Liberals push deficit to spend big

The first budget from Justin Trudeau’s government finds the Liberals compromising some of their election promises to keep others, laying out a longer and larger string of deficits to begin the kind of long-term investments they say Canada needs.

While the big ticket items match the platform that helped the Liberals win a majority last October, other commitments aren’t ready to roll out.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau called the plan “reasonable and affordable,” despite the red ink washing across the otherwise sunny tone of his rookie budget.

“Canadians told us two things: they said ‘help me and my family’ and ‘make investments for the future,'” he told reporters before delivering his budget speech. 

“What we’re also going to do is be prudent along the way.”

Prudent was not the word Conservatives used while reacting from the Opposition bench.

“This is a bad day for the taxpayers of Canada,” interim leader Rona Ambrose said. “What we’re seeing now is reckless spending without a job creation plan and no actual plan in the budget to return to a balance.”

The Tories said that in total taxes were going up by “at least $1.3 billion a year.” The Liberals broke their election promise to contain the deficit to $10 billion annually, they said.

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