Federal budget positive for energy sector but Ottawa can’t tax their way to prosperity: Rona Ambrose
Former Conservative interim opposition leader Rona Ambrose said the Trudeau government’s years of spending have put Canada in a tough fiscal spot as the country now finds itself forced to respond to new global economic pressures.
“The negative piece of the budget is just the large deficit that's forecast over the entire horizon,” Ambrose, who is now deputy chair at TD Securities, said in a television interview with BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday.
She made the comments after the federal Liberals unveiled their budget for 2023, which included a delayed path to balanced books, now predicted later than the 2027-28 goal previously forecast, and a deficit hitting $43 billion this year.
Ambrose said some spending was necessary to remain competitive with the United States’ aggressive green economy-related subsidies in its Inflation Reduction Act from 2022. She said the 2023 budget brings much-needed clarity to energy sector players in Canada, particularly around carbon capture and storage and clean hydrogen.
But she was critical of government spending in years past, which she argued has resulted in a heftier debt burden that will now be tougher to manage, may eventually trickle down to affect everyday Canadians.
“Even when times were good this is a big-spending government. They’ve spent too much for too long,” Ambrose said in a television interview on Tuesday.
“Now we’re in a situation where we had to respond to a certain extent to what was happening in the United States, the geopolitical environment, the Inflation Reduction Act, realignment of what’s happening in China, Ukraine. All of this has now become urgent for the government to respond to, but we’re now in a weaker economic position.”
She predicted that the higher debt burden will ultimately lead to higher taxes for Canadians.