Sunday, March 26, 2017

And the reviews are in ... Budget blowback for the Liberals

Like a much anticipated opening on Broadway, or at the Ed Mirvish Theatre we guess for those closer to Bay Street, Wednesday's Liberal Budget is finding that the critics panel is the hardest of audiences to impress.

With Executive Producer Justin Trudeau and his federal choreographer Bill Morneau putting their 2017 creation out for public display this week, the feedback has been fast and at times quite sharp.

With the chants of Bravo, Bravo not exactly echoing off the East and West Blocks, nor from the offices of the South side of Parliament, by whatever name that block shall be known as now.

For the financial blue print for 2017 it calls to mind Jon Bon Jovi's stadium anthem of Someday I'll Be Saturday night ... feeling like a Monday and taking each day and night at a time.

But for now, Wednesday's Budget lived up to the theme of the day it was delivered.

It was a hump day review ... humping the grand ambitions of one year ago over towards a more useful time for delivery, let's say one somewhat closer to the next election cycle.

The text of the Finance Minister's speech to the House can be reviewed here.

While Mr. Morneua's fiscal blue print is available for a more extended review here.

The NDP's budget rebuttal put a focus towards who has been left behind from the Trudeau government's document.

While the Conservatives took note that for all the Liberals talk of the need to rebuild infrastructure, the 2017 program is falling short.

The budget also dominated much of the media coverage of the week, both in the preamble and in the follow up to the delivery of the document.

And the critics panel had some interesting observations to go with the story as well ...

What they have are a lot of meaningless buzzwords. I have read a good many tedious, empty budgets in my time. I cannot recall ever reading one quite as mind-bendingly empty as this one. -- Andrew Coyne, National Post

If you subscribe to the notion that governments are meant to walk their talk at budget time, then Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are on a treadmill. Finance minister Bill Morneau’s second budget is, for the most part, a wordy rewrite of his previous one. -- Chantal Hebert, Toronto Star

Trudeau and Morneau are not sure why they should have only one fun day a year. So this budget is a list of decisions to be made later. -- Paul Wells, Toronto Star

It’s only his second budget since the Liberals came to power, and already Morneau seems seized by the sudden realization that — Holy Moly — it turns out you can’t really borrow your way to prosperity and, if you spend all the available money in the first year of a four-year mandate, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for exciting new “investment” initiatives in the remaining years. -- Kelly McParland, National Post

To dwell on the fading prospects of a budget balance is tempting, but it also misses the larger point. This isn’t just a question of a more lax attitude toward spending and deficits. This Liberal budget, built as it is on the foundations established by the last one, entrenches into federal policy a very different set of underlying economic beliefs than those the Harper Conservatives preached for a decade.  -- David Parkinson, Globe and Mail

Federal Budget 2017 -- Mostly gusts of pleasant smelling warm air -- Neil Macdonald, CBC News

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, having now tabled the Trudeau government’s second budget, has about as much in common with the average middle-class Canadian as his prime minister. Which is to say not much in common at all. -- Mark Bonokoski, Toronto Sun

Those themes and many more were expanded on through the news coverage of the blue print is explored below:

March 23

Morneau says government not planning to raise rate on capital gains
Federal budget positions Canada to lure scientists from U.S. and Britain
Trudeau's budget: Delaying decisions on Trumpian matters
Energy firms decry tax clampdown in federal budget
Federal Budget scratches surface of issues impacting the labour market
Uber Canada hits back at Liberal plan to charge tax on rides
Access to tax credit for fertility treatments expanded in budget
It never seems a good time for a tax-the-rich budget
Justin Trudeau touts budget's 'meaningful' investments
Morneau sees 2017 budget as Chapter 2 of ongoing plan
Morenau's faith in small reforms - and small headlines
Federal Budget has no new spending for on-reserve fire safety
Did 'feminist' Trudeau government's gender budget really support women?
Finance Minister isn't ruling out future changes to capital gains taxes
Liberals face a five-alarm fiscal fire
Mars, weed, coding and hiking: A few things you might have missed in the federal budget
This week, the Liberals learned, again, that promises sometimes cost real money
Canada's new 18-month parental leave offers flexibility - but comes with a catch
Lack of defence spending draws fire

March 22

Liberals take wait-and-see approach with 2017 federal budget
Federal budget takes activist approach to economy
Budget 2017: Move along, nothing to see here - but just wait until next year
Federal budget vows $100-million for strategy on gender-based violence, citing Globe Unfounded investigation
Liberals fall short with first gender-based federal budget
Federal budget's red ink leaves Liberals with little wriggle room
With federal budget, Morneau plays it safe in uncertain times
Small businesses wary of new income-splitting rules in 2017 federal budget
Federal budget highlights: 10 things you need to know
Liberal budget offers lost of 'vision' but few new numbers
Federal budget 2017 -- Mostly gusts of pleasant smelling warm air
Liberals' 1st gender-sensitive budget identifies gaps, funds possible fixes
Budget 2017: Liberals spend on  training and innovation while holding line on most taxes
Budget 2017-- Hello Uber tax, goodby transit credit
Budget is a list of decision to be made later
Federal budget features more money for affordable housing, child care
Winners and losers of the 2017 federal budget
Highlights from the 2017 federal budget
Liberals shouldn't lose their nerve with budget
Federal budget holds the line on Liberal priorities
Lots of words, few dollars in this budget ... until the next election rolls around
Federal budget disconnected from the middle class
Budget offers no escape from red ink
Federal Budget 2017 proves Liberal plan is failing
Budget 2017: EI premiums, sin taxes, tax cheat crackdown to finance Liberal vision
Not in my name, Prime Minister
The Liberals have slowed their spending, but their spin is relentless
Federal Budget leaves uncertainty over defence spending, veteran's pensions
Federal Budget 2017: Liberals hope to get Canada ready for the future with budget for everyday folks'  - and $28.6B deficit
Federal budget 2017: From EI and baby bumps to fake words, things that has us scratching our heads
Finance minister lines up $1 billion next year for innovation - a word that appears in the budget 212 times
The shadow of U.S. President Donald Trump and his agenda loom large over Canada's federal budget
No money, no ideas, but a wealth of bafflegab and buzzwords in the Liberal budget
Federal Budget 2017: The full document and the finance minister's speech to Parliament
Housing 'The Largest Single Commitment' in Morneau's Budget
Stay the course budget fails to offer details on Infrastructure Bank
Tucked in Budget, a $30-Million Mystery Cheque for Alberta resource sector
Is  Justin Trudeau Picking your pocket?
Federal budget rains money on seniors ... and only drips it on the young: study
The biggest losers: What's missing from the 2017 federal budget?
Federal Budget 2017 in 3 charts
Federal Budget 2017: Big investment in affordable housing, nothing to cool red hot markets
Federal Budget 2017: Trudeau government projects &28.5 billion deficit in 2017-2018
Federal Budget 2017: Liberals extend parental leave to 18 months, boost childcare funding
Federal Budget 2017: How the budget will affect your pocketbook

March 21 (The Preview)

Liberals to address women's concerns in first gender-based federal budget
How raising Canada's capital-gains rate could hobble long-term growth
Liberals' Fassbender sees spoils for 'can-do' B.C. in Wednesday's federal budget
Six things to watch in the Liberals' federal budget
First federal budget of the Trump era will play a waiting game
How the federal budget could spare Justin Trudeau some difficult conversations
Stubborn oil prices weigh heavily on upcoming federal budget
Liberals likely to resist the urge to let spending taps gush in Wednesday's budget
Federal budget: Seven things to expect

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