We’ve got a new Finance Minister. Who doesn’t appear to at all be like the old Finance Minister. And that’s likely bad news for Canada.
Chrystia Freeland is in. Bill Morneau is out. If you believe all the news reports that have since come out, it appears that Mr. Morneau took with him the only adult views of fiscal responsibility and restraint inside the Liberal government.
If so, he’s leaving behind a big, vacant hole. If that’s true, then Elvis has left the room.
Mr. Morneau, a successful businessman with Bay Street connections, apparently wanted to rein in some of the spending plans that Trudeau rolled out post-pandemic. He was concerned about the deficit. He thought CERB payments were too high and would discourage people from coming back to work. We’re told he had to push back against the Prime Minister and cabinet to check their free spending instincts.
In fact, he sounded almost like a Conservative. No wonder he got the boot. The WE scandal oversight, in Liberal terms, was nothing. Telling the Prime Minister he was spending too much, though, is heresy.
So now we have a very sharp, very accomplished and proven cabinet minister in his place. But one who is likely to be more smitten with the tax-and-spend ways of the Liberal government.
And as she’s no doubt positioning herself as a potential successor to Trudeau, there’s no chance she will alienate the Liberal base by becoming a fiscal conservative.
Here are the two paths that Ms. Freeland could take.
She could start to wean those who can afford it off the government payroll. She could cut taxes across the board, encourage small business, help mothers get back to work, and support workers in the gig economy. She could usher in more competition in telecom and banking – driving down our cell phone and banking fees at a time when every single penny counts. She could invest, here in Edmonton, in Artificial Intelligence, hydrogen, nuclear and carbon capture technology. In other words, she could stimulate the economy with smart moves that help unleash the power of entrepreneurs or risk takers.
Or, she could simply keep doing what Trudeau Liberals have been doing for five years. Printing money, using low interest rates as a justification, and driving us further into debt. And in doing so, pray that interest rates never rise again – because if so, those of us who remember the stagflation years in the 1970’s will know exactly the pain that’s coming. Rising rates + no jobs = a severe downward economic spiral that costs the saving, retirement funds and dreams of millions of Canadians.
If elected Conservative MP for Edmonton Strathcona, you know very well which door I’ll be pushing open.
The first door. The only one that works. As someone who runs a business, who meets payroll, and who helps Canada’s leading companies from coast-to-coast raise capital, I’ve got a very strong idea of what Canadians want to see, and what it takes to get there.
Let’s get the economy on wheels – make it rock n’ roll. If not, we’re headed to Heartbreak Hotel.
- Rick Peterson
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