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Monday, June 19, 2006

Newfoundland and Labrador's Hugo Chavez

Regardless of how it may appear in recent news reports from many of Canada’s news agencies and even the illustrious New York Times, it appears that Newfoundland and Labrador isn’t the only place in the world where the government and people are starting to feel like they’re being robbed blind by big oil companies. Even a cursory glance at various news reports clearly point to an ever growing concern over oil company profits and the lack of value being seen by those who own the limited resource.

One example of this concern is the discussions currently underway in Alaska where the House and Senate are considering changes to the way oil companies are taxed. The options being discussed could see companies being taxed at a rate of anywhere from 22.5 to 23.5 percent on their profits and might also include an escalator clause that would come into play after oil reaches $50 a barrel.

A legislative consultant has estimated that Alaska, under the new regime, would stand to increase its current revenue base by about $2.9 billion a year at today's prices.

When you consider that the return on capital being experienced in the oil industry is far outpacing that of other industries it should come as no surprise to anyone that Provinces, States and Countries are beginning look for a bigger stake.

In the U.S. manufacturing sector for example the average return is about 7.1% according to the American Census Bureau. Compare this with the oil sector (as outlined below) and the numbers speak for themselves.

ExxonMobi l, 31.3%
Chevron, 21.9%
Shell, 25.6%
ConocoPhillips, 32.1%
AVERAGE: 26.2%

Oil executives often claim that such large profits are necessary in order to allow them to effectively undertake costly exploration efforts around the world, but is this a valid argument? Consider ExxonMobil for example which claimed in its 2005 annual report that:

“Since 2001, we have distributed over $71 billion to shareholders in dividend payments and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding. Of that, nearly half, or $33 billion, has been distributed to shareholders via dividends…"

"...The Corporation has paid a dividend each year for over a century, and has increased its annual dividend every year since 1983.”

Consider as well that while dividends to shareholders are on the top of the agenda for big oil companies like ExxonMobil it is abundantly clear that they could care less about spending some of their windfall profits to ensure the welfare of their employees.

A recent report in Business Week states that, "ExxonMobil has the largest pension shortfall on any corporation. Its pension fund assets are $11.2 billion short of projected obligations…. Of course, as has been widely reported, ExxonMobil has not been indifferent to the pension interests of all its former employees, rewarding its former chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, with $144,573 for each day of the 13 years he led the oil company." (The math is scary.)

Even Hillary Clinton is getting in on the act. A recent Washington Times article states that Clinton has called for a two-year tax on oil company profits to help amass $50 billion for the creation of an energy research fund, saying dependence on foreign oil weakens national security.

"We need to reform our energy taxes so that large oil companies who reap huge benefits from unexpectedly high energy prices over the next two years will be required to pay a portion of their profits into the strategic energy fund," the New York Democrat said while outlining her energy plan at the National Press Club.

You know I find it very odd that while the U.S. government is investigating oil company profits, state legislators are calling for increased taxation and even U.S. senate members are calling for a limit to company windfalls, little old Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador can so easily be singled out and called a dictator for his stance on the development of the Hebron Ben Nevis oil field.

Everyone today knows the value of oil and gas. We all feel the pinch every time we pull up to the pumps and we all see the reports of record profits that the oil companies proudly announce to their shareholders quarter after quarter. We know that these resources are finite and once they are gone they are gone forever. Everyone knows these things yet as soon as the Premier of Canada’s poorest Province cries foul and stops negotiations, partly because some of the biggest oil companies in the world wanted tax breaks in the order of half a billion dollars, he’s branded a maverick, a dictator and worse.

According to oil executives Premier Williams is too hard to deal with and he is putting the future of his Province’s oil and gas industry in jeopardy. I ask you, who is the difficult one to deal with here? A Provincial leader who simply wants a reasonable return for his Province on a limited resource, or profit sodden oil companies who want tax breaks from the poor in order to develop a profitable oil field they’ve been sitting on for the past 25 years?


NL-ExPatriate said...

Oh to be masters of our own destiny.

We wouldn't need Harpocrites permission to implement a fallow field policy not unlike what Alberta did with a three year use it or lose it policy.

All to often it comes down to outside interests dictating to us how we should or could do something with our own resources.

Case in point Ottawa wouldn't give the Upper Churchill access to a national poser corridor unlike the gas pipe line which was forced through three western provinces.

Marine Atlantic wants to close of access from the PAB yard to the town in effect killing any tourist potential from the ferry yard being there.

Fishery been mismanaged to the point of extinction due to
Foreign over fishing NAFO monitored
Failure to claim the entire Continental shelf in accordance with the United Nations Law of the Sea Article 76.
Quotas given away for trade concessions for Upper Canada.
Canada not wanting to sign onto the Un Ban on Bottom dragging trawling because of the adverse effects it is having on the enviroment, biodiversity, Eco system, Waste of bycatch through this indiscriminant I'm loath to call it fishing practice because it is more like bulldozing than fishing.

RailRoad managed out of business. When all it would have taken was widening the track to be the same as national standards.

Just to name a few of the more prominent issues that are due to having our destiny controled by outside interests.

It all comes down to the Democratic deficit with Ontario having 106 seats Quebec with 76 totalling 181 out of 308. Supreme court being stacked with Ontario having 3 and Quebec having 3 each out of a total of 9. Where are the morals and ethics being represented of all of the regions of Canada not just the urban areas. NL has never in it's 57 years in Canada had a supreme court judge appointed.
The Senate is the same way there is no equality in this Colonial/Federation of Ontario and Quebec and it needs a total overhaul with a Triple E Senate Equal Effective and Elected.

No Longer Proud said...

NL's situation is simple... Ottawa saw approx. half a million uneducated/naive people sitting on billions upon billions in natural resources, so since 1949 they've done everything possible to convince NL'ians to seek 'better opportunities' elsewhere in the country while they exploited our resources to the max. It'll take the better part of a century to move us all out, but so what? There's so much to be gained (and so much has already been gained).

And the sad part is that too many NL'ians don't see just how badly we're getting screwed by the feds, and a day will eventually come when there are no longer any permanent residents left in this province.

Damn the Canadian bastards who set out to ruin NL for their own gain, and damn the NL'ians who allowed it to happen.

Anonymous said...

No longer proud you encapsulated what has gone on in Newfoundland and Labrador in so few words, but you said it all. Let us hope the rest of us catch on before it is too late.

It is too bad we were brainwashed to think that Ottawa was giving us everything free of charge, everything from Old Age Pension, Family Allowances, and Infrastructure. Now we learn we are all $22,000.00 in debt and hundreds of billions, maybe a trillion dollars of our resources have been depeted. When it comes to the fishery a renewable resource which has been deciminated, it is PRICELESS, no dollar figure can be put on that resource. We can only say PRICELESS. Let us hope we have more honest politicians running this province in the future, but also we have to be very vigilant.

no longer proud said...

Thanks, anon.... I assumed I would get blasted for being a 'crackpot conspiracy theorist' (then again, this thread is still young, haha...). The following is a poem I thought I'd share, written by a man named John Davidge (originally from Bay Du Nord, Fortune Bay, a community no longer in existence due to resettlement) about his grandfather's reaction to the news of NL's joining with Canada. Mr. Davidge's grandfather was obviously no fool...

Grandfather and Confederation
(John B. Davidge)

I was almost three months shy of my fifteenth birthday when Newfoundland and Labrador became the tenth province of Canada and I remember that day and the days leading up to it as if it were only yesterday.

To say that my parents and grandparents were anti-confederates would be very much of an understatement, but it was my grandfather’s strong opposition to it that I remember most. His words and actions are recorded here as I’m sure he would want them to be.

Lest we forget.

April the first, nineteen forty-nine
Was a day that I’ll soon not forget.
The radio blared that the “terms” had been signed,
Filling Grandfather’s heart with regret.

I can still see his eyes filled with anger and hate
At this terrible thing they had done.
A true Newfoundlander he felt t’was too late,
And he mourned as if losing a son.

He first lit a candle then he pulled down the blinds,
And he placed some black crepe on the door.
He looked somber and sad in his black suit and hat,
And the black satin armbands he wore.

He was eighty years old but he climbed up the hill
To the church with it’s steeple and bell.
His eyes filled with tears as his hands gripped the rope,
And he softly tolled the death knell.

There wasn’t a coffin, a body or grave,
The dying was all in his mind.
This joining with Canada wasn’t for him,
A patriot true to his kind.

I was only a “gaffer” but I still recall
How his voice rang with passion and pride.
“You have sold out your birthright,
you’ve let down the flag
That your forefathers fought for and died.

That up-along bunch will be down here in droves,
They’ll force you to flee from your home,
There’ll be taxes on this, there’ll be taxes on that,
And you won’t have a thing of your own.

They’ll tear up the countryside, take all the land,
They’ll catch all the fish in the bay.
You won’t be allowed to have horses and cows
Unless you are willing to pay.

They have filled you with promises, all of them lies,
They say there is nothing you’ll lack,
They’ll give you the Bonus, the Pension and such,
And with taxes they’ll take it all back.

They got you to thinking the skies will be blue,
And the sun won’t again fail to shine,
But you’ll have second thoughts
when this land of your birth
Is alive with corruption and crime.

You’ll have a new anthem, you’ll have a new flag,
They’ll watch what you write, say and do.
T’will be everything Ottawa, nothing St. John’s.
Mark my words what I’m saying is true.

That Smallwood’s a traitor and you’ll see the day
When the people will stand up and shout
That he’s not worth the powder to blow him to hell,
And his friends will be kicking him out.”

But nobody heeded what Grandfather said
And nobody heeded his tears.
They called him a babbling, senile old man
Who was exaggerating his fears.

They all went their way with a smile in their hearts,
Hoping only good fortune would fall.
But I wondered in time would they look back and say:
“Wasn’t Grandfather right after all?”

Anonymous said...

No longer proud: Now you have given us a poem that encapsulates every thing that has gone on, only that it was predicted before it happened. The person, John Davidge, who wrote the poem must have had a great deal of foresight. It is very strange that this man saw what would happen 57 years prior to it happening. We, the present generation, didn't see it happening or detect it while it was happening right before our eyes. How one can be fooled when television and raido can convey to us subtle messages camoflauged with Smoke and Mirrors and, of corse, the availability of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, who are only too willing to spread the smoke and mirrors messages around. It is indeed a society that has, no doubt, become not very transparent, when politicians and bureaucrats are only too willing to throw up smoke screens to skew the picture. Now that we know of the illusions that have been created by those so called charlatans, are we willing to unite and do something about it?

NL-ExPatriate said...

Actually if you go back and review some of the articles and predictions of the time it has all come true.

Atikonak said...

I read that poem and I think of my grandfater who shared those very same sentiments with me before he died. It pains me to know that little by little our culture and heritage and therein our identity is slowly slipping away.

But yet here we are in 2006. 57 years have passed and we have done nothing. I love Canada but I am a newfoundlander first. And I know I'm not alone. I come to these blogs and other patriotic websites and I read about other people who feel as I do. I look at the newspapers and occasionally read a letter to the editor or an editorial about how we're getting shafted. I listen to the openline shows and I nod along with many other people across the province when someone says that we need to do something. Yet nothing gets done.

We were even supposed to have a political party dedicated to fighting for NL on a federal level yet I don't think they even ran a candidate in the last election.
Apathy Kills, and we in NL seem to have a bad case of it. Sometimes we do display a little life and get people to sign an online petition or the like but I think it's just a death rattle of what was once a proud and independent people.

So what do we do? How do we do it?

Who knows? Everyone seems to have ideas but no one seems willing to do the leg work or complete the followthrough.

Who am I to make these points? No one. Just a face in a sea of faces complaining about the scenery as we're all shipped off to Alberta.


Patriot said...

WOW!!! I've read a lot of NL material over the years but I never came across that poem before.

I'm going to have to post that on the front page. It's too good to leave to the comments section. Thanks for sharing that with us NLP.

no longer proud said...

Patriot: I read that poem in a book of poetry by Mr. Davidge that was published last year. My mother purchased the book for my grandfather's birthday last year and I was only able to skim through it briefly before she gave it him, but that poem certainly caught my eye. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the title of the book, but I'll make it a point to find out and let you know. ;-)

I hope there are no potential objections from Mr. Davidge to having his poem put online, because I feel this is one poem that should be read by every NL'ian.

no longer proud said...


You are indeed correct... Apathy does kill. And our province will soon be experiencing its death-throes if something isn't done soon. However, having said that, I'm not sure if anything can really be done...

The main problem I see is that NL'ians are possibly the most divided people in history. It's always a case of NL'ians vs mainlanders, Federalists vs Separatists, St. John's vs the rest of the province, Islanders vs Labradorians, social class prejudices, religious denominational prejudices, family rivalies, etc... I don't think NL'ians are capable of coming together in a display of unity over any subject, no matter matter how dire the potential consequences.

There's also been an exceptional amount of greed and short-sightedness displayed by NL'ians over the years. One excellent example of this is the gentleman I listened to one evening a few months back on a radio call-in show who, in criticizng the current government for their spending cutbacks (in an attempt to get our massive debt under control), said "Joey (Smallwood) might have put us in the hole, but at least we lived good..." Have you ever heard anyone say something so ignorant and utterly stupid in your life??? How long does that moron (and the numerous others with similar attitudes) think the province can live on credit??? And more importantly, how can the few of us capable of seeing the bigger picture make them 'see the light'??? Honestly... I don't think it can be done. Given their level of stubbornness, greed, and short-sightedness, (to quote my grandmother) "you couldn't beat in their heads with a mal(let)..."

Sadly, NL'ians for the most part have become 'hooked on the handout' and are reluctant to give it up. If a concentrated effort were actually made to force the federal government's hand in this province's favour, I'm willing to bet there'd be an equal or greater number of voices crying out to not rock the boat. When it comes to the old saying of 'Die on your feet or live on your knees', too many NL'ians opt for the latter. It wasn't this way, but it's certainly the reality of NL today.

If I truly believed NL'ians could come together in the common cause of seceding from Canada and making our own way, I'd be the first to sign on. It's not that we don't havethe resources and brains to do so, it's the negative, dependent attitudes of the majority. Too often I've seen NL'ians take the attitude of "My children's future be damned, GIMME NOW!", as I'm sure many others have witnessed as well. It's difficult to keep up the good fight when so many around you are willing to sell themselves and their neighbours out for a fast government buck. These days I just live in the hope that I can find a way out of the country and make a life elsewhere, forgetting Canada's existence, and the keeping the memories of my NL home in my heart.

Anonymous said...

Oh boo-hoo..poor us...woe is us.....the whole world is out to get poor little Newfoundland.

Get over yourselves. No one cares that much-- really!

Anonymous said...

It's not that Williams is too hard to deal with.....it's that he's too stupid to deal with.

Big difference.

no longer proud said...

Somebody close the window... Those little blood-sucking bastards are finding their way in.

P.S. F*ck Canada ;-)

Anonymous said...

No longer proud. Oh no NLP it would be a shame to close the window here. This is the opportunity of a life time for us to educate these people on what has happened to our resources as a result of us becoming part of Canada. This person, obviously, does not know the sneaky, non-transparent way in which everything was conducted with regard to dealings with Newfoundland and Labrador by Ottawa. I am going to give this person a few instances that happened with regard to our resources. Firstly we passed our fishery over in 1949 to Ottawa to be maintained for every future generation . What did Ottawa do, when it saw it had a virtual bank in its hand, then Ottawa used it to its advantage to garner International Trade and Foreign Affairs for the rest of the country. That resource alone made Canada the # 1 country in the world in the eyes of the World's citizens. As a result for 7 consecutive years Canada was named # 1 country by the United Nations. Secondly the Upper Churchill Falls Hydroelectric Project belonging to this province, the largest hydroelectric project in the world at the time, Ottawa saw to it that, this province would not receive a corridor to conduct the power to the markets who were thirsting for it and who would purchase it. Ottawa would not intervene on our behalf because it wanted the province of Quebec to be the primary beneficiary of that project's end product hydroelectricity, not Newfoundland and Labrador. To do so would make the separatists of Quebec angry. So as a result of taking sides with Quebec, it kept Quebec a little bit happier with Ottawa and a much more prosperous province. Thirdly, the minerals of Labrador had to be dug out of the ground in Labrador and smelted or refined in Quebec. Fourthly, the oil in Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore waters were under the jurisdiction of Canada, and therefore had to be developed with Ottawa in mind for the rest of the country. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is still trying to get a bit of the oil pie to keep this province's head above water.

Plus, before we even joined Canada, we are told by written history that we had a number of free trade agreements signed between Newfoundland and the United States, of course, this made the country of Canada very angry and according to historians, Canada saw to it that these trade deals were scuttled.

So No Longer Proud, I feel your anger to the last post by anon to whom you directed your last post towards, but this person is probably as much in the dark as we were. The transparency was such that most of us Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans didn't know what was going on. So I guess we cannot blame this person, since there is so little information outside of Newfoundland and Labrador of the tragic circumstances surrounding this province and how we became part of Canada, and when we did how our resources were misused to profit the rest of Canada and not us.

no longer proud said...

Anon: You're preaching to the choir, man... I realize my reaction to the ignorant responses was in anger, however, these 'in the dark' mainlanders are (in my experience) too arrogant and condescending towards NL and its inhabitants to ever allow themselves to be educated on the subject. I realize I shouldn't be so angry at this early stage of my life (I turn 34 next week), but patience/compassion has never been one of my best virues when it comes to being unjustly ridiculed. You know there's something seriously wrong with our situation within Canada when someone born 23 years after confederation and raised a 'Canadian' harbours the deep, burning, hatred for his country as I do. I no longer care about 'educating' these people, or 'negotiating', or 'learning to live' with them... Respect is a two-way street, and until I see some, I'll show none.

If NL'ians ever wake up to reality and decide to make an honest effort at independence, I'll gladly pick up a gun and spill some of candy-ass Johnny Canuck's blood. But, as I stated above, I don't see that happening (unfortunately), so I'll just keep my eyes peeled for my opportunity out of Canuckistan.

Anonymous said...

Sorry........I'm no "in the dark Mainlander". I'm a Newfoundlander as well.

My comments stand.

no longer proud said...

Then you're part of the problem.

ISDABY said...

I'd like to add that there is a certain amount of whining going on in NL (not refering to the discsusion on this board) but its generally IMO, the same kind of whining as when someone says 'why doesn't the government fix this, why won't THEY do that, how come somone cant come up with ...", its always 'someone' elses fault and someone else responsibility to fix things...these are unhelpful kinds of whinnig that we hear all too much on open line shows etc.

That said, I believe that we have gotten a raw deal, and have had the wool pulled over our eyes by slick politicians and self serving business men (usually one and the same). IT high time 'someone' did something about this!!! LOL!

I agree that its time to establish our position at the trough, on our terms nad the devil take anyone who says we don't deserve to set our own terms!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Sorry........I'm no "in the dark Mainlander". I'm a Newfoundlander as well.

My comments stand.

Anon - Why are you so cynical? I, too, am very disappointed in the state of economic affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. I apportion the blame both on this provinces politicians for toeing the line to accommodate Ottawa and the desires by our politicians to get ahead themselves. I am not sure what you beefs are but I would like to know, since you seem to be very angry with the province.

FiddleHead said...

OK you bunch of goofie newfies, give it a break. I'm soooooo sick and tired of the whining that I think we should have a referendum just so we can get rid of you. Someone mentioned APATHY, well that's it in a nutshell. No one on the rock has one good left ball between them. There's no drive, no ambition, no sense of hope, no rebellion, no anger, no uprising, no attempt at anything that requires any sort of action. So basically, shut up and just keep taking it up the butt!!! If you aren't going to take responsibility for your situation then guess what??? no one else is and what's more important is that no one else cares. I know lot's of Newfies and have had many discussions related to politics etc. ( I do find Newfie politics very entertaining, like a cartoon!!! ) No one ever came out on top of one of these discussions because no one could ever come up with any example of anyone actually doing something. Lot's of talk, you could fill volumes with political promises and good intentions, but you know something, none of that adds up to a single tangible action. Let's take the example of your latest fishies minister, yes good ol' Lyola. All full of fire, a savior, loaded down with new direction, fantastic ideas, his eyes alight with purpose and guess what??? You had to bend over and take it up the butt again. How long did it take the mainlanders to slap that goofie little upstart into shape? a month - even less? And then I catch the news one night and here's the little leprechaun himself on TV in Pettie Harbour somewhere giving the "bye's" another 5 weeks of pokey and a food fishery for this summer and people were singing 'for he's a jolly good fellow'. So the stereotype is alive and well and living on the rock. I couldn't help but feel embarrassed for my friends that came from there. No one on this planet has ever sold out so easily or so frequently. Let's face the facts, the Torontonians should be hailed as geniuses because they have your whole culture and people down to a science and you are like a rat in a maze. "Here's a little piece of cheese" and you dance like the little puppets that you are. One difference though, a rat would eventually bite someone.
You sit on one of the most lucrative resource hordes on the entire planet, I don't even think you have the slightest idea of the true value of your potential wealth. The reason why no one cares about Newfoundland is because people look at your situation and wonder why you are not "doing" anything about it. I don't mean doing something like talking about it, sending the latest fisheries minister to Ottawa to be quickly snuffed. Let me give you an example of the "doing something". The tiny itsy bitsy nation of Iceland has fish, and ... well fish is about it. No iron ore, no nickel, no forestry, no oil, no Hydro power etc, you get the idea. Well it seems that European nations would come into Icelandic waters and fished when ever they wanted. Even NAFO backed up the European countries, (a joke in itself)
The worst offender was the British. So what did poor defenseless little Iceland do??? Did they break out the KY jelly like the newfies, get 5 more weeks pokey??? No they actually fought. They went out in their boats like real men and started ramming any ship that was putting a net in the water. Oh My!!! Real Men!!! Of course there were diplomats from various countries running around like men possed, talk of war blah blah blah. But balls won out in the end and no one messes around in Icelandic waters because it's just not worth the effort.
What I really want to know is, "What does it take to get you lazy bastards off of your colletive arses and do something???"
Just answer that question for me and I will end my little rant. I feel like a big brother who has to take his bonehead little brother into the woodshed and beat some sense into him, explain to him the basic facts of life and point out all the obvious things that even a retard could deal with. So come all you goofie newfies, tell me, what are you going to do???

Anonymous said...

Fiddlehead, thanks for painting us in words the way you see us and I agree the way we are. I cannot deny that your description of us is not exactly the way that things have evolved in this province. We have put too much faith in politicians, both on the Provincial and Federal levels. We, of cource, thought that they were doing things in a manner to make Newfoundland and Labrador equal with every other province in Canada. We thought Canada was a fair and equal country, but the image that it isn't has only become really clear in the past few years. I have to say we have been much too passive on our resources. We do need to wake up now that the image is clear and demand and negotiate a better deal for our resources. Of course, in a peaceful way. But I do think we will have to take our little boats out on our Continental Shelf to our Grand Bank's waters, little boats you might say, yes because Ottawa put a length limit even on our boats, the boats are not allowed to go over 65 feet, while foreign boats are hundreds of feet long. We have to do like Iceland did with the over-fishing on its continental shelf, we have to chase away those foreigners, the ones Ottawa gave quotas to and allowed to fish there. Since Ottawa receives too much compensation from the fish resourc in our waters and since Ottawa conducts its trade and foreign affairs policies on the strength of that fish resource, thus Ottawa is not going to do anything about it. Can you imagine the international trade deals negotiated by Canada for the rest of Canada, that would fall out of orbit, should Ottawa now deny those same countries the right to fish in our waters, after handing out all those quotas. And, of course, Ottawa would lose its foreign affairs clout. But something has to be done to change the course in which Newfoundland and Labrador's resources are depleted at such a fast rate. Also Newfoundland and Labrador gets nothing out of it other than a poorer economy. Just learned from the National News last week that Newfoundland and Labrador's economy will grow this year, again, more than any other province in Canada, and at a rate of two and a half percent (2.5%) more than rich Alberta. I see nothing out of it for our people other than out-migration. Our resources are going to keep the economies of the other provinces churning. For instance our resources like, nickel to Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba, Hydroelectric to Quebec, Oil to the other provinces of Canada for processing, on and on it goes. So Fiddlehead is right on when he states we are the one who have to do something about it.

Fiddlehead, I agree on everything you said but please do not call us GOOFY NEWFIES. It is very derogatory and it hurts as badly as knowing our resources are migrating out of here without us benefiting. Thanks for your post though.

FiddleHead said...

Yaaaa a reply. But poor excuse for not chasing foreigners off the banks, Ottawa has put a length limit on our boats, they're not allowed to go over 65 ft. There you have it again in a nutshell. It's someone elses fault, Newfoundlanders are just the poor victim. You sound like you are much too concerned about what Ottawa thinks and that's one of the biggest challenges, how in the world are you ever going to get over that defeatest attitude. Come on man, there has to be the tiniest shred of dignity down there somewhere.
And yes I know the Newfoundland situation, I'll even summerize it for the readers so they can print it off and use it as a reference. After the 2nd world war Britain was not interested in baby sitting Newfoundland anymore so they asked Canada if they wanted to take it off there hands. Canada said yes to the idea knowing there was a resource grab bag and access to entire east coast. They brain washed/indoctrinated the little megalomaniac Smallwood, there was a couple of referendums and Newfoundland ended up joining Canada. Canada soon learned that Newfoundlanders were easily bought with table scaps in the form of baby bonuses and make work projects. Over a few decades the once fiercely independent and proud Newfoundlander had been reduced to a pack of whiney, beer bellied slobs who now have to beg for those same table scraps (good doggie). The pride is gone. Don't believe me??? look at some of the pictures of the sealers and fishermen from the turn of the century, you won't see any beer bellies there, look at their eye's and you'll see a wildness and determination that just doesn't exist today. Do you think those men would be putting up with the crap that they put up with today??? not a chance my friend. Todays Newfoundlander is so well trained and so lazy that it will do silly dog tricks for the tiniest little treat. Even though there is that wee sliver of pride left, it can be easily put aside to do dances for the master.
Your response to my last posting tells me nothing, you mentioned Ottawa 7 or 8 times??? Forget Ottawa, are you retarded!!! they are the ones responsible for your situation. Do you think for one second they are going to do anything to help your situation. It's just as well to bend over and take it in butt than it is to deal with these guys. Their attitude is that Newfoundland is an annoyance, not a people or a culture, the only culture that they cater to is Quebecs. Do a quick evaluation of the situation for the love of Pete. Remove Ottawa from the solution because that piece does not fit. Williams needs to start screaming separation and start dealing with other countries like he's a Prime Minister. That might start getting some attention in the rest of the country.

Anonymous said...

Whose fault is it Fiddlehead when we are dictated to as to the size of the boat our fishers use, boats that are not very safe to travel out to the Continental Shelf because of its size?
Also Fiddlehead whose fault is it that we are at the whim of Ottawa on whether our fishers get a quota or not and where they are allowed to fish that quotas? How do we get that power out of Ottawa's hand in the first place? Please tell me since you seem to think it is an easy task. If it is as easy as you say, we will do it tomorrow. We do not want to lose what little we have left. We, by far. comprise of law abiding citizens.

I am not sure whether you are aware or not but there have been instances here in this province where fishers have had to cut just one foot off their's boats length, at great expense to the fishers, because the boat exceeded the 65 feet length, of course, that was because of a request from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Ottawa. Will you give our fishers the right to make their boats longer and safer so they can conduct a safer fishery? You seem to imply that is what we should do, go ahead and break the law and do so. Please tell me how these fishers should go about doing that without losing what little they have left, if anything. Also will you give our fishers the right to chase those foreigners off our Continental Shelf?

Do you realize that Employment Insurance was dreamed up back in the 1970s by Ottawa to aid and abet free trade for Canada. Also it freed Ottawa's conscience a little bit. Ottawa said to itself we are giving a little bit of compensation for sooooooo much fish belonging to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The fishery was the enabler that was used to trade all stuff Canadian (Manufactured goods and Agriculture) and for Ottawa to gain considerable foreign affairs clout from all those countries it allowed to harvest the fish of Newfoundland and Labrador, if that booty of fish wasn't there for Ottawa's disposable, I would say it would have been much harder for Ottawa to have gained the position in the world that it has. Our fishers were hoodwinked with that bloody EI program and now they have lost their livlihoods and their communities, and have lost their reputation to boot. Besides I don't know if you are aware or not there are many more farm workers in Mainland Canada, who receive EI than there are fishers, who receive it. To tell you the truth I pity anyone who has to survive on EI. There is a stigma attached to it and very little pay.

I guess Fiddlehead, since you know so much about us, you must have followed the Atlantic Accord deal that just got concluded last year by Premier Danny Williams and Prime Minister Paul Martin. By the way that deal was supposed to have been concluded in 1982 when the Federal PCs were in power. When the Federal PCs lost the election back in the 1980s and Liberals had gotten back in power, Ottawa put the Atlantic Accord in cold storage. Nothing got rectified until 24 years later.

Twenty-four years later Premier Williams demanded that the Atlantic Accord be signed and after many hours of discussions not going anywhere, he went to the limit of taking down the Canadian flag to express his disgust to the rest of Canada. All Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans agreed with him. Why? Fiddlehead do you think that deal got put into cold storage by the Feds in the first place? And how much money do you estimate we lost by not having an Atlantic Accord deal signed and working for Newfoundland and Labrador? There were billions of dollars worth of oil taken out of those 3 fields during that time. Those oil fields were yielding for 10 years for Ottawa and the Oil conglomerates without any retribution or profits coming to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

For your information Canada wooed Newfoundland and Labrador for many years and we resisted each time.

Britain passed over Newfoundland and Labrador to Canada to pay off its $8 billion war debt which it owed to Canada . We didn't go into Canada passively, we went in kicking and screeming and shedding many tears. Canada, is no different, than a large Corporation, it would not take on anything that would be a liability. Canada saw the enormous wealth that Newfoundland and Labrador was endowed with. Sure Fiddlehead we had free trade deals signed with the United States, as early as 1892 and Canada saw to it by lobbying England that they were cancelled. Canada kept us poor before we joined and it is keeping us poor now.

Canada got an excellent deal with it got the entire east coast which existed on its boundaries. It must be a wonderful comfort for Canada to know that there is not another foreign country on its Eastern Flank, a country that could very well be unfriendly. As far as I am concerned that makes us as important to Canada as Quebec does.

And may I add Fiddlehead you should stop using words like 'retard' since in today's society which is supposed to be ruled by tact and diplomacy, the words retard and 'goofy Newfie' do not fit very well.

FiddleHead said...

Blah blah blah ... I don't believe I used the phrase goofie newfie once in my last posting ... check and see. Anyway there you go whining again and blaming Ottawa in the very first paragraph. Well done and expected. Will I give the fishers the right to chase foreign vessels off the continental shelf??? You bet, you have my persmission lay it to them. But again back to my main point in this discussion, why do you have to have any ones persmission to do anything. You know and I know that noboby gives a rats ass or supports Newfoundland, and they never will. Plain and simple. Stop wasting your time putting any kind of hope in Ottawa, it's just not there, "Hello .. McFly"!!!
You seem to be getting a little touchy there, relax and and take it easy, you'll have your cheque soon enough. And thanks for lecture, we all know about UI, waiting for the Atlanctic Accord, the oil deals, the upper churchill and on and on. Why do you think Exxon expects to get a sweetheart deal for Newfoundland oil. The been watching the Newfies crumble for decades you don't think anyone is going to grow a spine any time soon do ya??? Like I said before either keep a handy supply of KY Jelly or "DO" something.
Just a quick note on the war dept. There were a great many counties, including Spain, that owed Britain a whole lot more than 8 billion dollars after the war and maybe you don't know this but Britain forgave them their debt. But oddly enough they didn't forgive Newfoundlands debt which was a horrible thing but that was part of the deal that Britain made with Canada to get them to take Newfoundland off of their hands. I bet if you could actually do a recount of the votes in the last referendum you would find that union with Canada really lost. And don't try to give me a history lesson on the lost free trade deal, brokered by Sir Robert Bond. I've been debating this kind of stuff while you were in diapers. Like in my original post there are lots of could haves, should haves it's this one's fault etc. In Newfoundlands history it has always been someone elses fault and Newfoundland has been the victim. Well my question still stands and needs to be answered "What are you going to do???"
I think Williams should pull the plug on Quebec Hydro. That would take some balls!!! What exactly are they going to do??? Maybe a better approach would be to tell Quebec that Newfoundlanders are going to take back some power for themselves. Start building a power corridor down the Northern Peninsula, invite big business to set up with a steady supply of incredibly cheap power. The Chinese alone would swamp his office. The current contract with Quebec should be ignored, contracts change every day in this country, but for some reason that horrible contact is written in stone and will never be changed so why not just ignore it and move on as if it doesn't exist. Things don't change on there own, they have to be forced to change and that require balls. The faster Danny finds his, the better off NL will be.
And don't forget to answer my question....

Anonymous said...

Fiddlehead, I respect most of what you said in your last two posts. You are really saying much the same things as I am saying, but you are saying them much stronger and with much more affirmativeness. You are really a Newfoundlander at heart, I believe you are one of us. I wish there were more Canadians doing the same, and words alone would probably get us out of the terrible economic mess we are in, much more quickly, especially given our natural resources, We would only need a war of words, not a physical war.

In essesence what you are saying is that we need to produce more testosterone. You are saying giving everything we have going for us here with resources and such, it is our own fault to have put up with it. I think I hear you loud and clear. Sorry, YOU DID NOT use the GN word in your last post, but you used the other word I mentioned. Please keep words such as the ones I mentioned out of your next postings. Such words add nothing to your message, only hatred. Thanks a Million for taking part in this debate and please keep doing you, you have a lot to add. Also it is postings like yours that should make our people act more swiftly in getting our house in order. Thanks again

FiddleHead said...

You never answered my question. The answer to NL's woes is only separation. You are part of a federal system where you have no clout what so ever. Just read the article about Harper clawing back equalization bucks from the weak provinces, yours included, so he can give Quebec a couple of extra billion dollars. It's vote buying at an incredibly evil level. But again you are going to have to bend over because you have 0 political strenght and it will always be that way ... forever. The only other possbility would be a sympathy vote but there is no sympathy, central Canada truely believes you should forever kiss their behind for taking you in. Now you are seen as a bunch of whiners and nobody in this country and I mean nobody is going to get behind you. Apathy is not only well entrenched in NL, but in many other parts of the country and if they can't get out for themselves, what do you think the chances are of getting their support. The threat of separatism worked for Quebec but only because they have a huge number of seats. For you there is not that luxury.
But brace yourself for the upcoming fight over equalization, when the house returns in the fall Harper will try to implement his equalization formula. At that point Danny Williams will take down the Canadian Flag and run up the Pink White and Green. The media will go into a feeding frenzy and eat Harper alive. Williams has already said that he prefers the PWG and would have no trouble using it as the Provincial flag. I was wondering why he hadn't done it. Now I know why, the day Harper messes with equalization Williams will make it the official flag of the province and the fight will be on. I don't believe that Harper is any match for Williams. Remember this post when the house sits in the fall.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, we are part of a federation that has evil overtones. A federation where corruption is as bad as it is in any African country, but because Canada's name is synonymous with GOODNESS, it has been overlooked for far too long.

I have read articles where Harper is talking about clawing back equalization dollars from the weak provinces, and as it stands in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador is the weakest, with probably the most natural resources and as far as I am concerned the most strategic location in Canada, only British Columbia can be equated with our geography.

I don't know how we can get any more clout than we have with the structure of Canada's Government, where seats mean everything. How can we compete with just 7 seats? I think with a demographic such as that, we are doomed to the poorhouse forever with absolutely no power or use of our own resources. That system has to change for this province to get ahead, and, of course, as wel for the other provinces with few seats.

I believe you that there will be no apathy for Newfoundland and Labrador from the rest of Canada. How can there be when Newfoundland and Labrador's position will be to take back its resources that Canada has been feasting on for far too many years, without the average Canadian having one iota of knowledge. That will be like taking the milk bottle from a baby.

I also agree that we are also seen as a bunch of whiners, as the average Canadian has not one clue as to what Newfoundland and Labrador have contributed to their well being. For Ottawa to have disclosed that to the average Canadian would have meant economic suicide many years ago. To have told the average Canadian, Ottawa would have told the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that they were robbing us blind and keeping us poor, we would have done something back then about it. The fight we have on our hands now would have been fought back then. Why would they have disclosed such a important secret as that, to have done so was to completely spoil a good thing. But after 57 years Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans found out on their own accord. It is sad it took 57 years, but now we are quite aware.

You say the threat of separatism worked for Quebec because they have a large number of seats, but you say for Newfoundland and Labrador there is not such luxury. Once we decide to go that route and if we truly mean it, with our strategic location and resources, I would say it will probably would have the same effect as Quebec had when it started that process. I think we are far more important to Canada's well-being than Quebec is. That is my opinion and my opinion only. Quebec's only attribte is that is in the center of Canada. Plus they want all their resource wealth for themselves, they share nothing with Canadians.

I do believe Prime Minister Harper is brewing a fight over equalization when the house returns in the fall, but if he tries to clawback the monies we were owed and given for our Oil resource, through the Atlantic Accord, I think he will have a difficult fight on his hands. That will be the straw that breaks the camels back. Anyway how corrupt would the average Canadian be to allow that to happen, after now knowing everything we brought into Canada. Or does the average person know? If Harper does, then I think most of the people of this province will have separation on their minds. And rightfully so.

To answer your direct question. I am leaning very much so to asking our Premier to go the route of Separation, but I think, I will at least wait until the House opens in the Fall to see what is coming down the chute. Thanks for asking.

no longer proud said...

Even though you come across as an arrogant, know-it-all prick, Fiddlehead, I will admit that I agree with you. I've made the same pro-separatist arguments to many people I know, and while several agreed, many more didn't. But it does seem that as time goes on, a few more people are starting to come around.

I also agree with the upcoming equalization debate. I've also heard rumours from sources close to government that should things not go favouably, Williams has not ruled out a separation referendum. Personally, I think the possibility of separation is quite likely the reason for the Williams government's determination on getting the provincial deficit under control, the hard stands for better resource deals with major corporations, not including Ontario or Quebec in the development of the lower Churchill, and the current investigation into false expenditures by current and former government members (weeding out the dishonest and taking back some of the misappropriated monies).

The biggest stumbling block I see to all of this are the 'whining goofy newfies', primarily rural residents who have become 'hooked on the handout' and seniors who still view Joey Smallwood and the Liberals as saints because they gave them a bit of baby bonus (and yes, those of us living in larger centers are sick of their whining, as well...). Any solution to NL's woes that doesn't involve an injection of government money is going to be a hard sell. These are the people who fail to see the greater picture, and they greatly outnumber those of us who do. But this upcoming equalization debacle does give me some renewed hope that more people's eyes will be opened to just how bad things are going to get if we stay in Canada and that our former independent spirit is renewed to a new level of ferocity.

Anonymous said...

No longer proud - It appear that your's and Fiddlehead's views on what changes have to take place in Newfoundland and Labrador happen to concur with mine.

But please 'NO LONGER PROUD' would you refrain from using the "Goofy
Newfie" word when referring to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. It hurts me to the core.

I like to thank both of you for contributing to this debate with me on the subject of Newfoundland and Labrador's dismal place in Canada.

Hopefully after the next session in Parliament, we will have some idea of what will happen in this province. Fifty years (57 years) of abuse is far too long. Long Live Premier Danny Williams!!!!!

no longer proud said...

Sorry, Anon... I don't like the 'GN' term, either. I should have made it clearer that I was simply quoting Fiddlehead's words in reference to the stereotypical NL'ians that give us all a bad name and are nothing more than (as I stated above) stumbling blocks on a path to a successful future.

Anonymous said...

Fiddlehead you are right on!! I've only had to listen to the whiny Newfies for a year and I'm going completely mad. My next transfer/assignment can't come soon enough!

Anonymous said...

don't you love the irony of someone making the effort to come on to a blogsite to whine about whiny people are.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Here's what we can do.
Shoot all of the power lines from the poles that are bleeding us dry because of a corrupt deal made by Joey Brinco, and a conflict of interest by Hydro Quebec.

Take all of the under 65 foot boats up to the Mouth of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and block of the bleeding of Atlantic Canada through that blood letting Trans Canada Seaway. As well as demand action on the misuse and mismanagement of our fishery continental shelf.

Make Harpocrite accountable for his promises in the last election this term. If we don't he might lose and we'll be stuck with the same promises.
Add Gander's landing fees and co funding for paving the TLH to that list.
Joe Clarke promised Coastal provinces control and revenues from offshore resources back in the day. Now Harpocrite has 50% control and is a conflict of interest with his interests in Alberta's tar sands and won't support a fallow field proposal like Alberta did three years use it or lose it.

We need Autonomy of our own destiny if we are ever to get away from these outside interests manipulating and pilfering our birthright due to Canada's systemic Colonial/federation with Ontario having 196 seats Quebec with 75 seats out of 308 and us with 2% 7 seats. Adjacency right WJM.

Don't vote in federal elections because by voting you are just accepting the fact that we are acceptant to our place in Canada.
You will send a much louder message by not voting than you ever will with voting for a separatist party or a fringe group. We need some sort of equality in this colonial/federation. Triple E senate Equal, Effective, and Elected. A supreme court judge from every province and territory to represent our morals and ethics. The top judge from each province could be appointed to the Supreme court of Canada.

We need autonomy in the form of masters of our own destiny in our resources, Fisheries, Non-renewables removed from the equalization formula, Marine Atlantic, along with the funding and resources to manage them properly.

Sign onto the UN ban of bottom trawling.
Sign onto the UNESCO determination that NL has an intangibly distinct culture.
Act on the United Nations Law of the Sea Article 76 which would make the entire continental shelf ours.

Just say NO to Ontario's Colonial/Federalism.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Oh by blocading the Saint Lawrence Seaway we would also be stopping the imperialist bloodletting of Voisey's bay as well.
I don't think the Premier at the time had a mandate and any deals he made should be null and void because he wasn't elected. Hence Voisey's bay is an illegal contract.

We all know a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. That about sums up the Voisey's bay fiasco.

Anonymous II said...

Fiddlehead, you said, you are right on!!
June 27, 2006 4:16 PM ..........

Anon - For the love of Creation, who whines anymore than Ontario and Quebec. When, for the first time, in Newfoundland and Labrador's history, it damanded and after years of negotiations, it received a payment of $2 billion for the billions and billions of oil extracted from its oil fields. Guess WHO got up in arms and whined and demanded another $5 Billion for his province?!!! Of course, it was Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. and Ontario received the $5 billion. Ontario has miles and miles of Manufacturing plants in its territory, all as a result of Ottawa looking after Ontario's welfare with Canadian taxpayers money, research and development monies and resources compliments of Newfoundland and Labrador. An instance, I can relate to you about a resource from this province that just recently breathed life into 2 Canadian cities , was Voisey's Bay Minerals, the largest nickel find in the world, not to mention cobalt, paladium, platinum and many others precious minerals included in that find. This ore HAD TO go to Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba to keep those mining cities in existence. We got nothing out of it, only grief, and a pledge to bring back the ore in 30 years. Now if they don't have the ore now to keep them going, what fool is going to give us their ore in 30 years as payback for Ontario and Manitoba. Also Inco now is being gobbled up by a large American Mining Corporation. If, say, there ever was a chance, I would say it has evaporated now with the proposed takeover by another large conglomerate of Inco the company, which manages that mineral resource. Newfoundland and Labrador received $2 billion from its Oil, after a contract had been signed nearly 25 years prior and as I said, 10 years of pumping by the Oil companies and billions and billions of dollars worth of oil extracted. Now Ottawa is talking about taking it back, because in a sneaky way they included in in equilazation, instead of an outright payment for our oil resource. My God, if we do whine, what else can we do? As far as some of us are concerned, a referendum on separation is the only thing. Matter of fact with the apathy of the rest of Canada, as Fiddlehead said, it is the only route, since whining for Newfoundland and Labrador doesn't work. Whining only works for the rest of Canada and Corporations, like Bombardier.

Bombardier, a Corporation in Quebec, over the past four years has received over $3 Billions. That money was given to it by Ottawa just for it to survice the hard times it is facing, because of the down-time in the aerospace industry as a result of that it is lacking contracts to build planes. Thousand of people are employed with Bombardier,in Quebec and around the world, with high paying jobs with the taxpayers of Canada's money. And all the workers of Bombardier been doing in the past number of years, especially since 911, is collecting high paying salaries, with their feet upon the desk. High paying money for no work, because there are no planes being built. Bombardier exsits because of the largesse of the Federal Government with taxpayer's dollars. That would never be tolerated in Newfoundland and Labrador. Can you please close your eyes ANON and imagine the chorus of whining there would be, if Bombardier was a Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador instead of Quebe. My dear fellow poster,those handouts from Ottawa would have been cut off a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

lot of misinformation about Vosieys in the above post -
its not the largest find in recent times New Calidonia is bigger - however the ovoid is very rich - but has a life of about 15 years. Not enough to warrent a smelter by itself - thats why they are looking underground.

There is no significant paladium, platinum or other precious minerals in the deposit.


anonymous said...lot of misinformation about Vosieys in the above post -



Breaking News

Inco announces significant new exploration results at Canadian operations

11:33 EDT Monday, June 19, 2006

TORONTO, June 19 /PRNewswire-


Under the above heading on Globe Investor.Com you will find an interesting article of Inco's new find at Reid Brook, Voisey's Bay which it announced on June 19, 2006. I think this might very well now make that area of Voisey's Bay probably the biggest Nickel find ever. It was already billed as one of the greatest finds of Nickel ever before this ANNOUNCEMENT was made. It will be interesting to know. I am sure you will find the statistics somewhere in print.

anonymous II said...

Anonymous said....however the ovoid is very rich - but has a life of about 15 years. Not enough to warrent a smelter by itself - thats why they are looking underground.

Why is it that it is large enough to keep 2 cities in 2 cities, Sudbury, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba, going? I would say it is large enough for a smelter to be placed in Newfoundland and Labrador, if the 2 cities mentioned above were not in the equation. Also given it was announced a couple of weeks ago that another large Nickel deposit was found in the Voisey's Bay area.

Information can be arranged the way any large corporatiohs wishes. If a corporation doesn't want a smelter in a certain area, and it wants to utilize another area to smelt, Corporations will do as they please and arrange the numbers and statistics to accommodate the situation. What a corrupt world that we live in. No wonder Newfoundland and Labrador's economy isn't a basket case, given it is impossible to be the primary beneficiary of any of our large resources.

Anonymous said...


word of the decade.

Anonymous said...

Voisey's bay nickel is not keeping Thompson or Subury smelters going.

Subury has huge reserves and will still be there long after the ovoid is gone.

The new find is below ground and costs a lot more to mine than the ovoid and probably wasn't cheap to find. Without the smelter planed for NFLD I wonder if inco would have bothered.

As for smelters they do create huge environmental waste as some of the residents of long harbor have just realised you eithe rpump the crap ito the air (Sudbury) or put it into ponds (NFLD).

Patriot said...

Anon, You have no idea what you are talking about. The smelter planned for NL wasn't what made INCO decide to go ahead. In fact, NL had to twist the arm of INCO execs to make hte smelter a part of the deal because they didn't want to do it and I believe they really still don't. It remains to see if it will ever happen.

Also, yes, ore is being shipped out to other smelters.

Anonymous II said...

Patriot. You are right. The nickel is used to fuel the smelters other smelters. In this case Sudbury and Thompson. All one has to do is peruse the Internet and you can find it on many sites there. It is too bad that everything is so cloudy. Of course, it is cloudy for a reason or some might say non-transparent for a reason. It is to fool the people who are the rightful owners and should be getting the benefits. These corporations do not want the people of the province to know how business is being done, and to facilitate the carting away of the resources without it working for the people for whom the resources should work for. We can never be the primary benificiaries when we never know what is going on when contracts on our resources are drawn up. Those people do not want Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans to know how their resources are stolen. We had the wool pulled over our eyes on all of our resources that have been developed and if things do not get changed, it will happen for ever. We, as Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, have to become more astute and demand to know what is contained in every contract. Nothing gets developed until we know every detail. I, too, am very skeptical on whether we will get the smelter in this province, the smelter that we were promised in the contract.

One thing we are positive of is that the Nikel and Cobalt is not refined in this province. So anon go to the Internet and do a search and you will see that Sudbury and Thompson are the sites where this particular ore is refined.