Wednesday, 3 April 2013

This is Nova Scotia

Often I find myself in lively debate about life in Nova Scotia. Often this is with people that have moved out West to Vancouver or Alberta or are still here and are unhappy for various reasons.

They seem to have the view that Nova Scotia is poor and has very little in the way of employment and hence the housing is so cheap because no one wants to live here. They use the "youngsters going West" as a backup to this argument. Often they have never even been here.

I once read that someone wanted to honestly know what was so great in NS without the beaches being quoted, and someone replied that that was like asking for information on happiness in Alberta without being able to mention the lakes and mountains.

And heres my point:
Nova Scotias strength is in its natural beauty, its family friendly beaches and its beautiful warm lakes in the summer where you can swim the evening away in peace, and skate in the winter.

Its strength is also in its ambience in downtown Halifax, in the bars and the taverns, in the harbour walkway, in the quaint shops and the people.


People here are friendly, often to the extreme. You could be asked if you require any help in Home Hardware by another customer. I recall when we were here on our reccie and I was looking for the entrance to the office with an accounting recruiter in it, I was a little worried as I was in danger of being late. A lady with a tray of Tims coffees asked if I needed help as I was looking a little lost to her.

But Nova Scotia can also chew you up and spit you out.
The majority of employment is in or near to Halifax, those in more rural towns are jobs held for life or as near as damn it. They are then passed down to someone recommended.
If you get a job here and you are happy, this bonus becomes yours too. People give you more chances here to succeed in a job or allow you to try something else in the organization, as they want you as a person.

The housing is not so cheap nearer to Halifax, in fact I have come face to face with some of the most pricy homes I have ever seen. So the cheap housing argument becomes null and void. People can struggle to pay their rent/mortgage here too. We live in a University town, there are lots of good universities and education is a requirement for just about everything. So get out and get it, you need it!

I would want my children to "go West", I want them to be brave and pursue travel and big city life for some of their life, to live their life with a wider view, if they want to.

Therefore I know that if you are here to pursue the dream and you have all your ducks in a row, luck is required too, that and a stack of patience.

Life can move slowly here, that includes recruitment. Taxes are higher than anywhere else - 15% HST, cell phone bills are more expensive than say Ontario and thats before tax but you know what, I will still pay it. I will still pay these irritating expensive items to live here in this ambience, in this beautiful province.

Yes - we have the people of Walmart, we have people here that are indescribably dense, people in jobs that frankly they wouldnt have a hope in getting or retaining in the UK. But we also have great friendly people, good people, that will walk my daughter home when she fell off her bike. That stopped to help me in Lower Water Street, that will stop their car to let me cross the street. That will take care of my children and find me when we got disconnected in Superstore.

This is a place where there is less traffic and therefore less fatal accidents, less violence, less anti-social behaviour, less keeping up with the Jones.

Where I say good morning to the lakes on my way into work and the Bay if I happen to go to Joseph Howe Drive and good afternoon to each and every person in the evening when I walk the dog.

This is Nova Scotia.

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