Posts Tagged ‘Trudeau’

Trudeau’s chance to kill TransMountain!

Monday, January 25th, 2021

It’s no secret. If U.S. president Joe Biden can cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, why cannot Justin Trudeau cancel twinning of the TransMountain pipeline? The single line can still be used to ship fully refined petroleum products to the U.S. west coast states and to Vancouver.

We should face the facts that TransMountain has been a serious threat to the environment since it has been proposed that it be twinned to carry diluted bitumen from Edmonton to the Burrard Inlet. It is hardly worth it for Trudeau to think it would gain him up to two parliamentary seats in Edmonton. Canceling it, might just help him to keep some seats in British Columbia.

As I see it, a topping off ceremony for the twinned TransMountain pipeline will leave Trudeau unable to win a seat west of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. That seems like a damn silly waste of taxpayers’ money and bad politics, to boot.

And Trudeau should hardly worry about pleasing Albertans. Those voters already have a bone to pick with their premier over wasting $1.5 billion of their money on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Cancelling the TransMountain pipeline will also go a long way to helping ensure the survival of the Orcas and Humpback whales that summer around Vancouver Island. The first bitumen spill in the Straits of Georgia could spell the political suicide of Trudeau and the liberal party.

I keep wishing that there was someone in the cabinet who could talk some sense into Trudeau. It is just that finance minister Chrystia Freeland and privy council president Dominic LeBlanc are the only two members who appear secure in their seats at the table. I do not recall any time Freeland has spoken out on the environment. And maybe LeBlanc knows his friend too well to argue out about the environment. As it is, TransMountain remains the proof of the hypocrisy of Justin Trudeau about the environment.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Payette is Trudeau’s mistake.

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

It was ten years ago when I made the argument with Justin Trudeau that the governor general was an anachronism that we no longer needed. It was like he brought down a wall between us. I realised too late that he was afraid of questioning the constitution. Justin saw it as a larger part of his father’s problems when the younger Trudeau was a teenager.

Justin’s solution to prime ministerial appointments is an elitist solution. He supposedly hands the problem off to elite committees. He has often been burnt by his elite selections for crown corporations, judgeships, the Senate, and now the role of governor general—the most senior appointment that the prime minister can decide.

While we all admit that the governor general’s job is largely ceremonial, its continuance speaks volumes about the country that Canada has become. It sends all the wrong signals to other countries. It ties us to those bigots in England who besmirch the European Union for its openness. It promotes birth as a mark of privilege. It equates wealth with privilege. It puts Canadians in subservience to the past instead of offering the open challenge of a great future.

Canadians are many peoples, building a nation together. The richness of our country is the amalgam of cultures, the wealth of languages, the love of the land of our aboriginals and those who came later.

There is no question that engineer Payette did nor understand the job of governor general as did her predecessors, an academic such as David Johnston, or politicians such as Jeanne Sauvé, Ray Hnatyshyn and Roméo Leblanc, or people who saw so much joy in the position such as journalists Adrienne Clarkson and Michaëlle Jean. These people at least saw the job as a chance to serve their fellow Canadians. They brought honour to the role.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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It’s not your father’s liberal party.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

When Pierre Trudeau resigned his leadership of the liberal party in 1984, it was a robust organization with supporters across Canada. The president of the party was B.C. liberal Iona Campagnolo. She was the party president that when the new leader John Turner was caught by the media patting her backside—made a joke of it by turning it around and patting his.

It is regrettable to think that there will not be much left of the party whenever Justin Trudeau decides his time is done. Rather than work with a strong and independent party, Justin Trudeau prefers it be subservient and totally under his direction. Nobody runs for office in the party without his approval. And nobody runs to be a liberal candidate for parliament without his approval.

Trudeau had told the party he would not interfere in the choice of the party in the electoral districts before the party made him leader. It became clear in his first election as leader in 2015, that he would choose who he wanted as candidates. His inner circle people are always a mirror image of the forty-something prime minister, reflecting his attitudes, his direction and his ignoring the party’s wishes.

He told the party and his supporters in the 2015 election campaign that it would be the last time that they voted under the first-past-the-post style of voting. That promise bombed under a democratic institutions minister who was chosen more for her gender than her knowledge of democratic institutions.

Even his gender-balanced cabinet soon lost its gender balance when he found that changes where inevitable with time. Luckily the best performer in his cabinet over their first term in government was Chrystia Freeland, the foreign affaires minister who became deputy prime minister and the first female minister of finance in Trudeau’s minority cabinet in 2020.

Justin Trudeau is maturing in the job but he still has a way to go before he learns the importance of having a strong, independent party behind him as prime minister. He also has a long way to go to becoming the kind of prime minister as was his father.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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In praise of liberalism.

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Being a liberal is not just some fuzzy feeling. It is a commitment to life. It matters not the color of your skin. It matters not whether you are rich or poor. It matters not the extent of your education. It depends on your caring. It depends on your ability to grasp the needs of your fellow humans. The need is to be progressive. To keep an open mind.

Liberals ignore the false news of the ill-informed. They reject the foolishness of unthinkingly believing in social media posts of those with personal agendas. Liberals do not rush to judgement.

Also, a liberal allows no one to put themselves above others. A liberal looks down on no one. There is no upper class. There is no middle class. There is no lower class. Nobody need be labelled.

You might hear someone claim they are a social liberal and an economic conservative. That person is not a liberal. Their statement is a conflict.

An economic or any kind of conservative can be a basically selfish person. While we have known many a conservative who is not selfish and is a warm and caring person, it is not the type you usually meet in politics. Too many conservatives preach a cant of small government, balanced budgets, an open economy and the devil take those who fall behind. They come across as mean and uncaring.

They will tell their constituents to stay home during the pandemic and then take off on a foreign holiday. They will leave behind social media postings to make people think they are at home. They know that they are doing wrong but they consider themselves to be privileged.

But privilege can also be the problem with liberal politicians. People ask why some liberals are fed up with Justin Trudeau. Sure, he looks good popping out of the Rideau Cottage to speak about the pandemic. That hardly lets him off the hook about the TransMountain pipeline that is just designed to send the pollution of that oil sands bitumen to other countries which can be blamed for the world-wide pollution.

And it is hard to forget his elitist approach to the Senate and court appointments, his failure to keep two key women in his cabinet and his dress-up trip to India. Nobody’s perfect.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Who’s paying for the bitumen Trudeau ships?

Saturday, December 12th, 2020

It struck me, listening to the news from Ottawa on Friday, this whole plan for $170 a ton for carbon by 2030 is bullshit. Who is going to pay for the disgusting amount of carbon prime minister Trudeau and his friends in Alberta are hoping to ship from Burnaby, British Columbia? And who intends to pay for the many tons of carbon that will be sent into the environment from the millions of barrels of diluted bitumen that could be sent through the Keystone XL pipeline to the Texas Gulf Ports, for shipment overseas?

Canadian bitumen from the Alberta tar sands is the worst polluter in the world of all the tar sands deposits. Just converting it to synthetic crude oil creates tons of carbon slag that will be picked up and blown with the wind. It is then further refined into carbon releasing fuels and many petroleum-based products.

Mr. Trudeau cannot ship the pollution out of Canada and not be responsible for the damage to the environment. The winds know no country boundaries. You are not absolved by shipping the pollution to countries who are not involved in the Paris Accord.

Sure, environmentalists in the United States are counting on president-elect Joe Biden to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Can the Canadian embassy in Washington continue to pester the Americans to not correct the despicable environmental affronteries of the Donald Trump regime? Trump let his billionaire friends level entire mountains in the beautiful Appalachians so that they could sell the coal. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline was just a further finger to the environment from Mr. trump.

The shipment of Alberta tar sands bitumen out of Canada labels Mr. Trudeau and his friends in Alberta the greatest of hypocrites. Trudeau said in his news conference that it is no longer free to pollute in Canada. Obviously, it must be free to pollute if you ship the polluting material out of the country.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Political leaders get lots of advice.

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

It is part of the job. Leaders of all political parties get lots of advice—most of it ignored. Maybe the Toronto Star is not aware of this phenomenon. That must be why they run advice columns for different leaders every Sunday opposite the editorials. One of these, that ran last Sunday, was intended for conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

As befits the conservative party, the advice was far from progressive and you could picture the writer yawning as he wrote it.

The first idea was to show off the excessive amounts of money the Tories are reaping from their pleas to their base. The suggestion was that they give all the money they dredge from their supporters in December to charity. I wish they would—and then good luck in January trying to get more. If conservatives wanted that money given to charity, they could have got the refund from Revenue Canada directly.

And talk about double-dipping. Would they get a political donation credit and then further credit on their taxes for the charitable donation?

But the conservative supporter goes on to suggest that the second wave of covid-19 might be an opportunity of benefit to Mr. O’Toole. First of all, there also might be many Canadians appalled at a politician thinking they can benefit from sickness and death.

The fact that Justin Trudeau had an uptick in the polls for his cuckoo-clock type appearances was more the fact of the exposure, the warmth of the home setting and his manner in handling the non-political information he was providing for the public. For the opposition leader to try to mimic the presentations to criticize the prime minister would hardly get the cooperation of the news media for long.

Doug Ford has fared badly with his attempt to do group presentations at Queen’s Park. Some of the media’s questions lately have been answered with tirades from the intemperate, inexperienced premier.

And we were under the impression that this conservative writer was experienced. For him to suggest that O’Toole attack the liberals for the generosity of the support for Canadians caught in a pandemic is a bad idea. Sure, there will be some ill-considered payments when you are ‘rushing funds out the door’ but so far, they appear to be catching most of the errors and getting them fixed.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Back to the Bully Pulpit.

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

It might have been a term coined by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt but our prime minister Justin Trudeau did the bully pulpit one better. It was living in Rideau Cottage while the official residence at 21 Sussex was under repair. Trudeau did a cuckoo clock single out the front door of the cottage to address the latest news of the coronavirus.

Where lesser Luminoso would need support by technical experts or henchmen, our prime minister does it alone.

It actually seems more crowded all the time at the Ontario political updates. Despite the team effort, Doug Ford is losing traction with his voters as he rants on. His problem is that he little understands the experts and leans heavily on his own solutions. People are questioning the science behind some of his answers. The largest puzzle he presented recently is closing virtually all small business in the most populous cities in the province while leaving the schools in operation. And it will not help to look to education minister Stephen Lecce for answers.

But even from his bully pulpit, Justin Trudeau knows better than to challenge how some conservative premiers are handling the pandemic problems. Health care is in the hands of the provinces and the feds would be crazy to intervene. All Trudeau can really do is support the provincial efforts and plead for public cooperation in these serious times.

Even when we have some vaccines in the offing, the rapidly escalating case loads of pandemic sufferers is of growing concern. Hospitals in some provinces are reaching capacity and there are fewer and fewer healthy health care workers to fill the gaps.

But what Trudeau can do is throw more aid money into the maw of the coronavirus. In some provinces we are looking at disaster as more and more of our small businesses are ordered to shut their doors, never able to re-open. We will suffer the sores of this pandemic for years to come.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Turkey or turmoil for Christmas.

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Do you ever get a feeling that something is off and you are not entirely sure what it is? It has been bothering me for a while. There is a feeling coming out of Ottawa that does not bode well. Conservative leader Erin O’Toole is salivating for an election. Federal cabinet members are going around talking to the news media as though they have something else on their minds.

A part of it might be the situation south of the border. Who trusts Trump? We might be wishing that we had are own border wall. That petulant child-man in the White House is cooking something in his mind that might just interfere with everyone’s wish for a smooth transition of power in Washington on January 20. We keep wondering what part Mr. Trump will play.

But Canadians have their own problems. We have legislation backing up in Ottawa as the pandemic takes precedence. The Trudeau government is starting to baulk at the mounting costs of mitigating the economic disaster we are facing. The prime minister is nowhere near as cocky as he was over the summer. The days are darker. The storm clouds are gathering. And the pandemic numbers are mounting.

What could Erin O’Toole possibly be thinking in wanting to take the government out of Trudeau’s hands? Has he any better idea than the liberals? What possible incentives could he be thinking of to get both the NDP’s Singh and the Bloc’s Blanchet on side? He is wasting his time if he cannot get them to help defeat the government.

An election at this time of year is not unprecedented. The last time Canadians had an election over Christmas, we ended up with what some of us thought of as the Mulroney effect. When Joe Clarke’s conservative government was defeated by the resurgent Pierre Trudeau and the liberals, Clarke was, in turn, defeated two years later by Brian Mulroney for the conservative party leadership.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The NDP want voting reform.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

In a letter to Justin Trudeau last week, Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal new democrats, laid out his plan for the minority government. It seems to be the best time to try to manipulate the liberals into changing the way Canadians vote. All the liberals have to do is go along with a change to proportional voting and it would likely change Canadian parliaments for all time.

Singh uses the argument in his letter that our first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system produces parliaments that do not reflect Canadian voters’ wishes. What he also should have mentioned is that alternative methods of voting can deny the winning political party the ability to enact some of its election promises.

And who wants to go to political rallies in an election where politicians say they will try to do this, or try to do that—if only one or more of the other parties allows them to make the change.

What Singh and his NDP caucus want is proportional representation in voting. This might give the NDP as many as 20 per cent of the seats of the members of parliament. That would mean, under proportional representation, almost 70 seats. What it would probably also mean is that we might never again have a majority government.

With FPTP voting, our conservative and liberal parties have been what are called ‘big tent’ parties. That means that they accommodate a broad range of voters wishes though maybe not all of them. What would happen over time with proportional voting is that these large parties would tend to split into smaller voting blocks. The negotiations and compromises people made before the election under FPTP will now have to be negotiated after the election. You not only get more parties but they spend much of their time arguing about which party gets this or that promise delivered to the voters.

In Mr. Singh’s letter, he tells the prime minister that 80 per cent of Canadians want this change. That might surprise Justin Trudeau but I hardly think Canadians would want to make such a change if they stopped and thought about it.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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To listen and to learn in Ottawa.

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

Yesterday it was noted how quiet the Ottawa scene has been while history is made in America.

But we ignore Ottawa at our peril. You have to listen to buzz in the quiet. There is the testiness of the conservative caucus—planning for the partisan attacks to come. There is the disquiet of the new democrats hoping to build a new future. There is the hope for new leadership and new challenges among the greens. And the bloc MPs share their hopes for a future, no sitting bloc member can expect to see.

It is the nervous energy of the liberal caucus that spins Canada’s immediate future. Do they sit quietly in the balcony watching the high jinks of the country below or is there serious thought of the road ahead for their party, their leadership and their country??

Do they realize the crossroads where their country is at? Do they see the changes that move like the world’s tectonic plates?

Do they see the damage that Justin Trudeau has done to the once-strong liberal party? Is the liberal list of registered liberals just Trudeau’s handy ATM? And whose electoral district do you represent? Is it your riding, or Justin’s?

As a member of parliament, who do you represent? Is it the riding or the liberal party? Who do you speak for in parliament? Your political masters in the PMO? Or Canadians? And are you financially independent for the next election? Are you allowed to think or are you just a rubber stamp for the PMO?

And speaking of the PMO, is that collection of sycophants capable of keeping the prime minister out of trouble? Do you realize the naiveté of your leader? He learned so little at his father’s knee.

So, let’s give a passing thought to our MP’s. We will soon be seeing them at the hustings.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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