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.