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Ivison: My advice to Trudeau, spend on making Canadians feel safe and united

National Post: 'Accepting that it is unlikely to happen, were Justin Trudeau to call to ask for advice on a winning political strategy, I would suggest he pledge to increase defence spending to NATO’s target of two per cent of GDP within three years, promise to fix the sclerotic military procurement process and update our security apparatus to reflect the dangerous new world in which we find ourselves....

'...Trudeau’s biggest problem might prove to be how such an increase in spending could be funded (although, in truth, this is not something that has previously kept him up at night).

'Even with a windfall in tax receipts from roaring growth last year, the Liberal fiscal anchor of a declining debt-to-GDP ratio is in jeopardy. A new report from the Parliamentary Budget Office on Thursday pointed out that elderly benefits are up 11 per cent, to $68.3 billion this year, while the Canada Health Transfer has grown 4.8 per cent, to $45.2 billion. The PBO sees existing federal costs for an aging population increasing by nearly $30 billion in the next four years.

'The Liberals have also committed themselves to $78 billion in new spending in the election last fall, the bulk of which remains unfunded. That includes promises to fix long-term care homes, surgery backlogs, mental health funding and a family doctor shortage....'

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