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Re: sloan on rita

On Fri, 25 Oct 1996 LNUSCIM.JZZFR1\!/eds.com wrote:

> I am also mystified by the success of Rita.  Why is she famous?  Am I missing
> something?  Somebody please clue me in.  (I hope that she is not some national
> treasure and I am about to be flamed severely.)

Well Lisa, it's kinda complex, but it has to do with the Canadian system
of government and what are known as "equalization payments". Traditionally
these were cash transfers from the federal government to regions of the
country which are less well off financially than others, the so called
"have-not Provinces".  An American equivalent would be, uh nope, there
isn't one.

So anyway, in these days of fiscal restraint and budget cutbacks the
federal government in Ottawa is loathe to actually send cashius domesticus
to the 'regions', and has started a barter equalization program to
conserve hard currency reserves.  Under this program, as an example, any
resident of the east coast who can demonstrate rudimentary musical ability
and has an at least vaguely Celtic last name can apply for and receive a
music career, courtesey of the "have Provinces", via the federal

No money changes hands, because these careers are supported via the
(sometime) federally funded CBC networks. The degree of federal support is
in proportion the degree of "have-notness" of the applicant.  I have heard
that the MacNeils were a particularily disadvantaged lot.  One can only
weep with pity when one considers their presumptive neighbours in the
barrio, The Rankins.

Sounds like a utopian solution, but some of the "have" folks have become a
little upset because they claim that these equalization transfers leave
them at a disadvantage.  Toronto, as a convenient example, is extremely
covetous of the plum music careers heading out east.  This is ridiculous
of course, as Toronto hasn't produced a decent band in living memory,
while Halifax continues to pump them out at an alarming rate.  Thank
heaven that there is still enough left of the beleaguered sense of Canadian
unity that the rest of the country can still all work together in ignoring
the shameless whining and moaning of Torontonians.

I do hope that this helps, Lisa. The Canadian system can be difficult for
Americans to understand, and it is only through open and sincere dialogue
of the sort made possible on Sloan Net that we can come to fully
understand and appreciate oneanother's culture.


*There are similar barter programs for other "have not" regions of the
country.  As an example, applicants from Quebec can become high ranking
parlimentarians and those from Saskatchewan are granted hockey careers.
Nobody is quite sure what happens to Manitobans.

Woo hoo!  The Beaver Country Web Site is (moderately) updated:
And click on the Beaver for info on southern California's
original Canadian music show...