FERNANDO: Canada Needs Conservatives To Act Conservative

Canada Needs Conservatism, But Are Conservatives Willing To Offer It?

By Spencer Fernando, Exclusive to the National Citizens Coalition


Sometimes, life offers unexpected surprises.

But they’re called ‘surprises’ for a reason, as most of the time, things tend to play out how we expect.

And so, Justin Trudeau’s remarks at the COP26 conference were unfortunately quite predictable.

He sold-out our economy, pledging to cap oil & gas sector emissions, in what amounts to a massive gift to nations like Saudi Arabia and Russia who will be glad to profit at our expense.

And he tacitly admitted the foolishness of his carbon tax plan by pushing for the entire world to impose carbon taxes on their populations – akin to having tied your hands behind your back before a fight, and then claiming the fight is ‘unfair’ unless your competitors do the same.

As national unity frays here at home, Justin Trudeau seems completely unconcerned, as he’s glad to divide the nation so long as he gets to look good in front of an international crowd.

Yet, there are serious issues here that go beyond Justin Trudeau.

Much of Canada is now entrusted to those who worship at the altar of big government.

The size and scope of government has expanded rapidly in the past year and a half, with our rights and freedoms dramatically curtailed.

Central banks have enabled massive government spending by printing tons of money – which combined with lockdowns and economically damaging policies – has led to surging inflation.

Freedom of expression is under assault, with Bill C-10 on track to be reintroduced.

On all fronts, those who support limited government and individual rights & freedoms are on the defensive.

Conservative surrender

Disturbingly, many conservative politicians appear to have surrendered. Imposing past lockdowns and vaccine passports, running massive deficits (even beyond initial emergency programs), firing healthcare workers for not obeying state dictates, and embracing statist policies, the number of politicians actually committed to conservative policies has dwindled.

In the 2021 election campaign, the CPC largely moved towards the Liberal worldview, rather than seek to persuade Canadians to move to the right.

And some are now advocating for even more of that failed approach, seeking to turn the CPC into a Liberal clone that would differ only in superficial branding.

But that’s the last thing Canada needs.

Instead, Canada needs real conservativism.

Adaptation vs selling-out

Those who seek to turn the conservative movement into a liberal-lite movement often point out that the Conservative Party must ‘adapt.’

They are correct.

Every party must adapt to a rapidly changing world.

However, where people seem to be led astray is when they confuse ‘adaptation’ for ‘selling-out’.

Adapting to a changing world means applying age-old principles to new problems in creative ways.

That is very different than abandoning your principles.

It’s about adhering to your principles and figuring out how those principles remain relevant.

For example, consider the impressive growth of cryptocurrencies – such as bitcoin.

It is an age-old principle – private money that cannot be devalued or manipulated by politicians or central banks – applied in a new way that is only possible because of modern technology.

It’s no surprise that many small-government politicians in the United States and Central America have embraced bitcoin because they see how it can reduce the power of centralized government and empower individual citizens.

Similar possibilities exist when it comes to the environment.

Rather than conceding that only centralized government power and coercion can improve the environment, conservatives should be embracing the power of innovation and freedom.

As one example, there is growing interest in Direct Air Capture, the removal of carbon dioxide from the air. Some Canadians are already involved in the industry:

“Carbon Engineering Ltd., a Canadian rival, is developing a 1 million tons a year plant in the U.S. Permian basin in partnership with Occidental Petroleum Corp., and another in northeast Scotland in conjunction with British firm Storegga. Storegga has attracted investment from M&G Plc, Macquarie Group Ltd., GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund) and Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

Even these are still several orders of magnitude too small to make a real dent in global emissions: We release about 39 billion tons of CO2 yearly. However, by starting small, the industry thinks it will learn how to construct much larger plants at lower cost. There’s no physical reason why “[we] won’t be able to take a ton of CO2 out of the air for around $100 in the next ten to 20 years,” Jan Wurzbacher, co-chief executive of Climeworks told a DAC conference in September.”

Instead of slamming our citizens with a carbon tax, and instead of punishing our own industries allowing other nations to profit at our expense, why not make Canada the best place in the world to innovate and do business, helping spur advancements that could make a real difference for the environment? That would be an approach that could both get results and would be consistent with conservative principles.

And, when it comes to the biggest issue facing many Canadians – the surging cost of living – the conservative principles of sound money & limited government are more needed than ever before.

Given how political the Bank of Canada has become – enabling massive budget deficits – the Bank of Canada must become a centrepiece of political debate in Canada.

Conservatives need to advocate for limiting the growth of the money supply to protect the earning power of Canadians, while reducing government spending and cutting taxes. The connection between work and reward would become more salient, rather than the heavily distorted economy we have today, an economy where the whims of the central bank and spendthrift politicians are far too influential.

Conservatives should also seek to make Canada the bitcoin mining capital of the world and make it as easy and open as possible for Canadians to get into the crypto-currency space.

Again, that would be both consistent with Conservative principles (private money not manipulated by politicians), and with a modern response to a changing world.

With all of this in mind, we can see the promise and potential that conservatism still holds for Canada. The question now is whether the Conservative Party wants to offer that to Canadians, or whether – if they continue moving in a liberal-lite direction – they are content to be eclipsed by those with the courage and strength to stand up for real conservative values.

Spencer Fernando is one of the most popular and prolific political voices in Canada. He is a Campaign Fellow for the National Citizens Coalition. For more from Spencer, visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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