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.
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