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Chef Roary MacPherson’s famous moose burgers

‘He got back his legs’ War vet forced to travel to States to save his legs; Veterans Affairs and MCP accused of refusing to cover $85,000 bill, only amputations paid for



tephen Richard Jarvis is a decorated veteran of the Second World War. He was a Newfoundland Ranger for three years, and then a member of the RCMP for 32. He retired from the force and went on to work at the provincial and Supreme courts. At age 65, he retired for good. After a life of public service, he and his family wonder why no one — not MCP, not the Department of Veterans Affairs — is willing to step up and help pay for the medical procedure that saved Jarvis’s legs. The vascular laser treatment Jarvis underwent so successfully is only available in the United States. Jarvis’s daughter, Beryl Belbin, a nurse, calls the results “nothing short of a miracle.” Her father is now virtually pain-free, and able to walk without a cane for the first time in years. But it cost the family $85,000. If Jarvis had opted to stay at home and follow the treatments offered in St. John’s — pain medication and, likely, eventual amputation — all operations, hospital

stays, prosthesis and therapy would have been paid for. Belbin estimates the cost to the government, let alone her father’s quality of life, would have been several times that $85,000. “The recovery was quick, it was surprising,” says Jarvis, an elegant and softspoken man. “I was up and about the next day. Before I went, every morning my legs would be turning purple. Misery, that’s all you could call it.” His wife, Ethel, agrees. “His feet were always icy cold. And, my dear, it’s not a pleasant thing to live with someone living with pain and you can’t help them, all you can do is give them painkillers. “I feel like I finally got my husband back.” Jarvis, 86, suffers from peripheral vascular disease, a broad term referring to diseases of the circulatory system outside the heart and brain. It results in a gradual buildup within blood vessels — arteries narrow, weaken, and eventually become blocked. In Jarvis’s case, it was particularly serious in both legs, with a 10-inch blockage in his right thigh and a nine-inch blockage

Stephen Richard and Ethel Jarvis outside their Mount Pearl home.

Lots of dough Province releases first constituency allowance receipts; former premier Grimes spent thousands on donations and dinners By Stephanie Porter The Independent


t’s a bit like reading someone’s diary: finding out where he eats, how much he tips, where he drives, what causes he supports. This week, The Independent takes our first in-depth look at constituency expense claims — claims that, until last month, had been kept from public view. Thanks to the continuing fallout from Auditor General John Noseworthy’s investigations into MHA spending, as of last month all their expense claims are accessible under the province’s Access to Information rules. In the case of former premier Roger Grimes — whose expense claims were the first released to The Independent — that includes lunches at the Sundance in St. John’s, a order of 181 jumbo pizzas from Pizza Pros and hundreds of dollars for a T-bone steak barbecue in his district. The Independent has filed requests to look through the constituency allowance claims for most provincial politicians who sat in the House between 1989 (when the allowance was brought in) and 2007. The newspaper will report constituency allowance details as the files are made available by staff of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy office. The breakdown of Grimes’ con-

stituency allowance spending was for the period between 2003 and his resignation in 2005. Although few, if any, of his claims fall outside the lax rules governing expenditures of the time, it makes for fascinating reading. Between March 31, 2003 and the end of the calendar year — which includes his final six months as premier — Grimes shelled out $12,000 in what appear to be donations. That includes claims like $300 towards a school flag for Botwood Collegiate; $500 to the Bishop’s Falls Minor Hockey Association fundraising golf tournament; $500 to place a sign on the Exploits Speedway (but not the $402.50 to make the sign); $250 for Children’s Wish Day 2003; $1,500 for canvas registration bags for CBA High School reunion; $600 to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; $300 to the Town of Point Leamington for repairs to the softball field and playground; and a long list of other monetary gifts (sometimes in the form of ads in programs or on placemats) to sports associations or district festivals. That $12,000 doesn’t include thousands of dollars in other district spending that year: $600 to the Town of Point Leamington to provide two weeks office administration work to a constituent — just enough to top up that person’s EI claim; $1,429 for a See “I donated” page 7

See “It skinned,” page 4

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

Doin’ fine till 2009? “I can’t say for sure whether one of our officers has drawn one or threatened a suspect with one, but no one has actually been zapped.” — RNC spokesman Const. Paul Davis. See page 13


Janet Peter’s awardwinning mummers GALLERY 22

Dramatic figures and toy soldiers by John McDonald Patrick O’Flaherty . . . . . . . . . Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woody’s wheels . . . . . . . . . . . Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

13 24 29 32 33

MHAs continue with ‘gold-plated’ pension plan for foreseeable future IVAN MORGAN


t appears the province’s MHAs will continue to earn a “gold-plated” pension plan until as late as 2009 when reforms are implemented. Those reforms — the need for which were outlined in a recent report into political pay by Chief Justice Derek Green — could take more than a year to complete, and the start date is still up in the air. In his landmark report released in June, Green recommended the province develop a new, less lucrative pension plan more in line with both the province’s public service pension plans and reformed political plans across Canada. But it appears reforms won’t happen any time soon. In his report, Green wrote that MHA pensions are generous in comparison to other public sector plans. An MHA is entitled to 81.2 per cent of their highest political salary over a three-year period. Based solely on an MHA’s base pay of $92,580, a member would qualify for a pension of roughly $75,000 a year. By comparison, the average annual public service pension is $10,000, says Ralph Morris, president of the local representing NAPE pensioners. He says public service pensions range from $1,400 a year to $60,000. Green recommended the MHA pension plan be switched from the

existing defined benefits plan to a defined contribution plan, whereby pension contributions are matched by public funds 50-50. To qualify, an MHA must be elected twice and serve five years in the House. Age and years of service must also add up to 60. Green outlines a timeline for reform, recommending the striking of a members’ committee on salaries, benefits and allowances. He also advised the committee be given the financial resources to get outside advice on new pension plans, and then make recommendations based on that advice. Legislation says government must implement the recommendations within six months of receiving them. A spokesperson for the Speaker’s office says the Finance Department is preparing proposals to be reviewed by the committee. As stipulated under the act, the committee, which will be called the member’s compensation review committee, cannot be struck until the House of Assembly opens. The premier has said that won’t happen until the spring of 2008. A realistic timeline for this work could push implementation of a new pension plan for MHAs into 2009. Meantime, all MHAs continue to benefit from the old plan. Green recommended newly elected members in the Oct. 9 election qualify for the new pension plan. Adam Taylor, research director for Continued on page 5


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

‘Far too generous’ From page 1 the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, echoes Green, saying the current pension plan is overly generous and “gold-plated,” with taxpayers paying $4 for every $1 contributed by an MHA. “We just don’t think that that’s right,” says Taylor. “I know it’s exactly like the kind of plan we don’t like to see.” Taylor says his organization deems a defined contribution pension plan to be more appropriate. He notes that Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have defined contribution plans. Alberta got rid of

pensions for MLAs altogether, and B.C. just went back to its old pension scheme. OLD-STYLE PENSIONS East of Ontario, in Quebec and the Maritimes provincial politicians still enjoy old-style pensions along the lines of Newfoundland and Labrador’s, Taylor says. In his report, Green quoted the chair of a 1989 commission that looked into political pensions, noting the chair wrote that the word “pension” should not be used to describe what he said was more accurately a “retirement allowance” for provincial politicians.

Not only is the existing MHA plan generous, says Green, but expensive, having racked up an unfunded liability or debt of up to $65 million for which the province is on the hook. At the time, political pensions cost taxpayers more than MHA salaries. Taylor says federal MPs also still benefit from an “old-style gold-plated pension plan. “After 10 years of service often a (federal) politician has the same level of pension as a nurse would have after 30 years of service,” says Taylor. “It’s still far too generous.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Chief Justice Derek Green.

Paul Daly/The Independent

Now that we have money … N

ow that we have money government workers should get a big increase. The last set of negotiations resulted in a bad labour dispute, but cash cures all and memories are short. Memories will be even shorter if government employees get anything close to a 25 per cent wage increase over the next three years. Now that we have money we should build more modern schools. A lot of parents are looking for new schools and school renovations. A lot has been done but more is needed. Now that we have money we can finally fix the health care problems in our province. We must raise the salaries of health care workers and hire more nurses. Nursing shortages won’t go away without a quick cash infusion. Now that we have money we can attract more doctors to our shores and we can offer bigger bonuses to homegrown doctors so they will stay and practise in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Now that we have money our skilled trade workers can expect to be paid a competitive wage. They have been protesting their paltry pay and point out the obvious attraction of going west where the dollars are more and the taxes less. Now that we have money we can do something for public-service pensioners. They have been without an increase for years and are slowly but surely slipping into poverty. Adding a percentage or two to their bottom line would be a good thing. Now that we have money we can finally do something to restructure the fishery. We can help offset the costs of closing unneeded plants. By protecting plant owners from total loss we would protect future investment dollars. Now that we have money we can offer that long-awaited early retirement plan to older fish plant workers. It’s all part of industry restructuring of course, but even if Ottawa doesn’t come on side we can do it alone, can’t we? Now that we have money we can reverse those cuts to municipal operating grants. The cuts saw the amount of money going to our towns and cities drop by over 60 per cent in the last decade. Let’s reverse the trend and give the towns what they need. Now that we have money we can pave all those roads that need repaving and we can finish the Trans-Labrador Highway. A good transportation system is integral to economic recovery and we need pavement in every region of the province. Now that we have money we can


Page 2 talk finally offer free education to every student going to a trade school or university in the province. Such a move would be seen as an excellent economic-development tool as well as great social policy. Now that we have money we can drop some of those hated taxes. We can do away with the 15 per cent tax we pay on insurances. It’s not like this tax is part of the HST program. This one is entirely provincial and can be eliminated with the stroke of a pen. Now that we have money we can drop the tax on all forms of home-heating fuel. People feel as if they should not have to pay for heating in a climate like ours anyway. It would be a real boost for low-income earners if the tax were gone. Now that we have money we can drop the provincial tax on gasoline. Helping to reduce the costs of transportation is an essential requirement for economic renewal. Now that we have money we can drop the fees on just about everything we get from government; everything from a driver’s licence to a birth certificate. Why not provide it free of charge? Now that we have money we can pay down our multi-billion dollar debt. We must not hand off to future generations the bills of the past. By paying down the debt we will save even more money. Money that can be used elsewhere. Now that we have money we should implement a provincial pharmacare program with total drug coverage for everyone. People shouldn’t have to pay for needed drugs. Now that we have money we should subsidize the paper-making industry. Now that we have money we should provide for more government-sponsored job creation. Now that we have money we should increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour. Now that we have money we should move ahead with the lower Churchill project. Who needs Quebec anyway? Now that we have money we should … hold on one second here. How much money do we really have? Randy Simms is host of VOCM’s Open Line radio program. rsimms@nf.sympatico.ca

NOVEMBER 23, 2007



The Daily News, 1894

Dave Sullivan, Jonny Harris, Steve Cochrane and Phil Churchill are the Dance Party of Newfoundland.

A weekly collection of Newfoundlandia


irst things first: congratulations to the Dance Party of Newfoundland for winning the coveted Second City’s Best of the Fest Award for 2007 at the recent Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, Canada’s largest independent comedy festival. The Dance Party — Phil Churchill, Steve Cochrane, Jonny Harris and Dave Sullivan — were up against 44 other troupes and 200 funny men and women from all over North America, including L.A., New York, Chicago, Cleveland and on and on. Newfoundland Fear Factor has to be one of the Dance Party’s funniest skits, where Cochrane dares Harris to eat a raw hotdog for $50. Nothing daring about that, only poor ol’ Jonny doesn’t know where the hotdog has been (and it’s been around). In a preview earlier this year of upcoming acts, Steve Heisler of Timeout Chicago, an online entertainment guide, questioned how the Dance Party’s particular brand of comedy would go over, “despite the fact that, well, no one really knows anything about Newfoundland.” Cochrane says their brand of comedy is universal. “In Canada, we don’t do sketches that deal with racial issues, Christian rights stuff or bar mitzvah spoofs. Canada’s all hockey and cold plates.” Funny, he didn’t mention hotdogs … YUK YUK Tasers have been all over the news since the release of a video recently that captured the Oct. 14 death of Robert Dziekanski, a 40-year-old Polish construction worker, at Vancouver’s airport. Dziekanski died after being tasered, at least twice, by RCMP officers. It has made headlines around the world. On the local front, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has since suspended the purchase of new tasers and additional training. The following comment, by C.J. Watson, appeared this week on a popular mainland blog: “Newfoundlanders have always been the ‘dummies’ in Canadian jokes, kind of the way we tell Polish jokes. But apparently they are much quicker to catch on about the deadliness of tasers; once touted as an alternative to bullets and therefore save lives.” Compliments directed our way always seem to be backhanded … JELLYFISH ATTACK Tasers may be deadly, but so are jellyfish — to salmon anyway. The Associated Press reported this week that a salmon farm in Northern Ireland has lost its entire population of more than 100,000 fish, worth an estimated $8 million, to a spectacular jellyfish attack. The Northern Salmon Co. Ltd. said billions of jellyfish — in a dense pack of about 10 square miles and 35 feet deep — overwhelmed the fish in two net pens about a mile off the coast of

the Glens of Antrim, north of Belfast. Managing director John Russell said the company’s dozen workers tried to rescue the salmon, but their three boats struggled for hours to push their way through the mass of jellyfish. All the salmon were dead or dying from stings and stress by the time the boats reached the pens, he told the Associated Press. The species of jellyfish responsible, Pelagia nocticula — popularly known as the mauve stinger — is noted for its purplish night-time glow and its propensity for terrorizing bathers in the warmer Mediterranean Sea. No worries about swimmers here, though. The two species of jellyfish that frequent Newfoundland waters include the moon jellyfish and lion’s mane jellyfish. Neither species is known to gang up on farmed fish or bathers. A 2002 study by the federal Fisheries Department found that a Newfoundland jellyfish fishery wasn’t economically viable, even though processed or dried jellyfish is regarded as a snack food in many Asian countries. Pass the hotdog buns. Forget that, how about a fish stick … SEALING HER FATE Moving on to other sea creatures, Morgan Pumphrey of Quidi Vidi Village in St. John’s has published a new kids’ book, Littleseal, the life and adventures of a harp seal pup on ice floes on “the front” off the northeast coast. What’s unusual is that Pumphrey — from Higher Levels in Town — is dead set against the hunt, long considered a Newfoundland birthright. (I don’t want to give the cute little story away, but Littleseal is eventually separated from his pelt.) Pumphrey expects some flak — there’s a cartoon in the back of the book of her being interviewed by VOCM, NTV and CBC with a hakapic through her skull. Morgan, who soon turns 64, has been married to Ron Pumphrey, well-known writer and one-time radio talk show host, for 27 years. Morgan makes it a point to note that her husband “is not, and never has been, against the seal hunt.” Morgan — who published the book with her own money and hopes to have it in stores soon — says she and Ron don’t fight over the seal hunt, which “shows the calibre of man he is.” He’s no jellyfish, in other words … REPORT CARD DAY Maclean’s Nov. 19 edition includes its 17th annual ranking of Canadian universities, with Memorial placing in the middle of the pack. In a “national reputational ranking” of 47 universities across the country, Memorial placed 21st in terms of Best Overall; 21st for Highest Quality, 20th for Most Innovative, and 17th in terms of Leaders of Tomorrow. In terms of an average grade entering university, Memorial students

Brad Hodder photo

recorded an 80 per cent, ninth out of 37. As for the percentage of students who actually graduate, 51.8 per cent of Memorial students who began their first year in 1997 graduated by 2004. (Memorial placed 15th out of 18 in that particular category.) Tuition is still cheap. At $3,019 (that includes tuition and compulsory fees), Memorial placed fourth out of 61 universities ranked across the country. Sherbrooke, Que. had the lowest tuition at $2,225, despite the fact it has lifted a 13-year freeze on tuition. Considering Danny has already promised $1,000 to parents who have a kid, maybe he’ll throw in another grand to put away for school … BOUGHT AND PAID FOR What was also worth noting about the Maclean’s special edition on university rankings was the centrefold advertisement paid for by the Canadian Forces. “Study for free with the Canadian Forces,” it reads. “An education paid by the Canadian Forces allows you to reach a higher level in your military career.” Only the fighting could get you killed … GENERAL ON DECK Our own General Rick Hillier, chief of Canada’s defence staff, was in Town recently drumming up support for Canada’s continued role in Afghanistan. Independent columnist Noreen Golfman set off a firestorm of reaction earlier this year when she wrote a piece critical of Rick Mercer and other “star Newfoundlanders” who flew over to Afghanistan last Christmas to entertain the troops. She didn’t question that so much as when it became acceptable for “your garden variety progressive, satire-loving celebrity to hug the troops, praise military actions, and pass the ammunition without so much of a hint of dissent or any questioning of the value of the mission.” Keep that in mind the next time Rick’s in town … ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

AROUND THE WORLD The people of Harbour Grace intend on giving their khaki boys a good reception when they return from South Africa. Private Downie was expected there on Saturday but as he did not arrive the celebration has been postponed until he does. — Daily News, St. John’s, Nov. 19, 1900 AROUND THE BAY The big sea of Wednesday and Thursday covered a good deal of damage at Shoal Bay near Petty Harbour. Mr. Rideout lost his boat, Hy. Fitzell lost his stage and considerable fish in it, and stages were lost by John Howlett and others. The sea made a clean lurch over the places and hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage was done. — Fishermen’s Advocate, Port Union, November, 1917 YEARS PAST The popularity of the Entertainments of Professor MacEvoy and family seems each night to increase. This is attested by the thronged houses they continue to attract. The doors are besieged every evening for hours before the time appointed for the Exhibition, and many are unable to obtain admission for want of room. The Professor announced last night that though he had made arrangements for leaving by the present steamer, he had been prevailed on to prolong his stay, and that after two more Entertainments, they would visit Harbour Grace. — The Newfoundlander, St. John’s, November, 1862 EDITORIAL STAND Last time I mentioned a few of the rotten tricks pulled by the missions and to further illustrate what I mean here are a few more that I failed to mention last time. A few years back when fox skins and other pelts were fetching record high prices, one Eskimo hunter had an exceptionally good year. The local Moravian missionary told the Eskimo that he was taking a short vacation in Germany and that he would take his furs and get him a far better price than

he would get from the local fur trader. Well that was the last the Eskimo ever saw of his furs. The minister and his money simply vanished. Take for instance a young unwed mother who gave birth to a child in Hopedale, and because the father was a serviceman and had left the base, the minister refused to baptize her child or even give her a birth certificate, thus preventing her from receiving family allowance benefits for her baby. Even when they can’t rob and cheat these people, they seem to find other ways to hurt them. — The Labrador News, November 10, 1965 LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor — These are the direct taxes which Newfoundland taxi operators have to pay yearly: five cents sales tax on $3,300 car: $165; 19 cents per gallon tax on gasoline: $128; parts, tires and oil, five per cent on $250: $12.50; town council permit: $10; public utilities permit: $2; licence for car and driver: $22; direct taxation within the province: $439.50 yearly. Most taxi operators in Newfoundland have to buy a new car yearly, not because it is worn out, but because it is broken up by the type of roads the provincial government provides. If the taxi driver happens to get any Government business he has to wait from three to six months to collect his bill. Why is Joey trying to run Newfoundland taximen out of business? — The Examiner, St. John’s, Nov. 26, 1960 QUOTE OF THE WEEK The case against the prisoners having been opened, John Warner, the approver, was brought into court. He is a stout man, about 35 years of age, middle height, with broad chest and shoulders, a large head set on, with a full plump face, high cheekbones, a tolerably good forehead, dark complexion and bright black eyes. He wore a small military moustache, and the general expression of his face was one of stolid indifference. When brought into the presence of the prisoners, he coloured very slightly, but gave his evidence with firmness, at one time almost amounting to bravado. — The Standard and Conception-Bay Advertiser, Harbour Grace, Nov. 15, 1865


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

‘It skinned us alive’

Paradise schooled

From page 1

ll’s well on the education front in Paradise. The province has confirmed funding of $28 million to build two new schools in what’s been branded one of the fastest growing communities in Atlantic Canada. A plan to build a new $14-million K-

in his left, among others. “For about 15 years now, he’s been having pain in his legs,” says Belbin. It got worse earlier this year. “He was just falling … we took him to a vascular surgeon, and it was more or less ‘there’s not much more we can do for you, keep you on pain control,’ and that’s it. And eventually, you know, his legs were going to rot, with no blood supply to his lower limbs.” By last summer, Jarvis’s family worried they were about to lose him. “He had good days, but he had bad days as well, where he’d be eating the Atasol-15, the pain was so severe. It clouded his judgment and … he’d just sit there,” says Belbin. “He said to me in the summer, ‘I’m not going to last the winter.’” Then the family came across a newspaper article, about a person from St. John’s who had a similar condition as Jarvis’s. That patient had travelled to Marquette General hospital in Michigan, where cardiologist Dr. William Jean used a relatively new laser treatment to help clear blocked arteries in the legs. Billed as a “minimally invasive procedure,” patients are usually able to return home the same day. Belbin began to research. Although the procedure was not available in Canada, it seemed to be having great success rates. The St. John’s resident referred to in the newspaper article was able to leave her wheelchair behind. “I called the hospital in Michigan, and they just asked for a referral. So we started working on it. We applied to MCP; we knew the cost was going to be high.” Jarvis had an appointment to meet Jean in Marquette in October. Although he hadn’t heard from Veteran’s Affairs or MCP, the family decided it was important to go anyway. Belbin and her husband accompanied Jarvis on the two-week trip Stateside. “I kept thinking, this is too little, too late for him,” says Belbin. “Everybody would like to have their parents forever, I know that, and everyone would like to have your parents not suffer pain. “I said ‘dad, we’re going down.’ I’m not waiting for MCP, I’m not waiting for DVA, because if we have to wait, well the wheels of the gods grind slowly. We’ll go down and have this done and deal with the fallout when we get home.” Jarvis underwent the procedure on Oct. 11 (it took four hours to clear

the arteries in his left leg) and Oct. 15 (three hours for his right). Both times, he stayed in the hospital one night, and was up and about the next day. “He has no pain now, and he sounds good,” says Belbin, still amazed. With one battle over, says Belbin, another is just heating up. On Nov. 8, the Thursday before Remembrance Day, Jarvis found out Veterans Affairs was refusing to cover the treatment. Janice Summerby, a spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Canada, says although the department would “never write off any case without hearing it fully,” the benefits they provide usually only extend to lowincome veterans, or those suffering service-related injuries. A spokesperson from MCP was not available for comment by press deadline. “This is limb salvage,” Belbin says. “MCP will cover the cost of having your legs off at the Health Sciences at the cost of about $10,000 a day … I’m a nurse and sometimes knowing too much is a hard thing. All I could see is my dad’s toes turning black and him having an infection and it killing him, and I thought, what an undignified way for this man to go when we can do something about it.” “The fight is not over yet. For one thing, you go to an ethics committee … the decision not to cover it is not ethical.” Belbin figures MCP doesn’t want to set a precedent by covering an outof-country procedure. She and other family members have begun lobbying both federal and provincial politicians to look at the case. Right now, the family has managed to pay off the $85,000, between the Jarvis’s savings account and more than one credit card. “It skinned us alive,” says Ethel Jarvis. “But he got back his legs … we’re hoping that DVA and MCP will eventually cover some of the cost. If they do, our insurance will come up with some money too. “When it came time to call to arms in 1939, they made no apologies for sending our men overseas to be killed or maimed. But now that this veteran needs some help … there’s nothing.” Whatever happens, says Belbin, she knows she and her family made the right decision to go to Michigan when they did. “I’m not expecting my dad to run a marathon, but he will walk around the block. And that is worth it all.”


Paul Daly/The Independent

Wealthy family of stranded Fermeuse sailor responds By Stephanie Porter The Independent


eorge Purdew is indeed who he says he is — but may not be as cut off from his family as he

says. That’s according to Stephen Purdew, George’s brother and the head of Champney’s Health, a multi-million dollar group of luxury spas in the U.K. George Purdew was the subject of the cover story, Stranded in Fermeuse, in the Nov. 16 edition of The Independent. Purdew said he had flown to the States last summer to pick up a 29-foot yacht, which he planned to sail home to the U.K. and sell for a profit. On the way, Purdew said, he hit a storm on the Grand Banks, called the Canadian Coast Guard and was towed into the nearest harbour. He said he arrived in Fermeuse with $30 and little else, and is now relying on the goodwill of locals and the bits of money he gets from collecting recyclables to survive. He’s been cut off from the family fortune, he said, because he doesn’t work in the family business. His mother, Dorothy Purdew, was recently listed as the 55th richest

Ryan Cleary, Editor-In-Chief ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca, Ext.29

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 5891, Stn.C, St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, A1C 5X4

NEWSROOM Stephanie Porter, Managing Editor stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca, Ext.28 Ivan Morgan, Senior Writer ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca, Ext.34 Mandy Cook, Reporter mandy.cook@theindependent.ca, Ext.26

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Family should be done by 2009. Paradise Elementary was closed one year ago after tests revealed mould and high levels of moisture in the walls. Since that time, about 600 students have been bused to schools in St. John’s and Mount Pearl.

George Purdew on his boat in Fermeuse.


PHONE 709-726-4639 FAX 709-726-8499

6 school was announced in August, but additional funding to replace Paradise Elementary ($12 million) and renovate Holy Family ($2 million) will bring the total investment to $28 million. The two new schools should be completed by 2011 while work at Holy

“We do not feel he has the skills for such a trip (across the Atlantic) and he would endanger himself and others in the process. It would be irresponsible.” Stephen Purdew speaking of his brother George woman in the U.K. Stephen Purdew confirms the stranded sailor on the Southern Shore is indeed his brother. “We were aware he was in Newfoundland,” writes Stephen in an e-mail to The Independent. “My mother in fact gave him money to enable him to travel to the U.S. and purchase a boat. The last contact we had from him was some two months ago when further monies were forwarded to him.

Brian Callahan, Reporter brian.callahan@theindependent.ca, Ext.62 Paul Daly, Picture Editor paul.daly@theindependent.ca, Ext.30 Nicholas Langor, Photographer nick.langor@theindependent.ca PRODUCTION John Andrews, Production Manager john.andrews@theindependent.ca, Ext.61

“The only recent contact we have had has been through various media when he has been trying to sell a story when all his claims have been fictitious. We reiterate that he has received money in the past, although he has not requested any financial assistance recently.” Stephen says he and his mother are concerned for George’s safety. “We would dissuade him from embarking on a sailing trip across the Atlantic, which we believe would be foolish and dangerous. We do not feel he has the skills for such a trip and he would endanger himself and others in the process. It would be irresponsible. “Finally, we are delighted he is alive and well.” Patrick Collins, a Canadian sailor currently based in St. John’s, has spoken to George Purdew and is also skeptical he’s ready to sail the Atlantic. Collins says Purdew’s boat is “a lake boat” and, among other things, he left the States without a life raft onboard. As of press time, George Purdew is still in Fermeuse and hoping to secure a work permit for the winter so he can repair his boat, eat, and get ready to set sail in the spring. stephanie.porter@theindependent.ca

Sarah Hansen, Graphic Designer sarah.hansen@theindependent.ca, Ext.27 ADVERTISING Sandra Charters, Advertising Director sandra.charters@theindependent.ca, Ext.25 Cass Halliday, Account Executive cass.halliday@theindependent.ca, Ext.57 Paul Schiavone, Account Executive paul.schiavone@theindependent.ca, Ext.23

CIRCULATION David Tizzard, Circulation Director dave.tizzard@theindependent.ca, 22 Karl DeHart, Circulation Manager karl.dehart@theindependent.ca, Ext.60 Kayla Joy, Circulation Coordinator kayla.joy@theindependent.ca, Ext.21 Rose Genge, Office Manager rose.genge@theindependent.ca, Ext.33

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


By Brian Callahan The Independent


ight years after he scraped, cut and hammered his way through old asbestosladen walls and ceilings at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s, Kevin Dunne worries that every breath he took then is catching up with him now. “I remember they used to put these little plastic gloves over the alarms so they wouldn’t go off (from the dust),” Dunne tells The Independent. “They gave us these little white masks, but you could still feel it in your throat at the end of the day.” He didn’t know it then, but “it” is the millions of asbestos dust particles that filled the air with each whack of a hammer or crack of a pipe. Dunne, now 48, his son, and his son’s friend — both 16 at the time — lived near the hospital and were hired by Emery Construction as casual labourers in 1999 to help renovate the building. For four months, they and others tore apart the old walls, ceilings and steam pipes in the kitchen area of the hospital as part of renovations and an overall consolidation plan of the former Health Care Corp. of St. John’s, now Eastern Health. Dunne says he never knew what asbestos was until he saw it referred to as “white gold” on work blueprints. When he asked, a foreman told him it was asbestos “and the walls were full of it.” Upon learning of its dangers, Dunne took it upon himself to read up on the cancer-causing agent. He then sought out the proper workplace employee incident/accident forms and filled them out. He made sure his son and son’s friend did the same — copies of which were supplied to The Independent. He says his health and that of his son and friend has been in decline ever since, although X-rays have yet to reveal any long-term effects. The stress and worry, however, has led to him being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He sees a psychiatrist regularly and takes numerous medications to deal with the worry and anxiety of developing asbestosrelated illness. “I was never sick a day in my life before I went to work there,” says Dunne, clearly highstrung and worried about the possible health repercussions. “Everything I do now is out of anger. I wants to know (about my health), but I’m scared to death to go to the doctor.” Dunne’s complaint to the provincial government in January 2000 led to a lengthy investigation. At the time, Environment and Labour Minister Oliver Langdon said the workers had nothing to worry about. “The department wishes to advise that based on the information it has reviewed up to now in respect of this issue, workers who worked or continue to work at St. Clare’s should not be concerned about health problems arising from

Kevin Dunne was exposed to asbestos during renovations to St. Clare’s hospital in St. John’s in 1999.

‘I feels dead inside’

Former hospital labourer fears fallout from asbestos exposure; Eastern Health takes no responsibility asbestos exposure,” Langdon said. In 2003, however, the health care corporation was convicted in provincial court and fined $6,000 for failing to have a proper asbestos abatement plan and program in place. The organization, which runs all hospitals in the St. John’s area, was also ordered to establish such a plan and hired staff to administer it. But Eastern Health spokeswoman Susan Bonnell says there was no order to followup with workers who were exposed to asbestos in its buildings. “They were not our employees, as I recall. So it doesn’t strike me as something that would be within our policy that we should be tracking or following up on those individuals,” Bonnell tells The Independent. “The issue of exposure … there did not seem

Asbestos testing for ferry workers


urrent and former Marine Atlantic employees will be tested for exposure to asbestos, the federal Crown corporation says. The decision was made after the union, which represents current and former workers on the MV Atlantic Freighter, learned the vessel was awash in the fire suppressant chemical. Crewmembers knew nothing of

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

the existence of asbestos until after warning stickers were recently posted on the ship. Asbestos has been proven to cause lung cancer. The 30-year-old MV Atlantic Freighter mostly transports socalled drop trailers for big rigs between North Sydney and Port aux Basques. Most of the asbestos is confined to the engine room and passageways.

to be any real exposure to those individuals.” It’s not clear how Eastern Health would know that, since there was no followup with the workers in question. “There certainly wasn’t any followup, to our knowledge. Do we feel any moral obligation to follow up with these people? I know that there was no requirement for us to do so. We paid whatever fines and followed whatever procedures the court (ordered). “We did what was required of us to do.” Bonnell says Eastern Health “takes the issue of asbestos abatement very seriously as an organization. “And we have, in fact, hired individuals who are now responsible for it.” Given their age, every building under Eastern Health’s authority has asbestos in it,

Bonnell says. “It’s everywhere. It’s a part of working and existing in older buildings. There were no charges laid against the organization related to individuals having high exposure. There may have been some trace exposure … as is always the case when you have that kind of experience. “But that was certainly not an issue for the courts.” Dunne believes it should be. “After eight years, now I’m at the point where I wants to know. I wants to know what this stuff did to me. I feels dead inside … like a car without a motor. “But I’m not here as a victim, I’m here as a survivor.” brian.callahan@theindependent.ca



NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Danny vs. Joey 39-3 in ’66 versus 44-3-1 today; Crosbie, Hickey, say Williams can learn from Smallwood election By Brian Callahan The Independent


From left, Aiden Flynn, Brad Hodder and Neil Butler star in Not The Real Noose, a combination sketch comedy/talk show/round table political/pop culture chat which plays at Rabbittown Theatre Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Showtime is 8 p.m. NIcholas Langor/The Independent

few days after he was returned to power with an overwhelming majority government, the premier strode into a buoyant caucus room and addressed the throng of MHAs. “Gentlemen, gentlemen,” he began, quelling the party-like atmosphere. “This has been a magnificent victory. But there is one caution … one thing we dare not forget. And that is, that we have nowhere to go but down.” That may have been more than 40 years ago, but the words of then-premier Joseph R. Smallwood are equally applicable today, say two former members of the House of Assembly. “There are people out there who see Premier (Danny) Williams as such a strong, strong leader, and that his cabinet and government are airtight. He’s been referred to as a one-man show,” says Tom Hickey, one of only three Tory opposition MHAs elected in the 1966 general election. “Smallwood was all of that, with one big exception — the political baggage he had at the time. I mean, Smallwood had 22 years under his belt up until then.” Both Hickey and John Crosbie, then a Liberal MHA and Health minister in Smallwood’s cabinet, readily acknowledge the parallels between then and now. The seat differential is very similar: 44-3-1 today versus 39-3 in 1966, a gap that, at the time, appeared safe and impenetrable. Yet only five years later, it was a dead heat at the polls — 21-21 — eventually decided in favour of the Progressive Conservatives by the Supreme Court. The sheer fickle and unpredictable nature of politics precludes Hickey and Crosbie from ruling out a similar fate for Williams in four years. “Mr. Williams is naturally combative and has lots of energy, willpower and speaking ability, so he’ll have to be careful not to be too dominant. It’s not in his interest,” Crosbie tells The Independent. “There are great perils for leaders of parties who get such majorities. It’s not easy to do, but he can’t come across as a bully.” That, says Crosbie, was a Smallwood trademark that contributed in large part to his defeat in the October 1971 general election. There was also a highly unpopular budget that slapped a tax on everything from fish and chips to bags of potato chips. “He acted dictatorially, and was in complete command and control. He wasn’t prepared to show any restraint and that kind of behaviour is a mistake. It turns people off.”

While he was not on the government side, Hickey says he and his two Opposition cohorts — Ank Murphy and Gerry Ottenheimer, both now deceased — could sense growing dissension within the Liberal ranks. In fact, by the time 1971 rolled around, the Opposition number had swelled to 11. Williams, of course, was forced to deal with controversial departures of his own in his first term — Beth Marshall from cabinet and Fabian Manning from caucus. “There was some sign of arrogance from some and there was recognition from others that, you know, those guys over there ... it’s not funny, boys,” Hickey recalls. “I mean they weren’t saying it, but when you talked to them behind the curtain, one on one, some were real gentlemen and not as partisan as the others.” Hickey agrees it’s not smart to continue bullying or kicking a party when it’s down. But he also believes Smallwood was clever to not always do that. “When I was speaking, some of his (members) were interjecting, as you would, but I caught (Smallwood) a few times giving them a bad look, you see? I could sense from his composure he wasn’t too happy with it. You know, it was more, ‘shut up boys and let him (speak). I think he was smart enough to know — especially with all the media up there watching closely — that this was not the time to be ganging up on those three guys over there. Those were the people’s choice. Have some Goddamn respect for them, or something like that.” Whether Williams retains the popularity and power he now wields will depend on how he treats the small Opposition as well as his own members, Crosbie says. “The public will be watching closely. If he makes it appear as though it’s too much power for one person, that won’t auger well in the future. “He should bend over backward to see that the Opposition is treated well and fairly so no one can say you’re attempting to bully them,” says Crosbie, noting neither he nor then-Labour minister Clyde Wells — both of whom left the cabinet in 1968 — “were given an office, not even a coat hook to hang our coats on. “We were very poorly treated. And of course we responded in kind, and it inspired us to give as ferocious an opposition as we could.” And that, says Hickey, is good advice for the current three Liberals and single NDP member. “The opposition now should not be underestimated.” brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


‘I donated when it was possible’ From page 1

ues Grimes, “I donated when it was possible … I thought it was probably better to give a couple hundred dollars to the boys and girls club or the figure skating club than to buy liquor … and entertain people in my home or out somewhere.” In the two full years of receipts examined, there was only one “alcohol-only” receipt for Grimes, dated May 13, 2005. Grimes spent $122.88 on two-dozen beer and six bottles of wine (no single bottle topped $14). The auditor general showed Grimes spent $679 in the alcohol-only category, 0.2 per cent of his total constituency allowance during 17 years as an MHA. Out of the fund, he also paid for some travel to his district and beyond, a couple dozen group meals (from coffee for two at Pasta Plus for $3.23 to dinner for 10 at Magnum & Stein’s for $407.86), hats, office rental, pins, flags and more. “Nowadays the rules have come full circle,” says Grimes. “When I started in politics in 1989 there was no capability

sound system for the Town of Bishop’s Falls; $2,079 for 181 Pizza Pros pizzas; and $773.82 for supplies for a barbecue (the receipts, including $609 for T-bone steaks, are made out to “Liberal Association,” Grimes says it’s an annual summer event, open to all constituents). In 2004-05, when Grimes was no longer premier, his donations dropped off significantly, to a little over $5,000. “I gave as much as anybody, I would guess,” Grimes tells The Independent. “Although my recollection of having seen the auditor general’s report is Premier (Danny) Williams donated as much in three years as I did in 17.” (According to Noseworthy’s report, Grimes claimed $37,290 in donations in his 17 years as an MHA, or 10.74 per cent of his total allowance; Williams donated $35,630 in five years, 24.26 per cent of his total allowance.) “But the fact of the matter is,” contin-

for private members in the House as MHAs to make donations. “That notion … really took flight, I think, during the Tobin era … where you were given a constituency allowance of a certain sum and you were responsible for using it to cover your expenses. “If you wanted to make donations, that was up to you, but realizing there was a limit to what you had all together.” He says he took advantage of the receipt-free “discretionary” amount allowed. He came to claim it at the beginning of the fiscal year, and “spend that much or more” over the course of the next 12 months on community events, tickets, fundraisers and so on. To that end, on April 1, 2003, he was approved for $5,500 in discretionary funds; on May 24, 2004, he was approved for $2,875. “It was just so you would have a bit of money in your pocket as you walked through the mall or people came knocking on your door,” Grimes says. “People

Roger Grimes

Paul Daly/The Independent

give to those things willingly, but as a member, the pressure was there to contribute to everything.” Grimes says he doesn’t believe donating to community groups would buy many votes — but he applauds most of the recent changes. “Through it all, the difficulty with it is the over-expenditure,” he says. “People, obviously, over time just got carried

away with it. “We always should have been held accountable to that level … if anyone from the press called and said, ‘You spent $40,000 this year, what’d you spend it on?’ We should have had to tell you. “I think the future will be better for that. And I think some people will make wiser decisions than some of us did over the last period of time.”

Constituency allowance: a brief history


he constituency allowance was, and still is, one part of every MHA’s expense account, designed to allow for flexibility, discretion, and the varying needs of different politicians. Today, it encompasses constituency expenses with the exception of travel, accommodation and meals. The allowance first appeared in 1989, in response to a recommendation of the Morgan Report, and the amount was to be determined by the Internal Economy Commission. In its first report in 1990, the IEC determined each MHA would receive $7,500 yearly for office expenses, advertising, Christmas cards, flags and so on. Members

were separately allowed a specific amount for travel, food and accommodations — different, depending on the size and needs of the district. As of March 31, 1997, expenses were handled differently — each district was assigned a specific amount of block funding, and the MHA could decide how best to spend it, taking into account travel and other demands. Of the block funding, each member was entitled to $2,000 a year, without receipts. That amount grew to nearly $5,000 before being abolished in 2004. After 2004, members were still given block funding, but all of it was to be receipt-driven.

Today — after auditor general John Noseworthy’s damning report, which found dozens of cases of double-billing, overspending and misspending, and Justice Derek Green’s 1,300-page report on legislative reforms — constituency allowance has been reduced to $3,000 for every member. It may include supplies for meetings or constituency events, newspaper subscriptions, equipment not provided by the House, certain travel, commemorative wreaths, and a few other items. The constituency allowance can no longer be used for alcohol, artwork, gifts, donations, financial or travel assistance for constituents, raffle tickets and so on.

EXPENSE CLAIMS Top 15 (non-travel or food-related) expense claims by Roger Grimes, fiscal year 2003-04 April 1, 2003 $5,500 Discretionary funds — no receipts Dec. 9, 2003 $4,146.70 FCM Fire Department: fan from Cohen’s and items from Home Hardware Store Sept. 30, 2003 $3,632.33 Office rental April-Sept. ‘03 June 11, 2003 $2,875 Town of Bishops Falls, tent for Fallsview Municipal Park June 24, 2003 $,2079.42 Pizza Pros, 181 pizzas July 21, 2003 $2,000 Botwood Women’s Institute, funding for Stretch and Sew course, fall 2003 July 24, 2003 $1,500 Canvas registration bags for CBA High School Reunion Nov. 19, 2003 $1,429 Anglican Sound System from Mayor Oliver Rose (Bishop’s Falls) Aug. 1-4, 2003 $1,000 Botwood Seaport Festival “Diamond Sponsor” July 25-28/03 $1,000 Fallview Festival, Bishop’s Falls for “advertising through local media” Aug. 5, 2003 $773.82 Public barbecue for constituency (receipts made out to Liberal Association – steaks, pork chops, etc.) Sept. 12-13/3 $600 Canadian Cancer Society – Relay For Life March 31, 2003 $600 Town of Point Leamington – two weeks work (EI top up) May 21, 2003 $500 Bishop’s Falls Minor Hockey Association fundraising golf tournament June 12, 2003 $500 Place sign on Exploits Speedway Top 20 (non-travel or food-related) expense claims by Roger Grimes, April 1, 2004 to June 2005. May 12, 2004 $2,875 Discretionary (no receipts) April 5, 2004 $2,219.42 Future Shop (Receipt illegible) Aug. 28, 2004 $2,118.30 Summer barbecue for constituency March 30, 2005 $1,470.85 Safety Marketing for 12 NL flags ($192); four Canadian flags ($64); 1,000 lapel pins ($400); four leather hats (moose) ($140); 12 fleece ($483) April 1, 2004 $500 Lung Association Oct. 26, 2004 $500 For Christmas cards Feb. 8, 2005 $500 South and Central Health Foundation Christmas Appeal June 17, 2004 $500 Literary development council Feb. 16, 2005 $460 Flag – disability awareness July 15, 2004 $400 Donation? (no receipts) July 9-25, 2004 $372.60 Newcap radio ads May 12, 2004 $348.35 Safety Marketing – 500 lapel pins, 100 flags Aug. 6, 2004 $300 Boys under-16 softball Summer Games team Oct. 4, 2004 $230 Boys under-18 Soccer Aug. 2, 2004 $230 Downhomer ad

We need a serious change.


Before something serious happens.




NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Fooling no one I

t’s a wonder Loyola Hearn can walk and talk without tripping over the federal puppet strings attached to his body, but then he has the local media, weak though they may be, to help him along. I hate to waste words on Loyola Hearn; the diagnosis was made ages ago about how he contracted John Efford Syndrome, a common affliction among Newfoundland politicians who swallow the federal hook, accidently or otherwise. (I’m no doctor, but the line and sinker wrapped around Hearn’s neck are obvious symptoms.) Our Southern Shore champion is turning from a joke to a danger. Hearn marked World Fisheries Day, Nov. 21, with a press release reflecting “Canada’s connection and responsibility to the international global fish stocks to ensure prosperous coastal communities and a sustainable source of the world’s protein.” Notice he didn’t say outports. Not much prosperity out their way. Rural Newfoundland is half dead from a slow starvation that began when the Grand Banks fish basket was finally emptied in the early ’90s. The empty basket has been firmly planted over Hearn’s head, which must make his strings that much harder to manoeuver around.


Fighting Newfoundlander Hearn went on to note how the steep drop in foreign fishing violations on the high seas in recent years is a sign that NAFO is working. NAFO, of course, stands for Not A Friggin’ ’Ope for the poor stocks once they cross the imaginary line that is the 200-mile limit. We stopped fishing 14 years ago; foreign fleets didn’t. The sound from Hearn’s trumpet is actually a death knell. The poor man must be deaf. I don’t doubt for a second that violations are down, but that’s not the whole story. There are fewer foreign factoryfreezer trawlers on the high seas these days because there are fewer fish to chase. That’s the simple fact. If we wake up tomorrow to find our fish basket once again full to the brim, the foreign pirates would be back quicker than Hearn could lick a Spanish boot. Canada wouldn’t be able to stop them, even if it wanted to — and it doesn’t. For the most part, the local media lets Hearn and his department away with the continued crime against Newfoundland.

Certain local reporters — partly lazy, partly apathetic, partly just plain ignorant — are happy enough to get a scoop from the federal minister, to regurgitate the federal pap that spews from his lips, as long as they’re fed. They’re careful not to push Hearn too hard, for fear he’ll cut them off from future front-pagers. Hearn’s news release made no mention of how the quotas on the high seas aren’t what they used to be, of how the stocks have been decimated, of how catches (illegal or otherwise) are a shadow of what they once were, of how palm-sized fish have become the catch of the day. It’s one thing for foreign trawlers to be cited for illegal fishing, but try finding out what penalties were imposed once they returned to home port. Good luck with that. Foreign fleets will never be kept in check until the coastal state is given the power to set and police quotas. It’s called custodial management, but more on that in a moment. The local media is still caught up in the argument over whose fault it is that the fisheries collapsed. We can all take the blame, Newfoundlanders and foreigners alike. Get past it. What’s certain is that NAFO has not and will never

work. Not for us. Not for the fish. Not ever. Hearn can fool himself, but he crosses the line when he tries to fool the rest of us. While foreign fishing citations may be down, citations aren’t normally handed out for overfishing quotas. Citations are most often issued when a vessel’s paperwork (logs, storage plans, etc.) are inaccurate or incomplete. Often they are procedural problems and, by DFO’s own admission, often not serious. Of course, there can be citations for more serious infractions such as illegal mesh or improperly labelled cargo. Citations aren’t normally given out for overfishing. Foreign boats don’t have quotas; their home countries do, which is what makes it especially difficult to monitor catches. The recent five-year recovery plan for turbot was a dismal failure, with scientists reporting an overfishing rate by foreign vessels during the “recovery” period of approximately 25 per cent. Unofficial reports are closer to 40 per cent. Scientists later recommended a further cut in turbot quotas for 2008, advice that was ignored by the aforementioned Not A Friggin’ ’Ope. Was there even a single citation issued

against a foreign trawler for overfishing turbot in the past five years? Pass that information along to the local media, Mr. Hearn. They’re sure to put it on the front page if you ask them nicely. The propaganda must stop. Hearn now says Canada is closer than ever to custodial management. I bet not a single NAFO-member country would agree with that statement. Hearn would back off in a second if Spain or Portugal raised a voice of dissension. Take that to the Grand Banks. In an ironic twist this week, at the same time Hearn was patting himself on the back (well, not so much Hearn as the strings attached to his arm), a union group representing hundreds of employees of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in this province — representing technicians, clerical workers and fisheries officers — called on the federal government to devote more resources to the conservation of fish stocks. The union produced a study that apparently shows Canadians are concerned about the protection of their natural resources. It remains to be seen how the puppet masters will react. ryan.cleary@theindependent.ca

YOUR VOICE ‘Undeniably a nation’ Dear editor, Jim McGrath, former lieutenantgovernor, is absolutely right when he says there are two distinct societies in Canada — Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador (What are we? Oct. 26 edition of The Independent). I’ve lived and travelled all across this country of ours, and one of the things that has long bemused me is that Quebec and Newfoundland are so similar, in so many ways, yet because of language and culture the vast majority of the populations in

both provinces will never recognize, nor admit that fact. What’s the principal thing they have in common? They’re both isolated, one by language, the other by geography. Both the Quebecois and the Newfoundlander live on the outside, and neither is too interested in fitting in. Newfoundland, like Quebec, is undeniably a nation, within the Confederation of Canada. Lee White, North Bay, Ont.

Where the ‘real debate’ will be Dear editor, Just what will we do with all this (lower Churchill) power when it is brought home to the island? (Power lines, Nov. 9 edition by Ryan Cleary.) Maybe turn the lights back on in abandoned outport houses or better still give it to Abitibi to keep the mill going in Stephenville? We developed

1,900 megawatts of power in Bay d’Espoir and what industries were attracted here other than the subsidized phosphorus plant at Long Harbour? That is where the real debate is going to be. Angus Campbell, Mount Pearl

‘Premier journalist’ Dear editor, Another marvelous piece of work by Stephanie Porter (Stranded in Fermeuse, Nov. 16 edition). I remember the article on the homeless and emailed her on the excellent job done

there and assured her that her personality combined with her writing skills will make her a premier journalist. Paul Mullins, Hartwick, New York

‘Thought-provoking presentation’ Dear editor, I’m writing to let you know that the Nov. 9 article by Susan Rendell, Life in the Cuckoo’s Nest, struck a chord with me and was quite pertinent to a topic under discussion at First United Church in Corner Brook. The article highlighted the need for better support and options for those affected with

mental illness. I am passing this article along to the Church in the World Committee, of which I am a member, and possibly to other members of the congregation. Thank you for the thought-provoking presentation of this important topic. Judy May, Corner Brook

‘Remember Norman Reid’ Dear editor, unable to get any help from the airport A few days ago I watched a story on staff — she was told her son did not the news about a Polish person being arrive. killed at the Vancouver airport at the Picture yourself in a strange country hands of four RCMP unable to speak the lanofficers. I couldn’t guage and nobody there believe my eyes. We Picture yourself in willing to help you for are supposed to be liv10 hours without any a strange country food or drink. How ing in a civilized country, but that picture cerwould you feel or react? unable to speak tainly didn’t portray When this person got that. agitated none of the the language … This all started when workers at the airport the Polish man came to offered to help him. The Canada to live with his mother. Not RCMP was called in, which is where knowing any English, he was told by the story gets ugly. Why do four RCMP his mother to stay in the baggage area officers have to taser a person, surely until she arrived to pick him up. When four RCMP Officers can handle a sinshe did — after spending a lot of time gle unarmed person without using a in the airport looking for him, and taser. Then when the person is on the

‘Grope and pail slop’ Dear editor, Re: Power lines, a Nov. 9 column by Ryan Cleary … better than any “grope and pail slop” coming out of


The Independent is published by Independent News Ltd. in St. John’s. It is an independent newspaper covering the news, issues and current affairs that affect the people of Newfoundland & Labrador.

‘I am from Terra Nova’

central Canada these days. Very well said, Mr. Cleary. Calvin Haul, Cambridge, Ont.

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

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

ground struggling in agony four officers pounce on top of him. A pretty ugly picture! It brings my memory back to the Norman Reid case in the Bonavista area a few years ago, where Norman was shot five times by one of the three RCMP Officers on the scene. I have always had a lot of respect for our police force, they have a tough job to do, but there are some that should not be allowed to serve because they are not qualified to handle the job. Remember Norman Reid, the situation in Vancouver is something that cannot be tolerated and these people must be punished to the full extent of the law. Or are they above the law? Captain Wilfred Bartlett, Brighton

‘The same boat as Joey’ Dear editor, Re: Ryan Cleary’s Nov. 9 column, Power lines: I have often heard it said, “In 2041 Newfoundland and Labrador will get the Churchill Falls back.” I don’t really understand that comment. Does it mean that at some point in our history somebody (i.e. Quebec) came across the border and stole the upper Churchill and that in 2041 we are going to go back across the border with a UHaul or something and take it back? I don’t think so. The fact of the matter is that Quebec — whether it’s part of Canada or not, is not going anywhere and neither is the upper Churchill. In 2041, if nothing is done, Newfoundland and Labrador will be pretty much in the same boat as Joey Smallwood was in 1969. Joe Butt, Toronto

Dear editor, I am writing to respond to Greg Whelan’s Nov. 9 letter/conversation, Where in the world is Newfoundland? Though I want to write a full story for the Independent’s Voice-fromaway section (I am working on it now), I could not wait to respond. I am laughing so hard now that my office mates once again think I am completely nuts. I do not know how many times I have that exact conversation each day, but in Spanish not Portuguese. I am fortunate that there is a Canadian presence here so when I respond that I am from Canada there are no horrible confusions with the U.S. Peruvians know the difference. These questions usually follow an introduction: Peruano: Oh Canada, it is very cold there, ice all the time. Me: Well, in the winter. We do have summers. Peruano: Hmm, you are from Toronto? Me: No, Terra Nova, it’s an island in the Atlantic. Peruano: An island? Oh, very cold

there. Me: Yes, in the winter. Peruano: You have Eskimos then? Me: No, but there are native peoples in the province. Peruano: In igloos? Me: No, in houses. Peruano: And you speak French? Me: No, English. Peruano: But Canada is French (a great number of volunteers here are from Quebec). Me: No, only three provinces out of 10 (and yes I admit to the ridiculous truth that I studied French for 10 years). I am also trying to do my part to spread the word, and doing what I can to whip out the photos any chance I get. I seem to be making an impression, as many people who I have talked to have picked up the fact that when asked I respond that I am from Terra Nova, at which point they ask what country that is. The conversation ends in me having to explain my way out of why I answered Terra Nova and not Canada. Steph Stoker, Peru

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Be nice


s I get older the personality trait I most cherish in others is decency. Ten years ago I would have rated intelligence as the highest value — and don’t get me wrong, it’s still up there in my books — but decency has closed in fast as the years pass. A national newspaper columnist wrote recently about a study she had encountered that claims to have evidence that men prefer women who are less intelligent than they are. She quotes another study that claims the ratio of women’s breast-to-waist sizes is indicative of their intelligence, as in the larger the smarter . . . She went there. I’m not. What interested me was her focus on intelligence. Aside from how and why anyone chooses anyone else for a mate — and I welcome letters from anyone with even the remotest insight in that particular area — I wonder why she, and by default the authors of the studies she quoted, were not interested in examining other qualities people might find


Rant & Reason desirable in others, such as decency, civility or thoughtfulness. They were all stuck on intelligence. Regardless of whether one is seeking a romantic partner, a friend, or whatever, I wonder if this is the ultimate measure of a person. For that matter, what is intelligence? There are so many different types. I knew a fellow with the social skills of a stick who was revered by our teachers because he could do calculus in his head. That was one type. I possessed another type, the kind that could explain to him why the other kids pounded him daily. Civility and decency are qualities I think are undervalued. In some cultures

— like the English and the Japanese — they are important values, which is why I am drawn to those cultures. But in the long run these traits aren’t cultural traits, but human ones that bond people together. How important they are was brought sharply home to me about a decade ago. I am blessed with an odd sort of memory that allows me to recall clearly things that happened to me even when I was three or four years of age. Old people — which in the days before I went to school was practically everyone — were a bewildering lot to me. My parents, my grandparents, neighbours and other grown-ups were hard to decipher. But Dallas? My heart leaps at the name 40 or more years on. She was a relative who, while an old woman, was far and away my favourite grown-up. To this day I can see her sunny face shining down at me. Imagine my shock when, well into my 30s, I mentioned her fondly at a

YOUR VOICE MHAs thought they were sheiks Dear editor, Editor Cleary has dug up the golden nugget in our MHA pension plan. Robin Hood was never so lucky. A plan that really is a scheme. Considering a politician’s total salary package exceeds $90,000, he or she will receive a golden handshake when they leave office of 81.2 per cent of their total salary. The pensions of cabinet ministers will be higher. Who in the name of God concocted a scheme that would give a politician 82.1 per cent of a bloated salary? This is a repulsive and revolting situation found in banana republics. If this insane revelation does not rattle your moral bones, nothing can. Taxpayers should demand a pension recall and a new plan designed, one based on worth, honour, honesty and fairness. The present plan — secretly drawn over a period of years by an all-party committee who believed they were sheiks — creating a pension that is both outrageous and sickening to

Jim Combden, Badger’s Quay

Chris Wattie/Reuters

‘Scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money’ Editor’s note: the following letter was published in the Nov. 17 edition of the National Post, with a copy forwarded to The Independent. Dear editor, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Professor David Johnston to decide how the public inquiry into the financial dealings between

Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber should be conducted. Professor Johnston would, after careful consideration of all the facts, do the country a great service by recommending that a commission of inquiry is unnecessary and a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money. Burford Ploughman, St. John’s

Reform the Senate but don’t rush Dear editor, Walter Noel’s letter regarding an elected Senate (‘We have to work for a reformed Senate’, Nov. 16 edition) makes the issue sound simple enough and attempts to dismiss those who would suggest otherwise. I beg to differ. While I agree the Senate is not serving any democratic purpose, one must be careful when suggesting changes. To provide democratic legitimacy to the Upper Chamber without changing its power and authority will radically change the political and democratic landscape of the country. Do we want the Senate to maintain this power in an elected form? The Constitution would also have to be amended to ensure all provinces were members of specific Senate divisions. In 1949 Newfoundland was

granted six Senate seats, but was not made part of the “maritimes division.” Would this prevent us from electing Senators? These are questions that must be answered before proceeding. There are other issues that should also be addressed, but that’s not the point. What matters is that crucial questions that have far-ranging implications must be addressed before full democratic legitimacy is given to the Senate. I support Senate reform, but I do not think it should be done in a hurry for political expediency. Furthermore, I find it very short sighted to dismiss these issues in such a flippant matter.

7e love celebrations too.

family dinner only to be told that she was, as Newfoundlanders say so diplomatically, “touched.” Dallas? Not much in this world shocks me, but that did.


‘The innocence of a few is irrelevant’

the public, should be immediately destroyed. Why did this body of “honourable” men and women feel they had the right to set themselves up for life, feathering their own nests, while refusing to give a copper to retired public pensioners living far below the poverty line? There is no justifying the amount of money members have sucked/suck from the public purse. A school bus driver/maintenance employee earning a salary slightly over $30,000 will receive a pension of approximately $17,000 after 30 years. Honourable members will receive five times that amount. MHA salaries and pensions should be highlighted on billboards staggered across the Trans-Canada. Even moose might be ashamed to cross. Meanwhile, when the House opens, if it ever does, Confederation Hill should be renamed Pork Barrel Hill.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks in the House of Commons in Ottawa Nov. 20.

I knew she wasn’t humouring me. Most grown-ups only pretended to be interested, but not Dallas. You could tell she was really interested.

It had never occurred to me. While all the adults around me saw Dallas one way, all I remember of her was her smile. It made me want to smile. Her laugh made me want to laugh. We were interested in the same things. I knew she wasn’t humouring me. Most grown-ups only pretended to be interested, but not Dallas. You could tell she was really interested. She was so nice. The rest of adulthood existed as a grey “overworld” in my memory, but Dallas’s face, as she knelt down to look in my face … Someone once said to me, by way of a putdown, that I liked her because we were on the same level, meaning she had the mentality of a child. They don’t get it. As a little boy it was her decency that made such a lasting impression on me. It is what I remember. Intelligence, my older relatives tell me, was a quality she simply didn’t possess. It so didn’t matter to a little boy.

Paul Walsh, St. John’s

Dear editor, Randy Simms’ Nov. 16 column on capital punishment, Death debate, lacks logic. He ought not to say that all capital punishment is murder by the state, using the death of the wrongfully convicted as the real basis for his argument. If executing all those convicted of murder — the majority of whom are guilty — is

murder, then the innocence of a few is irrelevant. If the execution of the guilty is a just punishment, then the execution of innocents as a result of sincere efforts to enforce justice is morally no worse than accidental death, which, of course, is still a grave misfortune. Colin Burke, Port au Port

‘Word is out’ about Waterford Dear editor, Thank you very much for the recent articles by Stephanie Porter (Waterford complaints rack up, Nov. 2 edition) and Susan Rendell (Life in the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nov. 9 edition) — with the exception of the chosen headline. The Canadian Mental Health Association, NL division raised concerns about conditions at the Waterford over 16 months ago following a tour I completed of designated units. It’s impossible to say for sure but the public shedding of light on conditions at the province’s psychiatric hospital may have helped government in deciding to allocate more than $3 million to renovate the forensic service — far and away the unit in the poorest shape of those I visited. But the other units are in desperate need of updating until we know the outcome of the hospital services study for the St. John’s region. And, yes, funds will be required to do this and should not stand in the way. Government has already ponied up, but let me openly ask what is Eastern Health doing to address the antiquated conditions at the Waterford? What is Eastern Health able to do within its almost $1-billion operating budget — surely something? What about the slippery issue of asking drug companies who make a lot of

money to offer up air conditioning for units during the summer months? Until we all know the outcome of the hospital services study there can be no “head-in-the-sand” behaviour any longer about the Waterford conditions — the word is out and now public. It should be noted that it was the efforts of the mental health association’s board and staff that pushed for a forum to discuss issues about the Waterford and will ensure follow-up and progress. There is a great deal of work to do in what we call community mental health. And finally there is a national mental health commission to shed more light on the troubling issues. With time the commission may be able to get the federal government to financially assist the provinces for the failures of de-institutionalization some 25 years ago. Meantime, we have asked the provincial government to consider an enhanced rent-supplement program for those who have been most disabled by their serious mental illness so they can try to live in better, safer conditions in the community. Geoff Chaulk, Canadian Mental Health Association, NL division

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


NOVEMBER 23, 2007



Sprung up Chris Snellen transports a tube of lettuce to a secondary growing room.

Maserati lettuce seeds.

Starting seeds in growing cubes.

Perhaps unknown to many, a farmer in downtown St. John’s grows lettuce with equipment salvaged from the defunct Sprung greenhouse. Not only does Chris Snellen race to keep up with demand, he’s also to appear on an upcoming episode of CBC TV’s Dragons’ Den. Photographer Nicholas Langor and reporter Mandy Cook dropped by the farm for a tour.

Lettuce at two to three days’ growth.

Snellen underneath “the bay,” his main growing room.


orrents of cold rain may pour out of the heavens on this particular weekday, but it’s positively balmy inside Chris Snellen's hydroponic lettuce farm in the old Swift Meats packing plant on Hamilton Avenue in St. John’s. With more than 25,000 individual heads of lettuce quietly thriving in an insulated basement, the humidity hits visitors in the face as they descend the staircase. Five kinds of lettuce — including the familiar frilly green lettuce popular for sandwiches and a red-tipped Canadian variety called Red Fire — are

grown here. Snellen keeps his subterranean lettuce production system at a comfortable 22 C. “Anything above that they don’t like.” Snellen began his 26-year career growing produce in greenhouses with a friend who could teach him a thing or two — Frank Myrick, an employee of the now infamous Sprung greenhouse in Mount Pearl. When the facility was shut down in 1989, Snellen was paid to remove — and keep — all of its production materials. Fully equipped, he has been growing his leafy greens in the Hamilton Avenue location for the 10 past years. Every 42 days, Snellen and his wife

harvest about 3,000 heads of lettuce from the 5,000-square feet of growing space in the basement. Starting out as a seed — the Maserati variety comes in a burnt orange colour — the hard little pits are dropped into cubes of basalt fibre. The product, a growing medium in which seeds can root, is both stiff and spongy, and feels like wet Fibreglas insulation to the touch. Once sprouted, the little cubes are transferred to pipes spread out on racks, where they are hooked up to the watering system. This is the hydroponic part of the operation: the plants get a drink of water fortified with elements such as calcium,

iron and phosphorous that is pumped into one end of the slanted pipe. Based on a gravity-fed system, the roots are nourished every two minutes to ensure happy, healthy heads of lettuce. MAUZY TEMPERATURES Above the din of rushing water and the tufts of lettuce leaves sticking out of the pipes — painted white to reflect light — are about 200 metal halide lamps emitting 1,000 watts of power each. Combined with the constant light, mauzy temperatures and specific tube spacings, Snellen says he has perfected a growing system he can market to isolated communities so

that fresh, locally grown produce can displace imported varieties. Snellen also plans to expand his production by building an atrium on the roof of his building. He says spinach and basil are two leafy greens that should flourish in the sunlit space, plus any other vegetable he decides to experiment with. Hot air venting out of the downstairs could be put to work on the roof. “It seems insane in January to be taking 15,000 cubic feet of air per minute and blowing it out the chimney,” he says. “It’s crazy, right? So if we can put it in a little greenhouse, then the greenhouse acts as a big condenser.”

All he needs to see the next phase of his blooming business materialize is a little working capital. Snellen's so serious he auditioned his idea to CBC TV’s Dragons’ Den, where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to millionaires. Although he can’t say if they bite or not, Snellen says the millionaire judges happily sampled his wares. “They didn’t humiliate me or call me stupid. They ate my lettuce. I came up with a big bowl of lettuce and all the dragons were eating the lettuce out of the bowl. I thought it was a good moment.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Do you know your Newfoundland history?


ere’s my first ever history quiz. Answers to be published in my next column, Dec. 7.

No. 1: What term best describes Humphrey Gilbert? (a) imperialist; (b) navigator; (c) adventurer; (d) pederast. No. 2: How is Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville — who terrorized Newfoundland in 1696-97 — described in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography? (a) murderer; (b) butcher; (c) the most renowned son of New France; (d) thug. No. 3: Who is properly designated the first governor of Newfoundland? (a) John Cabot; (b) John Guy; (c) David Kirke; (d) Henry Osborn. No. 4: Which of the following doctors falsely claimed he was an MD? (a) William Carson; (b) Edward Kielley; (c) Henry Hunt Stabb; (d) Wilfred Grenfell. No. 5: Name the Commercial Bank director who took £10,000 in gold from the bank’s vaults, after dark, just prior to the crash of 1894. (He has a highway named for him.) No. 6: Of whom did Lord Grey, governor general of Canada, say “there is madness in his family?” (a) William Whiteway; (b) A.B. Morine; (c) Robert Bond; (d) Richard Squires.

PATRICK O’FLAHERTY A Skeptic’s Diary No. 7: Who said Newfoundlanders were “too green to burn?” (a) James Murray; (b) A.B. Morine; (c) M.F. Howley; (d) Robert Gillespie Reid. No. 8: Which prime minister was responsible for giving Newfoundland women the vote? (a) Robert Bond (Liberal); (b) Edward Morris (People’s Party); (c) Richard Squires (Liberal); (d) Walter Monroe (Tory). No. 9: After the Viking disaster in the bitter spring of 1931, what great man, a hero to fishermen, wired condolences from his hideaway in Jamaica? (a) Lewis Little; (b) William Winsor; (c) Jesse Winsor; (d) William Coaker. No. 10: The Newfoundland government considered defaulting on its public debt in 1933, but was talked out of it by Britain. Which of the following did default around that time? (a) Alberta; (b) France; (c) Britain; (d) Brazil. No. 11: Who said of General Sea Foods, an American firm that planned to set up in Newfoundland in the 1930s,

“Here is a concern which counts its capital not in hundreds of thousands of dollars, not even in millions, not even in dozens of millions, but in hundreds of millions of dollars!” (a) John Hope Simpson; (b) Richard Squires; (c) Humphrey Walwyn; (d) J.R. Smallwood. No. 12: What sealing captain stood for election for the St. John’s Municipal Council and, out of 15 candidates chasing six seats, came dead last? (a) Stanley Barbour; (b) Peter Carter; (c) Abram Kean; (d) Albert Blackwood. No. 13: Who took his mother to court in a dispute over his father’s will? (a) Peter Cashin; (b) J.R. Smallwood; (c) Gordon Bradley; (d) Chesley Crosbie. No. 14: Who first called Newfoundlanders “the finest small ship men in the world?” (a) Winston Churchill; (b) Admiral Sir Roger Keyes; (c) P.A. Clutterbuck; (d) Thomas Lodge. No. 15: A British prime minister visited Newfoundland for an extended holiday in the 1930s. He was? (a) Stanley Baldwin; (b) Ramsay MacDonald; (c) Neville Chamberlain. No. 16: What politician, when asked to invite Newfoundlanders from all over the province to a policy convention, answered, “They’ll come in from

Bunghole Tickle and Shithole Bight, and say ‘We wants dis, and we wants dat?’” (a) Peter Cashin; (b) J.R. Smallwood; (c) Gordon Bradley; (d) Don Jamieson. No. 17: “Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey/Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.” These lines of poetry have been frequently quoted by Newfoundland politicians. Who wrote them? (a) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; (b) William Wordsworth; (c) Oliver Goldsmith; (d) Thomas Gray. No. 18: What Newfoundland orator was once termed “a grindstone in the rough? (a) John Crosbie; (b) Don Jamieson; (c) Richard Cashin; (d) K.M. Brown. No. 19: Who, on being told he was appointed to the Senate of Canada, reportedly said, “The working class/Can kiss my ass/ I’ve got my Senate seat at last.” (a) Jack Marshall; (b) William Doody; (c) Gordon Bradley; (d) Chesley Carter. No. 20: When he lost the federal seat of St. John’s East (which included Bell Island) this man said: “When they cut me open, they’ll find Wabana engraved on my heart.” (a) A.M. Fraser; (b) W.J. Browne; (c) Joseph O’Keefe; (d) J.G. O’Grady.

No. 21: What politician knocked on a door on Elizabeth Avenue in St. John’s East and was told “the tradesmen’s entrance is in the basement?” (a) James Greene; (b) Gerald Ottenheimer; (c) J.G. Higgins; (d) Frank Fogwill. No. 22: Of whom was it said, “When he’s comin’, he’s goin’?” (a) J.R. Smallwood; (b) Peter Cashin; (c) Chesley Crosbie; (d) Don Jamieson. No. 23: Which premier, on leaving office, said he was off to the mainland to make “some real money?” (a) H.W. Hoyles; (b) Frank Moores; (c) Brian Peckford; (d) Brian Tobin. No. 24: Who was Oliver Jackson? (a) A British diplomat who signed the Treaty of Utrecht; (b) Captain of the Edmund B. Alexander; (c) a Methodist minister, leading supporter of commission government; (d) navigator on Bob Bartlett’s Karluk in 1913. No. 25: France gave up all her fishing rights on the French Shore in 1904. True or false? Patrick O’Flaherty wrote Lost Country: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland, 1843-1933.

Tasers still in arsenal

No ban by RNC, RCMP; will use them if necessary By Brian Callahan The Independent


he Royal Newfoundland Constabulary may have suspended the purchase of new tasers, but they can still use the ones they have. Both the RNC and RCMP in this province have had tasers or stun guns in their arsenal since 2003, but only the Mounties have discharged them, with no deaths or serious injuries to report from 27 incidents. The RNC sought tenders for the purchase of new tasers in early November, with plans to train front-line officers in their use. Chief Joe Browne put that on hold recently, pending the outcome of a national review. That review came in the wake of two recent taser-related deaths. “I can’t say for sure whether one of our officers has drawn one or threatened a suspect with one, but no one has actually been zapped,” RNC spokesman Const. Paul Davis tells The Independent. The only Constabulary officers who are trained

and permitted to use the hand-held weapons are members of the so-called SWAT team or special tactical response unit (TRU). For security reasons, Davis says he cannot divulge how many tasers the force has or the number of officers allowed to use them. Interestingly, the RNC does have “use of force” instructors, many of whom have been voluntarily jolted. They train other officers to use the tasers, but unless they are members of the TRU the instructors cannot use them in the line of duty either. As well, only RNC officers in the northeast Avalon jurisdiction have immediate access to tasers, Davis says. “If a situation arose in Corner Brook or Labrador (where tasers were required), we’d have to mobilize members of the TRU to those areas of the province,” he says. Controversy over the use of tasers has increased with three deaths since Oct. 14 — one at Vancouver International Airport, a second involvSee “Overall,” page 14

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


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

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


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

New Liberal leader was a reporter and mayor; painted nails during council meetings By Mandy Cook The Independent


ord Rumbolt, mayor of the Labrador community of Mary’s Harbour, remembers Yvonne Jones as a youngster who palled around with his daughter Diane. “I knew her from the time she was born upward,” Rumbolt says of Jones, crowned recently the first female leader of the province’s Liberal party, as well as the first Labrador-born leader. “She spent a lot of time at our house. She’d come over and make a mess.” Watching the young Jones (neé Rumbolt but of relation to Ford) grow up and become mayor of her hometown at the age of 22 was no surprise to Rumbolt, who witnessed Jones’ “very energetic” personality develop. That colourful personality revealed itself during municipal meetings, he says, when Jones would sneak a puff on a cigarette, despite a ban in the council building, or paint her fingernails during council meetings. Having grown up in Labrador, Rumbolt says Jones, now 39, understands the issues pertaining to people living in the area. Her participation in political issues started early and resulted in her 1996 win as an independent MHA for the district of Cartwright-L’anse au Clair.

The seat was considered one of the safest Liberal seats in the province. Jones’ election as an independent is the only time a non-Liberal was voted in, although it was done so with the understanding she would ultimately cross the floor and join the Liberals, which she did in her second term. Considered a “political animal,” Jones was able to topple then-Liberal incumbent Danny Dumaresque, who defeated Jones for the Liberal nomination earlier that year. In an interview with The Independent, Jones says she likes to read, snowmobile and salmon fish in the little down town she has. A graduate of the journalism program at the Stephenville campus of the College of the North Atlantic, Jones spent the early years of her career as a reporter at newspapers such as The Labradorian in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and The Advertiser in Grand FallsWindsor. Ron Ennis, managing editor at The Advertiser, remembers her as a good employee, although he says she gave no indication of pursuing a life in politics. Besides her stint in the news business, Jones was also involved in the Battle Harbour historic site in Labrador, in conjunction with her husband Jim. The two operated a bed and breakfast and a general store for visitors. Jones was announced leader of the Liberal party Nov.15. Pressed on person-

Liberal leader Yvonne Jones.

ality clashes with Dumaresque, who’s also party president, Jones stated any personal differences would be put aside for the good of the party. A convention is set for October 2008 to elect a permanent leader of the party. If Jones intends to seek the leadership she will have to step down as interim leader in June to allow other potential candidates a fair shot at the position, which Dumaresque has also expressed interest in. mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

‘Overall injury reduction’ From page 13 ing an intoxicated man in Montreal less than a week later, and a third related death in Dartmouth, N.S. on Nov. 22. The latest incident involves a man who was jolted at a Dartmouth jail. The 45-year-old man died at the Burnside correctional centre, about 20 hours after police used the weapon on him. The most recent death is the 18th related to the use of tasers in Canada. Critics continue to call for a ban or at least temporary moratorium on the weapons until more reviews and tests are complete. For now, it remains the status quo for police in Newfoundland and Labrador. “We take our cue from the national office in Ottawa,” says Sgt. Wayne

Newell, the RCMP’s spokesman in the province, who says he has felt the jolt. A suspect can be subdued in two ways by a taser: direct contact with the gun itself pressed against the body, or from a distance up to 11 metres where two probes shoot out and imbed themselves in the skin. “It’s one of those experiences that, you do it once and you never want to do it again,” Newell says. “All your muscles involuntarily tense up. It’s very painful. But once it’s over it’s over, not like pepper spray in the eyes.” He says every region in the province has at least one taser at its disposal, but he could not say how many local Mounties are trained to use them. The RCMP officers involved in the Vancouver death have been reassigned “to other duties” pending the outcome

of several investigations. But the “conducted energy weapons,” which deliver jolts of electricity up to 50,000 volts, remain in service. “Based on the information available to date, the RCMP remains of the view that tasers are effective law enforcement tools and are safe in the vast majority of cases,” RCMP commissioner William J.S. Elliott said in a statement. “When properly deployed they result in overall injury reduction when dealing with the arrest of violent individuals.” The word taser is actually an acronym for Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle, from the well-known Tom Swift children’s novels. brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

Notice ST. JOHN’S URBAN REGION AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT AREA BOUNDARIES REVIEW COMMISSION NOTICE OF HEARINGS The St. John’s Urban Region Agriculture Development Area Boundaries Review Commission will be holding hearings in St. John’s from January 7-18, 2008. The hearings are part of the Commission’s review and examination of the current boundaries of the St. John’s Urban Region Agriculture Development Area. The goal of the Commission is to ensure the Agriculture Development Area only includes lands of agriculture importance. As part of the review, the Commission will make recommendations on how to achieve this goal for consideration by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Individuals or groups wishing to make an oral presentation to the Commission must contact the office of the Commissioner by December 7 to schedule a date and time for a hearing. All presentations will be heard in a confidential hearing. In order for the Commission to prepare for these hearings, the Commission is asking that the following information be provided at least one week prior to the hearing date: • name of landowner • location of land • size of land • what the land is currently used for • history of land • what kind of development surrounds property • reason why land should be removed from or remain in the agriculture zone, and • provide a survey if available. In addition to these hearings, the Commission will hold a series of public meetings between January 28 and February 7 at various locations in the St. John’s urban region. Anyone who wishes to make a presentation at one of the public meetings must contact the Commission at least two (2) days in advance of the scheduled meeting. If there is no interest expressed in any of the scheduled sessions, the Commission reserves the option to cancel that meeting. Locations for these public meetings are as follows: Agricultural Development Area St. John’s Portugal Cove-St. Philips Torbay Flatrock Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Pouch Cove

Meeting Place St. Kevin’s Parish Hall, Goulds Holy Rosary Parish Hall Kinsmen Community Centre Bauline Line Flatrock Community Centre Justina Centre, 108 Outer Cove Road All Saints Church Hall

Date Mon., Jan. 28 Tues., Jan. 29 Thurs., Jan. 31 Mon., Feb. 4 Tues., Feb. 5 Thurs., Feb 7

Time 7 PM 7 PM 7 PM 7 PM 7 PM 7 PM

The Commission will receive written submissions up to February 8, 2008, but no further hearings other than those above scheduled will be held. For additional information, contact the Office of the Commissioner by email, telephone, fax or letter at: St. John’s Urban Region Agriculture Development Area Review Commission 5th Floor, Natural Resources Building 50 Elizabeth Avenue, P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 ATTENTION: Mr. Felix Collins, Commissioner Telephone Number: 709-729-0831 Fax Number: 709-729-0973 Email: adareview@gov.nl.ca Felix Collins, Commissioner



Bob Dingwall, president of the Integrated Forest Products Group at a St. John’s lumberyard.

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

Pellet plan Sawmillers pitch switch from oil to wood to heat public buildings in rural NL By Brian Callahan The Independent


f Bob Dingwall had his way, the provincial government would be burning wood, not oil, to heat its rural hospitals and schools. After all, he notes, it’s cheaper, greener and there’s plenty of wood to go around. Now if only he could convince the Tory administration to buy in. Dingwall, president of the Integrated Forest Products Group (IFPG), took the first step on that road Nov. 20 by meeting with Innovation, Trade and Rural

Development Minister Trevor Taylor in St. John’s. IFPG, the umbrella group for the province’s seven private sawmill operations, wants the province to make the “institutional conversion” from oil to wood burning. The partnership would see the sawmills harvest the least used and diseased trees, pulverizing and reducing them to pellets in special plants they would build adjacent to their mills. First, however, they need government to invest in converting its old oil furnaces to systems that burn wood pellets. Therein lies the obstacle. Dingwall won’t

say how much the scheme might cost the province or the sawmills. He won’t even hazard a guess or give a ballpark figure. But he insists it could save a forestry industry that’s on the cusp of collapsing. “I can tell you that it’s done all over the world now. It would create jobs, it’s cheaper to produce, the emissions are less than furnace oil and it would be ‘made in Newfoundland,’” says Dingwall, owner of Jamestown Lumber Co., just north of Lethbridge on the Bonavista Peninsula. He says such a plan could ultimately save the seven private lumber companies from collapse, and extend the lives and presence

of AbitibiBowater and Kruger in the province. “We are their biggest customer when it comes to wood for our lumber,” Dingwall says. The two big papermakers sell the best part of their trees to the seven sawmills, while keeping the rest to produce newsprint. The sawmillers then sell their leftover wood chips back to Abitibi and Kruger to produce more newsprint for export. “We’ve become the wood room for See “It’s been,” page 20

Want a thousand bucks?


h, the big picture – it’s what really matters in the end. But is there anything that’s a greater challenge to see? In terms of personal finance, how do we view the work and goal-setting necessary to allow us to see the long-term? What makes up a reasonable to-do list? These are huge challenges every day. Therefore our goals become incredibly easy to abandon, particularly if we’re trying to “boost” our cash position by spending less money on daily expenses. But if the big picture is a little more evident to us, our capacity to actually get there becomes greater, too. If we don’t have to struggle too much to create a big picture, then we’re much more


Your Finances likely to be willing to try the financial challenge on for size. How’s this for the big picture? Want to make a thousand bucks? Well actually, want to have $1,000 more in cash than you do now? It’s only a minor challenge. You don’t need a raise in pay — although they’re great too. You don’t need a part-time job or a minor lottery win or even to be “mentioned” in a will. All you need is to be a

little flexible and spend $2.74 less each day for the next year. It’s easier than you think. Lets start with the revered Tim Horton’s coffee. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love the stuff? Did you know that by purchasing a medium coffee instead of the larger size once each day, you’ll save 21 cents? You only have to look to save $2.53 more. A $5 a week lottery habit, reduced to $3, will save another 29 cents each day. Choosing a weeknight movie instead of one on Friday, Saturday or Sunday will save you 31 cents each day. You’re only looking for another $1.93, and your life has not changed dramatically at all. Let’s really cut to the quick. Think

tobacco, a $10 pack of smokes every day. Actually, the store I checked sold traditional brand cigarettes for $9.77 per package, while the cheaper ones cost only $7.25, so each cigarette costs just under four cents. The daily savings by switching brands would be $2.52. But lets say you’re brand loyal or that you’ve already switched. How can you shave? Well, you can shave another 20 cents off by smoking five fewer butts every day. Your lungs and blood vessels will thank you as much as your bank account and you’ll have only $1.73 to go. Do you consume take-out food? Say twice per week. You can make the decision not to super-size and save $1.20

each time. That’s 17 cents per day. Or consider making your extra-large pizza a plain old large one and pocket $4. At this point you’re less than a buck to reach your savings goal. Instead of buying five magazines at $6 each every month, make it four. You’ve just gained another 20 cents. And instead of a large bottle of wine, pick just the regular size, another 13 cents per day saved. Can you cut drycleaning costs by $5 each month and can you consume one less meal of red meat monthly? Can you wear a sweater at home? Purchase energy efficient See “Easy little,” page 19


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Opportunities Procurement Officer III Government Purchasing Agency, Department of Government Services 30 Strawberry Marsh Road, St. John’s, NL DUTIES: Performs professional purchasing and audit functions within the defined mandate of the Government Purchasing Agency Act; participates in the most complex and technical of purchasing and gives advice, guidance and direction to subordinate staff, departmental officials and other agencies; deals with suppliers and the general public, often on the more complex and technical matters; audits and investigates activities to ensure compliance to policies and legislation of the Public Tender Act by all government funded bodies and identify issues for resolution; work is reviewed thorough meetings, supplier and government official feedback, review of reports and purchase orders completed; and performs related duties as required. Travel is essential to the audit duties of this position. QUALIFICATIONS: This position requires knowledge of auditing principles, practices, legislative procurement requirements and purchasing policies and procedures. Effective problem solving, organizational, analytical, oral and written communication skills and proficiency in computer program audit applications are essential. The ability to work independently using required audit and related technical skills are necessary to this function. General supervision is received through written and oral instructions and considerable initiative and judgement is exercised by positions in this class. These qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through purchasing and audit experience, preferably in a public purchasing environment, combined with a degree or diploma in Commerce or Business Administration supplemented by audit courses from an approved college or university, satisfactory completion of a CMA or CGA program; or any equivalent combination of experience and training. Travel will be required. SALARY: GS-33 ($39,712.40- $44,189.60) COMPETITION #: GS.C.POIII(p).07.08.262-P CLOSING DATE: December 3rd, 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

Clerk Typist III Permanent


Aquaculture Development Division, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, St. Alban’s, NL

Labour Relations Agency, Standing Fish Price Setting Panel, Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, Beothuck Building, St. John’s, NL

DUTIES: The primary purpose of this position is to provide clerical and administrative support to the Aquaculture Regional Manager and regional staff within the Aquaculture Branch. The incumbent ensures smooth functioning of the office by maintaining a current filing system, processing/directing incoming and outgoing mail and routing mail to proper officials; issues purchase order numbers and check order for completeness; copies and circulates reports and information; formats, produces and revises documents and reports; maintains inventory of office supplies; responsible for data entry; operates various software including Word, E-mail, and office equipment (fax and photocopier); ensures office equipment is functioning properly at all times; screens incoming calls and walk-ins and directs them to appropriate personnel; coordinates travel and accommodation; provides access to library services including implementing controls on the distribution of publications, reports and resource material; provides assistance/information to the Aquaculture Regional Manager and regional staff regarding leave entitlement, overtime and other payroll/administrative matters; interacts with other departmental divisions and other government departments, agencies and the private sector as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of office administration and records management processes is required. Candidates must demonstrate good analytical, organizational and communication skills and have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. Proficiency in general office software including word processing and spreadsheets and a commitment to quality service is essential. These qualifications would normally have been acquired through graduation from high school, supplemented by a two year Diploma in Office or Business Administration, and considerable experience in secretarial, clerical and administrative support work. Equivalencies may be considered. SALARY: $29,538.60 - $32,541.60 - GS- 24 COMPETITION #: FA.C.CTIII(P).07.08.233-P CLOSING DATE: December 4, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, FAX OR E-MAIL TO: Mail:

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

For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-1132

Fax: E-mail:

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. This position is open to both male & female.

Information for Applicants:


Fisheries Field Representative (Aquaculture)

This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualifications. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on these positions call Shawn Robinson (709) 292-4100 or (709) 729-0037.

DUTIES: Maintains a current knowledge of aquaculture growing technology and provides regional frontline assistance and technology transfer to aquaculturists. Coordinates, inspects, and reports on aquaculture sites to ensure compliance with regulations. Monitors, collects and verifies information on industry activity, aquaculture projects, departmental work and assists in the preparation of reports related to these activities. Collects data and samples related to aquaculture projects, departmental work, ensuring compliance with the conditions and operating requirements. Responsible for piloting and maintenance of departmental work vessels. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of aquaculture policies, regulations, related technology is required. Knowledge of local marine and fresh water issues is essential. Knowledge of Geographic Information and Information Maps systems would be considered an asset. Proficiency in general office software including word processing and spreadsheets is essential. Candidates must be able to work independently and possess initiative, together with analytical, organizational, assessment, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. A Small Boat Safety Certificate (Canadian Coast Guard), a valid Driver’s License and Driver’s Abstract is required. The above qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through an Advanced Diploma in Aquaculture or Aquaculture Technician Certificate supplemented by other experience in aquaculture operations. As well this position requires significant experience in marine navigation and boat handling techniques. Equivalencies may be considered. SALARY: $41,059.20 – 45,718.40 GS-34 COMPETITION #: FA.C.FFR(P).07.08.0237-P CLOSING DATE: December 4, 2007 APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE FORWARDED BY MAIL, FAX OR E-MAIL 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

Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resumé that they meet all of the above qualifications. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call Shawn Robinson (709) 292-4100. 207041994

DUTIES: The successful candidate will provide senior level facilitation/mediation services to support the collective bargaining process between the harvesting and processing sectors of the Province’s fishing industry relative to fish species pricing negotiations in an effort to achieve collective agreements that become binding on all harvesters and processors in the province that harvest these fish species. The incumbent will be accountable for the administration of the office of the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel (the Panel) and for providing high quality mediation/conciliation services. The incumbent will also be accountable for ensuring that the Panel functions in a manner that ensures the fishing industry participants (harvesters and processors) have access to an effective and efficient structured collective bargaining regime as outlined in the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act (FICBA). This includes the development of policies and procedures consistent with the FICBA and the operation of an administrative tribunal, managing the Panel’s budget, engaging in public relations, undertaking program/service evaluation and generally managing the day to day operations of the office of the Panel. In carrying out these duties, the incumbent will work closely with senior officials within federal and provincial government departments as well as industry stakeholders. While reporting primarily to the Chair of the Panel, the incumbent will also report to the Director of Labour Relations for administrative and human resource purposes. QUALIFICATIONS: The incumbent must possess a strong working knowledge of relevant legislation including the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act and Regulations, the Fish Inspection Act, the Labour Relations Act, and other relevant fisheries legislation as well as possessing an advanced knowledge of the operation, dynamics and socio-economic impacts of the fishery, its structure, and character of union and management organizations within the Province’s fishing industry. This position also requires that the incumbent have expertise in labour relations and strong mediation/conciliation skills to support the panel’s mandate to provide assistance to parties in collective bargaining. Strong problem solving/administrative, oral and written communication, analytical and facilitative skills are also required. Candidates must demonstrate good judgment, leadership, and initiative, the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and be able to work with a high degree of independence. These qualifications would normally be acquired through a combination of progressive work experience in labour relations and the province’s fishing industry and a degree from an approved college or university with major course work in Industrial Relations, Human Resources or a related field. SALARY: HL-24 ($60,225.00 - $78.292.00) COMPETITION #: HRLE.C.IRS(p).07.08.214-I CLOSING DATE: November 30, 2007 Applications, quoting competition number, should be forwarded via mail, fax or email: Mail:


Permanent Aquaculture Development Division, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, St. Albans, NL

Industrial Relations Specialist (Facilitator/Administrator)

Hazardous Materials Officer (Occupational Health and Safety Officer II) Permanent Department of Government Services, Occupational Health and Safety Division, Wabush, NL DUTIES: Investigates and evaluates occupational health and hygiene concerns arising specifically from the presence of hazardous materials in the workplace; performs investigatory, survey, educational and regulatory enforcement work relating to the protection of employees from the effects of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead, silica, or dust and includes the evaluation of abatement notifications and management plans; issues directives to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations; responds to inquiries or problems in occupational health and hygiene; performs a variety of related duties in support of occupational health and hygiene and hazard materials abatement programs. QUALIFICATIONS: Completion of post-secondary education in science or industrial hygiene; a minimum of five (5) years experience in industrial hygiene related consulting and inspection services with an emphasis on lead, asbestos, silica , dust and PCB abatement; possession of a CRSP designation would be an asset. SALARY: GS-38 ($47,411.00 - $52,889.20) COMPETITION #: GS.C.OHSOII(p).07.08.257-P CLOSING DATE: December 3rd, 2007 Applications must be submitted to: Mail:

Fax: Email:

Manager of Strategic Staffing – Social Sector Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 pscsocialresumes@gov.nl.ca

For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-0570 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. This position is open to both male and female. 207041734

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) 729-0707. Applications must be received before the close of business on the closing date either by mail, e-mail or fax. Late applications with explanation may be considered. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their applications that they meet the above qualifications; only those applicants who demonstrate such qualifications will be considered for further assessment. This position is open to both male & female. 207041635

Tender DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & WORKS INVITATION TO TENDER Tenders will be received up to the date and time indicated below for the following project: PROJECT # 128-07PHM – Supply & stockpile maintenance grade III granulars at the Department’s Lethbridge Depot and supply and stockpile rock fill near Winter Brook, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 30, 2007 @ 12:00 NOON Upon receipt of the purchase price indicated above, (NON REFUNDABLE, HST INCLUDED) plans and specification 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 & 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 207041520

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Opportunities Fisheries Field Representative – Biosecurity Auditor

Researcher / Senior Policy Analyst


Temporary to March 31st, 2012

Aquaculture Development Division, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, St. Albans, NL

Women’s Policy Office, Executive Council, Confederation Building, West Block, St. John’s

DUTIES: Under the supervision of the provincial Aquaculture Veterinarian, provides technical field support by conducting biosecurity audits/sampling visits to marine cage sites and on land aquaculture facilities; travels to aquaculture sites and designated areas throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to audit, record data and conduct secondary disinfection at the level of wharves, processing plants, marine vessels, road transport and aquaculture equipment; field work involves operation of motorized vehicles (boats, trucks and snowmobiles) and technical equipment; provides service to the salmonid, cod and shellfish sectors in Newfoundland; assists with information dissemination to the aquaculture industry in workshops and conferences on biosecurity; maintains records of biosecurity audits and disinfection procedures; compiles monthly and annual reports, newsletters/ fact sheets; preserves and ships specimens to reference laboratories for toxicology, virology and pathological examinations; assists with the environmental biological monitoring program on marine sites; participates in Post Mortem examinations of fish including shellfish; records results and compiles data for the Provincial Aquaculture Veterinarian; assists with examination of live and dead fish specimens for parasites by direct and microscopic techniques; prepares shellfish samples for histopathology and assists with fixation and microscopic examination; researches material for scientific literature reviews. Other duties and responsibilities as required.

DUTIES: The incumbent is responsible for the development of a long term research plan of action including the establishment of indicators and a measurement system for determining progress associated with Government’s 6 year Plan of Action- Taking Action Against Violence. The work will require the analysis and interpretation of existing data as well as the development of new research instruments and studies to advance violence prevention for children, youth, seniors, women, Aboriginal women and other populations vulnerable to violence.

QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of aquaculture policies, regulations, and NL aquaculture health policies is required. Knowledge of the Aquaculture industry (Finfish and shellfish culture) would be an asset. Proficiency in word processing, database manipulation and spreadsheet is required. Candidates must be able to work independently and possess initiative, together with, analytical, organizational, assessment, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. A valid Driver’s License, Driver’s Abstract, Boat Safety, MED-A3 or A1 and First Aid Courses are required. The above qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through an Advanced Diploma in Aquaculture or Aquaculture Technician Certificate supplemented by experience in the aquaculture industry and veterinary setting. Equivalencies may be considered.

QUALIFICATIONS: The incumbent must have demonstrate considerable knowledge and experience in the development of social, economic, health and/or educational research projects and instruments with specific experience in issues relating to issues that lead to the prevention of violence. The incumbent must also have knowledge of a wide-range of statistical data sources. This position requires demonstrated results in advancing research in a timely and professional manner and can also demonstrate excellent written and communications skills. The incumbent must also have demonstrated experience in the root causes of violence against women and other vulnerable populations and be knowledgeable of gender- based analysis. Candidates must have a graduate degree in the social, economic, health or educational sciences and programs .Experience in working in a discipline of field that supports violence prevention is an asset.


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: pscresourcesesumes@gov.nl.ca Information for Applicants: This position is open to both male and female applicants. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their résumé that they meet all of the above qualifications. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on this position, call 709 292-4106. 207042032

The work will require leading the development of research projects such as the impacts of all forms physical and psychological violence on children, employment support needs of victims of violence, best methods for reporting violence and the evaluation of current violence prevention programs and service. This position requires knowledge of existing data bases relating to indicators of violence and violence prevention in Canada and in Newfoundland and Labrador. The work also requires both independent and collaboration activities with the partners of the Violence Prevention Initiative and with research professionals and agencies in this Province and in Atlantic Canada. This position requires the incumbent to prepare research bulletins, fact sheets, reports, presentations and publications for the Violence Prevention Initiative

Geological Survey Division, Department of Natural Resources, St. John’s, NL DUTIES: This is a professional scientific position, responsible for systematic study, mapping and interpretation of bedrock geology in Labrador. This work will be done through a combination of ground traversing and helicopter-supported mapping at scales of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000. Field work may also involve supervision of small field parties of two to five students and other seasonal employees in remote locations where tent camps may be the only accommodation. Office work involves analysis and interpretation of field data using petrographic, geochemical, isotopic and geochronological studies, the design and manipulation of digital databases and maps, preparation of maps and reports, oral presentations, and interaction with mineral industry representatives and other users of government geological data. QUALIFICATIONS: A thorough knowledge of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, geochemistry and isotope geology, with substantial experience applying this knowledge in the field to geological mapping. Candidates must be able to work independently at a high scientific standard and possess initiative together with strong analytical, organizational and interpersonal skills, as well as good oral, written and public presentation skills. The above qualifications would normally have been acquired and demonstrated through graduation from an accredited university with a M.Sc. or Ph.D. in Earth Sciences combined with experience in bedrock geological mapping in metamorphic terranes. SALARY: $53,125.80 - $62,589.80 (GS-42) COMPETITION #: NR. C.GIII(p).07.08.0292-P CLOSING DATE: December 4, 2007


Fax: E-mail:

Manager of Strategic Staffing Recruitment Centre - Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Building P. O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 729-6737 pscecresumes@gov.nl.ca

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. This position is open to both male and female. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-5098. November 19, 2007 207041953


SALARY: $27, 918.80 - $30,594.20 (GS 22) COMPETITION #: TW.C.CIII.(p).07.08.273-P CLOSING DATE: December 5, 2007. Information for Applicants: This Competition is open to both male and female applicants. Applications should be forwarded to: Mail:

Manager of Strategic Staffing Public Service Commission 4th Floor, West Block, Confederation Building P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL AlB 4J6 (709) 729-6737 psctwresumes@gov.nl.ca

A separate application must be submitted of each competition. For additional information on this position call (709) 7291784 207042137


Client Services Officer

Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment Port aux Basque, NL DUTIES: This is a professional, front line position that provides comprehensive and quality services to clients who wish to access programs and services to clients who wish to access programs and services of the Department or its partners within the area of Income Support and Career and Employment Services. A Client Services officer is responsible to initiate service needs assessments in determining initial and continuing eligibility for income and employment services; ongoing case management services and participates in program development and administrative activities while ensuring efficient delivery and integrity of departmental programs. The Client Services Officer is expected to work in a team environment to ensure that programs and services are administered in accordance with established practices, guidelines and service standards as defined by departmental policies, procedures and legislation. QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge of relevant departmental programs and services, demonstrated skills in assessment, case management, interviewing techniques, program compliance and information technology; candidates must possess effective organizational, analytical, problem solving, mediation, conflict resolution, decision making, strong oral and written communication skills. A degree in a related field supplemented with related experience is required. A combination of post secondary education and directly related experience in the assessment and delivery of programs and services may be considered. SALARY: GS-34 ($41,059.20- $45,718.40) COMPETITION #: HRLE.C.CSO(t).07.08.142-P CLOSING DATE: December 07, 2007 INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS:


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 postal mail, fax or e-mail. (If faxing, DO NOT send a duplicate copy). Late applications with acceptable explanation may be considered. This competition is open to both male and female applicants. For additional information on this position, please call 709-729-5082.

QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess considerable knowledge and experience in staffing and scheduling, collective agreement administration, advanced office administration, and computer operations and software. Strong communication, organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to work independently displaying judgment and initiative are required. These qualifications are normally acquired through completion of a diploma in business management with staffing and scheduling experience. Candidates with an equivalent education and experience may be considered.

Application should be received before the close of business on the closing date – either by mail, fax or e-mail. Late applications with explanation may be considered.

Applications should be forwarded to:

FAX: Email:

DUTIES: This is specialized administrative work in support of the administrative/ scheduling operations and the Manager of Marine Services within the Marine Services Branch. The successful candidate will perform a variety of clerical functions including: prepare and maintain time schedules of marine crew to ensure adequate coverage on the vessels; receive requests and phone calls for various leaves ensuring such requests are addressed and replaced as needed; approve or deny routine leave requests received ensuring staffing requirements are met; interpret the collective agreement related to scheduling issues and complete a variety of payroll time sheets and related documentation; maintain statistical records; participate in the development and revision of staffing procedures and practices; administer travel claims for staff of Marine Services; order supplies for the vessels; and perform other related duties as required.

Applications, quoting Competition No., should be submitted to:

Applications should be forwarded to:

Recruitment Unit Public Service Commission 4th. Floor, West Block, Confederation Building P. O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NF A1B 4J6 709-729-6737 pscresourcesresumes@gov.nl.ca

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

Fax: E-Mail:




SALARY: $ 50,577 - $ 56,583 (GS 40) COMPETITION #: EXEC.WPO.C.RSPA(t).07/08.141-P CLOSING DATE: December 7th, 2007

Temporary until March 30, 2008

Geologist (Project Geologist)

Clerk III


Manager, Corporate Services Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment Metro Place, 261 Kenmount Road Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 Fax: (709) 729-3018 kaygillingham@gov.nl.ca

This competition is open to the employees of the Public Service including those on lay-off status, as specified by the applicable collective agreements or Personnel Administration Procedures, but does not apply to students. This position is open to both male and female applicants. 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. Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date – late applications with explanation may be considered. For additional information on these positions call (709) 729-2433. 207042167

Tenders will be received up to the date and time indicated below for the following project: PROJECT # 200065009 – Electrical repairs, Sacred Heart & Humber Elementary Schools, Corner Brook, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 05, 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# 709-7296729, and viewed at the offices of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association. Tenders addressed to the Deputy Minister of Transportation & Works must be delivered to Tendering and Contracts at the address above and be submitted on forms and in sealed envelopes provided, clearly marked as to the contents. Tenders will be opened immediately after the tender closing time. The Department does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender. Hon. Joan Burke Minister Dept. of Education 207041535


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Opportunities Deputy Sheriff I

Court Officer I

Casual Call-in

(Temporary to March 31, 2008 with possibility of extension)

Sheriff’s Office, Department of Justice, Supreme and Provincial Court: Corner Brook (1)

Provincial Court, Corner Brook

Applications are now being accepted from individuals interested in attending a Sheriff’s Officer Training/Orientation program. The eight -week paid program consisting of classroom and on-the-job training is being offered in St. John’s by the Office of the High Sheriff, Department of Justice. The program will prepare candidates for employment in various locations within the Province as Deputy Sheriff I. Course content will provide candidates the knowledge skills and values necessary to work in a Court Security/Prisoner Escort setting. Upon successful completion of the Sheriff’s Officer training/orientation, candidates will be employed with the Office of the High Sheriff in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Wabush, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Stephenville or St. John’s on an as required call-in basis, and may be assigned to other court centres within the Province. Applicants must be 19 years of age and under 65 years of age; eligible to work in Canada on a permanent basis; graduation from high school, post-secondary education in the criminology/criminal justice field would be considered an asset; be eligible to obtain or have a valid Class 4 driver’s licence; have a general knowledge of the Justice system as it applies to the various levels of court. Deputies work in an environment where positive attitude, initiatives, discretion/tact are valued attributes. Have well developed oral and written communication skills; problem solving, leadership, time management, and team player skills; the ability and willingness to perform prisoner escort and court security duties is required. These skills would normally be obtained through successful completion of police or correctional-related training program. Persons with considerable years related experience or a combination of post-secondary education and related experience will be considered. Successful applicants will have met entrance standards in physical fitness, visual acuity, aptitude testing and medical examinations. Deputy Sheriffs are uniformed positions within the judicial system and successful candidates must be able to maintain a high standard of physical fitness, dress deportment and attendance as well as enjoy working as a member of a team supporting others in their role as Deputy Sheriff. Candidates must be capable of demonstrating their availability to respond to on-call work on a consistent basis; shift work may be required.

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. The incumbent will be required to travel to circuit courts in surrounding areas. 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. 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.

Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their resume that they meet all of the above qualifications. Failure to do so may result in a candidate being screened out.


Positions within the Department of Justice are considered “Positions of Trust” and as such successful candidates will be subject to a background check through police/court banks and other sources and may include polygraph testing.

Applications should be forwarded to:

$38,456 - $42,751per annum (GS-32) - $21.13 - $23.49 per hour COMPETITION #: J.C.DSI.07.151-P CLOSING DATE: December 5, 2007

$35,908.60 - $39,894.40 per annum (GS-30) COMPETITION #: J.C.COI(t).07.08.146 - I CLOSING DATE: December 5, 2007



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

Fax: E-mail:

Manager of Human Resources Department of Justice P.O. Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 709-729-6344 justiceresumes@gov.nf.ca

* 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) 7291023.

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. 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) 7292048.

Planning and Research Analyst

Temporary until March 31, 2008 or pending completion Labour Market Development, Department of Human Resources Labour & Employment 3rd Floor, West Block, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL DUTIES: Primarily responsible for activities under the Occupational Outlooks project with the Labour Market Development Division, Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. Duties include carrying our statistical analyses; developing and implementing employer surveys and interviews on a regular basis to gather information regarding hardto-fill positions and skills gaps; providing advice, guidance and consultative services to divisional staff, department and other users regarding labour market data; gathering, monitoring, recording and classifying job vacancies and worker skills sets according to a labour supply/demand indicator system for projecting occupational forecasts; preparing, cleaning, coding and analyzing labour market data; preparing and interpreting statistical and analytical reports; developing and maintaining information and data files/management infrastructure; carrying out literature reviews of existing labour market research and publications; other duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Experience in carrying out labour market research; considerable experience in using, preparing and analyzing data, combined with experience working in environments that require the practical use and application of labour data to support client /stakeholder groups or develop information products; experience in using and coding according to NOCS and NAICS. Must have extensive experience using statistical and MS office software packages. The incumbent for this position will normally require a Bachelor’s degree in statistics, economics or business; must have excellent conceptual, analytical, problem-solving, and facilitation skills; excellent verbal and written communications skills; well developed management skills with a proven ability to work under pressure and to meet demanding timelines; knowledge of Canadian and provincial labour markets; demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a member of an interdisciplinary team. SALARY: GS 37 ($45,754.80 - $51,105.60) COMPETITION #: HRLE.C.PRA(t).07.08.263-P CLOSING DATE: November 30, 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) 729-5618. Applications must be received before the close of business on the closing date either by mail, e-mail or fax. Late applications with explanation may be considered. Candidates must clearly demonstrate in their applications that they meet the above qualifications; only those applicants who demonstrate such qualifications will be considered for further assessment. This position is open to both male & female. 207042234


Tax Auditor II

2007 04 20 207042247 Temporary until March 31, 2008 Tax Administration Division, Department of Finance, St. John’s

Tender DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & WORKS INVITATION TO TENDER Tenders will be received up to the date and time indicated below for the following project: PROJECT # 110705017 – Upgrade fire alarm system, Confederation Building Complex, St. John’s, NL. PURCHASE PRICE: $22.80 CLOSING DATE: DECEMBER 11, 2007 @ 3:00 PM

DUTIES: The incumbent will: examine and analyze financial records of individuals and business firms to determine compliance with provincial tax laws and regulations; compile audit reports and working papers for review by supervisor; review, update and recommend changes to audit programs; interpret and explain provincial tax laws; provide guidance to junior employees when assigned; and perform other related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: This position requires considerable experience in accounting or auditing work. Knowledge and experience in computer assisted audit techniques would be an asset. The candidate must have strong communication and analytical skills, along with the ability to work independently and establish and maintain effective working relationships. The qualifications for this position would normally be acquired through graduation from university with a degree in business with a concentration in accounting, as well as completion of auditing, accounting, business law and systems courses at the fourth level of a recognized professional accounting program. Applicants must submit a transcript of their marks and provide proof from the applicable accounting society of their attainment of the fourth level in the program. The use of a private vehicle is required. SALARY: $42,533 - $47,447 (GS-35) COMPETITION #: FIN.C.TAII(t).07/08.135-P CLOSING DATE: December 5th, 2007 Applications, quoting Competition No., should be submitted to:

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# 709-7296729, and viewed at the offices of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association. Tenders addressed to the Deputy Minister of Transportation & Works must be delivered to Tendering and Contracts at the address above and be submitted on forms and in sealed envelopes provided, clearly marked as to the contents. Tenders will be opened immediately after the tender closing time. The Department does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender. Hon. Dianne C. Whalen Minister Transportation & Works 207042153


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 pscecresumes@gov.nl.ca

Applications should be received before the close of business on the closing date - late applications with explanation may be considered. This competition is open to both male and female. For additional information on this position, please call (709) 729-3505. November 19, 2007 207041946

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Red tape’s red tape Questions raised about amount of bureaucracy cut; total costs to province By Ivan Morgan The Independent


he actual amount of red tape cut by the province’s red tape reduction initiative — and how much the cutting cost the taxpayer — seems mired in … red tape. Information on specific examples of red tape reduction provided to The Independent by the business department shows more than 10 per cent of all red tape reduction claimed by the province comes from discontinuing a project management manual used by the Department of Transportation and Works. In a press released dated Oct. 26, then-Business minister Kevin O’Brien announced the province has reduced red tape by an impressive sounding 32,866 pieces, including 11,651 requirements since April. According to information provided by the department, the above-mentioned manual contained 4,192 regulatory requirements. A single regulatory requirement was deemed one piece of information, such as name, age, address or postal code, so a single government form may contain many requirements. A request to the Department of Business for

clarification resulted in a not-for-attribution technical briefing by department officials. A request for examples of red tape reduction took two weeks for the department to provide. Struck in February 2005 to improve business

access to government, the Red Tape Reduction Task Force — which was disbanded in the spring — was tasked with making government businessfriendly by cutting unnecessary rules and regulations (red tape) for small- and medium-sized business. The task force’s mandate was expanded to cutting red tape throughout government. Red tape is defined by the task force as “nonessential procedures, forms, licences and regulations that add to the cost of dealing with government, or anything obsolete, redundant, wasteful or confusing that diminishes the province’s economic competitiveness, and stands in the way of job creation or wastes taxpayers’ time and money.” Other examples provided to The Independent include removal of policies from an operational procedures manual of the Adult Correction Division of the Department of Justice, including sections of the Institutional Clothing, Prisons Act, provisions on haircuts and sideburns and “smoking in the gym.” Red tape was also reduced by dropping some liquor licence requirements, and cancelling a requirement for fish processors to provide a written report under the Fish Inspection Act. The task force recommended the model for red tape reduction used by the provincial government,

and co-ordinated public consultation. It had one full-time staff person and a part-time administration person. The province’s red tape co-ordinator did not cut red tape, but oversaw the co-ordination of the work of all government departments. The Department of Business has a red tape reduction office that also co-ordinates the cutting of red tape throughout government, with a staff consisting of a co-ordinating director, three analysts and an official in every department whose partial responsibility is to co-ordinate within the department, although department heads are ultimately responsible for the cuts to their own red tape. Much of the red tape cut was found in legislation that had to be revoked by more legislation prepared for the House of Assembly. The last provincial budget included $4.2 million for strategic planning and communications, which included the red tape reduction initiative. When The Independent asked how much of that was slotted for cutting red tape, the paper was told to file a freedom of information request, which is . . . more red tape. ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

Voisey’s deal sound: Grimes


ormer premier Roger Grimes says Danny Williams’ Nov. 1724 trip to Brazil to meet with officials of mining giant CVRD, the new owners of the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company, shows the agreement he struck with the mine’s original owners was a good one — despite Williams’ criticism of it at the time. “He’s now acknowledging that it’s good for the province,” Grimes tells The Independent. “They brag about how much money it brings in, and they brag about the fact that it’s a good thing for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“Well it’s just after the election … there’s not much to do, so they’ll go down and see the new owners.” Roger Grimes Grimes says when Williams faced him as Opposition leader he criticized the deal as full of loopholes “one could drive a Mack truck through.” Now, he says, the premier has acknowledged the Voisey’s Bay deal stands on its own merits. “There are no loopholes. There are definite commitments,” says Grimes, adding the biggest one is the building of the processing plant in Long Harbour. “The whole idea was to get the product made in the province instead of shipping out concentrate, and the plant is the key to that,” he says. While the company has yet to announce whether the plant will refine ore using the experimental hydromet process or the more mainstream nickel matte process, Grimes says his agreement ensures ore from the Labrador mine is processed in the province. Grimes says it’s a good time for the premier to make the trip. “Well it’s just after the election, the House is not open, there’s not much to do, so they’ll go down and see the new owners,” he says. “And it’s a nice trip to take — it’s a nice trip to go on.” ivan.morgan@theindependent.ca

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NOVEMBER 23, 2007

‘It’s been studied to death’ From page 15 them.” But with the paper companies hurting due to a glut of newsprint and the high Canadian dollar, Dingwall says there’s an opportunity to take advantage of lesser quality wood that can be converted into pellets and used for heat. “It’s too expensive and not worth their while to go farther from their paper mills to get trees that may not be good enough for newsprint. But that same wood is fine for burning,” he says. “Cutting those trees is part of the natural regeneration process anyway, rather than letting it rot.” Dingwall says the seven private sawmills include Holson Forest Products in Roddickton, Cashin’s Pond Chipping in Glovertown,

Eastwood Forest Products in Deer Lake, Burton’s Cove Logging and Lumber in Hampden, Cottle’s Island Lumber Co. in Cottlesville, Jamestown Lumber Co. in Jamestown, and Sexton Lumber Co. in Lethbridge. Dingwall adds while he met with Taylor, he would also like to meet with forestry officials to fully explain his plan. “Minister Taylor said he would get back to us in two weeks, but we really need a commitment now, before it’s too late. We know how the budget process works, so don’t say to us, ‘We’ll take a committee and study this.’ “It’s been studied to death. And there are significant energy savings for school and hospital boards here.” Taylor was not available for comment. brian.callahan@theindependent.ca

More older vehicles going the extra mile Number of aging autos rising as vehicle survival accelerates By Tony Van Alphen Torstar wire service

rate for those aging vehicles to 43.7 per cent from 35.2 per cent in the same period. DesRosiers says if there had been research in ld Bertha in the driveway is showing a lot 1990 for 15-year-old vehicles, it would have been more endurance on the road these days. newsworthy if more than 15 per cent of such The number of vehicles 10 years old or autos were still on the road. older has increased steadily during the past “Never before have we seen such compelling decade, but statistics now indicate the numbers large-scale evidence of improved long-term duraare accelerating dramatically. bility — regardless of nameplate origin, country Just as 60 is becoming the new 40 for fitness- of manufacture or class of vehicle,” says conscious adults, 15 is starting to look a little like DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive the new 10 in age among cars and trucks in Consultants. Canada, industry watcher Dennis DesRosiers Several factors have contributed to the longer says. lifespans, including widespread use of galvanized “Canadian drivers are taksheet metal, tighter manufacturing full advantage of their ing fits, better lubricants and elecvehicles’ increased usage tronic fuel injection, DesRosiers potential by extending their says. ownership into previously “This technological cocktail “Keeping these unplumbed high-mileage terrihas resulted in an explosion of tory,” he says in an analysis on older vehicles on the road,” he old smokers on vehicle lifespans. adds. Research from DesRosiers He also says Canada is now the road is definitely Automotive Consultants and only seeing the first of the higherR.L. Polk Canada Inc. reveals quality generation of models not good for the the number of automobiles entering the 15-year mark and environment.” older than 10 years in Canada that will lead to growth in the jumped to 6.7 million vehicles number of “very old” cars. in 2006 from 3.9 million in The research results mean more Dennis DesRosiers 1990, which is an increase of maintenance work for repair 72 per cent. shops and an image boost to the Furthermore, the total numused-car business that sells more ber of vehicles older than 15 durable vehicles, according to years has climbed by almost two million to 2.8 DesRosiers. million since 1990. However, he notes that if old autos stay on the In 2000, about 28 per cent of 15-year-old pas- road, it will take longer for more environmentalsenger cars remained on the road but the research ly friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles to make an found that last year, the number had climbed to impact. A new vehicle emits 98 per cent less tox43 per cent. ins into the air than a 15-year-old model. Among nameplates, the research showed the “Keeping these old smokers on the road is defsurvival rate for vehicles older than 15 years from initely not good for the environment,” he says. offshore-based manufacturers including Toyota DesRosiers also criticizes lawmakers for and Honda had shot up to 53.9 per cent last year focusing on forcing automakers to produce from 30.5 per cent in 2000. greener vehicles when the real challenge is how North American-based General Motors, Ford to reduce the number of older polluting autos on and Chrysler also had improved their survival the road.




Janet Peter with her papier mâché mummers in her St. John’s home.

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

Making mummers Janet Peter’s love of Newfoundland culture finds home in papier mâché creations By Stephanie Porter The Independent


anet Peter sits at her kitchen table, surrounded by the papier mâché mummers that have been her “bread and butter” for almost a decade. Constructed lovingly in various sizes — from quirky tree ornaments to freestanding sculptures that look ready to snap to life and join the Christmas party — Peter’s creations are full of personality and motion. Although mummering may not be the vibrant tradition it once was, Peter says her customers connect immediately with the funny figures, often sharing their own memories from winters past. Which is a huge help for Peter, considering she’s yet to see real mummers in action. Peter grew up in Welland, Ont. While she was interested in art her whole life, she dove into academia for a while, earning a master’s degree in political science. She came to Newfoundland for a visit in 1993 and made a permanent move soon afterwards. “I couldn’t believe I was still in Canada,” she says.

“It was such a different experience from what I was used to and I really liked it. I really liked being next to the ocean. It just seemed the right thing to do. Still does.” Peter graduated from the visual arts program at the former Westviking College in Stephenville in the mid-’90s and cast about for a way to make a living doing what she loved. A friend suggested mummers; intrigued, Peter began researching the tradition and working out some ideas. “I was a little hesitant, at first, being from away and then coming in and producing products based on local culture that I’ve never seen,” she says. “In fact, when I made my first mummers … they were purely based on stories people told me around their experiences as kids. “It was never my intention to come here and ‘interpret culture.’ But where there was something so obviously interesting and if I could find a niche by creating a project people would gravitate to, then I decided to give it a try. “The market would decide if it sucked. If people thought I was being really unfair or really misrepresenting,

then it would not take off.” But Peter’s mummers have proven successful. At the Craft Council’s Fine Craft and Design Fair earlier this month in St. John’s, she was given this year’s award for interpretation of provincial history. She’s delighted for the recognition. Over 10 years, her mummers have evolved, in more ways than one. Technically, she’s refined her methods. Basic papier mâché will be familiar to crafty kids everywhere who have dipped strips of tissue or newspaper in a flour-and-water glue and layered them onto a balloon or other mould. (When the layers are finally dry, the paper is rock-hard and ready for decorating.) Peter’s technique is similar — she uses a basic flour-and-water paste, mixed with latex paint, though, to keep the mice away — but uses different papers and fabric to achieve the looks she wants. “There was a time I would make these from boiled paper that I mashed with a hand-mixer and then dried and then sculpted and then sanded and … it would take hours on end,” she says,

gesturing towards the mummers on the table. “At some point, something clicked in my head and I was like ‘what am I doing? I’m spending far too much time at this.’” She went back to basics, reading, relearning and refining. “I came up with the idea of working with fabric mâché, fabric that’s imbued with the flour and water paste, and that’s what gives the drapery effect. People really like it because of that … there’s a different feel than you would get from paper.” Peter constructs a basic armature from newspaper and masking tape, then layers over it. She believes in recycling and reusing as much as she can. Much of the paper she uses is scrap donated by printmaker friends or even old coffee filters. For fabric, she uses sheets, towels or old clothes. The figure may take a week or so to dry, but when it does, it’s solid, durable (“my customers know if they drop a mummer, it won’t break”) and ready for painting. Peter’s current mummers are also much brighter and more comical than her original work, which was often per-

ceived as more mysterious, even ominous. They’ve developed to accurately reflect what her customers want — and what they remember. “Someone told me once they used to use burlap bags and put them over their heads, so I started a line using burlap, and those were very popular,” she says. “People would use paper bags for their headgear, so I’d try that … or this one, with his coat on backwards, that was a story someone told me as well. “I use what people tell me and give it back to them.” Peter works on her mummers nine months of the year. In between, she makes time for other themes and endeavours — her non-functional vases, sculptures (which often become the base for lamps) and jewelry. But the inspiration still comes from the province she calls home, from the Old Hag to fairies to myths of the sea. “There’s a lot of rich culture here to delve into,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in the more paranormal aspects of Celtic culture and it’s a really interesting thing to use in my work so anything that’s inspired by that is really easy — with some research.”

shouting “It’s November, people. Enough with the Santa Claus is Coming to Town! I know he’s coming, we all do! You’ll get your money — just hang on a couple of weeks. The madness must cease!” But the madness isn’t going to cease. That’s the problem. I can rail against market forces until security comes by to taser me into unconsciousness, but it’s not going to amount to a pile of reindeer droppings in the grand scheme of things. With that in mind, I’ve come to a sensible compromise: I’m making a Christmas

album. If I simply must listen to a bunch of ghastly, saccharine sleigh-bell festooned crapola three months out of the year, it may as well be my own. I’ll still be aggravated all the time, but at least I’ll have my royalty cheques to console me. The first thing to consider is song choice. That depends on what kind of album we’re making. The way I see it we have two options. Is it going to be an angels and shepherds, Mary and Joseph,

If you can’t beat ’em Sean Panting gets into the Christmas spirit in spite of himself


o Hell with it. I’m doing a Christmas album. I just got around to dragging the snow tires up out of the basement a few days ago. The faint musty smell of mouldering pumpkins still hangs in the air around the back porch where my jack-o’-lantern met its messy demise, and yet the holly jolly Christmas cash grab is on in full force. Trees are up, lights are strung, the tearjerking, tooth decay-inducing seasonal TV ads suggest, cajole, implore us to spend more money, making the season —


State of the art which season I wonder? The autumnal equinox? — brighter for the ones we love. And worst of all, the Christmas tunes are a-blasting out of every speaker in every public place I visit. I say worst of all because for me, the

music has always been the best part of Christmas. Not anymore. Over-anxious merchants all over North America have ruined my experience by forcing it on me before I get a chance to haul in my summer lawn furniture. If I have to hear Mariah Carey moan and squeal her breathless way through The Little Drummer Boy one more time, there’s going to be an eruption of volcanic fury the likes of which Dominion has never seen before. I feel like climbing King Kong-like to the top of the dairy case and

See “Seasonal opus,” page 22

NOVEMBER 23, 2007





ohn McDonald’s parents always supported him as he developed his artistic talent throughout the years, his father even going so far as to push his son’s work on one of his clients — in this case, an extremely strategic client. Servicing the Emma Butler Gallery building in St. John’s with his extermination business, McDonald’s father would praise his son’s painting skills to the gallery director. But the Sir Wilfred Grenfell graduate had to prove himself in the art world just like any other struggling artist.

Happily for McDonald, now 25, Butler recently happened upon one of his paintings in the window of a downtown shop as part of Eastern Edge Gallery’s Art Walk and quickly made the connection. “My dad’s been telling her about me since I was a kid,” he says. “One day she said, ‘Is that your son’s painting down there? Tell him to come see me.’” The Goulds native has only been on Butler’s roster for a couple of weeks and has already sold two of the three works hanging in the gallery. McDonald repeatedly remarks on his good fortune during a conversation about the upward trajectory of his career, which means he gets to do what he loves: paint. Recently moved into a new house with his partner Candace — also an

artist — McDonald now has a home studio. He works at St. Michael’s print shop three days a week and paints the other four, giving him plenty of time to create on his canvas into the wee hours of the morning, the time when he’s at his most productive. PARTICULAR MOODS Focusing on setting and how certain personalities fit into them, McDonald concentrates on achieving particular moods in his paintings. In The Reminder, a woman sits in the doorway of an old root cellar, her helmet under her arm and her head bowed. There is a sense of drama to the piece; the woman’s expression and posture echoes the weather-beaten structure, forlorn and bereft, but her glamorous appearance in both attire and fire-

engine red hair creates an eye-catching juxtaposition. Just Ahead depicts another figure clashing with its backdrop. In this case, it’s an immaculate rendering of a toy soldier, blown up in proportion and pointing his arm in the direction of a massive fireball over a burning Kuwait oil field. The child’s toy set in a situation actual soldiers must face is a powerful and sobering image. The close proximity of the fire to the little soldier inevitably invites the idea of his plastic body melting down, or the mental equivalent of a live man facing the horrors of war. Toy soldiers became part of a series for McDonald, a subtle tool in his political work during his years in university. Communicating with the toys of his childhood allows him to foster empathy

for the men and women in combat, while suggesting the real lives and personalities behind the uniforms and helmets. “I always thought talking is the best means we have. It seems silly we have to go to wars when we can go to tables.” McDonald draws inspiration from St. John’s, from the creative people who inhabit it and the colours and compositions he sees materializing before him on his canvas. Ideas constantly suggest themselves, in a sudden flash or in a dream, causing him to weed out the majority in favour of the ones that insist on making it to the final stages. “The ones that haunt me, the images I just can’t get out of my mind, they’re the ones I have to produce.” mandy.cook@theindependent.ca

Seasonal opus From page 21 mangers and stars all baby Jesus all the time Christmas album? Or do we go with the secular Christmas songs — many of them originally written and sung by atheists, agnostics and Jewish people? What I would call an Xmas album, a nonChristian snowmen and Santa-winter-fun sort of affair. Option No. 1 gives you the opportunity to take some of the most lovely, heartfelt melodies of praise ever written and tastelessly mangle them, whereas option No. 2 gives you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to channel the spirits of Bing Crosby and Burl Ives on tunes so relentlessly chipper you may not survive the recording session. Perhaps a combo would be best. That way, I’d have the best of both worlds — chipper and tasteless. Sounds like Christmas to me. Recording my seasonal opus should be no sweat. Musically, a Christmas album is just like any other album with the addition of jingle bells, some chimes and, depending on lyrical content, either a heavenly host or a few whip cracks and wood block reindeer hooves. Cover art could be a random Christmas image stolen from the Internet — a sleigh, a tree, a sleigh in front of a tree — or could be more personalized, featuring a photo of me in some appropriate festive outfit. Let’s see … I already have a Santa hat. Does anyone out there have a cable knit sweater with a snowman on it they’re not using? Everyone? Say, all this talk about a Christmas album has kind of gotten me into the spirit. Maybe my pre-Christmas grumpiness could be eased a little by throwing myself headlong into the consumer frenzy. Maybe what I need is more Christmas, not less. Spending eight hours a day sitting at a card table in the mall with my CD on endless repeat while I hock my wares should be a surefire way to fill me with a sense of goodwill toward my fellow humans, don’t you think?

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Winter’s tale

Short story collection speaks ‘succinctly and beautifully’ about nature of human relationships MARK CALLANAN On the shelf Boys By Kathleen Winter Biblioasis, 2007. 189 pages.


ccording to an outdated press piece on the website of Wind sor-based publisher Biblioasis, the Metcalf-Rooke Award for fiction is intended “to uphold and celebrate the tradition of small press publishing and independent bookselling in Canada, and to champion the writing of new and up-and-coming Canadian writers.” Newfoundland’s Kathleen Winter is one such talent. Boys, her fourth published book and first short story collection, was the winner of the second annual Metcalf-Rooke Award for fiction. In this province, Winter is best known for her weekly Telegram column; the rest of Canada will have encountered her work largely in the context of literary journals — venues with notoriously small readership. Hopefully, this wider unfamiliarity will soon be rectified: along with publication by Biblioasis, the winner of the MetcalfRooke is given extensive national promotion, including a pre-publication profile in the literary journal The New Quarterly and a reading tour. But does Winter deserve all the attention her collection of short fiction has garnered thus far? Yes, largely. You Can Keep One Thing is the first and most

accomplished of the stories here. Written in the naïve (and yet disarmingly wise) voice of a young girl named Maggy whose family has relocated from England to Newfoundland, it showcases one of Winter’s greatest strengths: vividly rendering characters in a series of spare, seemingly offhand observations. “I think the Hoover is Mam shouting when he’s gone,” Maggy says of the relationship between her mother and father. “That Hoover roaring is my mother’s real voice.” Winter has a wonderful sense of rhythm and an obvious appreciation for how even the sound of words can carry meaning: “Dad eats with his mouth open and I can see silver slaver stretch between his teeth. He tilts his plate and scrapes the last peas into his mouth with his knife,” she writes in You Can Keep One Thing. The alliterative “silver slaver stretch” mimics the very image it describes; likewise, the phrase “tilts his plate and scrapes” delivers, in a highly visual, visceral way, the image of a man lustily — and somewhat uncouthly — dispensing with his dinner. That pair of sentences says more about the narrator’s perception of her father than if she’d told us her feelings more directly. Much of Winter’s book is concerned with the nature of relationships, especially those between men and women. She has a predilection and proficiency for exploring the psychological motivations that exist behind action. In story after story she decodes the meaning behind the act, the truth behind the posturing that defines so many adult relationships. At base, this is a book about motivation: why people do the things they do. “Does he have any dreams?” Winter writes in Burt’s Shawarma; “She doesn’t know. She doesn’t want to know. She is terrified of knowing, is

One stop for coffee, fresh food and shopping J

umping Bean and Auntie Crae’s coffee keep shoppers returning to Living Rooms at Churchill Square. Besides enjoying a great cup of high-end java, shoppers also get the chance to relax in Terrace On The Square. “The Square is all about enjoying a little escape from the usual hustle and bustle,” says Alex Texmo of Living Rooms. Living Rooms is a great place to pause, be it for a quick coffee break or a leisurely lunch. “We make the best scones in town — made fresh every day,” Texmo says. Top them off with one of their fresh homemade jams, and you have a great start to a busy day. Living Rooms serves a variety of lunch specials. No matter what happens to be on the menu that day, the focus is on fresh. “Whenever possible, we buy locally or make it ourselves,” Texmo says. Salad dressings are all made in-house and fans often bring in their own take-out containers to bring extra home. Soups are made fresh daily and specialty sandwiches are served on locally made Sweet Temptations breads. “The focus here is on quality, affordable foods with a twist,” Texmo says as she explains the menu of tantalizing items. “Gloria (the chef) likes to change up the menu from time to time. She takes the time to get to know the regulars, their favourite meal items and how they like their food prepared.” Texmo says the small, functional sitting area outside Living Rooms is often abuzz with everyone from moms and babies to businesspeople and their clients. “The space is popular for anyone who is out spending time in the square,” she says. Some out and about in Churchill Square are shopping at the many specialty stores like Newfoundland Camera Imaging, Diamond Design, Strawberry Tree and Take the Plunge. Sherry LeDrew at Take the Plunge says the store’s unique offerings of yoga and running

apparel, as well as their large inventory of swimwear, helps keep the activity level in Churchill Square high. “If you feel comfortable, you are more likely to remain active,” LeDrew says, adding that wearing just the right fit made out of the “proper fabric” is important. “The right stuff holds up — it is meant to be used and abused,” she says of their quality workout clothing lines. Take The Plunge also has the largest selection of swimwear, including many 2008 designs. The staff is also skilled when it comes to helping shoppers chose the perfect suit. “Just because you wear a size eight doesn’t mean your swimsuit will be the same size,” she says. The best starting point is to go with a size or two larger. “There are just so many styles and cuts and fabrics,” she says. Employees take the time to get to know what will work — and look — the best on everyone. LeDrew says a common phenomenon in the square is the “might as well,” type of shopper — one who goes into one store, like The Running Room, looking for sneakers, then runs across to visit her store for a great aerobic outfit. The design of Churchill Square is perfect for drop-by shopping, agrees Florence Rolse of Strawberry Tree. “Now is the time we see customers stopping in for the perfect pair of holiday pajamas for the special children in their lives,” she says. Often, a stop in for one item in the Square leads to finding more of what you need. Texmo says that’s where Living Rooms comes in. “When you just meant to stay a minute, but wind up hanging around, you can always come by and have a great cup of coffee or enjoy a bite to eat,” she says. The little boost of caffeine will help keep you going.

Which is not to say Winter’s stories are perfect. Some (Where the Nightingales are Singing and Cremona Has a Secret, notably) are a bit floppy in their construction, too drawn out; others (Black Petunia, for instance) too slight. An over-reliance on simile (“like a liquorice allsort, the kind coated in tiny blue beads”; “like a crone settling down to her tea and sweet bun at a church bazaar”; and “like a pound of butter,” which occur in back-to-back sentences) and garish descriptive passages (“A pair of girls skipped past wearing identical eye-shadow the colour of orange butterflies, as if each had taken an orange butterfly, torn it in two, and pasted halves to her eyelids”) occasionally infect otherwise good writing. Still, there is much more to commend than condemn this collection. Boys is worth reading for what it has to say about the nature of human relationships, and often, for how succinctly and beautifully it says it. Winter’s characters are outsiders struggling toward a greater understanding of the world around them. Their observations, often casually delivered, carry the weight of true insight.

the truth, not because of what his dream might be, but because as long as she doesn’t ask him, then in her mind she can be his dream.” Winter’s characters are often players in psychodramas that contemplate the gaps in understanding that exist between individuals, sometimes in a surprising way. In Town with Moses, for instance, Leona realizes that Moses, her ex-mental patient companion, “fits in. She is the one out of tune.”

••• As a point of interest, this year’s MetcalfRooke Award shortlist includes Bruce Johnson, curator at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, for his novel manuscript, Firmament. The winner will be announced Nov. 23. See the Biblioasis (www.biblioasis.com) website for more information. Mark Callanan writes from St. John’s. His column returns Dec. 7.

Beautiful Clothing Beautiful Quality for Children

Churchill Square

NOVEMBER 23, 2007



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

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 in support of Neighbourhood Dance Works and The Festival of New Dance, hosted by Natalie Noseworthy and featuring Barry Buckle, Deneen Connolly, Neil Conway, The Headline Honeys, The Gentlemen Juggler and more. The Majestic Theatre, doors 8 p.m., show starts 8:30, 5793023. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 • Full moon blue jazz night with Mary Barry, Bianca’s Bar, Water Street, 10:30 p.m. • Monte Carlo Charity Gala, St. John’s Convention Centre, 7 p.m. Organized by firstand second-year students of the MUN Faculty of Medicine. All proceeds go to selected charities in Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information contact Jessica, 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. • Viva Lost Elvis, final showing, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s, doors open 6:30 p.m., meal service at 7 p.m. • Positive Thinker’s Breakfast with guest speaker Bill Brophy, Take a Holiday at Home, Bally Haly, 9 a.m., 726-3819. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25 • St. John’s downtown Christmas parade, Water Street, St. John’s, 1 p.m. • Singing for Supper, two-hour concert featuring St. Bon’s Elementary and Senior Treble Choir followed by Tom Jackson and his fourpiece ensemble, Holy Heart Auditorium, St. John’s, 7 p.m. • Santa’s String Café and STEP String Program Open House, 1-4 p.m., Masonic Temple, Cathedral Street, St. John’s, a familyfriendly place to meet for hot drinks and snacks on your way to or from the Santa Claus Parade. Pictures with Santa, music and more. • Annual STEP Scuff, 4-7 p.m., Masonic Temple, Cathedral Street. Traditional set dancing (from Newfoundland and elsewhere), music by Stan Pickett and STEP Fiddlers. Dancers of all ages and any or no experience welcome. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 • Similia, twin sisters flute and guitar duo, 8 p.m., Goose Bay Arts and Culture Centre, also performing at Labrador West Arts and Culture Centre, Nov. 27. • Women’s accordion circle, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, second floor, every Monday at 7:30 p.m., kelly.best@gmail.com. • The BitterSessions, MUN’s only traditional pub session, Mondays at Bitters pub, Field Hall, Prince Phillip Parkway, 8-11 p.m.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 • Our Divas Do Christmas, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 8 p.m., until Dec. 2. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28 • Cerebral Palsy Association Christmas dinner and dance, Royal Canadian Legion, Blackmarsh Road, St. John’s, 5:30 p.m., 7539922. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 • Miracle on George Street opens, hilarious and touching dinner and show based on the classic Miracle on 34th Street, Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth St., St. John’s. • Return to the Madhouse, presented by The Sketchy Lot, students of MUN’s English 4401 class, Reid Theatre, MUN Arts and Administration building, St. John’s, 8 p.m., Nov. 29-30, and 2 p.m., Dec. 2. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 • Senior’s Appreciation Tea, special guest Margaret Hitchens will perform humourous recitations, A.C. Hunter Library, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, 2-4 p.m. • Not the Real Noose, a combination comedic sketch, round table, talk show with Aiden Flynn, Sean Panting, Neil Bulter, others. Rabbittown Theatre, corner of Linscott Street and Merrymeeting Road, St. John’s, 8 p.m., also showing Dec. 1, 739-8220. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 • Bishops College Christmas Gala, evening of food, entertainment and activities in aid of graduation, 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. • Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir presents A Night Before Christmas, Wesley United Church, Patrick Street, St. John’s, 8 p.m. • Feist at Mile One Centre, St. John’s, 8 p.m. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 • Gulliver’s Spree (Dave Panting and Tom Boland) launch their debut CD, The Sunny Long Ago, Erin’s Pub, Water Street. • 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., 895-3528. • St. John’s Farmers Market featuring crafts, international foods, vintage clothes, photography, handmade soap, produce, caricatures, stationary, jewelry, art and more, Masonic Temple, Cathedral Street, St. John’s, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. • Advent Festival of Carols and Scripture, Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John’s, 2:30 p.m.. • A Truly Family Christmas, music by the Palmer Girls, The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, 2-3 p.m. Craft demonstrations from

Beothuck Street Players presents the comedy A Flea in Her Ear running November 22-24, Holy Heart of Mary Auditorium, 8 PM. Nicholas Langor/The Independent

1-4 p.m. by artists featured in the gift shop. UPCOMING • Newfoundland and Labrador Musicians’ Association Open House, Crow’s Nest Officer’s Club, St. John’s, 6:30-9 p.m., Dec. 3. • Let’s Have a Green Christmas, help stop global warming one Christmas decoration at a time, program for adults on homemade decorative boughs and cones, The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6. • Ferron, back by popular demand with special guest Amelia Curran, LSPU Hall, 3 Victoria St., 8 p.m., Dec. 8, 753-4531. • The Sights Before Christmas, Beni Malone of Wonderbolt Circus, is a magical elf who lets kids meet mummers, The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Dec. 9. • Spirit of Newfoundland and Restaurant 21 presents Spirit of Newfoundland Luncheon Buffet, Dec. 12-14 and 19-21, 579-3023. • An Amber Christmas with renowned artists Pamela Morgan, Anita Best, and George Morgan, The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, 7 p.m., Dec. 12-13. • Kittiwake Dance Theatre presents the new Nutcracker; St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, Dec. 14-16. • It Must Be Santas, with all 24 Santas returning this year and Kevin Major reading from his book The House of Wooden Santas, 1 and 3 p.m., The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, Dec. 16. • Lady Cove Women’s Choir choral performance at The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Ave., St. John’s, 2 p.m., Dec. 16. • Corner Brook Christmas Bird Count, Saturdays, Dec. 15- Jan 5. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Lois Bateman, 6347206, lbateman@swgc.mun.ca. ONGOING • Resource Centre for the Arts Theatre calling for submissions of scripts for the 2009-10 season, 3 Victoria St., St. John’s, 753-4531. • 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. • 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, 7397623, annatempletoncentre@gmail.com. • 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, blankets and towels. Items are given to clients free of charge as needed. Call 753-0220 for additional information. 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, exhibition, 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. • Kaleidoscope: Christmas at the gallery, new and exciting works by Red Ochre Gallery (Duckworth Street) artists including Elena Popova, Gerald Squires, Christin Kock, Brenda McClellan, Luben Boykov and more, opens Nov. 24, continues until Jan. 5.



LOOKING GLASS Northern peninsula woman ‘addicted’ to shine and glow of glassworks By Mandy Cook The Independent


rig Bay native Colette Samson becomes so absorbed creating vases, bowls and pictures out of glass in her studio overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence, she sometimes forgets to eat. Within her home studio, tucked into a shelter of trees with a fishing pond on the other side, Samson’s husband David has to make sure she gets her meals while the glass artist draws upon the natural environment around her for inspiration. “Working with glass is the best feeling in the world,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day. You forget what time it is.” Samson’s devotion to her craft saw the businesswoman leave behind a 23year-hairdressing career for a full-time focus on her glass creations. The hairstylist says she always dabbled in various artistic pursuits — some woodcarving here, some painting there — before lighting upon glass work. From there, she knew she was about to make a dramatic career change. “It was total addiction. I could see so many possibilities,” she recalls of her first glass lesson in St. John’s. Samson works both with fused glass — glass that’s cut and fired up to 1,700 degrees C in a kiln — and stained glass, where pieces are soldered together with lead and foil. Samson’s bowls and dishes are examples of fused, or warm, glass, moulded into unique shapes. One taupe-coloured bowl, with its gently scalloped edges, displays a shock of blue at its centre. Samson says the colour is directly inspired by the Atlantic Ocean and is as close an approximation of the water as she can get. The particular shade comes from a photographer’s collection of aerial shots where microscopic organisms beneath the surface deepened the hue. Although Samson says her work “couldn’t come close” to reality, it doesn’t stop her from trying. In addition to her decorative and functional pieces like bowls, platters and even a polka-dot coaster or two, Samson’s collection of stained glass picture scenes would make any window sparkle. Woman of the Seaman, based on an image that came to Samson after listening to Newfoundland musicians Pat and Joe Byrnes’ song of the same name, is a gorgeous, sunset-lit scene of a girl alone on the shore. The orange flame of the sun matches the lowered head of the sorrowful woman. Samson plans to expand her burgeoning business in the coming years. Fresh off her first stint at the Craft and Design Fair in St. John’s, she says she has plenty of orders to keep her hopping. One of only a handful of artists working in fused glass in the province, she says her business can only increase. She hopes to make an extensive series inspired by mountain chains from around the province — the Tablelands and the Long Range mountains, for two — and is incorporating many native plants and flowers into her designs. Her focus on rare plants that grow on the limestone barrens of the Northern Peninsula, such as the endangered Long’s braya, have already become a specialty. Another popular theme is the province’s lighthouses. Samson has recently experimented with powdered glass to achieve a surreal, abstract effect. It is yet another possibility of creative expression Samson is eager to tap into. “The powdered glass allows you to do your shadings. It’s almost like painting on glass sometimes.” Glassworks by Colette Sampson.

Nicholas Langor/The Independent


NOVEMBER 23, 2007


A tasty warm apple cheese bread

Gifts from the kitchen

By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service

orget the fruitcakes. They’re only fit for doorstops unless you’re positive your givee is a fruitcake nut. There are so many other delicious, homemade presents you can bake, cook or stir up for friends, neighbours, teachers, work colleagues or surprise visitors bearing gifts. Whatever you decide to make, it should be something special — extraordinary, rare or a delightful variation on an old favourite. And it should have the finest ingredients you can afford. The only traditional Christmas cake I prepare is Guyanese fruitcake, a boozy creation that has the dense texture of a steamed pudding and a heavenly flavour that actually pleases people (like me) who hate the average fruitcake. Festive breads and cookies are easy gift options, but usually mundane (only your best recipes, please). Pickles are the same, plus it’s difficult to get the texture and acidity just right. You can’t go wrong with truffles or fudge. For truffles, think boozy. For fudge, think fancy flavours, like candy cane. Fail-proof fudge recipes that call for marshmallow or condensed milk reduce frustration and taste so fine. I have had gift-giving success with simple dark or white chocolate “barks” made with nuts and/or flavoured with citrus oils. Nut brittles can also pamper the sweet tooth. A fabulous Indian brittle with pistachios and cardamoms particu-



pples and cheese are the fall flavours in this interesting quickbread.

APPLE-CHEDDAR BREAD Adapted from Ricardo magazine. Ricardo serves it with ham. I used one Delicious apple and one Fuji because that’s what happened to be in my fruit bowl. • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/4 lb (120 g) old cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups) • 2 large eggs • 1/4 cup each: brown sugar, honey • 1 cup each: peeled shredded apple, peeled apple cut in 1/2-inch dice Butter 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in cheese. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs, brown sugar and honey in large bowl until light

By Susan Sampson Torstar wire service

and foamy, about three minutes. On low speed, add flour mixture just until combined. Gently stir in shredded and diced apples with wooden spoon, just until batter is completely moistened and clumping. Do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake in preheated 375F oven until tester comes out clean and top is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on rack. Unmould and cool on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes eight to 10 servings.

larly comes to mind. Experienced cooks will do better than beginners with preserves, jams, chutneys, jellies and relishes. Go for something people can’t buy in a store, such as papaya lime preserves or Granny Smith apple chutney. Dips or spreads such as tapenade or anchioade (both made with anchovies), or sauces such as chimichurri (a tangy herb blend from South America) are easier. And if you’ve got a signature barbecue sauce, go for it. Spiced tea, hot chocolate or coffee mixers round out the many options. Gifts from your kitchen do require a

bit of planning, but not necessarily a lot of work. Sometimes little or no cooking is involved. (Fruit soaked in booze is a good example.) Do take time, however, on a pretty presentation. Bows, ribbons or cellophane can dress up small baskets, jars or boxes with see-through tops (sold anywhere from storage solution shops to dollar stores). Avoid coloured tissue paper near your food, as the dye bleeds. Don’t forget tags and/or labels. Sometimes you need to spell out how to use your offering or what to serve it with. If it should be stored in the fridge, say so on the label, and reiterate that in person.

dataSentinel gives users control


he future is here and Newfoundland is leading the way, says Elizabeth Coleman of dataSen-

tinel. Company founder Tom Chalker worked for three years on the revolutionary concept, Coleman says, and all involved are delighted to have a chance to bring the new technology to the world market. At the centre of the revolution is the patent-pending InfiniDrive™ technology. It replaces the “hassle and drudgery” of performing regular backups on all the computers that contain your data with a new paradigm in which your

data is distributed as tiny encrypted blocks across hundreds of machines on the Internet. Each user carries a small USB stick, about the size of your thumb, which contains the “keys” that allow the pieces of your files to be located on the Internet and reassembled back into your data. A “dataGuy” from dataSentinel can visit and train users on the use of the technology in minutes — and the light cost of the new technology is sure to attract attention. At $10 per month per GB of compressed storage, Coleman says business is booming. “The response has been incredible as the

possibilities are realized,” she says. No longer will you be tied to your laptop or PC, she says. “You can set things up so your data is no longer on your hard drive, so if you lose your laptop to theft or fire all you have lost is a piece of equipment — there is nothing sensitive and nothing critical lost.” The benefit is that nothing is lost or put at risk. That alone is invaluable. “The fear is not really, ‘Wow, I lost my laptop,’ but that, ‘Oh no, the data is gone and who knows into what hands.’” dataSentinel will change the way computers are used and data is stored

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

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


The Grinch that stole childhood PAM PARDY GHENT

Seven-day talk


very bayman in the harbour liked children a lot But the Grinch who lived just on the corner did not. This Grinch hated children — the whole lot without reason Now please don’t ask why — perhaps it just happened to please ’en. Many said, eh don’t mind ’e, just something with ’em ain’t right Perhaps it might be because he never gets himself any at night. But I think that the most probable explanation of all May have been that his drawers were a few sizes too small. But whatever the reason — his wife or his drawers He stood in his doorway hating children a little bit more. Staring out from his drapes with a sour evil grin He watched the young children gaily frolic and spin. Oh! How it killed him to see them play in the sun To see them dart to and fro, having barrels of fun. “They’re too close to me truck,” he’d spit at his wife As she peeled him rotten taddies with her dull kitchen knife. Then he’d cry out the window, over and over just saying “I MUST find a way to stop children from playing!” For he knew that each morning All the bay girls and boys Would wake up and head out with their outport-kid toys. And the racket! Oh the racket those damn children make! That’s one thing that he hated, that he just couldn’t take. The laughter, the squealing and the sounds from their bikes, He’d rush from his doorway and scream, “Take a hike!” And THEN … They’d do something he didn’t like in the least, They’d look at him, laugh and say, “Look at that beast!” For the kids had grown used to his whinin’ and bawlin’ And they knew all their parents were quite sick of his callin’. So they’d keep right on playing as he danced a fit on his stoop

And they’d keep playing away until he finally was pooped. Then he’d jump into his truck — one that matched his grass-like skin colour And he’d call to his woman, “Get on in here Mudder!” And they’d both drive away — never waving good-bye While the rest of the neighbours took a relief-filled sigh. But he’d never be gone long enough to be missed He’d just buy a few lotto tickets and return home just as pissed. “My whole miserable life, I’ve put up with those youth And I sit and I long to put their arse to me boot! But their parents, they watch, and the cops they might call If I finally went out and put a stop to it all.” Then, he knew just what to do! He had one fine plan! That Grinch had one wonderful Grinch-like old scam! “I’ll dig one deep fine-size of a pit,” he laughed at his scheme. “This will be the end of them playing, I’ll finally live my life’s dream.” So he dug and he dug and dug into the night Till he found that his pit was looking almost perfectly right. He covered his pit with some old wood that he had And snickered to himself, ‘I’m one clever old lad.’ “I’ll just wait here till daylight when those children come calling And one by one I’ll watch as those young bastards start falling.” Then that Grinch did something he doesn’t usually do, He smiled and he laughed and he felt almost brand new. His wife noticed a difference and she said to him, “Grinch! You looks awful good, me son, come ’ere!” and gave his arse a playfulish pinch. Well, the children wondered what had happened that day, As the Grinch didn’t come to the window as they played on away. But they knew he was home ’cause they could hear some God-awful cries That came from inside and somewhat frighten the b’ys. But they kept right on playing with their balls and their bikes and their bats and their ropes and their souped up old trikes. They played on, on and on, not really fearful at all till something quite dreadful happened to one small round tennis ball. It rolled right on into the yard of the Grinch and the kids all looked at each other and gave one fella a pitch.

“Go on in and get it,” they said to the lad, “the Grinch must be dead since he hasn’t been out calling us bad.” So one tiny young fella — the smallest t’was out Ran for that ball with one worried lip pout Then DOWN! Down he went and fell into that old Grinch-made pit And he ripped his new pants on ragged stumps and jagged old sticks. He stood at the bottom half-naked and a little bit bloody when the old Grinch ran out and took a look down at buddy. The Grinch, he looked different, all relaxed and half glad. He didn’t look pissy. He didn’t look mad. He took off his drawers, right there on the road, and he gave them to the little one who was getting quite cold. “Here boy, you have these, I’ve been thinking my dear That the ones that I wear don’t fit right ’round me gear.” The children stood silent, in shock at the sight that they saw — Mr. Grinch stood before them with a grin in the raw. And the wife of the Grinch stood beaming with pleasure As she looked at her husband and winked once for good measure. “Come on back in here Grinchie,” she called to him all sugary sweet, “I’ll knit you some new drawers and cook you a feed of moose meat.” He hopped to the door, and as he headed bare arsed down his hall, He stopped for a moment and tossed back the kid’s ball. Now, here ends the story of the outport community member Who tortured young children for as long as anyone could remember. He finally changed, yet no one knows anything more Than the fact he was happy once he took off those drawers. So, what happened that day? Some wonder and ask Was it just that he freed his gear and his ass? Or was it the fact that his wife finally gave the old Grinch a bit Was that what caused him to toss the ball back to the kid with the mitt? No matter the reason the children were thrilled and their parents quite happy The Grinch had changed his ways, now the kids call him … Pappy.

dataSentinel company founder Tom Chalker

forever. As long as you have an Internet connection, Coleman says, you have access to your data. You can run your business from any computer. Another bragging point for dataSentinel is that this is a Newfoundland venture. There are many “brilliant,


Nicholas Langor/The Independent

technically-advanced” minds in Newfoundland and Labrador, Coleman says, and those resources are just starting to be tapped. “We can be a part of the creation of our own Silicon Valley right here,” she laughs.

Coleman says dataSentinel plans to maintain a huge presence here at home while doing business on a global market. “Our objective is to hire from here, keep people here, and attract others to return home to help grow our business,” she says.

dataSentinel takes the worry and the effort away, and gives clients comfort, safety and security. The overwhelming response, Coleman says, shows that this technology is just what businesses have been waiting for. “Before we came on the market, the

computer industry had been totally ‘machine-centric’ where the equipment owned your data … we give users control: a ‘user-centric’ view of their data where the computer becomes just a commodity — any machine, anywhere will do.”

NOVEMBER 23, 2007


You’ve got the moose — so cook it ROARY MACPHERSON

Chef’s table


alking into the porch we could smell it. We knew what it was right away. Johnny was back and he had gotten the moose we all loved and waited for. Growing up, there was a tradition in our house: when we got our moose we’d have a fry up on the old woodstove in our kitchen in a cast iron frying pan (my favourite) with salt pork, onions and moose meat seasoned lightly with salt (yes, more salt) and pepper. We always thought it was the best treat we could have. Moose season was here and we all loved it. When we were young we were not usually involved in the hunt, but were involved in lugging it out of the woods, which I always found to be the short end of the stick. There were no trikes or quads or anything like that, the moose was all taken out of the woods by MacPherson power. And you could be sure the felled beast was far away from the road, with as many bogs, hills and streams in the path as possible. But we did not care. We were all ready to go and collect our bounty. Moose (Alces alces) is what we in North America call the largest member of the deer family. In Europe, they call them elk moose. Moose are native to Labrador, and were introduced to the island portion of the province in Gander Bay in 1878 and then to Howley in 1904. Moose are found all throughout Newfoundland and Labrador on wooded hillsides, ponds, lakes, rivers, bogs and sometimes on our highways. Newfoundland is perfect for the growth of the moose population. During the winter the animals feed on twigs and shrubs and can eat up to 50 pounds a day. In the summer, they eat leaves, shrubs and water plants. It surprises me we have any vegetation left — the moose population is estimated upwards of 120,000, of which 20,000 are harvested annually. A moose has a lifespan of approximately 20 years. When moose season arrives, the woods roads come alive with hunters in trucks and all-terrain vehicles — it’s like a yearly vision quest to load up the camper and head for the woods with friends to chase the elusive prey. It seems most do get their moose. But what do you do with all that meat? I would suggest you take the animal to a qualified butcher and have the meat broken down into a wide selection of cuts.

Roary MacPherson presents his famous moose burger.

I have heard people say they do not like moose because it tastes too gamey. In my opinion, that’s the whole idea. Moose eat trees and shrubs and the meat is supposed to have those specific flavours. If it did not, it would be just like beef and not unique at all. That’s what I look for in game meat — that woodsy flavour that makes it stand out from farmed products. Here’s one of my favourite recipes. I’ve made it a million times, and it’s a surefire hit any time of the year. It works great on the barbecue, cast-iron frying pan or on a rack in the oven. MOUNT SCIO SAVORY AND SCRUNCHION MOOSE BURGER GLAZED WITH QUIDI VIDI ALE BARBECUE SAUCE BURGER Serves 1 • 7 ounces ground moose meat • 1/2-ounce ground salt pork • 1\2 tsp Montreal steak spice

• 1\2 tsp Mount Scio savoury • Cracked black pepper to taste • 2 tsp bread crumbs Preparation: Combine all ingredients, shape into patty. QUIDI VIDI ALE BBQ SAUCE Makes 3/4 cup • 1/2 cup (125 ml) catsup • 4 ounces Quidi Vidi Ale (reserve the right to drink the rest) • 1/4 onion, chopped • 2 cloves roasted garlic • 2 grams ground juniper berries • 2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar • 1 tbsp (15 ml) prepared mustard • 1 tsp (5 ml) Worcestershire sauce • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) garlic powder • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) crushed red pepper Preparation: stir all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook two minutes over medium heat until onion is tender and you have the desired consistency. This is a terrific burger. I add the rendered out pork scrunchions for two

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

reasons: it adds a little fat to the lean meat; but by rendering it, we have taken away some of the negative effects that could be associated with salt pork. Combine this with Mount Scio savory, and you have the most authentic Newfoundland moose burger anywhere. I would serve this with some low-fat mozzarella cheese on a toasted Parker House roll with some root vegetable chips made from vegetables from Lester’s farm, for a different spin from the usual fries. Vegetable chips will cut down on that calorie count but still allow you to have a truly enjoyable burger. You should even have room for a pint of your favourite beer. I have often wondered why we have not started to farm moose, or have a government-regulated commercial hunt. This way, we could offer moose meat in all restaurants throughout the province. There’s nothing more Newfoundland than moose burgers or a nice bowl of moose stew with a tea

biscuit. The big thing to remember with any game is to not over-spice it — you should allow the natural flavours to come out. I have heard people saying how much they add to the moose meat so that they hide the game flavour. But then, what’s the point of eating it? I like to say you should eat something for what it is and not try to make it something it’s not. Let the meat speak for itself. We need to be respectful of living animals. The ones we have taken for consumption should not have to suffer after death as well — and neither should your guests. Keep it simple with moose. You will not be disappointed. If you have any questions or ideas on moose please contact me at roary.macpherson@fairmont.com. Roary MacPherson is the executive chef at The Fairmont Newfoundland. His column returns Dec. 7.

Foot loose Feet march to the forefront of design as shoes are elevated to a fanciful art form By Bernadette Morra Torstar wire service


nless you are sitting in the front row of a fashion show, what goes on below the models’ knees is a mystery. Just ask the Canadian fashion editors seated in the seventh (or 12th) rows in New York, Paris and Milan. We give our quads a workout by lunging up and down to peer over our colleagues’ heads. More often than not, we don’t learn about designers’ footwear until the following day when we can study the photos on style.com, just like everyone else. We should all be investing in periscopes, because what designers are puting on the models’ feet is more important than ever. And more outlandish. Among the curiosities on the fall 2007 runways: Balenciaga’s Lego/robot shoes, Chloe’s curved cone heels, and Stella McCartney’s tilted platforms that angle the toes towards the sky. Spring offerings are even more theatrical with Prada heels that look like floral doorstops. Marc Jacobs’ surreal runway styles included some where the models’ heels rested above the shoes. The current selection at Holt Renfrew Bloor Street bears out the trend, with “hidden” platforms cloaked in green leather and heels that look like shiny black popsicles, or sawed-off coffee table legs. No wonder the new shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York flagship store has its own zip code. “Footwear seems to be where it’s at when it comes to the forefront of design,” comments Tommy Ton, a photographer who documents street fashion in Toronto and abroad. “They’re giving women something more visually stimulating and challenging to sink their teeth and pocketbooks into. Fabrications and ornamentation are becoming more elaborate and eccentric.” “At the Dior store in Paris, some of the shoes are like works of art,” says Debra Anissimoff, owner of two Zola Shoes stores in Toronto. “They are embellished, and strapped, and so over the top, with heels like a series of red lacquer balls.” The more cutting-edge styles are presented in a separate gallery-like environment that enhances the wow factor. “Seeing those shoes on the shelves — you could have been looking at a glass vase,” Anissimoff says. Of particular note to Ton this runway season was the stun-

Lego/robot shoes from Balenciaga’s 2007 collection

ning, and occasionally comical, footwear worn by fashionistas on their way into the shows. Among them was Camille Miceli, Louis Vuitton’s jewelry designer, striding into Balenciaga wearing the “Lego” shoes, that retail for $4,175 (US) at Neiman Marcus. “Women are more than willing to step foot into eccentric designs and pay whatever price,” Ton says. “I feel that’s fuelling the creativity of designers.” Demand from more daring markets than Canada might also be driving the trend. “I’ve been in showrooms in Europe when the buyers from Dubai are there and there are no limits to what they choose,” Anissimoff says. “They have no budget and there is nothing too extreme. They’ll take the wildest things. But then look at their architecture. It makes sense that a market that is extreme in other ways will be extreme in fashion, too.” Toronto is a different story. “We buy small amounts as window dressing, but that’s not what pays your rent,” comments Faye Markowitz, of Davids, whose designer selection includes Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Valentino and Sonia Rykiel. Markowitz didn’t order the Jacobs’ spring pumps with heels that look like they’ve tipped on their sides. But she is expecting delivery of a Christian Louboutin sandal that has a triangular slice cut from the back of the cork wedge heel. “Handbags are a phenomenon and shoes are, too,” Markowitz says. “We used to say, ‘How will we sell a boot for $1,600?’ But we aren’t fearful anymore.” Adds Ton: “You have to ask yourself how high will prices and heels rise? How much further can we go?”

What’s new in the automotive industry

NOVEMBER 23-29, 2007


A HEALTHY DOSE OF POWER When Cadillac engineers tested the new 2008 Cadillac CTS on Germany's famous Nürburgring Racetrack, they knew it certainly wasn't grandpa's old Caddy. Redesigned this year, the 2008 CTS enjoys new styling and a healthy dose of power from the base 263HP, 3.6-litre V6; to the Direct-Injected V6 with a potent 304HP. With rear-wheel drive as standard equipment, the new CTS is now also available for the first time in All-Wheel Drive. Of course the list of available safety features you'd expect from a Cadillac is extensive; including curtain and front airbags, an antiskid system, ABS and traction control. What makes the new generation of Cadillac even more impressive is the list of new features including keyless ignition, a custom BOSE 5.1 cabin-surround sound stereo, with an internal 40-gig hard drive and ambient interior lighting. External features include stunning new bodylines, an ultra-view panoramic sunroof and Adaptive Forward HID Lighting; in which the CTS's headlamps automatically level to the road and shift directionally with your steering. Time to move over grandpa ... oh, and watch the paint! Visit the new 2008 Cadillac CTS at Hickman's on Kenmount Road, St. John’s. Nicholas Langor/The Independent

Ram racer I

mentioned to a colleague of mine tion.” But to a certified gear-head or that I was quite impressed with a anybody else who knows how to turn recent vehicle, especially the a wrench and has the skinned knuckhard-hammering sound of the engine les to prove it, the word commands a as it wound out. “That’s why lot of respect. It’s an abbreI drive a Hemi,” he said. viation for “hemispherical That one sentence brought combustion chamber,” an me back to early summer engineering marvel that when I drove the famously Dodge came up with back reincarnated, limited edition in the ’60s as part of its Dodge Super Bee — a beast racing program. As I menof a car with a 6.1 litre hemi tioned before with the churning out 425 horsepowSuper Bee, NASCAR rules er. Feeling the need for clearly stated that the MARK speed I returned to the engine must be available to WOOD “hemi-headquarters,” Tom the public before it’s Woodford’s on Kenmount WOODY’S allowed on the track and Road in St. John’s, and how 375 horsepower WHEELS that’s scoped out a smokin’ hot became socially acceptmachine right by the front able, not to mention legdoor. This time it was a 2008 Dodge endary at the races. In 1964 a young Ram truck that caught my eye — a Richard Petty with a hemi-powered Super Sport 4x4 Club Cab Atlantic in Plymouth led 184 out of 200 laps to electric blue with the requisite hemi win his first Daytona 500 race; secengine. That was the main reason I ond and third place that day also was there, not only to satisfy my went to hemi-powered Plymouths, craving for raw horsepower, but to sealing their reputation. seriously get behind a piece of racing There was a very famous drag heritage. racer as well by the name of Don To the uninitiated, the word “hemi” “Big Daddy” Garlits who tuned and would probably go unnoticed, just stomped his hemi until he had the another little chrome badge on the fastest dragster in the world. He front fender that ranks right up there dominated the quarter-mile drag strip with “V-something” or “fool-injec- and was the first to hit 270 mph. In

2008 Dodge Ram 4x4 Super Sport

1987 his machine was enshrined at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. During the press conference and ceremony he proudly fired up his hemi one last time before it was moved indoors where it remains to this day.

Mark Wood photo

Those achievements came to mind when I fired up the beautiful new 2008 Dodge Ram, sporting the latest version of race-engine lineage. Sure it’s a truck, a four-wheel drive as well, but with that engine it’s a racing machine. And the manufacturer isn’t

shy about planting it in more of its vehicles either. You can get a hemi in a Dodge Ram, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Durango, or a Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee and See “Dual exhaust,” page 31


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

Car of the Year contenders C

anada’s auto journalists gathered at a test track in Niagara Falls recently to test several million dollars worth of cars, trucks and SUVs back-to-back in search of the 2008 Car of the Year. The winners in each of the 13 categories will be announced Dec. 4, and the overall Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year is to be announced at the Toronto auto show in February. BEST NEW SMALL CAR Ford Focus SE, Mitsubishi Lancer

GTS, Saturn Astra XE, Subaru Impreza Sedan, Suzuki SX4 Sedan

System, Volvo Dual-stage Integrated Booster Cushion

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR Chevrolet Malibu 2LT, Dodge Avenger R/T, Honda Accord EX, Kia Rondo EX-V6 Luxury, Saturn Aura Green Line, Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport

BEST SUV/CUV $35,000-$60,000 GMC Acadia SLT, Hyundai Veracruz, Infiniti EX, Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, Land Rover LR2, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Saturn Vue, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota Highlander, Volvo XC70

BEST NEW LUXURY CAR Cadillac CTS, Mercedes-Benz CClass, Volvo S80 BEST NEW TECHNOLOGY Audi TT Space Frame, Chrysler MyGIG, Chrysler Swivel ’n Go, Ford Sync, Lexus Advanced Pre-collision

BEST SUV/CUV UNDER $35,000 Ford Escape Hybrid, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Patriot, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue, Saturn Outlook, Saturn Vue Green Line

BEST SUV/CUV OVER $60,000 BMW X5, Buick Enclave, Mercedes-Benz GL Class, MercedesBenz M-Class BEST PICKUP Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Dakota, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra BEST MINIVAN Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Hyundai Entourage BEST PRESTIGE CAR OVER $75,000 Audi R8, Jaguar XKR Coupe, Lexus LS 600HL, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG

BEST CONVERTIBLE BMW 335i Cabriolet, Chrysler Sebring Convertible, Volvo C70 BEST SPORTS/PERFORMANCE UNDER $50,000 Dodge Caliber SRT4, Honda Accord Coupe, MiniCooper S, Nissan Altima Coupe, Subaru WRX, Volvo C3 BEST SPORTS/PERFORMANCE OVER $50,000 Audi TT Coupe 2.0, Audi S5, Infiniti G37 Coupe — Torstar wire service

Mitsubishi loses appeal over TV By Tony Van Alphen Torstar wire service


Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne stands during the new Cinquecento Fiat car press conference in Turin July 5, 2007. Italy's Fiat unveiled a new version of the Cinquecento at a big, televised event in its hometown on Wednesday, marking the return of the tiny, iconic car after being out of production for 32 years. Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters

Fiat chief talks with Daimler


iat is talking with German automaker Daimler about “everything,” says the Italian car maker’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne. Speculation has swirled that Daimler could seek a partner to work on the next generation of Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class compact cars. Marchionne gave no details about the discussions while speaking to reporters on the

margins of a conference. Fiat has been in contact with other automakers as well about a possible alliance. Fiat signed a deal with Daimler in June to supply truck engines as part of a wider strategic agreement. Marchionne also says he expects markets to recover quickly from the subprime mortgage crisis. — Torstar wire service

itsubishi Motors Canada has lost an appeal of an advertising regulator’s finding that one of the automaker’s ads showed a disregard for safety. Advertising Standards Canada says in its third-quarter report that an appeal panel confirmed an original decision that sharply criticized the company’s flashy spring television ad of a Lancer sports sedan roaring down streets and complained it glorified street racing. The advertising council, a self-regulating industry body, initially called on Mitsubishi to cancel the commercial permanently during the summer. Mitsubishi had already stopped running the ad, pending “a normal review” but strongly defended the content, saying it did not promote street racing. The regulator said the ad did not look like a professional race, which Mitsubishi claimed, because it showed a woman dropping her hands to open an event and a driver wearing high-top sneakers. Furthermore, the ad ended with the statement “Street Legal. We think.” That point, plus readily identifiable music aimed at young people, contributed to the idea of street racing, the council said. The ad appeared at a time when local attention was focused on the dangers of street racing after several fatal accidents involving speeding cars and reckless driving. Consumers and safety advocates complained the ad promoted street racing. Mitsubishi told the regulator it has no plans to run the ad again.

Chrysler might remove cars from lineup


hrysler LLC could cut more vehicles from its lineup as it restructures its dealer network and shifts more showrooms to superstores that handle all three of its brands, the automaker’s product development chief says. Frank Klegon, the company’s executive vice-president of product development, says plans to stop production of four slow-selling models marked the start of a process to eliminate overlap between the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Chrysler’s decision to eliminate the four vehicle models angered critics in the United Auto Workers union who said a four-year labour contract that was narrowly ratified last month did not go far enough to protect U.S. factory jobs. — Torstar wire service

lives here.

It’s here in our community. Please make a difference by volunteering.

1-800-268-7582 www.mssociety.ca

NOVEMBER 23, 2007



Dual exhaust roarin’ From page 29 Chrysler 300C. Come next spring you can count the new Dodge Challenger too. To me, any one of those vehicles is a racing machine — they all just handle differently. As a truck, the Ram is huge, about the size of the side of a house. I’m not a big guy by any stretch of my imagination so I found it comfortable using the running boards and grab-handles climbing into it. When I opened the hood to check out the chunk of history up front I had to reach up as far as I could to get the gaping hood back down again. That’d be just over two metres high. The top of the rear tailgate was shoulder high and the tires, on 20inch rims, were up to the pockets of my jeans. For the size of the vehicle it handled confidently on the road

NASCAR Nextel Cup points winner Jimmie Johnson celebrates after the Ford 400 NASCAR race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida Nov. 18, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Dumping on male drivers: it’s not personal A

The most ridiculous uptick for this while back an editor forwarded whole thing, for me at least, is twome a reader’s gripe that her son was being ripped off by an fold: police are saying that drivers are insurance company. He’d had a “small” adapting and keeping their speed to “only” 148 km/h to avoid the accident, and his rates had law, which seems a little gone up. (He’d rear-ended counterproductive, and it’s someone. Unless someone also indicative that our speed pulls out in front of you after limits are a joke. they’ve just robbed a bank, I take heat on these pages, rear-enders are the rear guy’s occasionally, for dumping on fault) He’d dumped his young male drivers. It’s not insurer, and been hit with a personal; I have two teenage cancellation fee for doing so. sons, I’ve dated teenage boys She was apoplectic, and LORRAINE (long ago, relax), and there is SOMMERFELD ready to bring Armageddon a reason they pay a dispropordown on the company. tionate amount of insurance She was certain one of us — a disproportionate number would want to tackle this of them cost insurance cominjustice. Nope, not really. panies a lot of money. UnforEven though Mommy had decided her lad had done nothing tunately, the good young male drivers wrong, the insurance company obvi- are paying for the sins of their friends. They say you can make statistics say ously had established fault. It’s their job. They determined it somehow, and anything you like, depending on how it would have behooved Junior to find you interpret them. While the recent 50 out just how. You start your fight with Over and Yank Law has affected people across a broad spectrum (both genders, the facts, not the press. I was reminded of her indignation by all ages represented), the numbers tell a recent headline about drivers being me something pretty basic: of 1,300 “stunned” by the new car-yanking law drivers charged, 84 per cent have been that took effect for excessive speeders male, and 50 per cent have been under over six weeks ago in Ontario. I’m not age 26. Do I want these kids to continue lossure how many Mommy rescues we’ll ing their cars? No, I just don’t want be seeing though. It’s kind of tough to them to lose their lives. To those manargue 150 km/h.


aging to skirt the law, I’d like to shake you senseless and ask what you’re winning by endangering yourself and everyone around you. This is no joke, no game you win or lose. I don’t believe there is any such thing as a traffic accident, frankly. People are stupid; people do stupid things; there is great cost of property and loss of life and mobility because people do these stupid things. There are young people who drive beyond their experience; there are old people who drive beyond their diminished capabilities. And there are all manner of people in between who practise their assertiveness training behind the wheel of a car. I’ll admit I drive faster than the posted speed on highways, but I am adamant about stop signs and red lights. I couldn’t live with myself if I hit a pedestrian because I was only looking for oncoming cars. I may have the power but I don’t have the right to endanger another just because I’m driving. It’s a car, not a cape. The problem, as always, is the enormous human ability to reduce reality to perception. There are two things everyone thinks they’re great at — driving and sex. But ask the people they’re doing it with, and you’ll probably get a different answer. www.lorraineonline.ca

and cornered easily and with 345 horsepower it had more than enough low-end torque, right from idle, to crawl up the side of a telephone pole. But it’s still a racing machine, one that can take five people and all their gear for a weekend at the cabin, while smoking just about anything right off a set of lights. I could have used a bit more exhaust rumble out back, but I’m sure whoever buys it will take care of that. A friend of mine told me that the hemi-powered Dodge Ram is a favourite for the Friday night run back to St. John’s on the highway. All chipped-out, dual exhaust roarin’ … old school kicks in a new Dodge truck. Mark Wood of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s usually drives a gutless, reliable old truck.


NOVEMBER 23, 2007

WEEKLY DIVERSIONS ACROSS 1 Cries 5 Eight: comb. form 9 Estheticians’ workplaces 13 Bungle 16 Rotten: comb. form 17 Type of frost 18 Banquet venue 19 Where the buoys are 20 It lets you sleep well (2 wds.) 23 Nervous twitch 24 Fraudulent substitute 25 Celebrity 26 Omnipotent 28 C’___ la vie! 29 Shivering fit 31 Norway’s patron saint 33 Among 34 ___ Has Seen the Wind (W.O. Mitchell) 35 Teen hero 36 Of the nature of: suffix 37 It’s higher than Vesuvius 39 ___, early to rise ... (3 wds.) 42 Plays a role 44 Ring around the collar? 45 N.S.’s official tree: ___ spruce 46 Pain reliever

derived from morphine 49 Sask.: “Land of living ___” 52 Invention of Kroitor, Ferguson and Kerr (1968) 54 Neither hide ___ hair 55 Pigeon-___ 56 Region of E France 57 October birthstone 58 Idiot 59 Keep at 60 Suet and lard 62 René’s refusal 63 Impose (a fine) 64 Dark 66 Furious 68 Apron top 69 Golf norm 70 Donated 71 Like baby’s skin (3 wds.) 75 ___-by-Chance, Nfld. 77 Have a life 78 Wine sediment 79 Newt 82 Alaskan island 84 Interest ___ 86 Stead 87 ___ Lanka 88 Wrinkly dog with blue-black tongue 90 Eve’s mate 92 GI’s identification (2 wds.)


95 UK tavern 96 Louis XIV, e.g. (2 wds.) 99 Down with a bug 100 Tulip start 101 Fix 102 Stud on a sole 103 Born (Fr.) 104 Between ports 105 Music and dance 106 Snaky fish DOWN 1 B.C. First Nation that knitted sweaters 2 Like many a sandal 3 Boast 4 Word with throat or loser 5 Aha! alternative 6 Confer 7 ___ buds 8 Puget Sound whale 9 That woman 10 Machete or fish 11 Small side room 12 Sleigh 13 Approximations 14 Holistic therapy 15 Ran 16 Nail alternative 21 Rocking baby bed 22 Pressed 27 Surgical knife 30 Luba of “Air Farce” 32 Was in front 35 Blue flag

36 Wild goat-antelope 38 Slight amount 40 Partook of 41 Given by mouth 43 Slink 46 Imitate 47 Magnetite, e.g. 48 Tense 49 Out of danger 50 Wild ass of Tibet 51 Stubborn 52 Digital audio player 53 Gimli’s prov. 54 Remembrance mo. 57 Loneliest number? 58 Money owed 61 Enjoy the taste of 63 Mid-___ crisis 64 Speaker’s platform 65 Internet address 67 Ruby, e.g. 68 Northern 69 False: prefix 71 Took a seat 72 Sustenance 73 Espy 74 Small falcon 76 Long-lost ship of Arctic explorer Franklin 80 Disorderly disturbance 81 A size too small 82 Creator of Canada Tree 83 Inuit ancestors from Asia

85 Bridal path 86 Procrastinator’s word

89 Sunscreen ingredient 91 House of Russian

parliament 93 ___ in a blue moon 94 Very strong wind

97 African ruler 98 Drs. Solutions page 34

Brian and Ron Boychuk

WEEKLY STARS ARIES (MAR. 21 TO APR. 19) A project benefits from your organizational skills that get it up and running. Your success leaves a highly favourable impression. Don’t be surprised if you get some positive feedback soon. TAURUS (APR. 20 TO MAY 20) Spend time on practical matters through the 28th. Then begin shifting your focus to more-artistic pursuits. Resist being overly self-critical. Just allow yourself to feel free to create. GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20) Restarting those creative projects you had set aside for a while will help provide a much-needed soothing balance to your hectic life. Besides, it will be like meeting old friends again. CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

A change in plans could make it tough to keep a commitment. But stay with it. You’ll get an A-plus for making the effort to do what’s right and not taking the easy way out by running off. LEO (JULY 23 TO AUG. 22) The Lion’s enthusiasm for a workplace policy review is admirable. But be sure you know who is really behind the resistance to change before pointing your finger at the wrong person. VIRGO (AUG. 23 TO SEPT. 22) You can expect to have to do a lot of work through the 27th. Devote the rest of the week to checking your plans in case some need to be adjusted to accommodate changes. LIBRA (SEPT. 23 TO OCT. 22) Try to avoid signing on the dotted line in the early part of the week. You need time to study issues that

weren’t fully explored. The 27th and 28th might be more favourable for decision-making. SCORPIO (OCT. 23 TO NOV. 21) A new development could snarl travel schedules or other holidaylinked projects. Some flexibility might be called for to deal with the problems before they get too far out of hand. SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22 TO DEC. 21) Relatives seek your advice on a matter you’d rather not be involved in. If so, use that sage Sagittarian tact to decline the “offer” so that no one’s feelings are needlessly hurt. CAPRICORN (DEC. 22 TO JAN. 19) A shift in planning direction might help you speed up your progress toward achieving that longplanned goal. Trusted colleagues are ready to offer some valuable

support. AQUARIUS (JAN. 20 TO FEB. 18) An unexpected demand for settlement of an old loan could create some pre-holiday anxiety. But you might not really owe it. Check your records thoroughly before remitting payment. PISCES (FEB. 19 TO MAR. 20) It’s a good time to get into the social swim and enjoy some wellearned fun and games with those closest to you before you have to resume more serious activities next week. YOU BORN THIS WEEK Your ability to sense the needs of others makes you a wise counsellor for those seeking help with their problems. (c) 2007 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Fill in the grid so that each row of nine squares, each column of nine and each section of nine (three squares by three) contains the numbers 1 through 9 in any order. There is only one solution to each puzzle. Solutions, tips and computer program available at www.sudoko.com SOLUTION ON PAGE 34



David O’Keefe of Voisey’s Bay takes a free throw during division one men’s basketball last week.

Nicholas Langor/The Independent

After the applause Former varsity basketball players toil in anonymity and vacant gyms, providing high quality action ‘for the love of the game’ By Don Power For The Independent


choes. That’s what greets you as you enter Brother Rice Junior High School’s gymnasium. Echoes of bouncing basketballs reverberate off the beams of the old gymnasium as Black Dog Pub Feildians and Nova Physio prepare to play their St. John’s Senior Men’s Division I Basketball League game. Players from both teams are shooting, rebounding and warming up for the night’s action. The dingy walls and dilapidated condition of the stage shock a visitor, who figured the proud Celtics’ history would positively shine off the concrete walls. While the Celtics logo is painted into the exterior wall, the paint is dull, grey and uninviting. The lighting is not great — certainly not what one would expect for senior basketball — but the action is. However, it’s the echoes that catch a visitor’s attention. To the rhythmic pounding of leather balls on the hardwood floor, Blair White leads his Feildians team through a series of drills. On the other end of the floor, Evan Constantine of Nova Physio does the same. The players’ voices bounce off the walls to the ceiling and back to the floor. And waiting for it all to start is … nobody. Aside from the two scorekeepers, referees Randy Wall and Joe Wadden (who, despite his advanced age, can still get up and down the floor), a reporter and photographer, there’s absolutely nobody in the gym. In fact, when the players notice the vis-

itors, they raise an eyebrow. They’re not used to company. It’s as if somebody walked into their homes uninvited. The bleachers are pushed up against the wall, useless. Players say they can barely remember them being used. To the members of the five Division I teams, though, it’s all about the game on the floor these days, not the people or the seats. For the most part, players in this league have played varsity at MUN (or another university), often in front of hundreds or thousands of people. They’ve played on television, been introduced to a roaring crowd, hit threepoint shots to send hundreds into a frenzy, made a late steal to seal a win and send legions of fans home happy. But there’s no applause at Brother Rice. There aren’t even locker rooms. (The players change right in the gym.) These guys now play strictly for themselves. “We’re not as good as we used to be,” says Blair White, a veteran Feildian. “It’s a good thing there’s nobody watching. “You don’t need to pull out the bleachers anymore. It’s just a night out with the boys. It’s a bit of fun.” It’s fun, but it’s competitive, too. In addition to White and Constantine, other former AUS players like Matt Chapman, Shane Harte, Jeremy Somerton, Dave O’Keefe, Mark Woodland, Randy O’Reilly, Andrew Sinclair and Mark Seaborn play in one of the two scheduled matches. The games are fast paced, more offence than defence. With varsity players distributed throughout the league, teams are relatively competitive. Every Wednesday or Thursday night, you’ll find them traipsing up and down the hardwood.

“For the love of the game, obviously, that’s why we’re still out here,” John Devereaux answers when asked why he’s playing in the grimy gym on a wet, windy evening. “At least 10 of the guys in this league were top players at MUN. We’re still as competitive as we were the day we started at MUN. “To me it didn’t matter if there were 1,500 people at MUN, or 15 people there. Once we go inside those black lines, that’s all that counts. We play just as hard in a Monday night scrimmage as we did on Saturdays in front of the crowd at MUN.” Or as they do on a Thursday at Brother Rice. While many of the players are just fuelling their competitive fires or winding down their careers, some of the younger players have larger plans. With the opportunities open to young players in this province now, some basketballers are looking overseas for a chance to further their careers. Constantine is one of those. Fresh from his Memorial varsity career, the Dunville native is interested in playing professionally somewhere. He feels the quality of ball being played will allow him to make that leap. “It’s probably the best ball being played I’ve ever seen in Division I,” Constantine says following his team’s victory. “I’m still looking to go away next year. This will keep you fine-tuned. If this were a bit more organized, probably three or four guys from each team could play away somewhere. “This is a league for guys who love to come out and play, love to come out and run. If 100 people show up or nobody

shows up, they’re still going to do the same thing and it’s still going to be just as competitive.” As Constantine speaks, Extreme Pita is playing Voisey’s Bay Nickel. Players from the night’s first game mill about. Outside of the players, only Devereaux’s grandparents, Gord and Florence Pennell, and three others, are in the gym as spectators. The Pennells have watched Devereaux (and his sister Jennifer, another former Sea-Hawk) for years. Sadly, no other fans come out. For Devereaux, that’s a double-edged sword. As a player, he’s not concerned about fan attendance or publicity. However, as Extreme Pita franchisee and team sponsor, he acknowledges sponsorship is not exactly a smart business deal. “Just as I got involved in business,” Devereaux says, “I got roped into sponsoring a team at the Regatta and basketball. From a business sense, we could definitely spend our money in better places than Division I men’s basketball. “We’ll get a huge crowd for the finals,” he adds, smiling. “Twenty or 25 people.” To be fair, crowds aren’t flocking to other senior sports in droves either, although baseball, soccer, softball and hockey do get some support. Those other sports also have a carrot, says White, that’s not available to basketballers. “One thing those fellas have is the national competition,” he says. “The soccer guys have Challenge Cup and the softball guys have a nationals every year. They’ve still got motivation to practise. “What do we have? Provincials, in front of nobody.” donniep@nl.rogers.com

Paying for it Clowe, wrestling, Ryders and curling … in the end you always end up paying


very so often, things — like press releases, news stories and tidbits of information — gather on your desk making clutter. Because of that, you need to do some office housekeeping. Consider the following items housekeeping, as I need to clear my desk. • Injuries never cause a player to lose his spot on a team, coaches say, yet you have to feel sorry for Ryane Clowe. The San Jose Sharks winger was secure in his position on the team, and played 11 games this season before a knee injury put him on the shelf for an extended period of time. In his place, young Devin


Power Point Setoguchi promptly scores seven goals in his first 10 games. Clowe shouldn’t be worried about his spot — he has proven himself as a bona fide NHLer — but you can’t help but think the timing of his injury couldn’t have been worse. • I just don’t get it. Sunday night, I took my wrestling-crazed son to Empire Theatres so he could watch

WWE Survivor Series. (He was off Monday, thanks to another of those professional development days for the teachers.) Anyway, at $16 for each ticket, plus popcorn and drinks, the 48 bucks I shelled out was hardly worth it to me. My son on the other hand enjoyed the evening tremendously, as did the other wrestling fanatics in attendance. What got me, though, wasn’t the youngsters screaming and clapping wildly when predictably the bad guy lost to the good guy. It was the adults in attendance acting like morons watching this stuff. Prior to the start of the event, an emcee asked several trivia

Ryder isn’t talking, nor is his family, but Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter is concerned about him. That says volumes.

questions to award prizes. You wanna see a bunch of supposedly grown men racing down the stairs to pick up a pair of tickets to another wrestling show after guessing correctly. Kids getting excited I can understand. They really don’t know it’s all scripted. Grown men should know the difference. • Another thing I don’t understand is why people grumble about the price of tickets to a Fog Devils game when they willingly shell out $16 for a wrestling show. People routinely pay $10 or more to go to the movies. See “Watching,” page 34


NOVEMBER 23, 2007


Watching all, seeing nothing From page 33 Yet they think any event at Mile One should cost $5 or less. • The whole Daniel Ryder situation is very sad indeed. For whatever reasons, Ryder has lost his love of hockey. For the time being, the 20-yearold is home in Bonavista, trying to figure out what he wants to do. Now, I was never NHL material, but I would have loved to been given Ryder’s abilities and gifts. I also think that there are thousands of hockey players in the province who would change places with him in a heartbeat. And by changing places, I don’t mean sitting in Bonavista. I mean playing for the Quad City Flames of the American Hockey League. Ryder isn’t talking, nor is his family, but Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter is concerned about him. That says volumes. The longer Ryder sits at home,

the further away he walks from a career in hockey. And that would be a waste. • Still with the Ryders, is Michael’s slump related to his concern over Daniel? Just a thought. • So Mile One is going to host another big curling event. With the late April schedule, chances of another snowstorm keeping fans at home shouldn’t be a problem. And there’s no Olympic curling featuring a Newfoundland team to distract people. But does that mean people are going to show up for the Tylenol Players Championship? Yes, Newfoundlanders love watching curling, but that’s generally confined to television. Throw four games on the ice simultaneously and fans in the arena get confused. Which sheet do I watch? Suddenly, they find themselves watching all four sheets, and seeing nothing in the process. Sadly

for the organizers, some of those folks think it’s easier to stay home and watch on TV. • Speaking of Mile One, is the hockey rink on the road to recovery? Changes in the management structure can only do so much if St. John’s Sport and Entertainment doesn’t want hockey being played in the building. And SJSE doesn’t want hockey, make no bones about it. One city official reportedly said in a meeting the building would be better off if ice were never laid down there. Here’s wishing Brad Dobbin and the Fog Devils luck in their negotiations. Tanya Haywood is a nice, smart woman. I’m sure she understands that having the Fog Devils in the rink is best for Mile One, the city and the residents. All that’s left to do now is crunch numbers. Let’s hope they work out. donniep@nl.rogers.com

The Hubbard expedition Paul Smith reflects back on the inspiring but ill-fated Lure of the Labrador Wild


Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (L) goes up for the shot as Toronto Raptors forward Anthony Parker (C) looks on and centre Andrea Bargnani tries for the block in the second half of their NBA game in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 20. Mike Stone/Reuters Solutions for crossword on page 32

Solutions for sudoku on page 32

remember sitting in an English class at Memorial University in the late 1970s. It was a course on Newfoundland literature from Elizabeth Miller, daughter of one of our province’s most gifted storytellers, Ted Russell. Professor Miller had asked us to read The Lure of the Labrador Wild and on that day 30 years ago, the class had a heated debate on why a man starved to death in the heart of Labrador, where one might imagine both game and edible plants were surely abundant. For those who haven’t read Dillon Wallace’s epic and tragic tale of early 20th century exploration, I’ll give you the gist of it. (But if you are a student of the outdoors and haven’t read this book, you are missing out on something very special. The true spirit of the story is in its details.) New York lawyer Dillon Wallace loved to explore and fish in the Adirondacks. In 1900, he met Michigan-born journalist Leonidas Hubbard, who was working as an assistant editor for Outing Magazine. Hubbard loved outdoor adventure and dreamed of exploring that vast exotic and unexplored land called Labrador. Hubbard and Wallace bonded as kindred spirits and, while on a back-country hike in the mountains, the pair committed to one of the most ambitious wilderness treks ever undertaken. But the interior of the Big Land is a long journey from upstate New York and no afternoon stroll in the hills. Their plan was to canoe the Naskaupi River from Grand Lake on to Lake Michikamau, and then take the George River to Ungava Bay. Lake Michikamau, through damming and flooding for the infamous Churchill Falls power project, is now part of the Smallwood Reservoir. But at the turn of the century it was a major staging area for caribou preparing to migrate and a favourite hunting area of the Innu. Hubbard and Wallace planned to leave North West River in the summer of 1903 to intercept and observe the traditional native caribou hunt. From Ungava Bay, they would hopefully find their way home by boat before freeze-up. There was the potential for much to go wrong in such a logistically complex adventure — especially considering


The Rock

Outdoors Wallace and Hubbard’s lack of practical experience on this scale of wilderness travel. To begin, they chose George Elson as their guide and travelling companion. Elson, a James Bay Cree, was a capable outdoorsman — but was not from Labrador and knew no more about the land they were travelling than Wallace and Hubbard. My English class agreed this was a fatal error. A fine outdoorsman from Labrador could have made the difference between success or failure and death. The lack of local knowledge started their troubles. Locals at North West River explained how to find the mouth of the Naskaupi, but somehow the trio canoed past it and headed up the Susan River instead. I’ve personally flown low over the lower reaches of both rivers while fishing in Labrador and can attest to the magnitude of this error. Any local guide would have known the difference. The Naskaupi is a beautiful waterway for canoes — a highway though a rugged wilderness. The Susan is a nightmare, strewn with boulders and rapids. It’s a tribute to the party’s tenacity and determination they made the progress they did on an essentially unnavigable river. The expedition was already behind schedule and the unforgiving Susan delayed progress even further. To make the tale of courage and true grit short and to the point: the party of three was stranded in the harsh Labrador winter before reaching either the caribou or the Innu hunt. They did see Lake Michikamau, but only from the distant vantage of a mountain near Windbound Lake, where they were forced to turn about and head back to North West River. The mountain is now named Mount Hubbard in honour of this ill-fated endeavour. On the return, Elson and Wallace, nearing starvation, were forced to leave Hubbard — weakened from lack of food and weeks of diarrhea — in his

tent and make a dash for help. Help came, but it was too late. Hubbard lay frozen in his tent. Back to my warm classroom at MUN. Even at my tender age, I could appreciate the hardship Wallace, Hubbard and Elson must have endured, to some extent. I had tramped the woods around Conception Bay in search of ducks, trout and rabbits. I knew how sloshing through bogs and climbing steep rocky hillsides could work up a real appetite and drain the body of energy reserves. Fortunately, my mother always had plenty of food waiting when I returned home, 5 p.m. or midnight made no difference. Baked beans have always been one of my post-adventure favourites and my mother’s beans have no equal. But these were short one or two-day excursions around home, and I would return tired and hungry. I could only imagine the physical and mental toll that months in the Labrador wilderness might take. A girl in my class said something like, “How could they have starved? There are all sorts of edible plants, roots, berries and stuff that are good to eat.” It was just enough to set me off. I was prone to getting quite passionate about things woodsy in those days. I’ve mellowed with age, but back then I had to have my say. “You’ve got to be kidding,” I began and went on to point out her naiveté. We were told in the book 1903 had been one of the worse falls on record for hunting and living off the land. Hubbard’s party had shot only one caribou for food. Each day they burned more calories than they consumed. It wore them down. Then the cold wind of winter swept across the land — a recipe for disaster. Not that those edible plants aren’t important to the wilderness diet. Maybe a wild plant herbal medicine could have curbed Hubbard’s diarrhea. I’ve done some thinking and research on this issue and I’m planning to write something on it next week. Stay tuned. Paul Smith is a freelance writer and avid outdoorsman living in Spaniard’s Bay. flyfishtherock@hotmail.com

NOVEMBER 23, 2007

The gift of news. What more could you want?




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