Heading out west

Corinna Yates
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I recently read an old column from the Cape Breton Post about going out West and the jobs in Fort McMurray.

There were websites to check out and it gave a break down of the cost of living out there and even how to find child care if you needed it.

The column was very informative when it came to job searching but what took me aback was the comments made on the column.

As a Cape Bretoner myself, I was offended by some of the comments being made by Capers. Shame on you for bashing your Island and the memory of those who worked themselves to death in the dark recesses of the coal mines for well over 100 years.

I was insulted by some of the comments made by people who do not seem to know the history of the island or our people very well.

To claim as some had in their comments that Capers were lazy and druggies and just did not want to go out West to work is ludricious.

I have many good friends who are out West working and are doing well for themselves and are definitely not druggies. Yet if they had the chance, they would move back to Cape Breton in a heartbeat. And why not?

Not everyone wants to leave their families and go away to work. If they can stay on the Cape and make 10 or 15 bucks an hour, lots of people would rather do that than go out to Fort Mac and leave their families behind.

I have never been out West so I cannot comment on the camps out there. I have heard from some of my female friends who were brave enough to leave their kids behind to go work out there that it is not all it is made out to be. But you do what you have to do.

That is all fine and good, but please don’t bash those of us who chose to stay in our small communities finding whatever work we can to keep things going. If people are happy living their lives that way then don’t dump all over them because they don’t or won’t to go out West where the big bucks are.

Money isn’t everything, and sometimes the sacrifices that families make to live the good life are not worth it. Marriages sometimes cannot take the strain of the one spouse being away three or six months out of the year.

It may seem all well and good at the time, but what price are we really paying for leaving behind our loved ones in pursuit of the ever-mighty dollar?

There are a lot of Newfoundlanders and Capers in Fort Mac. If you did a poll and asked them if they could go home and make half of what they are making out there would they leave, a good percentage of them would be on the next plane home.

Good luck to all those who journey out there and can make a go of it, but do not bash those of us who choose to stay behind and make a go of it in the place we call home.

Geographic location: Fort Mac, Cape Breton

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