Canada not being served by corporate-first politicians
February 11th, 2011 - 3:00am
Organic farmers are well aware of the threat that genetically modified organisms present to our food supply and this week’s defeat of a Private Member’s Bill, designed to put the brakes on the introduction of new varieties of seeds, shows that the ruling elite are not thinking past what big agricultural companies want.
It is part of a larger pattern that sees parliament rolling over, time and again, to the wishes of big corporations like agricultural giant Monsanto. Couple that with the free-ride that corporations are getting vis-à-vis the continual lowering of the corporate tax rate – soon to be 14% lower than the American rate – and you can see that we have a couple of parties whose priorities are the board rooms of Bay St. and not the kitchen tables of our country.
For organic farmers, the threat of a genetically engineered alfalfa crop is very real. Should a genetically modified alfalfa variety come to market, it will interbreed with natural strains since that crop is pollinated by bees. The end result would mean that this important feed crop would not be available to producers of organic beef and milk creating a huge void in the feed source and likely making organic beef and milk too expensive for both the farmer and consumer.
Driving the corporate tax rate down is equally ill-advised. Canada’s rate is already well below that of our largest trading partner and the threats of businesses moving if it isn’t lowered even more just don’t hold water. That argument ignores the many other reasons it is worthwhile doing business here and sells our country short.
So why do our two biggest political parties continually take corporate Canada’s side over the interests of hard-working Canadians? The answer is that many of the players in both the Liberals and Conservatives come from these corporations or have direct relationships with those inside them. They have bought into the theory of trickle-down economics despite all the evidence that proves it does not work.
What we are left with are parties that acquire votes on marginal issues and govern to the benefit of corporate Canada first and foremost. If they were interested in making Canada better, they would require companies to earn their tax breaks; they would require products to prove their safety to humans and markets before being released. But they are not doing these things and the evidence to show as much mounts day after day.
The time has come to draw a line in the sand and stop the erosion of our democracy and rights at the whim of free-trading, level-playing field idealists who have only run our bottom line in one direction, downward. Many Canadians will recognize that the general standard of living is in no way better than it was 30 years ago and things are probably much more difficult than they would have imagined it would be. It is because the governments have not defended Canada or Canadian’s interests when those interests run counter to the desires of big business. It is time for that trend to change, before there is little left to preserve.