VOL. 5 ISSUE 44
ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007
$1.50 HOME DELIVERY (HST included); $2.00 RETAIL (HST included)
IN CAMERA 10-11
Louise Moyes dances a life story
Sheilagh O’Leary’s new book of portraits
Waterford complaints rack up
Former cancer society executive says donations used improperly; society denies allegations
eoff Chaulk is well acquainted with complaints about facilities at the Waterford hospital in St. John’s. There was the toilet in a sevenman room that wasn’t fixed for a week, the unbearable heat in certain units on midsummer days, and the chronic lack of privacy and quiet. That’s just a start. Chaulk has been executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association since 2004. By summer 2006, he’d heard enough that he took a public tour of the Waterford, and invited the media along. Calling parts of the hospital “archaic” and “appalling” got some attention — but it didn’t last. There are plans in place to replace the forensic unit, which he says was the worst of the worst, but everything else seems to be at a standstill. “What can we do now to try and make it somewhat better?” he asks. “If you’re ill and you’re having to deal with this sort of physical environment … I don’t think it’s acceptable that we expect people to deal with things the way they are now.” He’s not the only one. Last week, The Independent ran a front-page story, Institutional neglect, detailing one patient’s account of the “big problems” she saw in her acutecare ward, from “filthy” conditions to a broken window to lack of activities to no privacy or secure place to put her belongings. Colleen Simms, Eastern Health’s regional director of mental health, agreed with most of the patients’ points, saying the Waterford was “Victorianera” and that she “could never defend” the number of beds and lack of privacy within some of the wards. Since the story appeared, several people — former and current patients or their family members — have been in See “What’s the plan,” page 7
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I’m also a Newfoundlander. I think it’s a waste to spit out booze at any point.” — Rodrigues Winery general manager Lionel Rodrigues. See page 25
Torbay woman at helm of Mountain Equipment Co-op
Former Newfoundland and Labrador Finance minister Winston Baker in front of his new workplace. Denis Drover/For The Independent
‘Are you serious?’ Former Finance minister, Bank of Canada board member works at Ontario Home Depot BRIAN CALLAHAN
inston Baker admits he raised more than a few eyebrows when he applied for a sales job at a Home Depot in smalltown Ontario. “I picked up an application and filled it out, but they must’ve been kinda shocked when they saw my resume,” a bemused Baker, 67, tells The Independent from his home in Orleans, Ont., about a 10-minute drive from Ottawa. “Yes, there was this look of, ‘Are you serious?’ But you see a lot of retired people working for Home Depot and these kinds of places these days, so they were kind of used to it. “They had two retired people who ran big corporations when I started. Another guy told me he was (working
Continued on page 2
there) to save for his golf money in Florida.” Baker’s resume stood out. A math and sciences teacher for 23 years, he was the deputy mayor of Gander from 1981-85 before being elected to the House of Assembly as the Liberal member for that district. A one-time NDP candidate, he served as Opposition spokesman for Finance and Newfoundland Hydro, and chairman of the public accounts committee from 1985-89. He lost the Liberal leadership to Clyde Wells in 1987, but held Gander for the Liberals for 10 years until his resignation in 1995. When Wells became premier in 1989, he tapped Baker for such key positions as deputy premier, Finance minister, Treasury Board president and government House leader. Baker, who graduated from Memorial with a science degree in 1961 and later completed graduate
studies in education at the University of Toronto, then moved into the world of consulting. In 1996, while delving into the traditional post-politico world of consulting, he was appointed by then-federal Finance minister Paul Martin to the first of two, three-year terms on the board of directors of the Bank of Canada. His position was later filled by former provincial Finance minister Paul Dicks. Baker also served on the CanadaNewfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, but his term expired just after Premier Danny Williams’ Conservatives came to power in 2003. So why is Winston Baker working at Home Depot? “Well, after three years of being retired, I found myself just sitting around and in front of the computer far too much,” says Baker, whose See “It’s relaxing,” page 2
former director of revenue development for the Newfoundland chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society says she was fired last spring when she raised concerns about a $250,000 donation. Edie Newton, who was hired by the society on Oct. 2, 2006, says she was fired in May for insubordination. She says she questioned why money donated by the Loyal Orange Lodge Association specifically for Daffodil Place — a hostel the society is building for people who must travel to St. John’s for cancer treatment — was instead applied to the cancer society’s operating funds to cover a large operating deficit. “You cannot include that in your operating funds. It has to be kept separate,” Newton tells The Independent. “It (the donation) has to be used for Daffodil Place and it also has to be clear in your financial statements that was what the gift was for. That’s not what they did.” Newton says it was common knowledge within the cancer society that there would be a deficit because revenue targets were not reached in the summer of 2006. She alleges the donation was put in operating funds to cover the targets, in order to apply for bridge funding from a local bank. Newton says the society presented audited financial statements which she alleges are untrue. She has filed a formal complaint against the society’s independent auditor with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. As a fundraising professional, Newton says she felt duty bound to question why restricted funds were used the way they were. She questioned both the donor and the outside auditor personally. Newton says a spokesperson for the See “Taken out,” page 4
New work by Tia and Michael Connolly Paper Trail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Life Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Movie review . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
‘We are fat and dying early’ Randy Simms says overweight people should be given a tax break for shaping up
ome might say it’s a novel idea; some will simply disregard it. Others will laugh and chalk it up to foolishness. No, I’m not talking about the premier’s plan to increase the number of newborns in our province by offering a cash bonus for babies. There was a suggestion put forward this week by a St. John’s entrepreneur that should get some serious consideration. Paula Holloway, owner of Herbal Magic Ltd., wrote a letter to Premier Danny Williams that included a radical suggestion — that government give people a tax break for joining a gym or a weight-loss program. I said the idea was novel, but it’s a not all that new. Last year the federal Conservative government did the very same thing for children when they brought in a tax break for parents who enrol their kids in sports programs. Holloway argues we should do the same for adults who need help to lose weight and get in shape. She says an incentive plan might be just the ticket to get some of us sedentary sad sacks up and at ’em. Why should we consider such a thing? Well getting fit would save a fortune in health-care costs, which seems to be the crux of her argument. Healthy people are less of a strain on the health-care system. Unhealthy people cost government money. By being healthy longer we reduce the costs of MCP, Holloway says. She has a point. According to the latest research, Canadian adults are the most obese people out of 36 countries studied, and
Page 2 talk you and I dear friends, being from Newfoundland and Labrador, top the obesity scale in this country. In other words, we are out of shape. We are fat and dying early. Dying costs a lot of money — too much money really — and Holloway suggests an incentive to get us up from the kitchen table and out to the gym. In February of this year the provincial government, as part of its provincial wellness strategy, unveiled a series of television ads to promote living healthy. You may recall them — celebrities like Snook, Brad Gushue, Bernie Stapleton and others were all featured. The series of 15-second television commercials promoted healthy living. If you don’t recall them, don’t feel bad. The commercial run was not extensive, though I’m pretty sure the costs were. There is also a website (www.gohealthy.ca) attached to the wellness strategy. You will not be surprised to learn that the site is totally outdated. The calendar of events for the year — all associated with the strategy — is empty. I have no explanation for why that is. People obviously did not submit events. Could it be no one cares? I like the idea of using advertisements to constantly remind ourselves that we have to get off our butts and get healthy. In this instance, it feels like the “go-healthy” idea stalled and
no one stepped up to keep the ball rolling. The bottom line appears to be an ineffective campaign that cost thousands of dollars and no one seemed to notice. If you go to the website, check out the news and publications section. There has been no news since Feb. 22 and the launch of the TV campaign. Let’s get back to Holloway and her go healthy idea for a moment. As I mentioned, the federal government brought in a package whereby parents who sign their kids up in sports programs get a $500 tax break. Why not do the same for adults? Let’s use some of the money earmarked for the wellness strategy to provide an opportunity for people who want to get into shape to actually do it. I’m pretty sure a lot of people who don’t go to the gym use the cost excuse to stay away. We could take that one right out of my … I mean their hands. Will it work for everyone? Of course not, but like diets and medicines they all work for some people. Holloway has a good idea. Perhaps that would be a good performance measure for a province trying to lose fat and truly get healthy. Imagine the headlines in the paper — Gym memberships up; Healthy eating now the norm in Newfoundland. Such headlines are possible, but it’s going to take more than Snook to persuade us. A tax break just might do the trick. Randy Simms is host of VOCM’s Open Line radio program. email@example.com
‘It’s relaxing’ From page 1
always lifting around appliances and stuff like that. It’s a very active job. I brother George has punched years just never thought I’d like retail, but I love it. down the road walking the corridors of I’m enjoying it tremendously. I mean, Parliament as a senator and former MP. this is what I’m doing. I’m not ashamed “I’ve also spent a lot of time picking of it. And I don’t really care what people up this and that at places like Home think of it.” Depot. I liked the people there, the And just because his days in politics atmosphere, and I are behind him doesn’t thought the thing for me mean he’s stopped fol“I never thought was to get a bit of exerlowing it. cise and go to work. “I’ve become very I’d like retail, but I “So I went over, impartial these days. grabbed an application, if (Prime Minister love it. I’m enjoying But applied, and got a job.” Stephen) Harper gets Baker had also been too arrogant, they may it tremendously. I living in the Ottawa have to defeat him. I region for some time in mean, this is what mean, when a guy says, his capacity with the ‘Look, here’s the throne I’m doing. I’m not Bank of Canada. So speech and if you defeat when his son moved to anything in this it means ashamed of it. And I an election’ … that is the area and landed a job as a financial advisor absolutely unbelievable with Nesbitt Burns, don’t really care what and unheard of in Baker and his wife history, you people think of it.” Canadian decided to settle in. know?” His son, daughter-inProvincially, Baker Winston Baker law and three grandchilchalks up many of the dren children live close problems to “bad record by. keeping.” But isn’t Winston Baker a tad over“My concern was that things really got qualified for retail? lax there. But how much of that was “Yes, there was that. But the thing is, deliberate, I don’t know.” I’m selling appliances — household As for his own financial picture, Baker appliances. And I fit in rather well there. notes he’s not working at Home Depot I love meeting and talking to people. And for the money. you know something? I meet hundreds “I’m getting a little bit above the minand hundreds of Newfoundlanders there. imum wage ($8) now. I started off at the “Some of them recognize me, yes, and minimum ($7.15 at the time) two-and-awe have a lot of interesting chats.” half years ago. You get raises and so on, In fact, many of his co-workers are but that wasn’t the consideration. I mean, from home. I was teaching for 23 years and in politics But exercise, he says, is one of the key for almost 11. So that’s 34 years, with reasons he sought the job. pretty much a full pension.” “It’s relaxing, yes, and it keeps me on my Baker says Home Depot has been feet. It keeps me walking all the time and good to him, and he’ll stay as long as the gives me exercise,” says Baker, who also company will let him. happens to be a big Ottawa Senators fan. “I “And right now I’m in superb physical was having problems … and I couldn’t shape. It’s disgusting, as a matter of fact. walk very far. Now, all of a sudden I can I’ve got nothing to complain about, hey? walk for 10 hours a day and it won’t even “And my wife loves having me out of bother me. It’s been absolutely marvelous. the house. Absolutely.” “And physically it’s been great … firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3
SCRUNCHINS AROUND THE WORLD There is a report in circulation that a vessel has arrived in St. John’s bringing dates four days later than those by the Mail, with the intelligence that Mr. Smith O’Brien has been found guilty of high treason, and that the Cholera has broken out in Edinburgh. — The Weekly Herald and Conception-Bay General Advertiser, Harbour Grace, Nov. 1, 1848
A Newfoundland mummer.
A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia
ost people don’t know this, but former U.S. president Bill Clinton was reportedly in Town — more specifically, the Torbay side of St. John’s International Airport — for four or five hours one day in late summer after his private jet dropped by on its way overseas. Clinton apparently wanted nothing more than to take a tour of the capital city and vicinity, but the only available limo was a local cab. Clinton’s secret-service detail wouldn’t allow Hillary’s husband, as he’s better known these days, to take a taxi for security reasons so he hung out in a hangar. Not much local culture there. Maybe Jiffy could outfit a cab with bulletproof glass, tank armour and a roll cage. Such accessories wouldn’t go astray on Friday nights downtown when a bottle cap or stray pizza plate could take a tourist out … CANOE CASING Of course, the ex-president to most often drop by Newfoundland and Labrador is George Bush Sr., who heads to Labrador once a year or so to fish at the late Craig Dobbin’s lodge. Dobbin left the older Bush a little something in his will — an annual week at his lodge, all expenses paid, for himself and 20 guests. Imagine the security on the canoes. Think Pope Mobile with paddles … VACATION WEEKS Topsail MHA Beth Marshall does her vacationing in the South American country of Belize, where she and hubby, Fortis head Stan Marshall, own a home away from their Conception Bay South home. Marshall reportedly headed there again this week after Danny Williams passed her over for a cabinet post. (See Fighting Newfoundlander, page 8). I don’t mean to pick on Beth, but her trip raises the question of how much vacation, if any, MHAs are entitled to. Neither the Members’ Resources and Allowances Rules Manual nor the Members’ Handbook make any mention of vacation time. There is a note about how MHAs will be docked $200 for every day they’re not in the House of Assembly when it’s open, but no specific mention of vacation entitlement. The rule makers probably see MHAs as mature and professional enough to make their own calls on taking time off. That should work out well. Next
Paul Daly/The Independent
thing you know Confederation Building will be put on barrels and floated out The Narrows for resettlement to Florida. Belize is just too far south … PREMIER POSTING Beth may have been left out of cabinet but Charlene Johnson is finally in as minister of Environment and Conservation. Charlene’s well qualified, with a degree in forest engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a masters degree in applied science and environmental engineering from Memorial. First elected in the 2003 general election at the tender age of 27, Charlene was the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Assembly. She also has an ambitious streak. In a page 2 article by The Globe and Mail’s Roy MacGregor during the height of the 2003 campaign, Johnson talked about being premier of the province before too long. She’s on her way … MILLION-DOLLAR MAN By the by, Danny will continue to donate his $160,000-plus annual premier’s salary to charity throughout his second term. If he serves a full three terms — and he hasn’t ruled that out — he may actually hit the million-dollar mark in terms of charitable donations. Not to worry, Charlene — you may win 6-49 yet. But then most MHAs hit the jackpot when they’re elected … GENEROUS TO A FAULT Speaking of donations, the Canadian Press reported this week that Canadian taxpayers reported $8.5 billion in charitable donations in 2006, 8.3 per cent higher than in 2005. The value of donations increased in all provinces and territories, with the highest increases coming in Alberta (up 15.5 per cent), the Yukon (15.2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13.9). The number of donors declined slightly in all provinces and territories, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador where the number remained relatively stable. There may be fewer of us all the time but we’re giving more than ever … EMPTY POSTS The provincial economy is definitely heating up. The Fortune Bay East Development Association issued a newsletter recently outlining how it had been approved for 22 student positions this past
summer. “Due to students leaving their communities for summer work elsewhere,” the newsletter read, “the association was only able to get 15 students to fill the positions.” This may be a stupid question, but I wonder if Clinton is looking for work … FEAR AND LOATHING Finally this week, the University of Missouri-Columbia issued a news release recently about a study its researchers carried out about mummers. “According to tradition,” the release reads, “small groups of villagers in Newfoundland, or mummers, disguise their identities and go to other houses to threaten violence, as a means of establishing trust within a community.” “The mummers who threaten violence must prove themselves trustworthy by not committing a real act of violence, and the hosts of the invaded home must demonstrate trust by not responding to threats with fear or violence,” says Christina Nicole Pomianek, a doctoral student. “In this ritual, participants are making themselves vulnerable at the hands of the other,” says Craig T. Palmer, assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Science. “It’s a way for community members to prove their trust and commitment to each other.” The timing of the mummering ritual was just before the long winter months, during which villagers often had to rely on the generosity of neighbours “to avoid starvation,” Palmer says. He says the timing makes sense, since trust during the difficult winter was particularly important to survival. Today, mummering in Newfoundland continues only on a small scale, mostly as a tourist attraction. Palmer said mummering severely declined in the late 1950s and ’60s, when roads were built to connect the formerly isolated communities to the outside world in the winter. Members of the communities began to fear mummering because “in the back of their minds they worried some outsider might have come on the road and couldn’t be trusted. “Trust is very important in all communities,” he says. “Most people don’t live in small-scale communities anymore, so we are often uncertain about whether or not we can trust the people with whom we interact. We’re constantly calculating how much we can trust other people.” Now we know how Clinton felt … email@example.com
AROUND THE BAY We learn that home Government is sending out immediately the material of the Light House for Cape Race — the tower to be of iron. The latter provision, it may be remembered, is opposed to the view of the local Commissioners, who disapproved of iron as unsuited to the frequent alternations of our climate. An engineer comes out to superintend the erection. — The Newfoundlander, St. John’s, Nov. 1, 1901 YEARS PAST A number of young men are now preparing themselves to travel the island giving performances at the most thickly populated places. Horizontal bars, boxing gloves, etc., comprise their paraphernalia, but it is not likely that the gloves will be needed. — The Daily News, St. John’s, Nov. 1, 1901 EDITORIAL STAND We are happy to know that the Government has sent provisions to the District of Bonavista, to be given in payment for work to be done on the roads. This is just what we expected Government would do, but we are sorry to learn that it is intended that the assistance now given is to be deducted from next year’s road grant, if a grant should be made.
We contend that it is the duty of the Government to save the people from actual starvation by giving them the opportunity of earning their own support, wherever the fisheries have failed; also that they should be placed on a distinct footing from the permanent poor, and not be degraded to the state of actual paupers. As the failure of the fisheries is exceptional, so the relief given should be exceptional, and not attempt to support the population out of next year’s revenue. — The Telegraph, St. John’s, Nov. 2, 1864 LETTER TO THE EDITOR Sir — I think the drinking portion of the community ought to be warned that there is in some of the public houses, a spurious poisonous kind of non-descript liquor, which taken in but very small quantities sets the individual mad, and disposes him to perpetrate any violence. The effect is altogether different from that of common intoxication. The liquor is said to be of American manufacture, and in all respects of the most dangerous sort. The taste is between that of brandy and rum. The public would do well to be on their guard – Inspector — The Weekly Herald and Conception-Bay General Advertiser, Nov. 1, 1848 QUOTE OF THE WEEK Look in whatever direction we will, we can see nothing for Newfoundland but Confederation. We cannot remain as we are — we cannot go back to old forms of government. Annexation to the U.S. too is out of the question. No sane man would propose such a thing. Without regarding the immense burden of taxation while the people of that country have to bear at present, its government is the most corrupt on the face of the earth. — The Public Ledger and Newfoundland General Advertiser, Nov. 5, 1869
Observer’s Weekly, 1945
4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
Government or opposition? Byelection not a must win for Liberals: Dumaresque By Ivan Morgan The Independent
lthough a win in the upcoming Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans vote would be a gem for either opposition party, the provincial Liberals say it’s not a “must-win.” The sudden death of Liberal candidate Gerry Tobin on Oct. 1 delayed the vote in the district by four weeks. On Nov. 6, the residents of Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans will finally get to choose their next MHA. NDP candidate Junior Downey says leader Lorraine Michael has already spent several days campaigning with him, and he expects her back before the vote. The party says the House of Assembly needs strong opposition, and the district can help provide it. A spokesperson for the Liberals says leader Gerry Reid may do some campaigning with John Woodrow on the weekend. “Basically the people of the province have already cast their opinion, and undoubtedly we would love to win it, but I don’t see it as a must-win at all as far as importance to the party is concerned,” provincial Liberal party president Danny Dumaresque tells The Independent. He says the election is not a vote of confidence in the government in the way a normal byelection would be judged. “We see this as basically an extension of the election and we would be delighted to win it
but bearing the result of the (general) election it probably won’t be a surprise if we don’t.” Susan Sullivan, the Tory candidate, says the premier did a substantial amount of campaigning with her early in the campaign, and she has not asked him to return. The only original candidate, Sullivan calls the death of her widely respected opponent a “terrible tragedy.” She says she simply shut down her campaign on receiving the news. A retired educator and deputy mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor, Sullivan says starting the campaign again was a slow process. But the advent of two new opponents fired up her team. Sullivan says she is “very confident” about her chances. Downey, a paper worker with AbitibiConsolidated, says he didn’t run in the general election because he didn’t feel ready. He had taken over the leadership of the NDP’s local district association five weeks before the election when the previous president, Tobin, quit to run for the Liberals. He says Tobin’s sudden death, gave him the time he needed to prepare a campaign. He doesn’t mince words when asked how his campaign is going “It’s going perfect.” The district is one of the hardest for an NDP candidate to win, having only been held by Liberals or Tories, says the long time party supporter. Downey says the closest the NDP came to winning there was with candidate
Brian Blackmore in 1985. “That was one of those nights where we we’re having a victory celebration down at the office. The count came in against Len Simms and we had won,” Downey says. “But when they woke up the next morning they had lost, when the special vote from Memorial University was counted.” He says the loss, by 41 votes, was heartbreaking. Liberal hopeful John Woodrow — whose nomination stirred controversy because of his role in a 1990s bribery scandal involving thenLiberal cabinet minister Beaton Tulk — is in a tough spot, having to pick up the campaign from his deceased colleague. He says he has been promoting issues Tobin championed during his campaign, such as health care, establishing another university in central Newfoundland, and extending Bill C27 — the act between Abitibi and the province — past 2010, a crucial issue for Grand Falls. He’s also been campaigning on the premise he would be more effective in opposition than a government backbencher. Woodrow says the dynamic in the district has changed since the provincial election, as people there are aware of the premier’s large majority. He says the provincial Liberal party is pulling out all the stops to support him. “I admire them for that. They’re really going over and above.” firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Taken out of the loop’ From page 1 Loyal Orange Lodge Association told her they had no discussion with the society about the funds being used for operating expenses. Judy Barnes of the Loyal Orange Lodge Association, who also sits on the Daffodil Place management committee, says she is familiar with the accusations. “I don’t have any problem with it. It is all above board.” She says the money did not go into operating funds. She says the money was earmarked for Daffodil Place and “that’s where the money has gone.” On the advice of her lawyer, Newton says she asked the executive director about the matter, which she says led to her firing, despite previous positive performance reviews. Newton says she has complained to the national office of the Canadian Cancer Society, and filed a complaint with the RNC, as well as the complaint against the society’s auditor. Peter Dawe, executive director of the local chapter of the Cancer Society, says there is no substance to the allegations, which he says are totally false. He says Newton’s concerns were investigated by the national organization and they found no evidence of misuse of donated funds. “The bottom line is that the Loyal Orange Lodge donated $250,000 to build Daffodil Place, and every cent of the $250,000 is being used to build Daffodil Place,” says Dawe. Royal Newfoundland Constabulary spokespman Paul Davis says their investigation did not find enough evidence to warrant the laying of charges. A spokesperson for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants says they will begin their investigation into Newton’s allegations next week. The national president of the Canadian Cancer Society says her staff investigated the allegations and found nothing wrong. “We had our auditors take a look at the accounting practices that were used to account for those funds, and we’re satisfied that it was a proper approach that was used,” says Barbara Whylie. Dawe says the RNC investigation and the internal audit show no misconduct. He says the investigation into the external auditor will also
exonerate the society. “They won’t come up with a different result than the RNC.” Newton provided a list of former employees of the society who she said would vouch for her. Heather Rogers, former database manager, who says she was let go from the society, says Newton’s complaint is credible. “Without a doubt. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Honest and very, very ethical.” She says she is “very familiar” with the issue and says in her opinion Newton was fired for speaking up. Gina Smith, a 17-year employee of the society, says she was let go on Oct. 29 for supporting Newton. She says while she was formally told restructuring made her job redundant, she says a private e-mail of support she sent to Newton — her supervisor — from her home the day Newton was fired also went to Newton’s work account, and came to the attention of Dawe. Smith says she was “interrogated on every sentence in the e-mail” and given a letter of reprimand. She said from that time onward she was “taken out of the loop” and felt her dismissal was imminent. She says Newton “felt in her heart what she was doing was honest and right.” A number of other former employees of the cancer society have substantiated Newton’s claims, but have asked that their names not be published. Dawe says Newton is “an exemployee who is maliciously trying to smear what most people would think is a very needed project in the province.” He questions why Newton is being so persistent with her allegations if no one else sees the issue. When told she says she was fired for bringing this issue up, he challenges her statement. “Well that’s her version of it. I just told you she was a probationary employee who had her probation extended because obviously her performance wasn’t satisfactory. She brought up the allegation after that.” “In the meantime, I would take it quite personally and the organization would take it quite serious if a disgruntled employee’s — a former employee���s — allegation is given merit without some substantiation to it.” email@example.com
Paul Daly/The Independent
Priest cleared of charges
Roman Catholic priest has been cleared of sexual assault charges. Father Wayne Dohey was accused of sexual assault and sexual exploitation while
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serving at Sacred Heart Parish in Marystown. But following a preliminary hearing at provincial court in Grand Bank Nov. 1, Judge Harold Porter said there was not enough evi-
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dence to go to trial and gave Dohey a complete discharge.
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NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5
KING AND HIS COURT
Premier Danny Williams with members of his new cabinet shortly after the official swearing-in ceremony at Government House in St. John’s Oct. 30. Jack Byrne and Tom Osborne were dropped from cabinet and given other roles; Byrne as deputy Speaker of the House and Osborne as deputy chairman of committees. Roger Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is the new Speaker of the House, replacing Harvey Hodder. Paul Daly/The Independent
‘Danny fiddled while Corner Brook burned’ I t put me a little in mind of when Lady Diana was killed. The Queen was up in Scotland at the time on her regular holiday and didn’t shift the royal arse quite quickly enough to suit the saccharine mob heaping flowers against the palace fence back in London. Word got to Her Majesty that she’d better get back quick or there might be a little trembling of the throne. And so it was, also, that King Danny was off on holidays when Corner Brook suffered the sad loss of a paper machine. Why was the Dear Leader off somewhere flicking sand out of his navel while his loyal subjects had been dealt a grievous blow to their lives and paycheques? Pressure grew and back his premiership flew to share his subjects’ pain and be a rock of comfort in a troubled time. Three whole days! Danny Boy made sure everyone knew he cared so much that he’d cut his holidays short by three ... whole ... days! There’s sacrifice for you. Three
A Poke In The Eye
whole days so selflessly and heroically given. Buy a poppy for Danny. But like the Queen, King Danny still gave signs of puzzlement about the fickle nature of the mob. Why did some people think everything was up to him? he mused in public. At the same time, why were some people saying he didn’t delegate more to his ministers? Uneasy, I suppose, lies the head that has worn the chief executive officer’s crown so long and now must adjust to a more democratic way of running the kitchen. It may be a good sign. Williams holds a near dictatorship, but the real world is not like the board room. There are more surprises and sudden squalls off the land.
Before he left on holidays, having shed his life’s blood in the elections, Williams stuck his face on two TV shows with those Newfoundland funny bozos — Rick Mercer and Mark Critch. How human, how unstarchy, what a good sport. A cavorting Danny, a Danny acting the fool, a refreshing other side of grim old Danny. Trouble was, I suppose, those TV hijinks were filmed and recorded ahead of time. Those who lost their jobs at the Corner Brook mill had all the time in the world to sit around and watch Premier Williams cut capers. Danny fiddled while Corner Brook burned. Yes, it is a good sign. To whom much is given, much shall be required. The Newfoundland voter, for whatever reason, gave Williams the keys to the kingdom. (You’d see a bigger hatch in a nest of sparrows than there are members in opposition.) And yet there are already some peeps of indignation. A few think it
Alberta’s loss may be Newfoundland’s gain By Brian Callahan The Independent
ewfoundland businesses may well profit from Alberta’s so-called royalty grab but to what extent remains to be seen, says the province’s Finance minister, Tom Marshall. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach floored that province’s oil industry recently by announcing plans to take more money from the energy sector, although the amount is less than a governmentcommissioned panel recommended earlier this fall. Under the new controversial royalty regime, money collected from energy business could be 20 per cent higher in 2010 than forecast. That could pump an additional $1.4 billion into Alberta coffers. But even that is about half a billion dollars less than the expert review panel wanted. Starting in 2009, royalty rates will increase across the board. In the oil sands, for example, rates will start rising when the price of oil is higher than $55 a barrel, with a new maximum of 40 per cent of a company’s net revenue, up from a fixed rate of 25 per cent. In response, energy companies have threatened to cut billions in spending. Marshall says they could also speed up produc-
tion and shorten the life of some projects in retaliation. “But whether we capitalize on that or not I think is speculative,” Marshall tells The Independent. “Those (royalty) changes are about two years away yet.” SEEK BEST RETURN Energy companies will seek investments around the world and base their decisions on where they can get the best return, he says. “I think Alberta will remain competitive in the global environment. You know, Alberta is still a good place for oil companies to invest. But Newfoundland and Labrador is also a good place to invest.” Marshall says Alberta’s new royalty regime may also change the ranking of various investment opportunities that the companies have been eyeing. “It could result in a delay in some projects in Alberta, or it could possibly mean an acceleration of projects, including here. But whether we’re going to benefit, it’s possible, but very speculative at this point.” firstname.lastname@example.org
odd that there seems to be no notion of an inclination of an idea to open the House of Assembly until ... when? The wind is NNE at 24 knots with the temperature at 21 C and a hazy overcast? For all that, there’s no more than three-quarters of a nest of sparrows in opposition, the common folk seem to feel ingrained twitches that the House of Assembly is more an assembly of dust bunnies, used more as a backdrop for TV announcers recalling when it was last in use, than it is a place where the people can see the beady little eyes of the people’s representatives.
SENSE THE WEIGHT The voters sense the weight of what they’ve committed. They’ve crowned a king and he’d better do as they command. Like Queen Liz on holiday in Scotland, King Danny had better be ready to cut short his holidays at a moment’s notice. We’ve had these kings/premiers
before, the obvious one being too famous to mention. But as time has passed, their bestbefore date gets shorter and shorter. We won’t see a 20-year reign again. In fact, the second four-year term is now usually the steep downhill one. If that’s the one we’re now started on, it will be interesting to see how Danny copes. If his natural personality and his experience before politics (a selfmade man who worships his creator) rears up against a natural turning of the tide, it may be the answer to a maiden’s prayer for poor ink-stained wretches like myself. In that case, all we’ll have to do is simply sit back and record political events adding the very slightest embroidery to produce some wildly hailed satire. An easy dollar. We’ve seen it before and, for the health of the body politic, we’ll see it again. Ray Guy’s column will return on Nov. 30.
6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
Soldiers from 1st battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, silhouetted against a setting sun in Kandahar.
Silvia Pecota/Canadian Forces
Still no life like it: Forces By Brian Callahan The Independent
f news reports and videos of Canadian soldiers returning home from Afghanistan in flagdraped caskets are affecting recruiting efforts, the numbers don’t show it. “We’re certainly not seeing that,” says Capt. Holly Brown, public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces recruiting group at the Department of National Defence (DND) in Ottawa. “What I’m hearing from the various recruiting centres is some people are asking, ‘If I join up, will I have to go to Afghanistan?’ But we’re also seeing a lot of people who are asking, ‘Am I going to get to go?’” With Remembrance Day on the horizon, Brown says interest in joining the Canadian Forces is as high as ever. The lure of good pay, free education and guaranteed employment continues to entice young men and women, Brown tells The Independent. “But don’t underestimate the patriotism of young Canadians, either. There’s also the desire to
go out into the world and make a difference.” The Canadian Forces does not keep hard statistics on the numbers of deployed soldiers from a particular region of the country. In fact, the military does not have a statistics division at all, so it’s impossible to know how many Newfoundlanders are currently overseas. But DND does keep an eye on recruiting numbers, which Brown says have remained constant or increased in the past few years. The numbers show roughly 200 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians continue to enrol each year — 211 last year, 205 in 2005-06 and 208 in 2004-05, with an average age of 24. Nova Scotia, by comparison, saw 608,673 and 507 enroll for the same years. Ontario, which usually leads the country, contributed 2,354 recruits last year and 1,930 the year before that. Recently, the military has used large advertising signs with fluorescent lettering to attract reserves in some smaller Newfoundland communities, but it’s not clear how successful the campaign has been. It remains a fact, Brown says, that areas of high
unemployment traditionally see the most recruits. But she says such regions are not specifically targeted for recruiting full-time soldiers or reserves. “There’s certainly no targeting on our part in particular areas. We don’t concentrate our recruiting efforts in an area due to its economic situation, that’s for sure. And our strategies are the same across the board, whether it’s in Newfoundland or Ontario or B.C.” Brown also notes not everyone is shipped off to Afghanistan or other war-torn, unstable nations or “theatres,” in military lingo. “It concerns us whenever we see in the media or through the public that when people think of the Forces they tend to think just Afghanistan or just war. There’s so much more to the Forces. That’s just so short-sighted,” Brown says. “We understand it’s in the forefront of the public’s mind. And so it seems like most of the time, when you hear about the Forces, it’s usually about Afghanistan. Yes, it’s horrible … the casualties there. But when you look at the size of the Forces, and the different types of operations and occupations, it’s certainly far from it to say that if you join the Forces you’re going overseas to get
killed.” Seventy-one Canadians have lost their lives in Afghanistan since the country joined the NATO presence there in 2002. Seven were Newfoundlanders. Brown says that’s significant but not a large number “when you look at the thousands that are rotated through there.” As to why the majority of people are joining, “I think there are as many motivations as there are people joining.” Salaries and benefits are likely at the top of the list, though. On average, a regular force (full-time) officer’s pay starts at $42,000, which increases to $66,000 after five years. A reserve force (part-time) officer receives $92 per day which increases to $153 per day after two years. There are also health and pension benefits offered. “Honestly? It’s never been a better time to join the Forces,” Brown says. “There’s just so much being offered these days.” email@example.com
Arena emergency Rural stadiums aging, northeast Avalon looks for more facilities By Ivan Morgan The Independent
he state of the province’s arenas is reaching an emergency situation, with aging facilities and declining clientele, says the president of the province’s recreation association. “It’s a bit of both, the infrastructures are crumbling, and the use of those infrastructures are becoming less and less each year,” Todd Mercer, the president of Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador, tells The Independent. He says the problem is a national one, with a recent report stating a nationwide $30-billion deficit on recreation infrastructure. He says the problem is easily in excess of $30 million in Newfoundland and Labrador, a sum he says would only fix the things required to keep province’s arenas operating. Most of the province’s arenas were built in the 1970s, says Mercer, and are in need of repair or replacement. He uses the example of the arena in Springdale, where he is the town’s recreation director. “Our equipment has been rebuilt and re-fixed so many times now it’s almost impossible to find parts for half these things,” he says. A full upgrade for the local arena would cost as much as $1.6 million, which Springdale, a small community of 2,600, cannot afford without provincial government help. In the past few years, says Mercer, the provincial government has been offering 80-20 per cent financing deals for towns to upgrade existing or build new facilities. St. Anthony is building a new stadium for $5 million to $6 million, he says, while Lewisporte has chosen to renovate at a cost of $4 million. Lewisporte town manager Perry Pond says his facility has run into trouble on that renovation. The town requested $2.3 million in funding for the upgrade, and the lowest tender came back at $5.5 million, stopping renovations in their tracks. He says he expects an answer from government “any day” on assistance to overcome
the shortfall. Nearby Bishop’s Falls is not faring any better. Town clerk Toni Elliott says the breakdown of their stadium’s “chiller” means they cannot make ice. The town has requested 100 per cent funding from the government — $100,000 to get the arena up and running. Mercer says his facility in Springdale can draw on other communities to sustain it, but he says government and communities are going to have to look at regional facilities in the face of declining populations. He says some of these facilities already exist, but it’s a matter of smaller communities realizing they’re going to abandon their local rinks and drive 20 minutes or a half hour to get to their hockey games. “And until you’re forced to that point, why would you want to?” Craig Tulk, executive director of Hockey Newfoundland, says the greater St. John’s area is facing the opposite problem, with growing pressure for ice time. He says Kelligrews, with the largest minor hockey membership in the province — and growing — is going to need a second facility. The towns on the Northeast Avalon announced plans in February for a new $6.5million arena, with $4.9 million from the provincial government. Elliott says it’s tough on the local kids of Bishop’s Falls when the arena is out of commission. She says young people look forward to hockey, figure skating and other rink activities. Mercer agrees, saying the situation is particularly hard on young people. He says Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the highest rates of obesity in Canada, and a closed arena removes another outlet for physical activity. As well, he says, once young people miss a year, it’s hard to get them back the next, because they find some other activity or they decide they aren’t interested in arena sports. “And that’s a problem.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Barry plant to close
or the second time in four months, the Barry Group has announced the closure of a Newfoundland fish plant. About 200 workers at the crab plant in Trouty, Trinity Bay were told Oct. 31 their plant is closing, a shock to the vast majority of employees who work there yet commute from as far away as Bonavista, about an hour’s drive. The plant had processed more than two million kilograms of crab last year.
Reports say the workers will be offered jobs at other Barry plants, but it’s not clear if everyone will be taken care of, or where they would have to move. Corner Brook-based Barry Group closed its Port aux Basques plant in July, throwing 110 people out of work. The company blamed the high Canadian dollar for its decision. — Brian Callahan
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7
‘What’s the plan for the Waterford?’ From page 1 touch with The Independent to share their own frustrations. None wanted to be named. A 37-year-old woman who spent seven weeks in the Waterford last year read from a 10-page letter she wrote to management, detailing her experiences, which ranged from being hit on by a male patient — and subsequently feeling unsafe — to seeing patients fall asleep on their beds, fully clothed, with no more attention paid to them all night. This former patient, who has an undiagnosed neurological disease, says she was “the youngest woman ever to be placed in that geriatric ward.” Being “more lucid” than those around her, she says she was often horrified and saddened by what she saw. “Some patients were only bathed once a week … one night, I wanted a shower and waited hours for someone to come help me, but they never did — and they won’t let us do it ourselves. “You have to ask for a drink, and it’s not always easy to get someone to help you … there’s no activities, nothing to do but watch TV and wait for meals.” A 31-year-old current patient, diagnosed with schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, called to offer kudos for the medical treatment he was receiving and the staff he sees every day. Although he’s been in better facilities across the country, he says he’s never felt closer to healthy. “But the building, yes, I have to agree with everything that’s been said,” he told The Independent. “There’s changes that should be made.” Another woman, a cousin of a patient, admitted she had trouble sleeping at night, knowing a family member was staying in a “dingy” bed in a room with five others and nowhere to go to get away from often violent outbursts of others. Chaulk says there’s a major review underway of hospital needs in St. John’s, but any results are years away from reality. “What do we do in the meantime to make it better?” he asks. “I think it’s only fair that some improvements be made until the larger hospital planning is complete.” The privacy issue is first and foremost in Chaulk’s mind. “When you’re so ill you get admitted to the Waterford, to me it would only seem natural you would want time away from the stresses and pressured that other people are dealing with, so you would have some private spaces and quiet time,” he says. “Six-bed rooms can become seven and can become eight, and I’ve heard that from a number
of people … Even if you got it down to four-bed rooms, there would be some acknowledgement of people’s need for privacy … you could take an ICU approach, have a few people in a room, sectioned off, and as they get well, move them to rooms with a little more privacy, actually some peace and quiet.” He’d like to see some sort of air conditioning in the building, “not rocket science, in this day and age.” A year after his media tour of the Waterford, late last summer, Chaulk received a call from the mother of a patient, “not impressed by the conditions at all.” That spurred him back into action. “I thought, you know, I’ve been brewing over this for a while, there’s been no action since the tour, there’s been no overture from Eastern Health. I don’t want to point fingers, I want to work with someone who can help us make changes.” So Chaulk and members of his board recently had a meeting with members of the board of Eastern Health. At that meeting it was agreed that Chaulk would participate in the development of the new forensic services unit. He’s eagerly awaiting a follow-up sit-down with senior management. “What’s the plan for the Waterford? We have to stop pretending that it’s not there and these things are going to go away. “They’re only going to go away if we get together and do something about it.” Chaulk envisions a new tertiary level, or specialized, mental health centre for the province, with a limited number of beds to serve the most complex mental health services. That would be complemented by more community-based resources and support. That, too, is years away. For now, the delivery of mental health care still very much relies on the Waterford. Chaulk makes it clear his concerns focus on the hospital itself — not the treatments going on there. “I haven’t received any complaints about patient care,” he says. “It’s more the physical plant and why have we as a community and a province allowed this to be this way.” For that, he blames ingrained attitudes in society and government. “It is stigma, over the years, that has played a role in the Waterford remaining as it is,” he says. “Historically in this country, mental health has been lower down the priority ladder. There’s a tendency not to understand the nature of the illness, the degree of disability that can come from them, and the growing evidence that people can recover.” email@example.com
Province balks at one per cent cut By Brian Callahan The Independent
he Newfoundland government is not prepared to follow Ottawa’s lead and cut one per cent from its share of the harmonized sales tax, Finance Minister Tom Marshall says. “Many of the private-sector economists and think tanks … it’s not unanimous, but it’s virtually unanimous that cutting the GST is the least effective means of improving productivity and competitiveness in the economy,” Marshall tells The Independent. “They recommend personal and corporate income tax cuts instead.” Marshall notes that was the avenue of choice for the province in this year’s budget, following an indepth review of the tax system with representatives of labour and business. “We thought the priority was personal income tax, so we gave the largest tax cut in the province’s history,” he says. “Those cuts were sustainable and responsible and we put money back in people’s pockets. There was relief for all taxpayers across the board, particularly at the low income end. We removed a lot of low income people from the tax roll.” The strategy will almost immediately help people pay bills and, in turn, make the province’s economy more competitive and help attract and retain skilled workers, Marshall says, noting the provincial tax cut will be “fully annualized” as of Jan. 1. “We felt that was the way to do that … that it would have the biggest impact.” The same principle is being applied to the suggestion of matching the one per cent reduction in the GST, he says. The seven per cent GST was instituted in January 1991 and combined with the sales taxes of three Atlantic provinces — Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — in April 1997 to cre-
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Oct. 30 a one percent cut in the GST effective Jan. 1, 2008. Paul Daly/The Independent
ate a 15 per cent joint federal-provincial harmonized sales tax (HST). Ottawa has since reduced the GST to five per cent while Newfoundland’s share remains at eight per cent for a total HST of 13 per cent. Marshall says the province will again review taxing ahead of the spring 2008 budget, but it will likely be status quo at least until then. He noted a one per cent cut translates into a loss of about $80 million for the province. “If we were to cut our share of the HST by one per cent, we would forego about that much in revenue. Ottawa is lowering taxes. I’m a great believer in taking government’s hand out of people’s pockets. “The debate is over how you do that? Does the province also intend to lower its part of HST? There is no obligation (to do so).” firstname.lastname@example.org
Baby steps toward new prison By Brian Callahan The Independent
hey have yet to physically meet, but a committee of union and government officials will tour federal prisons across Canada later this month to determine what type of correctional facility would best suit this province. That’s assuming Ottawa agrees to build a new one. No one argues against the need for a new prison for Newfoundland and Labrador. Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, nearing its 150th birthday, is plagued by outdated facilities, overcrowding and lack of space for modern programming. Add to that the fact the prison regularly houses both federal and provincial inmates, and the old penitentiary can make its own case for replacement. NAPE president Carol Furlong is willing to advance the cause just the same. “We’re very pleased the employer has involved the union and staff in having a say in the new facility,” Furlong tells The Independent, adding the committee will meet for the first time in the next two weeks, prior to the tour. “They’re the ones on the front lines … and have the best knowledge of its needs. This will be a facility that houses both federal and provincial inmates. “Our understanding is that there will be a new prison here. Right now, (the penitentiary) houses both types of inmates. We’re the only province where provincial and federal inmates are under one roof.” Furlong acknowledges serious discussions have yet to take place with the federal or provincial ministers of Justice. She admits there have been no promises from
the federal government. Tom Marshall, who was the province’s Justice minister until January 2007, says he discussed the issue with federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in 2006. “When I was there, I had discussions with him on the idea that we could look at possibly costsharing a new prison,” Marshall tells The Independent. “He indicated he was prepared to explore options. And that’s where it was when I left.” Marshall handed over the Justice reins to Tom Osborne, who has since been replaced in the portfolio by Jerome Kennedy. Neither could be reached for comment before The Independent’s deadline. “We were planning to meet with (Osborne), but now we’ll be contacting (Kennedy) in the very near future,” Furlong says. Her Majesty’s Penitentiary was built in 1859 and renovated in 1945, 1981 and 1994. It houses primarily medium and maximum security male prisoners. According to the provincial government website, all admissions from the Avalon Peninsula, high security male inmates, long-term remands and those awaiting transfer to a federal penitentiary are housed at the prison. Furlong says she understood province officials were in discussions with Ottawa on the issue. “There are federal inmates at this prison and the province is housing those inmates for the federal system. So there has to be some recognition by Ottawa … that they have to accept some of the responsibility for the inmates who are here. “Obviously they have a responsibility to honour that in some form.” email@example.com
8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
The anti-arse kissers W
ho could blame Beth Marshall for being out of the country these days after being slapped in the face by the boss? I take that back, slapped may be a bit harsh. Put in her place might be a better way to put it — or snubbed. Or passed over. Beth most definitely found herself a shade red in the face; I’m comfortable saying that. Take this to the bank: Danny’s still pissed at her. Which is a lesson to the shiny new cabinet — don’t buck the boss. (I’ll come back to that point.) Why else would the premier leave one of his best players — a potential cleanup hitter — off his game-day roster? He released his cabinet lineup this week and Beth finds herself back in the dugout with the rest of the PC benchwarmers, a mostly dispensable bunch. Beth’s province could do with her competence; Danny can do without. What a sin. What a waste. What the hell is Danny thinking? (I’ll venture back here too in a moment.) And Beth was being so good lately. The Independent noted in midSeptember how there was no mention of Danny Williams on Marshall’s campaign signs. The news was notable because of Beth’s history with the premier. The MHA for Topsail district
Fighting Newfoundlander resigned from cabinet in September 2004 over Danny’s “management style.” Not including the boss was a statement in itself. “Frig Danny and the RV he rode in on,” the signs seemed to say. But The Independent apparently didn’t get the whole story. Beth’s campaign manager telephoned the newspaper to say the placards in question were old ones. In fact, Beth’s new campaign signs sported a picture of Beth and Danny with their arms wrapped around each other. The picture “wasn’t even posed,” the campaign manager pointed out. That was real love and affection beaming from their joyous faces, is how I put it at the time. But if the picture was a true reflection of the current state of affairs — bruised and battered but moved on — why isn’t Beth in cabinet today? She and the premier must still be on the outs. The picture was probably
posed after all, at least on the premier’s part. Ever the anti-arse kisser, Beth doesn’t do herself any favours. Beth told The Independent back in January that she had definitely made the right decision by resigning from Danny’s cabinet. She stepped down as Health minister after the premier intervened to settle a strike by the Victorian Order of Nurses in Corner Brook (which falls in the premier’s district of Humber West). “I can tell you this: at the time I thought I had made the right decision, and in retrospect I definitely made the right decision.” Beth told him. Danny didn’t take it well. He’s not over it yet. Beth made the comment after being asked about cracks that were appearing in the Tory caucus. Loyola Sullivan, Danny’s best buddy, walked away from politics and their friendship. Danny started tearing public strips off Harvey Hodder, the Speaker. John Hickey was up to his arse in auditor general trouble. Ed Byrne resigned in shame. Kathie Goudie was shamed. Those were big cracks — Beth being one of them. I saw the non-posed campaign photo of her and Danny as a sign of a healed wound. A political hand extended, and
grasped. I was so convinced of a mended fence that four editions ago, in this very column space, I predicted Beth would be invited back into cabinet. I was wrong. I either gave Danny too much credit in terms of letting stuff go or the premier valued Beth less in terms of ministerial material than the 17 ministers he ended up picking. No way, that could never happen — Beth’s the best. (Sadly, Tom Osborne apparently isn’t. It’s a long hard fall from Health to deputy chair of committees. Tom didn’t do himself any favours either by mentioning Loyola Hearn — the big boss’s evil nemesis — is his good bud.) I venture to predict Beth won’t return to cabinet until she finds a way to sidestep the premier’s slap and kiss his ring. A pleasant placard pic doesn’t cut it. She’s going to have to get serious about sucking up to get back in the boss’s good books. Beth Marshall wasn’t the only prediction I got wrong. Bob Ridgley reclaimed his seat of St. John’s North, I got that part right, but he doesn’t “remain a nobody.” Not at all — Ridgley was named to the esteemed post of parliamentary assistant to the premier. Congratulations Bob on the somebody status. You’ve exceeded
expectations. I was on the money in predicting Townie lawyer Jerome Kennedy would be named Justice minister and Attorney General. I got that one right. (Only time will tell whether the marriage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will make it.) Beth and Jerome have one thing in common in that they stand on their own two feet — anti-arse kissers both. Care to bet on how long Jerome lasts in cabinet? He told the TV cameras this week he plans to change his forward, uncompromising nature, but I don’t see that happening. I certainly hope it doesn’t. Danny needs to be challenged once in a while, to keep him honest and off the power trip. He needs to relax and let his cabinet ministers do more than smile for the cameras. He should refrain from sacrificing them on the altar of his ego. It’s hard to read what the premier’s thinking half the time. He’s mad a lot, that’s fair to say, and only seems to crack a smile when reminded to do so. The stress of being the big boss must be wicked, but there’s no need for him to shoulder the entire load by himself. That’s what cabinets are for. That what people like Beth Marshall are for. Shame not to use them. firstname.lastname@example.org
Roads aren’t fit in ‘God’s country’ Dear editor, I’m writing today with both good and bad news. The good news is I moved back (finally) to Newfoundland this month after a sixyear stint living in the U.S.A. and Ontario. I even managed to convince my mainland born and bred girlfriend to move back to this rock with me. For anyone who is living away, or has in the past, I don’t need to tell you how great it is to be back home. We both feel very confident that we’ll be able to “make a go of it” here in God’s country, and that we are in the right place at the right time. Now for the bad news — what in the hell is going on with the roads in the St. John’s metro region? It seems as though every second road has random strips of payment torn out and left, most without warning signs, for weeks on end before repair. On one hand, it’s good to see there is some
level of road repair going on, but is there any method to the city’s madness? Can the holes be re-paved on each road as they are being taken out? Can the city actually place bump signs in front of the holes? Is it possible to work night shifts for road repair when traffic flow is at its lowest? To add insult to injury, it seems like some of the holes that have been filled in have left the roads in worse shape than before the city tampered with them. I welcome anyone from city services to enlighten me, and the rest of the capital city’s frustrated drivers, on their strategy (or lack thereof) for road repair in the city. As far I can see they seem about as organized as a child’s lemonade stand. John Feltham (Speaking on behalf of my continuously injured car), St. John’s
When federal funds flow NLers forget their woes Dear editor, There was nothing in the federal throne speech to ease the burden on seniors, such as a break from the high price of medications, home heating and health care. I also noticed not much in there for youth. To further my disgust — expanding Canada’s role in Afghanistan, ignoring the Kyoto Accord, strengthening Canada’s sovereignty in the world (starting with mapping the arctic seabed), what a farce! Try more fishery patrols. Real action on the nose and tail of our Grand Banks would be a better starting point for Canadian sovereignty. Stephen Harper realizes the Liberal party is not going to oppose anything he throws out there. Harper could demand all Liberals stand on one leg and squawk like chickens and get it at this point. Stéphane Dion should have challenged the prime minister on a lot of the components of the Governor General’s bedside story, better known as the throne speech. Dion would have gained a lot more respect from Canadians if he stood up to the fluff speech. Word has it that the
Liberals say they are not ready for an election. But then just wait another few months when Harper starts throwing around money like it’s growing on trees. Then the Liberals will see how ready they are. Take our local MPs, Fabian Manning and Loyola Hearn. You will not have to look far to see federal money peppered around their ridings. People have short memories — when the money flows they forget their woes. The longer the Conservatives are in power the more entrenched they become. So Dion, a word from a very concerned Canadian, the next time this Harper bully picks a fight and throws some arrogant, ridiculous suggestion at you and your party, don’t stand there and take it like a victim. Roll up your sleeves and ask him to step inside the election ring. So what if you lose the fight? Harper will think twice when he knows he will be challenged, and you will have won a much bigger prize — the respect and admiration of the people for making a stand. Ed Dowden, Bay Bulls
Newfoundland has ‘chance of a lifetime’ to secure Alberta jobs Dear editor, As I read about the dispute between Alberta and the oil companies over oil royalties I can’t help but agree with both sides of the argument. On one hand, I agree with the government’s argument that they need money for infrastructure to support the flood of people showing up in the western province. Oil companies are making untold fortunes, and an extra $1.4 billion into the government’s pockets from the giant money-making machines isn’t going to break them. Having said that, I can also see the oil company’s argument that they invest a large chunk of money back in the province, creating very high-paying jobs. In any event, the oil captains are not amused at this recent demand for more cash. They advised they will be moving a lot of their business outside Alberta. The oil companies say they would rather fly people in and out from their home province than pay extra royalties to government. This is where the Newfoundland and Labrador government should step in. Danny Williams should pounce on this opportunity. The
Alberta royalty regime is not going to take effect until at least another year or so. This presents a great opening for our government to advertise us as a place to do business. Newfoundland has the chance of a lifetime to offer the Alberta oil companies tax relief, and a cheaper place to rent office space. Also, the cost of living here is a lot easier on the pocket book. For example, if a warehouse manager is making $65,000 in Alberta, if his company sets up shop here maybe the same manager could be paid slightly less. All involved would win. Oil companies would save on taxes, as well as wages and the rental of office and warehouse space. Newfoundlanders would win because we would have a much higher pay rate than normal. These days our government is bent on promoting us as the choice destination for tourism. Why not put the same energy into promoting us as the choice destination for Alberta oil jobs, because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow other provinces will seize this golden opportunity. Roger Linehan, Goulds
AN INDEPENDENT VOICE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
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Drop ‘heinous’ pictures of dead moose Dear editor, I believe our moose population (an estimated 120,000 animals) has to be culled. In light of the carnage these huge 700-800 pound animals cause on our highways, the sooner the better. However, I think The Independent and other print media should drop those heinous photos of slaughtered moose. Two of them appeared this week — one in The Independent, and one in the other weekend paper. Both photos, taken by heavily equipped hunters, showed the carnage of the obvious brutal kill of these magnificent but dangerous animals. A photo that accompanied Paul Smith’s column in the Oct. 26 edition
featured the heinous picture of the carcass of a dead moose stuffed into the back of one of those large and powerful quad machines. It graphically showed the moose’s hind legs cut off at the knees (most likely its head was also removed, although that was not clear) and a hip and leg mercilessly thrown onto the turf to the right of the hunter. In the other weekend paper, a dead moose’s head and neck (which obviously was hacked off by what appears to be a large guillotine-type axe) was graphically pictured propped up on an old log and held by its antler by the gun-toting hunter. One might argue that I should be pleased that at least two more of these
beasts have been removed from our forests — perhaps helping to avoid horrific accidents like the recent one on the Outer Ring road in St. John’s. While I agree with deleting them, I wish that what these men consider “a sport” would be kept to themselves deep in the natural environs of Newfoundland and Labrador. And I wish they would leave the heinous pictures of their kill for their souvenir picture albums. I hope too, Mr. Editor, that your quality weekly paper will decide to file those types of horribly graphic photos of dead moose into the garbage bucket. Bill Westcott, Clarke’s Beach
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9
Smoke in my soul T
here are smells so evocative they can alter your mood, change your outlook and lift your spirits in an instant. No smell does that for me more than wood smoke. The smell of wood smoke at dusk on a cold fall day, drifting through the little town I live in, fills me with peace. Corny but true. The simple smell of burning spruce calms me like nothing else. To me it is a fundamental of life, a true perfume. I don’t like the heat, I like the cold. I get in trouble for this but I don’t like summer when it’s really hot — especially in the evenings. I love the coming of fall and the cooler temperatures. I love the cold. I love warming up. I love fire. I am a creature of the North. To me, wood smoke is the smell of warmth, of day’s end, of family home for the evening, of people getting together. It’s the smell of security, of relaxation, of comfort. This incense can stir memories so clear they take my breath away. The
Rant & Reason faintest whiff draws a moment from the past — burning leaves with my grandparent’s gardener as a little boy, a beach fire on a summer evening when I was a teenager, a long ago campfire with my rambunctious cub troop. The acrid smell of burnt grass recalls a fire we accidentally set when we were kids, reminding me how big an acre seems when you’re lying to the cops. My idea of a day well spent is lighting a big fire in the woods. Like so many of my generation, my early working life was tainted with unemployment. Days like that saved my sanity. I love my clothes when they are full of the smell of wood smoke. Why doesn’t someone sell a “snotty var” scented fabric softener? I’d buy a
case. How odd when someone says your clothes “stink” of wood smoke. Says who? It’s a weird society that demands we render our homes utterly antiseptic, and then sells us manufactured chemical smells. Whether in a bottle or a dryer sheet, a spray can or a plugin contraption, we are told these are the smells we want. In an age where every human experience is considered a medical condition, we have “aromatherapy” to make us feel better. Smells as the enemy. Odours as products. What a load. Smells are essential to the soul, and no one smell more so to me than burning wood. I cannot imagine a home without fire and its scents — smoke, sap, ash. There are hundreds of variations. The sweet, sharp smell of birch smoke in the deep cold of a still winter’s night takes me back to a childhood Christmas. The oily smell of burning coal mixed with wood, once the smell of
St. John’s, on a dark fall day brings me out of the cold rain to a hot cup of tea and a piece of shortbread in a small, warm parlour overlooking the wet street. For a guy who quit smoking 15 years ago, smoke is so important to me. My favourite drinks are Scotch, with a hint of peat smoke, and a strong Chinese tea called lapsang souchong, which is cured with smoke. I’d still smoke cigars if I wasn’t afraid of a nicotine relapse (I couldn’t face quitting again), but I am glad for those around me who do smoke them. How I love the smell. I have bought cigars and left them burning in the ashtray just for the aroma. I have a theory, wholly untested, that the 250,000 years we spent as hunter-gatherers living together in the primal forest before civilization has given us a genetic predilection for fire. For a quarter of a million years it was the centre of our little universe. We need it. Fire is in our DNA. Sadly, many of us have replaced the flicker
of the embers for that of the TV. Funny, as there’s plenty to be learned about oneself from an evening gazing into a fire. During a fierce February blizzard several years back, the power out, I sat in front of my glowing woodstove sipping tea and thinking myself very clever to be safe and warm, alone with my dogs, my thoughts and the faint smell of wood smoke. For most of us fate dictates the last thing we will ever smell will be the industrial cleaner hospitals use. Please God that’s not mine. I hope for the faint tang of spruce smoke in the cold air when I breathe my last. P.S. To regular readers — Mea maxima culpa. Last week I incorrectly referred to the contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in the United States as Obama Barack. The man’s name is Barack Obama. I seem to have a problem with this, having to go back again to check which was the right way while writing this. firstname.lastname@example.org
YOURVOICE Relation of people and state always a problem in Newfoundland Dear editor, I would like to correct some errors in the position that Ivan Morgan attributes to me in his article, What are we? in the Oct. 26 edition of The Independent. I certainly did not mean to endorse an idea like “a true people” and complain that it failed to emerge in Newfoundland. What I tried to convey to him in our phone conversation is that the relation of people and state has always been a political problem here. In the very early days of settlement, civil institutions and a public sphere were restricted. This is what historians sometimes refer to as “retarded colonization.” It is not my phrase, as Morgan seems to suggest. When a population did emerge, the British complained the people were like savages and banditti because they had lived without a state for so long. When the Amulree Commission investigated our financial troubles in the 1930s, they concluded that these originated from deeper moral problems that rendered the people unfit to rule themselves and recommended the suspension of the state and a program of civil re-education.
A step toward universal pharmacare Dear editor, Health consumers received some good news after the Oct. 9 election when the province announced a further expansion of provincial drug plan benefits to cover individuals and families making $150,000 and less and who have no other private or public drug coverage. This is certainly a big step forward toward universal pharmacare, and a clear example of where pharmacare advocates can and do make a difference. Health Minister Ross Wiseman did not favour one health consumer group over another. Everybody — no matter if they have diabetes, mental illness, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, MS, inflammatory bowel disease or any other condition/disability — can receive partial coverage if their income falls below the new limits. It is long overdue. There’s still lots of work for pharmacare advocates. We have to press the governments to implement a national drug formulary so all Canadians have access to the same medications. Then there’s out-of-province drug expenses. Will this province follow the lead of provinces like Manitoba and Alberta and cover drug expenses when people travel outside the province? There is a question concerning medical devices such as hearing aids, diabetic and respiratory supplies, oxygen and various prosthetic devices. Will some or all of them be covered by our provincial drug plan or will they be covered under another specialized health-care program? Edward Sawdon, St. John’s
In 1949, the people exercised their sovereignty by dissolving their state. In the 1950s the Smallwood regime tried to convince us that we could finally become a people by dissolving ourselves in the Canadian melting pot. In the 1970s, dissatisfaction with this led many to believe that what made us a people would never be found in Canada but had already been achieved in the pre-Confederation past. Now there is once again a growing sense that we are unable to be a people in the Canadian state. My point was that the relation of state and people has always been a problem in Newfoundland. It is either something that is yet to be achieved or resides in a no-longer-accessible past. Rather than presenting this as some kind of failing on our part, I was suggesting that it has allowed us a healthy skepticism toward the very idea of “the people” as a collective happily representing itself in a state. Stephen Crocker, St. John’s
Every day three more people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Together, we can stop it. 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians live with MS, one of the highest rates in the world.
MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young Canadians today, and its effects last a lifetime. Women are three times more likely than men to develop the disease. There are treatments, but no cure for MS - yet.
Together, we will end MS.
7e love celebrations too.
‘Somewhat amused’ Editor’s note: The following letter was printed in the Oct. 27 edition of The Globe and Mail, with a copy forwarded to The Independent. Dear editor, I was somewhat amused by your Oct. 26 editorial, Premier (Ed) Stelmach’s fair call, to substantially increase Alberta’s share of oil rev-
enues. When Premier Danny Williams looked for a fair share of oil revenues for our province your editorial compared him to the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. I am sure you will have no difficulty rationalizing these two positions for your readers. Burford Ploughman, St. John’s
‘He was a giant’ Dear editor, Re: Bailey fought for his town, an article by Pam Pardy Ghent in the Oct. 26 edition of The Independent. To quote Kathy Dunderdale, “He was a wonderful man.” That he was, that he was. We came to know Lou Bailey when he lived in Coley’s Point, and was a partner in West Coast Marine Electronics. My husband worked with Lou, and he lived with us for a short time. Lou hated what he called the “office stuff.” His joy was out on the road doing his job. Many a longliner he wired in Port-de-Grave, but his work place was the whole province. He was so good at his job that he was in demand everywhere. He might be in Port aux Choix in the morning, and on a helicopter to
Labrador in the afternoon. Physically, Lou was a small man, short and slight of build. At that time, 30 years ago, he had long hair, a full salt-and-pepper beard, twinkling eyes, and the warmest, sweetest smile you ever saw. A “hippie” marine electronics specialist — who would ever guess? But Lou was only small physically. In all the ways that count, he was a giant. He was a generous, compassionate, kind, upright, and decent man. Our whole family was shocked and saddened to hear of Lou’s passing. We have lost someone that we had loved as a brother and a friend. Our sincere condolences to Lou’s wife, his family, and the people of the Town of Burin. We will all miss him. Ada Bradbury, Upper Island Cove
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 11
Rosa, Beachy Cove
Craig, Quidi Vidi Gut.
Award-winning photographer Sheilagh O’Leary will debut her first book, Human Natured, Nov. 8 in St. John’s. Reporter Mandy Cook visited with the artist for an intimate account of how the personalized and deeply spiritual collection of Newfoundland nudes came into being.
Diana, Savage Creek
s a fierce denizen of the island of Newfoundland, exposed as it is to the wind and wet of the heaving North Atlantic, photographer Sheilagh O’Leary is forever fascinated by the wild spaces in which she operates and the people who dare to venture there with her, camera in hand. For the past 17 years, O’Leary has pushed into the relatively unexplored
territory of photographing the Newfoundland nude. Integrating humans and nature in black and white has become her overriding artistic purpose in a place whose sparse landscape, as she writes in the introduction of her book, forces us all out into the open. This openness is at the heart of every photograph found inside the pages of the book, pleasingly square like the medium-sized format of the negatives O’Leary produces with her old-school
Bronica 645 manual camera. In order to distill an emotional moment in time and immortalize it in film, a trust must be built between shooter and subject. “To me, that’s the ultimate act, is leaving yourself open to exposure,” she says. “If you don’t take those chances, then we’re just not living this life … I think that’s my philosophy in general, weaved in and out of my personal life and that’s how it manifests in a con-
Andrew, Witless Bay Barrens
crete way in an art form. I need to take those chances. The people who have modelled for me needed to take those chances too.” Bodies of various shapes, sizes, ages and stages of development appear, cradled by the crevice of a rock, balanced on the seam of a sand dune, curled up like a baby with beach rocks superimposed over the skin, or reclining, heavily pregnant, on a bed. The images have been gathered since the beginning of
O’Leary’s photographic career, a visual record of her body of work and evolving eye. The collection of images is not just about artistic pursuit, she says, but the connections born and cemented during the process — and the trust necessary from both sides to get there. “I actually feel more vulnerable when I’m shooting because I really respect the fact the person is doing it,” she says. “I feel their vulnerability. I take that on. Because in order for me to
be able to get what I get from the models, I have to leave myself open too.” To fully appreciate what she asks of her subjects, O’Leary composed a series of self-portraits — two of which appear in the book, one layered with ragged rock transparencies. Laughing that she’s still in control of the final edit, she says putting herself on the other side of the lens allowed her valuable insight into the emotionally sensitive process of photographing the nude.
Calling it a “freeing” experience, she says it was funny, too. “It was more comical than anything. I had a self-timer, so I used to run like hell.” At the centre of O’Leary’s photographs is her fixation on the psychological aspect of human nature and the spiritual soul within the physical form. An avowed people-watcher, it is not the perceived attractiveness of an individual she is compelled by — it is the
strength of the character inside the body, the spark behind the eyes. “It’s just what carries us around, but it is not what makes up who we are.” Sheilagh O’Leary will launch Human Natured at Bianca’s, Water Street, St. John’s, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. She will also hold book launches in Toronto and Iceland in the coming months. email@example.com
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
12 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
‘It feels very empty’ Book chronicling Matthew Churchill’s life and death — and the devastating aftermath — to be released By Brian Callahan The Independent MATTHEW CHURCHILL 1989-2005
wo-and-a-half years after their only child was struck and killed on the Bauline Line by a hit-and-run driver, a book chronicling the resulting upheaval and devastation in Rod and Desma Churchill’s lives is due to be launched in St. John’s. Matthew Churchill’s mom won’t be there, however. And Rod may attend briefly, but only to pick up a copy. “We’ve sort of been advised not to attend but I may go, just to get our own copy of the book,” Churchill tells The Independent. “I’ll talk to our lawyer just to see if I should put in a presence.” The launch of Tom Badcock’s book, Grieving Hearts Talk: The Matthew R. Churchill Story, is set for 2-4 p.m. on Nov. 3 at The Hub on Merrymeeting Road in St. John’s. Rod Churchill says working with the author was both therapeutic and traumatic. He’s satisfied with the final product. “It opens wounds, obviously,” says Churchill. “We had to pour our hearts out every time we got together to work on it. I can’t remember how many meetings we had with Tom, but that was tough. There was more than one night that he left dabbin’ his own eyes.” Matthew was 15 when he died on March 28, 2005. He was with one of his best
friends, Greg Thorne, when he was struck by a car driven by Robert Parsons. After an exhaustive court trial, Parsons was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident where he knew, or should have known, someone was seriously injured or killed. Parsons served less than six months in jail and is now free on probation.
“It’s tough seeing everybody else moving on.” Rod Churchill Churchill says it’s difficult to see others moving on with their life while he and Desma struggle day to day. “We’re still sort of stuck in that night (of March 28, 2005),” says Churchill, a longtime St. John’s minor hockey coach and board member. “It’s tough seeing everybody else moving on. This year I’m coaching some of Matthew’s best friends in hockey. A lot of those kids — and Matthew — would’ve finished playing midget last year. A lot of them, I had them up on the ice the other night. They’re juvenile age now. They were there talking about their graduations and going to work, going to MUN … “Matthew should be doing those things,
too.” Churchill says his wife still has difficulty getting through each day. “I found I’ve carried Desma since Day 1. She’s still struggling like you wouldn’t believe. She’s had to go on medication she never wanted to take, just to get through the day … from the time she wakes till it’s time to go back to bed at night.” Rod, ironically, finds some comfort in his job. “One of us still has to work. And I find it is a big stress reliever for me,” says Churchill, a professional geoscientist who works as a lands and operations manager for Altius Minerals. “For most people work causes stress. But when you compare my personal stress with my professional stress, it’s no contest.” Churchill says he and Desma discussed having another child, and even moving into another house, but there are good reasons why they have done neither. “We discussed (another child) within a couple of months of Matthew’s passing, actually. But I think initially it was a reflex action, where suddenly we never had a child to parent any more,” he says, adding Matthew was delivered by caesarian section and another difficult child birth cannot be ruled out. “And also, we didn’t want another child to just be a replacement.” In the meantime, the void remains. “It feels very empty. There’s no other way to describe it — emptiness. It’s with you 24 hours a day.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Rod Churchill displays a family photo in court.
Paul Daly/The Independent
Bennett ATV: great selection and on-site service
aron Bennett and Rob Squires say they’re proud of the friendly and reliable service Bennett ATV has been able to provide local customers since they opened for business almost four years ago. “You really need to set yourself apart from the rest in any business,” Bennett says. “But in the recreational vehicle business you have to go beyond quality products and concentrate on what you can offer along with that.” At Bennett ATV, it’s the expertise and dedication of the staff and the on-site quality product servicing that makes the difference. While the products sold at Bennett ATV are “used,” Bennett says the word doesn’t paint the entire picture. “When you come in here, you can purchase a recreational vehicle that still has a full warranty, something that has low mileage and the best
part is you save anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000.” Buying from Bennett also means you’re guaranteed to purchase something lien-free and registered in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. “We take care of all the details and do all the checking before we put something up for sale,” Squires says. Bennett ATV also offers customers the option of buying online, and they will deliver islandwide. “You can get up, grab a coffee and shop for a snowmobile online,” Bennett says. The price is listed, right there for you to see. “Just use your Visa, and we’ll bring it to you.” After the purchase is made, Bennett says staff maintain a relationship with customers by providing service on the products they sell. While the online option is available to
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTNEWS • 13
Open mic fright
Student involvement, not Dean’s singing, will raise school spirit
pen mic night is one of few true student traditions at Memorial University. Every Wednesday students swing by the Breezeway bar to ease the mid-week stress to the sounds of acoustic guitars. It’s a great chance for those people who love singing in the shower to see what people really think of their pipes. In fact, Rex Goudie was a regular long before Canadian Idol brought his voice to millions. Back then, I’ve been told, girls didn’t even find him that sexy. Some people play original music — which takes major guts — but most stick to guaranteed crowd-pleasers like Oasis’ Wonderwall, or Tom Petty’s You Don’t Know How It Feels. Hearing the same people play the same tunes every single week sounds boring, but it’s strangely comforting. It’s a bit like going to a party with friends and retelling all the best stories from the past, which is absolutely necessary before new stories can be made. But last week, just as the bar was unwinding from night classes and chatting up cute classmates with lyrics borrowed from some sweet song, the mood was interrupted. It was school spirit week across campus — dubbed “I Love MUNdays” to avoid the taboo term school spirit — and Dean of Student Affairs Lilly Walker sprang onto the stage with her band of colleagues (The Dean Team might be a decent band name) to sing us students a tune. Lyrics were handed out to every table so we’d know the words and could sing along, but I’m sure the dean will forgive us for not belting out lines like Tell me why I love MUNdays followed by some-
Notes in the margin thing or other about studying so hard. I won’t go all Simon Cowell on Walker’s performance or anything, but I will report that my friend stuffed a pair of headphones dangerously far into his ears and yelled at me to tell him when it was over. One song and the publicity stunt was done. The big cameras stopped flashing. The Dean Team left the building — on a rather flat note, I might add. It’s a shame because they missed a great performance from two b’ys who brought an accordion and passion for traditional music along to the bar. Also, possibly for the first time, there was some hip-hop on stage and even a hilarious Tenacious D (Jack Black’s band) cover. Walker and I have had several conversations about school spirit at Memorial, and I think we both agree there’s shockingly little of it. I also think we have differing views on how to build it. In my experience, students crave a sense of closeness, authenticity and freedom to do their own thing. In its own way that’s what open mic is all about. Walker’s attempt to use it as a spirit-building exercise changed the feeling of the event for a bit, making it taste more like cheese than cheap beer. That said, at least she’s trying, which is more than the majority of students can say. Student turnout for special events, sports games and guest lectures is typical-
Rob Squires outside Bennett ATV, 181 Mundy Pond Rd.
Bennett ATV customers, Bennett admits coming in and checking things out in person is always the best way to shop. “You can ask questions, see and feel and sit on what you are buying that way,” he says. Whatever the shopping method, Bennett swears the end result is the same — a happy customer. “I started off this business in my back garden, as a hobby, just fixing up old bikes and stuff and selling them, but then it grew pretty fast,” he says. He knows recreational vehicles, and so do many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. There is a huge market in this province for the quality used products they sell. “People are always looking for a deal, and that’s what we offer here,” Squires says. He spends a lot of time talking with customers, and says he’s really gotten a feel for what they need and want. “You have to balance what they want, with what they want it for, all the while respecting their budget,” he says. Getting to know who walks in the door, and getting to know them well, is Squires’ specialty and passion. Bennett says it’s common for recreational vehicle owners to upgrade what they have and, for that reason, trade-ins are welcome.
“I’m an avid snowmobiler and I also know quads, so having a large selection is important to me,” he says. “I work hard at having something that will interest anyone from 19 to 90, for the beginner on up to the experienced driver.” Bennett currently has a large selection of ’07 snowmobiles in stock and has a tractor-trailer arriving with new used products weekly. He also sells trail
ly low, and while there are many student organizations and societies on campus, it tends to be the same kids getting involved. This year’s I Love MUNdays week spent a lot of money on its efforts to get more students to take part in events. Colourful cardboard schedules and cards were distributed all through the university centre, but most were thrown out with lunch refuse. Some events, like the “Rant Like Rick” contest and the “Ingenuity Challenge” offered up $1,000 to the winners. Although the cash was attractive, the most successful event — Rant Like Rick — attracted students because the competitors lobbied their friends (largely through Facebook groups and YouTube videos) to come cheer them on. The event was also a chance to show off the University Centre’s new student space, a massive renovation paid for by Walker’s office. It’s up to regular students to raise school spirit. Really, until they decide to support their university I don’t predict I Love MUNdays to top the charts anytime soon. Walker stormed back into the bar on Friday and, perhaps channelling her frustration with apathetic students, slammed student union director James Farrell in a sumo-wrestling match for charity. So while she should leave open mic to the students, at least the dean of student affairs recorded one smash hit in the Breezeway. John Rieti is a fifth-year student at Memorial University majoring in English and minoring in geography, aiming to do journalism after graduation. email@example.com
Nicholas Langor/The Independent
passes and accessories as requested. “I just focus on providing local friendly service and that seems to be working,” Bennett says. For more information on products and services available from Bennett ATV drop by and visit in person at 181 Mundy Pond Rd, contact the store by phone at 579-2323 or 1-877-579-2323, or visit www.bennettatv.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Daly/The Independent
Is Hearn prepared to save the fishery? Dear editor, Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn’s article in the Oct. 14 edition of The Telegram, Getting things done for Canadian fisheries at NAFO, gave a glimpse into the lack of understanding the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has in our fisheries, and the personal agendas of some NAFO-member countries. In particular, as indicated in the article, Canadian sovereignty threatened on Grand Banks, in the Oct. 26th issue of The Independent, changes now sought by NAFO to the international convention will open the possibility of foreign fisheries enforcement inside the 200-mile limit. As well, an amendment for a new NAFO voting procedure will require an agreement by two-thirds of the membership, instead of the old 50 per cent, which will make it virtually
impossible to get the required votes to stop illegal and overfishing off our coast. The voting countries are the ones who are breaking the rules, and as any knowledgeable person in our province knows (except Confederates) foreign fishing is the factor preventing the recovering of our fishery. The programs the federal government has enacted to correct and help the fishery are rigid and are not helping — and they are wrong. I ask Loyola Hearn just one question: for the sake of your own people, the fisher people you grew up with, and for the sake of their 500-year-old marine culture, will you change the federal fisheries rules to help save them? Phil Earle, Carbonear
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
14 • INDEPENDENTNEWS
Killer remains at large, police say nothing new in Chrissy Newman case
ore than eight months after 28year-old Chrissy Newman was found murdered in her Airport Heights home, an arrest has yet to be made. “There’s nothing new to report, the matter is still under investigation,” Royal Newfoundland Constabulary spokesperson Paul Davis says. Newman was living with her 16-
month-old daughter Ireland when she was found dead on Jan 21. It was reported her throat had been cut. Yvonne Harvey, Chrissy Newman’s mother, has been vocal in her impatience with the RNC’s attempts to find her daughter’s killer. In a May interview with The Independent, Harvey said she was concerned previous wrongful convictions
by the provincial Justice system are hamstringing the investigation. “I’m not prepared to let my daughter become another victim of a faulty system,” she said, before meeting with police in the spring. Antonio Lamer, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice, headed a 2003 judicial inquiry into the wrongful convictions of Greg Parsons, Randy Druken
and Ronald Dalton. The Lamer inquiry blamed the RNC for tunnel vision in investigations. “I think if we start comparing the past with what’s happening right now, and not making a move on things a little bit quicker, or waiting until everything is pretty much 100 per cent, then I think we’re being victimized again,” Harvey said. “Only the pendulum has swung the
other way.” Newman and her husband Raymond had split up in the months before her death. The media reported Newman had endured spousal abuse and was planning to return to Ottawa, her childhood home, with her child when she was killed. Harvey could not be reached this week for comment. — Ivan Morgan
Opportunities Research Manager - IBES
Director for Sustainable Development Round Table Support
Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (IBES), Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation Pleasantville, St. John’s, NL
Sustainable Development & Strategic Science Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation, Corner Brook, NL
DUTIES: Responsible for the management, co-ordination and general operation of a biodiversity and ecosystem science and resource sustainability student research program, including co-ordination of logistics and managing operational aspects of research partnerships; works in close collaboration with Memorial University researchers and students to develop project proposals; assists in the development of an outreach and recruitment package aimed at graduate and undergraduate students as potential IBES candidates; assists in developing strategies to increase awareness of the IBES model and promotes the role of IBES in activities related to scientiﬁc issues, concerns, and on graduate student research progress with respect to matters of conservation; networks with staff of Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch, the Department of Environment and Conservation as well as staff from other relevant government departments and agencies, academic ofﬁcials, students and non-government organizations to facilitate, encourage and develop research partnerships; provides direction on project design and reporting of research results; determines/develops linkages between concurrently running undergraduate and graduate projects to facilitate awareness of Honours and Graduate research opportunities; reports on student programs and reviews project proposals to ensure scientiﬁc integrity and assists with the preparation of internal reports, scientiﬁc publications and related documents, including the synthesis of multiple graduate research projects, and submits annual progress reports to the Department.
DUTIES: Principally responsible for the leadership, design, coordination, implementation, assessment and reporting of a system for monitoring and evaluating Sustainable Development programs, policies and initiatives; provides direction, leadership and supervision for the interpretation of Sustainable Development legislation and the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and programs, speciﬁcally a Strategic Sustainable Development Management Plan and a Provincial Sustainable Development Indication Program as called for in government’s policy agenda and per the Sustainable Development Act; as part of the larger Sustainable Development and Strategic Science outreach program, the incumbent oversees appropriate efforts to assist the Sustainable Development Round Table; develops and considers mechanisms to consider and arbitrate public concerns respecting Sustainable Development approaches and address requirements emanating from the Round Table dialogue with industry and the public; identiﬁes and advances new initiatives, primarily in the policy arena, but that encompass the broad range of factors, both political and scientiﬁc, as well as social, that must be reached, understood, monitored and integrated to ensure effective progress in Sustainable Development. The incumbent functions as a primary spokesperson for policy and administrative issues relative to Sustainable Development Round Table activities to the Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch; develops, reviews and ensures policy development on diverse aspects of Sustainable Development and ensures Round Table programs and activities remain consistent with government’s Sustainable Development legislation and initiative; participates in major colloquia and conferences, and other signiﬁcant forums on Sustainable Development, and presents papers representing the provincial program to various audiences; this position will help prioritize and affect the various Sustainable Development Round Table activities and undertakings; the incumbent will ensure an effective working relationship between the Sustainable Development Round Table, other units of the Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch and relevant government departments, as well as the wide range of industry and public participants in the Sustainable Development initiative.
QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of scientiﬁc methodology including proposal, design, and analysis stages; preferably in a socio-ecological, biodiversity, and/or resource sustainability context, and research partnering and funding agencies; including academic, government, and industry sources is essential. Candidates must be proactive and able to work independently, provide supervision to staff, manage multiple projects, and establish and maintain strong working relationships with a variety of organizations and the general public. Candidates must also possess exceptional organizational, analytical and research skill as well as excellent written and oral communication skills. Proﬁciency with computer applications is essential. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through graduation from university with a minimum of a Master of Science degree supplemented with related experience in program or project management. SALARY: $49,204.00-$63,965.00 (HL-20) COMPETITION #: EC.C.M(p).07.08.0245-P CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to: Mail:
Stafﬁng Specialist – Resource Sector Recruitment Unit Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 709-729-6737 email@example.com
QUALIFICATIONS: An in-depth knowledge of policies and issues relating to Sustainable Development is required. Candidate must have well developed leadership skills, be proactive, work independently, provide supervision to staff, manage multiple projects, and establish and maintain strong working relationships with members of the Sustainable Development Round Table, provincial government departments, a variety of organizations and the general public. Candidate must also possess exceptional organizational, written and oral communication skills. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through graduation from university with a MSc. (minimum) or Ph.D (preferred) in political and/or social sciences with considerable related experience in directing multiple projects to integrate diverse knowledge sectors as well as organizational senior management and leadership. SALARY: $63,852.00-$83,008.00 (HL-27) COMPETITION #: EC.C.D(P).07.08.247-P CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to: Mail:
Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709-729-3593 or 709-729-0037.
Stafﬁng Specialist – Resource Sector Recruitment Unit Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 709-729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out.
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709-729-3593 or 709-729-0037.
Tenders will be received up to the dates and times indicated below for the following projects: A/PROJECT # 118-07PHO – Construct a concrete median on the St. John’s Outer Ring Rd. between Topsail Rd. & Thorburn Rd., St. John’s, NL PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2007 @ 12:00 NOON B/PROJECT # 410605002 – Over-cladding Arts & Culture Centre, Stephenville, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2007 @3:00PM C/PROJECT # CLEA10208 – Cleaning services, Forestry Building, Gambo, NL. SPECIFICATION AVAILABLE @THE SITE BRIEFING ONLY : NOVEMBER 08, 2007 @10.30AM. PURCHASE PRICE: $N/A CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2007 @3:00PM Upon receipt of the purchase price indicated above, (NON REFUNDABLE, HST INCLUDED) plans and speciﬁcations may be obtained from Tendering and Contracts, Ground Floor, East Block, Confederation Building, P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL. AIB 4J9, Ph# 709-729-3786, Fax# 709-729-6729 and viewed at the ofﬁces of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association. Tenders addressed to the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Works must be delivered to Tendering and Contracts at the address above and be submitted on forms and in sealed envelopes provided, clearly marked as to the contents. Tenders will be opened immediately after the tender closing time. The Department does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender. Hon. John Hickey Minister Transportation & Works
Correction Notice of Application TAKE NOTICE that MERASHEEN MUSSEL FARM INC. (Not MARINUS BIO RESOURCES INC. as previously advertised) has applied under the provisions of the Aquaculture Act, RSN, 1990, Chapter A-13, for the issuance of an Aquaculture Licence to OPERATE A COMMERCIAL BLUE MUSSLES AQUACULTURE SITE, near CLATTICE HARBOUR, PLACENTIA BAY in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. More speciﬁc information about the location and general nature of the proposed aquaculture project is available from the Aquaculture Registrar, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 58 Hardy Ave, P.O. Box 679, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, A2A 2K2. Unless the Aquaculture Registrar receives written objection to the application within 20 working days from the date of this publication, no further consultation will take place. Dated St. John’s, this 9th day of October, 2007. Thomas G. Rideout Minister
Tender Tenders will be received up to the dates and times indicated below for the following projects: A/PROJECT # 117-07PMO – Supply of pre-wet/anti-icing salt for the de-icing program for the Department of Transportation and Works for the winter of 2007-2008, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $N/A CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 19, 2007 @ 12:00 NOON B/PROJECT # 119-07PAR – Maintenance of Natuashish Airstrip & related facilities, Labrador, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $N/A CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2007 @3:00PM Upon receipt of the purchase price indicated above, (NON REFUNDABLE, HST INCLUDED) plans and speciﬁcations may be obtained from Tendering and Contracts, Ground Floor, East Block, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL. AIB 4J9, Ph# 709-729-3786, Fax# 709-7296729, the Regional Director, Transportation & Works, Building # 86, Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador, A0P 1E0, Ph# 709-896-7840, Fax# 709-896-5513, (Project B Only) and viewed at the ofﬁcers of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association. Tenders addressed to the Deputy Minister of Transportation & Works must be delivered to Tendering and Contracts at the address above and be submitted on forms and in sealed envelopes provided, clearly marked as to the contents. Tenders will be opened immediately after the tender closing time. The Department does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender. Hon. Dianne C. Whalen Minister Transportation & Works
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007 — PAGE 15
Business for change Torbay woman at helm of Mountain Equipment Co-op, one of Canada’s largest, and greenest, businesses By Stephanie Porter The Independent
orbay resident Linda Bartlett laughs and says the Mountain Equipment Co-op board of directors doesn’t come close to fitting a standard business model. In fact, not much of the organization does. “Most businesses, when they have board meetings, they sort of go in and out, their primary focus is profit,” she says. “But because MEC is a co-op, we tend to attract people who are very passionate … they’re not driven by money, it’s more about caring. The board meetings are two days long, and the e-mails that go back and forth and the work … people can’t relate to it. “It’s not a normal board! But we’re doing some wonderful things. In terms of a business, it’s the most trusted brand in Canada.” And it makes money to boot. Bartlett says Mountain Equipment Co-op, beloved by outdoors enthusiasts for the wide range of apparel and activity-specific gear — everything you need to go hiking, camping, skiing, rock-climbing, snowshoeing, cycling, watersports … — will likely top $250 million in sales next year. There are currently 2.7 million members (members pay a one-time fee of $5 and are on for life), most in Canada. Over 17,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have signed up. There are 11 Mountain Equipment Co-op stores in Canada, from Victoria to Halifax, but most products are bought online or through catalogues. Bartlett figures she’s been a member for going on 20 years. The eldest of three girls, she has early memories of heading to Pippy Park with her father, long before today’s groomed trails, and making ski paths of their own. Bartlett has been president of the provincial canoe association, director of the kayak association. She’s canoed most of the major rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador, and celebrated the millennium with a kayak trip in Nepal. “I have always been very active in the outdoors,” she says. “It’s not a luxury for me; it’s a necessity. It grounds me, takes the static out of my head.” Bartlett was the first woman from this province to receive a degree in agriculture from McGill University in Montreal, and she spent years working with the province to develop the adventure tourism industry. She still works in the Tourism Department by day.
Six years ago, she was elected to the nine-member board of Mountain Equipment Co-op. She’s now in her fourth as chair, and works closely with the company’s CEO and management. Her volunteer position brings considerable work — flights to Vancouver every six weeks for board meetings; evenings and weekends online and on the phone. The primary function of the business is, of course, to sell quality products at good prices. But what inspires and focuses Bartlett is that the values driving the 36-year-old operation mirror her own. “Early on, our members told us environmental conservation and social justice were important,” she says. “It’s a really neat organization, we’ve embedded sustainability in every step of what we do.” She talks about the “four pillars” of the co-op: product sustainability, ethical sourcing (products are made in factories where workers’ rights are respected), green operations (from the catalogue to environmentally friendly buildings), and community involvement. The co-op owns and protects land, encourages learning, fitness and outdoor appreciation, and has been known to return profits to its patrons. One per cent of gross sales are directed into grant programs, available for non-profit groups focused on conservation and outdoor access. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the East Coast Trail Association and the Avalon Nordic Ski Club have been recent recipients. “That’s how we reach out to members who don’t have stores nearby,” says Bartlett. Bartlett says Mountain Equipment Co-op will be the largest co-op in the world by 2008. “It’s a big organization and because it’s a co-op, it’s really complex,” she says. “We want to make money, but not too much money. We want to be innovative, but we’re a conservative culture. The regular business models don’t fit. “We’re value-driven, so everything’s got to be transparent, ethical, accountable … our decisions, if we’ve got to get new flooring for a building, we have to look at one that’s environmentally friendly. “We’re walking the talk and showing that sustainability and a healthy bottom line can happen. Every government is dreaming about this, every business is talking about it. We’re doing it.” In six years, Bartlett says, she’s See “Change,” page 19
Paul Daly/The Independent
Surviving the perfect storm
With proper and creative planning, businesses can make it through the human resources crunch
ho will eventually buy my business if I can’t even find staff to work there?” A business owner recently posed this question at a human resources seminar hosted by the St. John’s Board of Trade. And he wasn’t the only one in the room facing an HR crunch. The shortage of labour is touching businesses of all sizes and sectors. We’re hearing it from an increasing number of board of trade member businesses, small, medium and large. Concern over not being able to find and hold onto enough people to fill positions is, without question, the most common hot-button issue right now.
Board of Trade Newfoundland and Labrador isn’t alone in this. The Conference Board of Canada predicts a national labour shortage of one million people by the year 2020. Economic forecasting company Global Insights says the labour shortage will reduce real GDP growth from three per cent to less than two per cent annually, costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost output. In a speech to the St. John’s Board of
Trade earlier this year, Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge said the biggest threat to the Canadian economy is this looming “perfect storm.” In this province, employers see the dark clouds looming overhead. The one-two punch of natural population change and outmigration is contributing to what some call a crisis. Labour shortages are not new, but it does seem as though they’re becoming far more widespread and glaring. And many local employers say the situation will continue to get worse. Five years ago, we lamented the shortage of skilled workers. Today, those skill gaps in our labour market are still there, but there are noticeable
shortages across the board in the economy, from the highly skilled to the lesser skilled workers. Talk to a restaurant that’s having trouble finding not only a well-qualified chef, but also kitchen staff to wash dishes, and you’re reminded of how deep and wide the gaps are. This troubles me, not just as president of the board of trade or a business owner, but as a proud Newfoundlander excited about the future and the opportunities ahead. We may miss out if we fail to prepare ourselves. I liken it to a funnel. In the past, with the wide end of the funnel up, we poured our most valuable resource, people, into the job bucket. There were
lots to pick from, and they were spilling over the side. We narrowed our choices down to the ideal candidate from a large pool. Today things have changed. Turn the funnel over — we now have small numbers of applicants to fill many positions. At the firm and at the policy-making level, what do we do to cope? There are a few broad steps we need to take. First, we have to do more to raise awareness among businesses, not just of the changing labour market reality, but of the gravity of the resulting See “Not,” page 19
16 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
Opportunities Communications Technicians
Director Of Financial Services
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Department of Justice, St John’s, NL
Department of Education, Division of Financial Services, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL
Applications are invited from qualiﬁed and interested individuals for the purpose of developing an eligibility list of qualiﬁed candidates for temporary Communications Technician vacancies with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
DUTIES: The Director of Financial Services is an integral part of the Corporate Services Branch within the Department of Education. The successful candidate will be responsible for providing leadership, advice, direction and policy for the evaluation, control, management and administration of all ﬁnancial aspects of the Province’s primary, elementary, secondary and post-secondary systems and the Private Training Corporation. The incumbent will be responsible for participating in collective bargaining functions for School Boards’ student assistants and support staff, as well as being responsible for determining School Boards’ annual operating grant allocations and the annual budget for School Board owned and operated busing systems. The incumbent will be responsible for the assessment of ﬁnancial reporting systems and the analysis of ﬁnancial reports submitted by School Boards, Memorial University, College of the North Atlantic, Private Training Institutions, Public Information and Libraries Resources Board, Atlantic Provinces, Special Education Authority and other departmentally funded entities. This position has direct responsibility for the operation and policy related matters associated with the administration of the teacher’s, payroll and pension system and is responsible for the co-ordination of the IT Departmental Planning and Service Delivery Committee. This position is also responsible for the Central registry of the Department; the general operations of the Department; and undertakes special ﬁnancial and operational reviews as required by Executive.
DUTIES: Reporting to a senior police ofﬁcer, you will receive non-emergency and emergency, including 911 telephone calls, for assistance. Based on relevant information obtained from the caller, the call for service is prioritized and entered into a computer database for assignment to a police ofﬁcer for follow-up. You will document and record information as required, perform information searches for police ofﬁcers and authorized personnel via several police computer systems. In addition to call taker and query duties, there is a requirement to operate the operational or administrative radio consoles. This would include dispatching calls for service in accordance with policy, coordinating additional assistance as necessary and maintaining the current status of all police units as reported by the ofﬁcer. The work environment has periods of intense activity requiring technicians to exercise independent judgment, and exhibit tact and diplomacy. Technicians are expected to work with a high degree of independence and initiative when handling calls. Shift work will be required: 24/7, including statutory holidays and weekends. QUALIFICATIONS: Considerable experience as an effective communicator, with telephone and radio contact with the general public in demanding circumstances, preferably in a policing emergency related environment. Excellent oral communication skills, dependability, decisiveness, good judgment and the ability to react positively in stressful situations are highly desirable characteristics. Computer skills and keyboarding speed of 40 wpm required. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through related experience and post secondary education or training. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resume that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Positions within the Department of Justice are considered “Positions of Trust” and as such successful candidates will be subject to a background check through police/court banks and other sources.
(Temporary to March 31, 2008)
QUALIFICATIONS: The position requires an extensive knowledge of accounting and ﬁnancial principles and practices, Government’s ﬁnancial legislation (Financial Administration Act, the Public Tender Act, the Schools Act 1997, the MUN Act, the Colleges Act), regulations and authorities and micro computer applications in ﬁnancial management. The incumbent is expected to exercise considerable independence and initiative and must possess effective organizational, analytical, problem solving, interpersonal and oral/written communication skills, and the ability to lead in a service-oriented environment. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through extensive experience in ﬁnancial management, considerable supervisory experience and graduation from a University with a Degree in Business. An MBA and/or Accounting Designation would be preferred.
SALARY: $32,905.60 - 36,418.20 (GS-27) COMPETITION #: J.C.CT.07.135 - P CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007
SALARY: HL-28 ($65,342 - $84,945) COMPETITION #: E.C.DFS(p).07.08.213-P (Please quote when applying) CLOSING DATE: November 12, 2007
Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded via mail, fax or email:
APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, FAX OR E-MAIL TO:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 email@example.com
Applications should be received on or before the close of business on the closing date. This competition is open to both male and female applicants Late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position call (709) 7298199. For information on the recruitment process call (709) 7290130. 2007 10 31
Accounting Clerk II
Two (2) Temporary Positions To March 31, 2008 with possible extensions Location: Finance and General Operations Division, The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 9 Bonaventure Avenue, St. John’s NL DUTIES: Monitors and reviews purchase order requisitions and attached quotes to ensure compliance with purchasing guidelines; veriﬁes goods received, prices and matches with purchase order for keying / posting; prepares pre-cheque register, prints cheques and mails/ﬁles; prepares and issues invoices for services rendered and ensures timely receipt of funds; receives all revenues on a daily basis, reconciles, records and deposits; reviews monthly bank statements, cancelled cheques and prepares reconciliation, petty cash reconciliation and ﬂoat counts for petty cash holders; reviews journey authorizations, veriﬁes and processes advance requests; audits travel claims to ensure compliance with guidelines and processes payments or collections. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of the Principles of Accounting, ACCPAC accounting systems, speciﬁcally with the General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Purchase Orders, Accounts Receivable and Bank Services Modules are required. Familiarity with the Guidelines for the Hiring of External Consultants, Purchasing Guidelines and the Tendering Act would be an asset. Strong organizational, oral and written communication skills are essential as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and work independently. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through completion of a post secondary program with major course work in Accounting, supplemented by related experience in cash counting and reconciliation, Accrual Based Accounting and using ACCPAC software. Equivalencies may be considered.
Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded to: Mail:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – either by mail, fax or e-mail. Late applications with explanations may be considered. These positions are open to both male and female. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 757-8015. October 30, 2007
Manager of Strategic Stafﬁng – Social Sector Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 email@example.com
Applications must be received before the close of business on the closing– either by mail, e-mail or fax. Late applications with explanation may be considered. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their applications that they meet the above qualiﬁcations; only those applicants who demonstrate such qualiﬁcations will be considered for further assessment. This position is open to both male & female. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-3025.
Health Promotion Consultant
(TEMPORARY – until March 31, 2008) Health Promotion and Wellness Division, Department of Health and Community Services, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL DUTIES: Develops, analyzes, evaluates and provides advice and assistance on policy/program issues in health promotion and wellness, including the ongoing development of Phase 2 of the Provincial Wellness Plan; coordination of the Provincial Wellness Advisory Council, the Injury Prevention Initiative and the “Go Healthy” website. The position functions as a member of an interdisciplinary team and works in close collaboration with health and community stakeholders on health and wellness policies and initiatives. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of the Newfoundland and Labrador Health and Community Services system at both the planning and operation levels. Applicants must have knowledge of the principles of health promotion, program planning and evaluation, with particular emphasis on plan development, injury prevention and website management. The required knowledge and skills for the position would normally be acquired through a Master’s degree in health sciences, or a related ﬁeld, as well as experience in a planning and/or evaluation role. Applicants must possess strong oral and written communication, presentation, facilitation, organizational and analytical skills SALARY: HL-21 ($51,546 – $67,010) COMPETITION #: H.C.HPC(t).07.08.207-P CLOSING DATE: November 12, 2007 Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded via mail, fax or email: Mail:
SALARY: $29,538.60 - $32,541.60 (GS-24) COMPETITION #: TCR.TRC.C.ACII(t).07.08.0257-P CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007 INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-3067 Applications must be received before the close of business on Nov 12th, 2007 – either by e-mail, mail or fax. Late applications with explanation may be considered. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their applications that they meet the above qualiﬁcations; only those applicants who demonstrate such qualiﬁcations will be considered for further assessment. This position is open to both male & female.
Social and Resource Branch, Ofﬁce of the Chief Information Ofﬁcer, Executive Council, Grand Falls-Windsor DUTIES: The incumbent will assist in various phases of the development and implementation of small to mid scale information systems; assist with the preparation and development of system requirements; perform development and maintenance programming for new and existing applications, prepare test plans and tests applications, develops documentation, assists with the implementation and secure integration of applications and infrastructure while providing ongoing support and maintenance. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should possess knowledge of system life cycle, design and development techniques, tools, programming languages and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Experience with programming, development, and support of new and existing Web-based and Client Server applications. An understanding of architectures including: applications and data, open standards and integration technologies, organization and management, policies and standards, and transition strategies. Well developed Web Services and directory programming skills combined with good communication and interpersonal skills and a service orientation. Required skills will normally have been acquired through graduation from a recognized post secondary educational program with a specialization in Computer Studies and through experience of a related and responsible nature in a technical and applications (preferably multi-platform) environment. An equivalent combination of education and experience may also be considered. SALARY: $ 44,189 - $ 49,285 (GS-36) COMPETITION #: EXEC.OCIO.C.PA(t).07/08.120-P, please quote when applying CLOSING DATE: November 14th, 2007 Applications, quoting Competition No., should be submitted to: Mail:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P. O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 email@example.com
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date, either by email, fax or mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered. RNC Security Clearance is a condition of employment. This position is open to both male and female. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-1981. October 29, 2007
Computer Programmer I (2 Positions) (Temporary to March 31, 2008) Social and Resource Branch, Ofﬁce of the Chief Information Ofﬁcer, Executive Council, Higgins Line, St. John’s DUTIES: The incumbent will assist in various phases of the development and implementation of small to medium scale information systems. This includes: performing development and maintenance programming for new and existing applications and preparing test plans and tests applications. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must possess knowledge of system life cycle, design and development techniques, tools, programming languages and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Experience with programming, development, and support of new and existing Web-based and Client Server applications, along with experience with Web Services and directory programming skills. Candidates should have good communication and interpersonal skills and a service orientation. Required skills will normally have been acquired through graduation from a recognized post secondary educational program with a specialization in Computer Studies and through experience of a related and responsible nature in a technical and applications (preferably multi-platform) environment. An equivalent combination of education and experience may also be considered. SALARY: $ 38,456 - $ 42,751 (GS-32) COMPETITION #: EXEC.OCIO.C.CPI(t).07/08.121-P, please quote when applying CLOSING DATE: November 14th, 2007 Applications, quoting Competition No., should be submitted to: Mail:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building P. O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date, either by email, fax or mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered. RNC Security Clearance is a condition of employment. This position is open to both male and female. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-1981. October 29, 2007
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 17
Opportunities Engineer III Energy Management Engineer Permanent One (1) permanent position of Engineer III, with the Engineering Support Services Division, Works Branch of the Department of Transportation and Works located at Confederation Building, West Block, St. John’s, NL. DUTIES: Directs the development and implementation of policies and programs related to the management of energy resources in Government facilities. Plans, co-ordinates and supervises a comprehensive energy management program including the computerization and statistical analysis of energy utilization data necessary for this program. Recommends program modiﬁcation and develops alternative approaches to meet changing system and operational demand. Prepares and manages terms of reference for and reviews Energy Performance Contracting Proposals from consultants for the management of energy services in public facilities. Advises various Departmental Directors and Regional Project Managers on the technical and administrative matters related to energy management policies, programs and projects. Evaluates and prepares budgetary requirements for the provision of energy retroﬁts, the purchase of energy and submission of these requirements to Treasury Board.
Highway Maintenance Equipment Operators (Seasonal - Winter Maintenance)
TO CREATE A TEMPORARY CALL-IN LIST FOR SNOW CLEARING OPERATIONS AND HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE
One (1) permanent position of Trades Worker II (Plumber) with the Department of Transportation and Works located in Stephenville.
Temporary Call-In positions of Highway Maintenance Equipment Operator, Department of Transportation and Works, Avalon Region, located in Whitbourne.
DUTIES: Advanced, skilled mechanical/plumbing work at the full journey person level in the installation, alteration, maintenance and repair of mechanical/plumbing systems, equipment, components and ﬁxtures, in accordance with approved codes, trade practices, and in compliance with facility policies; may perform work across several building trades in conjunction with other maintenance staff and occupants; may work with or supervise, as circumstance demands, contractors on site; read and interpret blueprints, sketches and drawings; liaises with facility occupants to ensure compliance with procedures; and other related duties.
DUTIES: This is skilled work in the operation of a variety of heavy equipment used in highway maintenance work. The incumbent will be required to operate such pieces of heavy equipment as a grader, front-end loader, backhoe, etc.; the incumbent will be required to prepare and maintain work records on the operation of assigned equipment; in winter plows, sands and salts roads; performs other related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Completion of High School; possession of the appropriate operator’s licences as issued by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (Class 03 license with 08 and 09 endorsements) considerable knowledge of the regulations and practices utilized in the operation of heavy equipment; or any equivalent combination of experience and/or training.
QUALIFICATIONS: An in-depth knowledge of building electrical and mechanical systems, energy management programs, ﬁnancial and economic analytical methods, and Energy Performance Contracting. A strong knowledge of building control systems, database management computer programming and HTML/Internet skills. Candidates must be able to work independently and possess initiative together with strong computer, oral, written, organizational, analytical, supervisory, and interpersonal skills. Educational requirements include graduation from a recognized professional engineering program in either the electrical or mechanical discipline, supplemented by thorough experience in the buildings design or management ﬁelds. CANDIDATES MUST BE ELIGIBLE FOR REGISTRATION IN PEGNL.
SALARY: $15.76 - $17.36 per hour (MS 24) COMPETITION #: TW.C.HMEO.(t).07.08.251-P CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007
SALARY: $50,577.80 to $56,583.80 (GS-40) COMPETITION #: TW.C.EME.(p).07.08.209 CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007.
INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:
Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Bldg. P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 email@example.com
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date. Late applications with explanation may be considered. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, call 7295786.
Human Resource Consultant
(Temporary to September 30, 2008 with possible extension) Strategic Human Resource Division for Government’s Resource Sector Departments, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Confederation Building, West Block, St. John’s DUTIES: As a member of the Human Resource (HR) Management Team, the HR Consultant performs a generalist role and may be involved in a variety of HR program and service delivery areas including: management of the departmental position classiﬁcation processes; supporting the delivery of employee and labour relations functions including interpretation of collective agreements, processing of grievances and chairing grievance meetings, conducting investigations and recommending actions related to principles of organizational justice; participation in the development, delivery and coordination of organizational development activities including cultural assessment and training activities; supporting the delivery of integrated disability management programming for the department; and providing interpretation of compensation and other corporate HR policies. The incumbent will be expected to take a proactive approach to problem solving and coach managers on conﬂict resolution and progressive discipline issues. The incumbent will also provide support and consultative services to departmental management on a wide variety of HR services and programs and will be expected to actively represent the Strategic HR Division on various teams and committees. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates for the HR Consultant should have considerable knowledge and experience in managing human resource services, programs and functions, and providing HR consultative services to management and executive members. S/he must possess strong communication, facilitation, organizational, and analytical skills, along with the ability to operate in a strategic and proactive environment. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through experience in the human resource management ﬁeld, and the completion of a relevant degree program from a recognized University.
NOTE: THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE MUST RESIDE IN THE AREA.
Mr. Gary Kendell Regional Administrator Dept. of Transportation & Works P.O. Box 21301 St. John’s, NL A1A 5G6 (709) 729-0219 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date - either by mail or fax. This competition is open to both female and male applicants. Late applications with explanation may be considered. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position call (709) 729-2383.
A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-5082 or 729-0842
Ms. Carolyn Payne, Regional Administrator Department of Transportation and Works P. O. Box 2006 Corner Brook, NL A2H 6J8 Fax: (709) 637-2549 E-mail: PayneC@gov.nl.ca Application should be received before the close of business on the closing date – either by mail, fax or e-mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position call (709) 6372496.
Heavy Equipment Technician
Temporary One (1) temporary position of Heavy Equipment Technician, with the Central Transportation Division of the Department of Transportation and Works located at Baie Verte.
Permanent One (1) position of Financial Ofﬁcer, Marine Services Branch, Department of Transportation and Works, located in Lewisporte, NL. DUTIES: This position is responsible for professional ﬁnancial management duties involving ﬁnancial accounting and budget analyses for all facets of the Marine Services Branch. Analyses ﬁnancial statements and the ﬁnancial implications of contracts entered into by the Branch. Plans, organizes and performs specialized and comprehensive ﬁnancial assessments of the ﬁnancial business, processes and operations of the Branch and prepares comprehensive reports. Reviews the adequacy of ﬁnancial controls and ensures compliance with departmental and government policies, procedures and applicable legislation. Prepares, examines and analyzes the Branch’s annual budget submissions and supporting documentation for review by senior management. Performs regular monitoring and advises senior management on the ﬁnancial position of the Branch. Assists in the formulation of the Branch’s ﬁnancial and budget policy, objectives and procedures and provides advice to staff on ﬁnancial matters. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidate must possess considerable experience in ﬁnancial analysis work related to ﬁnancial accounting and budgeting; knowledge of the Government’s Financial Administration Act, the Public Tendering Act and supporting policies and procedures. Analytical, oral and written communications skills are essential. Knowledge and practical experience using the Oracle Purchasing Module would be an asset. Candidate must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships and work independently. Qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through graduation from an approved college or university with a Degree in Commerce or Business Administration, or a Professional Accounting Designation. Equivalencies may be considered. SALARY: GS 37 ($45,754.80 – 51,105.60) COMPETITION #: TW.C.FO.(p).07.08.260-P CLOSING DATE: November 12, 2007. Information for Applicants: This competition is open to both male and female applicants. Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:
Manager of Strategic Stafﬁng c/o Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL AlB 4J6 (709) 729-6737 email@example.com
Application should be received before the close of business on the closing date – either by mail, fax or e-mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered.
In order to ensure your application/resume is processed appropriately, the job competition number MUST be indicated. This competition is open to both male and female applicants. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date either by postal mail, fax or e-mail. (If faxing, DO NOT send a duplicate copy). Late applications with acceptable explanation may be considered.
INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:
Applications must be submitted to:
SALARY: $17.44 - $19.28 per hour (MS-26) COMPETITION #: TW.C.TWII.(p).07.08.244-I CLOSING DATE: November 12, 2007.
Applications should be forwarded to:
Manager of Strategic Stafﬁng Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
QUALIFICATIONS: Considerable knowledge and experience in the mechanical/plumbing trade and possess a journey persons certiﬁcate in the mechanical/plumbing trade. Candidates must be well organized, have good communication skills, be cognizant of sensitivities that may arise in a closed custody setting, and be willing to work within the policies and procedures of such a facility. A Class 5 drivers licence is required.
Applications should be forwarded to:
SALARY: $46,861 - $60,919 (HL-19) COMPETITION #: TCR.C.HRC(t).07.08.0258 CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007
Trades Worker II (Plumber)
A separate application must be submitted of each competition. For additional information on this position call (709) 7291969
DUTIES: This position provides skilled journeyperson level work with the diagnosing of problems related to light and heavy equipment as well as advanced work in a variety of other trades associated with the repair of vehicles and related equipment carried out in the region. Equipment includes trucks, loaders, snow plows, snow blowers, graders and air powered equipment. Work involves repairing, rebuilding and fabricating parts and components of light and heavy vehicles, vehicle systems and related equipment. The Heavy Equipment Technician performs emergency road services, makes ﬁeld repairs and performs other related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must be a certiﬁed journeyperson Heavy Equipment Technician, certiﬁed journeyperson Truck and Transport Mechanic or a certiﬁed journeyperson Automotive Technician with experience in the repair of heavy equipment and heavy trucks (certiﬁcation issued by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and/or interprovincial certiﬁcation). Possession of a valid driver’s license is required. Experience in the various trades associated with repair of vehicles and equipment, and courses in welding, machinist, autobody repairer, automotive repairer and automotive mechanic trades are deﬁnite assets. Experience in electric welding and acetylene cutting would also be an asset. SALARY: $17.44 – 19.28 (40 HOUR WEEK) MS 26 COMPETITION #: TW.C.HET.(t).07.08.256-P CLOSING DATE: November 12, 2007 INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: Applications SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO: Mail:
Ms. Daphne Bouzane Regional Administrator (A) Department of Transportation and Works P.O. Box 10 Grand Falls-Windsor, NL A2A 2J3 BouzaneD@gov.nl.ca (709) 292-4364
Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date - either by mail or fax. Late applications with explanation may be considered. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position call 709-2924306.
18 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
Opportunities Policy, Planning and Research Analyst for Sustainable Development Round Table Support
Administrative Ofﬁcer I for Sustainable Development Round Table Support
Director - IBES
Sustainable Development & Strategic Science Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation, Corner Brook, NL
Sustainable Development & Strategic Science Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation, Corner Brook, NL
DUTIES: Conducts policy and research planning and develops Sustainable Development documents and reports; compiles, analyzes and reports relevant Sustainable Development information to members of the Sustainable Development Round Table and develops policy assessments in response to Sustainable Development issues; ensures the appropriate research is conducted in support of the Sustainable Development program and as recommended by the Sustainable Development Round Table; assists in planning, monitoring and updating operational and Sustainable Development project schedules, reports, public information, budget information and departmental requests; designs and implements standard policy frameworks for the various components of the Sustainable Development initiative, including the Strategic Sustainable Development Management Plan and the Provincial Sustainable Development Indicator Program; helps develop and maintain appropriate databases pertaining to issues related to Sustainable Development and makes these available to members of the Round Table and identiﬁes and responds to policy requests of the Sustainable Development Round Table and works to incorporate these in the broader Sustainable Development policy program.
DUTIES: Performs general operations and administrative work in overseeing and coordinating the Sustainable Development Round Table activities; establishes and serves as a general liaison with ofﬁcials from government departments, industry, and academia on matters and concerns of Sustainable Development; identiﬁes and recommends changes to the operational procedures of the Round Table to provide maximum efﬁciency; plans and conducts ﬁnancial and organizational analysis of sustainable development proposals and applications; maintains the care, custody and retrieval of conﬁdential documents through the maintenance of an information management system; assists the Director in preparing annual reports, technical reports, presentations, forms and other documentation on the Sustainable Development Round Table; maintains knowledge of the various programs of the Sustainable Development Round Table and the Sustainable Development and the Strategic Science Branch and ensures that ﬁles, correspondence and information relating to conferences, meetings, or any other Sustainable Development issues that need immediate action are communicated to the appropriate ofﬁcials.
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science (IBES), Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Department of Environment and Conservation, Corner Brook NL
QUALIFICATIONS: An in-depth knowledge of policy development processes in the area relating to Sustainable Development is required. Candidates must have well developed organizational, research and analytical skills. Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work independently, and adapt in a fast paced environment, as well as in a team environment are required. Proﬁciency in computer software/applications is essential. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through graduation from university with a Masters in political and/or social sciences and supplemented by related experience in policy research and development. SALARY: $45,754.80-$51,105.60 (GS-37) COMPETITION #: EC.C.PPRA(P).07.08.0242-P CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to: Mail:
Stafﬁng Specialist – Resource Sector Recruitment Unit Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 709-729-6737 email@example.com
Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709-729-3593 or 709-729-0037.
QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of ofﬁce administration and information management processes as well as government’s general operations procedures is required. Candidates must have well developed analytical, organizational, time management, interpersonal and oral and written communication skills and be able to work independently. Proﬁciency in Microsoft Ofﬁce Suite is essential. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through a Diploma in Business or Ofﬁce Administration or related area supplemented by considerable responsible experience in an Administrative Management capacity. SALARY: $35,908.60-$39,894.40 (GS-30) COMPETITION #: EC.C.AOI(P).07.08.0243-P CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to: Mail:
Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709-729-3593 or 709-729-0037.
DUTIES: Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Sustainable Development and Strategic Science Branch this position is responsible for providing leadership to all staff of the Institute and for directing a high level scientiﬁc academic/government partnership program; engages with highly creditable scientists and administrative academicians at senior levels within universities locally, nationally, and internationally, on research priorities, methodology and design, as well as on project execution, progress and, ultimately, the review and publication of research ﬁndings; facilitates IBES programs that work towards research, education, and responsive technical assistance; develops strategies and plans for the research areas of the Institute; identiﬁes and evaluates new research proposals to ensure the IBES mandate and operations support provincial research priorities; provides leadership on research projects, educational and outreach programs within the institute and manages overall management of all projects, programs, staff and ﬁnancial resources; develops, in conjunction with the Executive Director, a communication strategy and recruitment package aimed at Honours, MSc and PhD students as potential IBES candidates; develops a strategy targeted at potential universities to increase awareness of the IBES model on a national and international scale; provides speeches and/or presentations at major scientiﬁc conferences and symposia worldwide and in general directs an effective and comprehensive communication plan for the Institute; liaises with potential partners to collaborate on natural resource conservation science, as well as socio-economic research for community sustainability, and expert reviews of industrial investment and its application to sustainable use and best management practices; initiates and writes grant proposals to major scientiﬁc foundations and research funding agencies, and fosters collaborative initiatives in established and emerging areas of research; prepares scientiﬁc publications and related documents; ensures the scientiﬁc integrity of research projects conducted through IBES, and monitors the development and progress of all components of research including the commitments and participation of scientiﬁc team members. The incumbent oversees the operation of the organization and ensures the Institute hosts scientiﬁc workshops, seminars and technical courses; advises and directs graduate students and their research. QUALIFICATIONS: Expert knowledge in a multi disciplinary nature in scientiﬁc disciplines relevant to sustainable development programs and policies is required. Knowledge of Newfoundland ecosystems and their management, knowledge/experience in ecological and/or natural resource discipline, Candidates must have well developed, management and team building skills, be proactive and able to work independently, provide supervision to staff, manage multiple projects, and establish and maintain strong working relationships with the academic community, government departments, a variety of organizations and the general public. The candidate must also possess exceptional organizational, qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through graduation from university with a MSc. (minimum) or Ph.D (preferred) in one of the areas of research focus supplemented with related experience in project management and leadership. SALARY: $65,342.00-84,945.00 (HL-28) COMPETITION #: EC.C.D(p).07.08.0244-P CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007
Buyer II Permanent One (1) permanent position of Buyer II, Marine Services Branch, Department of Transportation and Works, located in Lewisporte, NL DUTIES: This position is responsible for the review of requests for goods and services from the Marine Services Branch for accuracy and completeness as well as compliance with purchasing guidelines and procedures. Determines appropriate method of acquisition of required goods/services and initiates purchase action in accordance with the Public Tender Act. Maintains acquisition ﬁles on all purchases for audit review by Government Purchasing Agency staff. Prepares and advises on speciﬁcations for complex tenders. Assists in writing specialized and complex contracts, assuring contracting terms and conditions are used. Maintains a source list of suppliers and commodities. Analyzes procurement problems and liaises with suppliers and departmental staff when situations arise. Maintains expenditure and inventory control on purchases and exercises internal control for the receipt and distribution of commodities. Interacts with Marine Services staff and Government Purchasing Agency regarding all matters related to the procurement of goods and services. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidate must possess considerable knowledge of the Public Tender Act, Regulations, Trade Agreements and purchasing policies and procedures. Knowledge and practical experience using the Oracle Purchasing Module would be an asset. Analytical, oral and written communications skills are essential. Candidate must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships and work independently. Qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through considerable experience in the purchasing ﬁeld and completion of college level courses in Public Administration, Business Administration or course work through the Purchasing Management Association of Canada. SALARY: GS 28 ($34,070.40 – 37,746.80) COMPETITION #: TW.C.BII.(p).07.08.259-P CLOSING DATE: November 14, 2007. Information for Applicants:
Departmental Program Coordinator
Mail: Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science & Sustainability Permanent Institute for Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science & Sustainability (IBES), Sustainable Development & Strategic Science Branch, Department of Environment and Conservation, Corner Brook, NL DUTIES: Researches, initiates and secures funding partnerships with other academic institutions and scientiﬁc agencies for student research programs, exchange programs, and internship programs in developing the best possible research program for the Institute; seeks other potential stakeholders to develop cooperative arrangements for funding and in-kind support for research conducted by the Institute; in conjunction with the Director, evaluates and prioritizes funding opportunities for research projects; monitors and evaluates student materials and ﬁnancial needs and proposes modiﬁcations when and where necessary and also provides written reports and ﬁnancial summaries. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledgeable in local environmental issues would be considered as an asset. Proﬁciency in computer software/applications, knowledge of internet/research marketing and the ability to develop and maintain funding partnerships on local, national and international levels are required. Candidates must have well developed organizational, research, analytical, oral and written communicational and interpersonal skills and possess the ability to work with a high degree of autonomy and exercise sound judgment. These qualiﬁcations would normally be acquired through a completion of a Degree or Diploma in Business Administration or Marketing supplemented by courses in Environmental Sciences and considerable experience in fundraising. SALARY: $41,059.20-$45,718.40 (GS-34) COMPETITION #: EC.C.DPC(P).07.08.0246 CLOSING DATE: November 23, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to: Mail:
This Competition is open to both male and female applicants. Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:
Manager of Strategic Stafﬁng Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL AlB 4J6 (709) 729-6737 firstname.lastname@example.org
Application should be received before the close of business on the closing date – either by mail, fax or e-mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered. A separate application must be submitted of each competition. For additional information on this position call (709) 7291969
APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, Fax or Email to:
Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualiﬁcations. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709-729-3593 or 729-729-0037.
Request for Proposals The Department of Health and Community Services in conjunction with the Women’s Policy Ofﬁce is requesting proposals from qualiﬁed agencies to develop a provincial public awareness campaign that will focus on the legislative duty to report child maltreatment, and the programs and services provided by Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS). This will involve development of promotional materials and media campaign as well as a subsequent two year marketing plan. To obtain a copy of the detailed Request for Proposals please contact: Department of Health and Community Services at (709) 7292888 Four (4) copies of the contractor’s proposal must be received at the Department of Health and Community Services no later than noon on Wednesday, November 14, 2007.
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 19
Canadians sue GM, car dealers Automakers’ policy forbidding sales to customers from Canada is ‘discrimination’ By Debra Black Torstar wire service
woman from Newfoundland has filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court, claiming American car companies and dealers illegally discriminated against her because she is Canadian. Paradise resident Rhonda Chancey, 43, was told repeatedly as she shopped over the Internet that she couldn’t buy the car of her dreams — a Pontiac Torrent — from U.S. dealers because she was Canadian. Chancey, along with her husband, launched a human rights complaint as well as a classaction claim in U.S. federal court. Lawyer Stephanie Jazlowiecki filed the federal suit last week in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine. She says General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota have forbidden U.S. dealers from selling to people from Canada, where prices are much higher. Chancey’s ordeal began in September when she started eyeing the cost of cars in the U.S. The price tag for the kind of Torrent she wanted was about $14,000 lower in the U.S. before
taxes, she says. So Chancey and her husband, Allan Coombs, 43, decided they would buy the car there. But several dealers told Chancey GM had put a policy in place recently that they weren’t allowed to sell to Canadians. “I e-mailed back,
was so stressful. I want this policy changed. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’ve gone through … No matter what, General Motors shouldn’t be above the law.” Canadians across the country have faced the same dilemma, eyeing cheaper U.S. prices but unable to purchase cars there. Chancey says she has received dozens of calls and e-mails from Canadians who share her anger. A $2-billion class-action lawsuit has been launched by four Toronto residents in Ontario, alleging collusion between the Canadian and U.S. offices of some automakers to inflate the car prices in Canada while inhibiting crossborder shopping. Chancey and her husband did eventually buy a car in the U.S. by arranging for a relative to buy it on paper and sell it back to them. They ended up having to pay taxes on the vehicle twice, she says. On the door panel of the Torrent they drove home is a sticker that proclaims the car was made in Ontario, she says. “It was exported from Canada to the U.S. and I was just bringing it home. How much more ironic can you get than that?”
“It was exported from Canada to the U.S. and I was just bringing it home. How much more ironic can you get than that?” Rhonda Chancey ‘This is discrimination and you can’t discriminate against me because of my nationality,’” she says. “Here where I live no one is ever turned away,” Chancey says. “Everyone is treated equal. Everyone is generous here. I’ve never seen discrimination, let alone experienced it. It
‘Change begins with yourself’ From page 15 learned a lot about business and worked with some of the best leaders in the country. (“Leaders,” she stresses. “Not bosses.”) She says governing bodies, including this province’s, could take a few notes on what her organization is achieving — in establishing long-term vision, clear goals, and attaining them with integrity. “We’re using business to make change in Canadian society,” she says, then laughs. “But I’m biased, of course.” This spring, after six years, Bartlett will step down from her position on the co-op’s board. She’s ready to spend some more time outdoors, and believes the business is in position only to grow. “We moved from a business that had issues to one that is outstanding,” she says. “Yes, we have to keep improving. We’re not perfect. But our hearts are in the right place and people want that. “Our members are not all tree-huggers. They’re people who are aware and want to feel good about the clothes they buy and want to feel their co-op is serving them … and that’s what we’re trying to do. “As we’re going forward and we’re gaining membership that’s giving us more strength and power to advocate and make change on a bigger level. We start with ourselves — change begins with yourself — and go forward.” email@example.com
‘Not rocket science’ From page 15 impacts and what to do about it. Otherwise, employers will continue to be caught off guard because they didn’t see it coming or didn’t know how to respond. Second, we have to find ways to plug the hole in the bucket by being strategic and proactive in attracting and retaining talent. Challenge your standard practices and results. We need to be nimble. Business owners and operators need to do things differently. They need to be more creative in recognizing what someone brings to the table and how to help candidates fill the HR gaps. By and large, employers are already increasing wages and benefits to attract and retain talent. But wages can only go up as far as customers will let them. Customers determine what they will pay for goods and services, whether it’s a meal at a restaurant or a massive piece of infrastructure for an offshore project. Creative retention strategies are linked not only to wages and benefits, but work-life balance, flexibility, respectful workplaces and so on. Enriching the work experience, offering employees opportunities for professional development and training and valuing employees’ personal time are ways to help attraction and retention efforts. Third, let’s get more creative in finding ways to repatriate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians abroad, and bring them back home to work, live and raise their families. Fourth, we need to get in the game of competing for and attracting newcomers. For example, many provinces have taken proactive steps to increase immigration, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Prince Edward Island is embarking on a new agreement with the Philippines to bring in temporary foreign workers. While the province has a new immigration strategy, immigration isn’t “the” answer to our demographic and labour shortage challenges. It is, however, part of the response. And fifth, we can maximize use of the talent we have at our fingertips. We can assertively promote greater workforce participation. We can facilitate more career counselling, co-operative education, mentoring and internship programs that train and prepare young people for the transition to the workplace. Tackling our labour supply and underlying demographic challenges might require some venturing outside the box. Do we need to undertake a concerted effort to reverse population decline? The provincial government’s proposed $1,000 “baby bonus” sounds like one piece of what could be a larger plan, yet, perhaps we shouldn’t be so fatalistic about our downward population projections. Instead, we should get to work on reversing the trend, just as New Brunswick has, with its new population growth secretariat. The bottom line is the businesses and provinces preparing now will gain a competitive advantage. This is not rocket science. We all know the problem and we all have band-aid solutions, but it’s time for a collective strategy for this collective problem. We need to be more than the innovator of labour force solutions. We need to be bolder and better. We can’t afford not to be … it’s the only way to survive the perfect storm. Cathy Bennett is president of the St. John’s Board of Trade.
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10/29/07 11:00:56 AM
20 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
More retailers cut prices Wal-Mart cuts more products to U.S. levels, Indigo offers deep discount By Dana Flavelle Torstar wire service
hopping in Canada just got a bit cheaper. Again. Amid rising evidence Canadian consumers are spending their soaring dollars south of the border, two major Canadian retailers announced price cuts aimed at keeping more shoppers at home. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. said it would cut prices on books, magazines, gift wrap and greeting cards in all its Canadian stores to U.S. levels, effective Nov. 1. Also, Indigo Books and Music Inc. introduced a new price promotion that gives customers an additional 10 per cent to 20 per cent off their favourite book in its Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores. Both moves came as the Canadian dollar hovers around its modern-day high and postal warehouses across Canada fill up with goods ordered from U.S. retailers. “With the strength of the loonie leading some Canadians to consider U.S. shopping alternatives, we’re creating a more compelling case for customers to shop and save with Wal-Mart Canada,” says president and chief executive officer Mario Pilozzi. Indigo says it cut prices for the same reason. “We’re hearing a lot of movement toward online shopping (and) we thought it was important in light of the disparity in the price printed on the (book) jacket, that ... beyond the fact that we’ve already seen prices come down, we have prices today that are at, or better than, the U.S. prices,” Indigo spokesperson Lisa Huie explains. SECOND CHOPPING It is the second time since the loonie hit $1 (US) in value on Sept. 20 that major Canadian retailers have announced price cuts. Earlier, WalMart Canada said it was rolling back its prices on more items than ever before, while Zellers announced permanent price reductions on thousands of items. The moves come in response to consumer anger over the gap between prices in Canada and the U.S. While the loonie has gained 22.6 per cent against the U.S. greenback so far this year, consumers report prices are in some cases 50 per cent to 60 per cent higher for identical goods on this side of the border. Canadians have found the price gap on printed material particularly annoying because books, magazines, gift wrap and greeting cards come with both the U.S. and Canadian price already printed on them. An Oprah magazine is priced at $4.95 (US) but $7.50 (CAN), for example. Indigo says the prices printed on book jackets are set by publishers, not retailers, often six months before the book hits store shelves, when the loonie was lower in value. “We buy and sell books in Canadian dollars,” says Joel Silver, Indigo’s chief merchant, “and as such do not profit in any way from a strengthened Canadian dollar.” Canadian retailers are responding to mounting evidence consumers are making more purchases in the U.S. POSTAL SERVICE STRETCHED Canada Post confirmed yesterday the number of parcels coming into Canada from U.S. retailers is soaring. Deliveries of U.S. parcels in Canada jumped nearly 18 per cent in September, stretching postal warehouses in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa to the limit. Canada Post has had to add more staff and overtime shifts to deal with the deluge, spokesperson François Legault said. Indigo says book prices have been falling over time as the Canadian currency rose. A new book that retails for $30 today would have hit store shelves six months ago at $35. The retailer also notes it has lowered the price of 25,000 items in the past four months by five per cent to 30 per cent. Indigo also released its latest sales results for the quarter ending Sept. 29, which included the release of the latest book in the hugely popular Harry Potter series. Sales grew 14.8 per cent to $209.2 million while net earnings swung to $3.3 million from a loss of $1 million a year earlier.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007 — PAGE 21
Sings the jigs Local dancer tells life story of Port au Port resident in song and dance By Mandy Cook The Independent
inety-four-year-old Black Duck Brook resident Florence LePrieur is leaning forward in her armchair, the focus of a cameraman’s lens. Her body a bundle of animated energy, she is “singing the jigs” at filmmaker and dance artist Louise Moyes’ request. “Dee diddle di di diddle dee — hey!” she finishes with a flourish of hand slap and cry. Or something close to it. It’s hard to describe the music emanating from the woman’s lips. A cross between a Jew’s harp and throat singing, her voice is its own instrument. Known as chin music, she is singing jigs and reels — fiddle melodies — for the camera and for cultural posterity. “You gettin’ all that, are ye?” she asks the cameraman. Taking a shine to him, she flirts and calls him her “bébé.” St. John’s-based dancer Moyes first met the plucky LePrieur more than three years ago through another dance work, The Port au Port Story. The elderly woman’s two grandsons were involved in the project, and Grammie, as Moyes calls her, performed a small part. A charismatic character who shared many of Moyes’ interests and defining life experiences, the two bonded instantly on an emotional level. It was not long after that Moyes decided LePrieur’s was the life story she had been looking to tell through her unique form of dance-theatre. Moyes’ dance company, Docudance, is the performer’s vehicle for storytelling through movement and text, music and mime. A gifted mimic of accent and rhythm, she’s debuting the full-length premiere of Florence at the LSPU Hall Nov. 14-17, recounting Grammie’s remarkable life and the priceless oral history of a disappearing generation. LePrieur lived out her life in L’Anse à Canard, a tiny community on the north shore of the Port au Port peninsula. The wife of a woodsman, she reared nine children alone for months at a time. She says she “worked like a horse and didn’t care for nudding, Mae,” but her life’s passion was music and singing the jigs. As Moyes moves through the performance space, she recounts Grammie’s stories, at times spinning, pulsing and gesturing, all the while slipping effortlessly between LePrieur’s voice and her own, between French and English. She recalls one story about the day LePrieur went to milk the cows, but was called away by the news a boat was stuck in a sandbar. The sailors had thrown bags of flour overboard in an effort to free the vessel. Throughout the 50-minute piece, film clips of LePrieur telling the same story echo Moyes’ version. “One of the neighbours came and said the flour was coming ashore like a white sheet on the waaater,” Moyes drawls, in character. All the while, she flicks with her hands, animating the tale, gathering up the 100-pound bags of flour. The kicker of the story is revealed in the dancer’s own voice, later. The audience discovers the captain of the ship, LePrieur’s eventual fatherin-law, ran the boat ashore on purpose. The com-
Louise Moyes, performing part of her dance piece, Florence.
Paul Daly/The Independent
See “It makes,” page 24
Eyes on the prizes
In a series of awards ceremonies and gala occasions, the Order of Canada rises above
irst to the MUSICNL Awards. Awards shows are fraught with hype and anxiety, always potentially silly and, at worst, utterly lacking in credibility. No doubt, awards are important for sales and the marketing side of the industry, enhancing the profile of musicians and their agents, should they be lucky enough to have them, but at some level we all know they are popularity contests driven by the quirks and biases of the judges You have to admire executive director Denis Parker’s enthusiasm for the whole extravaganza, not to mention his leadership in the industry, but it’s not really clear who the judges of the MusicNL awards were, or what criteria they were following to determine, say, “group” or “entertainer” of the
NOREEN GOLFMAN Standing Room Only year? Sure, Shanneyganock won over The Flummies and Funky Dory, but why exactly? Are they better? Best? Well, good for them. You have to love a competition that gives one set of prizes to a self-proclaimed “proud patriotic” group like Shanneyganock and another (alternative artist/group of the year) to an irreverently edgy band called The Kremlin. Locally produced music obviously soothes a wide variety of savage beasts. Perhaps Karl Marx would approve the
sheer social equity of it all. But do Canadian awards mean anything? When Ron Hynes recently performed at the opening of the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival at the Arts and Culture Centre, he both brought down the house and puzzled a whole lot of visiting mainlanders who claimed they had never heard of him. How is that possible? Hynes holds more awards than most living Canadian musicians combined. In another genre entirely, the Gemini Awards were held over the last few weeks to honour the best in English-Canadian television programming. That somewhat bumpy field of competition is obviously a lot wider, but then again it’s all part of another closed system favouring insiders and based on
uncertain criteria. With an astonishing 91 categories for craft and performance you would expect anyone working in television with a pulse to be nominated. This is partly why the awards have never managed to galvanize the interest of a popular television audience. Honestly, how can you take the Geminis seriously when the best Canadian drama series on television, Intelligence, just lost to far weaker shows with even more obscure actors? Or when Howie Mandel is named favourite Canadianborn TV performer? Now there’s a category not worth taking seriously. Still, it needs to be said that the marvelous home-grown Pope Productions achievement of 2006, Above and Beyond, secured five nominations in major categories, winning
one, inexplicably, for Jonathan Scarfe for best supporting actor. In this writer’s view, Pam Hall was robbed of best production design honours and surely the best writing award was stolen from John Doyle and Lisa Porter, that tribute going to the Vancouver-based Dragon Boys. Maybe the award went to the most expensive production. But for all kinds of practical reasons, it’s good to be nominated and we should be applauding Pope Productions for making it to the program in several categories. However noble their effort, this seemed to be the year for Saskatchewan, with not only the awards finale being televised there but the Saskatchewan-based See “One to,” page 22
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
hen Chapel Arm native Tia Warren attended Sir Wilfred Grenfell College on the island’s west coast, she first thought she would specialize in photography. Instead, she fell in love with the technique of printmaking — and a fellow printmaker. Michael Connolly of Kilbride started his art education at Grenfell in the same year. The married couple acknowledge there were sparks right off the bat, but they weren’t necessarily the romantic kind. “We used to fight most of the time,” says Tia, with a grin. “But by the end of the year we were together,” finishes Michael. The relationship resulted in a wedding, daughter Anna (now 15 months old), busy careers in the art field and their first joint show. Sticks and Stones and Garden Gnomes will be on display at the Leyton Gallery in St. John’s Nov. 3-24. The collection of acrylic paintings, drawings, collage and prints is a gentle and innovative interpretation of the natural world they share and enjoy together. A professed woodsman, Michael’s
TIA & MICHAEL CONNOLLY
Visual Artists work is the sticks and stones part of the exhibition. A recent concentration on wood — particularly the stands of birch and spruce growing around his family cabin in Mobile — led to working strips of birch bark into the ultimate wood product: his paper canvas. Michael has drilled holes into the bark (akin to the province’s woodpeckers), pasted pieces of it onto paper and inked a spectrum of pulpy beiges, yellows and browns over the natural material. The dark slubbings of the bark show through filmy tracing paper and fecund, drooping catkin seeds are drawn over the whole works — the life cycle of the paper prod-
uct and an artist’s working surface built into a frame. “I really like trees,” he says. “I like the movement, and each tree has its own personality which I think is really neat … the human aspect I find interesting, the human potential of the everyday things we take for granted.” From tree bark and arrowhead drawings — Michael’s stone fixation — to fish and flocks of vibrantly coloured birds, nature’s influence and humanity’s manipulation of it figures subtly in both artists’ work. Tia has also produced several pieces focusing on trees and leaves, but one image, Veronica’s Long Road, features a neon blue ghost of a Newfoundland pony. Tia’s father bred the ponies at one time, and his daughter was in charge of turning the little horse out into its summer grazing ground. “I rode her only once when we had to go from Chapel Arm to Whitbourne to bring her in there for the summer. She was going to be in this field with all these other horses and so I just got tired of walking, it takes hours, so I hopped on her back,” she recalls.
The house in the painting’s background is a concoction of Tia’s imagination, gathered from photographs and what her husband has described to her about the family stead. Michael’s grandparents owned the Kilbride home, but it no longer stands. The two cool subjects are separated and highlighted by electric tracers in red and yellow, perhaps a visual representation of the nostalgic journey of Tia’s past. Another image, of a tree silhouetted by dusk, is on the surface a sensual study of a quickly darkening sky flecked with gold. Upon closer inspection however, the garden gnome of the show’s title makes an appearance, adding a distinctively light touch to the work. His little red Santa Claus hat is a charming dissonance that hints at the artist’s light-hearted personality. Asked whether their shared artistic pursuits enhance their relationship, Tia responds succinctly. “It is our relationship,” she says, looking at Michael. He nods in agreement. “It always has been.” firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail email@example.com
‘One to note above all’ From page 21 comedies Little Mosque on the Prairie and Corner Gas coming up smiling in major categories. There is a huge irony in the littleknown fact that most of Little Mosque on the Prairie is shot in Toronto and that Corner Gas is, well, not that funny to anyone living east of Kenora, but then no one asked me to do any judging. Perhaps when the Geminis are televised from St. John’s we’ll see some of the top prizes awarded here. And then there’s award-winning writer Jane Urquhart, whose elegant face actually made it to the front page of the Other Paper last weekend. I nearly fell off my chair, unaccustomed as I am to seeing any novelist, let alone one from away, so prominently featured in The Telegram.
The story centred on the fact of an imminent reading by one of Canada’s leading writers and that Urquhart has always found this province to be a rich source of literary inspiration and writerly support. Here is a case where a strong handful of prestigious awards have gone a deservedly long way. Having been short-listed for all the significant literary awards in the universe, Urquhart has already claimed a Governor General’s Award for the novel The Stone Carvers and the notable distinction of having remained on the Globe and Mail’s bestseller list for a record-breaking 132 weeks. Urquhart is also an Officer of that club of clubs, the Order of Canada. And that brings me to Patrick O’Flaherty, professor emeritus, author, educator and passionate advocate of Newfoundland literature and culture, not to mention columnist for
this paper, now named as a worthy member of that prestigious Order. In a season of award ceremonies, last weekend’s annual ritual marking the investiture of members of the Order of Canada surely ranks as the most distinguished. “It’s the unexpected public recognition of a life’s work carried out mostly in the obscurity of academic settings,” Dr. O’Flaherty remarked on the honour with characteristic wit. Music and film and even writing awards get a lot more attention, but O’Flaherty’s scholarly achievement is the one to note above all. It transcends the marketplace, is as free of commercialism, cronyism, and bias as it gets, and everyone gets to bask in it. Bravo! Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and women’s studies at Memorial. Her column returns Nov. 16.
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTLIFE • 23
Affleck goes first class
Gone Baby Gone full of surprises, not the least that Ben Affleck made a brave, intelligent film Gone Baby Gone Starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan 1/2 (out of four) 114 min.
our-year-old Amanda McCready of south Boston has been missing for more than 72 hours. Presumed abducted, the chances of finding her become more remote with the passage of time. Desperate to do everything it takes to recover her, Amanda’s aunt and uncle enlist the services of fledgling private investigators Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) to “augment” the efforts of local police. Their theory is that someone from the neighbourhood knows something, but is reluctant to talk to the police. Kenzie and Gennaro, who are partners in every modern sense of the word, have never had a case of this magnitude, but reluctantly agree. Police Captain Jack Doyle (Morgan Freeman), however, is even more reluctant to co-operate with the two hired hands, especially since Patrick looks much younger than his age. When he’s reminded of his legal obligation to do so, he relents and sets up a meeting with the two detectives leading the investigation. It’s been a while since Kenzie has spent time in the neighbourhood, but in jig time he and his partner have new information to add to the investigation. Having earned the respect of Detectives Remy Bressant (Ed Harris) and Nick Poole (John Ashton), the four work closely together as they inch closer to the whereabouts of the missing child. Based on the novel by Mystic River author Dennis Lehane, Gone Baby Gone marks Ben Affleck’s debut as a feature film director. In addition to being one of
TIM CONWAY Film Score the film’s producers, Affleck also shares screen-writing duties with Aaron Stockard. Word has it that this is his favourite novel, and his multi-disciplinary participation certainly indicates he’s willing to go the distance to do this book justice on the screen. If there’s anything negative one could say about Gone Baby Gone, it would be that if Ben Affleck has indeed been passionate about making this picture, it would be nice to see more of it on the screen. Understatement and nuance are fine characteristics of a film, but if not handled with the right touch, other elements such as suspense and excitement are restrained. Consequently, audiences don’t experience the full range of emotion that could otherwise be offered by the story. This isn’t to say that there’s little suspense here or that the movie is dull. But if Affleck had loosened the reins a bit, it would have been a slight improvement to the tone of the film. At the same time, it’s much better to err on the side of caution, especially his first time out, than to go over the top and undermine what he has achieved in almost every other aspect of the production. Set in his hometown, Affleck does a wonderful job of establishing an environment that appears authentic. The places and people seem to suggest “only here.” While they are not unique, and are sadly often too familiar, our experiences would be with people and places like them, but
Amy Ryan as Helene in Gone Baby Gone.
somehow different. Within this world he has recreated, Affleck presents interesting characters played by solid performers, with the one exception being Michelle Monaghan, who’s given very little to do. Morgan Freeman and Amy Madigan turn in their usual top rate work. As in so many years previously, talk about contenders for supporting actor awards for 2007 is sure to be incomplete without mentioning Ed
Harris and his commanding performance here. Casey Affleck, as Patrick Kenzie, makes his mark in a demanding role that offers the best audition a young actor could hope to receive. He hits the right note every time, with a character who is constantly underestimated, particularly because of his youthful appearance. Moreover, Kenzie walks a tightrope between innocence and experience, while
trying to maintain his ideals, and the younger Affleck handles this perfectly. Oddly enough, however, Affleck isn’t the only performer drawing attention to their heretofore undiscovered talents. Amy Ryan, who has also skirted the edges of Hollywood’s radar screen for years, takes the character of Helene McCready, the missing girl’s mother, and delivers one of the year’s most memorable performances. At turns despicable and sympathetic, Ryan’s Helene draws upon the greatest range of our emotions, and whether we love her or hate her at any particular moment, one thing’s for sure — we can’t ignore her. All around, Gone Baby Gone is a firstclass production, telling an engaging story and featuring brilliant performances. More than just a police drama, this is a moral tale, and one that doesn’t deign to preach to us about right and wrong. Perhaps it is this aspect of the film, which is sure to have the greatest impact on audiences, is what made Ben Affleck so committed to the project. After 10 years in the business, he probably realizes that a moral dilemma isn’t the first thing that Hollywood looks for in a screenplay, and in the wrong hands, Gone Baby Gone could have become just another thriller. Fortunately, at a time when “ethical” has almost become a variation on “new and improved,” we find a motion picture that isn’t afraid to explore what’s right or wrong, our choices, and the consequences. Just as interesting, is that it’s to our surprise, and his credit, that Ben Affleck is asking the questions. Tim Conway operates Capitol Video in Rawlins Cross, St. John’s. His column returns Nov. 16.
Great selection, neighbourhood feel
hurchill Square has a little something for everyone — books, banking, restaurants, fresh fish and so much more — yet “The Square” has managed to maintain a small neighbourhood flavour. Convenience combined with an unhurried,
friendly feel is what keeps customers returning to Churchill Square over the years. Shoppers say they can accomplish a lot when they stop into The Square. Shoppers can book a vacation at LeGrows Travel, then pick up items to take along on a trip at Take the Plunge or at Alpine Country Lodge — depending, of course, on the destination. There are books, games, music and gifts available at Bennington Gate and jewelry at Diamond Design. Terrace on the Square is a great place to sit, relax and meet with friends. “I can get my hair done, pick up a little gift for a friend, pay my bills, have a cup of coffee, get a jump on my Christmas shopping and pick up a new pair of sneakers all in the one place,” one cheerful shopper shares.
Terrace on the Square, Churchill Square.
While malls can leave her feeling exhausted at times, she says Churchill Square is different. “It just feels like you stepped out for a few minutes to pick up a few things — almost like going shopping without the hassle of going
shopping.” “Shopping in a small independently owned store is such a different experience than shopping in a larger store or at one of many in a chain someplace,” another shopper says. Besides knowing their products inside out, she continues, Churchill Square storeowners also get to know their customers. One window shopper says shopping at The Square naturally pulls people together. “While I certainly love being recognized and feeling valued at the stores I go into fairly regu-
Nicholas Langor/The Independent
larly, I also like that I run into the same people each time I come,” she says, adding that she’s never lost for a coffee or a lunch date when she visits. She might not buy much on this day, she admits, but she knows she will be back. “Looking around is half the fun.”
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
24 • INDEPENDENTLIFE
‘It makes me want to dance’ From page 21 munity was desperately in need of supplies. “But Grammie didn’t tell me that,” recants Moyes. “She left out that detail.” The performance becomes all the more poignant when LePrieur’s and Moyes’ lives entwine on stage. Moyes’ son was born 18 months ago, a miracle baby in the wake of several miscarriages — one stillborn at six months. Grammie was inti-
mately attuned to the painful experience, losing four children within a month of their births during her childbearing years. One child made its way into a story when she decided to make her entrance on the road to the store in Black Duck Brook. “Thought I was going to have her on the road, Mae,” she says, a high-pitched inflection at the end, matching her wide eyes. Moyes’ story overlaps then, dropping quickly to her heels, a physical translation of a baby dropping down a
birth channel. “My birth pains took over. Every bump in the road in St. John’s,” she says, turning to the audience. “And there’s a lot of them.” Between stories and recited text, Moyes repeatedly returns to the jig, bare feet tapping out the beat on the floor. It is LePrieur’s defining trait — her skills so well known in her village she would be stopped on the road and asked to sing jigs on the spot — and Moyes focuses on the
art form, dancing to local composer Lori Clarke’s heartbeat-inspired score. LePrieur breathed her last breath in the dying days of summer this year. As she aged, she’d complain her body wasn’t what it was, that her breath used to be “so looonng.” She couldn’t hear her feet tap on the carpeted floor of the seniors’ home in Kippens where she lived out her final days, but her low-heeled shoes left two dents in the wooden floor of the house she grew up in.
Sharing the story of her last visit with her ailing friend, Moyes diffuses her emotion as best she can with Grammie’s own joke, cracked while restricted to her bed: “Me, I’m finished, I’m Swedish!” Moyes laughs aloud, strength renewed, eager and ready to dance and sing LePrieur’s life. “It makes me want to dance hearing somebody talk like that … It’s like my heart is moving with it.” firstname.lastname@example.org
‘The things we see on our journeys’ For 30 years, The Flummies have been playing traditional Labrador songs, laced with more than a little rock ’n’roll By Stephanie Porter The Independent
eander Baikie laughs as he compares his band, the long-running Labrador traditional group The Flummies, to the Rolling Stones. “Well, we started up in the ’70s, so we’re all into our fourth decade,” he tells The Independent from his office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. “And we have more than 150 years of performance experience between us. “But then we’re not millionaires yet.” Officially created in 1978, The Flummies (named after traditional Labrador trappers’ bread) have built a solid following for both their commitment to preserving and recording songs from the area, and their ability to keep an audience on its feet during their many club and dance gigs. And 2007 is shaping up to be one of the band’s most notable years. In January, Lab-Originals, a one-hour documentary about the band, premiered and is now airing on Bravo Canada and APTN. The show is nominated for this year’s Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for best television program promoting aboriginal music, and The Flummies will play Toronto Dec. 1 and 2 as part of the awards exhibition. This fall, the band released This is the life for me, their seventh CD. They picked up a MUSICNL nomination and steady airplay because of it. “It’s our best album to date, because we didn’t have to travel,” says singer and guitarist Baikie. “When we have to go to a studio elsewhere, it’s pretty rushed, we don’t have time to go back and fix things or make things better. “This time we did, because we recorded here in Happy Valley-Goose Bay at our lead guitar player Tunker Campbell’s studio.” Talk of travel runs through much of Baikie’s conversation — as inspiration, as inconvenience, is a factor key to the shape of the band. It’s the reason the band decided against attending last weekend’s MUSICNL conference, in favour of the trip to Toronto in December and a jaunt to the 2008 East Coast Music Awards in New Brunswick next spring. “For six guys living in Goose Bay, it costs a lot of
The Flummies, from left: Leander Baikie, Alton Best, Tunker Campbell, Simeon Asivak and Richard Dyson. Part-time drummer Raymond Montague is missing from the photo.
money to fly out,” Baikie says. “Until the 2009 road link, the Trans-Labrador Highway between Goose Bay and Cartwright, it’s going to be business as usual, in the sense you can only pick and choose where you fly and where you can’t.” It’s restricted the band in terms of touring — they play regularly around their town and hit plenty of festivals along the coast in the summer. There’s strong interest in northern Canada for their music,
so The Flummies do their best to get there when they can. Baikie says they’ve already been invited to Iqaluit next summer. The band members are of Inuit and Inuit Métis background. Alton Best and Richard Dyson, founding members since 1978, were joined by Eugene “Tunker” Campbell in 1989 and Simeon Asivak and Baikie in 1999. Part-time drummer Raymond Montague is the sixth Flummie. All believe strongly in the need and importance of promoting songs from their past. “One of the things we as Flummies pride ourselves on is performing songs that have only orally been passed down through the generations here in central Labrador,” says Baikie. “There’s not that many of us recording artists that live in Labrador; we do our best to preserve and protect some of the songs from days gone by.” But accordion tunes, jigs and stories from the past show just one side of the band. The Flummies certainly aren’t afraid of rock ’n’ roll — a genre with its own considerable history in the region. “It’s the nature of the beast in Goose Bay,” Baikie laughs. “It comes from the 1940s when the Americans were here and this is what people wanted to do on the weekend, go to the clubs and dance. “Even 10 years ago, when 5 Wing had all the troops from around the world, there were 22 bars that were hiring bands and paying good money, many of them on the base. There is a good music scene here still, but it’s definitely slowing down.” Although the band will pull out cover tunes to keep an audience hopping, they’re just as apt to play an original composition. Talking about his own songwriting, Baikie turns again to thoughts of wideopen spaces and trying to cross them. “Life in Labrador dictates that we spend a lot of time on the land or the sea, for hunting trips or journeys,” he says. “It’s not strange to have our accor-
dion player Richard Dyson travel 12 hours on snowmobile to Cartwright in spring to visit family and friends. These journeys are all experiences; the things we write about are the things we see on our journeys, how we felt … “Traveling on snowmobiles sometimes, you may travel three or four hours one way. So that’s time to think — no telephones ringing, and you’re just humming to yourself … putting rhymes together over and over in your head. We’re not trained in the art of songwriting; it’s just life experiences.” Baikie picks out Cheer Up, the 12th and final track on their latest CD. It’s an original, penned by Baikie, and one of the very few dance songs recorded by The Flummies. He thought it was important, both to showcase the band’s range and to stand as social commentary. “Cheer Up is written in an aboriginal context,” he says. “It’s about sad times in a person’s life, that can happen in isolated communities, people think there’s no other way out around certain issues and problems, but you deal with the matter as quickly as you can and then you’re back on your feet again. “Young people like our music and respect it, so maybe there’s some hidden messages in there for them.” Even after all this time, Baikie says, The Flummies don’t plan on going anywhere. They’ve all got families and day jobs — they’ve long since realized they can’t be full-time musicians, not living in their communities — but are committed to playing, celebrating, and sharing their songs. Baikie says he’s working on a proposal to bring the 2009 MUSICNL award weekend to Labrador, and the group would like to get around Newfoundland and Labrador to show off their latest CD. “Besides, I think 30 years of merriment deserves a provincial tour.”
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007 — PAGE 25
Nectar of the gods Wine Fest St. John’s best happy hour of the year
By Mandy Cook The Independent
hort of a letter from Dionysius — the Greek god of wine — you’re not going to get your hands on the season’s most coveted ticket in town, the 12th Annual St. John’s Wine Fest, by the time you read this. As of press time, four evenings of taste tasting at the Delta Hotel were completely sold out, with tickets available for only the charity wine auction event and the closing gala dinner Nov. 10. An event notorious for its preChristmas, er, festiveness and glamourous semi-formal dress code, the five-day wine show’s ultimate purpose is to provide everyone from tippledrinking initiates to discriminating connoisseurs the chance to sample more than 300 wines from around the world and avail of expert insight from those pouring sample-sized sips.
Wine agent and charity auctioneer at this year’s event, David Greene, says the show has been an integral part of the province’s embracing of wine appreciation in the past decade. “Wine Fest is a tremendous opportunity for people to de-snobify wine,” he says. “By that I mean there’s always this certain feeling and sense that wine is a bit highfalutin and you’ve got to know a lot about it, where in fact this gives you the opportunity to try wines from $12 to $100.” Greene figures most festival attendees will spend between “several $100 and several $1,000” on wine at the show — taking advantage of a 10 per cent discount extended to all bottles purchased on site. According to Greg Gill, marketing manager at the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, roughly 5,000 tickets were sold.
The numbers make for a certain business opportunity for Newfoundland’s first winery, Rodrigues Winery in Markland. General manager Lionel Rodrigues says their Avalon Peninsula operation can’t pass up an opportunity to alert people to the fact quality wine is being made in the province. It’s a “constant educational process,” he says — but Wine Fest is a chance to expose discerning drinkers to his product. “It’s hard to gauge how overall sales go for an event like this, but we gauge it by getting new people to taste it. That’s pretty much all it is: if I have 50 people taste it I can pretty comfortably say that a minimum of 10 per cent are going to go out and buy it afterwards.” But if you are hesitant about delving into the world of grape varietals and growing regions, fear not. Greene has several tips for the tentative oenophile. Rule No. 1: Pace yourself. Greene
says sampling too many wines will overtax the taste buds. Better to start with lighter whites, such as a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, and then follow with a heavier Cabernet or Merlot. He also recommends having a purpose. Pick an Australian Shiraz or Italian Chianti at different price points, and try them together to decide which one you like best. And should tasters spit the sample back into the glass or swallow the wine for its full effect? Rodrigues insists many of the hidden flavours of his wines reveal themselves only after a person allows the liquid to travel around the taste buds, then swallows and exhales. Plus, the former option goes against his better instincts. “I’m also a Newfoundlander. I think it’s a waste to spit out booze at any point.” email@example.com
A guide to reading a menu
Nicholas Gardner compiles a fine mock menu, then talks eaters through the good, bad and ugly
aking sense of a menu can be a difficult and challenging thing to do, but it shouldn’t read like a Robertson Davies novel — confusing, complex and esoteric enough to make you cry. A menu is a road map, a guide of what is on offer. It shouldn’t be hard to navigate either. Simplicity is key. Modern menus are difficult for a reason: wordy descriptions make the food seem more creative. I’m always disappointed when reading a menu as I feel somehow, whatever I order will
NICHOLAS GARDNER Off the Eating Path not come up to the expectations of what I had going in. Compounding the problem is the addition words, things like “organic,” “fresh,” “natural,” “hand-made” and “artisan.” Each word has its own connotations and trappings.
With the mock menu below, I will try to navigate you around the tricks, the misleading words and hand you the “road map” that is easier to use than a GPS. SOUPS Sun-dried tomato and basil cream soup Sweet potato and maple bisque and crisp kataffi spirals As a rule, I tend to stay away from soups in restaurants, even in the darkest depths of winter. They tend to
be more a vehicle for large amounts of cream and less in the way of highlighting a main element. So how do you find the gems on the page? Look for an interesting little balance, or counterpoint — a drizzle of heady infused oil, a dollop of crème fraiche, or even the salty-briny pop of real caviar. SALADS Spiced beef tips on spring greens with Ketjap Manais reduction As salads go I look for “named
produce” — Mayer Farms, etc. This shows the product is coming fresh and generally often to the establishment. If many or all salads on the list have the same ingredients, they don’t do enough to prep them. Stay away. Roasted garlic Caesar salad with fresh anchovies Caesar salads on a menu are for picky eaters, unless the description says something interesting. Here I See “Simple,” page 26
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
26 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE
‘Simple, clean and beautiful’ From page 25 am tempted because of the fresh, not the standard salted anchovies — save your money and stay clear. HOT APPETIZERS A trio sampler of tuna: tuna tartar and candied grapes; sesame seed crusted tuna pave and port glace; and sashimi tuna and warmed wasabiMirin reduction Under a hot appetizer, both hot and cold components? This is a warning sign. It means that the restaurant is attempting to make the money by searing the older, but still very expensive product, and using the freshest for raw. Also, be careful of hot and cold together. Hot food can be served on a cool plate, but not vice versa. Duo of spring rolls: shrimp with spicy black bean and garlic, and salmon with mushrooms and leeks with spicy ginger and orange reduction. This restaurant does not have a menu filled with deep fried items. This could indicate the lack of a commercial fryer to maximize crunchiness and heat and reduce greasiness. This choice has the potential to be very greasy, heavy and overbalanced. Also be wary of solitary Asian fusion food, unless it’s the specialty of the house. MAIN Venison rack trio, yellow carrots on yellow corn polenta “cake” and Cabernet-Merlot reduction The lone meat entrée. While
it is solitary, it could be a safe bet. Meats on the bone, like rack of lamb, tend to hold their moisture and can be a good buy. Hard seared red snapper on sautéed pea shoots and red lentil pilaf on purée of pea and ensnared by curry oil Salmon chop on orange marmalade with braised endive boats and ginger sauce This is a good bet — oranges and ginger go together like peas in a pod, as well the sweetness would break up the bitterness of the endive. DESSERT “Chocolate drumstick” nestled on hazelnut biscotti, blackberry “paint” and chardonnay-mint infusion A real mish-mash of flavours here. While mint and chocolate go together, I am not sure if a Chardonnay is a sweet enough for the mint to balance out the chocolate. A selection of artisan cheeses Cheeses as a dessert course have been a staple of French life for years. The test is simple: ask your server if the cheeses are stored at room temperature. If the answer is no, or if there’s a hesitation on the part of your server, move on. Olive Oil Gelato Gelato made in house is very difficult to get wrong. Simple, clean and beautiful. Nicholas Gardner is a freelance writer and erstwhile chef living in St. John’s. firstname.lastname@example.org
Unwelcome comebacks When will Britney and Backstreet finally allow themselves to sink into obscurity? By Ben Rayner Torstar wire service
esterday’s pop star, today’s disaster. Short of ’N Sync, there were no bigger names with the kiddies at the turn of the millennium than Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Today, both acts will essentially live or die based upon the performance of new albums for which the music industry holds guarded “comeback” hopes. Well, Britney’s not going anywhere. It’s been four years since In the Zone and the poor girl is still making the news hourly, whether she’s losing custody of her children or getting arrested or shaving her head or simply falling out of a car drunk somewhere. Until a nunnery beckons, this isn’t likely to change, regardless of how Blackout or anything to do with the music that was once (sort of) her purpose does. Blackout should do fine, by the way. And this despite, or perhaps because of, what sounds like Spears’s almost complete absence from the process that created it. There’s not much evidence of Britney’s involvement to be found amidst the bumpin’ synthetic grooves of high-priced folks like Timbaland right-hand-man Danja, the Neptunes and Toxic producers Bloodshy & Avant, all of whom earn their keep here by building an ace mainstream dance record around the ghost of a star, who left it to Pharrell Williams to write the tell-all kiss-off to her ex-husband, Why Should I Be Sad, that closes the album. Spears didn’t even co-write the one other tune on Blackout — the slinky, fittingly dazed-sounding Bloodshy & Avant concoction Piece of Me — that makes reference to the apparent shambles of her personal life. Honestly, were it not for the photos on the CD jacket, you coulda told me this was the new Paris Hilton album. Vacant detachment yields a few laughs on Blackout, admittedly. But if career rehabilitation is Britney’s thing these days, putting forth the appearance of her own career as more than just an afterthought to tabloid theatre might be the wisest move. Former boy-band moppets the Backstreet Boys already tried one comeback attempt with 2005’s Never Gone and kinda failed at it, so heaven only knows what possessed them to continue down the same drab, adultcontemporary route to “maturity” on Unbreakable. Unbreakable plays like 51 minutes trapped in a cab with the worst, most bland “light rock, less talk” radio-station playlist in North America. Too old to pull off teen-pop twaddle like Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) these days, the four remaining Boys and their myriad collaborators now rarely let their harmony-fuelled songs of obvious heartache and flaccid seduction drift above a mild, mid-tempo R&B gait, rounding out their whitesoul pretensions with swaths of featherweight Air Supply balladry. It would be ghastly if it wasn’t so forgettable, but Unbreakable is so uninspired and devoid of hooks it’s reduced to stealing melodies from hits like Seal’s Kiss From a Rose to make the odd song stick for more than its running length. Don’t worry, though, a few more seconds and they’re gone.
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 27
The morning after
Pining for pineapple?
Pam Pardy Ghent pieces together the night before — and apologizes
By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service
n the ’50s, desserts and the ladies serving them were preferably cute and sweet. Here’s a blast from the past that fits that description. PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE Adapted from Retro Luau: Planning the Perfect Polynesian Party by Richard Perry. This is best served the same day; otherwise, the pineapple looks sad and wilted. • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus extra for greasing dish • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped • 398 ml (14 oz) can pineapple rings in juice, drained, juice reserved • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 3 large eggs, separated • 1 cup granulated sugar • 6 maraschino cherries Melt one-quarter cup butter in medium skillet on medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and pecans to blend and moisten. Remove from heat. Butter eight-inch square baking dish. Line bottom with square of parchment paper. Select six pineapple rings. (Reserve remaining rings for other uses.) Arrange rings in bottom of prepared dish, pushing together gently to fit. Spread pecan mixture over top. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
In large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with electric mixer on medium speed until thick and lemon-coloured, about two minutes. Gradually beat in granulated sugar, mixing until fluffy. Beat in flour mixture until blended. Beat in five tablespoons pineapple juice until blended. (Discard remaining juice or reserve for other uses.) Scrape bowl. In another large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into yolk mixture. Pour batter evenly over pineapple in baking dish. Bake in preheated 350F oven until tester in centre comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on rack 30 minutes. Invert on to serving platter. Press a maraschino cherry into centre of each pineapple ring. Makes six large servings.
hen I wake alone in bed the morning after a night before, there might be a problem. When I wake the morning after a night before alone, fully dressed and with contacts dried into my eyes, I know there is. There will undoubtedly be something I did, said, thought out loud or otherwise took part in that I will quite possibly regret for a very, very long time. I woke Sunday morning figuring something was up. I could see the time without squinting. Crap. That meant I had been too “under the weather” to remove my contacts and Blair had been too pissed off to remind me. I was also very uncomfortable. The reason? I was still dressed, head to toe, in my Halloween costume. (Ironically I was dressed as an angel and, boy, were those wings killing me.) I checked to see if Blair was home — it was possible he was still at the party. I have a tendency to sneak off home out of it when I’m done. While no one rivals me at revelling, my energetic “give ’er” style usually wanes well before Blair — a patient, paced sort of partier — is finished. He was in the other bed. Not good. Not good at all. It’s not that this sort of thing happens often, but I have been in these boots before, though never in a waistlength pink wig, two-inch gold eyelashes and a set of powder pink angel wings. I wracked my brain for some memory of the night before that might make a semi-sober me cringe. I came up blank. Usually there is some faint memory, something that would make me immediately swear off drinking for eternity and then some. Nothing. I had been good, I was sure of it. Besides, I wasn’t really that drunk. (I didn’t eat beforehand. It was only two
Home care: keep the cold out and warmth in
oy Crawley of Handyman Home Hardware in Villa Nova Plaza in Manuels says there’s more to winterizing your home than checking and insulating windows and doors. Still, that’s always a great place to start. “Anything that gets you thinking on being prepared for a harsh Newfoundland and Labrador winter is a good thing, so go ahead and start at the obvious, but don’t stop there,” he advises. “First you want to be warm, comfortable and safe, but at the same time saving all the money you can is also an important factor.” Crawley suggests beginning with your outside doors. “Check, and possibly change your door sweeps,” he says. A door sweep is installed at the bottom of any outside door and keeps warm air in and cold air out. “They get broken and bend over time and they don’t work as efficiently at stopping drafts.” Crawley says this is a simple do-it-yourself project requiring a few household tools. He also mentions Draft Stop, a seasonal removable caulking that can be installed around windows you don’t plan to open over the winter. “Just put it on now and peel it off in the spring.” There are also simple plastic draft shields that can be installed with a hair dryer. “This is a lowcost, easy way to keep the heat in and the cold out,” he says. While you are working on managing drafts, pick up foam backing for electrical outlets. “Take the electrical plates that sit along exterior walls off, install the foam, then put them back on,” he says. It’s another simple way to stay warm and save money. Crawley also runs through a list of things to take care of in the basement area of any home. Check and change furnace filters, insulate exposed piping
to prevent it from breaking, wrap your hot water boiler, use spray insulation to seal drafty spots, insulate exposed concrete areas and check, then use, your de-humidifier. Crawley says the list could go on. “Install a programmable thermostat on your baseboard heaters or your furnace,” he says, adding that timing them for just before you rise in the morning or just before you come home can keep you warm and save you money. Installing timers on inside and outside lights also have multiple benefits — first, for safety and security, and second, for energy savings. Now is also the time to think about switching to energy-efficient fluorescent lighting throughout the home. “Costs go up in the winter, so do whatever you can to save yourself money,” he says. There are many little things to keep in mind, Crawley says. “Take in your water hose so you don’t need to buy a new one in the spring, remove yard lights so they don’t get damaged when you’re clearing snow,” he says. Crawley chuckles when he mentions his next tip, one that deals with Christmas lighting. “I know it’s early, but once Halloween is over, festive lights soon follow,” he says. The best plan? Go with LED lights — they use 80 per cent less energy than conventional ones. Crawley advises every homeowner to drop into a home improvement store and check with the experts — then, follow their advice. “There are so many things you can do that will save you money and keep you cozy in your home,” he says. “A little upkeep now can have huge rewards later, and anything that helps ease the burden of one of our winters is certainly a good thing.”
PAM PARDY GHENT
Seven-day talk glasses of wine. It must have been the heat. I didn’t pass out — I was spinning and just lay down for a moment. Yeah, yeah, used them all.) But this time it was true — the spinning one anyway. I was pretty sure I remembered the entire evening. I wondered what I could have done. I crawled into the bed beside Blair, knowing (sadly, from experience) that his reaction would at least tell me where I stood on the trouble scale. A grunt was minor. A grunt before a turn over was moderate. He turned away without a sound, the worst reaction possible. Feeling too ill to deal with the drama I knew would follow, I did something very unlike me — I left him alone, figuring he would let me know soon enough. That he did. My crime? First, I referred to another man as “eye candy.” Not once, but continuously throughout the evening. I also, according to Blair, rubbed another man’s shoulders — not Mr. Eye Candy’s, mind you — despite the “stop-that-right-now” looks my husband swears he was shooting my way. He also claimed I “gleefully” ignored his dirty look protestations. For that I slept in angel wings and underwire bra? Not to make light of my husband’s hurt feelings, but in my defence, he was wearing a wig that night (exactly like mine except his was purple.) He also has bushy eyebrows and a moustache (his own, not fake) so with all that hair, I swear I saw no “look.”
I may have appeared “gleeful,” but it certainly wasn’t because I was ignoring my spouse. The eye-candy thing? It was a joke between this other woman and myself. We called a few men that during the night, including my dashing husband. The shoulder massage? Somewhat guilty as charged, but it was nothing. I was leaning over this young fella trying to read song lyrics (yeah, I sing when I drink — loudly, and quite poorly, I’m told) and I did touch his shoulders during the two songs I sang while I stood behind him. But that, I swear, was it. While I felt being mad at me for such mild indiscretions seemed petty, I still said I was sorry and meant it. Why? Because this was Blair’s second morning home and he only had seven more to go before he headed back west. His next time here will be for two weeks over Christmas. Fighting is not how I want to spend such short, precious time. I also realized that the old Blair — or the preAlberta working Blair — would have never minded my actions, but a husband who is hardly around tends to look at such things a little differently. I got that. Because I could see what I had done through the eyes of a workaway husband, I was sickeningly sorry. Blair sensed my sincerity and offered that my behaviour was really not that bad. I was off the hook — this time. Since I’m swearing off drinking (again), there won’t be “a next time,” I told myself. No more waking up alone when Blair’s home for me, I thought. Of course, I could always tear the sheets off the spare bed before we go out anywhere, perhaps hide the spare duvets and chuck the pillows. You know, just in case. email@example.com
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
28 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE
Submit your events to Kayla Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (709) 726-INDY (4639) Fax: (709) 726-8499
British Harbour, Trinity Bay from Newfoundland and Labrador Panoramics, an exhibition by photographer Randy Dawe, Manna Café, 342 Freshwater Rd., opens Nov. 9.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 • Canada Live presents Newfoundland Songbook Vol. 1 & 2 featuring Anita Best and Pamela Morgan, LSPU Hall, St. John’s, 8 p.m. Also Nov. 3. • Stick with-it literacy tour with co-creator and series illustrator, Chuck Temple. Performance of live illustrations before Fog Devil’s game, Mile One Centre, St. John’s, 6 p.m. Great for kids age 10 and under. • Big Band Dance, Jazz East Big Band with vocalist Katie Hopkins and Julia Halfyard’s cabaret with Brian Way, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s, 8 p.m. • The Slideguy Sessions, an early evening matinee featuring some of the best bluesmen, songwriters, and roots musicians on the St. John’s scene backed up by sideman John Clarke on guitar and dobro, The Fat Cat, George Street, 7 to 10 p.m. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 • Women on Wheels, workshop for women on learning the necessary information to build the confidence needed in visiting the garage for vehicle repairs or buying or trading a vehicle, 1-5 p.m., 693-1624, www.lifeonfire.ca. • Mapping the Crossroads, free information session on understanding life’s purpose, 120 LeMarchant Rd., 10-11 a.m., 693-1624, www.lifeonfire.ca. • Printmaking workshop for teens and adults with Jennifer Barrett, St. Michael’s Printshop, 72 Harbour Dr., 12-4 p.m. Register by visiting The Rooms or call 757-8000. • The Anchormen Barbershop Chorus in concert, 8 p.m., St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 729-3900. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 • Flattering the Masters IV exhibition, RCA Visual Gallery, LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria St. St. John’s, live auction, 2-5 p.m. • Lecture by Dr. Andrea Bubenik on Albrecht Durer and art and science of the Renaissance, The Rooms, St. John’s, 2 p.m. • International food and craft fair, participants from more than 25 countries, performances by Terry Reilly, the Neighbourhood Strays,
Acousmata and the Idlers, Holiday Inn, St. John’s, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5 • The BitterSessions, MUN’s only traditional pub session, every Monday night, 8-11 p.m., Bitters Pub, Field Hall, Prince Phillip Parkway. • Janeway Jeans Day, buttons available at all RBC Royal Bank and Mark’s Work Warehouse locations.
the Baptist, St. John’s. • The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Fine Craft and Design Fair: Come and Meet Your Maker, St. John’s Convention Centre, until Nov. 11. • Ethereal La Bonne Chanson and other unpublished works from France, performance by Caroline Schiller and MUN Music Faculty, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, 737-4700.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 • Book sale, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 737-2133, until Nov. 17. • Stay in Newfoundland, YMCA-YWCA of Northeast Avalon presents the Y Job Fair 2007, Holiday Inn, St. John’s, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 • Gender Illusionists, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s, 9 p.m. • Andy Jones: An Evening with Uncle Val, The Cup of Tea in the Woods tour, Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 • St. John’s fourth annual Storytelling Festival kicks off at the Ship Pub with a night of traditional storytelling and ballads, 9:30 p.m. Festival continues through Nov. 11 with performances for adults and children, and weekend workshops. Visit www.nlfolk.com for full schedule. • Soldier’s Heart presented by New Curtain Theatre, Rabbittown Theatre, corner of Linscott Street and Merrymeeting Road, St. John’s, 8 p.m., matinees 3 p.m. Friday and Sunday, until Nov. 11. • Book launch, Grand Bank Soldier: The War Letters of Lance Corporal Curtis Forsey, edited by Bert Riggs, LSPU Hall Gallery, 3 Victoria St., St. John’s, 7-9 p.m.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 • For the Fallen, Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir’s annual concert of remembrance, Cochrane Street United Church, 81 Cochrane St., St. John’s, 8 p.m. • Celtic Cure, evening of music, dance, and fun to raise funds for inflammatory bowel disease research and to celebrate Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, O’Reilly’s Pub, George Street., 5 p.m.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8 • Opening gala for The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Fine Craft and Design Fair: Come and Meet Your Maker, St. John’s Convention Centre, 7-10 p.m. • Launch for Human Natured: Newfoundland Nudes, book of photographs by Sheilagh O’Leary, Bianca’s restaurant, 171 Water St. St. John’s, 7-9 p.m. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 • Franz Schubert: Mass in E-flat Major, performance by international award-winning Quintessential vocal ensemble, Basilica of St. John
UPCOMING • MUN Dialogue on Advancing Global Sustainability with lecturer Dr. Diana Liverman, Director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Inco Innovation Centre, room IIC-2001, Nov. 13-15. • Just Try It, lifelong learning symposium for the 50+, day of photography, gardening, fitness, genealogy, tai-chi, computers and more, Holiday Inn, St. John’s, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Nov. 14, 737-2333 to register, seating is limited. • Read My Lips, free teen open mic with host Michelle Myrick, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7-9 p.m., Nov. 16. To perform, contact Betty, 737-3317. • Training session on the effects of maternal depression on child development and infant mental health, 35 Barnes Rd., registration 8:30 a.m., seminar 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Nov. 16. • Gerald Squires celebrates 70 years, night of Newfoundland magic, music, storytelling and poetry, 7 p.m., Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s, Nov. 17, 579-3023 to reserve tickets. • Journal Writing for Self Development workshop, 1-5 p.m., Nov. 17, 693-1624, www.lifeonfire.ca. • Reading by Bernice Morgan, author of Cloud of Bone, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7 p.m., Nov. 21. • Beothuck Street Players presents A Flea in Her Ear, Holy Heart Auditorium, St. John’s, 8 p.m., Nov. 22-24, tickets available through St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Box Office, 729-3900. • Monte Carlo Charity Gala, St. John’s Convention Centre, 7 p.m., Nov. 24. Organized by first and second-year students of the MUN Faculty of Medicine. All proceeds go to the selected charities in Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information contact Jessica, 722-1827. • St. John’s downtown Christmas parade, Water Street, Nov. 25., still in need of volunteers, contact Gaylynne, 726-8244, email@example.com. • Miracle on George Street, hilarious and touching dinner and show based on the classic Miracle of 34th Street, opens Nov. 29, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s. • Bishops College Christmas Gala, unforgettable evening of food, entertainment and activities in aid of graduation activities, Dec. 1, 579-4107, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Corner Brook Christmas Bird Count, Saturdays, Dec. 15- Jan 5. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Lois Bateman, 634-7206, email@example.com. ONGOING • Travel Writing with award-winning writer/broadcaster Marjorie Doyle, Thursdays, until Nov. 8, 737-7979, www.mun.ca/lifelonglearning. • Extension of operating season of the Visitor Centre at Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., regular admission fees apply, 772-5367 to book tour. • Chant and drumming, Lotus Centre, 52 Prescott St., Sunday nights, 7:30 p.m., everyone welcome, donations accepted. • Historical Walking Tours, Tuesday and Friday mornings until Nov. 30, 75 minutes, 364-6845, www.boyletours.com. • The Rooms, St. John’s, free admission Wednesday nights, 6-9 p.m., www.therooms.ca. • Occupied St. John’s (book), wartime St. John’s oral history project, sponsored by the Paul Johnson Family Foundation, interviewees needed, contact 747-4113, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. • The Anna Templeton Centre for Craft Art and Design now offering a variety of adult evening classes and weekend workshops, registration also ongoing for Young Artist Program, 278 Duckworth St. Pre-registration required for all classes, 7397623, email@example.com. • The St. John’s Women’s Centre is in need of women’s and children’s outdoor coats and jackets, shirts, pants, underwear and socks, children’s and babies snowsuits and winter wear, winter footwear in all sizes, and blankets and towels. The clothing bank items are given to clients free of charge as needed. Call 753-0220 for additional information. IN THE GALLERIES • Defiant Beauty: William Hind in the Labrador Peninsula, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Nov. 10. • John MacCallum’s exhibition of fine furniture inspired by Newfoundland themes, created in a style using both traditional and contemporary methods and decorated with inlay and woodcarving, Craft Council Gallery, Devon House Craft Centre, 59 Duckworth St., St. John’s, exhibition until Nov. 10. • Deux Terroirs, collection of new jewelry by Don Beaubier, exploring the nature of two distinct landscapes, opening in the Annex Gallery, Craft Council Gallery, Devon House Craft Centre, 59 Duckworth St., St. John’s, until Nov. 10. • Sticks and Stones and Garden Gnomes, Leyton Gallery, opening Nov. 3 with reception from 3-5 p.m., exhibition showing until Nov. 24. • Only Human, exhibit by Brent Coffin, Eastern Edge, Rogue Gallery, 72 Harbour Dr., until Nov. 24. • The Prints of Albrecht Durer, 53 works from the National Gallery of Canada’s fine collection of Durer prints, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Nov. 25. • Watercolours, group exhibition of 18 artists who paint with Margaret Best, MUN Botanical Garden, Mt. Scio Rd., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., until Nov. 30. • Hot Wax, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Jan. 6. • Melancholia, first project of the Space-Based series, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Jan 6. • Tilting: Rugged Landscape, Strong People, Fragile Architecture, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Jan. 13. • Newfoundland and Labrador Panoramics, an exhibition by photographer Randy Dawe, Manna Café, 342 Freshwater Rd., opens Nov. 9.
What’s new in the automotive industry
NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007
THE ALL NEW 2008 HONDA ACCORD Introducing a new level of Accord. A new level of sophistician. It’s lower, wider, larger and with its aggressive stance and flawless aerodynamics, it’s a shining example of everything a concept car wants to be – real. A new level of exhilaration. It’s quicker, sharper, and more fuel efficient. And with one of the most powerful engines you’ll find in a Honda and a surplus of innovative standard features, it’s everything a next generation sedan should be. Under the hood of the Accord, horsepower and fuel efficiency come to life in the shape of a performance-inspired, exceptionally low-emission i-VTEC engine. Visit one today at City Honda, Kenmount Road, St. John’s. Nicholas Langor/The Independent
Automobile ads hit and miss I
saw an ad the other day for a used know if it’s just me, or the ads themcar dealership advising you that if selves. A Chevy truck advertised as you changed your mind, lasting the longest caught my you could return the car eye. I’m not impressed with you’d purchased. the newest shiny toys anyThe spot was American more. I have great respect for (we Canucks would never be people that treat their vehiso foolhardy as to give cles well and make them last. someone such a choice) and I’m currently driving my sandwiched between promlast lease — the manufacturises of a houseful of carpet ers are now producing cars delivered to your door built to last for a long time, LORRAINE overnight and a hardware and it seems disgraceful to SOMMERFELD store owner who dances like play “that’s so last year” with my father used to after drinksuch a huge purchase. ing at weddings. Learning preventative mainReturn a car? Here, you tenance is a win for the envican’t return a car if the ronment, as well as the car engine drops out of it as you round the owner. Accordingly, I’ll be paying corner from whoever sold it to you. attention to manufacturers that encourEveryone insists on fixing it, even age me to keep and maintain their vehithough you know it’s cursed and never cle, rather than tempting me to trade in want to see it again. Could “Sorry, it and up. doesn’t match my wife’s new purse,” And then, there is poor Kelsey now be a plausible reason? Grammer, valiantly trying to tick off all Those annoying “zoom zoom” ads the ways that a Hyundai sedan is better have been pointed at as making young than a similar BMW. Well, sort of simpeople drive too fast. The only thing I ilar. I’ll say this up front: I thought it get from them is the unhealthy thought was a spoof ad the first time I heard it. of wanting to smack that kid who Let me be blunt. Frasier, there is no spooks into the frame like some tiny way anyone is facing the conundrum of funeral director. And now they have trying to decide between a Hyundai that computer-generated roadway and a Beemer. That bridge doesn’t span spelling out the “zoom zoom,” you that river. have to agree it would be way more Volkswagen had an ad I thought was about fabulous handling than over-the- fabulous. Two guys chatting as they top speed. drive along, until a pickup backing I’ve finally started seeing a change in some quarters, however, and I don’t See “Like a,” page 30
‘It’s a friggin’ boat’ I
flicked away a car recently, dis- my fill of schemers and dreamers lookposed of it unceremoniously, bid a ing at the old truck and even more peofond farewell and left it right where ple phoning up and talking at great it was. It sounds a lot nastier than nec- length about nothing at all. I saw my essary, but it was heading back to the brother-in-law explode once — he had earth from whence it came. I got my a small boat for sale and the phone just about melted. He answered it money’s worth out of it and for the 100th time that mornsince my last acquisition I ing, said hello and roared, found myself overstocked “She’s pointy in the front and and more desirous of an extra square in the back, it’s a friparking space than an extra gin’ boat,” before slamming car. Its many bladders were down the receiver. Obstill able to contain their viously some idiot had the appropriate fluids but that guts to inquire of his vessel was not a desirable enough MARK in the most impolite terms — attribute, nor was the fact that WOOD “What’s she like?” it ran perfectly and everything That’s pretty much what I above the waterline also WOODY’S was going through when I seemed to work well. Its entire suspension was at WHEELS lost my patience and gave the old wooden-back truck to my fault, every bushing and balljoint needed replacing, but what pushed ridiculous friend. It stayed in my yard it over the financial edge was the fact for about a week afterwards — somethat it needed an entire exhaust system. one else’s wreck — before he worked Like a large, disposable lighter, I up the nerve to ask if he could give it to flicked it away — but properly. It went someone else. Sure, as long as he to my local automotive recycler who moved it; which he did — finally. Like any good story, it should get took its carcass legally and efficiently. There was a time when I’d try to sell outlandish right about now, and as my such a carcass or give it away. I did memory serves me particularly sharp, it both on the same day once, with disas- does. The second twit who took possession of my truck gave it away again, to trous results. The story begins at a garage sale, a local vertical-lateral idiot savant which featured three vehicles with (which, loosely translated, means a perprices from $150 to $250. The phone son who is a drooling doofus standing rang off the hook. Some lucky guy up and a genius lying down — my drove off with a little hatchback and term) who I was fond of writing about successfully transplanted the motor. in another publication. The station wagon went to a ridiculous He expostulated the potential of such friend of mine who traded some musi- a fine means of locomotion, resplencal equipment for it. He also expressed dent with its organic arse, and had it interest in the third vehicle, an old towed post haste to the local garage wooden-back truck. I just about had with instructions to lavish it with new-
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The station wagon went to a ridiculous friend of mine who traded some musical equipment for it. He also expressed interest in the third vehicle, an old wooden-back truck. ness, sparing no expense. Fortunately the proprietor took no heed of his vertical-lateral idiot savantness. Indeed, even as the scoundrel was vertical he moved laterally, leaving town without settling the towing charge and also leaving his girlfriend high and dry in the process. Much to our collective mirth too, I might add, there’s never a dull moment around here. Within a week the girlfriend called me up inquiring about the truck, seeing how her ex was the last one who owned it. Perhaps she was entitled to possession and could sell it for parts. Maybe even give it away again? I visited the garage where the truck was and listened to the proprietor’s amusing tale. “Three guys and a missus called me up, said they all owned the truck and told me to sell what I could off it and give them half,” he said. These days I just flick away my old cars. I don’t need the drama. Mark Wood of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s has dropped off more than a few cars at Vatcher’s.
30 • INDEPENDENTSHIFT
‘Like a tiny horror movie’
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
WORLD SOLAR CHALLENGE
From page 29 from a driveway suddenly crashes into them, hard. It made me jump the first time, and every time thereafter. It’s like a tiny horror movie (or ketchup commercial) where the anticipation makes me keep watching. Focusing on faces instead of fenders is a terrific way to highlight the safety features. Sometimes manufacturers have to be careful not to make an ad too great. There’s one currently running with mountain climbers, and the requisite tough guy going on and on about his requisite toughness. And of course down rappels a daddy with a baby in a backpack, busting the guy’s chops about the vehicle being for normal people. Unfortunately, my most lasting impression of that ad isn’t the brand; it’s the mini daschund in the orange helmet swinging from the daddy’s climbing gear. It’s the dog I want to go buy. www.lorraineonline.ca
Canada's solar car Esteban IV competes in the qualifying laps for the World Solar Challenge race in Darwin, which begins this weekend. The World Solar Challenge is a biennial event where teams are required to research, build and design vehicles capable of completing the 3,000 km journey from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Adelaide in South Australia. World Solar Challenge/Reuters
WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Theatre beginning? 6 Strikebreaker 10 Crustacean’s feeler 14 Performed 17 Exhausted 18 Prov. with Wetaskiwin (site of Reynolds Museum) 19 Perceive with the ears 20 “A rose by ___ other name ...” 21 Standing (3 wds.) 23 Florence’s river 24 Hotel 25 1900 26 Layer of ore 27 Caesar and Green Goddess 29 Prov. twice as big as Texas 30 Six (Span.) 32 Quarter 34 Perp’s pistol 35 “Night and day, ___ are the one ...” 37 Our (Fr.) 39 Confined to one area 42 Apple core contents 45 Actress McCarthy 48 Fax precursor 49 Spain and Portugal 51 Comply 53 Bitter brew 54 Flagrant 55 Product bars, in brief 56 Sask.’s bird: sharp-
tailed ___ 58 Zone of coniferous forests 59 Action 61 Evaluating 63 Raced 67 Elevate 69 Pumice mountain N of Vancouver 71 Ultraviolet rad. 72 Rough 75 P.E.I.’s tree: northern ___ oak 76 Brandy glass 78 State S of B.C. 79 Pertaining to the ear 81 School skipper 82 Error in print 83 Extremely thin 86 Hook shape 87 TLC providers 89 “___ you sincere ...?” 90 Gentry school 92 Kitchen end? 95 Prov. that joined Confederation in 1873 97 Steers clear of 100 God of love 102 Possess 103 Unlock, to Browning 104 Venomous lizard 105 Hearing aid forerunner (2 wds.) 108 Gun it in neutral 109 Indigo plant 110 Asian
111 Faster’s opposite? 112 Duffer’s peg 113 Chips off the old block 114 Pelletier’s skating partner 115 Polish currency DOWN 1 Tiny particles 2 Chop into small pieces 3 Fame 4 Female pheasant 5 Mid-month, to Caesar 6 Adventure trip 7 Mild 8 Partook of 9 “___ in the belfry” 10 Infantry formation 11 Charge with gas 12 Type of mine 13 Matter-of-fact and dry 14 Rum cocktail 15 Native people in Quebec 16 Physics unit 22 Ocean 28 Say yes 31 Thirst (Fr.) 33 Sergeant’s directive (2 wds.) 36 Aida and Tosca 38 Long, laborious work 40 Our most northerly island
41 Industrious 43 ATM request 44 Sink downward 45 Gust of wind 46 Pessimist’s lack 47 Calls the accused to court 50 Tea ___ 52 Covered with tiny plants 54 Some youth groups 57 Take advantage of 58 Spanish relative 60 Fire-breathing monster 62 Full of dignity 64 End (4 wds.) 65 Avenge: get ___ 66 Plane flown by John A.D. McCurdy, first powered flight in Canada (N.S., 1909): Silver ___ 68 Gone by 70 To laugh (Fr.) 72 Drunkard 73 Weep 74 Delay the punishment 75 Governed 77 Melt together 79 Antennas 80 On the side 84 Fine white clay 85 Canadian classical pianist 88 Long stories 91 And not
93 Chirp 94 Way in 95 Vancouver or Halifax
96 Piece of fencing 98 Italian wine 99 Hardens
101 1956 crisis that P.M. Pearson helped resolve (Nobel prize)
106 Detection cry 107 Bad: prefix Solutions page 32
Brian and Ron Boychuk
WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) A rejection of your attempt to be friendly leaves you with two choices: Try again, or give up. If you want to make another effort, go slowly. Let things develop without pressure. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) It could be a problem dealing with unfamiliar people who do things differently from what you’re used to. But rely on that strong sense of purpose to get you through this difficult period. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) To avoid neglecting a personal matter because of a demanding new workplace schedule, start prioritizing immediately. Knowing how to apportion your time takes a little while to set up. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)
It won’t be easy to avoid some of the pressures that come with change. Best advice: Take things a step at a time, and you’ll be less likely to trip up while things are in a chaotic state. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUG. 22) A much-talked-about workplace change could be coming up soon. Be sure to get all the details involved in the process, and once you have them, you can decide how you want to deal with it. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) You might still believe that your trust was betrayed, although the facts would appear to prove the opposite. But by the week’s end you should learn something that will help set the record straight. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) Holiday plans could be a challenge because of shifting circumstances.
But a more settled period starts by midweek, allowing you to firm up your plan-making once and for all. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) The facts continue to be on your side. So make use of them in dealing with any challenge to your stated position. Also, open your mind to the offer of help from an unlikely source. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC. 21) There could still be a communication problem holding up the resolution of a troublesome situation. Stay with it, and eventually your message will get through and be understood. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN.19) A possible change in your workplace schedule might create a chaotic situation for a while. But once things begin to settle down, you might find that this could work
to your advantage. AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) A recent job-linked decision might need to be reassessed because of the possibility of finding benefits you might have overlooked. Check out all related data to help in the search. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) A personal situation you agreed to might not be as acceptable to the other person involved in the matter. Avoid pressuring and bullying. Instead, seek common ground by talking things through. YOU BORN THIS WEEK You have a gift for touching people’s minds as well as their hearts. You would be an outstanding educator. (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 32
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2-8, 2007 — PAGE 31
Malorie Harris of the Memorial Sea-Hawks Women’s soccer team practises at King George V field, St. John’s.
Nicholas Langor/The Independent
Showing the way Mount Pearl midfielder Malorie Harris a field general for Sea-Hawk team looking to win AUS title By Don Power For The Independent
emember Frank Miller, the former Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer who directed traffic at the corner of Duckworth and Prescott Streets in St. John’s? In action, he was a constant in a sea of motion. Cars and trucks whizzed by him in all directions, orchestrated by Miller’s measured arm movements. It looked chaotic, yet was actually very organized. Miller was in total control. Watch Malorie Harris on the soccer pitch, and you’ll get the same feeling. The third-year Memorial Sea-Hawk mid-fielder is an island of calm in a sea of stormy players scurrying about. Part field general, part traffic cop, part megaphone, Harris directs players the way Miller directed vehicles. Harris — named co-captain this season — is a whirling dervish of activity: pointing for a teammate to get here, calling to another one to mark her player, constantly chattering, head seeming-
ly on a swivel, before taking control of the ball (and in some instances, the game) herself. It’s how she plays. It’s how she’s always played. “It comes to me naturally,” Harris shrugs, unable to explain the phenomenon. “Last year Jess Wade was captain, but I always felt like I had to step up, I had to be there. It’s in my nature to step up. A lot of people expect a lot of me, and I want to do well for myself.” Doing well for herself meant doing well for the entire team. “There are only a few players in the league that have the ability to control a game from the middle of the field,” says her MUN Sea-Hawks soccer coach Walt Mavin. “And she can do it all. “She’s the type of player every coach in the league wishes they had, and they talk of her often.” It’s a good thing, too, Mavin says, because this year, Harris was asked to do it all. With Memorial’s roster filled with talented but inexperienced firstyear players, Harris’s role expanded. She’d always been counted on to supply offence (she scored seven goals in each
of the last two seasons), but this year, more was required. With key veterans, like the injured Laura Breen, not in the lineup, Mavin fielded a young team all season. The coach wanted and needed Harris to take on a leadership role, and she responded in spades. Wednesday, her efforts were rewarded when she was named to the AUS first all-star team. “She was critical to taking an even bigger leadership role,” Mavin says, “with the loss of Laura and some other experienced players, like Jess Wade and Leslie Pope. It was critical for someone like Malorie to step forward to take on that role, and she’s done that admirably this year, especially on the field. “She’s the type of player that when teams are preparing to play against us, she’s one of the focuses for them. For example, Friday against UPEI, I know Mike Redmond, their coach, is a big fan of Malorie’s, but he’s facing her and they’ll be talking about how they’re going to stop her.” The ironic part about Harris’s leadership abilities is they only show up after
the ball is put into play. Before the whistle, Harris is a relatively quiet 20-yearold who goes about her business. Once the game starts and the 90 minutes starts ticking down, however, she morphs into another person. “I expect more than what people expect of me,” Harris says. “Because I am captain and I’m in the centre of the field, if I have a bad game, then I feel like I let the whole team down. If I have a bad game, I feel like everybody had a bad game. “Being named co-captain didn’t change me at all. I didn’t change my attitude or personality. I didn’t try to step up and take control of everybody else. I didn’t want to be intimidating. I’m still at the same level as everybody and the same age as everybody. I’m just the one who pipes up on the field. I’m the motivator.” But only on the field? “It’s my game when the whistle blows,” she says by way of explanation. “It’s what I’ve lived for, pretty much. See “She has the ability,” page 32
Where have all the players gone? Keeping senior hockey players becoming more and more difficult
n the late 1970s, one of my favourite activities was to head down to Memorial Stadium and take in a senior hockey game. Whether it was Saturday night or Sunday afternoon (or, if memory serves, an occasional mid-week game), watching the Shamrocks or Blue Caps was a great way to spend three hours. Even through the 1980s and ’90s, watching local hockey was an enjoyable way to spend an evening — especially since it was, by then, considered work for me. These days, I still enjoy watching local hockey, except it’s becoming
Power Point more and more difficult. Yes, my life is busy and finding time to attend a lot of games is not easy. But the bigger problem lies in the fact it’s getting harder and harder to find local hockey games to watch. Or real games, at least. Actual league games. The St. John’s Junior Hockey League plays a full schedule with eight teams, but finding a senior
league just got tougher. That’s because the Avalon East Senior Hockey League this season will consist of just three teams, and only one of them is based in the capital city. (Torbay will play out of Feildian Gardens, while the Southern Shore will skate in Mobile and the CeeBees in Harbour Grace.) How can a city the size of St. John’s not have a senior hockey team? I know the three teams just mentioned are filled with players from the capital city. But with Mount Pearl out of the picture, this season at least, isn’t it embarrassing the largest centres in the province can’t ice one senior squad?
And while embarrassment may not be a problem, the larger question remains: where have all the hockey players gone? Take a quick look around at the various hockey rinks in the region, and all are filled to capacity during primetime hours seven days a week. Granted, minor hockey takes up a large portion of the hours, as does private hockey in some instances. And there are other users, like school hockey or figure skating. But for the most part, the nighttime hours are filled with recreational hockey games, filled with guys who have families, jobs, mortgages and other responsibilities.
These skates are now the norm. Hundreds, if not thousands, of former hockey players are still playing, albeit as pure recreation. Decades ago, if you weren’t capable of playing senior hockey, there were any number of intermediate leagues to occupy your time. Some guys played in more than one league. Today, there aren’t even any intermediate leagues to speak of. Why? Minor hockey, at least in the capital city region, has thousands of kids registered. Sure the numbers shrink as the See “Lost teeth,” page 32
32 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
A link to the outdoors
The Internet has opened the door to advice, cheap gear and endless online fly-tying lessons PAUL SMITH
y, how the World Wide Web has changed the outdoor world. I’m planning a saltwater fly-fishing trip to the Caribbean next summer, and this particular aspect of my favourite sport is totally new to me. What fly-lines to use, which flies will produce, what clothing will keep me from cooking in the sun? These are all questions that need to be answered. Twenty years ago, the only research choices were books, magazines and chatting with more experienced anglers. The local bookstores don’t, and never did, carry specialty books on topics like tarpon fishing. Magazines run the occasional piece on angling in the tropics, but not many people around these parts are overflowing with knowledge about the bonefish flats. Ah, but now we have the Internet, that endless and bottomless source of information on everything imaginable. It knows all about bonefish, permit and tarpon — their biology, where to catch them, what gear and techniques to use. There are websites dedicated to saltwater fly-fishing in the Caribbean and you can chat by e-mail with very experienced fishers. If the right flies, rods and reels aren’t available locally, you can purchase them online through the many e-stores that sell the best equipment at fair prices without the overhead of brick, glass and mortar. Orvis, the biggest fly-fishing outfitter of all, has their full product line available online. You can sit on the couch with your laptop and order all the fishing gear you could ever possibly want or need. You can also read product reviews posted by fishers just like yourself on non-commercial sites like www.flyanglersonline.com. Check out the fly patterns while you’re at it, this site has the
Paul Smith photo
most comprehensive and in-depth database of fly patterns for every imaginable sort of fly-fishing. Each pattern file includes photos and detailed tying steps. They even have a fly-tying course you can take for free online. For anglers on a budget who might want to buy used, there’s the mother of all markets — EBay. If EBay doesn’t have it, you either don’t need it or you have really peculiar tastes. All manner of new and used fishing tackle is available on EBay. My fishing buddy Matt has bought
wading boots, rods and reels all at fantastic prices. Since most of the online stuff is in the U.S., now is a great time to buy while the loonie is soaring. And it works both ways. EBay is a great place to sell stuff that you no longer need or wish to upgrade. And if you’re in the market for a new rifle or shotgun, the Internet should definitely be your first stop. There aren’t many retail locations in Newfoundland that carry a wide selection of shootin’ irons. The market and demand just isn’t there. But each and every manufacturer
‘Lost teeth … no thanks’ From page 31 players age, but there are enough players for a four-team Doug Marshall League, a Tri-Com League, the major midget set-up and house leagues. After that, the junior league still has seven teams, although down one with the collapse of Trinity-Placentia. Natural attrition will see the number of competitive players shrink as they advance through the various age groups. But once you get to senior — with no age cap restricting play — the number drops dramatically. It’s not like these guys have given up hockey. It’s just that they’ve given up playing competitive hockey. Actually, that’s not right either, since I’ve seen a few “rec games” that are
very competitive. Whatever you want to call it, some of the best hockey you’ll see right now is at your local arena at 8 or 9 p.m. each night. The downward spiral of senior hockey began in the 1990s, when hockey’s dirty side became exposed. The stick work involved in those games left many players bruised and battered. During those years, the game was played in a very physical manner. Hooking, slashing and any other form of stick work was very prevalent. Suddenly, going to a Sunday night league game meant you were taking a chance on not showing up to work Monday. Remember the families, jobs and mortgages I mentioned? More and
Solutions for crossword on page 30
Solutions for sudoku on page 30
of guns has a website and displays all the details about their full product line. For instance, if you’re interested in a Savage rifle check out www.savagearms.com, where you’ll find detailed information and photos of every rifle they make. Remington, Browning and other top brands have similar websites. Buying a gun online is slightly more complicated. EBay does not deal in firearms and it’s quite a hassle, if not impossible, for a citizen in Canada to import guns from the U.S. or any other country. Only certified and licensed
dealers can import guns. But the Canadian outdoor superstores like SIR, LeBaron and Russell’s Sporting Goods have their product lines displayed on the Internet. You can order online, but for guns you have to give them a call on their toll-free line and provide them with your firearms licence info. It typically takes a week to 10 days to receive a rifle or shotgun via Canada Post. If you are on the hunt for a top-quality riflescope or a premium binocular, do your homework online. Again, all manufacturers such as Zeiss, Leupold, Bushnell, Nikon and Swarovski have detailed information on their websites. In addition, there are several retail websites that specialize in optics and sell at bargain prices compared to traditional sporting goods stores. E-stores such as www.riflescopes.com and www.bearbasin.com are kind of like the Wal-Mart of optics and turn over huge inventories in a niche market by selling worldwide. Again our high Canadian dollar makes this a very attractive option. I’ve never had any difficulty with riflescopes crossing the Canadian-U.S. border but the U.S. postal service (priority mail) is the best way to order. The major private courier services charge some pretty outrageous brokerage fees for moving goods through Canadian customs. There’s another e-store I’ve shopped at called www.cheaperthandirt.com that sells just about everything outdoors at discount prices. Their inventory is mind boggling — a great place to do virtual window-shopping. And if you are inclined to repair or customize your own guns you have to check out www.brownells.com. Above all else, you can chat to all your buddies about fishing and hunting no matter where in the world they might be. Paul Smith is a freelance writer and outdoors enthusiast living in Spaniard’s Bay. firstname.lastname@example.org
‘She has the ability to lead’ more players were suddenly men with these responsibilities. Many were also waking up to the realization that playing in those leagues just wasn’t worth it. The jabs, the fights, the nicks and cuts, the stitches, the lost teeth … no thanks, the players said in droves. Yet they still had those competitive fires, so they took these same teammates and moved to a more casual skate, perhaps with no body contact or stickwork. So if you’re looking for senior hockey players, drop by a rink any night of the week, and you’ll find them. They’ll be playing hockey and having fun. email@example.com
From page 31 “I used to be a shy person off the field, but as soon as I’m on the field, I feel like I know what I’m talking about and I’m not afraid to pipe up about it. I don’t know why that happens. I’d like to know that myself.” Harris has been a standout soccer player for a number of years, playing on Mount Pearl and provincial age group teams. This year, she was a key performer for Mount Pearl’s Jubilee Trophy-winning senior women’s team, scoring 27 goals in league play. And while the summer game is enjoyable, it’s the Atlantic University Sport season she lives for. That’s why this year has been so much fun. Harris expected this to be a rebuilding year, because of the young roster. (Truth be known, Mavin did, too.) However, thanks to her strong play, a team-leading eight goals from freshman Maxine Morris, and the team���s depth of talent, MUN finished with an 8-3-2 record, and in third place. On Nov. 2, MUN faces UPEI in a quarterfinal match that has Mavin and Harris excited. Both feel they match up well with the Panthers, and are confident MUN has what it takes to at least reach the final, if not win. “I’m looking forward to this weekend,” Mavin says. “It seems as
“When someone gives an extra effort, it tends to bring them up. That’s what we’re looking for. Malorie certainly has the ability to do that.” Coach Walt Mavin though during the regular season — Cape Breton for example last Sunday — this team seems to have the ability to rise to the occasion. They seem to rally around each other. When they get on a mission, they’re a very good team, even though they don’t have a lot of experience in this league. When they’re on their game, they can compete with anybody in this league, no doubt. “When someone gives an extra effort, it tends to bring them up. That’s what we’re looking for. Malorie certainly has the ability to do that. She has the ability to lead and to bring the level of play up for her teammates.” firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 33
Leafs’ coach and GM safe for now ‘We run same gauntlet of emotions as fans, but we cannot react to fans’: club president By Mark Zwolinski Torstar wire service
eafs GM John Ferguson and coach Paul Maurice are not under a “death watch” because of their team’s poor performance on home ice and mercurial start to the season, says club president Richard Peddie. But Peddie says the mood within the board at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was decidedly dour after a 7-1 loss to Washington Oct. 29 which marked the most disappointing game of the young season. That mood grows darker with each loss, but lightens with a win, Peddie says. But for the moment, the board won’t fire its coach or GM based on some poor early season trends that are drawing boos from fans, criticism in the media and suggestions that both the GM and coach should be fired. “There isn’t a Ferguson watch out there, there isn’t a Maurice watch out there,” Peddie says. “The owners are human and they are fans, too. We run the same gauntlet of emotions as the
fans, but at the same time, we cannot react to fans … there has to be a clear, balanced look at the team based on trends.” Those trends right now see strong evidence that the current roster will struggle to maintain a .500 record, a mark which would definitely leave them shy of the playoffs for a third consecutive season. Ferguson’s job security is directly tied to the team breaking its playoff drought, but Maurice’s may or may not have an extended grace period. “We’re not happy at .500,” Peddie says. “Eighty-one points won’t make the playoffs. If we’d won (Monday) and we’re two games over .500, I’m happy today. John and Paul were as upset as I was. It (the loss to Washington) didn’t sit well with the owners, either. “But … if you say you win two games, contract extension, or lose two games, contract termination … that’s not the way we want to run things around here. There has to be a measured response here.” Peddie readily conveyed his discon-
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Paul Maurice looks up at the scoreboard during the third period of their NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Toronto Oct. 29. Mike Cassese/Reuters
tent at the Leafs’ latest result, but some of the focus for the board gets deflected with three off-days before the next game and the Raptors taking over centre stage at the Air Canada Centre. The Leafs’ next four games are on the road, a place where they appear to be a less complicated, more confident team. For now, though, the season is young, and the board remains in a spec-
ulative stance. “We’re all under review, and by all I mean the CEO and everyone in the organization, we’re all under review, but these things are confidential because we’re dealing with people’s lives,” Peddie says. “John has a contract, Paul has a contract. We’re reviewing their performance … if we do something it will be done after consultations (with both
When ducats are dear
The average fan is being priced out of the market for good seats at games ... so what else is new? By Cathal Kelly Torstar wire service
ans will pay almost anything to get close to the action of their favourite team. For most budgets, “almost anything” isn’t nearly enough these days. A single courtside seat at a Raptors game now costs $1,600. That’s a relative bargain compared to the same spot at a New York Knicks ($3,000 US) or LA Lakers ($2,300) contest. Sitting alongside the Maple Leafs’ bench will cost you $405, if you can find a ticket. Those are staggering numbers. But taking a long view, the cost of attending a sports match is moving toward the price point that’s held for most of history — one accessible only to the super rich. The relative affordability of sports events through most of the 20th century is actually the historical anomaly. Until the 19th century, going to a game cost nothing. “What we’d call sporting events were displays of public generosity put on by rulers,” says John McClelland of the University of Toronto. He’s the author of the recent book, Body and Mind: Sport in Europe from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. The event might have been free, but getting there entailed some doing. Aristocrats in Greece and Rome might travel with a large entourage for days or weeks to attend an Olympics. From food to transportation, the cost was enormous. And even two millennia ago, fans were paying princely sums to rub shoulders with their idols. “Upper-class Romans sometimes fought as gladiators for their own amusement,” McClelland says. However, they fought in rigged competitions with blunt weapons. The emperor Commodus famously loved to compete in bloodsport. Later, western European aristocrats attending jousts and chivalric games paid similar fortunes to travel to tournaments. Locals could watch for free if they were able to find a tree branch or rooftop with good sightlines. There were exceptions. Those who wanted to attend the famed Palio horse race in Siena had to rent an apartment overlooking the course — the city’s streets — to view the event. The philosopher Montaigne complained that he couldn’t see a thing from his expensive vantage point. Some enterprising businessmen erected temporary grandstands and sold tickets. Spectators arriving from as far afield as England paid the modern equivalent of $750 for balcony spots overlooking the gruesome execution of Robert Damiens, would-be assassin of French king Louis XV, in 1757. More than a hundred years later, fans began to pay for tickets to sporting events more recognizable to the modern spectator — soccer in England, baseball in the U.S. For the first few decades, the cost was sur-
When Maple Leaf Gardens opened its doors in 1931, the top ticket price was $2.95. As a result, the crowd looked quite different from the audience that had been closest to the action for hundreds of years.
Toronto Raptors' Anthony Parker runs past fans in Toronto.
prisingly affordable. When Maple Leaf Gardens opened its doors in 1931, the top ticket price was $2.95. As a result, the crowd looked quite different from the audience that had been closest to the action for hundreds of years. Nowadays, we’re reverting to the previous standard, with investment bankers sitting in place of nobles. McClelland calls the current craze for tickets close to the action an “unusual phenomenon” in history because sports have become divorced from the social elements that once surrounded them. In the past, one might have paid a bundle to go to a joust, but once there got to enjoy a two-week party. A basketball game starts at the buzzer and ends two hours later. “I couldn’t have believed a couple of years ago that anybody could be so dumb,” McClelland says about the money being thrown around to watch a single game these days. So McClelland cautions about judging the future of sport from its recent past. But con-
sider this analogy, for what it’s worth. In Rome, gladiatorial games became so popular as the empire drew to its close that they were considered necessary to mark every significant social or political occasion. One contemporary account describes a wealthy Roman named Symmachus sending notices as far afield as Scotland and Spain in search of horses, fighting dogs and gladiators, all to be used for a festival celebrating the appointment of his son to a high political post. The cost eventually grew so exorbitant that the practice was suddenly abandoned. Shortly after 400 A.D., the many coliseums the Romans had built to stage the games went quiet. In 476 A.D., the empire was overrun by barbarians, who didn’t play sports. By 600 A.D., almost no one living in the former Roman Empire could remember why the coliseums had been built. In the historical blink of an eye, an entire sporting culture had priced itself out of collective memory.
men). “But there isn’t a watch on (Ferguson or Maurice) out there.” Peddie would not say how long the board is prepared to watch if the club’s inconsistent trend continues. “Even 10 games over .500 may not do it,” Leafs captain Mats Sundin says. “I don’t think we’re a bad hockey team, but at the same time we have to win some games, we have to be better.”
34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
Raptors will defend crown By Dave Feschuk Torstar wire service
n an ad currently running on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith, the talking head, makes the case for the NBA’s Eastern renaissance. “The West is not dominant anymore, man!” exclaims Smith. “There’s parity in the NBA right now! You look at Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, New Jersey, Cleveland – the New York Knicks!” That’s seven teams Smith rattles off — seven — and not one of them Toronto’s. Meanwhile, none of the respondents to the NBA’s annual general manager survey picks the Raptors to repeat as Atlantic Division champs. Sports Illustrated has Canada’s team heading into the playoffs as the eighth seed. Even the folks in Vegas have six teams as shorter-odds selections than Toronto to win the Eastern title. Considering the Raptors are young and improving and started the season against the 76ers on the heels of a 47-win season, you’re entitled to ask what gives. It is, like Smith’s blather, not particularly
sophisticated. Despite compelling evidence, many Americans don’t seem convinced that basketball is a game won by teams, not by collections of stars. It’s the only way to explain the fuss surrounding, say, the thinly concocted Boston Celtics, who are more shallow than the political discourse in many of the red states but are Eastern favourites in many well-read spaces. “When you do those pre-season polls, it’s whoever has the most stars on their team,” says Chris Bosh, Toronto’s lone all-star. “We’re more of a unit … we know things can go really wrong when you get individual egos everywhere.” Bosh is both sincere and correct in his assessment, which is why these Raptors, no matter the skepticism south of the 49th, will win north of 50 games this season, along with their first playoff series since 2001. The Celtics, the pre-season darlings who brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce (and who else?), aren’t congealed enough or deep enough to win as many — not in their first year together, not in an age in which withstanding injuries has become
Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh.
one of the unsung strengths of good teams. Not much has changed on the Eurotinged big-smoke roster, of course (although Jason Kapono, the designated shooter, is a fine pickup). So for Toronto to win the Atlantic again (and they will) their one player with significant unleashed potential, Italy’s Andrea Bargnani, must assert himself as Bosh’s
sous-star. That’s inevitable, to these eyes. And though he’ll have to kick his foul trouble habit, he’s smart enough to figure it out. Health is the obvious wild card. Nobody really knows how Bosh’s left foot or Jorge Garbajosa’s left fibula will hold up. But almost every team is one popped ligament from doom. And the Raptors weathered Bosh’s 12-game
absence last year with six wins. The truth is, Vegas gets it wrong sometimes (last year they had the over-under on Raptors wins at around 30). And the media gets it wrong a lot. Yesterday, Bryan Colangelo, the architect of the Raptors roster, was heard deriding the forecasters — the “so-called experts,” he called them. It irks him, and he acknowledged it motivates him and his players, that bigname acquisitions are still valued more highly than Toronto’s chemistry and continuity. No matter that considerable doses of the latter have been the building blocks for model franchises like San Antonio. No matter that the U.S. has seen its all-star-laden Olympic and world championship representatives drilled by more seamless teams of relative nobodies for years now. But what’s history to the teeming masses below? “The continuity … the chemistry, you can’t overlook that,” says Colangelo. “It’s something that might not show up in those pre-season (predictions) but it’s certainly something that’s going to help us find the success we need to find.”
New NHL ads air on TSN
fter trying battling robots and off-beat humour, the NHL is going back to the basics with its ad campaign. The league launched its new “Live every shift” campaign on Versus in the U.S. last week with two commercials that feature NHL stars talking about their passion for the game. They debuted in Canada Oct. 30 during TSN’s broadcast of the MontrealAtlanta game. In one, Sidney Crosby asks if this will be the year he wins the Stanley
Skiier Kelly Vanderbeek
Cup. Wayne Gretzky asks if this will be the year someone breaks his record of 93 goals. The only nod to humour comes when Carolina’s Eric Staal asks, “Is this the year we finally figure out who is dad’s favourite?” in reference to his hockeyplaying brothers. “This campaign presents an authentic depiction of the sport and our players as they passionately speak about the game,” said NHL marketing head Brian Jennings. — Torstar wire service
Another year of fear, lies and wins awaits By Randy Starkman Torstar wire service
mong the truths Kelly VanderBeek has discovered about ski racing are the lies you have to tell yourself to keep hurtling down mountains at 100-plus kilometres per hour. “I think anybody who says there’s no fear involved are lying to themselves … which we do, we totally lie to ourselves,” says the 24-year-old from Kitchener. “It’s the only way we can convince ourselves to really throw ourselves down a mountain.” It’s that time of the year again for VanderBeek and her teammates on the Canadian alpine ski team. The long sleeves on VanderBeek’s shirt couldn’t hide the cast she has on her broken wrist, suffered in a recent crash during training on Farnham Glacier in B.C. It’s the second injury of the off-season for VanderBeek, who also endured a sixweek rehab, including two weeks on crutches, when she crashed and severely bruised her tibia during training in Chile. It’s not exactly something that boosts your confidence, but the pride of tiny Chicopee Ski Club has also managed to squeeze in a lot of good training and feels she’ll be ready to be a factor at the
season-opening speed race in early December in Lake Louise, where she copped her first World Cup podium last year. “I still feel confident going into the season,” says VanderBeek. “And if I’m not, I fake it.” One skier who knows all about conquering the fear factor is former World Cup downhill champion Steve Podborski, now working for TELUS. Podborski announced TELUS has signed a one-year, $1-million sponsorship and is extending its commitment through 2012. The skiers were looking a bit like Formula One racers with all the logos on their nordic sweaters, but it’s the increased sponsorships that have enabled them to beef up the squad to 44 racers as they seek to become a force at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Depth was a key factor last year as the team achieved a record 14 World Cup podiums. They also claimed a silver in men’s downhill at the worlds by Jan Hudec, who broke through at the event with his first podium after missing three years because of knee injuries. Hudec is acutely aware of the mental battles that must be waged on the hill. “You can’t hide from it. The guys who say they’re never afraid, they’re lying, not accepting the fact of fear. But it doesn’t mean you have to succumb to it.”
NOVEMBER 2, 2007
INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 35
FIFA gives Canada slap in the face By Cathal Kelly Torstar wire service
t’s not that FIFA dislikes Canada. They’re just not that into us. Soccer’s world governing body gave us a patronizing pat on the head this week when we came canvassing for the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Canada has shown “what football can be in a country where, so far, football is not the No.1 sport,” FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter said after Canada’s final presentation. “We appreciate what you’ve done and we have good hopes for you and what you can do in the future.” Translation: Have a safe trip home. Then he and his colleagues retired for what must have been the easiest set of World Cup deliberations in history. Three hours later, they returned to award Germany the 2011 competition. In some ways, it was an easier choice than giving the men’s World Cup to Brazil in 2014, as nobody else bothered applying. A day before the vote, the Canadian Soccer Association still felt its chances at winning the right to host in four years time was a 50-50 shot. Much of that good feeling came from the rightly held belief that we’d done a good job with last summer’s U-20 men’s tournament. But FIFA, like many inside this country, know a dysfunctional bureaucracy when they see one. A year ago, long before the simmering tensions surrounding the resignation of CSA president Colin Linford
burst to the fore, the CSA sent its revamped constitution to FIFA for approval. It was returned with “suggestions” that included taking a look at the current method of voting, which skews power to bigger provinces with larger numbers of registered players. Apparently, the issues that dog our political leaders are also taking a bite
Apparently, the issues that dog our political leaders are also taking a bite out of our sporting poobahs. out of our sporting poobahs. The CSA will argue with whether the “suggestions” equal a rebuke. But it’s clear that FIFA was not about to hand a showcase event to Canada until we have our collective house in order. Whether or not interim CSA president Dominic Maestracci is equal to that task is not yet clear, but he was a member of the governance committee that dealt with FIFA. He should understand better than most what barriers we have constructed for ourselves at the highest levels. Earlier in the week, Blatter gave us
the best possible reason to make sure we’re in good with FIFA in the near future. The scrapping of the rotation system for the men’s World Cup means Canada is in with an outsider shot to take part in the near future. England is immediately the frontrunner to host the 2018 World Cup. But there is still the matter of two World Cups already awarded. It appears FIFA is too far down the road with South Africa 2010 to do much to alter its course. Considering that this bid is bedevilled by a variety of issues. But only hours after its awarding, Brazil’s World Cup is already in doubt. South America’s largest nation faces many of South Africa’s problem — political corruption, rampant crime and an empty kitty. The difference is that Blatter sees holding a World Cup in Africa as the key accomplishment of his presidency. He has no similar warm feeling about Brazil. The rumours have begun to circulate about an emergency host stepping in to bail FIFA out in seven years. The most likely surrogate is the U.S. If Canada was to offer to host matches in one or two cities, that would spread out costs and offer some multinational credibility to the bid. It’s not altogether likely, though entirely possible and totally tantalizing. If our soccer bosses didn’t have enough incentive already to smarten up, FIFA has given us a slap and a stroke this week to urge us forward.
H e l p
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Godfrey: Players never tipped about drug tests
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hough the Toronto Blue Jays front office sometimes receives notice of random drug tests, team president Paul Godfrey says the club ensures the advance warning is not passed on to players. “Anybody who would tell the players would be in deep trouble,” Godfrey says. “No player is told. Ever.” An article citing major league baseball sources published Oct. 31 in the New York Times reported some team
officials were receiving two days’ notice of “surprise” drug tests. Workers hired to carry out the clubhouse testing have apparently been calling teams to request parking passes or asking team trainers to set up for their arrival. Godfrey confirms the Jays have been given as much as 17 hours’ notice of surprise tests. In those cases, Toronto is contacted after a night game and informed drug testing will take place the following afternoon around 3 p.m.
“If you want an unannounced, random program, then that means ‘unannounced’,” says Dr. Matthew Slawson, an anti-doping expert at the University of Utah. “I’d say it’s a problem if they’re getting notice.” Godfrey says. “It’s not in this club’s, or any club’s, interest to put the team in a position to do something that is contrary to the new rules of baseball.” — Torstar wire service
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