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VOL. 5 ISSUE 19

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007

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SPORTS 33

Looking back at province’s biggest battles with Ottawa

Here comes the Ultimate (frisbee) long weekend

Record demerits

Police union president says courts ‘ineffective’ in prosecuting repeat traffic offenders MANDY COOK

Top 10 traffic ticket fine defaulters – April 2007

P

aul Hennebury of St. John’s has the dubious distinction of owing the most in traffic tickets of any Newfoundlander or Labradorian. Hennebury, who could not be reached by The Independent, owes $45,629 from 93 separate traffic offences. Coming in second place is Mark William Mahar of Conception Bay South, with $35,956 in fines from 42 tickets, followed in third place by Dennis P. Murphy of Paradise, with $34,869 and 91 tickets. The Independent attempted to contact each person on the Top 10 list — together owing a total of $309,655 — but was unsuc-

Name Paul Hennebury Mark William Mahar Dennis P. Murphy Sean E. Rosato Trevor James Meehan Robert F. Murphy George Joseph Hickey Christopher G. Lee Philip Wayne Pynn Michael Leo Ivey

City/Town St. John’s C.B.S. Paradise St. John’s C.B.S. C.B.S. Benoit’s Cove Corner Brook St. John’s St. John’s

Amount owed $45,629 $35,956 $34,869 $32,637 $29,069 $27,889 $27,123 $26,245 $25,137 $25,101

# of tickets 93 42 91 35 25 58 29 77 28 36

— Justice Department

See “Generally not,” page 2

FLAG DAY

‘You gotta go on’ Company fined for 2004 death of Bay Bulls diver; victim’s wife decides against further court action BRIAN CALLAHAN

I

sabel Fleming hallucinated and contemplated suicide in the weeks and months after her husband of 15 years drowned in a diving accident in Bay Bulls harbour. Only the support of family and friends — which included a “24-hour watch” — helped her live to see the company involved, Atlantic Fisheries Ltd., charged and recently fined in connection with the life-altering event. “A million words cannot express my love, my loss and emptiness,” Fleming related in provincial court recently, noting her late husband, Adrian Fleming, “would be very proud of me standing here today, reading out this victim impact statement. “After his death, I was in a very severe state of depression. I was hallucinating, hearing his voice and seeing him in the car by the door. I would go out on the patio shouting for him to come in.” Adrian Fleming, 45, died Aug. 17, 2004 due to a malfunction with the air intake valve on his dry suit, a report by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) concluded. But the “primary or root cause” was described as “the failure of both Fleming and Atlantic Fisheries to ensure compliance with OHS regulations,” specifically Canadian Standards Association (CSA) regulations for diving. It was only in March of this year — two-and-a-half years later — that Atlantic Fisheries was convicted in provincial court and fined $9,200. As an independent contractor, the company was not at fault for problems with the diving suit. But other rules — including the necessity for a crew of three, dive planning and hazard recognition and control — were partly the company’s responsibility, the court found, “and if they had been implemented this fatality may not have occurred.” In fact, CSA standards would have prohibited scuba diving for that job on that day. Instead, using an air

Stand Up for Newfoundland and Labrador, billed as a trust and confidence rally, is scheduled to take place in front of the Confederation Building at noon, May 11. Organizers are hoping for a turnout in the thousands. Paul Daly/The Independent

SUSAN RENDELL Screed and coke Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone. They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can’t go on. — Leonard Cohen, “The Sisters of Mercy”

I

’m at the Bagel Café on Duckworth; it’s 8 p.m. and my sister and I are drinking coffee, bitching about the weather and listening to our waitress, Madonna, spin one of her I’ve-seen-it-all yarns. I decide to go for a smoke; a minute later I’m outside in the drizzling dark, face to face with a hard wind that’s no stranger to pack ice. Whoever said “April is the cruellest month” never spent May in St. John’s. I’m not alone. Marilyn is standing on the opposite sidewalk, underneath a street lamp. Ragged dyed blond hair all gauzy with light and rain, Sally Ann haute couture (fake leopard skin coat) — a homeless, middle-aged schizophrenic Lili Marlene. She calls out “Excuse me! Excuse me!” to two well-

dressed men who pass her by as if she doesn’t exist. Her voice sounds panicky. I cross the street: she has tears in her unfocused eyes and she’s shivering. She tells me she’s locked out of her rooming house, that the people who own it have gone away for the night. She says she’ll keep phoning. “One of the other people will probably let me in.” I bend down and put my arms around her, and her body feels like a child’s underneath the sodden coat. I give her a few dollars, to lessen the weight of the guilt I’ll be carrying back to the Bagel. ••• “Homelessness … is much broader than we generally think of it — people out in the street,” Sister Sharon Basha says. Basha is a co-director of the Gathering Place, a community service centre on Military Road, formerly Our Lady of Mercy Academy. The brainchild of the Sisters of Mercy and the Presentation Sisters, it’s a haven for people like Marilyn, providing them with a hot noon meal and a place to hang out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Gathering Place has been in operation since 1994. “It was a dream of both congrega See “Don’t you believe,” page 10

Doing good More people than ever are showing up weekdays at the Gathering Place. Susan Rendell spends a few hours at the community centre watching staff, volunteers and guests give one another the gift of grace.

See “My whole world,” page 2

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “He gives me motivation to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland.” — Dean MacDonald on Gerry Reid. See page 13.

GALLERY 18

Dragons of the Avalon by Vicky Northey STYLE 21

Fashionable exhibit and show by textile studies graduates Patrick O’Flaherty Voice from away . Sean Panting . . . Mother’s Day . . . . Shift. . . . . . . . . . . .

11 12 19 22 29

Continued on page 5


2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 11, 2007

‘The premier’s largesse’ A

few years back I took a course in human resource management at Memorial University. The program RANDY SIMMS dealt with all of the intricacies of people in the work place. I learned a lot of things about how Page 2 talk people relate to their work and the kinds of things that will truly motivate employees to do a good job. that members of his political staff deserved a One of the things we covered was the raise. The raise they received went far beyond impact money had on the performance of the percentage increases provided by governemployees. Apparently you can eliminate a ment. During their failed round of negotialot of dissatisfaction in the work place with tions three years ago, the province froze money, but there is a caveat. Giving people wages and offered increases of just three and raises only provides additional motivation for two per cent in years three and four of the about 90 days and after that all of the old agreement. Sick-leave benefits were also cut. problems return. If people feel overworked The unions never did sign an agreement. and under appreciated, a raise will reduce Government had to legislate an end to a very those feelings for a little while, and in some ugly public-sector strike. cases production will even go Granted, the premier’s up, but it has no staying political staff stand outside power. The lesson is simple: the union so one should money is not a good motivaUnions, getting ready expect that they would be tor. Like a street drug, a raise treated differently. The to open negotiations, premier provided raises will give an employment high, but it won’t last. from 8.6 per cent to 13.2 are watching … The per cent. While that didn’t There were other aspects to this course that also proved shock people, the basic premier’s largesse enlightening. For example, salaries being increased ever-widening latitude always raised eyebrows. The peowill have impacts leads to ever-widening expecple working for Mr. tations. To put it in the vernacWilliams were not poorly for the work place. ular, the more you give paid. All of them were employees the more they will making over $75,000 per expect. Unions looking for bigger benefits in year, with a number topping the $100,000their contracts are a prime example of this mark. In terms of Newfoundland and phenomenon. It’s not just money in the pay Labrador these people were being well compacket that causes disputes. Think of expand- pensated and the increase just widened the ed holiday time, family leave time, increased gap between the staffers and others in the job security and better pensions and you get public service. Unions, getting ready to open the idea. negotiations next year, are watching this. The I provide all of the above for background. premier’s largesse will have impacts for the Consider this: the premier recently decided work place.

According to NAPE president Carol Furlong, the premier’s move has opened the door to a better deal for her members. Expectations are on the rise. The premier tried to dampen those expectations when he issued a warning to government workers. While the increases for his political staff were higher than the norm, he advised unionized staff not to expect the same kind of treatment. But it may be too late for such a caution. Ms. Furlong says the province now has money, as evidenced by the latest budget and those salary increases for the premier’s personal staff. Wayne Lucas with CUPE has said much the same. As far as these union leaders are concerned the next round of bargaining belongs to them. They want their share of the expanding economic pie. Was it really necessary for the premier to provide such large wage increases? There was no indication his people were leaving for greener pastures and the message delivered to thousands of government workers might have been better received if the raises had reflected the standards provided to others. Back to that human resources course for a minute. According to experts, when times are tough, to keep employees motivated, everyone must be seen to suffer together. If cuts are to be made you had better make sure management suffered the same cuts. That makes all kind of sense. However, the other side of coin has to also apply. If times are good you had better make sure everyone shares equally in the benefits. If you fail to provide equal treatment you encourage a bad labour climate. A man with the premier’s business acumen should know this. Maybe I’ll send him my textbook. Randy Simms is host of VOCM’s Open Line radio program. rsimms@nf.sympatico.ca

Generally ‘not law-abiding citizens’ From page 1 cessful. Justice Minister Tom Osborne says there is currently $18.5 million worth of outstanding traffic-related fines in Newfoundland and Labrador. He says the department is in the process of seeking legal opinions of how to recover the cash. “We’ve just recently started to assess our options,” says Osborne. “ We do have some individuals out there who owe a considerable

amount of money in traffic offences and it is government’s intention now to start to crack down and focus on those individuals.” Osborne couldn’t say how or when the money will be recovered. CRIMINAL INTENT Tim Buckle, president of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association, says the people on the Top 10 list are generally “not law-abiding citizens. “This is a commentary from our perspec-

tive on the ineffectiveness of the court process in punishing offenders … I suspect, I don’t know because I don’t know the individuals … the majority of those people have lengthy criminal records and have a total contempt of the law and law enforcement in our society.” In specific offences, there is currently $775,068 owing in speeding tickets, $15,930 owing for use of a handheld cellphone while driving, $126,609 owing for lack of seatbelt use and $61,303 owing in parking tickets. mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Isabel Fleming

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘My whole world crumbled’ From page 1 supply from the surface would have been appropriate. A fisherman by trade, Fleming had a diving certificate and had done such work in the past for Atlantic Fisheries, which owned a mooring system in Bay Bulls Harbour. The mooring system was used by a local tour boat company to anchor one of its boats, but there was a problem: often, the boat would drift and get tangled up in buoys marking the boundaries of a nearby fish farm. Attempts by other divers to move the mooring system had failed. So a day or two before the accident, Atlantic Fisheries president Greg Mullowney called Fleming and asked him to do an underwater survey. The court noted that a diving company quoted Mullowney a price of $1,800 for the work, whereas Fleming had charged $150 for a dive one month earlier. On the fateful morning, Fleming and an employee of Atlantic Fisheries discussed the job and took an 18-foot boat to the site. At about 10:30 a.m., Fleming dove in. The employee said he observed Fleming’s air bubbles for 10-15 minutes, then anchored the boat to a fish farm buoy about 100 feet away. At about 11 a.m., the water started to bubble, and the worker thought it was Fleming about to re-surface. But the bubbles were from a school of fish, and there was no longer any sign of Fleming or his air bubbles. The employee said he immediately went for help, flagging down a tour boat. They both motored to the dive area and scanned the surface for almost 10 minutes before Fleming’s body was spotted floating face up, with no response. He was lifted into the smaller boat, and CPR was performed until they reached shore and the fire department arrived. Fleming was pronounced dead by an RCMP officer at the “Only for the support scene. The official cause of from my family, death was barotrauma, the result of a diver surI wouldn’t be here facing too quickly. Why Fleming came up so reading this — I would quickly will never be be up in heaven with known 100 per cent, the court noted. him. He was a loving, “But the most likely and probable cause has devoted and cherished been identified as a malfunction with his dry suit husband, father and intake valve.” Nonetheless, OHS said friend.” while Fleming had a responsibility to ensure Isabel Fleming his own safety, as the principal contractor, the company failed to ensure he was following the act and regulations. Using a surface air supply was one of the rules, as was a stipulation that a crew of three be used for such a job. Nor was the employee with Fleming “familiar with diving or dive tending operations.” Further, there was no evidence of a dive plan — also required under the OHS act — other than a hand-drawn sketch on a piece of paper to show Fleming where the mooring system was on the ocean floor. “The emotional security and protection that a husband provides was suddenly snatched away from me,” Isabel Fleming told the court. “My whole world was crumbled and all our hopes and dreams were shattered. “Only for the support from my family, I wouldn’t be here reading this — I would be up in heaven with him. He was a loving, devoted and cherished husband, father and friend to all who knew him. “My attitude and feelings toward life have changed dramatically. Every day that passes by is just another day closer to heaven.” This week, Isabel Fleming told The Independent she considered a civil suit against the company but decided against it. “I really don’t think I would be able to handle going through all of that again ... reliving it all again in court and that sort of thing,” she said. The couple had three children from previous relationships, but none together. “I just don’t think I would be able to do it. “But you gotta go on, and try to be normal. You got no choice.” bmcallahan@hotmail.com

Correction In the article Hydromet a no go? which appeared in the May 4 edition of The Independent, Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company spokesman Bob Carter was incorrectly identified as Bob Mercer.


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3

YOUR TOWN

Julie Cappleman was struck with some winter inspiration when she captured these images in and around her home of Portugal Cove South, near Trepassey. Your Town is open to amateur photographers across Newfoundland and Labrador. Please send submissions to picture editor Paul Daly at paul.daly@theindependent.ca.

SCRUNCHINS salmon poaching and was fined a total of $3,100. The judge didn’t stop there. He also prohibited Snook from being within two kilometres of his cabin in Chimney Cove Brook for two years, restricted him from being near any inland waters for three years, and banned him from holding any recreational fishing licences for five years. Snook also lost his ATV, among other expensive supplies. If only Canada treated foreign trawlers as harshly ‌

A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia

S

o much to write about, so little space ‌ Jane Taber’s Hot and Not column in the Saturday Globe and Mail is always an interesting read, especially when she mentions one of our own. General Rick Hillier, born and raised in Campbellton, Notre Dame Bay, is Canada’s chief of the defence staff. He’s also hot, according to Taber, in that he’s rumoured to be the “perfect candidateâ€? to replace Danny Williams as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Of course, that wouldn’t be until Danny decides to pack it in and Hillier retires. Wrote Taber: “Our top soldier is from the Rock, is a compelling communicator and is very political — he knows how to get his way.â€? If “Steveâ€? Harper has his hands full with our Danny, a Townie street fighter, imagine the beating he’d be in for from bayman Rambo Rick. The last line of Hillier’s biography on the National Defence website is worth repeating: “General Hillier enjoys most recreational pursuits but, in particular, runs slowly, plays hockey poorly and golfs not well at all.â€? That’s OK Rick, you’re five stars in Gen. Rick Hillier our book ‌ HOWDY PARTNER I’m all over the place this week, including Houston, Tex., site of last week’s massive Offshore Technology Conference. ExxonMobil (the same crowd that walked away from Hebron talks last year) invited a number of people from the Newfoundland and Labrador delegation to attend a ball game in their private box at the Minute Maid Centre, home of the Houston Astros (formerly Enron field). Those spotted in the box include Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale, Ed Martin of Newfoundland Hydro, and Max Ruelokke of the CanadaNewfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (Danny went off his head, remember, when Max was appointed to head the board). St. John’s Mayor Andy Wells, who also sits on the C-NLOPB board, took exception to Ruelokke’s appearance in the ExxonMobil box, criticizing him for being neutral on too many issues. “If they say they’re neutral that tells me they are not on our side,â€? Wells says. “And if they are not on our side they are part of the enemy. Sounds harsh, but that’s the way life is as far as I’m concerned in this province now — especially with this federal govern-

Seamus O’Regan

Mark O’Dea

ment ‌ if you want to put that in your paper, you put that in your paper.â€? Thanks mayor, it’s in ‌ CANADIAN TOP 40 The Globe published its Top 40 under 40 list for 2006 this week. While there were two Newfoundlanders and Labradorians mentioned, you wouldn’t know it from the list. Seamus O’Regan, co-host of Canada AM, was said to be from Ontario (he was born in St. John’s and raised in Goose Bay), while Mark O’Dea, president and CEO of Fronteer Development Group and Aurora Energy Resources, was said to be from British Columbia (he’s also a Newfoundlander). O’Regan, 35, still isn’t used to his 4 a.m. wake-up call, even after six years of entertaining the audience “with wit, charm and headsup interviews with prominent people in the news.â€? O’Dea, 39, who has a PhD in structural geology from Monash University in Australia, says his success is all about discovering the “sweet spotâ€? — the richest mineral deposits in the world. Why isn’t he living here at home then ‌ BAY WOPPERS Wikipedia, the largest free-content encyclopedia on the Internet, has been spoofed by Uncyclopedia, “the content-free encyclopedia.â€? The site describes Newfoundland as a “rainy, cold, snowy, yet proud nation within, but certainly not controlled by, the British Empire. Located three and a half hours west of Great Britain by paddleboat, it is the most eastern place in North America. The capital is located underwater and is called Dildo.â€? “Newfouneseâ€? is reportedly the common dialect, although it’s roughly based on the “Bay Wop language.â€? The skeet population is beginning to influence the dialect like, for example, in the sentence, “If you steals me quad, den you gets da end of me shank.â€?

ATTENTION SHOPPERS Newfoundland and Labrador looks up to Norway in terms of its offshore oil industry, and why wouldn’t we? The Norwegian government holds a dominant stake in the oil sector. Statoil, 71 per cent owned by the government, controls over 60 per cent of Norway’s oil and gas production. (Ottawa owns all the oil beneath our Grand Banks.) Norway, which has amassed a fortune of more than $300 billion over the past decade, thanks to its profits from oil exports, has been pulling investments out of companies like Wal-Mart, alleging the retailer was guilty of tolerating child-labour violations by its suppliers in the developing world and obstructing unions at home. Will there ever come a day when we’ll be that picky with our money? Maybe when the general leads us to victory ‌ WORRY BEADS The Halifax Chronicle-Herald wrote a recent review of Andy Jones’ play, An Evening with Uncle Val. “Andy Jones is so brilliant and heartwarming, you wish you could hold his words in your fingers like a string of worry beads,â€? wrote the paper. High praise indeed ‌ MASTER BLASTERS Paul Wells writes an interesting column in the May 14 edition of Maclean’s magazine. Wells touches on

Premier Danny Williams takes on another job — he worked a shift at the Torbay Road McDonald’s during the annual McHappy Day May 9. Nicholas Langor/The Independent

the title of our recent Speech from the Throne, Achieving Self-Reliance by Becoming Masters of Our Own House. Of course, masters of our own house (Maitres chez nous) was the mantra of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution in the 1960s. According to Wells, when provinces feel aggrieved they discover their inner “QuĂŠbĂŠcois nationalist.â€? After the Canadian Alliance blew the 2000 federal election, Wells pointed out, Steve Harper wrote an op-ed piece for the National Post announcing that this was evidence of irreconcilable differences between Alberta and the rest of Canada. “It is time to look at Quebec and to learn,â€? Harper wrote. “What Albertans should take from this example is to become ‘Maitres chez nous’. Such a strategy across a range of policy areas will quickly put Alberta on the cutting edge of a world where a region, the continent and the globe are becom-

ing more important than the nationstate.� Does that mean Stevie’s on our side now ‌ ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

This is Alison Black, Concertmaster for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, with her most prized possession. No, not the ring‌ the violin.

POACHED SNOOK Samuel Snook of Trout River plead guilty this week to four counts of

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4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 11, 2007

IN THE DUMPS

Nationalization Is state ownership the answer for FPI? By Ivan Morgan The Independent

A

Robin Hood Bay dump (pictured) will become one of the province’s three full service waste management facilities by 2010. The provincial government announced its $200-million waste management strategy May 8. Jack Byrne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, says the strategy will provide a safe and reliable waste management system for Newfoundland and Labrador. Paul Daly/The Independent

s controversy, speculation and uncertainty surrounding the break-up and sale of Fisheries Products International continues, the leaders of both opposition parties are calling on the provincial government to nationalize the company. While Liberal leader Gerry Reid says having the government purchase and operate FPI is as far as he is interested in going in terms of nationalization, NDP leader Lorraine Michael goes further, saying state ownership could benefit many areas of the economy. Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout says nationalizing FPI would serve no purpose. His federal counterpart, Loyola Hearn, has said he will not transfer licences and quotas to a government entity. The provincial government, which controls FPI through legislation, is in a battle with Ottawa over the allocation of groundfish quotas and licences.

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The province refuses to allow the break-up and sale of the company until the feds give control of groundfish quotas — the most labour intensive aspect of the provincial fisheries — to the province. Reid says he has “no problem” with the idea of nationalizing FPI. He says it was done in the early 1980s to save rural communities that were in trouble. Reid says the same thing is happening again today, yet FPI is being sold off “piecemeal.” FPI’s marketing and secondary processing divisions are important to the province, Reid says, adding those divisions could be used to subsidize some of the plants currently operating. He says FPI’s marketing arm could be harnessed to sell provincial fish products. “I think the sum of the parts is greater than the individual parts,” Reid tells The Independent. Michael says nationalization is a good option, allowing the province more control over its resources. “In general, especially when I look at issues like nationalization in relation to our natural resources, it just seems like such a logical way to go,” she says. It’s not such a strange notion, she points out. Newfoundland Hydro is a Crown corporation. “And we’re doing well by Newfoundland Hydro,” says Michael. FPI spokesman Russ Carrigan says nationalization of FPI would be a move in the wrong direction. He says “everyone and anyone” in the fishing industry recognizes rationalization has to happen for the longterm health of the industry — there’s overcapacity in harvesting and in processing. If government made one of the players in the industry a state-owned entity it would get in the way. “I would have a hard time envisioning a scenario in which a government would assume ownership of a bunch of plants and then start shutting them down,” Carrigan says. He says were the government — in an intensely competitive industry — to start running a business as an extension of government social policy “then I would weep for the taxpayer of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Michael says her party promotes the formation of Crown corporations or worker co-ops to manage natural resources. She says Norway has Crown corporations in the oil and gas industry, allowing Norwegians to benefit from profits as well as royalties. Reid is cool to the idea of nationalization in sectors other than the fishery. He says nationalizing the oil industry would make little sense, as the province hasn’t the resources to purchase or operate it. “I’m not that far to the left, and talking about going out and nationalizing everything? Let’s face it, that’s pretty socialist — or communist — and we’ve seen that doesn’t work.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

4/20/07 2:20:24 PM


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5

Tunnel visionary

Strait of Belle Isle tunnel affordable with Norwegian technology, says transportation activist

By Ivan Morgan The Independent

A

transportation activist says the proposed tunnel linking the island and southern Labrador can be built at a fraction of the cost predicted by a provincial government-sponsored study. Burford Ploughman says the project is possible if the province and the government of Quebec work together. A 2004 study by independent consultants commissioned by the Public Policy Research Centre of Memorial University on behalf of the provincial government pegged the cost of an undersea tunnel across the Strait of Belle Isle at $1.7 billion. The study also said it would take over 10 years to complete. Ploughman, a member of the 1977 federal-provincial commission on transportation in Newfoundland and Labrador, says he attended an economic development conference in L’Anse au Clair last November where he met representatives from the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway. The Norwegian representative, Jorgen Amdam, told him about the Norwegian tunnel technology. Ploughman has researched the technology, and, while he cautions he is not an engineer, says Norwegian construction companies are currently building underwater tunnels for approximately $10 million per kilometre. Rob Greenwood, director of the

“There’s nothing since confederation that is going to be as important as this is going to be, in terms of economic development.” Burford Ploughman Harris Centre (formerly the Public Policy Research Centre) says the province’s report predates his tenure and the appropriate contact person is out of the province. The proposed Strait of Belle Isle link — which would join Newfoundland and Labrador — would be 18 kilometres long and 100 metres at its deepest. That’s $180 million, according to the Norwegian model, says Ploughman, a far cry from the $1.7 billion suggested by the study. The Norwegian construction company Mesta is currently completing the Eiksund tunnel, the world’s deepest underwater tunnel. At almost eight kilometres in length, with a maximum depth of 287 metres below sea level, the two-way, two and three-lane car

and truck traffic tunnel replaces ferry service to outlying islands from the Norwegian mainland. Due for completion in July, it is projected to cost $100 million. Norway completed its first tunnel in 1983. Since then, the country has built 22 others. When the Eiksund opens in July, Norway will have 100 km of undersea roads. Ploughman says the fixed-link tunnel must be built in conjunction with Quebec’s development of highway 138 — the North Shore highway, which would link southern Labrador and Quebec’s North Shore with the rest of Quebec. With the development of the North Shore and the lower Churchill hydroelectric projects, and the opening up of Labrador to mineral exploration and development, Ploughman says constructing the tunnel is essential. He says the tunnel would shorten the drive from the island portion of the province to Quebec City by one full day. Ploughman mentions a St. John’s engineer who for many years spoke up promoting engineering projects that were “outside the box. “I really feel strongly that too few people took Tom Kierans’ ideas seriously. He was a visionary,” says Ploughman. “There’s nothing since confederation that is going to be as important as this is going to be, in terms of economic development.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca Burf Ploughman.

Half hour wrong in Newfoundland When Bruce Power of St. John’s bought a Casio watch recently, he got a little less than he paid for. Following the instruction booklet that came with the watch, he realized he had a problem. Although the watch could be programmed to 29 time zones — none of them was Newfoundland Standard Time. Power says the watch is “radio-controlled,” with a time calibration signal sent from a transmission tower in Colorado every morning at 1 a.m., which ensures the watch is always accurate. “But that’s conditional on the fact that I have set the time to the time zone I live in,” says the retired teacher. “I can’t set it for Newfoundland. So when the signal locks on to the watch, then my watch is off by a half hour more than I set it for.” “You buy an expensive watch that has a lot of features on it, and the features are basically useless.” Power says he has made a point of trying to let companies that sell the watch know what the problem is. “Newfoundland is pretty insignificant,” he laughs. Attempts by The Independent to contact Casio were unsuccessful. — Ivan Morgan Bruce Power with his watch.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Car theft rate declines By John Rieti The Independent

M

ichelle Harvey parked her car in the Murray Premises parking lot in downtown St. John’s on a recent Thursday before enjoying a night out. When she returned the next afternoon, her 2002 Mazda Protégé was gone. Harvey’s car was one of the 95 cars stolen in the province this year, according to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Car theft has declined over the last four years, which Const. Shawn O’Reilly attributes to having more police officers on the streets. In 2004 there were 685 cars stolen in Newfoundland and Labrador, in 2006 there were 485. O’Reilly says half of the cars stolen are recovered, the others are found severely damaged, or burned to hide evidence. Harvey’s car was found undamaged in Cabot Place’s underground parking garage. None of her valuable items, including an iPod, were stolen, but she says the car was smelly and littered with cigarette butts. “I just felt like someone had invaded my privacy,” she says. “Like someone just walked through your room and went

through your stuff, never took anything, but knows everything about it.” The young massage therapist is still stressed by the ordeal. She says the police told her the thieves could have a copy of her car key, and that she shouldn’t leave her keys near the front door of her house where thieves could easily swipe them. O’Reilly says teenagers are responsible for most of the thefts, boosting cars for joy rides. He says this can be dangerous for everyone on the road. “They always run … their first instinct is to run from the police,” he says. “If we come up behind a car and it has three or four young people in it and we think it’s stolen, the minute we turn on our lights they take off.” O’Reilly says most experienced officers tail the vehicle, hoping the kids will abandon it and run on foot. Entering a pursuit is often too dangerous, due to the inexperience of the drivers and their unfamiliarity with the car they’re driving. Punishment for car theft depends on the culprit’s criminal history, although O’Reilly says most youth don’t get incarcerated for the crime. john.rieti@theindependent.ca

Paul Daly/The Independent

Inco considers another option for processing Voisey’s Bay Nickel By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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atural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale has confirmed that CVRD Inco has proposed a “third concept” in the event the experimental hydromet process currently being tested in Argentia proves not commercially viable. Dunderdale says the province is not willing to comment on this issue until Inco makes a formal proposal to government. Inco had been considering two options for refining concentrate from Labrador’s massive Voisey’s Bay mineral find — the unproven hydromet technology and the more conventional nickel matte process. In an e-mail to The Independent, CVRD Inco spokesman Bob Carter confirms there is a third option, although he won’t say what it is. He says the recent acquisition of Inco by CVRD has allowed the company to identify “another backup refinery alternative.” He says officials are currently completing

an internal assessment. If it proves workable, he says Inco will formally notify the provincial government. The company has recently indicated it is working through some technical challenges with the hydromet demonstration program. The company has until Nov. 15 to decide whether the plant will use the experimental technology. Premier Danny Williams recently remarked he did not think the hydromet process would prove commercially viable, and the company would opt for another refining process. He said the process might be nickel matte, but noted that the contract with CVRD Inco “is openended enough that basically they can put some other similar facility there.” On Oct. 24, 2006, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) obtained control of Inco Ltd., and on Jan. 4, Inco became a whollyowned subsidiary of CVRD and changed its name to CVRD Inco Limited. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca


6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 11, 2007

‘Too long we have been silent’ The following is the text of my speech to the public rally, scheduled to take place, rain or shine, on Friday, May 11, on Confederation Hill in St. John’s.

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ore than 60 years ago during the debate over whether Newfoundland should join Canada, the great anti-Confederate Major Peter Cashin said it is the solemn duty of the people of a country to shoulder the responsibility of governing it. I stand before you today not as an anti-confederate, but as a Newfoundlander and Labradorian first. The rising tide that sweeps our land does not reflect a movement to separate from Canada, but to become an equal and contributing member of the federation. Not to demand a bigger share of handouts from provinces like Ontario and Alberta, although equalization, in theory, is one of the programs that makes this country a great one. I stand before you not to bash Prime Minister Stephen Harper, although the message must be sent to all of Canada that Newfoundland and Labrador will not stand for broken promises. I do not stand before you to cheerlead for Premier Danny Williams, although I do

RYAN CLEARY

Fighting Newfoundlander walk beside him in his quest to push this place forward. I stand before you not to talk about a Quiet Revolution, but a Rowdy Revolution. If we need to be Masters in Our Own House we need to rant and roar. We need to be heard. For too long Newfoundland and Labrador has been seen as a drain on Confederation. For too long Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been looked down upon as dependents in this federation. For too long we have been pacified by the little that Confederation has brought us. For too long we have blamed others for our own shortcomings. For too long we have been silent. Why are we here today? Why did you come to this rally? What do we hope to achieve? I know why I’m here. I’m here to say it’s time for Newfoundland and Labrador to grow up. It’s time to tell

politicians to care more about us than their own careers. It’s time for voters to look past what they can get and towards what we can achieve — together. It’s time for corporations to show respect and consideration for the people who own the resources they want to exploit. It’s time for us to care more about our future. It’s also time for us to question. Ask yourself — should being a Conservative, Liberal or New Democrat be more important than being a Newfoundlander or Labradorian? Ask yourself — why does ExxonMobil deal with us the way they do? Ask yourself — why does the federal Government of Canada deal with us the way they do? Ask yourself — why does Inco deal with us they way they do? Ask yourself — why does Hydro-Quebec deal with us the way they do? Ask yourself — why do foreign fishing nations deal with us and the Grand Banks the way they do? What is it about us that makes them think they can deal with us the way they do? I’m not here to bash them, I’m here to ask you why we don’t question more. Why don’t we fight back? Why do we accept our lot in the

Ask yourself — should being a Conservative, Liberal or New Democrat be more important than being a Newfoundlander or Labradorian? Canadian federation? The fish belongs to us. The oil and gas belongs to us. The ore belongs to us. The hydroelectricity belongs to us. Why don’t we benefit more from the astonishing wealth that surrounds us? Why is every Newfoundlander and Labradorian seen as a drain on the coffers of every other part of Canada? I’ll tell you why — because we let them. This rally is a sign of a new direction for Newfoundland and Labrador. A sign of a yearning for self-reliance; a yearning for self-sufficiency; a yearning for control of our own destiny. A yearning for respect. Sixty-nine years ago Major Peter Cashin stood in the Colonial Building

in the debate over Confederation and predicted that the people would win through. He said this about us: “They will triumph, emerge from this ordeal, because there are still in this country such things as pride, courage and faith — pride in the great traditions which have come down to us through centuries of independent living; courage to face up to life and hew out our own individual fortunes; and finally, faith in our country and in the great destiny which I am convinced lies ahead of us.” It was true then. It’s true today, and it’s up to us to ensure it remains the truth tomorrow. The rally is scheduled for noon until 2 p.m. Other speakers include Carol Furlong of NAPE, Kevin Foley from the NLTA, Reg Anstey of the federation of labour, Tim Buckle of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association, Sandy Hounsell of the school councils federation, as well as representatives of the federation of students. Steve Kent will represent the federation of municipalities. Randy Simms will serve as emcee. See you on Confederation Hill. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

YOUR VOICE ‘How can one be lost in one’s own country?’ Dear editor, The following brief comments on Michael Temelini’s May 4 guest column (‘Are there realistic alternatives to Canada?’) may sound somewhat dismissive, and I suppose in a sense they are. But let me be clear: they are not meant to be mean-spirited as we all should encourage every contribution, even if it is just so much poppycock, for Temelini says little into which we can sink our teeth. In the interest of concision I will refer to just a few of Temelini’s remarks. The first was that we should recognize the moral legitimacy of nationalism. The problem arises when an equally virulent group appears on an opposite rise claiming the very same moral legitimacy. That sets the stage for conflict, for war. Next: “joining Europe should not be dismissed outright.” One local sage wrote recently, “Let’s join India,” a remark that was equally absurd, but had the advantage of being humorous. Absurd things do happen in international politics but they are often accompanied by acrimony, war, and slaughter. Nationalism can camouflage the most heinous schemes — just turn on CNN for a number of current examples. Temelini writes, “For most (young people) there is no other option but emigration.” This presumes that we are already a foreign nation unless you use “emigration” in the very broadest sense. Is someone who

Michael Temelini

moves from Calgary to Vancouver emigrating? What about from Philadelphia to Miami? Windsor to St. John’s? This is a creative use of the word that omits a very real and delightful fact: we all own this great country of Canada. Contrary to Temelini, I say to our young people, hang out your shingle wherever your heart desires — Newfoundland or otherwise. Temelini also writes: “an entire generation of mariners, scientists, doctors, writers, engineers, and philosophers are being lost.” Lost to where? How can one be lost in one’s own country? What about the professors, doctors, engineers, and others who have come to our province, not only from across Canada but from around the world? Have we not been the beneficiary of Ireland’s best for centuries? Would you deny our children the same option, the same opportunity? Robert Rowe, St. John’s

‘Luckily no one was hurt’ Dear editor, I was recently involved in a traffic accident, the only serious one that I’ve had. I was chatting with a friend about it, and he had heard of a couple of similar cases, so I thought it worthwhile to provide advice from my experience, since such circumstances may be common. I had turned down (south) off the Prince Philip Parkway on to Allandale Road, and was waiting to turn left on to Strawberry Marsh Road. A bus driver kindly stopped for me to pass in front of him. As I was edging in front

of the bus a car on the other side going at high speed smashed into the right front of my car, which became a writeoff. Luckily no one was hurt. Since I was turning left, the fault was mine, and my insurance has gone up accordingly. However, I do not believe that I was entirely to blame. My advice is this: A, if a “considerate” driver waves you across, forget it; and B, as a driver do not stop and wave anyone across in front of you if it against traffic conventions. John Gibson, St. John’s

AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4 Ph: 709-726-4639 • Fax: 709-726-8499 www.theindependent.ca • 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.

PUBLISHER Brian Dobbin EDITOR IN CHIEF Ryan Cleary MANAGING EDITOR Stephanie Porter PICTURE EDITOR Paul Daly PRODUCTION MANAGER John Andrews ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Sandra Charters SALES MANAGER Gillian Fisher CIRCULATION MANAGER Karl DeHart

sales@theindependent.ca • production@theindependent.ca • circulation@theindependent.ca All material in The Independent is copyrighted and the property of The Independent or the writers and photographers who produced the material. Any use or reproduction of this material without permission is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. • © 2007 The Independent • Canada Post Agreement # 40871083

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

‘We are turned off by your premier’ Editor’s note: the following letter was written to Tourism Minister Tom Hedderson, with a copy forwarded to The Independent. My husband and I live in Saskatchewan. Friends of ours live in Alberta and are former Newfoundland dwellers. Their families are still living in your province. We have noticed that you are promoting “come visit Newfoundland” through television ads. Your province is very beautiful and I am certain that your citizens would

pour us a cup of tea anytime … that’s the impression we have. Very, very good people. However, each time we see the ad we also see your Danny Williams’ contorted, angry face.He’s never happy about anything. Nothing pleases him. The Newfoundland friends in Alberta are embarrassed. We can’t help it. The optics are there and they are very bad. He is turning us off. I don’t want to get a form letter from you telling us about the failed agreements between Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, that “the federation is

broken.” That isn’t what this letter is about. You see sir, it boils down to this: we are turned off by your premier. It’s that simple. My husband and I are retired and quite capable of traveling. If we choose to go to the East Coast, why in heavens name would we want to spend our good hard-earned dollars in your province? No, we will stay in New Brunswick or P.E.I. or Nova Scotia. Helen Hollingsworth, Saskatoon, Sask.

Has Williams ‘lost his mind?’ Dear editor, While in Toronto recently to speak to the Economic Club of Canada, Premier Danny Williams told the audience that defeating Harper et al is “as easy as ABC” (anything but Conservative). I had to read the article twice. Has he completely lost his mind? What in-the-nameof-Christ outcome does Williams expect to attain for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with that kind of rhetoric? Is he surrounded by yes-men who won’t (or are afraid to) tell him, to calm down and shut up? Just shut up. S. Malone, Ottawa.

Premier Danny Williams

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘ABC’ isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3 Dear editor, Let’s focus on what’s best for Newfoundland and Labrador. When we do that, there’s little sense in voting “anybody but Conservatives.” Just consider who makes up the short list of “anybodies.” In our province — “anybody” refers to federal Liberals and the NDP. Neither offers an improvement. Even if we ignore dozens of questions left unanswered by Memorial economist Wade Locke, who valiantly started a series of non-partisan projections, even if we do whatever else we need to do in order to be in bitter disagreement with the current federal government on equalization, there are still better ways forward than “ABC.”

But for pressure applied by Conservatives, the Liberal “anybody” would never have agreed to any Accord II in 2005. Newfoundlanders struggled to no avail on food/recreational fishery, Gander weather office, and joint management of the fisheries with the Liberal “anybody” in power. Harper’s Conservatives opened the fishery, got back the weather office, and have a policy offer on the table for joint management. The only other “anybody” is the NDP — which won’t form a government, disrespects the missions in which our brave enlisted Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are fighting, and has a penchant for economic interference that could seriously hurt our economy.

By offering empowerment on fisheries management, by hinting at regional fairness on hydro, and even on net effect of their transfer payment policies over the last three decades, the federal Tories remain relatively more receptive to our concerns. On the principled front, we have no ideal federal party option for the empowerment of our province. On the pragmatic front, minus the creation of a new party or a declaration of independence, the best we can do is elect the lesser of the evils. Right now, even if some of us have some ongoing disagreements with the Conservatives, they remain the better governing option. Liam O’Brien, Corner Brook


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7

Guess who? W

ho taught me Mother’s Day was just another Hallmark holiday designed to harness sentimentality to move merchandise during a slow month — nothing more? Who stood crying in her boarding school chapel in Toronto on the morning of April 1, 1949 while her headmistress led the rest of the school in singing Ode to Newfoundland and O Canada to welcome Newfoundland into the “Canadian family”? Whose most prized personal possession remains to this day her Newfoundland passport? Who has the best political nose of anyone I have ever known? Who got in on the ground floor of the anti-Smallwood brigade, battling Smallwood for years in the trenches when it made about as much sense as battling Danny Williams today? Who was floor manager for the illfated John Crosbie campaign at the 1969 Liberal leadership convention, dealing with eager young bucks like one A. Brian Peckford — full of beans and too green to burn — at the old Memorial stadium?

IVAN MORGAN

Rant & Reason Who stood and — when it became clear Smallwood and his cronies had shafted them at that convention — watched as fellow supporters stormed out of the auditorium chanting “Ho Chi Minh” in open defiance of Smallwood’s hollow victory? (Look it up. Today they would chant Osama Bin Laden to get the same effect.) Who joined the Progressive Conservatives with the rest of Crosbie’s followers? Who let the Frank Moores’ Progressive Conservative party use her house as a St. John’s campaign headquarters, much to the total delight of a 10-year-old boy? (I still remember all the phones we had installed. It was a pretty big deal in 1970. Bedlam doesn’t begin to describe it.) Who railed against the explosion of fish plants and processing licences in the

YOUR VOICE The definition of ‘aqualization’ Dear editor, Some time back, a friend sent me a list of new words that the organization known as Mensa collected in 2005 from magazine readers. Mensa Invitational asks readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Some of the winners, and my personal favourites, included: No. 1: intaxication — euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with. No. 2: reintarnation — coming back to life as a hillbilly. No. 3: bozone — the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. No. 4: Caterpallor — the colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating. You get the idea. Mensa’s list got me to thinking about how we could apply those same rules for new words applicable to several situations that only Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would appreciate. I came up with these:

1970s and 1980s when it looked to all concerned like times were good? Who took time to show her indifferent, selfabsorbed adolescent son the tractor-trailer loads of frozen cod blocks that were being shipped to the United States, shaking her head at the stupidity of it? Who signed on for the Peckford campaigns in the late 1970s, when the spectre of a Liberal return to power loomed with Don Jamieson’s return? Who was in the thick of it at campaign headquarters right up until election night when anchor Glen Tilley on CBC-TV used the word “landslide?” Who taught her kids to be polite and respectful of their employers and then never backed down herself when principle was at stake, even when it cost her job? Who saw through Brian Tobin from the very first turbot fingernail, right from the get-go, warning us all of the dangers of the slick smile and the confident tone? Who never wavered for one second on her low opinion of the man? Who took the time and the trouble to tell off Peter MacKay when he appeared

on her doorstep while campaigning with Norm Doyle during the last federal election? A life-long Red Tory, she holds him responsible for casting her into the political wilderness. She let him know that. She, like many Red Tories, has nowhere to go politically. She let him know that. Who continues to surprise me with her electoral choices and reasons for voting for people? Who looked askance at the whole concept of grandparenthood, yet threw her heart and soul into it, becoming the rock of stability her grandchildren needed during their father’s — shall we say —

ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

SIGNAL HILL SEARCH

No. 1: aqualization — a transfer payment process that denies payments to areas of the country surrounded by water. No. 2: Harpes — a socially transmitted disease Atlantic Canadians get after being screwed over by the prime minister. No. 3: Churchell Falls — A generic phrase that applies to any project involving resources from this province financially benefiting only other provinces. See also Churchill Fails. No. 4: fudget — continually fiddling with federal budget figures until everyone is equally confused. No. 5: publice service — a phrase that applies to politicians who tell you they’re entering public service to find a better way to do things, but are left scratching their heads. No. 6: fibber optics — somebody may be lying about something, though it remains to be seen. No. 7: fitanic — throwing a fit big enough to sink you. Alex Harold, Westport

As of press time, searchers had yet to find any sign of a 49-year-old man whose clothes and personal identification were found on Signal Hill earlier this week. Police started the hunt May 8 and will only confirm the man is from out-of-province. Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Abitibi’s commitment is to Abitibi’ Dear editor, This past February Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced a $20-million, interest-free loan to save Kruger’s Trois Rivieres paper mill. The loan is a part of the $200-million cost of retooling the mill into a plant for recycling paper into pulp that will then be put back into the production of newsprint and other publications. This innovation may not only save the company and the economy of the town, but it may also save the environment by putting fewer demands on available forest stands. Now we come to Abitibi-Consolidated (or is it Abitibi Insubstantial for all it ever does is complain and ask the company workers for concessions). In fact, it is getting so bad it is now asking Grand Falls-Windsor — the town that nurtured its growth and made it billions in profits — to make further concessions. Specifically, it has cut the grant-in-lieu of taxes by 40 per cent this year. Unfortunately, our stalwart council meekly accepted the cut of $322,000. I suspect in two or three years the town council will have to rename the grant system to “cookies-in-lieu-of-taxes grant” or “promises-in-lieu-of-taxes grant.” I can even foresee the time when the process will be reversed, and our generous town will give them grants. What will we call them? A please-don’t-leaveme grant, or maybe “the benevolent society for the prolongation of the Abitibi mill fund” (BS for short). Meantime, did you not notice how the economic pyramid has somehow become reversed? But why start at the bottom of the pecking order, why bleed a

Who continues to surprise me with her electoral choices and reasons for voting for people?

complicated life? Who has saved my ass more times than I care to mention, vetting my column every week for years? Who saved me from myself, adding her two cents, taking the edge off my comments, talking me back down to earth from my illogical full-fledged rants? Who is already pissed off by now ’cause she figured out in the second paragraph what I am doing? Who might have Cleary print a letter to the editor correcting all the inaccuracies I have sketched out in this? Who — and I won’t use all the ageist terms: feisty, spirited or, God Forbid, spry — remains to this day solid as a rock? My mother, of course. I have been meaning to do this — embarrass her — for years. She recently moved around the bay, so I think this year I have a running chance of getting away with this. Can’t wait to hear the voice mail on this one. Happy Mother’s day, Mudder.

Corner Brook pulp and paper mill.

small town population of some 13,000plus souls who gave their all since 1905? And where’s Danny? Where’s the $150 million he offered Stephenville? Why couldn’t our provincial government have tossed in the extra $10 million to relieve the mill employees of that Abitibi burden? As a major company, what leadership and foresight has Abitibi shown? None. It is like a poor family relative who will take and take as long as you are giving, and then curse you for your charity. For decades, this paper company piggybacked on the exchange rate difference and reaped large profits when newsprint made for Canadian dollars was sold for

the higher American dollar. Did that take much fiscal acumen? No. But those profits should have been put into a special fund to offset the increasing Canadian dollar and consequent loss of the facile exchange profits. What foresight did they show in the disposition of those “false profits?” Maybe they were used to build the Star Lake and other hydro sites? They sure didn’t appear in mill improvements. No. 7 machine has not been upgraded and the No. 3 machine upgrading is barely started. Where is Abitibi’s commitment? Abitibi’s commitment is to Abitibi. Aubrey Smith, Grand Falls-Windsor

7e love celebrations too.


MAY 11, 2007

8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 11, 2007

IN CAMERA

Premier Danny Williams.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Paul Martin.

Paul Daly/The Independent

In this corner … A

s Premier Danny Williams tries to rally the support of Canadians with his version of the ABCs (vote “anything but Conservative”), he solidifies his position as the latest fighting Newfoundlander to lead the province in a battle with Ottawa. From Joey Smallwood’s antics in front of the Ottawa press gallery to Brian Peckford’s Trudeau tongue lashings to Roger Grimes’decision to launch a royal commission examining Our Place in Canada, federal-provincial relations (or lack thereof) have regularly taken over the local political scene. Even when arguing complex policy points such as Term 29 of the Terms of Union, constitutional amendments or offshore royalty regimes, the premiers of Newfoundland seem to find a way to incite public reaction (often supportive), attract national attention, and fuel fierce debate. Managing editor Stephanie Porter takes a look back at four major provincial-federal battles — three of which involve flag-lowering — of the last 50 years. SMALLWOOD VS. DIEFENBAKER TERM 29 Ten years after Confederation, a fierce debate over Term 29 of Newfoundland’s Terms of Union with Canada launched Joey Smallwood into the national limelight — Smallwood, the wily little guy from the newest province who dared take on the prime minister, garnering the attention, and sympathies, of a nation along the way. Term 29 of the Terms of Union promised the new province an annual “transitional grant” from the Government of Canada for the first eight years of Confederation. After those years, the term was to be reviewed to determine the “form and scale” of future federal financial assistance. Smallwood asked for $15 million a year; a royal commission recommended $8 million in perpetuity. In 1959, then-prime minister John Diefenbaker finally gave his final decision: $8 million a year only until 1962, in a “final and irrevocable settlement of … the contractual obligations of the union consummated in 1949.” Smallwood was outraged by the inadequacy of the offer — and characteristically quick to get on the airwaves: “This is a sad day for Newfoundland, for our hospitals, for our schools … our water and sewerage system, and the other endless needs of our people. The last thing that anyone would guess would be that Mr. Diefenbaker or anyone else would put a time limit on Term 29.” In a grand reaction to the “unspeakable betrayal of Newfoundland” by the prime minister, Smallwood ordered three days of mourning — flags were lowered to half-mast and broad bands of black crepe hung from the roofs of public buildings. Memorial University students marched in support; Smallwood traveled to Ottawa to take on the national press and argue his case over Canada’s airwaves. By the time he was done, he was a national character, a fighter who dared take on Ottawa in a most convincing way. As journalist Richard Gwyn wrote: “Almost no one understood Term 29; almost everyone believed that little Newfoundland was being hard done by.” At home, Smallwood campaigned vigorously to defeat the federal Conservatives and Diefenbaker. In 1965, with the Lester Pearson Liberals in power in Ottawa, Canada finally agreed to maintain the transitional grants into the future. PECKFORD VS. TRUDEAU THE RESOURCE WARS Pledging to end the province’s “inferiority complex,” Brian Peckford’s decade as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador was marked by regular battles with Ottawa. Peckford fought fiercely for more control by the province — particularly when it came to resources. In 1979, then-prime minister Joe Clark assured Peckford his Conservative government would treat offshore oil and mineral resources as if they were on land — in other words, undersea riches would fall under the province’s jurisdiction. That went out the window when Pierre Trudeau came to power in 1980. Trudeau refused to consider the necessary change to the Constitution that would give the province the power to manage its offshore, and Peckford went on the offensive. The province prepared a number of proposals for agreement for the federal government, but, according to Peckford, all went ignored and unanswered. “I maintained that without a real say in management, much of the spin-off industry would go to other places and therefore Newfoundland … would never catch up with the rest of Canada,” Peckford wrote in 1983. Federal-provincial tensions mounted and the debate went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a landmark 1984 decision, the court ruled that offshore resources fell squarely under federal jurisdiction. Peckford called for a “day of mourning” in the province and ordered the Maple Leaf to be flown at half-mast in protest. He also instructed all members of his government to wear black armbands. Angered but not defeated, Peckford was one of the driving forces behind the Atlantic Accord, the 1985 federal-provincial agreement on revenue sharing, signed by Brian Mulroney. Peckford had other resource battles during the Clark, Trudeau, and Mulroney eras. He publicly stated that northern cod should only be fished by Newfoundlanders, and, moreover, non-Newfoundlanders should be barred from

using factory-freezer trawlers — therefore encouraging landings and processing within the province. There were also legendary altercations over the upper and lower Churchill hydroelectricity projects. In the early 1980s, Peckford was adamant the federal government should force Quebec’s co-operation in transmitting lower Churchill power. Indeed, his heated negotiations may have killed the lower Churchill deal at that time. He tried to regain control of the upper Churchill by attempting to take back the water rights, but eventually lost his case in the Supreme Court of Canada. WELLS VS. MULRONEY MEECH LAKE According to the Canadian Press, on Nov. 9, 1989, then-Newfoundland premier Clyde Wells “stole the show” at the opening session of a first ministers conference. In a 41-minute speech, Wells “poured out a litany of complaints with Confederation and angered then-prime minister Brian Mulroney with a fingerpointing accusation that Ottawa is neglecting his province.” Among his complaints: Newfoundlanders earned wages 56 per cent of the national average; the provincial transportation system was disintegrating, despite Ottawa’s promises; economic development money still flowed faster into Ontario and Quebec than it did Atlantic Canada. “Mr. Prime Minister,” Wells demanded as Mulroney sat, grim-faced, “what kind of nation-building is that?” According to the report, Wells topped it all off by making clear he was a long way away from signing the Meech Lake accord — a project close to Mulroney’s heart. The Meech Lake debate dominated national news for a year, making the Newfoundland premier a household name and a national hero for many. The accord attempted to bring Quebec into the Canadian Constitution, partly by recognizing the province as a distinct society. It also gave the other provinces rights — but, according to Wells, didn’t afford them equal footing. As John Crosbie wrote in his autobiography, No Holds Barred, in Wells’view “every province was absolutely equal to every other province, and should, therefore, have exactly the same powers. There was no way that Quebec, or any other province, should have any powers that Newfoundland didn’t have, or P.E.I. didn’t have, and so on … “The Newfoundland public bought the Wells line,” Crosbie continued. “The reason was simple … all they could see was their champion Clyde tying old Mulroney in knots.” Crosbie, a federal minister while all the fireworks were going off, believed Wells was in the midst of “wrecking the country” — not to mention putting his vulnerable home province even more at risk. But literally thousands of letters of support from across the nation poured into Wells’ office. Wells for Prime Minister T-shirts were made and sold. Threats from federal and Quebec representatives left Wells unmoved. The premier went so far as to say the province might be better off joining the U.S. if Meech was approved. “In fact, we may well be a good deal better off in that circumstance than to be a province of Canada with regional economic disparity that exists now entrenched in the Constitution with no way of correcting it,” he told the Toronto Star. “I don’t want … Newfoundland to be a subordinate province.” On June 22, 1990, after last-minute manoeuvering by Mulroney’s Conservatives — and Wells’ subsequent refusal to be forced into a rush vote in the House of Assembly — the Meech Lake Accord died, failing to be ratified by Newfoundland and Manitoba. WILLIAMS VS. MARTIN ATLANTIC ACCORD Furious at Ottawa’s failure to agree to a deal that would give Newfoundland and Labrador 100 per cent of provincial offshore oil revenues, Premier Danny Williams ordered the removal of all Canadian flags from government buildings around the province on Dec. 23, 2004. “The Government of Canada has turned its back on the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” Williams told reporters at the time. “What a time to get a slap in the face from the federal government.” The previous June, while in the midst of an election campaign, then-prime minister Paul Martin had promised a deal on the Atlantic Accord — one that would allow the province to collect all offshore revenues. Newfoundland and Labrador was to become, finally, the “principal beneficiary” of its offshore resources, as stated within the text of the accord. To that point, Ottawa was clawing back about 70 per cent of all royalties in reduced equalization payments. After the election — Martin was given a minority — that promise fell by the wayside. In the fall of 2004, Williams caused a national stir by storming out of a first ministers’ conference. He gave Martin until Christmas to live up to his word. After another unsuccessful meeting in Winnipeg, Williams flew back to St. John’s — and the so-called “flag flap” began. Amonth later, the two parties came to an agreement. On Feb. 14, 2005, Martin and Williams signed the arrangement that would turn 100 per cent of offshore revenues, free from any clawbacks. The new agreement also included an upfront $2-billion payment. stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca

Clyde Wells.

Brian Peckford.

Joey Smallwood.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Paul Daly/The Independent

Brian Mulroney.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Pierre Trudeau.

Reuters

Centre for Newfoundland Studies

John Diefenbaker.


10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

MAY 11, 2007

‘Don’t you believe in Santa Claus?’ From page 1 tions to work together on a project, and this became the project — to meet the needs of people in this area of the city, the inner city,” says Basha. The two congregations contribute financially to the centre, which costs approximately $130,000 a year to run. Although Roman Catholic in origin, five Anglican parishes are officially involved, and the centre has a wide, eclectic support base. Pizza Delight, the Catholic League of Women, the Knights of Columbus, Costco, Academy Canada, St. Vincent de Paul — food, clothing, household goods and money come from everywhere and anywhere. Basha says a man showed up last Christmas with a $1,000 cheque. “I said, ‘What firm is this from?’ and he said ‘It’s from me.’ And then he said, ‘Don’t you believe in Santa Claus?’ I said, ‘Well, maybe I do now.’” The centre has a hundred volunteers from all denominations — mostly retired professionals, mostly women. A volunteer nurse comes in once a week to conduct a wellness clinic; student nurses show up as part of their training. “A lot of people who come here are on social assistance,” Basha says. “From what I can gather, it’s really not enough to live on. I’m told they have to factor in a hot meal once a day in order to make it stretch. You consider two litres of milk is, what, $3.51? This week, two litres of Pepsi is 99 cents.” “There are people who have so much against them right from the get-go,” says Basha’s codirector, Sister Helen Corrigan. Basha agrees. “Sometimes they can’t get work, sometimes they’re not able to work for medical reasons. Maybe they can function in one capacity, but maybe not in another.” The number of people they feed is increasing. “Four years ago, if there were between 50 and 60 people a day, that was a lot … That number is double these days. All last week, we’ve had from 90 to 100, sometimes 120. More young people are showing up. We encourage them to go back to school, move on … not make this a way of life.” Before we end our conversation, Basha puts in a big plug for the volunteers. “It’s just the whole generosity of them — and always wanting to do the extra. That’s the part I’m always amazed at.” I leave Basha and Corrigan in their upstairs office, and go down into the thick of a typical day at the Gathering Place. Sister Dorothy Baird, who has one of the kindest pairs of eyes I’ve ever seen, is my escort. ••• The din is incredible — the clang and clamour of pots and pans, plates and glasses. People talking and laughing, country and western music backing them up from a radio. Baird shows me the dining room first, full of light and colour and the smell of homemade beef soup and hamburgers. Five wooden tables spread with patterned cloths

seat 20 people, men and women ranging in age from 20-something to 70-something. Someone says, “May I see the wine list, please?” and the place goes up. Jesus and His disciples are chowing down too, in a tapestry of The Last Supper above the coffee maker — the only religious icon in sight. Past a bouquet of balloons waving on a wall, there’s a guy with so many tattoos he could have posed for my copy of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. Baird thinks I’m looking at the balloons. “Every month there’s a birthday party,” she says, “for everyone who has a birthday that month. They really enjoy it … for some of them, it’s the only recognition of their birthdays they have.” The food is prepared on site by volunteers, some of whom have been here since 7:30. They pop in and out of the kitchen, hairnets and aprons distinguishing them from the people — “guests” — they’re feeding. No one pays any attention to me except a few people I know from my neighbourhood or the downtown streets. It feels good in here, like the club it’s supposed to be. Guests pay $3 a year for a membership card, which entitles them to a home-cooked meal every day and breakfast on Mondays, and the use of rooms containing couches and chairs, a pool table, a TV, crib boards, books and playing cards. They also have access to a literacy program and seminars on topics such as drug awareness, tenants’ rights and stress management. No one is turned away — the cards are about ownership of this space, about identity.

COUNT YOURSELF IN! A MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICE

ENUMERATION 2007 WHERE? WHEN? WHO?

WHY?

In all Provincial Electoral Districts All residences will be visited between May 14 th and May 25th, 2007 Enumerators have been appointed and sworn by a district Returning Officer and will visit each residence to take the name, civic and mailing address, date of birth and telephone number of all eligible electors A new List of Electors is required for the October 9 th, 2007 Provincial General Election

Are you a qualified elector? You must be: 18 years of age or older on or before October 9, 2007; a Canadian Citizen; ordinarily resident in the Province; and ordinarily resident in the electoral district and polling division being enumerated. IF YOU ARE NOT HOME WHEN THE ENUMERATOR VISITS: Please contact the enumerator using the information left on the doorknob notice. The enumerator will make a return visit if you do not call.

ELECTIONS ARE EVERYONE’S BUSINESS. PLEASE COOPERATE. PLEASE PARTICIPATE. THE LIST DETERMINES WHO VOTES WHERE!

a hand for art,” she says. “And I love kids.” She smiles suddenly, as if she’s just remembered this. A million-dollar smile that lights up the pallid face, extinguishes the guarded look in her eyes. ••• Back inside, I look for one of Basha’s “wonderful volunteers.” A spunky, dark-haired woman sits on a desk, handing out numbers. Her energy attracts me — and the guests too, who approach her to say hello or good-bye, ask about clothing, find some excuse to banter. A retired accountant, Lois Abbott has been volunteering at the Gathering Place for 10 years. “In life, everybody has a story,” she says. “And I don’t care whether you’re coming to the Gathering Place, or you’re out walking the streets or you’re going to your cushy job. We have all ages, all walks here — there are people here that I personally know have worked with government.” Abbott is particularly concerned with the plight of the mentally ill. “I talked to the doctors about this at (Waterford Hospital) workshops. You cannot put them … in some boarding house where they fetch for themselves. “Putting people back in the community is fine, but it needs to be monitored.” Before I leave, Abbott voices what I’ve observed this morning: the symbiotic relationship between the staff, volunteers and guests. “I’d say (the guests) give me more than I give to them,” she says. “Gratification … just knowing that I’m doing some good.” As I walk away from the Gathering Place, past Mary in her grotto with a patch of crocuses growing near her feet, past a shopping cart crammed with garbage bags full of pop bottles, I think of another line from Cohen’s song. If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem. If you would like to volunteer with or donate to the Gathering Place, please phone 753-3234 or email gatheringplace@nf.aibn.com.

INVITATION TO TENDER COMMODITY ITEM Dump Truck Hire (Avalon)

TENDER NUMBER TP107001693

CLOSING TIME June 1/07 4:00 P.M.

OPENING TIME June 4/07 9:45 A.M

Rental of Equipment (Avalon)

TP107001676

June 1/07 4:00 P.M.

June 4/07 2:00 P.M.

If there are any problems in obtaining these bid documents via the Internet, please contact the Government Purchasing Agency at 709-729-3348.

A NON-PARTISAN OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS & PLEBISCITES TOLL FREE: 1-877-729-7987 www.gov.nl.ca/elections

In a room where people are playing 45s and pool while they wait for their turn at the tables, Baird asks if anyone would like to talk to me. A dark-haired, well-groomed man says yes. His name is Harold; he’s a French teacher. “My life didn’t go at all the way I wanted it,” he says. “I didn’t foresee I would be divorced, that that would be in my life. Or bankruptcy. I’ve had to rebuild myself, and I haven’t done it very well.” Harold, 57, returned to the province three years ago when his mother became ill. He’d just finished a one-year teaching contract in northern Ontario, he tells me — and suddenly breaks into rapid textbook French (I match him for about three sentences before I have to call it quits). He hopes his next social assistance cheque ($188) will get him to North Sydney so he can hitchhike to Ontario. “Newfoundland is very poor … I’m too old for here.” But the last four cheques went into a VLT hours after he got them. It’s a beautiful day; I decide to take a break, go outside. Shirley, a small, thin 24-year-old with poverty-pale skin, comes with me. “I don’t mind talking to you,” she says. “I read The Independent.” We sit in front of the building smoking, our backs against the warm granite. Marilyn suddenly appears in front of us, in white faux fur today. She’s worried about leaving her cart outside. We tell her it’s OK, and she moves towards the front door on her platform boots like a dreaming egret. Shirley came to St. John’s from Clarke’s Beach. She worked at Tim Hortons and a corner store, but couldn’t make enough money to live on. “I mean, you’re only getting $6.25 an hour. You can’t live on that.” An epileptic, she lives by herself in a one-bedroom apartment that costs $450 a month plus utilities. She had to fight welfare to get it, she says, but the bedsitter she was living in made her “claustrophobic.” And she didn’t feel safe in the rooming house. Shirley wants to go to the College of the North Atlantic, do graphic design, become an interior decorator specializing in children’s rooms. “I have

Paul Daly/The Independent

Electronic access to browsing and downloading these tenders is a non-fee tendering service offered by the Government Purchasing Agency. These tenders may be obtained by logging onto www.gov.nl/tenders

PAUL REYNOLDS CHIEF ELECTORAL OFFICER (ACTING) NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR 39 HALLETT CRESCENT ST. JOHN’S, NL A1B 4C4

TELEPHONE: 729-0712

Scenes from the Gathering Place on a recent afternoon.

FAX: 729-0679


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS â&#x20AC;˘ 11

Dear Patrick â&#x20AC;Ś

A sampling of some questions from readers, as well as my responses

Q

: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been doing some research on prime ministers and premiers of Newfoundland. Have you ever noticed how many of them skedaddled from Newfoundland as soon as their terms ended? Have you an explanation for this? Or a solution?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Jim P., Western Bay

PATRICK Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;FLAHERTY A Skepticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diary

variety is now sickeningly maudlin, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m expecting to see all classical music banned soon because it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t appeal to youthful listeners. As for the A: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes, Jim, I have noticed this odd strange use of the verb grow, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve phenomenon. One prime minister, E.P. heard it often too, especially from Morris, didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even wait until his term businessmen. was up â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he went to England on a trip â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can use grow as a transitive and refused to come back. Brian verb (e.g., to grow vegetables, grow a Peckford trekked to the coast of B.C., beard), but grow a business or grow evidently thinking the further he was the economy is not idiomatic English. from us the better. Frank Moores fled (Better to say: expand a business; the scene too. And there are other boost or develop the economy.) examples. The elite exodus is hard to However, grow as in grow the econoexplain, given the bountiful resources, my is now so common that it may be hospitality, bracing weather, etc. we an instance of language undergoing have here. As for a solution, in future change. we may have to think of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Words like letting someone be precominâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, goinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, mier of the province lookinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, havinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; while residing, say, in â&#x20AC;&#x153;As for a solution, in and so on are simOttawa. If weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d thought ply instances of of that, maybe Brian future we may have to sloppy, lazy Tobin would have speech used by think of letting some- certain broadcaststayed around longer.â&#x20AC;? (just listen to one be premier of the ers Q: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been on the early evening broad of my back in shows on VOCM, province while resid- or Weekend hospital for the last AM month and there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on CBC) as an ing, say, in Ottawa. If a lot to do except listen attempt to talk to the radio. Do you lisweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d thought of that, down to the level ten to the stuff thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on they imagine is maybe Brian Tobin the radio? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll phone you fitting for their up and have a chat about listeners. would have stayed it one of these days. But â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mainlandget back to me on two born broadcastaround longer.â&#x20AC;? things. First, the queer ers, in particular, use of the word grow in think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the phrases like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying way to identify to grow my business.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And second, the with their Newfoundland audience.â&#x20AC;? loss of the ing sound from words like cominâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and goinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.â&#x20AC;? Q: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Did you see the city council ad â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Agnes G., Gander. in the newspaper calling for volunteers to act as ambassadors for visiting A: â&#x20AC;&#x153;No need to phone me, Agnes. cruise ships? Tell me this: if these What do I listen to? The VOCM news ships are an economic enterprise for at 1 p.m., the CBC news at 6:30, and I St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, as many claim, why canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try to catch what Bill Rowe, Rex those who greet visitors be paid for Murphy, and Craig Westcott are say- their work? Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your suggestion?â&#x20AC;? ing. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also a fan of western and clasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Phil G., The Battery sical music, but much of the western

A: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The truth, Phil, may be that the boasted cruise ships add very little to the economy of the city. Some passengers who get off will buy a postcard or souvenir trinket, and a few may take a taxi here and there to see the sights, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all been stuffed with food and liquor on board their ship and they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t set out in the first place to go shopping for clothing or other major items. The Water Street revenue from cruise ships likely works out to 50 cents per passenger, if that. This practice of â&#x20AC;&#x153;greeting cruise visitorsâ&#x20AC;? (to quote the ad) is in any case demeaning and unnecessary. The tourist industry elsewhere has turned residents into toadies. We shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make the same mistake. If cruise visitors have to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;greeted,â&#x20AC;? I suggest that deputy-mayor Dennis Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keefe and chief commissioner and city solicitor Ron Penney take the lead and volunteer at the wharf. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making fat salaries off city taxpayers and can afford to take time off. Let them show us how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done.â&#x20AC;? Q: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know you got involved in the campaign against the Loblaw Super Store but I see you walking around Quidi Vidi Lake. To get there, you must have to go along Lake Avenue and pass by the super store. How do you like that?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Vernon S., Mount Pearl. A: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pass it, Vernon, and hope never to set foot in it. A good way to avoid the eyesore, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re coming from the west or south, is to walk along Forest Avenue to Forest Road, then turn along Forest Road towards the Anglican Cemetery. A stroll through the cemetery brings you to the lakeshore, and then you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to look at the Loblaw monstrosity at all. This route also enables you to avoid some of the Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bridge Road tractor-trailer traffic, provided mostly by the company called Oceanex, which persists in trucking containers through the heart of St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s even at times of high congestion.â&#x20AC;? Patrick Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Flaherty is a St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s writer.

AROUND THE WORLD John Christopher Doyle seems to have Newfoundland firmly by the throat. Our own government appears to be scared spitless of him. Ottawa shows a curious reluctance to touch him. The local press has run in terror from him with its tail between his legs. Who is this mighty and frightening John who seems to be able to sit down there in his Panama hideway like an evil genius and all but govern Newfoundland already? Does the Liberal government in Ottawa owe the great Mr. Doyle any favours? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Ray Guy column â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Suburban Mirror, St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, May 25, 1978 AROUND THE BAY The pleasing intelligence has now become widely known, that the illustrious Prince of Wales is about to visit our shores, and already has the poetic spirit of our town been stirred up to greet him. Who knows but that he may be induced to grace Conception Bay with his presence. We feel sure that nowhere will he be received more joyfully than in Newfoundland; the warm hearts of the people will unite into one, eloquent to welcome him. We are glad to observe that renewed attempts are being made by scientific men to bring back the cable into working order; and we earnestly hope that their efforts may be crowned with the most complete success, so that we, being once more in electric communication with Ireland, the Prince of Wales when he arrives may be able to enjoy the pleasure of letting his Royal Parents know of his safe voyage across the Atlantic. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Standard and Conception-Bay Advertiser, May 9, 1860 YEARS PAST An outport man who came to town yesterday remained too long in a store on Water Street and his horse becoming impatient went on home. He was obliged to carry home a small carload of goods. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Daily News, St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, May 11, 1900

which prevailed with little or no interruption has now evidently closed and a favorable change has set in. At short intervals old Solâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genial rays and light westerly winds have exercised a benign influence on the face of creation, and, as a result, many of our people are busy planting their gardens for the seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crop, which, we hope, will be a bountiful one. It is very probable that the crops will soon display rapid growth, which will compensate for the lateness of the season. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Weekly Record, Trinity, May 24, 1888 LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The incident that prompts us to write this letter occurred last week. The M.V. Nonia left Port aux Basques enroute Terrenceville, a trip of approximately 25 or 26 hours and she covered the distance in a record breaking time of 55 hours. At this time there were two girls waiting here to go to St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, to register at Memorial. However, due to the reliability and record breaking speed of the Nonia, they were â&#x20AC;&#x153;onlyâ&#x20AC;? one day late. Of course the incident cannot be blamed solely on the captain of this vessel. The Nonia is only an old scow itself. A row dory is almost as fast as this boat and should be replaced by a speedier boat. Sincerely, Lyman Keeping and Lloyd Froude â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Foghorn, Harbour Breton, May 26, 1975 QUOTE OF THE WEEK DIED â&#x20AC;&#x201D; At Petty Harbour, on Thursday last, Mrs. Power, relict of the late Mr. Richard Power, of that place. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Morning Post and Shipping Gazette

EDITORIAL STAND The long period of damp, cold weather

mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

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MAY 11, 2007

12 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

VOICE FROM AWAY

YOUR VOICE

Telegram editor taken to task Dear editor, Re: editor Russell Wangersky’s column, Before you hit send, in the May 1 edition of The Telegram. Russell seems to have issues with a number of people and his anger comes out. Russell goes on about other people’s perception of him, which obviously isn’t good. So he actually

believes his gibberish is going to make us believe that the average Newfoundlander has lost it on mentality. Obviously Russell is trying to minimize his unpopularity with his column, but don’t be fooled. How many times does he address issues at hand when other media have covered it? I ask you, why do we put up with it?

What is he there for? All he writes about, for the most part, is Mother Nature. When he’s pushed to the wall he writes as though we are getting a good deal, but notice not once does he talk about the legal contract that is blatantly being broken. Where is our Canada Act or opting-out clause? Marian Walsh, Conception Bay South

Amrit Richardson prepares to race the hybrid car he built with a team of McGill students.

Start your (green) engines Living in Montreal, Newfoundlander Amrit Richardson envisions an electric future By John Rieti The Independent

T

iny and red, with metal parts jutting out and a blocky motor at its back, the racecar Amrit Richardson helped build looks like a dinky. But when the engine screams and it takes off, the miniature racecar looks more like a rocket strapped to four tiny wheels. Underneath its hood is something greener: a hybrid engine system that allows the car to run on both gas and electricity. Richardson, a Newfoundlander studying mechanical engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Que., is a member of the team of students that built the car for a competition in New Hampshire. Teams were challenged to conceive, design, build and race hybrid racecars, and McGill’s was fastest. “Young students are getting to know electric systems and hybrid systems way before they get into working for companies like Ford and General Motors,” Richardson tells The Independent. While many people have praised hybrid cars for their efficiency, Richardson doesn’t think they should be viewed as a long-term solution. “From the engineering point of view they’re still not a sustainable option … the attitude around (the garage) is that it’s got to be all electric.” This summer Richardson is working with the McGill VERT Project to develop concept vehicles, from hybrid speedsters to electric snowmobiles. Although the vehicles are far from commonplace, he says there’s a sense of optimism amongst the project’s engineers.

“It’s an exciting field, (how to be environmentally friendly is) the biggest question on everybody’s mind,” he says. Richardson says there is more discussion about sustainability in Montreal due to the obvious environmental issues of the city. “In Newfoundland there’s not so much pollution and things are generally a lot cleaner … it’s something people take for granted … but when you live in a big city and you see the smog and the number of cars you become more environmentally conscientious.” He’s also quick to point out that Montreal has just as many potholes as St. John’s. Although the projects Richardson is working on are far too expensive and technical to put on the market, he can easily envision their use in the province. His engineering team’s electric snowmobile has already been used for research in the Arctic and they have also come up with an electric off-road vehicle. In the future, Richardson says, people could charge their vehicles from solar, wind or hydro generators at their home or cabin, then cruise the country in silent transportatin that would leave little footprint on the environment. For now, Richardson will be happy to rev up the engine, chirp the tires and take his cars racing. He has another competition in Detroit coming up and he hopes the Motor city will follow the leadership of young, green engineers. john.rieti@theindependent.ca Do you know a Newfoundlander or Labradorian living away? Please email editorial@theindependent.ca

YOUR VOICE

Message to Randy Simms: don’t give up on the light Dear editor, I would like to thank Randy Simms for writing a column about the changes we are being asked to make to become more environmentally and sustainably conscious and responsible (Seeing the environmentally friendly light, May 4 edition). I commend Mr. Simms for taking the time to buy two long lasting fluorescent light bulbs. I am sorry that you were not able to figure out that like all traditional bulbs these are also specific to certain types of fixtures — you just have to take time to find the right one. I am also sorry that you were so inconvenienced by these new bulbs that you went back to the old ones for the sake of $10. It seems you were unable to see the environmentally friendly light. I hope you can find it in yourself to give it another try. This light bulb is the smallest change we should be asked to make. Without the willingness to make these small changes we will all be left in the dark. Please, do not wait for government to move, make government move. Stephanie Stoker, St. John’s

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INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — PAGE 13

Dean MacDonald struck a deal this week to sell his company, Persona, to Bragg Communications.

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Silly politics’ Dean MacDonald on Persona’s sale, the fibre-optic deal and his next career By Ivan Morgan The Independent

W

ith a deal to sell the cable company he spent years building in his back pocket, Persona president Dean MacDonald says the controversial fibre-optic deal was not a factor in the sale. He calls the Liberal opposition’s criticism “irresponsible” and “total poppycock.” MacDonald also doesn’t rule out politics as a new career. MacDonald says Bragg Communications, the national cable company that made an offer to purchase Persona, will not benefit from Persona’s involvement in the fibreoptic consortium. In fact, he says it is more of an obligation than an asset. “You know what? It’s an optical illusion, because at the end of the day Bragg has an obligation as part of the consortium to build this,” MacDonald tells The Independent. Persona, along with MTS Allstream and Rogers Commun-

ications, were awarded an untendered $15-million provincial government contract to build a fibre-optic link with the mainland. This link would compete with Aliant, which currently holds a monopoly on fibre optic communication in the province. The deal — and MacDonald’s close relationship with Premier Danny Williams — generated another storm in the House of Assembly this week, with the opposition citing e-mails from high ranking provincial officials expressing concern. Innovation, Trade and Rural Development Minister Trevor Taylor says the opposition are not giving the whole picture; the premier has asked the auditor general to examine the deal. Regarding the deal with Persona, MacDonald says the provincial government is buying an asset. “We didn’t sell it. We had no right to sell it. It’s not ours,” he says. “If anything it’s a hassle. It’s an obligation they now have to meet. It’s an

obligation we made a long time ago and they (Bragg) now have to commit to. It’s not something they are jumping up and down about.” He says provincial Liberal leader Gerry Reid’s remarks about the jobs of Persona employees being at risk are irresponsible. MacDonald has met with his employees and assured them their jobs are secure. “Look, I get the whole politics thing that someone wants to make a connection between me and the premier and they want to try and make some hay out of that,” says MacDonald. “I think that most people in the general public say ‘OK, fine.’” Persona’s sale puts MacDonald in the ranks of the unemployed. He says being out of work is “just part of the industry” he has been in for 25 years. “Realize how different this company is from the one we bought,” says MacDonald. “We have added a whole bunch of customers. We’ve

bought a whole bunch of really good assets across Canada, especially in B.C. and Alberta — which are growing areas. “So I feel pretty good about what we’ve done. We took a sow’s ear and turned it into a silk purse.” “Then someone came along and coveted it and said, ‘We like it and what you’ve done with it and we want to buy it.’” Asked if he’ll seek the nomination in the federal riding of St. John’s East, MacDonald says he’s not ruling it out. “But at this stage of the game I have a commitment to see this sale through, which I will.” He says the sale will be done by October. He won’t say if he would choose to run for provincial or federal politics, or even what party he would join. MacDonald is exasperated with Opposition leader Gerry Reid’s criticisms of his ties to the premier and the fibre-optic deal, and says he’s disappointed Newfoundland and

Labrador can be such a tough place to do business “for all the wrong reasons.” “You know what it is? It’s just silly politics,” says MacDonald. “I tell you this … He (Reid) gives me motivation to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland.” “I wouldn’t have thought that Dean MacDonald would be interested in the leadership of the Liberal party, given his close ties to the premier,” Reid says when told of MacDonald’s comment. Reid says his accusations are “not poppycock,” and maintains the sale of Persona was tied to the fibre-optic deal. “Why would they have done it if Persona wasn’t going to increase their share value or the value of their company or make profits on it? They’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart to give the taxpayers of the province a break.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Achieving financial intimacy

I

t’s time to write about couples and their money. I’ll include some anecdotes about our experiences with couples and hopefully, as a result, there’ll be some food for thought. Many believe the financial relationship between two people is as important as their love itself. They feel the ultimate outward sign of complete trust is one partner surrendering themselves to the other by literally passing over a paycheque, confident the other spouse will do the right thing and see to the affairs of the household in an appropriate way. This practice, no doubt, has its roots in another time when one spouse — typically the husband — earned the bucks, while the other managed and

AL ANTLE

Your Finances spent it. Oddly enough, the one managing the financial resources, normally the wife, received little credit for her usually outstanding talent. The husband, who knew little (if anything) of the family’s finances, was seen by the community as the financially worthy party in the relationship. If anything happened to the couple, like death or divorce, the clueless husband got on just fine. The wife, too often, was left in a state of abject poverty,

even though she possessed an incredible capacity to understand and manage household finance. Let me tell you about one couple … well, they’re no longer a couple. They split in the late 1970s, when they were both in their early 40s. Almost 30 years later, both of them now divorced for a second time, the ex-wife is still helping her former husband by assisting with his finances. She has always done so. He said to me only recently, “It’s too bad I can’t live with her. You know, she really can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.” One thing couples should avoid at all costs is money secrets. This is irrespective of whether or not you operate with an “our money” philosophy, or have “a

mine and your money” view of the world. The best way to avoid secrets is to make sure there are none, right from the beginning. I encourage developing financial intimacy before you establish a couplehood or marriage. This is an opportunity for both parties to lay out all their cards, ask questions and obtain information. You should never be afraid to ask all kinds of questions. After all, you’re planning your life and likely the lives of children. While many questions will have nothing whatsoever to do with money, others are really important and are totally about personal finance. Some will be obvious, like “Where do you bank?” and “How much do you owe?” Others will be a little more com-

plex — “Who manages your pension?” or “Do you believe in ethical investing?” Yet other questions will stray into very private areas and many consider them intrusive. I’m talking about dicey inquiries, including “Did you parents struggle financially?” or “Did you ever feel poor as a child?” or even “Did your family fight about money?” And one almost guaranteed to result in a great brouhaha: “When you were married before, who managed the finances?” It’s important to be honest, both in your answers and your questions. I know a couple that didn’t have the financial intimacy discussion before See “Being in love,” page 14


INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — PAGE 13

Dean MacDonald struck a deal this week to sell his company, Persona, to Bragg Communications.

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘Silly politics’ Dean MacDonald on Persona’s sale, the fibre-optic deal and his next career By Ivan Morgan The Independent

W

ith a deal to sell the cable company he spent years building in his back pocket, Persona president Dean MacDonald says the controversial fibre-optic deal was not a factor in the sale. He calls the Liberal opposition’s criticism “irresponsible” and “total poppycock.” MacDonald also doesn’t rule out politics as a new career. MacDonald says Bragg Communications, the national cable company that made an offer to purchase Persona, will not benefit from Persona’s involvement in the fibreoptic consortium. In fact, he says it is more of an obligation than an asset. “You know what? It’s an optical illusion, because at the end of the day Bragg has an obligation as part of the consortium to build this,” MacDonald tells The Independent. Persona, along with MTS Allstream and Rogers Commun-

ications, were awarded an untendered $15-million provincial government contract to build a fibre-optic link with the mainland. This link would compete with Aliant, which currently holds a monopoly on fibre optic communication in the province. The deal — and MacDonald’s close relationship with Premier Danny Williams — generated another storm in the House of Assembly this week, with the opposition citing e-mails from high ranking provincial officials expressing concern. Innovation, Trade and Rural Development Minister Trevor Taylor says the opposition are not giving the whole picture; the premier has asked the auditor general to examine the deal. Regarding the deal with Persona, MacDonald says the provincial government is buying an asset. “We didn’t sell it. We had no right to sell it. It’s not ours,” he says. “If anything it’s a hassle. It’s an obligation they now have to meet. It’s an

obligation we made a long time ago and they (Bragg) now have to commit to. It’s not something they are jumping up and down about.” He says provincial Liberal leader Gerry Reid’s remarks about the jobs of Persona employees being at risk are irresponsible. MacDonald has met with his employees and assured them their jobs are secure. “Look, I get the whole politics thing that someone wants to make a connection between me and the premier and they want to try and make some hay out of that,” says MacDonald. “I think that most people in the general public say ‘OK, fine.’” Persona’s sale puts MacDonald in the ranks of the unemployed. He says being out of work is “just part of the industry” he has been in for 25 years. “Realize how different this company is from the one we bought,” says MacDonald. “We have added a whole bunch of customers. We’ve

bought a whole bunch of really good assets across Canada, especially in B.C. and Alberta — which are growing areas. “So I feel pretty good about what we’ve done. We took a sow’s ear and turned it into a silk purse.” “Then someone came along and coveted it and said, ‘We like it and what you’ve done with it and we want to buy it.’” Asked if he’ll seek the nomination in the federal riding of St. John’s East, MacDonald says he’s not ruling it out. “But at this stage of the game I have a commitment to see this sale through, which I will.” He says the sale will be done by October. He won’t say if he would choose to run for provincial or federal politics, or even what party he would join. MacDonald is exasperated with Opposition leader Gerry Reid’s criticisms of his ties to the premier and the fibre-optic deal, and says he’s disappointed Newfoundland and

Labrador can be such a tough place to do business “for all the wrong reasons.” “You know what it is? It’s just silly politics,” says MacDonald. “I tell you this … He (Reid) gives me motivation to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland.” “I wouldn’t have thought that Dean MacDonald would be interested in the leadership of the Liberal party, given his close ties to the premier,” Reid says when told of MacDonald’s comment. Reid says his accusations are “not poppycock,” and maintains the sale of Persona was tied to the fibre-optic deal. “Why would they have done it if Persona wasn’t going to increase their share value or the value of their company or make profits on it? They’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart to give the taxpayers of the province a break.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Achieving financial intimacy

I

t’s time to write about couples and their money. I’ll include some anecdotes about our experiences with couples and hopefully, as a result, there’ll be some food for thought. Many believe the financial relationship between two people is as important as their love itself. They feel the ultimate outward sign of complete trust is one partner surrendering themselves to the other by literally passing over a paycheque, confident the other spouse will do the right thing and see to the affairs of the household in an appropriate way. This practice, no doubt, has its roots in another time when one spouse — typically the husband — earned the bucks, while the other managed and

AL ANTLE

Your Finances spent it. Oddly enough, the one managing the financial resources, normally the wife, received little credit for her usually outstanding talent. The husband, who knew little (if anything) of the family’s finances, was seen by the community as the financially worthy party in the relationship. If anything happened to the couple, like death or divorce, the clueless husband got on just fine. The wife, too often, was left in a state of abject poverty,

even though she possessed an incredible capacity to understand and manage household finance. Let me tell you about one couple … well, they’re no longer a couple. They split in the late 1970s, when they were both in their early 40s. Almost 30 years later, both of them now divorced for a second time, the ex-wife is still helping her former husband by assisting with his finances. She has always done so. He said to me only recently, “It’s too bad I can’t live with her. You know, she really can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.” One thing couples should avoid at all costs is money secrets. This is irrespective of whether or not you operate with an “our money” philosophy, or have “a

mine and your money” view of the world. The best way to avoid secrets is to make sure there are none, right from the beginning. I encourage developing financial intimacy before you establish a couplehood or marriage. This is an opportunity for both parties to lay out all their cards, ask questions and obtain information. You should never be afraid to ask all kinds of questions. After all, you’re planning your life and likely the lives of children. While many questions will have nothing whatsoever to do with money, others are really important and are totally about personal finance. Some will be obvious, like “Where do you bank?” and “How much do you owe?” Others will be a little more com-

plex — “Who manages your pension?” or “Do you believe in ethical investing?” Yet other questions will stray into very private areas and many consider them intrusive. I’m talking about dicey inquiries, including “Did you parents struggle financially?” or “Did you ever feel poor as a child?” or even “Did your family fight about money?” And one almost guaranteed to result in a great brouhaha: “When you were married before, who managed the finances?” It’s important to be honest, both in your answers and your questions. I know a couple that didn’t have the financial intimacy discussion before See “Being in love,” page 14


14 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MAY 11, 2007

Rita and Des Williams of the Bread and Cheese Country Inn in Bay Bulls.

Originally founded in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Newfound N.V. is an international developer, sales agent and operator of up-market resorts. With its head office in The Hague, The Netherlands, Newfound N.V. is traded on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange and is the parent corporation of a diverse group of international companies, with offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, and the Caribbean. Newfound’s vision is the creation of environmentally sustainable, up-market luxury resorts which incorporate the social, physical and cultural elements of the local environs. Newfound is currently seeking two lawyers interested in working towards this vision, for its offices in St. John’s and Humber Valley Resort, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Associate Corporate Counsel Newfound N.V. - St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada Competition # NNV 2007 – 003 Reporting to the Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for Newfound N.V., you will be involved in a variety of commercial matters, corporate governance, international contract negotiation and drafting, and property transactions, and will work closely with key business units. You will participate in decision making on issues that affect the development and operation of the company. Specifically, you will be expected to: • Assist with the preparation of periodic reporting and correspondence with AIM (London Stock Exchange) and other regulatory bodies in connection with securities and/or governance compliance matters under Canadian, Dutch and UK Law; • Provide guidance and education to directors, officers and others regarding compliance with securities and corporate laws, Board and committee independence requirements, governance best practices and fiduciary duty requirements; • Prepare agenda, materials and proposed resolutions for the Company’s Board and Committee meetings; • Negotiate, prepare and/or review legal and other documentation, and provide oversight and supervision in connection with general corporate compliance and transactional work; • Perform other reasonably related legal and/or business duties and functions as may be assigned or required including negotiation of resort development related agreements; • Present management reports in a timely manner; • Be available for international travel; and • Interact daily with international business partners. In this position you will also liaise with and be part of a international legal team supporting the global operations of Newfound N.V. If you are an outgoing, confident, and result-oriented individual with excellent communication skills and judgment, and are a member in good standing with a recognized Law Society, this is the ideal position for you.

Legal Counsel Humber Valley Resort Corporation - Humber Valley Resort, Newfoundland, Canada Competition # NNV 2007 – 004 Reporting to the Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for Newfound N.V., you will be challenged with the pivotal responsibility of executing commercial, financial and real estate transactions which are instrumental to the development and sustained growth of Humber Valley Resort. As a member of an international legal team, you will lead the Resort’s Legal Department and be responsible for its effective and positive management. Working closely with all departments of the Resort, you will participate in decision-making on many issues that affect the long term development and operation of the Resort. You will be expected to: • • • • • •

Oversee the conveyancing of land to international clients; Present management reports in a timely manner; Project and meet cash flows from land sales and construction receivables; Effectively manage all aspects of the Legal Department; Consult on all legal issues affecting the Resort; and Interact daily with international clients.

The ideal candidate will be an outgoing, confident and dynamic individual with experience in commercial, real estate and corporate law; be a member in good standing with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador; and demonstrate superior written, presentation, time management and communication skills. Experience in condominium, property development and resort-related law is a definite asset. Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m., May 25, 2007. Please quote competition # NNV 2007 - 003 and/or NNV 2007 - 004 when forwarding your resume, cover letter and references in confidence to: Derrick White, Senior VP & General Counsel Newfound N.V. - 187 Gower Street, Victoria Hall, St. John’s, Newfoundland A1C 1R2 Fax: 709-754-8411 Email: cpike@newfoundgroup.com www.newfoundgroup.com | www.humbervalley.com

Nick Langor/The Independent

B&Bs look to attract more locals By John Rieti The Independent

N

ewfoundlanders and Labradorians haven’t woken up to the concept of modern bed and breakfasts, which is limiting their travel experiences within the province and challenging B&B owners. Peter Fenwick, president of the Bed and Breakfast and Country Inn Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, says less than 50 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would choose to stay in a B&B, complaining about lack of privacy, shared bathrooms, and small rooms without amenities. Ninety-five per cent of Europeans said they would choose to stay in a B&B, he continues. Today, most of the province’s 300 B&Bs — an estimated 1,200 rooms in total — now exceed three stars, according to the national rating company Canada Select. The Bread and Cheese Country Inn in Bay Bulls is the blend of modern luxury and traditional feel Fenwick says B&Bs strive for. The three-storey bright red house overlooks the bay and is surrounded by an expanse of land and rocky shoreline for guests to roam. Its interior is a mix of antique furniture and modern features, including satellite television

“If you want to see real rural Newfoundland you go to a bed and breakfast.” Peter Fenwick and wireless Internet. Its roof beams are made of spruce and proudly display their cracks, the floor is uncovered pine for a cabin feeling — yet the walls are perfectly smooth and freshly painted. Few Newfoundlanders and Labradorians ever experience the house that draws rave reviews from foreign tourists, its owners say. Rita and Des Williams built the inn for $380,000 and opened for business last summer. Des admits they didn’t break even last year, but says he would be happy enough if the house manages to pay for itself eventually. He pays the bills by working at a local paving company and traveling to the Northwest Territories during the winter to drive trucks for the diamond mines. Des says he sees the inn as something his two sons can inherit.

“I’m building a business for the b’ys,” he says. His expenses include four staff during the summer months, maintenance costs, and promotional material, which Des gets for cheaper than because one of his sons is a graphic design student. The four-star inn charges $110 per night, $10 more for a room with a bathtub that can fit two. The prices for B&Bs in the province range from $30-$200 a night, depending on location and quality. According to Fenwick, most four-bedroom B&Bs make $30,000 during the year, very little of which is profit. Because there are so many costs, most B&Bs cannot afford to market themselves. Fenwick hopes to strike a deal with the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency to get funding for promotional work. He says even small marketing changes, like changing the title of the business from bed and breakfast to inn, can make a big difference when it comes to attracting locals. Fenwick says that while the B&B industry is modernizing, it is still an affordable way to experience parts of the province many have never seen. “We’re located in some of the most scenic parts of the province … if you want to see real rural Newfoundland you go to a bed and breakfast.” john.rieti@theindependent.ca

Notice of Intent

The Lands Act,Chapter 36,S.N.1991,As Amended Notice is hereby given that Dirk Whalen of Tors Cove intends to apply to the Department of Environment and Conservation, two months from the publication of this notice, to acquire title, pursuant to Section 7(2) of the said Act, to that piece of Crown land situated within ten (10) metres of the waters of Aquaforte in the Electoral District of Ferryland for the purpose of a boathouse in the water, on the shore. The land is described as follows: Bounded on the North by water for a distance of 0m; Bounded on the East by Crofts garden for a distance of 100m; Bounded on the South by wood s for a distance of 10m; Bounded on the West by Jennings Hill for a distance of 200m; and containing an area of approximately 40 x 20 wharf square metres. Any person wishing to object to the application must file the objection, in writing, within one month from the publication of this Notice, with reasons for it, to the Minister of Environment and Conservation, c/o the nearest Regional Lands Office. For further information on the proposed application, please contact: Dirk Whalen Telephone number: (709) 334-2208

Being in love From page 13 marriage. If being in love could guarantee success, they’d be married forever. But the husband discovered about three weeks after the nuptials that his new wife was carrying over $50,000 in student debt. Their hope of purchasing a home within 12 months of getting married had to be moved to three years later. His dream of a big sprawling house like the one he’d grown up in was replaced by a modest bungalow outside the city limits. Resentment by the husband of his wife’s failure to come clean before their marriage was, by his own admission, a major factor in the deterioration of the relationship, which ended eight years and two children later. While discussing finances, you can expect to feel a little like someone hauled up before

the inquisition — or, a little like the inquisitor. Neither is a particularly comfortable feeling. No doubt, some people may even give the whole relationship sober second thought. After all, you’ll be viewing your prospective life partner, warts and all. Of course, you don’t have to do it all in one day. Go slowly, and achieve a level of financial intimacy over time — much as you would physical intimacy. The real trick, though, is to be neither judge nor jury. After all, we all have financial habits and practices that could be better. Nobody gets it all right all the time. If people did there’d be no need for planners, investments dealers, personal financial experts … or an old doofus like me. Al Antle is executive director of Credit and Debt Solutions.


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 15


16 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

MAY 11, 2007


INDEPENDENTLIFE

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — PAGE 17

Winston Ruby, direct descendant of George Ruby, original founder of Ruby Church in the Goulds.

By Mandy Cook The Independent

I

n September 1913, Winston Ruby’s great-greatgreat-great-grandfather George Ruby built a modest wooden church on a plot of his own farmland set back from the Goulds highway with donated labour and supplies. St. Matthew’s Church, or Ruby Church as it is known, has been lovingly maintained with fresh paint and mowed grass by the Ruby family ever since. Their ancestry is apparent by several tidy markers inside the fenced-in cemetery. George Ruby built the Gothic Revival-style church — which seated about 50 worshippers before it held its last service in 1963 — with funds raised through garden parties and social teas organized by the Ruby clan. Winston Ruby says he spent enough time attending services as a young boy that he “never went back since.” The memories, though, have stayed with him. “There was a potbelly stove in the back left hand corner and the seats were in an L-shaped bench around it on the two walls and on the back of the last pew so you could sit around the stove,” he says. “It was one of the favourite places because it was nice and warm.” As a teenager, it was Ruby’s job to stuff the stove with coal and light the fire before the parishioners arrived for worship. In those days, it took several hours to heat the building. To pass the time, he applied his harmonica skills to the organ and beat out ’50s rock and roll tunes like Rock Around the Clock or Sail Along Silvery Moon. “It would be a lot different than when the church

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

‘Our little building’ Goulds church one of hundreds to be counted in provincial survey service started and the old drone-y Anglican hymns would start in,” he laughs. Today, Ruby Church is locked and empty. The family’s 20-year agreement to tend to the building ran out last fall, and technically it belongs to St. Paul’s, the larger Anglican church down the road. Ruby says he and his core group of “a solid dozen” family members would happily continue to fundraise and care for the church. Incidentally, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador may be able to assist in the matter — if only a little. The organization is currently embarking on a $20,000 survey documenting Newfoundland and Labrador’s churches. The buildings must have a mini-

mum age of 40, but the overall purpose is to detail the range of traditional architecture found in the province’s houses of worship. The foundation hopes to find out exactly what’s out there, but also to determine which buildings are in jeopardy. “By identifying that we would attempt to raise concern and then — I don’t know where — find resources to assist those churches,” says George Chaulker, executive director of the heritage foundation. Ruby fears his family’s little country church might get torn down since St. Paul’s has no use for it. However, Ruby Church was designated a provincial historic site in July 1987 and is therefore protected from demolition. In the meantime, Ruby would like to see the build-

ing refurbished and turned into a museum. He says he’s collected hundreds of photographs of the old Ruby farm and church events that document the connection of the original congregation to its agricultural roots. “Generally what they would do, some Anglican minister or lay reader would most likely be paid by the Rubys with sacks of vegetables … I remember that far back where we’d collect up a bag of turnips and drop it out to Queen’s College (a theology school in St. John’s) as part of their income,” he says. “Even with the donations to the church the donations were directly from the farm … to the minister’s mouth.” From the descendants buried in the graveyard to Ruby’s 26-year-old son who can be found in photographs with a paintbrush in his hand at the age of five, Ruby Church is deeply ingrained in the family’s history. The centrepiece on the little piece of ground is, according to Ruby, something “nice to look at” amongst the suburban housing steadily consuming the original farmland in the town. It’s obvious he would like to continue to make memories in the church like the ones he easily recalls. “Cards and church is just two things that just don’t go together, but we were down there back on to the people on the sly right exactly during the sermon (playing poker),” he says. “If you were caught it would be devastating, but then again we’re thinking, ‘We’re going to get hit by lightning, for sure God is going to get us.’ So our nerves gave out on our own so nobody ever did catch us doing it.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

On Mundy Pond

Impatiently waiting to bring his first feature film to life, Roger Maunder decided to turn it into a novel By Stephanie Porter The Independent

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rustrated by the lengthy process of getting his first feature film off the ground — and by potential distributors and broadcasters who repeatedly asked for major script modifications — Roger Maunder decided to shift gears and try his hand in a new medium. “I started thinking about how I didn’t want to change things,” Maunder says. “And the best way to do that is to put it into a novel and then they can’t change it at all.” And so, seven years after he first

entered the pre-teen world of Gordie McAllister and Jimmy Birmingham, Maunder has published his first book, finally giving the best friends the permanence of print. Not surprisingly, Mundy Pond, a coming-of-age story aimed at young adults, is rich in detail and description, with a strong sense of setting and the complexities of character. “That’s what I try to do,” Maunder says, “visualize it for everybody in case I don’t even have the chance to make it into a movie …” He pauses, wondering aloud if he should have voiced that doubt, because he’s clear in his ambition, and as committed as ever to eventually bring the

story to the screen. “I do care about the characters, especially Jimmy and Gordie, and well, there’s a little piece of me in both of them,” says Maunder. Like his two leads, Maunder grew up in the St. John’s centre-city neighbourhood surrounding Mundy Pond. He left at age 11. In the decades since then, Maunder has become a leader in the Atlantic film scene, starting the popular Nickel Independent Film and Video Festival in 2001. He’s written, produced, and directed several successful short films, and is experienced in virtually every part of the filmmaking process. He’s

also an in-demand actor and a mentor for the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-operative first time filmmakers’ program (“my dream job,” he calls it). Over the years, he’s lived in Toronto, Montreal, and Los Angeles — but doesn’t foresee moving out of province again anytime soon. He pulls inspiration from the supportive artistic community around him, enamoured with both the work being produced and the creative minds behind it. He’s also influenced and driven by his three children — ranging in age from eight months to 13 years — and his role as a parent. It’s a central theme

to Mundy Pond, among the neighbourhood shenanigans, baseball games, flights of imagination and doses of harsh reality his lead characters face in the summer of 1978. “There’s something about children growing up and the influences their parents have on them and I don’t think a lot of people see it,” says Maunder. “Especially in today’s day and age because everything is so busy — back then it was different, it was a little more laid back. “Parents play a big role in what their kids think and how they see and how See “Dad, you have a sick,” page 18


MAY 11, 2007

18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

GALLERYPROFILE VICKY NORTHEY Ceramicist

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hen Vicky Northey realized there was no recorded dragon mythology in Newfoundland and Labrador, she decided to make some — dragons, that is. A ceramicist, she constructed in clay what might have been, building fat dragons, dragons with big snouts, dragons with stunted wingpairs and baby dragons barely hatched from eggs. The result is Dragons of the Avalon, showing at the Craft Council Annex Gallery May 6-June 15, a fantastical clay-based representation of the mythical creatures Northey is convinced once roamed these shores. “Every other part of the world has dragons. There’s a history and culture of ancient stories of dragons, why not Newfoundland?” she says. “With the demise of the Beothuck, the oral ancient history of the island has been wiped out, so who’s to say there weren’t dragons?” Considering literary references to dragons dating back thousands of years in numerous cultures, from Persia to Africa to the Great Lakes, Northey says there’s no reason why this province wouldn’t have its share. The artist believes the mythical denizens could very well have descended from serpents

known to the Inuit as Kikituk, travelling to Newfoundland on ice pans or swimming up the eastern seaboard using flipper-like wings. Northey says the most prevalent dragon would most likely be an ancestor of the traditional medieval type. “The large winged ones most likely would have come greater distances, perhaps the northern European route flying from island to island … using the stepping stones of Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, so there would have been a portion of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish-type dragons.” Northey not only has the creatures’ migratory patterns mapped out, she also enlisted the help of a biologist friend to help categorize them. She first pointed out the dragons’ different colours of pale blue, green and yellow, but the scientist insisted only the physical features mattered. The result is a genealogical tree displayed in the gallery classifying several species of dragons — branching off to indicate characteristics such as swimmers with large heads (Nektosaurus alepocepus) or fire-breathing types with spines near their tails (Pyrodracoides spinicauda). While the sculptures are highly decorative, they are serviceable teapots as well. Sort of. Northey says the smaller dragons are completely functional, but says an experiment pouring tea with the

larger ones was “insane. “You can use them but you’re not likely to! The big guys don’t pour very well because they’ve got so many twists and gnarls in them and they’re so big, but technically it is a teapot — it has a lid and a spout and it can hold water and it has a handle.” Northey got on her dragon “kick” mainly from watching movies. She says the dragons in popular films do not reflect the images she found in folklore texts. Giant, highly-embellished Hollywood dragons are “overdone” she says, while the illustrations she’s come across depict the beasts as the size of a large dog or Newfoundland pony. Mostly, though, Northey based her creations on pictures that occurred in her imagination. One example of Northey’s spontaneous designs was a deep blue, potbellied dragon. She laughs about how one day she knew she had to make “a fat one” and took pains to switch its long spiked neck and tail back on itself, echoing the sinusoidal motion of a serpent. Northey says she hopes her collection spurs a little scientific investigation into the possibility dragons left physical proof of a presence here. “I’m hoping some day they do … we have the oldest fossils in the world here so there’s a chance we could find our dragons.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

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

‘Dad, you have a sick mind’ From page 17 they react to things. If you’re brought up to hate things, you’re going to grow up that way … if you grow up seeing love and that people care about one another, I think you’re going to grow up that way. “I think (Mundy Pond) shows the two different sides and how the good prevails.” It’s also an energetic read, colourful antics and situations propelled by moments of both darkness and comedy. There’s nostalgia, too, admits Maunder, for the days when “kids just went out and played … and I think the whole

imagination part of things growing up today is lacking.” As for reaction from his target audience, Maunder says his eldest son enjoyed the book. “But then he was like, ‘Dad, you have a sick mind,’” Maunder laughs. (There’s a particular scene involving some cats … ) He says he’s also attracting plenty of readers who are from or connected to the once-distinctive community of Mundy Pond. While filmmaking is still Maunder’s first love, he’s already at work at his second novel — also adapted from a feature film script. This time, it’s a sci-fi thriller tentatively called The Receiver’s

Creed. Balancing all his creative pursuits becomes easier by setting realistic goals — like the one-page-a-day writing rule passed along by writer Joan Sullivan — keeping his options open, and his interests wide. “I think there’s enough work here,” he says. “As an artist, I don’t think you can stick to the one thing. You’ve got to do whatever you can, act and try to make films and try to tell stories. “I’m just glad I got this story out there.” Mundy Pond’s official launch will be at the LSPU Hall, May 29, 7-9 p.m. stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca Author and filmmaker Roger Maunder.

Paul Daly/The Independent


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19

The art of education

The surest way to ensure your child has a solid arts education is to do it yourself SEAN PANTING

State of the art determined by the artist and the teacher(s) involved, so it’s flexible and adaptable to virtually any setting. It doesn’t replace the regular curriculum, but it definitely enhances the system that’s there. The problem is (sing along if you know the words) lack of funds. You could double the arts council’s budget — which wouldn’t be such a bad idea regardless — and still not be able to send enough artists into enough schools to fully cover the need. That’s not what the council exists to do anyway. So it looks like the school system is on the hook for this one after all. When I was going through school in the dying days of the denominational system, arts education largely meant music class and then (as now) the quality of education you got depended wholly and solely on the teacher. As I recall, music classes were pretty much always structured around preparing for performances at a series of events: Remembrance Day assembly followed by Christmas assembly followed by Easter assembly and so on. Springtime was and still is festival season. Maybe it’s just the experience of having our school choirs crushed year after year by the vastly more driven Catholic school music machine, but I’m still a bit conflicted about kids and music competitions.

Sure, they celebrate excellence, give students goals to shoot for and provide music educators with a rare pat on the back, but all you need is one over-competitive teacher and things can go awry in ways that can turn children off music forever. For one thing, putting the emphasis on competition encourages kids to regard music as a sport you can win and lose. It also reinforces the totally ridiculous idea that there are people with God-given talent who deserve to play and sing and be heard and there are those without it who should silently move their lips to the music so as to let the superior talents shine through. Teachers who subscribe to this theory — and there are plenty of them out there — promote the musical equivalent of my old gym-class nemesis, the flexed arm hang: fun for the few who excel, humiliating and dull for everyone else. Ultimately, it’s parents who have to take reins here. At the risk of sounding like some kind of NLTA television ad, teachers — even the really, really good ones — have enough to do simply dealing with the already insane demands of the system without being expected to unlock the individual creative genius in each and every child they teach. Keep pushing for programs in the schools, but if you want your children to get a decent arts education, the surest way is to do it yourself by exposing them to art in all its forms whenever and wherever possible. Sean Panting is a writer, actor and musician living in St. John’s. His column returns May 25.

CARRIERS OF THE WEEK

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s many of you out there probably heard, last week the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council held its annual awards show in Corner Brook. I don’t know about anyone else, but I say getting events like this out of St. John’s city limits once in a while is a good idea. Corner Brook is an especially apt choice for the arts awards, what with them having a fine arts school — in their own university, thank you very much. I couldn’t make the trek myself, but when I heard on the radio the next morning that they had handed out the artist of the year prize to Bill Brennan, I can’t say I was surprised. Brennan’s a great musician, a tireless worker and a hell of a nice guy in general. Smart, too. During his thoroughly classy, eloquent and — in awards show terms — brief acceptance speech, he made special mention of the importance of arts education and government’s continuing support of it. I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s an idea most everyone — except the old-school reading, writing and arithmetic purists — likes in principle. Art is good. It’s good for you. It makes kids smarter, improves communication skills and self-esteem and all that wonderful stuff, but how do we deliver the goods? There’s the rub. The provincial arts council’s own ArtSmarts program is an excellent initiative that does a good job of delivering arts education on a smallish scale, bringing artists from any and all disciplines into schools at all grade levels to give them instruction and guidance. The exact nature and aims of individual projects are

Michael and Erica Fitzgerald

To join our Carrier Crew Call 726.4639 or visit www.theindependent.ca

Skate • Snow • Style 170 Water Street • 726.2665


MAY 11, 2007

20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

Is that you, Ron? In a new autobiography, former VOCM host reveals the man — and the intense, sometimes violent father — behind the voice MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Human Beans by Ron Pumphrey Flanker Press, 2007. 267 pages.

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t may be true, as Socrates would have it, that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” but judging from much of the output of the modern memoir-writing industry, the examined life doesn’t fare much better. There are really only two kinds of memoirs in the world: those written by the laurelled famous — actors or politicians, rock stars or socialites — and those written by the undistinguished and unregarded, laden with workaday problems and routine neuroses: the rest of us. In the first category you’ll find such solip-

sistic marvels as Paris Hilton’s Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue in Chic Peek Behind the Pose (“In so many ways, being an heiress is really all in your head”; in so many more, it’s in your account balance); in the second, Frank McCourt’s heartwarming tale of epic squalor and paternal alcoholism, Angela’s Ashes. Both are voyeuristic pleasures, invitations into lives beyond our own. Having made himself something of a local institution during the 1980s as the host of VOCM’s Night Line, Ron Pumphrey could probably just squeeze into the former grouping, but the contents of his recently published memoir, Human Beans, are closer in flavour to the latter. Bent on educating by example, Pumphrey carries readers back to the days of his early childhood growing up in Harbour Grace and on Bell Island. Our narrative begins with a resurrection. Isaac (“Ike”) Pumphrey, presumed killed in the Great War, has just returned to Harbour Grace some years after the armistice.

According to family legend, he had taken a knock on the back of his head during the conflict and lost his memory. Now back in Newfoundland, Ike woos Mary Scholastica Fleming at a dance, suavely using “body rhythms and styles never experienced in the harbour before” to steal her away from her fiancée. Before long, the two marry and go on to produce Ronald Joseph Pumphrey and a host of siblings. So begins the story proper, with young Ron variously engaging in a Westerninspired hanging of a playmate (who survives, thankfully), the poisoning of a local bully with Ex-Lax, and various other misdeeds. Each incident compels Ike Pumphrey to reassert his longstanding conviction that the young miscreant is destined to hang. Ike is clearly the centre of this story. While the author admits to having preferred his mother over his “moody, peevish, albeit intelligent, street-smart, and talented father, with whom [he] could never feel comfortable and

for whom [he] always had a guarded fear,” he is dismissive of her. It’s the drunken, occasionally violent Ike he reveres and constantly seeks to please. In the beginning, Pumphrey’s prose is a confounding mass of stilted dialogue, stylistically pointless tense shifts and aggravating verbosity. Modifiers breed like rabbits. Where else, after all, could one find the likes of this madcap adventure of a sentence: The mad reality of the quite accelerated occasion caused Billy’s eyes to sparkle and his mouth to open vacuously as he tried to communicate verbally, until, exhausted, he fell like a stringless puppet onto his mother’s bed, to be immediately administered to by Aunt Ann, who moved with slow deliberation as if happily mesmerized by a tent minister who’d just made a blind person see. Our local radio star cum-memoirist also has a predilection for analogies that overstretch themselves or otherwise don’t hold up to inspection. “As a middle-aged man now,” he writes, describing a notorious village gossip, on such occasions of imparting the news, he’d thumb and flex the unnecessarily wide braces of his patched, shortlegged pants in much the same manner of well-dressed businessmen letting their big bellies protrude in testimony to their success and good-food affordability. At one point, Ron’s mother has him “feeling safe as a turnip among turnips in a warm, dark cellar,” which one might take to be an undesirable circumstance (root cellars being useful only insofar as they remain cool), but it is intended as an expression of comfort. Pumphrey’s style evens out, though, and if not altogether inspiring, is generally readable and fairly funny. If you haven’t already had your fill of stories about drunken Irish Catholic fathers and their longsuffering wives, then by all means, read this book. But bear in mind it’s been done better elsewhere; the appeal of Human Beans lies mostly in our interest in its quasi-famous, enigmatic author. After all, that’s what Flanker’s selling here (the back cover blurb says as much): Ron Pumphrey, “mystery man,” revealed at last. Mark Callanan writes in St. John’s. His column returns May 25.

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INDEPENDENTSTYLE

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — PAGE 21

Sew chic Local textile grads craft one-of-a-kind designer threads By Mandy Cook The Independent

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fter a two-year stint as textile studies students at the College of the North Atlantic, 14 newly minted young artists will debut their crafted couture to the public. And for the 19th season, the Material Girls, as this year’s crop of graduates have coined themselves, kicked off their exhibition with a kick-ass fashion show. The bulk of the garments will be on sale and on display for the duration of the event. From May 10-25, at the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft, Art and Design’s temporary location at 152 Water St., clothes, textile installations, embroidery, weaving, felting and more will be exhibited for all to admire. From cute coats to fun skirts to pretty dresses, each unique piece has been hand-crafted and is of original design. Anna Templeton Centre program co-ordinator Catherine Wright says the “diverse collection” of knitted outfits, jackets with hooked-rug paneling and silk scarves are a stepping stone to advanced study in the textile field. Some students will go on to pursue costume design, fashion design or work as independent craft producers. The program encompasses all elements of fine craft. “Several skill sets have gone into the articles,” she says, “not just sewing. They get to explore the range of processes and textiles and find out where their real interest lies.” Tracy Bishop, 24, of St. John’s, crafted a super-shiny, little purple satin number ready for the dance floor. A tube dress gathered down the sides with cut-out straps around the neck, she knows exactly where the frock should be worn. “It’s going downtown after the fashion show,” she laughs. Mandy Lee Dawe based her hand-dyed cotton jester jacket — a brilliant yellow zippered coat with a dropped peak hood — on her sewing instructor’s directions to design a piece related to a hit song on the charts in the year she was born. Every Breath You Take, released by The Police in 1984, inspired Dawe’s use of a reverse appliqué technique. She cut away swirls and footprint-shaped material to reveal reds and blues beneath the yellow. “The swirls symbolize the breath and wind,” says Dawe, a 23-year-old C.B.S. native. Sewing instructor Barry Buckle estimates most pieces will be priced from $90 to $250. He says the original designs are well worth the investment because they are custom-made from scratch — nothing is based on commercial patterns. And the idea of turning to the No. 1 song from the students’ birth year? That inspiration came from one of Buckle’s favourite indulgences: the reality-television fashion program, Project Runway. mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Gander native Kathy Marsh, 22, models a hand-painted, polka-dot silk dress. Paul Daly/The Independent


22 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

y p p a H

MAY 11, 2007

MOTHERS

Power in parenting S

onya Clarke-Casey of Paradise says one way to be a great mom is to have fantastic support. The 37-year-old mother of two found that support at Brighter Futures, a federally funded and locally supported program that promotes the healthy birth, growth and development of young children from birth to age six. Casey’s relationship with Brighter Futures began six years ago when her first child, Joshua, was a year old. “I knew my son could develop best socially in an organized play group, and I needed to interact with people who knew what I was going through as a mom,” she says. By the time her daughter Jessica came along, Casey knew she had found a good thing. Deborah Capps, a team leader with the Brighter Futures Coalition in the St. John’s area, says providing support to caregivers is their specialty. “This is a program that encourages parents to be involved as their child learns through play and discovery, and all this magic happens in a warm, supportive, educational environment,” she says. Dr. Chaya Kulkarni, a child development and parenting expert with Invest in Kids, a national charitable organization that focuses on positive parenting techniques, says programs like Brighter


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 23

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It’s a new season. You deserve a new look. We have what Mom really wants. Tax free! Futures are helpful for anyone raising a child today. “Every family finds parenting overwhelming at times, this is a tough job,” she says. Having some where to go for comfort as a parent is important. Brighter Futures and programs like it can help. Parental involvement in simple play activities helps strengthen the mother/child bond. “Every child needs a strong attachment and interacting through everyday activities can be a step in the right direction,” Kulkarni says. The Brighter Futures program offers community-based programming to help parents meet their needs and the needs of their children with support, encouragement and resources. Programs and services around Newfoundland and Labrador include organized playgroups, pregnancy-support programs, parenting programs and workshops, computer and written literacy programs, baby groups, and peer-support groups. Casey is grateful, explaining how having “someone to ask” helped her grow into a confident mother. Someone always had the answer or could offer up a suggestion, she says. Knowledge, Casey says, is power in parenting. Bonding was enhanced at Brighter Futures, she says. “You interact with

your child during simple, shared activities and you both laugh and learn.” Kulkarni agrees, but stresses such practices must also be applied outside the structured environment. Having concrete strategies — be it smiling and singing while you change a diaper or playing word games with older children as you navigate through traffic — can have incredible benefits for both mother and child, she says. Lorena Lundrigan, executive director of the Burin Peninsula Brighter Futures program in Marystown, says she’s proud to have served over 400 local young families last year. She explains that Newfoundland is unique with its “sometimes single mothers,” wives of men who work outside the province. Brighter Futures, Lundrigan points out, offers the space while mothers bring the good will. “A program like Brighter Futures is a way for moms to delight in mothering in a supportive environment and for a child to learn in the most natural way — through play and interacting with a loving caregiver.” Demographics have shown that Newfoundland families are shrinking in size, which impacts peer-to-peer learning, Lundrigan says. “Interacting with other children helps build social

skills,” she says, stressing that kids learn best with other kids. The added bonus is that moms also experience a learning of their own in a supportive, we’ve-been-there way. The goal, Lundrigan says, is to start working with moms before they become mothers in a pre-natal program — providing information, answering questions, and offering support. “I don’t think prenatal is too early to start the bonding process at all,” Lundrigan says. But it doesn’t stop there. New moms need all the help they can get, she says. “Moms have so many questions — from ear infections to sniffles to when do I take my child to the hospital,” she says. What happens between a mother and a child in this environment is pretty special. “These relationships formed between mother and child last a lifetime,” Lundrigan says. “Besides the social, emotional and cognitive aspect there is the value of mom and child spending quality time together in a place where the phone doesn’t ring and the bills don’t have to be attended to right then and there. “Moms can be mothers and children get to be played with and loved.”

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MAY 11, 2007

24 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

Do we really need all this stuff?

Most kitchen gadgets aren’t necessary — and will likely gather dust before being put to good use

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hopping for me is a bit of a chore. Not shopping for food or wine — that I can do with a smile on my face and all the time in the world. I love the ambling from aisle to aisle in the grocery store or moving from stall to stall in a market, handling all the fresh produce, giving it a smell and a feel. But when it comes to anything else, I hit a snag. When looking around a store, I’m one of those people who heads for the most expensive object in the room. It’s like a beacon calling my name. I don’t even need to know what the items are or what they do, all I know is that the most expensive items in the room have my name written all over them. This is the story of my life. I have always chosen things where the gear is expensive. Try being a percussionist as a kid — the drum set, sticks,

NICHOLAS GARDNER Off the Eating Path endless piles of auxiliary equipment. It was never enough. I always needed something I didn’t have at hand. Same in the culinary world. I went to a professional school, I had to pay tuition, boarding, travel and equipment. I love the equipment: 30 centimetre-long sashimi knives, chef’s knives, turning knives, filleting knives, slicers and carving forks. Reamers and measuring spoons, measuring cups and bowls. Pans, I could use more pans: sauté pans, sautoir pans, a griddle pan too. A

stockpot as well as a pasta pot and pasta insert. A stand mixer would help as well as a multi-bladed food processor … but who really needs everything, anyway? I look at my kitchen and I see things I’d love to change. Counter space for one. I have very little, but it hasn’t slowed me down at all. Why? Because those who love food and love to cook use what’s available. Like the Marines, we adapt, we improvise and we overcome. This weekend, my wife decided to make cupcakes. She’s the baker in the house. She’s really good at making stuff and adapting, changing and rearranging a recipe to suit what we have on hand. The basic recipe came from an online site, the ingredient list (modified) came from a baking book and the frosting came from another. And what happened? It all worked beautifully. Not a stand mixer in sight. When the fathers of modern cookery were alive they had nothing; just blood, sweat and a lot of hard labour. It was intensive work to just make a simple meal. That’s what good cooking is — the direct connection of the raw ingredients and your hands to make something you are proud to eat. I once worked in a place where I wasn’t allowed to use a knife to slice onions. I had to use a $2000 piece of machinery. Why? Was it faster? No. I still had to set it up, use it and clean it — whereas a

chef’s knife and cutting board would have done the same job, just as quickly but without the equipment maintenance. So what do you really need in a kitchen? In my opinion, you can make just about anything with two sauté pans, two saucepans, a small stockpot, two cookie sheets and a roasting pan with rack. For hand-held devices, you need: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a filleting knife, a bread knife, a carving knife and fork and a steel for keeping the blade edge keen. For gadgets: a can opener, a pizza cutter, a reamer (for juicing), a fine zester (also good for parmesan cheese), a vegetable peeler and a mortar and pestle. And that’s the lot. I have come to the conclusion that I need less things to clutter my kitchen — not more. Sure a KitchenAid mixer with all the goodies would be a fun addition, but where would it go? Probably the basement, which kills the “convenience” factor of having it in the first place. Like many other kitchen professionals who do more with less, I’ll do without. Try it. Save the counter space. Cook with less — enjoy the connection to your food. Nicholas Gardner is a freelance writer and erstwhile chef living in St. John’s. nicholas.gardner@gmail.com


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 25

Reaching 19 Could this birthday be the end of freedom and fun — or just the beginning?

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here are landmarks in life and I’ve been told turning 19 is one of them. If anything, reaching this point has proven how much age has to do with mentality rather than a simple number on a page. When you’re a kid, every birthday is monumental. You hold your fingers up in pride when prompted how old you are. Then you begin to run out of fingers and eventually toes too. If you have to take your shoes off to show your age, it isn’t cute anymore. A few birthdays stand out as a time of noticeable change. Thirteen, if you’re superstitious, would be an unlucky year and can be depending on how awkward your adolescence is. It’s the beginning of the teen years, a long road with lots of interesting scenery. The sand boxes and swings of elementary school are

LEIA FELTHAM Falling Face First replaced with sex ed classes. The giggling at these goes on for a while and then — before you’ve had time to grasp that it was you who was going through this puberty metamorphosis — you reach 16. FIRST PRIVILEGES At this point, you’ve made it to high school and you probably feel like you’re really moving up in the world — while feeling like a complete loser at the same time. You get your first heavy dose of privilege with a driver’s licence

TASTE

and get to scare your parents into wishing you were a bawling infant again. Before I got to find the sweetness of 16, 19 crept up on me. It’s like the ending of a book you hear whispers about, and you’re reading frantically through all the chapters to get to the exciting conclusion. You get there only to realize you stayed up all night for nothing. It could be just me, but I don’t see what all the hype surrounding 19 was about. One thing that came with this birthday is that I’ve somehow solidified into a responsible adult with all the convenient advantages, because in society it seems I was an invisible youth up until now. Too bad I feel the same. This only goes to show how experience, rather than time, shapes how you feel and see yourself. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and maybe age is too.

e

Coconut ca k for Mom

By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service

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reat mom to coconut cake and conversation on her special day. This cake is one of my favourites. COCONUT TEA CAKE From my files. I used Thai Kitchen coconut milk, a thick, premium brand. Coconut cream is sold in Asian markets; if you can’t find any, use very thick, rich coconut milk. You could dust the cake with icing sugar instead of using the glaze. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a standard mixer and double the beating time. CAKE • 1 cup canned coconut milk • 1/4 cup unsalted butter • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 4 large eggs • 2 cups granulated sugar • 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 3/4 cup unsweetened, desiccated, shredded coconut GLAZE • 2 tbsp coconut cream • 1 tbsp lime juice • 1/4 cup icing sugar Add coconut milk and butter to a two-cup, microwavable measuring cup. Heat on high power 1-1/2 minutes, then stir until butter melts completely. Set aside. Sift together flour and baking powder into medium bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with large bowl and whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy and pale, about three minutes.

Scrape sides of bowl. Blend in vanilla. Switch to paddle attachment. At low speed, gradually add flour mixture until well blended. Scrape sides of bowl. Add shredded coconut, mixing only until blended. While mixer is running on low speed, slowly pour in coconut milk mixture. Beat until blended. Pour batter into greased, floured, 10inch tube pan. Bake in preheated 350F oven 50 to 55 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool on rack 15 minutes. Unmould. Cool completely on rack. For glaze, stir together coconut cream, lime juice and icing sugar in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake. Makes one cake.

EVENTS MAY 11 • Tastefest, St. John’s first festival of food, continues until May 13. For a complete list of concerts, tastings, meals and events, visit www.tastefest.ca or call 722-9600. • The Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl presents an evening of great theatre, Rosie O’Grady’s, Mount Pearl, 3683909, until May 13. • Transformational training, seminar to equip coaches, teachers, executives, and other leaders, www.lifeonfire.ca, 579-8299, until May 12. • Provincial music festival, Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre, until May 12. • Etcetera concert series, Mount Pearl Glacier, 8 p.m., 7481100, until May 12. • Mark Bragg and the Butchers and Mercy the Sexton, live EP recording, The Ship Pub, 11 p.m. MAY 12 • The History of Sickness and Health in Northern Remote and Rural Regions conference, free and open to all interested, Health Science Centre, St. John’s, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. • Multi-faith symposium, Meditation and Peace, Hindu Temple, 26 Penny Lane, St. John’s, 8 a.m., 753-1888. MAY 13 • My Toys Have Come Alive presented by Barbara Ashley School of Dance, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, May 1314. • Live at Elim Tabernacle’s Meet Me at the Tabernacle concert, by the Wesley Male Choir, corner of Ropewalk Lane and Empire Avenue, St. John’s, 6 p.m. MAY 14 • Gander Dance School performs, Gander Arts and Culture Centre, May 14-15. • Mother to mother breastfeeding support meeting, Sobey’s Community Room, Torbay Road Plaza, St. John’s, 7 p.m. MAY 15 • Reading presentation by children’s author Julie Lawson, author of more than 20 novels and picture books, including No safe harbour: the Halifax explosion diary of Kate Cameron, A.C. Hunter Children’s Library, 3:30 p.m., 737-3974. MAY 16 • The Novaks, 8-Track Favourites and Brothers in Stereo perform for a fundraiser to help replace Andrew LeDrew’s stolen guitar. The Dock, George Street. • Discuss the secret to more money, losing weight, better rela-

Mark Bragg (above) and the Butchers to record live EP at the Ship Pub May 11.

tionships, and much more, the Law of Attraction Discussion Group, 7-9 p.m., www.lifeonfire.ca, 579-8299. • Reading by Raoul Anderson, author of Voyage to the Grand Banks, A.C. Hunter Adult Library, 7 p.m. • Denis Parker and John Clarke at Folk Night, the Ship Pub, St. John’s, 9:30 p.m. • The Children’s Centre Benefit Concert, featuring Alan Doyle, Duo Concertante, Lady Cove Women’s Choir, and many more, hosted by CBC’s Angela Antle, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, School of Music, Memorial University, 8 p.m., 7372476. MAY 17 • Viva Lost Elvis, dinner and show presented by The Avalon Dragon Boat Team for Breast Cancer Fundraiser, 7:00 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. For reservations call 747-5648 or email sknox12@hotmail.com. • Songwriters circle show, The Bull and Barrel, featuring Ian Foster, Jerry Stamp, Lindsay Barr, and Matt Wells, 10:30 p.m. IN THE GALLERIES • The Life and Art of a Country Painter: Anthony Flower (1972-1875), The Rooms, until May 13. • Series of abstract paintings by local artist, Gordon Laurin, LSPU Hall Gallery, 3 Victoria Street, St. John’s, until June 3. • Eastern Edge Gallery celebrates The Year of the Craft, 72 Harbour Drive, 739-1882, until June 16. • Small Skirmishes & Outright War by Bunty Severs, Libby Moore and Susan Furneaux; Dragons of the Avalon by Vicky Northey, Craft Council Gallery, Devon House, Duckworth St.

This birthday wasn’t what I expected, but it wasn’t disappointing either. As soon as the clock turned to midnight and it rolled over to the date of my birthday, I got a phone call. My friends were outside my house and wanted to celebrate. LATE-NIGHT CAKE I was of course in bed and answered the door in my fuzzy bathrobe and pajamas, in true birthday style. My friends proceeded to remind me I’m 19 and not 91 and should be partying. The best part about it wasn’t the cards and gifts, but the feeling of being remembered and knowing there are people in my life to share cake with at 1 a.m. I’ve heard people say the older they get the younger they feel. I couldn’t grasp that until now. I feel more of the

six-year-old in me than I did at the time, because I understand now what it really meant to be that age. I was under the illusion that freedom increased with the years, but it’s actually backwards. Sure I can drive a car, buy alcohol and get a credit card, but I can’t spend a whole day in a make believe world anymore without the reality of responsibilities yanking me out of it. That endless carefree childhood was true freedom and it feels all too often that it’s long gone. It makes me wonder if 19 is the end of unworried fun — or only the beginning. I guess I won’t learn until the next birthday rolls around. Leia Feltham is a first-year student at Memorial University. raining12@hotmail.com

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26 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

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any people begin to tire and long for a change to the interior of their home every seven to 10 years, says Elizabeth Murphy, a St. John’s-based interior designer. “Like the seven-year itch, colours seem dated,” she says. A conscious homeowner is aware that shades have changed in everything from clothing to cars — greens have gone from teal to mossy, and golds suddenly look grey. A new coat of paint in an updated shade can be the quickest, most affordable way to freshen up a room. Flooring can look “drab and tired,” but Murphy says there are solutions. “Carpeting is no longer the only option and installing a good hardwood floor or a quality laminate can do wonders for the look of a home.” Shop around for the best buys, she advises, and open your mind. “Tiles used to be so expensive, but what was $7 a tile is now $2.50 and the options are limitless.” Tony Dawe of Stan Dawe Ltd. in Corner Brook says flooring has always been a staple in his third-generation family business, and after 60 years he’s pleased to see “the sky has become the limit. “Laminate has taken over the market because it’s long lasting and a great do-it-yourself project,” he says, adding consumers have many qualities, shades and styles to choose from. Changing mouldings and adding trim can be a great way to liven the main living quarters. Dawe says today’s mouldings have more integrated designs and quickly “fancy up a room” for a relatively low cost. “A little change can actually make a huge difference,” he

says. Murphy agrees. “Take a look at furnishings. Can you get away with new upholstery or a few new throw pillows instead of buying new?” Probably, she says. Updating tired draperies can do wonders, Murphy says. Gone are the days of heavy, pleated and lined curtains. Today it’s all about rods and end panels — keep it simple and low cost. “Embellished mouldings around windows are perfect and shouldn’t be covered up with draperies.” The added bonus, she says, is you “let in the natural light.” As you size up the look of a room, don’t neglect function. Can the living quarters be livened up by adding new home electronics? Most definitely, says Darrell Best of Wacky Wheatley’s in St. John’s. The best way to gain floor space is to “chuck” the old picture-tube television and go with a wall-mounted plasma model, he advises. What are the current trends? “Buy a 42-inch plasma TV and mount it over the fireplace if you want to keep up with the Joneses,” he laughs. Best is kept busy as homeowners expand their living quarters by doing up their basements and rec rooms. “You see interest in home-theater systems and surround sound and customers come in to upgrade what they have.” Murphy says homeowners today are “lucky” because there are so many options, and so many places to shop. Look at each room and ask yourself how far a

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MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 27

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little will take you, she says. Dress it up, make it personal. “A new plant in one corner, candles in different colours, shapes and sizes, there are many options out there these days where years ago you couldn’t find a thing.” Murphy says she has discovered great dressings at Winners, Bombay, and even Dominion stores, but homeowners can also add a more unique look by going high-end. Rachel Blake, an independent stained glass artist in St. John’s, says coloured glass can add elegance to any room. “Do something simple in kitchen cabinetry, or in a bathroom — perhaps something oblique so you can’t see inside a space but have the backlit effect,” she says. Blake says there are so many options from German new antique, to simple water glass. “Whatever design you can think of in any colour and any shape made to order, each piece

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as unique as you’d like,” she says. Stained glass isn’t about being a “sun catcher,” Blake says. Quality pieces are as much a piece of artwork as any painting. “The grandest home and the tiniest apartment can be freshened up if you just add the smallest things,” Murphy says. Update taps in a kitchen, change the counter top in a bath, change a light fixture in an entry or just add flowers and throws to a living room. “Set the price you are willing to spend and go out and get good value for your money.” — Pam Pardy Ghent

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28 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

MAY 11, 2007

Rent-a-son for Mom By Michele Henry Torstar wire service

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his year, give your mother something she’s always wanted for Mother’s Day. Something you could never be: a son. “I think it’s a great idea,” says Natashia Grell, 32, a mother of two girls, 9 and 2. “There are so many things I could do if I just had a handy … man around the house. Like, install curtains, clean up the yard … unload clutter.” It’s no wonder Grell’s a fan of Rent-A-Son (rentason.ca), a small business that does just what its name implies. A regular customer, she’s used the human labour service twice in the last couple of years and says she wouldn’t mind at all if her kids and husband (“not the handiest of souls”) wrapped a big red bow around a “son” and delivered him to her on Mother’s Day. “It’s great to have someone do all the little things around the house you can’t do yourself,” Grell says. “And it’s not that expensive, so you can get a lot done.” That’s another reason Dustin Kroft, Rent-ASon’s owner, feels this service makes the perfect present — the gift-giver should never share the

price with the gift-receiver. That’s a major no-no. For just $20 per hour, anyone can rent a son; each is handpicked by Kroft. First, the sons are hired to work in Rent-ASon’s commercial division doing hard labour until they can prove they’re trustworthy, hardworking, reliable and personable enough to be “real” sons. While it’s unlikely they’ll throw “typical son tantrums” (if they do, fire them!), Kroft likes to see his “sons” graduate and move on to home duty. “We like to make customers feel like they’re getting family,” Kroft says. “We want to make every customer feel better in their own home.” Sons range in age from 18 to 30 — to avoid those icky teenage years. Since the company was founded in 2000, sons have been doing almost anything under the sun to fulfill their temporary parents’ wishes — from heavy lifting to stomping grapes at vineyards to helping cottagers get their summer homes into camp-tastic shape. “It’s up to people’s imaginations on how to use us,” Kroft says. Up to a point, of course. “Women can only do so much; lift so much; or handle so many chores on their own,” says Kroft, savvy to what the working mom is up against. “We can conquer your to-do list.”


MAY 11-17, 2007

What’s new in the automotive industry

FEATURED VEHICLE

The Ford GT is shown on a revolving display at the Ford dealership in St. John’s.

Nick Langor photos/The Independent

‘A rolling piece of artwork’ H

ow can a carmaker possibly justify selling a full-blown race car to the general public? Come on, give me one good reason. Here’s one: it was Ford’s birthday party, and after 100 years in the business they wanted to do something special. The company dug up a little something from its racing program as a token of its appreciation. Besides, it’s common practice for motorcycle manufacturers — they do it all the time. It was also a great opportunity for Ford to do a bit of chest thumping, the race car they revived for us was a giant-killer in its time, capable of outrunning Ferrari on the track. For a North American car, it was an unheard of accomplishment. Back in 1962 Henry Ford II made a bold move to revive his racing program and set his sights on the most prestigious, grueling challenge of the 24-hour endurance race of Le Mans. Since 1923 it has been considered the ultimate racing test for both cars and drivers alike. Ford initially hoped to buy into Ferrari’s existing race program in some form of collaboration. When the merger failed it only strengthened Ford’s resolve to beat them. He recruited an all-star team

to build his car from the ground up. The owner and gracefully, but has been replicated in small numchief designer of Lola racing, Eric Broadley, joined bers by more than a dozen companies ever since. the project, as did Aston Martin racing team manPerhaps it was this simmering interest in the car ager John Wyer. Rounding out the trio was Roy that kept up consumer demand. When Ford introLunn, the only one of Ford’s engineers who had duced its modern version — known simply as the any experience with mid-engine cars. Ford GT — at the 2002 North American With their combination of experience and International Auto Show in Detroit it expertise they crafted a car called the was well received. Production started the Ford GT 40, one that could run with the following year and for the first time ever, best of the best at Le Mans. They looked a limited number of cars were available the part but didn’t place well in 1964 or for purchase. Unfortunately, it’s a high‘65, although they gained exposure and priced exotic car, if you have to ask the valuable experience. The third try was the price, you can’t afford it. charm for the fledgling race team that I did manage to talk to someone who MARK took first, second and third place finishes owns a Ford GT. The owner keeps it in a WOOD at Le Mans in 1966. glass case on a revolving display like Unbelievably, the Ford GT 40 placed kind of rare gem, as befits such a WOODY’S some first at Le Mans again in 1967, ‘68 and piece of automotive finery. The glass ‘69. By 1970 Porsche revitalized its WHEELS case is actually the showroom of his efforts to win and recover some dignity, Avalon Ford dealership in St. John’s, but but the damage was done. Henry Ford proved that the revolving display part is true. he could build a car that could dominate Europe’s David Wilkins recently confided to me that even toughest track and all those that challenged him. though he’s very selective about driving conditions Production ceased and the Ford GT 40 retired and weather, he still managed to put 700 miles on

his Ford GT. And yes, it’s a very, very fast machine. There’s no mistaking its purpose — tear-drop shaped and firmly planted on serious low-profile rubber. A rolling piece of artwork. While on the raised, revolving platform its most crucial part of aerodynamic function is visible. There’s a dimpled floor pan that creates a slight air turbulence and a vacuum effect to keep the car from becoming airborne. The rear of the car has a small pair of air stabilizer chutes to increase linear stability. These would appear trivial on a lesser car but absolutely crucial for speeds that the Ford GT is capable of. Independent testing (not me, seriously) have rated it capable of 210 MPH (338 kph). It’s one thing to be capable of those speeds, but to do it safely is more important. By the way, the Ford GT on display is part of a private collection and unavailable for purchase. That only makes it all the more desirable. We always want what we can’t have. Mark Wood of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s is an avid window shopper.


30 • INDEPENDENTSHIFT

MAY 11, 2007


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTSHIFT • 31

What we call hardship is embarrassing YOU DON’T NEED A HYBRID — BUT YOU DO NEED TO HANG UP THE KEYS MORE OFTEN

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lobal warming is my fault. Yup. with families are insistent on the promLay down your arguments and ise of neighbourhood schools. We then call off your scientists, though belt and buckle our little progeny into the nay-sayers may continue to form a NASA-approved weather-proof gear, circle before they shoot. strap on their backpack Because I live my life with that’s been designed by a healthy dose of guilt (my some chiropractic associamother passed it down like tion — and drive them to migraines and china), some school. recent research I did on hybrid I think my father drove us cars made me certain I was a to school once, and that was bad person if I didn’t buy one in a blizzard so bad we on the way out of the showwould have blown away like room. Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz LORRAINE I see Smart cars as big as if he hadn’t. Eight-year-olds SOMMERFELD Skittles, and wonder how I don’t weigh much. could possibly live my life so My first bike was a handresponsibly small. It would be me-down from my sister that easier to fold my 6’1” 15my dad painted thinking I year-old son into the front of a wouldn’t notice. I noticed, shopping cart. I want to imagine getting but didn’t care. I had a bike. I rode a load of kids and two cats to the cot- everywhere. In bare feet, with no heltage in a Prius, but I can’t. met. My son’s bike last year cost me Unable to shirk the idea that I’m $300, and he was pleased to see it somehow responsible for that polar would fit in the van. Like a flight to get bear we’ve all seen swimming, swim- on a cruise ship, our children’s activiming, swimming for an iceberg that ties are becoming more about destinawas supposed to be there but isn’t, tion than inclination. something dawned on me: it’s not what Around-the-clock shopping means we drive as much as how we drive. we plan less and stop more. TwentySometime over the past 20 years, four hour news stations keep us abreast children have lost the ability to walk of child abductions on other continents, anywhere. In buying homes, those of us and make us believe our children will

POWER SHIFT

be stolen unless they are handed off like a relay baton to their next destination. I always said if someone stole one of my kids, the car would stop and kick them out a block later — they’re that annoying. We’ve been indoctrinated with stupid, and have come to believe that driving everywhere is not just a privilege, it’s a necessity. Forget stories about walking to

The life and death of Gilles Villeneuve A LOOK BACK, 25 YEARS AFTER TRAGEDY STRUCK DOWN A CANADIAN HERO

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wenty-five years ago May 8, at a little after 5 p.m., I was in my cellar recreation room when my wife yelled these five words down the stairs: “Villeneuve fighting for his life!” I had to wait for the 11 p.m. CBC news for confirmation of what I’d feared all evening: that Canada’s NORRIS greatest auto racing hero had died MCDONALD from injuries suffered in an accident earlier that day during final qualifying for the Belgium Grand Prix at Circuit Zolder. The son of a piano tuner and a seamstress, he was a nobody from the backwoods of Quebec who went on to become a daredevil Formula One racing driver employed by the best-known of all Grand Prix marques, Scuderia Ferrari. The victim of a double-cross by a conniving teammate, he was intent on defending his honour when he crashed to his death. The government of Canada dispatched an Armed Forces plane to pick up his body and return it to Canada, along with his young wife, Joann, and his two children, Jacques, 11, and Melanie, 8 (who filled the hours over the Atlantic by drawing pictures and writing poetry about their father). The outpouring of affection and grief was nationwide. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Opposition Leader Joe Clark led the mourners at his funeral in Bertherville, Villeneuve’s hometown, and the service was broadcast live, coast-to-coast. The historians, the motorsport writers and the fans old enough to remember him all adored Villeneuve (and cherish his memory) for one reason above all: he was a racer. He wanted to win races and championships, yes, but more than anything he wanted to win every lap he was on the track, whether it was a practice lap or a qualifying lap or the 35th lap of a 72-lap Grand Prix. In fact, when Britain’s respected MotorSport magazine put out its 75th anniversary issue in April 1999, it had a picture of Villeneuve on the cover — but no story inside. Explained editor Andrew Frankel: “For this issue, we wanted an image which best described the way we felt about the sport. No single shot can sum up 75 years of motorsport so we looked for one that made us feel good about racing. And Gilles in a 12cylinder Ferrari said it all ... Villeneuve knew the difference between racing and winning and, unlike the majority of those who drive Grand Prix cars, it was the former which provided his motivation.” It was always about the racing, right from the start when he drove snowmobiles in the early 1970s. He won a world championship on the ice and then went to Formula Ford and Formula Atlantic, where he hated to lose. In 1976, he did something about that: he won every race he entered except one — a race in the rain at Westwood, B.C., where he spun off the track and damaged the car. Otherwise, he was unbeatable. He won the Canadian Formula Atlantic Championship as well as the U.S. championship. His flamboyant, never-say-die, racing style endeared him to the tifosi right from the beginning. In 1979, he finished second in the world championship to his teammate, Scheckter. There are many, Villeneuve included, who thought he could have won the title because in any number of races he was faster. But Villeneuve was a man of honour. He knew Scheckter was the No. 1 driver and his role was to race hard but to hold position if the No. 1 pilot was in a position to win. This sense of honour is what killed the great Gilles Villeneuve. Two weeks before the race at Zolder, Villeneuve had been leading his teammate, Didier Pironi, in the closing laps of the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in Italy. The Ferrari code was that the drivers were to hold position at that point in the race and Villeneuve was caught completely unawares when Pironi dove inside him at the last corner of the last lap and stole the victory. Photographs taken at the time show Villeneuve extremely upset on the podium. He stayed but a moment and told friends afterward that he would never speak to Pironi again. In the final qualifying session at Zolder, Pironi had set a time a tenth-of-a-second faster than Villeneuve and the Canadian had gone out in the closing moments of qualifying

TRACK TALK

Capri Films of Toronto is developing a film about Villeneuve.

to try to beat it. The German driver, Jochen Mass, was on a slowdown lap when Villeneuve came flying up behind him. Somehow, the left front wheel of the Ferrari touched the right rear wheel of Mass’s March and the Ferrari was catapulted through the air. The force of the car landing nose-down in the dirt ripped the cockpit seat - with Villeneuve strapped in it — out of the Ferrari monocoque. The car came to rest in pieces. Villeneuve had been thrown into a fence and was critically injured. He was pronounced dead later in hospital.

school in snowstorms 40 miles uphill both ways. I bought the house I was born in, and I’m comparing apples to apples when I tell my boys I walked everywhere I expect them to walk. My friends used to carry hockey equipment to the arena on their backs; now a kid in hockey justifies needing a van. I watch people drive their children to every sport imaginable, to make sure they’re

getting enough exercise. We’re idiots. See how badly your children want to go to the mall by making them get there on their own. See how many extracurricular sports make sense if the Mom or Dad taxi suspends service every other day. Start walking to the gym, or perhaps instead of the gym. I don’t need to run out and buy a hybrid car out of guilt. The vehicle I recently purchased is the one I need for my current needs. But I can certainly hang up the keys more often, and probably achieve the same effect. In fact, some research has found that hybrid owners frequently drive more often — so maybe I can convince myself I’m actually ahead of the game. One thing I need to remind myself and my boys of is this: my father drove a team of horses to get to school on the prairies. My mother dodged falling bombs in World War II England. What we call hardship is embarrassing, and to think that we are continuing to risk the health of our planet to exercise our right to drive our kids to soccer practice in a Hummer is near evil. You can do more with what you have right now. Now, how convenient is that? www.lorraineonline.ca


32 • INDEPENDENTFUN

MAY 11, 2007

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 90%, say 5 Gaspé ski area: les ___-Chocs 9 Floating platform 13 Baby carriage (U.K.) 17 Neighbourhood 18 Eyelid hair 19 Panache 20 Use a lasso 21 Sonatina composer 23 Stomach inflammation 25 Goes at a leisurely gallop 26 African game, for short 28 Mennonite sect 29 Reclined 30 Mend a sock 31 Health haven 32 German city 35 Romania’s capital 38 Distress call 41 Barnyard butter 42 Have being 43 So long! 44 Angels’ instrument 45 Canine utterance 46 Deadening of pain 50 Corn (Brit.) 51 River of Wales 52 Cat’s engagement 53 Stratford summer time 54 Devour

56 Microbe 58 New: prefix 59 It’s before the www 60 The real “Dog River” 63 Small hotel 64 Witness 65 Daughter in “For Better or For Worse” 68 Car ___ 69 Shortly 72 Blvd.’s cousin 73 Quicksand 74 Big flap 75 Funk Island bird, once: Great ___ 76 Pesky insect 77 Seed container 78 Glutton 82 Gladiators’ venue 83 Italian town, centre of “slow food” movement 84 Tolstoy’s Karenina 85 Business qualif. 86 Convex moulding 89 Norwegian composer 91 Give in 95 Referring to very small particles 97 Ethiopia, once 99 Cold ones 100 Ward (off) 101 Grape plant 102 Alta. town at U.S. border 103 Loch ___ 104 Aware of, as a trick

CHUCKLE BROS

105 Not up 106 ___ and dance DOWN 1 Not fem. 2 Killer whale 3 Connery of Bond fame 4 Small pastry 5 Fragrant sage 6 Boaters and panamas 7 Believer: suffix 8 Longtime president of France 9 City once “Pile o’ Bones” 10 Park of “Air Farce” 11 Burkina ___ 12 Explosive 13 ___ ballerina 14 Trinidadian food 15 Honeybee genus 16 Coordinate 22 Like some ground beef 24 Engrossed 27 Prince Andrew, e.g. 30 Dawn faceoff 31 Wind dir. 32 Gent’s oath 33 Word with throat or loser 34 Protect 35 Boast 36 Baseball stat. 37 Young falcon 38 Very light sky glider 39 Rice-sized pasta

40 Spit out (lava) 42 Soul 44 Stop 46 Go along 47 Canadian film award 48 Beautiful havens 49 Like Margaret Laurence’s angel 50 Friendly (Brit.) 55 Large marine snail 57 Choice word 60 National force 61 L. Erie state 62 Coiffure with height 64 Stallion 66 Hlinka of hockey 67 Star system 37 light years away: ___ reticuli 70 Line drawn in the garden 71 A Mouskouri 74 “Caught ya!” 76 Thank you (Span.) 78 Gator’s cousin 79 Bob or pageboy 80 It’s next to nothing 81 Large bay off N Quebec 82 The basics 83 Sneeze follower: ___ you! 85 Daydreamed 86 Its capital is Muscat 87 Tiny rodent 88 Spanish cheers 89 Scot’s valley

90 Tirade 91 “Auld Lang ___”

92 Unhook 93 Look or bearing

94 The big ___ 96 Roswell subject

98 Drool catcher Solutions page 34

Brian and Ron Boychuk

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) Love rules the amorous Aries. So do make those Sheep’s eyes at someone you’d like to know better. (A loving Leo, perhaps?) And don’t be surprised at what follows. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) You might enjoy your time at home decorating and redecorating all you like. But friends old and new won’t accept “regrets” to their invitations. So go out and have a great time. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) You need someone who appreciates you. If this person is already in your life, congratulations. If not, don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t value you. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22) A previous problem is cleared up

soon to your advantage. Meanwhile, give your self-confidence a much-needed boost by taking on a tough project that you know you can handle. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUG.22) You’re often picked to lead in a group situation. But that can cost you time and energy that you might want to spend elsewhere. Feel free to decline. They’ll still love the Big Cat. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) You’re usually the staid and steady sort. But the adventurous side of you emerges, and you feel like doing something different and maybe a mite daring. Good for you. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) You need more preparation before tackling a poorly performing ven-

ture. Research possible solutions. The more you know when you start, the more likely all will end well. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) Your work is noticed with approval. A promotion could follow. At home, there’s some unexpected fallout from a family matter you thought had been cleared up. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC. 21) A relationship you thought just needed time to ripen could be withering instead. It’s not too late to save it with reassurances that it’s still your priority. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) Your problem with accepting workplace-related changes will disappear once you accept the fact that — like it or not — change is

part of progress. AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) Don’t feel guilty about indulging in such luxuries as beauty treatments for yourself and beautiful things for your home. They bring joy to the soul — and you deserve them. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) Don’t keep a low profile about your project until you’re sure it can succeed. You’ll achieve more if you allow others to know what you’ve done and to share in the work. BORN THIS WEEK You move with a natural grace and elegance found in those who (like you) were born to dance. Children take to you and want to be your friend. (c) 2007 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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

SOLUTION ON PAGE 34


INDEPENDENTSPORTS

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, MAY 11-17, 2007 — PAGE 33

Paulo Mascain practices a backhand throw at Bishop’s College field in St. John’s.

By John Rieti The Independent

S

ome people will take a Frisbee to their cabin during the long weekend to throw around between beers, or to keep the dog occupied. But one St. John’s team will be taking their discs to Huntsville, Ont., to compete in one of the spring’s biggest Ultimate Frisbee tournaments in Canada. Team organizer Paulo Mascarin says traveling to tournaments like the Ultimate Long Weekend, has terrific benefits for St. John’s players and the city’s fledgling league, Mile Zero Ultimate. “It gives people something to aspire to, another level to take their sport to,” he tells The Independent. Mascarin is one of the fiercest competitors in the league, known for his rugged defense and aggressive offensive tactics. He has also become one of the sport’s strongest leaders, guiding his team, the Fellowship of Awesome, to a league championship last summer and scoring success in the fall and winter seasons as well. “I like winning, I like doing the best I can, I don’t like making mistakes … basically I like to get the best out of people,” says Mascarin.

Nick Langor/The Independent

The Ultimate Frisbee league flourishes in St. John’s; team from capital heading to Ontario for national tournament

His new team, Mutiny, named for his desire to lead exactly that, has become the province’s top team. Mascarin formed the team after Granite, Newfoundland and Labrador’s first provincial team, folded over the winter. Mutiny has been practicing twice a week for the past month and many of its players have been competing all winter in the gym and in the snow. Once regarded as a fringe game, Ultimate has evolved into an extremely athletic sport with all the strategy and advanced skills of other summer sports like baseball and soccer. Ultimate is played on soccer fields, with two football-like end zones. Players move freely and without contact around the field until they catch the disc, at which point they can only pivot until they throw to a teammate. Catching a

disc in the end zone scores a point. “It’s not a difficult sport to describe, but when you say non-contact people immediately think of it as kind of a soft sport … but that’s not the case, it’s really demanding on your body,” says Mascarin. Intense games of Ultimate become a blur of speed, agility, and an arsenal of throws that allow a good passer to distribute the disc all over the field. Mascarin says playing in Toronto is a good chance to learn these advanced skills from some of the best in the country. He says teams like Mutiny help to improve the quality and notoriety of the sport at home. “Three years ago when I would say the name ‘Ultimate’ nobody knew what I was talking about, now people are hearing about it,” says Mascarin.

Mile Zero is having a successful year of recruiting new players to the sport — 300 players have registered to compete in the summer league, up from 250 last year. The league’s 20 teams will be separated into several tiers to allow beginners to learn the sport and experienced players to challenge one another. The league is also expanding financially. This year’s budget is $25,000 and league executives say they’re close to getting a major sponsor in addition to its current sponsor, Molson. Mile Zero is scheduling a series of community events to encourage involvement in the sport. Its players will be hosting clinics throughout the summer, offering help with everything from simple throwing to defensive tactics. And anyone could hoist one of Mile Zero’s most prized trophies — the Toilet Bowl — which goes to the winners of a one-day tournament. The league’s website also posts pickup games which are a good way for people to try the sport. “If it wasn’t for the few selected people who step up and organize things and develop the program, and care and are passionate about it, the sport will never grow,” says Mascarin. john.rieti@theindependent.ca

News and notes from a week away From Korab’s revenge team to the resurgent rugby festival, it’s already been a busy month

S

ometimes when you live through this dreary spring weather, life tends to drag along. You know how it is. A grey, foggy day sees people trampling about with shoulders shrugged and heads bowed, looking at their feet. The sun miraculously straightens out people’s spines and turns frowns at feet to smiles at eyes. This time of year is a difficult one for sports writers in this province. Winter sports are put away; summer sports are far away. It’s down time. Yet when you’re away from home — even for a short period of time — it seems like so much happens that you miss a ton of news even though you didn’t expect any. Such was the case for me last week. Upon returning home from five days away on business, the local sports world had provided more than enough fodder for a columnist to fill his allotted space. The most exciting news to come out of last week emerges from curling. Exiled Team Gushue member Jamie

DON POWER

Power Point Korab — banished by the boss recently for bad behaviour — has returned with a vengeance. Korab has hooked up with four-time Brier representative Mark Noseworthy, arguably the most successful local skip since 1980. The veteran skip won the provincial title in 1982, 1987, 1994 and 2002, with eight different teammates. Now he’s back with the gold medalwinning lead and he’s got Team Gushue in his crosshairs. If there’s one thing these two dedicated curlers have in common, it’s their disdain for Gushue. Noseworthy’s has long been set in; Korab’s is obviously fresh. The key is not getting so focused on beating Gushue — which is obviously the goal — that they forget other things.

It’s fine to have motivation, just don’t let it get misguided. Speaking of goals, how about Ted Purcell signing with the Los Angeles Kings? Fantastic news for someone people are calling a late bloomer. At 21, Purcell wasn’t drafted and never played major junior. He took a circuitous route to the NHL, playing with the Notre Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan and Cedar Rapids in the United States Junior Hockey League before being named freshman of the year with the Maine Black Bears. Purcell grew from the five-foot-eight kid who led the St. John’s Maple Leafs at the national midget championship to the six-foot-three man his family expected him to be. (Memo to Ted, Sr.: I remember what I said years ago, and — gulp — you were correct; he would grow to be taller than six feet. Mea culpa.) Now, with the size and combination of speed and skill, as well as a great opportunity in L.A.., Purcell hopes to join the chosen few Newfoundlanders

in the NHL. Here’s hoping he makes it sooner, rather than later. Another major turnaround that is exciting for Newfoundland sports fans is the return of the rugby festival to St. John’s. In late April, Rugby Canada announced that because of increased airfares, the 1,000 player festival scheduled for August had to be moved to central Canada. Now comes word the festival is returning. Rugby great Rod Snow confirmed that for me Monday in an email, stating that more information would be available next week. Whatever magic was used to get it back — Parfrey Magic perhaps? — doesn’t matter. It’s fantastic for the rugby community, which gets rabid support whenever it hosts a national event. Another sport that gets plenty of support in national championships in St. John’s is softball, the fastpitch kind. This August, Caribou Complex in Pleasantville will be the host site for the

Canadian senior men’s fastpitch championship. Softball seems to be a dying sport in this province. There’s one senior league and an intermediate league, and minor is almost non-existent (save for the Const. Moss tournament — shameless self-promotion here — and a few provincials). When past nationals arrived in the capital city, there was much hype about the event. That seems to be missing this time around, for whatever reason. Perhaps part of the low profile comes from a lack of noise from Softball Newfoundland and Labrador. Maybe the sport governing body is minding its shop from the inside out, but you’ve got to generate interest in an event if you hope to have people attend it. That doesn’t seem to be happening with softball. Maybe this is an event that can sell itself. Let’s hope so, because the folks in softball surely aren’t selling it yet. donniep@nl.rogers.com


34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS

MAY 11, 2007

The merits of hook and release

Opinions are divided on the effects of hook and release fishing, but research says it may be a viable conservation method PAUL SMITH

The Rock

Outdoors “Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once.” — Lee Wulff

L

ee Wulff, fly-fisher, engineer, pilot, writer, photographer, film producer and outdoorsman extraordinaire invented a series of flies bearing his name and popularized the Portland creek or riffling hitch technique — modern essentials to salmon fishing. Wulff is a giant in the fly-fishing world, kind of like Einstein in the domain of physics. He was a man of enormous energy with a deep respect and love of the outdoors, especially angling. At age 85, he fought a Pacific Blue Marlin on a fly rod for 90 minutes in Golfito, Costa Rica. The next day he hooked a potential world record Pacific sailfish and fought it for six hours before the hook pulled out. Not your average senior citizen. After 86 productive years, Wulff died at the controls of his light aircraft. Wulff discovered Newfoundland in the mid-1940s and couldn’t resist exploring our vast unexplored wilderness. Throughout the ’40s and ’50s, Wulff explored Newfoundland and Labrador’s trout and salmon waters like nobody before or since. He was instrumental in popularizing the province as a worldclass angling destination, thus jumpstarting our very valuable outfitting industry. Wulff published his memoirs about fishing and flying Newfoundland’s hinterland in Bush Pilot Angler, a fascinating read for anyone interested in fishing, aviation or the outdoors. But Wulff realized that fish populations are finite and must be conserved and protected. Even in the 1950s, he cautioned about overfishing, and practiced and preached hook and release as a primary frontline conservation tool. Not that there is anything wrong with eating a fish — but an angler doesn’t have to kill every fish he or she catches. Wulff was a progressive thinker and conservation icon.

There are individuals and groups in Newfoundland and Labrador that are adamantly against hook and release. They say salmon are already stressed while in a river environment, and angling them to exhaustion will likely cause their death — not immediately, but within days. There is also an argument that hook and released salmon have lower reproductive success rates. Others embrace and practice hook and release as a tool allowing them to maximize their time spent fishing with minimum burden on the resource. These anglers say hook and release mortality is

Solutions for crossword on page 32

Solutions for sudoku on page 32

Releasing the catch of the day.

Paul Smith photo

minimal. As a bonus, it keeps honest anglers on the river, which is a proven deterrent to poachers with their jiggers and nets. What does scientific research have to say? A large-scale study was conducted on the River Alta in northern Norway. Researchers accompanied anglers while they fished and recorded subjective notes on angling technique and the condition of the fish upon release. A radio tag was attached to the released salmon so that its subsequent movement and activity could be monitored. In this study, 93 per cent of the released fish were characterized as in good condition and 97 per cent of the tagged salmon survived and were recorded in known spawning areas at spawning time. Only one salmon either died or lost its transmitter. Some unusual downstream and upstream migration was noticed in tagged fish, but it’s uncertain whether this is cause for concern. After hook and release was mandated on the Alta, the female spawning population doubled. It has been wisely pointed out that results from Norway might not hold true in Newfoundland. So DFO — through scientists J. B. Dempson, G. Furey, and

M. Bloom — carried out its own comprehensive hook and release study on Conne River. Fish were angled as they normally would be, and transferred to holding cages where they were monitored. The experiment took place June 8 to July 4, 2000 so data was obtained over a spectrum of water temperature. In total, 49 angled fish and 20 control salmon were held. Only 8.2 per cent of the caught and released fish died. The conclusion of this study is positive for hook and release as a viable fisheries management tool. The cautionary variables are fish handling and water temperature. According to research, mortality is highest at warmer temperatures (above 18 C). This year’s angling guide will include an updated temperature protocol for closing rivers due to elevated water temperatures. It’s a double-edged sword: when anglers are at home, the poachers will play. We must find a balance. While there is little we can do to influence water conditions, we can control how we handle and release angled fish. The angler’s guide contains general guidelines that are, for the most part, common sense: don’t use a dip net,

don’t keep salmon out of the water too long for pictures … Here’s my personal take. First of all, don’t play the fish too long. As a general rule, a minute per pound is plenty. Play the fish hard and get it over with quickly — if your tippet breaks, you’re only out a fly. I never touch fish I don’t intend to eat, let alone keep them out of water for extended periods. I’ll compromise a little if I need a photo. I cradle the salmon under the belly with one hand and grip its tail with the other, lifting it out of water just long enough for a quick shot. The cleanest release is achieved by sliding your hand down the leader and plucking out the fly. From what I’ve read and experienced, hook and release works. Wulff would be proud of the direction salmon fishing appears to be headed in Newfoundland and Labrador. Individuals and organizations are promoting conservation, restoring depleted rivers, enhancing others, and promoting what Wulff started. Paul Smith is a freelance writer and outdoors enthusiast living in Spaniard’s Bay. flyfishtherock@hotmail.com


MAY 11, 2007

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 35

ETCHEGARY HONOURED

Gus Etchegary of St. Lawrence became the first Newfoundlander ever inducted to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame on May 5. Etchegary played fullback for the St. Lawrence Laurentians, but was recognized as a builder of the sport for his work as president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association and vice-president of the Canadian Soccer Association. Paul Daly/The Independent

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