Jul 31, 2012 / 5:00 am
One aspect of my weekly MP reports that I find very beneficial is that the reports often generate independent discussion from a diverse group of citizens who take the time to share input either directly with me through meetings, emails and phone calls or through a letter to an editor of a local newspaper. On that note I was saddened to learn that this week will be the final publication of the Merritt News. Not only will the cease in publication result in the loss of five full time jobs, for the community of Merritt an important voice will also be lost. Last week I mentioned the increasing amount of misinformation that seems to more frequently occur on a regular basis. Professional news publications employ professional reporters who understand that there are two sides to every story and both need to be told. The importance of getting factual information correct and being accountable are standards that professional news media organizations aspire to. In an era where anonymous alternative media is frequently the source of many misinformation stories the loss of the Merritt News is troubling. Fortunately in Merritt other media sources such as the Merritt Herald and local radio station CKM”Q”-FM will help to ensure that local stories continue be told and that community has a voice in matters of importance.
As my summer listening tour is now at the mid-way point I have thus far heard a great amount of feedback on a variety of different and important topics. It has also become a summer reading tour as many citizens have passed on articles of interest that I am currently attempting to stay up on. A few articles that caught my attention were actually from the United States. While this particular subject did not make headlines here in Canada, it was widely reported in the USA that for the first time in history the average Canadian household is “more wealthy” then the average American household. This fact has many in the USA media, including Forbes Magazine, taking notice of Canada and having a closer look at what one media source labelled “Smart economics, Canada teaches us lessons in fiscal responsibility.” With Canada’s G7 leading unemployment rate close to a full percentage point lower than the United States many economists have noted that our Government’s reduction in corporate and personal taxes has resulted in greater spending and job growth then those countries that have maintained high tax rates.
The Debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio is also heavily in Canada’s favour with a percentage of 57.9% percent (when also including Provincial Debt) compared to over 100% in the United States. More tax dollars being spent on interest equates to either higher taxes or less money available for other government programs and services. Another interesting indicator is the amount of citizens who have fallen behind on mortgage payments, in the United States this figure is almost 6% whereas here in Canada it is into decimals as .35%. These economic indicators are part of why Canada has retained a higher credit rating and our consecutive budgets have earned a “stable” rating from the major leading credit rating agencies.
Spending reductions is the final area of comparison cited in many of the reports I reviewed. In the United States more debt was added in the past four years then in the previous eight. In terms of dollars the United States has over $15 trillion in accumulate debt. In Canada our budget deficit since 2009 has been effectively cut in half from $50 billion down to just over $ 24 billion and is on track to be balanced by 2015. The opposition has been suggesting that Canada should not be reducing spending and should be increasing taxes to support further spending. As many of you are aware it is a common occurrence for Liberal MP’s from other ridings and their supporters who frequently send in letters to the editor calling for higher taxes and increased spending. My office also receive calls and emails on a regular basis from citizens outlining opposition to a specific spending reduction or discontinuation of a particular program or in other cases suggesting a particular programs or service should be discontinued as it is viewed by the taxpayer in question as being wasteful and unnecessary. There are also those times when it may even be the same program that one citizens describes as wasteful while another suggests it is essential. As much as spending reductions are not politically popular if we are to keep Canada strong we must ensure that we continue to support strategies that create jobs, promote investment and maintain low taxes.
Read more Dan in Ottawa articles
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- Temporary foreign workers program Apr 9
- Member's Statements Apr 2
- Economic Action Plan 2013 Mar 26
- What is a citizen's arrest? Mar 19
- Wireless services in Canada Mar 12
- Imitation not sincere form of flattery Mar 5
- Supreme Court and the Senate Feb 19
- Public safety & victims come first Feb 12
- The Clarity Act & farewell to the penny Feb 5
- Issues and debate Jan 29
- Taking action on Red Tape Jan 22
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