It's a party... I'll cry if I want to

Discovery Collegiate
Bonavista, Newfoundland

By Tracy R. (Grade 11)

When John Cabot and his crew shouted "Land Ho" back in 1497 after spotting beautiful Newfoundland, they would have turned and headed back home if they knew that 500 years later the already in-debt government of our province was risking an even bigger deficit by hosting the Cabot 500 celebrations.

Martha Muzychka, a columnist for the Evening Telegram, put it best when she said, "Not to sound like a total party pooper but the swelling enthusiasm for the Cabot 500 celebrations is leaving me a little perplexed."

As a resident of Bonavista myself, I can't help but have some doubts as to our ability to host over 30,000 visitors. We lack the accommodations, security, food establishments and parking facilities. We have a total of one hotel located in the nearby town of Port Union with a total of 36 rooms (all of which have been booked for the celebrations since last December).

We have only seven food establishments in this community, and just in the neighbouring communities of Catalina and Port Union. I really don't think that such few accommodations can satisfy such a large number of people.

More importantly, I see a bigger problem with the Cabot 500 celebrations. That is, the problem of ourselves - the students of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 1990, about 1700 teaching positions have been cut. Some 468 jobs were eliminated this year alone.

In our school, 12 teachers are at risk of losing their jobs. My question is, when is the government of Newfoundland and Labrador going to get its priorities straight and see that we students, as well as our teachers, could use the $1.2 million allotted for the Cabot celebrations? Not only could we use that $1.2 million for education but as an investment into our health care system.

I never realised until recently that there were so many costs involved in throwing the biggest party that this province has ever seen!

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