- I’ve been told my ideas are great but totally impractical.
- I listen to talk radio… a lot.
- I know just enough about tech to know that there is quiet genius out there (a lot of it, in fact) able to rise to a challenge – remember Henry Ford wanted a lightweight V-8 engine… it took a few years of ignoring “Impossible!” but he got his lightweight V-8.
Those are probably the main three things you need to know before you read this article.
It seems Canada is in deep doodoo these days… in so many ways.
I’ll list a few of the biggies I see – not in any order and the list won’t be complete:
- the environment
- pretty much all the primary industries
- air quality
- meat production
- Aboriginal issues
- unmarked graves
- missing women and girls
- clean drinking water
- reasonable living conditions
- for seniors
- for young people
- for average income earners
- if average income earners struggle, what happens to low- and no- income earners
- Health Care
- staffing issues
- medical priorities
- the deniers
Before I get started, it might be a good idea to mention I’d revamp the electoral system in Canada. This winner-take-all system is foolish and irritating. I realize all the systems have their pros and cons but maybe we need regions as well as provinces. We already refer to the Maritimes, to Central Canada, the Prairies, the West, the North. This country is just too big to have a one-size-fits-all governing party, and the needs (and some of the solutions) within the regions vary so much.
Theoretically, for the sake of my arguments/suggestions here, let’s say that whichever group (party) had the majority of regional leaders, their leader could become our representative head of state – that person who could show up on Canada’s behalf whenever world leaders met.
Those five leaders would sit down and decide which elected representatives would become the Ministers of governmental departments. With more people to choose from, the ministers could hopefully be knowledgeable about their portfolio. They would serve more as department heads however, as each party would nominate their own representative for each department, to consult with and advise the chosen minister: it would be like a committee. Thus, each party and region could be better served on most matters (in my perfect world). Some elected officials might serve on several committees, depending on their areas of expertise.
It’s my theory that this representation/involvement would alleviate the need to be The Opposition Party. I seriously dislike that term as, except on rare occasion, it means whoever is not in power has to challenge and disagree with – oppose – each and every decision/proposal of the governing party. That’s a waste of time, energy and creative thinking.
Now, to my article:
What I imagine, is a computer monitor the size of a wall. It’d have to be a wide wall as I want it to accurately portray a map of Canada. It’s like “The Master Plan” for what needs to be addressed, what’s being addressed and, probably, a flagging system for “Tried That – Didn’t Work”.
The one common denominator for dealing with all issues is Money. Everything is fixable if enough money is thrown at it.
But… the money needs to come from somewhere and the average income earner in Canada has no wiggle room in the taxation department. In fact, if my plan could work as well as I hope, our national budget might find itself in the black and, after a year or two of paying down debt, perhaps taxation could be adjusted from the bottom up.
As each ‘committee’ analyzed the issues, both the issue and the cost analysis would appear as a red dot on my monitor/map. Probably each issue would need to be coded, as in “M” for medical issue “E” for environmental issue – you get the picture, those are details to be worked out. Everyone who qualifies for access to the map and the placing of its dots would be able to click on said dot for more information. Information with an access hierarchy of course – some information needs to be kept confidential, at least for a while, I realize that.
Now, do you remember I mentioned that I listen to a lot of talk radio? There are solutions under development, even fully developed but still small scale, that almost everyone doesn’t know are out there. I listen to some interviews or documentaries and I’m blown away by the sophistication of the work that is going on in the midst of the chaos, and this R&D could solve so many issues we despair over if they were funded to expand. And this R&D is going on in so many major, minor, and unique subjects. Going on here and around the world – how did we get so global and yet so blinkered (blinkered, as in horses).
Now let’s go back to talk about money. If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that the government has access to money (yes, credit, debt, all those negatives) when they need it. No country is a bottomless pit financially but if all those small scale, incredibly effective endeavours were funded to expand they would not only help solve problems within Canada, they would a) create jobs at home, b) create income by training other nationals, c) create income by seconding the brainiacs to other countries for a respectable fee (would this also ensure home-grown expertise remains proprietarily Canadian?) and c) save money that is constantly being spent to Band-Aid situations (as currently seems to be the go-to solution).
It’s difficult to fully expand my concepts without writing a book, but if you lean back and close your eyes for a minute, can you not see the potential?
Where else could money come from? Yes, we need to tax the rich appropriately. Even just the multi-millionaires – there are less than a million of those, but over 50 of them are apparently billionaires. This gets into so many grey areas, I know. The money may be on paper, not in readily accessible forms, but I’m willing to bet that most of them live lives that the average Canadian can’t conceive of, so to downscale a bit would not give the average Canadian a guilty conscience.
Businesses too. I’m okay even keeping the income ceiling high for businesses to encourage smart expansion, but government bailouts and assigning government aid (as in the time of covid) as bonuses to their upper management are terminated. If a company can get that big and not be that smart, then sorry, they take the fall like any other Canadian who won’t manage their money. (Note that I said ‘won’t’ not ‘can’t’ – there’s a difference and money education needs to be part of the curriculum for every Canadian, no matter their age… but I digress, that’s another rant for another time.)
Shall I mention churches now? Yup. The days of churches getting a free ride are done. They can reduce their taxes by doing community support – like housing and food supports and mental health counselling. In the case of the Big Two – the Roman Catholic and the Anglican churches – they seem to have quite a bit of wealth that needs to be shared with those whose lives they stole, demolished, ruined like First Nations children abducted to residential schools and their families, and young people who were victimized by sexually deviant and/or cruel representatives of said churches. I’m not letting the government off the hook here for all the crap they dished out, but the churches are equally culpable.
While I’m talking money, I’m not going to go sideways here and talk about our medical system. It needs to be expanded, it needs to be strengthened, it needs to treat all those hard-working professionals and caregivers with the respect they deserve. But, again, that’s another rant for another time – stay tuned.
Before I close, I want to make a quick comment about the environment. There’s a ton of things about primary industry in Canada that needs to change, even end. But I’m really tired of union leaders and old people bemoan the futures of their entire industry and the future of those on the ground within that industry. Most industry positions these days need specialized knowledge. “Blue collar” workers are smart. Often, they know what needs to be done to make their industries pivot, or transition, to greener outputs. If workers are too old to adapt, then fine, give them pensions that will keep them while they either retire or move into easier jobs. But tap into the brilliance of those who are on the ground, with imaginations and ideas and solutions and energy. I read and I listen to talk radio – some of these people blow me away with their insights! (and besides, the longer we avoid the pivot, the transition, it means we have another generation of workers who cannot imagine change.)
Bottom line: We’re talking money incoming and outgoing here, so of course there has to be a bottom line… shall we say ‘a reckoning’. The other part of my fabulous design (that someone more brilliant than I has to create) is a basic Excel-like set of formulae so that red numbers and black numbers get added together. Dear Brilliant Designer, I want them to add up in several different ways: by Region, by Department/Portfolio, maybe by Province and, of course, Federal Overview.
I’m writing this article in Word and I’m now on page 5.
My suggestions are grandiose, they’re simplified, they’re full of holes. I realize that. I want them to merely be a start. I want people smarter than me to maybe say “Hmmm… this is a good idea, let’s think it through further.”
I do, and I think we all need to, recognize that there are so many problems, the fixes are all going to cost a ton of money, the money has to come from somewhere… I want Justin to rip off the Band-Aid and fix all the wrongs (not all the problems, just the wrongs) and let those who are smarter with solutions than both of us figure out how.
You may have noticed I haven’t touched on Affordability and the Health Care System… those will be other articles – my ideas for fixing Canada are myriad.
My last word? Press, Media, Oh, and “The Opposition”… for frick’s sake – he’s one person, albeit the Prime Minister, how is he supposed to know everything about everything that goes down in this country and around the world as it pertains to this country? And, there are bound to be things that are not available for public consumption at the time of asking. Opposition Parties, just once I’d like to hear “Hey, that’s a pretty good start, but I think these solutions might be more effective” or “Close! but these other pieces need to be addressed too and here are my ideas to make your plan better”. As for Justin, I do have suggestions for him too, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be in his position! This latest agreement between the Liberals and the NDP could well be government as it should be – some collaboration, certainly some debate, but forward movement. Please.
Postscript: I know there are people who will find only negatives in my article. I will apply the same rules to you as I applied to my department in my past life a manager. You’re welcome to bitch, but only if you present an alternate solution.