If you thought milk was expensive where you live, spare a thought for communities in northern Canada where the price of a 4L bag is guaranteed to make your eyes water and your wallet bleed.
But the Manitoba government plans to cut the cost of milk and other essential staples in remote northern communities. Premier Greg Selinger hopes the federal government will include these remote areas in its subsidies Nutrition North Canada program.
"We also have had contact with some of the private food providers in the north and we want everyone to come together to find a solution," said Selinger. "When I went up there, I saw a jug of milk—four litres—at over $20. We'd like to get it down into the single-digits like the rest of us have."
The federal Food Mail program previously subsidized shipping companies' costs for food deliveries. But the Conservatives altered the $54-million initiative in October 2010 to subsidize retailers instead of shippers, and the subsidies only applied to healthy foods.
This past weekend protests took place in communities across Nunavut. Manitoba's Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard urged the NDP government to implement a single price for milk across the province. In an ideal world, milk should cost the same whether you are in downtown Winnipeg or a fly-in northern town. At least that's how it is with liquor. And it makes no sense that milk should cost a fraction of that of soft drinks.
"It's important for nutrition and in fact, by keeping children healthy we're going to save a lot of money in health care," said Gerrard, adding more affordable milk would translate to lower rates of diabetes, tooth decay and other diseases.
Are you as shocked and disgusted as I am? It's unclear at this stage whether the province will subsidizing the store owners or shipping companies. But clearly more has to be done to bring healthy foods to residents in northern Canada.
Graduation Day. Woo hoo! Way to go, kid! You did it! What a stellar achievement! You rock!
These were not the words a Massachusetts high-school teacher named David McCullough, who gave a graduating class Wellesley, west of Boston, a speech to remember. But it wasn't the usual bolstering kind of send-off. Quite the opposite, in fact.
"Do not get the idea you’re anything special," he said. "Because you’re not...Contrary to what your…soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh-grade report card [suggest]…you’re nothing special."
McCullough claims he went heavy on the realism in order to counter what he called the pampering "epidemic" of American parents, insisting we shouldn't go around congratulating our children's "every tiny achievement."
"If everyone is special," he reasoned, "no one is." He stressed to Fox News that kids "need to stumble—so often parents are there to throw pillows on the floor."
Great commencement speeches are meant to linger on in the minds of the young and wet-behind-the-ears. Think Steve Jobs to the bright young things at Stanford ("Stay hungry, stay foolish") or even wisecracking Conan O’Brien to still more bright young things at Harvard ("Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally")?
Is his tough approach right? Don't kids need some encouragement in order to know we feel pride in their achievements?
Once upon a time summer camps were about s'mores and giggling in the dark. You might have had a checklist of suggested items to pack—stuff like flip-flops, bathing suit, sleeping bag. These days, according to an article in The New York Times, young campers might add to that list: pay a visit to the salon.
What's known as precamp grooming is now the done thing for wilderness goers of both genders, with guys younger than 16 flocking to salons for acne-fighting facials and maybe a little eyebrow shaping (the unibrow is so 1990s, Gallagher brothers.
Even though girls aren't said to be seeking Brazilian bikini waxes, laser hair removal still requires consent for a child under (typically) 14. Most booked in are around 12 or 13, though some are as young as nine and 10. I don't even think I had a hair on my legs at that age!
“It’s not pressure in a beauty pageant way," said Natalie Gee, co-founder of Gee Beauty in Toronto. “Being 12 or 13 today is different from being 12 or 13 even five years ago. There are all these influences…[Body hair] is the last thing a girl should be worrying about at camp.”
Do you take your daughter (or son) to be 'groomed' at a salon? A bit of girlie fun or needlessly high maintenance?