“Sadly, too many of us have been so far removed from our sources of food we cannot think of ever not having access to the bounties that are found in our local grocery stores.”
By Gary Screaton Page
Posted January 5th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
There are four necessities of life, without which we cannot long endure on this planet: air, water, food, and shelter.
Canada in general and Ontario in particular, seem bent on polluting the first two. They also allow the destruction of those areas in which we can — presently at least — grow our food, freeing us from dependence upon imports from unreliable source countries.
Finally, governments fail by allowing moneyed investors to price our shelter options out of the reach of far too many Canadians.
Not just farmers, but also Canadians in general, should be pressuring governments at all levels to preserve what arable farmland remains for our food supply. They should be protecting our water supply and preserving our breathing air from continued pollution.
Governments at every level should also be encouraging even small farm operations, say of 25 acres or more, to thrive in local areas nearer those who buy what is produced. We should even be encouraging the keeping of some livestock (e.g., rabbits) and growing new kinds of “Victory Gardens” in backyards all over the country.
Finally, all government levels should be putting limits on foreign ownership, and the unbounded manipulation of housing by block purchasing of real estate properties to drive up prices through the influx of capital from very rich sources.
Are you old enough to remember the old “spec tax?
I was selling real estate at the time. I remember clearly how the phones that were ringing off the hooks in every real estate office in the province. Their ringing quickly slowed to a near halt the day the then Conservative government of Ontario introduced the Speculation Tax to the Provincial Parliament (in the spring of 1974).
Government can control housing costs if the will to do so is there. As long as there are developers in the know, however, who profit from insider information or direct access to our politicians due to their wealth, housing will continue to rise.
How do I know?
I was present in a Toronto office the day before that same Conservative government brought the “Spec Tax” to the provincial parliament. There, I heard the announcement, by a staffer, about the pending tax, which the Conservatives had yet to make known to parliament.
Somebody at the time clearly had access to a Cabinet minister or staffer! Can we expect differently now with $1,500 dinners still giving limited access to politicians for those who, because of their wealth, have the inside track on what is coming down the pipe?
Sadly, too many of us have been so far removed from our sources of food we cannot think of ever not having access to the bounties that are found in our local grocery stores.
Certainly, few of us have access to the real decision makers who approve how our water, air, and real estate are to be used and abused. Surely, the way Nestles, for instance, has been pumping water by the millions, or even billions of litres, from Canadian and other nations’ aquifers for mere pennies per million gallons, should be a warning of how reliant we are becoming on large corporations, driven by sometimes uncontainable profits for our food and other life necessities.
Listen to and heed the farmers before doing so is too late!
Gary Screaton Page is the author of Being the Parent YOU Want to Be: 12 Communication Skills for Effective Parenting, Pressing Your Own Buttons: Take Control of Your Life So Others Don’t™, and 100+ Unconditionally Guaranteed Easy Success Strategies for Students as well as numerous articles on education and family issues. He was contributing editor of The Educational Courier and is owner/director of www.GenesisOnlineLifeCoaching.com .
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