Budgets are not what they used to be. There was a time when you had to wait for the Minister of Finance to stand in his or her place in the House of Commons while the country in great anticipation waited for each word to be uttered .
This is the age of ‘the leak.’ Often deliberate.
So , this will be a modest one. Well, it has to be given that there is very fiscal room to raise revenue and the spending plans , that is deficit plans , were signalled long ago. Remember the great promise in the election , ‘ we promise you deficits.’ The first time that I can remember that a Federal Government promised deficits. Of course, they could not even get that right. The promise was a 10 billion dollar one for the past year —–but it is around a 29 billion dollar one. How is that for a broken promise? And such promises of deficits remain in place for many years to come. We just don’t know how much given this record.
We are not paying our way in NATO and with the level of our defence spending.
Trump reminded our Princeling of that . And a little deal was hatched . Canada , you spend some more on defence and I will mention Canada in my State of the Union , Trump exclaimed. Presto , we were mentioned in the State of the Union , so our side of the bargain we will get today. Now, how is that for improving the state of out planet.
We gotta have another Bank ! The Infrastructure Bank ! This, when it was revealed that we are not going to spend this year’s funds that are just sitting there for Infrastructure . Waiting to be spent. And there is a Senate Report that highlights the multitude of Federal Agencies that are involved before an applicant can get a dollar of infrastructure money. And now another level of bureaucracy ! If this is meant as economic stimulus. Forget it. Just about every study worth its salt has indicated that is not the case.
We will get some more ‘skills’ talk and innovation etc. But it all ends up in just talk.
We need streamlined regulation, competitive taxes, nimble adaptation to technology to really compete. This will improve our productivity which is significantly lower that the productivity of the US. We are not in the top ten countries when it comes to being competitive according to the World Economic Forum and the US is number three. Our ability to innovate is at one of the lowest levels in the OECD.
Of course, there will be some news on social housing and women’s issues . And from a social perspective some of that is necessary.
But in the grand scheme of things we will continue on our path to mediocrity.