Recently, news outlets reported that Canada’s top oil-sands company made over a billion dollars in profits in the first three months of 2011.
I’m sure we can all acknowledge that they are doing quite well for themselves. At that rate, Suncor Energy is right up there with Canada’s banks! The banks came through the recession just fine and are now back to making $20 billion a year in profits. Like Suncor, they are rich corporations who are getting richer from Stephen Harper’s corporate tax cuts. And as an added bonus, they’re getting another tax cut on their Ontario operations from Dalton McGuinty.
Canadians are paying double to keep the banks rolling in dough. First we pay the interest rates and fees that give them their profits in the first place; then we boost those profits with tax cuts. Our governments are letting the banks walk away from their duty to help pay for the public services that make Canada a better place to live.
It’s no wonder Canada will have 2.4 million millionaires by 2020, up from 1.7 million now. The Deloitte consulting firm that broke the news says that "the rebalancing of global wealth is expected to accelerate over the next decade."
We all know what "rebalancing" means: If you’re at the top, things just keep getting better. If you’re not, things get worse.
In the recent federal election, Jack Layton and the NDP had some good ideas to help working people like you and me. For example, the NDP proposed capping credit card rates at five per cent above the prime lending rate. With household debt higher than ever, the NDP proposal would keep more money in workers’ pockets, not bankers’ profits.
That’s the kind of "rebalancing" of wealth we need in this country.
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
First Vice-President/Treasurer, OPSEU