My Liberal colleagues and I are calling on the Harper Conservatives to keep Canada’s books balanced following a new report from a major credit rating agency which predicts Canada is on the brink of going into deficit for the first time in more than a decade.
Finance minister Jim Flaherty has said he will make cuts in order to avoid running a deficit. And since one of Canada’s leading rating agencies has just predicted he will be in deficit as early as next year, it’s time for him to lay his cards on the table.
The report from the Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) says “it is likely that the government would run its first budgetary deficit” if economic growth for the coming year doesn’t meet government expectations.
If this happens, it would be the first time since previous Liberal governments eliminated the $42-billion deficit left behind by Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives.
Those efforts resulted in an unprecedented string of eight-consecutive surpluses—a streak DBRS says the current Conservative government has put in jeopardy.
The previous Liberal government united Canadians in an effort to eliminate the deficit and ensure a more prosperous future for our children.
Now the Conservatives have brought us back to the edge once again by offering a myriad of fancy tax credits targeted towards certain segments of the population in an effort to simply get re-elected.
This situation should come as no surprise to Canadians because Conservative governments have a long history of running deficits in Canada. Between 1918 and 2005, not a single Conservative prime minister ran a balanced budget.
From Meighen to Bennett, and from Diefenbaker to Mulroney, Conservative prime ministers have shown no reservations about deficit financing, and it appears Stephen Harper is of the same breed.
It is the Liberals who put this country back on solid economic footing—all while cutting taxes. At the same time, Jim Flaherty, as then-Ontario Finance minister, left that province with a $5.6-billion deficit.
True to form, he now has brought down the two largest-spending budgets in Canadian history—putting Canada at the risk of deficit.
In these uncertain economic times, Canadians can ill-afford the spend-thrift Conservative fiscal mismanagement we’ve suffered in the past.
We need a proven, steady Liberal hand on the wheel to navigate the country through rough economic waters.