Ottawa unveils record-breaking deficit

$55.6 billion shortfall is $1.8 billion greater than budgeted in March


Ottawa’s record-breaking deficit of $55.6 billion last year won’t stop the government from balancing its books by 2016, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Tuesday in the federal government’s fiscal update. The shortfall was $1.8 billion more than had been anticipated when the budget was unveiled in March and surpassed the previous record by about $10 billion. Flaherty’s announcement included no new spending, nor did it outline any budget cuts. “Our government’s commitment to return to balanced budgets stems from our fundamental belief that the private sector…. must be Canada’s economic engine of growth, not government,” Flaherty said.

Canadian Press

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Ottawa unveils record-breaking deficit

  1. Before all the critics start in, Mr. Flaherty, might I say that I sympathize? Math, after all, is hard.

    • Especially if many hands are open and waiting for handouts, but please no more stimulus spending.

  2. Actions speak louder than words M. Flaherty.

    I think most Canadians agree that the private sector should be engine of the growth. The real question is how you're going to find a way to get the consumers out of debt so that they can buy things and services from the private sector that is currently hoarding all their money since consumerism is facing a bit of a downturn.

    The banks got through the crisis and now we're facing a whole new problem: national and individual debt rising to threatening levels.

  3. Semi-offtopic but what/when is the next scheduled confidence vote? The Tories have taken quite a few negative hits recently (more/bigger deficits/the renovation thing/LGR vote loss/census/UNSC vote loss) and I gotta think that at least some amoungst the opposition parties must be thinking that the iron is hot.

  4. To paraphrase the late and great C D Howe, "What's a couple of billion"?

  5. "conservative" government

    • They are not the Tories at all. Just followers of the Steve and the party he founded without having a proper convention.

  6. What's that Mr. Flaherty? The sit on your hands and hope method hasn't worked out so well?

    Huh. I'd almost suggest perhaps you want to take a shot at governing.. but I'm afraid you just might.

  7. So the Conservatives are poor fiscal managers, just like all of the conservative governments before them. Ah well, I suffered through Devine in Saskatchewan and Filmon in Manitoba and Mulroney in Ottawa, so I didn't really expect Harper to be able to manage a budget.

  8. But it's ok, it's ok after all the Conservatives are business friendly and we should trust them just for that. It is not that they were elected to actually run the government with a sound business plan for all Canadians. That would be delusional!

  9. "…the private sector…. must be Canada's economic engine of growth, not government,” Flaherty said.

    and might have added, "if it works out, we take the credit. If it doesn't, it's because of the coalition and unreported crime".

  10. They don't have a clue what will be happening next year so good luck with the predictions 6 years hence. Time to bring Paul Martin back?

  11. Not fair you guys, you know perfectly well that this is Michael Ignatieff's fault.

  12. It's a good thing the value of a dollar doesn't tend to decrease with time, or these claims of "record-breaking X" with respect to government finances would fall apart.

    The deficit has been higher relative to both revenues and program expenses before.

    Of course, the economic downturn is Harper's fault.

  13. This didn't seem to make much sense, then I realized they were making it look bigger this year on purpose to take more credit for shrinking it next year.

    Devious, but ultimately unimportant. Which sums up this government pretty well.

  14. That's what you get for lowering taxes and slashing the GST by 2% – from 7% to 5%…