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Speech From The Throne: Our Path Forward

Speech From The Throne: Our Path Forward

October 10, 2020

 

The Speech from the Throne outlined the federal government’s plan to deal with COVID-19 and the financial support it intends to offer Canadians,  writes Peter Watson.

Last week, the Liberals gave Canadians the equivalent of a Business Plan. The Speech from the Throne provided a strategic direction for the government.

The main objective is COVID-19 and how to contain and manage the worst pandemic during our lifetime.

Daily numbers of those catching the disease is rising. The virus spreads more easily when people are indoors and now that summer is over the disease could suddenly get out of control and overwhelm our medical system.

COVID-19 has many financial implications.

The government will have to make difficult decisions and many of those have moral implications.

How long is financial support offered? If a company is likely going out of business because of how our world has changed, should any financial assistance be provided that will only delay the inevitable?

Does our federal government bail-out public companies? They are in business to make shareholders money. Investors took a risk. Should taxpayers step in and financially cover that risk?

Prime Minister Trudeau spoke after the Speech from the Throne and said that “we,” meaning the federal government, will not let Canadians down and will offer support when needed.

Yes, the government makes policy, but it is Canadian taxpayers that foot the bill. They are assuming this debt.

Good for a politician to be giving out financial support. Voters like that. But does that represent the best interest of everyone?

Each of the issues mentioned has two sides to the argument: should we or should we not provide financial assistance? Again, these are difficult decisions.

And finally, money the government spends now for our benefit will be paid off by future generations.

Those generations might observe our high standard of living and complain that the financial responsibility of COVID-19 was ours and not theirs.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through www.watsoninvestments.com