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Auditing the future


 

Sheila Fraser is concerned.

“The public must be aware of the challenges ahead,” Ms. Fraser says in an interview with The Globe and Mail and L’Actualité. “Canada is a country where people, as a whole, are relatively prudent on financial matters. Let’s not forget the 1990s when the government reduced spending, increased taxes and was re-elected with a larger majority. There aren’t many other countries where that happened.”

Pointing to billions in upcoming spending on bridges, the Parliament Hill precinct and computer systems, Ms. Fraser laments the fact Canada doesn’t publish long-term projections like the United States, which looks 75 years down the road. She adds that in her view, Canadians don’t want to hand down a huge debt to future generations. “There is the deficit, issues linked to the aging population and questions of climate change. How will we deal with these, in addition to all of the other spending demands on the government?”


 

Auditing the future

  1.  Those 75-year projections that the US government publishes are little more than fairy tales.

  2. We’re going to miss Sheila as AG.  However, I hope that it won’t be the last we see of her.

    I don’t know her particular political leanings, but her popularity and reputation could easily reinvigorate a struggling political party.

    • Apparently impressed with her work, the U.S. government tried to entice Auditor General Sheila Fraser to take a job as the United Nation’s top auditor, according to a “confidential” diplomatic cable obtained by APTN National News.

      The U.S. nominated Fraser as their choice to run the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services, but she declined, according to the cable, dated Feb. 25, 2010.

      http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2011/05/06/us-wanted-ag-fraser-for-top-un-job-u-s-diplomatic-cables/ 

      • I think I’d like to nominate APTN news as some kind of Commissioner of What’s Going On. 

        • They’re pretty good aren’t they?  Gotten more news out of them lately than most of the other media put together. 

  3. . I certainly agree there ought to be some forward planning in this country. We have known problems coming up in the near, medium and long–term future, and yet nothing has been done about it, and no money has been set aside for it,  It’s also inexcusable that our infrastructure maintenance is so far behind as to be disasters waiting to happen. Things we already have are falling into disrepair.
     
    There is also no money set aside for the inevitable ‘rainy day’ or black swan events. We shouldn’t have to go into deficit at all.
     
    Meanwhile politicians happily promise new ‘candies’ at each and every election…random vote-buying promises…..and then we wonder why we get into trouble.
     
    The only thing I’m not concerned about is this latest meme about ‘handing debt down to our grandchildren’.  Debt was handed down to us…..Canada has been in debt since day one, so has the US.
     
    What was also handed down to us are the benefits of living in an advanced progressive society.

    • I don’t believe Canada has been in debt since day one? I believe we began having a debt after Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

      • Canada took over the debts of the new provinces when they joined, so yes we’ve been in debt since day one. And we never actually paid off our war debts….it’s all been tossed into the pile. 

        • You don’t get it, Emily *everything* is the fault of Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  Everything.

          •  Apparently!  I had no idea how much one man was responsible for! LOL

          • Correct, apparently you had no idea how much one man was responsible for! LOL 

          • But he remains well-loved. 

      • I don’t know how you think we built a railroad from coast to coast as our first act of business, yet didn’t go into debt. 

        • Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than myself could share some debt numbers before and after PET??

          • Just found some numbers on Trudeau…… Over 16yrs as PM Canada’s national debt skyrocketed by 1200 per cent from 17 billion to OVER 200 billion. Then he left the whole mess for Mulroney to deal with at a time of sky high international interest rates.  

          • Correct. I blame Mulroney more for inaction than for his own accumulated debt. Again he was financing PET’s debt at huge interest rates. Listening to the “Rat Pack” across the floor did not help Canada 

  4.  The new AG will start June 1 before Parliament resumes.  Does this mean that person could edit the Fraser report on G8 spending before tabling it in Parliament?  

    •  I don’t think that’d be advisable. Fraser is responsible for that report.

  5. “How will we deal with these, in addition to all of the other spending demands on the government?” 

    Bluff, bluster, bullying and blaming.

  6. PBO can and should be doing these independent fiscal projections. This is largely why the PBO Kevin Page has been advocating for increased independence and resources. The government declined for ‘cost cutting’ reasons. Right.

    I’d think a fully realised PBO might be some of the best 30 or 40 million a year the government could spend.

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