Sunday, June 04, 2006


IMG_3799, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

He told me that he made a presentation to the Senate. I checked the transcript and found it. I posted his little speech and I might as well add mine also.

It sure wasn't fair because we only had a few minutes. The Senate pick the people very carefully.

It wasn't fair. Where's the final report anyway???

Here’s both of our presentation to the Senate!!!

I will now ask Mr. Kevin Matthews to come forward, please.
Mr. Kevin Matthews, Max Media Ltd., As an individual: Thank you.
I am an independent documentary film-maker and I have worked in various parts of the media in New Brunswick, mostly television for the last 25 years. I am here today to speak to you about what I see as a very necessary, immediate and effective solution to the problem in New Brunswick of the Irving print media monopoly.
I, as well as many New Brunswick people and other Canadians who are aware of it, feel that it is unacceptable and contrary to a free independent media and the right to free speech that one family and corporate empire owns all but three of 15 English weekly and daily newspapers in New Brunswick.
As you may know, the Irving empire has begun to buy some of the French weeklies in the province. The Irving family, through its wide spectrum of industrial and business interests in New Brunswick, control much of the local and important resources in the province and essentially hold an iron grip on the economic well-being of all New Brunswick people. The Irving success is based on vertical integration, controlling resources, means of production and through sheer size, a large pool of labour. With such complete economic power in the hands of one family, a very big fish in a small pond, they also control much of the political life of people and their communities from the provincial legislature through to city governments, town councils and rural municipalities. With such enormous economic and political power, and with essentially complete control of the print media, it would be nothing less than absurd to suggest that the print media is in any manner independent, open, unbiased, fair or even objective. This is the fox in charge of the hen house, and control of the media is the fox having the key to the front door, who can choose when and how much that door will be open to actually shed light on the conditions under which the chickens must live.
My direct experience with the Irving media is through a launch of a documentary film titled Forbidden Forest, a film about the people of New Brunswick who depend on the forest for a livelihood. I made this documentary with the National Film Board of Canada and the CBC Nature of Things and it was released November 2004. As part of the Tidal Wave Film Festival, the launch of Forbidden Forest was a gala event organized by the CBC with Dr. David Suzuki present to help with the launch, but it was also the 25th Anniversary of the program, The Nature of Things, a double-billed event.
The venue for the event was the Fredericton Playhouse and was sold out to the point that there were a number of disappointed people out front who could not get tickets. Though there was good coverage on CBC Radio and TV and the French New Brunswick media, there was no coverage of the event in any of the New Brunswick English major Irving daily newspapers. With all of the advance press releases coming from the CBC and formal invitations sent out to the media and given that this was a film about forestry, a very important part of the Irving empire’s industrial complex, and that in New Brunswick we had, at that moment, one of Canada’s Top Ten most popular Canadians, Dr. David Suzuki, there was essentially nothing better than dead silence coming from the Irving media. And even for weeks following, Forbidden Forest toured the province in community screenings, there was no coverage in the Irving media.
So, here you have an issue, forestry, an important New Brunswick industry upon which a good part of the Irving empire is based, owning two large pulp and paper mills, two tissue production plants and eight sawmills spread throughout the province, and holds a significant interest in who knows how many other forest-related businesses, and on top of this the Irving empire controls at least one-third of the public Crown forest lands in the province.
Given the enormous power and control of this family dynasty over the forest industry, then I ask, does anyone in their right mind truly believe that with an issue so important to the Irving empire and to the people of this province, that the launch of the film, Forbidden Forest, did not in any way warrant any coverage in any of the Irving daily print media? Did not Dr. David Suzuki, so popular to Canadians, coming to New Brunswick not warrant some acknowledgement in any of the major Irving media? The solution to the problem --
The Chairman: You are running into overtime, so please give us your solutions.
Mr. Matthews: The solution to the problem of the media monopoly is a simple one. The federal government, through Heritage Canada or other Government agencies, must establish a trust fund that will allow for the creation of an English daily newspaper that will be independent of any political manipulation.
There is an example of this that now exists in this province in the French print media, and that is the daily French newspaper, L’Acadie Nouvelle. L’Acadie Nouvelle operates under an $8 million trust fund established by the Federal and Provincial Governments. The trust fund guarantees pretty much the survival of an unbiased, objective, independent voice in the French print media. To create at least one independent English newspaper in New Brunswick will give the English-speaking, and French-speaking people for that matter, the trust that at least they have the possibility of getting the whole story or at least objective views on issues that concern all the people of New Brunswick. If an independent English voice in the print media does not exist, then we can only expect to continue to live in a level of darkness when it comes to knowing the full truth about issues of importance.
The Chairman: I take it that this is the film?
Mr. Matthews: That is the film, yes, and there is the brochure.
Senator Munson: Well, you have made your point.
Mr. Matthews: Too quickly.
Senator Munson: Well, I know that.
The Chairman: No, but we have your document.
Senator Munson: On the issue of a trust fund, how can a newspaper be independent if it gets money from federal and provincial governments?
Mr. Matthews: Well, the way the trust fund, as I understand it, is set up with L’Acadie Nouvelle, it is invested in stocks and they draw from the interest from that. Then they pay for their operating expenses on top of that, outside of that.
Senator Trenholme Counsell: We were told that that money is only used for distribution purposes. We asked about it.
Mr. Matthews: Well, yes, distribution costs, whatever.
The Chairman: I think the point there is that L’Acadie Nouvelle cannot go just on the basis of the trust fund. It also has to have readers, advertisers, subscribers, the whole thing. The model that they outlined to us was one where they specifically separated out, if you will, the subsidy element of it from journalism.
Mr. Matthews: Sure, sure, I understand that, but then, in reality, I believe that if you had an English newspaper, in effect, it would end up being able to cover its own costs and would not need a trust fund. I think there is enough interest in this province for an independent paper. People are tired of not getting the news.
Any other questions?
The Chairman: You have another 30 seconds to give your opinion.
Mr. Matthews: Yes, well, I have driven all the way from Fredericton. This takes me two hours.
The Chairman: I am so sorry.
Mr. Matthews: I came all the way from the north of the province, I got home at three o’clock in the morning, to turn around and come down here to tell you something that, basically, we live in a “futilist” state effectively, the way things are set up at this moment. I mean you had a past editor saying that, effectively, the Irvings would not squeeze every nickel out of the newspaper, but the Irving empire is squeezing every nickel out of the people of this province. And the problem is that we are not hearing about it, we are not getting the full story. Two issues of late, the LNG and the tax-break that they got on that, I do not know how much you know about that.
The Chairman: We are learning.
Mr. Matthews: And Lepreau, for example. There is no investigative reporting at all as to what is actually behind that. When you talk about the Assessment Act in this province, you are talking about Louis Robichaud, who fought for ten years against K.C. Irving to bring in fair taxation in this province and it is being destroyed in one stroke, and you do not get any background information on what the Assessment Act is. If you actually look at the Assessment Act you can see, in fact if any reporter cared to look at the Assessment Act, you can see that, in fact, the Irvings get huge exemptions as it is now in anything to do with their petroleum. So, we do not get the news, period. What we get is basically regurgitation. We do not get investigative reporting, even in the slightest sense of investigative reporting.
The Chairman: Mr. Matthews, thank you so much.
Mr. Matthews: Yes.
The Chairman: I appreciate your frustration.
Mr. Matthews: I am not frustrated. I am just trying to get my point across with what little time I have.
The Chairman: Your frustration with us and our time limits. That is what I am saying I appreciate. The issues you raise are serious and important and you have made your case eloquently, and we thank you very much for it. It will be on the record.
Mr. Matthews: You are welcome.


The Chairman: Good for you. What a lovely closing line. Thank you, Mr. Tobin.
Our next presenter, senators, is Mr. Charles LeBlanc.
Mr. Charles LeBlanc, As an individual: I just want to apologize. I am what you call a blogger, so I was in and out on the computer down there. There are hundred people outside who want to know what is going on.
I have a point of concern before I start. I made about a month ago, two months ago, I said that I wanted to make a presentation. In the past, I made a presentations in front of standing committees in New Brunswick. They told me yesterday I only have four minutes. I was disallowed to make a presentation like everybody else. Could you tell me why?
The Chairman: Essentially, sir, the problem is we only have a little over a day and a half. We would like to have more; we would like to have a week, but we do not.
Mr. LeBlanc: Who chose these people?
The Chairman: The Steering Committee of the Transport and Communications Committee has spent a long time looking at all the long list of witnesses, and I am very sorry if you feel you have not been treated justly, but we are doing the best we can.
Mr. LeBlanc: I just wanted to go on record because I was told this morning that B.C. has four minutes, and also New Brunswick. You cannot compare the population of New Brunswick to B.C. I mean there is more media, there are more newspapers in B.C. than here. Here we have a major problem.
But I have ADHD, attention deficit hyperactive disorder. I like to take my time on issues, but this morning I apologize for the way I am. I hitchhiked a ride from Fredericton. Sorry, I should take my hat off, but I hitchhiked from Fredericton to be here. So I just want to go on record that I have been, as the Senator from Sackville knows, that I have been very outspoken. I am the most outspoken citizen in this province for this issue. So what I will try to do, I would like to relax so I can concentrate on the issue at hand, but I have four minutes.
The Chairman: I will give you five minutes, how is that?
Mr. LeBlanc: Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Because you hitchhiked all the way here.
Mr. LeBlanc: I hitchhiked, yes, and believe me, I had to listen to two writers who were complaining about what I am talking about. They agree with me 100 per cent.
Okay, here we go and I will try to put everything that I can. I hate to rush, but when I was told yesterday four minutes, I said, “Oh my God, that is almost impossible.”
I was born in Memramcook. I lived in Saint John for 18 years. I have worked at the Irving Shipyard, and I am now living in Fredericton. I started to write letters to the editor l’Évangéline, that is a French paper, and I enjoy writing. I enjoy spreading my views with other people. I have a column in the River Valley News. It has not been Irving bought yet, maybe, I do not know why. Maybe the Irvings know what is going on through this paper. That is why they are not buying it. I am allowed to write anything I want. I will leave you a copy. It is a bi-weekly paper that is now owned by Irving.
During the frigate program, I was very well-known in Saint John to write my letters to the editor. I wrote and got printed 500 letters to the editor. Not too many people in this province can say that. If I wrote letters supporting the Irvings, they would turn around and say, “Oh, what a suck-up.” If I wrote against them, they would say, “Hey, don’t you know who your boss is?” Well, on both sides, I could have went, but I had the right to condemn the Irvings, had the right to praise the Irvings.
Then the Telegraph Journal, then something happened, I was working for a company, then I had a protest going on in front of the Golden Ball and the next thing you know there was a story in the Evening Times Globe stating that Charles LeBlanc was fired three times. That was not true, and they allowed me to write a little letter to the editor, but the damage had already been done by Saint Johners to know the truth. That is how the Irvings run it.
We heard a lot about Jamie Irving. Jamie Irving is a nice kid. I met Jamie, a very nice guy. When I found out he was the editor, the publisher of the King’s County Record -- I am talking fast because I only have four minutes, I am trying, there are some many issues -- when I found out that Jamie was the publisher of the King’s County Record, I said “Okay, he is a good kid.” Then I walked by through McAllister Place and then I saw a used picture on the King’s County Record, “J.D. Irving Sawmill record production.” On the front page of the King’s County Record, that should have been in the workplace. What was it doing on the front page of the King’s County Record that J.D. Irving Sawmill produced record products?
Then there was a big pollution spill in West Saint John on Christmas day. I wrote a letter to the editor about it. It was denied. So I do not know what was going on. There were changes made. I made a complaint to the Atlantic Press Council and what happened, Ken Simms from Halifax was surprised once I told him I wrote 500 letters to the editor. He said “500?” “My God,” he said “there is a procedure here. Then suddenly they stop. We will investigate this.” So Peter Haggard, he is from Ontario, he is the publisher of the Telegraph Journal. He called me and he told me, “We will not print critical letters of the Irvings by former employees.” So I turned around and I said, “Okay, so that means if there are 6,000 people in the shipyard that are former employees, they cannot write letters in the paper.” Then, Rob Link from the Evening Times Globe, I wrote a letter, he told me, “We have to investigate what you wrote.” I said, “Investigate? I wrote 500 letters to the editor. Why do you suddenly have to investigate?”
In the summer of year 2003, Peter Haggard from the Telegraph Journal, wrote a column and told the readers, “We will only print one letter by one writer on any issues once a month.” So I was shocked. Now, they are stopping people from writing letters to the paper. Three weeks later they announced that Saint John Ship Building was closed. So, those three regular writers that wrote about the shipyard, they had their say, then they had to wait a whole month. I mean, that is not right. New Brunswickers’ rights are being denied, and that is what I am very concerned about.
In the summer of 2003, I decided to set up a tent in front of the legislature and I was protesting against the use of Ritalin for ADHD, stopping young kids, five years old, from being forced on these drugs, and next thing you know, it took 50 days for the press, the Daily Gleaner, to cover this story. The Irving press never covered this story.
We are not talking about a tent that was in a cow field. It was in front of the legislature. The citizens of Fredericton -- I am sorry I am talking so fast, I am just going fast -- the citizens of Fredericton were wondering, “How come we have never seen this in the Gleaner?” It took 50 days. So what happened, suddenly, they stole my tent. To make a long story short, I got good coverage at the end, but it took 50 days.
I turned around and came here to Champlain Place to collect names for my petition. I collected 10,000 signatures and the Acadians, les Acadiens, they knew who I was because l’Acadie Nouvelle covered this story totally. The Moncton Transcript, they never did. The English side. See, this is what I am talking about.
The Chairman: I do not like having to cut anybody off.
Mr. LeBlanc: It is a damn shame.
The Chairman: I do not like it; we do not like it. But you are not the only one that we need to hear from.
Mr. LeBlanc: No, I made a presentation.
Senator Trenholme Counsell: Mr. LeBlanc, I think there is no doubt that in the end you have made a very important point about Ritalin and ADHD, but your main frustration in this case, and I do not want to go back regarding your employment with the Irvings and all those other things. I know you as a person who has taken a very strong and valid and important position on ADHD. Do you feel satisfied in the end? It is like Terry Fox, you do not get recognition right away. Do you feel now that you have achieved your goal?
Mr. LeBlanc: No, I understand your question, but like I said, I had to speak so fast. It had nothing to do if I reached my goal on Ritalin. My goal for freedom of speech, that is the problem. When you have Frank McKenna come to me when I was protesting, I met him in Fredericton, I have known him for a long time, he came to me and he said, “Charles, how come we have not seen any letters from you lately?” It is the freedom of speech. I do not want to compare the Irvings to this province to Germany. We do not go around and execute people. But do not forget, when Hitler took power, he took power of the media.
The media here, they call it Brunswick News, is Irving News. I mean, my issue of Ritalin, okay, did I succeed? I do not know, but this is not the point. The point is to have people, New Brunswickers, be allowed the freedom of speech and they are denied big time.
Like I said, I wish I could have made my presentation in whole. We were talking about advertising. I heard one person from the Telegraph Journal say, “If you do not pay your bills, we own all the newspapers.” The Senate, this committee must - see, I am just trying to answer a question and trying to get some more here.
Quickly, the Irvings gave St. Thomas University $1 million to study journalism, to train journalists. Why did the Irvings give $1 million to St. Thomas and l’Université de Moncton? These people, when they go out, they are not going to write critical stories of the Irvings. Look, it is freedom of speech.
The Chairman: Mr. LeBlanc, I am going to give Senator Munson a chance to ask a question if he wants, but I am also going to ask you please, because we are running out of time, but you do a blog so, you know how to do email. Could you send us a letter outlining your difficulties? In the meantime, I will undertake tomorrow, when we have representatives of Brunswick News here, to ask if they have a written policy on letters to the editor.
Senator Munson: If there is another message you want to give us, I would certainly accept that. I would throw out the easy question for you if you missed one or two things in a minute or so.
Mr. LeBlanc: I really appreciate that. One thing that I was concerned of is that during the 1997 federal election, J.K. Irving wrote a letter to the editor and it was printed on the front page. I did not know what was going on, but maybe it was good because Paul Zed lost. Maybe that is why he lost because J.K. Irving told the public to vote for his son-in-law, but we will never know. The question is still there.
I was allowed a week later to condemn J.K. in his letters to the editor, and I have seen him face to face and trust me, he just looked at me and said, “I own the paper and I will put the damn letter anywhere I want to.” But anyhow, that is his point. But the bottom line is, personally I respect the Irvings. J.D. Irving, J.K. Irving’s son, is totally out of control. It is like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons. “I will crush you with my bare hands.”
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. LeBlanc. You made your point for us here.
Mr. LeBlanc: My blog is Charles LeBlanc, ADHD.
The Chairman: Thanks very much.

More good hearted people giving their time at the Fredericton Soup Kitchen!!!

IMG_3857, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.



B5, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

I was going to blog this issue a couple of days ago but I didn’t.

Too bad because it’s big news across Canada.

This is the reason that I tried to blog quickly on any issue.

Ever since Stephen Harper began to act like George Bush its only a matter of time till we’re attack by the terrorists.

I said it in the past and I will say it again!!!

Ever since 9-11 New Brunswick is the perfect spot for an attack.

We’re not known around the world therefore it would be the perfect area for an attack.

Point Lepreau and the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John are easy target.

The Government should force the Irvings to beef out their security at the Refinery.

There’s no main gate at the front entrance therefore a huge truck full of explosives could easily ride down the hill and Bang!!!!

The whole City could be gone.

If we wish to be in Afghanistan with the U.S. then we must be ready.

Why wait till something awful happens before acting?

That’s right, I forgot!!!

We’re Canadian I guess?


Ever wonder where the homeless hides from the heavy rain???

IMG_3851, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.



HeatherMillsNewBoyfriend, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


police5, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

I held off of this story but I feel that I must asks the question?

Last week while chatting with the protester in front of the Legislature.

I noticed a fully clothes uniform police officer walking in front of the Legislature.

In the past, these officers are dress in casual clothing.

This time it was different because the guy was carrying two cups of Tim’s Horton coffee.

We all know the jokes about the cops going at the coffee shop but now there he was in front of me carrying not one but two cups of coffee.


I quickly went for my camera and said - This is too good!!!!

The officer quickly look at me and shouted - CHARLES!!!! DON’T TAKE THAT PICTURE!!!!

It was too late because I already clicked.

He walked inside the Legislature and one minute later walked out the door.

He didn’t take a left turn toward his car. He was coming straight towards me and was walking pretty fast.

I whispered to Lisa- Oh..oh??? We got a problem.

This guy was over 6 feet and he was angry.

He asked me if I deleted the picture???

I said - Yep!!!

He reminded me that his brother was a lawyer and he would see me in court if his picture was on the blog site.

He added that if he was giving a ticket to someone? I wasn’t allowed to take a picture.


I reminded the police officer of those pictures of the protesters that was arrested?

Nothing was said about that issue?

He reminded me not to use the picture and left the area.

I used the picture but remove his face.

He got me thinking because when the cop arrive with the woman purse. I was going to take a picture but I didn’t until he gave me the ok.

Take a look at the spot checks they have in the province.

They allowed the media to film the violators and the police together.

So what’s the difference?

Look at this picture at the Farmer’s Market?


Should I asked permission to everyone in the picture before I clicked away?

What’s the policy on taking pictures anyway?


Does anyone know? Is the Frdericton police officer correct in his word?



IMG_3716, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


I guess you could say that I am the last of the true protesters.

Hey? I’m part of history < for all the bad and good reasons > and not too many people can say that?

I made a few stopover at the Legislature Thursday to get an update from Lisa.

Compare to other past protests, I didn’t stick around too much.

I told her that I can do better on the sideline than being in the centre of the action.

During my first visit, she told me a few MLA’S came over to pay her a visit.

She praised Dr.Ed Doherty.

Lord Minister David Alward made a stopover.

She looked pretty confident that her issue will be look into.

During my second visit, she told me that she was surrounded by the media.


I wish that I would have been around for that one?

As in past practice? I would have agitated the media the way they run out to cover the issue of a protester but in my case?


It took 50 days for my protest to hit the Irving newspapers.

She told me that she was going to set up a tent at 7:00pm.

I told her that there could be a problem because ever since I ended my protest? Only a few did mange to keep a tent for a couple of weeks on the front lawn.

I promised her that I’ll be around at 7:00pm with my camera.

Right on schedule a couple showed up with a tent.

They asked me if I was going to help?


I told them that I was just going to watch with my camera and it wouldn’t take long for a Commissionaire to come out from the Legislature telling them that they weren’t allowed to pitch a tent.

They began to put the tent together and sure enough a Commissionaire showed up right on schedule.


The guy name is Greg and he’s a very nice guy!

A true New Brunswicker!

He was polite with the people in the area and they return the favor by removing the tent.

The Commissionaire had to endure my agitating remarks and did tell me a couple of time to shut up!!! a good way.....


Greg told Lisa that he’ll keep an eye on her every hour but she couldn’t stay over night or in a tent.


Her friends gathered all the equipment and left the area.


It was very peaceful and that’s the way it should be.


The Lady will return Monday morning to continue her protest but I did bumped into Madelaine Dube and something might be in the work.

Lets see what’s going to happen?


It’s a very sad issue and the worse thing about this is what’s going around the province that we don’t hear about?

Stay tune for more on this issue?


no-cowards-web, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Ok....I’m announcing one change for this blog. It seems that every instance I blogged a story. There’s a coward reader who’s always leaving a nasty comment.

I’ll be honest? I don’t mind but they are getting on many readers nerves.

From now on? You’ll have to use a user name. It’s still anonymous but at least we’ll have a name to reply to.

You know names like Spinks or Maurice the homeless guy?

So? Don’t bother waiting a comment as anonymous because I’ll just reject it.

I have no time or use for cowards who leave comments without a use name.



STB_0543, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.


June 2, 2006 Not finalized / Non finalisé le 2 juin 2006
S:\HANSARD\HANSARD DAILIES - FASCICULES\2005-2006 55-3\43 2006-06-02 BL\43 2006-06-02 BL.wpd 1/10
Mr. S. Graham: What was clearly evident this week in Gimli, Manitoba, in meeting with
stakeholders from across North America, is the need for a secure energy supply to meet the demands
of the future. It was clearly evident in discussions I had with a number of stakeholders that energy
security is, indeed, tied to each jurisdiction’s prosperity. While talking to Ambassador Wilkins on
Wednesday, he clearly stressed the need for a secure and stable source of energy here in our
jurisdiction that will help to meet some of the U.S. jurisdictions’ needs, such as those of the state
of Massachusetts.
017 11:05
My question is for the Minister of Energy this morning. The fact is that this government seems to
be making up energy policy on the fly. It has last-minute, ad hoc policies that are crisis-driven. In
fact, what the Liberal Party is committed to is proper planning today to meet the energy needs of
tomorrow. On October 17, 2005, we articulated a clear and sensible position on a feasibility analysis
for a second nuclear reactor in New Brunswick. At that time, your government panned it as being
childish, irrelevant, and desperate. I think those were some of the comments from the previous
Mr. Speaker: Question, please.
Mr. S. Graham: You changed your position, which we appreciate. What caused you to change your
position on the feasibility analysis of a second nuclear reactor?
Hon. Mr. Lord: The Leader of the Opposition is totally incorrect in the premise of his question. The
government of New Brunswick tabled a comprehensive energy policy in 2002, and it was, in fact,
the first comprehensive energy policy that this province had seen in a very, very long time. In fact,
one of the greatest surprises I had when I became Premier was to find out that there was no energy
policy put forward by the previous Liberal government. The Liberals were not even making
anything as they went, because there was no energy policy at the time. We set a very clear energy
policy in 2002, with clear objectives, and we are meeting those objectives. We are also responding
to the needs and the changes that take place around us. That is why, at the end of March, I
announced a 14-point plan of other initiatives that we want to undertake to help consumers in New
Brunswick deal with higher energy costs.
Mr. S. Graham: I welcome the Premier’s comments, but he did not answer the question of why his
government changed its position to come forward with an initiative that the Liberal Party proposed.
My question is for the Minister of Energy. The former Liberal government was instrumental in
seeing a gas power plant built in Bayside, a 110 MW plant, which is using 42 million ft3 to 45
million ft3 a day of natural gas in the Saint John region. That was a very important milestone. The
June 2, 2006 Not finalized / Non finalisé le 2 juin 2006
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former Liberal government was also successful in building a coal-fired plant, as we know, in the
Belledune region.
The concern that I am raising today, though, is about the Dalhousie Generating Station. Earlier this
session, I asked the minister to update us on the status of burning Orimulsion at the Dalhousie
Generating Station. This plant produces 300 MW of electricity for our base load here in New
Brunswick. I asked the minister for an update, and he said that they were looking at a number of
options, such as burning bunker C fuel or using other available options. Can the minister update us
today on the status of the conversion of that plant when 2010 arrives?
Hon. Mr. Lord: Again, the Leader of the Opposition is incorrect in his questions. I want to make
sure that the facts are straight. The fact is that the government of New Brunswick has been exploring
nuclear options since 1999. We have had meetings with different proponents, including AECL, at
different times to look at a second nuclear reactor. This is not something new for our government.
This is not something that was prompted by the Liberal opposition. This is something that we have
been working on for quite some time.
We have stated very clearly that our first objective is the refurbishment of the current nuclear reactor
at Point Lepreau. We have made the decision to support the refurbishment of the nuclear reactor,
even though the Liberal government in Ottawa decided not to support us. Our energy policy has
been very clear. We are in support of nuclear energy. We believe that it is safe. We believe that it
is a great way to produce energy and that it is cost-effective. That is why we gave the go-ahead to
NB Power to refurbish the nuclear plant at Point Lepreau.
Mr. S. Graham: My third question for the Minister of Energy—I am hoping that she will be able
to answer one question today—pertains to the fact that, with the Dalhousie Generating Station
finishing off its contract in 2010, the contract with Venezuela to burn Orimulsion, now the time has
come to begin planning for the future. Today, I would like to propose what we feel is a very sensible
solution. A feasibility analysis should also be undertaken with the Dalhousie Generating Station to
look at burning natural gas at this production facility. We know that if we are going to secure natural
gas in the north, we need to have an appropriate anchor load.
018 11:10
The reason that, in the past, the Tractebel project was not able to come to fruition was the security
of supply. Today, we are proposing a viable solution.
My question to the minister is this: Would your government be willing to look at a feasibility
analysis of burning natural gas at the Dalhousie station, which produces a base load? This, in turn,
could see a lateral pipeline built in New Brunswick that would bring natural gas not only to the
Miramichi region, but also to the Bathurst region.
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Hon. Ms. Fowlie: As I have stated many times, government here is always very interested in seeing
how we can get an anchor load to get natural gas into northern New Brunswick. I guess I would have
to say that, as we know, it is 2010, as the leader has pointed out. Even NB Power is saying that it
is too early to be making those decisions and will be looking at all options.
I guess I would have to ask the Leader of the Opposition: Would it be suitable to bring this natural
gas up from Saint John, from the LNG facility that the opposition so opposed coming into Saint
John? Is this where they would like the natural gas to come from? Standing in this House, I was the
one who had to defend the LNG legislation with total opposition from the members opposite. Now
they welcome natural gas to the province of New Brunswick, or do they still not want it to be
coming through Saint John because they do not support LNG in this province?
Mr. S. Graham: I think the minister might not have been present for the debate. What we on this
side of the House said was that any incentives for investment in LNG should come from the
provincial tax base versus the municipal tax base. It is the province of New Brunswick that indeed
will benefit from the LNG facility. My question to the minister is this: It is a sensible solution that
we are providing today. In fact, it has the opportunity to tie to the Millbank generating station, which
produces peaking capacity electricity with 400 MW. There is also an option with the St. Rose
facility which produces 100 MW.
What we are saying today is that the Liberal party is committed to a feasibility analysis to begin the
planning for 2010. That means the environmental impact assessments need to be completed and that
the PUB requirements for routing a new lateral pipeline have to be initiated. That work has to begin
today for 2010. Your government is saying: Let’s wait until 2010 and create another ad hoc policy
on the fly. The Liberal party is committed to looking at all options to bring natural gas to the north.
That means with the 300 MW base load at Dalhousie, if that base load is feasible with natural gas,
that then is the viable option.
Mr. Speaker: State the question, please.
Mr. S. Graham: Are you willing to commit . . .
Hon. Ms. Fowlie: What the Leader of the Opposition is saying that he is willing to commit to is
interfering with the day-to-day running of NB Power. He is willing to start micromanaging NB
Power. I am standing up to say that we are committed to looking at renewable energies. We are
looking at wind power. We support NB Power in its request for its interest in wind power in this
province. By the year 2016, it wants 400 MW. We would like to have that moved up some.
We are committed to looking at tidal power in this province, because we believe that the future is
also in tidal power. We have potential for 90 MW of tidal power in the province. We are looking
at biomass plants in the province. We have an energy policy that is advanced. We are looking
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forward to the future and renewable green energy. The opposition is looking forward to
micromanaging NB Power.
Special Warrants
Mr. Murphy: The Minister of Finance has a license plate that says “LWRTAX” but, in fact, after
we see the budget, it should say “HIGHDEBT”. The reason being is that the Maritime Provinces
Higher Education Commission had a budget of $197 million. It has been reduced to $147 million.
They put $60 million into it in the last three days of the fiscal year, supposedly expending it last year
but, in fact, having it allotted for this year’s needs. According to the Auditor General of Canada, that
is illegal and fraudulent.
My question to the Minister of Finance is as follows: He said during estimates, when he was
questioned extensively with regard to this, that he did it by special warrant, that it was discretionary
and would be spread out over three years. This means that $20 million would be put into this coming
year, which would take us to $167 million in that budget for the Maritime Provinces Higher
Education Commission, leaving $30 million less from last year.
019 11:15
My question to the Minister of Finance is this: Will the $60 million that he slipped into the budget
last year for use this year all be used this year, meaning $207 million for the Maritime Provinces
Higher Education Commission this year, or will only a portion of the $60 million be used this year?
L’hon. M. Volpé : Je pourrais espérer que le chef de l’opposition trouve quelqu’un qui connaît
quelque chose dans les finances. C’est tellement facile à comprendre que même les enfants de la
maternelle pourraient comprendre cela.
L’entente que nous avons avec les universités est une subvention sans condition. C’est une entente
qui a été prise sur une période de trois ans durant laquelle une subvention peut être donnée n’importe
Ce que nous avons fait cette année est ceci : Une journée avant la fin de l’année fiscale, on a donné
un montant de 60 millions qui est allé à nos livres comme ayant été dépensé l’an dernier. Le
vérificateur général n’a aucun problème avec cela. La seule personne qui a un problème avec cela,
c’est le député de Moncton-Nord.
Ce matin, à deux reprises, j’ai entendu ce matin que la vérificatrice générale du Canada avait des
problèmes avec cette façon de comptabiliser. Toutefois, il faut se rappeler une chose : elle a eu un
problème avec la comptabilité du gouvernement libéral précédent. Le vérificateur général du
Nouveau-Brunswick avait le même problème avec le gouvernement libéral précédent, lorsqu’il lui
a accordé une vérification avec réserve et que, l’année suivante, il lui a dit qu’il s’agissait de
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comptabilité créative. De ce côté-ci de la Chambre, nous avons toujours une vérification sans
réserve, et ce, tous les ans. De plus, je suis convaincu que ce sera le cas encore une fois cette année.
Mr. Murphy: There are two principal reasons that what the minister did in the budget is both
fraudulent and illegal. First of all, the Auditor General of Canada, in an identical circumstance with
the gun registry two weeks ago, stated that to establish an annual cap on the amount of money the
government may spend each year on the identified activities, and in holding the government to
account for respecting those limits . . . there must be a fair representation of the actual spending in
the departmental accounts.
Identically, what happened here happened federally, and they said it was illegal. It is also illegal
because fair accounting and fair financing do not use special warrants, which are for urgent
circumstances—extreme circumstances such as floods or matters of great urgency to the province.
By the fact that the government uses special warrants, it admits that it has not properly estimated
the expenses of the department.
The reality is that we do not have a $22-million surplus; we have a $38-million deficit, and I want
the Minister of Finance to admit this.
Hon. Mr. Lord: I know the member for Moncton North is a lawyer, and he loves to use big words.
This morning, once again, he is throwing out accusations that he probably would not repeat outside
this House. He accuses us of being illegal and fraudulent, when he knows that that is totally untrue.
This is coming from the people who more than doubled the provincial debt. The budget this year is
balanced, and it has a surplus.
What the member for Moncton North needs to understand is that the fiscal year ends on March 31.
On March 31, the government of New Brunswick made a payment of $60 million to the universities.
There is nothing illegal or fraudulent about that. We wanted to hide that fact so much that it was
included on page 125 of the Main Estimates.
I want to remind the member for Moncton North, when he talks about debt, that our government is
the only government that has respected the balanced budget legislation that was put forward by the
Liberals. The Liberals could not balance the books. They more than doubled the debt. What the
member for Moncton North is doing today is a discredit to his profession.
Mr. Murphy: What the Premier is doing today is a discredit to the intelligence of New
Brunswickers, who are catching on to this government’s hiding. Page 125 of the estimates states that
the $60 million is being used in this fiscal year, so they are admitting to the shell game they have
been playing. When we look at the record of this Premier with regard to federal matters, it tells us
the success we are going to have in these books. He has zero for Point Lepreau from the new
government, zero on the toll road, zero on the acceleration plan, zero on a one-off deal, and zero for
the Ordinary Account.
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The Minister of Finance is not going to answer the question. They took, in special warrants, $10
million more for winter maintenance last year—the mildest winter in 50 years.
020 11:20
Now, we have a budget that goes back to $50 million. Either he has a crystal ball that tells him that
we are going to have the mildest winter in over 50 years, or government has underbudgeted. I want
this minister to tell me what proof he has, from any district engineer, any departmental official, any
climatologist, or any weatherperson, that we had an extraordinary winter last year that necessitated
$10 million more. Government has underbudgeted.
Hon. Mr. Lord: The member for Moncton North—who is a lawyer, and I want to remind him of
that—should know that you do not make accusations unless you have facts. Maybe he thinks that
when he comes into this room, he can disregard facts and say anything. The people of New
Brunswick see through their gaze. The members opposite said last year, and the year before, and the
year before that, that we would end up with deficits, and every year, we have ended up with a
surplus in this mandate, every single year. We have lowered the net debt of the province by $140
million. From 2000 to 2005, we were the only province in this country, other than Alberta, that
lowered its net debt. When the member for Moncton North comes in here and say that this surplus
is a deficit, he is totally wrong.
The other question I have for the Liberals is this: If this is a deficit budget, why do they come in
every day and ask us to spend more on absolutely everything? Will they tell us where they will find
the money? Will they tell us which taxes they will raise? Will they tell us where they will use
creative accounting one more time and discredit the people of New Brunswick, like they did in the
Miramichi Regional Hospital
Mr. V. Boudreau: Four weeks ago, we questioned the Minister of Health regarding the Miramichi
Regional Hospital. It was stated at the time that 33 physicians had been recruited since 1999, but
since 1999, 27 physicians have left, and 7 have drastically reduced their services, for a net loss of
1 in the community. Yesterday, in the Telegraph Journal, it was confirmed that 3 more physicians
are leaving the Miramichi: 2 anaesthetists and 1 internist. That is over and above what we just found
out today, which is that 2 of the recruits that were announced in this House are not coming to the
Miramichi—even before starting. That leaves the Miramichi with 1 anaesthetist and 1 internist. No
internist means no critical care unit and no acute cardiac care. No anaesthetist means no obstetrics
and no surgery, and, in Miramichi’s case, no new pain clinic. The secretive Badley report was
commissioned to look into what seems to be a severe problem with physician retention in Region
7, but its findings were never released. My question to the minister is this: What is the Minister of
Health going to do to stop the bleeding of physicians that is occurring at the Region 7 Miramichi
Regional Hospital?
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Hon. Mr. Green: Let us, first of all, take a moment to correct some inaccuracies. It is not true that
seven physicians in Region 7 have drastically reduced their practices. That is simply not true. Within
that group, there are physicians who have moved from a community-based practice into a hospitalbased
practice. I can assure you that they are just as busy now as they were before. The fact is that
there has been a net gain of physicians in Region 7 since 1999. That is true. At any point in
time—today, 7 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago—there have always been physicians, in that
region and in every other, who have had small practices because they were reaching the end of their
careers. That is not a change. Furthermore, there will be a new part-time internist, beginning in June
of this year. That is in the same article to which the member was referring. He did not bother to
mention that. There will also be a locum, as an internist, beginning in August. The region itself has
said that it is going to be able to cover and to continue to provide services. We, as a department, will
continue working with them.
Mr. V. Boudreau: All of the seven that I mentioned—and I obtained this information through a
right-to-information request to the government—have closed down their community offices. I am
worried to see a trend developing in the way that this government deals with health care services in
small, more rural communities.
021 11:25
I was reviewing an article in the Daily Gleaner, in September 2002, talking about the Minto hospital
losing the services of three doctors. At that time, Premier Lord promised access to primary health
care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Minto. My colleague from Grand Lake can testify that is not
the case today. More recently, it is the people of the Miramichi who are worried about the status of
their hospital, considering all the physicians that are leaving their region. My question to the
minister is this: If services such as critical care, acute cardiac care, obstetrics, and surgery are lost
as a result of the lack of physicians, is there a risk that the Miramichi Regional Hospital could lose
its regional status?
Hon. Mr. Green: Absolutely not. The only people spreading the fear of the Miramichi Regional
Hospital losing its regional status are the members opposite, and it is for petty political reasons.
There is no chance of that whatsoever. Region 7 itself, this week, confirmed that it would be able
to continue providing services. The seven physicians about whom we are talking . . . Again, moving
from a community-based practice to a hospital-based practice is not a loss of a doctor in a region.
That is an important point. To go on, the region—we are talking about Region 7—is in active
discussions, negotiations, and interviews with two intensivists, and those are internists, with a
surgeon, with three anesthetists, and with a radiologist. Those are, as we speak today, all active
discussions and negotiations with that group of physicians who are trying to be recruited in the
Mr. V. Boudreau: They are recruited, but then, they do not come. In 2004, Premier Lord tried to
reassure the people of the Miramichi, just like he tried to reassure the people of Minto in 2002. He
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promised that the Miramichi Regional Hospital would not lose its regional status. However, in a
government document, obtained through the Right to Information Act, entitled Clinical Program
Design Group, Phase 2A Report, dated March 2002 and labeled confidential and for internal use
only, the following paragraph is found under the heading Conclusions and Recommendations:
Key programs in smaller regional hospitals ought to be evaluated and reviewed with regard to
meeting criteria for sustainability. While rapid changes are not advised, it may be that, in a multiyear
planning context, some existing hospital capacities ought not to be extended after the departure
of supporting personnel.
This sounds to me like what is happening right now in Miramichi. This government is letting the
Miramichi Regional Hospital die a slow death by not recruiting a sufficient number of physicians
to support the services usually found in regional hospitals. When the physicians are no longer there,
the services and the hospital’s regional status will disappear with them. Will the minister confirm
that he is following this recommendation in the case of the Miramichi Regional Hospital?
Hon. Mr. Green: The member opposite is talking about a report that was commissioned when? In
1998. By whom? Certainly not by this government. Regardless of the date that appears on the report,
that goes back to 1998.
Mr. Speaker: I ask members, once again, when I recognize the person who has the floor, in this
case the Minister of Health . . . The questioner had asked the Minister of Health a question.
Members, please have a little respect when I recognize a member who has the floor, so that the
minister can give an answer to the question that was asked. Thank you.
Hon. Mr. Green: The answer to the question that was asked is this: There is absolutely no
possibility, absolutely no possibility . . .
Hon. Mr. Green: The member can point to whatever he wants.
There is absolutely no possibility that the Miramichi Regional Hospital will lose its regional status,
M. Paulin : Ma question est pour le ministre des Transports. Dernièrement, la population de Saint-
Arthur, dans ma circonscription de Restigouche-Ouest, s’est mobilisée et a formé un comité de
réparation pour la route 275. Le comité de huit membres a été formé lors d’une réunion publique
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et a comme présidente Denise McLaughlin. J’aimerais faire brièvement la chronologie de mes
quelques interventions à la Chambre concernant la route 275.
022 11:30
En 2003, je l’avais souligné lors de ma réplique du discours du trône ; en 2004, j’ai posé les
questions au ministre des Transports et j’ai aussi questionné le sous-ministre durant les comptes
publics ; en 2005, on a présenté une pétition de 600 noms à la Chambre concernant le danger que
représente la route 275 ; en 2006, cette année, on a présenté une autre pétition d’au-delà de 600 noms
des gens de la région de Saint-Arthur qui sont préoccupés par la qualité de la route 275. Voici ma
question très importante pour la population de Saint-Arthur : le ministre peut-il informer la Chambre
et, par la même occasion, la population de Saint-Arthur, des intentions de son ministère vis-à-vis
de la reconstruction de la route 275?
L’hon. P. Robichaud : J’apprécie la question du député de Restigouche-Ouest. Le député peut peutêtre
rappeler au député de Moncton-Nord que, même si nous avons eu un hiver assez clément quant
à la quantité de neige dans le sud de la province, cela n’a pas été le cas dans le nord du Nouveau-
Brunswick. Nous avons eu énormément de neige cet hiver. Les températures qui ont apporté des
périodes de gel et de dégel pendant d’hiver ont causé énormément de dommages sur l’ensemble de
notre réseau routier. Je reconnais que la route 275, dans la circonscription du député, a subi
énormément de dommages durant la période hivernale. Je tiens à rappeler au député que notre
intention face à la route 275 est de continuer les travaux que nous avons commencés l’an dernier.
L’an dernier, nous avons effectué des travaux sur 3,6 km sur la route 275. Nous avons l’intention
de continuer ces travaux cette année sur une distance de 5,3 km sur la route 275.
Équité salariale
Mme C. Robichaud : Mes questions sont pour la ministre responsable de la condition de la femme.
Un an après la mise en place du plan sur l’équité salariale de ce gouvernement, les femmes sont
toujours défavorisées avec l’augmentation des salaires de 1,1 %. À ce rythme, il faudra 15 ans pour
avoir l’équité salariale. Le montant d’argent que les femmes du Nouveau-Brunswick reçoivent en
salaires devrait être déterminé par la valeur de leur travail. Même si les femmes sont de plus en plus
scolarisées et n’occupent plus les emplois traditionnels, elles gagnent toujours en moyenne 79 ¢ pour
chaque 1 $ gagné par un homme. Quand allez-vous établir des critères de succès clairs et mesurables
pour atteindre l’équité salariale le plus tôt possible au Nouveau-Brunswick?
Hon. Mrs. MacAlpine-Stiles: I am certainly pleased to rise and address the matter raised by the
member opposite. As the member knows, the wage gap action plan has been introduced. We are
working extremely hard with different areas in the province to, in fact, bring the wage gap to a halt,
to end it. With regard to that, a question was raised a few days ago asking how we can possibly do
this if we do not have it in the civil service. I would like to inform the member opposite that we
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believe that actions speak louder than words. Consequently, we have begun a review already of one
of the largest groups in the public service, CUPE Local 1252. This is the beginning. We know that
we will be going through the civil service. We made a promise, a pledge, to ensure that the wage gap
is closed within the public service by 2010. This is happening. It will happen, it is under way, and
we are going to have guidelines in place to ensure that this becomes a reality.
M C. Robichaud : L’équité salariale doit se faire en dehors me des négociations collectives. L’équité
salariale est un droit pour chaque personne, les syndiqués comme les non-syndiqués. Comment
allez-vous vous assurer de l’implantation de l’équité salariale dans le secteur public en dehors des
négociations? La ministre peut-elle soumettre un rapport annuel des progrès atteints, au cours des
prévisions budgétaires la semaine prochaine, sur le plan d’action de ce gouvernement?
023 11:35
Hon. Mrs. MacAlpine-Stiles: With regard to the public service, we currently have eight people
working in the Women’s Issues Branch on the job evaluations of 7 000 public employees in Part III
of the public service. In addition, we have also identified alternatives. We are working with the
public service in order to improve conditions, and to make them aware of what is happening and of
the fact that the government is leading by example. I think that is the point that is important. If you
are going to ask employers in New Brunswick to realize that there is a gap, and that the gap needs
to be filled, it has to start at home. That is what we have pledged to do, and that is what we will do
by 2010, by working with the public service to lead by example in this government.


STA_0905, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

This Message is Especially for Charles

( PROVERBS 27:9 *NIV )

Dear Charles,
As you know a good friend is worth more than gold, for they
will stick by you through good times or bad. For; A MAN

Jesus Christ is such a friend, for He has said; "YOU ARE
YOU." ( JOHN 15:15-16 )

Therefore I will share a poem with you about our dearest
friend, Jesus Christ. I hope that you will enjoy it!

The Dearest Friend!

I have a Friend in Jesus,
He's ever walking near
To share my every burden
And take away my fear.

It's in His precious name I pray
To our God above;
It's through His sacred teachings that
I learned the way to love.

God did not put me on this earth
To walk life's path alone;
He sent His Son to be my Guide,
The dearest Friend I've known.

No other One could be so true,
He bore the cross for me;
Because He died for my sins
I must ever faithful be.

If you are lonely on life's way
And feel that no one cares,
You have a Friend in Jesus
If you will kneel in prayer.
Poet, Kay Hoffman

With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
[ Prayer Requests---Contact Us---Bible Study---*Donations* ]
[ Audio---Subscribe---Change of Address---Unsubscribe ]
Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545


DGCOLUMNIST10, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Daily Gleaner | Brent Taylor
As published on page D6 on May 30, 2006

Protesters do little to further debate on Atlantica

Brent Taylor

Next week a conference will be held in Saint John that will draw together an impressive group of business people, and an equally impressive group of protesters.

The meeting's purpose is to further explore the concept of "Atlantica" - a name given to the region encompassing all of Atlantic Canada, part of Quebec, and much of the northeastern United States, including all of northern New England, and much of upstate New York extending as far west as Buffalo.

The thinking behind Atlantica is that our region is bounded within a natural and historical trading zone that has been divided and interrupted by national, provincial and state regulations and commerce restrictions.

Those seeking recognition of Atlantica as a trade region are advocating government withdrawal of those barriers and even creating new infrastructure that would improve trade connections.

One of the most interesting pieces of that infrastructure would be the construction of a highway connector between St. Stephen-Calais, through northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, to the eastern end of Lake Ontario.

Such a road, combined with existing four-lane roadways already built or planned between Halifax and St. Stephen, would restore the dominance of Atlantic coastal ports in Halifax and Saint John - a dominance that was lost when the St. Lawrence Seaway was completed, and year-round icebreaking allowed access to the Great Lakes.

That northern highway, which is already the subject of a federal government-funded study in the United States, is but one recommendation coming from the Atlantica partners.

The other ideas include border-smoothing policies: a reduction in red tape and paperwork for the crossing of imports, exports and people.

If realized, Atlantica would help restore the traditional trading relationship that existed before Confederation.

With our east-west "national dream" being realized in 1867, the Maritime Provinces became a captive market of Ontario and Quebec.

What few things we had going for us, like year-round deep water ports and healthy wood and coal resources, were later rendered neutral by new technology, a changing economy, and harmful transportation and trade policies established by an Ontario- and Quebec-dominated federal government.

But, just as business is promoting the concept of Atlantica, there are those who oppose it.

Chief among the nay-sayers is the manifold movement against globalization.

These protesters come from a diverse collection of left-wing, socially active, environmentalist and youth groups.

And they are planning to assemble in Saint John to draw attention to what they see as an attack on our society's support structures.

Atlantica's opponents include The Fredericton Anti-Imperialist Committee, the Feminist Reading Group, the Council of Canadians, the Atlantic Regional Solidarity Network, and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

The loss of minimum wage and social program protection is chief among their concerns, as are worries about a loss of environmental protection laws and sovereignty.

But, as movements of their ilk have done before during WTO and APEC conferences, the opponents of Atlantica are expending lots of energy in exactly the wrong place.

Instead of working through the political system and getting themselves elected to office, they are protesting at the site of yet another conference, trying to take advantage of the presence of the media.

After years of these bizarre tactics, anti-free trade and anti-globalization protesters have not seen their movements mature into real political power.

They persist in activities that make them feel good about themselves and their mission but contribute very little to actually bringing about the change they want.

The New Democratic Party, which is easily the closest political vehicle available to anti-free traders, never seems to benefit from more than token support - especially in this region.

One would think that a group of young, energetic, socially active protesters would be a valuable tool in the arsenal of a heretofore tractionless political party like the NDP or even the Greens.

But at election time there never seems to be the same co-ordination and energy as there is when there is performance to put on and a meeting of suits and ties to ridicule.

It is unfortunate, because the debate as to whether Atlantica is or is not a good concept should be civilized.

A thousand-strong protest does nothing to contribute to the issue in the long term.

The opponents of Atlantica breathlessly reveal that the concept is the brainchild of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Irving empire, the Chambers of Commerce and the America business lobby.

They also call attention to the supposedly surreptitious movement to eliminate many aspects of the Canada-U.S. border in the pursuit of a more integrated society and economy.

Atlantic Canada has drive, an entrepreneurial spirit, a strong work ethic, and a sense of justice.

A trading environment that allows us to take advantage of those traits can restore us to our proper place as a builder of Canada.

Atlantica's opponents' best strategy might be to tell us why those things are all bad ideas, rather than trying to create fear of some conspiracy.

What is their vision of the perfect future, and why don't they try to get themselves elected to pursue it?

Brent Taylor is a former MLA. He writes from Doaktown every Tuesday.