While listening to the interview with the Hon. Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, and/or Former Minister of Fisheries, I felt it necessary to write in and relate to your listeners my take on his comments re: Newfoundland’s Future After the Moratorium.
First of all, Mr. Crosbie is correct in saying that rural NL is better off in terms of economic growth and tourism. As well, he’s correct in saying that we as a society complain and bicker a lot. However, he fails to realize that a lot of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have lost hope and a sense of pride, especially knowing they are not permitted to fish for personal consumption. Grant you we have something we call the Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Fishery, but as far as I am concerned this is discriminatory towards the citizens of this province.
Again, Mr. Crosbie failed to mention that the Cod Moratorium has failed Newfoundland and Labrador and that Canada has abandoned their obligations under the Terms of Union with Newfoundland to effectively and responsibly manage and sustain the fisheries.
On a positive note, he referred to the fishery as being a priority, especially in rural areas of the province. I give him full endorsement for saying that. Further to this, he mentioned how much tourism is playing a role in this province. True, but looking at the millions that our provincial government is pumping into advertising, why is it that the business people coming to this island are not setting up shop?
Finally, let’s turn our attention to housing construction, which I might add is not such a bad thing, however, if our urban centres continue to grow at the expense of rural NL, where will be the vacant land for my children, their children and people who want to plant vegetables, raise cattle, and the like? And why is it that Newfoundland and Labrador imports between 95-99 per cent of their food produce? Shameful I say!
Folks, it’s all too easy to sit back and say everything is fine, but under that false fabrication lies something more precious that you can imagine. It’s called “Living by the Sea” where small boats ought to be, where hope is bursting at the seams, and most importantly, where pride excels, thus making us realize that it was the ‘Cod’ that brought us here and it will be the ‘Cod’ that will see us through.
Ray Johnson-Chair Community Linkages