A supersized package of toilet paper is returned to the empty shelf at the Lynnwood store Target on Friday by the husband of a shopper who told his wife, who had two 27-roll packs of Scott tissue in the cart, “I think 54 rolls is enough, dear. Let’s leave some for someone else.” (Andrea Brown/The Herald)

COLUMNS: Virus pandemic wobbles market

The spread of coronavirus has many of us so busy washing our hands and buying toilet paper

The spread of coronavirus has many of us so busy washing our hands and buying toilet paper that we miss stories about the world’s economy.

Recent headlines announced slumping oil prices (hurrah, lower gas prices) but the stock market is wobbling, too. The fear of a virus pandemic is being blamed for the economic downturn but it was predicted long before the disease appeared. B.C. is coping better than some in dealing with coronavirus. Hopefully we will do as well dealing with economic issues.

It bothers me that so many of our fossil fuel companies are foreign-owned. We encourage off-shore investment with subsidies, tax breaks, who knows what else. But, if things go wrong, the foreigners can walk away leaving us to clean up the mess. A number of oil companies have done that to Alberta, and B.C. is on the hook for over $1 billion in cleanup costs for abandoned mines.

***

Good news department.

The Cariboo Regional District board is including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) information with each agenda. B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to put UNDRIP into law. The more people who know what it’s all about the better.

***

A contributor to social media recently noted he/she has never had a problem with women wearing hijabs, but has had a few with men wearing suits. That rang a bell with me. Years ago I wrote a column noting our lives were controlled by middle-aged white male politicians.

That’s changed a bit. President Trump is an old white man, as are the two vying for his job. In Canada, at the moment, many of our leaders are younger men, and one isn’t white, but all wear suits. Maybe suits are the problem?

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

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