Weekly Commentary  

Deficit 'surprise'

So what happened? We said the projected federal deficit for this coming budget year would be $54 Billion.

Many critics said it would be higher.

Regular readers of this constituency report will recall that I reported here that we thought we could keep it at $54 Billion. I also reported that we were freezing all departmental spending for the next three years and that we were freezing all travel, hospitality, and conference spending at 2009 levels.

Oh, and on the topic of freezing, that all MP salaries would also be frozen for three years. All of this without raising taxes.

We believed that by making a long term commitment to leave more money in peoples' pockets, purses and "murses" was the better way to go. We believed economic history is clear on this. Do that and what you'll start to see is more businesses increasing their spending and hiring more people.

The net result of a plan like ours for government to follow (reduce spending, deficit and taxes) should mean an eventual improvement in the economy.

So I guess this week's independent report on the federal deficit should not be a surprise. We had cautiously predicted a deficit of $54 Billion. The report just out shows that there has been an increase in business generally, increase in jobs and therefore an increase in tax revenue coming into the government.

This is a result of more people working and more businesses investing, growing and paying their share of taxes.

The report predicts that our year end deficit will be lower than $54 Billion. It says the amount will more likely be just over $40 Billion.

Now before we pop the champagne (or the organic root beer, according to your taste) let's realize that the budget year is still young. The global recovery is still fragile.

Having said that, our own national economy is moving in the right direction.

Local cool stuff this week includes a salute to Principal Robert Tucker of Constable Neil Bruce (CNB) Middle School and Outdoor Ed teacher Mr. Tony Cescon.

I visited the school to do a presentation of free, one year National Parks Passes to grade eight students. This is part of an initiative of the Prime Minister and our Environment Minister. It's one of a number of steps we're taking to do our part at the federal level to encourage kids and families to make healthy choices.

You probably saw the disturbing numbers released this week that show how many hours a day our kids and grandkids are sitting immobilized, texting, gaming, facebooking, and tweeting.

It truly is fantastic what we can do with all of the increasingly amazing information technology available to us. But what an irony if the net result of this positive tech progress leads to a shorter, less healthy life, our bodies less active and our brains less creative.

I can tell you it was encouraging to meet Mr. Cescon and the students in his Outdoor Education Program. He's got them into hiking, camping and a host of other outdoor life experiences.

Don't worry…these kids are not neglecting their studies. Staying on top of their academic studies, homework etc. is part of their ticket to being in his program.

He has also put in place a soccer program for all students, regardless of their athletic abilities.

A big 'shout out' to Principal Robert Tucker, Mr. Cescon and to school board trustees like Moyra Baxter who was also on hand to see the students and the program.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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