Thoughts on a soda pop tax …


Chas and I have had some interesting discussions recently.

Chas: “I’ll say. My bars are spinning.”

The weather has been dry and warm so Thatch has been gathering dust in the shop as Chas and I make the morning commute, and take lengthy training rides on the way back home.

Chas: “Yea. About 50 km every day with all that climbing.”

We are in the midst of a national election campaign here in Canada, and the Canadian Diabetes Association is encouraging all candidates to adopt a consumer soda pop tax to discourage consumption of the sugary products that contribute to both obesity and diabetes. Mexico and France have already adopted a similar tax.

Chas: “Why don’t people just cycle more, the way we do?”


Something’s wrong.

Don’t tax the consumer. Don’t take money out of their pockets. Tax the companies that produce these products. Tax where it’s going to benefit the most. We need a tax system that is socially responsible. One that encourages a clean environment, and healthy lifestyle choices. We need to re-think the corporate tax system in this country. Instead of a single corporate tax rate, we need a system that rewards companies that protect the environment, and encourages people to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Chas: “That sounds simple.”

Well, it’s not. There is no consensus. There are differing views on how to abate climate change. Differing views on what a healthy lifestyle even is. There are liberals, conservatives and social democrats all spouting different solutions and priorities.

Chas: “I don’t understand. We take up less room on the road. We don’t pollute. You feel better. I last forever, thanks to you. Why don’t more city people cycle more?”

That’s too simplistic?

Lou: “How do we disrupt this thinking?”

I don’t know.

Chas: “Why don’t you run for office?”


10 thoughts on “Thoughts on a soda pop tax …

  1. Tax the companies and use the money to put in better cycling infrastructure in cities? There are so many different viewpoints and everyone thinks only theirs is right so debate just polarises!

    • That’s the problem. Too much talk and not enough action. We have a pro-cycling city council here that has invested a lot in the infrastructure amidst considerable criticism from drivers and local businesses. The bottom line is there are more cyclists on the road and it is safer than it has ever been to get around on 2 wheels.

  2. First, taxing the companies sounds great, but they just pass that cost on to consumers. Either way, you’re passing on the cost to the consumers, which means you’re still hurting those who have less.

    • I would hope not. If the tax cuts into their profits, I’d hope they would find another product to invest their resources. If they do pass the extra cost to the consumer, then it is no different than taxing the consumer in the first place, and may have the desired effect.

      • You hope not? We tried hope down here. And change. In case you haven’t heard, it’s not going do well.

        They pass the cost to the consumer. Every time, always and forever.

      • This is the kind of thinking I’m talking about. The kind of thinking that needs to change,to be disrupted. It is this relentless pursuit of material wealth and excesses that leads to the inappropriate allocation of resources.

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