Harper’s at­ten­tion to prov­ince af­ter Igor is ap­pre­ci­ated


Edi­tor’s note: The fol­low­ing let­ter was sent to Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper, and copied to The Com­pass. Dear Mr Harper,

I have not been a pro­po­nent of the man­ner of New­found­land and Labrador’s treat­ment by the present, and past, fed­eral gov­ern­ments on a num­ber of im­por­tant cul­tural, eco­nomic and re­source is­sues. How­ever, as I have al­ways been a per­son who has sought truth and de­fended right with a pas­sion, I have to ex­press my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for your per­sonal at­ten­tion and con­cern over the dev­as­ta­tion hur­ri­cane Igor in­flicted on our prov­ince’s com­mu­ni­ties and peo­ple.

Your ac­tions of quickly be­ing on the scene and im­ple­men­ta­tion of fed­eral as­sis­tance to those af­flicted by the storm shows both the hu­man side of your char­ac­ter and a strong as­pect of your abil­ity as the prime min­is­ter of our coun­try. This type of re­sponse, I am sure, is also noted by the other na­tions of the world and goes a long way in strength­en­ing Canada’s im­age to them.

Hav­ing been born and raised in coastal New­found­land, and com­ing from a fam­ily who has been deeply in­volved with the fish­ery and the peo­ples whose way of life is de­pen­dent on it, I am com­pelled to men­tion to you the dev­as­tat­ing af­fect the 18-year ground­fish mora­to­rium has had on our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and mar­itime ex­is­tence. If you will per­mit my anal­ogy, my peo­ple have been deal­ing with a dif­fer­ent, per­haps even more de­bil­i­tat­ing, loss then that brought by Hur­ri­cane Igor, the bil­lion-dol­lar yearly loss of our fish­ery mainly be­cause it re­mains in the con­tin­u­ous wake of hur­ri­cane NAFO’s fish­ing fleets.

The most sig­nif­i­cant step in cor­rect­ing our fish­eries prob­lem and coastal plight would be just as you men­tioned in your 2006 pre-elec­tion speech whi le you were in this prov­ince, im­ple­men­ta­tion of Cana­dian Cus­to­dial Man­age­ment on our fish­eries and re­strict­ing, and stop­ping, the de­struc­tive for­eign fish­ing prac­tices on our con­ti­nen­tal shelf. I men­tion this sit­u­a­tion of our coastal peo­ple at this time, in all re­spect to you, be­cause per­haps I am closer to the truth of it’s very day af­fect and want to ap­peal to the rea­son and com­pas­sion you have re­cently shown our peo­ple dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Igor.

Your re­sponse to­ward help­ing this prov­ince at this dif­fi­cult time is most warmly rec­og­nized by all our peo­ple. It is this kind lead­er­ship that fas­tens the bond of o u r countr y and strength­ens the be­lief and faith of our mean­ing­ful place in it.

Yours truly, Philip Earle, Car­bon­ear

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