Monday, February 02, 2009

A Shortsighted Budget

I think I understand why Ignatieff has not spoken up about this issue, but it still needs to be discussed.

One of the subtle aspects of the recent government budget was the quiet cuts to all kinds of advanced research - except perhaps for the latest philosopher's stone - "Carbon Capture".

This is not particularly surprising - the current crop of conservatives is remarkably short sighted. Research is the kind of investment that pays off in five to ten years, not five or six months.

Cutting back on advanced research inhibits Canada's ability to grow in the future. I appreciate that the issues 'here and now' are all about making sure that not too many people do not lose their jobs in the short term.

If the government is going to spend vast sums of money to prop up the economy, and (apparently) they are planning to auction off crown assets to fund some of this, then we have to ask just what kind of investments the government is making. Roads, waterworks and the like are pretty simple, tangible projects with legitimate payoffs; but then projects like the Human Genome Project are vitally important too - there is so much to understand about how the genome works, and the country that continues to invest in this area stands poised to become the next leader in medical technology.

No comments: