Full disclosure, I maintain dual citizenship, American-Canadian. But one need not be Canadian to appreciate the initiative being shown in Canada in response to the COVID crisis. It is a national effort led by a leader. It exposes the lack of leadership and planning happening here in the United States.
Prime Minister Trudeau is more than an internet sensation. He is acutely interested in the fate of his country. He is looking ahead. According to CNN:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is trying to give all workers a minimum of 10 days paid sick leave per year as Canada starts to prepare for a possible second wave of the pandemic.
Trudeau is trying to give all workers ten days of sick leave for the period ahead? The Canadian government is exercising “socialism” at the proper place and time. Some Americans claim to somehow be “above” socialism. The claim is usually made by people who immediately moved to bail out corporate America and have a $500 billion slush fund with which Trump can award his favorite companies. This is “socialism” without the noble intention nor transparency.
Yet Republicans have hyped such a plan as socialism here in the U.S., as if socialism is foreign to the United States and that calling it “socialism” alone sufficiently proves its ridiculousness.
Canada is even willing to pass-by the fact that, generally, this sort of plan would fall under provincial governments’ jurisdiction. This isn’t a “general” topic or the usual problem.
The effort is complicated by the fact that sick leave is usually a provincial jurisdiction. Trudeau said putting the necessary mechanisms in place for a national paid sick leave program would be challenging but his government and the provinces are determined to try.
It sounds like Trudeau recognizes that such a sweeping effort must be done by the only entity allowed to print money and borrow substantial sums. You will also sure note that Trudeau isn’t talking about which provinces support him, or favoring the Toronto and Montreal areas over Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Look north. It is not that Trudeau is a “great” leader. One isn’t required. One need only be a good leader, which starts with wanting to lead, and never saying “I take no responsibility.”