by Layth Matthews

In case you haven't heard there's new money in Atlantic Canada and some people have it and some people don't! The ones that have it are participating in a growing regional economy designed to increase the amount of money circulating within the Atlantic provinces. Having extra money circulating within our region encourages local production of more goods and services. What's the name of this new currency? Maritime Hours, of course.

The Maritime Hour is a local currency issued and managed by the Regional Atlantic Trading Note Association (RATNA). One Maritime Hour is worth $10 Canadian and is meant to float with the value of one hour's worth of semi-skilled labour. 1/5 Hour notes are also circulating and they are traded like Canadian $2 bills. The use of Maritime Hours as a supplement or alternative to Canadian dollars is perfectly legal. The Maritime Hour currency system is modelled after dozens of other local currencies which are providing economic stimulus to communities and regions like ours around the world.

Here's how the system works. If you have goods or services to offer through an established business or on your own, fill out the listing form on the back of this newspaper. (If you need a job you could even offer unskilled labour as a service.) Mail in the form with your listing fee of $7 or $15 dollars. By listing you are proclaiming to the 250 other participants and everyone who reads the Maritime Money Newspaper, that you are willing to accept some portion of payment for your goods or services in Maritime Hours currency. RATNA publishes 10,000 copies of the Maritime Money Newspaper bi-monthly. The listings are also maintained on Chebucto Community Net. Not bad publicity for $7 or $15 bucks, aye?

In exchange for your listing, RATNA will issue you $50 worth of Maritime Hours (5 Hours). You can then look at the Maritime Money directory to decide where you would like to spend your Maritime Money. As mentioned above, doing business with Maritime Hours is legal, which means you must pay GST, PST and income tax on your transactions as you would with equivalent Canadian Dollars. If you want to know how to integrate Maritime Hours into your bookkeeping system or if you have any other questions, please call us at 492-8786. The Maritime Hour economy awaits you!

Layth Matthews is a Financial Consultant and Co-Coordinator of the Regional Atlantic Trading Note Association.