Get on with governing
Let's take a take trip back in time.
The year is 1995 and the country has just survived a near death experience, with the No side squeaking out a slim victory in the Quebec independence referendum.
CBC Newsworld hosted on a panel discussion on that historic night, featuring Stephen Harper, then a Reform MP.
"What people have to do tomorrow and I think what a lot of them will want to do, in Quebec and elsewhere, is to pressure their governments to get on with governing and addressing their practical economic, fiscal and social concerns," he said.
"There are a lot of people who are going to have to climb down off of grand visions and start addressing some real concerns, because I think people are more sick of that than anything."
It was good advice then and remains so today.
This simple principle has yet to dawn on Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna.
During an interview with CTV's Question Period, McKenna said: "I have no time for folks who are like, you know, 'We shouldn’t take action'...I don’t have time for politicians that play cynical games about climate action."
The assertion that opposition to a federally imposed carbon tax is akin to climate denial will do nothing to improve the standing of a government already facing accusations it is out of touch with the struggles of the middle class. (And those working hard to join it!)
Earth hour to the Environment Minister! Canadians do not obsess about the climate crisis. It does not keep them awake at night. They have more practical concerns.
"Jobs and the economy" has been cited as the number-one worry for Canadians for six years running, according to polling by Ipsos. Nanos Research surveys showed similar results. The top concerns for Canadians include the cost of living, the cost of housing, taxes and child care. When Angus Reid asked about Canadians and their worries, almost half (47%) said their main concern is the economy, just 12% said the environment.
Hitching the economy's wagon to the environment played well for the Liberal Party over the last year. Inflation was tame, interest rates were on hold, job were being created and housing prices were stable. Now jobs are more scarce, interest rates are biting the housing market and inflation is on the rise. The economy shrank in January.
If the Environment Minister is really paying attention to the Ontario situation it doesn't show. Her provincial cousins are finding out the hard way, people grow weary of grand visions when governments fail to govern.
HERE IS TODAY'S PREP:
Globe & Mail Editorial: To remain a welcoming country, Canada needs a secure border
Forum Poll: Budget a Lifeline for Liberals?