Resettlement funding hiked, but no one’s biting

James
James McLeod
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It was one of the few things that got more funding in last year’s budget, amid a sea of cuts, but since the government bumped up the incentive for resettlement, there haven’t been any new takers.

Gaultois is one of the small communities the provincial government has provided information to about resettlement.

The government nearly tripled the incentive for resettlement — from $100,000 to $270,000 per household — and it is working its way through the resettlement process with a handful of communities, but since the announcement was made, no new towns have come forward with plans to move.

“I would hope that more communities would explore this in the future, but there’s certainly no pressure from government for them to do so,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent, who’s responsible for resettlement issues.

“I believe there are other communities that we will hear from in the months and years ahead. Communities have to be sustainable and we have communities in this province where sustainability is a real challenge.”

The government currently has working files on Little Bay Islands, Round Harbour, William’s Harbour in Labrador, Snook’s Arm and Nipper’s Harbour.

Last summer, government officials also visited McCallum and Gaultois to provide information about potential resettlement.

Kent said the government’s attitude is to offer information and assistance if communities get in touch, but they don’t push resettlement in any way.

“We want communities to be in control of their own future and their own destiny, and this is a really sensitive issue. Relocation is usually the last option for residents,” he said.

Even though there hasn’t been a huge uptake, the increased funding has definitely started conversations.

Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons, who represents the southwest coast, has a couple of communities in his district that talked about it seriously.

“It was a huge topic when it came out, for five or six months,” he said.

To resettle, a community has to vote 90 per cent in favour of it. Parsons said Grey River and La Poile in his district had plenty of discussions, but after gauging support they decided not to pursue the idea.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelegramJames

Geographic location: Little Bay Islands, Round Harbour, Labrador Grey River

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Recent comments

  • Visitor of McCallum
    June 04, 2014 - 14:50

    I think it's unfair for the government to ask people to move out of their homes. The majority of people that live in these isolated communities are seniors and don't want to leave their family homes. What would $270,000 buy today? Probably a shack somewhere. How would these people that rely on the fishing industry in that area provide food and other basic necessities of life for themselves if they moved to the city? Many don't own cars and don't know how to drive anything only a boat! What good is that in Gander? I think those that wish to move, go on but those that wish to stay should be able to without any pressure!

  • Linda
    May 26, 2014 - 19:33

    It is great that the Government recognizes the need to bump up the incentive for Resettlement of small communities across NL and Labrador. It is obvious that the costs of providing services to these communities with very small populations outweighs the offer for a higher incentive.; This makes sense but keeping the 90 per cent requirement is not so smart on the Governments part... They say that they are not pushing resettlement in any way but don't they realize that by offering this OPPORTUNITY the amount of conflict that is created in the communities that have more than half of the population that want to leave with the opportunity of receiving a quarter of a million dollars but because it only takes 10 per cent of people to say NO many residents think that the Government IS pushing and are causing a lot of upset and strain within these small communities... If they really can see the logic in hiking the incentive maybe they need to take a serious look at lowering the percentage rate so that the majority of people can move forward and the Government along with the TAXPAYERS will save in the long run. Why is it that in most cases the MAJORITY wins but in this case the MINORITY wins? If you agree that the Government should lower the percentage please visit our website at: www.mccallumpetition.com to place your vote and help our cause Chairperson / Relocation Committee McCallum, NL

  • Mitch Sheppard
    May 26, 2014 - 16:55

    I love how tough everyone can get behind a computer screen. Go to an isolated community and then say what's on your mind, ignorant townies. See what happens then. From a bayman.

  • Resettled
    May 26, 2014 - 14:07

    I cannot believe how people who resettled in the past will get on here and complain. For example the people from Grole and Pass Island moved in the early 70s I think. The people who are doing the whining are the same people who moved away to teach or otherwise work year round. So why did you not go and teach in your home tow? Well because there is only one, maybe two teachers there. If you liked living in an area with a big family where the father went away for 6 months of the year to work and then came home and went on welfare, spent the winter in the woods to ensure that his family stayed warm, ate turrs and fish for most of the winter etc; then why did you not stay Because it was a cruel way of life and would be an embarrassment to me to have to stay and depend on the rest of the people who work elsewhere to feed me. This is for people without ethics and who are lazy. Move to where the work is and stop asking the government, the people of this province to make your meals for you. I am speaking from experience here. For those few from places like Grole whole still whines when they get on the liquor grow up and get over it, you were the start of the resettlement.

    • Annie
      May 26, 2014 - 17:47

      What happened to you! Moving did not improve your Knowledge of the world just made you more ignorant. You were not lucky enough to go to a school with two teachers! You did not go to school at all. Come visit us in rural Newfoundland and we will teach what life is all about! Oh by the way I happen to work every day, it is not always turs for supper sometimes we gate a chicken too! Lol

  • Sheila
    May 25, 2014 - 07:41

    OMG! People that choose to live in places that are remote or to small or expensive for the government to provide services to or have no jobs should just get a reality check and move to work and have services. Instead they moan and expect the taxpayer to foot the bill either way. These people need to grow-up or shut-up.

    • Harold
      May 25, 2014 - 14:12

      Sheila, people in the rest of canada are complaining about places like Nfld being remote or to small or expensive for the government to provide services or have no jobs. those people in the rest of Canada feel Newfoundlanders should just get a reality check and move to where the work is and have services. Instead they moan and expect the taxpayer to foot the bill . are your bags packed Sheila ? I guess your leaving soon. I hear down town Toronto is a nice place to live. cheers.

  • Darren
    May 24, 2014 - 15:02

    One of the major flaws of Smallwood was thar resettlement did not go far enough. We have well over 500 communities in this province. They have to go. We cannot have schools, hospitals. Roadways, etc into every little nook and cranny. It's not sustainable.

  • Harold Barry
    May 24, 2014 - 07:42

    I was one of the many people who were forced to resettle in the 60's from outport Newfoundland. I wonder if I can get proper compensation now for what I went through back then.

    • Joey
      May 24, 2014 - 18:51

      Boo Hoo, give me a break. You had to move to somewhere you could get decent health and education, opportunities for decent jobs and a decent standard of living, decent roads and communications, and you're still whining. Why do we only hear the sad tales of the poor unfortunate who were forced into some kind of prosperity, but not the stories of how people who lived in these places were unhealthy, illiterate, and starving to death before they were resettled. Some of the biggest problems with this province are the costs associated with providing services to people who want to be isolated in every little nook and cranny, but who still want the same level of service they'd receive in downtown Toronto. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.

    • Harold
      May 25, 2014 - 15:31

      hey joey: yours is the typical attitude for someone who is in the dark about the "resettlement program". not sure where you came from but where I was health and education was provided then like its provided now. opportunities for decent jobs would depend on what a person considers decent. we had a standard of living that was good but sure there are places that had a better standard of living although i'm not sure the standard of living in down town toronto is better then the standard of living in Newfoundland. Im not whining Joey, I'm just expressing a thought. where is the prosperity that those "resettled" people were forced into? I hear happy tales from people who moved but then I listen... do you listen Joey or do you just "attack"? please provide the names of places where people were unhealthy, illiterate, and starving to death before they were resettled. People in other parts of Canada think Some of the biggest problems with this country are the costs associated with providing services to people who want to be isolated in every little nook and cranny, yes joey they consider Newfoundland a little nook and cranny but who still want the same level of service they'd receive in downtown Toronto, Ottawa. Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. So Joey if we accept your arguement we are all gonna be living the "big city" life, we will get decent health and education, opportunities for decent jobs and a decent standard of living, decent roads and communications and ?? will we be living crime free? will there be any driveby shootings? will kids be safe walking to and from school? will illegal drugs be a problem or just a minor concern? people who live in those "big cities" need both parents working just to pay the bills so I'm just wondering if both parents are working, who is raising the kids?