EDITORIAL – Could the government please stop sending us cheques?

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers her budget. (Image: Screen grab)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

ONE THING IS CERTAIN about federal budgets — there’s never enough money to go around.
Either too much money is being spent, or not enough.

When Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented her budget Tuesday she described it as an exercise in fiscal restraint. Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre called it “a bonanza” of new inflation.

So, it all depends on who you believe and what you believe. Are the new health care and dental care programs worth adding $30 billion to the deficit? Maybe they are.

I just wish governments would stop sending us money in the mail. Instead of laying out long-term solutions to what ails the country and the economy, and facing whatever political consequences come with that, the federal Liberals insist on pacifying the masses with cheques.

Take the new “grocery rebate.” It will be a one-time payment of about $500 for low-income senior couples, less for singles. That will be good for one or two trips to the super market at best.

In last year’s budget, $500 was offered to low-income Canadians to help with housing. Five hundred dollars gets you less than half a monthly apartment rental in Kamloops.

And a couple of years ago there was a $300 payment for those eligible for Old Age Security and $200 on the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Justin Trudeau isn’t the only one handing out cheques, of course. In B.C., we’ve had our share of rebates. One was for $110 to help with high gas prices. It was mostly laughed off by consumers, who noted it paid for one tank of gas.

And there was a $100 credit on Hydro.
All these things are welcome and important for some but they don’t solve long-term problems, and they cost many millions of dollars that we’ve already paid through taxes.

Governments would be smarter to stop sending out one-time cheques and come up with permanent — though maybe less sexy — solutions.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired newspaper editor. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Could the government please stop sending us cheques?

  1. Dennis V Isfeld // March 30, 2023 at 8:32 AM // Reply

    It seems to be the only solution by very incompetent political administrators.

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