Thursday, May 17, 2012

DARK TIMES IN RURAL NL

It seems apropos that much of the province is covered in dark storm clouds that want to release a torrent of rain.

The economic weather is not much better. We have had quite the down pour today. DFO and the Coast Guard  are shedding some 400 jobs, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has confirmed that a new, 650-member rapid reaction army battalion will not be going to Goose Bay and a promised new territorial defence battalion of about 100 regular force and 400 reserve force personnel in St. John’s is looking unlikely.

In other gloomy news, Daley Brothers has thrown 300 people out of work in La Scie. They announced today that they will not be re-opening the plant there. The former National Sea plant employed 700 people at one time.

Than of course there is the looming death watch in Corner Brook, where unionized workers have hit the deadline to vote on whether to accept Kruger's plan to extend the time it has to repay deficits in the mill's pension plans. If they refuse to grant the company all of the concessions requested, the mill will likely close.

Just for good measure, there is the ominous threat of changes to E.I. rules that could depopulate rural parts of the province and throw seasonal workers in indentured service for minimum wage salaries in other parts of the country.

Of course there is always someone to blame. One provincial tory told me smugly that this is all Danny Willaim's doing. He took the tough stands and now the province is paying for it! What bullshit! Danny WIlliams and others tried to show Canadians what a Conservative government would be like, but the public voted for them anyways. What we need is someone who is willing to stand-up for us, to lead the charge.

Imagine how Danny William's would have reacted to the Coast Guard Sub-Base closure or the proposed changes to EI - without any consultation with the province! The Conservative's anti-regional development ideology, born in the days of the Reform movement is being acted on.  The long held Reform belief that we are a bunch of lazy bums that need to be straightened out has become government policy.

I wonder if the Premier, who backed and campaigned for Stephen Harper's vision of Canada, a nation that puts the boots to Atlantic Canada, and it's "culture of  defeatism", feels that the Conservatives appreciate the demographics the particular issues facing Newfoundland and Labrador?

We don't have a fighting chance with the Harper enabler's that occupy the Premier's office today.

Dark days. Gloomy days! Indeed.. Can we weather the storm or have we finally reached the tipping point where our unique culture, economy and society are relegated to the history books?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a time when what we call rural Newfoundland Labrador was nothing but wilderness.

So what is my point you ask?

My point is that the one constant in the universe is change, and that rural Newfoundland Labrador will over time change. Some areas will revert back to the wilderness.