The morning after: piecing together the Budget

What we think we know and what we definitely don't know

Steve Chase notes the hikes in tariffs.

The federal government is hiking tariffs on 72 countries in order to help retire the deficit faster – a measure that will cost Canadian consumers $330-million more per year in higher prices.

The measure, contained in the 2013 budget, will mean higher prices for a variety of goods. It will take effect in 2015.

Paul McLeod notes how little has been explained about cuts to Defence, Fisheries and the Canada Revenue Agency. Scott Gilmore considers the merging of CIDA with Foreign Affairs. Stephen Gordon questions the Canada Job Grant. Colin Horgan looks at funding for aerospace. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries consider Jim Flaherty’s chances of balancing the budget by 2015.

Ultimately, much depends on what comes next.

Flaherty’s office won’t say yet whether the budget proposals will be stuffed into another omnibus bill, an unpopular tactic with opposition parties and Canadians who want MPs to spend more time reviewing key measures separately. Highly controversial changes to how bodies of water are regulated, for example, did not come to light until the actual budget bill was tabled last year.

“I’m getting used to the modus operandi of Stephen Harper and it makes me feel that nothing can be said about this budget until we see this implementing legislation,” said Green party Leader Elizabeth May. “Until we see if we’re facing another omnibus bill, one that we fear will take an axe to the Species at Risk Act, we have to wait and see.”