So concerned are Canadians about the coronavirus and its economic impacts, news that the national debt will reach an unprecedented $1.45 trillion this year barely registers.
A trillion-plus is just too big for regular folk to comprehend.
The fact that this record debt does not include federal pension liabilities to the civil service or new spending proposed by the Trudeau Liberals since September should have us freaking out.
But it doesn’t.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no new taxes, and that’s all that matters.
Canadians are tapped out — spending beyond their means by 176%, and many are reportedly $200 a month away from insolvency.
Before we moved to Ottawa three years ago, we were owners of a large-ish lake house not far from the small rural town of Bancroft.
The worst sight in the winter was the fuel truck again driving down the lane to re-fill the two huge kerosene tanks in the basement which fed a furnace with an insatiable appetite.
Fuel oil then was always more than a dollar per litre, but rural homeowners have few options beyond propane and wood.
So we had a payment plan that ran 12 months a year.
Now Dan McTeague, the former five-time elected Liberal MP from the Toronto area who is now best known as the Gas Guy, is telling us that home heating costs are about to be jacked up by 60% because of new green fuel regulations the Liberal cabinet is seriously considering.
This will certainly stress the litmus test of $200 insolvency.
“Homeowners are completely oblivious to what is happening because most people are worried about the recession and pandemic and what’s happening next week, let alone what will happen in 2022,” said McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.
“We have compelling research indicating this is bad policy.”
“The cost isn’t simply up front,” he said.
“It is in every step of the life cycle of energy. That includes extraction and processing.
“If at every level there is a regulation that imposes a cost, I don’t want to say the sky is the limit but the cost is significant” he added.
“This might be the reason it has not been introduced to date.”
Bad policy on pocketbook issues can be killers, but if anything can be said about the Trudeau Liberals it’s that they believe green energy initiatives, like a 60% hike on home-heating costs, will be welcomed by Canadians about to be lashed to a $1.45-trillion debt.
All the Opposition has to do is describe it for what it is, and use the two words which have become the joke of haughty ideals embraced by well-off progressives, Toronto’s downtown lefties and the Laurentian elites who wouldn’t know a hard-working, tax-pressed person from Bancroft if they tripped over one.
And those two words are carbon tax.
It’s like farting in an elevator.