National Newswatch

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 […]

NDP Policy Platform Merits A Bare Pass

Oct 11 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The New Democratic Party’s (NDP) costed election platform was released on Friday Morning, while the Conservatives released their platform in the mid-afternoon on Friday (review of platform will be provided tomorrow). Obviously, these platforms could easily have been released before the debate, but apparently both the NDP and the Conservatives felt this information would not […]

Liberal Party Platform Merits a Bare “Pass”

Oct 1 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The Liberal Party’s election platform released on Sunday confirms that the Liberals aren’t concerned about the size of the deficit and growing debt, but are instead very comfortable hiding behind the fiction “of investments for the future” to justify new spending and tax cuts. Their platform proposes new initiatives totaling $4.1 billion in 2020-21, $8.3 […]

Who really cares about the deficit?

Sep 23 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — At the start of the 2019 election campaign, most political commenters did not see the “deficit” becoming a major issue in the election. The reality is that the federal government has neither a deficit nor debt problem. According to the just released Annual Financial Report (AFR), the deficit for 2018-19 was $14 billion or just […]

Tiny Deficit No Big Deal

Mar 27 2019 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — The 2018 Economic and Fiscal Fall Update together with Budget 2019 represent the beginning of the 2019 Liberal election platform. It is also the beginning of a major headache for the “deficit elimination” Conservatives. The Harper government, after all, failed to eliminate the deficit over eight years, despite cutting spending in successive budgets. What would […]