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Love the self righteousness.

More people smoke pot than drink alcohol these days.  Why not lower the deficit by legally selling it and taxing it?  One only has to look at the States that have legalised it to see the windfall they have reaped.

Alcohol was illegal at one time too, they couldn't stop that could they? 

Better to control it than to have it control you.


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More people use it than most people realize.  They just don't publicize it because of the "Stigma".  

I am not sure "Legalizing" it is the right move but certainly de-criminalizing it is a good move.  People are going to use it one way or another.  It is proven that it cannot be controlled by law enforcement in any appreciable measure.  The harm to the public at large is negligible at best.

The article above says there is not enough science done to prove anything and then goes on to condemn it for stuff that would need the science to prove.  That article is fallacy with an agenda. 

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Seems there is a hidden down side to the legal growing of medicinal marijuana for your own use or if you are a landlord.  If and when the growning of marijuana is made legal it appears there will still be consequences.


'You can lose everything': Tenant's medical marijuana grow-op costs landlord insurance


'A grow-op, whether legal or not, is still a high-risk activity,' Insurance Bureau says 

By Rosa Marchitelli, CBC News  Posted: Feb 27, 2017 2:00 AM PT| Last Updated: Feb 27, 2017 2:00 AM PT 

B.C. landlord Darryl Spencer found he had little recourse when his insurance was cancelled because a tenant was growing marijuana.

Longtime landlord Darryl Spencer was left scrambling for insurance after discovering a tenant was growing dozens of medical marijuana plants inside and outside his rental house. 

When the landlord told his insurance company about the perfectly legal grow-op, his coverage was cancelled, leaving him with no insurance, few rights and a big cleanup bill. 

The downstairs tenant in Spencer's Kamloops, B.C., rental property got a medical marijuana licence that allowed him to legally grow as many as 60 plants without his landlord's permission or knowledge. 

A call from a concerned neighbour prompted Spencer, who is also a retired fire inspector, to check out the home he's rented out to different tenants for a decade. 

Spencer's tenant started a medical marijuana grow-op in the lower level apartment without his knowledge. (Darryl Spencer) 

He discovered a mess of extension cords, fans and bright lights packed into a room filled with dozens of marijuana plants. The upstairs tenant, a woman with a small child, was complaining about heat radiating through the walls and electrical breakers going off. 

"I was worried about the fire hazard. That was my first thought because of the extension cords, the use of electricity and that something could catch fire," Spencer told Go Public. 

The tenant had dozens of plants growing near the laundry room in the rental house owned by Spencer. (Darryl Spencer) 

Under new federal rules introduced last August, landlords have little recourse if a tenant is growing licensed medical marijuana. They don't even have the right to know it's happening. Yet it's landlords who are being denied insurance coverage when a tenant is growing medical pot.

Go Public also found, while the federal government implemented the rules, it wants local authorities to ensure medical grow-operations are being set up and run safely. More than 30,000 people in Canada have permits to grow cannabis for their personal medical use. 

When Spencer notified his insurance company about the tenant's grow-op, Gore Mutual Insurance cancelled his coverage. 

"They wouldn't cover claims to do with medical marijuana or air quality contamination," he says. 

'You can lose everything you worked so hard for your whole life.'

In a statement to Go Public, Gore Mutual Insurance says it "does not provide coverage for marijuana grow-operations regardless of their legality because this type of operation in a residential building presents inherent insurance risks." 

Those risks, the company says, include "a greater likelihood of water damage, mould, fire, vandalism and burglary." 

Under most basic home insurance policies, marijuana-related damages or anything that companies believe is "high risk" is not covered. 

That view is shared by many insurance companies, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. 

"While regulations may allow for the legal growing of marijuana for medical purposes, it does not change the structural risk grow-ops pose to homes and condos," Andrew McGrath, spokesman for the Insurance Bureau, tells Go Public in an email. 

"The operation of a grow-op, whether legal or not, is still a high-risk activity." 

Gore Mutual Insurance told Spencer it might reinstate his coverage if he got rid of the tenant and took specific steps to ensure the house was safe to live in. 

The insurance company also wanted air and soil testing, plumbing and electrical inspections, and the house checked for mould. 

Spencer did it all, while searching for another insurance company that would cover him right away. None would. 

"I went all that time with no insurance which was pretty nerve-wracking knowing there were many implications involved there. You can lose everything you worked so hard for your whole life," he says. 

The tenant did move out, but only after Spencer paid him $1,300 to leave and returned his full damage deposit despite issues with the suite. 

All in, Spencer estimates he's out more than $5,000 in costs related to the medical grow-op. 

Privacy trumps landlord rights 

In February 2016, a Federal Court judge gave Health Canada six months to come up with new rules that would give medical marijuana patients better access to pot, allowing more patients to grow it at home. 

Spencer says he was worried about safety when he saw the amount of chemicals in the tenant's unit. (Darryl Spencer) 

Its response was the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which came into effect Aug. 24, 2016. 

"The new regulations do not require individuals who wish to produce a limited amount in their residence to notify or seek the consent of their landlords as such requirements would likely infringe on their right to reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes," Health Canada spokesman André Gagnon wrote in a statement to Go Public. 

Landlord B.C., an advocacy group for landlords, says it respects the importance of marijuana therapy for those who need it. But CEO David Hutniak says the group believes property rights also are important. 

"[Health Canada] basically made the decisions, from our perspective, in a vacuum," he says. 

David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord B.C., says Health Canada should have considered the impact on property rentals and insurance when approving grow-ops. (Christer Waara/CBC) 

Hutniak says the federal government failed to provide clear direction for landlords and insurance companies when it made changes to medical marijuana rules. 

Safety inspections not done 

Under the new rules, Health Canada gives specific guidelines on how to safely set up medical grow-ops. 

But when it comes to checking if safety rules are being followed, the federal department is leaving that to municipalities. 

Outdoor grow op

The tenant was also growing marijuana in a greenhouse on Spencer's property. 

The problem, according to the development and engineering services director for Kamloops, is federal privacy rules prevent local authorities from knowing where marijuana is being grown.


"We don't get a list of the address, so we can't proactively go around and do inspections," Marvin Kwiatkowski says. 

There also is no system in place to proactively check if tenants are growing the allowed number of plants and following their permit. 

Go Public put the issue to federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, but her office declined an interview, saying the federal government's role is to ensure people who need medical marijuana have access. 

Two months after his insurance was cancelled, Spencer found a company that specializes in covering medical grow-operations. The coverage cost almost twice what he used to pay and has a much higher deductible. 

After Go Public contacted his original insurer, Gore Mutual, it offered to reinstate Spencer's policy for almost the same amount he used to pay.

Spencer says he's spent thousands of dollars in order to get his rental property insurance reinstated. (CBC) 

Spencer took Gore up on the offer, and says it's the federal government that needs to make changes. 

"This has been a big mistake and I hope it gets rectified soon."

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Legitimate Medical use not withstanding....

This whole marijuanna legalization craze is just downright stupid for the sake of being stupid. For the last 50 years governments have been fighting the drug war and the smoking war. 

Now all of a sudden they see an income source instead of a revenue drain and suddenly it's ok. Thanks again for nothing Justin!

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1 hour ago, Malcolm said:

Seems there is a hidden down side to the legal growing of medicinal marijuana for your own use or if you are a landlord.  If and when the growning of marijuana is made legal it appears there will still be consequences

There are quite a few consequences, here's one for the Fire Service:

Exploding Refrigerators

If you think the recent liberalization of marijuana laws around the country is only about smoking leaves and buds, think again. For users younger than 25, "hash oil" is where it's really at. This concentrated resin of marijuana is creating new public safety headaches — even in places where it's legal.

From the same article:

Last year, the U.S. Fire Administration, a department of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issued a bulletin warning of an increase in fires involving the production of hash oil.

In Washington state, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, authorities have noted an uptick in similar incidents. There was an explosion in a building in Seattle on Tuesday, and Verner O'Quinn, a sergeant with the Seattle Police Department's bomb squad, blames solvents used in the production of hash oil.

There were no victims in the explosion, but it created a big bang. "It blew out the windows, blew the walls 6 inches from the foundation in an area. Cracked the siding," O'Quinn says.

He says fires in the Seattle area often come with a particular twist: They start with exploding refrigerators. Apparently, some people put their marijuana-butane marinade in the freezer. "Maybe the process works better when it's colder," O'Quinn says.

Most freezers have a fan, which then circulates the volatile butane fumes into the rest of the refrigerator, "down to where the compressor is," he explains. "A small spark will set it off, and it generally blows the door off."

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A little more on the subject...

Marijuana users blowing up their homes while trying to make hash oil

Call it an unintended consequence of legalizing recreational marijuana. People are blowing up their homes as they try to extract the hash oil from marijuana.

Two homes exploded within hours of each other on Tuesday, one in Shelton, the other in Seattle. The common denominator was marijuana users trying to extract the oils from their buds.

Twenty-four hours earlier, a rental home in Lake City was blown off its foundation by a hash oil extraction gone wrong.

Police and fire departments across the state are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of amateur hash-oil operations leading to explosions that knock homes off their foundations and send people to emergency rooms.

They’ve happened in every corner of the state from Vancouver, to Mount Vernon, to Spokane.

“Potentially, it could be deadly,” said Mark Jamieson with Seattle Police.

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Interesting tactic by the Libs. 

Tories accuse Liberals of ‘despicable’ tactics’

OTTAWA • Opposition parties slammed the Liberal government on Tuesday for trying to “ram through” major changes to how the House of Commons does its business.ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS “We made a commitment to modernize this place,” House leader Bardish Chagger said Monday in question period.

With little notice, the Liberals moved Tuesday to have a committee study major changes, including halting House sittings on Fridays, only requiring the prime minister to be in question period one day a week, introducing electronic voting and restricting opposition parties’ ability to filibuster bills in committee.

Liberals are trying to “ram through whatever the f--they want,” Conservative MP Scott Reid said in a rare outburst. He called manoeuvres “despicable,” a “tissue of lies,” and a “contemptible abuse of our system,” calling the prime minister an “arrogant, selfish, rude individual” for trying to steamroll all opposition.

His colleague Blake Richards said the Liberals’ attempt to use the Procedure and House Affairs Committee to push changes through is “disgusting and pathetic.”

In an unusual move Tuesday, Liberals repeatedly blocked opposition attempts to delay the motion, including extending the committee meeting — which was otherwise supposed to be hearing from Elections Canada officials — well beyond its scheduled time.

NDP MP David Christopherson made much ado about the fact opposition MPs were not given the time to bring the Liberals’ proposals to a caucus meeting — the next one is Wednesday — and asked if debate could at least be delayed until the committee’s next meeting on Thursday.

As debate extended into question period, without reaching a vote, Christopherson heckled, “you clowns think you can pull this off? Really?”

“This is not a good day for Liberal promises," he shouted.

The Liberals had promised to work more collaboratively and openly with other parties, but instead are trying to use their majority to change rules that will have a major effect all members of parliament, he said. “How the hell is that fair? How does that come anywhere near what you promised in the campaign?”

The Liberals gave a tight June deadline for the changes and offered no indication that they wouldn’t use a majority to impose changes to House rules without opposition consent.

According to the Liberal motion presented Tuesday by MP Scott Simms, the government wants a report, complete with recommendations, by June.

MPs on the committee couldn’t come to a consensus last summer on the idea of ending Friday sittings, for example, to make the House more “family-friendly” for MPs with kids.

Reid suggested a special committee could be struck to discuss the long list of proposals.

Under Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien, a special committee looked at similar issues and unanimous consent, among all parties, was required to recommend changes.

Hammered on the Liberals’ tactics during question period, even as Reid filibustered the committee with lengthy diatribes on the merits of parliamentary procedure, Liberal House leader Bardish Chagger said, “we believe that these conversations are important conversations to have.”

“We made a commitment to modernize this place, and to bring it into the 21st century. That is what the discussion paper is about.”

A senior Liberal official reached by the National Post said they were unable to offer an answer on the unanimity question, one way or the other, and that the government had not looked at the possibility of a special committee.

The government’s intention, the official said, is to put ideas for modernization on the table.

It’s a priority for Chagger and “she wants to get the debate going.”

The paper says the government wants standing orders to be “meaningfully deliberated upon.”

It’s not the first time the Trudeau government has angered the opposition over procedural manoeuvres. Last May, the government backed down from a motion that would have enhanced ministers’ control over debate, after opposition parties cried foul.

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Sure, what a great idea; who would ever expect politicians in the public service to work on 'family friendly Fridays'.


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If you recall, I was so disgusted with Harper's 'increasingly' dictatorial style of governance that I stayed home instead of voting. I guess I'm partly responsible for the terrible turn of events.


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It's hard to imagine his government making it through one full term without collapsing under the weight of its own failed strategies and policies.

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Yet another Liberal Shell Game.

Billions in defence equipment purchases postponed until 2030s in Liberal budget

Federal budget explanation for delay of capital spending at DND 'makes no sense,' says analyst

By Murray Brewster, CBC NewsPosted: Mar 22, 2017 5:58 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017 8:30 PM ET

 In something of a surprise, the 2017 federal budget kicks a further $8.5 billion in defence procurement spending many years down the road. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

The Liberal government is stripping $8.4 billion out of the equipment budget at National Defence over the near term — and then promising to put it back and spend it sometime over the next 20 years.

The extraordinary measure is contained in Finance Minister Bill Morneau's budget, tabled Wednesday in the House of Commons.

The Liberal government at the same time announced an additional $624 million in spending over several years on veterans programs, much of it aimed at helping smooth the transition for ex-soldiers from uniform to civilian life.

But it is the so-called re-profiling of capital expenditures at the Defence Department that may have the biggest political and policy impact on the Liberal government.

It comes at a time when the Trump administration is leaning on allies, including Canada, to put more into their militaries and meet the NATO spending benchmark of two per cent of gross domestic product.

Morneau was measured in his comments.


"We are going through, as you know, a defence policy review, the results of which will be out in the not-too-distant future," he said at a news conference prior to the release of the budget. "And that will show our level of ambition ... in making sure that we play our part internationally."

'Makes no sense,' analyst says

Federal budget documents are not clear about the reason for the massive reallocation of funds. In fact, there was outright confusion about references to the need to reallocate cash in the future for things like new fixed-wing search-and-rescue planes and upgrades to the army's fleet of LAV III armoured fighting vehicles.

Those programs are already underway and were recently announced by the Liberals.

"That explanation makes no sense," Dave Perry, an analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, told CBC News. "That whole description is incoherent, so I cannot make heads nor tails of what they are saying."

Last year's federal budget saw a similar — much smaller — postponement of defence equipment purchases. Federal finance officials who briefed the media said this year's reallocation was on top of the $3.7 billion measure taken last year — an assertion officials in Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's office had to correct late Wednesday.

At the end of the day, it was still not clear what projects in the already moribund defence procurement system were being postponed and under what circumstances.

'This budget is actually taking money away from the military and pretending to give it back several decades in the future.'- Dave Perry, Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Perry's assessment was blistering: "I'm stunned this budget is actually taking money away from the military and pretending to give it back several decades in the future."


The budget does contain a modest increase of funding for defence —  $184 million — on the operations side. But that is cash the previous Conservative set aside and the Liberals promised not to touch in the last election campaign.

Perry said the budget, as written, will almost certainly drive Canada's defence spending below one per cent of GDP.

And that is something former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore said will almost certainly incur the wrath of the new administration in Washington.

"Defence policy is just not a priority for this government at all," said Moore. "The Americans are watching this. The Americans notice this. Secretary Mattis, President Trump will be well briefed on all of the partners with the United States in NATO."

The Liberals have taken pains to build a positive relationship with key players around Trump, and Moore said he believes the political signal sent by this budget on defence will have repercussions in other areas.

"It'll have consequences on the bilateral relationship with the United States in the future, whether it's on trade; whether it's on a border tax," he said. "Prior to any future meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, President Trump will be reminded Canada is not pulling its weight or doing its fair share when it comes to national defence."

More money for veterans

Separately, the government was keen to highlight the improvements it plans to make in terms of support for veterans.

There is more money for education and retraining of ex-soldiers, better career transition services and support for caregivers who look after injured and ill veterans, among other things.

The government was obliged by its accounting rules to book most of the program spending in the current budget year, which is about to end next week.

Finance Department officials say the new services and benefits will roll out in the 2018-19 budget because it'll take a year for Veterans Affairs to get the systems in place.

The budget also contains a promise to give veterans the option of accepting a lifetime pension for wounds sustained in the line of duty. But there was no price tag attached, just a pledge to reveal more details later in the year.

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MPs certain to pass M-103 Thursday but new poll says Canadians would vote down anti-Islamophobia motion

‎Today, ‎March ‎23, ‎2017, ‏‎5 hours ago | David Akin

OTTAWA – The House of Commons will almost certainly vote Thursday afternoon  in favour of condemning “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination”, the phrase at the heart of the controversial motion M-103.

But a new poll released Thursday morning suggests that if the vote on M-103 was up to most Canadians, the anti-Islamophobia motion would fail.

Pollster Angus Reid Institute asked 1,511 Canadians, “If you were a a Member of Parliament, how would you vote on this motion (M-103)” and found that 42 per cent would vote against it; 29 per cent would vote in favour and 29 per cent were not sure or would have abstained.

In the actual event — set to happen shortly after 3 p.m. ET in the House of Commons — most Liberal and NDP MPs are expected to vote in favour of M-103 while most, but not all, Conservative MPs will vote against the motion, put forward by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid.

Khalid, a first-time MP representing a Mississauga, Ont. riding, seeks to accomplish three things with M-103: First, that the House “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination;” second, that the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage be instructed to study the issue of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia;” and, finally; that the federal government collect data on hate crimes for further study.

In parliamentary debate earlier this week, Conservative MPs endorsed the sentiment but objected to the wording of the motion in the belief that it could lead to the suppression of speech rights.

“The word ‘Islamophobia’ can be used to mean both discrimination against Muslims and criticism of Islamic doctrine or practice. It is important that we not conflate the two – religious people deserve legal protection, but religions do not,” Conservative MP Garnett Genuis said during a House of Commons debate Tuesday night. “People should not discriminate against individuals, but should feel quite free to criticize the doctrine, history, or practice of any religion.”


Liberals, including Khalid, maintain that the motion would in no way infringe on speech rights and would instead by a powerful symbol of solidarity with Muslim Canadians.

“Motion No. 103 serves as a catalyst for Canadians to speak out against discrimination and be heard where they may not have been heard before,” Khalid said on Tuesday.

If it passes, Khalid’s motion would change no existing laws nor would it create any new laws.

And yet, the Angus Reid poll finds that three in 10 of those surveyed believed Khalid’s motion is, in fact, “a threat to Canadians’ freedom of speech.”

Angus Reid found male survey respondents strongly disapproved of M-103 while female survey respondents were split. Among men, 50 per cent would vote down M-103 while 27 per cent would vote in favour. Among women, 34 per cent would vote to reject, 31 per cent would vote in favour and 36 per cent were unsure or would abstain.

The pollster ran the online survey from March 13 to March 17. A margin-of-error could not be calculated because the survey participants were not drawn from a random sample. That said, a random sample of 1,511 of Canadian adults would produce a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Older — 55-plus —  survey respondents were most likely to reject M-103 while younger — 18-34 years old — were more likely vote in favour.  A plurality of those with high school or college educations would reject M-103 while a plurality of those with university educations would vote in favour of M-103.

From a regional standpoint, survey respondents in every province who rejected M-103 outnumber those who would vote in favour though objections to M-103 were softest in Quebec and in Atlantic Canada.

Interestingly — given that M-103 is sponsored by a Liberal MP — support among those who voted Liberal in the 2015 election is rather tepid with just 38 per cent of Liberal voters saying they’d support M-103 versus 33 per cent of Liberal voters who oppose it and 28 per cent with no opinion.

New Democrat voters are the strongest group of supporter with 44 per cent in favour versus 33 per cent opposed.

Those who voted Conservative in 2015 want nothing to do with M-103: 68 per cent of that group would vote down M-103 with just 14 per cent voting favour.

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Latest budget full of empty buzzwords

Grits have run out of money — and good ideas

From page NP1 The good news is they’ve run out of money. The nonsense in this nonsense-filled budget might have cost us all a lot more if the Liberals had more faith in the fundamental piece of nonsense underpinning the rest: that deficits stimulate growth. But as the economy has once again failed to play its part in the old fiscal conjuring trick — can it be just a year ago that the Liberals were claiming the multiplier on government spending could reach as high as “between three and four”? — the Grits now find themselves having to finance their ambitions by reallocating existing spending, rather than simply tacking more on top. Give thanks for small favours.

getimage.aspx?regionguid=b891dfde-81fd-48b8-8d92-bf523cbb4a7b&scale=107&file=10322017032300000000001001&regionKey=aExHoNtcMUKWDR%2f53r4iGQ%3d%3dSEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS There have been many tedious, empty budgets in the past, Andrew Coyne writes, but there are few that have been as mind-bendingly empty as the Liberal government’s latest.

Mind you, they’re still talking the same old game. “There is a general consensus,” the budget declares, falsely, “that fiscal policy is the right tool to grow our economy for the long-term.” But while the budget also repeats the usual ritual claims that “the plan is working,” the reality is that growth is coming in well below the levels forecast even last November, let alone way back in March of 2016.

Meanwhile, the fiscal situation continues to deteriorate: deficits over the next four years, forecast in last year’s budget to total $84-billion, are now headed for $101 billion, on the strength of spending that is now roughly $20 billion per year over the track laid out in the last Harper budget. The $10-billion deficits originally promised, of course, are but a distant memory; the balanced budget is nowhere in sight or even promised; even the steadily declining debt-to-GDP ratio, last and loosest of the Liberal benchmarks, is gone — it rose last year, is projected to rise again this, and may well rise again the next.

But of course it isn’ t just that they’ve run out of money: they’ve run out of ideas. Or at least, good ideas. The Liberals had a good idea in the last budget: the rationalization of several different child benefit programs into a single, income-tested Canada Child Benefit, albeit at a cost of $4 billion-plus. And they had a bad one: the notion that Canada’s middle class is falling behind, a claim that is increasingly the object of ridicule. The middle class isn’t falling behind — median incomes have been rising steadily for the last 20-odd years — and if it were the Grits have no sensible plan for remedying it.

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 mindbendingly empty as this one. Innovation, strategic, wholeof-government, world-class, value chain, smart cities, centres of excellence: the budget burbles happily on for page after page in this vein; one has the strong sense its authors have no more idea of what any of it means than they do “middle class.” Much is promised, but put off until the future: I lost track of the number of plans that “will be proposed” or policies that “will be developed” at some later date.

But as to the here and now: almost none of the promised reform of tax expenditures — credits and deductions favouring this interest or that, to the detriment of general economic efficiency — materialized in the budget. Indeed, the government is adding new ones — for example, extending accelerated capital cost allowance to “a broader range of geothermal projects.” Perhaps they are holding off on this, until they have a clearer sense of what kind of tax cuts the Trump administration has in mind. Or perhaps the very public burial given to the notion of taxing employer health benefits was a sign of things to come.

If there is a theme to the budget, it is of course “innovation.” As with “infrastructure,” last year’s favourite buzzword, the Liberals tend to attach this to virtually everything that catches their eye, including Liberal campaign slogans (“Innovation is, simply put, the understanding that better is always possible.”) But as the budget drones on, it becomes apparent that to this government it means the very latest in advanced, state-of-the-art 1930s-style state planning.

As the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy has lately reminded us, the federal government alone already has 147 different programs with interchangeable names intended to foster innovation. To these will be added, inter alia, an Innovation and Skills Plan, an Impact Canada Fund, a Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, a Canadian Business Growth Fund and a Strategic Innovation Fund, though in fairness the last is intended to replace several existing funds. Indeed, the budget promises a review — sorry, a “whole of government review” — of current innovation programs. Perhaps they could throw in the new ones to save time.

Talking of sucking and blowing at the same time, I’d be more exercised about the proposal to throw public money at six industries the government is so sure will prove to be winners that it cannot be left to people investing their own money — “Canada can be a world leader in digital innovation,” was one of the things Finance Minister Bill Morneau professed to “know” in his budget speech, a page after confessing “we never could have imagined” the impact of mobile computing — if they were not also proposing to support virtually every other industry.

Some of the subsidy is disguised as procurement: rather than buy the best product at the lowest price for the taxpayer, government will serve as “first customer.” And there’s a truly bizarre proposal to seed what are called, inevitably, “Superclusters” — clusters is no longer enough — on the theory that if we can observe the spontaneous evolution of clusters, in places like Silicon Valley, in retrospect, we can surely envision them in advance, and create them by policy.


Oh, and there’s a chapter devoted to gender-based analysis. The point of this would seem to be that some programs benefit women more than men, and others benefit men more than women. Another data nugget turned up by the same analysis — that men pay 66 per cent of the taxes — seemed to attract rather less attention.

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'Deficits fuel growth' my ass.

Deficits feed banksters who reward politicians for starving the people they claim to represent.

Let's forget about free speech too. Who would need that kind of freedom anyway knowing the Liberals are there to speak on behalf of all Canadians ... said with puke bag in hand!



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7 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Billions in defence equipment purchases postponed until 2030s in Liberal budget

In the lead up to the last budget I had a niece who went postal on me and said that she would never vote Conservative because they did not fund new equipment for the navy. Her husband was/is a weekend warrior in the navy.

I did not point out the history and the obvious of Lieberal actions as she was 8.5 months pregnant and I figured it was the hormones making her vote Lieberal.

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For all users note the mention of money for Marijuana surveillance in this budget.

Mars, weed, coding and hiking: A few things you might have missed in the federal budget

‎Yesterday, ‎March ‎23, ‎2017, ‏‎8:02:57 PM | Marie-Danielle Smith

OTTAWA — After a deep dive into Canada’s 2017 federal budget, the National Post has emerged with spending details on Mars exploration, Haitian clothes, children’s hacking and the Uber tax.

We put together some factoids you — or Joe, the hypothetical Canadian referenced repeatedly in question period Thursday — might have missed in the flood of coverage surrounding Wednesday’s budget release.

Life on Mars?

If opposition MPs, like strangers in a strange land, are questioning what planet starry-eyed Liberals are on, they might find a clue in the budget’s flashy innovation chapter. It includes a boost for the Canadian Space Agency, to the tune of $80.9 million, on a cash basis, over five years.

Plans include “quantum technology” and “Mars surface observation,” with Canada aiming to NASA’s next Mars Orbiter Mission. An additional $10 million will fund the Institute for Quantum Computing for two more years, which provides the opportunity for many more memes of the prime minister standing in front of a chalkboard.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press/FileJustin Trudeau at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where he learned about quantum computing.

Marijuana surveillance

As the government prepares to legalize weed, it proposes $9.6 million over five years, and $1 million every year thereafter, for “public education programming and surveillance activities.” The suggestion of “surveillance” without any explanation seems a little dubious. Finance Canada, swamped with media requests Thursday, didn’t get back to us on that one.

Whatever spying takes place, it is presumably all in the name of keeping dope away from kids and profits out of the “pockets of organized crime.” We can’t verify whether your local mob prefers pockets over other money-hoarding methods, such as the soon-to-be-defunct Canada Savings Bonds.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian PressWatch out, kid. The government might be watching.

Childcare today, gone tomorrow?

Liberals were congratulating themselves in the House of Commons Thursday for bringing in billions worth of childcare benefits. But the significant $7 billion in spending, divided up over 10 years, will only start in 2018, with a majority coming after the next federal election. Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats, who’ve long advocated for better childcare services, decry the delay and say the 40,000 possible new spaces are slight in comparison to the 800,000 needed.

Another measure sure to impact many prospective parents: same-sex couples and individuals who want to have kids are now eligible for tax credits for fertility services (as the budget puts it, “reproductive technologies”).

Getty ImagesThey won't be smiling when they realize the money won't be coming for years.

Sweet Haitian threads

Tucked at the back of the foreign policy drawer are cuts to origin rules that’ll cost the government $17 million in foregone tariff revenues over five years. “More apparel products” imported from the least-developed countries will be imported duty-free, and “particularly from Haiti,” the budget document says.

We weren’t able to iron out whether we’re talking fedoras, jeans or what. Maybe it’s an opportunity for Conservative MP Scott Reid to obtain some chaps, which we learned during a lengthy filibuster this week are an item missing from his Victorian-era steampunk outfit.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian PressMP Scott Reid explaining what chaps are in the House of Commons?

Services in the slammer

Canada’s prison population will benefit from $57.8 million over five years, and $13.6 million a year thereafter, for mental health services. Per the John Howard Society of Canada, treating rather than punishing the mentally ill is one of five key pillars to fixing the corrections system, and according to Correctional Service Canada, “promotion of mental health stability may contribute to increased public safety.”

Garnering praise Thursday from the Canadian Psychological Association, almost $6 billion in this budget is tied to mental health, including $5 billion over 10 years for general mental health initiatives and $828.2 million over five years for First Nations and Inuit “medical and mental health care.”

Getty ImagesTreating rather than punishing the mentally ill is one of five key pillars to fixing the corrections system.

Coding lessons for kids

Calling all young hackers! Get ready to benefit from federal government-funded “coding and digital skills” workshops. With $50 million in funding over two years, after a competitive process, “digital skills training organizations” will bring the likes of C++ and Python and Java into classrooms.

We’ll bet nothing sounds more exciting right now to Canada’s youth, post-March Break. More like March Break-that-encryption, am I right, kids?

Getty ImagesDigital skills training today, Anonymous tomorrow.

Learning about plants

New money should put new life into a research centre operated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. With $80 million on a cash basis, over five years, Liberals plan to lay roots for a “new, world class plant health research facility” in Sidney, B.C.

The centre is in Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s Vancouver Island riding, and she says the news leaves her “very glad.” With agri-food safety advocates, we suspect the government is also barking up the right tree.

Justin Tang/The Canadian PressOf course the Green Party leader is happy about plant health research.

Taxing taxi taxes

The Liberals plan to tax commercial ride-sharing services the same way they do taxis by subjecting them to GST and HST. Uber’s Canada manager, Ian Black, fired back in a statement Thursday calling this a “tax on innovation” that would hurt one million Canadians. “We should be supporting policies that make sustainable transportation more affordable, not more expensive,” Black said.

Conservative leader Rona Ambrose suggested this is all because Justin Trudeau wants your nights out to be more expensive, from the cents added to the cost of alcohol (a two-per-cent increase on duty excise tax) to the elimination of a tax credit for transit passes.

A non-tax hike

While the Tories complain about tax hikes, Liberals are hoping to sway you with other hikes. Who’s ready for a 24,000-km trek across the Great White North? It’ll cost $30 million over five years for Parks Canada to oversee the completion, enhancement and maintenance of the Trans Canada Trail, this year’s budget says. The network of trails takes you from west to east and through every provincial capital.

We checked, and to walk the most direct route from Vancouver, B.C. to Glace Bay, on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, it’d take you 53-and-a-half days of straight walking. Happy trails!

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Here it comes:  4 plants per household and I guess these will be tax free. :D No announcement on how the additional tax revenue will be spent. Perhaps to pay down the debt? Ya Sure.  

Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018

Provinces will have right to decide how marijuana is distributed and sold, CBC News has learned

By David Cochrane, CBC NewsPosted: Mar 26, 2017 9:00 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 26, 2017 9:00 PM ET

CBC News has learned that the federal government will announce the week of April 10 that new legislation will make the sale of marijuana legal by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the federal government will announce the week of April 10 that new legislation will make the sale of marijuana legal by July 1, 2018. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend. Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice, speaking at an open caucus meeting and panel discussion on the legalization of marijuana on Parliament Hill in February, 2016, has briefed the Liberal caucus on new marijuana legislation, which leaves the provinces to decide how marijuana is distributed and sold. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Provinces to control sales

The federal government will be in charge of making sure the country's marijuana supply is safe and secure and Ottawa will license producers.

But the provinces will have the right to decide how the marijuana is distributed and sold. Provincial governments will also have the right to set price.

While Ottawa will set a minimum age of 18 to buy marijuana, the provinces will have the option of setting a higher age limit if they wish.

4 plants per household

As for Canadians who want to grow their own marijuana, they will be limited to four plants per household.

Legalizing marijuana was one of the more controversial promises Justin Trudeau made as he campaigned to become prime minister.

But in their platform the Liberals said it was necessary to "legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana" in order to keep drugs "out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals."


The Liberals had promised to introduce legislation by the Spring of 2017. Announcing the legislation the week of April 10 will allow the party to hit that deadline.

Raids raise questions

Trudeau referred again to that rough timetable a few weeks ago when he said the legislation would be introduced before the summer. But at the same time he also warned that it wasn't yet open season for the legal sale of marijuana.

"Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply," Trudeau said in Halifax March 1.

That warning became more concrete a week later, when police in Toronto, Vancouver and other cities carried out raids on marijuana dispensaries and charged several people with possession and trafficking, including noted pot advocates Marc and Jodi Emery.

Trudeau's promise to legalize marijuana was seen as one of the reasons for the Liberals' strong showing among youth voters in the 2015 election. 

But at the NDP's leadership debate in Montreal Sunday, which was focused on youth issues, several of the candidates pointed to marijuana legislation as an example of a broken Liberal promise.

"I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that ... we are still seeing, particularly young, Canadians being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana," said B.C. MP Peter Julian.

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Canada extends mission against ISIS in northern Iraq to June 30

'Advise and assist' mission was set to expire, extension 'provides time to assess evolving nature of fight'

CBC NewsPosted: Mar 31, 2017 11:07 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017 11:20 AM ET

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post last month in northern Iraq. Canada is extending its military training and support mission against ISIS, which has seen Canadian soldiers operating near the frontlines in the battle to defeat ISIS in the city of Mosul.

Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post last month in northern Iraq. Canada is extending its military training and support mission against ISIS, which has seen Canadian soldiers operating near the frontlines in the battle to defeat ISIS in the city of Mosul. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

With operations against ISIS at a critical stage in northern Iraq, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Friday that Canada will extend its training mission there by three months.

The Canadian Forces will continue operations until June 30, providing "the time required to assess the evolving nature of the fight."

Canada is part of a coalition working with Iraqi troops to recapture territory taken over by the Islamist group, also known as Daesh, restore basic government services and enable citizens who fled to return to their homes.

A news release said the scope and mission of Canada's contribution, often characterized as an "advise and assist" operation, will remain the same this spring, "with a few adjustments."

"As a result of recent successes in the campaign, some elements of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force have recently been operating in eastern Mosul, providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces," it read.

Iraq Cda 20170220

Canadian special forces soldiers, left and right, speak with Peshmerga fighters at an observation post last month in northern Iraq. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

"Canadian troops remain behind the forward line of troops, and are providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Forces," the government said.

Canadian troops had been stationed around Erbil, where its operations had included a military hospital.

But the fighting in and around Mosul has been intense recently, as the fight to retake control over the strategically important city continues. 

"While the geography and partners have expanded, the mandate of training, advising, assisting, and equipping remains unchanged," a statement from the chief of the defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, said.

"The mission may change further as the situation evolves and Canadians should expect further adjustments as the situation warrants."

"It is clear that coalition efforts are having a real impact on the ground," Sajjan said in the release.

The military said Friday that 3,600 personnel have been part of rotations for the mission so far. As of March 28, Canadian aircraft who remained in theatre after Canada's CF-18s returned home have conducted 695 aerial refuelling sorties and 753 reconnaissance missions.

In addition to the special forces soldiers acting as intelligence officers and training Iraqi soldiers on the ground, Canada has also contributed tactical helicopters to the coalition mission.

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Legalization in the summer of 2018 eh. It sounds like Trudeau wants to condition the minds of his 18 - 25 year old following just before the next campaign begins.


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5 hours ago, DEFCON said:

Legalization in the summer of 2018 eh. It sounds like Trudeau wants to condition the minds of his 18 - 25 year old following just before the next campaign begins.




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Liberals seem lost even when in the right 


Earlier this week, the Liberals took steps to reassure worried voters that they still intend to follow through on their oft-made promise to legalize marijuana. There’s not much meat on the policy bones yet, and trying to read the tea leaves — tea, we stress — of past Liberal positions doesn’t help clarify things much. The Liberal message seems to be that marijuana is a horrible, terrible, very bad, no-good thing that we must legalize to protect our children, and that the Prime Minister has occasionally himself enjoyed to no apparent ill effect. Everyone clear on that? Nonetheless, the Liberals did make one firm statement: marijuana would be legalized in Canada on or before July 1, 2018. And unlike their promise to get rid of our first-past-the-post electoral system by the next election, they’re apparently serious.

Surprisingly (even to ourselves) we believe them. We welcome this pledge and hope they stick the landing this time. Marijuana legalization is not nearly as complicated as electoral reform, and it also has the advantage of much broader popular support and much better arguments in favour. It’s an idea whose time came long ago — but better late than never.

Still, we can’t help but roll our eyes at the process, such as it is. This was one of the Liberals’ core promises. Justin Trudeau was promising it to adoring young crowds back when he led a thirdplace party and the idea of a Liberal return to power was remote, at best. But a year and a half after the election, we know little of their plans to legalize marijuana except that they plan to ... legalize marijuana. A government that talks of seeking a more co-operative relationship with the provincial governments has left them in the lurch, unable or unwilling to provide much sense of its direction, even though much of the day-to-day work of a legalized and regulated marijuana regime will fall to the provinces.

And most baffling of all, a government that insists in its party platform that a key reason for legalization is that “too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug” seems utterly unconcerned that many Canadians continue to face arrest and prosecution for possessing small amounts of the drug. They seem to not realize that they actually have the power to change this.

While working to establish a full legalization plan, the Liberals could solve many problems virtually at the stroke of a pen by simply decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. (They could copy and paste the decriminalization laws introduced but never passed under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, for example.) It would be an inelegant and imperfect and temporary solution, but it would have the virtue of speed. The NDP have been calling for it, and the Liberals have a majority in the House of Commons anyway. The Senate is rather more unpredictable these days than we’re used to, but it seems unlikely it would block a simple and shortterm expedient measure intended to resolve ambiguities that the impending-butnot-yet-enacted legalization plan has created.

Consider the recent headline-grabbing raids in various cities on Cannabis Culture dispensaries, which until recently were owned by legalization crusaders Marc and Jodie Emery. The Emerys can be hard to root for, given their habit of flouting the law and daring the police to act, then acting utterly stunned when the police do just that.

Still, it’s hard to read or watch recent news coverage of officers raiding shops and arresting employees, when the federal government has pledged to make legal the offence they are arrested for go away in little over a year, and think it’s a good use of police resources.

Given the chronic delays in our horrifically backlogged justice system, it’s almost certain the crime will be off the book before any of these cases can even be tried.

And indeed, those delays and backlogs are one of the main arguments made in favour of legalization: it would free up police and court resources otherwise occupied with repeatedly arresting and trying teenagers and the odd mostly harmless activist.

So, yes, it’s a good thing the Liberals are doubling down on this promise, instead of backing away. And yes, we feel they are actually on the right side of this issue. But it’s about time they acted like they knew what they were doing — let’s see the bill and debate it — and had listened to enough of their own talking points to appreciate that immediate decriminalization is both pragmatic and the right thing to do.

Even by the standard of this prematurely aged government, that’s not too much to ask.  

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Trudeau should probably stop telling desperate refugees that everyone is welcome in Canada

Anyone with the smallest bit of knowledge about the immigration process knows that's not true

By Graeme Gordon, for CBC NewsPosted: Apr 03, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 03, 2017 5:00 AM ET

Trudeau isn’t just blatantly spreading falsehoods by sending that message — he’s actually enticing people to uproot their lives. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Are you one of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. afraid of being deported? Come to Canada! An asylum-seeker worried your refugee claim will be denied in America? Welcome to Canada! Paid a paltry wage in Mexico? Head on up to Canada!

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began broadcasting this heart-warming message in late January as a not-so-subtle subtweet about President Donald Trump's travel ban.

"To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada" he tweeted on Jan. 28, followed by a picture of him greeting a refugee family.

The two tweets garnered over a million likes and half-a-million retweets, creating millions of misleading impressions about Canada as a sanctuary for all the world's displaced. Anyone with the smallest bit of knowledge about the immigration process understands that Canada's doors are anything but wide open, but Trudeau isn't just blatantly spreading falsehoods by sending that message — he's actually enticing people to uproot their lives, throwing another wrench into an already chaotic immigration system, all based on disingenuous messaging.

Armed with the fallacious belief that Canada will absolutely offer them residency, many asylum-seekers will gamble all their money and risk their lives trying to make the dangerous journey to Canada. Indeed, we've seen how quickly would-be immigrants will flood the borders if they believe their chances of staying have improved.

The Liberals' elimination of the visa requirement for Mexican travellers at the end of last year, for example, has led to a 1,000 per cent increase in Mexican refugee claims this year. We know based on data from before the visa restriction, however, that only a fraction of those applicants will be allowed to stay, meaning that many Mexicans will spend thousands coming to Canada with only a slim chance of actually gaining residency.

Nevertheless, Trudeau's rhetoric will surely resonate among asylum-seekers currently in the U.S. who are considering entering Canada illegally in order to bypass the Safe Third Country Agreement.  Already, in the first two months of 2017, Canadian police intercepted 1,134 asylum-seekers crossing the border illegally, which is half of all of last year's total.

Surely we will see even greater numbers of asylum-seekers illegally crossing into Canada as the weather gets warmer. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)

If we're seeing these sorts of numbers in the dead of winter — and Trump has only begun his crackdown on illegal immigrants currently residing in America — surely we will see even greater numbers as the weather gets warmer, especially as Trudeau continues to peddle the notion that refugees can find a home in Canada.

But of course, many refugees will not find a home in Canada, even if they are granted temporary asylum. According to data supplied by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, out of the 15,196 in-country refugee applicants processed in 2016, a total of 4,970 were rejected for various reasons, such as applicants not being considered in enough danger in their home country — and that was only after hundreds of other applications had already been terminated because the applicants had criminal records, abandoned claims, etc.

This year, the government says it plans to take in 40,000 refugees within the total target number of 300,000 new immigrants in 2017. These numbers sound generous, but the reality is that Canada's immigration policy is very selective in terms of who gets citizenship. Our nation's immigration process involves a point system that scoops the cream of the crop from a long queue of applicants, which is hardly the wide-open door implied by Trudeau.

On top of irresponsibly encouraging vast swaths of people to try their luck at residency, Trudeau's words risk inciting Canadians who are already feeling anxious about letting in too many newcomers. A recent Reuters poll found that only 36 per cent of Canadians believe that those illegally crossing the border should be able to remain in Canada. The perception that Canada is too generous toward newcomers could give way to resentment, and Canada could very well see a nativist backlash akin to that of Brexit or Trump. Our prime minister should be tempering those anxieties, not stoking them.

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What People Voted for:

Our plan makes different choices than the Harper Conservatives and the NDP.  For example:
We will cancel child benefit cheques for millionaires so that we can increase child benefits for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
We will increase the marginal tax rate on Canada’s top one percent so that we can cut taxes for the middle class.
We will conduct a review of all tax expenditures to target tax loopholes that particularly benefit Canada’s top one percent. 
We will be honest about the government of Canada’s fiscal position, and base our projections on the recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, instead of April’s outdated budget figures.
We will run modest deficits for three years so that we can invest in growth for the middle class and credibly offer a plan to balance the budget in 2019.
Our choices mean that our plan will bring meaningful and immediate change to the lives of all Canadians.  
The foundation of the fiscal plan over our mandate is a planning framework that is realistic, sustainable, prudent, and transparent. These are core principles advocated by Canadian fiscal experts.1
A realistic approach recognizes that the economic and fiscal projections of the federal government have deteriorated since the budget was tabled in April. This year, 2015, started with a recession, the economic and fiscal impacts of which have been projected by the Parliamentary Budget Officer using the Bank of Canada’s July Monetary Policy Report. 
We project a reduction in the budget’s assumption for nominal GDP levels and fiscal balance, which only begins to mitigate in 2018/19 and 2019/20. This reflects the Bank of Canada’s projections for sharply lower real GDP growth in 2015, and slight increases in real GDP growth in outer years versus budget forecasts, as excess capacity from the recession is recovered.
External economic projections continue to change and these represent realistic projections for the years ahead. A new Liberal government will release a fall Economic and Fiscal Update so that Canadians can get a more accurate picture of the federal government’s revised position since April.
In every year of our plan, federal debt
Real GDP Growth Projections (%) 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Budget 2015 (April) 1.9 2.3 2.3 2.2 2.0
PBO 2015/16 – 2017/18 and projection 2018/19 – 2019/20
1.0 2.7 2.4 2.2 2.2
Projections in fiscal years – per PBO format.
to-GDP will continue to fall. Canada benefits from a low debt-to-GDP level and historically low borrowing rates. Our plan ensures that the government of Canada remains in a sustainable fiscal position. We have two fiscal anchors that guide our overall fiscal framework.

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