Editor: The federal government is holding its annual economic retreat. According to Canadian Press, guests include investment dealers, economists, heads of large retail and resource companies. The article (The Guardian, Aug. 13, B4) did not list any poor or ordinary people among the select 16 invited. No doubt there will be plenty ordinary folks around to clean the rooms, wait on tables, and to serve hors d’oeuvres and drinks. However, I don’t suppose they will have a chance to express their views about the economic issues being discussed.
No doubt one of the main topics of conversation among government officials and invited guests will concern what the government should do with its multibillion-dollar surplus. Although we were not invited to the retreat, I hope ordinary Canadians will make their voices heard on what to do with the surplus. In my opinion we should all encourage the government to use a good portion of it to: (1) create meaningful jobs for the unemployed and under-employed in the places where they live; (2) provide a livable income for all those who cannot work; and (3) fulfil our longstanding promise to end child poverty. If not now, when?