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Gander

Claude Elliott is no hero of mine

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The success of ‘Come From Away’ cannot invisibilize the outgoing Gander mayor’s refusal to embrace the rights given to LGBT+ Canadians.

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Laughing back to Gander

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Harbour Grace comedian John Sheehan has had an incredible five years. Now he’s headed back to where it all began for him.

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MacKay arrives to Lobster Fest in style – in challenger jet

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CBC is reporting that Defence Minister Peter MacKay, already facing scrutiny for flying in a military helicopter while on vacation in Newfoundland, also took a military Challenger business jet to reach his Nova Scotia riding for a lobster dinner. MacKay has defended arranging for the Cormorant helicopter, which he said was not for personal use but for work. He wanted to participate in a search and rescue demonstration with 103 Squadron at Gander and cut short his salmon fishing trip to do so. CBC is also reporting that the challenger jet ride cost taxpayers $25,000, however it should be noted that many of the quoted costs of the challenger jets are incurred whether or not the jet is actually flown. Also, governments have reduced challenger jet use to the point where pilots are having to fly passenger-less just to ensure they accrue the required hours for the aircraft. Source: CBC

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“Without waiting to be asked” – US Ambassador on Gander

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U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson paid tribute to the town of Gander, N.L. for its generosity on 9/11, hailing its residents for their grace and good humour and representing “the best of us.” With a tremor in his voice, Jacobson reminisced about the tireless efforts of all the town’s residents and surrounding communities during that day 10 years ago, and the days that followed. “This could well be the motto of this town: ‘Without waiting to be asked,’” Jacobson said. The contribution of Newfoundlanders to the lives of the thousands of stranded American travellers, in particular from those in Gander has become the stuff of legend in North America. Source: CBC

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Gander being honoured for 9/11 help

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“Canada is a true neighbour in every sense of the word and particularly after that event,” Leon Panetta, the U.S. defence secretary, told the exclusive event at the Newseum, next door to the Canadian embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Gander “is a town, as all of us know, that provided comfort and welcome,” he said as the crowd of several hundred, including several American movers and shakers, burst into applause. Read more about the commemoration at CBC.ca. Source: CBC

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Meeting with MHA further confuses Gander mayor

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Gander Mayor Claude Elliott can’t seem to get a straight answer on what were initially reported as job cuts to the town’s service Canada work force. A meeting with provincial MHA Kevin O’Brien didn’t seem to help. Elliot explains that the union says jobs are being transferred to St. John’s, but government officials say the jobs are being reassigned in Gander. Are they job losses, or are they cuts coming from attrition? Elliot says he won’t be satisfied until he receives further information from Service Canada officials. Source: VOCM

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Newfoundland surgeon now head of the CMA

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Dr. John Haggie, a general and vascular surgeon from Gander, N.L., is the new president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Dr. Haggie, born in England, moved to St. Anthony, N.L., in 1993 where he became consulting surgeon for the Grenfell Region Health Services. In 1997, Dr. Haggie moved to Appleton, N.L., where he was appointed attending surgeon, general and vascular surgery, at the James Paton Memorial Hospital (JPMH) in Gander, N.L. He held this position until 2008 when he became chief of staff of the hospital, a position he still holds. “The CMA has worked hard to listen to Canadians and to move the agenda on transforming our health care system forward. Our challenge is to achieve some tangible results,” said Dr. Haggie. “The time is ripe, with the end of the 2004 Health Accord fast approaching. That accord, meant to secure change for a generation, failed to do…

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Service Canada slashing jobs

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The Public Service Alliance of Canada has confirmed there are job cuts at several Service Canada offices in this province and some layoff notices have already gone out. The union’s Atlantic Vice-President, Jeannie Baldwin, says twenty nine jobs in Employment Insurance processing are being eliminated in Gander, another ten in Corner Brook and a dozen in Goose Bay. A spokesperson for federal Minister Diane Finley’s office says it’s too early to say what the impact on staffing levels at Service Canada will be following word that changes are coming to the way Employment Insurance claims are processed. Source: VOCM

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World Trade Center steel arrives in Gander

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Gander Mayor Claude Elliot unwrapped the first of two pieces of steel to come from the World Trade Centre to arrive in central Newfoundland Tuesday. The steel was donated to the town to show the Americans’ appreciated of all that the people of Gander did in those hard days. Thirty-nine airliners carrying 6,500 passengers were diverted to Gander when North American airspace was shut down on September 11, 2001. Source: CBC

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New fire hall in central

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… and speaking of Gander, the town has just recently opened the doors to its new fire hall. The Gander Beacon reports that “the new fire hall boasts increased space to house longer ladders, new offices, extended training rooms, as well as an emergency operations centre”. Gander Mayor Claude Elliot said that the town’s firefighters deserve to have access to state-of-the-art facilities given the “professionalism and dedication they bring to the job”. “We ask them to put their lives on the line and for that they deserve the best facilities, and the best equipment that they can get to protect them,” he said. Source: The Gander Beacon

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US politician introduces resolution to thank Gander

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American Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has introduced a resolution recognizing Canada’s help after 9/11 in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 31, 2011. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil, many Canadian cities became home to thousands of American air travellers. This province alone welcomed 13,000 travellers, and the friendships that were struck between Americans and Newfoundlanders have become legendary. “Particularly inspiring are the contributions of the Town of Gander in Newfoundland and Labrador whose airport received 38 flights, the second highest amount in Canada,” said Slaughter. Slaughter represents Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Rochester, New York.

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Deer Lake and Gander offer flights down south

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In travel news, anyone living close to the Gander or Deer Lake airports might be happy to know what’s happening this week: Sunwing Airlines are starting up their flights down south. Destinations will include sunny spots Veradero and Punta Cana. Gander International Airport CEO Gary Vey says the service has been well-received in the past and has been expanded as a result. He says according to Sunwing, flight sales have increased 35 per cent over the past year. Depending on where you live, at least this way the drive to the airport doesn’t have to be longer than the flight.

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