Budget Day

03.19.07

Bribery money for Quebec, tokens to the environmentalists, money for families and small business incentives were some of the highlights of today’s spend-happy, tax-cuts-devoid federal budget, announced by Tory Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

The Bloc Quebecois banded together with the Tories to avoid a government collapse. But most people don’t believe this minority government will last more than a few months longer. A friend of mine was just hired by Elections Canada, so if you’re the betting type, you might want to put your money on spring or summer.

All that the Tories have managed to do with this budget is to legitimatize the Quebecois claim of a “fiscal imbalance” and to make an attempt at social engineering. The Tories seem to have forgotten their promises to balance the budget, cut taxes and grow the economy, preferring to tell people that they should drive greener cars, get married, have more babies, and own businesses that don’t grow too big. From a financial management perspective, based on initial impressions, I’d give it a D.

The key question is, will the extra $2.3 billion be enough to elect Jean Charest next week?

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