To: The Canadian Library Association
From: Impact Public Affairs
Subject: Budget 2009 Consultations
Date: December 29, 2008
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, has launched the Government’s national consultation leading into its fourth budget, to be tabled on January 27, 2009. The national consultation will give all Canadians a voice in how to protect Canada’s economy. As in previous years, the Government will conduct online consultations, which have now begun.
The following ideas have been proposed by the Department of Finance as ways of providing stimulus in Budget 2009:
- Investing in housing
- Expediting infrastructure spending
- Building strong and sustainable labour markets and training incentives
- Supporting traditional and emerging industrial sectors
- Improving access to credit
The online consultations will end at midnight, January 9, 2009.
Libraries as an Economic Stimulus – Make Your Voice Heard!
Public libraries are in need of further investment to build and/or upgrade their infrastructure to:
- Incorporate and provide access to the latest information and communications technology (ICTs);
- Increase access to the physically disabled; and
- Become more energy-efficient.
The new Building Canada Fund has five national priority funding categories, but excludes heritage and cultural infrastructure such as libraries, museums, archives and galleries. In order to better serve Canadians, regulatory changes are needed to encourage Building Canada infrastructure funding for public libraries, as well as for other heritage and cultural institutions.
There is a vital need for safe, public (non-commercial) spaces within communities to be the meeting place for community members. It is essential to remind politicians that libraries are key components of communities’ master plans. Libraries are an essential service which need to be enhanced, particularly during periods of economic difficulty.
What you can do: Present a specific project that can be completed within a reasonable time frame that fits both your plan and the government’s agenda.
Libraries are economic engines which help create local economic stability. Public libraries play an important role in assisting people with literacy skills, resume creation, job location and application, and re-education opportunities. Investments in libraries pay long-term dividends in having an economically stronger, more socially inclusive community.