We are living in a province fast becoming a state where we are regulated to death and where we have no freedom left.
While our premier is out making deals to insure our children and grandchildren will have a better province to live in, his ministers are turning the voters off with some of the stupid things they are doing. Remember Joan Burke and the university fiasco?
And we are even unable to install signs along our highway to advertise small and valuable businesses in our rural communities.
When Charlene Johnson was elected I said to myself, here is a bright young person that will go far in politics. But she has made three blunders lately that have caused me to change my opinion.
First with the caribou - they are declining fast in numbers and the majority of hunters and outfitters and even some wildlife officers are blaming the coyote, a species new to this island. But what does the minister do?
She allocates $15 million for a five-year study to find the cause. By the time this study is over we may have no caribou left.
'While Rome burns, Nero plays the fiddle'.
The second thing is pesticides. While other provinces are banning lawn care pesticides, we are going full steam ahead and spraying cancer-causing chemicals around our homes just to kill a beautiful flower, the dandelion.
The minister is using the excuse if banned it will put people out of work. We are poisoning people just to provide a few jobs.
The third and the one that really got me pissed off is the banning of gravel pit camping.
This is nothing more than an attack on the rural poor of this province, the people that can't afford expensive cabin lots.
The tourism department is encouraging the people of this province to stay home and spend their money here, at the same time Ms. Johnson's workers are going around and forcing people to remove their campers, trailers buses, cabins, etc. from areas where they have camped for up to 40 years or more, and are doing it right in the middle of the camping season. This is a cruel move and has to stop.
We are living in a vast and beautiful province and are being forced out of the places we love to go camping, so we can enjoy our fair province. When asked what alternative people would have, her answer was they could apply for a cabin lot and maybe could stay.
This is BS because when these people are forced out they will not be allowed back in, only in certain circumstances, and in any case will have to wait for up to a year or more.
So what do you do in the meantime? Many of these structures are unmovable and can't be moved back and forth.
The minister also stated you could still camp in a gravel pit or shoreline but only for 48 hours. So if you want to go camping for a few weekends, you have to drag your trailer back home every weekend burning up a lot of gas and creating extra danger on our highways and for no sensible reason.
I spend a lot of time up in the country in the fall picking berries, small game hunting and just driving around enjoying nature. After several years trying to decide on where to build a small cabin, I picked out a spot located on Corner Brook Pulp and Paper (Kruger) leasehold lands.
This is our land, but the company has the timber rights. I applied through Crown Lands for this cabin permit and was approved by all parties, except CBPPL. When I enquired I was told they are not approving any more cabins on their timberlands, which takes in approximately one third of all the forested land on this island.
To say I was surprised is putting it mildly. I have been a member of Newfoundland Department of Forestry five-year Planning Committee for District 9 for the last eight years.
I have also been a member of CBPPL public advisory committee for the last six years.
This is a committee put in place to help the company get a Sustainable Forest Management Certificate to improve their market condition. I was never made aware we couldn't build a cabin up in the woods; we are getting close to living in communist state.
When Minister Johnson is telling you can apply for a cabin lot and get one, take it with a grain of salt, as I have found out. This foolishness has got to stop; it's time to take back this land we were born on. Gravel pit campers keep up the fight.
We are living in a vast province with a small population and are being regulated to death.
A word of advice to the premier and his ministers: we elected you to get good government.
When the time comes for elections, voters remember the negative. (There are a lot of ex-politicians out there can attest to this fact.)
(Retired) Capt. Wilfred Bartlett
Brighton, Notre Dame Bay