When will it ever end?

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Once again Newfoundland gets a kick in the gut from Upper Canadians — namely the editors of the prestigious Huffington Post.

In the Aug. 9 web edition, the Huffington Post Business Canada their main web story is about the phenomenal growth of Newfoundland, in particular the capital city St. John’s.

It was an upbeat story in regards to the 2013 prediction that St. John’s will lead all other Canadian cities with a five per cent economic growth due to what they call black-gold (oil revenues).

Then came what I would call their insult or outrageous statement, and I quote: “The capital of the province, often thought of as an economic basket case, will soar to five per cent growth this year.”

Basket case? Well, the meaning of basket case is, “An infirm or failing person or thing — unable to function properly, often referred to soldiers who had lost arms and legs and had to be carried by others.”

This is typical of the Upper Canadian attitude about this province. It has gone on for so long, and one would think that by now the Huffington Post Business Canada publication would realize that a statement like that is grossly unfair.

Surely other terminology much more complimentary could have been used.

St. John’s is the oldest city in North America and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

It’s hardly a city that deserves the label “basket case,” in my view, no matter what our past economic struggles revealed, and in my view that kind of comment from a national corporation is an affront to our entire province.

When will it ever end?

Don’t hold your breath!


Bill Westcott

Clarke’s Beach

Organizations: Huffington Post Business Canada

Geographic location: Newfoundland, North America

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Recent comments

  • Thanks Mr. Redgrave
    August 21, 2013 - 11:09

    Mr. Redgrave I misinterpreted you and I am sorry, maybe next time you can write in a language that is easier to decipher. I probably need to do the same. I have to agree with you thought that we have to have open conversation. We have to change the status quo of exporting out our natural resources from a strategic geographic location, known as the province Newfoundland and Labrador, that has bountiful resources. If we can accomplish that we could grow our province into having one of the largest, if not the largest economy in the whole of Canada. First though we have to address the politicians and let them know in no uncertain terms that the way they have been accustomed to handling our natural resources base has to stop and instead of them exploiting our natural resources in the way Ottawa wants them to do so, and forgetting that they are not to benefit from our natural resources anymore than the average Newfoundlander and Labradorian, I am sure we will survive here as very wealthy citizens in all aspects of life. Thanks Mr. Redgrave for your input, and let us keep up this conversation.

  • Skeptical Cynic
    August 20, 2013 - 20:10

    If the HP article is read correctly, it is evident the reference was to the province at one time being an economic basket case. And for all intents and purposes, this was in fact the case. On a related note, it is lamentable that Mr. Westcott would be so thin-skinned and defensive as to erroneously assume the article was attempting to portray St. John's in a disparaging light.

  • Mr. Redgrave you are totally wrong in what you stated. The carbon footprints are there to show otherwise.
    August 20, 2013 - 13:55

    Mr. Redgrave uttered "Global business communities have avoided Newfoundland in general because of the "lay of the land" , and poor reception...the same applies to thousands of tourists who have regretted spending their money to be robbed, ridiculed, and made to feel generally unwelcome". Mr. Redgrave Global business communities didn't avoid Newfoundland and Labrador when it pertained to exploiting our raw natural resources. Also the lay of the land made no difference. So if they could come and take away the resources, why couldn't they have created the business opportunities here through smelting, refining and processing the raw resources. The strategic geographic location was excellent, all areas situated on the North Atlantic Trade routes. It had nothing to do with your theory Mr. Redgrave, it had all to do with how Ottawa wanted our natural resources base to be utilized, that was for the betterment of central Canada's economic well-being and creating the larger center with a large population base because that was what Ottawa was craving for Central Canada with lots of manufacturing and a larger population base. Ottawa created that through the exploitation of Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resource base and human resource base. As for tourism Mr. Redgrave I have been robbed and ridiculed many times by Tourism sites where I have vacationed at in other parts of Canada and the United States. Mr. Redgrave you are tad too critical for the wrong reasons.

    • S Redgrave
      August 21, 2013 - 06:31

      This is the type of open conversation I was referring to. When I said "lay of the land" I was making reference to the political climate, whether it originated in Ottawa, or was home grown, still needs a good 'look see'. My first impression of Newfoundland was--"this is a people farm for western Canada"...knowing we could be so much more. Newfoundland has to make this happen on her own. One day at a time.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador have always being robbed of its natural resources.
    August 20, 2013 - 11:44

    Georgette and things were tough in other places in Canada, North America and the World for a long time, but some of those other places were fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's raw natural resources to the detriment of the province of NL's economy over the past 64 years of being part of Canada. Before 1949 Great Britain robbed us of our natural resources.

    • Georgette
      August 20, 2013 - 18:19

      Regardless of the cause of the tragic poverty of Newfoundland in years gone by (a whole other topic), all I'm saying is, WHY should history be re-written to PRETEND there was NO poverty here? No one is celebrating the fact that Newfoundland used to be in a bad way economically. The Huff Post is merely stating fact - the economy here used to be bad. On the bright side, as per the letter, "St. John's will lead all other Canadian cities with a five percent economic growth." Allow yourself to rejoice!!!!!

  • Stephen D Redgrave
    Stephen D Redgrave
    August 20, 2013 - 08:37

    This is a Newfoundland topic that needs more open conversation indeed. The Huffington Post was giving St John's a very high compliment., and that's the way we need to look at it--then work on everything within our own realm to continue the upward trend. Shaking a fist at the rest of the world (not only Upper Canada) has never accomplished anything for Newfoundland except to perpetuate an extremely self destructive attitude. Global business communities have avoided Newfoundland in general because of the "lay of the land" , and poor reception...the same applies to thousands of tourists who have regretted spending their money to be robbed, ridiculed, and made to feel generally unwelcome. It takes a lot of effort to earn a good reputation, but only a few moments of uncivilized behaviour to flush it down the drain.

  • Ed Power
    August 19, 2013 - 18:03

    Sadly, this type of Upper Canadian condescension - which has been around since the days before Confederation - will be with us for quite some time to come. The same type of petty snarkiness is common to Maclean's - "Canada's National Magazine". The rare occasions when something here is deemed ''newsworthy'' enough to grace the pages of an issue, the article is usually entitled with and/or contains references to "the Rock", economic troubles, Equalization or EI. Apparently they still haven't realized that they now receive Equalization payments from us, or have come to resent the "Blue -Eyed Oil Sheiks" in the East....

  • Georgette
    August 19, 2013 - 15:31

    Soooo, let me get this straight. We are all supposed to pretend that Newfoundland, in particular the city of St. John's, has always been economically prosperous? Why? Things were *tough* here on The Rock for many, many, many years - which was extremely unfortunate. But why should Huff Post (or any other media for that matter) pretend otherwise? The Huff Post article was not an insult to Newfoundlanders. It was merely stating a truth.

    • david
      August 19, 2013 - 15:54

      Small nit: Things are still "tough" here on the Rock.....beyond the overpass, the place is absolutely dying. If a tree falls in the forest.....