What do you have when you live in a country that has virtually no market competition or consumer protection regulations for some of the biggest monopolistic providers of home utilities, flight transportation, internet services and infrastructure during a pandemic?
Here are four corporate rascals who deserve to be questioned and held accountable for their lack of altruism and for shirking their community responsibilities in the face of overwhelming odds for the average Canadian family. In doing so, we must ask the question: “How do they sleep at night?”
Enbridge Gas: We begin with that gruesomely aggregate 1.9 customer review on Google and the realization that this organization long abandoned customer service in favour of customer animus. As a so-called dynamic multinational energy transportation company with over $50 billion in assets and over 11,000 employees, you’d figure these masters of the universe would be the first to step up in helping humanity being an essential utility company. And don’t even get me rolling with the number of vicious oil spills, pipeline ruptures and project explosions they’ve had across North America resulting in permanent damage to the economy and our environment. Instead of finding ways to help their suffering pandemic clients with deferred readings, discounted rates or energy rebates, we end up having the awesome privilege of reading about their CEO and what he’s is planning as he’s “hunkered” down at home.
Air Canada: If I had a dollar for every time I raged about this pathetic excuse for a national airline carrier, I’d have enough money to help your family through this entire pandemic. The dream of witnessing leadership from these corporate miscreants died almost immediately; they fired 16,000 of their employees at the height of our collective paranoia only to rehire them after a massive public relations fallout which led to them mysteriously qualifying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) even though they weren’t eligible initially. In other words, the taxpayer will once again step in and essentially bail out a profoundly dysfunctional flag carrier that’s used bankruptcy as a badge of corporate honour to keep a small number of elite executives from losing their VIP privileges in Tahiti, Cancun and Reykjavik. As consumers wholly reliant on this travesty of an airline, you’d think they would do everything in their power to demonstrate industry resolve in the face of transportation uncertainty, but we all know this entity exists for one reason only and that’s to exploit every single generation of Canadians moving forward to ensure that this mediocre, price-gouging, piss-poor aviation service renowned for losing your luggage stays in business.
Bell Canada: Once upon a time I worked for this monolithic weasel and still have the psychological battle scars to show my contempt for their insidiously exploitative, prey-on-your-impressionable granny business model. Even as the full weight of this pandemic reality was hitting our families and loved ones – forcing us to use internet more and more as we balanced the curve and distanced the social, these cunning opportunists were licking their chops anticipating the next price hike for shitty internet service. And although they reeled it back almost as quickly as it was announced, many customers still received the grim news that their increased usage and cabin fever reality was being completely and utterly ignored. Considering the glorious opportunity to show real leadership in the face of daunting odds such as deferring payments, removing interest rates and lowering the overall cost of usage, this sludge-bucket excuse for a provider has relied on free previews, lowering already horrible inflated roaming rates and using twitter as a mouthpiece for spewing their propaganda and general bullshit.
407 ETR: Imagine a world where your government sells massive tracts of taxpayer-funded highway land to a foreign entity and then agrees to let them charge you and prevent licensing if you end up owing them money? And then they do nothing to provide any semblance of financial relief during a pandemic? Sounds like something you’d find in a developing country with no infrastructure planning and a desire to sell out their populace at the expense of a small cabal of government cronies. Yeah, sounds about right. The Spanish company which owns the most progressive artery in our city’s layout (Cintra) acquired it for $3.1 billion dollars in 1999. The estimated value of the 407 now is over $30 billion. How this was allowed to become a “road for the rich” with a 99-year lease on the Ontario Tories watch should tell you everything necessary about why political ideology is meaningless in the face of corrosive capitalism. Then Premier Mike Harris promised tolls would never rise by 30 percent, and they’ve risen to over 200% by 2015. And the best part? We were so horribly sold out that with every plate denial (and the 26.82% annual interest rate paid for the privilege of using a road you helped construct), you can’t help but ask yourself: what are they doing to help us during these terrible and unprecedented times? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind as you drive along the 407.