When you have Michael Chong, Maxime Bernier and Kellie Leitch as your top three candidates, you actually have fundamentally different ways of viewing conservatism.
After our week off, we return with our regular panel. Allie, Colin and David talk about public-private partnerships, the carbon tax, and the Conservative Party’s leadership race.
Public-Private Partnership Summit for Infrastructure: No Traction
On Monday, November 14th, Trudeau met with several global private investors – like BlackRock, Manulife and Sunlife – to try and sell them on investing in Canada. This plays into the government’s big infrastructure plan. Basically, the Liberals are looking to leverage the ever-popular concept of PPP to get $4-5 of private funds for every $1 of government funds for public projects. The government is also planning on creating an “Invest in Canada Hub” to attract foreign investment and relax some of the restrictions on global investments for Canadian projects.
The NDP is a little suspect of all this, saying that allowing private investors in public projects will result in privatization. Companies will expect a return on investment of 7-9%, so the NDP thinks that the public is going to end up paying for these projects twice: once through their taxes, and once through inevitable user fees, like tolls on highways, bridges and tunnels.
Carbon tax: Some Traction
Everyone is still recovering from the American election and pondering the implications of Donald Trump’s presidency. One important point for Canada is that the President-elect rejects plans to fight climate change, including carbon pricing. Since Canada has plans for a national carbon tax to meet our commitments to the Paris Agreement, we’re about to have the most expensive carbon in North America.
With this development, politicians and Canadians who were opposed to the plan from the start now have a stronger argument. Jason Kenney, Brad Wall and Rona Ambrose – who have all already made their opposition to the tax clear – were active on social media saying carbon pricing is going to make it tougher for Canada to compete on the global stage.
Conservative Party Leadership Race: The Most Traction
For the first time, the leadership race is getting a lot of traction…or more accurately, leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is getting a lot of traction. Piggybacking on all the attention on the American election and Trump, Kellie Leitch is making headlines by voicing her support for the President-elect and his immigration screening policies. Leitch has been receiving a lot of negative attention since she talked about immigrants needing to have “Canadian values”, and she continues to push her cultural agenda in her bid for leadership.
With her remarks over the past week, people are wondering if there are enough similarities between the Canadian and American electorates to swing votes in Leitch’s favour. Will her Trump-like stance work? It’s too soon to tell, but so far, she’s the only CPC candidate making headlines.
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