Where we’re to

Peter Jackson
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Some suggestions for a new logo. I’ve gone with Liberal red ‹ just for badness. I’m also using dandelions instead of pitcher plants because, let’s face it, that’s the real official flower. Seriously, is the third one that far-fetched?

Do we still live in Newfoundland and Labrador?

I fired off an email to the premier’s office and a spokesperson confirmed what I already knew.

This is, indeed, Newfoundland and Labrador.

It may seem obvious to some, but there’s been some confusion of late. By “of late” I mean since 2006, when the madcap crew at Target Marketing decided there was no place for even so much as an ampersand in the new provincial logo.

We’re all used to the thing by now — the groovy blue font and the cartoonish pitcher plants. It’s clever enough, and looks quite inviting on tourism brochures and such. It could be the emblem for a florist, perhaps, or a daycare.

But there’s no “and” — and that’s the problem.

Someone asked me the other day if the name of the province was now “Newfoundland Labrador.” It was an innocent enough question, and thoroughly understandable. The logo says as much. Not only that, but some government agencies have followed the lead.

Is it Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp., or Newfoundland Labrador Housing?

On the website, visitors are welcomed to “Newfoundland Labrador Housing,” but then told on another page that “Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp. is the housing arm of the provincial government.”

What the …?

We still buy our booze from the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp., right? Well, yes, unless you look at the main web page, where there’s not an “and” to be found.

Seems the trend now is “and” optional. We’ve developed a bad case of deconjunctivitis, and I’m not talking about pink eye.

The history of the provincial nomenclature is already tangly enough. It’s taken the older crowd a long time to accept the addition of “Labrador” to the name. It’s been convention for a couple of decades at least, but only became official in 2001.

Previously, the province was simply “Newfoundland.” Labrador was implied. Not just implied, but integrally included. Otherwise, the custom was always to say “the Island of Newfoundland.” (Older folks still insist on capitalizing “Island.”)

Nonetheless, the marginalization of Labrador — both perceived and real — gave rise to the double-barreled moniker.

In documents from the 1927 Privy Council decision on the Labrador boundary, Labrador is referred to as a peninsula. Thus, the pivotal question became, “Over what portion, if any, of the Labrador Peninsula did Newfoundland  (in previous legislation) acquire any rights?”

Not only that, but I’m told Labrador was occasionally referred to as “Newfoundland Labrador” to distinguish it from the peninsula as a whole. How’s that for coming full circle? Now we’re marginalizing the island!

Here’s a thought: let’s put the “and” back in the name. Let’s stop this slow creep into and-less confusion. The meter is all wrong, anyway. “Newfoundland Labrador” sounds like “Anything you can do …” Taunting triplets. Is that any rhythm for a proud, determined province?

It’s Newfoundland and Labrador.

Say it again.

Peter Jackson is The Telegram’s commentary editor. He can be contacted by email at pjackson@thetelegram.com.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Housing, Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor, Privy Council

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Paddyjoe
    October 13, 2010 - 16:51

    Peter: The change to Newfoundland and Labrador was politically motivated. My Newfoundland includes Labrador-----.....I am tired of hearing such utterances as....." We are proud Newfoundlanders and Labradorians--" Its cumbersome, foolish and unnecessary in my view----I am not a Newfoundlander and a Labradorian---I am a Newfoundlander pure and simple---

  • Newfoundlandis
    October 13, 2010 - 12:13

    I usually enjoy Peter's commentary. I am more than a little put off today by the fact that 'Ed Hominem, and Labradore-right blog topics and mantras consistently creep into "Telly" editorials, Cheers and Jeers, and Russell Waynegretkzy soliloquies (operative word here is creep). In the same paper tin which Peter sings the chorus to Wally's neverending song, Ed Hollett's blog post shows up almost verbatim in Cheers and Jeers. Be careful, "If you lie down with dogs, you will catch fleas.", the people's paper should not parrot the never ending song of hate that permeates those two online hatefests. They remind me of OLF's comment about one of his peers: "He is a bag of skin, filled with hate." Heave away, Newfoundlandis part of Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Leo P Nolan
    October 12, 2010 - 10:47

    Let's get rid of all the hyphonated names in the PROVINCE, Happy Valley-Goose Bay; Grand Falls-Windsor; New-Wes-Valley etc. And for God's sake "Holy Heart Of Mary Regional High School" What a waste of time, ink, typing, printing and breath expressing these monikers. There was a time when "Aren smarn?" and "Narn" were understood. Newfoundland and Labrador? Come on! Le Quebecois refer to us as Terre Neuve, why not re-instate "Terra Nova" (Latin) as early maps illustrate. Weaker Premiers of the Province gave in to the threats by the Quebec politicians to continue reaping the rewards of the resources in the "Big Land"; and benefiting from the Churchill Falls give away; the growth of "Sept Isles" as the service hub for the iron ore mines in Lab West, no wonder they still feel they own this territory. To counter, the government of the day established an RNC detachment in Lab West. We buckled under these terrorist like tactics by a nationalist province. Or should I say nation? Terra Nova it should be!