23 Apr

Saddest Day of the Year

Two days from today is Easter Monday, otherwise known as G.E.M., short for Government Employees Monday, when all the government and public sector workers have an extra day off after Easter Sunday. I always regard it as the saddest day of the year on the calendar.
I bear no grudge for anyone who does get the day off and I hope all the public sector workers enjoy their day, but the fact is that there are far too many public sector workers in Winnipeg. Take a bus on Monday morning or go out in what is supposed to be rush-hour traffic. As I’ve said to others, you could fire off a few rounds with an AK-47 and not hit anyone.
So what’s wrong with this?
The lack of activity on G.E.M. only highlights how much of a “have not” province Manitoba really is, completely dependent on welfare, both from within and from the federal government. The NDP government is trying to tax us into prosperity. It’s not working.
Do you ever wonder where the real money in Winnipeg is? Take a look at the empty seat next to you on the bus on Monday morning.
Winnipeg will emerge from its permanent recessionary state when and only when you have trouble finding a seat on the bus on G.E.M. Until then, we’ll continue to gain a firmer hold on the title of Armpit of Canada. We used to make fun of Saskatchewan, but now we’re the butt of their jokes, since they’ve long since passed Manitoba by leaps and bounds.
Oh, and for those of you who continue to lay awake at nights dreaming about the potential return of an NHL franchise to Winnipeg, the corporate dollars needed to sustain a franchise on a long-term basis do not come from empty seats on the bus on G.E.M. They come from real private-sector growth, and the lack of it in Winnipeg will be all too painfully obvious on Monday.