Rex Murphy: Canada’s big banks have much to answer for after blindly following Trudeau’s emergency orders

Why did the banks bend so quickly and so cravenly to the Trudeau government’s emergency orders? Have they no courage at all?

Author of the article:

Rex Murphy

Publishing date:

Mar 11, 2022  •  2 days ago  •  3 minute read  •   1015 Comments

FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows Canadian investment banks RBC CIBC BMO TD and Scotiabank in Toronto

Remember Marc and Craig Kielburger — the flashy pied pipers with their stadium rallies and sloppy slogans?

It wasn’t that long ago that the equally flashy government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to put these two jumped-up, self-nominated activists in charge of distributing close to $1 billion of taxpayer money.

In their woke evangelism and ostentatious virtue displays, they bore a remarkable resemblance with the style and mode of the Trudeau Liberals.

School principals and school boards were in love with them. Lots of lower-tier Canadian celebrities lent their minimal charisma to the brothers, as well. But so did the very top-level celebrity, the woke-king himself, Justin Trudeau, who showed up to amplify their mass virtue messages.

He sometimes brought his family along — including his mother, brother and wife — some receiving fees for engaging in the charade.

The Kielburgers and the Trudeaus were close. The decision to pass the administration of a student grant program over to the Kielburger’s WE Charity — including over $40 million in potential payments to administer the program — was extremely curious, highly dubious and totally unjustified.

Why should I be bringing this up? Was that not yesterday’s news? In the deeply wise words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference at this point does it make?”

Only this. It is become a custom during COVID’s cloud to walk past, forget or bury mischief and scandals, along with unjustified health measures. The “emergency” allows everything that happened yesterday to be forgotten today.

Try to pass close to $1 billion to two slick man-boys who are friends and beneficiaries of the Trudeau family, get called-out and … oops, just a mistake, move on and all is forgotten, if not forgiven. Yet it should not be.

Now, we in the process of forgetting once again, this time about the over-reach perpetrated under our other national “emergency,” the truckers’ protest, and those who helped Trudeau punish the people who disagreed with him.

Namely, Canada’s big banks. The great guardians of your hard-earned money. Except when you support the wrong causes. Like a truckers’ protest.

Did any single bank president, floating on a stream of magnificently swollen income and bonuses, attempt to resist or test the edict from the Trudeau government? Did they go to court to test the legality of the move?

Did the great presidents of Canadian banks meet, on Zoom or in person, to discuss whether their institutions had become craven puppets of whatever comes out of the Prime Minister’s Office when Justin Trudeau sees a democratic protest he doesn’t like, or wishes to strike out at an inconvenient display of democratic spine?

All of these questions, and a volume more, are sliding by. Just like after the WE mess. Great events provide an escape hatch to sweep controversial issues under the rug, while much of the press happily dances to every new tune, and jumps with eagerness at every new distraction.

What is going on in Ukraine is a global concern. But it is also, sadly, an excuse and, alas, a cynical cover for waltzing by deep domestic issues and gliding past accountability.

The banks have huge questions to answer, and like the WE affair, they are being forgotten in the present moment. The main one is: why did the banks bend so quickly and so cravenly to the Trudeau government’s emergency orders? Have they no courage at all?

And while I’m at it, answer this: would the big banks have the stomach to freeze the accounts of Black Lives Matter protesters, or environmental activists or anyone who advocates for the woke cause of the moment? I doubt it.

We have not heard a single bank president — not one — pose a question, make a comment or say a word about their perfectly compliant acceptance of Trudeau’s unprecedented edict.

They should be ashamed of themselves, but being bank presidents, one must assume shame is a foreign emotion, and courage is something that comes into play only when protecting their bloated emoluments. This is despicable.

National Post


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