Federal liability looms over $111.5 billion more red ink, moderate growth: Morneau’s economic update
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s “fall” Economic and Fiscal Update promises five more years of red ink on the federal books, nearly 25 percent of which comprises $27.9 billion in public service pension liabilities through the same period.
All in, including an almost $7 billion bump the current 2010-2020 budget’s projected deficit, is $111.5 billion in additional spending that Ottawa must finance on borrowed money; much cheaper to leverage at this time according to Morneau.
“Interest rates are at a low level right now,” said the Finance minister. “And the advice, not only nationally but from the IMF or the World Bank or the OECD is that making fiscal investments in prosperity today…is the right economic approach.”
Instead of reigning in spending and at least attempting to balance a budget, this Finance minister and his government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have pivoted to employing debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio as a measurement of fiscal health.
Economic update numbers show that ratio as between 30.8 percent (2018-19), increasing slightly to 31 percent and then falling to 29.1 for the fiscal year 20204-25.
According to United Nations economist Anis Chowdhury, a developed country’s “prudential limit’ is 60 percent.
By comparison, the United States’ debt-to-GDP ratio is around 105 percent and before the budget-slashing days of Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his successor Paul Martin, Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio was nearly 67 percent.
“What we’re projecting is…reduc(ing) that level of debt as a function of our economy, down to 29% during the forecast horizon,” said Morneau of his fiscal course.
“That’s significantly better than any other of those countries that we compare ourselves against.”
In other comparisons with the United States, Canada is not doing as well. The Finance minister’s economic update has Canada on track for 1.7 percent GDP growth in 2019, compared to a more robust U.S. economy charted for 2.4 percent growth.
For 2020, the update predicts 1.6 percent GDP growth with an “average forecast” of 1.8 per annum, through to 2020.
Across Canada’s jurisdictions, provincial GDP growth varied in 2018; stronger than two percent in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and P.E.I. and far below two percent in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“We have challenges in Alberta and Saskatchewan with changes in the resource sector but the view is positive,” acknowledged Morneau in his preamble and later during a Q&A with reporters.
“The situation of Canada and the situation of Alberta are quite different.”
In his response to the government’s fiscal update, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre cited our sluggish GDP growth – Bank of Canada described it earlier this year as “below potential” – the job losses in November, suggesting that Liberals were driving the country into an economic ditch.
“What we’re facing now is the prospect of a made in Canada recession,” said Poilievre during his response to Morneau’s economic update.
“And what are we getting for all this debt? Well, we got 71,000 job losses, while the Americans increased jobs by a quarter-million.”
According to the economic update, 400,000 net new jobs were created in 2019, despite the November losses.
Poilievre also reiterated his pledge that a Conservative government would “unleash the economy” and “unleash the free market system” by lowering taxes and cutting red tape for business.
Among the big-ticket targets are Bill C-69, new environmental legislation the Liberals introduced last government as well as Bill C-48 – the northwest coast oil tanker ban – either, say Conservatives, will seriously hamper resource development and trade.
The Ontario MP for Carleton was also cagey on his leadership ambitions in the wake of party leader Andrew Scheer’s resignation.
“It’s too early to say what’s going to happen,” said Poilievre to repeated questions about his intentions.
“What I do know is that we need someone who will stand up, fight back and win. They’ll stand up for our principles. Fight back against the corrupt liberal cabal, and win the next election. That is the criteria for choosing a future leader.”
Challenged by one reporter that only he and Conservatives were beating the recession drum, Poilievre evoked the late-U.S. President Ronald Reagan by name and a variation fo the Gipper’s 1980 election rhetoric against incumbent Jimmy Carter.
“A recession is when your neighbour loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. A recovery is when Justin Trudeau loses his job,” he said.
Trudeau cabinet’s Bill Blair has revealed that their gun control plan will be rolled out in a “multi-step process” which will include the prohibition of the sale of assault weapons.
While the Trudeau government aims to prohibit assault weapons quickly, other measures, they say, will take more time, including the partial handgun ban that will require talks between the federal and provincial governments, according to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
Trudeau had specifically called for the banning of “military-style assault weapons” during his 2019 campaign, with a primary focus on weapons that farmers “did not” need that were designed to kill “the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.”
Blair went on to tell reporters Tuesday that his government will implement their agenda on firearms as the steps become ready to implement by the federal government or by the country’s minority parliament.
“Our work is to reduce the supply of guns getting into the hands of criminals, but you also have to interdict the demand for those guns,” he said. “We have just gone through, for many communities across Canada, a very difficult summer last year. And so we want to make sure we are there for those communities and work in those communities to make substantive changes and investments that will help to keep them safe,” Blair told The Globe and Mail in Winnipeg.
Blair said that new rules being put in place “could be accomplished in the near term,” going on to say that programs like an assault weapon buyback “will take a little bit more time.”
When Prime Minister Trudeau was asked in September about those who would not want to participate in a gun buy-back and “making law-abiding citizens into criminals,” Trudeau did not give a direct answer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized for splashing out on gourmet doughnuts this week in Winnipeg, Manitoba, according to Global News.
The doughnuts in question were purchased at Oh Doughnuts, which, as discovered by True North Centre, cost an eye-watering $47 per dozen.
The owners of the restaurant, however, said that the $47 doughnuts were their “most elaborate, fancy doughnuts… which they didn’t get. They just got regular variety doughnuts.”
As well as this, the doughnut shop stated that Trudeau ordered the product online, resulting in a ten percent price decrease.
This, compared, to Canada’s favourite doughnut shop Tim Hortons, who sells doughnuts for less than ten dollars per dozen, will lead to questions about Trudeau’s inclination to fork out taxpayer money on unnecessary expenses for himself and his Liberal team, all while his government fights veterans and Indigenous people in court over money.
Justin Trudeau is in Winnipeg for a cabinet retreat where he re-groups with his executive in preparation for the upcoming parliament. Trudeau’s retreats have often been stamped as needlessly expensive. Take, for instance, the Liberal cabinet’s trip to St. John’s Newfoundland, where Trudeau visited the theatre, leaving Canadians to foot the tab.
As well as this, in 2018 Trudeau splurged on a cabinet retreat to Vancouver Island amid the on-going wild fire crisis in the province at the time.
Malaysia is intending to ship 150 containers of illegal waste back to the countries of origin. These countries include Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.
Malaysia’s Environment Minister Yeo Be Yin, told reporters that “it is not about money, it’s about dignity. When people dump garbage into your country, you are not supposed to pay them to send it back, you expect them to send it back by themselves.”
Yin further added that Malaysia will “stick to this line, we are going to send it back, and we are going to make people who export here and the shipping liners pay for it.”
Yin ended her speech by saying that this new policy “was unprecedented … we will hold the people to be responsible for their actions. They should be paying for the logistics.”
Yin’s comments may be seen as a provocation in what has been described as a “garbage war” by those in the media. Previously, tension rose as Canada sent non-recyclable trash to the Philippines that had been labelled as recyclable. Now, Malaysia is upset for similar reasons.
The garbage dispute between Canada and the Philippines got so bad that the leader of the country threatened to declare war if Canada did not allow the return of the garbage.
For several years now, The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been struggling to designate the notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist entity. This is not only a troubling matter for the majority of Canadians, but is also a matter that places question marks on Trudeau’s administration and perhaps even the Prime Minister’s personal agenda.
The designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity has been the priority of several governments, just not Trudeau’s. The United States of America was the latest to designate the IRGC as a terrorist entity, joining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The European Union and United Nations have crippled the IRGC with tough financial sanctions and designated its top members as terrorists as well.
For years now, a number of Canadian politicians have pushed for the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity, but it appears that the man blocking an “entire designation” is Trudeau himself.
These calls were renewed once again after the U.S airstrike which killed IRGC Major General Qasem Soleimani on the 3rd of January 2020.
“The Liberals voted for the measure, yet have done nothing to recognize the destructive and destabilizing influence of the IRGC. The Conservative Opposition once again calls upon the Trudeau government to finally list the IRGC as a terrorist entity after 18 months of foot-dragging,” says a joint statement by Conservative MPs Erin O’Toole and James Bezan.
The IRGC has been funding, managing, supervising and conducting terrorist operations for four long decades in Afghanistan, Europe, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, South America, Syria and Yemen; so, what’s stopping Trudeau from designating the group, in its entirety, as a terrorist entity?
Justin is struggling to make sense
The Government of Canada has already designated the Quds Force as a terrorist organization. Iran’s Qods Force is merely a unit within the IRGC, specializing in unconventional warfare and military intelligence operations around the world. The IRGC regularly threatens the American continent as well as Canada’s closest allies, either directly or through its proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Yemeni Houthis and Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi.
Justin Trudeau’s administration has also renewed the terrorist designation of organizations that are either units or establishments of the IRGC, such as Hezbollah, while totally ignoring the fact that Hezbollah would cease to operate without the backing of the IRGC.
Furthermore, the Trudeau administration considers all of the IRGC’s affiliates such as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorists, except the IRGC itself. From a national security perspective, this makes no sense whatsoever.
If the majority of the IRGC’s affiliates, small units, establishments and key figures have been designated as sources of terrorism by ally governments and previous Canadian government administrations, why then is Justin Trudeau delaying the terrorist designation of the IRGC, an organization actively sponsoring current designated terrorist organizations while also harbouring in Iran the terrorist leaders of Al-Qaeda?
It’s a ‘yes or no question’
Justin Trudeau, was Qassem Soleimani a terrorist?
If the answer is no, then you simply shouldn’t be Prime Minister.
If the answer is yes, then you are yet to fulfill your duty as Prime Minister towards the national security of Canada, and by not designating the IRGC as a terrorist entity, in its entirety, you are siding with government administrations that allow terrorists to operate with minimal criticism and opposition.