Top Three Stories of 2023 from the Nation’s Capital

The Niagara Independent, December 29, 2023 – As the New Year’s countdown draws near, let us consider the most significant happenings in the Nation’s Capital that have impacted Canadians through the past twelve months. In reverse order, here are the top-three Ottawa news stories of 2023.

Number 3  – Chinese Communist Party influence in Canada 

There are multiple ways the country’s independence has been potentially compromised by undue influence from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In a spring Wall Street Journal editorial, Brian Lee Crowley framed CCP influence as a significant existential matter for the country, “Ottawa’s reaction to possible Chinese election meddling reveals a country whose institutions and elites have been so compromised that they can’t protect Canada’s national interests or those of its democratic allies.” In June, the Globe and Mail published a lead editorial that asserted “Canada must do more to defend our freedoms.”

The ties that seemingly bind the CCP with the Trudeau Liberal Party raises many troubling questions about Canada serving as a vassal state for the CCP. The concerns exceed the matters surrounding the foreign influence in Canada’s federal elections. There are many critical issues in play that have been identified and written about in this space through 2023.

  1. Cover up of the virus research in the Winnipeg Lab and link to the genesis of COVID-19
  2. CCP ties to Liberal business network, anchored by Power Corporation
  3. Foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections
  4. Beijing money flowing into the Trudeau Foundation
  5. CCP police stations and agents operating in Canada
  6. Failure to respond to forced labour and human rights violations of the Uyghurs
  7. “Mishandling” of foreign intelligence as forwarded by CSIS
  8. Federal investment in China – in the CPP and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  9. Repeatedly rejecting the need to establish a foreign agent registry
  10. Deteriorating national defense leaving arctic territories unprotected to Chinese encroachment

Taken together, Canadians have many outstanding questions about the CCP’s activities in Canada that the Trudeau Liberals have gone to great lengths to keep buried. The “public inquiries” into foreign interference — first inquiry by Trudeau-family friend David Johnston and current inquire with Marie-Josee Hogue, who has close ties with Trudeau-family’s legal past — are proving to be PR exercises put in play to obfuscate the facts and to kick the issue further down the road. At year’s end, the independence of the Hogue inquiry has been brought into question, a development that had Andrew Coyne, the Globe and Mail’s pundit quip on X, “Ruined … beyond repair. Before it’s even started.”

Number Two  – Rising immigration numbers 

On June 16, 2023 Canada’s population surpassed the 40 million mark (growing nearly five million since the Trudeau government was first elected in 2015).

In 2023 (as it had in 2022) Canada’s population grew by a record amount, more than one million-plus people per year, and almost 98 per cent of the growth is a result of immigrants / migrants.

In November the government announced its planned “permanent resident” target for the next three years, amounting to almost another one and a half million immigrants, and 98 per cent of the immigrants are scheduled to come from India, China, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, and other African countries (only two per cent will come from UK/Europe).

But the stated “permanent resident” number is only half the Trudeau-migrant tally. Today the government states there are 2.2 million “temporary residents” who are in Canada and, at the same time, admits this official number may be off by as many as one million people. Also, there are increasing numbers of asylum seekers crossing the border and landing at international airports, and a greater number of refugees being welcomed from Afghanistan, Ukraine – and now Gaza.

The Trudeau government’s migration plan is guided by the United Nations’ Global Compact for Migration, which it signed in early 2017. This global agenda set in place a system for “safe, orderly and regular” migration from 3rd world countries, mostly from the continent of Africa. Today, Canada has the world’s largest intake of 3rd World migration – mostly from Africa.

The breaking news through the holidays from Statistics Canada was that in a three month period (July 1 – October 1, 2023) Canada added 430,635 people. Four percent (17,225) are attributed to births, and 107,972 are “permanent residents.” So, simple subtraction reveals that there are more than 305,000 migrants of other “categories” who entered Canada in the summer months.

It is a fact that Canada has a glorious history as a land that was built up by immigrants. However, this current unprecedented influx of people is changing the face of the country and causing great pressures on Canada’s cost of housing, shortages in health care, and urgent needs for greater social services, transportation, and law enforcement. Yet the Trudeau government is intent on more migration and has repeatedly stated it will not alter its immigration plan.

Number One  – Canadians’ declining standard of living  

This was a horribilis annus for Canadians. The facts speak for themselves:

  • Interest rates increased and are projected to stay at elevated rates through 2024 – causing difficulties for household finances, mortgage renewals, and business spending.
  • Basic family staples are rising on average from 10 to 18 per cent year over year, and University of Toronto study found almost six million Canadians – 15.9 per cent of all households – are experiencing food insecurity.
  • Canada’s Food Price Report found that 2023 was the first time families spent less (on average) on groceries than in the preceding year. Same report indicates food costs for typical family of four are projected to rise by $700 in 2024.
  • Canadian business insolvencies are at an all-time high and unemployment is trending up as the increases in job creation is outpaced by migration numbers.
  • One in three Canadians say they cannot cover their debt payments and more than half state they are $200 or less away from paying their monthly bills.
  • Canadians pay 46.1 per cent of their income to taxes. Tax bills are the largest household expense for families, and the fastest growing expenditure surpassing the rising cost of housing, food and clothing.
  • Canada has yet to rebound to its pre-pandemic standard of living as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. TD Economic forecasts the Canadian economy will continue to shrink through 2024. A Financial Post year-end review concludes, “Worst is yet to come for Canada’s economy.”
  • The OECD factors that Canada will be a laggard in real GDP per capita growth through the next 35 years, until 2060. The OECD has projected that growth in living standards in Canada will be the worst of all developed member-countries.

According to these statistics, Canadians have become a nation of working stiffs challenged to make ends meet. It should not at all be surprising to learn from multiple survey polls that Canadians are less optimistic about their current economic situation and the country’s future prosperity than at any time in our history. In a recent nationwide Pollara poll fewer than 31 per cent of Canadians are optimistic about the future of Canada’s middle class.

And then there is this sobering (and sad) observation: the next generation of Canadians entering working age will be the first generation not to meet or exceed their parents’ standard of living.

Auld Lang Syne with our declining prospects, rising immigration, and the CCP’s undue influence in the year that was. Sighs and head wagging aside, let’s join in a chorus to say “good riddance 2023.”

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


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