Justin Trudeau a modern-day socialist?

We give Canadians the facts they need to hold their governments accountable


Over time, the meaning of socialism has changed and evolved.

Its technical definition remains state ownership of the means of production – namely factories, machinery, etc.

For the most part though, there are very few socialists who now advocate for the government to nationalize industries.

The Trudeau government’s policies personify this approach

As communism proved an utter failure in the real world and collapsed in the 80s and 90s, the meaning of socialism shifted to mean large-scale redistribution.

In other words, socialists have accepted that firms and industries should be privately owned, but that the benefits of markets should be harnessed for collective ends through higher taxes — much higher taxes — to finance higher levels of government spending.

… sound familiar?

Let’s take a closer look.

The next frontier of socialism

The next frontier of socialism focuses on the control of savings and investment through regulation: instead of actually owning firms, the next frontier of socialism aims to control firms and their activities through laws, regulations, and other government dictates.


The Trudeau government’s policies personify this approach

For example, let’s look at their approach to greenhouse gas reduction. In addition to their carbon tax:

  • Trudeau has mandated a cap on GHG emissions, though it oddly only affects the 26% of emissions from the oil and gas sector.
  • Trudeau has mandated the end of new vehicle sales that emit GHGs by 2035, thus requiring a complete move to zero emissions new vehicles within 13 years.
  • Trudeau cancelled and blocked energy infrastructure projects that do not align with his specific vision for the future.

These are all top-down decisions imposed on individuals and firms.

This is the essence of the socialist approach.

And like other forms of socialism in the past, this new brand will fail to deliver promised results and impose enormous costs on society.

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Fraser Institute — Bio and Archives

The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit fraserinstitute.org.

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