Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Devil is in the Details

On the surface, the budget isn't horrible. Infrastructure spending, money for home buyers & reno's, increasing the flow of credit to consumers, retraining funding, changes to EI are all good, but as usual, the devil is in the details.

The conditions attached to the infrastructure spending, ie funds need to be matched at provincial & municipal levels needs to modified, if not entirely removed as they simply don’t have the money, nor the ability to borrow, that the Federal government has.

EI rules need to be expanded so that more people qualify for it, because if you don’t’ qualify, the extra 2 weeks don’t make that big of a deal.

The lack of funding for Green initiatives, while a start, doesn’t go far enough. This is the best time to be spending money to “green” all area’s across the country, including our manufacturing sector. Ideally I’d like to see more money flow to companies transforming their factories so that they produce less pollution and produce green products, especially those building electric and other high efficiency “Made in Canada” vehicles as this is the perfect time to make our manufacturing sector a leader in what will inevitably become the biggest chunk of the automotive sector for years to come

I’d also like to see funding for NSERC and CIHR increased more then it was in the budget because these are the groups that will truly help drive a knowledge based economy. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council funds programs that lead to new technological innovations that we can build both a knowledge AND manufacturing industries from. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research funds important research into such area’s diseases associated with aging, which is becoming more and more important with the baby boomer’s entering retirement age.

I’m sure there are other things that I have missed but I feel what I’ve mentioned above would be a good starting point for recommending changes to the budget.

As an aside, I submitted these suggestions to Mr. Ignatieff’s website but it seems that while he wants our opinions, he doesn’t want them to be too long or in too much detail. I had to break this up into 4 sections because the word limit in the comment box is woefully low.

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