What a mess we have put ourselves in. In the midst of determining which political party will run the national affairs of our country for the next four years, we have allowed a U.S. news magazine to sidetrack us by publishing a two decades old photo of our Prime Minister dressed as Aladdin when attending a costume party celebrating the Arabian nights – and applied an American slanted social taboo to a Canadian politician. The timing of the article did exactly what causes Americans to have temper tantrums – foreign interference with U.S. elections.
Unhappily, rather than reacting as his father would have and re-uttering those immortal words – "fuddle duddle", our Prime Minister decided once again that he should grovel and apologize. We have heard nothing as yet from the Persian descendant of Aladdin, Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khameni, the supreme leader of Iran.
The most recent national polling by Abacus Data lists the top election issues – cost of living (35 per cent), health care (34 per cent) climate change (29 per cent), taxes (27 per cent), housing affordability (26 per cent) and good jobs and wages (25 per cent). All parties will solve these difficulties by increasing borrowing (federal debt currently $19,000 per capita) and raising tax revenues from individual and corporate commercial and business enterprises which provide approximately 60 per cent of the jobs that Canadians work at. (The rest work in the public sector.) When this happens, businesses with U.S. connections will relocate their operations to south of the border. A nationwide exodus of Canadian trained health and business professionals will follow. This has happened before with Bob Rae as premier of Ontario.
But let us set these minor issues aside and look at what could realistically happen over the next four years and then think upon who should be the federal governing party.
Internationally, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is rejected by Congress and U.S. President Donald Trump lets NAFTA lapse. China imposes martial law on Hong Kong and evicts 300,000 Canadian citizens from the former colony. The U.S., China and Russia ignore Canadian claims to sovereignty over the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Their warships and commercial vessels start sailing through these passages. The European Union stalls in ratifying the negotiated free trade agreement with Canada.
Domestically, Atlantic Canada will require major ongoing weather disaster emergency relief services and infrastructure repairs beyond regional coping capacity. Atlantic and Pacific fisheries begin to collapse as fish stocks die off or migrate with ocean warming. Quebec separatism resurfaces. The St. Lawrence River becomes highly polluted with raw sewage from Montreal and other downstream Quebec cities. The Quebec government will ignore the matter. The Toronto Stock Exchange seeks a merger with the New York Stock Exchange as Canadian investors switch funds to U.S. stocks. Alberta faces bankruptcy as the U.S. and China shut down agricultural trade and the TransMountain Pipeline construction stalls. B.C. softwood lumber industry collapses because of China boycotts and U.S. protectionism. Infrastructure problems and social housing crises emerge in major cities as federal funds are redirected to deal with runaway administrative and utilization costs of Pharmacare.
We will leave dealing with the national debt to those who are too young to vote.
And we thought Brexit was interesting!
Alan Murdock is a local pediatrician.