Cheers and Jeers

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Cheers: to good deeds.

 A woman walked into The Bargain Shop in Labrador City and paid for the remaining charges on layaways for people she didn’t even know. The best part? The “layaway angel” wasn’t in it for the for the notoriety. In fact, she wants to remain anonymous. Just another of the good people who walk unknown among us. We can all learn a bit from that kind of quiet generosity.

Jeers: to flogging the proverbial dead horse. So, now it’s provincial Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Kent beating the drum and sending letters off to Ottawa to try and revive the St. John’s Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC). The latest kerfuffle has come about because a similar centre in Quebec, also slated for closure, will now remain open because search and recuse officials were unable to find staff to provide French-language services in either Halifax or Trenton, Ont. Kent argues the same linguistic issues exist here, and that our sub-centre, closed in 2012, should be revived. Kent could not cite a single case where the lack of a sub-centre here would have made a difference, but said, “One incident would be too many.” Interesting footnote? Search and rescue officials say there’s no new money for the now-reopened Quebec sub-centre, so the money it takes to operate that facility will have to be taken from other search and rescue budgets. Is that really what Kent wants here?

Jeers: to horse-trading. While we’re on the topic of the St. John’s sub-centre, it’s interesting to note that the provincial government tried to make re-staffing the sub-centre part of a major international trade deal. In exchange for dropping minimum processing regulations for fish, the province made a laundry list of demands: “A decision to reopen the St. John’s MRSC would be a highly visible action, achievable within a relatively short timeframe and a reasonable cost.” The province demanded other things as well, including that the feds “upgrade/increase and/or replace the current fleet complement” of search and rescue helicopters, buy new or relocated fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft for this province from other locations, increase the number of SAR personnel in this province to provide “30 minutes to wheels-up” SAR response times on a “24-7-365 basis,” and undertake a pilot project in public/private search and rescue delivery. Oh, and sell this province the federal government’s stake in Hibernia and create an independent safety body in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. And all of that — plus the kitchen sink, a $400-million industry diversification fund with $280 million from the feds and the actual tariff breaks the trade deal will bring — in exchange for losing minimum processing regulations that the province now maintains were essentially worthless, and protect no jobs whatsoever, anyway. Wild the way negotiations can go — and the “honesty” involved.

Organizations: Shop in Labrador City, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board

Geographic location: Quebec, Ottawa, Halifax Trenton

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    December 23, 2013 - 21:07

    The fact that the Premier has put Kent on the case shows she is not taking SAR seriously.

  • The Canadian CONscious
    December 23, 2013 - 11:21

    FYI. Our provincial Vibrant Leaders just gave away $300,000 of that Industry diversification money back to OCI. Well, the money as to come from some where! Like the taxpayers. Maybe and I don't know, only they do, it's a nice Xmas bonus for have laying the political ground work to make it all happen. Our Minister of fisheries is more like crisis councillor these last 8 years, just waiting for it to all go down. We've gave up and used our very own search and rescue as a bargaining chip to diversify a private company and the NL Tories couldn't do nothing about it. I wonder does former veteran backbencher Steve Kent have the cell number to that international rescue station in Italy they had us secretly on before? Now that's a good example of Premier Dunderdale and Harper standing up for us and Canadians, isn't it? Too funny! Too serious!