Is it cruel to fool O’Toole?

Is finance minister Chrystia Freeland deliberately fooling conservative leader Erin O’Toole? It seems like she has more important tasks ahead of her. Maybe she is forging ahead with her plans and ignoring what O’Toole has to say. He accuses her of ideological and a reckless budgeting. She might be one of the first liberal finance ministers to ever do that.

Her problem is that she has far too many claimants wanting a piece of the finance action. First, she has to budget for ending the pandemic with foreign-made vaccines and then she has to build a better country for the survivors.

The main difference between Freeland and O’Toole is that he thinks we should rebuild the country to where it was before the pandemic. Freeland believes we should build better.

We all seem to have our own idea of what this means. I am sure many of us would put the emphasis on raising our peoples to greater heights of achievement. We need to ensure each and every one of us of sufficient funds and opportunity to learn and to work at what brings us fulfilment.

But I also believe that if we have a few billions left over in this budget, we need high-speed trains to reach from sea to sea. High-speed electric trains are an ecological solution to the heavy pollution of planes and road transport. It means building new track beds and overpasses in every province of Canada.

And finance minister Freeland should make a point of talking about this to president Biden’s treasury secretary Janet Yellen. The U.S. is currently on the brink of building more high-speed electrified train service—if Biden can stop the political interference by those who want to continue the use of fossil fuels.

It looks like the use of fossil fuels is the main challenge to both Biden and Trudeau. They have strong and well-funded opposition. Alberta remains Trudeau’s nemesis and it will take a while for the average Albertan to realize that the future is in thermal energy from the earth not in tar sands that pollute so much. Biden made a good start by cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline. All Trudeau has to do is cancel the twinning of the TransMountain pipeline.

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