OTTAWA— Prime Minister Stephen Harper is asking for input from entrepreneurs, workers, small businesses and ordinary Canadians on how his government should handle our country’s economic challenges in 2012.
With Europe on the verge of a new recession and the rest of the world facing economic uncertainty, the Prime Minister warns that 2012 will be a challenging year for Canada and that creating jobs won’t be easy.
Harper warns that “tough, important choices” will have to be made to keep the Canadian economy growing.
The 2012 budget will focus on five key areas: expanding trade and opening new markets; investing in research and development; contributing to skills training; eliminating red tape; keeping taxes low; and controlling debt and deficits.
The federal government has increased spending every year for the last five years, but while 1.4 million Canadians are unemployed, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said such spending schemes will increase deficits and raise taxes.
He has warned the budgets of several departments could be cut by more than 10 per cent as the government reviews all spending in federal departments and agencies.
He’s also said that issues such as pension reform and other benefits for public servants are under the microscope.
A special committee from Treasury Board has been looking over each department and agency and will come up with recommendations on what can be cut as part of the budget process.