Up 16%? That’s …

By James Breckenridge. I considered myself lucky when I filled up for $111.9 a litre at the Safeway station on Lougheed Hwy in Mission on Tuesday, rather than the $119.9 a litre everywhere else in Mission and Abbotsford.

Really lucky upon suffering the shock of seeing gas in Abbotsford jump to $129.9 a litre. overnight.

$9.90 saved by deciding to check the cost of gas in Mission because I was there.

18 cents a litre, $9.90 a tank !!

Monsoon float a refinery away? Tornado relocate a refinery to Kansas? Terrorists blow up an oil field? Pipeline? Refinery? Tanker? Pipeline leak millions of litres of oil into a pristine watershed?

No, No, No, No, No, No and No.

Oh wait, it is winter and there have been some unusually chilly days around. Price went up because of all the extra oil needed for heating … although, wouldn’t that mean the price should go down because of all the unseasonably warm days such as those that had Torontonians at the beach in shorts in January?

The price of oil, no doubt to the chagrin of those blackguards at Big Oil, has been languishing under $100. At one point struggling to avoid slipping below $90 a barrel and when the cost of a barrel began to leap upwards looking like it was going to gush over the $100 a barrel mark … the ‘gusher’ petered out several dollars shy of the $100 mark.

What could cause this precipitous price jump?

Well, thanks to our Big Business profit protecting, consumer forsaking, Conservative federal government Big Businesses – wireless, banks, cable, gas, internet, et al – feel free to bleed Canadians for every last cent they can. Secure in the knowledge their political donation dollars ensure the Conservative government in Ottawa will protect them from competition and, claiming “it’s capitalism” [doesn’t capitalism favour competition and open markets?] ignore unreasonable, unjustified pricing and price increases.

Shaw sells Rogers, the dominant company in wireless, the advanced wireless spectrum Shaw had purchased in 2008 to enter the wireless market. The spectrum covers areas of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northern Ontario.

Meanwhile Rogers announced it will seek regulatory approval for the transfer of wireless licences after September 2014 to respect Ottawa’s probation on the sale of new entrant licences to incumbents.

Respect? No. Scorn? Yes. Arrogance? Yes? Contempt? Yes. An iota of Respect? No.

If the Conservative government acted with, or had, a crumb of the concern it lavishes on Big Business on behalf of ordinary Canadians … Shaw’s spectrum would be going to enhance and encourage competition in the wireless market instead of being snuck into the back pocket of one of those proscribed from purchasing it originally – an incumbent wireless provider.

And if the Conservative government in Ottawa had any concern for the ordinary Canadians who make up the majority of the Canadian population and who are the citizens who bear an inequitable proportion of the ever increasing cost (financial and declining standard of living) for politicians mismanagement of Canada’s resources there would be no talk of a Rogers/Shaw merger.

But then If any concern for the ordinary Canadians existed, Shaw would not have been allowed to monopolize ownership of media in Canada by purchasing Global. The existence of any concern for the ordinary Canadians would mean wrongs of that magnitude to, and the negative consequences for, the Canadian consumer/taxpayer would NOT be allowed.

Any government concerned with the welfare and standard of living of ALL Canadians, rather than wholly the welfare of Big Business, the privileged and favoured few, would not be permitting so many sectors to become oligopolies or duopolies that not only function in monopolistic fashion – but give disturbing evidence of becoming monopolies, or effective monopolies.

Evidence foreshadowing Canada’s continued evolution (devolution?) into more and more of an economy of corporate socialism; an evolution encouraged, aided and abided by the Conservative government in particular, and by the entrenched behaviours of the traditional political parties and by ‘politics as usual’.

The victims of surging gas prices, wireless prices twice the cost of elsewhere in the world, restricted competition, creeping corporate socialism, and the promotion, embedding of GREED as THE Canadian Ethos these victims are ordinary Canadians..

Canadians who can continue to say baaaaa to politicians, big business, the wealthy and the privileged …

… OR can tell politicians they are tired of politicians arrogant abuse of privileges and of being forced to fund the poloticians unmerited golden retirements; we can say enough to corporate executives ridiculous, UNEARNED salaries and bonuses; say no to corporate oligarchies, monopolistic, actions to circumvent laws and regulations.

We can demand opening markets to competition; we can tell the wealthy that their wealth is based on the hard work of Canadians and it is time they contributed their fair share; and when they inevitably threaten to sulk and take their money elsewhere, we can tell that is their right as Canadians.

Canada is a great place to live and do business, if the wealthy want to leave there are innumerable entrepreneurs around the world who would seize the opportunity to become Canadian, do business in Canada and contribute to the well-being of Canada and Canadians.

It is time for Canadians to stand up and tell the existing political parties and politicians GOODBYE, you have had your opportunity and you all have demonstrated a level of incompetence and self-interest that threatens the liveability of Canada and promises a continued decline in the standard of living for Canadians who are not among the few that benefit from our current political parties and Politics and Business ‘as usual’.

Say that 16% jumps in gas prices overnight when the cost of oil remains steady is: Gas2

That corporate executive salaries and bonuses are: Gas3

That subsidising businesses, directly or indirectly, using taxpayer’s hard earned dollars OR protecting big business so it can charge usury levels of fees and charges is: Gas 4

That Rogers and Shaw conspiring to circumvent policies meant to increase competition is: Gas 5

Tell the Conservative government, Stephen Harper and his cronies (all his cronies, not just Conservative politicians) that:

1. ignoring the needs of Canadians favour Big Business and others with wealth who enrich the Conservative Party coffers and bank accounts

2. facilitating the downward mobility of substantial numbers of Canadians;

3. not simply permitting but enabling wage levels to fall to levels below that at which a wage earner can live – frugally – on;

4. enabling, through legislation, Big Business to reduce wage levels not simply below the level of poverty, but below the level of survivability:

5. enabling, promoting changes that reduce Canadian wages to ‘slave’ wage levels that deny Canadians the ability not just to thrive, but to survive;

6. that campaigning for office using fear to obscure the issues;

7. The gross misrepresentation of the Conservatives ability to manage Canada’s economy, society and future and not (as they have and continue to do) undermine the future of Canadians, their standard of living, and what it is to be Canadian by creating the economic conditions of a growing sink hole that threatens to plunge Canadians into a deep black pit – by ignoring or wilful denial of the increasing prevalence and power of the trickle up economy is:

Canadians cannot afford politics or behaviour ‘as usual’ if they want to stop the downward spiral so many Canadians, a number that continues to grow, are trapped in.

The fathers of the American Revolution – Franklin, Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, Paine, Burr … felt that the preservation of democracy and government for the benefit of all citizens, not just the privileged few and the special interests, required a revolution every few generations. Not necessarily violent revolution, but revolution at the ballot box by throwing out all the current crop of politicians (all, not just those in power) and replacing them with fresh individuals free of any ties to special interests or others benefitting from government largesse.

The health and wealth of a country and its citizens needs eyes and minds that are not mired in Newspeak, AcceptableThink, CorrectThink, PoliticalThink, BusinessThink or bound up with special interests.

Re-invigorating Canada, governments in Canada, the standard of living and the future of Canadians requires effort by Canadian voters to seek out members of their communities who are engaged in issues at a municipal, provincial and federal level; whose ideas, thoughts and positions on issues exist in the public domain – accessible for examination and consideration; and have established community involvement, ability, ethics and being trustworthy.

Canadians stand at a spot where they can continue their wilful denial of the issues and realities facing Canada and Canadians, opting to continue to wear their rose coloured glasses and to take the easy – and ill-fated – way out by voting for one of the ‘politics, business as usual’ traditional parties.

OR, Canadians who feel that Canada needs new priorities, needs to remember what it is to BE Canadian (not wana-be Americans) and needs to strike out in a new direction …

… those Canadians need to forsake “there is nobody to vote for” and “I am forced to hold my nose and vote for the least bad choice” (you are still voting for a bad choice) and adopt “the choices I am offered are not only unpalatable, but totally unacceptable and I WILL DO whatever is required, to find someone who cares for all the community (not just the special interests etc), is engaged with the issues, has demonstrated integrity and is willing to lose the next election rather than telling him/herself that it is more important that they get re-elected, rather than behave with integrity and risk defeat, because the good of the voters is best served by doing whatever it takes for them to get re-elected.

As much as politicians, media and special interests have worked to impair, confuse and defeat the public’s ability to think about the issues and discern truth among the gobbledegook, political speak and doublespeak – politicians, media and special interests have not so far managed to make it illegal for Canadians to Think. Nor, as much as politicians, media and special interests may want to have, have they been able to take away the right to seek out and vote for whoever voters trust to represent their interests and the interests of community, province and country as a whole. At least not yet.

We do not have to take the path of least resistance, we have the ability, the right, to say enough is enough, leave the ‘business as usual path’ and boldly strike off blazing a path to Our goals; not the goals of politicians, corporations, special interests …

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

All that is required is the Will …

“Again and again, the impossible problem is solved when we see that the problem is only a tough decision waiting to be made.”

To assert our Will and send politicians, media and special interests packing …

“Revolution manifests when those defined as the problem, achieve the power and influence to redefine the problem.” Tao of James

It is time to tell Politicians, Big Business, The Wealthy, The Privileged, Special Interests et al they have been …

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