With the approaching inauguration (January 20) of President-elect Barack Obama holding the attention of world political watchers, I thought I might remind Canadians that their own federal government is planning to introduce its new budget on January 27.
This may be minor news next to the USA – note how many news commentators use the style I’ve adopted myself in referring the U.S. president. No need to qualify his title with his country. Just say the President, and everyone knows who you mean.
Canadian Budget Deficit Spending
Nonetheless, the Canadian news holds considerable importance for this smaller nation. Interested citizens might want to tune into any of the fora available online for public input. Now that the Conservative government has decided reverse its policy position and run a large deficit in the face of the deepening recession (not to mention the threat of being tossed out of their minority governing role by a left-leaning coalition), there’s a lot of public consultation occurring on what to spend the money on.
Environmental Priorities Please
For the purposes of this blog, I just want to point out that one of the big themes is something I’ve been advocating for quite a while now. Infrastructure spending is must, and why not make it green at the same time? And what better way to do this than focus on housing – both construction and retrofitting with environmental benefits.
Public Input Welcome
Here’s a link to the best public policy wiki in the country. The Globe and Mail newspaper along with the Dominion Institute have set up a great site for citizens to express their ideas prior to budget day. And you can find some expert briefs from some leading Canadian economists: Don Drummond, Jim Stanford, Mark Stabile and Tony Frost. By all means, note the repeated message that infrastructure spending is a good idea, and environmental infrastructure which includes housing is even better – and then remember where you read it first.