Damien Kurek

Liberal hyper-spending in focus as debt hits record

Opinion

While the Liberals use buzzwords and phrases like “build back better,” “reimagine our economy,” and “reset,” it is clear Liberal mismanagement will set Canada back financially for generations. With the Liberals’ fall economic update, Canadians will be paying the consequences of massive spending, risky economic experiments, and ill-advised decisions that do not reflect the best interests of Canadians.

Canada’s debt is set to rise over $1 trillion this year, with the deficit reaching nearly $400 billion this fiscal year. Justin Trudeau has dismissed this growing economic albatross as a necessary measure to help Canada out of the crisis. However, Canada’s unemployment rate is 8.9 per cent, the second-worst in the G-7 (after Italy), and almost double the UK unemployment rate. Over a million Canadians continue to be affected – including 636,000 unemployed workers and 433,000 people who are working less than half of their usual hours. Yet, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are spending more money than any other country in the OECD while Canadians are getting less.

The Prime Minister wants Canadians to believe his economic and fiscal recklessness is a result of COVID-19. To the contrary, before the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberals were responsible for three out of the four highest spending years on record — 2017, 2018 and 2019.

To compound our concerns, Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland have not presented even an inkling of an economically feasible plan that would push us into a new era of prosperity for all Canadians. The Speech from the Throne was indicative of this. It was vague, lazily put together, and offered no detailed policy solutions to fix our struggling economy. This is especially concerning when you consider 56 per cent of small businesses have been negatively affected by the second wave of COVID-19 while nearly a quarter will run out of cash in the next three months. Canadians needed support, but the delivery and actualization of those supports have been ineffective, unaccountable, and the least impactful of the G7 countries.

While the Government brags about how low-interest rates give them the “fiscal firepower” to borrow, they fail to mention the majority of this new borrowing will require renewal within five years, therefore being subject to unpredictable global interest rates. Further, our debt to GDP ratio has gone from 31 per cent at the end of the last fiscal year to as high as 56 per cent by the end of this fiscal year. To provide some context, in the mid-90s Canada neared what was considered a fiscal cliff at a debt to GDP ratio of 66 per cent.

Accountability, good governance, checks and balances are more important than ever. Conservatives are hard at work demanding answers to ensure that a full accounting of all government decisions happens.

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