January 18, 2009
Rex Murphy: Where to Spend?
Rex Murphy, host of the national CBC show called "Cross Country Checkup", is asking Canadians tonight where they should spend their money.
You can all hang up. I have the top 10 answers.
- Stop spending any more money on fossil fuels or things that burn fossil fuels. It’s stupid.
- Understand that we have an opportunity to institute structural change: invest in green and invest lots. Renewable fuels & energy. Solar retrofits & geothermal installs.
- Infrastructure, but think in terms of "downtown" and the future. Light rail transit. Bike lanes in green spaces. Fewer roads outside of the core. And for the city of London (where I am), several over/underpasses so the city doesn’t get choked off by trains.
- Cut spending on defense to balance any potential deficit spending. The $500 billion that is planned by the Harper government has never come into question and should. Why do we spend that money on enterprises that, in large part, aren’t even Canadian? Because we’re stupid and we’ve bought into the ‘feat factory’.
- Spend a minimum fixed dollar amount on every single city with a population that’s greater than 100,000 people. I suggest $100,000,000. Those that have been spending their money wisely can invest in new projects or reducing property taxes. Those that don’t can at least avoid slashing desparately needed social programs and public infrastructure.
- Spend a pro-rata amount for cities larger than 100,000 people. The more people, particularly that are in your downtown core, the more money you get.
- Stop insisting that projects be given to the private sector first. It’s a sure way to add 20-30% to the bottom line and cost of new projects and it’s a waste of public money.
- Make a massive public investment in the communications network. Bell Canada is doing a very poor job of running it, so Canada should have a new and exceptionally efficient public pipe that anyone can use without being throttled or facing lack of net neutrality.
- Create a massive public investment in co-ops, non-profits and socially responsible organizations that are committed to the future of this planet. If it’s not part of their mandate, they don’t get a cent!
- Fire at least 18 Senators.
There. Easy. Now go to it, Jim!