With the WE charity scandal looming overhead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his inner circle are attempting to find a way to push through bigger and bolder changes to ramp up Canada’s position post-pandemic, ridding themselves of short-term strategies in fighting the crisis, according to The Star.
Sources say that since the pandemic has brought about significant social and economic disadvantages in the realm of “child care, long-term care for seniors, women’s ability to remain in the workforce when schools are shut, the lack of social safety net backstops for precarious workers, and the disproportionate economic and health impacts of the virus on Black people and other minorities,” it is high time to tackle those inequities now that long-term borrowing has hit historically low interest rates.
It was reported that Trudeau is not going to push for a fall election with the economy in the throes of the “restart” phase, but is focusing on the “recovery” phase. Opposition parties would have the option to vote “non-confidence” if such a plan were to move forward, forcing a vote.
Trudeau’s team said it does not intend to propose a plan that would not win over his opponents, pointing to the idea that most of the major pandemic programs have been installed despite its minority status in the government.
The Star reported that one source said there is an “opportunity for us to think big to think about child care, to think about how we can accelerate the transition to clean energy and how we can fight climate change, how we can help vulnerable people, how we can root out discrimination and level the playing field for working people and on all the progressive ideas that we’ve talked about and made progress on but in a different context. So can we actually present a big vision? I think we can.”
Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said that Trudeau’s government is moving in this direction because they are spooked about the crumbling of WE, adding that Trudeau wants to run a campaign on “this fairy tale that you can just continue to pour free money out of airplanes.”
Poilievre noted that the Liberal party is incorrect to continue operating under the assumption that borrowing money is going to stimulate the economy, when in reality it is going to rack up “monstrous deficits” and continue to slow down growth and the economy, according to The Star.
“That will be a recipe for a longer recession, perhaps even a depression,” Poilievre said. “We think it’s time for ‘free-market stimulus,'” adding that the government would be wise to “fast-track” environment-based approvals for about 12 energy projects that would add up to around $20 billion and “unleash the productive forces of the private sector.”
Trudeau promised details by the end of August on how he plans to help Ottawa get workers off of CERB payments by the end October and switched over to employment insurance, according to The Star. Gig and contract workers in Ottawa will be put on a “transitional, parallel benefit that is similar to employment insurance,” Trudeau said.
These ambitious plans on the part of the Trudeau government may not play well with Premiers who have been forced to go along with the aggressive federal maneuvers amid the coronavirus pandemic, which could trigger a federal-provincial clash.