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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?”

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. ”


Christopher Mitchelmore
NDP Candidate
The Straits-White Bay North
T. 709-456-2094 C. 709-660-0775


The Straits-White Bay North NDP District Association Calls AGM

The Straits -White Bay North NDP District Association Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at Flower’s Cove Lion’s Centre, Flower’s Cove, NL.

We as the NDP are here to listen and work with the people of the district to find answers to these issues and concerns. We invite you to participate.

Not a member of the NDP?  You can join online at

As a member of the NDP, you will be kept up to date on the major issues of the day, and how to get involved. As well, you will have the opportunity to have your say in the NDP position on issues. You will be able to vote at party meetings and conventions, participate in electing party leaders, and run for elected positions.

Your membership is free however we truly appreciate donations from our members. Remember your contributions are tax deductable! Contributions can be sent to:

NDP Newfoundland & Labrador
P. O. Box 5275
St. John’s, NL A1C 5W1

For More Information:

Christopher Mitchelmore
NDP Candidate – Straits -White Bay North
E: christophermitchelmore@nl.​
Twitter: LiveRuralNL

NDP nominations close in Humber Valley, Burin–Placentia West and The Straits–White Bay North



July 21, 2011

NDP nominations close in Humber Valley, Burin–Placentia West and The Straits–White Bay North

NDP vice-president Kathleen Connors is pleased to announce the close of nominations in the provincial districts of Humber Valley, Burin–Placentia West and The Straits–White Bay North for the provincial election to be held in October.

Sheldon Hynes has been nominated in Humber Valley. Julie Mitchell will return to Burin–Placentia West for the general election and Christopher Mitchelmore will represent the New Democrats of The Straits–White Bay North.

“I am very pleased to announce these three excellent candidates for the provincial election this fall,” says Connors. “Each brings a wealth of experience and expertise and will be valuable members of a very strong team of New Democratic candidates in October.”

Hynes says, “I am very pleased to be a part of the surge in NDP support in the province, and look forward to representing the people of Humber Valley.”

Mitchell accepted the nomination in Burin–Placentia West saying, “The District of Burin–Placentia West is rich because of its culture, its resources and most of all – its people. My ambition is to work hard so that Burin–Placentia West can realize the prosperity those riches should logically bring.”

On the close of nominations Mitchelmore was ready to hit the campaign trail. “I am honoured to carry the NDP banner and be a part of a unified team,” says Mitchelmore. “The current Government has not given the care and attention needed in The District of The Straits–White Bay North. NDP representation would bring the people’s voice to the House of Assembly. We will work to implement changes needed to stimulate community and business development in the region.”

Kathleen Connors says the team of candidates nominated for October’s election continues to grow and she is impressed with the caliber of those seeking election under the New Democratic banner. Newfoundland and Labrador can expect nomination deadlines in other districts to follow in the coming weeks.

“I am looking forward to a very exciting election this fall. New Democrats are on the move and I invite everyone to join us and participate in the political sea change that is taking place across Newfoundland and Labrador.”

“We have 14 great candidates nominated and there are many more to come.”


Kathleen Connors, Party Vice President, 335-2493:

If you have the right to Vote today, I challenge you to get out.

The right to vote for the author of Live Rural NL was taken away, therefore, for the first time in a Federal Election, I have no choice but to sit on the sidelines and abstain from voting. This disgusts me. A series of unfortunate events will be the groundwork to express my concern regarding the difficulty one may encounter during the vote process.

When I received a voting card in the mail for my grandmother, but not myself I immediately called the local Elections Canada Office in Corner Brook. The staff person verified that I was indeed not on the list. I asked how I could have been overlooked, as I voted by special mail in ballot in the 2008 Federal Election in the riding of Hunber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte. I had informed the person that I must be added to the list and to have a special voting package sent to me, as I would be out of the district during the Easter holidays and would be on vacation on May 2, 2011 out of country during election day. I had noted I had voted by mail previously and was familiar with the process. No other voting options were given to me.

I received a package to register to vote, but no special mail out package. I completed and returned this packaged to get added to the list and then waited for the special ballot. It never came, because someone at Elections Canada failed to do their job, robbing me of my right to vote.  After returning from visiting family outside the district for Easter, I had someone check the mail one final time, no package and no vote card. This was April 26, 2011. I called, a little too late as I spoke with the Returning Officer on April 27, 2011. There was no solution for me, as there was no record of me ever requesting a special ballot. This is quite convenient. She did inform me I was registered to vote on April 17. I did not receive a voter’s card with the information attached until April 28, 2011. This is 11 days, completely unacceptable. There must be a better way to reach rural regions and provide better services.

I was in the riding earlier today, but was not able to vote at a polling station closer to the airport. I had to vote at the one in my community. There is something gone wrong with this process. We spend $300 million dollars of our tax dollars on elections and this is how matters are handled.

How come we can not accommodate for the mobile voter? Why are we not completely vote by mail or web-based voting? I guess based on the holidays and Canada Post if would be a nightmare to tabulate and elections would need to be months long. Nearly 20% of Canada’s populations, primarily rural does not have broadband Internet access. Is the country so afraid Canadian’s will actually exercise their right to vote or simply we are not advanced like other countries when it comes to voting? I know in Switzerland they vote by mail. We need greater accountability.

I heard on Open Line this morning, a woman Mary-Anne was requesting the mail in vote for three elderly seniors. One never received the package ever. Two got an application on the day before closing and she had to make two trips into the city. Talk about inconvenience. However, Mary-Anne you are fortunate to be so close to the city, as Rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians are even further disadvantaged.

It should not be complicated and difficult to vote. Changes must be made to the Elections Canada Act. It is your right to vote or not today, but those who want to, should be permitted to do so.

Very disappointed Canadian 😦

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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