ANOTHER OMNIBUS BILL: WHY IS THIS GOVERNMENT SO AFRAID OF PARLIAMENT?

Last Friday, the Government tabled another “large”(359 pages) Omnibus Budget bill, which had little to do with the 2014 Budget. No one was surprised because this has been the practice of this Government since it was elected in 2006. What matters for the Conservative government is the amount of legislation that gets passed, not the “quality” of the legislation. The most recent example of this, among a long list of bad legislation, is the so-called Fair Election Act.

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FISCAL MONITOR FOR APRIL TO JANUARY, 2014

For the first ten months of fiscal year 2013-14, the federal government posted a deficit of $10.5 billion, an improvement of $3.3 billion from the deficit of $13.9 billion reported in the same period in 2012-13. The surplus in January 2014 was about $1 billion higher than that recorded in December 2013.  The financial results for December 2013 and January 2014 mark a significant improvement from the fiscal performance in the previous eight months. 

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BUDGET PLANNING FOR THE 2015 ELECTION

The Conservative government is in a quandary about what to do with the surpluses projected to begin in 2015-16. As for the Opposition Parties, they aren’t saying much.

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RUNNING OUT OF SURPLUSES: WHAT CAN A NEW GOVERNMENT DO?

It should be clear to all political parties that, after 2015, there will be little in the way of “surpluses” for the federal government to deal with critical policy challenges.  The modest surpluses that are currently projected to begin in 2015-16 will be rapidly used up and the potential for economic growth will be unable to generate future sizeable annual surpluses (“We’re Not Out Of The Fiscal Woods Yet” iPOLITICS February 24, 2014). The “surplus” budgets of the 1990s and the years up to 2007-08 will not to be repeated.

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NO TRANSPARENCY OR ACCOUNTABILITY: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

When Budget 2014 was tabled before Main Estimates 2014-15, we were naively hoping that the President of the Treasury Board would provide a detailed reconciliation between spending in the Main Estimates and spending in the Budget for 2014-15.  No such luck.  No reconciliation was provided.

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FISCAL MONITOR FOR APRIL TO DECEMBER 2013

 

For the first nine months of fiscal year 2013-14, the federal government posted a deficit of $12.7 billion, an improvement of $1.7 billion from the deficit of $13.6 billion reported in the same period in 2012-13. This marks a significant improvement from the fiscal performance in the previous eight months.  

 

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