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The high cost of living


J. René Roy is the editor of Wreckhouse Weekly.

Living on an island can be fantastic. There are unfettered views of the ocean. There are plenty of secluded rivers and sandy beaches. But living on an island can be a colossal pain in the butt as well.

We can easily be cut off from the mainland by inclement weather, or have some very intense winds that build strength over the water and hit us like a freight train. But perhaps the most frustrating thing about living here is groceries.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the effects of supply being outweighed by demand Most store shelves from here to Deer Lake were empty, and with the travel restrictions that were put in place, supply was severely impacted.

Now that things have settled down and supply chains have return to a semblance of normal, we should be fine when it comes to getting what we want. But that is not the whole story.

Admittedly, I don’t do a lot of the grocery shopping in my household, but when I do go I am astounded at the the prices. A whopping $37 for half of a ham seems like insanity to me. Paying over 5 dollars for a 2L of milk, when the same item can be bought anywhere in Nova Scotia for 3 is disheartening, especially when you consider there’s a large dairy farm operation in the region.

I understand that transporting foodstuffs to the island can increase the price of items, but I also feel that if we are going to be paying outrageous prices for our food, there is no valid reason for my purchases to be wilted, spoiled, old, or already at the expiry date.

There has been much talk of a road between Newfoundland and the mainland, but driving 16 extra hours through northern Québec when the ferry gets tied up because of bad weather doesn’t mean prices will be cheaper, it just means food will be more spoiled.

I know there is no easy solution. I know that i will have to continue paying $300 for a week’s worth of groceries. I know that my fruits and vegetables will always be in the stores at the end of their best before date.

I don’t like it any more than you do. But I know there’s very little I can do to fix it.

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