… is pretty much the consensus forecast for the Canadian economy after we reopen for business.
While this …
… is the Trudeau-Morneau response. (Source: The National Post, 14 May 2020.)
And, this …
… is you and me and our children and grandchildren and even great-grandchildren because, for years, Fiance Minister Bill Morneau has been unwilling or unable to say when he might be able to produce a balanced budget. Now the Trudeau government’s response to the novel-coronavirus pandemic means that 90% of Canadians have stopped asking.
The simple fact is that Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau have no plan to do anything except to borrow and spend and borrow and spend, over and over again on the (likely correct) premise that Canadians’ votes are for sale to the highest bidder.
They are hoping, probably correctly, that most Canadians will not worry about the debt … not, anyway, until voters have given the Liberals another majority government. The polls seem to show that most Canadians approve of how Justin Trudeau is handling the COVID-19 crisis … and those, like me, who disapprove, do not have simple, attractive, easy to understand ideas.
How is he handling it?
Simple: almost every day, he dodges hard questions from the elected, parliamentary opposition and he makes a new spending announcement …
… and the bought-and-paid-for Canadian media fail to ask any serious questions and he retreats back indoors, again, to wish for a worthless, temporary, second-class seat on the United Nations Security Council, which seems to be his obsession.
I still guessing that he wants to do a deal with China. Maybe he’ll tell the federal prosecutors to drop the charges against Meng Wanzhou; the court made a key ruling on that, today, by the way, which makes the situation more difficult. But, if he decides that obstructing justice is not a big deal, after all, then, when she is returned home, he can hope that China will not use its influence to block his UNSC bid and that it will release the Two Michaels, or, at least, it will allow them to have proper legal representation. That will be seen as a foreign policy coup ~ something the anti-Chinese Conservatives would never have been willing to do ~ and, along with his popular approval for his handling of the COVID-19 file, he will be a shoo-in for a massive majority in a fall 2020 election, if he goes o the polls soon enough.
I must be clear that, in my opinion, the ruling clique of the Liberal Party cares nothing for half of Canada. It calculates that it can govern with the support of just enough of the half of Canada that is concentrated in and around the big cities in one small area: from Lake Erie to the St Lawrence Lowlands. The Liberals exploit the deep divisions that have characterized Canada since 1763. Many Ontario voters are deeply afraid that the country will split and they will, generally, support a party that has a strong Quebec base … right now, that’s only one national party.
The Conservatives have, since the end of the 19th century, ‘taken‘ Québec only when: a) they elected a native-son of Québec to lead them (1984), or b) when Québec did not have a ‘native-son’ of its own (1958), or (2011) c) when Québec went with a non-Liberal native son ~ Jack Layton. That is not to say that the Conservatives cannot win in the suburbs around Montréal and Québec City and in West Québec and the Eastern Townships, too; it is just to say that the current, 2020, iteration of the CPC cannot do it. With the right leader, the current Conservative Party might break the Liberals‘ grip on suburban Vancouver and Toronto, they might even win a minority or even eke out a small majority. But, a new Conservative Party, with a new and different, fluently bilingual ‘face‘ (and personality), one with firm connections to or even roots in Québec, will be needed to both a) hold the Western/rural/small town base and b) make big gains in suburban Ontario and Québec … which is where most of the necessary and winnable seats are. The alternative is another decade of Liberal rule and a mountain of debt that will reduce Canada to third-world status. Sadly, there are plenty of failed and failing states that are large and resource-rich and had great prospects, too. Canada is not immune to failure.
I believe that Canada has never been more deeply divided. It’s not just the French-English divide ~ that was worse in 1917, 1944, 1970 and 1995. We are also divided by region, and that division is worse, I think, than in the 1970s. We are also deeply divided by social outlook ~ many Canadians believe that climate change, for example, is the fight of their lives, while many others suspect it’s a hoax. That’s a somewhat new division. Finally, many people think that working in the high value resource industries or even in the skilled, blue-collar trades is, somehow, beneath them while many others look down on those who work in malls, selling telecom services or serving coffee to office workers.
The Liberals are on one side, the Conservatives on the other. The moderate middle is open, as it has not been for a decade. The Liberals have the support of many of the half of Canadians who live in that narrow little strip between Windsor and Québec City. The Conservatives have the support of most of the farmers and resource works. That has to change. The Liberals have, it seems to me, abandoned the farmers and resource workers. The Conservatives need to and must regain the trust of the service industry and retail workers who live in the suburbs … and they need to do it before Justin Trudeau burdens Canada with a debt we can never repay and makes us the Argentina of the North.