Sunday, January 06, 2008


I had a Newfoundland Labrador dream!

Randy Simms column from the independant.

I didn’t recognize the anchor at
all. Where were Debbie and
Jonathan? What happened to
Fred and Lynn? Who was this guy?
He looked like the consummate
American anchor — all teeth and
flashy tie. Even the news desk
looked different.
“Good evening,” he said.
“Welcome to the year in review. A
look over the past 12 months and a
few predictions for the year to
Someone new doing the wrap-up
on the year, I thought.
I should know the guy, but couldn’t
place him.
“The last 12 months have been
outstanding in our province. The
economy is doing better than anyone
imagined at the start,” he said. “The
recent $4-billion surplus is headed to
the Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Fund, despite an outcry
from some labour groups. The surplus
was pushed this year by an
ever-expanding fishery. Groundfish
— especially cod and our worldclass
fish farming operations — are
given credit for the financial boom
we are enjoying.”
The anchor turned to another camera
before going to video.
“The province continues to struggle
with a labour shortage in both
the oil and mining sectors. While the
fishery is pushing employment to
record levels, both mineral extraction
and the secondary processing of
oil reserves are proving difficult
problems for the new government to
solve. According to the province’s
Labour minister a new wage regime
is being considered to try and attract
more young people to the oil industry.”
The strange anchorman was back
on camera, looking directly at me.
“The oversupply of people in the
fishery compounded with an increasing
world demand for protein
is making other fields of employment
less attractive,” he said.
“In other news … it was a big
year for education.”
We are then shown video of students
sitting at their desks in a classroom.
“Students from Memorial
University, Grenfell University,
Exploits University and the
University of Western Labrador will
all get their undergraduate degrees
this spring. This class of students,
attending the province’s four postsecondary
facilities, will be the first
to graduate debt free. These young
people represent the first from our
province to receive a fully funded
The anchor was back on camera
again. All smiles, all teeth.
“Still with education, the past year
saw the province faced with the
daunting task of providing enough
classroom space for primary and elementary
students. The Education
minister says the need for more
classrooms and more teachers is
becoming obvious. The upcoming
budget should see a change.”
The anchor turned back to the
main camera. “With the population
of the province now at 1.3 million
and the average age down to 23
years, it’s obvious something will
have to be done to improve the lot of
young families. According to the
minister, the introduction of free
daycare 10 years ago did a lot to
help increase population figures, but
now the role is reversing and we
may have to try and curb our
appetite for more people.”
The anchor was smiling again.
“Last year saw the province introduce
a fully funded pharmacare program
for citizens. They did so
despite a protest from Ottawa, which
argued that it would set a precedent
for the rest of the country. The decision
to go ahead anyway fuelled the
fires of the independence movement,
but the movement’s best
efforts have so far failed to attract
enough interest to become a serious
debate in the province.”
The anchor was preparing to take
a break … “and when we return we
will have a live interview with the
premier on the changes in Labrador.
The announcement of another manufacturing
facility for the Labrador
coast means a need for more workers
and even more road infrastructure.
The premier will tell us how
her government intends to deal with
the problem.”
Her government? Who was the
anchor talking about?
“And later in the show we will
take you on a drive across the island
of Newfoundland. The twinning of
the Trans-Canada from Port aux
Basques to St. John’s is just about
finished and according to the
Transportation department will ease
our traffic-flow problems. Not since
the opening of the Straight of Belle
Isle tunnel have people been as anxious
to see a public works project
There was a jingle running in the
background underneath the anchor’s
voice. “Stay with us as we continue
our look back on 2025 with some
predictions of things to come.”
“Randy, wake up.”
It was my wife shaking me. “You
were starting to moan, were you
having a nightmare?”
“It wasn’t a nightmare,” I said,
“but one hell of a dream.”


But that was just a dream
To Try, Cry, Fly, Try
That was just a dream
Just a dream
Just a dream, dream

lyrics from ab REM song.

Cripes what did you have to eat that night...I would like to get me some of that.
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