A look back

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial -

July 5

Angli­can Church dio­cese closes four churches in Bon­av­ista Penin­sula

The Cen­tral Angli­can Church dio­cese of New­found­land and Labrador made of­fi­cial four clo­sures of churches in the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula re­gion this past year — in­clud­ing King’s Cove, Pet­ley, Keels and Prince­ton.

Some of the churches were sold and re­pur­posed, with King’s Cove’s be­com­ing a pri­vate res­i­dence, Pet­ley’s church used for stor­age and the Keels church be­com­ing oc­cu­pied by a Bap­tist Min­istry based out of Clarenville.

In Prince­ton, how­ever, some res­i­dents were dis­mayed to dis­cover the church was sold to be torn down — dis­man­tled by a bid­der who reached an agree­ment with the dio­cese.

While lo­cals protested and ini­ti­ated so­cial me­dia cam­paigns, ul­ti­mately, the church was torn down.

“It def­i­nitely stings… build­ings like that have been pre­served all over the is­land. There’s a whole lot of po­ten­tial in these struc­tures,” Prince­ton res­i­dent Mark Clench told The Packet af­ter the church was dis­man­tled.

In re­sponse to a re­quest for com­ment, Bishop John Wat­ton of the Cen­tral Angli­can Dio­cese di­rected The Packet to an on­line state­ment he is­sued.

In the re­lease he says the “most hon­ourable and re­spect­ful thing we could do to up­hold the in­tegrity of the spirit of our fore­bears was to re­spect­fully and prayer­fully dis­man­tle the build­ing.”

July 6

Ice­wa­ter Seafoods in Arnold’s Cove gets fund­ing, be­gin­ning pe­riod of ex­pan­sion

Ice­wa­ter Seafoods in Arnold’s Cove had an event­ful 2018, with two lots of govern­ment fund­ing help­ing the fish plant be­gin to re­al­ize a three-year, $15 mil­lion ex­pan­sion.

In July, the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency (ACOA) of the fed­eral govern­ment gave the plant $2.625 mil­lion in a pro­vi­sion­ally re­payable investment. The money was used to pur­chase new de­head­ing, fil­let­ing and skin­ning ma­chines.

In De­cem­ber, a cost-shared project be­tween Ice­wa­ter and the At­lantic Fish­eries Fund was an­nounced, to­tal­ing $4,454,000 for a new ice-man­age­ment sys­tem. In this agree­ment, Ice­wa­ter con­trib­utes 25 per cent and the re­main­ing 75 is a con­di­tion­ally re­payable loan.

In a news re­lease, Ice­wa­ter pres­i­dent and CEO Al­berto Ware­ham said how im­por­tant these up­grades are to the area.

“(In­vestors) know what it means to Arnold’s Cove, to New­found­land and Labrador and to Canada,” he said. “With­out them, with­out their sup­port, we wouldn’t be de­liv­er­ing qual­ity seafood from New­found­land and Labrador to pre­mium world mar­kets.”

De­spite the ups and downs in cod stocks, Ware­ham is also op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of the fish­ery and “is com­mit­ted to the peo­ple of Ice­wa­ter Seafoods con­tin­u­ing to be an in­te­gral part of that fu­ture.”

Aug. 13

Bon­av­ista named ‘most-road trip­pable’ by Chevro­let

While many tourists know about Bon­av­ista as a highly-re­garded des­ti­na­tion, Chevro­let Canada made the dis­tinc­tion of­fi­cial this past sum­mer, award­ing the top prize of a con­test to Bon­av­ista, nam­ing the com­mu­nity “most road-trip­pable” in Canada.

Twelve fam­i­lies across Canada were cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in the con­test, which re­quired them to sub­mit a video of their fam­ily’s July 6-8 road trip.

Videos were then voted on be­tween July 16-29; the three videos with the most votes went to a panel of judges to choose the ul­ti­mate win­ner.

The Yildiz fam­ily of St. John’s sub­mit­ted the win­ning en­try for the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula.

Other towns vis­ited in­cluded Tober­mony, Ont.; Mi­ramichi, N.B.; Loy­d­min­ster, Sask; Can­more, Alta.; Yarmouth, N.S. and North Cape, P.E.I.

At a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion in Septem­ber, Bon­av­ista was of­fi­cially rec­og­nized by Chevro­let with a tro­phy.

Yavuz Yildiz told The Packet they were glad to have helped bring the recog­ni­tion for the com­mu­nity. Their video con­test sub­mis­sion was viewed over 130,000 times.

“It’s not just amaz­ing scenery or amaz­ing food, but it’s also the peo­ple. The peo­ple are very kind and lovely. They want to in­ter­act with you and talk with you. You just feel like you’re part of the town.”

Oct. 17

Cannabis le­gal­ized in Canada; lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties re­act

One of the most talked about news sto­ries of 2018, na­tion­wide, was the of­fi­cial le­gal­iza­tion of recre­ational cannabis in Oc­to­ber.

The ef­fect was felt by many peo­ple and many com­mu­ni­ties from coast-to-coast, in­clud­ing places like Trin­ity Bay North and Clarenville.

While Clarenville is the site of two dif­fer­ent re­tail lo­ca­tions for cannabis—the old Ocean Choice In­ter­na­tional fish plant in Port Union, which was va­cant for years was handed over to an en­tre­pre­neur who is look­ing to turn the build­ing into a cannabis pro­duc­tion grow op­er­a­tion.

The com­pany, called Cheeba Bros., be­gan work this past year af­ter tak­ing own­er­ship of the fa­cil­ity and look to even­tu­ally turn the build­ing into a grow-op which would pro­vide em­ploy­ment for many peo­ple in the area.

In a pub­lic meet­ing last spring, Daniel Porter pre­sented his plan to res­i­dents, who seemed ex­cited at the prospect of a new in­dus­try com­ing to the town.

Be­fore a sin­gle seed can be planted, how­ever, Porter’s com­pany will need to get ap­proval from Health Canada and be­come a li­censed grower.

De­spite not yet hav­ing that con­fir­ma­tion, Porter told The Packet this past year he is still con­fi­dent Cheeba Bros. will even­tu­ally be up-and-run­ning.

“Just watch what I can do for the peo­ple … I’m go­ing to help change that area, I prom­ise you,” said Porter.

Nov. 14 Busi­nesses bank­rupt in re­gion

Many have felt the try­ing times in the lo­cal econ­omy re­cently, per­haps none more so than busi­ness own­ers — many of which have strug­gled to re­main prof­itable over 2018.

In fact, some ma­jor busi­nesses in the Clarenville area have been forced to de­clare bank­ruptcy in 2018.

Most no­tably, Burry’s Ship­yard Inc. of­fi­cially de­clared bank­ruptcy in Oc­to­ber.

Clarenville Mayor Frazer Rus­sell told The Packet at the time, the news of the bank­ruptcy is a blow to the area.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing,” said Rus­sell. “I guess the only thing we can hope now is that there would be new own­ers in that lo­ca­tion be­cause I think the need is still there.”

Rus­sell noted Burry’s had up to 150 em­ploy­ees at one time, and any­where from 75 to 100 on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

He says there’s the im­me­di­ate im­pact on those work­ers, who are now out of job, as well as a di­rect fi­nan­cial im­pact on the town it­self.

“There is quite a bit of prop­erty in­volved there and we were de­riv­ing tax­a­tion from the busi­ness and the prop­erty tax as well — so that cer­tainly has an im­pli­ca­tion for the town as well when a busi­ness comes off the tax roll.”

In ad­di­tion, the Terra Nova Golf Re­sort and Ho­tel went into re­ceiver­ship in Novem­ber.

Port Bland­ford Mayor Chad Holloway told The Packet in Novem­ber that this news is dis­ap­point­ing for the com­mu­nity. He said the first thing he thought was about the ap­prox­i­mately 60 work­ers di­rectly em­ployed by the re­sort.

“On top of that, the com­mu­nity is a tourism hub, be­ing a gate­way to the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula and Terra Nova Na­tional Park,” said Holloway. “So, there is over a hun­dred jobs in the com­mu­nity di­rectly linked to tourism. It’s go­ing to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on not only the peo­ple at the re­sort but the com­mu­nity as a whole.

How­ever, with that be­ing said, Holloway said they are try­ing to re­main op­ti­mistic. He says this isn’t the first time the own­er­ship of Terra Nova Re­sort has changed — adding that the 80-room ho­tel and two premier golf cour­ses are a real as­set for a po­ten­tial buyer.


Burry’s Ship­yard’s slip­way in June 2018 — the last days be­fore the busi­ness’ clo­sure and even­tual bank­ruptcy.


An artist’s ren­der­ing of the pro­posed cannabis pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Port Union.

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