First Ministers meeting reveals division Trudeau has fostered
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted Friday’s first ministers’ meeting to focus predominately on inter-provincial trade.
But Canada’s Premiers had other ideas.
It’s true trade matters. Our current, patchwork interprovincial trade system is absurd.
While we’re trying to sign deals with places like Communist China, we can’t even freely sell alcohol back and forth between provinces.
However that’s not the major issue facing our federation, nor the most pressing.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford was right to threaten a walk-out if other items weren’t brought to the table.
Ford and other Premiers wanted to discuss the nationally-loathed, job killing, environmentally pointless carbon tax. There’s strident opposition to the tax by Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick Even Alberta’s NDP government and Premier Rachel Notley backed out of Trudeau’s national carbon tax plan, at least until new pipelines get built.
If Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party in Alberta wins power as expected this spring, expect Alberta to more vehemently oppose Trudeau’s toxic carbon tax.
Provincial opposition to the carbon plan should have been front and centre in discussions between this country’s Prime and first ministers. Trudeau should have been making the case for his tax, though from our perspective it’s difficult to defend a tax that raises the cost of living for average people, exempts major polluters and does little to nothing to help the environment.
Instead, Trudeau tried to pit Ontario against Alberta, and reportedly told
Premier Ford that if Ontario residents don’t pay more through a carbon tax then the oil sands will have to shut down.
If he thinks that soap will float in the upcoming federal election campaign, he ought to swing out west where Albertans are bearing the brunt of his failed pipeline strategy and see how this latest tactic goes over.
The other big topic Trudeau avoided was his failure to adequately help provinces or migrants who are crossing our borders by the thousands.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault demanded Ottawa pay $300 million in compensation to cover the cost of refugees arriving in his province. The Liberals meanwhile seem more interested in signing the UN Global Migration Compact in Morocco rather than dealing with the border mess they created here.
But ducking real problems has become a habit for our PM.