Sunday, May 31, 2009

Elizabeth Penashue will be at it again come August, the big canoe trip down the Mista-Shipu. Click on poster to enlarge.

I have just had an epiphany: How about the RCMP taking advantage of trips like this and Elizabeth’s spring walk for some cultural awareness training. That would get any big heads down off heir high horse in quick time.

Come to think about it, we should insist that the local politicians partake in similar land based excursions with selected elders. It would re introduce some humility and human understanding into their psychic, lord know some need it urgently.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My understanding is the RCMP, a federal police force, operates in this province and in Nunatsiavut at the invitation of the province. The province pays the Feds for the RCMP operations in this province and Nunatsiavut.

So given the latest individual breakdown in human discipline of one of the forces members in this community one wonders where the political leaders are, outside of the Nain Inuit Community Government that is.

It seems eerily like the status quo of the wall of silence. Nothing from the federal member, or the MHA, or the Nunatsiavut Government. Unless you count that fawning overly condescending [to the constituents] interview that the first minister did on CBC.
The constituents must be wondering whose interests the first minister has as a priority.

The AngajukKâk of Nain was interviewed on CKOK yesterday afternoon after a meeting with RCMP officials. It was a very long interview of over 30 minutes.
The AngajukKâk is not in a very enviable position and much of what was reiterated by her was what was said by others at the meeting.
To my mind there are many more questions than answers going by that interview.

So where are the officials mentioned above?

Part duo of the AngajukKâk on the RCMP interview.

One suggestion was that people should understand that this and other incidences were individual shortcomings and not of the RCMP as a whole. We as citizens should respect the RCMP as an entity.

Personally I have always tried to respect any person or organization, especially one that deals with the public.
On several occasions as a concerned citizen I brought concerns to individual RCMP officers. I was made to feel very uncomfortable on two occasions and in one instance I was verbally threatened.
After considering this attitude I then took my concerns to a higher up in the RCMP. While I was listened to I still felt uncomfortable, that same office never made eye contact with me again when crossing paths in the public domain.

So I guess having respect for the entity is an individual choice and depends a lot on how you were dealt with by individual officers. I was either very unlucky or perhaps there is a certain culture in the RCMP that needs working on.

Another suggestion was that cultural awareness training take place before officers are transferred to remote communities. Also that new officers on arrival in their new post take the initiative to introduce themselves in different ways to the community.

I seem to remember on several occasions in the past 15 years similar suggestions being made. So what happened, was the policy introduced, if it was has it been carried out to the fullest. Something must have not happened the way it was intended if it is being offered up again.

Now I know some officers participate in sports, that is an individual choice.

Other initiatives like a community BBQ and other events on a social level take place put on by the detachment. That is sort of like good PR; uranium mining companies do good PR.

My opinion is that institutions like schools, health care, police, social services offices operate only as good as the person in charge. If you have a good team leader or boss [whatever the politically correct term is these days] then the rest of the staff will operate to that persons standards. I have seen it many times in many different institutions, the boss has to want to be there, have respect for their staff and more important have respect for the people he/she is there to serve, this will trickle down IMO.

Another one was that if citizens feel that the RCMP detachment is understaffed and or not doing such a great job then perhaps a citizens committee be formed to patrol the streets.
Been tried before and a bad idea. Bad idea because of liability issues for one. Bad idea because if it is decided that Nain needs seven officers who earn upwards of 80 grand a year why would citizens put their butts on the line for gratis? Beside they would have no authority, no self defense tools except a flashlight and a two way radio. Anyway most violence takes place in residences, again an authority issue.
I think this is skirting the issue of supplying policing that is of a high standard, it also does not deal with having your owne citizens trained as officers to become community police.

While on the subject of the detachment strength. Out of the seven person detachment there are only four on duty and living in the community at the moment. Two officers have been removed and I guess the other position has not been filled. It seems that the three vacancies, or at least two, are projected to be filled by July some time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the absence of fresh seal heart

I have been experimenting. The soup is a traditional Greek been soup called Fasolatha. For variety I added some boiled pork hocks ten minutes before serving, its different was Fran’s comment.

The pasta dish the day before was just sautéed lean ground beef, onions, garlic some spices and at the end a tub of cottage cheese and some chopped kalamata olives [on my portion]. Nice fresh salad with balsamic vinaigrette topped it off nicely.

The latest incident involving an RCMP officer seems to be creating some rumblings around town. It is just another incident in what seems like a growing problem with the way some officers treat woman both on a personal level and a professional level.

Some people are advocating replacing the RCMP with either community police or the RNC. Some year’s back I asked the Community Government [council then] to look at having some local police force formed, it was more as a supplement to the RCMP, seems as usual things have to get much worse before anything is done about it.

Still this time it looks like some pro active action has to come into play. I think the Community Government is meeting with the RCMP today, we need more than platitudes and namby pamby weasel words words from certain politicians.

No cuts to labrador Morning.

Just heard that CBC Labrador Morning will not be cut staff and program wise.

Denise Wilson told Tony Dawson that after an overview of programming across the province there will be no changes in Labrador [I hope that does not mean “no changes” as they need to increase coastal stories].

That aside it sure is good news, all those letters, e emails and phone calls from people within and without Labrador seems to have paid off.

A big raspberry to the limp dicks at Nunatsiavut Government for their gutless sitting on the fence approach.

And a big OOOps here, the second incident in Nain involving an RCMP officer but this time it is not rumors or speculation and perhaps some lessons learned.

Update: Constable James Woodrow has two charges laid against him, section 266 and section 279 under the criminal code.

Some light has also been shed on the previous incident where an RCMP officer was reported by some citizens to have been driving a ski doo erratically.
The RCMP decided to not lay any charges due to the low probability of a conviction.
That same office is now no longer stationed in Nain leaving on officer short.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Man it is taking long for it to warm up; constant cold winds are not making it easy to enjoy the spring.
Today is the first time it has climbed up above +3, it is +7 at moment but NW winds to 32 make it feel like less. Still it is nice and sunny for a change.

I have been taking a break from blogging, lots to write about but can’t bring myself to get at it as there are not a lot of positives.

We are still doing our walks but a little shorter, the trails up into the hills are either too slushy or mostly too frozen and rough making it hairy for walking.

I took this photo of the mission plane taking off this afternoon, we were seeing S & J off for their trip to the capital city, doctors appointment, long way to go eh?

On the way back from the strip I took the one of the new NG HQ under construction. I tried to get it from about the same place I took the one back in 1978. It was the school back then, it was then used as offices and then it burnt down, so hence the new building.

The B&W photo is from about 1980, it is the rear of what was then the LIA building. It was an old construction workers accommodations converted into offices.
Times have changed; I will leave it up to each individual to insert “for better or worse”.

Friday, May 22, 2009

At the risk of overindulging my indulgences I point out another article, or rather an editorial at Nunatsiaq news, on the Dargo report on the “food Mail” program. It is the May 1st editorial ‘An opportunity for Leona’ that I speak of.

It may be becoming boring for some but I am sure getting a great kick out of these constant condemnations of INAC and Canada Post officials who were and are involved with this program.

The little piss ants gave us here in Labrador no quarter when we were pointing out short falls and suggesting possible solutions some years back.

Their ruddiness and belittling comments and dismissals will never be forgotten.

With the weekend coming up and all this cold windy weather we are having I thought I would do a public service and recommend a new weather site that gives accurate ‘temperature now’ and ‘forecasts’.

You just type in your area code and hit FW button.
At the risk of overindulging my indulgences I point out another article, or rather an editorial at Nunatsiaq news, on the Dargo report on the “food Mail” program. It is the May 1st editorial ‘An opportunity for Leona’ that I speak of.

It may be becoming boring for some but I am sure getting a great kick out of these constant condemnations of INAC and Canada Post officials who were and are involved with this program.

The little piss ants gave us here in Labrador no quarter when we were pointing out short falls and suggesting possible solutions some years back.

Their ruddiness and belittling comments and dismissals will never be forgotten.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food from the Land

Below is an article that was sent to me, you have to subscibe to the News North site to read the full article's, so I re print it here with thanks to the author Andrew Livingstone.

Food from the Land
by Andrew Livingstone
NWT News/North
May 18, 2009

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Northern community leaders are climbing on board a
recommendation made in a recent report on the federal government's food
mail program to invest $3 million in a country foods initiative.

Two reports released last month by the Department of Indian and Northern
Affairs, one completed by independent reviewer Graeme Dargo, recommended
the government look at creating a partnership with Northern community
leaders and organizations to invest in a subsidy program to reduce the
cost of hunting and help bring more traditional meats into communities.

"Country foods still constitute a major part of the diet of many people in
smaller, remote communities," Dargo said. "The cost to harvest those items
is just tremendous. To buy a snowmobile you could almost buy a small car
they're so expensive. It's the same with the cost of gasoline."

Lena Kotokak, deputy mayor for the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, said for 30
gallons (120 litres) of gas it costs more than $250.

"The cost is just outrageous," she said. "For hunters to be going in and
out all the time to get a good hunt done, it can become very costly. We'd
be all for a program like this to help us obtain more of the traditional
meats we need."

A report in the Annual Nutrition Review titled "Environment and
Contaminants in Traditional Food System of Northern Indigenous Peoples"
states traditional food has been shown to be lower in fat and contain less
saturated fats than store-bought goods. The report goes on to state that
further complementing dietary needs are nutrient-rich organ meats (e.g.
brain, stomach and intestines) not usually available on the domestic

"It is the general consensus that the traditional food of indigenous
peoples is the best food available to them," the report reads.

"The nutritional values are much higher than in conventional store-bought
meats," Dargo said. "From a nutrition perspective it's a good thing to
recommend. From a social perspective, we all know how important that type
of lifestyle is to people in small communities. There is no reason it
shouldn't be a part of it."

Dargo said the disconnect between Ottawa and the North on what food is
necessary in Northern peoples' diets makes it important to have a country
foods initiative run at a local level.

"Well-meaning bureaucrats are responsible for putting together the list of
eligible items," he said, adding most of the people he met with in Ottawa
had never been to the North. "I said 'what about country food' and they
didn't really know what I was talking about.

"I felt it very important the department had to work closely with the
aboriginal groups. They know the activity better than people sitting in

"They need to sit down and figure it out. If there are programs like this
already in existence, why not support them better and more rather than
coming up and creating something brand new."

Raymond Kaslak, senior administrative officer for the community of Sachs
Harbour, said the community would welcome an initiative that subsidizes
the high cost of hunting and would be willing to work in partnership with
the Canadian government to get a program like this running.

"It would expand the choices more with mainland traditional foods," Kaslak
said. "It will help the nutritional component of our eating here.

Kaslak pointed out the high cost of hunting makes it difficult for hunters
to be successful in their hunts.

"It's very expensive to go out hunting here," he said. "Gas is extremely
expensive. It would really help a lot to get some money from the
government to help us hunt more.

"Sometimes the wildlife, they are out farther and they're out and roaming
and move around. If they're way out there it makes it tough to get out
there without high costs."

Dargo said it's not an issue of finding more money to fund something like
this. He said with a more streamlined approach and a more simplistic,
cut-and-dry eligible food list, enough money could be made available to
fund a pilot project of this nature.

"Northerners have a way of keeping things simple," he said. "It's based on
what you need. If you do away with all the frilly stuff there, what a
Northerner would view as something they wouldn't typically buy, there
would be monies left over to invest in a decent country foods program."

Dargo said he believes the project would have a strong foundation to make
it successful.

"They (Northern regions) all have some shape or form of a program that
helps harvesters," he said, adding in Nunavik they have subsidy programs
in place for hunters to purchase necessary equipment and gasoline.

"It's different in every region I went to, but they try to encourage that
type of lifestyle surrounding healthy eating.

"The problem with the programs for them is they don't have enough money.

"What would be a better opportunity for Canada to get more of a bang for
their food mail dollar than to invest in already existing programs that
will benefit Northerners?"

There are no programs that I am aware of that help hunters get out on the land in Nunatsiavut.

I checked around a bit, there are only some programs that help get some country foods to elders and other less fortunate.
One program was just completed in Hopedale funded by NG DHSD. The first hunt harvested from 30 to 50 caribou, these were distributed to elders. The second hunt harvested an unknown [to me] number of animals. These were cut up and packaged and stored in the councils freezer for distribution to I know not who.
In Goose Bay the NG Corporation has a community type freezer program; county foods are given to elders but I am not sure of any or what criteria there is.

Nain has or did have a program run by a group of volunteers. It was little know and cloaked in some sort of secrecy. I do know country food was available to certain sections of the community, I hope it is still running and serving the people most in need.

Other communities may have some sort of program but I am unaware of them.

To my knowledge the hunters who harvest the animals in all cases are paid quite handsomely either by a department of NG or by monies that come from a trust fund administered by NG. So I guess in essence it is some sort of a harvesting subsidy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

“Hope there is no anecdotal solutions to any alleged anecdotal complaints”

The AngajukKâk of Nain was on Labrador Morning this AM handling questions about happenings here in the spring and things that are planed for the summer.
At the end of the questioning it was asked what the AngajukKâk thought of Minister Trevor Tailor’s contribution in the series “the Road Ahead”.
There was silence, some clearing of the throat, some hesitant words along the lines of not being very encouraged by the Ministers presentation. Then it ended with the words in the heading, very profound words indeed.

I am sure there are many anecdotal complaints on marine shipping and transport in general into Labrador and the North coast. But if the Minister would take the time to look back at minutes and notes taken at previous meetings with officials and previous ministers of his department I am sure he would have no difficulty amassing a large file of written evidence of the dissatisfaction's people have up here.

Nunastiaq News has a good piece [again] on the food by mail consultants report and some responses to it.
You can count the words on one hand that contain Nunatsiavut and Labrador in the report, well perhaps two hands. You can read it here. If nothing else read the recommendations section.
There is a flight of fantasy here from a CP media guy, IMO any configuration that eliminates CP from the equation would be a good one.

It is discouraging that Labrador continues with this status quo wall of silence. Amongst all the players the only real voice out there is the manager of BigLand here in Nain. I understand some what the medias frustrations with the wall of silence, but I am sure more could be done to put something together of substance.

We had a couple of nice sunny days agfer the long weekend, the snow is cutting away around town, the councils big cat did a cut along our road leaving almost a snow free middle of the road.

With that came the first of many clean ups [personal] of debris and garbage. I have noticed thousands of pieces of plastic bags ground into the gravel or sitting in water and or mud, beside the whole plastic bags that is. That was predictable given the happenings over the winter.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gumption to the fore.

CBC news is reporting that 444 squadron out of 5 Wing will not be leaving today as planed. They were going to go on a 6 week training mission to Alberta, much to the chagrin of people in Labrador.
So some one some where has used some common sense, there is hope yet.

A bit late for Mothers Day but this is realy funny.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ornithologicaly speaking.

Early days of spring indicate that this could be a good year for local bird watchers. There are several types of sparrows zooming around amongst the willows and open spaces. Snow birds are still around too and there was a picture on facebook of a mourning dove taken in the middle of town the other day.
We had several good years for some unusual varieties then last year it dropped off to just the normal gray jay and robin. Though I have not seen the usual flock of jays in our area, thought it may be the large population of ravens keeping them away, but they have moved on just leaving the resident pairs.
So let’s hope we get some interesting sightings.

I seem to have stumbled on a very neet gourmet meal. I was digressing about trying to think of something for last nights supper; having a guest has some responsibilities. I had already done up a large batch of stewed zucchini/tomato/onion, but what next.

We were down in Northern while the fresh supplies were being put out. They are starting to get various fresh herbs lately, this time they had bunches of savory/oregano and mint, but at 4.99 I passed. The were some nice bunches of Swiss chard, having never cooked chard I decided to buy a bunch and it was better value than the herbs.
So what to have with the chard. I suggested to Fran we have a meatless meal. That went over like a big lump of fried okra.
So I said what?
Bologna was the answer.

The new gourmet meal includes fried bologna, swish chard, sautéed portabella mushrooms and stewed zucchini/tomato/onion. The different taste sensations just seemed to blend in quite nicely.
I am going to call it Bologna Francois.

The Innu Nation has announced it will be taking over the running of the schools in their two Labrador communities come next school year.

Mean time back in Nunatsiavut.

At this point in time there is no podcast of Minister Trevor Tailor’s interview on Labrador Mornings ‘the road ahead’ series. This is a shame as I was awake at the start of the live interview but dozed off soon after, awoke just before 7.30.

Later later; The podcast of Trevor Tailor's interview is up. I am flabbergasted that nothing is close to being set in stone for new shipping configuration's, they have known this was coming for years, yet still nothing. This comes with so many changes in Ministers partly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The four wheeler has come into it's own these days.

It is great for doing chores and picking up stuff from the airstrip. The condition of the roads are not really suited for ski doo's and not yet ready for vehicles.

Council workers are slowly getting the bulk of the snow and ice removed from the roads, they are working down the centre of town and the essential service areas first then make their way up into the upper reaches, they have not made it to our area yet, it would have been worse if not for several snow gradings during the winter.

The Labrador Morning series ‘the road ahead’ north coast panel concentrated mainly on marine shipping, its short comings and what the three wanted for the future.

Pointed out was the dilemma retailers and business people have to deal with. You can buy on the Island at a cheaper price with greater choice, then face the distinct possibility of freight delays and damaged freight in the fall months.

Or you can buy in Goose Bay, at a higher price and less choice, but with a good chance of quicker delivery and less damage in fall months.

Cartwright transshipment terminal seems to be the stick in the spoke.

The panel member from Makkovik briefly touched on the food mail subsidy. He wondered why things like potatoes and flour cost X amount in Goose Bay but on arrival in Makkovik the cost seems way out of whack seeing the shipping is subsidized. He wondered if some one is taking advantage to “jack up” the prices.

As I have said many times, we need an open, transparent and accountable system. It is easy to do, the will just has to be there.

Tomorrow is the ministers turn to respond to some of the issues.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well the central and west panel on Labrador Mornings series on transport ‘the road ahead’ was most underwhelming. The pod cast will be up later.
Nothing new, nothing to see here, move on then.

Both southern and central seem to be pushing Cartwright as a transport hub for the north, not very convincing arguments and Dave in central was all over the place on the issue as is his want, Cartwright or maybe Lewisport or maybe Goose Bay, must cover all bases.

Given the road and sea routes at the moment, plus the lack of any wholesale distributors in southern how can they realistically expect that to wash with the end users.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Northern had some whole Portobello mushrooms, nice size, 4 to a pack for $2.44. BigLand had sliced Portobello’s for $6.99 a pack. Something out of whack there.

Any way I diced up two of the Portobello’s and half a punet of button mushrooms. . Sautéed them in three or four tablespoon butter. Added two table spoons brandy, some garlic and 1 cup sour cream.
Served them with a pan cake, they went well after a big bowl of what is becoming one of my specialties, leek and potato soup with croutons.

The first panel discussion of what CBC is calling ‘the road north’ was aired this morning on Labrador Morning. The pod cast is not up at time of publishing, hope it is later.
This morning it was southern Labradors turn, tomorrow will be central and western’s turn, I presume Thursday it will be the north’s turn.
There is no attempt on my part to correlate CBC and mushrooms; it is pure coincidence that they appear on the same post.
Now if it had of been NG and mushrooms, wink wink nudge nudge.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good ol inclusionary days.

Back in the days when Inuit took more notice of what was going on and before inclusion became one sided, [if there is such a thing]. Therein may lay the problem.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lately Fran has been hinting her pallet has a hankering for chines food.
In past years I did knock up quite a bit of the oriental dishes, that was when we traveled more and I was able to pick up some of the ingredients required to do the dishes justice. My larder of horded exotic ingredients has been empty for some time, hence no Chinese.
I know what has prompted these hints, Northern has all sorts of frozen processed meals, near the check out there is a whole freezer full on Chinese meals all ready to put into the micro wave or oven.
They ooze mono sodium glutamate or whatever the hell is in them; artificial color makes them look just plain yucky.
Then in the food warmer there are some times cabbage rolls and some other rice and sweet and sour chicken ball dishes. After succumbing to the temptation and trying their chicken and chip meal there is now way I’m going to waste money on the Chinese stuff.

We had some left over pork roast so last night I knocked up a pork, noodle, vegetable, egg foo-young my style.
Not too bad, no leftovers for Siutik so something must have worked.

Weather continues to be squirrelly, light wet snow and in winds. With the roads being in transition it is very dodgy getting around on foot, or even on machines. We did a lot of ouching and using the f word [that was me] yesterday, hard to see and the fresh snow covers all the frozen ruts and the deep pot hole like water traps.

I think there is a good argument to be made for some transport be made available for getting the elderly /infirmed /handicapped around it these conditions. People have to get to medial appointments, to the airstrip if they have to go out for medical reasons, and even to the store to buy food.

Actually that topic is on my list of cons at the NG information session last Wednesday evening. The lack of transport for the above mentioned was raised, not for the first time.

The politicians gave it nary any response. The bureaucratic response was; there is funding [from the feds] for transport at the Goose Bay end for to and from the hospital and airport but nothing available for the communities.

I think the friendship Centre runs a seniors bus there too, picks people up to go to the shops and for medical appointments.

Nunatsiavut claims it has the people at heart and that they are a self governing body, how about some self governing then.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Having time to absorb and reflect on the Information session put on by the Nunatsiavut Government on Wednesday night I now put down my thoughts on said session.

First the pros:
Well the fact it was held at all.
Contained in the typed briefing notes presented by each department is some informative information that most would not be cognizant of.
At the table near the entrance were some tasty looking fruit platters and nice looking finger food type cakes.
The latest Nunatsiavut Annual Report was available for everybody. The fact that it is the 2007-08 report should not detract from the fact that it was done ‘in house’, is rather well done in color and on a nice semi gloss paper. Lots of nice color and black and white photos too. It is great that NG has distanced themselves from those self serving gits in St.John’s that used to do all the PR stuff for them.
In the public question period there were a couple of direct answers to specific questions.
The president was wearing a seal skin vest.
Meeting started almost on time with just a short 10 minute 'fresh air break' part way through.
Translation was supplied, as one would expect.
Hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe I should reflect some more as that does not seem like a lot of pros.

Pro update. There is a household disagreement on the point of attendance. Fran says it was well attended, I disagree.
So to compromise I agreed that it was well attended in modern era terms.

To explain: There were about 13 attendees that were from the public sector. It was a public information session so I do not count the attendees who were NG staff [who by the way were in greater numbers than I have ever seen at previous modern era public meetings] and were about equal in numbers to the public attendees.
I also do not include the ministers, deputy ministers, the first minister and president.

There were also 3 from the media, since they asked questions in the question period I should include them in the public sector.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

With a little help from some friends Elizabeth Penashue has gone high tech, check out her blog at

And in the category of the 'I cant believe they are so corrupt': I was down the airstrip this morning to pick up some medicinal elixir and noticed some of the labels on cases of a well known brand of mineral spring water.

The labels were from the Canada Post food by mail program. In large letters at the top of each label was the words 'Nutritious Perishable Food'.
Does that just about beat all or what?

Two stories two worlds.

With mothers day approaching I decided to order some native Australian flowers for me mum. They are cheaper than roses and last much longer than the usual moms day selection.

Fran decided to send her mother some home made cookies........guess who got to home made them? Oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chip.

No worries, Fran came up with the presentation and the card, we sent them out on the mission plane to be delivered to her mom at the Paddon Home.

We attended the information session at NG last evening, there were pros and cons, alas the sun is out and so are we.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Weather has been squirrelly of late. Nothing major, just unsettled, winds drop the comfort zone but has not stopped many going off.

Down at the new NG building the roof trusses are going up slowly. Be interesting to see what it looks like once it is covered in, can’t get a vision of it as yet.

We had occasion to send a small light gift out to North West River Labrador this week. Said parcel had dimensions of 19cm x18.5cm x 8cm and weighed 0.245 Kg.

The cheapest rate was $13.99 with tax.

If I wanted to send it on to say Guelph Ontario the same parcel would have cost $16.53 cheapest rate

If I happened to send the parcel from Goose Bay to Guelph Ontario it would have cost $10.20 cheapest rate

Now it is about 376 kilometers from Nain to Goose Bay as the crow fly’s, then another 40 kilometers by road.

By contrast it is about 2,000 kilometers from Nain to Guelph as the crow fly’s.

Seeing as Canada Post uses trucks and not crows to move ordinary mail in and out of Labrador then that would be 2,429 kilometers. Plus the parcel would most likely go through a number of sorting faculties on its way from Labrador to Ontario.

So Canada Posts claim that we are heavily subsidized up here does not hold water IMO.

If we are subsidized than what do the rates say about the rest of Canada? Canada Post after all is loosing money, but I am sure you can’t blame it on the Labrador operations.

Nunatsiavut Government will be holding an information session tonight in the NG board room, 7 pm.

Could be a good exercise in pulling hens teeth, or not.

Monday, May 04, 2009

For Shaun.

She'll be right mate.

Justice Rocks.

Over the weekend there was a Youth Justice Rocks Camp-Mock Trial [YJRC] held in the JHMS in Nain.

About 12 youth in the 12 to 15 year age group attended morning and afternoon sessions over the two days.
Some information sessions on youth justice and a Jeopardy game on addictions plus a mock trail.

Judge Joy as well as some defense, crown attorney and staff from the Labrador office of justice all contributed.

I only know this because Fran attended some afternoon sessions as an observer and played a small role as interpreter in the mock trail.

Sunny and calm, -5, looking good.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Our weather has been sort of iffy, after some warming last week we have had some cooler temperatures, especially with the wind blowing. The slushy snow on the roads has frozen making it rough walking in spots, then other places are smoother, OK for younger shanks’ pony’s but older joints have to be cared for, have to keep the head down and watch ones step.

Seems the long awaited moving of the town’s water supply has taken one more step to fruition.

Seems a short time frame in getting bids and awarding contracts, unless some pre planning and strategies are in play.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Go ahead, make my day.

Well now I know how Harry felt when the bad guys did not conform to his requests.

There are three more articles from the north regarding the report on the food mail subsidy program Mr. Dargo did for the INAC minister. One is from CBC and two from Nunatsiaq News[NN] plus this great editorial.
I particularly like the NN pieces, they do good reporting there, always well researched and usually do not pull any punches. I guess the weekly publication allows them more time compared to the daily deadlines of CBC.

Many of the criticisms and suggestions on improving the program I and a few others have been advocating for years. I am particularly pleased with the reports apparent scathing attach on INAC and Canada Post, make my day indeed.

This one critique resonates particularly with me and others here in Labrador.

"Canada Post likely uses the food mail program to cross-subsidize the cost of delivering regular mail;"

That sort of fly’s in the face of those parochial Canada Post spokespeople who keep claiming that we are heavily subsidized with our regular packages and mail. More like we are subsidizing the south is our claim.

Some of the recommendations in the report are good ones, but I am still wary of handing it over to the retailers without the stated checks, balances, open, transparent, accountable regimes in place.

Here in Labrador some spoilt items can be claimed by the retailer, not sure who the claim is put too, maybe the wholesaler.

It has long been thought that some retailers were bringing in non perishables by plane when they could have been shipped by boat in the summer, this report confirms our suspicions. There may have been other factors other than increasing ones bottom line, but the consumer has not seen any documentation to allay our suspicions.

The country food suggestion is a good one, not sure if it is needed here in Labrador, but worth a look at. What is really needed here are country food outlets, or a system like they have in Nunavik where the elderly and low income people can access healthy wild foods cheaply.

Labrador is a small fish in the big pool of federal funding, but any changes that deal with any real and perceived rip offs is a positive.

We also have the provincial subsidy program for Northern Labrador towns. This allows retailers to claim directly to the government for a rebate on part of the freight costs. To my knowledge the retailers piggy back on the Federal program. Some of us have asked the province to do an audit to prove that the savings have been passed on. There was resistance, then some positive rumblings that something would be done, then nothing.
Maybe this latest federal report will get the ball rolling again on that.

Lets hope the report does not get shelved, and lets hope some heads role baby, make my day.