FreeNewf's RANT # 57 :
bulldog905 wrote:Is he going to stop taking handouts?
I didn't count myself independent of my parents, until I did.
Bulldog, I'm embarrassed too, by this politically correct, self-contradictory jumble of verbiage in the Throne Speech, not terribly well-written, but ...
'Read out' the b.s., and look at the core of the message: it's similar, in some respects, to what Albertans talked about when discussing the 'firewall' for Alberta.
So someone (duotang!) is trying to make something out of the fact that a Newfoundland Throne Speech employed the phrase "masters in our own house," and that smacks of ... what? ... Quebec rhetoric?
So what? Isn't "masters in our own house" what Albertans want to be?
Danny's Throne Speech involves devolution of powers; it calls for respect for provinces' proper spheres of jurisdiction, and some sort of solution to the anomaly Newfoundland finds itself in, regarding provincial jurisdiction over natural resources, when we are primarily an ocean-based province; I think it implicitly accepts asymmetrical federalism ... eventually.
Why is it that so many here at FD seem to have a hate-on for Newfoundland? All our fellow conservatives seem able to see are the so-called 'handouts' you referred to, Bulldog.
There is the distinction, of course (re: 'firewall') that Alberta is financially independent and self-sustaining, while Newfoundland is not. But Newfoundland is trying to get where Alberta IS.
How to do so, though, when so many Albertans, with whom Newfoundlanders share a strong regional alienation, can only blather on about Newfoundland taking 'handouts'?
The problem is that what Newfoundland RECEIVES is highly visible (and the socialists - whether of the Conservative or Liberal variety - make such noise about what they dole out), whereas what they TAKE is largely invisible, is 'off the books,' and is NEVER acknowledged.
(Remember, too, that there are only a half-million of us here, in any case, so the total dollars we're talking about isn't large in the grand scheme of things. There seems to be more squawking on FD about Danny and Newfoundland than the billions Harper pumped into Quebec recently, to prop up Charest!)
Do I need to remind you also, once again (for the umpteenth time), that despite what the constitution of Canada requires, Newfoundland's interests have been sacrificed time and time again on Quebec's altars? Newfoundlanders believe ... KNOW ... that with a mere 7 seats in the federal Parliament, our interests will never
be considered if they impinge even slightly on Quebec's. The federal government has proved this to us time and time again. (One of the reasons why, in my Reform days, I was gung-ho on a Triple E Senate. Still am.)
Trudeau advised Peckford not to worry, "... we will take care of you, as we do the Indians." Chretien, while Trudeau's Minister, quipped that if the Newfies thought they were going to have any say in the offshore oil development, they had 'delusions of grandeur' ... and this was not long after the rape of Alberta.
We do not want to be 'taken care of.'
That is insulting. Yes, that was Trudeau speaking, and we know what an arrogant sh*t he was, but the federal government and bureaucracy still demonstrates the same condescending, disrespectful attitude toward us.
We do not think we have 'delusions of grandeur' in expecting to be able to benefit, substantially, from resources the Supreme Court acknowledged that we brought INTO Canada with us when we joined.
We cannot and WILL not tolerate that kind of contempt anymore. We are a proud, hard-working people who came into Canada with a surplus in the bank.
Hundreds upon hundreds of our skippers put in at ports-of-call around the world for generations. We were far less 'insular' and 'provincial' than Canada itself ... though since having been drawn into the Canadian web we are now more cut off from the world than we were in '49 !
Not all the industrious, conservative Newfoundlanders have moved to Alberta, you know. (Some of us might like to, but can't for family reasons.) Joey Smallwood and socialism hooked us on a financial heroin. A UIC program geared for an industrial economy was inappropriately applied to a seasonal, hunter-gatherer economy (and further abused by politicians, for political reasons, dealing with an unsophisticated and poor - but not stupid - populace).
We are trying to get through a methadone phase. We have 15% unemployment, and it's NOT because 15% of us are lazy. (What would the rhetoric of the premier of Alberta or Ontario be like, if facing 15% unemployment, and out-migration destroying communities and families?)
Before the offshore oil was EVER on the horizon, and the Atlantic Accord had not even been thought of, Quebec's obscene profits from the Churchill Falls hydro contract matched almost exactly the amount Newfoundland received in equalization. If the federal government had the balls to stand up to Quebec, and abide by the constitution, Newfoundland would not NEED equalization.
Forget the atrocity that, for purposes of calculating equalization payments, Quebec's revenue from Churchill Falls is not considered to be part of Quebec's GDP, thus making Quebec appear poorer than it actually is, thus inflating Quebec's equalization payments. TRIPLE-dipping! And Newfoundland gets the abuse? Go figure!
Well, figure this: it's easier to sh*t on the little guy - Newfoundland - than it is to have the guts to confront Quebec, 'cause Newfoundland has 7 seats, and doesn't count a pinch of coon-sh*t, while Quebec has 75 seats, and Canada hangs together or falls apart depending on what happens with those 75 seats.
We are trying to reach the point - one way or another - where we do NOT need equalization. But we can't overcome fifty years of socialism in one jump. It requires a thorough overhaul of not just our political class, but our education system and media as well. As long as our schools pump socialist drivel into the heads of our kids (as they do EVERYWHERE in Canada), the job is delayed.
I for one am a heretic - I think Newfoundland should separate from Canada ... but NOT because I bear any animosity toward Canada or Canadians (Liberals, YES!).
I think Newfoundland should separate so that Newfoundland politicians, and primarily the people, will be deprived of the excuse of blaming everything on Ottawa.
There is a lot of genuine blame that CAN be laid at Ottawa's feet, but that's not getting us anywhere.
Separation would force us to face facts and rely only upon ourselves.
Adopting an Icelandic attitude would do us a world of good, morally, economically, politically.
But it would also
mean that we would be, in fact, finally, masters in our own house. No more anomalies over federal control over our 'provincial' natural (offshore) resources. A currency that we could float to remain competitive in world markets - as Iceland was able to do. And on, and on.
I for one am confident that we could make quite a go of it on our own. After all, we did for 300 years before joining Canada.
Even if separation DID result in a lower standard of living, regaining one's self-respect is (as the MasterCard commercials tout) ... priceless!
No more having to put up with arrogant, ignorant, snooty mainlanders looking down their noses at us ... when they don't know what the He*l they're talking about. Never knew anything about the history and background of Newfoundland ... and never cared much anyway.
Here endeth RANT # 57 (part One); ... to be continued ...
No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.
-- Pope Pius XI, in Quadragesimo Anno, 1931.