Joint council needs towns involved
receive this allowance but residents cannot receive a tax deduction.
Northern Peninsula residents from Cow Head to the north once received the deduction but were deemed ineligible for it 26 years ago.
Gros describes the inconsistent application of garbage collection policies as a major issue for a number of Northern Peninsula towns.
The Northern Pen reported last week about at least three municipalities – Anchor Point, Roddickton-Bide Arm and Flower’s Cove – where NORPEN Waste Management’s contractor has refused to pick up residents’ garbage.
One of their policies states that garbage has to be within 10 feet of the road for collection.
But according to the mayors of those towns, policies such as this have been applied inconsistently, leaving residents frustrated and confused.
Condition of the roads Gros says a number of sections of the highway along the Northern Peninsula need to be upgraded.
Some of these include Route 430 from Plum Point to Eddies Cove East, Route 432 from Plum Point to Roddickton and other towns, and all of route 436 to L’Anse aux Meadows.
Gros says a number of municipal roads need an upgrade as well.
But earlier this year, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment increased the municipal share for capital works funding for municipal roads from 10 per cent to 50 per cent.
It’s harder for small towns to come up with this kind of money and, therefore, it is more difficult to get their roads paved.
“That’s a major issue,” said Gros.
Lack of cell coverage There are a number of dead spots where drivers are unable to get cellular coverage between Deer Lake and St. Anthony.
Gros cites sections from Deer Lake to Parson’s Pond, St. Anthony to the airport, and Route 436 up to L’Anse aux Meadows as particularly bad regions. And he notes the town of Cook’s Harbour doesn’t have cell coverage at all.
“We’re lobbying government to improve cell phone coverage,” said Gros.
He says he’s been told proper cellular coverage would improve the high-speed internet in the area.
Training for municipalities
The joint council discussed the need to hold municipal training sessions on the Northern Peninsula.
Currently, for instance, the nearest locations for councillor orientation training were scheduled to take place in L’Anse au Clair on Oct 14 and Deer Lake on Oct 28.
“Just Deer Lake is 300 kilometres for us, 400 and some odd kilometres for St. Anthony,” said Gros. “And usually it requires an overnight for a lot of training.”
The joint council wonders why they can’t have training somewhere on the Northern Peninsula, perhaps either Hawke’s Bay or St. Anthony.
“We’ll more than likely write Municipal Affairs asking why they can’t use provincial staff in the region to do the training for us,” said Gros.
Becoming more active According to Gros, there was some discussion about towns getting more involved with the joint council.
He says they had a “pretty good” turnout for their meeting on Saturday but were hoping for more.
“We’d like for all the municipalities from River of Ponds to the north to participate in this,” said Gros. “There’s a certain amount of strength in numbers.”
Their next meeting is scheduled for Nov 25 in Hawke’s Bay.
nets is only reserved for times when there is no other way to get the fish.
Mary’s Harbour has set its horizons on a new ground fish processing plant, and he said many technological innovations in the processing arena came as a shock to the Newfoundland and Labradorians.
“We are behind on the times, on the harvesting and the processing,” said Rumbolt. “But we can learn from this and build upon it. It’s just a matter of time before these things will come to Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Rumbolt says a provincial program is already in the works to help harvesters and processors put these new systems in place. The program is intended to pay a percentage of the costs, and the harvesters will have to tackle the rest.
“This kind of funding would help people more comfortably get started into this future fishery,” said Rumbolt. “It’s going to be a different fishery, with quality of fish so important now. People are going to have to be more educated.”
If these technologies improve the quality of fish caught, the price will improve as well. Rumbolt hopes this will be an encouraging element to any young people in the province interested in getting involved with this future fishery.
Conversing with Icelandic harvesters and companies developing these technologies, Rumbolt says Newfoundland and Labrador now has a chance to bring their markets up to par with the rest of the world.
“You’re not just taking a chance on some new equipment here, not knowing if it’s going to work,” he said. “These machines have been tried and true, we know they work.
“It’s a new way of fishing. Now, we’re being given the chance to do that.”
Mary’s Harbour mayor Alton Rumbolt stands next to his boat, the Beachside Cruiser. Rumbolt attended the Iceland Fisheries Exhibition with other Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, processors and FFAW union members. They all came set on bringing Newfoundland and Labrador’s fish markets up to par with the rest of the world.