Mayors praised

Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown praised for trying to solve provincial and federal downloading

We owe a vote of thanks to Mayor Janice Brown of Spallumcheen, and the other 85 B.C. mayors who met in Penticton recently to try and solve the growing problem of increased municipal responsibilities and costs in the face of reduced federal/provincial funding.

They should not judge themselves harshly for failing to find a solution. A billion-dollar global conference of the world’s greatest economists came to a similar impasse and for the same reason. We need to deal with the disease of a privately-controlled money system rather than be constantly enmeshed in the disease’s manifold symptoms. Once diagnosed the cure could be almost unbelievably simple and quick.

Our system of debt-money creation by the sale of government bonds and debentures to private money lenders at compounding interest rates is, at its very source, both fatally flawed and unconstitutional.  It has caused our government debts to climb out of control and Canada will only recover its earlier greatness when our federal government returns to creating the nation’s money in a controlled and responsible way as it is indeed required to do under Section 91 of the Constitution Act. It did this at well under one per cent, employing the publicly owned Bank of Canada as originally intended, to help get us out of the Great Depression and to make possible the financing of the Second World War. It can and must do so again, and urgently, if we are to avoid the economic tsunami now threatening to overwhelm us.

The reason Ottawa has had to cut back on provincial transfers is because the gross federal debt has now reached an astronomical $920 billion and the cost of servicing that private debt in 2011, according to StatsCan, amounted to $60 billion, the equivalent of $160 million a day. The province of B.C. has reduced funding to municipalities because, since 1995, provincial debt has increased by 165 per cent, from $27 billion to $45 billion and in 2011 cost B.C. taxpayers $2 billion in interest and other bank charges.

The collective annual cost of debt servicing for the 160 members of the Union of B.C. Municipalities – arranged exclusively via the Municipal Finance Authority on behalf of a private banking consortium – is estimated at well in excess of half-a-billion dollars. In the 42 years since the MFA’s inception, Vernon’s taxpayers alone have paid them more than $120 million in interest, a huge drain that has denied our community a vast array of badly-needed public amenities and community services. Borrowing privately at compound interest to fund municipal infrastructure is insane.

It gets worse, but I believe I’ve covered the subject fully enough to expose the problem and offer a solution. Community Options Groups’ goal is to encourage broad discussion at SILGA, UBCM and FCM.

We are convinced that a movement toward a sustainable economic future can now only be seeded at community level since provincial and federal party politics has proven so divisive, corrupted and embarrassingly dysfunctional.

Dennis Milligan –

Community Options Groups