There appears to be no end in sight for Canada’s federal deficit.
While the Liberals announced a slew of new programs in Tuesday’s newly-unveiled federal budget, they also projected a $29.4-billion deficit in 2016-17.
That was much higher than was promised during the election campaign when they pledged a deficit of no higher than $10 billion per year.
Given the state of the Canadian economy, it was not entirely unexpected to see the federal government miss the mark but that was not the only mark they missed.
The Liberals also pledged to balance the books by 2019-20 and according to Tuesday’s budget they project a $14.3-billion shortfall for 2020-21.
After the budget was announced, Finance Minister Bill Morneau was pressed by Conservative MP Lisa Raitt over when we might expect to see a balanced budget.
“Every projection through 20-21 still says deficit,” Raitt said before asking, “Minister will you let us know … when will the government stop borrowing?”
WATCH: Raitt: When will Liberals admit to misleading Canadians on deficit spending?
Morneau avoided answering the question directly.
“We are very proud of the budget we put forward for Canadians,” Morneau began. “It’s only five months ago that Canadians elected a government and they asked us to do two things: they said ‘help me and my family’ and ‘grow the economy’.”
“That’s exactly what we are doing with this budget. We are helping the middle class.”
Morneau went on to trumpet January’s federal tax cuts and newly-announced child-care benefits but made no mention of when the federal deficit is going to disappear.