The Weakest and Most Vulnerable Left Behind
Been to the grocery store recently? Brace yourself.
Do you recall Justin Trudeau boasting that the “budget will balance itself”?
The cost of food for Canadians has hit the roof. Merchants and middlemen have attributed the huge spike over the past four months in declining value of the Canadian dollar.
I just checked the official rate via the Bank of Canada and got a cold reality check. As of yesterday, the Canadian dollar had fallen to $.6954 (US) versus $.7669 (US) on November 13, 2015 – one week after Trudeau and his team took over governing Canada. That is an alarming decrease in the dollar’s value of almost 10% in three short months. The all time low for the Canadian dollar was $.6179 way back to January 21, 2002 when (then) Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien was running things in Canada. Getting the picture? Canada, a nation of resources will be giving away precious resources cheaper while proportionately paying for for goods produced in other currencies, including foods.
Under the failing Chretien/Martin Liberals (circa 2001-2006) , it seems that faith in the Canadian dollar was pushed to an all time low ($.6179 US) but once a new government came to office and fiscal trust was renewed in international currency, the Canadian dollar rose to $.8584 US by March 2006.
Defenders of Liberal spend and tax philosophy typically present one of two arguments. They will attempt to claim that Canada as a food producer is oblivious to international currency rates or that rising food costs are a product of worldwide global warming. I am not buying either of those arguments.
I am also shocked to hear that large grocery stores are considering adding extra security for fear that Canadians will resort to food theft.
Canada as An Agricultural Nation
Farm production has actually declined in Canada over the past two decades. In fact, Canada imports food from more than 190 countries and many of our domestic food products are made from imported ingredients.
In Ontario, once one of Canada’s most diverse producers of food, we have seen firms such as Heinz and Kellogg close as a result of spiralling costs. Like many other manufacturers, they fell victim to spiralling electricity costs due to mismanagement by the Ontario Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.
On the farm, the farmer is also victim of high energy pricing as it affects everything from seed drying to fertilizer costs. Small farms are fact vanishing and the large farm must export in order to have his/her goods processed.
Walk through the aisles of your favourite grocery store and take notice of the labels. Green produce, meats, canned goods and just about everything you put into your shopping cart are the product of another country.
The Global Warming Argument
The wheels fall off this argument pretty quickly especially if you reside near the USA border and are able to slip over to ‘States for a bit of cross border shopping. It would seem to me that the savings are enormous. The huge savings vanishes when I take my shopping cart through the checkout counter at my favourite USA grocery store. Once I notice the currency conversion, any thoughts of savings diminish quite a bit. However, there is still a savings. Even after currency conversion, I can still see a savings of between 10 and 15 % on my bag of groceries purchased in the USA.
Apparently global warming is less severe in USA OR we are being mislead.
Folks living in remote Reserves do not have the same luxury to cross border shop. These food price increases in the neighbourhood of 10% will have a devastating effect on Tribal communities in our north.
We are entering a currency crisis in Canada. Bad government is the most likely cause. Foreign financial institutions seem to have been forming their own conclusions abut the state of Canada’s government.
Moreover, as a senior citizen, it is hugely troubling to note that the proposed tax reduction announced by Trudeau (only about $600 per year) have zero benefit to anyone living on less than $45,000 per year. Seniors living on fixed incomes face grim choices. Did you know that today there are over 600,000 seniors living in Canada and that their annual living income is less than $25,000/year? Did you notice that for the first time in decades, there has NOT been a Minister for Seniors in Trudeau’s cabinet? Neither Canada Pension Plan nor Old Age Security are properly indexed to keep pace with real living costs. Two areas being offered to Syrian and Iraqi refugees are not looked after for seniors. Spiraling costs of prescription drugs and ever escalating rental costs in urban Canada are harsh realities faced by seniors. Neither the drug costs nor the cost of housing are factored into indexing formula. The single change being promoted is an increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) which has a qualification threshold set too low to be significant help to most seniors.
Seniors, the poor and the working poor have no place in Justin Trudeau’s “new Canada”.
If you are a senior or having parents in our age group, you need to speak up. …..for a guy who says he understands “middle class folks and those struggling to become middle class” Justin Trudeau does not care.
Copyright Thunderbird Rising 2016
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