Monday, January 23, 2012

Harper and Keystone ... a Lower Churchill comparison...

Background info:

Harper felt pretty confident that the Keystone pipeline project, which would funnel oil from Canada right into the United States, would go ahead because of the benefits to both sides. Seemed like an obvious solution to the energy, economic, and employment needs for both countries but Obama, feeling the pressure from environmental lobbyists, said "NO"

Media reports agreed that Harper and the PMO were very disappointed with Obama's rejection of the idea and said "Canada will now look at diversifying its power exports into Asia and specifically China by constructing a pipeline across British Columbia to the coast where this oil could be shipped to China".

Points of Comparison:

  1. Hydro-electricity is considered to be a green project which should appeal to Obama and the environmental lobbyists... Alberta tar-sands oil is rejected by Obama because of the purported negative implications to the environment.
  2. The jobs created from getting both the hydro-electricity of Labrador and the oil to their market would be huge and the tax revenue would be massive for the Canadian coffers benefiting all for decades to come.   
  3. When confronted with an impediment to the selling and transporting of the oil to the United States the Harper response was to find an alternative and pursued finding an alternate market for the oil... the hydroelectric projects of Labrador have not received any federal marketing support for the sale of this electricity to the markets within Canada or in the US markets.
  4. The Harper government is very committed to investing in the infrastructure which would allow for new markets for the tar-sands oil by investing billions of dollars into a pipe-line... the people of NL have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get the Harper government to provide a loan guarantee for the Muskrat Falls hydro development, which actually costs the government of Canada "zero dollars".
  5. When Obama balked on the Keystone project Harper was quick with an answer which involved transporting energy across another province in order for it to be sold to another market... the sensible route for Lower Churchill energy to get to market is across another province yet Harper and his government refuses to get involved in resolving this matter.
  6. While it is assumed that British Columbia's co-operation would result in a share of the profits from the oil revenues, the over-whelming proportion of the revenue would go to the provinces which are the actual oil producers... Newfoundland & Labrador cannot get its energy to the market across Quebec without selling it first at the border for dirt cheap prices and then allowing Quebec to re-sell this product for multiple times what they paid for it.
  7. The transporting of oil across BC to  the coast would require a new and innovative project with a pipeline being constructed across the Rockies... getting NL hydro-electricity to market would be more a matter of adding capacity to a route and a technology which already exists.      

  • The Harper government will expend large financial resources to help oil reach the marketplace but will not even get involved in helping NL hydro-electricity reach the market. Even though hydro-electricity is considered much friendlier to the environment it seems the tar-sands oil, considered to be a large scale source of greenhouse gas pollution gets the needed support.
  • The Harper government takes the action described above, which appears to be largely hypocritical, because of the provinces which are involved. In the case of the oil it is the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta,  and to a lesser degree Saskatchewan, which need to co-operate for the success of the project. In the case of NL hydro-electricity it is the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador which need to find a reasonable agreement as the basis for co-operation... yeah right???
  • The Harper government will  leverage its influence in the oil deal because it has a potential for a successful conclusion. The Harper government, and other governments before it,  do not try to bridge the hydro-electricity block because they know that Quebec cannot agree on a deal unless they get a disproportionate share of the benefit from the project.
  • The Harper government is abandoning the constitutional rights of the people of  Newfoundland & Labrador (British North America Act) to get its product across another province to the marketplace because it would pee-off a province which holds 75 federal electoral districts versus the 7 in NL.
  • The people of Alberta and Saskatchewan would not, nor should they, stand for BC blocking their ability to get their product to the marketplace. NL can be trusted to take a beating without inordinate backlash as exemplified by the Upper Churchill debacle. The province of PQ is known to kick  up a fuss when it doesn't get all it wants to the point of even being militant. (the Upper Churchill threat)
  • The Keystone project is not about Newfoundland and Labrador or its hydro-electricity issues, but it is very easy to draw comparisons which again verify what everybody already knows... it is impossible to  negotiate with Quebec and expect fair-play!          


Friday, June 24, 2011

HARPER "the Prime Minister for ALL of Canada!"

Figure it out... once and for all folks... within Canada we have NO POWER to influence decisions. Dunderdale trying to be nice to Harper and build a relationship with him so she can have an influence over the federal decisions which affect our province, is like being kind and loving with the devil in the hopes he will convert to Catholicism.

While Danny Williams may be a bit of a hot head, he is not without some people skills in trying to get his way. Danny did try being fair with Harper in the hopes of future influence only to be screwed in the end!

Dunderdale, thinking that she can do better than her previous boss, was even kinder and more supportive of Harper, and this would result in fairer treatment from Harper.

When Harper was confirmed of his majority government in the recent election, his statement was "that he now needed to be a Prime Minister for all of Canada." To me it seems that he is either lying about his intent to do right by all of Canada's citizens or he does not see NL as a real part of Canada. I think we know Harper is a liar. He is a very disingenuous politician who could not care less about our province and our people.

With regard to this matter of closing of our Search and Rescue sub center, I reflect back to just a short while ago and the memorial service held immediately after the Cougar crash. Harper and Mackay, coming out of the Basilica with a solemn and mournful gait, was nothing more than window dressing. He could not care less about our people and the ability to keep them safe. The real proof is in how heartlessly he would shut down this vital piece of our search and rescue infrastructure.

In truth, our Search and Rescue capabilities need to be enhanced and added to, as per the investigations which were completed after the Ocean Ranger and Cougar disasters. In stead of this Harper has ruthlessly decided the best action is taking a major component of our functionality away. "When", not "if", this fateful decision causes the loss of more lives off our shores, will Harper and Mackay have the guts to come to the next memorial service? The answer: ABSOLUTELY YES they will show up, because, ultimately the initial ability to make this decision shows no conscience, and this same character trait, means that they certainly would have the "face" to show up here again and mimic the same crocodile tears that they did after the Cougar crash.

Very sad... how many more of our people need to be sacrificed before the recommended search and rescue infrastructure is put in place???

How much more of this blatant disrespect can we, as a people, tolerate?

Do we really need to learn this lesson again regarding the true character of Steve Harper?

Did our current premier actually believe that she could treat Harper differently and get better results?

Well, guess what? The people of NL did not buy in to it and they showed this in the way they voted in the last federal election. The people had Stephen Harper pegged and now Dunderdale and her colleagues are not looking very politically astute in unabashedly campaigning for Harper's candidates.

I guess, in fairness to Dunderdale and her government, this could be looked at as 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'. It was somewhat obvious from the polling in the last election that Harper was going to be the Primer Minister after the election, whether by minority, if not majority government. "You get more flies with honey" I suppose... but my real question is this: did Cathy Dunderdale and her government 'really' expect Harper to be a friend to NL as a result of their generous show of support to him?

Canada has the potential to be the greatest country on earth... however, this potential will never be realized as long as one part of the country is treated differently than another based on the number of electoral seats that it holds.

Our government is seeking a 'loan guarantee' for Muskrat Falls... they think we are all but assured of this favor, a favor which costs the federal government nothing, "ZERO DOLLARS". And yet, we still don't have this matter resolved. It was not mentioned in the budget which has since passed, and it seems to be a matter which requires more than just a signature of endorsement. Maybe there is no 'dragging of the heels' here, but it seems that matters which seem to be an enormous undertaking, ie 'senate reform' is already making its way through the channels necessary to potentially make it happen. I guess that is a priority and the loan guarantee and NL is not. Imagine that?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


There has been much talk about an AHL hockey team being brought into St. John's. I think people in the Capital Region are mostly in favor of an AHL team being based in Mile One. And now, on the eve of what appears to be an announcement regarding the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg, the displaced Manitoba Moose affords the very real opportunity for a St. John's group to pick up an AHL franchise.

HOWEVER... a professional North American sports franchise coming to St.John's, from a business standpoint has some unique challenges. The biggest of these challenges is the fact that St. John's is on an island and requires teams to fly in and out for games and player call ups at an additional expense.

Another challenge would be having a relatively small market, about a quarter million in the capital region. However this market size is one that compares with many other AHL markets. And, this AHL franchise being the only pro sports team competing for our sports entertainment dollar causes St. John's to compete with larger markets that also have football and other sports entertainment venues that would compete with an AHL Team. While there are no guarantees in sports franchise success, this team would be coming in to a strong and prospering hockey market which wants to have this entertainment choice available to them over the fall and winter months.

Additionally, the product would need to be a good one... well run and well marketed and owned by a group of people who are committed to the franchise developing in this particular area. This factor in the acquisition, from information available, is addressed by bringing home an experienced AHL General Manager to run the team in this market... AND... this challenge is addressed by Danny Williams being a large player in the group trying to bring the AHL to St. John's. Danny Williams is without a doubt committed to Newfoundland and Labrador and the Capital Region, and has certainly proven himself to be very successful at whatever he puts his hand to. On that basis I would concede that this challenge is met and most likely overcome.

BUT... I think the reality of this situation is that St. John's, being considered for an AHL franchise, is primarily because of this group being from "here" and wanting to put a sports franchise "here". I doubt if this same group would be trying to get this AHL franchise to put it into Thunder Bay or Halifax. This group wants AHL hockey brought home but it would follow, that since they are business people, they would like to make a profit. Further, they are successful business people and they and cannot bring themselves to get involved in a business which "on paper" has very tight margins and most likely will lose money especially during the initial growing pains. As well, this may be a hard sell to the AHL as a whole since having the additional transportation costs of coming to St. John's may be hard to stomach.

THEREFORE... this business group, sees it as unlikely, that the franchise profits would be able to cover all additional travel costs associated with travel to St. John's. This resulted in a request for a travel subsidy from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, for $500,000 annually to make the St. John's bid for this franchise a sound choice from an AHL league business perspective. The logic being, that the government, while naturally preferring not to subsidize sports franchises, would choose to offer this subsidy, a relatively small sum, on the basis that spin off tax revenue would make up for the expenditure and that having a professional sports franchise in St. John's would showcase our location to the rest of North America and increase our attractiveness from a location to live and situate businesses.

SURPRISE... Politics, while known for being slow to make decisions and take action on anything... said "NO! and this is an easy decision!" to this opportunity with blazing speed.

Is it because this government is broke? "NO"

Is it becuase this government has no vision? "NO, or at least they say they have vision".

Is it because they are not into offering subsidies to businesses to relocate to NL?
"NO... they've done lots of this as have many governments before this one".

Is it because they are stupid? "NO... even though the primary critieria for politics is popularity... this decision would be popular enough that it most likely enhance their polling and they most likely know that".

Is it because an important player in the AHL proposition is the former premier who is currently not getting along with the government? "??? ... the current premier says NO but the former premier says YES... I know who I believe!"

Is it that this government believes it will not get back sufficient additional tax revenue from having an AHL team in the Capital Region? "??? The current premier... says nobody has made that case and she needs to see the business plan... the former premier says the numbers are a 'no brainer' and would put back 10 times the $500,000 requested back into the provincial coffers"

While I have not seen any specifics on this business deal, I am a businessman and financial analyst, and I strongly suspect that the amount of $500,000 would easily be recouped to the province annually in new tax revenues and job creation not to mention the enhancement of the Capital Region as a place to come to live and do business."

IN CONCLUSION... this is a NO BRAINER... except for the fact that politics and personalities have muddied the waters. I believe that this group who wants to put an AHL team here are not looking to get rich on this, but neither are they looking to take a beating on this deal. I also believe that our provincial government knows that an AHL team would enhance the region and the province and the recouping of the $500,000 is an extremely reasonable prediction. The problem here is that the current government, for reasons which seem linked to the former premier's role in this proposition, does not want to put financial support behind this enterprise.

VERY UNFORTUNATE... an opportunity may be missed here... UNLESS... this business group's patriotism propels them to take on even greater than sensible financial risk... OR... this government decides to overcome its apparent pettiness and step up and make a decision which appears to be in the best interests of the people.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Challenge for NL Federal Candidates

People in NL and I suspect everywhere in Canada have a strong distrust of politicians and the system they operate in.

Democracy at its best is supposed to be a system of governing where the wishes of the people are given expression through the parliamentary voting of their elected representatives.

When these elected representatives make voting decisions which are clearly detrimental to its constituents and thereby vote against the people who elected them then democracy ceases to exist. Voting which is not representative of the people is not democracy.

If voting is always governed by towing the 'party line' then people have lost their voice and only get to use it at election time. However, at election time most of those seeking votes will pretty well say or do anything to gain support and then can break their promise in short order after arriving in Ottawa.

In NL we have seen time and time again where we elected MPs who asked for our trust to represent the best interests of the people who elected them and then, when put in a position of choosing the 'party line' or their constituents interests, vote the 'party line' when this vote is CLEARLY detrimental to their personal constituents... AND... interestingly, many of the nominated candidates currently seeking to become our representative in the government of Canada have, in the past, already voted along their 'party line' in stead of letting the best wishes of their constituents govern their vote.

Since verbal promises seem to hold little means of accountability with politicians, clearly stated written promises may be more effective. We see this evidenced by the leader of the Bloc publicly displaying a signed letter of intent from Stephen Harper regarding 'coalitions' which, made Harper change his tone and verbage the very next day in the election campaign.

Maybe it is time that we get something in writing from our federal candidates revealing their intentions at the beginning of this election so that the people can make a more informed vote.

As we can see by such websites as the CBC and others during this election, it is fairly easy to gather information regarding the viewpoints of the electorate very quickly. After all, politicians do solicit opinions of the electorate all the time to guage the timing of calling elections. Therefore, pleading ignorance regarding the genuine wishes of one's constituents is shameful at any time but with all the electronic and other polling options which are available there really is no excuse.

Therefore, I suggest that a simple and clear document with specific conditions be drafted where the candidate is given the opportunity to sign their agreement to those conditions. If this document is signed by the candidate then it can be placed on a website or even published in a newspaper, where people can see their candidate's stated intentions for themselves.


Candidate Statement of Accountability to Constituents

I (candidate) am offering myself for election in the federal district of (district) as the nominated canditdate from the (political party).

I agree always and without exception:

1. to vote in parliament and other settings (ie. committees) placing the best interests of my constituents as my primary rationale for my voting choice.

2. to vote according to the best interests of my constituents even when taking such a position goes against the stated position of my party or my leader.

3. to consult with my constituents, using all reasonable means available, to gain clarity on the position of my constituents on specific issues.

4. to personally state, when requested, in writing, the rationale for my parliamentary voting decisions, and publish this in a public media such as a newspaper or accessible websites.

5. to represent my constituency with integrity and honesty obeying the guidelines, rules, and statutes which govern my office.

6. to resign immediately and not seek re-election if I breach the commitments outlined in this document.

By signing below, I am stating that I fully understand the spirit and the intent of the statements/conditions previously listed, and I commit, without reservation , to let these statements govern my parliamentary voting choices and all my words or actions whether in a public or private setting.



date of signing

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Recently the CRTC made a decision regarding unlimited internet usage and allowing big companies like Bell, Telus, and Rogers charge additional fees for going over an the alotted monthly data usage. Further, the CRTC also in effect arbitrarily changed the rules on smaller internet providers who buy bandwith capacity from comapnies like Bell and then offer its clients unlimitted usage for a set monthly fee.

In reaction to a large online petition which struck out against this CRTC decision the Harper Conservative government sent a very direct, unambiguous message to the CRTC and the Canadian public, "Go back and re-visit this decision and find another way, and if you cannot find another way to fix this then we will reverse the decision you (the CRTC) has made. Now, I am not much of a Harper fan or a fan of his government, but on this one they got it right.

Quite frankly, I am getting sick and friggin tired of this CRTC. I don't know a lot about them or their function but I know that I am paying through the nose to companies like Bell and Rogers for the services which I get from them already. I know that they place monthly data download limits, especially on cell phone packages, unless you pay through the nose for an unlimited data plan. And God forbid if you ever go over the amount allocated because they can charge you fees which may force you to mortgage the house in order to pay them.

So I guess what I am really saying here is that I am sick and tired of the packing which Bell and other providers are allowed to levy on me. AND I am truly disgusted with this CRTC bunch trying to legislate even more power to these big companies to have even greater power to put the screws to my monthly budget. Let's face it, most everybody is extremely dependent upon the internet and fairly speedy access to it, in order to work, communicate, play and even take care of household bills... AND let's face it, we were led by the noses in that direction, it being 'the way of the future' and all! Now that we are very dependent upon the convenience of the internet these providers, who were granted license to set up this infrastructure at their own cost as well as with the help of generous government taxpayer subsidy, these greedy enterprises now feel it is time to milk our dependence for EVERY dollar they can get.

Before you surmise that I am a socialist and anti big business and anti profit, think again... I make a living from investments and companies being well run and making great profits. What I don't like is government, or independent government agencies like the CRTC, legislating that one company can inordinately put the screws to consumers and then limit competition so that the big Canadian company is forced into market dictated, reasonable pricing.

Who is the CRTC supposed to protect? Again, like I stated earlier, I don't know much about them, but from what I can see, and how their decisions affect my monthly budget, this group is nothing more than a lobby group with extreme powers to control access to media and communications.

Another CRTC decision in recent times which affected the consumers on a large scale was stating that big cable TV and satellite TV providers need to share a portion of their profits, in a larger amount, to local TV stations to protect local programming and to make these stations viable. Now, I love to turn on the LOCAL news at 5:30 and YES, I even watch the longer version of the same stuff at 6:00 pm and I even toggle between NTV and CBC to make sure I get as much local news as possible. But, I do not feel driven to pay more than the enormous amount I pay already for cable TV, so that I can prop up NTV or any local TV station. I am pretty sure that this company is doing well enough without an additional smack at my monthly budget. That being said, the CRTC stated that the onus was on the likes of Bell and Rogers to share more of their profit with the local providers, which in turn, both Bell and Rogers stated, with a written and online media campaign that "if they are forced into this then they therefore must pass on the additional costs of operation 'suggested' by the CRTC to the consumer."

The bottom line for me on this is again, the CRTC, from its lofty perch is deciding to drive up the cost of Cable or internet service and I am forced to pay for their great decisions each month. I am sure Canadians are not that gut wrenched at the thought of small market TV stations having to close due to poor revenues. Look at Newfoundland and Labrador, this is a very small market and I am certain that NTV, due to its well led management team, has been able to adapt and overcome many of the foolish government policies which affect their business in the past and stay profitable and even expand their operations greatly.

When the CRTC, which tries to make itself seem like it is 'pro the little guy' or even the little TV stations by strongly worded statements to the big boys to share their profits with the 'less fortunate', they know that, if in fact they want this to be in any way a genuine demand on the likes of Bell and Rogers to be nicer and share their profit, that they MUST also legislate that these companies be very transparent about their revenue intake and that they not be allowed to pass on these additional costs to the consumer... but of course the CRTC did not do that because they know full well that these costs are going to be passed on to the consumer and they are so protected in 'whatever role they play' that they are not worried about negative public feedback. In fact, it seems they couldn't care less. Even right now they have not agreed to comply or even come close to reviewing their previous decision.

They, the CRTC make decisions which ultimately create more profit to media providers and drive up the cost to the consumer. I think it is time for the Harper government, or which ever government gets to deal with this crowd, to dismantle them altogether as they are bad for the consumer. The CRTC should try to stop operating under the guise of protecting Canadian TV and communications providers from the world and the big bad USA... in fact, aren't we supposed to be operating under free trade? aren't we supposed to be part of a larger global community? AND, isn't 90% of the programming we get coming from the USA anyway?

These most recent decisions of the CRTC made me, who normally didn't give much attention to this "CRTC", feel a strong disdain for their aloofness and pure arrogance toward the consumer. I am especially disgusted by the lofty assumption that they can simply legislate from 'on high' and we just have to take it. Enough is enough, get rid of those appointed to the CRTC who have already milked the tax-payer enough. Maybe the CRTC should stand for "Crooks Ripping-off The Consumer".

I think if these big companies want it where they can charge for usage amounts then I think the consumer should be able to choose to be reimbursed for what they don't use or be able to carry it forward for future consumption.

What about this:
1. charge a flat rate per channel on TV with discounts for selecting more channels, in stead of paying for tons of channels which never get utilized?
2. being able to carry forward unused minutes and unused data on cell phone plans?
3. being able to carry forward unused data in internet plans?
4. if someone does go over their data on their cell phone or internet package that an amount of cost plus 15% (an acceptable profit margin I know most of my clients would love to recieve on their investments)?
5. creating policies and proposals for fairness, and getting what you pay for and paying for what you use.

But NO... the CRTC nor the big providers would not hear of that, would they? They invented the 'up-sell' long before Tim Hortons ever asked "would you like a boston creme donut with that?".

I guess the bottom line is that they, the big Cable and Internet providers and the CRTC have one of those complimentary yet parasitical relationships where if you scratch my back then I'll scratch yours. The only real decisions which need to be made by these guardians of the public media is "how can we do this where we get the maximum profit we want and take full advantage of the consumer's pocket book without them starting to revolt?" It is the screw that is being put to you slowly and methodically in increments whereby the pain is not so sharp that you pull away completely.

I think that consumers voting online to have a reversal of this insane CRTC decision and the government actually acting on behalf 'of the people' is very refreshing. No committee was struck to see if an online petition should be started and no committee was struck to see if maybe the government should challenge this CRTC crowd... in stead people knew they were being ripped off and they and their government did something about it.

Well done Canadians!!!! and well done Harper government!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

NL and Canada 2011

Well Danny is gone. He certainly took aim at the federal powers that be.

The reactions here at home were typical:

"Way to go Danny!", "Give 'em another smack for me!"


"How can you expect to get anything from Ottawa if you keep challenging them like that?"

The next phase in our history of co-operation is about to get under way with Premier Kathy Dunderdale. She has already had some interaction with the feds and she indicated that she is willing to be 'co-operative' but quick to add that 'we will not be kicked around'. Seems to be the perfect balance. NL wants to be seen as 'a team player' but wants clearly to reaffirm we are nobody's 'door mat'.

So what is in front of us?

We are definitely heading into a general election in NL and there is at least a 50% chance of there being a Federal general election. Kathy hopes to put this leadership thing behind her soon and get on with winning a general election. Stevie, a machiavellian if there ever was one, hopes this time he can get a majority government in Ottawa to 'rule' with even greater impunity.

The Canadian powerhouse which is the province of Ontario will be looking for change this time around. Look at who they elected to run the city of Toronto! PQ has felt the pain of the recent economic global meltdown and the resulting job losses. The west is still the west but they too have had their cages rattled pretty hard and their long term perspective must be a little less certain on a go forward basis. Atlantic Canada, well, in truth Atlantic Canada has not mattered that much politically in the past, may now become much more important as it seems getting 20 or 25 seats in Atlantic Canada could determine who gets to run the country. We know NL can direct its vote in one way or another as evidenced by ABC last time. Maybe this time the few seats we got might actually matter more than ever.

By the way, the single biggest political lesson that Stephen Harper could learn from the elections since Mulrooney is that PQ is not where you need to go to find additional seats. You can give them everything and suck up to them in every way possible and the Bloc is still going to come out of there with around two-thirds to three-quarter of the seats. In fact, maybe taking the stance of treating everybody in Canada the same, including PQ, might get you a bunch of seats in ON and in the West and would certainly resonate well in Atlantic Canada and NL in particular. But what about separation? Well the truth in all of this is PQ, politically speaking, is already gone, and it may be more encumbent on Canada to get a backbone so that the rest of the provinces can have something to latch on to.

This may be too big a leap for Canada. Most likely that is the case. So, how does NL play its cards then? Maybe, for the purpose of this brief exploration, we can assume that the PC party will regain the right to lead our government after the next election. So what would Kathy want to put on her wish list from Ottawa to try and sway our few seats in a specific direction?

Maybe a national energy grid and open transmission of electricity through PQ? There I go again. Asking too much means you might get nothing.

Maybe we could look at being able to have majority management rights of our fishery to the edge of the continental shelf? Darn, I gotta stop doing that... asking too much means you might get nothing!

What about getting the same share of our off shore oil royalties as does Alberta and Saskatchewan? I think that I am still asking for too much and risking getting nothing.

Well, what about a fixed link to Canada like PEI has constructed? That would be a big project costing big dollars... maybe that is too much to ask for also since we just got new ferries and too much tourism access to NL could mean less for other provinces.

What about getting massive funding, over and above what has already been requested, to allow Lower Churchill power to be shippped to the Island and then to Atlantic Canada? Well, that might be risky too since PQ has already indicated they think we would be getting unfair financial support to help economic development???

Maybe we could ask for a federal penitentiary in NL? Well, that does not seem like asking for the moon but it is very costly and Ottawa just announced a bunch of additional funding to address increased incarceration demands and NL was not on the list of sites for new infrastructure, so Stevie might have a hard time with giving in to us on that one, seeing how he never goes back on his word?

I think I may have figured out what we could ask for? We could ask for a few more senate seats for Conservative die-hards so that at least some extra tax revenue could come to NL. I guess then if Stevie is agreeable to that the only question become who gets the jobs? Any takers? Hey kathy, you must know somebody who is a long time political type, who maybe is in a job that they really don't want, and already has worked closely with some of the senators up there... and is sort of keeping their options open?

O My... ranting like this... does it really matter?... only to blow off a little steam I spose... ahh... relief...

I heard it said that "change happens when the pain of where you are is greater than the pain of where you need to go".

NO doubt NL is suffering, even though we seem more prosperous lately.

Certainly Canada is suffering, but it seems to have fared much better than the rest of the 'western world' during the recent economic melt down.

So I guess that means more pain is needed in order to get any 'real change'.

O Joy! More Pain...Just what 2011 needs to hold for NL and Canada. Does anybody really care?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Destruction of an Ocean Bounty by Phil Earle

The history of the world has been one in which the life , welfare and provision of people is nearly totally dependent on regional natural resources available to the people of that area. A necessity for people in any part of the globe to have a decent level of subsistence, and adequate standard of living, is that these people have access to these resources and the right to a fair share of the economic benefit of there development.

Since the beginning of civilization, rulers, whether they be ancient kings, dictators, emperors, or modern democratic parties have, to a one, usurped power and prosperity from resources for their own ends. This process put the mass of people to work on the resources for profit to the haves, making have not's and destitution for themselves!

For example the present English democratic system involving privileges of the countries land Lords and Barons, signed into law in 1215 by King John in the magna carta, is a classic example of the success, (or failure depending on your view), of elevating and ingraining the elite on the backs of the commoner! The ownership of the resources of the land is past, generation after generation, from father Lord to son, as is his title, keeping it's value forever out of reach of the people.
This rule of English democracy has at it's pinnacle the Queen, who is the richest women in England , perhaps the world, and made her the single largest land owner in all of the British Commonwealth! All this while millions of Britons are subsisting on unemployment, welfare and living at poverty level.

Using the English as example was not to find fault with their way of governance but to show that whom ever controls the land, the natural resources and it's development will control the wealth, and prosperity of the world. Indeed, for the most part, the world itself.

The Canadian government's autocratic parliamentary treatment of the NL fishing resource, which came under her control in the confederation of 1949, has been no different in principle from that of dictatorship control and personal use of a natural resources. The Canadian Government's treatment and disrespect of a 500 year old Martine culture and sea faring people is a disgraceful display of global, 21st century, hypocrisy, ignorance and violation of the human rights of a people. A violation of the human rights of her own Citizens, the coastal peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador.

No doubt Canadian 21st century democracy is kinder to its people then governments of ancient times but the division between the government elite and coastal poor is as wide as it ever was between Barron and peasant of feudal times! For 60 years Ottawa has taken for its self, and used in any way possible for it's central strength, all the power and economic benefit it can from the fishery. In the process she has abandoned the resource to it's destruction by NAFO foreigners and ignored the plight of dissemination and despair of a once great Martine people of the sea.

The Canadian Government has pursued a nefarious path in it’s mismanagement of our Fishery , one which allowed the destruction of the way of life of half the peoples who survived off it for 500 years, leaving near destitution for those that remain. They shattered a marine culture, replacing a once proud and skilled work force with demeaning unemployment. Fact. If this criminal act on its own people were not enough they also have presided over 90% of the resources destruction with out as much as asking, to this day, why has this happened? Or how can this destruction of the worlds most prolific fishing grounds to halted!

Recent comments in the media from fishers, mayors, union heads, local ministers, MP's, and the silence of our elected MHA's & MP's are a painful distance from what is needed to save the Fishery. MOU's, restructuring and rationalization, as it stands at present, are but the acceptance and submission to the age old process of higher authorities taking the wealth and power out of our fishing heritage (as described above). They have milked it down to 10% of its former greatness and they continue to suck the last drops of benefit out of it for their own greed and position.

None of their actions, all of their actions, at this time will mean anything in time to save our resource. If the province does not stand up now and demand Ottawa protect the resource , for us and not foreigners, it is over for us. We all can see what Ottawa is doing now as they pass a new NAFO convention against the peoples vote, invite fishing pirates to PEI to do science in our waters and pat the port bared Faroese and Danes on the back and permit Canadians, even Newfoundlander’s, to sell shares of Canadian quotas inside the 200 mile limit to foreigners. Ottawa has no respect for our Fishery, they never have. They have decided to give away our continental shelf and fish resource to EU and the world.

If we in this province can’t get the Williams government to demand Ottawa make policy changes which would protect the resource for ourselves , not foreigners, the fishery will be no more.