Canada is a wealthy country. But wealth guarantees neither brains nor prosperity. The squandered opportunity of Canada’s resources and a delayed federal budget because of a dip in oil prices is a sad reminder of that.
The upcoming federal election is an opportunity to take stock and look for strong leadership on fiscal issues that go beyond the failed attempts at so-called austerity and boutique tax cuts. Canadians need to press political leaders to take a real stand on tax reform.
Like Alberta, the federal government’s fiscal health is now handcuffed to oil prices to a degree that we’ve never seen before. It’s the opposite of ‘sound fiscal management’ — it’s loose math based on wishful thinking. Veteran journalist and political observer Chris Waddell tells us why - and it isn't pretty.
A conversation about taxes is inevitably a conversation about the kind of Canada we want but also about the kind of Canada we think is possible. Today we reap the benefits of public services built by previous generations more willing to pay taxes. But what will we be passing on to future generations? In the name of austerity we put off investments critical to our future. We also put off the maintenance of our existing infrastructure, our schools and hospitals, roads and bridges, the worst kind of false economy, passing on even more expensive problems to future governments, future generations, jeopardizing our economic performance, and exposing citizens to avoidable health and safety risks.