Tag Archives: Niagara_Independent

Woke activists are intently, purposefully rewriting Canadian history

The Niagara Independent, July 15, 2022 – When reflecting on Canadian history these days it seems to be, at best, an exercise of self-flagellation and, at worst, the expunging of historical facts to promote specific narratives. Woke activists are intently, purposefully rewriting Canadian history and their actions are being furthered – in some cases sponsored – by the Trudeau Government.

It is the oft quoted George Orwell who wrote, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

And so it has passed with one of Canada’s Founding Fathers of Confederation and first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, pioneer educator Sir Edger Ryerson, Upper Canada Governor John Graves Simcoe, Halifax founder Lt.-Gen. Edward Cornwallis, as well as Hector-Louis Langevin, Samuel de Champlain, Captain James Cook, Henry Dundas…

Candice Malcolm, founder and editor-in-chief of True North, has been a constant critic of the woke refashioning our country’s history. In a 2021 editorial, Malcolm assessed, “According to the woke, everyone and everything is viewed through the lens of race, and anyone who doesn’t bow down to the woke mantra gets mobbed, bullied and ultimately canceled. The ultimate goal of the woke mob is to tear down what they call hierarchies of power, essentially dismantling every institution in our society. Canada seems to be ground zero for this new uprising.”

The woke’s revisionism of Canadian history got a huge boost in 2019 when the federal cabinet issued a directive to review and revise historic plaques and monuments nationwide to address concerns of the Canadian legacies of “colonialism, patriarchy and racism”. Then Environment Minister Catherine McKenna directed more than 2,100 historical designations be inspected to, in her own words, “guide the way history is shaped at Parks Canada places for years to come.”

The federal Historic Sites and Monuments Board set about to develop new designations that would “address conflict and controversy” and “power dynamics”; “confront the legacy of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous peoples”; stress “inclusiveness”; and focus on “diversity of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and religion.”

As a result of this review, Blacklock’s Reporter reveals that a total of 205 plaques and monuments are placed on a blacklist for removal based on “public requests” and/or “identified as urgent by Indigenous consultants.” A few examples are cited:

  • A Toronto plaque honouring Goldwin Smith, prolific and celebrated 19th century journalist and editor, is being reviewed due to complaints about specific antisemitic comments found in his writings.
  • An Ottawa plaque placed in 2012 for Dr. Helen MacMurchy, Canada’s first federal director of children’s welfare, is under review due to her controversial association with eugenics in the early 1900s.
  • In Saskatchewan, all plaques commemorating battles of the 1885 North-West Rebellion are to be “vetted with the First Nations” for revision.

Increasingly Canadians learn of the federal government’s obvious attempts at obliterating or revising the country’s history. It was recently revealed that the federal cabinet was responsible for ensuring Canada would not issue commemorative medals in observance of the Queen’s platinum jubilee. Justin Trudeau’s Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriquez, who currently is Canadian Heritage Minister, led a cabinet discussion that nixed jubilee medals to recognize the remarkable longevity of Canada’s Head of State. (Aside from snubbing our Queen, this cabinet decision also prevented Canadians of Commonwealth ancestry any chance to formally celebrate Canada’s British history.)

Earlier this year the news surfaced that Leslie Weir, Canada’s chief archivist, is systematically purging documents from the federal government’s webpages. Weir is rewriting the government’s account of the country’s history, expunging documents that “may offend people.” Without a definition of “offensive,” more than 7,000 web pages on the Library and Archives Canada website have already been removed. These include references to PM Macdonald and Egerton Ryerson, the War of 1812, and “Anything lacking Indigenous perspectives and/or that ignores or dismisses the impact of colonialism on First Nations, Inuit and the Metis Nation.”

The Library and Archives Canada website also recently deleted a “History of the Prime Ministers of Canada” from its webpages. Weir and her colleagues have labelled this information “outdated and redundant.”

Increasingly, historical references are being removed from the public space. These actions are not restricted to the federal government. For example, the Ontario government removed from the Legislature’s lawn and crated a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald; the Manitoba government will not replace the toppled statue of Queen Victoria at its Legislature; and the BC government approved the Royal BC Museum’s move to close its floor of exhibits dedicated to the early logging and fishery settlers of Canada.

The deliberate revision and removal of our country’s history is occurring in spite of a majority of Canadians who oppose the woke’s actions. A Leger poll conducted in February for Postmedia found that 44 per cent want a version of history that relates both “good and bad.” Another 30 per cent opposed “rewriting” history because the people involved “do not look good by today’s standards.”

Yet, the woke are having a direct impact on how Canadians view their nation’s history. Another 2022 Leger poll, this one completed for the Association for Canadian Studies, found that 51 per cent of Canadians believe Canada was founded by three people: British, French and Indigenous peoples. Furthermore, one in four Canadians under the age of 25 believe Canada was founded solely by Indigenous peoples. This is in spite of the facts that underline the original notions and the evolution of this country’s nation state: the agrarian New France settlement in 1534 and the victorious British conquest of 1763, the establishment and adherence to “peace, order and good government”, the Confederation agreement, a fledgling Dominion’s proud contributions to WW1 and WW2, etc.

Herein lies the serious issue with the woke activists’ revisionism. It points to an Orwellian fate that will have Canadians’ sense of their origins and core values blurred and confused. Recall that scene in the novel 1984 when Winston is talking with an old man in a pub about their history before the Revolution: “Within twenty years at most, he reflected, the huge and simple question ‘Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?’ would have ceased once and for all to be answerable.”

And so it has appeared to have passed with Sir John A., and so it may pass with Canada.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/woke-activists-are-intently-purposefully-rewriting-canadian-history/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes

The ‘Woke’, the Trudeau Liberals, and Canadian politics

The Niagara Independent, July 8, 2022 – This week the National Post featured a book excerpt authored by one of its political columnists, Tasha Kheiriddin. She asserts that Trudeau’s true legacy is his “stoking the woke” in our country. On a litany of issues – LGBTQ+, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, Indigenous rights, anti-Muslim discrimination – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau purposefully virtue signals to embolden a radicalized social justice movement within the country.

The Trudeau Liberals have consistently aided and abetted Canada’s woke. Their approach is tactical and mindfully taken to extend the Liberals political advantages with their progressive base. It’s a name and shame game that fuels division and promotes woke objectives to disparage conservative values and traditional mores in the country.

The recent, most blatant use of this approach was PM Trudeau’s response to the Ottawa trucker protest this spring. Trudeau and his ministers’ actions followed a pattern:

  1. Misrepresent the issue and create strawmen (convoy is filled with anti-vaxxers)
  2. Draw lines of division to label opponent (“those people” are alt-right)
  3. Denigrate and vilify opponent (protests led by white supremacists, arsonists and rapists who want to overthrow the government)
  4. Claim moral high ground and virtue signal (PM represents decent Canadians, those who are responsibly vaccinated)

Today, as the facts are revealed on what occurred with this citizens’ protest, there is mounting evidence of Trudeau’s fabrications and manipulations, furthered by a complicit mainstream media, to frame the national narrative and political debate.

At the time of the truckers’ protest, Jonathan Kay wrote an insightful piece in Washington’s Wall Street Journal, “If Donald Trump Were a Woke Canadian, He’d Be Justin Trudeau.” Kay contends the PM has become “a divisive demagogue.” The editorial recounts the manner in which Trudeau attacked his critics by labelling them racist and misogynist and identifying them as right-wing extremists and Nazi sympathizers. It was a “hyperbolic response” and taken to the Trumpian extreme of invoking the Emergencies Act to squelch any political dissent.

Kay also draws on the 2017 controversies surrounding Canada’s 150th birthday when Indigenous leaders refused to celebrate the nation’s milestone. This was Canada’s “Great Awokening,” a time when being woke required agreeing that “Canada is a racist and genocidal hellhole.” Recall in 2017, Canada Day was cancelled, flags lowered indefinitely, and mainstream news consisted of nothing but commentaries of national self-recrimination and self-flagellation. This was a watershed moment for the woke social-justice warriors who were empowered by Canada’s political leadership (and Trudeau ensured he surfed the waves of discontent).

The London, UK-based The Telegraph headlined a similar editorial to the Wall Street Journal’s that compares Trudeau to Trump as a polarizing figure. The paper claims: “Justin Trudeau’s woke agenda is tearing Canadian society apart.” The posit is that Canada has become a left-leaning society due to three generations of political correctness in education and media. The Trudeau Liberals have increasingly given a voice to groups who consistently demonize conservatives and the white working-class. This has resulted in a great divide that has polarized Canadian politics: the PM’s approval ratings among conservative-minded people are in low single digits and “switching between the Tories and Liberals, once commonplace, is now rare.”

Lisa Bildy is a civil rights lawyer from London, Ontario who has placed herself on the frontline fighting social justice activists. Bildy effectively sums up the current state of the Canadian populous, stating in a @LDBildy Twitter thread: “Our population is divided, possibly beyond repair. We don’t just disagree, we live in completely separate & irreconcilable realities. We have different facts, different science, different media, different narratives, different values. We view each other as distorted caricatures.”

At every opportunity, the Trudeau Liberals are enabling the woke to further divide Canadians and create an unbridgeable chasm between progressive and conservative-minded people. The Ottawa news agency Blacklock’s Reporter broke the story this week of a publication and soon-to-be “values” awareness campaign for school kids. The publication identifies the Conservative Party as being “infiltrated” by racists.

Blacklock’s Reporter revealed that the federal government gave a $268,400 grant to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) to fund the writing and publishing of a guide Confronting And Preventing Hate In Canadian Schools. The CAHN is a federally-subsidized group that has received an additional $268,400 federal grant to operate its website, where it will begin promoting its anti-hate awareness program to teachers and directly to students.

(Kudos to Blacklock’s Reporter for exposing this government activity and to True North and Lorne Gunter of PostMedia for repeating the story. Remarkably there was no other mainstream media on this half-million-dollar-plus awareness campaign. The publication can be found here.)

The online book, on two occasions, identifies the Conservative Party as having members who are bigots and “groypers,” which is defined as “a loose collection of young white nationalists.”

In a chapter on “hate promoting symbols,” the Red Ensign flag (Canada’s national flag predating the current red Maple Leaf flag) is identified as a symbol of hate. Apparently, the flag is offensive because “Its usage denotes a desire to return to Canada’s demographics before 1967 when it was predominantly white.”

The book instructs students to “know your enemy” and to call out bigoted students who may use “a defence” like “freedom of speech” or “reverse racism” to further their hate. It also encourages students to challenge their peers who may favour a problematic politician or political policy.

The goal to incite divisions could not be more blatant. Confronting And Preventing Hate In Canadian Schools indoctrinates a “wokeness” that is both manipulatively biased and politically charged. As Lorne Gunter assesses it is nothing more than propaganda, “This guide is a glaring example of the reflexive prejudice of Canadian ‘progressives.’”

In extoling the virtues of CAHN, federal Minister for Diversity Ahmed Hussen proudly launched the sponsored publication. Hussen shared, “This new resource will be delivered through workshops in schools across the country and it will help raise awareness with students… to teach core values to our kids.”

Two sidebars punctuate the point: 1) Ahmed Hussen is the politician who was caught on camera telling an audience of Torontonians during an election campaign that they should not vote Conservative because they are against blacks. 2) CAHN issued two news releases last week to bookend Minister Hussen’s launch of their awareness campaign. On June 28th the group released “Ottawa Facing Far-Right Protests ‘All Summer Long’” and on June 30th it reported “Ottawa’s Summer of Far-Right Protests Has Begun.”

There may be no better example than the publication Confronting And Preventing Hate In Canadian Schools for connecting the dots on “the woke,” the Trudeau Liberals, and Canadian politics. This insulting publication signals Canadians need to wake up.

NEXT WEEK: Woke activists rewriting Canadian history

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-woke-the-trudeau-liberals-and-canadian-politics/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick  — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a knee for George Floyd during a rally in Ottawa, June 5, 2020.

Lament for our post-national state

The Niagara Independent, July 1, 2022 – From his earliest revelations about wanting to transform this country into a post-national state, PM Justin Trudeau and his enablers have been on a mission to hollow out the idea of Canada. There is to be no core identity, no proud history, no mainstream traditions, no sense of belonging. Seven years into his mission, the country marks its 155th birthday with chaotic and politically charged gatherings across the land that, at best, reflect a shaken sense of nationhood; but, perhaps more accurately, they signal Canadians’ social contract has been forsook. 

Whether it’s the PM’s response to the truckers or the Liberals embrace of the World Economic Forum’s agenda, Canadian editorialists and political pundits now openly debate the damage being done by the Trudeau Government’s constant undermining of the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights, its destabilization of the country’s resource economy, and the rewriting of Canada’s history to shame our cultural and societal legacies. 

Andrew Coyne’s commentary this week in the Globe and Mail identifies “the vacuum at the centre of Canadian politics” with politicians degrading and disregarding “obligations to common sense, or the ordinary routines of democratic politics, or the rule of law.” Independent journalist Matt Gurney suggests our lack of political leadership has Canadians settling for mediocrity. Numerous columnists including William Gairdner are documenting how the government has morphed from soft socialism to soft totalitarianism. Some like Rupa Subramanya and Warren Kinsella often write on the perverse nature of Trudeau’s authoritarian kleptocracy.

So, this day’s scenes of unrest in the Nation’s Capital and its various cross-country protests against the celebration of “Canada” speak directly to the crisis of our nationhood’s legitimacy, a crisis that is continuously being stoked by the Trudeau Government. Trudeau’s ceaseless use of wedge politics has effectively eroded Canadians’ trust and faith in one another. The PM and his operatives do not let a single opportunity pass by without virtue signaling a division between Canadians. Case in point is most recently when Trudeau and his senior ministers infused the U.S. political maelstrom on abortion into Canada’s public debate, purposefully to 1) embolden his progressive base, and 2) highlight the moral and political divides on this contentious issue.

In the Financial Post, Joe Oliver offers his Lament for a misgoverned nation: “As they prepare to celebrate their country’s 155th birthday, Canadians are suffering at the hands of a divisive, incompetent government that has undermined prosperity, freedom, parliamentary responsibility, the independence of institutions, national unity and our country’s global standing.”

From the deluge of hapless news coming out of Ottawa these days, it seems that the very fabric of our nation is threadbare. Consider how these situations will end.

Canadians are being told there has been no impropriety or “undue influence” exercised with the latest scandalous news that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki “made a promise” to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and the Prime Minister’s Office to use the mass murders in Nova Scotia to help pass the Liberals gun control law. Senior Mounties have exposed the political power play. Yet, the same people who caused the obstruction of justice scandals involving Jody-Wilson-Raybould and SNC Lavalin, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, and the WE Charity payouts, claim the senior Mounties are fabricating their story. 

Canadians are now camping out for days in front of federal government offices with hopes that they might get their passports in time for their summer and fall vacations. To address the snake-like lineups moving at glacier speed, PM Trudeau announced a 13-member ministerial taskforce committee that (in his words) “will help guide the work of the government to better meet the changing needs of Canadians and continue to provide them with the high-quality services they need and deserve.” The committee will begin meeting in early July.  

Inflation last month hit almost 7.7 per cent, the highest it has been in 40 years when the current PM’s father was PM. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberals now know nothing more of how to handle runaway inflation as the Trudeau Liberals did then. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s latest budget included more fiscal stimulus, more debt, more regulation and more taxes. Recall, she appeared beside the Bank of Canada governor to pronounce inflation was “transitory.” Recently, when asked about government actions to tamper inflationary pressures, she claimed the government has “done enough already.” In another interview when asked about the frustrations Canadians are experiencing with rising prices, Freeland offered “it is okay to be mad.” 

Gas pump prices in Canada continue to climb causing increasing strain for daily commuters, suburban families, and commercial drivers. Though Canadians are being told this is a global pressure in part caused by Russia, the fact is our country has the highest and highest-rising prices of any oil-developing nation. In comparing pump prices in Niagara Falls, Ontario to Niagara Falls, New York the gap has widened to more than 33 per cent more per litre. (News Thursday from an internal Department of Environment report tells us that new regulatory taxes on gas to be imposed July 1, 2023 will have a direct impact on prices by as much as 36 cents per litre.) The Americans are considering tax relief for motorists; any type of gas tax relief is something the Trudeau government has repeatedly rejected. 

More horrors were reported from Ukraine this week when missiles hit residential buildings in Kiev and one missile struck a shopping centre, killing 16 and injuring over 40. While this news shook the world, PM Trudeau was hamming it up at the G7 meetings in Germany, mocking Vladimir Putin and photos of him bare-chested horseback riding. The Canadian PM had nothing more to offer his colleagues at the NATO summit. In the past couple of years, it is evident Canada has been marginalized in international affairs – left out of AUKUS, no mention with the QUAD Alliance, and our diplomats are MIA in any discussions of defending Ukraine. Still our Trudeau Government boasts its hashtag diplomacy: #IStandWithUkraine. 

Finally, consider the news that Canada Day in Winnipeg has been replaced with “New Day” celebrations, a solemn statement to support Indigenous rights and to stand with those who hold grievances against Canada as a nation. Queen’s University professor Bruce Pardy makes this observation in an Epoch Times article, “The cancellation and renaming of Canada Day… reflects a kind of cultural self-hate that has gripped the body politic in Canada.” 

Professor Pardy homes in on the sobering significance, “Our institutions have embraced the premises of critical theory, an anti-Western ideology that insists that Canada and other Western nations are fundamentally unjust, systemically racist, oppressive, and destructive… the most serious threat to Canada may be its conditioned disgust with its own history and traditions.”

So, returning to Joe Oliver’s column and his use of the adjective “misgoverned”. Oliver assumes the Trudeau Government is rudderless and unfocused when, in fact, there is plenty of evidence what is at play here is more than incompetence. On this Canada Day, Parliament Hill is off-limits. The PM is insulting “those people” again, purposefully dividing and erasing the idea that we should celebrate our country. 

Oh Canada, this is lamentable. 

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/lament-for-our-post-national-state/


Bad government begets bad public policy

The Niagara Independent, June 24, 2022 – An increasing number of op-eds being written conclude that the governing Liberals have effectively undermined the institution of Parliament to a point that our government’s executive and legislative branches are dysfunctional. National Post columnist John Ivison observed this week that the coalition between Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh, guaranteeing a parliamentary chokehold until 2025, has made the PM, ministers and MPs too comfortable and complacent. Ivision states: “The NDP-Liberal coalition has made an inefficient government inept.”

A recent Globe and Mail editorial assessed that the federal Parliament has been neutered; PM Trudeau has handcuffed Parliament’s role as to keep government in check. This Liberal government is advancing its agenda unabated, passing government bills with as little debate as possible and, as the Globe’s editorial board concludes, Trudeau “has subverted the role of Parliament to his political interests.”

In surfacing from a six-week sabbatical, this scribe was numbed reviewing Ottawa’s legislative news. An observation by renowned author Mark Twain perhaps best describes my reflections, “To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.” 

Let’s consider three important public policy debates that unfolded in the spring session of Parliament. Given how the Liberals and NDPs managed the parliamentary proceedings, many Canadians may be unaware of these issues and the consequential decisions being made in Ottawa.

Censoring the Internet 

In this parliamentary session, the government has fast-tracked Canada’s new Internet censorship law that will control what people watch, read, and hear. Though the Liberals insist their legislation will not impede Canadians’ abilities to generate, use and view content on the Internet, experts claim the government has provided the CRTC with sweeping, unlimited powers to censor all of Canadians’ online activities. In fact, current CRTC chair Ian Scott confirmed in his testimony before a parliamentary committee that, “As constructed, there is a provision that would allow us to do it as required.”

In the last few weeks, the government has rushed the legislative committee review of the new censorship measures that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation warns may lead Canada to become “like China and North Korea.” There were inadequate answers to the concerns about the CRTC’s use of government-controlled algorithms to filter what “legitimate” content and videos Canadians will be able to see online. The full scope and minute details of what is to be censored is found in CRTC regulations, which will only to be made public once Bill C-11 is passed.

In the face of all the concerns about government overreach and Canadians’ rights to free expression, the Liberals – with the support of the NDP – imposed motions to rush the clause-by-clause review to a single day. One of Canada’s foremost Internet experts Professor Michael Geist expressed outrage: “over 100 amendments were voted on without public disclosure, debate, questions to officials, or the opportunity for sub-amendment.” Geist called this “an affront to democracy.”

The Liberals and NDPs followed up this parliamentary atrocity by invoking closure on the House of Commons debate and passing the legislation onto the Senate – where it now is being debated. On a related note, in a recent Nanos Research poll, unprompted, Canadians cited free speech and freedom as the second “most important” national issue of concern (behind only COVID).

Extending Assisted Suicide 

This week a Special Joint Committee of MPs and Senators tabled a report on their recent study of the federal government’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) program that considered the implications of permitting applications for assisted suicide from consenting children, people with disabilities or people suffering from mental illness.

By way of background, in 2016 the Trudeau Liberals introduced and passed its MAID legislation that permitted euthanasia to Canadians whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.” Since, a Quebec Superior Court struck down the “reasonably foreseeable death” provision as being unconstitutional, and this has opened a pandora’s box to identifying the groups of individuals who can access the MAID program. The federal government has indicated it will not appeal the Quebec Court’s decision; instead, the Trudeau Liberals passed new legislation that will extend the list of eligible conditions for its state-sponsored MAID program in 2023.

On one hand, the national advocacy group Dying With Dignity argues a majority of Canadians support end-of-life rights and back the extension of the MAID program. On the other hand, euthanasia opponents fear death will become an industry in Canada, especially if this government takes the unprecedented step of allowing a medically assisted death on the basis of conditions that could include everything from depression to bipolar disorder to schizophrenia to anorexia.

And the recent media accounts of Canadians seeking MAID support puts this contentious issue into focus. Where should our society draw a line? Is it with a 30-year-old woman suffering with mental illness, a 20-year-old man with an undiagnosed illness, a teenager with anorexia, a 50-year-old man who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a 20-year-old who suffers from an eco-anxiety believing the world will burn in 2050, a chronically ill 30-year-old woman who cannot access needed palliative care support?

Current Liberal thinking suggests all of these people will be eligible for the MAID program. The Special Joint Committee’s final report and recommendations are forthcoming in October.

Failing to Support Afghans 

This week there were further disturbing reports from Afghanistan. The Taliban are hunting down more than 200 Afghans – mostly women – who are in hiding after being identified as “spies” working on Canadian humanitarian aid projects. This news echoes many other accounts of depleting food and aid during a period of drought and famine, of women being denied basic rights of movement and education, of desperate people engaging in organ harvesting and human trafficking.

In Parliament there have been reviews of Canada’s embarrassment in failing to provide support to Afghans who our Canadian Forces and diplomats worked with during Canada’s Afghanistan missions. Ambassador Reid Sirrs (who has the distinction of leading one of the first diplomatic staff to leave the country) told MPs, “Kabul was unsafe for me.” Through committee testimony it was revealed that the ambassador and his staff fled aboard a half-empty military plane. Yet, Canadians have been told only half the story as Liberal MPs used procedural tactics to conceal embassy records and Cabinet documents and discussions.

Canadians did hear from one Afghan interpreter with the Canadian Forces who testified the hopelessness of what transpired: “I am disappointed that Canada has left us high and dry.” In summing up their committee hearings the MPs report concluded the obvious: “The way Canada left Afghanistan in August was a betrayal.”

So, if readers of this column will allow me this parting personal thought… Regardless of Justin Trudeau’s political interests and the repeated failures of our federal parliamentary process, with issues like freedom of speech, state-sponsored assisted suicide, and fulfilling our international obligations, Canadians must attempt to hold our federal government accountable. We must continue to “stand on guard” if we are to remain “strong and free.” 

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/bad-government-begets-bad-public-policy/

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Art Babych

The cost of the Trudeau government’s green agenda

The Niagara Independent, March 18, 2022 – There is a growing number of experts and financial analysts who are summarizing that the Trudeau government’s green agenda is costing Canadians dearly. Their conclusions paint a dire economic picture for Canadians.

PM Justin Trudeau’s “bold” international climate change commitments to achieve a “net-zero emissions economy” by 2050 will come at an exorbitant price. The state intervention plans of Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and PM advisor Mark Carney will cripple the country’s industrial sectors and increase Canadians’ cost of living. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s missionary zeal to shut down the country’s oil and gas industry while subsidizing renewable resources will result in tremendous job loss, energy price hikes, a significant hit to the national GDP, and it will deny the global community of much needed energy resources.

Recently, Environment Minister Guilbeault declared that the green energy sector runs without federal subsidies, which is a blatant fabrication as Blacklock Reporter states: “No federal authority to date has calculated total costs to taxpayers of direct federal subsidies for green energy. Programs include a $9.2 billion Green Infrastructure Fund, $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund, $964 million Smart Renewable and Electrification Pathways Program…”

Similarly, Guilbeault avoids commenting on the cost of capping oil and gas emissions and supporting a green energy transition over the next 30 years, stating only that information regarding the costs and benefits of the regulations would be known at a future date.

The government’s illusive answers belie the facts as estimated by industry and financial experts. Here are some statistics and troubling analysis about the government’s subsidy programs.

  • TD Economics estimates that 450,000 of Canada’s direct and indirect oil and gas jobs will be lost by 2050. The analysts warn that it is wrong to assume that displaced oil and gas workers will find new jobs in the clean-energy sector.
  • Government audits show there are multiple green projects subsidized without any regard for costs or return on investment. A 2018 Treasury Board memo tracked 45 separate programs subsidizing green projects in eleven different departments and agencies. A 2019 Department of Environment audit red-flagged that there is little financial oversight: “There is no departmental plan… no guidance.” A 2020 Department of Industry audit reported green tech companies were three times more likely to rely on taxpayer subsidies through grants, subsidies and non-repayable contributions than other small- and medium-sized businesses.
  • The Canadian Gas Association, Canadian Association of Energy Contractors, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers all complained to a House of Commons committee recently that there is little detailed information about the government’s approach to capping emissions and this has caused a chill in private sector investment and development of energy projects in Canada.

By all accounts it is near impossible for the government to transition Canada’s energy to green renewables and achieve its 2030 or 2050 emission targets. Consider these facts:

  • An October 2021 RBC Economics report concluded it would take a $2 trillion investment for Canada to achieve the target of “net zero” by 2050. This would require annual spending of at least $60 billion.
  • University of Victoria economist G. Cornelis van Kooten estimated the government would have to build 28,340 wind turbines or some 30 nuclear power plants in the next eight years to meet its 2030 emissions-reduction targets. That would cost between $16.8 and $33.7 billion annually for the next eight years.
  • Carleton University business professor Ian Lee assesses that for the government to meet its 2050 net-zero goals, Canada would have to replace three-quarters of its current oil and gas energy supply with “green” electricity. That would be more than 75 nuclear plants the size of Darlington – which was built for approximately $23 billion in 2020 dollars.
  • The 2020 International Energy Agency study estimates that green transition will demand an increase in mining rare earth minerals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium from 700 to 4,000 per cent depending on the mix of renewable energy sources developed. Currently, the world does not have enough rare earth mines in operation – and the majority of existing producing mines is in China.

This data suggests that for the government to meet its 2050 “net-zero” emission target it must do so with an energy strategy that includes oil and gas. In a strongly worded Hill Times editorial Senator Scott Tannas presents an alternative path forward for the government: “Until we make the enormous effort and investment required to shift fully to renewables, the world will need a reliable, affordable supply of conventional energy… Canada can take a more balanced and pragmatic approach to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels without impeding critical oil and gas production.” (This is a course that the Trudeau cabinet will not entertain.)

However, one policy matter the Trudeau government is standing firm on is its scheduled carbon tax hikes. In two weeks, on April 1, the carbon tax will again be hiked to reach the government’s arbitrarily set price of $50 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. The government’s stated policy objective of annually increasing carbon tax is to alter Canadian energy consumption behaviours. In a recent Department of Environment brief Pricing Carbon Pollution, the federal officials crowed, “Canada has proven that carbon pricing can be done in a manner that keeps life affordable.” The brief forecasts that an additional 40 cent tax per litre of gas at the pump and an additional 34 cent tax per cubic metre of natural gas for heating homes will be affordable for Canadians to manage in 2030.

Yet, increasing carbon taxes on all fossil fuels is not just felt at the pump and heating your home; this tax 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 groceries and consumer goods. Numerous studies have concluded the government’s current carbon tax will significantly increase the cost of living for all Canadians. And a recent Bank of Canada report suggests the carbon tax will slow the country’s economic growth.

Furthermore, the hikes in carbon taxes are not sufficient to meet the government’s 2050 emission targets – and this has prompted ministers like Guilbeault to suggest the scheduled hikes must be hiked. The Parliamentary Budget Office provided a 2021 analysis that found the government “net zero” targets can only realistically be reached by raising the carbon tax five times greater than it is currently scheduled through 2030. This level of taxation would have Canadians paying approximately $160 of additional carbon taxes every time they filled up their vehicle.

Factoring the cost of the Trudeau government’s green agenda is not just a dollar and cents argument. Given the current Russian invasion of Ukraine and the political and humanitarian crises that are unfolding, there must be an ethical price considered when assessing the implementation of Canada’s green transition. On the PM’s recent European tour Trudeau balked at the suggestion Canada would supply Europe with the gas and oil it required to replace existing Russian exports. Canadian environmental experts are backing the PM in positing the war is not reason to extract more oil or build new pipelines.

Yet there are now a growing number of voices that are calling on the government to recalculate its green transition plans to include an increased role for oil and gas production that will, in part, come to the aid of Ukraine and European countries who must wean themselves off Russian fossil fuels. Canadian oil and gas has the potential to replace fossil fuels from Russia as well as other countries where production is not as environmentally sound as in Canada. It will also ensure countries such as Germany, India, and Britain do not need to resort to reopening their coal-fired power plants.

Most poignant are the critics of the Trudeau government’s green agenda who state that, in these perilous times, Canadians have a moral imperative to develop its oil and gas resources. Ken Coates, Munk Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, puts this sentiment best when he writes: “Opportunities exist for Canada to become a major global player; our current strategy, however, is sending us headstrong to national mediocrity, inaction on meaningful climate change initiatives, and to a lower quality of life. This is not the outcome that Canadians desire.”

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-cost-of-the-trudeau-governments-green-agenda/

Photo credit: Bloomberg/David Kawai

Inconvenient facts of the Trudeau government’s green agenda

The Niagara Independent, January 21, 2022 – The federal government has Canada (a.k.a. the Great White North) in fervid pursuit to meet international climate change commitments and to achieve a “net-zero emissions economy” by 2050. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it his singular mission to implement a “bold” green agenda that will position Canada as a global leader in reducing greenhouse carbon gas emissions.

To the applause of various United Nations audiences, the Canadian PM committed the country to cut its carbon emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below the 2005 levels by the year 2030, and to reach a net-zero emissions mark by 2050. At the recent Glasgow climate summit, he pledged to cap the emissions of Canadian oil and gas companies at today’s levels and put regulatory measures in place that will have this energy sector meet a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

To make this happen, PM Trudeau selected “a climate activist” as the country’s environment and climate change minister. Steven Guilbeault has been extended a free rein to take a hardline in realizing the government’s green dream. He is unabashed, recently stating, “My timeline is two years. So, in the next two years, more stringent methane regulations, zero emission vehicle standards, net zero grid by 2035, cap on oil and gas and obviously phasing out fossil fuels – all of these things must be in place in the coming eighteen months.”

The PM’s political operatives are also on the move. Backroom maneuvers were exposed recently when U.S. Ambassador to Canada David L. Cohen posted on his Twitter feed of a policy meeting with the PM’s BFF Gerald Butts, Catherine McKenna (former environment minister, now private citizen), and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance (and celebrated Liberal leadership aspirant). The American ambassador described the meeting with the unelected friends of the PM as “a discussion on how Canada and the United States can work together to achieve our shared goals toward a greener, cleaner future.”

And so, all the PM’s players may be fully engaged, but there is a glaring fallacy that Canada’s pursuit and achievement of a net-zero emission target by 2050 will mean anything at all. In fact, it is meaningless in the reduction of the actual total amount of gas emissions. The reality is that if Canada were to eliminate all its carbon gas emissions tomorrow, the 184 coal plants currently being built in China would more than replace this accomplishment. In 2020, China built more than three times as much of new coal power capacity as all the other countries in the world combined – and China has repeatedly refused to sign onto any international agreement to reduce its coal use.

It is furthermore evident that the government’s drive towards a net-zero emissions target is a quixotic pursuit when appreciating that Canada ranks tenth on the list of global polluters. It is but a miniscule 1.6 percent fraction of the world’s greatest emitters. Now consider more than half (53 per cent) of the world’s carbon emissions come from four countries: China – 27.2 per cent, U.S. – 14.6 per cent, India – 6.8 per cent, and Russia – 4.7 per cent.

It is another inconvenient fact that, at today’s measurements, China emits in 20 days the carbon emissions Canadians pollute in an entire year.

That said, it is questionable whether Canada can substantially reduce its carbon emissions, let alone meet a net-zero target. Since 2015, Canada’s emissions have actually risen. According to a recent U.N. Emissions Gap Report, Canada is set to miss its next emissions target in 2030 by 15 per cent. The country’s vast geography, cold climate, and its citizens’ suburban lifestyles requiring travel for work, all challenge the notion that in less than 30 years Canadians can significantly curtail their energy use and carbon emissions.

The Trudeau government’s plan to finance its environmental agenda is also doubtful. The proposed green plan is currently costed at $109 billion of government investment in the next decade. The economic underpinning of this plan depends on considerable private sector investment. For every one taxpayer dollar the government will spend, the Trudeau government is looking to encourage six private sector dollars of investment. However, this is highly unlikely as the Canadian private sector is reluctant to partner with subsidized federal projects and Canada itself has become increasingly unattractive to foreign investors.

But the Trudeau government has a solution for the funding challenges posed by the drought of private sector equity that is torn directly from the pages of the World Economic Forum (WEF) playbook. Taking up the WEF recommendation for direct government intervention in corporate boardrooms, the Trudeau government will legislate and regulate to ensure sufficient private sector capital is redirected to underwrite its environmental programs.

To turn this trick WEF board member Chrystia Freeland (who is also Trudeau’s finance minister) is working with the beforementioned UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney to secure adequate financing for Canada’s green agenda. Recall, Carney was a feature speaker at the Glasgow summit to explain how corporate boardrooms and the private sector must invest in countries’ global climate change objectives. Carney’s foreboding message was that the private sector will be expected to underwrite governments’ subsidized development of renewable energy sources.

Is it only a coincidence that the Bank of Canada announced it is developing new models and data sources to monitor the effects of climate change on the economy? Or that Freeland has secured a much higher debt ceiling to allow for even more government spending in the years ahead?

Minister Freeland and her deputy minister Michael Sabia (a globalist who was parachuted into his position a year ago) are following helpful WEF suggestions regarding new tax revenues for green initiatives. The finance department has had a busy six months floating trial balloons: a wealth tax on high income earners, an increase on the capital gains rate, a variety of new capital gains taxes on the sale of primary residences, and an inheritance tax. There has also been a suggestion to increase the scheduled hikes of carbon taxes on gasoline and home fuel.

Echoing the WEF presentation scripts, Canadians have already heard that the government’s new economic policies are introduced “to fight climate change.” In that way, Trudeau’s insistence that Canadians must “pay for pollution” becomes a Trojan Horse for the onslaught of new corporate and personal taxation.

The country’s green plan may not make rational or economic sense, but why let the facts of the matter get in the way of a global mission. As it is, the federal government is actively implementing a green agenda with two core objectives to decarbonize Canada’s economy: shut down Canada’s oil and gas industry, and transition Canadians’ energy use to renewables sources.

PM Justin Trudeau and his supporting cast – Guilbeault, Freeland, Carney, Butts, and others – are prepared to strike grand international commitments and then impose the government’s heavy hand to achieve their ends, apparently, at any cost.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/inconvenient-facts-of-the-trudeau-governments-green-agenda/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (left) and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault at COP26 in Glasgow, Nov. 2, 2021.

Our Canadian emperor is exposed in Europe

The Niagara Independent, March 11, 2022 – There is a Hans Christian Andersen folktale entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes about a foolhardy leader who parades through town to everyone’s embarrassment. Much like the Canadian Prime Minister’s public relations tour through Europe this week, Justin Trudeau’s exposure revealed naked truths about his government and its commitment to the crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

In British media there appeared humourous comparisons between “dreamboat Justin Trudeau” and frumpy British PM Boris Johnson, with one fawning observation that the Canuck’s stylish threads and catwalk strides had him “looking like he had just stepped out of the pages of a menswear catalogue.”  However, reports back home shared news of crowds chanting unpleasantries outside Number 10 Downing Street, and a series of press conferences that had foreign reporters rolling their eyes at the Canadian PM’s non-speak. There were also three particular poses PM Trudeau struck that were anything but vogue.

NATO: “threadbare”

In Europe, there is a heightened political sensitivity on how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) can provide more to the defense of Ukraine. PM Trudeau was questioned at almost every press conference on whether his government would accept Canada’s military commitment to NATO; Maclean’s magazine reported that Trudeau “ignored the question or used standard platitudes.” In response to a direct question of whether Canada would boost its military budget to meet NATO’s spending target of two per cent of GDP, Trudeau said: “We need to make sure that the women and men in the Canadian Armed forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly, as we always have as members of NATO.”

To put it politely, Canada’s contribution to NATO is threadbare. The tale of the tape is this: NATO has a defence spending target of two per cent of GDP for its member countries. Last year Canada placed 24th of 30 members in spending an unfashionable 1.39 per cent of GDP to NATO. In a press conference Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “Canada is contributing in many ways. But then, of course, I would like to see all allies to do even more, and therefore I call on all allies to step up.”

Through the week, as he pledged Canadians’ good-faith, Trudeau would repeatedly mumble, “we continue to look at what more we can do.” Then mid-week Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland hinted at increases to the country’s defence spending to be announced in the spring federal budget. Apparently, NATO members and the besieged Ukrainians will need to wait until then to get a straight answer to their question.

Refugee Program: “ill-fitted” 

The news of nearly two million people fleeing from the advancing Russian firepower has pulled at heartstrings throughout Canada, home to the largest population of Ukrainian diaspora. To its credit, the Canadian government was quick to answer the call of this rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis. In a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, PM Trudeau promised, “Canada would continue to be there for them.” On Thursday in Warsaw, Trudeau recommitted Canada’s pledge to Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The Canadian government will expedite refugee applications and develop an emergency travel stream that eliminates many of Canada’s visa requirements for Ukrainians. Pending security checks, Ukrainian refugees can work or attend school for at least two years. The government is also prioritizing applications from Ukraine for permanent or temporary residency.

These are all excellent initiatives, however, the details of this hastily stitched program tell us we should consider making alterations ASAP. For example, the government admitted it will take two weeks before the Canadian program is operational as officials must implement identification procedures, including biometrics, for receiving the refugees. Another concern is the program is only available to Ukraine citizens; non-citizens need not board the flights to Pearson. This has distressed the great number of displaced people without citizenship – racialized minorities and asylum seekers – who will not be able to return to Ukraine or their home countries.

So, as PM Trudeau was providing reassurances before microphones in Europe, immigration experts in Canada voiced skepticism about the ill-fitted program. Immigration Canada is renowned for its processing delays – so, why exactly do we need to process refugees before flying them to safety? What impact will the Ukrainian refugees have on other refugees awaiting resettlement to Canada? What about the urgent need to assist in Afghanistan, where Canada has only resettled 8,580 of the promised 40,000 Afghan refugees since August 2021?

Oil and Gas: “faux fashion” 

In one of his first stops this week, PM Trudeau held a press conference with U.K. PM Johnson and Dutch PM Mark Rutte. The PMs’ joint presentation focused on the need for European countries to lessen their dependence on Russian oil and gas. Rutte talked about the risks to energy supplies in Europe, “The painful reality is that we are still very much dependent on Russian gas and Russian oil. We have to consider how we can all move away as fast as possible from dependence or reliance on Russian hydrocarbons.”

Then Trudeau suggested Canada would be there to support European nations weaning off Russian energy. When asked whether Canada could supply the oil and gas that Europe required, Trudeau was confidently vague, “We will be there to support, as the world moves beyond Russian oil and indeed, beyond fossil fuels, to have more renewables in our mix. We need to move forward on decarbonizing our economies, but we need to do that in a way that supports people through that process and we’re going to continue doing that.”

In other words, our fashion-conscious, trendy PM told Europeans they should not look to Canada for oil and gas, but expect sometime in the future to benefit from dependable Canadian renewable resources. As Boris Johnson speculated on the possibility of re-firing U.K. coal plants to meet his country’s immediate energy needs, Justin Trudeau’s faux fashion was on display for all to see.

And there was good reason no promise for Canadian oil and gas was forthcoming. The Trudeau government is aggressively refashioning the Canadian economy to transition from oil and gas. Just last week the government announced it was halting all further spending on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, effectively killing this half-finished project. Last month the government buried the Québec Energie Saguenay liquified natural gas export facility, north of Quebec City. It also recently announced an additional delay in reviewing a Bay Du Nord offshore oil project off the coast of Newfoundland. Across the country, the Trudeau government is doing everything it can to shut down carbon-based industries and replace them with “tomorrrow’s fad”: subsidized renewable resources.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians For Affordable Energy, astutely critiques what this means in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “The opportunity exists to have our Canadian energy resources made available to Europeans who are threatened with serious energy shortages… Europe really does miss Canada – from the table of grownups who understand the realities of global politics and day to day life for the millions threatened by an absence of affordable energy.”

From Trudeau’s posturing on NATO, to refugees, to oil and gas, respectfully, Hans Christian Andersen himself could not have written this.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/our-canadian-emperor-is-exposed-in-europe/

Photo credit: Twitter/Justin Trudeau — PM Trudeau meets with his British counterpart Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street in London, Mar. 7, 2022.

The WEF and the Liberals’ agenda for Canada

The Niagara Independent, March 4, 2022 – MP Colin Carrie rose in the House of Commons to enter into the debate on the use of the Emergency Act, and began posing a question to the government benches, “Klaus Schwab is the head of the World Economic Forum, and he bragged how his subversive WEF has ‘infiltrated’ governments around the world. In the interests of transparency, could the member please name which cabinet ministers are on board with the WEF’s agenda…”

The MP was interrupted by the Speaker who claimed the parliamentary audio and video were not working. Then MP Charlie Angus immediately took the floor on a point of order to say that Carrie was “openly promoting disinformation.” With that outburst, the Speaker looked past Carrie and recognized another MP to speak.

Carrie’s question about the WEF and the Trudeau Cabinet was purposely ignored. So, “in the interests of transparency,” here are the pertinent facts that were denied parliamentarians. First, to provide context, let’s connect some dots.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international organization that is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WEF was established in 1971 and it organizes an annual summit for world leaders in Davos, Switzerland. Its website states, “The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

Klaus Schwab, a German octogenarian economist, is the founder and current Executive Chairman of the WEF. In the early 70’s he wrote the original Davos Manifesto, and WEF makes the exalted claim that, “Stakeholder capitalism was born.” Through the decades, Schwab has been central in establishing a global dialogue on creating a world order in which international bodies operating with the United Nations (U.N.) oversee global agendas – set at his Davos summits.

An important sidebar to the Davos summits is the Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers programs, in which participants are indoctrinated on the WEF agenda and schooled on how to effectively implement it. The Global Shapers program today has more than 1,300 youth activists operating in 450 cities around the world advocating through “grassroots movements” for societal change and climate change solutions.

In 2016, Schwab released a document entitled “The Great Reset,” which argued capitalism is dead and every aspect of society needed to be refashioned. The prescription was to move nations’ economies and corporate structures from “shareholder capitalism to stakeholder responsibility.” Governments and international corporations were to be regulated and measured by WEF environmental, social and governance metrics, and managed by the U.N.

In July 2020, the WEF published a document co-authored by Schwab entitled, “COVID-19 – The Great Reset.” In this thesis, Schwab describes how the COVID pandemic has disrupted economic and social order around the world. He posits that the health crisis provides an opportunity “to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world going forward.” Schwab then advanced a WEF plan to alter nation states and their institutions over a ten year period so that, by 2030, countries will be in adherence with U.N. economic and social governing bodies.

Schwab’s 2020 book concludes: “In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism. We must build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems.”

So, this is the contextual background information necessary to understand the significance of a recent video clip that has surfaced of Klaus Schwab being interviewed at the John F. Kennedy School of Government about how the WEF would implement its plan to reset the global economic and social structure. The video clip can be viewed here.

Schwab states verbatim, “The notion to integrate young leaders is part of the WEF since many years. I have to say, when I mention now names, like Mrs. Merkel and even Vladimir Putin, and so on, they all have been Young Global Leaders of the WEF. But what we are very proud of now is the young generation like Prime Minister Trudeau, the president of Argentina, and so on. So, we penetrate the cabinets. So yesterday I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau and I know that half of his cabinet, or even more than half of his cabinet, are actually Young Global Leaders.”

It was a travesty of democracy when MP Carrie was silenced for questioning the impact of Klaus Schwab and the WEF on PM Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. Schwab’s agenda is constantly being championed by senior Liberals in Ottawa. Two bald examples from the past couple of years:

  • Trudeau addressed the U.N. in September 2020, “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts, to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”
  • Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and former health minister Patty Hajdu in 2021 spoke at the WEF’s Great Reset Initiative. Freeland participated in an “Implementing Stakeholder Capitalism” panel while Hajdu spoke at a “Restoring Cross-Border Mobility” panel.

As disturbing as the intimacies between the WEF and the Canadian PM and Cabinet are, the conflicting interests of Chrystia Freeland are more alarming. Canada’s Deputy PM and Finance Minister is also a Trustee on the WEF Board and, as such, is responsible for advancing WEF objectives. The WEF board of trustees “act as guardians of its mission and values” and are its “highest-level governance body.”

In a 2021 National Post column entitled “Chrystia Freeland’s side gig with the WEF is endangering Canadian democracy,” Rupa Subramanya put it best when she observed, “There’s no need to invent conspiracy theories. The attempt by global elites to subvert local democracy is fully on and in plain view.”

And there is much more to be weary of when understanding that the Liberals are lockstep with the WEF reset agenda. One example occurred recently with the financial takedown of those Canadians supporting the truckers’ protest. Canadians witnessed what is possible with the government’s use of FINTRAC to freeze and seize financial accounts. This absolute digital control of personal and corporate finances makes for frightening scenarios if misused by a government with an agenda. Additionally, it is noteworthy that the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) is the agency contracted by the WEF to create its global digital ID, akin to the QR codes used in Canada to verify a person’s vaccination status.

On this WEF-CBA work, there is a theory circulating that the government’s abrupt cancellation of the Emergencies Act was a result of agitated WEF officials who felt Freeland’s financial powerplay may have caused anxiousness and undue attention to the government’s digital control over citizens.

Could it be that, perhaps, Schwab phoned Trudeau? Or perhaps, Canadians wondering about the links between WEF and their government’s agenda are like MP Angus has suggested: openly promoting disinformation. Alas, Canadians may never know for sure. MP Carrie never got to ask the question.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-wef-and-the-liberals-agenda-for-canada/

Photo credit: EPA / Salvatore Di Nolfi


Canadians’ roller coaster ride with the country’s financial institutions

The Niagara Independent, February 25, 2022 – The most troubling aspect of the Trudeau government’s unprecedented action to invoke the Emergencies Act was not the suspension of civil liberties or the assault on Canadians’ trust in its institutions of government, justice, and media, albeit these matters have given all Canadians reason to pause. The most troubling aspect of these past two weeks has been the roller coaster ride Canadians endured with the country’s financial institutions. This wild ride has left many feeling queasy and weak-kneed.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on February 14 that he intended to invoke the never-used-before Emergencies Act, he also revealed he was directing banks, credit unions, co-ops, loan companies and trusts to halt business with anyone who was associated with the Freedom Convoy protest. The PM explained this move was being made to cut off all financial resources to the protestors who were refusing to leave the streets of Ottawa.

The government employed financial measures ostensibly designed to combat international criminal gangs and terrorist financing. These expanded powers require financial institutions to provide reports on bank accounts so the government can learn of and track Canadians’ financial transactions, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Financial institutions were tasked with the responsibility to identify from their client base all “designated persons”; those who “directly or indirectly” have participated in the protest, including people who donated through crowdfunding sites.

Under the Emergencies Act, the financial institutions’ actions do not require a court order and are protected from liability or any legal recourse. The actions taken by the government and financial institutions do not need to be made public.

Banks were ordered to effectively deplatform Canadians’ financial services which, as CBC reported, would result in “frozen accounts, stranded money and cancelled credit cards.” The PM and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland conducted press conferences to report that banks were actively freezing accounts. The PM stated anyone who gave large sums of money through GoFundMe and GiveSendGo “should be worried.” Freeland stated those providing funding to the truckers were engaging in illicit activities.

Other ministers and government officials then heightening the rhetoric around the extraordinary measures. For example, Justice Minister David Lametti compared the Ottawa protests to acts of terrorism and, in one interview, warned those who donated to the “pro-Trump movement” “ought to be worried” about their financial assets being frozen. In another media conference interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell asserted, “If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges … Absolutely.”

Just like the clickety-clack sounds of a roller coaster track as the cars are being hauled up to frightening heights, Canadians were being mesmerized by the government’s hardline narrative. Chrystia Freeland gave a number of animated news conferences. In one she vowed banks would be freezing accounts at “an accelerated pace” and protesters and their supporters would have no means to their assets. She forcibly stated, “The consequences are real and they will bite.”

It was not until MPs began debating the Emergencies Act in Parliament that the full picture emerged of what Canadians were thinking with that roller coaster car suspended at the heights of the ride. As Toronto Sun reporter Anthony Furey described “people are nervous and fearful” and there was worry about “just how wide this dragnet goes” because it appears “it goes as wide as Trudeau wants it to go.” Furey reasoned, “There aren’t any court orders required before freezing people’s bank accounts. Reviews will happen after excesses have occurred.”

Canadians learned of disturbing incidents such as the Ottawa café owner who had to close her doors due to repeated threats after local media reported that she gave food and $250 to the truckers. There were accounts from seniors, business owners – even a single mom – all who had their accounts frozen. And, a farm credit union on the prairies that drew up a blacklist to begin suspending its loans to farm families.

What happened next is a blur. Monday morning headlines of every major news media screamed that “RCMP, banks and Ottawa say convoy protest donors won’t have accounts frozen after viral tweet said otherwise.” Freeland held a news conference in which she suggested accounts would be unfrozen if people simply promised to no longer support the protest.

And just as a rocketing roller car will swing and jolt its occupants, Canadians learned:

  • from Department of Finance that banks had frozen nearly $8 million in only slightly more than 200 accounts;
  • from House of Commons debates that the government needed the extraordinary financial powers to uncover American plots to overthrow the government;
  • from RCMP that the police force did not disclose information to the media or public on donors;
  • from RCMP that they had contacted banks with updated information that would assist in helping to “inform decisions to unfreeze certain accounts”; and then on Wednesday afternoon,
  • from the PMO that the PM was immediately ending the government’s use of the Emergencies Act.

The car then came to an abrupt stop and Canadians were told to exit the ride.

But really, what has just happened here? Wednesday afternoon Senator Leo Housakos tweeted out what many Canadians were wondering, “I’d love to think the PM finally did the right thing because it was the right thing to do. But that’s never Justin Trudeau’s motivation. Poll numbers dropped through the floor and a run on the banks.” The Senator added, “Who in their right mind would keep $$$ in a Canadian bank at this point?”

There are many theories that try to reason the swift announcements of Wednesday, everything from the nervousness of the PMO that the Senate would vote down the Emergencies Act to bad polling numbers and international press, to the fact the government had completed their financial data dump and now have the records they were after. There is also conjecture of a link between the government’s financial powerplay and its commitments to reset the Canadian economy (and more on this next week with a look at “The WEF and the Liberals’ agenda for Canada”).

The government’s inexplicable use of the Emergencies Act drew great criticism beyond Canada’s borders. A particularly pointed editorial from the Wall Street Journal is indicative of the stinging indictment of Trudeau’s overreach. The WSJ wrote: “In abusing these powers for a nonemergency, Mr. Trudeau crossed a democratic line… Mr. Trudeau criminalized a protest movement, deputizing financial institutions, without due process or liability, to find and freeze personal accounts of blockaders and anyone who helps them. These extraordinary measures are a needless abuse of power.”

Yes, it was truly a hell of a ride, and it is little wonder some Canadians still feel motion sickness.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/canadians-roller-coaster-ride-with-the-countrys-financial-institutions/

Photo credit: Reuters / Blair Gable — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and key cabinet members invoke the Emergencies Act, Feb. 14, 2022.

It’s all ugly, and the PM has made it worse

The Niagara Independent, February 18, 2022 – A week ago, Canadian career diplomat and former Ambassador to the U.S. Derek Burney stated, “The political paralysis in Ottawa is mind-boggling. Protesting truckers deserve a hearing, not pompous stonewalling by timid politicians.” His National Post editorial argued that the protesters and the Canadians who support them deserve respect from the federal government.

Burney wrote: “Having stunted parliament for two years, the government seems afraid to face real opposition. The prime minister’s claim that the truckers are expressing ‘unacceptable views’ has an authoritarian ring. ‘Unacceptable’ by what definition and in violation of what law?”

Since then, with tensions escalating, many Canadians are finding ways to express their views in the public arena. Twitter has been electric with the likes of intellectuals such as Dr. Jordan B Peterson and Dr. Gad Saad. President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Perrin Beatty, former defence minister who was responsible for introducing the now infamous Emergencies Act, also entered the debate.

The unflappable Brian Peckford, former Newfoundland and Labrador premier – and the last living contributing author of the Canadian Charter of Rights – has travelled the breadth of the country delivering fiery speeches in support of Canadians’ rights to protest, railing against the PM’s dismissal of protesters who hold an opposing view to his own.

With the upheaval of the past few weeks, a Maru public opinion poll gauged Canadians’ growing discomfort of what they were witnessing and their disapproval of the prime minister. Released last weekend, the poll revealed that 44 per cent of Canadians believe Trudeau has inflamed the situation with the truckers and 31 per cent believe he is responsible for the incitement of the protests.

But for the most part since the trucks entered Ottawa, PM Justin Trudeau has remained out of sight, appearing only a few times to state that he would not meet with the protestors. That was to change on Monday when the PM announced his government would invoke the never-used-before Emergencies Act. This Act allows a government to trigger special powers in the case of a national emergency that meets the following criteria:

(a) It seriously endangers the lives, health, or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it; or,

(b) It seriously threatens the ability of the federal government to preserve the sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity of Canada; and,

(c) It cannot be effectively dealt with under any other federal law.

At the press conference, Trudeau said the decision was a “last resort.” Deputy PM and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland repeated this assurance, and Minister of Justice David Lametti stated he believed the conditions for declaring the emergency had been met. Yet, none of these leaders could explain why existing laws were insufficient to tackle the continuing occupation.

The Order-in-Council for debate in the House of Commons provides the following rationale: continuing blockades, threat of force against measures to remove protesters, adverse effects on Canada’s economy, trade relationship with the U.S., the breakdown of the supply chain as a result of blockades and potential for increased violence and unrest. And yet, on Monday, police cleared the border blockade on the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor without incident; Tuesday, police cleared the blockades at the borders of Manitoba and Alberta; and this week protestors in Ottawa continue their sit-in (some in hot tubs) without violence, broken windows, looting, or fires and destruction of property.

In the shadow of Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower, the protesters wait for the PM and government representatives to talk with them (to date no member of the Cabinet has addressed the crowds on the Hill). At a press conference on Monday, the organizers of the Freedom Convoy reaffirmed their protest is peaceful. Organizer Tamara Lich said, “We will remain peaceful, but planted on Parliament Hill until the [COVID-19] mandates are decisively ended.”

The PM attempted to gain the support of the premiers in a teleconference call that did not go well. Four premiers voiced their disapproval of what they viewed as an unjustified overreach. Since the call, three maritime premiers of NS, NB and PEI joined their colleagues in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec to denounce the PM’s intentions.

At the time of writing MPs are debating the Emergencies Act, which they are scheduled to carry through the weekend. Even as Canadians hear their representatives argue the principles and ramifications of Trudeau’s actions, it remains unclear whether the federal government needed these additional powers to clear the protestors. As Derek Burney suggested in his editorial, perhaps it is not about the protestors as much as it is about squashing the dissent for the government agenda.

Perhaps it is about the government gaining access to Canadians’ financial accounts. In an another unprecedented and surprise announcement, the Trudeau cabinet unilaterally directed financial institutions to freeze accounts, withhold cash, cancel credit cards, and cut ties with “designated” Canadians. Banks were ordered to provide any suspect transaction information to the RCMP and CSIS.

Akaash Maharaj, ambassador-at-large for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, explained this action is designed to bring down terrorists and transnational organized crime gangs. It is intended to lead to long-term financial ruin for those targeted. Maharaj states, “In a 21st-century economy, it would be a form of social death, making it effectively impossible for a flagged truck protester to hold a job, obtain housing, or pay for his basic needs.”

Such is the malice of Trudeau and Freeland – and combing through individuals’ financial records has the potential to impact the lives of tens of thousands of individual Canadians who participated or donated to the Freedom Convoy cause. (Did you know that the majority of GoSendMe donors are Canadian, and a quarter of them B.C. residents?)

The blackest mark in this week’s sordid affairs was the PM standing in the Parliament of Canada saying “Conservative Party members can stand with people who wave swastikas…” Purposefully and unacceptably hurtful. Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman, whose family members survived the horrors of Nazi death camps, and others including B’nai Brith Canada have repeatedly demanded an apology. Repeatedly, the PM has refused (a horrible reflection of this man’s character).

The eyes of the world are now watching our once peaceful democracy. International headlines capture the angst Canadians are feeling and they expose Canada for what it has become:

  • The Globe and Mail: By invoking the Emergencies Act, the feds go from no action to the nuclear option
  • The Economist magazine: “No, Canada” – Justin Trudeau’s crackdown on protests could make things worse
  • U.S. Fox News: Canada is “in trouble,” Trudeau “lost control of the situation”: MP
  • U.K. Telegraph: Trudeau is world leader in woke illiberalism – The Canadian PM’s double standards have exposed the woke ideology’s desire to crush any dissent

Even as our MPs debate, Canadians gaze in wonder: it’s all ugly. And, unquestionably, the PM has made it worse.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/its-all-ugly-and-the-pm-has-made-it-worse/

Photo credit: Patrick Doyle / Reuters

Canada’s unaccountable federal government

The Niagara Independent, February 11, 2022 – It has become all too commonplace in Ottawa for governing politicians and federal bureaucrats to purposefully obfuscate and prolong public disclosure of government expenditures on programs and contracts. With the return of MPs to parliament, Canada’s leading parliamentary watchdogs have sounded alarm bells about the government’s lack of transparency regarding its expenditures. It is increasingly difficult for anyone – elected officials, media, and concerned citizens – to accurately assess the government’s fiscal record. To attempt to do so is much akin to playing whack-a-mole with a blindfold on.

Democracy Watch is a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that bills itself as “Canada’s leading citizen group advocating democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility.” This organization is concerned about the federal government’s lack of accountability. It is calling on the federal government – specifically “the Liberals” – to make immediate, necessary changes in law that will curb secret lobbying and sole-sourcing contracts, secret investments by politicians, their staff and Cabinet appointees, as well as strengthen whistleblower protection.

Duff Conacher, cofounder of Democracy Watch, suggests the lack of information coming out of Ottawa these days is by design. Conacher says, “The Trudeau government usually misleads in their initial response, and then when it’s pointed out that they’re lying to voters, they then come up with lame excuses for delaying action or solving whatever the problem is. And then [they] just don’t do anything again until the media highlights, again, that the problem still exists and hasn’t been solved. And that’s the pattern since they were elected in 2015.”

Yves Giroux, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), points to the routine delay in reporting government spending and program operations. This avoidance tactic hampers and, in some cases disables MPs’ ability to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. Giroux is calling for legislation that will require the government’s public accounts to be published in a timely manner.

It annoys the PBO that the government has played games in releasing last year’s public accounts and, in doing so, frustrates MPs ability to consider a full accounting of over $600 billion spent in the 2020-21 fiscal year. Treasury Board waited until figuratively the eleventh hour to table the public accounts – December 14, 2021, a day before MPs recessed for a seven week Christmas break and the very day  Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented an economic and fiscal update to Parliament. MPs had no time to absorb the minister’s fiscal plans when they were just been informed of the government’s official deficit and national debt numbers. After their break, MPs had no opportunity to review the public account documents before they were expected to participate in the Finance Minister’s pre-budget consultations.

This lack of accountability also draws into question the government’s planned expenditures. For example, the PBO has identified that a third of the scheduled $541.9 billion allocated for new spending for unspecified pandemic-related activities over the next five years is not part of the government’s formal COVID-19 response plan. In other words, the public is left in the dark as to how $541.9 billion is to be spent.

In the past few weeks there have been a number of news items revealing questionable government spending. Many of these details are sure to surprise Canadians as these expenditures went largely unreported in mainstream media.

In a recent House of Commons exchange, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier could not explain a line item totaling $81.9 million that was to promote vaccinations in the public service. A freedom of information request for this information was returned unanswered with an explanation that there was no record on how this money was spent. Only after an embarrassing news release in Blacklock’s Reporter did the minister’s staff reveal that the millions was spent on additional staff and resources, as well as bureaucrats’ potential overtime costs within the departments. (Perhaps questions on this line item should have gone unanswered.)

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has not offered any details of a $150 million contract to SNC-Lavalin Group for mobile hospitals that were never used. There is no record of how this 2020 sole-sourced contract came about, nor few details of the contract terms and oversight, or of the millions of dollars currently being billed to warehouse the hospital materials.

MPs were informed that the Department of Public Works has unilaterally raised the cost of renovating Parliament’s Centre Block by 66 per cent. Without any parliamentary review the initially approved ten-year project costing $3.04 billion has morphed into a 12 year project costing taxpayers $5 billion.

MPs recently learned that Attorney General David Lametti spent $123,000 in legal fees to hide government documents relating to the Winnipeg Microbiology Laboratory and the firing and disappearance of the two Chinese researchers who were working on virus experiments and in contact with the Wuhan Laboratory. The Trudeau cabinet has gone to unprecedented lengths and continues to find new ways to keep this information sealed and buried.

It has just revealed that the sole-sourced $126 million Noravax vaccine plant in Montreal sits idle and still has no schedule to begin producing vaccines. The delay is that the Noravax vaccine is yet to be approved for use by Health Canada. This sad affair is a repeat of the sole-sourced contracts awarded to former Liberal MP Frank Baylis. His Montreal company was given a $237 million contract to make 10,000 pandemic ventilators even though Health Canada had not approved them. It is still unknown whether his company has delivered the ventilators.

The Globe and Mail investigated federal contracts to Liberal-friendly consulting firm McKinsey that “rose from nearly zero prior to 2015 to $17.2 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year.” McKinsey just signed a sole-sourced contract to fix the infamous Phoenix payroll system for $27.7 million, which is more than a five time increase over the original contract figure of $4.9 million. Having been made aware of the McKinsey contracts through the media, MPs are now calling on the Auditor-General to investigate.

The Globe and Mail also reports that since Liberals formed government in 2015, federal spending on outsourced contracts “professional and special services” has increased more than 40 per cent, and last year totaled $11.8 billion. (This spending is in addition to a remarkable 24 per cent increase in the size of the federal public service since 2015!)

As remarkable as the fact that the federal civil service grew more than 10,000 jobs during the last year of the pandemic, it is hard to reason that more than 312,000 federal employees received pay raises when so many Canadians were without work. Statistics Canada reports on Canadian unemployment each month. The Bank of Canada and other agencies report inflation figures and cost of living data. However, if it were not for investigative journalists’ work, the facts about additional federal hires and the pay increases would not be known.

That is the rub. It is the siren cry about accountability and transparency from Duff Conacher and Yves Giroux. The Trudeau government should be obligated to table its public accounts documents so that MPs and the public can appropriately review federal expenditures and contracts. Canadians have a right to know just how their money is being spent.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/canadas-unaccountable-federal-government/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean KilpatrickFinance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks it over in the House of Commons, Apr. 19, 2021.

A fast and furious week in Ottawa politics

The Niagara Independent, February 4, 2022 – It was a fast and furious week in our nation’s capital. With Parliament Hill besieged by the Freedom Convoy protest, the actions of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition in the past few days are sure to colour political debates for months to come. They will also play on the minds of Canadians, who hope there may be some way, some leader, who might bridge the growing political divide in our country.

The week started with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerging from his Harrington Lake cottage to address the nation for the first time since the Freedom Convoy had rolled in and parked in the streets of Ottawa. In a controlled press conference, reading from a teleprompter, the PM set out to deliberately demonize the weekend’s lawful protest and insult the truckers and their supporters.

Trudeau delivered his lines with the skill of a high school drama teacher: “Over the past few days, Canadians were shocked, and frankly, disgusted by the behavior displayed by some people protesting in our nation’s capital… We are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonor the memory of our veterans.”

The PM’s soliloquy ended with an attempt to pit his audience against the protesters, “And to Canadians at home, watching in disgust and disbelief at this behaviour, wondering how this could have happened in our nation’s capital after everything we’ve been through together – this is not the story of our pandemic, of our country, of our people.”

Then Trudeau took questions from the PMO’s hand-selected press corps, and he took the opportunity to further denigrate the “fringe minority” protesters, calling their demonstration “an insult to truth.” Trudeau feigned irritation and suggested, “the concerns expressed by a few people gathered in Ottawa right now are not new, not surprising, are heard, but are a continuation of what we have unfortunately seen in disinformation and misinformation online – conspiracy theorists about microchips, about God knows what else that go with the tinfoil hats.”

For fans of the PM, including those in the subsidized mainstream media, this was another of Trudeau’s wonderous command performances. Yet, after the fact, using a more critical lens, pundits and news commentators viewed this staged press conference as more of the same by the Liberal’s spin machine:

  1. Misrepresent issues and create strawmen (convoy is filled with degenerates and anti-vaxxers)
  2. Draw lines of division to label opponent (“those people” are fringe malcontents)
  3. Denigrate and vilify opponent (Nazis, MAGAs, white supremacists)
  4. Claim moral high ground and virtue signal (speaking for Canadians and the vaccinated)

Clearly, the PM and his political handlers have chosen at this moment to be political, tactical, insulting. Deliberately divisive.

In a stark contrast to Trudeau’s posturing, Quebec premier François Legault took to the airwaves this week to announce that his government was dropping their plans to introduce his vaulted anti-vax tax. Legault stated, “I am worried about the divisions we see in Québec. My role is to try to bring Quebecers together, to stay united as a people. This is why we won’t go ahead with the health contribution (anti-vax tax).”

Legault spoke directly of the true mettle of leadership, “I understand this divides Quebecers and right now we need to build bridges, to listen to each other. Quebecers must remain united.”

At another politically charged media event this week, Conservative MP Erin O’Toole related that he had resigned his position as Leader of the Official Opposition and was heading for the nearest exit. Earlier in the day, at the Conservative national caucus, O’Toole’s disgruntled MP seatmates voted by secret ballot to remove him as their leader. The vote was not close: 73-45.

And with that caucus vote so ended the brief and quixotic attempt by O’Toole to pull the Conservative Party into the mushy-middle of Canadian politics. Fellow Conservative MPs faulted him for unforgiving flip-flops, everything from carbon taxes to defunding CBC. In the end, perhaps O’Toole’s greatest fault was not winning the fall election at a time when Canadians were seemingly yearning for new direction.

Inevitably, O’Toole’s inability (or unwillingness?) to harness the frustrations and defend the protestors on the lawn of the parliament buildings sealed his fate this week.

In a brief video expressing his parting thoughts, O’Toole stated, “Canada is in a dire moment of our history.” He implored politicians to “recognize that our country is divided and people are worried.” And O’Toole offered hope for the future of the Party, “Our party founded this great nation. I believe it can and should lead Canada out of these troubling times for our country.”

That same day, Manitoba MP Candice Bergen was handed the inevitable task of interim Conservative leader. Her colleagues hope she might bring some consistency and urgency to the task of holding PM Trudeau to account.

Bergen’s work begins with challenging the damning narrative from the Trudeau Liberals and mainstream media on the Freedom Convoy and what it represents. On this subject, she will pick up where she began weeks ago, as a vocal supporter of the truckers and Canadians who support the convoy.

Bergen used strong language to criticize PM Trudeau in the House of Commons this week. She demanded an apology: “I do get very defensive of Canadians who are outside today. Patriotic, peace loving Canadians who are called misogynist and racist by the prime minister. So again, I will ask the prime minister, who may I remind this House, wore blackface on more times than he can remember. Apologize to the peace loving, patriotic Canadians who are outside right now.”

As Premier Legault had intimated, Bergen also reflected that true leadership is conciliatory and not divisive. In another House of Commons exchange, Bergen offered, “All Canadians want to see a leader who will work to heal rifts, not further divide. A leader who will listen even to those voices who might not agree with him. A leader who will work to understand, not dismiss, name call and gaslight.”

This remarkable week ends with the news the trucks will remain parked in Ottawa streets. PM Trudeau has stated emphatically he will not meet the protesters. O’Toole is gone. And, to echo Candice Bergen, Canadians are looking for a leader to bridge the divide and take the country forward.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/a-fast-and-furious-week-in-ottawa-politics/

Photo credit:  The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld 

Trudeau Liberals sow seeds of division in denigrating Freedom Convoy

The Niagara Independent, January 28, 2022 –

“A propogandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” – Aldous Huxley 

The eyes of the world are now watching Canada’s Freedom Convoy. It is a full-blown international story. Canadian truckers have set a new Guinness World Record for the longest convoy stretching an estimated 100 kilometers in length. The western Canadian convoy is being joined by parades of thousands of rigs – coming east from the Maritimes and south from throughout the United States.

The protest convoy was sparked by the truckers’ dispute with the introduction of a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers – a move that will worsen the current shortages of drivers. At its core, it is a grievance against vaccine mandates and public health and government restrictions that curb individuals’ civil liberties. The convoy organizers intend for a peaceful and law-abiding demonstration that will plug the highways in and around the Nation’s Capital and will conclude with a rally near Parliament Hill.

A group called “Canada Unity” has worked alongside the truckers to compile a set of demands to present to the government. A posted “memorandum of understanding” on its website calls for all levels of Canadian government to stop the use of vaccine passports, waive fines linked to COVID-19, and reinstate employees who were fired for breaking COVID-19 rules. It identifies government restrictions and mandates as “unconstitutional, discriminatory and segregating.”

James Bauder, founder of the Canada Unity Foundation, asserts, “This is not about the vaccine, by the way…It’s about the mandate…We’re done with mandates.”

The trucks pulled out of Prince Rupert and Vancouver on the weekend. With the news of the convoy rolling down the open prairie highways, it caught the attention of a global audience. Then somewhere in the cold of Saskatchewan, or perhaps it was in Manitoba, the truckers’ journey captured Canadians’ frustrations and angst over the prolonged pandemic, and it spoke directly to their distrust of the governments’ overreach.

Canadians’ admiration for the truckers is remarkable by any stretch of the imagination. Tens of thousands of Canadians line highways and overpasses to cheer and wave signs, personal vehicles have joined the trek to Ottawa, and #FreedomConvoy2022 is consistently trending on social media. Since Monday the Freedom Convoy Facebook page has attracted over 726,000 followers, its Instagram page more than 245,000. In four days, the Freedom Convoy’s GoFundMe page has had more than 83,000 donors give more than $6.5 million to help with fuel, food, and accommodations for the truckers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in responding to this outpouring of support for the truckers, was quick to dismiss the truckers and their supporters as “small fringe minority” holding “unacceptable views” that do not represent the “views of Canadians.” He stated he would not lift the vaccine mandate, suggested that the convoy was led by anti-vaxxers and urged those truckers to get vaccinated so that Canadians can “get back to the things we love to do.”

The PM’s arrogance in that Wednesday media session was perhaps best summed up by journalist Alan Fryer, the former news reporter for CTV National and W5, who tweeted: “Trudeau doubles down on the divisive rhetoric. A true leader would acknowledge the frustration and disappointment most Canadians are feeling today and urge neighbours to reach out to those they disagree with. Not vilify them. The man is incapable of putting partisanship aside.”

Justin Trudeau was calculated in addressing the media, confident that his political backroom operatives were spinning in overdrive to win the public opinion war.

It began with Gerald Butts’ weekend tweets suggesting possible misappropriation of funds by convoy organizers. The Trudeau Liberal cabal was intent on casting doubt and stirring up mischief. Character assassination and undermining causes are rote for these politicos:

  1. Misrepresent issues and create strawmen (convoy is filled with anti-vaxxers)
  2. Draw lines of division to label opponent (“those people” are western / right agitators)
  3. Denigrate and vilify opponent (truckers are rubes, led by white supremacists)
  4. Claim moral high ground and virtue signal (speaking for Canadians, get vaccinated)

In 72 hours, the Trudeau Liberals have pitted Canadians against themselves, spinning that the protest is “anti-vaccine,” dangerous and potentially violent. The government narrative was amplified by its subsidized mainstream media. The Toronto Star editorial team suggests, “Truckers are flirting with extremists. They should call off their protest.” One Global News headline screamed: “Far-right groups hope trucker protest will be Canada’s “January 6th.”

In social media, Liberals were also in attack mode and two such attacks warrant special mention. First, pollster Frank Graves made his views known early in the week with the tweet: “Imagining a Canada where a tiny minority of retrogressive intolerant morons doing some pathetic twisted outtake of Convoy are being celebrated by media and former official opposition leader. These imbeciles are lying squarely in the path to safety and renewal. I weep.”

The prize for bile goes to Penny Collenette, otherwise known to Liberals as “the Queen of Patronage” after her PMO stint doling out hundreds of appointments for PM Jean Chretien. In a series of tweets, Collenette highlighted comments that miscast the convoy as a Canadian insurrection: “Assault on Parliament Hill. That’s enough. That’s it. Moan about the loss of your damn freedom from vaccination while putting the rest of us at risk but how dare you gaslight an attack on Canadian democracy. Crawl back under a hole. Stay there.”

This unsolicited, ugly rhetoric is driving a wedge of mistrust and intolerance between the truckers and their supporters, and those who are informed by mainstream media and the PM’s pulpit. In fact, all the press conferences and news headlines from Ottawa this week have succeeded in one thing: they have divided Canadians.

Still the trucks continue to push on towards Ottawa. And let the last word be one of hope.

Niagara West MP Dean Allison witnessed the crowds gather Thursday on the QEW overpasses to pay tribute to the Freedom Convoy. Allison observes, “It is amazing to see the thousands of people – moms, dads, youth – out on the side of the road cheering on our truckers. No doubt, truckers have been our heroes working hard through the last two years. They are heading to Ottawa to protest the massive government overreach we have seen grow continuously, eroding our civil rights. When the prime minister and legacy media says this protest is only a small fringe group, they are deliberately misleading Canadians.”

Indeed. Move over Aldous Huxley. Roll on Freedom Convoy.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/trudeau-liberals-sow-seeds-of-division-in-denigrating-freedom-convoy/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Justin Tang — PM Justin Trudeau, in responding to this outpouring of support for the truckers, was quick to dismiss the truckers and their supporters as “small fringe minority” holding “unacceptable views” that do not represent the “views of Canadians.”

An anxiousness concerning PM Justin Trudeau and his divisiveness

The Niagara Independent, January 14, 2022 – In a Hill Times front page story this week EKOS Research pollster Frank Graves mused that Canadians’ view of their prospects entering a new year was “unsurprisingly quite dark.” He observed that Canadians are feeling high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. This appraisal of Canadians’ negativism is reflected in another survey conducted by Nanos Research, which found that less than one in five Canadians (18 per cent) expect the country’s economy to rebound in the next six months.

Canadians appear to have rather bleak expectations for 2022 and no doubt this anxious feeling is compounded by the current headline news: inflation and rising costs of living, impending climate calamities, mounting health care crises – and a constant feed of the health and political news of the never-ending pandemic.

This despair is also being fueled by headlines concerning the country’s political leadership – the actions of PM Justin Trudeau and his government.

Following the September 2021 federal election there were a majority of Canadians that believed Justin Trudeau should resign. In the immediate aftermath of the election, in which less than one in three voters cast their ballot for the Liberals, a Maru poll reported that 77 per cent of Canadians believed their country to be “more fractured than ever.” The poll revealed deep feelings of regional division and an apathy or distrust of the country’s national leadership that appeared to be increasingly populist and small-minded.

Since this public opinion snapshot, PM Trudeau and his government continue to exacerbate Canadians in the way they manage the nation’s contentious issues of the day. The PM’s leadership (or lack thereof) was on display again this week when Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced he would introduce a personal tax on Quebecers who have chosen not to vaccinate. The premier’s Tuesday theatrics came after federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos mused aloud last Friday that provinces need to consider mandating vaccination – something he personally supports.

Though Quebec’s “anti-vax tax” violates Canadians’ human rights and attacks the very foundational principles of the country’s public health system, PM Trudeau would not condemn the premier’s overreach. But alas, one might expect no less from a PM who has not missed an opportunity to vilify Canadians that have chosen not to get vaccinated. He characterized Canadians who are unvaccinated as “extremists… who don’t believe in science” and many being “misogynists and racists.” He has repeatedly singled out the unvaccinated and has recently gone as far as to suggest all delayed surgeries, lockdowns, and public health restrictions are a result of the ten per cent of Canadians who have chosen not to vaccinate. Through the week the PM has deliberately sidestepped the responsibility for readdressing Premier Legault’s assault on Canadians’ rights. It appears for Justin Trudeau, the ends justify the means when dealing with “these people.”

The PM’s inaction in defending Canadians’ rights has also been disturbingly obvious with two egregious rights’ violations currently unfolding within La Belle Province. Inexcusably, the Trudeau government has chosen to not defend Gatineau teacher Fatemeh Anvari when she was removed from her classroom for wearing a hijab. It has also permitted the Legault government to unilaterally change the Canadian constitution and impose new French language laws that undermine the language rights of Quebec minorities.

The Trudeau government’s preferential treatment of Quebec has become an increasing source of division in the country. From the many clandestine activities defending SNC Lavalin to carrying out backroom favours for Quebec through the pandemic (masks shipments, vaccine supply), the Trudeau government has not blinked in shortchanging TROC. Underscoring its obvious favouritism was the Trudeau government’s quick and quiet five-year extension of the federal-provincial equalization agreement that has the majority of Canada’s redistributed funds shoveled to La Capitale Nationale (a.k.a. to TROC as Quebec City).

The Trudeau government’s management practices are consistently undermining Canadians’ confidence in government and its institutions.

  • The independence of national news agencies is brought into question when the federal government subsidizes newsrooms and reporters in excess of $600 million. Recently, the government doled out an additional $60 million in “pandemic relief” to selected newsrooms and refused to reveal which newsrooms were on the receiving end of their largesse.
  • New internet laws are to be introduced soon and these “online anti-hate measures” will establish a new federal bureaucracy to police Canadians’ online activities in accordance with a yet-to-be-written set of regulations.
  • The federal cabinet secretly approved Public Health Agency of Canada to collect location and movement data from 33 million Canadians’ cell phone use. The agency’s actions and its reports to government would have been kept from Canadians had it not been for investigative work by the independent journalist news source Blacklock’s Reporter. Canadians have since found out the PHAC is hoping to collect cell phone data through the next five years for pandemic planning and for purposes “other than public health measures.”
  • The RCMP commissioner this week urged Canadians to report any sign of “anti-government, anti-law enforcement” opinions expressed on the internet. Our national police force wants Canadians to snitch on those they feel may take action in protest against the government and/or the police.

Then there is the disconcerting radio-silence from the government on pressing matters relating to Canada-China relations: the new foreign policy on China, the fate of Huawei’s involvement with Canada’s G5 network, the Canada-China virus research in Winnipeg, possible foreign interference in the federal election, and a host of unaddressed human rights issues in China.

Perhaps the Trudeau government’s greatest attack on the national psyche since its re-election is the PM’s selection of a “climate activist” for the country’s environment minister. Defying the country’s history, economic realities, and bitterly cold winter climate, Steven Guilbeault is intent on shutting down Canada’s oil and gas industry. He has already telegraphed he will champion the government’s green agenda with little regard for the impact it will have on western Canada, the national economy, or on working Canadians. Guilbeault is on a mission and he has Trudeau’s explicit blessing. (More on this issue in the coming weeks.) 

On Tuesday of this past week, Canadians observed the birthdate of Canada’s first prime minister and had a chance to reflect on the hopes and aspirations Sir John A. Macdonald offered our young, fledgling nation. On that same day, as Premier Legault’s announcements were met with Trudeau’s calculated silence, we were reminded of the country’s existential threats that come from within, agitated by our current PM and his purposeful divisiveness.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/an-anxiousness-concerning-pm-justin-trudeau-and-his-divisiveness/

Time for the federal government to address Canada’s health care crisis

The Niagara Independent, January 7, 2022 – The COVID pandemic has exposed a growing crisis in Canada’s public health care system. Although the delivery of health services is a provincial responsibility, the country’s public health model was designed to be jointly funded by federal and provincial dollars. After years of underfunding by successive federal governments, the bald fact is the Canadian health care system now requires massive government expenditures to address its failings. With each coronavirus variant threatening to overwhelm and collapse our system, it has become increasingly evident that the federal government must provide a sizeable increase in health transfer dollars to the provinces.   

For years the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has been expressing frustration and disappointment with the federal government’s underfunding of health care. In responding to the 2021 federal budget, Dr. Ann Collins, then CMA president, was irritated that emergency health care dollars to deal with the pandemic were not earmarked. The president stated, “As provinces and territories continue to struggle with the ever-increasing cost of providing care, the federal government must follow through on its own promise to work with premiers on revisiting the Canada Health Transfer. This has been an enormously difficult year for patients and healthcare providers alike as they have been trapped in a system that has been neglected for too long.” 

Dr. Collins assessed Canada’s system in this way: “Small cracks have become gaping holes. Building resiliency for the future must include real commitments to health care. If anything, this pandemic has shown us where the problems are, but we must address them before it’s too late.”

Analysis by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concludes that Canada ranks near the bottom of its 38-member countries in most critical categories. One glaring statistic is that Canada has a very low number of hospital beds per capita. At the same time, before the pandemic, the country’s hospitals had one of the highest percentages of hospital beds occupied (90 per cent). These two factors combined explain why hospitals are challenged to take in patients during emergencies and surging sicknesses. 

The OECD study confirms Canada is spending large amounts on the public system, yet it ranks near the bottom in numbers of nurses, specialists, and physicians per capita. Canadian wait times for specialist procedures are some of the worst in OECD countries.

One might say that the Canadian health care system itself is on life-support. Any uptick in admissions today means Canadian hospitals are a heart-beat away from “code orange” – resulting in a disarray of crowded wait rooms, hallway gurneys, and restricted or closed ORs. Medical staff is stretched, and nurses and PSWs are taking ill and are reportedly tired and discouraged.

It appears that Canada’s health care system is so ill-equipped it cannot withstand a surge in hospital bed or ICU capacity. Consider that Ontario, a province of 14.8 million people, has imposed lockdown measures to avoid “a tsunami” of more than 400 people from entering the ICU. Ontario public health officials are now providing daily updates on the number of people hospitalized as if they were reporting on how much a sinking ship is taking on water. 

With the anticipated Omicron surge in the province, elective surgeries have been suspended and some operations, including cancer treatments postponed. There are upwards of 10,000 people a week who will have their surgeries rescheduled as Ontario hospitals manage their resources. It is astonishing that the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario forecasted in May (before this latest round of delayed operations) there is a nightmarish backlog that will take three-and-a-half years to clear, and it will cost Ontarians $1.3 billion. 

To add to this desperate scene, in a media interview this week Ontario Nurses Association president Cathryn Hoy described an unfolding staffing emergency that is over and above the pandemic pressures, “Surgeries are being cancelled, clinics are reducing their capacity… the emerg units are overflowing with patients, we have emerg units that should have 30 staff on that actually only have 12 staff on… and a lot of these units, these hospitals, that are short-staffed and they’re panicking, the COVID numbers in those beds are decreased.” 

In another media report, Anthony Dale, head of the Ontario Hospital Association, conveyed a weariness with the hard decisions that are currently having to be made, “These are not trade-offs any of us wanted to make, but they are necessary now to protect staff hospital system capacity and health human resources.” 

This dire situation is occurring in Ontario in spite of the unprecedented dollars the provincial government is now spending in an attempt to bridge the gaps in the system from decades of underfunding. The Ontario government has allotted $5.1 billion of new investment in hospitals and more than $10 billion in long-term care since the start of the pandemic. To increase hospital capacity, Premier Doug Ford has recently announced thousands of new beds and two new super-hospitals – which will be the largest medical centres in the country. 

Still this provincial government investment is not enough for the immediate and growing needs of Ontarians for institutionalized health care and medical services are far greater and will cost a great deal more. Canadians residing in other provinces are in the same predicament when it comes to planning for appropriate health care. The country’s population is growing, it is aging, and the costs of medical procedures, equipment and drugs are all rising exponentially.    

To get the system off life-support, there is an immediate need for a huge injection of cash – and this requires the federal government to begin to pay its fair share of Canadians’ health care costs. Premier Ford reiterated the premiers’ request of PM Justin Trudeau this week when he stated, “There is no question the pandemic has tested our health care system, which is why I once again raised with the prime minister the urgent need for the federal government to increase its share of territorial-provincial health care spending to 35 per cent.”

The premiers are looking for the federal government to step forward so that all governments can begin the necessary work of restoring Canada’s public health care system. To reflect on the historical facts of the matter, when Tommy Douglas first introduced Canadian medicare it was understood that the federal government was to cover 50 per cent of health care costs. Through the decades that number has been whittled down to 35 per cent. Today, though, the federal government covers only 22 per cent of the total cost of health care.

Prior to the pandemic, Canada’s provinces spent $188 billion on health care and, in some cases, health care costs accounted for nearly half of a province’s budget. If the federal government were to honour its 35 per cent commitment, the total federal investment to the country’s health care should be $70 billion per year. But, at present, the federal government only transfers $42 billion for health care to the provinces each year – a remarkable $28 billion per year shortfall.

In the coming weeks, PM Trudeau will meet with the premiers to discuss the country’s health care. During this time, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is also preparing the 2022 Federal Budget and the figure to allot to the Canada Health Transfer. As Canadians continue to suffer through the never-ending pandemic, and our health care system strains under the weight of this prolonged national emergency, surely both Trudeau and Freeland can prioritize ample dollars towards Canada’s health care crisis. The present and future health of our public system depends on this.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/time-for-the-federal-government-to-address-canadas-health-care-crisis/

Three federal news stories from the year that was, and three stories to watch for in the year ahead

The Niagara Independent, December 31, 2021 – With the country’s mounting health and economic challenges brought about by the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are likely to remember 2021 as another annus horribilis. Today, as we brace for the full impact of the Omicron wave and debate booster rollouts and vaccine passports, there are few who view the dawning of the new year with any cheerfulness. Small wonder. Consider three news stories of 2021 and three stories to unfold in 2022.

Three Stories of 2021

Pandemic Politics  

Since day one there has been a bungling, political agenda that has driven the Canadian government’s response to COVID-19. Recall in 2020, PM Justin Trudeau and then Health Minister Patty Hajdu were slow to recognize the severity of the health crisis even after the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 “a pandemic.” The risk to Canadians “was low” and there was no need for masks. PM Trudeau refused to ban international flights from China and other “hot zones.” The ineptitude continued into 2021 with the mismanagement of vaccine procurement and supply.

Canadians will never know the true story of the politics behind the scene as the Trudeau government has gone to great lengths to bury the facts. As time marches on, Canadians’ will be less interested to know about Health Canada’s lack of acumen in assessing the unfolding health crisis; the secret Canada-China virus research at the Winnipeg lab; the PMO’s coverup about PPE shortages; the failed Canada-China vaccine; the exorbitant costs of purchasing vaccines months late and the unreliable supply of vaccines; and the many pandemic-related, sole-sourced contracts awarded to Liberals.

The “Two Michaels” and China 

The silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud of 2021 was the news of the release of the “Two Michaels” from their Chinese prison cells. With the return of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, the Communist China government sent home Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

The Two Michaels’ imprisonment for more than 1,000 days has brought into clear focus the conflicts of interests with the governing Liberals’ foreign policy respecting China. The multifaceted links between the Laurentian Liberals and Communist China have been exposed: Power Corporation’s China business empire and its incestuous ties to Montreal Liberals; the business relationships and interests that Ambassador Dominic Barton (and his wife) have with China and the Asian markets; and the documented Trudeau family’s infatuation with Communist China. From permitting Huawei’s G5 technology in Canada to the human rights abuses of the Uyghurs concentration camps, the headlines in 2021 regarding Canada-China relations revealed an embarrassing, unprincipled foreign policy. The Trudeau government’s ties with China are increasingly jeopardizing Canada’s traditional alliances.

Canada’s 44th Federal Election 

Justin Trudeau called the 44th federal election with the goal of winning a majority and securing unchecked parliamentary control to respond to the pandemic and reset the Canadian economy. However, after a lackluster campaign, his Liberals were returned to Ottawa with another minority government and the least amount of electoral support ever in the history of Canada. Less than one in three people who cast a ballot chose to vote Liberal. And those Liberal supporters were found primarily in urban centres. In fact, the 2021 contest exposed the widening chasm between easterners and westerners, and urban- and rural-Canadians.

Trudeau’s gambit to grasp greater control may have failed, however the PM and his advisors have pivoted to advance their agenda outside of parliament. There have been unprecedented delays in this post-election period with the PM’s selection of a new cabinet and his ministers’ mandate letters, as well as the return of parliament and the resumption of MPs’ work. It is a telling commentary of how the PM is choosing to operate when there has been less than 20 days of parliamentary debate scheduled in the last six months.

Three Stories for 2022

Deteriorating State of the Canadian Economy 

All signs suggest Canadians are in for a rough ride with both their personal finances and with the country’s economy. Inflation is now at the highest level it has been in decades. Statistics Canada notes it is running higher than wage increases, “which means the purchasing power of Canadians has diminished.” The average family of four in Canada will spend $966 more on the same food in 2022 as they did this year. Not to belabour the point, but 2022 will be challenging: it will cost more for food, more for energy (tax hikes and rising costs), and inflation will erode the value of our dollar.

The federal government is $1.2 trillion in debt and it is growing at an incredible rate of $17.6 million per hour. The government’s inability to control its spending is just “pouring fuel on the fire” of inflation, says Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada. The spiral downward for Canada’s economy has prompted the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to project Canada as the worst performing economy of its 38 members through the next three decades to 2060.

Liberals Plan to Build Back Better 

Led by PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, the federal government is implementing the World Economic Forum’s global agenda to “build back better” by redesigning capitalism and redistributing wealth in Canada. With crisis management lessons learned from its pandemic response, the Trudeau government plans to transition to managing the fight against climate change. The “global climate emergency” will provide the rationale for Trudeau and Freeland to introduce new personal and business taxes, increase government intervention in the private sector, and establish global mandates for Canadians to follow.

Building back better in Canada translates to shutting down the oil and gas industry, subsidizing green programs and renewable energy, and increasing taxation to pay for it all. In 2022, Canadians are sure to awaken to the grand design that the Trudeau government has for resetting Canada’s economy. (Our reality is reflected in the WEF ad that states, “You’ll own nothing. And you will be happy.”)

Canada’s Health Care Crisis 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed that our beloved public health care system has been bending under the strain of federal government under-investment. The fact is that when Tommy Douglas first introduced Canadian medicare it was understood that the federal government was to cover 50 per cent of health care costs. Yet, today, the federal government currently covers only 22 per cent of the total cost of health care.

In 2022, this inequity must be addressed. There are substantial investments to be made in hospital infrastructure, long-term care services, and hiring of new health care personnel. Remarkably, with the country seized by the largest health crisis Canada has ever experienced, the 2021 federal budget committed no new health care dollars to the provinces. In the fall economic statement there was some dollars identified but not near the amount required. As president of the Canadian Medical Association Dr. Ann Collins has stated: “Building resiliency for the future must include real commitments to health care. If anything, this pandemic has shown us where the problems are, but we must address them before it’s too late.”

In its lead editorial assessing the New Year, the international news organization The Economist offered: “As 2022 draws near, it is time to face the world’s predictable unpredictability. The pattern for the rest of the 2020s is not the familiar routine of the pre-covid years, but the turmoil and bewilderment of the pandemic era. The new normal is already here.”

This editorial comment is not reassuring, but it is realistic. If the new normal is here then, for Canadians, this means in 2022 we will get just more of the same from the Trudeau government. Tax hikes. Inflation. Dogmatic green policies. Divisive national politics. Embarrassments on the world stage.

This is all predictable.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/three-federal-news-stories-from-the-year-that-was-and-three-predictions-for-the-year-yet-to-be/

Photo credit: Cpl. Justin Dreimanis ~ DND-MDN Canada / Michael Kovrig embraces his wife Vina Nadjibulla after arriving at Pearson International Airport in September. The release of Kovrig and Michael Spavor following 1,000 days of imprisonment in China was easily one of the most consequential federal news stories of 2021.

With its holiday deceptions, Trudeau government is Canada’s ‘Grinch’

The Niagara Independent, December 24, 2021 – We all know the holiday classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. The conniving malcontent creature muses in the opening scene: “I must stop Christmas from coming… but how? I mean – in what way?” Then the Grinch devises a dastardly plan and heads out to ruin the Yule for all the fine folk of Whoville.

With the spirit of Christmas in the air, it is difficult for Canadians to not think of the Grinch’s storyline given the government’s plot that unfolded in Ottawa through December.

The Trudeau government’s tale begins with its fiscal update. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland attempted to put a shine on the $144.5 billion dollar lump of coal deficit by telling Canadians this figure is less than expected. The wily minister then sang and danced about dollars the federal government would spend to keep everybody safe and cozy. This opening number cost a mere $71 billion in new expenditures – less than the $101 billion expended in the April 2021 federal budget, and the $78 billion of additional Liberal promises in the election.

Just as the Grinch had flashed a smile of confidence when reviewing his plan, so too did Canada’s finance minister display a disturbing smugness as she cocked her head towards the camera. Freeland knew Canadians had lost track of the tens of billions of dollars spewed from the treasury – and the billions being printed from the government’s presses.

Andrew Coyne of the Globe and Mail summed up the act in this way: “Fiscal statements, like budgets, are supposed to be moments of transparency, when the government shares with the public the state of the country’s finances, together with its plans for taxing and spending. They have instead become occasions for the worst sort of opacity, if not outright deceit, leaving Canadians to guess, perhaps with the help of a forensic accountant, what the government is doing with their money.”

Though Canadians are seemingly mesmerized by Freeland’s performance (wide-eyed, much like those lovable Whoville inhabitants), they are being nudged by the reality that something is amiss. Financial analysts have assessed that the Trudeau government has spent more than all past governments combined. Statistics Canada reports that Canadians are now suffering the highest rate of inflation in 30 years. And the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecasts that Canada will be the worst economic performer of the world’s advanced economies – not only through the 2020s, but for the long haul to 2060.

Statistics Canada reveals inflation is running much higher than wage increases, “which means the purchasing power of Canadians has diminished.” Here’s a prime example: in the last year the price of bacon has increased 22 per cent, which means Canadians are now bringing less home.

Let’s return to the story and those last few days of parliament… “You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart’s an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders, you’ve got garlic in your soul.”

In mid-November the Trudeau government trumpeted that its legislation to implement a new round of spending was a priority that must be passed before MPs and senators could go home for their Christmas holidays. Bill C-2 would extend COVID benefits including lockdown subsidies for employers and workers through the winter months with the ability for cabinet to extend the billions of dollars of subsidies to Jul. 2, 2022.

The parliamentary drama around Bill C-2 became a tragic-comedy. The legislation was passed through the MPs finance committee without finance department officials providing a detailed accounting of the reported $7.4 billion of expenditures, or being able to explain where this money would come from. Then on the final day of the House of Commons December sitting, MPs voted and punted the bill to the Senate.

And, literally minutes after MPs approved of the government’s package, Finance Minister Freeland released figures that revealed the actual expenses were going to cost $11.9 billion. MPs passed the bill at 4:16pm to adjourn for Christmas. Freeland disclosed the true costs at 5:10pm.

On a Friday, senators were handed the legislation and expected to approve it in a day, without amendments. Senator Leo Housakos complained of “being arm-twisted.” He resented the deceit and the inevitability of passing the legislation: “We are passing it because of the pressures we are facing. We are not going to give consideration to legitimate amendments that deserve to be given legitimate consideration to make the bill better, to make the bill more efficient. They’re [senators] under the pressure of, ‘Well, we can’t bring back the House of Commons if we amend it,’ ‘We can’t do this,’ ‘We can’t do that…’”

In the end it was anti-climactic as the senators passed Bill C-2 and the lights of Upper Chamber faded to dark. Trudeau, Freeland, and the Liberal’s backroom operatives had turned the trick – remarkably Grinch-esque.

Christmas for Canadians in the year 2021 is like we are caught in a freezeframe of the Dr. Suess cartoon… we are stuck fretting over the Grinch in those memorable scenes where he has gone from house-to-house robbing Whoville of its prosperity. The Liberals’ treachery is uncontested. Will this Grinch ever meet up with little Cindy-Lou?

It does seem hopeless.

  • The federal government is $1.2 trillion in debt, and this is growing at an incredible $17.6 million per hour.
  • Two in three Canadians do not believe this federal government is able to control its spending.
  • An increasing number of businesses are shutting their doors than opening new ones.
  • Foreign investment in Canada is trending downward and today there is a net outflow of investment.
  • Consumer confidence is 10 per cent below pre-pandemic level with less than one in five thinking it is a good time to purchase a big-ticket item.
  • Mortgage debt in Canada is at the highest level that has ever been recorded.
  • More than 50 per cent of Canadians under age 35 experienced job loss or reduction of hours during the pandemic.
  • Food bank usage in Ontario is up 10 per cent this year.
  • One in two Canadians are losing sleep over their finances.

“Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!”

So, now envision the Grinch sucking up the chimney a family’s firewood, then reaching down to pick up that last crumb from the floor of the hearth. This Jan. 1, the Trudeau government will be introducing a new Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) carbon tax on the country’s business community – a new tax that finance officials estimate will increase household energy costs by an additional $208 +GST annually. Canadians are likely not to notice this bit of thievery when trying to come to terms with their financial stresses… again, it is all very Grinch-esque of this Trudeau government.

(Can someone please cue Cindy-Lou to appear soon?)

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/with-its-holiday-deceptions-trudeau-government-is-canadas-grinch/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press / Chris Young

A Canadian Christmas Carol

The Niagara Independent, December 25, 2020  –  With apologies to Charles Dickens and the wondrous legacy of The Christmas Carolhere is a modern day story of the spirit Jacob Marley, who last evening visited a weary Canadian — cynical soul who has lost all hope for hination and its promise. As Marley successfully illuminated the crevices of Ebenezer Scrooges heart of stone, he appears this Christmas Eve to forewarn our Canadian (let’s call him Canuck) that there needs to be spiritual reawakening to appreciate and ensure all that is possible for Canada. Marley tells Canuck he is to be visited by three apparitions…

As the story goes, the Ghost of Christmas Past ferried Canuck back to 1890, to a snowy December night in Kingston, Ontario. There he came face-to-face with John A. Macdonald sitting in front of a fireplace with a blanket pulled up over his 75year old frame. Macdonald was preoccupied writing campaign notes. Early in the new year he is planning to lead his Conservatives into an election with the cry of “The Old Flag. The Old Policy. The Old Leader.” The PM seems as determined as ever that his National Policy will ensure the young country will survive the ambitions of American politicians and businessmen.

Canuck is fascinated by the elder figure hunched over, absorbed in his work. Indeed, Macdonald had won five majority governments for the Conservative Party and by all accounts had realized his remarkable dream of a united Dominion from sea to sea. It was he who advanced the scheme of a confederation in the decade leading up to 1864; who became Canada’s first prime minister; and who forged a national conscience by laying down a ribbon of steel and demanding steadfast loyalty to Westminster democracy.

Macdonald was responsible for the completion of the Intercolonial Railway to Halifax and celebrated the engineering feat linking east to west via the transcontinental CPRAs an exemplar Parliamentarian, PM Macdonald championed protectionist trade measures against the U.S. and negotiated the entry of provinces PEI, Manitoba, and B.C., and the acquisition of all lands in between. For these accomplishments, the knighted Sir John A. Macdonald is to be forever regaled as the chief architect of Confederation and the primary Founding Father of the budding nation Canada.

In the quiet of his den, Macdonald sipped his mulled wine. Canuck thought of the PM’s love of alcohol and then of the many blotches on the PM’s political career. Yet, as he watched Macdonald scribbling the campaign notes he was suddenly overcome by the magnitude of this man’s perseverance inestablishing a country that aspired to the laudable principles of peace, order, and good governmentClearly, the illustrious results of this man’s work must not be taken for granted.

Then, in what seemed to be a blink of an eye, the Ghost of Christmas Present took Canuck by the hand and led him to a remote prison in China. There behind bars he met a thin, unhappy figure who he identified as Michael Spavor. “The two Michaels” as all Canadians have come to know them – Spavor and Michael Kovrig – are spending their third Christmas in cellsCanuck shivered at the thought that the two Michaels have been languishing in captivity now for almost 750 days, away from their families and friends, and from their country.

Canuck reasoned it was not right that these men were held as payback for the arrest of Huawei Technologies executive Meng WanzhouHis mind wandered to disturbing accounts of other Canadians who were jailed by the Chinese Communists. Behind bars in China meant rounds of tiresome interrogationsinfrequent meals, and the cellblock lights shining 24 hours a day. There were reports that the two Michaels also spent time in overcrowded cells. The communists had denied them visitors, news of the outside world, and any word from home.

Stupefied, Canuck thought how Communist China is so unlike Canada (even though, he mused, PM Justin Trudeau admires the Chinese Government and it seems hhas accommodated and made excuses for countless Chinese misdeeds). It troubled him to think how little Canadians consider the foundational underpinnings of our countryObviously, the two Michaels knew too well the differences between our countries. On the one hand, Canadians can be grateful for our luxuries of abundant food, clean water and warm surroundings. On the other hand, the Michaels are being held by a suppressive government that has little regard for freedom of speech and movement, for an independent judiciary, for individuals’ rights and possessions. Though this year in Canada we may have seen Trans Mountain blockades and Maritime lobster pound standoffs, we have not experienced the tragedies of the Uighur Muslims or Hong Kong democrats.

There are many contrasts to be made mused Canuck, yet here sits Spavor. If we do not speak out about our difference and defend our libertiesbut for the grace of God go I.

Without warning, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come grabbed Canuck and sat him down in an office, in front of a woman pounding away on a keyboard. He scanned the desk and determined he had somehow skipped through time to the year 2050. Canuck was visiting an editor of Ottawa parliamentary publication, The Hill Times, who was preparing a year-end edition. He saw on the screen, the cover story read “States of Alberta and Saskatchewan Celebrate 25th Anniversary.”

The editor looked up into the computer screen to her news team; the meeting to review the papers’ editorial line-up commencedThe Alberta and Saskatchewan cover article will feature the economic boom of their resource-based industries and how these former provinces flourished as part of the United States. Three accompanying pieces are to provide a full picture of the former country Canada1) a review of the socialist reforms undertaken in the Republic of Canada; 2) trade and resource development news between British Columbia and China; and, 3) the Republic’s appeal to international bodies to assist with Russia and China military encroachments in its northern territories.

There are two parliamentary columns: one to cover the U.N.’s latest terms for the Republic’s debt payments, and a second one on the newly imposed goods and services tax of 33 percent. The lead year-end editorial will speak to how Canadians should be forever grateful: the Republic of Canada is providing womb to tomb state programing, including a guaranteed income for a majority of the population. secondary editorial is to draw a comparison between how past Canadian protests that removed statues of Sir John A. Macdonald are much like the current mobs who are pulling down the statues of the Republic’s Founding Father Justin Trudeau. The underlining message in this editorial is: Canadians must take lessons from and not erase their history.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come dropped Canuck back into the comfort of his bed where he stretched from his fetal position. What a dream… what a nightmare! Could it be? Would it be? Canuck immediately jumped out from under his sheets and hurried to the window. He chortled. No doubt, Jacob Marley and the apparitions had given him a great gift – and there was much, so much he must do in 2021.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/a-canadian-christmas-carol/

Finance Minister Freeland fueling an inflation fire in a house that is burning down

The Niagara Independent, December 17, 2021  – This week, Canadians got a glimpse of the Trudeau government plan to guide the country through our pandemic recovery period. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland provided a fiscal update that emphasized the government is prepared to spend however much it needs to meet short term COVID related issues. Freeland stated the government is delaying sharing the details of its approach to reset the country’s economy until the spring budget.

Canada’s finance minister reported that the projected budget deficit for this fiscal year is lower than expected and is now $144.5 billion. This new bottom line is a result of tens of billions of dollars of new tax revenue for Ottawa — tax money on pandemic support payments that were generously given to individuals and businesses through the initial waves of COVID in 2020.

Freeland reported that almost $30 billion of the government’s new tax windfall will be spent on enhanced payments to provinces as they brace for the fallout of the Omicron variant. The money is to be spent on things such as purchasing rapid tests, tax credits to improve air quality in workplaces, and implementing proof-of-vaccination programs.

None of this new spending relates to improving Canada’s health system – on providing necessary support for province’s hospitals and long-term care homes, or on any of the $25 billion of health care promises made by PM Justin Trudeau during the election campaign.

In fact, the finance minister’s fiscal update – which carried a price tag of $71 billion of new expenditures – did not mention any of the $78 billion of promises made by the Liberals on the hustings.

In her post-announcement interviews, Chrystia Freeland schooled those who thought she would address the Liberals’ priority issues that had prompted the mid-summer election call. She explained, “This update is what it says on the title page: It is an economic and fiscal update. This is not the master plan for the Canadian economy going forward. That will be in the budget.”

So, to recap the government’s forecasted expenditures: Freeland’s April 2021 federal budget had a $101 billion price tag attached, this update presents $71 billion of additional spending, and the government intends to introduce another $78 billion of promised programs and services in four months hence.

The federal government’s fiscal plan is unaffordable and it is irresponsible, claims the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). The organization was quick to attack the finance ministers’ update. CTF federal director Franco Terrazzano was critical of the government’s unbridled spending that has resulted in a national debt of $1.2 trillion. He pointed out that government debt will have a serious impact on future policy options and Canadians’ prosperity.

“Years of borrowing means taxpayers will lose out on nearly $200 billion by 2027 just to pay for interest charges on Canada’s debt. That’s money we can’t use to hire more nurses or lower taxes because it’s going to bond fund managers to service the government’s debt,” said the CTF head.

“The cost of living is soaring and Canadians should be worried about how the government is going to pay for its unprecedented spending and hundreds of billions of dollars in new debt. The feds need to stop dishing out cash we don’t have and pouring fuel on the inflation fire. Freeland needs to hit the brakes on this government’s runaway spending train.”

In the House of Commons, Freeland was taken to task for her spending by Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole.

“Our country is drowning in the rising waters of debt that is being fueled by inflation and by ideological policies that are driving away investment and making Canada one of the last places people will come for their economic recovery.”

O’Toole summed up the fiscal plan as another Liberal statement of “empty promises, massive debt, higher taxes and no real economic plan.”

MP Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative finance critic, homed in on what this spending means for individual Canadians.

“A half-trillion dollars of inflationary deficits mean more money chasing fewer goods driving higher prices. Housing and gas are up a third, so youth can’t afford to get to work or buy a home. And families can’t afford the extra $1000 it will cost to feed themselves next year. Instead of reversing this high-cost, high-inflation agenda, today the government announced yet another $71 billion of inflationary spending, costing nearly $5000 for every family in Canada.”

Two separate economic reports recently released provide reason to worry about the Trudeau government’s spending. Juxtapose Freeland’s fiscal plan with the Statistics Canada consumer price index (CPI) data that indicates the official inflationary number is 4.7 per cent year-over-year. That “official number” Canadians are told is the highest rate of inflation in 30 years. The Statistics Canada release noted that inflation is running higher than wage increases, “which means the purchasing power of Canadians has diminished.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stated in an international press release that inflation is the prime concern for the global economic outlook in 2022 and 2023. The OECD commented: “The main risk, however, is that inflation continues to surprise on the upside, forcing the major central banks to tighten monetary policy earlier and to a greater extent than projected.” (That translates to hikes to interest rates in the near future.)

This global body also had a grim outlook for Canada. The OECD predicts that of countries in the advanced world, Canada will be the worst performing economy over the next decade. In fact, the OECD projects Canada will be the worst performing economy of its 38 members through the next three decades to 2060. It cites Ottawa’s current monetary policy and lack of fiscal discipline as contributing factors to the country’s dismally low GDP growth projection.

Still, in interview after interview this week, Finance Minister Freeland provided reassurances that Canada’s economic future is promising and Canadians need not worry about inflation as it is only transitory.

Two in three Canadians do not believe this. Bloomberg News released a Nanos Research poll that revealed 63.5 per cent of Canadians are unconvinced Ottawa’s policy makers – from Chrystia Freeland to Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem – will be able to rein inflation back to pre-pandemic levels.

Essentially, it will come down to fiscal discipline surmises Scott Clark, a former deputy minister of finance. This week Clark gave Freeland some unsolicited advice in a media interview. He was remarking on the massive government debt and the prospect of an additional $78 billion of promises in the spring budget, “You just have to say: ‘We can’t do this right now’. You have to set priorities. No-one is going to hate her for that — she’s just doing her job.” But then, Clark frankly assessed, “I don’t think the government has the willpower to do it.”

Given the government’s fiscal update and the OECD forecast for our Canadian economic future, Clark’s assessment seems accurate. It is hard not to conclude that Chrystia Freeland is fueling an inflation fire in a house that is burning down.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/minister-freeland-fueling-an-inflation-fire-in-a-house-that-is-burning-down/

Photo credit: Justin Tang of The Canadian Press

‘Justinflation’ and its impact on Canadians

The Niagara Independent, December 3, 2021 – Recall Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s candid admission on the election campaign hustings, “When I think about the biggest, most important economic policy that this government, if re-elected, would move forward, you’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy.”

The PM has no mind for fiscal and economic policies. However, there are an increasing number of financial reports and analyses that suggest the Trudeau government’s lack of attention to its monetary policy is jeopardizing Canadians’ personal financial standing and the country’s future economic prosperity.

Inflation in Canada is at the highest level it has been in decades and this fact, at least in part, is due to Trudeau’s and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s approach to the country’s finances – and their flippant response to current inflationary pressures being increasingly felt by everyone.

In the House of Commons this week, the opposition parties accused Trudeau and Freeland of fueling inflation with continued reckless spending, the printing of money, and failing to provide clear direction to the Bank of Canada. Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre coined a new phrase to identify the government’s disregard for rising costs of living: Justinflation. The term has caught on in parliamentary debates and the media – much to the annoyance of the finance minister.

Freeland makes the argument that Canada’s level of inflation is not unlike rates found in the G20. (She cleverly neglects to mention G20 countries are in lockstep with their monetary approach, a page torn out of the globalists’ World Economic Forum playbook – the Forum that Freeland herself is a director.) In debate, the finance minister references economists who state Canada’s inflationary challenges are not of the government’s doing. Former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz conducted a series of media interviews to declare inflation in Canada was not caused by federal spending.

Yet, recently there has been financial analysis that concludes the government’s failure to adjust its spending and respond to the rising inflationary pressures is making the matters much worse. Philip Cross, former chief economic analyst for Statistics Canada, released a report in which he argues the government’s massive pandemic spending program has led to unprecedented public debt and the fact it has no plan to repay that debt is now “pouring fuel on the fire” of inflation.

Steven Globerman, professor emeritus at Western Washington University, concluded in a Fraser Institute report that the Trudeau government will prolong higher rates of inflation without providing clear direction to the Bank of Canada. Globerman writes central banks “need to stop injecting unprecedented amounts of money into the economy and return to a more measured monetary policy”; or “higher inflation could persist even after the pandemic subsides.”

Today, Justinflation is Canadians’ greatest concern, far greater than the pandemic, climate change, or any other political issue. The skyrocketing cost of living and, specifically, the costs of gas and food is keeping people awake at night, according to the latest Global News Ipsos poll taken in mid-November. One in three Canadians are worried about their finances through the winter months and just 23 per cent of respondents are confident that the government will make progress on cost of living and affordability issues.

So, how bad is it? Statistics Canada recorded the rise in the consumer price index (CPI) at 4.7 per cent for October (year-over-year). That is the quickest pace set since February 2003 – and a far greater pace than it was a year ago when the CPI was 0.7 per cent. It is well above the Bank of Canada’s target CPI range of 1-3 per cent – the seventh consecutive month it has exceeded the target.

Prices have risen year-over-year in all of Stats Can’s categories:

  • 10.1 per cent in transportation costs, driven by a 42 per cent jump for gas at the pumps
  • 26 per cent in energy costs, with natural gas prices rising 19 per cent
  • 13.5 per cent rise in new home prices
  • 6.1 per cent rise in costs of passenger vehicles
  • 10 per cent rise in meat products, with increases for fresh or frozen beef (14 per cent) and bacon (20 per cent).

This inflationary pressure in Canada is accompanied by troubling economic and social data.

BUSINESS CLOSURES: Statistics Canada reported that in the month of August there were more businesses closed than opened (Ontario suffering the biggest net decline). This was the first time this monthly net loss occurred since May 2020, when the business community was managing lockdowns and evolving public-health directives.

MORTGAGE DEBT: The Superintendent of Financial Institutions, a Canadian federal bank regulator, provided a dire warning in its annual report based on the fact mortgage debt is equivalent to 85 per cent of Canada’s entire economy. The Superintendent forecasted: “Household indebtedness posed the largest risk for many federally-regulated financial institutions…and [it] may indicate vulnerability in the Canadian economy and the financial system.”

LOW CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: The Conference Board of Canada reported in November that its consumer confidence index dropped and is now 10 per cent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. The combination of household mortgages, supply chain disruptions, and inflationary pressures are impacting confidence. Less than one in five believe now is a good time to purchase any large-ticket item.

FOOD BANK DEPENDENCE UP: Feed Ontario released 2021 statistics that indicate food bank usage in the province is up 10 per cent with almost 600,000 adults and children accessing food bank services this year.

JOB LOSS AND JOBLESSNESS: A survey on employment by the Environics Institute for Survey Research found that during the pandemic 70 per cent of younger Canadians under the age of 35 reported their life has been adversely impacted: 50 per cent experienced job loss or reduction of hours; and 19 per cent became unemployed without finding a new job.

In a private meeting last week, the finance minister and department officials conferred with private-sector economists and financiers who expressed their concerns for the government’s spending plans and impact they will have on inflation. The concern was shared that continued inflationary pressures will create increased economic uncertainty. The thrust of the expert advice was to defer any federal government spending increases for as much as two years.

In a media scrum held earlier in the week, Minister Freeland was noncommittal about the counsel the government is providing the Bank of Canada, which soon must announce the banks’ five-year inflation-targeting mandate. The bank’s target is important as a key factor in setting interest rates in the country.  A higher target will permit maintaining lower interest rates, which in turn will cause a prolonged period of inflation. In this manner, a country’s monetary policy can ease or add to the financial burdens of businesses and individuals.

A news flash from Ottawa on Thursday announced that Minister Freeland will release her Fall Economic and Fiscal Update on Dec. 14. Perhaps then Canadians will learn how the Trudeau government plans to manage its monetary policy and address the country’s Justinflation.

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

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/justinflation-and-its-impact-on-canadians/

Photo credit: The Canadian Press – Sean Kilpatrick / PM Justin Trudeau speaks during question period in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.