Monthly Archives: November 2011

Enchanting Englee by Night

Englee is a picturesque town at the end of Route 433.

It is a small Town to add to the list to visit by day or by night. Homes are built on the waterfront, looping around both sides of the harbour. There are incredible views from the old family homesteads of the traditional saltbox homes.

The Town has faced many challenges since the loss of its key employer when the former fish plant was deemed unsafe in 2004. Unfortunately, the remains of the abandoned plant stick out like a sore thumb and continues to be a safety hazard. There have been continued calls for Government to step up and remove the unsafe and hazardous structure that is impeding economic activity.

The Town once had more than 1200 residents, now has less than 600. There were more boats moored to what is becoming an unsafe wharf and many more lights shining. The fabric of our rural economies are slowly being permitted to fade away as the lights are less vibrant.

Tomorrow, I will re-visit the Town of Englee and hope to meet with a group of residents as we have an opportunity to talk about concerns, issues and ideas on how to add more lights to the current happenings around Town.

Town Hall Meeting in Englee at the Firehall on November 28, 2011 from 10-12 PM. The meetings continue at Roddickton-Bide Arm Firehall at 2-4 PM and Main Brook Municipal Building from 7-9 PM.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Lonely Harbour…

The following photo was taken while on the campaign trail this past fall when visiting St. Anthony Bight, Great Brehat and St. Carols. It depicts the lonely harbour, moored boat and fishing rooms in need of Tender Loving Care…an image that is becoming more prominent on the Great Northern Peninsula.

As I read the Northern Pen newspaper this week, some alarming figures pop of the page pertaining to the fishery as the Red Ochre Regional Board representing the District of St. Barbe read their annual report outlining the significant decline in the value of the fishery. In 2008 the economic value declined from $50 million per year to $35 million per year in 2011. There are currently 8 fish plants, 467 fishing boats and one salmon hatchery employing 564 fish harvesters and 499 fish plant workers.

The report said that in 1992 there were some 1450 harvesters and 1560 plant workers while the number of boats had almost halved from their 1992 figure of 1,061. – Juris Graney, Northern Pen.

(Source: Regional Board Maintains Focus on Broadband, Northern Pen Newspaper, Page A3, Monday, November 21, 2011).

Approximately 2,000 positions have been eliminated from harvesters and plant workers in just this one electoral District in the past 20 years. The concerns are great.

There have been significant losses in employment in the fishery in the Straits-White Bay North, evident by the closure of fish plants in communities such as Green Island Brook, Green Island Cove, Sandy Cove, Savage Cove. Flowers Cove, Bear Cove, Englee and other communities. There are crushing impacts for the small boat fisher. Our Rural Communities known colloq. as “outports” are losing the fabric that held them together for centuries.

The evidence is all around us, as we see fishing rooms, sheds and other infrastructure needing maintenance; no longer do we hear the constant buzzing of motors make frequent trips to community wharves, as well, personal wharves are being reduced around the coastlines and not being replaced. The abandoned Englee fish plant is falling into the harbour, and too much raw material is being shipped off the Peninsula leading to a significant loss of employment, creating undue hardships for many of the smaller communities.

There has been a loss of key employers in these communities, without a strategy to create long-term meaningful employment to transition generations that maintains a reliance on the fishery. There are limited employment opportunities for many of these people who are unable to make viable incomes from the fishery. This has forced generations of youth to leave the rural outports to find alternate means to support themselves and their families. In continues to separate families and challenge the make-up of the rural community. The harsh realities faced by our rural communities is one that is creating a lonely harbour as those that remain, soon too may have to leave to support themselves.

Let us not go down this road where the lonely harbour for our rural economies become the eminent reality. The people’s resources must be put to better use to benefit the people of the local economy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Sealskin Slippers for Christmas?

There is snow on the ground and a crisp chill in the air – already this season appears to be one that promises a more traditional Christmas season. As the weather becomes colder, I ponder if I should purchase a warm pair of sealskin slippers made by local artisans?

I remember one year for Christmas receiving a pair that would be much to small for my now adult-size feet. They were incredibly warm and completely comfortable, conforming to ones feet.

My father was a fishermen and a sealer. He took great pride in preparing the sealskin, barking them in the water, lacing them in frames, soaking them in “Skin” Pond and letting them tan to perfection before using a pattern to prepare the sealskin leather. A local woman from Green Island Brook, would make our boots. She has been doing it now for more than 7 decades. There is a natural process that is followed that is part of our living heritage on the Great Northern Peninsula.

If you would like to purchase sealskin products that are 100% handcrafted and made by local artisans visit They have an array of product for those of you that would like to also experience rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

I will most likely pay a visit to GNP Crafts in the near future as sealskin slippers will surely keep my toes nice and snug when we hit -40 degrees C.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

MHA to Hold Public Meetings at All Towns in District

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

The Straits – White Bay North

Invites You to Bring Your Concerns, Issues & Ideas to a

Image Source Page:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fire Hall, Town of Englee from 10 AM -12 PM

Fire Hall, Town of Roddickton-Bide-Arm from 2 PM – 4 PM

Municipal Building, Town of Main Brook from 7 PM – 9 PM

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Parish Hall, Town of Cook’s Harbour from 10 AM – 12 PM

Fire Hall, Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet from 3 PM-5 PM

Municipal Building, Town of Raleigh from 7 PM -9 PM

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lion’s Centre, Town of Flower’s Cove from 10 AM -12 PM

Lion’s Club, Town of Anchor Point from 2 PM – 4 PM

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Open House at MHA Constituency Office

Public Building, 270 West St., Town of St. Anthony from 10 AM – 2 PM

Anastasia MacDonald Hall, Town of Goose Cove from 3 PM – 5 PM

Friday, December 9, 2011

Municipal Building, Town of Conche from 10 AM – 12 PM

Should you have any questions, please contact Ms. Lavinia Crisby, Constituency Assistant by email or toll-free 1-888-729-6091.

“Working with the People of The Straits–White Bay North to Find Co-operative Solutions”

Live Rural NL blog will become active again…

Dear Loyal Readers of the Live Rural NL Blog -

Since June 2010 I have scribed more than 250 posts on this blog with more than 50,000 views to the site. In just one day this July from the Iceberg article in Goose Cove 2,971 views were made with more than 10,000 views in July 2011 alone. Many of you have taken the journey with me, reading about all things rural on the Great Northern Peninsula, some since the beginning and others more recently.  I thank you all for sharing with me your interest in the part of the world I continue to live each and every day.

Since August I have struggled to write and actively post as I became involved in the political arena. I was elected as a Member of the House of Assembly in the District of the Straits-White Bay North in the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador on October 11, 2011. I remain quite busy with District work as the Government has opted to close the House of Assembly until March 5, 2011. Despite my new position as a Member of the House I am happy to report my plans to continue to scribe more articles on the Live Rural NL blog. It is new world – a new start!

On June 20th, 2010 I wrote:

I am back to the hometown and able to make valuable contributions in my current role as I strive to build Stronger Communities and accelerate the process of advancing the social & community enterprise. I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means to me to continue to Live Rural NL.

This paragraph remains unchanged. As we progress through life, we have new viewpoints, stories and thoughts to share. I am looking forward to sharing with you all once again some of my most recent encounters.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits- White Bay North

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