Right in the centre - Truth can be elusive


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

I am currently reading a book by John Ibbitson titled The Dual, Diefenbaker, Pearson and the making of modern Canada. The book is a great gift from an old friend, Ray Bollman of Moline, Manitoba. We roomed together at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s. We both participated in the U of M debating club and he claims he never won a debate with me. Being the gentleman that I am, I will refrain from that debate.. Ray is a good friend who we value highly.

The book is, as the title suggests about John G. Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson, two men who were of similar age and era and who both became prime minister of Canada. I met Diefenbaker two or three times and Pearson once.

Both men served in WWl which was a defining experience for many of our citizens and leaders of the 1940-1970 era. Both men served in government in one form or another through WWII. They were politicians back in a day when you didn’t have to hate someone when you didn’t agree with them. 

On page 108 of the Ibbitson book there is a defining statement about the Canadian mindset of the post WWII era. “If big Government could win the war, maybe Big Government could better manage the peace. The veterans would want homes to live in, a shot at a decent education, jobs that paid a living wage. The new technologies of war had transformed aviation and ground transportation, communications, energy, and medicine, Planners in Washington and London and Ottawa envisioned a government directed economy and state supported services. The Conservatives, while emphasizing the need to preserve market forces in peacetime, were also ready to launch what would become known as the welfare state.”

Since 1945, Canada has indeed become a welfare state. Nothing seems to happen without tax dollars being added to sweeten the pot. All three levels of government, municipal, provincial and federal tax dollars are being funnelled into everything from roads, water and sewer to community rinks and centres. Housing is being subsidized along with electric cars and solar and heat pump systems. Health care and education are almost totally government funded. 

The problem is two-fold. Funding anything without tax dollars is almost impossible today and because the government is entangled in everything, we spend billions of dollars on administering government programs. I read last week that the administration of the carbon tax costs $80 million. I would be surprised if it was that small an amount, knowing how government works. The carbon tax is reported to amount to about $8 billion per year now.

It’s an insane tax, as it was supposed to reduce gas sales, and maybe it has but the market price increases should have done that on its own. The carbon tax is nothing more than a government premise, one of many we live under. The premise is that fossil fuels are warming the earth, higher prices will reduce consumption, lower consumption equals a cooler earth. Well, except for all the jet planes being flown every day.

Here’s an even bigger myth. Cows are causing problems with the environment, more specifically cow burps and farts, There are about 6 million cows in Canada. But, in 1800 there were up to 60 million buffalo in Canada. Oops, there goes the government logic again.

I apologize to the readers for using the word government and logic in the same sentence.

My main message as we approach 2024 is that people need to politely question everything they hear or read. At the end of the day, God is in control even when it’s difficult to see that. Our country, our province and our region is a great place to live but we must examine everything we hear or read to know if we are getting the truth. It is only the truth that will keep us and maintain us. Cling to your locale, and strive every day to find the truth. And remember, it doesn’t always come from government.

Merry Christmas and wishing you and yours a prosperous New Year!!