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Will Trudeau’s 'green' policy budget ever be effective?

Ron Walter discusses the "green" economy.
Bizworld by Ron Walter

A farmer betting on only one crop had better have a market, and more importantly had better grow enough to make a profit.

The federal Liberal government faces the predicament of closed markets and no crop with the heavy bet on building a “green’’ climate industry in the latest budget.

Virtually every country on the planet is looking to build “green” industry based on electric vehicles and alternate energy by developing critical minerals used in them.

The competition is fierce as the Liberals try to meet open-ended green subsidies in the United States. Canada developed its own $21 billion plan to help build the green economy.

To become a viable maker of EV batteries and green industry, Canada needs the U.S. market. One executive order by a new American president could change our access to the vital U.S. market.

Before Canada can begin developing a “green’’ economy the critical minerals that allow green technology must be found, extracted and refined.

Building new oil and gas pipelines is nearly impossible, given opposition.

Both the federal Liberals and Ontario Conservative leaders have promised to fast track new resource developments.

Fast tracking is no way to speed development.

Former Prime Minister Steven Harper took environmental legislation that was credible to most people but suspect to others and fast tracked the process.

The consequence was legal action by Indigenous groups that stopped a new pipeline. All credibility in the act was lost.

Trudeau, when elected, moved too far in the other direction, passing legislation that made resource projects almost impossible to build.

Today, Canadian environmental law has little credibility with most people. Fast tracking projects will only make matters worse.

Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec are crawling with mineral explorers looking for deposits from nickel to lithium to rare earths.

The Indigenous people living there have already protested the level of intrusion on their ancestral territories and way of life. They promise to seek legal action. Legal action can take decades to resolve an issue. The legal profession may be the big winner from a green policy while Canada lags behind the rest of the world in going green.

The new federal budget marks a departure from the Liberal promise to balance the budget by 2027-28.

The current year deficit increases by one-third to $40.1 billion with no time line for achieving zero deficit.

The Liberals are banking on Canadians’ love of personal debt to give them permission to continue with deficits, while adding programs such as dental care and token grocery rebates.

Servicing the national debt will eat up $43.9 billion this fiscal year. That amounts to just over nine per cent of the budget.

With increasing future costs for health care, dental care, seniors’ pensions and other programs there is no end in sight to the annual deficit, let alone any dent in the debt.

A slower rate of growth, or deep recession, will only increase the deficit unless draconian cuts are made.

Ron Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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