Letter: Canada in good financial shape

Canada's cupboard is well stocked with both good ideas and unused real resources that can be mobilized.

To the editor:

Re:  Harper Government Accused of Leaving ‘Bare Cupboard’ for Liberals, Andy Blatchford, Nov. 12, The Province (http://www.theprovince.com/business/fp/harper+government+accused+leaving+bare+cupboard+liberals/11512301/story.html).

The repeated claim that Ottawa’s fiscal cupboard is bare is fatuous.

Whenever a financial crisis erupts, it is clear that a sovereign country’s central bank can create money as needed. For example, to address the freeze in the credit markets that occurred in 2008, our federal government immediately set up a $200 billion Extraordinary Financing Framework to bail out struggling banks and corporations.

The myth that the federal government can run out of money in normal times is propagated by financial elites who fear that too much government spending on social welfare will cause inflation and erode their financial wealth, and by business and corporate leaders satisfied with slack in the economy to prevent unions from demanding higher wages.

In truth, Canada’s cupboard is well stocked with both good ideas and unused real resources that can be mobilized. The government should make Canada a leader in public renewable energy schemes, better public transport systems, and various green initiatives that would combat climate change and create a highly skilled workforce with many permanent jobs.

Treasury Board president Scott Brison should not cite Mother Hubbard nursery rhymes as an excuse for inaction.

Larry Kazdan, Vancouver