Incompetence Is No Defence

Those who fail to demonstrate even a baseline level of competence shouldn’t have power.

The Canadian government is a very powerful institution.

It manages vast sums of money, has the ability to expand or restrict the scope of our rights and freedoms, and is responsible for holding our nation together.

While Canada has some checks on the power of the state, the centralized nature of federal power (legislators and executives being the same people) means the Canadian government can rapidly and dramatically impact our lives – often in a negative way.

This means that who we elect really matters, and how they perform really matters.

It also means that incompetence is not a legitimate defence when facing a scandal.

As you know, incompetence has been the Liberal defence on issue after issue. Various officials and cabinet ministers claimed they didn’t read their emails, or their staff didn’t inform them, or they were misled, or information was kept from them, and on and on.

The latest to make this claim is Marco Mendicino, who said he was never made aware of Paul Bernardo being transferred to a medium security prison. That claim has fallen apart after reports indicated Mendicio’s department knew about this for months.

And now, Mendicino is proposing ‘changes’ in an attempt to salvage his reputation and divert blame elsewhere:


Here’s the thing.

At a certain point, the problem can’t be that the whole system of government is supposedly a wreck if you’ve been in office for eight years.

Maybe in year one or two you could say that. But we’re now approaching nearly a decade of the Liberals being in power. If something in government is broken, they broke it.

Further, why do we elect people to office if they can’t get the system to run smoothly? Why should someone be able to hide behind incompetence and stay in their role?

If you want to exercise the tremendous power that comes from being a federal minister, you should have at least a baseline level of competence. And if you don’t, you should resign.

Mendicino doesn’t get that. Justin Trudeau doesn’t get it either. For them, it’s not about doing good for the country, it’s about their own power and their own ability to impose their agenda. When they fail, it’s always someone else’s fault.

Canadians must get tougher

Across our country – and particularly in the government – Canadians are often too tolerant of poor performance. Look at our procurement system. It’s been horrendous for decades, and just gets worse and worse. Surely, there should have been a massive housecleaning, with person after person fired and replaced until competent people were found. Instead, it just remains awful.

Our country has an irrational fear of competition, a fear which prevents the strongest from emerging, which pushes the most ambitious elsewhere, and which rewards failure rather than success.

Marco Mendicino with his combination of rampant incompetence, dishonesty, and unearned ignorance, is only the most noticeable outward manifestation of this, but it’s a problem that goes far deeper and which our nation must correct if we are going to achieve our full potential.

Spencer Fernando


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