Daily Archives: April 17, 2011

Coca Cola Much Covers – Profiles Rural Newfoundland’s Travis Sheppard

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has talent. I stand by this statement, which I had written in July 2010 after attending the Big Droke Idol as part of the annual Big Droke Heritage Festival. There was a diverse range of talent – with some very young vocalists singing to background music, to more veteran singers using the squeezebox and those that needed no music but their own. It was quite the night and array of talent.

Just moments ago, my friend messages me on Facebook with the following message:

http://covers.muchmusic.com/index.php/profile/view/3551/5
Watch my Much Music video by following the above link. Copy the link to your facebook page so all your friends can watch too…..
 
This truly is a great way to self-market. Have your friends be Champions for you and promote the product or service you are selling. Any small business person or self-employed individual could learn something from this artist that has talent.
 
In 2005, I was able to first meet Travis Sheppard. He already had a Demo CD produced. I purchased a copy and was greatly impressed. The lyrics of his songs, that were self-written, were very powerful. You could tell that they were fueled by emotion. Travis is entrepreneurial and played several gigs throughout the summer locally. He has been pursuing a post-secondary education at Memorial University and has been performing and can be found signing a number of covers at www.youtube.com.

Make sure you rate the video and share on the social networks.

If you have talent, join the competition. Release Your Inner Superstar!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Escalating Gas Prices Continue to Leave Local Consumers Poorer, especially in Rural Regions

The Newfoundland & Labrador Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, released the maximum Petroleum Prices on April 14, 2011. For my region, self-service gasoline reached $1.40 per litre and full-service gasoline is $1.43 per litre.

http://n225h099.pub.nf.ca/orders/ppo/fuel/Fuel_110414.pdf

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has few options when it comes to the usage of gasoline, as there a limited public transportation options.

The fishing industry  is the mainstay of the rural economy on the Great Northern Peninsula. 2011 started with a positive outlook, which included significant increases to the price of crab and shrimp. However, the Federal Government announced a significant reduction to the shrimp quota.  This is an unacceptable cut that will add stress to our local rural economy. Additionally, a number of fisherpeople will continue to feel the pinch, despite rising prices for raw material product, they are also seeing significant increases for fuel. This pinch is also felt by those in working in forestry, tourism and basically all other industries. Just announced this week, Aeroplan was increasing the number of reward points required to fly certain distances. The article noted that increases in the price of fuel was a factor in their decision-making.

Local workers and commuters pay more to get to work, which will affect take home pay. Escalating gasoline prices will increase inflation, and we will in turn see higher prices on virtually all products. More has to be done to provide relief to consumers. Earlier this week, CBC News reported, “Power price hike expected”. There is currently an application put forth to the Public Utilities Board to approve a rate increase of 7% that will be passed directly on to the consumer ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/04/15/hydro-power-hike-pub-415.html). We already had an increase in electricity rates and there is no end in sight, especially with a major capital cost of developing the Lower Churchill. I would only guess that electricity rates will continue to rise to assist with that development on a frequent basis. These gradual increases will be a burden to rural regions and continue to hinder our growth and development. The Energy Corporation of the Province should continue to develop smaller local projects to displace the reliance on oil, this may include harnessing wind energy, tidal energy and bio-energy, as they pursue Muskrat Falls. We appear to have lost momentum on diversifying our ability to become a renewable energy powerhouse and have opted to place all of our eggs in one hydro-electric basket.

 We continue to rely heavily on oil and pay a significant amount in taxes for a Nation and a Province that has an abundance in supply. Why are we not meeting our local needs first and selling the  excess in the global marketplace? I took the photo to the left, while at a gas station in Northern Ireland in November 2010. The price of fuel was 1.198 Great British pounds (~$1.93 per litre). This is quite high; however, like many other European countries they are not an oil-producing nation. When I visited Egypt (an oil rich nation) in 2007, my driver filled up the car at a rate of 0.75 piaster/lt, which at the time was approximately 16 cents per litre Canadian. Where is the balance?

The Provincial NDP Leader, Lorraine Michael held a recent news conference demanding the removal of the Harmonized Sales Tax on Home Heating. I agree with her stand, as it seems unfair to have to pay a tax on an essential such as warmth for your home. Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador will be signing the petition and if you support this cause, sign the NDP Petition to Remove the HST from Home Heat by clicking here.

We are simply paying too much for gasoline and home heating fuels. As consumer’s we must reduce our reliance on these fuels and opt for alternative energy sources. Many ruralites burn wood to heat their homes and offset their energy costs. Others will begin to convert to wood pellets. Many users of oil will have no choice but to convert to other energy options, as the price is $1.10 per litre locally. When it comes to driving our vehicles in rural areas we will have to find solutions to getting to destinations, whether it is carpooling, ride sharing, telecommuting, downsizing vehicles or trying to establish more public transit options. Through this period of change and transition, we must continue to lobby government to reinvest in local community projects to enhance and diversify the local economies of the Great Northern Peninsula, as well as all regions of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. During a period of government prosperity, greater attention in needed to spur development in economically depressed regions. Ignoring the issue will only result in greater hardships in the future.

Together there are solutions to provide a brighter future for our rural economy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Volunteers – Stars in Our Community

 “Those who can, do. Those who do more, volunteer”

Volunteers built Rural Communities and continue to deliver many of the services and programs today. We would not have our Lion’s Clubs, Faith-based committees, Libraries, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, Fire Departments, Town Councils, Heritage Committees, Recreation Committees, Historical Societies, Foundations, Social Enterprises and many others. Volunteers add to our rural community success!

April 10-16, 2011 was Volunteer Week in Newfoundland & Labrador. Although a week can not account for the endless hours that are unselfishly given by Newfoundlanders & Labradorians throughout the year, it is a means to recognize those who make a contribution to improve their communities and to promote the importance of volunteering to those interested in becoming more involved. Volunteers are to be commended for the work they do.

CBDC Nortip has been working with its Regional Partners to deliver Volunteer Appreciation Nights on the Great Northern Peninsula. This all started in 2005 at one location and has since grown to 5 regional locations (St. Anthony, Roddickton-Bide Arm, Plum Point, Hawke’s Bay and Cow Head). In 2010, approximately 300 volunteers participated in these activities.

The link below is a PowerPoint presentation thanks people for Volunteering and outlines a number of organizations in which people volunteer:

7th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Night final

I will continue to volunteer at a Local, Provincial and National-level to enhance the quality of life in and around our communities, share knowledge with others to also improve their communities. I invite you to explore Volunteer Opportunities that exist at the local, provincial, national or international arena. There are so many ways you can become involved and “Be a Star in Our Community”.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to Volunteer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore

Applications for Community Development Grant Program Available Now

The Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation is accepting applications for Community Development Grant Program. This is a great opportunity for non-profit, municipalities, local service districts, recreation committees and others to expand activity in their rural region, as it is only available to Towns and Communities with a population of less than 6,000 people. More information can be found at: http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2011/tcr/0415n07.htm

Tourism, Culture and Recreation
April 15, 2011

Applications for Community Development Grant Program Available Now

Applications for the Community Recreation Development Grant Program 2011-12 are now available online. The program assists communities and recreation committees throughout the province to provide recreation programming and services to residents.

“This program provides all residents across the province with the opportunity to become more physically active and to participate in local recreation programs and services offered in their communities,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. “Applications have been sent in the mail to more than 300 municipalities and recreation committees that have previously received financial support through this grant program. I encourage those who haven’t received an application to go online, or to contact the department, to learn more about the program and its benefits.”

Community recreation development grants are available to communities with a population of 6,000 or less. Applications are considered based on their alignment with the priorities outlined in the province’s recreation and sport strategy, Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador (2007). These priorities include providing increased access to programming for all residents; making the best use of community facilities; building community capacities, and promoting the inclusion of traditionally under-represented groups, especially women and girls, seniors, Aboriginal people, and those with disabilities.

For program guidelines and applications, please visit: www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/sports/community_recreation_development_grants.html or contact David Doyle, recreation and sport consultant, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation at 709-729-5281, daviddoyle@gov.nl.ca.

The deadline to submit applications is April 28, 2011.

Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future provided about $7 million through the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to support recreation and sport initiatives. This included over $1.3 million in new funding. Since the launch of the Provincial Government’s recreation and sport strategy more than $70 million has been committed to recreational and sport infrastructure, programming, and athlete development throughout the province.

- 30 -

Media contact:

Diana Quinton
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 631-8155
DianaQuinton@gov.nl.ca

2011 04 15                                                                                12:05 p.m.

Community Control of Resources Leads to Greater Success in Rural Newfoundland

Mr. Sam Elliott, Executive Director of St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) spoke to an audience of more than 100 at the National Conference Rural Revitalization From Our Forests, sharing their local community engagement success story. It was evident that when communities collaborate and come together, they can achieve greater success.

Mr. Elliott informed the audience that in 1997, when the Federal Government released its new management plan, there was an allocation of 3,000 tonnes for the 16 communities (17 at the time) on the northern part of the Great Northern Peninsula. They included the communities from Big Brook (now re-settled) to Goose Cove that had lobbied for a share of the increased quotas. Having this resource in the hands of the communities, enabled SABRI to make local decisions that would provide the greatest benefit to residents of the area.

The management Board is made up of 15 volunteers with 5 fisherpersons, 4 fish plant employees, 4 Community representatives and 2 representatives from local development committees. The Broad representation from various regions and interests may present for some tough decisions. However, the group realizes that they have to make good decisions that will have local impacts.

They put our a combination of short and long-term proposals, one of which was a plant facility for shrimp and other species in St. Anthony. According to their website, the Board chose 4 companies who proposed to offload their shrimp in St. Anthony and to hire local fishermen to fish the shrimp for 1997. In return SABRI would receive a royalty on a per tonne basis. This provided revenue until a production facility and agreement could be reached.

The Board reached a decision to establish a partnership to create St. Anthony Seafoods Limited and access the former FPI plant. It is evident that many negotiations had to take place with the owners and other interest groups to put up some investment. SABRI was able to retain 25% ownership, with 25% owned by two Icelandic Companies and 50% for Clearwater. The addition of these other shareholders, had reduced the risks of SABRI.

Mr. Elliott, noted in the beginning $10,000 was given to each community to assist with projects and enhancements. However, one of the larger problems in some of these rural communities was lack of organization (Town Council or Local Development Committees). This meant some communities were spending their $10,000 to do a project without trying to use that to leverage other funds. Sometimes the project would only be partially completed before funds would run out. Mr. Elliott pointed out that this $160,000 could potentially be $1.6 Million in infrastructure investments to the region. However, achieving this goal with many more interest groups and satisfying their needs would undoubtably be a challenge. SABRI had consultations with the communities and found that common to all groups, they were interested in having a trail system. This would be the direction SABRI would take to enhance what was currently in place.

Mr. Elliott should a series of photographs of before and after their organization had taken a lead. This included changing from wooded board walks to natural rock trails, to the completion of many gazebos. His images showed the trails were well-marked with good signage, some having storyboards.

SABRI has focused on Community Economic Development, which same highlighted a series of recent projects:

  • Removal and replacement of existing cruise docking facilities at L’Anse aux Meadows, as well as a tour bus turnaround at the site;
  • Development of a walking access to the French Oven site at Quirpon;
  • Development of integrated signage;
  • Trail guide for the SABRI region
  • Construction of three portable kiosks, which can be transported to festivals and activities in the region throughout the season.
  • Construction of three stationary kiosks. These kiosks are located on the Grenfell Properties; at L’Anse aux Meadows; and at Parkers Brook for the Save Our Char Committee.

SABRI has re-invested in local projects, creating local employment. They currently manage a mussel farm,  provide scholarships and donate to local not-profit groups, such as the Grenfell Foundation.

Mr. Elliott had provided a final slide of Did You Know? and I wish I was able to scribe all the positive figures of the many millions invested in infrastructure, the hundreds of jobs created directly and many more indirectly in the region. SABRI is truly a local success story on the Great Northern Peninsula that was given a small allocation of 3,000 tonnes and manage it effectively to provide the greatest benefits to the people of their region. They should be commended for the work they do and the significant impact they have made.

When communities come together and collaborate for the common good of everyone, there is greater success. There is no reason, why communities could not have greater decision-making over other resources, such as the forest. However, much of this success hinges on Government to enable the local economy to develop. We are beginning to see local groups with common interests, working closer together to share finite resources. We only have to look to co-operatives and how they have thrived in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. We need more local co-ops (agriculture, forestry, fishery, crafts, tourism), as well as collaboration from communities, businesses and government.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

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