March 18, 2004

Proto-Inkslinger #4

Insights from the West Side
Written from Stephenville, NL
Appeared in the Carbonear Compass on March 18, 2004

Underdevelopment is when companies take out resources and profits from a particular area. It is a process of capitalist exploitation.

We are being exploited for the benefit of Canada.

Sound familiar? We had a lively debate in Sociology class recently about this – whether or not Newfoundland and Labrador is truly underdeveloped.

Newfoundland and Labrador, in my opinion, is severely underdeveloped. The Europeans started it when they landed in the 1500s. They converted the native people to Christianity and gave them smallpox and other diseases. The pattern continued right up to the present.

But the biggest blow that probably started it all was when Joseph R. Smallwood sold Churchill Falls to Quebec. We lost out there big time, and we really didn’t have to. The profits from that electricity that is going into Quebec and the United States could be ours right now, and as a province we could be prospering more. We won’t get the rights to the royalties of Churchill Falls for about 30 to 40 years from now.

It was more or less an act of political idiocy.

We have the potential of being the richest province in Canada, but everything that is in our territory is constantly squandered and given away to the rest of Canada by stupid decisions by the provincial government.

In a similar fashion, we lost our vast oilfields on the Grand Banks to the Federal government.

This is the way that it has always been for Newfoundland, and action should be taken soon.

The loss of the fishery, I can unfortunately understand – because the traditional ways were shoved aside by modern technology and the bottoms of the ocean were scraped clean. I hope that the fishery can be recovered sooner rather than later. It was our province’s lifeblood since the very beginning.

The fishery was what made our province what it is today.

On a slightly different topic, I did very well in the midterms I was stressing over last time. Graduation is just around the corner.

It’s time to start thinking about my future in journalism. I had the opportunity to meet Debbie Cooper and Karl Wells of CBC’s Canada Now fame recently when they were doing their show from Marble Mountain on March 10, and it was an enlightening experience.

I’m at a crossroads in life.

As always, my email address is hutchings_ian@excite.com.

See you next time.

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