The ‘Right’ advice for Freeland.

It seems guaranteed that the liberals will introduce an extensive plan for child care on Wednesday. There are two factors pushing Chrystia Freeland in this direction. The first is the growing concern about a second wave of the pandemic and then the right-wing advice that she has been getting from previous liberal finance ministers. If she is listening to them, she will be shrugging off her chance to make a bold mark as Canada’s first female finance minister.

But what would you expect by way of advice by three of the most right-wing liberal finance ministers in the past 30 years?

Paul Martin set the stage in the 1990s with his draconian effort to produce a balanced budget by getting the money from Medicare. His right-wing style made Stephen Harper much more acceptable as prime minister but not to the extent then of giving him a majority government.

Former MP Paul Manley was another of the right-wing finance ministers consulted. He gave the advice that it was fun to spend money but less fun to have to shut something down (to pay the bills).

Long-serving Ralph Goodale did not divulge his advice but told the news media that Freeland is a highly consultative person. He did agree that child care spending adds both economic and social benefits. He sees this funding as contributing to gender equality and gender fairness.

The upshot of all this advice is that we are expecting a less innovative speech from the Governor General. It looks as though Jagmeet Singh and his NDP will have to settle for promises we have all heard before.

There will be less innovation and less greening of our environment. Be prepared to be disappointed.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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