August 5, 2022
Aside from any of the scandals and errors of judgement, the real issue for a government is the core business of competently delivering services.
This Liberal government is failing on that count like no other government I’ve ever seen.
- Long waits for passports, even though the volume of applications is actually less than pre-pandemic numbers
- Airport Screening so slow it causes people to miss flights despite arriving hours early; the Minister says travellers are to blame as they are out of practice at screening protocols.
- Lineups to enter Canada so long that planes wait on the tarmac to release passengers, delaying subsequent flights.
- A backlog of 2.4 million applicants for immigration, temporary and permanent residency status.
- Included in that is a backlog of 1.4 million visitor Visa applications, causing some international conference organizers to question whether Canada is a suitable host country for this very lucrative convention business.
- Unbelievable blunders in evacuating Afghans who helped Canadian forces, with a revised target of only 18,000 evacuees instead of the original 40,000. Bureaucratic blockades that have caused a backlog of 300,000 applications from Ukrainians fleeing war.
- A promise to plant 2 Billion trees to address climate change, but three years later, we MIGHT see the 30 millionth tree planted this summer. Much of the funding has gone to consultants and computer systems, and not actually to trees.
The list goes on.
They are great at announcing huge new policy initiatives and grand goals, but cannot make the wheels of government turn to provide service to Canadians.
Paul Tellier, Canada’s former Clerk of the Privy Council (the country’s top bureaucrat), identifies several reasons for this dysfunction, including:
- Everything – everything – is centralized in the Prime Minister’s Office, which is “destroying” the public service’s ability to deliver programs.
- Senior public servants no longer give “fearless advice” to the politicians. Such advice simply isn’t welcomed, or worse.
- This in turn causes a “hollowing out” of innovative and practical solutions from the people who know what they are doing.
- This government has too many priorities, which in practicality means they have no priorities, as they are too unfocused.
The result is a government that can’t send out a press release without six people in the PMO reviewing it. How can such a system deliver passports and review immigration applications? Short answer – it can’t.
The government’s answer to the chaos at airports was to create a Task Force of thirteen – yes thirteen – Cabinet Ministers. That is a recipe for nothing being solved.
This government needs to refocus on delivering the services that Canadians need from their federal government.
Put the grand plans on the back burner until that basic job is done.
ENERGY IGNORANCE – WITH CONSEQUENCES
Canadian Liberal government energy policy has brought us to a place where we don’t have options to stand up to Putin. Germany has become an energy-insecure nation, and Canada is reneging on its commitment to sanction Russia. This all could have been avoided.
Here’s my Op-Ed from the National Post on July 28.
ON THE RADIO, TALKING ENERGY
After my Op Ed appeared in the National Post, I did some follow up radio interviews.
Here is an audio recording of my interview with Shaye Ganam on 630CHED (Edmonton), QR77 (Calgary).
This one is with Scott Thompson on his show Hamilton Today.
Restrictions on Fertilizer Use
One of the grand plans that needs to eat dust is the Liberal edict to reduce fertilizer use for Canadian farmers.
There are no farmers in Calgary Centre, but this ill-conceived, ideological scheme will affect all of us.
Justin Trudeau proposes to enact a cap on nitrogen emissions by reducing fertilizer use. Provincial Agriculture Ministers have begged him to abandon the idea. He is intent on reducing nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030 – although the government refuses to acknowledge that nitrous oxide emissions can be reduced without reducing fertilizer use.
Having already told Canada’s customers and allies around the world that our abundant oil and gas is not readily available for export, he is now intent on reducing Canada’s agricultural output – at a time when food insecurity is a real risk in many parts of the world, and exports of food products from Ukraine are sharply curtailed.
And at a time when the grocery bills of Canadian families are inflating at about 10% annually.
He has decided to do this without consulting any subject matter experts. The government did not ask anyone who understands this sector (not unlike their approach to putting new rules on the oil and gas sector without first talking to anyone who understands the industry).
This new challenge for farmers comes on top of a 25% increase to the carbon tax on April 1 of this year – a tax that artificially increases the costs of producing and transporting food.
Fertilizer Canada estimates the policy could cut farm income by $48 billion between now and 2030, based on an analysis by Meyers Norris Penny which analyzed a similar EU model on corn, canola and spring wheat.
The agricultural industry has proposed an alternate means to reduce emissions, called the 4R approach, which aims to “optimize plant nutrient uptake, and increase yields, while achieving verifiable reductions in emissions.” The government is only interested in its own approach, not working with the industry to achieve common goals.
CANADA DAY AND STAMPEDE
It was a busy month as I was privileged to be invited to numerouscelebrations in Calgary Centre and around the city. Here’s just a few.Check out my Facebook page to see a larger selection.
Canada Day at Clover Living residence.
Making pancakes for the Stampede breakfast at the Alexandra Centre. Click here, or on the picture, to see my instructional video!
Elbow Park community association breakfast.
Serving up meals at the Mustard Seed.
The Parkhill – Stanley Park Stampede breakfast.
Bow Claire seniors’ residence.
Wai Kwan seniors’ residence.
Please get in touch if there’s anything my office can do for you.
Greg McLean, M.P.