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VOL. 5 ISSUE 46

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR — FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007

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LIFE 17

STYLE 23

New literary journal hits the streets

The joy of antique hats, jewelry, coats and purses

Stranded in Fermeuse Cut off from his family fortune in Europe and struggling to repair his boat and eat, Scottish sailor stuck on Southern Shore says he just wants permission to work STEPHANIE PORTER FERMEUSE

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he son of one of the richest women in the U.K., George Purdew, has been basically shipwrecked in Fermeuse since September. For 10 weeks, he’s relied on the goodwill of locals and nickels and dimes from collecting discarded recyclables for food, clothing and water. An experienced sailor, Purdew, 46, says he flew to the States last summer to pick up a 29-foot yacht he purchased on Ebay. He planned to sail the boat home, sell it for a profit, and restart his life. He says he’d recently “been cleaned out” in a divorce settlement, and has long since been cut off from the family fortune. He planned to arrive back home in the U.K. in mid-August where, as a tradesman, he could have immediately started work. But things started to go awry when he left Rhode Island July 21 — weeks of calm seas hampered Purdew’s progress; a brutal storm on the Grand Banks did him in. Sails torn, engine broken, and on the verge of losing all power, he sent out a distress call. The Canadian Coast Guard’s George Pearkes responded, arriving from St. John’s to tow Purdew’s boat to the nearest port — Fermeuse — and there he’s remained ever since. That was Sept. 4. The Scotsman says he arrived with $30 in his

George Purdew collects recyclables for money in the South Coast community of Fermeuse. His family in Europe is worth a reported $400 million. “Well, my mother’s worth $400 million; I’m probably worth a third of that. But getting it is another thing. And wanting it … I don’t.” Paul Daly/The Independent

pocket and no access to more. “People have offered me work, lots of people have offered me jobs, but I can’t do that because I would be breaking the law,” he tells The Independent, sitting in the home of Juanita and Reg

Farrell of Fermeuse. “I could not work illegally because, among other things, if they did catch me, I would be deported or put in detention. They’re very strict, as they are in the U.K., and rightfully so.

‘Somebody is misreporting’ Ottawa’s Hibernia investment long paid, feds in for another windfall: Dunderdale IVAN MORGAN

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he province’s Natural Resources minister refutes Loyola Hearn’s that the province still owes Ottawa for its investment in the Hibernia project. In fact, Kathy Dunderdale says not only has the federal government long recouped its investment, Ottawa stands to reap a windfall of up to $4 billion more from the project in 2009. In the Nov. 9 edition of The Independent, federal Fisheries Minister Hearn said federal Finance officials dispute claims by the Danny Williams administration that Ottawa has already recovered its investment in Hibernia, stating Canada is still owed $370 million from the project. Dunderdale takes that assertion to task. According to the federal government’s own reports tabled in Parliament, she says all capital and operating costs invested in the Hibernia project have been recovered as of 2002. Since then, says Dunderdale, dividends to the tune of $1.4 billion have been paid through the federal government’s Crown agency set up to oversee its investment in the

project — the Canada Hibernia Holdings Corporation (CHHC). Hearn also quoted federal Finance officials who told him the federal government spent $431 million to buy an 8.5 per cent stake in the Hibernia project, invested $1.8 billion in loan guarantees, made a $973-million nonrepayable contribution, and forked out $300 million in an interest assistance loan, for a total investment of $2.57 billion. Hearn says federal officials say they’re still owed $370 million. Dunderdale notes there was never a cash outlay by the federal government for its 8.5 per cent stake. “None,” says Dunderdale. She says the federal government paid its share of project costs on a goforward basis and, according to its own reports, recovered its investment by 2002. Since then she says CHHC has generated net revenues for the federal government of nearly $900 million to the end of December 2006. Further, says Dunderdale, the $973 million non-repayable contribution was given in return for a net profit interest agreement from the project owners, which requires, in 2009, that the project owners put forward 10 per cent — and possibly as much as 12.5 per cent — of their net income to the See “Anybody can,” page 2

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I’m trying to make him a good young man before I make him a good young hockey player.” — Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter on Daniel Ryder, who suddenly quit playing hockey. See page 31.

IN CAMERA 20-21

Waking Ned Devine on stage and in the streets LIFE 22

An afternoon with artist Gerald Squires Movie review . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Buy local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27 John Rieti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

“So what do I do?” All Purdew wants, he says, is a temporary work permit for the winter, to make just enough to repair See “I am seeking,” page 4

Flying fish Province to subsidize fresh fish exports to EU BRIAN CALLAHAN

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aced with the loss of two Grand Bank-based trawlers and the latest plant closure in Trouty, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is taking a more serious look at the lucrative European market to peddle its wares. The province has signed a deal with local partnership Fly Fresh Freight and Icelandair to ship fresh Newfoundland fish overnight from Gander to the European market. The first shipments will take flight either just before or after Christmas, Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout says. “We’ve been investigating and trying to promote, with the private sector, breaking into that huge, high-end market in Europe,” he tells The Independent. “There’s a tremendous market for fresh fish there.” Unlike the beating Canadian exports are taking in U.S. markets, the loonie is trading well against the stronger Euro. “So we can still be very competitive in the European market,” says Rideout, adding the province will contribute initial financial support of about $225,000 to help offset transportation costs.

Flatfish, yellowtail flounder and fresh mussels will be the initial species of choice for flights to the EU. Most of the fish will be supplied by Icewater Seafoods Inc. out of Arnold’s Cove, and shipped directly to Europe twice a week, with increased frequency dependent on the venture’s success. “There’s a certain number of hours in the night when Icelandair has aircraft that could be used, but are not in use,” Rideout explains. “So now there’s a window of opportunity for them to fly into Gander, pick up a load of fresh fish, fly back to Europe and offload it to various marketplaces, and have that same aircraft back doing commercial work the next day.” Icelandair already flies fresh fish out of the capital, Reykjavik, on a daily basis, Rideout noted, adding he and the premier planted the plan’s “seeds” two years ago during a trade visit to Iceland. “I happened to meet with one of the Icelandic banks who were the bankers for that airline. They asked me if we’d had any discussions with the airline, and that maybe they have excess lifting capacity that could be used for Newfoundland fish.” Fly Fresh Freight, with headquarters in St. John’s, is a partnership between See “Rideout,” page 2


2 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Rideout ‘very concerned’ From page 1 PF Collins and Atlantis Aviation Consulting. “If they can get to full loads, then this will become commercial,” Rideout says. “And we’re going to be spending this money trying to develop that. If it works, great, if it doesn’t I guess we can be criticized for trying.” The fishing industry continues to hurt here at home. Rideout says government will not abandon hard-hit regions such as Trouty, Trinity Bay, where the Barry Group has permanently closed its plant, and Grand Bank, which is losing two Clearwater Seafoods trawlers, their landings and other related onshore business. Rideout says he’s “very concerned”

with Clearwater’s decision to relocate its trawlers to Lunenburg, N.S., a move that will eliminate up to 12 direct at-sea jobs, as well as other spinoff jobs onshore. As for the Trouty plant, which employed 200 workers, the province’s new integrated transition strategy for displaced plant workers, or plant closure program, will kick in, creating some local jobs and offering an on-site office to counsel workers on future job prospects. The program is also up and running in Fortune, Marystown and Port aux Basques. “We understand from (Bill Barry) that they can offer 30 or more people work in Catalina and Clarenville,” Rideout says. “That wouldn’t be so bad. You’ve got to

remember that only about 12 out of the 200 or so actually live in Trouty. The vast majority come from Port Rexton, Bonavista and Catalina. “So relocation to other places wouldn’t be a large uproot or inconvenience.” The minister says Barry has indicated that plants in Port de Grave and Witless Bay could use more workers, but that’s a greater distance to travel. “You can’t expect people to travel like that overnight. If they were to do it, the company would have to be looking at accommodations on a rotating basis, as happened in St. Mary’s this year with workers from New Ferolle (on the Northern Peninsula).” brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

Death debate A

t two minutes after midnight on Dec. 11, 1962, two people were put to death at the Don Jail in Toronto. Both were hanged. As was directed by the courts, the two men — Arthur Lucas and Robert Turpin — were marched to the gallows and stood back to back as blindfolds were placed over their eyes and a noose put around their necks. Both men had quite a history. As children their parents had either abused or abandoned them and as adults they had participated in crimes our society considers abhorrent to this very day. Lucas, originally from Georgia, was convicted of murdering an undercover narcotics agent from Detroit. While both were Americans, the murders took place in Toronto and fell under Canadian jurisdiction. Turpin was convicted of killing a Toronto police officer. The officer had stopped Turpin’s car for a broken taillight. The officer did not know Turpin was fleeing the scene of a robbery at the time. The two men were not involved in the same crimes, though they did die together on that fateful night in 1962. According to reports, both men had steak and potatoes with pie for their last meal. The meals were brought to them on paper plates. Lucas and Turpin have a unique place in Canadian history. They were the last two people ever put to death by the state in this country. After their executions all other death penalty inmates saw their sentences commuted to life terms. Despite the change in approach, the right to use capital punishment stayed on the books in Canada for 14 more years. It was finally removed from our Criminal Code in 1976. Today, a full 31 years after the fact, the capital punishment debate continues. Many citizens still believe murderers should be put to death for their crimes. While I like to think that will never happen in our country, those of us opposed to state-sanctioned murder must ever be vigilant. I tell you all this as a means to issue a warning. There has been a change of late in our approach to crime and punishment and while I can applaud most of the federal government’s new gettough-on-crime attitude I am getting concerned. Two weeks ago the Government of Canada, probably the most conservative government we have ever had in this country, decided to no longer co-sponsor an annual motion before the United Nations denouncing capital punishment. Canada has sponsored the motion for

RANDY SIMMS

Page 2 talk years, but this year, while saying they will vote for it, the feds will not be a cosigning sponsor. At the same time, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day announced that efforts to save the life of a Canadian citizen slated for execution in the United Stated would also cease. In this particular case, Day says the Government of Canada will not intervene to stop the execution of Ronald Allen Smith, an Albertan convicted of a double murder in 1982. Smith is slated for a lethal injection in the State of Montana in late December. Canada has always sought clemency for Canadians convicted of crimes that carry a death penalty. Canada has even refused to return citizens to other jurisdictions where the death penalty is still on the books and has refused to extradite people until it is given assurances the death penalty will not be offered up as a possible punishment. According to Day, Smith was given a fair trial, in a nation that believes in the rule of law, namely the United States, and he was convicted on the evidence beyond any reasonable doubt. Given these realities, Canada will no longer try to save the man’s life. A recent Canadian Press HarrisDecima poll found 50 per cent of Canadians are opposed to the change in policy. Forty-three per cent agree with government’s position. I fear it is the thin edge of a wedge. From the time our government killed Lucas and Turpin to the official elimination of capital punishment a full 14 years passed. In 14 years’ time will we have moved further down the road toward a return of this heinous policy? Will we be killing our own citizens again? Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall, David Milgaard and our own Gregory Parsons would all agree with me on this one. We must never return to a time when killing citizens by way of statesanctioned murder is allowed, even if they are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Who are these guys? They were all convicted of murder. They were all innocent. Randy Simms is host of VOCM’s Open Line radio program. rsimms@nf.sympatico.ca

‘Anybody can do the math’ From page 1 federal government. The estimated value of the agreement to the feds is in the range of $2 billion to $4 billion, says Dunderdale. Dunderdale says she has “no idea” why the agreement was struck, suggesting Hearn would have the answer. Hearn mentioned loan guarantees. Dunderdale says these don’t factor into the equation because they were either never availed of, or paid in full, meaning that no guarantee was ever paid out by the federal government. “I mean guaranteeing a loan is not the same as putting money on the barrelhead,” says Dunderdale. “Unless somebody defaults on a loan, you don’t have to put any money forward.” She says the federal government has made a lot of money from its investment in Hibernia, and she wonders how the province can still owe $370 million. “Anybody can do the math,” says Dunderdale. “If all your costs were paid off in Hibernia in 2002, and there’s been

324 million barrels of oil — and an average price of $50 a barrel — that’s $16 billion, of which 8.5 per cent goes to them, right? So their gross revenues will be $1.4 billion since 2002 just on their 8.5 per cent equity.” Dunderdale says while the $973-million grant was a great kick-start to developing Hibernia, the grant actually delayed the province’s royalty payments. She says the province’s calculations are all based on federal government numbers and their own calculations, which she says are correct. “Well they are going to have to show us where (the province is wrong), because somebody is misreporting somewhere. I mean you can’t make one kind of a statement to Parliament and then another statement altogether.” Dunderdale says the federal government recouped their money before anyone else, as the first revenues from the project paid back the costs of the project. “So if they’re not making any money, nobody is making any money.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

For 10 years, Grand Banks oil has flowed through Technip supplied or installed flowlines. Thanks Hibernia, for giving us all the opportunity to succeed from right here.

Technip Canada Limited thanks the thousands of men and women who have helped Hibernia achieve 10 years of steady production – a tremendous milestone and a world-class success story. We look forward to the next 10 years of production and beyond.

Recognizing 10 years of Hibernia oil production: Nov. 17, 1997 – Nov. 17, 2007.


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 3

SCRUNCHINS A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia

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ill the mainland media never leave poor Newfoundland alone? The Montreal Gazette carried a column this week by Norman Webster on the plight of the European country of Belgium, which may be headed for a breakup, “but all the rest of the world seems to do is laugh.” Wrote Webster: “Poor Belgium. If it didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. Somebody, after all, has to serve as the butt of jokes about intellectually-challenged clodhoppers. As the country passed its 150th day this week without a legitimate government, it solidified its role as a hapless global Newfoundland.” What did we do to deserve that? Now can you see where fighting Newfoundlanders get their passion …

CRITICAL MASS The Gazette redeemed itself later in the week with another article, New prosperity, by a reporter who visited the North Atlantic oil refinery in Come By Chance, Placentia Bay. “After decades of relying on handouts to sustain itself, the tides are shifting all across Atlantic Canada as the region struggles to regain control of its economic destiny,” the reporter wrote. “None moreso than Newfoundland, which has emerged as Canada’s leading producer of light conventional oil.” The article quoted Alan Brown, who was Hibernia’s operations manager in the late 1990s. He returned to Newfoundland this July as PetroCanada’s new offshore boss. He’s struck by the changes that have taken place in the restaurants and coffee shops in Town — and on the high seas, which will boast four world-class fields when Hebron comes on stream, read the Gazette report. “There’s a deeper rooted prosperity now,” he told the Gazette. “What struck me coming back is that the prosperity isn’t surface thin. There’s actually the beginnings of a strong inertia, a strong critical mass.” This year, the province’s oil royalties could top $1 billion for the first time, up from about $386 million in 2006. Observers say we could become a have province within two years. Nothing hapless about that … HAPPY HIBERNIA Canadian Business magazine reports that this week marks the 10-year anniversary since oil first flowed from Hibernia (the Latin word for Ireland). The province’s first and Canada’s largest offshore oil project, the $5.8-billion development 315 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, is now considered the industry’s “crown jewel.” Hibernia’s future didn’t seem so bright when the first barrels were filled with crude on Nov. 17, 1997, the magazine pointed out. Critics loudly carped about the costly project and the support from the federal government, which included $2.6 billion in grants and loan guarantees. Headlines across the country screamed Hibernia smaller than thought -— at least by a third and

Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle on Water Street in 2006. Doyle’s Top 10 list of NL albums doesn’t include and GBS.

Hibernia must wait. A barrel of crude — today worth more than $90 US — was then worth $19 US, and some industry experts fretted over Hibernia’s rate of return. When development of the oilfield was approved in 1986, it was estimated to contain 522 million barrels of recoverable crude. The latest estimate is 1.2 billion barrels. Can’t help but wonder whether those estimates were off on purpose … TICKLE ME FANCY The Globe and Mail carried a feature recently on Black Tickle, a Labrador outport of about 200 people (down 95 per cent since the early 1990s and the closure of the northern cod fishery) that has “lost its economic reason for being.” The Globe raises the question whether the town on “death row” is a “bad omen” for rural Canada? Money is so scarce in Black Tickle that residents can’t afford septic tanks, using “honey buckets” to dump their waste. People can’t afford to “eat from the ships” and fish and hunt for food, the article read, “although nerves become frayed when the stores run out of cigarettes.” The way I see it, Black Tickle is not a good example of what’s going on in rural Canada. Black Tickle is dying as a result of the death of the northern cod fishery. Last time I looked, small-town Saskatchewan wasn’t fading away because its wheat fields were wiped off the face of the planet by foreign plows …

MISSING OUT Bill Curry of the Globe and Mail reported this week that the Conservative government of Canada is pitting city against city in a national competition for a new Portrait Gallery of Canada. Only the rules prevent Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador from becoming home to the new museum. A city with a population of 350,000 or more was set as the cut-off (meaning Black Tickle was out). Newfoundland might have been included if they counted the hundreds of thousands of ex-pats on the mainland … SURPRISE, SURPRISE News broke this week that Clearwater plans to relocate its two surf clam trawlers to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia from Grand Bank. Only The Independent reported that Clearwater intended to relocate its fleet in a front-page story published on Nov. 17, 2006. At the time, Clearwater’s president, John Risley, denied the reports, as did Eric Roe, the company’s CEO. Said Roe, “The Atlantic Pursuit and the Atlantic Vigour will continue to land in Grand Bank.” So much for believing what you read in newspapers … DOYLE’S FOILS The latest edition of Atlantic Books Today includes a Top 10 list of Newfoundland and Labrador albums as compiled by Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle. And here they are: Various — All The

doubt but that the Herald will be a very respectable additainent to the Periodical Press of this Colony, and we wish it every success. — The Royal Gazette, St. John’s, Nov. 15, 1842 AROUND THE WORLD The predicted total eclipse of the moon, noticed in our last (paper), took place on Sunday evening, its several degrees very nearly corresponding with the time set down in Mr. Templeman’s Almanac for the present year, showing the accuracy with which the gentleman’s calculations had been made. But at the middle of the eclipse, as total a darkness prevailed as we have ever yet observed the clouds being dense and heavy, and the rain descending whilst at the same time there was some flashes of lightning. Shortly after nine o’clock, however, the sky began to lighten up; and between the hours of ten and eleven there was again a fire moonlit night. The scene was interesting. — The Star and Newfoundland Advocate, St. John’s, Nov. 28, 1844 AROUND THE BAY The A.N.D. Co. is building a large steamer of over 200 tons at Millertown and she will be used for towing and freighting on the lake. She is very strongly built, being full timbered and planked with oak. — The Twillingate Sun, Nov. 24, 1917

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Sir — In my last I suggested the advisability of the Northern Districts asking the Government to subsidize a properly equipped steamer to ply between the South Coast of Newfoundland and one or two Canadian Ports, principally for the Daily News, 1894

YEARS PAST The ghost was seen by hundreds of persons last night. As its contract with the managers of the Fair expires on Monday, it should be seen at once. — Daily News, St. John’s, Nov. 17, 1894 EDITORIAL STAND We have received the first number of The Weekly Herald and Conception Bay Advertiser, published at Harbour Grace by Mr. W.C. St. John. This paper pledges itself to no particular line of politics — but we are of opinion, from the general tenor of its remarks, that its views in that particular will be moderate. We have little

Paul Daly/The Independent

Best Folk Music of St. John’s; Figgy Duff — Figgy Duff; Ron Hynes — Cryer’s Paradise; Wonderful Grand Band — Living in a Fog; Émile Benoit — Vive la rose; Plankerdown Band — The Jig is Up; Various — 11:11; Colleen Power — Lucky you Are; The Thomas Trio and The Red Albino — Jam it on Ya; Duane Andrews — Duane Andrews. “I cannot, with any degree of humility, include my own work on this list,” Doyle wrote in the magazine. “There are those who would argue that one or a number of Great Big Sea releases should be included. But St. John’s is a small town, and I will never be able to walk down Water Street again if I publicly brag about myself in any way.” Then leave it to me — Alan, you’re the greatest … MANNING’S MIGHT Finally this week, congratulations to Fabian Manning, Conservative MP for the riding of Avalon, for being named chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Manning says the committee will focus in future on small-craft harbours, making sure the wharfs and breakwaters are up to snuff. “People in the fishing industry depend on safe and reliable harbour infrastructure to make a living,” Manning said in a release. He forgot to mention fish. Same old, same old ….

purpose of conveying thither the winter catch of fish in an uncured condition, and thus create a greater demand in the European markets for the hard cured fish of Summer catch. Having read the Government papers about what is being done towards accomplishing this end, I conclude that our petitions may be somewhat modified. The Solling method of packing green fish, tho yet only in its experimental stage, seems to be the best obtainable. – WATCHMAN — The Enterprise, Trinity, Nov. 27, 1909

ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

QUOTE OF THE WEEK A harmless effusion at the expense of the Petty Jury Panel of St. John’s was ventured in one of our city journals yesterday. In the effusion in question the Petty Jurors of the city were termed “scruff,” a word which we hardly think is of classic origin, but which do not differ in that respect from a somewhat similar term “rubbish,” a subject upon which we believe the author of the effusion in question once lectured, as he was no doubt well qualified to do. — The Morning Herald, St. John’s, Nov. 28, 1879


4 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Wrongful dismissal claim against DFO close to settlement By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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eter Whittle, well-known Liberal and one-time chief of staff to former premier Roger Grimes, says he’s close to an out-of-court settlement over what he alleged in June was a wrongful dismissal from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s, The Independent has learned. Whittle told the paper in June that his six-month contract as a communication consultant with DFO was terminated the day before he was officially to begin work, specifically because of his political affiliation. He said he was suspicious of the reasons he was given for his termination. “I am absolutely convinced this came from senior levels of the minister’s office, the highest levels of the minister’s office,” Whittle told The Independent in June. Interviewed this week, Whittle says the federal government recently approached his lawyer about an outof-court settlement. “It isn’t done yet — the ‘i’s aren’t dotted and the ‘t’s not crossed,” says Whittle, but he says he may sign an

agreement “over the next couple of days.” He says such an agreement will likely include a non-disclosure clause so he cannot comment on the amount he will be awarded. Whittle, who was an organizer of a pro-Newfoundland and Labrador rally held in St. John’s May 11, said in June that he was fighting the dismissal as a “matter of principle.” He said he was looking for special and punitive damages. “I feel like asking for a dollar just to be right . . . I want to prove the excuse provided to me is not the real reason for the cancellation of the contract,” Whittle said at the time. “Does my involvement in the rally make me a dissident of some sort? Am I on some sort of anti-government watch list? Are private citizens not to engage in freedom of association in this province for fear of being black listed in the federal civil service? I view this as a very serious intrusion by the political minister.” DFO refused comment. “We’re not going to comment on a legal settlement due to the confidential nature of the agreement,” a spokesman says. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

George Purdew in Unforgiven, his 29-foot yacht and home, dockside in Fermeuse.

Paul Daly/The Independent

‘I am seeking asylum from the weather. (Immigration doesn’t) have a category for that’ From page 1

family business, well, I’m on my own. Because I’ve always done what I wanted to do, and not what she says I ought Unforgiven, pay the Fermeuse harbour to.” authority for berthing and electricity, When Purdew arrived dockside in and eat. Come spring and the first clear Fermeuse, he says he was met by police weather, he hopes to set sail across the officers and customs and immigration Atlantic. officials who searched his boat, “lookPurdew’s existence on the Southern ing for guns or drugs.” They didn’t find Shore is a far cry from the life of his any, and the customs agent stamped his mother and only brother. Dorothy passport, specifically allowing him to Purdew, considered the 50th richest stay until Oct. 14 as long as he didn’t woman in the U.K., is at the helm of search for employment or education. Champneys Health, a group of luxurious Purdew says he sent an application to resort spas (“retreat of the stars,” Ottawa for a temporary work visa — according to one business article), with though he didn’t have the $75 fee to more than 2,000 employees, half a mil- accompany his request and has little lion guests a year and more than $100 hope for a quick response. million annual gross Purdew knows his revenue. story is bizarre, and Stephen, George’s “Right now, I just need expects his request 48-year-old brother, isn’t going to be at the a simple job, I just has been in the family top of anyone’s list. business for years, and “Usually a worker need to earn a few is now co-owner and would have to apply dollars a week.” director of the high-end from outside and be chain. sponsored in by a George Purdew Online articles about Canadian employer,” the luxury company he says. “I’m unusual. often profile Dorothy Border control says and Stephen, making much of their tight they’ve never had a case like me before. family bond and relationship as success“Normally, shipwrecks or distressed ful business colleagues. George’s name seamen arrive, get sorted, and go home. is rarely mentioned — if it is, it’s just in My difficulty is, that out there is my passing. home,” he says, pointing to his boat. “I Which is fine with him. can’t even fly home, because I’ve got “I’ve always been independent, nothing to fly home to.” always earned my own money,” Purdew Since his temporary visa ran out a says. While his first love is sailing, he month ago, Purdew says he’s been says he’s also a carpenter, locksmith, “under inferred status” — in other truck driver and joiner. words, he’s neither here nor there. “I don’t like the family business, the “I’m in purgatory somewhere, I’m in famous people that go there — we have a system somewhere. I class myself as the Beckhams that go there, Tony and an asylum seeker — not a political asyCherie Blair … my mother does talk to lum seeker in the true sense of that term, me, but she won’t help me in any way. but I am seeking asylum from the She says ‘you’ve got yourself in a situa- weather. They don’t quite have a categotion, you get yourself out.’ ry for that.” “She’s a very very hard woman. She The stranded sailor says he’s not lookmade her money, and if I’m not in the ing to be a Canadian, or even stay in

In

10

years since First Oil, the Hibernia team has produced

barrels of oil. They have drilled and invested

352,000

Newfoundland longer than necessary. But without help, he can’t see a way out. “I love Newfoundland. I think it’s a fantastic place and I’ve met some really friendly people. I’d love to come back here, and visit my friends here, and I’d like to buy a little cabin here. But my true love is sailing, buying and selling and delivering boats. “I’m not looking for a back-door entry into the country.” For all his determination to repair Unforgiven and bring her home, he says he would sell, if he could find a reasonable buyer. Otherwise, he reckons $1,000 would be enough to fix up the boat — he’s already repaired the engine, but needs some new rigging and a heat exchanger — and get him on his way. “And then I’d be able to live and be a normal person again, and not a bottle and can collector on the street.” For now, Purdew continues to shower and wash his clothes at the Farrell’s place, accept donations of food when they come his way, read, write, and do his best to survive. He’s well aware the Town of Fermeuse may cut off electricity to his boat at anytime — and he’s also aware just how cold January and February will be, sleeping and living in the yacht that got him into his current situation. “Technically on paper, I suppose I’m worth … well, my mother’s worth $400 million; I’m probably worth a third of that,” he says. “But getting it is another thing. And wanting it … I don’t. I don’t like that lifestyle. “I want to travel, sail around on my boat. I’m not afraid to work, I want to work for my money … I just need some money to get started. Right now, I just need a simple job, I just need to earn a few dollars a week. “It doesn’t have to be a fortune. If I could make $200 a week, I’d class myself as a rich man, because here, I have friends.” stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca

560

million

metres into the earth’s crust

$9.1 billion. They also launched an industry.

Congratulations to the Hibernia owners, employees, contractors, government partners and stakeholders who have contributed to this world-class success story. Ten years ago our vision came to life with first oil from this first-of-its-kind platform. Today, Hibernia remains one of the world’s most technologically advanced offshore facilities; and Newfoundland and Labrador enjoys a vibrant, growing offshore industry. Celebrating 10 years of oil production: Nov. 17, 1997 – Nov. 17, 2007.

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NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Band banned

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 5

NEW LIBERAL LEADER

Accusations fly after Newfoundland band booted from Fort McMurray mall By Daniel MacEachern For The Independent FORT MCMURRAY

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series of recent benefit performances in Fort McMurray ended in complaints and accusations when a Newfoundland band was asked to leave a local shopping centre. The Eddie Coffey Group from the Avalon Peninsula was scheduled to perform shows Nov. 8-11 at Peter Pond Shopping Centre, but ran into problems Nov. 7 during the band’s sound check, says manager Hal O’Connell. “The (mall) management said, ‘that’s too loud.’ We turned it down and management said, ‘that’s fine,’” O’Connell says. But the next day, the marketing director approached them again while O’Connell was speaking to the crowd about the group’s fundraising efforts. (The Eddie Coffey Group donates 25 per cent of its profits to the Wounded Warrior Fund, a Toronto-based charity that sends supplies to injured Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.) The band had already played one 45-minute afternoon set. “She said, ‘I’ve asked you to turn it down, and now I’m going to ask you to leave the property,’” O’Connell recalls. When the band protested, he says the mall manager called security and pointed at backup singer Rhonda Stamp’s “Support the Troops” T-shirt and said she should be ashamed of herself. Stamp then told the manager he should be ashamed of himself for “not supporting the troops,” O’Connell says. He adds he doesn’t believe it was the “Support the Troops” cause that got the band booted off the stage. Rather, O’Connell believes mall management didn’t want a large group of Atlantic Canadians enjoying themselves. Dale Johnston, manager of the Peter Pond Shopping Centre, says the reasoning was simple. “We agreed to let them come in under certain conditions. They broke those conditions and we asked them to leave.” O’Connell says the band has never felt so humiliated, but the lost revenue is really hard to take. “We depend on events like that to raise money for our own selves, to keep us going from city to city, and also to raise money for the troops,” he says. “We can’t regain the lost time or revenue, so we’re just going to keep going.” daniel.maceachern@shaw.ca

Left photo: Gerry Reid announced he was stepping down as provincial Liberal leader Nov. 13. At right: Liberal MHAs Roland Butler, Kelvin Parsons, Yvonne Jones and Liberal party president Danny Dumaresque hold a news conference to announce Jones is the new party leader. Paul Daly photos/The Independent

Bets off

Province’s finances take dip from fewer VLTs By Mandy Cook The Independent

liquor licence, including motels, restaurants and pool halls. As part of an anti-gambling straterovincial coffers will take an gy in New Brunswick, Premier estimated $29.3-million loss Shawn Graham recently announced this fiscal year as a result of an his intention to reduce the number of anti-gambling program, dropping places allowed to have VLTs by half from a high of $86.9 million in 2005, and phase out 650 of its 2,650 says the Finance machines. At the department. same time, the Finance Minister p r o v i n c e Year NL Revenue Tom Marshall says announced a (millions) the loss of income request for pro2007/08 (estimate) $57.6 was anticipated posals for a casi2006/07 $68.3 when the province no the govern2005/06 $73.1 introduced its fivement hopes will 2004/05 $86.9 year video lottery attract gambling 2003/04 $75.8 terminal reduction tourists, making 2002/03 $70.8 strategy in 2005. New Brunswick a “In ’05, our rev“destination casiYear VLT terminal enues were $86.9 no.” count million and Asked whether 31-Mar-07 2,478 increasing, but Newfoundland 31-Mar-06 2,644 since we introand Labrador 31-Mar-05 2,675 duced our responsiwould consider a 31-Mar-04 2,639 ble gaming meascasino, Marshall 31-Mar-03 2,597 ures, the revenues is firm. have decreased to “We’ve been Source: Atlantic Lotto Corporation what we estimate to approached in the be $57.6 million past from propothis year,” he says. nents of a casino,” he says. The program has reduced the num- “Government is not interested … if a ber of video lottery terminals by 198 casino was permitted here you’re since its inception, and has a target going to get local people and our reduction of 198 more by 2010 (a government doesn’t want to go total of 2,280 machines will remain). there.” There are currently 541 establishWhile Marshall says the ments with VLTs on their premises in province might receive one or two Newfoundland and Labrador. They requests for a casino development can be found at any business with a per year, he says the only reason

P

Paul Daly/The Independent

the government is involved with gaming in the first place is to keep the practice legitimate. “It’s not an industry that we want to be in, but if we’re not in it then organized crime will run it. So at least if we’re in it we can regulate it and the revenues that come from it. The very substantial revenues that come from gambling, will at least go to fund essential services like health and education,” he says. Employees who work in establishments in Newfoundland and

Labrador with VLTs are undergoing training to spot problem gamblers. In 2007, $610,000 was allocated by the provincial government to combat problem gamblers, in addition to anti-gambling techniques such as pop-up reminders on VLTs and onscreen clocks which display real time. A provincial study shows about 1.2 per cent of the province’s population are problem gamblers. mandy.cook@theindependent.ca


6 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

MUN GUN

Opposition parties unclear on what their budgets will be By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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A 20-year-old Memorial University student will not be charged after bringing a handgun-style pellet gun on campus Nov. 13. Chris Hardy, 20, was arrested by police shortly after he was spotted with the weapon in the engineering building cafeteria. He says he wanted to use the gun as a prop in a Monty Python sketch for an engineering class. MUN officials say they hope the incident will alert people to the dangers and repercussions of such actions in the future. Kenny Sharpe/For The Independent

Humber Valley share offering

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he owners of Humber Valley Resort on the west coast of the island have asked shareholders to OK the sale of shares in an effort to raise some needed

cash. In a Nov. 14 news release, Newfound N.V. said the proposal should yield about $14 million (US) “that would be used as near-term working capital” to continue operating its luxury resort near Corner Brook, as well as developments in the Caribbean.

Shareholders will vote on the proposal during a meeting Dec. 4 in The Netherlands. “The new Newfound N.V. management team and the management team at the resort remain committed to the further development of Humber Valley as a premiere vacation destination in Canada through extensive marketing,” the company said in a statement. brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

ntil the new House of Assembly Management Commission has its first meeting, opposition parties are unsure what funding they can expect to receive, although it seems likely — given their dramatically reduced numbers in the House — they will receive tens of thousands of dollars less than before the October election. The Independent contacted Speaker Roger Fitzgerald this week to establish how much opposition parties received in the past and what they are now entitled to. Fitzgerald says the newspaper will have to file official requests under the province’s Freedom of Information Act to get the information. Both opposition parties say they are waiting for the newly minted management committee to set a date for its first meeting, so they can make their case for funding. Under the old formula, noted in the Internal Economy Committee’s (IEC, the forerunner to the new House management committee) annual report for fiscal year 2004/05, the Liberal party received $220,000 based on $20,000 for each of the 11 MHAs at the time. On top of that, the Opposition was granted funding for five staff members attached to the leader’s office, including an executive assistant, office manager, secretary, communications director, and chief of staff. Also listed in the IEC report was funding for the New Democrats, who then had two MHAs in the House at the time. Under the old rules the NDP were entitled to $100,000 for extra staff in addition to a legislative assistant for both members of the House. That was when there were two NDP MHAs. After Randy Collins resigned his seat of Labrador West last year, the NDP was to experience a significant cut in funding. However, the province

agreed to grant the party an exemption and funding levels continued as they were until the provincial election. Neither the Liberals nor New Democrats know what to expect from the new House management committee, but spokespeople for both parties acknowledge they will be seeking more resources than would have been available under the old formula. A spokesman for the Liberal party says under the old formula for an official opposition they can expect — with two MHAs in addition to the leader — $40,000 per year for research in addition to the five staff persons attached to the leader’s office. The spokesman says that’s not very much. With only one member in the House, the New Democrats are in a worse position. Under the old rules the party will not qualify for official party status and therefore can expect a research budget of only $20,000. A spokesperson for the NDP says the party is currently researching other Canadian jurisdictions that have experienced legislatures with small opposition numbers to prepare a presentation for the management committee based on precedent. The NDP, says the spokesperson, will ask for increased funding in order to properly carry out its duties as an opposition party. In addition, both opposition parties will be allotted appropriate office space and equipment. Spokespeople for both parties say they will be approaching the management committee to examine ways to revamp the formula and increase the resources they can access. Both opposition parties are in limbo until the management committee meets to discuss these issues. The commission, chaired by the Speaker, has not yet set a date. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Mount Pearl, union tight-lipped on complaint

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wo managers with the City of Mount Pearl have been disciplined after a harassment complaint was made by a female employee. Neither the union nor city officials will get into any specific detail about the complaint or resulting punishment, with both sides citing privacy rules. The complaint was initially characterized as sexual harassment, but Coun. John Walsh says that’s not the case. “I can tell you that it was not of a sexual nature,” says Walsh, chairman of the city’s human resources and finance committee. “This was investigated thoroughly by

an independent party, one of the most reputable people you could find in the province. We are satisfied with the outcome and it is confirmation that the proactive approach we took regarding our harassment policy works well.” The union agrees. “We’re pleased with the procedure that’s in place … and satisfied with the outcome. But this is a confidential private matter so I can’t say much more about it,” says Robert Martin, acting president of CUPE local 2099. No one was fired as a result of the complaint, Walsh added. brian.callahan@theindependent.ca


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 7

Smash and grab

Police say car break-ins difficult to solve, even with photos of thief By Brian Callahan The Independent

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he tourquoise-green, pebble-like glass bits in the vacant parking space in downtown St. John’s tell the tale. Another car has been the target of a theft, or “smash and grab.” It may seem spontaneous enough, but victims and police know the crime has become more sophisticated than that. “Oh, they know exactly what they’re doing,” says one man whose Saab was hit twice in one week recently — once in downtown and a few days later in the gravel, overflow parking lot at Bowring Park in the city’s west end. “They don’t just pick up a rock and flick it at the window. They’ve got all these special gadgets and things, and they know what will set off an alarm and what won’t. Breaking a window doesn’t always set it off. You have to lift the handle with a lot of cars.” The car owner asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal. The thief knows his name and other information because a credit card was stolen from the car and some serious charges were racked up before the card was

Image of SAAB car burglar captured on video at a St. John’s gas station.

cancelled. The Saab owner caught a break when credit card investigators tracked the purchases and transaction times to area

gas stations. Police then reviewed video surveillance tapes and spotted the thief on tape. But that’s where the trail stops

cold. The police, the car owner says, seem almost as frustrated as he is. “They were good and helpful, but you could really feel that this was just another one in a long list for the police. It was amazing to realize the extent to which this occurs and how little they can do about it. The break-ins downtown around Church Hill alone are rampant and near epidemic proportion. “I’ve had some interesting discussions about manpower and the numbers of these thefts with some very frustrated policemen.” Still images of the thief were shown to other officers, but no one recognized the suspect. “If the other officers can’t recognize the guy, then it’s pretty much over,” says the victim, who took matters into his own hands by contacting The Independent. The police, he says, gave him the images of the suspect and he’s considering posting the suspect’s photo on a Facebook group site, but again worries about privacy and retribution. “The bad guys know there’s little the police can do with so many of these cases. They know that.” According to the RNC, while the

number of stolen vehicles appears to be down, thefts from vehicles have remained constant or are on the rise; 1,626 in 2004, 1,731 in 2005 and 1,999 in 2006. There were about 1,000 incidents as of August 2007. “These are difficult crimes to solve,” RNC spokesman Const. Paul Davis tells The Independent. “We’re talking about cash, gifts and other items that can be easily liquidated. “The usual tips are to leave valuables out of sight. If they can’t see it, they probably won’t bother. I mean, if you leave a laptop on the seat …” The Saab owner says he was not charged for any of the illegal creditcard purchases, but he did pay for replacement of the window — again. He admits that a purse — his daughter’s — was left within sight on the floor of the vehicle at Bowring Park. “My daughter had the SUV and was in the park for soccer practice. The credit card was in her little purse, but it was on the floor and visible. It was a stupid, teenage thing to do. “But the punishment certainly doesn’t fit the crime.” brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

Military intervention

Hillier stepped in to protect forget-me-nots for Newfoundland regiment By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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he province’s lieutenant-governor says only the timely intervention of the Canadian military’s chief of defence staff — Newfoundland and Labrador’s own Gen. Rick Hillier — allowed the Royal Newfoundland Regiment to wear forget-me-nots on their uniforms during Beaumont Hamel remembrance services in France on July 1, 2006. In a letter to The Independent prompted by an article that appeared in the paper’s Nov. 9 edition, Ed Roberts writes it was the first time the regiment, as a unit, returned to the site of the First World War battleground since the original battle on July 1, 1916. Although officers and soldiers of the regiment have been wearing forget-menot flowers on their uniforms since 1917, Roberts says they were told Canadian Forces regulations prohibited the addition of insignia of any sort on the uniform, and they were ordered not

to wear the symbolic flower. According to Roberts, Hillier countermanded the order and allowed the regiment to uphold its long-standing tradition. “It would have been extraordinarily insensitive, in my view, to have prevented our officers and soldiers from wearing it at Beaumont Hamel,” Roberts wrote in a letter to Hillier thanking him for his intervention. The regiment had been all but wiped out on the morning of July 1, 1916, and the tradition of wearing the forget-menot as remembrance began in Newfoundland the following year. Roberts, who was in France with the regiment in his capacity as honourary colonel, notes Hillier subsequently granted the right to wear the flower to the regiment in perpetuity. “I realize that you did so as the CDS (chief of the defence staff),” wrote Roberts, “but I like to think you also did so as a Newfoundlander.” In its Nov. 9 edition, The Independent carried an article on the

Rick Hillier

almost forgotten practice in the province of wearing the forget-me-not as a symbol of remembrance. The little flower was adopted in 1917 by the people of Newfoundland, an independent

country at the time, to mark the battle of Beaumont Hamel, where so many young Newfoundlanders died. Bernard Ransom, curator of military history for The Rooms, said it was the

first incidence of a formal war remembrance ceremony. He said the forgetme-not predates the more familiar symbol of remembrance — the poppy — by three years. Roberts wrote The Independent this week to point out that the regiment still wears the forget-me-not, and to tell the story of the regiment’s visit to France in 2006. Hillier, in his reply to Roberts, writes that the perpetual right to wear the flower is unique to the regiment. He writes that his predecessor, General John de Chastelian, was so overwhelmed with requests to wear various symbols on army uniforms that in 1992 he banned the wearing of all accessories except the poppy, and then only during remembrance week. The new order, writes Hillier, allows regiment officers and soldiers and their military guests to wear the forget-menot “on or around 1 July of each year, that is related to the action at Beaumont Hamel.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca


8 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

The Liberal life T

hese may be dark days for the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador, but the sun shines on the bank accounts of the three Liberal MHAs elected to the House of Assembly. Hallelujah, I say, the culture of entitlement lives on. The three MHAs — Yvonne Jones, Roland Butler and Kelvin Parsons — will earn an average salary of $138,000 a year for their roles in the House of Assembly. So much for the lean and hungry look — Her Majesty’s Official Opposition will be as full as an egg. Each of the three Liberals will receive the base MHA salary of $92,580 a year. Jones will earn an additional $52,497 for her role as Leader of the Opposition, for a total of $145,077 a year. Butler will make $17,919 more for his job as Deputy Opposition House Leader, plus $13,123 for serving as chair of the Public Accounts Committee and $13,123 for wearing the hat of Caucus Chair, for a total of $136,745. Finally, Parsons will earn $26,246 in his position as Opposition House leader, and $13,123 for the job of party whip, for a grand total of $131,949. How will they manage? On top of the salaries, Jones and Parsons — both of whom are members of the House of Assembly Management Commission — may receive $200 for every day the commission sits. (The rules aren’t clear, saying all MHAs are entitled to the

RYAN CLEARY

Fighting Newfoundlander allowance unless in receipt of “office holder” or minister salary.) No doubt the next four years will be difficult ones for the Liberal opposition — taking on a Goliath government of 44 MHAs — but imagine their pension payouts. No need to imagine. An MHA’s pension is defined as 81.2 per cent of their salary, based on their three best income years. Given an average annual income over the next four years of $138,000, the three Liberal MHAs could eventually walk away from the legislature with a pension of $111,000 a year. For the rest of their lives. Wow. I repeat. Wow. I didn’t begin this column with intentions of picking on the poor Liberals, who’ve been smacked around enough lately by their own hand. I began with intentions of picking on the party’s spanking new leader, Yvonne Jones. (Which is why she’s paid the aforementioned big bucks.) But I’ll get to Jones in a moment. First, a broader point about political perks and what’s hidden from public view. The political scandal that has rocked the Rock since the summer of

2006 has focused almost entirely on constituency allowances, individual slush funds available to all MHAs since way back to 1989. But certain politicians — cabinet ministers, to be specific — have had a ton more money available to them for spending on things like entertainment and travel, on top of their constituency allowances. Word has it that the daily limit on entertainment expenses for ministers of the Crown reached as high as $400. The per diem rate, without receipts, was reportedly $75 a day. The Independent can’t verify that — not today we can’t — because the provincial government won’t release the guidelines on ministerial spending. Asked this week for the information, a spokeswoman for the premier’s office told the paper to file a formal request under the province’s Freedom of Information Act. You’ll have to check back here in 30 to 60 days to learn the answer. Ministerial allowances will be fascinating to compare against constituency allowances (which we’ve also had to request under Freedom of Information, but that’s another column). In his recent report, auditor general John Noseworthy took a peek at the ministerial claims, but only for the purpose of identifying double billings. The focus of his review was constituency allowances, therefore the AG chose to omit the cabinet minister information from his report. Former Justice minister Paul Dicks, for example, may have spent $34,000

on alcohol over the years from his constituency allowance, but he may have claimed the same amount again under his ministerial allowance. Which, as far as I can tell, would have been perfectly legal. Since ministerial claims were handled by the departments and constituency claims were handled by the legislature, the departments would not have any knowledge as to what ministers were claiming in constituency allowances. Likewise, the House of Assembly would not have any knowledge as to what ministers were claiming under their departments. Which brings me back to Yvonne and a taste of the incredible spending that went on at the cabinet level. The MHA for Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair was the subject of a frontpage story in The Independent in April 2004 that investigated the expenses of former Liberal cabinet ministers. Over an eight-month period between March and October 2003, Jones, the then-Fisheries minister, racked up $79,000 in claims, including travel ($64,000), entertainment ($5,700, specifics weren’t provided) and communications ($9,600, phone bills mostly). According to information obtained at the time through the Freedom of Information Act, Jones claimed $10,000 alone for a one-day whirlwind helicopter tour around her district. (The trip was taken days before the Liberals called the 2003 provincial election.) I wonder how much Jones claimed from her constituency allowance over

the same time frame? Parsons’ numbers were also covered from his years as Justice minister. Over an 18-month span between April 2002 and October 2003, Parsons racked up travel bills of an estimated $110,000. Roughly $39,000 of that amount was for travel expenses within the province (mostly to his west coast district of Burgeo-LaPoile), as well as Justice-related meetings across Canada. It would be interesting to compare those expenses against constituency allowance claims. Indeed, cabinet expenses for most Liberal ministers — George Sweeney, $25,000 in bills between April and October 2003; Walter Noel, $38,000 between April 2002 and February 2003 (including $16,500 for entertainment); Jim Walsh, $26,000 between February and October 2003; Percy Barrett, $40,000 in expenses between April 2002 and February 2003; Kevin Aylward, $66,000 between April 2002 and February 2003. (Just over $38,000 of that amount was for airfare around the world. His car rental bill alone came in at $10,000.) The years, ever-distant ones, haven’t been kind to Newfoundland and Labrador. Not so for our politicians. What’s so sad about our rag-tag official Opposition being charged with holding Danny’s government accountable is that they’re no one to talk. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

YOUR VOICE ‘Keep digging’ into cancer society Dear editor, Investigative reporting is alive and well because of Ivan Morgan’s article (Charity case, Nov. 2 edition.) My wife and I have often wondered what happens to all the money collected by the cancer society and it doesn’t seem that we are any closer to finding a cure for cancer. We continue to support the cause and donate, mainly because we have had family members who were struck down by cancer. However, we are of the opinion with so much money being raised there may be some abuse involved in how it is being spent. The Independent article inspired me to write when I read that the revenues received in 2006 were $2.1

million, but the expenses amounted to $1.2 million — close to 50 per cent of the money received. This is unbelievable and totally unacceptable. This organization is not doing due diligence as stated, but is wasting the money that we give freely to the cause. I would like to see the breakdown of the $662,000 in salary and benefits paid out and the $53,000 in professional fees. Keep digging, you might do all of us a service and we’ll be better informed of where the money is going. As for us, we will be reducing out donations by half until such time as we see a more responsible financial report. Gerry Gray, Gander

Time for Liberals to ‘turn the corner’ Dear editor, With the results in from the Grand Falls-Windsor byelection, the people of this province are now waking up to the reality that the Liberal party is in total disarray and confusion. For any party to succeed it is agreed that good recruits are needed to run in these elections and for a competent and truly strategic plan to be in place for an election. Unfortunately, the recent election showed that neither was the case for the Liberal party. The leadership of the Liberal party was with two people — party leader Gerry Reid and party president Danny Dumaresque. Both failed miserably, but I think most of the blame falls on the hands of Dumaresque. Total mismanagement of the election portfolio, divide and conquer strategies with Liberal party members, and a general attitude of arrogance that border-

lines on pompous. It is known that there have been rifts in the Liberal party ever since the John Efford/Roger Grimes showdown, but it is time now to remove those battle lines and focus on the future. Neglecting and dismissing election results and giving pretentious, totally unnecessary remarks regarding election outcomes days before a vote is not only ridiculous, but downright incompetent. If I were to run in the provincial election tomorrow, I would like to consider myself a Liberal, but why would anyone want to join a party with a man like Dumaresque at the helm? It’s time to turn the corner, find another Liberal executive, lick the wounds and fight back. It’s their only chance. Kristopher Drodge, Torbay

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

Health care or sick care? Dear editor, Randy Simms raised a very good point regarding tax breaks for things such as gym memberships and weightloss programs (‘We are fat and dying early’, Nov. 2 edition of The Independent). But for me, the article highlights exactly how backwards our health-care system can be. What we consider health care is merely sick

care. The needs of someone who is already sick are taken care of to the best abilities of the current system, and rightfully so. But it can be very expensive for a person who is healthy to take care of a minor issue before it becomes a chronic condition. Treatment by chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc. can help reduce the traffic in our emergency rooms and

keep people from becoming reliant on medication and hospital visits for things like back pain, which could have been better treated in its earlier stages by a professional outside the hospital. I say take it one step further and establish real health care. Jeff Marshall, Grand Falls-Windsor

Splitting Tory hairs Dear editor, When the provincial government brought down its budget this spring, Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised it as a good Conservative budget. Steve was wrong. It was a good Progressive Conservative budget, with strong emphasis on Progressive. After Premier Danny Williams and his team swamped and then romped over the opposition in the Oct. 9 general election, Harper congratulated the premier on a Conservative victory. Uneven Stephen was wrong again. It was a Progressive Conservative victory. You may dismiss the foregoing as splitting hairs, that there is no appreciable difference. Sleveen Harper wishes the voters of Canada would forget the differences between Progressive Conservative and his brand of Conservative. They would forget at their peril. We would forget at ours. Williams doesn’t appear to be interested in letting up on Harper for breaking his written promise to remove nonrenewable natural resource revenues from the equalization formula. Keep going, Danny. This place has been embroiled in an orphan’s fight since at least 1933. (We did a terrible thing in 1927. The highest court in the British Empire agreed with our claim and not their claim in a boundary dispute.) Fight on, Danny. Fight on. The Cinderella of empire, the troublesome

Stephen Harper

waif foisted upon oh-so-put-upon, long-suffering, poor mouth Canada will have what is rightfully hers only if we fight for it. Williams still has his ABC (anything but Conservative) campaign on the go. In the interest of the home team here’s a fly for Harper’s ointment. In the next federal election this province should send PCs to Ottawa. Seven PC candidates helped along by 48 provincial Progressive Conservative district associations. But federally the initials PC would stand for Progressive Citizens or even Progressive Canadians.

Paul Daly/The Independent

What would Stiff Harper think about a Progressive Citizens political party, an independent-minded bloc with nationwide aspirations staring him in the face? In conclusion, has anybody bothered to ask the prime minister lately what he thinks of this part of Atlantic Canada’s culture of defeatism? There is fair promise of good fortune around here; will Harper break that promise as well in his attempt to break Danny Williams? Tom Careen, Placentia


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTNEWS • 9

Seeing Second of a two-part column on cataract surgery.

IVAN MORGAN

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urses hold the health-care sector together. Don’t think so? Then sit in day surgery sweating an eye operation. It was their cheery indifference to my quiet anxiety that suggested to me I might be a bit of a baby. My nurse was all good-natured business. She obviously sees people like me every day. Rarely have I ever been more grateful to be just another schmuck. How bad can this be, I thought, if they don’t seem to care too much? I was in hospital because I was getting cataract surgery. I was scheduled for the following week, but my doctor called and said there was an opening in the morning. Could I make it? Could I ever — that saved me a whole week’s stewing. So I was waiting with two others who were also called in early for the same procedure. I was the teensiest bit stressed that morning, and the person

Rant & Reason who sat next to me turned out to be a godsend. A positive outlook makes all the difference. Her buoyant company reminded me how much we were both looking forward to the operation. There’s no substitute for good company, especially at your weakest moments. As for the surgery? Maybe having your eye cut while you are awake (they can’t put you to sleep for obvious reasons) doesn’t sound like fun — and it ain’t — but here’s the thing: the surgeon, Dr. Chris Jackman (thanks dude) has an infectious confidence and a gentle touch. That really helps. Also, there’s no pain. The following day I stubbed my little toe. That hurt like hell. Not this. Here’s another thing. I can see.

YOUR VOICE ‘Spectacular photos’ Dear editor, Worth the price of The Independent each week are the spectacular photos of Paul Daly. I worked in the media for nearly 40 years and Daly’s work is right up there with “the best” I’ve ever

seen (and there are many). Keep up the good work, Paul. Photos sell papers and at times are worth a thousand words. Bill Westcott, Clarke’s Beach

‘The most torturous six weeks that anybody could describe’ Dear editor, My name is Judith Day, formerly from St. John’s, now living in Fredericton, N.B. I was practising nursing as an educator until I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1995 and, as a result, lost my career, credibility and financial stability as I was not allowed to work unless I took medication to which I had adverse reactions. I was highly sensitive to those psychotropic drugs, namely Lithium, which caused permanent serious neuro-muscular problems for me. I was forced to take it too long, while experiencing serious side effects that were ignored and considered psychogenic, or part of my supposed illness. I have not consumed any drugs now for almost 10 years and again live a normal life, despite fatigue, muscle weakness and pain. One of my friends sent me an article that was published in The Independent’s Oct. 26 issue, Institutional neglect by Stephanie Porter. I commend your paper for publishing that article on this contentious issue. Until 1995, I had 30 years of nursing experience, and lived a normal life, before my admission to the

Waterford Hospital in May of that year. I have only worked in a paid position for eight months since then and have lived on a disability pension. I support Cate Dyke’s accusations completely and would like for others to come forward with their stories of abuse and neglect. I have been a voice in the wilderness for almost 10 years after I experienced the most torturous six weeks that anybody could describe confined against my will in that institution with a perfectly normal mental status except that, according to my treating physician, I had “no insight” into having a mental illness, namely bipolar disorder. I had never been diagnosed with that disorder and have never fit the criteria to be diagnosed with that disorder. I was totally aware of my surroundings and wrote a daily journal of the happenings there. In that journal, I described many incidences of neglect. For instance, elderly patients having to pour boiling hot water into Styrofoam cups as one example of patients being unprotected in a barbaric, antiquated, hostile environment. Judith Day, Fredericton, N.B.

When I sat up in the surgery I could see. As they wheeled me back into day surgery I could see. Man could I see. What an astonishing experience. I can’t get past it, even now. I know from the weak smiles of loved ones that after weeks of me going on and on about this they get it. But they don’t. I guess this is how fighter pilots see. Not to get into too much detail, but I had a fixed plastic lens implanted in my eye. I had the choice: near or far sighted. I was diplomatically told at my age reading glasses were inevitable, so I should chose far-sighted. Fair enough. I left the hospital with cool, heavy, black protective sunglasses they gave me. “Orbisons,” I called them. I was told I was not allowed to drive for 24 hours, so on the way home I had a rare chance to sit in the passenger seat and just look around and say “wow” a lot. I saw like I have never seen before. The following morning I woke up and shuffled to the can, as I have every morning of the 17 years I have lived in

my home. Looking out across the Bell Island tickle I was startled to see, clearly, for the first time, the ferry tied up at the wharf, cars lined up to get on. That woke me up. Wow. It’s not just that the cataracts are gone, it’s more. I wore glasses from Grade 5 until the moment I sat up on the table in surgery. Not now. Don’t need them. I felt naked the first time I drove without them. I have to get the restriction on my driver’s licence lifted. I saw fall colours like never before. I saw a bohemian waxwing (that’s a bird) at 200 metres in a dogberry tree on the shores of Quidi Vidi. Swear to God. There’s more. I can read. And read and read and read. What an immense relief. Take nothing for granted, reading is the greatest joy. I need reading glasses, as the lens in my eye is plastic and set for distance, but reading glasses are a buck a pair at the dollar store. I bought a yaffle and stashed them everywhere. I need different magnifications for different tasks, but what odds at a buck a pair?

Sunglasses, for the first time in my life, come off the rack. I need glasses to eat. (I can’t see my food.) Now, rain gets in my eyes. Now I peer over reading glasses at people. I need glasses to cook. At night, when the light is just right, I can actually see the lens sitting on my eye. Far from being freaked out, I find it strangely comforting. I was told I may have trouble with my night vision. Nope. The surgery really improved my night vision. Now I have a fighting chance of seeing that moose on the road. Going blind was no joke. Being fixed? A miracle in the sincerest meaning of the word. The health-care system may be on the ropes, but it came through for me this time. I have no idea why anyone with vision troubles would not rush out and demand the surgery right away. Perhaps someone can explain to me why not. I know what I’ll say in response. I see. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Cancer society should not succeed at ‘expense’ of employees Dear editor, This letter is in response to the Nov. 2 Charity case article by Ivan Morgan. As a former employee I would like to take this opportunity to share my experiences with the cancer society. I started volunteering with the society in March 2004. Six months later I became an employee. In total, I was with the society for more than two years. I was told on several occasions that I was a valued employee. I received positive performance reviews, received raises and advancements. During that time I did raise concerns a few times. I wasn’t long into the position when the working environment became unbearable. In June 2006 I was laid off for “restructuring.” Upon my dismissal I wrote a letter to the board of directors to inform them of my concerns. The board did not acknowledge my letter or respond to me in any way. Because of my own personal experience I can easily relate to the situation Edie Newton finds herself in. I admire her courage to come forward. I strongly believe that an employee who comes

Edie Newton

forward with concerns should be treated with respect and their concerns should be taken seriously. I am still touched by the work that the cancer society strives to achieve. The society will always hold a place in my heart, and I would love to see the

Paul Daly/The Independent

organization succeed, but not at the expense of employees who speak up. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Heather Rogers, St. John’s

‘Our children will curse our apathy’ Dear editor, I just finished reading an article by Globe and Mail Atlantic Canada bureau chief Oliver Moore on the plight of the small outport of Black Tickle, once a booming Labrador fishing village. More telling than the article, which could have been written about any number of outports, were the comments from readers across the country. Many, by their callous opinions, showed a complete ignorance of the way of life of outport people and the attachment of coastal people to their rural communities. However, one does not have to cross the Gulf to encounter that same ignorance and insensitivity toward rural communities. The resettlement program of the 1960s resulted from a similar arrogant disregard for the hearts and minds of rural people, and today those advocating the gutting of rural infrastructure fall into this dubious category. My gut feeling is that after 16 years of cod moratoria, the powers that be have succumbed to those calling for closing plants and depopulating smaller communities. The prophets of doom have their own

agenda — the rise of their personal fortunes at the expense of small communities, where fishermen today cannot sell their mackerel, squid, or herring because there is no small plant and no buyers. How many readers felt the pain in the heart of the lady from a small village on the Northern Peninsula, telling the host of CBC Radio’s Fisheries Broadcast a fews days ago that her husband couldn’t sell any mackerel because there was no plant, and trucking hundreds of miles reduced the fish to garbage? To my way of thinking, the plan is in the works, advocated by selfish individuals and bought by unknowing government bureaucrats, to dismantle our smaller communities and have a fishery with a few large processors controlling the catching and the processing. A plan, I feel, that is already well underway, aided and abetted by political patronage and well disguised skullduggery. The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board, born of an act of the Newfoundland legislature, has been rendered impotent and ineffective. The intent of this organization was the professionalization of fish harvesters as certified core fishers — the only people

permitted to fish commercially and sell their catch. Yet, much to the detriment of rural communities and independent fishers, Fisheries and Oceans has not only permitted processors to catch their own fish, but continues to allow processors more and more catching capability, thus displacing independent fishers and making them irrelevant. I expect this trend to continue until there is no further need for independent fishermen or their communities, as the silence from local community leaders, MHAs, MPs, unions and municipalities allows such trends to continue unchecked. When only St. Anthony, Gander, Clarenville and a few other designated communities exist, we will all be the poorer and our children will curse our apathy and our shortsightedness in allowing some of the most beautiful places on this planet to die — all to fit the self-centred agenda of a few millionaires whose only fixation is to become billionaires.

in our federal government. If we want more influence, we have to work for a reformed Senate. Unfortunately, Ontario and Quebec will never agree to constitutional change necessary to create an effective Senate. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trying to make changes we need in the Senate, to require elections for fixed terms, in ways that do not require constitutional

change. We should support these efforts. Those who want Senate reform should not get caught up in the diversionary tactics of people who say they agree but want more discussion about how it can be achieved. They do not want the kind of Senate we need.

David Boyd, Twillingate

‘We have to work for a reformed Senate’ Dear editor, The only way smaller Canadian provinces can get more influence over our federal government is through an effective Senate. Practically all federations have a second House of Parliament for that reason. But Canada’s Senate does not benefit the smaller provinces the way it was intended because our senators are not

elected. The great flaw in our federal system is the way it is controlled by Ontario and Quebec because their large populations give them over half the seats in the House of Commons. Our Constitution provides for a Senate to give the smaller provinces the ability to counterbalance the House of Commons’ strength of the two most populous provinces. But the Senate has not ful-

filled its purpose because Senators are appointed for long terms. They do not serve their purpose to provide regional balance. A Triple-E Senate, like that of the United States and other great federations, is essential to give the smaller provinces a fair say in national affairs. If current efforts to have a referendum on abolishing the Senate are successful, the smaller provinces will have less say

7e love celebrations too.

Walter Noel, St. John’s


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

10 • INDEPENDENTNEWS

‘A little nervous over the economy’ Rising Canadian dollar means higher trucking rates: spokesman By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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he newly elected president of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association says the rising Canadian dollar is squeezing the province’s trucking industry, an economic pain that will be passed on to the consumer. “We in the trucking industry keep saying that we’re a great predictor of what the economy is going to be. When our industry goes into a bit of a lull, you can pretty well rest assured that there’s a lull in the economy coming around the corner,” Gordon Peddle, owner of D.D. Transport in Mount Pearl, tells The Independent. He says at some point everything used in the province is trucked, making the trucking industry crucial to the health of the province’s economy. The industry has been feeling a crunch in the demand for its services in the last six months “so that leaves us a little nervous over the economy in the future,” Peddle says. In recent months the Canadian dollar has steadily increased in value against the American dollar, climbing to an all-time high of $1.10 US on Nov. 7, but then suffering its worst drop ever on Nov. 12, dropping to the still high of $1.06 US. The rising dollar is pricing some of the province’s exports out of their southern markets, particularly in the pulp and paper, fishing, and forestry sectors. Peddle says the trucking industry is very competitive and profit margins are lean and don’t fluctuate much. Any rise or drop in prices is passed on to the consumer. Peddle says the rising Canadian dollar has had a dramatic impact on exports across the country, with manufacturers hit hard as the dollar makes products more expensive, and therefore less attractive to American customers. He says the high dollar may make shopping across the border great for consumers, but it’s been hard on exports. The province’s trucking industry, says Peddle, bases its rates on out-going shipments — exports — and if they drop, rates have to increase to cover costs. Narrow and relatively inflexible profit margins mean increased costs are passed on to the consumer. In other words, he says trucking freight out of province subsidizes trucking in the consumer goods people need. If the rising dollar slows the amount of goods shipped out, forcing a reduction in outbound freight, then trucks are going out of the province empty, which Peddle says increases the cost of shipping goods in. That affects practically everything Newfoundlanders and Labradorians use, eat, or need, says Peddle, adding that’s especially true for fresh produce, the delivery of which is time-sensitive. He says groceries will be one of the hardest hit consumer items. At the same time, Peddle says the economy could see some savings through a drop in the price of tires, gas and parts. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

The Southern Shore highway near Trepassey.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Around the clock snowclearing unlikely this winter: Whalen By Brian Callahan The Independent

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ven if the province decides to fund highway snowclearing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Transportation Minister Dianne Whalen says it likely won’t happen this winter. “I’d be doubtful if it would be done in time for (2007-08),” Whalen tells The Independent. “I don’t think we should go out and say we’re going to have 24-hour coverage because that decision has not been made.” With a price tag of between $5 million and $15 million, she says the decision would have to be made at the cabinet level. “It’s something that we’re seriously looking at, but as it stands right now I can’t give you a definite answer of exactly when this could come about.” All government departments are reviewing services as part of planning for next year’s budget, which is usually unveiled in late March before the new fiscal year begins on April 1. Whalen says the snowclearing policy is part of her department’s review and a decision will come after the budget process. “But I doubt if we do have it … it will be in time. The winter would practically be over.” Jon Summers, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Truckers’ Association, applauds government for work completed on the Trans-Canada Highway in recent years, with a caveat. “For all intents and purposes, the highway

is better than it’s ever been,” Summers says, “but it doesn’t mean a thing if it’s not cleared.” He’s concerned the policy of removing plows between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the province’s highways remains a recipe for tragedy. “The biggest thing is when they take the plows off the roads at night. We’re 24-7. So while everyone else is taking a nap, we’re out with no choice but to drive through these changing conditions,” Summers says. While she’s new to the transportation portfolio, Whalen says the snowclearing policy hasn’t changed since 1982. It states, in part, “maintenance supervisors assess road conditions night and day. Crews report for work between 4:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., five days a week, depending on the area of the province. They work until mid-afternoon, unless weather conditions dictate they work additional hours. During storms, plowing continues until 9:30 p.m. or longer until all roads are open to traffic, if the storm is ending. If the snow is continuing, crews normally go home around 10 p.m., until 4:30 a.m. or 5 a.m. the next day. Between 10 p.m. and 4:30-5 a.m. crews are generally not in operation, except in emergency situations. “During this period, traffic flow is typically very low.” While snowclearing is part of the budget review, the issue of installing trucker rest stops is not. “I don’t think, to be quite honest with you, we’ve got a problem with rest stops,” Whalen says. “We do have the private areas, like the

Irving and Ultramar gas stations. You can drive about 80 kilometres or an hour and you’ve got one.” Summers, however, points out the gas stations are private property and the owners are not obliged to allow big rigs to take up their parking spaces. “We’ve got guys using those service stations and anywhere else they can pull off so they can rest up and not be nodding off,” he says. “But these private businesses don’t have to allow them to park there, especially in the summer months when they need that space for the increase in tourists.” Truckers are sometimes forced to tuck their rigs to the side of the highway in places that simply weren’t meant for it. “And then a cop comes along and tells them to move along. It’s not their fault. They have that job to do. But what else are truckers supposed to do? They (other provinces) have (rest stops) everywhere.” Whalen says the cost is not justified and she doesn’t see a problem with parking at service stations. “Well, you know, they’re open for business. And they’re quite busy. I see a lot of truckers stopping at those outlets. When I travel the highway I go there myself. But they’re looking for us to invest in building these rest stops. It’s approximately $300,000 … when you include new turnoffs and merge lanes and space for the trucks. “That’s something we’re not getting into right now as a government.” brian.callahan@theindependent.ca


INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007 — PAGE 11

Muskrat Falls, Labrador

Paul Daly/The Independent

Revenge of geography Quebec policy on Churchill penalizes Canada’s ability to cut greenhouse gases

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t’s been called the revenge of geography: Quebec’s refusal to allow Newfoundland and Labrador to transmit electrical energy through its territory. In other words, there shall be one market for Labrador electricity — Quebec, and on Quebec’s terms. Quebec’s revenge-of-geography policy, dating from the 1960s, was designed to penalize Newfoundland because it, and not Quebec, was confirmed as owner of Labrador by a British Privy Council decision in 1927. As just about everyone knows, that policy has enabled Quebec to reap (rape?) billions of dollars from the upper Churchill — an estimated $19 billion by the end of last year. What is less widely recognized, or at least acknowledged, is that Quebec’s revenge-of-geography policy also penalizes Canada as a whole, Ontario in particular, and in doing so contributes to global warming. That’s because in cutting off Newfoundland and Labrador’s access to electricity markets, the policy has blocked the development of the clean, renewable electrical energy of the lower Churchill for more than three decades — thereby limiting Canada’s ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Every political party in Canada claims that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the

JOAN FORSEY

Guest Column environment is a top priority. Yet, how many politicians — apart from those in Newfoundland and Labrador — have you heard speak out against the revenge-ofgeography policy? Granted, politicians wouldn’t call it that; they’d pussyfoot around it. But how many have raised their voices to say, “Canadians want clean, renewable power from the lower Churchill,” and followed up by pressuring the federal government to facilitate its development and access to it? Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, who until last month was Ontario’s minister of Energy, is among the relatively few. Of course, Quebec’s revenge-ofgeography policy has had other adverse effects, apart from those on the environment. By cutting off Newfoundland and Labrador’s access to energy markets and blocking the development of the lower Churchill hydroelectric project for so many years, it has denied Canadians access to what Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro CEO Ed Martin has said would be relatively cheap power. It has also prolonged Canada’s dependence on the United States’ electricity system, and reduced

Canada’s security of supply (remember the blackout in central Canada caused by problems in the U.S. system in 2003). If none of that matters to the federal Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratic parties, surely their oft-stated commitment to protecting the environment should motivate them to speak up. For example, it’s time for Stephen Harper, Stéphane Dion, and Jack Layton to acknowledge the following: No. 1: Quebec’s revenge-ofgeography policy has limited Ontario’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve its air quality. Ontario has already twice extended its deadline to get rid of its coal-fired power plants — from 2007, to 2009, to 2014. Ontario’s Finance Minister Dwight Duncan visited the lower Churchill site when he was minister of Energy. “It’s astounding, the opportunity there, both for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, the First Nations, the Innu people, and for the people of southern Ontario. It’s a wonderful opportunity … the power is economic, quite apart from the obvious green benefits associated with it,” Duncan told a “green power corridor summit” in Ottawa earlier this year. “I look forward to the day,” he said, “when Ontario doesn’t have to pay $200 to $300 a megawatt

“It’s astounding, the opportunity there, both for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, the First Nations, the Innu people, and for the people of southern Ontario.” Ontario’s Finance Minister Dwight Duncan hour to a coal plant in Ohio to import on a hot summer’s day and we can spend that money in Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba to help build our north, help our First Nations, get those communities off diesel, and clean up our environment.” Revenge has meant that, rather than being able to buy clean, renewable energy from Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario has had to continue to produce its own greenhouse gases plus pay Ohio to produce the greenhouse gases that float up from Ohio to pollute southern Ontario even more. (However, Ontario will be able to get clean electrical power from Manitoba, thanks to the $586.2

million the federal government said last March it would give Ontario to help fund green projects, among them an electricity transmission link to Manitoba.) No. 2: The revenge-of-geography policy limits Canada’s ability to become the leader it says it wants to be in addressing climate change. The federal government, in October’s Speech from the Throne, said, “The world is moving on to address climate change and the environment, and Canada intends to lead the effort at home and abroad.” The federal government could, if it were serious about wanting to “lead,” facilitate the development of the lower Churchill’s clean, renewable energy and help make it available to those, like Ontario, seeking to protect the environment. But that would annoy Quebec. And for the federal government, winning House of Commons seats in Quebec is obviously more important than fighting climate change. No. 3: The revenge-of-geography policy all but kills the idea of a truly national energy grid. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which backs such a grid, has pointed out, “Canada has the resources and potential to become a clean energy superpower. In order for that to be realized, action See “A nearly national,” page 15

Housing crunch Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation has too many large older homes; can’t accommodate seniors By Ivan Morgan The Independent

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ith a new report claiming more than one third of seniors in Atlantic Canada cannot afford to repair their own homes, the head of the province’s public housing corporation says there’s a growing gap between what the corporation can offer, and what people seeking low-cost housing require. Len Simms, chair and CEO of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp., which provides low-cost housing and rent subsidy programs, says

they face a challenge to meet the rising number of seniors seeking cheap housing while also dealing with aging properties that are often too big for the corporation’s changing clientele, all while facing dwindling federal funds. “The biggest area of concern (for the corporation) is the fact that we don’t have enough appropriate units for the wait list that we have — for the demographic need. That’s the problem,” the 63-year-old Simms tells The Independent. Simms, a former Tory MHA and cabinet minister, was appointed head of the corporation in February 2005.

He resigned on Sept. 10 to work on Premier Danny Williams’ re-election team. Simms, who did not receive a severance package when he left, was re-appointed Oct. 18. Simms runs a Crown agency with a $120-million budget, and 400 employees in seven regional offices. The corporation’s 5,700 units house approximately 12,000 tenants. The average annual income of those households is $10,000, says Simms. There are 700 applicants waiting for placement, a number Simms says is manageable. He’s up on his facts and figures, but also knows his clients.

Simms says the housing corporation’s clientele are primarily people who are “down on their luck, having tough times, low income.” “Social housing is meant for people who are looking for ways to help them through tough times, although there are lots of our people who have been living in their units for 30 years. You know, they made it their homes,” says Simms. The problem for the housing corporation is the age of its properties. Most of the units were built 50 years ago in high-density compounds, with units designed for large families. Simms says they have “way too many” three-

and four-bedroom units, “not nearly enough one-bedroom units” and a wait list where 75 per cent of the applicants are people looking for oneand two-bedroom units. In addition, the high-density design of many of the compounds has led to social problems, which he says has been “a bit of a challenge.” Simms says the housing corporation has not built significant numbers of new units — or homes, as he prefers to call them, noting that’s what tenants refer to them as — in 25 years. A new five-year budget boost from See “Demographically,” page 14


12 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Opportunities Security Analyst

Two Positions (Permanent) Infrastructure Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Executive Council,40 Higgins Line, St. John’s The OCIO provides for the operation of Government’s computer systems and infrastructure, the planning, development and implementation of new IT initiatives, the coordination of IT and information management for Government and working with the local IT industry development while meeting the needs of government. DUTIES: Implements security systems that ensure the protection of Government and customer data against unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure using advanced security concepts, techniques and standards; serves as prime consultant on security systems, capabilities, and practices; develops Security Policies and Procedures encompassing encryption, firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Vulnerability assessment (VA) techniques and Penetration Testing; implements security projects including security audits, risk assessments and mitigation, technical vulnerability assessments, standardizing security practices, compliance reviews, policy audits, program reviews, performance audits, security control reviews, user authentication, intrusion detection, and patch management, software assurance, separation of duties, and process improvement; analyzes and interprets output from a wide variety of security devices; reviews system conformance to security requirements including FISMA, OMB, and NIST; audits performance against policy and security plans; reviews adequacy of security controls; recommends improvements to security policy; analyzes security requirements of new IT projects; and writes in-depth reports to address the requirements of both a management and technical audience. QUALIFICATIONS: The candidate should be able to fully understand and correctly interpret the security implications of: web servers (UNIX and Windows), DHCP servers, Linux, database servers, mail servers, application servers, security devices, firewalls, gateways, routers, and network security tools; the candidate should have security experience with: server, router, and firewall log reviews; network scanning; network security testing; access controls verification; device configuration verification; intrusion detection; risk analysis; and database administration; the candidate should fully understand several of the following and be able to analyze and make recommendations on their security implications: security best practices including FISMA, OMB, and NIST requirements; vulnerability and risk analysis and mitigation; security standards; network infrastructure; network protocols; remote access; authentication methods; securing applications; configuration management; security plans; network intrusion strategies and defenses; password checking; server administration practices. Work is performed with considerable independence and judgement with work reviewed through discussion, reports and results obtained. Position is expected to follow a task through to completion and be responsible for decisions. Graduation from an accredited college or university with a computer science degree, supplemented by considerable experience in a technical environment including performing risk assessments, security plans and security analysis; a thorough understanding of IT security best practices including FISMA, OMB and NIST requirements. Completion of a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) designation is a mandatory requirement. SALARY: $ 57,111 – $ 67,394 (GS-44) COMPETITION #: EXEC.OCIO.C.SA(p).07/08.110-P CLOSING DATE: November 28, 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 Fax: (709) 729-6737 E-Mail: pscecresumes@gov.nl.ca Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date - late applications with explanation may be considered. RNC Security Clearance and 24 X 7 on-call rotation are conditions of employment. Alternate work hours may also apply depending on service demands. Use of a personal vehicle may be required. This position is open to both male and female applicants. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-1123. November 8, 2007

Tender DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & WORKS INVITATION TO TENDER Tenders will be received up to the date and time indicated below for the following project: A/PROJECT #127-07PWR – Wharf rehabilitation work at Petite Forte Ferry Terminal and at Southeast Bight Ferry Terminal, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 04, 2007 @ 12:00 NOON B/PROJECT – Proposals for office space for a constituency office in the Electoral District of Humber Valley within the boundary of the Town of Deer Lake, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $N/A CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 30, 2007 @ 3:00 PM C/PROJECT – Proposals for office space for a constituency office in the Electoral District of Torngat Mountains within the boundary of the Town of Hopedale, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $N/A CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 30, 2007 @ 3:00 PM 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, A1B 4J6, 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. Dianne C. Whalen Minister Transportation & Works

Ecosystem Management Ecologist Furbearer Management

Ecosystem Management Ecologist Aquatic Management

(Permanent)

(Permanent)

Wildlife Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Riverside Drive, Corner Brook

Wildlife Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Riverside Drive, Corner Brook

DUTIES: Develops comprehensive provincial management plans for all furbearer species; liaises with Government and non-government organizations to plan and participate in furbearer management initiatives throughout all regions of the province; plans, designs, analyses and conducts inventories, surveys and questionnaires related to furbearer management, reports on the interpretations of findings associated with research and conservation programs and provides recommendations on the effects of proposed Departmental programs or public activities on furbearer resources, recommends and reviews guidelines, policies, regulations and develops legislation required to implement the management of furbearers species, works closely with the licensing section in the distribution of trappers licenses; represents the Department at Wildlife conferences, meetings, workshops, media and general public inquiries, etc., maintains records, supervises staff and performs other related duties as required.

DUTIES: Assists in the development of provincial management strategies and plans for inland fish resources; liaises with Government and non-government organizations to plan and participate in inland fishery management initiatives throughout all regions of the province; works with the senior aquatics research biologist to plan, design, analyze and assist in inventories, surveys and questionnaires related to inland fisheries management, reports on the interpretations of findings associated with research and conservation programs and provides recommendations on the effects of proposed Departmental programs or public activities on inland fish resources, recommends and/or reviews guidelines, policies, regulations and assists in the development of legislation required to implement the management of fisheries resources; represents the Department at conferences, meetings, workshops, media and general public inquiries, etc., maintains records, supervises staff and performs other related duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of wildlife research and management, furbearer population dynamics/modeling and scientific research and methodology is essential. Candidates must be able to work independently and possess sound judgment and initiative, together with strong oral and written communications and public speaking skills, as well as negotiation/conflict resolution and supervisory skills. The above qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through graduation with a B.Sc in a resource management discipline supplemented by considerable experience in wildlife management or a M.Sc with experience in wildlife management.

QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of fisheries research and management, fish population dynamics/modeling and scientific research and methodology is essential. Candidates must be able to work independently and possess sound judgment and initiative, together with strong oral and written communications and public speaking skills, as well as negotiation/conflict resolution and supervisory skills. The above qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through graduation with a B.Sc in a resource management discipline supplemented by considerable experience in wildlife management or a M.Sc with experience in wildlife/fisheries management.

SALARY: ($47,411.00 - $52,889.20) GS-38 COMPETITION #: EC.C.EME(p).07.0141-P CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 3, 2007

SALARY: ($47,411.00 - $52,889.20) GS-38 COMPETITION #: EC.C.EME(p).07.08-0278-P CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 3, 2007

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.

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.

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:

Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded to:

Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded to:

Mail:

Mail:

Fax: E-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 pscresourcesresumes@gov.nl.ca

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. This position is open to both male and female applicants. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, call (709) 637-2014.

Wildlife Biologist II

Fax: E-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 pscresourcesresumes@gov.nl.ca

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. This position is open to both male and female applicants. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, call (709) 637-2023.

Highway Maintenance Equipment Operators

(Temporary for three years)

(Temporary - Winter Maintenance)

Location: Parks and Natural Areas Division, Department of Environment and Conservation, Portugal Cove South, NL.

TO CREATE A TEMPORARY CALL-IN LIST FOR SNOW CLEARING OPERATIONS AND HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE

DUTIES: Leads the development of the nomination document for World Heritage Site status for Mistaken Point; manages Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve; initiates, conducts, and supervises research, resource inventories, assessments and monitoring by designing studies, undertaking information and data collection and field investigations for the purpose of developing and implementing appropriate management guidelines and policies; assists with the preparation of plans and policies including visitor management plans; makes recommendations for mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts; develops partnerships with other agencies, non-governmental groups, etc.; liases with all stakeholders; assists with the development and delivery of education and outreach programs that support the objectives of Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve; enforces regulations, policies and permit systems; reviews scientific research proposals and provides recommendations; represents department on committees; prepares reports and may supervise temporary staff. A valid driver=s license, frequent travel and flexibility to work evenings and weekends is required. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of conservation biology/ecology and geology/paleontology, site management, scientific research and monitoring methodology, field techniques and computer applications is required. Candidates must demonstrate strong oral, written, organizational and analytical skills as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and work independently. Required qualifications would normally be acquired through a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Ecology/Geology, combined with related work and field experience.

Two (2) (Temporary Call-in Winter Positions of Highway Maintenance Equipment Operators) to establish an eligibility list for Winter Operations, Department of Transportation and Works, Eastern Region, located in Lethbridge/Southern Bay Units. 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, tandem and single axle trucks with snow clearing attachments, 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. SALARY: $15.76 - $17.36 per hour (MS 24) COMPETITION #: TW.C.HMEO.(t).07.08.264-P CLOSING DATE: November 27, 2007. NOTE: THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE MUST RESIDE IN THE AREA. Applications should be forwarded to:

SALARY: $42,533.40 - $47,477.40 (GS-35) COMPETITION #: EC.C.WBII(t).07.0226 CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 3, 2007 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.

This competition is open to both male and female applicants. Mail:

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded to: Mail:

Fax: E-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 pscresourcesresumes@gov.nl.ca

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. This position is open to both male and female applicants. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, call (709) 635-4533.

Fax: Email:

Ms Jennette Reader Regional Administrator Dept. of Works, Services & Transportation 3 Duffitt Place, Clarenville , NL A5A 1E9 (709) 466-3927 readerj@gov.nl.ca

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) 466-4121.


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 13

Opportunities Superintendent Marine Engineering

Manager Of Integrated Disability Management

Permanent

Temporary until permanent incumbent returns

One (1) permanent position of Marine Engineering Superintendent with the Marine Branch of the Department of Transportation and Works located at Lewisporte, NL.

Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation – Confederation Building

DUTIES: The Marine Engineering Superintendent is one of two management positions reporting to the Director of Maintenance and Engineering (Marine Services). The position is responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of the 11 vessel fleet within the Maintenance & Engineering Division, including providing direction and guidance to personnel involved with repairs, maintenance and refit of all vessels; handling of annual refits for each vessel owned by the Department; liaising, directing, guiding and consulting professionals such as naval architects, Coast Guard surveyors, Classification Societies, Captains, Marine Engineers and shipyard personnel, etc.; responsible for the preparation and presentation of marine insurance claims and ensuring the Department’s fleet of eleven vessels are maintain in accordance with Canadian ferry standards. QUALIFICATIONS: This position requires extensive knowledge and experience in Marine Services. The incumbent is expected to exercise considerable independence and initiative and must possess effective organizational, analytical, problem solving, interpersonal and oral/written communication, management/supervisory skills as well as the ability to work in a dynamic, service-oriented environment. These qualifications would normally be acquired through graduation from a recognized post-secondary program in marine engineering, nautical science or naval architecture; extensive experience in maintaining a fleet of Marine Vessels; and be the holder of a Second Class Marine Engineering Certificate or higher. Equivalent education, training and experience may be considered. SALARY: ($ 57,059 - $ 74,177) HL 23 COMPETITION #: TW.C.SME.(p).07.08.269-P CLOSING DATE: November 27, 2007 PLEASE QUOTE COMPETITION NUMBER WHEN APPLYING FOR POSITION

DUTIES: As a member of the Human Resource (HR) Management Team, the incumbent provides a leadership role in the development, implementation and management of specialized activities, programs and services in the areas related to risk management (occupational health and safety) and disability management (non worked time). This includes: identification and measurement of occupational health and safety risks and hazards and the development of related strategies and interventions; development of disability management programs in relation to absenteeism, leave management and Early and Safe Return-to-Work strategies; evaluation of return-on-investment with respect to risk and disability management programs and the development of business cases for any necessary change; and the development of training and information programs related to integrated disability management programs and services. The incumbent will serve as the main liaison to the applicable regulatory bodies with respect to disability management and Occupational Health and Safety issues within the Department(s) served. The incumbent will also provide support to departmental executive and management and will be expected to actively participate in HR Quality Councils and support communities of inquiry related to disability and risk management. QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates for the Manager of Integrated Disability Management should have extensive knowledge and experience in managing human resource services, programs and functions, particularly in the areas of Occupational Health and Safety and disability management. S/he must be a strategic leader, with strong communication, facilitation and analytical skills, and related experience in policy and program review, development and implementation. 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. SALARY: $51,546 - $67,010 (HL-21) COMPETITION #: TCR.C.MIDM.(t).07.08.0260-P CLOSING DATE: November 27, 2007

This position is open to both male and female applicants. INFORMATION FOR 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, quoting competition number, should be forwarded to:

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:

Mail:

Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:

Email: Fax:

Recruitment Centre 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 psctwresumes@gov.nl.ca (709) 729-6737

Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date - either by mail, email 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 709-7291969.

Fax: E-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 pscresourcesresumes@gov.nl.ca

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. This position is open to both male and female applicants. A separate application must be submitted for each competition. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-5082.

Engineer III

Court Officer I – Provincial Court

2 Positions (Temporary to March 31, 2008) One position located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay One position located in Wabush DUTIES: Performs specialized legal clerical work in the procedural operation of the Registries of the Provincial Court. Responsible for the processing of court cases, actions, proceedings and hearings; prepares court orders and certifies same or signs as an officer of the court; attends sittings of court and, takes minutes of proceedings, calls cases, performs swearing-in duties, records plea and enters trial dates; types accurate and complete verbatim transcripts of court proceedings and certifies same as the official records of the court; marks and takes possession of documents and exhibits for continuity and transfers to custodian; provides front-line counter service to customers/clients; provides the public with information on the processing of applications in the court; receipts cash. Receives documents, files, checks for accuracy, completeness and compliance with the rules and regulations of the court and enters in various case management systems. Will be required to travel on circuit up to two weeks per month with the Judge. QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess a minimum two-year graduate program in office administration with legal terminology and/ or related work experience in the legal profession, with a typing speed of 65 wpm. Applicants should have a general knowledge of Court operations with highly developed clerical/secretarial skills in a computerized environment; must possess good verbal and written skills, good organizational and analytical ability supported by sound judgement. Aboriginal language skills would be considered an asset. The ability to establish and maintain effective work relations are highly desirable in a fast paced work environment where independence, attention to detail, dependability, the ability to multi-task and a commitment to providing quality service are essential attributes. Equivalencies may be considered. 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. Candidates must pass OPAC testing with minimum of 65 nwpm (net words per minute). Candidates may be required to provide an official transcript at time of interview. 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. SALARY:

$35,908.60 - $39,894.40 per annum (GS-30)

COMPETITION #s: J.C.COI(t).07.08.141 -P (Happy Valley – Goose Bay) J.C.COI(t).07.08.142 - P (Wabush) CLOSING DATE:

November 27, 2007

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:

Fax: E-mail:

Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 709-729-6737 pscjusticeresumes@gov.nl.ca

These competitions are open to both male and female applicants.

Manager of High School Certification

Evaluation and Research Division, Department of Education 3rd Floor, West Block, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL DUTIES: This is a management position responsible for assisting or acting on behalf of the Director in planning, coordinating, and directing the development, implementation, maintenance and administration of all student certification programs and services. Specific responsibilities include: public examinations; high school certification (student records, reports and student certification); scholarship and awards program; ABE records and certification; program evaluation; professional development support to the education system in areas of divisional responsibility; and collaboration with other divisions within the Department, other Provincial Government departments, and other Ministries of Education across Canada on areas related to the Division’s mandate. QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will have a Masters Degree in Education supplemented by considerable teaching experience at the Senior High School Level and considerable experience at the management/administrative level. The candidate should have varied experience in the education system. Experience should also include a thorough knowledge and practical ability in program design, test development, achievement accountability programs, outcomes-based education, program evaluation, professional development, and implementation techniques; the ability to direct activities for the initiation, maintenance, improvement and cost-effectiveness of programs; the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrators, teachers, parents, and the general public; the ability to present ideas clearly and concisely, orally and in writing; and the ability to demonstrate leadership capabilities. TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT: Secondment (to August 31, 2008) with possibility of renewal. Renewal will be on an annual basis. The candidate will be expected to work the public service year with annual leave based on years of teaching service. SALARY: HL 23 ($57,059-$74,177) COMPETITION #: GS.C.ME(s).07.08.252-P CLOSING DATE: November 23rd, 2007 Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded via mail, fax or email: Mail:

Fax: E-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 pscsocialresumes@gov.nl.ca

For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-3000. This position is open to both males and females. 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.

(Permanent) One (1) permanent position of Engineer III, with the Avalon (Works) Division of the Department of Transportation and Works located at Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL. DUTIES: Reporting to the Regional Engineer, the incumbent will be responsible for general project management related to building construction and renovation projects. Reviews design and tender packages; provides direction to consultants, contractors and inspectors to ensure budgets, schedules and quality objectives are met. May prepare designs for inhouse projects and provides technical advice for the maintenance and operations division. Investigates and reports on building problems and solutions for the purpose of establishing priorities for future capital and maintenance projects.

In order to ensure your application/resume is processed appropriately, the job competition number MUST be indicated. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date, either by e-mail, postal mail or fax. (If faxing, DO NOT send a duplicate copy). Late applications with acceptable explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call (709) 896-7870. 2007 11 13

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must possess strong knowledge of building design systems and maintenance issues with particular emphasis on construction practices, contract administration, and project management skills. The knowledge and skills required for this position would normally be acquired through considerable directly related experience with emphasis on construction management of building projects. Candidates must be registered in PEG-NL and have successfully completed a degree in Engineering in a related field; knowledge of the interdisciplinary nature of building projects would be an asset.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & WORKS INVITATION TO TENDER

NOTE: THE USE OF A PERSONAL VEHICLE IS A REQUIREMENT OF THIS POSITION.

A/PROJECT – 126-07PHM – Ditching and Supply and Application of Maintenance Grade No. 3 Granular Base Course on Local Roads in the Codroy Valley area, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 29, 2007 @ 12:00 NOON

SALARY: $50,577.80 to $56,583.80 (GS-40) COMPETITION #: TW.C.ENGIII.(p).07.08.207-P CLOSING DATE: November 27, 2007. INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS: Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:

Fax: E-Mail:

Mr. Dan Howard Regional Administrator (Avalon Works) c/o Recruitment Centre Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Bldg. P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 psctwresumes@gov.nl.ca

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 7293342.

Tender Tenders will be received up to the date and time indicated below for the following project:

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, A1B 4J6, 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. Dianne C. Whalen Minister Transportation & Works


14 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Santa can’t do it all.

T

hey say Christmas is when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money. With all the talk of a swelling provincial surplus thanks to $90-plus barrels of oil, many people’s wish lists are growing dangerously long. ’Tis the season. The countdown — not to Christmas Day, but to Budget Day — is on. We can expect the Finance minister to give a mid-year fiscal update soon. The forecast for year end will surely be even brighter than first predicted, as oil prices have remained high. It has been reported that for every extra dollar on the price of a barrel of oil, the treasury gets an additional $20 million or more. That hasn’t gone unnoticed. Public sector workers are anticipating their piece of the pie. Special interest groups are lining up with their wishes. Government departments, no doubt, are gearing up for the budget process with their must-haves. If projections pan out, there will be even more flexibility than ever. Some feel the only decision is what to buy and where to spend. But credit the premier and his government for sticking to solid fiscal fundamentals. After all, you have to “dance with the one who brung ya.” Responsible management of public finances has been a keystone of this government’s growth plan

CATHYBENNETT

Board of Trade for Newfoundland and Labrador. Strategic but sound annual spending while keeping our sights trained on relieving the tax and debt burdens that have handcuffed us for so long has been the focus. In Budget 2007, for instance, government took advantage of a projected $260-million surplus and balanced meaningful personal tax relief measures with targeted spending in areas such as infrastructure, research and development, skills and education, poverty reduction and resource development initiatives. The premier has recently responded to calls to spend our newfound oil revenue. He’s tried to temper those expectations with a reminder that Newfoundland and Labrador still carries the highest net debt in the country — about $11.6 billion, or $23,000 for every resident of the province. That’s more than double the Canadian average. There’s a tremendous amount of interest on that debt. Some are unfortunately of the view that pay-

‘Demographically targeted units’ From page 11

cent of wait-list applicants are made up of seniors, he says many of the older, larger units will the provincial government, says Simms, will probably be torn down and replaced with smallhelp the corporation in its drive to modernize its er “demographically targeted units.” older homes. While the homes were well built to Research by the Atlantic Seniors Housing begin with, he says they need upgrading, and the Research Alliance out of Nova Scotia indicates province has raised the corporation’s upkeep many seniors cannot afford to maintain their budget to $9.7 million from $4.7 million, an own homes, citing a third of those who respondamount unchanged for decades. ed to their survey could not Much of the new money will go afford major repairs. towards “windows, siding, roofs In addition to providing and doors.” housing, the corporation also “It really makes my Another challenge, Simms runs programs that subsidize says, is dwindling financial assisrents. Simms says the program blood boil because tance from the Canada Mortgage could be a substitute to buildand Housing Corporation. Under ing new units by keeping senI have met a lot a social housing agreement iors in their existing homes. of these people.” signed in 1997, Simms says the Roughly 1,000 rents are curcorporation agreed to a plan that rently subsidized, and another Len Simms will see federal funds for social 500 subsidies would clear off housing in the province drop the wait list. each year until 2038, when it Simms says one thing that ends. In return, the housing corbothers him is the perception poration received title for the properties owned he often hears voiced about tenants being trouby CHMC. ble, or “bad apples.” When asked why the corporation signed the “It really makes my blood boil because I have deal, Simms is curt. met a lot of these people.” “I wasn’t here then.” He says 85 per cent are good people, and while The future for the housing corporation, says they have “trouble tenants,” the public tends to Simms, is reflected in the province’s changing tar everyone in housing with the same brush. demographic. Considering upwards of 80 per ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTBUSINESS • 15

Neither can Danny ing down the debt over time means nothing to the average person. Bah humbug! It’s been said debt is the worst poverty. Consider the money our government spends every year in debt interest payments. Debt expenses for the 2005-06 fiscal year totaled $947 million. But government has made it a point to reduce this “interest bite,” lowering debt expenses as a share of total revenue from more than 17 per cent in 2005-06 to a planned 11.8 per cent this fiscal year. That’s money that is freed up to put to greater use — new programs, infrastructure, tax relief, or further debt reduction, for example. The plan earlier this fiscal year was to reduce the net debt in 2007-08 by another $66 million and bring down debt servicing costs by about $51 million. In his report on last year’s financial statements, the auditor general commented on the debt: “Continued annual surpluses and a reasoned plan of debt reduction will be required if progress is to be made in eliminating this debt … prudent fiscal management has to con-

tinue and a debt reduction plan has to be developed and followed before the financial condition of the province is turned around.” We can’t look at healthy budget surpluses as a green light to increase spending. We need to see beyond the annual surpluses to the fuller, long-term picture, the one that includes a multi-year debt reduction plan. Now is the window of opportunity to take small chunks out of the debt, with high oil prices and a very favourable currency exchange rate. About a billion dollars of our debt is in American funds. When a one-cent change in the Canadian dollar has an impact of roughly $11 million on the province’s debt, it would seem like an opportune time to retire some of that U.S. debt if possible. When the mid-year fiscal update is given by the Finance minister, he will surely reiterate the commitment to lowering the province’s debt. There’s no reason to change course and priorities. Government can meet many demands by investing in programs and services smartly and sustainably,

while at the same time sticking to its plan for tax relief and paying down the debt a portion at a time. Meanwhile, spending wish lists will get longer the bigger our surplus is projected to be. They always do. This weekend my kids will be writing their annual letter to Santa Claus. Their letters will be crafted with the understanding that Santa has a lot of children he needs to bring presents to on Christmas Day. They understand that, although they want many things, they need to narrow their focus and pick the most important gifts. They will make the difficult decisions and be content with the outcome. As a matter of fact, I expect Santa will exceed their expectations. Let’s hope we can bring a little of this pragmatic approach to decisions about the “big sack” that is growing as a result of windfalls in oil revenues. Santa can’t do it all — nor should we expect government to.

Notice NOTICE OF APPLICATION TAKE NOTICE that NATURES SEA FARMS INC. 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 ATLANTIC SALMON AQUACULTURE SITE, near SOUTH EAST BIGHT 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 6th day of November, 2007. Thomas G. Rideout, MHA Baie Verte-Springdale District Minister

Cathy Bennett is president of the St. John’s Board of Trade.

A ‘nearly national’ energy grid From page 11 is required to facilitate transmission from areas of supply to areas of need.” The lower Churchill is an area of potential supply; Ontario has long been an area of need. But Quebec policy has restricted Labrador’s access to markets for decades. It is true, however, that Quebec, which sells electricity to the United States, has since the mid-1990s been bound by U.S. regulations requiring suppliers to open their transmission lines to competitors. However, if the revenge-of-geography policy continues, Quebec could deny Newfoundland and Labrador access to its transmission lines on grounds of lack of capacity. So should a “national” energy grid ever materialize, it could well turn out to be, in reality, a “nearly national” energy grid, leaving out Newfoundland and Labrador (as in the case of the nearly national newspaper, the nearly National Post). It’s no doubt politically incorrect to say this, but all the results of the revenge-of-geography policy serve to highlight, not just the hypocrisy of the federal government, but also the hypocrisy practised by Quebec with regard to environmental concerns. REDUCTION OBJECTIVES An Angus Reid climate change survey earlier this year found that of all provinces Quebec was most in favour (77 per cent) of Canada living up to its Kyoto commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2006, Quebec’s Environment minister urged other provinces to pressure the federal government to honour the Kyoto Protocol. And back in 2002, a Quebec Environment minister stated, “Quebec is fully prepared to do its share, its fair share, to help achieve Canada’s reduction objectives.” One would think that its “fair share” would include facilitating, if it could, the development of clean, renewable energy anywhere in Canada — even that of the lower Churchill. But the latter would require Quebec to allow Newfoundland and Labrador to transmit electrical power through its territory — which is highly unlikely. Jean Lesage, when he was premier of Quebec, stated the case clearly in 1965 during negotiations regarding the sale of electricity from the upper Churchill. “We will never permit, under any condition, others to build a transmission line on Quebec territory, or let others transport the energy produced at Churchill Falls whatever the destination of that energy, whether it be the United States or the other provinces.” So Quebec, the sole province to urge the federal government to ratify Kyoto, is also the sole province with a longterm policy (nearly half a century) that has actually limited Canada’s ability to fulfill the obligations of Kyoto. But don’t expect federal politicians — despite their professed commitment to protecting the environment — to mention it. There are 75 federal seats in Quebec. Joan Forsey, a Newfoundlander living in Toronto, is a former journalist who has been researching and writing about Canadian economic and political affairs for more than 30 years, including seven years as a writer on the staff of the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

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16 • INDEPENDENTBUSINESS

Grand Falls-Windsor Abitibi plant.

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Paul Daly/The Independent

Stats confirm pulp and paper industry in hard shape By Brian Callahan The Independent

W

ith a recent paper mill closure, machine downtime and overall company reviews of operations in Newfoundland and Labrador, it should come as no surprise that forestry industry numbers are down across the board in the province. The most recent statistics from the provincial government confirm that the industry here, as in other provinces, is suffering. For example, the total value of forest industry exports — pulp and paper and lumber — has been almost cut in half since 2002. Exports totalled almost $1 billion in 2002 compared to $592 million in 2006. More than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs were lost over that same period — from 12,516 down to 9,328. Even more sobering is the forestry industry’s percentage of the province’s total gross domestic product (GDP, the sum of all goods and services produced), which was only 3.7 per cent ($615.2 million) in 2002 and was reduced to a lowly 2.2 per cent ($388.9 million) by 2006.

A spokeswoman for the provincial Department of Natural Resources acknowledged the “rather abrupt decline,” particularly in the past two years, “which can be largely attributed to the closure of Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill in Stephenville in December 2005.” The company, which recently merged with paper giant Bowater to become AbitibiBowater, recently announced a 30-day review of all operations, including the mill in Grand Falls-Windsor. “The general decline between 2002 and 2006 can be attributed to a decrease in the market price for newsprint and lumber, lower production volumes of forest products as result of market conditions, and the continual rise of the value of the Canadian dollar over this period,” Tracy Barron tells The Independent. In addition, in 2006 wages and salaries earned through the forest sector totalled $268.4 million, compared to $280 million in 2003. In 2003, 781,000 tonnes of newsprint was shipped to more than 40 countries around the world, while in 2006, 594,777 tonnes of newsprint was exported. brian.callahan@theindependent.ca


INDEPENDENTLIFE

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007 — PAGE 17

Mark Callanan, editor of Riddle Fence.

MANDY COOK

W

hen Mark Callanan was musing over what to call the new literary journal he was editing, he did what any good local writer would do — he went “trawling” through the Dictionary of Newfoundland English. Happening upon the term riddle fence, defined as a fence built by weaving slender sticks together — common years ago because the technique eliminated the need for nails — Callanan knew he had his title. “I wanted something that had a buoyancy to it, a sense of fun on the one hand and on the other hand interesting in its own right, enigmatic. ‘Riddle fence. What the hell is that?’” he says. “It’s of interest for its sound alone, which has a playfulness to it, an impishness, and the idea of fences and boundaries, dividing and categorizing things — which is very much a faculty of critical thinking, breaking things into

Paul Daly/The Independent

Word nerds Literary journal celebrates 20th anniversary of writers’ alliance

pieces.” Enclosed by photographs by Scott Walden, the slim volume of essays, poetry and postcard fiction — there’s even a cartoon or two sketched by novelist Michael Winter — is a fun and readable collection of writers borne of and newly-imported to the province. A glance over the table of contents first reads like a who’s who of the Newfoundland literati, including local writing powerhouses Mary Dalton, Lisa Moore and Michael Crummey. British Columbia native Don McKay and Irish poet Patrick Warner are notably included as outside representatives of the immediate literary and cultural community — which poet

Amanda Jernigan, author of Seadog on Ithaca, says any journal worth its mettle should do. “It’s a sense of Newfoundland literature has come of age to a certain point that it can begin looking outwards,” she says. “It’s a sign of artistic maturity when a nation can begin to see its own work in the context of larger traditions. Internationalism doesn’t need to be a threat. It can be a sign the culture has come of age and can participate as an equal.” Considering the healthy dose of national and international attention this province’s writers have enjoyed in recent years, Callanan says it’s “ridiculous” Newfoundland and Labrador

does not have a journal to publish and critique its own writers. Poet and fiction writer Carmelita McGrath says it is imperative Newfoundland and Labrador writers participate in the literary conversation. “There’s a lot that’s been said about Newfoundland literature, but not a lot has been written critically lately and not a lot has been written by ourselves about ourselves, which I think is the interesting thing with this particular publication and the writers’ alliance is the exactly right kind of organization to do it,” she says. The author’s essay, What the Tongue is Dipped In: Tradition and Independence in Newfoundland and Labrador

And so it was that Williams shook up the team just a wee bit, with Tom Hedderson being moved out of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, where he had served ably for a mere two years, and into the office of Intergovernmental Affairs, perhaps never to be seen again by anyone in the arts sector. No doubt, some staffers are relieved to see their ministers move out or on to torment some other unit, but it’s too bad that the likeable ones are shuffled along so quickly, especially a guy like Hedderson, who not only respected his staff and listened well (never as easy as it looks) but also attended a myriad of public events, always appeared to be

enjoying himself (also never as easy as it looks), and made his office open, accessible and welcoming to every pitch and whine. Hedderson was, of course, lucky enough to inhabit an office that had been officially blessed by Danny Williams in the culture-happy budget of 2005. In truth, the new minister was riding a high of increased funding to the entire sector. But more importantly, he was serving a leader who had both openly committed to enhancing the cultural sphere and well understood the politics of identity. Those politics have always relied in large measure on the benefits of a strong department of TCR, whether through a

Poetry, is a thoughtful overview of those who have had a pivotal role in shaping the poetic Newfoundland landscape — such as Ontarian John Steffler and native son Tom Dawe — and how the rise of self-publishing via Breakwater Books in the 1970s gave local writers a tool to counter mainland works with indigenous ones. But it is the prevalence of verbal dexterity, the love of language and the cultivation of our storytellers that has proven to be the overriding factor behind the success and strength of Newfoundland and Labrador writers — many of which can find a voice in Riddle Fence. “This is a word-focused culture,” says McGrath. “We live in and come out of a culture where wordplay is as much entertainment as it is communication.” Riddle Fence will be launched Monday, Dec. 3 at The Ship Pub, 8 p.m. Copies will be available for $10. mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Yes, minister … again

T

he only way Danny Williams wouldn’t have been elected to the premier’s office is if someone had suddenly uncovered a note written by Mila Mulroney asking Williams if he could stash about $300,000 for her husband’s pizza business. That not being the case, the only dramatic question was who would be in William’s new cabinet? The post-election announcement of the new players, although technically a fresh set of appointments, looked a lot like an old-boys’ shuffle, with most of the same ministers returning to head up one department or another. Because of the certainty of a Tory victory, long before Election Day people were specu-

NOREEN GOLFMAN Standing Room Only lating about which officials would remain in their cabinet positions and which would be moved into new departments, or demoted back to more remote benches. The one sure bet was that Jerome Kennedy would be taking over the Justice portfolio, thereby necessitating some domino effects to accommodate his esteemed place at the table.

much hyped branding exercise, increasing the provincial arts council budget, adding to the equity dossier of the Film Development Corporation, or basking in the glow of Canadian Idol. TCR helps juice the whole image-making apparatus of government. Frankly, you’d have to be cracked not to have wrapped the success of the TCR portfolio around your ministerial person. But Hedderson did so with such glee and goodwill that he will be missed by those of us who came to appreciate his consistently earnest support for the programs run by his office. See “Good luck,” page 22


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

18 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

A great Gangster

Crowe and Washington leave audiences wanting more; Cruise and Redford do not TIM CONWAY Film Score American Gangster Starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe 157 min. 1⁄2 (out of four)

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he times, they were a-changin’ in urban America in 1968, and organized crime was no exception. Legendary Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson, who viewed himself as a businessman, had successfully set himself up as a middleman between the Italian mob and Harlem’s small-time criminals. As he looked around, Bumpy saw the decline of local merchants who offered individual customer service. In their place were new establishments providing “direct from the factory” savings. The days of the man in the middle earning a dollar were nearing an end. Upon his death, arrangements Bumpy had developed over a number of decades were in jeopardy of dissolving; clear lines of order were becoming blurred. Without him in the middle, small-time crooks looking to move up would invariably clash with the Italian mob pushing its way in. Bumpy’s driver, Frank Lucas, who seems to have idolized his boss, sizes up the situation, sees an opportunity, and seizes it. Rather than deal with the

Denzel Washington stars in American Gangster.

Italian mob, this new businessman embraces the new mercantile model and goes straight to the source. Consequently, he’s soon importing large quantities of heroin into the U.S., enabling him to offer a better quality product at a lower price than anyone else in his section of Harlem. At the same time Frank is setting up his operation, an undercover officer of the NYPD, Richie Roberts, is writing his bar exam. A dedicated lawman, whose principles have alienated him from most of his co-workers, Roberts is as squeaky clean as they get. His integrity on the job leads to his being tapped to head up a special unit to fight increasing drug traffic. Unfortunately, his dedication and devotion do not seem to extend beyond his work to his family, and although his

career is taking flight, his marriage is grounded for good. Inspired by an article in New York magazine about the real Frank Lucas, American Gangster successfully takes us back to a time and place familiar to us from The Godfather, The French Connection, Serpico and Kojak. It’s a world of pushers and police corruption, the ambiguity of changing morals, the distraction and disillusionment of the Vietnam war, and a whole lotta cash floating around. Beyond the film’s meticulous recreation of early 1970s New York is a story that, despite its length, manages to engage us throughout and leave us eager for more at the end. It is squarely focused on the two main characters, concerned more with the viewer establishing a connection with Frank and

Richie than sensationalizing whatever’s going on around them. To this end, and to no one’s surprise, the acting talents of Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas and Russell Crowe as Richie Roberts are used to maximum benefit. Each actor lives up to his reputation here in bringing his respective character to life, and both manage to thread their way through the long list of similar film characters that have preceded them, creating unique, memorable portrayals that are sure to take their place among the pantheon of mob movie heroes and villains. American Gangster is a solid motion picture in every respect, a crime drama more than a thriller, telling a compelling story in an engaging manner. We experience rare satisfaction by the end of the film, for we are as interested in the two lead characters as much as we were during any point of the story. Despite a running time of more than two-and-a-half hours, we’d gladly welcome another hour in their presence. Lion for Lambs Starring Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise 88 min. 1/2 (out of four)

A political science professor (Robert Redford) schedules an early morning meeting with one of his students in an effort to motivate him to live up to his academic potential. At the same time, a highly respected veteran reporter (Meryl Streep) begins an interview with an ambitious Republican senator

(Tom Cruise) who is granting her an exclusive story on a new initiative on the war on terror in Afghanistan. Completing the circle, both of these scenarios are directly related to two young Rangers who are being deployed in the mountains of Afghanistan in the fight against the Taliban. What follows is a series of discussions surrounding America’s foreign policies, military actions and the roles of government, the media and the ordinary citizen. Directed by Robert Redford, the film offers great production values, and fine performances all round. About halfway through, however, it becomes clear that this is little more than a superbly crafted infomercial. While there are a few subtle touches here and there, primarily due to the skills of the performers, the whole thing comes across as a series of lessons that are incomplete without a televangelist or at the very least Ron Popeil. Regardless of whether the arguments put forth in the film are right, wrong or misguided — or, for that matter, blunt in their honesty — there is a certain dishonesty here in dressing up sermons in the form of a major motion picture. Most of us prefer liberal helpings of substance in our movies, but not as the only course, and especially if it’s the same stuff we’ve been chewing on for the last six or seven years. Tim Conway operates Capitol Video in Rawlin’s Cross, St. John’s. His column returns Nov. 30.

Churchill Square: a focus on family F lorence Rolse, owner and operator of Strawberry Tree, a children’s clothing store in Churchill Square, says many businesses in “her Square” focus on making life a little easier for families. Whether it’s the playroom conveniently located inside Newfoundland Camera Imagine or the amazing children’s swimwear selection at Take the Plunge, she says there’s something for all ages at Churchill Square. Rolse says the traditional (rather than trendy) focus of the quality clothing for children and young adults at Strawberry Tree means there’s no bickering while shopping. “Parents can trust that any clothing a 10-yearold chooses from Strawberry Tree will be age appropriate,” she says. Children will be pleased with their choice and parents will be thrilled. There are other advantages of shopping at Strawberry Tree. Change rooms are built to accommodate families. “There is plenty of room for a child with disabilities, there is room for a stroller, and a spot for

mom, dad and even grandma,” she laughs. Everyone can be involved with shopping for that perfect outfit for their child. The clothing at Strawberry Tree is unique, timeless and quite often treasured, Rolse says. The business has been located in Churchill Square since 1984 and is now serving its second generation of customers. “Seeing those we used to dress come in with their own children is amazing,” she says. “But what is better is hearing the stories of special dresses being saved, taken out, dry cleaned then dressing another generation.” Another Churchill Square store with a family focus is Bennington Gate. Whether it’s a book on how to parent, or one of the many books, games or puzzles aimed at bringing everyone together for a night of fun, Sue Hood says Bennington Gate can help draw children away from their electronic toys and back into the family fold, if only for a while. “We have a large selection of non-traditional games that can help reintroduce families to the fun of playing together,” she says. Games like Fishingopoly, Canadaopoly, Dogopoly and a large selection of other trivia, educational and just-for-

fun games can bring families together. In many Newfoundland and Labrador families, Hood continues, sharing the challenge of a puzzle on Christmas morning is still a treasured activity. Bennington Gate has a large supply for all skill levels. “If you are hunting for that perfect stocking stuffer, or that just-right travel activity, then our large selection of art pods might be just what you’re looking for.” Hood says shopping at Bennington Gate is also about what you can do while in the store. “I love seeing kids reading in the aisles or sitting in our window seat as mom or dad shop,” she says. Even sweeter is seeing a customer sharing story time with a child. That can be quite heartwarming on even the coldest of days, she adds. Brad Squires of Alpine Country Lodge says his business has been focused on keeping families active with their alpine ski program since it began in 1994. The program now serves “a few hundred kids,” he says. “Children grow and keeping them in gear can be expensive,” Squires says. “But keeping them active has huge benefits.” An initial $350 investment will keep children outfitted — in skis, boots, bindings and poles — as they grow. “Seventy-five dollars a year will keep children in gear that fits, and 50 per cent of the initial investment is returned once the child reaches adult sizes,” Squires says. That money can be used to help offset the cost of adult-sized equipment. Focusing on family keeps shoppers returning to stores in Churchill Square, Rolse says. She shares one of her favourite experiences since opening Strawberry Tree. Last year, the store was open for half a day on Christmas Eve. When staff arrived, there was a lady waiting outside, and she was in tears. The reason? “Her daughter had given birth that morn-

ing and grandma left the hospital to come to Strawberry Tree to pick out the new baby’s first Christmas dress,” Rolse says. The customer explained that her daughter’s first dress had come from Strawberry Tree and she wanted to keep the tradition alive.

“There is no better testimonial than something like that.”


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 19

GALLERYPROFILE By Andrea Bubenik For The Independent

T

he citizens of St. John’s currently have the opportunity to see prints of exceptional quality created 500 years ago by a ceaselessly inventive artist. Albrecht Dürer (14711528) was one of the most influential artists of the Renaissance, and his contributions to printmaking are immeasurable. Thanks to a wonderful exhibition at The Rooms, St. John’s now joins the rank of cities that have played host to his art (a list that includes Berlin, London, New York and Rome). Dürer was born in 1471 in Nuremberg, Germany, at that time one of the biggest and most prosperous cities in Europe. He lived during the period referred to as the Renaissance, literally a time of rebirth: the invention of the printing press, the genesis of modern science and voyages of exploration are some of the events that occurred during his lifetime. In 1497, when the Venetian Giovanni Caboto came to Newfoundland, Albrecht Dürer was 26 years old and busy establishing his artistic reputation. With insatiable curiosity, Dürer set out to observe and document the world around him and the place of humans within it. There are approximately 107 engravings, 400 woodcuts, 1,200 drawings, 100 paintings and 80 watercolours by his hand in a range of collections today. At The Rooms, visitors can see some of the most spectacular prints in his oeuvre. Dürer’s pictorial world is notable for its breadth and diversity. From morality to psychology, from art to science, the range of subjects he addressed is extraordinary. Among the highlights of the exhibition are Knight, Death and the Devil, in which a brave knight mounted on a magnificent horse rides forward, utterly steadfast in his quest, despite being taunted by a comical/frightening devil. A contemplative solitude is invoked by the richly detailed interior space in which St. Jerome pursues his studies. Depicted in Melencolia I is the personification of a psychological temperament (previously shown only in medical treatises) which, during the Renaissance, was thought to be the affliction of highly creative individuals. Visitors can also see the 15 woodcuts that make up Dürer’s Apocalypse series, terrifying visions of doomsday, depicted with much forcefulness and a heightened sense of drama. In 1498, these woodcuts were incorporated with text and bound together, marking the first time an artist published his own illustrated book. It is largely because of Dürer that prints came to be seen as works of art in their own right, and not simply as adjuncts to paintings. Prints are distinguished from paintings not only in terms of technique, but also because they can be reproduced numerous times. This capacity for reproduction was revolutionary: it meant a wider audience could learn from and appreciate images, much as the invention of the printing press had made text more accessible. Dürer was the first artist to fully explore the potential of reproduction, and the first artist who chose to make his living principally from prints. Those who attend the exhibition may be surprised to see how small these works are: Dürer’s largest engraving, St. Eustace, measures only 355 x 259 mm. It will do well to move in closely and see how carefully this world of black and white has been articulated. Dürer’s swirling lines range from impossibly delicate to sharp incisions. Sweeping landscapes are imbued with a dramatic sense of atmosphere, populated by intriguing figures taking bold action. St. Eustace epitomizes Dürer’s investigations into nature and the place of humans within it. The creatures gathered around the saint are depicted with a meticulous and lively realism, and look as if they might spring off the page. Dürer remains interesting to us because he was fascinated by so many things. With passion and persistence, he disseminated the ideals of the Renaissance. Yet his unique achievements extend beyond his contributions to the art of printmaking. His studies of animals and plants are perhaps some of the most detailed works to appear prior to photographic realism. Few Renaissance artists were as widely travelled as Dürer; fewer still wrote so extensively about their experiences while in transit, making his diaries one of the most extensive autobiographies of the period. He also created a remarkable series of self-portraits that were without precedent, and made exceptional contributions to the natural sciences with his theoretical works. The reproduction of images was to forever alter how the world of art functioned: Dürer understood this very well. In his activities he anticipated and benefited from so many of the things we take for granted today. An encounter with this extraordinary artist is to be reminded that curiosity is a rewarding trait indeed.

The prints of Albrecht Dürer

St. Jerome in his Study, engraving (1514), 259x201 mm

St. Eustace, engraving (c. 1501), 355 x 259 mm

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, woodcut (1498)

Melencolia I, engraving (1514), 239x189 mm

The Prints of Albrecht Dürer: Selections from the National Gallery of Canada will be on display at The Rooms until Nov. 25. St. John’s native Dr. Andrea Bubenik currently teaches art history at the University of Guelph. The above article is based on a lecture Bubenik delivered at The Rooms on Nov. 4. The Rhinoceros, woodcut (1514), 214x298 mm

Knight, Death and the Devil, engraving (1513), 245x188 mm

The Gallery is a regular feature in The Independent. For information, or to submit proposals, please call (709) 726-4639, or e-mail editorial@theindependent.ca


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

20 • INDEPENDENTLIFE

IN CAMERA

Jackie O’Shea (Kelly Pond) and the winning numbers.

Lizzie Quinn (Karen Adams)

Lotto agent Jim Kelly (Chris Mercer) and Michael O’Sullivan (Don O’Keefe)

Deadpan Alley’s latest production, a stage version of the well-loved Irish movie Waking Ned Devine, promises ups and downs, plenty of laughs and a healthy dose of live music. Photo editor Paul Daly and managing editor Stephanie Porter met up with the always-up-for-anything troupe for a scenic preview of some of the show.

Maurice O’Toole (Mackenzie Graham) and Father Whalen (Dean Doyle)

‘All they’re getting N

obody wants to miss this shot. Although the cast of Deadpan Alley’s upcoming production of Waking Ned Devine is shivering and groaning as they stand outdoors on a blustery morning — a holiday Monday, no less — there is one thing to send them all tearing up the nearest hill: a naked man on a bicycle. Anyone who has seen the film version of Waking Ned Devine will remember the scene. For those who haven’t … well, it’s hard to explain. But the Deadpan Alley gang —

“Goulds’ first and only amateur theatre company” — are definitely not ones to shy away from doffing their duds (they performed The Full Monty a couple years ago) or pulling out all the stops to entertain audiences and each other. Hence, actor Don O’Keefe, wearing nothing but boots and a green towel, tottering along the seaside of Petty Harbour on a little white bicycle. Anything for a photo; anything for a bit of publicity for the upcoming play. The rest of the cast, almost a dozen strong, follow him with catcalls and laughter. Waking Ned Devine, the movie,

takes place in a tiny seaside village in Ireland, population 52. Two old friends, Jackie O’Shea and Michael O’Sullivan, discover someone in town has won the hefty Irish National Lottery and go to great lengths to figure out who the lucky person is. They eventually come across Ned Devine, dead in his home, with the lottery ticket in his hand and a shocked grin on his face. The village makes a pact to pretend Ned is still alive, claim the money and divide the considerable wealth between them. Of course, the plan doesn’t quite unfold as simply as that, and all sorts of twists and turns and

shenanigans — including the bicycle ride — happen along the way. For Janet Graham, Deadpan Alley Productions’ director, the story — with its quirky characters and belly laughs — was irresistible. She adapted the screenplay to a stage play, added some music, and put together a production that’s ready to open Nov. 23. It marks the seventh major show for the theatre troupe, and a fitting successor to C.L.U.E., Monty and The Birdcage. “There’s a checklist I go through in my head when I’m agonizing over what play to do, and there are certain

criteria that have to be met,” she says. “No. 1, I want it to be something the actors are going to have fun working with, a good story we all like. “I want it to have some established box-office appeal so we get seats in the chairs without having to do too much promotion, because we have no money … I like it, personally, to hit on a lot of levels, to engage as many as possible, and it needs to have a cast large enough that I’m able to give all of these people their opportunity to shine.” Deadpan Alley grew out of an extracurricular theatre group at St. Kevin’s High School in Goulds. In


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTLIFE • 21

A toast to Ned Devine.

Pat O’Reilly (Chris Downey) and Maggie O’Toole (Crystal Thornhill)

MIchael O’Sullivan (Don O’Keefe)

out of it is fun’ 2001, Graham was completing her teaching internship at the school and the principal suggested she start a drama club. “Out of the population of the school, 310 students, 110 showed up for the audition,” she says. “The interest in performance, especially on the Southern Shore, it’s incredible. “At first I was overwhelmed by the pile of shoes on the porch, so I knew — oh my God — there was a lot of interest. When I got in there, I was even more surprised to see it was three-quarters male. I mean, normally in high school you have the divas and the Britney wannabes. No, these

are the Sean Penn wannabes. They have set the bar so high in their own minds.” The group has been together since, though it has evolved from an afterschool gathering to an accomplished amateur theatre troupe performing in professional spaces like the Majestic Theatre and the LSPU Hall in St. John’s. Some of the original high school crowd are now in university and have been joined by professionals (a teacher, a florist, a massage therapist …) from the community. Members range in age from 13 (Graham’s son, Mackenzie) to 55 —

but somehow, they operate as a highenergy, fun-loving and committed unit. “They have been completely devoted for years,” Graham says. “They like some of the shows better than others, of course … because of that, show choice can be tangly. They’re doing this for no compensation other than to get a laugh or a warm response from an audience. “All they’re getting out of it is fun.” Waking Ned Devine was perfect, she says, and it marks the first time a show’s lead roles are not played by the younger Deadpan Alley mem-

bers. “It’s great though,” Graham says. “I’m always asking them to dress in drag or be older than they are … this time, everyone looks their age and part. I wanted to show my actors are credible just the way they look, just the way they sound. “They’re all Southern Shore/ Goulds people, so mastering the (Irish) accent was easy. In this case, the choice was really a no-brainer. I mean, look where we’re sitting.” As O’Keefe gets back into his clothes in his truck and Karen Adams settles into a wheelchair for the next shot — a roll down the twisting road

into Petty Harbour — Graham continues to heap praise on the “incredibly talented” and fearless troupe that has stuck by her side for years. “Don O’Keefe runs his own business,” Graham says. “If he doesn’t work, there’s no work. And where is he today? Right here, doing this, when he has two weddings to plan. There’s a level of dedication here that always consistently surprises me.” Waking Ned Devine plays at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s Nov. 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1. stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

22 • INDEPENDENTLIFE By Mandy Cook The Independent

I

n the early 1960s, at the age of 26, Gerald Squires left his job as a graphic artist at a Toronto newspaper and returned to the place of his childhood, Exploits Island. Believing he would not see his 30s or 40s if he dedicated his life to art — his personal salvation — in the merciless environment of a big city, he packed up the life he knew for the home he remembered as a boy. Searching for the comfort of his idyllic youth, Squires was devastated to find the old world of traditional Newfoundland life no longer existed; it was, in fact, dying before his eyes in the form of photographs floating in the water, old iron bed frames strewn on the landwash and books left to ruin in the elements. Recalling the experience, Squires pauses to clear his throat. It brings tears to his eyes even today. Shortly after his return to the island, he produced The Boatman series, a statement in paint about the fracture of a culture in the wake of Joey Smallwood’s resettlement policies. At a time when many other Newfoundland artists returned to reflect on the changing landscape of their home — Al Pittman in poetry and Michael Cook in theatre, Squires notes — the painter delved deep into his then-“unstable mind” and dredged up the demons of his subconscious. Although Squires made it through the creative but painful experience, he says he could never go back to the same place again. Instead, he remarks how the repercussions of resettlement are now examined and dissected in scholarly writings instead of mourned on canvas. “Of course it’s all over now and people get their PhDs by writing about it, but it was a real thing. It was a serious issue and it affected you on a personal level,” Squires says, surrounded by current painting and sculpting projects in his Holyrood studio. Squires emanates the ease of someone who has earned a languorous comfort in his skin — but beneath the calm exterior is a belly full of fire and a heart of grand humour, an artist experiencing a spike in an already awe-inspiring body of work. He says he’s become even more productive as he enters his 70th year — he woke at 3 a.m. the night before last and visited his studio to work. He has a book in the making with friend and poet Tom Dawe and an exhibition focusing on the Virgin Mary, tentatively planned for the Emma Butler Gallery next year.

Gerald Squires at his home studio in Holyrood.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Culture of the heart

On the eve of his 70th year, Gerald Squires reflects on his calling, his contribution and the ‘great tragedy’ of resettlement Squires seems more bemused than flattered by the upcoming public birthday party planned by friends and relatives (Nov. 17 at the Majestic Theatre, St. John’s). He’s looking forward to the songs and poetry — he says if he comes back in another life he would be a writer — but mostly he just wants to paint, sculpt, keep doing what he’s had to do since he saw his first drawn image as a boy of six or seven on Exploits Island. As a child, Squires recalls watching a neighbour, Flossie, drawing the figure of an approaching coastal steamer on a piece of brown wrapping paper attached to a wooden board. Sketched crudely with crayons, the image fascinated him. “When the Clyde came in the harbour, you could hear her blow. When she came in you couldn’t see her, you’d hear her blowing, and she’d be out there making a drawing of the boat as it came in. From a child’s eye, I thought it was fantastic.” Then it was all drawing, all the time, of newspaper comics or reproductions of paintings in his Salvation Army minister mother’s Bible — which he still has —

copied into exercise books. One of his early sketchbooks was discovered in recent years in the home of a family friend on Exploits Island. “They weren’t too bad, you know, for somebody who never had any knowledge of drawing,” he laughs. Squires’ ability to portray the wild turf, the cross-hatched barrens and spider web tree roots of the Newfoundland and Labrador landscape in such heartquickening hyper-reality stems from in part from his training, some of which took place copying the Masters hanging in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City — “I was trying to figure out how Cèzanne got his colours right” — and from his complete immersion in the physical landscape itself. In 1971, Squires finagled his way into the Ferryland lighthouse that was slated for demolition. His buddy, writer Harold Horwood, knew then-Transportation minister Don Jamieson, who signed the building over to the town for $1. Putting his thumb and forefinger together in the universal OK symbol,

Squires jokes about how “things get done in Newfoundland.” Living in the lighthouse with his family for the next 14 years, it was out on that cliff at the end of the isthmus Squires says the landscape became part of him. When he says he needed to live in the landscape, his voice breaks ever so faintly. The need almost pains him, as if without it he couldn’t breathe. Squires says he is both happy and lucky to be able to get up and put that first brushstroke on the canvas every day, to contribute to the culture he has been compelled to capture in oils while simultaneously examining his own inner being, his heart and his soul. The places and people he says were part of a “culture of the heart,” a culture of honest, hardworking Newfoundlanders related if not by blood, by understanding, are mostly gone now, but Squires looks towards the province’s future. Joking we’ve become “third class Canadians,” he also marvels at the new generation of Newfoundland artists — albeit with one particular caveat.

The curator-led art exhibitions of late perplex Squires. He says artists of his time were more concerned with “what was happening in here, rather than up here,” touching his heart and then his head, and wonders why some shows are about fitting work into an idea instead of nurturing an artist’s vision. He thinks young artists can be preoccupied with integrating politics or philosophy into their work instead of creating intuitively. “The installation art, some of it is brilliant, some I love, some of that stuff is great, but it’s about an academic idea — not about your soul,” he says. However solemn some of his meditations on the past seven decades are, Squires inevitably returns to laughter, to that inner spark. Bemoaning the fact common tools he knew as a child — wood planes or cod jigger moulds — are now on display in The Rooms in St. John’s, he smiles wryly. “I don’t feel old at all, but when I look back — Jesus, everything I grew up with is in a friggin’ museum.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Good luck and all that From page 17 Well, see you around, Tom: good luck and all that. As they say over at Air Canada, who’s next? Ever since the new cabinet was announced, people in the sector have been wondering about Clyde Jackman. Who is he and what will he bring to the TCR agenda? First crucial point of observation and, for many, relief, is that Jackman hails from Hermitage Bay — that is, not from the west coast or any of those districts called Humber. And that means, one hopes, he won’t be caught up in the politics of place, won’t feel the need to push for a 5,000-seat theatre, stadium, or dance hall in Corner Brook, no matter how irrational the argument. Second salient point is that he is the eldest of 10 children, and so one presumes he is a natural leader who appreciates the principle of sharing resources. He is a graduate of Memorial’s Arts and Education faculties and so one assumes, again, he is well rounded and appreciates the value of a strong liberal arts foundation. He also achieved a master’s of education and so he presumably knows all about the challenge to maintain selfesteem and resist the temptation to procrastinate. Jackman’s official bio stresses that for 21 years he served as a volunteer firefighter. Now there’s a qualification that should serve him well in any portfolio, but it’s safe to say the fires he will have to douse in the TCR office are of the small-flare and consistently smouldering variety, not the wild or deadly ravaging kind. Emphasis in Jackman’s bio also points to his experience as an avid outdoors person. That certainly covers the R in TCR, and perhaps some of the T, as well. But coming fresh from a short year and a half as Minister of Environment and Conservation, he is well placed to recognize the need to conserve the environment of culture, and all the arts divisions that attend to that category. Good luck on nailing the C letter in the acronym, Minister Jackman. Well, with so much time before anyone has to show up in the legislature to conduct the business of the province, there’s plenty of opportunity to brush up on the files. No excuses for not being up to speed, Mr. Minister. Practise your smile, warm up your handshake, and good luck with that arts crowd. Let’s hope you won’t need it. Noreen Golfman is a professor of literature and women’s studies at Memorial. Her column returns Nov. 30.


INDEPENDENTSTYLE

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007 — PAGE 23

Antique chic Local collectible dealers specialize in vintage accessories By Mandy Cook The Independent

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ina Riche’s and Randy Follett’s dining room table is piled high with hats of all shapes and time periods, some still in their original six-sided boxes from the Bowring Brothers and Royal stores. They’re adorned with feathers, veils, flowers and bows and made of straw, velour and felt. Together, it’s a hat collector’s dream. Besides the fancy lids, there are several glass display cases of vintage jewelry, beaded handbags and fur stoles made by Newfoundland furrier W.H. Ewing. A fabulous 1950s silver lamé purse is just one of the timeless pieces Riche has snagged in estate sales and antique auctions in St. John’s, Harbour Grace, Witless Bay and C.B.S. Riche and Follett come by the impressive stockpile of classic accessories honestly. The owners of Victoria Manor, an art gallery, craft and antique store in Harbour Grace, have been diligently hunting down collectibles for their business for the past three years. When Riche tried displaying her vintage hat collection in the shop, the positive response from customers was enough to encourage her to dig for more. Riche’s keen eye and careful research make them a highlight of their store. “This one was designed by Henry Pollack of New York,” she says, trying on her favourite 1950s purple felt bucket hat embellished with brown ostrich feathers. “This is certainly a high fashion hat. I don’t think it was ever worn, either. I think people often bought hats and only wore them once to a particular wedding or event — a horse race, maybe?” Follett says many customers who purchase the hats don’t necessarily wear them. They buy a piece because of the memory, he says, or because it reminds them of a grandparent or a particular time period. The hats give people a sense of the past and they may just hang them up in their homes as a piece of art or part of a collection. “As you get a few hats as a collector, you would have the same sense that we get as people come into the store. It’s great fun when people are trying them on — I’m sure in someone’s home it’s probably the same thing,” he says. It’s difficult to tear one’s eyes away from the bright pink beehive hat, a confection of gathered tulle pinned with bows and veils, or the wedding cake hat with its pale pink flowers tucked into ruffles of fine mesh, but it is worth the look. Riche has traced some of the jewelry pieces to popular designers of the 1930s through to the 1960s, one being a green Lucite — a highly collected plastic — leaf neckpiece by New York designer D. Lisner. A Corodesigned white plastic Moon Rae necklace, with little triangular teeth and a luminous finish, is set off with matching earrings. Riche, a jewelry-maker herself, says she never tires of hunting for that “find” she and Follett know their customers will be delighted to add to their own collections. Digging up pieces of history — with stories attached — is a way of life for the collecting couple. But it’s the quality workmanship of a time past that enables the couple to take pride in the items. Riche admits she sometimes has difficulty giving them up. “There was as much care and thought and artistic sensibility that went into costume jewelry as did fine jewelry, which is one of the reasons why it’s so desired and collectible. They really are beautiful art pieces.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Tina Riche wears a felt bubble hate, W.H. Ewing sealskin coat, Lisner necklace, Pargo rhinestone bracelet, rhinestone earrings and a Harry Levine silver lamé purse, all circa 1960.

Paul Daly/The Independent


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

24 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

Soapbox special Nicholas Gardner visits the newest Dominion in St. John’s and has a few bones to pick

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t was sunny when I walked into the old Memorial Stadium for the first time. It was beautiful and bright and full of glass windows. It’s surely the brightest grocery store in St. John’s and the shop windows take a commanding view over Quidi Vidi lake. It is, on a brilliant sunny day, a beautiful spot — especially when sampling one of the many cheeses from the cheese case. However, I have to say that as long as it is in operation, I will not for love or money or convenience set foot in the new Dominion store again. Ever. I’m not known for holding back opinions. More often than not, I get into hot water for saying what’s really on my mind without the proper self-check of the consequences or how my words can injure and shock. Ninety-nine per cent of the time I am considerate, but sometimes, when the filter comes off, I get into trouble. The problem is that I have a rapier wit, biting tongue and instant response mechanism. The longer I sit and stew over something that has made me mad, the more filters come off. I’ve been stewing over a couple of things about the Memorial Dominion for the last little while because I needed time to put things into perspective. If I don’t get this out soon, my head will explode. There are certain things at the store, which are kind of cute and partially convenient, like the cart-o-lator for getting the shopping cart from the lower level to the upper. Underground parking is a nice perk, if you can get a spot in there. That is where the good points end. It maddens me that the company has

NICHOLAS GARDNER Off the Eating Path taken a well-loved space and ruined it. Every aisle is fractured. The layout has a department store of clothing in what was once centre ice. It is dead centre in the middle of the food aisles, which really irritates me. This is a grocery store. The non-food-related superstore items belong on the periphery — out of the way of the real business at hand. The aisles are not logically laid out. The flow is hampered and the layout bears only a cursory resemblance to other stores in the chain. I ended up having to find a spot for my two-litre bottles of drink in the cart basket that would not crush the fruit, veg and bread. I am a person who shops with a list, broken into categories by memory of the flow of the store. Flow is the natural way in which people and product move around. Most major store chains — Wal-Mart is an example of this — use the same flow in every store. That means if you walk into one in Newfoundland and Labrador or one on the southern tip of Texas, they are all the same. For a reason. People like to feel familiar with a store. Research has proven that the more familiar a shopper is with a store, the more often they will come to shop. The Memorial Dominion is alien. Nothing is where it is in any of the other stores in the city. The company execu-

The Dominion at the old Memorial Stadium site.

tives may blame conforming to a preexisting structure, but I don’t buy it. This says nothing of the fact that I hate the carts you have to push around. When living in Ontario, we frequently saw people shopping with plastic bins that all said “Bin Shoppin.’” For someone who is always looking for a way to reduce waste and help the environment, they make perfect sense. No matter if I am going to Costco or the nearest Sobeys, I always take my purple bins to pack my groceries in to take home. Which brings me back to the carts.

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

I can’t use my purple bins in the new store — they don’t fit in the cart. There is no lower rack just above the wheels, because it’s a blank space for the T-bar, which connects the cart to the cart-olator. Unlike the two-tiered carts of other stores, there is no room. So sadly, and with some reservations, my only choice was to take a carload of plastic bags home. Perhaps I can’t deal with the change. Or perhaps I resent the fact that another super store is built instead of a proper covered market for local producers, craftspeople and artisans where the

community, not a corporation, could have derived benefit. So until the city comes on board and builds a real covered marketplace I’ll head to the un-covered market of Churchill Square for as long as they are there. At least then I’ll get the satisfaction of a real market — not a corporation’s version of what one should be. Nicholas Gardner is a freelance writer and erstwhile chef living in St. John’s. His column returns Nov. 30. nicholas.gardner@gmail.com

Treat Champagne gently

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arty planner Frances Bedford says dramatically popping a Champagne cork is both wasteful and potentially dangerous. A slow release of pressure (known as the lover’s sigh) prevents wine from gushing out or the cork from popping off in all directions. Here are tips for an elegant pour. Serve Champagne and sparkling wine chilled (about 7°C). To chill wine quickly, place in a bucket with equal parts ice and cold water. Remove foil and cage while pointing bottle in a safe direction and keeping thumb firmly on the cap. Cover cork with a towel. While holding cork in one hand, gently twist bottle until cork eases out, tilting slightly to allow gas pressure to escape out one side with a gentle poof or sigh (not pop). Wrap bottle in a clean napkin when pouring so water or condensation from chilling doesn't drip on the table or into the glass. Serve wine in flutes to best admire and retain bubbles, pouring about halfway full. Adapted from Canadian Living, The Complete Christmas Book: The AllYou-Need Guide to a Memorable Christmas, with Recipes, Crafts and Decorating Ideas. — Torstar wire service


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 25

An honour for the potato T

he United Nations has designated 2008 the International Year of the Potato and Canada’s McCain Foods will be the sponsor. Potatoes should be a major component in strategies aimed at providing nutritious food for the poor and hungry, the UN announced recently. Rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C and protein, the potato yields more nutritious food more quickly on less land, and in harsher climates, than any other major crop. “McCain Foods has a 50-year history of understanding potatoes,” president and CEO Dale Morrison says. “With our knowledge and our global

presence, we are in a unique position to support the objectives of the United Nations in educating the world on the value of potatoes and by introducing potato farming capabilities to developing countries and impoverished nations that will deliver high nutrition, low cost solutions to the world’s poor and hungry.” McCain Foods has more than 20,000 employees at 60 production facilities on six continents. The privately owned company has annual sales of more than $6 billion and is the world’s largest producer of French fries and potato specialties. — Torstar wire service

‘Constantly scared to death’

The camps in Alberta are no place for a woman, at least according to one who’s been there

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t was just like losing my virginity all over again,” she says. The way she whispered those personal words makes my stomach turn. “You start out so positive about this new you, but it isn’t what it was made out to be and you never go back to the person you were before,” she says. This is Sam and she is my age. Like me, she left Newfoundland searching for her pot of gold. Years later she struggled with the same demons I had and returned. While I spent those years with a partner, Sam spent most of hers alone and she had worked at some pretty funky shit to make ends meet. Sam isn’t a prude by any stretch of the imagination. She had flirted with much before settling into her cushy, well-paid administration job in downtown Toronto. She says she had seen it, heard it, and quite possibly done it all. She had spent years in the trucking industry and thought nothing of the “ways of men.” She could handle anything, she thought. She was wrong. When Sam returned home to Newfoundland, she couldn’t find a job that would pay her more than $10 an hour. Still single, that was a “poverty wage.” Already into her 30s, Sam knew she needed to make some radical changes.

PAM PARDY GHENT

Seven-day talk She went back to school. She became the sole woman in a class of 19 and she became an apprentice electrician. She thought she’d be able to remain in Newfoundland and make a good living. “The best laid plans …” she begins, with a cynical laugh. First, there isn’t the work people think there is, she says. There also aren’t as many women in the trades as she expected. “Working in a trade in Newfoundland is brutal,” she says. Sam says she often found herself working 58 hours for 40 hours pay. She doesn’t mind long days, or hard work, but the lack of overtime pay left her frustrated. “Those in the trades are treated with so much disrespect. You lose your voice,” she says. While she was always told she “didn’t have to work for free,” she knew she would be gone if she refused. There was only one option, she says. Sam headed for a camp job i Alberta for almost triple the pay. She lasted two months, and says she’ll never be the same again. Camp

life for women is not the same as camp life for men. Not at all. There were few women besides those in the offices, so there was little socializing. “The men could go down for a yarn each evening around seven, but where could I go?” Both genders ate meals together, but Sam says it wasn’t the kind of human contact she was looking for. The jeers. The sneers. The sickening comments. Within two weeks, she learned to survive by avoiding eye contact. “I ate and got the hell out and back to my room,” she says. Everything she did was interpreted sexually by men at camp. “I was constantly scared to death, just so self-conscious.” When she had to do any work on a ladder, she felt ill. Even going outside for a smoke became a nightmare. Sam is not the sort to be fearful — her survival in Toronto speaks to that — but she became someone she no longer recognized. “I saw what happens to a person after they have been stripped naked and degraded over and over again,” she says. She apologizes as she stumbles through this part of her tale. She is as shocked at her tears as I am at her story. “I was objectified,” she says, “and I felt I had no one to tell. “I had this great opportunity, and I

TASTE

Sizzle this pizza on the barbecue Elegance of smoked salmon works well on outdoor grill By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service

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ike many Canadians, I’ll keep firing up the grill until I’m ankle-deep in snow. This elegant pizza is worth firing it up for. Cut the pizza into thin appetizer wedges for your next party. Or serve it for lunch/brunch with soup. SMOKED SALMON PIZZA Adapted from Pizza: More Than 60 Recipes For Delicious Homemade Pizza by Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani. Crème fraîche is sold in gourmet stores and some supermarkets. • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion rings • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • 1 tsp kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper to taste • 1/2 cup crème fraîche • 1/4 cup chopped chives • 1 lb (450 g) pizza dough • Cornmeal to taste • 1/4 lb (120 g) smoked salmon, sliced paper thin, each slice halved • 2 tbsp chopped dill Preheat barbecue to medium-high. In medium bowl, stir together onion, oil, salt and pepper. In small bowl, stir together crème fraîche and chives. On floured surface, press dough into

12-inch circle. Sprinkle a pizza peel (or large plate, cutting board or cookie sheet without edges) lightly with cornmeal. Carefully transfer dough to pizza peel. Slide dough from peel onto grill. Cover and grill one to two minutes on direct heat, until top bubbles up and char marks appear on bottom. Use long tongs to carefully flip dough. Grill 30 seconds to firm up a bit. Pull off barbecue.

Spread onion mixture evenly over charred side of crust. Dollop crème fraîche mixture over top, then smear with spoon to spread. Slide back onto grill over indirect heat. Cover and grill until bottom is browned, seven to 10 minutes. Arrange salmon over top. Sprinkle with dill. Cover and grill one minute. Immediately remove from heat. Makes one medium pizza.

wanted it to work out so bad, letting people know how uncomfortable I was just didn’t seem like what I was supposed to do.” Feeling powerless, she kept quiet. “It’s the whole being defeated thing. I felt telling would make me even more isolated,” she explains —as much to herself as to me. She now struggles between the need to make a living and her desire to share her experiences. “Working in a trade is hard enough,” she says, “without segregating yourself by telling tales like this.” But she has struggled to find an answer to the question she is always asked: “Why did you leave the perfect job?” No response expresses the right thing. No matter her words, it just winds up sounding like she couldn’t hack it. Sam is working now, here at home, at her trade. She was offered $11 an hour — a dollar more than she got three years ago, when she first returned home. She fought for, and got, $15. She has learned one thing about getting and keeping work in Newfoundland. “You’ve got to be more of an asshole than the asshole you’re working for to make sure you don’t get screwed over,” she says. This job won’t last long — she might get a few more weeks out of it — then

Sam will be looking again. “I’ll work 60hour weeks and make my $650 and listen to everyone tell me I should be damn grateful that I have any job here at all.” Sam sees no happy ending to her tale. “Maybe I’ll get enough work to get my Red Seal and go off into the sunset. Maybe become a Brother (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) one of these days.” She snorts, almost spitting the “b” in brotherhood across the room. “Do I sound bitter? Maybe I am,” she answers her own question. “I went back to school for a better life and I still can’t go to a dentist or get a pair of eyeglasses.” There is still some fight left in Sam. She might try Alberta again, only this time she’ll be armed with the knowledge that “women there are treated like shit.” She also might keep plugging away at her trade here, where “all tradespeople are treated like shit.” Sam doesn’t want to have to pick money over security and happiness. She should be able to have it all — just like the other tradesfolk. “I don’t want to be unemployed,” she says, almost begging me to believe her. “I love the work and I’m good at it. I just want to work at my trade, be respected and earn a good wage.” pamelamichpardy@yahoo.com


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

26 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

Missing the bus Student union dealings with Metrobus misguided

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s a kid, I never took the bus to school. Sitting on those cold, torn leather seats meant I was escaping the classroom to go on a field trip, and for us students that excitement was so great we couldn’t sit down, much to the annoyance of the bus driver man. Now that I’m in big kid school I’ve actually started taking the bus, although it’s Metrobus’ Route 15 instead of a bulgy yellow school bus. I take the bus for pragmatic reasons — I don’t drive, I hate the rain and I can’t walk and do my history readings at the same time. Unlike its slogan, taking the bus doesn’t mean taking it easy for me. I usually have to run to my stop, then stress out wondering if it has already left and stranded me. On the bus, I’m just as anxious — shuffling papers and trying to stay concentrated on my reading as the gas and brake pedals take turns throwing me around the seats.

JOHN RIETI

Notes in the margin I’d prefer to walk, but lately I’ve become slightly reliant on the bus and I’ll even admit I enjoy it. And now I hear of a revolutionary idea for us student riders. The student union is lobbying Metrobus to drop its rates for university students. What? I don’t remember asking for that, but thanks, I think. Apparently the union held an open forum — which drew three students — where it was decided they should work with Metrobus to lobby for a cheaper fare by making more students ride the bus. The approach they’re considering? A mandatory bus pass tacked onto tuition

fees. Basically, Metrobus would provide a discounted rate (down from its $220 semester pass) to secure 13,000 more riders. Although not all students will take the bus, they will make it cheaper for those who rely on its routes. It’s a nice piece of socialist logic, but it’s also one of the stupidest ideas the union has come up with in a long time. All year they rant and rave for the government to lower tuition fees, then consider adding an extra fee (amount undisclosed) for every student, even if they live in Portugal Cove, Torbay, Paradise, C.B.S., much of Mount Pearl and many other locations Metrobus doesn’t serve. The union would also be ignoring the constant complaints students have about Metrobus’ service. I’m reluctant to use Facebook group titles to gauge student reaction, but groups like “St. John’s Metrobus STRESSES me out!� and “Metrobus Protest (get it together

b’ys!)� are too good to ignore. Before the student union even talks to Metrobus, it needs to ask all students these questions: can you take the Metrobus to and from campus? And would you trust Metrobus to get you to a final exam on time? I’m guessing well over 60 per cent, if not more, would answer no. There are supporters on both sides of the argument, filling up the opinions section of The Muse with arguments essentially driven by what’s in (or not in) their wallet. The union is also pushing the idea as an environmentally-friendly move, but that seems more like a sugar coating. Yes, riding the bus is more eco-friendly, but the union hasn’t supported that claim with any figures, nor have they come out with any other major sustainability policies this year. Maybe they should think about cutting down on the thousands of plastic

“tuition fees suck� water bottles they bought this September, or their constant postering across campus. This move also drips with hypocrisy. When The Field House was built and the university implemented a mandatory $40 recreation fee, the union went ballistic. They kicked up such a fuss about the service — a gym cheaper than every private gym in the city that all students can use — because it was an additional cost for students. I’ve got my doubts this deal will ever get done, but the debate it’s creating does raise a few issues. Does the union think about students who live outside city limits? Would they consider raising fees without the input of more than three students? And finally, would a decision like this be put to a vote? I think the student union missed the bus on this one. john.rieti@theindependent.ca

Humber Valley Resort: affordable L

isa Anthony of Humber Valley Resort wants to spread the word. “The doors of Humber Valley are open to everyone,� she says. “Why not come and experience what we have here right in our backyard?� A stay at Humber Valley is affordable luxury everyone should experi-

ence, Anthony continues, adding there’s something at the resort to appeal to all ages. If you’re planning a Christmas vacation and looking for something different to do, why not leave the Christmas Day cooking to someone else, and feast at the Eagle’s Perch? Looking for something a little

more elegant? There’s a formal Christmas dinner at Strawberry Hill. “We have family fun events planned, things like horse-drawn sleigh rides on the beautiful grounds of Strawberry Hill, or — really go wild — and play paint ball in the snow,� Anthony says. New Year’s Eve is also a “big

deal� at Humber Valley. “You can go elegant, or you can keep it casual,� Anthony says. Enjoy a day at the onsite spa, or just relax in the hot tub. “How you enjoy your time with us is up to you.� And don’t let the cost scare you off. When the lodges are filled, Anthony says the cost per night is

less than the cost of staying at a conventional hotel. And the advantages are worth it. “We want to make your stay memorable, and we realize that what makes for the perfect holiday is different and unique to each and everyone,� she says. That’s why Humber Valley Resort

Photos courtesy Humber Valley Resort

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NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTSTYLE • 27

A tough nut to crack

Coconuts are hard to open but tropical fruit has some sweet rewards once you get inside By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service

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he hard “hairy” brown nut you find in the supermarket is actually the seed of the coconut palm. It was once surrounded by a green pod. Odds are that you have seen a contestant on Survivor hacking off such a pod with a machete, or a gardener, appropriately tipped, doing the same at your favourite Caribbean resort. Then comes the hard part. The oval shell has three round “eyes” at one end. Position an awl or screwdriver over one of the eyes, then rap with a hammer to make a hole. Do the same with another eye, then pour out the liquid. (It helps to rinse the shell first, to reduce grit and fibre falling into the liquid.) More nimble types (or foolhardy ones) opt to simply crack the shell and quickly pour out the liquid. To get to the delicious, chewy, white

coconut meat, bang along the equator of the shell and smash it into pieces. Some experts say heating or freezing makes a coconut easier to crack and the flesh easier to loosen. Heat the coconut at 325F for about 15 minutes, then wrap it in a towel and tap it all over with a hammer. Or freeze it overnight, defrost and crack. The flesh is pried in chunks from the woody shell. It has a thin brown crust that is edible. If this offends you esthetically, strip it off with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Home cooks don’t need to go to all that work to get some coconut meat. Desiccated coconut is sold in bags in the supermarket. It comes grated, in flakes or shreds, sweetened or unsweetened. The clear, slightly thick liquid in a coconut is mistakenly referred to as the “milk.” More accurately, it is coconut water or juice. At the market, you should hear the

liquid sloshing when you shake the coconut. Fresher coconuts have more liquid and moister, more tender flesh. Coconut milk, meanwhile, is sold in cans or powdered. The latter is blander, with an unappealing grey tinge. I don’t bother to make coconut milk, but you can. Mix equal parts boiling water and chopped coconut meat, let sit for an hour, strain through cheesecloth and discard the pulp. Recipe readers are confounded by the confusion over coconut cream, cream of coconut and creamed coconut. They are not interchangeable. Coconut cream is richer and denser than coconut milk. It is available in stores, but not widely. If you just need a few tablespoons, you can make do with a can of coconut milk that has separated. Scoop off the cream at the top. (This doesn’t work with coconut milk that has been artificially emulsified.)

For homemade coconut cream, follow the instructions for coconut milk, but use one part water to four parts coconut meat, then enrich with milk. Cream of coconut is sweetened and used in cocktails. Creamed coconut is an extract that is hard at room temperature. It is formed into bars and packaged in boxes. Oil is also extracted from coconuts.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, meaning it is solid at room temperature. It’s popular for home cooking in some parts of the world. However, in North America it is found mainly in commercial baked goods and toppings. Health-conscious home cooks avoid it. Rarely encountered: unripe coconuts, which have flesh like jelly that can be eaten from the shell; coconut vinegar, a mild product made from the sap and water of the coconut palm; or the coconut toddy, a fermented drink made from sap. Little goes to waste in the coconut palm. The wood is used for building. The fibres are used in ropes and nets. The roots are used for fuel. The leaves are used for baskets, mats and roof thatches. Coconut shells are carved into bowls and kitchen utensils.

luxury for everyone personalizes the services for each guest. Want a pool table and a hot tub in your chalet? You got it. Enjoy cooking? The kitchens in the chalets will inspire great culinary creations. Want to experience some outdoor adventure and try snowshoeing, ice fishing or dog sledding? No problem. Want to spend the day skiing? Take the free shuttle to Marble Mountain and spend your day on the slopes. Need a good way to relax? Spend a few hours at the spa. The list goes on. And all this, right here in Newfoundland and Labrador. “You can jump in your car and drive — takes around six and a half hours from St. John’s — or you can

fly and be here in no time for less than you might imagine,” Anthony says. For those who live a little closer, why not just spend the day at the resort and take advantage of some of the services and activities? Humber Valley Resort has recently received several awards — four for their amazing website design, and one naming the 18-hole River Course the best new golf course in Canada. When hard work, commitment and quality are recognized, it’s always something to be proud of, Anthony says. Anthony would love to see more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians taking advantage of what Humber

Valley Resort has to offer. Just come see for yourself, she says. “You don’t need to come here with an agenda — just bring that book you’ve been dying to read and see what happens when you get here,” she suggests. A trip to Humber Valley Resort can be whatever you want it to be. “I mean,” she laughs, “why wouldn’t you come?” For details on Humber Valley Resort visit www.humbervalley.com pamelamichpardy@yahoo.com

20% OFF all double priced Canadian and US books Canadian distributors of American books have been lowering the prices to reflect the rise in the Canadian dollar’s value. We feel that this has not happened quickly enough. In an attempt to address this rapid rise, Granny Bates has cut the prices on most books in the store until Christmas. Although we are still being charged at the higher rate, hopefully by year end prices stamped on our books will be more closely aligned to the true value of our dollar. As a result of our decision to offer a 20% discount, some books will actually be priced below par. Thank you to our loyal customers who have valued the importance of independent bookstores.

709.739.9233 1.800.563.8851 info@grannybates.com

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www.datasentinel.ca


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

28 • INDEPENDENTSTYLE

EVENTS

Submit your events to Kayla Email: kayla.joy@theindependent.ca Phone: (709) 726-INDY (4639) Fax: (709) 726-8499

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 • Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra presents American Panorama featuring Newfoundland native violin soloist Mark Fewer, performing with pianist Bill Brennan and bassist Jim Vivian, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7:30 p.m., 729-3900. • 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., 737-3317. • Training session, 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. • Book sale, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 737-2133, until Nov. 17. • Patchwork Productions presents Detours, a witty and stirring show, Rabbittown Theatre, 8 p.m., Nov. 16-17, including a pay what you can matinee Saturday, 2 p.m. • Hey Rosetta! at the Majestic Theatre, 579-3023. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 • Gerald Squires celebrates 70 years, night of Newfoundland magic, music, storytelling and poetry, 7 p.m., Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s, 579-3023 to reserve tickets. • Journal Writing for Self Development workshop, 1-5 p.m., 693-1624, www.lifeonfire.ca. • Similia, twin sisters flute and guitar duo, D.F. Cook Recital Hall, MUN, St. John’s, 8 p.m. Also performing at Gander Arts and Culture Centre, Nov. 19, Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre, Nov. 20, Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre, Nov. 21, Masonic Hall, Goose Bay, Nov. 26, and Labrador West Arts and Culture Centre, Nov. 27. • Valuing our Veterans, hooked mats exhibit to commemorate Beaumont Hamel, Five Island Gallery, Tors Cove, 2-5 p.m. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18 • Alzheimer Society is seeking ticket-sellers in aid of the annual draw. If interested in selling on a commission basis or volunteering time, call 576-0608 or email alzheimer_eventsplanner@nf.aibn.com. • Knockturns, featuring Alison Black, violin, and George Morgan, piano, Petro-Canada Hall, MUN School of Music, 3 p.m. • Christmas Crafts at the Garden, Botanical

Garden’s family program, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., winter woods walks starting 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. followed by stories and crafts, 737-8590. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19 • Food Not Bombs, free healthy meal to be served, Bannerman Park, St. John’s, 1:30 p.m. • Restorative Justice, public forum on an approach that offers victims a voice and criminals a chance to be accountable in a more meaningful way, St. John’s City Hall, 7 p.m., 722-5040. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 • Arthritis Society’s public forum on joint replacement, Battery Hotel, St. John’s, 7 p.m., 579-8190. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21 • Reading by Bernice Morgan, author of Cloud of Bone, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 7 p.m. • Evalyn Parry at Folk Night, The Ship, St. John’s, 9 p.m. • Chris Picco CD launch of Ferris Wheel at the Fat Cat, George Street, show starts 9:30 p.m. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22 • Beothuck Street Players presents A Flea in Her Ear, Holy Heart Auditorium, St. John’s, 8 p.m., until Nov. 24, tickets available through St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Box Office, 729-3900. • Public reading by award-winning children’s author, Frieda Wishinsky, A.C. Hunter Children’s Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 3:30 p.m. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 • Book launch, Leaving Newfoundland: A History of Out-Migration, by Stephen Nolan, Chapters, 70 Kenmount Rd., St. John’s, 7-9 p.m. • An Evening of Burlesque with Neighbourhood Dance Works, Majestic Theatre, Duckworth Street, St. John’s, 579-3023. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 • Monte Carlo Charity Gala, St. John’s Convention Centre, 7 p.m. Organized by first- and second-year students of the MUN Faculty of Medicine. All proceeds go to selected charities in Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information contact Jessica,

Hon. Dianne Whalen Minister of Transportation & Works

WINTER DRIVING ALERT Winter will soon be upon us and a significant number of accidents on our highways occur during the early days of winter when black ice is prevalent. Black ice is difficult to see and avoid. Although roads may appear to be clear and temperatures are above freezing, black ice can form when the temperature drops below 5 degrees celsius. Black ice often forms in the early morning when warmer air comes in contact with the frozen surface of the asphalt, resulting in a flash freeze and an invisible layer of frost. So even if roads appear clear of ice, it never hurts to use extra precaution when traveling this winter. Visit our website at: www.roads.gov.nl.ca Road conditions may be obtained by calling: AVALON CENTRAL LABRADOR

1-709-729-7669 1-709-292-4444 1-709-896-7888

guest Amelia Curran, LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria St., 8 p.m., Dec. 8, 753-4531. • Corner Brook Christmas Bird Count, Saturdays, Dec. 15 to Jan 5. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Lois Bateman, 634-7206, lbateman@swgc.mun.ca.

EASTERN WESTERN

1-709-466-4160 1-709-635-4144

A Message from Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Transportation & Works

Singing for Supper, two-hour concert featuring St. Bon’s Elementary and Senior Treble Choirs followed by Tom Jackson (above) and his four-piece ensemble, Holy Heart Theatre, St. John’s, 7 p.m., Nov. 25.

722-1827. • Book launch, How Dog Became a Friend, by Paul O’Neill, Anglican Cathedral Crypt, Church Hill, St. John’s, 3-5 p.m. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25 • St. John’s downtown Christmas parade, Water Street, St. John’s. • Singing for Supper, two-hour concert featuring St. Bon’s Elementary and Senior Treble Choir followed by Tom Jackson and his four-piece ensemble, Holy Heart Theatre, St. John’s, 7 p.m. UPCOMING • Miracle on George Street, hilarious and touching dinner and show based on the classic Miracle on 34th Street, opens Nov. 29, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s. • Senior’s Appreciation Tea with special guest Margaret Hitchens who will perform humourous recitations, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 2-4 p.m., Nov. 30. • Bishops College Christmas Gala, unforgettable evening of food, entertainment and activities in aid of graduation activities, Dec. 1, 579-4107, bridgetricketts@esdnl.ca. • Giant book sale in aid of Pouch Cove Foundation, 70,000 books to be sold, 14 Gruchy’s Hill, Pouch Cove, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Dec. 1. • A Merry Little Christmas presented by The St. John’s Choir, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Queen’s Road, St. John’s, 8 p.m., Dec. 2, 895-3528. • Ferron, back by popular demand with special

ONGOING • Street Reach, outreach service targeting disconnected youth of the downtown St. John’s area, seeking donations of new or used hats, mittens, gloves and socks from the general public, 754-0536. • 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. • All ’Round the Circle dinner theatre, The Collonade, 6 East Dr., Pleasantville, every Wednesday through Friday, 690-9929. • Reading Pals, A.C. Hunter Children’s Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, free help available for children in Grades 2-3 needing practice reading. To register as participant or teen volunteer, contact Betty, 737-3317, bettymacdonald@nlpubliclibraries.ca. • The Rooms, St. John’s, free admission Wednesday nights, 6-9 p.m., www.therooms.ca. • 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, annatempletoncentre@gmail.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. • Basic Digital Photography, course offered at The Studio, 272 Water St., St. John’s, Thursdays, 7-10 p.m., until Dec. 13, 739-0346, www.shanekellyphotography.com. IN THE GALLERIES • Sticks and Stones and Garden Gnomes, Leyton Gallery, until Nov. 24. • Only Human, exhibit by Brent Coffin, Eastern Edge, Rogue Gallery, 72 Harbour Dr., until Nov. 24. • The Prints of Albrecht Dürer, 53 works from the National Gallery of Canada’s fine collection of Dürer prints, The Rooms, St. John’s, until Nov. 25. • Where My Brush Takes Me 2007, group exhibition of 18 artists who paint with Margaret Best, MUN Botanical Garden, Mt. Scio Rd., 10 a.m.-4 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.


NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007

What’s new in the automotive industry

FEATURED VEHICLE

THE 2008 MAZDA CX-7, THE SUV YOU NEVER SAW COMING The Mazda CX-7 is at once a high-performance machine, a stylish ode to sports car design, and a versatile platform for the modern lifestyle. Turbocharged 244-horsepower engine. Highest government safety ratings – five-star government frontal and side-crash test rating. Collapsing rear headrests, large side mirrors, and small triangular windows. Four disc brakes, four-wheel ABS, 12.7 l/100 km city, 9 l/100 km, highway. Automatic six speed. Test drive the 2008 Mazda CX-7 at Penney Mazda, Kenmount Road, St. John’s. Photos by Nicholas Langor/The Independent

Cross-border craziness C

lip this out and stick it on your was assembled. We make cars for them, fridge. It’s the truth about cross- they make cars for us — get over it. border shopping for Suppose you somehow buy new vehicles. a vehicle, pay the state tax and To a kid, the idea of going to registration, and fax the vehithe States and buying a cheap cle title to the border 72 hours car sounds like a great idea, prior to crossing (keep in mind but that’s all it is — a juvenile not all borders clear vehicles). notion. One would expect an From there you pay adult to spend time researching HST/GST, plus a 6.1 per cent the topic from all available excise tax, and a $200 applicasources before engaging in tion to the Canadian Registrar MARK travel and a large purchase. A of Import Vehicles. WOOD click on the Transport Canada Congratulations, you just website (there’s a list of vehiWOODY’S imported an American car, cles there that are strictly forproceed to your WHEELS please bidden) and a chat with your province and drop it off at the local dealership would be designated third-party source enough to satisfy a rational person. for installation of all the necessary parts, For the majority of the population, hopefully within 45 days to comply with it is. Canadian standards. Incidentally, all the You may feel discriminated against, parts are available only from your local but the vehicle sticker clearly indicates dealer, and Canadian Tire is designated which country a car was built for and in by our government to perform all the which country it is to be sold. No excep- work and verify compliancy to the tions. Canadian Registrar of Import Vehicles. You will need the following basic There are Canadian and American versions of a vehicle regardless of where it upgrades, including but not limited to

daytime running lights, eight kilometre per hour impact front and rear bumpers, Canadian instruments, i.e. speedometer and odometer, child seat tether-anchors, French and English airbag instructions on the visor, plus whatever other Canadian options are available on that vehicle. Got all that done? Bought all that stuff and paid your ransom at Canadian Tire and received your letter of compliance back from Transport Canada? Proceed to your local Department of Motor Vehicles for registration. Now throw in the cost of your one-way ticket to the States, hotel, food, five tanks of gas, a ferry crossing and a shot across the island. Still sound like a bargain? You just bought a new car with no warranty, idiot, and those warranty horror stories are starting to surface. If there were a market for buyers who didn’t want a warranty, didn’t mind paying cash, were willing to travel to pick up a vehicle and still perform mandatory upgrades, the industry would surely respond.

There would be a pile of cheap, halfassed vehicles stacked at the border waiting for you. Fortunately, the majority of our population is made up of rational vehicle shoppers and this foolishness is an exception to the rule. Eighty per cent of new vehicle buyers avail of extremely low rates offered by dealer financing. Of the remaining 20 per cent with cash, very few would consider a cross-border vehicle purchase. You have to realize that the manufacturers are international companies and will adjust their prices considering a variety of market conditions; they also dearly love our strong Canadian dollar. Here’s how it will all play out. (I find it extremely ironic that I get to be the voice of reason.) The Canadian automobile industry will protect their market by gradually lowering prices over the current buying cycle, providing our dollar stays strong. A buying cycle is, on average, three years. By then dealerships will naturally compete voraciously for your business and dare each other in a price war.

A worst-case scenario would be an immediate drop in prices. A person would see their new-vehicle purchase of yesterday depreciate proportionately overnight resulting in little trade-in or resale value and discouraging their next purchase. That ain’t gonna happen. Remember, that’s 80 per cent of newvehicle purchasers in Canada, their assets will definitely be protected. Most manufacturers have started offering generous rebates on some of their more expensive vehicles, but the real savings are still to come. And when you buy local your money stays here, strengthening your own economy. There’s still a bargain to be had (and no restrictions) by importing vehicles 15 years or older. Those collectors have my full respect and admiration. I’d rather see a classic car on the road than some border-hopping, litigious idiot feigning discrimination in a new one. Mark Wood of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s is seldom known for his economic theories.


30 • INDEPENDENTSHIFT

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

SPANISH INQUISITION

Driving hints from the passenger seat

Michael Schumacher is surrounded by the media in a news conference during training session at Catalunya’s racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Nov. 14. Schumacher came out of retirement to test Ferrari's title-winning 2007 Formula One car. Albert Gea/Reuters

ou don’t understand; everyone does it.” These my window. words from my very nearly 16-year-old son’s “Cash only for the book,” he told me. “And I had to take a mouth may have you wondering. Just what does number and stand in line to find that out.” everyone do this time? Skydiving? Tequila shots? Eyeliner? “No debit?” I asked, a little incredulously. I mean, come No, apparently none of the above. What every on. I’d been wiped out for lunch money that mornsingle 16-year-old does, or so I’ve been told, is ing. take the day off of school to go and get his or her We toured around until we found a cash machine learner’s permit. And if everyone else is doing it, beside a large bookstore. Back we went. I resumed then surely I would be remiss in not playing along. my post in the van; Marc went to take another numIt seems it’s the only sanctioned day that a kid ber. Five minutes later, he hopped back in. actually tells his mother he’s cutting school. “They’re out of handbooks,” he told me. “But Marc had thrown a wrench into his own works, they sell them at that bookstore,” he continued, as it turned out. As the last of his friends to turn the pointing to where we’d just come from. Yes, he’d LORRAINE magical 16, he’d assumed he could lay his hands taken another number to discover this. SOMMERFELD on a copy of the driver’s handbook. He’d assumed I’ve talked to several people — mostly of the wrong. We hopped on the website and I started trymale persuasion — who have commented that they ing to decipher which government offices offered walked in, wrote their beginner’s test and walked which services. I bit my tongue — hard — as I out. All without taking a gander at the handbook. could hear the words “when I was your age” trying I’ve kept these people away from my kid, because to leak out. When I was his age, there was one it costs $125 to think you already know everything. office where you did everything. It was recommended to get I’ve been flipping through it, and it’s amazing what you manin line when you were 15 to get to the front by the time you age to forget about something you do everyday. turned 16. Every trip in the car is now a lesson in everything I am Now, there are a myriad of places and rules. I told him to doing wrong, in the World According to Marc. His birthday figure it out, and that I would take him after school. After present is driver training, so someone else can argue with he’d studied for it. After he’d found a handbook. After he’d him about stopping distances and blind spots. A discussion figured out what I.D. he needed. on hand signals the other day must have had the car behind This all took a week to dovetail. He finally figured out us wondering if we were preparing to take off like an airwhich office we needed to go to to get a handbook. I parked plane. But there is love in his helpful direction, even if he has and waited, imagining he’d be trapped in a line-up for yet to actually get behind the wheel. awhile. Instead, after five minutes he came out and rapped on www.lorraineonline.ca

“Y

POWER SHIFT

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Small cap 7 Skin treatment place 10 Canadian books, collectively 16 Most personal 17 Highest Alp: Mont ___ 19 Stimulate 20 Big, as a concerto goes 21 Third planet from the sun 22 “Jack be ___ ...” 23 Needlefish 24 Large bay off N Quebec 26 Portable player 28 Outlaw 29 N.S.’s gemstone 31 Summer in Paris 32 Mademoiselle, briefly 33 Zoom, for one 34 Lean (on) 35 Start of many Quebec towns 36 Like barrel-aged wines 37 Poet Al 38 Vancouver time 40 “As It Happens” medium 42 Tourette’s symptom 43 ___ Matters (Rohinton Mistry) 46 Sask.’s official

flower: western ___ lily 47 Jewish fall festival 51 Extreme suffering 52 Foie ___ 54 Site of the Great Pyramid 55 Centre of “slow food” movement 56 Singer K.D. 57 Clip-and-file item 58 Puerto ___ 59 Abacus unit 60 Cover 61 Vichyssoise 62 Remote Nfld. island with many seabirds 63 It increases friction on the bow 64 Popular shoe 66 Mayday! 67 Ease up 68 Hair product 69 Lushes ___, Nfld. 71 Cockney’s hope 72 Relative by marriage 75 Stereo preceder 76 Rd. 78 Shrill cry 82 From far and ___ 83 Jolts 84 Notice 85 Blacksmith’s block 86 Arrest 87 Sprint 88 Majestic

CHUCKLE BROS

90 Here in Le Havre 91 Skylit lobby 93 Nigerian capital 95 Latin dance 97 Have choppers coming through 98 ___ of Girls and Women (Munro) 99 Like lava 100 Comes on stage 101 Flying mammal 102 Adjust in advance DOWN 1 Sandra Schmirler’s hometown 2 Infuriate 3 Without principles 4 Refusals 5 Point in question 6 Neighbour of Windsor Castle 7 Underground railroad traveller, once 8 Aside from: prefix 9 Army insect 10 Summer camp craft 11 Drought-stricken 12 French name 13 Inexperienced sailor 14 B.C. leper colony, once: D’Arcy ___ 15 Itsy-bitsy 17 Old jalopy 18 Highest major lake in Canada 25 Catch onto

27 Strand (of wool) 30 Keyboarding, once 32 Hired help 33 Lottery winner’s asset 35 Pigpen 36 Keats’ feats 37 Rockies rodent 39 Cunning 41 Dying sea 42 Canadian geophysicist: ___ Wilson 43 Bridal Veil ___, B.C. 44 “I’ll see you ___ ...” 45 Matisse’s world 47 Ailing 48 Like Henry VIII 49 Best way to see Canada? 50 Didn’t have 52 Wild bovine of Asia 53 Roarin’ start 54 Tonic partner 57 Christmas in St. Chrysostome 58 Hurry 59 One of Henry VIII’s six 61 Off-kilter 62 Largest island off Nfld. 63 Salesperson 65 Gelatin from seaweed 66 Offences 67 Dupuis of “Maurice

Richard” 69 Of the North 70 Man. town with giant trapper (2 wds.) 72 Inborn 73 Tidy

74 Lip ornament 75 PC cousin 77 Small in Scotland 79 Expels 80 Chinese fruit 81 Easily influenced

83 Basketball inventor: ___ Naismith 84 French subjet 85 Loathe 87 German industrial region

88 Capital of Fiji 89 Musical Riders 92 Mineral: suffix 94 Drooler’s accessory 96 Quenching quaff Solution page 32

Brian and Ron Boychuk

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) Try to be patient as that troubling matter at work is dealt with a step at a time. Progress toward a resolution might seem slow, but it’s sure and steady. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) Be careful not to let misplaced loyalty to a friend cloud your usually good judgment. Be true to your principles — they won’t ever let you down. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) A seeming inability to make a decision can sometimes work to your advantage. Use the time to reassess the situation, then act on the facts you uncover. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

Good news! That personal matter you thought would never improve suddenly takes on a more positive aspect. Things brighten up at your workplace as well. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22) Don’t huddle alone in your den to nurse those hurt feelings. Instead, get out and enjoy the company of family and friends. Remember: Lions thrive in a pride. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) An old health problem recurs, but quick attention soon puts everything right. Plans for the upcoming holidays might need to be changed. Stay flexible. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) That project you started earlier this year begins to be noticed by

the “right people.” Expect to get some heartening news by year’s end. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) It’s relationship repair time for both single and married Scorpions. Patch up the weak spots and renew your commitment to your partner or spouse. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC.21) Love and marriage signs are strong for both paired and single Archers. The latter can expect romantic overtures from a loving Leo. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) Expect news about that business deal you weren’t sure about. In your personal life, a dispute with your spouse or partner is soon

cleared up. AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) You have a tendency to overdo it, especially at this time of the year. Ease up on those grand plans for the holidays, and take more time for yourself. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) Someone from your romantic past might want to renew your old relationship. While this might be what you’ve hoped for, weigh your decision carefully. BORN THIS WEEK You have a strong sense of truth and duty. You love to learn, and you love to teach. You make friends slowly, but your friendships last. (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


INDEPENDENTSPORTS

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007 — PAGE 31

‘I’m not sure he was ready’ Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter talks about Daniel Ryder, his commitment to the game and his place in the team’s organization By Don Power For The Independent

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he general manager of the Calgary Flames says he’s not concerned about Daniel Ryder the hockey player. But Darryl Sutter says he is worried about Ryder the person. Despite obvious talents, the 20year-old hockey hotshot from Bonavista has grappled with whether he wants to continue playing hockey. Drafted in the third round of the 2005 NHL entry draft by Calgary, Ryder was considered one of the Flames’ top prospects by scouts in Calgary’s organization. He even signed a three-year entrylevel contract last winter that provided him with a generous signing bonus. For whatever reason, however, Ryder seemingly has lost interest in the game. Rumours have circulated about drinking or drugs, but have been scoffed at as just that, by Sutter and others in the Flames organization. “There’s nothing to me from Darryl that any kind of substance is of issue here,” said Peter Hanlon, vice-president of communications for the Flames, and a St. John’s native. Earlier this summer, the gifted centre asked for — and received — permission from Sutter to skip the Flames’ rookie development camp. Then he begged off reporting, again with Sutter’s permission, at the start of the NHL team’s regular training camp. (This all came on the heels of a disappointing final season in the Ontario Hockey League as a 20year-old.) Eventually Ryder showed up at camp — although not in the best condition — and was assigned to the Flames’ American Hockey League affiliate, Quad City. After just six games in the AHL, however, the younger Ryder left the Quad City Flames on Halloween, unsure about his future in the game. Sutter suspended Ryder on Oct. 31 and met with the player and his parents, Wayne and Debbie, shortly after. During an exclusive interview with The Independent from his Calgary office, Sutter says until the younger Ryder figures out what he wants to do, there’s nothing the team can do for him. “I met with his folks and him not from a professional standpoint,” Sutter says, “but more from a personal standpoint, because I’m from a big family. We all played hockey, but there were a lot of trials and tribulations along the way. “I’m trying to make him a good young man before I make him a good young hockey player.” Sutter, one of six brothers to play in the NHL, says the 20-year-old has struggled with his desire and commitment for some time now. It first manifested itself in the summer

of 2006, when Ryder showed up at the Canadian junior team’s summer camp out of shape. He followed that up with 93 points in 57 games in his final season of junior, and helped the Plymouth Whalers reach the Memorial Cup. But scouts said he looked disinterested and bored. Flames personnel in Vancouver at the Memorial Cup say he was a different player from the previous season, when he led Peterborough to the Memorial Cup tournament and won the OHL’s playoff MVP award. Since that time, Ryder’s interest in playing has appeared to wane even more. “I think he’s trying to deal with the situation whether he wants to be a hockey player or not,” Sutter says. “I think it’s something he’s been dealing with for quite a period of time. “We gave him the opportunity to come to training camp after missing a development camp in the summer. We allowed him to report to camp late and assigned him to Quad City. He’s still having reservations, and that seems to be it. “I think he’ll decide one day what he wants to do,” Sutter continues. “Hopefully one day in the near future, and we’ll go from there.” Sutter won’t classify Ryder as one of the team’s top prospects (“He’s not playing hockey,” is his blunt reply), but in response to a question about where he fits in the team’s future plans, Sutter has this to say. “It’s a big, big, big, big, big step (from junior to pro), and if you’re not ready for it maturity wise, and you’re not ready for the commitment to be what it takes to be a good pro, then there’s a lot of pressure on you … I’m not sure he was ready for that. “I think kids that are turning pro who are 20 or 21 years old, you don’t put them as top prospects or longshots. You let them develop as they mature and then you evaluate them. We didn’t get that opportunity with Daniel.” However, Sutter adds: “He’s got a ton of talent. At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to him whether he’s going to apply himself to use that talent.” Ryder is hardly the first player to graduate from junior only to find the real hard work starts at the pro level. Sutter says the scouts who recommended Ryder as a natural talent also recognized that his commitment was not 100 per cent on some nights. Sutter says he saw that himself. But that doesn’t mean he considered drafting Ryder a gamble. “I’ll tell you exactly what I told him,” Sutter says. “When I was 18 or 19 or 20, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew a lot of 18, 19 and 20-year-olds who had no See “It’s a bit,” page 33

Daniel Ryder

Paul Daly/The Independent

Late birthdays a disadvantage? Genetics plays a more important role in sport development than a child’s birthdate

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or the most part, Monday Night Football is not very relevant to the local sport scene in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, it’s probably totally irrelevant. Yet Monday night, I heard one of the announcers say — after telling of a player’s birthday that day — that this week has the largest birth rate of any in the year, at least in the United States. Valentine’s Day, he remarked, was nine months ago, not adding anything else to the discussion. This past weekend at minor hockey, I announced to my team that four of the kids on our team had just celebrated or

DON POWER

Power Point will celebrate birthdays during the early part of November. Four out of 15 is pretty good, I thought, and it made me remember something I had heard years ago. These examples may be totally anecdotal and unproven (some websites claim August as the biggest month for births), but it got me to thinking about

birthdays and sports. I distinctly remember the first time I heard the term “late birthday.” Tony Manning was talking to me about his kids, the great tennis players of the early 1990s, Susan and Krista specifically. If I’m not mistaken, he told me Krista’s birthday was in November, and the conversation centred on how dominant she could have been amongst tennis players in her own age group if she wasn’t a late birthday. I had no idea what a late birthday was. I thought it meant she was overdue at birth. How that translated into her tennis success was beyond me.

To be totally honest, I have been known to have “blonde moments” from time to time. I remember at The Sunday Express, trying to contact former St. John’s Capital Richard Linteau, who was working in St. Pierre et Miquelon. Upon receiving his telephone number, which consisted of six digits (654321, for example), I sat staring at it, before sports editor Gord Follett asked, “Well, are you going to dial it?” I looked him square in the eye, and asked, “Where do you put the dash?” Another time at a Florida golf course, I remember seeing a sign stat-

ing, “90 degree rule in effect today.” Since it was already very warm — 87 or 88 degrees I figured — if it got too hot on the course, you had to come in for fear of heatstroke. It wasn’t until later I learned that 90 degrees meant right angles in the golf cart. So it wasn’t beyond me not to understand the concept of late birthdays. For many years in this business, I worked without the benefit of a child directly involved in competitive sports. I had no idea parents and others involved thought so much about minor sports. See “Is he an early,” page 34


32 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Argos can’t afford to miss boat to Grey Cup By Damien Cox Torstar wire service

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Paul Smith photo

How far is that moose? New technology can help you accurately aim at a distant target

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ow far is that moose? This is a much more important question than many hunters realize. Let me explain. Let’s say you have your trusty. 303 Lee Enfield sighted in to hit a target dead on at 200 yards. The 180-grain softpoint, a typical choice for moose hunting, leaves the barrel at 2,500 feet per second. The rifle is solidly supported on sandbags and is aimed at the distant bullseye 500 yards away. Of course, 500 yards is a very long shot and it isn’t at all a trivial matter to acquire dead steady aim at this distance. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume our hypothetical crackshot marksman has the necessary skill and equipment to do so. So we have a perfectly straight and unwavering line of sight from the shooter’s eye to the target. At about 25 yards from the muzzle, the bullet will cross the line of sight and then rise to about three inches high at 100 yards. When the bullet reaches 200 yards, it again crosses the line of sight just like it’s supposed to at the rifle’s zero point. For mathematically inclined readers: a bullet is a simple projectile, no different than a football, and travels in an approximately parabolic path. Beyond the zero distance, the bullet will drop below the line of sight as gravity continues to take its toll. By now the bullet is slowed due to air resistance and will drop even more for every yard it travels towards the target. If it weren’t for air resistance, the path would be exactly parabolic. At 300 yards, the bullet is 10 inches down, 30 inches at 400 yards and 60 inches below the line of sight way out there at 500 yards from the muzzle. A moose browsing in the birches at 500 yards would be quite safe. Without holdover, or compensation for bullet drop, the .303 British is just barely a 300-yard hunting rifle. By rights, the range of a hunting rifle should be limited to a bullet drop and rise total of no more than six inches. That’s three up and three down in most cases.

PAUL SMITH

The Rock

Outdoors At 10 inches low, the trusty old .303 is marginal at best. Ten inches low could cause a clean miss or — much worse — a wounded animal. For the .303 zeroed for 200 yards, hitting three inches high at 100 yards and three inches low at about 250 yards, it is in my opinion a solid 250yard rifle. Using the same criteria, the 30-30 is a 150-yard rifle. Shooting beyond 250 yards with the old Lee Enfield is a tricky business. To make a clean killing shot to the vitals, a little holdover is necessary, and the hunter must know the distance to the moose to do this correctly. Arguably, one should never shoot at game beyond 250 yards with the Lee Enfield. To make a 400-yard shot, a lot of holdover is required and the distance to the target must be known to within plus or minus 25 yards. The bullet’s energy and speed are fading, which in turn increase dramatically the curvature of its path. In my opinion, this type of shooting should be left to tactical shooters and military snipers. But if you are inclined to take longer shots, you had better get really skilled at estimating ranges or buy yourself a good quality rangefinder. In addition, you need a bullet-drop table calibrated in 25-yard increments taped to your rifle stock so you will know the correct holdover to use for that particular range. The only way to obtain this critical data is to shoot your rifle at 25-yard increments out to maximum range (whatever you judge that to be) and keep records. This is pretty technical stuff and that’s why it takes years of training to become a good tactical marksman. There’s plenty more to the game than just simply taking aim and pulling the trigger. So what of all these 500-yard kills you hear

about down at the local bar or out in the shed over a beer or two? Either the distance is exaggerated, the shooter should play lotteries, or he or she is an expert shooter who burns thousands of rounds per year. The 30-06, also a very popular moose rifle in Newfoundland, is a true 300-yard hunting rifle without holdover. Whenever holdover has to be used, I call it tactical shooting and I personally never tactical shoot at animals — just targets. You can’t wound a target. The venerable 30-06 Springfield, when zeroed at 250 yards, will drop only about three inches at 300 yards and hit just three inches high at 100 yards. But even if you choose not to tactical shoot or use holdover on critters, you have to know the animal is not more than 300 yards or whatever you choose as an ethical maximum range. How do you know this? Distance in the field can be very deceiving, especially in open country where large animals tend to look much closer than that actually are. Today’s modern answer is the laser rangefinder. For between $200 and $500, you can know exactly how far that animal is from you and your rifle. In recent years, laser rangefinders have plummeted in price and evolved to higher precision and compactness. Mine, a Bushnell Yardage Pro Scout, sells for around $300, fits in the palm of my hand, and ranges out to 500 yards with an error of only two yards. You just look through the eyepiece, and place the crosshairs on the critter or target. Then, just press a button and the yardage appears in the display. This is an amazing technology. It most definitely reduces the risk of wounding animals by eliminating guesswork. These days, I’m always sure my target is within range for the rifle I’m using. It’s a confidence booster and confidence definitely improves shooting. Paul Smith is an avid outdoorsman and freelance writer living in Spaniard’s Bay. flyfishtherock@hotmail.com

here is now an opponent upon which to focus, and that helps a lot. But even before the Argonauts learned that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will provide the final obstacle between Toronto’s footballers and a date in their own Grey Cup game, the first in Toronto in 15 years, the enormity of the opportunity at hand was obvious to one and all. If the Argos can get to the Nov. 25 game at the Rogers Centre, they’ll be the first team since Edmonton five years ago to have home field advantage for the Canadian gridiron classic. And if they can get to the ultimate contest, they’ll have the chance to become the first Argo team in 55 years to win the Grey Cup at home. “We understand that the Grey Cup is in our city,” said head coach Pinball Clemons. “We’ll be giving it everything we’ve got, but we’d be doing that anyway regardless of whether the game was here or in Nunavut.” Still, it’s pretty clear there’s an awful lot on the line for the football team bought out of bankruptcy by Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon four years ago. In a market that provides challenges for every team other than the Maple Leafs, the Argos have the fabulous chance to host two high profile games over the next two weeks, an East final that should draw more than 40,000 fans and a Grey Cup game that will be a sellout. The Argos don’t need to win both to make a spectacular splash, but they pretty much need to at least appear in both to get long-term benefits out of hosting the Grey Cup. With the spectre of the NFL hanging over southern Ontario, the Argos sorely need the impact that would be created by being in the big game as much or more than the estimated $4-$5 million in profits expected to be realized regardless of which two CFL clubs lock horns that day. “When we won the Grey Cup in 2004, it was all new to us,” said team president Keith Pelley. “We really weren’t properly prepared to capitalize on our success. Now, if we are in this year’s Grey Cup game, we will take over the city’s imagination.” That makes Blue Bombers, needless to say, the potential party poopers here. They’re a talented, tough team that very nearly knocked off the Argos at the dome in last year’s semifinal. Nobody in the Toronto organization would dare say it, but you have to believe that the incredibly risky third-down gamble by Montreal that failed and led to the winning field goal by Winnipeg’s Troy Westwood Nov. 11 was a play that had the Argos cursing. You don’t think the Argos would have preferred to face Marcus Brady than Kevin Glenn and Charles Roberts with a trip to the Grey Cup on the line? C’mon. Clemons was positively buoyant about his club’s workouts last week, particularly the offensive practices, and enters this week of practice hoping for progress from kicker Noel Prefontaine, concussed in the final game of the regular season in Regina, and a quick assimilation from import tackle Jerome Davis. Davis was added just days ago to sub for Mike Pearson, who broke his leg against Saskatchewan, and while he’s a veteran and a former Argo, Michael Bishop surely doesn’t need to sense any uncertainty on the O-line against a Winnipeg front seven that includes Barrin Simpson, Doug Brown and Tom Canada. The Bombers may have struggled down the stretch, but make no mistake about it, they can beat the Argos. If that were to happen, it wouldn’t wreck the Grey Cup week. But it would be one gigantic lost opportunity for the Argos. Solutions for sudoku on page 30

Solutions for crossword on page 30


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 33

‘It’s a bit of a burnout thing’ From page 31 clue. I have children his age and there are times when you sit down with them and wonder, and ask them what they’re going to do. I don’t think it’s an uncommon thing at all. I think you’ve just got to deal with it and figure it out. “I think when he was drafted everybody saw the gifts that God gave him in terms of natural ability. I think what everybody saw also was they weren’t certain he had the commitment to take it to the next level. And I think that sort of played itself out.” Wayne Ryder, Daniel’s father, says his son is home, keeping a low profile “and trying to clear his head,” and hasn’t talked much about his decision. The father says Calgary has been very lenient with his son, and that Daniel may be home till Christmas, or perhaps the entire season. (Through his father, Ryder declined to be interviewed.)

Anaheim Ducks' Todd Bertuzzi (R) collides with Vancouver Canucks' Nathan Mclver during the second period of their pre-season NHL hockey game in Anaheim Sept. 23. Mike Blake/Reuters

Bertuzzi lawyer wants lawsuit files sealed By Rick Westhead Torstar wire service

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n a rare legal move, NHL star Todd Bertuzzi’s lawyer will ask a judge to seal future court files related to a $15-million lawsuit filed against him by Steve Moore, the former player whose neck Bertuzzi broke in 2004. Bertuzzi’s lawyer Geoffrey Adair will ask Justice Laurence Pattillo for an order to seal certain files related to the case, according to court documents and Ontario Superior Court staff. The hearing comes in the wake of a story last week that revealed Bertuzzi offered Moore $350,000 to settle the case last December. Details of the settlement offer were included in a confidential letter that was filed publicly in court. Lawyers working on the case said the letter should have been kept from public scrutiny. Asked about his request for a sealing order, Adair told the Star: “You have the wrong information. I’m not going to get into it. You went way over the line publishing the details of the settlement offer. I don’t care if it was in a public filing. It impairs Todd’s ability to get a fair trial. I’m not saying another word.”

Clayton Ruby, a Law Society of Upper Canada bencher and a long-time Toronto lawyer, said it’s doubtful the Star report would affect a trial. “You could only argue that if it happened close to the trial date,” Ruby said, “and it would have to be extraordinary and inflammatory.” Adair said a trial to decide the Moore-Bertuzzi case might not occur for another 12 to 18 months. Ruby added that a sealing order in a civil case is rare. “It happens when someone makes a mistake and others pick up on it,” Ruby said. “They’re embarrassed by it, but at this point, the horse is out of the barn.” Both Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, and a lawyer for Orca Bay, the company that owns the Vancouver Canucks, declined to comment. During a March 8, 2004, game between the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche, Bertuzzi, then playing for the Canucks, struck Moore from behind, punching him in the side of the head, then drove his head into the ice. Moore suffered three broken vertebrae and has not played in the NHL since. Observers have questioned whether Canucks team officials fomented anger toward Moore before Bertuzzi attacked him.

“He’s not sure if he wants to play anymore,” Wayne Ryder says. “It’s a bit of a burnout thing, too, over all these years, winters and summers. He’s hit a brick wall. Calgary told him to come on home and take a break. When he’s ready, the door’s open again.” That could be news to Sutter, who says when Ryder must return is not for public consumption. “He’s under contract,” the GM says. “He’s a suspended player who’s under contract. I don’t think it changes my view (of him) at all. You’re dealing with young men, not National Hockey League players. You’re dealing with boys who are trying to decide whether they can make the commitment to play at the next level. “Not all of them can do that. Not all of them will do that. “I don’t think it’s got anything to do with (work ethic). I think it’s got to do with whether he wants to play hockey or not.” donniep@nl.rogers.com


34 • INDEPENDENTSPORTS

NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Hey Don: It’s not Hockey Fight in Canada By Chris Zelkovich Torstar wire service

By Doug Smith Torstar wire service

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magine watching a baseball game and hearing the announcers praise a pitcher for hitting a batter in the head. Then try to imagine them talking about how much the fans love a good bean-ball war and how it’s just what the game needs. It wouldn’t happen, of course. Neither would you hear football announcers calling for more clotheslines or basketball announcers singing the praises of flagrant fouls. But in the bizarre world of hockey, this is all part of the show and nowhere is it more in evidence than on Hockey Night In Canada. Take the Nov. 10 Rangers-Leafs game for example. It all started with some pre-game shoving between New York’s Sean Avery and Toronto’s Darcy Tucker, which prompted CBC to interrupt its pre-game show for comment from Don Cherry. The old fight promoter didn’t disappoint his legion of fans, berating the Leafs for not taking care of Avery and adding that his old Boston Bruins would have knocked the Ranger forward out of action for six months. Not surprisingly, the two came to blows during the game, which really got the CBC crew excited. After calling the tussle as if it were a championship fight, announcer Bob Cole could barely contain his enthusiasm. “So this is going to get the crowd going,” he gushed as cameras showed delirious fans and appreciative players. “There may be more to come later on tonight. Gotta get them going somehow.” As if fans somehow didn’t get the point, analyst Harry Neale then pointed out that this really got the fans and players going. Is this game so boring that it needs two guys staggering around the ice

Players, fans fear for lives after blast on court during Israeli league game

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Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry gestures while speaking to journalists on Parliament Hill. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

while throwing punches to get fans excited? Needless to say, the fight was the main subject of Coach’s Corner, which started out with Cherry decrying the pre-game foolishness. But before viewers wondered if the world had tilted on its axis, Cherry got to his real point: there should have been a brawl then and there. More importantly, the Leafs should have dressed designated goon Wade Belak to settle matters. “If the instigator rule wasn’t in you could get this guy and wipe him out,” Cherry thundered, apparently not

sated by the first-period fisticuffs. “This is what’s bad about hockey when you have a little guy yapping around and you can’t do anything about it.” That Cherry would call for more violence is hardly surprising. After all, while listing Eric Lindros’ credentials for Hall of Fame consideration later in the segment he included, “put out (Ulf) Samuelsson, remember, broke his shoulder.” But you’d think a show that features fresh-faced young kids to open the show every Saturday might think about toning it down a bit.

moke. Explosion. Blood. Panic. Fear. A frightful scene in a Jerusalem gymnasium, when terror met sports, the worst nightmare for athletes normally inured to the possibility that danger from the outside could invade their world. For P.J. Tucker, the former Raptor trying to cling to a professional basketball career in the Jerusalem suburb of Holon, the moment was simply frightening. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told Eran Soroka, a journalist who covers the Hapoel Holon team. “We thought somebody shot us.” It remains unclear what possessed a 20-year-old to toss the firecracker on the court 90 seconds from the end of a game between Hapoel Jerusalem and Holon Nov. 11. Yossi Malakh is in custody in Jerusalem and may never admit precisely why he did what he did, but it set in motion a chain of frightening events that ended with a security guard’s hand blown up, two of his fingers severed, an arena of fans in panic and players fearing — momentarily — for their lives. Even in Israel, where citizens live with the spectre of terrorist attacks hovering over them daily, it was too much. It was basketball. And basketball is supposed to be free of such horror. “That’s never happened before,” says Toronto’s Anthony Parker, who played six seasons for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli league. “Usually when they throw anything on the floor, it’s not something that blows up. Maybe one of those little flares or something, or a piece of paper but that’s just — I don’t know — too much.” It might be enough to bring Tucker back home, to some North American minor league where he can try to work his way back to the NBA, where fan violence is practically nonexistent, where the thought of a firecracker — or some other bomb-like device — going off is unimaginable. “My girlfriend was supposed to come to Israel next week and now she doesn’t want to,” Tucker told the Israeli journalist Soroka. “Right now, I’m here and I’m just taking everything day after day.” Holon officials acted swiftly to ensure the players would be given

whatever assistance they needed. There was a two-hour team counselling session Nov. 12 and team owner-managercoach Miki Dorsman has demanded better protection for his players and steadfastly supports whatever decision the American-born players reach — even if it means disbanding his team. “There are a few foreign players who are undecided,” he told the Haaretz newspaper. “We decided that if one of them leaves, we will all leave with them.” The explosion, by far the most serious incident at an Israeli league basketball game, has led to calls from all quarters for increased security. It has been difficult in the past to attract American-born players to Israel, precisely because of the threat of violence that pervades the area. Parker, a huge supporter of Israeli basketball who remains close friends with several former Maccabi teammates, and fellow Raptor Maceo Baston say the incident is so isolated, it shouldn’t deter others from going or Tucker from staying. “I was never worried, that’s why it caught me off guard that it got that close to the players on the court,” says Baston. “I never felt scared or anything; that was one of my fears, that I would be, but luckily in three years I never witnessed anything like that. “We went through some pretty big rivalries with Hapoel Tel Aviv team, or Jerusalem, we had some pretty intense battles but nothing other than flares going off. Nothing like this.” “I can see if it was my first year over there and something like that happening it would really shake me up but it’s not something that you have to be afraid of,” Parker says. “It’s not something like suicide bombers bombing next to your house. It’s not one of those situations.” Security at Israeli games is not unlike security at NBA games. Fans undergo a rudimentary search of bags and backpacks, although that’s certain to be tightened in the wake of the Nov. 11 incident. Fans of all sports in that area of the world and Europe are known for their passion and emotion but the Sunday scare went far over the line. “I remember we were in Greece and they started throwing lighters and coins and spitting on you,” says Parker. “I mean that was worse than anything that happened to me in Israel.”

‘Is he an early or late birthday?’ From page 31 Tony Manning gladly explained that a late birthday meant Krista was a November baby, playing against kids sometimes nine or 10 months older than her. If you look at the development of children, you can see what a difference nine or 10 months can make. Since that conversation, I’ve always looked at athletes differently. I assume because there are late birthdays there are also early birthdays. A child born in November and December is almost automatically at a disadvantage, I thought. Conversely, Wayne Gretzky, a Jan. 26 birthday, would obviously dominate, since he was older than most of the kids he played against. Of course, there were always exceptions. Amazingly, many people I spoke to who had kids involved in sports knew of this phenomenon, and some even admitted to timing the birth of their babies around an early calendar date to gain some sort of advantage when the child began in sport. (A January baby would surely be stronger and better, they rationalized.) Then when my own child (September, in case you were wondering: a

belated Christmas present — wink, wink, nudge, nudge) became involved, it became more prevalent. Another parent would first ask how old the child is, and then the inevitable question would follow: “Is he an early or late birthday?” ‘SMARTER’ CHILDREN This phenomenon extended beyond the boundaries of sport, and overlapped into the school system. Kids who weren’t at the top of the class, it was surmised, were often the late birthdays. The “smarter” children, the reasoning went, had seven or eight months more development than these other children, and would obviously be better equipped to handle schoolwork. Is there any truth to the late birthday system? I’m not sure. I’ve coached kids who were smart and talented — and born in November. I’ve also had players born in January who weren’t so co-ordinated. I think it’s got more to do with genetics and interest than birthdates and timing. Would I ever “plan” for an early birthday so my child can dominate his age group peers? No, but I’m not one of those crazy sports parents either. donniep@nl.rogers.com


NOVEMBER 16, 2007

Dirty dissing By Rosie DiManno Torstar wire service

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ll the evidence of concussion aside, some hockey players have thin skins and thick noggins. Sean Avery, for one, is a blockhead. Magpie Avery trash-talked his way into an out-ofpocket $2,500 fine from the NHL — a pittance for a pro athlete — over the war of words that segued into a warm-up melee last Saturday night, Leafs hosting Rangers. Both New York and the Leafs must pony up, 25 and 10 large, respectively, presumably for failing to control their combustible hirelings but, more generically, for embarrassing the sport. Darcy Tucker, largely reformed hellion, is on the hook for a grand. Circle Dec. 6 on your calendar: DDay rematch for the clubs, at Madison Square Garden. It’s peculiar that some taunting is considered beyond the pale, even amongst yammer-jammer jocks, and Avery fails the tolerance smell-test for allegedly rounding his mosh-mouth on Jason Blake. The Leaf forward is coping, admirably, with leukemia. That was apparently fodder enough for Avery, chatter-jerk, and Tucker took exception on behalf of his teammate. Yet even Avery’s colleagues appear offended by the low-blow, one Ranger telling The FAN’s Howard Berger, reportedly, the comments were “offside.’’ Avery crossed The Line. For civilians, it’s difficult to ascertain where The Line is drawn. It keeps shifting. Years ago, there was a Leaf who regularly flung the gloves in the faceoff circle, even before the puck was dropped. The player would go into a red mist every time an opponent made a crack about his wife, a then nice lady who’d been an “Arena Annie’’ in younger days. She’d “done’’ a slew of junior players before latching onto her ticket out of small-town Canada. “How’s -----?’’ they’d needle. “She still got that cute little mole on her butt?’’ I fail to see how this is less provocative than racist slurs, upon which sports federations do often act. Raptor Oliver Miller, a black man, was crucified for verbally teeing up Chicago Bulls centre Bill Wennington a decade ago, vowing to “kick your white ass,’’ the threat picked up by TV microphones. The ass-kicking was not the problem. The “white’’ descriptor was. “If he was black, I would have said the same thing about his black ass,’’ Miller insisted. Avery — who issued a statement denying the Blake cancer aspersion — is purportedly an every-whichway offender, accused of maligning those visor-wearing francophone players and tossing racial pejoratives at Georges Laraque, who’s black. And last week he picked on Gary Roberts for being old — which is true — suckering the veteran into a double-minor penalty. Tacitly, this may be the guy’s primary value to any team – his talent to nettle. But it’s no great skill. In the spirit of free speech, I’ll say this. Sean Avery: You’re a schmuck.

INDEPENDENTSPORTS • 35


INDEPENDENTCLASSIFIED FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16-22, 2007 — PAGE 36

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2007-11-16