Tag Archives: politics

Listen here…

Having already downed a few power drinks,

she turned around, faced me, looked me

straight in the eye and said, “Listen here.

I will screw anybody, anytime, anywhere,

their place, my place, in the car, front door,

back door, on the ground, standing up,

sitting down, naked or with clothes on…

It doesn’t matter to me I just love it.”

 

With my eyes now wide with interest

I responded,“No kidding…

I’m in Government too. 

Are you Provincial or Federal?”

 

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

Quotes of Canada’s Prime Ministers through the ages

 

 

Canada’s Prime Ministers

~ from Sir John A Macdonald to Justin Trudeau

10 Favourite Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

More Quotes from PM John G. Diefenbaker

Federal Election Memes

12 classic political memes (since 2015)

Quotes of PM Justin Trudeau

Father and Son Trudeau, and Canada Then and Now

Did our next Prime Minister really say that?

Justin Trudeau memes re the #KokaneeGrope

Paul Wells on Stephen Harper

Quotes of PM Stephen Harper

Quotes of PM Paul Martin

Quotes of PM Jean Chretien

Quotes of PM Brian Mulroney

Quotes of PMs Joe Clark, John Turner and Kim Campbell

Question: Was Pierre Trudeau a disaster?

10 Trudeauisms on government

Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s Trudeauisms

Interesting Facts about Canada’s and US’s Leaders

Quotes of PM Lester B. Pearson

More political musings from “The Chief”

John George Diefenbaker on politics and Parliament

PM Louis St. Laurent on Politics

PM WL Mackenzie King on Politics

Quotes of PMs Arthur Meighen and RB Bennett

If you were Prime Minister… (a classic joke)

Quotes of PM Sir Robert Borden

PM Sir Wilfrid Laurier Quotes

Quotes from Canada’s earliest PMs

In defence of Sir John A. Macdonald and his legacy

Great Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

Canada’s Prime Ministers on Politics

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

 

Federal Elections Memes

The last two Canadian federal elections in 2015 and 2015 have seen increased use of memes on social media platforms — some funny, but most unkind. Here is a collection of some of the more popular Liberal and Conservative salvos that hit the mark for their partisan audiences.

 

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

 

 

More quotes from PM John G. Diefenbaker

In completing the task of quoting from all our country’s Prime Ministers – from Sir John A. to our current PM Justin Trudeau – we now return to our favourite quotable PM: John George Diefenbaker.  Here are 10 more musings from one of Canada’s most colourful leaders.

 

  • My abiding interest is your interest; my guiding principle is the welfare of the Average Canadian.
  • It is so strange that such a great honour should come to a small man like me.
  • He who would be chief among you must first be servant of them all.
  • The prime minister has all the responsibilities and does all the joe-jobs.
  • I cut down on social functions. No prime minister can carry out his responsibilities when he’s going to dinner every night. Dinners are not a substitute for statesmanship.
  • Too much and too many of the moneys extorted and squeezed from the Canadian people are being wasted by the parasites of extravagance.
  • The heresy of yesterday is the Liberal orthodoxy of today.
  • The Liberal Party has become a hodgepodge of discordance, a cacophony of political nonsense.
  • No Canadian can but be proud that through the warp and woof of our constitution are the golden threads of our British heritage.
  • Freedom grows in the practice of good citizenship. It withers or decays in the apathy or neglect of the citizens of the country.

 

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

10 Favourite Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

Here are 10 of By George’s favourite quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and a Father of Confederation.

  • Politics is a game requiring great coolness and an utter abnegation of prejudice and personal feeling.
  • There were, unfortunately, no great principles on which parties were divided – politics became a mere struggle for office.
  • Anybody may support me when I am right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
  • 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.
  • I don’t care for office for the sake of money, but for the sake of power, and for the sake of carrying out my own views of what is best for the country.
  • When fortune empties her chamber pot on your head, smile and say, ‘We are going to have a summer shower.’
  • If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election.
  •  [Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his love of drink. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in Parliament. Here is a story from an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out.]  The opposing candidate said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”
  • 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.
  • 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.’

(Photo Credit:  National Archive)

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.

Paul Wells on Stephen Harper

Paul Wells book on Stephen Harper’s politics – The Longer I’m Prime Minister – is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the man and his modus operandi in office. Here are ten quotes extrapolated from Paul Wells’ book – but, to get an insightful glimpse into the Prime Minister, get the book – read it.

  • “You know, the longer I’m prime minister…. the longer I’m prime minister.” – Stephen Harper
  • He is a very particular fellow: fiercely intelligent, combative, secretive, intense. – Paul Wells
  • He survives politically in large part because he is uninterested in debates that are of concern only to people who live within ten kilometers of Parliament’s Peace Tower. – Paul Wells
  • The point of everything he does is to last. The surest rebuttal Harper can offer to a half century of Liberal hegemony is not to race around doing things the next Liberal could undo. The surest rebuttal is to last and not be Liberal. – Paul Wells
  • “My models aren’t Conservative prime ministers. My models are successful prime ministers.” – Stephen Harper
  • He needed to last, because most of what he wanted to do could not be done quickly. He wanted to disabuse Canadians, especially immigrants, of the expression that they would be governed Liberals. He wanted to implement deep changes… a degree at a time as if boiling a frog; and to make those changes as hard to reverse as it would be to reconstitute the frog. (This is politics as boiling a frog: if you raise the temperature a degree at a time the frog won’t notice.) – Paul Wells
  • “One of the things I’ve learned is that surprises are not generally well received by the public. So, we intend to move forward with what Canadians understand about us, and I think with what they are more and more comfortable with.” – Stephen Harper
  • “His focus, in terms of the legacy he’s trying to create, is very much on identifying what he sees as the long-term challenges and opportunities for the country. Yet his strong bias is towards arch-incrementalism. He backs away from ideas which he feels may be controversial. And that creates a lot of frustration.” – un-named Harper advisor
  • “Stephen Harper is Mackenzie King without a ouija board.” – Tom Flanagan
  • What has he accomplished? It is in the nature of Harper’s project that he would have less to show for his time in office than some of his predecessors. They saw themselves as builders; he is a skeptic and, to use the gentlest available word, an editor. – Paul Wells

In Fall 2014 Chris George attended a breakfast where Paul Wells spoke – and here is the By George Journal post on that address.

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

Question: Was Pierre Trudeau a disaster?

A few years ago, an Ottawa public policy think tank – The Macdonald-Laurier Institute hosted a lively debate on the resolution: Pierre Trudeau was Canada’s most disastrous Prime Minister. The Institute brought David Frum to speak to the affirmative and Lawrence Martin to speak against the resolution. Decades after his departure from Parliament Hill, the question of Pierre Trudeau’s impact on our country still is a topic of heated discussion. Here are abbreviated highlights from the opening statements of both arguments regarding P.E.T.’s record in office.

David Frum: Yes, Trudeau was a disaster.

  • It has taken nearly 30 years to recover after Pierre Trudeau nearly bankrupted and split up the country.  Three subsequent important prime ministers — Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien  and Stephen Harper — invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by  Pierre Trudeau.
  • Between 1969 and 1979 — through two majority governments and one  minority — Trudeau tripled federal spending. In 1981-’82, Canada plunged into recession, the worst since the Second World  War. Trudeau’s already big deficits exploded to a point that Canada’s lenders  worried about default. Pierre Trudeau was a spending fool.
  • He believed in a state-led economy, and  the longer he lasted in office, the more statist he became. The Foreign  Investment Review Agency was succeeded by Petro-Canada. Petro-Canada was  succeeded by wage and price controls. Wage and price controls were succeeded by  the single worst economic decision of Canada’s 20th century: the National Energy  Program.
  • To win the 1980 referendum, Trudeau promised Quebec constitutional changes to  satisfy Quebec nationalism. Instead, he delivered a package of constitutional  changes that tilted in exactly the opposite direction. The government of Quebec  refused to ratify the new constitutional arrangement, opening a renewed  opportunity to separatists and bequeathing a nightmare political problem to  Trudeau’s successors.

Lawrence Martin: No, Trudeau was not a disaster.

  • Pierre Trudeau is beloved because he liberated Canada from old men, old thinking, narrow  traditions and colonial caution. To understand Trudeau’s impact we need first recall the type of Canadian  leaders who came before him. All these [past] leaders thought along conventional lines. Then came this phenom  with a roman cut, sandals and an air of Jesus Christ. Pierre Trudeau combined  intellectual electricity, star-power charisma, and a contrarian’s independent  mind.
  • Think of the ways in which he [transformed Canada], the ways in he became the country’s  liberator. With his repatriation of the Constitution, Trudeau liberated us at  long last from Great Britain. With his Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he  liberated us from the authority of the state. With his bilingualism and  multicultural polices, he liberated us from unilingual, unicultural trappings;  from anti-pluralist prejudice that had rarely seen a woman in top governing  posts, that saw no Jews in the cabinet or on the Supreme Court.
  • With ice in his veins Trudeau liberated us from the blackmail of FLQ  terrorism. With the same he took down the threat posed by René Lévesque in the  1980 referendum. With his never-back-down resilience, he provided a sense of  freedom from American encroachment, this at a time when the giant next door was  mired in war, racism, Watergate and economic nationalism.
  • Standards of living grew appreciably in the  Trudeau years, far more so than in the three decades following when they have  flatlined. Under Trudeau, the percentage of Canadians living in poverty dropped  from 23 per cent in 1968 to 13 per cent in 1984. Repeat, from 23 per cent to 13  per cent.

To read the full arguments, for and against, visit the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s website, where they have reprinted the Ottawa Citizen columns containing David Frum’s and Lawrence Martin’s opening statements. Click here.

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

 

 

Interesting Facts about Canada’s and US’s Leaders

So, did you know that in the US, if the president and vice president both resign or die, the Speaker of the House becomes the president? It’s always good to know who will take over. For instance, there was someone in the wings when Jimmy Carter was “attacked” by a large swamp rabbit or when George W. Bush famously choked on a pretzel while watching a football game.

In Canada, there is no official line of succession if something were to happen to the prime minister. Who would have stepped in if Jean Chretien didn’t successful defend himself with a Inuit soapstone from the intruder at 24 Sussex Drive? Who today would step in for Justin Trudeau? Perhaps Chrystia Freeland and Catherine McKenna would have had to compete in an arm wrestling tournament?

Here are ten more interesting facts about U.S. Presidents that might surprise you.  

·         Ronald Reagan was the oldest president inaugurated (69 years old) and Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president inaugurated (42 years old).

·         Jimmy Carter is the first U.S. President to have been born in a hospital.  No president of the United States was an only child for his parents. 

·         Eight presidents have died in office. (Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy)

·         John F. Kennedy was buried without his brain after it was lost during the autopsy.

·         Ulysses S. Grant was once arrested for speeding in a horse and buggy and President Franklin Pierce was arrested during his term for running over an old lady with his horse (but the charges were dropped).

·         Gerald Ford remains the only unelected vice president and president and Richard Nixon is the only U.S. president ever to resign.

·         Theodore Roosevelt was the first to ride in a car, while Franklin Roosevelt was the first to ride in a plane.

·         All of the people in Lyndon Johnson’s family had the initials LBJ, including his dogs – and did you know that the S. in Harry S. Truman’s name does not stand for anything?

·         The White House officially got its name in 1901 and prior to that it had been called the President’s Palace, President’s House, and the Executive Mansion (BTW – John Adams was the first to live in the White House).

·         Then there are the traditions surrounding the Office: George Washington preferred the less formal address of “Mr. President”, which is still used today. Sarah Polk, wife of James Polk, selected “Hail to the Chief” to be played whenever a president enters a room. Every president has recited the same words when taking the Oath of Office.

Here are 10 interesting facts about our Canadian Prime Ministers.

·         Charles Tupper was the oldest prime minister (74 years old) and Joe Clark was the youngest prime minister (39 years old).

·         William Lyon Mackenzie King is the longest serving prime minister in Canadian history and in the history of the Commonwealth.

·         Most of Canada’s prime ministers have been lawyers, Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper being the most recent exceptions.

·         Quebec is the province where the largest number of Canada’s prime ministers have come from (8 of 23). Yet, only nine prime ministers have been bilingual (If you are counting, you should know that Diefenbaker is not counted as being bilingual).

·         Louis St. Laurent was the first prime minister to be heavily covered on television.

·         Brian Mulroney won the largest electoral majority of any Canadian prime minister in the landslide of 1984.

·         Sir John Abbott was the first Canadian-born prime minister.

·         R.B Bennett is the only prime minister not to be buried in Canada.

·         The mansion at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa would stand for 80 years before becoming the official residence of the Prime Minister (yet, when it was built in 1868, one of its first visitors was Sir John A. Macdonald). Louis St. Laurent became the first PM to occupy the house, in 1951. Since then, every PM, except Kim Campbell, has lived in the house (Campbell lived at Harrington Lake for the summer of 1993 while the Mulroney packed – and by the time the keys were ready to be handed over, PM Campbell had lost her job).

·         Lester B Pearson gave Canada its maple leaf flag (in time for the Country’s Centennial) and Pierre Trudeau gave the country its national anthem.

 

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

John George Diefenbaker on politics and Parliament

  • I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
  • Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.”
  • As long as there is a drop of blood in my body they won’t stop me from talking about freedom.
  • Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.
  • I am the first Prime Minister of this country of neither altogether English nor French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration.
  • I have one love – Canada; one purpose – Canada’s greatness; one aim – Canadian unity from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
  • The object of Confederation was not to produce Siamese twins in this nation.
  • We shall never build the nation which our potential resources make possible by dividing ourselves into Anglophones, Francophones, multiculturalphones, or whatever kind of phoneys you choose. I say: Canadians, first, last, and always!
  • I believe there must not be, as has been developing in this nation, first and second class citizens. That has been the trend as a result of all the discussion about associated states and a nation within a nation.
  • I am the first prime minister of this country of neither altogether English or French origin. So I determined to bring about a Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated consideration….I’m very happy to be able to say that in the House of Commons today in my party we have members of Italian, Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Chinese and Ukrainian origin — and they are all Canadians.
  • I am not anti-American. But I am strongly pro-Canadian.
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country.
  • Some say to me: ‘History? What does it mean? What are you concerned about the past for?’ And my answer to that is a simple one – he who does not know the past can never understand the present, and he certainly can do nothing for the future.
  • There can be no dedication to Canada’s future without a knowledge of its past.
  • Macdonald is as vital a personality today, as if he were alive. He has been able to transmit his natural vision for this country to all Canadian leaders who followed him, regardless of their party.
  • I have always been a House of Commons man.
  • Governments propose, and oppositions dispose.
  • The duty of the Opposition is to turn out the government.
  • Our paramount consideration as members of the opposition must be to refrain from obstructive criticism and fearlessly to offer constructive criticism.
  • Without an Opposition, it is not too much to say, the parliamentary system of government would fail in its primary task of protecting the rights of individuals and minorities, and of ensuring freedom and democracy.
  • Oppositions cleanse and purify those in office and we in the opposition are in fact the “detergents of democracy.”
  • Parliament is more than procedure – it is the custodian of the nation’s freedom.
  • A question which can be answered without prejudice to the government is not a fit question to ask.
  • Parliament is a place where gentlemen meet and what passed between them is not made public.
  • The quality of debate in the House is deplorable. You watch today and count how many read from prepared texts.

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

 

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/