Relocating outport Newfoundlanders

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, an entire community has just taken an important vote - to accept or reject the government's offer to relocate. The province offers to pay people to move away from some of the most remote coastal communities of rural Newfoundland. And Little Bay Islands just voted on whether to do itself in.




Panel: Perry Locke / Sharon Elgar

Millions of dollars have been spent selling the special qualities of Newfoundland and Labrador to tourists. Slickly produced ads show picturesque houses facing the ocean and glorious vistas. 

And it's not just about the scenery. It's also about the distinct character of rural Newfoundlanders... their accents, preserved in communities isolated for centuries.

Many Canadians will be surprised to learn the province offers to pay people to move away from some of the most remote coastal communities of rural Newfoundland.

It's offering $270,000 as a matter of fact. Per household.

Apparently, it's not cheap supporting communities with open air, scenic views, and unspoiled landscapes. Many bucolic coves and bays have no roads. Ferries, and airplanes are needed to move people and supplies.

Little Bay Islands is one such place. It's a beautiful outport, but that's not what's taken away the community's breath this week. They're waiting to learn the results of a vote - to accept or reject the government's offer to relocate.

Perry Locke is the mayor of Little Bay Islands. And that's where we reached him.

And Sharon Elgar is a former resident of the resettled community of Great Harbour Deep


This segment was produced by St. John's Network Producer, Marie Wadden.

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Other segments from today's show:

Solutions to doing business in Bangladesh

Reversing the collapse of the honey bee industry

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