Cornwall - Mar. 16, 2011 - I am sure a great number of you will be glued to your television or radio on March 22 at 4:00pm to hear Finance Minister Jim Flaherty deliver the 2011 Budget. If you can't hear it at that time, I am sure you will be listening for details during the nightly news cast or reading about it in the next morning's paper. The reason I say this is that I have not seen as much interest in a budget since the 2004 election. I am happy to say I have received more suggestions, comments and advice about what should and should not be included in this year's Economic Action Plan than for any other budget.
I received dozens of unique and very interesting suggestions that should be addressed through the 2011 budget. Many recommendations were innovative and creative. Some constituents suggested severe cuts, while others promoted some very expensive programs. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think some of you looking for massive cuts or expenditures will be disappointed.
Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty have been very clear; this budget is all about reducing the deficit, stimulating the economy and creating jobs. They have also been up front with the Canadian public and made it very clear that there will not be significant expenditures contained in the budget. Likewise, there will not be any drastic cuts.
I believe the 2011 budget will be a prudent "steady as she goes" blueprint that will include a sound plan to eliminate the deficit by 2015 as promised. Although there will not be dramatic cuts or increases in the budget, I believe there will be a realignment of priorities. Minister Flaherty will have to decide how many of the hundreds of excellent suggestions can be accommodated in this year’s plan. Just like personal household budgets the government has to make tough choices on what we can afford now and what has to be put off.
The Finance Minister has indicated there will be no "poison pills" included in the March 22 budget. This means there will be no reason to have an election at this time. I hope at least one of the opposition parties agrees.
Member of Parliament
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