Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley have announced that they will match Red Cross donations for Fort McMurray dollar-for-dollar. So people who consider giving money to the Red Cross for Fort McMurray know that their dollar will leverage two more dollars. On the surface, this may appear to many as a charitable action–cleverly leveraging private charity.

But let’s look below the surface.

When government steps in and uses taxpayer money to help victims, that’s not real charity. Those are government subsidies and those who pay the subsidy have no choice. The people choosing are Trudeau and Notley. They are not being charitable. The only way these two officials could be charitable in this circumstance is by spending their own money.

This is from my most-recent blog post with the Fraser Institute, “Fort McMurray–don’t confuse support from Trudeau and Notley with charity,” Fraser Forum, May 11.

Since my post came out, I learned about this heartening story about oil-sands oil producers stepping in to help out with the horrible fires.

HT2 Steve Horwitz and Janet Neilson.