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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Old Colonial Home

Does Canada see Newfoundland and Labrador as province or as a resource rich colony?

In the late 1940s the British government divested itself of many of its colonies by ending its rule in places like India, Africa and yes, Newfoundland. The colonies had out lived their usefulness to England and were, by and large, returned to the people who had historically lived there. This was not the case with Newfoundland.

Instead it was decided that Newfoundland and Labrador should be brokered to Canada under the guise of a free vote. Does anyone among us really believe Canada took us in out of the goodness of their hearts with nothing to gain? If so, why not take in the people of Rwanda or Somalia.

While officially the province is spoken of an equal partner in the federation the evidence doesn’t support the rhetoric and the question remains, did we exchange one form of colonial rule for another?

A quick scan of several dictionaries reveals the following commonly accepted definition of Colonialism:

A policy by which one nation rules another and develops trade for its own benefit; an area controlled politically by a more powerful country; belief in and support for the system of one nation controlling another.

Does this sound familiar?

Newfoundland and Labrador, once a separate Dominion, is controlled by Canada. It has little, if any, political power within the ruling government and it’s a place that has seen its resources used and traded for the benefit of Canada.

Federal presence in this province has dropped by around 30% in the past few of decades leaving a limited federal presence here. While much of Canada's eastern coastline, 17,500 kms of it, lies in the province there is no military presence to speak of. Resources are used to help prop up the economies of central Canada and improve foreign relations while the province itself is left to fight over the scraps that remain.

If NL is indeed an equal partner in Canada why was it less important than Quebec when it came to bringing billions of dollars worth of Upper Churchill power to market? Why are natural resources under ground, such as those in Alberta, the domain of the province while those under water, in NL, fall under federal control? Why are foreign fleets given fishing quotas off our shores while our people struggle to maintain a dying fishery and the way of life that goes with it?

Federal politicians, and their lackeys, say that in becoming a part of Canada Newfoundland gained much we would never have otherwise had. Benefits like roads, hospitals, improved education and so on. “Where would we be today if it weren’t for Canada?” they say. Where indeed?

The following is a quote from the “History of the Indian Sub-Continent”.

“While few(of the educated)…would deny that British Colonial rule was detrimental to the interests of the common people…several harbor an illusion that the British weren't all bad. Didn't they, perhaps, educate us - build us modern cities, build us irrigation canals - protect our ancient monuments - etc. etc.”

In Newfoundland and Labrador we also have hospitals, schools and roads but at what cost and to what benefit?

Our hospitals are seriously under funded and our province’s literacy rate is one of the lowest in Canada. Anyone who has traveled the roads of the province will attest to the fact that they are in deplorable shape and worsening every year. Our youth are leaving by the thousands and our population is slowly being decimated through age and attrition.

We once had a railway. It’s gone.

Our fisheries have been destroyed under federal control.

We have no real representation in Canada’s centralized government.

After more nearly 60 years of Canadian rule, Newfoundland and Labrador remains the butt of countless slurs and jokes while providing grease for the wheels of the Canadian economy and the foreign affairs office.

Is Newfoundland and Labrador a province or a colony?

All I have to say is, “Welcome to my old colonial home”.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Patriot please read what Historian John Fitzgerald wrote. He said that the province of Newfoundland (name at the time) paid in three ways. 1. We paid with blood. In the First World War alson and one battle, we loast 737 men out of 800 in the Battle of Beaumont Hamel, that was one-third of our hale and hearty men. We will never in our life time recoup from that loss. It is still reverberating.

2. We paid with the lost of our country through bankruptcy.

3. We were passed over to Canada to pay of England's War Debt of $8 BILLION Dollars.

NOTE: Louis St. Laurent, the Prime Minister of Canada at the time we became the 10th province in his May 9th speech of 1949 when he addressed his fellow Canadians said: "My fellow citizens of the 10 provinces of Canada... and he goes on to highlight the most important of his government's recent accomplishments: "The first was to bring the negotiations for the union of Newfoundland and Canada to a frutiful conclusion."

He said "The greatest of our achievements was not even anticipated in 1945. I believe that it was a source of satisfaction for all of you, as it was for the members of the government, that we were able to achieve this union with Newfoundland, of which Canadians had been DREAMING for more than 80 years, and thereby complete the dream of the Fathers of the Confederation."

It was never touted by Ottawa what they received when they were successful in getting the territory that they coveted, because of course, that would have informed the people of this province what our territory meant to the country of Canada. Ottawa is too non-transparent to have done that. Ottawa would rather have kept things opaque they way they did and as a result they got off with a lot of things that they wouldn't normally have gotten off with had we known the resources that we had in our possession and how the rest of Canada was benefitting from those resources. We would not have been so complacent and we would have demanded equality with the rest of the provinces.

Starrigan said...

Nice job Myles, that is a very good summation of our current condition and how we got here. The colonial model fits like a glove. The sooner all call see that the better off we'll be.

Ed Hollett said...

Interesting that you draw certain conclusions when, in fact:

- the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador controls natural resources within the province as it did prior to 1934; and,

- the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is solely responsible for health care and education under the constitution but is provided additional funds (beyond its own sources) through federal transfers.

That doesn't sound like a colonial administration.

It sounds like responsible government, except that your argument attempts to make it an irresponsible government.

What's one major difference between a colony and NL? Well, for one thing, the administration in this place hasn't been run by non-NLers since the 19th century.

Check ctv.ca's information (from around 2000) and you will see that the NL budget funded health care at a per capita rate above all provinces east of Manitoba.

That hardly sounds like "underfunded" as you put it, especially since these figures are BEFORE the additional cash injected by Ottawa and beyond the oil revenue windfalls that have been flowing to the provincial government (due to high oil prices) since 2003. (http://popups.ctv.ca/
content/publish/popups/healthcare
/map/map_canada_healthcare.swf)

As for Confederation, it is perhaps most revealing that you dismiss the referenda - a fundamentally democratic exercise - as a sham or farce. You don't present any evidence, yet you simply make the claim.

As for the comments by Dr. Fitzgerald, let's put it this way:

1. Newfoundland entered the Great War and determined on its own the shape and character of its involvement.

2. The loss of responsible government in 1934 came as the result of several factors including a massive debt. That debt weas comprised of three elements: war debt, the debt from the railway fiasco, and the debt accumulated through chronic overspending after 1920. Read the Amulree commission on the financial administration and you will find a discussion remarkably similar to administration in the legislature over the past 10 years.

To suggest that Commission of government was tied solely to the war debt is to grossly misrepresent the situation at the time.

3. Newfoundland was not "handed over" to any place in 1949. Newfoundlanders themselves voted in a referendum on the choices.

All we have seen in this comment is a reptition of the same unfounded mythology some people want to persist in spreading. in the case of the anonymous comment we get the latest version of the old nationalist mythology linking the supposedly great injustices done to NL in the 20th century.

None of it stands up to scrutiny, but then again, as evident from the July 1 post, facts are irrelevant when Myles wants to rant.

Anonymous said...

No doubt that was a Paid Announcement on behalf of the Federal Government. The Feds are not only opaque in their dealings, they are also ruthless and will do anything to ignore and dispel the facts of history.

Anonymous said...

Ed Hollet said, "as evident from the July 1 post, facts are irrelevant when Myles wants to rant."

Ditto Mr. Hollett.

If there is anyone thats a perfect example of twisting facts and trying to lurk around to determine who is writing what, as in "tell me your name anon" then you sir, and I use the term very very loosely, are the king of that game.

You say NL gets higher per capita funding than any place east of Manitoba. perhaps true, but you make it sound like we should be rolling in money. You don't mention that with such a large land mass and a small dispersed population a straight forward calculation on a per capita basis does not provide the same levels of service that might be found in places like Ontario. (isn't the the intent of equalization, similar levels of service at similar levels of tax)?

Also, you say it was a vote of the people that brought us into confederation but under what circumstances? When we were placed under commission of government it was promised that we would be given back our independence. If that had been done first we might have made a different choice so it wasn't done. Why was one of the options removed from the ballot for the second vote? Who decided what choices would be on the ballot anyway. Were we given the option, for example, to join the U.S.?

The answer to all of this can be easily summed up by saying, we had no real choice and the vote was a joke intended to make us feel like we did. The deal was done long before anyone here voted and I'll end with this.

A "win" of such a small margin brought us into Canada and was accepted without question by Ottawa. Can you honestly say that a vote that close would allow us to leave? Not on your life.

Take the dollar signs out of your eyes Ed and get over the paycheck you get from your handlers. You're an embarrassment to the name Newfoundlander.

Anonymous said...

Good points anon. The truth Ed, if you want to hear it, is you wouldn't even be spending so much time on this site uless something being said was making your handlers nervous.

Keep up the good work Myles. It's for Ed's good also. The more you write the more overtime Ed can pile up in his government funded bank accounts.

You should be proud Ed.

Anonymous said...

Patriot,

What can I say .You put in print what most fear to write,the truth.Keep writing my friend .The truth will be known to the masses.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

It is shocking how low some people will stoop for an easy and lucrative pay cheque? It sickens me that some people will step into the fray to trample the masses of us. In the past that was considered treason and there were high penalties to pay for that type of action. I wish those laws were still on the books and the people who would do such a thing would be brought to JUSTICE.

I am wondering if such people have any friends in the community, if so do the friends know what their acquaintances are up to?

Ed Hollett said...

it's always funny when people who won't sign their names to their comments make slurs against those of us that do. All without evidence.

One of the anons wrote: "You don't mention that with such a large land mass and a small dispersed population a straight forward calculation on a per capita basis does not provide the same levels of service that might be found in places like Ontario."

Well that isn't necessarily true either. Per capita amounts is a reliable indicator of overall spending. The "big place, small population" argument is used all the time to excuse heavy spending. However, if you look at a 2006 KPMG study, NL was found to be able to deliver a variety of services at costs lower than in places like Ontario.

If you look at wait times and other indicators of health care performance you certainly don't see in this province health care which is as second- or third-rate as Myles comment on underfunding might suggest.

You also need to look at how the money is spent in this province and ask if we are actually spending money effectively. There is a very large prejudice in this province toward spending on large institutions like hopsitals and providing service in the public sector. Some health care can be delivered effectively and at decent cost in the private sector while remaining entirely within the Canada Health Act (public funding, no extra billing etc.)

As for Confederation, let's take a look at your points:

"If that had been done first [i.e. returned to independence] we might have made a different choice so it wasn't done. Why was one of the options removed from the ballot for the second vote? Who decided what choices would be on the ballot anyway. Were we given the option, for example, to join the U.S.?"

Historical speculation is wonderful but is there any reason to believe the results of the vote would have been different? Would there have even been a vote in a referendum?

You ask rhetorically about the option removed from the second ballot, but you neglect to mention the one removed: it was commission government which polled third in the first go' round. Once it was taken off the ballot (there being no clear winner the first time around), the commission supporters made some other choice. That's what people do with their democratic choices. Democracy works.

The choices on the ballot organization were made by the commission which included three Newfoundlanders.

The American option was an idea floated by some supporters of the RGL but it never got much beyond a few people talking about it as an idea.

What exactly was your point? Obviously that you have a preconceived conspiracy theory you will hang onto despite all arguments and evidence. News Flash: Secret Nation wasn't a documentary no matter how much you believe otherwise.

Ultimately, all you fall back on are the same unfounded smears against my own character. That just tells us you have nothing but slander.

The fact you refuse to reveal your identity as you make those slurs should make everyone wonder just why you feel the need to lurk in the darkness. What are you afraid of? Who do you represent?

Ed Hollett said...

To the other anony-slagger:

"I wish those laws were still on the books and the people who would do such a thing would be brought to JUSTICE."

Treason is still a crime.

Thankfully free speech is still alive and well so that people of your apparent ilk - the same sorts who obviously have a problem with democracy - can't hold sway.

Of course there are also defamation laws in this country. I suspect that's the real reason you engage in your smear campaign from behind the coward's cloak.

An anti-democratic coward: you are an eloquent spokesman for your cause.

Anonymous said...

As I say the Footprints are there as to what happened to Newfoundland and Labrador's resources AND as to what Newfoundland and Labrador was not the recipient of with the Largesse that got handed out throughout the years by Ottawa and which the other provinces received.

If anybody wishes to find out the truth, it is all recorded.

Also come to Newfoundland and Labrador and take a look and see what is not here and go to the other province such as Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba and take a look at what is processed there that could have been processed in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anonymous said...

Amen. All someone has to do is look without the tinted goggles a fat federalist paycheck provides.

Right Ed?

Michael Williams said...

Post modernity in country building and the nature of the BNA/loyalist sphere seems to be pretty hard for them to grasp Ed.

Anonymous said...

Patriot your article is so full of truths. Thanks!

WHY are the questions you asked still unanswered?

Everything is quite obvious, there shouldn't be a need for questions. It is as plain as the nose on one's face.

Lloyd C said...

Wow ,the smell of the federal governement is all over you Ed Holett,tell us,do your dreams haunt you when you sleep.Or,do the crys of your people own spill out on deaf ears.

Starrigan said...

Lloyd, Crazy Eddy sleeps very well at night on a mattress stuffed with Canadian $$$$'s. I'm not sure if all the money comes from Ottawa. These days I get the feeling he may be getting some $$$$'s from Quebec also. He seems to do a fair bit of poo pooing on the lower Churchill development and moving the power through one of the Atlantic provinces. Also, if NL were to go on it's own, that hydro contract would be torn up in a split second. Couldn't have that happening could we Eddy. You had better work those buns of yours off squashing any sort of thought with regard to NL independence. A$$holes like you make me sick.

Anonymous said...

Is it true, is Ed Hollett on the fed payroll? Is this a make work project for mr. hollett?

Anonymous said...

If the only reason for believing something is because of corruption, the all. of you in cluding the person signing without his last name "Rees" are also on someone's payroll.

So who pays you guys?

starrigan goes cheap cause he only types asshole but somebody must be paying him

Anonymous said...

How desperate is Hearn these days. From the CBC website:

"Newfoundland and Labrador's federal cabinet minister denies rock-bottom polling results are related to a blitz of spending announcements he has made across the province this week.

Loyola Hearn made announcements on 44 separate projects over the last three days, in a marathon of proclamations and news releases that involved everything from waterworks to heritage festivals to..."

What a knob.

Anonymous said...

I was listening to VOCM yesterday when the leader of the LPON&L called in. Gerry Reid was on a spiel about the Green report, and part way through his remarks, Reid was asked by the host what the vote in the house was for (ie the Green report). Reid responded that he did not know, he was not sure, that he was not in the house for the vote due to a death in the family. A death in the family is a valid reason for not being in the house, however would it be reasonable for Reid to communicate with his caucus to garner relevant information on the issues in the house. My god almighty, this is the man who is vying for Premier next fall and he doesn't make the effort to find out what is/has been voted on in the house? Reid went on to say that the LPON&L would in unison operate by the spirit of the Green report even though it would not be in effect until october, he rambled on repeating this several times through the discussion between himself and the host. Reid sounded like a student who was called to class to recite a poem for which he had not done his homework on the night before.

The reason I bring this up here, is that there may well be a clean sweep for the PC's in the next election, and it would be totally due to the lack of ideas, imagination or competence of the LPON&L led by Gerry Reid. This is why the province may not have an official opposition after the next election, and why the politcs of this province is such a farce.

Starrigan said...

Anon, me getting paid??? If someone would pay me because I whole heartedly support Newfoundland and Labrador I would be deliriously happy. Fantastic idea, I suggest you take up a collection and send me a cheque every week. I would be happy to take it.

Anonymous said...

Can your communities attract industry?

http://www.aces.edu/crd/publications/CRD-15.html

Anonymous said...

Who does pay you starrigan to come on here?

you didn't answer the question.

Do you work for the provincial government?

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. I love this comments section. Everyone accusing everyone else of "working for someone". With the exception of a couple of known cases it's laughable.

I guess when you can't attack the message its time to attack the messenger.

Ed Hollett said...

"I guess when you can't attack the message its time to attack the messenger."

That just about sums it up.

Starrigan said...

Anonymous, no I do not work for the provincial government or any other government.

Ed, of course we attack you, not only because you always dump on Newfoundland and Labrador, or the fact that you're a paid traitor it's more because you're such an a$$hole.

Ed Hollett said...

starrigan I do no such thing. You know it and yet you persistently make the false claim.

You smear - i.e. make false statements attacking the integrity of me and others - and insult others since you have nothing else.

As the saying goes, the ad hominem attack is the second last refuge of the scoundrel. The last refuge is jingoism.

In fact it seems to be par for the course on this site to engage in unfounded personal attacks and to raise irrelevant issues since the majority of the commentors and even Myles himself cannot do anything else.

"a paid traitor" I have stated that this accusation is false. I do so again.

Why do you persist in repeating except to continue to defame?

Identify yourself by full name.

i doubt you'll do it.

NL-ExPatriate said...

There you have it folks. In black and white.

Now if we could only get the senior citizens who supposedly brought us into this phony federation to see the light maybe they can rectify the injustice they were duped into perpetrating against their own children and childrens, children.

Shame on those who stood where once we stand!

As for the self serving Liberal compromised sooth sayers.

Tell us where is the equality for the 10 members of this federation?

I dare you to try and spin that tale.

We are a colony whether you are willing to believe it or not.

Greg Byrne
NL-Expatriate
Economic refugee
Disillusioned former member of the CDN armed forces
Fighting NL'ian not Frightened Nl'ian

Starrigan said...

Eddy, you're funny. Just grab a keenex and wrap yourself in the Canadian flag. You'll be fine, think of the money.

Do you think that Newfoundland and Labrador should have fallow field legislation?

Ed Hollett said...

I guess that pretty much establishes your complete lack of integrity, starrigan.

Anonymous said...

starrigan ..

I'm pretty sure I saw you in the Confed building the other day. You walked in normally but when you left you had this weird goose stepping gait.

I guess you were in to pick up your marching orders.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused.

Isn't fallow field leg when you have a company who is sitting on a property they don't want to develop?

Don't these companies *want* to develop.

Explain it to us, Star

Starrigan said...

Anon it's great to see that you have you head up Ed's butt. Why not retract it for a second and get your little encyclopedia and research fallow field legislation. There you go, if you have trouble with the big words use a dictionary, that's a book that tells you what all the big words mean!!! I know you can do it. You said that you are confused but I'm sure with some patience and a little hard work you can get past that confused stage, I just know you can!!! Think of the little engine that could. Chugga chugga woooo woooo. Come on make the noise, it will help.

And that goose step thing, that was awesome, you should have used the term "jack boots" that would have been more effective. Goose step that kinda of giddy, like when you say giddy goose or something like that, it's kinda girly. "Jack boots pounding in the marble foyer" would have been much more dramatic. Come on anon you can do better.

Crazy Eddy, how about it,
Do you think that Newfoundland and Labrador should have fallow field legislation?

Ed Hollett said...

Wow, starrigan, what a pointlessly abusive pack of nonsense you just posted.

Just keep posting. Every smear you type, ever abuse you heap on someone, the more discredited you become and the more you drag down whatever cause it is you represent.

Anonymous said...

What's fallow fields?

babe in boyland said...

starrigan, can you explain what fallow field legislation is? thanks :-)

Starrigan said...

Holy smoke, it's a pandemic, you've all turned into morons!!

Ed Hollett said...

starrigan, so good of you to confirm once again that you can do nothing but smear and insult.

Every time you post, you display not only your own shortcomings but those of whatever position you are supporting.