The current Liberal government in Ottawa has made some pretty big promises during their current tenure over the past six years. Many of them have been well meaning and necessary moves, ones that have had wide support from the public. But for all the big promises from this government, actually delivering on them has been another issue. For a government that supposedly was all in on “deliverology”, they’ve had some very serious failures on delivering on their promises. And some of those failures have been spectacularly bad. Remember this one?

Aahh yes, the tree planting pledge. This is a prime example of this problem for this government. Over a year into their government, they hadn’t planted a single tree of the two billion they promised. They even re-announced the plan again later in 2020, which reminded us all of that fact. This is an example that’s pretty easy for people to grasp onto because, really, how hard is it for the government to plant a tree? This could be a real take off of the old “How many people does it take to….” trope, because planting a tree isn’t that hard. So if you’re planning on planting 2 billion of them, you’d think that you’d move on this fast and get the money out the door to do it. Yet, that didn’t happen, making it all the more laughable a failure.

The idea of planting trees to help tackle climate change is a good idea and a real, practical thing that can be done by just about anyone, which is why it was such a popular pledge to come from a government. That also makes it all the more of a failure, because if you can’t pull off these simpler things to fight climate change, how are you going to pull off the more complicated ones? It’s a fair thing to ask. But that point gets all the sharper when you see someone else pull it off. That came to my mind last night when I was watching some TV and this ad came across my screen, making me chuckle:

Yep folks, Harvey’s is gonna be planting trees now too. According to this initiative, they are going to team up with Tree Canada to plant a target of 25,000 trees in 2021, using a portion of the proceeds of their sales until mid-June to pay for it. Sure 25,000 trees aren’t 2 Billion, but this commercial made me ask a serious question; is it possible that Harvey’s will plant more trees in 2021 than the Liberal government? It’s not that outrageous a comment when you think about it. Harvey’s has a goal that’s pretty manageable, they’ve partnered with a respected charity who does great work to plant trees across Canada, and they’ve got the funding locked in to make it happen. In short, with that alone they already seem to be a few steps ahead of the federal government.

So is it possible that Harvey’s could plant more trees that the federal government this year? Maybe, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility. And the fact that you can even rationally consider that possibility just further drives home the failure of the Liberals on this one. Seriously, if a fast-food joint can pull this off with such relative ease, it makes the feds failure to do so over more than a year look even worse by comparison. And seriously, what’s the excuse for it? That’s the part of this that continues to vex me, I can’t think of what has held this up other than a lack of will to get it done. Clearly Harvey’s found that will and decided to take some of the profit from their tasty burgers and put it towards this.

I can’t help but chuckle and smile at this story. Yes, good on Harvey’s for taking this step. It’s not massive but it’s a good move and they should be applauded for that. But I also can’t help but chuckle at the fact that somehow, inadvertently I assume, this Canadian fast-food chain has managed to show up the Federal government in an area that they claim to be a world leader. It’s like I said about the Ontario Government on the radio on Monday, where their failures have managed to make the NHL look better on pandemic help than their own government. That’s just bad on a different level.

I continue to hope that this government will get its act together when it comes to worthy initiatives like the 2 billion tree planting idea, but this story doesn’t make it look that good. It’s time for them to pull up their socks to get it done. And if this story has taught us anything, if the Liberals continue to fail, maybe we can depend on the Canadian restaurant sector to get the job done when it comes to planting trees to fight climate change. What a concept, hey?