Clock works to influence perception and reality

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Outport News - Dave White

As snow and ice of the waning winter continue to give way to the sun and mud showers (rain, drizzle and fog) of waxing spring, the long nights of the cold season so yield to daylight savings time this weekend.

Be sure to turns your clocks ahead one hour, and don’t forget to change the batteries in your home smoke detectors.

Technically, clocks are to spring forward overnight Saturday, 2 a.m. Sunday workers ought set them before bedtime. Others may choose to wait until the next morning to save the daylight until the next night.

Time’s looking up

While we won’t count Old Man out just yet, official springtime does come at the vernal equinox (a time of equal day and night when the sun rises and sets due east and west) 8:32 a.m. NDT on March 20 this year. By then, the sun will not set until after 7 o’clock and come about a minute later each evening until Sept. 22.

In the meantime, that perceived lost hour of sleep which will be felt by some at the chronicled changeover this weekend is just that, a perception, much like DST is generally thought to make for longer days when, in fact, the added hour on our clocks just exchanges earlier sunrise for later sunsets. The length of daylight really does increase until the arrival of the summer solstice in June, and any shortened rest is eventually reclaimed in the fall back to standard time the first Sunday of November.

Perception meets reality

Regardless of our tinkerings with timepieces, an average whole day remains at 24 hours. Even as perception and reality co-mingle, one full rotation of the earth takes just 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds. We are called to adjust the annual calendar every four orbits of the sun with an added day tacked on in February to have leap years.

Likewise, in legal philosophy, justice must not just be done, it must be seen to be to be done.

Perception finds a place in all things, none the least political truth.

Just what the truth is, we can’t say anymore, but there’s the perception at least that some 73,000 unprocessed applicants who have submitted their documented family histories for probable inclusion in the founding Qalipu First Nation, and eventual approval as Canadian Status Indians, may not be receiving equal treatment under provisions of an agreement made with the federal government in 2007.

In view of unclear legal wrangling and the prospect that all elements of the initial agreement and subsequent amendments are not being adhered to, the Qalipu Watch Dogs social media campaign is garnering strong support from individuals and families so affected.

The goal of the registered Watch Dog group, now some 5,000 strong and growing on its Facebook site, is to ensure that all applications submitted through the Qalipu band council are processed with the same due diligence accorded others already approved in due course for eventual inclusion as Status Indians. They stand of the belief that some prior-approved applicants are facing unfair reviews and possible exclusion, while the many Nov. 30, 2012, deadline applicants yet unaffirmed by any means stand to be rejected under rules which they claim have changed from the initial acceptances.

Perceived to be largely influenced by a federal government now lesser inclined to bear the fiduciary and monetary responsibility it holds in the agreement with the Federation of Newfoundland Indians, Watchdog members have been writing federal ministers and Members of Parliament stating their displeasure with the process. Some have been acknowledged.

Meanwhile, and likely more to the point, there exists among Watch Dog online discussions a growing interest in sending a novel message to Ottawa by seriously dissenting in a more practical protest — that being to the 70,000 plus to consider filing federal income tax returns this year as Non-Status Indians.

Hence, any entertained notion by federal governors that this disagreement may wither or be legally clouded unto extinction via the outdated Indian Act and taxpayer-paid lawyers stands to be tested to the fullest.

One thing. Perception nips at your heels. Reality bites.

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