The Good Government.

While Americans remain mired in arguing the seriousness of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, Canadians are basking in the benevolence of government largess to help fight it. Seeing finance minister Chrystia Freeland reassure Canadians the other day was a dose of covid-19 medicine that we all need to understand. Even though we might have just dipped a toe in the flow of money, this government will see us through the storm.

It was Freeland’s first big speech in her finance portfolio. And yes, she had no problem with the jargon of finance ministers. And she, very wisely, set no limits, parameters, or warning signs on whatever monetary requirements are appropriate to see Canadians through the pandemic. She was discussing principles of handling the run of the coronavirus. She said simply that as long as it takes and as much as it takes, this government was committing to bringing Canadians through the contagion.

And I sincerely doubt that Freeland’s motivation is that she is a bleeding-heart liberal, keen to spend, spend, spend. She was just emphasizing the moral responsibility of government to do “whatever it takes.” It did not hurt to also include the fact that borrowing costs are currently at their lowest. And yet, it did not matter.

Freeland spoke with the strength of support from most of the world’s leading financial experts that this was a time to open the financial floodgates in the face of the global crisis.

It is too bad in a way that we only see a global pandemic such as the coronavirus about once every 100 years. It is a time to set aside restraints and fiscal discipline. The very fact that governments can set aside these supposed restraints call for us to question whether they are part of good government.

Is not good government anything more than always meeting the needs of the people being governed?

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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