Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Islands Radio, CFIM Holds 30th Annual Radiothon

Serge Rochon, Aunt Emma (Odette Leblanc) and Charles-Eugène Cyr.

After serving the people of the Magdalen Islands-Iles de la Madeleine, CFIM held its 30th annual radiothon festivities. 

Three thousand, eight hundred and twelve (3812) Islanders renewed their membership card for the radio station, during the Radiothon. This record appears to be two percent more than in 2010.

Chairman of Islands Community Broadcasting, Serge Rochon, declared himself very satisfied with the Islands Community Radio since it has eclipsed its own record of 3700 registered members in 2009.

Source: CFIM
Photo: Luc Miousse

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Sea of Death and Destruction

"Come Follow Me" Jesus said, "An I Will Make You Fishers Of Men."

The fishing seas has been a hard one for the traditional tradesmen of the Magdalen Islands. The season's first catch was on May 9th, 2011, a week later than anywhere else on the east coast of Canada. The Magdalen Islands fishermen missed the valuable Mother's Day Weekend, which undoubtedly made a huge dent in their seasonal sales.

The lobster count is down overall from last year. The price per pound at the wharf is poor particularly since the other provinces had time to saturate the market before Magdalen Islands lobster arrived. It didn't help that Newfoundland sold over a million pounds of lobster at $3,65/pound last week and drove the price even lower. And then there is the wind.....

It hasn't stopped blowing 30 to 40 kilometers/hour and occasionally above from the northeast since the season began. The experienced fishermen are suffering from aches and pains in their legs and backs as the boats are hitting down hard on the sea after each choppy wave. Yesterday was no exception....

We lost a fisherman yesterday in Etang-du-Nord. Donald Bourgeois fell overboard and drown. They recovered his body because he floated to the surface immediately (perhaps he had the regulatory life jacket on) and an autopsy will be done to determine if the fall was related to an unknown medical condition or if it was purely accidental. The islanders sympathies go out to his family and friends.

We also lost a fishing boat yesterday. The waves were sufficiently high or strong to capsize the boat with a crew of three fishermen. The men were saved by the crew of a near-by fishing vessel, but it gives a strong idea of just how bad the conditions on the sea are just now. It is not so bad to keep the boats in the harbours but it is bad enough to make it dangerous on the sea or at the very least very uncomfortable.

Rest in Peace Donald Bourgeois!

This is a repeat of  the Magdalen Islands Online article Fishing 2011 aux Iles de la Madeleine

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dr David Suzuki's Declaration To Help Protect The Gulf of Saint Lawrence

Gulf of Saint Lawrence Flag
World famous Canadian environmentalist, Dr. David Suzuki arrived on the Magdalen Islands on Friday, April 29th, 2011, to help with the struggle to protect the Gulf of Saint Lawrence from the oil drilling prospects. On Saturday, there was a ceremony held at Old Harry beach and the declaration was presented along with a flag for the Gulf. 

Accompanying Dr Suzuki was Georges Stroumboulopoulos of CBC's "The Hour" television show, Karel Mayrand, Executive Director of the David Suzuki Foundation in Quebec and Danielle Giroux of the islands Attention FragÎles. There were also about 40 to 50 islanders who are interested in keeping the oil cartels out of the Gulf and plenty of local children who joined them for a flag-raising ceremony for the protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence against potential oil and gas spills.

During the ceremony, Dr. Suzuki revealed a flag on a sea-blue background with a bright orange starfish at its centre, representing the Gulf's many resources and the five provinces bordering it. Dr. Suzuki also initiated a vibrant call to action to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its ecosystem and communities by reading a statement titled "The Declaration of the Defenders of the Saint-Lawrence."

"A very strong current passed between Dr. Suzuki and the people of the Islands. His visit and his support provided a wave of hope to the people in the community, who must continue to mobilize our neighbours in the Atlantic Provinces to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its precious and renewable resources," commented Danielle Giroux, President of Attention FragÏles and spokesperson for the St. Lawrence Coalition.

"The Gulf of St. Lawrence is one of the planet's most precious and unique ecosystems," declared Dr. Suzuki. "Nature cannot be forced to conform to human borders and economy. Instead, we must maintain its health and subordinate our interests to the gulf."

In order to educate the public about the interdependence between citizens and the St. Lawrence River, the David Suzuki Foundation launched a new campaign last month, "The St. Lawrence: Our Living River". The campaign will offer individuals the opportunity to reconnect with the St. Lawrence River and Gulf by taking one or several of eight "David Suzuki Blue Actions" or by participating to an activity in their community on June 10th, the first-ever St. Lawrence Action Day.

Dr. Suzuki and Georges Stroumboulopoulos were at the Magdalen Islands to film a special online segment that will be posted on the CBC's website in late May or early June. The main objective of the web segment is to raise Canadians' awareness of the Gulf's importance and the risks associated with oil and gas drilling.

To view a web segment of the flag-raising ceremony and to watch Dr. Suzuki read the Declaration of the Defenders of the St. Lawrence Gulf, visit:http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/projects/saint-lawrence/help-us-protect-the-gulf-of-saint-lawrence/
To send a letter to tell the government to protect the Gulf, visit: http://action.davidsuzuki.org/fr/st-laurent