During the COVID pandemic, Canadians have often been told this: Our public health care system is being overwhelmed.

I don’t dispute this reality, but I ask why.

Why has the capacity of Canada’s health care system not been built up enough so as not to be overwhelmed?

I ask because it strikes me as odd that in our war against Covid-19—an ongoing war of nearly two years—we have not re-directed resources to the war effort as in wars past.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have us blame unvaccinated Canadians. But I think his narrative lacks insight.

I submit that the ongoing status of our healthcare system being overwhelmed is due primarily to our federal government’s mishandling of our tax dollars. It’s Trudeau who is the culprit.

Here is my reason: PM Trudeau has been engaging in wasteful, frivolous tax spending instead of directing those misspent tax dollars to the war effort.

Wasteful, frivolous tax spending?


Lots of examples could be listed, but space permits two.

Example 1. A few weeks ago, our PM and his entourage (276 people) travelled in jets and limousines to attend a climate conference across the Atlantic—a conference that could have been done by Zoom.

Besides the hypocrisy of polluting the world via fuel-guzzling jets and limousines, this trip wasted millions of taxpayers’ dollars. Millions that could have—should have—gone to hospitals.

Reminder: We are in the midst of a pandemic, and our healthcare system is being overwhelmed.

Example 2. Last September the PM called an election during the fourth wave of our COVID pandemic. The election was unnecessary, but the PM saw an opportunity for more power. The election, which changed nothing, cost taxpayers 610 million dollars. C$610,000,000. That’s a lot of money.

Reminder: We are in the midst of a pandemic, and our healthcare system is being overwhelmed.

Let’s pause and ponder the $610M election cost. In Canada there are 150 Liberal Members of Parliament. This means each Liberal MP cost us $4,000,000.

Surely, though, a $4 million payment to each of 150 hospitals across Canada would have been more appropriate. Or imagine 75 hospitals each getting an $8 million payment. Or 50 hospitals each getting a $12 million payment.

That’s just two examples. The upshot is that in our war against Covid the federal government has missed huge opportunities to increase the number of hospital beds, ICUs, nurses, and doctors across Canada.

For many Canadians, this has been deadly. Not only did Covid take its toll, but so did non-Covid illnesses (due to missed cancer screenings, surgeries, etc.).

The moral fact is that wasteful, frivolous federal tax spending should long ago have been cut and those tax dollars—millions upon millions of life-saving dollars—should have been re-directed to our (the taxpayers’) hospitals. Sure, make vaccines available, but also increase the capacity and threshold of readiness of the health care system. We are in a pandemic are we not?

There’s more.

What about other costs of not increasing healthcare capacity, costs triggered by political policies to cope with the healthcare system’s ongoing status of being overwhelmed?

That is to ask: What about the cost of lockdowns? What about the cost of destroyed businesses, destroyed livelihoods, and destroyed people (by suicides and drug overdoses)? What about lost education?

And what about the PM’s slithery-slippery slide into political authoritarianism by pushing vaccine mandates that smack of coercion and crass government overreach?

Canadians are facing two pandemics: a Covid pandemic and a pandemic of prime ministerial power-mongering and ineptitude.

Whom should we blame for our healthcare system’s inappropriately low threshold-of-readiness resulting in its near-constant state of being overwhelmed? Whom should we blame for the life-destroying consequences?

The appropriate scapegoat is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Hendrik van der Breggen

Hendrik van der Breggen, PhD, is a retired philosophy professor who lives in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. Hendrik is author of the book Untangling...