Monday, July 05, 2010

Yet Another Challenge

On Monday, June 28th, the cost of coming down the tram from Grouse Mountain went from $5 to $10 - which is very, very disappointing.

Now, I know there will be people (likely from Grouse Mountain) who say "This is the first increase in 13 years" and "they simply need to stay on top of costs" - which yes, I get. My issue isn't the price increase, but how much it has increased. First off, unless they are now paying the employees double what they were being paid in 1997, and all other costs have increased by 100% over the same time - this increase is out of whack. I understand that they need to match inflation (though I think this increase is completely out of whack with it, but then, I'm not an economist) and that price increases are inevitable. Maybe they handled it badly - small, incremental increases every two years, with a note about "why" to maintain transparency, etc....all of these things would have helped.

But frankly, that's not what I find disappointing. What really troubles me is that by doubling this cost, we're creating an even larger obstacle to the people of British Columbia getting themselves into shape. At $5, you could hike a family of four up to the top and come down again for only $20. Pack a healthy lunch from home, and this is an unbelievably healthy way t spend an entire afternoon - and for only $20. You can't even get two full tickets to the movies for $20...

The point is, the BC government needs to be looking at situations like these as opportunities to really make a difference. I would much rather see my tax money be used in a pro-active way like subsidizing the Grouse Grind, rather than being spent reactively to help people who have already developed Type II diabetes or heart disease because of inactivity, smoking and poor eating.

Now, before I get angry emails about health care for all, I'm not suggesting we, as a society should only be looking after people who are active, healthy and eat properly (although, ironically, these are also the same people who don't need as much help). No, what I'm saying is that maybe, just maybe, if our province's (and the whole country's, in fact) politicians would just start thinking a) outside the box, and b) forward, then maybe we'd have more people who fall under the "healthy" category, and therefore have to spend less money reactively.

Reactive health care isn't working - it costs us more and more each year, and we continue to fall behind. Maybe the proactive approach wouldn't save us money - maybe it would cost the same - but then we'd have a whole province/country of fit, active and healthy individuals for the exact same price.

I'd still be happy with that....


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