Where did they go?
The federal government, we mean.
Until somewhat recently, Canada had a federal government. Lately, however, we don’t. Because the feds have been AWOL — absent without leave.
Proof of this is easy to obtain. For your average Canadian citizen, “government” exists mainly for one purpose: to provide services.
We don’t require much else from them, really. We are a placid people. We simply want government to provide the services that we pay for. That’s it.
It’s right there, in the Constitution. The provinces provide important things like healthcare and driver’s licenses. And the federal government has the sole constitutional authority to provide other services. Important ones.
But it’s not doing that. It’s not providing services — or at least providing services in the way it is obligated to do so.
And Canadians are noticing.
Airports, for example. Despite repeated warnings from airlines and unions, the Trudeau government was completely unprepared for post-pandemic air travel.
At the country’s biggest airport, Pearson International in Toronto, there have been lineups that have lasted hours and hours and hours. There have been screaming matches. There have been fistfights. There have been occasions when the police have been called.
What was the response of Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Algabra when the chaos that is air travel was brought to his attention? He sniffed, and he blamed Canadians for being insufficiently prepared to get on a plane. Seriously.
But even if you are lucky enough to be flying in or out of a Canadian airport that is less of a circus than Pearson, God bless you if you hope to be in possession of a valid passport. Because, lately, you can’t get one.
The media has been full of stories and photographic evidence of thousands of Canadians being forced to wait for many days — and in some cases, to even sleep — outside passport offices. Canadians have missed weddings and funerals and important business meetings because they simply can’t get a passport.
The response of the Trudeau government to the total collapse of the passport system? Well, when pressed, they say that they didn’t really foresee what would happen when the pandemic came to an end. Seriously, they said that too.
But how about during the pandemic, then? When the pandemic was raging, and killing thousands of Canadians and sickening many thousands more, did the federal government do a good job of obtaining life-saving vaccines?
Well, no, they didn’t. They did a deal with the Chinese government for a suspect vaccine formulation, and then — when the deal collapsed — they covered it up for months.
Which thereby ensured that millions of Canadians received their vaccines months after our allies in Britain and the United States started to receive theirs. During the pandemic, the federal government had one job, really — to provide the critical service that is vaccines. And for months, they failed at that, too.
To be fair, the federal government didn’t completely fail at providing income supports during the pandemic. It wasn’t an unmitigated disaster doing that. The CERB program was a good one.
Now however, we are hearing stories that the federal government gave CERB benefits to many, many people who weren’t entitled to them. Oh, and don’t forget: the Trudeau government also provided millions of dollars in support to big corporations who simply pocketed said millions. Illicitly.
It’s hard to describe national defense as a service, in the way that, say, a passport office is. But the chronic inability of the Trudeau regime to provide even a modicum of support to our men and women in uniform was exposed by Russia’s Hitlerite invasion of Ukraine.
While our allies were able to provide the Ukrainians with billions of dollars worth of artillery and ammunition, Canada provided far less. On occasion, we gave the Ukrainians decades-old used stuff.
Is there any service that the government of Justin Trudeau provides well? Well, there are lots of “reviews” and “discussions” — they’re really good at those. (Actual decisions, not so much.)
Anyway, you get the sad picture. We Canadians don’t ask much of government. We don’t complain a lot.
But we do have an entirely reasonable expectation that we will get the services that we pay for.
And we’re not getting them.
— Kinsella was chief of staff at the Ministry of Public Works and Government Services during the Chretien years
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