Promoting a Flourishing Society
 

What Others Are Saying: "Snap Shots" From Advocates and Associations

From the Archived "Cardus Policy in Public" Series

January 1, 2009

24 Hours Later: Responses to the 2009 Federal Budget

ASSOCIATION OF CANADIAN ACADEMIC HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS

The ACAHO congratulated the federal government on its sweeping infrastructure investments, but expressed concern over the lack of additional base funding for the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Genome Canada and funding to cover indirect costs of research. Said Glenn Brimacombe, President & CEO of ACAHO, “if knowledge is the new currency in an increasingly interdependent global economy, then we must support researchers, the grant process, infrastructure and indirect costs in a balanced way.”

ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers praised the federal budget, heralding it as containing measures which will assist in “thawing the credit market for automobile dealers and consumers.” David Adams, President of the Association, added that “care needs to be taken that the intervention does not confer a competitive advantage for some automakers and finance companies over others.”

ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES OF CANADA

The AUCC supported the new investment in Canada’s university infrastructure, suggesting these investments would boost universities’ role in the effort to stimulate the economy in difficult times.

CANADIAN HOUSING AND RENEWAL ASSOCIATION

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association called the 09 federal budget remarkable, both for addressing the important needs of people facing run-down social housing, but also for who it leaves out – namely the homeless, low-income Canadians without affordable housing and aboriginal people living outside urban centres.

CANADIAN LIFE AND HEALTH INSURERS

The CLHIA welcomed the new federal budget, particularly the repeal of Section 18.2 in the Income Tax Act, which restricted the deduction of interest for certain investments in foreign subsidiaries. The creation of the Canadian Life Assurance Facility, providing guarantee programs similar to other global competitors, was also noted.

CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

The Canadian Medical Association was encouraged by a $500 million investment in Canada Health Infoway, and initiatives supporting front line health care, leading to better, more efficient health care. However, physicians of Canada remain concerned that the election commitment of the federal government to address Canada’s doctor shortage remains unmet. While the Association is not surprised to see the emphasis on physical infrastructure and finance it cautions that in future years it is important to remember that the “first wealth is health”.

CANADIAN REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION

The Canadian Real Estate Association warmly welcome specific measures to facilitate new home ownership, and fresh incentives for home renovation. President Calvin Lindberg suggested that new initiatives for aboriginal and social housing are important steps to help house those who may be in need, and modernize existing housing resources.

CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS ASSOCIATION

Stimulating measures to boost consumer confidence and business growth are good measures, says the Certified General Accountants Association. Anthony Ariganello, President, summarizes CGA priorities as “first, improving access to financing to create the conditions for growth. Second, key direct investments essential to get Canadians back to work. We believe this budget meets these criteria.”

CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS OF CANADA

A B+ rating was given to the 09 federal budget by the Chartered Accountants of Canada, welcoming the new targeted spending and tax initiatives, but retaining a cautious note for the problem of deficit spending which it likened to dieting. Said Kevin Dancey, President of Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, “it is much easier to put weight on than it is to take it off. For government it is much easier to spend than it is to reduce the debt load.”

CHILD CARE ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

The Child Care Advocacy Association sternly opposes the new 09 federal budget. Contrasting federal commitment to the banking sector the Association writes that the budget contains “nothing to address the internationally recognized crisis in child care services across the country.” Jody Dallaire, Chairperson of the Association, argues that the budget does nothing to promote quality, affordable child care services that would help children and families weather the economic crisis.

COLLGE STUDENT ALLIANCE

While pleased with the $2 billion fund for infrastructure improvements in postsecondary education, the College Student Alliance expressed regret that colleges would only be receiving 30 percent of these moneys. College campuses, writes Jenn Howarth – President of the College Student Alliance – are in just as much need, and deserve to be recognized equally.

FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities supported the 09 federal budget, saying it provided concrete action for new jobs, providing much needed emphasis on upgrading existing infrastructure. With all levels of government working around the table to produce tangible results for a flagging economy, President Jean Parrault expressed optimism about shared partnerships in the coming years. “Municipalities”, said Parrault, “are ready to get started.”

GREENPEACE

Greenpeace condemned the federal budget for investing $750 million in nuclear energy instead of investing funds in a greener economy. Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy coordinator, described the budget as a “travesty and unnecessary burden for taxpayers” and as “a miserable failure at seizing a golden opportunity to provide long-term investment for a green economy.”

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

ITAC called Tuesday’s release a very good federal budget, giving commendable emphasis to 21st century infrastructure, a well-educated workforce, competitive tax structure and a more productive economy. However, it voices concerns about the virtual drought of venture capital in Canada for early stage technology ventures. Said Bernard Courtois, President and CEO of ITAC, “if we don’t figure out a way to get venture capital flowing again we could lose a whole generation of promising technology ventures.”

INVESTMENT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

The IIAC supported the new initiatives tabled in the 09 federal budget, saying that while this budget marked a return to deficit financing, that measure was temporary to offset global slowdown. President Ian Russell expressed optimism that unlike in the 1990’s “public finances are in far better shape to absorb the increased debt load.” The IIAC expressed disappointment that the budget did not lower taxes on capital gains to stimulate savings and further investment, nor introduce needed reform of RRSP and RRIF programs to rebuild retirement savings.

MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

MAC came out today in support of the federal budget, calling it appropriate for the times. Investments in infrastructure as well as greater access to credit were all identified as positive steps toward addressing economic downturn. Additionally, MAC supported the new regional economic development agency for the North and looks forward to working alongside side it to advance resource development and economic opportunity for Northerners and Aboriginal People.

NATIONAL AIRLINES COUNCIL OF CANADA

The National Airlines Council of Canada welcomed new federal spending on the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), saying that “the government’s decision to finance an increase in CATSA funding without passing on costs through to commuters reinforces the need to ensure that CATSA is serving the security interest of Canadians in the most effective way possible.”

ONTARIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ALLIANCE

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance announced concern that large spending priorities on infrastructure must accompany funding to post-secondary education. Says Howie Bender, Executive Director, “if there is not a parallel commitment to ensure adequate funding for students and institutions we will witness strange times at post-secondary institutions as new buildings go up, while students and teachers wait out in the cold for government support.”

RAILWAY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

The Railway Association was pleased with the federal budget, heralding safety enhancements, infrastructure investments and highway-railway crossing improvements. Ontario short line railways were highlighted as qualifying under the $4 billion Economic Stimulus Fund, as well as other regional railways in Newfoundland and Manitoba.

RETAIL COUNCIL OF CANADA

The Retail Council of Canada is encouraged by tax relief for low and modest income Canadians, new infrastructure spending and the first steps taken on regulating credit cards by strengthening disclosure requirements and limiting certain business practices. RCC is a not-for profit, industry funded association representing more than 40,000 store fronts across Canada.

(ONTARIO) SOUTHWEST ECONOMIC ALLIANCE

The Ontario Southwest Economic Alliance applauds the release of the 09 federal budget, heralding specifically: 1) the creation of an economic development agency, long sought within the region, 2) a focus on infrastructure and job creation, giving – according to Chair and Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson, the development agenda a physical and substantive edge.

VOLUNTEER CANADA

Volunteer Canada says the federal government budget falls short in supporting and enhancing the role of Canada’s volunteers. Writes Volunteer Canada, as the federal government continues to steer our country through this economic crisis, volunteers and Canada’s voluntary sector will be under increased duress to deliver essential services and maintain our country’s social and economic fabric.