UPDATE: Simms apologizes on Open Line for on-air blowup with Chief

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On Tuesday Simms called chief ‘stupid’; Tshakapesh called Simms ‘racist’

VOCM Open Line host Randy Simms offered an unqualified apology off the top of his show this morning for his blow-up Tuesday over Innu plans to continue hunting George River caribou in Labrador, despite a provincial ban.

Simms said he "broke his own rule" by attacking a guest personally, rather than sticking to the debate.


(Earlier story)

VOCM Open Line host Randy Simms says he regrets how an exchange went Tuesday with Natuashish Innu Band Chief Simeon Tshakapesh, though he is unapologetic for his opinion on the topic that led to the debate.

The argument between the two began as a result of a statement made by Tshakapesh that he will continue to hunt George River caribou despite a five-year ban on the herd announced Monday by the provincial government. The ban came as a result of a drastic caribou population drop, but Tshakapesh has the support of Prote Poker, grand chief of the Innu Nation, who said the Innu people support conservation, but don’t support a total ban on hunting the herd and will not agree to it.

While talking to Tshakapesh on Open Line, Simms called both Tshakapesh and Poker “stupid” for saying they will continue to hunt a herd that is reportedly in so much trouble .

“I said you’re stupid and you are, you know that, right? I think this Prote Poker guy as well, also stupid,” Simms said to Tshakapesh on air.

From there the conversation deteriorated further with Simms telling the Innu chief “don’t be an idiot,” Tshakapesh calling Simms racist, and Simms eventually hanging up on him after the grand finale of calling the chief an “arsehole.”

When asked by The Telegram later that day if he regretted what had happened, Simms said he did.

“I do, actually. Because I violated my own rule. In going back and listening to it and everything else, I’m satisfied I violated my own rule.

“My rule has basically been that when I do these things, I do them in the form of a debate. A debate about issues. A debate about actions.


“That I would allow a conversation to descend into name-calling, and I was one of the principal name-callers ... I’m not very happy with myself about that,” Simms said.

Simms was clear not to confuse his remorse on the handling of the call with his lack thereof for his stance on Tshakapesh’s declaration to continue the hunt of the George River herd.

“That is not to say that I believe that the issue or that my position on the issue is incorrect. It is not,” he said.

“To say that you intend to hunt that herd is unbelievably over the top. I hold true to my position on that,” said Simms.

Simms said he let the situation get away from him.

“It’s not so much that I feel so strongly about that particular issue. It’s that I look at things that make no sense and I get a little passionate about that stuff, you know,” he said.

“Every now and again somebody will come up with something or will suggest something that is just off the wall, and you kinda label that and say, you know what, that action or that idea or that statement is stupid. And that’s one thing to say. I have no problem with that. But to then characterize the person as stupid? That’s not appropriate and I violated my own kind of code there and I intend to correct that.”

Simms said he will address what happened on the show this morning, but didn’t go so far as to say he will apologize to Tshakapesh.

An apology won’t be of any value as far as he’s concerned anyway, Tshakapesh told The Telegram.

“What I want is for him to be removed from VOCM.”

Tshakapesh went on to say that the incident with Simms was just an example of a bigger problem in Newfoundland and Labrador of the province having problems with the Innu Nation, but he sees this incident as a point of no return, and says the Innu Nation will make a stance.

“It’s too much. It’s too much,” said Tshakapesh. “There’s a provincial court here. I will be asking them to vacate our buildings.”

He added they will have to hold court in Natuashish somewhere else.  

There is a plan for Tshakapesh to fly to Happy Valley-Goose Bay at 7 a.m. this morning with Poker and all the other Innu leaders for a meeting in Sheshatshiu.

“There’s a big meeting gonna happen and something is going up. That’s all I can say. Idle No More movement is coming to Labrador, I guess.”

Tshakapesh also said he’s talking to his lawyers, along with the grand chief, about the argument with Simms.

Open Line airs at 9 a.m. on VOCM. Following Simms’ argument with Tshakapesh, another followed with another caller on the same issue. Both can be heard on youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtyfwIydeTE.



Organizations: The Telegram

Geographic location: George River, Newfoundland and Labrador, Happy Valley Goose Bay Sheshatshiu

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Recent comments

  • Paul
    March 04, 2013 - 07:24

    Randy Simms for Premier!!! Not since the glory days of the great Danny taking on "Steve" have I seen such passion for common sense!!! Thanks to Randy Simms, major attention has finally been brought to this travesty in the making. What should we do....cave in to these so-called leaders of first nations? The chief has obviously a complete disregard to the hunting rights of our native children and grandchildren. Sound like the same old story....Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, all will be fine, for the feds got the money... Brings back memories of University years, living with a debtload, and struggling to make ends meet, while my native counterparts would get everything paid for as well as get a weekly allowance... My heavens, we just found out that Randy is actually human, and not an automated radio phone operator!! Heat of the moment for a moment or two but look at the nonsense he has to deal with! The Great Danny is gone, Bring Randy on!!! He'll have my vote. Thanks

    • Harold
      March 04, 2013 - 09:25

      Aman to that!!! Couldnt have said it better!

  • mj
    February 01, 2013 - 13:40

    I agree totally with Mr. Simms. If anyone else announced on open line that they were planning on breaking the law the police would be waiting by their door. Too much political correctness today!

  • wally
    January 31, 2013 - 10:21

    Randy was right....Native people think they own everything and can have everything...Way to go randy :)

    • Will
      January 31, 2013 - 20:06

      The way this radio host acted was dispicable and he just loses any credibility as far as I am concerned. I do not have a stance on the matter as I am not familiar with the specific situation at hand but the lack of courtesy and respect from this public announcer is sad. I wonder if all of the people though who disagree with Tshakapesh have any idea about all the dead caibou due to all the hydro projects that have been going on up here for the last few decades. It was estimated that 10,000 were killed when the Caniapiscau Reservoir was being filled and I think the number is equally high when the Churchill dam was built. This just makes me ask myself if the Caribou numbers are low because of the industrialization and need for power in urban North America and we tell those who live with the Caribou that they can not hunt them as their numbers are low. And I ask you to think about this directly Randy, Maybe, just maybe all the millions and millions of pigs and cows being raised in industrial farms using all this hydro is in fact a tiny partial cause of the decline in Caribou. I think you need to work on expanding your narrow mindedness if you are going to have useful, beneficial and intelligent conversations with other members of the public.

    • ginger
      January 31, 2013 - 22:30

      Way to go Randy. It's time for the tail to stop wagging the dog. Bullshit no more.

  • Whaddaya At ?
    January 31, 2013 - 08:36

    Way to go, Steve !!. Randy Simms for ' Prim ' Minister, eh ?. Why don't you and the potty mouthed little troll co-host Open Line ?. Your obvious lack of education combined with his blathering big mouth should provide lots of laughs for people who are, as Simms would say, ' incentivised ' to listen to that Open Line ' Gong ' show. : )

  • Steve
    January 31, 2013 - 05:24

    Randy Simms for Prim Minister of Canada! Finally someone with the guts and courage to stand up to the Innu and call a spade a spade. You want idle no more? I got a better idea, how about free ride no more? As far as I'm concerned Native people have to follow the same laws we do and if they don't? Haul them to jail!

  • wabana
    January 30, 2013 - 22:27


  • Annrioux
    January 30, 2013 - 21:58

    I don't think the caribou should be hunted.Last year I was sickened at what the innu did to the herd after being warned the herd needed to be Protected.Treat the law breakers like we would be treated.Throw the book at them.

  • Sam
    January 30, 2013 - 21:42

    I believe that the Inuit are a responsible group of people who know more about caribou and the environment than Randy, or the government. They know that the depletion of the caribou herds is mainly because of the over hunting and waste taking place on the Quebec side of the provincial border. Inuit use every piece of a caribou right down to the marrow in the bones as they have always done. I am not aboriginal but I do understand the anger coming from their nation.

    • Jay
      January 31, 2013 - 09:56

      Sam, Please check your facts. Inuit and Innu are two different groups of people. The dispute is not with the Inuit and they are not saying they will define a ban. You clearly don't understand the issue if you can't get this obvious fact right.

  • Time to go
    January 30, 2013 - 20:08

    randy is an ignorant potty mouth. The ways he acts on air, and they way he treats people says a lot about the type of person he is. Imagine him being the mayor of your town, and having to deal with the likes of him! Good luck, I'd say! Time for him to be removed from VOCM, or they will have to take the brunt of having a low down, piece of garbage representing them. It's all right for him to talk about someone else's business, when it won't effect his lifestyle. He's not a part of that band, or living there. He needs to mind is own GD business. Listened to him when people were complaining about the NL Hydro proposed rate hike, and he acted like they were giving us power for free, and we should be grateful for it . If anybody questioned the CEO's statements, he got ignorant and cut them off, or got defensive. Easy to tell who butters his bread. He's there to listen to the people and moderate, not jam his views of what he thinks is right down callers throats! Time for VOCM to can him for good. A disgrace to the Newfoundlander. His true ignorance shines through... Good job randy.

  • Pierre Neary
    January 30, 2013 - 19:03

    I don't believe Mr. Simms is a racist. Just was frustrated at the time. Heat of the moment.

    • Jack
      January 30, 2013 - 22:33

      Wars begin in the "hate" of the moment. Peace has no desire for such nonsense. Whether he's racist or not has nothing to do with the point, which is that he acted unprofessionally.

  • Dee
    January 30, 2013 - 18:16

    Randy is exactly right. His behavior was wrong, but his point was totally valid. I don't know if I could have held my frustrations either in his position. The fact that these people are calling him a racist is silly. He didn't call innu stupid, just those two people as there are probably a number of innu who dont think the herd should be hunted. It doesnt matter if they are African American or Englishmen if someone thinks it is ok to hunt a herd to extinction because they are busy pointing fingers at fault to care about reprocussions on the viability of a species, then they ARE stupid. Take the government to court for not managing your resource well, push for control - don't kill off a species to prove your point.....Stupid people drive me nuts too Randy.

  • Joyce
    January 30, 2013 - 17:04

    This is not the first time that Mr. Simms did something of this type. When we were trying to save the trade school in our area, he was filling in for the regular host, and he accused me of speaking from a script. I asked him why...is it because I am young, educated, and articulate, and he hung up on me and then on air said that I was not speaking my own mind. Really? So, he's a mind reader too. Maybe he should be at the next psychic convention.

  • Don II
    January 30, 2013 - 16:45

    I will not express any opinion as to whose position in this matter is right or wrong. While I do not always agree with positions taken by Mr. Simms on various issues, I enjoy listening to him every day and find that his opinions, discussion of issues and conduct of his show to be informative, professional, ethical and generally without expression of personal bias or prejudice. However, on occasion, it appears that Mr. Simms allows his personal bias, life experiences and partisan political preferences to influence his conversations and debates with people who express different opinions or have opposing positions from his. This appears to be one of those occasions where personal bias and partisan political philosophy clouded Mr. Simms judgement while on the public airwaves. There is no excuse for resorting to derogatory personal attacks while engaged in debate on the public airwaves. Mr. Simms has accepted that he overstepped his self imposed standards for personal behavior and has publicly apologized. It takes a person of integrity and ethics to admit when they have made a mistake and are willing to apologize publicly for doing so. It appears that Mr. Simms involvement in Municipal politics and close proximity to Provincial politics may have jaded him somewhat and has closed his mind to the valid positions taken by others. Nevertheless, I doubt that any other politician in either Municipal, Provincial or Federal politics in Newfoundland and Labrador would have the integrity, courage or the good sense to admit making a mistake and be prepared to publicly atone for it.

  • Weel
    January 30, 2013 - 16:25

    I don't listen to open line shows.Ran is sometimes hard to listen to. But I would like to have heard this one. GORAN!

  • Anonymous
    January 30, 2013 - 16:12

    Here's his complete address to the listeners of VOCM Openline http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=30391

  • david
    January 30, 2013 - 15:56

    Forget this whole topic completely...Randy Simms, and anyone else who hosts any kind of call-in show in Newfoundland is a pure masochist. The uneducated opinions, the small-mindedness, the irrelevant complaints, the blind, petty, partisan politics...listening to these things hour after hour, day after day surely leads to mental problems and depression. In all seriousness...it is a problem

    • David
      January 30, 2013 - 21:13

      This is the best comment here, thumbs up buddy (y) i completly agree. Too bad everyone else don't. Would be completely different if they were actually solving problems.

  • Jenna
    January 30, 2013 - 15:25

    I'm not surprised by this ignoramace individual!!!! He makes me ill !!

  • Yellowknifer
    January 30, 2013 - 14:50

    This should help with the shows ratings!!!!

  • dan
    January 30, 2013 - 14:15

    Let 'em just kill off the herd, what will they do then? Oh yeah I forgot... look for compensation from govt while they eat store bought food! You want traditional lifestyle get off the welfare and go back into the woods or on the water!

    • Harold
      March 04, 2013 - 10:01

      LOl lol good one Dan!! I feel the same way as do many more!!!!!

    January 30, 2013 - 13:43

    All the native-bashers out there, like Randy Simms, need to get something straight. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (and the Government of Quebec) - not the Labrador natives - are legally responsible for the health of the George River caribou herd. However you slice it, it is on government's shoulders that the responsibility rests for the near destruction of that herd. How is that different from Ottawa's responsibility for the near destruction of the North Atlantic cod? The federal government was obliged to provide compensation to the fishermen and plant workers for the loss of employment and of a way of life. What we all know now is that the compensation provided was woefully inadequate given the duration of that moratorium and its impact on rural Newfoundland. This province's declaration of a moratorium on caribou hunting in northern Labrador was the only sensible option left; moreover, it is essential that government enforces the moratorium with the same determination as shown by the federal government during the cod moratorium. It is also essential that the Government of Quebec signs on to the moratorium, barring which the herd must given be given the protection of federal law. A great deal more research is required to determine the reasons for the precipitous decline of what had been the largest remaining caribou herd in the world and the best strategy for reversing it. But governments must also recognize their legal and moral responsibility to the people who have lived off the herd for many centuries. Like it or not (and clearly there are more than a few who do not), our government must now sit down with the federal government, with the Quebec Government, and with Labrador native leaders to negotiate a framework by which natives can be compensated for the loss of their traditional livelihoods. They must also be consulted and included in the scientific review and planned recovery process. If compensation and retraining was the right thing for the fishermen in this province, then it is the right thing for our native peoples as well. This may not be the popular view - thanks in part to the ranting and raving of ignorant radio hosts - but it is no less the correct thing to do.

    • Eli
      January 30, 2013 - 14:43

      Big difference here FINTIP is fishermen laid down their arms so to speak. They didn't take 'em up in defiance of the law which is what Tshakapesh threatens to do. You lost track of that in YOUR rant.

    • Jay
      January 30, 2013 - 18:34

      There are numerous differences between the cod fishery and the caribou hunt. The major one is that the cod fishery was a commercial enterprise. The caribou hunt is not. The Innu have also not been financially or economically dependant on the hunt for close to fifty years. Today it is more similar to the Newfoundlander looking for his moose. While there are important ceremonial and traditional issues around the hunt, it cannot be compared to the cod fishery which accounted directly or indirectly for a significant portion of the province's gross domestic product before the moratorium.The Inuit looked into a commercial hunt back in the 80s, but for a number of reasons it was not feasible.While I agree that government has responsibility for the herd, the Innu are not the only hunters. There are Inuit, Innuktuavit, white settlers on th coast, the Lake Melville region, and in Labrador west. These people could argue very strongly that their rights to hunt caribou are just as important as the Innu rights. There's a lot more I can say on this topic, but I'll leave it for now. By the way, I'm not a native basher or a racist.

  • future death
    January 30, 2013 - 13:42

    the Innu are insane to think this is right, what happens when the herd is gone? I am guessing when it happens they will run to the government looking for some sort of compensation because of there lack of consideration towards the conservation of the herd. Government is doing there part , why can't the Innu, is it because they know best, not!!! they are there to take, but never to give.

  • Brett
    January 30, 2013 - 13:11

    I would think that disobeying a law is a stupid thing to do. To encourage others to break the law - also stupid. Appeal the ruling, work through the system. That's what it's there for. Proposing anarchy? Kicking the provincial courts out of the town? laughable.

  • Coco
    January 30, 2013 - 12:54

    Having heard about the remarks by the influential Randy Simms yesterday, I Googled “Randy Simms racist” to see what was going on. Wow – this certainly wasn’t his first or even second foray into accusations of promoting prejudice toward a particular group of people. Any attempt to devalue an individual or group of people could ultimately hurt innocent others and everybody knows that’s just plain wrong. I feel embarrassed for everyone affected but to set good standards, you really have to draw the line somewhere you know. VOCM needs to clean this up.

  • Lorna
    January 30, 2013 - 12:54

    I agree with everything Randy said although his views may have gotten lost in translation with the curse words and arguing. Listeners are now losing sight of the real issue...the depletion of the George River Caribou herd. If a species of ANY kind is declining in number, having the potential of becoming extinct, isn't it "stupid" and irresponsible of us as caring, compassionate, logical human beings to continue to hunt that species? Thats the issue here, to help put a stop to the declining number of the caribou herd not what Randy Simms said to callers on his show. I think that when you are dealing with any etnic group or race and there are a difference in opinion you risk being called a racist. I don't think for one minute that anything Randy Simms said deserves him being classed as a racist. He didn't call ALL Aboriginal people stupid, just the particular one he was talking to on the phone. Although I may not agree with the words Randy chose to address Chief Tshakapesh, I do agree with the point he was trying to make. I applaud him for being so passionate and I'd pat him on the back for taking a stand. Randy shouldn't have to apologize for having strong beliefs, but he should apologize for the "stupid" way he handled the situation. To call on VOCM to fire Randy Simms does not make any sense. He didn't do anything wrong deserving of losing his job.

  • Anon
    January 30, 2013 - 12:39

    Let 'em hunt all the Caribou and come crawling back to the government, blaming them for its extinction, looking for a handout. Those two are idiots. I agree with Randy.

  • Whaddaya At ?
    January 30, 2013 - 12:31

    As the host of an open line radio show, Randy Simms has resorted to using the words ' arsehole ', ' bullshit ', ' idiot ', ' Jesus ', ' Goddamn ', ' pissed ', and ' dickbrain '. No doubt, a reflection of the high esteem in which he holds his listeners.

    • Steve
      January 31, 2013 - 05:28

      No, just morons like you :)

  • double standard why
    January 30, 2013 - 12:28

    if u did this in any other job; especially a gov. one; you would be terminated the same day; you wouldn't get second day of work to go back on radio to half heartedly apoligize; enough said....both him and that Patty Daley fellow have been riding Qalipou and aborginal groups for months now; comments that are borderline or over the line racists....bullying...whatever u want to call it...can his ass..both of them

  • Dale
    January 30, 2013 - 12:15

    Tshakapesh's opinion is wrong , as a leader he should be more responsible, the George River Caribou herd has dwindled below 30.000, If the Innu go ahead with the hunt, then they need to treated the same as everyone else , make the arrest and charge them, being Innu does not give you the right to be irresponsible , It is stupid to hunt animals to the brink of extinction, the herd has been on a steady decline and something has to be done to protect the herd. Why is it that the Feds are terrified of the Innu, they let them do whatever the hell they want ? For a people who claim to have a "connection" with the land, you would think they would be more responsible .

  • Political Watcher
    January 30, 2013 - 12:08

    This is not Randy's first time having a brush with racists comments; it was also him who stated that by all means search people from Middle Eastern regions when travelling through airports but he, being a white male, should not be subject to a search. Randy has a history of denegrading anyone who has an opposing opinion; just go to any Council meeting when there is someone challenging a decision and just watch the treatment. On meeting that I was present at a while ago saw a gentleman challenge Council on flooding on his property; at one point when he sa he was geting nowhere he mentioned that he would go to the media and here are Randys exact words: "Go to the media? well by, I am the media..... This is why Dave Denine will run for Mayor once again and will win once again

  • PP
    January 30, 2013 - 11:35

    OKe...the apology was nice and the mea culpa was nice, but Randy must know what comes next...The Penance. If I had a say in it, I would order him to say something positive about Innut on his next 30 shows. A sentence or a phrase, doesn't matter, but something positive. (Actually he did some penance this morning, in a round-about way.

  • Keith
    January 30, 2013 - 11:18

    Like anyone else in a position of power you sometimes abuse it. Mr Simms clearly showed his bias when talking about these people hunting Caribou which they have done before we were thought about. It would be better to bring the damage NALCOR and the Mining companies have done to this land and in doing so to the Caribou as well to the forefront. I believe Mr Simms should be reprimanded for his actions, and not just being told he has to apologize because of ratings.

  • Keanman
    January 30, 2013 - 10:40

    “What I want is for him to be removed from VOCM.” “It’s too much. It’s too much,” said Tshakapesh. “There’s a provincial court here. I will be asking them to vacate our buildings.” 1) Ignore a provincial hunting ban that is followed by other native groups. 2) Play the racism card when somebody calls you on your bs. 3) Get outraged and call for termination and threaten to kick justice officials out of "your" building. What is this? Grade school retaliation tactics? I don't think Simm's has ever been more spot on with his comments even though he broke his own rules.

  • Maureen
    January 30, 2013 - 10:15

    The issue here is conservation of the caribou- not appologies or name calling. " A way of life " does not constitute destruction of a species. History has proven that over-fishing or over-hunting will lead to depletion or extinction. Respect the laws, respect the herd.

  • Maureen
    January 30, 2013 - 10:12

    The issue here is conservation of the caribou- not appologies or name calling. " A way of life " does not constitute destruction of a species. History has proven that over-fishing or over-hunting will lead to depletion or extinction. Respect the laws, respect the herd.

  • hockeyfan
    January 30, 2013 - 10:12

    I'm tired of all the handouts that the Innu are receiving, yes their land was taken from them eons ago but that has been paid back to them ten fold. I say cut them off and let them survive on their own, I wonder how far they would get. Now, back on topic. Yes, they are stupid. If they continue to hunt the herd then the Herd will become extinct, have they no knowledge of environmental sustainability and have they not heard of what happened to the fishery?

  • Catherine
    January 30, 2013 - 09:58

    No need to apologize for telling the truth Randy!

    • Derrick W
      January 30, 2013 - 12:43

      Randy, no need to apologize. These idiot chiefs would rather destroy the heard because they know when the caribou are gone, the governments will send them up quarters of beef to replace the caribou. Not all natives are idiots by no means. It's the chiefs and their cronies that are hurting their very own people. Perhaps if they were to get an education, they would then know better. So I guess they will remain ignorant idiots.

  • saelcove
    January 30, 2013 - 09:54

    the rest of the world has to accept change what make these people so special,Simms is 100% on the mark

  • Deer Randy....
    January 30, 2013 - 09:53

    The irony of it all..... the discussion of wildlife conservation vanished quickly behind name calling and rhetoric and who should bend first..... the attitude toward wildlife management is that - stupid or not - it is better to be a rich fool than hungry and wise dominates the disasters of the fishery and countless other wildlife management messes - not to mention the foresty. To then imply that native Canadians will follow the example of the Euro-Canadians is astounding especially in the current "Idle no more" context?? It is not that the host was racist IMO but that when there is an argument between two enthic groups any anger/frustration is ambiguous. The simpler case is the annoying/complaining customer - the other customers wish the retailer would tell him/her where to go, but since they are customers also, the disrespect of ANY customer is disturbing - hence the "...customer is always right..." strategy. Hypocrit that I am, though, it makes good radio on a dull weekday morning - lol!

  • The Caribou are part of the DNA of the Native people of Labrador.
    January 30, 2013 - 09:42

    The caribou are part of the DNA of the Native people of Labrador. For thousand of years they have utilized the caribou for their food, clothing and bedding use. I am not part of any native ethnic group but my heart goes out to them and I have been defending them all my life, I am intelligent enough to see what has been perpetrated on them. They are the closest people to nature, if we had left matters up to the native population nothing would have been destroyed, our environment would be in a pristine state. The destruction of the caribou habitat through mining, damming of rivers and road building is, no doubt, the prime cause of the declining caribou population and yes hunting is a small part of that decline. I remember hearing back in the 1980s the caribou population was 800,000 strong and in 1984 there was a catrastrophe where 100,000 caribou went over the falls and drowned. That event was not cause by the natives. If I were to hazard a guess I would say it was because of the destruction of their habitat, whether through mine development, damming of rivers or road building, it certainly wasn't because of something the native population did.

    • Jay
      January 30, 2013 - 10:36

      There is no doubt that Randy Simms is a rude, obnoxious, little man. Calling anybody stupid onan open line show just illustrates hispettiness. He often bullies callers who disagree with his point of view, then talks about them behind their back after they hang up. I'm not sure why anybody would even want to phone his show. BUT your presentation of the Innu way of life is seriously inaccurate. They have used the caribou more as a political tool than as a source of food, clothing, and bedding for years. Your point of view may have been accurate 50 years ago or more, but that is simply not the case any more, and it hasn't been for years. Unfortunately your point of view is just as divisive in this debate as is the one supported by Randy Simms.

  • Turry from town
    January 30, 2013 - 09:38

    This is not the first time Simms has put his foot in his mouth.I don't know why VOCM continues to allow this guy to moderate this show.He always expresses his point of view and talks over all the callers.Set every politition who calls Simms gives them all kinds of airtime and sucks up to them.Time to go back to Mt.Pearl Randy and work at your parttime job as mayor.

  • Snots Landing
    January 30, 2013 - 08:47

    Yes Randy should have to apologize for his wording, but NO, he should not apologize for his views. When will it all end for canadian taxpayers with the handouts to the Innu and other bands? They are choosing to live off the land. Nobody is making them. Haven't we given them enough? Its not like they can't afford to go to school and become educated.......its free. Need a car to get to and from, sure go and buy one, no tax. They have been given every opportunity to adjust to life as it is today, and they choose not to adapt. Stop giving them money and stop listening to the crying. Enough is enough.

    • Ken
      January 30, 2013 - 09:35


    • foxtrot
      January 31, 2013 - 15:34

      Agree 100 percent! Don't get me started on the indian status issue. How far can you go back? My relatives came from England. Does that mean I'm related to the queen and am entitled to share her fortune? Gimme a break! It's time for these crybabies to buck up and get a job like the rest of us and stop holding us hostage using racism as a crutch. Randy is right, you are a bunch of arseholes!

  • John Smith
    January 30, 2013 - 08:44

    Well, I never thought I would agree with randy, but I agree that Tshakapesh is indeed an A-hole...

  • Calvin
    January 30, 2013 - 08:26

    How is this for throwing fuel on the fire.... if the Innu nation wants to hold onto their heritage and preserve their way of life, they should be hunting the caribou with wooden spears the way their ancestors did, and tracking them across hundreds of kilometers of tough terrain on foot. Hunting with high powered rifles, riding skidoos, shooting the herd from the side of the road is not preserving heritage, it is taking advantage of a situation they have been granted out of regret and guilt. Say what you will about my comments, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. Are they using every scrap of the caribou to support their way of life like their ancestors did? No, they are getting their caribou for the year, the same way so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get their moose every year.

    • Kev
      January 30, 2013 - 09:37

      I feel the same way about Nflders who justify overfishing cod because "we been here 500 years". Alright then, no motors, no nylon line, no GPS, no sounders, no VHF or CB or cellphone, no fiberglass or aluminum boats. Live like your ancestors.

  • Ivy
    January 30, 2013 - 08:25

    Let's call a spade a spade here... the Chief's position is stupid, and he's an a-hole for saying that his people are going to continue hunting them for no other reason than to be a bunch of a-holes! Caribou is not integral to your culture anymore now than your fancy 4X4's and your ATV's and your high powered rifles, and every other modern convenience that you expect to be handed to you for free. You can't continuously complain that you want it both ways. You have completely lost the public opinion. Done.

  • Stephen
    January 30, 2013 - 08:13

    Why has the media (particularly those who are in competition with Steele) ignored the fact that Simeon called Randy a "Ku Klux Klan" member! That's far more inflammatory!

  • BrianB
    January 30, 2013 - 08:10

    Tell it like it is,sure let them hunt them till there is not one left then who is to blame then. When someone speaks what most think then they are out of line, come on. I agree with Tom it is time for them to pull there socks up and get on with it, watching 43% of my paycheck disappear every month is enough to make me sick, how much did this land cost anyhow I am sure we have paid for it over and over, time for the truth to get out and stop wasting taxpayers money,,, good job Randy

  • Former Open Line Caller
    January 30, 2013 - 08:08

    Randy takes his "job" as his opportunity to push his agenda!!! As a former caller to Open Line and current caller to other talk shows - I've taken my stand - I will not be accosted in future by the man's rudeness, nor will I open myself to his blatant bigotry. He uses VOCM as a platform (not for debate) but to push his own agenda and poke fun at those who he has the ultimate power to hang up and talk about them after. Listen carefully folks – you’ll hear him mispronounce your name if you have an opinion he wants to challenge – he’s so rarely able to debate with intelligent rhetoric - he regresses to the childish.

  • Dave
    January 30, 2013 - 08:06

    The difference between Randy Simms and Simeon Tshakapesh is that if Randy regrets the way he handled it, he will own it. That doesn't appear to be the case with the Innu Nation, and this behavior of following their own rules happens year after year, on issue after issue. This is Canada - you follow Canadian law, NO exceptions.

  • BJ
    January 30, 2013 - 08:04

    I think the way he handled it was unprofessional, but I think he is right on the money with his views.

  • JJT
    January 30, 2013 - 07:49

    The Innu are anything but stupid... They know exactly what they're doing. If they don't get their way, play the race card or the oppressed-by-whites card. The same tactics are used all over the world -- for example, in the US anyone who doesn't toe the line is a "terrorist." The sad part is that if they hunted the caribou herd out of existence, the next day they'd be on the news bawling about how the government and the white man put them in that position and should compensate them for it.

  • Brad
    January 30, 2013 - 07:43

    Hey Chief, why don't you put the race card back in the darn deck!

  • HRS
    January 30, 2013 - 07:42

    Mr. Tshakapesh's behaviour and language was just as inappropriate as Mr. Simms - calling Randy a "racist" could be considered defamation of character. I have tremendous respect for the Innu culture and understand that they are fighting to maintain their traditional way of life. However, they need to understand that the government is not trying to trample their right to hunt. They are taking action to ensure there is a hunt in 10 years time! For a culture that esteems the land they are not displaying those values. It appears they are more interested in wringing their fist at the government with an "I am native, hear me roar" attitude.

  • Stewards of the Land
    January 30, 2013 - 07:37

    I too hold the opinion that the Innu should cease hunting that Caribou herd. The herd might well be near extinction and as self-proclaimed stewards of the land, the Innu must take steps to ensure the herd's survival. As to Simms calling the Chief an Arsehole, I would not apologize for that. The truth deserves to be spoken and loudly.

    January 30, 2013 - 07:35

    What is killing the caribou Herd ? That is what has to be answered Is it a sickness or is it the Wolves ? This is what got to be answered not what was said on an open line show for entertainment , This is a serious problem for the Natuashish Innu Band that hunter the George River Caribou herd for Hundreds of years, It was their food source for years?

  • HRS
    January 30, 2013 - 07:31

    Mr. Tshakapesh's behaviour and language was just as inappropriate as Mr. Simms - calling Randy a "racist" could be considered defamation of character. I have tremendous respect for the Innu culture and understand that they are fighting to maintain their traditional way of life. However, they need to understand that the government is not trying to trample their right to hunt. They are taking action to ensure there is a hunt in 10 years time! For a culture that esteems the land they are not displaying those values. It appears they are more interested in wringing their fist at the government with an "I am native, hear he roar" attitude.

  • glenn kane
    January 30, 2013 - 07:30

    although the name calling wasnt great i agree with randy. and he had a right to defend himself after being called a racist by such ignorant people. hats off to you randy.

  • Tom
    January 30, 2013 - 07:27

    He is stupid, and anybody else who is hunting an at risk heard is stupid. Simms is not racist, nor am I. I am just sick or people with their special interests constantly bumming the system. You can’t have it both ways. Special interest groups should fund themselves 100%. NO TAX MONEY for support. Bet none of them would last too long. And to call him an arsehole, well done. He sounds like one. But why not let them kill all the animals, and then they will finally shut up since they have nothing left to hunt. Oh, wait. A special interest group never shuts up, they would just bum more from us.

  • Earl
    January 30, 2013 - 07:17

    Simeon is pulling a "Bruno" here, and he's not helping his cause. Overreaction seems to be a character trait when it comes to matters of the big land.

  • Patsy
    January 30, 2013 - 07:15

    In my opinion, Randy got caught up in the moment because he feels so passionate about our province and he was fed up with the nonsense Tshakapesh was saying on this issue I too am so tired of the Innu Nation thinking that rules don't apply to them. For some reason, many of these people feel that the rest of us Canadians owe them money, land, no taxes, etc. We are blamed for their way of life! Wake up people! We are tired of your whining and irresponsible ways. Take some responsibily. If the caribou herd is depleted, it won't affect me. The Innu Nation will suffer! I agree with Randy. Don't be so stupid and idiotic in your way of thinking!!!

  • Dee
    January 30, 2013 - 07:07

    I agree Randy was out of line when he called this man an arsehole as it would have been out of line to say that to anyone,I listened to this show and in no way did I hear a racist remark what so ever,he told him that he was stupid as he would have said the same thing to anyone if they were going to break the law,be it drunk driving,scamming the tax man or whatever it may be.I heard the next caller when he called in and told Randy that he was racist and again not once did he make a racist remark.The government put this in place not Randy Simms butpeople are so greedy they just want everything.A few make it bad for everyone.I am far from racist my son is part aboriginal,but if you listen to these people they are more racist to themselves then anyone else are.As for Randy yes you should apologize.Like anyone if they walk in a government office and raise the roof they should be arrested and charged just like anyone else.

  • darls
    January 30, 2013 - 06:48

    Please Mr. Simms...DON'T APOLIGIZE FOR BEING RIGHT...what you said is right and we all would have said the same thing and while listening to those two people I really couldn't believe what they were saying...if it were me and MY PEOPLE...chiefs words not mine...I would want to conserve the herd for future generations...what is wrong with people ...by the way Chief and I use that term very loosely...when you kill off the herd...then what...I guess you'll be calling on the government to re- stock...what a farce you are all becoming...what am I talking about...the Native Nation is becoming a real problem....to themselves...cheers

  • Barney
    January 30, 2013 - 06:41

    If Randy is willing to correct the mistakes he made during a debate fair enough but they reaction from Tshakapesh is now "stupid". To say Randy should lose his job? Why? I think he should correct any mistakes and if so then 2nd chances are warranted. And now to say that you are going to remove the courts etc...........come on! Grow up!

    • JasonD
      January 30, 2013 - 07:00

      I feel Randy Simms was WAY out of line. In that role he is to facilitating a discussion. At one point, he continue HIS personal argument after the call ends, securing his point. Shame on him as an elected official - even if not acting in that role at that moment, he has a responsibility to hear and address points of view... not drop it to name calling. I am no expert on Aboriginal issues. I do know it is complex, emotional, and deep rooted. It is under constant pressure. I don't think Randy should lose his position in VOCM or anything, but it is very embarrassing for him and us.

    • Kim
      January 30, 2013 - 08:01

      At least Randy admitted to being wrong......As for Tshakapesh''s he's a farce...as are all the rest....The government needs to wake up..Everything is handed to them..just make a call and cry boo hoo...you shell get your wish...As for the rest of us HONEST HARD WORKERS.WE HAVE TO WORK AND PAY TAXES....Enough hand out's...Get off your Arse...As fro Randy Simms stay put,your the REAL VOICE OF VOCM...LOVE YOUR SHOW