Canada makes UN's top ten list
Jul 17, 2012 / 8:00 am
Most citizens have heard of the serious financial troubles facing countries like Greece, Spain, Italy and the Eurozone in general as cash strapped government have struggled with the serious problem of government spending exceeding revenues. Likewise most taxpayers are also aware of the many steps our Government has taken with Budget 2012 to be proactive in keeping Canada strong now and in the future. Critics often respond by suggesting that what happens in the Eurozone could never occur in a country like Canada. While such thinking is understandably common how many citizens heard that last week alone three cities in the State of California filed for bankruptcy protection? San Bernardino has a population in excess of 200,000 taxpayers and still is forecasting expenses to exceed revenue by roughly $45 million. Other forecasts suggest as many as 16 other major US cities may be in a similar situation in the near future.
I am not for a moment suggesting that any of the above mentioned events will ever occur here in Canada however I do raise these issues to point out the need and importance for Government to take proactive action when it comes to the relationship between spending and revenue. Efforts to reduce spending, known as “austerity measures”, are politically unpopular and likewise attempting to increase revenues through raising taxes is equally as disliked by hard working taxpayers. Faced with unpopular political decisions some governments have instead decided to borrow and run deficit budgets adding on debt in the process. As a short term solution this has been a workable option for some Governments, however over the long term the risk of credit rating downgrades and increased debt payments on interest take money away from other Government programs and create an unsustainable fiscal environment.
Here in Canada our Government has taken a proactive and blended approach in Budget 2012. From an austerity perspective, our Government is committed to achieving $5.2 Billion in savings as a result of reduced government spending and increased efficiencies. However our Government also believes that there is another way to keep Canada strong and that is by growing our economy. While I recognize that there are many who did not support the Budget Implementation Bill (C-38) the larger intent of the Bill was to promote responsible resource development in moving towards a “one project, one review” process that can occur in a clearly defined time period of roughly 22 months. There is currently close to $500 billion worth of new job creating resource developments that can significantly benefit the prosperity of our great country and at the same time help to decrease the need for further austerity measures or increased taxation.
Is Canada’s approach working? Currently our country is not only the most solid in the G-7, but our future financial prospects based on our plan ranks Canada as the strongest in the G-20. In fact Canada’s job creation record is by far the fastest and most successful of any nation in the G-7 and we are on track to return to a surplus in the 2015-2016 budget year. Canada also remains in the top ten of the UN’s assessment of the most livable countries. While this is all good news, we still have our challenges. We still have many unemployed Canadians that need work and also citizens collecting EI in job sectors where there are increases in applications for foreign workers. If there is one thing that all Governmental jurisdictions currently facing severe economic challenges have in common it is high unemployment rates. Fortunately here in Canada our Economic Action Plan is working to help keep Canadians working and in March and April Canada experienced the best two job creation months in 30 years. This is the direction we need to keep building on to keep Canada strong and to ensure prosperity for Canadians.
Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla and can be reached at email@example.com.
Read more Dan in Ottawa articles
- Listening May 14
- Taking over the CBC? May 7
- MP mail outs explained Apr 30
- Legislation seeks a balance Apr 23
- Reflections on recent events Apr 16
- Temporary foreign workers program Apr 9
- Member's Statements Apr 2
- Economic Action Plan 2013 Mar 26
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