Hard Times in the Maritimes

Canada maritimes

Article by Garrett Will
As a resident of Canada's Maritimes, otherwise known as Atlantic Canada, I'm wracked with unemployment and burdened with pessimism at battling this vulnerability. I share this state of mind and of being with thousands of other citizens, and it's a struggle to cope with every day it persists. A saying is spreading around these parts, and it goes, "hard times in the Maritimes." These are hard times, indeed, and no one should have to be put through this.

Meanwhile, Alberta enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.1% (it's the most recent statistic produced, as of this writing at least) and many disillusioned Maritimers like me are emigrating cross-country to the western provinces. And why wouldn't anyone; the economy is booming in Saskatchewan and (still) in Alberta, and British Columbia remains the most indisputably beautiful chunk of land one's eyes could rest on, so there's much appeal to find in Western Canada. However, as laid-back and historical these Atlantic Provinces may be, they're just not holding up economically.

Look at the figure below and you'll get an idea of how bad it is out here:

I have principles, and one of them is to live with dignity. I don't live with dignity if I have to rely on others in order to live day by day. However, because of the current conditions I and many others in these parts have to deal with, I must rely on others to get by. Suffice to say, I hate every single second of it.
Numerous employers I've applied at have outright stated that they've received thousands of applications.

Yet searching for work is a long and arduous process, compounded even further by the sheer amount of competition that is widely reported around here. Numerous employers I've applied at have outright stated that they've received thousands of applications. All of these positions I apply for are typically advertised for only a few days to a week, plus they're posted online and request for applications to be sent online. Just think of that for a moment and envision just how much scrolling the HR coordinator(s) at these workplaces have to do to find a "suitable" candidate.

And then there are workers who, frankly, shouldn't even be working. Plenty of people in the workforce take their jobs for granted and it shows in various ways. A couple of weeks ago at a grocery store I sought help from a back-end employee.

I wanted to know the price of a product because its price was not marked anywhere near its display section. So I looked around and found an employee stocking shelves in the dairy fridge. When I was communicating with him, he was barely reciprocating appropriately. Instead, he was making facial movements, never uttering a peep. He wasn't deaf either, as he went to find out the price. When we did get the price, he simply nodded and gave me a "take care" hand gesture.

That guy was an employed, paid worker at a grocery store, and he committed a cardinal sin as a retail/grocery worker. Yet here I am, reduced to looking for work. How about you give me his same job so I can do it better?
I'll be willing to do it properly if that's what it takes to get the damn position! I could easily one-up this guy if I were employed at his store. I could go on and on about other workers at other places who shouldn't even be working in the first place, but I won't waste your time.

n the meantime, people continue to migrate where the real money is. Ambitious projects are presumed to be in the works for this corner of the country, but they are too hollow for me to place my faith in them. A lot of it has to do with a proposed pipeline funneling oil from the Prairie Provinces to the Atlantic coast, but this is all that is being said on the matter so far. Colour me unconvinced, Premier Alward, because many of us are still reeling in these hard times in the Maritimes.

Even worse is that I don't even have the money to leave (hell, to flee) to better pastures! Oh for fuck's sake…

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