Whalen accused of misleading public

Letters to the Editor (The Nor'wester)
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Dear Editor:

We write in response to a letter from Minister Dianne Whalen in the Oct. 8 issue of nor'wester. We tried calling her four times from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17 to discuss this situation, but she would not or could not return my calls.

She wrote that she wanted to correct some misleading information contained in Barbara Colbourne's community news column. She did not correct any information contained in that column.

Your letters - Dear Editor:

We write in response to a letter from Minister Dianne Whalen in the Oct. 8 issue of nor'wester. We tried calling her four times from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17 to discuss this situation, but she would not or could not return my calls.

She wrote that she wanted to correct some misleading information contained in Barbara Colbourne's community news column. She did not correct any information contained in that column.

She wrote that her officials on the MV Sound of Islay were directed to collect questionnaires regarding the destination of passengers (leaving Long Island). She admitted in her letter that the workers on the Sound of Islay were not instructed to fully explain the purpose of the questions.

We asked the purser directly what the purpose was. He replied that he had been given no information to the purpose for questioning the people; just that he had orders to do so.

Minister Whalen said that to compare the department's action to Nazi Germany or the Gestapo was unnecessary and inappropriate. She then went on to prove that her actions and those of her department are definitely dictatorial towards the residents of Long Island. She wrote that the Department of Transportation is "trying to ascertain if a three-point service between Long Island-Little Bay Island and Shoal Arm..." is one of the best options for our future ferry service.

In April 2007, government announced a series of public consultation meetings with the ferry users of Long Island and Little Bay Islands as well as all other ferry users around the province. These formal consultation meetings were obviously a farce, an activity with an absurd, futile outcome. The Town of Lushes Bight-Beaumont and its Causeway Committee, as well as the Town of Little Bay Islands explained in detail to transportation officials why these two islands were served by two ferries for the past 25 years. It was proven back then that because of the geography, ice conditions and climate (winds) of the Green Bay area, one ferry just could not work.

Our Causeway Committee pointed out during that 'so-called' consultation meeting that to take away our ferry and put one in its place for the two islands would be detrimental to our residents, would most certainly leave the people stranded without transportation for periods of time, and would put human lives at risk. None of the statements, information, needs or wishes of the residents of Long Island put forward at that 2007 meeting were taken into account when Cabinet made the decision on June 10, 2008 to take away our ferry service.

A dictator is defined as an autocrat, someone who insists on his own way and will not defer to others. Who is responsible for the horrible treatment perpetuated on the people of Long Island, firstly by refusing to build the more socially and economically feasible causeway, and then by taking away Long Island's ferry service, put in place through necessity, 25 years ago?

Is it the minister, department officials or Cabinet? Minister Whalen was adamant in the Causeway Committee's meeting with her in June and August 2008 that it was a decision of Cabinet.

A democracy is a government by the people, usually through elected representatives. When our MHA Ray Hunter called the assistant deputy minister of transportation in Spring 2008, the ADM told MHA Hunter to stop bothering him by calling and to stop wasting the ADM's time. Mr. Hunter, representing the people, was asking for information on the estimates for the causeway obtained by the department. We are surprised that Premier Williams would allow paid government employees like the ADM to treat an elected representative in such a disdainful, disrespectful manner.

Long Island Causeway Committee

Barbara Colbourne/Harold Rideout Co-Chairs

Long Island

Organizations: Causeway Committee, Dear Editor, MV Sound of Islay Department of Transportation ADM Town of Lushes Bight-Beaumont

Geographic location: Long Island, Little Bay Islands, Sound of Islay Nazi Germany Long Island-Little Bay Island Shoal Arm Green Bay

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Recent comments

  • Wayne
    July 09, 2010 - 15:23

    Long Island Causeway Committee,

    I would be most interested in exploring this issue more fully with your committee.

    Regards,

    Wayne R. Bennett
    Leader
    NL First Party (NLFP)
    NL First Candidate
    Humber - St. Barbe - Baie Verte
    wayne_bennett@nf.sympatico.ca
    www.nlfirst.ca

  • Wayne
    July 09, 2010 - 15:22

    Long Island Causeway Committee,

    I would be most interested in exploring this issue more fully with your committee.

    Regards,

    Wayne R. Bennett
    Leader
    NL First Party (NLFP)
    NL First Candidate
    Humber - St. Barbe - Baie Verte
    wayne_bennett@nf.sympatico.ca
    www.nlfirst.ca

  • Wayne
    July 09, 2010 - 15:22

    Long Island Causeway Committee,

    I would be most interested in exploring this issue more fully with your committee.

    Regards,

    Wayne R. Bennett
    Leader
    NL First Party (NLFP)
    NL First Candidate
    Humber - St. Barbe - Baie Verte
    wayne_bennett@nf.sympatico.ca
    www.nlfirst.ca