Tag Archives: politics

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.

On “Wild Pigs”

Take a moment to let this sink in.. and here’s a thought to remember as you read this: Marx said, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting Communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.  He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch-line. The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free food. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

“Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in Canada. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of government programs to feed us from cradle to grave, while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths:
1.  There is no such thing as a free lunch, and
2.  You can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is a problem confronting the future of democracy in our country, you might want to share this with your friends.

God help us all when the gate slams shut!

A here’s a thoughtful quote to pass along:  “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

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(Received in my email today – and could not not reshare it. – cg) 

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.

Canadians’ Musings on Politics

“[Canadians] … we are content to elect a prime minister with the appointment powers of an autocrat for the duration of his term. It is a curious anomaly of an otherwise sensible people in accepting such an archaic governance system. Louis himself couldn’t have asked for anything more.” – Richard Finlay

“Political parties in Canada and beyond have increasingly become machines designed to win. Democracies benefit when active citizens are working to grab their attention and to force them to address the tough policy issues. All it takes are some citizens who have done the work, a few Canadians with knowledge, passion, eloquence, and persistence – and maybe more women in politics.” – Alex Himelfarb

“Parliament Hill is de-energizing and demoralizing, where people imagine the worst, see the worst and bring out the worst. It is a place that members of Parliament need to get away from as often as they can, to rediscover the country, to rediscover why they are doing what they are doing.” – former MP Ken Dryden

“An MP has a choice. He or she sits at a fork in the road. One road is downhill, smooth sailing and leads to a cabinet or shadow cabinet post. You just have to keep your mouth shut and be rabidly partisan and don’t question what you’re given. The other road is uphill, rocky, full of potholes and doesn’t lead to any personal advantage… that road is where you’re using your knowledge and objectivity to independently assess what’s given you. It’s also the road where you’re trying to advance ideas that may not be sanctioned by your party.” – former MP Keith Martin

“The dysfunction in Parliament is much more a lack of democracy by successive prime ministers.” – former MP Joe Comartin

“There is a growing divide between a body politic that is becoming increasingly apolitical and a Parliament that is becoming more and more partisan.” – MP Michael Chong

“The current climate in Parliament is interested in slinging mud on the other side, and simply trying to destroy your political opponents as opposed to beating them at the ballot box because you have better, more innovative ideas to deal with the big challenges that face us as citizens.” – MP Michael Chong on the previous Parliament

“What’s happened to politics is that it becomes a career for too many. And the idea of moving up through the ranks, of getting into cabinet and becoming a minister, often overshadows the concept of serving the people who elected you.”  – former Ontario MPP Kim Craitor

“Politics is a business that inverts all the normal rules of human conduct. In most walks of life, it is thought dishonourable – personally shaming – to lie, or even to shade the truth; to boast of one’s own achievements, and sneer at others’; to flatter and connive in private, to mock and rage in public. Yet these and worse are the daily work of those we elect.” – Andrew Coyne

“As long as there has been politicians, they have been mistrusted. Only ignorance of history and a factitious nostalgia could make anyone think otherwise.” – John Pepall

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

Canadian quips on politics

“Here’s a little tip for politicians everywhere: If you find yourselves with more time than issues on your hands, go home.” – Lorne Gunter

“Power is a drug on which the politicians are hooked. They buy it from the voters, using the voters’ own money.” – Richard Needham

“Canada is divided by great mountains, great prairies, Great Lakes, and eleven governments that really grate.” – Hugh W. Arscott

“Power tends to connect; absolute power connects absolutely.” – Peter Newman

“The only farewells that politicians handle well are deaths. You can hear some excellent eulogies in the House of Commons.” – Carol Goar

“Ottawa feels a lot like Hollywood these days.” – Tim Powers

“If America was trying to keep the bubonic plague out of its hemisphere, Canadians would import it just to show their independence of American foreign policy.” – Barbara Amiel

“Canadians live with liberal rhetoric, but we conduct our lives as social conservatives.” – David Crombie

“The political parties of any era have always had groupings or clubbings of people whose raise d’etre has been for that party to win. That’s not new.” – Tim Powers

“Like an episode of Seinfeld, Canadian politics has become a show about nothing.” – Alex Himelfarb

 

This collection originally appeared in By George Journaal in January 2017.

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

 

10 quotes on bureaucracy

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.” – Thomas Sowell

“Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” – Honore de Balzac

“The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” – Eugene J. McCarthy

“Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work.” – Albert Einstein

“Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible.” – Javier Pascual Salcedo

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” – Franz Kafka

“Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.” – Richard M. Nixon

“Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” – Mary McCarthy

“Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.” – Laurence Peter

“Bureaucracy gives birth to itself and then expects maternity benefits.” – Dale Dauten

 

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

Canadians On Politics – from Marshall McLuhan to Stephen Harper

  • Politics offers yesterday’s answers to today’s problems. – Marshall McLuhan
  • Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. – Tommy Douglas
  • The disconnect between Canadians and those who govern on their behalf is deep, wide, and growing. At a time when people are demanding greater accountability and transparency, they see their government institutions becoming more remote and opaque. – Lynne Slotek
  • In Canada the philosophical differences between the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are scarcely perceptible. The main motive for joining one of these parties is to acquire power or a lucrative job. So political patronage flourishes. Politics (is) run on ‘jobs for the boys.’ And Canadian ministers arrange for large amounts of federal money to go to their constituencies. – Lord Moran
  • We are the government. I don’t see why we can’t try to get credit for what we do (patronage). I hope we do so. There is nothing to be ashamed in that. – Jean Chretien
  • To be complex does not mean to be fragmented. This is the paradox and the genius of our Canadian civilization.  – Adrienne Clarkson
  • We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian. – Adrienne Clarkson
  • My fellow Canadians, learning from our history, we have discovered is the better way to build our country. It has made us history’s benefactors, instead of its prisoners. – Stephen Harper
  • Let it be a cheerful red and white reminder of a quiet and humble patriotism, that, while making no claims on its neighbours, is ever ready to stand on guard for itself. We will ask the world to forgive us this uncharacteristic outburst of patriotism, of our pride, to be part of a country that is strong, confident, and tall among the nations. – Stephen Harper
  • Canada, our Canada is truly worthy of our pride and our patriotism. – Stephen Harper

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.