Freeland hikes debt ceiling again, pledges not to write ‘blank cheques’

'Here we care for one another,’ said Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. ‘We are turning to our younger generation and those who care about them to say, ‘Our government is at your service.''

Freeland hikes debt ceiling again, pledges not to write ‘blank cheques’
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has abandoned her promise to reign in spending after raising the national debt ceiling for the second time in three years.

“Let’s be honest on what austerity and a shrunken federal government would mean for Canadians,” Freeland told reporters Tuesday. 

In a Notice Of Ways And Means Motion, she proposed to increase the debt ceiling from $1.83 trillion to $2.13 trillion, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. The ceiling was as low as $1.17 trillion in 2021. 

“It would mean you would have to fend for yourselves. That is not how we do things here in Canada,” said Minister Freeland. “I call upon my parliamentary colleagues to pass this as soon as possible.”

“Here we care for one another. We are turning to our younger generation and those who care about them to say, ‘Our government is at your service.’”

According to Five-Year Trends for Canada, many Canadians under 35 are unlikely to ever be able to own a home, noting that conditions “will probably deteriorate further in the next five years.”

Opposition MPs have since described federal finances as frightening. “Canadians are terrified,” Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan told the Commons finance committee. 

In-house Privy Council research details that more than a third (36%) of Canadians worry they will never enjoy the standard of living their parents did.

“There is no hope at the end of this tunnel right now,” added Hallan.

A Conservative spokesperson told Rebel News that nine years of inflationary budgets and higher taxes on Canadian families, has doubled rents and mortgage payments, while forcing millions of Canadians to access food banks.

“They can’t afford to heat, eat, and house themselves,” reads an emailed statement.

The budget document Fairness For Every Generation forecast that Parliament’s bonded debt will eclipse a record $1.3 trillion in 2026. Debt interest charges, now the fastest growing line item in the federal budget, will reach $65 billion annually by decade’s end.

“Trudeau’s latest budget has added over $61 billion in new inflationary spending, and for the first time in a generation Canada is spending more than the federal health transfer on debt interest,” affirmed the Conservative Spokesperson.

Senator Elizabeth Marshall told the Senate national finance committee that in spite of rising federal debt, Ottawa has yet to perform evaluation reports on Canada’s financial performance.

To date, Minister Freeland has yet to give a reason for increasing the debt ceiling under the Borrowing Authority Act, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” the minister told the Commons finance committee three years ago when she last raised the debt ceiling.

“We are saying this is the upper limit to which the government may borrow,” clarified Freeland. “The increase in the borrowing authority is in no way a blank cheque.”

Freeland in her April 16 budget said it “would be irresponsible and unfair to pass more debt to the next generation” but proposed no deadline to eliminate deficit spending. 

“Every single expenditure by the government needs to be authorized by Parliament,” she said Tuesday

Parliament has not balanced a budget since 2007. 

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