Blog Archives

Canada appealing WTO ban on seal products

The Environment and Minister responsible for Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Leona Aglukkaq is in Geneva appealing the World Trade Organization (WTO) ban of Canadian Seal Products in the European Union today, which was upheld on the basis of moral grounds.

I support the Minister in our appeal. The Canadian seal hunt is well-regulated, humane and sustainable. It has been a way of life and a significant part of our culture and heritage on the Great Northern Peninsula for centuries.

In fact, St. Barnabas in Flower’s Cove was built under the leadership of Rev. Canon J. T. Richards in the 1920′s. The men and women made seal skin boots, which when sold went into a building fund. The church has been known locally as “seal skin boot” church.

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Local harvesters each year prepare to take to the ice. These are brave and courageous sealers, who risk their lives to provide for their families. My father was a sealer. He knew the art of bark tanning and preparing the skin to make leather products. Depicted below are seals tanning in Savage Cove, by the very talented Mr. Stevens.

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There are more modern products beyond seal skin boots that have been used to keep us warm in some of the harshest weather conditions, as winter can be difficult for those of us in the North.

Below is a patchwork sealskin purse. They are handmade creations by local craftspeople. With pride I promote our very own GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East on the Great Northern Peninsula. If you would like your very own, they can custom-make them. Visit www.gnpcrafts.ca or call 709-456-2123.

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I am a strong supporter of the Canadian seal hunt and will continue to press for more products and new business developments for all involved in the industry.

Supporting the Seal Hunt -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

(Seal skin purse photo credit – Donna Whalen-Grimes)

 

The Mighty Caribou is King Again on the Great Northern Peninsula

Dr. Wilfred Grenfell brought the first team of reindeer to the Great Northern Peninsula, about 300 of them in 1907. Some of these animals carried a parasitic roundworm that spread to the native caribou herds.

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Over the years, the caribou has seen upswings and almost decimation on the Great Northern Peninsula. There is renewed hope that these majestic animals are seeing their population grow. I continue to spot caribou all over the District from Croque (Route 438), Main Brook (Grenfell Drive), Cook’s Harbour (Route 435) and ofcourse the Viking Trail (Route 430), especially near the St. Anthony airport.

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In recent weeks you could spot several dozen. On my flight home from Saturday travelling the St. Anthony airport road, I had to stop several times to enable the caribou to cross the road. Be sure to be extra vigilant when driving our highways. The caribou can take it in their mind to cross the road on a whim and like sheep, typically others follow.

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Winter is truly a wonderland on the Great Northern Peninsula. We have incredible wildlife and immense beauty. Why not experience it for yourself?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Santa’s Gingerbread House – A New Tradition at the Mitchelmore’s

Traditions become steeped in our culture and are passed on from generation to generation. Sometimes they are long standing, but sometimes they begin and will continue to be passed on to the next generation. Unlike some families that have built homemade gingerbread houses or homes from kits for years, my mom and I started building the basic gingerbread house just a couple of years ago. Here is our house from last year:

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We enjoyed building the gingerbread home and spending time together – the teamwork it required to make the icing, holding the gingerbread together and strategically placing the candy. It was decided we would add this to our list of family traditions each time we are together for the holidays.

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Here is our finished product this year: Santa’s Gingerbread house, tree, barn and reindeer sleigh.

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Although my schedule is extremely busy, one has to make time for family and continue with our traditions. We got up early and this was our first task after breakfast.

Tonight, after a day of activities we will watch my favourite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

I’d love to hear about your family traditions. Please post in the comments section if you make gingerbread houses, sing carols, or go mummering. Keep your family traditions alive and pass them on to your children and embrace adopting new ones.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

 

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA – Christmas Greeting 2013

Christmas Greeting

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

The Straits-White Bay North

Christmas time has come again and what a pleasure it is to bring greetings of happiness and good cheer to you, your family, and your friends.

Take time this Christmas to spend with loved ones, rekindle traditions or possibly make new ones; it makes rural Newfoundland and Labrador that unique place we love to call home.

It is the season to give thanks to those around who have inspired you, brought a smile to your face or simply enriched your life with their presence. Together we will continue to enjoy Christmas and the joys it brings long into the New Year.

I extend to you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Cheers to a wonderful 2014!

Underground Salmon Pool – A Natural Wonder

The Underground Salmon Pool is the only known place in the world where Atlantic Salmon swim through underground river caves to get to their spawning grounds. Hiking & walking interpretative trails. Guide service provided by Mayflower Adventures in Roddickton. (According to the Province’s Tourism website www.newfoundlandlabrador.com.)

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I encourage residents and visitors of Newfoundland & Labrador to enjoy this natural wonder. Interpretative panels explain the nature of the old growth forest, the rich lumbering history of the Canada Bay Area and the boardwalk offers incredible viewing vistas.

Here are some photos taken on a visit, where I captured anglers casting in designated area, birds, squirrels, views of salmon, natural erosion of limestone and the underground river. There are two entry points if you take Route 432 (Grenfell Drive) you will see the signage directing you to this destination.

Share your angling stories in the comments section. Have you visited the Underground Salmon Pool? If not, add it to your next “To Do” list. You simply could not be disappointed if you like the beauty of the great outdoors!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Missing Grandma’s Raisin Pudding…

I always manage to have a big helping of my Grandmother Mitchelmore’s raisin pudding. It has that great vanilla flavour, bountiful amount of raisins and texture of sweetness, creating a perfect pudding – ones only grandmothers seem to know how to prepare. The raisin pudding during a Sunday dinner at Nan’s house is truly a treat. Maybe the art of food for traditional meals get enhanced by the younger generation over time.

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It has been quite awhile since I’ve had the pleasure of Nan’s homemade soups, puddings, bread and other treats. While on vacation this past August, I got news that my grandmother at the ripe age of 81 years had broken her leg.

My Nan is a very active senior, as she maintains large flower beds, vegetable gardens, does crafts, makes quilts and also does quite a bit of travelling. Although, the past few weeks have been the quiet road to recovery, no doubt in the coming weeks she’ll be back on her feet as busy as ever.

I’m certainly looking forward to sitting with her, chatting and enjoying her traditional meals in the near future. The time we spend with our family in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, will be treasured memories.

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Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Universal High-speed Broadband Vital to Global Competitiveness: Mitchelmore

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2013

Universal High-speed Broadband Vital to Global Competitiveness: Mitchelmore

Independent Member Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) calls on Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to place greater emphasis on universal high-speed broadband.

“Broadband builds stronger economies, supports commerce, educates students and is vital to advancing community development’ says Mitchelmore. “On November 1st the Minister stated the Government was well on target to reach 95 per cent coverage for the province by 2014.”

Newfoundland and Labrador are not leaders in high-speed broadband, even if 95 percent of households will have basic broadband access by end of 2014. Nearly 200 communities are still unable to access high-speed internet and only two-thirds of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps. These statistics are bleak when we consider rural broadband speeds.

Despite the Province investing millions in a rural broadband initiative, the lack of a complete strategy has resulted in missed funding opportunities, failure to develop mapping of current broadband availability and speed, as well as, a plan to achieve universal access under a timeline to meet these critical goals.

The District of the Straits-White Bay North was an early adopter of Federal funding that added high-speed Internet to 36 communities of the Great Northern Peninsula in 2005. Nearly a decade later, communities of Bide Arm, St. Julien’s, Pine’s Cove, Eddies Cove East, St. Carol’s, St. Anthony Bight, Great Brehat, Goose Cove and North Boat Harbour remain without service.

“The province needs to build stronger partnerships between the public, private sector and community groups to advance universal broadband,” said Mitchelmore. “It’s time to develop and make public a mapping model that shares information, encourages collaboration among providers and ensures we get best value for our tax dollar invested to bring broadband access to the remaining communities without it.”

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
Tel: 1-888-729-6091
Email: cmitchelmore@gov.nl.ca

Icebergs are your doorstep

In June the icebergs scatter the coves, bays and shores along the Strait of Belle Isle and surround the entire Great Northern Peninsula.

These icebergs were taken from the doorstep in L’Anse au Clair, Labrador this past summer:

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The Peterman Ice Island left these icebergs in Goose Cove, Newfoundland on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in July 2011.

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The Great Northern Peninsula hosts an annual iceberg festival, which is scheduled to run from June 6th to June 15th, 2014. Check for updates at www.theicebergfestival.ca.

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Icebergs are at your doorstep on the Great Northern Peninsula. You can see them on boat tours, at Festivals, with binoculars, on walking trails, up close or on the distance.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Happy Thanksgiving…

I’ve spent some time today looking at old photographs of times spent with family and friends over the years. This also included travels to Europe, USA, Caribbean, Africa and many parts of Canada, especially my home on the Great Northern Peninsula. It certainly made me realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving. It is a holiday to celebrate the harvest and the blessings of the past year. 

Here is a snapshot of some events in which I am thankful since last Thanksgiving:

October 2012 was a celebration of one year in office as the Member for the Straits-White Bay North. It is also the month of my birthday and of course the celebration of Halloween.

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November 2012 is a time of reflection, especially on Remembrance Day for those who fought for the freedoms we have today. I placed a wreath at the St. Anthony Legion’s War Memorial on behalf of the people in the District.

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December 2012 is filled with activity from Christmas Parades, hanging lights, decorating trees and celebrating the spirit of season. Last December, I spent many hours in the Newfoundland & Labrador legislature, as a filibuster on the Muskrat Falls enabling legislation had us going around the clock until the early hours of December 22nd. My comments of the Monopoly Bill was one of the last before the vote:

I would like to reflect, Mr. Speaker, upon an episode of The Simpsons, when monopolist C. Montgomery Burns planned to block out the sun, to have the ratepayers of Springfield pay for his monopoly power. Having to consume more, pay more and not conserve, Smithers, the longest-serving employee, jumped from his party faithful and the people of Springfield suffered and so did he. In the end it did not go well for the monopoly company, but the people did prevail.

I only hope the people of the Province are not impacted to the degree this legislation offers, that Muskrat Falls does bring the employment and long-term benefits as touted, and that it also allows and permits new opportunities for wind, small-scale hydro, and other energy options. (Hansard, December 20 http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/hansard/ga47session1/12-12-20.htm). 

Christmas was spent with my wonderful family. Good food, good drinks and good company. I thoroughly enjoyed mummering. A tradition we are keeping alive.

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January 2013 - The Great Northern Peninsula is filled with incredible beauty and an abundance of wildlife. The fjords fill the backdrop around Gros Morne National Park. I had the pleasure of seeing these caribou, as they were grazing.

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February 2013 was filled with culture, from seeing the Great Northern Peninsula’s own Megan Coles’ play “Our Eliza”, as well several hockey tournaments, Air Cadet performances, the Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador convention and trade show, coffee-house and the big announcement of Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-North Boat Harbour’s Let them be kids playground for summer 2013.

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March 2013 I was able to celebrate the success of community groups and the important roles they play in Community, like the Green Island Cove Lions. Also, Winterfest, carnivals, town halls and lots of community engagement happens in March. Not to mention the presence of seals.

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April 2013 brought me back to Labrador. There is a pristine and natural beauty. Everyone should take time to experience all regions of our province.

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May 2013 many graduations were held. It had me reflect that it has been 10 years since I graduated from high school with 19 other classmates. A number of people are now married, have children, new homes and wonderful careers. It is always nice to see former classmates and remember our time shared together. This September when I went to Edmonton I was able to re-connect with a few, as well I get to see others at weddings and special occasions on the Great Northern Peninsula, while some have chosen like me to live rural.

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June 2013 we celebrate the Iceberg with an annual iceberg festival. It was also a time when I saw communities come together and build an incredible playground in Cook’s Harbour. To also learn about people and their talents, such as boat building and hear about the flurry of fishing activity happening along our coast. Summer is always a busy time. We have much to be thankful, from the land and the sea.

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July 2013 After a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony, I decided to host my family for a Canada Day shed celebration. A big bbq spread was for all to enjoy neighbours, friends and family members. We even broke out the accordion. These are the moments you’ll remember all year. It is so important to take time to celebrate with your loved ones. July continued with Come Home Year celebrations in Conche and were followed in August by Roddickton and Savage Cove.

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August 2013 I was reunited with my friends from Europe. We all first met in Prague on an exchange in 2007. I was thrilled that all five of us were able to make the sailing trip in Sardinia, Italy. We have been many places together, including Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Cuba, Edmonton, British Columbia, Toronto, St. John’s and the Great Northern Peninsula. I look forward to our next expedition :)

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September 2013 Labour Day was spent with family enjoying food, games and each others company. I am so thankful we got to spend a weekend where we were all together. I also was happy to travel to Edmonton to see a very good friend of mine marry the love of her life. It was such a great weekend helping and hanging out. I don’t think I laughed so much all year. So good to see former co-workers, family and friends in a city I lived and worked.

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I’ve had some very incredible experiences throughout 2012-13 engaging people. There are high points and there are low points, I’ve made new friends and have had to say good-bye to some old ones. There are demands during special occasions and evenings that may take you away sometimes from your family and loved ones but when you can spend time together make it count. Family is the cornerstone of our lives and society.

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On Thanksgiving 2013, I’ll be spending it with my sister and extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. May next year’s harvest, blessings and experiences be ones of which you can reflect back upon and be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving and as always, live rural…

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

Republic of Doyle rolls out the red carpet

On Wednesday, October 2nd people from across the country tuned into CBC for episode 501 of Newfoundland & Labrador‘s own “Republic of Doyle” as the cliffhanger ending of Season 4 left us all wondering what would become of star Jake Doyle (Allan Hawco)?

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Last year’s shows were attracting 2.5 million viewers tuning in to the father and son, private investigators from St. John’s for a mix of comedy and drama. This is an exciting endeavor as we showcase the talents of our province and build a growing film and production industry that is made right here. We are creating opportunity, jobs and marketing Newfoundland & Labrador to the world. The Republic of Doyle is a great addition to the Newfoundland & Labrador brand and we should be doing more to encourage local film, production, theatrical and forms of entertainment to develop here at home.

Republic of Doyle rolls out the red carpet…

I had the pleasure of attending the premiere at the St. John’s Convention Centre with hundreds of others to watch it on the big screen. The red carpet was down, banners depicting the actors and a place for group photos. The cast was mingling with the crowd, as well as the crew and others who played a role in the shows success.

It was quite the celebration, a room full of exuberant energy. Before watching episode #501, we were given a viewing of a short film that captured the attention of the audience. After the show people continue to talk about the success of the cast, crew and opportunity for local production. It appears only bigger and better things are in store for the Republic of Doyle. Their success also helps build the business case for other shows, maybe about “The Vikings” or “Outport Life” that showcases the Great Northern Peninsula.

The Republic of Doyle airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and southern Labrador, 9 p.m. in the rest of Canada, on CBC Television.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

I found “Love” in St. Lewis…

Rural communities have resilience, and incredible potential. I was truly inspired on June 1st by individuals I met that Saturday in St. Lewis, Labrador.

I really found a love for this place as the people welcomed me into their homes and shared their talents, passions and past times with me and my colleague, Jason Spingle.

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There are few places remaining in this province where one will see a wooden canoe being custom-built as a past time by a young man in the community. He may get his inspiration and talent from the senior boat builder in the family, who took time to show the newest wooden flat. We were told, he tends to make at least one a year for the past few decades. My dad was a boat builder. I remember him making his last flat bottom boat in my uncle’s store in the late 1990′s. There are many skills my father possessed that I would love to have. There is still time for me to learn, but the task much more difficult when the one with such influence and the skill has passed on. I encourage youth to learn skills of their parents and elders in the community. There is nothing positive that will come from letting rural tradition die.

The views of St. Lewis from the waterfront is captivating. There is no question about the community being built from a fishing history despite a recent plant closure. Warrick and Elaine are working tirelessly on restoring the family fishing premises and focusing as well on growing local foodstuffs. They proudly showed us the collection of fishing tools, nets, punt and outer buildings they revitalizing in the area. They have planted berry bushes and trees that are growing, although the raspberries are not bearing fruit, the blackberry bushes have netted about 24 quarts of berries. Placed next to the orange shed were fish pans and buckets lined with produce. The benches and gentle waves make it the perfect place to sit down with a book and cup of coffee, as one would watch the sunrise or sunset. A little closer to their home they have a herb garden and strawberry patch. Warrick has quite the talent when it comes to placing stone; there is even a heart. One can sense the passion for renewal and revival of community from these two resilient individuals as we chatted about future opportunities and community economic development.

It was quite easy to find “Love” in St. Lewis. I have many more memories of meeting people and I’m forever richer because of this experience. I look forward to another visit to St. Lewis in the future and I encourage others to see opportunity in their community. Small contributions of new development go a long way to rural revitalization.

We need more restoration, community gardens, viewing vistas and experiences that share culture and learning with locals and visitors in our very own regions. Let’s share our talent, passion, past time and love of where we live with others.

Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

A Milestone Moment – Happy 100 Years to Grenfell Memorial Co-op

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A co-operative is formed when people are empowered to work toward a common goal. They are virtually involved in every sector of the economy, including finance, housing, fishing, forestry, childcare, film, craft, farm and retail. Co-ops are owned and run by its members – they share the profits, benefits and meet the local needs of people, because they are the co-op.

Last night, as the MHA for the Straits-White Bay North, I had the pleasure of applauding the members, employees, management and board members of Grenfell Memorial Consumer’s Co-op in St. Anthony on a milestone moment – turning 100th on June 7, 2013. A centennial is a milestone for any organization and certainly a reason to be proud of all that has been accomplished to date. Grenfell Co-op is the oldest consumer co-op in Newfoundland & Labrador, and one of the oldest in the country.

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I am a proud supporter of co-ops, because I believe in the co-operative principles. Co-ops are socially responsible,  sustainable, meet local needs, put people over profits, and are democratically run, as they are based on one member – one vote. I had the pleasure of attending a “Cultivating Coops” Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba in affiliation with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network and could see first hand that diversity and great work co-ops were doing there and hope to see more started on the Great Northern Peninsula.

As a Member of the House of Assembly in Newfoundland & Labrador, I stated the importance of rural and regional co-operation, highlighting Eagle River Credit Union, Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Barbe Consumer’s co-op and NorPen Regional Waste Disposal in my maiden speech.

I am not alone in believing in co-ops, as 1 Billion people worldwide are members, accounting for 100 million jobs with the world’s largest 300 coops having sales of over $1 Trillion. 2012 was named by the United Nations as the “International Year of the Cooperative”.

Co-operatives empower people! Grenfell Memorial Co-op’s success is a true reflection both of the legacy of Dr. Wilfred Grenfell and the importance of cooperatives to communities such as St. Anthony and area.

Grenfell originally set up his work in Newfoundland & Labrador to focus on health care. However, he recognized the importance of employment and education to healthy lifestyles. His mission expanded to include schools, orphanage, co-operatives (fishery, retail, forestry and the world-famous crafts), industrial work projects, agriculture and aspects of social work. Grenfell was much more than a missionary in my view, he was a cultural politician, who fought the concept of colonialism that brought riches to the very few. He believed in a social democracy that would give back a greater share of the wealth to those who had the resources. The co-operative model was the best way to break the merchant truck-system, increase quality of life and ensure long-term sustainability for people of the Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador.

The cooperative business model is one government should encourage and nurture, as well as people especially in rural areas embrace. When communities come together and collaborate for the common good of everyone, there is greater success.

On June 7th, I visited the co-op for it’s 100 year celebrations which featured free refreshments and a cake cutting by the oldest co-op member, Violet Decker, and the youngest kids’ club member Jaycee White. Traditional music was performed by Adam Randell and Brandon White.

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I encourage communities and individuals to come together, be proud of and support your local co-op –  it’s yours. Encourage others to be involved. As a politician, I’ve seen the Grenfell co-op, their mascots and employees giving back to the community in the form of sponsorship, donations and volunteer hours at numerous community events throughout the region.

To Grenfell Memorial Co-op Members – it has been a pleasure to be at your 100th Anniversary, Annual General Meeting and the celebration dinner and dance. You have much to celebrate!

It’s Time to re-visit our past successes and replicate them to have such success in the future. We need to begin the process of setting up more co-ops – whether a community marketplace, craft co-op or other endeavor. The future is brighter when we work together to find co-operative solutions.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

BUY LOCAL – GNP Seal skin craft shop has new product

Sealing has been a necessity on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is still practiced today and with it continues traditional seal skin boot making. The Great Northern Peninsula Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East has added more modern garment items to appeal to today’s fashion, while continuing to produce traditional bark tanned sealskin boots.

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During my last visit, I was greatly impressed by the creativity displayed by the inventor of these boot sleeves, which attaches to a woman’s long boot, giving it wide appeal. This product is made for easy cleaning, flexibility to use fur or not, as well as replace the boot when the bottom wears, giving the owner greater return on investment. These boot sleeves are custom-made and retail for $200 + applicable shipping and taxes.

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They will likely be one of the most wanted items for Christmas this season. You can pre-order by calling +1 (709) 456-2123 or visit www.gnpcraft.com.

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I purchased seal skin bow tie ($24 + HST), which I look forward to wearing at functions and work in the near future. This makes a great conversation piece at a dinner or evening event. People may want to place orders for wedding parties. They also make the wide and skinny neck ties.

This local not-for-profit is keeping tradition alive, modernizing its product line and also creating much-needed local employment in the region. They strive to make seal product more affordable to the everyday person. Supporting local business is key to building a stronger and more vibrant local rural economy.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador celebrates 3rd Anniversary

It is hard to believe 3 years have passed since my first blog posting. Today there are more than 370 to add to the original introduction and a total of 212 212 hits when I logged in this morning. Does this palindromic number have any type of significance? How many times to you look at the clock when it turns 11:11 and make a wish or you are watching with great excitement as 99,999.9 becomes 100,000 KM as those digits change on the odometer of your vehicle and disappointed if you miss? Whatever the feeling one gets, I am very pleased to have shared and continue to share my rural Newfoundland & Labrador experiences.

During year one of the blog I scribed nearly 200 posts; however, my life would change significantly in mid-2011. I made the decision to seek the NDP nomination for The Straits-White Bay North and subsequently was elected as the first New Democrat to represent a District that had been held by Liberal members for 53 years since Confederation. Over that two-year journey, I have been to the door steps in every nook and cranny of this beautiful District, listening to people, their concerns, issues and ideas, but also learning the history, experiences and talents of people and seeking new opportunities for our region to grow.

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I only wish I was able to post about the many places, people, events, business and other rural things I’ve experienced along the way. On the 2nd anniversary of Live Rural NL, our caucus sat in the Legislature filibustering the infamous Bill 29 – Access to Information and Privacy Protection Act until late June, speaking out loudly around the clock against such draconian legislation that is regressive.

We need progressive policies that see positive change in our District and our Province that will help the people and their communities. We need to involve the people – the community in decision-making.

When communities come together and have a vision all things are possible.

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  • The communities of Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-Boat Harbour raised nearly $100,000 over a four month period and build an impressive playground and social space for all ages to enjoy. These three communities may be small in population, hovering around 200 – drew in over 210 registrants for Build Day! These are the types of community investments we need, that will have positive outcomes on the region
  • The Straits Daycare Corporation has opened in Flower’s Cove in June as a non-profit affordable daycare centre for the people of the region. This will help with employment recruitment and retention.
  • Habitat for Humanity is helping alleviate the housing crisis in St. Anthony and area by adding 4 new homes, to a region that has virtually a zero percent vacancy rate.
  • Main Brook Recreation Committee, Town, Come Home Year, business and community have partnered to build a community centre. This is important social infrastructure that can bring new opportunities.

 

Good things are happening because communities are involved, have ideas and are finding solutions. They require supports. We need to see an advanced transportation and telecommunications strategy, as we have major road, ferry, air, Internet and cellular gaps that need a plan to address them. There are much broader policy issues, health care and education concerns and infrastructure gaps that the Government must address to create a sustainable long-term rural and urban economy that works for the residents of Newfoundland & Labrador.

I believe in all things rural, and will continue to write about them as the days, weeks, months and years go by.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

My father, Clyde Mitchelmore Jr.

My father, Clyde Mitchelmore Jr., left this world on September 17, 1999, he was just 38 years old. It is approaching 14 years since this life altering day. Now at 27, I have spent more than half my life without his guidance, the ability to learn his many talents and share with him life’s successes and failures.

Dad - The Loving Father. Giving me a shoulder ride, as we walk the beach with my sister

Dad – The Loving Father. Giving me a shoulder ride, as we walk the beach with my sister

Today, I reflect on his life, through photos, his journal and other memories in which I hold dear. My father was the sixth of eight children born to Clyde and Rhoda Mitchelmore of Green Island Cove.  He was very young when he fell in love with my mother in the 1970’s. They shared almost 20 years of marriage before his untimely death.

My father was a teenager when my sister was born. He took his responsibilities as a father very seriously and went to college in St. Anthony to further his skills as a carpenter. He worked hard and built a home for my mother, sister and soon a son – I was to arrive in the Fall of 1985! We certainly lived modestly, but we were very happy, because we had each other.

My dad always made time for me, whether it was my little wooden boat for the yard puddles, the ‘horse’ or ‘piggie’ back rides, pulls on my sleigh that resembled a ski-doo, tailing rabbit snares in the woods, making a Dennis the Menace sling shot, homemade ring toss, wheel barrel, bow and arrow or using up most of his lumber to build me a basketball court. He also made the best snow tunnels and houses. Dad could do it all! He helped with perfecting that pirate beard for Halloween or designed the Matthew, which would undoubtedly win the bicycle decorating contest in 1997.

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Dad was a small boat fishermen – he built his own flat bottom boats and took me with him cod fishing in 1999. One day off Labrador, I let the big one get away as I was a real “greenhorn” with the gaff and likely not to follow in my father’s footsteps as a fisher. However, his journal recordings show that I did pull in more than 450 lbs that day. Those days on the water were good – I hope never to forget them. From the ‘lassy bread, Big Turk Bars and other goodies in our beef bucket lunch pail, to the 4 AM wake-up calls and long days. One evening, I must have been deeply dreaming of jigging as I perched up on the sofa and started pulling on the lines, back and forth as I rocked back and forth.  I must get that trait from my mother. :)

Now, Dad had his routine habits, which included the nap after supper daily and the nightly visits to “mother and father’s house, Tuesday night darts, plaid shirts, movies on ASN and keeping records of all the NHL hockey play-off games before the Internet was there to keep the records. His journal records show he paid attention to weather, daily events and his family. There are many mentions of how I did on a test or my report card. He also loved golf.

He even designed his own driving range on the front of the house.  He likely would have kept driving those balls, but the net didn’t always catch them and he likely didn’t want to risk breaking a windshield of passing traffic as some balls bounced off the nearby Route 430 asphalt. He would have loved the Newfoundland themed golf-course I designed that my Uncle Dan & his crew built for Flower’s Island Museum in summer of 2003. One of the last journal entries he wrote in August 1999 had a line “Christopher beat me at mini-golf today, it won’t happen again” and he was right, it never did.

My father had so much talent, he could build anything – he made snowshoes and bark-tanned sealskin to make traditional seakskin boots.  He even liked to sing, especially during Christmas visiting. One thing for certain, I don’t think anyone in our family of four were blessed with hitting any high notes.

I look up to my father – remember him as honest, hardworking and diplomatic. I only hope to conduct myself in a similar way of being fair to people and helping out where possible.

Before Dad left for his last journey fishing in Nain, Labrador he said to me, “you are the man of the house now, so be sure to help your mother – be sure to take out the garbage and help with the chores”.  At that moment, I had no idea that would be the last time I would ever see him again.

As a family, we moved forward together. I want to thank all my friends and family for helping me through such difficult times and being there for me, to support me in any decision I made, whether to start a business, travel  overseas or enter a political race. Life is not always easy. We all face challenges, struggles, regret and loss. Life is also about the happier times, when we celebrate a milestone, a birthday, wedding, enjoy a great vacation or learn a new skill.

On Father’s Day, take time out to spend with your father in person, over the telephone, via Skype, at a cemetery or in your memories. Family is certainly a cornerstone of our lives and society – let’s not forget this!

Thinking of you today and always Dad.

With love -

Christopher Clyde Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Seals on the Ice

Last Sunday, I had left my home to drive to grandmother’s house in Nameless Cove for a big turkey dinner on Easter Sunday. Driving through the community, I saw a black spot on the ice.

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The seal is at the edge of the beach.

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Another seal is close to shore, as pack ice had blocked the Strait of Belle Isle. The land in the background, well that’s “The Big Land” – Labrador. I’m not sure people believe me when I saw, “I can see Labrador from my window,” but it is true.  Just a short 15 kilometres between us and still no plan to connect us by a fixed-link. Advancing transportation and telecommunication networks will be key to Southern Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula‘s future long-term sustainability. Quebec is completing Route 138 (Lower North Shore Highway), this means Montreal will be just 13 hours drive from this province. It will transform the shipping of goods and services. The current administration promised a feasibility study – a link has not yet materialized. Instead it has opted to build a multi-billion dollar energy project, laying cables on the ocean floor that will interfere with our way of life, the fishery – our mainstay, versus going underground with a tunnel. It was noted in a pre-feasibility study that if both projects were paired, savings of nearly $400 million would be realized. More work is needed exploring a fixed-link, but advancing transportation networks is imminent, we can not continue to be plagued with annual increased rates at Marine Atlantic and an unreliable schedule for shipment of goods and services. These costs are ultimately passed on to the consumer.  We need to be more strategic and consider where we need to go over the long-term, but not forget our roots – our beginnings.

Seals played a critical role in the development of our as a permanent settlement. In the early 1800′s they were a major food source, as the island had only 9 types of mammalia. Additionally, as a British Colony, we shipped both whale and seal oil to the homeland. This oil was used in lamps and correlated with the Industrial Revolution. Today, this product is banned in the United Kingdom.

It will be another couple of days before the sealers take to the ice. I wish much success in this years hunt, as the seal provides valuable meat, oils and pelts that are harvested in a humane and sustainable way. Sealing is part of our tradition, and will continue to remain that way well into the future.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

It’s All About Regional Marketing…

In 2010, my mom and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and went from Cork-Kinsale-Killarney-Galway-Sligo-Belfast-Giant’s Causeway-Dublin-Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford-London. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city (about the size of St. John’s, NL), however, just a short distance away is Kinsale, a small town that is known for its food culture. With 2,257 people it is about the size of St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. The regional marketing had us take the drive to the neighbouring community. It was an experience!

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The Provincial Government has cut its marketing budget by 25%. Despite winning 183 awards and being internationally recognized, the market for the International, out-of-province and local market is highly competitive and stakeholders will have to do more to market their business to maintain their bottom lines. I believe it’s all about regional marketing, let’s pool our resources and develop vacation guides, business directory, updates, mini-sites and more in a modern Viking Trail Tourism website.

Check out how Kinsale market’s itself: http://kinsale.ie/.

The Great Northern Peninsula has many reasons for which one must visit. Here is a short-list:

  • Gros Morne National Park, WORLD UNESCO Site – home to the Table Lands and 155,000 visitors annually.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows, WORLD UNESCO Site – more than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The only authenticated North American viking site. Nearby, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade is home to the replica viking ship, the Snorri. Wonderful cuisine en route: The Daily Catch, Northern Delight, Snow’s Take-out and The Norseman Restaurant.
  • Community of 50 Centuries, Bird Cove – for more than 5,000 the Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Gros-Water Eskimo and recent Indians. As well, a Basque presence and Captain James Cook cairn. Port au Choix National Historic Site has unique interpretation of archaeology and history.
  • The French Shore (Petit Nord) – Conche’s Interpretation Centre is home to a 222 ft tapestry depicting the French history, the Granchain Exhibit is found in St. Lunaire-Griquet
  • Grenfell Historic Properties - highlights the legendary Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, his International Association, residence and his economic development through the co-operative process. Grenfell Historical Foundation and Handicrafts remain an integral part of the continuing story. Grenfell Memorial Co-op is the Newfoundland & Labrador’s oldest consumer co-op. Nearby are the Jordi Bonet Murals, Northland Discovery Boat Tours, Polar Bear Exhibit & Fishing Point Park.
  • Burnt Cape Ecological Reservehome to more than 300 plants, 30 of which are rare and one Burnt Cape cinquefoil, which the Great Northern Peninsula is the only place in the world where this species grows. Raleigh is also home to a fishing village and carving shop.
  • Leifsbudir – The Great Viking Feast is the only sod restaurant in North America, built into the rock of Fishing Point, St. Anthony
  • GNP Craft Producers – a unique gift shop that makes seal skin products and shares the history of seal skin boot making. In nearby Flower’s Cove one will find “Seal Skin” boot church. The community is also home to thrombolites (existing on just a few places on earth).
  • Deep Cove Winter Housing Site - a National Historic Site is an open air museum which highlights the way of life residents experienced in both summer and winter living. It is south of Anchor Point which is home to the peninsula’s oldest consecrated cemetery.
  • Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre - the Interpretation centre in Hawke’s Bay is a must for the salmon enthusiast. Beyond the mighty Torrent, many salmon rivers exist in Main Brook. Roddickton-Bide Arm is a great place to also participate in recreational hunting and fishing, it is home to the natural Underground Salmon Pool.

An array of walking trails, nature, wildlife, icebergs, whales, recreational hunting and fishing, picturesque outport communities, attractions, shops, restaurants,  crafts, festivals, events,  local culture and heritage and people who will make any visit a treasured experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. We make need to take a page out of Kinsale’s book, and work as a region to pool our marketing resources and create a more dynamic on-line presence that takes in our region’s unique offerings!

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula & start planning your vacation today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Mitchelmore speaks to Interim Supply (Budget 2013)

March 14, 2013

CHAIR: I recognize the hon. the Member for The Straits – White Bay North.

MR. MITCHELMORE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Before I begin, I would like to pass along condolences to the Member for Lewisporte and the Member for Cape St. Francis on their recent losses.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in speaking to the Interim Supply bill, as well as many other ministers here, have talked about and have asked us, the New Democratic Party, for our plan. What is our plan? The minister had said the same thing.

I have to say, Mr. Chair, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and all of the other ministers are managers of their departments, they have their employees. It is their jobs to produce the plans. They have failed to be putting forward with these plans. If they want our plans, they can hand over government to the New Democratic Party, Mr. Chair, and we will produce our plans.

 

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

MR. MITCHELMORE: Speaking on the Interim Supply and the money –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

The hon. the Member for The Straits – White Bay North, to continue.

MR. MITCHELMORE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I will talk about the gross mismanagement from the Progressive Conservatives on the other side. Newfoundland and Labrador‘s per capita spending increased rapidly between 2006 and 2010. Per capita spending averaged 50 per cent higher than all other provinces in Canada in the last three years, according to APEC.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

MR. MITCHELMORE: Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Chair, the oil royalties will come in well below –

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

Again, I ask all members for their co-operation.

The hon. the Member for The Straits – White Bay North.

MR. MITCHELMORE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I know the truth hurts sometimes, but I would appreciate if the members opposite would listen to the harsh realities of our fiscal situation. We are going to be well below budget in 2012-2013 in our oil royalties – no Atlantic Accord payments; this is going to intensify Newfoundland and Labrador to really curtail spending now because of lack of planning.

In the 2012 fiscal year, there was a $436 million reduction in oil royalties. Mineral taxes dropped $114 million. Corporate tax revenue, which was in the Budget of increasing $200 million, dropped $47 million. The only thing that actually was really, really good last year was there was a $92 million increase in personal income tax revenue. Do you know why that is? It is primarily because of a commuter economy. Where is that going to head in the future with all of the layoffs government are doing right now? We are not going to have the personal income tax; that is not going to be coming in, not at that level.

So, you have to be really careful when you are planning and doing a Budget. I ran a business, Mr. Chair. I know about making plans.

Oil prices are set to decline by 6 per cent in 2013 and net debt, Mr. Chair, well, the former Minister of Finance had talked quite a bit about net debt. I want to say for everybody out there that net debt is the short- and long-term debt minus the cash and cash equivalents.

If you are doing such a good job at managing the Province, we look at the fiscal position. The actual position for 2011-2012, every man, woman and child, net debt, dollars per capita: $15,257. Where are we forecasted this year: $17,329. Where are we going to be forecast the year after: $18,867. What about the year after: $19,497. That is being real fiscally responsible right there, taking on all that debt. Taking on more debt to build Muskrat Falls is going to increase borrowing and that is going to carry a lot of debt on a lot of carrying cost for taxation and interest there.

We talked about the members opposite talking about: we cannot build an economy on volatility, you know – and that is exactly what they are doing. That is exactly what they are doing. They are risking it and it is looking at volatility.

If we look at where we could go with this, Prince Edward Island, for example, tabled multi-year, three-year Budgets; where is this government going? We have no idea; we really do not, because they do not table any type of long-term plan.

They say they have a Northern Strategic Plan for Labrador; we do not know what is being spent from year to year and how it is being balanced. It is not out there. It is not listed. There is no timeline. What about in the Transportation and Works Department, where they have capital spending for paving roads and things like that? We have no idea from one year to the next which area of the Province is going to get paving, and if it is an absolute need, and the things like that.

The Nova Scotia government has a five-year plan. They have listed every road that is going to be getting paving and bridges. It is directly there; it is publicly available. Can the Minister of Transportation and Works stand up and say: well, we have a plan available. It is public. It is available. This government is not very transparent and not very accountable to the people who elected them.

I spoke to a constituent and they wrote and they said to me: the government really needs to look at trying to find how we can move from making our renewable resources prosper, really have to focus on those renewable resources, because we see how mining, we see how oil, which is the bulk of our economy –

AN HON. MEMBER: (Inaudible).

MR. MITCHELMORE: Muskrat Falls – I am glad you are saying that, somebody across the floor – $20 billion in revenues; well, what is the borrowing cost?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

MR. MITCHELMORE: What are the labour costs? Look at the expenditures that it is going to take over that time.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!
CHAIR: Order, please!

MR. MITCHELMORE: Material cost, inflation – all of these things are going to have an impact on what is going to be the actual return. This is all at the risk of the ratepayers of this Province.

Instead of looking at things, Mr. Chair – our renewable economy, like the fishery, as I spoke about in the first one; the Fisheries Minister is certainly managing the decline of the fishery. In 2003, when the Tories came into power, it was worth a billion dollars in seafood exports. In a decade, it is at its lowest amount: $740 million – no ideas, no plans, nothing structurally put into place.

The same thing with the forestry; it is in absolute disarray. You talk about putting in investment. You put investment in my district, in Roddickton, in a pellet plant, but you did not go far enough with that. The Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, in planning that they put forward, when they recommended funding it was outlined there; it said, it absolutely said that there is going to be problems with transportation. It is going to be problematic, but they said, no, we will loan this money anyway, with all the other funders, without having a plan to make sure that this industry is going to be sustainable, that there are going to be personal income taxes coming from the forestry, that there will be corporate income taxes coming from the forestry, and that the Department of Natural Resources is going to get royalties from the logs that are actually being cut down.

You have to really have a balanced portfolio when you go to the bank. You do not just buy stocks. You would not go and buy 100 per cent stocks in Google because Google might go down next year. You really want to have a diversified portfolio, and the Province is not really focusing on that. They put all of their eggs in that Muskrat Falls basket. They are not focusing on – they are actually working very hard to erode rural Newfoundland and Labrador by their lack of vision and their lack of investment.

I certainly challenge the Minister of IBRD to get up on his feet and actually put forward that plan, because there is none. It does not exist. It really does not. It is very painful to see that the Ministers of IBRD and Natural Resources will not get together and actually make the industry on the Northern Peninsula, the forest industry, work.

It can work for people. It can be millions and millions of dollars for the Treasury here. You are going to let it die and you are going to let those people go to Alberta and elsewhere. If we keep sending everyone away and sending our youth away, we are going to continue to have unsustainable health care, unsustainable, unprecedented spending, and there will be no way to turn around.

Muskrat Falls will not save this Province, Mr. Chair. It really will not. This will not do it. It is not fiscally responsible and we need to see better; we expect better. The people expect better from their government. They really do, and people are getting sick and tired of hearing the same old rhetoric, the same old spin, and saying we have a plan when you really do not have a plan. If you are not prepared to govern and you are not willing to do it, then you are going to have to turn the reins over to somebody else who is willing to do it.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

 

Marketing Outport Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador has marketed ‘outport’ or rural parts of the province in its award-winning tourism ad campaigns.

Innovative rural companies like Auk Island Winery in Twillingate are continuing to add flavour to the tourism experience. Newfoundland & Labrador takes pride in its unique local berries, such as patridgeberry, bakeapples, squashberries, as well as our very own Screech Rum. This company typically makes berry wines and sells quintessentially on Newfoundlandia.

I have tried bottles that are called, “Moose Juice”, “Krooked Cod”, “Jellybean Row” and “Funky Puffin”. I believe part of my purchasing of this product is curiosity, but primarily to support a local business that prides itself in all things Newfoundland & Labrador.

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The imagery on Outport Wine, which includes an iceberg, outport boats and fishing rooms. The splash of Screech just adds to the authenticity and certainly begins the storytelling process.

This season I hope to tour Auk Island Winery and taste many other wines they have produced in various shapes and sizes. Let’s keep being creative and expand the rural economy and our visitor experiences as we celebrate traditional and modern-day outports.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Mitchelmore questions commitment to rural job creation

NDP critic for Innovation, Business and Rural Development Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says government’s approach to job creation in rural Newfoundland and Labrador is sadly lacking in vision.

“Government is dropping the ‘rural’ from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development with cuts to RED Boards, Employment Assistance Services, and no real plan for creating jobs from the ground up,” Mitchelmore said in the House of Assembly today. “Megaprojects create boom and bust economies and forced migration, and tear away at the social fabric of our economy.

“When will the minister of IBRD get serious about rural job creation and prevent further mass outmigration from decimating the rural landscape?”

Mitchelmore says encouraging job creation in rural Newfoundland is a vital part of ensuring economic health for the province. He pointed to wharf development as one possible option that has worked in parts of the province and could work in others.

“Government has invested $23 million since 2003 into aquaculture, including six biosecure wharves,” he said in the House. “Without this investment some 1000 jobs and $400 million dollars would have been lost.

“The forest industry on the Great Northern Peninsula impacts more than 150 workers and can prove to provide significant returns.

“When will the minister of Natural Resources commit to providing a needed wharf to Roddickton port to sustain an industry, jobs, and rural communities as well as putting needed money back in the provincial treasury?”

What a view today on the Great Northern Peninsula…

The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering including the presence of abundant nature and wildlife. Today as I drove from St. Anthony to Green Island Cove I was greeted by a small heard of caribou in Eddies Cove East and pulled over to wait for them to cross the road. After driving through this tiny community in “The Straits” to the south I saw a total of nine caribou. It was unusual for them to be grazing for food on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the frozen Strait of Belle Isle with Labrador dominating in the background. It was one of those moments when you stared in amazement. I was fortunate to have a camera and able to pull over and take a few photos. See the gallery below:

A visit to the Straits region of the Great Northern Peninsula may be the perfect opportunity for you to get your glimpse of these beautiful animals.

Sometimes, the best surprises don’t cost you a thing.

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

We all have stories to tell…

We all have stories to tell. We share them with our friends, family and even the world through the social media. There is a time and space for this type of art form. I use my blog as a forum to share knowledge of culture, people, landscapes, business, heritage and history of the Great Northern Peninsula.  Our way of life has been viewed by nearly 180 countries world-wide and edging closer to 200,000 views. I may not have the talents of my grandfather Mitchelmore for storytelling, but I do my best to convey what is truly authentic to rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

This past weekend, my sister and I had a unique opportunity to be in the audience at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre and were spectators to a performance scripted by a local playwright, Megan Coles.

Our Eliza is real – authentic. A true depiction of what life was like growing up in rural Newfoundland & Labrador not so long ago. It is masterfully crafted – capturing the audience from the first soundbite as it works its way through a powerful coming of age story. One exuding Newfoundland humour and wit, colourful language and actions that will keep you wanting more, long after the curtain closes. Our Eliza is the type of story that must be told beyond centre stage, it should be shared with Outport Newfoundland & Labrador – one of which we can all reflect upon as to who we truly are as a people – a society.                                                                                                 -Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA

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When I picked up my tickets at the box office, I was asked my address. I responded, “Green Island Cove”. The person asked where that was and I said, “The Great Northern Peninsula”. She said, I will be in for a real treat with tonight’s showing and that it has been getting great reviews from those in attendance. This certainly raised my expectations, especially since Friday and Saturday night’s performances had sold out.

The very first soundbite set the stage of framing for the audience the hardship the moratorium would have on our way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Actors Greg Malone (Author of “Don’t Tell The Newfoundlanders”), Joel Thomas Hynes and Renee Hackett turned the clock back more than twenty years and had us reminiscing only in the stories our parents and grandparents could had told us. Our Eliza, is the typical Newfoundland girl, who becomes a woman and the glue that kept many of us together especially when times got tough. The modest, yet powerful story that lasted about 1 hour and half was filled with humour, wit and antics in which I could easily relate. I do not want to give away the story-line  I want you to go experience it for yourself.

These talents have engaged in putting our culture, our life experiences into performance, which brings together many art forms. We can all learn something about our roots and the role in which space plays in it. I took a Newfoundland Society & Culture, in which I learned much about community order and our every day space. It was pleasing to hear writer and co-producer Megan Coles, and co-producer Shannon Hawes, founders of The Poverty Cove Theatre Company open the show highlighting the minimalism utilized in staging, as well as the desire to be able to tell this story in non-conventional spaces. On March 2 & 3, the performance has found a home in the Library of the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre. You can purchase tickets at www.artsandculturecentre.com.

Thank you Megan Coles for sharing with us your creative talents and all those involved with the current production. You have made Our Eliza, a part of all of us. I only hope this story gets told throughout rural Newfoundland & Labrador where it can be at home, especially the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Fishing Remains Our Mainstay

Newfoundland & Labrador has been known for hundreds of years for being a fishing economy – even today it is the mainstay of our Great Northern Peninsula. The weather may be colder at the moment as local residents put a log on the fire to heat their home by the old  wood stove.

As I peered out my window today I could see the Strait of Belle Isle in a deep freeze as pack ice began connecting the island to maintain Labrador. Maybe in the future there will be a permanent link that creates a transportation hub that will radically transform our local economy.

In the meantime, the days are getting longer with Springtime quickly approaching. These little boats in the photo below are tied up at the Sandy Cove wharf, they will take to the water. The small boat fisher will be seeking to harvest lobster, herring, mackerel, cod and other species. It will only be a matter of time before the pots, nets and gear hit the water. A flurry of activity will commence through the busy summer season and into the Fall.

Boats at Sandy Cove

The wharf is an essential piece of infrastructure. In the past many fishers had their own private wharves, which led to fishing rooms, drying and gear sheds. One can view many properties driving the Great Northern Peninsula. They make for the perfect photo op.

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We pride ourselves in our rich fishing culture in the District. It is our reason for being here, our  mainstay.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

A Snow Covered L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland & Labrador

L’Anse aux Meadows located 41 KM from St. Anthony, is home to WORLD UNESCO heritage site. It was originally named  L’anse aux Meaduses (Jellyfish Bay) by French migratory fishermen; the latter presence of English settlers, would alter it to the current name.

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This community boasts panoramic view scapes and has been well-captured under the lens.  During summer tens of thousands of tourists flock here and even a number cruise ships pull up to the dock.

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Today, I visited the snow-covered community and was able to talk to local residents. One resident loved  how she was fortunate to be surrounded by water from the front and rear of her property. Another couple also liked the peacefulness of the community at this time of year. I was told the Mummer’s also made their presence known in during the holidays.

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L’Anse aux Meadows, like many Newfoundland & Labrador outports’ primary economy is maintained by fishing.

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It has also grown to be a burgeoning centre for tourists. Each year more than 30,000 visitors come to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site, several thousand visit the open-air museum “Norstead – Viking Village and Port of Trade”, while others frequent the Gaia Art Gallery and experience the fine dining of the Norseman Restaurant.

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To experience North America’s only authentic Norse site, you have to drive Route 430 ‘The Viking Trail” and turn at Route 436 to L’Anse aux Meadows. There are many lovely B&B’s, Cottages, Efficiency Units, Motels, RV Parks, and Heritage Rentals along this route.

It is another truly unique place to experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. Start planning your visit today for summer 2013!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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