Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Welcome to the third world

A tourist assists in cranking open a lock on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Years ago I used to say, "Don't bother visiting the third world. Just wait. The third world is coming to a neighbourhood near you." I had no idea how right I was.

On the weekend my wife and I drove to Peterborough for a family event. Saturday was free, so we drove about the city doing some touristy stuff. For instance, we checked out the local locks on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

The TSW has a history predating Canada itself. The canal has roots going back to about 1833. But the waterway is no longer needed for the transport of goods and has attracted the attention of the federal government budget cutters.

I talked to two tourists who had assisted staff with cranking open a lock. The tourists thought it was great fun. The lock staff appreciated the help. The lock staff is short handed.

The story I heard from locals was that the government was cutting the period of canal operation from 16 weeks to 8 weeks. Tour boat operators and canal boat rental companies would be hard hit financially if this comes to pass. They may not be able to make enough in such a short period of operation to remain in business.

You can read more about this by following these links:

Like I said, "Welcome to the third world."

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