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The Tax and Spend newsletter will return from its holiday hiatus on Jan. 10.

‘Twas the week before year-end, when all through the land

No audits were stirring, not even by hand

Tax-haven returns were filed with care

In hopes the CRA would never look there


The Liberals were nestled all snug in their seats,

With visions of sugar plums they held out as treats;

O’Toole with his backbench, Singh with his caucus,

Had yet to recover from campaigning too raucous


When out in the stores, there arose consternation,

Poilievre jumped up to joust on inflation

The cost of living flew up in a flash

Too few goods to buy, or just too much cash?


The growth in the size of national GDP

Gave a lustre of billions to the treasury

Still, what to my wondering eyes should befall,

A fiscal update, with a giant shortfall


With a Finance Minister, so much cash in hand,

I knew in a moment it must be Freeland

More rapid than eagles, spending programs they came,

And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name


“Now, CERS! Now, CEWS! Now hiring subsidy!

No, CERB! But stimulus! And net-zero by ‘50!

There is no debt ceiling! There is no debt wall!

Slash away? Slash away? Never at all!”


As oil prices that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with a shortage, mount to the sky

So up did Alberta’s revenue numbers go

Pipelines full of crude, and a royalty flow


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the Street

The frantic tweaking of many a spreadsheet

As inflation expectations were turned upside-down,

To the rescue Tiff Macklem came with a bound


He addressed all those fears, from his head if not heart

And said that his bank was doing its part

Supply chains are backed up, the governor thought

“Inflation’s transitory, but short-lived it’s not.”


Trudeau’s eyes – how they twinkled; his dimples – how merry!

But his take on inflation was somewhat scary

“Monetary policy, I don’t think of that much

And now the Tories say I have no common touch.”


On the stump, the PM had vowed spending galore

On child care and housing, he’d splash billions more

Not just to help new parents to earn

But also to ease cost-of-living concerns


Legault was forward-looking, quite sure of himself,

When he spoke of Quebec’s future as top-shelf

A province with no need for equalization

The goal for his semi-autonomous nation


Taxpayers spoke not a word, just went to work

And cashed their paycheques, but then found with a jerk

Savings were shrinking because of inflation

And with pay raises scarce, there was no salvation


Ottawa and the premiers needed the cash

Hopes of a tax cut they did so sadly dash

I heard them exclaim, and they seemed to be smiling:

“Happy Tax Day to all, and to all a good filing!”

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickBrethour or ask your Taxing Question here.

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