Asked to define “middle class” during a year-end television interview, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau glibly answered that Canadians know what it is; unable to define it himself.
This, after he concocted the Soviet-sounding Ministry of Middle Class Prosperity and tapped Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier to head it up; herself stumped on local radio about what constituted the middle class in Canada, or what her duties entailed.
So how about attempting to determine “middle class” by what it is not? And just for fun, let’s use some Liberal behaviours from the past to assist–consider them a window into future expectations for this government.
For starters, middle class Canadians are not seconding government jets for a Costa Rican Christmas like Trudeau has done.
According to the PM’s New Year’s Eve itinerary, he will ring in 2020 at this tropical locale while middle class Canadians suffer through another winter, and now pay the Liberals’ carbon tax for the privilege of heating their homes.
If this weren’t galling enough, former Environment Minister Catherine McKenna continues her incessant Tweet parade about “transitioning to a net zero carbon economy” while her boss burns aviation fuel like Leonardo DiCaprio.
Of course, Leonardo pays for his jet travel and luxury yacht trips while Trudeau bills the taxpayer because nothing says middle class Canadian like paying for a trust fund millionaire’s exotic vacations.
And speaking of sunny holidays for the rich and famous, who could forget Trudeau’s visit to Aga Khan’s private Bahamian Island in Christmas of 2016?
Then-ethics commissioner Mary Dawson determined that the trip broke conflict of interest law–Trudeau’s first of three such transgressions–but by now, most middle class Canadians understand that the rules only apply to them, not the privileged like Trudeau.
Given this do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do track record, expect more hypocrisy, more elitism and more condescension from the Liberals’ minority regime in 2020, as their government boldly takes risks that middle class Canadians and those struggling to join them, will ultimately endure.
But before getting into the risks that a string of deficit budgets or new environmental legislation creates, the government’s stance on Islamic State “foreign travellers” is very instructive.
Dozens of these ISIS perps–60 by government estimate–have returned to Canada and are simply allowed to live freely among the general population.
Some even gave media interviews bragging about their terrorist activity overseas, while ex-Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made excuses about why it’s so difficult to prosecute them.
No biggie, right?
Rank-and-file Canadians would simply take the risk on behalf of this feckless and impotent policy of “de-radicalization” and “reintegration”: on the buses, the subways and in the public square, while guys like Trudeau enjoy drivers and round-the-clock security.
While British troops were hunting their homegrown ISIS perps on the battlefield, federal Liberals were planning therapy sessions for our “foreign travellers”.
And as Trudeau admitted during an Edmonton town hall in February 2018, the RCMP would monitor these enemies of the state 24/7, at great expense of manpower and resources.
So the Liberal idea of creating a benevolent and caring society on the backs of middle class Canadians continues apace and comes in a variety of flavours too, like the federal carbon tax which ramps up to $30-per-ton in April 2020 for jurisdictions without their own schemes.
Don’t forget that Liberals gave carbon tax exemptions to ‘energy intensive-trade exposed’ industries and placed the burden on–you guessed it–middle class Canadians.
See how easy middle class Canada is to define, once the Liberals’ rose-coloured glasses are removed.
So what if the price of gasoline becomes too expensive for some to fill up their vehicles, or if people lose their jobs, as some 175,000 resource sector workers in Alberta have since Trudeau took power in 2015.
According to McKenna, people can simply be “retrained” for new jobs in the “green economy”, and car owners, well maybe they should switch to using public transit or riding bicycles.
For someone privileged enough to do graduate studies at London School of Economics and a law degree at McGill, one gets the impression that the idea of “risk” for McKenna is somewhat different than how middle class Canadians view it.
Same goes for our trust fund PM, or his millionaire Finance Minister Bill Morneau who justifies adding another $100 billion in federal debt over the next four years because interest rates are cheap and our debt-to-GDP ratio is manageable.
As Morneau borrows Canada’s way into his idea of “prosperity”, keep in mind that he and his cohorts will be collecting gold-plated government pensions when our children are picking up the tab for their reckless spending.
So sit tight middle class Canadians. Liberals have big plans for 2020 and much of it involves spending your money to tell you how to live your lives.