Working on Budget 2010

Last week I was in Ottawa to attend the Conservative Party National Caucus. Our government is in the midst of consulting Canadians before we unveil our fifth federal budget on March 4.

Last week I was in Ottawa to attend the Conservative Party National Caucus. Our government is in the midst of consulting Canadians before we unveil our fifth federal budget on March 4. I will be holding the following satellite office meetings in our riding: Tuesday, Feb. 9 in Strathmore from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Chestermere; Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Drumheller and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Stettler; and, Thursday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Hanna and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Oyen.

As your Member of Parliament, I want to express my appreciation for the emails, letters, and phone calls already received in my office conveying what voters in our riding of Crowfoot want to see in the next federal budget. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that what he is hearing so far is that Canada’s economy remains the top priority for Canadians, and he considers that to be our Conservative government’s top priority. The Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance maintains that while the officials in his department are starting to see signs of a recovery in Canada’s economy, recovery is fragile.

As we enter Phase II of Canada’s Economic Action plan, we are working closely with provinces and municipalities to continue the rapid implementation of the Economic Action Plan and roll out the remaining stimulus projects across the country.

At the same time, we are also looking ahead to future challenges, especially restoring balanced budgets once our economy is fully recovered. There is work that can begin now to ensure Canada builds a strong foundation for future economic growth.

Over the course of the next several weeks, Prime Minister Harper, Minister Flaherty and the rest of the conservative caucus will be meeting with and hearing from Canadian families, homeowners, workers, business-owners and industries from across the country. Already, close to 200 roundtables, townhall meetings, online consultations and other events are planned throughout the country, concluding with a new Throne Speech on March 3. It is important that locally, we organize our input into the pre-budget process so we can continue to benefit from the economic stimulus available to our riding.

Now is the time to communicate your ideas and support for economic stimulus efforts that will see us through the effects of the global economic slowdown. I hope to hear from as many of my constituents as possible in the coming weeks. If you cannot attend one of my satellite office meetings, you can always contact my Camrose office or send in your comments directly to the finance minister at: http://www.fin.gc.ca/prebudget-prebudgetaire/1-eng.asp.

Finally, I encourage all of us to remember the people of Haiti. A charitable gift, big or small, will significantly help alleviate the many challenges these innocent people are experiencing. As chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, one of the first reports I presided over was a major study of Canada’s mission in Haiti.

Haiti is Canada’s second largest aid recipient. The people of Haiti had many issues to contend with before the earthquake and clearly, Canadians continue to want to support the people of Haiti.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or previous columns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail sorenk1@parl.gc.ca.