Other than to provide stimulus to the cafeteria at the Government Conference Centre, that is. Hot off the wire from CanWest:
Raitt said that she expects the budget will contain a new community adjustment fund worth $1 billion to help rural areas adapt to the changing economic climate.
This would build on an earlier fund, also worth $1 billion, that Ottawa established late in 2007 that smaller and rural communities across Canada could tap into for special training or economic development projects.
Raitt also said the budget would set aside more than $100 million to invest in the development of emerging technologies for the forest sector, including forest biomass utilization and the development of next-generation forest products.
The federal budget will also contain $50 million to promote the forest sector abroad. This had been one of the requests made by the Forest Products Association of Canada.
And that’s not all we’re about to hear in the way of budget pre-announcements, apparently. From the same story:
The combination of Thursday’s budget news from the PMO and Friday’s announcement from Raitt may be part of a public relations plan by the federal government to spread out some of the budget news before Tuesday.
Later Friday, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley are all scheduled to make “important announcements” in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto respectively.
Assuming that the ministers listed above will be leaking providing advance notice of whatever spendy goodness the government has in store for their respective areas of responsibility, that would save a few big ticket items for the finance minister to unveil on Tuesday: infrastructure, transport, defence, industry and environment.
That is, unless this is just the opening act, and we’ll be getting notice of similarly “important announcements” by John Baird, Peter MacKay, Tony Clement and Jim Prentice any minute now. We’ll keep you posted.