Stakeholder budget interviews (videos)

On budget day, “stakeholders” gathered in the Railway room of Parliament for interviews and to give their reaction to the budget to the pool feed for the television networks. I met a few interesting people who were representing various organizations. I interviewed a few of them on camera.

Green Party:

The Greens passed on the budget even though it was the most activist in history with respect to the environment. ($1.5B to fight carbon emissions, green levy on gas guzzlers and rebates on fuel-efficient/hybrids, $2B for renewable fuels, a national water strategy of $93 million).

Canola Council of Canada:

Canadian Federation of Agriculture:

Institute of Marriage and Family Canada:

Gen. (ret) Lewis MacKenzie:

MedicAlert Canada:

Phil Fontaine, National Chief of Assembly of First Nations:

(On the Aboriginal file: $300 million for aboriginal housing, $14.5 million over two years for aboriginal justice programs, $35 million over two years to get more natives into the labour force, $20 million over two years for native fishermen in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. — source: National Post)

Canadian Institute of Actuaries:

Canadian Alliance of Student Associations:

National Anti-Poverty Organization:

Work Research Foundation:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:

Budget today

I arrived back in Ottawa this past afternoon exhausted from attending the much talked-about Conservative Party boot camp in Toronto.

Of course, I won’t unleash all of the evil Tory secrets that I learned within the confines of the Toronto Congress Centre during those intense few days but I will say that whenever an election comes, the Conservative machine is ready.

Who would have thought in 2004 that 5000 Conservatives would have gathered in Toronto (of all places) to cap of a successful training session to take in a pre-election speech by Prime Minister Harper, enjoying incredible momentum which may steamroll over the Liberal opposition leader on the way to a majority government? Liberal spinners estimated 2000 attendees, but I’m told that the RCMP estimate was 5000. Further, about 40% of the crowd were women and about 35% were new Canadians (I was greeting people at the door to the rally and helping direct some traffic in the hall)

This momentum is particularly important for the Prime Minister to deliver his plan for Canada today as his Finance Minister unveils the second Conservative budget. I’m feeling that the opposition will find it difficult to vote against the Conservative plan for a stronger, safer and better Canada and I don’t think that the government will fall on this particular piece of of legislation.

The budget will be a fundamental plank in how this government will seek to define itself to the Canadian electorate. I’m looking for a particularly strong focus on the law and order agenda and believe that if we are to face an election call in the next couple of months, an election will be precipitated on the stark differences between the Conservatives and opposition on this file.