The federal government released its 2018-2019 budget earlier this year. It could be argued that the most significant component of the government’s lofty ambitions is its complete abandonment of any remaining fiscal restraint or focus on the economy and, regarding the business community, it lacks new measures to make Canadian firms more competitive to counter tax reforms in the U.S.
In the three years since the current government came to power, we’ve watched as government expenditures have skyrocketed. With total spending in this year’s budget are more than $311 billion dollars and projected revenue of $293 billion leaves a deficit of over $17 billion. That’s $58 billion more than the final year of the previous government—a 20 percent increase in just over two and a half years.
The government’s campaign commitment to balance the budget during its 4-year term will be impossible to be met as promised. The government is adding $17 billion of new debt for future Canadians with yet another massive deficit. Department of Finance projections indicate that, based on current spending, the government will be unable to balance the budget until 2050—over 30 years from now.
It’s unlikely that members of our community will see any impact from all that deficit spending.
Agriculture only appears 16 times throughout the budget, and none of those examples commit tangible resources that will support farmers. In the case of NAFTA, the government has set aside virtually nothing for individuals who may lose employment as a result of that agreement’s renegotiation. In the case of energy infrastructure, this budget establishes new rules and regulations that will threaten countless natural resource projects with additional regulatory approval processes—directly harming western and rural communities. And in the case of our men and women in uniform, there are vanishing few references and no new money.
After the government released the Strong, Secure and Engaged defence review last year, the Defence Department was all but omitted from the government’s focus in this year’s budget.
As the Member of Parliament for Calgary Signal Hill, I’m very concerned with how this government’s priorities seem to be out of sync from previous statements. When the government is borrowing from generations of Canadians—and more specifically, Albertans—yet unborn, it’s reckless spending is foregoing needed investment.
I am always grateful to hear your feedback on Budget 2018 – 2019, or any other matter. Please feel free to call my office or email me at any time.