TRAVEL IN CANADA?

or Bullshit?

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 of!

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 much bullshit. 

Wikipedia has a large amount of interesting information on transportation in Canada and you can review those pages here. 

 

What is Travel Infrastructure?

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 Canadian route

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.  

 

 

BUS

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 your vehicle. 

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 Vancouver Island. 

 

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 times.  

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 for employment. 

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 wikipedia at 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 ParliamentPremiers 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! 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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