This post extracts from the above interview a clear conservative view of governing a contemporary nation, in particular Canada. The visionary is Pierre Poilievre ( pronounced pwa-lee-evre), who is not from Quebec as you might expect. Adopted son of Saskastchewan teachers, he grew up in Alberta, served since 2004 as a Member of Parliament from that province, and is contesting for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Below is a transcript I produced from the captions in italics with my bolds.
Let’s look at Canada at this moment: What are our problems?
The the central underlying illness is a monstrous growth in the power and cost of the state
at the expense of the agency and freedom of the people.
That is the override and then there are specific examples of how that plays out. Take monetary policy. There’s no way Justin Trudeau could get away with spending all of the money he has in the last two years if he had to use real cash. Because people would never accept the many thousands of dollars of tax increases that it would require. So he has basically turned our central bank into an ATM machine for his spending. They’ve created 400 billion dollars of new money in two years which has given us a 30-year high in inflation and bumped up boosted real estate prices by 50 percent.
How does that compare to previous expenditures by governments? Well if you look at the balance sheet of the bank of Canada during the Harper era (PM 2006-2015), even during the great global recession there was a minor bump in the assets it held. That indicates how how much money it was injecting. Whereas right now that figure has shot off the charts.
The balance sheet of the central bank is up something like 350 percent and all that cash is particularly in ballooned asset prices. That’s the unspoken story.
Here everyone thinks about consumer inflation which is horrible enough. But then there’s asset price inflation and what that’s doing is creating an aristocratic economy where the bigger the asset value you had before the inflation, the richer you’ve become after it. It is almost like the housing is attached to a balloon and it’s being lifted higher and higher up. And anybody who’s not already in the house will never be able to grab it and get inside.
It is all the result of this massive expansion of the money supply. So we’re basically seeing a transfer of wealth from the the have-nots to the have-yachts, as I like to say. And it benefits those in the managerial class, the CEOs whose stocks have been artificially inflated. They’ve been able to give themselves share buybacks with exceptionally low interest rates. So they can borrow money and then buy back shares which increases share value and gives them a bonus. These are the folks who own mansions and live in neighborhoods that are protected by zoning laws against anyone else moving in. They have done exceptionally well over the last two years.
And yet the people who are doing the nation’s work are now having their salaries destroyed by inflation. And then at the local level you have municipalities bringing in our zoning laws that prevent new construction. So they’re making invisible gates, creating gated communities. But the gates are invisible because it’s government bureaucracy that prevents construction.
So we have fewer houses per capita than any country in the G7
even though we have the most land to build on
What I’m proposing is stop printing money and start building houses. I’m going to tell the big city mayors that if they don’t remove their bureaucratic zoning rules and let builders build, then I’m going to cut back on some of their infrastructure funds. Because I think it’s going to need something that drastic to get these gatekeepers out of the way and actually build houses so that our youth have a place to call home.
But you know it’s across the economy. Ironically all of these big government interventions seem to hurt the most disadvantaged. Our immigrants come here as doctors and engineers but they can’t work in those fields because of occupational licensing, more protectionism. Government is not enabling, they’re the gatekeepers. So I want to incentivize provinces to speed up recognition of foreign credentials so an immigrant doctor can actually work as a doctor.
And let’s remove the gatekeepers from our energy sector so we can build pipelines
and dig for resources and become energy self-sufficient.
And then remove the gatekeepers in speech. As you know the government is now pushing new censorship laws on the internet. I promise very clearly that I’m going to get rid of all of those laws and restore freedom of expression on the internet. There is a great need to remove the governmental gatekeepers to restore our freedom. Let people take back control of their lives
Now let’s delve into economic policy. The OECD recently predicted that Canada’s economy will be the worst performing advanced economy over 2020 to 2030. How lovely for us. So compared to many other countries that in some sense are peers, that’s a pretty damn gloomy forecast right because at that rate 40 years out we’re going to be the worst performing advanced economy in the world.
So what can we do differently and let’s focus on energy in particular because that’s a killer topic for everyone in the world at the moment
What did the conservatives do wrong, what has Canada done wrong what have the liberals done wrong apart from printing money like mad men and instituting these arbitrary rules?
Well I would respectfully disagree on the conservative economic track record. If you look at the 2008-09 financial crisis, we came through better than any of the other G7 countries, certainly way better than the Americans. We didn’t have a housing crash nor did we have a banking crisis. Not a single bank was bailed out and we had very modest inflation, which never cracked four percent, and was above three percent for only one or two quarters in the entire 10-year period.
When Harper was around, unemployment stayed relatively low and you could buy the average house. At the time Harper left office, in Canada average cost of a house was 434 thousand dollars. It’s almost unimaginable now.
But turning to energy, we need to repeal C69, the bill that makes it effectively impossible to build an energy project in Canada today. Because it introduced a whole series of sociological questions into the process that make no sense. You know Trudeau has said that energy projects cause gender imbalances. And therefore when someone applies to build one they have to write a sociological report on what the pipeline or the mine will do for gender relations.
In addition to being ridiculous pop culture sociology, it introduces massive uncertainty for investors. Because they don’t really know how and why a project will be approved or rejected. And they don’t have seven years to sit around, so they’ll take their money and invest it in other parts of the world. And that’s why the projects aren’t happening here.
We don’t mine lithium in Canada even though we have lots of lithium. In this electric car battery era, we’re importing lithium from China because they actually get projects built. However they burn coal to refine their lithium. So ironically we’re just inducing pollution in other countries when we buy electric cars that are made with lithium refined in that country. So if we could approve a lithium mine in Canada we could actually mine the stuff, refine it, manufacture it here.
We have the third biggest supply of oil on planet earth,
but we’re importing 130 000 barrels of overseas oil every day.
The solution is so obvious because right next door to the Saint John port where we bring in the oil, we have St John’s Newfoundland, capable of adding another 400 000 barrels of Canadian production. By just approving that production, we could ban foreign overseas oil from Canada all together. And that would mean the dollars wouldn’t be leaving our country for overseas dictatorships, but would be staying here paying Canadian wages instead.
On to natural gas. We have 1 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. And you know what you have to do to get natural gas onto a ship? You have to freeze it down to a liquid. So with our cold weather, it takes a hell of a lot less energy to liquefy natural gas here in Canada.
And we have another geographic advantage: The closest point in North America to Asia is from BC; The closest point in North America to Europe is Newfoundland. So we have a shorter shipping distance, less energy needed to liquefy gas, and yet we haven’t succeeded in building a single major liquefaction facility in Canada despite the fact that in 2015 there were 18 proposed projects. Approve those projects and we could be bringing hundreds of billions of dollars of opportunity to our people, and particularly our first nations people.
But it takes getting those regulatory gatekeepers out of the way to let it happen.
How do you take on the woke crowd who like to say: What about the planet? What about the climate crisis? If you turn back to fossil fuels you’re going to demolish the globe. In the next 30 years we should be moving towards net zero. You’re going to doom the poor to catastrophe while you’re pretending to elevate them economically. You’re going to be like cut into ribbons by that crowd, and so let’s talk about climate change and the Paris accords and all that. You we want to promote canadian energy, and you made a case for liquefication, so what should canada’s position regarding climate change?
The development of our energy infrastructure as well as our resources are not the problem, they’re the solution.
For example we export our natural gas we can displace foreign coal burning electricity. The energy hungry Asian markets are desperate for non-coal sources of electricity, but they need things like natural gas to replace coal.
As well as having that gas, we also have the biggest supply of civilian grade uranium in the world right in Saskatchewan. That could be used to export to regenerate emissions-free pollution-free nuclear energy. We have an over-abundance of hydroelectricity in Manitoba and Quebec that we could be exporting to the northern united states to displace their coal-fired electricity. We could be using small modular nuclear reactors to de-carbonize the electrical grid.
As for the oil sands, right here in Canada we have carbon capture and storage techniques in in our home province of Alberta that are second to none. For example White Cap Resources is a mid-sized company that says it’s actually a now a carbon negative company; in other words they bury more carbon in the ground than they put into the air.
So we have the technology and the resources to do it but right now what we’re doing is punishing our own resource sector to the advantage of heavily polluting foreign dictatorships with no environmental standards and who use the money to do great harm.
We would be better off to displace their energy with ours
and use that as a method of fighting for the environment
while enhancing the well-being of our working class at the same time.
Because we can make progress on the economic front and on the climate front at the same time. I would like to point out that America’s turn to natural gas has knocked their carbon dioxide output substantially down over the last 15 years, which is not a statistic you hear from the typical environmentalist types okay. If the world could turn to Canadian energy, as a consequence the net impact on the carbon economy would be positive.
If it means reduce reducing carbon carbon dioxide output and we could get wealthier in doing so, then why in the world aren’t the liberals already doing this?
It is hard to understand. I think it’s because their environmental policies seem mostly designed to give the state more control of the economy than they are designed to deliver an environmental outcome. By attacking the energy sector it gives them the ability to to create more of a command and control economy, which is what they believe in, and to redistribute wealth between industries and towards political friends in a very parasitical manner. You know we have a total nut as our environment minister right now. Steven Guilbeault is bonkers and he’s against nuclear power. It’s not just oil and gas, he would get rid of nuclear as well. So I don’t know what would be left. Maybe he thinks all you have to do to get electricity is put a plug in the wall.
The Trudeau policies are definitely designed to basically make the entire media apparatus dependent on the funding and the good will of the state. The government bureaucracy determines what is considered to be a qualified journalistic company. And they pick and choose based on their own political views who then qualifies and therefore gets the subsidy. This is intended to again create more dependency on the government and curry more favor with the state.
I haven’t made an announcement on exactly how I’m going to fix that problem yet but stay tuned. I want to de-politicize that and basically restore the freedom of the press in this country again by getting the state out of it.
What do you think of Mr. Trudeau?
So i think he’s an egomaniac and everything he does is comes back to his egomania, even his political ideology.. When you think about his his expansionist role of the state, it never comes back to serving an individual objective, only to make him more powerful or his legacy more grand.
Let me give you a few examples. So he slashed the amount you can put into a tax-free savings account but then he simultaneously increased the amount you were forced to pay into the state savings plan. He killed multiple pipelines then he invested state money in a pipeline. He attacked parents’ ability to take care of their own children by by removing tax fairness for families of the stay-home parent and then he brings in a government program to replace it.
In all cases what he does is take away the ability of business or individuals or families to do things for themselves and then require they do things through him and through the state.
His ideology is always about creating a pretext in order to justify the state garnering more control over every aspect of your life: how you raise your kids; how your business functions; what you see and say on the internet.
What actually happens in socialist models is that the rhetoric about economic equality never actually comes to pass. It was used as a tool to mobilize the masses, but ultimately the outcome was to concentrate power more in the hands of the political elite. Look government is really legalized force. So if you believe in big government, you believe in expanding force relationships always favoring the powerful. And so in reality those who have more political power then benefit from a bigger government. And those people are all rich and disproportionately powerful in the system.
So when this big beast called government gets bigger and more powerful, those who have the ability to steer that beast are the ones who are going to profit from it.
I think that we’re we’re divided right now in Canada because of a deliberate strategy of divide and conquer governments that want to enhance their control. They have to turn citizens against each other they have to make you afraid of your neighbor, your co-worker, your trucker, so that you’ll turn to the state for protection against your fellow citizens. That’s the oldest trick in the book: divide and conquer.
Control is by its nature divisive because it’s a zero-sum game. If one gets more control another must have less freedom. While the contrary is not the same. If your neighbor gets more freedom you don’t get less freedom. It’s likely you’ll have more as well
So if your friend has more freedom of speech, well you’ll have freedom of speech. If you are the immigrant who has the freedom to work as a doctor, then you’ll have the freedom to have a doctor. If the local small businessman has the freedom to function without red tape, then you’ll probably have the freedom to buy his products more affordably or your teenager might get a job. If a Muslim or Jewish person gets more religious freedom, then the Christian does as well.
That’s why freedom is a unifying principle: it brings people together because it allows each of them to be masters of their own destiny without taking anything from each other. We fight over control whereas we fight for freedom, that is the difference.
I believe we can bind up the nation’s wounds by reinstating the ancient freedoms that we inherited from our ancestors
And so I really see my role as quite an unimportant one: I’m here simply to restore what already belongs to Canadians by virtue of their 800-year inheritance of liberties going back to the Magna Carta. I’m just among the the common people who are custodians of that freedom while we’re alive. You know Edmund Burke said it’s a contract between the dead and the living and the yet to be born. We’re the living generation having the duty to pass on that inheritance. I want to re-kindle that inheritance and pass it on to my kids and so they can pass it on to their kids. I’ll pass on one day and fade away into the past, but hopefully we’ll have secured the freedom that we inherited for many more generations to come. That’s what I mean when I want to give people back control of their life in the present, and to extend it into the future.