Monthly Archives: September 2011

Mitchelmore calls on Government to overturn decision to decline local development organization funding.

Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP candidate for the Straits – White Bay North calls on Government to overturn a decision to decline local development organization funding.

White Bay Central Development Association made an application for funding under the Job Creation Partnerships (JCP) Program to hire 12 workers to provide access to a facility, which is a Town asset, operated as Main Brook Research and Development under the local development organization. There are safety concerns with access to the facility that will close operations if not addressed. Therefore, a proposal written to improve access to the community asset and provide necessary skills training to unemployed, would have meaningful long-term economic impacts for the Town of Main Brook and surrounding region.

The proposal had the support of partners and a significant financial commitment from the Department of Innovation, Trade & Rural Development, Tenant, Town and Department of Fisheries and Oceans in excess of $100,000. Yet, was informed the proposal had been denied funding.

“I am calling on Government to re-assess the application” states Mitchelmore.

The facility is leased and the current tenant provides more than 44 full-time seasonal positions to residents of the Town and people from neighbouring communities and regions. A number of small boat fishers depend on this tenant to purchase their raw material for secondary or value-added processing. As well, there are a number of spin-off jobs and benefits to local businesses from the tenant leasing this asset and being a good employer.

“The loss of this employer would be catastrophic to employment for the Town and the region. I would like to know the reasoning behind the decline of this application by the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, as the decision has major implications, and does not address the need to provide work experience to those currently unemployed in the region?”

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Christopher Mitchelmore
NDP Candidate
The Straits-White Bay North
T. 709-456-2094 C. 709-660-0775
E. christophermitchelmore@nl.ndp

Mitchelmore calls on Government to take immediate action on the removal of condemned Englee Fish Plant

Christopher Mitchelmore, NDP candidate for the Straits – White Bay North calls on Government to take immediate action to help the Town of Englee by removing the old fish plant, which has now become a matter of public safety.

“Large parts of debris have fallen from the fish plant and into the major shipping lane. This poses a significant safety concern to fishers, recreational boaters and the public-at-large” states Mitchelmore, “The plant was condemned more than 7 years ago. It is only a matter of time before more debris falls into the harbour. The Provincial Government should take a larger role in this process to ensure public safety.”

Debris from Eroding Fish Plant - Contributed Photo by Town of Englee

 

For the past seven years, the Town has been trying to find solutions for the idle plant. It has been pressing the issue with the Provincial Government and other stakeholders. The Town has a commitment from the Federal Government, under Small Crafts Harbours Program to develop a new wharf. This could lead to additional harbour front developments and economic spin-offs, such as a fish market, waterfront shops and seating as the Town transitions to a budding tourism market in the region.

The Town of Englee has been without a major employer since May 2004, when safety inspectors forced the closure of a dilapidated plant. In December 2005, the province determined a crab processing license for the Canada Bay region would be located in Englee. The Newfoundland and Labrador government approved an application from NFL Fishery in 2006 to open a processing plant. However, the new processing plant or license did not materialize for the Town as Government allocated these licenses elsewhere.  In a Government News Release from July 2009, it was evident that the fish plant was designated as permanently closed as supports were offered to respond to community and individual assistance under the Integrated Transition Strategy for Displaced Plant Workers.

“Englee will continue to face economic hardships and safety concerns with the presence of the vacated fish plant. The Provincial Government should take responsibility and have the property removed from site to help the Town become more sustainable, enabling developments that have been delayed for five years. ”

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Christopher Mitchelmore
NDP Candidate
The Straits-White Bay North
T. 709-456-2094 C. 709-660-0775
E. christophermitchelmore@nl.ndp.ca
Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

What Moose? Then dine at the Mayflower Inn, Roddickton, NL

One Saturday I decided to dine at the Mayflower Inn in Roddickton, NL. Their menu is something they should be very proud to hand out to customers. It is very visually appealling, especially the moose menu.

The Erosion of Rural NL

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has suffered immensely with the moratorium of the cod fishery in 1992. In nearly two decades that would follow we would see the plight of our youth, transient families and the de-population of our rural communities – all leading to erosion of infrastructure and services that are inadequate to meet the needs of current residents and unable to create a climate to attract enough young people and families to live rural. There are better ways to serve our rural economies.

Let’s take a look at the region and we will see the drastic decline in population since 1991. The 2011 census will only reinforce the fact that our region is facing continued  population decline and further aged population.

St. Anthony – Port au Choix Region  Community Census Counts

 Community  1991  2001  2006  % Change 1991-2006
 St. Anthony  3,164  2,730  2,476  -21.7%
 Port au Choix  1,260  1,010  893  -29.1%
 Roddickton  1,153  1,003  911  -21.0%
 St. Lunaire-Griquet  1,020  822  666  -34.7%
 Flowers Cove  372  325  270  -27.4%

Copyright: Stats Canada Census Counts (http://www.economics.gov.nl.ca/pdf2007/regionaldemographicprofiles.pdf)

The sad realities of our communal landscapes in Rural Newfoundland – images you will not see promoted by the Department of Tourism in our Award Winning ads.

Once vibrant fishing rooms, sheds, stages and wharves are now losing their bright red glamour. A fishing boat on the shore, not seeing the water for a while…

Once a vibrant family homestead that was painted brightly orange and trimmed with green. It has not seen life running around the kitchen in several years…

More vacated homes…

A not so happy jellybean row…

NDP Leader, Lorraine Michael argues Newfoundland and Labrador’s wealth from the offshore oil industry is not finding its way into enough pocketbooks, including rural areas in a recent CBC interview. (Read here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/09/05/nl-oil-wealth-ndp-905.html)

In this region there are still roads that are unpaved, communities and regions that do not have broadband Internet coverage, cable options or cellular telephone coverage. And yet, we live in Canada? In the 21st century? What about community-based day care, providing meaningful employment, working with the Federal Government to address fishery issues and cutting red tape and regulations (rural areas do not require the same policy for development as required by larger urban centres).

We must take greater care for people. Some have forgotten it was the rural regions that provided the resources to enable larger centres to thrive whether the resource fish, timber or minerals – even the oil is offshore. The Government needs to be more responsible when sharing our wealth, resources and being enablers that can provide rural regions the ability to re-vitalize. Better decisions need to be made now or I only fear the bust our economy will face once we begin to experience life after oil.

We must work together to find co-operative solutions that will revitalize our rural economies. No longer can we stand for the mis-management of our resources, including the way we are treated.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

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