Friday, July 24, 2009

Pay your own way? Good idea!

VIAIn a National Post column, Lorne Gunter makes the patently absurd claim that since rail cannot survive on its own, needing government subsidies to operate, Via Rail should be dismantled.

With a stunning display of ignorance, he says, "If you like to go by train, then you pay for it." It’s almost as if he thinks that the hundreds of billions invested in our roadways are a gift from some supreme being, and not paid for by Canadian taxpayers – even some who might (gasp!) prefer to travel by train.

Here’s a thought Lorne. Let’s let those who live in Calgary pay for Highway 1 so they can head into Banff for their weekend getaway in a taxpayer-funded national park. And they could also pay for Highway 2 to get them to a taxpayer-funded airport to fly to someplace where the testosterone and pickup truck exhaust fumes aren’t so thick as to cause brain damage. And that’s to say nothing about the taxpayer-funded interchanges, overpasses, and bridges Calgarians use every day in mad pursuit of their petro-dollars.

If you had to pay for all that, I expect you might just find yourself travelling by Red River cart whether you wanted to or not.

And by the way, it’s not just Albertans paying for all that largesse either – it’s Ontarians, Manitobans, Newfoundlanders – all Canadians.

You’re welcome. Now  stop being so damned stupid.

(Photo: Shaun Best, Reuters)


The Rat said...

But I like to travel by plane. Where's my subsidy? And i really like rock and roll, how come i have to pay for my Rolling Stones concert when the government subsidizes the local symphony? I just don't understand why most of my rather plebeian preferences are pay-as-I-go while many of the more elite-ish preferences get that subsidy. Man, it's tough being a redneck.

Canajun said...

I do hope you're not being serious!