The federal government recently launched a National Consultation on Budget Actions to Protect Canada’s Economy. In the coming weeks, Canadians are invited to share their views and priorities on an economic stimulus plan for the 2009 Federal Budget through a short online consultation form. We encourage you to contribute, being mindful of the kinds of investments that are needed to promote the common good during the difficult economic times ahead.
The priority for Budget 2009 should be a federal poverty reduction strategy. Reducing poverty saves social, health and legal costs to society, enables people to participate in the economy to a greater extent, and would reduce the growing economic hardship that many Canadians face.
The federal government’s proposal to invest in housing should include investing in affordable housing to ensure that the 4.1 million Canadians currently living in substandard or unaffordable houses have a home in which to live with dignity. The prioritization of infrastructure spending should include creating a national childcare program. This would increase many people’s ability to participate in the labour market, boost employment and provide assistance for low-income families. The building of a strong and sustainable labour market should include a fair taxation system in which tax cuts are not made at the expense of programs and services that benefit the common good. Employment Insurance should be reformed and expanded so that more people can benefit. As well, support for traditional and emerging industrial sectors should include investing in environmentally-friendly energy sources and technology to ensure that our economy is sustainable over the long term.