Column: Picky about revenues

Far be it from me to argue with political leaders over whether or not Canada is in a recession ...

Far be it from me to argue with political leaders over whether or not Canada is in a recession, but there are some economic issues I wonder about.

It seems we do anything, well, almost anything, to “grow” the economy and create jobs. We exploit our resources or give control of them to foreigners. We barge ahead with whatever might make a profit without considering the consequences.

Anything seems to be OK in terms of resources, but we’re picky about some enterprises. Like liquor revenues are good, marijuana money is bad.

Case in point. B.C.’s profits from alcohol sales dropped from $929.6 million in 2013 to $877 million in 2014. Is it a coincidence that the Province has gone all out to make it easier to buy booze?

Does anyone know why revenues were down? Does anyone know how the cost of dealing with the crimes, health and social problems resulting from alcohol abuse balances with the benefits from liquor sales?

According to a recent report, Washington state’s revenue from its first year of marijuana sales was $70 million. That’s expected to grow, especially if the excise tax is lowered. It’s a piddling amount compared to B.C.’s liquor profits, but how much did Washington state save by not having to police pot sellers and users? Interesting to note the marijuana dispensers say there is a wide variety of customers, many of them respectable people from the neighbourhood — “good” people who enjoy a puff or two. Sounds like the same folks who drink in moderation.


The long running Chretien and Mulroney governments were brought down by scandals. Will the Harper government be brought down by the Duffy affair? Or are we so inured to what used to be considered scandalous that we think anything goes providing it doesn’t hurt the economy?


Question: Why don’t the incumbents in any election run on their record instead of bribing voters with goodies?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

100 Mile Conservation Officer Joel Kline and YEP student Jill Matlock found themselves wrangling four horses on Highway 97 on Feb. 17. The horses were travelling at a steady trot up the highway after escaping their corral. (Jill Matlock photo - submitted).
Conservation officers wrangle horses on Highway 97

Jill Matlock never expected to be herding four horses in a truck.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

?Esdilagh First Nation health department staff were thrilled to rollout out the community’s first COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Feb. 26. L-R: registered nurse Sam Riczu, elder worker Marie Conway, wellness coordinator Linda Siwalace, community health representative Sharon Palmantier and youth coordinator Dakotah Casey. (photo submitted)
?Esdilagh First Nation receives first COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinic held Feb. 26 for high-risk elders

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read