Diane Francis: Trudeau’s reckless inexperience is hurting the Canadian economy
A report said that Canada’s economy lost 24,200 “net” jobs in July, the second month in a row with job losses, and the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 per cent. But the figures are misleading. That month, 69,300 private-sector jobs were lost, and the “net” figure was derived from subtracting the creation of 17,500 public sector jobs and an increase in self-employment by 27,700.
Who counts self-employment as “jobs”? Arguably, another 27,700 self-employed people are those who have lost their jobs and hope to support themselves somehow.
In August, a report said Canada “gained” 81,000 jobs, but two-thirds, or 57,200, were part-time.
Such fun with figures is what the Liberals are all about. They boast about how good Canada’s economy is doing but have little to brag about. For instance, the number of hours worked, in the past year, has dropped by 0.7 per cent, which means that jobs figures are overstated by that amount.
Worse, Canada’s GDP grew as of July by only 0.9 per cent. By comparison, the Americans’ GDP grew by two per cent.
Then there’s the broken promises by Liberals about deficits and debts.
In 2015, the Liberals promised to balance the federal budget by the next election, in 2019, and to add no more than $20 billion to the debt. Not only will there be no breakeven this election year, but the burden of campaign promises, and servicing of the excessive debt they have piled on, will guarantee massive deficits for some time.
The budget predicts deficits of $19.8 billion in 2019-20; $19.7 billion in 2020-21; and $14.8 billion in 2021-22. Not only have they broken promises to adhere to fiscally responsible spending, but they have no timetable to reduce deficits for the near future should they be re-elected.
(The Liberals) boast about how good Canada’s economy is doing but have little to brag about
This is a classic tax-and-spend regime, run by a prime minister and cabinet without managerial or financial discipline or experience.
“No Canadian prime minister has spent more money (per person, inflation-adjusted) or accumulated more debt (per person), outside a world war or recession, than Prime Minister Trudeau,” estimated the Fraser Institute in April.
“Canada’s gross debt will increase this year by almost $120 billion (again, adjusted for inflation) since the previous government tabled its last budget in 2015. On a per-person basis, each Canadian has acquired $1,725 more in federal debt since Prime Minister Trudeau took office,” the think tank added.
The reason for this debt is exorbitant program spending, over and above higher taxes.
This has been all the more reckless during a period of economic growth, fuelled mostly by the American economy. Now that the economy slows, high debts are a prescription for trouble.
A reckless overlay accompanies this profligacy. The Liberals are anti-business and have impeded resource and pipeline developments.
Kevin O’Leary, a successful money manager and former Conservative leadership candidate, said in an interview in July that it’s important that Canadians vote out the Liberals. The issue is, he said, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a “young man who had no managerial history.”
“The finance minister is an accountant and not the guy you put into a capital-intense country,” he added. “All the capital left Canada because he didn’t react fast enough (to U.S. tax changes). Billions in energy dollars left Canada, hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
He regards the SNC scandal as “incompetency at the management level.”
In August, the Ethics Commissioner issued a damning report that the Prime Minister breached ethics rules by trying to suborn the legal system on behalf of SNC.
And finally in September, the Liberals failed to provide evidence in a court case that they sufficiently consulted Indigenous groups involving the critically important Trans Mountain pipeline. They, in essence, created another legal obstacle after investing $4.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to finish a project that should have been built years ago but remains mired in legal hassles.