If polls are any indication, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading for the exit this fall but many of his Liberal MPs have already announced they are leaving or won’t run for re-election.
The departures began even before the SNC-Lavalin scandal erupted this year. In September, Ontario Liberal (and former Air Force officer) Leona Allesley crossed the floor to join the Conservatives because of disagreements with the government’s handling of the economy and foreign affairs.
“Here at home, we see large amounts of capital investment leaving Canada while tax structures, federal infrastructure problems and politics prevent us from getting goods to market, and deter companies from expanding and undermine our competitiveness. For the first time in many years, Canadians don’t believe that tomorrow will be better than today and that their children’s future will be than theirs,” she said in a statement after crossing the floor.
“Beyond our borders, our position remains vastly diminished. Our foreign policy is disconnected from our trade relationships and our ability to deliver on our defence commitments is undermined by politics,” she added. “We must recognize that foreign policy, trade, defence, and our economy all depend on each other and can’t be viewed separately.”
Her concerns hit the nail squarely on the head as Trudeau has continued to hobble the economy and mishandle foreign affairs. Deficits have soared, taxes have increased, promises to meet the 2 per cent NATO guideline have been ignored, pipeline projects have idled, a ruinous green agenda has been imposed, and he and his government have worsened relations by undiplomatically hectoring China, Latin American states, and the United States about their failings.
In September, Bill Casey, Cumberland-Colchester MP, announced he wouldn’t run in 2019, as did West Nova MP Colin Fraser who claimed he wanted to serve the community in other ways. Translation: Disappointment.
Before 2018 ended, longstanding Ontario MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, then, in January, Scott Brison of Nova Scotia and Nicola Di Iorio announced they were out. That month, the Jody Wilson-Raybould scandal hit the headlines, then dogged the PM for weeks, obliterating what was left of Trudeau’s “sunny-ways” brand.
She quit the cabinet after being pressured for months by Trudeau and his PMO henchmen — Gerald Butts and Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick — to derail the SNC-Lavalin prosecution. She refused and quit the cabinet, as did Ontario MP Dr. Jane Philpott. Weeks later, they were unceremoniously expelled from the Liberal party.
In February, more Liberal MPs announced their “retirements”: Mark Eyking of Nova Scotia; T.J. Harvey of New Brunswick, and John Oliver of Oakville. And in March, Celina Caesar-Chavannes quit the party to sit as an independent reportedly over conflict with the prime minister, saying she won’t seek re-election. Following that, Don Rusnak of Thunder Bay, Nova Scotia six-termer MP Rodger Cuzner, Ontario MP and former military chief Andrew Leslie, and Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, MP for West Vancouver said they were out.
Now we know the “sunny ways” masked the same old, autocratic, cronyism that has allowed the Liberals to dominate the civil service, crown corporations, favour Quebec, and reward their banking, legal and corporate sympathizers. And we also know that Trudeau is as much of a free enterpriser as was his late father who drove Canada’s economy into the ditch after wrecking Alberta’s oil industry.
Justin Trudeau followed the advice of Gerald Butts, a serial job-killer who advised Ontario to spend recklessly and ram through a “green” agenda that has harmed its engine of growth, auto manufacturing. Then the two targeted Canada’s engine of economic growth, oil and gas.
Thankfully, Canada remains a fossil fuel giant, four provinces have elected pro-business Tory governments and the Liberals are going to pay a price for their economically suicidal policies as well as their favouritism toward Quebec.
When it’s enough already, it’s enough already.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019