The federal Finance Minister has hinted tax incentives encouraging Canadians to renovate their homes will be part of his creative solution to the economic downturn.
I can see the Home Depot TV ads now: Economy’s in trouble? You can renovate. We can help.
Aside from having been through the psychological wreckage of home renovations, I can’t help but think renovation is the wrong answer.
An economic crisis of proportions the world hasn’t seen since the Great Depression is quite possibly upon us.
Tens of thousands of Canadians are joining the ranks of the unemployed and the worst is yet to come. Magna predicts an auto parts collapse. Manufacturing jobs are being replaced with offers to pour coffee at Tim Horton’s.
It’s disingenuous to pretend renovation incentives will solve the problem. Renovating is what Canadians have been doing, in droves, for the past decade – mostly due to households hopped up on swelling lines of credit that hang over our heads like thick storm clouds now that layoffs are part of the daily newsfeed.
Instead of asking Canadians to renovate, I say Canadians should be asking their government to innovate.
Why not follow Barack Obama’s lead and start a program to weatherize a million homes every year for the next 10 years? It saves energy, it helps households keep bills down, and it promotes a green economy.
Instead of selling its assets, our government could be buying up all those empty ground floor condos in major centres and converting them into affordable rental housing – taking advantage of the ‘crisopportunity’ of global recession to secure Canadians’ future.
Forward thinking, meaningful action, help for those who need it most.
Now is not the time for faux happy budget announcements that contain the nutritional value of a marshmallow. Now is the time to think big and to be thoughtful.
This may well be the most important budget Canadians ever have to consider.
To quote rapper Eminem:
You can do anything you set your mind to, man
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted – one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
Part of a series on Canada’s changing economy.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.