January 30, 2009

On January 27, the Conservative government delivered the 2009 “Economic Action Plan.”  Part of this plan was crafted to provide a major shot in the arm to the Canadian economy by doubling infrastructure spending.  For many Canadians, the word “infrastructure” typically conjures up visions of cement mixers and traffic delays.  But right now the idea of infrastructure spending is creating a great deal of enthusiasm across the country.  The Government is getting ready to invest billions of dollars into the Canadian economy in a way that will create jobs, stimulate spending and make a difference in towns and cities across Canada.  It is a huge investment, the likes of which has not been seen in decades.

Infrastructure projects such as building roads and bridges, improving water systems and others, will create thousands of jobs for Canadians, and will provide work for many different sectors of our economy.  Infrastructure spending is more than simply putting a shovel in someone’s hand and saying “dig there.” It is the first link in a long chain of job creation down the supply train, reinvigorating the economy.  Spending money on infrastructure also leaves a long-term legacy of useful facilities that will benefit our community for generations.

The Government has been consulting extensively with businesses, provincial governments and members of the opposition to discuss how the 2009 budget can be used to improve our economy.  I am hopeful that the resulting budget will provide the action needed during these challenging economic times.

The stimulus will cost money.  An economic slowdown means that the government has less revenue to spend.  In order to provide the support needed during this challenging time Parliament has chosen to run a deficit in the short-term, allowing money to flow into the economy and reach Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The Government has paid down over $37 billion from our national debt since 2006, our global credit is good, interest rates are low.  We find ourselves, as a nation, in a situation where when we have to borrow a large amount of money, we can make the necessary short term investment without over-burdening our children’s generation.  We won’t be able to spend ourselves out of recession, but we can soften its negative impacts on our economy and people and build needed infrastructure in the process.

In next week’s “In Touch” I will talk more about the tax cuts delivered in the Economic Action Plan.  To learn more about the budget and the Economic Action Plan you can visit

Until next time. . .

Earl Dreeshen, MP
Red Deer