Da Legal Stuff...

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Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Timing, Timing, Timing

Gee, who would have thought it? The Premier called for expressions of interest on development of the Lower Churchill and Ontario and Quebec answered the call. I didn’t realize these guys would be interested, did you?

Sorry about the sarcasm, I just couldn’t resist. In all seriousness, I’m glad these players came to the table. We knew they would of course. They had too. Quebec wants the revenue, Ontario NEEDS the power, Newfoundland and Labrador wants the development (and revenue of course) and Ottawa has to start getting rid of fossil fuel generating plants.

It may not be a marriage made in heaven, far from it, but even a marriage of convenience can work if you try hard enough.

I have to say, Danny Williams must be the luckiest guy on the planet! First he walks into politics without a day of experience, at the precise time that the population is fed up with a government that has been in power in the province for far too long. He wins a solid victory, but some would say that timing was the key factor. Some say, (no insult intended Danny), that a monkey could have beaten Roger Grimes at that point in history. I don’t know if I fully agree with that statement. A Gorilla perhaps, but a common monkey, I doubt it. His TIMING was perfect.

After being in office for a short time, Mr. Williams wins an offshore oil deal that has made other provinces drop their collection plates and drool. Bye the way, for the uninitiated, that’s how you know it’s a good deal. If the other provinces weren’t yelling screaming and complaining I’d be worried. After all, when was the last time you heard another province whining that they wanted the same deal Newfoundland and Labrador got?

How did Danny pull off this wonderful stunt? I’ll grant you that he fought, and I give him all the credit in the world for that, but lets face it, again his TIMING was perfect. He was facing off against a minority government who made promises during a close election and was forced to fulfill them afterwards. Can you say TIMING boys and girls?

Now Mr. Williams is faced with expressions of interest in development of the lower Churchill, at a time when the word Kyoto is hanging over the world landscape like a giant cloud of greenhouse gas. All you hear in Ottawa these days is Kyoto this and Kyoto that.

With the demands of Kyoto on the minds of politicians from coast to coast, it’s no surprise that the Churchill project is in the spotlight. Again, Danny just happens to be in the driver’s seat. Yes, Mr. Williams has to be the luckiest guy alive. TIMING, TIMING, TIMING.

He’s currently more popular than a dog at a flea convention. Danny, if you’re out there reading this, please don’t bother stopping by for the weekly poker game at the house. I don’t believe I have enough cards in the deck to deal with you.

Timing, they say, is everything. I don’t know if that’s true. It is definitely a very important thing, but is it everything? Hard work and a vision sure don’t hurt. I am starting to think Mr. Williams may have those. At least I hope he does, but I’ve been fooled by politicians before.

Maybe it’s the aura of success around him. Maybe it’s his smooth style. Maybe it’s the way he stands his ground when confronted. I don’t know, it might even be the six pack I had for lunch, TIMING again. I don’t know, but I am starting to think we may have another dynasty on our hands.

The liberal dynasty of Joey Smallwood dominated our political landscape for decades and if Mr. Williams keeps falling in S&^T and coming out smelling like roses, he too may be around for a very long time.

I just hope he makes better deals than some of the ones Mr. Smallwood fell for. So far he has proven that he can get the job done, let’s see if that continues.

If it does, we may end up being 500,000 of the second luckiest people in the world.

Newfoundland and Labrador has had to fight for decades for everything we have gotten, good and bad. Maybe our generation will be able to make some changes this decade that will help set our course straight. It’s an interesting time to be alive. TIMING IS EVERYTHING….. (almost).


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Response to Seal Hunt Article

Hi all,

I recently recieved the following from a lady in Ontario who has expressed her position on the seal hunt. Obviously it is an opinion I do not share, as I am sure many other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians don't. However since we always try to be open minded and fair in letting anyone with an opinion express it, I thought I would print the article in its entirety.

Following the article I will make some direct comments on its contents and I welcome others to post any comments they feel is appropriate as well.

Here it is:

I read the article written by Joan Forsey in the Toronto Star and the defense against protestors of the seal hunt is weak to say the least. If Animal Welfare groups use the gruesome images of the seal hunt to raisemoney, good for them!

The images and videos we have all seen are not fabricated, they are real! These pictures are not created by Hollywood but by Newfoundlander's murderous hands.

Our Federal Government continues to allow the genocide of hundreds of thousands of seals because they are afraid of losing Newfoundland's votes but believe me, by continuing to allow this and shattering Canada's image in the process, they will lose more votes than 5 Newfoundlands put together.

Sealing is archaic and it is about time the sealers found a more viable way to make a living. The Federal government is welcome to use our tax dollars to help them do that, but I will keep fighting to stop Ottawa from spending my taxpayers' money to subsidize the largest, cruelest slaughter of sea-mammals around the world.

The rest of Canada are an educated public, you know? And NO ONE can possiblyconvince us that clubbing seals to death is "humane". Newfoundland has even failed to find a more humane way to do this if they want to continue the hunt.

We know that a sealer gets roughly $50 for a high-quality pelt and that the seal hunt brings in roughly $4000 annually to the sealers. You tell me if $4000 a year is enough for any family to live on.

The Federal government has paid $20 million to subsidize this horror and the whole thing will produce $16 altogether. The seal hunt doesn't even make mathematical sense!!!

As for urban vs rural, you are right. The "urbans" cannot understand how such disregard for animal welfare can still go on in the 21 st century andhow someone who has clubbed 100 baby-seals to death in front of their mothers can close their eyes and sleep at night. I guess the "rural" thing hardens your heart too much. If you are so against the "urbans" I am wondering, who are you expecting tosell the fur to? I doubt the rurals will pay thousands of dollars for designer fur fashions.

You might as well stop trying to justify the cruelty of the seal hunt. The rest of Canada and the world have seen the pictures and they will be forever imbedded in our minds. I for one, will boycott Canadian seafood for as long as this travesty goes on and will convince my family and friends to do the same.

I will keep supporting Animal Welfare groups to nail the last nails in the fur industry's coffin. Have a Happy Easter and may God have mercy on all Newfoundlanders. Hope you enjoy the pictures and smell of a blood tinted ocean this spring.

Marcela Donato

Patriot's comments:

Ms Donoto writes: The images and videos we have all seen are not fabricated, they are real! These pictures are not created by Hollywood but by Newfoundlander's murderous hands.

Response: You are correct, the images and videos are not created in Hollywood, however they are far from accurate.

The videos released to the public by these groups are the ones that show only what these groups want you to see and do not depict the general facts. Often they depict true carnage. What people fail to understand is that the production of meat (yes, seal meat is a food source) in any industry such as cattle, chicken, etc. is not a pretty sight. Much blood is shed.

Most hunters use the most humane methods possible, however there are always a very small percentage of people in any industry or any walk of life who are simply cruel. This does not reflect the attitude of the majority of sealers but it is what these groups like to show. Living in Ontario, I am sure you have met many people from NL. Do you really think that the general population of the province are a barbaric horde who like inflicting suffering on animals?

Ms Donoto writes: Our Federal Government continues to allow the genocide of hundreds of thousands of seals because they are afraid of losing Newfoundland's votes but believe me, by continuing to allow this and shattering Canada's image in the process, they will lose more votes than 5 Newfoundlands put together.

Response: This is so far off base that I am nearly lost for a response. Being from Ontario I can see how you would be used to the application of political pressure (votes) to push a government's hand. What you fail to understand is that, with only 7 seats in the House, NL never has and never will have any political clout in the way Ontario does. If you are under the impression that wanting votes from NL or from Atlantic Canada in general is key to the Federal government's agenda, you are way off base.

Ms Donoto writes: I will keep fighting to stop Ottawa from spending my taxpayers' money to subsidize the largest, cruelest slaughter of sea-mammals around the world.

Response: As I mention in a later comment, the Atlantic seal hunt is not the largest sea-mammal hunt in the world. In fact it is not the largest seal hunt in the world. A larger one is conducted in North America and not by Canadians.

As for subsidies, I don't know the amount of any Federal subsidies to sealers, but I would be willing to bet that is pales compared to that given to cattle ranchers who slaughter millions and millions of land mammals every year. Far more than the 300,000 or so seals taken in the Atlantic seal hunt.

I don't want anyone to think I am against beef production, but facts are facts.

Ms Donoto writes: The rest of Canada are an educated public, you know? And NO ONE can possibly convince us that clubbing seals to death is "humane". Newfoundland has even failed to find a more humane way to do this if they want to continue the hunt.

Response: I am reading an insinuation into your comment that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are NOT educated. This is typical of the way we are viewed in many parts of the country. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have an educational system which is on par with the rest of the Country and has produced scientists, Rhode Scholars, Statesmen, doctors, lawyers and even animal rights activists.

You also mention the clubbing of seals and the fact that we have not found a more humane way of sealing.

Let me tell you that the clubbing of seals is mostly done on the gulf of St. Lawrence and not, for the most part, by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Yes, other provinces hunt as well. As a matter of fact there is a major hunt in Alaska (an American state by the way) that is much bigger than the Atlantic hunt, but nobody ever seems to notice this one. In direct response to your comment, we have found a better way off the coast of our province. The vast majority of seals here are taken by rifle, not clubbing. With one exception, this is no different than the hunting of deer which I believe is very popular in parts of Ontario. The difference is that this is not done for pure sport, but to support a family.

Ms Donoto writes: We know that a sealer gets roughly $50 for a high-quality pelt and that the seal hunt brings in roughly $4000 annually to the sealers. You tell me if $4000 a year is enough for any family to live on.

Response: As a matter of fact, pelts are currently selling for about $100 dollars on today's market. Keep in mind also that not only the pelts are used. The meat is a valuable commodity and the oil (high in Omega 3 fatty acids) is a great source of nutrients. As a matter of fact hospitals in England are currently looking at it as an intravenous food source for critically ill patients.

I don't know the details of some of the numbers you have come up with, but I can address at least one part of them. $4,000 or more to a family in a fishing outport will not support them for the year, but it will definately make the difference in ensuring that some basic necessities don't have to be done without.

Ms Donoto writes: I am wondering, who are you expecting tosell the fur to? I doubt the rurals will pay thousands of dollars for designer fur fashions.

Response: As I mentioned in my last comment, more than the fur is used, although this seems to be the only thing anyone wants to promote. Maybe this is because it is harder to raise funds that way rather than by saying we want to take away a food source. The cattle ranchers and chicken farmers might get upset at that one.

As for the fur, Many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, both Urban and Rural wear seal coats, boots, gloves, etc. As expensive as these products are and as much as some people don't want to believe it, there are people in this province and around the world, outside urban centers, who have money.

Ms Donoto writes: I for one, will boycott Canadian seafood for as long as this travesty goes on and will convince my family and friends to do the same.

Response: This is your right. Who knows, if the demand for sea food was to drop off a little bit world wide, it might offset the pressure being applied to the stocks by the predation of the seals. (A little sarcastic I know, but what can you do).

As you may not know, Atlantic cod stocks are nearly depleated, due in part to overfishing both in Canada and abroad for many years, but also due to the voracious appetite of seals. The current seal population is larger than it has been in decades and they love fish. I recently heard Paul Watson, from the Sea Shepard Society saying that seals actually eat very little cod but instead prey on other species that eat cod. He says that by leaving the seals alone the stock of cod will increase. One thing he never says is exactly what these species are. He does'nt say what they are because he can't. I don't know if he expects people to believe that the seals are eating sharks and whales.

Maybe if the fish stocks came back to a viable level, fishers wouldn't need to hunt as many seals to augment their income. Please keep in mind that these people are not going out to the hunt and risking their lives under the harshest conditions imaginable for the fun of it. Life on the ice flows is perhaps one of the most dangerous there is. Over the years hundreds of sealers have died trying to support their families in this way.

Ms Donoto writes: I will keep supporting Animal Welfare groups to nail the last nails in the fur industry's coffin. Have a Happy Easter and may God have mercy on all Newfoundlanders. Hope you enjoy the pictures and smell of a blood tinted ocean this spring.

Response: You are right, may God have mercy on us all. Not for what you see as our barbaric ways, but simply for the fact that people have no understanding, outside the areas (NL and elsewhere) that partake in the hunt.

I know it doesn't look nice to see an animal killed. I, like many people in the province would never be able to do it. But I also bet that you, like I , have never been to a rendering plant or slaughter house.

Do you eat meat? Do your family and friends? How do you think these animals are killed? Let me tell you, it is not a pretty sight either. I can assure you they are not put to sleep with a needle, far from it. There is much blood and carnage.

I wonder what your reaction would be to eating beef, chicken, pork, or for that matter wearing leather shoes or coats, if you could see the process involved in slaughtering these animals and producing these products.

I thank-you for your comments, As you can see, I don't agree with them, but it is through open communication that we all learn. Myself included.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Anti-Easter Bunny

Happy Easter everyone. I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend and have had your share of bunny treats by now.

You know, there are some who say that for every ying there is a yang and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Opposites exist everywhere. Afterall how could heaven exist if there was no hell. No good without evil and no up without a down. The Easter Bunny is no exception.

Yes, the Easter Bunny has his opposite too, and I think I've discovered who it is. As this happy little bunny hops around the globe hiding chocolate eggs for the little ones to find, so to has Prime Minister Martin trotted around the globe for years hiding his own little eggs.

For years he has hid his ships from Canadian Taxes by using flags of convenience. Robbing the Canadian public of the funds this tax revenue would have provided. Good luck finding one of his ships.

He has been playing the hide and seek game so long that he's become an expert at it. "Now you see the Offshore Revenue deal, now you don't". "Hey, I'm in Washington, oh wait, no I'm not, I'm in Spain, oh no I'm not, I'm......"

Like the Easter Bunny, Mr Martin promises lovely treats to one and all. All you have to do is find them. His latest trick, hiding the offshore deal inside Bill C-43, which also contains items related to the Kyoto accord. Neet little trick Paul.

You see, Paul knows the opposition parties will take issue with Kyoto. This is just his latest version of hide the chocolate. The way he sees it, if a member is behind the Atlantic Accord changes then they have to vote for his Kyoto plan. If they are against Kyoto, then they can be portrayed as picking on poor little NL.

Come on Paul, fun is fun but Easter is over, time to step up to the plate and take off the....., what's the opposite of bunny ears? Devil horns maybe? What ever it is, take it off. Table a separate piece of legislation. Oh, and bye the way, just so you know, NLers aren't stupid enough to believe that anyone who votes against this legislation is really against the Accord deal. Don't think it for a minute. Blame goes where blame is due and you might just realize that in the election that follows if this does'nt pass the house. Hell, we might even elect Stephen Harper, the anti-Chri.... Oops, I mean, well you know what I mean.

Yes, this guy is living his roll as the anti-Easter Bunny to the extreme. He's even found a way to hide a whole cabinet minister. Tracking down John Effort is like a cruel game of Where's Waldo. Now you see him, now you don't. Is that him over there? Naw, oh wait, I think is see his size 9 sticking out of Paul's a@@.

It's only when there's bad news to be delivered that the Liberals see fit to roll John out and pull the string in his back that makes him speak. "Take da deal, ya wunt get a betta one bye", "Da resach station is movin ta mun bye, das it" or how about, "Da cod is got ta be listed as endangawed, me buddies in ottawer said so".

Where are you now John? What are you going to say about this latest action by your buddies in Cabinet? "Well bye, Mistah Martin told me dat dis is de way it gotta be. E's a goo.........(Just a second, I think Paul needs to pull the string again, John will be right back).

I could be wrong about Paul Martin hiding our Atlantic Accord egg for the shear evil, anti- bunny fun of it. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but with this guy it's getting tougher and tougher. I think maybe he just doesn't have the money. Afterall, Bombardier will need another cash infusion soon and there is only so much to go around. Then I think, no, he IS the anti-bunny. There is too much evidence.

Yes, opposites are a part of nature and even the Easter Bunny has to have his alter ego. I just wish he didn't always have to keep hiding NL's eggs.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

We Can’t Afford to Lose this Knowledge

You know, it occurred to me the other day that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have learned something in the past few months that folks in Quebec have known for a long time. We have learned to shout, scream and kick our feet when we want something.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, just the opposite. It’s about time we learned to make some noise and see to it that we were heard. Quebec has been suckling at that proverbial teat for decades and look at the amazing deals they've gotten. Sweeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttt!!!!!

When our boy Danny went to Ottawa and fought for changes to the Atlantic Accord, we watched like good students as he stormed out of meetings, complained in the press and had the Canadian Flag removed from flag poles across the province (a stroke of media savvy genius by the way. The civilized NL equivalent of the flag burnings in the big Q a few years back).

As this all unfolded we watched and we learned a valuable lesson. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

This lesson learned, we quickly put it into action in support of our valiant Premier before the flag even went back up. Thanks to Danny’s teachings, and the valedictorian of our class, one Kevin McCann who started the Fair Deal web site, we found our voice. A voice that had been silent for so long many people thought it no longer existed.

We blasted Prime Minister Martin and Finance Minister Goodale with literally tens of thousands of email. Phone calls were made to MP’s offices and one lady even stopped making Canadian flag swim suit. These efforts, as much as the efforts put in by our provincial leader, won that campaign.

Yes, we were very good students and we did a good job on our first exam, we passed.

The Accord deal was accomplished (if it ever makes it to the house). As a matter of fact we learned our lesson so well that we have now begun to teach the teacher. You heard me right, the students have surpassed the teacher himself.

How is this? Well let me tell you.

When the recent budget came down, there were moaners and groaners but there were also cheerers and clappers. There were head shakers and hand shakers, smiles and frowns. In fact, as it has been with every budget in the history of man, some were happy and some were not. There was even the largest group of folks, as there always is, who invariably think “same old story, who cares”.

Regardless of which camp you were in, one line item in the budget, or actually one line item not in the budget, caught everyone’s interest and tugged everyone’s heart strings. The state of the cancer clinic in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The day of the budget and every day since, it has been Premier Williams turn to become a student. After a couple of days of open line discussion, hundreds of emails and an unknown number of phone calls to government offices, Danny, also a good student, learned that the tools he used to fight Ottawa can also be turned against him if enough emotion is involved.

Suddenly, and almost without argument, Danny said that he was not fully aware of the extent of the problem and was sending his Health Minister to take a look. I would almost be willing to bet the house that something will be done about this situation soon.

I know he said that he was not fully informed of the situation, but that is a face saving gesture and is to be expected. Lets leave him to his explanation folks, (that comment is directed to you Roger). After all, it’s the way politicians work and we can live with that.

Having said all that, let’s face the facts. In reality isn’t it more likely that the real reason for the change of heart was the pressure applied by citizens of every political stripe, from every economic background and from every nook and cranny of the province. I think so.

Well done, we have passed exam number 2 with flying colours and are now ready for graduation.

From this point on, Premier Williams must deal with a monster of his own making. As long as he is reasonable and fair he’ll be fine, if he is not, then……

As for Ottawa, they haven’t been reasonable, or fair, for over 50 years. One reasonable deal does not a friendship make.

I suspect we will need to fight the federal giant again and perhaps soon. Who knows, it might be over the proposed East-West power grid. I will bet you the house again (cause I’m sure I didn’t lose it in an earlier paragraph), that it is not in the plans to extend the grid all the way east into the island portion of this province, nor is it intended that the province, as a whole, will get a fair deal on the revenues from Lower Churchill should it be developed, which central Canada would love.

Yes, I suspect we will be called upon to fight another day. I just hope and pray that we remember the lessons we have learned in the past months. I hope we don’t fall back into the semi-comatose state that many of us have been in for the past 50 years. I also hope the next “exam” comes really soon because like anything you learn in school, if you don’t’ use it, you lose it.

We can’t afford to lose this knowledge.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Motives of Anti-Sealers

I’d like to call everyone’s attention to an article this morning on the Toronto Star web site. This article by Joan Forsey helps us to put into perspective the activities of seal protesters and the methods they employ.

I know that we all, or at least most of us, understand that sealing is not only a way of life in Newfoundland and Labrador, but is also a valuable and sustainable economic shot in the arm to the province. Unfortunately many people in the urban areas of the country and indeed, around the world, do not understand this, and it is through the type of article that Ms. Forsey published today that we can help them understand that sealers are not the enemy, the protesters are.

In her article (which you should really check out in its entirety), Ms. Forsey quotes some real numbers, such as the 77.5 million U.S. that the IFAW raised last year in donations. She identifies what we all know are their true motives of these groups, fund raising, and she helps people understand that many experts, including the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) have agreed that the hunt is indeed humane.

Ms. Forsey goes on to identify how, when one IFAW member befriended seal hunters, became knowledgeable of their true character and tried to broker a truce between them and the IFAW, she was fired. This, if nothing else, speaks volumes on the character of this protest group.

I wanted to bring this article to the attention of everyone in that this is the type of press we need around the issue. My take on the matter is that the government of Canada, the government of Newfoundland and the sealers themselves (though some sort of fund) need to build a war chest of revenue to combat the protest groups and bring the true story to people around the world.

I have made similar comments in an earlier article, but I want to go even further by saying that the campaign should not just tell the story of the hunt, but the true story of the protest groups themselves. The story of the money being made. The fact that these groups are actually making more from the seal hunt than the sealers are.

These groups have the money to wage a war against us and we, along with the help of the Federal government (since they are backing the hunt) need to fire back with some heavy ammunition of our own.

Come on Ottawa, step up to the plate. Its in your best interest as well as ours. If you are going to back the seal hunt by allowing it to continue, then you will continue to get bad press, thanks to these groups.

I think we would all be happier if these groups learned that by using the hunt as their annual fund raiser they were opening themselves up to a microscopic investigation and promotion of how much money they really make from it and how they spend that money.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Its the Small Battles that Win the War

Hello all,

Monday is here and another week lies before us. We had a few lively and interesting comments on some of the articles posted here in the past week and for that I thank-you. Nothing is more valuable than free and open dialog.

Well, its Provincial Budget day again. Hope you all enjoyed the weekend, this week should be an interesting one on the local front.

I just have a couple of items to touch on today related to the Conservative convention this past week.

It looks like the party didn’t self destruct as some had predicted, although it was a little shaky for a while. I don’t know about you, but my take on this is that a strong Conservative party may be a pretty good thing for all of us, (and no, I am not a member of the party).

I realize that we have always had a lot of issues with Ottawa, even when the old PC party was a major player on either side of the house. Having said that, I still think I would rather see the Conservative, Liberal or (dare I say it) the NDP party, as the official opposition in the house, rather than the Bloc.

I am only speculating, but I suspect that NL concerns aren’t very high on the Bloc’s agenda. I could be wrong, but I doubt it in this case. Taken from that perspective, having the Conservative party remain viable isn't a bad thing at all.

Then again, for anyone who is tired of the Liberals, Conservatives or NDP and is looking for an alternative, there is always the NL First party. Although they are destined, by the structure of parliment, to remain a small federal party, they may provide an alternative voice for those unhappy with the status quo. I visited their web site recently (you can find a link on the right side of my site) and they seem to be building some support in the province. Alternatives are a good thing as well.

If you will permit me to wander off topic for a minute, I would just like to say a quick thanks to the Executive of the NL First party. Although I am not directly affiliated with the party, they have seen fit to post a link to my site and display it prominantly on their main page. I would like to extend my thanks to them for doing that and just say a quick, "keep up the good fight".

Now, back to the convention topic, I hear that the party agreed to back a stronger and less centralized control of our fisheries along with supporting the seal hunt. Not a bad thing either.

Finally, it appears that the big flap at the convention was centered on the number of delegates that could attend conventions for each riding going forward. The idea was floated that only the larger ridings (those with 100 members or more) could send the full slate of 10 delegates. This was a sticking point for the old time PC crowd. I’m sure it would have been an issue for NL delegates as well, as they would stand to be short changed if it had passed. It didn’t. This of course means that each riding in NL will be as important at these conventions as each of the larger western ridings, where the support for the Reform wing of the party is the strongest.

Nothing earth shattering in any of these convention items of course, but I mention them here since I feel that its "In the winning of the small battles that the war is won".

They all add up.

If anyone has any other NL related items from the convention or just general comments, I would appreciate you passing them along.

That’s about it for now. I know you will all be checking out the budget today and there may be some interesting items in that to discuss, so thanks again for stopping by and keep the comments coming.


Friday, March 18, 2005

Newfoundland and Labrador's Most Unwanted

Loyola Hearn John Efford

Tied at Number 1 Loyola Hearn and John Efford.

Loyola Hearn who sold Out Newfoundland and Labrador over Equalization, Ferry Services, 5 Wing Goose, Gander Airport, Custodial Managment of Fish Stocks and much, much more. All to protect his cushy cabinet position in Ottawa.
Reward for ensuring he loses in the next federal election - A chance for a future in our province.

John Efford who sold out Newfoundland and Labrador over the Atlantic Accord by pressuring the province to accept a deal that would see benefits capped based on Ontario's financial position. All for his cushy cabinent position in Ottawa. His attempts failed and John Efford retired in disgrace.
No Reward offered - Effords' reputation and future have already been destroyed and he has retired in disgrace.

Public Enemy Number 3 - Rebecca Aldsworth claims to be from a small town in Newfoundland however research disputes this claim. Each year she attempts to demonize the people of the province by promoting the seal hunt and those who take part in it as cruel, inhuman barbarians. Ms. Aldsworth does this while working for an organization (HSUS) that raises millions more on the seal hunt each year from donations than any sealer has ever made in a lifetime.
Reward for discrediting and exposing Rebecca's lies - The ability to hold your head up high and say once and for all, "The seal hunt is not inhumane and it is sustainable."

Public Enemy Number 4 - Paul Watson, who refers to himself as the "Shepherd". Watson views himself as somewhat of a pirate of the high seas who, like Rebecca Aldsworth (public enemy # 3) likes to demonize the people of Newfoundland and Labrador while getting richer (and apparently fatter) from the donations he gathers by attacking the Atlantic Seal Hunt. Watson is also known for using his ship to ram fishing vessels. One such incident this year resulted in a major oil slick that threatened the pristine waters of the Antartic and the resident population of penguins there.
Cash reward offered to anyone who assists in the arrest and conviction of Paul Watson in a Canadian court for his acts of piracy and eco-terrorism.

Public Enemy Number 5 - Margaret Wente, columnist for the Globe and Mail. Ms. Wente likes to attack the province of Newfoundland and Labrador when ever she is at a loss for something to write about. Her verbal attacks serve no purpose other than to fill the pages of the Globe and Mail, sell a few papers to the Ottawa elite and ensure a steady paycheck for Ms. Wente.
No Reward offered - She just isn't worth the time it takes to respond to her bigoted, central Canadian view of this province.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A quick comment on Seal Protesters

Hi folks,

I thought I would take a minute to discuss the recent protests on the seal hunt. I don't plan to spend a lot of time on this as I don't think these folks deserve much time.

This is not truly a problem with the Governement of Canada or out place in the Dominion, (this is one case where the Feds have backed us by allowing a hunt to continue, even if, in my opinion it is not a big enough hunt). It is instead a case where we need to take the bull by the horns and help ourselves.

If you visit the web sites of these groups such as FFAW, Paul Watson's site, even the SPCA, you will see that these folks are mis-leading the public. They tend to show pictures of baby white coat seals, tell the public that we are killing young seals (just days old), skinning them alive and even worse. This plays well in areas around the world where people do not know the truth.

As we all know, the white coat has not been hunted for decades and sealers are not savages who enjoy torturing animals. I grant you that there may be an isolated number of "idiots" out there who do not care about the cruelity they inflict, but that is true of any place in the world or any industry. I can assure you it is not the norm. The average sealer is just like you and me. They are simply trying to make a living in a tough and dangerous line of work.

The problem is that many people believe this bull!!

Everyday millions of chickens, cows, pigs, etc are slaughtered. Nobody protests this. I would almost be willing to bet that some of the folks who will donate to the seal protest organizations don't mind hunting deer or moose, salmon or trout fishing and no doubt many of them are not vegetarians.

As a province we need to pull together and put in place a massive PR campaign of our own to get the true story out around the world. This is an industry that needs to utilize the type of spin doctoring that is used by these groups, but instead of lies we need to get the truth out.

I find it interesting that the sites for these organizations, with the pictures of the adorable little white coats, also have many links available for those who would like to donate. Is it possible they are using the seal hunt to fill their own pockets, pockets that are deep enough to wage a massive public opinion campaign against us and keep the money rolling in? We need to start using some of our own financial resources to counter this if the hunt is to survive.

One last comment before I close out. To the head of the SPCA who made some nasty "Wente" like comments on Newfoundland and Labrador in a recent press release. If you don't agree with the hunt, that is your right, but first get your facts straight rather than listening to the partisan parties that you obviously are hearing from. Secondly, keep the politics out of your comments. You are not a political expert by a long shot so stick to what you know (once you learn the truth). Remember, a lot of people in this province donate to the SPCA and are in favor of the hunt. You may be putting some of that revenue in jeapardy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lower Churchill Project, Expressions of Interest

In January of this year the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador issued a call for expressions of interest in the development of the Lower Churchill hydro electric project.

I would like to take a moment to "offer a bouquet" to the Premier for taking this action. It is only through the opening of the door to all interested parties that a truly beneficial option may be found.

Having said that, there is one fact that we cannot get away from when it comes to moving power out of Labrador. We must cross Quebec.

Crossing Quebec, as we all know, is a major stumbling block and always has been. It would be a wonderful thing if we could get full benefit for the sale of the power from this project, but with the province of Quebec forever standing between us and the rest of Canada and the U.S. it will not be easy.

During the early days of our partnership with Canada, the development of the Upper Churchill was a defining moment. As the newest member of the Canadian family we were asked to make a sacrifice for the good of our nation. Quebec was on the brink of leaving the Dominion and we were asked to take one for the team. We did. We have suffered for it ever since, so I don't believe any government in the province today would be fool hardy enough to repeat the deals of the past. Never the less, it won't be easy to get a fair deal due to our geographical location.

Let me put forward an idea that might help ensure a true and ongoing benefit to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Perhaps we shouldn't sell the power from the Lower Churchill outside the province at all, (unless we have some excess).

There are aluminum manufacturers who have already looked at moving into Labrador if the power were available, unbelievably it is not! The province is currently generating power for our own use from the burning of fossil fuel and companies like Abitibi are struggling with the high cost of power. Recently Abitibi even considered burning used tires as a means to generate power. This while Kyoto is on everyone's mind and while we have one existing mega generation project that we cannot make use of, and another that we have not developed.

One idea might be to develop the project (perhaps in conjunction with key industry players) and pump the power throughout Labrador and into the Island of Newfoundland. This would provide abundent power to both parts of the province. Far fetched, why?

It can be done. The island of Hong Kong is fed power through underwater lines so the idea of feeding the island is not far fetched, rather it is a proven one.

Can you imagine if Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro could supply generous amounts of power to the province at a modest profit? This would ensure the corporation's (Hydro) future, while also allowing us to have what could perhaps be some of the lowest cost power in North America? I wonder how many industries would be clamoring to set up shop here? Factories, smelters, mills, manufacturing, and the list goes on.

It could prove to be a boon to our economic growth and this type of development would not disappear over time, like the oil projects eventually will.

Can you imagine factories moving in due to all the cheap power? Perhaps we could even, as a next step, begin the development of processing and distribution systems for out offshore natural gas. It might be an industrial dream for business from around the world.

Just a pipe dream? I hope not. I also hope that this type of approach is one that makes its way through the proposal process that is due to close this month. We need to remember that we don't necessarily need to sell our resources to get the best benefit from them. Perhaps the new approach of using them ourselves should be investigated.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Discussion Paper by Roland Card

At the bottom of this post you will find a link to a discussion paper by Mr. Roland Card. I have re-published it here with the kind permission of Mr. Card.

The link itself will direct you to a copy of the paper which exists on the NL and Labrador First web site. This is where I originally became familiar with the paper and the link was setup in this way because I do not currently have an area to upload such documents.

The use of this link does not indicate that either Mr. Card or myself have any direct affiliation with the NL and Labrador First party, Mr. Card is not a member but has allowed the party to publish his paper for the reasons stated in their preamble introduction. The link itself is simply a way to access the document.

Although the document was written a couple of years ago, it is apparent to anyone who reads it, that our situation hasn't changed to any real degree. Please take some time to review the paper and I think you will agree that we need to remain focused on the job at hand, banding together to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated and that the future becomes brighter.

Mr Card would like to express the following related to his paper:

"The following paper "Discussion Paper - Newfoundland and Labrador Economy" was researched and written by Roland Card between February 2002 and February 2003. While the provincial and federal political scene has changed since his writing, his views on the attitude of the Ottawa bureaucracy towards this province, and the economic development issues facing the province and their proposed solutions are still very valid. Except for the recent Atlantic Accord changes (where, if approved by parliament, we will get to keep what was ours already) there is no evidence other pressing resource development issues such as the fisheries will be addressed in any meaningful way. In fact there is much evidence to the contrary e.g. the 2005 federal budget cuts to DFO science in the region. Mr. Card is a native Newfoundlander originally from Herring Neck on the provinces Northeast Coast. He now lives in St. John's having retired in 2002 following a successful career in telecommunications engineering, marketing and sales within the province. He was a member of The Telegram Community Editorial Board for 2004, and is a founding Advisory and Corporate board member of FIN (Fisheries Institute for North Atlantic Islands Inc.)."

"This paper cannot be reproduced, retransmitted or used in any way without the written consent of the author. Mr. Card can be reached at cards@nf.sympatico.ca"

...best of luck with your site.


Rolly Card