Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Charity in the Maritimes

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Dec 24, 2010

Responding to this local news article, which in turn responds to a Fraser Institute report stating "I and my fellow New Brunswickers are among the least charitable people in Canada."

> Out here on the East Coast of Canada, we take care of one another.

No, this isn't true. It's a nice myth, but it isn't true. Perhaps Maritimers help family or high school buddies, but when it comes to any sort of wider charity, we hear (as we heard last night on the local news) the phrase "charity begins at home."

> In 1867, we ceded our industrial and mercantile capacities to York and Mount-Royale.

No. Upper and Lower Canada, around the time of Confederation, overthrew the 'Family Compact', the wealthy group of families that through mutual support controlled all industry in the provinces.

That never happened in the Maritimes. So while the Canadas were free to grow and develop, the Maritimes struggled under their own family compacts, which exist to this day.

In the Maritimes, charity begins at home. Helping our families and friends. And because we are otherwise skinflints, we never grow beyond those original last names.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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