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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Get Ready For Anti-Government Protest 2015

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Protest QuebecWell, election protests are coming right on cue.¬†It appears students are organizing¬†a Canadian wide¬†strikes¬†for 2015 to shine the light on austerity and the 1% ers.¬† Their vision¬†is to show¬†resistance and civil unrest to austerity by uniting students, workers (unions), and society as a whole¬†across Canada¬†similar to¬†what’s happening in Italy today.¬†The protesters¬†want to stop governments¬†from¬†what they feel are financial¬†attacks on the population (housing, arts and culture, union right’s etc.).¬†They seem to take the position that¬†most Canadians are hard done by and only a few are benefiting, and that wealth should be fairly redistributed amongst all. But, looking at some of the facts I find it difficult to support their extreme position , especially after¬†Canada has just successfully¬†navigated through one of the worst recession in Canadian history.

In Quebec over 10,000 Halloween costumed students and public sector employees (Anti-Austerity Protesters) marched in Montreal several weeks ago to protest austerity measures imposed by the Quebec government. They feel that the cuts in programs and public services are only for the 99% of the population¬†and are made¬†just to give the 1% rich and¬†privileged big tax breaks. In 2015 printemps2015.org is organizing a national strike¬†to close schools, offices, and cities until each and every one of them¬†receives “what they are collectively owed”. Since the protesters are protesting the government’s (provincial and federal) to spend more money and stop the austerity, they must feel the government either has extra money or can get it. Since they are talking for the 99% they must be talking¬†of a tax¬† on the so-called rich (the 1% ers).

However, looking at a¬†poll done for¬†Canadian Business¬†by Forum Research , it shows the average top 10% of the¬†richest households in Canada only have $774,000 in liquid assets (stocks, bonds, etc.), own approximately¬†$800,000 in real estate and carry¬†about $225,000 in debt.¬† Even if the top 10% of the Canadian rich gave away all there assets ($2 trillion), giving each individual Canadian¬†¬†a wonderful one time gift of¬†approximately $58,000, this would leave¬†business crippled and broke since¬†a large part¬†of their assets are invested creating jobs. Clearly, the students and unions blaming the rich for Canada’s woe’s¬†are misguided.¬†Applying a special tax to¬†the top 10% won’t solve the inequality of the bottom 30%. Letting the wealthy use their funds to build wealth will.

Another interesting fact that Forum Research uncovered is 50% of the population controls 80% of the Canadian wealth not 1% which protestors like to suggest. Forum also uncovered  that the bottom 10% of the population has an average net worth of just under $57,000 and carries $36,000 in debt. Not great, but not exactly destitute in world standards.

Aside from the Forum research,¬†I¬†think that the protester’s¬†may have some legitimate beef. The Broadbent Institute¬†did find¬†the top 10% of Canadians accounted for almost half (47.9%) of all Canadian wealth in 2012. The bottom 30% of Canadians accounted for less than 1% of all wealth.¬†¬†Broadbent also noted¬†that Canada has 1,138,000 millionaires in 2012 who account for 3 per cent of the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders. These figures¬†do show we may¬†have a growing wealth inequality in Canada (like a game of monopoly where one player eventually win’s all the money)¬†that has to be kept in check.

The Harper government¬†is going to have to¬†address¬†these issues (student programs,¬†lower 30% ¬†etc.) in¬†the 2015 election if¬†they hope to ward of these protests and get re-elected.¬†If they don’t, the unions and student demonstrations¬†could gain steam and set the election agenda, pitching their¬†own¬†political slant to sway the public its time for a change.

When you look at the¬†real numbers and take out the union and student protestors propaganda slogan of the 99%,¬†the¬†vast majority of¬†Canadians¬†can make ends meet. Maybe its time for Canadians to¬†take a few moments out of their busy schedule¬†to¬†check out how well Canada has been doing under the Conservative’s,¬†before being swayed into left-wing¬†extream options by theses protestors and unions who are demanding¬†an unrealistic nit-picking wish list from Government. We have to let business do the job they are supposed to, create good paying jobs and wealth for Canadians and let government create opportunities. By doing this wealth will come.

As far as the protestors and unions, these 2015 marches, shutdowns and show of civil disobedience are more about their personal agenda and to undermine Harper and  gain influence in an election year. Not much more.

Written by Ken McGregor

November 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

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