Simplistic solutions in a complex world

Written by Brenda Schimke

What goes around, comes around, and every indication is that William Aberhart’s clone has arrived as the top contender for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. The similarities between Pierre Poilievre and William Aberhart are stunningly close.

For those who don’t remember Premier Aberhart, he was Alberta’s articulate radio showman who captured the hearts and minds of jobless young men, debt-ridden farmers and dust-bowl housewives during the great drought and depression of the 1930s.

Aberhart’s simplistic solution to continent-wide deflation was social credit—print Alberta money and give every Albertan $25 per month for the necessities of life.

Poilievre’s simplistic solution to worldwide inflation—fire the Bank of Canada governor and opt out of inflation by moving to cryptocurrency.

I’m not sure how Poilievre sees this move as protecting consumer purchasing power or predictability. He first floated his proposal on March 28, when a crypto was worth $58,826. When he doubled down on crypto during the Conservative leadership debate on May 11, it had fallen to $37,600.

In other words, crypto wealth was reduced by 36 per cent in less than two months. Its value can skyrocket upward just as fast. Both scenarios are disastrous for those living paycheque to paycheque.

Aberhart’s simplistic monetary policy was popular in winning an election, but the citizens of Alberta never saw a single dollar from that promise. A newly created currency was not the answer to the 1930’s crisis.

Today, the number one use of cryptocurrency is speculation. It is also the currency of choice to fund international terrorism and money laundering.

Crypto is ‘mined’, anybody can create it, and it’s secured behind ‘keys’ and ‘blockchains’, held by an individual or on-line entity. It is estimated 20 per cent of all Bitcoin is irretrievable due to lost keys.

Cybertheft is rampant. Hackers have plagued the industry with $1.8 billion dollars stolen from 2010 to 2018 and it continues unabated.

Fake investment crowdfunding scams lose investors millions of dollars daily. The best Ponzi scheme going!

The Conservative Party seems on the cusp of electing an Aberhart-style leader—little understanding of the big picture, lots of pizzaz, and simple solutions to big problems!

Pierre Poilievre’s proposals for the Bank of Canada, inflation and cryptocurrency actively prey on individuals with low financial literacy, and are incredibly dangerous for Canada’s economic future. As the ‘business’ party, Conservatives should know international investment dollars go to countries that have reputable, independent central banks, not banana republics.

One day, and perhaps soon, crypto will be more than an unregulated gambling currency and dirty money. The Bank of Canada has been preparing for some time for this new reality. Its role with digital currency will be the same as its role with the Canadian dollar—to preserve the value of money, to supply Canadians with bank notes/digital currency and to oversee safe and legal payment systems.

Inflation is an ugly beast and we all have to do our part to defeat it. Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, has foreshadowed all his decisions throughout the pandemic. He regularly holds press conferences televised on CBC and CTV. He consults experts in the field on an ongoing basis and has a comprehensive understanding of monetary policy and evolving world economics. He’s no Prime Minister’s stooge!

Yes, the war in Ukraine caught Macklem by surprise as did the slow recovery of global supply chains. My guess, Poilievre didn’t foresee these events either!

Aberhart was out of his depth but his intentions were good. Poilievre knows better but has chosen to demonize and discredit the Bank of Canada simply to win a leadership contest.

Brenda Schimke
ECA Review

About the author

Brenda Schimke

Schimke is a Graduate with Distinction from the University of Alberta with a BCom degree. She has lived and worked in Alberta, BC and Ontario.