The World Economic Forum, currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland, has taken up far more space in the Conservative leadership race than I ever imagined. The annual conference of global elites has become the issue in Conservative circles in Canada.
There’s a reason that Pierre Poilievre is pandering for votes by saying that he’d ban ministers in any government he leads from attending. Many people in Canada are convinced that the WEF holds enormous power, actually changing the outcomes of elections and public policy.
This simply isn’t true.
Last week, before the results of the leadership review for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney were released, I was getting messages to say that if Kenney were not removed as leader, it was because the WEF and its leader Klaus Schwab had interfered. I’ve received countless emails to tell me that Justin Trudeau is only prime minister because of the WEF interfering in our elections, and that Schwab dictates policy to Trudeau.
These are the things people believe, the things people spread online, and the reason I talk about conspiracy theories regarding the WEF.
I’ve been talking about the dangerous ideas put forward at their annual summit, the lunacy of policies pushed by people like Schwab, George Soros and others for more than a decade. I’ve written more columns and done more TV and radio broadcasts on these topics and issues like Agenda 21 – an actual UN program, not a conspiracy theory – than pretty much anyone in Canada.
Here is the difference between that and what is circulating now.
I’ve always said that groups like the WEF aren’t secret societies running the world, they are open societies pushing their ideas.
“Yes, but…” the believers that Schwab has power will say, “He has admitted that he controls Trudeau’s cabinet.”
Shortly after Trudeau was elected, Schwab was bragging about his success in training people who ended up in government roles.
“We penetrate the cabinet. So yesterday I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau, and I know that half of his cabinet, or even more than half of his cabinet, are actually Young Global Leaders,” Schwab boasted in 2017.
This simply means that these people, many of whom have now left government, went to the Forum in Davos or attended a training program. It doesn’t mean that Schwab is in control of the Trudeau government.
Sadly, he agrees with much of what is proposed, but that doesn’t mean there’s an element of control. If you don’t want politicians who agree with and support policies put forward by Schwab, then stop voting for Liberals.
These policies don’t get implemented without going through our democratic system.
The WEF is meeting this week and so far, speakers on various panels have suggested changing how we view freedom of speech, regulating cryptocurrencies and a global corporate tax rate of 25% among other wacky ideas. Each of these proposals has also had someone on the panel arguing against it or explaining why the proposal wouldn’t work.
I’m no apologist for the WEF, but we can’t make it into something bigger and more important than it really is.
In his quest for the Conservative leadership, Poilievre is telling voters that he will ban ministers from attending because you can’t work for Canada and for a policy agenda that goes against the people of Canada. With that statement, he’s playing to people who believe the conspiracy theories instead of opposing much of what is proposed.
Stephen Harper fought for Canada’s agenda on the world stage, including at the WEF; it’s what we should want any prime minister to do rather than take Canada inwards and make us smaller.
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