The federal budget is a mixed bag

April 8 Politics Insider: Liberal Plans Revealed; the agreement between the Liberals and the NDP is bearing fruit; behind the scenes of the Bay du Nord oil megaproject

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Chrystia Freeland unveiled tens of billions in new spending over the next five years, aimed at “targeted” initiatives to build the economy, while continuing to reduce the deficit, reports CTV.

Addressing housing affordabilityto support the Canadian Army in the face of global instability due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, and doing good progressive politics commitments helping them stay in power, Thursday’s federal budget from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland describes how the federal Liberals propose to steer the Canadian economy through persistent inflation, while moving away from massive pandemic-era stimulus spending. The budget proposes $9.5 billion in new spending for the 2022-2023 fiscal year – with the largest positions focused on housing supply, Indigenous reconciliation, climate action and national defense – while also poised to absorb more $2 billion in revenue-generating efforts.

Less debt: the Globe’s the Main Estimates article notes that “some bank CEOs are expressing concerns about the government’s economic and fiscal trajectory,” but that debt levels are expected to decline.

Thursday’s budget shows that the federal government the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall to 41.5% by 2026-2027, compared to 45.1% this year. This is a faster rate of decline than predicted in December or in the government’s 2021 budget. The ratio was slightly above 30% before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are absolutely determined that our debt-to-GDP ratio must continue to fall,” Ms Freeland said in the House of Commons on Thursday. “The extraordinary debts we have incurred to keep Canadians safe and solvent must be repaid.

Ms. Freeland acknowledged what Canada’s business leaders have been warning for years that the country’s economic productivity lags far behind the rest of the industrialized world. “So now is the time to focus – with smart investments and a clear focus on growing our economy.”

A prayer: the Globe’s Patrick Brethour has a column complaining that Freeland hasn’t done anything serious about the sluggish growth.

The government even gives a nod to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that places Canada dead last in terms of potential economic growth until 2060. the next generation of Canadians “will have a longer life prospers than ours. It’s just that the government is not proposing any political reshuffling it would change the projection of Canada’s last place in this critical economic race.

Green growth? the World also has a story on the Liberals’ plans for economic growth from green energy, “building on Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy as a key driver of economic growth, considering a series of credits to taxes and a new $15 billion investment fund.”

Tooth correction: The Liberals have promised to launch a dental coverage plan for Canadian families with children under 12 before the end of the year – if their income is below $70,000 a year, Global reports. The budget provides $5.3 billion over five years.

Dental care will then be extended to under-18s, seniors and people living with disabilities in 2023. Then, by 2025 it will be fully implemented – although anyone in a household with an annual income above $90,000 will not have access to the proposed program.

NDP Articles: The dental plan was part of the Liberal-NDP non-coalition. The price of this agreement amounts to approximately 15 billion dollars, according to the To post. This includes approximately approximately $6 billion in housing initiatives.

Careful: Despite that, John Ivisonwriting in the To postthink everything is more cautious than expectedwriting that Freeland “has apparently been spooked by geopolitical uncertainties, runaway inflation, and evidence that the future standard of living of Canadians is at risk due to low economic productivity”.

Not careful: In the Toronto Sun, Brian Lilley has a column saying that Freeland’s precautionary claims are false.

What is shocking about this first NDP-Liberal budget is that the big tax increases for banks and insurance companies are here, but many of the big spending promises are yet to come. What makes this budget more of a disaster.

Anxious times: In the Star, Suzanne Delacourt points out that the agreement between the Liberals and the NDP seems to have enabled the government to “shift its gaze from short-term politics to long-term political ambition”.

“So this is the first of four budgets,” Freeland said. “You are not going to see everything we have the ambition to do in the first budget. So we build and it’s the first of four chapters. So yes, we will be doing more things over the next three budgets.

Lodging: CBC has a report on the budget’s plans to tackle sky-high housing costs, including a temporary ban on foreign buyers, a crackdown on speculators, a pledge to double the pace of building new homes and a new way to tax-sheltered savings for Canadians until they buy a home.

Not enough: In the To post, Sabrina Maddeaux has a column saying the Liberal housing plan is “crushing the dreams of millennial homebuyers.”

Despite high-profile strategic leaks on the eve of the budget release, the Liberals’ approach to housing remains relatively unchanged: preserve the achievements of older generationsdon’t look too closely at speculators and investors, and especially don’t touch the profits of “mom and pop” landlords (a class of investors that includes the Minister of Housing Ahmad Hussenas well as a significant number of other deputies).

Proposed register: Conservative Senator Leo Housakos introduced a bill that would require people acting on behalf of a foreign government or entities related to that government to register, World reports.

Mr. Housakos said he believed that under such a law, the former Premier of Quebec John Charest was reportedly required to register for his work with Chinese tech giant Huawei. This is the second attempt in Canada to create a registry similar to those established in the United States and Australia. Last year, Britain also launched consultations on setting up a register. A House of Commons bill by a former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu died on the order paper when Parliament was dissolved for the 2021 election campaign.

Still mysterious: the World has an interesting story about a lingering mystery: Why did Ottawa drop its appeal for Catholic Church payments for residential school survivors?

Where is the money? CBC has a story with some answers, and many unanswered questions, about what happened to all the money raised for the “Freedom Convoy.”

—Stephen Maher

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