Kevin Page writes that yesterday's budget was not a history making event:
From a fiscal vantage point, Budget 2017 was a very small event. There’s about $6 billion in new federal resources cumulatively planned for the next six years. By comparison, Budget 2016 allocated about $11.5 billion in new resources in year one, rising to $14.5 billion in year two.
The Liberals are still going to run deficits, but they're investing in nothing new and nothing big. And there's not much of a plan:
What will we get for the $140 billion addition to our stock of debt over the next 6 years?
We are doubling infrastructure spending over the next ten years. Budget 2017 lays out where this money will go. Still, there is no national needs assessment — no national or sectoral plan. If there is no plan, how can we hold the government to account?
Budget 2017 lays out a strategy to strengthen skills and innovation. It may be a good strategy but it’s not a plan. There are commitments to review existing programs and to work with the provinces to strengthen labour market agreements. This is all good — but why did we not do the spending review before Budget 2017, so that we would have resources to fund new priorities and programs?
Why the caution? The reason, we're told, is that Donald Trump -- ever the disruptor -- hasn't laid out his plan. And, until he does, we are going to tread water.
Like the rest of the world, we're waiting for Donald. But perhaps. like Godot, he'll never show up.