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EDITOR’S DESK – <em>Making some tough choices.</em>


Editor-in-Chief and Sales Director René J. Roy is also an experienced book editor, photographer, member of the local PAB business chamber, and diehard Montreal Canadiens hockey fan. He likes to rant about most of these things on Twitter as @hfxhabby. You can email him at: rjroy@wreckhousepress.com.

A couple of weeks ago the price of gas shot down by about 10 or 12 cents a litre. We were all very excited and we figured that, if it stayed down, the price of oil and the price of everything from diesel fuel to home heating fuel would also stay down.

Obviously, that’s not what happened.

In a short amount of time, between seven and ten days, it went up another $0.08, down another $0.03. It’s been up $0.60 from where it is now. It’s been below $1.70. There’s no way to predict exactly what’s going to happen anymore.

There is never any accountability, there’s never any reason behind it, and I don’t think that the Public Utilities Board is doing any due diligence beyond just going with the New York markets, or wherever else they get their source info from.

It’s frustrating when you don’t know what you’re going to be putting in your car from one day to the next. I used to be able to fill up my SUV for $45, maybe $50, and now it’s anywhere from $70 to $90. Every gas company has reported record profits.

Meanwhile at the grocery store a tub of margarine and two litres of milk cost my senior mother, living on a fixed income, $15. If that’s not gouging I don’t know what is.

The provincial government is telling us they’re implementing a sugar tax to help us make better choices. That’s a piss poor excuse to implement a new tax when your residents are already struggling. How about you reduce tax on the choices you’d prefer and we’d prefer instead of taking more money out of our pockets? If a 2L of soda with this sugar tax is cheaper than 2L of milk without, guess which one is going into the shopping cart? And where is that money going to go anyway? Into healthcare, education or the like? Or are you going to be building more government offices somewhere?

Speaking of healthcare, I just paid $7,000 to a private clinic to have the lenses in my eyes replaced because doctors said if I didn’t I would literally go blind. Except MCP and my private medical insurance wouldn’t cover that procedure until I actually do go blind. So my choices were go blind and hope it’s not too late to correct it so that the healthcare system would cover it, or else pony up the money to prevent that.

Some choice.

I don’t know when it’s going to end, but I know if this trend of up and down, less product for more money, increased taxation and less solutions and the incessant struggle of simply trying to get by every single day continues, all it’s going to do is frustrate more and more people. And then the healthcare system can enjoy all the mental damage and stress that will result.

Without doing anything about it, nothing is ever going to change. It’s time for some new solutions beyond “raise taxes” and putting the onus on residents to “make better choices”.

Isn’t that what the government is supposed to do? Instead they’re following the way of big business and it feels like they’re gouging us.

But it’s for our own good, so that we make better choices.

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