Budget Steps Up the Pace of Reform
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration, secure for at least three more years in a parliamentary majority, uses its latest budget to implement an array of expected reforms that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says are designed to sustain confidence at home and abroad while addressing the deficit. The reforms include tax adjustments, reductions in spending and the public service, streamlined regulation of resource development, and changes to social programs. ‘‘Other western countries face the risk of long-term economic decline’’, Mr. Flahert y said in his seventh budget speech to the House of Commons on March 29, 2012. ‘‘We have a rare opportunity to position our country for sustainable, long-term growth. Others now have little room to manoeuvre; we are free to choose our future.’’
Mr. Flaherty also pointed out that the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development and the International Monetary Fund expect the Canadian economy to be a world leader over the next two years. However, the government was not interested in simply maintaining that edge. ‘‘We must also position Canada to compete successfully with the world’s large and dynamic emerging economies’’, Mr. Flaherty stated. ‘‘In a changing global economy we must . . . avoid falling behind.’’
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