A prescription for jobs is the cure for worrisome economic times
October 7th, 2011 - 2:49pm
It was good news when the House of Commons unanimously passed a New Democrat motion this past week that took aim at another economic downturn. The document contained a number of measures intended to help Canada weather its second bout of recession in the last half-decade. It focused on job creation, pension protection, investment in enduring and essential infrastructure, as well as maintaining the full public sector contribution to the Canadian economy.
The New Democrat motion addressed the major economic problem facing Canadians - a slowing recovery and a weak jobs market. Only by fully recognizing the gravity of our situation, can we chart a course of action that focuses on the people hardest hit by these challenges - this motion does just that.
Much like in 2008, it will be up to the government to soften the blow for Canadians. To that end, stimulus spending, done equitably and well, is the best tool we have to ride out a recession. It has the ability to buoy localized economies and keeps money flowing throughout those communities.
There is also the case of need. It is well documented that critical infrastructure requires repair all over our country which gives us yet another reason to embark on government-led economic engineering. We simply cannot allow our country to crumble around us and the time to address that is upon us.
The government would do well to think of this as an opportunity to do something better. One of the biggest problems with the last round of stimulus spending was that it was done quickly to provide nice statistics ahead of last spring’s budget. Now, the government is at the very start of a four-year mandate and can be more patient. The benefits of doing this will be more wide-spread.
A longer program would allow more communities to participate. Small towns will have time to find the professionals needed to prepare applications. The expediency of shovel-ready can be replaced with the good sense of addressing immediate and important needs right across our country.
It remains to be seen if the government will breathe life into the motion they voted in full support of. It will require them to shift their economic priorities away from more corporate tax cuts. If we are all going to have to tighten our belts and be smarter with our money, there is no reason that profitable corporations shouldn't be happy to step back from the head of line and join us in the effort.