A man fills up his truck with gas in Toronto, on April 1, 2019. The national price on pollution will go up another $10 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions as scheduled today in most provinces. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

EDITORIAL: Enough is enough

Inflation rises as the rich get richer

Next month all motorists in B.C. covered by ICBC insurance will be getting a cheque (or credit) for $110 to offset the ridiculous gouging going on at the gas pumps.

Thanks very much for nothing. Who is paying for that? We all are. Sure, it’s all fine and good to get a little bit of cash back, but it is window-dressing on a much bigger problem.

The current rate of inflation in Canada is 5.7 per cent, the highest in decades. Projections for 2022 and 2023 are 2.2 per cent.

Of course, we all know, it is effectively worse than that because the things we buy every day have gone up way more than that. Gas is up more than 30 per cent over last year. Food prices have increased dramatically by 7.4 per cent on average. Some items, such as fresh produce, don’t even think about it. Except it is impossible not to when you see something like a three pack of romaine lettuce that we payed $3.99 for a few months ago at $7.99.

The cost of shelter — which represents approximately 30 per cent of income for working folks — has risen by 6.6 per cent. Meanwhile, how much have our wages changed?

For most of us, zero per cent. Effectively, most of us have taken a huge pay cut in recent months. The nebulous actions that are being taken — by the Bank of Canada, for example, raising interest rates — is not doing anything for our pocketbooks.

If anything, for the average person, these things merely exacerbate the situation since most of us are also seriously debt-ridden.

The fact of the matter is, for decades, real wages for working people have been in decline, while the wealthiest among us have seen exponential increases in theirs (including oil companies). And it’s scary how many of us have bought into the myth that what is good for big corporations and their executives trickles down.

It is time for those metaphorical pitchforks to come out. Elon Musk’s net worth is currently estimated at $264.6 billion. According to Worldometer — an independent statistics agency — one individual human being is now worth more than the GDP of 149 of the 190 countries in the world.

That is obscene. Enough is enough, it is time for our governments to get serious about income inequality.


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