Federal budget 2016 consigns Canada to $118.6 billion deficits into next decade

nationalpostThe Liberals call it “important investments in the future of Canada.” Their opponents claim it is reckless social spending the country can ill-afford. What is beyond dispute is that the election promise of modest deficits is in tatters, as the government revealed it will spend, spend, spend well into the next decade.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau revealed Tuesday the red ink in the coming year will run to $29.4 billion, part of a cumulative $118.6 billion that will be added to the national debt over the next six fiscal years (including $5.4 billion in 2015-16, even though the country had a year-to-date surplus of $4.3 billion as of the end of January).

Morneau invoked lofty, almost Churchillian, rhetoric to explain why spending will increase 7.5 per cent next year, part of a $50-billion, six-year bonanza.

After the dark days of the Great Depression and the Second World War, Canadians believed the future could be brighter, he told the House of Commons in his budget speech.

Canadians prospered as confidence inspired investment, and investment inspired confidence, he said.

People are less optimistic today — but fortunately, the Liberals are now here to restore hope for the middle class.

Cue the trumpets.