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Mr. Wells isn’t the only one who has noticed that Pierre Poilievre is playing his cards pretty close and not shedding much information on what he might do to get Canada back to a semblance of functionality.

That’s a fair criticism but perhaps there are some dynamics in play that complicate things?

Right now Poilievre’s job is to critique, it isn’t to problem solve for the Liberals. I would suggest that if the Liberals can’t make things better then they should wear it, not him.

No one seems to have any idea if the Liberals will find a reason to call an early snap election or be content with the common law arrangement with the NDP. I’m sure the Liberals would like to smoke out the CPC campaign strategy and then dither for two years. This is a good reason to delay specifics.

Lastly, the Liberals are unabashed policy plagiarists, remaking the best ideas of other parties into a Big Red Book of election promises. The governing party seems to be out of touch and out of ideas, so helping them out is noble but foolish.

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It always comes down to insults by the 50th comment. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks. Comments closed.

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Am I missing something? The text of the Safe Third-Country Agreement does not mention designated border crossings, so what is to prevent the Canadian government from designating Roxham Road as an official crossing point, particularly since much of the necessary infrastructure has already been constructed to process the irregular border crossers?

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The Prime Minister’s “self congratulatory tweet” more or less rolling out a red carpet for irregular border crossers in 2017 is a fine example of virtue signalling gone wild. It also reminds us that making policy pronouncements on the fly via social media can backfire and can only be walked back with a significant loss of face. That silly pronouncement has caused a lot of grief for immigration officials and untold amounts of disruption to the orderly flow of migrants into the immigration process.

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Initially Canadians were told that with Trump in office the U.S was an unsafe place and we should welcome people walking across the border with open arms. Hooey. Biden is in charge and even more people are walking across from the U.S. The U.S. is a safe place. Trudeau and Biden should do whatever it takes to fix this. These so called asylum seekers should be turned around at the crossings by RCMP and told to go back to the U.S. If Trudeau wanted this to be fixed it would be. The people crossing ILLEGALLY are more Liberal votes as far as Trudeau is concerned. Canadians are homeless, unable to feed their families, pay their rent or mortgage, put gas in their car and we are spending billions on the sham at the illegal crossings. Canada is broken. When will Trudeau just go away? Please spare us your presence.

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Paul, as you hinted near the end of your article, it was hard to figure out what your point is. Is it a singular issue of the crossings at Roxham Rd or the broader issue of competing bumper sticker politics, or the price of chicken, or higher mortgage rates? People, the world is changing but not ending and despite what we hear from talking heads and journalists ad nauseum this is cyclical and we are living it pretty good times. I have lived through these cycles for decades, have experienced a 19% mortgage, several instances where house prices dropped to various degrees etc. Every time we go through these cycles we are told that it is the worst one ever. To that I say bullshit. I live on a quiet street in a small town in Ontario that is pretty representative in that there is a mix of young working couples raising their kids, and older retired couples and individuals. People from both of these demographics are taking their winter cruises and vacations in places like Costa Rica. Soften the rhetoric and focus on solutions for now and bear in mind that there will be future cycles just as there have been past ones.

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Dear Paul,

Always flattered when you notice my existence. (And I did quote your piece on health on that panel this week, the part about Ottawa's five year old health indicators online on First Nations)

You are welcome to disagree with me, as is often the case, but I note you forgot to mention that buses are being driven from Montreal to Ontario by Immigration Canada for 10% of the asylum seekers already. If interested, I can provide links to reporting on that.

But knowing your obsession for factual accuracy, I would like to point out that you mischaracterize my previous position on the fence. As was correctly reported here (https://globalnews.ca/news/4168099/pq-leader-jean-francois-lisee-wants-to-build-a-fence-near-quebec-new-york-border/) I actually said: "“We cannot close Roxham Road unless and until [asylum seekers] have the ability to come through the regular postings. That’s what we’ve been asking for a year. Amnesty International is [also] asking that,” Lisée said.

It is par for the course that my statements are trucanted and distorted, but since I have come to like the quality of your reporting and judgment, it would pain me to have to conclude that there is slippage.



PS Why do you say our panel is "oddly popular" ? What's odd about that ? Just asking.

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Re paywall. I sub to support. I trust your gut and do believe your moderate voice is sorely needed.

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Trudeau replies by saying a lot of things, including that his opponent is “preying on the kinds of anger and anxieties about some Canada that used to be — where men were men and white men ruled.”

Funny, I just read a piece in the National Post written by Rex Murphy who falls right into this category. His rant was about the good old days when kids in school read Fun with Dick and Jane, and learned times tables and spelling and cursive writing. Sorry Rex, the world is changing.

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Tip for Journalists: that "Everything is Broken" feeling comes from times of change. Governments, and the large corporate oligopolies that ever-more function like governments (try finding a cheaper cell-phone deal), do OK with long-established problems that their numb bureaucracy has had time to master. When problems come up fast (war, pandemic) they do badly, react slowly.

For instance, your water, sewer, electric, gas, roads and bridges (even the ones that were downed by floods in 2021, BC) are up and running reliably. Your food system has seen some shortages, under massive stress, but you aren't going hungry. We have far more clothes than we need, we throw away good ones. We have more than enough housing, it's just not equitably distributed, what with so many having second homes, and near-empty monster homes. Crime is up - all the way up to half what was in the nineties.

MOST things, all the really important-for-life things, are not broken. Things that ARE broken, are pretty much broken for lack of priority. We knew about care-homes, in report after report, for 20 years. Flying was broken after two years of almost no customers. Supply chains broke when we prioritized efficiency over resiliency; there were no accidents there, just decisions.

Nearly everything that seems "broken" just needs more resources, obviously - everything medical, for starters, comes down to payroll. Politicians LOATHE to say "we'll have to spend more public money", but, to quote Thatcher, There Is No Alternative. I'm currently judging them all by their willingness to admit that. The province in BC is pretty much passing that test, but no feds.

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Pierre Poilievre is not just sloganeering, he's feeding our inner trolls. "Everything is broken" is the kind of battle cry that will drive us over the cliff where we dive from one populist leader to the next to save us. Save us from what?

I remember when Mr Wells was writing about Harper's long-term plan to erode Federal Government's power and influence over provinces and individuals. At the time a younger and more naïve me felt alarmed that our country would be led by such a destructive force! But after 9 years in government it only took 1 year and 14 billion$ for the Trudeau team to undo most of the changes Harper did. That's when I stopped worrying about who gets elected. There's clearly more to this country and this government than anyone can handle.

I was going going to be that "Liberal" that reminds everyone that we as country have been punching well above our weight in international economic and human development indexes. Pointing out objective metrics doesn't have to be in defense of our current government.

If anything, the economic growth projetion map from the podcast episode with Morneau shows that we have been too worried about economic development. We put our faith in big business players wih cyclical and finite business models. We've let our grassroots development and innovation starve in the process.

I do want to see more criticism of government policy. I do want see more breakdowns of programs. The more faults we find and the more effort is put into sharing it the better our chances are at fixing things.

The Trudeau government may very well be the very worst of the last couple of decades, but sitting in the dark and blaming them for the burnt lightbulb is getting us nowhere. If little PP can learn that lesson, then I'll give him a chance.

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Have been following Paul Well's writing for some time and have always appreciated his incision :-). He is cutting into what's left of my Liberal mindset. But Opposition just cannot keep on screeching that everyone else is doin' it wrong and pissing dark clouds everywhere in the sky. _IF_ you have a solution work with the existing government to fix things. If it's good then people will vote for you. Voters aren't so thick as to believe Doug Ford survived Covid by himself with his own ideas. Voters aren't so thick as to believe Justin Trudeau can fix this all by himself.

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What really ticks me off is watching french news and seeing our men from the RCMP carrying those people's designer suitcases across the border.. Nobody comes in with a garbage bag on their shoulders, they step down from a bus paid by the USA. As for Poilievre he knows Liberals would take his ideas to solve Canada's problems, like they do to the NDP, in a NY minute. Anyway like every Thursday night I will watch for your comments discussing with Radio Canada's journalists, which btw is so much more interesting than Rosie on CBC.

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It shows through in Lisée’s comments and is worth emphasizing for observers outside Québec just how much this is viewed through a cultural lens: most of the loudest complaints about Roxham Road seem to be framed around the idea that the federal government is forcing Québec to take in non-francophone immigrants and refugee claimants who, so the complaints go, will not integrate with the French language or with Québec culture.

All of the other real concerns about how to handle this influx of people and limits to our capacity get people the help they need are in the backseat to the basic cultural anxiety.

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I don't understand how simply erecting a long enough fence does not solve this particular problem. No doubt some will find some other point of entry which is maybe riskier for those involved (as in walking across the frozen wastes of Minnesota to Manitoba or whatever), but just because someone might climb over our back fence to break into our property, doesn't mean we leave the front door unlocked, or invite them in when they knock on the door...

What is the point of a border if anyone can walk up and cross it with the helping hand of the local police.

It rankles with crazies like me because it makes a mockery of our borders and our refugee system.

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Agree on the danger of ignoring the issue or just issuing platitudes. But as you note, no easy solution given little to no interest by USA but unclear whether government has looked seriously at other possibilities. Would it be possible for Canada to unilaterally make Roxham Road an official point of entry? One of your readers would hopefully know the answer.

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