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Globe editorial

Waiting for some imagination

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

The federal budget needs greater imagination and focus than the revelations that have preceded it ...Read the full article

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  1. JT Sekouli from Canada writes:
    Considering that this budget is not what Harper had originally wanted and that it was created to appease frustrated Canadians that were ignored in the previous economic statement that angered many; it is no coincidence that the CPC and Harper don't have the faculties to produce an engaging and inherently productive vision for Canadians.

    Harper just does not have the faculties, nor the ability to create such a plan that requires help within and beyond his vision and dogma. Moreover, the suggested consultation involving think tanks (mainly conservative at that) and presumed dialogue within the party have likely yielded an unfocused and misguided budget that likely was created to save face in front of the public eye and to grasp at what little power he has within his grasp.

    He may survive another day, but sadly, when canadians need a vision, we get a PM in Harper that only looks out for his own interest and power and listens to the confines of his skull. Luckily, soon enough, there will be a change in power and a new leader to give all Canadians the vision they deserve...
  2. Maurice Nulens from tee-pee, Canada writes: I whole heartily endorse JT Sekouli's statement!

    I am so disillusioned with Harper. What a disappointing PM he has turned out to be.
  3. Donalda Williams Clogg from Hudson, Canada writes: Mr.Harper and his government do seem to lack any real vision for the betterment of Canada What ever Mr.Harper does he always seems to be casting for votes. Hopefully he could use this economic crisis to prove his genuine concern for the country and its citizins, and not just a desire for power at any cost.
  4. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Harper is a financial dud. He broke his own fixed date election promise to romp to an election that his party did not present a platform for. An election 'about nothing.'

    Then, offered Canadians a budget update based on 'aspirational sales.'

    Prorogued Parliament. To attend the World Juniors' Hockey Tournament.

    But, now Harper is serious. "But, we didn't do it," is the Harper excuse for missing the economic crisis, denying it, and now capituating with the other world leaders.

    Still, a dud.
  5. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: "Economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics."

    -Ludwig Von Mises
  6. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: What choice did Harper have but to try to appease as many as possible in this country full of self-professed experts all carping at the same time to have their specific needs and wishes addressed? To bring down an intelligent budget that would really address the economic problems, would mean instant dissolution of the government because the opposition parties won't support it unless it also addresses their partisan desires. And in the case of the NDP it won't make any difference at all what is in the budget - even directing all the money to the NDP wishes, as Mr. Layton has already determined that he won't support it no matter what. Ignatieff will rant and rave but ultimately support this budget because he knows that Canadians absolutely do not want another election and don't want the coalition propped up by the Bloc and including the NDP.
    It's a mug's game.
  7. Mark Dip from Canada writes: With an unemployment rate four times the national average, the spouses of Canadian government employees serving overseas lose over $1 million per year from being forced to pay for EI overseas while being ineligible for benefits. The way it goes is that spouses quit their jobs to accompany their partner, but are still forced to pay EI premiums overseas because CRA defines them as Canadian “Factual Residents” due to diplomatic status, but then they later get their EI social benefits revoked afterward because HRSDC says they’re not “Residents in Canada”. This administrative Catch-22 also extends to disallowing these spouses from being able to claim education expenses on their taxes – even if they take Canadian courses from overseas. This also happens to non-government spouses whose residency is classified this way by CRA. If history is any indicator, we’ll also likely be shut out of any EI retraining funding program.
  8. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: It's a mugg's game...

    I couldn't have said that better myself !

    Slainte Mhath
  9. Jack Sprat from Calgary, Canada writes: Yes, Canada needs a prime minister with vision. We need another Trudeau who will plunge us into massive, crippling debt. We need an Obama, who would rack up government deficits of well over a hundred billion dollars on an array of pet projects, some of which hammer the auto industry on one hand while bailing it out on the other.

    Yes, lets spend billions on research! All those research scientists should generate whole pennies of economic stimulus in the short-term.

    I agree that the government needs to have vision. However, if we're forced to have a stimulus package, the government should use it for stimulus and not as an excuse to hike government spending through the roof.
  10. Stan L from Canada writes: Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: What choice did Harper have but to try to appease as many as possible in this country full of self-professed experts all carping at the same time to have their specific needs and wishes addressed? ========================================= The choice he had was to behave like the 'grown-up' he professes they have in there now in the first place. No one has told him to go out and spend like drunken sailors, buying votes with little regard to an overall vision or strategy. Harper has done this countless times and we are too witless or too bent on the quick political soundibte to notice....the man doens't have a wit of strategic intelligence. His budgets to date have been no-brainers becuase times were good and we did not pay attention....but the truth is that when you look at his past budgets, they have been a collection of patchwork feel-goods combined with ideologically bent nonsense.......the November update was a heightened and exposed version of that. It's time for some responsibilty. AND I would say that we do see creative and innovative in our government, but when it is staring us in the face, rather than a healthy debate, we are content to believe talking oil sploctches as our informational guru's...we are sometimes our own worst enemy.
  11. Brian C from Canada writes:
    "For the federal government, so-called stimulus spending is a delicate balancing act. Its investments must have a quick enough turn-around to pump money into the economy while it is still in recession – hence the increasingly clich├ęd calls for infrastructure projects to be &8220;shovel-ready.&8221; But it must avoid projects that do nothing to boost long-term productivity. The aim should be to find opportunity in the current challenges, making investments that help modernize the Canadian economy so that it is stronger coming out of the recession than it was going into it."

    Nice thoughts. But boosting long-term productivity isn't going to start tomorrow. This requires long-term planning with sustained funding, not something that will provide immediate boosts to the economy. As much as I hate to see this money going to filling potholes and fixing Universities, at least it will provide a boost to the manufacturing sector, which has many spinoffs in the community.

    Time to come out of your ivory tower Mr. editor.
  12. Haligon Nova Scotia from Canada writes: The intelligent thing for the Conservatives to have done would have been to split this attempt at a budget into two separate phases: one short-term; the other, long-term. The short-term phase could well have addressed the immediate needs of those who are most adversely affected by the economic downturn. With red tape reductions, any funds allocated for this purpose could start flowing almost immediately. The longer-term phase would have as its objectives, plans and the implementation strategy to provide for real strengthening and growth for the country's economy. This would also include a realistic plan, with target dates, for returing the country's finances to a balanced position.
  13. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    We need, "...greater imagination and focus than the revelations that have preceded it..."

    You're kidding, right?
    Six months ago nobody thought we would be bandying about such terms as economic apocalypse and market melt-down.

    Total collapse invokes an imagination and focus never dreamt of last summer.

    Geez.

    Who would have thought the end of times would demand better adjectives?
  14. William J. (Willy) Godfrey from Whitby, Canada writes: WHAT CANADA NEEDS IS A NEW GOVERNMENT!!!!

    DICTATOR HARPER HAS TO GO!!!!
  15. Cameron Jantzen from Halifax, Canada writes: They still seem to be thinking more about their power than our future. Or they don't have any ideas for our future. In which case, why do they want power? Either way, we're short on leadership.
  16. Trillian Rand from Canada writes: Even 'shovel-ready' projects have lead times. The assumption behind the phrase is that there are hundreds of projects already planned, approved and are only waiting for the money to get going.

    It takes years to design road over-passes, bridge replacements, new roads and all the other sort of projects held up as being our salvation. Add another few years for environmental impact studies, public consultation and tendering and you're looking at four or five years to get a project off the ground.

    The federal government can, at best, pump more money into projects that are already underway, either in the design or consultation phase, or where ground has already been broken and work is underway. The idea that we will see massive public projects being started before the end of this week or the end of next month is ludicrous.
  17. Richard Konopada from Canada writes: In the years that the economy was growing and the Federal government was enjoying healthy surpluses both Liberal and Conservative government thought it was more important to buy votes with massive tax cuts rather than using some of the money to reinvest in infrastructure, education, etc. A visionary government would have done what Prime Minster St. Laurent, Diefenbaker and Pearson did in their day, use tax payers money to reinvest in Canada to make the country a better place for all Canadians
  18. No Hoar Like An Old Hoar from I placed it in a safe deposit box, Canada writes: Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:
    ... Six months ago nobody thought we would be bandying about such terms as economic apocalypse and market melt-down.

    ===================

    Heck, five weeks ago Harpo and Flapper hadn't clued in.
  19. No Hoar Like An Old Hoar from I reported it to Revenue Canada when I realized they would discover it, Canada writes: Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: What choice did Harper have but to try to appease as many as possible in this country full of self-professed experts all carping at the same time to have their specific needs and wishes addressed? To bring down an intelligent budget that would really address the economic problems, would mean instant dissolution of the government because the opposition parties won't support it unless it also addresses their partisan desires.

    ========

    You're right. The last thing we can expect from Harper is to stand by any set of principles.

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