Iona is a young Maritimer, drawn out west for work in the mining camps. She is a loader operator, a strong young woman and fits into the working environment without complaint, striving to be “one of the guys.” That is until she becomes pregnant after a casual sexual encounter with a friend. Unwilling to have an abortion, and not seeing a way out of her situation, she considers carrying the baby to term and giving the baby to a couple who are experiencing infertility. In Canada, surrogate mothers cannot be paid, but operate under the assumption of altruism. Yet everything in a work camp environment is measured in dollars and cents. What can and can’t be given a dollar value, after all? Shared resources? A river? A water table? The future?
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