Friday, December 12, 2008

Government Launches National Consultation on Budget Actions to Protect Canada’s Economy


The following is excerpted from the 11 December 2008 press release by Finance Canada.

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today launched the Government’s national consultation leading into its fourth budget, to be tabled on January 27, 2009. The national consultation will give all Canadians a voice in how to protect Canada’s economy. As in previous years, the Government will conduct online consultations, which begin today.

“It’s quite clear that Canada will continue to feel the effects of the global economic downturn,” said Minister Flaherty. “Our Government is developing our next budget to respond to this downturn. It will build on the progress we’ve made to keep our economy among the strongest in the industrialized world, and bring forward the measures we need to stimulate economic activity here in Canada, while avoiding a return to long-term structural deficits.”

“The Government is open to innovative new ideas that would help shape the plan for economic recovery in the 2009 budget,” continued Minister Flaherty.

The following ideas have been proposed as ways of providing stimulus in Budget 2009: Investing in housing; Expediting infrastructure spending; Building strong and sustainable labour markets and training incentives; Supporting traditional and emerging industrial sectors; and Improving access to credit.

The Government is asking Canadians for their views on these priorities as well as any other ideas they care to submit here. The Web page also features links to a presentation called Fiscal Stimulus. The online consultations will end at midnight, January 9, 2009.

As well as online consultations, the Minister will meet with individuals and groups. He will host roundtable discussions with invited stakeholders in five cities across Canada in the coming weeks: Saint John, New Brunswick; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Montréal, Quebec; Thornhill, Ontario; and Victoria, British Columbia.

In addition, Minister Flaherty will meet with provincial and territorial finance ministers on December 17, 2008, in Saskatoon to discuss the upcoming budget… At the recent World Leaders meeting in Washington, D.C., Canada and its partners agreed on the need to use fiscal measures to stimulate their economies as soon as possible, while ensuring such measures are fiscally sustainable…