Tag Archives: politics

If you were Prime Minister…

I asked my friend’s little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be Prime Minister of Canada some day.

Both of her parents, NDP supporters, were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were Prime Minister what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” Her parents beamed, and said, “Welcome to the NDP Party!”

“Wow…what a worthy goal!” I told her. I continued, “But you don’t have to wait until you’re Prime Minister to do that. You can come over to my house, mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out. You can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”

I smiled and said, “Welcome to the Conservative Party.”

Her parents still aren’t speaking to me.

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

 

Great Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

  • . . . one people, great in territory, great in resources, great in enterprise, great in credit, great in capital. [a 1860 speech summed up his lifelong political creed and political goals] – Sir John A Macdonald
  • If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken.’
  • God and nature made the two Canadas one—let no fractious men be allowed to put them asunder. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • Everyone admits that Union must take place sometime. I say now is the time. [At the Charlottetown Conference 1864] – Sir John A Macdonald
  • There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British America under one sovereign is a fixed fact. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • The statement that has been made so often that this is a conquered country is a propos de rien. Whether it was conquered or ceded, we have a constitution now under which all British subjects are in a position of absolute equality, having equal rights of every kind – of language, of religion, of property and of person. There is no paramount race in this country; we are all British subjects, and those who are not English are none the less British subjects on that account. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • My sins of omission and commission I do not deny; but I trust that it may be said of me in the ultimate issue, ‘Much is forgiven because he loved much,’ for I have loved my country with a passionate love. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • A public man should have no resentments. – Sir John A Macdonald
  • As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die. With my utmost effort, with my latest breath, will I oppose the veiled treason which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance. [on Canadian-American trade] – Sir John A Macdonald

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

Rush Limbaugh Bons Mots

Character matters; leadership descends from character.

The truth does not require a majority to prevail, ladies and gentlemen. The truth is its own power. The truth will out. Never forget that.

There’s nobody who cares more about you than you, and there’s nobody better equipped to take care of you than you.

The American dream has now morphed into an expectation. And if it isn’t provided, or if it doesn’t happen, then people feel cheated.

There’s such cultural rot taking place, such a disintegration throughout our culture. Values, morality, you name it. Standards have been relaxed, and people are not being held to them. People’s intentions, if they’re said to be good and honorable, that’s all that matters.

The future is not Big Government. Self-serving politicians. Powerful bureaucrats. This has been tried, tested throughout history. The result has always been disaster. President Obama, your agenda is not new. It’s not change, and it’s not hope.

Real prosperity comes from everybody in the country working together in a growth mode. Real prosperity comes as a result of people’s own initiative and efforts and so forth. Prosperity, if it comes from the government, is not prosperity. It’s an existence or a subsistence or whatever, but it isn’t prosperity.

Everything about the left is perception, manipulation, and lies. Everything. Everything is ‘Wag the Dog.’ Everything is a structured deception.

The truth of anything doesn’t matter anymore. What’s right doesn’t matter. What makes economic common sense doesn’t matter. I’m blue in the face over it.

Liberals are some of the most arrogant, condescending smart alecks, but they’re just pure ignorant, and they fit the bill of people who have no love and no respect for the founding of this country.

Journalists are simply leftists disguised as reporters. They’re political activists disguised as reporters.

I live in Realville, and my problem is that I’m governed by logic. And some of the claims that are made by people on the left just don’t hold up.

No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity.

Racist — a person who wins an argument with a liberal.

If you commit a crime, you’re guilty.

Compassion is no substitute for justice.

Poverty is not the root cause of crime.

Charity is willingly given from the heart.

End results that work that don’t involve government threaten liberals.

Liberals get credit for good intentions, and that’s about it, because everything they do fails.

Liberal Democrats are inexorably opposed to tax cuts, because tax cuts give people more power, and take away from the role of government.

I used to have a phrase: Liberalism is spreading misery equally. And now the ruling class throughout Washington seems to have adopted this.

That’s what liberalism is all about, is promoting incompetence on the basis it’s fair, because people would be the best if they weren’t discriminated against.

Liberalism is a scourge. It destroys the human spirit. It destroys prosperity. It assigns sameness to everybody. And wherever I find it, I oppose it.

R.I.P. Rush 

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

Ronald Reagan on politics, government and life

  • We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
  • There seems to be an increasing awareness of something we Americans have known for some time: That the ten most dangerous words in the English language are, ‘Hi, I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.’
  • We in government should learn to look at our country with the eyes of the entrepreneur, seeing possibilities where others see only problems.
  • My friends, history is clear: Lower tax rates means greater freedom, and wherever we lower the tax rates, our entire nation is better off.
  • No one has yet found a way to repeal the law of supply and demand.
  • Status quo, you know, that is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.
  • A broader reading of history shows that appeasement, no matter how it is labeled, never fulfills the hopes of the appeasers.
  • There are worse things to be called than a dreamer.
  • The challenge of statesmanship is to have the vision to dream of a better, safer world and the courage, persistence and patience to turn that dream into reality.
  • May each of you have heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for you having been here.
  • Life and the preservation of freedom to live it in dignity is what we are on this earth to do.
  • Progress is not foreordained. The key to freedom: Freedom of thought, freedom of information, freedom of communication.
  • Individual freedom and the profit motive were the engines of progress which transformed an American wilderness into an economic dynamo that provided the American people with a standard of living that is still the envy of the world.
  • I am no longer young. You might have suspected that. The house we hope to build is one that is not for my generation, but for your. It is your future that matters. And I hope that when you’re my age, you’ll be able to say as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.
  • I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

 

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

Celebrating Sir John A.

Upon Sir John A. Macdonald’s death, (the soon-to-be Prime Minister) Wilfred Laurier paid tribute to him in the House of Commons (June 8, 1891):

“The place of Sir John A. Macdonald in this country was so large and so absorbing that it is almost impossible to conceive that the politics of this country – the fate of this country – will continue without him. His loss overwhelms us. For my part, I say, with all truth, his loss overwhelms me, and that it also overwhelms this Parliament, as if indeed one of the institutions of the land had given way. Sir John A. Macdonald now belongs to the ages, and it can be said with certainty that the career which has just been closed is one of the most remarkable careers of this century. . .

“As to his statesmanship, it is written in the history of Canada. It may be said without any exaggeration whatever, that the life of Sir John Macdonald, from the time he entered Parliament, is the history of Canada.”

And, so that you may discuss this great man at your next social, here are some interesting trivia most may not know about Sir John A.

  • While there is some debate over his actual birthdate, January 10 is the official date recorded and January 11 is the day Macdonald celebrated it.
  • Having personally written the largest part of the Canadian constitution ( BNA act ), and having been the main lobbyist for its adoption at London, Macdonald can truly be called “THE Father of his country.”
  • Macdonald’s nicknames included Old Chieftain and Old Tomorrow – the latter for his habit of putting off any large political problems until conditions were personally favourable to him.
  • Sir John A.Macdonald is one of two Canadian prime-ministers to die in office (The other is John Thompson).
  • Macdonald’s nephew Newton Ford was the father of iconic Canadian-American actor Glenn Ford.

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

2020’s top ten news stories in federal politics

The Niagara Independent, December 11 & 18, 2020  – The House of Commons will rise this week for the MPs’ holiday recess. This is an appropriate time to look back at what was an extraordinary year, and select the most significant news stories from the Nation’s Capital. In no particular order, here are “the top ten” federal political stories that, argumentatively, mattered the most to Canadians in 2020.

Changing of the guard at Finance Canada

In the midst of an embarrassing scandal, the Prime Minister replaced his embattled Finance Minister Bill Morneau with his most trusted Minister-of-Everything Chrystia Freeland. Hence, the stewardship of Canada’s finances and fiscal policy went from a Toronto financial services businessman to a Toronto journalist. Morneau left town holding the undistinguished title of the worst economic record in Canadian history. On Morneau’s watch, the Trudeau Government ran $89.1 billion in accumulated deficits and its program spending increased at a striking rate of 27.2 percent in five years. While he was at the helm of Finance Canada, the government added $10,000 of new debt for every man, woman and child. His lasting legacy: Morneau outspent all past federal governments, including those governments that had to respond to world wars and global recessions.

Enter Finance Minister Freeland, who is now overseeing unbridled government spending in response to the pandemic. Canada’s current federal deficit is the largest in the world at 19.8 per cent of the country’s GDP. The Trudeau Government is the global leader in government spending with a fiscal plan that will have our federal debt double to $1.4 trillion in the next five years. In her first financial statement, Freeland offered no financial check and balances; instead, she is musing publicly about finding ways to tap into Canadians’ savings accounts.

Finance Canada also had a new Deputy Minister parachuted into its top spot. Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran views the placement of Michael Sabia as entrenching “Trudeau’s plan to use sustainable environmental diversity, socially responsible governance and interventionism as the prime drivers of federal economic policy.” Corcoran believes the tandem of Freeland and Sabia points to increased state interventionism: “Under the new capitalism, corporate economic freedom is replaced by corporatist economic controls.”

The unaccounted for government spending

A recent CBC investigative story confirmed the Trudeau Government is spending billions seemingly without controls and with no intention of accounting for the dollars spent. Government financial statements document that Ottawa has spent $240 billion fighting COVID-19 in just eight months – that is an average of $952 million a day. The government has provided more than $81 billion financial support to 11,721,827 people – that is almost 40 per cent of all Canadian adults. It has also provided tens of billions of dollars to businesses and corporations.

The free-spending Trudeau Government has repeatedly frustrated officials and media who request a public accounting of its expenditures. To quote but one of these officials, Canada’s former Parliament Budget Officer Kevin Page states, “We should know more where that money is going… And not knowing really reduces our ability to understand how these programs are working and what role can they play in terms of supporting the economic recovery going forward.” Commenting on the recent federal economic statement, Page said, “It’s impossible to read. I have done this for years and I can’t even follow the money. I hope it’s not deliberate.”

The collapse of Canada’s resource development

In early 2020 (pre COVID-19), Calgary-based news agency, Second Street, reported that $213 billion of resource development projects had been cancelled or stalled in Canada since 2014. This astonishing total came in the wake of the announced cancellation of the $20.6 Billion Teck Frontier mine project –a prairie resource project that would have had 40 years of anticipated production, employ 2,500 workers, and generate more than $70 billion in revenue to governments. Equally devastating in early 2020 was the news about Quebec’s Energie Saguenay pipeline project losing its largest investor. Warren Buffett’s firm took $4 billion off the table and walked away from its investment in the $9 billion liquefied natural gas project. This mega resource project would have built a new 782 km pipeline corridor and a natural gas liquefaction complex at Port Saguenay.

Prior to the pandemic crises, the Trudeau Government’s natural resource development policies were making headlines as having a dramatic, negative impact on both large and small resource companies. There was much public discussion about the abandoned resource projects equating not only to lost employment but also to lost investments and future economic activity. For Canada to lose $213 billion of resource projects does not only damage our country’s current economic standing, it surely cripples the opportunities of future generations of Canadians.

The Great Reset and what it means for the Canadian economy 

PM Trudeau has publicly tied the country’s COVID-19 recovery to The Great Reset and to a series of United Nations’ 2030 objectives. The PM claims: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems…”  Trudeau’s script is taken directly from the pages of COVID-19 – The Great Reset, which forecasts the pandemic-induced global economic downturn as providing the catalyst for a reset of capitalism.

As the Fall Throne Speech proclaimed, the Trudeau Government is intent on introducing “a bold, new progressive agenda” designed to restructure the country’s social safety net and address climate change. The Trudeau Government’s economic policies mirror those policy objectives found in The Great Reset. Current fiscal discussions include increased carbon taxes and a new wealth tax, new tax regulations respecting business and individual finances, a withdrawal of support for resource industries, new funding programs for green initiatives, and greater government intervention and social planning measures to adhere to the U.N. policy agendas.

New Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole

In August the Conservative Party elected Erin O’Toole as its new standard bearer. O’Toole grew up in a blue-collar home in southern Ontario, excelled in his pursuits as a pilot in the Canadian Forces and then as a lawyer, before becoming a Member of Parliament. As MP, he represents the community he was raised in, and where he is raising his family. At age 47, O’Toole has been in Ottawa for eight years and he is described as “a moderate” within the federal Conservative caucus.

As the Conservative Leader, O’Toole has called for the government to take a tougher stand against the Communist Party of China. He announced a Conservative Government would meet the emission targets as set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. O’Toole has been critical of the government’s pandemic spending, stating it has been mismanaged and wasteful; and, he is pressing the government for transparency with its vaccine distribution plans. O’Toole’s greatest challenge is for Canadians to come to know him and to recognize his leadership as the alternative to Justin Trudeau, with whom he will be compared in the anticipated 2021 federal election.

WE Charity Scandal

Of all the political headlines from Ottawa in 2020, the most intriguing was the WE Charity scandal that enveloped the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and a good number of Cabinet ministers. This news item was the most personally damaging for the Prime Minister because it directly involved hefty payments and favours to the Trudeau family members. There are many questions about the near billion dollar contract that was to be awarded to the Kielburger brothers. What of the $43.5 million in administration fees; the hundreds of thousands in payments to mother Margaret, wife Sophie and brother Alexandre; the Cabinet circumventing its due diligence in bypassing Treasury Board; and, Minister Bardish Chagger purposely misleading MPs on the Ethics Committee about her part in fast-tracking the contract? And what of the $45 million worth of real estate assets the Kielburgers acquired through their charity operations – are these holdings subject to a CRA audit now that the charity has closed its doors in Canada?

Liberal MPs have effectively shut down all parliamentary inquiries, and succeeded to delay matters long enough for both WE and government officials to destroy all records of their dealings. The only remaining little detail that may concern Trudeau is the final report of the Ethics Commissioner. That report will determine the ethical breaches of the PM and Finance Minister Bill Morneau (recall they did not recuse themselves from the Cabinet approval of WE Charity’s $912 million contract, even though both of their families had pecuniary interests with the charity). As it happened, the Finance Minister used this shameful experience to fall on his sword and exit Ottawa. However, the PM seems sure he will survive yet another assessment of his ethical standards.

The two Michaels and Canada’s relations with Communist China

It has been over two full years since former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor were imprisoned in China on unspecified national security charges of espionage. For most of this time, the two Michaels hopelessly languished in crowded prison cells, cut off from family and friends. Though never candidly stated, it is understood their arrest was payback for the Canadian arrest of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.

What should have produced a chill in Canada-China relations has not appeared to have phased the Trudeau Government’s working relationship with the Communist China Government. Throughout the year, Trudeau and his Ministers have stood with the communist regime: denying any questionable activities by China or the World Health Organization with regard to the origin of COVID-19 and the virus spread; refusing to restrict air travel from China; being the only western nation to not ban Huawei in developing the country’s 5G wireless network; and awarding a Chinese firm a major contract to install security screening in Canadian embassies. The most alarming news was just uncovered with the discovery that our Canadian Forces have held joint military exercises with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Base Petawawa. Our Canadian Forces were training the PLA in winter warfare tactics – maneuvers that the Chinese can employ in the snowy mountains of the China-India border and in the high Arctic. Through the year it has been “business as usual” irrespective of the two Michaels’ fate.

Losing the bid for the UN Security Council seat

It was to have been a crowning moment when PM Justin Trudeau could again crow “Canada is back.” However, the unthought-of happened and the PM failed to secure his coveted seat on the United Nations Security Council. In a vote of U.N. member states, Canada came third in a three-way contest with Norway and Ireland. This was a resounding rebuke for PM Trudeau who inserted himself into the bidding process and placed his personal appeal as a progressive world leader on the line. In the run-up to the vote, Trudeau provided keynote addresses at U.N. conferences, pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to U.N. programs, promised to champion third-world debt relief efforts, and made direct calls to a scores of world leaders.

A few days after the Security Council announcement, CBC reported that PMO spokespeople and Liberal MPs had identified that the blame for the loss (if any were to be attributed) lay with Stephen Harper and his failure to adequately fund the Canadian team tasked to win the U.N. seat. This embarrassment was not to be tagged on PM Trudeau when he had done everything possible to undo Harper’s mismanagement of the U.N. file.

Canadians’ preoccupation with everything Trump

This year Canadians have been treated to a deluge of U.S. election news and, in particular, anti-Trump commentary. Canadian mainstream media captivated its audience covering the vote south of the border as a prize slugfest. And while the Americans were busy exercising their democracy, Canadians remained unaware of the travesties of democracy occurring in the Nation’s Capital. In an erudite column this fall, Sun News columnist Lorrie Goldstein observed, “Meanwhile, in Canada, the Liberals are filibustering the parliamentary committee trying to investigate Trudeau’s We Charity controversy and the parliamentary budget officer rebukes the Trudeau gov’t over spending secrecy. But … Orange Man Bad.” Indeed, POTUS Trump proved a perfect foil for the Trudeau Government. As Goldstein acutely summarized, “Any Canadians sneering at the shit show election in the U.S. aren’t paying attention. Canada has its own circus going on.”

On another level, our national media bias did a great disservice to Canadians: it failed to provide context for what the country might experience in a post-Trumpian world. Only now are we beginning to anticipate what a Biden-presidency will mean for the Canada-U.S. relations… what the Democrat protectionist policies will mean for our cross border trade; the U.S. green recovery agenda and likely cancellation of Keystone XL and Alaska-to-Alberta Railway projects; and, Biden’s anticipated accommodation with China foreign policy and how this will impact world diplomacy and trade. With no Donald Trump headlines, Canadians now have the chance to refocus on the politics of Biden — and our own Prime Minister.

Trudeau’s mishandling of the pandemic crises

Space here does not permit a detailed review of the government’s missteps in responding to the health and economic crises presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding health and the failure to contain the spread of the virus: there has been one million air passengers enter Canada since the PM closed the airports; there were 16 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPEs) shipped to China in mid-February – and months later Canada received millions of faulty Chinese PPEs in return; former Liberal MP Frank Baylis was awarded a $237 million contract to make 10,000 pandemic ventilators – with no Health Canada approval and no means of producing ventilators in Canada; etc., etc.  Regarding Canada’s economy: Trudeau has spent more money per capita than any country in the world and Canada is now the most indebted nation; there’s tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure projects unaccounted for, and billions of dollars more awarded for pandemic relief to foreign-owned private companies; and, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has just unveiled a $100 billion stimulus plan with vague objectives and no details.

Worse than all of this is the Government’s deficient vaccination plan. PM Trudeau has made much of the arrival of the first doses of the vaccine on Canadian soil. However, the actual numbers are dismal: Canada received 19,000 doses on December 13th, is promised two shipments totaling 368,000 doses by the end of the year, and by the  end of March is promised another 1.8 million doses. While other countries are vaccinating tens of millions of their citizens, Canada will only vaccinate a little more than one million by April’s Fool Day. Canadians learned that Trudeau had counted on agreements with China to provide for our vaccine needs – agreements that have evaporated.

In an attempt to reassure Canadians, Trudeau reveals to us that the Government has ordered more vaccine doses than is required. But the stark differences in the figures of what the PM says is promised versus what is being actually delivered points to a political maelstrom for the Trudeau Government – and a whole lot of anxiety for Canadians.

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

LINKS: https://niagaraindependent.ca/2020s-top-ten-news-stories-in-federal-politics-part-1/https://niagaraindependent.ca/2020s-top-ten-news-stories-in-federal-politics-part-2/

The George Soros Series

 The George Soros 4-part series by Chris George in the Niagara Independent

reviews Soros’ life and achievements, beliefs and goals, and his ties and influence in Canada.

 Introducing George Soros

 The core beliefs and aspirations of George Soros

George Soros and his Canadian Chess Game

George Soros casts a long shadow across Canada

 

For the index of Chris George’s columns in the Niagara Independent, click here.

 

Federal Government will need to introduce a list of new tax measures

The Niagara Independent, October 9, 2020  – Next week the Trudeau Government will set a record for having gone the longest in Canadian Parliamentary history without presenting a federal budget (on Friday it will be 316 days). When asked just after the Throne Speech whether there would be a budget before the fiscal year-end March 31, 2021, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland simply dismissed the question. It appears neither PM Justin Trudeau nor Minister Freeland wish to account for the money spent or the new taxes that will be levied by this Government.

Recall in July, former Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a “fiscal snapshot” that reported a government operational deficit of $343 billion for this fiscal year. Since July, PM Trudeau has made a litany of program announcements totaling tens of billions of dollars in additional spending. For the fiscal year 2020-21 economists expect the government deficit to be approaching $400 billion and Canada’s national debt to have climbed beyond $1 trillion.

This is a dubious record for the Trudeau Liberals: the total federal government program spending is more than all previous federal government fiscal deficits combined through Canada’s history. For a country with a population of less than 38 million, these numbers are huge. The Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux warns that it is an imperative for the government to rein in its spending in the next two years or the country’s debt load will be “unsustainable.”

So the question is: How do Canadians pay for this? Short answer: With increased taxes.

In a Toronto Star feature this week, financial expert Gordon Pape listed the various new taxes the Trudeau Government will need to introduce to begin to pay for its unbridled spending since 2015 and its unprecedented pandemic spending through the last six months. Pape observes, “None of this is going to happen immediately. Imposing new taxes on a staggering economy would drive the country into a depression that could last for years. But a year or two from now, when the pandemic is under control and the economy is in recovery mode, watch out. Someone has to pay the bill, and it’s going to be us.”

Here is the checklist of new taxes Canadians should expect in future federal budgets.

Hike the GST rate to six or seven per cent.  This consumption tax collects $7 billion in additional revenue for every percentage point and Pape views it as “very tempting for any cash-strapped government.” The Liberals have repeatedly expressed concern over wealth inequity so a tax on consumer spending is fairest. Wealthier Canadians spend more and will be taxed more with their spending.

Eliminate the capital gains tax exemption on principal residences. A new home equity tax would have the sale of your family home subject to a 50% capital gains tax that will rake in billions of dollars annually for the federal treasury. The government commissioned the University of British Columbia to research this home tax. In its report, UBC researchers identified homes as “tax shelters” and described homeowners as “lottery winners.” Liberals have been quick to distance themselves from the report, however the idea keeps resurfacing in their finance policy discussions.

Raise the inclusion rate for taxable capital gains. In the 2019 election, both Liberals and the NDP campaigned that the capital gains exemption is a tax break for the rich. There have been trial balloons floated to increase the current 50 per cent rate for taxable capital gains to 75 per cent, or the full 100 per cent. The government factors a 75 per cent rate will raise $8 billion in tax revenue annually. This measure is very likely to appear in the upcoming budget because the minority Liberals are certain to receive support from the NDP to “tax the rich.”

Increase the carbon tax and introduce new carbon taxes. On April 1st the federal carbon tax increased from $20 to $30 a tonne on emissions. For consumers, that costs us an extra 2.5 cents per litre of gasoline at the pumps. (The Canadian Government was the only government in the world to raise taxes during the height of the pandemic this Spring.) Next year the carbon tax is to rise again, and the following year it is to rise yet again. On top of these tax increases, National Post reporter John Ivison warns: “Get ready for the Liberals’ secret new carbon tax — as Canadians emerge from COVID-induced hibernation, the Liberal government is preparing a plan to make their lives more expensive to meet its climate targets.” The Trudeau Liberals are introducing a new Clean Fuel Standard Tax that will have Canadians paying an additional 11 cents per litre at the pump. These are the carbon tax measures scheduled; it is unknown what further taxes Canadians should expect with the Trudeau Liberals’ green agenda.

Introduce new wealth taxes. The recent Throne Speech announced the Government will introduce wealth taxes in the immediate future. No surprise here. The Liberals and NDP campaigned in 2015 and 2019 to introduce new taxes on individual and family net worth. The Liberals also proposed a 10 per cent luxury tax on the purchase of cars, boats and private aircraft and a new speculation tax on vacant residential property. The latter two taxes will raise an estimated $850 million annually for Ottawa (actually, less than what the Liberals were going to pay the Kielburger brothers and WE this year). Former Liberal Finance Minister John Manley commented that proposing a new wealth tax is “one of the dumbest things” in the Liberal agenda. Manley stated: “There’s a basic problem with it that there aren’t enough rich people, and secondly, if you tax them enough, they’ll leave.”

In his column Gordon Pape also mentions that the Liberals will need to consider when to introduce new corporate taxes on Canadian business owners; eliminate tax free savings accounts established for individuals’ retirement planning; and, raise personal income taxes.

There is another highly contentious tax measure that Pape does not address, which is currently being publicly mused about in Ottawa: the introduction of an inheritance tax. As recorded in Blacklock’s Reporter, Liberal MP Sean Fraser, who serves as Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Minister, believes that an inheritance tax addresses a “plague” of income inequality in our country. At Finance Committee this week MP Fraser boldly stated of the new tax: “if it requires us to ask the wealthy to contribute a little bit more, we will not be afraid to make that demand.” To which Calgary-based, political blogger Cory Morgan quips: “Not content with indebting our children and grandchildren with record government deficits, the Trudeau government is now considering taking their inheritance too.”

In considering Gordon Pape’s list of likely tax measures, it is suffice to say that Canadians should brace for future federal budgets. In the coming years we will be tapped to pay for the Trudeau Government’s prolonged spending spree. They are sure to be taxing times.

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/federal-government-will-need-to-introduce-a-list-of-new-tax-measures/

A Review of Key Issues in Ottawa

Canada’s Parliament resumes with a Throne Speech on September 23rd. Here’s a review of the key issues Canadians should follow as our MPs return to Ottawa and the business of the Nation.

What is to become of the unanswered questions?

Here are ten issues that PM Trudeau hopes and trusts Canadians will soon forget when enchanted by the exciting promises presented in his Throne Speech.

The consequential fiscal facts on Canada’s economy

Here are current fiscal facts that are certain to be consequential for the country’s economy and our future prosperity.

Trudeau and Freeland “Moving Canada towards full-blown Socialism”

Canadians are placed on notice: PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Freeland will advance “a bold, new progressive agenda.”

A primer on the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Energy Plan

With the pretext of jump-starting the national economy in the wake of the pandemic’s fallout, the Liberals are telling Canadians they are ready to “build back better” with a bold, progressive environmental agenda. Their new national Green Energy Plan is expected to be one of the cornerstones placed in the Government’s Throne Speech.

A Pivotal Week for the Trudeau Liberals’ Green Agenda

There now is Trudeau, Freeland and Carney (with a cast of supporting actors McKenna, Guilbeault and Wilkinson) all aligned to “build back better” by shifting Canada’s economy away from oil and gas and towards green energy, and introducing bigger, interventionist government to caretake national welfare, immigration, childcare and universal basic income programs.

Morneau will leave an unenviable record as Finance Minister

The federal Liberals, under the watch of Bill Morneau, are outspending all past federal governments, including those governments that had to respond to world wars and global recessions.

The Trudeau Government’s horrible week of scandalous stories

Warren Kinsella: “There’s a name for a government like Justin Trudeau’s – a government run by those who seek status and personal gain at the expense of the rest of us. It’s a kleptocracy.”

 

These columns were first published in The Niagara Independent through the months of August and September. 

The Trudeau Government’s horrible week of scandalous stories

The Niagara Independent, August 14, 2020  – Though he was hiding away at an undisclosed summer holiday rental on Georgian Bay, this week proved particularly bad for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a steady stream of stories emerged relating to multiple scandals that threaten to swamp the Government’s agenda.

On Wednesday, Bloc Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet threatened to trigger a Fall election if the PM, his Chief of Staff Katie Telford, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau do not resign. Blanchet said, “Keeping people in office who are “mismanaging” the government would be more dangerous than sending Canadians to the polls in a pandemic.”

In the House of Commons, Conservative MP Candice Bergen received a standing ovation from the Opposition benches when she criticized the Liberals for “evasive non-answers.” Bergen stated: “Six months into this pandemic, and six years into this government, and the Prime Minister will be remembered for a $343-billion deficit and for setting the lowest bar ever for a prime minister’s conduct in the history of this country….  With the Liberals, it really is about who one knows, not what one knows. This makes the Liberal sponsorship scandal look like child’s play, actually. Can the Prime Minister tell us – oh sorry, he is not here. Can somebody on that side tell us why the Prime Minister thinks the rules do not apply to him?”

From the week’s headline news, there are many outstanding questions to be answered. Foremost, there are on-going revelations of misdeeds involving the $912 million WE charity scandal: questions about $43.5 million in administration fees, WE’s $300,000 payment to Margaret and Trudeau family members, and the government’s due diligence in approving the sole-sourced contract. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth, told the House of Commons Ethics Committee Tuesday that an initial payment of $30 million was paid to the Kielburger brothers and she did not know whether they had returned the money upon the cancellation of the contract. This raises important questions as to how the government paid the Kielburgers before approval from Treasury Board and Cabinet? Who wrote the $30 million cheque to them and under whose authority?

PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau are being investigated by the Ethics Commission for not recusing themselves from the Cabinet approval of the $912 million contract, though both their families have pecuniary interests with the charity.

Then there is potential wrongdoing in an $84 million contract outsourced to a company tied to PM Trudeau’s Chief of Staff’s family. The story this week is that neither the PMO nor Finance Minister Office will disclose whether Katie Telford’s husband Robert Silver communicated with them since becoming senior VP of a mortgage company in January 2020. NDP MP Charlie Angus is seeking answers on how this $84 million contract was sole-sourced, “That’s very disturbing, considering that both the prime minister’s and finance minister’s offices are already under serious investigations for ethical lapses in conflict of interest. We have ethical standards, and if they can’t answer that question, it really raises the question whether or not the Liberal government believes that the laws actually apply to them.”

Also this week, two more questionable contracts made headlines. News broke that a Montreal-based company owned by Frank Baylis, a former Liberal MP, was given a lucrative contract to make 10,000 pandemic ventilators by October 21st, even though Health Canada flagged the Baylis Medical Company’s machine had not been approved by any jurisdiction. There was also news of a $381 million sole-sourced contract to produce medical masks to a Quebec firm Medicom Inc, despite the fact that this firm had no manufacturing facilities in Canada and will be producing masks in factories in China, Taiwan, the U.S. and France. Medicom has yet to deliver any surgical masks.

There’s more. MPs are pressing the Trudeau Government to reveal details of $5.8 billion worth of federal contracts awarded during the pandemic response through the last few months. However, senior bureaucrats in Public Services and Procurement Canada are refusing to make public any details on the basis of protecting Canada’s supply chains. So, $5.8 billion of taxpayers’ dollars has been given to private companies and there will be no public accountability. Furthermore, the latest figures provided by the federal department reveal that less than 40% of these contracts were given to domestic suppliers – in other words more than 60% of this money is going to foreign-owned companies offshore.

And further to this, we are now aware that there are tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure projects that are unaccounted for by Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna’s department. The Parliament’s Budget Office (PBO) has been unable to find any evidence of roughly 20,000 projects totaling approximately half of the program’s $57.5 billion budget. Head of PBO Yves Giroux reported to MPs that he is perplexed how 20,000 records of infrastructure projects are nowhere to be found.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre summed up the MPs’ frustrations with the Liberal Government’s cone of silence. “Our economy will take a $100 billion hit this year. And what is the Prime Minister focused on? Not on getting Canada through this crisis or rebuilding our economy, but on helping his friends, helping his cronies and creating programs that are so complicated that only the most sophisticated, with the best lobbyists and consultants, can benefit and profit.”

Warren Kinsella, long-time Liberal party strategist and former PMO staffer to PM Jean Chretien was more pointed in his criticisms of the Trudeau Government’s modus operandi. Kinsella stated: “… the allegation is that Trudeau’s cabal sought to enrich themselves during a pandemic that is impoverishing millions of Canadians… the governed were losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their futures. While Trudeau’s gang were apparently making out like bandits. That is not merely wrong, it is actually evil. It is beyond the pale. Beyond words.”

Kinsella’s blog post this week concludes: “It goes on and on and on. It never stops, this fetid, foul stew of corruption and moral blindness. Even during a pandemic, the Trudeau government’s descent into the muck continues unabated. So, there’s a name for what we’ve now got. There’s a name for a government like Justin Trudeau’s – a government run by those who seek status and personal gain at the expense of the rest of us. It’s a kleptocracy.”

It was indeed a horrible week for the scandal-plagued Liberals in Ottawa — a fine time for the PM to be enjoying the sunny skies over Georgian Bay.

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-trudeau-governments-horrible-week-of-scandalous-stories/

 

Margaret Thatcher’s musings on politics

  • Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd. 
  • I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left. 
  • I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph. 
  • Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus. 
  • One of the things being in politics has taught me is that men are not a reasoned or reasonable sex. 
  • Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides. 
  • Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story. 
  • There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. 
  • There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families. 
  • This lady is not for turning. 
  • To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches. 
  • To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects. 
  • We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment. 
  • You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive. 
  • You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. 

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

George Soros and his Canadian Chess Game (Part 3)

The Niagara Independent, July 24, 2020  — George Soros 4-part series reviews his life and achievements, beliefs and goals, and his ties and influence in Canada.

The United Nations (U.N.) representative of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea made news headlines last August when he critically assessed the actions of George Soros and his Open Society Institute. Anatolio Ndong Mba was furious at a Soros-sponsored Amnesty International report to the U.N., “It’s known that George Soros is a billionaire, financial speculator, and a criminal with obvious geostrategic and imperialist interests who has been dedicating his life to support imperialist movements…” Mba cited a list of Soros’ “destructive interventions” in different countries as being “endless” and he concluded his rant stating, “The children of this Nation cannot be moved as pieces on the global chess board where the criminal George Soros is playing.”

Mba is not the first (nor will he be the last) to liken Soros to a chess player moving pieces across the globe in some end-game pursuit. It’s an apropos analogy. Soros has repeatedly claimed he is playing towards a globalist vision of a One World Government. Spending billions through the years, Soros has acquired many pieces and placed them in positions around the world. Indeed, Canada has a store of Soros chess pieces in the Nation’s Capital. Let’s examine the game board.

Central to advancing the Soros agenda in our country is the US$1.3 million knight-errant Gerald Butts. Canadians have come to know Butts as the most powerful man in Ottawa, the BFF of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. However, before he reunited with his university pal to embark on an election campaign that would end with capturing the Prime Minister’s Office, Butts was the head of the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Public records show that from 2008 to 2012 Butts was Chairman of WWF Canada, one of those international agencies born from Maurice Strong’s U.N. construct and financially supported through the years by Soros’ coffers. There he proved an effective unapologetic globalist mouthpiece, furthering Soros’ agenda on international stages, and in closed-door meetings of the World Economic Forum and Bilderberg Group. Then in late 2012 Butts received a most generous US$361,642 severance package from WWF to support him through a “volunteer position” on Trudeau’s campaign team.

(Full credit is deserving to Canadian investigative journalist Vivian Krause, who has doggedly “followed the money” to uncover the behind-the-scenes activities of a host of globalists bent on impacting resource development and political interests in Canada.)

As it happened, the knight-errant was also a Trojan horse that opened the gates of Ottawa to many of Soros’ minions. The Financial Post reports: “Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Raynolds‏, chief of staff to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, is past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource Minister Amarjeet Sohi, is also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada.”  In a recent Hill Times column we learn, “Goodman has just been promoted to Director of Policy in the PMO.” Butts also brought a pack of colleagues with him from his stay in Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office:  Katie Telford (now the PM’s Chief of Staff), Zita Astravas, Matthew Mendelsohn, John Zerucelli, Ben Chin, Brian Clow, John Broadhead, Mary Ng (now a cabinet minister responsible for Liberal politics in Toronto) to name a few. Butts’ maneuvering has solidified a globalist braintrust at the epicenter of the Trudeau Government.

Another of Soros’ pieces adorning a key square on the Ottawa chessboard is Deputy Prime Minister (a.k.a. Minister of Everything) Chrystia Freeland. There is a personal friendship between George Soros and Freeland that goes back over a decade when she was a journalist covering European politics and chasing after the uber rich. In a 2011 article entitled “Rise of the New Global Elite,” Freeland describes Soros as a “good, technocratic friendly plutocrat.” In another article in 2012, she gushes over him, “Soros is a more narrowly focused hedgehog. He has been pondering, articulating, elaborating, and publicizing variations on one big idea for more than half a century.” George Soros enjoyed Freeland’s adorations and their friendship flourished – so much so that when Freeland was unemployed in the mid 2010’s, he asked his friend to write his biography. Soros commissioned Freeland to be his scribe, before she moved back to Canada to run for Parliament in the 2015.

Since the 2015 election, there has been an interesting interplay between chess master Soros and his queen. He was very pleased to see her electoral success and commented that with her he has “very great hopes for Canada.” In the initial Trudeau Cabinet, Freeland was given the Minister of Foreign Affairs position to help chart a new course for Canadian diplomacy. In that role, Freeland carried forward a globalist viewpoint that (not surprisingly) aligns with Soros’s world view. Every few months photos will surface of the two of them – some formal, some informal. Canadians will recall that shot of Soros giving an audience to the PM and her when Justin Trudeau first appeared at the U.N. assembly to announce “Canada’s back.” More recently, Canadian news showcased Freeland in her position as Deputy PM conversing with Soros about his thoughts of a new world order and working with China to accomplish that. Nobody can question the depth of their friendship with the comfortableness displayed in this exchange.

The year 2015 was pivotal for George Soros’ fortunes in Canada. It was the year that he crowned a king. There is no need to belabour the significance of this coup. (In Part 4 of this series, we will review how the Trudeau Government has been enacting policies that are changing the character of Canada in order to transform our Nation to a post-national state.) Justin Trudeau has been true to George Soros’ script. In May of this year at the Coronavirus Global Response conference he called for “more globalism” and that Canada is poised to take care of the world. Trudeau said, “I think it’s extremely important, the way the world has come together and understanding that a global crisis requires a global response.” The PM applauded the efforts of the World Health Organization and the U.N. – and one can imagine Maurice Strong himself would have given a standing ovation for this performance.

There are other noteworthy Canadian pieces in Soros’ game. In nurturing the faith of global finances and environmentalism, there is the bishop Mark Carney who recently moved diagonally back to Canadian soil. Carney last joined forces with Soros in their fight to turn back the populism of Brexit.  The then Governor of the Bank of England emerged during the Brexit process as the unofficial leader of the campaign “Project Fear,” a movement that Soros invested $500,000 pounds in. Now Carney has accepted a U.N. appointment as a special envoy for climate action and finance – a volunteer position while he waits for his next opportunity.

In the rook’s position – a cornerpiece for Ottawa’s backroom Liberals – is an organization called Canada 2020.  Maclean’s magazine called them “the progressive think tank that really runs Canada.” This column does not allow enough space to reveal Canada 2020’s ties to the Obama Democrats and the pools of Soros’ Open Society Foundation money the Trudeau’s political operatives have had access to over the years. (Read Maclean’s October 2017 feature to begin to understand how incestuous Soros-sponsored Liberal Party of Canada politics can be.)

There is MP Catherine McKenna, named Minister of Environment and Climate Change in 2015, who was swept into Parliament by a third-party campaign that turned the Ottawa-Centre riding red… there is the current Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault whose Montreal environmental organization was given well over $100,000 from the Tides Foundation… Then there are countless pawns dutifully marching forward in well-healed environmental and political groups to shout down and trample local interests for some greater cause…  Too many pieces, too many moves to fully comprehend what is happening. It’s the game according to chess aficionado George Soros.

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/george-soros-and-his-canadian-chess-game-part-3/

Lester B. Pearson unveiling the Canadian Flag

    

“And so the new Flag, joining and rising above the milestones of our history, today takes for the first time its proud place as the emblem of Canada, “The Maple Leaf Our Emblem Dear.”  May the land over which this new Flag flies remain united in freedom and justice; a land of decent God-fearing people; fair and generous in all its dealings; sensitive, tolerant and compassionate towards all men; industrious, energetic, resolute; wise, and just in the giving of security and opportunity equally to all its cultures; and strong in its adherence to those moral principles which are the only sure guide to greatness. Under this Flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land. God bless our Flag! And God bless Canada!” 

 

– Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson

Allan Gotlieb and 10 Rules for Canada-U.S. Relations

Former Canadian Ambassador Allan Gotlieb died last month but his approach to Canada-U.S. relations has revolutionized Canadian diplomacy with our closest cultural and largest trading partner. Gotlieb insights into America and the value of a pro-active diplomatic relations continue to have great relevance today.

Gotlieb’s methodical approach is best described in I’ll Be With You In A Minute, Mr. Ambassador: The Education of a Canadian Diplomat in Washington. It contains the Gotlieb “decalogue” for the conduct of the “new diplomacy” in Washington.

  1. The particular process by which a decision is reached in Washington is often so complex and mysterious that it defies comprehension.
  2. The most important requirement for effective diplomacy in Washington is the ability to gain access to the participants in the decision-making process.
  3. Given the vast numbers of players in the field of decision-making, and the great difficulty of predicting their likely behavior, the highest possible premium must be placed on political intelligence.
  4. Since there are so many participants in decision-making, so many special-interest and pressure groups and so many shifting alliances, a diplomat cannot design any grand or overarching strategy to further his nation’s interests. Every issue involves its own micro-strategy and every micro-strategy is unique.
  5. In Washington, a foreign power is itself just another special interest and not a very special one at that.
  6. A foreign power, as a general rule, has no permanent friends or adversaries on Capitol Hill.
  7. A foreign power, as a general rule, has no permanent friends or adversaries within the Administration.
  8. No permanent solutions are within reach of the ambassador or his government, only temporary ones. Instability is the norm, alliances and coalitions are always being forged, forces and counter forces are always mounting.
  9. Effective diplomacy means public diplomacy. The line between public diplomacy and interference in local affairs is a thin one and thus it must be practiced with considerable fi nesse.
  10. The best and often the only way to gain access to all the key players is through the social route. In Washington, parties are a continuation of work by other means.

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

A Spotlight on Canada-China Relations

A Prelude: Mounting Condemnation for CCP Misleading the World on Coronavirus

More than one hundred senior political figures and China experts from around the world signed the open letter describing the CCP’s role in allowing the virus to spread beyond Wuhan.

Part 1:  PM Trudeau Has No Comment

In Ottawa, as the cries for a probe of China’s actions mounted, the official comment from the Canadian Government came from the Prime Minister, who stated he would not comment. 

Part 2:  Critical Assessments 

Obvious posturing has raised questions and concerns by two Canadians who are eminently qualified to analyze Canada-China relations: two former Canadian ambassadors to China, David Mulroney and Guy Saint-Jacques.

Part 3: Political and Business Ties

What Canadians are witnessing is that our country’s relations with China are as much about political and business ties as they are about Canada’s foreign policy position.

 

By George Journal archives Chris George’s weekly Niagara Independent articles. CLICK HERE

Find the original Chris George columns listed here on The Niagara Independent.

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

On politics – wisdom of the ancient Greeks

  • platoThey should rule who are able to rule best. – Aristotle
  • This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are. – Plato
  • A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange…. Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship. – Aristotle
  • The basis of a democratic state is liberty. – Aristotle
  • Democracy… is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike. – Plato
  • If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. – Aristotle
  • That judges of important causes should hold office for life is a disputable thing, for the mind grows old as well as the body. – Aristotle
  • Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. – Aristotle
  • There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands. – Plato
  • One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. – Plato

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

Liberal’s Machiavellian Power Grab “Defeated”

The Niagara Independent, March 27, 2020 – Partisan politics at any time is ugly, but during a national crisis partisan politics can be detestable. With the Liberal Government’s attempted end-run around Parliament this week, Canadians saw the very worst kind of political power-play. It was a calculated maneuver to sidestep Canada’s foremost democratic institution and ensconce the Prime Minister and his Cabinet with unassailable powers through an extended period of time. Even for former PM Jean Chretien advisor Warren Kinsella, it was daringly Machiavellian: “You cannot use a national emergency as a pretext to turn a Parliamentary minority into a de facto majority with no opposition. It is unethical and fundamentally wrong. It squanders, in 10 minutes, whatever goodwill Justin Trudeau had built up over 10 days.”

Political commentators were challenged to come up with insightful parallels to explain what was unfolding in Ottawa this week. Many reflected on the challenges democracies faced during WWII. Through the bombing of London, British PM Winston Churchill faced Parliament to address his government’s actions to turn the tide against the Nazi terror. At the same time, Canadian PM MacKenzie King faced Parliament to argue the necessity for conscription to meet the country’s commitments to the war effort. As these parliamentary experiences reveal, during a time of crisis our Westminster model of Parliament proves indispensable, not only contributing to responsible decision-making, but also providing its citizens with demonstrative leadership and reassurances that their elected leaders are considering all options in the best interests of all.

The echoes from these past troubled times served to underscore just how disturbing it is that the Liberals would attempt their unconstitutional overreach of power during a national crisis. On Tuesday morning the Prime Minister assured Canadians that he respected the country’s democratic institutions. However, Liberals’ actions speak louder than their Leader’s words, for had the Liberal backroom strategists been successful Trudeau would have erased Canada’s traditional parliamentary checks and balances. National Post political reporter John Ivison sums it up as “a Liberal plan to effectively neuter Parliament for 21 months.”

At the centre of this controversy is the Liberals’ “Trojan horse;” a piece of legislation they rolled out to enact $82 billion of promised relief to Canadians — and a poison pill hidden within. The story broke on Monday night when Global News revealed the Liberals’ emergency bill was to grant “extraordinary new powers to spend, borrow and tax without having to get the approval of opposition MPs until December 2021.” Global News described the new powers as “highly unusual” since “The Canadian Constitution enshrines taxation as a power of the parliamentary branch.”

The Liberals’ package provided all the necessary legislative authorities to implement the $82 billion of aid funding announced by the Prime Minister. The legislation permitted augmenting the GST/HST credit and the Canada Child Benefit, implementing a “temporary wage subsidy,” and amending the Employment Insurance. It included support for the private sector relating to deposit insurance coverage, measures with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Export Development Corporation and Farm Credit Corporation. Finally, the package contained measures that would authorize additional transfers to the provinces and territories. This was the gift horse.

What was not expected was what was hidden within: additional measures that would empower the government to unilaterally raise taxes without Parliamentary approval and amend tax laws through regulation. The legislation would create a new law to authorize the Minister of Health and Minister of Finance to spend “all money required to do anything” in relation to a public health crisis. The Health Minister would also be able to use any health information from authorities and the Cabinet would be given the power to circumvent patent protection to “make, construct, use and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary.” The Trudeau Cabinet would have the power to exercise these provisions for 21 months, through to the end of 2021.

The outcry to this power-play was immediate. A Hill Times editorial assessed, “It would be unconscionable for any government, whether they hold the majority or the minority of seats in the House, to propose giving themselves unfettered powers in a time like this.” The Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, Conservative Andrew Scheer said: “In a crisis, broad all-party agreement is essential… we are prepared to have Parliament sit as needed to transact the business of Parliament.  But we will not give the government unlimited power to raise taxes without a parliamentary vote. We will authorize whatever spending measures are justified to respond to the situation but we will not sign a blank cheque.”

So, noon Tuesday, Liberals sheepishly acknowledged their overreach and promised to revise the legislation. The House of Commons convened and MPs immediately suspended so that the Parties could agree on an acceptable set of conditions for governing the country through the crises. At 3 a.m. Wednesday, after 15-hours of backroom negotiations, MPs reconvened in the House to debate the new legislation, and this was passed just before the morning sunrise.

That revised legislation was markedly different, with significant concessions made to the original Liberal package. In the approved legislation, the Government:

  • removed the section that allowed the Cabinet to raise taxes without parliamentary approval
  • shortened to 6 months, the period the Cabinet has its unlimited spending powers
  • included explicit reference to putting taxpayers’ rights first
  • placed sunset clauses in the legislation
  • established accountability measures with regular reports to parliamentary committees
  • agreed Opposition Parties have the right to recall Parliament if any abuse is identified

In the wee hours of Wednesday, Pierre Poilievre, MP for the Ottawa-area riding of Carleton, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, tweeting the news: “Canadians will get COVID-19 aid. The power grab is defeated.”

The last word on the Liberals’ failed power-play is given to the ever-observant Rex Murphy, whose commentary on this turn of events reads as a poignant reminder to our elected representatives and their political operatives of what must be their first calling in a time of crisis. Murphy writes, “We need all leaders, all qualified voices, not a series of edicts from people who are severely overconfident of their abilities and understanding. We are Canadians, not Liberals and Tories. At this moment, let us try to live that truth.”

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/liberals-machiavellian-power-grab-defeated/

A British take on conservatism

In the March 14th, 2020 edition of The Economist, the column Bagehot was entitled “The meaning of conservatism” and it reflected the views of British politico Nick Timothy. Here is an excerpt on modern conservative thinking.

First, Nick Timothy has been at the heart of the British government for over a decade, first as Theresa May’s adviser at the Home Office and then as her co-chief of staff at 10 Downing Street. Timothy is recognized a conservative both with a small and large “c.” He has a new book on the lessons he learned from his experiences called “Remaking One Nation: Conservatism in an Age of Crisis.

The Economist article excerpt:

     Mr Timothy argues that, since the French revolution, the role of conservatism has been to act as a corrective to the extremes of liberalism. Today those extremes come in two forms: neo-liberalism, which sees markets as the solution to all problems, and woke liberalism, which sees the world through the prism of minority rights and all-pervasive oppression. Many see these two liberalisms as polar opposites. But for Mr Timothy they are both degenerate versions of classical liberalism. The first undermines markets by failing to see that they require popular legitimacy and the second sacrifices what is best in liberalism (pluralism, scepticism, individualism) on the altar of group rights.

     Mr Timothy presents a dismal picture of the consequences. Bosses have seen their compensation more than quadruple while the value of their companies has hardly risen at all. The largest demographic group—the white working class—has seen incomes stagnate for over a decade. Britain has the highest level of regional inequality in Europe. It also has one of the worst systems of vocational education, with 80 undergraduate degrees awarded for every post-secondary technical qualification. Woke liberals are increasingly willing to no-platform or shout down opponents because they see their objectives as quasi-sacred and their critics not just as wrong-headed folk needing to be reasoned with but as evil-minded enemies who must be destroyed….

     Mr Timothy presents an ideologically eclectic list of solutions to Britain’s problems. They are reminiscent of John Ruskin’s description of himself as both “a violent Tory of the old school” and “the reddest also of the red”. But two ideas give his arguments organising force: the nation-state and civic capitalism. A long-standing Brexiteer, Mr Timothy argues that the nation-state has been uniquely successful in holding global elites accountable to voters while also giving citizens a sense of common purpose. He points out that the welfare state was constructed after the second world war, when the sense of common purpose was at its height. A proud citizen of Birmingham, he champions the sort of civic capitalism practised by Joseph Chamberlain, a local businessman who looked after his workers and went on to be a reforming mayor….

    …This is a conservatism which celebrates the power of the state to achieve collective ends by dealing with regional and inter-generational inequalities; which challenges the self-dealing of business elites by rewiring the rules of corporate governance; and which puts a premium on rebuilding local communities and reigniting civic capitalism.

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