The Big Picture: The fight between stimulus and austerity

Should governments increase spending to stimulate the economy, or reign in costs to get a balanced budget? The Lang & O'Leary Exchange's Big Picture debates.
Should Canadian governments push for stimulus or restraint to strengthen the economy? The Lang & O'Leary Exchange's Big Picture panel weighs in. 7:57

It's a debate that has raged in Canada and around the world since the beginning of the financial crisis: Is it time to spend, or is it time to save?

The economic debate between stimulus and austerity has been brought to the forefront again in Canada. Across the country provincial governments are hoping to strengthen their economies either by balancing budgets or starting ambitious spending plans.

Earlier this week, Quebec's new Liberal government tabled a budget low on spending with an plan to balance the budget by 2016.

In March, the provincial government in Alberta unveiled a budget that, while there was a surplus, borrowed $5.1 billion to build roads, health facilities and schools.

It's also the focus of Ontario's provincial election, with Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak promising to cut 100,000 public sector jobs, with both Kathleen Wynne's Liberals and Andrea Horwath's NDP opposing that plan.

What's the best strategy? The Lang & O'Leary Exchange​'s Big Picture panel, ArmineYalnizyan, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and GoldyHyder, president of Hill + Knowlton Strategies weighed in.