The pandemic has created a historic opportunity for Justin Trudeau. Will WE get in his way?

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John Feldsted
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Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:45 am

The pandemic has created a historic opportunity for Justin Trudeau. Will WE get in his way?

Post by John Feldsted »

Despite weeks of recrimination and controversy, there's still talk of taking on big, ambitious projects
Aaron Wherry
CBC News
Aug 14, 2020
Throughout the spring, the Liberal government's attention seemed consumed by immediate concerns. But one morning in late June, during one of his appearances in front of Rideau Cottage, Justin Trudeau allowed himself to look ahead.

"If this pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for our country, it has also been an important opportunity: to figure out what really matters in our communities, to have meaningful conversations about how we can take care of those around us and, perhaps above all, to think about what kind of future we want to build together," the prime minister told reporters on June 22.

A day later, the federal government finalized an agreement with WE Charity to deliver the Canada Student Service Grant.

The ensuing weeks of recrimination and controversy have complicated Trudeau's path to that better future. But there is still talk of a "generational opportunity" — to borrow the phrase of one senior Liberal — to make real change.

As Trudeau prepares to face what could be a pivotal year, the question is whether a wounded prime minister can summon again the spirit of June 22 and seize that opportunity. ... -1.5681364
The media fawning is conspicuous and dripping in syrup. A “wounded prime minister”? There is no bravery in self-inflicted wounds even when they are unintended and due to ethical lapses.

More concerning is the notion that the COVID epidemic is an opportunity for grand projects that will transform Canada. The government response to COVID has been transforming. Few Canadians are happy with the anxiety, fear and uncertainty we face. We long for a return to pre-COVID normality and the certainty of opportunities for all willing to put in the time and effort.

Our government has destroyed faith in the rewards of free enterprise. Tens of thousands of small business owners and self-employed people have watched their investments, years of hard work, missed vacations and gradually built cash value vanish due to government-imposed long term closures followed by regulations that drive up operating costs while limiting revenue.

What Canadians need is reassurance and stability. Reassurance that we can successfully return to investing in ourselves and seizing opportunities for personal and business growth. We need less government interference and regulation, not more.

This is the wrong time to embark on ambitious plans to transform our future. At present we have no future. There is no “new normal”. The hugely expensive bandaids the government has cobbled together as “income replacement” is riddled with holes, people left out and is unsustainable.

Large increases in debt restrict the government’s ability to provide essential services. There is no margin left for nonessential spending. Every revenue dollar the government collects has to be spent on supporting essential services.

Plans to “green Canada” have been knocked off the table. Governments must stick to what works while we dig ourselves out of the economic hole they dug us into. Dreams of driving electric vehicles powered by wind or solar generating plants will have to wait while we fight our way back to economic equilibrium and figure out how to manage our debt to prevent the downgrading of our credit rating and increased borrowing costs.

It appears Mr. Morneau accurately read the tea leaves and chose not to continue his responsibility to rein in an ambitious, headstrong, impulsive and financially irresponsible prime minister. There is no one in the current cabinet or caucus with the backbone to stand up to the prime minister and impose common sense, prudent financial planning on the PMO. Our future looks bleak.

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