So let it be written…
Do you have someone in your life who is happy to give, but too proud to receive?
Of course you do. He’s your prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
Generous with your money, but unwilling to accept any help on your behalf.
Several months ago, I wrote a column entitled “Slap the Liberals’ helping hand already,” in which I took our fledgling federal government to task for spending Canadian tax money willy-nilly on foreign nations.
For instance, only three weeks into his new job, and before the new Parliament’s first sitting, Trudeau pledged $2.65 billion to help poorer countries combat the effects of climate change.
In my column I harkened back to Jean Chretien’s time in office, when that Liberal prime minister donated $1.5 billion in Canadian tax money to Mexico after that country’s Peso collapsed. This is how Chretien explained his rationale to me at the time: “We have internationally agreed that if one of the partners gets in difficulty the other nations come to rescue,” he said. “That is, if eventually we are in trouble, others come to our rescue.”
Well, that time has come. The Fort McMurray fire is not only a spectacularly costly disaster for Alberta, but for all of Canada. We can all expect to pay more at the pumps as a result, not to mention the current tally for insurance claims is about $9 billion. Economics expert Atif Kubursi, a professor emeritus at McMaster University, told the CBC that “one way or another, the insurance companies are going to recoup their losses.”
And you know how that’s done — higher premiums. Let alone, the cost to rebuild. Because Canada’s tax pool is only so big, tax increases have to be on the horizon.
There is, of course, a way out of all this. Trudeau could have cashed in Chretien’s chip, but he blew it.
Sadly, the point Canada’s 20th prime minister was making to me all those years ago has been totally lost on Canada’s 23rd.
Mexico, the United States, Russia, Australia, Israel, Taiwan and the Palestinian Authority have all offered to help Canada deal with the Fort McMurray disaster, but what does Trudeau do?
Thanks, but no thanks.
In his own words, he called the offer to help “touching,” but added, “There is no need to accept any international assistance at this point, but we certainly thank everyone for their generosity.”
His response begs the following question: If the Fort McMurray disaster doesn’t rate as a situation in which Canada could benefit from some outside help, Mr. Trudeau, then in your mind, what the heck would?
Man, he blew it. There may be no second offers of help, thanks to his brush off. And, once again, Canadians will carry the full burden of a Canadian politician’s bad decision on their already overburdened shoulders.
Money, to my knowledge anyway, does not grow on trees. At least, I don’t have any money trees in my back yard, do you have any in yours?
Maybe Trudeau should get right on that. Maybe he has the answers. Sure hope so, though I very much doubt it.
So let it be done.