O Canada! There’s hope for you

Forbes - - Fact & Comment - BY STEVE FORBES, ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF

Canada’s pol­i­tics have long been left-of-cen­ter com­pared with those of its south­ern neigh­bor. Its rigid so­cial­ized med­i­cal sys­tem, for in­stance, al­lows vir­tu­ally no pri­vate al­ter­na­tives. But things may be chang­ing—at least a bit. In the re­cent elec­tion in Canada’s sec­ond-largest prov­ince, Que­bec, the longserv­ing Lib­eral Party was routed, not by the tra­di­tional op­po­si­tion party ad­vo­cat­ing sep­a­ra­tion from Canada, Parti Québé­cois, but by the new cen­ter-right Coali­tion Avenir Québec, or CAQ for short. The two older par­ties are both fond of taxes. The CAQ is skep­ti­cal of a pro­posed na­tional car­bon tax and is in­tent on dereg­u­la­tion, and it may ac­tu­ally re­duce taxes. (The downer in this elec­tion was the 16% vote gar­nered by a truly hard-core left­ist party, Québec Sol­idaire.)

In a stun­ner this sum­mer, vot­ers in the coun­try’s largest prov­ince, On­tario, over­whelm­ingly tossed out a left-wing gov­ern­ment, re­plac­ing it with a con­ser­va­tive one that ran against all sub­si­dies for al­ter­na­tive en­ergy sources. Alas for the reck­less-spend­ing in­cum­bents: Wind­mills and so­lar pan­els are not cheap. Con­ser­va­tive can­di­dates tapped into con­sumer anger over elec­tric­ity bills that had gone up more than 70%. Need­less to say, the new gov­ern­ment has given a thumbs down to Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s car­bon-tax scheme. The con­ser­va­tives are also wind­ing down a min­i­mum-in­come project—the kind lauded by such Sil­i­con Val­ley moguls as Mark Zucker­berg, who should know bet­ter.

Left­ist regimes in sev­eral other prov­inces are also los­ing pop­u­lar­ity.

Canada is light-years away from be­com­ing a Switzer­land or a Sin­ga­pore, as was ev­i­denced by the elec­tion of tax-lov­ing Justin Trudeau. But there are in­ti­ma­tions of pos­i­tive change. to give up smok­ing. Users get the plea­sure of nico­tine while avoid­ing tar and other sub­stances in cig­a­rettes that are truly lethal. What are these wit­less pro­hi­bi­tion­ists in­hal­ing?

In the U.S. the FDA and other wor­ry­warts fret that teenagers are tak­ing up va­p­ing in “epi­demic” pro­por­tions, ig­nor­ing the fact that many of these young peo­ple would be smok­ing and/or drink­ing more if they didn’t vape. None­the­less, fed­eral reg­u­la­tors are threat­en­ing dras­tic steps to ban va­p­ing or sharply cur­tail its le­gal avail­abil­ity.

The U.S. isn’t alone. In Aus­tralia, for in­stance, va­p­ing is for­bid­den. Woe to the un­in­formed tourist who vapes; you can­not buy liq­uid nico­tine in any state or ter­ri­tory in Aus­tralia. Coun­tries con­cerned about smok­ing should move in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and fol­low Bri­tain’s ex­am­ple. Amaz­ingly, con­sid­er­ing the rest of the world’s hys­te­ria, Bri­tish law­mak­ers en­cour­age va­p­ing. Re­sult: The Scep­tred Isle has the sec­ond-low­est smok­ing rate in Europe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.