Keeping it Real…

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Horgan/NDP Playing the Public for Fools

May 27th, 2019 · 29 Comments

Premier John Horgan and his NDP government are laughing all the way to the bank.

First, they made it look like they ARE doing “something” about money-laundering and in BC and its impact on high housing prices by basically doing “nothing”: appointing a public inquiry.

Ho hum! As I pointed out on this blog, all that will do, is ensure the money laundering will continue for YEARS more … no REAL action to stop it NOW … as various governments, their developer and realtor friends, party financial contributors, the bureaucracy and all the lawyers involved continue to cash in from the process.

You can review that article here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/public-inquiry-will-benefit-governments-lawyers-realtors-casinos-investors-bureaucrats-money-launderers-and-their-friends-but-not-you/

It will be a WASTE of millions and millions of public dollars … and in the end, I predict, tell us very little authorities don’t already know.

But the public and most of the media bought it.

So much so … Horgan/NDP have done it again … this time ordering an “inquiry” of sorts by the BC Utilities Commission into high gasoline prices: MORE STUDYING … instead of ACTION … in an attempt to satisfy the masses and the media … while the various governments, agencies and their corporate friends and supporters will AGAIN continue to cash in … and the public continues to suffer.

The BCUC will have the power to subpoena oil and gas company executives to explain how they set … or many would say FIX … gasoline prices in BC.

Great! Can hardly wait to watch them explain why BC has among the highest gasoline prices in North America; the least competition I’ve seen anywhere; the fastest increases I’ve ever noticed when world prices rise and the slowest drops I’ve ever noticed when world prices fall.

And hopefully we’ll see them defending their HUGE profits too, while they’re at it.

But that’s all only part of the picture.

Horgan/NDP have ORDERED the utilities Commission NOT to look at the BC government’s OWN policies … in other words, provincially-imposed TAXES and FEES, as they affect gas prices.

What a farce!

Who EVER heard of an inquiry being ORDERED in their terms of reference NOT to look at a MAJOR reason for the very problem they are asked to examine.

Ridiculous! What are Horgan/NDP afraid of … that they don’t already know?

I submit it’s THEIR OWN RIPOFF of the taxpayers … beyond any reasonable measure of taxation….. that they do not want focussed in on or publicized.

There’s the Provincial Metro Vancouver fuel tax 1.75 cents per litre in Metro Vancouver (7.75 cents elsewhere in BC); plus BC’s carbon tax 9.8 cents; the BC Transportation Authority tax 6.75 cents; TransLink tax in the Metro area 17 cents; Transit tax in Victoria 5.5 cents; Federal excise tax 10 cents … and then, dadding insult to injury, don’t forget the GST 5% … added to the total price.

That’s more than 60 cents a litre ADDED ON by governments/agencies in the Vancouver area.

And the TransLink tax will INCREASE another 1.5 cents per litre …. up to 18.5 cents per litre … July 1.

“B.C. drivers are being taken for a ride by politicians who are using them like tax-grab ATMs,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

And ironically, top wage earners aren’t feeling the pain as much as middle class, working families…. those in urban areas, who voted largely for the NDP.

Cutting in half the government/agencies’ extortion rate of taxation on gasoline … on top of reining in any corporate greed … would go a long way to restoring fairness in BC gas prices.

But the Utilities Commission won’t be allowed to say so.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 29 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National

Young “Uncle” Trudeau Beat Back Older Bullying Trump

May 20th, 2019 · 48 Comments

Make no mistake about it … the bully south of the border cried “Uncle”.

And it was because Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, 47 years old, stood up … unflinchingly … to the 45th American President, 72 years old, telling him BLUNTLY that as long as our aluminium and steel is subject to Trump’s phoney “security” tariff, Canada would NOT ratify the new NAFTA (I won’t call it USMCA until it’s in effect).

Bravo!

Trudeau and Canada’s team knew Trump had been feeling the heat from much more important sources than Canada … American farmers, producers, manufacturers, exporters AND several Republican politicians facing re-election … all of them HURTING from Canada’s own retaliatory tariffs … on top of China’s own retaliatory tariffs.

Clearly, for many, Trump’s “winning” ways weren’t working as planned.

Turned out, American industrial producers and manufactures NEED Canadian aluminum and steel … even with the tariffs (passed on, of course, to consumers) … more than we need their bourbon, prepared foods, agricultural products, personal care products, kitchenware etc. … all fairly easily replaced or avoided.

In fact, despite the added cost of the tariffs, Canada’s Stelco, for example, “reported net income of $108 million on revenue of $648 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, compared with net income of $16 million on revenue of $452 million the same period in 2017”, as Global News reported in February.

Great!

And the upward trend has continued into this year too: Stelco’s first quarter revenues totalled $517 … UP 7% from their first quarter 2018.

I leave it to the business analysts to figure out whether these solid gains resulted from increased exports to other countries, greater domestic sales … or the reality that American steel/aluminum-related industries NEED Canadian products to manufacture their goods.

And removal of those tantrum tariffs will only help Canada’s bottom line even more.

It’s clear, despite the rhetoric, the tariffs, the attempts to bully, the insults directed at trading partners … and the higher prices … most American consumers have not taken up Trump’s nationalist cause.

The US trade deficit has actually grown …

“The U.S. trade deficit widened in 2018 to a 10-year high of $621 billion, bucking President Donald Trump’s pledges to reduce it, as tax cuts boosted domestic demand for imports while the strong dollar and retaliatory tariffs weighed on exports,” Bloomberg news reported.

Trump was desperate for a “win” SOMEWHERE as the trade dispute with China escalates, his other foreign ventures flounder … and Democrat Joe Biden now repeatedly tops him in most polls.

So the bully caved on steel and aluminum.

I could hardly stop laughing as I watched the US President, addressing a rally of his base, still call his backing down a “win”. And they cheered. LOL!

So I think we should admire how Trudeau stood firm in handling the steel/aluminum US bullying … just as he has also not bowed to Saudi and Chinese bullying tactics on other matters of principle.

Canadians are a quiet, compassionate people … but that should not be mistaken for weakness.

Of course, let’s keep it real: the “win” could not have come at a better time for Trudeau either!

It should NOT make Canadians forget or, in my view, forgive his disgraceful handling/treatment of BC Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

But we should be prepared to grant Trudeau this: from a national perspective, his standing up to Trump, under pressure, took strength … and the result should make us ALL happy … and even proud.

Harv Oberfeld

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→ 48 CommentsTags: British Columbia · International · National