First Federal Budget in Two years is a Spending Budget

·2 min read

The last full federal budget was tabled by former finance minister Bill Morneau in March 2019. Now, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland's first budget as finance minister will attempt to balance measures meant to reduce the severity of COVID-19's third wave with efforts to set the stage for an economic rebound.

The 5 things to look for in this budget are;

Child Care

The budget is expected to take major steps toward funding the national early learning and child care system — a pledge Liberal politicians have made for decades;

Fiscal anchor - the fall economic statement released in November projected the deficit would reach $381.6 billion by the end of March 2021.

Green Economy

The Liberals' slogan for their post-pandemic agenda — "build back better" — refers in part to their desire to speed up the transition to a green, low-carbon economy.

Inequality and Racial Justice

It's become a common refrain — that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed pre-existing and deep-seated inequalities in Canadian society — and it's one the Liberals say they take to heart.

Pharmacare

In the throne speech, the Liberals said they remain committed to a national, universal pharmacare system. The party's membership recently reinforced that commitment at the Liberal policy convention.

In a 724-page budget document that brings us past the 1 trillion dollar mark for the first time. At $1.1 trillion, that is up from the federal deficit of $354.2 billion for the fiscal year 2020 - 2021.

There will be a $30 billion injection into child care over the next 5 years, bringing in Quebec’s childcare model of an average $10 per day childcare.

Although there will be no increases in federal Health Care transfer, despite Premiers across Canada asking for more health care funding, especially in the middle of a pandemic, as well as nothing much on pharmacare, just more talks with the provinces.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole responded to the federal budget by saying “this budget does nothing to help get vaccines to Canadians...this disappointment needs to stop”.

O’Toole continued, “This budget has no real plan for small business or students...the budget brought forward today by the Liberals is an incredible let down to Canadians who were looking for returning to a normal life.”

Gary Horseman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Four-Town Journal