Volume 96, Issue 56
Thursday, January 9, 2003

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Manley loves the Sens

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Deputy prime minister and Minister of Finance John Manley took part in a roundtable discussion at Western yesterday afternoon with researchers and administrators as part of his Canada-wide consultations concerning the upcoming federal budget.

Manley said there was no pressure for Canada to introduce new tax cuts as a result of the new round of cuts President George W. Bush recently called for in the United States. "We'll be looking at number of issues that have been raised with respect to taxation, but my first commitment is to make sure that we fulfill the tax reduction commitments that are already there," Manley explained.

It is difficult to determine what economic impact a Canadian contribution to a war against Iraq would have, Manley said. "We can't really foresee how much a conflict in Iraq would cost without knowing how long it will last," he said.

"[Mr. Manley has] been meeting with some Canada Research Chairs and other outstanding researchers at the university who have been able to tell him firsthand the difference that federal investments are making," said Western President Paul Davenport. "We've had big successes [and] we've recruited some tremendous faculty because of the commitment to research from our federal government."

"I was pleased to hear from some of the professors and researchers," Manley said. "This is key to building prosperity in Canada in this century."

Western economics professor Kul Bhatia said Canada does not have to follow the United States' lead when it comes to tax cuts. "The two economies are deeply intertwined," he noted, but added the Canadian economy is currently doing better.

"Canada's involvement [in a war with Iraq] is an open question," Bhatia said adding any war effort would entail serious expenditures.

Bhatia said he would not be surprised to see a significant increase in health spending in the next federal budget.

Manley is currently embroiled in a controversy regarding a phone call he made to a banking executive about a financing deal for the Ottawa Senators.

The National Hockey League team was expected to file for bankruptcy protection yesterday. A reporter asked him a question regarding the team after his visit to Western. "I hope they win," was Manley's abrupt response.

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