We are be­ing screwed by Canada

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Dear editor, I re­mem­ber the time when the vote was held to see if we should be part of Canada, there was a per­son named Cora Maye who was cam­paign­ing in my home­town of Lushes Bight for Con­fed­er­a­tion with Canada. Her slo­gan was, “they say you have to pay taxes, but what do they mean? You’ll get the baby bonus to come right in be­tween.”

Well, we be­came part of Canada, and we paid dearly for the baby bonus. Be­fore Con­fed­er­a­tion, we could fish will­ingly without hav­ing to pay for a li­cence. To­day, we have to pay dearly for the right to fish, and only a cho­sen few can fish.

We have to de­pend on the Gov­ern­ment of Canada to al­low us a right to get a fish for the ta­ble and then they tell us when and how many.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada was tasked with the job of man­ag­ing our fish­eries and man­age it they did … un­til there was noth­ing left.

In 1992, they closed it down, called a mora­to­rium on the north­ern cod, but the only peo- ple who were not al­lowed to fish were New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans. All the rest of the world could fish and are still do­ing so on our Grand Banks, while our fish­ing in­dus­try is in a cri­sis.

There is still enough fish taken from our waters by for­eign­ers to keep ev­ery fish plant in this province go­ing 365 days a year.

We have fish stocks at an all-time low and a seal pop­u­la­tion at an all-time high, and there is no ques­tion that the seals are go­ing to eat what is left.

In 2010, peo­ple in this province went out to get a seal to eat and what hap­pened is crim­i­nal; the Gov­ern­ment of Canada or­dered the fish­eries of­fi­cers to go on the wa­ter and pun­ish any­one for killing a seal to eat, hauled them off to court where they re­ceived very hefty fines up to $6,000. Six thou­sand dol­lars for killing one seal. We have the most di­verse weather con­di­tions in Canada where we can have four sea­sons in one day. Then the Gov­ern­ment of Canada de­cided to re­move the weather sta­tion from Gan­der and give it to an­other part of Canada, but due to the per­se­ver­ance of one man to fight the is­sue, we were able to get it back.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada was go­ing to de­com­mis­sion all the light­keep­ers from all the light­houses. These are very important peo­ple for the safety of our mariners, and again it was re­versed be­cause of some very ded­i­cated peo­ple who lobbied very strongly.

We have a he­li­copter res­cue ser­vice in Gan­der that is run on bankers hours and has a win­dow of two hours to get off the ground in an emer­gency for two-thirds of the time. Many lives have been lost be­cause we do not have a 24-hour quick re­sponse time, in­clud­ing my friend Capt Larry Par­sons and his friend Christopher Oram.

The above is just a few of the things that has me up­set with the Gov­ern­ment of Canada, but the most re­cent and the rea­son for this let­ter is be­cause of the de­ci­sion to re­move the Canadian Marine Res­cue Cen­tre from St. john’s and trans­fer it to Hal­i­fax.

I was born on the wa­ter and have spent a large part of my life on the wa­ter, and I am an ex­pert on the dangers of the ocean be­cause I have been in dan­ger many times and I wouldn’t be here to­day if I didn’t have a guardian an­gel.

I am lucky be­cause there are a lot of peo­ple who don’t have a guardian an­gel.

By re­mov­ing the res­cue cen­tre from St. John’s, they are re­mov­ing the ex­per­tise fur­ther away from the dangers of the ocean and will put many more lives at risk. And for what? A measly $1 mil­lion.

I don’t be­lieve it’s about the money. I be­lieve it’s a move by the bu­reau­crats who just don’t know of what they do. This is a very bad move and has to be re­versed, and the only way that it can get re­versed is if we all stick to­gether and fight this is­sue with our ut­most.

We have to show Ot­tawa that the fight­ing New­found­lan­der and Labradorian is still alive and we will not be screwed no longer.

These are just a few of t he rea­sons that I never did feel part of Canada. I was born a New­found­lan­der and will die a New­found­lan­der.

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