Thursday, March 4, 2010

Budget maintains status quo

Jim Flaherty's latest budget apparently contains little in the way of dramatic moves:

When he delivered the last federal budget, dubbed Canada's Economic Action Plan, in January 2009, he pitched it as a two-year plan to pull Canada out of the recession. The latest budget stays largely true to that, continuing to roll out the stimulus spending already announced while winding down other temporary measures and taking initial steps to tackle Canada's first budget deficit since the mid-1990s.

On top of the $37 billion in economic stimulus funding spent last year, the new budget outlines the specifics of the additional $19 billion that is to be spent this year, which will be beefed up with $6 billion from provinces, territories and municipalities. By the time it's wound down in 2011, the stimulus plan will have funded more than 16,000 projects across the country, more than 12,000 of which have begun construction or have been completed within the past year, the budget document says.

Source. Not surprising; they don't want to rock the boat at this time. In particular, they're not cutting transfer payments as some feared. I guess they figured that much as they might like to stick it to Manitoba and Nova Scotia, they can't do that without sticking it to Quebec as well, and they need to satisfy Quebec if they're ever to win a majority.

Incidentally, Margaux Watt just interviewed the slithy Toews a few minutes ago; she asked him how the budget might differ if the Cons had a majority. Amusingly, he said with a straight face that it would be no different. Sorry Vic, but a lot of us find that a bit hard to believe.

In any case, the Liberals have said that they won't bring down the government over this one.

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