Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The child in me or childishness?

Merry Christmas from Table Mountains.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A question for the Wiseman?

Earlier in the year you said a review of the home-care system should be released this fall. Just a few days to Winter and still no sign of it. We know Home-care in NL has never been a big priority of yours but you did promise a release in the Fall.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yes boys & girls,P also spells Prime Minister.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Remember those questions we got on exams in school?

Sometimes we would get a few with "None of the above" on them and knew it was pretty darn well safe to check that one off. Today VOCM had the opportunity to do just that with their "Question of the day." Sometimes in school we also got a few trick questions. I came to the conclusion that this was one and checked no box off. Now i wonder what's the square root of a Platypus or maybe instead of using "Another Liberal" for an answer they could of substituted "Platypus" as an alternative answer. I think the Platypus would of gotten more votes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jackman Talks Caribou With Outfitters
November 29, 2008

The Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association is worried more caribou quota cuts are on the way. The group has seen their license allocations cut by more than 80 percent over the past couple of hunting seasons. The minister responsible for wildlife, Clyde Jackman, spoke during the group's meeting in Corner Brook yesterday. He says government is completing a 15 million dollar, 5 year study of the herd and he's waiting to look at the final numbers. Outfitters are asking government to bring in a plan to protect caribou now, rather than wait for the results of the five-year study.

This new proposal reminds me of how the government studied the Coyote population when Hunters and Outfiters suggested we start hunting them before their population got out of hand. We don't need a five year study. Data already exists and many of us already know what has to be done now so that the Newfoundland Caribou can recover. We saw the herds drop from an estimated 200,000 to around 6,500 in the early 1900's and this time with a predator such as the Coyote roaming the island we might not see a recovery. So Minster Jackman, start a Coyote cull by introducing a bigger bounty and promote a Coyote hunt to non residents by letting them have free Coyote licenses when they hunt big game here on the island.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where the women went

An interesting story by The Fifth Estate,CBC.

They come from towns, villages and outports along the south-west coast of Newfoundland, from places like Port aux Basques, Burnt Island, Isle aux Morts, the Codroy Valley, Le Poile and Rose Blanche.


If you have trouble viewing it on the Blog click here to try from the original show.

The Fifth Estate shows a way of life here in recent years and everyone knows of someone or has a family member who does this for a living. I have several Aunts in this line of work.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Matter How Much Things Change, They Stay The Same

We have all heard that saying but
it appropriately fits the Wreckhouse area .The winds peaked at 136 KPH here earlier this morning and gradually abated before noon. So i did my usual thing,hopped in the car and took the 5 minute drive out from Cape Ray to see if someone tried to run the gauntlet. As usual i saw what i expected. Another Tractor Trailer blown over and i heard the driver was taken to the hospital in Port Aux Basques just 20 kilometers west of the area. Once again i wonder why nothing is done about it? Why is there not a Digital Sign on the East and West end of the Wreckhouse area showing windspeeds in real time? No Matter How Much Things Change, They Stay The Same.

This Story intrigues me.

Here's a story from ABC News.

A San Francisco artist sent ripples through the blogosphere when she posted a "call for engineers" on her Web site, asking for advice on replacing an artificial eye with a webcam.

rob spence

But now it seems that the bionic Eve has found her Adam, so to speak.

On Tuesday, a Canadian documentary filmmaker launched a blog to announce that he is already pursuing that goal and plans to have a working prototype by Christmas.

"Like Tanya Vlach, the 'bionic woman' to my 'bionic man,' I lost an eye and want to replace it with a wireless webcam eye. I chatted with her and I think we are going to work together," Rob Spence wrote on his blog.

Rob's blog (EYEBORG) here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The sky is falling!

Lower oil prices could mean deficit: Williams

From CBC:

Newfoundland and Labrador has just become a have province when it comes to equalization payments, but Premier Danny Williams warned Thursday that dropping oil prices could send the province into a deficit again.

The province's coffers were filling up due to record high prices for oil this summer. However, the price has dropped to less than $60 US per barrel in the last week.

"A word of caution is that if oil stays down around those numbers, then it's quite conceivable that we could run deficits," Williams said.

Will Mr. Premier,a lot of people gave you praise when the coffers where filling and i noticed you loved to take credit so hopefully you'll not get upset if some now give you a bit of flak. For some of us in NL the fall in oil prices is actually a blessing. This morning i filled my car at 97.5 per litre. A while back it cost over $1.50 per Litre and that hurt me as a Home Care Worker who averages 90-100 kilometers per day. I figure this break at the pumps is much better for Home Care Workers than anything we can expect from your government in the form of a pay increase or benefits that never seems to come despite all the trickling down effects we hear about. I sure like the sound at the pumps much better then the sound of whining about a deficit.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wood Pellet Subsidy
November 5, 2008

There's a new way to heat your house, and the provincial government is going to subsidize it to get it going. The province will put up $500,000 to provide a 25 per cent rebate on the installation of a wood pellet appliance. The objective is is to create a local market to enable sawmills in the province to diversify into wood pellet manufacturing.

The appliance must be purchased by the end of next February.

The minister, Kathy Dunderdale, says producing wood pellets from sawdust, tree bark and shavings will improve the financial position of sawmill operations.

The stoves cost between $1500 and $4500 with the province putting up 25 per cent of the cost.

It's not a new way to heat your home as the article suggests. The Wood Pellet stoves have been around for decades but now it looks like it may be more affordable to purchase one and those that work in the forest industry may benefit also. Thumbs up to the Government for this release. Hopefully if Pellets are manufactured here in the province they'll be much cheaper to purchase then the ones that are now shipped in.

From an environmental point of view i think it sounds great. No new trees will be harvested and the residue from the saw mills that are usually left to rot or put into land field sites will now find a use and create jobs. So government,lets see if we can start soon!

Federation of Labour Backs Home Care Workers
November 5, 2008

Home care workers now have the backing of the entire labour movement. Delegates to the Federation of Labour convention in Gander have overwhelmingly endorsed a call from NAPE president Carol Furlong to support NAPE in its campaign to increase wages and benefits for home care workers. Furlong says it's shameful that workers in that sector earn little more than the minimum wage. Without changes, Furlong fears that the home care industry will cease to exist. She says even now,agencies cannot find enough workers to meet the demand. Furlong feels Newfoundland and Labrador's new status as a 'have' province should be reflected in the wages the province pays home care workers.

Carol Furlong: “The current wage and benefit package provides no incentive to recruit workers into the home care industry. If some positive steps are not taken soon to pay workers a respectable wage, I fear the argument will be redundant as the home care industry will likely be non-existent. Supply and demand is a real issue. Even the agencies are saying they cannot find enough workers to meet the demand.”

“It is shameful that in a province experiencing unprecedented wealth, those who dedicate their working careers to caring for the people who built this province make little more than minimum wage.”

Maybe it's time to take a step further and have the Home Care workers and clients who support them go to the Confederation Building for a day of protest. Maybe Ross will look out the window and see a crisis.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Grand Bruit resettlement vote delayed again


The Gulf News

More than a year after the first official request to start resettlement talks was written, residents of Grand Bruit are still waiting to vote on the issue.

Kelvin Parsons, Burgeo-La Poile MHA, said residents are anxious to have the issue progress. The vote on whether to resettle the community was initially scheduled for May but was delayed several times.

Difficulty sorting through which of the 39 property owners identified should be classed as permanent residents of the community has caused the delay.

Mr. Parsons said the Department of Municipal Affairs is expected to make a final decision on the last few cases in question this week.

Only those determined to be permanent residents will be allowed to vote. A decisive majority in favour of resettlement is usually required before government moves the process forward.

The determination of permanent residents is also important when it comes to compensation. Mr. Parsons said during the resettlement of Petites, permanent residents were given $80,000 per couple, plus $10,000 for each child up to a maximum of $100,000. Non-permanent residents were given the appraised value of their dwelling.

Mr. Parsons said the entire resettlement process for Petites was completed in about 18 to 24 months. He said the process for Grand Bruit is going much slower - more than a year has passed and the vote hasn't been taken yet.

The fate of this community was probably sealed when the school closed in 2007.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Residents of the Southwest Coast all receive a Snow Job.

For those not familiar with the term,click here and you'll find one or two to suit the meaning. Maybe they all apply in this case!

here's the big release from Diane Whelan, Minister of Works and Transportation for the Province.

Transportation and Works
October 28, 2008

Provincial Government Launching 24-Hour Snow Clearing Pilot Project

For the first time in almost 30 years, 24-hour snow clearing will be available on various parts of the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) and some major trunk roads in this province.

The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works, announced today that the Provincial Government is introducing limited 24-hour snow clearing as part of a pilot project this winter. Minister Whalen made the announcement during a news conference at the Department of Transportation and Works depot in Clarenville.

"As always, this government is committed to providing motorists with safe winter driving conditions," said Minister Whalen. "This pilot project will allow Transportation and Works staff to determine the effectiveness, necessity and long-term sustainability of 24-hour snow clearing."

The last time the province had any 24-hour, snow-clearing coverage on the Trans Canada Highway and trunk roads was 1979.

The Provincial Government has invested $1.7 million to launch the pilot project, which will provide coverage in high-traffic areas of the Trans Canada Highway and major trunk roads. Approximately $1.3 million of this cost will be associated with additional salt/sand purchases, fuel and increased maintenance.

Sections of the Trans Canada Highway that will receive 24-hour snow-clearing coverage this winter are:

  • Logy Bay Road Interchange to Manitoba Drive in Clarenville;
  • Cooper Boulevard in Gander to the west end of the divided highway in Grand Falls-Windsor; and,
  • The Route 430 Interchange in Deer Lake to the Stephenville Cold Brook Depot.

Trunk roads that will receive 24-hour snow-clearing coverage are:

All sections in this year’s pilot project were included based on Department of Transportation and Works traffic counts that indicate high traffic volumes.

Normally, the Department of Transportation and Works has snow-clearing crews working from approximately 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The pilot project will have crews working around the clock to keep roads clear of snow and ice.

Minister Whalen says sections of road not included in the pilot project will continue to receive necessary coverage.

"As per usual, our snow plows will work past 9:30 p.m. if a storm is coming to an end and continue early in the morning," said Minister Whalen. "And in case of emergencies, ambulance and fire truck operators can call our 24-hour dispatch and plows will be dispatched immediately."

Contact information for the various 24-hour dispatch services is available at the following internet link:

Minister Whalen said sections not included in the coverage area this winter could be included in the future, depending on the outcome of this year’s pilot project.

- 30 -2008 10 28 1:15 p.m.

The residents here still remember the Williams Government's Pilot project back in 2004 when the commercial weight scales at Port Aux Basques was closed. This recent Pilot Project seems familiar and most of us know why. It's a political project because were in a Liberal district and that's the way it goes with this Government. Residents here on the Southwest coast have to travel daily to Corner Brook or Stephenville for medical attention and when winter approaches some have to leave the day before and hotel bills are not uncommon to a lot. If that pilot project was extended to the Southwest coast a lot of people could still make the appointment and return the same day. Two weeks ago i left my home at 4:45 am to take a family member to Corner Brook for a medical procedure at Western Memorial Hospital. His time to be admitted for the procedure was 7:45 am. We arrived on time and made it back home by 4pm the same day. I wonder where does Dianne Whalen think the bulk of freight that enters the island comes from? Does she forget the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal at Port Aux Basques? Minister Whalen,extend that Pilot Project to the Southwest Cost and ignore the fact that were a Liberal District. For your information we do consider ourselves a part of the province even though the current goverment might not think so.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Williams to shuffle cabinet

Saturday, October 25, 2008 | 2:15 PM NT

Premier Danny Williams will shuffle his cabinet sometime in the next two weeks.

He didn't say how big the shakeup would be, but Opposition leader Yvonne Jones said the premier needs to make some big changes to his inner circle.

The Liberal leader even has a list of changes she would like Williams to make.

"There's lots of people inside that cabinet that need to be shuffled right out the door in my opinion. One of those is in the Department of Health. One is in the Department of Education."

It isn't clear if Williams will heed that advice and remove Health Minister Ross Wiseman or Education Minister Joan Burke from cabinet.

The premier has said he will make finding a full-time fisheries minister a priority. Trevor Taylor has been acting in that role ever since Tom Rideout resigned last May.

"We do need a fisheries minister and of course if there's going to be any altering of portfolios as well, you want to make sure that these ministers have a chance to get in their portfolios, get briefed, up to speed, and are ready to answer questions in the house and obviously perform their duties as ministers. So, the sooner the better, but hopefully within a fortnight or 10 days we should be able to get it done," said Williams.

The house of assembly is set to reopen at the end of November. That would give the new ministers two or three weeks to brush up on their files.

Thousands of Home care workers and clients are hoping for a new Health Minister! Hopefully one that actually knows we must have a change in the Home care system in NL. Mr. Wiseman simply just shrugged it off by claiming no crisis existed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yesterday i had the privilege of escorting Les Misner and Ron Hunter a friend of his to the top of the Table Mountain over looking Cape Ray and The Gulf Of St. Lawrence. Les is the son of Sgt. Gordon Misner R168439 who spent 14 months of his life there during WWII. Gord Misner operated and maintained the Radio equipment during his service there.

Ron snaps a shot of Les placing a plaque for his father at the old WWII Radar.

Les flew in from Ontario and drove from St, Johns to Cape Ray where i met him beneath the mountain. Before we began our ATV ride to the top Les phoned his mother to say he was going to the Radar and would phone his father from that location. When we arrived Les sat beneath the Radar and phoned home to Ontario. The Wreckhouse winds gusted as Les dialed and the moment he had been waiting those months for was not quite what he expected.

His mother had to tell him the news she didn't mention earlier. Gord,his father, age 87, had fallen earlier and broke his hip. He was in the hospital and would have to have surgery soon.Ron and i walked to the edge of the mountain to view the scenery and Les talked to his mother. A moment so long awaited was not quite what neither of us really expected.
(Gord had surgery last night and seems to be coping well.)

Some photos of yesterdays excursion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marked my X before i went to work this morning. Four candidates on the ballot here in Random-Burin-St. George's this time around.
  • Herb Davis, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Kaitlin Wainwright, Green Party of Canada
  • Terry White, New Democratic Party
  • Judy Foote, Liberal Party of Canada
As far as i know,not one of them took the time to visit our tiny community. I doubt if either one of them ever actually visited here in the past. OH WELL! QUE SERA,SERA.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My brother recently asked me to get involved with a group of his friends in an online game called Travian. Not giving it much thought i decided to do so and now it looks like i 'm hooked on the darn thing. The aim of the game is to control a village and later others. It's much easier to form an alliance as we have done. The single player out there might not survive and just quit after a while becoming frustrated from attacks by groups in an alliance. Even our alliance have non aggression pacts with other alliances and diplomacy goes a long in surviving. Three tribes make up the Travian World, the Romans, the Gauls, and the Teutons. Each has their own characteristics and a different style of game play. The most amusing thing about it so far was that i caught a bunch of invaders trying to loot my village. I sent a message to the guy saying i would release them for some wheat. If he refused i would keep them and he would end up feeding them anyway. After a bit of online communication i found out he was just 16 and from Vermont. I told him my location and age and he replied," your awesome for an old guy!" Now you just can't get a better comment then that on the WWW today!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Two Stories in The Weekend Telegram on the same page.

One about suffering and another about dirty laundry.

You make the connection.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Autumn here seems late this year. The green grass on the Table Mountains have taken on their straw yellow and reds but at lower elevations we have not seen much change in colors. Several morning frosts recently and the changes should appear soon. A few of us made an ATV ride yesterday to the mountain and met a few of the guys from the community returning with a Caribou. Saw plenty of partridge but we didn't hunt on this trip. some photos today of yesterdays little excursion.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Can't compete with McDonald's for home-care workers, employers say


Newfoundland and Labrador home-care workers can do something simple to earn more than the wages that industry leaders call an embarrassment: flip hamburgers.

Home-care workers paid by the provincial government earn only $9.66 an hour — without benefits, and despite years of experience.

An informal review by CBC News found that the salaries for the workers, some of whom are responsible for keeping their clients alive by tending to daily needs, pale compared to unskilled jobs.

For instance, some workers at St. John's-area McDonald's restaurants — which have been recruiting heavily and have been promoting a roster of benefits to lure people to fill staffing shortages — earn more than $10 per hour.

Entry-level security guards make $9.50 per hour, while call-centre employees start at $9.25.

"It is really time — it's completely time — for an overhaul of the home-care system," said Anne Whelan, who manages Caregivers, a home-care agency in the St. John's area.

Agency owner Anne Whelan said it's time to overhaul the system.Agency owner Anne Whelan said it's time to overhaul the system. (CBC)

While Whelan is responsible for recruiting staff, her pay rates are dictated by what the Newfoundland and Labrador government is prepared to spend.

"What would be a reasonable wage for a skilled home support worker doing the scope of work that we regularly get asked to do? It would be much more comparable to a [personal care attendant] in a hospital, $14 or $15 an hour," she told CBC News.

Home-care agencies continually lose workers, who often can earn better pay — for work that is much less stressful — at fast food outlets, call centres and other businesses.

The provincial government increased spending in this spring's budget, but advocates say it has done little address a growing need.

Price to be paid?

Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Private Employees, said unless there are substantial changes, a higher price will have to be paid than higher wages.

"We have a very serious concern that because of the low compensation package they're going to find that there's not going to be anyone to do those jobs," said Furlong, adding she is also concerned that most home-care workers are women.

"We shudder to think that it is because of the gender issue that the wages are so low, but that is the reality of the situation, as far as we're concerned," Furlong said in an interview.

Health Minister Ross Wiseman has said a review of the home-care system should be released this fall.

That surprised Whelan, who said providers "really need to be consulted" before any decisions are made.

Maybe it's time for someone such as NAPE to organize a province wide walkout of Home Care workers or a large demonstration?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Keep Seniors Out of Nursing Homes

From VOCM News today:

The Association of Registered Nurses is out with a report on ways to get seniors recovering from hospital procedures back into their own beds. They recommend a shift in spending away from long-term care facilities and into rehabilitation and community-based programs and services. Their research has shown that, in many cases, if services were broadened to community-based, many seniors would be able to get back into their own homes instead of occupying a bed in a long-term care facility. To do that, nurses recommend that home care workers be paid more and that family members also be compensated through respite care.

Jim Feltham, President of the Association.
“With news that there are plans to move patients to personal care homes to free up beds, we saw an opportunity to draw attention to a gap that exists in the level of services provided to seniors as they transition from hospital to home,”

“Currently, our system is very institutionally based and once seniors enter the
hospital system they tend to experience a decrease in functional independence which leaves them with limited options on discharge (i.e. they have recovered from their illness but have not been rehabilitated to a point they can return home without supports and must therefore be moved to either a Long Term Care facility or Personal Care Home).“However, our research has shown that, in many cases, if services were broadened to include strong rehabilitation and community based support services, we would see many of these seniors back in their homes enjoying a higher quality of life instead of occupying a bed in a long term care facility.”

Here's research done that would make much needed improvements in the Health Care system of NL and free those needed beds. I wonder why our Health Care Minister ignores any outside suggestions?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Looks like Canada will have its first adult video pay-television pornography channel. It will be called Northern Peaks (catchy!) Here's the part that intrigues me today.

During each broadcast year, the licensee shall devote not less than 50% of the broadcast day and not less than 50% of the evening broadcast period to Canadian programming.

So here's my question. How do we tell Canadian Beaver from imported Beaver?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today the Premier of NL announced an Amnesty Day for all the Liberal Bloggers of Newfoundland & Labradore.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fruit sparks outrage in Labrador

OK,let me make it perfectly clear. The fruit in question is a melon that was priced at $55 .41 at the Labrador investments store in Nain.More on the Melons here.