An alternative fence proposal

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Ronald Reagan once pointed out, “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”

Now that the strike is finally over at St. John’s airport, NDP MP Ryan Cleary no longer has to negotiate his way around large-belly moose in Terra Nova National Park on his way to Gander airport en route to Ottawa in search of that fresh air beyond the overpass.

But it appears the next item on his political radar is the fence down at the harbour in “The City of Legends.”

What a fellow wouldn’t do for a few cheap NDP votes?

Now don’t get me wrong, Cleary is not sitting on the fence, he simply wants it removed.

But according to Port Authority CEO Sean Hanrahan, the harbour needs both the fence and around-the-clock security if it wants to stay an offshore oil seabase and remain an internationally accredited port.

After all, like it or lump it, we live in a post 9/11 world.

Hanrahan also said, “The plan was always to live up the ISPS Code (the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) which we are mandated to.”

“Canada”, he said, “is a signatory to this code, and there’s not a single Canadian port authority in the country that doesn’t live up to this code.”

Case closed.

Besides, they say, good fences make good neighbours. But that may only apply to folks beyond the overpass.

Aren’t there more important and pressing issues going on in this province other than a stupid fence at St. John’s harbour?

Like, for example, whose pockets are being padded just a few feet away up at Atlantic Place on Water Street?

Why would you fork over $2 million for a space just to warehouse a few computers? Even the transitional school board chairman, Lorne Wheeler, said that he did not know anything about this $2 million expenditure.

An order-in-council posted on the provincial government’s website indicates the Eastern School District will lease 22,646 square feet in Atlantic Place at $48.11 per square foot. That’s more than

$1 million per year for over half an acre of office space.

Average Class A office space in St. John’s is $20.50 per square foot and average Class B office space is listed at $16.64 per square foot.

All this is for what? For the School district to keep a “million-dollar view” (The Telegram, July 6).

Meanwhile, Education Minister Clyde Jackman wants to rip the guts out of Nova Central School District, Western School District and Labrador District School Board and to put the lot in St. John’s, the most easterly point in North America except Cape Spear.

We need a fence alright, but not at St. John’s harbour, but rather a few yards east of Chance Cove on the TCH, on that bog there just before the big rock cut on the Doe Hills.

That should work perfect!

Former Toronto MP Don Blenkarn once said, “Newfoundland, tow it to sea and sink it.”

I think he meant the “Avalon.”

 

Terry Burry

Glovertown

Organizations: Port Authority, Western School District and Labrador District School Board

Geographic location: Terra Nova National Park, Gander, Legends Atlantic Place Canada Water Street North America Chance Cove Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Ben Turpin
    July 19, 2013 - 12:04

    A fence is ephemeral, a fleeting piece of infrastructure that can be moved. While townies worry about the pristine view of their poopy-filled harbour, others fight to have leaking tanks removed, their ecosystems protected, and something other than the scab of a resource curse economy left on their children's land. The CBC loves to report about prostitution. The Telegram, the senate spending scandal. Again, why focus on problems older than time when our back is against the wall? Russell wagthedogsky writes fluff about old chesterfields dumped in cabin country and fishing for beer tins while we wonder where all this planned corporate pollution will take us. Air cadets have to clean up for concerts and snowmobilers pick up after mineral exploration companies. We won't have to worry about security in the future cuz we won't have anything worth destroying, freedom nor ecosystems.

    • Happily Retired
      July 21, 2013 - 11:32

      Maybe we should be like the baymen who only worry about their next unemployment cheque, or how to poach some wild game and kill off another species of animal, environmentalist that they are. You don't have to worry about the future because even baymen don't want to live out there anymore.

  • Ron Tizzard
    July 19, 2013 - 07:53

    There is a compelling argument for some degree of security, but exclusion is like placing a vail over the Mona Lisa. Why can't there be a saw-off, a compromise of sorts i.e. an arrangement made for the public to walk the wharf i.e.parents/escorted kids mostly it would be..perhaps 2-4 pm Sunday afternoons. The city could possibly have one or two interpreters, like the ones on Signal Hill. WHY SHOULD TOTAL EXCLUSION BE THE ONLY OPTION!

  • Ron Tizzard
    July 19, 2013 - 07:51

    There is a compelling argument for some degree of security, but exclusion is like placing a vail over the Mona Lisa. Why can't there be a saw-off, a compromise of sorts i.e. an arrangement made for the public to walk the wharf i.e.parents/escorted kids mostly it would be..perhaps 2-4 pm Sunday afternoons. The city could possibly have one or two interpreters, like the ones on Signal Hill. WHY SHOULD TOTAL EXCLUSION BE THE ONLY OPTION!

  • Ken Collis
    July 18, 2013 - 07:48

    Wow, that sure is a rambelling rant. What was the topic again? Oh yes, the harbour fence. The ISPS code ditcates a secure area. A fence can be a part of that, or not. Instead of blocking the harbour from view I think the commercial vessels should get a brand new terminal in CBS. All the room in the world there to build a world class facility. St. John's just doesn't have the room to be a commercial port. The container traffic, oil tankers, and supply vessels would be very happy to leave town if there was somewhere else to go. Woodrow French should start looking to build something sooner rather than later.

  • Jay
    July 18, 2013 - 07:10

    Terry, Your arrogance is amazing. Who appointed you as the judge of important issues? The fence is a municipal, not a provincial issue. Whether they agree or disagree with the fence, people in St. John's have a right to voice their opinion on it. If you don't like it, just stop reading the articles. Your obvious jealousy of St. John's speaks volumes about you.