Despite its own lack of knowledge about the operation of the Canadian economy and its various business sectors, this Liberal government does not undertake meaningful consultations with manufacturers and other businesses. Instead, it pursues foolish and unachievable ideological goals that have proven to be devastating for the economy and average Canadians. Pictured: Chrystia Freeland. Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Cole Burston.
The annual get together of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland was mercifully over last week, after we heard from our self-appointed betters about how we should all downsize our lives and lower our expectations while the privileged folk flew in on their carbon-spewing private jets, stayed in first class hotels and ate sumptuous meals with lots of meat on the menu.
Interestingly, in just the last few days, the head of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, has warned of the damaging impact of farming and fishing on the environment. It defies belief that many countries are trying to limit the production of these essential sectors to adhere to the so-called net zero goals.
The WEF and the UN appear to be the evil twins of the net zero movement, and have recommended that we eat insects as opposed to meat and fish, all of course in the interest of containing climate change. That being said, there were no insects on the menu at the recent WEF meeting. At the same time, we have seen massive protests of farmers in a number of European countries as they are threatened by ridiculous limitations on things like the amount of fertilizer they can use to efficiently produce more food and the amount of land employed for crops. It seems that we should all get prepared for an involuntary diet.
As far as Canada’s representation goes at the WEF get-together, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was the sole delegate. Freeland has always been a very bossy individual, and her Davos participation was no exception to her track record. Before Freeland’s ascension to the inner circle of the WEF, she criticized them resoundingly in her 2012 book entitled “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.” A decade or so later, Freeland’s criticism has virtually disappeared now that she is part of the “in” crowd. Funny how that happens.
At this year’s Davos elite get-together, Freeland made a presentation to a panel on trade and investment, with the key message that “decarbonization is everything.” She also made statements that shocked the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada (CCMBC) when she said all Canadian manufacturing must be “retooled” to conform to the Liberal government’s net zero goals. Freeland has never demonstrated any particular knowledge about manufacturing in Canada, and this naïve and arrogant statement merely confirmed that fact. Indeed, her comments demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the Canadian manufacturing sector and what it requires to continue to provide well-paid jobs to Canadians and sizeable tax revenues to governments.
This attitude has been typical of the Trudeau government. Despite its own lack of knowledge about the operation of the Canadian economy and its various business sectors, this Liberal government does not undertake meaningful consultations with manufacturers and other businesses. Instead, it pursues foolish and unachievable ideological goals that have proven to be devastating for the economy and average Canadians.
At the Davos meeting, Freeland also erroneously claimed that “decarbonization is the singular issue defining the world economy,” and that it will mean “more jobs, more growth, more manufacturing.” She also repeated other Liberal Cabinet members’ claims about the energy transition away from fossil fuels being well underway.
Sadly for the Liberals, and even more so for Canadians, when you look at the facts, none of this is true. The world is currently consuming more fossil fuel-generated energy than ever, and all credible forecasts are that this will continue for some decades to come. And we increasingly see how the much-promoted wind and solar power alternatives to fossil fuels continue to disappoint, as they recently did in Alberta’s cold snap when the threat of brownouts and blackouts was a very serious consideration in frigidly cold temperatures.
The Liberal government’s anti-business policies have been driving manufacturers out of the country to more welcoming jurisdictions for several years. If there is any ‘retooling’ to be done to manufacturing, it will be taking place outside of Canada, far away from the Liberal government and its destructive policies.
Freeland’s constant harping at the WEF meeting on how important government policy will be to help along this energy transition was also disturbing to manufacturers and other businesses. Throughout the tenure of this government, the only things that have been helped along by their policies have been the exodus of investment, stagnation in the vital oil and gas sector, further erosion of manufacturing, massive taxpayer subsidies of profitable foreign companies in the declining Electric Vehicle and battery sector, deteriorating national unity and a worsening competitive environment for Canadian firms.
Freeland and her Liberal colleagues should try listening to the people that actually know how the economy works, just for a change. That would be a truly refreshing change for this government. This author isn’t holding her breath.
She has published numerous articles in journals, magazines & other media on issues such as free trade, finance, entrepreneurship & women business owners. Ms. Swift is a past President of the Empire Club of Canada, a former Director of the CD Howe Institute, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, past President of the International Small Business Congress and current Director of the Fraser Institute. She was cited in 2003 & 2012 as one of the most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network & is a recipient of the Queen’s Silver & Gold Jubilee medals.