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Drew Brown

Drew Brown has 20 articles published.

Spot the Difference: Baron Amulree or McKinsey & Co.?

in Featured/wordplay by

Can YOU tell which ‘diversification’ ideas are from the 1933 Amulree Commission that doomed Newfoundland and which ones are from the 2019 McKinsey report?

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New Hospital for Corner Brook Announced, Again

in Journalism by

The hospital’s projected opening in 2023 would come 16 years after it was announced for the first time as part of Danny Williams’ 2007 re-election campaign.

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The Future (of Fishing) is Female

in Featured/Journalism by

Women have been the backbone of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery for centuries. Earning that recognition is reshaping the maritime world.

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Canada Complicit in Genocide: MMIWG Report

in Journalism by

The findings and recommendations of the MMIWG Report may be dismissed, but its charge of genocide cannot be ignored.

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There are No Captains at the Wheel

in Editorial/Featured/Longread/Politics by
election 2019 nl

This election is a referendum on Newfoundland and Labrador’s political class, and the status quo is losing. All we’re missing is a way to vote “no.”

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The Passion of Graydon Pelley

in Featured/Interview/Longread/Politics by
Art by Sarah Brown

The 2019 Newfoundland and Labrador general election is a very strange beast. The province finds itself in the throes of existential crisis at the same as it is mired in a full-blown political depression. Nominations have finally closed for all parties, but only the governing Liberals are running a full slate of 40 candidates. The Tories are a close second with 39, while the NDP trail a distant third with 14 candidates. There are nine people running unaffiliated. As far as provincial politics goes, you could be forgiven for feeling like things are starting to circle the drain. But then there is the other weird feature of the 2019 NL election: there is a new option on the ballot. In November 2018, former NL Progressive Conservative party president Graydon Pelley announced that he was resigning from the Tories to form a new entity called the NL Alliance. The Alliance is,…

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The Phony War

in Editorial/Featured by
Photo by CHMR/The Independent.

Well, the provincial election is finally here. After months of rumours and weeks of high-volume spending announcements, Premier Dwight Ball this week called a snap election for 16 May 2019. If your democratic morale is low, fear not—this will all be mercifully over by May Two-Four, so we’ll be able to flee into the woods and get drunk to process what’s happening. Lord knows it will be necessary. To be honest, this barely even feels real. The whole campaign is already a giant fever dream. Twirling Towards the Future Even though everything is happening according to their schedule, it’s hard to avoid the impression that the Liberals are flying through this by the seat of their pants. They spent the last month making major funding announcements obviously meant to shock and awe the electorate into submission. We got the $2.5 billion Hibernia Dividend; we got the elimination of tax on…

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Confederation Chic

in Editorial/Featured by

Every history, so they say, is a history of the present. The past is brutally unchanging, but what flares up through its wreckage to the observer hinges on the moment they turn to look back. (“The way to see,” according to one French mystic, “is to not always be looking.”) This is especially true in the case of historical ruptures that never quite get stitched up, or those regularly reopened under political strain. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Confederation with Canada in 1949 certainly fits this bill. Confederation was legendary in its own time, thanks to both the propagandist in the Premier’s chair and the romantic reaction he generated. As it recedes from living memory its mythic stature will only grow. You need only see Joe Smallwood, ‘Last Father of Confederation’, decked out in a Newfie Republican tricolour bowtie to realize we regard our past through a thickening stained-glass windowpane. It’s been…

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Reaping Without Sowing: Government Support for the Arts in NL

in Featured/Journalism by

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Transportation, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Mitchelmore loves the arts. He is very excited about all the wonderful work being produced in this province by its artists, and he cannot wait to share their stories with the world. This is wonderful. Unfortunately, Minister Mitchelmore seems to have some trouble listening to stories from local artists when they’re directed at him. Spearheaded by playwright Robert Chafe and director Courtney Brown, local artists last week organized a letter-writing campaign to the provincial government looking for an increase in funding to ArtsNL. “[ArtsNL is] the only pot of funding, really, that exists in the province [and] that goes directly to working artists to start the product that will actually fill the theatre, fill the CDs, fill the film halls, that kind of thing,” Chafe told the CBC. “The cultural programming in the province wouldn’t exist without it.” ArtsNL funding…

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CHEAP Thrills: This Week at The House

in Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God by

Question Period is like a soap opera, except about politics and with terrible pacing. Old storylines are picked up wherever they left off while new, meandering subplots bubble up all the time. All the actors in the show have tangled, weirdly passionate interconnections that sometimes go back decades. But the script is badly written and all the drama is exaggerated beyond any resemblance to a reality most people would recognize. Prolonged exposure seems hazardous to human mental health, and I worry the surrealist funeral parlour lighting in the scrum room might trigger an acid flashback. Outside of the actual content of the House of Assembly, though, it has been a tremendous first two weeks at the House of Assembly. My colleagues in the press gallery are all lovely. I am deeply humbled to be part of that small cadre charged with checking on the stewards of the state. This job…

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The People’s Party of Canada is Not for Everyone

in Journalism by
Pre-rally seating at Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada Rally, St. John's NL, 2 March 2019.

This past weekend, St. John’s was graced by the first federal political rally of our long pre-election season. People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier was in town to help his fledgling riding associations dig up candidates, and he headlined a rally at the Capital Hotel on Saturday. The Independent was there to cover it. Dozens of men and some women turned out to hear the renegade ex-Conservative go off about the perils of Canada’s dairy regulations, the “crony capitalism” at the heart of Trudeau’s “socialist” government, and the sinister ambitions of the United Nations. (Spoiler: world domination in approximately 30 years.) Bernier promised to balance the budget in two years by eliminating all corporate welfare and foreign aid, as well as downloading taxes onto provincial governments. He also swore to use section 92(10) of the Constitution Act, 1867 to “impose” the Trans-Mountain and Energy East pipelines on Canada. He…

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Charting a Course Through 2019

in Editorial by

To those who do not know the world is on fire, I have nothing to say. – Bertolt Brecht Here at the Independent, the engines are being plugged in and warmed up. Soon they will thrum with paid (!!) content from the country’s finest writers, about everything that matters in Newfoundland and Labrador. In the meantime, it’s more or less just me. The Indy’s still in drydock at the moment, but I wanted to say a few words about the political forecast before we really take this thing out to sea. It’s barely three weeks into 2019 but it already feels like forever—and I’m not just talking about the weather. We are living in historic times. This much seems obvious if you are following America’s slow-motion implosion, or the post-imperial nervous breakdown called Brexit. Or the Gilets Jaunes roiling France, or the simmering trade and diplomatic wars with China, or the wildfires…

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I can see Cleary now the sane is gone

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

Ryan Cleary’s problem isn’t that he has no political principles. It’s that he’s principled to the point of pathology.

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After Alberta

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

The NDP victory in last week’s Alberta election shook that province and the country. But what does it mean for the federal NDP and the NL NDP here as we approach federal and provincial elections in the fall?

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God guard thee, Newfoundland

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

What the rushed passage of controversial Bill 42 reveals about our leading political parties, their understanding of legislative reform and their propensity for anti-democratic decision-making

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Orange you glad change comes better late than never?

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

It’s been deferred for months but a straggling NDP finally gets a chance for renewal. But will it be enough?

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Irresponsible Government

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

Premier Paul Davis’ recent appointment of Judy Manning as Minister of Public Safety has sparked a healthy public discussion about parliamentary procedure and the mechanics of our democracy. It has also demonstrated just how little either of those things are actually understood.

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Cleanup in Aisle 12

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

Frank Coleman’s sudden departure is a hot mess for the Tories

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Who’s afraid of Virgina Waters?

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

It may have been a close race, but the Virgina Waters by-election win is momentous for the provincial Liberals

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She’s gone b’ys, she’s gone

in Deadmonton Dispatches by

#DarkNL did Kathy Dunderdale in, but the lights are still out in the House of Assembly

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