In his column in today’s Toronto Sun, David Akin sets out three priorities he hopes (forlornly, I guess) that the Trudeau government would set for themselves:
- “drinking water and housing on First Nations communities;
- national defence; and
- a short-term temporary rebate to help low-income Canadians cope with rapidly rising food prices.”
I agree, broadly, with his priorities, BUT:
Before we spend another penny on First Nations we must ensure that spend ≠ waste. That means that we must demand that first nations’ governance is, mostly as democratic/accountable, as efficient (well managed) and as transparent as most small towns in Canada. That isn’t a really high standard and many, many first nations are already there or even better ~ and, not surprisingly, they’re the ones that don’t need much help. Right now, it seems to me, first nations’ problems are a reflection of poor first nations’ governance. Yes, as David Akin says of the water and housing situations, “this is outrageous,” but just throwing money at some problems doesn’t help, not enough, anyway.
Before we spend the money that is needed, and I assert the need is real and urgent, on National Defence we need to have a strategy. National defence also needs a senior management shakeup, including in but not limited to the defence procurement system ~ there is, to oversimplify, too much “senior management” (and middle management, too) sitting around in too many HQs. (Everyone is working but many, far too many, are “working” at work that really doesn’t need doing by anyone at all. I hasten to point out that much of that useless busy work is mandated by various and sundry government objectives that are only peripherally related to national defence ~ social engineering, mostly.) National defence needs more sailors on ships, more soldiers in tanks and driving trucks and serving in the infantry and repairing radios, and, and, and … and more people fixing airplanes, etc, and fewer, far fewer, people sending inter-office memos to one another in Ottawa.
The best way to address the needs of low income Canadians is to tax them less … lower the tax brackets so that a hundred thousand low income Canadians end up paying no income tax at all.
Sadly, I doubt that any of those things are anywhere near top of mind in Team Trudeau. This is a government that, I repeat, is intent on campaigning not leading.
There are some first rate people in Prime Minister Trudeau’s inner circle … I wonder how long until even one of them speaks up for what they must know is needed …
… or must we, Canadians, wait until 2019 when we can replace them with a strong, fiscally responsible, caring, principled and effective Conservative government?