Blogs list

Ashley Fitzpatrick - Of Rock & Sea

Voisey’s Bay: the challenge of fish protection - The reality of environmental protection at the Voisey’s Bay mine site is as entertaining as any fish tale.The thought hit me as I sat alone in the two rows of wooden-pew seating behind the lawyers at Courtroom No. 2, at provincial court in St. John’s. I was looking up at Perry Blanchard, currently the manager of safety, health and environment for Labrador operations with Vale, as he gave testimony at the trial that will determine whether or not the mining company gets hit with an “environmental offender” label for its work in Labrador, even after it spent millions in monitoring and protection efforts specific to the site, located about 35 kilometres southwest of Nain.A decision is expected to come at least two years after the charges — alleged violations of the Fisheries Act — were laid. Those charges came nearly two years after the alleged breaches of the act. The counts were reworded from the original filing and one of three has since been dropped, as the Crown finished presenting its case.“You’re going to love this one,” Blanchard said, with a nervous, awkward half-laugh, looking deep into the thin microphone in front of him and not really speaking to anyone in particular. The topic was the creation of the nickel mine’s tailings impoundment area. It was once a freshwater pond.“We had to capture all of the fish (there) in pens and, using nets, transport them by helicopter in a forestry-type bandy bucket, if I could use that term, transport them to another pond that we had…

Photo : Ashley Fitzpatrick May 01, 2015

Jackie McCann-Scott - Invested Mama

Everything is not always as it seems… - If you are a parent of young children, the one tidbit of last month’s Federal Budget that likely piqued your interest was the increase of the Universal Childcare Benefit or UCCB. For parents, this was a sign – albeit not a big, flashing one - that maybe, just maybe, the high cost of raising children has begun to register on this Government’s radar. Essentially, what they propose is an increase of benefits from $100-$160 per month for children ages 0-5 (the years when daycare costs are at their highest) and the continuation of those benefits on a lesser scale from ages 6-17 at $60 per month. If you’re doing the math, that’s $20,160 in UCCB that will be paid out over a child’s lifetime, regardless of his or her family’s income. What’s more, this enhanced benefit will be applied to those currently in receipt of UCCB as well as those who are no longer receiving the benefit. For our family, that means that even though our children are 9 and 12 and we haven’t received UCCB in years, we can now expect a $60 per month per child payment to resume in July of this year. Furthermore, we can expect a retroactive payment for these benefits from January to July 2015. Throw up a few pics of a happy family strolling through the park with that announcement and it’s easy to spin this one as a good thing for Canadian families. And it is. But… In a paragraph just below the announcement of the UCCB…

Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott May 05, 2015

Telegram Photographers - Worth a thousand words

Ironic Nominations by Keith Gosse - There's a slap of irony in a bit of good news that was announced in the Telegram offices this week. Myself and co-worker Joe Gibbons are nominated for awards in the Atlantic Journalism Awards program. I'm nominated in the news photo and feature photo categories while Joe is a co-nominee in the news photo category.
 It's gratifying and humbling to be recognized by journalistic peers for accomplishments in your chosen profession.

 So where's the irony? 

 Each of those categories contains at least one photojournalist who received a lay off notice in March from the Moncton Times-Transcript. You all know the work of at least one of those photographers. Victor Pivovarov is the guy who captured that now infamous image of armed Moncton shooter Justin Bourque who gunned down three RCMP officers. (To see Victor's photo of the Moncton Shooter on the Atlantic Journalism Awards website, click HERE) He is nominated for that same photo in the news photo category with myself and Joe. Another laid off photographer, Ron Ward, is nominated in the same feature photo category as I am. 

In a statement on the CBC's website, Jean-Claude D'Amours, Brunswick News Inc. regional general manager said they are trying to adjust to a new technological reality, helping to ensure that we remain competitive in a media world that is constantly changing. Our reporters now have the technology to quickly and easily take pictures allowing them to provide the essential elements to deliver quality content to our readers. In other words, untrained reporters armed with newer,…

Photo : Telegram Photographers April 08, 2015

James McLeod - Briefing Note

Take that campaign promise to the bank — in 2020 - On Wednesday, Premier Paul Davis announced that in 2020 the government will start a “Generations Fund” — basically, a sovereign wealth fund, with a name that was probably tested in focus groups. Here’s what he said verbatim, starting by talking about the government’s current fiscal crisis precipitated by the drop in oil prices: “Just imagine if suddenly I asked you to return your income to 2003 and balance your 2015 chequebook on that. Well, we’re not prepared to repeat the choices made in the early 1990s. We’re not prepared to shock the system or do anything that’s going to bring our economy to a standstill. It’s too important to Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead, we’ll present a plan that’s going to ratchet our deficit down — progressively — step by step, all the way to zero. We’re going to do that, ladies and gentlemen. … “We will return to surplus, and then we’re going to create something that I’m calling a Generations Fund — a fund that’ll be set aside for our children and our children’s children.” It seemed to go over pretty well with the crowd in the Delta Hotel ballroom, who had paid $500 each for the privilege of schmoozing and listening to Davis talk. It’s amazing to me that people didn’t fall out of their chairs. Because with just a few words, Davis steered the government onto a wildly different course. I’ve been asking about a sovereign wealth fund for at least four years now, and I remember then finance minister Tom Marshall always…

Photo : James McLeod April 23, 2015

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

That's no Worm! - March 26, 2015 - The story is probably going viral already. Two days ago, a Facebook friend named Wanita Bates posted a rather disturbing photo on her timeline of what appeared to be a worm or slug in her kitchen sink. Whatever it was, the thing had come out of her 1-litire container of Blue Diamond Almond Milk. Wanita had contacted the manufacturer about the incident, but the response – an offer of coupons for discounted and free product – was not acceptable. A day later, after Bates said she would contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Blue Diamond got back to her again, taking her complaint more seriously and offering to pick up the offending item for lab analysis. The CFIA said it would do the same. I drink the same product, consuming one or two liters per week, so this caught my eye. I even offered supporting comments on Wanita’s wall. Today, I have an entirely different perspective. Wanita Bates was a guest today, Thursday, on CBC Radio Noon. Host Ramona Dearing interviewed Bates about her experience, first with the “worm” and then the manufacturer. During the interview, Wanita mentioned that the open container of almond milk had been in her fridge since January. That’s two months, and quite possible longer. Immediately, I knew what had happened. To confirm my theory, I checked an open container of almond milk in my refrigerator. On the top is the following advisory: “After opening, keep refrigerated and use within 7 – 10 days.” There is…

Photo : Geoff Meeker March 26, 2015