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Diane Francis: Justin Trudeau's unaccountable consultocracy

April 17 2023

Re-printed without permission

Trudeau spends billions on management consultants because he and his cabinet lack the skills to govern

Canada has been turned into a “consultocracy” by Justin Trudeau who spends billions on management consultants because he and his cabinet lack the skills to govern.

Management fees paid to consultants have skyrocketed to $17.7 billion in 2022, and McKinsey & Company virtually runs immigration. “The cost of McKinsey’s contracts has spiked 30-fold since the Harper years,” posted Radio-Canada in January. “The consulting firm McKinsey & Company has seen the amount of money it earns from federal contracts explode since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power — to the point where some suggest it may have a central role in shaping Canada’s immigration policies.”

After eight years of questionable Liberal leadership and billions spent on “expert” help, Canada’s two most important departments — immigration and defence — began conducting “public consultations” this spring to figure out what to do. Both are mired in controversy. In 2022, the country’s immigration system accepted a staggering 955,000 immigrants and non-permanent residents, according to a CIBC Capital Markets report. Excessive numbers of newcomers has been allowed for years, further straining housing and health care infrastructure in Toronto and across the country. Getting a family physician is impossible in many regions and emergency rooms are overwhelmed.

Also this year, it became obvious that Canada’s armed forces have been gutted, neglected and unable to recruit personnel. Canada was unable to provide little in the way of weaponry or expertise to help the western alliance in Ukraine’s battle against Russia, and the U.S. and UK now patrol and surveil Canada’s Arctic.

Canada’s current excessive immigration policy was conceived at a weekend gathering in 2011 in Muskoka, Ont., involving Dominic Barton, who served as global managing director of McKinsey & Company before becoming Canada’s ambassador to China for a time, and former Finance Minister Bill Morneau as well as BlackRock Inc. honcho Mark Wiseman. They decided that Canada should have a population of 100 million by 2100 and convinced Trudeau to ratchet immigration to record levels. They called their plan the Century Initiative and launched a not-for-profit to lobby for excessive immigration levels.

Despite record numbers of newcomers, under Trudeau’s tenure, Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says a “looming skills crisis” is about to occur.

To address problems, these two departments launched consultation processes. Immigration stated its purpose was “to sustain Canada’s economy and help strengthen our communities, it’s essential to have immigration policies and programs that are modern, responsive to change, and aligned with Canada’s social, economic and cultural needs. Until spring 2023, we’ll be talking to people across the country to collaborate on a vision of the future of Canada’s immigration system.”

However, consultations are not needed and public opinion is obvious: Canadians do not want numbers of newcomers that will burden their existing healthcare, education, and housing systems, as is now the case. They want Ottawa to prioritize immigrants with needed skills to help the economy. Most would want family reunification limited to those with sponsors who can support them and buy health care insurance for them. They would want the hundreds of thousands who hold work or student visas to pay for their own health care. And only bona fide refugees from war zones should be accepted into Canada.

The other “public consultation” involves the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and follows revelations that Trudeau has never kept his security spending promises to NATO or NORAD. The DND says its consultations are aimed at asking the public how to “enable the CAF to meet any threat in the changed global security environment.”

This is also embarrassing. When it comes to defence, the public response should be obvious: Do your bloody job. Protect the country and meet international commitments. Collaborate more with the U.S. and U.K. who know what they’re doing.

Canadians don’t have to be consulted. Leaders should lead.

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