Volume 94, Issue 28

Thursday, October 19, 2000


City rallies for peace

London mayoral race begins

Budget unveiled, election on horizon

Clubs upset about new Wave schedule policy

Campus Briefs

Former USC president cashes in with Canada's first online drugstore

Corroded Disorder

Budget unveiled, election on horizon

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

After Finance Minister Paul Martin released a new mini-budget yesterday, members of both the Liberal party and the opposition, agreed a federal election is all but guaranteed.

"Far more important than the progress of the past is the progress of the future," he said, speaking before the House of Commons.

Martin said federal budget surpluses would range between $7 to $13 billion in each of the next five years.

"These surpluses are not an opportunity to spend freely, but to spend wisely," he added.

Under the mini-budget, an additional $500 million will be put towards the environment, he explained, which will focus on dealing with climate change and pollution.

Martin committed further funding towards health care and childhood development, including the recent $23.4 million health care deal between the provinces and the federal government.

Knowledge is the centre of the national agenda, Martin said, as he announced $500 million in new funding for the Canada Foundation of Innovation, to improve educational infrastructure and research facilities.

"We need to make life-long learning a priority," Martin said. He also announced a raise in the Education Tax Credit from $200 to $400 per month for full-time students.

Immediate cuts to all Canadians' personal income taxes will be introduced in the new year, Martin said, as well as the commitment of $10 billion towards paying down the federal debt and cuts to capital gains taxes, to boost the high-tech sector.

Rick Borotski, the Progressive Conservative finance critic, said the mini-budget was nothing but an election platform ploy.

"Don't go and spend all the money you think you've saved," he added. "None of this will come to fruition."

"It's unprecedented for the official opposition to be so blatantly attacked in a budget speech," said Dick Harris, deputy finance critic for the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance. "I'm quite satisfied they see us as a threat."

"It was a mini-budget with mini-steps in the right direction," said Jeff Sutton, Western's University Students' Council VP-education, adding he hopes the upcoming full budget takes concrete steps forward in dealing with the core funding of education and the problems of student debt.

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