Commentary

Spending enough to fill a giant cave

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If the next federal election goes a certain way, nature has provided Jordan Bateman a place to wait it out

Apparently, someone has discovered a giant cave in Wells Gray provincial park – a cave so large, it might be the biggest in Canada.

At least we fiscal conservatives will have a place to hide out if Justin Trudeau wins re-election next year.

In the 2015 campaign, the Liberals promised “modest” deficits (defined as $10 billion or so) for a couple of years before returning to surpluses in 2019.

Well, 2019 is now just four weeks away, and the deficit isn’t gone – it’s growing.

Even with the Canadian economy performing reasonably well, Trudeau is outspending revenue by $18.1 billion this year, and $19.1 billion next year – even after raising billions of dollars in new taxes.

So much for balanced budgets.

In fact, the government’s own finance experts say the Liberals won’t have a balanced budget until 2050. Trudeau will be 78 years old. Free-spending finance minister Bill Morneau will be 88.

Paul Martin will be 112 and likely passed on – sadly, his hard economic lessons of the mid 1990s have already been forgotten by the Trudeau-Morneau generation.

It’s the flippancy with which Trudeau spends Canadian tax dollars that especially worries me. Over the weekend, the Prime Minister tweeted this out:

“Hey @Trevornoah – thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.”

There’s no doubt that educating girls is a worthwhile cause, and this conference in South Africa was a big deal, given the history of that nation. But this just smacks of celebrity politics – Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show.

$50 million, spent in a tweet. Just because.

What do we know about this charity that $50 million in taxes will flow to, apparently on the whim of the Prime Minister? Has it been vetted to the degree that Canadian charities get vetted for federal grants? (Does it seem weird that this international charity has fewer Twitter followers than I do – even after the Trudeau Twitter bump?)

A follow-up tweet from Education Can’t Wait noted that this donation came on top of $15 million USD already given by Canada.

Meanwhile, here at home, oil patch and auto workers are reeling from job cuts. Canadian veterans are scratching and clawing for every nickel. All while Canadian families struggle under a tax burden that takes 43% of their annual income.

The next federal election is set for next fall. If Trudeau’s lead in the polls holds, meet me at the cave.

 

Jordan Bateman has a long history of public policy work, championing small business and fiscal responsibility. Currently the Director of Communications for the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA), Jordan also served six years as the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and was a two-term Langley Township Councillor