Down the rabbit hole with a federal budget fuelled by fantasy – by John Ivison (National Post – May 12, 2021)

Fast said he worries the largest spending budget ever will create a
financial burden that will undermine the prospects of the future
generations to live the Canadian dream.

In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts is synonymous with the idea of arbitrary justice. “Sentence first; verdict afterward,” she pronounced.

The concern among some senior public servants is that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has used Lewis Carroll’s fantasy novel as inspiration for her first budget. Spend first; specify objectives, with measurable metrics to guide performance afterward.

Nearly a month after the “recovery plan for jobs, growth and resilience” was unveiled, it is becoming the target for resounding criticism from people who have been involved in preparing previous budgets, some of whom say it is more focused on the political fortunes of the Liberal Party than on rebuilding the economy post-pandemic.

Freeland appeared at finance committee on Tuesday, where she said that she is “very confident that the budget is reasonable and sustainable.”

Conservative finance critic Ed Fast quoted a number of prominent economists, including former Bank of Canada governors Mark Carney and David Dodge; former Liberal adviser Robert Asselin; and former clerk of the Privy Council, Kevin Lynch, who said the “inter-generational transfer of debt and risk is unprecedented.”

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