My column in the Globe & Mail Economy Lab today is a straight forward review of average weekly wage data from Statistics Canada’s SEPH monthly survey. There is not much narrative about implications or any broad judgement about what the data means – just an expose outlining how things are changing. Go read the column for yourself and see if it is some kind of left wing diatribe.
With that in mind, I was scrolling through the comments and came across this one from a guy/gal in Calgary (most likely a guy but who knows):
What a surprise that this was written by someone from Moncton. Someone who forgot to end his little tome with the signature salutation: “Oh, and please send money Mother.” …articles like this, are just code for “send the oil money down east”.
This is so fun it deserves a response.
The data is the data. This column could have easily been written by someone from Red Deer. The only difference is that if it was written by an Albertan – it would look like gloating because the data is very pro-Alberta and Saskatchewan. When it is written by someone from Moncton – for this guy/gal it is “code for send the oil money down east”.
I think I might have relayed this story to you but it is worth repeating. Back in the mid 1990s (was it that long ago?) I was shortlisted for a job running the Economic Development department for the City of Red Deer. They paid for me to go out there and meet with them for a day. I was given a tour of the city, we had good discussions and I must have met a dozen or more folks for mini-interviews. In the early afternoon I was taken out for lunch with a bunch of folks – city employees, etc. and I felt one of the guys was trying to ask me something but didn’t want to come right out and ask it. Eventually, he said something like ” we do things differently out here – do you think you are ready for our pace of life?”.
I was quite surprised by the comment – I have always been a 60 hour a week guy – and I have to resist the temptation to work more than I do – even now in my old age and so I wasn’t sure how to respond to this euphemism for laziness. I don’t recall what I said that day but I didn’t get the job.
The point is that it is easy and comfortable – and IMO intellectually lazy – to try and boil down highly complex issues to simple constructs. New Brunswick is a have-not province therefore “someone from Moncton” must be angling for more oil money. New Brunswick has a higher percentage of folks using EI so all New Brunswickers must be lazy.
In the end, the guy/gal with the comment should at least be consistent in his/her viewpoint. If New Brunswick is so poor and lazy, I wouldn’t be able to ask my mother for money because she doesn’t have any.