2012 BUDGET

Getty File

Harper and the Environment are Like Oil and Water

The Harper government is waging war on Canada's fresh water. Industry will now have unprecedented influence over water protection policy and the Harper cabinet will make decisions about which watersheds deserve protection based on political, not scientific, grounds. What a travesty Harper has decided to sacrifice our freshwater heritage in order to please his industry friends.

How About Stimulating the Poor AND the Economy

Debts and deficits, the reasoning goes, are more important than combating unemployment or poverty. It is an either/or choice. It's not. The imperative is both a moral one -- to help the poor, help youth facing an uncertain job market, and help the unemployed -- and an economic one as helping these groups ultimately foster economic growth.

There's Nothing Canadian About This Budget

Whether it's marginalizing low-income seniors by increasing the qualifying age for OAS, or cutting funds to regional development programs that create jobs, or not announcing any new funding for affordable housing -- when the existing program funds are set to expire soon -- this budget is simply wrongheaded, misguided, prejudicial, and disconnected from the needs of Canadians.
AP

At Budget Time, the Poor Get Ignored

Cutting programs that help the poor may be politically expedient, but it is not morally right, and fiscally can have disastrous consequences. The commitment of poverty reduction is not seen from the current Alward government.
alamy

A Budget Can't Solve Canada's Innovation Woes

The word "innovation" appears 122 times in the federal government's 2012-2013 budget. The government is clearly frustrated by the limited success of its programs to spur innovation in Canadian businesses. Is innovation is really an issue that large-scale government programs can solve?

You're Wrong, David Frum

David Frum recently published his analysis of the federal budget, and asked whether or not it definitively proves that Canada is the "best-governed country in the advanced democratic world." On a purely economic basis this budget is prudent in many ways. But as a policy document, it is a dismal failure that continues this government's disregard for the health of our democracy.

This Budget, Old People Be Damned

I was thinking of my grandfather on March 29 when the Conservative government announced in the budget that it will raise the Old Age Security (OAS) benefits from age 65 to 67. We do have a looming pension crisis in Canada, not because people are retiring too early, but because their combined pension and investment income will still see them retiring into poverty.

The Sunny Side of the Budget

It's done! The budget is a vigorous economic action plan for Canada. Most important, it is a long-term vision. Many measures have been adopted to ensure that government policies encourage the creation of wealth and private-sector jobs. What are the changes?

Can the Average Joe Produce a Better Budget?

To coincide with budget day in Canada yesterday CBC's "The Current" featured a segment on something called participatory budgeting, which engages local citizens and communities in allocating funds to projects and priorities. Average citizens are no less equipped to make these tough decisions than average politicians.

Bravo Harper, Retirement Gets Much-Needed Facelift

An important long run element in today's budget is the change in "retirement age" -- actually a change in the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS). Nowadays, age 65 is more like late middle age than old age and people who reach that age can look forward, on average, to a couple of decades of an enjoyable life.