Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Parliament Passes Canadian Budget - Economic Stimulus Package

As predicted, minority Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget was passed in parliament last night by a 211 to 91 vote. The Liberal's did flip-flop under Ignatieff to support the Conservatives, without which the government would have fallen under a non-confidence vote heading Canada for a fourth election in five years. The Liberals added their 76 seats to the minority Conservative's 143 to pass the bill. The NDP with 37 seats in parliament voted against the budget based on Harper's dismal record in actually implementing measures once enacted. Six Liberal MP's from Newfoundland also went against Liberal Party leader Ignatieff's wishes to vote against the budget.

Read more here -

MP's Approve Federal Budget

Canadian Parliament Approves Economic stimulus plan

Harper Government Survives

Ignatieff Slammed in attack ads

The cost to Canada is steep. Pre-budget hype leaked by the Conservatives claimed a 64 Billion dollar deficit this year rising to $86 billion by the end of their programs. Other headlines tout the cost of the "economic stimulus" portion of the bill at $40 billion. Few Canadians however are aware of the total cost of the budget, which according to Finance Canada data, is actually $258.6 billion dollars this year alone - ballooning total Canadian government debt to $494 billion dollars. Even this could increase upwards dramatically due to the open ended nature of the Conservative measure ( called 'Improving Access to Financing and Strengthening Canada’s Financial System') in the budget to prop up / bailout banks allowing the federal government to re-purchase debt.

Check back often to Canayjun's Canada News blog for updates on the success (or failure) of the economic stimulus package to really make a difference to the effects of the worldwide recession. According to New York University economist Nouriel Roubini - who accurately predicted the financial market meltdown as far back as 2006 - the worst of the recession is yet to come and will have wide ranging impact not provided for in any current stimulus package.