As we return from the Easter break and our constituency weeks, Parliament resumes with debates on the 2022 federal budget introduced a day before the House rose. The House of Commons will sit for 4 straight weeks, and deliberations on the budget will be a focal point of at least week one. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the budget entitled: “A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable” and claimed “Today, Canada has come roaring back.”
Roaring back? With inflation sitting at 6.7%, housing prices doubling since the Liberals have been in office, and prices for essential items like food and gas rising significantly, I’m not sure Ms. Freeland’s definition of “roaring back” coincides with Canadians’ view…
While this budget does reduce some spending measures, it does not account for the new-found partnership with the NDP which includes promises like Pharmacare and dental coverage. Increasing taxes like the carbon tax also hurts families because the cost of producing goods goes up. If a farmer needs to use electricity for irrigation, gas for grain drying, or fuel for transporting feed, their carbon tax costs rise – meaning prices increase at the stores to cover the costs of production. The government needs to understand that it all gets passed to you, the consumer.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the federal government has spent or planned to spend $576 billion in new measures. But according to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer, $204.5 billion, or over one-third of that total, has been spent on non-COVID measures.
This budget plans $56.6 billion in new spending. While this is a fraction of the hundreds of billions the government has become used to spending in the past few years, it is still an astronomical number that contributes to our total debt – which sits at over $1.1 trillion.
This government promised transparency when it was first elected in 2015, however actions speak louder than words, and we have not seen that transparency in action yet. According to a Globe and Mail article from December 2021, the feds have yet to account for over $600 billion in public spending.
So this budget remains as another barrier in the oft-ignored transparency everyone seems to talk about. Adding another $50+ billion just puts more families in debt. We need to be fiscally prudent, while making conscious investment decisions in our economy that will provide growth like natural resources and agriculture as just a few examples.