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Misleading polls may produce more damaging federal policies


6 minute read

From the Fraser Institute

By Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss

72 per cent of respondents in Canada supported a new narrowly-targeted tax on wealth for the top 1 per cent to pay for new government services and/or a guaranteed annual income. But support dropped to only 16 per cent when the plan relied on increasing the GST to 20 per cent. The implications of the data are clear—Canadians support new and expanded programs when they believe someone else will pay for them.

In the wake of the 2024 federal budget, several public opinion polls have been released with potential implications for the future direction of federal policy. But unless the polls are interpreted correctly, the results could be misconstrued and lead to further damaging federal policies.

Most polls continue to show the federal Opposition significantly outperforming the governing Liberals and their partners in government, the NDP. Moreover, polls completed after the Trudeau government released the federal budget earlier this month indicate Canadians generally do not agree with the overall policy direction of the Trudeau government.

For example, according to a recent Leger poll, 56 per cent of Canadians believe the country is “headed in the wrong direction,” 59 per cent “perceive the economy as weaker,” only 19 per cent agree the government’s strategy “will benefit their personal finances,” and only 33 per cent believe the government is “taking positive steps to grow the Canadian economy.”

These results align with a recent Angus Reid poll, which found that 59 per cent of respondents think federal spending had grown too large and spending cuts were needed.

A number of pollsters, however, have noted the gulf between the overall lack of support for federal policies (including the recent budget) and strong support for individual initiatives in the budget. According to the Leger poll, for instance, 73 per cent of respondents support the new $6 billion Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund, 71 per cent support the new National School Food Program, and 67 per cent support the new $15 billion Apartment Construction Loan Program.

But these results are misleading because they only reflect one side of the question—the benefits. In other words, the polls ask respondents if they support specific programs but exclude any costs. When Canadians understand the costs, their attitudes change. They’re concerned about the level of federal spending because they see the costs—rising taxes, mounting debt and increasing interest costs.

Not surprisingly, when pollsters connect new or expanded programs with their costs, support for those programs declines. Consider a 2022 Leger poll that asked respondents about their support for pharmacare, dental care and the federal $10-a-day daycare program.

Support for the three programs is strong when no costs are attached: 79 per cent for pharmacare, 72 per cent for dental care and 69 per cent for daycare. But the level of support plummets when an increase in the GST is attached to the new program. Support for pharmacare drops to 40 per cent, support for dental care drops to 42 per cent, and daycare support drops to 36 per cent.

This general idea of supporting programs—when someone else pays for them—aligns with a 2022 poll, which found that 72 per cent of respondents in Canada supported a new narrowly-targeted tax on wealth for the top 1 per cent to pay for new government services and/or a guaranteed annual income. But support dropped to only 16 per cent when the plan relied on increasing the GST to 20 per cent. The implications of the data are clear—Canadians support new and expanded programs when they believe someone else will pay for them.

This is an important consideration because the Trudeau government has borrowed to pay for most of its new and expanded programs, meaning that the effect of the new spending would be more apparent if the government raised taxes—rather than borrowed—to pay for it. The costs of the government’s approach, however, are showing up in Ottawa’s debt interest costs, which this year will reach a projected $54.1 billion—more than the federal government spends on health-care transfers to the provinces.

As Nobel laureate Milton Friedman said, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. When polling data treat new and expanded programs as costless, they provide misleading results and policy signals to politicians. It’s essential that policymakers understand the degree to which Canadians—after they understand the costs—actually support these initiatives.


Trudeau drops $220,000 on airplane food

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News release from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

You ever get the feeling the government is running a secret contest to see who can order up the most expensive meals while flying around the world?

Well if they are, we’ve got a new winner: The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

After Governor General Mary Simon spent $100,000 on airplane food, Trudeau said, ‘Hold my beef Wellington’ and doubled the taxpayer tab.

All that and more in this week’s Taxpayer Waste Watch.

Bon apétit.


Fine China, fancy feasts and a $220,000 taxpayer tab

Welcome to Air Trudeau, where the cares are free, the juice is freshly squeezed, the meals are served on fine China and the bill is sent to you.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his entourage spent $223,000 of your money on airplane food during a six-day tour of the Indo-Pacific region last fall, according to government records dug up by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Eating that much could wear a silver spoon right out.

To put things in perspective: that’s enough money to cover a month of groceries for 165 Canadian families, or buy 13,937 glasses of Bev Oda’s favourite orange juice.

But the bill gets big when this is the grocery list:

Beef brisket and parsley mashed potatoes with truffle oil. Pan fried beef tenderloin with port wine reduction sauce. Braised lamb shanks with steamed broccoli and boiled baby potatoes. Strawberry shortcake and baked cheesecake with pistachio brittle.

Sounds just like the meals you get on Air Canada or WestJet, right?

The records indicate staff were told Trudeau’s meals (and ONLY Trudeau’s meals) must be appropriately garnished and served on China dishware.

Pro-tip for the prime minister:

Have you seen your polling numbers lately? It might be tough to connect with the middle class while chowing down on braised lamb shanks, topped with a sprig of parsley and served on fine China.

Snacks offered onboard Air Trudeau included cured meats and artisanal cheeses, veggies and dip, and fresh papaya, pineapple, dragon fruit, watermelon and berries. And the juice served was noted as being “freshly-squeezed.”

A special request was put in for the plane to be stocked with Trudeau’s favourite brand of premium alkaline spring water, and staff picked up $900 worth of pop and chips before take-off. Trudeau and his entourage also spent $300 on movies and magazines.

Well we already know the prime minister doesn’t read his briefing notes, so it’s good he had the latest editions of the Jacobin and Mad Magazine to keep him occupied – it was a long flight, after all.

All told, the trip cost you $1.9 million and counting.

Trudeau has now claimed the top spot on our leaderboard for the most extravagant taxpayer-funded travel expenses, surpassing Governor General Mary Simon’s legendary March 2022 performance, when she gobbled up $100,000 worth of airplane food.

After details of Simon’s airplane extravaganza went public (courtesy of your friends at the CTF), a parliamentary committee summoned high-ranking bureaucrats to answer for the outrageous tab.

The bureaucrats pinkie promised to change the rules and stop frivolous spending.

Well clearly those efforts are going swimmingly…

The government set out to lower costs.

Then Trudeau doubled them.

Poilievre grills Trudeau about airplane feast in House of Commons 

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre grilled Trudeau about his $223,000 worth of airplane food expenses in the House of Commons.


Trudeau’s EV corporate welfare worse than you think

Federal and provincial governments are ponying up billions more in electric vehicle battery subsidies than the corporations themselves are spending to build their own factories.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report this week showing just how bad taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners on these corporate welfare deals.

Governments promised $52 billion to these corporations. The corporations are only spending $46 billion.

Does that sounds like a good deal to you?

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‘Transgender’ inmates are continuing to sexually assault female prisoners

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From LifeSiteNews

By Jonathon Van Maren

The Mail reported that the California prison system has 1,997 detainees who currently identify as transgender and non-binary, and 345 male prisoners have requested transfers to women’s prisons.

Sixty-six-year-old Dana Sue Gray does not cut a sympathetic figure. She is currently serving a life sentence in Central California’s Women’s Facility (CCWF) – a women’s prison – for murdering and then robbing three of her elderly neighbours in the 1990s and going on a shopping spree. Recently, however, she has reportedly been sexually assaulted in jail – by a trans-identifying man serving his sentence with the women. 

According to a report by the Daily Mail, Gray reports that she began sharing a dormitory with the trans-identifying male convict early in 2023, and that initially relations were “real friendly.” That soon changed as he became first verbally abusive, and then sexually abusive. One night, the man launched an all-out assault. “He came into my bed area and pulled his pants down and shoved his d***k in my face,” Gray told the Independent Women’s Forum.  

Gray described the experience as “terrifying and disgusting” and told the man to back off. The first assault, she says, was merely a “show of male dominance.” He reappeared the following night, and this time he “put that big man hand on my back, on my shoulder blade” while she was sleeping. She woke up panicking and told him: “Stay the F out of my area. Don’t ever come to my area. Don’t ever touch me.” She told a guard, and the man was moved to a different yard – but still in the women’s prison. She did not file a formal complaint alleging assault for fear that she would have been isolated. 

Gray is not the only female inmate to be assaulted of late. California has sent trans-identifying men to female prisons since 2020, when Senate Bill 123 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Men can be sent to female prisons merely by claiming to be a woman – so-called “self-identification” – and do not have to have any sex change procedures or hormone treatments prior to being transferred. According to both Gray and other prisoners, the arrival of males in female prisons has transformed them. 

“It’s disgusting and I have to be polite and deal with it for my own safety, and so that I have a less stressful day, but I don’t like it,” she said. “I don’t want any of them here. I want them to go away. It degrades women so bad.” Many of the women, she added, are poorly educated and particularly vulnerable. The Mail reported that the California prison system has 1,997 detainees who currently identify as transgender and non-binary, and 345 male prisoners have requested transfers to women’s prisons. Thus far, “46 were approved, 64 were denied, and 87 inmates have changed their minds.”  

The California Department of Corrections insists that all requests are carefully reviewed, and that transfers are only approved when it is “safe to do so.” This is obviously not the case. Stories of women being sexually assaulted by trans-identifying men behind bars have come out everywhere the practice has been implemented, including Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. Fifty-one-year-old Tremaine Carroll, a trans-identifying man, has been charged with raping two women after being moved to the Central California’s Women’s Facility. He is six foot two, and one of his victims was a slight female in her thirties. He raped her in the shower of their shared dormitory. She is still suffering enormous trauma as a result.  

There are plenty of other recent examples, as well. A murderer in Spain serving a 30-year prison sentence for murdering his female neighbor is now identifying as female – and getting transferred to a women’s prison. Other criminals are getting in on the grift, too, hoping it might result in cushier sentences: a violent serial rapist in Scotland has just announced his in-prison transition and demanded “gender affirming” care; an American pedophile convicted of raping his 7-year-old stepdaughter is appealing his life sentence after announcing he is now transgender; last month, a U.K. pedophile was sentenced to a mere 16 months prison, and claims to identify as a 5-year-old girl. 

The sexual assault of Dana Sue Gray is just one example of a phenomenon unfolding everywhere the transgender movement has implemented its agenda. She richly deserves the life sentence she received, and she deserves to spend the rest of her life in prison. But to be locked up with a violent man who wishes to rape her is something different. I believe the best way to describe it would be “cruel and unusual punishment.” 

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He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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