Editorial: Federal budget is a big gamble

Their promise to reverse the decade-long austerity measures of the Conservative government is what pushed the Liberals to the front

Their promise to reverse the decade-long austerity measures of the Conservative government is what pushed the Liberals to the front of the election race last October.

The only political party willing to entertain a deficit in order to jumpstart the sluggish Canadian economy struggling with the drop in oil prices, the Liberals put forward a fiscal management plan of running $10 billion deficits for the next three years in order to invest in much-needed infrastructure projects that would in turn create economic growth, ultimately helping balance the books by 2016. It was a fresh approach and it helped Justin Trudeau win the election, but now, six months later, Canadians have been presented with a much bigger deficit than they bargained for and many are left wondering what’s in store as a result.

Defending the 2016 budget in the House of Commons against a Tory attack, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded: “This is the budget that Canadians have been asking for through the last election campaign.”

To make this statement is quite the stretch considering that what’s now on the table is $100 billion in deficit spending over now four years — more than triple what was promised at election time.

That an unprecedented amount is being invested in Aboriginal communities as well as green infrastructure, that veterans’ offices are reopening, and that child benefits will increase, among a long list of other announcements, is welcome news. And the government’s projections for economic growth, the price of oil and the value of the dollar are lower than the current expectations and values, leaving room for the numbers to look a lot better than they do now.  But the fact remains that the Liberals’ first budget is based on the broken promise of a modest deficit. Investing in Canada in one thing. Being given an inch and taking a mile is another.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read