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Forget globalism – It’s time to put Canada first

April 2020

Good on 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) CEO Mike Roman for criticising President Donald Trump’s demand that 3M stop selling respirators that they manufacture to Canada, calling the demand “absurd,” and that it would “…pose a humanitarian risk,” in light of the current Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

However, this should also serve as a warning to Canada that we need to be more concerned about our own welfare and bring as much manufacturing and production of necessities back to Canada as we can.

International trade is a very important part of our economy, and it’s just a fact of life that certain items have to be imported, but anything that we can produce within our own borders, should be produced within our borders. This pandemic has shown a critical weakness to our economy and our supply system.

Having to rely on another country to produce life-saving supplies in the middle of a pandemic is a recipe for disaster. However, medical supplies aren’t the only thing we should be producing.

We used to have a robust manufacturing sector, but we’ve seen it severely eroded due to economic pressures. Some of this erosion is due to government excessive regulation, taxation and in the case of Ontario, outrageously high hydro costs due to the Liberal Government of Dalton McGuinty’s ill-fated green-energy experiment, while some is due to consumer’s addiction to cheap products made in places like China and Mexico.

We are a resource-rich country, and we shouldn’t be so reliant on foreign oil. We are leaders in the production of nuclear reactors, so any energy needs not filled by fossil-fuels should be filled by Canadian nuclear energy. The money that can be generated for the federal and provincial governments in taxation, royalties and revenue-sharing arrangements, could help fund many of our cherished social programs.

This pandemic has shown that globalism has serious negatives, as countries across the world put their own interests ahead of other countries, even their closest allies and trading partners. Shipments meant for export are retained in country, maybe even intercepted en route, and contracts for future trades become worthless. We revert to tribalism quite quickly. Suddenly, protectionism isn’t such a bad thing.

When this pandemic was still in its early days, many, many warnings were dismissed, downplayed or outright ignored. Many methods for limiting the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus like closing the borders, or at least stopping flights from China, were called racist and xenophobic. Even our own prime minister made such pronouncements; right up to the day he closed the border.

Will we change the way we do business in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic?

During the pandemic, a lot of people who are able to work from home, have been doing just that. Even our political leaders have been conducting business remotely, through video and tele-conferencing. Will we see our business and political leaders spending more time having remote meetings, instead of incurring the costs associated with travelling to conferences and meetings? Well, perhaps our political leaders will resist curtailing trips to exotic locations for their regular hot-air fests, until the taxpayers who fund these frequently useless pleasure trips start making too much noise.

Beginning on 30 March, Barrie City Council began conducting their weekly council meeting virtually, using web cameras. While it may not be feasible for all municipal councils to conduct meetings this way all the time, it certainly should be looked at as an option for councillors who are sick or outside the city on business, so that they can still be an active part of the meetings.

Will we realize that we need to maintain a stockpile of medical supplies? The severity of the pandemic was exacerbated by the fact that our federal governments, both past and present, failed to adequately maintain our national emergency stockpiles, forcing front-line medical workers to re-use personal protection equipment and improvise.

Will we embrace e-learning, which although I personally prefer to be in a classroom, even I realize that e-learning is the way of the future? Most of the mandatory courses I have to do for my job are done on the computer. E-learning should be implemented on a voluntary basis for now, as we all know students who would jump at the chance to get ahead in their studies, or as an alternative to completing credits at summer school. I was one credit short after my last year in university, so I signed up for a summer course to finish my degree. As I had a summer job lined up, I commuted from Toronto to Windsor on a Tuesday and did the return run on Thursday, for 6 weeks to finish my course. It might have been easier if there was an on-line option, but as this was 1991, this was not available to me.

When all this madness ends, maybe Canada can consider building a monument to the late Dr. Li Wenliang, the brave Chinese doctor who tried to warn the world of the impending pandemic, but was tragically silenced by the Communist regime in Beijing and later died of the Wuhan coronavirus. Hopefully by then, we will also know the fate of fellow Chinese Dr. Ai Fen, director of emergency services at Wuhan Central Hospital, who disappeared after criticizing the response of the Chinese government.

Sources: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/an-act-of-modern-piracy-a-mask-shipment-from-3m-bound-for-germany-was-reportedly-diverted-to-the-us/ar-BB128GyH?ocid=spartandhp, https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-trudeau-government-indifferent-to-chinas-lies-on-covid-19

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/forget-globalism-its-time-to-put-canada-first/

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