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Budget must focus on jobs and help for unemployed
Published: December 18th 2008
Source: Teamsters Canada
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Robert BouvierYou would have to live on another planet to not be aware that our country has been hit by a major financial crisis. To counter this economic tidal wave, the federal government has decided to implement a plan to come to the aid of financial institutions and companies. Thus, our elected officials are going to dip straight into our tax money to fix what has been broken by financial institutions—these same institutions that have made extravagant profits over the last years.

While the federal government is focused on these problems, citizens are still waiting for a plan that will help them overcome future difficulties.

Stephen Jarislowsky, chairman of the fund management company Jarislowsky Fraser recently emphasized that our elected officials should instead invest in an infrastructure program, even if it means having to declare a budgetary deficit. Even the Conference Board of Canada is recommending that our elected officials inject billions of dollars into the economy. Mr. Jarislowsky and the Conference Board have understood that the citizens of this country are under threat and that the government would have every interest in putting Canada back to work.

Our elected officials will have to demonstrate courage and imagination when they draft and adopt the next budget. But it is our duty to remind them of our concerns and worries:

Several industries will have to be given a booster in the upcoming months because tens of thousands of jobs are at stake;
banks will have to be forced to lower their preferential and mortgage rates to give taxpayers direct and concrete assistance;
on an exceptional basis and for a limited time period, the government will have to lower individual taxes; and
financial sector regulations will have to be tightened substantially to prevent such a slump from recurring.

We are all personally responsible for communicating our viewpoints to the government. By communicating with our Members of Parliament, regardless of their political allegiance, our voices will be heard in Ottawa and the government will be able to make decisions that are beneficial to us all. If we remain silent, our elected officials will continue to assist the financial sector and companies by dipping into our tax money, and this assistance will have no real impact on our lives.

The financial situation is serious, and it would be wrong for us to stand idly by, waiting for the government to make decisions. After all, our money should not only come to the aid of the banking industry and companies; we also need a little help from our government.

To find information for contacting your Member of Parliament, visit the Parliament of Canada’s website:

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