"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Someone who has the faintest idea what Ryan Cleary meant when he scribbled this:

Newfoundland and Labrador may be 500 years old, but it’s immature for its age — primarily because our growth was stunted. (Livyers were shot on sight for the first few hundred years.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Curious, curiouser, and curiousest

Curious: In the National Highway System Review Task Force Report, the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety added to the National Highway System two very significant highways: Quebec Route 389 from Baie-Comeau to the Newfoundland/Labrador [sic] Border, and Routes 500/510 from the Quebec Border to the Blanc Sablon Ferry Terminal. (See page 52 of the report.)

By the time Tom Rideout got to re-announcing the news today, the definition of the Trans-Labrador Highway had changed to "from the Labrador west boundary to the southern Labrador boundary."

No reference to the ferry terminal, unlike route 430, whose limits of National significance are, "from the Trans Canada Highway at Deer Lake to the St. Barbe ferry terminal."

Did the two or three kilometres of Route 138, from the border west to the ferry terminal, get stricken from the list? Or does the province plan on moving the Labrador ferry terminal to, well, Labrador?

Curiouser: The provincial government press release downplays the addition of the Trans-Labrador Highway (and Route 389, without which the Trans-Labrador Highway is unconnected to the National Highway System). Just a mite odd, given

(a) the Trans-Labrador Highway is supposedly such an important priority for the provincial government, and

(b) the TLH accounts for fully 77% of the road-kilometres added yesterday to the NHS in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, the Trans-Labrador Highway single-handedly accounts for over 11% of the 10,412 kilometres of highway added to the NHS.

Curiousest: Route 340 is now an "Intermodal Connection (Core Routes)" (page 43 of the report.)

Route 340 connects the Trans-Canada Highway to Lewisporte.

Lewisporte's main (sole?) reason for being is as the southern terminus for the Labrador ferry Sir Robert Bond: a status which transportation minister Tom Rideout has said is temporary. ("Government plans to run freight and ferry service out of Lewisporte for another six to seven years, until Phase 3 of the Trans-Labrador Highway is completed, Rideout said." — St. John's Telegram, April 14, 2004, p. A3)

Tom Rideout is the MHA for Lewisporte.

There is, of course, no politically-intermodal connection involved in route 340's addition to the National highway system.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"...considering geographical representation."

So the provincial government now has a new advisory body, the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Mineral Matters.

In the past eleven years, cumulative mineral exploration expenditures in Labrador have outstripped those in Newfoundland, $364-million to $143-million; and annually, in all but three of those years. Labrador has the province's three most important producing mines: Wabush, IOC, and as of last week, Voisey's Bay; Labrador is also home to two of the most important quarries, the dimension stone operations on the North Coast.

Why then, is there not one Labrador representative on Ed Byrne's new advisory council?

There are three members from that famous mining town, St. Johns: Brian Dalton, Chris Verbiski, and Joe Shirley. Two from Baie Verte, not unreasonably, Allan Cramm and Roy Barker. Victor French of Bay Roberts and Larry Pilgrim of King's Point round out the Committee.

But no one from Labrador? That's an impressive accomplishment, even by Danny Williams' government's standards.

"Minister Byrne said in selecting the members he ensured that various sectors of the mineral industry were represented as well considering geographical representation."
Danny Williams, newly-minted leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Newfoundland, said, in his inaugural speech (since consigned to the bit-bucket by the PC Party webmaster) on April 7, 2001:

"It's high time that Labradorians, instead of feeling like someone else's treasure trove, started feeling like an integral part of our province. We cannot expect fair treatment from Ottawa if we don't practise what we preach."

In Danny's 2003 election platform, he pledges:

"For far too long, the people, resources and potential of Labrador have been ignored and excluded from decision-making processes of the Province. We can no longer tolerate this atmosphere of exclusion, and we must recognize that Labrador will play a pivotal role in the future success of this Province."

"High time", "far too long", indeed.

In a not-unrelated development, the Minister of Justice was whining last week that no Newfoundlander has yet sat on the Supreme Court of Canada:

"It’s important to have our perspective brought to the table so there’s someone there that understands our society and what’s important to our society and can make other[s] aware of our point of view."

Tom Marshall and Ed Byrne, go ask Danny: Can you expect expect fair treatment from Ottawa if you don't practise what you preach?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

First concentrate

July 15, 2005: the first day of the rest of Voisey's Bay's mining life: