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.
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.
- 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