It’s provincial election time and that means political promises are flying around faster than you can say “save the fishery”
September 22nd, 2011
It’s provincial election time and that means political promises are flying around faster than you can say save the fishery. Perhaps not at all surprising is Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s recently announced commitment to extending the tuition fee freeze at public post-secondary ed institutions for the duration of (her) government. Any other party would be suicidal to challenge that declaration.
Just blew in from TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, to help host the annual provincial cocktail party
September 17th, 2011
Just blew in from TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, to help host the annual provincial cocktail party. Lucky to have arrived ahead of the impending hurricane but sad the party had to end. It was fabulous, as always, with almost all the great Newfoundlanders living on the mainland and many who were there just for the festival in attendance. The party also included dozens who simply love Newfoundland from afar, who either summer here or love the music and the people and all the usual reasons why literally hundreds flock to the Toronto scene.
Barely have time for a blog this week…
September 9th, 2011
Barely have time for a blog this week, but I can’t board yet another plane today for a mainland meeting without trying to scribble a few words about the start of the semester. Getting on a plane this week is a bit weird, to tell the truth. The fresh, energetic start of the academic season is oddly tainted with the forbidding clouds of memory, as the 10th anniversary of September 11 looms. You can’t open up an inbox these days without someone reminding you of an anniversary event. As everyone living here well knows, Newfoundland and Labrador played a memorable role as a way station for stranded passengers who were diverted to St John’s and, in much bigger numbers, to Gander. There are scheduled services and special ambassadorial events, wreaths to be laid, speeches to be made, probably tears to be shed in recollection. There is a fine line between honouring the local generosity shown to so many strangers and boasting with too much pride about what any people, any nation, any community would do under the same circumstances. I have been watching that line uneasily all week. (more…)
I grew up in Quebec before Bill 101…
September 2nd, 2011
I grew up in Quebec before Bill 101 – the controversial language Bill known less familiarly as the Charter of the French Language. It came into effect in 1977, by which time I had fled the province for less turbulent political climates. By decree, then, the Bill mandated French as the official language of Quebec. The debate around the enactment of the Bill was loud and emotional. After several centuries of social dominance, the English/Anglo communities of the province were understandably threatened by what they saw as a draconian measure to silence their tongues. No group ever likes to be told it doesn’t hold the fort anymore.