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