Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Federal Budget Provides Hope for Canadians

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Federal Budget Provides Hope for Canadians

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Federal budget provides hope for Canadians

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An editorial from the Charlottetown Guardian, published March 22:

Liberals first budget will see red ink swell to $29.4 billion, with a similar-sized deficit next year

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal election last October was won when he boldly promised early deficit budgets to spur growth and stimulate the economy. Canadians liked what they heard and voted in a massive Liberal majority. They wanted jobs, investments and hope.

Tuesday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered on that key promise. But instead of a $10 billion deficit, the Liberals first budget will see red ink swell to $29.4 billion, with a similar-sized deficit next year.

The numbers are staggering and there is no commitment or date to return to balance. It should be a major concern but that has become a worry for tomorrow because today money is being lavishly spent to fulfill government election promises.

The biggest winners are Canadian families, with billions in tax-free child benefits; aboriginal communities will get $8 billion over the next five years; and municipalities will pick up $11 billion this year in infrastructure funding for transit, water, sewer, ports, harbours, roads, buildings, bridges and buses.

It's positive news for communities across the country pleading for cash to upgrade aging infrastructure. The spending frenzy will be a major economic stimulus for all provinces.

The tax cut to middle income Canadians is there, green infrastructure spending is there, reversing changes to unemployment insurance are there and climate action is there. Also there is a roll back of the eligibility for old age security from 67 to 65. They are all good news items.

But national defence took a $1.6 billion hit. The department is to get that money restored over the next four to five years but what does it say in the fight against international terrorism which struck against with deadly results earlier Tuesday in Belgium. …

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