Fatuous Nincompoop


The more I ponder the current Liberal government in Canada, the more I realize they really are fatuous. Vapid. Hollow. And they may be really dangerous to the nation’s unity and health.

Our Glorious Leader was in Calgary the other day and was asked about getting oil out of the province. The Prime Minister was addressing the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

“…chamber CEO Sandip Lalli grilled Trudeau on what Ottawa intends to do, including possibly investing in moving crude on trains as a stop-gap measure as new market-opening pipelines remain in limbo.

“You think there’s a super-simple easy answer and there’s not. There’s a multifaceted complex issue and as much as there is a tendency out there in the world to give really simple answers to really complex questions, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that,” Trudeau replied.

“We need to make sure that we’re moving forward in the right way and that is where actually listening to the experts is sort of the best way to make policy.”

Trudeau said the federal government is doing what it can to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, which would triple its capacity to carry oil to tankers on the west coast.”

There are two known ways of getting oil to market: pipelines and trains. Pipelines are less hazardous and cheaper (witness the disaster in Megantic).  Either you build pipelines or you buy tank cars for the railroads. This is not complicated. What makes it complicated is that Trudeau and his cabinet of Greens think that, in principle, the fossil fuel industry should not exist. This is the second time that Alberta has faced federal moves to cripple its (and Canada’s) oil industry. This time the blows are being administered by economically illiterate judges rather than Liberal cabinets, as under Trudeau the Elder, but the solutions to this economic illiteracy of the courts are in the hands of the federal government.

In my early days in government (in the regime of Trudeau the Elder), I too received the same speech from my boss at the time. Steepling his fingers, he told me that public policy was multifaceted and complex, and gave me to understand that bulge-o-brains such as himself grappled and wrestled with its complexities. Implied always was that I was welcome to join the Church of Complexity and grapple with Deep Issues, or that I could exile myself in the wilderness of Simplification, or the Simplistic.

“O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”.

Whenever you hear the word “simplistic” you may be sure that you are in the presence of someone who is trying to con you into believing that you are wrong because you, but not they, want a solution and think one is possible.

The solution may be complex, but the will to find one is simple. Therein lies the confusion. Getting half a million troops ashore on D-Day in June 1944 was as complex as any operation ever launched, but the will to send them there was simple.

What Trudeau and his minions lack is the will to solve the Alberta oil shipment problem. It suits their green agenda to destroy the industry as fast as they can, while pretending to be concerned.

As Don Braid points out in the Post

It was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself who said in January 2017: “We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels.

“That is going to take time. And, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition.”

Peter Zeihan, the geo-strategist, has said for a long time that Canada is in long-term trouble. His reasons are as follows. Canada is increasingly dependent upon Alberta’s oil, whether through taxes or actual supply. Alberta has the youngest and fastest-growing population. It has to sell its oil in Canadian dollars and buy its equipment in US dollars.The rest of Canada is failing to reproduce, is ageing rapidly, and is becoming more like Japan, which has an even larger problem of ageing and lack of reproduction than we do. Albertans pay $6,000 more per head than they take in revenues, and that figure is rising. They are the only net contributors to equalization. Alberta has the only rate of reproduction above replacement. What solves Alberta’s problem at a stroke, and exacerbates Ottawa’s revenue problem? Alberta joining the US. So argues Zeihan.

See the video. The arguments are persuasive.  Another Zeihan video on the same topic is here, even better.  Zeihan is too gloomy towards Canada, but his analysis is hard to fault on rational grounds.

Accordingly, I do not believe that Trudeau Junior’s government is up to the task of dealing with the real problems this country faces. I observe them destroying the tax base that supports the ageing Canadian population. Do they care? In order to care, they would have to have a clue. They are clueless. Hence Canada staggers towards long-term disaster, confident in all the wrong things.