No ifs, ands or Butts
Unlike PM’s India trip, Scheer’s lacked sheer madness
Gerald M. Butts, our prime minister’s principal secretary and puppet master, loves to go on social media to mock conservative politicians who oppose the Trudeau Liberals’ plan to force a carbon tax on provinces if they don’t fall in line with their high-and-mighty thinking.
He’s a bit of a gas bag, of course, who pollutes the atmosphere with a greenhouse gas with every breath he exhales. But don’t we all? In a recent tweet, for example, Butts put it out there that “you can now choose between a Nobel Prize winning economist and Kenney/Ford/Scheer when deciding who is right about the economics of pollution pricing.”
The threesome he mocked, and purposely so, were federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Jason Kenney, likely the next premier of Alberta — none of whom want anything to do with further burdening their constituents with a needless tax on carbon.
And then Butts linked his assessment to a post on Twitter by the Nobel Prize folk that “laureate William Nordhaus’ research shows that the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions is a global scheme of carbon taxes uniformly imposed on all countries.”
Climate change is real and must be addressed rationally.
However, the witless linking of broad economic and climate theory to specific policies and tax measures, in this case the Trudeau government’s regressive, job-killing carbon plan, is standard tactics for the ideological left.
Meanwhile, being awarded a Nobel prize doesn’t make the recipient infallible, particularly in the imprecise field of economics, any more than a tarted up PM dressed as a Bollywood bridegroom and dancing the Bhangra makes him an international authority on diplomatic relations with the country whose festive garb and dance he was what ... imitating?
Quite the opposite, in fact. Compare Justin Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi avoided him until the very end over critiques that Trudeau was wishy-washy on Sikh extremism — by the way, isn’t that uninvited Sikh crashing the dinner party, and getting his picture taken right now with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, a convicted attempted murderer back in Canada? — to Scheer’s much subtler trip to the same country, and the difference is akin to the Bhangra vs. the Boot Scootin’ Boogie.
Trudeau was an embarrassment; Scheer an adult.
Instead of playing silly bugger and Mr. Dress-up, Scheer sat down with Modi to discuss trade and renewing the Energy East oil pipeline if his party gains power because Saint John, N.B., represents a shorter shipping route to India than British Columbia.
That’s what PMs are supposed to do, is it not?
Perhaps Trudeau never got Butts’ memo, not that the PMO’s top adviser and former head of the World Wildlife Fund would condone anything that had to do with fossil fuels, even if it means leaving billions upon billions of dollars in potential revenues sitting untapped in the oilsands of Alberta.
On another front, Canadians who feel relieved today that the NAFTA deal — now known as the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) — was (somewhat) successfully renegotiated should not be thanking Trudeau nor Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, but sending gratitude cards to President Donald Trump’s chief trade envoy, Robert Lighthizer.
No doubt Lighthizer had some very heated discussions with Trump trying to keep the talks from derailing, considering how both Trudeau and Freeland showed no constraint in rattling Trump’s cage.
“Canada will not be pushed around,” trumpeted Trudeau at the G7, all while Freeland slides back to Canada during the negotiation’s 11th hour to take part in a panel purposely aimed at insulting Trump while sitting under the huge marquee banner of “Taking on the Tyrant.”
Whose bright idea was that? Butts’?
If so, the 2019 election can’t come soon enough.
The challenge will be to limit damage until it does.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and wife Jill pay their respects at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar last week. Their outfits were dramatically more subdued than the Trudeaus’ when they visited in February.
CANADIAN PRESS FILES
BUTTS Gas bag