Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just given his year-end address to the Nation. He tells us to bring light into the lives around us and find strength in our differences. He tells us to be nice to each other. That’s all well and good, but what is it he is actually bringing to us as we enter 2019 and a federal election year? To be fair, right now, our economy appears to be strong and unemployment is down.
The Prime Minister likely feels he has a pretty good chance of sliding in to another four years of office come next October. He may well do that, as at the moment, there doesn’t appear to be much effective competition out there. However, let’s dig a little deeper into the challenges that face Mr. Trudeau as he heads into a fall election.
The main issue, of course is debt. It is not one that seems to worry the majority of Canadians, in this age of populism, but it should. In his first three-plus years in Government, Justin Trudeau has set this country on the road to economic disaster. Take a look at these numbers.
In 2015 when the Liberals took office the deficit was between zero and one billion dollars, depending on whether you believe Trudeau or Harper. Trudeau was the first Prime Minister in my memory to campaign on increasing the deficit but he promised to keep it under $10 billion. At that time, he said, “A balanced budget in four years is very cast in stone”. Well, that didn’t quite happen, did it?
In 2016, the deficit was $17.8 billion and the deficit for the 2017-18 fiscal year is projected to be $28.5 billion. What is absolutely astounding is that the Government now just shrugs and says the budget will not be balanced until 2040! It almost sounds like Trump! Many of us will be dead by then, so perhaps we shouldn’t give a damn. But our children and grandchildren will not be, and they will have to deal with this staggering and unconscionable debt. It doesn’t just go away.
In 2015, our National debt was $612.3 billion. Three years later, in 2018 it is $665 billion. Can you imagine what it will be in 2040? Even now, Canadians pay $75 million each and every day in interest on our debt and our debt grows daily by almost $49.6 million.
Trudeaus’ response? “I think Canadians expect a level of fiscal responsibility that we have been able to demonstrate in the past and we are certainly going to demonstrate in the future.” REALLY???
The Trudeau Government is making a huge issue out of climate change and so they should. It is another question if a carbon tax is the answer to the problem, but there can be no doubt that our future is at risk if we do not put our minds to effectively combatting the effects of global warming.
Why then, is our economic survival not equally important? The Trudeau Government is spending like a drunken sailor and ignoring issues that bolster our long-term economic interests. When it comes to the economy and giving people what they want, it is all about today and who cares about tomorrow?
Instead of alienating much of Western Canada, why is the Trudeau government not moving heaven and earth to get a pipeline built so oil producing provinces can get their product to market and bolster their economy? They don’t need or want a handout. They desperately need a pipeline. The latest slowdown tactic from the Prime Minister, is that the pipeline “must go through a gender-based analysis because male construction workers have impacts.” Give me a break!
Then there is our declining reputation as a trading nation. Whatever the reasons, (and some of them are legitimate), Canada is now at odds with Russia, China, the United States, Saudi Arabia and India. All are heavy investors in Canada. What is this Government’s strategy for bolstering trade? And why have we signed the new NAFTA agreement without being released from the punitive tariffs on aluminum and steel imposed by a grumpy Trump? This is a huge economic issue for Canada.
At the expense of our relationship with China, Canada recently co-operated with the United States in detaining Huawei CFO Meng Wanshou. What an opportunity the Prime Minister had and missed, to make this conditional on Trump removing the tariffs. Make no mistake, deals like this happen all the time. Now China is mad at us and we still have the tariffs. A lose, lose situation.
Another issue that burns my butt, is that by any standard, here we are seriously in debt, with no plan to recover, yet the Government can find $600 million in grants and tax incentives to subsidize media, much of which is left leaning and supportive of the Liberals. If you doubt that, remember a major lobbyist for this was the Toronto Star’s John Honderich. Funny timing with an election coming, isn’t it? And to top it off, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no trouble announcing by Tweet, that he his sending $50 million of our money to his celebrity buddy, Trevor Noah, to support a charity outside this country. Drunken sailors indeed!
With less than ten months left before the Federal election, Justin Trudeau has much to account for. He may well hang in for another four years, but he should not get a free ride. Despite his “Sunny days” and “Don’t worry, be happy” persona, his actual record of making Canada better, safer and economically secure, has left much to be desired. Not a lot to be proud of, in my view.
Happy New Year!
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