October 29, 2013
I, Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) am announcing today that I notified the Speaker and will be sitting as an Independent when the House of Assembly resumes this coming Monday for the Fall sitting in the Legislature.
It is with much consideration and reflection that I have come to this decision. I cannot support the public handling of recent events that transpired to a clear question regarding the Newfoundland & Labrador New Democratic Party (NLNDP) Leadership. This matter will continue to have significant long-term consequences for advancing the Party. These events now create an undesirable work environment that would detract from being able to best serve my constituents.
I made a formal request with all members of the NDP Caucus, calling for a Leadership Convention in 2014. This followed a democratic process and I firmly stand by this position which is needed for future growth and renewal. This should have been seen as an opportunity to test current Leadership, engage in the party building process, establish policy and develop messaging under a rigid timeline in preparation for Election 2015.
I believe all political Constitutions should have clear mechanisms for regular Leadership Review and Convention calls, as well as ensuring that changes to a Constitution follow the democratic process. The current Constitution does not have any mechanism for Leadership Review, despite the one being requested by NDP Leader.
In June 2011, I became a member of the NDP and worked diligently with fellow New Democrats to represent the core values of everyday people, serving in various critic portfolios, sitting on the Public Accounts Committee, engaging in dialogue across the province and serving almost one-year as Caucus Representative on the Party Executive.
Although, I am leaving the NDP Caucus, my approach to dealing with issues at the local, provincial or national level has not changed – I will continue to work tirelessly for a better District and a better Newfoundland & Labrador. I still believe we need a fairer society, one that is inclusive and brings the values of everyday people to the forefront in a multi-party system. As the Member for The Straits-White Bay North my constituents continue to come first as I raise their concerns, present unique ideas and work with others to find co-operative solutions.
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
The Town of Englee is actively pursuing new economic opportunities and is the new home to an Exhibition of Hooked Mats at the Municipal Building depicting daily life, culture and heritage of the community.
Funded through a Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) program a couple of years ago, workers from Englee learned traditional mat hooking skills, as well as other textiles of knitting, embroidery, sewing and fabric works. It is positive to see a cultural tourism element added to the Town that will help regional tourism as the Northern Peninsula East Heritage Cluster continues to grow. Well posted signs in both English and French are at roadside and on the Town Hall. There is no fee for viewing these mats, but donations are certainly accepted. The Town has produced some of the pieces of artwork into matted and unmatted prints for retail.
I had the opportunity to view the exhibitions of colourful homes, fish drying on flakes, work & play, resettlement, mummering, landscapes and other aspects of daily life in the Town of Englee through art. A mat hooked in 1939 was also showcased, which pre-dates the Town (incorporated 1945). These are certainly treasures, both old and new.
The Town also is working with the French Shore Historical Society as a local worker is producing very detailed tapestry that will be part of a nine piece series of a travelling exhibit commemorating the 300 years since the Treaty of Ultrecht. An office space has been converted to a workers studio as she Bayeux stitch of the “Crown Jewels“. A follow-up post will provide additional details about these new tapestry developments.
The Town of Englee is to be commended for their vision, efforts and willingness to partner. It is positive to see new additions to our small communities. We should embrace our culture, heritage, history and tell stories through art. Each community in the District has a unique opportunity to do something creative that will help our region further develop.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North