It’s sad the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition is $1 million in debt and it’s even sadder the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission didn’t see this problem approaching and seek help several years ago.
Most, if not all, of us who grew up and lived in rural Nova Scotia loved the exhibition. It was always a special yearly event and a hamburger, no matter how greasy it was, tasted better there than at a gourmet restaurant.
Maybe it was because we got hungry walking our children from barn to barn to see the cattle, horses, sheep, goats, flowers, quilts, photography, machinery displays, and much more that had become a part of our lives. At what we always called the ‘Truro Ex’ we saw the best in the province displayed.
Unfortunately, times have changed. The rural base has been going downhill for the past 40 years and the rural communities that supported the Ex are no longer able to do so.
Also, with the computer age at our fingertips, people of all ages have many more interests to take their time and attention. It’s also much more expensive now to take a family to the Ex. And so it’s inevitable it has to change drastically to meet today’s expectations or close, which will mean the loss of much needed jobs in this area.
But the reality is nostalgia doesn’t pay the bills and there’s so many organizations seeking public funds that taxpayers become weary of supporting them. It’s change or die.
I certainly wish them well in the process and don’t envy them the task ahead even with the wisdom of the new blood they’re seeking to operate the commission.
Maybe looking for some input from the area youth would help a little. They won’t find much youthful input on the local town or county councils (and that’s not a criticism), where they are now seeking help and I can’t imagine many seniors like myself wanting the Ex to encourage the bang, smash, crash music that young people today are willing to pay to enjoy.
But if you want to get the young to spend their money you have to give them what they want and I expect that will take a lot of nose holding by those who’ve been in charge of the Ex for many years.
Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, is feeling sorry for those 93 poor souls who are going to have to move out of Halifax and live in the rural community if they want to keep their executive jobs.
“You can’t suck all that life out of a department and expect it to survive,” she is quoted as saying (Truro Daily News, May 12).
I fail to understand how moving an agricultural executive from Halifax to Truro will suck the life out of the department. It might well put more life into it as Truro has been the agricultural centre of this province for many years.
Likewise in Digby and Shelburne there should be more knowledge of the fishing industry than in downtown Halifax.
With today’s technology they can do anything in Truro or Shelburne that they can in Halifax and Jessome knows that. She’s just posturing to her members.
I congratulate Premier Darrell Dexter for moving them out. He deserves a lot of credit for making this decision and it must have taken quite a bit of courage to do it. I hope this is just a first for the government.
Previous governments have for years turned a blind eye to the plight of rural Nova Scotia and did nothing to help it develop and stop the exodus of people to the cities and other provinces.
It’s fine for rural people to have to pull up stakes and go to Fort McMurray to make enough money to keep their family, but it’s a calamity in Jessome’s eyes for a government executive to go to Truro or New Waterford.
The disbursement of the higher ups in the government departments and their staff should have begun years ago. If these executives decide they don’t want to come, and some might because it is a drastic change in lifestyle for their families, they can be replaced and the moon and the sun will still rise in the heavens and the government will still go on.
Many greats have left this world and it still continues to flourish. The government departments will too with or without all of their executives being based in Halifax.
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is quoted as saying “there is no bad job; the only bad job is not having a job.”
What a crock.
There are employers who are miserable to work for and there’s employees who can make an employer’s life miserable.
How many of our citizens here in Truro and area have worked all their lives and don’t have a pension? How many others have small pensions not indexed and the continuing increases in the cost of living decreases their spending power every year?
While these people struggle to pay for food, power and medicine, they see their former employers spending six months of the year basking in the warmth of the sunny U.S.A.
And what about the women in the RCMP who are now rebelling about alleged abuse they suffered in their career? Or the youth working at minimum wage jobs who see their hours cut and their employers hire foreign workers and telling the world they can’t get local help or that the locals are too lazy to work? No wonder we have youth protests.
It’s easy to understand why the ordinary citizen gets fed up listening to politicians. And no wonder Dexter is worried about the Conservative government’s 430-page budget bill that will redefine suitable employment in an attempt to cut out those who would use Employment Insurance as an income for as long as possible rather than looking for work.
It’s important that in an effort to get rid of the cheaters who should be gotten rid of they don’t, as the old saying goes, throw the baby out with the bath water. Not having enough income to properly feed and care for your family has to be one terrible nightmare.
If we were all educated, in good health, wealthy or otherwise had the ability to move from place to place we might be able to avoid using employment insurance.
But, that’s not the case and sometimes people are dependent on seasonal work. If this bill goes through without amendments the Atlantic Provinces will suffer so it’s very important that Dexter gets his point across.
Hattie Dyck is a longtime journalist and author of several books. She lives in Valley.