Our View: No surprises in budget or throne

The most obvious revelation to be had from both the federal budget and the provincial throne speech this week was that there is no federal or provincial election in the offing.

Both presentations were about as exciting  and unexpected as a municipal council committee meeting.

The provincial government’s decision to utter its throne speech at the same time as the release of the federal budget raised some feeling of anticipation that B.C.’s premier was hoping that something controversial might be overshadowed by interest in the senior government’s moment in the spotlight… but more likely, no one in either camp was concerned that anything of interest was being revealed that might have serious political consequences, positive or negative.

That’s not to say that everyone will be happy – or even moderately relieved – about the contents of either document. Certainly, there is the expected dutiful opposition and supportive back-patting from those who feel they are direct stakeholders with special interest in various components of both documents.

Environmentalists, for instance, will find much to upset them in the federal budget. And past experience with the “Harper Government” suggests that we can expect more budget-related legislation later this year that has absolutely no forewarning in this budget.

And teachers won’t be happy with a hint in the B.C. throne speech that they will be expected to sign a 10-year contract. Right. And who is fooling whom?

But both documents were mostly “business as usual” pronouncements.

And frankly, that’s not a bad thing. We don’t even like the disingenuous budgets and throne speeches that transparently step outside of reality when they are used to kick off election campaigns.

This down-to-earth stuff is much easier to swallow.

– B.G.

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