Feedback from our readers

Cathi Wagner Stevenson: (re: “You better network”) There’s a long-term effect to the old school patriarchy, such that I doubt networking is going to change much in this decade. Men have their feet firmly entrenched in the “experience” and “contacts” ground because even in the 1990s women weren’t often considered to cover a lot of the news beats. The men who were in charge back then came from a structure where there were only men and I’d question how many were welcoming women. So, of course, when they’re sharing hotel rooms with the new “guys” on assignment, and getting to bond with them, the new guys are at an advantage. These 1980s and 1990s “new guys” are now looking for jobs and freelancing gigs with stronger resumes simply because they were weaned at the patriarchal tit.

Sally Anne: (re: “Atlantic disconnect”) The Maritimes has a more passive, laid back, obedient culture, so no, they’ll never align. The Newfoundlanders are way more resistant to collectivism. I kinda like that. Look how many great comedians on This Hour Has 22 Minutes come from Newfoundland.

@fleury_antoine: @ABM_Editor @wkearley you may want to check flexibility to import/export at the same time from HVDC – limiting factor won’t be cable.

ABMaircraft@Provincialair: @AtlanticBus We’ve been happy to have you onboard, congrats on the first 25 years! Do you like our newest aircraft?

@BradCabana: @ABM_Editor @wkearley The fact this story (“Atlantic disconnect”) makes absolutely zero mention of the water management agreement means it is just rhetoric.

W.McLean: (Quote from “Atlantic disconnect”) “Ploughman’s frustration is palpable. ‘We are the last province in Canada with no road connection to the rest of Canada,’ he says.” Um, no. The province of Newfoundland AND LABRADOR has road connections to the rest of Canada, even if the island of Newfoundland does not.

Darren Robertson:(Re: “Time to get digging”) Mr. Ploughman’s thinking is endemic with what is terribly wrong with Newfoundland’s abusive relationship with Labrador. Unending studies with no solutions for Labradorians at all.

The “Link” in no way will ease the daily lives of Labradorians. The vast expense will be wasted connecting to a nearly non-existent transportation network. A condition which has placed any economic development in Labrador in a state of futility.

Newfoundland is in an un-realistic position compared to Quebec to garner natural transportation linkages. Quebec has rail and small ports readily available near likely transportation routes, which give it a huge economic advantage that Newfoundland should not compete with if they had any sanity. Not to mention the aboriginal groups have natural ties and links to other aboriginal transportation streams.

Let’s face it. Labrador does not even have a paved two-lane highway with a speed limit over 45mph! Labrador’s outports and coastal towns are stricken with very sketchy marine service at times. And there is no rail worth speaking of. Then they have a large collection of airports limited by runway length and width. Some of which seem to feature in rolling “studies” that never seem to end.

In many ways the dies are already cast. Labrador is so used to being raped for resources with no expense ever spared. But try to do something to improve the lives of the people who live there? Oh dear. That seems to be illegal for Newfoundland politicians to do. Without resolving this stranglehold on Labrador’s economy, it’s hard to see how a billion-dollar boondoggle link will impress the people of Labrador.

This is not rocket science. The people of Labrador have little reason to think Newfoundland has any sincere interest in their welfare. So they should not be surprised by widespread talk and organizing about an independent Labrador. Then what will Newfoundland do without their favorite money piñata?

Doug Keefe: (re: “Capitalist cannibalism”) As I understand it (and I’m no expert), Thatcher championed competition, small enterprise and self-improvement. I seem to recall her major “tax cut” was really a rate cut done in conjunction with the elimination of a whole lot of loopholes and exemptions. It actually brought in more revenue. Her big mistake was to try to balance the budget in a time of economic tightening which caused a lot of unnecessary suffering. That was poor judgment, flowing from trying to balance the books too quickly and at a bad point in the economy. (I am open to being challenged on all this as it was all a long time ago). Reagan, on the other hand, cut taxes and regulations in the simple belief that American business would magically make everyone rich and fill the gap. As a result he ran up huge deficits. My point is not to defend Thatcher but to lay out that there were really two competing implicit assumptions in the air as the failure of communism began to manifest itself from the late ’70s Most trumpeted it as the triumph of business over government. Really it was the triumph of competition of ideas … over the concentration of power. … Ironically, when there is an enduring and formal “ruling class/landed gentry” where privilege is obviously an accident of birth we occasionally find at least a pretense of noblesse oblige and sometimes even the reality. While in a society where the prevailing myth is that anyone willing to work hard can be a billionaire, of course the opposite is true. Not only don’t you need to help the less fortunate, you would be robbing them of their entrepreneurial drive and thus harming their chances. This of course has the happy consequence of lessening competition and concentrating wealth/power. I’m not saying I like either – I don’t – but, as condescending as it is, at least noblesse oblige supported a social compact of sorts.

Dennis O’Keefe, mayor, City of St. John’s (St. John’s, N.L.): I want to congratulate you on the March/April edition. I have always perused your magazine and felt it was very informative and interesting but I have never given it a lot of critical reading. This morning, I picked up my copy and am in the process of giving it a good, open-minded, analytical reading. The articles are tremendous! They are well written, enjoyable, very timely in terms of current and future issues and provide a lot of food for thought for both politicians, the business community and the community at large. Just to mention a few: Dawn Chafe’s editorial on the fixed link, Eleanor Beaton’s on the importance of networking, Alec Bruce on “Going down the road” – all (offer) insight into the future!! “Atlantic disconnect” by Wade Kearley is a terrific, objective analysis of the fixed link concept intertwined with Muskrat Falls. Stephen Kimber’s article on “Capitalistic Cannibalism” is excellent. How correct he is when he talks about the necessity to marry capitalism with a social compact or capitalism will die on its own vine. The Jim Spatz article I have just finished. I know Jim, met him several times and had dinner with him in Halifax. What a fine individual, a developer with an amazing philosophy and social conscience. His comments in the section “My advice to government” are spot on. Sorry, I have to go now to finish the rest of the magazine. I will leave you in the knowledge that you have acquired an avid reader!!!

Robert Dicks: In the Water Cooler item “Fight the (no) power”, your reference to government-owned Newfoundland Power is incorrect. The company is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., the largest utility holding company in Canada, headquartered in St. John’s, and shareholderowned. The government-owned (i.e. taxpayers and citizens publiclyowned) utility is Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, subsidiary of Nalcor.

Mike Hollihan (Bedford, N.S.): (re: “Atlantic disconnect”) In the early ’80s I was … on a business trip to London, England and staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, enjoying a leisurely Sunday breakfast when an article in the newspaper about Newfoundland and Labrador caught my attention. Apparently the paper ran a science competition which paid a fairly large prize for the best three proposals submitted on futuristic ideas that could change the world. A gentleman from Scotland won second prize for his proposal on Newfoundland and Labrador… His idea was for a fixed solid rock link from Newfoundland to Labrador, with a bridge for ship passage.

Benefits: it would stop ice and the cold Labrador Current from flowing into the Gulf of St. Lawrence through the Strait of Bell Isle. This would: make the Gulf ice-free all year, add six to seven weeks growing time to the entire Gulf, increase the fish harvest, increase property values in the whole Gulf area, allow natural development on the complete West Coast of N.L., and have a major economic effect on the whole region, including Montreal.

Negatives: the East Coast of N.L. would bear the brunt of the ice and Labrador Current, experiencing drastically reduced temperatures which would affect fishing grounds and potentially cause a population migration from east to west on the Island. It would definitely affect the Grand Banks. Pressure from the Labrador Current would move the Gulf Stream further down on the Atlantic side, albeit only slightly. However, the Gulf Stream controls the weather in Europe… Even though they are much further north than N.L., the U.K. enjoys a much warmer climate and all the benefits that go with it. In its most drastic consequence, the plan’s author had the Current moving down as far as the coast of France. This would have a drastic effect on all of the U.K. and the Scandinavian countries.

The provincial government should have one of the scientists from MUN do a quick study on a “solid fixed link” and see if my facts, both positive and negative, are the same as above. If so, they should go ahead with the project (my recommendation), or at least threaten to do so when they have their next vote on the seal hunt.

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