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VOL. 4 ISSUE 20

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 21-27, 2006

Changing boundaries 3 Fewer people, less cash 5

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COLLAPSING COMMUNITIES?

Pictures from an outport 16 & 17 Small town, small business 21 & 22

Fading to grey Newfoundland’s towns losing their leaders at alarming rate By Craig Westcott The Independent

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f municipal leaders are the politicians closest to the people, Craig Pollett is the man closest to the municipal politicians. As the long-time executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities, Pollett deals with the mayors and councillors of the province’s 282 incorporated towns on a daily basis. The circumspect servant and observer of all things municipal is not given to hyperbole. So when he says Newfoundland’s municipal leaders are sounding more harried and worried than usual, you can believe him. But Pollett says he doesn’t know if it’s actually because the pace of outmigration is picking up — he hasn’t seen any numbers. “What I can say is that since our last convention, which was in October, the municipal leaders I talk to definitely have a heightened sense of urgency, that there is a sense we’re reaching a breaking point,” Pollett says. “There is definitely a sense of urgency in the municipal world right now, on out-migration, on where we’re going with economic development and where we’re going with the whole municipal system.” Newfoundland’s town councils are starting to fade as fast as the greying hairs of the people who serve on them. Last September, Pollett notes, only 140 of the province’s 276 incorporated towns held contested elections. That left 136, just about half, that weren’t able to attract enough people to run for council. Seats had to be filled by acclamation, subsequent byelections or appointments by Municipal Affairs. Some towns have lost their incorporated status because there are not enough people interested in becoming See “Why am I not,” page 2

As Todd Keeping gets ready to head back to Alberta to work, wife Geraldine and son Todd help him pack. The family live in Harbour Mille, on the Burin Peninsula. Paul Daly/The Independent

‘End of our culture as we know it’ As out-migration continues at a brisk pace, how will Newfoundland and Labrador adapt? By Stephanie Porter The Independent

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im Wellman estimates that, within 10 years, Newfoundland and Labrador will have about half the communities it does now. The changes have already started, and are accelerating. “It’s not something that’s coming; it’s happening, it’s real,” says Wellman, managing editor of The Navigator magazine and former host of CBC-Radio’s Fisheries Broadcast. “And some would say it’s not a bad thing; we have people so spread out and we don’t have the tax base to support all of the infrastructure.” Wellman predicts a new sort of regionalization to emerge before long, as urban areas grow and rural ones dwindle away.

“I suspect we’ll have areas, regions, bays … say, a Bonavista will survive, a Twillingate will survive, a Baie Verte. Sort of the capitals of each region will be there.” Of course, the trend of moving towards urban centres isn’t new, and it’s hardly unique to this province. And while Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been leaving the province to find work for centuries, the past year or so seems to have brought a sudden spike in outmigration. Point to a change in outlook, education, the Internet, the price of crab, FPI, the Alberta oil boom or Air Canada (for launching a direct air link to Fort McMurray) — there are any number of reasons why the province is going through what many see as the most severe loss of population in decades.

Whelmed By Susan Rendell For The Independent

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ouglas Coupland and I didn’t get off to a very auspicious start. When Paul Daly, the Independent’s photographer, and I arrive at the gallery space where Play Again?, Coupland’s text-art exhibit, is in the process of being mounted, things seem a little … um, Toronto-ish. Like the Rooms themselves. Lots of chrome railings and empty space. Toilets that should come with flushing instructions. Toilets that flush themselves after Doug Coupland

The effects are inevitable and far-reaching— changes in the delivery of health care and education, diminished equalization payments, failing infrastructure. Some predict a disconnect with history and identity; others say it’s a natural evolution. “I have never seen out-migration from the area I represent like this, and I have been involved in politics since 1989,” says Judy Foote, the provincial member for Grand Bank and Opposition critic of Industry, Trade and Rural Development. “Over the years, people have left and people have returned … There’s nothing wrong with leaving the province if you’ve got a choice; but when you don’t, that’s what’s bad … It’s a tragedy. See “Losing your best,” page 2

A meeting with Douglas Coupland, the man who defined a generation, at The Rooms

they get fed up with your incompetence. Urinals in the men’s bathroom that are set at floor level and look like those oriental water fountains that are supposed to soothe you. (How’s your aim, guys?) Checkpoint Charlie just inside the front door. No one goes to the bathroom without permission around here. The Rooms takes itself seriously. Too seriously. So does Douglas Coupland, was my initial reaction. Well, fair enough. He is, after all, the person who defined an entire generation, Generation X, in his 1991 book of the same name, although he

is on record as saying he was only defining himself. As we all know by now, Generation X is the post-Baby Boomer generation, a directionless cohort of non-conformists, victims of the West’s decline into materialism and moral lassitude. Coupland’s book also gave us the ubiquitous neologism “McJob.” Paul and I are ushered into a room whose walls are covered with sentences from Coupland’s latest novel, jPod. It reminds me of some

Paul Daly/The Independent

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “There are times when I really love it, and I’m really proud of it and there are times when I feel like I just want to leave.” — Anita Best on her home province. See page 13

SPORTS 28

Ann Jennings makes national rugby team

VOICE FROM AWAY 11

Chef Sean Patrick, cook to the stars, about to return home

Life Story . . . . . . . 10 On the shelf . . . . . . 13 Gallery . . . . . . . . . . 14 Film score . . . . . . . 15 Crossword. . . . . . . 18

See “Clog dancers,” page 9


2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 21, 2006

‘Why am I not enjoying my retirement somewhere else?’ From page 1 councillors or staff, or because those who were left felt too burned out to go on. Another reason is the declining tax base caused by depopulation. Councillors are feeling the pressure of trying to maintain road clearing, garbage collection and other services on less property and business taxes. “If memory serves correctly, 15 municipalities had nobody to run for council,” Pollett says. “We’re getting fewer people turning out to offer themselves for municipal government.” The federation has never seen it this bad. “The other aspect of it is that we only had about 50 per cent of the incumbent councillors run again.” Pollett says the age profile of people who serve on councils is older than the average age profile of the province. And the province’s age profile is older than anywhere else in the country. Only three per cent of Newfoundland’s sitting councillors are 30 years of age or younger. As councillors leave their municipal leadership roles, whether due to retirement, out-migration or death, there are far fewer people left to draw on to replace them. “If they were all 40 years old, it would be a problem, but it wouldn’t be a big problem,” Pollett says of the cur-

rent age range of Newfoundland’s municipal leaders. “But they’re not. They’re all 60 years old. They‘re all either retired or getting near retirement and thinking, ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I not enjoying my retirement somewhere instead of getting up at 2 a.m. because the lift station broke down?’ So it’s a challenge.” But it’s a challenge the federation is facing square on. Just recently, the NLFM held a symposium in Gander on economic development and the sustainability of Newfoundland’s towns. Last fall, it struck a task force to look at those issues. “One of the things that our task force said, was a lot of these municipalities are going to have to look at whether they are sustainable from an economic point of view, from their own financial operations and also from a governance point of view,” Pollett says. “Because if you can’t get people from the community to step forward and say ‘I’ll serve on council’ on a regular basis, maybe you need to be drawing from a larger area, because clearly the democratic system is not working properly in that instance. It’s still something that within our organization we’re trying to grapple with, because the current system is not sustainable, it can’t keep going the way it’s been going.” The federation is looking at ways

Craig Pollett

Paul Daly/The Independent

towns can share services, without amalgamating, and also the merits and implications of a county government for some regions. “It will probably be a very organic thing, but that’s where we see it going,” Pollett says. “Ten years ago, if our board had been out there talking about regional cooperation, somebody in the

back of the room would have said, ‘You mean amalgamation,’ and the room would have cleared. But that’s not happening anymore. There is a real acknowledgement that this is one of, if not the only, alternative right now.” But Pollett adds there is an upside to planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

“I think that if we went through this regionalization process and ended up with a number of counties and a number of strong municipalities, if things did turn around, we’d be in a better position to take advantage of it than we are right now with 282 small, relatively powerless municipalities,” he says. cwestcott@nl.rogers.com

‘Losing your best people’

UMA THURMAN

WWW.TAGHEUER.COM

From page 1 “I try and deal with it, but these are family and friends and when you have people who are 59 years old looking at you and asking, ‘What do I do?’ … well, what do you do?” Foote says she knows of about 50 families who have left this year, just from Fortune and nearby communities. She’s seeing the spirits of many of her constituents darken, and muses about the effects that might have on visitors. “Every tourist, when they come, they love to go down to the waterfront and talk to the fisherpeople,” she says. “I think this probably spells the end of our culture as we know it.” Wellman, who has had a close eye on the fishery and rural Newfoundland throughout his career, sees a marked difference between the current situation and the crisis in 1992, when the cod moratorium was announced. “In 1992, 1993, 1994, there was all kinds of money still coming in from Ottawa,” he says. “Literally billions, four billion. “And people were given to believe by the politicians that the cod moratorium would be temporary; they were told on June 2, 1992, that this would be for two years. This was a lie and they knew it was a lie, but because they told people that, they had to take care of people for that amount of time.” Back then, many people, devastated though they were, stuck around. “Now we’ve got a problem,” Wellman continues. “There’s not going to be any support coming in to tie people over until a

brighter day.” He says people have learned from the experience of the past decade and are no longer waiting around — they know they’ve got options, and are moving on them. “Do you want to follow your mother and work in a fish plant under (agonizing) circumstances for a few weeks a year, or would you just as soon go to Fort McMurray and make $120,000 a year? I mean the options are there, it’s a whole new world. You’ve got people down here looking for you now.” On the way to Houston last month for the annual oil show, St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells happened to travel as far as Toronto on a flight destined for Fort McMurray. “I can honestly say I was absolutely shocked,” he says. “The plane, I’m just guessing, half the plane was heading to Fort Mac and they were all young people. And I talked to some of the parents who were there seeing them off and the parents were, well, I guess they were annoyed because their kids are leaving. “You’re losing your best people — the best people are the ones who are going to make the decision to emigrate, they want to improve their possibilities in life.” There’s a disconnect between St. John’s and rural Newfoundland, Wells says, and the capital city has “more in common with mainland Canada” than the rest of the province. “It’s a big problem and I don’t know, no one knows, there’s no magic wand you can wave,” he says. “I mean, it’s only going to be based on resources and

GOVERNMENT OF

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

MCP Re-registration

mcp

NEWFOUNDLAN

OR D AND LABRAD 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

1-866-449-4459

1-800-563-1557

St.John’s / Avalon Region

All other areas including Labrador

www.gov.nl.ca/mcp

the fishery is shagged up completely. I would think anything that can be done by the province is being done by this government … but it’s very difficult.” Donna Butt, artistic director of Rising Tide theatre, makes her home in Trinity, where she’s built a successful summer enterprise by attracting tourists and locals alike to the company’s productions. Although Rising Tide is doing well, employing 40 people throughout the summer and has recently expanded its season into the fall, she was taken aback this year when her two box-office workers, who have been with her for years — “the kind of women I never thought would leave” —moved out of the province. “There is a tragedy to what’s happening now,” she says. “It’s kind of like watching someone die slowly of a terminal illness. “But we have to focus on what can survive and what part of that is going to be supported by public investment, and private investment.” Butt is part of the province’s rural secretariat for her region, and she says she’s been thinking a lot about sustainability and social reality balanced against social conscience. The only way for the situation to stabilize, she says, is to organize a “rational and integrated” approach, involving both government and the public — a tall and unwieldy order. “The passionate, emotional response is everybody would like to say it will all be there forever, and that’s a lie … we have to hold on to as much as we can of the rural economy, focus on those things. The moratorium was a wake-up call. Now, we’re in the crisis.” Ronald Rompkey, a research professor with Memorial University’s English department, doesn’t view the current state of affairs in such dire terms. “This is part of our culture,” he says. “(People leaving) has been part of the culture since the turn of the century … Look at the big out-migration we had to the U.S. Boston’s full of Newfoundlanders, so is Cape Breton and Halifax and Nova Scotia in general. We were doing this before Alberta even became a province … we’ve never been able to sustain all the people we have. “I’m sure there are some cases where people are really torn up about going, and their families really hate to lose them. But there are lots of other cases where people go on and find bigger and better opportunities.” He points to the historically labourintensive fishery. “That was a very traditional culture,” he says. “We have to move into the 21st century … Lots of ways of life are gone, not just ours. I’ve lived in other provinces; they’re not living the same way they were. “That’s part of our strength is that we can now move onto something else … We have to adapt. We will. Look at the alternative.” Wellman refers to last week’s announcement that four plants — three in Newfoundland, one in Nova Scotia — operated by Daley Brothers Group had been placed in receivership as the latest, though not the last, in a series of blows. “The plant in Anchor Point, that employed a couple of hundred people from Anchor Point and surroundings,” he says. “Without a fish plant there, all of these communities are going to dry up and wither away. Who else is going to want to go in there and operate? “The further you get away from this nucleus of St. John’s, the harder it gets. We’re in a huge upheaval; it’s absolutely a time of big change.” stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3

SCRUNCHINS A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia

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onsidering this is the celebrated May 24th weekend, this week’s column will begin in the great outdoors … all the way to Canada’s west coast — Buntzen Lake, northeast of Vancouver, B.C., to be exact, where ex-pat Newfoundlanders Susan Flanagan and her children Chris, Conor, Liam and Ryan came across a tree stump recently in the shape of the island of Newfoundland, albeit with a “slight crater” near Gander. The Flanagans are still on the lookout for Labrador. Happy trails … and make sure to stake a claim or two when you find it. MONSTER TROUT In Newfoundland ponds and streams, there are at least four different fish commonly referred to as trout. The rainbow and European (German Brown and Lochleven) — both of which were introduced to our waters — are true trout. The native or mud trout is in reality a Char, while the salmon peel, also generally considered to be a species of trout, is a young salmon. Ponds on the Avalon Peninsula were stocked for years with rainbow trout by the Murray’s Pond hatchery. The first trout hatchery was built at Long Pond in 1888 by the late John Martin, who also stocked Windsor Lake with ova obtained from a celebrated hatchery in Scotland. Windsor Lake is within the City of St. John’s watershed, meaning it’s illegal to fish there. Imagine the monstersized trout that swim those waters … CATCH OF THE DAY Catch limits on the number of salmon an angler can take in a day or a season weren’t introduced until 1939. The celebrated American sportsman Lee Wulff wrote an article in the mid-1960s critical of Newfoundland anglers for taking large breeding stock. “No intelligent farmer would kill off his best stock and use his poorest for seed, yet that has been the consistent policy with angling in Newfoundland; both with salmon where law has made the netter take the big fish while allowing the runts to pass through to spawn, and with trout where the angler was allowed until recently to take fish by numbers and not by weight. So the big ones stayed out and the poor breeding stock stayed.” Wulff also raised alarm bells in Labrador, where for most of the 1930s and ’40s there were only two wardens to cover thousands of miles of coastline at any given time: “It was like having an open gold mine and not feeling it was worthwhile to hire a watchman and forbid stealing. At the time when regulations to safeguard it would have been completely effective they were not formulated. Slowly, always behind the need, the regulations developed. Always too little! Always too late!” WILDERNESS TREK Stephen Jermanok of the Boston Globe wrote a travel piece earlier this month after a four-day trek through the Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park. Wrote Jermanok: “The Long Range Mountains could very well be one of the last remnants of pristine wilderness within a threehour flight of Boston. Yes, wilderness, one of the most misused words in the English language. These days, any green chunk of land the size of a suburban backyard seems to fit the bill. But here on Newfoundland’s western coast, a mere hour’s drive from the airport in Deer Lake, there are no roads, no power lines. The only sign of humanity tampering with the terrain was the dock we were landed on and the two lean-tos we passed.” FLIGHT INTO HISTORY Saturday, May 20, marked the 74th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s flight from Harbour Grace to Northern Ireland — the first woman to fly solo and non-stop across the Atlantic (she did so with a thermos of soup from Archibald’s Hotel in Harbour Grace). Four years earlier, in 1928, she was part of a flight team that flew from Trepassey to Wales in 21 hours. The original flight plan — representing the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman — is slated to go on the auction block June 7 at the Dallas, Texas headquarters of Heritage Auction Galleries. In December 2005, a flying cap worn by Earhart sold for $16,730 and a pair of goggles went for $3,000. Wonder if that thermos is still around … DOGS DAY Last to the game of hockey (which can still be considered an outdoors sport). Joshua Day of Newfoundland, who plays with the Mississauga Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League, recently won the team’s Chris Pronger Defenseman of the Year award. Guess the Dogs had their Day … ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

Cushioning the blow Rural districts will be protected from redrawing of political map — this time By Craig Westcott The Independent

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ewfoundland and Labrador’s rural districts will be cushioned from the effects of outmigration when their electoral boundaries are redrawn this year. That’s because the population figures being used to set the new boundaries are being culled from the last completed census in 2001. The numbers being compiled by Census Canada this month won’t be used, says Bob Aylward, a former MHA from Kilbride and PC cabinet minister who sits on the Electoral Boundaries Commission. “In Labrador there will be no change, the four seats are there and that’s it,” says Aylward. “You could look at Churchill Falls as to whether it should be in Labrador West or Lake Melville, but nobody is asking for it, so I don’t know why anyone would look at it.” Churchill Falls is currently within the boundaries of Labrador West. Still, even using 2001 census numbers, the shift of population out of some districts has been significant. For instance, in Human Resources Minister Paul Shelley’s district of Baie Verte, the population between 1995 and 2001 declined by 25 per cent. Bellevue shrank by 20 per cent over the same period. Bonavista South and Burgeo-Lapoile declined by 21 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. Placentia-St. Mary’s was down 23 per cent. Transportation Minister Trevor Taylor’s district of The Straits-White

Bay North fell by 21 per cent. Except for Labrador’s Torngat Mountains, which has a burgeoning aboriginal population, the only districts that enjoyed growth between 1995 and 2001 were on the Northeast Avalon. Topsail district was up a whopping 27 per cent. Cape St. Francis was up 15 per cent. If the 2006 census figures were to be used, the changes in population would likely be far more dramatic. “We thought we would be getting the most up-to-date numbers, but the way the legislation is written, we’ve got to use the last census numbers,” says Aylward. “The whole idea for doing this was to get the up-to-date numbers, but Stats Canada can’t give them to us.” Aylward says that’s probably not a bad thing though, because it will protect the status of some of the rural districts. “There will be a few changes,” he allows. He’s expecting, for instance, that his old district of Kilbride and the neighbouring one of Ferryland may shift boundaries a little to reflect the declining population of the Southern Shore. “So Loyola Sullivan may move further down the Shore towards the Goulds slightly,” says Aylward, laughing. “The trouble with being on this commission is that you make enemies of every one of them in there.” Aylward knows the truth of that, having served on two previous commissions, the last one struck in August 2003 by Roger Grimes. It was supposed to report before the end of that

year, but wasn‘t quite finished. When the incoming Danny Williams administration took over, it ruled the commission had missed its deadline and disbanded it. Before that, a report by a previous commission found a cool welcome in the Liberal government of Clyde Wells and was rejected. Justice Minister Tom Marshall appointed the latest commission in March. Ironically, one of the people named to it is Grimes. He couldn’t be reached for comment. The other commissioners are former NDP leader Cle Newhook and Julie Eveleigh. By law, a commission is supposed to be established every 10 years to review the population numbers and the district boundaries. In 1993, the then Liberal government missed the deadline and managed to get an extension. The eventual review, completed in 1995, resulted in four seats being cut from the legislature, which left it at 48. Aylward notes the new commission has already met once and that when its proposals are ready, the results will be published in newspapers and posted on a web site for public comment. That will be followed by public hearings. “If we were going down from 48 seats to 44 we would be in a tangle,” Aylward says. “But right now it’s not an onerous thing to do… The urban seats will be the ones that will change from one street to another, if a big subdivision went in, say. That’s from my preliminary look at it anyway.” cwestcott@nl.rogers.com


4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 21, 2006

Moving on He was a one-man show for most of it, but Jack Harris filled the role of a party Craig Westcott The Independent

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he House is about to open and Jack Harris is animated about the situation at FPI Limited. The leader of Newfoundland’s New Democratic Party advocates nationalizing the company, temporarily at least, until it can be put back on an even keel. After 20 years, Harris still sounds excited by politics. But he’s keeping to his decision to move on. Next weekend, the province’s New Democrats will elect his successor. Harris expects to be out of the legislature by this fall. Filling his boots won’t be easy. For a man who was a party of one for nine years in the House of Assembly, then leader of a caucus of one for seven more, he’s had a large impact. From opposing the privatization of Newfoundland Hydro under Clyde Wells to pushing for a province-wide prescription drug program from the Tories, Harris has often voiced the concerns of average folks, even if his party has never caught the imagination of the electorate. In fact, Harris has almost always been more popular than his party, according to public opinion polls. But even the most consummate politician

can reach his fill of politics. “I’m ready to move on,” Harris says. Jack Harris’s political career began as an activist with the fishermen’s union in the 1970s. During a protracted strike involving trawlermen, Harris volunteered his services to the union. There he met union co-founder Richard Cashin, a former Liberal MP with a pronounced social conscience. In the mid-1980s when Peter Fenwick became leader of the NDP and won a seat in the legislature, Harris helped convince Cashin and an old friend from his days at Memorial University, Cle Newhook, to get involved with the party. “We tried to put some substance into the party,” says Harris. At a party convention in June of 1986, Harris, who was practicing law with Danny Williams, spearheaded efforts to craft a Statement of Principles for the party. “I wanted to be able to answer the question, ‘What does the NDP stand for anyway?’” Harris says. Later that same year, when Jim McGrath resigned as the Conservative MP for St. John’s East to become Lieutenant Governor, some New Democrats, including national party leader Ed Broadbent, looked to Harris

to run. “It took me a long time to determine that I really wanted it,” Harris says. “If you don’t really want to get elected, you’re not going to get elected, unless it’s by some fluke or you’re on somebody’s coattails. We didn’t have much in the way of coattails here in Newfoundland and Labrador for the NDP, so you had to have a fire in the belly, you really had to work for it and be prepared to make sacrifices to do it.” After a successful fight for the party’s nomination against Evelyn Riggs, it was time to take on the main opponents, two old warhorses, Liberal Steve Neary and PC Tom Hickey. “I got lucky,” Harris says. “The first time I ran, I got elected. That’s an unusual thing in politics.” Harris says he was on top of the world when he got to Ottawa. He was the only NDP member east of Oshawa, Ont., and he got to speak in the House of Commons more often then many other members because he was the party’s representative for all of Atlantic Canada. But the following year, everything changed. Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives fought the general election on free trade. In St. John’s East, the Tories threw in Ross Reid, who appealed to some of the same people who tended to support Harris. Even though he managed to get more votes than he had in the by-election, Harris lost. “I was pretty let down, I’ve got to say,” Harris admits. “But I didn’t take it personally. I didn’t feel rejected.” Harris returned to his law practice. But more disappointments for the NDP were to follow. In 1989, a provincial general election was held. Newhook, now the leader of the NDP, failed to get elected. Worse, Gene Long, who had been elected in a provincial byelection in 1986, lost his seat to PC Shannie Duff in St. John’s East. So with Fenwick not bothering to run, the NDP’s two provincial seats were wiped out. “It was very depressing for the party,” Harris recalls. But after a year of sitting in Opposition in the House, Duff resigned her seat to run for mayor of St. John’s. “I was persuaded, let’s put it that way, to be the candidate,” Harris says. “It wasn’t something that I wanted, it wasn’t something that I was looking for.” Harris still had his mind set on returning to Ottawa. Another consideration was what to do with Newhook, who was a party leader without a seat. In the end, the party decided Harris, who had represented the area as the MP, would make the better candidate and that Newhook, a Trinity Bay man, would wait his chance for a crack at a seat outside St. John’s. Harris found himself back in office. But the provincial legislature was a much different place from what he had experienced in Ottawa. He was completely on his own, without a caucus or much else in the way of support or resources. But the time spent in Ottawa did help prepare him for the parliamentary debating part of the job. Still, the

Jack Harris

Paul Daly/The Independent

“politicos” in the two main parties, people like John Efford, seemed to go out of their way to freeze him out. Government backbenchers frequently denied him leave to speak on statements by ministers. Harris fought the muzzling, taking his arguments directly to Premier Clyde Wells. “It was a very different forum,” he says. “The scope was different. I didn’t really understand provincial politics. One of the reasons I had gone to Ottawa was that I thought the solution to most of Newfoundland’s problems wasn’t going to come from Confederation Building, it was going to

“But let me tell you this: if I can do it, there are an awful lot of more people who can do it too.” Jack Harris come from Ottawa. “So when I ended up in provincial politics I had to figure out what it was that New Democrats had to say about these things.” But he learned. When Newhook resigned as leader, Harris took over. And he scored some successes. Harris touted a bigger role for Newfoundland Hydro, long before the Tories and Liberals scalped the policy and made it part of their own party platforms last election. In 1997, Harris took a stab at city

politics, taking on Andy Wells for the mayor’s job. He came within 123 votes of winning. He probably would have won if not for a crack he made during a debate, saying Wells couldn’t run City Hall by cell phone from the deck of a downtown bar. Provincially though, Harris kept managing to get re-elected. The closest contest was in 1999, when Brian Tobin tried to expand his second Liberal majority and threw comedian Pete Soucy, a.k.a. Snook, into Signal HillQuidi Vidi. Harris held on to the seat by just 139 votes. The question now for Harris is: what’s next? He admits he was tempted to run federally last election. “I really was. I believe in Jack Layton and what he wanted to do and I think he’s doing a terrific job for the party,” says Harris. “But I had made my mind up by then (to retire from politics) … and I didn’t have the fire in the belly.” Harris says his immediate plan is take a a hiatus, enjoy more time with his family and tackle an old fixer-upper of a house he’s bought around the bay. But the biggest question that surrounds both Harris and the party is why hasn’t there been more people like him, prominent, successful citizens willing to carry the party banner and capable of winning elections? Harris looks genuinely stumped. “It’s not a question I can answer,” he says after a long silence. “But let me tell you this: if I can do it, there are an awful lot of more people out there who can do it too. “You don’t have to be in one of the big parties, you can be a New Democrat, you can have a political career.”


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5

SHIPPING NEWS Keeping an eye on the comings and goings of the ships in St. John’s harbour. Information provided by the Coast Guard Traffic Centre. MONDAY Vessels arrived: Labrador Arrow, Canada, from Trepassey; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, from White Rose; ASL Sanderling, Canada, from Halifax; Brites, Portugal, from fishing. Vessels departed: Maersk Norseman, Canada, to Hibernia. TUESDAY Vessels arrived: None. Vessels departed: Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; ASL Sanderling, Canada, to Corner Brook; Shamook, Canada, to sea; Grand Manan V, Canada, unspecified; Brites, Canada, to fishing.

WEDNESDAY No report THURSDAY Vessels arrived: Atlantic Eagle, Canada, from Terra Nova; Maersk Norseman, Canada, from Hibernia; Maersk Placentia, Canada, from White Rose; Cabot, Canada, from Montreal; Maersk Dispatcher, Canada, from White Rose; Atlantic Hawk, Canada, from Terra Nova. Vessels departed: Maersk Placentia, Canada, to White Rose; Anticosti, Canada, to Terra Nova; Atlantic Eagle, Canada, to Terra Nova; Maersk Norseman, Canada, to Hibernia. FRIDAY Vessels arrived: Irving Canada, Canada, from Charlottetown; Cicero, Canada, from Halifax. Vessels departed: Atlantic Hawk, Canada, to Terra Nova; Atlantic Osprey, Canada, to Terra Nova.

Cargo vessel investigated for illegal dumping

T

ransport Canada officials are investigating the dumping of garbage in Canadian waters by a general cargo vessel earlier this month, The Independent has learned. The vessel was spotted by surveillance aircraft on May 12, about 160 miles southwest of Cape Race, while making its way from St-PierreMiquelon to a European port. Maurice Landry, a spokesman for Transport Canada, would not reveal the name of the cargo vessel or its home country. “Our policy is not to provide such information unless charges are laid.”

Landry also wouldn’t elaborate on the type of garbage thrown overboard. “That’s part of the investigation,” he says. Sources say the garbage included numerous plastic bags. Landry says his department has successfully prosecuted ships in the past for dumping garbage at sea, including a 2005 incident in New Brunswick in which the fishing vessel Etendard was fined $3,000 for the illegal discharge of waste. — Ryan Cleary

COLLAPSING COMMUNITIES?

Loyola Sullivan

Paul Daly/The Independent

By the numbers

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2006 census could mean a big drop in federal funding economies (of scale) as they do in bigger cities.” Sullivan admits he gets little sympathy from Ottawa and the bigger provinces. “We’re a small piece of the big pie and there oyola Sullivan is really hoping everyone in Newfoundland filled out and mailed their hasn’t been a willingness to look at a balancing of the playing field under social transfers.” census forms last week. Sullivan will likely raise his arguments again at For Newfoundland’s finance minister, each name is worth over $2,000 in federal health and a meeting of finance ministers next month. Meanwhile, however bad the new census numsocial transfers and equalization funding. “So if we lose 2,000 people and it’s $2,000 per bers are for Newfoundland, they won’t affect person, that’s a significant amount of money, over things right away. But the effects will come. And $4 million that we would lose,” says Sullivan. “If they will be felt. Because the census is done only every five we lose 3,000 people times $2,000 per capita, that is $6 million. So we can lose significantly if we years, Ottawa has to estimate the population of don’t get the appropriate census (information) the provinces every other year to calculate the size of federal transfers. recorded.” Once a new census is done, the numbers are Despite Newfoundland’s growing revenues compared with those estimates from offshore oil, the province and adjustments are made. If it is still heavily dependent on turns out Ottawa paid a federal transfers. An estimated province too much money, the 32 per cent of this year’s operexcess is considered a loan and ating budget will come from “If Ontario’s economy has to be paid back. federal transfers and offsets, “In the past, they have totalling just under $1.6 billion. is up, the fiscal bar underscored our declining Much of it is dependent upon rises and it’s beneficial population,” Sullivan notes. the province’s population size. “That’s been happening over “The Canada Health for equalization the past decade. We have Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer are strictly per capita declined faster than they prereceiving provinces. contributions to the provinces, dicted back in the ’90s and in If Ontario has a hiccup, the early 2000s … We are now which means if there is $20 bilpaying back census loans and lion divided up federally, we it drops and we get they have been up over $100 get a piece of that, roughly 1.6 per cent,” says Sullivan. million.” less in equalization.” And there’s another wrinkle. “We used to be, about 15 When Canada’s biggest ecoyears ago, two per cent of the Loyola Sullivan nomic engine, Ontario, Canadian population. We get declines, the fiscal capacities our proportionate share.” of most other provinces comUnder CHT, the province is pared to the Canadian number getting about $352 million this narrows. That translates into year. The CST will contribute about $143 million. If the other provinces keep less money for those provinces. “If Ontario’s economy is up, the fiscal bar rises growing in population and Newfoundland stays the same, we still get a smaller piece of that pie, and it’s beneficial for equalization receiving Sullivan says, because of the proportional way it provinces. If Ontario has a hiccup, it drops and we get less in equalization.” is divided. It’s affected the total federal equalization pot by Equalization payments are also dependent on population size and each province’s fiscal capaci- as much as $2-billion a year in the past, he says. ty, or ability to raise its own revenues. The feder- Newfoundland experienced a significant drop in al government considers 33 categories in deter- funding because of that in 2002. When that happens though, the federal governmining the fiscal capacity of each province. Sullivan says Newfoundland’s fiscal capacity is ment gives the affected provinces interest free loans to soften the impact of the drop in federal over $1,000 less than the country‘s as a whole. “You multiply that by our population then to transfers. In 2002, Newfoundland ended up getget how much we get in equalization,” he ting a $378-million loan. “We have to pay that back over 10 years, interexplains. This year, Newfoundland will get about est free,” Sullivan says. It all goes to show, he says, how vulnerable the $671.5-million in equalization funding. “When you add all our social transfers together provincial government’s finances are to whatever we’re talking about roughly $2,100 per capita,” happens in the economies and populations of the says Sullivan. rest of the country. And that reinforces Like his predecessors, Sullivan has raised the Newfoundland’s need to have every one of its unfairness of per capita-based funding with his livyers counted. “If anybody is going away next week and they fellow finance ministers across the country, and were here on the 15th, they should have filed from with Ottawa. “How can you deal with the geography?” says this province,” Sullivan says. “I know people who fly up to campsites and Sullivan, pointing out one deficiency with per capita-based funding. “We have the highest cost they work there for six weeks and they come of delivery for health care in the country and I home for two. They’re Newfoundland residents. think we’re the highest in education. And one of They have their places here and they file their the reasons is we have half a million people over taxes here and they haven’t got a residence in Alberta — they’re true Newfoundland and a huge mass.” In some provinces, 25 per cent of the provincial Labrador residents. And that would certainly help health budget is covered by transfers from our fiscal situation and should be legitimately Ottawa, Sullivan says. In Newfoundland, it’s included in the numbers.” cwestcott@nl.rogers.com about 18 per cent. “We don’t get the same Craig Westcott The Independent

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

Busy restaurants and hotels. The Keg, St. John’s, NL

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Spin-off benefits from the oil and gas industry accounted for more than $370 million in retail sales in the province last year. The industry has invested more than $15 billion in the province since 1991. To learn more please visit www.capp.ca.

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6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 21, 2006

Stop fishing T

he time has come to face facts: the Newfoundland fishery is dead, but so much of it was rotten and didn’t deserve to live anyway. That’s not to say the industry is beyond redemption, but it will take drastic measures to save the outport soul — including the immediate halt to all fishing in the northwest Atlantic. No fishing for cod or flounder or redfish or turbot or crab or shrimp or caplin. No fishing, period — not for us, not for foreigners, not for anybody. Only the baby fish are left, and there aren’t enough of them to make a nickel on. The Chinese can, but they only need a few cents a day to survive and multiply. If the fishing isn’t stopped it will continue until the last fish is caught. It is our nature. Shrimp stocks are said to be healthy enough, but ask yourself, who holds the rights to the quotas, who owns the trawlers and where are the profits ending up? Shutting down the fishery would be a fabulous way to find out — imagine the uproar in Iceland and Norway alone. No one would notice if the crab fishery shut down, the prices are that poor this season. As for caplin, it’s one of the few dishes left on the ocean’s menu. Take that away and the restaurant shuts down for good.

RYAN CLEARY

Fighting Newfoundlander The world’s fisheries are in complete collapse. Not because of environmental factors — any scientist who leaves that impression should be fired on the spot for incompetence and possible criminal negligence — but as a direct result of overfishing. The fish are gone because they’ve been caught. Once the fishing ends, an inventory should be taken of what fish are left, a central question to any recovery plan. Maybe there’s a way to help the recovery along, through hatcheries and fish farms. Maybe there’s not — but no option should be ruled out until it’s tried and tested. We’ve been close-minded for far too long. To be clear, the purpose of a recovery plan would not be to restore the fishery to the way it was (that blueprint was a failure of monumental proportions), but to make it better, to make it work for a generation down the road (there’s no hope for us).

The romantic image that so many expats (Townies, too) have of the fishery — a fisherman in oilskins handlining from a dory while the missus waits anxiously for his return by the window of their saltbox home that faces the sea — is a lie. That life was brutal — no one in his right mind wants to go back to that. That life did not work; parents did not want it for their children, children did not want it for themselves. The day of stamp factories and makework projects are over. Government reliance has weakened the epic Newfoundland work ethic and damaged our pride in ourselves. The fishery must stand or fall on its own. The ideal length for a boat in today’s fishery is probably 85 feet. Premier Danny Williams’ plan for a one-day fisheries summit next week has the feel of a media circus, designed to force the feds into coughing up a retirement package to take care of the few seniors left around the bay. Any such package will be seen by mainland Canada as yet another handout to the poor Newfoundlanders who don’t have sense enough to look after themselves. We need another national convention — similar to the one that decided our fate after commission of government. All

Loyola Hearn told The Independent recently that the fishery needs a complete overhaul. He was right. Loyola does not believe joint management is the way to go. He is wrong. hands at home and abroad must be made to understand the gravity of the decisions we make now. Early retirement is not the solution to our problems. The mainland must also be made to understand another package would merely treat the symptoms of a disease that we contracted with Confederation. Loyola Hearn told The Independent recently that the fishery needs a complete overhaul. He was right. Loyola does not believe joint management is the way to go. He is wrong. The Newfoundland fishery collapsed on the Government of Canada’s watch. Ottawa cannot be trusted to restore the stocks when it allowed them to be wiped out in the first place. (If the feds haven’t

moved after 14 years — it’s been that long since John Crosbie closed the fishery — they’ll never move.) Likewise, the provincial government cannot be trusted to restructure the processing sector or any other sector when it was the province that built a fish plant in every nook and cranny of this place, plants that would have starved to death long ago had Ottawa not been pressured to keep the quotas high. Governments must work together — if the feds don’t agree to joint management then the Newfoundland and Labrador government must repatriate the entire fishery from federal hands. Foreign Affairs will go mental if the province ordered a fleet of dories to take over the Grand Banks, but it’s time we put our concerns ahead of everyone else’s. It’s time to wake up Canada and the rest of the world to the environmental tragedy unfolding around us. The fishery is collapsing like no other point in our history. We must decide on a working model for the outports and have the fortitude to see it through. Life or death — the choice is ours . Ryan Cleary is editor-in-chief of the Independent. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

YOUR VOICE ‘If the rock is taken from the soil’ Dear editor, Glad to see The Independent up and running again — as it should be. In this period in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history it is crucial that it has a publication that is not afraid to confront the real issues. By the way, here is a little verse I penned recently.

Reflection

So where does land and sea and flesh and blood begin and end? — I do not know, but if the rock is taken from the soil the wound will show. Joe Butt, Toronto

A night in Round Harbour Dear editor, A couple of weeks ago, while sealing, I had occasion to spend a night moored to the wharf in Round Harbour on the southern shore of the Baie Verte Peninsula. Unobscured by street lights, the Arora Borealis danced across the starry sky, and what would have been an otherwise magnificent experience was diminished by the sobering realization that I was witnessing the future of rural communities, for around this once bustling fishing village, lights shone through the windows of only two lonely houses. Empty homes, in varying stages of disrepair lined the shore of this bowllike harbour, where once the laughter of children echoed over the hills that give the harbour its name. The sad decay evident in rural Newfoundland has been caused by the corporate destruction of fish stocks, upon which these communities depended. And what have we learned? Take the FPI situation, for example. Two months ago Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout returned from a conference in British Columbia where the main message was: don’t allow your Newfoundland fish resources to be taken over by corporate interests, as in B.C. So the question I have for the government and for the FFAW is this: for the future of rural Newfoundland, would it not be better to take FPI’s quotas and share them among several individual fish harvesters, than to sell

David Boyd

Paul Daly/The Independent

FPI’s assets to corporate interests, who are obviously looking for the fish in the water and the right to catch it themselves? Let’s not kid ourselves that corporations worry about communities. One only has to consider comments from a representative of a major Newfoundland processor with corporate quotas, who said a couple of weeks ago, “There are too many small-boat fishermen!” I say there are too few small boat fishermen, a situation caused by the destructive capability of big boat fishermen and corporate quotas! Sadly, corporations seem to have more government support than does individual fishers, who appear destined to the fate of the Great Auk. David Boyd, Twillingate

Most of province not an island Dear editor, Isn’t most of the province actually on the mainland? What’s with you Newfoundlanders and your fixation on a phony “us” versus “mainland” dichotomy, anyway? Most of your province isn’t an

island. Why can’t you remember that, other than when it’s convenient (hydro, Voisey’s Bay, Labrador fishery) for you to do so? Wallace McLean, Labrador

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 www.theindependent.ca • editorial@theindependent.ca The Independent is published by Independent News Ltd. in St. John’s. It is an independent newspaper covering the news, issues and current affairs that affect the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.

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

Danger at the Pen T

he Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), the bargaining agent for correctional officers, is gravely concerned with government’s lack of action to address security issues at penal institutions throughout the province. The potential for serious injury to correctional officers and inmates is very real, as is evident from regular and recent events at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are six penal institutions, the largest of which is located in the province’s capital. Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, commonly referred to as HMP or “the Pen,” is a historic structure that originally housed male and female inmates. Today, women are segregated from the males and sent to the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville. From the outside, Her Majesty’s Penitentiary is somewhat unobtrusive although its purpose is clear with barbed wire across the top of the fence and a now vacant watchtower at the back of the yard. The most notable feature of the building is its striking blue color and the fact it is in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. There is a general misconception about the type of prisoners incarcerated in our provincial prisons. There is a view that most are in for minor infractions and nonviolent offenses. Over the years the profile of the inmate population has changed. Some are indeed serving provincial sentences for minor infractions. But many inmates who once would be sent out of province to serve a federal sentence now carry out their sentence here. Any prison can be a frightening and intimidating place, especially for inmates new to the system. It is also a stressful work environment for correctional officers who face each shift not knowing how the day may evolve. Many of today’s inmates, particularly those serving lengthy terms, have extensive criminal histories, have been convicted of serious offenses, and pose greater security risks. Many have substance abuse problems, including addictions to both alcohol and drugs, which creates a high level of desperation.

CAROL FURLONG Guest column A loss of privileges, overcrowding, substancerelated issues, or retaliation can all lead to a dangerous and combative situation. Inside prisons, tensions run high. Anything can exacerbate an already highly volatile situation. It may be something as simple as having to tolerate someone else when you simply don’t have the tolerance level anymore. A loss of privileges, overcrowding, substance-related issues, or retaliation can all lead to a dangerous and combative situation. Take, for example, the issue of overcrowding. Recently an inmate was attacked by other inmates and hospitalized. At the time, the six living units, consisting of 95 cells measuring eight by nine feet, were holding 136 inmates. While some of the cells have had a second bunk installed, they were only designed to house a single inmate. On that date, the living units were 43 per cent over capacity, with 82 inmates double-bunked. It’s highly likely that overcrowding was a key element in this situation. It is NAPE’s contention that staffing levels have to be increased in correlation with the additional numbers of inmates in order to provide a safe environment for everyone. In addition, the level of overcrowding underlines the need to build the additional wing that was not completed when the new section was added to HMP in the 1980s. The instances of contraband and weapons being found have also increased. Overcrowding and current regulations, in particular with regard to personal clothing, compromise the

ability of staff to prevent the smuggling of drugs and other contraband. The presence of drugs can cause havoc in a prison, and NAPE has made recommendations to government to prevent the influx of drugs, to no avail. Other inmates, particularly the vulnerable and less sophisticated criminals, are often targeted to engage in the acquisition of drugs, placing them in danger. No one should be expected to work in a highly volatile environment where danger lurks around every corner with unacceptable protection. Yet correctional officers work at their own peril. They are exposed to the potential for injury or danger every day. We are concerned they are not properly equipped to defend themselves and to ensure the safety of the inmates in their care. Correctional officers are not even afforded the same protection as other law enforcement officers such as deputy sheriffs, conservation officers, fisheries officers, and many others who carry protective equipment while on duty. Recently, an inmate attempted to take a correctional officer hostage as part of an escape attempt. The officer received a wound to his throat from a sharp implement. Another officer narrowly missed being attacked with a needle by an HIV-positive inmate. Assaults on correctional officers take place on a regular basis. NAPE has repeatedly stressed that the seriousness of our concerns cannot be downplayed and that government must act with haste to implement the security measures we have recommended to try to ensure the safety of workers and those entrusted to their care. NAPE has lobbied government, in particular the Minister of Justice, to immediately implement recommendations that could provide a safer living environment for inmates and a safer working environment for correctional officers. We are deeply concerned that if these recommendations continue to be ignored, it will be too late; and either a correctional officer or inmate will be seriously injured or killed. Carol Furlong is the president of NAPE.


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7

On guns and money

Ivan Morgan is looking for a solution to the gun registry, one that doesn’t make ordinary owners feel like idiots or criminals

I

have always owned a gun. I come from a background where a gun is considered a tool — like a chainsaw, a garden rake or a tractor. I was taught from an early age about gun safety. Oddly enough, it was my grandmother who taught me respect for firearms. Elegant former Manhattanite that she was, she was also a crack shot — and damn proud of it. I remember once when I was little, sitting next to her on the covered swing in her garden, drinking lemonade. She was wearing a large straw hat, summer print dress, pearls and her trademark Dior sunglasses. I remember watching her slowly reach for her .22 calibre rifle, which she had with her (it didn’t seem weird at the time), aim, and fire, dropping a rat which was feeding at her birdfeeder. It was in a tree a good 40 metres from where we sat. I watched as it fell, bouncing limply off the branches and then with a thud onto the grass. I ran over. She had shot it right between the eyes. I wanted to

IVAN MORGAN

Rant & reason grow up to be as good a shot as my grandmother. I didn’t. But I have her rifle. When the Liberals decided to start the gun registry, I attended an information session at the Hotel Newfoundland, hosted by then-federal minister of Justice Allan Rock. He spoke of how guns had played an important role in his own upbringing; how he had learned responsibility from being taught the proper handling of them. I understood that. He also spoke about our changing society and the need to ensure guns are controlled, for all our safety. I understood that too. Then he opened the floor to questions. A woman stood up and dismissed out of hand his remarks about guns hav-

and programs under the purview of the federal government. And what about the feds? They can find bunches of money for the military and tax cuts, but what about funding for aboriginal social programs? Perhaps those aboriginals served by the Friendship Centre are considered “non-status Indians” and thus not entitled to the same level of funding from the feds as their status brothers and sisters who reside on the reserve at Conne River. We’re in dire need of a social reawakening in this province and country. We have become too far removed from our roots and traditions as a people who care for each other and lend a helping hand in a time of need without any expectation of repayment or personal gain. Make a call to the radio talk shows, call up your M.P., or write a letter to the editor. It’s not too late to stop the right-wing social agenda afoot in this country. Let the change begin with you! Paul Harris, Pasadena

from owning or possessing or ever being within a country mile of a gun or any kind of weapon, including knives, swords, crossbows, bows and arrows, whatever. And I have never heard of any compelling reason why anyone should ever have a handgun for any reason. You get caught with an unregistered handgun, you should go to prison. Double ditto for automatic guns. But at the same time, why can’t a reasonable, inexpensive solution be found, without making ordinary gun owners feel like idiots or criminals? The Tories have granted a general amnesty for all those people who didn’t register their long guns, and are refunding those who did. So it looks like I was fined for being stupid enough to obey the law. Now I have to ask the government for my money back? I wonder what that will cost to administer? Ivan Morgan can be reached at ivan.morgan@gmail.com

Days after it was reported in The Independent, the provincial government confirmed May 18 it is asking Inco Ltd. to stick to its plan to process nickel at Argentia. Inco announced in January the former base was not suitable, and that it would look to nearby Long Harbour as a potential site. Long Harbour Mayor Gary Keating (above) — keen for the development in his community — has asked the government not to interfere. Paul Daly/The Independent

Do we want to save the outports?

State of denial Dear editor, Just when we thought 52 years of Canadian fisheries mismanagement by DFO was about to end and a bureaucratic housecleaning would launch us on a lengthy but ascending path to resource recovery and the salvaging of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, we are again devastated by a newly elected federal government. Lo and behold, the solidly entrenched bureaucrats, old and new, have “captured the minds” of our federal representatives as they have so many times since we entered Confederation. Our federal representative and his associates, like their predecessors, were given a crash training course by the bureaucrats and soon began making strange statements such as “there are plenty of fish available,” “the problem is it’s being misused,” or “Sorry Rebecca, I was misinformed.” What happened to custodial management? What about new and intense fishery science programs to support bold new initiatives on fish stock recovery programs? How come we have only two fishery research vessels and both are tied up in St. John’s? Maybe our new federal representatives didn’t realize there are very few fish left off our shores. The undeniable fact is nobody on the political scene in the province and especially in Ottawa wants the population to know that only one half of one per

where I could get help. I showed up. There were two young men sitting playing video games on their computers. They were university students. The place was empty. They were happy to help me, as they said they were bored out of their minds. We all laughed about the forms. They told me how they had a hell of a time figuring them out too. They filled them out for me. It took a while. I can’t remember how much it cost me, but I distinctly remembering sooking for a few days. All for a gun I haven’t fired since. All for a gun I have no ammunition for. But also all for a gun I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t have. I begrudgingly paid my fee at the time, as I figured I suppose I should have to shoulder the cost of owning it. I am not one of those “from my cold dead hands” types. I am all about registering guns. I am absolutely in favour of banning for life people with any history of violence — especially spousal violence or violence against women —

INCO WOES

YOUR VOICE ‘Dire need of a social re-awakening’ Dear editor, I was saddened to read in a recent edition of The Independent that the Native Friendship Centre in St. John’s was in imminent danger of closing. The centre, in essence, is a short-term emergency shelter. The much-needed service survives by charging a small per diem fee on a user-pay basis. The centre operates without any government funding and, having exhausted its initial startup grant monies, is experiencing a serious financial crunch and quickly running out of options. Conceived as a facility that would provide more than just a place to sleep and a roof over the head of those in need of shelter, an inability to secure government support prevented it from offering any programs. How is it possible that in an economy so incredibly robust — the fastest growing provincial economy in the country — we can’t afford to fund such an important social program? Perhaps the provincial government is hiding behind the Indian Act that places responsibility for aboriginal issues

ing any value. She suggested that anyone who gave a young person a gun under any circumstances should be arrested. She got very agitated and announced that there should be no guns anywhere. Ever. An elderly gentleman then got up and attacked the woman who had spoken. He called her a bunch of names (I remember “namby-pamby.” What the hell does that mean?). He said that as a free citizen who had reached the age of majority, he had every right to own as many guns as he wanted. Rock tried to moderate, and as often happens in these situations, the bulk of us (who I suspect made up the sensible people) remained quiet. Rock got his registry. And being a good, reasonably law-abiding Canadian (I have issues with the marijuana laws) I decided to register my old gun. I tried. I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand the forms. They were incomprehensible. One of the few things I did understand was the address for a local office

cent of groundfish is under quota compared to 1973. Furthermore, the raw truth is that an estimated 40 per cent of that one and a half per cent is undersized, demonstrating once again that DFO has failed badly in its mandate by permitting those small fish to be harvested. They should be left in the water to help rebuild the stock. Officials at both levels of government continue to exist in a state of denial. They are unwilling to grasp the fact that with the exception of the overfished St. Pierre Bank cod stock, the remaining redfish, turbot and yellowtail quotas contain such a high percentage of undersized fish that it’s totally uneconomic to process these species in the traditional manner at current production costs. Up to 1992 we had an abundance of diversified fisheries that were destroyed by foreign overfishing and Canada’s mismanagement. Our federal and provincial politicians, the unions, trade association, federation of municipalities, federation of labour and others have done absolutely nothing to force the Canadian government to honour its commitment to properly manage the fisheries we transferred to Ottawa with Confederation. And they continue to stand by the wayside as our fishery collapses. Gus Etchegary, Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

Dear editor, I’m not a fisherman and I am no expert on the industry, but in my opinion it’s time for the participants in the industry to accept reality. The industry will not return to its past glory when northern cod was plentiful. We need a new approach. In 1984, government nationalized the industry, creating Fishery Products International. Today, there’s a call to do this again. In terms of socialist ideology, I understand why people like NDP Leader Jack Harris think this is the right approach. But does nationalization really deal with the issue? Our province and country has to decide what kind of fishery is needed.

This will dictate the type of society we have. If there’s a desire to perpetuate small rural communities, then we have to decide to abandon the offshore fishery. We have to ban factory-freezer trawlers, gill nets, and the caplin fishery. We have to let nature bring the fish inshore where they can be harvested by traditional methods and processed at the local plant. Can this work? We need only look to examples like Iceland and Norway. Not only is it working, it’s created new and stronger markets for products that are high quality and high priced. This is a market in which we can compete. Do you really think we can compete in a mass-market situation with the Chinese

industrial machine? Why would we want to? In addition, the representation of fishermen has to change. Today, the FFAW represents trawlermen, plant workers and inshore fishermen. How do they serve all these groups? In short, the FFAW is in an impossible conflict. Nationalizing FPI might sound like a solution, but it’s really only a piece of the puzzle. First, let’s decide as a society whether we want to preserve rural communities. If we do, then let’s abandon the industrial fishery and strengthen the inshore fishery so that it is a strong, viable industry. Paul Walsh, St. John’s

Overeaters, smokers and drinkers deserve medical treatment too Dear editor, Our freedom as a society is being slowly eroded. Maclean’s magazine recently carried an article on doctors who refuse to treat overeaters, smokers and drinkers because it’s considered a waste of medical dollars. “Here’s the question,” read the article, “if people won’t stop hurting themselves, can they really expect the same medical treatment as everyone else?” I beg to differ. I thought the first rule of ethical medicine was “physician, do no harm.” Nowhere does the code of ethics authorize the medical profession

to take on a creator-like role. What’s next — priests and other clergy refusing to help people because sinners keep relapsing? Teachers and educators setting IQ standards before children are offered an education? This kind of thinking is the same as that voiced by those morons who say we shouldn’t build new housing for our First Nations people because they’ll only destroy them. Who in our society has the superior moral position to decide who is or is not worthy of every available treatment? We must be ever vigilant lest we start to

group people based on various categories. Every time we do so, we steal a little bit of a person’s dignity and the situation escalates. People are not things to be manipulated. We have seen the havoc that a spurious cult of superiority can wreak on a people. We saw it in Nazi Germany. We saw it in the USSR. We saw it in the slave trade of Africa. We constantly see it in modern economics. Maybe it’s time for a little more humility in our western society. It’s certainly time for a lot more compassion. Aubrey Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor


MAY 21, 2006

8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS From page 1 thing a friend of mine said recently: “I don’t know art, but I like what I know.” Coupland, who has published 11 books, knows words. The sentences on the wall were apparently randomly chosen; jPod is a book you can do that with, being full of truly funny lines which translate easily into graffiti. Sarcastic, sophisticated graffiti. “Get more referrals by grooming better and shooting out more pheromones; basically don’t wash your perineum, that little strip of skin between your genitals and anus.” The Globe and Mail called jPod “a rolling thunder of sustained comedy.” Publishers Weekly said the book “derives its satirical, spirited humour’s energy from the silly, strungtogether plot and thin characters. Call it Microserfs 2.0.” Microserfs was Coupland’s 1995 send-up of the nerds of Silicon Valley. jPod is about six computer programmers whose last names all begin with “J.” Coupland, a fair-skinned, fair-haired haired man of 45, with flickering eyes, tightly folded arms and graying whiskers, seems about to shed his skin. He balks at having his picture taken; he sounds petulant. And then he and the curator of his exhibition, a comely lass with an usually stern countenance, start to-and-fro-ing; there seems to be a lot of angst being generated over paper and tape. I begin to think I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Landed in a Newfoundland version of Wonderland — odd maze-like space, twitchy upper-Canadian White Rabbit. Eventually the curator ushers Coupland and me to two comfortable chairs in another part of the gallery, hung with someone else’s textile art. Coupland looks out the window, which has a Jack the Ripper fog pressed up against it. “My,” he says, “I bet the view from here is fantastic, in …” He looks at me enquiringly. “For two weeks in the middle of July,” I say. And then along comes a security guard. “You can’t drink that in here,” she says, pointing to Copeland’s coffee, which he has laid beside his chair. I am tempted to tell her that it’s unlikely he’s going to fling it at a satin moon, but perhaps she knows something I don’t. We find some more chairs down the hall and around the corner; the interview begins. I start by telling him that up until yesterday I knew him only as the Gen X guy, but after a few hours of Googling I discovered he’d written 10 more books, won two Canadian design awards, makes furniture and writes plays (includ-

Company at Stratford-on-Avon). And that he’s recently written a feature film which is about to be screened at Cannes. (A film he later tells me is about “locating your sense of self in an amoral world. Amoral, not immoral.”) “If you already have all the answers, why bother asking questions?” Coupland says curtly, grim-faced. Suddenly the Ship Pub seems awfully attractive to me, even if it is the middle of the afternoon. But then I take a good look at him: it’s obvious he and stress have been necking up a storm. So I resist the urge to say shag off, you snotty #$%, and look down at my list of questions instead, trying to find the right one, the one that will loosen him up a bit, make us both happy. And then I hear him say, “I’m freaking out because we have to have this done by tomorrow night, and it doesn’t seem to

ing one put off by the Royal Shakespeare

be …?” I look up; his eyebrows are

Douglas Coupland

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Clog dancers for the tourists’ inquisitive, the eyes underneath still jittery. I explain that’s the way it goes around here — generally, we approach things in a more laissez faire manner than he may be accustomed to, but in the end the work gets done, and done well. He doesn’t seem consoled. I pick out a question I hope will settle things down: Why do the reviews of his “serious” books, such as Eleanor Rigby, which, as the title implies, is about loneliness (Coupland also writes about such things as God and community and wilderness), tend to refer to them as his “mature” works? And generally imply he should stick to that kind of writing. So, is he on the wrong track with jPod — is satire immature? Was Jonathan Swift childish? “I don’t believe that,” he says. “Lazy reviewers or someone with no sense of humour. A lot of people, literally, medically don’t have a sense of humour. It’s like country and western music. I don’t get it. I can recognize it, but I just don’t get it. “Anyone who expects continuity is looking at it from the wrong viewpoint, the English literature viewpoint. Each book has to be more like the one that preceded it than ever. jPod is a very, very funny book. I’ve gotten the best reviews I’ve ever gotten in my career with this book.” Coupland’s attitude to literature is heavily influenced by his background in art and design, which he studied in Vancouver, Italy and Japan. “Here we are in an art gallery, and yet I write books,” he continues. “Most people who write fiction go to university and do English. I went to art school. In art school when you create something new, you want to have a show, so you take the idea and expand on it and create a body of work and then you have your opening and the next day you start experimenting from that idea, or you have a new one “And one show can be very, very different from the one that preceded it because you’re exploring different ideas. That’s pretty much what I do. This is pretty much the opposite of the English lit school model, where what publishers would really like … is the closer one book is to your previous book, the better. So if you go through all the books I’ve done now, each one is rel-

atively different than the one that preceded it. jPod is no exception. Satire, humour is wonderful; you can go places innocently.” I ask him if this is his first time in Newfoundland. No, he says, he was here last April for the launch of his book on Terry Fox. “We dedicated the marker down by the waterfront. CBC live, all day. It was a powerfully emotional day.” Although Coupland has read his book hundreds of times, he says he never gets tired of the Terry Fox story. We agree it’s one of the great human themes, the struggle of the human spirit against all odds. He also tells me he came to the province years ago, when he had some air miles to use up. “I just decided I wanted to fly to St. John’s.” His smile tells me he didn’t regret the decision. Coupland dined the previous night at local writer Lisa Moore’s. He says he was interested in her take on Tasmania and Newfoundland, on what happens to islands off large former British colonies. This is a man who once said that Vancouver should become a city-state. I mention this. “Yes,” he says. “It’s the way of the future.” And then he asks if there’s a republican movement here. “Well,” I say, “as a matter of fact, the newspaper I’m interviewing you for is called The Independent, and it flies the pink, white and green, our republican flag, on its masthead.” This appears to delight Coupland — out pops a rich staccato laugh. I tell him that the paper was up for a Michener Award a couple of years ago, for a series of articles that proved Newfoundland and Labrador has given far more to Canada than it has ever taken. We talk about the province for a while, its tarnished history, its uncertain future. “Clog dancers,” I say. “Clog dancers for the tourists, that’s what we’re turning into.” Coupland laughs again. And then he says, “But St. John’s has a really strong sense of ‘placeness.’” He pauses for a moment and then leans forward. “I bet,” he says, “I bet you could give me the statistics on the province’s cod stock. They’re really hard to get.” No kidding. I tell him I could have someone at the paper rustle up some information on that, and he writes down his e-mail address.

Deciding to get back to satire, I say, “Well, you know, you have to understand the bad, the immoral, the holes in the social fabric in order to lampoon them.” Coupland really perks up now. “Lampoon,” he says, “now there’s a good word.” He looks the other way for a moment, and then turns back to face me. “Sorry, I was just obsessing about the word ‘lampoon.’” I tell him it reminds me of “harpoon” — “as in you’re killing something, and then there’s also the word ‘lamp,’ which could mean you’re illuminating it at the same time.” There’s that laugh again, like a nervous but happy kookaburra. “I like that,” he says. And then he tells me about “whelmed.” That it’s a nautical term; that overwhelmed means you’re about to be overcome by a wave, and that if you’re underwhelmed, you’re over the wave. “But to be whelmed is to be floating on top of churn, so there’s this incredible amount happening, but you’re still in the same place.” By now Coupland himself is looking a lot more whelmed than when we first met. The curator is suddenly standing beside us — time’s up. I thank them both for the interview, and make my way out of Little Toronto. By now I’m thinking The Rooms aren’t so bad — after all, why not have a shrine to mainland urban culture in St. John’s? It’s contained, after all: there’s no danger of it spreading over to Ches’s and causing them to install a cappuccino machine. Later that night I’m back at The Rooms for the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards. At the reception, I run into a curator I know. “How’s the Coupland exhibition coming?” I ask. “He’s still up there,” says my friend. I look up into the darkness above the party and wonder if Coupland took time out for dinner, or even a nap. My friend says, “The technicians say he’s good to work with — that he’s a good guy.” I have no idea what Douglas Coupland is — but I figure that’s a good note to end on. Susan Rendell is a freelance writer and editor living in downtown St. John’s. Her collection of short stories, In the Chambers of the Sea, was published by Killick Press in 2003. srendell@nf.sympatico.ca

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MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9

‘Politics of personalities’

Bat t e r y R ad i o independent production

Former Liberal leader says too many ‘strong’ men in politics; electorate must focus more on ideas By Ryan Cleary The Independent

J

im Bennett may have been through the political wringer in the past few weeks, but there’s fight in him yet. Bennett, who resigned as Liberal leader earlier this month after roughly 90 days on the job, was reelected last week to another term as president of the district association of St. Barbe on the Northern Peninsula, and intends to run for the seat in the next provincial election. “Oh yes, if I can win the Liberal nomination here in my home area, I intend to seek a seat in the House of Assembly,” Bennett tells The Independent, adding the district association is planning its first fundraiser for late August.

Bennett, a Daniel’s Harbour lawyer who recently moved back to Newfoundland from Ontario, resigned as Liberal leader, saying the party needs new energy and a new direction. He also had internal squirmishes with some members of his caucus who weren’t fond of some of his ideas — like two-tier minimum wage. Bennett, 53, has been involved with the Liberal party since he was 13 years old, and says he hasn’t been turned off from the political scene. “My inclination is to represent people here as their member and whatever unfolds from that I’ll follow along it,” Bennett says. “I think something that we suffer from in this province is the politics of personalities and I think we have to try to evolve to a poli-

Playing games I

t’s a Friday night and my friends and LEIA I are doing the FELTHAM usual — scrambling to find something to enterFalling face first tain ourselves when there is nothing on TV, no good movies out and we’ve already gorged ourselves on food. We decide on a board game, which may sound lame or boring to some, but really, what else is there to do? I think board games are underrated. Everybody likes at least one. So we take out this game called Telepath. The object is pretty— you get a card with either a word or a picture. Then you and your partner write down whatever comes to mind when you look at the card. Points are awarded to the team based on each item they wrote down that matches and you move ahead the same number of spaces. Of course along the way there are the usual annoying squares that you dread landing on, but it sounds easy enough, right? So we’re playing the game and everything’s fine until my friends get stuck on a square and cannot get off. Three, four … five … rounds go by and they’re still there. The happy couple becomes a bit anxious and mini pencils start getting thrown and threats of a break-up are made. I’m beginning to think maybe it was a bad idea to choose this game, but I don’t want to stop. My partner and I are winning and I’m not backing down. So my friends are yelling at each other, and one starts hysterically laughing (but in that twisted, almost crying, teetering on the edge kind of way) and saying, “I can’t do it anymore. Why can’t we match just one more, JUST ONE?” and before their relationship really is doomed, they manage to get off the square (with just a little bit of rule bending). In the end my partner and I win, so we’re smug while my friend’s boyfriend cuddles up to her, sporting puppy dog eyes in an attempt to make up for the game. We decide maybe next week we’ll choose something else, for their sake. Another weekend rolls around and it’s time to pick a game. We choose a classic — Twister. It involves no partners or trying to read the other’s mind and nothing besides the spinner board that can be used to beat or throw at another person. Always a good thing when playing with my friends. I find Twister entertaining because I think it’s the only time when people who would normally never so much as hug have their head in each others’ crotches. There’s something mildly comical about watching people twist their bodies into humiliating and painful pretzel-like formations. As I’m playing I can’t help but think that if there’s intelligent life on another planet and their first glimpse of the human race is people playing Twister, they’ll think we’re all mad. Twister gets old after falling on your butt a million times or staring too long into someone’s private regions, so we searched through the collection and came up with Encounter: a battle of the sexes game. As soon as I read the title I braced myself. I thought Telepath was bad. This was a whole new battlefield with its own set of weapons. This game, too, seemed fairly straightforward. The male team reads a statement that begins with “men think that” and the female team does the same but their cards begin with “women think that.” The team must then try and think like the opposite sex and guess whether more answered true or false. In my experience, any game involving the sexes playing against each other usually results in a blood-thirsty war. There’s a lot of pride on the line, and it’s even gorier when significant others are involved. Yet the game went better than I thought. There was name-calling, punches on the arm, muttered threats and glares across the board, but we laughed more than anything and enjoyed ourselves. As much as I’d like to attribute winning one game to knowledge about the opposite sex, I think it’s pure luck and some good, 50-50 odds. I’m not ashamed to admit I haven’t a sweet clue what goes on inside a guy’s mind, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It makes falling in love interesting. It’s the only time I don’t mind feeling lost. I could spend a lifetime trying to figure out how big the universe is, and the meaning of life, but why bother when I can just accept what I don’t know and enjoy life anyway? I can tear my hair out and complain about not understand-

tics of ideas. “And if the good ideas — whether they’re put forward by the Conservatives, the Liberals or NDP — I think it’s the idea that should stand or fall on its own merit or be debated and molded, and I think that’s how you develop good policy.” Bennett says Newfoundland and Labrador has “suffered” from a succession of strong men in politics. “It’s always been men in leadership roles and they’ve always been strong. I think that provides us with a government that doesn’t tend to be very broad-based and it doesn’t allow enough people to have input. I think that results in weak cabinets and governments that aren’t viewed to perform as well as they should.”

ing why guys do some of the things they do, but I know it’s the same for them. If I live forever I’m sure I’ll never know much more than I do now. Knowing the secrets behind the things you love can take the fun out of them (ask any kid who found out about Santa Claus too early), and relationships need their mystery. If I always knew what my partner was going to say or do I’d be bored out of my mind. It’s finding out the quirks and idiosyncrasies, and even the annoying habits I never imagined about a person that makes me fall for them. Every day should be a surprise. Despite the risks to our relationships I’m sure my friends and I will play the game again, because it is undeniably fun. I’ll keep acting like I’m filled with endless knowledge about the inner workings of the male mind as I share knowing looks with my female partner. Underneath this façade the only thing I feel certain of follows a worn out saying — men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and occasionally some force brings us together here on earth. Then we ruin it all by playing a dumb game. Leia Feltham is a Grade 12 student at Gonzaga in St. John’s.

Radio features Audio documentaries Acoustic films Audio guides Winner of the 2006 Prix Maruliç for the documentary Running the Goat www.batteryradio.com

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10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 21, 2006

LIFE STORY

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‘He bore his honours modestly’ Rhodes Scholar, multi-linguist, British Army major, professor, civil servant — Paddy Duder lead an eclectic and thoughtful life By Ivan Morgan For The Independent

RUDOLPH “PADDY” DUDER 1912-1980

R

udolph “Paddy” Duder was born in St. John’s on March 16, 1912 to Charles R. and Edith (Jardine) Duder. His life changed forever in 1929 when, at the age of 17, both his parents were killed in an automobile accident near Octagon Pond, leaving him and his siblings orphans. They were all sent to live with relatives, and Paddy (as he was always called) moved in with his cousin Dr. Cluny Macpherson at his residence, Calvert House, on Rennies Mill Road. For the rest of his life, Duder was to call Calvert House home, and his relationship with Macpherson evolved into one of a father and son. From an early age, Duder proved himself a remarkable student with a keen intellect and a particular knack for languages. Throughout his schooling he was invariably head of his class, and won two scholarships while still in high school. The tragedy of losing his parents affected him deeply. He was an introspective and serious young man, and in his letters to Macpherson, he comes across as sweet, but old beyond his years. His Headmaster R. H. Wood wrote “Mr. Duder’s (academic) success did not go to his head and render him somewhat objectionable. He was ambitious, but bore his honours modestly, and he was entirely free from the conceit that so often causes the precocious boy to be disliked. Though so young, he possessed a remarkable strength of character, a fine spirit of sportsmanship, and he faced his difficulties with courage and resolution.” After Bishop Field, he attended Memorial College for two years and then completed two years at McGill, graduating with a bachelor of arts in 1931. In 1932, he applied for a Rhodes Scholarship. In a remark that clearly reflects Duder’s character, Macpherson wrote, regarding his application, “ … for once in your life you simply have to blow your own horn and cast bashfulness far from you.” There is a funny story that goes with his application. Although Duder was well liked and respected by all, it was also well known that he was no athlete — one of the qualifications necessary for a successful Rhodes Scholar. In desperation, Duder, with the energetic assistance of Macpherson and his former professors, convinced the scholarship board that his enthusiasm for botany (a lifelong passion of his) amounted to athleticism: the long hikes in pursuit of rare orchids, the climbing over hill and dale in search of new and exciting finds. It was a stretch, but it flew, and Duder was off to Oxford. In his quiet, introspective way, Duder began his serious academic career. He earned his BA at Oxford in 1935, returned to Newfoundland and was appointed to the staff of Memorial University College. He completed a master’s degree at Oxford in 1939, and was appointed an associate professor at Memorial University in 1942. He attended Harvard in 1943. It looked like his career was mapped out, the tweedy life of a professor of literature at a small college. But it wasn’t to be. In 1944, at the age of 32, Duder surprised everyone, including himself,

by enlisting in the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, where he was commissioned a Captain. He was no military man, which proved a great asset to his military career. Upon arriving in London he was transferred to the British Army and was part of the Allied Military Government Team for occupied Germany, where he was placed in charge of displaced persons in the British sector of Berlin. His skills in speaking English, French, German and Russian (particularly Russian slang) proved invaluable. Serious and melancholy by nature, his letters home are full of accounts of the chaos, the destruction, the despair and the sheer debilitating bureaucracy of port-War Germany. They are equal parts optimism, nihilism, and exasperation. As he wrote of his longing for his old life, for a warm fire and a good book, tucked away at Calvert House far from the madness of post-War Europe, he reminds one of the human cost of rebuilding Europe. Duder was eventually promoted to Major, and after his discharge in 1947 he remained in Germany as a member of the Military Government Organization. After Confederation he did what a lot of Newfoundlanders did — he put behind him his sadness at the loss of nationhood, and set about serving his new country to the best of his abilities. In 1950 he applied for, and was hired by, the department of External Affairs in Ottawa, landing postings at the Canadian Embassy in Yugoslavia, and serving with distinction as Canada’s commissioner in Cambodia from 1954 to 1956, work for which Lester Pearson wrote him a congratulatory letter. At an address to the “Current Events Club of Toronto” in 1956, he said, with typically charming understatement “I have braved the … rigours of life in Newfoundland, faced up to the perils of the V-I and the V-II and the submarines. I have argued for hours with intransigent Russians, I have withstood the perils of the civil service in Ottawa and the diplomatic corps in Belgrade. Most recently I have survived the heat and humidity of IndoChina.” And he still had many years , as a professor at the National Defence College, and work in such places as the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. After decades of longing for a home and family of his own, in 1957 he married Sidney Fisher of Montreal. Paddy Duder died in Montreal in 1980.


INDEPENDENTWORLD

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 21-27, 2006 — PAGE 11

The casket of Capt. Nichola Goddard, 26, is carried during a Ramp Ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Reuters

Fatal fight lauded as a ‘success’ Enemy took heavy casualties, officers say of battle; soldier’s death sparks tributes around the globe By Bruce Campion-Smith Torstar wire service

I

n the stark tally of war, the military operation that resulted in the death of Capt. Nichola Goddard is seen as a success. The intelligence was bang-on, the operation involving Afghan and Canadian forces reportedly well-synchronized and, in the harsh battlefield scorecard, the coalition forces came out ahead. “That was a very successful op,” said one Canadian military officer. “We inflicted more casualties on them than they inflicted on us. “It’s a tragic day for Capt. Goddard’s family and friends, it’s a sad day for her unit. Unfortunately, in the context of operations in Afghanistan, (Wednesday) was quite a successful day.” Acting on a tip that insurgents had infiltrated villages in the Panjwai district, Afghan army and police officials, backed by Canadian soldiers, launched a “clearance” operation, aimed at making contact with the enemy.

The troops did make contact, in an She was serving as a forward artillery operation that began before dawn and observer, helping direct artillery fire at lasted well into the night. In fierce fire- enemy positions from near the front fights, 18 Taliban members were killed lines, when the LAV III she was riding in and another 26 were was struck by a rockcaptured. et-propelled grenade. In total, more than Her death sparked 100 people were killed tributes around the “It’s a tragic day for in a string of attacks globe, from her fellow Capt. Goddard’s family soldiers to Prime Minthat started late May 17, and continued the ister Stephen Harper and friends, it’s a next day with two suiand even Afghan Prescide car bombings as ident Hamid Karzai, sad day for her unit. Afghanistan witnessed who expressed pointsome of the deadliest ed anguish over her Unfortunately, in the violence since the fall death. of the Taliban. Along “Our land is being context of operations with Goddard, the dead protected by a lady included at least 15 from Canada, when in Afghanistan, Afghan police and an we should be protect(Wednesday) was American civilian ing her as a guest,” he training Afghan forces. said. quite a successful day.” Goddard, a 26-yearIn the barracks in old serving with the 1st Kandahar, in the halls Regiment, Royal Canof defence headquaradian Horse Artillery, was killed and ters in Ottawa, the death, while tragic, is three Afghan National Army soldiers suf- seen also as a necessary toll of the ongofered non-life threatening wounds. ing mission.

Yesterday, coalition commanders boldly touted the success of the operation. “The combined force conducted a successful, complex fight synchronizing air and ground forces to bring the fight to the enemy,” said Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Freakley, a U.S. commander. Canadian and allied soldiers gathered at Kandahar Airfield early Friday morning for a sombre send-off as Goddard’s body began the sad trip home. The military Airbus bearing her body is expected to arrive at CFB Trenton tomorrow afternoon. The military has confirmed that a Tory edict barring media from the base to cover the return of Afghan casualties will remain in effect. The funeral service will be in Calgary, where Goddard’s parents live. The death came as Parliament endorsed the extension of Canada’s Afghan mission by two years, through to 2009. Yesterday, Afghan officials hailed the close decision, by a vote of 149-145, which could see Canada take command See “Other countries,” page 12

VOICE FROMAWAY

‘I’m really comfortable with the insanity’ Chef Sean Patrick takes lessons he learned cooking traditional Newfoundland fare and applies them to gourmet meals for LA’s top celebs By Stephanie Porter The Independent

S

ean Patrick O’Keefe — Chef Sean Patrick as his clients know him — got his first, and deepest, culinary lessons in New Melbourne, Trinity Bay. O’Keefe was just a youngster; the teacher was his grandfather and best friend. That early appreciation for well-prepared food has led O’Keefe on a winding path, which eventually landed him in Los Angeles, where he is now a

sought-after teacher, caterer, consultant, and celebrity chef. Don’t ask who his clients are, though — he’s under contractual obligation to keep his lips sealed. “It’s a list of pretty important people in the political and economic and entertainment industries,” he says, carefully. “I’ve also been at the helm of a vineyard, doing estate management, menu development and wine pairing and things like that …” Although raised in St. John’s, O’Keefe says he always had more of an

affinity with New Melbourne, “this small little charming outport,” where his mother had grown up. “I think at four or five years old I was learning to clean codfish and throw blueberries up in the air so the wind would take the leaves out,” O’Keefe says. “How to make a good bowl of porridge, how to make soups and stews and braises — heavy, hearty Newfoundland fare, but it was (my grandfather’s) pleasure to give me all the tools he had amassed. “He was very much a seasonal fish-

erman and hunter-gatherer: ‘This is how you snare the rabbit, this is how you clean the rabbit, this is how you make the stew.’ So I took it from him.” O’Keefe grew up and moved to Toronto, focused on various things that weren’t food-related. While in Ontario, he hit a personal rough patch — and that’s when he decided to make his hobby his career. “The universe has a way of getting you back on track,” he says by way of explanation. From there, things moved along quickly. He started working at a

small restaurant in Toronto and within a year had a client list and was working privately. Two years later he was introduced to a “big-time LA talent manager” who sponsored his immigration ’Stateside. That was 10 years ago. While waiting for his green card and all the paperwork to go through, O’Keefe couldn’t leave the country — but he’s kept himself more than busy. He’s been the household chef for a See “No stop,” page 12


MAY 21, 2006

12 • INDEPENDENTWORLD

Other countries still reluctant to join From page 11 of all NATO forces in the country for part of that time. But in Ottawa, the Conservatives continued to face criticism for their hasty vote on extending the mission and complaints that the 2,200 troops in Afghanistan were stretched thin. The reluctance of other nations to join in the fight in southern Afghan-

istan has left Canadian troops dangerously exposed, said NDP MP Alexa McDonough, who is just back from visiting the country. McDonough accused the Conservatives of glossing over the fact Dutch and British troops have yet to deploy in the big numbers first envisaged when Canada accepted the Kandahar mission. Some 1,400 Dutch troops aren’t expected in southern Afghanistan

until Aug. 1, two months later than originally scheduled. A British task force of 3,300 troops isn’t expected to be fully operational until July. “We need an acknowledgment that the Dutch have not gone in and the British have not gone in as scheduled,” McDonough said during the debate. Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor’s office would not comment on McDonough’s charges.

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Chef Sean Patrick O’Keefe

‘No stop to learning’ From page 11 variety of high-end clients, has had more than 2,500 culinary students, and has travelled the US, tasting and learning and adding to his repertoire. “There’s an ‘eat drink America’ aspect to what I do,” he says. “And in

doing so I really jumped and dove into it … the only way to do it is to go to the people that produce the food, the cheesemakers, the artisinal winemakers …” He also spends considerable time in the local farmer’s market — which in LA is a massive set-up with hundreds of vendors and (for example) 80 or 90 varieties of tomatoes to choose from. “There’s no stop to learning,” he says. “Every time I go I see something new.” O’Keefe says his first Californian employer took an immediate shine to him, encouraging and allowing him to develop his talents. He sent O’Keefe to Europe with a delicious assignment — a list of restaurants to eat in and dishes to try. “So I go in, I order, I eat, and I deconstruct the meal,” O’Keefe describes. “I try to find as many flavours as I can in a particular dish … I start at the end and go backwards, dissect the meal, the list of ingredients, the method by which it was prepared.” When he returned, he was asked to recreate the food he’d experienced. “And then, when it’s fly or crash, that’s when the learning kicks in.” Being a chef to celebrities takes more than food know-how. It requires confidence, flexibility, discretion, trustworthiness, energy, and great sensitivity. “Anyone can cook, but what do I bring? Humour, personality, appreciation of the situation the celebrity might find herself in,” he says. “Dinner for two, on the way back from the studio, becomes dinner for eight — and how do you create dinner for eight out of those two pieces of salmon? “So the grilled salmon becomes a salmon cake on a salad or something like that.” He says he’s been fortunate to have only met and worked with genuine people, A-list celebrities or not. “There’s something about money plus celebrity that equals insanity,” he says with a laugh. “And I’m really comfortable with the insanity … I develop a diet based on the needs of the client and their idiosyncratic wants and desires.” Just recently, O’Keefe received news he’ll soon have his green card — and he’s planning a trip home this summer for the first time in over a decade to celebrate. “I’m not destined to be in LA forever, but I think it will be my home for a while,” he says. “But I may go back to Newfoundland and fall in love all over again.” When it comes to his own eating habits, O’Keefe says he prepares all his own food, and keeps his meals simple. “Most people I know are afraid to invite me to dinner,” he says. “But gourmet food, by my definition, is simply the best ingredients that you have available to you at the time, prepared the minute you want it, by someone who loves you. “If it’s macaroni and cheese with sliced tomatoes on top, that’s from your heart and your pantry and you’ve made it to fuel me and my life and my thoughts, and I will enjoy that as a gourmet dinner.” O’Keefe pauses, then laughs. “Just don’t ask me to pair a wine with it.” Chef Sean Patrick will be in Newfoundland this summer, and available for catering and private culinary instruction. Call (310) 498-0852. Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please email editorial@theindependent.ca


INDEPENDENTLIFE

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 21-27, 2006 — PAGE 13

Anita Best

Paul Daly/The Independent

By Clare-Marie Gosse The Independent

A

nita Best has worn many hats over the years, but still hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up — at least not in a nice, neat, business-card-titlekind of a way. It’s impossible to put a label on a career spanning studying languages, teaching, writing, broadcasting, researching, heritage preservation, storytelling and singing. Her “sister under the skin” and musical colleague, Pamela Morgan, suggests Best’s personal philosophy, “no condition is permanent,” might be a more accurate way to sum her friend up. Best — who admits she loves change — says in Newfoundland, people tend not to think about what you do, so much as who you are and where you come from. “I think they assume you’re doing what everybody else is doing,” she tells The Independent, “which is trying to make a life for yourself however you can. So what do you do? You do what you need to do.” Best and Morgan sit side by side in the front row of the D. F. Cook Recital Hall at Memorial University’s School of Music, the main venue for their upcoming four-night concert series As I Roved Out … Exploring Newfoundland and Labrador Song. Best is just now getting back to doing what she perhaps loves to do the most, performing Newfoundland songs alongside Morgan. For the past four years, Best has been lead-

Doing what she does

BEST Cultural explorer Anita Best is ready to get back to what she loves the most — singing traditional Newfoundland songs

ing the research and development of the province’s $17.6 million cultural plan, which was officially released in March. As she comes to the end of her government contract, she says her first plan is to do more singing. Over the years Best’s pure vocals have been featured on many local music albums, including her solo collection, Crosshanded, and a collaboration with Morgan, The Colour of Amber.

Best says she’s proud of the province’s cultural strategy. “I’ve been griping about things for years and years on committees and associations, so when I was hired specifically to do this I felt like somebody had given me a chance to put my money where my mouth was. “Now it’s done … I’m really looking forward to being back singing with Pamela, a lot, as much as we can.”

As I Roved Out… is first on the agenda, with four nights dedicated to Newfoundland music, from lyrical, evocative ballads to upbeat dances; beginning with the oldest songs, first brought over from Europe, to today’s contemporary originals. Best and Morgan will be joined by just about every quality performer the local traditional scene has to offer — as well as a few surprise guests. “I really want people to hear Pamela’s arrangements,” says Best. “I want them to hear the old songs, I want them to hear the new songs, I want them to be able to make the connection … I think we have some of the most astonishing songwriters on the go here in Newfoundland now — and we always did.” Both Best and Morgan, who have spent years collecting and recording orally passed down songs and stories, have a particular love for resurrecting and arranging the lesser-known pieces. Best — who learns all her songs by ear and doesn’t read music — grew up in the now resettled community of Merasheen Island in Placentia Bay, surrounded by a rich musical culture. She says she loves hearing the old pieces sung in the old, unaccompanied tradition. “I think it’s wonderful. I also love when you can find somebody who really understands how you can put music to those old songs … that’s the beautiful thing about some of those lovely melodies, they’re really fragile. They’re See “Wandering around,” page 14

An uneven collection

C

ovenant of Salt may only be Robin McGrath’s second published collection of poems, but it is her 14th book. Escaped Domestics, published to general acclaim in 1998, was a finalist for the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the winner of the Henry Fuerstenberg Award for Poetry in 1999. Covenant of Salt was shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize earlier this year. Arranged into five titled sections, McGrath’s latest collection deals with themes of creation, love in the absence of the beloved, belonging and loss. Many of the poems highlight the selfsufficiency of what we have come to think of as a defining aspect of our ancestors’ character. There is a grandmother who will “knit you a stove by evening,” men who once “fished in boats smaller and frailer / Than the craft

MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Covenant of Salt By Robin McGrath Killick Press, 2005. 78 pages.

their not-so-young men take to the water,” and a narrator who weaves a basket of withered shoots. The book begins with great promise in the form of a feminine revision of Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor. Like the Scottish poet Carol Ann Duffy in The World’s Wife, McGrath provides a new perspective by rewriting the narrative

using the persona of Jack’s sister. She confronts the erstwhile hero, questioning the truth of his version of events and demoting him to a pathetic romantic figure past his prime, trying to recapture his glory days by telling tall tales about himself. “Pushing thirty you said in the song,” she states — “Closer to Forty I think. Time you grew up, Jack.” At the same time, the poem plays on the Old Testament story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale: “Three days and nights passed before / The whale regurgitated its bellyaching prophet.” In closing, McGrath suggests a further possible revision to the narrative (“We never hear about Leviathan — / I’m sure that whale has stories of its own”) further emphasizing the subjectivity of experience and the failure of the mem-

ory to keep accurate accounts. Other strong poems of note are Death of a Peddlar at Spoon Cove, Gunner’s Alley, Aviatrix in utero, and John’s Planting —the last three being from the final section of the book, A Recipe for Black Currant Jelly. John’s Planting is especially interesting for its rhythm: “A man slow to butter toast, sign a deed, / Waltz twice around a small dance floor, / Finds his speed when planting tomatoes.” Gone showcases McGrath’s writing at its condensed best; of killing a chicken, she writes: It takes just a moment To turn a fountain of colour, A lusty spurred rider, A yodeling burst of energy, Into a speckled duster.

Having gutted and plucked the chicken, the speaker wonders: “How long will it take / The kitchen freezer to turn / Coppertop into food?” It is a weightier consideration than it might appear at first. There are also some interesting experiments here with form. The repetitive nature of the triolet makes it a perfect vehicle for conveying the circular nature of the hen’s life in Coopie Triolet. Syd Recites the Catechism pokes fun at rote recitations of Church doctrine by setting up “the egg” as a quasi-deity for poultry. Old Scripture Cake is a kind of found poem that assembles scriptural quotations into a rag-tag recipe (“3 cups 1st Kings 4:22 / See “Black currant jelly,” page 15


MAY 21, 2006

14 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

GALLERYPROFILE

By Julie Duff

J

By Joan Roberts

By Kathleen Murphy

By Joan Roberts

KATHLEEN MURPHY JOAN ROBERTS & JULIE DUFF Visual Artists

By Julie Duff

By Kathleen Murphy

ulie Duff, Kathleen Murphy and Joan Roberts are fairly new to the art world, but they’re learning quickly, participating in as many public exhibitions as possible — and are obviously having a lot of fun. “We all started about the same time,” says Murphy. “We met in art classes, developed a relationship, we like the same kinds of things, our personalities are alike and … “And we’re addicted to art,” adds Duff, with a laugh. The three women are sitting around a table, sipping coffee and talking enthusiastically about their work. While all say they’ve been interested in art throughout their lives — and involved in creative pursuits, to varying degrees — it’s only been eight years (or less) since they set up their easels. “I just saw an ad in the paper for painting classes one day, I thought I’d give it a try, and I got hooked,” says Roberts. “Then we got out of classes and started to work with each other, paint together, help each other. The more I do, I find the more I want to know.” “I was hooked from first class,” agrees Duff. “Now I try and paint most days, I fell in love with it … and we’ve supported each other, each other’s work.” The women get together for painting sessions, and speak warmly of their “painting getaway weekends” at Murphy’s cottage in Ocean Pond. As their friendship and appetite for art grew, they started to go even further afield. Two years ago they went to France for learning and leisure; last fall, they drove down to Maine for an artist’s retreat. “France was just a highlight,” says Duff. “Paris is just unbelievably fantastic for artists. We knew it would be great, but it was really great.” While in the country, they spent time living in an artist’s residence, taking day trips and workshopping along the way. “We enjoyed the food and wine and museums,” Kathleen says. “And I loved the impressionist paintings.” They’re not sure where they’ll go this year — it’s a decision likely to be made on a summer weekend at the cabin — but it’ll probably be a fairly modest trip, as they save up and plan their dream vacation in Italy. In the meantime, they’re honing their craft and experimenting with different techniques and media. All started with acrylic paint; Duff and Roberts are moving into watercolours as well. Roberts has also taken a shine to monotyping (a form of printmaking, done quickly, with only one print made) — and mentions she’s got some oil paints she’s itching to try. While each finds her own voice, they continue to work closely and help each other. They will each be hanging between 10 and a dozen pieces in a show opening in Harbour Grace this week; Burke and Duff have an exhibition scheduled for Memorial’s Botanical Gardens. While shying away from calling painting a next career, all three women say they certainly plan to paint more as the days go on. “I don’t know if I could earn a living from it,” Roberts says. “But I suppose it could happen.” Three Expressions opens Sat. May 27, 3-5 p.m. Victoria Shoppe and Gallery, 25 Victoria St., Harbour Grace. Continues until June 15. The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail editorial@theindependent.ca

POET’S CORNER Mandala by Mary Dalton I am the sea’s green mandala. Some say I’m the spawn of whores. Gulls drop me from the sky, smash my hedgehog armour to spill my secrets on stone. Mandala is one section of a 15-section poem I’m Bursting to Tell, which has just won a 2006 Arts and Letters Award for Poetry. The poem will appear in Red Ledger, due this fall.


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 15

Too much action, too little story POSEIDON Starring Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss (out of four)

T

hey’re called “rogue waves,” giant walls of water that seem to come from nowhere. Once assumed to be legend, it has apparently been discovered in the lat 15 years or so they are actual forces of nature, occurring more frequently than one would imagine. Worse still, since we’ve only recently become aware of them, their manifestation is almost impossible to predict. So it is that this latest maritime phenomenon makes a guest appearance in the loose remake of Paul Gallico’s 1969 novel, The Poseidon Adventure. This marks the third time that the luxury liner named for the Greek god of the sea has capsized with a full load of crew and passengers, and likewise, the third time that director Wolfgang Peterson (Das Boot, The Perfect Storm) has taken on a project set in the middle of the ocean. It’s New Year’s Eve aboard a luxury liner that recalls the Titanic in its opulence. Just as the guests and crew have greeted the new year, a rogue wave hits the ship and capsizes it. Most of the passengers and crew are killed by flying debris, flooding, fires and explosions, save for a few dozen or so in the main ballroom. The captain (Andre Braugher) quickly restores order, and insists the survivors remain calm and await rescue. A professional gambler by the name of Dylan Johns (Josh Lucas) has other plans, however, and sets out to find a way off the ship. He’s hardly underway when he attracts an entourage. Young Conor implores Dylan to take himself and his mother along, and in jig time they’re joined by retired firefighter and former mayor of New York City Robert Ramsey, who is frantically looking for his daughter, and architect Richard Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss) who, only moments before the accident, was preparing to commit suicide. Peterson has said he was primarily interested in the behaviour of the characters, yet this does not bear out in film as any kind of deep analysis of human

M:I3 offers plenty of highflying action sequences, stunts, and special effects. If this is all you’re looking for, this is the film for you.

Black current jelly From page 13

TIM CONWAY Film Score nature. We have a loner who takes on the responsibility of helping others survive; a man accustomed to being a leader stepping back and focussing on his relationship with his daughter; and a man who suddenly sees the value of staying alive. What we do get are meticulous set decorations and complex obstacles. In a race against time and the rising water level, there’s little opportunity for standing around tapping foreheads. The meticulous work that has gone into creating hazards and obstacles is probably driven by a desire to create believable peril, and this manages to hold our attention throughout the film. Unfortunately, whatever gains are achieved are frittered away in the last 20 minutes or so. Just like video games, in which the greatest threat presents itself near the end, here we find the most dangerous impediment to the success of the group, yet it all seems so contrived, overdone, and unbelievable. Skepticism is your best ally on the

way in to Poseidon. Coupled with the spectacle of it all and the brisk pace, it’s little better than an hour-and-a-half of harmless escapism. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III Starring Tom Cruise and Philip Seymour Hoffman 1/2 (out of four)

M:I3 begins with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt tied to a chair while Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian holds a gun to a woman’s head, threatening to kill her if Hunt doesn’t reveal the whereabouts of “the rabbit’s foot.” The scene closes with a gunshot. Next we find ourselves at a party, where Hunt and the woman in the previous scene are celebrating their engagement. So … we’ve jumped back a little bit, and the film has opened with a taste of what lies ahead. In the following few minutes, we learn that agent Hunt of the Impossible Mission Force has retired from field work and chosen to settle down. He now trains recruits but has yet to inform the love of his life about the nature of his work. She’s under the assumption he’s a transportation engineer working for the government. One of his first trainees has been cap-

tured, however, and Hunt is approached to lead a rescue mission. Again, he’s back in the field, and the fun begins. Like its predecessors, M:I3 offers plenty of high-flying action sequences, stunts, and special effects. If this is all you’re looking for, then this is the film for you. If, on the other hand, you’re a little more demanding, and would rather have the action serve a good story while offering sizeable doses of suspense and the occasional dash of humour, then you’re out of luck. The same is true if you’re expecting lots of screen time for Philip Seymour Hoffman. M:I3 is more than two hours, overloaded with stunts that appear to be carefully choreographed and executed, yet they don’t seem to generate the level of excitement that should follow. Perhaps it’s Cruise’s overexposure of late, or simply that Mr. & Mrs. Smith satisfied my quota of action and mayhem for the next little while, or simply that it’s all just too much. Whatever the case, despite its big budget and star power, and while Mission: Impossible III may be the strongest in the series, it still does not play out as well as it should have. Tim Conway operates Capital Video in Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His column returns June 4.

‘Wandering round the woods’ From page 13 fine, crystal wine glasses. You want to put good wine in them.” Best and her family left Merasheen Island’s 500-strong community in 1960, when she was 12 years old. She says her father, a fisherman, thought Joey Smallwood’s proposed resettlement plan would involve not only leaving, but being told where to go, so before that happened, he sold the house without signing over the land and moved the family to St. John’s. “I think he thought that (resettlement) would be an experiment that wouldn’t work and then we could all move back,” says Best. St. John’s was a “big shock.” “People spoke differently, dressed differently.

I felt like an alien,” she laughs. “I felt like I’d come from Mars or something.” Best says she views Newfoundland itself almost as her family — with all the love, hate and frustration that brings. She compares her feelings for her homeland to those of Irish writer James Joyce. “Joyce said Ireland is an old sow that eats her young and I feel, sometimes, the same about Newfoundlanders. They destroy the best that they’ve got and they keep going the worst that they’ve got. It can be very frustrating. “There are times when I really love it and I’m really proud of it and there are times when I feel like I just want to leave, you know.” Best has lived outside the province before and she says it helped her appreciate how valuable a

place it is. She’s on an inherent mission to keep her family, Newfoundland and Labrador, alive and vital. The title of the upcoming concert series As I Roved Out… could just as easily be applied to Best’s life to date. She’s roved down so many career paths she describes it as “wandering round the woods,” but at the heart of everything, Best is a Newfoundland cultural explorer. As I Roved Out… Exploring Newfoundland and Labrador Song spans four nights: May 26, May 27, June 2 and June 3. Tickets are available at DF Cook Recital Hall and the Arts and Culture Centre, $20 per night or $60 for all four concerts.

Solomon’s daily provision of fine flour”). Many of the pieces here don’t come off nearly as well. McGrath has a tendency to force poems at the last, to attempt to clue them up without having done the work required for them to end naturally. Too often they have to be bullied into acquiescing, like unruly children dragged home by the ear. A Recipe for Black Currant Jelly ends on the lines: This jelly should be clear and firm and of good flavour. It will keep for years. My memories are clear and firm and of good flavour And will keep for years. The jelly/memory analogy seems laboured, reluctant to perform the task McGrath has assigned it — to tie together all previous elements and provide an adequate ending. She does the same thing in A Blue Mug and an Oyster Shell, closing by returning to images employed earlier in the poem, but with neither the subtlety nor the sense of pacing necessary to carry it off. Covenant of Salt has other faults, less easy to pin down. One gets the vague sense while reading through the collection that inside many of the longer poems there are smaller, tighter, more arresting poems waiting to be found — if only McGrath had taken the time to unearth them, the book would have been much stronger. Hopefully, future collections will work harder towards achieving the strength of her best work. Mark Callanan writes from Rocky Harbour. His column returns June 4. callanan_ _@hotmail.com


MAY 21, 2006

16 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

IN CAMERA

Transient times People are coming and going from Harbour Mille, a small community in Fortune Bay, almost daily — moving to Alberta, coming home to fish for a few weeks, going away again, flying home to visit. The current state of the economy — and the once lucrative fishery — has affected every family and every resident in some way. Photo editor Paul Daly and writer and community resident Pam Pardy Ghent met with a number of locals to get a picture of just one town in transition.

W Leslie Hazeldine

Jeremy Pike

Wade Pardy

ith a 50-pound salt beef bucket securing his grub and two chocolate bars in each coverall pocket, 20-year-old Jeremy Pike sets out on the Atlantic for the third time today. At 5 a.m. he went out with his mother to check pots, and by 11 they were back out again to check their cod nets. Now, at 3 p.m. — with just enough time to change out of wet clothes and fill the boat with gas — he’s gone again. But this time, the trip is for pleasure. This is where Pike feels at home. Although he has made a good living for the past two years on the rigs in Brooks, Alta., he drove home for the fishing season to help his mother and father fill their quotas of crab, lobster and cod. “Alberta has been good to me,” he says, talking with pride about the new truck he’s been able to purchase. “I just don’t like all that flat land.” Pike fishes from dawn to dusk and doesn’t have a lot of time to think about how long he will stay home this time. Except for the past two seasons on the prairies, Pike has fished with his parents every year since the age of eight, and now that he’s back at it, he isn’t eager to leave. Despite an apartment and motorcycle left back in Alberta, this is the life he loves, in his outport home. The money is good away, no question. Pike started working in Alberta right out of high school, making $21.41 an hour, and was making $33 an hour when he left. But Pike’s family also makes money in the fishery, and while it’s the hardest work he has ever done, it’s also the most rewarding. Working with his mother as dory

mate is part of the attraction for Pike — and then there’s the pride and bragging rights of getting the job done well. “There is competition,” Pike laughs. “And I really enjoy telling Dad that Mom beat him again today.” This day was a good one on the water. Pike and his mother caught a 90pound cod, there were five lobsters in one pot and they caught one four-pound lobster (the average is under two pounds). As he prepares to head back in for supper, Pike spots his father is waiting for him. There is more work to do and equipment to fix before he can retire. On a good night, Pike gets to bed by midnight and gets four hours of sleep before starting the next days’ work, but he has no regrets. “This was worth coming home for,” he says. ••• Leslie Hazeldine sits in her kitchen and curses the damp day. There hasn’t been power in her home for almost a month, yet the TV is on in the background, thanks to a cord running from a neighbour’s house. She can still cook in the electric frying pan, boil a kettle and use the microwave. “I joke that I should write a cookbook for the down and out,” she says of her newly adapted culinary skills. It’s been tough for Hazeldine and her family, yet she’s saddened at the thought of packing and moving away. “I don’t want to go,” she says. “This is home, it’s where I want to live, retire and die.” She and her family plan to leave the first home they ever owned as soon as school lets out. Her husband is a truck driver out of Halifax and makes 31 cents a mile.


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 17

Geraldine, Todd and Damian Keeping

Harbour Mille

Hazeldine is a cook by trade, but the remote outport of Harbour Mille holds no job opportunities. Even commuting to Marystown — an hour away — isn’t an option with the price of gas. She can’t afford to heat her home and she can’t afford to drive. Sometimes she can barely afford groceries. “Just because my husband isn’t here doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to eat,” she says. “And I have two to feed down here and it’s hard on the one income, too hard.” In Halifax, Hazeldine plans to earn that needed second income and be closer to her husband. She hopes to rent out her house and perhaps come back some day. Hazeldine is saddened her 12-yearold daughter, Chelsea, has had to endure such hardships — yet she says her daughter is looking at the positives a move will bring. “There are no kids here her age,” she says. Chelsea’s only peer moved permanently to Alberta two months ago. “It’s not right … people are leaving in droves and it shouldn’t be that way at all.” ••• In Harbour Mille, you can go for a walk and just hook or button your door and not have to worry about anyone breaking in — unless it’s to leave some fresh fish or baked goods. Children run free and safe under the watchful eye of the entire community. There are no strangers, and while that has its advantages, it also comes with a price. Just ask 38-year-old Geraldine Keeping what her life is like while her husband works away in Alberta for most of the year. “Life?” she asks. “ I have a life?” Keeping stays at home with the couple’s two children, aged four and 12, and says it’s best to close the blinds, turn off the lights and mind your own business — though she does try to have some kind of an existence besides her four walls. “I’ll go to a scattered game of darts or a dance,” she says. “But I’ve learned to tell Todd first, because he’s going to hear about it up there anyway.”

The gossip channels run deep, fast and far around here. “I had a young guy over to fix the computer early one morning, and I heard later that I had someone stay overnight,” she says. “But you just learn to get used to it I suppose.” Things always run their course though, and Keeping says that there’s a name on the cycle of gossip here: “five day talk.” She and her husband have kept their relationship alive by developing the best trusting relationship they can. “I don’t know if we’re supposed to be in mourning when the man leaves for work,” she says. “Or if they think we just have to sit and mope and count the days until our men come home … it’s the old-fashioned thinking in these older communities.” Keeping’s husband returned home two weeks ago, and he’ll be back to work by the end of the month. They’re waiting for the call to find out exactly when he leaves. “This is no life,” she says. “There’s nothing good about having a husband who works away except for the money.” Keeping did leave the community once, and lived briefly in Alberta. “We sold this house once when we left,” she says. “And we bought it back again.” This, she says, is home. If she has to watch the length of her hemlines, be careful of who she has over and when, it’s a small price to pay. ••• For the past five years, 32-year-old Brad Pike has lived and worked in Newfoundland, but no more. He and three others are heading to Alberta this week to earn what he says he should be able to make on the island as a skilled spreader operator. “There is no work in Newfoundland,” he says. “But worse, there’s no money and that’s why everybody goes away.” Pike and his partner Vanessa Pardy lived in Brooks, Alta. for five years, but returned when their daughter Megan was a baby. Like many, they wanted to raise their child at home. But Pike has worked for half or less of

Geraldine Keeping

what others are making away. Now that Megan is older, he says, it’s time to go. “I would have been gone years ago if it wasn’t for she,” he says. “But there are 20 year olds with no family making 85 grand a year away, and we’re here struggling, for what?” Pike’s job is waiting for him in Alberta and he can already taste the rewards. “Look, I’m looking forward to the money and that’s it, it will be a place to work, not live,” he says. Pike will return sometime in October. The family is rationalizing that things won’t be so bad. Pike has worked the past five years seasonally everywhere from Gros Morne to St. John’s, and they’re used to being apart for weeks at a time. Pike is busy with last minute plans,

but he takes a few minutes to mention the money he will be sending home to his family. “I’ll be clearing $4,600 every two weeks,” he says, adding that not having to pay expenses is the biggest draw. “Right now it’s not so bad,” he says of leaving. “(My daughter) knows she will be coming up in the summer to visit and is excited about that, but wait ’til it’s time to leave, then it might be very bad on her and on me.” ••• Wade Pardy will also be heading to Alberta this week. He has 10 years on Pike, and has worked in the fishery since he was 16. But this year hasn’t bothered to cast pot or net. “If the quotas were there, I would be making the living I wanted,” he says as he sits, phone in hand, waiting for a call to see if he has a job waiting out west.

“Fishing was my thing, but I think I’d rather work for someone else and get my cheque than come in from a hard day’s work in the boat with the same you went out with — nothing.” Pardy’s wife will stay at home and keep her job with the local post office. The couple’s only son is already in Brooks working and, chances are, he’ll make his life up there. “What’s back here for him?” Pardy asks. “He’s better off only coming home for holiday.” But the senior Pardy plans on getting the “hell back” as soon as he can, saying that at his age he feels this is his last draw. “We all got bills,” he says. “Go when you can and find work, and if the work can’t be found here, then you go where you know any fella with a good back can find a job — Alberta.”


MAY 21, 2006

18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS 53 Last Greek letter 55 Darken 57 Tropical wood 59 Fainting ___ 61 Moon closest to Jupiter 63 B.C. Kootenays lake 67 Snaky fish 69 Incurred 71 Similar 72 Alkali ___, B.C. 75 Lout 77 Fix 79 Expire 80 Fury 81 Gold coin, once 83 Give thumbs up to 85 Old tar 87 Mountain pass 89 Proportion, in 2 terms 90 Scot’s word of regret 91 Libido 93 Yearly record 97 Punish physically 100 Shutting 103 A to Z, e.g. 104 Early Roman garment

105 Abundant 107 She ranks in Raipur 108 Equal (Fr.) 109 Expel 110 People (Fr.) 111 Russian tyrant of old 112 “I give you my ___.” 113 Capital of Mexico? 114 Choice word 115 Not his DOWN 1 Available in draft (2 wds.) 2 Less well done 3 Pedro’s pal 4 Readable 5 Earth: prefix 6 Subtle emanation 7 Persia, today 8 S. Pacific country 9 Where “Corner Gas” is filmed 10 Unsnarl 11 Wound leftover 12 ___-gallon hat 13 Simple life form 14 Singer K.D.

15 S. American monkey 16 Unsigned, in brief 23 Chewy candies 26 Airline special 28 Seed that latches on 30 Bird feeder fat 32 Winds over Cape Breton 34 Seize 35 Sheik’s wives 38 After tax 39 Debt letters 40 Also 41 They may need massaging 42 Pack (down) 43 One of N.W.T.’s official languages 44 Passover meal 46 Shilo summer time 50 Lute of India 52 Nordic toast 54 Elation 56 Coal digger 58 Frightening 60 Spring lake 62 “___, Natural British Columbia” 64 Killer: suffix 65 Similar

66 Requirement 68 French bag 70 Large Mexican rodent 72 Fleur de ___ 73 You ___ here 74 N. Zealand parrot 76 Lacking an identity 78 Scintilla 81 Wharf 82 Ont. city with a real farm in its midst 84 Orange butterfly 86 Actor Sutherland 88 ___ and Found 92 Military operation 94 Astonish 95 Of the moon 96 Roils 97 Simmered supper 98 Cartoon character who said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” 99 Gelatin from seaweed 100 “I haven’t a ___!” 101 Famous Coward 102 Weapons 105 Soft drink 106 Wind dir.

BAYCHICK

By Tonya Kearley and Laura Russell

ACROSS 1 Kind of history 5 Pace 9 Wheat disease 13 Prov. with world’s largest herd of freeroaming bison 17 Single out 18 France’s currency 19 Not repeatedly 20 Street with stores, usually 21 Math subj. 22 Orange-haired ape 24 Not fooled by 25 Sponsorship 27 Bony 28 “___ the Beguine” 29 Examines in depth 31 Grace’s end 32 Under: prefix 33 Express mirth 36 Sink downward 37 Muse of astronomy 41 Odds and ends 45 Stomach malady 47 Forever and a day 48 Fish with long jaws 49 Good looks 51 Timmins tanning time 52 Breeding stallion

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) Home conditions still demand attention. Also, keep an open mind about a sudden question of trust involving a close friend. All the facts are not yet in. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) Travel begins to dominate your sign as spring gives way to summer. Make plans carefully to avoid potential problems in the first half of June. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) A romantic Libra sets a challenge that your “sensible” side might question, but your idealistic self finds the prospect too intriguing to resist. The choice is yours. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22) Those tense times in your person-

al life are just about over. Concentrate on reaffirming relationships. Your love of travel opens a surprising new opportunity. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22) The Big Cat usually loves to be in the center of things. But this week it might be wiser to watch and learn from the sidelines. A Pisces wants to make you purr. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) “New” is your watchword this week. Be open to new ideas, both on the job and in your personal life. A romantic Aries or Sagittarian beckons. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) Some difficult family decisions have to be faced, but be sure to get more facts before you act. Be

careful not to neglect your health during this trying time. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) You still need to support a loved one through a difficult time. Meanwhile, things continue to work out to your benefit in the workplace. SAGITTARIUS (NOV.22 TO DEC. 21) Aspects continue to favor expanding social opportunities. A Gemini reaches out to offer a chance for re-establishing a onceclose relationship. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) There’s a potential for misunderstanding in both your job and your personal life. A full explanation of your intentions helps smooth things over.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) You might be feeling restless on the job, but delay making any major moves until all the facts are in. A Scorpio has a surprising revelation. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) Your business sense works to your advantage as you sort through the possibilities that are opening up. A Libra is Cupid’s best bet for your romantic prospects. BORN THIS WEEK: You have a gift for being openminded about people. This helps you make friends easily. You do very well in public service.

Fill in the grid so that each row of nine squares, each column of nine and each section of nine (three squares by three) contains the numbers 1 through 9 in any order. There is only one solution to each puzzle. Solutions, tips and computer program available at www.sudoko.com SOLUTION ON PAGE 31


INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 21-27, 2006 — PAGE 19

COLLAPSING COMMUNITIES?

Ches Pardy

Paul Daly/The Independent

Life at Harbour Mille Grocery When Ches Pardy’s customers fall on hard times, he falls on hard times By Pam Pardy Ghent For The Independent

C

hes Pardy, 62, is checking in new stock in his tiny outport store in Harbour Mille, Fortune Bay. Customers wander in and out through the open door and people call greetings from the street. For some, Pardy simply hands over their groceries, already selected and bagged. It’s not because clients are too busy to pick out their own goods — most stay and chat for much longer than it would take to wander these tiny aisles. Money doesn’t often change hands during these transactions. Pardy points to a little plastic box filled with white cue cards. “If we didn’t have credit we wouldn’t be here,” he says, looking at the lists of names and charges — his bread and butter. Margaret Baker comes in, picks out a few afternoon snacks for her grandson and lays them on the counter. “The best thing about

these kind of places is that you can say what you like,” she says. “You know everybody and you got no worries … I had to get breakfast and ran down here for some Eggos and ran out again without paying,” she continues, laughing. “But you knew I’d be back.” “You had to come back,” Pardy replies, pointing to her house across the narrow road. “I know where you live.” Whether it’s short-term credit for someone who forgot her wallet, or long-term credit for folks waiting for times to get better, this is how Harbour Mille Grocery survives. In many remote communities like this one on the Burin Peninsula, the local store is the place to shop, but it’s also the bank and the social centre. Pardy being a good loan officer is the only way many can feed their families yearround. “The reality is, incomes aren’t always steady here,” Pardy says. “Claims run out and new ones start, guys wait for a call to go

back to work, and if they have to wait for their money, then I have to wait for mine.” For the most part, a name on a cue card is as good as money in the bank — in tight-knit communities, Pardy says, people pay their bills. “You might have a bit of a wait sometimes, but they eventually have to come back and clear their account so they can start again,” he says. “That’s the circle of life around places like this.” Pardy is only in his third year of shop keeping, but he grew up in this community and knows the people and their struggles. He was once a fisherman — and so was his father — who had to rely on the old truck system to feed his family. It’s a struggle, still, to balance sympathy with the fact Pardy has his own bills to pay. “Welfare checks came out this week and everyone cleared off their accounts and now they are starting them again. I’ll get a few E.I. checks now, and a few lobster checks on the weekend,” he says. But there are cards in

the box that have been neglected for a while. Pardy says he’s getting better at setting limits to spending — for instance, he won’t charge beer or tobacco. “I don’t mind if folks need groceries to get over hard times,” he says. “But it won’t take long for a bill to get out of control if you add on a case or so of beer and a tub of tobacco.” The Frito-Lay truck pulls into the unpaved parking lot and Darren Deveau climbs out, exchanging pleasantries with the locals. He’s been doing this route for nine years and knows his job and customers well — though he does have less stores like this on his rounds these days. “When I first started I had six shops like this in Terrenceville, now I have two,” Deveau, 41, says. “Some shops are closed and others are less busy, so the volume isn’t there … So instead of going to a place once a week, I go twice a month.” See “One less,” page 20

Far too late, the premier wakes up to the fisheries crisis

I

t took some doing, but the provincial government has finally admitted it has a crisis on its hands in the fishery. Premier Danny Williams and his “team” had been doing their best to pretend otherwise. The news on Hebron talks breaking down because the oil companies were too greedy and the announcement we are going it alone on the Lower Churchill were efforts to distract us from the fishery, but they didn’t work. There are just too many people pulling up stakes and taking off for Alberta for everyone else not to notice. And it’s not like the government couldn’t see this coming. Fishermen’s union president Earle McCurdy said

CRAIG WESTCOTT The public ledger before the fisheries even re-opened this year that because of crab prices, the situation with shrimp and the turmoil at FPI Limited, Newfoundland’s fishery was heading for what he labelled “the perfect storm.” Then on April 20, after the boats were in the water, he called for an emergency meeting of all parties to discuss the deteriorating situation. Nobody, including Williams and fish-

eries minister Tom Rideout, budged. No, something happened last week to finally force the premier to take action. Maybe it was the closure of the Daley Brothers plants because of receivership. Perhaps it was the indepth analysis in Atlantic Business Magazine and on CBC Radio by a business expert that FPI’s board of directors has to go. Maybe it was just the compounding weight of cold sweat that breaks out on Rideout’s forehead whenever reporters ask him about FPI. Whatever it was, next week we will see changes to the FPI Act brought before the legislature and the staging of a fisheries summit. The former comes far too late, the latter is just a grand

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public relations gesture. Changes to the FPI Act should have been made years ago or, at the very latest, last fall when former fisheries minister Jim Morgan and Opposition Leader Gerry Reid were telling the open-line shows that FPI Limited had no intentions of reopening their groundfish plants this year. If they, and everyone else in Newfoundland, knew it, surely the government did too. Instead, Williams and Rideout acted like they had bought FPI’s cock and bull story that it was undergoing a review, then negotiations with the union, now conciliation. Three months after the plants on the Burin Peninsula should have opened, there’s nothing running across the conveyor

belts other than rust. FPI’s decision to close the plants is a fait accompli. And even as he announced the fisheries summit, Williams was careful to circumscribe its activities. There will be no demands on Ottawa to fund an early retirement program, he said. That wouldn’t be “strategic.” No, especially when you’re hoping Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to come across with a federal loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill development. And besides, the overcapacity in the processing sector is not Ottawa’s fault. That sits squarely on the shoulders of previous provincial governSee “Gut the FPI board,” page 20


20 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MAY 21, 2006

Humber Valley Resort is an international village for retreat and adventure completely removed from the stresses of urban living. Due to its continued growth Humber Valley Resort is looking to fill a number of senior positions, consider applying your professional and interpersonal skills to a dynamic, fast-paced work environment where the challenges and rewards are truly unique.

SENIOR MANAGER – FACILITIES MAINTENANCE Competition # HVR-2006-16

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.

MARKETING MANAGER Competition # HVR-2006-17

Paul Daly/The Independent

Hauling out Burin Peninsula’s U-Haul dealership going steady belt Craig Westcott The Independent

T

he 650 people who normally work at the fish plant at Marystown may be idle, and the same with the couple of hundred who get work at the shipyard. But Roselle Crocker isn’t. As the woman who books U-Haul rentals in Marystown, Crocker is one of the busiest people on the Burin Peninsula. “If I could only tell you how many times I have to answer the phone,” Crocker responds when asked if she has any idea how many people on the peninsula are leaving for the mainland. “A lot.” Most seem to be going to Alberta. Many of them are families. Crocker’s own son is leaving on Tuesday for Ontario.

“Most of my reservations are from the smaller communities like Fortune and Grand Bank,” she adds. “I have people calling me on a daily basis who have trailers booked in June wondering if I’m going to have the trailer here for them.” Crocker says there are a lot of reservations set for when the schools let out. “There are husbands driving up now with the U-Haul trailers in tow and the rest of the family is flying up once they finish school,” she adds. With so many Newfoundlanders heading west, you would think the UHaul depots here are having trouble keeping the units in stock. But that’s not the case — yet. Crocker says there is an even bigger demand for the trucks and trailers on the mainland, so it’s cheaper to book one here and head west than the other way around. “Let me give you an example,” she

says. “I just rented a trailer to a couple from Fortune who are going to Ontario and the trailer cost them $98 plus $30 for the insurance. I had another couple come in the next day who wanted to book one from Richmond Hill, Ontario to come to Fortune and it was $699 to rent the trailer and $120 for the insurance. It goes by supply and demand and right now there are more trailers in Newfoundland than there are (available) in Ontario.” Crocker doesn’t know how long that situation will remain. The idling of the FPI Limited plants on the Burin Peninsula is having a big impact. And while the U-Haul dealership may be busy, Crocker hates to see so many people leaving. “I hope things get better instead of worse,” she says. cwestcott@nl.rogers.com

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.

BUSINESS BRIEFS FPI announcement causes ripple in trading volume

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.

P

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.

remier Danny Williams’ announcement last week that the province will tighten the rules regarding corporate governance at FPI seems to have sparked a minor revival in trading of the company’s shares. For months, activity in the shares has been dormant, with only several hundred, or a thousand or so units trading hands most days. The company too has acted in the past year to buy back some of its shares. Altogether, there are now less than 15 million FPI common shares, of which more than 55 per cent are held by competitors of the company including John Risley of Clearwater Seafoods and his friend George Armoyan. Williams’ announcement on May 15 was followed by a trade of 167,400 shares the following day. The day afterwards, the trading volume was 48,800, still very small compared to companies with a market capitalization and revenues the size of FPI. By the time of The Independent’s deadline on Friday, FPI shares were up 15 cents on the day to $5.75, a far cry from the $9.25 mark the company usually traded at under the pre-Risley regime of five years ago.

Chartwell, Canada’s second-largest seniors housing developer, says it will market the new home’s “lake views” and view of “such St. John’s landmarks as Signal Hill.”

Danny Williams

RETIREMENT STAKE The Chartwell Real Estate Investment Trust says it will receive a development fee of $500,000 and annual management fees of $185,483 from a 116-suite seniors residence planned for the east end of St. John’s. The $20 million facility is expected to be built by the fall of 2008.

SEEING GREEN The Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association has a new executive director. Bonnie Andrews took on the job May 15. She was NEIA’s former program coordinator and most recently the regional coordinator of the Greater Avalon Regional Waste Management Committee. “She has demonstrated the qualities essential to providing leadership to a fast-growing member-based organization,” says NEIA president Bill Butler. “We are confident Bonnie will be a superior advocate for this diverse and burgeoning industry working with members, industry and government to encourage environmental sustainability within the context of business-focused public policy.” NEIA has more than 120 members. cwestcott@nl.rogers.com

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.

‘One less bag of sugar’ From page 19 Yet he doesn’t see doom and gloom as he visits and services businesses in Marystown, St. Bernard’s and English Harbour, “I can see a difference, but the business we’re in will survive and the stores that are left will flourish in time,” he says — but he admits most shopkeepers he visits are affected by the negativity surrounding the current situation with the fishery on the island.

“If your customers are packing up and moving to Alberta, then that’s one less bag of sugar you sell and less money in your pocket … but even with what’s happening in Marystown my sales are up this year, no great amount, but they are up.” Deveau says he feels so confident that the economy will survive that he just had his first child. “Darren Jr. isn’t going to be raised anywhere else but here. Things will get better.” Pardy takes a call from a customer

The closing date for these competitions is noon, Friday, May 26, 2006.

‘Gut the FPI board’

Please quote the appropriate competition # when submitting resume,

From page 19

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: employment@humbervalley.com

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

ments, and the people, Brian Tobin and John Efford especially, who caused it by doubling the number of crab processing licences, mostly for political ends. Neither will there be any talk about joint management of the fisheries, other than in platitudes. If Williams wants to show he is serious about fixing the fishery, and by extension addressing the problems of

rural Newfoundland, he will gut the FPI board and return the company to its original purpose of being the flagship of Newfoundland’s fishery. A healthy, wealthy FPI could market most of Newfoundland’s seafood products in a more coordinated way, thereby working towards boosting the prices. That would help harvesters and the other processors. It could also step in to acquire faltering plants like the ones at St. Joseph’s, Anchor Point and Port de Grave that the Daleys are los-

falling on hard times who needs boxes to pack. The family doesn’t want to move away, but they feel they need to. Pardy promises to save some good ones. He admits he feels sad for the family — but worried for himself and the bill unpaid in the box of promises on the counter. “When my customers fall on hard times, I fall on hard times,” he says as he picks up a few groceries for the family and adds the charges to their bill. “But what can you do?”

ing. But again, given the state of FPI under John Risley and his pals, that role is impossible right now. They have been allowed on the bridge too long. This is one crisis where it’s easy to feel sorry for the harvesters, the plant workers and the processors. How can any of them take this summit seriously when the politicians organizing it are holding it just for show? cwestcott@nl.rogers.com


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTSPECIALSECTION • 21


22 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MAY 21, 2006


MAY 21, 2006

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

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 23


24 • INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION

MAY 21, 2006


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENT SPECIAL SECTION • 25


26 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS

MAY 21, 2006 But times change and mechanical evolution continues. Three-wheeled ATVs have been deemed unsafe and have been discontinued. Quads are much more expensive to build, but are inherently more stable. Today’s ATVs are light years away from my Yamaha 200. In 2004 I purchased a 500-cc Arctic Cat four-wheel drive quad with fully independent suspension. It’s a huge beast with over 12 inches of ground clearance. It has four-wheel hydraulic brakes, digital instrument display, a 2000-pound winch, and hand warmers.

PAUL SMITH

The Rock

Outdoors

I

n the spring of 1984 I experienced my first all-terrain vehicle ride. Three wheel ATVs — traditionally known as “trikes” — had just hit the market and my hunting buddy bought one right away. Via the recently dismantled Bonavista branch of the Newfoundland railway, he appeared in a cloud of dust. I was shouldering a few logs to my pick-up and threw the last one aboard as he pulled up alongside, showering my old work truck with rocks, probably on purpose. “No more lugging logs for us!” he shouted over the sputtering 175-cc single cylinder. “Take her for a run,” he said, before I had any opportunity to comment. We exchanged places and after a little gear-shifting dialog I was on my way across a hummocky barren. To illustrate my position on early trike technology most succinctly, my comment upon dismounting was: “I’d rather walk 10 miles than ride this thing just one.” The chain-driven beast in question had no suspension, front or rear. All that disconnected your posterior and spine from the terrain was its underinflated tires. The centre of gravity was far enough rearward to cause the front end to lift at the slightest provocation, and the wheelbase was too narrow, which severely compromised stability. But it was a beginning, a core to evolve from. We quickly discovered the trike was a vast improvement over lugging logs and firewood on one’s shoulder. In spite of having to sandbag the front rack to keep the labouring log hauler from flipping backwards, we were impressed by the machine’s utility. The ATV engineers learned fast, building vastly improved machines each year. I suppose the most rapid advancement occurs in the early years of any endeavor. In 1986, I purchased my first ATV, a three-

Patrick Price/Reuters

ATVs then and now wheeled Yamaha 200. The unreliable chain was replaced with a drive shaft, which facilitated the addition of a reverse gear. There were shocks on the front, the wheelbase was widened, and the centre of gravity was significantly shifted forward. It even had electric start. Just turn the key for a stable and comfortable ride, suited to both utility and recreation. On my maiden voyage, I headed for the hummocks. What a difference! The ride was rough, but entirely manageable. This machine had potential. I hauled firewood, logs, moose, topsoil,

But times change and mechanical evolution continues. Three-wheeled ATVs have been deemed unsafe and have been discontinued. Quads are much more expensive to build, but are inherently more stable.

rocks and everything imaginable behind this little workhorse for 10 years. All it asked in return was gas, an annual oil change and one sparkplug. It served as transportation for my daughter’s first trouting adventure and many memorable moose hunts. In 1996, my brother-in-law convinced me that I should upgrade to a four-wheeler (quad) and sell him my trike. It served him well for five more years and then he sold it at a profit. In fact, many well maintained 1980s vintage trikes are selling today for more than their original cost. You can’t beat that for investment value.

NEW TECH The engineers have indeed been busy. Today’s machines can handle terrain my old three-wheeler could only dream about, at least with me on it. The combination of four wheels and independent suspension exponentially increases stability and traction on rough terrain. One wheel up and one down is a big advantage over a solid axle when the trail gets nasty. Nowadays, I would only consider a solid rear axle on a machine used exclusively for hauling heavy loads. Last fall my hunting buddy Rob and I tagged a whopper of a caribou, 17 kilometres from the road. After field dressing, we hiked about 5 km back to the main ATV trail where we had legally left our quads. In Newfoundland, you are only permitted off registered trails to retrieve big game. The terrain was challenging — no trail, just barrens, boulders and bog. I’m continually amazed at what these machines are capable of. We loaded our caribou, two quarters on the rear of each machine, and headed back to the main trail. The load made little difference. I’m not sure if caribou hunting is utility or recreation but either way, modern quads are certainly capable. I can’t help but wonder if my old trike would have made it across that dry riverbed. Paul Smith is a freelance writer living in Spaniard’s Bay, enjoying all the outdoors Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer. flyfishtherock@hotmail.com


MAY 21, 2006

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 27

Canadian hopes ride on the Oilers More than ever before, it seems, Canada's six NHL franchises exist in a separate universe from the rest of the league. Damien Cox The Toronto Star

N

ot competitively, of course, although the once seemingly absurd concept of an allCanadian division certainly doesn't seem so ridiculous anymore. Once, it would have been a ghetto. Now, with the new NHL salary cap system having reconfigured the industry, it could be paradise, albeit with a murderous travel schedule. But the "separateness" of the squads in the Great White North has as much to do with the manner in which they see themselves, and are seen by others. This spring, for example, the Edmonton Oilers are being viewed as this year's Calgary Flames. The Ottawa Senators, having once more found themselves not quite up to the challenge of spring hockey, are seen today as a team that failed to demonstrate the gumption that the Oilers are showing these days and the Flames displayed en route to the 2004 Stanley Cup final. Toronto and Vancouver, of course, are the rich boys from the big cities who couldn't even put enough points together to make the post-season and pinned the tail of blame on their head coaches as soon as their campaigns ended. Montreal is distinctive for its dazzling history of excellence. Still, the Habs are forever twinned with the Maple Leafs as the two Canadian remnants of the Original Six, and anyone who has attended a Leafs-Canadiens game in recent years at the Bell Centre can tell you it has become the most extraordinary audience in the sport. U.S. teams, particularly the border ones, creep into the Canadian conversation now and then. For the Oilers it was the Dallas Stars and a playoff confrontation every spring, and the Canucks had that little tiff with the Colorado Avalanche, you may remember. The Leafs have a good thing going with the Buffalo Sabres, and while the new style of NHL scheduling has killed any rivalry the Leafs once had with the Detroit Red Wings, the quality of the teams Detroit has produced over the past dozen years has put the ongoing futility of Toronto's team into sharp relief. As is usually the case, meanwhile, the excitement and interest that exists in Canada over the Stanley Cup playoffs far exceeds that of the entire U.S., particularly with Detroit, Philadelphia and the New York-area teams all eliminated.

NBC drew a smaller audience for its Game 4 coverage of the Carolina-New Jersey series on Saturday than ABC was getting for regular-season games in 2004. Moving from ESPN to OLN has marginalized the NHL even further, whether it cares to admit this or not. Up north, however, we will watch in large numbers until the bitter end, particularly if the Oilers can make it through to the Western Conference final and perhaps even further. Even though the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes are largely powered by Canadian hockey talent, it is the Oilers that are being championed as this year's

expression of the nation's passion for the sport. They dressed 14 Canadians for Game 5 of their second round series against San Jose on Sunday night. Ryan Smyth is, to many, the living, breathing essence of all that a Canadian hockey player should be, the same way in which Jarome Iginla was viewed two springs ago. Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani are players who have emerged after being unwilling to take no for an answer about their suitability as NHL regulars. Once, the Oilers were champions, flashy and arrogant. Now, they are gritty, resourceful and

gutsy, a lot easier for the rest of the country to love. Fans of the teams in the other five Canadian cities, meanwhile, are now demanding to know why their teams can't be more like the Oilers. WARPED PRESPECTIVE Perhaps it's our warped perspective. Anaheim, really, appears to be the team other NHL clubs should be emulating, with a classic mix of youth and experience. Moreover, there is only one Canadian team left, and it was the lowest-rated club in its conference going into the playoffs.

The chances of the Cup returning to Canada for the first time since 1993 are still moderate, at best. But every spring, it seems, one Canadian team is elected to carry the banner of the country's hockey hopes, and this year it's Edmonton. It was supposed to be Vancouver. Or Ottawa. Or Calgary again. Instead, it's the Oilers, hailing from a province riding high on oil with a native son, albeit a transplanted one, as prime minister. This is a hockey team left with only American-based opponents. But the fight, symbolically, remains just as much about being on top of the heap in Canada.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Hero to the fans From page 28 Houston Astros pitcher Russ Springer received a standing ovation last week after pitching just one-third of an inning in a 14-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants, because he hit Bonds with a pitch. The beaning came after Springer had come close on several earlier pitches and had received warnings from the home plate umpire. Springer was ejected from the game, but he was a hero to the fans in Houston. And to many more across North America. Last week, Bonds was one homer shy of tying Ruth’s mark of 714 dingers. It’s an indication of how deeply the anti-Bonds feeling is among baseball fans, who largely feel the player has stripped the integrity of the game by achieving what he has done on the field with the aid of steroids. And to make matters worse, he lied about taking them. But for an America in which its citizens pump Botox, Viagra and Prozac without much thought to any purist persuasion, isn’t Bonds just a sign of the times? whitebobby@yahoo.com Solutions for crossword on page 18

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INDEPENDENTSPORTS

SUNDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, MAY 21-27, 2006 — PAGE 28

By Bob White For The Independent

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or Ann Jennings, being named to Rugby Canada’s national under-19 team last week is gratifying for a number of reasons. First, getting the opportunity to represent your country is a great honour, especially considering the amount of work she has put in over the years to become a player of such calibre. Second, she hopes her participation will help raise the profile of the sport among women in Newfoundland and Labrador, bringing more females to a game with much to offer. And third, well, she’s got one up on her father, rugby legend Garland Jennings, who also played for Canada years ago. “It’s like a secret competition between us,” says the younger Jennings, 18. “When he first played for Canada, he was older than I am now. So I guess I beat him there.” But if you thought the elder Jennings influenced his daughter’s decision to pick up the sport, you’d be wrong. “He would have been the last person to try and convince me to play rugby,” says Jennings, a student at Gonzaga High School in St. John’s. “Dad knows playing rugby requires so much time and effort that you have to do it for yourself. You have to have that drive and passion in yourself.” Jennings will travel with the Canadian under-19 team to play the American team in Boulder, Colorado, June 13 and 15. Jennings becomes only the second player from Newfoundland and Labrador selected to the Canadian under-19 squad. (In 2005, Joannah Clift was on the national team.) For this season, Jennings is the only female player from this province to play for Canada. She plays rugby for her high school team and the Swiler’s Rugby Club senior women’s team. She is also the provincial under-19 team co-captain. Jennings picked up the sport at 15, when she started high school and went out for the Gonzaga team. To the casual observer, rugby can be perceived as a sport where injuries are highly likely. But Jennings, who has played soccer and competed as a synchronized swimmer, did not have any apprehension about joining. “You are taught how to fall and how to tackle and be tackled,” says Jennings, who

Playing with pride Ann Jennings only Newfoundlander named to national under-19 rugby team

plays in the back row as flanker/number eight. “The only injuries I have received from playing rugby were completely my fault. I tackled someone the wrong way one time and was injured. But it wasn’t serious. “After a while, your body gets used to hitting and being hit, and to falling, so it doesn’t even register anymore.” Jennings says playing for the national team will be much like playing for the provincial team in terms of the pride she will feel. “It will be sort of the same feeling. Playing for Newfoundland, we have a reputation for doing well, but we do well without the resources and advantages other provinces have. “Playing for Canada, I am obviously very happy to do that. Also, I will get a chance to see what the other provinces have and what they are doing.” With four local club teams in the women’s circuit, Jennings feels there is lots of room for more women to join and she hopes to see more youth sign up. Rugby is gaining in popularity among the female competitors, as shown by the 40-plus athletes who showed up to try out for this year’s provincial team. In years past, there was not enough numbers to make selections. This year, competition has been considerably stiffer. Over the years, Jennings has travelled to Ontario, PEI, British Columbia and Manitoba for competitions, and is excited about her first international experience. And in preparing for the American trip, Jennings can call on dad for some advice. She’s glad to have someone with such experience in the same household. “It is easier to talk to him about rugby now. I can talk to him about different things, about what to do on the field … At times it can be irritating, especially if he’s picking out some things that I should have done or shouldn’t have done,” she says with a laugh. “But both my parents are very supportive and help me a lot.” While she is unsure of what amount of playing time she will get in Colorado, Jennings hopes this first go-around with the national team won’t be her last. “Eventually, I want to make the national senior women’s team.”

Paul Daly/The Independent

Interest high for provincial games

D

espite being a costly venture, not to mention a heavy load of work for hundreds of volunteers, the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer and Winter Games program is in no danger of fading away. Patti Thorne, an official with the provincial government’s department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, reports a total of 10 potential hosts have expressed interest in hosting the 2008 Summer Games and the 2010 Winter Games. Carbonear-Harbour Grace, Channel/Port aux Basques, Grand FallsWindsor, Corner Brook, Bay Roberts, Springdale/Baie Verte, Lewisporte, Labrador City, St. Anthony, Clarenville and Conception Bay South have all stepped forward as interested candidates. The next step in the process will be completing the actual application,

BOB WHITE

Four-point play which Thorne says has become much less cumbersome thanks to the current administration’s red tape reduction strategy. In the past, the number of potential hosts who actually took the time and effort to complete the applications was considerably less than the number of communities expressing interest. However, Thorne hopes the new streamlined application process will result in more completed forms. “We hope they all send in the applications,” Thorne says. “We have made the process so much easier, but there still is a bit of work to it.”

As for the level of interest, Thorne says she’s pleasantly surprised because hosting the games comes with a price tag of anywhere from $450,000 to $800,000, depending on how elaborate an event the communities want to stage. The provincial government contributes $200,000 to the host communities, which leaves a hefty chunk for the municipality. Thorne expects applications to be received by her department by September, after which there will be an evaluation process to select the host. After each community’s assessment is made, sometimes the decisions can go to a higher level where MHAs get involved. Some people can look at the games as a waste of money, but in my opinion, there should be more money pumped into this program and more support for

the host communities. It might sound cliché, but these games are a highlight for our youth and what they get out of it is worth the cash. ••• Speaking of the provincial games, when I was writing the story on Ann Jennings, it came to me that, with the exception of the Summer Games years, there is little or no rugby played outside the metro region in this province. That’s just a fact, yet the sport has still managed to produce great teams and athletes in the capital city region, on a national and international scale. However, I can’t think of another sport that enjoys as much success provincially that has virtually no impact outside the metro region. ••• To carry on with my NHL playoff

predictions, I’m going with the Oilers over Anaheim in six games, and the Sabres over Carolina in five. An Oilers-Sabres Stanley Cup final would be a treat to watch. Moreover, the playoffs this year have demonstrated the most recent rule changes have worked for the league. With the exception of a lack of Canadian teams to root for, the hockey has been superb. ••• Just when I think it’s safe to enjoy baseball again, and the Toronto Blue Jays actually have a team worth watching, I get reminded of how shallow America’s pastime has become. I decided to catch up on the continuing Barry Bonds saga and his quest of surpassing Babe Ruth on the all-time home-run list. See “Hero,” page 27

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.


2006-05-21