Miffed with John Cabot

Holy Heart High School
St. John's, Newfoundland

By Megan W. (Grade 11)

John Cabot is a name that has surely passed over the lips of every man woman and child in the province of Newfoundland! Even the youngest student has been taught something about him. He is the man who has the prestigious title of having discovered Newfoundland. Or was it Cape Breton? (We'll never really know).

Meanwhile, as the government runs around spending millions of dollars on these celebrations, we must endure cuts to almost every area of our lives. Our jobs, schools and public services have all been affected. The children of the province must lose their arts programs like music, drama and the visual arts: all vital parts of our culture. Yes, it's pretty easy to get help in math class these days with only thirty-seven other students. The education of these students cannot be well rounded without knowledge of their heritage.

I am quite well aware that the Cabot 500 celebrations are supposed to be bringing badly needed tourist dollars into the province, but I question whether there will be a great amount of interest from anywhere outside the province or England, where Cabot sailed from. Is his name well known elsewhere? I don't think that many people would decide to spend their vacation here celebrating with us. Unfortunately, the government seems to be suffering from some delusion about the attraction that Cabot has. I have noticed, after attending some of the ceremonies celebrating the occasion, that the interest of the public is not all that great. As I've already mentioned, money is scarce and many are unable to spend it on these events.

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