Riffling through the budget reaction

From interest groups at various points on the political spectrum:

On freezing of foreign aid spending at $5 billion a year:

“Canada’s performance is nothing short of an international embarrassment,” said Gerry Barr, president of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. “To announce a freeze to aid spending as Canada is about to host the G8 and G20 meetings shows a lack of leadership and is unconscionable.”

On the plan to shrink the deficit to $1.8 billion in 2014-15:

“By putting off balancing the books for at least five years, the federal government is sacrificing Canadian competitiveness,” said Niels Veldhuis, a Fraser Institute senior economist. “With revenues expected to rebound this coming year, the government could have balanced the budget within two years.”

On turning off the stimulus spending tap after 2010-11:

“All signals are that we are not yet out of the wood and cutting back on government spending will only add to the problem,” said Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Imagine where we would be today if we had done nothing, as this government was proposing just 16 months ago.”

On pressing ahead with corporate tax cuts even while running big deficits:

“These tax changes, combined with responsible fiscal policies and unwavering support for open markets and trade liberalization, send an important signal to the rest of the world,” said John Manley, president and CEO of the Canadian council of Chief Executives.

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