When I decided to leave Europe and return to Canada, my decision was based on specific criteria. Glorious Victoria, British Columbia, home of sea and mountain vistas; a charming town of enough people to make it interesting yet few enough to avoid big city fatigue. More importantly, a town that very rarely sees a Big Canadian Winter. In fact, my wish to avoid such a calamity factored prominently in the final choice.

Of course, landing a cool job only sweetened the Victorian deal. My job, much like my adopted home, is tailor made for me—crusading for children in the name of social justice at a life preserving pace; wonderful boss and colleagues; an office situated near bakeries, Shopper’s Drug Mart and Munro’s Books. I even get to travel around this great land from time to time. My last jaunt took me to the mean streets of Vancouver via a tiny commuter seaplane. Tomorrow should be equally exciting. Once again, an exotic destination awaits me: Calgary, Alberta.

Cowboys ropin’ steers at the Stampede, thick steaks, black gold and billionaire barons—Canada’s answer to Texas. Yeehaw, eh! I was just fixin’ to break out my Stetson and leather chaps when I checked the weather forecast and realized I might need to go another way…

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Sweet mother of god, 16 below with periods of snow. Wait, this just in, new forecast is for 19 below with a wind chill of minus 27. I’d say I’ll need to ditch the Marlboro Man garb in favour of a Michelin Man get-up. Apparently I’m being sent off to the Arctic headquarters. I haven’t seen a Canadian winter for a few years now and I’m pretty sure I remember it well enough without having to live through it again. The good folks of Victoria have been lamenting the “winter weather” for a while now, quotes being necessary as they feel grey skies, rain, and ten degrees constitute winter.

Now I’m a Newfie, no stranger to one of the harshest climates going, but that’s the whole point of living so far from the land I love. If Newfoundland had West Coast weather I suspect there’d be standing room only on the Rock. What can I do? Duty calls. It’s a two day expedition and I hope to come through without losing any appendages to frostbite. It’s me against winter and I’m gearing up for battle. Cover me, Finders, I’m going in…