Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…

I had lunch last week with a friend, and took away a valuable lesson. This friend, let’s call him “Ernie,” had been thinking about leaving Prince Edward Island for work off the Island. He’s got a good job here, and lots of friends, but the job away offered career development promise, and he seriously entertained the idea.

In the end, he and his family stayed here on the Island.


Because they realized they had it pretty good here: good job, good friends, nice, small, close-knit community. Just enough diversions to keep their minds occupied — movies, theatre, restaurants, and so on — without all the downsides of a larger city (crime, noise, crazy busy atmosphere).

When you haven’t grown up on the Island (and even if you have), it can seem sometimes like a remote northeastern outpost, devoid of the fun and exciting trappings of the Big City. And sometimes, career-wise, it seems like the only option for playing in The Bigs is to sacrifice quality of life for opportunity.

Ernie and his family didn’t do this, and their example, in a small way, opened my eyes to how good we’ve got it here too.

Thanks, Ernie. Enjoy the ride.


Alan's picture
Alan on December 5, 2002 - 20:04 Permalink

Agreed and probably the story of our life for the last few years but crime? Armed robbery while you were away as well as police shootings in C’town. High homicide rate too.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 5, 2002 - 21:19 Permalink

Crime is really about perception of crime, not reality of crime. We probably have less of a perception of crime here on the Island that we should, whereas people in, say, New York City, have more of a perception of crime than warranted. In other words, I’m probably more likely to be a victim of crime here on the Island than I expect, while my peers in NYC are less likely than they expect.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 5, 2002 - 21:56 Permalink

That could be…I wonder sometimes, with the news every few months of another homicide, if the fact that we don’t hear about, say, lots of assaults indicates more about news than crimes. One thing I notice here are the single car Saturday night accidents that are never elaborated upon. In the Ottawa Valley specifics like the blood alcohol levels were regularly reported.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on December 5, 2002 - 23:46 Permalink

From Rachel Field…for Alan

If Once you Slept on an Island,
you’ll never be quite the same;
you may look as you looked before,
and go by the same old name.
You may hustle about in street and shop,
you may sit at home and sew,
but you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls
wherever your feet may go.

You may chat with neighbours of this and that
and close to the fire keep,
but you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
and tides beat through your sleep.
And you won’t know why and you can’t say how
such changes upon you came,
but once you slept on an island
you’ll never be quite the same.

Thanks to my friends at the Inns on Great George

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on December 6, 2002 - 06:35 Permalink

Charlottetown alone has a lot of armed robberies considering we only have a population of 35,000… A lot of them never make it to the news.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I think PEI needs an independent news source. Best way to deliver the news? Over the internet and PEI Radio is established.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 6, 2002 - 14:35 Permalink

Wayne, with all respect [and indeed joy at going at it with you], I don’t want to get into it on this thread as well. I know what you are saying and could quote poets as well — Alden Nolen comes to mind with the version of rural/coastal Maritime life that doesn’t appear in the tourist ads — but on this point give your view: is the level of crime and its reporting here a comfort to you?

Wayne's picture
Wayne on December 7, 2002 - 14:41 Permalink

Sorry Alan…I somehow got the impression you were from that “other” great Maritime island, and would enjoy her words. Maybe you are seeing “hooks” where there are none…?

I feel that where there are more people per square kilometer, there are more nuts per square k, and feel much safer here then Toronto, Montreal, or Moose Jaw. (Doesn’t the thread header seem to sound like a song way back in the 70’s?)

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on December 7, 2002 - 15:25 Permalink

I am reminded of a comment from an acquaintance on reading his first Charlottetown headlines on arrival (in 1974)to PEI. “COW ESCAPES AND WANDERS DOWN QUEEN ST.” How wonderful he thought — if this is what makes news. He stayed. So did I.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on December 7, 2002 - 17:58 Permalink

Reported blood alchol levels are items of evidence Police divulge grudgingly, but such stories would serve as an example to others. Why don’t we see the names and convictions of local drivers running red lights? Parents of drinking teens always squawk “Not my Johnny” which in turn get lots of media hype. Accountability vs. individual rights issues do not allow us to learn from others mistakes. Lawyers have seen to that.(It was so cold near the lighthouse in Victoria park this am, I saw a lawyer walking with his hands in his own pockets!)

Wayne's picture
Wayne on December 7, 2002 - 19:44 Permalink

For a different perspective on the media and how it treats criminals (I believe I am on topic of choice in this thread, even though it originally looked like someone was expressing an appreciation for his rediscovered, cherished Island citizenship)check out
She is not bad looking, either!