Looking for­ward

The Compass - - OPINION -

The new year is upon us as 2009 closes out, with the out­look for 2010 at least a lit­tle more promis­ing. 2009 opened up hit­ting most peo­ple be­tween the two eyes with the world­wide re­ces­sion. Most ev­ery­body was im­pacted in some way be­cause of this phe­nom­e­non.

It seemed like ev­ery na­tional gov­ern­ment went into de­fen­sive mood bail­ing out their banks, and fund­ing works pro­grams to help those peo­ple who lost their jobs as a re­sult of the fall­out. You had to look no fur­ther than the job losses in the in­dus­trial sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly big car man­u­fac­tur­ers Gen­eral Motors and Chrysler, which re­ceived mas­sive gov­ern­ment bailouts.

One of New­found­land’s ma­jor in­dus­tries – the fish­ery was also im­pacted by a de­cline in mar­kets, es­pe­cially in the prime United States mar­ket­place where up­scale restau­rants stopped buy­ing their usual prod­uct. Fewer Amer­i­cans could af­ford to dine out­side their homes.

The up­com­ing year is al­ready show­ing a prom­ise of bet­ter things to come. The Amer­i­can and Cana­dian stock mar­kets, which usu­ally are a barom­e­ter of a de­cline or up­swing in the econ­omy, have been re­bound­ing and surg­ing ahead for the last 6-9 months.

Job cre­ation has lagged be­hind but that too has shown signs of im­prove­ment with the statis­tics, which the Cana­dian and U.S. gov­ern­ments have re­ported in the last cou­ple of months.

This prov­ince is show­ing its own re­silience with At­lantic and Cana­dian eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors pre­dict­ing New­found­land lead­ing the coun­try in growth in 2010.

Off­shore oil is still fu­el­ing the econ­omy in east­ern New­found­land with re­ports of more oil found in ex­ist­ing oil fields off­shore. Conoco-Phillips is start­ing its deep-wa­ter ex­plo­ration in the Lau­ren­tian Basin off the south coast this year.

On the Burin Penin­sula, there is a ma­jor de­vel­op­ment in Marys­town with a new box store near the Penin­sula Mall (off­set­ting the dis­ap­point­ing clo­sure of the Do­min­ion store) and the marine in­dus­trial park at Power’s Cove. In Burin, a new med­i­cal in­dus­trial park has re­ceived gov­ern­ment fund­ing for its de­vel­op­ment.

In St. Lawrence, Canada Fluorspar is hop­ing it will pass all en­vi­ron­ment reg­u­la­tions to be­gin its phys­i­cal on site work this spring to re­open the fluorspar mines there.

In Grand Bank, Dy­namic Air Shelters con­tin­ues to thrive and ex­pand its op­er­a­tions. In For­tune, the Ocean Choice In­ter­na­tional (OCI) fish plant there has pro­vided em­ploy­ment bonuses with work, which was not orig­i­nally sched­uled for that plant.

While the OCI plant in Marys­town and the High Liner secondary plant in Burin are strug­gling be­cause of mar­ket and raw ma­te­rial con­cerns, those plants con­tinue to op­er­ate ac­cord­ing to the five-year pur­chase agree­ment signed with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

There’s an old ex­pres­sion ‘As one door closes, an­other opens’.

Res­i­dents, per­haps if only for their own san­ity, will have to view the fu­ture and a new year with that out­look. The fu­ture is what you, your­self, make of it.

Looking for­ward to a hap­pier and pros­per­ous new year, staff at The South­ern Gazette hope you and yours can bask in more sat­is­fy­ing times. —Reprinted from the South­ern Gazette, by

ed­tior Ge­orge Macvicar

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