February 22nd, 2019

Where is corporate responsibility?


By Letter to the Editor on February 12, 2019.

What are the reasons people are becoming disillusioned with the corporate influence in our government? There is daily evidence of corporate irresponsibility. The Supreme Court recently decided that banks and oil corporations must pay for cleanup of damage from drilling activity.

Often the politicians and self-interested individuals display a narrow view of corporate behaviour. Yes, they hire people to do their work, providing jobs. Should we not take a wider view? Corporations are only interested in profits. (That is the law’s narrow definition of their purpose.) Corporations are reluctant to see their responsibility to the health of employees and the environment. Do we as members of our society share responsibility for business behaviour? Do we allow politicians and media to talk only in fuzzy rhetorical terms?

My dissatisfaction with Harper’s cabinet (which included Kenney, now leader of the UPC) was their deliberate disregard for our environmental concerns. Mr. Kenney was part of the team that wiped out Canada’s environmental protection regulations; that destroyed years of research records on rivers, lakes and ocean waters. Who does he represent in these matters? Surveys have shown 80 per cent of Canadians are supportive of environmental protection. Who does he represent? Would he insist on tarsands cleanup and protect our rivers and lakes from industrial waste? So far he has shown he represents foreign shareholder corporate interest over workers and the environment. For my mind he is a little too dodgy when asked directly about climate and subsidy concerns.

Tell us, Mr. Kenny, do you represent Koch Enterprises’ interests in the tarsands? Who are the biggest donors to the UPC party funds? Financial transparency is lacking in your political party; as in the dark money support for the 125 “think tanks” the Kochs support in the U.S. What are they afraid of – democracy?

Don Ryane

Lethbridge

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4 Responses to “Where is corporate responsibility?”

  1. biff says:

    here is another q: was there really ever a time when corporate responsibility was a reality?
    i recall some distant time when corps paid a fair salary so that a single income earner could take care of a family; a raise when a kid was on the way…but also, no opportunity for females -particularly when married. also a time when unions rose up, because the corp had awful safety and abusive working conditions, along with very poor pay. one of the dumbest things the masses have ever accepted is that corporations are “persons.” https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2018/03/corporations-people-adam-winkler/554852/ ( perhaps the larger joke is that they are essentially immune to the laws that are applied to individuals. maple leaf comes to mind, as do sundry mining companies.)
    in canada, we show little concern, or awareness no less, that much of the canadian economy is dominated by foreign corps, and by american subsidiaries in particular.
    and through all of this, we simply count our blessings in terms of pay packets, but sit oblivious to the plundering of our collective wealth, and to the destruction of the planet. we still have too many that cannot acknowledge the greedy, dirty, self serving beast that is big corp.
    responsibility? haha! they are free to do as they wish, underwritten by bought and paid for psychopaths that we call our gov’t. it has been said and sung that money can’t buy love; i might add money can’t buy you health, either.

  2. lonestar says:

    Nothing to do with Mr. Raynes statement, it’s as convoluted and choppy as the rest of his offerings but, we agree with you biff almost 100%. You wrote the editorial in a language most will understand – the statements you make supported unequivocally by history!

    Do we agree not much changes on election day? Corporations from near and far (very far) still plunder and run the show, millions inhabiting the civil service sector still don’t care as they have a job for life, unions ensure that, and on and on…….

    All voters get is more (of the same) prevaricating, obscurantism, and grandiloquence with shiny new labels attached, followed by a platinum pension at the end of it all.

  3. biff says:

    ls – you have said much, and in fewer words than i.

  4. zulu1 says:

    Mr. Ryane,
    If you are going to complain about the influence of the Koch organization on resource development,, it would only be fair to mention the other side of the coin. I refer to at least a dozen US liberal foundations such as the tides foundation who have consistently funded environmental and native groups to frustrate and oppose all energy infrastructure in the province of Alberta, doing serious damage to our provincial economy . If you don’t have a job, and can’t feed your family, all the environmental overkill will only make life miserable.


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