One could make quite a list detailing all the dirt the Libs have built up the last 4 years, but here’s our (admittedly subjective) list of the…
1. Lying about electoral reform
While one could argue other items on this list did more actual harm, this out and out lie to steal progressive votes was the most cynical. Swing voters who may have been more likely to go NDP or Green but were terrified of Harper were seduced by the Liberal promise of electoral reform, feeling comfortable in the knowledge that a Liberal victory now would mean a truly fair election the next time around. The Libs made the promise a staggering 1,813 times on the campaign trail. Even more diabolical, Justin Trudeau stole Fair Vote Canada’s slogan “Make Every Vote Count” in making this false promise.
Upon taking power the Libs made a show of faith by erecting the ERRE to explore the issue. A majority of members on a multi-party House committee recommended a referendum on a form of proportional representation but that was ignored. Well, not only does Fair Vote Canada endorse proportional representation, which by definition compared to first-past-the-post or ranked ballots is the ONLY system where every vote counts, but 88% of respondents to the ERRE also endorsed some form of proportional representation. That wasn’t the answer the Liberals wanted to hear! Apparently Justin prefers preferential ballots and claims that means there’s no consensus, but really the Libs could never permanently dilute their own power now that they had it again. Either way, they out and out lied through their teeth about it.
2. Buying a pipeline for the oil sands
The gross hypocrisy of this just boggles the mind. The day after announcing a climate change emergency, the Libs ironically negated that empty proclamation by spending billions in corporate welfare overpaying for a pipeline for the oil sands. The oil sands are:
- hands down the most environmentally destructive (for which reclamation is a big experiment and the loss of biodiversity is permanent),
- with the largest toxic tailings ponds in the world that they have no idea how to clean up while they constantly seep into waterways,
- highest emissions,
- worst Energy-Returned-On-Invested (3 barrels of oil for one barrel spent) source of oil on the planet
- whose economic viability is entirely dependent on global oil prices
- and has even dipped into negative territory, costing more to produce than it earns.
Simply put, we must leave it in the ground.
3. Approving and supporting other pipelines and projects for new extraction of fossil fuels
Furthering the hypocrisy of the Libs’ climate change rhetoric, they approved Enbridge Line 3, approved, then lost, then re-approved the Kinder Morgan expansion, fully support Keystone XL, and approved a new LNG plant reliant on fracking. Every Canadian cheering on the Libs as serious about climate change must be living under an ideological rock wrapped in a partisan security blanket.
4. Continued to disrespect and oppress First Nations, especially fighting valid claims in court spending more defending than what was requested,
Like every single government before them, the Liberals shamelessly oppress the rights of our Indigenous peoples while proving how two-faced they are with claims of reconciliation. From lying that they will adopt UNDRIP’s “free, prior, and informed consent” to then not even living up to consent’s poor cousin consult by not consulting properly on projects like Trans Mountain, the Libs’ betrayal of reconciliation goes deep. Like challenging compensation for apprehended First Nations children harmed by the on-reserve child welfare system and under-funded child and family services, or this ridiculous court battle, spending more than $110,000 fighting a First Nations girl in court to block payment for orthodontic treatment that cost just $6,000, or spending millions losing a battle about testing fish farms for a virus, or spending nearly twice the $380,000 needed by Wapekeka First Nation for emergency mental health care after the northern Ontario community uncovered a suicide pact last year. Health Canada denied them the funding and two 12-year-old girls, Jolynn Winter and Chantell Fox, took their lives in January. How cruel is that?!? How indifferent to the suffering of First Nations children does one have to be to fight these battles? All this after the MMIWG report concludes our discrimination amounts to genocide.
5. Continued lack of support for our veterans, including cutting their healthcare funding
The Libs continue another government tradition, total disregard for our veterans. Despite their clear need for services Libs underspent hundreds of millions on them, putting the burden of their healthcare costs onto hospitals, all while fighting valid lawsuits and tinkering with pensions to further reduce support for disabled vets.
6. Using every lame excuse to sell the Saudis armoured vehicles despite knowing full well their history of violently oppressing civilians
This one really shows the Libs’ true colours as corporate war profiteers. The arms deal with the Saudis was started under Harper, but after criticizing the deal while in opposition the Libs had every chance to scuttle the deal and came up with a new excuse every time they were called out for continuing the sale. All this despite firstly, the Saudis’ history of oppression and using force on civilians in general, and secondly, dismissing evidence Canadian-made weapons were likely being used against civilians. And now, after empowering the Saudis’ interference in Yemen, Canadian-made war machines are falling into the hands of rebels. This has landed us the dubious honour of being the largest arms exporter to the Middle East second only to the US.
7. Despite it never results in growth or jobs, creating more corporate tax breaks
Is there more music to the ears of corporations than yet another undeserved tax break? The Liberals decided to continue yet another neoliberal tradition, the last few decades of corporate welfare, by introducing more corporate tax breaks to spur growth and investment, despite the fact such breaks NEVER result in promised jobs or growth.
8. Trying to get one of the world’s most corrupt corporations, SNC Lavalin, off easy for past misdeeds
This one was such obvious corporate cronyism we had to write a blog post on it.
9. After railing against them, hypocritically using an omnibus bill to…
The hypocrisy continues, a classic case, where you oppose in opposition what you practice in power, in this case omnibus budget bills, of which they did more than one.
10. … Create an infrastructure privatization bank to enrich institutional investors
The Canadian Infrastructure Bank is flying under the radar of most Canadians (possibly because it’s barely done anything to date) but it was quite contentious in economic and monetary reform circles because it is quite literally an infrastructure privatization bank as opposed to a public bank to build infrastructure as was promised. We also railed against it in our letter to the Finance Minister.
One could write a book on all the betrayal and two-faced nature of the Liberals the last four years… oh wait, someone did. “The Trudeau Formula” is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to fully understand just how much in bed the Trudeau Liberals are with corporate Canada, and how their core policies are about maintaining the status quo for the wealthy elite, and what little socially beneficial policies they enact are merely superficial bandaids to create the appearance of progressiveness and equality to appease and quiet the masses.
Adam Smith, 21st Century