This can drive one crazy. I was thinking about this overnight . Actually woke up thinking about it.
Where do these Advisory Council members live? Isn’t the first thing to consider before doing a thing like this is to ponder the nature of this country . It is a Federal State with ‘shared ‘ powers between the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments.
You get the feeling that these people have not read our constitution. The Constitution was created from four regions , establishing a Federal Government and Provincial Governments, then further establishing powers of governance and jurisdiction , some powers and jurisdiction Federal , others Provincial. Federal vs Provincial is not the same constitutionally as Provincial vs Municipal. Powers never devolved from the Federal Government to the Provinces. This is crucial to any understanding of the country.
That is the constitutional context .
Then one has to consider the financial context . There are only four have Provinces as we speak. And with oil and gas prices reduced these so called have Provinces are running deficits . And ,of course , all other Provinces are running deficits. Add to that the new Federal Government’s deficit spending ways ; this year alone over $30 billion deficit and well over $100 billion in the next four years. Household debt is the highest in the group of seven countries , exceeding for the first time the gross domestic product. And total debt , governments, companies and households is $4.4 trillion. For 36 million people.
The Council does not address this.
Third , the Council does not address that we are a resource based nation . Yes, we must diversify. But we must make right what we are and make it work. Look at what happened in BC ? It lost the LNG opportunity because it was too slow on getting its act together. And right now we have three pipelines in slings . So before creating more bureaucracy we need to get the bureaucracy we now have right and streamlined. If we have not figured out how to compete with what we know we have what chance do we have with all these new approaches , many of which seem more cumbersome than effective and efficient?
The World Bank does a score on ‘the ease of doing business’ in 190 countries . Canada comes 22, US our largest trading partner 8th, UK 7th. Even Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania do better. New Zealand is number one.
When you break down in particular areas some shocking results for Canada: dealing with construction permits 57th, getting electricity 108th, Registering property 43rd, paying taxes 17th, trading across borders 46th, entering contracts 112th.
Now that’s something I would like an Advisory Council to tackle.
There I got that off my chest. Perhaps I will sleep better tonight.