Cross Country Checkup

Are you optimistic or fearful about Canada and the world?

This week the new Liberal government delivered a budget of hope, against a backdrop of blood and terror in Europe. What are your thoughts? Are you optimistic or fearful about Canada and the world? With guest host Susan McReynolds.
A photo collage of the top stories for the week up to March 27: Bill Morneau tabled a 'transformational' federal budget; terror attacks in Brussels; former Toronto mayor Rob Ford died; President Obama made an historic visit to Cuba; and the ruling in the trial of Jian Ghomeshi. (Photos: CP Images / Collage: CBC)

 It was a week like no other in news: one major story after another. The unveiling of a 'transformational' federal budget by the new Liberal government, against a backdrop of bloody terror attacks in Brusselsthe death of former Toronto mayor Rob Fordan historic visit to Cuba by President Obama; and a not guilty ruling in the trial of Jian Ghomeshi. We want to know where this week has left you. Are you feeling optimistic about the state of Canada and the world?

These events—some imbued with hope, others not so—were a lot to digest in a single week. And on a day when many Canadians are celebrating Easter Sunday—a time of hope and renewal—it seems fitting to take stock and find out how you are feeling about Canada and the world.

The Liberal government's budget was certainly a strong statement of hope in that it promises spending and progress on many of the issues that voters believe have been ignored. More money for infrastructure, and indigenous peoples, more money for the unemployed and the arts, more money for families, students, seniors, and veterans, and real action on climate change.

Transformational? Possibly. Expensive? Yes. The Liberals increased, by three times, their election promise of a $10-billion dollar cap on the deficit. The government is confident that the economy will grow and the debt will shrink in comparison. Are you optimistic that spending now, will reap greater rewards down the road?

The budget was delivered while sirens were still screaming in Brussels after exploding bombs in the airport and the subway killed 31 people and injured hundreds more. It was a painful reminder that not everyone hopes for peace and prosperity in the West, and a cautionary note that Canada must remain vigilant to similar such attacks. 

At the same time U.S. President Obama was in Cuba delivering a message of hope to Americans and Cubans of rekindling their once close relationship, 54 years after President Kennedy declared an embargo.

Our question: "Are you optimistic about the future of Canada and the world?"


John Ivison 
Political columnist with the National Post
Twitter: @IvisonJ

Wesley Wark 
Visiting professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Janice MacKinnon 
Professor of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan and former finance minister of Saskatchewan


The Budget 2016

Globe and Mail

National Post


Brussels Attack

Globe and Mail

The National Post

Rob Ford Obit

National Post


Obama visits Cuba

The New York Times

National Post

The Guardian

Ghomeshi acquitted

Globe and Mail

National Post

Toronto Star