Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Five Cents for a Plastic Bag!? This Canadian is Tired of Being Nickeled and Dimed!

Today, I went to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy a couple of things and was asked by the cashier if I wanted to "purchase" a bag.  I said no, because in my opinion, charging a five cent bag fee is just another way big corporations are squeezing more profits out of their customers.  To make matters worse, this is a practice that's been encouraged by some of our incompetent politicians.  The pandora's box of bag fees was opened in Toronto when then mayor David Miller and his band of leftist councillors decided to make all retailers in Toronto charge a five cent fee per plastic bag. But as if this wasn't bad enough for Joe the taxpayer, the new rule didn't require retailers to turn the money over to the city or use it for environmentally-friendly initiatives, despite the fact that the whole argument in favour of the bag fee revolved around reducing the use of plastics that harm the environment. Instead, retailers could keep the money from the bag fees, which is exactly what most of them did, even after the city cancelled the mandatory fee years later. Now just to be fair, some retailers do voluntarily donate some of the money from the bag fees to environmental causes.  But for the most part, the money from the five cents per bag that people in Toronto and elsewhere pay is going straight into the pockets of big retailers.  As if the big multi-billion dollar retail giants don't charge us enough for their goods already at a time where more and more people are having trouble making ends meet.  

Okay, I understand that this is an old issue and that many people have grown used to this ridiculous example of nickel and diming.  The truth is that most of us just shrug and accept it.  This is the unfortunate case with many other dumb charges that big companies use to gouge Canadians. Remember when you didn't have to pay fuel surcharges and baggage fees at the airport?  How about when the airlines used to feed us for free on short-haul flights?  Or when you didn't have to pay to receive paper bills?  And please don't get me started on all those banking and credit card fees!  I think the real question here is, why do we let this happen?  Why do Canadians allow big corporations to levy such ludicrous charges so that they can squeeze more profits out of us?  The simple answer is that we don't complain loud enough about it to the point where our politicians can hear us and make laws to stop big business from nickel and diming us to death.  Unfortunately, the word is out that Canadians will pay more for everything.     

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