Five hundred bucks

Shoulda, woulda, coulda – famous last words in the fight against inflation.

A recent report by Statistics Canada explains a phenomena Canadians know too well: $500 is still a lot of money.

When respondents were asked if they could take on a $500 surprise debt, one quarter of Canadians said they would be unable to pay it. That is how tight many household budgets are. Almost half of those polled, said they were even having difficulty meeting rent or affording their home.

The study went on to state the obvious: that various demographics were less likely to have issues. Chiefly older established Canadians could weather such a bill.

These concerns with bills and inflation are not new. If prodded a bit to be completely honest, most people will have had a tough stretch at some point in their life. A new job, new family, layoffs or termination from a job – most everyone will have experienced the tension that comes with not enough revenue and too many bills.

In the early 1980s as an example – yes, that would be in the last century – interest rates doubled to battle inflation. High rates of 21% are well remembered by business-people and homeowners alike. It was a difficult time for many. 

We also recall at that time a nice home would have been $80,000 and a good-sized hobby farm would have fetched $120,000. 

These numbers are somewhat relative and every once in a while, we comment to friends that we should have bought a farm back then. It wasn’t long into those talks we were reminded $120,000 back then may as well have been a million because hardly anybody had the money to afford it.

At the end of the day, the world needs to get its rhythm back and affordability needs to return for all Canadians.

Worth thinking about

Did anyone else catch the irony in the provincial government’s latest health ad decrying the internet as a scary place to look for information?

“Stop going down internet rabbit holes” it claimed. “Have questions about your health? Stop searching and start finding. Connect to nurses, pharmacists, answers, and care at”

Following that great admonition, Canada’s Governor General issued a press release this week stating, “In recent months we have witnessed an increase in abusive, misogynistic and racist engagement on social media and online platforms, including a greater number of violent threats.”

The statement continued, “As a result, we will be turning off comments on our social media platforms to ensure that all those who consult our information can do so in an environment that is respectful to all.”

It remains passing strange for publishers across the country – independent publishers to be exact – who have witnessed a devastating decline in advertising from provincial and federal governments. 

Much of it has to deal with the agencies they charge with promoting their causes faring far better in a digital world.

To see these ads noting the peril and the government continue to spend tens of millions on this ever-expanding digital network strikes us as folly in the extreme.