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Clotheslines of Cod on the Great Northern Peninsula

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Typically cod would be drying on flakes or neatly spread on flat rocks near the beach, but more and more often the cod fish can be seen drying like clothes on the line. It’s a sign of the ever changing times in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cod jigging is part of growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The implementation of the cod moratorium in 1992 caused 30,000 people in the province to lose their employment, basically overnight, ending 500 years of this fishing activity. Our communities were forever changed.

25 years later, there are signs of a Northern cod recovery. The impact it will have on our communities are yet to be seen.

Each summer though, residents and non-residents take to the water off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador to catch a few cod by participating in Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)’s Recreation Cod Fishery, which we often call the food fishery. Cod is an important staple for residents and many catch their quota of 5 fish per day over the course of a 46 day fishery between July and September.

I never miss the opportunity to go jigging. There is something about being on the water close to your home, pulling in the fish and being able to deliver it to your table that gives you a sense of belonging to this place we call home. Knowing where your food comes from is important. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians always had a strong connection to the land and sea and I believe we always will.

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Our communities are still very traditional, our communities are resilient and we have opportunities to share our culture, traditions and way of life with the world. There are authentic unique experiences in our rural communities just waiting for you.

From sea or farm to plate is an ever growing concept, which has always been the way for our outports. A rabbit snared, partridge hunted, garden potatoes, carrots pulled or fresh fish would be served up at the dinner table. Taking these concepts to our local restaurants for tourists is an opportunity.

Also, to tell the story of who caught it, how it was caught, where, who prepared it, the recipes and the process are all part of adding real value. Sharing our unique culture with the world is what is requested. I believe we have exceptional opportunity to do just that.

Our communities, like others do not remain stagnant, we will always change and evolve over time. Our traditions and values remain core to who we are, whether we  spread fish on flakes or hang  them on the line, we have a strong sense of where we belong.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

 

Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy!

Expo 2015 or the World’s Fair will be held in Milan, Italy – Canada’s fourth largest trading partner. It is unfortunate no Canadian city was successful in securing the Expo 2017 as a means to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday!

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International trade and sharing of ideas, expertise, showcasing new inventions, facilitate cultural exchange based on a theme, and are used for city, region and of course nation building. In today’s global world, our image on the International scene needs more attention to see the ripple down benefits reach places like the Great Northern Peninsula in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has relied heavily on International Trade to see the success we have today, without it where would our salt-cod, seals, whale oil and other natural resources such as minerals and oil have been sold?

I studied International Business in the Czech Republic and I’m approaching visits to 40 countries across the globe. There are immense benefits to diversification, connecting with new people and immersing yourself in the culture to determine what benefits and opportunities exist to do business internationally or attract more direct foreign investment. I was a little early for Expo on my vacation, but I could hardly resist seeing the infrastructure, set-up and participate in an early event!

I took the train and metro to Milan Fiera Rho so I was able to get to my hotel, which I had to walk through the Expo Centre to reach the NH Fiera Rho. It was picture perfect from the room. The Expo centre would not disappoint, nor would a cup of cappuccino and some live music by from a distance, I thought jokingly, “is that my colleague Jim Bennett?” He belted out AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Europe and others.

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I’ve been to Milan before, it is quite electric, modern and one of the fashion capitals of the world. This visit was a quick overnight stay because my Swiss friend would pick up myself and our Swedish friend and drive to Southern France to meet our German friend and have a mini-reunion. We have been getting together each year since we first met in 2007, it truly is remarkable to have such wonderful friends.

Although not in the same league as Expo 2015, the St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of St. Anthony are partnering to host a trade show in St. Anthony in September. This type of activity will help promote further commerce, create new partnerships and build a stronger business community. I commend them on undertaking this initiative as it is a great opportunity to showcase our business, our people, our communities and other assets. We need more conventions and trade shows being hosted on the Great Northern Peninsula, so let’s keep on building and sharing that knowledge.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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