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

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… Keep Reading


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

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… Keep Reading


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

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… Keep Reading

Featured/So Moved

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

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… Keep Reading

Featured/So Moved

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

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… Keep Reading

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