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Group irked by missing Labrador flag

A Labrador flag and flagpole has been missing at the southern Labrador border crossing for two weeks. Labrador Wild, an advocacy group, is demanding it be reinstated by the province immediately.
A Labrador flag and flagpole has been missing at the southern Labrador border crossing for two weeks. Labrador Wild, an advocacy group, is demanding it be reinstated by the province immediately.

Two government departments are scrambling to find a Labrador flag and flag pole that has gone missing from the border crossing in southern Labrador.

In an emailed statement to The Labradorian, Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Keith Russell, said when his department was made aware of missing flag and pole, his office immediately contacted Transportation and Works to find it.

“They have advised us that the contractor took it down during the construction of the flag poles for the border and they are now tasked with locating it,” said Russell in his email.

“My department had previously discussed this with the different groups involved and it was our intent to return the flagpoles to the respective museums adjacent to the border entries.”

Transportation and Works Minister David Brazil said his department also recently became aware that the flag and pole at the Southern Labrador border crossing had been inadvertently removed by the contractor during foundation construction for new flagpoles.

“Work has been underway to prepare to fly the Labrador flag at the Labrador and Quebec borders, as announced last spring,” he said in an emailed statement to The Labradorian.

“In the meantime, the department is in the process of locating the pole and flag that was removed by the contractor.”

Not impressed

A grass-roots advocacy group is calling on the provincial government to find the missing items ASAP.

According to a posting by “Labrador Wild” on a Facebook page of the same name, a pole that had been topped by the Labrador flag since September 2014 — put there by Labradorians calling to have the province fly the Labrador flag — has been missing for two weeks.

“Organizers were shocked to find out that not only had the southern border Labrador Flag & Pole been removed but that contractors were given the order to ‘REMOVE & DISPOSE’ by NL Government department yet unknown,” stated the Nov. 23rd post.

“Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs, once contacted, stated that they have no idea what happened to the flag and pole!!! This is completely unacceptable!”

The post went on to say, “Keith Russell made the claim that the raising of the Labrador Flags was all his doing. We go a step further now and say he is accountable and responsible, along with Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs and the NL Government, for the destruction of a significant piece of Labrador history!”

Labrador Wild posted that those who organized the southern border flag raising had arranged for the flag and pole to eventually be housed at a museum to allow future generations to learn the story why Labrador flags are flown at the borders.

“Other recommendations were made which included organizers be notified of the changing of the flags to initiate a plan for the transport of the pole/flag to the museum, for government to put up a plaque (or organizers would do this at their own cost) to mark the history on the site of the flag-raising, acknowledge the 70-plus individuals who raised the flag on the southern border that day in (September) 2014 when the new flag went up in any ceremony held,” the post stated.

“A contact person was provided to Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs and while the group continued to inquire about the status of the changing of the flags, no confirmed plan or adequate response was provided beyond the fact that Minister Keith Russell was aware of organizer’s requests.

“In the past two weeks, new metal poles (4 on each border) have been installed. We believe this is great news and look forward to seeing our Labrador Flag flying proudly next to the rest.”

bonnie.learning@tc.tc

 

In an emailed statement to The Labradorian, Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Keith Russell, said when his department was made aware of missing flag and pole, his office immediately contacted Transportation and Works to find it.

“They have advised us that the contractor took it down during the construction of the flag poles for the border and they are now tasked with locating it,” said Russell in his email.

“My department had previously discussed this with the different groups involved and it was our intent to return the flagpoles to the respective museums adjacent to the border entries.”

Transportation and Works Minister David Brazil said his department also recently became aware that the flag and pole at the Southern Labrador border crossing had been inadvertently removed by the contractor during foundation construction for new flagpoles.

“Work has been underway to prepare to fly the Labrador flag at the Labrador and Quebec borders, as announced last spring,” he said in an emailed statement to The Labradorian.

“In the meantime, the department is in the process of locating the pole and flag that was removed by the contractor.”

Not impressed

A grass-roots advocacy group is calling on the provincial government to find the missing items ASAP.

According to a posting by “Labrador Wild” on a Facebook page of the same name, a pole that had been topped by the Labrador flag since September 2014 — put there by Labradorians calling to have the province fly the Labrador flag — has been missing for two weeks.

“Organizers were shocked to find out that not only had the southern border Labrador Flag & Pole been removed but that contractors were given the order to ‘REMOVE & DISPOSE’ by NL Government department yet unknown,” stated the Nov. 23rd post.

“Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs, once contacted, stated that they have no idea what happened to the flag and pole!!! This is completely unacceptable!”

The post went on to say, “Keith Russell made the claim that the raising of the Labrador Flags was all his doing. We go a step further now and say he is accountable and responsible, along with Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs and the NL Government, for the destruction of a significant piece of Labrador history!”

Labrador Wild posted that those who organized the southern border flag raising had arranged for the flag and pole to eventually be housed at a museum to allow future generations to learn the story why Labrador flags are flown at the borders.

“Other recommendations were made which included organizers be notified of the changing of the flags to initiate a plan for the transport of the pole/flag to the museum, for government to put up a plaque (or organizers would do this at their own cost) to mark the history on the site of the flag-raising, acknowledge the 70-plus individuals who raised the flag on the southern border that day in (September) 2014 when the new flag went up in any ceremony held,” the post stated.

“A contact person was provided to Labrador & Aboriginal Affairs and while the group continued to inquire about the status of the changing of the flags, no confirmed plan or adequate response was provided beyond the fact that Minister Keith Russell was aware of organizer’s requests.

“In the past two weeks, new metal poles (4 on each border) have been installed. We believe this is great news and look forward to seeing our Labrador Flag flying proudly next to the rest.”

bonnie.learning@tc.tc

 

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