Volume 26 Issue 5
By Jim Scott
With the 2019 pre-election, election campaign already in full throat, Canada’s illustrious political parties are constantly jockeying to pounce on every tongue-trip that opposing leaders may or may not be guilty of. Since Mr. Trudeau isn’t likely to repeat his Ravi Shankar impersonation any time soon, Conservatives are beating the policy bushes to highlight Liberal failings on the economy, environment, immigration and justice. The Trudeau Liberals ran on a left-wing, ‘spend it like ya got it’ platform, and in office made that look like roadmap for fiscal restraint, so the pickings have been easy. Bags of taxpayer money for infrastructure and defence were hung out on the side of the tracks, but the gravy train never picked them up. Seems it’s easy to announce billions for this or that but actual governing is hard!
As four years of furious virtue-signalling turn into two months of attracting voters, Liberals are not-so-subtly reversing themselves on what they once held dear. They have decided individuals skipping border entry points may not be refugees after all. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced intentions to de-regulate our red-tape choked economy, and the carbon tax supposed to drive our behaviour toward environmental utopia, will now be another government program to take from half the ‘middle class’ and give to the other half.
Even so, leopards can only deny their spots for so long. Keen-eyed Liberal operatives finally cornered Conservative leader Andrew Scheer meeting with a bunch of nefarious representatives of marginalised, social pariahs. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was first out of the Twitter blocks with fiery condemnation. Andrew Scheer, horror of horrors, met with…
Oil industry executives!
Now, fans of petroleum, (you know who you are!), may appreciate that a Prime Minister-in-waiting might not see anything wrong in meeting with an industry group that generates $100’s of billions and 100,000’s of thousands of jobs for the Canadian economy. But Liberal conspiracists want us to believe that the meeting,
(“Behind closed doors!” Went on for hours!”), was all about a secretive cabal plotting to make Canadians heat their homes and drive their cars with that foul-smelling liquid that oozes out of the very ground we walk on. Vote Conservative and you’ll never get that $5,000 (taxpayer) subsidy
for that new Tesla you’ve had your eye on!
As H.L. Mencken said, the art of practical politics is to set up hobgoblins and promise to protect frightened voters from harm. In aid of this Liberals have perfected the art of straddling every fence to appear to be all things to all people. How soon we forget that this Liberal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $5.2 billion, (borrowed from Export Development Canada), to keep that option open for the oil industry. The Parliamentary Budget Office reports that the government collects revenues from oil flowing through the existing infrastructure ($33M minus $17M operating expenses); just another way Minister McKenna’s tweets are financed by “dirty oil”!
Meanwhile, wending its way through the Senate is Bill C-69, seen by the oil industry as a final straw to kill their golden goose. With regulatory uncertainty and new roadblocks for actual infrastructure investment, C-69 should make sure only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia can ever sell oil in Canada. For a government trumpeting a one-month gain in jobs, (supposedly 107,000 in April although StatsCan is only “certain” of 77,000 or so), it is odd they are tone deaf to the folks who do most to create those numbers they like to claim.
All our taxes, tariffs, regressive policies and interference are presented as a for-our-own-good kind of thing, (as if we couldn’t run our own affairs if allowed to), and I don’t expect over-reaching government to be logical, but is it too much to ask for our elected servants to just stick with one program? If you want to finance a government that sticks its nose into everything, try being friendlier to your Golden Geese!