Where has the money gone?

If you follow my weekly reports, you know I find it frustrating when much of the Ottawa bubble is consumed by isolated issues that overshadow important concerns.

Currently, the Prime Minister’s winter vacation to a private Bahamas Island and the possibly illegal use of a private helicopter remain the focus in Ottawa of many media reports.

In my report from last week, I explained why the vacation issue was a concern, however, as the deputy critic for Finance, I have a duty to point out there is other, very serious financial information Canadians deserve to be made aware of.

If you followed the last Federal election closely, you will know that the Prime Minister promised to run modest deficits of $10 billion annually and would return to a balanced budget in 2019.

Shortly before Christmas, the Finance Department released updated fiscal forecast reports that indicate that without deliberate and direct action by Liberal Government, Finance Canada projects we will not return to a balanced budget until 2050.

If the current Liberal trend of running deficits that are much larger than the promised $10 billion a year also occurs Canadians total debt will be at an alarming level of $1.55 trillion by that point.

What is more concerning is as much as the Liberals have promised all of this spending is going to building Infrastructure the Parliamentary Budget Officer also released a report on Jan. 10 that states: 

“Government’s planned investments in infrastructure spending have not materialized in the first half of the year. Infrastructure transfers administered by Transport and Infrastructure Canada fell in comparison to the previous year."

In other words, infrastructure spending is in decline. In reality, it is government operational spending that has increased.

Where has this money gone?

Statistics Canada shows that the Trudeau Liberal Government hired 14,000 more government bureaucrats to work in the National Capital Region in 2016.

A recent 5.5 per cent pay raise plus a signing bonus for many federal government employees has also added many billions of new debt that has resulted in increased operational spending.

As I have also past pointed out, increased debt means increased payments on the interest that results in less money available to fund other government programs, services and projects.

It will likely also lead to higher taxation that reduces net take home pay. As you may have heard, the Liberal Government has also recently admitted it is giving serious consideration to tax changes that may impact many Canadians.

As one, example if you receive healthcare benefits provided by your employer, the Liberal government has indicated these may become taxable benefits. 

This would be particularly punitive in B.C. as we are the only province that charges MSP premiums for healthcare.

I appreciate my report this week will not sit well with some citizens, however I should also point out these are actual events that will at some point affect future Canadian taxpayers.

Some in Ottawa have gone so far as to suggest given this recent fiscal news the Liberal government prefers talking about private helicopter trips compared to increased taxes, higher debt and deficits as a result of increased operational spending with little infrastructure to show for it. 

As the deputy finance critic and as your ember of Parliament, I will continue to hold the Liberal government to account on these concerns and welcome your comments and questions. I can be reached at [email protected] or toll free 1-800-665-8711.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Dan in Ottawa articles

About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories