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Trudeau Liberals and the Chinese Communist Party

By George, March 14, 2023 – A few weeks back in my national affairs column in The Niagara Independent I began writing about the headline news relating to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence on Canada’s recent federal elections. The issue when this story broke was whether PM Justin Trudeau and Liberal Party operatives knew about the CCP’s activities and, if so, what did they do about them. Over the weeks troubling facts have emerged and questions about Canada’s PM and the Liberal Party have become more complex – and much more serious.

In the last few days we learned that Chinese Canadians describe the CSIS revelations as “the tip of the iceberg,” and they are aware that “Beijing is watching every day with the threat of intimidation and harassment.” Just yesterday in the news: Canada is knowingly permitting CCP-sponsored students who have been deemed a security risk in the U.S. to conduct research in Canadian universities. Also, four Liberal MPs including federal small business minister Mary Ng are identified as endorsers of a CCP-tied organization in Toronto.

With the many ties now being exposed between the Trudeau Liberals and the CCP, this has become a matter of national security. And given that the PM and his political operatives seem reluctant to respond to the simplest of questions, Canadians have an even greater need to know about the multiple hidden agendas in play. We cannot allow our country’s independence to be jeopardized in any way.

You are encouraged to become informed about this serious national security issue: read the CCP-related news reports from Global News Sam Cooper and Globe and Mail newsmen Robert Fife and Steven Chase, and the insightful research of Terry Glavin (and here is his latest piece). Access the fact-based news reports on what is transpiring on Parliament Hill as delivered straight-up by Blacklock’s Reporter.

Below (by clicking on By George News Commentary) you will find links to my recent Niagara Independent columns and a few archived columns from the last two years. You are also encouraged to forward the By George News Commentary to those who share our concerns.

This is serious stuff. It matters. What are the CCP ties that bind the Trudeau Liberals and, by extension, our federal government?

By George News Commentary

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

It’s now evident this national scandal is more than election interference – and Justin Trudeau is “obviously hiding something”

The Niagara Independent, March 10, 2023 –

“This is a full-blown national security crisis. The ruling Liberals want us to pretend it’s not happening. The prime minister is obviously hiding something.”
Terry Glavin, China’s “Magic Weapon” Hits Canadian Targets

Regarding the current national scandal, not much more has been confirmed than was known three weeks ago when the story broke: the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) covertly influenced Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal general elections in order to re-elect a Liberal government. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not want Canadians to know about the CCP operations in Canada.

The string of Globe and Mail articles about the CCP’s “sophisticated strategy” to ensure the Trudeau Liberals remain in power have exposed a series of political activities between the federal Liberals and CCP operatives in Canada. The burning question now central to the Liberal-CCP connection: is this a marriage of convenience or a mutually beneficial working relationship?

MPs returned to Ottawa after a 16-day recess and rumbled through a week of high drama on Parliament Hill. Despite the PMO’s best efforts to deflect attention from the CCP ties to the governing Liberals, each day new facts came to the forefront and shone a spotlight on an increasingly agitated PM.

It was a heck of a week. In an attempt to squelch further criticism, Trudeau called a press conference on Monday afternoon to present his solution to “restoring Canadians’ confidence” in their elections. In conjunction with this powerplay, Liberal MPs were filibustering a motion at committee that called for Trudeau’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford to testify under oath about what the PM knew about foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections. That same committee then tabled in the House of Commons a recommendation for Parliament to “launch a national public inquiry” – a recommendation that MPs will be required to vote on.

Meanwhile, in Question Period, Trudeau repeatedly refused to answer direct “yes or no” questions about CCP donations to Liberals and, instead, provided cute non sequitur observations about his government’s performance.

The RCMP provided a slideshow for the PM (perhaps in comic relief?) announcing that they had opened an investigation. The investigation is not related to the national security concerns surrounding election influence by the CCP, but the Forces’ conviction to seek out and charge the whistleblower(s) in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service – who leaked the intel that embarrassed the PM and his government.

Back to the PM’s press conference on Monday… Trudeau dug deep into his tickle trunk to pull out a novel idea: he would name “a new special rapporteur” to investigate the issues surrounding the last two elections and to determine what next steps should be taken to ensure the integrity of the country’s electoral process. This individual is still to be identified and his/her scope of work and expected outcome is undefined, except for the PM’s expectation that the rapporteur’s work will lead to further action to address any foreign interference in Canada’s elections.

Trudeau also announced that there will be two investigations conducted by two separate bodies. First, a National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (with a majority of MPs from the Liberals and NDP – and all sworn to secrecy) will investigate the known facts in camera and report back to the PM. Second, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (members of the NSIRA has been selected by the PMO) will conduct a review of Canada’s national security agencies and how they manage threats of foreign interference – and the agency’s report is also to be submitted to the PM.

Opposition MPs immediately called out the PM for his sleight of hand approach. MP Peter Julian, the NDP House Leader, commented that a committee of MPs is simply not credible. “Alleged foreign interference in Canada’s democracy is incredibly serious, and deserves an independent, non-partisan public inquiry. The NDP does not believe [the committee] is an acceptable substitute for a public inquiry. That committee is partisan, and takes place behind closed doors.”

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre slammed the thought of a rapporteur, stating that the position sounds like a “fake job.” Poilievre accused Trudeau of attempting to keep his investigations secretive and the release of any findings within his control. Poilievre on Trudeau: “He could pick someone independent, but he won’t. He’ll pick another Liberal establishment insider—a real Ottawa insider with some gray hair who looks like a reasonable fellow, but we all know that it will be someone tied to him, tied to the Liberals, here to protect the Liberal establishment.”

Editorials from the country’s leading media organizations were also critical of the PM’s announced approach. John Ivison in the National Post observed “Trudeau’s priority on Chinese interference is protecting himself, not democracy”. The Globe and Mail stated, “the existence of the rapporteur is an all-purpose excuse to deflect any further questions from the press or the opposition and any further calls for action… the Liberals continue to duck the accountability that would come with real scrutiny of their efforts…”

Veteran national newsman Andrew Coyne went further in his Globe and Mail columns this week to make the argument that an independent and transparent public inquiry must be called. Coyne concludes what others like newsmen Sam Cooper and Terry Glavin have been exposing for weeks, that this CCP election influence scandal is much more than the election of some Liberal MPs. Coyne comments: “It is not just that China’s interference activities were allegedly carried out with the help of domestic enablers. It is that, as the intelligence suggests, those domestic enablers were, overwhelmingly though not exclusively, prominent members of the governing party. The government cannot be entrusted to inquire into itself; Liberals cannot be left to investigate Liberals.”

Coyne punctuated his thoughts with the query: “We know, that is, that China preferred to see the Liberals in power. We don’t know why…. We don’t know what the return on their investment was.”

The political objectives between the CCP operatives and Trudeau’s election team in getting Liberals elected is now fully understood – even though all facts have yet to be shared. CSIS reported that there is a network of politicos – including elected members Michael Chan, Han Dong, Mary Ng as well as agents on the staff of MPs – who were involved with CCP in the last decade when it was flushing money and volunteers into Liberal campaigns (note that all individuals are denying association with the nefarious activities). CSIS also tracked the CCP’s tactics targeting Justin Trudeau – and the tens of thousands of donations given annually into his Montreal riding association for the Liberals’ election war chest, and the million-dollar donation to the Trudeau Foundation.

But now what of the political objectives and the quid pro quos for the CCP’s support of the Trudeau Liberals? What is the story behind the joint Canada-China virus research and firings of the scientists at the Winnipeg Lab? What are the facts that the PM has gone to great lengths to avoid revealing, including proroguing Parliament, legal proceedings, and an election call? And what of the litany of questionable Canadian policies respecting China? What are Canadians not being told by the Trudeau government? What is the hidden agenda?

On Wednesday MP John McKay, a veteran Liberal backbencher and chair of the National Defence committee, stated “The government of China is an existential threat to Canada on a multiplicity of levels. We need as a nation to come to grips with the desire of the government of China to turn us all into vassal states.”

This stark realization is precisely what Terry Glavin has been stating all along. Fittingly, the last word goes to Glavin, who again this week observed in his telling National Post article: “The contested details about Beijing’s election-monkeywrenching operations in 2019 and 2021 are almost irrelevant. The Liberal party that arrived on the scene with Trudeau at the helm in 2015 was for all intents and purposes the political wing of the Canada-China Business Council.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


The potential quid pro quos between Trudeau Liberals and the Chinese Communist Party (Part 2)

The Niagara Independent, March 3, 2023 – To continue with the sordid details now becoming public about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ties with the Trudeau Liberals, this past week’s revelations had their intrigue. What is now becoming apparent is that there is much that was known in the corridors of Ottawa that was not shared with the Canadian public. And there are so many questions about Canada-China relations, specifically about the CCP ties with Justin Trudeau and his political operatives.

In the last few days there have been mounting questions over the facts recently featured in the Globe and Mail and other media sources. Credit goes to the Globe and Mail editors who headlined the work of veteran newsmen Robert Fife and Steven Chase and underlined the national security issue with their editorial comment, “CSIS documents reveal a web of Chinese influence in Canada.”

There have been numerous calls for a public inquiry on CPP influence and foreign interference in elections: Canada’s former ambassador to China David Mulroney, former Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and national security and intelligence adviser to the prime minister Richard Fadden, former chief electoral commissioner for Canada Jean-Pierre Kingsley – and as of Thursday every national political leader. Still, PM Trudeau has repeatedly rejected a public inquiry.

The National Post published a lead editorial this week, “Trudeau incapable of responding like an adult to Chinese election interference.” It has aptly summarized the PM’s performance as he bobbed and weaved his way through media scrums. First the Liberals suggested their critics were employing “Trump-style” tactics. Then Trudeau talked of “inaccuracies” in the CSIS reports and had other Liberals impugn a variety of motives that suggested CSIS leaked misinformation. Then Trudeau turned on the media and suggested their persistent questioning about CCP influence in the 2019 and 2021 elections was racially motivated. Then the Liberals attempted to change the channel with CBC commentary about conservatives harboring neo-Nazis.

The evolving narrative from the PM and Liberal spinmeisters through the week has been quite remarkable.

Three related CCP-Liberal news stories also broke this week:

  • CSIS leaked it had reported to PM Trudeau – prior to the 2019 election and as early as 2017 – on questionable activities of individuals in the Toronto Chinese community, including former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister Michael Chan, Chinese consul-general He Wei, and then Liberal candidate, now MP Han Dong. Trudeau first denied he was briefed, then rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing as racist slurs. (At a parliamentary committee midweek, national security adviser Jody Thomas confirmed PM Trudeau was regularly briefed on foreign interference prior and during the 2019 and 2021 elections.)
  • The Globe and Mail revealed that following cash-for-access Chinese-Liberal soirees with Justin Trudeau and other Liberal operatives, Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin arranged for “a clandestine $1 million donation to the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation” – which would be reimbursed by the CCP. CSIS has been tracking a CCP influence operation targeting Justin Trudeau since he won the Liberal leadership in 2013. For his part, Trudeau said he had no knowledge of the million dollars.
  • PM Trudeau had released an internal government report that reviewed foreign influence in the 2021 election and found there was “no evidence to indicate foreign state actors were specifically targeting Elections Canada or Canadian electoral systems and networks.” However, the credibility of the review has been widely questioned as the report was authored by Trudeau-family friend Morris Rosenberg, who was the former head of the Trudeau Foundation, the very individual who helped arrange the $1 million donation.

In unearthing the factual details of the CCP influence, Canadians have been well served by specific media professionals – and they deserve to be recognized. Certainly, kudos to Robert Fife and Steven Chase of the Globe and Mail. Before this duo’s headlines, a great deal of work was completed by newsmen Sam Cooper of Global News and Terry Glavin, whose extensive research is found on Substack. Also, David Mulroney and Andy Lee are dogged in pursuing the truth of the matter. Kudos also to Blacklock’s Reporter for its fact-based journalism and to the Epoch Times for its insightful news commentary. (It cannot be over-emphasized how indebted we are for the work of these individuals. Just think, if Canadians had to depend on the state-sponsored narrative as broadcasted by the CBC, the skeletons would remain buried.)

In reporting on the current revelations, there has been important dated news stories that have been recounted – and these provide greater context to the CCP-Trudeau Liberal relationship. This week Canadians were again reminded of:

  • Sam Cooper’s exclusive report on a 2017 memo prepared by national security experts for PM Trudeau warning of Beijing’s strategy to interfere in the Canadian electoral process.
  • LeDevoir news report: “In July 2016, the Papineau Liberal Association, Justin Trudeau’s riding, received nearly $70,000 from donors from Vancouver’s Chinese community, or 68% of all contributions for the year… Immediately after, the chartered bank Wealth One, aimed at the Chinese community and owned by many of those present at the Toronto cocktail, was licensed by the federal government. The Ministry of Finance swears that there is no connection between these events.”
  • Foreign donations to the Trudeau Foundation dramatically increased after the 2015 election (when Rosenberg was head). During the pandemic years the donations escalated by over 500 per cent and the revenue of the fund has more than doubled.
  • The history involving a network of political operatives in Toronto: Wei Chengyi, Weng Guoning, Paul Chiang, Han Dong, former Liberal minister and Chinese Ambassador John McCallum, and current small business minister Mary Ng (who was formerly in the Ontario Premier’s office and the Trudeau PMO before becoming minister). Please note that in all cases and with all stories, the involved deny any wrongdoing.
  • Liberal MP Han Dong ducking out of the House of Commons to miss a vote condemning the CCP for its human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghurs. MP Dong’s skipping the vote and PM Trudeau and cabinet ministers abstaining from voting allowed the motion to unanimously pass the House of Commons.
  • Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – Canada’s “two Micheals” – were in Chinese prison from December 2018 to September 2021, during the period when Liberals were accepting CCP-sponsored donations as per the CSIS reports.

(There was more, but much more than this column space permits.)

What becomes apparent with this cascade of Canada-China news is that what is critical is not the 2019 and 2021 election outcomes, but the constant, unmentioned influence the CCP has on the Trudeau Liberals and, by extension, the Canadian Government. To this point, Terry Glavin has provided exhaustive research exposing the subversive dealings in Canada of the United Front Work Department, the CCP’s covert operation to influence foreign governments. Glavin’s work can be found here: The Real Story.

And over the past two years, many of the jigsaw puzzle pieces have been placed in Niagara Independent columns: Justin Trudeau’s Communist China gambit / Canada’s relations with Communist China hurt our international reputation / The Ties that Bind the Trudeau Liberals to Communist China.

In reflecting on Canada-China issues that have occurred since the Liberals took office in 2015, consider potential quid pro quos of Justin Trudeau’s Faustian bargain with the CCP. It is disturbing to reflect on:

  • Joint Canada-China virus research secretly conducted at the infectious-disease Winnipeg Lab
  • The firing of Dr. Keding Cheng and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu, whose research contributed to both the work in Winnipeg Lab and at the infamous Wuhan Lab
  • The agreement and failure of the Canadian-sponsored Canada-China COVID-19 vaccine
  • Repeated refusal by PM Trudeau to identify the CCPs’ abuse of Uyghurs as genocidal – or even a human rights violation
  • Increased Chinese foreign direct investment in Canada – now topping $21 billion in 2021
  • Central banks of Canada and China agreeing to a 5-year bilateral currency swap of nearly $40 billion to facilitate trade and investment
  • The well-documented yet ignored CCP-linked fentanyl and money laundering operations in B.C.
  • Canada-China joint military training and joint research projects for military operations
  • Canada’s exclusion from the AUKUS intelligence alliance, QUAD, U.S.-led Indo-Pacific trade initiative, NATO discussions…
  • Canada’s foreign affairs policies relating to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and the Falun Gong

John Ivison of the National Post this week wrote, “We simply can’t trust Trudeau’s word on China’s electoral interference.” However, evidently, the mayhem and deception involve more than the 2019 and 2021 elections. Terry Glavin’s assessment is more accurate: “This is a full-blown national security crisis. The ruling Liberals want us to pretend it’s not happening. The prime minister is obviously hiding something.”

The last word on this remarkable week is given to retired CTV newsman Alan Fryer who amusingly tweeted, “TruAnon truly is the Canadian version of MAGA world. CSIS = deep state! Globe and Mail = Fake news! Election Interference = China hoax!”; before he made the sobering observation, “We truly have hit a turning point. The collective choices we make as a nation now will define us for generations.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


The Chinese Communist Party-sponsored Trudeau Liberal Party (Part 1)

The Niagara Independent, February 24, 2023 – The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) covertly influenced Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal general elections in order to re-elect a Liberal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not want Canadians to know about the Chinese operations in Canada. These are the two threads that are woven through the never-ending-story of intrigue, scandal, and false narratives. It is a serious matter. The details being exposed about the CCP’s support for the Trudeau Liberals involve the integrity of our country’s democratic process.

Last Friday, the Globe and Mail published a full front page story by veteran parliamentary reporters Robert Fife and Steven Chase about a clandestine operation run by the CCP to unduly interfere in the outcome of the country’s national election. The news story begins: “China employed a sophisticated strategy to disrupt Canada’s democracy in the 2021 federal election campaign as Chinese diplomats and their proxies backed the re-election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals – but only to another minority government – and worked to defeat Conservative politicians considered to be unfriendly to Beijing.”

For days the Globe and Mail ran a series of articles outlining a number of disturbing facts obtained from top-secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) documents leaked to the paper. The CCP’s foreign interference during the 2021 election included undeclared cash contributions to candidates, misinformation about Conservative foreign policy, having businesses hire international students to volunteer full-time for Liberal candidates, and providing cash refunds to donors for the portion of their donation not covered by the federal tax credit.

CSIS was tracking a “sophisticated political strategy” employed by the CCP that would ensure the re-election of a Liberal government and the defeat of Conservative politicians who were critical of Beijing, its human rights abuses and its threats to global safety and security.

In their news articles, Fife and Chase also reported that the CCP is executing a strategic plan to target Canadian legislators, government officials and business leaders, as well as academic and research and development institutions. CCP tactics include espionage, blackmail, bribery and sexual seduction. These activities are documented in the CSIS reports, which the Globe and Mail reports have been shared with Canada’s Five Eyes intelligence allies – U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand – and intelligence services in France and Germany.

PM Trudeau’s immediate response to the Globe and Mail’s front page stories was to ignore the substance of the revelations, and he expressed concern over CSIS’s leaked reports. Trudeau insomuch as said “move along, there is nothing to see here” while stating, “It’s certainly a sign that security within CSIS needs to be reviewed. And I’m expecting CSIS to take the issue very seriously.”

In direct contrast, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre praised the “courageous whistleblowers” in CSIS for exposing what has long been suspected: the sustained “covering up [of] the interference of the authoritarian regime in Beijing.”

Poilievre went on to say, “Justin Trudeau knew about this interference and he covered it up because he benefited from it. He is perfectly happy to let a foreign authoritarian government interfere in our elections as long as they’re helping him.”

For years Trudeau and his ministers have downplayed suggestions of foreign interference in Canada’s elections. In the past few months, Trudeau has denied possible interference or nefarious activities by the CCP. In the House of Commons, he repeatedly reassured Canadians about the country’s election integrity. In November, when pressed on the matter, Trudeau stated he had not been briefed on any irregularities in the 2019 and 2021 elections.    

However, the latest news reports reveal the PM’s claims are less than forthright. Trudeau was provided a national security briefing by CSIS in November 2022 in which he was told about the China Consulate targeting 11 candidates in the 2019 federal election to impact the outcome of those races.

Also, Privy Council Office documents which have surfaced reveal that intelligence officials provided briefings in February 2020 on potential election interference and improper funding of candidates in the 2019 federal election.

Global News reporter Sam Cooper has also come forward with evidence of a 2017 memo prepared for the PM that specifically warns of CCP’s influence on Canadian officials and institutions. The PMO memo was written by the office of National Security and Intelligence Advisor, at the request of the PM’s chief of staff Katie Telford, and provided to Privy Council Office clerk Michael Wernick.

The weightiness of the Fife and Chase articles and the evidence being exposed in the last few days has not permitted the PM to sidestep the issue in his usual Teflon-manner. Numerous editorials have underlined what is being brought into question: the integrity of Canada’s democratic electoral process.

  • The Globe and Mail’s lead editorial this week was “Stand up to China, Mr. Trudeau,” stating the PM is “way off-base on this matter” and must “respond forcefully to CSIS’s findings” in order “to protect the integrity of this country’s elections from Chinese interference – and will open the door to further meddling.”
  • Charles Burton, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute opined “These sorts of activities, co-ordinated by a hostile power, absolutely should not be tolerated… If this interference goes unchecked and there are no criminal or diplomatic consequences, though, it will obviously embolden China to do much more of it.”
  • David Krayden in The Western Standard called on the PM to resign and posed these questions, “What did Trudeau know and when did he know it? Why does China so badly want to keep him in power?… why did the Public Order Emergency Commission decide to release its report last Friday instead of this week as planned? Was it designed to provide cover for the Chinese interference story the government clearly knew was coming?”
  • The Postmedia News editorial “Trudeau ignores China Syndrome” framed the issue this way: “The allegation is that China worked to defeat Conservatives and ensure a Liberal government. Now the head of that Liberal government is telling Canadians to not worry. Without transparency, there can be no trust and Trudeau looks like he’s hiding something on this file.”

In Ottawa, MPs on the Commons Procedure and House Affairs committee have been reviewing the allegations that China interfered in the 2019 election campaign. Last week the MPs voted to expand their hearings to include the latest news of the 2021 election campaign. At the committee, Canada’s former ambassador to China David Mulroney gave MPs a succinct explanation of the dangers of the CCP approach: “It is increasingly sophisticated in its intimidation of elected officials who dare to speak the truth to Canadians. Beijing’s objective is a degree of influence – in our democracy, our economy, our foreign policy and even in daily life in some of our communities – beyond the ambitions of any other country.”

Though Parliament is recessed for two weeks, this is a news story that remains in news headlines. This week PM Trudeau has been dogged by questions about his failure to respond to the threats posed by the CCP election interference. With the CSIS intelligence now public, editorials calling for transparency, and MPs reviewing the CCP activities in the 2019 and 2021 elections, perhaps – just perhaps – Canadians will get satisfactory answers.

Next week: Possible quid pro quos with Trudeau’s Faustian bargain  

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Wisdom of Jordan Peterson

In the early weeks of 2023, By George Journal featured in its social media Canada’s most renown intellect — Jordan Peterson.

Here are the series of memes that attracted a great deal of attention from our followers. (ed. – Right click on the image and “copy”. Go ahead and spread the wisdom!) 

In the last two years, Jordan Peterson quotes made the By George Top-10 quotes twice. Here are the bons mots that were recognized as the top quotes of the year in By George Journal’s social media.

Follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter and receive quotes like these Peterson bons mots as well as a daily #ByGeorgeQOTD each morning.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

The disconnect between Canadians and the Trudeau government

The Niagara Independent, February 17, 2023 – Increasingly our senior-most members of parliament in Ottawa are proving they are tone deaf to the cries of frustration and despair across the country. Each passing week there are examples of PM Justin Trudeau and his cabinet ministers seemingly blind to the financial anxieties many Canadians are shouldering at the moment. As they advance their policy agendas on Canadians, they do so at best “unknowingly” or at worst they could be called “insensitive.” Whichever it is, the Trudeau government is appearing disconnected with the realities facing Canada’s middle class – and those striving to join it.

Many Canadians are presently facing a grim reality. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has reported that many Canadians are borrowing money and taking from their savings to pay for living expenses – to pay for their groceries, home and day-to-day expenses. This week Blacklock’s Reporter made public the federal regulator’s report, which describes the current state of Canadians “as the worst of times.”

Today, nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) of Canadians borrow money – some using high-cost loans. A total of 48 per cent are using their savings just to cover living expenses. There are four in 10 (42 per cent) Canadians stressed, believing “finances control their life.”

This report coincides with a Consumer Debt Report released in January by the Canadian Counselling Society that revealed four in five Canadians (82 per cent) see spending on essential goods as the primary cause of their worsening finances. A vast majority of Canadians spend sleepless nights thinking about their finances, with six in 10 (63 per cent) planning this year to cut back on their expenses, especially on their food shopping.

Consider a Stats Can release on Monday that reported a quarter of Canadians are unable to cover an unexpected emergency expense, and those most insecure are younger and racialized Canadians. That same day a bankruptcy trustee firm released its 2022 consumer insolvency numbers and reported millennials (aged 26 to 41) accounted for half of all bankruptcies. Young Canadians are buckling under the costs of soaring rents, heavy student-debt loads, and the rising cost of living.

Canadians of all ages are impacted by the 11 per cent rise in the cost of food this past year. Food Banks Canada reports a record number of people using food banks across the country – up 35 per cent since pre-pandemic times. A downtown Toronto food bank reports a 48 per cent increase in 2022. In Saskatoon, it was reported that 20 per cent of Canadians are skipping meals. In BC, there was a survey that found University of Victoria students are resorting to dumpster diving and taking unused food from their employers to get by because they cannot afford to buy groceries.

Last Friday the Prime Minister was at Algonquin College to talk with nursing students and one student had the courage to pose the following question (verbatim): “I am in my last year of nursing and I have been working this whole pandemic in group homes and I work at three hospitals right now on top of my unpaid placement. And I am still using my credit card to pay for groceries. Why are groceries so expensive? I am eating cookies from the hospital sometimes because I can’t afford lunch and I don’t even get a break. I am eating on the go. It’s just, I’m wondering why it is so hard?”

PM Trudeau responded by saying, “The answer is you shouldn’t find it this expensive. You shouldn’t be squeezed this way. This is not the way it should be…” He talked about the pandemic and problems with supply chains that “drove up price of food, fuel and fertilizer.” He mentioned that inflation is a global phenomenon – and that Canada is doing better than most. He also admitted that these things are “cold comfort” for someone who is having problems paying for their food.

In his “cold comfort” reply, what Trudeau did not broach was how his government could be addressing issues surrounding Canadians’ cost of living. He chose not to mention how his government’s gross overspending – before, during and after the pandemic – fueled what the past-Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge has said is “a Canada-made inflation.”

Trudeau also chose not to mention the impact the government’s carbon tax is having on the cost of everything in Canada – including rising food prices due to the additional taxes on farmers producing food, on truckers transporting it, and on businesses preparing and retailing it. When he mentioned fertilizer, he skipped over what his new fertilizer emissions regulations are costing our farmers.

But the PM’s non-answers to the Algonquin College nursing student is indicative of the growing gap with reality being played out in the Nation’s Capital between implementing the government’s agenda and how it is directly impacting its citizens. In knowing Canadians’ current stresses, how else can one rationalize the recent news from Ottawa?

  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) commissioner Bob Hamilton told MPs that it was not “worth the effort” to try and recover the outstanding $15.5 billion in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy overpayments. When some Opposition MPs expressed their disbelief that billions were simply being written off, Liberal MPs provided an iconic Trudeau shrug.
  • The Quebec City pharmaceutical company Medicago announced last week that it is closing its doors – less than two years after it was given $173 million in federal grants to produce a Canadian COVID vaccine. Ottawa also signed an undisclosed deal to buy 20 million doses of their vaccine, with an option to purchase an additional 56 million. There is no comment out of Ottawa politicians or officials about Medicago; none of the millions spent is expected to be recovered for Canadians.
  • This week it was revealed that the government has purposefully blocked the details about who in the government’s delegation to the Queen’s funeral occupied the hotel room costing $6,000 per night (for five nights). The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has had to launch a legal challenge to have the government divulge the details of this absurd public expense.
  • The CRA union is demanding a pay raise of more than 30 per cent over three years or they threaten to strike. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) representing 120,000 federal bureaucrats is looking for a wage and benefits hike in the amount of 47 per cent over three years. Outlandish demands given the financial straits Canadians are navigating post-pandemic.
  • Trade Minister Mary Ng has become the latest ethically-challenged poster-minister in the Trudeau government. Though found in breach of ethics laws, Ng told a committee of MPs that she will not repay the cost of media training contracts given to her personal friend and CBC political pundit Amanda Alvaro. When pressed to refund the $22,790, Ng avoided the question with the statement, “I made a mistake” and later she dismissed the idea outright with a classic Trudeauesque non sequitur about ethics training and the claim “we can improve.”

This news was all in the last 10 days. It follows earlier news from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland urging approval for a $2 billion payment to a non-existent government structure for a yet-to-be-detailed program; an MP committee exposing more than $100 million of questionable consultant contracts awarded to the Trudeau-friendly firm McKinsey; a new report on federal contracts revealing $22.2 billion was outsourced in a single year; the revelation that a total of 35,000 federal bureaucrats were hired in the two years of COVID lockdowns; and, latest estimates of the federal debt charges are expected to more than double to $53 billion by 2024.

This type of confounding news for financially anxious Canadians is non-stop from the federal government these days. It is not surprising that a recent Leger opinion survey cites one in two (50 per cent) Canadians are “angry with the way Canada is being managed today.” Is it any wonder that two in three (67 per cent) Canadians agree with a certain Ottawa politician when he says that “it feels like everything is broken in this country right now.”

The frustrations, financial uncertainty, and sleepless nights all speak to the evident disconnect between that hungry nurse and the PM’s rationalizations, between bankrupt millennials and Medicago, between the university student dumpster diver and Mary Ng – in sum, between working (and coping) Canadians and the actions of this Trudeau government.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Justin Trudeau’s Valentines Wishes

Here is an assortment of Valentine wishes featuring Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

(ed. – Right click on the image and “copy”. Go ahead and spread the love today!) 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

Return to the menu for the By George St Valentine’s Wish




Valentine’s Wishes – from the U.S. Prez himself

Here are some of By George’s favourite Valentine wishes from United States President Joe Biden. (ed. – Right click on the image and “copy”. Go ahead and spread the love today!) 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

Return to the menu for the By George St Valentine’s Wish



What is the total number immigrating to Canada?

The Niagara Independent, February 10, 2023 – The number of people coming to Canadian soil is increasing each year. The federal government has been less than forthright on what is the total number. To come to a better understanding of “that number” and the implications for the country, let’s unpack some recent government media reports and news articles relating to Canada’s immigration.

In November, the federal government announced that over the next three years it plans to bring in 1.45 million immigrants to Canada: 465,000 people in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025. This intake schedule is part of a government plan to have immigrants make up 30 per cent of Canada’s population by 2036. These are the official figures provided; however, the actual number is much greater than that tally.

It was recently revealed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that the total number of new permanent residents that came to Canada in 2022 was in excess of 437,000. This is a record number of new people being welcomed into the country, surpassing the department’s stated target for the year, and topping the previous annual high of 405,000 in 2021. The last time the country took in this number of immigrants relative to its population was in 1913, when the government was encouraging agrarian settlement on the prairies.

Statistics Canada reports that from 2016-2021, Canada brought in 1.3 million immigrants. IRCC recorded 405,000 immigrants in 2021, 437,000 in 2022, and projects another 1.45 million over the next three years. These numbers are the official numbers the government cites, and most Canadians are led to believe that this is the total number of new Canadians who came/will come to the country. But, again, the actual number is much greater than this 3.6 million figure.

A recent CIBC report claims that in 2022 the estimated total number of new people who entered Canada was no less than 955,000 – double “the official” government number offered by IRCC. The financial institution used IRCC and Statistics Canada figures as well as in-house data to estimate that the permanent – and non-permanent residency – number is north of 700,000. Then add approximately 145,000 Ukrainians, more than 20,000 Afghans, and over 92,700 asylum seekers from Quebec’s Roxham Road and through other gates of entry. The grand total is 955,000 for 2022.

The CIBC report forecasts “the number of new international arrivals in 2023 could reach a million.” Citing pressures this will place on housing and urban centres, it concludes the massive influx of new people will be “like a wrecking ball on the Canadian economy.”

In an op-ed piece about the CIBC report written for the Epoch Times, news commentator Bill Tuffs makes this observation, “Selective information-sharing is skewing the reality—that is, the federal government has broken these arrivals into several categories to reduce the visible impact of the total migration into the country and help avoid blowback when the real costs become apparent.”

There have been a few other recent news reports that offer a clearer picture of the government’s management of immigration. For one, the IRCC department just reported that in 2022 the government processed approximately 5.2 million applications for permanent residence, temporary residence, and citizenship (which is double the amount processed in 2021).

With this news, IRCC Minister Sean Fraser stated he is strengthening the country’s immigration system by hiring 1,200 new government employees who will be processing 1.2 million “newcomers” in 2023.

A Globe and Mail investigative report recently revealed, in order to clear an application backlog, IRCC chose to waive certain eligibility requirements for roughly 450,000 visitor visas. Visitors were not assessed whether they had sufficient funds for their stay, or whether they were “genuine visitors” who would not claim asylum or require refugee resources.

This week Canadians learned there was an unprecedented number of more than 39,000 asylum seekers who entered the country via Roxham Road (up from a previous high of 16,000 in 2019.) Quebec officials have stated the number is closer to 60,000. Depending on whose numbers one goes by, this rural road sees an estimated 100 to 165 migrants cross over into Canada illegally every day.

Canadians also learned of the migration pipeline that is flowing from New York City. NY Mayor Eric Adams commented in a U.S. media interview that the city provides free bus tickets to migrants as well as counsel on how they can claim asylum in Canada. The city has had tens of thousands of migrants arriving via JFK airport or on busses from the southern States. One way it is coping has been the establishment of a “reticketing process” that puts migrants on busses to Plattsburgh, NY and then in taxis for the additional 30-minute ride to the Canada-U.S. border.

The Quebec government this week needed to increase its funding to community groups supporting the asylum claimants. It announced $3.5 million in emergency short term funding for community groups to provide shelter, food and clothing to the recent surge of newcomers.

The cost of the Roxham Road activity is untold. There have been only glimpses of the millions of dollars spent: from the RCMP buildings, to health care and social service support, to everything in between. For example, the Globe and Mail uncovered that in a 12-month period more than $94 million was spent by the federal government on hotels across Montreal area, in Ottawa and Niagara Falls. There is also the scandal involving Liberal Party donor Pierre Guay, who pocketed $28 million in leases and costs associated with the asylum seekers.

The full cost of the government’s current immigration plan is incalculable for Canadians. The increasing influx of new people puts immense pressures on social services, housing, and health care. They put a greater strain on the housing supply and rental markets. They add to the more than 3.2 million Canadians who are currently on healthcare waiting lists. In cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, where 90 per cent of newcomers live, they are draining the social services resources.

In a thoughtful National Post op-ed entitled “Liberals bring in influx of immigrants without a plan to support them”, Sabrina Maddeaux comments, “Immigration isn’t inherently good for a country, or even for immigrants, in and of itself. Positive outcomes for all parties require careful planning and a sense of realism. Unfortunately, it appears the Liberals have neither… the Liberals are exacerbating resource scarcity and intensifying competition for fundamental goods and services. Historically, this never ends well. Eventually, people look for someone to blame for their declining quality of life, and that group tends to be newcomers.”

Maddeaux concludes, “To be clear, such scarcity isn’t the fault of immigrants. It’s the fault of governments that either failed or didn’t bother to properly plan to support their targets. Yet that will be of little consolation if Canadians’ historically welcoming nature begins to take a turn.”

A recent Leger opinion poll found that one in two Canadians (49 per cent) believe the government’s immigration plans were too grand, and three in four (75 per cent) think 1.4 million immigrants in the next three years will place far too great a demand on housing and social services. (As an aside, just imagine if these surveyed Canadians realized the actual total number of newcomers.)

It is time to be transparent about “that number,” and begin an honest discussion about what it means for our country — for the sake of all concerned.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


The By George St Valentine’s Wish

This sweet menu is our St. Valentine’s gift to you….

May your cupid arrows find their marks!

Indulge. Enjoy. 

Lovely Quotes

By George’s Top-Ten Love Quotes

Some Lovely Thoughts on Love

Quips on Love

5 Top-10 Lists of Quotes on Love

Sir Anthony Hopkins on life and love

A Sweet Potpourri

Did you know these St. Valentine’s Day facts?

Here’s the impact of a brain “in love”

The Urban Dictionary defines: Love

How Love Works (from How Stuff Works)

A Kiss Quiz

The most famous love sonnet by the Bard

The #1 Love Song (ever) 

Canada’s Greatest Love Song

FAVs & LOL Memes

Our Ten Favourite Love Memes

A Dozen Humourous Memes on Love and Marriage

A Dozen Love Memes

Justin Trudeau’s Valentines Wishes

Valentine’s Wishes – from the U.S. Prez himself

Valentine’s Wishes – from the Donald

And here are another 14 memes for February 14

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

Questions persist about Justin Trudeau and his next act

The Niagara Independent, February 3, 2023 –

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

There was the usual excitement in Ottawa this week as MPs returned from their Christmas recess. Blowing across Parliament Hill for most of the week MPs were greeted by a crisp -7 C wind – and on the wind that unmistakable refrain from The Clash’s hit song “Should I stay or should I go?”

Each day the lights of the House of Commons shone on the combatants, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, as they exchanged polispeak. Poilievre delivered rapid-fire zingers; Trudeau responded with scripted non sequiturs. The political theatre had resumed with its expected tone and pace, except for the unabating queries about the PM’s future.

In the lead up to the re-opening of Parliament, there was great speculation bandied about by the national press corps regarding Trudeau’s political future.

Campbell Clark baldly put the question in his Globe and Mail op ed “To run or not to run?” when he wrote, “This year, 2023, is when Mr. Trudeau will really have to decide.” The Hill Times posed the personal question: “Does Trudeau have the fire in his belly to stay in the game?” The paper editorialized: “…no one is pushing Justin Trudeau out the door. But it would be refreshing if he could take a deep look inside and tell the rest of us if he still has the fire in his belly to stay in the game—the way New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden did.”

Through January, Canadians were treated to feature columns in mainstream media written with an apparent attempt to help the PM frame his legacy. There was a flattering piece in the Toronto Star by Susan Delacourt, who lobbed the PM softies such as, “What keeps you up at night?” Another fluff piece appeared in the Globe and Mail, written by Liberal apologist Lawrence Martin, who lauded Trudeau’s toughness: “…he’s not all that troubled by the torrents of abuse and derision…. The more the haters come at Justin Trudeau, the more he will be determined to hold on to power.”

The most embarrassing piece of adoration was presented by John Ibbitson in his year-end tribute hailing Trudeau as a remarkable PM. Ibbitson tells us that Trudeau’s “ambitious agenda” laid before Canadians in 2015 “has been largely realized.” He asserts that Canada is in a better place as a result of Trudeau’s leadership: in world trade, immigration, the fight against global warming, progressive politics, decriminalizing drugs, bringing Canadians through the Great Pandemic, and more. Ibbitson concludes: “If Justin Trudeau wanted to be known as a transformative prime minister, he succeeded.”

The exceedingly high praise and puffery from the likes of Delacourt and Ibbitson has put a spring in the step of the PM as he assumed his role at centre stage. Through the week, a reinvigorated Trudeau spent a great deal of his time in Question Period sidestepping any responsibility for the latest revelations regarding the $100 million worth of contracts awarded to the McKinsey & Company.

As the plot is unfolding, it appears the scandalous arrangements for McKinsey are similar to the cozy relationships struck between SNC Lavalin and the Prime Minister’s Office. Yet, unfazed, the PM struck a pose in the House to swat away the facts about his fondness for former McKinsey senior executive Domenic Barton. Trudeau disavowed his friend Domenic. Then at a MP committee, Barton complemented the PM’s performance with repeated denials of any friendship.

A much more spectacular scene occurred on Wednesday when the PM was being pressed by Poilievre about the financial strain being felt by Canadians. The Opposition Leader criticized the government’s fiscal record and its gross overspending by citing criticisms made by Bill Morneau and Mark Carney – the Liberal government’s former finance minister and former governor of the Bank of Canada. Trudeau sprang to his feet to debate the points and then chastised Poilievre for “stumbling over himself” by using quotes from “random Liberals.”

Even for Justin Trudeau this line is too incredible, to debase these men of their Liberal pedigree. To be certain, Trudeau has been personally stung by the frank admissions of his former finance minister. In Bill Morneau’s bestselling book, Where to from Here: A Path to Canadian Prosperity, and in some forthright interviews promoting his book, Morneau’s assessment of the PM and his government’s performance is damning:

  • “We lost the agenda. During the period when the largest government expenditures as a portion of GDP were made in the shortest time since the advent of World War II, calculations and recommendations from the Ministry of Finance were basically disregarded in favour of winning a popularity contest.”
  • “My job of providing counsel and direction where fiscal matters were concerned had deteriorated into serving as something between a figurehead and a rubber stamp.”
  • Morneau suggests Trudeau gave the reins to his backroom operatives, like Gerald Butts: “Carefully crafted and strategically employed, they drove conclusions before an elected cabinet minister could finish reading the briefing documents, let alone reach a reasoned conclusion on the subject and consider the best way forward.”

On Trudeau’s character, Morneau stated: “I came to realize that while his performance skills were superb, his management and interpersonal communication abilities were sorely lacking.”

Morneau’s disillusionment with Justin Trudeau has been recounted by others who left Ottawa’s political fray with the same sour feelings about the PM: recall the first-hand accounts by former celebrated parliamentarians Jody Wilson Raybould, Jane Philpott, and Celina Chavannes. There are many long-serving, stalwart Liberals who have abandoned the party having lost confidence in Trudeau. In the wake of the government’s low point having invoked the Emergencies Act, Stephen LeDrew, the longest-serving president of the Liberal Party of Canada, put it this way about Trudeau’s leadership: “He has cheapened public discourse and public life… the pain inflicted by this government has almost brought us to the tipping point.”

Still PM Trudeau commands centre stage in Ottawa. He and his operatives have recently doubled down on his political games of dividing Canadians by purposefully highlighting controversial wedge issues. For example, Trudeau made racial accusations against conservatives in Delacourt’s Toronto Star feature: “He’s [Poilievre] playing and preying on the kinds of anger and anxieties about some Canada that used to be — where men were men and white men ruled.”

He followed up the accusation this week by underscoring Black History Month with the statement “Canada has a history of anti-Black racism…” (Trudeau takes every opportunity to accentuate racial tensions and repeatedly fails to mention factual Canadian history, such as Harriet Tubman and those involved with the Underground Railroad.)

Another sorry example of this deployable tactic is Trudeau’s heralded appointment this week of the racially-biased Amira Elghawaby as the government’s new Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. Trudeau was fully aware of Elghawaby’s reputation for making intolerant, judgmental statements about Quebecers, conservative-minded people, and people of British descent. But, that is precisely the point. Konrad Yakabuski of the Globe and Mail put it best when he exposed the PM’s cynical appointment: “Her nomination is meant to delight outspoken interest groups whose support is critical to Liberal political fortunes.”

For political pundits and national columnists it has proven difficult to anticipate the PM’s next act or political power play. In January, the pundits were certain there was going to be a cabinet shuffle; it did not materialize. Whispers of a spring election persist. The current rumour circulating through Hill offices is that Chrystia Freeland will be leaving Ottawa in the coming weeks, jettisoned away by Klaus Schwab for a position at the World Economic Forum, or some suggest by her friend and mentor George Soros. Everywhere, everyone is talking about the latest polls that have the Tories catapulting to their largest lead in more than a decade.

And with all this, Justin Trudeau struts back and forth across his stage. Can you not hear that music?

This indecision’s buggin’ me
If you don’t want me, set me free
Exactly whom I’m supposed to be
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?
Come on and let me know
Should I cool it or should I blow?

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Photo Credit: Flickr CC BY 2.0

It’s been one thing after another over the past six weeks

The Niagara Independent, January 27, 2023 – MPs return to Ottawa on Monday from a six-week Christmas recess. Much has occurred in the time the elected representatives have been away from their Parliament Hill offices.

This week, media reported that PM Justin Trudeau and his gaggle of 38 cabinet ministers were in Hamilton to reflect on how the government will provide needed relief to Canadians through the challenging year ahead. In the scheduled scrums, Trudeau and his ministers repeated the salve that “we are going to get through these tough times together.” Canadians were reassured that the cabinet braintrust has a bold plan to transition the country’s resource-based economy and position Canada as a leader in the global drive to a greener future. The cabinet retreat was a wonderfully staged political stump event – except for the crowds jeering the PM, which the legacy media dutifully minimized or ignored all together.

Recently there has been a growing number of media accounts about the financial strain felt by Canadians across the country. But news from Ottawa reveals bureaucrats in the Nation’s Capital are experiencing things differently. Just before Christmas, Treasury Board president Mona Fortier ordered federal government bureaucrats back to their office – for two or three days a week. Since Fortier’s announcement the outcry from the Public Service Alliance of Canada has been relentless. Government workers are bemoaning the fact that they will have to leave their homes to weather the cold of winter and be subjected to an unreliable light rail transit system. Unions are threatening to strike. Meanwhile, the vacancy rates in federal offices are reported to be as high as 70 per cent.

The union representing the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is demanding a pay raise of more than 30 per cent over three years or they will strike during tax time this spring. CRA workers want to see a bump in pay to meet what other Ottawa bureaucrats are making. Consider that after three years, a “mid-range” CRA desk jockey makes $66,687, whereas the same level bureaucrats make more after 36 months in Parks Canada ($77,608) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency ($79,298). Verily, this is experiencing the realities of economic hardship differently, when you consider that after a short three years of employment Ottawa bureaucrats are fortunate to cash in above the average $61,119 salary earned by a full-time worker elsewhere.

This week there was a headline concerning further fallout from the Phoenix Pay System and the fact that about 120,000 employees have yet to repay $559 million in salary overpayments. There are no details or deadlines on the recovery of this money.

One Ottawa scandal that is currently being unraveled by MPs is the government’s $54 million ArriveCan app and the multimillion dollar payments to two local consultants. A parliamentary committee heard testimony that the consultancy GC Strategies billed the government $9 million over two years to manage the outsourcing of contracts awarded to software engineers working on components of the ArriveCan app. The two partners personally made $2.7 million essentially for managing the hiring process of a program team, comprised of people secured by firms such as KPMG and BDO Canada.

MPs also learned that in addition to this $54 million government debacle, GC Strategies billed 20 different government departments another $35 million for similar work over the two-year pandemic period. The Globe and Mail newshound Robert Fife summed the news story up this way: “ArriveCan contracting wasn’t that bad. It was worse.”

There’s more concerning government spending news that has come to light in the last six weeks: federal contracts awarded to the Trudeau-friendly consulting firm McKinsey total $101.4 million since 2015; a new report on federal contracts revealed that at least $22.2 billion was outsourced in a single year (2021-22) across all departments; and, a new government report (released on December 31 when Canadians were all intently watching the news from Ottawa) estimates the federal government’s zero-emission by 2035 program will cost Canadians “at least $99 billion.”

As disturbing as this management of taxpayers’ money is, there was “that exchange” between Senator Elizabeth Marshall and Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland at a Senate finance committee meeting reviewing the government’s fall fiscal plan. Senator Marshall took issue with the government paying $2 billion to a non-existent entity called “the Canada Growth Fund,” which has no governance structure and the vague corporate objective “to help seize the opportunities provided by a net-zero economy.” Critics of the new fund suggest this entity-in-name-only is the second coming of the defunct Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB). However, there is no way of knowing because the Finance Minister was incoherent in her response to Senator Marshall’s $2 billion question.

Speaking of federal infrastructure money, the breaking news in Ottawa is that the Department of Infrastructure admitted that it misinformed Parliament and Canadian taxpayers about billions of dollars of program spending. The then-Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna knowingly tabled incomplete and misleading documents: in one case there was a departmental plan that did not report $3.5 billion in spending, and another that under-reported spending on internal services by $20.2 million.

And speaking of Chrystia Freeland, at every opportunity the finance minister performs her common trope about the country being in a “position of strength” and with “the strongest economic growth rate in the G7” (and she even has the PM repeating these lines). However, this script ignores the impact that the recession, inflation, and higher interest rates – not to mention increased taxes – will have on Canadians. In Hamilton, Freeland’s cabinet colleagues were informed by financial experts about the pressures being felt by Canadians coping with an annual 17 per cent rise in food prices and housing costs that now account for 50 per cent of a person’s income.

Putting Freeland’s narrative aside, Canadians have rough waters ahead. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects growth in living standards in Canada will rank dead last among its 38 developed member-countries over the next 40 years. One major factor for this is that, during 2020-21, Canada outspent all countries in the world to post an overall debt burden equivalent to 352 per cent of GDP. Yves Giroux of the Parliamentary Budget Office has sounded the alarm bells on the interest charges to carry this debt load. This fiscal year, interest charges on the debt is projected to be $26.9 billion and by 2026-27 they are expected to be $42.9 billion (factored with a near-zero interest rate). However, with our increased interest rates, the payment is likely to be three to four times that amount.

There’s even more news from these past six weeks, and each issue on its own is a serious concern:

  • The government heralded the introduction of its new Just Transition jobs program for the oil and gas sector with little details – and a minister memo that surfaced suggesting workers can be retrained as janitors and cabbies.
  • Repeated calls from the United Nations for help to restore order in Haiti have gone unanswered (because Canada does not have the military personnel to spare).
  • Repeated calls for military equipment – tanks – to help the Ukraine war effort had gone unanswered before Thursday (because Canada has few reliable, operating tanks).
  • Canada now has the notorious distinction of being the global leader in harvesting organs for transplants from persons who have participated in state-assist euthanasia.

There is too much news; one’s head is left spinning.

Lost in all these headlines (and downplayed in legacy media) are the admissions of former finance minister Bill Morneau who exposed the dysfunctional behind-the-scenes operations of the Trudeau government. His is an insider’s account of the unsavory characters running the nation’s business from behind closed doors. Much of what Morneau reveals about the PM Trudeau and his PMO operatives is neither news, nor surprising. It echoes the accounts of many who went before him: Jody Wilson Raybould, Jane Philpott, Celina Chavannes and, most recently, Wayne Easter.

To returning MPs, welcome back to the Hill. I trust you will get caught up on Ottawa’s news in no time. 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Repeated questions about the WEF go unanswered

The Niagara Independent, January 20, 2023 – This week thousands of elected representatives, public officials, corporate CEOs, heads of banks and financial institutions, along with the leading technocrats from international bodies such as the United Nations (U.N.), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization, all gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. There were numerous Canadians among the attendees who jetted into Davos to participate in discussions on the global climate crisis, global security with a focus on the war in Ukraine, and international financial planning.

This scribe has written on a number of occasions on the WEF and Canada’s involvement with its global agenda as prescribed by Klaus Schwab. So that we do not regurgitate news and issues, here are past columns by way of reference:

The news and commentary generated by the Davos gathering through the week serves as a springboard into repeating questions about the Canadian government’s commitment to the WEF’s global agenda. What has the Trudeau government promised the WEF with respect to carbon taxes and policies, intervening in financial markets, greening of the agricultural sector, economic and climate migration, and introducing central bank digital currency, just to name a few of the policy items discussed at the WEF meetings?

These queries are pertinent to the question of whether the Canadian government is implementing policies with the best interests of Canadians in mind, or rather with a set of policy objectives that has been drawn up and agreed to elsewhere.

These queries also beg a question about the multiple responsibilities of Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, as well as a Trustee on the WEF Board of Directors. Presuming that the interests of Canadians and the WEF global policy agenda do not perfectly align, whose interest is Ms. Freeland acting on in any one instance?

When asked to comment about her potential conflict of interests in Davos on Wednesday, Freeland hurriedly brushed by reporters in silence.

Highlights from the 2023 WEF Annual Meeting 

For its deliberations this year, the WEF declared 2023 as the “Year of the PolyCrisis.” It presented a conference program with a smorgasbord of serious issues that are jeopardizing peace and security, world finances and, with regards to the mounting climate crisis, existence itself. From the perspectives of the WEF leadership, countries’ commitment to the Forum’s “progressive climate and social-justice agenda” will enable the international community to steer successfully through the current crises. Adhering to the WEF objectives will also ensure we all transition into what WEF founder Klaus Schwab describes as The Fourth Industrial Revolution; it is the dawning of a new era that will fuse “our physical, our digital, and our biological identities.”

Through the week, this overarching aspiration of Klaus Schwab resulted in policy discussions about how governments’ may manage more “climate positive lifestyles,” advance diversity, equity and inclusion objectives, rebuild trust in institutions, contribute to the restoration of peace in Europe, and intervene in financial markets to drive environmental, social and corporate governance objectives.

Chrystia Freeland appeared on the third day of the conference to participate in a plenary session entitled “Restoring Security and Peace,” which focused on the war in Ukraine and restoring stability to Europe and the world.  In the session, Freeland championed Ukraine’s request for more military support from its allies and she supported NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s claim that “Weapons are the way to peace.” Freeland went further to state that helping Ukraine win “would be a huge boost to the global economy.”

Freeland followed up this appearance with another performance on Thursday alongside former UK PM Boris Johnson. The two tag-teamed a persuasive appeal for allies to immediately provide Ukraine with all the weapons it needs. Johnson told doubters to stop worrying; Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not” use atomic weapons. Freeland employed a hockey analogy citing Wayne Gretzky’s bons mots “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”, and then she claimed “this puck is going to Ukrainian victory.” In what was an obvious set-up, Johnson amused all present by shooting back “tell Putin to get the puck out of Ukraine.” Great sport.

Follow-through on the Davos discussions 

In a special to The Globe and Mail, Canadian business strategist Don Tapscott stated that in the last 20 years he has witnessed the WEF “evolve from a think tank into what you could call a “do tank,” and now a global network that engenders dozens of communities that engage tens of thousands of people to research, discuss and address many global problems year-round.”

One of the opening speakers in Davos was actor Idris Elba who described the dynamics of WEF in this way: “Today it is well recognized that the economic, social, and natural well-being of our planet are completely interrelated, and Davos may be one of the first platforms to get it. We understand the power and the change that can come from this room. Davos has become the de facto platform for governments, for corporates, for philanthropists, for activism, for protesters to mobilize quickly.”

So, given the expectations of this elevated forum, the challenge for government leaders, corporate multinationals, and international bureaucracies is to follow-through on the Davos discussions. They leave the WEF annual meeting energized to find ways to implement policies designed to advance the WEF global agenda.

In some cases, this global agenda is imposed to the detriment of a nation’s citizenry: government impositions that have upended farmers in Sri Lanka and now Holland, the strict lockdown regime negatively impacting New Zealand, the migration policies causing unrest in Germany and Sweden, and the overt political actions to shut down oil and gas operations in resource-rich countries – resulting in an energy crisis (and some countries needing to re-fire their coal plants!).

In Canada, citizens are now coming to realize the implications of a government committed to the WEF and what it will mean for farmers, oil and gas workers, and all who must cope with the rising cost of living brought about by a punitive carbon tax regime. Canadians are also becoming aware of the untold motives behind the Trudeau government enacting emergency orders so as to freeze bank accounts. Assuredly, the lessons learned from this dark chapter of Canada’s history were not lost on the IMF, U.N. and WEF technocrats and their enablers at the Canadian Bankers Association, contracted by the WEF to develop a global digital ID program.

It is not conspiratorial to assert that governments around the world, Canada included, are implementing policies discussed in Davos at the WEF meetings. Is it not reasonable to request transparency regarding the commitments made at this international forum? And, if so, why is it that repeated questions about the WEF go unanswered?

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Trudeau plays politics in advance of Alberta election

The Niagara Independent, January 13, 2023 – It is becoming increasingly evident that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals have initiated a political powerplay to impact Alberta’s spring election. The PM and his ministers started 2023 making comments that are seemingly designed to agitate western Canadians, particularly Albertans.

From confiscating hunting rifles to profiling an employment program that transitions workers away from the oil and gas industry, to suggesting the provincial government provide more in subsidies for new green programs, the federal Liberals are now advancing issues and using inflammatory language to poke and prod the Albertan government of Premier Danielle Smith.

Alberta and Premier Smith are in PM Trudeau’s crosshairs when it comes to the political gamesmanship being played out with the government’s gun control legislation. In 2022, the federal government introduced legislation that establishes a buyback program requiring firearms owners to sell their assault-style weapons. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino proposed that the RCMP and provincial police forces take the lead role in retrieving more than 1,500 models of firearms from Canadians.

However, the federal government’s buyback plan was immediately rejected by four provinces (Alberta included) and a territory – and First Nations – who are now exploring ways to legally challenge the federal gun program.

Then in December the federal Liberals pulled a fast one in parliament and introduced last-minute legislative amendments that expand the scope of the new federal law to prohibit sport shooting weapons and hunting rifles. Even the NDP MPs were caught off guard with the move. MP Charlie Angus admitted, “The amendment came out of nowhere. This was a handgun bill. We suddenly saw this other legislation that has a lot of people who are legitimate gun owners worried. I think they overreached.”

Just prior to Christmas, the Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro responded with an announcement that, as of January 1, 2023, the province’s Crown prosecution service would assume responsibility for firearm prosecutions. Shandro expressed Albertans’ frustrations in the federal legislation that attacks hunters, farmers and sport shooters. He further called out the federal Liberals for purposefully targeting western Canadians, “This is about shoring up their own political support.”

A Globe and Mail lead editorial concurs that it is sheer politics: “The Liberals jammed a wedge into their handgun bill. They need to pull it out.” The paper wrote: “This confusion is all too typical of the divisive political debate over guns in Canada… the Liberals suddenly drove a wedge into their bill. They need to clear the air and get this important legislation back on track.”

The last shots fired in this federal-provincial standoff were federal minister Mendicino’s statements to Canadian Press about the upcoming months. Last week the minister hinted that Ottawa was now looking at “third parties” to implement its buyback program in provinces who are not cooperating. Mendicino is quoted: “We’re working with industry leaders, we’re working with potential third parties. So we are exploring all of these options.”

In the same news cycle that had Mendicino conjuring up scenes of hired guns confiscating Canadians’ guns, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson was announcing the government’s intention to introduce new legislation to retrain oil and gas workers for new green energy employment. Wilkinson appeared to be smirking when he revealed the federal green jobs initiative is called the “Just Transition” program.

With few specifics, the minister waxed on about the great opportunities there are in the future green economy. “I said it many times publicly that I do not believe that the challenge we are going to face is that there are workers who are displaced that will not find other good-paying jobs. I am actually quite worried that there are so many opportunities … we will not have enough workers to fill the jobs.”

Wilkinson indicated that he is working on the “Just Transition” legislation with Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan. He is also working closely with NDP MP Charlie Angus, as the initiative is a core part of the confidence-and-supply agreement between the Liberals and NDP.

Premier Smith was quick to retort that Albertans are “not interested” in having a Liberal-NDP program that is enabling the province’s largest industry to be “phased out of existence.” Smith asserted, “The prime minister wants to phase out the workforce for the largest industry in Alberta and hasn’t bothered with getting Alberta’s input. We have had no consultation, no discussion.”

The Premier added, “Oil and gas — and its thousands of by-products — will be a part of the global economy for decades, and Albertans own one of the largest reserves of it on the planet. Albertans, not Ottawa, will manage our resource sector how Albertans see fit.”

Alberta Environment Minister Sonya Savage also took issue with the federal government’s “just transition” program. Savage stated, “Alberta is proud to be one of the most responsible producers of oil and gas globally. We have been a world-leader for decades. We expect the federal government to stand up for our world-leading oil and gas employees, instead of trying to eliminate their jobs.”

The political reverberations about Wilkinson’s announcement were still being felt when last Friday PM Trudeau entertained Reuters News with an interview in which he deliberately poked at Alberta’s carbon tax policies. Trudeau stated, “There is a political class in Alberta that has decided that anything to do with climate change is going to be bad for them or for Alberta… We’ve seen for a while Alberta hesitating around investing in anything related to climate change.”

In his first interview granted in 2023, Trudeau suggested the province should use its surplus funds to provide greater tax credit subsidies for investing in green energy projects. “I think there’s a role for provinces with surpluses, with the capacity to be investing in their future and their workers future.”

The PM’s slight elicited a strong rebuke by Premier Smith who stated Alberta is tired of Ottawa’s divisive politics. “We have a prime minister who plays favourites and treats different parts of the country in a different way. This is the thing that I think Albertans are tired of — is that we continue to be the punching bag of the federal government and this Liberal prime minister, in particular, for political reasons.”

This past weekend, Rob Breakenridge of the Calgary Herald wrote an opinion column lamenting that “Ottawa’s bungling or politicking” is destroying any cooperation between the federal and provincial governments. At question is the intent of the federal Liberals with their flurry of January media interviews that “very much paints a picture of an antagonistic federal government.”

Breakenridge muses, “It seems rather odd that the Trudeau Liberals would plant such a flag just over four months away from an Alberta election, and this could all just be a by-product of incompetence or political tone-deafness. Or it could be a deliberate strategy — one that seeks to use Alberta as a political wedge.”

Indeed, the PM’s and federal Liberals’ brazen use of wedge politics and their orchestration of hot-button issues are clearly in play. And these political games are sure to continue for months, until Albertans vote.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Canada’s ‘bang on’ clarions or ‘out of touch’ contrarians?

The Niagara Independent, January 6, 2023 – “Canada is broken,” declared Pierre Poilievre in a Vancouver grocery store last November. The Conservative leader cited high inflation, rising food, housing, and fuel costs in his assessment that “it feels like everything is broken in this country right now.”

To an audience of 2,000 staff and party faithful at the Liberal Christmas Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to Poilievre’s claim by stating, “Canada is not broken… We’re going to get through these tough times because we’re going to do it together.” (With that and a barrage of selfies with adorning Liberal Parliament Hill staffers, Trudeau boarded a flight for his Jamaica holiday vacation.)

Often whether one believes Canada “is broke” or “not broken” depends on how a person feels about their current situation. But because the rewards of elected office are so high, our politicians exert great effort spinning compelling narratives to capture the attention and trust of the public. Politicians’ fortunes are directly impacted by Canadians’ view of their personal standard of living and the country’s prosperity and well-being.

The Canadian media and those commenting on the Ottawa scene are central to how Canadians’ view the news and competency of the country’s leaders and the federal government. There are a select few media today who are cutting through the political rhetoric and Ottawa narratives to deliver clear assessments of the country’s events and happenings. From this scribe’s perspective, it appears the reports from these individuals are becoming increasingly negative, which leads to the question of whether they are clarions or contrarians on Canada’s political leadership?

Perhaps the best place to start a review of current commentary about leadership in Ottawa is with Canada’s resident news curmudgeon, Rex Murphy. In spite of a career of shedding light on Canadians’ views and aspirations (and much of it at the helm of a CBC flagship show), no media personality today has been ridiculed as much as Murphy by partisan hacksters and the subsidized legacy media. He makes an important distinction in a recent National Post column when he observes, “When some people say “Canada is broken,” they surely do not mean the country itself, and most certainly not its citizens….. Canada is by no means broken. But what I have euphemistically called here its system of management is broken…”

For Murphy, the partisan games in Ottawa are the source of Canadians’ weariness: “It is the product of a craft of professionals, hired for their (dubious) skills in determining opinion or fashioning it, for their skills in playing on issues to divide and to inspire followers, impelled primarily for the winning of office, than for a commitment to honest service to the nation they guide.”

In another National Post opinion piece, John Ivison identifies the PM’s ongoing divisionary tactics as the greatest contributing factor zapping Canadians’ sense of worth. Ivison laments, “There has been more lethargy than lifting up in evidence of late. Canada is not broken, but it feels frazzled, drained of energy by negativity and regional ruptures.” He makes the point, “Trudeau is not solely responsible for those divisions, but he is most responsible because he has pursued policies designed to offer voters, in the words of one minister, “stark choices.” In other words, the national interest is, and has been, subservient to Liberal party fortunes and the political wedge.”

The “frazzled” national mood was captured eloquently by Lt.-Gen. Michel Maisonneuve last November. His acceptance speech in receiving the Vimy Award for excellence from Canada’s defence community garnered great media attention – and it elicited both rebuke and ridicule from many in the Ottawa bubble whose livelihoods depend on propagating the government’s narrative.

Maisonneuve’s assessment of what ails Canada was frank. He took aim at the woke progressivism that is dominating dialogue in Ottawa and in legacy media. He attacked the legitimacy of the cancel culture with its sense of entitlement, woke journalists with their biased opinionated reporting, left extremists who are toppling statues and erasing history without punishment, and those who shirk personal responsibility by wearing “the coveted victim’s cloak.” Maisonneuve also skewered the Trudeau government’s sacred policy cow in stating, “Canada’s prosperity is being sacrificed at the altar of climate change…”

On the issue of the country’s leadership, without mentioning anyone specifically, Maisonneuve had this to say, “Today’s leaders must stop dividing those they lead! Hasn’t history shown us that success as a leader demands cohesion, unity and respect of all those they lead — not just those who agree wholeheartedly with them? Can you imagine a military leader labelling half of his command as deplorables, fringe radicals or less-thans and then expect them to fight as one? Today’s leaders must find a way to unite; not divide.”

He concluded his speech with the counsel, “Leaders lead. There is a difference between making a good decision, based on research and consultation, and making a decision because it is popular or it polls well. The best decisions are those made for the good of the whole — not just good for friends of the leader. Today, special interests have trumped the collective good. Making decisions for the collective good requires strength of character, the communications skills to explain, and a great deal of courage.”

For that honest assessment Maisonneuve was given a standing ovation from the audience, yet he was roundly pilloried by Ottawa’s talking heads as a figure out of touch with current thinking in Canada.

Another Canadian who has been providing frank assessments of Canada’s political scene has been served notice this week that his views are “harmful” and not going to be tolerated. Jordan Peterson is being subjected to a public condemnation by the Ontario College of Psychologists. The College is calling on Peterson to undergo mandatory social-media communication retraining for his political commentary shared on Twitter; as stated in Peterson’s own words “for holding and for daring to express reprehensible political views.”

To be clear of the charges, Peterson identifies four specific complaints about his political commentary: criticizing PM Trudeau, retweeting Pierre Poilievre posts on the harms of lockdowns, joking about New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, and criticizing former PMO principal secretary Gerald Butts as “stunningly corrupt and incendiary fool.”

Framed as a question of Canadians’ rights and freedom of speech, this argument is sure to captivate news headlines for weeks to come. Peterson sums up the significance of the fight in this way: “We are now in a situation in Canada under Justin Trudeau where practicing professionals can have their livelihoods and public reputations threatened in a very serious manner for agreeing with the Official Opposition and criticizing major government figures.”

Whether one considers Jordan Peterson, Rex Murphy, John Ivison, and Michel Maisonneuve as “bang on” clarions or “out of touch” contrarians is not so much the point as is their right to hold and make known their views of the country’s leadership.

To repeat, there are knowledgeable and insightful personalities that Canadians can depend on to shed light on what is occurring in the country. There are reliable news sources like Blacklock’s Reporter where Canadians can still find objective journalism and not the official government spin so often repeated in the subsidized legacy media. And aside from those already mentioned, here are a dozen more, reliable individuals who have been credibly assessing whether Canada is broke or not: Terry Glavin, Tristan Hopper, David Mulroney, Dan McTeague, Mathew Lau, Lorrie Goldstein, David Pugliese, Don Braid, Rupa Subramanya, Andy Lee, Anthony Furey, and Fr. Raymond deSouza.

Of course, there’s more of both clarions and contrarians Canadians need to continue to hear from –   unless, that is, you are comfortable with the narrative recounted by our PM and others in Ottawa.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


25 Significant Events of 1994

Here are twenty-five significant events of 1994, the year CG&A Communications opened its doors.

  1. The world population reaches 5,670,000,000 (today it is 2 billion more)
  2. Jean Chretien is Prime Minister of Canada and Bob Rae Premier of Ontario
  3. OJ Simpson’s white Bronco is chased by police LIVE on international news
  4. TV series ER and Friends debuts
  5. Yahoo is founded
  6. Amazon is founded with a goal to change the way we shop
  7. PlayStation is first introduced
  8. The computer Zip Drive is introduced
  9. The Whitehouse launches its website
  10. Bill Clinton is US President; former US President Ronald Reagan announces he has Alzheimer’s
  11. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies of cancer at age 64
  12. Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa President
  13. Rwandan genocide begins in Kigali, Rwanda
  14. The Channel Tunnel is opened to connect Britain with France
  15. Time Magazine’s Man of the Year is Pope John Paul II
  16. The George Foreman Grill is released
  17. Michael Jackson and Lisa Maria Presley are briefly married
  18. Singer/Songwriter Kurt Cobain commits suicide at age 27
  19. Canadian singer/songwriter Justin Bieber is born and comedian John Candy dies of a heart attack at age 43
  20. Song of the Year is “A Whole New World” (Theme From Aladdin)
  21. The Lion King movie is released, the biggest hit of the Disney Renaissance era
  22. The blockbuster movie of ‘94 is Forrest Gump
  23. Schlinder’s List wins a number of Oscars
  24. For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores
  25. Brazil wins the World Cup, Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl championship, and NY Rangers win the Stanley Cup

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Three significant federal government issues to track in 2023

The Niagara Independent, December 30, 2022 – With New Year’s Eve upon us, let’s consider three significant federal government issues that should be of utmost concern to Canadians in 2023: 1) the country’s federal-provincial constitutional wrangling, 2) Canada’s euthanasia laws, and 3) Central Bank Digital. These issues may not dominate the Ottawa news headlines, but they have the potential to impact Canadians’ way of life for years.

The country’s federal-provincial constitutional wrangling 

The Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights are foundational documents for the country and its laws. On multiple occasions over the past few years Quebec Premier Francois Legault has repeatedly maligned these documents by declaring Quebec a “nation,” and passing provincial legislation that violates minority language rights, denies religious freedom and, most recently, does away with the oath of allegiance to Canada’s Head of State.

In confronting Legault’s subversive powerplays, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response has been one of indifference. When pressed on whether Leagault had the authority to unilaterally introduce such legislation, Trudeau mused Quebec “effectively has the right to modify a part of the Constitution.”

Yet, in this past year, Trudeau has had a different reaction when other provinces decided to follow the example set by La Belle Province. For instance, the PM and his ministers took to the media to immediately criticize Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s use of the notwithstanding clause to avoid a teachers’ strike. The obvious double-standard has also been displayed in the PM’s and ministers’ comments about Premier Danielle Smith and the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act.

In 2022, both Saskatchewan and Alberta passed legislation to restore their respective provincial rights in the face of an increasingly agitating federal government. The seizing of citizens’ firearms is the latest of various wedge issues that keep piling up between westerners and eastern politicians (a.k.a. Laurentian elites). And rubbing salt in the open sores has been the news of the 2023-24 transfer payments that have Alberta and Saskatchewan contributing the most money to the pot from which Quebec takes the lion’s share: $49.4 billion of the $94.6 billion total transfers (52 per cent).

How the Trudeau government manages the constitutional wrangling in 2023 will either help to defuse or will amplify the country’s political tensions and its west-east divide.

Canada’s euthanasia laws 

Canada is in the international spotlight for its progressive euthanasia laws. These laws were about to be extended to providing state-assisted suicide for the mentally ill, that is until the Trudeau government announced just before Christmas a last-minute pause to further review the policy.

Canada’s MAiD law, introduced in 2016, permits Canadians to receive state-assisted suicide if suffering from a “reasonably foreseeable” fatal condition. Since MAiD’s introduction, the Trudeau government has been incrementally expanding the eligibility for the service. In 2021, the requirement that a person’s death must be “reasonably foreseeable” was removed, permitting people who are not terminally ill to use the state’s service. One needs to have “intolerable” suffering or an “advanced state of irreversible decline.” In March 2023, these requirements were to become even broader to include Canadians “whose only medical condition is a mental illness.”

The underpinning question is whether or not expanding the scope of MAiD is replacing the government’s responsibility to help Canada’s most vulnerable improve their lives. Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Canada, expresses the essence of the government’s MAiD program in this way: “It’s abandonment. So you’re in a bad situation, and instead of receiving care … euthanasia is the only real option you can apply for and get.”

From statements made by Justice Minister David Lametti, the Trudeau government seems intent on expanding the MAiD eligibility. Lametti has characterized state-assisted suicide as a “humane” service. The justice minister observed, “This is a group within the population, who for physical reasons and possibly mental reasons, can’t make that choice themselves, to do it themselves. Ultimately, this [MAiD] provides a more humane way for them to make the decision they otherwise could have made if they were able in some other way.”

With Lametti’s obvious bias, it is not difficult to imagine the outcome of the government’s deliberations in 2023 on its euthanasia service? Still, the world is watching this policy review on an euthanasia program that for many has already become a blot on our country’s collective conscience. As a New York Times editorial piece recently opined about Canada: “It is barbaric, however, to establish a bureaucratic system that offers death as a reliable treatment for suffering and enlists the healing profession in delivering this “cure.” And while there may be worse evils ahead, this isn’t a slippery slope argument: When 10,000 people are availing themselves of your euthanasia system every year, you have already entered the dystopia.”

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) explains that CBDCs are digital versions of a country’s physical currency; in Canada it would be a digital loonie. A country’s central bank will issue and manage its digital currency according to financial policies and directions agreed upon in global forums such as the International Monetary Fund and the WEF. The end goal would have a global digital economy that will replace all cash transactions.

In early December the Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem announced that in 2023 the bank is initiating a “development phase” for a CBDC in Canada. At the same time, it will consult with Canadians on the potential for a Canadian CBDC. Apparently the bank is interested in the public’s “expectations of a digital currency and what features would be important to them.”

The fact is that the Trudeau government has already committed Canada to participating in the development of CBDCs. In an international paper “Central Bank Digital Currency: A Digital Revolution” by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Canada is listed as a country already in the pilot stage of developing its CBDC. The paper cites “16 of the 20 countries that make up the G20 Group are already in the development or pilot stage of a CBDC.” It also states “countries which make up 95 per cent of the global GDP are exploring CBDC.”

So, in this upcoming year, Canadians can weigh in on what appears to be an eventuality. Governor Macklem is not asking us whether we favour the introduction of CBDCs. Given that much of this is being driven by a global financial agenda, the bank is likely to skip the queries about a desirable CBDC implementation schedule for the country. Canadians are also unlikely to be asked how they feel about the mandatory use of CBDCs for certain transactions.

As is the case with MAiD, the Trudeau government appears to be intent on implementing its new monetary policy in spite of public opinion. It is revealing that, in describing its role in the development of CBDCs, the Bank of Canada states: “The day may come when Canadians can no longer readily use cash or when an alternative private digital currency becomes widely adopted. That might be the tipping point when a CBDC could be needed.”

Verily, with this federal government, Canadians should enter 2023 with their eyes wide open. Happy New Year!

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


New Year’s Toasts, Quotes and Verse

From the By George scribes at CG&A COMMUNICATIONS here’s to a healthy and happier 2023! Cheers!

Our bons mots to cheer in the New Year.


– Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; here’s to things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold.
– As we start the New Year, let’s get down on our knees to thank God we’re on our feet.
– May all your troubles in the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.
– May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
– May the road rise up before you, and the wind be always at your back, and the good Lord hold you in the hollow of his hands.
– May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
– Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last.
– Welcome are those that are here; welcome all, and make good cheer; welcome all, another year.


– No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. – Charles Lamb
– Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.
– A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
– The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.– George William Curtis
– New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday. – Charles Lamb
– Each age has deemed the new-born year, the fittest time for festal cheer — Sir Walter Scott
– The merry year is born, like the bright berry from the naked thorn. — Hartley Coleridge
– Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. — Brooks Atkinson
– Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. — Thomas Mann
– An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in; a pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. – Bill Vaughan
– Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve – middle age is when you’re forced to. – Bill Vaughn



– We meet today
To thank Thee for the era done,
And Thee for the opening one.
– John Greenleaf Whittier

– Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow.
– Emily Miller

– New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

– Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. – Henry Ward Beecher

– Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850


Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The By George Virtual Eggnog Bowl

For this Christmas season the By George elves are provided merry quotes, seasonal facts and interesting trivia to add frothy cheer to your days. Enjoy diving into our virtual eggnog bowl.

Take up a glass and join the party. 

With Eggnog, you know the holiday season is upon us! 

Eggnog has a rather rich history

Tips for conversing over the eggnog bowl

Conversations over the (virtual) eggnog bowl

10 interesting Christmas facts

10 more interesting Christmas facts 

Even more interesting Christmas facts

A total of 40 Christmas facts to get us started 

The American history of modern day Christmas

The hustle & bustle of Christmas shopping 

Top 10 Christmas Record Breakers

Christmas facts from around the world (1) 

Christmas facts from around the world (2) 

3 Most-Popular Symbols of a Traditional Christmas 

Greek Kourambiedes – “The” Christmas Cookie 

O Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree- quotes for the season

5 Must-Knows about It’s a Wonderful Life

10 Favourite Lines from It’s a Wonderful Life 

Facts about “The Real” Bedford Falls 

The iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Our top 10 Christmas movie list

10 facts about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

“Beware Revelers” the season of memes

BGJ’s Christmas Memes

Canadian Christmas Memes

Elf-on-the-Shelf (Ho-Oh-No) Memes

A Dozen 2020 Christmas Memes

Christmas Memes for 2021

Some of the funniest Christmas memes!

Gift-receiving – the pessimist and the optimist

Humourous Christmas Quotes

10 Guffaws to start the Christmas Partying

Holiday Cookie Rules

25 Favourite Christmas Puns

Our Dozen FAV Funny Christmas Quotes

Top-10 Things to Say about a Christmas Gift You Don’t Like

Some Christmas Humour

This just in… Christmas is to be Downsized


“I’d rather be cycling.” – Santa

A Canadian Christmas Carol (published December 25, 2020)

With its holiday deceptions, Trudeau government is Canada’s “Grinch”  (published December 24, 2021)

#1 Christmas Movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life” 

Christmas Toasts

Thoughts to infuse the spirit of Christmas

Our elves will be refilling the bowl through the coming weeks. We plan on scooping out refreshments daily in social media, on the By George Facebook page and our Twitter @byGeorgeJournal — so you can enjoy a steady stream of creative yule time content. Cheers!

A Chess History Lesson for Christmas

15 Christmas Quotes (shareable images)

Top Dozen 2022 Christmas Ads on TV

A Christmas Story: A Slice of Life

A PAST FAV STORY:  The Folded Napkin

Johnny Canuck’s requests of Santa Claus

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:

Johnny Canuck’s requests of Santa Claus

The Niagara Independent, December 23, 2022 – Johnny Canuck climbed up onto the knee of Santa Claus to ask him for a few Christmas wishes for the Canuck family. Johnny noticed the weeks leading up to the holiday break were a little different around his house. He was hoping beyond hope that he could get Santa’s attention on a few matters that would help his family.

Johnny first asked Santa to help his mom and dad, who were not as happy around the supper table. Things are strained these days in the Canuck home… 

A December Ipsos poll for Global News found almost one in two (48 per cent) Canadians were worrying about their family finances and as many (52 per cent) believe they do not have enough money for Christmas gifts. A vast majority of Canadians (86 per cent) are concerned about Canada’s economy, and half of those are worrying about losing their job (42 per cent).

This troubling family picture mirrors other surveys this season reporting a majority of Canadians have cut back on their Christmas shopping, many citing rising grocery prices as the main reason for their inability to spend what they wish for their loved ones. (Last week Canada Food Price annual report was released that forecasts a family of four will pay an additional $1,000 in 2023 with costs of groceries rising five to seven per cent.)

The Ipsos poll found one in two Canadians (52 per cent) are fearful of not having enough food on the table and nearly two in three (61 per cent) worry that they will not be able to afford gas in 2023. 

… Johnny asked Santa to talk to someone in Ottawa to stop the gas tax increases that are coming and, if possible, to reduce the gas pump taxes that are making it harder for mom and dad to get to work. “Please Santa, can you stop the tax so my parents can fill up our van without looking so miserable?” 

In 2023, the Trudeau government is again hiking carbon taxes and imposing an additional new carbon tax (a.k.a. Clean Fuel Standard fee), making it increasingly difficult for Canadians. The government’s stated policy objective is to annually increase carbon tax to alter Canadian energy consumption behaviours (to prompt us to drive less for work and family life and turn down our thermostats while grabbing an extra layer of clothes). 

According to the government plan, each year Canadians are to pay more taxes at the pump and more for heating their home. By 2030, with each gas fill-up they will pay an additional $27 for a minivan, an additional $45 for a pickup truck, and truck drivers will pay an additional $204 to fuel their transport trucks.

Canadians will also have taxes hiked on their home heating, natural gas and propane bills. For instance, a home using 2,700 cubic metres of natural gas per year will cost Canadians an extra $240 in taxes annually as the carbon tax is hiked.

This rising carbon tax is not just felt at the pump and heating homes; it raises the cost of everything for Canadians. It increases the cost of business for farmers, manufacturers, and truckers – and, as a result, the carbon tax will raise the price of all consumer goods. It is a factor in the rising cost of groceries and the jump in Canadians’ cost of living.

However, the glaring disconnect in this carbon tax plan is that the government’s current tax levels are not sufficient to change Canadians’ behaviour and meet 2050 emission targets. Last year, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault suggested the scheduled hikes may need to be increased. The Parliamentary Budget Office calculated the tax would need to be increased five times the rate, which would have Canadians paying $160 in additional taxes every time they filled up the family minivan. 

Johnny prefaced his next comment to Santa by saying he was not exactly sure what he was asking for, but he was wondering what kind of country he and his baby sister would be living in when they grew up. Johnny rambled, then came around to ask Santa to visit with the prime minister to plan out a proper budget – like the one his parents did for their home. Johnny hoped the government would think more about how they spent money. He asked, “Santa, will the money being spent today mean there would be less for me and my sister?” 

The Trudeau government, in its seven years in office, has created more debt than all previous governments in Canada’s 155-year history – all previous governments combined. Having the greatest spending figures per capita in the world in 2020 and 2021, Canada is now the second most indebted country in the world, with an overall debt burden equivalent to 352 per cent of GDP. In other words, Canadians owe much more than the Canadian economy produces on an annual basis; it’s similar to a family balancing multiple credit cards that are maxed out. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected that growth in living standards in Canada would rank dead last among its 38 developed member-countries over the next 40 years. This grim assessment was based on a number of factors, one being that, from 2015-19 (pre-pandemic), Canada was one of only four countries in the world that saw a decrease in foreign investment. That, and the gross amount spent during the pandemic, points to an unattractive balance sheet for the country.

The Trudeau government’s unbridled spending continued throughout 2022. 

  • Finance Minister Chyrstia Freeland delivered financial statements that project the government not balancing its budget for decades — until 10-year-old Johnny is in his 30’s – assuming there are no new political promises between now and then. 
  • In her fall statement, Freeland made new promises that has the government spending $20 billion more than the 2022-23 budgetary figures she herself cited just six months prior.
  • A $15 billion Canada Growth Fund was established to attract new private investment to government green initiatives – and there are no details of the spending to be made public.     
  • The government has turtled on reporting out the real cost of the Trans Mountain pipeline; the project that was purchased for $4.5 billion in 2018 was last estimated in February 2022 as costing more than $21.4 billion to complete.  
  • The government continually misrepresented the costs and today will not provide a detailed accounting of the spending for $54 million ArriveCan app.
  • The cost for the federal bureaucracy (totally $55 billion in 2022) continues to grow unabated: tens of thousands of bureaucrats are being hired annually (accounting for a majority of the country’s reported job gains). Remarkably, even during the pandemic years, the civil service increased in numbers, all receiving annual pay raises, some generous bonuses – and 45,000 workers were ushered into the $100,000+ club. 

Johnny asked Santa if he thought it was fair for the prime minister to spend $6,000 a night in a London hotel when his family has had to put off their planned winter weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge? “So, please Santa, can you go to Ottawa and make this all right for us?” 

Not wanting to disappoint, Santa advised Johnny that he would plan a special trip to talk with Mr. Trudeau. But the wise elf was careful to tamper the boy’s expectations, “Johnny, you know what you’re asking is likely more than the PM can give.” 

“Still, Merry Christmas Johnny Canuck. Bless you and your family this holiday and throughout 2023.” 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact:


Photo credit: Jonathan Meath via CC By-SA 2.5