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Parliamentary Budget Office projects federal deficit of $363.4 billion in 2020-21

According to the Fraser Institute, the federal government spent $17,091 per Canadian in 2020-2021. That is more than double what the government spent per person during the Second World War peak ($7,769) and nearly twice during the 2009 recession ($8,993).

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The federal government’s $381.6 billion deficit last year became a reckless spending trend as the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) estimates another deficit of $363.4 billion this year. 

“PBO projects budgetary deficits of $363.4 billion and $121.1 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively. Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit in 2020-21 amounts to 16.5 percent of GDP—the largest budgetary deficit since the beginning of the series in 1966-67,” reads the PBO report.

“Based on Finance Canada and PBO estimates, we calculate that total federal COVID-19 response measures will amount to $331 billion.”

According to the Fraser Institute, the federal government spent $17,091 per Canadian in 2020-2021.

That is more than double what the government spent per person during the Second World War peak ($7,769) and nearly twice during the 2009 recession ($8,993).

Spending by all government levels in Canada hit 57.3 per cent of GDP in 2020. That’s more than at any time in history, including both world wars. 

In the 12 straight deficit years beginning in 2008/09, Ottawa’s cumulative deficits totalled $282.3 billion in 2020 dollars. 

Last year’s deficit is (in real terms) 35.2 per cent larger than all the deficits run during and in the decade following the “Great Recession” of 2008/09.

“While emergency spending to deal with the fallout from COVID-19 and the recession was necessary, this additional spending adds to already record-high spending levels that existed prior to the pandemic, which is going to make it much harder for government finances to recover in any reasonable time period,” said Fraser Institute senior economist Jake Fuss.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Ottawa was already spending at record-per-person levels.

Current projections indicate federal program spending in 2021/22 will reach $11,370 per person, an increase of roughly 20 per cent from $9,500 in 2019, the year before the pandemic and already the highest level of per-person spending (inflation-adjusted) in Canadian history.

What’s more, this spending level doesn’t include new stimulus spending or new programs such as national daycare or national pharmacare, which are potential big-ticket items in the upcoming federal budget.

Crucially, this marked increase in per-person spending began well before the COVID pandemic. 

Between the Harper government’s last budget in 2015 and fiscal year 2018/19, inflation-adjusted federal program spending (total spending minus interest costs) grew from $8,063 per person to $9,061 per person, which at that point was the highest level in Canadian history.

Per the most recent data available, the highest single-year per-person spending ($9,066) between 1870 and 2019 was under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019. 

“The federal government was already spending at record levels — largely with borrowed money — before the COVID pandemic,” said Fuss.

“As we look to recover from the pandemic and recession, policymakers should address Ottawa’s pre-existing spending problem or else Canadians will likely face higher taxes in the future to cover the resulting debt accumulation and interest costs.”

The PBO predicts current deficit predictions will raise Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio to its highest in fifty years.

“Should measures in the upcoming budget translate into new permanent programs that are deficit-financed, the sustainable debt-to-GDP trajectory we project over the medium- and long-term could be reversed,” said Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux.

To accommodate today’s fiscal reality, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland proposed raising the debt ceiling from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

Giroux warns of a worsening situation if the government does not restrain spending, despite evidence suggesting Canada’s debt would decline gradually at the current rate to start next year.

With Canada’s first federal budget in over two years, the $70 to $100 billion stimulus package earmarked over the next three years poses an “upside risk” to our economic outlook by increasing the deficit.

Giroux foresaw more significant problems should the federal government choose to fund permanent projects in a PBO statement.

Dhaliwal is a Western Standard reporter based in Edmonton

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    April 4, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Back in 2015 I said that the Dumb Canooks really stepped in it big time . . . now we know it is Up to Our Necks.

    Who ever thought it was a good idea to have a First Job Prime Minister and a flakey NY Journalist to become Finance Minister. Neither ever ran a business or even a Lemonaide Stand . . . never mind, Justine friends in the CCP will buy us out, they already own a sizeable portion of the country.

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Unvaxxed grounded in Canada

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

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As of Tuesday, Canadian travellers over the age of 12 will no longer be able to fly or travel by train in Canada without proof of vaccination.

The policy was originally set to come into effect on October 30, however, the federal government announced it would grant a grace period to unvaccinated travellers allowing for a negative COVID-19 test to be provided within 72 hours of the trip.

As of November 30, travellers will no longer be allowed to submit a negative test result in place of proof of vaccination to board a plane or train in Canada.

The new travel restrictions for the unvaccinated come on the heels of the emergence of a new variant of concern (VOC) dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cases involving the new variant, originally detected in South Africa, have been found in other countries including five cases within Canada.

Although there is not much known about the new variant at this time, the WHO confirmed scientists around the world are working to determine how the highly-mutated variant will affect transmissibility and severity of illness in the population.

Canada, along with other nations, closed its boards and expanded its screening protocols to travellers arriving from affected areas in southern Africa.

The Canadian airline industry welcomed the vaccine mandates when they were announced in October. Air Canada and West Jet have both confirmed they will be asking all travellers to produce proof of vaccination before boarding their carriers as of Tuesday.

While health measures such as masking and screening will still be required, no measures for quarantining individual travellers have been put in place with the exception of those who have travelled through or arrived from southern Africa.

“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government indicated in a statement.

The Canadian government is also warning permanent residents abroad to expect to provide vaccine passports to return home.

The rules don’t apply to commuter trains.

The Government of Canada has created a “reliable way to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling internationally and within Canada,” states the government’s website. The document is verified once uploaded to ArriveCAN upon returning to the country.

The website warns travellers are not guaranteed entry to another country with the documents and suggests checking the rules of your destination country and the countries you travel through.

“Today, Canada passed a sad milestone in its history,” said Matt Slatter, a pilot with a major Canadian airline and a founder of Free 2 Fly, a hub that has “Canadian aviation professionals standing with passengers in defence of freedom.”

“No longer can it hold itself as a beacon of freedom and liberal values.”

The Free 2 Fly website encourages passengers and airline workers who “feel strongly that the ability to travel should not be linked to vaccination status,” to sign up and join their movement.

“With the advent of mandates requiring all aviation and rail passengers to be vaccinated, Canada is now effectively a two-tier society,” said Slatter.

“On one tier, compliant citizens are afforded many of the rights they once enjoyed in a free society. While the other tier is essentially relegated to their own localities, with limited exception.

“History suggests this style of governance will only lead to more tragedy and heartbreak. The cure is inevitably worse than the disease. Will Canada learn from the mistakes of the past?”

Currently, there are just under 38,000 signed up on the Free 2 Fly site. One of the goals of the group is to “wage a legal campaign to block, and/or overturn, all vaccination mandates.”

Melanie Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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CRTC trying to hang up on spoof calls

Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

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All those calls from the taxman and Canadian Border Services officials threatening to arrest you could soon be coming to an end thanks to new regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“Many Canadians are now able to determine which calls can be trusted thanks to a new technology aimed at combating spoofed calls named STIR/SHAKEN. Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” said the CRTC in a release.

“As of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

It’s believed up to 25% of all calls in Canada are scams.

The CRTC said Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, CRTC CEO.

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SLOBODIAN: CBC’s list of woke words to help whites

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.

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If you’re easily offended grab a soother, a soft blankie, and go powwow with your spirit animal in a non-spooky safe space. 

This is not for the ultra-sensitive ever-hunting for ways to accuse “sexist, racist” meanies of inflicting immeasurable pain with their words that leave victims emotionally crippled.

CBC Ottawa journalists brainstormed with possibly phantom readers to compile a lame, tone-deaf list of racist words and phrases.

Of course, the savage list targets — you guessed it, insensitive white people viewed as black sheep in the La La Land where well-paid publicly-funded media fools obsess with skin colour — and sells them down the river.

Just when you think the divisive ghetto CBC tends to dwell in couldn’t-possibly-get-more-ridiculous, they conjure up this fine example of your approximately $1.5-billion tax dollars at work. 

Apparently, CBC consulted black, indigenous, and people of colour to find out what offends them. Nope, no white people. Doesn’t matter if anything offends them. They all apparently have a blind spot when it comes to tolerance, so they don’t matter.

“We ran some of the words by anti-racism and language experts, who said some of these phrases can be hurtful to various groups of people for their historical and cultural context,” said CBC.

Statues have been torn down, history is removed from school curriculums, innocent books are banned, and this is the historical content CBC uses, not to protect, but to create division and wounded feelings. 

Fellow taxpayers, we’re getting gypped with this wasteful CBC spending.

“It might be time to rethink your use of these phrases and remove them from your daily lingo. CBC Ottawa compiled a small list of words, submitted by readers and some of our journalists who are black, indigenous and people of colour,” said CBC.

The list includes ghetto, to sell someone down the river, brainstorm, blackmail, savage, spooky, gypped, powwow, crippled, tribe, black sheep, blindsided, first-world problem, spirit animal, lame, grandfathered in, and tone deaf.

So, what did the ‘experts’ say? Basically, white is bad. Really, very bad.

“The issue here is that these are all negative terms,” said Joseph Smith, an anti-racism trainer and educator. “It connotes evil, distrust, lack of intelligence, ignorance, a lack beauty — the absence of white.” 

He said the lowering of blackness in value was enhanced and pre-dated the transAtlantic slave trade. So white people walking Canadian streets who had nothing to do with that and are appalled by that are guilty? Got it.

Anti-racism trainer Jas Kalra, an inclusion and diversity coach, pointed out the tech industry is moving away from using whitelist and blacklist and adopting terms like block-list or deny-list. 

Great. And so now, the world is a better place.

According to CBC the word ghetto “implies a negative connotation toward people of a certain socio-economic class often associated with racialized groups.”  

What about the term white trailer-court trash people freely utter? If CBC feels any sympathy or outrage about those hurtful words, it neglected to say.

Ai Taniguchi, a linguist and an associate language studies professor with University of Toronto Mississauga, said words like spirit animal, powwow and tribe used by English speakers “can be a painful insult to indigenous communities.”

“If a non-indigenous person says ‘This is my tribe,’ I don’t think it’s OK, despite the fact that they’re using it presumably in a metaphorical way,” said Taniguchi.

“I didn’t know it was racist’ does not eliminate the pain of the hearer,” said Taniguchi. “As language users, we have the social responsibility to monitor the impact our utterances have on others, especially when it involves a marginalized group.”

Awww, isn’t it great that these helpless marginalized groups, most of whom are making it just fine on their own and getting along with their white neighbors and coworkers, have these condescending experts to protect them from racist slurs that aren’t meant to be racist slurs?

Certainly, chiefs and elders running First Nations couldn’t manage without these buffoons sitting in a newsroom or office telling them some white guy saying the word tribe should deeply offend them.

How would black Canadians even know what they are supposed to be wounded about without this expert help?

People make a living and derive superior self-satisfaction from creating and fueling division.

Really, who are the racists though? 

This has an anti-white stench all over it. And by feeling a need to ‘help’ marginalized groups understand what is offensive, these experts label them inferior.

Here’s another list of words and phrases that are harmful and highly offensive: CBC. Inclusion and diversity coaches. Fake lists of racial slurs.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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