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Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:53

Just a few thoughts on medals, price gaps and fares

Written by  Dale Ferrel
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The once worthwhile cause of issuing medals for extraordinary deeds to Canadians has been repeatedly trashed over the last few years.

This has created a dichotomy between the few persons worthy of the awards and the thousands more that receive them from a random selection for every possible occasion.
These inchoate outrages allow politicians and their patronage appointees to appear to be doing something important by handing them out, but this is terribly demeaning to the intended process and a horrible waste of the taxpayers’ money.
The latest example is the issuing of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals. First, the British Monarchy is no longer of much, if any use to Canada. The Queen and her relatives continue to milk our country for millions of dollars annually when they holiday and sight-see here.  Security, the best food, housing, transportation and meaningless events can not justify the insanity. Nor can the attendance by a few Canadians with nothing better to do. It all costs us dearly, while most of our provinces struggle to balance their budgets our food banks are overwhelmed and  many of our outdated roads, bridges, hospitals and utilities are begging for repairs.
The bureaucracy was not satisfied with just the elaborate tours. They had to find a way to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne with a medal. Under the guise of honouring her majesty’s “service” for touring our country, about 60,000 Canadians who were said to have made “significant” contributions or achievements to our country received the medals. That allowed almost anyone with a pulse and with friends in the right place to earn one. Sort of like a bunch of five years old in a foot race who all get a first-place ribbon.
I will speculate that for the medal to have had the slightest meaning, somewhere in that 60,000 were maybe 5,000 real worthy persons and many of them had already received other medals once or more already. My heart goes out to the 5,000 who were shamed by the other 55,000.
Three cheers for the persons who rightfully returned their medals with letters expressing sincere feelings of adversity and disgust with the entire process.
This confirms any doubts  I may have had that politicians will spend my tax dollars in many stupid ways, without the slightest thought of the waste they create.
About $2 million went to “special” events; I call paid parties for the chosen few. Almost $4 million was wasted making and distributing the medals.
The Canadian Forces regiment gifted the old girl who already has several rooms full of expensive jewelry, with a custom-made brooch with 60 diamonds. I’m sure they did not pass the hat or volunteer for a pay deduction to raise the money for it.  Not to be out-done, the Department of Canadian Heritage ordered more than 500,000 special Diamond Jubilee flags to help clutter up our already overburdened local dumps.
In closing this one off, I must mention we blew $7 million — no inflation included — celebrating the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. That also included an all-expense paid holiday for her and her entourage.
The Canada/U.S.A. price gap debacle continues. Canadians continue to be screwed and the illogical reasons why are no longer working to calm their anger.  After more than a year of study, 53 “experts” (yes, the Canadian Senate was involved), could not by their own admission come up with a logical reason why we suffer this injustice.
May I be so bold as to suggest a healthy injection of proper tariffs, taxes and more in line safety standards would go a long way toward a solution. But where do we start when Canada has 8,192 tariff categories, each with 18 tariff treatments? Do you suppose that could be part of the problem?
Why do some countries charge Canadian retailers 50 per cent more than American ones? The simple answer is they shaft us because we let them. Our own merchants are often less than fair with their prices as well. Some clothing, vehicles and their parts plus books and magazines are but a few examples that need to be seriously made right.

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