NEW BRUNSWICK LETTER

C

From Dennis Atchison

 

Dear Rest of Canada,

Will anyone ever be grateful again?

I know national news is skewed, especially what we get here in Atlantic Canada – “Hey guys, we’re over here … just the other side of Quebec … honest,” you can hear us say. It’s ok, we get it … too small by population, too small by geography, and based on what coverage that does happen it is easy to believe nothing much happens here.

But look at what happens in the rest of the country and you would get the impression everything is one big fight. Not a drop of gratitude to be found.

Jason Kenney and Alberta continue to be upset with Quebec first, and Ottawa second. Poor Alberta now that the infamous Heritage Fund is long gone, that which was supposed to solidify Alberta’s economic independence forever.

Ontario and Mr. Ford stumble along … good covid strategy, bad covid strategy, no covid strategy according to how media tell the story.  Always frustrations with Ottawa (doesn’t matter much who is the government of the day it seems), and always not enough money. Never enough money.

Quebec is often left completely off the English national media landscape. Why is that?  British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba seem to be doing ok, but who really knows from a two-minute clip at best. As for our Northern family of Canadians … nothing, nada, rien.

So tucked away east of Quebec – Quebec is as effective a block as the Rocky mountains is for British Columbia – the four of us “smaller” provinces just do what we do.  Speaking of small, consider … we have the first, second and fourth most densely populated provinces in the country (P.E.I., N.S., N.B.).
(See Here)

Small is grateful

So … this isn’t about small is beautiful … it is about small is grateful. We are grateful we are small. We know each other. Meet anyone new to you and within two minutes you will have found a connection. Sometimes this is good … sometimes not so good (too many ex-girlfriends or boyfriends, eh?).  Regardless, it provides a sense of community … connection.

Our economy? Well, it is not much different from Ontario’s or Quebec’s or anybody else’s. We are all in deep need of a new model to our economy. The existing one has got us into this mess the past forty or fifty years. Sorry you in the business community (in general), but your concept didn’t work out. So time to chuck government subsidies and all that, and let you guys and gals stand on your own two feet. Not any different here in Atlantic Canada.

Oh yes, one other thing. Literally hundreds and hundreds of Ontario and Alberta types are buying properties in New Brunswick, kicking out the existing tenants, and jacking rent costs to Toronto levels. As our affordable housing and homelessness crisis grows, maybe Ontario should shell out to pay for all the displacement. In Atlantic Canada terms, this is not a “good” business model … someone “wins” and a whole lot of others “lose”.

But here we are, tucked away by the sea and rivers, with land. Did you know New Brunswick has about a million acres of abandoned farmland waiting to be brought back to life? Think we will need food security in the near future as California burns up and Texas gets pummeled by weather?

If there is one over-arching thing about those who live here in Atlantic Canada, it is we are all grateful to be living here. Now wouldn’t that be a great national news story for the rest of Canada to see and hear.

Just don’t get it in your head to come buy the place.

Bye for now from New Brunswick … be good.

x

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