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If the Canadian people are not the focus of this federal government, then it is fair to the ask the question, who is?

The last several months have left Canadians absolutely dumbfounded at this government’s lack of care, compassion, and wisdom.

As food prices continue to rise because of inflation, and energy costs continue to skyrocket, the Trudeau government is choosing to increase the cost of living for Canadians by raising taxes and driving up inflation by spending money it doesn’t have.

Many constituents have met with me in person or written into my office to share the plight of their dire situations. These are stories from real people, and they must not be ignored.

I am talking about a senior on a fixed income living in a mobile home community struggling to get by. Her fridge was empty, and she could not afford to fill it. She would normally turn to her son or neighbours, but they were facing the same challenges due to inflation and the high price of fuel.

Or the woman who came into my office and shared with me that, due to the high cost of living, she and her husband lost their home and were living in an RV in her parents’ backyard. She was injured at work and her medical benefits were not enough for them to get by. This couple was losing everything bit by bit and it was causing severe mental health issues.

These stories are heartbreaking, but unfortunately, they are not rare.

A recent report by the Dalhousie University's Agri-Food Analytics Lab, revealed that almost a quarter of Canadians are buying fewer groceries because of high food costs. Meanwhile, the number of people accessing food banks in our community is growing rapidly and the number of children in poverty is increasing. In a country that produces food for the world, this should not be the case.

Canada has been blessed with abundance. Our riding of Lethbridge is full of bounty. We export our products around the world. It is truly something to be proud of, but instead we have a government that is choosing to punish our farmers instead of celebrating them. It’s shameful.

Food prices are through the roof. We should be incentivizing greater food production, not implementing policies that will decrease crop yield and increase the price of food for Canadians across the country.

Another area of abundance in Canada is energy. We have the third largest oil reserve in the world, and we are the fifth largest producer of natural gas. Just like food, the world needs more energy.

Canada has the potential to be the solution to many of the world’s problems. We could be stepping up and taking our place as a leader on the world stage by meeting the growing demand for food and energy. We could displace the reliance on dictators for energy and bring food stability to nations that cannot produce it for themselves.

During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Canada in August, he expressed his desperation to find new sources for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in light of Russia’s curtailing exports to punish supporters of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s response to this request was that there has “never been a strong business case” for shipping natural gas directly from Canada to Europe because we lack the pipelines and LNG conversion plants to transport our resources. So, instead of working toward a mutually beneficial solution, he just sat back and said, “no.”

The fact of the matter is, there is an incredible business case for increasing production and transportation capabilities, but we happen to be dealing with a Liberal government that has a climate action agenda, which trumps economic prosperity, safeguarding humanity, and common sense.

Canada truly is a country that is blessed, not just with the resources to generate prosperity, but the innovative, creative, and hardworking people to turn raw materials into useful and beneficial products necessary for living life.

I am confident that if we can get government out of the way and provide freedom for Canadians to reach their greatest potential, our nation will not only thrive, but be a leader among other nations.

The solution to the many problems plaguing our country is less government and more Canada.

A little humility can go a long way, especially for those of us in places of leadership.

Sadly, this conviction is seemingly absent in the Liberal government.

Tragically, it has become the habit of Liberal MPs to categorize anyone who disagrees with them as racist, misogynist, or even a Nazi. You will likely recall that we found ourselves thrust into an unnecessary election this time last year. From day one, the Prime Minister’s strategy was to divide Canadians, stigmatize anyone who failed to hold his ideals, and pit regions of our country against each other. With malice in his voice, he outlandishly labelled all unvaccinated Canadians “misogynists and racist.” He questioned whether we should tolerate “these people” as if they were of lesser value.

Mr. Trudeau even went so far as to liken my Conservative colleague, MP Melissa Lantsman, to people waving Nazi flags. Never mind the fact that she is Jewish.

In addition to routinely attaching the most heinous labels to people with whom they disagree, the Trudeau Liberals are obsessed with regulating speech. There are three separate pieces of legislation on the books for this year, which would censor what Canadians can see, hear, and say online: Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and a forthcoming online harms bill.

The Liberal government sees itself as the moral authority on speech. The irony, of course, is that they are some of the worst perpetrators of using distasteful language, inciting hate, and spreading misinformation.

There could not be a clearer example than the recent situation wherein the Canadian Heritage department hired a raging anti-Semite to provide anti-racism training for Canadian broadcasters. Laith Marouf is a senior consultant with the Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC), to whom the government awarded a $133,000 contract (paid with Canadian tax dollars) to conduct training sessions on hate speech.

What is unfathomable is the fact that Mr. Marouf somehow made it past the Liberal government’s vetting process—assuming there was one. A few minutes on his Twitter feed would have revealed a whole host of the most abhorrent anti-Semitic statements and racist slurs one could imagine. It begs the question, was Mr. Marouf assessed and contracted based on merit or was he a friend for whom the Liberals were simply doing a favour?

When the story started gaining traction, it was expected that Pablo Rodriguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, would issue some type of explanation and apology for this egregious incident. After a week of deafening silence, I decided to write a letter to the minister pointing out the hypocrisy of his government’s virtue-signalling and the fact that he had yet to make a statement on the hiring of Mr. Marouf, for which his department was responsible.

To my surprise, his office responded by shirking responsibility and redirecting me to a different minister.

This is an example of Liberal tactic 101: avoid and evade any accountability.

I know everyone makes mistakes. Awarding a contract to a racist to teach Canadian broadcasters about anti-racism could be classified as one of the worst.

The issue I take now is the utter silence coming from the Liberal caucus as whole. This is not about Conservatives vs. Liberals; this is about right vs. wrong.

Anthony Housefather, who is a Jewish Liberal MP, is the only clear exception. To his credit, he has been extremely vocal on this matter from the beginning. He even pointed out Mr. Marouf’s troubling conduct weeks before the story broke, but nothing was done. He later tweeted, “There is a feeling in my community that antisemitism is tolerated more than other forms of hate in North America today.”

Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel famously wrote, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.”

The fact that there was an anti-Semite spewing hate from his social media pages while representing the Canadian government is reprehensible. The fact that the Heritage Minister has failed to take account and offer an apology is even worse.

And remember, this is the same minister who is responsible for three pieces of legislation targeted at regulating the speech of Canadians.

The hypocrisy could not be more obvious.

The tag line for the Liberal party should be “do what we say, not what we do.” Nothing more. Nothing less. Keep it simple. Keep it truthful. Afterall, honesty is the best policy, is it not?

In 1978, at the Future Farmers of America convention, radio broadcaster Paul Harvey gave a speech entitled “So God Made a Farmer,” which outlined the characteristics of an individual who was fit to be a caretaker of the land and the animals that lived on it: someone who was hardworking and tough enough to bear the weight of struggle and adversity, yet gentle enough to care for animals that were suffering. In his speech, Harvey hypothesized:

“God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.”

In his simple, yet powerful tribute to farmers, Paul Harvey assigned dignity and honour to those who work night and day, often in challenging and unpredictable circumstances, to keep us fed.

Farmers across Canada deserve this level of recognition every single day. What we are witnessing instead, however, is a direct attack launched by the federal government against these hardworking men and women and the remarkable job they do—for us.

In addition to the ever-increasing carbon tax, which has made farming an even more costly endeavor, the Trudeau Liberals are narrowing in their sights on fertilizer use. In December 2020, the Prime Minister announced plans for “a national target to reduce absolute levels of GHG emissions arising from fertilizer application by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.”

In response to the forthcoming assault, Fertilizer Canada commissioned a report from the accounting firm MNP. The report concluded that the mandated fertilizer reductions would result in a $48 billion loss in farm incomes over the eight years leading up to 2030. What’s worse, this loss in income and food production will do absolutely nothing of significance to reduce worldwide GHG emissions.

Fertilizer Canada issued a statement saying, “Because Canadian farmers are already among the most sustainable growers in the world, they have less room to lower fertilizer emissions without compromising their food production than those in other countries.”

The federal government’s attack on farmers is virtue signaling at its finest.

Canadian agriculture producers are among the most sustainable growers in the world. Fertilizer is expensive, and just like any profit-driven business, famers do not want to expend unnecessary expenses, so they use fertilizer sparingly. In fact, farmers hire agronomists to help them care for the soil, water, and crops in a sustainable manner. Their goal is to produce the greatest yield using the smallest amount of fertilizer possible. For the federal government to assume it knows more than farmers about fertilizer use, food production, or even environmental practices is foolish.

This ridiculous policy will not only fail in its claim to save the planet, but it will also cause significant food shortages, make Canadians pay more to feed their families, and cause increased poverty and starvation in Canada and other parts of the developing world that depend on us.

This is not a solution to the record high food prices and supply chain shortages we are experiencing because of the government’s inflation-inducing deficit spending and Putin’s war against Ukraine.

The current government’s political measures make things worse. While the Prime Minister can pat himself on the back for “doing something” to appease his enviro-activist supporters, he is in fact kneecapping the agriculture sector and further punishing Canadians who are already having a hard time filling up a grocery cart to feed their families.

Constituents regularly visit, call, or email my office to share with me how difficult it is to afford their daily necessities. Individuals who have jobs that were once considered “good paying jobs,” now cannot afford to pay for gas and rent. I think of seniors who are on a fixed income or those who live with a disability who must make ends meet on a small government-stipend—these folks are finding it almost impossible to meet their basic needs. Food banks can’t keep up with the demand being placed on them.

Politically motivated policies like this are crippling Canada’s economy and hurting Canadians. The Trudeau Liberals need to axe their attack on farmers and allow them to function as experts in food production so they can continue to feed Canada and the world.

We should be celebrating and supporting our innovative, resourceful, responsible, and hardworking farmers, not forcing them to jump through more unnecessary hoops and punitive regulations.

Canadian agriculture is a superpower that sets us apart as a nation that can feed the world. Let’s give our farmers the tools they need and the respect they deserve so they can continue to be leaders in their field and champions of our country!


© 2022 Rachael Thomas.  All Rights Reserved.