Tuesday, January 17, 2012

With the newest national park just up the coast from here, and Nain being the administration center for the park, I pay a passing interest on the goings on. I find this article interesting on the big picture of Parks Canada but it also has similarities of what has been going on regards the Torngat park.

Some say that the almost 450 grand for two consultation contracts is a bit much. That may be or maybe not.

What I would like to see is a breakdown of consultants fees associated with the establishment and operation of the Torngat park to date, as well as fees associated with developing tourism in Nunatsiavut in general.

For whatever is going on it does not seem to be developing tourism that well.

I briefly attended two tourism workshops the last few years, they were overloaded with consultants, some who did not have a clue about tourism in remote and northern locals. At one of these some Inuit from Quebec broached some ideas and criticism of the 'consultants' and their ideas, that did not go over very well indeed.

One infamous consultant had the bright idea of taking a group of Labrador Inuit and local tourism business people to the Galapagos Islands on a fact finding trip. Needles to say said consultant went along to guide the poor little Inuks in this misguided venture/boondoggle. I believe 250 grand was blown on that trip alone. 

In the intervening years all sorts of 'consultants' and tourism operator types have come through here on the way to the park, along with untold numbers of 'VIP's' and the like.
The result to date is very few tourists heading to the park, and not that many more visiting the coastal communities. 

All those nice positive videos of people in the park are a smoke screen from a tourism development point of view. The majority of folks up there to date are researchers or folks there on the government dime.

Speaking to several tourists who have made it into the park they speak of too many road blocks. These road blocks vary from the provinces tourist information people to the crowd that handle the bookings for the park itself.
Some were told when developing their trip that there was no bookings available for their time frame. Low n behold when said tourists made there way up north another way they discover plenty of empty tents within the base camp of the park. I wonder what the real reason was for being told there were no vacancies?

Mind you all who are fortunate to get up there are all blown away with the majestic rugged beauty of the place, as well as enamored with the local people who are there in menial rolls.

Now I have an inkling of the logistics and costing that it takes to get up here and onto the park, as well as acknowledging that the park is new and NG is almost new.

But so much is done in secrete without any public input or public exposure. It is after all ALL public funds that go into operating both the park and NG, so people have a right to know, alas the media don’t seem to take an interest, except to cover the goody goody two shoes everything is bright and rosy aspect of the park and NG.

It could be that moves are under foot to correct some of the stumbles of the past years. It could be that the people with the right skill sets are being recruited to give advice and direction, I think it is time for the yes sir no sir three bags full types are given the heave ho.

Also problematic are some who are portrayed as advocates for Inuit Culture and values but in truth do not give a rat’s arse for Inuit culture and values. They are more interested in their own ego boosting and having control and protecting their perceived turf.

The 7 % drop in park attendance mentioned in the article most likely does not include Torngat, what with it being early days. But much can be done to boost tourist interest and participation in this area.

One thing that could be considered is; come to terms with the fact that the base camp being used for both research and tourism is not working. At the moment research takes precedence, this leads to many issues vis a vis tourists not being happy with the control and operation at the base camp. Incidentally the high turnover of base camp managers has to be troubling as well.

People with knowledge of what is going on are essential at point of first contact with potential tourists. Things like, “I will have to check on that and get back to you”, makes people a little hesitant and wary.

As I say things may be in the works to improve things, but from past knowledge things move very slow within bureaucracies, especially within NG.

I imagine I will not make many friends and influence people in certain circle bringing these things up, which is OK as I know they are not my friends and I have no influence as it is.

But I feel strongly that putting these things out into the public domain can do more good than harm. 

A recent example of this was the recent attempt by the council in Happy Valley Goose Bay to ram through a bogus development project for a construction camp close by residential area.
The proletariat became incensed and took on the councilors and the mayor who supported the decision resulting in them backtracking big time with egg all over their faces.

I wont go on; my point is the all this secrecy and control does no good for the democratic process, then again maybe that is the whole point in doing so.

So if anyone has an issue with what I have written, or any corrections to offer please do not hesitate to say so in any medium you wish, I have no turf to protect or ego to boost.


regina said...

right on 100 percent truth...

The Pathfinder said...

Thanks Brian. I think your point on the Galapagos trip is well founded. I have said before I can not understand why Nunatsiavut does not investigate marketing itself in my parts here in Georgia. Lord knows these folks here will sell their souls and most of their worldly holdings for a great wildland escape. Indeed in the south outdoors adventurers pour billions into state coffers strictly for licenses and fees annually. Not to mention this inuk's offer to provide FREE help apparently falls on deaf economic development ears. I am not connected enough I presume. I am sure hundreds of other adoptees feel the same. At least by responses garnered on adoptee discussion boards. Better to pay total strangers then maybe using free family I think...lol

Anonymous said...

Good post. NG is adrift and has been for some time. It is not a "new government" anymore, so that lame-ass excuse for failing to deliver the goods needs to be seen for the disingenuous crap that it is (and dismiss as a bullshit artist anyone who claims it is still a "new government"). The bureaucracy runs things, and most of the elected members seem intimidated be the supposed expertise of bureacrats. The resulting stasis creates an assembly who shows no vision or leadership because, with self-interested bureacrats at the helm, vision and leadership are not required and would likely be seen by the bureacrats as a threat in any case. This is a grotesque betrayal of those who set out the original and promising vision of Inuit self-government. I don't know who might run for the presidency in May, but people had better get their heads out of the snowbanks and vote with their heads instead of from some sloppy emotive standpoint fuelled by how likeable, pretty or nice a candidate might be. Listen very carefully, folks, for what those candidates say, and disregard the alcoholics, bootleggers, criminals, wife-beaters, ex-cons, and any other irresponsibles who might decide to throw their wretched, useless and ultimately destructive hats into the ring. If you fail to do this, you will be betraying your forefathers and all that they fought for.