Analysis: Trudeau’s pre-budget dance isn’t impressing the audience

By Shachi Kurl, President

April 15, 2024 – Since 2015, Justin Trudeau has been a Pied Piper, playing a tune jaunty enough to make just enough Canadians follow his fiscal path. On the campaign trail that year, after a decade of fiscal austerity under Stephen Harper, Trudeau broke political orthodoxy with a new song: modest deficits and a return to balanced budgets within three years.

It was radical (especially considering the NDP leader of the day was promising to balance his first budget), but 75 per cent of Canadians polled at the time were all in. Trudeau won the election.

Over the ensuing decade, however, his government has been consistently and increasingly spendy. Granted, if anything called for setting the fiscal taps to full-flow, it was the pandemic years. Even so, the Liberals never did get around to balancing any budgets. In a fiscal update last fall, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland forecast a budget deficit this year of $40 billion.

If the Trudeau cabinet were to form a band and start a summer music festival, it might be called Spendapalooza. If the prime minister were to moonlight as a DJ, he’d most certainly buy in (fiscally speaking) to the industry adage that if you ain’t redlining, you ain’t headlining.

The thing is, Canadians are looking to shake up their playlists.

Read more from the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

Image Credit – Adam Scotti/PMO

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