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Thursday, July 21, 2005

From Bricks to Bouquets, the Side Effects of Headache Medication

Due to the nature of the columns I've written and the comments I've made in the past, I have all too often been labeled everything from a whiner to a malcontent. There may be some merit to those words. I have to admit that I cannot fully disagree with all of the adjectives that have been hurled in my direction. Whiner or not, I have always been of the opinion that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I have seen this theory proven too many times to change my mind now.

Nobody ever sparked change or improved their lot in life by quietly accepting the status quo.

In past commentaries I have taken exception with everyone from NASA to the Newfoundland and Labrador Legislature and from Paul Martin to Gerry Byrne, especially Gerry Byrne. I don’t hide from the slings and arrows shot at me when I make the comments I do, nor do I rail against them. Rather, I cherish every one of those words. Pro or con, they speak to one thing I hold dear to my heart. The fact that people are listening and a dialog is taking place. That after all is the only thing one can hope for.

Today though is different. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather we are experiencing at present or maybe it’s the potential overdose of ibuprofen I ingested this morning, regardless, today, in an effort to prove that I am not all gloom and doom I’d like to toss out a few bouquets and focus on some of the good things all around.

The first bouquet I offer has to go to none other than Newfoundland and Labrador’s reigning premier, Danny Williams.

Since his election, Premier Williams has taken on Ottawa and won. He has lain down the law to major oil companies, hoping to do business in the province, and (whether intentional or not) he has ignited a spark of resolve within the province, the likes of which has not been seen for decades.

This is not to say there haven’t been bumps along the road. Mistakes have unquestionably been made and many issues still remain to be resolved, but all in all, the direction Newfoundland and Labrador has taken under its current leadership, is one that everyone in the province should be proud of.

This naturally leads me to the second set of congrats I'd like to offer. This pat on the back has to go to the people of the province themselves.

I’ve lived in the province for most of my four decades and have heard much about it, but I have never witnessed the spirit of the fighting Newfoundlander as it exists today. It is a force that has suddenly appeared like a galleon through the mist. A force that can almost be felt in the very air we breathe.

Everywhere one looks these days, green white and pink flags of old are flapping from garden and rooftop poles. Open line programs are continuously buzzing with discussions on every conceivable topic and protests over everything from fisheries to health care are happening on an almost daily basis. The fighting spirit of Newfoundlanders and Labradorean’s has been awakened and that cannot be a bad thing.

Although I often comment on what I see as our provincial and more pointedly, our country’s short comings, there are good things happening and those also deserve attention before my medication wears off.

The economy of this province is growing by leaps and bounds. The oil industry off the provinces coast now accounts for about 25% of Canadian production. Provincial mineral deposits, timber and hydro potential are in demand like never before. Our tourism industry is growing, as are our music and film industries. All of these things point to a very vibrant and healthy future. One we all hope to be a part of.

Thanks to the province’s growing economy and the strong spirit and vision of its people, for the first time in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador’s union with Canada the province can sit at the table and dine on the fine cuisine of confederation like an equal rather than arriving at the banquet and begging for a stale roll.

There are indeed a lot of good things happening but the battle is far from over. In future articles I will no doubt revert to my old ways. There will be complaints, demands for action and the sarcastic comments you have become accustomed to. That’s in the future.

Today the sun shines outside my window, the breeze smells of wild roses and everywhere I look I see the smiling happy faces of neighborhood children.

On a day like this its hard to look at the down side. It’s much easier and perhaps even beneficial to sometimes stop and smell those roses. It’s heartwarming and comforting to listen to the children’s laughter and see the possibilities for a bright future in the freshly scrubbed slate that is the face of a toddler. A toddler whose world is one of beauty, absolute wonder and endless possibilities.

1 comment:

MrChills said...

Nothing to add.

But thought I would comment that it was a nice write up. Let's keep the wheels turning and be proud of who we are and what we are. The tables seems to be turning for Newfoundland :)