Reflecting on the past year in Metchosin it occurs to me there is a much larger picture at play, so I ask the readers’ indulgence as I stray from local issues. I feel that 2022 is when we will start seeing the effect of the societal transformation that has been taking place and with it, our last opportunity to decide if we want to continue down this road.
Demands on local government have led to expectations that cannot be met without major increases in spending, which means continuing increases in taxation and fees for service. A five per cent lift in an election year used to be unheard of but not now.
There is also a growing tendency for politicians to advance their own expensive ideologies rather than represent the wishes of the electorate.
At the provincial and federal level, any pretence of fiscal restraint has vanished with the onset of COVID. Coupled with that has been an unprecedented loss of individual freedoms we used to take for granted. Freedom of choice, expression, mobility and even livelihood have willingly been forfeited in exchange for dubious government promises of collective security.
Shortages and supply chain difficulties have demonstrated our reliance on offshore producers. Canada, with its wealth of natural resources and small population, should be well-positioned to be self-sufficient but instead, we threaten our sovereignty by insisting on the lowest possible prices while stifling domestic production with excessive and costly regulation.
The censoring of competing ideas is becoming rampant in big tech and mainstream media. Science has always advanced by relying on free and open debate to test concepts. Now science is “settled” by rigid adherence to the installed narrative.
Following the new corporate paradigm, Big Pharma is making staggering profits by convincing government, without debate, to pay for the development and purchase of their products.
The checks and balances that come from competing in a consumer-controlled free market are being lost to big corporate/big government coalitions.
I suspect that this and more is leading to the “Great Reset” and the World Economic Forum’s vision that by 2030 “we will own nothing and be happy.”
If that thought does not make you happy then it is time to start appreciating that individual freedom is not out of fashion and to resist the temptation to transfer our personal authority to government.
We need to understand that every increase in taxation means a little less purchasing power for the individual and with that a little less freedom.
We should look at what is going on around us and extrapolate where government and corporate elite policies are taking us.
We need to return to judging by results, not theory, avoid letting fear replace healthy risk and encourage differences instead of sameness. More than anything we must stop letting others think for us and rely more on our innate perception of common sense and morality.
Government is important and necessary, but it should not become our master.
John Ranns is the mayor of the District of Metchosin.