Friends of Bonne Bay

Found­ing meet­ing planned to es­tab­lish group to ad­dress is­sues within Gros Morne Na­tional Park

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY GARY KEAN [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_GaryKean

Found­ing meet­ing planned to es­tab­lish group to ad­dress is­sues within Gros Morne Na­tional Park

Joanie Cranston feels the voice of ru­ral New­found­land is be­com­ing more and more silent.

That’s why she is plan­ning to be­come in­volved in a new or­ga­ni­za­tion set to be es­tab­lished next week which will try to ad­dress any con­cerns res­i­dents within the Gros Morne Na­tional Park area have.

Pro­posed to be called Friends of Bonne Bay, a found­ing meet­ing for the or­ga­ni­za­tion has been sched­uled for Tues­day evening. Copies of the group’s pro­posed con­sti­tu­tion and by­laws have been cir­cu­lat­ing for the last few weeks.

The doc­u­ments state the vi­sion of the as­so­ci­a­tion is of a nat­u­ral and cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment that main­tains its beauty and eco­log­i­cal in­tegrity for present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

For Cranston, that also means keep­ing an eye on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is­sues within the na­tional park and its en­claved com­mu­ni­ties. A phys­io­ther­a­pist in Nor­ris Point, Cranston spent the last more than 30 years in­volved in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties in the name of ru­ral eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the area.

She served as vice-pres­i­dent of the Bonne Bay De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, vice-chair­per­son of the Red Ochre Re­gional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Board and the pro­vin­cial Ru­ral Sec­re­tar­iat.

“Now we have noth­ing,” she said. “There is no group or or­ga­ni­za­tion that speaks to the in­ter­ests of peo­ple and it’s re­ally hard to get the mes­sage out. Poli­cies are put in place that af­fect ru­ral New­found­land but there is no uni­fied voice or any­body to in­form peo­ple as to what’s go­ing on.”

She said there is strength in num­bers, es­pe­cially if the group con­sists of peo­ple with var­i­ous sorts of ex­per­tise to ad­dress a wide range of is­sues as they come up.

Greg Wood of Glen­burnie, who has been vo­cal about is­sues in the Bonne Bay area, is one of the driv­ing forces be­hind the group’s for­ma­tion.

Wood most re­cently pub­licly op­posed a pro­posal from 3Ts Ltd., a fish­ing com­pany based out of Woody Point, to build a wharf and dry­dock fa­cil­ity on the shores of Glen­burnie.

He said he wants this group’s mem­bers to be vo­cal as well.

He noted the causes to be taken up by Friends of Bonne Bay, if that is the name adopted by the group at Tues­day’s found­ing meet­ing, will be up to its mem­ber­ship. He sug­gested some other con­cerns in the area will be ad­dressed, in­clud­ing the con­tro­ver­sial trans­for­ma­tion of the Western Brook Pond trail by Parks Canada and the na­tional park’s over­all man­age­ment plan.

Tues­day’s meet­ing will be held by tele­con­fer­ence. Any­one wish­ing to par­tic­i­pate is asked to con­tact Wood in ad­vance to reg­is­ter via email at greg­[email protected]

“There is no group or or­ga­ni­za­tion that speaks to the in­ter­ests of peo­ple and it’s re­ally hard to get the mes­sage out.”

Joanie Cranston

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