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Behind Trudeau’s plan to cut $500 million in government spending


Trudeau’s new spending freeze isn’t exactly what it seems. In reality, it’s a very selective process, with only minor cuts scattered around while most departments face no reductions at all.

There are plenty of examples of frivolous spending that show the government isn’t really cutting back on costs like they should be. A $25 million Senate parking lot that comes down to $1 million per space. Then there’s the $8 million “zero-carbon” barn replacement, complete with elevators and fiber optics. Even the touted $1 billion Supreme Court renovations are already over budget with no end in sight.

Canadians have also revolted against the failed $54 million ArriveCan app and the “green slush fund” scandal. It seems like public sentiment is reaching a fevered pitch with anti-Trudeau chants at a Lil Darkie concert breaking out.  

Is this freeze just for show? Or is the Liberal government finally getting serious about fiscal responsibility? 

The fact is that no last ditch spending freeze can make up for the billions that have already slipped through the cracks on Trudeau’s watch. It’s time for answers. 

It’s pretty obvious Trudeau’s spending freeze isn’t as firm as they want it to seem. Only a few departments are facing cuts while 61 departments are kept untouched for no good reason. Supposedly the cost-cutting initiative excludes agents of parliament and small organizations with a yearly budget of less than $25 million.

But for some reason there are a few departments with more than a $25 million yearly budget that are still excluded, such as the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the National Capital Commission.

Considering how little Trudeau prioritizes the military, it comes as no surprise that the Department of Defense is the hardest hit with $211 million of their $500 million budget freezed. That’s about 42% of their annual budget. 

Meanwhile the Department of Finance got a deal that barely scratches the magnitude of its budget. A miniscule $827,000 will be trimmed from its nearly $118 billion budget. That’s only .0007%.

It really comes off like the cuts are more about optics than actually reining things in. If they were serious about cutting back on spending, they’d be making deeper spending cuts and spreading it around more evenly. Instead it seems carefully crafted to ruffle as few feathers as possible.

So in the end, don’t be fooled into thinking this “freeze” means much. Trudeau’s just trimming selectively while leaving the bigger contributors mostly untouched. Not exactly the portrait of fiscal responsibility.

If anything proves the spending initiative is only for show it’s the extra frivolous spending on petty matters that Trudeau can’t seem to get enough of.

From expensive parking lots to expensive storage buildings to more than a billion dollar supreme court renovations there is a seemingly endless number of frivolous expenses. 

But let’s first start with the $25 million dollar senate parking lot.

The parking lot is supposed to hold 25 cars, that’s $1 million per car, if not more.

According to Canadian Senators Group leader Scott Tannas, “it would be a minimum of $1 million per parking space,” 

The agency building the outrageously expensive parking lot is the same one that built the outrageously expensive “zero-carbon” storage building replacing a barn at Rideau Hall.

In late October, the Canadian government confirmed that the National Capital Commission spent over $8 million to replace a barn on the grounds of Rideau Hall with a “zero-carbon” storage building. MPs were outraged to learn that the warehouse included features like solar panels, fiber optic lines, and an elevator, with Conservative MP Jake Stewart noting “None of our storage sheds or barns cost $8 million. None of them have elevators, and none of them have fiber optics.”

Franco Terrazzano, federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, pointed out that the NCC could have purchased 139 Winding Way, a palatial home on the banks of the Rideau River and billed as “Ottawa’s most opulent home”,  and still have money left over. 

Terrazzano noted that, “It seems like the NCC goes out of its way to spend as much money as possible.”

The exorbitant cost was buried within the National Capital Commission’s annual $191.7 million budget without scrutiny from auditors or the budget officer, raising concerns about a lack of accountability. 

As Terrazzano shared,  “If the NCC can’t figure out how to manage properties without costing taxpayers an arm and a leg, then the government needs to find someone else who can.”

Now that’s just two examples of Trudeau’s out of control spending, another example is the $1 billion Supreme Court renovations plan.

This Supreme Court redo is starting to sound like the other big renovations going on in Ottawa – constantly going over budget with no end in sight.

They said the move to the West Building and the work on the main courthouse would cost a billion dollars, but PSPC is already admitting it’ll be way more than that due to the rise in construction costs. The same excuse we’re hearing about the Parliament rebuild too.

The PSPC stated that “Due to overall market increases in construction since 2017, and the need to properly and safely address the unique structural requirements at the West Memorial Building, we expect the final cost of the entire program will be higher than planned in 2016-17”.

While scaffolding now covers the Supreme Court building, the PSPC claims this work is independent of the $1 billion rehabilitation effort. Instead it is supposedly a necessary repair to the exterior ahead of further renovations. 

Were these external repairs really so unexpected? Or is this just an additional cost that they are trying to dismiss as not part of their original estimates?

Sure, historic buildings are important, but these massive government construction projects are starting to feel never-ending. Someone needs to get a handle on the spending before it’s too late. And a selective spending freeze doesn’t seem to be enough to contain Trudeau’s out of control spending.

Speaking of out of control spending let’s not forget ArriveCan and the time Poilievre slammed Trudeau in the house of commons for spending $54 million “on an app that doesn’t work”

Not to mention Trudeau’s $1 billion green fund where an investigation found that SDTC head Annette Verschuren actually approved $217,000 of taxpayer money for her own company!

Using taxpayer money to enrich herself is a terrible abuse of power, and it’s just one of the many lapses under Trudeau’s government that taxpayers are paying for. 

The frustration among Canadians appears to be mounting with each new spending controversy or ethics lapse. So its not surprising that discontent boiled over at a Lil Darkie concert in Toronto as the crowd spontaneously erupted in an anti-Trudeau chant.

If the Prime Minister thinks Canadians will tolerate endless scandals and unchecked expenditures, he may be in for a surprise. As financial pressures intensify, unhappiness with Trudeau’s leadership does too. 

For many Canadians, this spending freeze is too little too late and the selective way they are cutting costs seems to highlight that, as with most things in Trudeau’s government, it’s just for the optics. 

After years of deficits, scandals and just throwing cash around, trust in the Liberals to be responsible with taxpayer’s money is pretty much shot. Freezing new spending doesn’t do anything about all the billions that have already slipped through the cracks on their watch. Voters will want more than promises about the future, they’ll be demanding answers for the past.

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