Newfoundland News Highlights
Summer Issue, 1978
Transcribed as written from the "Newfoundland Quarterly", Vol. LXXIV, No. 2 by Tammy Hammond, there may be errors.
March 1 - April 27, 1978
Mines and Energy Minister Brian Peckford announced that Shell Texaco was given offshore oil and gas exploratory permits under provincial regulations which Peckford had insisted on, and which were blamed for the decision of Eastcan not to continure drilling off Labrador this year. Other oil comapnies holding federal permits had not to the present been prepared to be governed by the provincial regulations, the provisions of which would be part of provincial permits.
Caplin were rolling on beaches at Random Island, Trinity Bay -- probably caused by unusual water temperatures.
A crowd of about 4000 - 5000 gathered on the St. John's waterfront at 3:00 p.m. to take part in an ecumenical service to wish good luck to the four sealing ships which left the harbour at 4:00 p.m.
The House of Assembly opened -- the Speech from the Throne decaring that the austerity of the past two years would continue unless there was a major recovery in the Canadian economy.
The Chairman of the Newfoundland Bankers Association stated that the average savings account in Newfoundland held $1,850, while 40% of all accounts contained less that $100.
The Newfoundland seal hunt was unable to begin as scheduled because the four sealing vessels were separated from the seal herd by standing ice about 20 feet thick. Spotting planes located the main patch about 200 miles north of St. Anthony.
Premier Frank Moores and Rene Levesque met for 4 hours in St. John's agreeing that they ought to explore ways to develop the power potential of the Lower Churchill and five Quebec rivers which had headwaters in Newofundland territory.
The four sealing ships from Newfoundland began sealing, with about 5,500 whitecoats taken. Rural Development Minister John Lundrigan and U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan had a confrontation on the ice -- Lundrigan telling Ryan to take a look at the U.S. seal fishery instead of worrying about the Canadian hunt.
Two Greenpeace officials were arrested in St. Anthony after they refused to leave the ooice of a fisheries officer -- from whom they were attempting to get additional permits to visit the icefields. Greenpeace had announced its intention to interfere with the seal hunt, and attempted to do so without a permit, but pilots refused to take people to the icefields without permits, as it was illegal to do so.
St. John's City Council voted Mayer Wyatt a salary increase of $1200 -- bringing her salary to $18,000 (including $6,000 non-taxable).
John Lundrigan, Minister of Rural Development and Public Works resigned from the Moores cabinet. The previous day he told constituents in Grand Falls that the budget seech, to be brought down later in the week, did not provide for expansion of the hospital, as had been promised earlier.
The provincial budget was brought down by Finance Minister T. Alex Hickman, his first budget. It provided for a total expenditure of $1.2 billion, for increase from 10% to 11% in sales tax, a $3 daily fee for hospital ward care to a maximum of 15 days and for the doubling of private and semi-private room care, reduction of income take rate for 14% to 12% for small businesses, and a requirement that students borrow $700 (up from $450) per semester before qualifying for grants.
Brother G. R. Bellows, 53, principal of Brother Rice High School, was named Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Canada.
It was announced that Denis Groom had accepted, effective in July, a position with the London conglomerate Trafalgar, which operates the Cunard shipping lines, the Beaverbrook hotel chain, and London's Ritz Hotel, and employs about 35,000 people. It was anticipated that the new position would pay double his $81,000 Newfoundland Hydro salary.
The final six memebers of the Greenpeace Foundation left Goose Bay to return home.
John Lundrigan's two portfolios were assigned to William Doody and Brian Peckford -- Rural Development going to the latter and Public Works and Services to Doody.
P.C. Jack Marshall and Liberal lawyer Derek Lewis were named to the Canadian senate.
CBC broadcaster Jim Winter was given an Actra award for best documentary writing in radio in 1977 -- for "Berthed Swiler: A Personal Diary."
Clyde Rose, president of Breakwater Books, was elected to the government relations committee of the association of Canadian publishers. Rose is current president of the Atlantic Publishers Association.
The annual convention of the Newfoundland Teachers Association began in St. John's. Much debate took place on government's recent decision to reduce the teaching force by 128 teachers in September 1978. Tom LaFosse and Brian Shortall were re-elected president and vice-presicent, respectively, of the Association.
The Lady Johnson II, the first Canadian sealer to return from the ice, arrived at Catalina with 4700 pelts about half a regular load. Other sealing ships also found it impossible to get much more than half their quota. Flippers sold for about $20 per dozen, up slightly from 1977.
Doctors practicing under MCP were granted a fee increase averaging 6% -- ranging from 1.8% for plastic surgeons to 9.5 % for anesthesiologists.
The 28th Annual Newfoundland Drama Festival came to an end -- four of the major awards going to the Carol Players from Labrador City.
Lightening damaged a house and barn on Bell Island, and the accompanying thunder could be heard 30 miles away.
Former Deputy Mayor Harvey Hodder was elected as Mayor of Mount Pearl -- former Mayor Kell Ashford did not run in the election.
Because sealing ships took only about half their quota, it was announced that landsmen would be permitted to double their quotas.
St. Johns Blue Caps won the Herder Memorial Trophy by defeating the Gander Flyers senior hockey team.
The provincial sales tax was reduced from 11% to 8% for a 6-month period, the federal government agreeing to compensate the province for the loss of revenue. This provision ws provided for in the federal budget speech after agreement with the province.
In the House of Assembly, Opposition House Leader Steve Neary, taking advantage of the fact that oposition outnumbered the government numbers 13-11, moved that Forestry and Agriculture Minister Ed Maynard's salary be reduced to $1.00. Later in the week the government appointed Maynard as President of the Council at a minister's salary, while he remained Forestry Minister at the $1 salary.
Following the Newfoundlnd government's negative decision, the British government's Export Credit Guarantees Department also rejected an Ultramar proposal to take over the $6oo million come-by-Chance refinery as a storage facility in return for about $12 milion.
About 2500 MUN students marched to confederation Building to protest recent cutbacks in eduction spending and a token increase in MUN's budget. The premier and opposition leader met them on the steps of the building -- the premier asserting he was prepared to sit down and talk to representatives of the students to try to do somewthing about the quality of education. Students noted the orderly nature of the demonstration despite the large number of demonstrators, while one placard asked "When is the next election, Mr. Moores?"
At the inquiry into the loss of the trawler Cape Royal, it was noted that lifeboat drills had not been regular.
City Councillor Andy Wells reported that, at a cost to him of $1084, he had General Appraisals of Canada determine the reproduction cost of the municipal garage which had been completed in 1976 at a cost of $8,410,003 including the cost of the land. The engineering firm decared that the reproduction cost, excluding land, in 1976 would have been $3,880,000 and in 1978 $4,680,000.
Newfoundland and Ottawa signed a 3-year, 50-50 deal, to upgrade Newfoundland's portion of the Trans Canada Highway, at a cost of $100 million.
Police raided a house in Blaketown, the site of a labratory for making Phencyclidine (PCP), and arrested six people.
The lobster season opened, with fisherman getting $1.85 per pound -- about double of that last year.
The provincial government announced the establishment of a loan guarantee program available to all businesses involved in the Newfoundland fishery which wish to expand and can demonstrate their ability to repay -- lenders to be reimbursed in the event of default for a period of five years. At the same time, it announced that a Fishery Products Ltd. application for a loan of $28 million had already been applied for -- on the security of 14 trawlers with an apraised value of more than the amount of the mortgage. Fishery Products, now employing 4000 workers, expects to be able to employ an addition 640 -- the expansion for 7 fish plants to attract about $2 million from DREE.
St. John's temperature reached 13 degress celsius -- a record for April 22, and the record snowfall of the previous weekend almost disappeared.
Dr. Patrick O'Flaherty, the Newfoundland Quarterly's Book Review Editor and a Professor of English at Memorial University, won the Liberal nomination for St. John's West for the upcoming federal election.
Liberal Steve Neary tabled a document in the House of Assembly which accused Industrial Development Minister Tom Farrell of bribery and covering of illegal activity.
St. John's had three serious fires within 24 hours -- 13 people being left homeless when 5 apartments were destroyed on Albany Street and Signal Hill Road, while people occupying a large number of luxury apartments in Elizabeth Towers had to be given alternate accommodation as a result of a fire which started in the fifth floor apartment of Dr. Tom Farrell, Minister of Industrial Development.
Hold Fast, a novel by Kevin Major of Stephenville and Eastport, appeared on newstands. Portions of the book, his first, had been published earlier in the Newfoundland Quarterly. In 1974 he edited an anthology of Newfoundland literature which is used in a number of Newfoundland schools
At the weekly meeting of City Council, Mayor Wyatt ejected Andy Wells as she entered the meeting late to hear him say that the city assessors were not used to appraising a building the size of the city parking garage. When the mayor ruled his obversation an insult and ordered his removal, other councillors lef their chairs, and the meeting had no quorum. The council hqad agreed to pay the expenses of an inquiry into the cost of the garage, largely as a result of information presented by Wells.
Justice Minister Hickman ordered a full R.C.M.P. investigation into allegations made against Honorable Tom Farrell. Farrell's call for an investigation preceded Hickman's announcement in the House.
© 2010 Tammy Hammond & NL GenWeb