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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Newfoundland and Labrador Conservative MPs Sell Out the Province’s Future

Back in November of last year I reported that Ottawa was essentially abandoning the Newfoundland and Labrador ferry system. Recent announcements have not only confirmed this reality but also that the Conservative approach to abandoning Newfoundland and Labrador in general has worsened dramatically.

Ottawa’s mishandling of the ferry service, a service guaranteed by the province’s Terms of Union with Canada, is now clearly being supported by none other than Newfoundland and Labrador Conservative MP and Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn. Rather than fighting for his province over this issue Hearn has opted instead to try to sell it to the citizens of the province.

When this latest slap in the face is combined with Harper’s attempts to dance around his equalization promises plus comments today by Liberal MP Todd Russell that the federal Tories are backing down on their promise to station a rapid response team at 5-Wing Goose Bay and instead will station the troops elsewhere, the situation is pretty bleak.

Instead of speaking out for the needs of their home province, Conservative members Fabian Manning and Norm Doyle seem to have lost their voices completely. They’ve disappeared into the back benches are will not likely be heard from again until election time. The only one saying anything publicly at all is Cabinet Minister Loyola Hearn who has come out in full support of the decision to raise ferry rates on an annual basis and hit users with a fuel surcharge. Thanks for the support Loyola. Like Liberal John Effort before you it seems you’ve decided which side you’re on and it certainly isn’t the voters in your riding or the province you are supposed to represent.

Any increase in rates on the Atlantic ferry service translates in a higher cost of goods for every man, woman and child in the province. Nearly all goods coming into or going out of the province travel in containers with Marine Atlantic and any cost incurred by producers or distributors will eventually be passed along to the consumers, consumers who already have to deal with high unemployment and some of the lowest incomes in the Country.

The ferries are an essential part of the highway system across Canada and are also necessary for passenger traffic. In an average year it moves 500,000 people (the equivalent of the entire population of the province). Increased rates and already less than stellar service will likely convince many tourists that it isn’t even worth the bother to travel to the province.

Even before the increases are put into effect passengers on the service pay a far higher percentage of the operating costs than users of other ferry services across Canada. Why is this? Why is one ferry service, and a critical one to the entire province, being singled out to pay a higher return on cost than the federally managed ferries in other places? Perhaps Mr. Hearn can answer that question.

While the increases are being sold to the public as a means to improve services by sinking over $200 million dollars into it, in reality this is not the case. Analysis of the needs and impacts of any upgrade that may happen aren’t even scheduled to start for another two years and the actual work may or may not go ahead. In reality much of the money earmarked for the service in the government’s latest announcement will be put into the pension plans of employees, not into upgraded services or new ferries.

On the issue of what will happen to 5-Wing Goose Bay the jury is still out and I guess we’ll have to see what the response to Todd Russell’s allegations are. I imagine some sort of public statement will be made by Loyola Hearn over the next day or two. Based on recent developments however I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to stand up and commit the Conservative government to keeping its promises. He hasn’t supported the province yet when it comes to issues like equalization, the ferry services, custodial management, fallow field legislation or anything else for that matter so I don’t expect too much from Mr. Harper’s number 1, number 2 or number 3 yes men this time around either.

I just hope everyone in the province will remember the names of Loyola Hearn, Norman Doyle and Fabian Manning during the next election and think about where they stood on these issues.

29 comments:

I. P. Freely said...

See our election day specials!

http://ipfreelynl.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Like usual, the MPs represent Ottawa to us, not NL to Ottawa. Next election another 7 pigs will sidle up to the trough and start the feeding frenzy.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again.


PEOPLE: We have to learn.


We should all REMEMBER and vote NDP.

We know the liberals and the conservatives.
Can the NDP be worse?



Pat.

Anonymous said...

Dude,you're dwindling into self-parody.

Artfull Dodger said...

Pat, with all due respect, the NDP will NEVER form a government in Canada, they are simply a fringe protest party that panders to a few special interest groups. May I also add that we cannot afford the NDP, they have never seen a social program they did not like and they are all about big government. By the way, guess who pays for social programs?

Regards,
Artfull Dodger

Artfull Dodger said...

Loyola Hearn it seems is taking a page out of the John Efford "Member of Parliament for Dummies" book. I see some interestining similarities in both these MP's.

Todd Russell will I am sure be diligent in pushing the Conservatives to keep their promise for Goose Bay, although I have a sick feeling in the pit of my gut, that that Goose is cooked!

As for Norm Doyle, Norm it seems has grown comfortable in his current post and has no intention of rocking the boat.

Fabian was such a champion while serving for the provincial Progressive Conservatives, so what happened to Fabian? Oh....right, Fabian has had a taste of life in the big "O", can't expect him to make waves now can we!

In summary, our current batch of representitives (Conservative) are about as usefull as tits on a bull, in fact "bull" is pretty much all we can expect from them.

We have the power to kick the bums out next time at the polls, thats about all the power we have!

Anonymous said...

You think that because an MP or Cabinet Minister happens to be from Newfoundland that he /she will stand up for you?? Grow up already.
They are there to escape NL.....not to become your heroes.

Anonymous said...

Anon of February 09,2007 9:41 PM
You are partially right. Firstly MPs or Cabinet Ministers almost always return to Newfoundland and Labrador when their stint in Ottawa is over. Secondly Ottawa has its political engineering structured in such a way, that every place West Of Newfoundland and Labrador has to benefit from Newfoundland and Labrador's and the rest of Canada's resources. We have always languised while being raped and pillaged by that old Tart Ottawa.

WJM said...

Instead of spending all your energy whining about Marine Atlantic, why not push for a Quebec-Labrador highway system which would provide an alternative route to and from Newfoundland and the entire province?

Why put all your eggs in one basket?

Pedestrian said...

^^ You realize you're just the other side of the coin dude?

Anonymous said...

WJM I agree we need that route as well. I can't wait to see it happen. But first some politician has to deal out our resources so that we get some monetary value out of them, in other words we become the primary beneficiary, so that we can get some monies into the provincial coffers that was earned from those resources. Nobody or no state ever got ahead with Welfare Monies/Equilization. As you know in the past our politicians, of all stripes, have had our resources outright exported/given away in the raw state to the rest of Canada and the world without value added to us. All the processing and jobs were created somewhere else. For instance the wonderful Upper Churchill Hydroelectric energy resource, Oil, Fish, Minerals were all given away for a Welfare package. Our politicians accepted the equilization package for us, and now Ottawa doesn't want to even let us have that. We have been screwed into the ground every way we turn.

I do hope the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Energy Project will be done with Labrador and Newfoundland in mind as the primary beneficiary. The only way that it should be done is to have industry come to Labrador, set up shop there, and let the primary, secondary processing and any additional processing be done there. We do not need to rent transmission line space from Quebec, and we do not need to build a transmission line going the Anglo Saxon route. No other province's corridor is needed, let the energy remain in Labrador and be used in Labrador. That is the only way that project should be let and that is the only way that we will ever get ahead economically, that is if we are the primary beneficiary of our resources, and that means developing them in this province. In the future let us create the economies here NOT elsewhere.

WJM said...

WJM I agree we need that route as well. I can't wait to see it happen. But first some politician has to deal out our resources so that we get some monetary value out of them, in other words we become the primary beneficiary, so that we can get some monies into the provincial coffers that was earned from those resources.

How are we not already the "primary beneficiary"?

And why should Newfoundland ripping of Labrador's resources be the price paid for providing Labrador with infrastructure?

"It would be interesting to know the thoughts of Labradorians when they hear some of our political pundits raising the roof over the raw deal Newfoundland's gotten from somebody or other. It must sometimes occur to them that Newfoundland doesn't do so badly itself when it comes to dishing out raw deals. I have a hearty dislike of that mentality that is concerned with Labrador only to the extent that it may be exploited for Newfoundland's advantage. The most that we have any right to expect of the development of Labrador is the provision of sufficient revenue to support the public and social services the Labrador people have every right to expect. These we are in any case obligated to provide even if Labrador should go undeveloped."

That was Bill Keough, in the National Convention, October 17, 1947.

Has Labrador made no more progress in 60 years, in getting that message through to nationalist Newfoundlanders?

I do hope the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Energy Project will be done with Labrador and Newfoundland in mind as the primary beneficiary.

Why should Newfoundland benefit from Labrador's resources?

GMT said...

WJM not once in did the person in the post you replied to suggest that resources leave Labrador in fact he stated:

“The only way that it should be done is to have industry come to Labrador, set up shop there, and let the primary, secondary processing and any additional processing be done there”

And.

“let the energy remain in Labrador and be used in Labrador”



So where do you think the factories and industry should be built that use Labradors resources (Electricity, Ni, iron ore etc)? Quebec, Ottawa?

Not once did the person who wrote the above refer to any resources leaving Labrador and being processes on the island of Newfoundland. You do realize there is a difference between the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.

Anonymous said...

gmt you are right. Not once did I suggest that the resources of Labrador be exported anywhere other than stay in Labrador. As a Newfoundlander and Labradorian who was born and lives on the Island portion of our beautiful province, I do not want to see Labrador's resources going anywhere other than staying in Labrador to be used by Labrador and to benefit Labrador. Why can't industry be set up in Labrador? If industry can be operated from Ontario,Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan or British Columbia, so can industry operate from Labrador or Newfoundland. And if that wonderful Upper Churchill Hydroelectric energy was allowed to have been used in Labrador 40 years ago, can you imagine what a vibrant city that would have been now? Also how about the billion ton plus export of iron ore and now the nickel from Voisey's Bay that is helping to fuel the growth of the world's developing economies? My God I can screech when I think of WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN.

Just last night I heard a mayor from Labrador saying on radio the 650 Canadian military personnel that were promised to be stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador will most likely not come about. The person quoted another from Ottawa has alluding to Labrador has not having much to offer in stimulation to any personnel who would be stationed there. What an idiotic statement, but that is not the first time I heard that when the province of Newfoundland and Labrador was vying for some Federal office that was about to be set up somewhere in Canada. That tactic has been used by Ottawa on every Federal Office that came up to be moved somewhere. The people who were involved in the move always stated that Newfoundland and Labrador didn't have much to offer. That was a thought implanted in their minds so that Newfoundland and Labrador would not get the Federal Office and its personnel stationed here. That kind of thinking should have been squashed by our politicians, but oh no, they kept quiet because they didn't want to hinder themselves getting ahead.

Not only has the rest of Canada been the major beneficiary of Newfoundland and Labrador's resources, Ottawa has never treated us equally with the placement of Federal jobs.

I will further add that Newfoundland and Labrador is as beautiful as any place in Canada and we have just as much to offer or more as anyplace else.

Anonymous said...

WJM - I forgot to pose a question in my last thread. Where do you want the industry to occur that will result from Labrador's resources? Do you want it in Labrador, or do you prefer to keep letting Quebec be the major beneficiary? Good question GMT.

Anonymous said...

My God this province is full of stupid people.
Spending scandals, defamation suits FUNDED by the government, a city council tearing each other to pieces, volunteer fire fighters who won't work if they can't bring beer.........it would be funny if it wasn't so sad and embarrassing.
Let's just sink the place and move on.

Artfull Dodger said...

In response to the "anonymous" preceeding me. You might consider adding yourself to the list of stupid people with that nonsense. You don't judge every person in an identifiable group by the actions of a few, unless of course your a closed minded individual who prefers to apply stereotypes to people in order to skew the world to your way of thinking!

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger:

In my opinion, you should not be so harsh and interpret "stupid" as a lack of intellectual acuity, because you know that what the previous anonymous wrote is true.
He/she is not making up scandals or defamation suits or the St John's City Council public behaviour.

It is rather sad that the province of Newfoundland-Labrador is in constant decline.
And what the previous anonymous wrote are some of the manifestations of that decline, at least in the public eye.

You see, it is more important to search for solutions to the multiple problems, and I understand that we should not judge everyone by the actions of a few, but at the same time we should not discredit the truth.


Pat

Artfull Dodger said...

Pat, with all due respect, anonymous poster stated that the province is full of stupid people. Anonymous poster based this on the actions of a handfull of people. I am not defending the actions of those select few, however I take issue with anyone indicating that the province is full of stupid people.

So, based on anonymous's statement, am I to assume that people outside of this province do not act innappropriately?

Anonymous said...

Not to this extent.

Anonymous said...

Artfull dodger says....

That is just one anonymous opinion!

WJM said...

WJM - I forgot to pose a question in my last thread. Where do you want the industry to occur that will result from Labrador's resources? Do you want it in Labrador, or do you prefer to keep letting Quebec be the major beneficiary?

Which industries would those be?

If the biggest return to Labrador would be by cash-cropping the power to whoever wants to pay market value for it... go for it. Labrador could use the cash; heaven knows we're not getting it out of the provincial government of the province we're a part of.

Anonymous said...

So WJM
seeing that you don't want industry in Labrador.

What are you going to spend the cash on?

Buy everyone who lives there a new car or an airticket out because theres no work?

WJM said...

seeing that you don't want industry in Labrador.

Says who?

Not me.

If the so-called Lower Churchill is to be developed, it should be developed in a way that delivers the maximum economic return to Labrador.

That may be selling the power for cash. Or using it industrially. Or some combination thereof. But that analysis hasn't been done, or if it has, it's not been made public.

The industrial use of power in Quebec looks attractive ("yay, jobs!"), but it comes at a cost. Below cost, actually; the jobs created are in effect subsidized by everyone else who pays higher rates than they otherwise would.

I'd need to see the analysis which shows which course generates the best return to the Labrador economy. If — do you understand what the word "if" means? it's a pretty common English word — selling the power for cash would provide the biggest economic boost to Labrador, then that's the best route to go, provided, of course, that there's any guarantee the money would stay in Labrador.

Sad to say, with the nationalist Newfoundlanders in charge, who treat Labrador like a piggy bank, and who then hypocritically complain about how others supposedly rip THEM off, that isn't likely to happen.

What are you going to spend the cash on?

All the things that the crowd in Confederation Building refuse to spend money on in Labrador, starting with a highway, with getting coastal Labrador off diesel generation, improved health care, etc.

But none of that's likely to happen: even if the power were sold for cash, that cash would flow to the government in Confederation Building, for distribution all across the province from St. John's to St. Anthony to Port aux Basques.

Buy everyone who lives there a new car or an airticket out because theres no work?

What "work", other than on the power plant floor, are you proposing here?

The site will likely be run by remote control out of St. John's. Nice jobs, for St. John's.

But who are the industrial consumers for power in Labrador, other than the existing ones in Labrador West?

Who?

Who's lining up to use the power?

And who could use that power more cost-effectively in Labrador, if it's also made available in Newfoundland through a massively subsidized transmission line?

It's all academic, anyway: Danny is not going to get any deal to develop the so-called Lower Churchill.

WJM said...

And hi, Sue! Sign your name.

Anonymous said...

WJM said...
seeing that you don't want industry in Labrador.

Says who?

Not me.



you did about 4 posts up when a person posted that industry should be built in Labrador you went off on a rant about Newfoundland stealing resources from Labrador and how it shoud get cash instead.

Face it WJM you'd rather see Labrador get nothing than see the island portion of the province benefit even the slightest from labrador success. If Bill Gates said Labrador could have a biilion dollars on the condition that they give Newfoundland 1 cent. You'd say NO.

WJM said...

you did about 4 posts up when a person posted that industry should be built in Labrador you went off on a rant about Newfoundland stealing resources from Labrador and how it shoud get cash instead.

No, I said if Labrador would be economically better off selling the power for profit, than using it industrially, that's the right course to take.

Seriously, "if". Look it up in a dictionary. It's a really common English word, Sue.

Face it WJM you'd rather see Labrador get nothing than see the island portion of the province benefit even the slightest from labrador success.

I'd love to see Newfoundland (why the unnecessarily cumbersome phrase "island portion of the province"? why not call it by its name?) benefit from Labrador success, which it inevitibly will, if Labrador "succeeds."

However, Labrador will not "succeed" if the power is transmitted to Newfoundland. Not only will Labrador not get the profits, Labrador will not be able to compete as an industrial location against Newfoundland.

If Bill Gates said Labrador could have a biilion dollars on the condition that they give Newfoundland 1 cent. You'd say NO.

Why are you posting anonymously, you cowardess?

And what's your fixation with Bill Gates, anyway?

Anonymous said...

WJM ,my man ,I never seen anyone argue with themself in a manner ,that only you can display.I have read your blog and several of your post's.Not only do you contradict yourself in your writing ,but you insist on arguing points that make absolutley no sence to me .I have been a "Natioanlist" as you call them for several years.Long before it was fashinable,and the number one reason that made me think as such was the raw deal that the Proud people of Labrador keep getting out of this thing called Confederation .
I have never used language such as this on the internet to anyone because i truely belive that it benefits no one and makes me look foolish .But ,you Sir ,are a moron if you stand here and expect anyone at this blog to have the stomach to believe that Newfounland is the blame for Labradors problems and woe's.
I do not wish to sound Parnoid for a second ,but i ,Sir ,can "Physically " prove what your goals are ,and what inspire's you.
Ansd,"NO" I'm not a Internet wierdo ,or freak,I'm actually a Computer Eng,living in the Province of Ontario.Ask me ,Sir,why I'm here writing at this Blog.I'm sure that Mr Higgins will get an email soon ,as did Mrs Sue Kelland-Dyer,did this night .Good luck to you ,sir????

WJM said...

I have read your blog and several of your post's.Not only do you contradict yourself in your writing

Example?

but you insist on arguing points that make absolutley no sence to me.

Your problem, not mine.

think as such was the raw deal that the Proud people of Labrador keep getting out of this thing called Confederation.

What does that "raw deal" constitute?

What did Confederation do to Labrador, other than provide Labradorians with the basic services and incidents of citizenship that Newfoundlanders denied us for over a century?

But ,you Sir ,are a moron if you stand here and expect anyone at this blog to have the stomach to believe that Newfounland is the blame for Labradors problems and woe's.

In which case, if that makes me a moron, Labrador is heavily populated with morons.

How is Newfoundland blameless?

Who, if not Newfoundland, is blameworthy, for what, and how?