In Celebration Of Provincial Welfare

Canada is a dysfunctional country that has turned the concept of self-respect and self reliance on it's ear.

Newfoundland/Labrador and Nova Scotia (two of Canada’s 4 Maritime provinces) scored big in the Canadian handout sweepstakes this past week.

Premier Williams of Newfoundland/Labrador complained bitterly about losing his province’s Canadian welfare check, in spite of Newfoundland/Labrador’s enormous new energy (oil) revenues, to the point that he ordered all Canadian flags to be taken down from provincial buildings until the continuance of his province’s welfare checks were guaranteed.

And it worked!

But not just for Newfoundland/Labrador, but also for Nova Scotia which has huge natural gas deposits. So on Valentine’s Day, Prime Minister Paul Martin signed the agreement with Newfoundland/Labrador and Nova Scotia to keep them on national welfare in spite of their energy wealth.

The smiles of the two provincial Premiers and Canada’s Prime minister were radiant. And why shouldn’t they be, since this deal will probably buy all of them votes?

But I’m not happy. The money Prime Minister Paul Martin is so fast and loose with belongs partly to me. It’s money his federal government took out of my pocket so he can play the part of “Daddy Big Bucks”.

Every province in Canada with the exception of Ontario (where I live) and Alberta are broke. Soon, British Columbia will once again be in the black. Otherwise though, when the 4 Maritime Provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec are screaming for their welfare, it’s not Ottawa putting up the money, it’s Ontario and Alberta.

I’ve yet to hear any of Canada’s welfare provinces say thank you to either Ontario or Alberta. And more remarkable, neither Ontario nor Alberta have serious political clout in proportion to our wealth and economic support for the rest of Canada.

Quebec, the biggest welfare recipient in Canada twists Ottawa around its little finger as it rakes in Ontario’s and Alberta’s money. But more than that, Ontario and Alberta give the money with barely a whimper.

Well I’m whimpering. I moved to Ontario from Quebec 4 ½ years ago to get away from super high taxes and a welfare attitude where unions and bureaucrats rule the roost with the money of other provinces.

And now that I’m in Ontario, it burns me to no end that a substantial portion of my income, which should go to better social services, roads and LESS TAXES in Ontario, goes to welfare provinces in Canada without the good manners to even say thank you.

It also pisses me off that Paul Martin beams as he writes the provincial welfare checks with my money. And it is incredibly telling that the charity recipients take photo opportunities while they accept our charity.

You would think that someone on the “dole” would be somewhat ashamed to be seen taking the welfare. But not Canada’s Premiers. No siree-Bob. Being on welfare seems to be part of the Canadian way, from the youngest and poorest amongst us, all the way up to our provincial leaders.

Canada is a dysfunctional country that has turned the concept of self-respect and self reliance on it’s ear.

When I was young, my parents were really poor. There were many a day when breakfast was oatmeal, lunch was akin to Kraft dinner and supper was cheap hamburger meat and potatoes.

New clothing to me and my older sister were hand-me-downs without holes or stains from cousins. My bicycle was a concoction of parts put together from other bicycles. And summer camp was what we made of it playing in the back-alley-ways of our poor Outremont community.

As poor as we were, we never went looking for a handout. And we never took charity. As a matter of fact, it was my mother and father who would give to people whom they thought were poor. And as little as there sometimes was in the refrigerator, there was always enough for another mouth.

We were poor. But that was our problem. And it was something we dealt with ourselves. And it was something we never advertised. It was a part of our life we kept at home. It was nothing to be proud or ashamed of. It was just the way it was.

Through hard work and entrepreneurship, my parents elevated their financial position to become members of the middle class. They bought a car, an inexpensive but brand new home in Chomedey Laval, and all the other trappings associated with middle income success. Nonetheless, it was always tough, and my parents lived between paychecks.

For them, there were never RRSP’s, RIF’s, Stocks, Bonds, Securities or even whole life insurance. They got by as best they could while raising three children without ever putting their hand out for charity.

When my folks died, some of their friends and neighbors approached me and suggested that my sisters and I must have made a lot of money from their legacy.

What we got from the legacy of my parents was personal pride and respect.

They didn’t know what my parents had or didn’t have. But they assumed that my parents had plenty because we appeared to live well, and they never complained to anyone.

It’s really too bad that this type of pride isn’t part of any of our many governments.

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