Monday, December 08, 2008

Confessions of a Woodchuck - Remembering "The Mill"

In central Newfoundland the pulp and paper mill is part of the culture. "The Mill" can only mean the pulp and paper mill. A "sample" is a folded rectangle of paper often used to cover a floor when painting or given to a child to scribble on. "The Bark" was the area in Bishop's Falls with the best view of The Falls before the flood. It is as intrinsic to Central as the Fish Plant in Marystown.

Now they will be pulling up their grapnel and drifting into time. It brings to mind a song by "Green Day":

"Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road, Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go... It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right."

The song is subtitled "Time of Your Life" but more appropriately it's title is "Good Riddance".

A century of bark and wood debris that has paved the floor of the bay in Norris Arm a foot deep with de-oxygenated lifeless sludge. Good Riddance.

The industry has been given the great liberty of exclusive timber rights for the richest forests of the island and Labrador. Good Riddance.

Effluent pipes dumping into the river dyes, bleaches, and chemicals of various questionable origin. The other effluent pipe is hidden below the surface of the river. Good Riddance.

The once pine clad hills of Central Newfoundland are laid bare, from the air you can see a vast expanse of clearcut forest which inadequate silviculture has mostly failed to rebuild. Good Riddance.

Helicopters spray herbicides in areas to defoliate leaf-bearing trees to give an advantage to young evergreen growth. The very ecology of our boreal forest at battle with the mainland pulp and paper industry. Good Riddance.

Poor management and maintenance of infrastructure at the Bishop's Falls mill contributed to the flood of 1983 with the loss of homes and the subsequent loss of a life in the aftermath. Good Riddance.

The Exploits River is one of the premier rivers for the Altantic Salmon in the world. Salmon enhancement projects have always had to work with the facilities of the pulp and paper mill, controlling water levels and maintaining salmon ladders, often taking a back seat to the concerns of ABITIBI. Good Riddance.

Electrical power produced by Bishop's Falls and other hydro damns have provided a good reliable source of cheap/free power to the Pulp and Paper industry for decades. Time to use it for better developments. To ABITIBI: Good Riddance.

My grandfather worked for pennys in that mill. Woods workers slept on lice infested boughes in the freezing cold to build that industry for the next generations. Only since the union has a reasonable life for workers existed. Good Riddance.

The Mill has long given up it's upper echelon to executives from Quebec who have skimmed the cream off the top. Good Riddance.

For a century it has been essential to the very definition of being a Central Newfoundlander. The story of building The Mill is a story of taming a vast rich Central Newfoundland wilderness, of a strong and resilient people. Faced with uncertainty there is a confidence among the communities that the very strength of the land, the rivers, the ponds and forests that have sustained them since before the Beothuck, will continue to sustain. Bravely they defied the final attempts of "The Company" to suck the last bit of blood from them. Their strength remains.

My Grandfather, my uncles, my father made a good life off The Mill. It was likely if things remained the same I too would have made my living there. So I am apologetic to them in being critical of our bread and butter for so many years. It is with this same perspective though that I say to the greedy CEOs that have sucked the life from us and the land for so long: Good Riddance, you came here with nothing, you can leave with the same.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Prorogue: The prefix Pro means "in favour of" and the root word "Rogue" means a thief or crook.

So the Governor General is "in favour of thieves and crooks" Am I interpreting that correctly?! Sounds about right.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Claim Game: Russia, Canada, US, Norway and Denmark seek Santa's Oil

Yesterday's Globe and Mail (I get it free and wouldn't pay a red copper otherwise) has a supplement in the Report on Business about Northern Countries staking their claims for the treasure of the Arctic. Interesting.

Of course Canada has always made claim to the North Pole, happily assuming the rest of the world was on board with their maps. Only in recent years has our government decided they might send some survey crews up there to at least make a presence.

So who owns The North Pole? Santa of course being the international man of mystery that he is refuses to claim citizenship to any country, so no help there. Russia has ice breakers that could put our Coast Guard breakers in their hold. They have nuclear subs sniffing around up there dropping Soviet flags all over the seabed. They have long made a reasonable claim to The Pole. Our own DFO survey ships are a little underwhelming compared to Russian effort. Canada's survey ships in the arctic would be like sending me to Manhatten island with a Pink White and Green and claiming it for old Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was this little clip from "Canada's National Newspaper" though that really caught my attention. It says "Russia has claimed much of the Arctic because it claims an underwater ridge links Siberia to the seabed that runs underneath the North Pole". So Russia is making claims in the UN to the arctic based on underwater land masses, a "continental shelf" if you will. In other words Russia is claiming "custodial management" to their "continental shelf". I can't help but think I've heard that before?

If I can offer a suggestion to our ships up there surveying the Arctic and drawing our maps: Perhaps when you are drawing your lines along our coast don't be afraid to let the pen stray to encompass the "Nose" and "Tail". As long as we are staking our territory to the UN, lets not forget where Newfoundland and Labrador trully extends.

Greg Byrne of NL Outside the Box and active member of NLFirst has proposed that we include the Nose and Tail of the Grand Banks on our own maps as a show of custodial management. Recent discussions with him came to mind when I read the Globe articles. I tend to agree that we should be making the claim to the continential shelf. As a start.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Parking Meters in Hospitals?!

The thought of visiting a loved one dying in the hospital and being greeted by a parking ticket on your way home is something that no one in Newfoundland and Labrador should face. But is happens, repeatedly ever single day. This is a St. John's issue that largely affects all other communities because for the serious stuff we all end up in the Health Sciences.

St. John's Councilor Debbie Hanlon is finally calling attention to this. Please sign the petition.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We Could Have a Bed of Goose Down but We Sent the Egg to Ottawa

Should we have a cabinet representative from Newfoundland or Labrador? Too many people are saying we've made our bed, now we must lie in it. But I didn't make the bed, if I did it would be a lot more comfortable.

I e-mailed Mayor Doc O'Keefe with support for his campaign to e-mail the PM and insist on having a representative in cabinet for Newfoundland and Labrador:

Good Afternoon Mayor O'Keefe,

I'd like to add my voice of support for your campaign to have a Newfoundlander or Labradorian represent NL in the federal cabinet. With only 7 of 309 federal seats the odds are great that we will occasionally not vote in a member of the governing party. That should not negate us have adequate representation. Newfoundland and Labradorians think it is acceptable to have representation from elsewhere are colonialist in their view. We should be greatly offended with having a federally appointed person to represent us. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should remember the days of governors - we should never return to anything resembling that quasi-nationhood.

The distinction needs to be made between the government of Canada and the governing Conservatives. We did not ask for no representation in Ottawa with the last election, we voted for no Conservative representation. We would hope that our place in Canada is independent of who governs the country. Perhaps it points to some of the faults in our political system with a first past the post elections and ineffective senate.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CHUM apologizes for "Newfie" joke

Darren B. Lamb of CHUM joins the likes of Wente and Lankhof in the league of the ignorant. At least Lamb apologized though. This sort of BS is no longer acceptable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Divided We Fall

I am election weary, that's the truth of it. I'm finding it hard to give a shit this time around. I've dived into the murky waters before. I helped Siobhan Coady with her website (new year's eve working on that damn thing). I consulted with the NL First on the website (now has my logo concept and photos). I've e-mailed back and forth with Loyola Hearn (even when his DFO attempted to destroy my income - a blog for another time). I've set up a blog for Peg Norman and offered her advice and help (it was turned down). I wear the grey shirt of non-partisanship, because I believed in the political process. I've stretched my resources across all colours because I believe as Barack Obama has said "Patriotism knows no party". Nice thought but for Newfoundland and Labrador it has no merit. This time around I am coming up for air.

In this and every federal election we must choose our colours. The spectrum makes the political landscape look like a candy store. Conservative, Progressive Canadians, Liberals, NL First, NDP, Greens, Labour, Communists, Bloc, Rhino... for the indecisive Vanilla is not an option. It's not surprising that in my Newfoundland and Labrador we fly the Pratt Flag, the Union Jack, The Maple Leaf, The Labrador Tricolour, the Pink White and Green, Red Ensign, and various other incarnations to represent what it is to be Newfoundlander or Labradorian. (How do I wear my heart on my sleeve when it has been removed.) One thing for certain with 7 of 303 MPs - can Newfoundland and Labrador afford the luxury of division?

In 2009 Newfoundland and Labrador will have 7 MPs of various stripes in Ottawa, the Big Land of Labrador only 1. Each towing their own party line. Every one of them proud and patriotic. None of them with any capacity to bring this Newfoundland and Labrador any closer to being truly Canadian.

Sometimes I long for the simplicity of America. The simple, figurative and literal choice of black or white.

For a colourblind voter like myself the best argument for my vote comes from the NL First, in that a vote for them will at least see $3 from elections Canada returned to Newfoundland and Labrador. Our future for some pocket change, may as well follow the precedent of history.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Capelin, Shrimp and Pooping Puffins

Pooping puffin election ads;

talk of who has, or doesn't have the guts of a capelin

Scott Simms 'shrimp' references...

Finally Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries is on the federal radar.

Note to Voters - keep an eye out for the Conners.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A First for NL First - First Ever Federal Candidate

From October Reign

NL First Party .... It's Time

News Release

Bennett Declares for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte

Pasadena NL - Wayne Bennett, recently retired from Canada's Navy, will be the NL First Party's candidate in Humber-St.Barbe-Baie Verte for the October 14th federal election. Bennett, the son of Ivy (Perry) and Ernest (the Pepsi Man) Bennett, served for some 32 years in the Navy and with the Royal Nfld Regiment.

He is the founder and CEO of WRB Enterprises Limited. WRB Enterprises Limited is in the early stages of two developments in the Howley area. The first is the consturction of a 40 bed Personal Care Home for Seniors and the second project is the development of a multi-million dollar resort and spa in the Conwical Hill area that is locally know as 'Granny's Nipple'.

When elected, Wayne will be donating his $45,000 military pension to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment for the purpose of, in concert with Senator Bill Romphey, for the erection of a caribou in Gallipoli for the 100th Anniversary in 2015.

Wayne is single and lives in Pasadena, the crown of the Humber Valley. Is actively involved in both the Pasadena community and the town of Howley, where he spent many of his early years. He is the Grand Knight of the local Knights of Columbus Archbishop McNeil Council 8555 and is actively pursing the formation of an Historical Society in Howley.

Bennett Campaign HQ
5 Broadway
Corner Brook NL
709.639.5350 (c)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Speak for Ourselves - CLCC launches campaign

Ray Johnson of Buddy Wasisname fame and chair of the Community Linkages Concept committee recently announced the "Speak for Ourselves" campaign. Saturday August 30 The Telegram, has an article by DAVE BARTLETT speaking of the project.

The Campaign is asking for feedback from people in communities all over the province. What is the good, the bad and the ugly about your community? What untapped potential is there? What is its future?

The CLCC is asking that you email The website is

UPDATE: The CLCC has posted these seven questions that might spark some of your feedback:

1) What are the problems facing your community?

2) What potential do you see in your community?

3) How can the province’s new found oil wealth be used to benefit rural areas?

4) How important is culture and heritage to you?

5) How can our culture and heritage be protected or enhanced?

6) What business opportunities exist in your area and how can government help to make breathe life into these opportunities?

7) What is the state of youth in rural communities?

People can contact the CLCC the following ways:
It’s website:
Via e-mail at
Or by mail:
P.O. Box 122
Lower Island Cove, NL
A0A 2W0

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Light Sweet Crude

Nothing's sexier these days.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I have often heard the prayer that St. John's be separated from the rest of the province, from Townies and Baymen alike. Unfortunately I think the prayers have been answered but the almighty has missed the mark a bit separating the province at Gambo. There is perhaps a lesson here, in our complaining that we cannot travel with ease across the island remember that Labrador has never had this luxury.

Of course if you do have to detour the Gander Bay loop you will see a beautiful coast seldom seen by tourists and livyers. Take the opportunity to picnic on Cape Freels.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Popular Culture

I was biking with my camera bag the other day when a jeep buzzes my bike and some tool shouts: "isss errsss". What the ?! What did he say?! Then noticing my camera bag hung over my shoulder I deciphered his shout.

"Nice Purse."

Tool! I shifted gears and pumped the peddles. But my old man style Comfort Bike is no match for a Jeep YJ. Just as well, what would I have said if I did catch up. All I could think of in my panting rage was a line from Seinfeld: "It's a European Carry-all!" I'm not sure that would have helped my poor bruised masculine ego. (So frail we are as men.)

As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians we should be well used to cowardly jabs. Remember when Ellen DeGeneres had her own sitcom. The big fellow from the show whose character was Canadian was listening to a fellow Canadian comedian. The comedian was making "Newfie Jokes". In response the big fellow replies (laughing hysterically) "It's true those Newfies are so stupid." It made NTV news. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that were watching of course sat with their mouths agape. Sort of like me on the bike. Senseless to enter into debate on that one. The Ellen show vs NTV Evening News. Nothing to do but grin and bare it.

An episode of South Park where the crudely drawn little characters go to Canada has a scene where they end up in Newfoundland. The Newfoundlander they meet says he wants to meet the Prime Minister of Canada because he is passing a law that won't let him "shag his boys". Of course if your watching South Park it's really your own fault if it manages to offend you. Sort of like peeing into the wind.

People like SS craptain Watson has practically made a living off making the popular culture believe that the Newfoundland and Labradorian is somehow a lesser class global citizen. "Where priests rape orphans".

Our national journalists too like to shout from cars. I guess they garner the same sort of self-righteous pride that a school yard bully gets from stealing milk money. Marge Wente's "Scenic Welfare Ghetto"; Ric Dolphins “Walrus and Welfare investigators and whatever else it is that terrifies Newfies"; Bill Lankhof's "the biggest thing to happen in The Land Cod Forgot since the invention of the pogey cheque"; and Charles Lynch comments about Newfoundland and Labrador "Whiners" during Meech Lake - suggesting that between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador Canada's youngest province would have to go.

At least the Lynch article doesn't require any rebuttal, Rick Mercer adequately hammered that nail in his one man show "Show me the button and I'll push it (Charles Lynch must die)". In at least this last case Rick, being a better man than I, was able to catch that Jeep YJ and not only counter the attack but blow the thing to bits.

Then there's shows like "Ed's Up" featuring Ed of Bare Naked Ladies fame. Flying his plane away from the Churchill River where he has just helped the Steelworkers build a bridge there is a brief glimpse of that spectacular Labrador coast, and Ed speaks of the Newfoundlanders who he had just met saying. "I've never met a Newfoundlander I didn't like."

God love ya Ed. I guess for those who actually set foot on our soil they come to know something of who we are on The Rock and in The Big Land. Shag the others. The rest can kiss kiss my stupid-newfie-welfare-whining briny arse - Purse included.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Subliminal Messages to the PM

So the PM visits today and the cosmic forces seem to have been having a little fun. All day I am hearing what can only be subliminal messages to Steven Harper. Avril Lavigne is in town: "Your watching your back, like you can't relax". A radio ad for Chris Isaak drones "Somebody's lying, I know when somebody's lying." (Are you listening Mr. Harper) Then another for BJ Thomas "Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".

Sometimes you really don't need to say a word. Just listen.

I hope he at least brought his chequebook. Then again the last time he was here one of his posse stole a bra. We probably shouldn't expect too much.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Memorial's Mixed Message

I have a love/hate relationship with my Alma mater Memorial University. On the one hand it is truly a marvelous world class institution that Newfoundland and Labrador can be proud of as it's pillar of academia. On the other hand Memorial, like our provincial governance is filled to the rafters with shit. An institution so rapped up in its own self-importance to be counterproductive in the growth of our society. Such is the Board of Rejects. In the last column I defended the importance of the nearly universally accepted autonomy of universities. As it turns out the university's public voice is the weapon of it's own destruction.

As it appears MUN did indeed ask for the government's input. It went something like this:

MUN: "Would you mind being in the loop on the selection of a new president?"

Minister/Premier: "Naw-da-tall glad to help"

MUN: "What about Acting President Dr. Eddy Campbell?"

Minister/Premier: "hmmm naw - who else you got?"

MUN: "Well we were sort of hoping for Dr. Campbell?!"

Minister/Premier: "Nope try again"

Dr. Campbell (muffled from outside the door): "What did she say"

MUN (shouts): "Say's she don't want you!"

Dr. Campbell: "Shag 'em I'm withdrawing my name"

Minister/Premier: "Good problem solved"

Voice from the back barely audible: "I'm calling the Globe and Mail! This sucks!"

I don't get MUN. On the one hand the board acknowledges "[the] Premier indicated to the Chairman of the Board of Regents that, if the university felt it would be helpful, the Premier, if asked, would be willing to meet prospective candidates to promote the province, to emphasize the importance of Memorial to the province and to confirm the government’s strong commitment to university education in Newfoundland and Labrador." It also acknowledges: "The Board feels that there was no inappropriate interference by government or attempt to influence the work of the Search Committee until government informed the Board that the candidates were unacceptable prior to a formal recommendation of a preferred candidate being made." but then states "the Board is concerned that government’s non-acceptance of the candidates and government’s request that the Search Committee continue with its search before a formal recommendation could be made on the Board’s proposed appointee constitutes inappropriate interference in the normal process.

I say simply to the Board of Regents be careful what you wish for.

Of the Memorial University Act MUN states: "The Memorial University Act is clear in delineating government’s role and the Board of Regents is committed to ensuring that role remains within the letter and spirit of the Act... The Board’s appointment of a candidate for president must be the result of a fair, thorough and comprehensive process that is strictly in accordance with the provisions of The Memorial University Act." but then suggests the act should be changed: "The Board of Regents respectfully recommends to government that it amend The Memorial University Act to better reflect the autonomy of the university and to be more in line with appointment practices at other Canadian universities."

So the Board of Regents now wants to suggest that the Memorial University Act be amended to allow for greater autonomy. "Just like other universities". Problem is, if they are given that power are they even sharp enough to be able to handle the responsibility? This little PR nightmare says they are not.

So we ask:

Can a candidate withdraw his name after he has already been rejected?

Is The Board of Regents able to get it's head out of its own ass long enough to find our next pres?

Can anyone at MUN write a press release that isn't simply a point wise list of hyperbole?

Is anyone ever going to ask for Ms. Burke's opinion ever again?

Tune in after Regatta Day for the continuing story. It's summer and there's nothing on TV leading up the Olympics.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

President for Joey's Mini-Oxford

The autonomy of academic institutions is an assumed right of self-governance second only to our military. What happens then when a minister of the crown wants "in" on the decision of who to hire for the next president of University? Legally, minister Joan Burke has every right to stick her wrench in the cogs of the hiring process. Traditionally though this right has been a rubber stamp approval of the candidate chosen by the University's Echelon.

Should Minister Burke have trashed the resumes and sent the University scouting again for a president? Simple answer is no. The university commands a particular right within our society. Academia has to be able to sit in their jackets smoke their pipes and scratch their chins in peace. It is a fundamental right in a civilized society. University must allow freedom of thought and expression and in so doing our society as a whole grows because of this freedom. Without the filter of religious dogma, industrial or political persuasion the big "Why" and "What if" can be allowed to present itself freely.

But I am a MUN alumni.

I am also a Newfoundland and Labradorian. I pay in part for that institution. It is not "Government" that has it's hands in the seeds of MUN's growth, it is a representative of the people. A person entrusted to the public purse. In that light it is necessary that the minister is in the loop on the selection process. Indeed it is even necessary that she has the right of veto. Question is, where and when does this veto get exercised? The danger is the government may very well choose a president that is friendly to the government's ultimate goals. Grenfell University and all that. The danger on the other side is that MUN, which is an institution that has a great number of non-Newfoundland and Labradorians may be less concerned with the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole and more concerned with the academic path the University follows.

For my part I say Minister Burke may have been wrong, only the specific details on why she did not except these two potentials would consolidate my opinion. I would default to allowing the University its due process. Unfortunately the details are not and cannot be known.

The other point is that if Newfoundland and Labrador is going to pursue the best interests of Newfoundland and Labrador we have to start thinking like a country. No apologies to loyalists nor separatists when I say that. The National rag, The Globe and Mail is the real reason this is in the public light. We will debate this one amongst ourselves thank you very much. I say to the Globe and Mail mind your own bloody business.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Big (and beautiful) Land

A colleague of mine was describing coastal Labrador from helicopter and fixed wing. I searched these out on Google Earth. Truly extraordinary...

(Look at these full size to get an appreciation for the landscape. The Lat and Long is in the bottom left if you want to find these.)

Kiglapait Mountains in Northern Coastal Labrador, Mistastin Impact Crater - Northern Labrador and Waterways North of Nain.

Friday, June 06, 2008

(Updated) Cameron Inquiry: Like the Tides - All Things are Known

For most of the goings-on that occupy our news there is a sad inevitability. We have lived on this planet long enough now to have learned a few things. Sadly predictable, boring at best.

I get a free copy of "Canada's Nation Newspaper" thrown on my desk where it rests briefly, more out of respect for the trees killed in its printing than the actual content of its pages. These days the front pages are filled with news of the American's. Sad that only the side-boob of an MP's girlfriend was able to curb the news of Hillary and Barack. Looking at the faces of the potential president one can't help but see the writing on the wall. All the would-a, could-a, should-a aside... isn't it in the cards that Obama will be the democratic candidate and Clinton will be his running mate? Enough said. Let's move on.

The truly sad predictability though for me is the news of the Cameron inquiry. Already a couple of inevitabilities have revealed themselves and more are to come. Already the cost of the inquiry has been argued against the need for the full and open disclosure of the inquiry. Already the CEOs, Government officials and higher management of the Health Care corporation are shrugging their shoulders and passing the buck.

Who couldn't see that coming a mile away?

There are a couple of things we can expect to see as this whole unfortunate story is told. There will be recommendations made to improve the procedures. These will come as a revelation and the cost of the inquiry will be justified based on these findings... But without a dollar spend we can already list them. They have been spoken repeatedly in frustration at countless management meetings by pathologists and specialists, they have remained largely unheard. They have been discovered across Canada in much the same way as we are discovering here. The Globe and Mail has recently written an article with the problems and solutions in Black and White, these are country-wide issues; overworked Pathologists and the like.

In the end isn't this truly what we need to get from this inquiry? How can we improve, how can we ensure it never happens again?

There is one more news story that will be as sure as the tides. This will come when the class-action lawsuit is settled and the ladies of our Newfoundland and Labrador who have been so traumatically affected by the events of this fiasco, finally get some compensation. The story will be how much money the inquiry has cost, how much the lawyers have made, how much money the class-action has made for the lawyer vs the compensation to the ladies involved. That story will be the most shocking. The lawyers will have made millions, the victims of this mayhem substantially less. In the Class Action Against Improper Sterilization in Labrador the victims get $450, their spouses $100, the lawyers $119,000. Where is the fairness? Then again maybe that story may be missed, the elite do have the greatest ways and means of self-preservation.

With respect to the amount of torment, physical health and mental anguish of the victims family and friends, there will be a pittance offered for their suffering. The bulk of the money will fatten the wallets of the Class-Action lawyers, the inquiry lawyers, CEOs and Upper Echelon of our society. The bit of productive information that will come out of the inquiry will be held as if it is an epiphany and the inquiry's expense will be held to be justifiable. Information that we know right now, at this point in time, without a dollar spend.

Look after these ladies, they should have no financial worries for the rest of their lives and they should sleep sound knowing the mistakes that were made with them will never happen again. That's where our money should be spend. Invest in health care not Jaguars for lawyers. In the days of President Obama and Vice-President Clinton we should have the best pathology processes in Canada, and the ladies who have ordealed this great tragedy can be content in knowing it was not in vain.

Note from NewfoundlandinCanada - The article mentions a story from the Globe and Mail:
The Globe and Mail June 3 2008. "Pathologists call on governments to remedy problems at overworked labs." Consider:

1. Governments need to invest funding to repair an ailing system.
2. Canada lacks a national quality assurance program.
3. Overworked laboratories lack the necessary tools to prevent potential quality-control nightmares.
4. Increasingly complex medical tests.
5. Growing demands for faster results.
6. Critical shortage of pathologists and lab workers.
7. Call for the creation of a national body that sets national standards and links existing accreditation programs across provinces.

These recommendations were free for the asking. Imagine if fees amounting to millions were actually put towards implementing some of these recommendations instead of being directed to St. John's generous population of lawyers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Canada Needs to Act Like a Country

One of the wisest things I've ever heard regarding Newfoundland and Labrador's place in Canada was on a radio talk show. Whatever your feelings on this conduit of information there are occasionally gems of wisdom that for me makes all the talk about potholes and pokey worthwhile. This gentleman was reflecting on Newfoundland and Labrador's adoption/marriage/confederation/sell-out to Canada. What he said was that he wished that Newfoundland and Labrador had voted differently in confederation. That if Newfoundland and Labrador had become it's own country we could then have negotiated our own terms of union as a full fledged dominion.

A brief moment here for reflection.

Newfoundland and Labrador's status as a country has always been a subject of debate and confusion. My own personal feelings aside I take the moderate stance that Newfoundland and Labrador needs to act like a country regardless of where we are socially, politically and geographically on this blue green sphere. Why can't Newfoundland and Labrador be independent thinking and act like a country? What could be our hesitation?

Part of the answer came last week with the seizure of the eco-terrorist ship named for one of Canada's most prolific liars. You know the one. I don't care to give them a mention here. The answer to the previous ramblings about sovereignty is that not only has the sovereignty issue eluded us in Newfoundland and Labrador, it is a concept our mater Canada has trouble with. Canada itself is not used to acting like a sovereign nation. When Russian vessels drop a flag and claim the Arctic the response from Canada is muted rumblings and shoulder shrugs. "Sher' the world knows the Arctic belongs to Canada right?"

Then our eco-terrorist buddy Paul creeps his way into the very mouth of the nation into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and claims that as long as he is 12 miles from either shore he is entitled to do whatever catches his whim as an international vessel in International waters.

He makes the assertion that Canada's claim to Gulf waters is "disputed" by European countries and the United States. Additional, he feels in his skewed logic, that if he runs into trouble he will high-tail it for St. Pierre and Miquelon. France he believes to be an ally. It is beyond his scope of thought of course that the tiny islands have a people of a strong independent spirit that are not mere outposts of France. We know of course how that went.

This goes beyond the issue of seals and eco-terrorists. This goes to the very issue of Canada's right to protect its own sovereignty.

Should Canada have seized the SS Ship? Absolutely. How many times are you going to let someone slap you with their glove before accepting the challenge. We may be peacekeepers, we may be the polite cousin in the global family, but cowards we are not. As for the ship being Dutch, they are sea-faring people very much like ourselves. I doubt they would give this little tug a second thought, if they respect their naval heritage they will know what an abomination the Farley Mowat and its crew are to marine law and history.

Terrorist cannot go unchecked. Take a lesson from St. Pierre et Miquelon and go at them with axes swinging.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Proclaimers in St. John's

For years NewfoundlandInCanada has used a quote from the Proclaimers song "Cap in Hand" in expressing a common sentiment of Newfoundland and Labradors place in Canada. It reads "We fight - when they ask us, We boast - then we cower. We beg for a piece of what's already ours. I don't understand why we let someone else rule our land."

Many have commented to me that this quote rings true for the feelings of so many in Newfoundland and Labrador. NewfoundlandinCanada used another quote from Proclaimers in "Who is a Newfoundlander or Labradorian" which quotes a line from "Scotlands Story."

NewfoundlandinCanada was pleased to have received permission from The Proclaimers for the use of this quote. So much of what Craig and Charlie Reid write has relavance to Newfoundland and Labrador and global concerns.

Since they will be playing is St. John's at Club One this weekend I take the opportunity to thank them and wish them a great show.

Born and Bred

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Rethink the Barbarian

Our people are called barbarians by people who wish "our children to be skinned alive in front of us"

They are called barbarians by ladies in luxury suites in Calgary who say: "I am so happy to hear of the deaths of 4 sealers on Saturday March 29 although, it was a tragedy that more of them, if not all, were not killed in this fortunate accident."

We are called barbarians who speak in defense of the Seal Hunt and we accept threats of death and harm for our writing.

Who is the Barbarian?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Port aux Basques for Hockeyville 2008

Finally a vote I can endorse without hesitation!

Vote for the Lovely community of Port of Basques for Hockeyville 2008. Vote often (close your browser between votes)

I have fond memories of the Ferry ride from Port aux Basques. I hope they succeed in bringing hockeyville to the rock.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From Halifax to Vancouver - Sears Fundraiser Misses Tremendous Opportunity

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride has sadly missed a tremendous opportunity in deciding to exclude New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador and the Territories. Aside from the fact that the Run is called a "National" one, and aside from the fact that they call it a "Coast to Coast" Ride, this fund raiser has missed a great opportunity to experience the tremendous giving heart of the Newfoundlander and Labradorian in their fund raising event.

Because it is a truly noble cause it is hard to be critical. We wish them the best. But to their Promotions people: It's a big country folks, expand your boundaries you may be pleased with the result.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Facist States

According to Wikipedia the definition of fascism states include the following:

Some of the governments and parties most often considered to have been fascist include Fascist Italy under Mussolini, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, Spain's Falange, Portugal's New State, Hungary's Arrow Cross Party, Japan's Imperial Way Faction, Romania's Iron Guard, Iraq's Party of National Brotherhood, South Africa under the National Party and the United States under George W. Bush.

It does cause one pause for thought that Bush's U.S. is listed with Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy?! Coincidently enough at the same time I read that a news brief on the radio mentioned that Justice Gomery (of Gomery Inquiry fame) has been critical that the Canadian Government under Stephen Harper has not implimented any of the recommendations from the lengthy and expensive inquiry.

So if a fascist state oppresses individual rights over the rights of the state (government protection of itself for its own sake)... can Canada be far behind in that list of self-serving government states? Harper has upgraded/degraded Canadians role from Peacekeeper to full out military command. He ignores the recommendation of independent inquiries into government affairs. In fact Gomery suggests that "Failure to decentralize PMO power poses danger to democracy"

My advice to Harper is to refrain from wearing those military fatigues he has been known to don. And don't grow a mustache - your colours are beginning to show.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Home. Care?

I've been keeping my head low these days, trusting that the powers that be have more sense than I give them credit for. For this one though I have to pull my head from the sand. On the suggestion that seniors may be removed from their home care in Labrador and moved to facilities in St. John's. ( I shake my head) I won't jump the gun on this - except to say that this situation would be incredibly calous and uncaring. Are we suggesting that a man or woman who has lived their lives in Labrador, and calls Labrador home, should now be moved to the island to live out their final days?! St. John's is a gem of a city, but to suggest that it is reasonable to displace a Labradorian and have them breath their last breath away from their home in our capital is viewing the world through a set of glasses that skews perspective. St. John's is not the centre of the universe in our Newfoundland and Labrador.

I make this statement with every bit of selfish intent, for fear of someone deciding for me in 2048 that the best place for me is Toronto. God Forbid.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Lady and The Knight

Is a knight who refuses a challenge truly a knight? Let's see what Sir Paul is made of...

News Release – to be released on March 7th

One Newfoundlander
Newfoundlander invites Sir Paul McCartney to gain truth of seal hunt

St. John ’s March 2nd, 2008 - Samantha Gerbeau of Newfoundland and Labrador , Canada , is inviting Sir Paul McCartney to learn the truth about the North Atlantic Seal Hunt.

Ms. Gerbeau is extending the offer to Sir Paul McCartney to draw his lordships’ attention to the numerous misrepresentations and disingenuous practices of groups alleging to support the rights of animals.

“Hopefully his lordship will be able to observe for himself that he and many other celebrities have been duped into accepting as truths the outright lies about the seal hunt and its benefits beyond the acquisition of seal pelts to humanity,” said Samantha.

A HIGHLY EXPENSIVE campaign to influence the new European parliament to ban the importation of seal products has begun. “It is no secret the anti-hunt lobbyists selectively target those European parliamentarians whose countries have the fewest resources to counter the effects of their lobbying,” said Gerbeau.

By inviting Sir Paul to the front Ms. Gerbeau hopes those anti-seal hunt protestors will not succeed in furthering their ludicrous allegations unto parliamentarians or other celebrities, like arranging televised interviews with them as was done in 2006 to Sir Paul McCartney in the Larry King Live television interview.

These groups regularly use media that can be attracted to their sideshows to support their causes. Those media events – sometimes staged, have been effective events as admitted by various anti-seal hunt groups.

“The numerous government releases and statements to leaders and members of HSUS, the IFWA and the WWF and other groups opposed to the seal hunt are being ignored. Statements of the seal population explosion which has been steadily occurring (not just on the coast of Newfoundland or near the state of Maine ), are ignored and the serious threats to global warming and health of the environment shows how little interest our planet is to these groups. Equally mystifying is the position presented in these statements that the hunt supports inhumane killing of baby seals. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

As one reads the media reports, or observes staged video footage of alleged seal hunts, it becomes readily apparent these hunt protestors are stating they are more competent to determine that methods used to dispatch MATURE seals are inhumane than are members of the IVWG or Independent Veterinarians Working Group whom by law must supervise the harvests and have stated to the European Food and Safety Association that in fact the Atlantic Canadian Seal Hunt is very well managed and humane.



Samantha Gerbeau
To view Sam's blog go to support the spring harvest!
Founder of Newfoundcare and Author of The ABC's of The Real Treat!
Past President of Memorial Toastmasters
INCO Innovation Center Room 2014

Samantha Gerbeau helps heal the ills of humanity. Samantha advocates awareness to promote natural sustainability for the planet. As a researcher, crisis communications planner, she is actively involved in sustaining a natural food supply her home and original fishing station of Europe, Newfoundland and Labrador.
She spent her formative years attending a British private school in Barbados, W.I. after her father’s death. She regarded the experience as an insightful look into the cultural differences and similarities of what it means to live on an island that mainly relies on fish for its livelihood. The warm climate and abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables were not enough to keep Samantha away from her home, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Samantha is a fighter for humanity and seeks solutions for social responsibility. Her foresight comes from recognizing how the outworn industrialized ways of the world need reform for our present earth conditions. In 2004, she wrote a children's book called, The ABC's of the Real Treat! and published it herself in 2007 with the help of the Sisters of Mercy and Presentation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Samantha feels that no one should have to pay for education or essential knowledge, especially children. She believed that by giving the book as a gift to 15,000 children in Newfoundland and Labrador, she was helping to inform others that 'the real treat is to eat good food'. With an ever-increasing rate of obesity and type-two diabetes, that exists in Newfoundland and Labrador, she seen the need to create more awareness of eating well for the environment and give kids real knowledge of what gives them good energy. Now, she provides in-class picnics that show and tell children all about the natural world around them. She tells them the best ways to find natural energy and how moods are affected by what we eat. Her environmental healthy eating program can be found at
Samantha Gerbeau began working in public relations in 1995 while living in British Columbia. There, she worked as a Customer One representative for Chrysler Canada. About 10 years later, Samantha devoted much of her time raising her two children. While she remained active in the tourism industry for the latter part of the 1990's, she went back to public relations within the last seven years. Since then, she has researched and developed the preliminaries for an Emergency Response Plan for the City of St. John's, worked with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada during the Venus Transit of 2004 and communications and special events for Kids Eat Smart Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2007. As an independent, she has provided public speaking/media relations training to city directors, small and medium size business owners and provides customer service training and research. As a motivational speaker, her award winning speech, The Secrets of Sugar, helps to show society how to find the fountain of youth by eliminating this age-inducing substance out of the diet.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Rock remembers The Rock

152 MPs vs 152 MPs, The Atlantic Accord was on the line. One MP from Vancouver determines its fate.

A new book suggests MP Cadman was stronger than we knew: