Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Canadian Budget 2004: Will It Help The Liberals?

The Federal Government’s finance minister, Ralph Goodale, presented 2004 budget yesterday. The Liberals hope it helps them to win the incoming election. Many opposition MPs don’t buy it and say there’s no concern about Canada’s priorities.
The following is some highlights (Comments in brackets are from me):
• This is the 7th consecutive balanced budget, with projected surplus of $1.9 billion for 2003-04 which must go to the $510 billion debt.
• The government promises accountability and integrity regarding the recent scandals!!
• Government to identify $3 billion in annual saving within four years.
• Re-establishes a comptroller general to oversee all government spending!!
• Reduces debt-to-GDP ratio to 25% in 10 years.
• $7 billion over 10 years for cities by rebating GST.
• $4 billion is assigned to clean up contaminated areas across the country in 10 years. (It means the country must be really contaminated by different toxic and I don’t know may be chemicals)
• About $680 million for cattle producers hurt by mad cow crisis, as part of $1billion for cash-strapped farmers. (Probably wheat farmers, I’m just guessing)
• $665 million for public health, in two years.
• $605 million for national security in any kind, including border protection, cyber-security, etc. over 5 years. (It’s not gonna work! What r u gonna to with Americans?!)
• $270 million to provide venture capital for start-up technology companies.
• $250 million for Canadian forces missions in (f**king!) Afghanistan and prevent terrorism
• $248 million more for international assistance in 2005-06. (I can’t believe this!)
• Up to $2000 is provided for children of lower-income families and a grant of $3000 for the first-year post-secondary education of a dependent student for such families. This is for children born after 2003. (This is really good)
• Reduces air travel security charges for both national and international air travel. (This one is really good too)
• 1$ billion for roads and sewers repair, including $350 million for Toronto Transit (This is not fair. Why does everything goes to the east?)