From austerity to big spending - Canada is back! That’s the claim from the liberal left in this country, those who were never comfortable with Stephen Harper because he didn’t spend enough and cut too much, they said.
Trudeau and his Liberals make the claim in speeches, in the media, in Parliament saying given a choice between austerity and investments, Canadians chose investments.
In a recent column, Don Pittis, a senior producer for CBC’s business unit notes:
“Canada has abruptly switched sides in one of the perennial political and economic battles over how to restart a sagging economy.
To put it in a way that would not please either side, it is the contest between the misers and the spendthrifts. After years of the penny-pinching approach, Canada has switched tack to become a big spender.”
But do the facts support this claim? We’re entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts and the facts show that under Harper, spending grew at a rapid pace even before the recession hit in 2008.
Watch my video for the facts. I review finance department fiscal monitor reports that lay out government revenue and expenses on a monthly basis looking at every year starting with March 2006 to current.
The numbers don’t show austerity. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives raised government spending by 43% before inflation which is why I argued with them that they spent too much.
They’d always say that they kept spending increases in line with inflation and population growth. I remained critical of the spending but they were obviously doing something right.
They kept debt to GDP levels low and most importantly, lowered the federal government’s impact on the Canadian economy to the lowest level since the 1950s, all while keeping Canada’s economy in better shape than those of our major competitors.
Were the Conservatives perfect? No, but they weren’t slash and burn austerity proponents either.
Doesn’t matter what the other guys say, the numbers simply don’t back it up.