If you can think of a better time to demolish our economy, sweep aside the rubble, and start from scratch based on projectors’ schemes, let me know. No wait. Let the prime minister know. Because this “Great Reset” plan doesn’t sound that great to me.
It might seem absurd to discuss remodelling a burning house. But Trudeau never liked the place anyway so, with the pandemic bringing it down to the foundations, his Canada Agenda 2030 will replace it with a tasteful, ecological Frank Lloyd Wrightish green house. Um no. Greenhouse bad. Anti-greenhouse.
I don’t want to get too cosmic about his plan. Though not because he was right to accuse the Tories of “conspiracy theories” about his “socialist ideology.” If Trudeau never actually said “great reset” in public, he did tell the U.N. in September the pandemic was “our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”
Just that? one is tempted to ask. Where’s world peace? But a better question is: Where’s the plan? Because what’s crucial when evaluating Trudeau’s musings isn’t to tear off the non-existent veil and reveal the big-government, of-course-people-like-me-should-run-the-world guy. It’s that he’s not good at running things.
His administration flirted with “deliverology” around 2016 when it struck them that it was good for politicians to keep their promises and harder than it looked. But it turned out to be so hard they dropped it and went back to bloviating. And they’re still at it.
Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein quoted Trudeau saying last week, “During the last election, our government promised to legally bind Canada to its commitment of net zero emissions by 2050. This morning, we delivered on that promise with the tabling of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. Bill C-12 lays out a framework of accountability and transparency that will ensure we reach this goal in a way that gives Canadians confidence. That’s why every five years following 2030 it will be mandated that governments need to hit those targets.”
Bosh, Goldstein rightly said, because the bill contains no enforcement mechanisms. But even if it did, no Parliament can bind its successor and Trudeau doesn’t even know it.
Paul Wells in Maclean’s, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, admitted “it’s absolutely true that Trudeau and many, many other members of, for lack of a better term, the global elite have spent altogether too much time this year salivating over the perceived opportunity presented by a ghastly global catastrophe.” However, “the Great Reset controversy is rocket-fuelled by the fears of people who are willing to stretch fact into hate-fuelled fantasy.”
If so they’ve had plenty of help. The “Great Reset” isn’t a plot. It’s a hyperambitious plan hidden in plain sight finally to make capitalism work after two centuries of creating wealth on a breathtaking scale. But it’s wildly unrealistic.
This June, with governments reeling and the private sector collapsing, World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab wrote, “We must build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems.” And, he breezed, “it is not some impossible dream. In fact, one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles.” But the “radical changes” real people have made are to hang on by their homeschooling fingernails and hope their restaurant doesn’t fold taking decades of toil and dreams with it before our public-sector, job-secure betters unlock our basements.
As Rex Murphy says, Trudeau has “no grounds, and certainly no mandate, to ‘reimagine’ the Canadian economy. And he should be the last person to assume he can reinvent it at will” given his past incompetence. Indeed. Because the punchline here is that governments including Canada’s were barely hanging on before the pandemic, drowning in debt while struggling to discharge basic administrative tasks.
The RCMP can’t answer access-to-information requests. Britain’s electric grid faces blackouts. And a classic Nov. 24 National Post story said, “The federal procurement office has issued two separate requests for proposals (RFPS) to administer the [proposed gun-buyback] program, but received no interested bidders in response, even after it explicitly named companies that it hoped might offer a bid.” Oops.
Since 2015 Trudeau has promised the moons of Neptune from balanced budgets to UNDRIP to abolishing first past the post, causing much alarmed discussion of the consequences of accomplishing these goals that overlooked his solid record of incapacity to accomplish them. So now he’s going to reinvent the economy and society?
By all means check out Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy to see what he may one day advocate as U.N. secretary general. But do not imagine he and his colleagues could draft a legislative program for it, let alone one that would work.
It’s not great. It’s not even a reset. Just verbiage.
John Robson is a documentary filmmaker, National Post columnist, contributing editor to the Dorchester Review, and executive director of the Climate Discussion Nexus. His most recent documentary is “The Environment: A True Story.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.