Marystown decision on Targa misguided

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I would like to offer this letter in support of Targa Newfoundland.

My name is Tom Hollett and I am a mayor advocate of the Burin Peninsula and all of the communities, people and businesses that are blessed to call it home.

I understand the Marystown town council has voted not to support Targa in 2014. When I heard it was partly for safety concerns, I was surprised and suspicious. No one can argue with safety, but surely after 12 years, any safety concerns must be clear. You all know, as well as I do, any safety issues can be dealt with. This needs to be the focus.

When Danny Williams said that Newfoundland and Labrador was the newest and coolest province, Targa was one of the things he was talking about. The only other place in the world Targa takes place is New Zealand. How cool is that? Marystown should hold its head high as a supporter of Targa. We should all get together and enter a car from the Burin Peninsula. Now that would be cool!

When my Dad was sick (late ’50s, early ’60s) I would spend part of my summers in Grand Bank with the Buffetts and Stoodleys and, in the fall, I went to school in Swift Current and staying with the Jamiesons and Brinstions. All of the Burin Peninsula is my home. At the age of 10, after Dad died, I was dragged to St. John’s kicking and screaming. I knew one day I would return. Rex Murphy summed it up; he said what makes us Newfoundlanders is our sense of place and the Burin Peninsula is my place.

I am spending major money building a tourist destination in Burin. This project is a labour of love and will benefit the whole peninsula. I have already spent money in just about every community on the peninsula, most of it in Marystown. That is why I feel I have a say. If the Marystown town council was cancelling a fireworks display or the demolition derby I would not be as concerned, but this is different. This affects more than just Marystown.

Marystown has a responsibility as the economic hub and big brother/sister of this region to take this into account when making decisions which affect their friends. This decision affects multiple communities on the peninsula, if not the total viability of Targa Newfoundland itself. It’s a long road to get people down here and we are all in this together. Tourism needs all the help it can get.

Minister of Tourism Terry French was at my home in Burin a couple of years ago and we were talking about tourism on the peninsula and what I’m up to in Burin and here is what I told him: I believe that approximately 80 per cent of the true out-of-town tourism dollars that come down over the road are spent in another country.

That drives me nuts. I have a plan to deal with St. Pierre (if you can’t beat them join them) but we also need Targa.

I explained to him Targa is one of the ways I hoped to extend our very short tourism season. If anything, I would like the town council of Marystown to negotiate with Targa for them to spend two nights on the peninsula. Now that would be proactive and give us something to build on.

The issues of safety can be dealt with. Don’t make it personal. Even if you personally don’t like auto racing, it is the largest spectator sport in the world. The residents of Marystown and surrounding area look forward to Targa every September. We should be proud to have Targa in our area.

With an open mind and an open heart please work with Targa Newfoundland and the other communities involved to put on the best show ever. Would you, the mayor, deputy mayor and councillors of the great town of Marystown, please reconsider your decision. Your leadership would be appreciated.

 

Tom Hollett writes from Burin.

Organizations: Grand Bank

Geographic location: Targa, Marystown, Burin Newfoundland and Labrador New Zealand Swift Current

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Recent comments

  • Doug
    February 28, 2014 - 18:19

    I rarely comment on news stories, etc., but with regard to Cashin Delaney's comment (tirade?) above: WOW! Get those meds now!

    • Doug on Drugs
      March 01, 2014 - 13:21

      You have still not commented on the issue, or even commented on another's comment, only reinforced this paranoid man's self-admitted need for medication. His paranoia matches Tom Holletts delusions of 'bay-grandeur'. I doubt Tom would admit to needing pills to manage this. I doubt Doug has the courage to offer his opinion here, let along in person!

  • AlsoLiveontheBoot
    February 28, 2014 - 17:51

    Targa is a dangerous nuisance. Their drivers have run into houses (2 in Garnish alone), and have gone off the road into the water in Marystown. They speed, and block off the road for the rest of us, who pay taxes and car registration fees to use the roads. It is long overdue to send Targa packing!

  • Thomas
    February 28, 2014 - 09:52

    So I can purchase a car, pay the bucks to bring it up to Targa standards, throw on a pair of coveralls and a atv helmet and with little to no driving experience tear around out port Newfoundland until I end up on someone's property, run over granny in the lawn chair or drive in the local pond. Sounds like a good time.

  • Cashin Delaney
    February 28, 2014 - 05:00

    Newfoundlanders also waged ad hoc guerrilla war on the original peoples of their respective lands, like New Zealand, they have a collective shame still not expunged. How friggin' cool is dat!! COLD, thats how. The Targa is amateur, it is dangerous, they cannot control their cars - more money than skill - just another reminder of the growing divide between the struggling who can’t get pot-holes filled, and the multi-millionaires who snap their fingers to get a road to Long Harbour or a line to Lab West. As for the loss of revenue, as they say on that small Island without a shipyard, "C'est la vie!" Do you have numbers, or what? What are we loosing, compared to the resources used to accommodate this "Rich man's day playing Dinkies around poor people"? St. Pierre gives you all more money than Targa.Go with the flow Tom, my Sonny Boy, lots of ways to address this financial loss, Targa is not the be all, end all. So sorry, I wouldn't even bring the negativity if you hadn't evoked “Repo” Williams/New Zealand/cool + you let Terry French in your house! + Rex Murphy is a self-important shill = triggered an AboriginalBayman moment for me, sorry. I am getting pills for this soon.Good luck with other things, much respect for the B.P. and its people, to hell with Targa, or N.Z. - do it somewhere down below....not here. I'm also against fireworks, and demo-derbies, if that is any consolation?