Fund our Baie Verte partners

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Dear Editor:Thank you very kindly to The nor'wester for your longtime support of both the umbrella concept of the Great Whale Coast (GWC) ie. The nor'wester's adoption of the GWC's whale and iceberg logo and Dr. Jon Lien's Great Whale Tour (GWT.) I would like to add few points of clarification and other comments to your fabulous front-page article.As the founder and past chair of the Dr. Jon Lien GWT, I would like to repeat my comments from the opening ceremony regarding the Baie Verte Peninsula. It is a very great injustice that none of our Baie Verte partner sites are completed, none are under construction, and none are funded.

Nothing destroys a group's cohesion and energy more quickly than unequal funding. It is essential that all levels of government immediately do radically more to support this GWT group, who has done more than their part to support "regionalism" or else regional co-operation will inevitably fail due to government's failure to uphold their responsibilities.

While The nor'wester has mentioned it often in the past, unfortunately it was not mentioned here. Our Emerald Zone Regional Economic Development Board, the EZC has played and continues to play a central role in helping to create, facilitate and glue our region together with this world class GWT project.

The EZC since 2001 has invested and still invests thousands of person hours to continue to move the GWT forward. I congratulate the EZC and all their past and present members of the GWT steering committee which include the following eight towns: Middle Arm, La Scie, Westport, Little Bay Islands, Springdale, Baie Verte, Triton and King's Point.

Together they have accessed nearly $2 million of investment, not counting the most fundamental contribution of all, the thousands upon thousands of hours/dollars of volunteer investment, which would very easily add at least another 50 per cent to that sub total.

By this measure a total of 3 million has been invested so far! If consultants were paid to do the mountains of work the volunteers have achieved, it would be a far higher total. But by any measure it is no small investment by, in and for our region!

As a point of clarification, it is my understanding that the King's Point Heritage Society is officially calling their portion of the GWT "the Dr. Jon Lien Humpback Whale Pavilion of King's Point." Congratulations to all contributors to the new "Home of the Humpback of Notre Dame" and the site of world's largest humpback whale skeleton reconstruction.

Certainly the major eco-tourism award presented to Jon, Judy and the Lien family by the EZC on behalf of our 42 communities was another truly wonderful and uplifting moment from the opening ceremony.

The Dr. Jon Lien Great Whale Tour project has the potential to be an international world class anchor tourism attraction that could eventually house the world's largest collection of the world's largest animals.

Imagine what kind of long-term impact such an achievement would have on our regions economy.

Thank you again to The nor'wester for their continuing fine coverage and to the hundreds of local, regional, national and international volunteers who made phase two (of what should be at least eight phases) possible.

Five final words: Fund our Baie Verte partners!

Regards,

David Hayashida

Founder and Past Chair Dr Jon Lien GWT

King's Point

Organizations: Emerald Zone Regional Economic Development Board, Point Heritage Society

Geographic location: Baie Verte, Middle Arm, La Scie Westport Little Bay Islands Springdale Notre Dame

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