offered to a very few, seemingly in “rural” NL.
on your way there. You read two of the
about this problem and you are wrong that no municipal leaders have tried to
fix it. Fogo Island being one glaring
example. There are others.
blog for a long time. You are doing your best to bring some important issues to
the attention of the general public (ever feel like you are talking to the wall
with all the work you are doing to expose Muskrat Falls?) Yes? Then you know
exactly how some of the municipal leaders in “rural” NL feel.
and Labrador) can supply you with books of facts about what that organization
has done to encourage regionalization.
And, by the way, he can’t do anything without the support of his board
and that board consists of the very Municipal Leaders you think have been
silent. Craig has been on open line
shows – brave soul that he is- trying to push this conversation into a place
where action can begin and he’s had support…just not enough.
the early sixties. Many, many municipal
leaders over the last 50 years have seen the writing on the wall. One such municipal leader (I blush) wrote a
piece for the Western Star on this very subject almost 4 years ago.
for so long why hasn’t something been done about it? Excellent question Uncle
and there’s a whole crowd of us that want the answer as bad as you do. This is
an issue that must be changed by the provincial government. Of all the things I could damn Danny Williams
for, the biggest one will always be – he had a large enough majority and enough
goodwill from the electorate that he could have shoved regionalization down our
throats and still got re-elected.
the rest of us…Bull Arm. Bull Arm is an hours drive from EVERYTHING…it is not
rural by my definition.
are NOT interchangeable although many in this conversation need a dictionary.
Until everybody and I mean everybody…pundits, politicians, media and citizens…
sort out the difference, we can’t fix the problem.
There are more people living in St John’s who adhere to
traditional values and lifestyles than there are in some “outports.” I LOVE St
John’s! What’s not to love about getting
in a cab, arriving at your destination and saying “charge it” and a driver, who
doesn’t even know you, simply says “who to”?
I can’t even do that in Corner Brook! I mean if it was Ramea or Paquet
or some outport where everyone knows everyone else you might understand it, but
St John’s? Really? A city of 214,000? No. Where. Else. On. Earth. You can buy fresh fish in St John’s somewhere
besides Sobeys or Dominion. You can buy your produce from a farmers market, run
by a real farmer. You can smell the fish offal in Quidi Vidi right next a microbrewery
that is alongside a world famous artist or author or poet.
regionalizing, or sharing services in rural NL, the hue and cry goes up about
us losing our traditional life style. Bulls poop. Our traditions and values are more alive in
St John’s than many small towns so let’s stop using that argument. It is
counterproductive, it is inflammatory and it starts an argument that is not
10 minutes (drive) of a large urban center.
There are many of them in this province. I’ll stick to what I know.
Steady Brook is 10 minutes from down town Corner Brook. Massey Drive is even
closer. I can get to work in Corner
Brook from Steady Brook faster than you can drive from Kings Bridge Road to Stavanger
with the benefits of urban living without the tax burden of paying for
them. They get 90/10 cost sharing for
municipal infrastructure with the province coughing up the 90. Many of these
“small towns” have a demographic that can well afford to pay a bigger share of
their infrastructure. Why does this happen? Because successive provincial
governments are too stunned to figure out that a small town does not mean rural.
If your population is less than a few thousand, you get the same bowl of
cherries as a small town that is also an “outport.”
leaders need to address just such issues for survival but seriously… that is
like giving a child the key to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory and asking them
not to use it.
supported if they are indeed dependent for their survival on resource
harvesting. We need people who still
want to fish and cut down trees. This work needs to be done and Lord knows the
ones that want to do it are few and far between.
citizens DO NOT have REASONABLE access to, well rounded education, normal
medical and dental attention and cost effective shopping. Further, that the majority of the citizens of
that community make their lively hood from primary natural resources.
high wages and low productivity, union agreements and the fly in, fly out
syndrome. These are also urban problems
Uncle. Important points you made but grossly unfair to lay them at the feet of
Rural NL. It was not likely a municipal
leader that negotiated an inappropriate union contract. It was never a
municipal leader who built a shipyard in Marystown or negotiated a contract to
build a big ship there. It was not a
municipal leader who decided Bull Arm was a good place to build a mega project.
I expect they were happy enough but I also expect they weren’t at the
negotiating table when the big decisions were made.
way too many of them are not under the control of municipal leaders. And it is unfair to lay the solution to the
financial woes of the province on the shoulders of municipal leaders many of
whom know exactly what you are talking about and have tried to get this
conversation going for a long time.
common denominator of whiners, which reduce the political will of the real
decision makers whose job it is to do the right thing.
outspoken. It’s like the Captain of sinking ship swimming off to save the rats,
ignoring the thousands of people who can actually swim and help each other get
to shore if only they had a compass and a bit of help.
change on the area of the province you call rural. Some of it is necessary and
if properly executed, it can protect the truly rural
areas as it forces the small towns and local service districts, close to large
urban centers, to pay their fair share of the service they take for granted.
are wrong about the “how.”
Thistle is a born again Newfoundlander. She studied at Fanshawe College and
Western University in London, Ontario.
After the obligatory 13 year educational and employment hiatus in
Ontario, she returned to NL to teach at CNA in the Hospitality Management
program. She is now a successful
entrepreneur in Western NL and was the Mayor of Steady Brook from 2009 to 2013.
She made an unsuccessful bid to join provincial politics in 2015. Her commentaries on social and political
policy have been aired on CBC as well as published in The Western Star and The
Telegram. She has served on many private and public Boards, is an unapologetic feminist, a strong advocate for
good governance, and an outspoken critic of bad public policy.