Successful societies are based on equitable treatment of every citizen. That is not to say that individuals must be dealt with equally, rather that fairness should always be evident. Does the equity precept matter anymore to economic and political leaders of British Columbia and Canada? I conclude it does not.
This week we heard that assets of Canada’s wealthiest billionaires grew by double digits. I learned that one British Columbia mining company netted more from a single operation than the province grossed from every mine that extracts metals in this province. Also, that BC’s coal exporters earned profits measured in the billions but paid no carbon tax while my neighbour, an unemployed widow, paid carbon tax to heat her home and to fuel the small car that allows her each week to shop for necessities and visit grandchildren.
We also learned that coastal communities will be hammered with ferry service cuts and further fare hikes and seniors will be denied discounts they’ve long enjoyed for travelling in non-peak times. In what seems an act of retribution for not electing Liberal MLAs, coastal residents are targeted for harsh treatment despite their reliance on ferries, which for many are the only means of exiting their communities.
This is from a BC JOBS PLAN news release issued June 13, 2012 by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure when it contracted for an 80 vehicle ferry,
“This project will provide good gobs for skilled tradespeople in British Columbia…
“Inland ferries are used on routes where lake or river crossings are a less-costly alternative to building roads or bridges…”
Notice the fine detail? Under BC Liberals, crossings of lakes or rivers are different than crossings of salt water where the preferred tradespeople to be employed are in Germany and user fares shall be paid.
I return to the principle of equity mentioned at the top. Each reader should ask the provincial government to explain the fairness of ferry service cutbacks and fare increases on the coast when inland ferry users pay nada. Nothing, zero, none.
I know the BC Liberals are little sensitive about this inequality. I know because they had Sun writer Vaughn Palmer tweeting out talking points that are supposed to provide justification. It’s just a little unfortunate the pundit didn’t do his own research because the tweets fell below his usual standard for accuracy. Examples: