We are what we eat. The Canada Food Guide has been around pretty much forever and the latest iteration offers a chance to reflect. It’s a well-meaning attempt to, well, make life better. Over the years it has been adjusted to reflect medical findings about sugar and fat, portion sizes and such. What we really need to get our heads around is that poverty interferes with good eating.
Tiny ( and rich ) Luxembourg made mass transit free at the point of use for the entire country last month. Vehicular congestion and air pollution is cited as the primary motivations for this undertaking but we like to see it as a healthy example of social democracy in action. This is a systemic gift to ordinary people in the heart of a continent that has seen a strong general trend in the opposite direction, toward inequality and the running down of public services. Next? Greater Toronto?
We first came across detailed recognition of transportation poverty in the form of reports from non-profit and academic sources in the UK. Canadians need not feel left out when it comes to our lived experience of this particular social difficulty. Just look at the first map of Canada’s business capital, a place run by a suburban millionaire who despises public services.
Ha! Excellent news after a rather dark week. Canadian clothier Simons is introducing a minimum wage of sixteen dollars an hour. Are we psychic predicting they will attract more customers with happier employees who give better service because the people they work for actually give a hoot about them? We know where we will be buying our new clothing in the coming years.
Here’s a link to that open letter from the people managing something like one point eight billion dollars worth of the national economy. Contrast the thinking behind their interest in universal basic income with that other item from same news cycle in which we find Tory/neoliberal playa Patrick Brown (MPP, Simcoe North) needed three hundred grand for his office expenses for two months. This man is part of an AUSTERITY government. One that just foisted a hospital cancellation on Brampton, one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, among other things.
What a curiosity these times are. Firstly that a right wing government member can be a hog wild spender with a robotic interest in power who also projects a surface interest in fiscal probity and professionalism mainly expressed through talking like a businessman. Secondly, the actual business managers are, here, in the role of social conservation.
Are these times in which the messages are mixed? You fucking bet they are.