In the words of Tim Hudak, ~"Only this government would post a deficit as a success."
I won't defend the provincial deficit. Put in the same situation, I would not have chosen to spend in such a way. But I trust Premier McGuinty and Deputy Premier/Finance Minister Duncan. They have experience in this area to which I just cannot compare. And to be fair, so does the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Flaherty. But here is where the situations diverge: Prime Minister Harper promised to never run a deficit. Given that he inherited a near $15 billion surplus from former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Finance Minister (and now Liberal Deputy Leader) Ralph Goodale this should not have been a difficult promise to keep. But here we are...
The team of Prime Minister Harper and Minister Flaherty squandered a once impressive surplus on various pet projects and one of the most ambitious expansions of government size since the 1980s even before the period known as The Great Recession began. And while some may defend this with the fact that the Government of Canada had money to spare; there is no defending the continued spending on pet projects and government expansion during and following the recession.
From fake lakes to $50 million gazebos to unneccessary prison and useless jets the government made clear what its priorities were and that its addiction to spending knew no bounds. We add this to the high costs of a "tough on crime" agenda that uses our own money to erode Canadian liberty, and what have got is a government that does not know when to stop.
If this government is serious about balancing the budget, it will need to prove it. The first step will be to stop spending on pet projects. The second will be stop raising taxes; leading to negative stimulation. If Minister Flaherty wants to be the first Canadian Minister of Finance to begin his career with a surplus, subsequently spend it all (and more), than turn it back into a surplus; the time to act is now.