AN ENCOURAGING START BUT NOT LIKELY TO LAST

In the April 2015 Budget a surplus of $1.4 billion was forecast for this year.  The forecast also included a Contingency Reserve of $1 billion.  However, for the first five months of the year economic activity has been declining. Private sector forecasters, the IMF and the Bank of Canada have all revised down their forecasts of economic growth by about one percentage point.

Read More

PAYING (or not paying) FOR ELECTION PROMISSES-UPDATED

With Parliament recessed for the summer and an election call imminent, all three major political parties will now spend the coming weeks making new election promises. All of these promises - past and future - will cost taxpayers a great deal of money. The question is how will they pay for them?

Read More

PAYING (or not paying) FOR ELECTION PROMISSES

With Parliament recessed for the summer and an election call imminent, all three major political parties will now spend the coming months outlining their campaign promises. All of these promises - past and future - will cost taxpayers a great deal of money. The question is how will they pay for them?

Read More

Deja Vue all over again

In the fall of 2008, private sector economists were forecasting that the Canadian economy was already in a recession due to the financial crisis. Prime Minister Harper and his finance minister, the late Jim Flaherty, ignored these warnings and told Canadians there was nothing to worry about. The Prime Minister even advised Canadians that it was a good time to buy stocks, given the fall in equity prices.

Read More

THE SPENDING LAPSE AND HUDAK MATH

Hardly a week goes by without a major media network breaking news that the federal government is deliberately underspending in order to meet its budget targets.  It has been claimed that Indian Affairs and Northern Development underspent its spending appropriations by $1 billion over the period 2009-10 to 2013-14.  Prior to that, it was claimed that Veterans Affairs had underspent its budget by $1.1 billion over a number of years.

These are shocking numbers if they were in fact true? Fortunately, none of this is true.

Read More

A SURPLUS LAST YEAR; THIS YEAR MAYBE NOT

In his first budget last April, Finance Magician Joe Oliver pulled a handful of rabbits out of his hat to achieve the long-promised balanced budget in 2015-16.  He sold GM shares at cut-rate prices for a net savings of $900 million; cut the contingency reserve by $2 billion; and, booked a “settlement” of $900 million for a new disability and sick leave management system for federal government employees. All this was necessary to pay for the Family Tax Cut package while still honouring the Government’s commitment of a balanced budget in 2015-16.Last week, the Mr.

Read More