Please play nicely, folks. Reply to our dispatch but not to each other in comment threads, which usually turn nasty.

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Jan 9, 2023Liked by Line Editor

Welcome back comments! Let’s all play rational so Mum and Dad don’t take it away again, ok?

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Jan 9, 2023Liked by Line Editor

It seems like there's been a tension in the federal Liberals between environmental millenarianism and pragmatic economics since they took office in 2015. The various pipeline controversies are an example of the Liberals trying to balance the demands of the environmentalists to cut oil and gas production vs. the realization that oil and gas form a huge part of the economy. Even then, Trudeau's attempt at a Solomonic compromise ("ok, fine - just the one pipeline, and then we're done") didn't make either side happy. Trudeau ended up having to buy the pipeline and complete construction after the private sector threw up its hands in frustration, garnering all the blame and no credit from anybody. It's like instead of cutting the baby in 2, Trudeau just cut its legs off and then found himself in the position of needing to pay for the kid's prosthetic limbs and look after his care and upkeep.

As the Liberals' seat count has winnowed down to major metropolitan areas, it seems like the environmentalists are winning the internal policy battles. In addition to this "Just Transition" approach, the Liberals also appear to have created a mandate for an unrealistically large number of zero-emission vehicles. In 2026, manufacturers are required to ensure that at least 20% of their sales are ZEVs, increasing to 100% in 2035. There's all kinds of problems with that aggressive mandate, starting with whether buyers actually want them and whether there's actually the ability to *produce* that number of vehicles. Beyond that, there are practical issues with charging infrastructure and the increased load on the electrical grid. When Germany came looking for natural gas supplies, the Trudeau government didn't even pretend to be interesting in helping out, gesturing instead to a proposed green hydrogen production facility in the very early stages of development.

I'm of two minds about this: on a grubby level of self-interest, this sort of thing is great for me as a Canadian working in the clean tech sector. Looking at the bigger picture, I have serious concerns about a government setting aggressive aspirational goals that don't seem to pay enough attention to economic consequences and trade-offs, not to mention the potential impact if they lose power and their successors simply cancel all of it.

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Re: Jordan Peterson v. OCP

Some are wondering why there is such intense interest in Petersons very public battle with his regulatory body.

I think many of us are interested because he has become the flag bearer for a society that is yearning for a return to civility in our public discourse. We are constantly being told that our colonial moorings are terrible and that expunging great leaders from our past is some noble cause. A new social caste structure is modelled on victimhood and those who are the oppressors (real or imagined) must pay the freight and then stand at the back of the line.

This wild shift in our culture has caught any reasonable thinking person by surprise and yet confronting the issue can and has ruined people. Peterson has the intellectual heft, financial means and guts to run full steam into the mob and make them answer for themselves. I’m sorry for his challenges and wish him the best. The mob doesn’t play nice, so watch for leaks from every direction.

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"there are many forms of giving that aren’t captured by charitable receipts and tax returns." With regards to the low giving in the Territories - pretty well everyone there is engaged in some sort of community fundraiser virtually every week - whether it's bingo, auctions, dances or raffles - it's constant and community based and in amounts that are not captured by receipts and tax returns. If you could parse those amounts you'd probably find the smaller populations like the Territories and Maritimes spend much more on community fundraising because their communities are close - so very different from the donations in an urban environment

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You wrote:

"After seven (eight?) years in power, the Liberals are giving off the stench of death. They seem tired, visionless, and plum out of clear ideas or direction. We see a government that is increasingly insular, trapped in its own partisan bubble, and, as per the above, disinclined to parse the difference between rational criticism and misinformation."

i would respectfully suggest that you may have been pulling your punches.

Perhaps I'm too inclined to be harsh in my own judgement of this government...

Or not.

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I received my local Liberal's e-newsletter. One of the features compared Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio to the ratios of other G-& countries. Canada is very low, around 30%. Others range from the 60% range to the 110% range, all the way to Japan at 300%. Cause for celebration, right?

Well, as I suspected, the debt in the Canadian debt-to-GDP ratio includes only federal debt. It excludes provincial debt. When provincial debt is included, Canada was at 112% for 2021, although the ratio is projected to decline in the next few years. So fair comparisons use some 110% for Canada, as compared to Germany *in the 60% range) and France (in the 119% range).

FWIW, my local MP got her data from the PMO. I suspect that all Liberal MPs are citing similar misleading numbers.

And anyway, why are we comparing Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio with those of other G7 countries? Why not look at a country with an economy similar to Canada, based on natural resources, driven by energy exports (with some food) and the economy dominated by trade with one big partner? Australia's debt-to-GDP ratio was 25% in 2020, although it has ballooned to 35% last year. Wouldn't that be a more enlightening comparison, or benchmark for Canada's debt-to-GDP?

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Jordan Peterson is an icon because he speaks his mind, which in this day and age of censorship by mainstream media and our government leaders, is refreshing. One doesn't have to agree with everything he says, but if he makes you think, he's done his job. How many other Canadians are willing to put everything on the line - emotionally, mentally and risk his career, to speak publicly what so many are afraid to do?

As far as the heavy handed action of the Ontario College of Psychologists, this Orwellian group has sent a chilling effect on our society if they are now insisting their members must undergo re-education courses for comments they have made publicly. This happened under the reign of Mao, when he implemented the Cultural Revolution when millions were persecuted, and killed And in the Soviet Union, And is still going on in North Korea...children turned in their parents to public officials for going against the prevailing groupthink mentality. Is that what Canada has become? If Peterson will not stand up for common sense and fight the mob mentality, then who will? Unsurprisingly, outside of our borders he's become a minor celebrity of sorts, as he fights for democracy while others remain passive in this country https://www.thefp.com/p/will-jordan-peterson-lose-his-license & https://www.spectator.com.au/2023/01/canada-to-re-educate-jordan-peterson-for-wrongthink/. I wish him well.

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Jan 9, 2023·edited Jan 9, 2023

I'm getting to an age where there are famous people whose reasons for fame are completely lost on me. Jordan Peterson is among them.

For his controversies, he seems like the most boring character imaginable -- TV's Frasier Crane without any of the humour or likability. He appears to be a self-help guru and occasional culture warrior, but aside from his obsession with pronouns and bed making, I'm at a loss as to why I even know who he is!

It does feel a bit like we've come to a place where people are famous simply for being steadily controversial, no matter how petty the controversies are. I'm am growing a bit weary of it. Personally, I need to find a way to weed through social (and non-social) media to finding interesting people and topics with minimal exposure to the growing "famous for being famous" crew!

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Re: Fracturing of the NDP over long guns

Wab Kinew took over a tired, out of ideas and overspending NDP political machine after many years as the Manitoba government. (Sounds a lot like the Big Red Machine in Ottawa). The NDP had just suffered one of the worst electoral defeats in Manitoba history and Kinew has reinvented the NDP back into a force to be reckoned with today. His party has led the opinion polls through most of the pandemic and is poised to win an October general election.

The Manitoba NDP is a junior sized carbon copy of the federal NDP. Dominated by the wokest of the woke in key Winnipeg ridings and heavily influenced by public service unions, it is also a political home for many urban and rural/northern Indigenous people.

In summary, the Liberal Party fascination with gun control has its unintended consequences, including farther afield in Manitoba electoral politics. Wab Kinew is riding pretty tall against an unpopular incumbent Conservative Government and doesn’t want to become collateral damage in the long gun battle in Ottawa.

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I hoped to write a long comment with the deeper analysis behind my plea, like I wrote you guys a long-ish comment about POEC, but I really don't have time (although I might, later), so let me just express a sincere hope against hope for 2023, for everyone's sake:

I hope that 2023 will be a Year of Learning to Talk to People Again. Namely, people across the political divide. The odds are against it. It has to happen somewhere besides Twitter (as the Peterson tweet demonstrates, whether or not it's yank-license-worthy) and besides social media in general. Talking to people wasn't happening in 2022 because I guess we needed a cool-off period after the convoy thing among other things, then we needed a cool-off period after POEC. Now everyone seems to be well-rested and trying to jump back into the culture wars and you're going to see all kinds of stuff you'd thought was long-gone from the cultural consciousness dug up and getting re-litigated. Not just covid. Maybe even stuff no one was thinking about in 2022 will suddenly come up. It's a risky but necessary process for national healing, and please please please please let's do this intelligently.

My main advice when studying the other side: think like an anthropologist and seek to understand their way of thinking and why they decided what they decided, without any judgment. Only after you've done that, do you have the right to decide what you want to engage with and want to condemn. If the other tribe just seems too weird and savage, that's no excuse for a real anthropologist. Consider: there's a tribe in the Amazon that drills holes in their children's jaw and sticks weird big sticks in there for ritual reasons. If someone tried doing that to their kids in Windsor, they would be rightly and justly jailed for a very very long time. Somewhere far from the First World that's just the culture that's evolved. Someone had to go there and study why they came to believe that was a good thing to do and what they think they gain for it BEFORE anyone could decide if anything should be done, or what. Compared to that, the stuff happening in Canada? That's micro-nano-differences in the evolution of western consciousness. But there has been, for lack of a better term, divergent cultural and moral evolution.

Please, if Canada has any historical achievement to offer in the 2020s beyond "we were the frozen-ish part of North America the USA wasn't able or willing to grab from the British": let it be this. "We handled our bout with 2016-style political division more intelligently than the guys south of the border."

Hoping against hope.

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I suspect this is the only publication that has provided ANY nuance or ATTEMPT at rational discussion when it comes to Dr. Peterson. There is so much hate and vitriol against that man that one can feel truly disgusted at all that hate without even knowing what it is that JBP allegedly said or did. So again, thanks for that.

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The problem for the Liberals and their ideological firearms legislation is eventually they have to provide actual details and costs to Implement their program. It is becoming clear they either do not know or are not willing to admit how the proposed confiscations and reimbursements will happen, how many firearms this affects and what the costs will be. Most likely they simply do not care as long as they are seen to be doing something by their base.

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Just yesterday afternoon I emailed my friend K about the most recent Peterson kerfuffle ... and it has occurred to me that what I briefly wrote in that message would resonate equally well here ...

"You seem have forgotten, but I’ve been including you in these recent JBP-related emails (and proudly showed you my Lobster T-shirt when I gave you that little laminated poster … suitable for a fridge door) because … we’ve already briefly talked about this.

I have a lot of time on my hands and so I’ve been closely following Buddy ever since the very beginning. Like you, I’ve read the first book, almost as soon as it appeared. And just about everything else online …

But get this … neither the Globe and Mail, or the CBC have even mentioned it. Hmmm … but it’s in the Wall Street Journal!

Simply put … I “think the world” of the guy … he is a Canadian treasure.

And … and just as simply put … I cannot imagine how any reasonable person who knows the nuances and details of the entire story could believe otherwise."

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Welcome back Jen and Matt, and thanks for the 2023 opening column! Great point on donations....my office is very close to 2 different food banks, and it's been impossible not to notice that their lines have been getting longer. Thanks for the memory jog, I've just made a donation to Food Banks Canada. Fellow Line readers, let's help out our neighbours!

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`They are utterly dependent on urban and suburban women to survive'....You make that sound like a bad thing. Why?

The Greenbelt issue is also interesting because many municipalities are saying the loss of developer charges will require a substantial increase in property taxes to make up for the loss. Another shot in the foot for Doug because the pool of voters who would be most affected are most likely to be Ontario PC voters. The issue being `looked at' by the OPP is not a recent one. It's time we had the light shone there.

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