John Manley consults with U of C students

Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, consulted U of C students about the future budget on Wed., Nov. 13, 2002.

“Canada is one of the countries that actually makes the world work,” said Manley. “I think we can be a Northern Tiger. Canada is in a position to be a magnet for talent and investment, to maintain the leadership role we’re building in the world.”

Manley feels the future budget needs to have two bases.

“It’s not strictly an economic equation. It’s also about quality of life.”

On the economic side Manley was proud to announce the $8.9 billion surplus was the fifth in a row, the first such streak since 1950. He focused not just on numbers but

also on the quality of life.

“The value of life has to do not just with the standard of living but how we live with each other.”

Having announced the purpose of his visit, to consult with students about future budget ideas, Manley spoke for approximately 25 minutes and then opened up for comments and questions.

When asked about repayment of the national debt, Manley answered that the government has “not set aside a specific amount to debt reduction [but rather] maintaining a balanced budget is the healthiest plan.”

Health care was another popular issue raised by students.

“Canadians aren’t concerned about who pays for it, they just want it to be effective,” he said and then committed his government to paying more and to working with provinces.

It was pointed out by a student that the combined spending for foreign aid and diplomacy was $1.5 billion, $4.9 billion less than military spending which he claimed had little to show for its expenditures.

“Tanks cost more,” was the Finance Ministers’ response, adding that most peacekeeping missions are dangerous and very costly.

Obviously the Kyoto Protocol was mentioned, and Manley was critical.

“The onus is on the feds… to eliminate uncertainty for Canadians,” he said. “Canada has been sloppy in terms of covering up their environmental footsteps. The United States has done more to reduce emissions than Canada.”

Manley visited with Calgarians on three separate occasions with the intent of, “seeking your ideas, your opinions and your input into the choices the federal government must make”.

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