Fear and Dependency

Misguided politics and the ever changing bureaucratic bungles of CV-19 policymakers have brought financial ruin and emotional hardship to many Canadians.  The  apparent desire to hinder free enterprise, and digitally track citizens, appears to override the common sense of having sequestered and protected vulnerable citizens from the outset.

It is questionable whether the government’s action of tracking the activities of free human beings in a democratic society is even an acceptable exercise in the first place.    And once the passport system is fully implemented, the odds of authorities ever removing such a control measure would likely be zero.    Surely, they could justify a multitude of reasons to keep it in place.  Then what?

As many governmental decisions lately appear to “reign-down” (spelling intended) from agendas external to the needs of the Canadian people, it is no wonder many citizens are concerned as to just exactly what the end game is.   The rumour-mill is buzzing because nobody can get a straight answer from those who are supposed to have the answers.  Building on a comment made by the PM himself, is CV-19 the catalyst for  Canada to become a post-nationalist state of a yet to be defined global entity, and if so, who gave him and his entourage the permission to proceed with such a project?    The Canadian people?  Not likely – they were not even consulted.  Decisions of that magnitude surely should hinge on the democratic agreement of all citizens, not the dictates of an elitist few.  It does beg the question; “Does the virus drive the desire for the control mechanisms, or the other way around?”  It is a fair question.

The medieval fear tactics implemented over a virus, that in many cases is so mild it is completely unnoticeable, seems more than a little irrational.   Intentionally or not, there is no proper context given when numbers are regurgitated daily on the news.  Why is that?  For two years, the hysteria over case counts has outranked the more informative statistics of deaths-per-100,000 and the co-morbidity evidence available.  The survival rate is officially documented at just under 100% in total cases reported.  The facts are clear, yet the scare-tactics persist, as a 2005 quote may explain:

“By keeping the population in a state of artificially heightened apprehension, the government-cum-media prepares the ground for planting specific measures of taxation, regulation, surveillance, reporting, and other invasions of the people’s wealth, privacy, and freedoms. Left alone for a while, relieved of this ceaseless bombardment of warnings, people would soon come to understand that hardly any of the announced threats has any substance and that they can manage their own affairs quite well without the security-related regimentation and tax-extortion the government seeks to justify.”  (1)

Ultimately, a population in fear tends to develop a disproportionate psychological dependency upon an ever increasing paternalistic government. If that is the endgame, Saul Alinsky would be proud.


(1)  Higgs, Robert, Senior Fellow in Political Economy. “Fear: The Foundation of Every Government’s Power”, 2005,  Research Article, Independent Institute,  Fear: The Foundation of Every Government’s Power: Independent Institute

Separation of Political Powers

There is a reason for the separation of powers in politics.

Local municipalities have decided that the need to act on issues, that are the responsibility of senior levels of government, is preferable to doing their own jobs. The temptation to reduce global warming overrides the need to issue building permits. The point is that any possible action they may take lies well beyond a city’s ability to make any measurable adjustment to national temperatures. This overreach inevitably results in a decrease in local economic productivity with a corresponding drop in income.

Many councillors do not make the connection between their actions and a lack of local housing; a key factor in making people homeless. Potential solutions now mean using local government funds, originally earmarked for other projects, to provide temporary accommodation. Local proponents follow the San Francisco example, “… that homelessness is caused largely by poverty and discrimination; the solution, (they say) is not to judge the poor souls that sleep rough but to spend more money on them.” (1)   This is something that the current local tax base is unable to support. The social problems that accompany the new residents eclipse the capacity of any municipal authority to resolve; principally because the treatment resources are complex and belong to other levels of government.

Support programs for the homeless, like many relationships, are easy to start but offer no clear way to get out. The longer they last, the greater the loss to local resources and the longer the period of sustained damage to community fabric. Local councils would be well advised to stick to parks and potholes and keep the pressure on senior governments to meet their obligations.

(1)  ‘San Fransicko’: How progressives ruin cities” Michael Shellenberger, Harper Collins 2021. Quote from review in The Telegraph, 5th December 2021


An Increasing Lack of Trust

Almost daily, reasons why political leaders are losing the citizens’ trust becomes more apparent. Cynical attempts to distract attention from their serious misconduct, or from damaging policies by using Covid-19 or Climate Change as an excuse, have become the norm. Meanwhile a deluge of opioids, lack of housing for the poor and middle-income earners, lack of routine medical care, and plugged courts are commonplace.

Government at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels are failing in their most basic responsibilities. Politicians cite the need to counter the progress of Covid-19 or halt the onset of Climate Change as the reason for new taxes and regulations. Few if any of these levies or directives have had any success in eliminating disease or affecting climate.  Most, however, can be directly tied to the desire to support some barely related policy of the government concerned.

The federal government’s countermeasures to Covid-19 for the last eighteen months have been based on a series of conflicting instructions followed by a barrage of unverifiable statistics.  The speed with which some senior politicians personally disobey their own instructions for appropriate conduct only serves to indicate some other standard is in play.

Closer to home, British Columbia’s medical administrators have talked about the prospect of another pandemic for decades. It seems not to have occurred to them to have made even the roughest estimate as to how the means of fighting it could be superimposed on the need to maintain regular service. The province’s surgical waiting lists have been a scandal for years and are now even longer, as hospitals hold space empty and leave medical staff idle against the prospect of being overwhelmed by pandemic patients. The waiting lists did not shorten even after it became evident that hospitalization requirements had been drastically overestimated. Is this a situation likely to build trust that a solution is even possible?

The prospect of vaccination attracts objections from people who claim they are likely to suffer irreparable damage from this treatment. Experts use statistics to pillory protesters as “Anti-vaxxers,” but any suggestion that the vaccinations are less than successful are deluged by further orders that people should have more of them. Trust is never earned through compulsion.


While confusion reigns in medical circles, local law courts are plugged. Demonstrators who have decided that their interpretation of adequate forestry management is superior to that provided by a variety of experts and supported by statistical evidence, are released from jail after repeated arrests. Judges operating the release portion of the “catch and release” program cite the conduct of the police officers charged with enforcing the law as a contributory cause of breaking it. Is this supposed to build confidence in the rule of law among those who are paying for the service? Are statistics and expert opinions less superior depending on the choice of circumstances?

Provincial deaths from opioid overdoses are exceeding those from Covid by a considerable margin. Governments point to mental health problems as a primary explanation for the situation. The possibility that this disastrous situation may have emerged from a permissive accommodation of the use of cannabis or other readily available recreational narcotics is ignored. Also overlooked is the fact that a network of dealers, providing drugs in ever stronger concentrations, can operate with the same impunity as the aforesaid protesters who are cheerfully breaking other laws. A fine base upon which to build trust among the electorate!

Add to that, the civic service debacle:

Municipal authorities, incredibly, have found ways to add to housing shortages. Despite the property development solutions now moldering behind town council regulatory barriers, unit prices are rising as the Councilors are transfixed by process, not outcomes, and taxes have been hiked well beyond the level of inflation. Municipalities are using the proceeds to tackle massive social objectives well beyond their levels of authority or ability to influence. These are people who merit trust from the citizenry?

What about Canada?

In the recent federal election, few leaders, and certainly none of the principal ones, found anything to celebrate about Canada. Many seemed almost gleeful as they stigmatized dead Canadians from the past and vilified the living for their ancestors’ supposed sins. None felt the need to point out that Canadians had, virtually always, followed a path where they took the lessons of history and used their example to make things better. Those voters who hold their patriotism close find it hard to make their voices heard above the mob.

It is a painful wait for alternative leaders to present themselves, but voters still strive to elect politicians to do the things in society that it is impractical for them to do themselves.  Leaders in the future aspiring to earn trust must do so by regaining control of government away from the hands of an unrestrained and proliferating bureaucracy, which appears to have usurped governmental function. It means accepting responsibility – something which no democracy can survive without.

Naïve perhaps, but it is all a matter of TRUST – at every level – all the time.

Canada can do better! 

Spencer Fernando, Insight  “Why Canadian Politics is Broken”  Sept 27, 2021
Rex Murphy, The World News  “Contradictory COVID advice”  Sept 30, 2021
Martin Grunn, C2C Journal“Can We Handle the Truth?”  Oct 1, 2021

A Modest Proposal

It would be to the taxpayers’ enduring advantage if the North Cowichan council put their time to use reconsidering their recent unconscionable decision to raise municipal taxes. That they have done this during a period when their Federal and Provincial counterparts, under cover of Covid, have burdened us with the largest financial liability in our history, is inexcusable.

The taxpayer – there is only one – must now take responsibility for the repayment of federal debt estimated at more than one trillion dollars. BC’s debt is still an open question because the NDP have yet to show some believable figures.

North Cowichan has an opportunity to show national and international leadership by undertaking two significant initiatives. First would be a cost cutting program that will be sufficient to allow for an immediate ten percent reduction in municipal taxes. The second would be to approve some of the development of market properties which have been sitting before them for some time. This simple action would add value to the properties concerned, increase the municipal tax base, and make up the shortfall in revenue.

As a further example to their profligate colleagues at higher levels, now wallowing in pro-forma pay raises, the councilors should opt to reduce their stipends from all sources to a nominal one dollar for the period to the end of their term. This would be a refreshing example that they recognize their primary objective is the welfare of the community and that, in these Covid afflicted days, they recognize that they and our municipal employees are truly “in this together.”

Government Debt

Our governments have a debt problem. The federal deficit for this fiscal year is approaching $400 billion and the total debt is about $1 trillion.  BC is in better shape with a current year deficit of $13.6 billion and a total debt of $88.626 Billion.  

A conference Board of Canada report stated that governments are “spending like never before” producing “massive and permanent” debt levels.  This is not sustainable.   

Our governments believe that a combination of low interest rates and high levels of economic growth will allow them to accommodate this level of debt. It might just be possible if that was all the debt they were going to add but the Federal deficit for the next fiscal year will be about $121.6 billion dollars and continuing in the red for the foreseeable future. BC will also be running deficits for years.   

Our governments have not been transparent as to how they intend to pay for this increased debt, and currently are borrowing just to cover the interest.   The Trudeau administration has not produced a budget in 2 years and Canadians  don’t know what this governments detailed taxation and spending plans are.  

With the pandemic not yet over, maintaining support payments to those in need will have to continue. It seems certain that a combination of increased taxes and a reduction in spending will be necessary, and soon. This will reduce economic growth, which in turn will reduce the governments ability to sustain this level of debt.  

What is the plan Mr. Trudeau? 

Heading Back to an Old System?

It would be very reassuring if all public sector meetings began with a recognition of the private sector of the economy.  For it is there where the wealth is created that provides the income on which taxes are levied to pay for all our well-paid public servants and their grandiose plans. There is likely no hope for this ever to happen anywhere in the Cowichan Valley, because our Federal and Provincial representatives, together with most of their municipal colleagues, seem to have never been members of this part of the economy. Few, if any, of them appear to have ever had a paycheque that the taxpayer did not sign. It is reminiscent of the time when an educated but unproductive elite needed the feudal system for their survival.

Alistair MacGregor’s private member’s bill to cut off access to the coastline for deep sea vessels awaiting berths at local ports is an example of legislation proposed to meet the convenience of very few people. That his new bill would have the result of providing yet another unneeded obstacle for our stumbling economy seems irrelevant to him.  It shows a complete lack of appreciation that west coast port operations are one of the few bright spots remaining in the national industrial establishment. Excessive taxes and inconsistent regulation have sent capital fleeing to other countries and not enough seems now available to improve the operations of the port in order to reduce or quell the need to moor expensive ships in remote locations.

Mr. MacGregor’s proposal is yet another reminder that once viable Canadian industries are now surviving on reduced revenues and curtailed markets. Our local, Provincial and National governments are very creative in finding ways to consume the wealth provided by taxpayers but seem utterly incapable of understanding what needs to be done to produce it.

Restoring Sir John A. MacDonald

The National Post recently featured a series of articles about Sir John A. MacDonald.  It’s time.  As a result of name removal, statue decapitation and the hostile narrative about him, historic truth is suffering.  It is clear that the left and others want him stricken from history.  They’d be happy to remove every reference to him.

But that wouldn’t be right.  First, ‘grievance archeology’ is wrong.  It ignores historical context and truth. As the NP contributors stated, John A. MacDonald did a lot for native people.  He did not want the genocidal experience of the United States. He negotiated treaties so that it wouldn’t happen here.  He created the NWMP so that both whites and natives would be protected.  He had food distributed as best he could to aboriginal peoples so they would not starve when the buffalo were gone.

Was he perfect? No. Was he consistent?  No.  But he respected them and made sure they could reside on their ancestral lands, calling them “free people.”  Mackenzie’s Liberals criticized him for doing too much for the indigenous population.  In his May 5th, 1880 speech, he reminded people that they were “original owners of the soil” and we were “bound to protect them.”  He did not create the residential schools. The first was built in 1695.

Sir John A. MacDonald was a statesman and the architect of Canada.  For that alone his memory should not be besmirched.  He should always be remembered and honoured. Historical revision is easy, truth is not.