Monday, April 26, 2010

What sort of weather is this we are having atall atall.

Looking back in the diary there has not been much sunshine of late, odd days and bits of days of the big yellow orb but mostly fog, snow, drizzle, rain with the best being high overcast.

Take yesterday, we awoke to light snow, it cleared of to partly cloudy and not a bad day.

This morning it is flat in snow and rain. The forecast is for the same all week.

Seeing the weather is mauzy I will attempt to assemble a few words on last weeks Harris Center Regional Workshop and Memorial Presents public forum.

Please be advised the opinions are my own and a little skewed in the negative towards MUN and the whole process.

I attended the public forum on the Tuesday evening, I exited early and the reasons will become obvious later.

There was a good crowd in the community hall, just over 50 souls made up mainly of MUN types Nunatsiavut Government elected and staff peoples [an anomaly at pubic forums I assure you] and Parks Canada staff.

There was a sprinkling of local carvers a couple of elders helping with the kitchen and no more than 5 or 6 from the general population i.e. the public.

Conspicuously absent were any elected or staff people from the Nain Inuit Community Government [NICG], business peoples, volunteer groups, school, health service yadda yadda yadda.

I made enquiries of the NICG and was informed that they, NICG, were not advised or invited until the Monday evening; no one from NICG took up the invitation.

So the theme of the public forum was Tourism. There was an opening spiel by several peoples then the head of the tourism campus at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College gave his presentation.

I do not mean to be overly critical but I just have to say that anyone with the ability to read and access to a computer and the internet could have gathered the information that was presented.
Most of it was common sense and any budding tourism operator would have gained little knowledge, if any were in attendance that is.

After this came two people who were supposed to represent the local aspect, at this time I departed.

In conversations later I garnered that this section of the forum was no more informative than the earlier part. There was a question and answer section with questions that received no or confusing answers.

On the Wednesday there were the ‘break out’ sessions. These followed a similar line to the public forum, MUN people talking to MUN people.

Again no one from the community partook; there were NG and PC staff in attendance at most sessions.

At the Sustainable Communities session there were 2 from NG and a person from away who is here temporarily.
One would have thought that for this sort of workshop to be beneficial there would have had to have been people from NICG present. Apparently not as the MUN peoples seemed to have had all the answers.

Two community members did drop by for a bit, one was asked to give an overview [by an NG staffer] of the project they are working on at moment. The other community member asked why there were no NG peoples present. The two NG peoples were pointed out. The question is understandable as the NG staffers blended in with the MUN peoples and it could be confusing to someone not in the loop.

Similar attendance was evident at the other ‘break out’ sessions on tourism, labor markets and business development.

So one could be forgiven in asking “what was the purpose for these workshops” and who was “supposed to benefit from them” as it is evident from the way it was organized that the community surely did not.

Surly the 50 grand or whatever the cost was could have been utilized much better within the MUN budget.

From a community perspective the same results could have been realized if MU had held the sessions at a bar in George Street.

Another question arises; why now? Apart from a few individuals there has been no sustained interest from MUN in what is going on in research and other areas on the north coast for decades.

In the past thirty years or so there has been much research going on but from universities and entities from outside the province and even from outside the country.

So again why now? Is it the money? Did some one suddenly have an epiphany on the way to the faculty meeting and realize that universities from away are taking all the glory and accessing all the $’s for research in the area?

Legitimate questions from a community perspective I think.


I received an e mail from the AngajukKak of NICG as follows:

I was just taking a read of your blog and felt the need to do some explaining.

First, like you stated, the NICG was only informed of this session on Monday afternoon, the excuse being we did not need travel arrangements, therefore was not contacted in advance. And when the call was made to the NICG about these sessions, there was no real information or detail as to what they would be about and, in hind sight, how beneficial it would have been to have a representative from the NICG attend the workshops.

It is also my understanding that the AngaukKak did attend a short afternoon session on business and labor markets.

I perhaps did not convey the message very well, I was not laying blame at NICG for no attendance rather at the organizers of the conference.

It is a well known fact to people on the north coast that governments and other outside entities continue [despite years of protestations] to come into the towns on short to no notice and expect people to drop everything and attend to meetings and and needs of these outside agencies and entities.

Very little thought is given to the fact that other events may be already organized for that time frame and to the fact that in isolated communities there is a small pool of volunteer or employed people to attend to these matters.

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