I mean, really?
More and more people are moving into the city. The rural areas are emptying. Why is this? Some people think it is a conspiracy. They think there is a plan afoot to get everyone into little boxes like rats in a big central laboratory. The Matrix Reloaded. THAT makes no sense to me but I must admit that there seems to be some supporting evidence.
Consider the BC ferry system. The costs to use the ferry have more than doubled at a time when other costs have dropped. Admittedly, fuel is a big factor in transportation but the conspiracy theorists point out that imported goods have dropped in price despite the fuel used to deliver them. As have air fares (relatively). Notable exception: flying to Haida Gwaii – costs twice what it costs to fly to Toronto. And there is no doubt that higher ferry prices have damaged island life on the BC coast.
But here’s the latest example. We have barge service out here. We pay for it when we need it. We pay a lot. But, having said that, they deliver a lot and they are an excellent service. In fact, they are, along with the post office, the ONLY service remote islanders enjoy. I pay $1.50 or more a liter for gasoline and almost twice the going rate for propane but the option is to burn a lot of gasoline to go get a small amount (the amount I can carry) of almost-as-high-cost fuel from the neighbouring island to put in my boat so that I can go get more. It makes financial and environmental sense to pay for the little I need if I don’t have to go get it. Seriously, I would burn as much as I use in a month just going by boat to the next island to get it.
The barge service is great. It has been operating safely for over thirty years.
Recently our government mandated all such barges be double-hulled. As if our government was concerned for the environment or something. Which they most assuredly are NOT. Anyway, our barge guys went and spent millions doubling up their hull as per instructions. Now they are awaiting approval. It has not been forthcoming. It has been 14 months. They are now officially ‘overdue’ for their ‘inspection’ by several months. They can be closed down. Even though they have contacted the ministry countless times to indicate compliance, they have not been certified. They are worried. BIG government cannot be trusted.
So, they get closed down. So another little guy gets squished by government once again. So what? Injustice happens. Get over it. Do what the rest of the sheep do – move to town. Stop doing that ‘remote thing’ and comply. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
Well, that is the conspiracy theory summarized, anyway. Little by little, step by encroaching step, they are making living rural and remote harder and harder.
I don’t subscribe to that theory. Too Machiavellian to be plausible, I think. But there is one point made that makes sense….the fewer people living remote, the less oversight and witness there is to increasing natural resource exploitation. Now THAT is simply just true. It’s a fact. No people = no witnesses.
Consider the recent oil spill in English Bay (now reported to maybe being larger than first thought)…..that spill was in the heart of town, so to speak. Took 12 hours to respond. How many oil spills or bilge pumping pollution happens OUT OF SIGHT? How many clear-cuts are NOT seen? How many Mount Pollys go unreported simply because there is no one to see? Who is served by such lack of oversight?
The bible exhorts people to ‘bear witness’ as a means to thwart evil. Maybe the conspiracy theorists are right. Maybe they are trying to get rid of us. Maybe they don’t want us as lab rats so much as simply not being out here to see the crimes being committed.
Camping fees in parks have gone way, way up. Canada Post keeps trying to close the post office. Conservation officers and in-the environment jobs have been cut (NOT the office jobs in Ottawa, tho). The Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans have no boats. They are closing down some more Coast Guard stations. Lighthouse keepers have been axed. Rural people are more vulnerable to fuel price hikes.
Doesn’t matter if there is a conspiracy or not, the bottom line is that there are fewer and fewer witnesses out here.
And there seems to be more and more evil……………..