I’m concerned about some of Doug Ford’s budget cuts, announced a few weeks ago, and it occurred to me that his “buck a beer” concept (questionable on so many levels, involving health, safety, economy and frankly, outright cheesiness) might be tweakable in a way that would easily raise some money for a couple of programs affected.
I did a quick bit of research to determine how much beer is sold in Ontario annually. In 2018, 152 million litres of imported beer and 146 million litres of domestic beer were sold (https://www.statista.com/statistics/348322/ontario-beer-market-volume-sales-by-product-type/). That’s about 300 million litres or the equivalent of about 900 million cans of beer, the average volume in a can being about 330 mls and cans being an easily quantifiable measure.
If a 1¢ (yes, that’s 1 cent) surcharge was made on every can/glass/bottle of beer sold in Ontario, that would represent about $9,000,000 annually. Nobody would/could complain about a 1 penny higher cost, right? But that $9 million would reinstate the inter-library loan program for the entire province as well as the 50 Million Trees program ($1.5 million and $4.7 million respectively), with a bit leftover.
How’s that for a powerful use of 1 cent per beer? Talk about bang for your buck! In fact it might just require a whole new slogan…say “Book-a-Beer”. What’s not to love? Everyone wins: the drinkers for doing a good deed every time they crack open a cold one, the small rural libraries and the thousands of users across the province that rely on this service, and the environment, with the 50 million trees continuing to be planted. Even Doug Ford wins if these two services, which represent reading and nature, are taken off the endangered list.
I volunteer at my local library, taking books to seniors who can’t get out and about anymore, and that particular service cut just seemed so mean-spirited. And cutting money for tree-planting in this era of climate change – well, it’s indefensible!
What do you think? A book-a-beer! Can this be done?
It began over 30 years ago. First, the climate was not changing. When the facts didn’t support that stance, it changed to the climate is changing, but human actions have nothing to do with it. When thousands of scientific models refuted that claim, it became: the climate is changing, human actions are causing it, but it doesn’t matter what we do as civilians or even western countries because China and India are producing far more carbon than we are.
Now that climate change is no longer disputed in Canada (mostly because of a recent proliferation of wildfires and floods), the stance has become it’s real and it’s happening, but paying a few cents more a for a liter of gas to save the planet: outrageous!
Even though the money raised through the price on carbon will be refunded to the citizens (in many cases equaling or outpacing the carbon fees they paid), the Tories still keep beating a dead horse, echoing the mob mentality mantra from the South: “all taxes are bad taxes”. They conveniently forget that taxes provide roads, hospitals, schools, and libraries that not only benefit all, but also; make us a community, a town, a province, a country. It hearkens back to 1979 and the “18 cent election”: Joe Clark lost to Trudeau (ironically) because the Tories proposed an 18 cent per gallon (3.6 cents a liter) increase in gas prices. Over the next four years, the price of gas went from 23.6 to 39.9 per liter, an increase of 81.5 cents per gallon!
A recent article in London’s Financial Times shows, unequivocally, that economists agree that a price on carbon is the best and most efficient way to combat climate change. “The carbon tax proposal, organised by the Climate Leadership Council, is a bipartisan effort that has united senior economists from both parties, and now garnered 3,300 signatures from professional economists and academics across the US.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, these 3,300 included “27 Nobel laureates, all 4 former Fed Chairs, and 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers.”
These people are not only experts in their fields, they are the superstars of their fields. To dispute their stance on this issue is like telling Wayne Gretzky he knows nothing about hockey.
I was surprised and pleased to learn from Wynn Walter’s letter (the Cosmos, April 4) that 10 years ago a Downtown Renewal Committee’s vision for a downtown park/square had been integrated into the Township’s Official Plan. Unfortunately the Uxbridge Gouldville Citizens Assoc. learned the hard way that the Official Plan can be changed on a whim if council sees fit.
It seems to me Uxbridge becomes uglier by the day, a crush of strip malls and barracks at the south end and notification signs for more subdivisions along several main roads herald the end of in-town habitat havens for birds and many small critters and even our gaze. This is the legacy of 28 years of no vision and disappointingly there seems to be no change.
Even if Council had the will to revive the downtown vision, any joy could be snuffed out by the pollution visual, auditory and olfactory of the monster trucks that thunder along Brock St.
Let’s dream big and hold Council to that Official Plan adopted 10 years ago. Quality of life is about more than the business model. Since Council has already paid over market value for the Coffee Time and convenience store, they are in for the penny – let them show us what they are made of and go for the pound. Build that sweet little oasis park with fountain and flowers, open up our lovely brook and build a bridge over it that will NOT hold those belching dinosaurs. Solve two problems in one fell-swoop.
To Council, you were elected because we wanted change for the better! Show us you have vision and guts to make our community more enjoyable. The high taxes we pay should do more than put staff on the Sunshine List.