Trudeau’s bold budget strategy: A game-changer for Canadians?

By making these types of pre-budget announcements, the government can take control of the news cycle and keep their issues in the spotlight. Photo Credit: Justin Trudeau/X. 

With the federal budget set for next Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government have been busy traveling across Canada to preview what citizens can expect. This marks a significant shift from the Liberals’ previous eight budgets, during which they remained tight-lipped until Budget Day about the contents.

In the past week alone, the government has announced that Canadians can expect an increase in access to affordable childcare, initiatives to help build more rental housing, and plans to launch a national school meal program. These big-ticket items are aimed at helping Canadians cope with the growing cost of living, making it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing while keeping fridges full and families fed.

While this shift of making pre-budget announcements may be new for the Trudeau Liberals, it’s a tactic Canadians have seen many times under previous governments. In particular, the Harper government tended to have loose lips leading into the budget. In hindsight, it was a strategy that worked well for them and one that the Liberals are looking to incorporate into their playbook.

Budget Day is bustling for several reasons; not only does it provide an update on the government’s books, but it also offers an opportunity for the government to outline its plans for the fiscal year. The document highlights how the government will be spending taxpayers’ dollars, introducing new priorities, refunding previous programs, and announcing major projects. Essentially, it’s like Christmas in the spring.

Often, news coverage on Budget Day focuses on the top-line programs and the government’s deficit or surplus going into a new year. With it being such a busy day, some programs or new ideas can get lost in the commotion. It is challenging for a government to convince Canadians that they’re working hard for them when Canadians aren’t aware of the new programs the government has created.

Ask any Liberal around Ottawa, and they’ll admit, even begrudgingly, that their party has struggled to connect and communicate with Canadians lately. The opposition, mainly the Conservatives, have been forcing the government to be reactive and play defense not only in the House of Commons but also in the media. Engaging with Canadians becomes difficult when you’re forced to defend an unpopular policy or are caught in a scandal.

At the summer cabinet retreat in Charlottetown, Trudeau and his cabinet committed to being better communicators and finding ways to better relate to Canadians. It is a return to the “sunny ways” that Trudeau spoke of early in his mandate, when he and his government were seen as a breath of fresh air in the stale and tired Ottawa that had become under the previous government.

To achieve this, the Prime Minister’s Office has hired several new faces in senior roles to handle communications with the media and Canadians. The shift in making pre-budget announcements is part of this broader strategy. By making these types of pre-budget announcements, the government can take control of the news cycle and keep their issues in the spotlight.

Looking at the past week, this strategy seems to be working for them. Instead of the media solely focusing on the Foreign Interference Commission hearings, coverage has largely captured the government’s intended announcements. Trudeau has successfully rolled out these announcements to capture the attention of the media and Canadians.

How will this new strategy work? Will the government be able to stay true to their promise of being better communicators? Ultimately, it will be up to Canadians to decide when they head to the polls next, whenever that might be.

Your donations help us continue to deliver the news and commentary you want to read. Please consider donating today.

Donate Today


  • Politics

  • Sports

  • Business