National Newswatch

A ‘Big Spending Announcement’ Budget

Apr 23 2021 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — On April 19t Minister Freeland delivered her long awaited budget- the government’s first budget in two years. By some measures, it was an impressive document: 740 pages long making it the longest budget document ever. The budget can best be described as a “big announcement” budget with proposed spending initiatives sprinkled around to everyone and […]

Canadians Don’t Need An Austerity Budget

Apr 12 2021 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — Getting a vaccination probably remains the top priority of most Canadians especially in the middle of a very scary third wave generated by COVID variants. Notwithstanding a new stay at home order, there is some emerging hope that by the summer the situation will be much better and by September anyone who wants a vaccine […]

Who Should Pay for Canada’s Covid Debt?

Mar 24 2021 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The federal budget is now officially scheduled for April 19.  This is a critical budget for the government because expectations (and hopes) among Canadians are very high and rising.  Though recent polls show that a majority of Canadians believe that a Liberal government would do the best job in managing the government’s post-COVID finances, all this could change quickly if the budget fails to live up to growing hopes for a post-COVID future.

Planning ‘The Most Significant (Budget) Of Our Lifetime’

Mar 7 2021 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — In Mid-January, the Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced new budget consultations with Canadians to assist her in preparing her spring budget. According to Minister Freeland, the 2021 budget “will be among the most significant of our lifetime.” We have no idea what a “significant” budget means and we doubt that the Finance Minister does as […]

Two-Thirds Update, One-Third Budget

Dec 7 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — After listening to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and reading the 233-page fall Economic Statement (Update), one cannot help but wonder why the Minister delivered such an Update.  Given that we are still in the pandemic and with all its uncertainties why bother at all?  How much reliability can you attach to an economic and fiscal […]

The Challenges of Post-Covid Budget Planning

Aug 28 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — In the July 8, 2020 “Economic and Fiscal Snapshot”, the Government presented revised fiscal projections for 2019-20 and 2020-21 only.  It stated that “given the unprecedented degree of uncertainty clouding the economic outlook, providing an economic and fiscal forecast beyond 2021 with an appropriate degree of confidence is not possible at this time and would […]

Planning for a fall budget

Jul 11 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The government has been under pressure for some time to provide an economic and fiscal update.  Everyone was aware of the huge increase in spending that had been incurred to assist Canadians during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it would have on the deficit for this fiscal year. The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) had […]

A large deficit is inevitable but very manageable

Mar 20 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — Right now, federal, provincial, and municipal governments, the private sector, and all Canadians are implementing a counter-cyclical policy aimed at “shutting down the economy” in order to halt the COVID-19 virus. Successful implementation of this policy is critical to eventually restarting the economy. This is true of fiscal costs will be temporary and manageable. They […]

The Global Virus Recession

Mar 16 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — In 2008, the global economy was shocked into a recession by a meltdown in global financial markets. G-20 leaders reacted quickly to the deteriorating economic situation with a coordinated fiscal policy response. The International Monetary Fund encouraged those countries that had the fiscal flexibility to implement fiscal measures amounting to 2% of the their economies. […]

Be Decisive Mr. Morneau

Mar 12 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — Early this week the Prime Minister announced that new policy measures to address the COVID-19 virus would be released on Wednesday. Expectations were high that he would respond with a substantial package of policy initiatives to support Canadians and the economy. But this didn’t happen. Instead he announced a $1 billion package (.05% of GDP) […]

Economic and Fiscal “Press Conference”

Dec 17 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The Minister of Finance presented an Economic and Fiscal Update (Update) at a press conference on Monday.  The Finance Minister had waited for Parliament to adjourn for the holidays before presenting his Update. The press conference lasted about 30 minutes; so much for accountability and transparency. A lot has changed over the last 30 years […]

Conservative Platform Merits A “C”

Oct 13 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — Mr. Scheer finally released the Conservative platform on Friday afternoon. On the front cover, there should have been pictures of Stephen Harper, Doug Ford, and Jason Kenney. What Mr. Sheer and these three gentlemen have in common is that they hate deficits, no matter what their cause. Mr. Scheer is promising to eliminate the deficit […]