A country is a geographical
area with common interests. Canada is one of the largest countries
in the world by area although we have a population of approximately
36 million which is much less than most established countries
who often have much smaller surface areas. In other words Canadians
are really spread out although not equally according to the vast
area in the country. In fact 90% of Canadians live in a few large
communities all situated within a narrow 100 mile band clinging to
the Southern border with the USA. This is a fact almost never
mentioned in school and one that the average Canadian is not aware
Now at this point you might ask
what are we getting at and where is the bullshit because this
website specializes in identifying bullshit. Fair question.
The bullshit lies in the lack
of an affordable infrastructure within Canada that allows affordable
travel between areas within the country. And if you have a country
where you cannot afford to visit most areas of it do you really have
a country or do you just think you have a country? We have a
great country but from a transportation perspective we have way too
Wikipedia has a large amount of
interesting information on transportation in Canada and you can
review those pages
What is Travel
Lets consider a need to travel
from St.John Newfoundland to Victoria BC. Lets now consider
the methods and the costs associated with each method.
Total distance 7430 km
Car or Truck
88 hours If
you drive 8 hours a day it would take you 11 days to drive this far
and that would require 11 nights in a hotel.. If your vehicle was
getting 25 miles per gal then you would require approximately $700
worth of fuel and 8 hotel stays at $100/night = $800 plus 22 meals
at $15 meal =$330 for a total of about $1800. Lets include
another $200 for unexpected costs like oil for your vehicle and misc
stuff for a grand total of $2000 The advantage of a car or truck is
that you could possibly carry up to approximately 4 passengers. Yes
your meal costs would go up but your unit costs would decrease. But
the bottom line is that it will cost you at least $2000 to drive across
Canada and about the same amount to drive back. And if you think
that is bad here is the really bad news.
How much of that $4000 round
trip car or truck cost to drive across Canada do you think represent
tax paid to our governments? Lets estimate it at 13% so your total
taxes paid were $520. Oh but wait if you are in the 15% tax bracket
for paying taxes on your income then it would have cost you $600 in
taxes to earn the money. So that means in order to pay the $4000
round trip costs you also had to pay our governments $1120 taxes. So
one could say that the tax cost for you round trip is actually 28%
of the total cost you pay. This is pure Bullshit. These are
real numbers. Most Canadians don't have a clue what is going on
here. The media doesn't report it. None of the political parties
report on it because they are responsible for it. So nobody
complains. And nothing is done to reduce these taxation costs. And
as a result the majority of Canadians can not afford to drive across
Canada in their vehicle.
If you decided to go by bus a
ticket from St Johns to Victoria would be impossible to obtain. So
let's consider the cost between say Toronto and Victoria which would
be approximately $715 including tax and would take just over two
days and 17 hrs. So three days of food would cost you about $100.
The problem is that this is just for one seat. If you had four
people in your vehicle it would be slightly less expensive than
traveling by bus. However if it was just you then it would be less
expensive to travel by bus rather than having just one person in
Now the Train. Its the
most comfortable way to go if you get a cabin but suddenly that is
the most expensive way to go. It would cost you about $807 for
the ticket and another $150 for the food and would take about 3 days
and 14 hours. And there would also be the ferry costs to get you to
How about the Plane then??
An Air Canada flight for one
person from Toronto to Victoria is approximately $603 with tax in.
The flight is about 8 hours. You also need to get to the
airport and back and you will likely get extra charges for luggage
and food. So although you can get to Victoria the fastest on a plane
you cannot carry much luggage with you
All the amounts vary somewhat
at different times of the year when prics may be dropped for slower
What does it all mean?
Travel within Canada is
expensive. In fact it is so expensive that it is prohibitively
expensive for millions of Canadians. This makes it impossible for
millions of Canadians to travel for vacations or jobs or schooling.
The travel infrastructure in Canada is not functioning at a cost
that millions of Canadians can afford.
And picking the transportation
method to travel in Canada includes many variables like how many
people are traveling with you? Do you require your vehicle when you
get to your locations? Would you like to stop and see things along
the way? What is the climate like? How much stuff do you need to
take with you? When you look at the cost of driving across Canada it
is quite high however what if you had a couple of people in the car
with you? And what if you wanted to stop along the way and what if
you were willing to do some camping or cooking along the way? And
possibly your vehicle gets 30 miles to the gallon of fuel. So
sit down and do the math.
Are other countries the same?
No. The cost to travel from Boston to San Francisco by air is
approximately $270 or 1/3 the cost of a similar flight in
Canada. It is actually cheaper to fly to Europe than to
fly from Toronto to the west coast of Canada.
The Canadian government at the
federal and provincial level are part of the problem. They collect
billions of dollars in sales taxes from tickets and fuel. They know
exactly what they are doing. They are reducing your disposable
income so that you cannot afford to travel within your own country.
There is only one word for this. Guess what it is? It is BULLSHIT!
Part of the problem is that
each Province and Territory in Canada manages it's own travel. Each
Province has their own driver's license and if you move from one
Province to another you must purchase that Provinces' driver's
license and new license plates for your vehicle and that means your
vehicle must pass a provincial safety inspection. This is a very
expensive process for Canadians who move from Province to Province
Here is the bottom line.
Because travel is so expensive in Canada millions of Canadians are
limited to their home Province and possibly the Provinces adjacent
to them. Is it really your country when you can't afford to visit
most parts of it? Should there be a way of traveling from one part
of Canada to any part of Canada at a reasonable and affordable cost?
Should there be a way for a young Canadian to visit opposite ends of
their country so they have a better idea of what Canada is all about
and where job opportunities exist? Should the Federal and Provincial
and even Municipal governments construct a method of allowing
affordable transportation for Canadians so that Canada is a country
that all Canadians can explore?
One approach is a "free
travel pass" and there is an excellent description of that on
this link. We could do something like that in Canada to
start the process off. I realize that nothing is free. However
sometimes there are benefits from a "free" service that
are greater than the cost itself. In Croatia they offer
"free" bus transportation to blood donors. Not a bad
idea! In Canada blood donors are not paid and as a result we
often need to spend lots of money advertising for more donors.
So the question becomes would we actually save money by offering
free bus transportation to blood donors? And this is just one
example. Other countries offer free transportation to students, the
unemployed, the disabled and senior citizens. Imagine the
advantages of an unemployed person who now has transportation to
find a job. They find the job and suddenly the system does not need
to pay them unemployment benefits and there is a net benefit from
the "free" bus pass. And what if our students had
free passes to find jobs during the summer?
There could be huge benefits
here by making transportation in Canada affordable and removing the
level of BS in the system that we have today! Please
write your Member
of Parliament, Premiers
and Prime Minister.
Add your support and who knows possibly we can work together to make
it actually happen! I am not suggesting that transportation be free
for everyone I am suggesting that there are certain people in Canada
who should have free transportation and if they did the net taxpayer
expenses being paid now would be greatly reduced!