Monday, January 30, 2006

Non partisan view from the Boonies

There is discourse between some Labrador bloggers [away] on the subject of possible recriminations of how Labrador voted in this last election, and a very partisan view of past Liberal deeds, miss deeds and hypotheses of what a Conservative Government would or would not do for Labrador.
I would like to comment on just some of these points put forward.

* Exploitation of Labrador for only the benefit of Ottawa, and appease the equally-robber baron Quebecois.

This I can agree with, except I would say it’s the Quebec Government we have the problem with. As a general rule Ottawa takes way more in taxes of all types, royalties and other revenue generation. I won’t go into the past miss deeds of hydro wheeling rights, pellet plants, where the Voisey’s Bay product is headed for processing yada yada. Most fair minded non partisans would agree Labrador is not well served in this area.

*Labrador Alienation.

This I agree is a major problem emanating from both Ottawa and St.John’s. I do not think it party orientated but rather a society problem. We are a long way from the main population both geographically and metaphysically.

*Lip service at best to the population of Labrador.

True, and again from both controlling capitals. This is endemic from politicians, civil servants and many businesses people.

* Money for booze thrown at other Aboriginal peoples of Labrador.

Strong words, I won’t go into the racist connotations. Sadly there is a long history of money being miss directed, miss spent, with a total lack of accountability from the top down in some areas.
But to be fair, a lot of the money funneled into Labrador from Ottawa is used in a legitimate productive way. There is the Federal Provincial Funding Agreement. In the North Coast Inuit communities it is used for infrastructure like roads, water sewer, housing, health, recreation, transport and on and on. Little or none is mispent to my knowledge. Little to none of this money is provincial, but all taxes come from the one source I guess.
Further to the statement of ‘money being thrown around”. I witness the expedient and greedy lining up at the trough all the time. Both Liberal and Conservative supporters and operators have no compunction about taking what they consider their share. What filters down to the people in the street for booze and drugs is chicken feed compared to what has been taken by business [most legitimately] but a lot not. It’s a bit like fishers complaining about the fish are gone, like Ottawa made then take all the fish out of the ocean, give me a break.

*They'd like to give us all enough money to drown us in booze and pot. Sometimes I really think that there has been a quiet genocide of all people of Newfoundland and Labrador by the Liberals of Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretian and Paul Martin.

True to a point. It’s not just the liberals who are at minimal guilty of a form of cultural genocide. For sure there is cultural assimilation; I will let others argue if that is a good or bad thing. I will say I think it is not a positive thing in the long term big picture. No one political party or group is guilty of this; all of society has played and is playing a role.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Seems cold climates are great for the progressive side of ones brain, got this link from ‘Townie Bastard’

I have noticed similar tendencies with political pundits in Canada, not to mention certain NL blogs of certain political bent, some who I visit regularly.
Wonder what that says about me?

This link is also very apropos. The Liberals are on the wan, no one party is favored by a majority in Canada, it is a great time for the proletariat to wake from its slumber and affect change.
Awake Awake.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Torngats best pizza.

Made up 4 styles of pizza yesterday for our Daughters birthday. 2 of the grand kids came up also; the other one in town could not as Matthew had chicken pocks.

Pizza on left is more the Canadian traditional with meat, sauce, peppers, mushrooms and extra cheese. One on right is vegetarian, broccoli, zucchini, peppers onions, half with cottage cheese half with mozzarella. The small one at back is mine, olives, anchovies and all the other goodies. Nice salad on the side made for a great meal
Had a nice Australian Shiraz to accompany the great meal, made it from a wine kit, just starting to get some body in it.

Matthew spent all night avoiding getting his picture taken by his sister and myself, I did manage to get one frontal shot of him but will not embarrass him, so put this one up instead.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

With the obvious reality that the candidates and their parties in this election have nothing to say to the People of Northern Labrador, we now switch to something very calming and tranquil.

Yesterday we visited the school gym that housed the touring; “Quilt of Belonging”.

Well one third of it any way.

What a very impressive work of art it is too. Photos and books do not do it justice. An incredible display of cloth, sealskin, wool, shells, linen, hides, and a myriad of other articles and material make up this visually stunning and emotional work.

Kudos to all the people who partook in this work, and to sponsors who are helping in its travels around the country. Shame it could not get to more towns, Nain is the only other place out side St. John’s in this province. It is off to Northern Canada on Tuesday.

The object of this project is to bring people together, its 263 panels represents 71 Aboriginal groups and 192 immigrant nationalities found in Canada. The 40 ft section that made it to Nain was awesome; I can only imagine what the whole 120 ft work would have looked like.

The people traveling with this work are very informative and helpful; their stories of the artists involved are very compelling with tales of hardship i.e. dealing with being away from their birth country, as well as happy tales of their proud ness in being a part of Canada and being asked to partake in this project.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

One last kick at the Weasel

Ed Broadbent said it best imho, “the Liberals have lost the moral authority to govern”. Also, to paraphrase Layton, “all that is left is a stinking hulk of the Liberal ship”.
It is too early to say for sure, but if the Liberals do go down Monday then I think they deserve to go down in a big way. I gives me no pleasure in seeing it if they do, but the way they have governed for the last 13 years, and especially the way they have run and conducted them selves in this campaign, they deserve no less.
It also would give me no pleasure in seeing a Harper Conservative government, but I don’t see the wheels coming off the country, especially if enough people can come to their senses and vote NDP. I do not understand people who say the NDP look scary, then go out and vote for the Libranos or the Conservatives, crazy or what?

Some of the arguments to not vote Conservative coming out of Labrador amazes me too. Where have some people been living? They claim that Aboriginal rights will be extinguished, that Aboriginal titles will be denied, culture and language will erode, assimilation will begin.
Well my question to them would be; "what the hell do you think has been happening for the last decades"?
All of the above concerns have been happening at an alarming rate in Labrador, especially in the lead up to the signing of the Inuit Land Claims deal. I’m pretty sure that Aboriginal title has been extinguished in the LIA deal. An exception to that is in Labrador Inuit Lands, a very small area indeed.
The structure of the Nunatsiavut Government is more on the lines of the European model than any Inuit model. The retention of language and culture has become secondary to economic development at any and all cost. To hell with the environment, to hell with the Language is the mantra of the day. There are pockets of resistance, but are given lip service by their own and outside leadership.
So I see this “scary Conservatives” coming out of Liberal lips as hypocrisy of the worst kind. At best they are ill informed.

The call to vote smart is a good one; time will tell how many smart people we have out there.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weathered in.

For those who would like to check out some photos of Nain circa 1966/67 there is no better place than this site

Very windy at moment, just came in from fruitless efforts to dig a path to the road, it was filling in behind me almost as quick as I was digging it. No big deal up here though, we just let the snow build up on roads, ski doos are way to go from now on. We did not get the big dumps that south of here got, what we do have, and it is a good lot, half of it will end up on the Labrador Sea. West winds are the norm after a good snow fall, shame that.
Mail and freight is backing up in Goose Bay by now, only had two days fit for flying in last week.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Excuse me while I have a quite chuckle.

Oh my, I see VBNC/Inco have gone back on another promise to the people of this province. [See VBNC not to build smelter in Argentia/Placentia].
How many broken promises is that I wonder? I have lost count.
VBNC/Inco sure have a great track record in the corporate ethics and accountability area, but then the bar is set so low that a garter snake would have trouble getting under it, not so VBNC/Inco.
Does any one know if this promise was in writing? you could knock me over with a feather if it was not.
Perhaps the corporate giant could console the people of Placentia with a nice plate with all it’s broken promises engraved upon it, have to be a kind of large plate though.
Any one betting that the smelter will be built in Long Harbour? For that matter in the province?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My day is made II,

Thank you too to Steve at Newfoundlandgreenparty. Blogspot for linking also. I just have to mention this, I wonder if there is an NL green party blogspot? Wally will be proud of me, eh?

We did miss the worst of the storm last 4 days, only 39 cm of snow compared to 107 in central Labrador and 70 odd in Wabush. Sun is out now with some winds to around 60 clicks.

Sure hope the 8 people caught out in storm between Rigolet and Goose Bay are holed up in a cabin and OK. One is only six and just out of hospital.

This brings me to the closed weather station in Gander. I did not see any great warning signs of this storm from the Environment Canada weather site I may have missed it, but a story on ‘here & now’ last evening makes me think not. Seems the official site did not have any storm warnings, but the weather office at 5 wing GB did have warnings but were not picked up by Environment Canada, until after the fact. If this is true then this is one more reason to have a good think about what is going on in the federal level vis a vis this province. I know for sure that we often do not get storm warnings for the coast until they have hit.

Monday, January 16, 2006

As Clint said

My day has been made.

I have been linked from Liam’s blog at ‘responsible government league’. I like Liam’s blog; he is a prolific blogger with a conservative bent, while having a social conscience. He reminds me a bit of a modern day Labor party guy, as in Blair’s Labor party of the old dart. Liking and agreeing with all he says is another story.
I like his nemesis Ed at the ‘Sir Robert Bond papers’ too, Ed’s political philosophy is more like mine, but for some reason Ed puts me on my guard, especially during this election. Perhaps it’s ingrained in me to take PR trained types with a good dose of caution.
I’m starting to find more and more bloggers from this Province, Liam is doing his best to link too many. Labrador boggers are out there too, I have yet to find one as prolific as the aforementioned ones.
Wayne over at ‘Table Mountain’ is doing a great job of promoting his part of the province, Not sure if he is having problems or not, but I am not getting his comments section at the bottom of his page of late.
If I get the inclination, and the skill sets, I would like to do something like the above mentioned some day.

Looks like we may miss the worst of the storm hitting south of here. We did get a good dump of snow over night and the wind was blowing some. Now it looks like it may clear, let’s hope so as I have already cleared snow from three buildings, be a bummer if I have to go back and do them again tomorrow. I almost got swiped by a good size flock of snow birds this morning, man they are early for here, and one wonders what changes are in store climate wise, no one going out on limb that I have spoken to with projections.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

No, I do not have a runny nose, that is a snow flake

Well we finely have some fresh snow, man it is great out doors, -11 and the snow is really light and fluffy.

This is to say hi to my buddies down under.

My cyber buddy ratsy, also known as Pat, who lives in Brisbane. Ratsy is a real tiger of a lady who loves fun, country music and aussie rules. Also has a heart as big as the Great Barrier Reef.

My old buddy Barry who lives down Wollongong. You must be having trouble with the heat for sure now, how about coming for a cool off, no Reshes pilsner here though. Barry introduced me to left of centre political views, alas he has converted to the other side, I’m sure he has good reasons to.

Lastly, to a real good golfing and drinking buddy, Ron. Ron sadly is up in the big golf links in the sky now. Ron passed away when we were down under for a visit in 2001. We did manage to see him twice, I’m glad my wife was able to meet him, pity we did not get more time together.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Is the ship sinking.

Would you rather be on the Good Sinking Ship liberal? Or look to a bright flowery future? Vote smart on the 23rd.

I listened to the debate-plea’s-cat fight between three federal candidates for the Labrador ridding this morning, CBC radio. If one had no knowledge of the three gentleman’s history then the winner of this exchange was by and far the NDP candidate.
If one does have knowledge of the candidates and their party’s policies and history, then the winner by and fare again was the NDP candidate.

Mr. Russell for the Liberals had trouble defending the indefensible, that of his party’s history. He also was not convincing with his portrayal of the Liberals being the only party to defend rural and Aboriginal rights, just look at the record.

Mr. Goudie seemed not to be very informed, or pretended too be ill informed, on the Conservative Party’s policies on the same subjects. He seemed to be relying on his past go around in provincial politics, and that was some time ago. He also miss informed the listeners by saying that the Conservatives had committed to a 50/50 funding program for upgrading the Trans Labrador highway.

Mr. Larkin, the only new face to Labrador politics, sounded very informed on the NDP policies that would affect this region and its people. He also articulated them much better than the other two candidates. As a bonus, Mr. Larkin was not intimidated by Mr. Russell, who, when wound up can talk the legs off an iron stove.

Given the fractured state of provincial-regional relationships, I can see no harm in voting for, and electing the NDP this election. It may go a long way in bringing the different regions of Labrador, and Labrador and the island together. Mr.Russells victory can only be a negative for unity given his past public statements and actions.

On the national front, a strong NDP seat count would help offset any of the other parties getting carried away with either their corrupt ways, or their overly conservative ways.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Winter is here.

This is what -34 wind chill looks like, looking east at sun set.

It sure has been a mild winter, but this week has seen it back to normals with most days in the -21 highs range. Sure was great out walking this morning, no wind, crunchy underfoot. The sea ice is as smooth as a baby’s bum with very little snow on it. Most of the rattles and open leads will freeze up after this. Good thing too as a number of ski doos have gone through.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Wind going to waste

Good points you make on wind generation in comments NL Ex Pat.

Timely too as I heard, on CBC radio this morning, that an Ontario company is announcing tomorrow two projects in the province. One on the Island and one in Labrador. They are keeping quite at moment as to what communities will be involved.
It would be great if it is Nain, but I would think not. I have lobbied the council a couple of times to look at wind generation, no response from them.
Several years ago two companies did put in proposals, one company from Norway and another from St.John’s. The Norway proposal was the best imo, alas they were trying to deal with all the hoops and ladders from Norway, they just faded away. The St.John’s proposal made it through the Provincial hoops but was rejected by council for a number of reasons. The footprint was too large, 15 towers and generators to produce the same amount of power as one unit in the Norway proposal. The plateau where the towers were to go would have needed a road up very steep terrain, plus the area was used for substance hunting and gathering. The company had not done any feasibility studies, and they did not have a commitment from NLH to by the power produced. Very amateurish.
I do think wind generation is the way of the future, sooner rather than later, so your comments have re kindled my lobby juices to pursue this again.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Seals on ice in Makkovik harbor.
Pictures via Barry Andesen of Makkovik
I hear there are a lot of seals up on the ice this year. Hopedale and Makkovik are reporting many; some say they have never seen as many “crawlers” as this year. They are called “crawlers” because they have come up on the ice for some sun, their holes freeze over and they can’t get back into the water. Seals are then prone to attach by predators and become easy targets for humans. One hunter from Hopedale shot 19 in a short period of time.

Some theories to why this is happening. Some say it is due to a lot of the older seals being taken in the annual harp seal hunt south of here. The older seals become leaders and younger ones learn and follow the older seals. Lack of older “lead” seals leaves the younger ones without the skill sets to survive, like making sure you have holes in ice to get back in the water in case of danger. One chap reiterated that; once before some seals were trapped on the ice, so some kind people cut holes for the seals to get back into their natural environment. Trouble was that the good samaritans did not know that the seals front flippers had frozen prohibiting then from swimming, so many of the seals drowned.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hockey Day in Nain.

Well actually it was ball hockey on wharf last spring, but what the heck.

Rather mild today, -8 or there a bouts, very unusual, hope the natural ice in the indoor rink does not melt, but then again if it does I can go swimming, which I’m better at than ice hockey.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Another clear crisp day, -18 early.

Received two Christmas cards yesterday. One from our MHA, another from the federal MP/candidate. It’s common for politician’s cards to be late, indicative of how they represent this part of their the ridings perhaps.

If it was not for the modern media avenues we would not know there was a federal election going on at all up this way. No signs, not visits, no promises. I can understand why, if the past decades are any guide the Liberals could run a red coated, deaf, blind, one legged weasel and it would get elected. Which is sad really, shows that people do not put a lot of thought into policy and how the past governments have behaved. I can understand that attitude in past decades; most people were too busy just surviving day to day. Times have changed from the land based subsistence now. People have been overpowered by the urge to participate in the consumerism economy. Many more people have 9 to 5 jobs, good paying seasonal jobs at quarries, good paying jobs at mines. There is still the fish plant, but not many fisherman locally. So given all that I see no excuse for re electing the status quo.

Why not give some serious thought to a third candidate or party, most likely asking too much though.
Photo credit to Gary Ford: This was our grandson Matthews first sighting of a plor bear, it was outside of here last spring. When we asked him about the sighting all he could say was, "it has a dirty bum". Kids are great.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It is almost over.

Well it’s been a nice quite Christmas, mostly with family and a few friends. Weather has been co operative with no major storms. Nice and even temperatures with lows of around -23 and highs in the – mid teens, perfect really. We have enough snow that walking is easy, very crunchy underfoot. Winds have been light to moderate too so we don’t have any large build ups yet.
I am looking towards the 6th, while my wife is not a practicing Moravian she still likes to practice the full Christmas season, from advent to epiphany. Loves to hang stockings for the younger children, and the not so young. It does seem to me a bit drawn out being raised in the Anglican faith, most of the time with a rather tight fisted and strict moralist reverend. So Saturday we can take down the tree and all the decorations.
Out doors it’s rather noisier than previous years, a lot more snow mobiles [ski doos] on the go. Everything from kids models up to 1000cc four stroke jobs. To their credit the four strokes are quieter, and use a lot less gas. Pity we do not have adequate traffic regulation enforcement, some people drive way too fast around town. This was tolerable in years past; now with the number of machines it is getting out of hand.
Not a lot of game being taken, some partridge, fewer caribou. After Christmas many ski doos went west up past Pearly Gates. One group of three shot the 4 deer they spotted. Over a number of days at least 40 ski doos must have headed in that way, all came home without deer. I see that there are a number of colored deer south of here, inside Hopedale and Davis Inlet. In through Pearly gates is at least 140 to 150 clicks, so it’s a good day’s trip in and out. What a trip it is too, through a series of winding brooks, small to large ponds, all wooded until you start to climb and get past the gates. After the Pearly Gates there is a some short shrubby stuff, and then it is all just rolling low hills, what is known as the barrens. No sign posts in there so you never know if you are in Quebec or still in NL.
So happy New Year to all.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Well, after much procrastination I decided to give this blog thingy a go. Have been an avid reader of many blogs for some time, it is a great way to express oneself, and to partake in discourse on many subjects. It is also a great way to sort the wheat from the chafe on many subjects.
Not sure how often I will blog, but at least I have taken the first steps.