It’s been another expensive week for Canadians. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been busy, jet setting all over the globe, dolling out dollars to a variety of international causes.
First, was a stop in Cambodia where Trudeau dropped $333 million on a variety of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian States) projects. He gave an additional $1 million to help clear landmines in Cambodia and Laos.
Then it was off to the G20 Summit in Indonesia where Trudeau pledge $750 million in funding for Asian infrastructure projects and MRNA vaccine manufacturing. He also announced $80 million to a World Bank project to help countries prevent pandemics.
Canada also launched a $10 billion partnership with other G7 countries and Nordic nations to essentially pay Indonesia, Vietnam, and India to stop using coal (they said they’d think about it). Assuming equal contributions, Canada’s share would be approximately $1 billion.
Trudeau also pledged an additional $500 million to Ukraine, pushing Canada’s contribution to $1 billon since the conflict began in February of this year.
As the PM was dolling out dollars in Indonesia, a Canadian delegation was extending Canada’s beneficence at COP27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The Trudeau Government has pledged an additional $5.3 billion over five years (or $1.6 billion per year) to fight climate change.
All totaled (assuming no overlap among the pledges) that’s $3.2 billion in new international commitments – this, presumably, on top of the roughly $8.4 billion Canada is already spending on foreign aid (up more than 27% from 2020) – and that doesn’t include the cost of flying the Prime Minister and his entourage 35,000 km roundtrip to these various conferences. $3.2 billion in Canadian tax dollars – tax dollars for which Canadian taxpayers will reap no benefit.
Canadians pay taxes expecting government services in return. That’s what they are paying for: Decent roads, healthcare, safe streets, national defense, and other basic government services, in Canada.
Too many Canadians are not receiving quality healthcare at home.
Too many Canadians are not the beneficiaries of adequate infrastructure or housing.
Canadians have been rocked by inflation and taxes to the point where parents are skipping meals to feed their kids.
I wonder how Canadians feel about this government sending billions of dollars of their money to niche projects overseas while they’re trying to figure out how to pay for gas, food, or heat their home.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for helping our neighbors – though I do believe charitable giving should be the purview of individuals and families rather than the government.
Canadians don’t drive on roads or live in houses in Asia, they drive and live in Canada.
They don’t access healthcare services in Asia. They do so in Canada.
Canadians are always ready to help those in need, and even in the midst of difficult economic times, many still give generously. But that money does not belong to the Prime Minister. It does not belong to the government. It belongs to Canadian taxpayers. They were the ones who worked hard for it. They should be the ones reaping the benefit.