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Tax relief and major spending projects

Globe and Mail Update

From tax breaks for lower income earners to infrastructure projects from coast to coast ...Read the full article

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  1. sudhir jain from Canada writes: Spending like a drunken sailer. We will be soory before long. Wonder what hyper Harper would have said if Liberals presented this budget.
  2. andrew lawton from vancouver, Canada writes: can't think of any time that such Keynsian largess has not resulted in spiralling debt and inflation down the road.
  3. Al Bore from Canada writes:

    We're in the red. (Liberal Red)
  4. C D from BC, Canada writes: WOW.. What a waste of Money.
  5. sveneggs blogspot from nanaimo, Canada writes: Pull the plug. They lied and lied and lied. Why not just do the right thing and give Canadians real money right now and watch the economy grow?
    This Harper Government said no deficit in October, so they lied or the do not know how to forecast, ether way they must be replaced.
  6. J Mac10 from Canada writes: Where's the income splitting for me and my wife who wants to say at home and "work" rasing our children? That would free up child care spots and allow us to actually be able to "live" on one income and have the parents actually raise their children!
  7. Yakatarina Verbosovich from asmalldyingProvincialtowninSWOnt, Canada writes: Let's all play along like nice Canadian girls and boys now. We will be paying this back even when we are all just so much dust.
  8. Jason Kinney from Canada writes: I like the CONS better when they were lying and incompetant, whatever happened to five balance budgets in the next five years.
  9. Night Watchman from North Surrey, Canada writes: This helps everyone in the best way possible,good on the Conservatives to try and help a broad range of people and industry and it's now time for you whinning red Liberals to stop dragging the rest of the country down with your negativity and get on board to help bring this country out of a GLOBAL financial recession.
  10. Bill Wall from BC, Canada writes: Unfortunately, what we have here is a Liberal/NDP/Bloc budget which will spend us silly. Iggy says Harper will have to wear it, and he probably hopes it sticks to Harper. They weren't going this far until the Coalition nonsense got going so it's a Coalition budget.

    My kids will have to pay for this Keynsian monstrosity and that's a shame.
  11. Darcy O'Neil from London, Canada writes: When a government spends this much money, I would hope for them to at least have a "vision" like highspeed rail lines (Toronto to Montreal and Edmonton to Calgary) as an example. But this looks more like a shotgun approach to keeping the government in power, a little for everyone, but 10 years from now we'll just have a big bill to pay with no real benefit to the people of Canada. Boooo Harper
  12. AJ Quinn from Canada writes: 1.5 Billion new spending on Aboriginal Programs? This is where we should be tightening up the budget, cleaning house and seeing that the current billions being spent annually don't support the status quo. Good money after bad, I say.
  13. Mad Canuck from Calgary, Canada writes: Re sudhir jain--Why do you think that the Liberals didn't present this budget!!!!
  14. Murray Richardson from Canada writes: There is no big vision at work in this budget. There is no overall plan with long-term objectives in these proposals. A lot of cash is being spread around to a lot of small, unconnected "pet projects", but there is little evidence of a plan to build for the future in a systematic manner. This budget has one objective, and one objective only in view: buy votes. It's an insult and a mammoth waste.
  15. Andrew Chong from Toronto, Canada writes: This is not a stimulus budget. It is a populist budget that wastes money. $20 billion - over 1/2 the deficit - goes to personal income tax cuts, parts of which will "leak" to savings, debt repayments, and purchases abroad. At least they could have made further cuts to the GST, or targeted cuts or elimination of the GST for services, which HAVE to be performed in Canada for the tax cut to be used.
  16. Bobby Dy from Canada writes: So far, not very impressive for all of this spending. Someone needs to come up with a better plan than this be it through amendments to the budget or voting down the government.
  17. Loki Wils likes the new idiots on G from Canada writes: Duceppe and May were first on board to condemn this budget. Bet Layton was mad about that.

    More aboriginal funding......great.......
  18. John Hinkley from Canada writes: Lots of spending.

    But - nothing for seniors living of off investments as yet.

    Seniors without company pension plays are getting hit particularly hard because they are drawing income from reduced investments.

    When you have to sell more stocks, GICs or whatever to get the same monthly income, this reduces your capacity for recovery.

    Has any body seen anything in this budget to help seniors?
  19. The Real PS from Canada writes: Murray Richardson from Canada writes: There is no big vision at work in this budget. There is no overall plan with long-term objectives in these proposals. A lot of cash is being spread around to a lot of small, unconnected "pet projects", but there is little evidence of a plan to build for the future in a systematic manner. This budget has one objective, and one objective only in view: buy votes. It's an insult and a mammoth waste..
    .
    So Murray, what would you have done?
  20. Reg Volk from Canada writes: I do not see much here for the new homeowner with a big mortgage and lost jobs. If they are paying $1500 for their mortgage, whee will the money come from. EI?-not likely. There will need to be more direct intervention in the banking sector so people do not lose their homes. This is reality as U.S. problems are catching up to us now.

    The U.S. is putting $1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) immediately into their economy. By comparison, Canada with one tenth of the U.S. population should be putting something close to 100, 000, 000, 000 (one hundred billion).

    Instead,we are starting with 34 billion sometime? this year and up to 85 billion in total in the next FIVE years.

    And much of it having to be matched by provinces and municipalities who will only have to raise taxes. This will simply counter any federal tax cuts.

    Seems startling doesn't it? But in many ways too little and too late.

    And it seems if governments had played their real role in years past and invested when they should have, we would not be in this mess
  21. Paul V from Toronto, Canada writes: This reminds me of when Bob Rae's NDP were in power and how they nearly killed the province.
  22. Snorgy Smith from Calgary, Canada writes: Quit electing minority governments that have to appease every party, and we wouldn't have to do this! Whatever party leads a minority government has to become the opposite to stay in power. Liberals would have to do the same thing. Personally our system of government sucks. We should copy the American system, but that means opening up the constitution and taking away Quebecs guaranteed minimum 75 seats and we all know where that will lead. So enjoy the Liberal budget. They are really the ones in power at this point ....
  23. Concerned Canadian from Nova Scotia, Canada writes: Well, guess I get to finance my home reno from the wallets of non-home owning taxpayers.

    Doesn't really seem fair to me
  24. Snorgy Smith from Calgary, Canada writes: Hey Reg Volk, that's $3,125.00 worth of debt for every man woman and child in our country!!!! Give your head a shake. Now minus all the people on pogi, retired, under age, disabled, stay at home mom's and dad's and you can probably double that amount to be owed by every working stiff in our country. Some day the Piper will come to collect.
  25. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: I don't understand how people can slag the government for refusing to spend, encourage the opposition parties to bring down the government on that basis, and then slag the government for giving in to their wishes and spending.

    Honestly, someone explain to me how that works.

    I just hope that the "$100-million over two years for 'marquee festivals'" doesn't all go to Montreal.
  26. Grant Bowen from BC, Canada writes: Snorgy Smith from Calgary, Canada writes: Quit electing minority governments that have to appease every party, and we wouldn't have to do this!
    ===============
    We should go back to electing majorities that do whatever they please? You sound like someone who wasn't happy with the policies of Chretien, created under one of those majorities you crave,

    Minorities work when their leaders don't act like dictators
  27. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    OOPS!!!

    There goes the last shreds of the whole "conservatives are fiscal geniuses" urban legend.
  28. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    Great!

    My familly will get back a couple hundreds of dollars in income taxes, but our share of the national debt increases by 4,000$ - and this does not include the interest this will acrue over the next 40 years until my grandchildren pay it off.

    Thanks Harper!
  29. Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: A budget designed to keep Mr Harper in office, not a budget designed to actually help the Country. infrastructure spending providing municipal and Provincial governments match the amount (can you say property tax increase?), ... a minister of Finance to only a few short weeks ago predicting Canada would have budget surpluses, now predicting the deficits will only last 5 years? I predict the budget (sadly) will pass, and long after these so called 'fiscally prudent conservatives' have left office, we Canadians will be paying and supporting the red ink for decades to come. Stand up for Canada, you say? Pshaw!
  30. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: J Mac10 from Canada writes: Where's the income splitting for me and my wife who wants to say at home and "work" rasing our children?

    -----------------------

    Ummm.... if your wife wants to stay at home she won't be earning an income. So why are you worried about income splitting?
  31. Ceesco Pike from K-town, Canada writes: It'll be the biggest boondoggle ever conceived and you will be paying for it way after 2011. The only boondoggles that will exceed ours are the US's and Great Britain's. But man was it politically appeasing to all in politics (NDP will never be happy so they are excluded). Not necessarily the best for you however, just the best politically.

    Less government dear readers, less government.
  32. baldev sood from toronto, Canada writes: this budget is the best if not the best under the circumstances.
  33. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Mad Canuck from Calgary, Canada writes: Re sudhir jain--Why do you think that the Liberals didn't present this budget!!!!
    -----------
    Flaherty presented it!!....... now be honest.... should this budget be defeated or allowed to pass??

    Now... let's pretend it passes and the government is defeated on some other stupidity in a few months and we end up with a minority Lib government which comes back with the exact budged that just got passed..... will the Cons supporters ask their party to pass it at that time or prove themselves to be hypocrites??

    What an interesting web we weave.
  34. Paul F. from ON, Canada writes: Kicking the (debt) can 20 years down the road. The legacy for future generations continues to compound at prime-plus.

    Too bad the general public is financially stupid and can't live within its means thereby running up real estate values and draining home equity LOC's.

    The government is just the enabler of this stupidity to continue. Wish the NDP would just come out and say "consumers (in the US and Canada, etc.) caused this mess. Stop being so stupid!".
  35. Murray Richardson from Canada writes: To the Real PS: Instead of twinning the Trans Canada through the Banff National Park, which offers virtually no long-term economic benefits, why not twin the bridges at Fort Erie, Windsor, and Sarnia? Improving these links offers both short-term economic stimulus and long-term improvements in trade. Instead of squandering money on local repair jobs like the Champlain bridge, why not embark on an ambitious ship-building program and produce a fleet of swift military craft to patrol our coastal waters to protect fisheries and sovereignty, and to offer improved sea-rescue options. Such a plan would provide much-needed economic stimulus to depressed regions and would improve Canadian security. And what is the obsession with the Windsor to Quebec rail corridor? By focusing substantial sums on developing extensive light rapid transit systems in most of Canada's urban centres, a short-term boost could be given to local construction industries, as well as to manufacturers of rails and rolling stock, and would provide long-term benefits by relieving urban gridlock which is just beginning to have a profoundly negative impact on business enterprises. There are three "big vision" suggestions which would provide both short- and long-term "bang for the buck". But these jokers don't think big; they only think about how to finesse a few additional votes come election time. And we pay for their lack of vision.
  36. Poppy Pig from Kelowna, BC, Canada writes: Jack and Gilles have rejected the Budget without even seeing it. No surprise; neither of those boneheads can read! Jack and Gilles are in a dogfight to see who can be the biggest loser.
    Great budget! Keep up the good work, Stephen and Jim. Iggy will support the Budget since the Liberals are broke and cannot afford to go to the polls. Iggy will join Jack and Gilles in order to make it a 3-way dogfight for Loser of the Decade Award. The outcome will be a tie; this will be the only battle that the Three Stooges will win.
  37. J Kay from Canada writes: I'm so sick of the disingenuous crap. This is a CONSERVATIVE budget. It is Flaherty's name signed on the document and it is Harper's government that is presenting the government.

    This isn't a Liberal budget, and NDP budget or anything else. It's simply a populist budget designed to appeal to the based aspects of Canadian society in hopes of covering up looming budget deficits that would have occurred regardless and to seemingly appease the opposition.

    The income tax cuts are insane. $20 billion represents roughly 1/6th of the federal government revenues from income taxes, during a time of near record employment levels. As unemployment increases there naturally would have been downward pressure on personal income taxes anyway, so to cut 1/6th of full employment level tax revenues is completely imprudent.

    This is a budget the Conservatives fully deserve to wear and it is theirs and theirs alone.
  38. R OBryan from Canada writes: This is ridiculous! This budget is so reflective of this government. They is no focus and there is no vision. Let's spread money everywhere and everyone will be happy with their two cents.

    There is no strategic focus. It is all politics. Flaherty ruined Ontario... and he is out to show his incompetence again. Flaherty did not cause this recession but with this budget, he is not getting us out of one.

    This budget is full of crap!
  39. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: Murry Richardson - I second your proposal . You propose some things that Canada actually need . I see the Harperites are trying to help the Chinese as well by allowing a 100% CCA in one year for new computers . Over 300 mil for the arts , but only 150 mil for the Forestry sector - how can one square that ?

    My children and yours will be paying for this political budget designed to either keep Harper as a minority PM , or give him something to dam eveybody else during an election campaign . There isn't much vision in this budget beyond that .
  40. David DeClerq from Ottawa, Canada writes: Most commentors see the budget for what it is. Something for just about everyone. Not much that will change anything. Government debt for a long time to come - lets hope we don't have inflation. This could have been a Trudeau budget. The Liberals will have to suck it up and Harper has at least another six months.
  41. Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: OBryan from Canada writes: This is ridiculous! This budget is so reflective of this government. They is no focus and there is no vision. Let's spread money everywhere and everyone will be happy with their two cents.

    Agreed! Though from the postings here, I don't see many who do support and are happy with the budget. At least you have to 'love' the infrastructure spending bribe - money available only IF Provincial and municipal governments act quickly to match the federal money. Can you say "Quick! Panic Spending! Property tax and Provincial income tax increases NOW!"?
  42. J Yao from Vancouver, Canada writes: Any tax cuts is preferred. I really do not understand why people think deficit is bad, if you can out with something better, tell us and the reason why.
    I believe this budget plan has been studied and discussed hundreds of times by LOTS of people, who are not less smart than you and I. I got my MBA in University of Ottawa 5 years ago and I knew quite a few of my classmates are from Ministry of Finance, they are all very smart and innovative persons, I totally trust their efforts and visions.
  43. Read Acted from Canada writes: J Kay said"As unemployment increases there naturally would have been downward pressure on personal income taxes anyway, so to cut 1/6th of full employment level tax revenues is completely imprudent."

    Why would my personal income taxes "naturally" fall because you and everyone else here were unemployed? How would that provide stimulus even if it did occur ? I don't follow.
  44. kotter 49 from Canada writes: Curious to see if the money for aboriginals will work its way down to where it's needed or end up in the bank accounts of corrupt band executives. Sadly I know which way I'm betting. There will be no accountability here at all.
  45. Read Acted from Canada writes: The improvements in the rail corridor I like.

    This will hopefully reduce carbon emissions from auto and truck traffic and relieve traffic problems in major city commuting. High speed electric trains would be nice.
  46. J Kay from Canada writes: Read Acted: You misread what I said. By personal income taxes, I'm referring to the line item on the budget revenues, that is personal income taxes. That is the revenues are from personal income taxes as opposed to corporate, sales or excise.

    Thus when unemployment numbers increase, fewer people will be paying taxes, which will put natural downward pressure on the personal income taxes portion of the government revenues, not your personally.

    Hope that clarifies.
  47. siren call from Canada writes: Under Investing:
    Develop a national strategy on financial literacy.

    What the heLL is that?

    And is it for ordinary citizens or a course for politicians?
  48. John Parisien from regina, Canada writes: Kotter 49, I'm afraid you don't know sh*t from shoe-polish when it comes to Federal programming that is targetted at Aboriginals. My best guess is that you have never been to a reserve, nor would you have any idea as to the extreme discrepancy between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal quality of life. For the fastest growing segment of the population, I would like to see more resources and focus directed towards alleviating the social and economic problems that plague Aboriginal people. Common sense should tell you that if one struggles, we all struggle, and conversely, if one triumphs we all triumph.

    As a program manager for Aboriginal programming I can assure you that there are EXTREME measures in place for financial accountability - so much in fact that it is nearly crippling the programs that are intended to help people, but rather have implemented cumbersome measures to account for every nickel.
  49. Le Malbadon from Canada writes: *An additional $50-billion to the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program.*

    There you are folks, there's you're bank bailout. But lets not talk about it, lets not point out that's its on top of the previous 25 billion from Oct, meaning the CMHC via Fed Gov money(ie. our money) is now backstopping 75b of the banks bad mortgages.
    Oh but its completely different than in the US. Right? We have the best banks in the world, right? 750b for a 300m country, 75b for a 30m country. Strange how that worked out.
  50. R OBryan from Canada writes: "The basic personal amount was set to go up to $10,100 in 2009, even before the budget boost. This means a 2.2 per cent increase – not 7.5 per cent from the 2008 level, as the government says.

    It’s the same story with changes to personal income tax brackets. They’re not as good as they appear.You can earn up to $40,726 in 2009, allowing more income to be taxed at the 15 per cent rate (rather than the 22 per cent rate). But with inflation indexing, the upper limit would have gone up to $38,832 in 2009 anyway. The second personal income tax bracket will top out at $81,452 in 2009, allowing more income to be taxed at the 22 per cent rate (rather than the 26 per cent rate)." From the Toronto Star
    ***************************************************

    So what Harper and Flaherty are doing is playing with numbers and instead of being concerned with the average individual.... they are turning this into politics and scamming the numbers to make the giveaways appear generous............ which they aren't.

    Vote down the budget because Harper doesn't understand when he should be helping the citizens and when he should play politics....... now is not the time to play politics!
  51. siren call from Canada writes: The National Securities Regulator is a good idea, though.

    Just heard Brison on the radio. Apparently some figures are based on a sale of assets. The Libs asked for a list of the assets to be sold and were told by bureaucrats no such list exists.

    But the financial figures of Harpo and Flapo are sound.
    For sure.
  52. Read Acted from Canada writes: J Kay , Agreed I see what you mean now. From the revenue perspective this IS going to cost us in the long run. Thats a given.
  53. siren call from Canada writes: John Parisien from regina, Canada writes: As a program manager for Aboriginal programming I can assure you that there are EXTREME measures in place for financial accountability - so much in fact that it is nearly crippling the programs that are intended to help people, but rather have implemented
    cumbersome measures to account for every nickel.
    ...................................

    I believe you. Sheila Fraser backed you up recently.

    So, why is that you can drive into almost any reserve in Canada and see 3rd world conditions?

    I live quite close to the largest reserve in Canada. Recently they had floods and so began replacing some of their badly affected houses. Among other nightmares, the original builder had used masking tape for the dry wall boards.

    Why is that?
  54. Read Acted from Canada writes: Of course their be "qualifications" that need to be met before any of this money is pried loose from the Treasury !
  55. J Kay from Canada writes: R O'Bryan: Good catch. The difference this will make to someone earning $80K is $259; to someone earning $50K it makes a difference of $165.58.

    I've noted reading the budget more crap like you caught. They cliam that by freezing the EI rate at 1.73% they will save Canadians $4.5 billion. What they fail to mention is that the rate was scheduled to be 1.73% for 2009 already. Moreover they are silent as to whether the maximum insurable earnings will be fixed or not.

    Each year there is disingenuous crap in the Conservatives budgets and I've yet to digest all of this one but it sure seems like it's more of the same only will nice big deficits.
  56. Dev Mas from Regina, Canada writes: Did I hear something about our lovely politician types buying $8 Billion worth of junk from our banks the other day? Giving them $8 Billion good Canadian dollars for a bunch of garbage?

    I think that's what I heard.
  57. Right Said Fred from Canada writes: This is a spectacular budget! The NDP/BLOC/LIB coalition will be held at bay, we all get tax relief, and incentives to get a new car being cheaper!
  58. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Well it looks very much like what the coalition proposed in their Economic Stimulus Package. Remember that was their top priority the famous package designed to boost the domestic economy. They all got what they wanted and listen to them wail. They all know Iggy will give it the thumbs up.
  59. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:
    Chris Hay from Regina, SK, Canada writes: A budget designed to keep Mr Harper in office, not a budget designed to actually help the Country. infrastructure spending providing municipal and Provincial governments match the amount (can you say property tax increase?), ... a minister of Finance to only a few short weeks ago predicting Canada would have budget surpluses, now predicting the deficits will only last 5 years? I predict the budget (sadly) will pass, and long after these so called 'fiscally prudent conservatives' have left office, we Canadians will be paying and supporting the red ink for decades to come. Stand up for Canada, you say? Pshaw!

    Do you know what the coalition had proposed for spending and on what?
  60. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Well it looks very much like what the coalition proposed in their Economic Stimulus Package. Remember that was their top priority the famous package designed to boost the domestic economy.
    ------
    Good observation;
    How fast the sheep on both sides change colors.... Eh!

    Hypocrites
  61. Jack Sprat from Calgary, Canada writes: Right Said Fred from Canada, the tax relief is tiny and useless. And remember, you'll have to pay back all this largesse.

    This is a great budget for the poor and unemployed while the middle class foot the bill again. Lets just give everyone a credit card with $100000 and bury the economy right now.
  62. Washington DC from Canada writes: Wow. This has to be some kind of record ... going from "let's wait and see and do nothing" in December, to "let's spend it all!" in January. How about trying something in the middle for a change?
  63. siren call from Canada writes: Sometimes hard to tell the sheep from the shepherds:

    November 27, 2008: "The days (and years, and decades) of those chronic deficits are behind us. No matter what 2009 brings, they must never return." — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

    December 2, 2008: "Mr. Speaker, what is being proposed by the separatist coalition is a $30-billion spending program. That would put our country into a structural deficit for a long time. As Don Drummond of the TD Bank said, this would be a disaster that would launch us into a structural deficit." — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

    January 27, 2009: Harper budget sending Canada $85-billion into deficit.
  64. Washington DC from Canada writes: A question ... if lowering taxes truly results in greater government revenues down the road, why not just eliminate them altogether? Oh right, it's because that whole concept is a load of horse sh!t. Giving each of us $20 extra in our pocket isn't going to stimulate the economy. They should leave taxes alone and invest in infrastructure (that they can later sell off and "balance" the budget as they like to say/lie).
  65. siren call from Canada writes: I do think it was wise for the G&M to change the picture of gleeful Harperites dancing around Flaherty, presumably looking for the pot of gold.

    The new "sombre" pic is much more appropriate.

    I mean, you can see why Flaherty's happy: Daddy bought him a new pair of shoes. With heels.
  66. Maurice Nulens from Canada writes: leave taxes alone!! you dumb twits! 20$ per family is a drop in the bucket and it won't help where we need to flow the help to.

    And how in hell can there be a " small surplus of $700-million in 2013-14."
    when they could not predict three months into the future back in sept-oct of this year. What a load of BS!

    Mr Ignatieff throw these bums out ..NOW!
  67. Michael Hinz from Sherwood Park, Canada writes: So the Conservatives have learned very little. Progressive they certainly are not. The Harper agenda, as with all the rest since Joe C., has always been to begger the Federal Government so that the Provinces are the real players in the Federation. Good luck to any political party in the future that wants to raise taxes at the Federal level.
  68. G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: This is a good budget says the BC Liberal Provincial Leader. It's a good budget say the Ontario Liberal Finance Minister, Ther'se a lot of things I like say Micheal Ignatieff former George Bush Republican and now leader of the Separatists,Liberal?, NDP Coalition. This budget will pass. Take it to the bank. Iggy's looking for a wait out.The coalition is dead.
  69. Silver Bird from Calgary, Canada writes: Dave Jansen : please buy a clue
  70. The Money Ain't For Nothing from Toronto, Canada writes: Concerned Canadian from Nova Scotia, Canada writes: Well, guess I get to finance my home reno from the wallets of non-home owning taxpayers.

    Doesn't really seem fair to me

    Then don't take the money
  71. Loki Wils likes the new idiots on G from Canada writes: Ontario's McGuinty wants to harmonize the tax. Which means nobody will be able to decipher the retail from the tax on their bill.

    I predict unscrupulous price hikes, never mind property tax hikes.

    Your renovation rebate will be worth squat.
  72. Darcy O'Neil from London, Canada writes: For all the Conservatives saying that this is a "Liberal" budget, I recall a couple of days ago Mr. Harper claiming this budget had been in the works for a long time, just rushed a bit. He also said that he wished the opposition Liberals would speak up and state what they would like to see in the budget.

    This is a pure Harper budget, do whatever it takers to stay in power. And that means giving a little bit to everyone so they can't complain, and if they do he can twist the facts in some cheesy attach ad.

    If Harper had any sense of vision or concern for anyone, other than himself, he'd give Canadains a reason to cheer. Now we just say" Mmmeh.
  73. abha o from toronto, Canada writes: wonder why gst was not lowered - would it mean it hadn't worked previously and did not boost economy?
    and seriously what a step back that will have be repaid with interest on top of it.
  74. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: AJ Quinn from Canada writes: 1.5 Billion new spending on Aboriginal Programs? This is where we should be tightening up the budget, cleaning house and seeing that the current billions being spent annually don't support the status quo. Good money after bad, I say.

    _________________________________________________________

    Well A.J. nice to see you are such a caring guy. On 90% of the reserves the people are drinking untreated Bacteria filled water.There are on average 200 to 300 people who must share ramshackle homes with poor insulation and rotting roofs, Aboriginal people who through no fault of their own routinely suffer Pneumonia salmonella Diptheria and many other illnesses not found in better funded communities.

    If you feel that this is OK and to use your own words throwing good money after bad you are definitely not an average Canadian who are a compassionate people.
  75. Edwin Elbert from Ottawa, Canada writes: What a waste. The Liberals will be able dangle the 60 billion dollar boon-doggle on the cons next year.

    How does a 30 Billion dollar deficit add up when spending and tax cuts don't amount to that much? These twits would have run a deficit even under the best economic scenario. Flaherty did just that in Ontario.
  76. Mickey Hickey from Canada writes: $20 billion income tax reduction will result in $2 billion stimulus. $12 billion vehicle and equipment finance facility will result in very little stimulus. That's a total of $32 billion added to the deficit that adds very little to stimulus. Couldn't resist catering to the base. Iggy, Jack and Gilles will prop up the lack lustre bunch as the economy deteriorates. Thus, ensuring an easy victory in the fall.
  77. Dom Bevilacqua from toronto, Canada writes: It's as though the Conversatives have taken a shot at everything offering small amounts of tax relief some of it is to update the reality of toddays cost of living. More bailout money for the auto sector which may not be used but there just in case. I don't understand why more money is being given clean coal. It is a myth or mythical technology. More bailout money for AECL to design reactors that nobody wants( sounds like GM). Lots of optics but nothing much new. No plan no direction no innovation. Just a lot more debt. Good Bye Conservatives.
  78. YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada writes: John Parisien from regina, Canada writes:
    As a program manager for Aboriginal programming I can assure you that there are EXTREME measures in place for financial accountability - so much in fact that it is nearly crippling the programs that are intended to help people, but rather have implemented cumbersome measures to account for every nickel-------------so in your position you are aware of the reasons for such tight oversight. I have been on numerous reserves in BC, Alberta, and Ontario and my sister in law is from the Brocket Reserve in Alberta. Many reserves have been run as family fiefdoms and if your family is in charge your family does well. If the money goes for education that is appropiate for each location I'm all for it. Water system and training in keeping equipment running is what is required.
  79. Michael Ashton from Toronto, Canada writes: Sounds pretty good overall, I'd give it an A.
  80. Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: This is ridiculous.

    Examples of HRTC-Eligible and Ineligible Expenditures

    Eligible

    Renovating a kitchen, bathroom or basement
    New carpet or hardwood floors
    Building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall
    A new furnace or water heater
    Painting the interior or exterior of a house
    Resurfacing a driveway
    Laying new sod

    Ineligible

    Purchase of furniture and appliances (e.g. refrigerator, stove, and couch)
    Purchase of tools
    Carpet cleaning
    Maintenance contracts (e.g. furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawn care, and pool cleaning)
  81. Dan Laurin from Windsor, Canada writes: Also on the subject the average cost for a small water treatment plant is 200 million dollars and requires 5 to 6 years to build. Over 350 reserves across Canada that totals 70 billion dollars required if you average that over the 5 years that is 14 billion per year.

    A 700 MW Candu Reactor costs about 2 billion dollars to build and approximately 5 to 8 years to build. One per Province and territory is 24 billion over 6 years is 4 billion per year.

    To pay for these we increase the G.S.T. for a mandated period of 6 years to 10% which will generate 27 to 30 billion dollars a year which leaves the programs a surplus of 9 to 12 billion for other spending. At the end of the sixth year it once again drops to 7% until the national debt is paid down .

    Each of these programs generate about 2000 jobs so 724,000 jobs over 5-6 years and when done these projects will easily pay for themselves with increased power to sell to the US, cleaner power generation as the coal fired plants can be shut down.

    The people building these water treatment plants and Nuclear reactors will need housing so when they leave "as with the Olympics" there will be a legacy of well built housing either apartments or townhomes probably restaurants, Convenience stores, Movie Theaters, Grocery stores etc. New major roads to truck in supplies, schools to teach their children. All of these will vastly improve the lives of aboriginal people and help to make them feel they are part of Canada and help to improve their sense of self worth.

  82. Ryan Lemay from Canada writes: Look everyone Steven Harper can change. Albeit with a gun figuratively to his head. Way to go Steve we knew you could do it! Nice sea of red and where is the plan to get us out of this. Ohhh you say more tax cuts. Sorry, we don't need a Northern Bush. You get a 'D' minus.
  83. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: We're in trouble partly because too many Canadians spend money they don't have. And the government's remedy is to spend money they don't have. Priceless!

    Any guarantee that throwing money at everything will fix the problem? Any proof that, left alone, the economy wouldn't fix itself?

    I, for one, will put any tax cuts I get straight into the bank - thanks, Flaherty. But I feel sorry for the next generation who will have to pay the piper, sooner or later.
  84. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: It will be interesting trying to take advantage.

    I expect that the going rate for a general contractor will see an increase from $50/hour to $75. The plumber and electrician's rates will go from $100 to $150 per hour, if they can even be reached.

    There goes all of that 15% tax break...right into the savings accounts of the contractors, the plumbers and the electricians.

    Maybe Jimbo should give Joe the Plumber a call. He'd surely give this two thumbs up.
  85. Lindsay Jamieson from Canada writes: What about the low-speed monorail connecting the Whitehouse-Tuk-Yellowknife corridor?

    How about $34B/34M Canadians = $1000 each if you are just going to toss it.

    Socialism on the right. Just pathetic.
  86. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: "The government will also create a $500-million fund for recreational facilities like hockey arenas"

    When times are tough, Americans are told to go shopping. Canadians will be able to go skating. It won't fix the economy but you'll have so much fun, you'll forget there is a recession.
  87. Bill Hopkins from London, Canada writes: Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: I, for one, will put any tax cuts I get straight into the bank - thanks, Flaherty. But I feel sorry for the next generation who will have to pay the piper, sooner or later.

    Actually a smart idea. Buying consumer goods won't help our economy because we manufacture so little any more (spending it at Walmart would only help the Chinese economy). So put it in the bank. Then the banks will have more liqidity and can lend money to those who might want to build a house, buy a car, etc.
  88. D JL from Canada writes: I'm sure there is an error in this article

    "Taxes

    A $20-billion cut to personal income taxes, increasing the basic personal amount and top of the two lowest income tax brackets by 7.5 per cent."

    I think that should be $2-Billion.

    oh hum budget. I get nothing worth stating.
  89. Taybend 1 from Riverworld, Canada writes: Can't even say it's pathetic. Flat, necessary, compromised and, like Stevo, without vision and real leadership.
    Danny for PM.
  90. D JL from Canada writes: Amazing change from 2.5 months ago.....100M surplus to a 35-40B deficit...I wonder what marks he got in Economics...Okay enough of the past...

    1. Deficit was required. No doubt about it.
    2. Income tax reduction. Maybe a revamp of the whole tax situation would have been in line. Maybe 2 flat tax options. But that might be more difficult to get through.
    3. Personnel Tax breaks are about what I expected. Might cover my beer bill for a week.
    4. Reno tax break...Watch who you hire to do the renos. Might cost you more in addition than you get back in taxes.
    5. Infrastructure spending required. And will actually accomplish several thing...employment, old infrastructure repairs, commodity spending. I only wish they hadn't required the somewhat matching requirement.

    But I'm not going to be spending any more than I would have. Nothing for me that is worth talking about. I make 82K. And I really don't see much for low income people.

    Deficit...can we really get out of the deficit situation in 4-5 yrs.....The deficit is required now. But how can we get to a surplus situation without drastic spending cuts or tax increases in the future. But then this will be the next generations problem...

    Oh and Liberals will go with this.
  91. Carl White from Canada writes: "$87.5-million for additional doctoral and masters' scholarships."

    I don't see any increased investment in science and engineering research in this budget. Why provide money to encourage people to enter graduate school if there will be nothing for them when they get their degrees? If the goverment is going to spend profiglately, why no money where it could potentially matter the most?

    But no, we've got income tax cuts instead, especially (of course) for the wealthy. Even though eight years of Bush show they don't work at all. It's just plain depressing.
  92. J Kay from Canada writes: D JL: It might seem like an error but it come directly from the budget and is consistent with the changes they propose.
  93. D JL from Canada writes: Carl you are correct in your statement. Just reading a G&M opinion article on this. Yes, there is $$ to repair Univ. building, but nothing much (500M maybe) for the research granting groups. Nothing for innovation/improvement in productive.

    But then, you can't cover all bases.
  94. jason maccallum from Canada writes: 90 percent whining by readers here....unbelievable. Our country stands "alone" both in governmental fiscal terms and banking standards in the world. A decade of surplusses and a debt reduction is the reason we have the flexibility and capacity (unlike other nations) to take on this budget deficit at a time when government spending is most needed. Just because your pet project didn't get funding or some group you don't care for got money, don't dismiss the importance of the broad initiatives announced today. I say: Good for you PM

    As for future government revenues and surplusses look no further than a return to higher royalties from energy (and other commodities dominated by international growth) - As Jeff Rubin said only two weeks ago: If oil is $40 to $50 during a global recession where do you think it will be when demand returns?
  95. Fred McEwen from Ajax, Canada writes: Tens of thousands of people about to lose their job, then with no income, their house, and then their neighbour his job.

    This budget does nothing to protect our overall economy against this spiral. Strengthening EI and creating some 100-200,000 temporary jobs for a year would be a plan. No fix to Ontario's equalization payments and then expect them to pony up the other half of shared cost infrastructure spend? It won't work. And it pretty much guarantees the deficit won't be as large as planned because much of that money will never get deployed, therefore it's useless.

    This is for sure a budget designed for optics instead of impact. Half the changes were already in the plans for years (ie indexed tax brackets, which doesn't help the unemployed). The other half are smallish as % of GDP and way too late. The large boost is needed NOW, not in late 2009 or even 2010.

    No vision here.
    Also no to the coalition, so fight this with amendments to make it workable.
  96. doom and gloom USA style OOUCH from Vancouver, Canada writes: I am all for helping the aboriginals as long as anyone getting help does not smoke, drink or do drugs. otherwise the money will get wasted like it has in the last decades, giving money to them so they slowly kill themselves is tragic on our part as a taxpayer and a human.
  97. peter clarke from Toronto, Canada writes: Just NOT needed. 179 million for Forestry, $2-billion to repair post-secondary institutions. $50-million for the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ont. $500-million agricultural flexibility program. $50-million over three years to increase slaughterhouse capacity. $200-million over two years for the Canadian Television Fund. $60-million over two years for community theatres, libraries and museums. Increased funding for the National Arts Training Contribution program. $30-million over two years for magazines and community newspapers. $24-million to support cruise ship infrastructure along the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. $75-million over two years for Parks Canada facilities, and an additional $75-million for national historic sites. What is NEEDED, a 15% reduction in government employees, with 5% coming through early retirement. A freeze for four (4) years on all government and crown corporation employees. After two years, while the freeze remain, an adjustment would be made for the cost of living only ( based on our annual inflation rate) for the reaming 2 years. All banks would have to pay interest at the rate of 4% on annual deposits and credit card interest rates to be capped for all cards at 12%. Beginning in 2009 all federal, provincial and municipal politicians and government and crown employees pensions would be capped at 40% based on the average salaries for the last five years of employment. Governments at all levels would by law have to live within their means and not spend or budget any more than could be paid for out of annual revenues collected each year. This would be a budget for the majority of people and not a hand out.
  98. That Guy from Brampton, Canada writes: Hopefully they aren't offering any of the "post secondary fund" for rebuilding universities to York. If the employees can't even be bothered going to work, I shouldn't be paying to make their office look nicer.

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