'What does that even mean?': Senators question Trudeau's philosophy of 'taking on debt so Canadians don't have to'

“What does that even mean?" asked Senator Yonah Martin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Senators are questioning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's philosophy of "taking on debt so Canadians don't have to" after approving another $51.2 billion in pandemic relief to jobless workers, starting October 19.

"What does that even mean?" asked Senator Yonah Martin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. "Does the Prime Minister not understand public debt must be repaid by public money which comes from taxes?"

The philosophy has lead to jaw dropping expenditures with close to no regard to the future, with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland telling Senate on Thursday that it "would not be prudent" if they were to estimate Canada's fiscal deficit for 2020, according to Blacklock's Reporter.

When asked by Senator Claude Carigan what the deficit would be, Freeland said that she would not make projections because of the fluidity of the pandemic.

The new Act Relating To Certain Measures In Response To Covid-19 introduces new payments to Canadians currently out of work, with the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit paying up to $1,000 to employees who need to miss work due to any illness.

"The fact is that taxpayers are on the hook for every single dollar this government has borrowed," said Senator Martin to the Chamber. "It is taxpayers who will be paying the interest charges and repaying the principal when it comes due. The government has no money of its own. It only has money it takes from the taxpayers."

"What will it mean for future tax rates?" said Martin. "How will the decisions we make today affect our children and grandchildren and their children?"

The spending has been called unsustainable by the likes of Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux, who on May 26 told Senate that measures would have to be "temporary" for Canada to avoid high levels of taxation "that has not been seen for generations in this country."


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