Canada column for Sunday, March 27/16
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Canada’s new Liberal government intends to spend its way to greater prosperity as it projects a $29.4 billion budget deficit for the coming year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested that Canadians not worry as his government intends to again balance the budget “in the coming five years.”
During last fall’s election campaign, the Liberals pledged to invest in infrastructure and put more money into people’s pockets to grow the economy – “and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” he said.
The spending plans are contained in the government’s first budget and ended almost a decade of fiscal restraint under the Conservatives.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said it will create 100,000 jobs and boost economic growth nationally.
It provides $6.6 billion over two years for infrastructure projects and $13 billion to help aboriginal communities that includes water and wastewater systems and education on reserves.
There’s $10 billion more over two years for new payments to families with children and $3.4 billion over five years to increase the guaranteed income supplement for single seniors and restoring the Old Age Security pension eligibility age to 65 from 67.
The government will also spend $2 billion over three years on infrastructure improvements at colleges and universities, and $2 billion over two years for a low-carbon economy fund.