A Notable Budget | Unpublished

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Unpublished Opinions

RobDekker's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

Rob currently works on Parliament Hill and is on the Daybreak Non-Profit Housing Board of Directors.  He writes regularly on his blog #RedHeartBlueSign at www.redheartbluesign.wordpress.com on lifestyle, political and personal topics.

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A Notable Budget

April 22, 2024
Budget 2024

I have been really paying attention to federal budgets for 9 years since I started working on Parliament Hill.  All the budgets I have been a part of have been delivered by a Justin Trudeau government from either Bill Morneau or Chrystia Freeland.  Besides the first budget in 2016, which was to be a modest deficit, the budget delivered last week was the other most notable budget.  Notable not for the content as there was no surprise factor; but rather the tone to which the Deputy Prime Minister delivered the budget the to the house.  There are three reasons for this.

First, it seemed to be a political budget, delivered for political purposes.  Let’s be honest here all the financial aspects of the budget were delivered weeks ahead of the official tabling of the budget.  Anything that was financial was delivered in the manner expected and to the desired audience.  This was a political budget; it targeted the Conservatives in every manner and deed.  The message made in a series of questions, here are a few:

What kind of country do they (the top 1%) want to live in? 

Do they want to live in a country where kids go to school hungry? 

Do they want to live in a country where we make the investments we need in health care, in housing, in old age pensions, but we lack the political will to pay for them and choose instead to pass a ballooning debt on to our children? 

Do they want to live in a country where the only young Canadians who can buy their own homes are those with parents who can help with the down payment?

Do they want to live in a country where those at the very top live lives of luxury but must do so in gated communities behind ever-higher fences using private health care and private planes because the public sphere is so degraded and the wrath of the vast majority of their less-privileged compatriots burns so hot?

If this were a call and response to every Liberal MP, the caucus would respond with a resounding “NO”.  Previous budgets from this government would have been peppered with questions where “Yes” would have been the desired response. The government has gone full negative on how they might see a different Canada, perhaps one like the America in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaids Tale.  You would not have seen this is the Liberals were in a better position to remain as the government.

Second, this is an election budget.  Promises made in Budget 2024 were made so Canadians might see the outcome the government intends before the planned October 2025 election.  Budget 2024 needs the time of a year or so if the houses will be built.  An election budget in 2025 will have no effect on voters after nine years of stunted growth, reduced productivity, high inflation, and another increase of $19 in the carbon tax to $95/tonne.  

Lastly it is notable as this could be seen as a ‘cut and run’ budget that could determine the Prime Minister’s future and his plans to lead the Liberals in the next election.  It’s the last chance for Trudeau to be persuaded to leave and for the Liberals to have a leadership.  

After this budget, there are no more rabbits they can pull out of a hat to reverse the polling and thinking the Liberals will be kicked out on their carbon tax derrieres in 18 months.  It wasn’t a pretty budget; it was a budget of a bleak future if the Liberals don’t win in ’25 (in the eyes of Liberals).  

The dark side of the Liberals have given us their messaging, will Canadians heed their warning?