Brad Wall: Nothing progressive about Liberal policies hiking the cost of living – National Post

Posted: November 15, 2021 at 11:50 pm

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Voters are at beginning to see the costs of Canadas left-wing, anti-natural resource policies

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Im not sure how popular bowling is these days, but my wife and I went recently and had a great time. There might even be real-life lessons one can glean from the game like the reset button.

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Thats the button you push to reset the pins to their original position. It is quite the opposite of the great reset advocated by our newly re-elected minority Liberal government and others on the left. In that context, it means resetting things to a completely different order.

The great reset is a slogan that aspires to some new world order without Canadian mining, Canadian oil and natural gas and other CO2-emitting industries. The great reset will be so great, in fact, that we will not only be forced to get by without reliable base load energy and resource sector jobs, but thanks to the magic of government, income inequality will be a thing of our dark Darwinian past.

According to this narrative, this reset will be the natural follow-up to the pandemic. And its advocates may be right about that, as there does seem to be a global reset currently underway. And to the extent that it represents unprecedented economic opportunities for Canadas natural resources, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, it could indeed be described as great.

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In a recent Bloomberg interview, Goldman Sachs global head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, talked about a different kind of reset, in which, Poor returns saw capital redirected away from the old economy to the new economy. Its not unique to Europe. Its not unique to energy. Its a broad-based old-economy problem.

Currie explains that, This is the first inning of a multi-year, potentially decade-long commodity supercycle. Its driven by the war on climate change, the war on income inequality. All of these dynamics lead to a structural rise in commodity demand against this whole idea of the revenge of the old economy.

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The evidence in support of what Currie is forecasting is all around us: high gasoline prices, higher grocery bills, general inflation increases and an attendant upward pressure on interest rates. Rising costs of food, gas and other consumer goods, combined with higher interest rates, seems incongruous to the pursuit of income equality, doesnt it? Especially given the disproportionate pain that will be visited on middle- and lower-income households.

As this supercycle gets underway, it will create economic opportunities for western Canada, a prolific source of oil, fertilizer, lumber and agriculture, and there will be a lot less patience on the part of voters for federal policies that both exacerbate the increasing cost of living and interfere with Canadas ability to take advantage of the increased commodity prices.

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There are signs that all of this is already confounding those who have advocated for a great reset. Take U.S. President Joe Biden, who, just before telling those assembled in Glasgow at COP26 about how the United States was back in the fight against climate change, was begging OPEC to increase production, to help provide gasoline price relief for his citizens.

Maybe voters themselves are at the very beginning of another reset one in which they begin to see the costs of Canadas left-wing, anti-natural resource policies, including skyrocketing inflation, shortages of consumer goods and higher interest rates. They will soon feel, if they are not already, the negative impact of a federal government that is not only lacks interest in monetary policy, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously confessed during the election, but lacks focus on economic matters.

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Maybe Canadians will demand their own great reset. A reset back to a focus on the fundamentals: the economy, monetary policy, international trade and sustainable natural resource extraction, along with a focus on opportunities in the new economy, such as green energy.

After all, a strong economy, and all the taxes it provides, is the most progressive societal force of all. It provides not only economic opportunities for the next generation of Canadians, but also funds all the government programs and supports that we prize.

Voters may also conclude that there is not much that is progressive about policies that increase the cost of living such as interest rate hikes and sky-high carbon taxes which make it harder for middle- and lower-income Canadians to afford food and shelter, never mind quality-of-life essentials such as access to post-secondary education and quality health care.

Those who advocate for the policies that are helping to usher in a commodities supercycle and increasing the cost of living might in fact learn a lot from a night of bowling. Theyd have fun, of course, and they could also benefit from the lesson as to what a reset might actually means.

National Post

Brad Wall is the former premier of Saskatchewan.

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Brad Wall: Nothing progressive about Liberal policies hiking the cost of living - National Post

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