Federal budget should focus on jobs, families and investing in public services


This year’s March 22 federal budget should focus on jobs and families, as well as investment in public services instead of implementation of further corporate tax cuts, said BCGEU president Darryl Walker in a letter to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today.

On the jobs front, Walker urged the federal government to invest in green jobs as a way to stimulate employment and protect our environment.  He also called for investment in post secondary education, and improvements to Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits.

Walker also urged the government to take key steps to help families.  “The worst of the economic downturn may be behind us,” wrote Walker, “however, Canadian families are still struggling.  Poverty levels in Canada remain high and inequality is growing.”

Walker called on the federal government to commit to developing and implementing a federal poverty reduction plan to address these issues.  He also urged the government to invest in building and maintaining a high quality, universal system of early learning and child care for Canadian families, noting that child care is also critical to increasing employment and productivity levels.

Finally, the federal government should change direction and make better choices when it comes to public spending and taxation.  “Instead of more corporate tax cuts,” wrote Walker, “we want to see greater investment in public services.”  Walker urged the government to invest in mental health programs and services, and to implement permanent measures to achieve tax fairness.