All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Word on the Street: Province of the County Forever

Steve Campbell

I thought I was done with column writing for a bit, since I have several other projects to deal with, but I’m going to give it one last kick at the can before I leave for a while.
Following my column on leaving Ontario and setting up our own Province of Prince Edward County, Lynn Pickering asked me to appear on CountyFM and elaborate on County Grapevine, as a kind of upbeat finish to a show completely drenched in coronavirus reports.

I love Lynn to death, but she interviewed me like I was a suspected serial killer about to announce his next victim. Perhaps a carry-over from the really serious talk about everybody in the world possibly dying. Hard act to follow.
But, to me, becoming a Province is not that serious a thing. It’s simply an evolution.
Ken Murray pointed out there could be a possible confusion between the Province of Prince Edward County and the Province of Prince Edward Island. I have suggested that PEI may be willing to upgrade their provincial name in line with modern times … something like Prince Harry Island (because he’s popular and trendy right now), or Prince Andrew Island, since he loves Canada.
I’m sure they would be keen on this, because PHI would be the new trendy place to be. In a pinch they could go with Prince Charles Island and, if really desperate, they could go with Prince Philip Island, which is not really trendy, because of his reported racist comments.

I have been questioned on whether assuming the 8% PST would supply enough money to keep us going. (This is based on the current tax of 13% HST = 5% GST to the Feds, and 8% to us.)
I haven’t crunched the numbers on this precisely, but my gut says, “Hell, ya!” Which could be our rally cry when we separate. Other choices include: “Sorry. Yes, really sorry, but can you hold the door while I throw out all the crap Ontario gave us?” or “Okay, it’s been two years … hasn’t Ontario missed us yet? And by the way, you still have my record collection, and I want it back.” Like I say, there are really bright minds living in the County who could probably polish it up. Sorry, “Time for No Change Whatsoever, We Just Want Power,” has already been used by the Conservatives.

And now, class, I want you to break out your pencils. I’m about to give you a math problem. This will be a written exam, but I will not be marking the four of you who reply.
Say you have a wife slash husband slash girlfriend slash boyfriend slash partner slash really cute pet. Okay so far? Did I cover all the bases there? Because, God forbid, in the age of political correctness I may have left out Klingons and vegetarians. And vegans! Whew that was close!

So anyway, dear humanoid carbon-based creatures, ponder this:
Say you have a wife (or any of the above combos) and she comes home from work, on the same day that you received your Visa bill. And the Visa bill says that you owe $348.79 billion.
What would you say? “Honey, let’s talk about your rather psychotic spending addiction.”? Not likely. The proper response to your spouse’s out-of-control spending fever would be: “Oh, you might see an ad in next week’s paper that says I am not responsible for any charges incurred by my ex-wife, or her vegan dog.”
This is where we are at. Is that not a brilliant analogy?!
The Province of Ontario (get it?) that we are married to (get it?) has a debt of $348.70 BILLION dollars. I won’t assign fault here, because a gracious new Province does not assign blame. We’d really, really like to, but we are trying to take the high road here.
This translates to $92,490 per person in the Province of Ontario. Every man, woman and child.
I know my County people, and I know that most of us can just whip out their chequebook and hand over $92.5K, and get that sinking boat afloat once again – a half inch higher.
But, consider this: If you are heavily invested in a stock which is at minus 348 billion dollars, do you really want to hang onto it, to see if, with a total swing in the market, it might propel itself to minus $200 billion dollars? “Come on, baby! Roll a 7!! Yeah, that’s what Daddy’s talkin’ about! I’m only $100 billion away from bankruptcy, but I’m feelin’ lucky!”

The point of this is, since I’m now creating analogies at the rate that Ontario is creating debt, there’s time to walk away from the table.
The Province of Ontario is a losing game. Sorry if you’re attached to it, but we can still enjoy it, for all the great things it has to offer.
But to be married to it? Oooo. I love it, but I really don’t want to live with a partner who spends huge amounts of money it doesn’t have, makes promises it never keeps, and treats us like a dog who occasionally needs to be thrown a bone.
No-one but a masochist would stay in a relationship like that.

For the number crunchers, this is for you: Take 8% of what all the locals and all the million tourists spend in the County. In visitors alone, say they spend $100 per person per day during their stay. Plus what they paid to stay here. The $100 is modest. I’ve visited some of the restaurants which cater to tourists, and it’s easy to blow $100 in one meal, especially if you have kids, or the jerk you’re trying to impress orders a bottle of the finest wine. (My next business meeting will be at McDonald’s!)
And, when we take over the Sandbanks, add another couple of thousand people … daily. And yes, we will assume control of the County Provincial Parks, because they belong to us anyway. The government that took them away, has to give them back. It’s like the neighbour who borrows your lawnmower, makes bundles and bundles of money mowing other peoples’ lawns, but eventually has to give it back to you.
Since I don’t have a calculator handy, you figure it out. My instincts tell me the answer will be: A great big pile o’ money. This is why I won’t be Minister of Revenue.

Think about it. A percentage of all the money that flows through the County. Complete freedom from stupid rules that were created decades and centuries ago … most of which don’t even apply to rural Ontario lifestyle.
A Place to Stand. A Place to Grow, A place we call … the Province of Prince Edward County!
Okay, we might have to change the words a bit. We’ve got people for that.

– Steve Campbell is editor and publisher of County Magazine, and the author of several books, including The County Handbook: How to Survive in Prince Edward County.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Dennis Margueratt says:

    Thanks Jim for that information. It was quite useful.

    Might be a good idea to start one of these blogs in county live just to share this kind of information. Something like a Nextdoor blog. Thanks again – Dennis

  2. Jim says:

    Sobeys cheerfully filled our emailed grocery order this week which we paid for by phone with our credit card when the order had been picked. The order was available out side the front later the same day at a time we suggested would work for us. This is Canada’s first pandemic and service providers are inventing the wheel here. I will be surprised if some form of the Sobeys system isn’t adopted by their competitors. So far Sobeys would like to receive the email orders between 8 and 10 Mon. through Thurs. although I’m sure they will adjust this as demand increases.
    In our 70s and we can still drive to the store but I’m sure a neighbour or taxi company will be glad to help with the pick up if you need it.
    Huffs delivered us a supply of wine too this week with no face to face contact and the County Drugstore brought us a prescription. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO IS MAKING IT GREAT TO LIVE IN THE COUNTY!
    Jim and Sonia

  3. Dennis Margueratt says:

    If I had one disappointment during this health crisis it would be that our grocery suppliers are not embarrassing online shopping. What a great and perhaps missed opportunity. I arrived home under quarantine and asked would a local grocer if they delivered deliver groceries. The answer – no. Yes we have friends who did help, but in this digital and competitive age, why would a local gocerer not seize the opportunity to extend their business options to off site delivery? Less personal interaction and the opportunity to be a business leader. I gather there may be an option for curb side pick up from one gocerer, but this option is not well publicized if it is in fact available. The current health crisis is unfortunate, but it also an opportunity for local businesses to innovate and get in front of the new way of doing business in uncertain times. Food for thought.

  4. Angela says:

    Based on recent blogs Steve has too much time on his hands. Besides if we became a province he would need to rename his magazine Province Magazine. That would lack local character.

  5. Chris Keen says:

    As you continue this schtick, another reason you won’t be the Minister of Revenue for the County, Steve, is you apparently believe that the rest of Ontario will eat our share of the current $348bn debt or $2,312,250,000 ($92,490 X 25,000) when the County becomes a province. You’re dreaming. Even if we could make a persuasive argument that we really got only 50% of that amount, we’d still be in the hole to the tune of over $1bn. It would be a longtime before we paid that off!

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