Thursday, January 29

Observations on the Budget of January 27, 2009

I thought I should provide a few observations with respect to the much anticipated budget upon which so many Canadians - individuals, families and business - pin their hopes, as they feel pinched as a result of the quickly shrunken economy.

Some will feel helped, but in listening to the budget and follow-up discussions I couldn’t help but feel as though some of it is “smoke and mirrors” and will take time to see if it all pans out as projected. Certainly it is much better than what we would have been treated to if Mr. Harper had not been stopped in his tracks. What a huge turn-around from the fiscal update he provided two months ago, an update which was obviously either misleading or na├»ve.

Even I was aware of the worsening world situation in early October. My brother in Ireland told me in a phone-call how the Irish Government had just broken ranks with the EU and said it was going to bail-out a couple of their largest banks. A few days later we saw British PM, Gordon Brown soliciting support in the Middle East and months before most of us were aware of Fanny Mae etc. in the US.

However, despite the severity of our situation, with thousands who have already lost jobs and many more cut to part time, I believe that Canada, with its resource wealth, will survive better than most. However, like a heart-attack or cancer the conditions were developing long before, this may take much longer to correct. My wish is that everyone will survive with the least hurt.

As Mr. Ignatieff has said, the main measures of the budget’s efficacy must be:
• Will (the budget) help business and industry survive?
• Will it alleviate the stresses of those affected by the downturn?
• What length of time it will take to get out of deficit again. (With the huge amounts involved, this is my biggest concern!)

Nevertheless, let’s think and talk positive like Mr. Obama, so that we can feel better and get back to normal again. Also, as suggested by Mr. Obama, we all need to do our bit, learn the needed lesson and become responsible in our day-to-day living. We need to realize the interconnectedness of all of us all and the universe.

We also need to realize that if we keep approaching issues and the future with the same approaches, undoubtedly we will get more of the same. We need to dream, take calculated risks; to reach for the stars and to expect the best from those who serve us. These are some of the traits we see in Mr. Obama. He has renewed our hope and trust. We need to listen and emulate them too.

And, now that circumstances have helped bring us some of the much needed reason and cooperation we expected of our politicians, let’s expect better from them from now on, and likely we will get what we expect. Of course, I would appreciate hearing your observations too. I can be contacted by email at or by phone at (403) 381-7635.
Michael Cormican

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