Did you ever wonder?

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

It is difficult to live in what we describe as a democracy. What does that really mean? Free Speech without the concern of being personally targeted by those in power.

That is simply not true. No those who critique the people in power are not secretly swept away in the night – but make no mistake about it – they are personally impacted by their choice to speak against the people in power.

It is one thing not to get perks – or jobs you probably deserve – it’s quite another to interfere with ones private sector employment.

Then there is the extreme partisan hatred – inflicted on you. There are attempts to limit your personal and professional connections by dropping sometimes subtle and sometimes not hints that one is associating with the wrong person if “you” want to get ahead.

There are attempts to stop the same individuals from attending public events. Then there are the stares and sometimes aggression from the party puppets. Ministers being directed on who they can and cannot speak to.

What does the media do about that? They complain when they are targeted – but ignore others outside their profession who are. If one criticizes the media – are they likely to receive the same punishment as one who criticizes the government? That’s an interesting question and I am certain – that some media will suck it up – consider it and move on – while others will blacklist the same poor souls as the government.

This is no democracy – it is just a place where you can vote. Freedom of speech is restricted by one’s desire to make a living.

My boat won’t float cause Ottawa changed the design.

I can’t catch cod cause Ottawa mismanaged the stocks.

I can’t find my way in the fog cause Ottawa shut down the lighthouse.

I can’t live in my community cause Ottawa lost the cod.

I can’t leave Newfoundland cause Ottawa won’t provide a ferry.

I can’t call the Coast Guard from my boat that won’t float cause Ottawa thinks I’m up the Ottawa River.

What makes me tick – that’s easy. I am a mother and my children come first. That means I must do anything and everything in my power to ensure that bad policies are fought. I do not want my children feeling the same way about the Lower Churchill as I feel about the Upper Churchill.

I do not want the future generations asking why I or anybody else did not do something to stop atrocious resource deals.

The fishery was and is destroyed along with countless communities and livelihoods of families. Those a generation before us – bungled the Upper Churchill development and we are still paying for it as will our grandchildren.

What does it take – I ask myself – for ordinary people to become extraordinary and participate in the decision-making process? Does my generation feel the need to perpetuate the mismanagement of our natural renewable resources? Does my generation think it is okay to tune out as long as they can personally manage? Is it that my generation feels the same as the generation under Joey Smallwood – that speaking up and out – will result in punishment of some sort?

I do know that the whole Lower Churchill proposed development is rather fishy.

Danny announces a deal – quits – suddenly back in the public sector – Kathy becomes interim leader and before you know it all the people who wanted to take a crack at the leadership – suddenly wilt away – with some excuse or another. Is Kathy there to usher this deal through? Is that the deal for being named Premier? I know that it certainly has become the most important thing on the government’s agenda.

Yet this same woman who is now the Premier – absolutely opposed Roger Grimes doing any deal – as he was an unelected Premier. So is she – but no emergency House of Assembly sittings – no demand for all details and no demand for a vote after the public has thoroughly debated it.

This is not good for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and is absolutely crushing for the future industrial development in the bigland. quietly she proceeds – taking no questions – and not talking to you and I – but to business interests.

If Ottawa was to guarantee a loan for the project – why are we not doing it to attract industry in Labrador? Why is this woman so determined to export the best energy potential? Does Kathy Dunderdale believe there will be future industrial growth in the province? If so how is she going to fuel it – or even attract the big energy guzzlers?

No something fishy here – unfortunately it’s not ground-stocks – but something we should all be questioning. This makes me tick. How about you?


Nature in Harmony

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Picture of the Week
"Nature in Harmony"

Temari and the Woodpecker

When one is passionate about something – let’s say Newfoundland and Labrador – they remain passionate. It is not a fleeting headline or Premiership it is a feeling in the pit of your gut. I – for all my adult life have been passionate about Newfoundland and Labrador. I have dedicated over 20 years to public debate and discussion regarding the plight of this beautiful homeland.

Do you get a little teary-eyed when you hear the Ode to Labrador or the Ode to Newfoundland or Let Me fish off Cape St. Mary’s?

I can feel the swelling of pride – I am overcome with the need to protect this place. I must say politicians of all stripes can make you a bit queasy every now and then and occasionally they downright make you angry. The fluff as Verge used to call it – is just that. Political rhetoric at its best and from the same people who are now touting a possible female tory Premier – were the same ones who helped destroy Verge’s chance.

No you see passion is developed over time from a real desire to understand and take a stand – to protect – to really commit oneself to something.

How many times have we seen the one’s supposed to be the most passionate – disappear – gone away – left the province – hopped on the bench?

Where is Tobin’s passion for NL now?

Where was Frank Moores?

What happened to Clyde?

How about Peckford?

Now where is Danny?

For that matter where was Danny when the thing he spoke of the most Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro was being given away? What exactly could he have worked on if the Corporation had been privatized – lost for good? No I don’t buy that kind of stuff and if we do we will continue to giveaway our natural wealth.

The energy resources of this province – I am passionate about. This deal must be stopped. Let Danny come home and defend it. Certainly an unelected Premier such as Dunderdale cannot be allowed to do this. It must be placed in the HOA for a real debate. In order for that to happen the Libs and NDP need to get up to speed and really understand the potential disaster this deal is.

It takes a while to become truly cynical and when you reach that stage you can do one of two things – walk away – or take it on. Most of the time I take it on.

Over the past few years I have found it extremely difficult to watch the “recovery” of Newfoundland and Labrador. The loss of paper mills – the continued decimation of the fishery – the failure to attract new industry utilizing our tremendous hydropower. I can’t say it often enough – where is the recovery? Unemployment rates still higher than any “havenot” province. The politicians should be able to tell us why the GDP is not equating to jobs and high-paying jobs. Why is the food bank so pressed and housing so difficult for those in need?

This is nothing more than spin and filling somebodies pockets somewhere – but it will not begin to deliver for Newfoundland and Labrador what it shoud.

In 2011 I will actually attempt to write a book online.It will not be fictional but will be political and will examine the life of a public critic.

2011 is certainly going to be a year of change in Newfoundland and Labrador. This should be a time we use to honestly review promises and deliveries of our politicians. As people we want to protect this land and sea for our children and their children. In order to do this we must once and for all shed the cloak of partisan zealotry and don the jacket of reasoned thinkers – those worthy of protecting resources and industry for those generations to come.

This will certainly mean we have to look truthfully into issues of great public concern and earnestly seek answers from our leaders – constantly trying to spin or hide the truth.

What does “passion for Newfoundland and Labrador” really mean? Who really possesses such a passion? Let’s ask some tough questions of unelected Premier Dunderdale.

I respectfully ask the reader to consider some of my suggestions.

1. At a time when we are a “have province” and Ontario a “have not province” why is our unemployment rate higher?

2. During the last decade we have lost more industry than we have gained – why is this?

3. Why is Quebec continuing to receive the most equalization but yet has no desire to become a “have province” and lose it?

4. Why is Ontario now the recipient of equalization when they hold the most seats in the House of Commons and the Senate, virtual home to Canada ( the federal government) the beneficiary of the auto bailout and the greatest population?

5. Why is success being measured by the numbers of houses being built in Paradise rather than the continued decimation of rural communities?

6. What happened to the paper mills, the fish plants and other local processors and manufacturers?

7. What has been the net effect of the fight with Ottawa?

a) Have we lost more money than we gained?

b) What happened to the 2 billion dollar windfall – did we lose substantially during the meltdown of the stock markets?

c) What about the 10 billion dollar loss after that? – Was the only payback that we did not elect a Conservative while Manning went to            the senate and Hearn disappeared into a seal pack?

8. Should Kathy Dunderdale be permitted to sign any resource deals while she remains an unelected Premier? What was her own position on that when she was in opposition?

9. Why are none of our politicians tackling the federal government on the loss of our fishery? How will we be compensated? Remember the moratorium should have ended a decade ago and the stocks should be recovered.

10. Why do we continue to have some transportation issues when we are a “have province”? While the “have not province” of Ontario has trains, planes, ships, highways, subways, and significant commuter infrastructure – why do we have prohibitively expensive and unreliable forms of transport?

11. Do our politicians believe we will maintain or grow our industrial base over the next decades? If so what do they plan to power them with?

12. Why are we an energy warehouse and not an industrial warehouse?

13. Why are politicians who scream “no more giveaways” in fact planning the biggest giveaway of all (the Lower Churchill power)?

These are but a few of the questions I suggest.

If we are truly interested in our future these and many others must be asked and answered. The rhetoric of an unelected Premier and the absence of the Opposition other than to visibly cooperate when they want to take a Christmas break – will not suffice if we are to save our land and sea for the children who will follow.

Who will step up to this plate?