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Federal Ministers' Priorities Out of Touch With Financial Reality

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is sounding the alarm over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letters for cabinet that fail to take seriously the federal debt and other key issues.

“The feds are borrowing nearly half a billion dollars every day, but the finance minister’s mandate letter doesn’t even mention the debt or deficit,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “Taxpayers are wondering if anyone in the Trudeau government is even thinking about the $1-trillion debt.”

Trudeau released mandate letters for the federal government’s ministers to outline the priorities for each minister.

Debt and deficits: The recently released budget update projects the federal deficit to reach $145 billion and the debt to reach $1.2 trillion by the end of the fiscal year. But the mandate letters for the finance minister, president of the treasury board and minister of national revenue all failed to mention the deficit or debt.

Tax hikes: Despite promising not to raise taxes last year, the finance minister’s mandate letter includes a raft of tax increases, such as an ant-flipping home tax, luxury taxes, a tax on foreigners owning a vacant or “underused” home, income tax hikes on top-earners and higher taxes on banks and insurance companies. The mandate letter for the minister of environment and climate change reaffirms the government’s plan to continue raising the carbon tax.

Gun ban and buyback: The RCMP’s union warned that the gun ban and buyback would not increase safety in Canada, yet the mandate letter for the minister of public safety includes plans to continue with the policy.

Online censorship: Experts, such as the former vice-chair of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, warned the last Parliament’s Bill C-10 would be “a full-blown assault” on freedom of expression and “the foundations of democracy.” But the minister of Canadian heritage’s mandate letter instructs the minister to “reintroduce legislation to reform the Broadcasting Act.”

“The people on the frontlines say the gun ban and buyback won’t make us safer, but Trudeau wants to continue with this ineffective and expensive policy and Canadians are worried about paying their gas bills, but Trudeau wants to continue soaking families with higher carbon taxes,” said Terrazzano. “By hiking taxes and wasting more money, these priorities completely ignore the financial stress facing Canadian families and the government’s own budget.”

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