I believe there are fundamental truths in sayings like, "Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it" and "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I believe these quotes are particularly relevant when we discuss the choices we will be forced to make in the future when the ‘recovery’ phase of the COVID-19 virus begins.
Many might believe that it is ‘too early’ to be looking towards the future. However, I think critical questions such as "what will be a good time" or, if we wait, what "opportunities" will be lost, should also be asked.
I believe as ordinary Canadians we must always be vigilant of our governments. A case in point; the federal Conservative Party of Canada was very effective in stopping the Liberal government from passing a law that gave it unlimited access to monetary policies for a prolonged period of time. That was a positive example that was only made possible because of a minority parliament.
A not so positive example has been the UPC party’s continued failure to commit to the economic diversification of our economy and instead is ‘doubling down’ on the very same economic strategies that have resulted in the current catastrophic ‘boom and bust’ cycle. Unlike other provinces in Canada where economic diversification is better established, this ‘doubling down’ could result in the same multi-generational economic collapse that we saw in the Eastern provinces when the cod fishery collapsed!
I’m talking about the decision to make a 7.5 BILLION loan guarantee of the TC Energy’s Keystone XL pipeline project, formerly known as TransCanada.
I am not arguing against nor ignorant of the short term financial benefits this project will provide nor am I arguing against the need for pipelines in general.
I am concerned about the lack of debate about the extreme risks involved with project— many industry experts have already indicated this is not a “solid bet” as Mr. Kenny has called it. I also believe we could be missing a once in a lifetime opportunity to make at least an equal effort to diversifying our economy. Imagine the long term effects that a similar amount of financial commitment could accomplish for economic diversification!
What this government does or doesn’t do now will have effects decades into the future. Even if the COVID-19 virus has pushed us into a new short term economic reality; our current economic insecurities should never be used as an excuse for forgetting the past and how it impacts the present and/or using your power evade a serious discussion. Is this ‘dynamic leadership’ based on credible economic principles or is it a desperate gamble based on political need? It is critical for us to ask the tough questions now, not in the future.