By Henry McRandall
Liberal Prime Minister Justin (Photo-Op) Trudeau has gotten himself into a bit of a bind with his paradoxical public support both for pipelines bringing natural gas and bituminous Alberta tar sands oil to various coastal shipping points and simultaneously for Canada’s challenging environmental commitments.
But while “youngish” Trudeau seems somewhat at a loss for how to resolve his political dilemma, there is one – and only one – possible solution that provide some measure of satisfaction to both sides of the economical/environmental debate: using a vast portion of coming carbon-tax revenues – along with existing federal, provincial and municipal subsidies – to rapidly launch comprehensive, fast, frequent and FREE 24-hour-a-day public transit across Canada:
Consider, if you will, just some of the massive benefits that could accrue from such a bold and innovative undertaking:
1) It would make commuting via public transit a viable and appealing choice for every possible demographic, including many who now view Canada’s entire public transit edifice as nothing but a traffic nuisance;
2) It would eliminate any possible rationalization for anyone in any urban area to drive while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs;
3) It would vastly reduce the massive volume of carbon dioxide emissions spewed daily from private vehicles snarled in almost every Canadian city’s congested traffic;
4) It would generate more than 100,000 high-wage blue-collar jobs not only in the operation and maintenance of vehicles but also in the ongoing manufacture of transit vehicles of all types (perhaps by financially-challenged Bombardier) and the ongoing construction of transit facilities;
5) It would provide massive cost savings for individuals and households struggling just to survive after decades of grueling real-wage stagnation;
6) It would help make it possible for single parents to pursue skills development and participate more fully in the job market;
7) It would enable Canada and, in particular, its oil and gas producing provinces, to continue to exploit our enormous fossil-fuel wealth as both Canada and the world transition to more environmentally sustainable energy sources; and
8) By eliminating the hassle and exorbitant cost of parking, could play a vital role in revitalizing Canada’s mostly decaying downtowns and enable many more Canadian citizens and residents to participate in a vibrant civil society.
BUT! With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being a beneficiary heir of his own family’s huge oil wealth (Champlain Oil), would he dare to “cross the Rubicon” and announce such a bold and pioneering undertaking, or would he be more concerned at offending the sensibilities of his “brothers” and “sisters” in the Ownership Class who tend to abhor any massive government undertaking that could pay such great dividends to the Other99%? Don’t hold your breath!
To learn more about the compelling case for fast, frequent, FREE and comprehensive public transit, you might wish to check out this story which first appeared in WRISEUP.COM in December, 2016:
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