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VOL. 4 ISSUE 19 —





Royal Newfoundland Regiment on parade

Ian Moores to coach national ball hockey team

No go for Inco

‘We need a complete overhaul’


Sources say processing plant may end up in Argentia despite company’s plans

Ottawa to introduce new fisheries act this spring; Hearn says unprocessed fish should stay





rgentia — and not Long Harbour — may be back on as the site for a plant to process ore from the Voisey’s Bay mine in northern Labrador. Officials of Inco Ltd., owner of the Labrador nickel deposit, decided earlier this year to rule out Argentia as a potential site, after reviewing environmental, engineering and operating factors at the former U.S. naval base. They planned instead to look at Long Harbour, 15-kilometres away. Soon after, the province sent a list of questions to Inco concerning its decision. The company fired off the answers to the province in recent weeks, and Natural Resources Minister Ed Byrne met May 11 with the company and various stakeholders. A spokeswoman for his office said Friday the minister will have more to say next week. “He’s going to follow the process and he’s not going to say anything until that is complete.” Sources say Byrne wasn’t pleased with Inco’s answers. “They didn’t fly,” the source said. “The reasons weren’t valid.” Contacted Friday, Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan said he had been given the impression the switch to Long Harbour was off, “that government was resisting the move.” Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company, a subsidiary of Inco, officially opened a demonstration plant in Argentia in October, 2005. Inco officials have said one problem with building a permanent plant in Argentia would have been the need to route a waste pipeline through protected watersheds. When he and other area stakeholders met with Byrne recently, Hogan says he indicated Argentia was still a viable option. “We had several questions on the disposal of the waste and the risk to our water supply,” he says. “We didn’t think they were insurmountable risks, and we stressed that.” In its agreement with the province, Voisey’s Bay Nickel promised to build a hydrometallurgical plant, or failing that, a conventional refinery. Argentia was selected in the late 1990s as the preferred site. In January, VBNC stated the byproduct of hydromet processing will be millions of tonnes of chemical residue, more than Argentia could See “Hydromet,” page 2

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I’ve got to see what happens with Mr. Williams. He’s going right off the deep end with ‘It’s going to be our project.’ He can’t forget Quebec. He can’t do it without Quebec.” — Dave Hunt, a past president of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce. See page 5 Brazen . . . . . . . . . . Noreen Golfman . . Food column . . . . . The Professionals. Crossword . . . . . . .

$1.50 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $2.00 RETAIL (HST included)

10 19 20 23 24

anada’s minister of Fisheries and Oceans grew up around the wharves of Renews on the Southern Shore, but Loyola Hearn says he’s never seen the fishery in the desperate state it’s in today. He quotes a fisherman from Placentia, who told him once “the fishery of the future is a thing of the past.” “He was right,” Hearn tells The Independent. “There are probably still too many boats and probably too many people.” There are definitely fewer fish. According to documented reports of the day, groundfish quotas in the northwest Atlantic in 1973/74 — 20 years after the federal government assumed responsibility of the fishery from Newfoundland — totalled roughly 830,000 tonnes. That compares to a total groundfish quota in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador today of 44,000 tonnes. Groundfish include bottom-dwelling species such as cod, flounder, redfish and turbot. The cod quotas alone in 1973/74 came in at 485,000 tonnes, compared with 18,000 tonnes this year. The 2006 groundfish fishery is estimated to have an export value of $107 million. That compares to an estimated export value of the 1973/74 groundfish fishery of $2.5 billion (converted to 2004 dollars). Critics of Fisheries and Oceans have condemned the department for failing to institute a groundfish recovery plan — 14 years after the northern cod moratorium was first introduced. Fish being caught today are also smaller than ever. Species such as redfish are regularly shipped to China for processing because the fish are too small to be processed economically by traditional methods here in the province. “If you’re catching fish too small to process, to me it’s too small to catch,” Hearn says. “No. 1, we shouldn’t be sending an ounce of anything out of this province.” The minister says the state of the fishery today isn’t a result of a shortage of fish, although he acknowledges extreme damage has been done. “We need a complete overhaul,” Hearn says. “I think the resource is there still to create a lot of work.” To that end, he says the federal Conservative government will be introducing a new fisheries act this spring. “There will be no doubt who owns what … who’s Suzanne Morgan and her 11-month-old grandson, Marcus.

‘This is our family’ Mother’s Day holds different meanings, especially for mothers who put their children up for adoption

By Pam Pardy Ghent For the Independent


s Mother’s Day approaches, Ester Stewart, 56, of St Bernard’s on the Burin Peninsula tries not to let it consume her thoughts. This is Stewart’s 36th Mother’s Day — not that she’s counting — without her first child, a daughter given up for adoption to a family in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Stewart is busy this time of year, lobster

See “It’s just not on,” page 2

Paul Daly/The Independent

fishing with her husband Richard, and she talks as often as possible to her secondborn, Kelly, living in Medicine Hat, Alta. But no matter how busy she keeps herself, she admits to being painfully aware that this Sunday morning something, or someone, is missing. “Whenever I get a long distance call I think it might be her,” Stewart says quietly as she takes refuge from her fishing duties See “I used to wonder,” page 10


I.Q. rising …national Mensa convention coming to town LIFE 17

The 2006 Arts & Letters Awards BUSINESS 21

Another look at the upper and lower Churchill projects


MAY 14, 2006

Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan by the Inco demonstration plant last January.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Hydromet plant carries $1 billion price tag From page 1

Terrace on the Square, Churchill Square Store Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00am to 5:30pm Phone: 754-9497

handle. At the time, VBNC said they hoped that a processing plant would be operational by 2011. The construction carries a $1 billion price tag.

Felix Collins, Tory MHA for Placentia-St. Mary’s, had little to say on negotiations with Inco, other than to confirm they’re ongoing. “I’m certainly not prepared to say at this stage what the aim or the results of the process is,” he says. “Hopefully of the next two or three

weeks, the process will be unfolding.” Collins does say “there’s a strong element in the Placentia area that would like to see it stay in Argentia.”

Loyola Hearn

‘It’s just not on anymore’ From page 1 responsible for managing what and how quotas can be transferred and all this kind of stuff,” Hearn says, adding the new act will “clean up some of the under-the-table dealings that we’ve had in the past … so the mess we’re in will eventually be cleared up.” Hearn says marketing efforts to promote Canadian fish must be improved. He describes Canada’s fishery as “fragmented,” with no real co-ordination between the Atlantic provinces, B.C., and Nunavut. He attended the recent Boston Seafood Show, where countries such as Ireland, Thailand and China had beautiful displays, “much more organized than we are, and some of what they were showing, of course, was our product.” Ironically, Hearn says the Canadian government helped develop the fish processing industry in countries such as China through development grants. China now has state-of-the-art plants where employees earn between 25 cents and 64 cents an hour. Local fish plants got by for years by importing cod from the Barents Sea north of Russia. “China is buying up practically all the Barents Sea cod,” Hearn says. “We’re getting shafted in every way.” As for the future of the fishery, Hearn says he’s the “eternal optimist. “We’re either going to save the fishery and try to build it a bit or we’re not. But a lot of what has to be done has to be done on shore in relation to the number of plants.” Fish processing falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, as opposed to harvesting, which is Ottawa’s responsibility. Hearn says the processing sector has to be better regulated. “How much crab is wasted every year just by trucking it around and wasting it with poor quality? “The whole thing from top to bottom needs revision. And when you’re competing with Iceland and China and places where a lot of time and effort and money is put in top-notch plants and modern equipment and we’re still going with what we did 20 years ago in the same fashion … it’s just not on anymore.”

MAY 14, 2006


SCRUNCHINS A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia


e begin this week in the offices of The Independent. Stephanie Porter and Alisha Morrissey won an Atlantic Journalism Award May 7 in Halifax under the category continuing coverage for their series of stories on the Melina and Keith II tragedy. The fishing boat went down Sept. 12 last year in Bonavista Bay, claiming the lives of four of the eight fishermen aboard. “From a strong field of contenders, this entry stood out for its compassion and its ability to personalize the fishing tragedy that rocked the small Newfoundland community last year and resulted in the deaths of four local residents,” the judges said. “We noted the superb description and handling of quotes and dialogue in Ms. Porter’s first story with the youngest survivor and his mother. This was a story that stayed with us long after we’d finished reading the stories.” Porter was also nominated in the feature writing category for A survivor’s story. NO FOOLIN’ AROUND The lower Churchill was back in the news this week with news that Premier Danny Williams has decided the province will handle the development on its own. Of course, it’s impossible to mention the lower Churchill without thoughts of the infamous upper. Ambrose Peddle was a member of the official opposition in 1968 when then-premier Joey Smallwood pushed the House of Assembly to approve the recently negotiated deal — quickly, without fuss. Peddle told The Independent in December that everybody was so overjoyed to have a deal, they didn’t even argue. “We were in our office waiting for the afternoon session and who Ambrose Peddle but Mr. Smallwood should come up to visit us and he said ‘Gentlemen, I have a proposition. I have a deal on the Churchill Falls, but it’s going to call for quick agreement from the opposition, no fooling around.’ And there wasn’t a man there that didn’t approve of it.” GRAND OLD FALLS Churchill Falls was actually known as Grand Falls until it was renamed in 1965 in honour of Winston Churchill. The falls were first explored in 1839 by John McLean, a trader with the Hudson Bay Company. Churchill Falls is 245 feet high, compared to Niagara Falls (186 feet) and Confederation Building (192 feet). According to volume three of the Book of Newfoundland, the length of transmission line required for the upper Churchill project was 25,000 miles. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,902 miles. TOP CEOS Atlantic Business Magazine came out Friday with its 8th annual Top 50 CEO award winners, with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians taking eight spots. On the list, in alphabetical order: Jerry Byrne, president of D.F. Barnes Group; Allison R. Chaytor-Loveys, CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union; Debbie Hanlon, owner, Coldwell Banker Hanlon; Christopher Hickman, chair and CEO of Marco Group of Companies; Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University; Wayne Moore, president of Millennium Group; Stephen O’Reilly, CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information; and Judy SparkesAxel Meisen Giannou, president of Maxxim Vacations. COME HOME AGAIN The year 2006 represents the 40th anniversary of Come Home year, when thousands of ex-pats were encouraged to return home. The event marked the first sign of a formal arts policy in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website, Come Home Year achieved two things: “it created an irrevocable link between funding and the arts, and it reinforced the idea of a distinctive Newfoundland culture that could be displayed and marketed.” A special front licence plate was also issued during Come Home Year. It read (you guessed it), “Come Home Year.” Other memorable plates over the years included “Canada’s Happy Province” (1968); “The Mighty Churchill” (1969) and “A World of Difference” (1993). MERCY, MERCY Sister Kathrine Bellamy has written a book on the history of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland, Weavers of the Tapestry. It has some fascinating parts, including a quote by Catherine Elizabeth McAuley, founder of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, who reportedly had this to say, “Whoever could take tea without milk would go (to Newfoundland) as superior.” The sisters arrived in St. John’s in 1842 and the superior was M. Francis Creedon. No word on how she liked her tea. MURPHY’S LAW Rex Murphy has a great column in the latest edition of Newfoundland Quarterly where he had this to say about Pamela Anderson and her protest again the seal fishery: “Pamela Anderson knows less about seals than they know about her.”

Head games Some of Canada’s smartest people will be in St. John’s next weekend By Craig Westcott The Independent


he mean I.Q. of St. John’s should enjoy a bump up next weekend as Mensa Canada holds its annual convention in the city. But don’t be fooled by the stereotype. Just because the members of the organization have an intelligence quotient in the top two percentile of the country doesn’t mean they are a bunch of geeks. Mensans love to party. “Basically it is meant to be a social club,” says local member Brent Way, an engineer and entrepreneur. “There will be time for serious discussion. There is a lot of drinking and partying scheduled for the Mensa conference as well. “The primary function of Mensa is to act as a social club where other people of high intelligence can get together and associate with people of like intelligence. It’s not meant to be a serious thing, it’s meant as a chance to socialize with people from other parts of Canada and other parts of the world and show off your hospitality.” The serious side of the agenda, though, is pretty stacked. It includes lectures on the birds of Newfoundland, the island’s unique tectonic composition, icebergs, and hybrid cars. Local engineer Tom Kierans will offer a talk. Dr. Elizabeth Miller will discuss Dracula, real and imagined. And Telegram publisher Miller Ayre has been invited to give a history and speech about the seal hunt. “I’m probably going to have to do security for that, because I’m worried about people getting out of hand,” says one of the conference organizers, who insisted on going by a pseudonym based on the names of porn stars. We’ll call her Xaviera Lovelace.

Local Mensa member Brent Way.

The serious stuff is liberally leavened with pub crawls, belly dancing, cha-cha and waltz lessons and scenic tours. One is being touted the Pervert’s Run Tour. “Imagine a busload of Mensans touring Conception Bay,” the agenda note for it reads. “We’ll be stopping in the towns of Dildo, Spread Eagle and Come by Chance. Have your picture taken with Captain Dildo, or any number of interesting road signs and other sights!” A 24-hour game room at the Battery Hotel conference site will allow Mensans to play Trivial Pursuit and other diversions. Lovelace says she is hoping the conference will attract at least 120 people and be a boon for local restaurants and businesses. So far, people have registered from across Canada and parts of the United States. There’s one registrant from France. “It’s a lot different than a lot of other annual gatherings,” Lovelace says. “We’re really pushing people to get out of the hotel and see what’s around. We really want to show them what Newfoundland’s all about.” Lovelace concedes that some members may be somewhat socially challenged. “I would be less politically correct than that, I would say there are a lot of socially retarded Mensans,” says Lovelace.

“When I was in Grade 4, I was reading full novels and my teacher did not know how to deal with me at all. And the things she did kind of screwed me for a social life for the rest of my life, or until now. She used to compare the other kids to me by saying, ‘Why can’t you read like her?’ It just makes kids hate you.” Has joining Mensa made a difference in her life? “I’m talking to you,” she replies. “I was never able to talk to strangers. I was never social. Now I’m a lot more social, I can get out and talk to other people. I can call people up. Now I travel and I’m meeting all kinds of great people and it’s a lot of fun. You learn a lot. The difference it has made to my social interaction skills has been amazing. Mensa is more about fitting in than it is about being apart.” But not all Mensans are socially-challenged. Way says everyone is unique and he doesn’t think Mensans are any more awkward than anybody else. “Honestly, I think the smarter you are the better you are socially, because you can actually think, you can put together a question and you can respond intelligently when someone says something to you,” he says. This being his first national conference, Way is looking forward to meeting fellow Mensans from across the country. It will also signal a coup for the Newfoundland club, which only started a couple of years ago as an offshoot of the Atlantic Canadian regional body. “After the conference I expect we’ll get a lot of interest in new memberships,” Way says. For more on Mensa Canada, including tests to measure your intelligence quotient, visit


MAY 14, 2006

Up to the task MUN’s hiring regime makes private industry look timid By Craig Westcott The Independent


he next time you get nervous about a job interview, be grateful you’re not applying for a senior position at MUN. Like many academic institutions, Memorial University holds a rigorous and competitive selection process for its leadership roles. That process has been geared up in full the past few weeks as senior staff look over four candidates who have applied to be the university’s next dean of arts. Dr. Eddy Campbell, MUN’s vice president (academic) and the man responsible for overseeing the selection process, understands full well what candidates go through. Two years ago when he applied for the position he now holds, he went through the same thing — two to three intense days of interviews and meetings, highlighted by a public presentation to the campus community at large. “I spent three days at Memorial, two days on the St. John’s campus and one day out at Corner Brook on the Grenfell campus,” Campbell says. “I gave public presentations at both places.” Every person a candidate meets is

encouraged to provide feedback to a selection committee. It’s an unusual evaluation process, Campbell admits, one not normally seen in private industry, but it serves well in the world of academia. The public presentations are meant to give each candidate a chance to sketch her (three of the four candidates for dean of arts are women) vision of where she would like to lead the faculty, what things are important to her, and why she is interested in the job. “I think that’s a very good way of allowing the people who have to work with this individual a view of what they think and how they present themselves,” Campbell says. Even in the case of professorships, the evaluation process is thorough. At one point, candidates have to step in and teach an assigned class to demonstrate teaching ability before a member of the search committee. “We want to have real confidence that we’re getting people who are fully committed to their teaching and research and their service,” Campbell says. “We take this really seriously. We really want a high quality candidate.” Campbell says he’s impressed with the four people being considered for the dean of arts job. None of the candidates currently work at MUN. From the interviews he’s had, Campbell says it’s strik-

Dr. Reeta Tremblay, one of four candidates for dean of arts, gave a public presentation at Memorial University last week. Paul Daly/The Independent

ing how much effort each has put into the task of familiarizing themselves with MUN and its values. “I think it really speaks well of the university that we have these high quality individuals who are taking the whole prospect of becoming dean of arts very seriously,” he says. “And it’s probably the most important appointment that I am going to have to make over my term as vice president. The dean of science will be retiring in the next couple of years and that will be another one … It’s just really important

to have really good leaders.” If everything goes well, the search committee could have a recommendation on the new dean of arts for MUN’s Board of Regents at its May 23 meeting. If not, the preferred candidate’s name will be proffered to the regents at their meeting in July. “I think it’s the right way for our environment,” Campbell says of the evaluation regime. “We try to generate as many decisions as we can by consensus, we value collegiality very highly, input from our colleagues is very important.

“It does mean that much of the decision-making at the university, particularly around the academic mission, does tend to be slower than some people are comfortable with. But at the end of the day, I think we get very high quality decisions and our decisions typically have a lot of buy-in from the people who have to implement them. So there are lots and lots of things to like about the way we govern ourselves.”

Local leads

Aboriginal partnerships expected to be key during lower Churchill development By Craig Westcott The Independent


he project hasn’t been sanctioned yet, but members of Labrador’s business community are growing excited about the prospect of getting work on the lower Churchill hydroelectric project. Getting a piece of the action may depend on buddying up with an Aboriginal partner. As was the case with the Voisey’s Bay nickel project, business leaders are expecting the provincial government to make aboriginal business partnerships a big consideration when it comes to letting contracts. “My advice is to come ahead and get an aboriginal partnership,” says Dave Hunt, a past president of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce and a pioneer when it comes to striking business partnerships with aboriginal groups. Hunt owns the biggest office supplies company in Labrador, shipping items throughout the region. He is also a partner with an Innu concern in Mickupishan Moktech Limited. “Mickupishan means rainbow,” says Hunt. “And I’m trying to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” Hunt has been living and doing business in northern Canada for most of his life, the last 35 years in Labrador. On May 12, Hunt and other

stories from here

For Petro-Canada, operating offshore requires the right technology and the right people – like Offshore Installation Manager Eric O’Brien of Cape Broyle. He’s one of 600 people working with the Terra Nova offshore oil field.

Part of your community.

members of the chamber returned from a two-week trip throughout the north trying to line up business contacts and contracts, especially with aboriginal partners, for companies in Goose Bay. “The days of working without the aboriginal partnerships are gone, because this is an aboriginal territory and if you’re going to do business in Labrador you might as well be involved with the aboriginal people,” Hunt says. But he is worried about the lower Churchill project. “The problem we’ve got with the lower Churchill is that it’s probably not going to start until 2008 or 2009,” Hunt said. “I’ve got the big vision but I really don’t know where we’re going to fit into this when it starts. I’ve got to see what turns out from the environmental hearings and that stuff, and I’ve got to see what happens with Mr. Williams. He’s going right off the deep end with ‘It’s going to be our project.’ He can’t forget Quebec. He can’t do it without Quebec.” In announcing last week that Newfoundland intends to develop two new hydro generating stations on the lower Churchill on its own, Williams cautioned that a business case must be made first and the provincial government’s sanctioning of the project is not expected until 2009. That’s when members of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce expect things to really pick up, says executive director Brian Fowlow. He says with the uncertainty surrounding the region’s military base, many business owners are looking for something they can count on. “Our members are looking for something that, down the road, is going to make this place prosperous,” Fowlow says. “The lower Churchill is going to be a big thing for us, definitely.” With that in mind, Happy ValleyGoose Bay is positioning itself as a staging point for the massive construction project. “We’re only 30-odd kilometres away from the site,” Fowlow says. “So we’re hoping they’re not going to bypass us when it comes to procurement and what not.” The Innu, too, are preparing for the project. “Oh absolutely,” says Laura Briesacher, the new manager of the Innu Business Development Centre. “It’s certainly the big talk up here.” Briesacher, however, referred The Independent’s call to a development officer, who referred it to Innu Nation President Ben Michel. He couldn’t be reached for comment. Hunt, meanwhile, says the Innu can’t be left out of the lower Churchill equation. “The Innu have said that ‘If we don’t get looked after on the lower Churchill it isn’t going ahead,’” Hunt notes. “I definitely got to get involved with the Innu because we’re going to be selling a lot of stuff there.”

MAY 14, 2006


Fish out of water Union founder still sitting on FPI’s board By Craig Westcott The Independent


e’s a co-founder of the fishermen’s union, a Roman Catholic priest and a man with a welldemonstrated social conscience. Des McGrath is also the longest serving member on the board of directors of Fishery Products International Limited, a company that in the last five years has garnered a reputation as wanting to abandon rural Newfoundland. How does he reconcile the two? McGrath isn’t saying — yet.

“To be honest with you, I’m not free to be making any comments at this time because I’m on the board of directors and we have an official spokesperson for the board,” McGrath said when contacted at his home in Stephenville last week. “But the minute that I’m off the board, I’ll have all kinds of things to say.” McGrath said he is also hesitant to speak because once he gives an interview, everybody else in the media will expect him to talk too. “And there’s no end to it then,” he said.

McGrath is the only director to have survived the purge inflicted on the old FPI board by Clearwater Seafoods chairman John Risley when he led a hostile takeover of Newfoundland’s flagship seafood company in 2001. According to a recent company circular to shareholders, McGrath has been a director of FPI Limited since 1987. He is listed as owning 1,250 shares in the company. His principal occupation is described as education officer with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers, a job he completed in the early 1990s.


Other Newfoundlanders on the board include its chairman, Rex Anthony of St. John’s, Frank Coleman of Corner Brook and Peter Woodward of Goose Bay. All three men are prominent businessmen. Anthony, a close friend of Risley, runs Anthony Holdings, which has interests in an insurance company, the Terra Nova golf resort, and a real estate company. Coleman runs the Coleman Group of Companies and its chain of supermarkets throughout the island. Woodward is vice-president of the Woodward Group of Companies, which has a fleet of coastal ships serv-

ing Labrador, among other interests. But it’s Fr. McGrath who appears to be the fish out of water on the new board given his union connections and his history as an NDP candidate in a federal election two years ago. McGrath allows people may seem him as an odd duck in the new FPI. “Absolutely,” he said. “I happened to meet some of the crowd from the Burin Peninsula one day and had a chat with them. But you know, there’s no animosity with them with me.”

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The cruise ship season has started with the arrival of Holland-America’s The Amsterdam. Paul Daly/The Independent

MONDAY Vessels arrived: Algoscotia, Canada, from Lewisporte; Shamook, Canada, from sea; Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Terra Nova; Maersk Chancellor, Canada, from Hibernia; ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; George R. Pearkes, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Maersk Nascopie, Canada, to Hibernia; Burin Sea, Canada, to Terra Nova; Oceanex Avalon, Canada, to Montreal; Algoscotia, Canada, to Saint-Pierre; Shamook, Canada, to sea; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, to Conception Bay. WEDNESDAY Vessels arrived: Sound of Islay, Canada, from Ramea; Burin Sea, Canada, from Terra Nova; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from Conception Bay;

Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, from Terra Nova; Maersk Dispatcher, Canada, from Conception Bay. Vessels departed: Atlantic Hawk, Canada, to Conception Bay. THURSDAY Vessels arrived: Cabot, Canada, from Montreal. Vessels departed: Maersk Chancellor, Canada, to White Rose; Maersk Nascopie, Canada, to Hibernia; Marine Voyager, Canada, to Francois; Maersk Dispatcher, Canada, to Conception Bay. FRIDAY Vessels arrived: Amsterdam, Canada, from New York; Cicero, Canada, from Montreal; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from Conception Bay; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, from sea. Vessels departed: Atlantic Kingfisher, Canada, to Terra Nova; Cabot, Canada, to Montreal; Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Canada, to sea; Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Cork, Ireland; George R. Pearkes, Canada, to sea.

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

Growth in the construction and housing sectors.

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

There has been a substantial number of new housing starts in the province because of oil and gas industry activity. That means new business for designers, builders, landscapers, decorators…. The list goes on and on. To learn more please visit

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403, 235 Water Street, St. John’s, NL Canada A1C 1B6 Tel (709) 724-4200


MAY 14, 2006

Go ahead, Quebec … O

f all the news that broke last week, the image that sticks with me most is the hand grenade that shut down St. John’s airport. Did the missus who owned the belt buckle shaped like a bomb actually think it would pass through the Xray without setting off, at the very least, a fashion alarm? You don’t suppose she was foolish enough to pack any T-shirts striped with dynamite sticks or a hairdryer shaped like a .44 Magnum? Most people in their right minds would think twice about carrying a Bazooka bubblegum through an international airport. Only in Town …


Fighting Newfoundlander wouldn’t agree to give the province a piece of the equity pie. Then, this past week, the premier announced his administration intends to go it alone on the lower Churchill development. We’re becoming a lone wolf in the Canadian hinterland, which isn’t so bad compared to the goofy rep we grew up with. Every now and then a mainland columnist makes a remark that shows our new attitude is sinking in upalong. In a Nov. 14 column, The Globe’s John Ibbitson had this to say about us: “The legitimacy of the federal government itself is tenuous. Never mind Quebec: Newfoundland and Alberta are growing increasingly resistive within Confederation, and Ontario is becoming more antagonist than ally.” Sounds about right. But Dirty Dan isn’t near as out there as his Tory predecessor — A. Brian Peckford. It was the upper Churchill contract that drove Peckford off his head. He considered shutting down the

DIRTY DANNY Stories like these are the reason why our reputation needs work. Danny Williams, God love his makeup kit, is trying his best to follow through with an image makeover, although he’d better watch the tough guy act or people will start calling him Dirty Danny, as in “Do you feel lucky ExxonMobil? Well do you?” Clint Williams … now there’s a name for a premier from the rock. Last month, talks between Williams and a consortium of oil companies to develop the Hebron-Ben Nevis offshore oil project broke off after they

hydro project in the early 1980s as a means to seek redress on the lopsided contract with Quebec — a story The Independent broke recently. Frustrated by Quebec’s massive financial gains from the upper Churchill project, Peckford embarked on a mission to renegotiate the terms of the 1969 contract and develop the lower Churchill. “If necessary, and if forced to do so, we will go all the way and risk the consequences no matter how great. After all, nothing could be worse for Newfoundland than allowing the present contractual situation to continue,” read a report prepared by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro for the provincial cabinet in 1982. Another Hydro report from the same era looked into Quebec’s “vulnerability to a total loss of power and energy from Churchill Falls.” In other words, Peckford’s crew gave serious thought to flicking the switch and shutting ’er down. The report’s introduction began with the paragraph, “On a number of occasions the question has been raised as to the dependence of HydroQuebec upon upper Churchill and hence the vulnerability of the province of Quebec should we ‘pull the plug’ at

Churchill. Obviously, the greater their dependence on Labrador power, the greater is our bargaining strength.” The report concluded shutting down the upper Churchill wouldn’t cause Quebec critical electrical problems. The province could draw on other energy reserves and curtail power exports to shield itself from critical electrical problems. The report found that turning off the upper Churchill would hurt Quebec where it hurts most — in the wallet. Shutting down the Churchill plant would cause Quebec to lose “significant” revenue from profitable export contracts, and by substituting more costly power and energy sources for Churchill Falls, the report read. “It is important for Newfoundland to remember, however, that while the province of Quebec may not suffer electrical shortages, someone must,” the report continued. “The customers of the New York/New England area (the heart of the U.S. financial community) as well as Ontario (the heart of Canada’s financial community) will probably bear the brunt of the electrical shortages. “While they will undoubtedly be annoyed at Quebec for cutting their

electrical supplies, they will identify the real villain as the province of Newfoundland. From their perspective, the issue then becomes one of attempting to allocate relative blame between Newfoundland and Quebec; and from our perspective the question becomes — Which province will suffer the greater wrath of the financial communities and what is their relative ability to withstand this added burden?” By all accounts, Williams would have no hesitation taking on Quebec in a fight over the upper Churchill. At the same time, he has to choose his battles carefully or risk being tagged a crazy despot. Quebec will have something to say sooner or later about the premier’s brazen attitude. Our sister province hasn’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for lower Churchill power lines. Quebec will eventually make its demands known. Given how the province has screwed us in the past, they had better be reasonable, although it probably makes no difference to Dirty Danny, who loves a scrap. Go ahead Quebec, make his day.

YOUR VOICE Canada doesn’t start at Toronto Dear editor, Whatever the true reason for Air Canada’s decision to pull its flight from St. John’s to the U.K., there has to be a two-pronged thrust to secure successful future travel across the Atlantic. We obviously need a new carrier. However, the tourist industry itself has to do a better job in promoting the province and ways of getting here. Over many years we have had great trouble with travel agents in Europe directing our friends via Toronto — with no idea there was a direct flight to St. John’s. To many Europeans, Canada starts at Toronto and that is the way to go.

The size of the country is not appreciated and the various provincial facilities are largely unknown. Together with efforts to obtain another carrier, we need to tell the U.K. and Europe how to get here easily. That is surely the job of the provincial tourist industry. In another incident this week unrelated to Air Canada … when I tried to book a hotel room on the Internet I was asked by an employee of the call centre involved the following question, “What province is St. John’s in?” and that was after bringing up a specific hotel website! David C. Prior, Whiteway

Gulf crossing Dear editor, A long day’s drive and once more I find myself sitting in Port Aux Basques awaiting the ferry. As I drove from St. John’s today I thought of how many people have left this place, the number of towns that have vacated as we leave for the mainland. I thought of when my family first made the journey, beginning the migratory process that seems to be inherent in being from here. That was back in the 1950s — first with my grandparents on my Dad’s side, then my Dad, my Mom and I to follow. I eventually made it back to get an education at university and, of course, off again. Now I sit, at 43, leaving once more. I wonder about all the talk of employment here (where?) in oil, or

the simple low-paying service sector where there are low wages, no security and no benefits. I had these thoughts as I drove around to Codroy to see a small town I knew as a kid. The drive from Corner Brook took a day back then, a journey of excitement, fun and meeting family and friends. A beautiful harshness, this province. Today it was one of a cool loneliness, of emptiness, reminding me of a trip up to Sally’s Cove in 1997 to see all the houses boarded up. I wonder this as I prepare to board the ferry once more to cross the Gulf. Same ol’, same ol’. Fred Shanes, Nova Scotia (although his “home” is in St. John’s)

Support the Native Friendship Centre Dear editor, I was surprised and saddened to read Stephanie Porter’s sorry tale (‘Buy me a tent’, May 7-13 edition) on the fate of the Native Friendship Center, which was born amid such hope and enthusiasm just a few short years ago. One wonders why such profitable companies as Voisey’s Bay Nickel,

the Woodward Group and many others cannot find the necessary resources to keep this center running as is really should be. The center performs an invaluable service. The Big Land provides huge profits. Shouldn’t one complement the other? Wayne Norman, St. John’s


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.

PUBLISHER Brian Dobbin EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ryan Cleary MANAGING EDITOR Stephanie Porter PICTURE EDITOR Paul Daly PRODUCTION MANAGER John Andrews • • All material in The Independent is copyrighted and the property of The Independent or the writers and photographers who produced the material. Any use or reproduction of this material without permission is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. • © 2006 The Independent • Canada Post Agreement # 40871083

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

A mother’s worth A

lot of people believe Mother’s Day is a new phenomenon, but such is not the case. Mother’s Day can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. Their day of celebration was in honour of Rhea, the “mother of the gods.” As Christianity grew it became a celebration of the mother church. In the late 15th century it changed again: the English established a Mothering Day, celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The more modern version of Mother’s Day began in 1872 when Julia Ward Howe of Boston, Massachusetts started hosting Mother’s Day meetings in the city. In 1907 Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia started a campaign to have Mother’s Day declared a national holiday, wanting it to be held on the second Sunday in May (the date of her own mother’s death two years earlier). When the late U.S. president Woodrow Wilson officially declared Mother’s Day a national day of recognition in 1914 he ordered it be held on the second Sunday in May. It has remained thus ever since. So, this column is all about mothers, and without getting sentimental, it’s about their worth, not their sentimental or intrinsic value to us, but their economic worth to the community. Did you know Mom has an economic worth? Most of us never think that way, but mother is one hard working gal — work she carries out without pay. So what’s mom worth? Quite a sum of money, according to the website Over the last four months the site studied 200 mothers, all types, those who work at home and those who also work outside the home, extrapolating some interesting figures. For one thing, the average workweek for a Mom is 91 hours. No weekends off, no stat holidays and no 9 to 5. It truly is a dawn-to-dark com-

RANDY SIMMS Guest Column

In this modern era Mom is supposedly getting a financial break from the federal government, thanks to a new $1,200 allowance for families with kids under six years of age. It seems to me that won’t do much for mom. (That $1,200 is even going to be taxed, so it becomes even less.) mitment. According to the website, a mother should be paid $21 per hour or $1,911 per week. ($21 multiplied by 91 hours). That works out to $99,372 a year. It’s a lot of money but consider the job for a minute — no holidays, no vacation, no employment insurance, no Canada Pension Plan and no mommy health plan. Mom even has to take her work with her if she should attempt to go on a holiday. “Mom are we there yet?” I did a little thinking about the subject and have concluded that the website has hit on something worthwhile here. Mom is not a paid employee and she does work a lot of hours. I accept the 13-hour day, but what would mom be worth if she were paid minimum wage? In Newfoundland and Labrador it

would look like this: $6.75 times 91 hours per week equals $614.25 or $31,941 a year. If mom were in a union she could expect a lot of overtime every week. As soon as she crossed the 40-hour threshold her salary would rise to $10.13 per hour. So in local terms mom is worth $40,904.76 a year. Not too bad! Moms who work outside the home face an even more daunting challenge then Moms who stay at home. Striking a balance between the job and the kids is a minefield of guilt, depression, panic and insecurity. Granted, working moms do have Canada Pension and some EI protection if things go wrong, but they put in their hours as a mom after answering to the other boss. While we do see more stay-at-home dads today than ever before, I’m sure most men would not accept this type of work for a mere $41,000 a year. Mom does it for free! For those of us without a mom these days, she did it for us. Call her free labor an investment in her children. I hope we meet her expectations. In this modern era Mom is supposedly getting a financial break from the federal government, thanks to a new $1,200 allowance for families with kids under six years of age. It seems to me that won’t do much for mom. (That $1,200 is going to be taxed back, so it becomes even less.) There is more disturbing news here. There will come a day when mom will watch her children leave the nest, the day when she will be effectively laidoff. She will be declared redundant, downsized and let go faster then you can say “FPI fish plant worker.” She won’t get any severance either — discounting the benefits of this special day. Randy Simms is deputy-mayor of Mount Pearl and host of VOCM’s Open Line.

MAY 14, 2006


Liberals eat their own: a retrospective T

here is an old cliché that claims the Tories always have it out for one another. Like many clichés, there is truth in it, but it is a skewed truth. The fact of the matter is, political parties in opposition often have it out for their leaders. It may seem like the Tories have more bloodbaths, but that’s only because they have been in opposition more. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Liberal Party has a long and colourful history of turning on their own. Jim Bennett is only the latest to take a kick at the cat and get an awful scrawbbing for his troubles. Our august royal representative, Ed Roberts, knows all too well about this. I think he deserves his current gig if only for the aggravation he went through leading the Liberals in the 1970s. Joey Smallwood, when he was finally dragged from the eighth floor, left (besides scratch marks on his desk) a very large hole in the Liberal party. Ed offered himself as the plug. He sat across the floor of the House star-


Rant & Reason ing at Frank Moores and his lot, doing what he could to rally his party, only to see all his work scuppered by Joey’s last hurrah as the leader of the Liberal Reform Party, which split the vote in the 1975 election and guaranteed the re-election of Frank Moores and his Tories. Then out came the long knives, and it was Bill Rowe’s turn to be the bright new hope of the provincial Liberals. Rowe tried his hand at talking back to Frank Moores and his crowd, until Frankie baby announced he had enough of trying to run this place, thank you very much, and resigned to go off and have fun and make a pile of bucks (which, happily, he did). Rowe resigned just before the next election, officially to make way for the “triumphant” return of Don

Barry, who is now a judge (hello Kelvin Parsons). Barry had found the Tory party a little too crowded for both himself and Brian Peckford and decided to do the Liberals a big favour and switch camps. Regardless, the Liberals soon jilted him in favour of Clyde Wells. CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR In Clyde they had a winner, although I am sure a lot of Liberals learned what a lot of current Tories under Danny are now learning: be careful what you wish for. Be that as it may, after two glorious terms in power with Clyde, the Liberals brought Brian Tobin home. After he had his way with us, he left, leaving the Liberals to begin the sad downward spiral that they are just reaching the bottom of (I hope). The lacklustre Grimes administration imploded, and the remnants took a closer look at Gerry Reid, who kept the seat warm until this Jim Bennett guy popped out of nowhere. Reviewing this history I think I can

pronounce, with some authority, that the Liberals have rarely, if ever, been in such a sorry state. In Parsons, we have an Opposition house leader who is so lacking in political acumen that he may have tried to not-so-quietly trade his worthless seat (he ain’t winning it again) for a judgeship. We have a Liberal caucus who apparently had no idea (and didn’t seem to care) who their leader was, and who watched in collective horror as he indulged in policy development in public. Some of them got together to decide what to do with this loose cannon, and he, being a loose cannon, made their minds up for them by asking the premier of the province and, incidentally, the leader of their rival party, to let the public and them know that he was quitting. Ouch. One thing is worth noting about their current state. If no one wanted the leadership before this happened … Ivan Morgan can be reached at


YOUR VOICE ‘Reinforced pride in being a Newfoundlander’ Dear editor, I read your paper every week, albeit online. I am always impressed and awed by the stories you have the guts to print, along with the excellent research and resulting facts included. Thanks for the education and reinforced pride in being a Newfoundlander. I am not normally one to write a letter such as this, however I was inspired just now as I was once again truly impressed with a story of yours. The one on Loyola Hearn (or letter to him, May 7-13 edition by Ryan Cleary) and then when I read through your recent article to the Toronto Star and was literally brought to tears. Great job — you did us proud and in

Jamieson, but also under a dark cloud owing to a controversy surrounding the leaking to the press of a confidential police report. The official line was that Jamieson was going to blow neophyte and scrapper Brian Peckford out of the water. Jamieson had had a long and distinguished career, and this was a very odd and hasty move for him. I remember sitting in Peckford campaign headquarters watching his return on TV, the room silent in bewilderment and fear. His campaign was a disaster. In retrospect I see how sad it was that such a powerful and intelligent politician could have been so humiliated so quickly. Caveat conlegium. The whole Jamieson thing really collapsed after his resounding defeat, and while we all got ready for “have not will be no more,” Len Stirling was chosen by the Liberals as the next sacrificial lamb. He kept the seat warm until he was done in by Steve Neary, who in turn was done in by their next saviour, Leo

my opinion are a great representative to speak for us all. I have just moved to Calgary from Texas for a short work stint until I go home in July for the birth of my second child and I am hoping against hope that I will be able to make it work out back home and be able to provide at least comfortably for my family. After all, if I could wish anything for my kids it is that they will have the opportunity to gain all those down-to-earth beliefs and values that are naturally instilled in most everyone who grew up on our rock. Thanks again and keep it up. Billy Murphy, Calgary

Province should play the (board) game Dear editor, I read Craig Westcott’s excellent article, No dice (May 7-13 edition), about the attempts by Mike Evoy and Hubert Ryall to get government funding for their interesting and probably educational board game, Journey to the Cape, that promotes the history and heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador. While I have not seen the game first-hand, I do see students playing online games in schools and libraries, games that have nothing to do with the province. Perhaps the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development would sponsor such a board game for two simple reasons: first, students need to know more about

Newfoundland and Labrador; second, I’ve noticed good board games and even trivia ones still get students together as a social group and away from the isolated world of computer and head sets. To Hubert and Mike … don’t give up! Do you have any idea, for example, how many coach-tour tourists I sing to each summer that just can’t get enough — not only of our music — but of Newfoundland and Labrador? To the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development: c’mon, give these guys a chance! Mike Madigan, Pasadena

An eye on Newfoundland Dear editor, I read with interest Ryan Cleary’s recent column in the Toronto Star dealing with the history and prospects for the province of Newfoundland. My wife and I have only visited your province once, but we found that the welcome mat was open for visitors. The only disconcerting feature was the “Watch out for Moose” signs! I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and left in 1957. I was pleased to see that both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are developing their oil and gas industries and can no longer be condescendingly referred to as “havenot” provinces. Among “mainlanders” there is a tendency to lump both the Maritimes and Newfoundland together, not realizing the differences in history, political life and culture (although both

had a wood, wind and water economy to some degree). As a Canadian of largely Irish ancestry, I notice from various sources that the Irish settled in Newfoundland much earlier than in Canada and the United States. In my own family, my grandfather had a number of business enterprises, including whaling and sealing. I suppose today that is not fashionable to consider. My mother and one of her sisters both had ships named after them. My grandfather operated his ships on both the East and West coasts. I was pleased to see that Danny Williams is a strong leader and look forward to seeing more progress for your province under his administration. W. J. Curran, Ottawa

Allan Moulton, head of the local union at FPI’s fishplant in Marystown winds up a press conference in St. John’s Friday after contract talks broke off. The Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ union is accusing the company of trying to strip workers’ wages and benefit provisions, including bereavement leave. Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Can’t’ not in premier’s vocabulary Dear editor, I wonder do people realize how fortunate we Newfoundlanders are to have Danny Williams as our premier at a time in our history when greedy people are ready to rape the few resources we have left. Williams said no way to the oil companies that wanted the majority of benefits from Ben Nevis-Hebron; Quebec and Ontario got together and discussed the development of the lower Churchill without Newfoundland present. Williams has taken a firm stand and we have — for the first time in our history — a premier who is capable of standing toe to toe with anybody and taking a firm stand. Newfoundland has been a joke in the international community for almost 60 years. The standard expres-

sion was “If you want a sweetheart deal, go to Newfoundland.” Well the jokes are over. I remember when Roger Grimes was ready to “sweeten the pot” to kick-start Ben Nevis-Hebron. I remember when Grimes was only hours away from signing a lower Churchill deal that would have been another give-away — all just to win an election and hang onto power. Shades of Joey all over again. I remember Grimes criticizing Williams during the last election campaign when Danny said government must be run like a business. Grimes exact words were, “you can’t run government like a business.” Well, will someone please tell me what government is if it is not big business. Williams said we are going to develop the lower Churchill ourselves. The

naysayers are jumping all over the place saying, “It can’t be done by government.” That has been our problem for decades: we gave in too easy and always “let the other guy do it.” North America is energy starved with no light at the end of the tunnel. The lower Churchill has the ability of providing power to 1.5 million homes. I’d venture to say that Williams only has to stay home and answer the phone from customers in Canada and the eastern United States who by now must be lining up for the power in 2015 when it could be on stream. The word “can’t” is not in Williams’ dictionary and I say Thank God to that. Don Lester, Conception Bay South

Thanks for your support Dear editor, Lilies for Lillie 2006 was an outstanding success. When our committee got together back in December, we never imagined we would hit the $10,000 mark, let alone the $13,000 and counting we’ve raised. We would

have never come close to raising that amount without the help of volunteers, sponsors, entertainers and all those who came out to support our event. When Lilies for Lillie was started back in 2003, I thought we might get 12 years out of it. This year, the 3rd year,

I was a little weary about the feedback we would get! Thanks to all of you and your support, we all came together and made it the best one yet! I’m sure Lilies for Lillie 2007 will be arising. Gord Delaney, St. John’s

MAY 14, 2006


MAY 14, 2006


On guard Every Thursday night, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, 1st Battalion, gathers at CFS St. John’s in Pleasantville for their weekly parade. Not a parade in the sense some would expect, says Captain Michael Pretty, “these soldiers are working hard all night.” The evening is all about training, focus, and precise work. Photo editor Paul Daly stopped by to check out the proceedings.

July 1, 1916


ighest on Capt. Michael Pretty’s priority list these days is putting the final touches on a major group trip to France and Belgium to mark the anniversary of Beaumont Hamel. There are hundreds of people going — members of the Regiment, relatives of those who fought the battle, media and documentarians. While there, the regiment will rededicate the five Caribou memorials in France and Flanders and participate in a number of planned events. “It’s a great educational experience for the soldiers,” says Pretty. “Because you say, oh, Beaumont Hamel, 801 soldiers went over the top of the hill, 68 answered roll call a couple days later … but nobody understands

what that means. “But when you go to Beaumont Hamel and you stand on the caribou and you overlook the battlefield and you see the trenches that Newfoundlanders had to go out and go over because they were filled full of the wounded …” In setting up the trip, Pretty travelled to the site for the first time in his life. He found his uncle’s name on the plaque commemorating the Newfoundlanders who were never found. “And I start just crying my ass off,” he says. “That’s the point I want our soldiers to get. To educate the people of this province about what this group of soldiers did and make the rest of Canada aware of what this little dominion did.”

By Stephanie Porter The Independent


apt. Michael Pretty of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment was standing on a wharf recently, getting ready to go scuba diving. He got talking to another guy, who eventually asked Pretty why his hair was cut so short. “I told him I was in the army, and he was like, ‘What? There’s an army in Newfoundland?’” Pretty shakes his head. “It’s like, yes, there are probably 2,000 of us all together — us, the navy reserves, communications reserves, air force reserves, CFB Gander, CFB Goose Bay, both of our battalions … yes, there’s definitely a couple of thousand soldiers in Newfoundland.” Pretty, a unit information officer, makes a striking point: although Newfoundland and Labrador has a rich, respected, and studied military history, the same awareness doesn’t exist about the soldiers of today. With the current Canadian participation in Afghanistan — of which many Newfoundlanders are, or will be, a part, including some reservists — Pretty says interest is starting to grow. Pretty also looks forward to the national spotlight shining on this province July 1, the 90th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont Hamel. Today, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment counts about 190 people in its 1st Battalion, in St. John’s; 2nd Battalion, in Stephenville, Grand Falls-Windsor and Corner Brook has about 160 members. There are also 30 members of the regiment’s band, a 50-person regimental advisory council, and 23 cadet corps across the province. “Membership fluctuates,” says Pretty. “Some years, recruiting is very easy … but then, if the regular army wants a bunch of people, there’s a transfer program so they can go from the regiment to the regular army.

“Sometimes it’s three, sometimes 20, this year we’ve lost a lot to the regular army and we have 21 training for Afghanistan.” Right now, says Pretty, the regiment is trying to recruit and grow. They’ve visited most high schools in the area to talk about the military as a summer job — but before going away, recruits have to do a certain amount of training locally, on Thursday nights and weekends. “There’s not enough time in the summer to (teach) how to walk, talk in a military fashion, tie your shoes, military law, and all the harassment cases and policies and discipline policies because you have to educate them about all that,” says Pretty. “We’d like to start a big course next fall, 50 or 60 people if we could. Usually, there’s 25 or 30 … sustaining our current strength is relatively unproblematic, but growing now is problematic because with the local economy booming, and other jobs …” MORE FEDERAL FUNDS Pretty says he was pleased to hear the Harper government commit more money to the military in the recent federal budget. Not only may that filter down locally to mean more soldiers for the regiment — Pretty says his battalion has an annual budget of about $800,000; they’re hoping for more — but it’s important news for the Canadian Forces as a whole. “You do need proper equipment, especially with things in the world becoming a lot more dangerous for us,” he says. “You do need a better type of vehicle … our personal clothing, our personal weapons, our personal ballistic protective armour is good. “But the more we use it, the quicker it wears out. And now we’re using it, so we need a replacement plan.” Pretty says new soldiers start with individual training. They eventually progress to the next level — “reconnaissance platoons, driv-

ers’ course, support weapons course, machine guns, mortars, anti-armour weapons …” — and then it’s on to collective training, patrolling, urban operations, advance defence, search techniques. “In the unit, our job is to make sure the reserves are up to a task force level of readiness.” A soldier at this level would need six months of full-time training before deployment. The 21 reservists from the 1st Battalion en route to Afghanistan are currently in New Brunswick undergoing this workup training. PUBLIC MISINFORMED While he admits the mission in Afghanistan is dangerous, he says the public is misinformed about what Canadians are doing in the country. “What nobody sees is the rebuilding of the country,” he says. “There are 2,200 soldiers over there, 600 of them are pointing bayonets, hunting down insurgents, (providing) security and force protection. “The other people are building bridges, building roads, building schools, teaching the local people about water purification, demining … but nobody sees that part.” Pretty backs up for a second, then mentions joining the reserves and participating in weekly training does not necessarily mean a trip overseas. Choosing to participate in missions is strictly voluntary, and subject to many checks and clearances. Pretty says being a soldier is one of the few jobs “where part of your job is to willingly put yourself in harm’s way. It’s part of your job. That didn’t happen a lot in my 26 years in the military, but it’s probably more likely to occur now. “Because we have the equipment and the mission to do that — and the people to do that mission.”

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 14, 2006



MCP Re-registration

Change as good as



OR D AN D LA BRAD Medical Care Plan

JANE DOE 0 000 000 000 00 /03/2011 Card Expires: 31 Birth Date 11/11/1966

Gender F

Valid From 01/04/2006

The Department of Health and Community Services is conducting a re-registration of the Medical Care Program (MCP) and is asking all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to register for a new MCP card. Re-registration forms will be sent to each household in the province in the coming weeks. Residents are asked to complete the form and return it to the MCP office (via a self-addressed, stamped envelope). All existing MCP cards will not be valid after April 1, 2007. If you have not received your form in the mail by August 31, 2006, or you have further questions, contact our office at either of the numbers listed below.

Medical Care Plan P.O. Box 8700, Belvedere Bldg. 57 Margaret’s Place St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6

Medical Care Plan P.O. Box 5000 22 High Street Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2Y4



St.John’s / Avalon Region

All other areas including Labrador

Ken Drinkwater

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘I used to wonder who she was’ From page 1 in her tidy kitchen. “Erin Denise Russell, I’ve been trying to find you, I’d just like to see you, to know you are OK.” Mother’s Day makes what’s missing in her life, the daughter born July 19, 1968, much more painful. The Department of Government Services has processed over 630 requests from Newfoundlanders searching for adoption records since the Adoption Act was changed on April 30, 2003. The changes provide more openness and access to information for both parents and children. At that time, very few people wanted their files protected. Since then, 460 applications have been filed by adoptees and birth parents who wish to protect their privacy. While Stewart has managed to obtain information from the agency, nothing she has received has led to any answers. ••• Suzanne Morgan of Upper Gullies seems to have forgotten that Mother’s Day has arrived again, and laughs as she realizes she’ll be working the entire day. In 1999, she found Karen Walker, the daughter she put up for adoption 30 years before, and Morgan’s family of three easily welcomed in their eldest sister and her three children — yet Mother’s Day still has its challenges. “I guess I used to dwell more on the one child missing than the ones I had,” Morgan reflects sadly. She says she welcomed phone calls and warm wishes before and after the second Sunday in May, but not on the day. “I kind of boycotted Mother’s Day in a way I guess, being too busy, not around, but making sure I touched base a few days before.”

Three generations: Suzanne, Marcus and Gillian Morgan.

While nothing was ever officially talked about, Morgan feels her family followed her lead and learned to reach out with cards and flowers the week prior to the official celebration. “It just ended up meaning more to hear from them before, than just on the day,” Morgan says. “To know that I’m a part of their lives, that I’m thought about, and that we have steady communication every day and not that I’m getting a forced phone call based on a calendar day.” While finding and connecting with the daughter she placed up for adoption a week after she turned 16 has filled her heart and her home, Morgan also says she feels, at times, that they have always been in each others’ lives. “I know I looked for her for so long,” she says. “But we just all moved on from there and it’s just like she has always been there. This is our family.” Adoptions completed in the past five years in Newfoundland and Labrador: Infant adoptions: Older adoptions (3 and older): Inter-provincial adoptions: Inter-country adoptions:

52 83 30 60

Morgan says she enjoys all four of her kids and her six grandchildren and instead of hanging on to regrets, she focuses on how grateful she is. “We don’t look back on time lost, on Mother’s Days missed, we just go ahead with the everyday things we get to share, not this once-a-year stuff.” Morgan says she doesn’t need flowers to know her kids love her. “I just know they do, they’re all mine,” she laughs. “I own them all.” Walker, who now lives in Oro Station, Ont., shares her birth mother’s thoughts. “Finding each other has certainly added to my life,” Walker says. “But Mother’s Day doesn’t make it any more or less a fact that I have two mothers just like anyone else who is adopted.” Mother and daughter acknowledge they used to wonder a lot about each other before they connected. Like Stewart — who still searches for her child — they spent many hours on the “what ifs.” Since finding each other, though, they say life is pretty much the same as it was before. “Except I now have two cards to buy,” Walker jokes. Walker and Morgan both sympathize with Stewart, knowing that they have what she longs for — answers to many questions. “I used to wonder who she was and if she was looking for me,” Walker says. “You hope things go well, but you really never know what you are going to find.” Stewart hopes the same will happen for her, and with so much family and community support, she is optimistic that this 13th year of searching will be the one. “I don’t know how to feel at times,” she admits, “I’m trying to find her and I can’t seem to get ahead but I haven’t given up hope yet. I can’t.”

MAY 14, 2006

a rest? By Craig Westcott The Independent


here may still be some hope for a recovery of the northern cod, but it’s slim. During a break in proceedings of an international conference on climate change and cod stocks held in St. John’s last week, fisheries scientist Ken Drinkwater was asked to speculate on the fate of the stock that once fueled Britain’s maritime economy, and led to the settlement of Newfoundland. Northern cod has been under a fishing moratorium in Canadian waters since 1992. Drinkwater now works in Norway after 30 years at the highlyrespected Bedford Institute. But he still pays attention to what’s happening on this side of the Atlantic when he can. “That’s a tough one,” he admits of the northern cod’s prospects. “There’s always hope.” He points to the example of a valuable herring stock that collapsed off Norway because of overfishing and environmental factors in the 1960s and



hen I was younger, I always thought of myself as a country girl. I imagined I would eventually live in a rustic, ancient farmhouse or cottage, surrounded by acres of private land, kept company by dogs and horses. I grew up in an uninspiring, urban English town about an hour outside London, on a run-of-the-mill housing estate, surrounded by homes identical to mine. But as with everywhere in England, the green charm of the countryside was always just a few miles around the corner, populated, generally, with wealthy people living in what I saw as beautiful, historic homes. That world was where I aspired to be. In a place the size of England, just as every urban part is close to countryside, every rural part is close to a sprawling city. Only recently have I realized the similarities between living in the heart of a huge city and living in a house in the middle of nowhere. And just as I sometimes crave the solitude and silence of the country, I also crave the anonymity and energy of the big city. When I went to university in London, I took the city for granted. I didn’t think of it as one of the largest in the world; it was just a place that would always be there: immovable, ancient, crazy, dirty, beautiful, ugly and exhausting. The first time I left England for longer than a few weeks, I went to live in Vancouver. I immediately liked the layout of the city; the tight, downtown core, surrounded by ocean and mountains, but I was astonished to realize that within barely a week, I had the whole place mapped out. It seemed tiny. After a while I started to bump into people I knew as I made my way around downtown, going to work, shopping. I even began to recognize the panhandlers. That was another thing I’d never experienced living in London — panhandling. Before I moved to Vancouver, I didn’t even know what it meant, but walking to work downtown suddenly meant having 10 different people ask me for a quarter. I’d be on a bus riding down East Hastings at noon, observing crack heads shooting up in doorways along streets backing up against high-end, conservative communities. In larger cities like London and New York, the homeless seem to keep them-


Climate change could benefit some cod stocks, admits scientist, but future still uncertain for northern cod ’70s. Upon the advice of Norway’s chief fisheries scientist, the government banned fishing. “When they started to come back, the fishermen wanted to fish it, but he said, ‘No,’ and the government backed him up,” Drinkwater says. “And now a lot of herring are there. So there’s hope that the northern cod might follow the same suit. But again, at this stage we just don’t know.” Like that herring stock, Drinkwater thinks the northern cod collapsed because of a combination of factors. “With the northern cod, we know that the fish were not in good condition (in the first place),” Drinkwater says. “And we think that was due a lot to the environmental conditions. It was really cold prior to the moratorium and so the fish were really small, which lead to some high grading. So it’s a combined effect. They were fishing it reasonably heavy for the environmental conditions that were there.” Drinkwater says the evidence of climate change, and the effects of it on fish, are very strong. In some places, fish stocks are moving as temperatures

in the water change. In some places, he says, climate change could actually benefit some fish stocks. When the waters off Newfoundland warmed up in the 1940s and ’50s, he says, cod reproduction increased. Theoretically, that could happen again. “There’s going to be some losers and there’s going to be some winners,” Drinkwater says. “The cod in the southern areas — the southern North Sea, or George’s Bank — might be in trouble. And in places like Labrador, if the cod come back due to climate change, they might do better, because in the past with increasing temperatures you tended to get a bit better recruitment.” However, Drinkwater says the waters off Newfoundland are warmer now than in the period preceding the northern cod collapse, but the stock is showing no sustained signs of recovery. “So good environmental conditions are a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition for them to come back,” he says.

Big city country girl As much as I love what St. John’s has to offer, it’s no big city and I’m currently frantic for a fix of filth, squalor and unpredictability. selves hidden away, under bridges, in tunnels, the crevices of subways. Sometimes they sit stoically on the sides of the street with upturned hats, watching the madness flurry past, too resigned to bother approaching the hoards of business people, rushing to appointments with cell phones glued to their ears. But in Vancouver, like Halifax, like St. John’s, even the street people make the best of the friendlier, small-city vibe. A few years after Vancouver, I moved to Halifax and after two years living in this even smaller city, I started to feel mildly insane. I was restless, bored, irritable and badly in need of something. I found it on the streets of New York, during a 10-day vacation, staying with friends in the East Village. After a two-day drive, I stumbled out onto Manhattan’s streets as we made our way to a bar. I was exhausted, but the dirty, musky air of the big city filled my lungs like a long-lost tonic and I couldn’t get enough. I wandered along, delighting in the noise, the lights — even the rats I watched dive into a stairwell — as a blanket of energy slipped under my feet and carried me along. Later, half drunk on alcohol, caffeine and smog, we made our way to Times Square, laughing, spinning, having our pictures taken beneath the neon lights. The next days were spent in a euphoric haze as I walked and walked and walked through what felt like every nook and cranny the city had. Every street seemed familiar, yet strange and unpredictable. I think that’s what I love best about big cities, that unpredictability. Never

knowing what you might stumble across, whether it’s a new bar, a tiny park, a quaint alleyway, a fascinating person … you feel as if your life could change direction just from choosing to walk down one particular street. I also like that you can be part of a social whirlwind or, alternatively, you can choose to disappear completely. Like a hermit living in the woods, you can become invisible. This is where city and countryside unite; they both offer solitude in their different ways. They also offer energy. The energy of millions of people thrumming along, buoyed by the memories of countless feet pressing into the same sidewalks, or the energy of rolling hills and forests, pulsating with inconceivable history and permanence. As much as I love what St. John’s has to offer, it’s no big city and I’m currently frantic for a fix of filth, squalor and unpredictability. As it happens, I’m heading to Toronto for a couple of weeks in June, and although Toronto might not be particularly historic, might not have any overly impressive sky scrapers, no Central Park, it’s big, energetic and it’s a definitely a city. Good enough. As a child I once asked my Mother why some big towns in England didn’t have city status. She told me that in order to be classified as a city, a town had to have a cathedral. As with so many seemingly nonsensical answers given to children, I simply accepted her response as yet another one of those unfathomable religious factoids that just are because they are. But it turns out she was right. Although there are no specific criteria (such as size) when it comes to determining a city, the British monarchy has traditionally granted city status to towns with diocesan cathedrals. Go figure. To me, a city is somewhere you can get lost in, somewhere you could meet anyone, and somewhere just a hairs breadth away from the middle of nowhere. Clare-Marie Gosse’s column returns May 28.

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MAY 14, 2006

12 • INDEPENDENTNEWS By Craig Westcott The Independent


only buy, I don’t sell,” says Bruce Ryan as someone asks him how much his collection of stamps, postcards, letterhead and other memorabilia relating to Newfoundland’s mining history is worth. “The historic value to me is priceless, because you don’t see much of this around.” Ryan, a geologist with the province’s Geological Survey, has been collecting the items for over a decade, compiling the only collection of its kind in the country, and perhaps the world. The storyboards accompanying the items, coupled with Ryan’s prodigious enthusiasm for the subject — he’s as much historian as geologist — tells the story of a former country’s rich mining past. Point to any item in the collection, which was on display in the foyer of the Natural Resources Building in St. John’s May 11 to mark Mining Week, and Ryan can fill in the background. “The discovery at Tilt Cove started what was called the copper boom around Notre Dame Bay from about 1850 until the early 1900s,” he says, pointing towards a yellowed postcard. “Newfoundland was a big copper producer.” The sixth largest copper producer in the world at one point, in fact. “The latest thing I’ve got is an envelope from 1949,” he says. “That’s my cut off point. I don’t have anything from (after) Confederation.” Part of his collection pertains to a gold rush in Labrador in 1933. It includes envelope covers from the first mail flight that went from St. John’s to Sept-Isles, Que., to the concession site

Collector Bruce Ryan

Paul Daly/The Independent

Better than gold Collection tells history of one of the world’s great mining countries — Newfoundland near Lake Wabush and back out again. One of the prized items is a rare stamp entitled Labrador: Land of Gold. The “rush” consisted of 23 gold concessions, but Ryan notes only eight or nine were actually worked. “It didn’t last very long, just that sum-

mer of 1933,” he says. “There was nothing significant found. The initial concessions were ‘granted on the basis of misinformation,’ is how it is stated in the reports.” But at the time, Ryan adds, the excitement about the discovery was equiva-

lent to the Voisey’s Bay staking rush of the mid-1990s. “Everybody wanted to get there, and people in the country of Newfoundland were buying shares and investing in these small companies,” he says. “The government got a bit concerned — ‘was

this genuine or was it not.’” Ryan has entered his material in local stamp exhibitions. The St. John’s Philatelic Society awarded his entry Best of Show at its annual public exhibition last month. “I’d like to take it somewhere else just to pay homage to the people involved in the Newfoundland mining industry in the early part of the 20th century and the latter part of the 19th century,” Ryan says. “We were a very important mining country at that time. The copper and iron ore that we were producing went everywhere.” Ryan says many people don’t realize that prospecting in Newfoundland started in 1583 when Humphrey Gilbert arrived from England to finally claim the island as a colony for the British. Accompanying Gilbert was a prospector, or “mineral man,” who collected samples of iron, copper and silver. Unfortunately for him and Gilbert, their ship went down on the return voyage. “Even in 1610 when John Guy arrived to set up the colony at Cupids, they had directives from the king to prospect for mineral wealth,” Ryan says. “And in 1776, there was a mine started at Shoal Bay, just outside St. John’s. “But really it was the 1840s, 1850s before it took off. And by the time the late 1800s rolled around, Newfoundland was such a mining force in the world that we issued the world’s first mining stamp in 1897 as part of the Cabot Discovery set that came out that year.” Given the extent of the collection and the effort with which it was built, Ryan could no doubt fetch a good dollar for it. But he’s not interested. “To me it’s a connection to the past,” he says.


‘A man of taste and discrimination’

Nephew of Sir Robert Bond an author, journalist, professor and New York socialite

FRASER BOND 1889-1965 By Ivan Morgan For The Independent


eing the hard-scrabble business it is, few journalists have time to reflect on the careers of past colleagues, other than to perhaps lower their head for a moment’s pity for another deluded fellow traveller. Fewer still would know that in the early part of the 20th century, there was a Newfoundlander who worked as a journalist and taught journalism at Columbia University in New York City, lived on Fifth Avenue, wrote popular books and was a favourite among his students. Fraser Bond was Sir Robert Bond’s nephew, and the son of Sir Robert’s brother Rev. George Bond, a well-known clergyman and missionary. While actually born in Halifax and raised in — among other places — Toronto, Fraser Bond had a deep love for Newfoundland, and spent almost every summer of his life at Sir Robert Bond’s idyllic estate, the Grange, in Whitbourne. It was the one constant in his life, and the closest thing to a home he ever had. Fraser was born into a family fractured by tragedy and upheaval, with an older sister and brother dead before he was born, and his mother dying when he was 11. He was sent to England for schooling at a young age, as his father’s career as a clergyman kept him moving, at one point as a missionary in China. After England, Fraser furthered his education in Canada and the United States. Formidably armed with a bachelor of literature, a master’s degree in science and a law degree, in 1914 he started his professional life as a reporter with the Toronto Daily Star. In 1920 he joined the editorial staff of the New York Times, and in 1926 became a professor of journalism at Columbia, a position he retained until he retired in the 1950s. He was a popular professor, an amiable and brilliant man who enjoyed an active social live in New York. Indeed, I exist because of his social connections, as my grandparents met at a chic party hosted by one of Fraser’s friends.

Fraser Bond

Though he spent his summers in Whitbourne, Fraser was the very essence of the urbane professional. Like many of similar background, he was a very private person, living for over 30 years with his lifelong companion, Donald Fraser, in an elegant apartment at an exclusive address on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. While teaching, he also found time to write and publish a number of books, including a biography of the famous New York Times editor Charles R. Miller, Mr. Miller of the Times (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1931). In 1954, after almost 20 years of teaching, he published a textbook entitled An Introduction to Journalism (The Macmillan Co., 1954), which was just that — the essence of what Fraser had learned over his career. A review noted the book’s strengths were due to “the author’s . . . scholarly urbanity, the unpretentious felicity of phrase and the infectious good will that are the marks of the man.” Fraser’s playful personality shimmers from his letters. His eyesight, never good, tormented him his whole life. Cheerful notes belie the misery he must have faced as, over the years, he slowly lost his sight, eventually becoming legally blind. But such tribulations could not dim his remarkable joie de vivre. In my family, one story, often told by my grandmother who adored him, survives. Anxious to attend the annual

Government House garden party, in those days (the 1930s) the social event of the season, Fraser raced to the train station in Whitbourne on the morning of the big day only to find he had just missed the train. The image survives, in family lore, of Fraser commandeering a railroad “speeder” and propelling himself all the way into St. John’s in a morning suit and top hat. In 1949, at 60 and blind, Fraser realized he could no longer cope with the house at Whitbourne, and donated it to the people of Newfoundland in the hopes that it could be used as an experimental farm or museum. It was not to be the case. The Smallwood government had the house razed, and the acres of gardens, lovingly tended over several generations, were left to grow wild. In a letter he wrote: “I hear from Whitbourne that they have taken down the Grange. In an impersonal way, I am sorry. Of course Nova Scotia would have kept the place up as a historic site, but Nova Scotia has a perhaps more enlightened class in control. Personally I am really glad. The place was a very private home and it is fitting that its chapter ended with me.” While from Newfoundland, he rarely wrote publicly about it. His writing was aimed at a general American audience, his topics eclectic. I have a number of his books in my collection, my favourite being Give Yourself Background (New York, London, Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill l937) which claims in its promotional material that anyone can obtain depth and culture if they simply follow the advice given within its pages. An advertisement for the book quotes an endorsement from the wildly popular author and artist of the day (now all but forgotten), Hendrik Willem Van Loon. He notes he is often asked if self-help books do any good. Absolutely, he responds, but only “ if the author of the book happened to be a man of taste and discrimination . . . a thoroughly civilized person . . . a broadminded and tolerant philosopher . . . .a sort of present day Montaigne or Erasmus.” Like Fraser Bond. Fraser Bond died at his home in Annapolis Royal in 1965.

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A Bangladeshi U.N. peacekeeper sits in the back of a vehicle as his convoy passes through Yei in southern Sudan.

Euan Denholm/Reuters

Peacekeeping pledge broken Military said they’d be ready for Darfur; a year later, DND commitment has faded By James Travers Torstar wire service Before committing troops to the current Afghanistan mission, Paul Martin exacted a promise the military now says it’s too overworked to keep: fighting the Taliban in Kandahar wouldn’t stop Canada from peacekeeping in Darfur. Martin, then the Liberal prime minister, set that condition at an extraordinary March 21, 2005 meeting with his top defence and diplomatic advisers. Originally skeptical of the rationale for another Afghanistan tour of duty, Martin finally agreed only after chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier confirmed Canada would prepare itself to help in Sudan, where a three-year-old civil war has killed some 200,000 people and dis-

placed 2 million more. Hillier was ordered to ensure Canada would be ready within about a year to respond positively if the United Nations was able to form a Sudan peacekeeping force and, more immediately, to help Foreign Affairs develop a broader Darfur strategy. It was the second of those plans that led to the deployment of about 100 support troops along with badly needed, if obsolete, armoured vehicles. According to sources who attended the Parliament Hill meeting, Martin alone made a passionate argument for enough military strength to fulfill Canada’s traditional humanitarian role. Stressing the “moral imperative” of intervening to protect the vulnerable, he told Hillier, as well as the then-Defence and

Foreign Affairs ministers, that Canadians want and expect their military to make a difference in places like Sudan and Haiti. A year and an election later, that perspective — along with readiness to join a potential United Nations Darfur force — is lost in logistics. Conservative Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor told a Senate committee this week that the Forces are now too consumed with Afghanistan and rebuilding their strength to make a significant contribution to another mission. In question period last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was more equivocal about the possibility of joining the UN force. But it’s true this government’s decision to increase and accelerate the Forces’ growth

from about 62,000 to 75,000 is straining an organization “hollowed out” by decades of neglect. There are also other defence and political considerations. Shattering experiences in Somalia, Rwanda and Zaire make military leaders reluctant to return to Africa and they prefer operating with full U.S support in Afghanistan. Co-operating with the Bush administration is also a Conservative priority and Harper’s government is noticeably cool to the Responsibility to Protect UN protocol pioneered by Martin’s Liberals. Instead, Harper is tilting toward a longterm Afghanistan commitment even though See “Making,” page 15


‘I’ll stick with this’ After a few months in the ‘dust town’ of Calgary, Newfoundland engineer Colin Reddin found a better fit further west By Stephanie Porter The Independent


olin Reddin estimates half of his graduating class is now in Calgary. Reddin, who finished a mechanical engineering degree at Memorial University in 2004, says his 60 classmates have scattered all over the world — Houston, Europe and especially, given the recent oil boom, Alberta. Reddin was there for a while too. He

accepted a position in Calgary shortly after graduation; within months he was looking elsewhere. “For me, it just wasn’t any good,” he says. “It’s just a different type of town. I don’t know what was missing. “The town just doesn’t have a whole lot of personality. The people are really friendly there and it’s great for that — it’s just there’s nothing really to do … I like to spend time outdoors. The mountains are right there, but you can’t go out there on the weeknights,

and during the week you’re in the middle of a dust town with tumbleweeds blowing across the middle of it.” From his experience, Reddin — who grew up in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s — says Calgarians live by the “work-hard, play-hard” philosophy. Having said that, he admits he landed in a job where he was given very little responsibility or challenge (although that did have the positive side effect of getting him started long-distance running on extended, two-hour lunch

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breaks). Three months into life in Alberta, Reddin started casting about for a new job, realizing the importance of living in a city he would enjoy. HEART OF VANCOUVER He landed at Sandwell International, an engineering contractor with offices in Montreal, Burlington, Mumbai, Atlanta, Houston, among others. The head office — where Reddin is now — is in the heart of Vancouver, B.C.

“I’m definitely happy here,” he says. “I like it way better … it never hits –30C, as much as it rains.” While he says he did find people in Calgary more friendly and helpful than those in Vancouver, he’s now involved in a number of groups and is feeling settled, happy with the folks he’s met. Of course, there’s lots of opportunity for outdoor activity, which Reddin adores: hiking, mountain biking, road See “A very lush,” page 15

MAY 14, 2006


Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) and President George W. Bush.

36 for 12 issues tax included



Chris Wattie/Reuters

PM is no Bush, says U.S. pollster WASHINGTON By Tim Harper Torstar wire service


prominent Republican pollster has delivered his own message to Canadians searching for parallels in the governing styles of George W. Bush and Stephen Harper. “The Canadian and U.S. leaders could not be more different,” Frank Luntz says. “Stephen Harper is a genuine intellectual, brilliant in his understanding of issues. “I think I’ll leave it at that.” Luntz, an oft-quoted American pollster who’s in demand in other countries, made his comments after meeting Harper, an old acquaintance. He says he knows opponents are trying to link Harper to Bush and, after digesting media accounts of his own speech, he says he understands why the Canadian government believes it’s getting an unfair shake from the media. Luntz’s links with the Canadian right go back to the days of the Preston Manning-led Reform party, but he characterizes himself as a “casual observer” of Canadian politics. One thing he does know, Luntz says, is the previous Liberal government was corrupt and Harper should be blunt and open about repeatedly reminding Canadian voters of that. He said North American voters are sick of political scandals, and urged the Canadian government to avoid the American experience by finding out how the Liberals got to where they were and make sure it never happens again. “Canadians shouldn’t have to go through what Americans are going through,” Luntz says. “The U.S. system is rife with corruption, or perceived to be rife with corruption, and Canadians have an absolute right to know what previous governments did with their hard-earned money.” He didn’t advise Harper or his conservative supporters to launch new probes or change laws, he says, “because I don’t do policy.” But he points to the American experience where laws were twice changed, once following the Watergate scandal then, more recently, to deal with campaign financing.

Still, political scandal promises to play a major role in this year’s mid-term elections in the United States. In recent months, former Republican House leader Tom DeLay resigned under an ethical and legal cloud; California Republican Randy (Duke) Cunningham was sentenced to eight years in jail for accepting bribes; Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson has been under investigation and two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him, and a senior aide to Ohio Republican Robert Ney pleaded guilty to corruptly influencing the congressman with gifts and trips. A USA Today-CNN poll released this week found 47 per cent of Americans believe “most” members of Congress are corrupt. Luntz says he was upset that he was reported to have told Conservatives to “dig up dirt” on Liberal opponents when he steadfastly believes that voters on both sides of the border have had it with politics that include private smears and rummaging through garbage. He says he didn’t discuss ways to shore up support for the Canadian mission in Afghanistan or the Conservative policy of barring media from coverage of returning Canadian war fatalities. In recent days, Luntz has been sought out for his analysis of British Conservative leader David Cameron’s electoral chances, his take on whether New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg could run as an independent for president in the U.S., and has tested the appeal of Democrat presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and John Edwards in New Hampshire and Iowa. He also said the initial, inaccurate accounts of his Ottawa speech played to the Harper government’s mistrust of the Canadian media. “If that is their feeling, I understand it now after the buzz saw I was put through,” he says. “The Conservatives told me they weren’t getting a fair shake in the media, but I tend to discount that because no one in power feels they’re getting a fair shake. “But now things I didn’t say are being reported up there, so I can see there is an agenda to connect everything he does to the American government. “The first thing I would tell them is don’t believe what you read.”

Tories scrap Liberals’ goal of 300,000 immigrants


he federal Conservatives have scrapped the “I’m concerned about the backlog. That’s an Liberals’ long vaunted goal of accepting issue that we need to deal with. I would love to more than 300,000 newcomers to Canada have a solid plan in place before we start talking each year, saying serious backlogs in the immigra- about any change in the numbers,” he says. tion system have to be fixed Solberg even floated the first. idea of restricting immigrant Immigration Minister applications until the governMonte Solberg this week disment has cleared a backlog of missed the Liberal target of 800,000 people already waitaccepting 1 per cent of ing, many for years, for the Canada’s population — long OK to come. touted but never reached — as “We have to figure out what a meaningless figure. we do about all these people “If all of sudden tomorrow applying,” he says. we went to 1 per cent it clearSolberg said later he’s comly would be difficult for parfortable with the current level ticular provinces to deal with of about 260,000 immigrants a the influx,” Solberg says. “I year, noting that in the “hot think we want to be a bit more job market we need people.” methodical about this.” But he also worried that the Last year, Canada accepted numbers will place a “huge 260,000 new permanent resiburden” on cities like Toronto dents, exceeding its target that get the bulk of new immirange of 220,000 to 245,000. grants. Despite warnings from Immigration Minister Monte Solberg At the same time, he said many quarters that Canada there are nine million refugees needs to boost immigration to compensate for its overseas in need of protection and that “Canada aging population, Solberg says he’d rather keep the must do its part to give them aid and refuge.” numbers stagnant “until we can get some fixes in “That is our moral obligation.” the system. — Torstar wire service

MAY 14, 2006

N.B. curriculum in Chinese school


hen a new English-language school opens in Beijing this fall, the 1,700 students will be instructed by New Brunswick teachers following the provincial curriculum. Students will come from all corners of the world and graduates, many of whom will have never set foot in the province, will hold New Brunswick high-school diplomas. It’s all part of the latest education venture between Chinese businessman Francis Pang and the New Brunswick Department of Education to build a new international K-12 school in the heart of Beijing. The school is targeting the children of diplomats and corporate executives who are setting up in China’s capital city. “This new international school in Beijing is desperately needed,” says Pang. “The Beijing government is working on (making it) an international city.” He adds the Chinese government was aggressively pursuing having international companies set up headquarters in the capital city. Combined with the more than 100 embassies in Beijing, it adds up to thousands of potential students, he says. Pang is also pursuing a new agreement with the University of New Brunswick to offer four-year degree programs to Chinese students, which would allow students to choose in any given year if they wanted to study in New Brunswick or in China. The new international high school will be completed in June, says Pang, and has already hired teachers from New Brunswick to deliver the curriculum. — Telegraph-Journal

Making a new century more compassionate than the last From page 13 public opinion is turning away from an effort that is increasingly dangerous, has no exit strategy and could easily drag on for many years. In that context, Martin’s multilayered decision assumes more weight and subtlety. A Conservative prime minister can take some comfort — not to mention political cover — from a Liberal predecessor’s assessment that the second, 2,200-strong Afghanistan deployment serves Canada’s military, security and diplomatic interests. At the same time, Martin’s insistence that peacekeeping shouldn’t be sacrificed to more aggressive foreign missions is consistent with broad Canadian opinion and resonates particularly loudly in Quebec, where Harper is hoping to secure a majority in the next election. Martin’s position was not shared, or even admired, by his advisers. One who attended the meeting, and is no fan of the former prime minister’s leadership style, says the meeting consensus was that Martin was naïve to predict the international community would eventually put aside differences long enough to end what some label the Sudanese genocide. “He was prescient,” the source says. “The whole government got it wrong and he got it right.” It’s not yet clear that the fragile peace agreement negotiated in Nigeria earlier this month will hold, that the UN will forge a coalition to support the undertrained and overwhelmed 7,000 African Union troops now on the ground there, or that Canada will be asked to contribute troops. Still, Martin’s reasons for insisting on the capacity to intervene are as compelling now as then. Paul Heinbecker, Canada’s former UN ambassador, argues the responsibility to protect innocents now being raped and murdered in full international view is not diminished by other security concerns. Despite the colonial hangover problems of putting white troops on a black continent, Heinbecker, who now heads Wilfrid Laurier University’s Centre for Global Relations, Governance and Policy, says Canada should make a statement to NATO and other countries with sophisticated militaries by declaring its willingness to join a UN force. He’s right. Hidden in Darfur’s horrors is an opportunity to make a new century more compassionate than the last. By acting decisively, the international community can demonstrate its determination to stop atrocities even while it fights a war on terror. Rebuilding the military is important and will give Canada more options in the future. But it’s not important enough to excuse looking away now while so many are dying.

INDEPENDENTWORLD • 15 From page 13 riding, snowboarding. He’s just bought a roof rack for his car and intends to have his kayak shipped across the country soon. He cycles to work every day, no matter the weather — it takes about 25 minutes, he says, and is just as fast as driving through downtown traffic. “People are really encouraging about having an active lifestyle,” he says. And there are a couple of other key points about the city — “The restaurants are pretty good … and so are the wineries.” DIRECT IMPACT As for work itself, Reddin says it’s interesting enough — and he’s been given much more responsibility than he’d expected as a newcomer. He enjoys the sense that his work has a direct impact on the final project. Reddin is a “materials handling engineer,” and works on designing conveying systems for raw materials. The firm is generally hired by large mining companies, he continues — trying to simplify his highly technical job — to build “different ways of moving materials from one point to another, and processing it.” He’s been in his current position more than a year, and has yet to see any of the projects he’s worked on come to fruition. The one he’s now in the midst of is in the feasibility phase, and won’t be built until 2008. “I’ll stick with this for a while,” Reddin says of both his job and city. “I’m still learning so I don’t see the need to change. “The job is interesting, but it’s not why I’m here,” he continues. “(British Columbia) is kind of a combination between Newfoundland and Alberta — there’s big mountains, I

‘A very lush and moist environment’

Colin Reddin

can go to the snow whenever I want. You’ve got the sea around you; it’s a very lush and moist environment. I don’t think I could live without the ocean again, I found that really tough. “I like it here, and I’m in no hurry to move home, but given the right

opportunity, I’d be back in Newfoundland as fast as possible … but then, none of my friends are there anymore. “Everyone says they’d like to go home, but whether they would turn down their high-paying job in

Calgary to take on another for half the pay, I’m not sure.” Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? E-mail

MAY 14, 2006






























































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Arts accolades Provincial Arts and Letters awards experiencing ‘renewal,’ says chair Kevin Major

By Stephanie Porter The Independent

ed out at a ceremony May 13 at The Rooms. This year, there are a total of 43 awards for visual art, writing and music, in junior and senior divisions. Miriam Westin, 16, is already a two-time winner. This year, it’s for Banana Republic, her acrylic painting of a banana leaf, inspired by a family trip to Jamaica. “I was so excited and surprised, I never imagined I’d win again,” she says. “It’s important … especially for us, in school, it’s great to have a chance to show other people what we can do. It’s a chance for (the public) to see our work.” Writer Kevin Major, chair of the Arts and Letters committee for the past five years, remembers that excitement. He’s a former winner too, having taken home prizes for both poetry and photography “a few decades ago now, I suppose.” When asked what winning those awards mean for a young artist, he paraphrases Christopher Pratt — also a past winner. “He said something like, his winning in the Arts and Letters was one of the first endorsements he had,” says Major. “He says it was instrumental in him pursuing that.” Certainly, receiving an award puts the winners in impressive company. The competition began 55


isual artist Jennifer Barrett says she can’t think of a reason anyone wouldn’t enter the provincial government’s Arts and Letters competition. “It’s one of these things, like some of the arts grants and such, if you didn’t take advantage of it, it’s kind of a sin,” says the Paradise native. “I mean, it’s there … if you don’t go out for stuff, there’s no chance of getting that cheque.” Of course it’s not all about cash. Barrett, 25, has entered the competition three times. This year she got the long-awaited call, telling her she’d won. Her linocut, You First, is a film still of Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart from Casablanca. A member of the board at St. Michael’s Printshop, Barrett is trying to work full-time at her art these days. She says the win is a great boost along a tough career path. “And the money won’t go astray,” she laughs. Awards in the senior division include a $750 cheque; for juniors, it’s $200. The annual Arts and Letters Awards were to be hand-

See “A who’s who,” page 18

A selection of winning visual art, clockwise from top: Cracked Pot, by Jay Kimball; A Cornet Fish Sticks Its Nose In, by Urve Manuel; The Haunt of Feral Seas, by James Kean; Banana Republic, by Miriam Westin; Bound by Brick, Paul Quigley; Nanak, by Stephanie Allen; Smoke and Ash, by Frank Deacy; You First, by Jennifer Barrett. For a full list of winners, visit

Force of nature

Sculptor Jim Maunder opens powerful first out-of-province solo show By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent


here’s not a nude or codfish in sight, but Jim Maunder’s most recent exhibition of work, Yield, remains true to the sculptor’s fascination with the power and strength of science versus nature. A series of six to seven foot semiabstract creations are currently exhibit-

ing in Maunder’s first out-of-province solo show, at the DeLeon White Gallery in downtown Toronto. Using materials like wood, metal and concrete, Yield portrays organic forms such as sprouts and bulbs interacting under the effects of a modern-day environment. It’s a battle between nature and bioengineering, exploring the moral dilemma of scientific advances, yet also celebrating the power of

organic life. Which will eventually yield? Can they co-exist? “One of the pieces in the show is a sprouting seed that’s sort of cracking its way through a concrete wall,” says Maunder. “I guess I think of the dandelion pushing its way up through the pavement. We can pave the world, but the dandelion is still going to push its way through, so it’s that sense that nature is a lot more

powerful than we are.” Although consistently original in his artistic creations over the years, Maunder is perhaps best known for his steel and bronze sculptures of men and women interacting with Newfoundland’s lifeblood, the codfish. One of his many public commissions, which sits outside the St. John’s Convention Centre, depicts two women Making Fish. Another re-

nowned piece, Man Nailed to a Fish, is one of Maunder’s own personal favourites. Reminiscent of a cruciform, it’s a naked man with his arms wrapped around a giant cod, bound by nails through his palms. “It’s the dependence, the attachment, the sacrifices … fish imagery and religious imagery are all tied together,” See “Whether or not,” page 18

MAY 14, 2006


‘Whether or not we survive as a species … the earth will move on’ From page 17

“Contact” by Jim Maunder

“Potato Farm” by Jim Maunder

says Maunder. He will soon be re-working the image of Man Nailed to a Fish for a new first-time novelist award in the province, created by writer, TV producer, former drug smuggler and localman-makes-good, Brian O’Dea. In partnership with the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, the annual award of $5,000 and a plaque bearing the image of Man Nailed to a Fish will be offered to new authors. Recipients’ names will be inscribed on a larger, wall-mounted version. Just as Man Nailed to a Fish and its original companion exhibition pieces were the result of Maunder’s reaction to the moratorium in the 1990s, the concept for Yield came from a sudden response to a radio show on genetic engineering. “I get the image pretty well fully formed and I make it and then sometime during the process of making it I kind of figure out what it’s about.” The show discussed how P.E.I. potato farmers are encouraged by their industry to grow perfect four-inch potatoes, because the length fits nicely into McDonald’s cardboard containers. “My first response to the idea of genetic engineering was a knee-jerk ‘it’s all bad,’” says Maunder. “I had to check myself when I considered the possibilities this research opens up, maybe not in my lifetime, but for someone like me who could use a new pancreas or a new heart or other organ, grown from their own cells. “Tampering with crops could feed

Jim Maunder

more people. It could also irreparably throw the ecosystem out of balance.” Over the years Maunder has battled diabetes and heart trouble, health conditions that have fuelled his interest in the frailty of humankind and the strength of the human spirit. Growing up in Newfoundland, he’s been influenced by witnessing the struggle of a people reliant on the fruits of the sea,

Paul Daly/The Independent

yet powerless to flourish from them. Maunder has been exhibiting since 1988 locally, as well as internationally in cities such as New York and Tokyo. Coming from a family of almost exclusively artists and biologists, his preoccupation with the relationship between science and nature is instinctive. “If you think of the earth as an

organism, we’re a little blip on the screen, and I think that whether or not we survive as a species … the earth will move on.” Yield runs at the DeLeon White Gallery in Toronto until June 4. Images from this exhibition and previous works can be found at

‘A who’s who’ From page 17 years ago (an “intriguing brainwave,” wrote the Daily News at the time), on the initiative of the Education Department. Since then, awards have been handed to hundreds, including David Blackwood, Scott Goudie, Rae Perlin, Cassie Brown, Harold Horwood, Michael Winter, Helen Porter and many more household names. “It’s sort of a who’s who on the artistic scene,” says Major. “You’re up against both amateurs and professionals and if you do receive an award, it’s in conjunction with some of the bigger names in Newfoundland arts and letters. “That additional recognition — from being up against the best — is part of the (value).” That point isn’t lost on Paul Quigley, a first-time winner in the visual arts category, senior division. His work, Bound by Brick, is an “ever-so-slightly enhanced” digital photograph of one of the alleyways in downtown St. John’s. “The amateur-professional mix is kind of cool,” says Quigley, who works for the federal government as a graphic artist, but photography is a serious hobby. “It’s some encouragement to keep going. You know, where you stand next to whoever else is doing this stuff.” He doesn’t think of the Arts and Letters as a competition so much as a chance to get considered feedback on his work. Every entrant is given a letter of adjudication with the comments of the judges. The pieces are given to the judges without names attached, in an effort to keep the ranking and opinions as objective as possible. “It’s nice to see in writing that they liked it,” says Quigley. “Everyone is kind of graded on what they’ve got … People say, ‘Oh, you’re brave to put yourself out there.’ And I say, ‘No, for this, nobody will ever have to know you put your stuff in there unless you won.’” Looking over the list of winners, Major says he’s particularly happy to see healthy representation from across both Newfoundland and Labrador this year. At 700 entries, he says participation was a bit lower this year, which he attributes to an earlier deadline — this year’s cut-off came in mid-January, as opposed to February, where it stands traditionally. (Next year they’ll go back to February.) Other than that, Major says the awards have been going through a recent renewal. The high-profile awards ceremony at the Rooms — “such a wonderful and public space” — will help, as will the accompanying exhibition of work, on display there until May 28. “These awards are as important as ever,” he says. “There was a period at which I think there was discussion about how relevant the Arts and Letters were anymore. A decade ago there was talk of doing away with them and there was real strong reaction against that.” In the most recent budget, the Arts and Letters committee was given an increase in funding (the annual budget was about $50,000). Though the group hasn’t yet met to discuss plans for the future, Major says they’re “hoping to enrich the program and diversify it a bit more … and raise the profile across the province. “It’s over 50 years old now and it’s well-established,” he continues. “People look forward to it each year and the prize money is now significant, a good strong endorsement of people’s talents.”

MAY 14, 2006


Home is where the art is High Steel’s young, energetic cast testament to possibility of staying in province


NOREEN GOLFMAN Standing Room Only fare too humiliating an option, many Newfoundland men found themselves up to over a hundred stories high in the sky, dangerously connecting steel beams for a decent wage. These guys were not only balancing their bodies on narrow strips of iron in the sky but they were also balancing their lives, with wives and sweethearts and children pining for them in every cove and town at home. An odd sort of hybrid Newfoundlander developed, as Yankee branches of families grew up, inflecting their voices with New York accents yet still identifying themselves with those back home from whom they descended. High Steel richly honours those risktaking workers and their families while it traces the mixed social effects of displacement. Ideas of home are complicated, and conflicting issues of loyalty, duty, and friendship are offered with intelligence and wit. Mary Walsh’s and Rick Boland’s script avoids false nostalgia: it’s too clever to fall into the cheap trap of sentimentality. Not surprisingly, the play, with its young faces, sold out its full two-week run and is likely to be extend-

ed, eventually finding its way to mainland stages across the eastern seaboard where it will no doubt charm audiences as wildly as it has here. What really struck me about this production is the young and talented cast. While the play is about the long-standing pressure to leave the province to seek work elsewhere, the production is actually a testament to the possibility of staying here. That one could even mount a 22-year-old play with such freshness, with such a vibrant group of young singers, dancers, and actors is enough to soften any heart of steel. Mary Walsh’s experienced hand obviously guided her cast well. Once on stage, now she directs, passing a legacy to those inheriting a rich tradition. In one moment Steve Cochrane plays a bratty little boy, hilariously reacting to his adult conversation; in another he is wearing his hard hat, precipitously walking an iron line, nearly falling to his death. Joel Hynes flips effortlessly from cocky transplanted young man to old and drunken infirm uncle, sometimes singing with astonishing power, sometimes railing against the fate that brought him to drink, despair, or even death. Amazingly, Christa Borden goes from cranky crone to narcissistic princess and everything in between. And Alison Woolridge, Jonny Harris, and Phil Churchill all perform brilliantly across a huge spectrum of ages and types.


By Tonya Kearley and Laura Russell

hen I arrived in Newfoundland in the summer of 1984, people were still talking about a recent production at the LSPU Hall called High Steel. The cast included performers whose names were totally unknown to me and probably to the rest of Canada. Mary Walsh and Rick Boland wrote and starred in the play and Ron Hynes had written the music. The word on the street, a street whose history I could not yet understand or appreciate, was that the play was great, the cast superb, and the message of the material itself was fresh, timely, and important. I was curious and regretted I had not arrived early enough to see the production myself. So it is that I attended the remount of the play in 2006 with a heightened sense of expectation and a happy sense of having advanced a fair way on that once unfamiliar street. Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye famously said that the question Canadians always ask is “Where is here?” Newfoundlanders never have to ask that question. Indeed, in many ways, High Steel is very much about that familiar sense of place. Yes, its primary focus is the migration of skilled and fearless Newfoundland labour to the iron urban jungle of New York City, but it is also about the social consequences of that move. The play traces three generations who are affected by a kind of enforced displacement. With jobs scarce and wel-

EVENTS MAY 14 MAY 17 • Rachel Ryan’s Terra Incognita, a series of acrylic • In the Spotlight, a new comedy by Krista Hann, paintings combined with fabric collage opens at the 7:30 p.m. nightly until May 200, Rabittown Theatre, Craft Council Gallery, and Claymaille by Jason 739-7220. Holley at the Annex Gallery, open 2-4 p.m., Devon • National day against homophobia breakfast, House Craft Centre. Shows until June 16 Battery Hotel, 7-9:30 a.m., 579-1009. • St. John’s Jazz Festival Groovin’ & Improvin’ Jam • Folk night at the Ship Pub featuring Jean Hewson Session 2-4 p.m., 62 Campbell Ave., side entrance, and Christina Smith, 9:30 p.m. 739-7734. MAY 18 • Willie Nelson, Mile One stadium, 7:30 p.m. Also May 15. • Sandra Blackmore Studio of • Barbara Ashley School of Dance Dance recital, St. John’s Arts and annual recital, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7 p.m. Culture Centre, 7 p.m. Also May 15. • Newfoundland and Labrador • Opening reception for Black + Book Awards ceremony, The Rooms, White, an exhibition showcasing second level lecture theatre, 7 p.m. work by Manfred Buchheit, Tickets are available free to the public Elizabeth Burry, Joyce Cho, Boyd at Bennington Gate book store. Chubbs, Cathy Driedzic, Jerry MAY 19 Evans, Scott Goudie, Ilse Hughes, April Norman and Gerald Squires, • Douglas Coupland: Play Again? art RCA Gallery, LSPU Hall. exhibition opening reception at The Reception 3-5 p.m.; showing until Douglas Coupland Rooms, 8 p.m. Exhibition shows until June 11. Sept. 17. • Monster Madness world tour 2006, Mile One staMAY 15 dium, 7:30 p.m. Also 3 p.m. on May 20. • Various kids spring/summer courses at Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design, until MAY 20 August 31. 739-7623 for details. • Every Joan, Dick & Harry, musical review and • Supernova search: Dave Lane describes with auto- dinner theatre featuring the music of Dick Nolan, mated backyard observatory and the supernova Joan Morrissey and Harry Hibbs, as played by Larry search program, 8-10 p.m. Memorial University Foley, Tanya Penney, and Darrin Martin, Majestic room C-2045, Chem-Physics Bldg. Theatre. • The Grown-up Book Club at Granny Bates chil- • Douglas Coupland reads from his latest novel, dren’s bookstore, 8 p.m. This month’s book is Mable JPod, at Chapters, Kenmount Road, 2 p.m. Riley: A Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance, by • Launch of Janet McNaughton’s new book The Marthe Jocelyn. Raintree Rebellion, 3-5 p.m. at The Crypt, Anglican Cathedral, Church Hill. MAY 16 • Traditional music at lunch, featuring Frank Maher, UPCOMING Rick West, Stan Picket and Andrew Lang, Auntie • Home Show 2006, Mile One stadium, May 25. Craes, Duckworth Street, 12:30 p.m. • RCA Annual Gala Fundraiser at the Capital • Ludacris & Juelz Santan. Mile One stadium, 8 Hotel. Cast of This Hour has 22 Minutes roasts p.m. Newfoundland businessman Craig Dobbin, May 26. • Cognitive Imperialism in Education and Power of • Newfoundland Horticultural Society spring Decolonization by Dr. Marie Battiste, academic flower show, Botanical Gardens, May 27-28. director of the Aboriginal education research centre at University of Saskatchewan, 7 p.m., Petro-Canada IN THE GALLERIES Hall, Memorial University, 737-8292. Exhibition featuring Clement Curtis, Elena Popova • What’s in Bloom: lunch and learn at the and Louise Sutton, Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, until Memorial Botanical Gardens with director Wilf May 28. Nicholls, noon-1:30 p.m., Marjorie D. Winsor’s Old Streets of St. John’s at the • Antique and variety auction. St. Andrews Rogue Gallery, Eastern Edge Gallery, 72 Harbour Dr. Presbyterian Church, Kirk Hall. Until May 26.

Steve Cochrane at rehearsal for High Steel.

The most experienced (read: older) member of the troupe is an always energetic Amy House, who completes the ensemble with her familiar bravado. It’s an astonishingly talented group, a well choreographed team that animates an older script in every conceivable way. These artists, almost all what we would call a new, emerging generation of actors, singers, writers, performers, are finding work right here in the cultural sector. Perhaps if New York called tomorrow they’d all jump and bolt for the very skyscrapers their ancestors helped build, but for now they are here, claiming their rightful places in the community that gives them work and appreciates their talent. They seem to be at home. It is important to remember that at least in many areas of cultural production out-migration isn’t an issue. Investing in the arts is keeping the kids close.

Paul Daly/The Independent

••• I wish to correct two errors in my last column about the increase in funding to the provincial arts council. I had lamented the current increase is bringing the per capita amount of arts funding up to $1.10. Well, it’s actually moving up to $1.65. That’s not a huge amount but it’s a bit better and it’s good to get the facts straight. The other point is that the NLAC does not actually have a policy against funding individual artists over festivals, as I inadvertently implied. The point is that with so little money to dispense, the council has been forced to establish some priorities. The bigger question of where and how it should spend its new monies is being taken up by the volunteer board for the future. Stay tuned. Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and women’s studies at Memorial. Her column returns May 28.

MAY 14, 2006


Where there’s smoke there’s flavour I

t was a year or so ago when I got my first barbecue. I wanted a stateof-the-art stainless steel behemoth, but my wife saw fit to reign me in, and I ended up with a small hibachi gas grill. It was great, if you liked cooking indoors. The long and the short of the story is that the thing was barely powerful enough to make a flame, let alone cook something. This year I am fully prepared for the whole season. I have spent the last little while going over my new rig that I have built from scratch. It is 72,000 BTUs of pure power with high-performance ceramic briquettes, built-in electric rotisserie and on-board side burner — this grill has more optional extras than my car. Yes, I am calling it by its real name — a grill. We might think that we barbecue in the summer, but real barbecue (in the true meaning of the word) involves smoke and indirect heat and


Off the Eating Path plenty of time. For barbecue fanatics, May is the beginning of what is hailed as the “Superbowl of Swine”: the world championship barbecue-cooking contest held during the Memphis in May festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Grilling is what the average North American guy does during the summer months. It involves direct heat — and plenty of it. But there is still some room for artful refinement, even if all you want to do is cook a good bit of meat. Have you ever thought of smoking in your grill? The trick to this is to get the preparation work done ahead of time to make sure you are ready to go. When contemplating smoking food,

the art of it is to make the heat low enough to cook the protein slowly without making the heat so low as to leave it unsafe to eat. The second thing is to use indirect heat. That means only using one side of the grill to heat the box and the other side (where the food is put to cook) is left cold. To smoke food correctly you need a smoke chamber or a handy smoke box — I found several different makes in stores across the city. Check the section that sells grills. Alternatively, you can make your own smoke pouches. To make a smoke pouch, take a square sheet of aluminum foil and fold down two centimetres all around the edges. Fold the square in half and then fold over the edges, leaving one open. Fill with your favourite wood chip (please use hard woods like apple, maple, hickory. Fir trees are dangerous for smoking foods). Prick five or six holes in one side of

the pouch and then place the pouch with the holes facing up in the barbecue where the heat is being produced. You will need as many as required to fully cook the meats. For proper barbecue, slow cooking is required, and lots of patience. Generally, food is not cooked on conventional gas grills, but in a rig with a separate smoke chamber to funnel in heat and so the smoke remains constant. It is good to have a variety of packets available for smoking, as just one wood type can make a very overpowering taste. Real barbecue is done with pork, so pork chops are a good place to start when smoking. I like to alternate packets of apple wood and hickory for a good balance. The sweetness of the apple wood is a good base for the smokiness of the hickory, which is rich and full of flavour. Like all good cooking, balance is the key to a successful cooking

adventure. The last thing is a finishing sauce. Where people who grill use BBQ sauce, people who barbeque use a finishing sauce. Here’s my version of a finishing sauce: 1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup soya sauce 3 tbs maple syrup 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp paprika Black pepper to taste Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set in a refrigerator for one hour to mature the flavours. Put a liberal coating on anything you grill or barbeque in the last 30 seconds before serving. Enjoy. Nicholas is a food writer and erstwhile chef now living in St. John’s.

Growing need for Kids Help By Leia Feltham For the Independent


he darkest secret, the worst fight, the never-ending bad day, a relentless bully — being a teenager can mean facing all these and more. But a friendly voice, a few words of advice, or just someone to listen, can make a world of difference. Since 1989 Kids Help Phone has worked to provide support through anonymous and confidential 24-hour service by trained counsellors. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Kids Help Phone meets a growing need. In 2005, youth from 180 communities across Newfoundland and Labrador reached out to Kids Help Phone more than 40,000 times.

Beverly Hiscock, the province’s Kids Help Phone chapter manager — and the organization’s only employee in Newfoundland — says the reason for the high number of calls is not that kids here have more problems than elsewhere. Rather, because “we have so many smaller communities, the kids are finding it’s harder to find someone. They want to talk to somebody they don’t know, and has no relationship to them, someone who’s going to be impartial.” In order to manage the many fundraisers, events and activities for the organization, Hiscock relies on the help of many volunteers. “We really have the potential here,” she says, adding she hopes to start chapters in Labrador, and on the west coast and central areas of Newfoundland.

Over the past few years, Kids Help Phone has become more than a phone number. The organization now also hosts a website where teens can post their problems, and receive responses from counsellors. Another section, called Letters Never Sent, is a place where kids can post messages, not to be replied to, but to share their thoughts and feelings and help ease a burden off their mind. The website aims to create a sense of community, where youth can find comfort and insight from those with similar experiences. Last year alone, the number of hits to the counselling website increased by four per cent. “It just basically blew our numbers completely out of the water,” says Hiscock. “This is a sign of the times. The kids are using the com-

Beverly Hiscock

puter all the time and in some cases the kids are more comfortable turning to the web than actually getting a live voice at the other end.” As the demand for services increases, there is also growing need for counsellors and funds. To that end, the fifth Aliant Walk for Kids Help Phone was held in St. John’s May 7.

“The walk was excellent,” says Hiscock. “We raised about $25,000, which is pretty impressive.” Just as impressive was the positive feedback Hiscock received during the event. “Every time we do a fundraising event, you always touch somebody. You always have somebody come up and say I’d like to support you because if it wasn’t for Kids Help Phone I’m not sure I’d be here today.” The need for Kids Help Phone continues to expand and grow, Hiscock says, especially in Newfoundland. “We’re reaching out to kids everyday,” she says. “Not just across the country but here in our own neighbourhood, (in) our own communities.” Leia Feltham is a level III co-op student from Gonzaga High School.

POET’S CORNER Last Exit By Mark Callanan An audience of stalled cars scans the scene: a cat, inspired by collision to dance a jig, is showered in applause of pigeons’ wings as coils of blood unwind in cords that jerk his puppet limbs — he writhes and up into the air propels his splintered frame then shivers in mid-flight and drops, is reeled into the sky again. The drivers, blind to deft performance, blare their horns and rev and wait while passenger children look askance at gulls alighting near the cat now spent on a garden walkway. Quiet please. A rose bush drones with eulogizing bees. Last Exit was named a winner for poetry, senior division, in the 2006 Arts and Letters competition.

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




Upper Churchill under construction.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

‘Cold hard facts’

Province not prepared to give up on upper Churchill; diplomacy favoured for the moment

By Ryan Cleary The Independent


ith the lower Churchill sorted out in terms of a development direction, Danny Williams is left with the upper Churchill — the mother of all giveaways, “Confederation’s greatest failure” — to straighten up. From all indications, the premier — who has never shied away from a political fight with the oil companies or the feds — isn’t prepared to go toe to toe with Quebec at this point. That doesn’t mean upper Churchill redress is off the premier’s radar. He says he would prefer to work with Quebec to address the inequities of the contract, but he’s not ruling out any course of action — including the courts or a constitutional challenge. “Quebec, at this point, does have control of the upper Churchill and that’s the cold, hard facts,” Williams tells The Independent. “It will take a lot of time and a lot of court actions to turn that around … if that’s the route to go we would look at that, but there’s a willingness to move forward on a jointly beneficial basis. “I’m not ruling anything out, under any circumstances.”

The upper Churchill contract — signed in 1969 and not due to expire until 2041 — awarded Hydro-Quebec Churchill Falls power at a low, fixed rate, without the benefit of an escalator clause. In a February, 2005 address to the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto, Williams estimated Newfoundland and Labrador’s loss at $1 billion a year. In December last year, JeanThomas Bernard, an economics professor at Laval University in Quebec and a specialist in energy policy, estimated the contract was worth $2 billion a year to Hydro-Quebec. The province estimates its annual share of the profit at only $32 million a year. The premier told The Independent in December that if Hydro-Quebec were to be involved in the lower Churchill development, then the upper Churchill contract would have to be on the negotiating table. Then last week, the premier announced the province would be going it alone on lower Churchill development, meaning there would be no redress that way. Williams is said to have a number of options when it comes to the upper Churchill, including legally shutting down the hydro development under section 92a of the Constitution dealing with the inter-provincial trade of electricity.

If implemented, the clause would give the province the power to tax hydroelectricity. Another possible route was pointed out late last year by Memorial University professors James Feehan and Mel Baker. The two studied the circumstances leading up to the signing of the upper Churchill contract — suggesting there may be legal implications as a result of the business ethics employed by Hydro-Quebec during the negotiations. Williams has legal options, but he isn’t leaning that way — yet. “There is need for redress on the upper Churchill and we have to try and find a way to get that,” the premier says. “If we’re not into a joint arrangement with Quebec then it’s not as easy to get it without having to go a legal route. That’s probably it in a nutshell.” The province will ultimately need Quebec’s co-operation in delivering lower Churchill power to market. The most obvious and cheapest route is directly across Quebec, tied in with power lines from the upper Churchill. Should Quebec prevent the wheeling or transmission of lower Churchill hydropower through its territory, then all gloves may be off in terms of the upper Churchill contract. “It depends on what Quebec’s role is,” the

premier says. “If Quebec doesn’t have a role in this (lower Churchill development) other than us having a regulator tell them that we’ve going to wheel through, then there’s not really an opportunity for redress.” Williams says there may be some things Quebec and the province could do to “tweak” the upper Churchill contract, mentioning how the province will regain some power recall rights in 2009. As well, there are a couple of hundred megawatts of power that are currently being “held back” by the province. “There are some other improvements that Hydro-Quebec wanted to make up there (on the upper Churchill site) that could make the whole operation more efficient,” the premier says. The province and Quebec may also be able to work together on a wind power project, which could generate “significant” megawatts of electricity. The province has lost in more ways than one on the upper Churchill contract. The federal government was responsible for mistakenly withholding untold millions of dollars in equalization from Newfoundland and Labrador during the first 10 years of the contract. At the time, it was making payments to the province as if Newfoundland and Labrador was receiving the full cost of the hydropower. That amount was never refunded.

‘Going it alone’easier said than done


espite its colossally bad reputation in Newfoundland, the upper Churchill hydroelectric project was built on time and on budget, and went on to make a lot of money, and still does. But it was a very near thing. Numerous times prior to completion, the company that premier Joe Smallwood tasked to develop the power, Brinco, teetered on the edge of ruin. And Brinco was composed of some of the biggest financiers and richest shareholders in the world. In the end, it was Brinco’s desperate need to get a customer for the power so that it could finance the project that drove it into the arms of Hydro-Quebec. Incredibly, the big worry within Quebec at the time was that its public utility was entering into a bad financial arrangement. Inflation and the world’s energy crisis converged to ensure Quebecers’ fears turned out dramatically wrong. It was Newfoundlanders who should have been worried.

CRAIG WESTCOTT The public ledger It just goes to show the misunderstanding and mistakes that can surround a mega project. What other lessons are in it as Danny Williams embarks on the road to developing the lower portion of the Churchill River? For one thing, Williams’ decision to “go it alone” means Newfoundland taxpayers will face the same kinds of financial risks and pressures that were borne in the 1960s and early ’70s by Brinco’s shareholders. Going it alone will add at least $9 billion to our public debt and perhaps more, if increasing energy costs drive up inflation, thereby increasing the cost of construction materials and wages. Newfoundlanders already have the

highest per capita debt load in the country. Adding the cost of the lower Churchill project will make the province much more of a credit risk. So the cost of borrowing money in the future will be higher. The premier seems to contend that Newfoundland is in a better financial position to carry more debt because of offshore oil revenues. But what if Williams, or his successors, are unable to negotiate development agreements with the oil companies on new fields? With just three fields in production (Terra Nova is suspended for the moment, but is still viable) and set to run out of oil at some point, the province could conceivably face a day 20 or 30 years from now when we have no more oil revenues. It may be unlikely, but it’s not impossible, or unreasonable. If that should happen, future Finance ministers could very likely face the prospect of deficit budgets again. That would necessitate more borrowing to pay for schools, hos-

pitals and all the other essentials. And that’s when the higher cost of borrowing would really hurt us. Going it alone is a big step. Taking on enormous debt carries huge risks. The last time Newfoundland got really hard pressed because of public debt was due to the cost of building the railway and financing our efforts in the First World War. We ended up in a debt crisis that led to the loss of our independence. Of course, all this worry could be moot if the federal government agrees to guarantee the debt on the lower Churchill project. Premier Williams claims Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already agreed to do that. I can’t recall the PM ever making that promise. Harper did say during the federal election that he supported the project “in principle.” But that’s a long way from saying he would back a $9-billion loan. And even supposing he did, what would that really mean for the lower Churchill project? It’s unlikely Harper would agree to

such an arrangement unless the lower Churchill was to become a “national” energy project. The minute it becomes “national” means Newfoundlanders’ interests no longer come first. After all, he who pays the piper, calls the tune. That would put into question the whole notion of Newfoundland being the main beneficiary of “going it alone.” So when Premier Williams says we are going to “go it alone,” he still has a lot of explaining to do. The worst thing Newfoundlanders can do in a situation like this is trust the development of the lower Churchill to one man who has a tendency to act on his own and to play on our nationalistic feelings. It would be far wiser to insist on full public disclosure of every detail of this mega-project. Because if it goes wrong, a multi-millionaire turned premier won’t be worrying about paying off the debt. That will fall to us. The last thing we need is another upper Churchill.



MAY 14, 2006

Price war drops gas to 58 cents per litre By Lauren Earle Telegraph-Journal

Irving Oil Limited spokeswoman Jennifer Parker offered a somewhat different account — but she did agree the Irving station dropped he two sides disagree on who started it, its price first. but Chipman motorists filled their tanks “We did move our price down in Chipman with cheap gasoline for a couple of by one cent,” she says — from $1.109 per litre hours May 10. to $1.099. Mayor Carol Doherty says the two gasoline “We understand that they dropped their price stations on Main Street — Wilson Fuel and by a dime,” she says, referring to Wilson Irving Oil — started dropFuel’s response to the Irving ping prices late in the mornprice drop. It continued for two “It was an intense ing. hours or more, dropping to 58 “The first I heard, around a litre. but short-lived price cents 11 a.m., it was around 99, “It was an intense but shortthen it was 89, and then it lived price war,” Parker says. war. Obviously, was down to 58,” Doherty “Obviously, customers in says, adding the price was Chipman got a good deal for a customers in back up to $1.09 or $1.10 per couple of hours.” Chipman got a good litre by mid-afternoon. Neither company could Traffic became so congestafford to keep it up and, Parker deal for a couple ed the local RCMP detachsays, the Irving station eventument dispatched an officer to ally raised its price back to of hours.” help keep vehicles moving $1.099 a litre. along safely. Const. Peter Campbell of the Irving spokesperson, Chipman/Minto RCMP says What started it? “You’ll have to ask the people waiting in lines at the Jennifer Parker Irvings,” says Kevin pumps had called the police McCann, operations and already before he arrived at sales manager for Wilson Fuel in New about 11:40 a.m. to direct traffic. Brunswick. He says the Wilson station low“It was lined up, I bet you, over a mile back ered its price after the Irving station did so both ways,” he says. first. Price wars may become a thing of the past in “It’s been the culmination of five or six New Brunswick. years of frustration on my part,” McCann says. The province has indicated it intends to reg“I wasn’t going to let them drive another gas ulate the oil and gas market through the Public station out of business.” Utilities Board.


Health and Community Services Minister Tom Osborne at a news conference in Confederation Building, May, 11 to launch the re-registration of government’s Medical Care Plan, known as MCP. Paul Daly/The Independent

MAY 14, 2006


‘You and I were meant to fly …’ In light of Air Canada’s “institutional arrogance,” Board of Trade president advises travellers take time to research alternatives RAY DILLON

Board of Trade


merging from bankruptcy protection in the fall of 2004, Air Canada enlisted the services of Celine Dion in a splashy ad campaign to promote the rebirth of Canada’s national airline. Appearing at corporate events, the French Canadian songstress mingled with VIPs and sang a customized jingle espousing the beauty of flight with Air Canada. Of course, if you wanted a full-on serving of Ms. Dion’s chest-pounding, teary eyed, syrupy warble, you would have to fly to Las Vegas to get it, as she has signed a multi-year contract to perform exclusively at a large Vegas hotel. Dion is in the comfortable position of forcing those people who finance her existence to travel at their expense for the privilege of witnessing her perform. Given the recent treatment of their customers in our province, Air Canada’s choice of Dion as its advertising icon is just too ironic. Air Canada recently announced the cancellation of the direct flight from St. John’s to Heathrow. As of September 2006, we’re being jettisoned, and St. John’s passengers travelling to and from Heathrow will have to go through Halifax to reach their end destination, adding several hours to their travel and several hundreds of dollars to the cost of their trip. Not only is this an inconvenience to business and leisure travellers, but the cancellation has a huge impact on the movement of cargo between Europe and Newfoundland, with direct impacts on the growth engine of our economy. And what was the primary motivator for this major change in scheduling? At no point has Air Canada said this was not a profitable route — but Halifax passengers complained they didn’t like the time it took to stop in St. John’s. Most successful business people accept that not all products and services sold to customers are as profitable as they would like, nor are they necessarily as operationally efficient as they would hope. However, smart, customer-focused organizations realize the customer needs to be viewed as a whole entity, with the entire revenue stream and profit margin considered. To cherrypick only what is good for your business as a supplier without considering the impact on the customer signals the relationship is commodity based, and the individual pieces must stand on their own. In cancelling this direct flight, Air Canada demonstrates a touch of “institutional arrogance” toward the citizens of our province. They fully expect that no other carrier will step in to provide this service, and we will all travel to Halifax, with Air Canada seeing no material impact on its revenue as a result of this change. They’re absolutely wrong. Call it a renewed sense of nationalistic pride, thin skin, or just a chip on our collective shoulder, but the people of this province no longer accept anything less than fair and equal treatment from

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Reporting directly to the Managing Director, the Senior Manager Facilities Maintenance will form part of the senior management team for resort operations and be responsible for the maintenance and safety of the resort’s extensive infrastructure (including residential and commercial buildings, grounds and roads, the golf course and water distribution system), fleet management and housekeeping functions. The ideal candidate will; be a very project orientated, resourceful self starter with a professional attitude; have 10+ years experience in a senior facilities maintenance position with multiple team management experience; have a post secondary education with a major in Business Administration; have strong financial and budgetary skills; have exceptional computer, communication and organizational skills as well as great attention to detail and advanced problem solving skills; be capable of seeing/taking responsibility and using independent judgment.

Celine Dion

those we deal with. There have been calls for a boycott of Air Canada in this province. The Board of Trade does not support this approach. They are simply making a business decision, albeit a bad one from our perspective. But the fact remains we lose out. It’s a significant downgrade in the level of service that the company provides to people travelling to and from here. Air Canada employs over 180 people in the province, they are a good corporate citizen, and a major contributor to our province’s growth and success. However, this change in relationship will make people in this province rethink their travel patterns. Take the time to understand the other airlines that operate in this province, and learn about their routes and schedules. If it makes sense for you to book with another airline, do so, but take the time to e-mail or fax your itinerary, boarding pass, etc. to Air Canada. Tell them you chose an alternative carrier because Air Canada didn’t care as much about your business, as demonstrated by the cancellation of the direct flight from St. John’s to Heathrow. The Board of Trade respects Air Canada’s right to make this decision, but we reserve our right to tell them it is the wrong decision, if serving the Newfoundland and Labrador market means anything to them. The good news for Air Canada is that

REUTERS/Steve Marcus

while our newfound nationalistic pride is quick to boil over when we feel we are being done wrong, we are still an empathetic and forgiving people who would readily accept Air Canada’s reversal of this decision, and treat it as a temporary lack of judgment on their part. There was a vague announcement May 11 that Air Canada might or might not replace some or all of the direct flight service from St. John’s to Heathrow. An optimist would say this offers hope, a pessimist would say it is a “tease and freeze” tactic to settle the province down and take this story out of the media. A realist would say nothing has officially changed, so this announcement is a non-event. Air Canada can continue to stand by its decision and cancel the direct flight to Heathrow, or it can reverse it, and remain status quo, perhaps looking for more appropriate solutions to streamline the stopover in St. John’s. But if the company continues to carry through with the cancellation of this flight, the message from this province to Air Canada would be best delivered using the title from Celine Dion’s marketing jingle in 2004: You and I were meant to fly. But, maybe we just won’t fly together quite as often anymore. Ray Dillon is president of the St. John’s Board of Trade.

Is WestJet heading for Europe? By Rick Westhead Torstar wire service


ith its live in-flight TV, perky flight attendants and a collection of leather seats throughout passenger cabins, WestJet Airlines Ltd. has carved itself a lucrative niche in Canada’s domestic airline industry. The Calgary company has lost money in just one year — 2004 — since it began selling stock to the public in 1999. Last year WestJet boosted its yield, or average fare for flying a passenger one mile, 12 per cent. It also filled an average 74.7 per cent of seats on its planes, up from 67.5 per cent a year earlier. With WestJet filling planes on its domestic routes, its prospective plans for routes to Europe are drawing more scrutiny. Some financial analysts think the low-cost airline may be just months away from announcing new transAtlantic routes to England. Some industry analysts wonder whether St. John’s will offer WestJet incentives to use its airport as a hub for flights to Europe. WestJet recently reached an agreement with the provincial government in Price Edward Island to start a Toronto-Charlottetown route. The government guaranteed that if WestJet failed to reach certain financial thresholds, the carrier would be paid up to $300,000 to cover the dif-

“Air Canada’s flight to Heathrow allows connections anywhere in Europe. Without the ability to make connections, it’s unlikely that enough people would fly WestJet.” Airline analyst Jacques Kavafian ference. Some analysts suspect the airline is holding talks with Newfoundland’s government in a bid to reach a similar accord. “It’s definitely something they’re looking at,” says an analyst who covers WestJet but isn’t allowed to comment on it in the press. Summer travel between Canada and Europe is thriving. Demand is outstripping supply and traffic levels for transAtlantic flights have returned to pre2001 levels. That increased traffic may be spurring WestJet’s interest. Cameron Doerksen, an airline analyst with Versant Partners in Montreal, says WestJet’s fleet of 737-800s, equipped with twin engines with fuel-

saving “winglets,” would likely be adequate for lengthy overseas flights. The planes already are being used for WestJet’s Vancouver-Honolulu route, which is about 300 nautical miles longer than St. John’s-London. However, WestJet faces a number of vexing questions. For starters, it’s unclear what English airport the carrier could use. Jacques Kavafian, an airline analyst with Research Capital Corp. in Toronto, says WestJet’s best option in England would probably be London Stansted Airport. It’s about 50 kilometres northeast of London, has a single runway and acts as a hub for a number of major European low-cost airlines. Stansted also has a liability, Kavafian says — poor connections to the rest of Europe. “Air Canada’s flight to Heathrow allows connections anywhere in Europe,” Kavafian says. “Without the ability to make connections, it’s unlikely that enough people would fly WestJet.” Ticketing is another obstacle. When a passenger books a flight on Air Canada from Toronto to a destination such as Nairobi via London Heathrow, Air Canada can issue a ticket Toronto-Nairobi and “have enough interlining agreements in place to get your bags seamlessly connected,” Kavafian says. “Good luck in having WestJet issue you a ticket beyond London.”

MARKETING MANAGER Competition # HVR-2006-17

Reporting to the Managing Director, the Marketing Manager will take responsibility for all local and on-site marketing programs and initiatives including local public relations. The ideal candidate will; be a resourceful, driven marketing professional with several years experience in a similar position; have a post secondary education with a major in Business Administration or equivalent; have strong budgetary, computer, communication and organizational skills as well as great attention to detail and advanced problem solving skills; be capable of using independent judgment.

PROJECT ACCOUNTANT Competition # HVR-2006-15

Reporting to the Financial Controller, the Project Accountant is responsible for short and long term financial and system projects which include areas such as costing, financial systems development, financial reporting, management reporting, internal controls, auditing and staff training and development. Ideally, the successful candidate will have a BBA or BComm with a major in Accounting or Finance; a minimum of 2 years post graduate accounting work experience; be working towards an accounting designation; proficient with accounting software (Great Plains); superior MS Office skills; and the initiative to complete all projects within assigned timelines.


Reporting to the Activities and Retail Manager, the Programmed Activities Coordinator will be responsible for leading and assisting with various departmental programs and initiatives. The ideal candidate will be very enthusiastic, outgoing, professional and strongly customer service oriented with previous recreation or adventure tourism experience; a post secondary education with a major in Adventure Tourism, Business Administration or Physical Education / Recreation.; have strong computer, communication and organizational skills as well as great attention to detail and advanced problem solving skills; previous experience managing staff and comfortable using independent judgment.

F&B FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER Competition #HVR-2006-18

Reporting to the Senior Manager – Operations and working closely with the Head Chef, the F&B Front of House Manager will be responsible for ensuring the Food & Beverage department delivers exceptional and consistent service to all its various guests: The ideal candidate will have advanced communication, customer service, organizational and multi-tasking skills; excellent leadership and management skills; a post secondary degree or diploma, preferably in business administration; 5+ years of management experience in the food and beverage service sector specifically in a multi food and beverage venue environment; knowledge of food and beverage service techniques; staff management and training and financial management experience.

The closing date for these competitions is noon, Friday, May 19, 2006.

Please quote the appropriate competition # when submitting resume, cover letter and references to: Human Resources, Humber Valley Resort, P.O. Box 370, Humber Valley, NL, A0L 1K0, Fax: (709) 634-7031, e-mail:

w w w. h u m b e r v a l l e y. c o m


MAY 14, 2006

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Underground vault 6 Business deg. 9 Manitoba’s provincial bird: great gray ___ 12 Singer Harmer 17 Bridal path 18 Internet address 19 Neck (Fr.) 20 Skip the big wedding 21 Beg 22 T-shirt worn to bits 23 Strong cultural or ethnic identity 25 Of the third stage 27 Futon, for some 28 French school 29 Symbol of slavery 30 Moistens 31 Crazy in Quebec 32 ___ New Guinea 34 Suffers from 35 B.C. poet murdered in 1975 39 Grizzly bear: ___ arctos horribilis 40 Author of English “O Canada” 42 Brain test, briefly 43 Cousin of rd. and blvd. 44 Mouth parts 45 Little rascal 46 B.C. time 47 Destroy paper 49 Mlle aprËs le mariage

50 First Nations group in Quebec 52 Hamburgers and fries, e.g. 54 Elementary particle 56 Once-abundant Atlantic species 57 Stranger 59 Australian desert grass 61 “ ___ north strong ...” 62 Old horse, unkindly 64 Brief death notices 66 Energy 67 “I cannot tell a ___.” 68 Alta.’s official tree: lodgepole ___ 69 Dove sound 70 Spider’s trap 71 Honey wine 72 Latin-American dance 73 Shamefaced 76 Tidal whirlpool off Deer Island, N.B.: “Old ___” 77 Long-limbed 78 Carnival city, for short 79 Pool 80 Painter of melting watches 81 Toil 83 Age of note 84 Small Man. town with large insurance company

88 Colour of some military wear (2 wds.) 90 First winter mo. 91 Hollows (lit.) 92 ___ Pan 93 Billy Bishop 94 Snow runner 95 She wrote Deafening 96 Paradises 97 Spout 98 Not prov. 99 Lets off steam DOWN 1 One at the helm, for short 2 Annoy 3 Belgian river 4 Duck-billed ___ 5 Hardly exciting 6 Nfld. seabird 7 Donkey cry 8 Math subj. 9 Pieces of eight? 10 Dictionary entries 11 Him (Fr.) 12 Dugong 13 Using every possible resource 14 Stir up 15 Cathedral recess 16 Sew up an edge 24 Obscure 26 Short alias 27 Endure 30 Rider’s item 32 Groom fussily 33 Slanderous state-

ment 35 Literate 36 Solidifying 37 Pianist Egoyan 38 P.E.I.’s tree: northern ___ oak 39 Einstein’s birthplace 40 City with Canada’s oldest press club 41 Down Under bird 42 Hook shape 46 Cushion 47 Word with throat or loser 48 ___ polloi 50 Inflammation: suffix 51 French refusal 52 “The Grey ___” 53 Fire (Fr.) 55 Elect (to) 56 Mushroom 58 Long-limbed 60 Longer or shorter mo. 61 Jose’s aunt 63 Earth: prefix 64 Scot’s word of regret 65 Squeeze snake 67 Obscene 68 Divide into pages 70 Courted 71 Lisa of the Louvre 72 Israel city (2 wds.) 74 Carved 75 Various 76 Fruit ice 77 Legal field 79 ___ and quiet

80 A Cronenberg 81 Sleigh 82 Lo-cal

84 Roused 85 Dash 86 Mailed

87 Fixer-upper phrase 88 Unlock, to Browning 89 British rule of India

90 Bad cheque letters Solutions page 30

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) A once-harmonious relationship appears to be hitting some sour notes. Spend some time together to see why things have gone offkey. What you learn might surprise you. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) You feel a need to make some changes. Good — you can do it on a small scale (some new clothes, for example), or go big and redecorate your home and/or office. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) Control your tendency toward early boredom. A situation in your life might be taking a long time to develop, but patience pays off. Stay with it. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

You might feel that you’re on an emotional roller coaster this week. Don’t fret; just ride it out and let things settle down. A Pisces shows understanding. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUG. 22) Do something different for once — compromise. A stubborn stand on an important issue proves counterproductive. You need to be open to new ideas. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) A friend offers advice that you perceive as an act of betrayal. But before you turn against the messenger, pay attention to the message. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) A year of riding an emotional pogo stick finally settles down. Use this calmer period to restore

frayed relationships and to pursue new opportunities. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) Your words can sting, so be careful how you respond to a friend’s actions. A calm approach could produce some surprising facts. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC. 21) Be careful about whose secrets you’re being asked to keep. They could impose an unfair burden on a straight arrow like you. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) While you prefer taking the tried-and-true course in life, be adventurous this week and accept a challenge that can open new vistas.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) Your strong sense of justice helps you deal with a job-related situation. Stay with your principles. A Sagittarius emerges as a supporter. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) You need to build a stronger onthe-job support system to convince doubting colleagues that your innovative proposals are workable. YOU BORN THIS WEEK You might not say much, but you’re capable of extraordinary achievements. You are a loyal friend and a devoted family person. (c) 2006 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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 14, 2006



MAY 14, 2006

MAY 14, 2006

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



MAY 14, 2006

MAY 14, 2006



MAY 14, 2006

Step in the right direction Trout research in the province alive and well — and making strides in conservation


cherish a brisk southwest wind on a sunny day in August. It depresses the wearisome humidity and infuses hysteria into the trout in a certain pond on New Harbour Barrens. I know they’re in a frenzy, slurping every insect unfortunate enough to be blown in by the gusty breeze. “I’d better hurry and get this grass cut, the wind is just right and I haven’t been troutin’ in three days,” I said to myself on Aug. 15, 2005. I was out of bed early to get the grass done before the day’s heat took hold. Of course I finished the lawn in double step, loaded my canoe, picked up my buddy Matt and headed for the Barrens. This day turned out to be very significant. Not for the fish caught, but because we were checked by conservation officials — my first encounter with the authorities in 40 years of trouting. Matt and I were contentedly paddling towards my parked pickup, the fishing had been splendid, and we each had seven or eight plump mud trout tucked away for supper. We spotted two ambiguous figures on the shoreline. But as we approached they transformed into uniformed official-looking characters. “They look like wildlife officers,” I said to Matt. “I wonder what they’re doing here, hunting season is certainly not open.” As the canoe met land, they greeted us jovially. “How’s the fishing, guys?” “Fine,” I said. Being the inquisitive type, I asked what they were up to. They told us they were doing creel


The Rock

Outdoors surveys for the provincial aquatic species group. Kindly and patiently they explained the province had taken the initiative to hire a trout biologist in an attempt to gather scientific data on trout populations. They were provincial conservation officers, primarily responsible for wildlife and trees, but today they were doing trout research, and for no extra pay. They checked over our catch, asked us some fishing questions, and took notes. After some friendly small talk about trout, moose and canoes they left. Matt and I were impressed. These guys really care about trout, and so does our government. I would have to look deeper into this. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador own the fish that swim in our inland waters but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) manages the resource on our behalf, in accordance with our Terms of Union with Canada. In 1996 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador established an aquatic species group under the auspices of Forestry and Wildlife to research and gather data on the fish that swim in our inland waters. The core group consists of Robert Perry (senior biologist), Donald

Biologist Donald Keefe (left) and conservation officer Roger Ward sample a lake near Phase III of the Trans-Labrador Highway.

Keefe (biologist), and Nathan Spence (field and lab technician). Last week I chatted with Robert Perry and learned more about what his group is doing, and what they hope to achieve. Whenever a conservation concern is identified on a particular watershed, the group responds. Thirteen creel survey programs have been established and maintained throughout the province. (A creel is a fishing basket — how the English refer to those old wicker baskets — and a creel survey is sampling how many trout

people have caught, even if they’re in a plastic grocery bag.) Conservation officers randomly check anglers throughout the fishing season, winter and summer, and record catcheffort data: how long did the anglers fish? How many fish were caught? How big were they? In addition to gathering scientific data, the random presence of officers will help curtail overfishing. This type of research is known as fisheries-dependent sampling. Perry and his colleagues also carry out

Solutions for crossword on page 24

Solutions for sudoku on page 24

OOPS! Solutions for last week’s crossword

independent sampling on various watersheds throughout the province. Standardized nets are set and catches are recorded. Genetic material is preserved and stored for future reference. When data from netting and creel surveys is analyzed over a period of years, a clear picture of a watershed’s decline or rehabilitation often emerges. This kind of hard data is good for everyone. Anglers will be given more opportunity to fish if the stocks are healthy. If the stocks are shown to be in decline, all concerned should be able to accept the need for reduced effort. Information of this sort also gives DFO something concrete to guide the establishment of trouting regulations, which is ultimately their responsibility. However, the data gathered, analyzed and interpreted by the aquatic species group gives a provincial entity meaningful input into trout management in this province, albeit as a consulting body. After all, the trout belong to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. We have a rich angling history, and certainly hope for a sustainable, maybe even enriched, future. The aquatic species group is a significant and pragmatic step in the right direction. Paul Smith is a freelance writer living in Spaniard’s Bay, enjoying all the outdoors Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer.

MAY 14, 2006


Germany cracks a smile

In getting ready for the World Cup, the country is trying to show its friendly side By Cathal Kelly Torstar wire service


he motto of the upcoming World Cup is “A time to make friends.” The Pascha, a brothel in the host city of Cologne, has taken that idea a logical step further, given its line of business. It has erected (sorry) a sevenstorey billboard in front of its premises that features a curvy blonde in a thong. The sign reads “A time to make girlfriends.” The blonde didn’t bother people too much — this is a nation that has invited 40,000 additional ladies of the evening to help deal with the anticipated World Cup boom. But the presence of the Saudi Arabian and Iranian flags on the poster, alongside those of the 30 other World Cup qualifiers, enraged local Muslims. According to the Pascha’s manager, a small mob armed with knives and sticks showed up recently and threatened to firebomb the joint. The offending flags have since been blacked out. Not exactly “Hands across Germany.” Germans have come under intense pressure from their government to

improve their people skills in advance of the tournament. On the G-rated front, bus drivers have received instructional CDs aimed at teaching them basic English. This may not be necessary since Der Spiegel recently reassured visitors that all Germans speak a little English, even if they claim not to. The article ran under the headline, “Those lying Germans.” A nation-wide campaign is also urging Germans to smile more. Apparently, the need is particularly great in Berlin, whose citizens are notorious even among their countrymen as a misanthropic bunch. “Smiles breed more smiles,” Berlin’s minister of sport Klaus Boger told them hopefully. This may help explain the grin permanently plastered on the face of Germany 2006 organizing committee president Franz Beckenbauer. “We are unfortunately not perceived as a particularly friendly people,” Beckenbauer admitted as part of his happiness rehab. The famously dour Bayern legend is straining to reveal his back molars every time a foreign journalist or a TV camera gets in front of him these days. By way of compensa-

Soccer’s greatest event From page 32 son in the league. The team struggled to get a commitment from enough talented players and while the team definitely took its lumps last year, the Shannons did make strides and were competitive in games towards the end of the season. It’s never easy joining such a competitive league, especially when you’re relying on young players to carry the load. Given some more time and games, there could be a return of the Shannons, but it’s probably better to fold the tent before the season starts and avoid the embarrassment of calling it quits midway through the schedule. In the meantime, it looks like many of the players will end up playing in the St. John’s intermediate league. ••• Speaking of soccer, the World Cup of Soccer is slated to start next month and I would love to be in Germany to take in some of the games. On a global scale, there is nothing quite like the World Cup. The world championships of any other sport fail to reach the profile and the intensity of soccer’s greatest event. With England facing the prospect of being without one of the world’s best and highest paid players, Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, the Brits have enlisted the services of everything imaginable to restore his health in time for competition. Rooney broke his foot just a couple of weeks ago, and given that England’s first match is June 10 against Paraguay, it would be a minor miracle to see Rooney on the pitch. I recall being in Hamburg a few years ago when Germany was playing Iceland in a World Cup qualifier. I was unable to get tickets, but I walked by the stadium, and what a feeling. You could hear the chants of the crowd all over the city, which was saying something because Hamburg is a busy place with lots of activity and noise. I can only imagine what kind of electric feeling will be running through Germany June 9 to July 9. So who will win the coveted World Cup this time around? I’m going with the home side.

tion, he saves his irritation for other Germans. After national coach Juergen Klinsmann was a no-show at a planning meeting, Beckenbauer hit him with a broadside. “He should have been here,” Beckenbauer fumed. “The more I think about it, the more drastic my words will become.” He saved the drastic ones for Germany’s only star, Michael Ballack. Upset that the Bayern midfielder loafed through a Cup final with unfancied Eintracht Frankfurt, Beckenbauer said: “The way (Ballack) runs around the field has little to do with football. ... He isn’t trying any more and I was waiting for him to be substituted.” That’s Der Kaiser we all know and love. Beckenbauer’s last-minute Mr. Hyde routine is part of what seems like a general German jumpiness ahead of the tournament. After getting themselves excited for six years, they’re suddenly worried sick about all the things that could go wrong — stadium preparedness, security, ticket snafus. German papers are full of doomsday scenarios — rampant neo-Nazi rallying or some fresh anti-Semitic scandal involving Iranian president Mahmoud

German border police Bundespolizei “arrest” a mock Polish soccer fan during a combined exercise at the Pomellen border checkpoint on the Polish-German border, May 12. Polish police plan to talk to hundreds of fans with tickets for the World Cup, searching for potential troublemakers as concern rises over the country's hooligan element. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Ahmadinejad, who may or may not attend. Average Germans have been terrorized with visions of invading hooligans, especially those from Poland. Go back in the press clippings and you will find that these sorts of jitters routinely beset World Cups. The Italians feared a British invasion in 1990; the French likewise fretted over deranged Germans in 1998. While there were incidents, the predictions of widespread violence did not come to pass.

These days, the randomness of political violence understandably makes us a little more susceptible to exaggerated fears. But the World Cup still stands as a paragon of international unity. Case in point: a team of priests faced off against a squad of imams in a Berlin soccer match aimed at promoting tolerance. The two referee’s assistants were Jewish. The Christians walked away with a 12-1 victory, but according to reports, everyone involved was all smiles after the match.



By Bob White For the Independent


resh from a Herder win with the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars, Ian Moores is setting his sights on another hockey title. However, it won’t be on ice — and unlike his recent win as a defenseman with the CeeBees, Moores will try to reach the top this time from a spot on the bench. Moores will be an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior men’s ball hockey team as it travels to Italy next month for the world junior street and ball hockey championship. The tournament begins June 21. Originally, the tournament — hosted by the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation — was to have been hosted by Torino, and games played at the Pinerolo facility, the same arena where Brad Gushue’s rink claimed Olympic gold a few months ago. But now, due to “postOlympic complications,” the city of Aosta has been designated host. Moores, who was assistant coach on the Canadian team for the 2003 world tournament in Slovakia, is looking forward to the trip and hopes Team Canada will improve on its bronze medal finish in Slovakia. “We should have won gold, but came up short,” says the Harbour Grace native. “Hopefully we can get the gold this time around.” Joining Moores on the national team are two fellow Newfoundlanders, Matthew Thomey of Harbour Grace and Deer Lake’s Jake Easton, who played for the Deer Lake Red Wings against Moores in the Herder final. Moores figures Thomey and Easton will be counted on as leaders for Team Canada, and he’s confident both players can make big-time contributions. “For his age group, it’s fair to say that Matthew Thomey is one of the best ball hockey players in the country right now,” Moores says. “And Easton, while he might be smaller, is extremely fast and has great hands.” Thomey just completed his second season at Yale University in Connecticut, where he is on a full hockey scholarship with the Bulldogs. Moores expects Thomey to be in contention to be one of Team Canada’s captains. With seven countries competing in the World Championships, including Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, United

On the


Ian Moores to coach national ball hockey squad in Italy

States, Italy and Czech Republic, Moores says the competition will be stiff. But Canada is seen as a perennial medal contender. However, because team members come from across the country — from Edmonton to Harbour Grace — practicing as a unit will be difficult. The team will have some opportunity to practice together in Toronto before departing for Italy. “We’ll have a few days in Italy before the tournament starts so that will give us another chance to work on some things,” says Moores. As an avid ball hockey player (he’ll be returning to action this summer after taking off last season with a leg injury), Moores is a big supporter of the game and sits on the provincial executive of Ball Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador as its vice-president. He says this province has turned out its fair share of great ball hockey teams and players over the years, and while it may not be as glamorous as some sports, it has shown growth in many areas of the province. Although the Conception Bay North area has been a traditional hotbed for the sport, the numbers have been on the decline in recent years. But Moores points to healthy leagues in central Newfoundland, Corner Brook and St. John’s. He’s seen interest among youth rise in the past two years, which he says can be traced to the inclusion of ball hockey as a sanctioned sport by the high school sports federation. Moores credits Bay Roberts teacher Fred Simms for his work in getting the sport included in the annual race for championship banners. Moores says having ball hockey at the high school level will allow the sport to have a better transition in terms of retaining players as they change from high school to juniors. “If you look at the seven or eight guys from this province who went to Slovakia in 2003 and the two guys who are going to Italy this year, there are lots of opportunities to take advantage of with ball hockey,” Moores says. “You may not get paid to play like you can in other sports, but there are many great experiences to be had.” And for those young players dreaming of a chance to play for Canada one day, St. John’s is playing host to the 2008 world junior championships. Moores will be a leading contender to serve as the team’s head coach.

Four points to ponder W

ith the way he’s playing this postseason, you gotta figure the Calgary Flames are getting excited about the prospect of Daniel Ryder joining the Flames’ lineup next season. Ryder is having an outstanding playoff with the Peterborough Petes, who at the time of writing were one win away from clinching the Ontario Hockey League championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup final against Canada’s best junior teams. The 74th pick overall by Calgary in the 2005 NHL entry draft, Ryder has scored 14 goals and 14 assists for 28


Four-point play points in 14 games. That’s a pretty decent scoring pace, and considering the fate of the Flames in this year’s playoffs, it couldn’t hurt giving Ryder a shot. The younger brother of Montreal’s Michael Ryder, Daniel is seen by some as a better prospect at his age than his big bro. Whatever the case, being able

to produce when the pressure is on is a great way to show the big club what he can do. Like Michael, Daniel has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and while he probably doesn’t have the shooting ability of Michael, Daniel seems to have better vision as a playmaker. And perhaps better speed. ••• To me, the biggest surprise of this year’s playoffs has been the commitment by referees to follow up on the regular season crackdown on infractions. And it’s a pleasant surprise.

No longer are teams able to trap and hook their way to success. No, teams must rely on talent, and in hockey that means speed. As in first to the puck on the fore-check, putting pressure on the opposing defenseman. And also speed in getting the puck quickly out of your own end and down the ice to speedy forwards. The teams that have been good at doing that are still alive, while the others have faltered. It seems some teams have rosters built around the new rules, and while it doesn’t hurt to have great goaltending no matter what style you are playing, the teams that have

adapted best to the new rules have achieved the most success. Just look at Buffalo and Anaheim. Both those teams are getting major contributions from many players, and with the exception of Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne, these teams have no so-called “superstars” leading the way. ••• Sad to report it, but the Harbour Grace Shannons, a new entry in the provincial Challenge Cup soccer circuit, won’t be back, after just one seaSee “Soccer’s greatest,” page 31


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