It’s not often we get a chance to glimpse how power really operates in Canada. Last night was one of those rare opportunities.
At 6 p.m., the men who dominate our financial system assembled at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto. Among them were the CEOs of Canada’s five big banks and the top insurance companies. In many ways, this crowd could be regarded as the executive committee of Canada’s ruling elite.
They came for a dinner ($1,250 a ticket) to raise funds for a new monetary policy research centre connected to the C.D. Howe Institute. That may sound innocuous. But Canada’s top bankers were not getting together to figure out how they can make banking more customer-friendly.
Monetary policy may seem dull, but what’s at stake isn’t. It deals with money — how much will be in circulation and how much it will cost to borrow. The answers to those questions affect us all — but in different ways, depending on our financial circumstances. (Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star, May 17, 2010)
Ms McQuaig outlines how monetary policy feeds the interests, either of those seeking and those seeking to sustain employment, with low interest rates versus those seeking to make more money, on their money, with higher interest rates, thereby determining the amount of money in circulation at any given time. She also notes that Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, and himself a 12 or 13 year veteran of Goldman Sachs, was at the dinner last night.
Not only is the C.D. Howe Institute funded by Canada's rich elite, but increasingly, so are Canada's universities, Canada's land-owners and developers, Canada's pharmeceutical industry, and virtually all of Canada's media.
Little wonder, then, that the capacity of the "right" to influence public opinion against workers, the poor, the uneducated and the undereducated, the unemployed and the underemployed is, and likely will continue to be, so dominant.
In fact, there is really no "left" opinion remaining in this country. Even the N.D.P. is reduced to fighting for better ATM rates, a mere pimple on the tumour of the "right's" control of the body politic.