Bookmark and Share     Print Version Budget & Government Agenda
Pros & Cons
Posted By Senator Elaine McCoy Dec 19 2008 03:18PM

More details of the Prime Minister’s belated economic stimulus package were revealed today.  In a preview of his interview to be broadcast tomorrow, the Globe listed several highlights. Wait a minute … this all sounds eerily familiar.  Didn’t the progressives’ Policy Accord say much the same thing 3 weeks or so ago? Sure enough, it did.


PRO:   accelerate infrastructure spending              =  CON:   double infrastructure funding

PRO:   housing construction and retrofitting           =  CON:   housing funding

PRO:   invest in forestry and auto sectors              =  CON:   aid for auto and forestry industries

PRO:   skills training                                           =  CON:   worker retraining

PRO:   eliminate EI 2 week waiting period             =  CON:    lengthen period of EI benefits


However, the Policy Accord didn’t stop there.  Additional strategies included the following:


PRO:   EI premiums dedicated to EI programs       =  CON:   ?

PRO:   income support for older workers               =  CON:   ?

PRO:   invest in manufacturing sector                   =  CON:   ? (other than QC shipyard funding)

PRO:   support for culture industry                       =  CON:   ?

PRO:   funding for NGO sector economic dev.       =  CON:   ?


So the Conservatives have a ways to go yet to match the progressives’ stimulus package.  In the meantime, Mr. Harper’s government gave a generous $380 million yesterday to a Quebec shipyard owned by Norwegians.   How odd.  The Globe’s Drohan commented today that, “while the political reasons for extending this financing may seem sound – the jobs are in Quebec and in the shipbuilding industry – the economic rationale is shaky.  Her other comments are equally compelling.  Maybe some of Mr. Harper’s worker retraining fund should be directed towards a refresher course in Economics 201.

Posted On Dec 19 08:43PM   

With all of the industry 'bailouts' that are going on by the government, I can't help but think of the dozens of NGOs that have had to close shop or lay off employees because of systematic Harper cuts to NGO funding (such as to the Canadian Health Network, which funded almost 2 dozen health related charities and grassroots organizations).

Isn't the non-profit sector an industry that deserves propping up and bailing out too?  Didn't I read (on a blog here somewhere) that the NGO economy is actually bigger than manufacturing in Canada -- and it directly serves the interests of Canadians in need.

So how about some money into those orgz that Canadian can be proud of. 

I still don't understand propping up dying businesses.  Car companies in Canada don't deserve tax payer money unless they are doing business differently, like going green(er) and innovating to help keep our planet healthy for generations to come.  Ditto for lumber companies, and mining, etc.

There may be some good reasons why these industries are in trouble: and this is time to reassess what we want and need from them if we want to help these economies out.  This is an opportunity to revision how business is done -- and we shouldn't waste it with simple (and expensive) corporate welfare handouts.

Posted On Dec 19 07:54PM   

I don't get it.  Over 1/3 of a billion bucks to a Norwegian company?  In Quebec?  The Conservatives have already blown that province away with their rallying calls against separatists.  I think Drohan was kind when she said the politics were sound.  None of it makes sense to me.  But I guess that's why I'm just a taxpayer instead of a highly-paid politician, right?

Posted On Dec 19 06:38PM   

At least the coalition has succeeded to some extent on the particulars and 100 percent on completely turning the government around.  Now we can only hope that the new Economic Council has sage advice for the government, and that the government will listen.  Harper said his package will likely total $30 billion and might go higher. Surely he'll include more programs than the ones advertised today?

  Log In
Status: Not Logged In
Screen Name
Forgot Your Password?
Not Registered?
Click Here to Register