Budget 2021: Trudeau’s Election Blueprint

This federal budget will be different. Or at least should be.

Lots of spending promises, of course, but if Trudeau/Liberals are smart, they should continue to concentrate on supporting people and businesses suffering through the Covid pandemic … and leave the HUGE ticket fantasy promises to the NDP and the Greens.

Universal Pharmacare, a National Dental Plan, and expedited new major green energy projects may sound great … but NOT in the MIDDLE of a cruel, killing pandemic, when the government has already run up a $386 BILLION Deficit, and has projected $100 BILLION in additional spending over the next three years just to keep Canadians’ heads above water.

What we will get Monday from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will be Trudeau’s re-election campaign blueprint.

And I believe this time, steady as we go … reflecting Trudeau’s famous “We have your back” pandemic mantra … would go over better with most Canadians than Christmas in April pre-election bribes.

What the country needs NOW is a MAJOR expansion of federal health spending support for medical services and hospital needs and expansions for both facilities and programs across the country … from coast to coast to coast.

Some expansion of child care assistance programs for working parents should also be included … but not universally available without cost.

The government should also extend support programs for working Canadians who have lost their jobs, can’t find jobs, can’t pay their rents or buy groceries, will need job retraining, and, yes, the budget should provide aid to small and medium sized businesses too, crippled by Covid closures, lockdowns, economic impacts.

It may not all sound as exciting as a promise of starting planning for eventual universal Pharmacare or National Dental care … but an immediate, strong infrastructure program, funding jobs in housing, transportation, cable and wireless expansion, 5G internet implementation across the country, including rural areas, will literally go farther in helping Canadians emerge from the pandemic’s destructive economic impact.

There is no doubt this will be the Liberals’ “election” budget … whether the vote comes this Spring, Summer or in the Fall.

Way back in November, I blogged that Trudeau’s political future would depend on the success/failure of the Covid vaccine rollout: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/trudeaus-fate-tied-to-success-failure-of-covid-vaccine-rollout/.

How true that is turning out to be!

The story is still being written … the ending as yet unknown … but more than ever, I believe the success/failure of the Covid vaccine rollout WILL indeed determine both the timing and very likely even the outcome of our 2021 election. (Even though the next federal election is not officially scheduled until Oct. 16, 2023.)

Of course, what the government proposes, promotes and promises will get most of the headlines over the next few days.

But what may be more important for us …is HOW they intend to get YOU to pay for it all if it’s approved and implemented.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Get free First Alerts to all new postings on this Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. NO spam … just Frist Alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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14 Responses to Budget 2021: Trudeau’s Election Blueprint

  1. Beenie says:

    I think they should give the seniors another handout. Let’s say about $100 monthly for the rest of our lives. That’s reasonable.

    (Response: Seniors get mostly lip service, both federally and provincially. They all tell us we are the heroes who worked hard and built our modern economy …but when it comes to actually handing out money to those living on pensions (even without any c.o.l.a or dental coverage and/or modest RRSP/RIIF savings, they have provided US little federally and nothing provincially during the pandemic. h.o)

  2. D. M. Johnston says:

    Of course the fly in the ointment is the flailing Covid-19 policies.

    Trudeau and the Liberals have to face realities, as most premier’s have so bungled the Covid pandemic, that we are seeing the grim results today.

    In BC, Horgan and his crew have seem to have lost the plot since the election and seem to take a “too bad, so sad” action. This weekends uncontrolled throngs of people at beaches shows that Horgan’s and Trudeau’s measures are not working.

    As you have said before, Trudeau’s election will be all about Covid and their mishandling of the pandemic. In 2020 this could be forgiven, but in 2021, their obtuse thinking on Covid and shoveling money off the back of a truck attitude may turn the voter sour.

    Can’t vote for the Liberals, the conservatives or the NDP, which leaves me with the Greens or independent or spoil the ballot.

    Hopefully, we get another minority government, but I do think will collapse entirely, leaving maybe 4 or 5 NDP MP’s. It will b e Quebec, supporting whatever minority government gets the most seats.

    (Response: Well before you even think of voting for the fascist Greens, take another look at the widespread suffering (elderly, handicapped, restaurants, businesses, the whole Strathcona neighbourhood ) the Greens have inflicted while in charge of the Vancouver Park Board. And although their provincial and federal counterparts will claim they are independent from one another … their total silence while so many are still being abused by the Park Board Greens shows them to be totally undeserving of power at any government level. h.o.)

  3. nonconfidencevote says:

    I cringe at the thought of tomorrows budget.
    The smug, paternalistic, elitist attitude of our PM and Finance Minister have no bounds.
    Free daycare? Why not.
    Free Pharmacare? Sure.
    Free housing ? Sign here.
    Higher Taxes? Inevitable.
    Why do we need a Nanny State to give us cash when times get tough?
    Seems to me financial responsibility starts at home.
    Prepare for a rainy day and all that.
    There’s tons of work out there but I know of four different 20-30’s kids that are riding the CERB/EI/ gravy train while wallowing in their parents basement with free rent, free food and zero intention of working.
    The govt has created a nation of work scofflaws that will realize far far too late that they squandered years of potential earnings….
    Or the govt will just tax the beejeezus out of all those people who saved for a rainy day because, we’re “rich” in the eyes of Chrystia Freeland.
    Arrogant, out of touch, bureaucrats.
    An election cant come soon enough.

    (Response: The one question neither the voters nor the media ask anymore is Where will the money come from? No one even asks the politicians that question anymore. Even with Canada’s budget defivit at $300 BILLION and out debt at $1 TRILLION! Listen to talk radio …and every day, they still have SEVERAL guests asking for new programs, new projects, new spending etc. etc ..and NO host EVER asks “How will we pay for it??? Or What should we cut to pay for it??? It’s as if the taxpayers can just be bled more and more. This budget should cover the essentials: Yes, support for those who really need it; and increased funding for critical programs and projects; but this is NOT the time for new programs adding Billions more to our burden. h.o)

  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    In my Covid free bubble (until Thursday when I get Phizered), you just reminded me why I am not voting Green.

    What we will see in the budget is the government throwing billions of dollars to their corporate friends and insiders, calling it Covid relief.

    Billions for the subway to UBC and more billions to build SkyTrain to Langley, both projects being major fails. Money, money, money and no one will question just where it will come from.

    Yet I do not see any planning for emergencies, such as Covid. because the Feds were about 4 weeks too late to implement any sort of boarder controls and those they have done have been nothing more than a joke.

    The next Covid, or flu or what have you, will be more potent and more deadly and its coming far sooner than one thinks.

    Yet not one politician will mention this or admit to it as they happily shovel money off the taxpayer’s truck for photo-ops and ribbon cuttings.

  5. HARRY LAWSON says:

    Welcome back

    As we a!l line up at the budget trough ,waiting for our crumbs of steam we have to remember their is only one tax payer.

    You can’t have socialist programs with out capitalism to pay for them.

    I remember back in the mid 1970’s seniors were eating pet food. .

    The sad reality is we are in a depression with extreme inflation. Check the unit pricing of groceries lol . Same with booze. Let’s not forget prescriptions and dental Cost .

    Do I expect much on budget day no .just more cabbage soup and a trip to the bankruptcy trustee.

    (Response: I think you, I and a lot of other readers have one thing in common: whenever government budgets or programs are announced, they contain little or nothing for most of us … average retired working Canadians who have paid taxes for 50 years or more. h.o)

  6. Jack Bueller says:

    A bit off topic here but inherently tied to Trudeau’s success in an upcoming election/vaccine rollout. I gotta ask, are your opinions on the Canada/U.S. border re-opening by the end of Summer still standing? Per the massive 3rd wave right now?

    Trudeau has secured 8 million more doses from Pfizer and 300k J&J for the last week of April. If all goes right there should be 48m-50m doses delivered by end of June from all the vaccine manufacturers.

    Canada currently has 23% of it’s total population vaccinated, 30% of the adult population, e.g. 9 million Canadians have received their 1st dose.

    The U.S. has 209 million citizens with their 1st dose, 40% of the total population with a 1st dose, and 50% of the adult population with a 1st dose.

    There is nearly a 50 million dose surplus in the U.S. and Biden hasn’t made any moves on exports since the 1.5m dose export of AstraZenca on loan to Canada last month.

    Just today there’s news and confirmation from French President Macron that him and the Biden administration are working on lifting the travel ban in early May and allowing fully vaccinated American citizens to travel to France: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/04/18/emmanuel-macron-says-france-lift-some-travel-restrictions-may/7276867002/

    Alas, the Canadian government and Trudeau don’t even want to discuss a plan or explicitly tell us what metrics based on science to open the border they keep touting around.

    The progress on lifting the non-essential travel ban we want to see from the U.S. and Canada is already happening with France meanwhile there isn’t a single statement or sign available from the Canadian government on a border re-opening even after 1 year and 2 months of closure.

    Allowing Canadian citizens to get back to a normal life and travel, while giving a major part of the Canadian economy (tourism industry and airlines) a huge boost through the border re-opening is also key to a election win as you have written about.

    Do your predictions and timeline on the border re-opening still stand?

    (Response: The vaccine rollout will indeed be part of the election debate … and, frankly, although open to a lot of possible criticisms (read my earlier blogs) I don’t think most Canadians think ANY of the other leaders/parties would have done any better. As for re-opening the US road border by late September, I still believe so … IF the vaccine supply continues to flow and IF people can supply proof of full vaccination. h.o)

  7. Gilbert says:

    Canada has a Finance Minister who has no background in finance. Unlike Mark Carney, she has no qualifications for the position she currently holds. Prime Minister Trudeau probably doesn’t mind, though, because he once reminded us that budgets balance themselves. In other words, he’s as clueless about finances as she is. As long as the Finance Minister cheers everything Prime Minister Trudeau does, her position is probably safe.

    There is a video in which Chrystia Freeland says the coronavirus presents a great political opportunity. Despite all the deaths, suffering and unemployment caused by the pandemic, she prefers to focus on her own political future. This is so sad and truly shows that she serves herself and not the Canadian people. I hope many Canadians see the video.

    With the ethics violations of our prime minister, his scandals, his inability to unite the country and his arrogance, it’s sad to think that many might still support him. Let me be honest. If the Conservative leader were as unethical, lazy, unintelligent and incompetent as our prime minister, there is no way I would support him or her. It’s fine to vote for a particular ideology, but it also has to be accompanied by a certain level of competence and fiscal responsibility. I fail to see that in the current Canadian government.

    While I’m not so arrogant to tell anyone how to vote, I truly hope that Canadians will consider the record of this government. Remember SNC-Lavalin, WE Charity, the lack of parliamentary sessions since the pandemic, the ethics violations and the many other failures of this government. Let me remind everyone of just one. It was so embarrassing when Prime Minister Trudeau referred to the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Canada as the Prime Minister of China. Wasn’t that unbelievable? Please think carefully before you vote!

    (Response: Budget’s are rarely the independent work of the Minister who reads them: It’s a team effort involving dozens of politicians, hundreds of bureaucrats … and yes, political strategists, especially in election year. Et voila …this is exactly what we will get later today. h.o)

  8. RIsaak says:

    My issues,

    1.Zero effort in early covid times to create domestic manufacturing of covid vaccine, still seeing the results of this severe omission of rational thought this week as Moderna has curtailed Canadian vaccine deliveries for yet another reason which would not happen with domestic production.

    2. Lax and inconsistent enforcement of regulations/travel, international flights arriving at YVR daily, followed shortly by lists of infected flights and at risk seats.

    3. Hypocrisy of our PM. The same weekend we were paying respects to my departed brother (with strict 50 person limit) our PM was courting votes by marching in a rally about a issue in the US with over 8000 others in direct contravention of health orders at that time. Enough do as I say, not as I do.

    4. Many of our health care issues (too much management with nowhere near enough front line medical staff) result from the moves of Chretien/Martin in the 90’s when they downloaded much health care once delivered by the federal govt. to the Provincial/territorial govts., all to save a few bucks, all of which just created even more bureaucratic nonsense. This is also an issue in BC as our regional health authorities/ religious organizations and facility operators are varied and health care has become top heavy and now has those operating entities agendas in play.

    5. NDP, Green, PPC, all fringe players, all with far too much baggage, of course the Bloc is cancer personified.

    6. O’Toole, not a very engaging fellow, a tad bit wiser than the delegates in the CPC, apparently.

    7. Deficits, increasing spending on many items without ever looking at government, it’s employees and the somewhat bloated numbers of governments, bureaucrats, unelected govt. bodies & their employees. A nation of government employees leads to the question who actually is employed by a tax paying entity vs. Who is employed by a tax funded employer?

    8. Freeland, USMCA is not an improvement on NAFTA, we lost! The tact of protesting massively on behalf of Quebec dairy farmers while doing nothing to relieve pressures on softwood is as shocking and repulsive as the lengths taken to aid SNC Lavalin were! Only in Quebec eh?

    9. Threats from foreign governments. The PRC already has a sizeable contingent of fifth column folks in place in Canada, I guarantee they are in all our political groups, never underestimate self appointed leader for life Xi! Honorariums paid to politicians should be in a publicly searchable database & not swept away. Lobbying also requires much more stringent oversight, purchasing influence is democratic cancer, this is absolute!

    10. (Maybe should be 1), Media, media, media! A losing business in it’s current form, a very shallow product compared to historical times, captive to too many boardroom/editorial agendas, omission heavy (news just like music, has far too many rests where loud notes should be heard) but really nice clothes and photogenic people puppeting other’s stories (why write, investigate or search when you can copy & paste?)!

    (Response: I think your last point may sum up why we have problems with the other nine! And although I have been ranting about this for years, I was glad to see pundit, respected columnist and highly experienced former provincial and federal bureaucrat Norm Spector recently also decry today’s media for becoming “cheerleaders” for governments. Here’s his Twitter quote from April 4: “BC r?e?p?o?r?t?e?r?s? cheerleaders helped create that sense of exceptionalism in the first wave, and the reality of the second wave didn’t turn them into the watchdogs they’ve been in the past.”
    With a few occasional exceptions, it’s sad to read, watch and listen … and Horgan, Henry especially are benefitting from their very easy ride. h.o)

  9. 13 says:

    Canada is on the brink of covid disaster. All the experts trumpet vaccines are our only hope. Canada has a shortage and all of the repeat promises from our pathetic leader dont mean squat. I agree 100% with non con, an election cant come soon enough. The day the election is called I will go to my online betting site and I will place a wager on Justin Trudeau to win. The fact that he has no competition and the good people of Eastern Canada and BC support The Liberals based on Trudeaus stellar performance makes him a sure bet. I feel ill.

  10. BMCQ says:

    Welcome back Harvey !! I hope the RR was relaxing .

    A very good essay, and unlike the rest of media you posted this/yours before Top Mensa Member and Canadian PM Justin had the “Not Ready for Prime Time Player” Freeland
    read the Budget put forward by his “Behind the Scenes” Handlers .

    I will not add to much to what you posted and what some others have stated but I will say this .

    This Liberal Budget is as you point out ALL ABOUT the next federal Election which perhaps might be in early October fo this year, depending on the success of the Vax and one or two other key items .

    This Federal Liberal Budget is also ALL ABOUT DESTROYING Federal NDP Political Party and it’s PC SJW inept, incapable, and imbecilic NDP Leader Mr. Singh . The Federal Liberals want to decapitate the Snake !! I strongly believe the Libs will be successful .

    The Federal PM Justin Liberals have done what they quite often do when an election is imminent, they steel the best ideas of the NDP that will take votes away from that same Federal NDP, that is what Federal Liberals do best .

    Sometime very soon after the next Federal Election this fall when the PM Justin Liberals once again are successful the NDP will end up with even fewer federal Seats and the NDP will end up being an even more “Rump of a Party” and the NDP will have no choice to merge with the Federal Liberals resulting in a new truly national party newly named “The Liberal Democratic Party of Canada”, that will mean the end of the Federal Conservatives and any new dull, dimwitted, non-charismatic, PC Leader who will once again fail at his job .

    In turn J. Singh the once leader of the NDP will be renewed and find a new life as a Minister in the PM Justin Federal Liberal Government 3 or 4 years from now, Singh will end up as with a “Plumb” position in the Federal Liberal government, Sing will be re-minted as “Minister of Equity”, sometimes ones toast lands Butter Side Up .

    Having said all of that I must admit I was quite surprised that the GST was not increased, seems rather odd to me . As to the rest of it ? I am very fortunately very busy at work and did not get a chance to review last night or earlier this am, I will take a break later on and see what I can see .

    I know one thing though, I expect nothing for once Hard Working Seniors, those that built the country and paid tax for 40 plus years, they will be like other hard working Canadians of today who provide for themselves their families and their own retirement, they will be ignored .

    Most of this budget will be for the ones that want what the hard working tax payers and hard working Seniors saved and invested for themselves and their families .

    Should I be surprised ?

    Welcome back !

    (Response: Readers of this blog should note how LITTLE there is in the Budget for MOST Seniors: increase in OAS for low-income earners and more funding for long term care homes …but NOTHING for most, who have some company pensions, savings …but have been ravaged by all the increases in taxes, fees, rents, hydro, living costs etc. .Once more, most seniors get lip service …but nothing more…while BILLIONS in new monies go to families, child care, businesses etc. h.o.)

  11. e.a.f. says:

    most of us here are adults. We ought to know a few things by now and not be disappointed by the budget and what it won’t hold.

    Rule No. 1 in politics: hold on to power/office. Everything else is secondary. This budget is going to help the federal Liberals do that. Now as part of that, they may have a few things in there, which will appeal to enough voters to get them re elected. Better child care is going to be huge with a lot of parents and grandparents.

    As I’m writing this, the budget has come out and there is going to be a luxury tax on some things. works for me.

    RIsaak, point 4. You’re right and Harper didn’t do anything to help health care in Canada either. So here we are today. In B.C. we also had the problem of a B.C. Lieberal government for 16 years, who didn’t do much either, except give us dirty hospitals. O.K. the NDP hasn’t fixed that either.

    point 1, these vaccines are under “copy right” and there is not much countries can do to force these corporations to manufacture where they don’t want to. they will keep their manufacturing as close to themselves as possible for the greatest amount of profit. As Harvey
    or some one wrote some weeks ago, Israel was paying $50 a shot and other countries were paying a lot less. We didn’t know how much Canada was paying. Its the capitalist system. The U.S.A. is able to do what it is doing because Biden makes it so and he has more clout than Trudeau has. Its all about the money. The one person who might have been willing to just start manufacturing and dam the lawsuits was murdered. Barry Sherman manufactured generic drugs in Ontario and he was a very interesting man. Litigious also. He actually would “force” companies to “permit” him to manufacture drugs before the expiry date of their “copyright”. After his murder, some one told the press Sherman used to say he didn’t know why some of these companies just didn’t have him “removed”. There still is a $10M reward put up by his family to find the murderers. No takers yet.

    Drugs, etc are a huge business. We saw what one corporation run by one family did for the opiod crisis in the U.S.A. (think it was Perdue) these corporations don’t care about the well being of people. they just want to know how much money they will make.

    We are a small country with only 36M people. Do not expect us to have as much clout as France. Macron has way more clout than Trudeau when it comes to international affairs and travel. I’m sure Macron and Biden have some other back room deal going also to make this work for them. Lets not forget Russia is massing on the Ukrainian border and Biden might need Macron’s armed forces. Macron also has nukes. When you look at all of that, of course Biden and Macron are going to do business. there are approx. 19 major drug companies headquartered in France. France wants american tourists, of course Biden is going to look more favorably upon them.

    Canada doesn’t have that type of clout. We have generic manufacturing companies, but we have to wait for the “copyright” to expire. With only 36M people, should Canada decide to “ignore” a “copyright” a drug corporation could simply no longer send drugs to us and what could we do? Nothing. We aren’t a big market. Now could the budget have done anything about all of that? Not really. It would not have looked good to give international drug companies tax breaks, while small businesses were going under.

    Haven’t read what is in the budget and at some level it doesn’t matter much to me, personally. I would like to see support for small businesses which will survive, but many small businesses ought not to be in business. We became a service industry country, when it comes to jobs and that doesn’t with stand much in a major down turn. We stopped manufactuing decades ago. If the federal government was going to do anything, helping manufacturing might be good. Helping people stay in their homes would be good. More money for families would be good and yes, a hike in federal pensions would be good because it is getting harder and harder for seniors to live on their pensions. The cost of living is going up and up and up. Because I only grocery shop once every 3 weeks or so now, I really notice it. Over here in Nanaimo housing is getting almost as expensive as the Lower Mainland, for renting. Hence people living in their R.V.s and no hope of ever getting back into the market or being able to rent a condo. A little assistance for people renting might be really helpful. ?Where I live in Nanaimo all the new houses have two bedroom suites in them. They are small and they rent for $1,200 to $1.400 a month. Now if some one is getting just the federal pension and its some where about $1,400 a month or less, if you didn’t have a well paying job while in the work force, its less.

    13: Well I sure don’t want to go back to the days of Harper. O’Toole might be O.K. but did you have a good read of what the delegates are like? that is some scary so either O’toole needs to re make the party or find another party to lead. Second option might get him some where. In my opinion, Trudeau will be re elected.

  12. Jack Bueller says:

    Looks like Trudeau has been working overtime to convince POTUS to send some of those vaccines up north. The U.S. has been sitting on a stockpile of at least 30 million AstraZenca vaccines they will never use/need/not FDA approved yet.

    Harvey you’ve hit the nail on the head once again.

    “Biden talks with Trudeau about sending more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Canada”: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/biden-trudeau-vaccines-1.5996615

    “Biden says he expects to share vaccine doses with Canada”: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/549540-biden-expects-to-share-excess-coronavirus-vaccine-doses-with-canada

    “North Dakota offers free Covid-19 vaccinations for Canadian truckers”: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56824177

    Let’s get that border open by the end of summer hopefully.

    (Response: That’s what Biden wants to resuscitate the economies of northern US states; Trudeau wants vaccines to bolster his re-election chances … so it’s all coming together. The uncertain factor remains: supply. Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have been disappointing lately …so the big push now will concentrate on getting supply to Canada and getting more people in the US to take the jab. h.o)

  13. 13 says:

    So the US has been sitting on 30 million doses for astra vax ” AWAITING” FDA approval
    When Trudeau manages to make Biden look good lets hope the best befor date on Bidens hand out to our poor under achieving PM hasnt come and gone
    BTW I got my moderna jab on April 12, but instead of a second dose on May 10th 2021 Lets wait to celebrate and see how much efficacy is flushed down the Trudeau toilet while I wait the extra 3 months.

  14. 13 says:

    Find an adage and apply
    Lest we forget
    Every cloud has a silver lining
    You reap what you sow
    Learn from your mistakes
    Trudeau has been getting by without any repercussions. He has so many scandals, he has been caught lying, taking holiday bribes , playing Mr dressup , SNC, etc etc etc. and its like he has a Teflon coating.
    This time his bungling , his lack of understanding, his inability to act, his cuddling up to the CCP war games, vaccine deal from the country that created the need for the vaccine ( perhaps his worst lapse of judgement yet).
    So he wants an election in the middle of a pandemic where Canadians are dying as a direct result of his poor record on obtaining vaccines.( Keep in mind even when he FINALLY procures enough to get first doses we still need a second round and they might be compromised by coming 3 months later than the drug manufacturer recommends). He does not deserve to hold an office as important as Prime Minister of Canada, Arguably he doesn’t deserve to be in politics.
    Pick an adage , remember how many have died due to his lack of ability, make this clouds silver lining be the last we see or hear of Justin Trudeau

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