Columns

The Problem With Canada

AP Photo/Aaron Favila

The results of the recent and utterly unnecessary Canadian election, called two years before the expiry of a four-year term and returning Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to the same minority government status as before, were not unexpected. Indeed, they were graven in stone—a tombstone, I’m tempted to say.

Although the slogan “the natural governing party” has been applied to the Liberals since the lengthy administrations of William Lyon Mackenzie King, there have been thirteen Conservative prime ministers since the nation’s founding, including the architect of Confederation, John A. Macdonald. Nonetheless, Canada is no longer a conservative country. The one party true to conservative precepts and practices—belief in personal responsibility, freedom of choice, low taxes, small government, freedom of expression, a balanced budget, border integrity, energy self-sufficiency, and more—the People’s Party of Canada led by the principled Max Bernier finished out of the running—a scathing judgment on an anemic and ungrateful country. 

In fact, according to Justin Trudeau, Canada has no “core identity,” and he is probably right. Given a reasonably affluent electorate having taken its freedoms and privileges for granted and growing increasingly apathetic; a vote-rich portion of the country bought off by transfer payments from Western Canada, principally Alberta, to the Eastern provinces, primarily Quebec and the Maritimes; a species of internal balkanization owing to massive immigration; and the socialist march through the institutions, Canada’s traditional coherence and national character—with the exception of irridentist Quebec that never regarded itself as part of the Confederation—have undergone a sea-change. The country I once knew is no longer recognizable.

A political, social, and cultural upheaval has established a new and historically unprecedented dispensation. With few exceptions, our leadership, provincial as well as federal, has sold its stewardship for a mess of pottage. The electorate has been suborned by bribes—that is, government largesse sourced from foreign borrowing, the minting of fiat currency, and subventions gouged from the public’s own tax payments. Citizens have succumbed to the temptation of ethnic and sectorial advantages at the cost of national unity. And over the last years, the nation could not resist the glamor of a dynastic name and the Teflon superficiality of an incumbent prime minister.

We were—and are—wrong. A shallow, corrupt, and clapter politician, Justin Trudeau is not and never was prime ministerial material. There is nothing genuine or praiseworthy about this latest Trudeau iteration, despite the puffery of a battery of stringer journalists, as evidenced, for example, in a sycophantic piece by Jonathan Kay in Canada’s leftist literary journal The Walrus, painfully titled “The Justin Trudeau I Can’t Forget.” Even the presumably wise and pensive Conrad Black made a substantial donation to the Liberal Party in 2015 and extolled Trudeau rather extravagantly—”flexible in public finance…a very alluring personality, a quick intelligence and an apparently reasonable combination of principle and openness”—before changing his solemn opinion rather dramatically.

A prime minister who once enjoyed dressing up in blackface; who is on record admiring the “basic dictatorship” of China; who preposterously stated that “the budget will balance itself” and recently said he “doesn’t think about monetary policy”; who put his country of 38 million souls into trillion-dollar-plus debt with a budget deficit of hundreds of billions; who hiked an already onerous and needless carbon tax in the midst of a pandemic; who is intent on introducing legislation restricting Internet access and shutting down free speech (there is no First Amendment in Canada), in the form of Bill C-10 and C-36 (the latter to fight “hate online,” a convenient way to control speech); and who is legislating vaccine passports in flagrant contradiction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with the help of legal fudgery—such a leader should never have been allowed anywhere near the seat of power.

Everything about the man is so undeniably suspect that a rumor is now circulating that he never actually accepted the jab he is so keen on enforcing. A video has surfaced that puts the issue in some doubt, according to a registered nurse who is convinced the occasion was all for show—readers must judge for themselves, but the demonstration appears convincing.

That such a fundamentally facile but dangerous man, and a national embarrassment to boot, with evident Marxist leanings going back to his much-celebrated, China-keen, Castro-friendly, politically pirouetting father, should be enthusiastically embraced by a Canadian electorate, located mainly in urban Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces, beggars all belief. Trudeau is back with a minority government which, with the support of the left-oriented NDP and Bloc Québécois, is effectively a majority government. The fault lies with us. The problem is not simply feckless leadership. As my colleague Tex Leugner, a proud Albertan with four tours of duty in foreign hotspots to his credit, has said: The problem with Canada is the people in it.

We get what we deserve. We live in a staunchly socialist country and the day will surely come when buyer’s remorse sets in. The other problem is that it will be too late to do anything about it.