Random thoughts on a Friday June 24/13

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1.    Oh Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. What’s that they say? Better to have people think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt? In a recent response to questions about the notion of e-voting, O’Brien (he’s not a fan of e-voting, incidentally) hinted that 70 per cent of the people in the province are basically too stupid to vote! In related news, another poll (which I totally made up) shows that 70 per cent of the MHAs sitting in the House of Assembly are too stupid to govern. I guess stupid is as stupid does. Check Kevin’s wildly insulting comments here: http://o.canada.com/2013/06/17/evoting-canada-online-kevin-obrien-newfoundland/

2.      Most memorable Kevin O’Brien moment amongst the media ranks? Probably April 21, 2005. At that time fishermen were shutting down the House of Assembly over the raw materials sharing fracas, and Danny Williams had complained about the uproar — including the fact someone threw gum in O’Brien’s hair (you can’t make this stuff up). Roger Grimes’ response to the incident in the House was a classic NL political moment: “The Member for Gander got gum in his hair. Guess how it got there? The Premier swallowed it. The Premier swallowed the gum. He will be on Night Line, he will be on Open Line talking about those kinds of things. Other members are trying to learn from him about how to try to impress the Premier and get considered for the Cabinet.”

3.      You know what, on second thought, maybe Kevin is onto something about our voter IQ. After getting his arse kicked his first two times on the ballot, he has since been elected three times. Based on that fact, you’d have to think maybe we aren’t the best of voters. At least three out of five times anyway (that’s 60 per cent right? I dunno. I’m just a stupid Newf after all, not a rocket surgeon like Kevin O’Brien).

4.    Okay, so moving on from Kevin O’Brien to actual matters of importance, the situation in New Ferolle on the Northern Peninsula is worth watching. Jim Bennett got ahead of himself and inserted his over-anxious rubber boot in his mouth when he said the province had approved an application by plant owner Greg Mullowney to move the whelk processing operation from New Ferolle to another plant in St. Mary’s. There hasn’t been an approval or even an application as yet — but it’s clear that such an application is coming. The thing is, you have to wonder if we won’t see more of this kind of processing “consolidation” in the years ahead as companies attempt to whittle overhead and labour costs by combining their licences into fewer facilities.

5.    So yeah, about that crab fishery crisis we thought we were going to see early on? You know, the one where the season didn’t start right away because we had a tie-up over price and product was dumped over the wharf in protest? What was all that about again? All reports indicate that the price held around $2 per pound and catch rates were quite good for a lot of harvesters. NL snow crab (now MSC certified) is a $200-$250 million fishery each year, so that’s definitely good news for the province and the industry.

6.    The Nova Scotia government is carrying out a comprehensive review process with the goal of having new, more stringent rules for aquaculture development. That province’s fisheries minister, Sterling Belliveau, a former fisherman, stated that, “People who live in coastal communities want good jobs, but not at any cost.” Nova Scotia has been involved with aquaculture quite a bit longer and certainly more heavily than Newfoundland and Labrador. But with all the infectious salmon anemia and escapement issues we have been dealing with in NL in recent years, how long before people here start asking for the same thing?

7.    Seems as though there are now three sure things in life: death, taxes, and a company announcing a major oil discovery right in the middle of the annual NOIA conference.

8.    Said it before and I’ll say it again: Thank God for Ryan Cleary. “I promote St. John’s South-Mount Pearl as the most precious riding in Canada, but I stand for all of Newfoundland and Labrador when I take to my feet in the House of Commons,” Cleary says in his latest letter to The Telegram. Phew! How lucky are we at all? What a relief, right? Incidentally, how many times has Cleary been rejected and/or elected? Is it one time each? Maybe Kevin O’Brien can compile the voter IQ numbers for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl for us? #kevinisrightsmart


Jamie Baker is the managing editor for The Navigator magazine, www.thenavigatormagazine.com

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