Friday, September 29, 2006


Bring out your Dead by Rick Mercer LOL

Dear friend and supporter,

Did you know that in the event of your tragic death you can remain an active member of the Liberal Party of Canada? The party’s membership renewal commission has reinterpreted our constitution and has determined that dead people can now hold executive positions within the Liberal party and even attend future conventions as voting members.

This is why I am writing to you today.

Please consider a one time gift of your human remains to the party – at no cost to you.

Read the rest here.
Be sure to cast your mouse vote for your cat.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Tar Sands Double indemnity

Here is a comment made over at the Mop and Pail on the leaked Auditor-General report to recommend Ottawa take action on global warming. "Report targets oil-sector emissions"
Bradley Haltli from Monroe, United States writes: Why is it unreasonable to expect the oilsands to be developed in an environmentally sustainable fashion and in keeping with Canada's proposed committment to the Kyoto Accord? First forget that 2 tonnes of sand must be mined to produce 1 barrel of oil (true fact from the Alberta gov website) and that the tar sands cover 140,000 km2. The impact of mining this source of fuel is staggering when you mearely think of the physical impact on the environment. Also forget that it takes vast quantities of energy just to extract usable oil from the bitumen contained in the oil sands. I think it would not be unreasonalbe to impose CO2 emmision regulations on the oilsands projects. The companies mining the oil are only doing it because they stand to make lots of money off the product, and let's face it, the oil companies can afford to do some research to make what they do more environmentally friendly. Imposing strict CO2 regulations would likely have 2 consequences - 1. slow down development of the oilsands to a more managable pace which is needed anyways. 2- spur on R&D efforts to develop more efficient/cleaner ways to extract the oil from the sand. In the end the bitumen still gets mined, Alberta still makes its money, and the environment is harmed less than before. Sounds good to me.

Here is an older article on the Tar Sands and their impact on the enviroment.

My question is why waste all of that natural gas to extract oil from the tar sands when an much cleaner less destructive and less wastefull practice of creating oil and gas is available with the Gas to Liquid process is available?

It also begs to question why the feds are still subsidizing the oil and gas industry when they see fit to cut programs for literacy, Womens rights, National Security, Youth employment, Aquaculture, DFO science etc.;41;540;1259;1260;5396;6407

As for what to do with the energy potential of the tar sands. Wouldn't it be better to convert that energy into electricity. Then you wouldn't be wasting the energy in natural gas to convert the tar sands into oil and gas.
Could even pelletize the tar sands to be sold to existing coal fired and bunker sea fired electric generating plants. I'm sure the tar sands would burn cleaner that coal and equally as clean as bunker sea with the aid of natural gas as an accelerant and the scrubber technology available today.
For that matter the pellets could even be used in home wood stoves, but I wouldn't recommend promoting this route.
Ah just me I guess but then again I don't have all of that money tied up into refineries and distribution.

Oil and gas should only be used as a mobile energy source. Any stationary requirement for energy should have to come from cleaner sources of energy. Even oil burning in a electric generating plant is cleaner than home furnaces and is much easier to monitor and impliment scrubbing technologies, not to mention you remove the emissions from the micro climate which develops in urban areas smog and keeps the emissions out in the nether regions where is does less harm.
Electric has to be one of the best methods of delivering energy to the market.

Auditor Generals report.
Get rid of regular gas and just have supreme gas. The savings from reduced infrastructure could be passed on in lower prices for the supreme. Europe only has supreme gas with an octane level of 99 or so.
Wouldn't the tar sand make for a great component for making ashpault?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


A scary Native Leader from AGWN

I've been to this Band and i can agree this guy has turned the place around. Private enterprise entrepreneurship and hard work rule the day.

[Osoyoos Band Chief Clarence Louie] is speaking to a large aboriginal conference and some of the attendees, including a few who hold high office, have straggled in.

“I can't stand people who are late,” he says into the microphone.

“Indian Time doesn't cut it.”

“My first rule for success is ‘Show up on time.' My No. 2 rule for success is follow Rule No. 1.”

Choose your battles wisely. Fight the ones you can win and fight the good fight.

Hat/Tip Angry Great White North.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Double standard

Ask yourself: Why is it pay raises are always in a percentage but wage roll backs or pay cuts are always in dollar values?
The FFAW says the contentious issue of salaries is expected to come under the gun as talks resume to try to get a deal for FPI plant workers. Talks broke down this summer when the company suggested a $2.66 an hour across the board wage roll back. Talks have been held since then but have dealt mainly with contract language issues. The negotiations affect more than two thousand plant workers at seven FPI operations throughout the province. The talks are taking place with the assistance of a conciliation officer and will continue on Tuesday.

Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer even in retirement.

Quebec Romaine

Friday, September 22, 2006


Taxation without representation


Harpers Election policies not so costed after all


Remember all of the kerflufull by the Liberals about Harpers policies and election promises not being costed. Then Harper came back with an independant study done by some economist group stating that his policies were in fact costed and realistic.

"Members of Harper's team said they had costed their plan,"

"I'm an economist. We've costed our policies very carefully item by item. We ran them through an independent analyst forecast through the Conference Board. Contrary to some reports, the Conference Board said that not only have we budgeted for annual paydowns to the debt, we have fiscal flexibility on top of that. We've had other experts, Dale Orr of Global Insight, Bill Robson of the C.D. Howe. We have a lot of fiscal room. The big difference between this election and the last election was that prior to this election, the government was finally forced to admit that we, in fact, are looking at huge surpluses in the next few years, so that's given us the flexibility that we need for our platform.

I say we face two kinds of criticism this campaign, one is that we're spending too much, and the other is we're spending too little, but we're clearly within the surpluses that are projected. "

Well one of those policies and promises was to remove Non-Renewable resource revenues from being clawed back by the D-Equalization formula.

First change on that promise policy that was supposedly costed was to "Well I meant that policy promise only as a preference" Paraphrased.

Then there was the Obrian report commissioned by the former Liberal Govt. You know Scott Reid stating that NL will pay for their insolence at wanting to get ahead and by lowering the flag to make Martin own up to his promises on the Atlantic Accord.(Paraprased)

This was catagorically rejected by NL, Sask because we would be the per capita losers.
No mention of clawing back Ontario's tax points which are the highest in the country.

Ok so Harpers crew steps back and says well it's only a report.

So here we are again floating the Obrian report. How many ways can you skin a cat is the question NL has to ask itself, because that is what is going on here it would seem Harper is no better than Scott Reid in trying to make NL pay for their wanting to get ahead with their own resources.

Now we have Harper using NL's Non-Renewable resource revenues to but Ontario and Quebec votes once again to the detriment of NL.

So much for a promise.
So much for accountability.
So much for equality in Canada.

Per Capita = Colonialism

50% of the 50% oil and gas royalties collected by NL now, would leave NL with 25% while Ottawa would continue collecting their 50% share in accordance with the Atlantic Accord on top of their 8.5% revenues from that ownership stake paid for with tax payers dollars.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Tis the season

Some of the better ones. But there are lots to get you in the mood even some educational with hockey skills and tricks.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Province wide 911 petition

Newfoundland & labrador doesn't have a province wide 911 system.
The closes thing to 911 in the province of NL is a 1-800 number

Even as good as this sounds it pales in comparison to the benefits of a province wide 911 system and nothing short of a province wide 911 system should be acceptable IMHO.
Children only know 911, tourists and traveling public only know 911.
If you are truely in need of assistance generally you are in a state of shock and may not have the where with all to remember the 1-800-709-RCMP(7267). Not to mention the time involved in dialing so many numbers which will only get you to an RCMP who will need to then contact the required emergency personell.
The 911 system also comes with a requirement that all residences be clearly marked with consistant signage.

Alot of people think cell phones will get you 911 but this is a falacy as well according to the spokesman for this site.

If you feel strongly about this breach in public safety you can sign a petition at

Three loops to a revolution in Newfoundland & Labrador

I'm just going to throw together some comments and links I have made around the net on this one.

This little tid bit is compliments of WJM from over at the

"the TLH and 138 would be a revolution in Labrador transportation. It would also be a revolution for the Straits/Blanc Sablon area, which would be at the crossroad of THREE tourist routes: The "Labrador loop" (Baie-Comeau around to Baie-Comeau); the (Maritimes-Newfoundland-North Shore); and the "Gulf loop""Big Jeezuz Loop" (Maritimes-Newfoundland-Labrador-Baie-Comeau).

A bigger ferry will be required!!!"


Concerns Raised After Fatal Accident on the Labrador Highway - Sep 19, 2006

More concern being raised today over the state of the Trans Labrador Highway following a fatal accident Sunday night. A 72 year old man died when his car left the Trans Labrador Highway, flipped over, and landed in a ditch. Darrell, a truck driver, told VOCM Backtalk with Bill Rowe he came across the accident Sunday night and called for help. Darrell says the operator was somewhere in Ontario and there should be a way to reach someone in Labrador in case of an emergency on the highway. Labrador City Mayor Graham Letto says they have been advocating for a better communications system for the Trans Labrador Highway.

Lets make this mans death mean something and lobby for
-cell phone access along the entire TLH in conjunction with a province wide 911.
-A complete ban on all road work on the island until the TLH is completed and completely with hard top as well. How can anyone on the Island complain about pot holes in their pavement when thgeir bretheren in Labrador don't have a completed highway let alone a paved highway.
Keeping in mind our 12,000,000,000.00 Billion dollar debt.

Things are really looking up what with Quebec commiting 100 million to complete the remaining 425 km of route 138 LNS over the next 10 years. Leaving only the bridge across the Natashquan river and the completion of Phase III of the TLH by 2009 to make what WJM describes a reality.

As for the ferry discussion things are already in the works on that front too.
A tender was put out for the design of two new small ice breaking capable ferries. This is the best route to take IMHO because with two ferries the wait time between crossings can be cut in half. As well the more traffic across the Straite the more the ice gets broken up and hence better the possibility of a year round link.

There is also the benefit of having two ferries in case one goes down the crossing can still remain open in a limited capacity.

Now is the time lets get vocal. Start phoning open lines, emailing elected representatives, write letters to the editor etc. compliments are in order as well as a renewed advocacy effort to improve communications along the TLH as well pressure the feds to pony up the 50% they promised.

No federal funds this year for TLH.
Labrador mayor pushes for TLH commitments.
Canadian Strategic highway research program
TLH added to national Highway System NHS
Province commits 50% of TLH completion costs
Ministerial statement on TLH

Lower North Shore Route 138 gets funding

Looks like it's going to happen, finally.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced a $100-million plan Thursday to build 425 kilometres of highway along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. route 138.

The highway construction plan will take 10 years to complete.

However, there will still be a 40-kilometre gap to be filled, and the Quebec government has not yet committed to build a bridge across the Natashquan River.
Newfoundland and Labrador's transportation minister is urging Quebec to improve a highway connecting Baie Comeau with the Labrador border.

John Hickey would like to see Route 389 upgraded in order to help open up the Labrador interior.

Transportation Minister John Hickey said he would like to see upgrading start soon on a highway in eastern Quebec.
Transportation Minister John Hickey said he would like to see upgrading start soon on a highway in eastern Quebec.

Newfoundland and Labrador will be starting a five-year road surfacing project next year on the road between Happy Valley-Goose Bay, in central Labrador, and Labrador City and Wabush in the west.

Hickey would like to see the Quebec portion of the highway upgraded as well.

"For my part right now, the 389 section is a priority for discussion with the province of Quebec," Hickey said.

To anyone who did anything to make this become a reality congratulations on your efforts becoming a reality.

Voisey's bay goings on from Brian at Nain Bay

I must say I really haven't been following the goings on at Voisey's bay as of late. I do remember hearing about the blockade of what the reporter said was a resupply cargo ship. he never said anything about the cargo ship being an Ore carrier going into Voisey's bay mine to load up the stockpiled ore for transshipment to Thompson and Sudbury. Even if Sudbury and Thompson have vowed to not process any stores of ore from Voisey's bay the remaining Ore still shouldn't be allowed to cross picket lines. Especially when those workers only want parity with their other union brothers.

"The mine stopped producing on July 28, when workers went on strike after the two sides failed to negotiate their first labor agreement."

"Unionized workers at Inco's smelters in Sudbury and Thompson, Man., have said they will refuse to process any stores of concentrate from Labrador as long as the strike lasts."

The other reality is that Voisey's Bay is a seasonal operation for shipping out ore so of course VBNC is going to want to load any ore that is stock piled at the VBNC site for transshipment to Sudbury and Thompson. So in effect if they are allowed to ship out this ore they will be preping themselves for ore processing throughout the winter when VBNC can't be accessed due to the ice freeze up. So in effect putting themselves into a better position to prolong an agreement until they can wait out the strikers for a couple of more months, knowing that with their stockpiles of ore they will be able to work through the winter until VBNC is accessible for shipments once again come spring.

"The company will not say whether a huge ore carrier now at the port will be loaded with nickel and copper concentrate mined before the strike began in late July."

What baffles me is the fact that Thompson and Sudbury who owe their jobs in part to the Voisey bay workers and ore are not out on strike in solidarity. Isn't that the reason for joining a union, together we are strong. It isn't enough to say you won't process Voisey's bay ore they should be out on strike or at the very least be doing work stopages or work to rule to try and get parity for their union brothers.

"Extreme LME nickel tightness abates…for now
Voisey's Bay was scheduled to produce 54,000t of metal in concentrates this year and with the two sides seemingly absolutely deadlocked since the start of the action back in late July, even Eramet must surely concede that's tonnage this market cannot afford to lose."
According to this piece INCO can't afford to let that stock piled ore at VBNC sit there over the winter.

I do find it strange that an injunction sought by INCO to remove the blockade was granted? It's not like Nickle and copper are an essential service. Now if you read the PR carefully it only states that the shipping lanes around the mine site remain clear. Now shipping lanes to my mind don't include docking facilities or harbour routes.

"Voisey's Bay Nickel has obtained a court injunction that will end a union-sponsored harbour blockade at the mine site in northern Labrador.

The Newfoundland Supreme Court issued an interim injunction on Thursday afternoon, ordering that shipping lanes around the mine site remain clear."

"The company has said it loses an estimated 6,000 metric tons of nickel-ore output a day because of the strike, which began July 28."

Main sticking point being wage parity with other Canadians in the same Company doing the same work in Canada.
VBNC making 19$ hr - Thompson and Sudbury making 24$ hr.

5.00$ difference
8hrs day - 40.00$
40hrs week - 200.00$
52 weeks a year - 2,080 hrs
2,080 hrs - 10,400.00$ year

21% less than their counterparts within the same company.

Management get paid parity to their counterparts elsewhere.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Picture of a true Newfoundland&Labrador PATRIOT

Myles Higgins is freelance columnist, who lives with his wife and a terminally lazy Terrier named "Molson" in the beautiful town of Portugal Cove - St. Philips, His website can be found at: Web Talk - Newfoundland and Labrador
Myles can be reached at:

It seems Myles blog site
is down at the moment so I had to use alternate methods to read his thought provoking and Pro Newfoundland&Labrador articles.

His latest Exposee article Friends, Neighbors and Barbarians, Lend Me Your Ear is on a topic dear to many NL'ians hearts the Sea hunt or as Mark Critch fondly refered to it the Ice Rat Put down.

So if your like me and you look forward to each and every one of Myles articles you might want to stop on by
to read his latest.

I hope he gets his blog up and running again soon though because there you can express yourself through the comments section on each article.

If only we had more true Patriots like Myles maybe we wouldn't be in such a mess. What with our $12,000,000,000.00 Billion Dollar debt, Destroyed fisheries and ecological biodiversity devastation on our continental shelf, only a 50% say and control over our own affairs when it comes to our offshore oil and gas, having our revenues from our non-renewables resources being clawed back by Ottawa through the D-Equalization formula and a substandard link for the development of our economy through the Federally run Marine Atlantic in accordance with the terms of sell out.

Good to be able to put a name to face now though. So I guess his Blogs downtime was good for something.

Open letter drafted by the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association

Monday, 18 September 2006

Member of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Sir &/or Madam,

Re: Withdraw Bill C-21

I want to express my EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT with Bill C-21. While Minister Day’s proposal may alleviate some of the odious aspects of firearms registration, I note with extreme alarm that his bill keeps firearms licensing which is my primary concern. I can never submit to licensing because licensing destroys my basic human Right of self-protection.

I have enclosed a proposal for a Firearms Prohibition Registry. While random acts of unspeakable violence will always be difficult to prevent totally in a society that honors basic human rights, I believe that the Firearms Prohibition Registry would address the desire of all Canadian for logical, effective firearms legislation.

I would greatly appreciate your delivering my message to Mr. Harper and Mr. Day.
Now that Montréal has suffered another senseless tragedy this is certainly not the time to debate a poorly conceived, half-measure which only makes the situation worse for everyone.

We want the Conservatives to keep the promises which they made to us while in Opposition. We want the repeal of the entire Firearms Act and replacement with efficient, just legislation.


Signed XXXX
Full address or they won't respond or forward your letter.

The Firearms Prohibition Registry,FPR.

The Proposal:

A replacement of the function of the Canadian Firearms Center, by
A federal registry of persons prohibited by court order from possessing

The Objective:

A safer more secure society by reducing criminal access to firearms.

The Benefits:

Focuses the attention squarely on the problem: criminals.

Means the courts, not a federal employee, would determine who is
prohibited from owning and acquiring firearms.

Allows the police to have ready access to all information on all
persons prohibited from possessing firearms.

Requires that an individual wishing to purchase firearms must not be
listed in the FPR.

Assures vendors that purchasers of firearms would be legitimate by
providing an 800 number to insure the recipient of the firearm is not
listed in the FPR.

Respects the Rights and Freedoms of responsible citizens to acquire and
possess firearms.

Ensures judicial review so that no person is erroneously included in
the FPR.

Maintains effective measures to ensure swift correction of faulty data.

Provides a public service for which no fees would be attached.

Rationale for the Firearms Prohibition Registry:

The courts, by convictions, restraining orders, and bail conditions
would decide who is prohibited from possessing firearms.

The government should only keep track of irresponsible persons, leaving
responsible citizens alone.

The amount of data which would be provided by the courts would be more

The police have the communication equipment in their offices and patrol
cars to access this type of system.

Garry Breitkreuz, MP has been saying for years,

"Any sane person can only conclude that federal gun control laws should
be focused on keeping the guns out of the hands of people who should
not have them.

"Register criminals, NOT duck hunters"

The time for responsible change has arrived:

Stand up for Canada.

Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners Association.

Please feel free to copy this letter and send it along to your elected representative.
If you don't know who your elected representative is you can find out here.
Or Here is a listing of all of the MP's email addresses.
Remember all correspondence to Ottawa is free, and doesn't require a stamp.

Banned Gun Registry storage in secondary location

I am totally disgusted at the Liberals attempts to continue the gun registry on the grief and dispair of the families and friends of the victims of the recent Dawson College shootings.

If anything it just highlights the failings of the gun registry and the need for changes to the system.

What I find really disturbing is the fact that he had a semi automatic weapon. Semi automatics are usually just a file job on the trigger mechanism away from being fully automatic.

This type of weapon along with hand guns should have to be stored off premise in a secure location. Such that the owner can only avail himself of the weapon by going to the secondary location and signing out their weapon for target practice etc. by making this change to banned weapons the individual will have to present himself to a person who will be able to asses the individuals state of mind and intentions for signing out the controlled weapon.

I would recommend such locations as the RCMP, gun clubs, and the like as storage areas.

My sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims of the Dawson and any such gun related incidents.

Interesting take on military recruitment

I like it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


And lo, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians led all the rest

Cross Examination by Averill Baker
The Charter

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now contribute more to the Canadian economy per capita than any other Canadians to such a remarkable degree that it makes one feel sympathy toward Canadians from other provinces.

Other Canadians who look at these recent figures must feel embarrassed that Newfoundlanders are, in economic terms, contributing so much more than they are to the Canadian economy.

Canadians in Ontario and Alberta must feel like they’re on unemployment insurance with Newfoundlanders paying the bill. Quebecers and Maritimers must feel they are on welfare with Newfoundlanders paying the bill.

In economic terms each Newfoundlander is now worth four Canadians from other provinces.

It’s becoming embarrassing.

And what is just as embarrassing is that historically, since 1949, this province, on average, on a per capita basis, has led all other Canadians in contributions to the Canadian economy.

Of course, the billion dollars of power that we export indirectly to the United States shows up as Quebec’s power on the official figures. That’s one billion dollars of exports that must be taken from the Quebec column and counted as coming from this province.

Oh yeah, says the economist, we lead every other province on a per person basis with just over a half a million people - of course Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lead the rest of Canada. Also we have always exported practically everything we produce - wood, pulp and paper, minerals, fish, and now oil. That is why we have always contributed more to the Canadian economy than any other Canadians on a per capita basis.

And that is why some people sometimes suggest that we would have been better off had we not joined Canada or if we were today to separate from Canada.

Read the entire story here. Be sure to do so quickly as these papers don't archive their articles.

I think this is where she got her numbers from.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Ice rats

I just about shit when I read this quote by Mark Critch in The Independant this week. This week and the following 5 weeks the independant is a must read. I'll post more on this later.

“We (should) just change the name baby seal
to ice rats. People don’t want to club baby seals,
but everybody wants to put down ice rats.”
— Mark Critch, guest column page 6


Equality begins at home by Audry Manning of The Beacon

If you think the strike at Voisey’s Bay Nickel in Labrador has nothing to do with you, think again.

Apparently, mine workers employed by Inco in Sudbury, Ont., earn an hourly wage of at least $24, while their counterparts at Voisey's Bay make only $19 an hour. Our province is being treated unfairly. We are second-class citizens in Canada.

What amazes me is the silence coming out of Sudbury and Thompson when you consider they are the ones benefiting from Voisey's bay right now and these poor souls who are being treated unfairly are apart of the same union where is the solidarity between the Union brothers and sisters?

No, not procesing Voisey's bay ore doesn't constitute any meaningfull support for your union brothers.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Entertainment Tonight Newfoundland & labrador style

Hi, Did anyone see the Show that a few young boys from Isle aux Morts made and posted on the internet? I found it pretty funny. They've came out with 3 episodes so far. Its called ET(Entertainment Tonight) Newfoundland.

I think it was a great idea.

My friend found it when he was on and showed it to me

The site for the show is

H/T Stan145 from

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


A war thats just from the Independant

Article by Ryan Cleary from The Independant

It’s shockin’ to say, but I believe in
war. Not the kind of fighting that
goes on in Afghanistan, that’s just
wrong. Canada should no more be
over there than Stephen Harper should
be voted in a second term. Canada, as
a peacekeeper, was a great country,
known for fine and noble deeds. Not in
Newfoundland and Labrador, mind
you, but pretty much everywhere else.
As a foreign invader, Canada has
lost its appeal in terms of sewing a
Canadian flag on a backpack and
traipsing around the world. You might
just get shot in the head.
The Maple Leaf has been transformed
into a bull’s-eye. The Leaf has
been mulched with the Stars and
Stripes and raked into one ugly military
lump. I may be a Newfoundlander
first, but Canada is changing before
our eyes, and it’s a sin to see. Fighting
Newfoundlanders are falling as I write
this, and they shouldn’t be.
Not in a war that is not Canada’s,
and not our own. Our soldiers aren’t
supposed to join in a fight so much as
ensure two sides get along after dusting
off and shaking hands.
There are also times when war is
unavoidable, or at least the threat of
war, although that’s useless without
intent. Some things are worth fighting
for — the Grand Banks of
Newfoundland being one of them.
Tobin had the right idea when he
went after the Spanish trawler Estai.
He got the world’s attention before
being distracted by the makeup and
mirror. In the end, the Turbot War wasn’t
so much a war as a Turbot Tussle,
with no lasting effects besides the flash
in the pan that was the Tobinator’s rise
and fall. The charges against the Estai
were eventually dropped, the cargo of
fish returned, and the Spanish were
paid for their trouble.
The tiny turbot were the big losers.
So were we — in case you missed the
vacancy signs hanging in the outports.
Iceland knew how to get things done
— it didn’t tread water for more than
30 years, dipsy-doodling diplomatic
rubber daggers as its culture and economy
slowly faded from the land. It
declared Cod Wars and got things
Iceland’s Cod Wars, three in all, didn’t
involve bullets, but scissors —
giant net cutters.
The first Cod War took place in
1958 when Britain tried to prevent
Iceland from extending its fishing
limit to 12 miles from four miles.
Snip, snip — Iceland won that one.
The second Cod War was waged
from 1972-73 when Iceland extended
its offshore reach to 50 miles.
Snip, snip — Iceland won that one
When that agreement expired on
Nov. 13, 1975, the third Cod War
began. Iceland wanted a 200-mile
limit, which was practically unheard of
at the time (imagine the gall, the
audacity of the fighting Icelanders).
All hell broke loose on the high seas.
David struck back at Goliath by once
again dragging giant scissors behind
its Coast Guard cutters and snipping
the nets of British trawlers. The UK
brought in almost two-dozen frigates
and flexed some mighty muscle to
scare the Icelanders back to their
wharves and villages.
Iceland went so far as to threaten to
close the NATO base at Keflavik,
which would have threatened NATO’s
ability to defend the Atlantic from
Soviet incursions.
Few shots were fired, but several
ships were rammed during the conflict
and some damage was inflicted, with a
few injuries sustained. Iceland was
motivated by declining cod stocks —
a grave situation given Iceland lived
on fish. Iceland won the third Cod War
and the British trawlers eventually
withdrew, leaving behind about 23
million pounds of catch a year.
Thousands of British fishermen and
plant workers lost their jobs, but that
was that.
Iceland’s giant underwater scissors
were the envy of the downtrodden fish
nations of the world for the longest
while. John Efford and crew had an
Icelandic skipper brought over here in
the early ’90s to show Newfoundland
fishermen how it’s done … how to use
a pair of scissors to clean up the Nose
and Tail.
Efford et al. could talk the talk but,
in the end, they couldn’t walk the
walk. The federal government came up
with another package, some more
make-work and an EI top-up or two
and the rabble quieted down and settled
in for a long winter’s nap.
Which brings us to today, and
Danny’s recent trip to Iceland and
Norway to see the sights. Tom
Rideout, the Fisheries minister, was by
the premier’s side.
“There are many lessons the
province of Newfoundland and
Labrador can learn from the Icelandic
fishery,” Rideout said when he got
The minister talked of new ideas
like “consolidation, rationalization,
and diversification” … meaningless
words when there aren’t any fish in the
water. Turns out Iceland also has fish
science — can you believe it! More
than that, the fish managers also work
hand in hand with university and
industry. Who knew?
Again — that’s not much good without
Danny and his Fisheries minister
didn’t breathe a word about scissors
when they got back from Iceland —
but you can be sure they heard a tale or
two on their travels.
Danny’s latest row with the prime
minister is a prime example of
Ottawa’s will to buck the status quo on
our behalf. The Government of
Canada has chosen the side of the oil
companies — nothing new there.
Likewise, the federal government
won’t be moving anytime soon to end
foreign overfishing. Ottawa has its
own demons to fight.
Our enemy is within.

Harper pledges to defend the fishery.

Hearn Pledges to defend the fisheries in response to St John's board of trade questions.
"Foreign Overfishing
Our Party initiated the idea of custodial management. We had a resolution to that effect passed in Parliament. In our policy statements we commit to taking custodial management if we become Government."

Where are the federal jobs promised?

From The Independant, Where are the jobs.
The Stephen Harper government
is not living up to its campaign
promise to return federal government
jobs to Newfoundland and
Labrador, says a spokeswoman for the
union for federal civil servants in the
Leading up to last January’s election,
the federal Conservatives promised to
create jobs by increasing military presence
in the province, returning jobs lost
during the federal Liberal administration,
and reopening the Gander weather
“The only thing that’s happened is
they (the Harper government) did do the
re-instatement at Gander weather forecasting,”
says Jeannie Baldwin, the
Public Service Alliance of Canada’s
regional executive vice-president. Even
in that instance, she says, not all the
jobs will return. “There may be 20 to 30
jobs in that area.”
A 2005 Memorial University report
stated the number of federal government
jobs in the province had dropped
to 6,970 in 2004 from 10,250 jobs in
1994 — a loss of over 3,280 jobs.
Memorial University is set to release
a final report on this study next week.
Baldwin says the news won’t be good.
“There is no big increase or fluctuation
of any federal jobs within the Newfoundland
and Labrador region.”
She says looking at the total number
of jobs lost does not tell the whole story.
She says since 1994 there has been a
disproportionate loss of federal jobs in
the province in relation to the rest of the
country. In addition, the structure of the
federal government workforce in the
province is changing.
This is reflected in the Memorial
report, which says the province has the
lowest number of executive jobs of any
province in Canada, and a far lower percentage
than should be here, according
to our population.
Baldwin says the shift of jobs out of
the province — especially executive
level jobs — is continuing.
While the number of Service Canada
jobs in the province remains at about
800, Baldwin says they’ve increased in
the Ottawa area by almost 2,000 in the
last 10 years.
“This is a re-allocation of the workload
— they have taken the work out of
the regions and relocated it in other
areas — and most of the work is being
put back into the Ottawa area,” Baldwin
MP Loyola Hearn, Newfoundland
and Labrador’s representative in cabinet,
did not return calls by The
People should be more concerned
about the repercussions of this transfer
of work, Baldwin says, adding that
fewer executive positions equal a “brain
drain” from the community.
Baldwin says people should be concerned
about the level of local control.
“Where are most of the decisions
being made? The decisions are not
being made — at the federal level —
within the Newfoundland and Labrador
region,” says Baldwin. “It’s sad, what is
She says the federal government’s
redesign of how they interact with citizens
is going to mean even fewer jobs,
and what jobs there are will be lower
paying service positions.
“They are changing the whole face of
Service Canada. They are making them
points of service. Those points of service
don’t guarantee that you are going to
get service by a live individual across
the table to sit down and help you.”
She anticipates more cuts in the
future. “The front end at the Canada
Revenue Agency is going to be eliminated.”
Baldwin says her union wants to see
more action on the promises they lobbied
so hard to win from prospective
federal candidates in the last election.
“I know it’s not been a year yet, but I
think that when they make promises
like that, they should deliver.”

Where are the Jobs and all of the other promises?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Ed Hollet's Mad Dash for the cash

Just heard our infamous Ed Hollet on vocm Night line with Linda Swain.

I won't get into minute detail about what he said but you can imagine. I will paraphrase what he said or didn't say.

He was throwing numbers around like the VOCM mad dash for the cash.

There were two numbers that struck me in particular

He stated that if Danny were to get the Revenues stake like he has been asking (two out of three will make the deal, revenues stake, Oil refinery, or increased royalties) for it would only amount to about 1.5 billion over the life of the project. Probably on the 10-20 year range? In addition to the expected 10 Billion? we would already be receiving from previous agreements in royalty revenues.

Then in another episode of number slinging he said that the .5 Billion that ESSOn and company were asking for in tax concessions was a pittance in comparison to the back end loaded royalty agreements already in place. Which I believe he stated would be somewhere in the range of 10 Billion over the life of the project for NL.

But look at it this way the 1.5 Billion over the life of the project our Premier was asking for in a revenue stake in comparison to the .5 Billion that the oil companies were asking for annually in tax concesions is a pittance.

I'm sorry but I don't get it. At no time did he mention the revenues the Oil companies were expected to get. He was only providing one side of the coin when it comes to profits. At no time did I hear him mention how much the oil companies were expected to make over the life of the project.

According to Ed our royalties are set up on a sliding scale starting out at around 5% in the begining until the cost of development is recovered by the oil companies then ratchets up to somewhere in the range of 30% once the development costs have been recovered by the oil companies.

Then there was his the sky is falling mentality that if we don't develop now we will lose out. I'm sorry but the oil isn't going anywhere and will be there for our use if and when the revenues best suit us. It's only been a couple of months and already the Liberals are looking for a way to give it away for short term gain, continuing our history of long term pain.

Ed please feel free to correct me if I have misrepresented any of the numbers you spoke of, but I wrote this immediately after hearing you on VOCM so I'm pretty sure they are correct.

Remember the audit Danny had done on ESSOn's existing projects it painted a very rosy profits picture for ESSOn.
Some of the preliminary work done by Navigant on Hibernia to date indicates that:
# Operating revenues have increased approximately six times over official projections from $1.692 billion to $10.070 billion;
# Reserves have gone from 525 million barrels to 1.244 billion barrels;
# Gross revenues have increased to $19.9 billion, up from $14.6 billion;
# Production has nearly doubled;
# Capital cost is eight per cent less than projected;
# Operating cost is 57 per cent or $2.4 billion less than projected;
# Field life has gone from 18 years to approximately 30 years;
# Price of oil is up;
# Exchange rate is up;
# Inflation is less than expected;
# Royalty return has averaged less than five per cent to government after deduction of all project capital and operating costs and indexation (including federal grants of approximately $1 billion);
In 2005 alone, partners netted $2.744 billion, with ExxonMobil receiving $906 million and the Government of Canada receiving $1.097 billion;
# Newfoundland and Labrador total cumulative royalties to date on the project have been $587 million since first oil in 1997.

"The time has come for these oil and gas companies to start sharing more of the tremendous financial benefits from our province’s resources," added Premier Williams. "Indeed, the province has benefited from our oil and gas industry, but it is clear from the preliminary work we have done that our share is a mere pittance compared to that of the companies. In these times of extremely high oil prices where consumers are bearing the burden and companies are taking in exorbitant profits, the time has come for new arrangements for projects on a go-forward basis. This clearly includes the Hebron development."

Seal Hunt recommendations

The problem as I see it is the first come first serve quotas system.

-Quotas need to be allocated per sealer or boat.

-The entire seal needs to be landed so that
the rotting carcasses aren't left to starve the ocean of oxygen. ( ARA arguement not mine)

-By mandating that the entire seal be landed the unsightly blood guts and carcass will all be handled onboard the boats and remove the propaganda photo ops from the Pro Vegetarian Animal Right's

-Sealers won't be able to high grade by throwing back female seals in a bid to get only male seals for their valuable penises as the ARA's are now accusing our sealers of doing. (ARA arguement)

-By Mandating the entire carcass be landed inspectors can check all of the seals to ensure they were dispatched humanely.

-By eliminating the first come first serve quotas there will be no need for sealers to run around killing as many seals as possible as fast as possible before the Quotas are filled and the hunt closed.

-By Mandating that the entire carcass be landed we could develop a animal, fish, food industry for our mink farms, aquaculture and pet food industry. As well as additional uses for Prairie wheat and grain as a component.

-By allocating quotas to the sealers or boats the season could be extended hence making it harder for the ARA to protest and interfere with this legal humane hunt.

-By mandating that all of the seal be landed the seal will be pelted onboard the boat and hence the chances of a seal being pelted alive would be eliminated.

-By Alloting quotas per sealer or boat we won't get a repeat of what happened in the gulf this year where by they had a quota of 20,000 and ended up killing 90,000.

Also the rule which doesn't allow shot guns to be used should be eliminated since we no longer use lead shot which was the problem with shot guns for hunting.

Waste not want not!

Greg Byrne

Some of my other Blogs of note with reference to NL.


Ministerof Ministredes
Fisheries and Oceans Pêches et des Oceans
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0E6
SEP 6 - 2006
Mr. Greg Byrne

Dear Mr. Byrne:
Thank you for your correspondence of March 28, 2006, regarding the Atlantic Canada seal hunt. I regret the delay in responding.
You will be happy to know that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is working towards reducing the competitive nature of the hunt. To address this issue, in 2006, regional allocations were established. DFO is also currently working with industry and the Independent Veterinarians’ Working Group (l\/VVG) to adopt many of the IVWG’s recommendations, which will require amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations. These include a three-step process — stunning, checking the skull, and bleeding — to ensure death has been achieved quickly and humanely, and confirmation of irreversible loss of consciousness or death by palpation of the skull rather than by corneal reflex test. DFO is currently working to adopt other recommendations, such as improved enforcement and training.
DFO is not involved in product support or promotion activities, but the department does encourage the fullest possible commercial use of seals. Seal products consist of leather, oil, handicrafts, and meat for human and animal consumption, as well as seal oil capsules rich in omega-3.
The Marine Mammal Regulations state that sealers must land either the pelt or the carcass of the seal. If the carcass is left behind, it is either consumed by seabirds or fish and other marine organisms.
Thank you for writing to me about this important matter and for providing your valuable suggestions.
Loyola Hearn, P.C., M.P.

Response from Editor in chief of The Independant Ryan cleary.

Thanks Greg ... would you like your note to appear in The Independent as a letter to the editor?

On 7-Sep-06, at 2:24 AM,

I responded back yes.



Here are some links to seals being used for animal feed/silage.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Newfie Guinea pigs
While I was visiting my Newfoundland/Labrador recently I heard a radio announcement/commercial asking for volunteers to sign up for a study on cold sores. It got me thinking this is because of NL pure genes they are using NL'ians as guinea pigs to try and find a cure or identify the responsible gene for this particular ailment and the people responsible for these studies don't have the decency to establish a centre of excellence at Memorial University for the study of genetics while they use our people as Guinea pigs.

Geneology centre/ Family trees
Newfoundland/Labrador would make an ideal location for a federally funded centre on geneology.
Actually family trees would make for an interesting Blog. Could you imagine the possibilities for finding missing branches in your family tree.

Ballast free cargo ship
I heard on the CBC world radio service a while back a story about an experimental new cargo ship hull design being developed and tested in Holland I beliee it was. I've searched high and low and haven't been able to find any diagrams or pictures of this new hull design so I will try and describe it as best I can.

The idea is to develop a hull design that won't require sea water as ballast and hence either eliminate or mitigate the tranfer of foreign species into sensitive ecosytems.

The hull design proposed would resemble an inverted banana design. That is to say the bow and stern would protrude further into the ocean than the centre keel. They even talked about filling the hollow created by the concave hull with an air bubble to reduce any drag because of any loss in streamlineness.
The air bubble is also expected to work like lubrication but is being studied as a separate benefit with air lubrication.
Some links I've found.

Intercontinental ferry
Same day Intercontinental ferry system from Ireland to Newfoundland. It would seem to me from my research into high speed ferries that this is a possibility. The Cat or a similar design ferry is capable of traversing the 1500 mile distance in a 24 hour period according to previous trials.

Why Buy Canadian?
You know I used to be an ardent supporter of buying Canadian, when I was less informed and living in a world of ignorance is bliss with respect to Canada's treatment of Newfoundland/Labrador, no more. If anything I will now go out of my way to buy anything but Canadian products especially canadian made cars.

How can I in good conscience buy Canadian when Canada is giving away the livelihood of my home province by not protecting the continental shelf in it's entirety and not just the 60% which lies inside the 200 mile limit.

I know until Canada protects my provinces livelihood I will never again buy a Canadian made car. I accepted the shortcomings of Canadian made cars in lieu of imports mainly in support of Canada but no more. My next car will be an import either a toyota, Honda, Hyundai anything that isn't either assembled or built in Canada.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Little memory refresher Mr Harper

Harper pledges to defend fisheries
06 December 2005

Promises capital gains exemption for fishing assets and an increased role for provinces in fisheries

ST. JOHN’S – Conservative leader Stephen Harper today unveiled the Conservative plan to stand up for Canadian fishermen.

Our fisheries have for hundreds of years been a bedrock industry for our Atlantic provinces and for Newfoundland and Labrador in particular. “Only our party will pay attention to the needs of communities that depend on fishing – a traditional industry that remains vital to Canadian prosperity,�? Harper said.

Harper promised that a Conservative government will protect the fisheries following 12 years of Liberal neglect. Conservative priorities for fishermen include assisting fishermen and giving more control over fisheries to the provinces.

The Conservatives will assist fishermen by scrapping the capital gains tax for transfers of fishing assets within a family. Tax provisions already provide a $500,000 exemption for such transfer for farmers and woodlot owners. A Conservative government will extend this exemption to fishermen and apply it to the value of fishing licences.

The Conservatives will also give the coastal provinces – particularly Newfoundland and Labrador – an increased role in the management of the fisheries. The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly has requested greater involvement in the management of the fisheries around the province. This has been strongly supported by the province’s Conservative MPs.

Additional details of the Conservatives’ plan include investing more in fisheries science and research; establishing an independent judicial inquiry into the collapse of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River in British Columbia; and extending the 200-mile limit to the edge of the Continental Shelf, the nose and tail of the Grand Banks, and the Flemish Cap in the North Atlantic, and exercising Canadian custodial management over this area.

A Conservative government will also reinstate local marine and aviation forecasting at the Gander Weather Centre.

“Canada needs a government for all Canadians from coast to coast,�? Harper said. “A government that gives you the action you want on your priorities.�?


For further information: Conservative Party Press Office (613) 755-2191

Friday, September 01, 2006


Same day intercontinental ferry

I wonder would it be feasible to have a high speed intercontinental ferry? Something along the lines of The Cat that is capable of traversing the Atlantic from England or Ireland to Newfoundland in one day transporting people and their vehichles over a 24 hour period from Europe to North America.

Since the majority of the time involved in ferry crossings is tied up in docking ,undocking and harbour transit the distances involved with an Atlantic crossing would be mitigated due to the speeds attainable with a high speed ferry

From St John's to Skellig Michael Ireland is approx 1500 miles.

Existing Cats are capable of 83 kph and hold the record of for the fastest trans Atlantic crossing from Cat-Link V - New York to Bishop Rock 2 days, 20 hrs 9 mins = Average 41.284 knots This distance is double that of the St John's to Ireland route so should be attainaable within a 24 hour period.

Australian ferry builder Incat had achieved a remarkable double. The CATALONIA, in addition to setting a record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic in a passenger vessel, became the first vessel to sail more than 1000 nautical miles (1852 km) in a 24 hour period, covering 1015 nautical miles (1879.8 km) at an average of 42.3 knots (78.3 km/h). The previous record is understood to be 868 nautical miles set by the SS UNITED STATES over the period 6-7 July 1952.

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