This is in response to a number of issues, that in my opinion, seem to have become a little distorted.
- There is Runaway inflation and ” a skyrocketing rise in the cost of living”. This seems to be the constant chant and rant in the media. Stop and think about it for a minute. Where are we at this moment? We have just endured over three years of a global pandemic with 697,897,180 COVID cases and 6,938,524 deaths world wide. In Canada there were 4,786, 258 COVID cases and 54,902 deaths. Naturally this has been accompanied by major economic and social disruptions that obviously continue to play out as the world attempts to get back to “normal”. There has been inflation in Canada but it is a stretch to characterize it as “runaway”. For comparison here are some Canadian numbers………… 2021 the rate was 3.4%; 2022 (the peak) 6.8%; 2023 (September) 3.8%; 2024 (projected) 2.43%. In looking at world wide figures there are some obvious catastrophic numbers – Argentina 143%; Turkey at 61.36% but Canada is no where in that league.
I suggest, based on these numbers, the Canadian situation is looking pretty good. I agree that the cost of goods and services have gone up but, I suggest, all things considered, the increases are not as dramatic as what has been implied by by fiscally conservative observers. The situation is stabilizing and inflation numbers are slowly coming down. The biggest component in the Canadian figures is probably the high cost of accommodation and that is largely driven by increases in interest rates.
- COVID-19 Mandates. The BC government has chosen to retain the COVID-19 vaccine mandates for workers in Health Care, Long-Term Care and Assisted Living facilities. This has prompted some reaction that implies that the mandates are a draconian policy that exacerbates the shortage of skilled health care workers. I suspect the objections are based on political considerations and have no merit. The mandates are prudent health care policy and any objections are based on political agendas or a lack of knowledge of Infectious Diseases and how Public Health policies work. Generally speaking, the vaccination rates for Health Care workers in British Columbia are in the 90+ percentiles. In some instances they are as high as 98%. I suspect the number of Health Care workers excluded from being able to work are very, very low and are not responsible for any shortage of skilled workers . For those few that resist vaccination I suggest they need to examine their professional ethics and, I further suggest perhaps they are working in the wrong profession. Vaccinations are a corner stone of modern medical practice and to think and act otherwise is unprofessional, foolish and dangerous.
- The Israeli – Palestinian Conflict. I think almost every one can agree that the Hamas attacks on Israel and the loss of Israeli lives is horrific. The resulting conflagration and the further loss of Palestinian lives is also horrific. While the military operations continue there is another battle going and that is the battle for the hearts and minds of world opinion. The history of the region over the past 70 years has been batted back and forth with blame being laid at the doors of both protagonists. The resulting sympathies depend on the latest news reports and can be switch back and forth at a moment notice. Some things do need to be kept in mind. The charges of some horrific atrocities perpetrated by Hamas at this stage of the conflict are, at best, hear say. Every one is lead to believe they are all true but, as near as I can tell concrete evidence has yet to be produced and verified. In every war, particularly at the opening stages, the charges of horrific atrocities are always levelled against all protagonists. In World War I German soldiers were accused of bayoneting Belgium babies. Was that really true? I don’t know it but it was part and parcel of the propaganda war and is all part of “the game”. So lets wait for the verifiable evidence before we pass judgment. At the same time Jewish settlers have been accused of the murder and harassment of Palestinians in the West Bank. And so it goes on. The Israelis have accused Hamas of using civilians as humans shields and placing civilians at risk by embedding themselves in the civilian population. A little dose of reality is needed here. The Gaza Strip is narrow piece of land 41 kilometres long and 13 kilometres wide. Think about it. The area is smaller than most Canadian municipalities. Into that small piece of land are crammed over 2 million people and around 500 kilometres of tunnels. Dig a hole in any direction and the chances are you will hit a tunnel. At the same time it is simply impossible for Hamas to separate itself from the civilian population. There is just not enough room to do otherwise. The Israelis know that and that is why there is such widespread civilian devastation. It is just not possible to be able to separate military and civilian targets. The Israeli demands for over a million citizens to relocate from North Gaza to the south to accommodate their battle plans is neither feasible or possible. Even with sufficient infrastructure (vehicles, gasoline, etc) of which their isn’t, it cannot be done. The Israeli Defence Force is finding weapons in and around the Palestinian hospitals and will probably offer that up as evidence of nefarious acts perpetrated by Hamas. That may or may not be true but lets face it the finding of arms is hardly unexpected.