Is Mr. Trudeau striking the right note on the federal government’s savings?

In addition to reassuring us about toilet papers ?, Mr. Trudeau also told us today that our federal government “has a lot of money. Thus, we need not to worry”.

Although it is thoughtful of him to reassure afflicted or worried Canadians about finances in COVID-19 times, we all know that this is not the precise accurate reality, don’t we?

From the Lebanese financial tragedy pre-COVID-19, Bambi sadly knows too well that no country, whether tiny or large, is immune to increased debt and even bankruptcy.

Today more than ever, we realize how much it is necessary to wisely manage our budget, both personal and collective, in order to be ready for any unexpected emergency (of course whilst also living, investing, and taking calculated risks).

Without such wisdom, Bambi’s own parents (not millionaires :)) would have not been able to bring their family to safety during the last sprint of the civil war. Thank you.

Yes, in life, money does not grow on trees. Bambi recalls how, as a child, she used to ask her dad during war, time after time: “Dad, how is work? Are we OK?” Perhaps a bit like Mr. Trudeau (but surely for different reasons!), her dad used to tell her with his most reassuring voice: “Thank God, it could be worse” (I guess the worse sadly occurred in Lebanon only last October, 30 years post-war).

Of course, there was no government able to support entrepreneurs then (and now). It must have been hard to be in the business of selling electrical supplies/HiFi in times of power outages and long rounds of shelling, hiding in shelters or working behind sandbags.

Thank goodness, today, the emerging Lebanese government (that the people kept rebelling against only recently) is doing a rather excellent (if not impeccable?) job in its fight against COVID-19. So far, so good… Things still under control (at least death-wise and recoveries). Even Bambi has no critical comment, for the moment, but just: Thanks to everyone there working/serving to keep her loved ones and everyone safe.

Anyhow, to come back to Mr Trudeau, there is a Lebanese saying that goes like that: “Hide (for put aside) your white penny for your black (for dark) day”.

This piece of wisdom is meant for individuals yet it applies to governments.

Without being too sarcastic and surely while being grateful to our governments’ efforts, Bambi would like to share a text much more sarcastic than her own words. It was published in the Journal of Montreal on March 26, 2020 and signed by Mr. Joseph Facal (

When she first read it, she was not interested in sharing it. However, today, upon hearing the PM press conference (whilst working), she thinks that it may provide an interesting reading, just for fun if not for reflection:

First, here is the French original text entitled “the young man with a can of gasoline and a match [Le jeune homme avec un bidon d’essence et une allumette].

“If you don’t go out, you spend less. If we spend less, businesses die.

If businesses die, thousands of people lose their jobs. It’s an automatic gear.

It is estimated that 47% of Canadians find it difficult to pay their bills as soon as their pay is delayed by… seven days.

Imagine their anguish. Now is not the time to blame them.


Our governments are therefore announcing emergency measures.

The Trudeau government has just committed $ 82 billion: $ 27 billion in direct assistance to businesses and workers, and $ 55 billion by delaying the payment of amounts due.

It’s only a beginning.

Now, let’s go back in time.

In the first Morneau-Trudeau budget, in March, 2016, the announced deficit of nearly $30 billion was three times higher than expected.

We then asked Ottawa: isn’t it reckless? What if something unexpected strikes?

We were told: we need to stimulate the economy.

We asked: will you have a plan to return to balanced budgets? How many years will you run deficits?

We were told: don’t worry, all the signals will turn green.

The important thing, they said, is that economic growth can support increased debt.

The second federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

The third federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

The fourth federal budget? Another deficit and no plan to return to balance.

But what if something happens?

Trust Bill and Justin!

Inevitably, the federal debt increased, increased, increased, while the provinces rowed to balance their accounts.

The HEC Montréal Centre for Productivity and Prosperity, after all the accounting adjustments, estimates the deficits accumulated between 2015 and 2018 at $ 56.6 billion.

Last month, Ottawa forecasted a deficit of $ 26.6 billion for 2019-2020 and $ 28.1 billion for 2020-2021.

And it was before this atomic bomb that fell on our economy that is COVID-19.


You’ll tell me that no one predicted this virus.

First: not exactly. As early as 2018, the WHO said it was not a matter of “if”, but rather of “when”, and that we were not ready.

Second: by definition, prudence and foresight are precisely to keep in mind that the unexpected can arise at any time.

Lots of economists were already telling Trudeau that his reckless spending, which increased the debt, was an injustice to future generations who would pick up the bill.

The more the debt increases, the more the interest on it increases, forcing tax cuts or increases.

And that was before the economic paralysis and the rescue expenses demanded by COVID-19!

Justin went to the casino with our money…”

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