Kevin O'Leary is muttering about entering the Conservative leadership race. Lisa Raitt is trying to head him off at the pass. She'll do us all a favour if she succeeds. Michael Harris writes:
Bottom line? O’Leary will flounder in the Smart Tank because he knows squat about Canada and is about as homegrown as a banana. He is a de facto American trying to rewrite the history of the War of 1812. Instead of getting even for the burning of Washington, O’Leary merely wants to muck out Ottawa with a spatula, which is a strange implement of choice for a dragon, right? A tongue of flame, a swishing tail, raking claws, sure. But a spatula?
And why should O’Leary delay announcing his entry into the CPC leadership race until after the French-language debate just because he doesn’t speak French? Whenever his turn came to speak, he could just hold up his bank book and show Quebeckers the balance. In O’Leary’s world, money talks and bull roar perambulates. How else could he actually say that he understands what Quebecers want?
O'Leary went to English language private schools when he grew up in Quebec and then headed to the University of Waterloo. He lived his life entirely in the English Solitude. Like Stephen Harper, he believes he doesn't need support in Quebec to become prime minister.
But he needs Alberta. And consider what he says about that province:
Consider his rantings on behalf of the Corporate Kleptocracy against Rachel Notley. The Alberta premier is to blame for Alberta’s skyrocketing unemployment rate, the plummeting dollar, and yes, Calgary’s loss in the Grey Cup.
Not a word about Conservative politicians in Alberta who let foreign multinationals cash in on the tar sands with pathetically low royalty rates (compare Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to Alberta’s), and who never thought to diversify the provincial economy against the day when the oil wealth would be gone. Forty years of never asking the “what if” question.
O’Leary’s answer to Notley’s alleged screw ups – even more spineless concessions to the oil patch. On new oil and gas production capital expenditures, he wants to let the investor write off the entire investment in the year it occurred, and give a 36-month royalty “holiday” on any new capital investment. Increase the already gaudy returns for investors and all will be well.
Like his hero, Donald Trump, he's appallingly ignorant of the country he proposes to lead. Let's hope that Canadians -- and, more importantly, Conservatives -- have learned something from recent events to our south.