We are being screwed by Canada
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.