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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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So Moved, St. John’s: 11 January 2021

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Council is back for the new year, and they’re starting by taking out the trash. Also, bringing in the bakeries.

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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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The Indy Presents: the 1st (and hopefully only) Pandemmies

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Our readers have spoken! Here’s what you picked as the best parts of the plague year. Best Pedestrian Mall Venue Winner: Cojones Honourable Mention: “whole damn thing” Best Restaurant During a Pandemic Winner: Bernard Stanley’s Honourable Mention: El Greco’s in Goose Bay Best Outdoor Place to Visit Winner: Bannerman Park Honourable Mention: Any of the abstract vagina statues Best Transition to Providing Services Remotely Winner: Piatto Honourable Mention: My kid’s teacher, bless her heart Best Employer During a Pandemic Winner: Verafin Honourable Mention: CERB Dishonourable Mention: “Not Dominion” Outstanding Community Organization Winner: The Gathering Place Honourable Mention: SHOP Best Pandemic Media Coverage (Individual Journalist or Overall Publication) Winner: Peter Cowan Honourable Mention: David Maher for updates, Indy for hot takes Best NL Arts & Entertainment Production During Pandemic Winner: Shanneyganock Drive-in Concert Honourable Mention: Stef Curran’s TikTok Best Pandemic-Themed Song Winner: The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me…

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Is Corporate Concentration the Future of Fish Processing?

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Government’s only vision is to either increase corporate concentration (foreign ownership or otherwise) or see more plant closures, divestment, and decline.

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Spotlight: NL Arts in Education Winner Joanna Barker

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“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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So Moved, St. John’s: the Big Bad Budget & the End of 2020

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It was clear that Council did not take budget decisions lightly. What was less clear were the rationales behind some of those tough decisions.

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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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Hands That Feed, Pt. 2: the Paradox of Essential Food Charity

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Food charity is putting a band-aid on a deadly and insidious gangrene—which corporate power and government inaction allows to fester in our communities.

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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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So Moved, St. John’s: 30 November 2020

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Come for the roundup of Monday’s city council meeting; stay for the delightful interview with Gord Follett Jr., the “fastest man who never ran.”

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LETTER: The Million Dollar Baby of St. John’s

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Million Dollar Baby, directed by Clint Eastwood, was a movie that garnered many awards and significant critical acclaim. The film became problematic because it reinforces the idea that the disabled life is not worth living. The disabled community in Newfoundland and Labrador attempted to seize the opportunity of a 2020 Bike Plan that was going run through the Grand Concourse of St. John’s. Hobbyist runners, hobbyist cyclists, and other political malcontents have decided the disabled life and access is not worth giving. Claims from charities that grades would be improper for wheelchair access and claims from commenters that if it “isn’t broke don’t fix it” all suggest surrender. Arguments over environmental aesthetics all come together to form a massive monolith that says “we don’t care about accessibility.” Perhaps more accurately, the statement is that “we care about accessibility but just not right now and not in this case.” Ultimately the…

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Cranks & Cronk: A Covid-era Comedy of Manners

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Christmas in the Atlantic Bubble might be in jeopardy, but at least we’ve got this handy explainer about regional superstar Cortland Cronk.

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So Moved, St. John’s: 23 November 2020

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The Holiday Market Sike This just in: to discourage the congregation of shoppers, the forthcoming Holiday Market weekends of December 5 – 6 and 12 – 13 have been cancelled. Your city Council wants you to know that businesses are open, and to please support the local shops downtown during this difficult time. However, rather than maximizing pedestrian space by closing Water Street to vehicular traffic, they ask that you practice your best physical distancing… while forced to congregate on sidewalks.  In support of the motion to cancel, Mayor Breen said, “We feel that we need to make the decisions that are necessary for the safety of our residents as we move forward [during] this very challenging time for everyone.” He later stated, “This is not about not going shopping downtown; it’s about not encouraging congregation… events such as this encourage congregation.” Bolstering the Mayor’s support for this motion during…

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Who Controls Fish Processing in Newfoundland & Labrador?

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Is corporate concentration a central part of the province’s long-term strategy for the fishery? How does that benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?

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Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Need Justice

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We need to make it clear that the status quo isn’t enough. It is time for things in this province to change. It is time to put our victims first.

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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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So Moved, St. John’s: 16 November 2020

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Everybody Deserves A Home We got things started with a proclamation for National Housing Day, taking place on Sunday, November 22nd. Mayor Breen reminds us that “having a safe, secure home is a basic human right and a key pathway out of poverty.” To mark the occasion, we will see online events (such as a housing-needs assessment workshop), funder pitch-sessions, the launch of a video highlighting partners in the housing sector, a CMHC-hosted “Let’s Talk Housing” meeting (which took place Monday morning), and “a NIMBY campaign,” adds Deputy Mayor O’Leary..  For the uninitiated, NIMBY means “not in my backyard.” It’s a thinly-veiled pejorative phrase, carrying the sentiment that Greg (think: property-owner from Hot Fuzz) doesn’t have a problem with multiplexes per se, but he just doesn’t want them next to his three-thousand square-foot house and award-winning azaleas. That’s all.  Rather than a NIMBY campaign (that truly sounds dreadful), I’m betting…

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