Trudeau’s cynical budget promise

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We never understood exactly why Canada needed to be plunged into a sizable deficit. And now new evidence casts more doubt on that policy decision.

Research released by the CD Howe Institute this week reveals that the recession fear-mongering Justin Trudeau sold the public on during last year’s election campaign wasn’t based on the facts. It’s looking like there was no recession.

This research will be used to guide the institute in the coming months as it decides how to classify last year’s economic situation.

But whatever term they choose, their findings show the Liberals were hasty and reckless in firmly placing the Canadian economy in such a negative light.

The fact Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz declined to wade into the debate should have been a sign that the facts just weren’t there.

But facts be damned. We all know why the Liberals did it. To take down Stephen Harper. It was pure politics.

Last September, a month before the election, Trudeau posted a message and video on Facebook that was seen by over 600,000 people stating: “Canada is in recession. People are struggling. I’ll create jobs and growth to help people who need it.”

It was statements like these the Liberals distributed on the campaign trail that laid the groundwork for Trudeau to campaign on running deficits of up to $10 billion.

Both Harper and NDP leader Tom Mulcair responsibly pledged to balance the budget. It made sense.

Even the godfather of deficit spending, economist John Maynard Keynes, said you only run deficits during a recession. When you’re out of recession, that’s when you clean up the books and get back into shape to prepare for the next real downturn.

We get that this is politics. During campaigns, the so-called truth can be flimsy at the best of times.

However Trudeau’s broken his promise of a $10 billion deficit cap and Canadians are now looking at almost $30 billion being added to the national debt during the first fiscal year alone.

Trudeau stretched the truth to manufacture a crisis and in response plunged the country into deficit.

And for what? To win?

It’s sad that a major financial promise could be rooted in so much cynicism.

POSTMEDIA NETWORK

FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2016

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