Monday, September 28, 2009

Feds on the Rails

Every spring Home Hardware produces a flyer selling a very nice well priced hummingbird feeder. Only problem is that the island of Newfoundland has no hummingbirds. Sure there may be a scattered vagrant Ruby-Throated around Pasadena but that poor little creature is only visiting, and if one were to appear in Torbay he might likely be accompanied by a lion, tinman, and scarecrow. None-the-less they ship those humming bird feeders. That's the sort of head-scratcher that happens when Newfoundland and Labrador is perceived from a distance.

Not to pick on Home Hardware, it's the same thing with Walmart for example. On a particularly humid day this summer I remarked to a Walmart greeter "Bloody hot in here isn't it" (actually it was "Friggin' 'ot id-nit", but accent aside...) The blue vested lady replied, "we called the mainland - they won't let us turn down the heat." True! Local Walmart's don't have their own thermostat! But that's the way it goes isn't it: Can't trust a Newfoundlander to know what a comfortable body temperature is.

Someone, somewhere else calling the shots. That brings me to mother Ottawa. I get a flyer in my mail touting how great the federal government is for investing in rail transportation. Remember trains? They have them everywhere else in Canada except for Newfoundland. We did have trains, railway stretched from coast to coast, routes used for shipping paper to Botwood, a turnabout in Bishop's Falls. We put pennies on the track during recess, and when we heard the whistle we ran like hell to the nearest butman (that's what we called the piers on the tressle - Googling the word is a bad idea).

What happened to the trains? We traded the federal government's financial input into the rail system for some infrastructure money to upgrade highways. So it is difficult to applaud the fact that the rest of Canada is getting money pumped into its railway. It is even more difficult when the Conservatives send me a nice picture of a train to rub it in.

The investment in the railway is one that by default we cannot take advantage of in Newfoundland and Labrador. Given that Ottawa's has nar a clue when it comes to NL may I suggest we use our portion of investment into the TransLabrador Railway. It's a little different than VIA, it uses transport trucks instead of trains - but if a name change is what it takes then long live the TLR.

I think a great promotion would be to offer a free hummingbird feeder with every VIA Rail ticket. We can use the new TransLabrador Railway to ship all of those hummingbird feeders back west. It's a win win.


Table Mountains said...

nah,hummingbirds are quite common here where i live. the novelty has even wore off now trying to photograph them. snowy egrets and blue herons are quite common here also. climate change?

Table Mountains said...

ooops,forgot! yes i remember trains quite well. i worked 16 years across the province on the rails until brian prickford sold us to the feds for blood money.

BNB said...

Hummingbirds - cool. Should be interesting to play with the shutter speed.

My understanding of Hurons is that they are very specialized species so they don't adapt well to newness. I wonder have any established themselves here?

...and Egrets - we had one in Mundy Pond last year.

I miss the trains too, their sounds rocking through town.

We have a truckload of hummingbird feeders coming West for you to sell. Don't let us down :)