Martin, The Hon. Paul
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A joint meeting of the Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto.
Opening up the process of budget making: a commitment made to Canadians eight months ago when the government submitted its budget. Two documents put forward last week to serve as the basis for the debate that is now underway: one contained a strategy to secure jobs from economic growth; the second an update on the state of our economy. The need for structural change in Canada. Addressing the fiscal deficit, and the innovation deficit. A new framework for economic policy that will determine what the government will do in the future, and what it won't do. A test that will be applied to every economic programme of the government, new or old. A test that asks "Will this make us a more productive country or not?" Steps toward greater productivity. The need for government to facilitate change. What government should not do, and why. A policy that brings responsibility back to the public finances of Canada. Putting the debt in perspective. What the government intends to do about it. The ultimate goal of a balanced budget. Setting an interim deficit target. Meeting targets. Reasons for consulting and opening up the budget. Positive signs of recovery.