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Newfoundland and Labrador

The Dirty Politics Behind Cleaning NL’s Dirty Water

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Supporting a fiscally irresponsible P3 “solution” for wastewater defers true costs and make immediate budgets look more ‘responsible.’ Is that a temptation?

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Illustrated Adventures in Newfoundland Geography

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By the end of this post, you will have a newfound respect for Mainlanders—and anyone else who has ever tried to follow directions in Newfoundland.

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The NL Expat Survey, Part 2: Growth Opportunities

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Last week, The Indy explored the reasons why young people are leaving Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, we’re exploring ideas that might bring them back.

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Expatriate Survey (Part 1)

in Analysis/Featured/Journalism by

As Newfoundland and Labrador struggles with demographic decline, its provincial government searches for answers from those who left the province behind.

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Ten Microstories Told Through NL Place Names

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Ten stories in ten sentences, and each one including five community names from Newfoundland and Labrador. Can you identify them all?

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On the Stoppage of Crime

in Featured/Opinion/To Each Their Own by

A modest proposal: that crime is not stopped by terrorizing a city with a guerilla marketing campaign aimed at encouraging people to snitch on the poor.

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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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Fragments of the 1,111 Points of Light

in Featured/Longread/Satire by
Art by Gord Little.

We now present you a partial list of the many great initiatives that transformed rural Newfoundland and Labrador into the envy of the world.

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Put Education on the Ballot

in Analysis/Opinion by

We need institutions where critical inquiry can be freely pursued by scholars and cultivated among students. The future of NL depends on it.

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The Patient’s Progress, Part 4

in Featured/Longread/Satire by

I’m beginning to think the patient is better off living in his fantasy. After I hear about New Year’s 2018 on the St. John’s waterfront, I want to join him.

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The Patient’s Progress, Part 3

in Featured/Longread/Satire by
art by Gordon Little

It is October 2007. An emergency all-party government unleashes a political revolution in NL. But a sudden General Strike threatens to derail the province.

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The Patient’s Progress, Part 2

in Featured/Longread/Satire by
Art by Gord Little

All Townie MHAs receive rural reeducation as the Baymen seize power in Newfoundland & Labrador. Meanwhile, a meal of Chow Mein nearly destroys the province.

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The Patient’s Progress, Part 1

in Featured/Longread/Satire by
Art by Gordon Little.

Case study: Patient has moved from a depression over the loss of rural life to an hallucinatory state in which rural Newfoundland and Labrador is flourishing.

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The Red and Blue Doors Open the Same Room

in Analysis/Featured/Longread/Politics by

As promised in response to the budget/not-a-budget pre-election kick off, I thought it would be useful to take a deeper look at what the Liberals have accomplished in their four years in office. Halfway through the election campaign is as good a time as any. Everything old is new again. As both the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives have now released their “costed” platforms, it’s probably a good idea to think back to where we were when the parties went through this exercise in 2015. Memories of Elections Past In the spring of 2015, Progressive Conservative premier Paul Davis brought down an austerity budget in response to the collapse in oil prices and the sudden realization that the good times of the previous decade had gone bust.  Budget ’15 projected staggering deficits and proposed a series of tax increases (including a controversial HST increase) and a public sector attrition plan…

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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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Budget 2019: Shag It, Let’s Do Magic

in Featured/Journalism by

I went to the NL Budget Lockup to hear tales of a budget surplus in 2019. Don’t get me wrong; budgets are normally big policy events. Not only do they chart the government’s fiscal plans for the upcoming year and update us on how things went the last one, they also usually involve a myriad of specific policy announcements across sectors. But as communication strategists become more and more important in all aspects of government, budgets have become more of a public relations medium than they once were. There has always been political spectacle on budget days: the finance minister’s new shoes, surprise funding for new paving and the like, but there has usually been an actual budget obscured by the government’s marketing efforts. Budget 2019 in Newfoundland and Labrador takes the communications side of budget days to a new extreme. It’s a pre-election budget, which are usually long 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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Memory, Language and the Land: the Art of Marlene Creates

in Arts & Culture/Featured/Journalism by

It wasn’t until Marlene Creates decided to ‘think oppositely’ that she found her niche. She graduated art school and did as many artists do: she got a studio and started working, hoping that one day she would forge herself the perfect identity. Destiny would prevail and a lucid understanding of her abilities and passions would begin to shape her art. In 1979 she started working with stones. She would carry them into her studio from the landscape and form paper casts around them. The stones were representative of power—a structure that is hardly weathered by the acts of the elements. The paper was a fragile and sensitive juxtaposition. She says it was an unorthodox yet simple thought that was a defining moment in her work. “One day I thought, instead of hauling all of these rocks into the studio, why don’t I just take the paper outside?” Creates told The…

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Reaping Without Sowing: Government Support for the Arts in NL

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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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Muskrat Falls and the Tip of the Iceberg

in Featured/Opinion by

Last Thursday night, instead of attending a letter writing campaign at the LSPU Hall where dozens of local artists had assembled to write to government policy makers, begging for an increase in funding for our provincial arts council, I was on Springdale Street replacing a set of leaky kitchen taps in a rental property. The owner was a nice Scottish man who works in the oil industry. He complained about the lost equity in the house. He’s working in Azerbaijan now, but has fallen in love with a Newfoundland woman. He bemoaned the lack of work here, while I was under his sink. He said most oil companies would never build another major project in Newfoundland, after what went on with Hebron. He said the Koreans were much cheaper and better organized. “I worked on that project,” I said. “What a shit show.” We went on to discuss the rampant…

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