Year-in-ReviewJanuary 4, 2019
Christmas might be over, but as we head into 2019, Canadians have seen who’s been naughty and nice. Before this election year kicks off, I wanted to review some of the key topics of 2018. I spent my Christmas and New Year thinking about those in our energy sector and some of the other challenges this government has created. I’ve checked the list twice and here’s my verdict on 2018:
Alberta’s Energy Sector/Trans Mountain Pipeline: At the top of my list was the crisis in Alberta’s energy sector. 2018 was a year of further hardship in the oil and gas industry. The fact that Alberta was forced to cap production – a last resort measure – is indicative of how severe the crisis is. There were few gains in our vital industry, and everywhere we turned we saw the fallout. Workers without work, oil without markets, pipelines without approval – 2018 was a grim year for Albertans. This was only compounded when the Liberal Government decided to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline with no intention to build it. We can all agree that when it came to supporting our oil and gas workers and ending this crisis, Justin Trudeau spent 2018 utterly failing Albertans and all Canadians.
Debt and Deficits: Once upon a time, Justin Trudeau promised to balance the budget in 2019. I’ll admit I never agreed with running a deficit in the first place, but I expected the Liberal Government to keep its promise in the long run. But the long run kept changing in 2018, and now 2019 is here but there is no balanced budget. I spent 2018 worrying about the size of our debt. Trudeau’s Liberals failed to hear our concerns, and have continued to spend. Failing to balance the budget is dangerous – that is not prophecy, it is fact. 2018 revealed our economic forecast for decades to come and the Liberal Government did nothing. That is a failing grade.
Illegal Border Crossers: Under Trudeau’s leadership, Canada is on track to spend $1.6 billion on illegal border-crossers by 2020. Trudeau’s costly undermining of our borders has created backlog, confusion, and fear. In fact, even Trudeau’s own ministers couldn’t keep their facts straight in 2018. By favouring illegal queue jumping, Trudeau has directly impacted the ability for refugees and asylum-seekers following the legal asylum process to come to Canada. There are obvious exploitable loopholes that illegal border crossers are taking advantage of and Trudeau’s only answer is to let them. Do borders even matter to Trudeau? Canadians deserve a focused and forceful plan to manage our borders. Trudeau is not only forcing Canadians to pay for illegal border crossing, but he spent 2018 doing nothing to fix it.
NAFTA: Trade negotiations are challenging and I do not envy the position the negotiating team was in. Still, there is a difference between a good deal and a bad one. The revised NAFTA Agreement (CUSMA) saw few gains for Canada and cost us a number of substantial concessions. Meanwhile, I worry about the effects of the ongoing United States’ Steel and Aluminum tariffs on our economy and workers. The Liberal Government failed our workers. 2018 should have brought trade clarity; instead we enter 2019 with greater questions, fewer jobs, and larger problems.
Carbon Tax: The carbon tax was, without a doubt, one of the most contentious issues of 2018. Provinces have railed against the tax and Canadians know that it will do nothing for the environment. Trudeau’s carbon tax is not putting a price on pollution; it is putting a price on having a family, on eating a meal, and keeping your home heated.
I wanted to find some ground to applaud the Trudeau Government, but this was no easy task. At every turn in 2018 they forgot veterans, favoured criminals over victims, violated Canadian privacy, and insulted major international partners. But, if nothing else, the Liberal Government was consistent at failing Canadians, which is why I know 2019 will bring more of the same. I’ve checked the Liberal Government twice, and I found out that they’ve gotten hardly anything right.