In the mid-1990s, a team of young researchers, fresh out of university, embarked on a cross-country journey that would profoundly alter their understanding of Canada and Canadian government. The focus of their investigation was the massive national debt, which at the time had ballooned to $580 million. How, they wondered, had a country that was once so prosperous and full of promise managed to accrue such a crippling financial burden?
The researchers travelled from province to province in search of answers. Along the way they spoke to a diverse cross-section of Canadians, from politicians and bureaucrats, to academics and policy experts, to cattle ranchers, farmers and small-business owners. Everywhere the researchers went they found evidence of government policies and programs that were plagued by chronic mis-management, overspending, unaccountable practices and a lack of long-term vision. Gradually they began to realize that the national debt is just one of many crises facing the nation today. Moreover, it is their generation, the young people of Canada, who will have to pay the price for the mistakes made by those who came before them.
John Wood was the Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa from 1977 to 1984. He has directed major productions for theatres in Canada, England, Australia, and the United States and has also written and directed for radio, film, and television. He was one of the directors and the writer for the series Days of Reckoning.
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