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Harper looks to manufacturers, small businesses to help steer economy in 2012

Looking for ways to keep the Canadian economy growing, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is asking for input from the business and manufacturing communities on how his government should handle the country's challenges in 2012.


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January 16, 2012 by Canadian Plastics

Looking for ways to keep the Canadian economy growing, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is asking for input from the business and manufacturing communities on how his government should handle the country’s challenges in 2012.

“Canadians have consistently told us the economy is their top priority,” Harper wrote Sunday in a letter to Conservative MPs, and widely disseminated by the Canadian press. “They are concerned about their jobs, their families and their financial security. We have listened to their concerns and we have acted with Canada’s Economic Action Plan.”

A special committee from Treasury Board has been looking over each department and agency and will come up with recommendations on what can be cut as part of the budget process.

Harper is taking that process a step further by asking for input from entrepreneurs, workers, small businesses and ordinary Canadians. “Therefore, I am requesting that ministers take time in the coming weeks to travel the country and consult with Canadians on Economic Action Plan 2012,” he wrote.

The 2012 budget will focus on five key areas: expanding trade and opening new markets; investing in research and development; contributing to skills training; eliminating red tape; keeping taxes low; and controlling debt and deficits.

The federal government has increased spending every year for the last five years, but while 1.4 million Canadians are unemployed, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said such spending schemes will increase deficits and raise taxes.

Flaherty has warned the budgets of several departments could be cut by more than 10 per cent as the government reviews all spending in federal departments and agencies. He’s also said that issues such as pension reform and other benefits for public servants are under the microscope.

A special committee from Treasury Board has been looking over each department and agency and will come up with recommendations on what can be cut as part of the budget process.