Prince Albert Voice
Are you the last of the big-time spenders? Or do you hang onto your dollar coins so tight the loon screams?
We Canadians, I would have to say, are not, in general, very thrifty. The standard of living of the average household, compared with the ones of my childhood and early adult years, is absolutely astounding. The size and grandeur of the houses and vehicles, the quantity of indoor and outdoor furnishings, appliances and adult “toys” amaze me. And though I like to consider myself non-materialistic, I see that somehow over the many decades I have accumulated quite a pile of goods and chattels.
Esther and I camped at Narrow Hills this past August and as usual took the Esker trail. I couldn’t help thinking then of all the dumb jokes people from other provinces make about Saskatchewan.
You’ve heard them all I’m sure. “Saskatchewan is so flat you can watch your dog run away for 3 days…Saskatchewan people get nosebleeds driving across overpasses.” And worse.
Are you ready for a little scolding, a bit of “tunin’ in”? Well, ready or not, here it comes:
“Canada throws away more garbage per capita than any other country in the developed world”, says the Conference Board of Canada website. It scolds us for using more energy and water than most countries. It gives us the second lowest rating of 17 countries for environmental performance. Numerous other websites as well want to take us to the woodshed for overly high consumption, high spending, throwaway habits and general wastefulness.
During my years as a teacher I sometimes gave after-hours help to students who were struggling with certain concepts. Once I approached a grade nine girl just after she had again performed dismally on a geography quiz. It just didn’t seem right to me that anyone should go through life under the illusion that the Nile River flows through Edmonton or that the Precambrian Shield is a heavy-metal rock band.
Most PA Shopper and Northern Express readers (including me) reside within the northern grain belt (including PA) or the boreal forest. And we often travel through the borderland between those regions. For that reason Elinor Florence’s new novel Wildwood, though set in Alberta’s Peace River country, should appeal to us.