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What O’Leary is taking issue with

Trudeau has been serving as Canada’s prime minister since 2015, a tenure during which, according to O’Leary, the country's abundant resources have been mismanaged.

“[Canada] is one of the richest countries on Earth from a natural resource basis. It’s managed by idiots,” O’Leary critiqued.

It’s hard to argue that the country is rich in resources. From the sprawling, forest-covered landscapes of British Columbia to the oil-rich sands of Alberta, Canada's natural bounty is both diverse and vast.

It’s also an important sector for the country economically. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, natural resources contributed to 12.3% of Canada’s GDP in Q3. And the number of jobs in natural resources sat at more than 600,000 — significant for a country with a total population of 35 million.

When the interviewer probed O’Leary about whether he was suggesting Trudeau failed to leverage these resources, O’Leary responded, “Oh, it’s much worse than that. I wouldn’t let him manage a candy store.”

O’Leary prefaced his comments by saying, “I’m an investor, I look at it from that perspective.” In truth, the Montreal-born Shark Tanker doesn’t lack firsthand exposure to Canadian party politics. In 2016, he took a run at leading the federal Conservative Party of Canada. The bid fizzled in 2017, however.

More: Investing legend Rick Rule on natural resource investing

Even after exiting politics, O’Leary has publicly disparaged Trudeau on several occasions. In June 2023, in another Fox appearance, he called Canada “the richest country in the world run by idiots.”

Several years before that, in 2019, in an interview with TheStreet, O’Leary said of Trudeau’s Liberal government, “It is so bad that if we got another four years of this, I think he could take Canada down to, probably, zero growth rate.”

As things turned out, Canada did get four more years of Trudeau — and then some — and growth has in fact flatlined: real GDP actually fell by 0.3% in Q3, following a 0.3% increase in Q2, according to Statistics Canada.

O'Leary appears not to be alone in his dissatisfaction with the country’s leadership. A recent Leger poll conducted for The Canadian Press reveals notable public disapproval, with only 30% of Canadians saying they’re satisfied with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. In contrast, a significant 63% report dissatisfaction.

Canada is also nowhere near the top on The World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking at the 23rd spot.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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