Editorial: Beware election year budgets

The federal Conservatives put forth their budget Tuesday, and few political watchers were surprised by what it contained. Many of the promises and appropriations contained therein were spelled out well before the budget hit the floor of Parliament.

While every budget can (and should) be seen as a campaign document – in that being responsible for the public’s financial contributions to our society is a government’s main role – we should be wary of budgets that directly precede elections.

Many of the promises in this particular Conservative government’s budget only happen if they are re-elected, making them less budget items and more of a platform on which they are campaigning.

An example is the additional funding being made available to municipalities to improve transit infrastructure, which is slated to begin flowing in 2017.

They also announced they have lowered the tax rate on small businesses, and teased that “our government will reduce the tax rate further, all the way down to nine per cent by 2019,” Finance Minister Joe Oliver said in his speech, again, assuming his party is re-elected.

It might have been nice to see some commitment from the federal government in terms of diversifying our energy sector, so we’re not relying so heavily on the price of oil to drive our economy. The federal government’s coffers are so heavily dependent on contributions from the oil and gas sector that dropping oil prices demanded a recalculation of the entire structure of the budget, delaying its release, in fact. Then again, diversifying doesn’t play well with the Conservative base.

And that’s what this budget is. It’s the government saying, “If you like these things, make sure you do your part to help us get re-elected.”

It’s not a budget, really. It’s more of a campaign speech.

 

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read