The View From Nova Scotia

Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia

A great Canadian tradition is hating their prime minister. The data demonstrates this very well.

The current prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is hovering around 40% approval, which is higher than three of the other most recent four. I am currently in Nova Scotia on a mission for family, with my other brother taking care of my oldest brother’s Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island properties to prepare them for sale, given the loss of my sister-in-law last July and my oldest brother’s Parkinson’s.

The very small sample of people I talked to up here is vehemently anti-Justin: The property caretaker, the two real estate agents, and our Air BnB hosts (who are incredible btw and if you ever want an affordable place to stay in a gorgeous area of the world, here you are). We also found it funny that a few people asked us if we ran into any anti-American hostility, and we said not in the least, as people are extremely friendly.

They wondered that because Americans have a reputation for being a little pushy, which is what we do. That is our national pastime.

The weather up here has been like going back in time two months, with 40s and rain/drizzle being predominant. The only evidence that the sun exists here came for a few fleeting moments on Tuesday. But that is maritime weather in June, you never know what you will get. Last week up here the highs were in the 70s-80s with lots of sun, and that is part of the reason why they had so many raging wildfires. Not being the pushiest of pushy Americans, I grant them this damp weather to help with the wildfires and realize that the weather should not be sunny just because I am an American tourist. What a guy I am.

The start grey weather, the almost shocking friendliness of the people, the remarkable maritime beauty of land meeting the sea, and the scattered homes on the water make this seem like an ideal spot for good stories. I can feel about three or so HBO gritty prestige series just by walking around. A friendly town with a dark secret. A quirky comedy about the small hospital up here. A show centered on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stationed up here.

I mean, the place begs for it.

Speaking of hospitals, part of the reason for the lack of Justin love is the critical doctor shortage in Nova Scotia and all of Canada that parallels America’s doctor shortage crisis. If you get hurt here, it is an ambulance trip if it happens during the part of the week when the local hospital is not open (I think it is Tuesday-Thursday here).

Two more things I will note: at least in this part of Canada, it is pretty LGBTQ+ friendly. Pride flags are more apparent at businesses than they are in the States, including places marked as LGBTQ+ safe spaces.

And, cannabis is legal here. The local version of a state store (where alcohol is sold) includes cannabis, so you can get your wine, beer, whiskey, and Lemon Haze all at one stop.

All in all, an interesting place to visit. Still, can’t wait to get back to the States, where Canada is sending my home area a rather unwelcome export. Canadians send their apologies. They really are polite folks.

The last word goes to the song bard of Nova Scotia, Stan Rogers, because who else would get it? If you are anywhere in Nova Scotia and this comes on, best be ready to sing along.


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