How Harper Put Canada Massively in the Red - 2019-06-12
(Editor's note: This is the last of five excerpts this week from The Arrogant Autocrat: Stephen Harper's Takeover of Canada by noted Canadian nationalist Mel Hurtig. For an interview with Hurtig about his just published book, click here. To find the whole series click here.)
In the run up to the 2015 federal election, the Harper government will try to convince Canadians that the prime minister and his crew have been excellent managers of the Canadian economy and that only they are capable of delivering the same stellar results in the future. Heading into this election, they had intended to present a balanced federal budget as proof of their sound stewardship. But as I write this in spring 2015, the latest projections are that the Harper government will have difficulty delivering the long-promised surplus this year. Thanks to the precipitous fall in oil prices and revenues, the government's budgetary watchdog, Mostafa Askari, estimated a deficit as high as $1.2 billion for this year, and as much as $400 million the year following.
However, if the government is determined, Askari said, a balanced budget is still feasible should they choose to slow spending or delay capital projects. With the government's earlier forecasts in a tailspin, the budget for the current fiscal year was delayed, no doubt to allow time for a wizard to conjure new numbers that will allow Harper to pull a triumphant, balanced budget out of the proverbial hat.