Canada's new liberal prime minister: the disaster has already begun
Canadians have spoken – well, 39.5% of them – and installed a new liberal government headed by Justin Trudeau in office, and the disasters have already begun. Fasten your seat belts, Canucks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Ezra Levant reports at The Rebel:
The Canadian dollar dropped nearly two percentage points after Justin Trudeau's Liberals swept to a majority in the federal election.
That's almost two cents in four days.
As Levant notes, this has a profound effect on Canadians, whose trade with the US (the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world) accounts for a large percentage of their GDP:
Everything we import just got more expensive, and we'll get paid less for everything we export.
It's like every Canadian just got a pay cut.
Trudeau’s announced plans spell disaster, which is why the foreign exchange markets behaved as they did. Levant summarizes that he has “promised to raise taxes and spending, run a deficit and oppose the oil industry.”
Specifically, he has plans to embark on a vast program of public works spending. I guess President Obama has shared his approach on “shovel-ready jobs.” Trudeau might want to examine how the Stimulus Bill worked out in the USA. But actually there is an example much closer to home, one in fact pushed by his father, the late Prime Minister Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Eliott Trudeau (usually known as Pierre Trudeau), that demonstrates just how destructive massive public works spending can be in the hands of Canadian government bureaucrats.
Unless you are an aviation geek like me, you may never have heard of Montreal’s Mirabel Airport, but in the annals of airport development it is a landmark disaster. Not only were billions of dollars in 2015 terms squandered on developing what was at the time the world’s largest airport by land area (97,000 acres, much of it seized by eminent domain from protesting farmers), but the airport managed to destroy the status of Montreal as Canada’s premier international gateway airport.
After years of studies, the project began in 1969, while the elder Trudeau was prime minister and its prime mover. It opened in 1974.
Practically everything about the airport was done wrong. It was located far from Montreal without adequate high speed access. A promised high speed rail line was never built. Because the existing Dorval Airport was close in and very convenient, Montrealers insisted that it be kept open for domestic and transborder flights. As a result, Canadians and Americans wishing to change planes in Montreal when traveling to Europe, South America, or Africa faced a time consuming and expensive need to transfer airports. At the time I lived in Boston, and had used Dorval Airport as a very convenient transfer point when traveling to places like Brussels that had no nonstop flights to Logan Airport. It was far easier to use than JFK Airport, and the flights to Europe were shorter. That all ended when Mirabel opened.
International airlines began serving Toronto instead, which rapidly replaced Montreal as the premier international gateway of Canada. In fact, so permanently crippled was Montreal that it has fallen to fourth place among Canadian airports, after Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary.
Mirabel eventually was closed as a passenger airport in 2004, having never exceeded three million passengers a year, which places it roughly at the level of Kahului Airport in Maui last year. Irony of ironies: Dorval Airport in Montreal, which is back to handling domestic and international flights, albeit now the fourth ranked Canadian airport, was renamed Pierre Eliott Trudeau Airport, after Justin’s father, the man who destroyed its status as Canada’s global gateway.
The empty terminal and airport hotel are embarrassments, but the airport staggers on as a cargo facility and home to the Bombardier aircraft manufacturing facility.
Mirabel’s abandoned terminal
The now-derelict Chateau Mirabel Hotel
Reportedly, bothe temrinal and hotel are slated for demolition. In a just world, they would have been named for Pierre Eliott Trudeau, not Dorval Airport.