Maybe we never realized that finance minister and deputy prime minister Cynthia Freeland was so competitive. In her fall economic-statement the other day, she seemed to be competing with conservative leader Pierre Poilievre to see who was the most frugal.
It was a foolish effort. In his imaginary world, Mr. Poilievre might not be the smartest politician in Ottawa but he does have easy answers for the Greek chorus that surrounds him in the House of Commons. Freeland also played to Poilievre’s Robespierre, and his waiting Guillotine. His sneering rebuke to the proposed $13.2 billon in new spending was classic. He just hopes that it will never see the light of day. It looks even more likely that it leaves Canadians to the grubby demands of the American oil barons and the collective greed of grocery clerks from sea to sea to sea.
Nobody wanted to hear that dreary recital of finance department inadequacies from Freeland or anyone else. When we needed succor, she gave us platitudes. When we needed revenge in this time of inflation, she gave us surrender. When we needed hope, she gave us a lecture on deficits. When we needed leadership, she left us with Poilievre’s ball and chain solutions.
What Poilievre poses to Canadians as common-sense solutions is just a reminder to Ontario residents of the common-sense solution of the rapacious Mike Harris and his conservatives, who brought Ontario into the 21st century with disastrous results. Harris oversaw a government that found it could kill citizens with impunity. It also led the way in downloading expenses to the municipalities. The Tories proved conclusively to Canadians that governments lie to those who put them in power.
Poilievre took his training in government from the dying days of the Harper conservative government. By that time, Harper was constantly lying to Canadians. Maybe we are lucky that Pierre Poilievre has no friends. His role model might be Doug Ford in Ontario. Mr. Ford offers his best friends multi-billion dollar deals for the simple act of making sure he has the money to get re-elected.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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