-CM/0208

Financial Advisors Ad #: 04-227-CB

AMEC Americas Limited is actively seeking qualified applicants for the position of Construction Manager for various projects in Newfoundland and Labrador and more particularly projects in the Labrador region. Reporting to AMEC's Project Manager, this position will involve the supervision and administration of field staff as well as various trade contractors and service suppliers for contracts under AMEC administration. In addition, the Construction Manager will be responsible for work planning, monitoring of safety, health and environmental requirements, attendance at project meetings, weekly and monthly progress reports, client liaison, updating of schedules, cost management, contract changes, review and recommendation of contractor and supplier progress billings, quality control. Applicants for this position should have a minimum of five (5) or more years experience in similar positions with demonstrated capability on a wide variety of projects. AMEC is an international project management and services company that designs, delivers and supports client assets for customers worldwide across the public and private sectors. AMEC employs 44,000 people in more than 40 countries, generating annual revenues of around Cdn$11 billion. With Canadian headquarters in Oakville, ON, AMEC has approximately 4,000 employees operating from 70 offices. AMEC leads its sector in the Dow Jones World and Pan European Sustainability Index and was ranked by Engineering News Record Magazine as the #1 International Design Firm in Canada. The company works across the public and private sectors, locally and internationally and in a range of sectors including transport, oil and gas and power as well as generally across industry and commerce. AMEC designs, delivers and supports infrastructure assets. Specific services include: project management, environmental and technical consultancy, architectural and engineering design, funding and feasibility studies, planning, procurement, construction and multi-technical services, facilities management, maintenance and decommissioning. All interested applicants are encouraged to forward their resumes either by e-mail or in writing to: AMEC Americas Limited P.O. Box 9600 133 Crosbie Road , St. John's, NL A1A 3C1 Please quote CB-CM/0208 e-mail: careers.ii.stj@amec.com Resumes must be in MS Word format Attn: Human Resources Dept.

www.amec.com

• Location: St. John's, Gander, Marystown and Bay Roberts, NL, Canada • Company URL: http://www.lfs.ca • Contact Name: Geraldine Sturge, Senior Administrative Assistant Optifund Branch Manager • Contact E-mail: geraldine.sturge@LFS.ca

Be Daring! Join the LFS Team! Laurentian Financial Services (LFS) is part of Desjardins Financial Security, with assets of over $80 billion, the 6th largest financial services organization in Canada . We are a Canadian leader in the financial services industry with a dynamic coast-to-coast network, comprised of 43 financial centres and more than 1,100 associate partners. LFS is a full service financial services provider with access to multiple insurer and investment fund products. Our track record is based on the quality of support services delivered to associates with a company wide commitment to professionalism. We believe in listening to our associate's needs for providing the products and tools needed to maximize their value in meeting clients' financial planning needs. Due to our exceptional growth we are looking for individuals to join our newly established financial centres in St. John's, Gander, Marystown and Bay Roberts, NL in the role of Financial Advisors.

Join the LFS Team and improve your business by: Financial Planner - Investment & Retirement Planner, St John's, Newfoundland Ad #: 49156 Who we are The Canadian Personal and Business (CPB) segment consists of our banking and investment businesses in Canada and our global insurance businesses. Our 30,000 employees provide financial products and services to over 11 million personal and business clients through a variety of distribution channels; including branches, business banking centres, automated banking machines, full-service brokerage operations, career sales forces, the telephone, Internet channels and independent third-party distributors. CPB is comprised of the following business lines: Personal Lending focuses on meeting the needs of our individual clients at every stage of their lives through a wide range of products including home equity financing, personal financing and credit cards. Personal Payments and Client Accounts provides core deposit accounts, transactional payment services, foreign exchange and other related services to individual clients. Investment Management provides full-service and discount brokerage, asset management, trust services and other investment products. Business Markets offers a wide range of lending, deposit and transaction products and services to small and mediumsized business and commercial, farming and agriculture clients. Global Insurance offers a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel, home and auto insurance products and services to individual and business clients in Canada and the U.S., as well as reinsurance for clients around the world. Position Overview: Successful candidate will service the St John's, NL market. In this role, the Financial Planner - Investment and Retirement Planning contributes to meeting area/centre sales plans by acquiring and growing profitable client relationships. Provides solutions and financial advice designed to satisfy the client's investment and retirement needs, leveraging RBC Financial Group expertise. Seeks out new clients by developing relationships within the community and local centres of influence. Enhances the experience of existing non-account managed investment centric clients providing accessibility and proactive client-focused investment solutions and advice. Anchors clients with the appropriate delivery channel within RBC Financial Group. This role also balances the rewards of meeting business objectives with the risk of loss to the client, employee and shareholder by following corporate compliance/policies to maintain risk exposure and to operate within a legal framework and in accordance with securities regulations. Note: Compensation will be "commission only" following training period (maximum training period is 6 months). Required Skills: • Demonstrated sales success and the ability to build rapport quickly with prospects. Excellent communication, time management, organizational, networking and relationship building skills. The position requires a flexible work schedule. • Must be an accredited Financial Planner, or working towards accreditation, and licensed to sell mutual funds in accordance with provincial regulations (CFP or PFP designation). Mutual Funds Licensed for 1 year either IFIC or CSC. We thank all interested candidates, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. If you are interested in this dynamic role, please go to www.rbc.com/careers and submit your resume and cover letter to us quoting reference # 49156. We thank all candidates for their interest, however only successful candidates will be contacted.

Requires an OFFICE MANAGER

(F/T Maternity Replacement position April 06 to April 07)

Qualifications to include (but not limited to) knowledge/experience of: accounting procedures, use of Simply Accounting Program; dealing with the public in a busy environment; typing & computer skills; good organizational skills and general reception duties. Salary to commensurate with experience and qualifications. Please apply to: Nova Physiotherapy Ltd. 1st Floor Regatta Plaza, 80-82 Elizabeth Ave. St. John’s, NL A1A 1W7 Or by fax: 726-7799

1. Staying independent, while maintain access to a multi-disciplinary team and qualified experts 2. Receiving financial backing to purchase viable blocks of business 3. Having access to multiple insurers and products and more than 60 mutual funds and segregated fund companies 4. A competitive pooled compensation bonus structure and immediate vesting 5. Incentive plans based on multiple insurers' products, mutual and segregated funds 6. New associate training and mentoring programs which are unique in the industry 7. Market planning and support 8. Business continuation support 9. Leading edge technology

We are looking for people who are: • Entrepreneurial • Problem solvers • Out-going • Commitment to quality • Hard working • Professional • Service oriented • Computer literate • Committed to continuing education and personal development • Experienced in sales (an asset but not necessary) Interested individuals are invited to apply directly to Geraldine Sturge, Senior Administrative Assistant Optifund Branch Manager via e-mail at geraldine.sturge@LFS.ca quoting Ref#: 04-227-CB.

Senior Software Developer Ad #: CB-SSD-0206-SJ

Come work for one of Canada's Top 100 Companies. And live life on the most easterly point in North America in historic St. John's, Newfoundland! Consilient (www.consilient.com) develops award-winning wireless software for mobile devices and phones. By building software using open standards and push technology, Consilient is changing the mobile email landscape. And we're winning awards for our work. We were recently named a Top 100 Employer in Canada, Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and an Innovation Leader by the National Research Council (NRC). We offer a generous compensation package and assistance with re-location costs. Consilient's work environment is dynamic and energy-driven and innovative thinking is our strong point. If your passion lies in developing new, wireless technologies for mobile phones, we'd like to hear from you. Job Location: St. John's, NL, Canada Description: As Senior Software Developer at Consilient, you will contribute to the overall design and architecture of our wireless products for messaging platforms with the primary focus on email, calendaring and contact integration. You will help build high-performance, highly scalable operator and enterprise client-server software for mobile phones. Keys to success: • Strong system programming and design skills in server-side environments • Strong debugging skills, ability to organize and write clean, maintainable code • Passion to work in an exciting environment Educational Requirements: • BCS/MCS or BCE/MCE or related technical degree(s) Required Skills & Experience: • 6+ years minimum industry experience working on full software development cycle from concept to product deliverables through system deployment • Solid system programming experience with C++, Java, multi-threaded programming, API programming Good knowledge of: • Database programming interfaces and database usage - My SQL, Oracle, or other RDBMS • Internet technologies – e.g. HTML/XML, HTTP/HTTPS, JSP, Servlets, SOAP • Email, calendaring and messaging technologies – e.g. IMAP, POP3, MAPI, OMA DS • Network technologies – e.g. proxy server, Load Balancers, TCP/IP, UDP Contact: Please send cover letter and resume stating competition # to: careers@consilient.com


26 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MARCH 12, 2006

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS

ACROSS 1 Like the knees of rough-and-tumble kids 7 Toast spread 10 Country with Olympic gold for curling, 2006 16 Zimbabwe’s capital 17 “The last time I saw ___ ...” 19 Sayings 20 Island off Naples 21 Capital of Ghana 22 Language of Kathmandu 23 After expenses 24 Avoids (work) 26 Ontario’s avian emblem: common ___ 28 B.C.’s tree: western ___ cedar 29 Magician’s specialty 31 These (Fr.) 32 N.W.T.’s official tree: jack ___ 33 Web ___ 34 “For ___ in my life ...” 35 Bonn article 36 Wheat disease 37 Looks out on 38 Homonym of all 40 Instruct 42 It gets kids to school 43 Feudal tenant 46 Ewww! 47 Celtic music family 51 Left the engine running

52 To be (Fr.) 54 Official dog of N.S.: ___ tolling retriever 55 Negative 56 Cheers for a matador 57 Quiz choice 58 Roughing It in the ___ (Moodie) 59 Free from doubt 60 “Put a ___ on it!” 61 Inhabitant of Ankara 62 Author Carrier (The Hockey Sweater) 63 Semblance 64 Soaks up 66 Earth: prefix 67 Dyed 68 “It ___ the best of times ...” 69 Gift bringer of myth 71 Besides 72 Sheik’s women 75 Dull sound 76 Conception ___, Nfld. 78 Dying Asian sea 82 Not up 83 He’s in the will 84 Cigar dropping 85 Honkers on high 86 Provincial rep. 87 Sound of complaint 88 Lizard 90 Curvy shape 91 Oldest village on Queen Charlotte islands (B.C.) 93 Zenith’s opposite 95 Long-lost ship of explorer John Franklin

97 Star (Fr.) 98 Word on a triangle 99 Insect: prefix 100 Tenant’s payment 101 Madame, briefly (Fr.) 102 Haggle DOWN 1 Religion of Japan 2 Barracks 3 Where John Franklin lost his ship 4 Humbug preceder 5 Nippy 6 Slangy assent 7 He invented Ringette 8 Parts of a circle 9 Russian space station (1986-2001) 10 Canadian ___ Museum (Peterborough) 11 Yemeni port 12 Tot’s time out 13 Mushroom with large cap 14 Take out 15 Remarks to the audience 17 Quebec union activist, reformer: Madeleine ___ 18 West Coast people 25 ___ on parle francais 27 Prov. with most thunderstorms 30 Stops 32 The ref drops it 33 Prov. with least fog 35 Building extension

36 Try to outrun 37 Nfld. island once home to Great Auk 39 Gob of gum 41 Irish country 42 German composer of fugues 43 Stringed instrument 44 Seat of the pants performance 45 Winter conveyances 47 Hurry 48 Northern people 49 Of Viking culture 50 Horse 52 Drops the ball 53 N.W.T. hamlet, for short 54 French duke 57 Baths 58 Kick 59 Ice cream with toppings 61 Car on rails 62 Tear apart 63 Tonic partner 65 Was indebted to 66 Wild bovine of Asia 67 Longest river in Scotland 69 Street hockey 70 Utterly senseless 72 Nail driver 73 Remove surgically 74 Trudeau motto: “___ over passion” 75 Darjeeling or Assam 77 Exclamation of triumph

79 S. African antelope 80 Suppose 81 One who grants a lease

83 Victoria’s Empress 84 Nimble 85 Bundle of herbs: bouquet ___

87 Black: comb. form 88 The same (Lat.) 89 Exigency 92 Take a pew

94 Objective 96 And so on

SOLUTION ON PAGE 27

WEEKLY STARS ARIES - MAR 21/APR 20 Overindulging in all areas of your life is not a healthy way to live, Aries. Rethink your personal goals and streamline so you're not being pulled into too many directions. TAURUS - APR 21/MAY 21 You want to support a friend, Taurus, but you just don't agree with this person's motives. Don't get involved in the situation; you'll regret it later. GEMINI - MAY 22/JUN 21 Someone in the family has stepped on your toes, Gemini. Rather than lash out, keep your feelings to yourself and be the bigger person in this situation.

CANCER - JUN 22/JUL 22 You've put all your eggs in one basket, Cancer, and now that things haven't worked out, you're left wondering what to do. Family members won't let you down.

LEO - JUL 23/AUG 23 Watch how much you spend this week, Leo. You could go overboard if you're not paying attention. Better leave the credit at home and use cash instead.

VIRGO - AUG 24/SEPT 22 If you don't make a move soon in your love life, you're going to miss the opportunity, Virgo. Stop looking for the perfect Mr. or Ms. Right. Rather, look outside your comfort zone. LIBRA - SEPT 23/OCT 23 Now is not the time to make rash career decisions, Libra. You have too many responsibilities and bills coming in. Even though your job may not appeal to you anymore, stick with it.

SCORPIO - OCT 24/NOV 22 Normally a go-getter, Scorpio, you're ready to throw in the towel in regards to a project that isn't working out. Don't give up, how-

ever; you'll find relief soon.

SAGITTARIUS - NOV 23/DEC 21 Stop being so generous to others, and start concentrating on your immediate family, Sagittarius. They're in need of your love and attention. Quality family time is key. CAPRICORN - DEC 22/JAN 20 Your love life is a mess, Capricorn. You can't seem to get along with your partner no matter what you do. Instead of butting heads, sit down and talk camly and rationally. AQUARIUS - JAN 21/FEB 18 Stop being argumentative, Aquarius. Those around you will grow tired of hearing how you're always right. Accept that someone else's opinion might be valid.

PISCES - FEB 19/MAR 20 Recuperation from an injury or illness will take time, Pisces. Don't

try to do it all now. You'll have plenty of time to catch up in the weeks to come. FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS MARCH 12 James Taylor, singer (58)

MARCH 13 William H. Macy, actor (56) MARCH 14 Michael Caine, actor (73)

MARCH 15 Mark McGrath, singer (38) MARCH 16 Jerry Lewis, comic (80) MARCH 17 Kurt Russell, actor (55)

MARCH 18 Glenn Close, actress (59)

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 27


MARCH 12, 2006

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 27

Leafs a trade deadline dud

Ferguson refuses to pull trigger on ‘bad deal’ while other general managers wheel and deal

G

By Paul Hunter Torstar wire service

iven the opportunity to use the NHL trade deadline to either build for the future or strengthen the Maple Leafs for a playoff push, general manager John Ferguson did neither. He did nothing. No moves. No changes. Or, as Ferguson put it: “Activity doesn’t always mean progress.” Perhaps that should replace, “The passion that unites us all” as the slogan for the Leaf brand. So instead of optimism for now or for the future, Leaf fans look forward to more of Nik Antropov, Aki Berg, Alexander Khavanov et al in what Ferguson maintains will be a push towards a playoff berth and, he implied, the potential challenge for a Stanley Cup. A one-game winning streak creates that kind of optimism. “I’d much rather do no deal than a bad deal. There were plenty of bad deals available,” says the GM, defending his inactivity. Still, there were a record 25 trades made March 9 as 26 teams found deals they liked and 40 players changed uniforms. Only four teams — Toronto, Florida, Tampa and Columbus — were dormant at the deadline but at least the Panthers locked up asset Olli Jokinen with a long-term contract. The Leafs’ leading scorer, Bryan McCabe, remains a risk to walk away for nothing as an unrestricted free agent this summer. “Neither side viewed it as a drop-dead date in terms of negotiation,” says Ferguson. On March 8, the Leafs created a modest buzz by acquiring defenceman Luke Richardson, moving blueliner Ken Klee for prospect forward Aleksander Suglobov and signing Bowling Green free agent Alex Foster. But there it stopped. Despite interest in his veteran blueliners in what Ferguson admitted was a “pretty hot” market for defencemen, the Leafs hung on to McCabe, Khavanov and Berg rather than take advantage of the unique circumstances unfolding around them. The opportunity to look long-term and stockpile prospects and picks was there. Ferguson said it was considered.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson.

“At the same time, you’ve got 21 games to play (and you’re) six points back of the playoffs. As I’ve said before, we’re not ready to concede anything here,” the general manager says. “We’ve got a team that we feel is a playoff club.

Peter Jones/Reuters

That hasn’t changed. We had no intention of completely stripping it down to merely mail in the final 21 games, especially being six points back.” That gap actually widened to eight points after Montreal’s 3-0 win over Boston March 9.

Instead, what Ferguson did, based on two consecutive good performances, is make a tremendous leap of faith that a team which has lost 15 of its last 19 games while receiving crappy goaltending, pitiable defensive work and indifferent play from many of its forwards will suddenly reverse that trend. “It’s substantially the same club that was nine games over (.500) in January. We do believe and know we can play better, more capable than we have demonstrated lately,” he says. The biggest change will have to come from disappointing goaltender Ed Belfour, who hits the stretch drive with a lamentable .891 save percentage, 34th in the league. Ferguson said he took “a number of calls” concerning his goaltending. “We’re real happy with the service we’ve received from Ed Belfour, will continue to receive and, obviously, we’re going to rely on him as our No.1 goaltender going forward.” While the stated goal is the playoffs, the Leafs didn’t substantially improve themselves as a potential dark horse contender. Atlanta, the team one spot ahead in the standings, at least added defenceman Steve McCarthy. “We weren’t seeking to move out prospects to bring back rental players,” says the GM. But Ferguson expressed confidence in his roster as it’s now constituted, noting the team has “a number of very capable, top flight forwards and defencemen who are having tremendous seasons.” “We’re not afraid to play any team in our conference. The task at hand is to qualify for the playoffs. After that, who knows where it goes?” he says. “We’ve seen a number of teams the last few years, Calgary the latest example, which just get into the playoffs, then get hot, receive tremendous goaltending and solid two-way play from the team and turn it into something special.” So, beyond that wishful and wistful thinking, what is the plan going forward? “Take a look at what’s going to be available this summer,” Ferguson says. “You count on progress made by some of the players that are in the organization this year to continue. You count on some of the younger players who are just playing 20, 30 games this year to earn a larger load next year and get deeper and better.”

The Canuck with the bucks on the cover of Forbes grew up on a Prairie pig farm WASHINGTON By Tim Harper Torstar wire service

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hat are the odds? If anyone would know, it would surely be Calvin Ayre. The lad from Lloydminster, Sask., is today Canada’s newest billionaire and cover boy of Forbes, the U.S.-based magazine that keeps the world’s scorecard on the rich. The 44-year-old Ayre moved into one of the globe’s most exclusive clubs as founder of Bodog.com, the online gambling behemoth he operates out of Costa Rica because what he’s doing has never been licensed by a government in Canada. A University of Waterloo grad who financed his education by selling Okanagan Valley apples, cherries and peaches on the Prairies, Ayre now makes a cool billion based on wagers on sports events such as the upcoming NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, NFL games and his online casino.

He’ll even take bets on the last one off the island on Survivor. Ayre has since moved into music marketing and distribution and is taping a Fox Sports Network “poker lifestyle” series. He’s a renowned analyst and consultant in the online gaming industry, owns real estate in Vancouver’s desirable Yaletown area and farmland in B.C., and is a licensed pilot and certified scuba diver. Recent pictures of Bodog events include shots of Ayre with sports icons Mike Ditka and Reggie Jackson, actor Colin Farrell, musicians Bif Naked and Snoop Dogg, and even (oops) O.J. Simpson. He started the company 10 years ago with $10,000. By the end of 2005, it was estimated Bodog.com had taken in $6 billion US in wagers. “Instead of doing things for money, I do things for love,” Ayre says in an interview from San Jose, Costa Rica. “If you do it out of love, you’ll do it a lot better than if you do it for money. “I never thought I’d make this kind of money — oh, maybe a couple of mil-

Music madness From page 28

anybody to play. It would truly be a shame if the friendly people of Grand FallsWindsor are left without senior hockey next year. After living there for almost two years, I know first hand how much the team means to the central Newfoundland town. In a perfect world, Grand Falls-Windsor would be granted entry into the Avalon East league, but the Cataracts tried that once before and were rejected.

in the seats yet and the music is pumping as if Mile One is a nightclub full of underage drinkers with fake IDs. I really enjoy watching hockey at Mile One and think it is a world-class entertainment facility. I just wish I didn’t run the risk of losing my hearing every time I watch the Fog Devils play.

MY EARS ARE BLEEDING Would somebody please turn down the volume of the music played at Mile One during Fog Devils games? I know I sound like a disgruntled grandparent, but seriously, why is the freaking music so loud it almost makes my ears bleed? Up to two hours before the game even starts the music blares so loudly that I struggle to have a conversation in the media box. There’s nobody even

HERE WE GO AGAIN Carl Lindros, Eric’s dad and agent, blames the Toronto Maple Leafs medical staff for the Big E’s latest seasonending injury. Will someone please tell Carl to butt out of his son’s affairs? When the Lindros clan got into it with Bobby Clarke and the Flyers, I could understand — it was, after all, Bobby Clarke they were dealing with. But then Carl Lindros criticized the Rangers’ organization when Eric left New York, and now he has a beef with the Leafs. And they say minor hockey parents are tough to deal with …

Solutions for crossword on page 26

Solutions for sudoku on page 26

lion — but I’ve carved out an excellent lifestyle because of this business.” Ayre, who calls himself “heavily single,” grew up on a Saskatchewan pig farm, born to what he calls a family of entrepreneurs. He ascribes his success to marketing — he is, he says, the best marketer in the industry. “I have the strongest brand in the world in this industry,” he says. “There’s no secret to it. It’s just mainstream marketing, being creative and linking the right values to our brand. OVERBLOWN “Everything else is overblown.” But online gaming is not a licence to print money, and most analysts agree it takes a certain savvy and marketing know-how to turn such a site into such a success story. Money accrues to the house by a commission charged to the bettor, but to make the business truly profitable, it must pay very close attention to the “line,” or the odds against one team winning, so as to avoid ending up with

big paydays to the bettors. Ayre says he makes most of his money from poker and casino gambling. “It’s easy. Everything I do is easy. I’ve been doing this a long time and helped start the whole industry,” he says. Ayre is one of four Canadian additions to the Forbes billionaire list this year, bringing Canadian membership in such rarefied ranks to 21. In his magazine cover, Ayre is pictured holding a stack of poker chips beside the headline, Cyber Bookie Calvin Ayre Sticks it to Uncle Sam. “He has an interesting story and online gaming produced four new billionaires this year,” says Forbes spokesperson Meghan Womack. “Plus it’s illegal in the U.S., which adds a twist.” In Canada, Ayre says, governments have maintained a “hands off’’ approach to online gaming, understanding that a number of Canadians are employed in “back channel” operations in the industry, including a technical

services and marketing company that Ayres holds in Vancouver. The U.S. is more aggressive in dissuading the industry from operating within its borders than Canada, although no Canadian provincial or federal government has ever issued an online gambling licence. “It would only be illegal to operate in Canada without a licence,” says Ayre. “Costa Rica provides me with a very healthy environment in which to operate.” The Canadian billionaires list is dotted with familiar names, including Charles Bronfman, Jean Coutu, Paul Desmarais, Wallace McCain, Ted Rogers, Jim Pattison and Galen Weston. Publishing magnate Kenneth Thomson and his family top the list of Canucks with bucks, and are listed as the ninth-richest in the world, with $19.6 billion (US). But that’s a fraction of the $50 billion (US) fortune owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is ranked the world’s richest man for the 12th straight year.


INDEPENDENTSPORTS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MARCH 12-18, 2006 — PAGE 28

Ainsley Decker

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘I like the challenge’

Ainsley Decker pushes herself in the classroom and in the pool; future med student also an accomplished cyclist

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By Darcy MacRae For The Independent

hen assessing Ainsley Decker’s ability in the pool, her results speak for themselves. The 21-year-old swimmer was a dominant force in the water throughout 2005 and has kicked off 2006 in much the same fashion. Already this year she has claimed two provincial short-course titles and was part of a record-setting relay team. “I like trying to do my best, trying to keep getting better,” Decker says. “That keeps me involved with the sport because if I stop swimming, I obviously can’t get better … I like the challenge.” Decker split her childhood between several Canadian cities and towns, including St. John’s, Quebec City, Saint John, N.B. and Hull, Que. When she finished high school in 2002, she jumped at the chance to return to Newfoundland and attend Memorial University. Ever since, she has been a star athlete for the MUN swim team. “It’s exciting because you see so many good swimmers, elite athletes,” Decker says of competing at the Atlantic and Canadian university swim finals. “You say ‘Oh wow I

get to swim with these people,’ but it’s AUS championships are similar to her also like ‘Oh my God, wow, they’re 2005 results where she took second in the fast.’” 100-metre free, third in the 50-metre free Just three months into 2006, Decker is and fifth in the 400-metre free. However, off to a fast start herself. At last week- on this occasion Decker’s times were not end’s provincial short-course champi- quick enough for her to earn a berth at the onships in Gander, she won first place for CIS tournament, an event she had attendher age group in both ed the three years previthe 50-metre breastous. stroke and 400 individDecker says she’s ual medley (IM). She frustrated by the fact she “I probably also claimed a pair of will not be at nationals third place finishes in this year, but is taking wouldn’t have the 50- and 100-metre the set back in stride. free style to go along “It was a bit disapmade it in cycling with two first place pointing … but it’s not showings in the 4x50 the end of the world,” if I hadn’t been metre free and 4x50 she says. “It would have swimming.” metre IM relays. been nice to go back At the AUS champiagain.” Ainsley Decker onships last month, Coming back faster Decker won three and stronger than ever bronze medals — in the after a set back is noth100- and 200-meter free ing new for Decker. and the 50-metre fly. Together with Adele After all, it was just last summer she comGagnon, Elissa Gelleny and Kilah Ivany pletely changed sports so she could attend she helped set a new provincial record in the Canada Games in Regina, Sask. the 4x200 metre free relay, beating the old Decker was too old to compete in the standard by 10 seconds. swimming events of the Canada Games, Decker’s 2006 accomplishments at the but was young enough to compete in

cycling. Although she has never competed as a cyclist before, Decker needed just a couple of months to practice and make the Canada Games cycling team. Upon arriving in Regina, she says several cyclists were shocked that she made it so far with so little training. “They were like ‘What?’ I got a few funny remarks about it,” she explains. Although she was new to the sport, Decker says her swimming background played a big role in her being ready to jump into competitive cycling. “I already had the cardiovascular system all trained from swimming and I find the muscles don’t take as long to train for different sports if your cardiovascular system is up to par,” she says. “I probably wouldn’t have made it in cycling if I hadn’t been swimming.” Next fall Decker will begin her first semester in med school at MUN, but figures she can remain a member of the school’s swim team at the same time. Although school will take up much of her time, Decker says she’ll always make room for swimming in her life. “I just like to do things and have fun,” she says. “If I’m having fun, I tend to do a lot better than if I’m not having fun.”

This, that and the other thing T

oo much on the brain to concentrate on just one topic this week, so here’s a rundown of what amuses, annoys and confuses me these days.

ALLARD A FUTURE FIRST LINER Fog Devils’ centre Jean-Simon Allard may have had a slow start to his major junior career, but the 16year-old has really come into his own since Christmas. The Fog Devils’ first-round pick, fourth overall, in last summer’s Q midget draft, Allard spent much of the year on the team’s fourth line. But given some power-play time lately, he’s starting to pick up some points and is looking like he could be the team’s first-line centre next season. Given his skills — silky soft hands, deceptive speed and a nice shot — it’s

DARCY MACRAE

The game

not out of the question for Allard to have a point-a-game season next year.

SO MUCH FOR THE NEW RULES I thought the NHL was supposed to crack down on obstruction this year, or was that just something they said to get us all to watch again? After watching the PhiladelphiaMontreal game on March 6, it’s obvious the referees are reverting back to the pre-lockout style of officiating. On several occasions players from both teams were hauled to the ice directly in front of a referee, but no

call was made. If this keeps up, it won’t be long before we’re back to the clutch-and-grab style of two years ago that gave us nothing but 2-1 games.

CAPTAIN FILLIER While Jean-Simon Allard is the Fog Devils’ future first-line centre, fellow 16-year-old Matt Fillier is a future team captain. Already wearing an A on his jersey, Fillier shows a lot more maturity than most players his age. I see Fillier becoming a Scott Brophy-type player, but with a much greater offensive upside. HE CAN DANCE, TOO Nicolas Bachand of the Fog Devils is known more for his goal scoring than his dancing, but last week I saw first hand the feisty winger’s dancefloor moves.

During the second intermission of the St. John’s-Victoriaville game March 4, I was walking past the Fog Devils’ locker room while the Pepsi Girls did their dance routine at centre ice. Matching the girls move for move in the hallway was none other than Bachand, who is pretty limber for a guy in hockey gear and skates. Bachand is one of several colourful characters on the Fog Devils this year, and together with Ryan Graham provides plenty of laughs for his teammates.

PLAYOFF HOPES FOR BLUE JAYS The Toronto Blue Jays will make the playoffs this year, I guarantee it. With the best starting rotation in their division — the Red Sox group of soon-to-be retirees and overrated hurlers just doesn’t compare — and a

vastly improved offence, the Jays are poised to win either the AL East or the AL wild card. Looks like this is the year the Yankees and Red Sox stranglehold on the AL East is finally broken.

CEHL ON THE WEST COAST I’ve heard rumblings recently that both Corner Brook and Deer Lake could possibly ice teams in the Canadian Elite Hockey League next year. If that’s the case, then what becomes of the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts? Deer Lake, Corner Brook and Grand Falls-Windsor comprise the West Coast Senior Hockey League, so if two of the league’s three teams pull out, that leaves the Cataracts without See “Music madness,” page 27


2006-03-12