This Canadian Thinks

Navigating The New Normal: Post-Pandemic Life, Labour Shortages, and Multiculturalism in Canada

December 14, 2023 This Canadian Thinks Season 1 Episode 7
This Canadian Thinks
Navigating The New Normal: Post-Pandemic Life, Labour Shortages, and Multiculturalism in Canada
This Canadian Thinks
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Are you feeling the pinch of pandemic aftermath too? Has your favourite restaurant's quality taken a nosedive while prices skyrocketed? Join us as we pull back the curtain on the harsh realities of post-pandemic life in Canada. As we navigate a nation divided between those eager to move on and others stuck in uncertainty, we'll discuss the declining quality and increasing prices in the restaurant industry, labour shortages in various sectors, and the role of temporary foreign workers.

What if we told you that Alberta's healthcare workers are migrating to Saskatchewan for better pay and less demanding work? It’s true. The aftershocks of the pandemic continue to reverberate throughout Canada's labour market, and no industry is immune. We'll discuss the labour shortages plaguing sectors like construction, trucking, hospitality, and agriculture, and the role of the government in these crises. We'll also touch on the healthcare situation in Alberta and the intricate reasons behind this mass migration. As we journey through Canada's political landscape, we'll discuss the government's spending habits and the looming concern of Canada's high debt and deficit.

Do you ever wonder about diversity and multiculturalism in Canada? As we approach the final chapter of our discussion, we're going to dive into the fascinating world of communication, societal standards, and expectations. We'll examine diversity and multiculturalism in Canada, and how it is perceived among the population. We also cast a critical eye on the lack of accountability in various sectors, with a special focus on the government. Wrapping things up, we'll touch on recent government settlements and the role of progressive ideologies. We promise a riveting discussion that will leave you thinking long after the conversation ends. Don't miss out on this insightful episode!

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Speaker 1:

Whether we agree or agree to disagree, everybody's got an opinion, and I'm about to give you mine. So sit back, relax, buckle up and try not to get offended. Welcome to This Canadian Thinks. Since the close of the pandemic, the world has slowly moved towards some sort of post-pandemic normalcy. There's still the smattering of people in public sporting a mask and recently, with the onset of fall, health officials have begun to encourage the rest of us to do the same. But for the most part it's finished.

Speaker 1:

Most Canadians have reached the point where they are simply over the pandemic. It's going to be very difficult to get them to socially distance and mask up or dictate when they're allowed to be in public again after the lifting of restrictions. Aside from the pandemic having simply run its course, becoming regarded as something akin to the seasonal influenza that it most assuredly is, their own science has always pointed to a type of herd immunity, which is where we must be by now, according to the modeling they offered us then. Beyond the loss of human life sustained during the time and the disillusion of democratic rights and freedoms, there are lasting repercussions, things that have not returned to normal as we knew them pre-pandemic.

Speaker 2:

New polling from Ipsos shows while one in five Canadians feel things are normal now, the same proportions say they're not sure they'll ever be ready to live without masks or vaccine mandates. But regardless of when people think the new normal will arrive, 64% of Canadians say they believe governments are not doing enough to get us there.

Speaker 3:

Well, we seem to be pretty ready. That's what's being communicated out of the research, but it really is interesting that almost 20% one in five say to us that they don't think they'll ever be ready, that we'll ever be going back to normal. So even though we're saying that we want to get back to something that resembles a normal life, we're still pretty tentative.

Speaker 1:

If you've been out to eat in the past year, you may have noticed a downward trend in overall quality, portions and service, married to a steady increase in prices. As exciting as it was to once again break free of the confines of our homes to dine in local eateries, what we got was not the same once we got there. Far from it, in fact. Many excuses have been made for this, from supply chain issues, lack of workers, increased wages, rising cost of raw materials and transportation, to name just a few. It seems as though we went from calling our orders in to them, calling in their occupational performances. Even the most high-end establishments seem to have lowered the bar considerably in terms of overall quality and presentation. It's as though no one is even trying anymore.

Speaker 5:

Hey you, you call this food. My sandwich tastes like a fried boot. My sandwich is a fried boot.

Speaker 1:

Some of you may be shocked to find out that the restaurant industry is still being subsidized financially by the Canadian government, even though regular citizens were no longer eligible for benefits as of November of 2022. I know I was. Not only are we receiving the most lackluster experiences offered to date, but as taxpayers, we are paying them for it through the Canadian Emergency Wages subsidy. Meanwhile, the industry cries. They aren't able to find staff without hiring temporary foreign workers to fill the available positions.

Speaker 1:

If restaurants are hiring temporary foreign workers and are being offered wage subsidies as well, then aren't we subsidizing those workers on two different levels? First, at the temporary foreign worker level, where we subsidize wages to make them more affordable, which is a fancy way to say allowing companies to pay a rate below minimum wage by having the government pay the difference with your tax money. Then, secondly, the government gives the restaurant a wage subsidy to offset the overall cost of wages further for everyone on their payroll. This gives temporary foreign workers a very lucrative allure. No wonder companies would want to have it appear as though there's a shortage of Canadian-born applicants. It's not financially advantageous to hire Canadians. The incentive simply isn't there. Curiosity would have one wonder how many of the employees benefitting from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Program are temporary foreign workers, migrants or refugees.

Speaker 7:

Across Canada. The signs are clear. The resources are looking for workers. The pandemic brought labour issues into focus, some sectors in desperate need of employees Construction, trucking, hospitality, agriculture. There's more we could grow than we can harvest. We could grow more food. It's labour is our main constraint a lot of the time.

Speaker 8:

We need a skilled, agile and inclusive workforce to support a growing economy.

Speaker 7:

Canada's new employment minister says his government can help. Under the temporary foreign worker program. So-called trusted employers who've repeatedly brought temporary workers to Canada, while following program rules, can keep employees for three years instead of the usual 18 months. Their application process will also be streamlined. The pilot will cost just over $29 million.

Speaker 1:

Without localized representation in the workforce, the regional identity is lost, as with the gratification of serving the surrounding community, the pride of a job well done. It's easier to do the bare minimum when you don't know anyone in the area personally, which was the case pre-pandemic, for sure, but it has become increasingly worse Now because people spent a few years eating their own itchy ban. It seems to be okay to present something similar at the restaurant level, simply because you should be happy to be out and not having to boil the water yourself. Where's the value? It certainly isn't in their offerings. Bridge brand or Sysco packaged prepared meals is really the only difference. At the middle class level, most menus are identical, otherwise Original fare all but reserved to the most expensive and inaccessible of dining establishments, pardon me, would you have any grey poupon?

Speaker 9:

But of course oh thank you.

Speaker 5:

Are you putting grey poupon on a wiener? No, no, it's not a wiener, it's a Frank-Futter. Oh, why Is that a bologna sandwich? You're applying my grey poupon to that's bologna.

Speaker 1:

God forbid you might complain. Along with the terrible service and poor product, there's been a table turned on customer retention as well. At one time, the customer was always right. These days, complaints are viewed as a form of abuse, a type of verbal assault that will absolutely not be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever. Little to no effort is actually taken to acknowledge or rectify problematic service or product offerings, yet we are expected to continue to subsidize this lack of service. In fact, the restaurant industry clamors for more money, stating that their industry is on the verge of collapse and most restaurants days away from closure without some sort of financial intervention on behalf of the government.

Speaker 10:

Matthew Seneca Junkier owns this restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Pre-pandemic, it was a breakfast and lunch hotspot, but the daytime office crowd never rematerialized after COVID, so they turned the back into a wine bar in the evenings. It's now an essential part of their business.

Speaker 11:

The dynamic and the drivers of the business have completely changed pre and post-pandemic.

Speaker 10:

One of the biggest challenges right now soaring inflation. Menu prices in BC went up an average of 6% last year, despite cost increases of up to 30%.

Speaker 11:

So I think there's sticker shock. When we opened the business, a $9 sandwich sounded really expensive and today, with the cost of ingredients that we use, a $14 sandwich is too cheap.

Speaker 12:

Labour shortages are another major sore spot 80% capacity is all restaurants are operating at because of the labour shortages. We've had two-thirds of our members that are cutting operating hours because they just don't have the staff and the third owe pandemic-related debt.

Speaker 10:

He says nearly a quarter of restaurants that have yet to repay COVID loans will never be able to fully do so.

Speaker 12:

So the combination of those factors make it really difficult for restaurants to generate the income, to become profitable, and what we saw in the latest numbers is an alarming number at that, 51% of restaurants are not making any money. They're unprofitable.

Speaker 10:

The deadline to pay back federal loans is December 31, which is a one-year extension from the original date, but the restaurant industry is lobbying the federal government to extend that deadline another 36 months and they want Ottawa to respond by the end of this month. In BC, the restaurant sector has spent the last few weeks pressuring the provincial government for extra support. Now help is coming.

Speaker 13:

We do know that a number of small businesses are feeling the impact. What we might really call a COVID hangover is. We've been taking those meetings and we'll be announcing something shortly.

Speaker 10:

But for many restaurants right across the country, they're nearing a tipping point and can't afford to see their margins squeezed any tighter. Tanya Fletcher, CBC News.

Speaker 1:

What about taking on some of the responsibility as business owners themselves? What about putting some effort into events or specials to draw customers into their establishments? What about updating the menu using original recipes instead of ordering prepackaged meals from the large retail chain providers? What about hiring and firing staff based on their customer service abilities and cumulative complaints from customers? None of these things are mentioned, even though they have far more to do with the success or failure of a restaurant than how much the government is willing to pay to subsidize the staff. Unfortunately, this is the post-pandemic mentality that seems to prevail. Don't even get me started on the new trend where it seems we're expected to tip the person who sells you a stick and gum. Here's a tip for you Do more than the very least that is expected of you and people will go out of their way to tip you and thank you personally. Stop expecting a top dollar wage for minimum wage performance.

Speaker 9:

Michael, have you finished that evaluation? Yeah Well, I hope I need to present to the board on Monday. Of course you can no Now. It's just, it's not strictly in paper format. Right, so you haven't done it.

Speaker 1:

No, I have done it, it's just in my head. Recently, it was discovered that one of the contributing factors behind Alberta's shortage of doctors and nurses is the fact that many healthcare professionals are moving to Saskatchewan, where they're paid more for doing considerably less, while most of us would like to work far less for a higher wage. It speaks to the overall disinterest in doing an exemplary job. Everyone is looking to do the bare minimum. There seems to be no satisfaction in going the extra mile anymore, although you can't exactly blame them. After years of being forced to submit to mandates and modified work schedules, in many cases against their own personal wishes. Healthcare workers are exhausted from being constantly engaged with their fight-or-flight response. We all are, which is why going back to restrictions is going to be a hard sell for most. Even those who went along without question are likely to oppose it another time people like myself picked in the hospital but but b from family members.

Speaker 18:

Albert up for over three years. T be it a hospital or a lab, change Alberta Health S the requirement to masking and continuing care cente. The decision is based on cases and wastewater data, says. Other contributing f include testing positivity, admission rates for respi Alberta, as well as consult, including patients, their managers. This news has b and worry to others.

Speaker 6:

I h the NICU and so taking a has been like my mentality, so masking hasn't been a. Know, if they feel like th that I'm probably going t their decision.

Speaker 18:

It's not I don't like to wear, but of the safety of my patient. Ahs says masks and PPE wil for patients and healthca mask up but as of June 19, infectious diseases expert says it has been hard to through a mask and many o will probably not mask up required.

Speaker 17:

I think many oth done this, like most recent in BC in April, and we kn seen major issues in those some point in time you kn forever. So it's probably this as the summer season of transmission we see in.

Speaker 18:

Dr Gregson stresses, though compulsory anymore Yet l if they feel sick or they of immunocompromised peop that some people aren't s mask when they go out in p may be victims of stockho.

Speaker 1:

Hope that they're wearing are sick and not to protec. That's the one thing we s this whole debacle. If yo home, if you can't stay h public, wear a mask. That' really far more effective. Vaccine acceptance or th forced on the populist ju.

Speaker 19:

Let's say you get kidnap right and during the cour somehow you fall in love. It's rare but it happens. Central.

Speaker 1:

Restaurants and the only ones calling in governments too, are operat unacceptable fashion at e local municipality to the Even they seem to think I focus on benefit over effort. They pass an extension to to enshrine it into legis. Future Politicians don't parliament anymore. Instead, virtually via video call, they're looking to limit four per week instead of t giving themselves all a h recently as well. More exp depreciated program offeri the ground floor to the g of parliament are once agai remotely.

Speaker 16:

A motion has pa to resume hybrid sittings. New democrats voted in fav. Votes against the conserva Epoqua. The NDP supporti. Putting an end to two days gives MPs the option of p in proceedings.

Speaker 1:

While li their best to convince th about the benefits of ost. The highest inflation Can? Articles have surfaced re Trudeau's Easter Vacation? A quarter of a million do 250,000, courtesy of john C. Hasn't been this much d governing class on the cit Antoinette proclaimed.

Speaker 20:

Let how well that worked out I they went to the queen to had no bread. Do you know?

Speaker 9:

Let them eat cake.

Speaker 1:

When a referred to as their burn, never spend more capital at any rate beyond that wh. Replace it Canada's burn charts. Any competent levi divested long ago and in seen our credit rating re been downgraded already e would never admit it. Ac three star credit rating a is proof that the current sound Meanwhile investi pace as more companies av to the fragile economics it can be hard for people it fiscally responsible o in Ottawa I think the h us.

Speaker 21:

There are lots of par flying around and so wha to you, but even more to us and watching us. Um I me to grade my own. Homewo me say government is fisc. Want some proof points S quick proof points. The f debt and Canada's deficit are the lowest in the G 7. Thing and this speaks to. We should grade our own. H you to want us to grade o? Is someone out there whos of us a grade and that I ratings agencies and the agencies are giving? Canada today is the highest grade credit rating.

Speaker 22:

And that I credit rating from my bank that I should increase th staff that I have at my w out of at a pace faster t in the public service.

Speaker 21:

I that that pays perhaps b the cuts that you're now over the next five years on that, the rating that us is based on where we a based on what they think forward. So they're looking, they're looking at how st and is it growing, so the to make investments to be and what they also think of investments in line with rate of growth, with the re investments. That's what I think broadly, that's wha us and that is what we ar to delivering.

Speaker 1:

That's wha total debt to date is over a good year. Revenues will Federal interest payments each 20.2 billion or 7.3% revenues in 2020, 2021. The the public, which meant t was spending seven cents o on interest payments as de payments on the national in fiscal year 2022, the Interest costs grew 35% l to grow by another 35% by, in fact, our total national, or roughly half the cost o. We're paying twice as much cost to operate the entie.

Speaker 22:

Minister Christofreeland fa affordability and Canada's adding to the inflation. Pro economic update peg the d fiscal year at about $40 b budget projected, but the few years after that is n at budget. The cost to pay rises due to that, deficit rates reaching more than 2028.

Speaker 23:

This is someone wha debt. He's added more dea prime minister is combined will spend more on debt I that we do in health care measures for housing.

Speaker 22:

15 b. Loan funding for rental a won't be available for an proposed tax. Measures to short term rentals and a charter a codification of banks are expected to fo borrowers, though it's no government has announced.

Speaker 12:

It's not even a mini budget. It does not meet the urgen going through. It doesn't needs.

Speaker 1:

According to the F total interest costs for the country, the total per amounted to 67.7 billioni. This is nearly equivalent pension benefits acquired and Quebec pension plans billion. It's also just u spent on public kindergarten in Canada in 2019 2020, th available data. These comp to demonstrate the scale o the country. They also prov to which debt accumulations away from important public governments burn rate mor uncontrollable wildfire. Th fiscally sound it's as th to spend all the money th order to get rid of it. Be they can usher in their b digital currency once and Imagine a digital loony becoming legal tender.

Speaker 15:

Well, that day is getting closer. A recent survey found most major banks are considering some form of digital currency within the next six years. Three research teams have produced proposals for the Bank of Canada, as Eric Sorensen reports. This could fuel the digital economy.

Speaker 24:

Every day, more Canadians pay digitally and fewer businesses need this A cash drawer stuffed with bills. Canadians are among the most cash-free spenders in the world, so is it time for digital currency? The Bank of Canada isn't promoting the idea, but believes it needs to be ready.

Speaker 4:

Currency is a core part of the Bank of Canada's mandate. For several years, the Bank of Canada has been analyzing what circumstances might lead Canada to decide to issue a digital currency.

Speaker 24:

The Bank of Canada is now studying proposals from three sets of university experts for a homegrown digital currency Formulas for how to spend with the anonymity of cash without using cash. It could work like this Through an app on a cell phone, a user sets up a secure e-wallet, it's authenticated through a government agency and it's ready to go. The merchant establishes a digital transaction to accept the funds. But a critical new step in between what the U of T and York team calls a white list, where the transaction is not only authenticated but will ensure customer information is not passed on, just the money. Privacy is paramount.

Speaker 5:

We believe that the Canadian government has an obligation to give people a way to protect their privacy and give them, in particular because payments are so central for commercial interactions.

Speaker 24:

The currency would require measures against too much privacy to prevent money laundering and tax evasion. And while cash payments are becoming a smaller part of the economy, the central bank says it wouldn't abandon communities not connected to high-tech commerce.

Speaker 4:

That means, for one thing, ensuring that remote and marginalized communities are not left out of any new way of way to pay for goods and services.

Speaker 24:

The so-called CBDC wouldn't be a direct counter to Bitcoin, which is an investment currency rather than a cash equivalent consumer currency. But Canada cannot sit back, say experts, as other countries like China unveil digital currencies and private enterprise cryptocurrencies such as Facebook's DM are developed.

Speaker 17:

It's a matter of national sovereignty. So I don't think the Bank of Canada, or any central bank for that matter, would like to outsource this process to a third party, even if it is a domestic party land alone a foreign one.

Speaker 4:

Only a central bank can guarantee complete safety and universal access, and with public interest, not profits, as a top priority.

Speaker 24:

Digital currency won't be issued before Canadians and Ottawa wanted, but when they do, the Bank of Canada wants to be ready to roll it out.

Speaker 1:

Can you imagine how awful the rollout of a digital currency will be? The government couldn't organize a butt-kicking contest if the room was nothing but legs and butts, not to mention that you can't trust them not to turn off your money whenever they feel like it, just like they did to participants of the Freedom Convoy. You must maintain some sort of tangible and physical currency or you risk not only the government being deeply involved in every aspect of your financial background, but the eventual disillusion of the digital credits merit, as the government balloons the economic environment by simply issuing more credits. And that's if there's any sort of limitation of the amount of digital currency that can be created. That's why you buy a fraction of a Bitcoin. The originator of the currency gave it a finite number of coins. There can only be so many. Now that each coin is worth extraordinary amounts of money, they're split up into pieces, which are then broken down further yet again. You buy a piece, but it's still worth money. A government-backed digital currency will have no such limitation.

Speaker 7:

Are US Treasury bonds still safe to invest in.

Speaker 9:

Very much, so I think there's a. This is not an issue of credit rating. The United States can pay any debt it has, because we can always print money to do that, so there is zero probability of the fall what what?

Speaker 1:

What An entire future episode will delve into the way money is created, because it is far too onerous to articulate here and now. We are talking about the state of the world post-pandemic, but let's sum it up by saying it's easy to see how much worse it might be without the checks and balances of some sort of commodity-based currency going forward.

Speaker 22:

And what do you and your family do to cut back on?

Speaker 21:

plastics.

Speaker 8:

We have recently switched to drinking water bottles out of water, out of when we have water bottles out of a plastic sorry, away from plastic towards paper, like drinkbox water bottles sort of things. There's a number of choices we can make as consumers that will do better, and every consumer needs to look at ways they can make smarter choices in their consumptions. We certainly do that on a daily basis as we've switched from plastic water bottles to paper water bottles or cardboard water bottles, but there are there's always more things to do and we're looking forward to continue that.

Speaker 1:

Ineptitude and disorder is the rule of the day. You can expect the most ridiculous things to come out of a politician's mouth at this time as they attempt to weigh societal and moral dilemmas in a matter which is outside of their knowledge and their purview. Our elected officials are meant to represent their local constituents, but have far too much fun playing in the sand and meddling in the concerns of other jurisdictions. They're allowing the home fires to burn out while lighting wildfires in other places. While we are servicing an interest rate to international banks twice the cost of doing business, we are funneling millions upon millions out of Canada and to other countries to solve problems that will one day be ours, because they are neglecting to focus their concerns on matters of a Canadian origin, as though somehow saving Ukrainians will magically erase homelessness in Canada. Can you imagine the fresh drinking water, foods, lodgings and opportunities we could present to the Canadian population if we didn't send that money abroad?

Speaker 1:

Many people arrive in Canada for a new life not to fight the centuries-long wars they left behind in their homelands. They come to escape war, not to wage it. So how then is it that we can be pressured so adequately as to affect our efforts elsewhere? It's all manufactured anger anyway. If it weren't, then why was Ukraine obliterated from the news cycle the minute the sword of iron war kicked off? Think about it. When was the last time you heard the name Putin? Pierre Paulier isn't wrong when he says it's time to bring it back home. Problem is, pierre is no more likely to stop sending out foreign aid or supporting international causes than Justin Trudeau is what can I get you?

Speaker 1:

I'd like a large coffee. Okay, so hot coffee.

Speaker 5:

Hot coffee. Okay, room for cream. Totally leave room for cream. Why are you talking like that?

Speaker 12:

Why are you talking like that?

Speaker 25:

Because this is my voice, this is my voice. No, it's not. I heard you talking a minute ago. I know you don't talk like that.

Speaker 7:

Neither do you, because nobody actually talks like this. You choose to talk like this, and today I chose to talk like this. Pretty annoying, isn't it? Why are you so rude man?

Speaker 8:

Just stop doing that. Can't help us, my voice. No, it's not. It's an affectation that annoying teenagers and rich people use to sound like they don't give a sh, except you work in a coffee shop. So I know you're not rich and you don't look like a teenager unless you're a Eunice Kennedy Shriver knock it off.

Speaker 25:

So just because I talk like this means they don't give a sh. And what exactly was this a knock of a sh about?

Speaker 8:

That's an excellent question to ask yourself in your actual voice.

Speaker 5:

Excuse me, some of us would like to order. You're total dick man there. There you go.

Speaker 8:

Good, you're talking.

Speaker 1:

It's the same at all levels, post pandemic, from the barista making your coffee to your elected officials, everyone is doing a half-baked job. Maybe it's because they're all on legalized marijuana, who knows? There sure isn't the old college try anymore, though that's for sure. It used to be that you set regulations and protocols and held everyone to the same degree, but these days the government tells us that building codes and adequate training is racist, and we must alter our expectations so that those unqualified for the task are able to participate.

Speaker 1:

Paul Yer himself said he would fast-track migrants and refugees who were in Canada already so that they could more quickly apply for jobs in which they may be trained in their home country, but that might not meet the requirements of the current Canadian system, which is a fancy way to say they do not have the expected standard of training and that it would be bigoted to expect that they might elevate their skill set to properly meet the requirements and competencies to successfully obtain said positions in Canada. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you likely already know that healthcare in Canada is in shambles. Do we really need more unqualified staff? Adding to the issue, how about getting them the additional training required instead of lowering our requirements. This isn't a third world country and we shouldn't accept third world standards.

Speaker 24:

So I'm happy to report we have succeeded in rebooting our flagships Way ahead of schedule. Yet again, this has allowed us to improve our USPs by 90%.

Speaker 5:

That's 9 out of every 10. Excellent, thank you, samuel. Timothy, what's the status with the linear solutions? Could you give us the latest on the square project?

Speaker 20:

The linear solutions department has yet again functioned at full capacity and we have fulfilled 114% of this month's objectives. You can read the handouts for a detailed account. But in short, as I reported last week, we've decided to use the right angle for the square project. Now there's still some debate as to how big a right angle is, so we're testing currently at 90, 97, 100 and 101 degrees. As agreed. I've ensured Anderson cross-checks the design, keeping any left angles, and doesn't use them in future. Overall, we have very good progress with the design.

Speaker 5:

Are we on track with the schedule? When are we required to start delivering?

Speaker 20:

I'm happy to report that we are ready to start first deliveries tomorrow, which is way ahead of the requested delivery schedule.

Speaker 5:

We've only just finished system testing the prototype, and are only halfway through performance testing.

Speaker 20:

We haven't even released an alpha version yet, as I said earlier, we've had very good progress with the design.

Speaker 5:

But I'd say the design of the product is only 75% complete. Well, exactly.

Speaker 20:

That's three out of every four. So we're ready to start shipping tomorrow. What it doesn't work like that, we'll produce, say, four units, but only ship the first three. Then, when you're finally 100% complete with the design, we can then ship the fourth.

Speaker 5:

Excellent work, timothy. You can proceed with the production. Anderson, send me please a revised delivery schedule so I can share it with a client. Well, thank you everyone. This was very productive.

Speaker 1:

That's part of the problem, though Nobody cares. People, for the most part, tend to take the path of least resistance. If their meal is cold and undercooked, they won't go out of their way to draw attention to it. They take a lackadaisical approach and say what can I do? Still better than having to cook it myself. Same thing with the government. Both sides are so sure that there's the only way to prevent the other, and then they do the exact same things once they get into power and everybody says oh well, what can I do? Well, you can start by realizing you're being played by both sides. Even that seems like too much to ask. The level of political disregard in Canada is near unbelievable Almost as unbelievable as that. Next to no one is willing to do anything to hold them accountable for it. Maybe it's because the mass majority are also going through their day-to-day lives without challenging themselves or holding themselves to a higher standard either.

Speaker 19:

If there's one maxim the Trudeau government really likes repeating, it's this one Diversity is our strength. But it turns out that when you ask the very diverse Canadian population their thoughts on this sentiment, they're not so sure. According to this Leger post-media poll, a mere 24% agree with the idea that diversity is unambiguously a strength. Most everybody else strikes a more nuanced tone. It could be a strength, but having lots of different people living together can also cause problems if you're not careful. And this isn't some white backlash thing. Non-white respondents were actually slightly more likely to say yeah, diversity is great Sometimes. That same poll also showed people weren't so hot on multiculturalism either. A majority said immigrants should be encouraged to adopt Canada's mainstream values and traditions and forget about anything that doesn't jibe with those.

Speaker 1:

That's the issue with having a non-nation state where absolutely everything is welcomed and embraced, including vastly different viewpoints that historically have had no history of peace. Without an ideal understanding of what Canadian values and belief sets are, then you are leaving the door open to allow centuries-old conflicts to land on our doorstep. Just look at all the pro-Hamas demonstrations that are being held all over Canada right now. They are literally celebrating a terrorist group in the streets of Canada. Meanwhile, Kazakhstanian terrorists are known to be living in enclaves in Surrey, British Columbia, yet nothing is done to deport them or otherwise. Some of them even receive taxpayer money. It's absurd, Although Canada has been developing a bit of a reputation as terrorist sympathizers for a while now. Just look at the 10.5 million the Trudeau government handed over to convicted terrorist Omar Cotter.

Speaker 13:

Breaking news now on confirmation that the Canadian government has issued Omar Cotter an apology and a monetary settlement. For details, I'm joined by CTV's Michel Boye. He's with me in studio, Michel. We're just learning that the apology has come down. Tell us more about that.

Speaker 23:

Yeah, the Canadian government apologizing to Omar Cotter. I want to share part of it with you word for word, what the government is saying in a statement just moments ago. We're announcing that the government of Canada has reached a settlement with Mr Omar Cotter, bringing this civil case to a close. On behalf of the government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr Cotter for any role Canadian officials may have played and any resulting harm. We hope that this expression and the negotiated settlement reached with the government will assist him in his efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in his life with his fellow Canadians.

Speaker 23:

So this, of course, Marcia is, you know, has been. We've been talking about this all week ever since it was leaked that he was going to get a reported 10.5 million dollars, the government not saying that the figure that they settled for. Those figures were reached in mediation. Mediation is confidential, so we may never know officially from the Canadian government how much was settled for. But again, the apology to Omar Cotter for the government's involvement in his questioning when he was held captive by well, while he was held in custody, I should say by the United States.

Speaker 13:

And that money we've also learned has already been paid out. This is not something that's pending. This has happened.

Speaker 23:

It's happened, it's done. It's in a bank account. What kind of bank account remains to be seen. Could be in a trust as well. But you know, omar Cotter, if he wanted this, had to ask, had to act very quickly. We did have obtained documents from the court Superior Court here in Toronto that in fact the wife, the widow of the US Army medic that was killed in Afghanistan, had began, had had filed a motion to try and stop Omar Cotter from getting that money. But because the Canadian government moved swiftly on this, they were able to have the money wired to him, deposited into his account, before any sort of litigation went forward that could have stopped that from happening.

Speaker 13:

And that money is tax-free.

Speaker 1:

People complain about the police and their general ineffectiveness as well, and, while granted, they could likely do more, how did the police do their job when the government supports the criminals they are supposedly tasked with chasing? If you have ever had a car stolen or been scammed by some fraudulent individual, you've likely heard them say We'll make a report of it, but don't expect anything. This sort of stuff happens all the time. It's no different than the waitress who tells you that complaining about your stake is a form of unacceptable abuse. There is something they could do about it. They choose not to. It might be easy for the cops either, though, having to cherry pick what political targets they might do best to avoid, while staying motivated to go to work and chase bad guys All the while the government introduces laws on a near daily basis aimed at keeping those pursued out on the streets. Given those circumstances, it would be tough to remain excited about the job when picking up the phone after a while, for even the most seasoned professional.

Speaker 19:

Police. What do you want? I want to report a murder. What else do you know? Hey, you're going to let me in a walk. Yeah, hang on.

Speaker 9:

Before you go any further, pal, I got to tell you it's cash up front, A thousand bucks a day for a full investigation and another foul of the assailant's card. You understand.

Speaker 8:

Yeah.

Speaker 9:

Hey, here's the dollar. Thanks for nothing.

Speaker 1:

Everyone is so eager for things to go back to the way they were pre-pandemic that they are willing to accept all manner of new normal Things many wouldn't have given a nickel for before. Has them handing over exorbitant sums now in the pursuit of anything that even remotely resembles the past? Meanwhile, poor government planning prior and unabated spending during has left us with but a scarce reminder. Post-pandemic blaming a litany of things for the lackluster offerings, from supply chain issues to worker shortages and everything in between, rather than take any responsibility for the current situation themselves. The liberal government simply cannot fathom they've done anything wrong or that there was any other alternate course of action whatsoever. That's the problem with progressives they say they want to have an open dialogue, but are surprised when anyone has a differing outlook. Rather than take other points of view into account to make a fair and unbiased decision that is in the very best interest of every Canadian, they instead find ways to silence any oppositional voices or contrary opinions in an attempt to force their ideological agendas.

Speaker 22:

You have, throughout your mandate so far, launched some really big transformational spending initiatives that come with big price tags but have had big societal impacts as well. Do you anticipate launching any more of those types of programs in the rest of your mandate?

Speaker 21:

I learned during the NAFTA negotiations never answer a hypothetical. There is a lot of time between now and the next election, but I am glad that you point to the big transformational programs that are already underway. One of my favorites is early learning and childcare. We announced that in the 21 budget and it is rolling out. I think it is important for Canadians to recognize that our economic plan is something that is happening every single day. It can be announced in a budget, as with childcare, in 2021. We are investing in it right now and it is delivering for Canadians. We now have fees down by 50% across the country. Six provinces and territories have $10 a day childcare. That is really transforming families' lives. It is making life more affordable for families across the country. It means a lot of parents, especially mothers, can now go out and work. That helps our economy with labor shortages and it helps families.

Speaker 22:

Certainly, I am not disagreeing with that point. It is actually with that program in mind that I asked the question. That program is something like the Canada Child Benefit. They do come, however, not to take away from their effectiveness or their impact with very large price tags. We are talking in the neighborhood in each of those programs of $10 to $20 billion a year.

Speaker 21:

Childcare is $30 billion over five. That is a lot. It is a lot of money.

Speaker 22:

I asked it not necessarily as a hypothetical, but against the backdrop of what you did outline in the fall economic statement, which was two promises where a fiscal anchor is concerned the first that you would lower the debt to GDP ratio in 24-25 and keep it quote on a declining track thereafter. The second that you would get the deficit to GDP ratio below 1% by 26-27 and keep it there. Does that inherently limit you, though, from launching any kind of program similar to those?

Speaker 21:

I am actually really glad that you put those two questions together because, from my perspective, we have a fiscally responsible economic plan, because we need to have the capacity to invest in Canadians. We need to have the capacity to invest precisely in things like early learning and childcare. Fiscal responsibility means that those investments are sustainable over the long term. That's why our economic plan it is really, at its heart, about investing in Canadians, investing to ensure that we have an economy that can deliver good jobs people can count on, that supports them with things like early learning and childcare. The way that we can continue to do that is by making sure that all of those plans and programs are built on this fiscally responsible foundation.

Speaker 22:

You have the capacity, let's say, to sustain the programs that you have right now. My question is whether you will have the capacity going forward now, having outlined these fiscal anchors. I'm asking you because what I have noticed in public opinion polling is that a lot of Canadians are saying what's this government's vision for the future? If you're going to present big transformational projects that do come with a high price tag, I am wondering if this fall economic statement actually limits you from doing so, or maybe you're not so wedded to those two promises.

Speaker 21:

Actually, I really believe our fall economic statement is about ensuring that we can continue to invest in Canadians, because what I really believe makes things like early learning and childcare possible is that they are built on a sustainable fiscal foundation. That means we can keep on doing it year after year after year. I really believe, vashi, that the investments that we are making today and those are investments, you're quite right, that are ongoing, based on things we launched in previous budgets those investments are going to deliver strong, sustainable economic growth. That means we can continue to do more things for Canadians going forward.

Speaker 1:

Where does it end? If you think somehow that Pierre Paulier is the answer to your prayers, then you're in for a rude awakening. The only thing that electing the progressive conservatives will accomplish will be to slow down the rate of progressivism. By no means will they stop it. The light at best and red torries at worst. The progressive conservatives agree on near everything but spending.

Speaker 1:

While they dangle the cancellation of the carbon tax with one hand, they have no real solutions to the current problems faced by Canada. For example, instead of speaking out against migration, being opposed to the hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees and other undocumented or irregular border crossers, the progressive conservatives assert that making the entire border crossing point will solve the problem. After all, it would remove the illegality of it and make their entry one of lawful nature. How is that put in? Canada, and Canadians first. How is that bringing it home? The only thing that is being brought home is the third world problems that come with permitting such things in the first place. So don't expect things to be any different should Paulier get elected. In fact, expect them to continue in the same direction, just at a slightly slower pace. Everything will continue to rise in cost. Migrants will continue to cross the border unchecked and money will continue to flow out of the country to foreign jurisdictions. It's the illusion of choice and nothing but.

Speaker 14:

The minister was asked by Global News if he was tracking the whereabouts of 33,000 illegal border crossers. He claimed quote that the overwhelming majority of illegal border crossers had left the country. Yet today the Globe and Mail reports that only six illegal border crossers have actually been removed by. Canada and by his government. So a very precise question If the government has moved six illegal border crossers, how many illegal border crossers remain in Canada? Yeah, terrible. Minister of Border.

Speaker 12:

Security.

Speaker 26:

Yeah, mr Speaker, I know that the member opposite, because of her vast experience on the immigration file, knows that individuals who come to our country, cross into Canada and seek the protection of Canada and asylum as they flee from persecution are not illegal border crossers and are done with according to law. They are entitled by international convention and Canadian law to do process humanitarian support. The Honourable Member for Calgary and Nose Hill.

Speaker 14:

Well, perhaps I created some confusion, Mr Speaker.

Speaker 16:

I asked him very clearly how many illegal border crossers remain in Canada and he couldn't answer.

Speaker 14:

So I'm going to ask what every Canadians want to know after that disastrous interview. If the Minister can't tell the House how many illegal border crossers remain in Canada, how can they possibly expect to believe that he knows where they are? Where are they? Honourable Minister of Border Security.

Speaker 26:

Mr Speaker, under Canadian law, all people coming into this country seeking asylum are entitled to do process. When all of those processes have been exhausted and they are deemed ineligible, they are subject to removal by CBSA. The people that the member opposite is referring to are still engaged in that process and when those processes are complete, the law will take effect.

Speaker 1:

Have you actually sat down and thought about the way life has been different since the pandemic? Is it better or is it worse? Chances are, like many, you haven't really given it much thought. After all, it's a period of time that most of us would rather forget A resemblance to normal, seemingly enough to serve the purpose. Comment with your personal experience. Let us know how is your life different, if at all, since the pandemic?

Speaker 1:

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Speaker 1:

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Speaker 1:

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