July 20, 2024
The missing ingredient in this federal election
On the same day Scheer was promising to unleash the nation’s shackled beverage moppets, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh was in Winnipeg trying to understand federalism.
On the same day Scheer was promising to unleash the nation’s shackled beverage moppets, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh was in Winnipeg trying to understand federalism.

Surely they’re having us on. At some point, don’t the leaders of the major federal parties have to show up together in one place, announce they’ve been playing an elaborate practical joke on us and cancel the election?

“We’ll have the real election after New Year’s,” Justin Trudeau will tell the Canadian people.

“We sure had you scared!” Andrew Scheer will say.

“You should have seen the expressions on your faces,” Elizabeth May will add.

And then we’ll all have a laugh and go to the pub for chicken wings.

Because surely this can’t be an actual national election campaign in a serious country in dangerous times.

On Sept. 24, to pick one random campaign day, the following happened.

At Cracker Jack’s Bar and Grill in Thorold, Ont., Andrew Scheer said he would cut red tape on Canadian business by one-quarter. That’s a lot. That’s every fourth annoying form. So which needless regulations would he cut? When he becomes prime minister, as was certainly possible, in less than a month?

Well, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, the Conservative leader mumbled. There were those two Ottawa schoolgirls whose lemonade stand next to the Rideau Canal was shut down by the National Capital Commission in 2016 because they didn’t have a permit, he said.

That’s his example? Sure, if you simplified permit processing for the canal-adjacent refreshment industry, you could pump countless nickels into the economy.

A few days earlier, Scheer said he would “look for” $1.5 billion in cuts to corporate welfare. That sounds like a lot of money, until you compare it to a quarter-trillion dollars in annual federal program spending, at which point it sounds like unfinished homework. You’re going to “look for” $1.5 billion to cut? Tell you what, sweetie: how about you go find $1.5 billion you know you want to cut, tell us where you want to cut it, and we’ll vote for you if we like it.

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See Also:

(1) At a glance: 25 lost years, four big losses for the Crown

(2) The NDP has dusted off the 1972 playbook. It’s tired, class warfare stuff, but it’s starting to resonate

(3) Risk Trudeau blackface photos could be exploited ahead of vote: U.S. study

(4) Party election platforms, from the absent to the prophetic

(5) Canada’s legal deck is stacked against Alberta

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