We Canadians have run into a passel of First World Problems lately. No, it isn’t about the Leader of the Free World fibbing about the Canada US trade balance. Nor is it about the teenager who used her parents’ credit card to rent an AirBnB pad for a party that got out of control. Those two problems were caused by hormones.
Canada scrapped a tire of the diplomacy curb when the Prime Minister went off to share his talking points with steel workers and skipped out on the Belgium Royal Couple who had come to call. And maybe we ran out of Belgium flags and subbed in German flags.
- The annual polar bear migration back north thru Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula has started early. Bears have already been spotted in St Anthony, Great Brehat and Griquet. They seem a little cranky this year – tore up a hot tub and a couple of snowmobile seats.
- And early warning signs that names of buildings in Edmonton might need political correction. Muriel Stanley Venne, a Metis leader was recently honored by having a provincial building named after her. But it has been pointed out that her building isn’t as impressive as the building named after a 1950s deputy minister J. G. 0’Donoghue.
The First World Problems in Quebec are nearly epidemic:
- In Montreal the transit system had 550 delays because people kept dropping their phones on the tracks. Some 130 Quebecers so loved their phones that they hopped down to retrieve the phone and triggered an alarm and a train delay. The transit commission is now issuing Velcro straps for the unwary.
- Identity politics got out of hand in the Quebec provincial legislature. The centre right opposition party CAQ (“Coalition for Quebec’s Future”) is leading in the polls ahead of next October’s election. The governing liberal’s Finance Minister accused them of trading in “Ethnic Nationalism”! Apparently in Quebec this is a very bad slur! “It’s a serious accusation, it’s unacceptable, it’s dirty politics!” cried one CAQ legislator. A motion was tabled in the legislature. The governing Liberal blocked it. The Liberal Finance Minister unrepentantly refused to withdraw the remark: “I’ve said what I have to say about that!”
- There is trouble in Maple Syrup Country. Quebec’s hold on the maple syrup market is slipping away. Only a few years ago they had a virtual monopoly, but even with 43 million spigots they are losing market share to the pesky Americans. Production is closely controlled by the Quebec Maple Syrup Federation. Quotas are issued, prices are set, buyers are authorized, and administrative fees collected. But the Americans have none of these costs and Quebec’s global market share has dropped to 70%. And worse trouble, a new product maple water is in trouble. Its professed health benefits are being questioned. It seems its main ingredient is…. Sugar!
- Meanwhile in Deep Cove, just north of Vancouver they are gearing up for a battle with visitors who want to enjoy their beach. “The magic is gone” laments one shopkeeper because Vancouverites drive their cars to the community and fill every available parking spot. All summer long the traffic and illegal parking is a headache.
So perhaps if Vancouver wasn’t getting oil through that pipeline…….