When Will We Ever Learn?

In my lifetime, I have seen many ups and downs in this province of Newfoundland and Labrador that I love very dearly.

Although it’s a harsh and unforgiving land at times, I would not want to live anywhere else.

Most of our problems in this province have been made by our politicians.

Let’s go back to the time we entered Confederation with Canada. We are still not sure if it was by choice or as Donald Trump would say, it was rigged.

When we entered Confederation, we passed over to Canada the greatest food basket of the world, the richest of our ocean to manage and manage it they did.

I was involved in the fishery as a boy, when we were allowed to catch anything in the ocean, no fishing licences and no restrictions on how much we could catch. Although I was absent from the fishery for a number of years, I was fishing on that fateful day of 1991, when our fishery was shut down and the ocean went silent.

It did not happen overnight and took many years and a lot of people trying to tell our politicians what was happening, but to no avail.

As a boy growing up in Lushes Bight, there was a lady named Cora Maye who was in favour of joining Canada. Her slogan was “they say you have to pay taxes, but what do they mean? You’ll get the baby bonus to come right in between.”

We will have to get a lot more baby bonuses to pay for what we lost.

The second big disaster was Muskrat Falls, when our politicians decided we would no longer be obligated to Quebec to transport electricity to market and that we needed this clean energy for our needs and the rest to export to help pay for the cost.

It certainly wasn’t clean energy when you have to create a corridor 180-feet wide, 1,100-kilometres long, cutting down all the trees and not allowing them to grow back ever. And although the basin to be flooded was supposed to be removed of materials that causes mercury in the river, Premier Ball decided to flood without removing them. Now the Liberal government in Ottawa is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to plant trees to supply us with oxygen to breathe.

Now, we find out we didn’t need this energy for ourselves and no one will buy it at the price it costs to produce. My great grandchildren will be paying for it forever, if they stay in this province — all because our politicians had a dream (nightmare) or a boondoggle because no one in charge knew what they were doing.

Dwight Ball could have closed it down when he got in power, but he never had the guts.

Canada mismanaged our fisheries and not one of the managers lost their jobs. Muskrat Falls was a boondoggle and no one got fired, instead they were given bonuses all through the construction for good performance, bonuses that the majority of us can only dream about and we poor suckers still have to pay the piper.

When will we ever learn?


Wilfred Bartlett
Green Bay South, N.L.


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