No 137 Posted by fw, March 22, 2011
Following up on a March 5, 2011 post in this blog — Youth-driven organization aims to change the face of federal politics in Canada — Leadnow.ca has released it first report on the feedback received from Canadians who participated in the cross-country conversations. Here is a copy of the press release with some minor editorial changes to separate and highlight the major suggestions submitted by participants:
Leadnow.ca releases budget priorities from 75 coast to coast conversations with Canadians
For immediate release – Monday March 21st, 2011
(Ottawa) As Parliament heads into budget lockdown tomorrow, and with a probable election on the horizon, Leadnow.ca has some helpful hints about what Canadians are looking for in a budget released during hard times and global turmoil.
“Over the last three weeks, Leadnow.ca hosted over 75 face-to-face conversations with Canadians from coast to coast and asked them about their priorities for our government,“ said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of Leadnow.ca. “When it comes to the budget, here’s what we heard: we need to make smart investments for our future while we protect our people today.”
“The participants want to see money put into developing a clean economy through new energy sources and rail infrastructure.”
“They want money invested in protecting our environment.”
“They want our social safety network strengthened to help the vulnerable, and they are firm about the importance of spending on health and education,” said Biggar.
The conversations were part of an event called (Re)Generation: Voices for Canada that focused on bringing generations of Canadians together to talk about what they want for Canada’s future. The participants ranged in age from their teens to their eighties. The inter-generational setting encouraged a focus on the long-term.
“People understand that we are in a time of real fiscal challenges, and they want to see a smart use of our money. For example, they suggested that money be spent on preventing crime and helping people with mental illness, instead of spending more money holding people in prisons,” said Biggar.
“And, they want to see money shifted away from military spending, and towards maintaining our health and education systems.”
The events were part of a larger process to engage Canadians in creating a Declaration for Change that will call on politicians to work together on major issues facing the country, and back their call with a commitment to vote in the next election. Leadnow.ca is using an online values survey to complement the face-to-face conversations. Thus far, the results of the online values survey echo the results from the local events.
Biggar said that “as we head into what may be a spring election, I hope all of the political parties are hearing from the growing number of Canadians who don’t feel like their priorities are being reflected by government.”
Jamie Biggar is available for comment on the budget.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie Biggar, Co-Founder & Executive Director (email@example.com – 778-847-8205)
Adam Shedletzky, Co-Founder (firstname.lastname@example.org – 647-213-6591)