Press Release: Federal budget a lost opportunity, says CPJ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON: January 28, 2009 - While applauding the government’s serious approach to the economic crisis, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is disappointed that the federal budget did not contain a poverty reduction strategy or any significant measures to help the most vulnerable in Canada.

“We welcome the government’s intention to run a short-term deficit, but, among other things, the budget missed out on two important fronts – helping the most vulnerable and moving towards a green economy,” said Joe Gunn, executive director.

While Budget 2009 included changes to employment insurance and social housing funding, Gunn was clear these initiatives are not enough. “The most vulnerable Canadians, those so poor they aren’t paying taxes, don’t benefit from this budget. There is a clear absence of any poverty reduction measures,” he stated.

CPJ also called for increased green infrastructure spending beyond the home renovation tax credits the budget offered. Gunn continued, “This was also the ideal time to lay out a different, bigger vision of a more modern, green economy. But this moment has been lost. While infrastructure spending is beneficial, there was no move towards real alternative energy projects. CPJ is disappointed with the government’s failure to make any strong commitments to the environment.”

For CPJ’s full response to the budget, visit www.cpj.ca.

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national organization that promotes public justice in Canada by shaping key policy debates through research and analysis, publishing and public dialogue. CPJ encourages citizens, leaders in society and governments to support policies and practices that reflect God’s call for love, justice and stewardship. www.cpj.ca

For more information, contact:
Joe Gunn, Executive director
1-800-667-8046 ext.224

Chandra Pasma, Policy analyst
1-800-667-8046 ext. 223