Now that the HST fiasco is finally behind us (yeah, right, I figure it’s got another couple months of debating time left on the shelf), we can start to look at other issues of the day…..
……like the weather.
You know August has been quietly going about its business racking up a pretty good batting average. It’s been mostly sunny and warm and unless you happen to be like me and took the bulk of your holidays in July, it almost makes up for the sad excuse that ended up being the first month of summer in these parts.
If July was a wash, literally, then August has to at least be considered average, if not a little better than average.
I know, I know, we still didn’t get anything close to record heat or even a sustained over 35, close to 40 degree stretch that we are famous for in this country. In fact I bet the mercury didn’t get over 34 all summer, what’s with that?
And even this week as Mother Nature turns up the heat one last time, almost taunting us by saying “see what you missed, sucker,” it feels like a last stand from a season that knows it didn’t live up to its billing.
Oh well, the weather is still fabulous for now, so enjoy it and September, as you know, can be spectacular in these parts if you have the time to enjoy it…..
……as we take the good with the bad in life, it’s remarkable how a wet July can maybe ruin holiday plans for many but on the positive side of things, basically extinguish the forest fire season before it gets started.
Just as we’re used to hot, dry beach-filled summers in these parts, we’re also used to the anxiety of living with the threat of forest fires being an everyday reality throughout July and August.
This year, virtually no fires.
We actually could have campfires all summer long (as in the recent past this is the first victim of a hot summer as the government tries to look pro-active and politically correct in at least doing something to alleviate the threat so why not pick on campers and their marshmallows?).
And usually, even if there aren’t forest fires close at hand to scare us straight (like Westside and Kelowna in recent years where we can see the devastation first-hand), there’s at least a week or two when smoke invades our valley from neighbouring blazes as far away as Washington state or the Cariboo, to give us that sense of the potential of imminent doom.
So like anything in life it’s how you look at it. Maybe the weather wasn’t up to snuff this summer but Mother Nature decided to give us a break on the forest fire scene for a change…..
…..and speaking of change, what does the government do with all that money it saved this summer from not having to fight forest fires?
Some might say it can go towards reversing the HST fiasco but I’m not sure it works that way, then again I’m not sure why it can’t either.
Like we know there have been years recently when the forest fire fighting budget has skyrocketed due to all the fires, and obviously the government came up with a way to pay the bills, likely taking from some other department’s budget.
So why shouldn’t it work in reverse? The bills aren’t there so you don’t have to pay them, yet they must have budgeted for at least an average year in the forests. Maybe there’s a contingency fund that’s created during the good years to help pay for the spectacularly bad years but you’d think there would still be some left over after this year.
Of course I hear BC Ferries is hurting (gee, when you jack up the prices to the point where an average family no longer even thinks of going to the Island for a holiday, that tends to create a shortage of demand, duh), but that doesn’t seem right. Reward bad management? Does government do that kind of thing?
Anyway I’m sure Victoria will find a way to spend it, after all it’s something they’re good at, spending our money that is……
…….don’t look now but September is 72 hours away. Enjoy the weather while you can.
—Glenn Mitchell is the managing editor for The Morning Star