The reluctant reformers!

It must have confused Justin Trudeau’s campaign team in the 2015 federal election when they realized that Thomas Mulcair and his New Democratic Party were running to the political right of them. Their first problem in that overly long election campaign was how to stretch out their planned promises. And obviously more supposed reform promises had to be added.

But promising reform and delivering on the promises are different things. Policies that are proposed just to make the party look like reformers are often hard to deliver.

The most obvious slip from cup to lip was Justin Trudeau’s promise of voting reform. Whomever came up with that idea without thinking it through is no genius. And giving responsibility for the file to a political newbie was a disaster. For those who took the time to follow the special parliamentary committee’s hearings and carefully read its comprehensive report, would have found a wealth of information. The solution will be there when Canada finally corrects its out of date constitution.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau seems to be in the hot seat more than anyone else in cabinet but Canadians are still waiting for him to produce more than an update on the old-fashioned Baby Bonus. He let us all down by not ending the stock option payments for the one per cent and now he is under fire for wanting to do something about our privileged private corporations.

It warms the cockles of our hearts when those earning vulgar incomes are told they might not be able to sprinkle money around the family just to lower their taxes. If a convenience store really pays family members for their work, they deserve it. You can hardly suggest that a brain surgeon’s family are helping out in the operating room.

The Trudeau government’s most serious failures as reformers are in the environmental and the marijuana files. Justin Trudeau blew away all his credentials as an environmentalist when he approved pipelines for diluted bitumen from the tar sands.

And our sense is that it was a bad idea to rely on a retired cop to figure out how to legalize marijuana. The involvement has gone a long way beyond the original intent to simply decriminalize weed. And turning the individual provinces loose to make money on pot does not make the federal government less culpable. Judging by the Ontario government’s planned role out of legal Mary Jane, this looks like a marketing disaster.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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