What’s Going on in Canada?


After enjoying several days of golf in warm Arizona, I returned home to hear about people hand shoveling their driveway five times a day after the heaviest snowfall of the season. I must admit I felt no guilt that I had coincidently escaped this event. But I couldn’t help wondering if this was part of that ‘existential climate emergency’ we have been warned about that has led to paying for substitutes to ‘plastic bags’ and ‘single use utensils.’ Why did I think the emergency was to be all about the sun, supposedly too much sun, and high temperatures that led to what appeared to be cloud seeding before I left for Arizona? 

The Globe and Mail carried an Andrew Coyne article that headlined ‘Canada is no longer one of the richest nations on the Earth’ as our GDP had suffered further decline in the fourth quarter of 2023. We ‘dodged a recession’ for the time being. Coyne further stated the economy is growing slower than the population which accounted for the decline in our living standards. 

2023 wasn’t the most comfortable time for Prime Minister Trudeau – nor for Canada – for too many reasons, and 2024 isn’t starting out to be much better! New challenges, along with ‘skeletons stepping out of the closet’ seem to occur daily. In 1981, Canada ranked sixth among OECD countries and has now dropped to 15th. Among the richer countries, and according to Coyne, we are on our way to becoming one of the poorer and the only way out is faster growth. This is the crisis – not the climate! Our net federal debt is at $1.2 trillion and provincial debts are around $800 billion. We also have similar unfunded liabilities in the Canada Pension Plan and relatively fewer people of working age. 

His article goes on to suggest that deterioration is due to an extraordinary decline in business investment in Canada among other reasons. For example, Calgary based pipeline Enbridge alone has just announced slashing six per cent of its workforce due to difficult business conditions. I wonder why fossil fuel companies for instance would want to invest more money in a country where they are basically being accused of causing the end of the world. Just ask Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson! 

Also, in the news is mention of a federal government proposed ‘Online Harms Act’ as Bill C-63 that is not about anything online but could create offences under the Criminal Codes as motivated by hate. This could be simply what someone could deem to be hate speech, like sign slogans during political rallies, dark comedy or even ‘hate thought.’ I’m not sure who is able to read thought, but worse yet, these ‘so-called offences’ could lead to penalties up to life imprisonment, criminal conviction for mischief or confinement to home with an ankle bracelet, a curfew and other ridiculous punishment. Another bill C-367 is being debated that could tie religious speech to hate speech also with a threat of jail time. Petitions ‘galore’ are circulating on the internet. 

Canadians need to grow a spine – and fast!