"There's going to be other protests if something don't come down." - Stella Mailman, fish harvester
 
On Friday, April 21, 2017, a meeting concerning the tragedy that used to be a fishery was held in Hawkes Bay, NL between the DFO, harvesters and a representative of the local MP's office.  

In attendance were fish harvesters Rod Cornick, Barry Ploughman, Donald Spence, Joseph Hynes, Dean Offrey, and Stella Mailman. 

Department of Fisheries and Oceans sent along Frank Breen, John Lubar, and Paul Cahill.  MP Gudie Hutchings was not in attendance despite the fact that in a January news article she delared that number 2 on her list of top priorities for 2017 was --- "2.     Hutchings believes the federal government needs to help the fishery in this province adapt, find new markets and insure a more stable fishery so she’ll be pushing for help in that regard." 

She sent along Dwayne Cull to represent her but did find a few minutes to send out this tweet 

Thank u @DFO_NL + fishers on GNP -positive meeting today -collaboration, censuses building, discussions -fishery will be better @DLeBlancNB   

Such a nice lady.

So what came out of the meeting. Apparently a positive feel! There were questions that were not answered of course ( we are talking about politics after all), and issues that had to be brought back to the powers that be for review.

One of the biggest problems being faced now by the fishers is seen to be the FFAW. 

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the organization tasked with the protection of the harvesters and such, is the same organization that seems to be willing to throw those same people under the bus..or in this case, the boat?

Why has it gotten to the point, that it is the actual harvesters who have to set up meetings with government officals to please their case? Where is the FFAW? 

ME NERVES

Meanwhile, there are other fish to fry (pardon the pun) in lovely Newfoundland. 

There seems to be a theory that we Newfies likes to have a good time. Let me tell you that I cannot disagree. I discovered Iceberg beer a few years ago, and now whenever someone is coming this way from home, I beg them to bring me some. I hoard the stuff in our garage like it was cod tounges (which I also beg for, and hoard), and only the select few get a bottle to try. I am down to less than three cases now which makes me itch. 

Back in the day we would drink home brew made in someones dad's basement, or smoke a little something if we could get it. We had sort of an unwritten rule back then amongst those I ran with. We didn't put anything up our nose, in our arm, or steal grandmudders pills.  This isn't the way of the world anymore.

Opiate addiction has offically reached an epidemic in Newfoundland and Labrador. This statement in and of itself is dramatic and scary. What takes it to an even higher level of fear factor is the fact that what people are now buying....isn't strictly the opiate that they think they are buying.  aFentanyl has arrived in the Newfoundland drug trade and it is cruising around like a killer in a fast car.  

Did it just get there? In my opinion no.  In the past two years I have been privy to  separate stories surrounding the death of  'young ones'  in small communities along the Avalon. In both cases they took something to get high, and it had been something they had taken before. This time though, it killed them. These are stories told by those who were there, and although no charges have ever been laid on those they bought from etc., it is murder in my books. But hey. Who am I to judge. 

The thing with this addiction is that it isn't limited to any one demographic. It isnt just the poor, or the rich. It isn't just the 'bad girls and boys'. It isn't just the 'young ones'. It is the guy who got a hip replacement and the drugs they gave him held on. It is the lady who looks after your mother who helped herself to one of mudders pain pills after she sprained her back, and never looked back. 

And now Fentanyl has reared it's ugly head. Prescription-grade fentanyl is up to 100 times more toxic than morphine. An amount the size of two grains of salt can kill a healthy adult.  TWO GRAINS OF SALT.

As of April 28th, NL saw 16 overdoses and two deaths related to Fentanyl. It is being sold on the street (or in the kitchen, up by the school and in buddy's office) as percocet, oxi's and heroin. And trust me, the person selling it does not give a s*** if you are 12 or 72, if you live or if you die. They have your cash, and they are done. No returns, or refunds. 

People have been buying life threatening posion to reach bliss for hundreds of years, but right now, China is producing and sending over the equivalent of pure death and we are eating it up. 16 overdoses may seem like a lot, but in larger cities, they are seeing upwards of 175 overdoses a week. 

British Columbia saw 922 deaths related to Fentanyl in 2016. And guess what...it's not the youngsters.  Four out of five of the overdose deaths were men and more than half were between the ages of 30 and 49.

There is more to come my friends. Talk to your kids again. And then talk to them again. Talk to your brother and your sister and your neighbour. Do you know that John down the road likes to take pills now and then to get a good buzz? Talk to him. Do you know that your roomate from school who now lives in Ontario lives off percocet, no matter where he can get it? Call him. People are dying. 

Remember when our biggest worry was mudder catching us with liquor on our breath or smelling like hash? Yah. Mudder was lucky back then I think...she didn't have to worry we would take a pill and never wake up.





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