Canadians are done with COVID-19. At least, that’s been the consistent message coming from Conservative premiers and politicians, who seem to be in some sort of race to see who can trigger a fifth wave of the virus first.

It has also been the go-to line for federal Conservatives looking to justify their support of the anti-democracy convoy in Ottawa, which seems poised to take an even more illiberal turn.

There’s just one problem: it’s a load of crap.

According to a new survey from Abacus Data, nearly two-thirds of Canadians support the continued existence of vaccine mandates “for at least the next year or two,” while that figure jumps to 74 per cent among those 60 and over. And when it comes to those most directly exposed to the occupation of our national capital, more than two-thirds of Ottawa residents believe restrictions should be kept in place to prevent the health-care system from getting overwhelmed.

But it’s that one-third of the population that seems to be driving the public discourse right now — and making policy in provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. On Monday, Doug Ford announced he’d be eliminating his province’s vaccine passport system as of March 1, making Ontario the latest province with a Conservative government to surrender to the demands of an increasingly vocal minority.

Earlier this month, after a group of rural protesters blockaded Alberta’s southern border and insisted the province lift all public health restrictions, Premier Jason Kenney capitulated to their demands and moved up the timetable on his “Back to Normal” plan. Not to be outdone, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe released a statement aimed at the people planning to blockade his province’s border that openly acknowledged he’d lifted COVID-19 health restrictions in their name.

The idea of going “back to normal” is understandably attractive to most people given that we’ve all endured more than two years of a pandemic. But while it’s not quite as nakedly reckless as Kenney’s “best summer ever” strategy of a year ago, it still represents an attempt to ignore the reality of a highly infectious virus — and the lessons we should have learned from it so far.

As Dr. Isaac Bogoch told Peter Mansbridge in a recent episode of his podcast, “You can’t just assume that this is the last wave or that all is well after this because there’s going to be more variants and more waves. This isn’t over.”

We might be done with the virus, in other words, but it’s not necessarily done with us.

Opinion: One-third of the population seems to be driving the public discourse right now, making policy in provinces like #Alberta, Saskatchewan, and #Ontario. @maxfawcett writes for @natobserver #abpoli #onpoli #COVID #Convoys

The latest surge of cases in the United States, where the number of COVID deaths is rapidly approaching one million, speaks to that unpleasant reality. So, too, do the COVID-19 hospitalization figures in Alberta and Saskatchewan, which remain at or near record highs.

All the politically motivated wishful thinking in the world can’t change the basic realities of math and biology, and it can’t protect people from a virus that is still rampaging through the population.

Let’s be clear: When politicians like Kenney say we should “learn to live with” the virus, what they really mean is we should surrender to its inevitability. It’s the 21st-century equivalent of a British political leader advising Londoners to “learn to live” with the Blitz of 1940-41 by practising their German.

It’s cowardice, not strength. That’s been a running theme over the last two years, as Conservative politicians and pundits consistently undermine efforts to build social solidarity and stiffen our collective upper lip.

Rather than going “back to normal,” we need to find ways to create a new normal. We need a normal where we can trust police officers to enforce the law evenly and equitably. We need a normal where one-half of our political universe isn’t so eager to undermine institutions or embrace those who attack them. And we need a normal where the needs of the many take clear precedence over the demands of the few.

Because make no mistake: this isn’t our last pandemic.

The last two years have weakened the body politic and left us less prepared to handle future crises. They’ve made the prospect of taking decisive collective action even more unlikely than it was two years ago. And they’ve empowered individuals who seem determined to vandalize our shared social infrastructure and undermine public trust for personal or political profit.

We have a lot of work to do to repair that damage. We’d better get started on it as soon as possible.

Keep reading

1/3 of Canadians telling what the rest of us to do, or dictating terms on how we live, that's about right. After all, 1/3 means a political majority in Canada, we witness it during every election cycle. If you can get 1/3 of the vote you can win, slightly more you get a majority. Which I believe is part of what is part of what we are experiencing here, people not believing they are heard. I know the frustration. Where I live, my vote simply doesn't count provincially or federally, never has, never will. I feel like my viewpoint does not and will not matter, because I am excluded by our electoral system. Perhaps if we had a system that was more inclusive, the anger we are seeing here wouldn't have reached this point, and the government(s) would have more legitimacy. And, yes that unfortunately includes the participation of the PPC.

Pan out to what is most important here though, big picture, and that is democracy itself, demonstrably the most "inclusive" system there is for human society. This we know, or should, because the alternatives are there to compare. It seems we're currently displaying signs of being victims of our own success when people actually expect their individual viewpoint to "be heard" among millions. Democracy is designed to be fair, which means that the majority rules.
When a bunch of proud boys can jump in their trucks and confidently, self-righteously albeit completely wrong-headedly drive them right into the seat of our federal government, then park outside the prime minister's office with a huge sign saying F* Trudeau, AND expect to be able to STAY there until our democratically elected government somehow disbands because Justin Trudeau is a despicable "girly-man" unlike THEM, and because there is a pandemic going on requiring public health considerations, and insisting on literally being HEARD by blaring horns for as long as they want, day and night, something has gone very wrong. Not only has our bright, cheerful flag been sullied now by being made oversized and threatening, American style, but the word "freedom" has become "freedumb." Truly, these are low information people lacking the context of history, selfishly concerned only about "being heard." Any casual observer would conclude that these boys have had far too MUCH freedom. But they get all teary-eyed, overwhelmed by their own "heroism" in trying to "save" this country for their kids, like they're soldiers in a war or something! Total bullshit.
Coincidentally, the majority of these people skew right politically, but statistics show that roughly 60% of Canadians (and Americans too apparently) identify as "centrist" which translates into "progressive" but not everyone votes, a reality that Republicans and Conservatives work on reducing further which increases their chances of "winning." The Republicans have made an art out of this nasty subterfuge over time, and Canadian cons follow their playbook, which makes them THE problem here, for all of us. Because it's true what is said about democracy, that it's disappointing until you consider the alternative.

Thank you, Tris, for pointing out the obvious in the situation we are all now facing. The fact that nearly 40% of Canadians do not have any concept of history, nor the repercussions of ignoring it; prefer the country go to the right of moderate in order for their 'feelings' and 'desires' to be assuaged; will pick a leader that lies and motivates those who wish to incite against our sitting PM using mandates as an excuse to cover their own fears over life. Politics is a game now, a game that for many, no matter the consequences, MUST be won. We rarely see majority governments any longer as too many politicians no longer can behave with decency and politeness. However, once our current leaders are appointed, they quickly learn their powers are limited to what the corporate bullies tell them. They too have been conned by the 'noise' below the 49th parallel, the noise that would love nothing more than to incite riots and remove their sitting President. Incite riots to prevent taxes being spent on improving the environment; remove any monies for social housing or mental or emotional health issues; remove ALL forms of government funded health care, unbiased education and allow all corporations to do exactly as they wish. That is the world we live in today. And unless we all wake up and realize that the 1% is running everything, most media as well, then we will continue on the downslide until and when the balance shifts. Truck convoys may think they have won - but what have they won? Some mandates were already on their way to being lifted. Others that initially were not but were acceded to the truckers will only prove the hospitals filling up again, people getting sick again, people dying again. What truly needs to be done and was started back after SARS but stopped when politicians wanted the money for their own distribution, is to study how a pandemic can be handled more appropriately rather than the helpless manner in which it was done almost world-wide. A pandemic will happen again, you can plan on it. Will we go the same way we did with COVID? Or will we have found worldwide consensus on how to deal with it?

First past the post voting systems are expressly designed to disenfranchise the opposition. There is no remedy for this perversion of democracy except proportional representation - which is in fact the only verifiable representational form of governance. The classic 2-party democracies are mere continuations of the privileged political seesaw that successively enshrines alternating privileged classes as our masters.

It is time to modernize democracy, The fluidity of population movements globally will only continue and governance, if we are not to sink into anarchy must adapt - to the urgency of real representation, of real accommodation, of real compromise - values political parties loathe and despise.

Max has lost all credibility due his anti conservative derangement syndrome. I find many of his articles and his language border on hate literature.

That's pretty rich coming from one of the people who call anyone who disagrees with them "libtards", "socialists", "traitors" and many more unsavory things. Weren't you lot supposedly for the absolute freedom to say any hateful thing you want? So what are you, some kinda politically correct speech-policing snowflake? Like all other freedoms, they're supposed to be only for Conservatives, I guess.

I despise people who can dish it out but can't take it.


Not sure why you're subscribed to the National Observer with its obviously progressive viewpoint that focuses on climate change, neither of which conservatives have any interest in. Quite the contrary. They made a point to remove the word "progressive" from their party name, and at their general meeting voted AGAINST a motion to accept climate change as REAL. Who does that? Well, anti-science people, many of whom prefer religious doctrines, and who are against women's right to choose, AND who have never actually accepted homosexuality as anything other than a lifestyle, so are in favor of conversion therapy, but not gay marriage. This being contrary to what most of modern society thinks now. So when it comes to what is now generally referred to as "cons," what's to like I ask?
Max Fawcett has simply recited what has happened with the pandemic which, being science and all, prompted conservative governments to not EXACTLY "believe" that it was REAL, or that ANY restrictions were really necessary; I live in Alberta, famous for the "open for summer" disaster, so what care has been taken has mainly been under duress.
Conservatives generally, and the UCP in particular couldn't care less about people, and now we have this anti-government convoy so embarrassingly copying the Republican Jan. 6th debacle while pretending it's about vaccines (stupid either way)?
What's to like?

I'm OK with occasional right wingers subscribing to the NO, as long as the editors have the ability to avoid being swamped by trolls. It's a sign of maturity that the editors do not censor out oppositional viewpoints. It's good exercise for other commenters to to rebut bad ideas, false narratives and distasteful views.

I think the effect of this week's events on Trudeau the Kid was also good in that he was forced to step out of his traditional weak kneed positions on so many other things, stop being reactionary by feeding the trolls with childish name calling, and become a leader for once, if only temporarily. He didn't budge one bit on mandates, and his final position with the Emergencies Act was quite measured (go after the money, don't bring in the military, get help for the useless Ottawa police force) and has defined, reasonable limits. It also requires debate in parliament (the Conservatives are in a hard place on that) which fully democratizes the enactment.

He assumed responsibility for fixing the problem and may fail, a hard decision for a risk-averse guy with too many ear whisperers in his offie. But taking it was a good thing because it grabs the momentum from the blockaders and their trumpy funders, and the logic cannot feasibly be defeated by oppositional commenters in the NO, especially on democracy.

Do not underestimate Ms. Freeland’s contributions to the government’s measured response. Needless to say, I’m continually impressed.


{In reply to Andrew's comment on Ms. Freeland.]

There it is again, that oddly avid and irrational hatred of Trudeau, not just the domain of the cons apparently. I see it in men mainly, but particularly grudge-holding prairie conservatives who are either transferring it from father to son, in itself unfair and unreasonable, or simply indignant at the challenge to their stereotype of what a political "leader" should be. I've enjoyed watching them spluttering and spitting at a youthful, attractive drama teacher who they recoil from as also being effeminate even, but this man is entirely "grooming" a woman to replace him, and not just as the usual interim leader (like the idiotic, self-righteous Candice Bergen) which is unprecedented in this country. So bring on the "weak-kneed Trudeau the Kid, Turdeau, Trudy" or whatever spiteful slur you want. He's what we need right now, and also, hating someone because they're beautiful is just churlish.
And speaking of spiteful slurs, you criticize HIM for "childish name-calling?" Under the circumstances parked right outside his office in the seat of government, with F* Trudeau as the most common message, I'd say he was remarkably restrained. For those of us who have been online all these years and seen the rabid stoking of hatred for him personally, it's truly twisted, and can actually be seen as a primary motivation for these so-called protests.
Talk about a cult of personality.

No "hatred" on this side of the keyboard at all. I was overjoyed to vote for The Kid in 2015 because he defeated Harper and issued plenty of policy announcements in line with my family's. Our riding is also very competetive and the Libs were the only centrist-progressive party able to win it.

But all that was followed with years of disappointment over innumerable promises broken and lofty rhetoric followed by dead silence in action. TMX was was a biggie ($17B committed so far), as was tossing proportional representation and utterly failing to understand what climate adaptation really entails, or perhaps understanding it and being too afraid to act, as usual. There are many other failures.

I do agree that the Emergencies Act as presented is a shining moment, and am giving him full credit, along with his ability to put in place a very diverse cabinet. It certainly didn't start well by issuing words like "tin foil hatters" (yes, that's what many of them are, but stooping to their level is not appropriate). But seeing this in the context of his last term as leader, he has nothing to lose before the very apt Chrystia Freeland is elected leader.

And TMX is now applying for a constitutional exception on basic safety requirements at its expanding tan farm on Burnaby. That is a profoundly dangerous ploy. To me it is impossible to square that with enacting the carbon tax after four long years or now finding the courage to stand up using the law and rationality instead of names against a right wing plot to overthrow the government.

The Kid is no less of a hypocrite and weak in most other things. The facts prove it.

[Not sure what's going on with the NO editing and formatting. The above comment was in response to Tris,]

Happy to see someone else has that view! Nice not to be alone anymore.

This comment was ment to reply to James Pearson views about Mr. Fawcett's reporting.

@ james pearson

My, aren't we sensitive? There are two attributes the alt right display, sometimes in duet.

One is false rage. It is expressed as a powerfully amplified bellyache for money. It is a highly contagious virus among those who are exposed to its infection early in life, or are easily led by mistaking childish name calling as leadership, and are willing to pay to feed their daily addiction. It has poisoned the well of equitable discourse and the fair trade of ideas.

The other is oversensitivity. Dish it, but can't take it. Those who are convinced their beliefs and principles are solid can stand up to criticism and change the music in their mental church as needed. Those who are insecure need to thrash about and throw tantrums, like doing so validates and shores up their cracking life guidance system.

What is so ironical is that too many alt rightists bin their natural ability for critical thinking and assume an imported cartoon intellectual mantle from Q University with a downward spiralling trajectory, or other narratives, all the while accusing society for being brainwashed by established science and cultural studies as though only your tribe owns the truth and sees the light.

Take conspiracies seriously, mix them with Rogan, 4Chan, Fox, Jones and other progenitors of rage who are the pawns of some billionaire media and fossil fuel organizations, throw in the occasional support by smirking iconoclast billionaires like Elon Musk, apply them to susceptible folks unhappy with their lot in life or their shrinking white universe, add some guns and act out with props that are obvious symbols of male insecurity, like big trucks, and you have the foundations of a right wing mob. Wait for a demagogue leader and you've got a revolution -- if the leadership is smart and capable of planning.

The fact of the matter is that these motives and narratives have always been with Canadian society and have always been a small minority. How frustrating it is to see election after election lost, or to win a majority only because the extremists were suppressed.

Today, the math is not on your side. With social media, the cultish adherence to nonsensical beliefs, offensive racist rhetoric, truck blockades and guns, your narrative is increasingly isolated and causing your only hope -- the Conservative Party -- to splinter off into the radicals in the People's Party.

You need to prepare for a decade of progressive rule. And Canada needs to prepare for more extremist antics and desperation.

I am so tired of this. I think I will get back to being 20 years younger again.

The very last thing I want to read is biased news, for that reason I chose “Canada’s National Observer”, I’m a little disappointed with Max Fawcett. Max Fawcett’s article is in no way unbiased journalism, start to finish Max’s opinion is in the forefront. He’s pro liberal, Justin Trudeau and or pro vaccination all in one.
Truckers and borders, I say go for it. Cripple the country? Justin Trudeau seems to be doing pretty good in the crippling Canada piece. Possibly we’ll get someone voted in that has concern for ALL Canadians and not just Eastern Canada. My dream for a better Canada is a Manitoba / Ontario border crossing.
“Back to normal” there is no normal really, like searching for the number 0 the closer you get the further you’re away. Dangerous fantasy? I’ll reference a ‘dangerous fantasy’ for you .. N95 masks will not keep out COVID, they make it worse. Masks are borderline ridiculous unless you use it once then throw it away. COVID is aerosol in size, it will float in a blacked out room at STP (Standard Temperature Pressure) for 2 - 3 hrs. If you’re wearing a mask walking behind someone who is smoking wether it be cigarettes, cannabis or cigar outdoors or in and you can smell it then COVID virus is able to get through as well. Check it out, new and used masks, you may be surprised. If the mask fit isn’t rated for working in a contaminated aerosol environment like a spray booth in an auto body shop for 8 hours you’re getting everything but larger dust particles. “Back to normal”? Our land fills won’t be back to normal for a couple decades or more for the decomposition of the cellulose in those beloved N95’s. Better than nothing .. not really. The kinesiology of breathing requires inhalation and exhaling under nominal pressures and vacuum assist. With a mask this is significantly compromised as greater positive and negative pressures are required. Mask breathing pushes the blocked in virus’ in your mask from the mask deeper into your lungs because you have to breath harder. Cheerful thought even when you breath in COVID (all be it small) your N95 masks can make you even sicker cause they cause greater pressures than ‘normal’.
Back to normal that may happen when politicians look at long term benefits as opposed to negative short term ones and leave science to the scientists not public health.
Can’t surrender to COVID? We have already surrendered to COVID, what are you saying? The mandates and public health rules aren’t using practical science, they have very little clue what to do as we’ve never been here before. So in a nutshell we have clueless impractical individuals in positions of power that reasonable or not you just got to follow what they tell you to do right? How far do we go before enough is enough. No masks, no mandates, everybody get back to work when and where you can. The dangerous fantasy is staying where we are with the mandates, the politicians will use it to their own ends. Just look at Justin Trudeau and Klaus Schwab on the “World Economic Forum”, you be the judge. Justin Trudeau takes off with “The Great Reset”, scary stuff a one world economy and government.

Fawcett's column is opinion, not news. I often disagree with him myself--I'm far further left than he is. But that doesn't make anything he says "biased news"; they're opinion pieces, they're SUPPOSED to express an opinion.
Your opinion about masks is empirically false (they've done enough studies). Masks don't block Covid 100%, but even not that great masks are good for 60% or so. Your clever rationalizations why they might not, because of what happens in empty rooms with no masks in them or anecdotes about stuff other than Covid, fails to deal with the fact that in real life they do. Heck, our North American authorities didn't really want to like masks, because the Chinese were doing it and they didn't want the Chinese to be right about anything. They were dragged to supporting masks by the evidence. Unfortunately some people don't care about that "evidence" stuff.

As to the stuff about "long term consequences"--yeah, since when has a conservative ever cared about the long term consequences of anything? Long term consequences of pollution? Nope. Long term consequences of unhealthy food? Nope. Long term consequences of pesticides? Nope. Long term consequences of overfishing? Nope. Long term consequences of climate change? Fuggedaboutit. Long term consequences of something that happens to, in the very short term, inconvenience you? Oh, suddenly we have big stories about long term consequences, of vaccines, or masking, or whatever. Give me a break.

Mind you, it's true that our public health mandates are not ideal. They should be much STRONGER, with much more mobilization of state resources to enforce, contact trace, and make whole everyone who loses out from the strong measures. We should be going for zero cases, like the Chinese, so that after we bring the cases down to zero nobody else dies and we actually can go back to normal . . . at least until the next selfish Conservative schmuck brings in another case, at which point we do local lockdowns, trace the contacts, and bring it down to zero again.
The reason we haven't been able to muster the political will to do that is the fault of people like you. And the rich shortsighted jerks who are using you as a tool.

Finally, if you hate the billionaire oligarchs of the World Economic Forum, you should be a socialist, or at least a strong "tax the rich" social democrat. The right has NO project for doing anything about rule by the rich. None. Nada. Zilch.

Excellent comments.

Kudos for this great rebuttal.

I would be careful about referring to the "rich shortsighted jerks" using deluded people pickled in conspiracy brine as pawns. Some of them are not shortsighted and are actually playing the long game for power and domination, if not to merely protect their own interests.

The convoyers and insurrectionists of the democratic world are performing a function according to plans made by those self-interested smart folks behind the curtain. We need to continue to pull the curtains back and expose their motives and dark money.

They are a small radical fringe posing as freedom (their ill-defined version will never supplant the Charter) fighters using flags as props. They cannot win here without illegal actions, fireworks and drama and attempted coups using big machines, sometimes guns.

All the more reason to bring in better gun control, make our capital cities into pedestrian zones with strong, defensible perimeters, to provide a few quickly-deployed truck-proof barriers at strategic locations, and counter the bullshit with facts and evidence. Truckers on foot are merely human, like everyone else. And they are vastly outnumbered by a big majority of people -- not to mention their more level headed law abiding fellow truckers who believe in good healthcre.

The truck convoy was nothing more than anarchy in action. This was a protest that had no chance of success. Yet the truckers engineered a rally where radicals and anarchists loved this chance to attack lawfully elected governments who worked hard to protect Canadians against Covid.
Even so almost. 35,000 Canadians died as result of covid.
What would have happened in the past 2 years if there were no safeguards or vaccines? Many of these same protesters would probably have died or got really sick.

The intentions of the convoy organizers were never peaceful. From the beginning they have been saying the quiet part out loud - that they want to overthrow our democratically elected government.

Say seditious stuff out loud with a so-called memorandum of understanding, shouldn't you expect consequences, or at very least to be taken seriously by those in charge of protecting our democracy?

And yet the folks in charge of national counter-terrorism didn’t seem to do either or anything else for that matter - were they all completely asleep at the switch as the convoy slow-rolled across Canada?

And Pierre Pollievre and Candace Bergen need to wear this - is this what happens when you play cutesy with extremists, buoying their legitimacy because of your wish that they may vote for you and not the PPC? Do you exempt them from your usual 'law and order' proclamations? Do you become their apologists, their accomplices, parsing and mincing and qualifying your criticisms of their lawlessness?

Does it not start to look to the casual observer that your law and order policies do not extend to your own tribe?

Sure, everyone wants the pandemic to be over. And it will be, once the vast majority of the 8 billion or so of us have high immunity to COVID. Want that to happen and the pandemic to end quickly, even yesterday? Want certainty? Then work to get a vaccine (pick the vaccine technology of your choice) into every arm in the world that wants one. Until that happens or everyone is infected (I would argue un-necessarily) it's going to be wave after wave after wave, a frayed-to-collapsing health care system and a yo-yo of restrictions without end.

What the gullibles sticking their necks out on Parliament Hill in service of a right-wing authoritarian agenda do not understand is that we cannot negotiate with or appease, or will out of existence, the real enemy - COVID. And we can no more 'live with it' with low global immunity than we can 'live with' global climate change.

What Mr. Trudeau and co, and public health authorities and the mass media do not seem to understand is that COVID and climate need to be daily stories, regardless whether people want to hear about them or not. And it needs to be continually emphasized what our democratic institutions are doing to try to help ensure that the burden is being shared as equally as possible. And to acknowledge everyone who is making personal sacrifices. At this point in the pandemic real leadership is needed - we're all tired of this and perhaps some intuitively feel that somehow what we're doing is not working and are tempted by the 'easy answers' of demagogues, it's simply not enough or okay for our leaders to just say 'the pandemic sucks' and then drop the mic.

I would agree about the need to start advertising FAR more just how much better progressivism is, hands down, duh; because you obviously can't assume that most Canadians are decent people, even when the majority actually IS. Complacency isn't working, going high when they go low, mild-mannered turning the other cheek crap; the idea of bringing a knife to a gunfight resonates. But I must say, if you watch question period in the House of Commons, especially right now, that having to endure the cons across the aisle bellowing over top of whatever you say, no matter WHAT you say of course, does give some insight to this as being a coping mechanism for dealing with an irrational mob. And Trudeau has been putting up with this for years now, years, except the vitriol against him personally has been strikingly vicious. This protest has awakened everyone I think. I was so frustrated how they and the media kept tip-toeing around the overthrow of the government as the focus; Trudeau frustratingly completely ignored that and got all empathetic about how we're ALL tired of the pandemic and the we've got your backs line; he looked a bit beat; he has had covid mind you. But I think they're now in full flex with the rule of law to the tremendous relief of us all.
With the insanity of the right, this need for a change in approach is before Biden as well, and is also recognized I think, but there's no doubt that they're on the edge. We're fortunate to be catching the insanity in time thanks to them. Conservative stupidity and intransigence probably helps more than anything, but if the media could just deep six "bothsidesism" and the political left would start talking about uniting the way they used to, we could all sleep at night.

I would love to see a progressive coalition government (or facsimile) in Ottawa between the Libs, NDP, Greens, Bloc and some red tories to write, consult widely and enact a genuine National Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Program.

But that may be very difficult or outright impossible without proportionality in our electoral system, a too-powerful PMO, the stink of TMX and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies, a deep dive into clean energy and conservation, and failure to understand that the 21st Century economy is about knowledge, data and the protection of Canadian intellectual property.
Considering the real limitations of conservative "thinkers" outlined in this article, and considering that humanity is facing the most complex problems we have ever faced, they are without a doubt that "stinking albatross" around our necks that Peter McKay so vividly described.
I do think Trudeau may be leaving soon which would no doubt help, and Chrystia's nodding kindergarten teacher demeanor is deceptive. Being a mother of three, she'd probably be good with the whole bad boy persona that has taken over the right wing. AND she's from Alberta.

Freeland has dealt directly with the bad boys before in the Trump administration. This gives her a unique insight on the trade issues emanating from a dim bulb right wing demagogue who had to rely on smarter people to force his ill-fitting pieces to fit the puzzle and develop a halfways cohesive picture. She may have to do it all over again after 2024.

I would say she could lead the country into hopefully well-thought out new directions when Canada's utter dependency on trade with the US is diminished by Americans. This is why Canadian IP, data and knowledge need to be not just developed, but retained and made fit for prosperous expansion within Canada over the long haul. Exporting patent protected Canadian products of knowledge is ultimately better than the old industrial notions of economic trade in physical goods with a selfish giant -- food and electricity excepted.

[There goes the NO formatting again. The above comment was in reply to Tris.]