Why our government needs to be more transparent

David McIntosh is a student at Humber College Posted April 6, 2015 at 8:35am Ever wondered what your government is actually up to? Well so have I! In theory, investing into our resources will eventually generate enough revenue to lower taxes, but where has this ever been seen?

For example, we export all of our crude oil to America for profit. Anything from drills to transportation is funded by our tax money, if not it’s subsidized. We import all of our refined oil from Saudi Arabia at a cheaper price than what we sell for to America. So, if we are making money from this transaction, where is going and how are we still in debt? These are questions that I’ve asked myself and came to the conclusion that this is why we need a more transparent government.

As of recently, there was a price flux in prices at the gas pump. In order to limit the amount the prices dropped, we actually contacted our suppliers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to limit the production in hopes of maintaining a steady price. They actually denied our request stating that they were fine with the production rate and the price it was being sold at. So how did the prices climb back in a matter of weeks? http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/OPEC-Refuses-To-Cut-Production-Sending-Oil-Price-Down-Again.html

On the topic of resources let’s get into the Canadian mining industry abroad. Things that our government needs to be more transparent about are certainly where our tax money is going to at least justify it.

For example many Canadians didn’t realize that their tax money was going towards paying authorities to illegally evict villages in Guatemala for the mining of nickel. When confronted about this case with a documentary brought forward to courts, the Canadian ambassador slandered it saying all the people in the video were actors.

Steven Schnoor was the videographer who brought the case to court and won the suit stating that the Canadian ambassador defamed the documentary which resulted in a $10,000 settlement. http://www.schnoorversuscanada.ca/

Where an instance hit home for me would be the Oakville gas plant cancellation, costing upwards of $600 million. Never were the citizens informed of the locally developing gas plant. We never had a say that this gas plant should go up in our neighborhood or that our tax money should towards it, it just happened. Only in its developing stages were we later aware of the construction, this resulted in huge protests and outrage.

The gas plant was approved despite it close location to residential areas and a local school nearby; in the event of a disaster, this was the closest one that had ever been approved of in our history. It took a lot of energy and a lot of people but we finally got the cancellation. Yes we wasted more than $600 million for the cancellation but this is an issue that could have been prevented in the first place. If our government was open to us we could have not only been aware, but could have implemented solutions.

Over and over now we have had to back track and waste tons of tax money which could have been allocated in safer and greener means. If you gave me 600 million and told me to make money it would go towards a field of solar panels and wind turbines. Safe reliable energy that will only continue to generate revenue other than waste it. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/oakville-gas-plant-cancellation-costs-675m-ag-says-1.1930206

In conclusion I ask this of you “What can we do as citizens to help form a stronger government with more transparency? Leave a comment below for any suggestions.

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