Thinks a class war is afoot

(Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau, (federal NDP Leader) Jagmeet Singh, and (B.C. Premier) David Eby, among others, are doing their best to promote a class war in Canada.

They want ordinary Canadians to blame the “rich" for our financial problems, rather than face any responsibility themselves. Please don't fall for it.

Over the past few years, Trudeau's government has accepted about 500,000 new immigrants per year, along with anywhere from 400,000 to 800,000 new international students per year. All of the while, our construction industry typically builds only about 250,000 new units per year. Stats Can reports the construction industry actually shrunk by 11,000 jobs in April alone.

Both he and Eby want you to believe that short-term rental owners are causing the housing shortage in Canada. Even if all the short-term rentals were converted to long-term, they would never be able to house one million newcomers every single year. Would it help? Yes, probably a little. But do STRs justify all of the rage against their owners? Not even close.

Trudeau's government implemented a (federal) carbon tax on every step of the supply chain, along with a whole range of emission regulations, and yet wants you to believe that grocery stores are gouging us with "excessive” profits.

According to Investing.com, Loblaw's return on investment for the past five years (before, during and after COVID) was 7.5%, while its after-tax margin is 2.9%. What do those numbers really mean? Would you give me $100 if I promised to give you back $7.50 every year, with no guarantee you'll ever get your $100 back? I sincerely doubt it.

That is exactly what an ROI of 7.5% really means. Would you buy a business that is very difficult to operate, one that generates $100 in revenue and pays you a net profit of $2.90? Again, probably not.

Yet Trudeau and Singh want you to believe Loblaws is somehow taking advantage of us all. If Trudeau and Singh truly wanted to help Canadians pay for their groceries, they would eliminate the current supply management system, whereby the price of eggs, milk and cheese are kept artificially high due to the quota and monopoly system which benefits only a small number of farmers, mostly in Ontario and Quebec.

Trudeau and Singh would rather stoke the fires of resentment between Canadians by blaming "corporate greed" rather than their own strategies. Please don't buy into it.

During his eight-year tenure as prime minister, Trudeau has hired 100,000 new federal employees (bringing the total from 300,000 to 400,000) and has doubled our national debt from $600 billion to $1.2 trillion.

According to Stats Can, all three levels of government in Canada hired an additional 26,000 people just in April alone. Those are staggering numbers. Other than jobs like teachers and nurses, the vast majority of government employees don't add to the wealth of the country. In many cases, it's quite the opposite by adding stifling bureaucracy and more red tape.

B.C. recently had its credit rating downgraded—again—thus making borrowing more expensive. Yet Eby is forecasting a deficit this year of $8 billion, even in the absence of any compelling reason to do so.

As a result, Canadians in 2024 are paying $220 million per day in interest charges on provincial and federal debt. That is money that will never be spent on health care, education or the military. Yet, Trudeau’s government is borrowing $40 to $50 billion more per year to cover its wasteful spending (ArriveCan anyone?). All of this spending and borrowing has driven interest rates and inflation rates to their highest points in decades. Instead, he wants you to believe that the war in Ukraine is the driver of inflation in Canada. Don't buy it.

Trudeau's government has gifted $40 billion of taxpayer money to huge international conglomerates (Chrysler, Honda and VW) and yet tries to tell us that fat cats are driving up inflation. He tells us that rich people should pay a little more to make things fair. Yet he never tells us how much is "fair". The top 10% of earners in Canada already pay more than 50% of taxes. How much is "fair", Mr. Trudeau?

Trudeau and Singh are wealthy but they want you to believe they understand what ordinary Canadians are going through. What are the chances?

Sadly, too many Canadians are buying into the rhetoric. Just like many desperate politicians throughout history, they are looking for scapegoats to blame when the real fault lies at the feet of their own failed policies.

So please, don't criticize your neighbour who happens to own a short-term rental and would like to use the proceeds to fund his or her retirement. Don't condemn successful Canadian companies, like Loblaws, for the cost of your milk. Don't blame farmers and doctors whose livelihoods are threatened by high taxes. Don't buy into petty jealousies that these politicians are trying to foster. To do so is to fall into the trap that Trudeau, Singh, and Eby have laid for us all.

Pitting neighbour against neighbour is not leadership and is no way to run a government.

Lloyd Vinish, Kelowna

(Editor's note: For clarification, B.C. has had it's own carbon tax since 2008, brought in by the former B.C. Liberal government of Gordon Campbell. Residents of the province pay that tax, not the federal carbon tax brought in by the federal Liberal government after it was elected in 2015.)

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