New Brunswick — Environment Canada has announced today it will no longer be doling out information for free, but will charge New Brunswickers for accurate and timely weather news.
“We’re putting in long hours and working overtime, and slaving away on weekends,” said meteorologist Steve Daigle earlier this afternoon. “Today we announced a major storm to hit the south of the province by tonight, continuing into tomorrow morning. Do New Brunswickers think these important predictions grow on trees?”
“We deserve a much bigger slice of the pie than we’ve been getting,” he went on. “Well, now people will have access to that information so they can prepare — I mean, we’re not monsters — but they’ll have to enter their credit card information on our website in order to see our up-to-date weather news.”
Under the new system, when New Brunswickers enter their payment data on the website, they’ll be given access to information depending on how much they decide to shell out. For example, for $2 they can find out the current temperature, for $5 they can get the full day’s forecast, and for $10 the weekend prediction. Twenty dollars will allow them to view the long-range forecast.
Not surprisingly, most of the province’s residents are infuriated by this added expense in their daily lives. “I only trust Environment Canada and wouldn’t even think of checking another weather source,” said Betty Randall of Saint John. “But I’m going to have to get a second job just to pay for forecasts — the weather changes every few minutes in Saint John!”
Moncton resident Daryll Haines, 52, couldn’t agree more. “I check the weather every few minutes on my iPad just for something to do,” he said sitting at a Tim Hortons this morning, picking at his cruller. “And what am I supposed to talk about with the boys every morning if the weather costs as much as my double-double?”
Daigle defended the new paywall, saying: “You wouldn’t expect to read The Daily Gleaner or the Telegraph-Journal for free — just try to think of it that way. Why should weather news be cheaper than any other kind of news?”