Accurate or not, the stereotype of my fellow Canadians? Apparently we are known for being pretty laid back, tree-hugging, non-gun wielding, universal health care loving, excessively polite people… but when we get mad at a big business, boy do we take it seriously!
Who, you say? The oil companies for gouging us at the pump,where prices mysteriously jump 25% on long weekends? Nope. The cell phone companies, who squash any little guy who tries to enter the market? Nope. We are pissed off at the big bad chocolate companies!
Last week our competition bureau charged Mars Inc, Nestle Inc, and distributor ITWAL with price fixing (allegations not yet proven, likely guilty as hell). Hershey Canada has assisted with the investigation, and has already agreed to plea guilty for their part. So is there a “Big Sugar” cartel?
This was a five-year investigation, alleging bigwigs in the confectionary industry got together and fixed prices; each faces up to $10 million in fines and five years in jail. Reports say class action lawsuits have already resulted in $22 million in settlements from the companies (still unclear who gets those Hershey’s Kisses).
Now yes this is a serious crime, and yes companies who break the law should be prosecuted, but can’t we charge them big money and move on to more important stuff? Now why don’t we do something about the crooked politicians, like the Senators who claim to live in two provinces to reap the financial benefits twice over, or the Senators who claims work expenses in Canada while on a Caribbean cruise, or the Senators who… ooh, there are so many! So let’s move past the candy criminals and go after the real crooks!