You Know What They Say...
It's always about the money. This is especially true when it comes to politics, which is why Ottawa is gearing up for one of the most exciting days of the year: Budget Day. The exact day has yet to be announced but it's expected to happen in the next few weeks. Why is this day so important you ask? Well, it's because this is when the country finds out what the government is spending money on in 2017 which everyone hopes is going towards them.
What to Expect
You can expect to see a live TV announcement with Finance Minister Bill Morneau highlighting the key expenditures in this year's budget. The exact details of the budget are always kept secret until the announcement but there has been talk about further tax credit cuts as well as possible changes surrounding RRSP contributions. However, this budget is harder to predict given that the government may choose to hold back on some planned spending to help address the large deficit run in 2016. There is also the possibility that the Liberals will say to hell with deficits and keep making it rain them dollar bills.
But Wait, There's More...
As you can probably imagine, the announcement of a federal government budget is far from entertaining. However, the government is well aware of this fact and has a few tricks up its sleeve to try and make it seem more exciting. For starters, The Finance Minister will almost certainly build up the "budget hype" by keeping with a somewhat long-standing yet inconsistent tradition of going out to buy a pair of new shoes. Don't bother asking why or when this 'tradition' all started because it's not a very thrilling story. Just know that Budget Day often goes hand in hand (or rather, foot in foot) with new shoes.
Secondly, and what is perhaps the 'coolest' part of Budget Day 2017, is the report that the government will be live dial testing dozens of Canadians while the budget is announced. Dial testing is when a polling/ratings company is hired to monitor how individuals react to what they are hearing by giving them a fancy dial which they can turn up or down depending on whether they agree or disagree with the info being announced. The government says that "the research will help to assess and confirm the development of communications" following the release of the budget. Cool, right? Maybe not... but at least they're trying!
What do you say when someone makes you mad?
Nothing, it's always best to just walk away... Unfortunately, Conservative Public Safety Critic Tony Clement only got half of this right. Last week while being interviewed live on CBC radio, Tony lost his cool and did the smart thing by hanging up before he said something he might regret later. However, Tony forgot to just walk away and decided to express his frustration on Twitter instead. It's safe to say his request for an apology was not granted.
How do you make someone like you?
Simple, you give them a gift... In the case of Christy Clark and the BC Liberals, this gift came in the form of a promise to cut provincial healthcare payments (MSP Premiums) by 50%. The government made the announcement while presenting the 2017 budget and said it plans to eventually eliminate payments entirely. The reason for such a nice gift to taxpayers likely has something to do with an election that's less than 3 months away.
What to do when someone cuts you off?
Try your best to not give them the finger... This is literally what the Parliamentary Press Gallery is trying to do after a House of Commons committee proposed that all members of the press gallery submit their fingerprints to the RCMP for screening. Of course this didn't sit well with the gallery's executives who want to know what will be done with the information and how it will be utilized in terms of security precautions. The key issue here is concerning freedom of the press and whether or not the RCMP will begin restricting reporters from accessing government buildings based on the new screening measures.
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