Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has voiced her displeasure over the federal government’s latest fiscal update, lamenting the extended federal deficit and arguing that not enough new programs will help Canadians today.

The federal Liberal government’s fiscal update, released on Tuesday, included $20.8 billion in new spending on affordable housing and the clean energy transition. It also stretches out the federal deficit, with projections showing an $18.4-billion deficit by 2028-2029 and no plan for achieving a balanced budget.

Ambrose called the budget update “very concerning, because it’s costing us a lot of money to pay off this deficit.”

“Everyone was looking for a return to a balanced budget, some type of strong fiscal anchor,” she told BNN Bloomberg. “We don’t see that.”

Ambrose also warned that an election expected in the coming years could push spending higher than the federal government’s current projections.


Among the major announcements Tuesday was the formation of a Canadian mortgage charter, which sets out expectations for banks when it comes to helping Canadians have some relief when it comes to their payments.

“It goes without saying that banks are doing all of this stuff already … but I think what the government is saying is ‘Look, we’re going to hold you to it, banks,’” Ambrose said. 

“They’re setting out this expectation, which – I think – is a positive thing and probably is already happening.”


Ambrose was also hoping to see some relief for Canadians when it comes to carbon pricing, a popular sticking point among Conservatives.

“I was looking for something really bold, we haven’t seen it yet,” Ambrose said. “That comfort for regular Canadians is not in this message.”

Conservatives have been pushing for further exemptions to the carbon pricing policy after the government announced it would temporarily remove the carbon price from home heating oil.  

With files from Bloomberg News