Diane Francis: Justin Trudeau's track record of failure

September 17 2021


Re-printed without permission.

As Canadians go to the polls, it’s important to remind ourselves why Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau should never be prime minister again. Here are my picks, though this is far from a complete list of his government’s botch-ups and scandals.

Perhaps most unforgivably, the Liberals did nothing to crack down on money laundering, ignoring the United Nations’ Financial Action Task Force report on the country’s loopholes, lack of controls and remedies. The result is that illicit funds from abroad have contributed to our high real estate prices, which has made housing unaffordable for Canada’s middle class.

Owing at least partly to higher mortgage debt, Canadians now have the highest level of consumer debt in the world — surpassing the spendthrift Americans. This debt, along with Trudeau’s excessive government debt due to his COVID-19 support giveaways, means that if global interest rates rise a couple of percentage points, Canada will be brought to the brink of bankruptcy.

At the same time, foreign direct investment in Canada has cratered (other than in the case of real estate). “The Trudeau government has experienced the lowest average rates of growth of business investment — in fact, growth has been negative — of the past five prime ministers going back to Brian Mulroney,” wrote the Fraser Institute’s Jason Clemens, Milagros Palacios and Niels Veldhuis in these pages earlier this year.

“What’s even more worrying is that there seems to be no acknowledgement of this problem in Ottawa nor any interest in reversing course on policy to actually encourage and attract business investment to this country.”

Undaunted by the lack of investment, the Trudeau government proposed that Canada increase the number of immigrants it takes in to 400,000 a year. With high unemployment levels, this is a hair-brained scheme devised by a handful of rich Liberals who want Canada’s population to reach 100 million by 2100, which, without sufficient business investment, will ruin Canadian living standards.

So Trudeau gets a failing grade in terms of economic management, but consider some of the other scandals and bungles his government has been involved in:

  • Months of delays in getting vaccines because Trudeau signed a secret deal with China to make vaccines that the Chinese reneged on.

  • Ethical violations involving the WE Charity scandal, another involving the abrogation of the rule of law to mitigate charges against SNC-Lavalin for years of corrupt practices and another one after Trudeau took a luxury holiday freebie from the Aga Khan, whose organization ended up getting millions in grants from Ottawa.

  • The recent $5.2-billion bailout of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Newfoundland — which should never have been built and will never make money if finished.

  • Millions spent travelling and giving away foreign aid in pursuit of a useless, temporary seat on the UN Security Council.

  • Pledging $2.65 billion at a Commonwealth Leaders Summit to fight climate change even though Canada’s massive wetlands, farmland and vast forests act as a carbon sink.

  • Pledging $840 million to Syria for humanitarian assistance when so many Indigenous reserves in Canada don’t have clean drinking water.

  • Imposing draconian regulations and taxes on oil from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland, but not on oil from Saudi Arabia.

  • Imposing tough environmental assessments on new infrastructure projects, except in the case of a cement plant in Quebec.

  • Attempting to hand an unneeded sole-source contract to WE Charity for nearly $1 billion after Trudeau’s mother and brother received around $300,000 from it for speaking gigs.

  • Proroguing Parliament and frustrating any attempts to investigate Liberal mismanagement.

The Trudeau Liberals have a track record of dismal leadership, yet this country has so much talent and potential. It’s time for a change.

Financial Post

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