“Bald Head Beach still off limits,” read the header on the front page of 21 June issue of The Independent, a weekly newspaper from Brighton, ON.
Bald was the eye-catcher; having a beach named after us was the clincher. Why is their Bald Head Beach off limits?
Expecting a bald joke, I read on. It was no joke.
The story read: “Members of the department of Defence’s Unexploded Explosive Ordnance undertake a new intensive search for eight unexploded 500 pound bombs in the area.”
Bald Head Beach was once part of a “firing range” for training our military folk how to shoot guns, drop bombs, and fire rockets at other military folk.
Fran McBride, manager of the Unexploded Ordnance Program added: “an estimated seven per cent of the bombs and rockets released on 1940s era ‘ranges’ failed to explode.”
Pardon the pun but how’s that for a bureaucratic bombshell?
The Brighton Independent added a final tid-bit: “DND has undertaken searches for unexploded ordnances in 1954, 1965, 1977, and most recently 1992.”
There’s nary a mention of anyone fussing, nor asking, where the other ranges are with “an estimated seven per cent” of unexploded ordinance underground?
The seven per cent figure, and the word ordnance combined to remind me of another form of unexploded ordinance — taxes.
One, which seemed to be on our side was the one per cent drop in the GST. Miniscule as it is, it is on the plus side of the our tax ledger for a change.
But, gurus, economic and financial, immediately panned it, adding to my guilt, as I smiled putting a looney here, and there back into my jeans.
Their pontifications had me putting it to “proper use” to relieve the national deficit, and debt. Guess what, pontificators, some of us have debts, and deficits too.
They weren’t finished. An unfamiliar moment of pleasure in that rare land of tax relief, they’re on about “Steve” having his other hand in my left hand pocket taking back more than I put into the right hand pocket.
Hidden ordinance beneath tax sands eh?
Another tiny plus came after reading that the Fraser Institute said Tax Freedom Day was June 19th, up five days from last year.
It, “tax freedom day,” is the Fraser Institute’s way of, well, let’s have them describe it.
“It is nearly impossible for an ordinary citizen to have a clear idea of how much tax they really pay. Tax Freedom Day gives Canadians a true picture of their total tax burden.”
Its calculations include all taxes levied on Canadians by the multi-layers of government and we’d need a couple of pages of this newspaper to list them
Now, just like that GST cut, there are gurus planting doubts about its value too. Among them, Sheila, the flag lady.
Remember Rat Packer Sheila Copps?
Well Sheila, a former Liberal MP, is still yelling, only in print, in a column in the Toronto Star. She’s now a media guru, and she’s against the Fraser Institute’s tax freedom day concept, which is not unexpected, though, as my old friend Vic would say, “Well now, if Sheila Copps is against Tax Freedom Day, it must have merit.”
She, and her cohorts, remind me, interminably, they have controlled our halls of power more than any other bunch, which, I assume, includes the period since 1961, so some of the following numbers must be attributed to them, and the infamous “legacy,” eh?
“Well now,” according to the Fraser Institute number crunchers, our tax burden has increased 1,600 per cent since 1961, which is calculated at $26,792 a year per Canadian family.
In the same period, shelter costs increased 1,006 per cent, food 481 per cent and clothing a mere 439 per cent.
Salaries haven’t kept pace, well unless you’re at the top of the heap way up in the troposphere where the sky’s the limit.
A Bald Head Beach is one thing, a Bald Head Beach with “unexploded ordnances” scattered beneath its sands is another, and I just can’t keep the inside of my bald head making the outside observation it all sounds like a perfect match of our tax system, unexploded “ordnances” here, there and everywhere.
A tip of the hat to tax relief, whatever shape or form it takes, and a reiteration, despite all our bumbles and stumbles in government systems, most Canadians really do have it made in the shade.
After all, money isn’t everything, nor is Vic, when he says, “People are living longer, and it’s necessary, so they can get their taxes paid.” But he does have a point.