BAILOUT OR BUYOUT? YOU DECIDE!

Hon. Kevin Sorenson, M.P., (Battle River-Crowfoot)
Parliamentary Report

On November 21st, the Liberal government introduced their Fall Economic Update. The Update revealed, once again, they are breaking yet another election promise. They also exposed an alarming bias in their blatant ignoring of the plight of Alberta oil workers and their families while providing assistance elsewhere.

During the 2015 Federal Election, Justin Trudeau claimed that if elected, his government would run modest deficits of $10 billion. However, each year since forming government, the Liberals have brought in successive budgets projecting deficits that far exceed that “modest” amount. In his Update, Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, confirmed the deficit this year will be $18 billion, and almost $20 billion next year. Morneau also unabashedly admitted that the Liberals have absolutely no plan to balance the budget despite the promise to do so by 2019. Because of this fiscal mismanagement, last year the Liberals had to spend $23 billion servicing the national debt. By 2023, that amount is projected to increase by 60 percent to $37 billion.

The Liberals inherited good economic fortune from our Conservative government and they have spent every surplus nickel we left and then some, all while raising taxes. The average middle-class Canadian family is paying $800 more income tax today than when Justin Trudeau took office in 2015. And, it is only going to get worse, as more debt ultimately means higher taxes. What a terrible legacy to leave our children and grandchildren.

The Liberal government needs to explain to struggling Canadians the fairness in saddling them with higher taxes and debt, while they are providing handouts to large corporations and throwing a life line to cash-strapped media and news organizations. They also need to explain to the 100,000 laid-off Alberta oil workers the bias; why does one industry get assistance while another they are left to their own devices?

After years of lobbying, the Canadian press finally persuaded the Trudeau government to give them a bailout of $600 million over the next five years so they can digitize the news. This is in addition to the $1.5 billion that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) already receives. The Liberals propose to allow media outlets to register as charities, take donations, give receipts and represent their donors’ interests. And, the plan also includes special tax credits for “acceptable” media outlets. The “acceptable” outlets will be determined by an “independent panel” that columnist Andrew Coyne compares to the so-called Liberal-appointed “independent” senators.

Coyne, along with other well-known columnists including the National Post’s Chris Selley and Maclean’s Paul Wells have stated their opposition and questioned why the Liberals are funding an entire failing media industry. In a recent article, Coyne wrote “In an election year, after months of angry demands, petulant coverage and promises of good behaviour, the Liberal government has agreed to supply the nation’s news media with pots of cash. This, at a time of maximum suspicion among much of the public about our credibility, or our good faith. You wonder what went on in all those closed-door meetings? What undertakings were given? What threats were made? Relax. It’s probably nothing. No, really. You can take our word for it.”

As Coyne points out, Canadians are increasingly critical and suspicious of our national media because of perceived political activism and bias. That was even before Canada’s largest media union made it obvious that, in 2019, they would be supporting the federal Liberals in the election. The recent moves by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal will only intensify that anxiety as it reeks of political interference and payback and therefore, begs the question: is this a bailout or buyout?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin.Sorenson.c1@parl.gc.ca.