Instead of drawing a forgone conclusion that you'll spend hundreds to thousands of dollars just because it's the holidays -- let's find another way. No one likes the impending debt emergency in the new year. To avoid spending beyond your means, now is the perfect time to get your financial house in order and save for the holidays.
The NDP government of Rachel Notley is showing the rest of Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador in particular, that when tough times hit, we look after each other. Across the country, the Liberal government of Dwight Ball is showing no such compassion, bringing in tax hikes and service cuts that hurt those with the lowest incomes most.
What you don't have to do forever is live with debt. You don't have to spend every month calculating how much you can afford to put towards debt repayment, while continuing to use credit, and staying in the never-ending cycle of borrowing money and trying to pay it back. It's not an easy cycle to get out of; I know that firsthand.
By making it easier to navigate the tax rules and meet their obligations, Canadians will spend less time and less of their money on preparing their taxes, leaving more in their pockets. For Canadian businesses, productivity could improve as they spend less time, effort and capital dealing with tax compliance and red tape.
The Canadian Forces will once again have to wait to receive new much-needed equipment. Whether it is new fighter aircraft, ships or vehicles, the federal budget has postponed more than $3.7 billion in military spending until 2020 -- or later. As a matter of fact, the latest federal budget is another slap to the Canadian Forces' face. Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said the Liberals are postponing defence spending to figure out defence priorities.
All the tips on budgeting are based on people who get paid on a regular schedule, but if you're an actor, musician, etc., you'll get a chunk of change all at one time and then often have a dry spell. It's so easy to blow through the money that you get paid and then have nothing left for the few months that you're waiting for that next gig.
Canada's youth are the biggest winners from Tuesday's federal budget, but not in the way you'd expect. Buried deep inside the budget, well below the commendable financial commitments to First Nations, families and young children, is a potential game-changer for young people -- plans to create the first ever Prime Minister's Youth Council.
Immediately, after 9/11 attacks, the Arab and Muslim communities started receiving the "visits" of RCMP officers and CSIS agents asking them about their opinions on the Middle-East, about their religious beliefs, about their friends and what they know about them. Some of these "visits" were conducted at the workplace. At that time, no body spoke about radicalization, as if it was assumed that the targeted individuals came to Canada already "radicalized." The Muslim community was perceived on the "bad" side of the fight. They were always considered as not doing enough.
We've seen this story before in the mid-1990s, when out-of-control deficits and an impending sovereign debt crisis led to painful spending cuts and tax increases. The government is wrong to make the return to budget balance conditional on strong economic growth. Population aging is already taking its toll on long-term projections, and too many unforeseen events can derail the fiscal path. Only tight fiscal discipline can balance the budget within a reasonable timeframe, protecting Canadians' standards of living from future large tax increases and cuts to government services.