Aaron van Noostrand, 20, taking a break from his business-administration studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland, will return home with enough money to finish his degree debt-free. Not only will he avoid debt, he'll have spending money to travel, visit his family and buy the things he wants.
"My job, like most oil industry- related jobs, pays for my accommodations and food while I'm on site," says van Noostrand via e-mail.
Even phone service is unreliable where he is.
"If I work on a site for three weeks, I pay zero dollars for food and rent. Add to that great wages - in my industry typically $200 (per) day - along with Alberta's tax scheme, which sees a provincial sales tax of only seven per cent and basic personal exemption of roughly $15,000, and you can see why it's tempting to hop on a plane and fly out here," says van Noostrand, who is training to become an emergency medical responder.
Toby Keeping defines the difference between Alberta and Atlantic Canada with a single word: attitude.
"Calgary, despite their political followings, has a very liberal nature to it. People are more open to new ideas, concepts, and are not so conservative that the community wails in pain should a strip bar open within 400 metres of an intersection," says Keeping.
He lived for three years in Calgary and now works in Dartmouth. In the workplace, he said Albertan employers treat their staff better than they do here. Often, they're glad to have dedicated workers. In Atlantic Canada, he says, employees are made to feel blessed to work.
Just think: Nova Scotia could be as prosperous as Alberta, if it actually controlled its own offshore oil. And if its political classes had not cynically created a culture of dependence on government largesse and fly-by-night make-work projects that enrich only their friends. And if we didn't have the most crushing tax burden to pay for it all. And if we didn't have the backhanded attitude to come from aways that never goes away, even when you leave home.
Instead, we get resentment and resignation, and wonder why the young folks leave.
Thousands of us, in Ontario, Alberta, and elsewhere, building better futures in our new hometowns, and not back East.
The vicious circle remains unbroken.
Source: Halifax Daily News