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Ontario budget 2009 & addressing the challenges of the future and crime prevention

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  1. Introduction
  2. The aspects of the budget
  3. Positives of the budget
  4. Crime prevention
  5. Social development programs
  6. Conclusion
  7. Reference list

On March 25, 2009 the Ontario Government tabled its budget for 2009-10. There was much speculation regarding its contents in light of the current recession and prior announcements by the Federal Government with respect to cost-shared infrastructure spending. When it finally did come out it became clear that this is a very different Ontario than it was a few years ago, and the government of the day must focus on different challenges, specifically economic challenges as it plans for the future.

The Ontario budget was in many ways like the Federal Budget that was passed not long before it. Just like the Feds, the Liberal government is approaching this recession with the strategy of deficit spending to infuse the economy in hopes that it will once again rise to prominence in Canada and the world. It announced a $3.9 billion deficit for the current year and $14.1 billion for 2009-10. It included vast infrastructure spending and the highly contentious topic of harmonizing its sales tax with the GST, a move that will undoubtedly have profound effects on some people and businesses. (Government of Ontario, 2009).

Crime prevention needs to be the focus of spending in the future, not tougher crime legislation that the current government is proposing. Crime is not something that just happens, it is rooted in social problems, and therefore the money that is being spent on tougher laws and increased sentences could be better spent on social programs that would prevent crime altogether. A dollar spent on prevention can save countless dollars in the future.

[...] The best strategy for reducing crime is not implementing tough on crime' legislation, as this does not address the root problems of crime, the best approach is to increase social development that serve to strengthen people, their families and their communities. (NCPCC, 1996). Social development programs seek to focus on factors that are linked with youth delinquency and adult criminal activity. For example, many people are driven to take part in crime, not because they are bad people but because they have been neglected by the system. [...]

[...] Canada and south of the border will find its way into Ontario's economy and will play a part of helping Ontario improve its economic fortunes. Until then though, the Liberal government decided that this is a good time to introduce deficit spending as a means of spurring the economy. The Liberal's focus on infrastructure spending is a positive aspect of the budget. This will allow Ontario to create jobs and stimulate growth while also improving its transportation grid, its health care system, and social programs like the improvement and creation of more social housing. [...]

[...] Crime Prevention According to Statistics Canada's crime measures, Canada's crime rate in terms of both incidence and severity has been declining over the past decade. Nevertheless, Canadians frequently suggest that they feel less safe than before, leading the federal government to propose new tough on crime' legislation. This essay will assess whether we currently spend enough on policing and the justice system and whether additional resources, stricter legislation and new security measures provide enhanced public safety or not? From this it will be clear that the best approach to fighting crime in this country is not tougher crime legislation, but a stronger commitment to dealing with the root of crime which is social problems, and this will come from diverting resources toward social spending that will accomplish this objective. [...]

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