What Do You Mean by “Market”?

A week or so ago MacLean’s published an online article “Why Canada’s Seafood Market is so bad, and costs so much” Seafood doesn’t always get a lot of national media attention so I was anxious to see that perspective. I was surprised to discover that the “market” referred to was a literal market and not the global market (demand) for Canadian seafood.

 

The gist of the article is the author’s frustration that the best Canadian seafood is not available in Canada and that the seafood he can source in (I’m assuming) Toronto is not of the same quality. He also talked about how the Chinese market (particularly for lobster) developed out of the economic crisis in 2008 when seafood prices at the wharf reached price lows not seen in several decades.

 

I was left wondering if the quality seafood he longed for had ever been available or if it had become unavailable. The former would indicate a lack of an established market, which would lead me to question if its a lack of connections within in the industry, cost-prohibitive or timing of transportation, or some other barrier. A newly-developed lack of access would to me seem to indicate that there was a lack of established demand at the current market price. Price of seafood caught in Atlantic Canada is set in US dollars (as it is with many Canadian exports.) A lower Canadian dollar means that the price of seafood is higher in Canadian dollars whether it is sold in Canada, the United States, or China. It’s that final fact that caused me to reread the article several times. There seems to be an insinuation that Canadian seafood should be sold in Canada at a Canadian market price regardless of outside factors. I don’t expect that cars built in Ontario or oil from Alberta will be less expensive for me because it’s from Canada, so I’m not sure why we would expect that seafood would be.

 

While I don’t know a lot about marketing, I think there’s a huge opportunity to develop seafood markets (physical and metaphorical) within our country that would benefit both fishermen and consumers. It’s a story with exploring; I hope it’s one we get to tell someday.

My Facebook Anniversary

The weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, so I wasn’t surprised this morning when I had a notification that today was my tenth anniversary on Facebook.  It’s odd to connect the two events, but I remember so clearly in the aftermath of the shooting the discussion about how students received information and updates from something called Facebook.

 

I’m not sure I’d heard of Facebook or if I had, I certainly didn’t know much about it. I was intrigued and confused by what it was exactly, so much like Pokemon Go*, I decided to give it a try. I remember very nervously signing myself up, not really sure if I was “doing it right”. I apparently became friends with 3 people that day (one of whom was my sister) and all of whom were either still in or just out of university/college.

 

A decade later, it’s hard to imagine not having Facebook. I know some people do and reportedly live happy and full lives. Some Facebookers like to claim they don’t really pay much attention to it (Their up-to-the-minute knowledge of what has been posted recently tends to undermine those claims). Others seem to be perpetually frustrated by what other people are posting.

 

I’ll freely admit – I like Facebook. I check it frequently through the day. It has allowed me to stay in touch with people I know I would have long ago lost touch with. Prior to Facebook, I wasn’t good at being a pen pal or sending email. Now I know what my far flung cousins are up to; I know where friends from various academic endeavours ended up. As for people who live in the same place – I know more about their lives than I would without Facebook updates. I find it amusing to “watch” a Blue Jays game with a group of friends without having to change out of my pjs or move from couch, particularly when it’s 1 am and there’s an outpouring of excitement at a game winning home run (well last year anyway).

 

Yes there’s things about it that annoy me; I’ve hidden posts from some people that are just too much. While much of what is posted is the happy shiny version of life that people want to be seen I’ve also seen brutal honesty from people in tough times that is a reflection of life in a way that overly filtered photos will never be. And if my mishaps and missteps make people laugh a little then it makes it a little better for me too.

 

I’m a Facebook user. Here’s to another 10 years.

 

*My Facebook experience has been much more enduring than my one week obsession Pokemon Go.

I Spoke Too Soon

Charlie is almost 2 and I’ve been saying for the past 6 months or so that he’s finally outgrown the annoying parts of the puppy stage and turning into a dog.  

I’d like to retract those comments.

When I opened the door to check on him this morning I heard a scurrying and was met with this face:

The victim:

My hyacinths; my favourite spring flower.

**sigh**