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Boost government spending to combat recession, Canadian CEOs say

January 16, 2009

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    Latest poll from Canadian Business magazine

    TORONTO, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - The government should spend more to see the
economy through the recession, say Canadian business leaders, but some are
wary of too much spending. This, according to this week's web poll conducted
by COMPAS for Canadian Business magazine and
    As the Conservative government gets ready to deliver its eagerly awaited
budget at the end of the month, the 140 CEOs surveyed weighed in on the role
of government in stimulating the economy.

    Infrastructure investment

    A slim majority of the panelists (52%) believe the best way to prevent
the economy from tanking further is for the government to spend heavily.
Infrastructure investment is expected to play a large role in the upcoming
federal budget, and the CEOs provide guidance on how to do it correctly.
    Most business leaders say government should fix what's broken first
before committing money to new projects. The respondents also believe
workforce training should be integral part of any spending plans, and that
infrastructure spending should be phased in over a long period of time.

    Drinking ourselves sober?

    But not every respondent was thrilled at the prospect of boosting
spending. Government spending can actually make matter worse, according to 40%
of the respondents. It can lead to lower spending tomorrow, increased taxes,
and debt default.
    "It is not wise or possible to try to drink yourself sober. The developed
world needs to develop an instinct to save, not feed a desire to spend," wrote
one CEO.
    For more on CEO's view of what should and should not be done to stimulate
the economy, see:

    Up-to-the-minute surveys on today's issues

    Every week, Canadian Business magazine's CEO/Business Leader Poll asks
small and medium-size business executives tough questions on issues that
affect all Canadian business people. Undertaken weekly by COMPAS on behalf of
Canadian Business magazine, the poll results appear in print and weekly at

    Find out the results of recent polls

    Some of the recent COMPAS/Canadian Business poll topics/results: Canadian
business leaders rebuke central bank policies; Where was the good news of
2008?; What should governments do to weather the recession?; Bail out Canadian
auto companies? Only if the U.S. goes first. Poll results for these and many
other business topics are available in our CEO Poll archives on the Canadian
Business web site.

    About Canadian Business magazine:

    Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling
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readership of more than one million, the magazine is published every second
Monday, except in January, July and August, when monthly issues are published.
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