Canadians lost the election.

We lost, even if we voted for the winning candidate in our riding. We lost because we did not get answers, solutions. That’s what campaigns should be about. Up front information. It’s the perfect opportunity to put it on display. It was not. We are no further ahead days after this election than we were when this campaign began.

For example, no leader truly addressed the fact Canada is no longer a player on the international stage. We should expect this new Parliament to point the way with fresh ideas and suggestions outlining how we can climb back on the international landscape as a credible nation. Today, no one calls Ottawa, not even to join a strategic alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia to defend the west against China in the Indo-Pacific.

Will the elected members we sent to Ottawa seriously probe Canada’s National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg where 2 Chinese scientists were fired but not before precious Canadian confidential and top-secret information was shipped to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology? It was linked to the failed Canada China vaccine, that fortunately never saw the light of day. China merely wanted our priceless research. Can we stop China’s war on the west? How will Canada resolve not to allow this to happen again?

Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Covrig were targeted as spies in China. It happened to these two innocent Canadians. It can easily happen to you and me. What has Canada done to get them back? Not much, because we can’t. We are a nobody on the international scene. We have no recognition, no power. Who in his right mind would align with a country like Canada whose Prime Minister at the time was a total embarrassment in India, in China, and at the G7 meetings? Remember Trudeau asking France’s Emmanuel Macron “how do you like my new socks?” minutes before a crucial vote? We are weak, and have no ability to deal in foreign affairs. That has to change.

I often hear that Donald Trump was no friend of Canada. Perhaps, but neither is Joe Biden. While the American President has not imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel as Trump did, Biden quickly cancelled our Keystone XL pipeline that Trump had reversed from the Obama administration. It would have provided a much-needed oil route, thousands of Canadian jobs, and help fill Canadian coffers with $billions to help our transition to green energy. No leader had the fortitude, at the very least, to suggest how to compensate for this major loss in revenue to Canadians. Hopefully a refreshed Parliament will find the way.

More should have been mentioned on Biden’s “buy USA” policy, leaving Canada in the cold on any attempt to bid on their lucrative $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Is a stronger Canadian lobby in Congress the answer? Are we resigned to accepting ‘no entrance’ by the Americans? Pressure your new MP.

And what about our precious nurses, resigning in droves. Try to operate our Public Health system without nurses. Who do you remember most when you leave a hospital, for whatever reason? A nurse. “I use to care for one patient in ICU. Now I have to care for 4, and sometimes have to abandon one because of work overload”. Another nurse, working in intensive care, quit because “I felt like I was going off to war or prison every day going into work.” This is occurring even in private staffing agencies, where there is better pay and flexible schedules.

The numbers reveal the truth. Statistics Canada reports “the health care and social-assistance sector saw a larger year-over-year increase in job vacancies than any other sector”. 100 thousand careers disappeared, up 40% from a year earlier. Quebec needs four thousand nurses, now. A provincial jurisdiction, yes, but the new Parliament can still provide leadership and incentives to help turn this around. Will the new faces in Parliament influence the old to act on cyber security breaches by foreign countries, especially Russia and China? Canada’s largest, “personal data of nearly 9.7 million Canadians stolen between 2017 and 2019 due to gaps in the security at Desjardins,” is just one of several examples, per year.

An overlooked area is Canada’s fragile Arctic frontier, already overrun by Russian exploration and war ships. Canada’s stronger presence is a must.

The solution to affordability of life’s two main necessities, food and shelter, was mildly addressed, by more spending, which would likely make matters worse according to Scotia bank analysis. Inflation (the devaluation of money by producing more money) is now hitting a two-decade high. It is responsible for ratcheting up prices for everything, from groceries to cars, to natural gas.

Can the new Parliament help? In the near term, not likely. Inflation is now predicted to be “longer and hotter’, and will disappear only when the pandemic does.

That’s what I’m Thinking.

Robert Vairo