Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste


As another Wild Fire Season blows upon us Justin Trudeau continues to follow Winston Churchill's Advice

The most annoying thing - other than smoke itself from Canada’s annual wildfires, is how we now spend more time arguing over cause rather than taking action. I don’t care if its arson, climate change or both, I want the fires put out and efforts made to minimize the chances of them happening again.

Last year, when wild fires hit most of the northern parts of North America, the U.S. doubled down on its significant federal resources and infrastructure to further fund its National Forest Service Agency to fight and prevent forest fires. In fact, while Canada burned and blew smoke south the United States had the lowest amount of fires in decades. Obviously, it is not all cause and effect here as weather patterns play a key role, but President Biden’s Infrastructure Law recognized the urgency and continues to make significant investments to reduce wild fire risk across state, private, and tribal lands.

Which brings us to the source of all the wild fire smoke and political mirrors - Canada. Unlike States, Canada, a country covered in forests - doesn’t have a federal agency to fight fires and protect them.

That job is left primarily to the provinces and territories to administer with the federal government providing some funding. This had led to a system that has to lean heavily generous foreign support to fill in the gaps of our own limited capabilities.  Combine this with the growing threat of more fires and the federal government is finally adding more cash. But as Mark Ramzy of Torstar points out Trudeau has made it clear the federal government would rather support than lead.

So why might that be?

Prior to the pandemic I had a much higher opinion of Justin Trudeau. While some leaders rise above petty politics in time of crisis, others will find ways to exploit the crisis for political gain.

Whatever your thoughts of fellow Canadians who chose not to get a Covid vaccine, associating them with extremists and haters was not helpful in trying to bring the country together during a challenging time. He made the vaccine, an important public health measure, a political wedge issue.

So excuse my skepticism that Trudeau’s foot dragging in putting out the fires is just another example of this government’s incompetence. His track record suggests this is nothing but political, cold calculation.

The recent talking points shared by team Trudeau as wildfire season started this spring suggest the liberals are once again, not above exploiting a crisis for political gain.

Just read Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault posts on X, that contend that removing the carbon tax will cause more fires telling Conservative MP Tracy Gray, who represents the B.C. riding of Kelowna-Lake Country, was fanning “the flames by making pollution free again”.

If you let the fires burn you can point the blame at anyone who doesn’t follow your climate carbon tax agenda. If anyone should suggest the feds should do more to fight them you can deflect and point the blame at the Conservative run provinces. It’s a win- win for liberal strategists, but not so good for anyone who has to breathe this BS.

This inaction from a liberal party that believes a bigger federal government solves all problems. They have had no problem sticking their nose in other provincial matters - like pharma care and the high level issue of school lunches. You would think Trudeau would be all over creating a National Fire Fighting Force. Most of the forests cross provincial borders and the ill equipped military is often called in once they start burning already. I guess stepping in to solve a genuine national issue only makes sense if you want to put the interests of Canadians above your own. 

Oh wait, as I write this - late breaking story on the CBC - Liberals announce national action plan to fight - car theft.

So don’t expect this to change - its how Trudeau and the federal liberals operate. If it heaven forbid, rains on this liberal smokescreen to scare you into submission - they’ll pivot to another issue they would rather exploit then solve with legislation - abortion.

Blame and shame. But whatever you do - don't put out the fire. It's the liberal way. 

After almost a decade in power, it’s as easy to see now as the smoke rolling in from another Canadian wild fire.

By Gregory Cawsey

I dedicate this column to a great Canadian, Rex Murphy. You had me reach for a dictionary in my youth and kept me thinking and questioning later in life.

Rest in Peace.