May. 15, 2020

Can the minister add? This is irresponsible

The minister of finance for Canada was just asked a question about how much the announcement of the extension of the government’s wage subsidy will cost.

He did not know. 

With the level of computing power now available, some history now with providing the subsidy, the hundreds of public servants who deal with expenditures every day, this answer should be unacceptable to the Canadian public. 

This is the minister of finance! 

He frames his answer that he cannot give a precise answer which is supposed to excuse him from giving any numbers. This makes no sense. 

 All his budgets over the years are based on estimates. 

He does not know precisely, given the many variables in any year, what the final expenditure will be, the final revenues will be. 

He and his public servants deal daily with various scenarios on expenditures in many fields.  So this is a deliberate deflection, unbecoming of a minister of finance. 

The people of Canada deserve to be informed of estimates on programs financed by their money.  Now!

Additionally, the government should be publicly saying now that this ongoing series of new expenditures almost daily has an end , that they are working on an exit strategy. 

Some accountability is now due.