Blessed hindsight

Bit late to this, but here is Michael Ignatieff’s interview with Canadian Business.

CB: The NDP and the Liberals pushed for a stimulus plan. Now everyone’s complaining about the deficit. So what would you have done differently?

MI: Tighter fiscal control between 2006 to 2008, strategic investment in things that make us more productive, and competitive and strategic infrastructure investments that ought to have been made are only now in the pipeline. And a clearer sense, beginning in 2007, when the economic situation went south, of earlier corrective action. We would have enhanced the gas-tax transfer to all municipalities. That would have gotten the money out infinitely faster. The numbers we’re running are, not much north of 12% of infrastructure investment has actually gone out the door.

The other thing we would have done very differently is strategic investment in places that make a difference. All across the country, people want Vancouver and Halifax to be working more efficiently; they want the borders to be working more efficiently. That strategic spine of export infrastructure, we would have named that as a priority of investment. The other thing is much more robust and energetic effort, beginning in 2006, to build our export performance in China and India.

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