Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just Call Me Stupid... and wrong!

Those tourists certainly fooled me, here I was going about my business thinking I had absorbed some of the great instincts from my action heroes like Harry MacLauchlan and Wendell Barbour. It seemed to me they could always smell a trend by observing the conversations around the countryside. So once I started noticing fewer tourists I decided to ask just about everyone in the industry that I came in contact with how our season was shaping up. It didn't seem to matter who I spoke to whether it was a waitress, gas attendant, greens keeper, hotel clerk... everyone strongly suggested that the numbers were down. "People don't have money to travel, gas is too high, there are no Americans cars, the weather was cold,” etc... somehow Wendell and Harry could always add all this up in their head and they didn't need any high paid spin doctors to arrive at a sound conclusion on what kind of year tourism was heading for. After reading the following story it's quite obvious that I don't possess any of these skill because I could have sworn our tourism was down...and I'm just glad our Tourism Department has confirmed that I'm wrong..
P.E.I. tourism numbers strong in June
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
CBC News
Occupancy rates on the North Cape Coastal Drive rose from 29.8 to 39.6 per cent. (CBC)
Early indicators on the P.E.I. tourism season show occupancy rates up slightly.
The results suggest the Island may be able to weather some difficult market conditions, including a high Canadian dollar and unprecedented gas prices.
"We are pleased with the numbers and realize that with the high fuel costs and rising Canadian dollar, the industry has been faced with some uncontrollable challenges," Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty said in a news release Tuesday.
"The feedback our department has been receiving from operators has been generally positive."
Results are mixed across the province, with the west generally doing better than the rest. Overall occupancy rates rose to 37.0 per cent in June 2008 from 34.9 per cent in June 2007. The actual number of visitors was down slightly on the month.
Air travel continues to be a strength, with a 12 per cent increase in traffic. Bridge traffic was down slightly, and the ferry from Nova Scotia suffered a 10 per cent drop in traffic compared with June of last year.
While the June numbers are promising, the tourism industry makes a large proportion of its money in July and August. No numbers are yet available, but some anecdotal evidence suggests July has not been as strong.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Legion Outstrips Credit Union Place

These two stories are kind of funny and also a bit sad and I can't figure which is funnier or which is sadder. 200 women going to the Summerside Legion to see some loverboys strip or less than 200 people buying tickets to see Loveboy in concert at a 5,000 seat arena billed as a saviour for Summerside. Desperate times for both venues I guess.
Strippers anger P.E.I. Legion member
Friday, July 25, 2008
CBC News
A troupe of male dancers from Las Vegas recently took their clothes off at the Legion in Summerside, P.E.I., and that has one member asking for an apology to the local veterans.
The Men from Las Vegas appeared at the Summerside Legion last Friday night, attracting about 200. They stripped down to their underwear, licked women in the audience, and encouraged them to come up on stage and pay for lap dances.
That has 28-year-old (xxxxxxxxxxxxx) outraged and disgusted. He told CBC News on Thursday that the event was in a venue that is supposed to be respectful to war veterans.
MacAusland is asking for an apology from the Legion to local veterans, or he'll tear up his membership.
"My great-great uncle was a casualty in the Second World War. His name is on the memorial at the entrance of the building," he says.
"It's a place where you can't even wear your hat in respect, and there's people taking off their clothes."
Strippers will likely appear again
(xxxxxxxxxxx) didn't attend the event, but some of his friends did. One said she was so disgusted, she left after 40 minutes.
Legion manager Robert Palmer calls the event a success, and says none of the members he spoke to had a problem with it.
"We have to survive the same as any other venue in Summerside, and to do that, we have to generate revenue. It was put on with the best of intentions, and it certainly wasn't to insult anybody."
The Legion will likely rebook the event down the road, said Palmer.
Poor ticket sales skewer P.E.I. Loverboy concert
Friday, July 25, 2008
CBC News
The City of Summerside, P.E.I. has cancelled a Loverboy concert scheduled for August after selling only about 200 tickets.
The band was scheduled to play Credit Union Place, which holds 5,000, on Aug. 6.
The cancellation means the city loses the deposit the city paid to the band. Bill Schurman, director of community services for Summerside, refused to disclose how much the deposit was.
"We don't disclose what we pay our bands. That's something that's quite confidential," Schurman told CBC News Friday.
The decision to cancel the concert was mutual, said Schurman. Ticketholders who paid by credit card should receive credit within 10 days. Those who paid cash should bring tickets to the box office for refund.
Loverboy formed in Calgary in 1980, and scored some major hits in the following decade, including Turn Me Loose and The Kid is Hot Tonite. The band's most recent album, Just Getting Started, was released in 2007.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Let's focus on the families...

There is an old adage "any news is good news" but when you see our Province branded in National newspapers like the Toronto Sun I just don't think it’s that good for our image as a tourist destination. I was listening today on CBC Radio to Sean Hennessey a Professor at UPEI talking about target marketing in our tourism sector and the essence of his comments were that if PEI is to succeed in tourism then we have to focus on one target audience. We can't try to lure families and at the same time try and lure adults only. He sighted Las Vegas who have $600 million to spend on advertising most of which is focused at adult audiences but when they tried to also attract families their campaign turned into a disaster. I agree with Mr. Hennessey that PEI has a limited budget and that we have to pick a single audience like families and focus on it. That being said we still need the festivals, but do families really want to go to "Rock Festivals" and there may lie the answer to containing some of the rowdiness and "party" atmosphere that is legitimately upsetting local residents. Surely there are festival themes more appealing to families that would draw more favourable crowds to PEI and not garner this type of bad publicity…
Festival turns into 'monster'
P.E.I. event marred by vomiting drunks
CHARLOTTETOWN -- Prince Edward Island's latest tourism campaign promotes Canada's smallest province as "the gentle island."
But that bucolic image stands in sharp contrast to the boorish behaviour witnessed earlier this month during Charlottetown's Festival of Lights.
A downtown neighbourhood was beset by rowdy revellers openly having sex, drinking, defecating, vomiting and committing acts of vandalism.
Mayor Clifford Lee apologized to residents when 70 people packed the council chamber to vent their anger and frustration over the three-day festival.
"We have failed miserably in addressing your concerns," Lee told them Tuesday.
The annual Canada Day festival, billed as Canada's largest birthday celebration east of Ottawa, featured a series of rock concerts on the city's historic waterfront.
The festival drew about 14,000 visitors on each of its three nights.
King St. resident Jack LeClair said the festival began as a "very gentle affair" but has morphed into an extremely rowdy event.
"It has turned into this monster," he said. "It's not about families and children. It's about young people getting drunk. ... If they want to come to the festival of fights and come puke on our island, that's what we are projecting. I'm just saying, re-think it."
Police said they responded to 12 reported assaults at the event and laid 75 liquor-related charges.
Rev. Scott MacIsaac, chaplain at Sleepy Hollow jail, said the festival has become an embarrassment.
"This event this year and the other years that I have seen it has caused significant harm," he said.
He said he and his family had to leave the festival site on the Saturday because of the drunks and "crackheads" he encountered.

Ed Frenette, you promised us free lobsters!!!!

Ed Frenette, back in the spring you were trying to pull off some kind of publicity stunt by offering to "give away free" lobsters apparently to protest low prices and then when the time came to "toni" up the lobsters you bailed on us with some kind of lame excuse that you couldn't find a mall parking lot. I was trying to defend your honor, as a lot of Islanders were laughing at the thought that "lobster fishers" would give away something free, so I offered up the Sears parking so you could deliver on your promise. A lot of Island farmers and small tourist operators are feeling the pinch these days and now that your crowd has done quite well in spite of the doom and gloom you were forecasting maybe it is time to deliver on your promise and offer these folks some free lobsters. You can still use my mall parking lot for free.
Lobster landings rise but low prices, fuel and bait costs offset gains
The Guardian
Lobster landings in the 2008 spring lobster season were up by 10.3 per cent over last year, however low prices paid by processors along with skyrocketing costs of fuel and bait off-set gains for many fishermen. Preliminary numbers from the spring lobster season in lobster fishing Areas 24 and 26A were released Wednesday by provincial Fisheries Minister Allan Campbell.The total landings in the spring season were 18.7 million pounds. In LFA24, along the north shore of Prince Edward Island, landings were 14 million pounds, up by 6.1 per cent over last year. In LFA26A, in the central and eastern part of Northumberland Strait, landings were 4.8 million pounds, an increase of one million pounds or 24.5 per cent over last year."The landings in 26A were the highest recorded landings since 2002 when 5.1 million pounds were landed," said Campbell."I am very pleased with the preliminary reports of higher landings this season, especially in 26A where there have been concerns about low landings in recent years," he said. He acknowledged that despite higher landings, many fishers continue to face challenges because of the combination of rising costs for fuel and bait, and lower prices."That is absolutely right," said Ed Frenette, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association."Based on landings last year and this year, if you were to take 25,000 pounds of lobster, given the lower prices and increased costs, fishermen this year would actually have gotten $37,000 less in gross income from the same amount of product," he said. Frenette said this has got to change. "There has to be some mechanism established to allow fishermen input into setting a shore price for the season, and there has to be improved marketing of the product around the world," he said. Many fishermen are also calling for increased production capacity here on the Island to eliminate the moratorium on processing that is in place because of an agreement between Ocean Choice and the provincial government.Campbell said that many fishers experienced a slow start to the season, but landings showed improvement as water temperatures rose. The minister said he was also encouraged by reports that fishers continue to see good numbers of undersized lobsters and egg-bearing females in traps. "This should be a positive sign for coming years," he said.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cheap Shot...

Pretty cheap shot here... if anybody would have checked they would have found that Brooke MacMillan is a tireless supporter of local businesses and people…. hundreds if not thousands of Islanders (including myself) have taken advantage of saving many thousands of dollars by buying cars in the US. In this case Mr. MacMillan went a step further and brokered it through a local company, which he should be commended for. It’s Mr. MacMillan's money not the taxpayers and he alone has every right to spend it as he seems fit particularly when the local dealer couldn't even come close to matching the price. In fact the local Toyota dealer in Charlottetown is currently constructing a new building using a Nova Scotia contractor which some small minded people may think amounts to the same thing but I don't see the PEI Automobile Dealers Association commenting on that. If there is any finger pointing here it should be squarely from the dealers pointing to their manufacturers to stop "screwing" the Canadian consumer and offer us competitive pricing. If Mr. Delong and the "anonymous" dealer looked around their own car lots they would see a lot of their cars are not manufactured here in Canada but I'm sure they would be willing to take your money for any that are built in the US and in spite of what they think that’s all there is to this story... Yes it great to buy locally and most of us try when we have the opportunity but is it really news or just a "cheap shot" at the Ghiz Government at the personal expense of someone else and by the way you roving reporters, since when is a car dealership "an Island industry"?
Deputy minister defends buying new USA truck though Island car lot
By Paul MacNeill
The Eastern Graphic
Brooke MacMillan, the provincial deputy minister charged with growing the Island’s economy, says he did nothing wrong by buying a new $43,000 truck that was shipped from the United States and formally purchased through a small used car lot that is not even listed in the Island telephone directory. That, however, is not how critics of the purchase see it. They believe the deputy minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning failed to support an Island industry that has struggled in the past year with reduced profit margins and increased costs. “It’s a kick in the teeth,” said one Island dealer who wished to remain anonymous. He accuses the deputy of a double standard. “He wants to invest in PEI, but says I’m going to take my business and go stateside.” It’s a contention Mr MacMillan says is wrong. “At the end of the day it’s bought locally.” A bill of sale for the purchase, dated February 7, 2008, shows Mr MacMillan paid Plus Autos Inc., of Charlottetown $42,455 plus $2,547 GST for a total purchase price of $45,003. The document, supplied to The Graphic by the deputy, lists Mr MacMillan and a personal company he is a shareholder in as the purchaser. As deputy minister Mr MacMillan receives a monthly $800 taxpayer supplied vehicle allowance. The Plus Autos website lists five vehicles for sale, none newer than 2003. A phone number for the company connects to the voice mail of Andy Lamb, a Charlottetown financial consultant. Mr Lamb could not be reached for comment. There is a question as to whether the 2008 Toyota Highlander should have been allowed across the border. Franchise agreements preclude dealers from selling a new car into another country, says Robert Delong, president of the PEI Automobile Dealers Association, which represents new car dealers on the Island. “He would have had to find a dealer willing to do it. Under their own franchise law (USA) they are not supposed to do it. A new vehicle through a used car dealer on PEI? There is more to this than I have got the story so far. It doesn’t sound right,” he said. “I’ve known Andy for years,” Mr MacMillan said in explaining his decision to purchase through Plus Autos. To his knowledge no rules were broken. For a short period of time, Canadians were able to save thousands of dollars by buying new cars in the United States. That benefit has evaporated in the last number of months as manufacturers drop prices and increase incentives. There are now numerous makes of vehicles that are cheaper in Canada. Mr MacMillan believes the issue is politically motivated. He points out he has supported local new car dealerships in the past including Toyota and Honda. “You see it, I saw it. It’s my bill of sale. It’s a small minded issue. When you go off the Island gosh I hope you don’t buy a coat. Everybody has choices,” he said. “You have to realize where others are coming from. I just think this is blown out of proportion. It’s really too bad that it has come to this crossroads. Most business people that I deal with on a day-to-day basis recognize my efforts.” Paul Trainor, president of PEI Directory which represents 880 small businesses on the Island, says the optics of the deal are troublesome. “The danger is the message that is being sent out; you can save a dollar here or a nickle there by bypassing the local people. The slogan for their (Liberal government) campaign last year was ‘Putting Islanders First.’ That is clearly not the perception here.” Erin Mitchell, director of Communications for Premier Robert Ghiz, says the Premier believes this was a private purchase and Mr MacMillan is free to spend his salary as he sees fit, as is the case with any government employee.

They should have offered up a "Bull Ride"...

Just think of it, Elton swinging in on stage on the back of one our Island bulls. I can't help but think there is some kind of "Bull" to this story as any reasonable management person who visited PEI and the site would hardly believe that security would be an issue? Maybe we should have offered up a free ticket to the "Racino"...and a night out with "Ann".
Security concerns killed Elton John concert

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
CBC News
The Charlottetown Civic Centre tried to convince Elton John to make a P.E.I. stop on his tour through Atlantic Canada, but his management was not happy with the security arrangements.
Civic centre management spent a day trying to make the concert promoters comfortable with the design of the centre.
The British singer's management was concerned about a lack of backstage accommodations, and the fact a hallway circles the entire arena under the seats.
The tunnel presented too many security concerns for Sir Elton's people.
The arenas being played by the artist are designed differently than the Civic Centre. Those venues force patrons to walk down to their seats instead of up, meaning the audience does not have direct access to dressing room and loading dock areas.
John will perform at the Halifax Metro Centre on Sept. 26 and 27, at the Moncton Coliseum on Sept. 28 and Harbour Station in Saint John on Sept. 30.
He is also scheduled to play at St. John's Mile One Centre on Oct. 2 and 3.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Valerie, I do have all the facts...

Fact # 1. The Premier has stated on more than one occasion that the courses are for sale.
Fact # 2. The Province is losing their shirt (our tax dollars) in the golf business.
Fact # 3. Recent polling confirmed that 70% of Islanders think Government should get out of the golf business.
Fact # 4. The courses are so mismanaged that any historic data (facts) related to the previous financial results are really irrelevant to any potential buyer.
Fact # 5. That all the consultants and appraisers in the world will have a different opinion on what the courses are worth but its true value is ONLY what the buyer is prepared to pay.
Fact # 6. A tender process with the bids being "opened" in front of the taxpayer is the best way of settling what their true value is.
Fact # 7. A "Request For Interest" (RFI) is another way of closing the door to the public so "someone" can engineer who they want to "give this deal to".
Fact # 8. Leasing is only a good option when the lessor is "guaranteed" a reasonable return on their capital value and when there are guarantees in place that insure that the Lessee will at a minimum keep up the standards and quality of the premises that the brand has established.
Fact # 9. Every Government that has come in contact with the courses have "used" them to hand out employment and continue to procrastinate on disposing of them.
Fact # 10. If I had all the money for all the free rounds, meals, and trips associated with our Provincial golf courses given out to various politicians and bureaucrats over the years I wouldn't be clamouring to buy Crowbush as I'd have enough money to build a few of my own.

Valarie, I do know the facts and they are quite simple, put the courses up for sale and sell them to the high bidder.

Developer puts in offer on Crowbush Cove
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
CBC News
Tim Banks has offered $6.6 million to purchase the Links at Crowbush Cove golf course from the province of Prince Edward Island, but the government says it won't make any decisions on the courses until at least the fall.
The Island developer has sent a formal offer letter and a deposit cheque for $50,000.
Premier Robert Ghiz has long been an advocate of selling off the four provincially owned courses. As opposition leader in 2006, he responded to the November speech from the throne by saying "selling the golf courses is long past due."
The government is responding to the Banks offer by saying it's not ready to let go of Crowbush, or any other provincial golf course yet.
But Banks told CBC News Monday he hasn't had a direct reply to his offer, and it's time for the government to make a move on the golf courses.
"The province should get out of the golf business," said Banks.
"They did their job; we are a destination golf province now. At this particular point I don't think there's any reason why they should stay in the golf business."
Province could hold on to courses. But government has put its plans to sell P.E.I.'s four provincially owned golf courses on hold while it conducts a formal evaluation to find out what they are worth.
Tourism Minister Valerie Docherty said government won't be accepting any offers until that evaluation is complete this fall. At that time, the province will issue a request for interest.
Docherty said anyone making offers should have all the facts.
"[Tim Banks] may have gathered some things on his own, but he does not have all the facts, nor would he be able to have access to all the information," she said.
"He is more than welcome [this fall.] When we put the RFI out we will certainly entertain his."
The government is leaving all its options open while it evaluates the courses. It could decide to sell them, to lease them, or even keep them.

Great Idea for a great Canadian...

Sir "John A" was Canada's first Prime Minister and ran under the banner of a Liberal Conservative which fits well somewhere in the genes of all Islanders and I think it’s very fitting that the City which hosted Confederation should promote this great Canadian...
Canada's first prime minister will grace downtown Charlottetown next year
The Guardian
A new sculpture of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, will be gracing downtown Charlottetown by next summer. Tourism Charlottetown, in partnership with several other organizations, just put out a request for proposals for artists to create a three-dimensional, life-size bronze sculpture of the famous politician. It’s one of many projects that will be announced by a committee made up of Tourism Charlottetown, the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, Downtown Charlottetown Inc., the City of Charlottetown, and local resident Mike Murphy.The committee is working on a historic streetscape and signage program for Charlottetown, with 75 per cent of the funding coming from the federal government’s Confederation Birthplace Initiative, said Kim Green, CEO of Tourism Charlottetown. John A. Macdonald was chosen for the sculpture because he had an impact on Charlottetown, said Green.“John A. Macdonald was very instrumental in expanding the Charlottetown Conference into more than just a Maritime union discussion, and he was central in forming Canada. So we felt that he was an integral person to sculpt, to bring that story of Confederation to the streets of Charlottetown.’’The sculpture will be unveiled next May. Green said they’re still trying to decide on a specific spot for it, but it will be downtown, somewhere near Province House. Macdonald will appear as he would have when he attended the Charlottetown Conference in 1864. “The entire committee feels that it should be a very interactive, engaging display, so it will appeal to people to engage with the sculpture, as opposed to maybe just a bust or a head.’’They’d like the sculpture to be playful, said Green.“Maybe him sitting on a bench, with his top hat on his lap . . . something like that. That’s up to the artist’s imagination, but we want people to feel that they can come up and touch it and maybe sit with it or stand beside it, but yet, be very authentic at the same time.’’Other projects planned by the committee include 17 interpretive panels throughout the downtown, and signs that will point visitors to various attractions in the city. This is just phase one of the project, said Green, and the committee hopes to unveils plans for future sculptures.

Great effort and good luck on the "no alcohol"...

This Festival is a great boost to local business and a great kick off to the summer. Yes there are some very legitimate complaints from neighbourhood residents and it’s nice to see most of them being addressed and I applaud Kim Green and her Committee for taking the first steps in this important process. But let’s not forget that this is a Festival and the associated concerts are always going to have noise and associated partying go on in conjunction with them. Personally I'm a non drinker so whether or not there is alcohol on site really makes no difference to me but I think it will have big impact on the crowds and there is a good likelihood that the same people who were out of control this year will find a way to get out of control again.
New location, no alcohol, considered for Festival of Lights
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
CBC News
The organizers of Charlottetown's Canada Day celebration, the Festival of Lights, are considering major changes for 2009.Tourism Charlottetown CEO Kim Green is considering making next year's Festival of Lights dry. (CBC)
The annual festival is currently held at Confederation Landing on the waterfront adjacent to what is largely a residential district. This year, rowdy behaviour, including 12 reported assaults and 75 liquor-related charges, led to a lot of complaints from local residents.
"The number one thing on our agenda is to find an alternate location," said Tourism Charlottetown CEO Kim Green.
The top contender for a new venue is an abandoned oil tank farm on the waterfront at the foot of the Hillsborough Bridge. The idea was first made public a year ago.
"We have been in discussions with Imperial Oil for some time, along with our counterparts, CADC, and we're looking at hopefully using that land for all of the major events in the city," said Green.
While somewhat separated from residential areas, the property does have potential problems. The soil is likely contaminated, requiring an expensive clean up, and it is right next to a Maritime Electric generating station, a potential hazard for concert goers.
Green is also proposing that revenue from the festival be diverted to helping the city pay for more security on surrounding city streets, and for staff to clean up in the early morning hours after concerts.
"We certainly realize that there are security and policing issues outside of the site and we're empathetic to the city residents," said Green.
"We are willing to increase our ticket prices, our service charges, and give incremental funding so that we can put additional security on the streets of Charlottetown."
What could be the biggest change is a proposal to stop serving alcohol on the festival site. A series of meetings with the city, local businesses and residents will take place this week, and notices are being circulated among downtown residents to encourage participation.
"I think it's a very important cause," said resident Mary McDonald.
"We want to make sure that everybody who lives in this community feels supported and our needs are met and heard."
The meetings will explore not only the challenges of staging the Festival of Lights, but how to address those challenges without cutting into the revenues the festival raises as the unofficial launch of the high tourism season.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crowbush, not for sale?

Well I tried to buy it but I couldn't get a bite out of Government, in fact they never even bothered to respond. See attached offer /CrowbushOffer.tif
For years I've heard various Governments and Opposition parties talking about selling PEI's golf courses so I made an offer to the previous Government and they never responded and now an official offer to this Government and I got the same response, nothing. It seems pretty simple to me. The Government is losing a pile of money running these courses and getting absolutely no return on their value and as time goes on they are driving the "brand" into the ground. They probably could have got $20 million plus for them a few years ago but the market has changed and private operators in our neighbouring Provinces have built courses like Fox Creek, Fox Harbour, Glen Arbour, etc... complete with home sites that compete head on with Crowbush. Thirteen years ago Crowbush was at the top of the pack but today you hardly ever hear anything about it in the golf rating magazines and local clubs like Eagles Glen, Anderson's Creek, New Glasgow, etc...have as good an offering, at a much lower price. Government did its job of making PEI a golf destination and now Government should step aside and let private enterprise bring some new fresh ideas and investment back to these courses. Take a good look at my offer, I didn't want to get it for nothing and in fact I wanted the Government to publicly tender the sale so it would be transparent for all Islanders to see what the real value is not what some "consultant" thinks it's worth. Surely our Government could find some use for the money they would get out of the sale and at the same time stop the bleeding...

Kudos To Danny and Martie...

Danny and Martie Murphy sure put on a great show and I can tell you it takes a lot of hard work something that neither of them are afraid of. Their generosity to many organizations both locally and nationally is very impressive. They continue to offer up Gingerwood (their home) to many needy organizations and they along with their friends dig in to help raise money for these charities through dinners and live entertainment. Martie has taken her love of horses to a new level in Atlantic Canada and we all look forward to what I expect will become a bigger and better event each year and again Danny and Martie will plough the proceeds back into their children’s camp. If you can't make one of the many fund raising events that take place at Gingerwood here's your opportunity to take in some events and visit their beautiful estate. All the best Danny and Martie on your upcoming event...
Largest Atlantic outdoor equestrian events set for Gingerwood Farms

The Guardian
Canada’s largest outdoor equestrian events will be held at Gingerwood Farms in Stanhope later this month.World-class competitors from Canada and the United States will be taking part in the Stanhope Equestrian Challenge, which runs from July 28-30, followed by the third annual Gingerwood Charity Classic Aug. 1-3. Heather Lafontaine, one of the 2007 competitors from Maine, has registered for both shows this year. She has high praise for the Island events. She said she travels to the Gingerwood shows because of the quality of the services, the beautiful venue and the outstanding competition.“The Stanhope Equestrian challenge and the Gingerwood Charity Classic are equal or superior in every way to shows that we go to in Boston and other venues in New England. P.E.I. is the highlight of our competitive season.”Danica Ellis, the 2007 Grand Prix Champion and her horse Agent Scully, will return to Gingerwood as well to defend their title. “Outdoor equestrian events are a family activity — everyone can wear comfortable clothes, you are in the country and show jumping is an exciting spectator sport that young and old alike can enjoy,” says a news release issued by the organizers.Last year, the shows drew a crowd of over 10,000 over the six days. Admission is $5 per car and all proceeds support a worthwhile cause, the Oak Acres Children’s Camp. Those interested in watching the competition are invited to come to Gingerwood at Route 25 and Route 6 in Stanhope Beach. There will be a country canteen and transportation for anyone needing assistance to get around on the property. There will be pony rides from 2-4 p.m. daily sponsored by Millstream Trail Rides. There is a market place open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring Island artisans, retailers and tack shops from across the region.Over 100 volunteers from Stanhope and surrounding area work for weeks in advance to prepare for the show and participate in all aspects of the events from parking to ring crew. The show organizers believe that a summer camp experience can give a child “a leg up” for life and are committed to ensuring that more than 450 Island kids attend Oak Acres each summer.

Again, No Suprise Here....

I wish it wasn't true but I'm afraid they are right and I suspect the numbers overall are down significantly and then we're going to see a lot of blaming going on with most of it at Government which I don't think is fair. Bottom line is I think that the operators themselves have to reinvest and focus on above average service levels and this is how we can start to get visitors coming back to PEI. There is nothing stronger than word of mouth and that usually starts with some experience going right or wrong and we all have to start trying to get it right if we expect to lure people here. Hopefully the next few weeks will get better for our operators but asking a tourist to bring their own towels seems a little out there...the Confederation Centre is a great model for PEI and David MacKenzie and his staff seem to be increasing revenue every year by reinvesting and trying new things...the new COWS factory being developed by Scott Linkletter will be a great addition to PEI...and I'm sure there are lots of other great opportunities but in the end it will all boil down to service and good value...
Cavendish tourism suffering

Thursday, July 17, 2008
CBC News
Despite fabulous weather for tourists this month, tourism operators in Cavendish say visitors are not coming to visit P.E.I.'s premier resort town.
Vacancy signs are a common sight throughout the town. Hotel, campground and shop owners are all suffering. Even tourists are noticing the difference.
"When we took a tour around the Island, we noticed a lot of the hotels and motels had vacancy signs on them," tourist Tony Mansfield, who was visiting from Ontario, told CBC News Wednesday.
"I always thought it was fully packed when we came here, so it was a little bit of a surprise to see that."
Most people in the area blame gas prices for the shortfall.
Rose Pescod was visiting from Edmonton, but grew up on the Island. Her family has been coming to Cavendish for many years, and she believes the closure of the popular Rainbow Valley theme park is a factor in keeping families away.
"It was one of the favourite spots for myself, my family and my brothers and sisters," said Pescod. "I'm from a family of 12 so there were a lot of people here at Rainbow Valley from my family."
Businesses cutting back
The slowdown has forced some significant cuts for some businesses. White Sands Cottages has cut its towel service to save a bit of money.
"What we ask people to do when we take their reservation, we ask them to bring their own towels and to take care of maintaining and cleaning," said Chris Opydo of White Sands Cottages.
Garth Matheson, who has worked in Cavendish every summer for the last 16 years, said he can't remember the last time the town was so empty.
"Over the years, I've talked to a lot of people from all over the world," said Matheson.
"Them times they used to come for a week, maybe two weeks. But now they're staying two, maybe three days. I have yet to hear anyone say this year that they're staying for a week."
The province has taken note of the problems in Cavendish. The Department of Tourism is in collecting hard numbers on how many people are staying in Cavendish and for how long.
A report outlining that information is due to be released next week.

Homestead, my ass...it's a rental

Where do these people come up with these crazy ideas? To think a trailer park site is a Homestead (a dwelling with its land and buildings, occupied by the owner as a home and exempted by a homestead law from seizure or sale for debt) seems to be stretching it a bit. Simply put the MacEachern's own their land and they lease it to someone on a monthly bases and if they, as the owners, decide they want to redevelop it and move everyone off of it then that is their choice. Where the story gets even sillier is Ms. MacArthur implying that a condominium is going to "bring too much traffic and garbage with it" and that "my property value is going to go down" all of which I'm sure the lady has not based on any real facts. In 99% of the cases like this a condo development usually brings up the property value especially when it is replacing a trailer park.
Trailer park residents fear forced removal
Thursday, July 17, 2008
CBC News
Approval for a condominium on the site of Idlewheels Trailer Court has some residents of the Charlottetown trailer park worried about where they will go when they receive eviction notices.
The trailer park on Mt. Edward Road has been a neighbourhood fixture for many years, mostly hidden from the street by mature trees. But the owner, L and A MacEachern, has other plans for the property. It wants to build a condominium. Some of the residents fear when that happens, they won't be able to sell their trailers and will have nowhere to go.
"There's nothing anybody can do about it," Irene Saunders, who has been living at Idlewheels for six years, told CBC News this week.
"You're going to lose your homestead. It's not very nice what they're doing to us. If I knew that, I would never have moved here in the first place."
Council rejected plans
City council rejected plans for apartments on the trailer-park land in February. At the time, Saunders thought her worries were over. But unbeknownst to the residents, L and A MacEachern appealed the city's decision to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, and won.
L and A MacEachern owner Ken MacEachern said he doesn't know when the apartments will go up.
Saunders said she doesn't know what she will do when she gets her six-month notice to leave, because she says all the mobile home parks she has looked into are full.
Resident Elwood Coakes also worries he will have nowhere to go, and doesn't know what he will do with his trailer.
"Just give it to somebody, or put it on somebody's land and sell it. It's better than bulldozers taking it away," said Coakes.
Some neighbours are also concerned about the plans.
Lynn McArthur and her husband own three houses across from the trailer park. She says the new development will bring too much traffic and garbage with it.
"My property value is going to go down," she said.
"It's going to be really hard to sell, because eventually these are all going to go apartment buildings down this street."
The city has not appealed IRAC's decision, but the public will get one more chance to comment when the developer applies for a building permit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crowbush Champion "Lenny" stole my trophy....

What happened to Billy McGuire, he's out there every day??? Congradulations Lenny, I was gunning for you but they booted me off. Looks like a liberal sand bagger was the overall net champion. Hopefully I can make a stab at it next year, as I hand delivered to Government an offer to buy the place (surely if someone else bought it they would want members) and I could get back on...
Crowbush Club Championship 2008
Congratulations to the winners at the Club Championship:
Overall Club Champion - Len Doucette
Ladies Champion - Catherine Brown
Overall Net Champion - Walter Bradley
A Division Champion - Len Doucette
B Division Champion - Shawn Ryan
C Division Champion - Walter Bradley
Seniors Champion - Walter Bradley

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Surprise Here...every Town has one.

It's unfortunate that so many people have worked so hard to pull this event off but like a lot of our Island tourist attractions these type of events are getting pretty tired and have run their course. Woodleigh Replicas and our Island lobster suppers are prime examples...today's tourist is looking for something different and whatever that is it has to be delivered up with service. Kids today want excitement not heritage and their parents want "fine dining" not delivered up on plywood tables. We need to rethink our tourism strategy as I just don't think "Gentle" is going to do it as everyone is looking for a bigger bang out of their buck. Maybe if we reinvested in our beaches and starting promoting them again it would help...every Town has a Carnival but no one has beaches like we have on PEI...
Attendance down at Summerside Lobster Carnival
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
CBC News
Officials with the Summerside Lobster Carnival, which just finished its 54th year, say some major changes are needed to bring back the crowds.
'Maybe people just don't have the money or we have lost some of our appeal.'— Vance Bridges, carnival past president
Audiences for the talent contest and ticket sales for the midway were down 50 per cent. Vance Bridges, past president of the carnival and one of the organizers of this year's event, called the attendance a disappointment.
"We don't really have all the answers for it but I can tell you that certainly the economy in some ways has a bearing," said Bridges.
"Maybe people just don't have the money or we have lost some of our appeal, but we're having to have some debriefing meetings pretty soon and start to address immediately some of the concerns that we have."
The carnival, which was held last week, was a little earlier than previous years. Bridges said it will likely be moved next year to dates later in the month of July.
Attendance for the centerpiece of the carnival, the lobster suppers run by the Legion, was very good, Bridges said.

We now have canned pop, we should "can" IRAC..

What a bunch of crap and I'm sure those guys at IRAC will swallow it up and screw the consumer even further. There is a better system than IRAC and its called "free enterprises" and if we "canned" IRAC we would save MILLION$ and we have a lot more choices at the pumps...
Price at the pumps could change more often

The Guardian
If the P.E.I. Petroleum Marketers’ Association Inc. gets its way the prices at the pumps may soon be allowed to change every week on Prince Edward Island.The association has applied to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC) for weekly pricing adjustments for petroleum products sold in the province.In a submission made earlier this month, the association states that “marketers are at the mercy of the global market in terms of product cost, but often find themselves unable to market the product in a regulated environment at a price that provides reasonable returns for the considerable effort and investment required to operate this type of business.’’The association also notes that IRAC’s current policy of reviewing prices twice monthly is not sufficient to address the “volatility of petroleum product costs in today’s marketplace.’’The association requests that the regulatory body review the application and move to implement the change as soon as possible, in time for the upcoming heating season. IRAC will determine the necessity of a public hearing into this application following receipt of written comments.Any person wishing to comment on the filing can do so by writing to the Commission at: IRAC, P.O. Box 577, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L1 or by e-mail at info@irac.pe.ca.IRAC moved from monthly to biweekly reviews for possible price adjustments in December 2005.“It would have reflected the more volatile world market pricing and being more responsive to cost increases faced by wholesalers,’’ said Allison MacEwen, assistant director of the petroleum division of IRAC, said of the move at the time.Regulated markets are places where retail gasoline prices are controlled by provincial governments such as in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.Retail gasoline prices often fluctuate in response to free market forces such as competition, wholesale market influences and the impact of world prices for crude oil, notes the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute. “It is generally recognized that regulations cannot influence the worldwide fundamentals of gasoline — a commodity whose price is determined in a continental market that is greatly influenced by worldwide events,’’ the institute states on its website.“However, regulation can be used to inhibit below-cost selling, guarantee dealer margins and provide a level of retail price stability. Retail prices for gasoline, diesel, heating oil and other petroleum products can be regulated by the provinces. Studies and reviews of price regulation have concluded that an open unregulated marketplace is the best way to ensure competitive prices.’’Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have adopted maximum price regulations that guarantee retail margins and attempt to stabilize pump prices, the Institute stated.

Nice Going Ladies...

Its great to see some our very talented nurses on PEI getting some National recognition, congratulations ladies..
Two Island nurses receive CNA Centennial Awards
The Guardian
Marion Clark, director of nursing, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and Hillsborough Hospital, and Audrey Fraser, associate director of nursing education, QEH, have been awarded the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) Centennial Awards. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Ottawa in November. Clark also received the 2008 CNA Order of Merit for Nursing Policy for Canada at the CNA Biennial Convention in Ottawa recently. This award is one of five Orders of Merit for various areas of nursing practice including policy, research, administration, clinical practice and education. Candidates were nominated by their provincial associations and selected by the Canadian Nurses Association board of directors. “These awards are a prestigious honor and I extend my sincere congratulations to Marion and Audrey who were recognized for their outstanding contributions to nursing,” said Health Minister Doug Currie. “Nurses play an essential role in the health care system and we’re fortunate to have such highly skilled and dedicated nurses here in Prince Edward Island.” The CNA Centennial Awards are a one-time award designed to recognize 100 exceptional registered nurses from across the country, whose personal and professional contributions have made an outstanding and significant impact on the nursing profession.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'll say it again...Sell, Sell, Sell...

There is no guarantee that a warranty will be available in 5 years nor is there any assurance that the manufacturer will even be in business... so why should we Islanders be taking this risk? $47,000,000.00 is a lot of coin for PEI to bet its future on...the following are some comments I made back in May when these turbines started to break down...
There now appears to be lots of private enterprise operators prepared to take the risk of investing in and operating wind farms so it would be a great opportunity for the Province to shed the risk now and sell, sell, sell,... before all the our components fail...I understand why Governments initially invest in new ventures in order prove to the marketplace that there is opportunity here but I never understand why they don't know when to get out? If we sold now we (Islanders) may even make some money for a change.... there are just too many things that can go wrong so let others take the risk.
Wind turbines still down
Monday, July 14, 2008
CBC News
Replacing the gearboxes in six faulty wind turbines at East Point in Prince Edward Island is taking longer than expected.
'We have to go back to the company and recoup these losses.'— Ron Estabrooks, energy advisor
The Vestas turbines were shut down in March after problems were discovered in the gearboxes during routine inspection. Three of the 10 turbines on the site are still not operating.
The province, which owns the wind farm, expected the work to be completed by the end of June. The turbines are under warrantee, and Vestas is paying for the repairs as well as covering for the power lost during the shutdown.
"We have to do the figures on that," Ron Estabrooks, an energy adviser with the province, told CBC News on Friday.
"There's a method to calculate what we would have had in production and of course we do have interruption insurance or a warranty on that. So we have to go back to the company and recoup these losses."
He said the last three turbines should be up and running in the next few weeks. High winds and road closures in late spring slowed down the work at East Point.
The province is two years into its five-year warranty on the Vestas turbines. It costs the province $1 million a year to cover the warranty, operation and maintenance of the site. The capital cost for the wind farm was $47 million.
Estabrooks said the province will likely extend the warranty after five years.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Golf Links...down 20%...."Golf Stinks"

I was down in Brudenell on Friday and one of staff pulled me aside and told me that our Provincial golf courses are down on average by 20% ...now I hope they were pulling my leg but there doesn't seem to be many people around. I'm sure glad they booted me out of my tee time so they could give it to that long list of people lined up at 6:30 am. Those gals and guys at "Golf Stinks" still have their heads up their consultants ass and soon they'll have no one showing up to play...can you imagine a golf course with "no members please", well PEI has one and it's called Dundarave and there is no one playing it.... strike up another few million dollar loss for our PEI taxpayers!! Now they are making a similar mess of Crowbush and they don't want any members there either... it's too bad they wouldn't let Greg and Ryan do their jobs and stay out of their way.

Much Ado About Nothing.....

I just found a great video of Ronnie and Mike Currie going "toe to toe" inside the Legislature http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p9I64E_1X4 a must watch!!!
Opposition calls shale shipments a scandal
Friday, July 11, 2008
CBC News
P.E.I.'s Opposition says dozens of people are calling its office over news the provincial government accepted and paid for 300 loads of shale, even though most were overweight.
According to provincial policy, the loads should not only not have been paid for, but the companies should have been fined.
Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley told CBC News on Thursday his department needs more resources to enforce the rules, that there is no one at the weigh station to write a ticket and the readings on those scales would not hold up in court.
The auditor general is investigating MacKinley's department for accepting and paying for the shale. The person who sold the shale is a relative of MacKinley's.
Opposition transportation critic Mike Currie said Islanders want to know why no fines will be issued in this case.
He is calling on the premier to step in and take control of what the Opposition is calling "a scandal."
MacKinley said there's only one car available to Highway Safety to carry out enforcement.
Industry is calling for more enforcement, and MacKinley said he wants to put another car on the road.

Kudos To Brad and the guys....

I had the good fortune of being invited to play in the Brad Richards Celebrity Golf Classic and even better I got to play with Grant Marshall. It was a beautiful day and the volunteers from the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Autism Society of P.E.I. were in full force helping Golf Links put together a very exciting day for all those involved. Like a lot of the celebrities who came to PEI to support Brad on this very worthy cause, Grant Marshall was a class act. He's an excellent golfer and was very polite and courteous to us hackers but where he stood out was when he came across some of the kids who were guests of the host charities. In every case he offered up conversation and autographs and in one case Grant asked a very "talkative" young Darcy (shown in the attached picture) to walk with us from the tee to green and then Grant helped Darcy make our putt. The whole group of kids followed and roared with excitement as we teed off from the next hole. Everywhere we went we were welcomed by an appreciate group of volunteers and not to be out done where all the celebrities who were very enthusiastic and went out of their way to pay attention to all the kids. Brad's Mom and Dad must be really proud of their son as this is a great thing he is doing for the charities and all Islanders should be very thankful for having such a great young man as one of our Island ambassadors. Next year if you're looking for something exciting to do, then take the day off and go to the Brad Richards Celebrity Golf Classic.... just walk around following some of the kids and you'll have a great day...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Crowbush, a beautiful day...no speed bumps and no people?

We were at St. Ann's last night and afterwards took a drive through Cavendish stopping at Cow's Ice Cream and in both cases there weren't a lot of tourists around for the 4th of July. I called Golf Links yesterday and it was relatively easy to get an early morning tee time at Crybush which is usually quite tough to get this time of year. When we were teeing off at hole 13 we noticed there were very few cars in the parking lot. I also understand Crowbush and the other Provincial courses are down considerably this year which is all the more reason they should sell them and get the hell out of the business. This afternoon is the first round of the club championship and since I got booted out I'll probably just cry at home tonight and think about what kind of offer I'll have to put forward to buy my way back on. Good news is they finally got rid of the speed bumps on the driveway into the course which should allow someone to get to my 6:30 am tee time quicker. On another note my game sucked today so if I do buy it I think one of the first things I'll do is hire a Club Pro and take a few lessons...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Seeing Red....

I had a business colleague in town this evening from Ontario so my wife and I offered to take him out to a lobster supper so we headed up to St. Ann's Lobster Suppers as my wife was there last fall and had a good meal. Unfortunately that was not the case this evening as I didn't have a good experience. We were hungry so my wife and colleague each ordered a 1 1/2 lb lobster while I decided to go for the big 2 pounder. Our "pay before you eat" bill came to staggering $137.41 and before we could get to our seat the cashier asked if we wanted to "add a tip on" before we got our meal. I had always thought a "tip" was something that was earned after you delivered above average service not something you "toni" up before you sit down. We were surprised to learn that the mussels and chowder (just fair) was limited to one each but I was more than annoyed when the waiter showed up with two 1 pound lobster instead of the "2 pound fresh in the shell" lobster that I had paid for. The others didn't get a 1 1/2 lobster as they were presented with a 1 pounder and a couple of extra claws. (I had the very same experience at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers last year) The young waiter politly tried to explain that this was all they had as they only served 1 pound lobsters, yet their menu clearly states other options which the consumers expects to get. Call me stupid but how do we Islanders ever expect to sustain a viable tourism industry if we are going to hoodwink people like this. This is clearly false advertising but if you want to see what a big 2 pounder looks like visit their web site to see a picture of some but don't expect to see one on your plate. I was so annoyed that I told them to keep their lobsters while my wife and colleague poked fun at me for being so stubborn and they laughed at me all the way home. I can't help it as I can't stand it when we try and dupe our Island guests. I may as well fill my boots... the rolls were just fair (not fresh) and if you have room for another piece of pie...expect to pay. The young waiter was great (I left a $10 tip) and the lady managing the dining room was very nice and she offered to refund my meal but I think the owners have to give their staff some new latitude to make improvements. If they don't do something soon then St. Ann's will have to change their slogan to "World Famous One Pound Lobsters" and every thing else..is extra. As I previously said I had a similar experience at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers last year so maybe you should try Fisherman's Wharf for a much better meal deal...
The following is from St. Ann's website;
St. Ann's Parish has successfully received guests since 1964. We are designated as one of the "World's Famous Lobster Suppers". Lobster is king, but we also feature a choice of entrees and a children's menu. We serve meals that have made us world renowned. Our excellent quality home cooked food and friendly service makes dining at St. Ann's an enjoyable experience!
St. Ann's Church, located in Hope River Prince Edward Island is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown. The present church was constructed in 1954 by Father E. Dalton; it is the seventh in less than 130 years! In 1963, Father Denis Gallant, the pastor at the time, decided to serve Lobster Dinners in the basement of the church to raise money to help pay off the existing $35,000 mortgage. Early the next year, the church basement was setup to serve approximately one hundred per sitting while only open one day per week. A full course Lobster Dinner in 1964 cost $1.50 (Lobster was $0.50 cents per pound cooked)!
Today, our food is still prepared fresh daily by the ladies of our community. During the peak of our season we employ approximately thirty local people, whose dedication makes St. Ann's Lobster Suppers a huge success.
Open Mid June till Late September
Fully Licensed
Air Conditioned Dining
Hours of Operation 4:00pm - 8:30pm daily, closed on Sunday
Interac, Visa and Master Card Accepted

Thursday, July 3, 2008

See IRAC guys...they'll do whatever you want!!!

I wonder if that exclusive Club (retail gas dealers association) went back to providing the customers with some services like pumping the gas for their customers they could manage their own problems. They don't want to let the competition in and they don't want to provide any service and now they want us to pay up front. All they have to do is go to IRAC and they could probably get an order for us to deposit the money to their account first? I always buy my gas at one of Shell Stations in the City as they still pump my gas and they're friendly too. Yes you may pay a few pennies more but you are supporting employment here.
Force payment up front, say gas retailers
Thursday, July 3, 2008
CBC News
With incidents of gasoline theft increasing, some retailers on P.E.I. are calling for legislation to force consumers to pay for fuel before they start pumping.
Jeff Doucette, manager of Mel's Quickmart on St. Peter's Road, told CBC News on Wednesday he has a gas-and-dash incident about once every two weeks — significantly from last year. He believes provincial legislation requiring payment upfront is the only way to stop the problem.
"I think it will come to that," said Doucette.
"There seems to be no relief in the price of gas, so something is going to have to be done."
Every theft takes a big chunk out of Doucette's profits. Retailers make only about four cents a litre profit on gas, regardless of price. At current prices, that means having to sell 33 tanks full to make up for one run-off.
Dave Mader, executive director of the P.E.I. Retail Gasoline Dealers Association, also believes new measures are needed to stop gasoline theft.
"With the price of gas being what it is today, and what some say it's going to be in the months and years from now, we certainly can expect that we're going to see more and more drive-offs unless we can take some kind of measures to control it," said Mader.
At the same time, Mader believes it may not yet be time for government to step in. He would like to see retailers take other measures first, such as installing more video cameras and having attendants be more visible.
British Columbia recently became the first province to force people to pay before they pump, and New Brunswick is reviewing its legislation.

Whoever made the Ocean Choice deal should be charged...

I can’t believe any Government would sign this type of exclusivity. Whoever is responsible for signing such an exclusive deal should be charge for squandering the right to free enterprise. Who in their right mind would have signed such a deal to take away other processors rights to make a living. I’m sure they have some strange way of justifying their decisions but I’m all for opening up our industries and businesses to compete against one another and that is what Ocean Choice should have to do. Kudos to Mr. Wall and any other processor for going forward.
Illegal lobster processing charges laid
Thursday, July 3, 2008
CBC News
The owner of the Howard's Cove fish plant in western P.E.I. has been charged with illegally processing lobster.
The province said it had inspectors in the plant on several occasions over the last six weeks and observed lobsters being processed, and the plant does not have a licence for that.
Howard's Cove is a former Polar Foods plant that once did process lobster. Polar went bankrupt in 2004 and was purchased by the province.
Polar was sold to the N.L. company Ocean Choice, and part of the agreement was if any new lobster processing licences were issued, the province would have to forgive a $14-million loan.
Ocean Choice kept two of the Polar plants operating, but not Howard's Cove, which was eventually taken over by Roger Wall.
Wall will enter a plea to the charges on July 16. Several lobster fishermen have indicated support for Wall, claiming there isn't enough competition for lobster, and that's one the reasons prices were so low this spring.