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article imageElizabeth May wants to 'Green' Canada's upcoming federal budget

By Andrew Moran     Mar 27, 2012 in Politics
Ottawa - Green Party leader Elizabeth May introduced a pair of "Green Scissors" to find the necessary cuts in the upcoming federal budget in order to reduce its budget deficit, but not at the cost of the environment, health and education.
On Thursday, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will introduce the federal budget. Reports indicate that many cuts are expected in this year’s budget, including savings to at least five federal departments, lowering the House of Commons budget by seven percent and even cutting back on the lucrative pension plan for Members of Parliament and senators.
Two days before this important budget, Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands and Green Party leader, issued a number of recommendations to Flaherty as part of her “Green Scissors” initiative.
May noted in her press release that she is cautious about Flaherty increasing the retirement age to 67 and making cuts to environmental science, fisheries protection and youth unemployment services.
“All of the elements we have suggested are politically practical and should be in line with the Conservative Party policy goals,” said May in a media release. “Minister Flaherty may have already included some of them, but we wanted to offer our ideas in the spirit of cooperation.”
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
So what are some of May’s suggestions to cut the federal budget that would not harm education, the environment and healthcare?
- Raise the corporate tax rate to 19 percent (+$4.5 billion).
- End subsidies to biotechnology, nuclear and asbestos (+$256 million).
- Invest in renewable energy and mass transit. (+$1 billion).
- Invest in First Nations Education, housing, water and healthcare. (+$1 billion).
The Green leader warned against austerity measures for Canada’s economy and instead urged the government to focus on tax relief for businesses, the youth and workers. “Any cuts in government spending should focus squarely on waste and not critical services,” stated May.
In the end, she believes a lot of “fat could be trimmed from the government itself.” According to May, more than $90 million could be saved if government advertising was cut, $100 million could be saved if a proposed House of Commons Crystal Palace was ended and more than $500 million could be found if civil servants worked virtually instead of travelling to meetings domestically and internationally.
“With the right balance of changes to revenue and spending, we can have a budget that works for Canadians and ensures that we reduce the deficit,” said May.
More about Elizabeth may, green party of canada, Federal budget, Jim flaherty, green scissors
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