Carry on.

The Cruz Family with the Globe and Mail

A few days ago, reporter Petti Fong asked if we could be interviewed regarding the release of the 2006 Federal budget.

I thought it would be a great experience for us, particularly Evelyn so that she can get some experience in Canadian politics. As a new Canadian citizen, it’s her duty, as well as all Canadians to be informed on how our tax dollars are spent.

“But I didn’t pay any attention to the last budget. I never know what they’re talking about in those types of things.”

“Don’t worry. All she wants to know is how we feel about the budget and how it affects our family. You don’t have to be really knowledgeable about business or budgets – just answer her questions truthfully and honestly.”

It was a fun experience. According to Evelyn, Ms. Fong wasn’t at all intimidating. Her talent is the ability to be personable and empathize. This made it easy for us to tell her all she needed to know.

“Wow,” Evelyn said, “She’s really good at what she does! She must be really smart”

Anyway, going through the interviews forced us to focus a little bit more closely on this year’s budget. All in all, it’s a very good budget. Instead of the huge multi billion dollar programs that we used to have in the previous government, this goverment’s budget has small, focussed programs that make it easier for the average joe (like me) to see where all the money is going. That makes it easier for me to swallow.

Things that I like:

  • Transit Pass subsidy – I finally get some credit for using the bus!
  • $1200 per child per year benefit for child care – Instead of being forced to pay for Child care that I will never use, I now have a choice to take that money and increase the quality of life for my wife who works so hard in taking care of our Children.
  • 500-1000/year employment credit – All those computer books / computer parts and cable equipment are now paid for!
  • Textbook credit – Now I have some incentive to buy new textbooks instead of old ratty used ones.
  • Sports Credit – Now we can afford a martial arts program for Nicolas!

Things I didn’t like:

  • Lower income tax rate raised from 15 to 15.5% – Single moms and low income earners need as many breaks as they can get. I would have rather seen our income tax brackets increase instead of theirs. But then again, that would not be best politically.
  • Abolishment of the Kelowna Accord – The Kelowna accord was the one time where the Aboriginals actually agreed with a federal government on something. It was something that would have set the ball rolling on resolving the Aboriginal question once and for all. But then again, where will the money come from? The least the government could do would be to agree to a modified version of the Kelowna accord (using the money they budgeted) instead of making no mention of it whatsoever in the budget.

Anyway, if you would like to see Nico, Euna and Zeta’s pictures on the newspaper buy today’s copy (May 3rd) of the Globe and Mail. (Nico’s really cute on there by the way)

If you’d like to read the article they wrote on us, go to

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060503.wxbudgetfam03/BNStory/budget2006/home