TORONTO - Budget Day is just not what it used to be.
Canadians would wait with bated breath to hear the pronouncements of the Minister of Finance. Secrecy was the order of the day.
Leakage of information or, heaven forbid, potential items would cause Stock market tremors and trigger RCMP investigations.
One journalist, Doug Small, in 1989, saw his career irremediably altered when he aired the public relations brochures (vacuous public talking points) leaked to him in advance of the tabling in the House of the Budget document. He became the subject of intense police investigation, as did the offices of several MPs.
There was still a sense of direction and purpose for the country, so taxation and spending were themes that were of interest to any citizen who had a view of where the country was headed.
It mattered which party was at the helm of the government. Today, the overriding concern is best defined as “what’s in it for me?”. A valid consideration and one that should never be easily dismissed.
The Budget is after all a political document. As such, is there anyone who was “left out”? It’s early still, but the list is awfully short. In fact, I can’t find it. That must have been the point to yesterday’s Budget: there is something here for you personally, just look for it.
The alms were there for what has been turned into a nation of mendicants – every citizen has his/her hand out. No problem with that. The nation’s wealth belongs to its citizens and should be distributed equitably.
But there was no signature project or programme that signaled a “master plan” for Canada. Or, I missed it. Maybe Canada doesn’t need one.
As long as we continue to create wealth, in whatever fashion, we should spend it or give every child an increase in their yearly “allowance”.
In Naples, there’s a saying: si tir’ accampa’. Go with the flow. Worry about the little things and the big things will sort themselves out.