So the fish are gone in Newfoundland. So what? Big deal. Right? Wrong. So very wrong!
After more than twenty years, our species, the virus known as man, hasn’t learned a blasted thing. We are still fishing carelessly and without regard to the outcome and the future. Gotta have our sushi. Kitty has to have it’s food too. And what lunchbox would be complete without the prerequisite tuna fish sandwich, smell and all? Yet, what is the result of this? Here’s one example.
Resettlement is not a happy word in Newfoundland. In my travels, I visited several sites where once there had been outports (fishing villages) and now there was nothing; plowed under and grown over. People used to live and work there. Now, nothing to even mark their past. Get ready; it’ll happen in more places than we’d like. This is an article from the National Post illustrating what’s at stake.
‘Our little community’s dying’: Isolation prompts Newfoundland town to ask province for ‘resettlement’
Little Bay Islands used to be just another prosperous settlement on the Newfoundland coast: Ample jobs at the local crab processing plant, streets jammed with children, dances at the Orange Hall — and all of it within surroundings befitting a tourism ad: Cosy wood houses facing onto an iceberg-dotted Atlantic.
Now, the crab plant is long gone, every shop in town is shuttered and the population has plummeted to 72 from a one-time high of almost 800. Aside from a toddler and a pair of young teenagers, virtually the only islanders left are a few dozen widows and seniors, many of whom don’t have the money to leave.
“We all know our little community’s dying,” said one Little Bay Islands resident who preferred to remain anonymous.
Now, you can’t even get a soft drink
“One time, I’d say there was probably seven or eight stores here; you could go and buy whatever you wanted. Now, you can’t even get a soft drink.”
It is why, earlier this month, the nearly 200-year-old community applied for “resettlement,” a 60-year-old program in which the province issues everyone a cheque to leave town before cutting the power, suspending the ferry service and leaving nature to take its course.
“Since the crab plant closed down there’s no work here whatsoever … and nobody wants to be on EI if they can get away with it,” said Dennis Budgell, a Little Bay Islands town councillor who raised the issue with the province’s Department of Municipal Affairs.
Under the resettlement deal available to Little Bay Islands, if 90% of the community votes in favour, every household will stand to receive between $80,000 and $100,000.
So what, you ask? Big deal. Yeah, it is a big deal.