by underswansea


Snow greeted us this morning. The pure white was a welcome relief from the brown and grey brought by the melt. The snow won’t last. It is already above freezing.

This morning I read in the newspaper about Canadian banks raising many of their service charges despite having huge profits.

The story pointed out the lack of competition in the Canadian market.

All of Canadian banks raised rates at the same time. They call this ‘price maintenance’. Anywhere else, in the US for instance, this is called price fixing and is illegal. In Canada, even in light of our polite and left leaning reputation, have made it especially easy for many large companies to fleece the very citizens whose money has, over and over, propped them up.

Before I go any further let me make something clear; this post isn’t about bankers. Bankers are motherfuckers. Nor is it about business or current affairs.

It is about how many of the things we read or see in the news impact us as people.

Do we absorb the news and the world around us and realize the errors of business and prejudice and strive to treat each other better?

Or do people look at it, shrug and endeavor to run their own businesses and finances in the same manner as the banks and oil companies, albeit on a much smaller scale?

I live in a small town on the verge of turning into a big town. I have met my share of small business owners with ethics that would make many a banker look like a saint.

It is a misconception that people are either good or bad; most are both.

I grew up in a small weekly newspaper and print shop. When I was about ten or twelve a local developer burst through the front door yelling, swearing, calling everybody names and threatening legal action. She was angry at something that was written that would have put constraints on her development. Specifically a sewage system so the sewage wouldn’t run into the lake.

Since I had known the women in the past and she had seemed very nice to me I couldn’t believe the way she acted.

It should be noted the developer eventually got what she wanted. She is very wealthy now, has joined the environmental movement and lives happily in a gigantic house on the edge of the lake. Her shit and that of a large development seeps into the lake.

What did my parents get for writing and printing the article? They more than likely lost some advertising revenue, as the town’s business folks did the usual picking sides. And, they probably  had to spend money and time defending themselves, legally, against someone with many more resources than them.

The truth is; you can write things that are true in every respect, but will damage you, at times, beyond repair.

Palliser Pass started out being about the way a small town turns into a big town and it still is. It can be a fight. Some of it isn’t pretty. It also doesn’t endear you to the small group of folks that financially benefit, through political and business related connections, from the changes.

My father told me after the developer barged into the newspaper office; money motivates people to do crazy things.

That’s true!

However, what is also true, just like then, there is still plenty of people that can’t be swayed by it.