Saturday, January 22

It's Complicated

The City of Gatineau wants me to move. Not just to a different house. They want me to move back to Ottawa.

At first, the City of Gatineau just gave me little clues. Like sending me my tax bill in French. I called and asked to have it sent in English. They agreed, and sent it again. In French.

Then I had the "discussion" with a By-Law Officer. He objected to me watering my gardens with a sprinkler. He said that I could only use a sprinkler on odd numbered days. Fair enough, I thought. Then he added "Between the hours of 3 and 5...AM". What?! And never, ever, ever on Mondays. And not on days that are sunny and hot. Only when it rains, and it has been raining for several days. Sigh. Well, at least I was allowed to drink the water. "No, no" said the By-Law Officer, "there's a boil water advisory in effect." I have since learned that there's always a boil water advisory in effect.

The main road leading to my home is fatal. It's quite a fast road. The posted speed limit is 80km/hr...or is it 70km/hr? Whatever. I go about 90km/hr. Anyway, the road has buckled and has also been compromised by potholes. There is one spot where, if you're not familiar with the road, you will become airborne. What did the City do? They put up a BUMP sign, and they promised to fix it in...wait for it...2020. That was one councillor's campaign promise, and he WON!

Speaking of signs, in Quebec, they are unilingual. But the language they chose was French. I remember driving with Dan through a construction zone shouting, "What the Hell does LENTEMENT mean?!". Really, some signs need to be bilingual...especially when it comes to the safety of the men trying to put up the BUMP sign!

This wasn't enough to make me move. Really, the City has to do better than that if they want me to give up $7/day daycare. Dan and I would giggle, thinking we were tough enough to withstand all that the City could throw our way.

Last month, the laughing stopped.

The City of Gatineau, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to reduce garbage pick up to twice a month. I was livid. I immediately started googling the names of all the City counsellors so I could decided who would get the poopy diapers on the off weeks.

Then, I found out that the City intends to fine me if I don't compost. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for composting...yard waste.

Bethie, seeing that I was about to have an anxiety-induced heart attack, offered to help.  She has a thing for compost.


That was a super big help.

Dan says that we can't move. So I'm stuck constructing compost bags from newspaper origami (I got the instructions from the City of Ottawa website. Funny, eh?) and giving great thought and care to my garbage. I have a massive amount of recycling now that I recycle every little thing that can be recycled. Each week, I put out a bin full of compost.  My actual garbage has decreased significantly. And once I got into a rhythm, it isn't that bad. Keep in mind that it's -20C out. I'll be sure to update you when it's 35C!

Despite my new found "greenness", the City of Gatineau still wants me to move. They sent me a nasty letter saying that typically people pay school taxes to the same school board that their children attend. Not us. We send our children to an English school, but send our tax dollars to the French school board. Why? Because the City of Gatineau still can't seem to send me my tax info in English...just the nasty letter!!!


3LittleMonkeys said...

Oh my, what's next?! Some small towns around here have some of the same restrictions such as watering on certain days/times, garbage limitations, etc. But the compost thing, that's a new one. And $7/day for daycare....holy moly, what a steal! I'm pretty sure it's a lot more than that here!

Gwen said...

When I lived 7km south (in Ottawa), I was paying $35/day for daycare. I didn't qualify for subsudies. Over here, everyone pays the same rate, regardless of income. $7/day. With all three kids in daycare it makes a HUGE difference! The City is going to have to work much harder to get me out!!!

The pros really do out-weigh the cons when it comes to living in Quebec. My hope is that by the time the warm weather comes, my family will quite good at composting and it will be a non-issue. Really, the only one left to win over is Dan...

Alicia said...

They still haven't introduced the green bins in mm area yet, but I'm sure it will take some getting used to. I can't get over $7/day. I thought I got a steal at $35/day. That is definitely worth dealing with the French letters and potholes :)

Finola said...

Ottawa looks about to get bi-weekly garbage pick-up too so stay where you are until those exensive day care years are past anyway.
I can't say I like my greenbin very much in the warm weather when the maggots appear but I guess I will have to get more used to it.
Stupid environment.

Gwen said...

Alicia: Yeah, $7 a day makes it easy to fogive A LOT of sins!

Finola: Ummm...maggots? No. I don't not do bugs. FOR REAL!