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A visit to Juanita Farrell’s movie prop museum in Fermeuse

Newfoundland dog breeder plans pet parade

‘Buy me a tent’ St. John’s shelter needs immediate funding or doors will close STEPHANIE PORTER


ost clients of the shelter at the Native Friendship Centre stay only a night or two. For some, it’s emergency shelter; for others, it’s a place to stay while in St. John’s for a medical appointment. A few stay longer, perhaps a month, while securing other accommodations, or undergoing longer-term treatment. John Jack, an Innu from Sheshatshiu, is the exception. He’s lived in the shelter since November 2004. That fall, he suffered a heart attack while working as a labourer at Voisey’s Bay. He underwent openheart surgery in St. John’s.

“And then after that, the doctor told me I had to go on dialysis,” says Jack, 53. There is no facility in Labrador to serve Jack’s needs; he must spend three afternoons a week in treatment at the Health Sciences Centre. “He told me I would have to stay in St. John’s for quite a while … the first five months, I have a hard time. I feel angry, I want to go home. After that, I feel normal again, I know a lot of people here, a lot of people from Labrador here. It’s really good now.” Jack plans to stay in the shelter for the foreseeable future, until he can either make arrangements for an apartment, or, better yet, dialysis treatment becomes available nearer to home. See “I just take,” page 11

Do you see me? Susan Rendell turns her thoughts to the people on the street, looking for cash and compassion By Susan Rendell For The Independent


John Jack of Labrador stays at a St. John’s shelter run by the Native Friendship Centre. The shelter is in danger of closing. Paul Daly/The Independent

pring has sprung. We’ve come out of the dead of winter into the alive of spring in jig time. From 60-odd centimetres of snow to 5 centimetres of grass, 10 centimetres of crocuses and 15 centimetres of pigeons in a scant few weeks. Sparrows bang around in the cage of a leafless hedge across the street, their voices shrill, overwrought; they sound like small kids at a birthday party. My daughter and I are standing in the dim downstairs hall, holding our breaths as the family groundhog — a morbidly obese grey cat — waddles through the open back door for the first time in eight months. She taps her way to a tulip, sits down abruptly, doesn’t come back inside for a full five minutes. It’s official: winter is toast, baby.

An hour later I am on Water Street in the middle of a folk dance, a Morris dance; everyone is outside with bells on. Streamers of hair liberated from caps and hoods catch the wind and lose it again; voices no longer bound in mufflers of snow and fog anthem the air. I weave in and out of the revelry, unwinding my scarf as I go; I don’t need protection from bad weather trying to leer down the front of my coat anymore. The sun — the Sun — is risen today! But there are spectres at the feast. Outside Coffee and Company, I run into Marilyn. She nods when I say “Hi, Marilyn, I love your boots” — and I do, they are really funky. Marilyn could have given Imelda Marcos a run for her money; I’ve never seen her in the same pair of footwear twice. See “Who gave,” page 10

‘I’m really scared of this’ Local union head decries FFAW’s decision to stamp Marystown deal on everyone CRAIG WESTCOTT


ustin Noseworthy expects to come to town on Monday with a heavy heart. The head of the crab plant workers’ union in Triton has been summoned to take part in negotiations between Fishery Products International

Limited and his union, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union. “Apparently we’re all negotiating together, the FPI crowd,” says Noseworthy. “And my understanding right now is that whatever was done to Marystown is going to be split right across the board.” On Friday, workers at FPI’s Marystown plant agreed to renegotiate their wages and benefits agreements downwards, in return for a

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “The problem is this, people have an impression that the fish is ours and the oil is ours and the company FPI is ours …” — Premier Danny Williams. See story, page 5

promise from FPI not to cut as many jobs there. But the company still doesn’t plan on re-employing the workers until this fall, a good six months or more later than usual. FFAW president Earle McCurdy was travelling Friday after the Marystown meeting and couldn’t be reached for comment. “I’ve been at this since 1986 and


See “I’m really,” page 2


Still no dice for Tim Conway’s unexpected ride Newfoundland board game on Flight 93

Allan Moulton, local union head at the FPI plant in Marystown stands on a bluff overlooking the plant. On Friday, Moulton and his fellow members accepted an FPI offer that will see them lose benefits. Paul Daly/The Independent


Local sports groups applaud federal tax credit

Richard Squires . . Gallery . . . . . . . . . . Book review . . . . . Crossword. . . . . . . Gone troutin’ . . . .

12 18 20 24 30


MAY 7, 2006

‘I’m really, really scared’



From page 1 it’s the first time I’ve heard of a crowd going in and accepting a deal that everyone else in the company doesn’t know anything about,” says Noseworthy. “I’m really, really scared of this. It’s a deal that should never have occurred without us getting a chance to sit down and see what was being talked about. We were left in the dark. We still don’t know what the Marystown crowd has accepted.” About 150 people work at the Triton plant. Noseworthy says everyone is nervous about what’s happening with the company. “There’s a lot of stuff at stake here,” he says. “I was shocked when I got a call that we were going in for negotiations, because there are two offers on the table as you’re aware, from Ches Penney and Bill Barry, to buy out Fishery Products. So who are we really negotiating with? Are we going to be back at this again in six months time with a new crowd, or are they all in there sitting around the table and putting stuff together for a big blowout? “I’m really, really scared and every-

It’s a deal that should never have occurred without us getting a chance to sit down and see what was being talked about. We were left in the dark. We still don’t know what the Marystown crowd has accepted.” Austin Noseworthy body is pretty nervous.” Noseworthy doesn’t have much hope that things will get better for his members if FPI’s Newfoundland operations are acquired by the Barry Group. Six years ago, when Barry and Clearwater Fine Foods president John Risley teamed up and formed NEOS to try buying FPI, the local union head met with Barry to discuss Triton. “The answer I got from him (then)

was not what I wanted to hear at all,” Noseworthy says. “Eighty per cent of our product has to be trucked in and he said at that time that he wasn’t interested in plants that he had to truck material to. That’s what he told me. If his attitude hasn’t changed, I don’t see anything for us other than a big lock being put on the gates.” Noseworthy says if that happens, the seven towns that depend on the Triton plant will become more Harbour Bretons. He isn’t happy with the provincial government’s handling of the issue either. “To me, the government is playing right along with the company saying if you’re going to have a loss you can’t just spread it out in Marystown or the Burin peninsula, you’ve got to spread it over the rest of the plants,” says Noseworthy. “I’m surprised you even called,” he adds. “We figure that if you live on the other side of the overpass you’re nobody, unless you’re into oil. It’s not good enough. The rural communities for years kept Newfoundland afloat.”

Clarification With the exception of pre-paid Independent subscribers prior to the newspaper’s April 1 shut down, all subscribers are subject to the new, $1.50 a copy home delivery price. Pre-paid subscribers will be subject to the new rate when their current subscription expires. The Independent regrets any misunderstanding.

Teachers looking for full-time work By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent


any students graduating from Memorial University’s education faculty may still decide to leave the province for work, despite the fact government recently secured 151 teaching positions. This could mean a shortage of teachers in some areas. Alice Collins, dean of education at Memorial, says the numbers graduating this year will be enough to fill positions in the province, but some schools in smaller communities still find it difficult to attract teachers. “Whether or not every position will get filled, probably not, because sometimes students do not choose to go to the communities that they really could have taken up a position in,” she tells The Independent. Collins adds many education graduates prefer to either work in their home communities or larger centres. If positions are limited in those areas, aggressive recruitment from provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario may entice them away, particularly as few new teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador have the chance to secure full-time positions. “Many new teachers have to begin their teaching careers as substitute teachers, as contractual teachers,” she says. “It can be an opportunity on the one hand; on the other hand, I’m sure it’s frustrating for them.” Next week Memorial University will host the annual provincial teacher recruitment fair for students and teachers interested in working in Newfoundland and Labrador. Collins says the fair has been successful in its five years of operation — although often mainland school district recruiters get to students first. She says the offers aren’t necessarily much more financially attractive than local positions, but they are fulltime, with a good starting salary and sometimes housing assistance. Collins adds many students automatically expect to leave the province after graduation — either temporarily or permanently — because that’s part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s history. “I don’t think that’s the only thing; it’s the idea that they have a full-time position and they know that if they do want to then come back to the province or open up their opportunities anywhere in the world, to have had a full-time position does position you better for another job.” Still, according to a survey the faculty conducted two years ago, 80 per cent of Memorial University’s education graduates were teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador. Collins says the faculty isn’t expecting to up its own student numbers anytime soon. The university still has more “eligible” applicants than it can accept. “We don’t actually actively recruit into the faculty of education,” she says. “There would certainly be people able to think back many, many years ago when it was unlimited access … meaning if people met the eligibility requirements, they were admitted. That’s no longer the case.”

MAY 7, 2006


SCRUNCHINS A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia.


he presence of Dr. John FitzGerald in the hallowed halls of Parliament should cause a stir when he takes on the job as the premier’s point man in Ottawa. It will be hard to get anything by him — this is an historian who knows Newfoundland and Labrador’s history with the Government of Canada inside out. His 2002 book, Newfoundland at the Crossroads, Documents on Confederation with Canada, is a fascinating read. Some interesting excerpts: “No other Canadian province had once been a country. Never before had a former British Dominion joined another. But the most unique characteristic was that the union took place as the result of a convoluted political process which to this day is not well understood by the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Another: “There is clear evidence that Canadian and British co-operation in the war effort spilled over into diplomatic and political co-operation working towards Confederation. The documents show that a Canadian-sponsored and funded political campaign convinced a reluctant Newfoundland electorate to vote for Confederation.” LABRADOR PRICE TAG Writing on the value of Labrador to Canada, FitzGerald stated that, had the value and quantity of iron ore been made public, it would have come as a shock to Newfoundlanders and their government. “This information was deliberately kept secret in 1947 by the Canadian minister, C.D. Howe, fearing that if the Newfoundland electorate knew of the value of the iron ore in Labrador, it would have taken a very different view of what Canada stood to gain from having the province in Confederation and voted accordingly.” Wrote FitzGerald: “British MP Alan P. Herbert perhaps summed it up best in a speech to the House of Commons on 2 March 1949: ‘Labrador may become another Alaska, because it has the largest iron ore deposits in the world waiting to be exploited … whoever runs them, Labrador will be an old-age pension for Newfoundland for a very long time.’ GALE OF LAUGHS The 11th annual Halifax Comedy Festival presented its Gale of Laughs recently, featuring our own Mark Critch as host. According to Stephen Cooke of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Critch set the tone early with a series of jabs aimed at Pam Anderson’s protest of the seal hunt while in Halifax hosting the Shaun Majumder Juno Awards. “Pamela Anderson said she was embarrassed for Canada, like she’s never done anything embarrassing in her life?” mused Critch. “What about all the 15-year-old boys who’ve gone blind because of her?” Cooke continued, “Critch’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes cohort Shaun Majumder continued to get major comedic mileage out of being a double minority, a half-South Asian Newfoundlander, comparing the plight of fellow islanders to that of African-Americans. ‘OK, Torontonians telling stupid Newfie jokes isn’t the same as slavery, but it still hurts!’” POT LUCK The book, Confessions of a Pot Smuggler, by Newfoundlander Brian O’Dea was panned by The Globe and Mail. The dust jacket reproduces a $1,300 classified ad than ran for six days in a Toronto newspaper (The Globe declined it). “Former marijuana smuggler. Having successfully completed a ten-year sentence, incidentfree, for importing 75 tons of marijuana into the United States. I am now seeking a legal and legitimate means to support myself and my family.” Wrote The Globe, “Brian O’Dea, the author of this ad, did not disclose to prospective employers that for much of his 22-year trafficking career he was stoned out of his tree, but that’s apparent from a reading of his memoir … “O’Dea, according to the front jacket cover, ‘did ten years’ hard time at Terminal Island.’ In fact (do writers of these blurbs actually read the book?), O’Dea spent one year there, then in the fall of 1992, was repatriated to Springhill Penitentiary in Nova Scotia. “A year later, I was flown to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to take up residence four nights a week in a halfway house.” He won full parole in 1995.” NEWFOUNDLAND PRIDE In a recent interview with the Prince George Free Press, country music legend Charlie Pride said he loves to perform in Canada and counts Newfoundland crowds as the best yet. “I can only measure it from the degree of applause and in Newfound land I felt like it was a revival or something. I’ve never felt audience warmth like that in all my life. They just showed overwhelming appreciation.”

Rocky road

Locals say the 20-km road to Cape Race isn’t fit to drive on. And they worry they’re missing out on much-needed tourism dollars because of it By Jamie Tarrant For The Independent


o one understands the tourism potential — and the picturesque beauty — of the fishing villages littered along the coastline of the Avalon Peninsula better than Clarence Molloy. For 39 years, he has operated Clarence Molloy Taxi, and has given countless travellers from around the world a chance to check out the sights of the Southern Shore. These days, he makes the two-hour trip from Trepassey to St. John’s six days a week. Molloy — who is also mayor of Portugal Cove South, minutes away from Trepassey — says tourists are always amazed by the Avalon’s scenery. But, he adds, many miss out on some of the area’s highlights. Molloy says the best-kept secrets in his neck of the woods are the Cape Race lighthouse, home of the first Marconi wireless station in Newfoundland, and the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, site of one of the oldest collections of fossils in the world. At Mistaken Point, tourists can walk about on the fossils, coming toe-to-toe with ancient marine life. Molloy tried taking tourists up to the Cape daily for a couple of summers, but ridership gradually died off. “It turns travellers off when you have to ride on 20 kilometres of dirt road, filled with potholes and small rock debris to get to these sites.” Molloy says it’s absolutely essential improvements be made to this road. Since the collapse of the northern cod fishery and the 1991 closure of the Trepassey fish plant, the community of Portugal Cove South has pinned much of its economic hopes on tourism. In July 1998, the Cape Race-Portugal Cove South Heritage Corporation was created to promote the area’s major landmarks. During the summer months, guided tours

are provided of Mistaken Point, the Cape Race lighthouse, and the Myrick wireless interpretation centre. Members of the heritage corporation have lobbied relentlessly to have the provincial and federal governments fix the road, with little success. “One of the major problems for us is the government saying the road is not in bad shape, when (it’s so rough) area residents are even not using it,” says corporation member Catherine Ward. She says her group has been told by Ottawa the lighthouse was built for navigation — not tourism.

“One of the major problems for us is the government saying the road is not in bad shape, when (it’s so rough) area residents are even not using it.” Catherine Ward Ward, who believes the two attractions would be of interest to an international audience, says the government’s lack of support doesn’t make sense to her. Part of the problem, says Molloy, is the road is under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Coast Guard. The coast guard has spent money on keeping the road up with gravel refill every year, but with spring thaw washouts and ATV destruction they don’t have the time or resources to keep up. Ward believes the Cape Race lighthouse

and Mistaken Point deserve the same attention as other lighthouses and reserves in the province — like Cape Spear or the Cape St. Mary’s Bird Sanctuary. While Cape Race is listed as an official National Historic Site, Ward says it’s not being treated as one. Despite this, members of the heritage corporation say they’re not going to let government bureaucracy get in the way of negotiating road improvements. Efforts are in the works to have the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Right now, the area is one of 11 sites on the Canadian list to be nominated for designation. Being awarded the title would increase the profile and international appeal of the whole area. A new visitor information centre slated to open this summer will also aid in educating travellers about the historical significance of both Cape Race and the adjacent ecological reserve. Lighthouses have always been a big draw for tourists, and area residents can’t understand why this road improvement issue is a problem for both levels of government. In a survey of historic sites conducted by the provincial Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation in 2004-05, lighthouses were shown to be the most visited landmarks in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2004, the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse received 12,000 visitors — in the following year, it received 17,000. On a smaller scale, the Point Amour Lighthouse in Labrador also saw a 16 per cent increase in visitors between 2004 and 2005. Molloy and Ward are optimistic someone will eventually listen to their concerns. Molloy hopes the Conservative government will do a better job in recognizing these sites and that improved roads will be the key to their viability. “We did a lot for this community in eight years,” adds Ward, “and we’re not going to stop now.”


MAY 7, 2006

Standoff continues


all it a deadlock, a standoff, a stalemate or an impasse. Whatever it’s called, Premier Danny Williams says he isn’t prepared to sign off on the appointment of Max Ruelokke as head of the federal/provincial board that manages offshore oil play until Ottawa agrees to split the position. A selection panel recommended earlier this year that Ruelokke be appointed CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. But the premier says the selection panel also recommended the creation of another position — chair of the board of directors — in line with the corporate governance setup of most corporations. St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells is said to be in line for that job. So where to from here? Nowhere, apparently. “We’re not prepared to agree with it,” the premier says of Ruelokke’s appointment, adding he wants certain people to “champion” causes like the offshore. “These are critical positions and given the fact now that we have the Hebron situation, that there’s a whole issue of the fallow-field issue here whereby we have a discovery that was made over 25 years ago that isn’t being developed and you have oil companies who are basically saying they’re prepared to sit on it, well that’s just simply not acceptable.” Ruelokke is a former provincial

Andy Wells

deputy minister and head of the Bull Arm fabrication site. Wells is known for his combative style in city council. The C-NLOPB has some tough decisions coming up in regards to south Hibernia. It’s widely believed there could be substantially more oil south of the Hibernia oil field. If the petroleum

Paul Daly/The Independent

board decides the field should fall under the umbrella of the existing Hibernia project, the province would have to settle for less money in royalties. If the board deems south Hibernia is a new project, the province could negotiate a much better package. — Ryan Cleary

Gerry Reid

Paul Daly/The Independent

Marystown falls FPI’s latest victory thanks to the grace of government, says Opposition leader Gerry Reid By Craig Westcott The Independent


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ow that workers at Marystown have fallen before FPI Limited’s demands, it’s only a matter of time before workers in the company’s other plants around the province pay a price too, Opposition leader Gerry Reid figures. But the Marystown workers shouldn’t be blamed so much as the provincial government, he adds. It was the province, after all, that abandoned the Marystown workers and left them alone facing the company. “They had their backs to the wall,” Reid says. “What I liken it to is exactly what happened in Stephenville.” In that situation, the government talked tough with Abitibi Consolidated, but in the end left it to the paper mill workers to decide whether they would accept cuts to their collective agreement to keep the company in town. And that was even after the province had offered Abitibi $150 million in subsidies. When the workers refused, the company closed the mill. “The premier and the minister of Fisheries have been talking tough with FPI for the past year, but at the end of the day they just left the company and the union to duke it out,” Reid says. “And who is going to lose in this one? It’s going to be the workers.” Reid notes the FPI workers in Fortune have been completely abandoned, joining the former FPI workers in Harbour Breton. Reid, a former Fisheries minister and member for the fishing district of Twillingate and Fogo, says the company has been playing the plant workers off one another while the government has been standing by letting FPI get away with it. In the deal the Marystown workers voted to accept on Friday, they will now have to renegotiate their wages and benefits downwards; accept that FPI can use longliners to fish part of its

redfish quota, thereby jeopardizing the jobs of company trawlermen; and agree with scrapping the FPI Act. Even then, there is no guarantee that the workers, who are members of the Fish Food and Allied Workers union, will have jobs, given FPI doesn’t intend to re-employ them until fall. “The union last year was asked to turn its back on the people of Harbour Breton to keep the other plants open,” Reid says. “One of those plants that FPI said it was going to keep open was the Fortune plant. And in the income trust (deal) they were going to build a new one. And now the people in Marystown and the other FPI plants are being asked to turn their back on the people of Fortune and accept a rotten deal. Who knows, maybe next year it’s going to be the other FPI plants being asked to turn their backs on the people of Marystown and to hold their noses. “I think that’s what this company has had in mind for an extended period of time and the government has sat back and watched them do it. Reid allows the Williams government will use the deal as an excuse to change the FPI Act, something John Risley and the other FPI competitors who control the company have been seeking since they took charge in a hostile takeover five years ago. “But if they change the act, abolish it or weaken it, then these fellows are going to be able to do exactly what they want and I don’t think any of them has the interest of the people of this province at heart,” says Reid. He admits he was criticized for letting Risley and his cohorts take control of FPI in the first place. “At that time the only way we could stop the company from electing its own board of directors was to take the company over.” Reid adds that a stipulation in the FPI Act allowed the chief executive officer of the company to call in the government if he had reason to believe shareholders or competitors were colluding

to take control of the company. But the CEO and president at that time, Vic Young, never issued such a call. “Believe me, I didn’t want that crowd to take over the board of directors,” Reid says. “I talked to Vic on a daily basis and asked, ‘How are we going to stop them?’And he never gave me a solution.” Reid says that when Risley and his new team of directors took over, he did hold them to account, at one point even striking an all-party committee of the legislature to fight their decision to layoff workers on the south coast. “If I sound angry when I’m talking about FPI it’s because I am,” Reid says. “There’s one thing that I don’t appreciate from people … I don’t like being lied to.” Reid says the talk in the fishing industry before Christmas last year was that FPI had no intention of returning to Fortune. But when he raised it in the legislature, Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout accused him of fear mongering. Another thing that has Reid riled is talk that the province may buy FPI’s quotas and give them to a possible new operator of the Burin Peninsula plants. “There’s something fundamentally and morally wrong (about that),” Reid says. “I had my house broken into a while ago. It would be like paying the fellow who broke into my house to give me back my stuff and then letting him walk away scot free. It really bothers me. “These are Johnny-come-latelys. These fellows (running FPI) have only been around a few years. Those people on the Burin Peninsula and on the south coast, some of them have worked in those plants for 40 years. Who owns the quotas? “It angers me and the message is just not getting out there. They’re doing it with the grace of the government, because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be getting away with it.”

MAY 7, 2006


‘Mine field’

Danny Williams considers the fishery his toughest challenge; province may be prepared to buy FPI quotas


anny Williams keeps a mental list of the most difficult problems he will face as premier. No. 1 on that list — “ahead of the Atlantic Accord, ahead of the oil and gas industry, ahead of the lower Churchill” — is the fishery. He says the sustainability of rural Newfoundland and Labrador is firmly tied to it. “It’s an industry that’s been here for 500 years and it’s been allowed to get to the state that it’s in now,” Williams tells The Independent. “So I’m two years in and … I’m trying to play with the cards I’ve been dealt. That’s not to make excuses, because there’s been a long line of different federal and provincial governments that have come through here.” Indeed, if there’s a bane to the premier’s existence, it is the fishery. His administration’s plan to lay down the law with the crab fishery last summer in terms of a raw material sharing program did not succeed and Trevor Taylor, a fisherman by trade, was shuffled to the Transportation Department from Fisheries. There’s faster-than-usual outmigration. Life is pouring from communities like Harbour Breton and Fortune at alarming rates as residents leave for points west and promises of work. Prices are down for crab this year to the point fishermen say it’s uneconomical to leave the wharf. There’s little agreement on what, if anything, to do about the future of Fishery Products International and the fate of rural Newfoundland and Labrador that’s said to be tied to it. Williams says certain things are out of his control — a cheap Chinese labour market, ever shrinking stocks, and the price of fish. There are also the various “stakeholders” — fishermen, their union and its multiple interests, plant workers, private companies, Newfoundlanders themselves — all of whom have legitimate interests, with “significant” stakes on the table. “So we’re trying to work through a mine field, trying to keep all options open and come up with a solution that will be generally agreeable to most of the people … the people in the fishing industry think if it’s not unanimous, you don’t get unanimity, then it can’t happen,” the premier says. “And that makes our job as a government very, very difficult.” Some industry people say the FPI Act — which caps ownership at 15 per cent — should be wiped from the books. Even Vic Young, one-time head of the company who was forced out in 2001, pushed for the cap’s removal. “There are no agendas here,” the premier says. “My goal here is try and find the best solution that

works as well as it can for everybody, but there’s no perfect solution.” In October 2004, the Williams administration paid $3.5 million to High Liner Foods for the rights to groundfish quotas that were tied to the former fish plant in Arnold’s Cove. The money also paid for the rights to seven fishing licences. The province then leased the quotas and licences back to the local company that took over the Arnold’s Cove plant. The question has been raised whether the province would look at a similar deal for FPI quotas, which west coast processor Bill Barry is said to be interested in. Would Williams look at buying the FPI quotas from the feds and leasing them out to a local company? The simple answer is yes. “We’re wide open to options here,” he says. “One of our main goals in anything that happens in FPI, whether it’s a continued process with FPI the way it is, whether FPI sells its assets to another owner, is that we secure the quotas. The quotas are a big part of it for us, so we want to secure those quotas one way or the other.” There are a number of ways that can be done, Williams points out. FPI could hand them over out of the goodness of its corporate heart. The federal government, which has jurisdiction over quotas, could take them from FPI and hand them over — free of charge — to the province. The provincial government could also buy the quotas. “So there are three options available but the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is particularly interested in ensuring that those quotas and what they represent are landed and processed here in this province,” Williams says. The province’s decision to purchase the Arnold’s Cove quotas was severely criticized by industry representatives who say the fish in the sea is a common property resource, owned by no one person or company. They say a fishing licence is not a property right. In a worst-case scenario, making it a property right could lead to foreign control of quotas. “The problem is this,” says the premier, “people have an impression that the fish is ours and the oil is ours and the company FPI is ours. Well, yes, the fish belong ultimately to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, but commercial arrangements are entered into whereby people carry on business, form corporations, buy enterprises in order to be able to have the right to use those fish or that oil or that gas. “So therefore there’s a qualifier or a conditional right that everybody has on it,” he says. “So government can’t appear to be too strongarm interventionist but on the other hand has got to be protective of the people and the province, the communities and the resource itself.”

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 Vessels arrived: Atlantic Sole, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Irving Canada, Canada, to Charlottetown, PEI; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, to Conception Bay; CCGS Provo Wallis, Canada, to Halifax; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, White Rose. TUESDAY Vessels arrived: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from Conception Bay; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, from sea; Maersk Chignecto, Canada, from White Rose. Vessels departed: Burin Sea, Canada, to Terra Nova; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to Conception Bay; ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Corner Brook; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, to sea.

WEDNESDAY Vessels arrived: Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from White Rose; Maersk Placentia, Canada, from Hibernia; Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Terra Nova; Ann Harvey, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, to Grand Banks.

Paul Daly/The Independent

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

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THURSDAY Vessels arrived: None. Vessels departed: Maersk Chignecto, Canada, to Conception Bay; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, to White Rose; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; Maersk Placentia, Canada, to Hibernia.

The Keg, St. John’s, NL

By Ryan Cleary The Independent

Premier Danny Williams

FRIDAY Vessels arrived Newfoundland Lynx, Canada, from sea; CCGC WG George, Canada, from Burin.

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MAY 7, 2006

Newfoundland and Labrador first I

t pains me to say this, but Loyola Hearn isn’t the Fisheries minister I thought he would be. Not so far, anyway. It pains me because I voted Conservative in the last election, endorsing Loyola as a Newfoundland champion in this very column space, arguing there was no local politician better prepared to change the federal government’s fishery ways. Maybe I was a fool. Maybe the feds got him. Maybe they messed with the schoolteacher’s brain the same way they reprogrammed John Efford, the fisherman’s son, to serve as a mouthpiece for the mainland, over his own people. Remember the quote, “Here is the deal. Do you want it, Mr. Williams? Do you want it Mr. Sullivan? Take it or leave it.” That kind of message cost Efford his political life. Loyola isn’t so cocksure of himself to say anything half so foolish in public, but he seems to be quietly endorsing the same federal policies he condemned in Opposition. (Maybe it should be called Efford disease … when an MP goes federal on us.) Truth be told, Loyola is probably one of Newfoundland’s most underrated politicians. He practically united the old


Fighting Newfoundlander PC party and the Canadian Alliance with his bare hands. This is an MP who performed a minor miracle on Parliament Hill in March 2004 when he successfully passed a private member’s motion on custodial management, embarrassing the governing Liberals in front of the whole country. How sweet was that? Motion No. 136 called on the Government of Canada to immediately extend custodial management over the nose and tail of the Grand banks and the Flemish Cap. What happened to the immediacy, Loyola? Are things all better now? I can tell you they’re not. Don’t forget your roots Loyola, where it is you come from. I hear it’s impossible to get a moment of your time these days without you being surrounded by a crowd of advisers and assorted coat carriers? With the greatest respect Loyola, I do not mean to offend you. I appreciated our friendship over the years and how

you hammered DFO and assorted federal policies — and rightly so. I respected and admired you for tackling the tide. I just can’t help but point out the way it looks now — like you’ve swallowed the central Canadian line hook, line and sinker. Moving on to your relationship with Danny … is there still friction between you and the premier? Danny isn’t speaking to our own Craig Westcott right now (see page 21), so I know the premier can be somewhat sensitive, but then we all have our moments. It’s been almost a year since you two had that fight over Fabian. Don’t you think it’s time to get past it? In fairness, that question isn’t just for you, Loyola, but the premier as well. Not talking to people doesn’t help solve problems — it exacerbates them. It weakens our position in getting all that we can from the big bad feds. Make no mistake, they have been bad to us. John FitzGerald is heading to Ottawa as our latest champion, which doesn’t say much about the MPs (Hearn included) who are already there. The fact our politicians can’t get their act together long enough to do something good for this place is sad and pathetic, but it’s always been that way.

The premier knows where Dr. FitzGerald stands — so he must stand in the same nationalist spot. Might as well be up front about it … federal/provincial relations could take a turn for the worse in the coming months. FitzGerald’s appointment was a message to the feds the same way hauling down the Canadian flag was a message. Dr. Fitz has been qualified in the Supreme Court as an expert witness on Newfoundland constitutional and political policy (the government press release said so anyway). He couldn’t be more critical of the Terms of Union and Confederation if he wrapped the Pink, White and Green around Stephen Harper and beat him over the head with an Independent newspaper. The premier knows where Dr. FitzGerald stands — so he must stand in the same nationalist spot. Might as well

be up front about it … federal/provincial relations could take a turn for the worse in the coming months. Confederation’s honeymoon is over, and that’s not such a bad thing. Wasn’t it former Liberal leader Roger Grimes who said the formation of a nationalist party similar to the Parti Québécois was the way to go? Speaking of Liberals — let me see if I have this straight, Kelvin Parsons told the Justice minister he’d take a judgeship if there was one to be had and his two sons (including one who’s a Tory) may be interested in his father’s old job. How nuts is that? Then there’s poor old Jim Bennett, who’s being torn to shreds by a caucus that didn’t have the guts to run for the leadership job. At least he’s trying, give him that. The Liberals are a joke, and that’s too bad. Danny needs all the help he can get to deal with the fishery, his greatest challenge and biggest failure to date. Loyola knows his way around the wharf. He and Danny could make some real headway if they joined forces. Maybe it’s time they both started putting Newfoundland and Labrador first — ahead of themselves.

YOUR VOICE Dr. Fitz will be missed Dear editor, I would like to commend Premier Danny Williams on the appointment of Dr. John FitzGerald as Newfoundland and Labrador’s representative in Ottawa. As a former student of Dr. FitzGerald, I can attest to his dedication, work ethic and commitment to

his work and his beloved province. Dr. FitzGerald is an individual whom we can expect positive results from. Trust me: Dr. FitzGerald will be missed by his students at Memorial University. Rodney Mercer St. John’s

Distinctly Newfoundland Dear editor, I am always going to be a Newfoundlander, and Bishop’s Falls is where I came from. But right now I am enjoying life in my adopted home in Smithers, British Columbia. The town is approximately 400 km northwest of Prince George, and situated in the Hudson Bay Mountain Range, home to one of B.C.’s best ski hills. A testament to the town’s growing popularity and its natural beauty is the fact that Hollywood — in the form of Disney — used an area of mountain known as “the prairie” to film the recently released movie Eight Below. I moved to the town on Aug. 26 1996. I arrived and stayed with my sister and brother-in-law who were both gainfully employed. Buoyed with a degree in political science from MUN, and after working as a mine

security officer, and night auditor at a motel, I ended up working in a bakery at the local Safeway. The one thing about Smithers that caught my eye was that for a town of only 5,000 it had nationalities from all over. From a Newfoundland perspective, it is interesting that many people — even born and bred Canadians — treat us the same as those from other countries. We are a group alongside the Portuguese and Vietnamese, distinct in a way that an Ontarian or Manitoban cannot imagine. Our town is entered in the Kraft Hockeyville show on CBC. Our town has gone so far as to stage a woman’s hockey game at the summit of the mountain. Our civic pride reminds me of Newfoundland’s spirit and I hope it continues. Frank Farrell, Smithers, B.C.

Pathway home CHRIS BROWN

Dedicated paper carrier Dear editor, was no longer going to be published. I subscribed to your paper one year This was very disappointing to us ago and have been serviced ever as we enjoyed your paper very much since by a young man, Christopher and had given up another paper to Stoyles. He did a super job — we did receive yours. A few weeks later our not miss one paper even when he doorbell rang again and there was our took some time off to paper carrier with the holiday with his parbiggest smile you have This type of ents. When we heard ever seen. He could that your paper was no get it out fast dedication needs not longer going to be enough that your paper published it was this to be recognized. was going to be pubyoung man who lished again and could advised us. I will he deliver to our home never forget that day — our doorbell once more. Of course we said yes. rang and when we answered there This type of dedication needs to be was our young paper carrier, he recognized. Thank you Christopher looked very down and discouraged for your fine dedication. … like he had lost his best friend. He handed in the paper and informed us Derek and Anne Young, in an extremely polite and professionConception Bay South al manner that not only was our subP.S. This may be published scription completed but your paper if you see fit to do so.


P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 • The Independent is published by Independent News Ltd. 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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Guest column


p in the morning and get ready for work. It’s 5 a.m. and the sun is just starting to rise. Out the door by 6 a.m., a short stroll to the bus stop. Brick homes loom in the dim light. Back home in Newfoundland few houses are built with brick. They’re mostly wood or layered in vinyl. This is a new city for me. On the bus, the people sit quietly. Some wear sunglasses, others have their heads down and eyes closed. There are officers in uniform, women in business dress, and men in golf shirts. There’s a man in an orange safety shirt with a construction helmet at his side. All these people have gathered at this early morning hour to enter the land of high buildings and heavy congestion. The bus hits the highway and begins the trek into the city. Leaving the darkness of the underground bus stop that is the St. Laurent Mall, the cord is pulled and the “ding” sounds. I’m off at the next stop. Out the door and the bus roars away, leaving me alone on the asphalt. The city surrounds me here. The sound of cars and trucks fills the air and concrete dominates over grass and trees. But it is here that magic happens. To the right are hard steps that take me away from the subway-like bus stop. It’s left I go. Out from under the bus stop’s protective glass and into the green shrubs that grow on a nearby hill. A dirt path runs straight up the hill, a short path of some 30 feet. It takes me only a few seconds to climb up to the city streets, but these few seconds bring me back to this stop, despite a 20-minute walk to the office. I could transfer buses and get off at the door. I take this stop so that I can climb

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

this dirt path for a few seconds each day. For it is here that I am transported home. I look down at the dirt. I look low at the small green shrubs on each side. I smell the fragrance of green, leafy life. I return to the hills of home. I climb up the hilly paths of Signal Hill. I travel the paths of Pippy Park. I walk along the trails that led me to the Spout a year ago. I remember the family and friends I’ve walked with on these trips. I remember the views of the ocean and the city that I called home for so many years. I’m careful to keep my gaze below knee level … a peak of the buildings around me will zap me back to reality. As soon as the walk back home in Newfoundland begins, it is over. I reach the top of the hill. I reach the manicured lawn of the train station. I reach the sidewalk and cross over to the other side. The smell of the bushes is behind me with the dirt path. I look off in the distance and see a grey building — my destination. The walk takes me alongside unfriendly

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

cars. I cross over a highway and am surrounded by speeding vehicles. Still, I remember the dirt path. I remember the smell of the shrubs. I remember home, and I enjoy my walk. In the office, people scurry by. Some wave and nod hello while others stare past me as they head for an elevator. I enter my office and organize myself at my locker. I head to my section of cubicles and begin my day with the newfound friends that I never knew existed some two months ago. And I’m happy to be here. But there’s still that piece of me that remembers the dirt path. I remember the momentary trip up the hill in the middle of this city. And I remember the treasures of Newfoundland, knowing I’ll return there someday and live the dream. I’ll walk the trails of Signal Hill. I’ll climb the hills of Pippy Park. I’ll make the day-long hike along the coast towards the Spout. I’ll be there for hours, and I’ll be content. Chris Brown of St. John’s wrote the above article after moving to Ottawa three years ago.

MAY 7, 2006


Me, negative? Nonsense L

ately I have been called a lot of names. Someone called me “negative.” Someone else said I was “cynical.” Yet another labelled me a conservative. Sticks and stones aside, this pisses me off, and I resolved to address these accusations publicly. Of all the things that I am accused of, cynicism and negativism are two of the most irritating. I am neither. I am optimistic about both human nature and our collective future. But I am not stupid, and I have been around long enough to see where mindless optimism gets you. My cynicism, as some see it, is wisdom borne of bitter experience. There is a saying that claims anyone who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart, but anyone still a socialist at 40 has no head. I am way past 40 and still a socialist (except when I think about the likes of Derrick Rowe — then I am Che Bloody Guevara). But I am a socialist with a brain, and eyes in my head. And there is a lot about our current brand of socialism that needs fixing. A more accurate criticism of me is that I am fre-


Rant & Reason quently negative about the current administration and how they are running things. No apologies here — that’s the gig. Our politicians already spend a great deal of our money to hire communications weasels whose only job it is to tell us how great they are doing. Or not tell us, as the case may be. I think our job here at the Independent is to try and sift through that nonsense and give you some semblance of the truth. That does not make me negative. It makes me angry, it makes me frustrated, it makes me wish there weren’t so many skeets, chiselers, suck-ups and freeloaders so firmly attached to the public teat, but it does not make me negative or cynical. If I was negative and cynical then I couldn’t write this column every week. It is my faith in

YOUR VOICE Shrinking membership a concern Dear editor, I read with interest Steve Kent’s column, Volunteer brigades, in the April edition of Independent Home. As members of the Clarenville Lions Club, we share your concerns about the problems of shrinking membership and the seeming lack of interest in young people to become involved in community service clubs such as

you, gentle reader, that keeps me going. Yet I still get labelled a cynic. I think people confuse cynicism with skepticism. I think people confuse cynicism with respectful disagreement. Another accusation hurled at me is that I am a conservative. I was accused of this recently for my position on the national childcare debate. Affordable childcare for all has been a social necessity for well over 20 years, and we still don’t have it. I had to make do without it — relying on family to save me. I have no quarrel with the necessity of daycare. Many don’t have family to fall back on. Even more haven’t the resources to afford childcare. We as a society need to address this issue. But I have serious doubts about national government schemes, and because of those doubts I refuse to sign a petition calling for a national childcare scheme. I am an avowed socialist but I have learned that government couldn’t run a convenience store. Almost every federally funded national organization hemorrhages money and is run by people

whose only talent seems to be getting ahead in federally funded organizations. Can’t we find a way to subsidize parents so they can choose their own daycare (and with more than a scrousty $1,200 a year), and leave the government to do what they can do well: develop and enforce standards? Pardon my bias, but when I hear “national daycare” I envision a firearms registry type boondoggle where my grandchildren (as it is too late for my own kids) are sidelined by a long list of experts, public service unions, lobbyists and others all fighting amongst themselves for my tax dollars. Sound familiar? This does not make me a conservative. This makes me a person who wants everyone to have access to decent affordable childcare without having to bankrupt the treasury. I was all about the firearms registry. Still am. But I am against giant national schemes. They simply don’t work, and they cost us a fortune. I am passionate about public health care, but we better think of another way of providing it —

and quickly. And, because I am an optimist, I think we will. One of my favourite parlour games with many of today’s socialists is to debate with them on how Tommy Douglas would be branded today. I think he would be horrified at the mismanagement and waste that characterize many publicly run organizations. Would this make him a conservative too? Danny Williams and Stephen Harper think their ideology is triumphant these days because they are smarter. Nonsense. The Conservatives are in power because the left is failing. We need only remedy our current malaise. We on the left have all the good ideas. We are the good guys. There is no doubt — and history bears me out — that we will prevail. We just need to retire the current load of dogmatic ideologues clogging up the leadership. Me negative? Cynical? Nonsense. It is, as they say, all good. Ivan Morgan can be reached at


ours. Although our club has experienced a small membership growth over the past two years, continued recruitment is a struggle. And our club is not alone. Thank you for bringing this issue and concern to the attention of the general public. Lion Pete Godfrey Secretary, Clarenville Lions Club (No. 013829)

What’s Roger up to? Dear editor, I just read Ryan Cleary’s column in the Toronto Star; I thought it was an excellent article. It was a condensed and to-the-point account, outlining the history and problems of The Independent and its relationship to the history and problems of Newfoundland and Labrador. As a side note, I just returned from a trip to the west coast (Vancouver Island). I stayed in Qualicum Beach for three or four days. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Brian Peckford, who lives there. It is nice to know that not only is Brian Tobin doing well in Toronto,

but also another ex-premier (Mr. Peckford) is doing well on the “wet” coast. Qualicum Beach is a pleasant enough place — especially when the weather is good — and there’s a golf course there. Between lobbying for the oil companies and playing golf, Mr. Peckford should be quite happy. However, I am a bit concerned about ex-premier Roger Grimes — is it his destiny to be a “consultant” or “lobbyist” in Sudbury, Ont., or Thompson, Manitoba? Joe Butt Toronto

Dr. John FitzGerald (right) was appointed last week as the new provincial representative in the Newfoundland and Labrador office of federal/provincial relations in Ottawa. FitzGerald met recently in St. John’s with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn. Paul Daly/The Independent

Air Canada turbulence

Air Canada’s ‘shameful’ behaviour

Editor’s note: the following letter was written to Gillian Hewitt, a manager with Aeroplan, with a copy forwarded to The Independent.

Editor’s note: the following letter was written to Montie Brewer, president of Air Canada, with a copy forwarded to The Independent.

Ms. Hewitt, As you are no doubt aware, Air Canada has just announced that its direct St. John’s-Heathrow flight will be cancelled as of September 2006. This will have a detrimental impact on business in this province as we have been trying to grow connections and relationships with Europe. The people of this province are already disgruntled at the poor service Aeroplan provides in terms of limited seat offerings for reward tickets. I hope that you, as the spokesperson for Aeroplan, can understand the impact on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the impact on Aeroplan’s business, when I ask all of our members, friends and

family to send back their CIBC Aerogold VISA Cards to show their anger towards Aeroplan, CIBC and Air Canada for withdrawing international air service from our province. I am copying a few hundred of my colleagues, friends, family and the media so that they may assist your company in understanding the impact your main supplier/partner will have on the travelling public of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am also copying media relations at CIBC so that they are aware of the impact Air Canada’s recent decision is having on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and how this could impact their business. Gerry Heffernan Director, Policy and Research NewfoundlandLabrador Business Caucus

Dear Sir, Re the cancelling of international fights from St. John’s to London, England Some 20 years or so ago, I was one of the promoters of switching International flights to St. John’s from Gander. The federal minister at the time, John Crosbie, agreed and shortly thereafter granted St. John’s international status. Air Canada has been flying the St. John’s-to-London flight ever since. That was before the extra activity due to the offshore oil and gas development in the province. If Air Canada could justify a service then, their claim not to have enough traffic now and to cancel this service does not make sense some 20 years later with all the additional activity and passenger growth. Apparently

this issue is compounded by the fact that the flight originates and terminates in Halifax. Passengers returning to Halifax do not want to clear customs in St. John’s first, and I certainly can’t blame them. If I understand it correctly the problem appears to be centred around the fact that Air Canada wants to add domestic passengers on the returning leg of the journey from St. John’s to Halifax instead of as in previous years, keeping the Halifax passengers on the plane for a brief fuel stop and then continuing on to Halifax to clear customs at their final destination. We visit the UK at least every couple of years and are travelling next weekend to Heathrow. In addition, we have several guests and family members making the special trip from the UK for our daughter’s wedding in July. Just imagine me trying to explain that they have a five-hour flight from Heathrow, have to overfly St. John’s, spend another 90 minutes in the air, clear customs in

Halifax (that would take another hour at least), board another flight and come all the way back again! That would turn a five-hour trip into about nine hours on a good day! Worse, try justifying this to oil executives at their cost of doing business! What level of service is that? The cancellation of this flight is an insult to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and again emphasizes that like a handful of other misinformed “mainland” corporations, that in their opinion Canada ends at Halifax. For a national airline carrier to behave like this is shameful. Thankfully the federal government recognizes that we are part of the Canadian federation and provides services for us accordingly. I am currently spearheading a project to drive international trade that will increase substantially both passenger and cargo traffic between this province and Europe. Dave Rudofsky, St. John’s

written by Newfoundland playwrights and performed by Newfoundland talent. On the 2006 playbill we have Robert Chafe’s Isle of Demons, based on a famous Newfoundland legend of Marguerite. Word has it that Quirpon Island, located along the French Shore, was the home of wandering demons and vile creatures. In 1542, during the

sea voyage to discover the new world, Marguerite finds love but pays the ultimate price by being exiled on Isle of Demons. Des Walsh’s The Fragrance of Sorrow tells of a woman struggling to live with her alcoholic husband, while attempting to keep her bed and breakfast afloat in an outport community. We are also providing an outdoor show called Duck Huntin’ by Jim

Chalmers-Gow of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. Take the opportunity to visit us and enjoy quality theatre in rural Newfoundland. More information about shows, box office hours, tickets and our special guests can be found on our website: Crystal Parsons, St. Lunaire-Griquet

Drop by for a visit Dear editor, St. Lunaire-Griquet rests along the coast of the Great Northern Peninsula. The view of the ocean and the town’s charm is traditional and cozy. This quiet community is neighbour to St. Anthony and L’Anse aux Meadows. I founded the Ruby Theatre in 2005, and dedicated it to the memory of my mother, Ruby Parsons (1950-2004)

who lived and died as an inspiration of strength and wisdom to me. The Ruby Theatre resides in the Parish Hall found on Dark Tickle Road. The building rests on a hill with a beautiful and breathtaking view of the ocean. The mandate of the Ruby Theatre is to showcase quality theatre in rural Newfoundland. We pride ourselves in choosing quality Newfoundland plays,

MAY 7, 2006


MAY 7, 2006



Dog days The Newf Spa in Flat Rock is a grooming facility for large dogs, operated by Newfoundland dog breeder Monica Dominguez. In the midst of organizing a Mother’s Day pet parade — and an expansion of her dog wellness business — Dominguez invited photo editor Paul Daly and reporter Clare-Marie Gosse for a day at the spa with her seven large pets.


t’s a perfect spring day in Flat Rock and five-year-old Giovanni is taking full advantage. The great, black, shaggy Newfoundland dog — a Canadian champion — is stretched out on the driveway leading up to his home, the Newf Spa. Giovanni cocks a lazy eye, but other than that, barely moves a muscle; it’s hot under all that fur, and besides, he’s used to visitors. The Newf Spa is a specialized grooming facility for large breed dogs. It also includes an area where any kind of dog can board for the day and socialize. Newfoundland dog breeder Monica Dominguez owns and operates the spa, built onto the back of the house she shares with seven, full-sized Newfoundland dogs and several cats. Newfoundland dogs are renowned for their endearing qualities — such as their great looks and temperament — but as Dominguez says, the breed is also “high maintenance,” which some don’t always realize. Prompted by regular stories of Newfoundland dogs being mistreated and abandoned in this province, Dominguez and her colleague, Jacky Petrie, now volunteer their time to Newf Rescue, a non-profit organization that helps rescue and re-house Newfoundlands. “Unfortunately, there are people who are breeding these dogs for the purpose of getting the money and don’t care where they go and some people buy them or get them out of impulse without

doing their homework,” says Dominguez, who keeps many rescued Newfoundlands at the spa until new homes are found for them. As a dog breeder, Dominguez is particular about where her own pups go; she has to know potential owners are fully aware and prepared for an animal that weighs well over 100 pounds, needs attention, training, exercise and regular grooming. “It’s going to have needs,” she says. “If you do put in the time from the beginning and if you do put the training and the exposure, you end up with a fabulous dog you can take anywhere.” Dominguez, along with publishing company Fineday Books, is organizing a parade of Newfoundland dogs and their genetic cousins, Labrador retrievers, around Quidi Vidi Lake on Mother’s Day, May 14. The parade is intended to celebrate the only two recognized Canadian breeds (although all other dogs are also welcome) and to promote Fineday Book’s new children’s story, Maggie and Hero, about a Labrador puppy and a Newfoundland dog. Dominguez says she knows of at least 75 Newfoundland dogs in the area and she’s hoping to meet more at the parade. Although she doesn’t have any youngsters at the moment, Dominguez recently mated Giovanni with Ella, another of her Newfoundlands. It’s too early to know for sure, but Dominguez is hoping there are puppies on the way. Her own breeding dogs come from Germany, she explains, where regulations are stricter

than in Canada and the U.S. “The main thing to me is health. In Europe, in Germany … the (kennel) club is very strict with health clearances and unless the dog is cleared of certain genetic problems that could affect the breed, the club won’t allow you to breed … so I know when I get my dogs, for generations they have been cleared and healthy.” The European strain also has a slightly different look. They have tighter mouths, which keep drooling at bay, yet still allow the dogs to breathe out the sides when rescuing someone in the water. Their weight is also on the lighter side (around 120-130 lbs), which Dominguez says is much healthier for Newfoundlands. It was because of her love of the

Maggie and Hero

breed that Dominguez, who was raised in Alicante, Spain, first came to the province 12 years ago. At the time she was living in Germany and owned a two-year-old Newfoundland dog called Nero, who is still alive today. “We came on a holiday and we fell in love,” she says. “The moment we stepped in Newfoundland we felt at home, especially Nero, he was like: ‘This is my place’ … so that was it for me.” Six years later the spa was born. Dominguez focuses on making the dogs’ stay comfortable. Grooming for any dog can be a traumatic experience, but for big breeds it can be particularly difficult. “It is very hard for dogs to stand up while they are being groomed, especial-

Written by Margaret O’Brien and illustrated by Veselina Tomova, Maggie and Hero is a children’s book that promotes Canada’s only two recognized breeds — the Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever. In the story, Maggie, a Labrador retriever puppy, realizes her potential when she meets a “giant” Newfoundland dog, Hero. So used to getting into trouble for being too big, with a “wavy” tail and “clumsy” paws, Maggie is surprised to discover — thanks

ly large breeds … we teach them to go up on the ramp and lay down, so it’s easier for them.” Then the dogs lay down in a “soaking” bath, sometimes mixed with a little exfoliating salt, and afterwards they are hand-dried. Between procedures, the dogs get a chance to take a break and socialize in the open. “It takes us a few hours, but it is better for the dog,” she says. “The dog leaves from here happy, clean and relaxed.” One of Dominguez’s own Newfoundlands is lying on the table, contentedly having his coat brushed through. Handfuls of his soft, grey, winter undercoat are heaped in a sink beside him and Dominguez says she’s looking for a spinner to use the wool, which is “great

to Hero’s encouragement — her paws, tail and warm coat are actually designed to help her be a strong swimmer; soon Maggie proves she can do more than knock over tables, eat birthday cake and chase cats. O’Brien’s story is entertaining and informative and Tomova’s imaginative collage illustrations capture both Maggie’s tale and the Battery in St. John’s — her scenic inspiration. The book is published by Fineday Books, which was originally started by

quality.” As well as organizing the parade and supporting Newf Rescue, Dominguez is gearing up to move at the end of the summer. The larger plot in neighbouring Torbay will operate under the name Killick Dog Wellness Centre, and will offer more space and some additional facilities to the Newf Spa, including training, boarding, a veterinary clinic and even psychological dog therapy. Dominguez will have her hands full and her face licked clean for a long time to come. “If I got a cent for every poopy I picked up, I would be rich,” she laughs. The first annual Newf-Lab parade takes place on May 14 at Quidi Vidi Lake from 2-4 p.m.

O’Brien, but is now owned and operated by three Newfoundland women — Ann Bell, Helen Peters, and Janet Peters. The company focuses on books with text and illustrations that reflect Newfoundland and Labrador heritage and culture. Maggie and Hero launches with book signings at Chapters (12-2 p.m.) and Bennington Gate (2:30-4:30 p.m.) on May 13. — Clare-Marie Gosse

A stunning collection of photography from the portfolio of The Independent’s own Paul Daly. Available this summer. To preorder your copy, contact Boulder Publications at 895-6483.

MAY 7, 2006


‘Who gave you the pennies?’ From page 1

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that that’s a large statement). After I do some banking, I’m ready to go home. But I can tell by her face she doesn’t know me I decide to take the bus because I’m so buzzed on today; she doesn’t know anyone; she is lost some- fresh air and solar affection I can’t face the climb where inside herself and so is the key. There are too up Barter’s Hill. Sharon is sitting by the bus stop many people, perhaps, too much motion — too when I get there, a large lump of grey sweater and much emotion flying up and down the street, tan- matching sweatpants, a living boulder in the stream gling itself in the wrack of her mind. of humanity flowing around her. The first time I met Marilyn, she asked me if I There’s only a handful of pennies in her begging knew how to get the voices out of her head. I said box, which has a sign that says I Need Money for no, although I felt I should Food. “Who gave you the penhave known. She nodded as if nies?” I ask her. “A university she had asked the question a student,” Sharon says, looking She looks at the million times and always got up at me out of her Cabbage five-dollar bill I put the same answer, and then Patch Doll’s face. “It’s all she she walked away from me had.” in her hand as if it’s batting at the air around her And then she says, “Five more face like it was full of black dollars and I’ll have enough for a gum wrapper. It is, flies. supper.” I suddenly regret giving in terms of what it can the money to Marilyn, who may If you see Marilyn from across the street she almost have dropped it on the sidewalk do for her. Giving it to by now. I’m out of change, and looks like the other Marilyn — Monroe-esque breasts in a bills small enough to give away her is mainly for me. tight sweater curve into two without taking the phone bill handfuls of waist and then payment with them. hourglass it around her hips before they split into a Sharon is half Cree. Forty years ago, her father couple of ’50s-starlet legs. Blond hair styled in a left a small community on the Bonavista Peninsula perfect flip, lips like the Stones’ logo. It’s only and went to Toronto, where he met Sharon’s mothwhen you get up close that you see the unfocused er and married her. Later he brought his wife back eyes, the grey stubble at the edge of the wheat-field home. But the people in the community called hair. The mouth falling into itself because there are Sharon’s mother a squaw once too often; eventualno teeth to stop it. ly, she left her husband and children and went back Today she’s not even wearing her wig, and I have to the mainland. to hold her by the arm until I can get the money out Brought up by a fundamentalist Christian grandof my purse. Her neck is pushing her face hard to mother who apparently never got as far as the New one side and her forehead is wrinkled with strain; Testament, Sharon and her siblings didn’t make it the voices must be saying some pretty bad things. out of childhood with their mental health intact. She looks at the five-dollar bill I put in her hand as Her sister Ruby has tried to kill herself more times if it’s a gum wrapper. It is, in terms of what it can than I’ve changed the light bulb in the living room do for her. Giving it to her is mainly for me. To lamp. Sharon’s two children are in foster care; the keep the voices out of my head, the ones that say only time she washes is when she gets to visit them. shame on you, why don’t you do something? One day Sharon gave me copies of her poems. One cold night in early spring several years ago, They are mostly about love and God and how beaua tiny woman of about 50 slept curled up like a dog tiful life is and what a wonderful planet we live on on the bare boards of my front steps until I got sick and how we should take better care of each other of the guilt and got up and got dressed and took her and the Earth. When I get home, I dig them out to the mental health crisis centre. from under my bed. This one is on the top of the She had nowhere to go because her boarding pile: mistress kicked her out for telling her story on CBC-TV, a story about rotting food and having to Do You See Me? sleep on a couch under thin blankets in a fire-damaged hallway; a story about psychological abuse What do you see? When and physical neglect. The CBC had to use subtitles you see me do you see the because she was so manic no one could understand person I am, or the one what she said except the person who interpreted for You want to see? her. When I see you, I see Social services, which had been paying the a person who has everyboarding house mistress good money, public thing and still you are money, to keep this woman housed and fed, was not happy. contacted. They said they weren’t responsible for her — try the Waterford hospital. The Waterford While I have next to said to call social services. After the CBC aired nothing and I am Marie’s story, suddenly both agencies were ready to happy. Do you see me? go to bat for her. Marie lives around the corner from me now, in as decent an establishment of its kind as you’re I see you walking up going to find in this city, or so they tell me. It’s a and down the street. place where she sometimes has to pay 50 cents Do you see me? before they’ll boil the kettle so she can have a cup of tea, and there’s only powder to go in it; she I have loved and I am misses her drop of tinned milk. But she has a big loved, just like you and you room to herself, and she’s got a good doctor now; still don’t see me, and most days she’s more sensible than I am (not probably never will.


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MAY 7, 2006


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‘I just take one day at a time’ From page 1 That is, if the shelter stays open. There is a real danger the facility, which opened its doors just three years ago, may have to close due to a severe lack of funding. “Right now, our only funding is the per diems we take in every night,” says Myrtle Banfield, executive director of the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, a not-for-profit organization. “Unlike the other shelters in St. John’s, we don’t have core funding.” At a meeting last month, Banfield says, the centre’s board members set the deadline for finding that money at the end of April. As the days creep by, Banfield and her colleagues barely keep the shelter going, using money from the centre’s other programs, determined to operate on a shoestring as long as possible while she lobbies for funds. “But if we don’t get something,

there’s no way we could keep the doors open,” she says. “We just can’t keep running deficits.” This year, that deficit was between $70,000 and $80,000. The Native Friendship Centre has been open since 1983 at its current location on Water Street, offering cultural, youth, employment and other programs. In the ’90s, Banfield says, the vision for the shelter started to take shape. “The goal was to provide a culturally safe environment for aboriginal urban homeless people,” she says. “To provide a service that is culturally based, and a culturally sensitive diet. “A lot of our people lived off the land, and they still do. That’s what they want … the faces here are familiar. They feel at home.” That’s certainly the case for Jack. Earlier this year, he says, he was moved into a boarding house — a cost-cutting measure, he believes, on

the part of social services. “I stayed there one week,” he says. “I had some trouble there. The trouble there was not the food or the house, but the rules … I’d have to go home and stay in bed after 9 p.m. like a child. If I want to use the phone, I have to use it at certain times.” He left the building and went back to the friendship centre. He says it’s a better, healthier environment. “The people are nice. I’m energized or something like that, it makes your body feel good to have others (from Labrador) around,” he says. “At the boarding house, I feel different, I was all alone.” Banfield points out the shelter serves both the “absolute homeless, and transient aboriginal clients who come to the city for various reasons.” It was built with funding from a homeless initiative, launched by the federal and provincial governments. Their initial capital and start-up

budgets have been spent. They now survive on the daily fees paid for each client, “and cash flow from the centre … and that’s drying up.” Banfield says the difficulty in securing funding may stem from the fact this shelter, unlike others in St. John’s, is not strictly for the homeless. The shelter currently employs six full-time staff, and two part-timers. Not only is she embarrassed at the wages they’re able to offer, but Banfield says there aren’t enough staff for the facility to fulfill its role in the community. “We need a shelter co-ordinator, a program co-ordinator, if we’re going to be serving clients that come off the street, they need more than a bed,” she says. “We’re just not meeting the needs … when you have homeless individuals, there’s a reason for that. We need life-skill programs, and we’re dealing with all kinds of issues, mental health

issues, and we’re not qualified, we don’t have qualified staff to be able to deal with them. “All I feel like we’re doing is taking them off the street for the night. The shelter was meant for a lot more.” Faced with the question of what he would do if his room at the shelter was no longer available, Jack shrugs, and then smiles. “I told them, why don’t they buy me a tent and I will put a tent by Signal Hill, and I will live there. It’s OK for me, because Newfoundland is not a very cold place, I can manage there.” He pauses, then mentions his newly built home in Sheshatshiu, and the nieces and nephews he misses painfully. “You know, I just take one day at a time,” he says. “Because I don’t know in a few days, what’s gong to happen to me. So I just take this day, I don’t take tomorrow, I make the best of this day, of now.”

A heartbeat and my two feet Leia Feltham on the things you miss when you’re stuck behind a car window


’ve reached that age where many of the people I know have a licence. If there’s a vehicle available, they’re going to use it and use it well. Despite gas prices going through the roof and insurance being equally costly, driving is still considered the best way to get around. Yet as much as I believe that myself, part of me always wants to walk. I’m crazy — I know. If it’s winter, I understand the desire to drive everywhere. If it were possible I think people would drive from the front door to the mailbox just to avoid the cold. Newfoundland isn’t known for its spectacular weather, and if I don’t have to walk down the street through snow, sleet, rain and hail, I admit I’m much more content. Yet there’s so much to miss, even in the bleak misery of the winter months. Now that the snow has finally melted and I can feel the pavement beneath the soles of my shoes again, I’m even more tempted to let myself wander. I like the slow steady pace and the rhythmic way my feet hit the ground. It’s reassuring to know you have complete control over where you’re going. There are no signs or lights or enraged drivers waving fingers and cigarettes at you. A heartbeat and my two feet are the only things I need to get to where I’m going. There’s something unique and special about finding shortcuts, a hidden alleyway or wooded path that appears between the trees. Then seeing a name scrawled across the side of a building or carved on a park bench, and thinking, “I know that person.” It could have been months, maybe years since I’ve seen or heard from him or her. I may even leave a note to ask what’s happening, and see if I get a reply. It’s

LEIA FELTHAM Guest Column good to know when you’re in a city with enough people to get lost in there’s still a familiar face or signature where you least expect it. Somehow there’s always some little thing that I find while walking that may change my whole mood — a shy smile from a stranger, or eye-catching graffiti. Little wonders to be found in the hidden corners of our lives that we’re often too busy to ever stop and look in. SMILEY FACE I remember walking in a town that was practically in the middle of nowhere, and happening to look down to see a smiley face embedded in the pavement. I even took a picture of it to prove I wasn’t crazy. These are the things that I don’t get to see when looking out the window of a car. I’d take a smiley face in the street over blurred images of people and places from a car window any day. I also get motion sickness. Not having my stomach in my throat is definitely a benefit of walking. I’ve even gone as far as to think about jogging or running. That way I could get a little more exercise, prevent future heart attacks and all that healthy stuff I hardly ever care about. I gave up on the possibility of jogging after watching other people do it. I think I look ridiculous enough shuffling down the street as it is, and the image of me jogging is laughable to say the least. I see the stereotypical spandex

shorts, trendy sneakers, sweatband and headset, all of which I’d wear while gaily swinging my arms as I bounce down the street (and I’d keep up the endless bouncing even while waiting to cross the road). After I’m done laughing at that image I just shudder and try to think happy thoughts. As for running, my body that has been made into what it is from typing on a computer and listening to music all day isn’t quite up to that yet. Maybe after a few years and a transplant of my head onto Donovan Bailey’s body and I’ll be ready. Walking has benefits — the relaxation, time to think, friendly to the environment, but there are downsides too. The inconspicuous pile of dog feces that appears out of nowhere and ruin perfectly white and clean sneakers. The giant puddle that’s right next to you as a malicious driver speeds by. In summer, the creepy worms dangling from branches that you swear are going to fall into your hair (the hysterical dance that follows is funny unless it’s you doing the dance). Then the ever-popular awkward encounter with someone you haven’t seen in years and have very little to say to. Enjoying the first beautiful day after a long winter overcomes it all, even the winter laziness-related cramp. Spring is here and summer is coming so I’ll be out shuffling around and laughing inwardly at the joggers again. Unless it’s cold or snowing … or raining … or windy. Come to think of it, I’ll reserve walking for nice days. Leia Feltham is a Grade 12 student at Gonzaga High School. Her column returns May 21.

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MAY 7, 2006



A wise and practical man The story of a Newfoundlander who never left Newfoundland By Mark Hoffe For The Independent



tanley Hoffe never left Newfoundland and Labrador. He spent his entire 86 years in the province he loved, fishing off its shores, raising a family and enjoying the many simple joys this province has to offer. This is not to say Stanley was a simple man. He was ambitious, daring, a hard worker and, despite his limited education, highly intelligent. After Stanley passed away in April 2005, his wife, Alma Hoffe, found a notebook that contained a faithful diary of his days and a large collection of poems, hymns and quotes he thought worth preserving. He kept his mind keen until the day of his death. Stanley was born in Buchans in 1918, the last of nine children. Like the rest of his siblings, he received limited education. In 1935, his father passed away and it fell on Stanley to support his mother and maintain their house. Hard work was something he grew up with. Alma remembers Stanley saying his father was always the last man to leave the fishing ground in the evening, after waking at dawn to begin work. But at one point, it seemed Stanley would never follow in his father’s footsteps. As a boy, Stanley was responsible for carrying his father’s breadbox, which contained the lunch for the day. On one

particular morning, Stanley began beating the breadbox off the rocks in a fit of protest. “You’ll never make anything of yourself. You’ll starve to death,” said Stanley’s father, berating his son and sending him home. Stanley was proud, happy he managed to weasel out of a hard day of work. This lack of ambition did not last long. Stanley left home on Change Islands — off the northeast coast of Newfoundland — in 1936, going to Labrador in a schooner to earn a living in the cod fishery. At one point in this early part of his life, a knee injury forced him ashore at St. Anthony, where he received medical attention at the local hospital. Alone, lost, roaming a strange community in search of shelter and food, he went to the post office and inquired about a place to stay. A married couple was kind enough to provide him with both. “He was scared to death,” recalls Alma. “His brother came up from Cook’s Harbour to pick him up.” Stanley married his first wife in 1942. Life was precarious, a result of limited health care and lack of modern nutrition, and Stanley felt its sting: the couple’s only child lived only a couple of hours, and his wife fell ill shortly after and passed away. In the mid-1940s, Stanley’s mother fell ill, and Alma’s grandparents volunteered to care for her while Stanley continued to work at sea. This is how he met his second wife, for she also assisted in

caring for his mother. Alma and Stanley married in 1945. They had two daughters, Eileen and Bride, both born in Change Islands. A job offer soon arrived via a letter from Buchans, resulting in another move. From 1947 to 1957, Stanley worked for a retail store in Buchans. The couple had two sons, Glen and Dennis, while living in the community. In 1957, Stanley secured a job as retail store manager in La Scie. There were few roads at the time, and the entire family packed up and moved by coastal boat. Glen remembers rural life vividly — goats, cows and sheep roamed freely and the bay was clogged with cod drying on flakes. One night in La Scie, Stanley returned home with a duck that had hit the side of his rowboat, which he used to go to and from work. Always looking at life from the practical point of view, Stanley used the duck to provide a nice meal for his family. Alma remembers him as an ambitious man, working hard to support her and the children. The Hoffe family eventually relocated again, this time to the booming mining community of Wabana, Bell Island, where Stanley began working for Wabana Hardware. When the Bell Island mines shut down in 1968, Stanley moved his family to St. John’s, where, after working in retail for a while, he secured a position with the Fisheries Loan Board. This was his last job. He retired in 1975.

Stanley never lost his love of the open water. He owned a boat long after retirement and would ride it along the Gander River during his summers in Gander Bay, where he and Alma owned a cabin. All of Stanley’s friends and family speak fondly of his sense of humour. His wit was second to none, made keen by his passion for the old comedy duos, such as Abbot and Costello, and Laurel and Hardy. He could also fix anything and find ingenious uses for common objects. Alma once broke a spatula and was

ready to throw it away. “Give it here,” said her husband. Stanley took it downstairs and tied it to the handle of his deep freezer, drove a nail into the wall above, opened the freezer and hooked the spatula into the nail. There was never a need to hold the cover of the freezer open again while rummaging for berries or moose. Although he may not be a significant historical figure, Stanley Hoffe’s life is a little part of our history. I fondly remember him and miss him. He was a wise grandfather.

won the top scholarship of the day in Newfoundland, enabling him to study law at Dalhousie University. After law school, he joined the firm of prime minister E.P. Morris, and became schooled in the darker arts of politics. Squires married up in 1905 to Helena Strong, daughter of a wealthy Little Bay Islands merchant. “He was a conspicuous consumer,” said O’Flaherty. “He had two automobiles and a chauffeur. He had the finest suite of offices of any lawyer in the city. He dressed as a dandy.” He also owned a newspaper, The Daily Star, and had worked as a reporter for a time early in the century. “Morris had shown him that you had to have a newspaper in order to get ahead politically,” O’Flaherty said. But the newspaper was a drain on his finances that was causing him some discomfort by the 1919 election.

“He was already known as an orator, but some thought him just a windbag,” O’Flaherty said. “He was said to possess enormous vitality, he was youthful, still in his 30s, handsome, intense, urbane, energetic, immensely charming and well read … He liked the sweet life and he needed a lot of money to sustain it.” Once elected, Squires took on a second portfolio so he could benefit from being paid two ministerial salaries. “He always thought that he should be earning more, that he deserved to earn more, that he could earn more outside of politics,” O’Flaherty said. “He needed to earn more.” Squires almost immediately went on the take. He was making $12,000 to $15,000 a year in government salaries, a lot of money at the time. He extorted $50,000 from two iron ore companies on Bell Island that needed new royalty deals with the government, and stole $20,000 from the Liquor Control Office. But Squires got caught. A subsequent inquiry grilled him, and despite his wiggling and slippery answers — Squires claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy by his enemies — his misdeeds were exposed. But the exposure came after he had managed to win the 1923 election. In that contest, he campaigned on the claim that he had brought Newfoundland its first paper mill, in effect putting the “hum on the Humber.” But many people had a hand in that, O’Flaherty pointed out. Under pressure from the inquiry into his corruption, Squires resigned his office, just three months after winning the 1923 election. Even foreign newspapers expressed amazement at the extent of his abuse. Amazingly, a grand jury did not indict him on the 66 charges he could have faced — O’Flaherty said the only explanation is again sectarianism. A year or so later, Squires was convicted of income tax evasion. Yet, in 1928, thanks to another unlikely alliance with Coaker, Squires managed to become prime minister again. That such a corrupt politician could once again engineer his way into the prime ministership caused Newfoundland politics to fall into disrepute. The elite lost confidence in themselves, and in the people of Newfoundland to choose credible governments. “What was wrong with the people?” became a subject of debate in the press, O’Flaherty noted. And some of the answers that were offered? “They were too easily fooled by a glib politician. They were corrupt too. They were simple-minded. They had some kind of mental disease. The education system had failed. The people were illiterate. They had low IQs.” The idea of taking a rest from politics took hold. “The elite lost faith in democracy. Not all of them, but most of them,” said O’Flaherty. “Commission of Government was around the corner.”

Richard Squires reconsidered A rogue? Definitely, but an influential one By Craig Westcott The Independent


t’s taken 66 years, but at last someone has taken a crack at trying to understand the life of the dark knight of Newfoundland politics, Sir Richard Squires. That the person doing the scholarship is none other than Newfoundland’s first man of letters, Patrick O’Flaherty, created a stir of anticipation recently when the retired English professor presented the annual George Story Lecture at a meeting of the Newfoundland Historical Society. O’Flaherty, an accomplished novelist and historian and author of last year’s Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of

Newfoundland, 1843-1933, did not disappoint. “I have a number of reasons for turning to Richard Squires,” said O’Flaherty. “Much is known about Squires of course, but there is no biography and he remains a somewhat shadowy figure.” The general details are clear. Elected prime minister in 1919 by forming a coalition with Fishermen’s Protective Union president William Coaker, Squires won re-election in 1923, before being toppled by scandal. He became prime minister again in 1928, before controversy once more caught up and crippled him. He is perhaps best remembered as the target of the mob that stormed the Colonial Building in 1932. Squires died in 1940,

leaving his family struggling financially. But for O’Flaherty there is more to the man — much more. For one thing, Squires’ career illustrates the powerful influence of sectarianism in the 1920s. It was religious bigotry that contributed to his rise to power. Fascinating too is Squires’ relationship with Coaker, a man the “Black Rascal” deeply distrusted, but badly needed to propel himself to power. And Squires’ return to office in 1928, O’Flaherty argued, created many of the conditions that led to the loss of responsible government. That Squires’ misbehaviour could result in the loss of a country is a remarkable example of the effect one man can have on history. That he was gifted and could have used his talents for a better purpose there is little doubt. Squires was born in Harbour Grace in 1880. He went to Methodist schools and



Paul Martin speaks in the House of Commons last week.


Martin defends legacy Child-care issue lures the former prime minister back into the spotlight OTTAWA By Susan Delacourt Torstar wire service

tary school. “I’m not going to get involved in that,” Martin said, when asked if he’d urge his son and daughter-in-law to give their child the type of early learning that he calls so crucial for the rest of Canada’s children. “What I do care about is that he or she gets that kind of stimulation.” The Conservatives’ child-benefit program, unveiled this week, replaces the Liberals’ national, institutionally based system with a $1,200 annual payment to parents for every child under 6, as well as $250 million to create child-care spaces. It is billed as “choice” in child care, since parents can use the money to provide care in the home or outside of it. But it’s also shaping up as one of the more galvanizing, polarizing disputes of this new Parliament, with MPs spending lmost a full day arguing over the best way for the federal government to deliver child care. In his speech May 4, Martin, the MP for LaSalle-Émard, lauded the Tories’ “tactical elegance” of putting the label of choice on their program, but accused them of ignoring all the years of study showing that early learning pays huge economic benefits for nations. In essence, he said, the Conservatives’ social ideology had trumped — even contradicted — the party’s economic principles. Afterwards, he added it was more evidence that Harper is leading a country truer to the prin-


ormer prime minister Paul Martin says that the new Conservative government is so intent on erasing the Liberal past that it is also rubbing out vital parts of Canada’s future. “I do not understand, when you look at what they cut — children, aboriginals, the environment and university research and development,” Martin says. “Why do you sacrifice the future in order to pay for today?” Child care is the issue that lured Martin back into the Parliament Hill spotlight last week. It’s an issue that has taken on personal as well as political dimensions for him since the Liberals’ election defeat on Jan. 23. Not only has Martin staked it out as prime ministerial legacy territory, but it also hits closer to home and family now. Martin revealed last week that he and his wife, Sheila, are finally getting their oft-repeated wish to be grandparents. His youngest son, David, and his wife, Laurence, are expecting their first child in September. Though Martin spoke in spirited defence in the Commons of high-quality, institutional childcare arrangements, he said he planned to stay out of the decision on whether his grandchild stays at home or attends daycare before entering elemen-

ciples of the defunct Reform party, as well as one that is opposed to all that Liberals hold dear, from equality rights to social programs. Canadians didn’t vote for that, Martin said, and he predicted that Harper’s honeymoon would end when voters realize how much of the country’s icons he intends to dismantle. “This is a federal Reform party and that’s what’s coming forth,” he said. “The positions they’re taking telegraphs that in a way that I suspect they wouldn’t want Canadians to know.” Martin’s reappearance in the Commons seemed to reignite the angry rhetoric that was a feature of the election campaign. “I guess Mr. Martin hasn’t come to grips with the fact that millions of Canadians voted against him and his government in the last election. That wasn’t the NDP’s doing,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said later, reacting to Martin’s allegations that the NDP had killed the national child-care program by helping the Tories defeat the Liberals. “Mr. Martin and his government caused Canadians to lose confidence in their ability to govern,” Layton said. “Mr. Martin didn’t give the kind of leadership that Canadians had confidence in ... That’s unfortunate, I suppose, for him, and it turns out to have been unfortunate for child care.” MPs from the three other parties said in essence that Martin had a lot of nerve to come

back and preach about child care when he too had broken promises, reversed previous governments’ measures and squandered federal money while in office. Martin said later he found this “fun — like old times.” Since his government’s defeat and his resignation, Martin has been travelling for pleasure and to scope out some future prospects for himself. He said he has been talking to child-care advocates, trying to rally support to save the Liberals’ program, but he’s also planning to devote himself to aboriginal issues and international concerns. “I’ve been in politics now for 18 years — some would say longer — and the thing I’d forgotten is the freedom,” Martin said. “And also the ability to really get in depth in certain issues.” He said when he’s in Canada he intends to spend Tuesday through Thursday in Ottawa, though he probably won’t attend question period that often. Asked what he made of the race to replace him, which has 11 contenders, Martin smiled: “I think it’s going to be quite an exciting race. I think the candidates are very high-quality. I think the debates are going to be stimulating and I think the party is really up for it.” He’ll watch it with interest, he said, “but I’m staying out of it.”


The magic and madness of travel in India By Curtis Andrews For the Independent Carbonear-born percussionist, multiinstrumentalist and composer Curtis Andrews has been travelling and learning in India for months. This is an excerpt from one of his travelogue/e-mails back home.


t used to be that I needed hot water for a bath in the morning. Now, I find myself putting ice cubes in the bathwater as it comes out warm from the scorching sun heating the water tank on the roof of the building.

Summer in India. It is hard to do anything in 42C except lie under a fan and wait, sleep or complain. But it wasn’t always this way. I only recently returned to the infamous summer of Chennai a couple of days ago — just after the hottest day in 35 years. Perfect timing. For most of the month we have been travelling. A good portion was spent decadently in Goa, then, after a brief stop in another coastal town, we decided to spend a couple of days in Kerala state, in the little trading town of Fort Cochin on the coast. A strange mix of neo-colonial architecture with a hint of old India, but not much, it

was a quiet and relaxing place, though geared towards tourists. But one of the gems of the town is the Kerala Kathakali Centre which puts off shortened shows (two hours instead of nine) of the fabled dance form. An added bonus is you can watch the application of makeup for 90 minutes before the show. All natural, made from coconut oil and ground stones, which yield vibrant hues. Since we were on a bit of a tourist kick, we decide to take one of the famed “backwater cruises” of Kerala. Cruise meaning you and about five others are on a 15-foot boat with a

coconut leaf covering. One is given a glimpse of the charmed and highly relaxed life of the backwaters, where the “streets” are waterways that connect each plot of land to the next. Indeed, it’s one of the most relaxing ways to spend time and a few rupees, slowly drifting while surrounded by hundreds of coconut trees and lotus paddies. We decided next to beat the heat and head to a “hill station,” basically a town located in the hills. In this case, we slowly ascended 7,500 feet at night to finally reach the city of See “I am lucky,” page 14

MAY 7, 2006



‘I am lucky’ From page 13

Members of Sinn Fein outside the General Post Office in Dublin to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands MP, who died in 1981 after 66 days on a hunger strike in the Maze prison near Belfast. He was one of 10 guerrillas to die from fasting in an unsuccessful bid for British recognition as political prisoners. Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

Bat t e r y R ad i o independent production Radio features Audio documentaries Acoustic films Audio guides Co-producer of the 2006 Peabody Award-winning radio series THE WIRE


Kodaikanal. Collapsing into our room, I sacrificed my sleep to listen to a folk drum ensemble that was practicing outside our window at 7 a.m. And though the temperature was quite agreeable, the onslaught of “real” tourists was not. But with a little determination you can find yourself away from the maddening crowds and the plethora of vendors selling anything from chocolates to socks to various pieces of plastic crap to peanuts to sunglasses. Once out of earshot, you can find yourself surrounded by magnificent eucalyptus trees opening up into grand vistas of rolling mountain peaks that keep watch over the distant plains far below. All swimming in a light haze, which would be the clouds. And of course veritable symphonies of birds and insects that echo through the hills and trees. A few minutes of this and the tourist trash and commercialism are erased. Moving around this country opens your eyes to one thing: the utter lack of respect that many people have for their own environment and, even more so, that of others. This is most apparent on the train. Ninety-nine per cent of people on the train throw any and all trash straight out the window, not thinking of where it lands, whether it be someone else’s backyard, farm field or a major part of a city. Newfoundland used to be like this. I remember everyone just throwing trash out of moving cars. I think the majority here just don’t think about it and an ecological bent of mind is only starting to take shape over here in a major way. Meeting people who go against this grain is always heartening. One such fellow, Arun, is a teacher but also runs a sea turtle conservation group. He is one of the few Indians I have met who is really changing his lifestyle to live with his surroundings instead of only living off it. He eschewed the normal path of an Indian youth of being an engineer, doctor or IT professional and teaches instead at an alternative school and rides his bicycle around the city and takes kids to nature when he can. He also lets students partake in the running of the turtle conservation project, which he let us experience one night. In brief, they have taken all the turtle eggs and help them hatch and help the baby turtles out to sea. They crawl out of the sand, no more than five centimetres long, with little flippers and eyes and clumsily make their way towards the ocean after about an hour or so. Amazingly, when they grow up and travel the oceans, they return to their birthplace to lay their own eggs. And now, on my birthday, we are on a set of islands way off the coast of India (closer to Burma actually) where my only preoccupation will be snorkelling with fishes. I admit, I am lucky.

MAY 7, 2006


Budget renews concerns about RCMP By James Travers Torstar wire service


s there enough proof in the first Conservative budget to accuse the RCMP of playing politics in the last federal election? No, but there’s enough circumstantial evidence to warrant independent investigation of the connections between the iconic police force and the politicians who honour it publicly and mutter about it privately. Those who recall the turning point in the winter campaign will also recognize a pattern that begins with nagging suspicion and ends in surprising consequences. Stirred to inquisitiveness by a stock market surge and an NDP complaint, the RCMP wrote an unusual letter confirming its investigation into allegations that the cabinet’s income trust decision was leaked. Now fast forward to this week and Stephen Harper’s politically deft effort to keep promises that helped bring Conservatives to power. Among the prime minister’s security commitments is a generous $198 million to allow the RCMP to recruit and train 1,000 extra officers for duties more onerous, if not as theatrical, as the delightfully folkloric Musical Ride. That dotted line connection between election and budget only intrigues conspiracy theorists if it weren’t for the force’s long record of getting muck on its boots. From the distant past of burning Quebec barns and the costly ’90s Airbus fiasco to the still pungent effluent from the sponsorship scandal and the Maher Arar affair, the RCMP carelessly mixed the gene pools of Inspector Clouseau and Sergeant Preston. Remarkably, that hasn’t done all that much damage to an image reinforced by a zillion postcards, plastic riders and Mountie knickknacks. In a country that often seems held together by Tim Hortons and hockey, the RCMP remains a chest-

N.B. Grade 9 students post dismal results


ew Brunswick’s Grade 9 students recorded dismal marks in the first-ever provincial assessment of English reading and writing proficiency. On average, less than one per cent of the 6,691 students who completed the assessment last fall scored a “strong performance” on the writing portion of the test. Liberal education critic Carmel Robichaud says she’s shocked by the low scores, which should serve as a wake-up call for the government to provide more resources for literacy.

“There was a lot of catching up for us to do.” Education Minister Claude Williams “What’s going to happen to those Grade 9 students? They have three years before graduation. What are they going to do? What are we going to do?” she asks. “The teachers are doing their utmost, they’re working 100 to 200 per cent of their time, but they cannot achieve when there’s a lack of resource teachers, when there’s a lack of school nurses, workers, psychologists if those students have other problems besides difficulties in reading or difficulties in writing.” Education Minister Claude Williams says the literacy results for Grade 9 students were “of concern to the department” and were the reason the government initiated its Quality Learning Agenda (QLA) three years ago. Williams says the initiative, which focuses on assessing students’ needs as early as Grade 3, was already yielding results. He said he’s confident the strategy will help turn around the poor results. “We want to assist all districts and schools with specific action plans and intervention strategies.” He dismisses criticism the results show the government hasn’t put enough resources in place to help students struggling with reading and writing. Williams says the previous Liberal government had cut funding to education, while his government will have added more than 650 teachers and 614 teachers’ assistants by 2007. “There was a lot of catching up for us to do.” Overall, more than 40 per cent of the students who did the reading assessment experienced difficulty, while more than 46 per cent experienced difficulty with the writing portion of the assessment. Only a fifth of the students who took the reading test scored in the strong performance category. — Telegraph-Journal

REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

puffing example of something Canada has that the world wants. No one is more sensitive to that star power than politicians. Perhaps it’s what is in their closets or simply national pride, but parliamentarians tumble over each other defending the Horsemen. To be fair, that was not Harper’s budget motive. Getting tough on crime is a Conservative priority and there is a compelling case for giving what is largely a provincial contract police force the

resources needed to focus on its federal responsibilities — fighting organized and white-collar crime while protecting internal security. Those are tough jobs. The RCMP can’t do them well if it’s seen — and it is — as politicized. Far from being just the daft fantasy of the left, that’s the conclusion of an April report by the righterthan-right Fraser Institute. Along with other RCMP judgment errors, author Barry Cooper points to the 1997 APEC

summit and the RCMP’s willingness to accept crowd control orders from Jean Chrétien’s administration as proof of lost independence. That’s unacceptable for what Cooper correctly identifies as a “guardian” institution that, like the Armed Forces and courts, must stand above politics. Where it stands now is the shadow of doubt. It has yet to offer a convincing explanation for what has been interpreted as either a stunningly overt or breathtakingly naïve intervention in a federal election. What’s particularly puzzling is that it moved so fast to respond to NDP critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis in a letter that was certain to become public during an overheated winter campaign. And what’s almost as puzzling is that months after the investigation no one has been charged or cleared. That uncertainty helped keep former Finance minister Ralph Goodale out of the Liberal leadership race and is continuing a worry for candidate Scott Brison as he tries to distance himself from an indiscreet income trust e-mail to a financier friend. But that’s not what’s most troubling. After this week’s budget, taxpayers as well as voters and concerned citizens have even more reason to demand a full exposure of RCMP actions. Those reasons are only reinforced by a national capital consensus that, for a policeman, Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli is an usually skilled and determined politician. Getting answers won’t be easy. Protected from intrusive oversight, the RCMP launders its linen internally. It’s possible Harper’s government will wisely edge the RCMP closer to its origins as a federal police force. But it can’t be credible until it convinces the country that it stayed on the election sidelines. About the only thing Canada needs less than another inquiry is a police force that is so revered, so untouchable, that it can freely play politics.

MAY 7, 2006






























































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Juanita Farrell

Paul Daly/The Independent

Pieces of history

Furniture from a convent in Bay Bulls, 80-year-old calendars, old trunks, caskets and a David Cassidy poster — Juanita Farrell’s museum-in-progress is a mixture of junk and joy FERMEUSE By Stephanie Porter The Independent


f the directions Juanita Farrell gave over the phone weren’t quite clear, the flags at the end of her driveway, the signs on the building, the odds and ends leading from one end of the property to another more than make up for it. Shadows of the Past: Juanita’s Movie Prop Museum, exclaims more than one sign, as the word Entrance, in bright block red letters, points the way to the door. Farrell keeps busy outdoors, arranging toys, small statues and other objects along the winding driveway. The building that is now home to Farrell and her extensive collections once held the Fermeuse town council offices — built, she reports proudly, when Loyola Sullivan was mayor of the Southern Shoretown. The museum sits high on the hill overlooking the community and the ocean; a perfect spot, she says, for watching the boats come in or the sun come up.

Farrell greets her guests with a grin and a hug, immediate familiarity and hundreds of stories ready to roll off her tongue. “I was told never to let anyone come or go without a hug,” she says with a grin. “You need it.” Farrell’s museum isn’t yet officially open to the public, though visitors are always welcome to stop by and spend as long as they like. She’s especially interested in catching the attention of movie and television producers who might need props from Newfoundland and Labrador’s past. Farrell has rented or lent her things to a number of productions big and small, from locally produced short films to The Shipping News, Rare Birds and Random Passage. Most recently, she says, she provided props for Above and Beyond, which filmed last year in Gander. The Fermeuse set-up could, finally, be the realization of a dream Farrell has held for years: to have a space big enough to showcase her memorabilia and collectables, to share the history and oddities of her home province — and beyond. “It’s the hardest struggle of my life to get

this place and set it up,” she says. “But I knew it was worth it … here it is, history, everybody’s history, and here I am trying to hold onto it with my fingernails.” Wandering through the building is a jawdropping experience. Every wall, shelf, nook and cranny is filled with things. Old sewing machines, antique guns, a calendar given out by a local bus company in 1940. Clothing, furniture, appliances, old televisions, cameras, trinkets, dishes, food boxes, bits and pieces. A David Cassidy pin-up, a boot from a former St. Lawrence miner, a framed picture of the late St. John’s mayor Dorothy Wyatt, a glass enclosure with half a dozen live doves, a cash register so heavy it took four men to lift into place. Drawers burst with pictures, notes, turn-ofthe-century receipts, scraps of paper. Some of it is junk, some cultural eccentricities — and some are no doubt priceless pieces of history. A Neil Diamond eight-track provides the soundtrack to Farrell’s tour. The rooms have different themes or sections — bedroom, powder room, post office, canteen, doctor’s

office, pharmacy, kitchen. “I’ve been a collector, since I was a child, really,” says Farrell. “I was always bringing home something strange … we used to go down over the banks, back home, and see spoons and things, and bring them home. Everybody knows someone that collects.” What catches her eye? “It all will,” she says. “I can’t help but keep things.” Farrell, a Marystown native, says her father used to fish from Fermeuse, providing her only previous link with the community. Although there are a few family photos around, she doesn’t reveal much of her past. She has several children, and at least one grandchild; she’s been through a divorce, and now lives with her “darling angel from heaven,” Reg Cole. Cole is skilled, doing much of the carpentry and renovation work on the building. Her neighbour, Joel Brophy, comes by to help out when he can. Farrell was living in Mount Pearl about five years ago when she got into the movie business, quite by accident. She says she was See “Touching,” page 20


A life in full From cleaning up Smallwood’s boondoggles to fixing up 100-year-old houses, Sandy Roche has come a long way from his family’s Duckworth Street butcher shop

By Craig Westcott The Independent


hese days Sandy Roche restores and remodels old houses with his bare hands, but there was a time when the Duckworth Street-raised businessman took a few bigger things apart. Roche was just 27 when he was made a deputy minister in the new government of Frank Moores and put in charge of winding up a chocolate factory, rubber plant, battery maker and other boondoggles of the just-departed Smallwood administration. “I was deputy minister of receivership for the first two years,” Roche jokes. But his job wasn’t all about taking things apart. He helped the government

form the Newfoundland Development Corporation, which still exists. And he was a key player in the effort to unload a white elephant called the Labrador Linerboard Mill onto private enterprise. Thanks in large part to the efforts of Roche, the mill eventually became the Stephenville paper mill, which gave new life to that area’s economy for nearly 30 years until it closed last fall. “(The liner board mill) was the single biggest money-losing operation this province ever got involved in,” Roche recalls. “One of these days I might write a book on it. I’d say that operation cost the taxpayers of this province $400 million in 1970 dollars.” See “Are you coming,” page 20

Sandy Roche

Paul Daly/The Independent

MAY 7, 2006



NICK LANGOR Photography


ith his first-ever exhibition opening, a new studio in his basement, and a summer job working and training with a professional photographer, Nick Langor is finding it a little difficult to focus on the task at hand: high school finals. “It’s not going to be a good few weeks here, now,” Langor says with a sigh. Though he’s always been a good student, with a healthy range of extracurricular activities, the 18-yearold Gonzaga student seems more than ready for the next set of life adventures. And unlike many of his peers, he’s got a pretty good idea of what he’d like to do. Langor says he’s always been interested in photography — but he became serious about his hobby a little over two years ago. Since then, he’s invested time, energy and money in gathering the skills and equipment he’s needed to progress. His commitment has paid off. Last February, Langor travelled to Denver, Colorado, for the North American Nature Photography Association’s annual general meeting. He was one of 10 recipients (the only Canadian) of the association’s scholarship. The award covered his travel expenses, and included the opportunity to shoot, and learn, with professionals. “It went really well,” says Langor. “It was everything I expected and more. I spent three days with pros, with gear given to us to shoot in different locations.” He says the highlight was getting to use high-end equipment. “That was exciting,” he says. “It’s not every day you get to put your hands on a $10,000 lens and play with it. That was kind of cool.” On May 4, Langor hosted the official opening reception for Photographic Perspectives, a show of his nature photography on display in the gallery at Memorial’s Botanical Gardens. “I knew they had a space there, and I contacted them about showing my works early this year,” he says. “They just contacted me a few weeks ago, said there’s space and they’d love to have me. I kind of struck into that pretty good.” Langor is pleased with the show. “I’ve never seen that much of my work printed before,” he says. “It is nice to see it all in frames. “If I could sell a few framed pieces, that’d be nice … but I’m not really expecting to make all my money back and more. “It’s more just a showcase of images. I’m excited to see what kind of response I get.” While Langor’s first love and focus is nature photography — he’s often up before the sun to catch the dawn — he’s just purchased lights for a small home studio so he can pursue portrait, product, and other commercial work. This summer, he’s lined up a job with a professional photographer shooting weddings, another learning experience and, he figures, a good way to build up a portfolio. “I think this is what I want to do, so I might as well start now,” he says. In the fall, he plans to start a business/commerce degree at Memorial. “After MUN, I’m thinking of studying photography,” he says. “But we’ll see how things go. Right now, I’m looking forward to being done with high school.” — Stephanie Porter

MAY 7, 2006




MAY 10 • The Dance Centre annual recital, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre until May 12. • Folk night with host Dave Panting, Ship Pub, 9:30 p.m. • Le Vent du Nord dance workshop at the CEI Club, Hamilton Avenue, 7-9

MAY 11 • Tangled up in textiles, graduating class exhibition, 7 p.m., Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design. Until May 25. MAY 12 • The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter, Rabbittown theatre, 7:30 p.m., 7398220. Also May 13. MAY 13 • Pagan Conference at Memorial: 4th floor, Education building (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Bitters in Feild Hall (6-11 p.m.), 739-8666. • Bridges to Hope/Emergency Food Aid Centre rummage and bake sale. 9:30 a.m.-2p.m, St. David’s Presbyterian Church, 98 Elizabeth Ave. IN THE GALLERIES • Exhibition featuring new work by Clement Curtis, Elena Popova and Louise Sutton, Leyton Gallery of Fine Art until May 28. • Photographic Perspectives, by Nicholas Langor, MUN Botanical Gardens, until May 28. • Men, by Cathia Finkel, at RCA Gallery, LSPU Hall, until May 7. • Stephen Fisher’s Strange events in the invisible strata and Nicolas Fleming, seeking scapes, Eastern Edge gallery until June 17.

POET’S CORNER The texture of rain: TS Eliot as weatherman This grey matter called weather must be loved by some creature; I think of caplin watching the rain hit the water like a design in intaglio, like braille it’s their time they are born in fog craving more and more moisture measuring time by it their tiny life span

is a shower over and over until the end when their pearly eggs float away from them like the beads of a broken necklace, like lost children to a world of invisible nets we are not so different “April is the cruelest month.” By Kristine Power St. John’s

Ruth Lawrence (left) and Sherry White host the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Awards, featuring appearances by some of the province’s top performers. The show airs May 11, 7:30-8:30 p.m. on CBC-TV. Paul Daly/The Independent

By Tonya Kearley and Laura Russell

MAY 9 • Juno award winners Le Vent du Nord, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, MUN School of Music, 8 p.m. • Lunch and traditional music with Frank Maher, Rick West, Stan Picket and Andrew Lang, Auntie Crae’s, Water Street, 12:30 p.m. • Active Vision film festival Choral Room MUN School of Music. 8 p.m., show varies by night. Until May 11. See for full schedule.

p.m. Call 576-8508 to register. • Fashion show featuring Sharington’s spring line, Wesley United Church Lecture Hall, Patrick Street, 7:30 p.m., 895-2186.


MAY 7 • High Steel, written and directed by Mary Walsh, music by Ron Hynes. At the LSPU Hall, 8 p.m., continues until May 14, 753-4531. • Aliant Walk for Kids Help Phone 11 a.m. at Bowring Park. For more info contact Bev Hiscock, or 8349341. • All Ages Show at St. Andrews Church Hall (The Kirk) with Swords, Don’t Fade Away and The Norms, 2 p.m. • International compost awareness week hosted by Memorial’s Botanical Gardens. Daily compost talks, demonstrations and family activities, see Continues through May 13.

United 93 respectful, intelligent filmmaking United 93 111 min. 1/2 (out of four)



ather than joining the argument over the official start of the new millennium, we had a more pressing problem to address. Our current fear of the year, bird flu, still hasn’t Greengrass’ experience as a documentary filmcreated the near panic Y2K provoked in the clos- maker, and particularly his familiarity with the ing months of 1999. politics and violence of Northern Ireland, serve As Jan. 1, 2000 came and went, this threat to him well here. life as we knew it lingered on, but by the second There is little of the like of Michael Bay’s day of 2001, even the most paranoid of us could Pearl Harbor to be found: people act and react as sit back and look to the future. we would expect, heroes behave in a manner This was a new decade, a new century, and a devoid of heroics, and the villains of the story are new millennium, all rolled into one. We had suc- not caricatures. cessfully entered the age of Star Trek and Buck With so many interpretations of the day’s Rogers, and perhaps in the wake of the 20th cen- events, and especially the numerous ways in tury, we were on the brink of a whole new era. which the actions of the passengers and crew of Unfortunately, even if we Flight 93 have come to serve could pretend the baggage differing political views, from the last 10, 100, or 1,000 Greengrass takes the middle years could be left behind, the road, focussing on what probaThe greatest of the best we could manage was to bly happened rather than a get past the Labour Day romanticized, exaggerated filmmaker’s accomweekend before the 21st cenpresentation. tury became defined in ways The first half an hour or so is plishments, however, we could never have imagrelatively uneventful, reinforcined. ing the mundane, almost comis bringing this event In this part of the world, placent attitude of the passento life on the big workers were probably long gers and crew. Once an air trafdone with their first coffee fic controller loses contact screen in a manner break of the day, and school with a plane, however, the children, their first recess, crank starts winding, slowly that few of us markers in time that now increasing the suspense. By the serve in recalling the day’s time the picture ends, we’re anticipate. events. nearly exhausted For the passengers and United 93 is a prime examcrew of United Airlines flight ple of motion picture crafts93, travelling from Newark, N.J. to San manship. The way it is photographed, the layers Francisco, it was nearly time to have breakfast. of sound that accompany every scene, the direcJust regular folk, they were, minding their own tor’s success in coaching superb performances business, probably figuring that the forthcoming out of the cast, especially the non-actors, and the meal would be the greatest challenge of the day. manner in which segments and scenes are woven They were unaware of the horror that was unfold- together, creates one cohesive, effective, and ing on the ground, and of the significant role they affecting film. would play in relation to it. Moreover, just as the characters on the screen Heroics, let alone heroism, was as far from are portrayed in a respectful manner, the audience their minds as they were from their intended des- is also granted the benefit of the doubt, for there tination. is no overstatement of the obvious, or any other In presenting the story of the ill-fated passen- hint of dumbing down the story. gers and crew of Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, Probably the greatest of the filmmaker’s writer/director Paul Greengrass draws upon tech- accomplishments, however, is bringing this event niques he used in his earlier film, Bloody Sunday. to life on the big screen in a manner that few of With hand-held cameras, unfamiliar actors, and us anticipate; even the most cynical and skeptical often featuring individuals related to the events of us are sure to concede that this is a work of an re-enacting their respective roles, he dramatically intelligent mind, brilliant talent, and a commendrecreates particular moments in the story, films able understanding and respect for humanity. them in a documentary style, and edits them together into a powerful fly-on-the-wall producTim Conway operates Capital Video in tion that plays out like we’re watching things Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His column returns unfold for the first time. May 21.

lives here.

It’s here in our community. Please make a difference by volunteering.


MAY 7, 2006


Verdi’s neighbour MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Reels, Rock and Rosaries: Confessions of a Newfoundland Musician By Marjorie Doyle Pottersfield Press, 2005. 160 pages.


arjorie Doyle has been involved with music since childhood. Over the years she has sung in the Presentation Convent Glee Club, played in a folk band called Cheap Tea and Molasses, and served as the first female member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band. She has also hosted a CBC radio program of classical music and written a music column for The Evening Telegram. Reels, Rock and Rosaries collects 14 essays on Doyle’s “twin passions,” music and Newfoundland. In Those Sly Tunes, she writes about the mnemonic nature of music: a Billy Joel song played over the radio conjures an apartment in the American midwest where Doyle lived at the time she first heard it. She makes a wonderful allusion here to the writer Marcel Proust, how in his case the taste of a biscuit resurrected dead memories, prompting him to write Remembrance of Things Past. It is a fitting opening to a book that embodies Doyle’s epigrammatic statement from a later piece: “We are fated, all of us, to be servants of memory.” Though traditional, hard rock and country music have all played meaningful parts in Doyle’s life at one time or another, it is classical music alone that can bring her “ecstasy, exhilaration or catharsis.” Consequently, it is when writing about her beloved classical that she is most animated. Sometimes her writing runs a bit high on melodrama — apparently she weeps or gasps or holds her breath a great deal while listening to classical — and yet, this excess of passion also produces some of the most inspired writing in the collection. Here she is on hearing a performance of Verdi’s Joan of Arc: Oh Glory! I am Italian, Catalan, Spanish, I am Verdi’s neighbour, I am a French peasant, I’m a personal friend of Joan of Arc—I’m just plain horrified at the tragedy that’s about to unfold. I fear, I shake, quake, tremble, I pray, believe, trust, feel, hope — then sink into despair.

She can be quite funny too. The omnipresence of The Ode to Newfoundland on the island prompts her to remark that “there are more Odes floating around here than at a conference for Keatsian scholars”; on being complimented on her English by a classmate at Western Illinois University, she devilishly convinces him that the official language of Newfoundland is church Latin; in the acoustically rich Basilica of St. John the Baptist, Doyle explains, “the clasp of a handbag fires like a gun shot. Coughs and sneezes are epic.” She is less effective when she dons the vestments of classical music’s missionary force in the modern world (bemoaning the fate of the live concert, say), for the zeal of the preacher mars the countenance of otherwise beautiful writing. Nobody appreciates proselytizing, no matter what the cause. Besides, I can’t seem to feel much pity for a genre that has an entire school dedicated to its study at Memorial University while the folk music of this island languishes in the foyer, barely tolerated and largely ignored. The intersection — or lack thereof — of traditional and classical music in Newfoundland is something of a sticking point for Doyle. She blames the “cultural despotism” of a few purists for inhibiting classical interpretations of traditional music. I would suggest that while the sheer adaptability of traditional music is what has kept it alive for so long in the oral tradition, it is also what has made traditional enthusiasts reject classical interpretations — what they perceive as unduly strict adherence to form and preoccupation with technique to the exclusion of spirit. Musical literacy may lead, as Doyle suggests, “to a place where street language doesn’t matter,” but the skills necessary to participate in the creation of classical music are highly specialized, inaccessible to all but a lucky few. It is much easier (though to my mind, no less worthy) to write a country song with a simple chord progression than to create a symphony, and likewise, much easier to play a blues riff to oneself than to round up a choir and an orchestra to hear one’s cantata performed. Though at times it may seem like Doyle is lost in the sound of a song not every reader is technically equipped to fully appreciate, Reels, Rock and Rosaries is generally accessible to music buffs and laymen alike. The writing here is what is worth the price of admission; it is evidence of the kind of artistic accomplishment that passion can engender. I’ve yet to reach a point where I appreciate classical music on any more than a raw, experiential level, but who knows — Doyle’s enthusiasm may even be catching. Mark Callanan’s column returns May 21. He can be reached at callanan_

Juanita Farrell

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Touching a piece of history’ From page 17 looking through the paper one day, and saw an ad from someone looking for a barrel. “I said, ‘I’ve got a barrel,’ and called the number,” she says. It so happened it was local filmmaker Roger Maunder, looking for props. “When he came to the door, all he did was look and look and look,” Farrell says. “We had a grand old time … then he came back and loaded up all sorts of things. When he left all I had was the mattress on the floor. “By the time he brought the stuff back, I’d filled up the space again.” Her home in Mount Pearl being too small, Farrell next moved to Bay Bulls, starting to plan out her museum and props studio. Three years ago, she found the $40,000 building in Fermeuse. Over the years, Farrell’s notoriety has grown; people call her before demolishing houses, others bring her “stuff” by the box load. And when movie productions get rolling anywhere on the island, she’ll usually get at least one visit. “Everybody just gives me stuff,” she says. “When somebody dies or someone gets sick or

someone gets tired of the stuff …” She’s happy with her collection, though there are a few things she feels are missing: a pump organ, antique cars, and a horse. Farrell has grand plans for her new endeavour — an R.V. park, bed and breakfast, more animals, a garden. She’s realized she and her partner are going to have to make the business happen on their own. When she officially opens, she will charge a small entrance fee — and there will be some income from renting out inventory — but she has no subsidies or funding to turn to. “I’ve got lots of things, but I’ve got no money to do what I want to do,” she says as she looks over the gravel around her home and museum. She says she’ll have to come up with another $1,000 to get her museum ready to open “But I’m going to do it on my own. Dad did it on his own. The best thing is, this way, we own it all … we’ve got a few bills out there, but we’ll take care of those. “This is a joy here, I love it here,” she continues. “Just look at what you’re doing here, every time you move or touch something you’re touching a piece of history.”

‘Are you coming home?’ From page 17 It too was a Smallwood project. When Moores took power, he argued to privatize it, but was delayed by others in the government, led by John Crosbie, who wanted to keep it in hand. “Government did operate it for a while and lost countless money and so then finally made the decision to divest itself of Labrador Linerboard and I took on the job of privatizing it,” Roche says. It took two years, which was two years past the five years Roche had privately set for himself as a deadline for leaving the civil service. But Roche couldn’t walk away from the challenge. The buyer was Abitibi Consolidated. “It was a deal that did not involve any further government money, it did not involve any giveaway of resources, and it required Abitibi to spend millions of dollars converting the mill from a liner board mill to a paper mill,” he points out. “And it cut this hemorrhaging, this tremendous loss of money that was costing the taxpayers of Newfoundland.” Roche closed the deal on Dec. 12, 1976. Moores announced it on Dec. 15. Roche resigned a day later to pursue a career in private industry. On Jan. 1, he started a job as executive vice-president with National Sea Products in charge of the Nova Scotia-based company’s Newfoundland operations. “So I had Christmas off,” he says, laughing. Hard work has always been a major part of Roche’s life. Growing up over a butcher shop, Roche spent evenings, weekends and summers working with his parents downstairs. The 10 years he spent with National Sea, eventually moving to the company’s head office in Halifax and helping it through a restructuring crisis, offered plenty of hard work too. During his time in Halifax, the president of Fishery Products International Ltd., Vic Young, would call him once a year. “Vic would say, ‘Are you coming home? Come back and join the team,’” Roche says. After a decade with NatSea, Roche decided to

do just that. “I had this urge within me that if I was going to be working to make a seafood company truly successful and world class I should be doing it with a Newfoundland seafood company,” he says. Roche joined FPI Ltd. as executive vice-president in charge of marketing and secondary processing and international procurement. At that time the company was run mostly by Newfoundlanders and owned by people who understood its Newfoundland focus — unlike the FPI that exists today, Roche says. When a group of FPI’s competitors staged a hostile takeover and acquired control of the company five years ago, Roche decided to move on from the seafood business. “At the age of 57, I wasn’t about to go to work for anybody again,” Roche explains. “From then on in Sandy Roche was going to work for Sandy Roche.” That’s when he started his own business consulting company and also began the work of restoring houses. Roche also took on a leadership role in an effort to build a $200,000 memorial honouring St. Pat’s School and its 175-year history of education in St. John’s. “At the end of the day when the current shareholders of FPI are long forgotten, the current politicians are long forgotten, this will be here and will be an asset to this city for countless generations to come,” he says. “It was a great project.” Though he is around retirement age, Roche still enjoys a full day of work, but on his own terms. He recalls something that happened to him a couple of months after he left FPI. “I was sitting out in the back garden one day, it was sunset and I was having a little drink of scotch,” Roche says. “And I was fussing with the fact that, ‘Why am I enjoying this so much?’ I was bothered that I wasn’t bothered. And then it struck me. That was the first summer I had off since I was 12 years of age.”



Mike Evoy and Hubert Ryall

Paul Daly/The Independent

By Craig Westcott The Independent


erhaps if he had his time back, the inventor of Newfoundland trivia game Journey to the Cape would have called it Ryall’s Runaround. After all, it’s been three years since he came up with the idea and prototype for an educational board game promoting the history and heritage of the province — three years marked by growing frustration with the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. But now Hubert Ryall has had enough. “They keep sending the guy further and further,” Ryall says. “We can’t go any further. We need their assistance now.” But that assistance isn’t coming. Earlier this spring, the department informed Ryall and his business partner Mike Evoy that it will no longer put any effort into evaluating or supporting his game, because officials don’t see any tangible evidence of its market potential. That’s despite Ryall and Evoy brandishing letters from distribution companies saying they will offer the games for sale when the products are ready. For the two struggling St. John’s entrepreneurs, the latest rejection from IT&RD is the third they’ve received from the department and, for them, a perplexing one. The whole idea of applying for a grant of $25,000 to match their own money was to test the game’s market potential. The money could have produced between 500 and 1,000 games to test the market, Evoy says. “Don’t tell us there’s no potential there,” Ryall adds. The latest twist in Ryall and Evoy’s journey began last fall when they came up with yet another prototype of the board game and delivered it to the department. By this time, Ryall admits he was broke and had to ask a group of businesses to help him put it together at their own cost. In the past, Ryall and

No dice Board game’s inventor says he can’t get past go with provincial government

Evoy have paid everyone from an artist who tee, which is composed of private sector and came up with the artwork for the game board government representatives, she added. to printers and other people in their quest to But that isn’t acceptable to Ryall and Evoy. develop the game. “The minister won’t sit down and talk with They say they’ve also colus and let us get our side of lected over 30 letters of supthe story out,” Ryall says. port from people who have being told just one “They keep sending “She’s reviewed their concept, side of the story. Kathy everyone from their local Dunderdale hasn’t given us a the guy further and MHA, Tom Osborne, to St. meeting in three years. further. We can’t go We’ve requested, requested, John’s Centre MHA Shawn Skinner, Human Resources, any further. We need requested. After three years, Labour and Employment not giving us a meeting? Minister Paul Shelly, their assistance now.” That’s disgusting for a minEducation Minister Tom ister, it really is.” Hedderson, IntergovernTwo weeks ago, in desperHubert Ryall mental Affairs Minister John ation, Ryall hired a process Ottenheimer, and St. John’s server and hand-delivered a deputy mayor Dennis O’Keefe. letter and a model of the game to Premier The only person they have been unable to Danny Williams’ house. He hasn’t received a meet with is the minister of Innovation Trade reply. and Rural Development, Kathy Dunderdale. Ryall and Evoy believe they are being A spokesperson in her office informed The stymied by officials in Dunderdale’s departIndependent last week that the minister was ment who are predisposed against their idea unavailable for comment. However, Lynn because of experiences the department has Evans added that a meeting with Dunderdale had with other board games. would not have changed the outcome for Ryall says a senior official in the departRyall and Evoy. Their application was ment told them he was biased against their assessed by department staff, an outside conconcept at the start of a recent meeting. sultant and the department’s funding commitEvans confirms that officials with the

department raised concerns with the application because it involved a board game. “Those enterprises generally have not proven to be viable,” she notes. “Past results, performances within the industry, while not the only factor, are considered in funding decisions. You should be aware that even after this project was declined, the department incurred 100 per cent of the cost to have an independent market assessment of the proposed game board. The findings of the independent review supported our decision.” But Evoy counters it’s unfair to judge their business idea by what happened to other people’s games. Journey to the Cape also has an educational component and could be used in the province’s school curriculum, he points out. And, says Evoy, when he and Ryall met with the outside consultant they quickly learned the department had not given that person all the pertinent information about the game. “We’re after jumping through hoops for these guys,” Evoy says. Ryall too is frustrated. “In the three budgets that the premier brought down, he talked about our history and culture and he just earmarked $17.5 million for the LSPU Hall and arts and crafts and whatever,” says Ryall. “How come they’re turning a blind eye towards us?” Ryall, who was severely injured in a car accident years ago and is suffering from permanent back pain, saw the game as a potential way to support himself and his daughter. He says neither the provincial nor federal governments offered any new funding for disabled people in their most recent budgets. Evoy, meanwhile, thinks there may be another reason why the department seems to have firmly closed the door on them. “It could be because we haven’t gone away,” he says.

Ducking out from the big boys “O

ne of his troubles … he wasn’t used to being criticized, and he never did get it through his head that that’s what politics is all about. He was used to getting his ass kissed.” That’s Harry Truman, speaking around 1971 on his successor in the White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower. If Truman was still around, he could just as easily be talking about Danny Williams. Granted, there’s a big difference between Eisenhower and Williams. The general turned president was mainly a figurehead, someone who liked to show up and look like the boss, not do the hard work of making decisions. Williams is the opposite. He wants to make all the decisions by himself.

CRAIG WESTCOTT The public ledger But Williams’ political skin is as thin as an onion’s and he is used to getting his ass kissed, insists on it too, I think. And that’s why he didn’t go to the world’s biggest oil show in Houston, Tex. last week. Nobody there was going to kiss his ass. If anything, they might have taken a bite out of it. Williams, after all, is the premier of what many outsiders see as a piddly little province in the backwaters of Canada who is puffing himself up and

blowing hot air at ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company. Now I don’t exactly agree with the deal Williams’ was trying to wrest from ExxonMobil, but anyone who does stand up to that behemoth deserves applause. So no criticism for him there. What does warrant a crack, though, is the premier avoiding his detractors in the oil industry. If ever there was a place where Williams could meet with the mucketymucks of the world’s most influential industry and try to convince them that Newfoundlanders deserve a better deal, the annual oil show in Houston is it. With 50,000 or 60,000 of the industry’s movers and shakers converging for a week of schmoozing, partying and deal talking, Williams’ presence was sorely

needed. It’s the first time that I can recall a Newfoundland premier not attending the show in years. Williams claims he skipped Houston because of the important developments underway in the fishery. Important things are happening. But Williams hasn’t been doing a darned thing about them, other than preparing the way, from a public relations viewpoint, for the splitting of FPI Limited and its partial acquisition by Bill Barry. You can’t call what happened in the provincial legislature last week helpful to the fishery. Rural Newfoundland is being pirated and plundered and all Danny Williams and his minions did was make monkey faces at the imploding Opposition. Do they really think that passes for

good government? Do you? Making sport of Jim Bennett and the suffering Liberals may be great fun and distract people from the government’s own inadequacies, but it doesn’t help the people Williams has abandoned on the Burin Peninsula. No, if last week’s events proved anything it’s that when the going gets tough, some people prefer to stay at home and have their asses kissed. We’ll see how many people are still kissing them come next election. If Williams wants his ass smooched then, he’ll have to take it to Alberta. Because that’s where many former FPI workers will be living.


MAY 7, 2006

Soaring loonie hurts exporters



Air Canada announced last week it will discontinue direct flights between St. John’s and London after Sept. 4, saying the route doesn’t earn enough money. Flights between Newfoundland and Heathrow airport run daily during the summer months. Travellers from the St. John’s area will have to fly to Halifax for a connection. Paul Daly/The Independent

he rapid rise in the value of the Canadian dollar is pummeling exporters in New Brunswick, with up to 6,000 manufacturing jobs on the line if the loonie stays above 90 cents US. “It’s a question of survival,” says David Plante, vicepresident of the New Brunswick division of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). “(The rise has) taken place over such a short period of time that manufacturers are struggling.” For New Brunswick, the soaring loonie cost 6,000 manufacturing jobs last year, and could lead to another 6,000 pink slips. More than 35,000 people are employed in the manufacturing sector in the province. On Tuesday, the dollar climbed past 90 cents US for the first time in 28 years, buoyed by optimism for the economy and by strong oil and gas prices. Plante characterized the loonie’s climb into the 90cent range as a “bad dream” for manufacturers and exporters in the province. The Canadian dollar has become a “petro-currency,” that’s riding high on booming oil and gas prices, he says. While this boom has benefited oil and gas exporting provinces, manufacturing provinces are suffering. Nationally, the rapid rise of the dollar has resulted in a loss of 200,000 high paying manufacturing jobs. The CME is predicting a further 100,000 job losses this year. The manufacturing sector is being clobbered by a double-whammy of the high Canadian dollar and rising transportation costs because of gas prices, says Donald Savoie, an economist at the Université de Moncton. In terms of energy, the only solace is that because energy prices are high everywhere, the region’s competition is no better off, he says. In fact, New Brunswick’s proximity to the New England market preserves a competitive advantage on transportation costs. — Telegraph-Journal

Grassroots campaign to encourage U.S. travellers to visit By Chuck Brown Telegraph-Journal


oping to perk up tourist travel that has never recovered from 9/11, some tourist business operators in Atlantic Canada are launching an Internet promotion called We Love Americans. “We believe that this site and program is quite creative and innovative, and those who participate will excel,” David MacDonald of, the Halifax group that created, writes in introducing We Love Americans to Atlantic Canada’s 4,000 innkeepers. “Our websites will promote Atlantic Canada as a cost-effective and safe environment to

Americans and will say that we love Americans, we appreciate your business and we want you to visit.” MacDonald says the idea to unite tourism operators in an effort to attract U.S. business sprouted from worries about the coming tourist season. While tourism promotion normally focuses on things to see and do, he’s looking to promote Atlantic Canada as a travel bargain. “I think this year it’s going to come down to dollars and cents,” he says. High gas prices and the strong Canadian dollar have made Atlantic Canada a less attractive destination for American tourists than in the past. The We Love Americans program is trying to change that.

Participating businesses will unite to offer incentives such as a 25 per cent exchange rate instead of the current rate that hovers under 15 per cent. They’re also promoting the GST/HST rebates offered to American travellers. The program also proposes offering gas coupons with accommodation packages. MacDonald says he’ll try to get the We Love Americans message out through the U.S. media as the website launches later this month. “They are very interested in the fact that someone is willing to stand up and say, ‘We Love Americans,’” MacDonald says. The invitation to participate in the program is being sent to all accommodation operators in Atlantic Canada.

Two Permanent Positions Located in St. John’s: (1) Department of Transportation & Works; (2) Department of Justice.

CAREER OPPORTUNITY Director, Strategic Human Resource Management

This position is accountable for the leadership of the strategic human resource management function, and the facilitation of the organizational shift to a more strategically focused human resource function. The incumbent will be responsible for providing expert human resource management advisory and consultative services at the deputy, executive, and management levels, and will facilitate organizational development and learning. Functioning as a strategic partner, the incumbent will also lead a professional team in the delivery of such services as employee relations, human resource planning, learning & development, and organizational capacity and performance management. Experience in a senior management capacity; strategic planning; organizational learning & development; organizational re-design, change management processes; employment relations; budget preparation and monitoring is necessary.



Knowledge of business transformation processes; organizational performance; HR trends and systems; and cultural assessment techniques is essential. Strong leadership, communication, analytical and facilitative skills are also required. The incumbent must have the ability to be an innovator; visionary; risk-taker; and problem solver, as well as operate independently in a highly challenging and changing environment, and have demonstrated an adherence to strategic partnering and planning principles. These qualifications would normally be acquired through senior experience in the human resource management field, and the completion of a relevant degree program from a recognized University, or any combination of relevant experience and education. Compensation is in line with the Government HL Pay Plan.

Competition Number: DSHRM.PSC.06013.IND

Closing Date: May 15, 2006.

Please submit your application, quoting competition number, to the Public Service Commission either by mail at 2 Canada Drive, P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 or by fax at 709-729-6234 or by email to: . For further information, contact Tina Follett, Director, Staffing & Compliance at 709-729-5820.

MAY 7, 2006


BUSINESS IN BRIEF Crosshair aims to beef up management and advisory team


ohn Crosbie’s former political sidekick Leo Power has been named to the advisory board of Crosshair Mining and Exploration. Power was a senior assistant to Crosbie when the now retired St. John’s West MP was minister of Justice, then Transport, then International Trade. Power was also a principle secretary to Tom Rideout during his short-lived tenure as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1989. Crosshair is one of Canada’s hottest uranium exploration plays with a vast swath of land under exploration in Labrador’s central mineral belt. Assay results from some of the company’s latest drilling are expected to be released any day. Also named to Crosshair’s advisory board last week was former Innu Nation president Peter Penashue. Crosshair president Mark Morabito describes Penashue as a “driving force”

in the Innu Nation’s negotiation of an impact benefits agreement with Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company. In other management moves at Crosshair, Jeffrey Morgan has joined the team as a senior geologist on the company’s Newfoundland and Labrador projects, while Ken Brophy has been hired as the operations manager for Newfoundland and Labrador, responsible for the logistics of getting equipment and supplies to the company’s various exploration camps throughout the province. KING RETURNS Another person with a Crosbie connection has joined the board of a mineral exploration company with ties to this province. Chartered accountant Lorne King spent 13 years with Crosbie Enterprises Ltd. eventually rising to the rank of executive vice-president. In 1982, he

helped the Crosbies buy Robinson Blackmore Printing & Publishing Ltd., and transform what was an insolvent operation into a major money maker that was later picked up by Harry Steele of Newfoundland Capital Corporation, who flipped it two years ago to Montreal-based Transcontinental Media. Though he is now based in Nova Scotia, King’s new duties as a director on the board of Prominex Resource Corp. will bring him back into the Newfoundland business community. Prominex, which is headed by another expatriate Newfoundlander, Allan Frew, is exploring for gold and base metals in central Newfoundland. King has been granted 200,000 stock options in Prominex at a price of 20 cents each. The time limit for exercising the right to buy them expires April 30, 2009. Prominex shares closed trading Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Venture board at 19 cents each. Their

52-week high is 49 cents. MORE DRILLS FOR MESSINA More high-grade zinc has been discovered in test holes Messina Minerals is drilling on the Domino play at its Tulks South property in central Newfoundland. One length of drill core just under four metres long indicated 23.8 per cent zinc, one per cent copper, 8.7 per cent lead, 267 grams per tonne of silver and 1.3 grams per tonne of gold. Messina president Peter Tallman says three more drill rigs are being sent to the property. Tallman is hoping to find enough zinc at Tulks South to justify the company building its own mill, separate from the one under construction at nearby Duck Pond, which is owned by Aur Resources. Both camps are near Red Indian Lake and not far from the historic Buchans

zinc mine, which in its day, was the richest ore body of its kind in the world. Two years ago, Tallman discovered Buchans type mineral grades in what he dubbed the Boomerang deposit, also at Tulks South. ENERGY SAVES The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union (NLCU) has received the National Credit Union Innovation Award for its energy-efficient mortgage program. The program encourages homeowners to invest in energy-efficient housing. The NLCU was the first financial institution in the country to offer the product after the federal government offered a grant program to promote energy efficient housing. The mortgages come with extended terms that allow buyers of energy-efficient homes to qualify for lower insurance premiums and federal grants.


MAY 7, 2006

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Rainbow shapes 5 Clothespins 9 Wing-like 13 At a distance 17 Venomous lizard 18 Coloratura solo 19 Venture 20 Asian staple 21 Norway’s patron saint 22 Idle away time 23 Ribbons for parties 25 Equip anew 27 Yukon town with record coldest temperature 29 First Nova Scotian to win the Victoria Cross 30 Whopper 31 Sask. town named after Canada, sort of 33 Tough trip 35 New: prefix 36 Pesticide 37 Seize 39 Singular of Inuit 41 Toronto valley 43 The sun (myth.) 46 Conservative in Quebec 48 Drink greedily 50 Cavity (anat.) 54 Under cover, perhaps 56 Devoted follower 57 First man 59 Corrida cheers 60 “Wild Goose Jack” 62 Author Nino ___

65 N.S. site of Alexander Graham Bell Museum 67 Sleigh 69 Summer time in Ont. 70 Golfer Lorie 71 B.C.’s flower: ___ dogwood 74 Inuit’s inner parka 77 ___ of Girls and Women (Munro) 80 Small drink 81 Drops the ball 83 Strike-caller, briefly 85 Edible seaweed 86 Lukewarm 88 Single entity 90 Lawn locale 92 Roguish 93 Bill 95 Once again 97 Dry: prefix 99 Flower ___ 102 Brewer’s vessel 104 Goddess of Earth 106 Actress Molly (“Last Wedding”) 110 Devon river 111 Blue flag 113 Cabbage cousin 115 Sesame plant 116 Protective bar 119 Sets of equipment 121 Trade agreement, for short 122 Between gigs 123 Some bodies, for short


124 Beige 125 More than 126 Brooding spot 127 Magician’s stick 128 Not an option 129 Infamous fiddler DOWN 1 Greek marketplace 2 Angered 3 Bow of silent movies 4 Putting money away 5 Friend 6 Love symbol 7 Like Edouard Beaupré from Willow Bunch 8 African expedition 9 The classifieds 10 Latticework 11 Southerly Scottish island 12 Played a fish 13 Salmon ___, B.C. 14 Ballpark 15 Bitterly pungent 16 Calibrate anew 24 Standoffish 26 Clothing 28 “___ du pays, c’est votre tour ...” (Vigneault) 32 Baby bovine 34 Persian Gulf person 38 Largest Arctic mammal 40 Josh 42 Irritating sort (var.) 43 Uncle ___

44 Geisha’s sash 45 Camera accessory (2 wds.) 47 Single: prefix 49 Chatter 51 Arm coverings 52 Dry (wine) 53 Inquire 55 Mark the boundaries of 58 Scientist who discovered genes for T-cell receptor 61 He drops the puck 63 Stopping 64 Winnipeg summer time 66 Indian lentil 68 Pass away 71 Victoria summer time 72 “___ we there yet?” 73 French vineyard 75 Author Vanderhaeghe 76 Giant film technology 78 Extension 79 Secret agent 82 Cellular letters 84 Get ready, quickly 87 Dickens’ Copperfield 89 Tropical wood 91 Colourless 94 Wheeled cart 96 Lose strength 98 State south of B.C. 99 First Quebec woman in House of Commons 100 Ooze out 101 Gives out cards

103 Coronet 105 She went down the rabbit hole

107 Jack 108 Go into 109 Nostalgic style

112 Indication 114 To be (Fr.) 117 Soften (flax)

118 Drug of the 60’s 120 South (Fr.)

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) You’re the first sign in the Zodiac and like to take the lead wherever you go. But this time, you’d be wise to follow someone who has much to teach you. TAURUS (APRIL 20 TO MAY 20) Your adversary hasn’t given up trying to undermine you at your workplace. Continue to stay cool — someone in authority knows what’s happening. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) Spring debuts with a positive aspect for relationships. Paired Twins grow closer, while the single set finds new romance — perhaps with a Leo or Libra. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

Wavering aspects this week mean weighing your words carefully to avoid misunderstandings. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUG. 22) You could soon be on a new career path in pursuit of those long-standing goals, but don’t cut any current ties until you’re sure you’re ready to make the change. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) A former colleague wants to reestablish an old professional connection. It would be wise to make the contact, at least until you know what he or she is planning. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT.22) A relationship that survived some rocky moments could be

facing a new challenge. Deal with the problem openly, honestly and without delay. Good luck. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) A recent and much-appreciated change in the workplace inspires you to make some changes in your personal life as well. Start with a plan to travel more. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC. 21) A friend needs your kind and caring advice, but you need to know what he or she is hiding from you before you agree to get involved. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) Your circle of friends continues to widen. Expect to hear from someone in your past who hopes to re-establish your once-close relationship.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) Your aspects favor the arts. Indulge in whatever artistic expression you enjoy most. A workplace situation will, I’m pleased to say, continue to improve. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) Warning! Your tendency to let things slide until the last minute could have a negative effect on a relationship that you hope can develop into something meaningful. YOU BORN THIS WEEK You are both emotional and sensible. You enjoy being with people. Good career choices include teaching, performing and the clergy.

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 SOLUTION ON PAGE 30

MAY 7, 2006



MAY 7, 2006

MAY 7, 2006

Ask the other guys how works. Then, come ask us. We’ll give you the real answer!



MAY 7, 2006

MAY 7, 2006



MAY 7, 2006

Gone Paul Smith

Solutions for sudoku on page 24

Clippers are no longer punching bags By Dave Feschuk Torstar wire service Solutions for crossword on page 24


t has been true since May 1, and yet it’s still hard to believe. The Los Angeles Clippers, the punch lines formerly known as the Paper Clips, are headed for the second round of the NBA playoffs, this only six years after they were dubbed “The Worst Franchise in Professional Sports” by no less an authority than Sports Illustrated. It was the same esteemed magazine that wrote in 2000: “The Clippers must lose so we can be reminded that there isn’t always a light at the end of the tunnel, there isn’t necessarily redemption, and there might not be a next year.” And now, indeed, the Clippers have won and in doing so proved — in a spring that should give hope to every fan of every moribund and mismanaged outfit in Toronto and elsewhere — that there is a light. There can be redemption. And there’s no reason why it can’t come this year. L.A.’s five-game victory over the discordant Denver Nuggets in their first-round playoff series marked an incredible turnaround. The Clippers, whose regular-season winning percentage in franchise history is .364, had missed the playoffs the previous eight years. And they hadn’t won a playoff series in 30 years, since they were named the Braves and resided at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium, playing some of their home games at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Clippers are controlled by the man widely regarded as the NBA’s cheapest owner, the infamous Donald T. Sterling, a real estate developer who has often run his team with the budget of a slumlord. They had the saddest excuse for a general manager, Elgin Baylor, who’d had the job since 1986 and done nothing to deserve it (and yet could always blame the problems on Sterling’s thrift). They had a lamentable rotating cast of underachieving players, including a group that lost an NBA-record 17 consecutive games to begin the 1999 season and, the way Raptors assistant coach Jim Todd tells it, cared only a little about winning Game 18. So how do you explain the current prosperity? You start, really, in the summer of 2004, when Elton Brand, the Clippers’ star power forward and team leader, was testing the market as a restricted free agent. Brand was seemingly bound for the big-spending Miami Heat, who signed him to a six-year, $82 million (all figures US) offer sheet. The Clippers, who had never before been known for forking over serious dough to keep their best players, unexpectedly matched the contract and retained Brand’s services. And the upswing hasn’t abated. The hulking Brand, who slimmed down 20 pounds at coach Mike Dunleavy’s behest and still weighs in around 254 pounds, is an all-star. The Clippers’ $50.5 million payroll is still 26th in the 30-team league. But Sterling has been convinced enough of the benefit of spending that the Clippers signed shooting guard Cuttino Mobley to an off-season contract last summer. Mobley has meshed nicely with starting point guard Sam Cassell, landed in an off-season trade. These days, the Clippers are perhaps the best team in L.A., awaiting the winner of the firstround series between their Staples Centre co-tenants, the vaunted Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns. Southern California’s optimists are already dubbing the prospective one-town matchup the Hallway Series. But improbable has been trumping impossible this spring. How else do you explain the respective wives of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the old nemeses who recently recommenced a public friendship, giving birth to daughters within six minutes of each other? How else do you explain that the Paper Clips finally are looking good on something other than paper?

MAY 7, 2006


fishin’ Much has changed in 30 years — there are few bamboo poles to be found, and regulations are stricter — but the joy of trouting remains


was late leaving my stuffy, nowindow office last evening. The day’s brisk south-west wind had subsided and the air hung warm and still. The cab of my truck had jealously retained all the heat it could from the precious sunny spring day I had missed. I opted for natural air conditioning. As I passed Long Pond on the Veteran’s Highway the smell of spruce and fir filled my senses. All I could think of was trouting. There are many fish to catch and many ways to catch them; just watch the Sunday TV angling shows. You can go after bonefish on the Florida Keys, fly-fish for Atlantic salmon in Labrador or Quebec’s Gaspé, or

PAUL SMITH The Rock Outdoors maybe B.C.’s feisty steelhead are your passion. These angling experiences are grand, but also sophisticated. They require expensive specialized equipment, and lure deep-pocketed devotees far from home. Few of us can afford such excessive recreation — at least not often. Trouting is simple. At least it starts out simple. It was trouting stripped of anything unessential that I was thinking of on the drive home, trouting in

Don Cherry can play for my team By Vinay Menon Torstar wire service

the raw. All you need are a few worms, a bamboo pole, some nylon line, and a few hooks. On an evening like this one 30 years ago I was probably trouting in the raw. Our school in Spaniard’s Bay lacked effective curtains. The sun roasted us during last class as we listened to our monotonous history teacher drone on about Philip’s invasion of England. A note circulated, undetected by our teacher’s glances above his bifocals. The plans were laid for an evening of trouting at Three Corner Pond. I got home just as Mom was taking a batch of bread out of the oven, what luck. “Mom, me and the b’ys are going trouting, pack me a lunch.” She wasn’t surprised. I wolfed down a fresh slice of bread coated with molasses and butter while Mom made my trouting lunch: bologna sandwiches and a bottle of orange drink. I bolted through the door, followed by my mother saying something about being careful and supper in the oven. My bamboo was tied up to the beams out in the shed, rigged and ready to go. My old basket was hung on a nail, just as smelly as I left it. Away I went down the road to meet my buddies, last year’s knee rubbers just a little tight, 15-foot bamboo over my right shoulder, fishing basket full of lunch dangling on a wellworn leather strap. There was a spring in my step and life was good.

I met Danny and Gary by the foot of Perry’s Hill where we would take a shortcut to New Harbor Road and on to the pond. Danny had a new spinning rod, but Gary and I allowed we could catch more on the old reliable bamboo. It was a numbers game in those days. About half an hour later we left the road and trudged though the woods to what we considered a remote fishing hideaway. How the world gets bigger and more complex with age. We arrived at Three Corner Pond full of sweat and anticipation. Trout were taking mayflies off the still surface. At least I know now they were mayflies — then they were just flies. We were just simple worm drowners, no pondside entomology for us. The air was sweet, a damp mix of pond lilies, bog, spruce, fir, and a hint of bologna sandwich. I cast, or should I say slung, my offering into the murky water. I slowly lifted the tip of the pole, tantalizingly moving the bait, while I intently watched the point where my black nylon line disappeared into the water. Any unnatural motion of the line would indicate a bite. I had advanced beyond the bobber several years before, causing my father to beam with pride. The line shot to the right and my arms swung skyward. A plump mud trout went flying back into the bushes.

I hunted him down and tucked my prize into my basket, alongside my lunch. On that fine evening, the trout were plentiful. We were probably the first to fish there that year. We all caught our two-dozen bag limit before dark, trout for supper tomorrow night. Calling it quits was difficult but dad had warned me about poaching and greediness. As the sun dipped below the trees we ate our lunches, seated side by side on a mossy bank. We swatted black flies and chatted about whatever young boys chatted about 30 years ago. I hardly remember. Much has changed. Bamboo poles are rare but that’s OK, Danny got his quota on his new spinning rod. Gary and I adopted the new technology shortly after. The trout still swim in Three Corner Pond; I had a fine day fishing the mayfly hatch there last summer. Fishing regulations have certainly changed; kids fishing from April 15 to May 15 will find themselves in trouble with Fisheries and Oceans. I hope the spring closure is absolutely necessary and justifiable for conservation. I certainly wouldn’t remember a video game from 30 years ago. Paul Smith is a freelance outdoor writer living in Spaniard’s Bay, enjoying all the outdoors Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer.

Try to keep your eye on the ball.


od bless Don Cherry. Yes, invoking the Almighty in a dispatch about one of Canada’s most demonized celebrities is sure to rankle. But when airwaves are dominated by hockey, as now during the NHL playoffs, it’s hard to ignore the obvious: Cherry remains this country’s most engaging TV personality. I know, I know. To some — including many of my friends and colleagues — Cherry is a national disgrace, a buffoon in garish suits who sullies the CBC’s reputation with his antiquated rants. He doesn’t belong on television, they contend. He embodies everything that’s wrong with the game. Over the years, I have tried to understand this virulent anti-Cherryism. I have attempted to investigate Coach’s Corner for evidence that would suggest the man is, in fact, a raving lunatic. Alas, each investigation ends the same way: I like him even more. Television is a medium that rewards insincerity and trucks in hypocrisy. It’s a business given to craven pandering. So over the past 25 years, Cherry has become a hero by simply saying what he means and meaning what he says. In other words: speaking the truth. Take last week’s Coach’s Corner, in which Cherry criticized Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators. Neil was branded “Tommy Turtle” for cowering after Tampa Bay’s Chris Dingman started throwing punches. “Kids, it’s no disgrace not to fight, don’t get me wrong,” said Cherry, looking rather Fortune 500 in a black pinstripe suit and red tie. “You don’t have to fight. But don’t go around looking for trouble … and then turtle.” As Cherry was talking — and, presumably, a torchbearing mob was gathering in downtown Ottawa for vengeance — I found myself standing up and muttering, “Yes! Exactly! Totally! Right on, Don!” Cherry, once again, was the only analyst brave enough to say what many viewers were thinking. I watched that game between Ottawa and Tampa. Neil was running players, talking trash, issuing threats, smirking at the Tampa bench, taking cheap shots during scrums. Then, when Dingman comes calling, he responds by kissing the ice? Disgraceful. Cherry’s follow-up comments about the Sens’ Zdeno Chara — a 6-foot-9 behemoth who singled out the smaller Vincent Lecavalier to fight — were also spot-on. In case you missed all of this, I was going to direct you to the Coach’s Corner archive on Alas, each segment is ruined by a full-screen message that pops up every time Cherry and Ron MacLean discuss game footage: “The rights to this NHL video clip are owned, or have been secured, by another party. As a result, CBC is not authorized to display this clip at this time.” What the hell? As it was explained to me, can’t show highlights. This seems somewhat scandalous given the profile the NHL gets in this country via the national broadcaster. Anyway, Cherry’s comments did not sit well with Ottawa fans. Radio shows fielded angry calls. Newspapers ran scornful letters. And Sens coach Bryan Murray said Neil did not fight Dingman because of team policy. “The rule is clear,” he said, with a straight face. “When we’re ahead by two, you’re not allowed to accept a fight, whether you’re challenged or not.” Right. I glanced at this season’s box scores and found several games where Ottawa players — including Neil — dropped the gloves when the Sens enjoyed a two-ormore-goal lead. Cherry has a legion of haughty detractors, no question, including some who work at the CBC. But I’m reminded of something he said in 1992, during an appearance on Friday Night With Ralph Benmergui: “So this is what Coach’s Corner supports, eh?” he said, glancing around the set. “All this?” Cherry was joking. But, again, it was the truth. By now, you’re probably wondering if I have finally lost my mind. Shouldn’t a pipsqueak TV critic with a funny name stay clear of this subject? Why on earth am I devoting an entire dispatch to Grapes? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. But for the past few days, I’ve been feeling something I have felt, on and off, since I was a kid: a deep admiration for Donald Stewart Cherry.





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Reaching the masses Provincial sport associations welcome tax credit announced in last week’s federal budget By Bob White For The Independent


Photos by Paul Daly/The Independent

port governing bodies in this province welcome the federal government’s new children’s fitness tax credit. The program, announced in last week’s budget, could encourage more physical activity among children across the country. In a nutshell, the initiative will allow parents to claim up to $500 (per child) in fees associated with having children participate in a sport or physical activity. “Definitely, it’s good news,” says Troy Croft, executive director with Sport Newfoundland and Labrador. “It helps us with our mandate, which is to increase participation of youth in physical activity. Certainly, this will make it more affordable.” Croft says he was expecting some good news from the budget, and while he wouldn’t go so far as to say it was everything he had hoped for and more, he feels it is a step in the right direction. “We had some idea, from correspondence with national groups, that there was going to be some focus switching towards the recreational athlete,” Croft says. “The federal government seems to have gotten the message in terms of providing more support for the elite athletes, so it was good to see more funding in this area which reaches more.” Croft says the federal “getting to the podium” model has worked in recent years. Elite athletes have achieved considerable success on

an international level, most notably in the recent Winter Olympics where Canada had its best-ever showing. With increased attention on the average minor athlete, Croft hopes Canadians can make a significant move away from their current designation of being among the most unfit people in the developed world. Croft referred to Sport Matters, a national lobbying group that has been working diligently in recent years to impress the importance of sport on the federal government. The group has done extensive lobbying, requesting the federal government keep its election promise to direct at least 1 per cent of the health budget to sports and physical activities. More work needs to be done, but Croft feels this new plan is a good indication of government’s willingness. Encouraging kids who may not have participated in sport is one thing, but for those parents who have children involved on a yearround basis, this new program is welcome news. For years, minor hockey has been knocked as the most expensive sport. While hockey has been most costly in the past, these days, as other sports begin offering programs 12 months of the year, the gap between the cost of hockey and other sports is narrowing. Craig Tulk, executive director of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, is hoping the federal tax credit will mean a spike in registration numbers for an organization that has over 8,000 children

registered throughout the province. “Any financial support that our members can take advantage of is always beneficial,” Tulk tells The Independent from HNL’s office in Grand Falls-Windsor. “It’s great that government is recognizing how important sport is.” Bill Murphy, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association, which has a youth membership of some 6,000, was equally happy to hear the news. He says he likes the fact the program does not only target athletes who compete on provincial or all-star teams. “When you can reach the masses, that is where it makes a difference,” Murphy says. “If this program is open to club teams, school teams and any other grassroots group, it will reach more.” According to the federal finance website, “to be eligible for the credit, fees must be paid in respect of eligible expenses in an eligible program of physical activity.” Eligible expenses include everything from the cost of instruction to equipment to facility rentals to paying for referees and trophies. And for the “eligible program of physical activity,” the government gives an inclusive and wide-ranging definition: “an ongoing program suitable for children in which substantially all of the activities undertaken include a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to one or more of cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and balance.”

Let’s try this again … M

y picks for the first-round of the NHL playoffs were a little off, at least in respect to my picks for the western conference. Of the four series out west, I did not get one right. Not one. That hurts, especially since I had Dan Cleary’s Red Wings pegged for a trip to the final. However, there is a silver lining, I suppose, as my favourite team from my early years, the Edmonton Oilers, are moving on at Detroit’s expense. Bittersweet, I guess. I was really looking forward to the Battle of Alberta, but of course the Calgary Flames screwed that up by losing to Anaheim in game seven. On home ice. Ouch. It would have been a chore to stay up and watch those games, but they would have made for great action. Now, the Oilers face the San Jose Sharks, the only successful pick I made in the first round out west. If Dwayne


Four-point play Roloson plays like he did against Detroit, I think Edmonton can move on. My pick is the Oil in six. Anaheim, as the fifth seed, the highest ranked team left in the western conference, gets home-ice advantage over the Colorado Avalanche. Kudos go out to Jose Theodore, who was the difference against Dallas in the first round. If he keeps it up, Colorado will be a force. My pick: Avalanche in seven. Closer to home in the eastern conference, I had much more success — a sweep. The team I still feel has the best chance of winning it all, depending of course on the continued strong goaltending of Ray Emery, the Ottawa Senators look poised to go deep.

They simply ran over Tampa Bay in a couple of games, and while they will have a tougher time against the Buffalo Sabres, I expect the Sens to take it in six. However, this series should be entertaining to watch. The Senators possess too much offensive talent that just seems to be clicking right now. And they also have in my mind the best four defensive rotation in the league. The Carolina Hurricanes overcame a rough start to win four straight and send Michael Ryder and the Habs packing for the summer, but they will not be so lucky against the New Jersey Devils. Martin Brodeur is playing like, well, Martin Brodeur and surely Carolina did not have such goaltending to contend with against Montreal. The Devils are getting enough scoring and are playing with a confidence that can only come from playing in front of a netminder like Brodeur. My pick: New Jersey in five. •••

On to some more playoff action, but this time basketball. A self-confessed basketball fan, I’m enjoying the first round of the playoffs in a big way. Not only are there many overtime games, but there have been some standout individual performances. LeBron James’ first playoff has been a great ride so far, with the Cleveland Cavaliers looking like a good bet to advance past the Washington Wizards. It’s downright scary how good James is at such a young age, and even if the Cavs fail to reach the second round, this has been a positive growth experience for him, which should put fear throughout the rest of the league. Shaq and Dwayne Wade in Miami have not hit their stride yet, but if the big man plays as he has in past playoffs, look for Miami to battle Detroit for the eastern conference crown. Detroit will get at least that far, and Miami will have to rely heavily on their two superstars to beat the Pistons, a

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team in the truest sense of the word. Out west, I hope that by the time you read this, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are out of the picture and Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns are into the second round. Bryant is immensely talented, but he’s got an ego to match and there’s something about the guy that drives me crazy. It seems to be more about him than the team. Nash has had a few hiccups against the Lakers, but he’s been masterful in leading the undermanned and undersized Suns. He’s being tabbed as the winner of the second straight league MVP award, but you wouldn’t know from listening to him talking. Kobe, on the other hand, said he would vote for himself. Enough said. In the end, I’m picking Detroit to advance in the east, and while I would love to see the Suns rise all the way out west, I’m going with a surprise pick, Nash’s old team the Dallas Mavericks.

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