Federal government response to economic crisis out of step

November 27, 2008

OTTAWA—The federal government’s response to Canada’s shaky economic situation is wildly out of step with what governments around the world are doing to protect their citizens, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

“This economic statement will deepen and lengthen Canada’s recession instead of cushioning the blow,” says CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan. “Slashing and burning federal spending and the government’s indecision on an economic stimulus package will actually contribute to a downward economic spiral.”

“Today’s announcement contained no stimulus package; rather, it focused on ideological commitments to cutting government, restraining workers’ legal right to strike, scrapping pay equity and enhancing the Conservatives’ fundraising advantage over other political parties,” says CCPA Executive Director Bruce Campbell. “They are taking advantage of Canadians’ worry and using it for their own political gain.”

The CCPA says the federal government should act immediately to cushion the blow of the global economic crisis, with the following actions:

  • Fix the cracks in Canada’s Employment Insurance program, which fails to cover the majority of unemployed Canadians and will prolong and deepen hardship in the event of a recession unless the government acts now to repair it.
  • Stimulate the economy with an immediate injection of capital to kick-start infrastructure renewal and expansion that municipalities have long had ready to roll. That will create jobs while improving Canada’s aging transportation, water and energy infrastructure, as well as protecting our assets in housing, health care, and education facilities.
  • Offer immediate support to provinces moving ahead with poverty reduction plans during tough times. We need an economic stimulus package that helps Main Street, not just Bay Street.

For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at (613) 563-1341 x 306.