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Journalism

Newfoundland and Labrador Election 2021: Let the Games Begin

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With so much so much at stake, shrouded in so much secrecy, spread out across unruly social media platforms, chaos reigns over the coming campaign.

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An Impertinent PERT; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust Technocrats

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This article was initially published as the donors-only ‘letter from the editor of the Independent’ on 10 January 2021 (#36). For more like this delivered directly to your inbox every week, donate below. Do you trust the voting public of Newfoundland and Labrador to make good decisions about the future of their province? It’s an important question. And for a lot of influential people, the answer seems to be “no.” Consider the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT). Last week, Mary Shortall, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, abruptly quit her position on the PERT citing concerns that its recommendations for “economic recovery” would put her in a conflict of interest with her duties to represent the interests of the province’s unionized workforce. This comes about a month after Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, had his own meeting with…

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Spotlight: NL Arts in Education Winner Joanna Barker

in Arts & Culture/Featured/Interview by

“Watching students try for the first time is truly awesome. When they try music, love it, and want to keep learning—that’s what gives me life.”

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An Empty Lot on Eric Street Holds the Key to the City

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A clash between affordable housing advocates, community gardeners, & neighbours neatly illustrates the promises and perils of urban planning in St. John’s.

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RNC Partnership May Be Over, but SHOP is Busier than Ever

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“As long as sex work is criminalized then authorities have a mandate to treat sex workers as criminals. They’re oversurveilled and they’re underprotected.”

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Enough is Enough: Justice Reform for Sexual Assault Survivors

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Two months after a mistrial was declared in the Snelgrove case, a panel convened in St. John’s to demand justice reform for sexual assault survivors.

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2020 Fishing Season Hits Crab Hard as Cod Remains Critical

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The provincial snow crab fishery suffered a big hit in the marketplace this year thanks largely to Covid, and cod stocks in 3Ps remain critical.

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More UFO Sightings Since Start of Pandemic

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There was something weird spotted in the sky above Main Brook on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula in January 2020.

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How Budget Day Changed When Media Picked the Attendees

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While stakeholder attendance at the lock-up was smaller than in previous years, representation changed significantly when media shaped the invite list.

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Smallest Fish Nets Biggest Share of Profits

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Capelin sold for higher prices in the marketplace this year—despite record low quotas hauled to shore by the province’s saltwater cowboys and girls.

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Ladies Who Lunch and the Thrill of Homegrown Horror

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With all original pieces, in-show “ads” and an on-stage Foley artist, Ladies Who Lunch showcase the passion that goes into producing a radio play.

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Are There Bears on the Avalon Peninsula? An Investigation

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Changing climates and municipal regulations may have unpredictable effects on the island’s black bear—also known as ‘dump bear’—population.

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Return of the U-Pass: This Time Bringing Students On Board

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Whatever comes next in the Memorial University U-Pass conversation, it’s clear that students need to be involved in a meaningful way.

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SJIWFF Goes Virtual for their 31st Annual Festival

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“By supporting one another, we all do better. I think that’s part of the magic of Newfoundland and Labrador’s arts scene.”

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On The Road Again: Rum Ragged Back on Tour After Covid-19

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“We’ll be grateful to be back doing what we love. We hope that a good night of music will at least make everyone feel a little closer together.”

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Why St. John’s Struggles to Regulate Noisy Vehicles (and What Ward 2 Candidates Would Do)

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Back in the spring of 2009 there was a committee meeting. According to the meeting notes, members of the Police and Traffic Committee (including city councillors, city staff, and Sgt Paul Murphy from the RNC) met that day with John Dinn (then-MHA for Kilbride) “at his request” to “discuss the issue of motorcycle noise.” In notes for the meeting, Sgt Murphy acknowledges the noise problem from “after market exhaust systems for motorcycles and cars.” He then explains that the RNC cannot do much about it without a change to the Highway and Traffic Act [HTA] to include noise standards. So the committee recommended that Council address the province and “request changes to the Highway Traffic Act to deal with excessive noise levels caused by motorcycles with modified or non-OEM [original equipment manufacturers] muffler systems.”  MHA John Dinn explained to the committee that the House of Assembly would not be able…

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Budget 2020: Waiting for Moya Greene’s Renaissance

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Newfoundland and Labrador has finally delivered its long-awaited 2020 budget. The key takeaway: watch this space for Budget 2021.

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The Snelgrove Cycles: What was Done and What was Lost

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Each trial is its own contained drama, but it is also a link in the chain of our laws.

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Hundreds Rally for Oil and Gas at Confederation Building

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Hundreds of people urgently demanded “political support” for the offshore oil and gas industry. But Premier Andrew Furey did not offer anything specific.

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No Safe Bet: Why Newfoundland & Labrador is Canada’s Casino Holdout

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In 2010, when Colliers International was listing the Battery Hotel and Suites for $15 million, they dared buyers to imagine alternate usages for the property—even those that went against provincial policy. “Newfoundland is one of only two Canadian provinces that does not have a provincially approved casino,” Colliers said in a brochure. “If this highly interesting situation changes, the site is sufficiently large to accommodate a Class A casino and hotel.” “Our policy doesn’t permit casinos in the province,” then-finance minister Tom Marshall told reporters at the time. “There’s been no change in that policy.” When asked if he’d reconsider the policy if a casino application was submitted, he was unequivocal: “No.” By 2014, Marshall was premier and Charlene Johnson, then-finance minister, suggested to reporters that they might be willing to consider a good offer. Saying the government would review proposals stopped far short of saying they would be approved,…

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