SEPTEMBER 13, 2020 – Politicians and media have a strange way of explaining the ways that Oranges can fly. They really do.
One of the positive things about COVID was CERB. The Trudeau government made a choice that put cash in the hands of many that truly needed it in a simple fashion that was very rare.
No abuse by Civil Servants and a process that made it near impossible to get help. Simply check off some basic information and you have cash. It wasn’t a lot if you live in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, or Montreal, but it was a base.
It kept a lot of people from putting themselves in vulnerable situations during a pandemic. It helped keep the economy afloat because frankly, those that got those cheques for the most part spent it on survival which means that those funds were churned multiple times through the economy.
Buy groceries, pay bills, pay rent, and the people you were able to pay then spent those dollars.
We have too many programs with top heavy costs to serve for no real reason. It’s not a left or right issue. It’s common sense, just like giving the homeless a home saves on health care, crime, and other associated societal costs.
The average ICU stay for a Covid patient could run as much as $50K in the Canadian system. Our healthcare system was challenged pre Covid. Post Covid is going to be scary for those who don’t die, but have health needs that can last from years to life. It simply is fiscally smart to make sure the vulnerable don’t put society in jeopardy because they need to survive.
There also is a swath of Canadians who simply will be at high risk to work until we have a treatment for Covid. While a lot of focus is on vaccines, when it comes to flu viruses, there’s not a lot of historical success. The money is on limiting the worst of the virus from impacting people and our healthcare system.
CERB showed that the government can deliver funds to Canadians when they need them. It needs tweaking. It needs a bit of clarity, but it could be the beginning of a very different Canada.
Giving Canadians a guaranteed minimum income and phasing out other social programs will take at least a decade. You can’t just fire thousands of Civil servants. Do we really need Employment Insurance? Disability payments? Pensions, if we have a minimum income for Canadians?
While there are naysayers that write that it could never work, CERB has shown that it can. Would it be expensive? Well the status quo is expensive. COVID has shown the chinks in our society and it’s a scary look at our failures.
Reforming the tax system and making it more fair is a start. Making sure certain large entities start to pay their fair share of tax is a way to help balance things. Progressive solutions for bringing offshore cash back to Canada would help too.
What we’ve seen with CERB is that by putting more money in the public’s hands more cash makes the economy move.
And the political reality is that thousands of Canadians, if they end up losing CERB, will be voting shortly in an election, and so will their family members, and those that they spent those dollars with. Do you think they will support whichever party pulls their funding?
Justin Trudeau has failed in many ways as Prime Minister. CERB has been his saving grace. If he can’t find a progressive solution when the government returns he will lose the next election.
Canadians will vote with their cheque books. It’s time to move Canada forward as we pull together to fight this Pandemic.
As they say, a society is only as strong as its weakest link.
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