Finally Summer, the weather is much warmer than it was just one week ago. The City Public Works crew were out hanging flower pots from lamp posts. The Strawberries from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia have arrived on the market and this being PEI, the tradition is to ask on an enquiring tone from the Fruit and Veg section clerk, where are they from? Of course we all know the answer and the clerk as per the tradition will apologize and admit in a contrite tone that they are from Annapolis across the Strait 12 km away. Then you sniff at them and proclaim that you will wait 2 weeks for the real Strawberries from PEI to appear on the shelves and of course when no one is looking sneak back and buy the Annapolis Valley Strawberries to make shortcake for one of the numerous socials going on.
The City also came by or I should say the nice ladies from the big park next to our house who are in charge of keeping it nice looking, tending the flower beds etc. They always clean a little patch of weeds by our house that technically belongs to the City and they over the years have planted hostas and tiger lillies, it looks really nice. Public works has also changed the flags at the marina, they do this once a year or maybe twice, the wind rips them up pretty bad and it is disgraceful to see.
All shops are now open and we are going into full tourist trap schedule. So far the numbers are not high and even the cruise ships do not appear terribly full, maybe half full. Fine with me. What is a little sad are the arguments made by business owners and the Chamber of Commerce to keep wages down and offer little to workers, while gouging the unsuspecting tourists. You see it in restaurant prices, Air B&B at $500 to $700 dollars a night for one bedroom downtown. No wonder workers are next to impossible to find in all positions.
With inflation at 7% now in Canada and t 9% in PEI and with the price of gas, I wonder how many people can afford to come here to sit on the beach or go look at fantasy land, Anne of Green Gables. Yes there are other things to see and quite enjoyable, mostly national parks, but then again we are not that different from New Brunswick or Nova Scotia who offer more in terms of more varied restaurants scene, shopping, important sights, all because they have larger populations. Though we are told constantly that tourism is important, the City does very little to clean itself up, Queen Street the main drag looks shabby and other sites in town need a major uplift. They still have not finished renovating the Legislature, Province House, we have to wait another 2 years to see the Legislature return to the building, the final price tag which is covered by the Federal Government is about $100 million from the original of $36 million.
June 21, was Indigenous day in Canada, the National Broadcaster CBC and Radio-Canada played all day music from the First Nations. I was a little apprehensive as to what that would be, however it turned out that many artists, composers, musicians presented great music in very varied genres. It was a discovery, many were unknown to me and I wondered why do we not hear more about them all year long.
Also on PEI the Government has been including the original indigenous place names on road signs instead of just the English place names which were imposed after 1755, this is part of a PR exercise which is very cynical, our politicians have suddenly since 2019 discovered the indigenous people living with us.
One place is called Savage Harbour, on the North Shore, it was so named by the British to replace the name the French Acadians and the Mi’kmaq had for the place which was in French, Havre a l’anguille, (Eel Harbor), in Mi’Kmaq it would be Jipijka’Maq. The first French families in 1725 were Laforestrie, Blanchard, Chiasson, de Veau, Garenne and Poitier families, all farmers. It will be interesting to see if the PEI Government goes along with changing the name of Savage Harbor to its Mi’kmaq origin or even include the French name Havre a l’anguille, which they always try to suppress to this day.
In about 8 days its Canada Day and I believe we will be going to the Club for a BBQ in the garden. Tomorrow is grooming day for Nicky and Nora in Kensington and I will go to Summerside for lunch before returning to pick them up all cleaned up for the Summer.