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Freeland Fails at Defending Liberal Economic Record


Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland have steered Canada into treacherous fiscal waters. 

With inflation raging and deficits ballooning, their economic mismanagement now threatens every Canadian’s financial security.

After eight reckless years of excessive Liberal spending, the economic foundations beneath Trudeau’s leadership are crumbling. 

But Freeland’s latest Fall Economic Statement provides little reassurance, only further exposing the government’s lack of fiscal prudence.

Canadians are right to ask – can we afford two more years of Trudeau and Freeland’s fiscal negligence?

The Fall Economic Statement presented by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland last week paints a concerning picture of Canada’s finances under the leadership of the Liberal government.

While the statement touted Canada’s fiscal position compared to other G7 nations, a closer examination reveals troubling trends of excessive spending and ballooning debt that put Canada’s long-term prosperity at risk.

At the center of these issues is Finance Minister Freeland, who has consistently demonstrated a lack of restraint and fiscal prudence during her tenure. 

The Fall Economic Statement projects deficits of at least $30 billion annually for the next five years, with no return to surplus in sight. 

With high deficits persisting indefinitely, federal debt under the Liberals is exploding to dangerous new heights. 

When Freeland’s characterization of the Liberals as fiscally “modest” was challenged by a CTV reporter, Finance Minister Freeland grew defensive and evasive. Rather than addressing the criticism substantively, Freeland repeatedly insisted her government has been fiscally responsible despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Freeland seemed unable or unwilling to acknowledge the valid criticism, instead sticking rigidly to her talking points praising her government’s supposed fiscal responsibility.

While Freeland points to Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio as sustainable compared to other nations, this obscures the larger issue. When provincial debt loads are included, Canada has one of the highest total government debt burdens in the developed world. According to OECD figures, Canada’s total government debt equals a staggering 113% of GDP – higher than most peer countries.

During Question Period, Conservative MP Philip Lawrence pressed Finance Minister Freeland to address the concerning state of Canada’s GDP per capita, which has declined under the Liberal government.

In response, Freeland avoided directly answering the question about the economic indicator. Instead, she complained about recent comments made by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre regarding the explosion on the Rainbow Bridge.

Freeland’s response was clearly irrelevant to the initial question about GDP per capita posed by MP Lawrence. The lack of substance in her answer was so evident that a point of order had to be called on the Finance Minister for not properly addressing the topic at hand.

Freeland keeps claiming that the Liberal government has been financially responsible, and that this has given them the ability to spend on Canadians and the economy.

These claims only ring hollow when examining the government’s actual track record. Doubled national debt, ballooning interest costs exceeding healthcare spending, and deteriorating economic conditions for average Canadians reveal the true fiscal imprudence under the Liberals.

It is deceitful for the Finance Minister to suggest that reckless deficit spending is somehow allowing more investment in Canadians. In reality, the explosion of debt interest payments is draining money away from priorities like healthcare, housing, and social services.

Minister Freeland continues attempting to justify excessive spending and deficits by claiming it benefits Canadians. But the lived experiences of struggling Canadians facing unaffordable costs of living expose these assertions as untrue.

The excessive deficits and mounting debt matters for Canadians, as it represents money drained away from priorities like healthcare and infrastructure. Canada already faces deteriorating public services and infrastructure deficits, challenges that will only grow more pressing with a shrinking fiscal capacity.

Freeland has also dismissed criticisms about the questionable math underlying the Fall Economic Plan as unfounded conspiracy theories. When confronted with analysis showing her budget projections are unrealistic and will likely result in exceeding spending estimates, Freeland accused critics of pushing false narratives not grounded in facts. She attempted to portray the well-founded critiques about the plan’s flawed fiscal assumptions as detached from reality.

Freeland essentially tried to gaslight the press and Canadians by suggesting any disagreement with her budget math must simply not be true. 

Her defensive response aimed to discredit legitimate concerns rather than substantively justify the shaky foundations of the Fall Economic Plan.

Ultimately, the fiscal trajectory under Freeland and Trudeau is unsustainable. Canada faces serious economic headwinds in the years ahead, confronting slowing growth, rising interest rates and elevated inflation. 

Having the fiscal flexibility to respond to a future recession or downturn will be critical, flexibility that is being increasingly constrained by excessive deficits and debt accumulation today.

The Fall Economic Statement represents a critical lost opportunity to chart a more responsible fiscal course for Canada. Freeland has repeatedly shown she is unable or unwilling to exercise spending restraint, regardless of the consequences for Canada’s mid and long-term fiscal health. 

Her perpetual deficit spending is failing to deliver improved economic results for Canadians, while increasingly jeopardizing the country’s finances.

As part of the recent Fall Economic Statement, Freeland also released a Canadian Mortgage Charter outlining a set of voluntary guidelines for banks related to mortgage renewals. Measures include allowing extended amortization periods, ending the mortgage stress test at renewal, and waiving some fees.

When asked whether banks could be trusted to follow these voluntary guidelines, Freeland expressed confidence, stating “It is my hope – but also really my belief – that the banks are going to work with us, the government, and work with Canadians to act on these commitments.”

Freeland’s optimism that banks will voluntarily follow the non-binding mortgage guidelines in the Canadian Mortgage Charter is either dangerously naïve or highly disingenuous. Despite her assurances, there is little reason to believe banks will substantially alter practices without strengthened regulations and oversight.

Freeland seems to ignore the inherent conflicting motivations between banks seeking profits and homeowners needing relief. While she claims banks have an interest in supporting customers through renewal, their priority is maximizing shareholder returns. Voluntary measures could easily be circumvented or applied inconsistently without regulatory teeth.

This aligns with the Liberal government’s broader trend of putting too much faith in corporations acting benevolently rather than enacting substantive policy. 

Whether addressing housing unaffordability, inflationary pressures, or climate change, the Trudeau government consistently opts for half-measures over direct intervention, despite the evident need for stronger action.

The mortgage charter demonstrates the government’s unwillingness to take meaningful action to support vulnerable homeowners facing unaffordable renewal rates. Real leadership requires regulatory changes, not voluntary half-measures.

Sadly, the mortgage charter seems primarily a political ploy to feign action on unaffordability leading into an election year. While claiming to empathize with struggling homeowners, the government avoids making difficult decisions that could alienate corporate donors.

The charter highlights the Liberals’ inability to prioritize average Canadians over wealthy interests. False hope in banks self-regulating is counterproductive; only government regulation can provide substantive protections.

The charter also typifies Freeland’s fiscal approach: feigning action while avoiding difficult decisions.

The fiscal mismanagement and economic deterioration under Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland epitomizes the larger failings of Trudeau’s leadership. Trudeau has enabled Freeland’s fiscal recklessness and hands-off approach while the cost of living skyrockets for average Canadians. 

Together, they have presided over massive debts and deficits with no end in sight, while refusing to take meaningful regulatory action to ease economic pressures. Until both Freeland and Trudeau own up to their fiscal negligence and failed policies, Canadians will continue bearing an enormous economic burden. 

The catastrophic trajectory of the last eight years can only be reversed by replacing this government and bringing in leadership focused on responsibility and affordability. Canadians deserve better leadership than these two have provided.

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