Tariffs, Taxes, Smoke and Mirrors

Well I finally have my new computer and made the move from the PC to a Mac.  I am loving it.  It has taken a little bit of reconditioning to the old brain as well as a number of hours downloading Mac friendly software.  To reset my Skype as an example meant downloading the Mac version.  However taking the time to do those things contributed to a good run at the learning curve.

What I am not loving are these new tariffs the Canadian government is levying on many of the Asian-Pacific countries.  I’m not even going to get into the potential effect of costs to techno buffs.  These new tariffs are creating a huge debate in the technology sector but the way this government is throwing threats of slander around these days I will leave that debate to those more informed.  I don’t know enough of the details which is exactly what this government appears to want.

What I would like to point out is the effect these new tariffs will have on the world of people with disabilities.  Don’t quote me on this because I haven’t had time to research the topic in any detail but I would bet half of the parts in my wheelchair comes from those countries that were tariff free up until now.  What is this going to do to the cost of medical supplies?

According to the Stats Canada 2006 report 2.3% of imports from China are medical or surgical equipment.  These are the latest publicly available figures on the Industry Canada website.  With this current governments disdain for detail or the sharing of information who knows what the figures are now.  Prime Minister Harper has made a number of trade trips to that area of the world since 2006.  After all we have panda’s.

So back to these hidden cost increase in wheelchair and other medical supply.  The Stats Canada report also shows 20.8% of imports come from the machinery sector (undefined) while 19.7% are imports in the electronic sector.  Both of these sectors could be supplying parts used in medical equipment or independence enhancing equipment (wheelchairs and mobility assistance devices).  What exactly this equipment or parts are we don’t know for sure.

When one searches to see what equipment or materials that will be impacted by these new tariffs you find very little.  And the few references you do find require a linguist; an accountant, a policy analyst and a lawyer to even hope to come to a definitive conclusion.  Again lack of detail hidden behind repetitive rhetoric!

I’m just left with this feeling in my gut that the provinces are going to be facing even bigger deficits when this happens which will be passed onto the guy on the street.  So if you need your wheelchair or stair lift tuned up, now is the time.


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