Thanks For Dinner. Now What’s Next?

Last Updated on: 7th July 2023, 09:42 am

Why the government’s grocery rebate may not do enough to help struggling Canadians
May not? Try will not, especially when most of the article is devoted to many of the reasons why it quite obviously won’t.

I’m not going to tell you that what the government has done here is bad, because it isn’t. Far from it. When you’re struggling, every little bit helps. Been there. I’m glad they did it, even if in the long run it amounts to virtually nothing. Giving poor people a couple hundred dollars one time is a nice thing to do, but it’s not how you deal with an ongoing, continually worsening problem. It isn’t designed to truly fix anything, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either in denial or lying. What it is, more than just about anything else, is a simple way for a government to say “look at us being helpful” while kicking a few uncomfortable cans a little further down the road. If we’re going to talk about real, honest to god solutions to the cost of living, we’re going to have to get into the business of pissing off rich people. And if there’s one thing that governments of all stripes aren’t generally in a hurry to do, it’s piss off rich people. But if we’re ever going to get anywhere, we have no choice. They’re going to have to actually start paying their share and some things are going to have to change.

If we want real solutions, minimum wage has to be something that people can be reasonably expected to live on, and it has to be reevaluated frequently so it keeps pace with reality. Ditto for social assistance rates.

If we want real solutions, we need to start taxing regular people less and billionaires more. One group needs more in its pockets than the other. That’s obvious, but it’s going to take a government with balls enough to not worry about where its party’s next donation is going to come from for us to ever move on that.

If we want real solutions, we need to stop handwringing about the lack of competition across various industries in this country and maybe, I dunno, do something about it. We know good and well at this point that letting a few largely unaccountable corporations do pretty much whatever they want and send the rest of us the bill hasn’t been good for anyone, at least not anyone that doesn’t need to be taxed more. We need to stop approving mergers so that the giants can’t get bigger, and we need to find ways to legislatively cut those giants down to a reasonable size so that so much of what we do doesn’t fall under their sphere of influence.

If we want real solutions, we need to figure out why corporations that cry poor and insist that they have no choice but to raise prices are still managing to rake in money hand over fist. That’s the sort of thing that doesn’t make sense to a sane person who’s having trouble making his own numbers add up while doing his best to pay for it all.

I could surely go on, but you get the idea.

I don’t expect that I’m going to see any of these things happen any time soon. Our current government has been more helpful than most in some pretty crazy times, but it’s already proven that when it comes to the big, system changing stuff, it’s not interested. If you feel inclined to argue that point, look into how electoral reform is going and get back to me.

Grocery rebate cheques are landing in Canadian bank accounts today, but some residents say it isn’t nearly enough to tackle the problem of food insecurity and the rise in cost of living.
Toronto resident Diane Lane says she received about $200 in her bank account Wednesday. While she’s thankful for the help, she says it’s only enough to keep her going, not get ahead. 
“I’m a senior, I live on old age pension, I pay market rent, I live alone, and the food is taking everything I have,” Lane, 70, told CBC News outside a Toronto Walmart.
“It’ll fill my freezer, I might be fine for maybe two months,” she said. “And then I’ll be right back to where I am right now.”

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