08 July 2005

Trevor Taylor - up tarring the roof

Thankfully, Trevor Taylor came down off the roof and took some time to call Bill Rowe on Crap Talk, the afternoon call-in show on VOCM.

That is a tongue-in-cheek reference to his opening comments about trying to re-shingle the roof and repair the eaves on his mother's house. When my grandmother was ticked off with someone repeatedly asking where so-and-so was, she'd always say he was up tarring the roof. With some of the tired voices from the past calling open line shows altely, I wish some of them were actually up tarring a roof.

As busily as I was trying to scribble down notes, I finally just stopped and listened to his frank comments on the issues in the fishery and current government policy. It was such a broad swath of topics that there was no way to keep up with him.

If people actually listened to what he is saying, they'd understand he is probably one of the best fisheries minister the province has ever had. There are no illusions clouding his judgment. Taylor speaks with a lifetime of knowledge about the fishery and it shows. He is genuine and sincere.

As Trevor climbs back out on the ledge to fix the eave he should consider pulling together a bunch of people for an informal brain-storming session on the future of the province's fisheries. Rather than go through the usual dog-and-pony shows of Royal Commissions or public consultations, maybe Trevor would call a few people who normally don't get called. ignore the tired voices and let them shingle the tumble-down shacks of their worn-out complaining. Maybe he could call a few people who usually never discuss fisheries issues but who might just have some creative ideas.

Give them a hammer, a pile of shingles and some nails.

Then get to work.

Have a chat in the summer sunshine and chew over what is going on and more importantly where we need to go with the fishery in the province.

My morning e-mailer noted that we can't have a fisheries policy here, just a fish processing policy.

I disagree.

I am firmly convinced that if we brought the right people together, we can find a new fisheries policy that would change Trevor's life for the better and put something on paper that federal fish minister Geoff Regan couldn't ignore.

The worst that will happen is that the province will be right where it is now and a couple of the helpers will wind up with a skill to fall back on in hard times.

The best is that we might actually be able to bring about some fundamental and meaningful changes to the benefit of everyone in the province. Taylor is the kind of guy who could not only bring together the right people; he could also persuade people to give the group's ideas a try.

At the very least, his mom would have a roof that isn't shingled with the best of intentions.