Monday’s economic update by federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, though it was larded with the usual peppy remarks intended to persuade Canadians to lift up their hearts to a brighter post-COVID future, was in fact an unrepentant confession of the absolute intellectual bankruptcy, as well as acute financial embarrassment, of this government.
Everyone would acknowledge that the coronavirus pandemic has produced a difficult fiscal ambience, but instead of ring-fencing it as a non-recurring cause of a deficit increase, it has been embraced as a springboard into a new world of spending in pursuit of unfeasible goals and on a scale completely unrelated to the anticipated means of the federal government.
Canada has adopted the unusual ambition of staking its success in policy terms on overcoming a danger that does not exist and on pursuing it with a zeal in which we slip the surly bonds of arithmetic and achieve a vertiginous fiscal deficit.
In one year this government has more than doubled the national debt accumulated in the previous 153 years of Canadian Confederation. It believes that it has a legitimate excuse because of the pandemic, but it doesn’t.
The approach to the pandemic was mistaken and the principal goals enunciated by the government as it sought and achieved re-election were also mistaken, so we were committed to waste money on a grand scale before the arrival of the coronavirus, and our mistaken policy response to the virus has severely aggravated what was already an acute state of misgovernment.
For the rest of this column: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-the-liberal-governments-policy-of-self-impoverishment-will-hurt-us-all