‘Spend like it’s the Roaring ‘20s!,’ says Newsfirst columnist Robert Vairo

What ever happened to the truth? Why is that we are lied to, time and time again? Why is it that politicians can’t look us straight in the eyes and speak frankly to Canadians? Imagine having a friend who is evasive, shifty, lies, but keeps giving you gifts to make it all better. That’s how I feel about the people who make up the Government of Canada.

Did you know for example that two million surgical masks destined for the provinces were stolen from Hamilton airport? This happened eight months ago, on the night of July 4th, 2020 when we were scrambling for PPE, but the government didn’t want us to know. Senior members in Trudeau’s office discussed with ministers withholding information on the government’s inability to procure sufficient personal protective equipment for our front-line health workers, like N95masks, gloves, scrubs etc.

Only today do we learn that Hamilton police “continue to investigate the theft of a trailer at Hamilton Airport”. It is only thanks to some crafty and persistent journalist from Blacklock News, an Ottawa media outlet, that we are today aware that the Procurement Minister Anita Anand made sure word of this embarrassing theft would not reach Canadians. Why not tell us then? Remember the days, not long ago, when Justin Trudeau would walk out of Rideau Cottage and announce another several more billion dollars for one cause or another. Internal memos, directed at Trudeau, urged the PM not reveal details but to keep the message “generic” so as not to raise questions about where and how the funds were handled and directed.

What makes this even worse, is the Prime Minister clearly stated on March 27th, that “transparency around the investments we’re making to support Canadians is important not just from a democratic and parliamentary principle…” What a croc!

And the latest is the snail pace flow of vaccines into Canada. Remember when Trudeau told us “Canada has procured more doses per capita than any country in the world”. It was a shamefully misleading statement. The fact is, we may have told the pharmaceuticals we wanted their vaccines and signed for them, but there is no commitment on when or how many, by any of the pharmaceuticals. And because he naively believed in global supply chains, we are now forced to delay the second shot, for weeks and up to a riskier four months, with circling variants ready to pounce.

I must mention this. While the Prime Minister maintained publicly he was “disappointed” with President Biden’s decision to cancel Keystone XL pipeline crossing the border to the US, one publication quotes the prime minister as saying privately, “thank you” to Biden for cancelling the project, saving Trudeau the international embarrassment of tarnishing his social activist image for a clean environment. So much for “transparency”. So much for honesty.

The wage and rent subsidy program announced just last week was extended, at an additional cost of 15 billion dollars. Is it necessary? Statistics show that either intentionally, or through incompetence, the federal government has already given out far more that is necessary to maintain a stable economy during the pandemic. Our economy actually grew, and substantially more than economists predicted. That’s wonderful isn’t it? No, it is not. It is borrowed money that Canada does not have, and is spent unwisely. As a result, Canadians have managed to actually save, yes save during a pandemic, and in record amount.

Philip Cross, economist at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, says the support programs were “excessive and poorly targeted”. CERB and the rest of the federal programs were meant to compensate for lost income but they did much more than compensate. Instead of targeting lower income Canadians, a lot of money went to people who did not need it, so they banked it. According to a CIBC report, Canadians “are sitting atop $90 billion in excess cash — easily the highest in the country’s history and equal to about four per cent of consumer spending. Canadian businesses, are hoarding another $80 billion.”

That’s a whole lot of cash (all on government credit cards) that will spill into the economy. The Liberals sure know how to win elections don’t they? Buying our love and affection, and our votes.

In the meantime, after you get jabbed, have fun. Spend like ‘The Roaring 20s’. And remember on election day who gave you all that spending power.

Oh, and don’t worry about paying it all back. Our grandkids, and their kids, will take care of that.

That’s What I’m Thinking.

Robert Vairo