Happy Budget Eve!
It's March 21st which means tomorrow Finance Minister Bill Morneau will introduce the Liberals' first Federal Budget since coming into power. Why the big deal you ask? Well, it's because a budget sets the stage for what's to come in the following year and shows where the Federal Government is going to be spending its billions of dollars. It's also important to see if the government is going to keep its many promises that were made during the recent election (a lot of which were aimed at the younger generations.) In order to pay for these promises, the Liberals had also campaigned on running a $10 Billion deficit — a number that is now likely to be doubled in the upcoming budget.
What's another Billion
Speaking of deficits, the Alberta government recently announced that they too will be running a deficit of over $10 Billion this year. The one main difference between the federal deficit and Albertas' is that the federal government had planned on having one whereas Alberta is simply suffering the repercussions of dirt-cheap oil prices. With such a gloomy outlook, Alberta Premier, Rachel Notley, thought this would be a good time to ask the feds for a little extra spending money in the amount of $1 Billion. This ask is in addition to the $700 Million already set aside for the province by the federal government for infrastructure projects. While reading off items on her wish list, Notley also requested assistance with Employment Insurance costs which have begun to spike due to layoffs in the energy sector. For Notley's sake, let's hope the feds are feeling generous tomorrow.
It's a Good Time to Be Old
While the specifics of the budget remain a secret until tomorrow, Prime Minister Trudeau has already announced that the spending plan will reverse the eligibility for Old Age Security to 65 from 67. The move will revert the retirement age back to what it was prior to the Harper Administration which introduced a plan to phase in a two-year increase in retirement age. Trudeau called the plan a "simplistic solution to a complex problem that won't work" and suggested there needs to be a broader approach to save Old Age Security without extending the retirement age beyond 65.
In Other News...
Canada Has 7 New Senators
On Friday, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the appointment of 7 new senators that will represent the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba. Of the seven, four are women and three are men, and all were picked from a pool of candidates that had been recommended to the PM by an independent advisory board created by Trudeau just 3 months ago. The new appointees include a journalist, paralympic gold medallist, and even a former NDP cabinet minister that will all sit as independents rather than members of the Liberal Caucus. In fact, no senators have been in the Liberal Caucus since 2014 when Trudeau expelled all sitting Liberal Senators in the hopes of creating a more impartial Senate.
Trudeau Was In the Big Apple
The Prime Minister has finished a two-day visit to the United Nations Headquarters in New York city. This was Trudeau's first visit to the UN since becoming Prime Minister and he made sure it was a visit to remember. On his first day, Trudeau announced Canada's bid to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council for a two-year term starting in 2021. In a statement Trudeau said "This is the Canada of today, this is how we will build the world of tomorrow." The PM also noted that Canada last had a seat on the Security Council in 2000 and said "it's time for Canada to step up once again." If Canada's request is granted, it will become one of ten non-permanent member states on the Security Council which also has 5 permanent member states: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Thanks for reading.