After the Pandemic, Let’s Double Down.

Canada is going to come out of this pandemic stronger, more determined and in a better position to build a stronger future. And we could come out with a national debt of more than $700 billion. And, so what? We could double that debt and nobody would sneeze. We have two critical issues that need to be resolved. The first is a national minimum income program for every adult in the country. The second is a project to bind this country more tightly together.

The minimum income is a step with which we will measure ourselves as a nation. It is the measure of our decency. It is a measure of our caring. It has to be in an amount that can keep a person sheltered and fed, keep a graduate student at his or her studies. It does not need to be the same for everybody but it must be for everybody. Nobody needs to sleep on a street. No Canadian needs to go hungry.

The second is of equal or greater importance. It is the project we choose to bind our nation together. Sir John A. Macdonald saw it as a band of steel. Maybe he had an idea upon which we can build an even stronger nation. Only this time, it is a train system that connects all our major cities. It needs to be high-speed and electric.

We will need jobs for people after the pandemic and this project will provide many thousands of jobs. And there are many years of work to be done. When finished, it will open new opportunities in recreation, tourism, shipping, business travel. Maybe it will only cost $30 billion to build. It will earn the money back in revenue and taxes.

The first step deals with our decency. The second deals with our dreams. And the two steps are linked because they will bring us the new citizens we need to reach the ideal of 100 million Canadians.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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