In December of 2008, the turmoil that had gripped the world economy challenged all governments to take bold action – action that could not wait for political transitions to happen at their usual pace. So in the United States, president elect Barack Obama had been announcing stimulus measures even while building his cabinet.

In Canada, the government nearly fell on an Economic Statement that admittedly did not contain economic stimulus measures. Lost in the political gamesmanship was any real relief for Canadians watching their retirement savings evaporate. The usual processes of pre-budget consultations for the budget scheduled January 27th 2009 had been telescoped. It is thought that mostly corporate CEOs had been invited. The rest of us were given the option of answering the Department of Finance’s online survey which listed five main priorities for Economic Stimulus: Infrastructure, Housing, Labour, Industry Support and Credit Access.

Without or without an invitation, CARP would be making a submission directly to all the Ministers of Finance in advance of their scheduled meeting on December 17, 2008, in Saskatoon to discuss the upcoming budget. In our Special year-end Edition of CARP Action Online,
we asked members to help with our submission, and take a moment to answer the questions in the CARPActionOnline Poll.

We asked for your input and you certainly gave it! Nearly 3,000 readers responded to the online poll last month. In fact, we received 900 responses in just one hour after we sent out the newsletter. One day later, there were 2,400 responses. Click here for full poll results

While you were recovering from holiday festivities, the Finance Minister’s pre-budget consultation tour made the rounds of corporate CEOs and the organized chaos of last minute town halls.

In a normal year, CARP and other groups representing important stakeholders would make formal pre-budget submissions to the Finance Subcommittee of the House of Commons. There was nothing normal this time, so CARP sent its submission reflecting your input, with an open letter to the Finance Minister and all his provincial counterparts in advance of their meeting in December. Other groups we coordinate our work with, like the Federal Superannuates National Association and the Canadian Caregivers Coalition, also sent out their submissions via the media.
To to view a copy of the Pre-Budget Edition of CARP Action Online click here

To view a copy of our December 16th, 2008 news release click here

To view a copy of our January 21st, 2009 news release on poll results, Click here

On January 27th CARP VP of Advocacy Susan Eng was in the budget lockup to ensure that CARP members would receive their analysis just as the budget was being presented. To view a copy of CARP’s budget analysis, click here.
and to view a copy of our January 27th 2009 news release click here