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Photo : Jackie McCann-Scott April 18, 2014
Photo : Telegram Photographers April 16, 2014

James McLeod - Briefing Note

Adventures with ATIPPA… - Adventures with ATIPPA… Back in late February, I filed a few ATIPPA requests to Nalcor. Some of them are still working their way through the process and you’ll probably hear more about them later, but I just wanted to post a quick note about one weird one. Naively, I requested the following documents from Nalcor: “Text of all signed procurement contracts by Nalcor Energy or subsidiaries related to the Muskrat Falls and/or Labrador Island Link project.” Hoo boy. A couple weeks later I got a call from the access to information co-ordinator for Nalcor. There was a little problem, or rather, a very, very big problem. At the time of my request, there were more than 2,400 procurement contracts related to Muskrat Falls and the island link, totalling a whopping 93,000 pages. As the act is currently structured, at least one person would have to go through all of those pages — paid at a rate of $25/hour — and redact the juicy bits. I told Nalcor that I absolutely did not want to pursue this request; there’s no way The Telegram would pay what would literally amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, I said, I wanted to see the formal cost estimate. I just wanted to see the really, really, really big number out of a perverse sort of curiosity. Last week, I got another email from Nalcor. They were formally refusing to even provide me a cost estimate. In a nutshell, here’s their explanation of why: “Nalcor Energy attempted…

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Photo : James McLeod April 11, 2014

Geoff Meeker - Geoff Meeker (Meeker on Media) Blog

No More Stigma-1 - It was powerful, moving and important – quite likely the best interview you will hear in 2014. Back in March, Ted Blades of CBC Radio ‘On the Go’ interviewed Andy Jones and Mary-Lynn Bernard, who in February lost their son, Louis, to mental illness. He may have committed suicide, but it was the mental illness that killed him. This was just one of the points forcefully made during the 38-minute interview. “I feel personally that Louis would eventually have committed suicide,” Andy said. “I just don’t think he would have lived unless there was some new (treatment).” You can read an excellent, in-depth summary of that interview – and listen to both interviews – by going here.  According to CBC, the above link has been visited by “tens of thousands” of listeners, and was followed by interviews on Here and Now and on the national CBC Radio program The Current… though Ted Blades’s contribution is still the strongest, in my view. The interview begins with a candid discussion about Louis’s childhood, and how his mental illness took root and sprouted like a dark, angry weed. The couple’s willingness to speak so openly and in such detail about the symptoms of mental illness are relevant to all of us and especially to those who experience similar challenges within their own families. I will present a few excerpts from the interview; the points that really smacked me across the face and helped me understand mental health issues in a new way. “The compassion isn’t there for these…

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Photo : Geoff Meeker April 21, 2014

Kenn Oliver - Kenn Oliver Blog

Herder heresy - Lost in the controversy over where this year’s Herder Memorial Trophy series games will be played is the trophy itself. What people forget is that this trophy does not belong to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. Nor does it belong to the Cataracts or the newly formed Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. It doesn’t belong to this paper, the title sponsor of the provincial senior championship series.  It’s still the rightful property of the Herder clan and knowing how dearly they regard the award — named in honour of their late loved ones — I would imagine this latest controversy has them wondering why they would continue to have their prestigious family name tarnished while half-truths are being thrown around by both sides of this contentious debate. Were I part of the Herder clan, I would approach Hockey NL and the league executive and inform them that they can have their championship series, but the hardware hoisted when the buzzer sounds on the series clinching game won’t be the Herder Memorial Trophy. Instead, the Herder family should take the trophy over to the Eddie Oates and the Avalon East senior league and allow them to play for it in their championship series. As an amateur league, they have more right to it than the semi-professional NSHL and it’s massive payrolls. After all, the award original purpose was an award for the top amateur senior men’s team in the province, not the ones who could spend the most money or put the most fans in the stands. It…

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Photo : Kenn Oliver January 19, 2012