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Monday, December 04, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors

On Friday December 1 the St. John’s airport was buzzing with federal conservative celebrities including Ministers Loyola Hearn (fisheries), Rona Ambrose (environment) and Lawrence Cannon (transport). They all came to get their 5 minutes in the spotlight and to tell everyone what a wonderful job they were doing up on the hill. Oh and they also announced the stationing of a new surveillance aircraft in New Brunswick that would protect our coasts from rogue vessels dumping bilge oil, killing sea birds and destroying the coastline.

According to the Ministers the craft, a modified Dash 8, is equipped with state of the art aerial surveillance equipment that will allow Transport Canada to detect marine polluters better than ever before.

The Ministers also carried the message from their keepers that, “Canada is prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect our marine environment”, (please don’t start laughing just yet) and to let us know that they are, “fully committed to protecting and preserving our pristine environment…”

Between standing in the way of a UN sponsored ban on destruction of the ocean floor, developing a “hot air” plan for dealing with greenhouse gasses, supporting rogue nations like Spain in patrolling the waters outside the 200 mile limit and putting a single plane in place to patrol all of Atlantic Canada and the Great Lakes, this new government has been very clear where it stands on the environment. About as far away from it they possibly can.

Environment Minister, Rona Ambrose, is quoted as saying, "This new technology is an excellent example of what Canada's new government is doing to protect our environment.” I agree with her. It is a perfect example of what the new government is doing or more precisely, what they aren’t doing.

Minister Ambrose seems to believe that this single plane is sufficient to patrol the estimated 3,000 kilometre stretch of shoreline from Duluth, Minn., to St. John's, NL plus the Great Lakes. I’m just amazed her government didn’t schedule it to cover the Pacific and Arctic oceans as well. (I wonder, have they considered that they may not be able to refuel in Gander once that airport closes due to lack of support from Ottawa).

Talk about wearing rose colored glasses, the members of the Harper government must have had surgery to implant colored contacts directly onto the corneas if they can stand behind their record on the environment .

As one environmental expert put it, this plane is “…kind of like having one cop car for the province of Ontario. If you're a criminal and you're planning to dump oil, and you know that the only chance of you getting caught is one plane that's covering basically all of eastern Canada, well, if I was them, I would just dump the oil…”

Harper, the puppet master, along with all of his puppets may not have discovered the answer to resolving issues like overfishing, environmental problems, social programs, foreign affairs, equalization, and the rest but there is certainly one thing they’ve mastered in their short time in office, the use of smoke and mirrors.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keeping in mind Ottawa has in its control the fish stocks of the Atlantic Ocean within the 200 mile limit, why do you think Ottawa has allowed so many countries to fish in the Eastern Atlantic that includes the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, despite the fact that for 450 years only 4 countries fished there? Now there are countries from every continent of the World there. Can somebody give me the answer to that question? Would it possibly have something to do with the benefits garnered out of International Trade and Foreign Affairs?

If some country came on Canadian soil next door to any of the provinces without Ottawa's o.k., do you not think Ottawa would have its full regalia of Armed Forces on the tail of that perpetrator?

Patriot said...

Of course it's becuase of international trade. You give me fish and I'll lift trade tariffs on textiles needed on Ontario. It's been happening for decades and unfortunately it is only ex-politicians that are willing to admit it, never the ones in office.

I also agree with them calling out the military but I doubt that a boy scout and a slingshot (which is about all we have these days in the all but financially starved military) would have much of an impact.

Anonymous said...

How true that it is only ex-politicians who are willing to admit it. When we elect those good for nothings, they promise us the moon and then fall prey to toeing the party line for Ottawa. What a corrupt world indeed. Just put your imagination into gear, then think for one moment, and one can imagine the evil deeds that are covered up, all for the sake of international trade and foreign affairs.

Patriot I like your analogy of comparing Canada's military to a boy scout and a slingshot. Both have about the same amount of power.

Anonymous said...

Well said. What a farce. The Harper government could care less about the environment, the clean air act proved that and this foolishness is just another attempt to look like they are doing something.

convert said...

The funny thing is harper is the only govt who has even dared mention taking control of the Nose, Tail and Flemish cap away from the foreigners. That was until he got into office and the Ontario based beurocrats and special interest lobby grops got ahold of him and explained the folly of his ways.

In that if he takes control of the entire continental shelf to protect those stupid lazy EI bums in NL. ON and QC will suffer and so to will his chances of getting his reverred Majority he so desperately yearns for, so he can implement his real agenda for change.

Decentralized and a smaller federal administration. Elected senate with an outlook of making it a triple E senate. Even his promises leading up to the last election have become secondary to pandering to the vote rich Ontario and Quebec.

This is the federation we are apart of.

Anonymous said...

It's called brokerage politics.

WJM said...

despite the fact that for 450 years only 4 countries fished there?

Which four countries were those?

WJM said...

Of course it's becuase of international trade. You give me fish and I'll lift trade tariffs on textiles needed on Ontario. It's been happening for decades

Which deals were made to lift which trade tarriffs on which products from which countries in exchange for which species of fish, and, for bonus points, WHEN?

Thank you.

WJM said...

The funny thing is harper is the only govt who has even dared mention taking control of the Nose, Tail and Flemish cap away from the foreigners.

He also promised "joint management" of the fisheries to any province that asked for it.

Why hasn't Danny asked for it?

In some circles, it's not even polite to ask that question...

WJM said...

This is the federation we are apart of.

"apart". I know who makes this stupid typo constantly. You think you are clever posting under an assumed name?

Anonymous said...

WJM I will put a direct question to you. Why is it that Ottawa tolerates so many countries off its Eastern Coast, countries that were not there until Global Free Trade came into being? I like that answer from you WJM but I you will beat around the bush with your answer, the way you always do. It will not be a statement to me it will be a question.

That is how active bureaucrats and politicians of today's Canadian government operates.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to KKKANADUH gentlemen!

WJM said...

WJM I will put a direct question to you. Why is it that Ottawa tolerates so many countries off its Eastern Coast,

Please name those countries, if they have names.

countries that were not there until Global Free Trade came into being?

I have never heard of this "Global Free Trade".

It will not be a statement to me it will be a question.

Nope! All statements this time. Perhaps you will care to respond to them, though, to answer the questions which they imply.

Anonymous said...

WJM how about Korea? Did Quebec get a car plant as a result of a quota of fish doled out by Ottawa?

Iceland, Norway, Japan, and the Eastern European Countries are some of the many countries that didn't fish those waters prior to 1949 but fish there now?

WJM why did those countries end up fishing in NL offshore waters? A country such as Canada just doesn't let so many countries come to it offshore waters and fish without getting some benefit in return.

I know I will not get a direct answer from you. You will beat around the bush in answering this question, as you always do.

I have heard two Newfoundland and Labrador Federal politicians, Senator George Baker and Loyola Hearn, Mr. Hearn is now Federal Fisheries Minister, speak about the trade-off of the fish for International Trade and Foreign Affairs. Why would they talk about it, if it weren't true?

WJM if you are going to question this subject again, and since it is purported you work for Ottawa in some capacity, would you please investigate why those countries are out there, and then come back to this blog with a forthright answer. I am just parroting what I heard on a radio show, and also read the information in a newspaper.

Why would this be talked about if it wasn't true.

There will be no need for you to come back unless you can come up with more information than you have been able to come up with in the past, since everytime that this subject has been brooched in the past, all that you do is skew things. You never answer the question. Please do answer if you post another thread on my question. I am looking for some concrete information. Maybe you can consult with Senator Baker and the Hon. Loyola Hearn if you have a connection with the Ottawa Government, and get the information straight from both these Honorable gentlemen. I happen to believe what I heard both of these politicins allude to concerning the fishing that occurs out there in those waters.

Senator Baker, when he was a MP wrote a very informative report outlining what was occuring in our off-shore fishery with the foreign countries. I was astounded when I read the brochure that he put out containing some of the things that were happening there in our waters.

WJM - The questions I would like answered are: Why are those extra countries allowed to fish in our offshore waters? What is Canada getting in return? When did these extra countries first appear and what was the trade off?

And please WJM don't come back and tell me that Japan and Korea always fished out there, because that isn't true.

WJM said...

WJM how about Korea? Did Quebec get a car plant as a result of a quota of fish doled out by Ottawa?

Not to my knowledge.

Did they? Can you provide a source for this fact? Which car plant? Where in Quebec is this car plant located? Which fish was "doled out" to which country in return for this car plant? When did this happen?

Iceland, Norway, Japan, and the Eastern European Countries are some of the many countries that didn't fish those waters prior to 1949 but fish there now?

Why is there a question mark at the end of that sentence?

WJM why did those countries end up fishing in NL offshore waters?

You mean Canadian offshore waters; NL is not a state.

Because under international fisheries administration, they could.

A country such as Canada just doesn't let so many countries come to it offshore waters and fish without getting some benefit in return.

What was the "benefit"?

Be specific.

I know I will not get a direct answer from you. You will beat around the bush in answering this question, as you always do.

It is up to the people who believe, as an article of faith, to cause me to know, as a matter of fact, that there were "[fill in the blank] for fish" deals.

I have heard two Newfoundland and Labrador Federal politicians, Senator George Baker and Loyola Hearn, Mr. Hearn is now Federal Fisheries Minister, speak about the trade-off of the fish for International Trade and Foreign Affairs. Why would they talk about it, if it weren't true?

Would this be the same Loyola Hearn who has said:

As I mentioned, these are stories [about "trade deals" for fish quotas] that have circulated fo some time and that have been repeated. There is absolutely no truth to them.

The Advisory Panel on the Sustainable Management of Straddling Fish Stocks in the Northwest Atlantic examined this issue in its report. This Panel found no evidence of the existence of such deals and stated that "the review of foreign allocation policy and bilateral fisheries agreements conducted for the Panel concluded that no such deals were ever considered, let alone concluded."


WJM if you are going to question this subject again, and since it is purported you work for Ottawa in some capacity, would you please investigate why those countries are out there,

Are they?

How do you know this?

Please tell me: how many ships from "Iceland, Norway, Japan, and the Eastern European Countries" are "out there".

While you are at it, define "out there". Where is "out there"? Inside or outside 200 miles?

Which Eastern European Countries? There are many of them, you know.

Please be specific with your information. Don't just spout what you hear on the open lines.

and then come back to this blog with a forthright answer. I am just parroting what I heard on a radio show,

I figured.

Come back with some solid information. Stop uncritically and unquestioningly believing everything you hear on the radio.

and also read the information in a newspaper.

Which newspaper?

Why would this be talked about if it wasn't true.

Lots of things are "talked about" that aren't true!

There will be no need for you to come back unless you can come up with more information than you have been able to come up with in the past,

Come back with the information I ask for above, OK?

What is Canada getting in return? When did these extra countries first appear and what was the trade off?

You seem to think there was a "trade off", that Canada is getting something "in return".

It's up to you to demonstrate that this is the case, not me to debunk it.

In the meantime, read this:

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/overfishing-surpeche/documents/advisory_e.htm

Allocations for Trade Deals There is a widespread misbelief that Canada has repeatedly given foreign fishing countries allocations of Canadian quotas (or condoned overfishing) in return for trade deals for industries in other parts of the country. This is one of the most often repeated, unsubstantiated and untrue convictions regarding the government’s approach to the presence of foreign fleets. Two of the most repeated examples have been allocations to South Korea for a Hyundai car plant in Quebec and to Russia for purchase of Western wheat. A more recent one was the claim of allocations being given to Spain (in the 1980s) for landing rights in that country for CP Air. The review of foreign allocation policy and bilateral fisheries agreements conducted for the Panel concluded that no such deals were ever considered, let alone concluded. (Gough, 2005).

Nonetheless, this idea is now so embedded in the collective consciousness of Newfoundland and Labrador that it has entered the category of "urban legend". The absence of evidence for its veracity will not deter those who believe; but it is such a serious "black eye" for the Government of Canada that we feel every opportunity should be taken to set the record straight whenever such allegations are made.

The closest that government policy ever came to using quota allocations to acquire commercial concessions was during the "markets access for allocations" period when bilateral fisheries agreements with a number of countries included commitments to purchase Canadian fish products in exchange for quota allocations. The commitments to purchase Canadian fish products under these arrangements were so unsuccessful overall that the policy lasted for only a very short period. In any event, they involved "fish purchases for fish allocations". Furthermore, Canada has never had a quota allocation agreement with South Korea nor have any allocations to Russia been tied to wheat purchases. The overall level of bilateral relations with Spain was so poor in the 1980s (even before its accession to the EEC) that a satisfactory fisheries relationship never developed. Indeed, during the Estai affair some Spanish officials threatened dire consequences for a pending sale by Bombardier but the deal proceeded anyway (Gough, 2005). Also, officials of the federal fisheries department, operating under the authority of the fisheries minister, negotiated all these various fisheries bilateral agreements; not foreign affairs or trade officials. All allocations of Atlantic Coast quotas to foreign nations ended in 1998 when no surpluses of any species could be identified in the Canadian zone (Gough, 2005).


If you have information that Mr. Gough didn't, you should provide Minister Hearn with it:

HearnL@parl.gc.ca

mp@loyolahearn.nf.net

While you're at it, ask him for information on those fish-for-trade deals, OK?

And please WJM don't come back and tell me that Japan and Korea always fished out there, because that isn't true.

Never said it was.

However, if you believe that Newfoundlanders were the only ones fishing the Grand Banks in some magical invented pre-1949 past, you believe in something that is also untrue.

WJM said...

I am just parroting what I heard on a radio show, and also read the information in a newspaper.

Just so you're clear hear, as this point needs to be made in Newfoundland, over and over and over and over again:

NOT EVERYTHING YOU HEAR ON VOCM OPEN LINE SHOWS IS TRUE.

NOT EVERTYHING YOU READ IN THE NEWFOUNDLAND WEEKLY SEPARATIST — AKA THE INDEPENDENT — IS TRUE.

Please bear that in mind.

Look forward to you finding out some concrete information about those "trade deals" for our benefit.

NL-ExPatriate said...

OttaWally
"Wallace McLean, who has worked in Labrador constituency office in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for seven years, "
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2006/01/23/nf_labrador_costs_20060123.html

So why is it Spain Threatened canada with cancelling all of the bombardier contracts if the Estai affair AKA Turbot war didn't go away?

Which it did shortly there after.

What does Bombardier have to do with fishing on our continental shelf?

Anonymous said...

There is an old adage that says you can't beat City Hall, and the same adage goes for Ottawa.

WJM I will never be able to give you concrete information about trade deals done by Ottawa, because everything Ottawa does it covers its tracks by encasing everything into concrete. Sorry. Everything done by Ottawa is non transparent and when somebody rebuts it, Ottawa has a crew on hand, paid for mind you, with yours and my tax dolars. These people, like WJM, are at Ottawa's beck and call to put fingers to keyboard and rebut everything said. It is an impossible task trying to get ahead of them.

Our politicians tell us one thing when they are not in cabinet, but their mouths are sealed shut with glue as soon as they become part of the inner circle of government. It is a shocking state of affairs for a rich resource province like Newfoundland and Labrador. We will never become a have province with our abundant resources as long as we are part of this darn nation called Canada.

I heard Loyola Hearn on an open line show before he became Fisheries Minister say that our fish was used for trade for Canada. I also heard Senator Baker say much the same thing when he talked about the quotas of shrimp given out a couple of years ago to foreign countries and a couple of Doctors. Mr. Baker even wrote a brochure on how our fish resources were ill-treated. Matter of fact Senator Baker needs to be thanked by us for the information on the fishery he imparted on us.

WJM you failed to give me an answer on why countries like Korea and Japan are in our off-shore water fishing our resources. Why do you beat around the bush? There would be a diplomatic war if countries just appeared in another country's waters without approval. So Ottawa must have given those countries and others its approval or they would not have just shown up there.

WJM said...

So why is it Spain Threatened canada with cancelling all of the bombardier contracts if the Estai affair AKA Turbot war didn't go away?

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Spain did so threaten. (I don't know whether they did or not.)

How does that prove that Canada traded trade for fish quotas?

What does Bombardier have to do with fishing on our continental shelf?

You're the one saying it does.

It's up to you to prove that claim.

Please prove it.

Thank you.

WJM said...

WJM I will never be able to give you concrete information about trade deals done by Ottawa, because everything Ottawa does it covers its tracks by encasing everything into concrete. Sorry.

Have you ever heard of the National Archives?

Access to Information?

How have these supposed "trade deals" been erased from history?

If there were trade deals, but evidence of them has been covered up... how would the benefitting country ever be able to enforce those deals?

WHERE ARE THE TRADE DEALS?

SOMEONE, PLEASE:

Name which countries benefitted from these "trade deals".

Identify the fish quotes which were traded to those countries.

Identify the benefit to Canada.

Specify the years in which these deals were made.

Thank you.

I heard Loyola Hearn on an open line show before he became Fisheries Minister say that our fish was used for trade for Canada.

I asked him about it.

He says, and in writing, that it isn't true.

I'll take his word over yours.

WJM you failed to give me an answer on why countries like Korea and Japan are in our off-shore water fishing our resources.

If Korea and Japan are fishing in waters off the coast of Canada, they are there under the international fisheries laws which Canada is a party to, they can.

Which resources are "ours"?

How do we own them?

So Ottawa must have given those countries and others its approval or they would not have just shown up there.

"Ottawa" can only approve or disapprove of activities in Canadian waters, not international ones.

WJM said...

Seriously.... Get rid of the anonymous posters. Anonymity is making some people awfully brave.

WJM said...

So why is it Spain Threatened canada with cancelling all of the bombardier contracts if the Estai affair AKA Turbot war didn't go away?

Because they had no leg to stand on other than empty threats?

Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Here, again, is what happened. I have highlighted the important bit so you won't miss it this time:

The overall level of bilateral relations with Spain was so poor in the 1980s (even before its accession to the EEC) that a satisfactory fisheries relationship never developed. Indeed, during the Estai affair some Spanish officials threatened dire consequences for a pending sale by Bombardier but the deal proceeded anyway (Gough, 2005).

Anonymous said...

WJM - Who or what do the letters WJM stand for? Anonymous or what? If you ask Patriot to ban people who post under Anon, well I guess you will be banned as well.

Anonymous said...

WJM would you please furnish some documents to the effect that Korea and Japan fished in Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore waters before free trade entered the picture. I would bet anything that both of those countries never fish there until countries started to enter into the global free trade movement. I want something concrete on that please. I do not want you just uttering empty words that do not provide an answer; I want the real document that shows where the agreement was signed that allowed those countries to fish there. I want none of your nonsense on this question to skew things further, we, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are looking for answers to what really happened. When you write posts to blogs like this with no concrete answer you just serve to cover things up further. Only concrete answers please will be accepted, or this blog will never have an ending.

Also WJM I would like the Hon. Loyola Hearn to post here denying that he ever stated on VOCM radio something to the effect that International Trade and Foreign Affairs are tied up in fishery agreements in Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore fishing waters.

I happen to have faith in the Hon. Mr. Hearn and I believe what he said. He made the statement before he became the Federal Minister of Fishery.

Anonymous said...

QUESTION: So why is it Spain Threatened canada with cancelling all of the bombardier contracts if the Estai affair AKA Turbot war didn't go away?

WJM'S ANSWER; Because they had no leg to stand on other than empty threats?

Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Here, again, is what happened. I have highlighted the important bit so you won't miss it this time:

The overall level of bilateral relations with Spain was so poor in the 1980s (even before its accession to the EEC) that a satisfactory fisheries relationship never developed. Indeed, during the Estai affair some Spanish officials threatened dire consequences for a pending sale by Bombardier but the deal proceeded anyway (Gough, 2005).


THIS WAS NOT THIS ANON'S QUESTION, but I do want to say WJM that is a whitewashed answer if I ever heard one. It has all to do again the with free global trade and the contracts countries sign to give one resource to sell another. Global free trade is a very intricate process, probably too complicated for either your brain or mine.

WJM said...

WJM - Who or what do the letters WJM stand for? Anonymous or what? If you ask Patriot to ban people who post under Anon, well I guess you will be banned as well.

No, because as a registered user, only I can post under that name.

Anyone can log in as "anonymous" and spew libellous crap. Which is why Myles should ban the practice.

WJM said...

WJM would you please furnish some documents to the effect that Korea and Japan fished in Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore waters before free trade entered the picture.

Why should I? That's not my thesis; I shouldn't have to prove it.

I want the real document that shows where the agreement was signed that allowed those countries to fish there.

Then go find it.

Also WJM I would like the Hon. Loyola Hearn to post here denying that he ever stated on VOCM radio something to the effect that International Trade and Foreign Affairs are tied up in fishery agreements in Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore fishing waters.

Since I am not Loyola Hearn, you should direct that request to Loyola Hearn:

HearnL@parl.gc.ca

I happen to have faith in the Hon. Mr. Hearn

Then why don't you accept his statement?

During my interview, I talked about "stories" regarding deals for car companies and for wheat sales. As I mentioned, these are stories that have circulated for some time and that have been repeated. There is absolutely no truth to them.

That's what Loyola Hearn says.

You have faith in him, don't you?

He made the statement before he became the Federal Minister of Fishery.

He made this statement as "Federal Minister of Fishery".

Anonymous said...

I have faith in what I heard Loyola Hearn say, I personally do think Loyola is as good as his word.