BUDGET 2017 A MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA
March 22nd, 2017 - 5:53pm
OTTAWA – British Columbians struggling with precarious employment, rising costs, and record household debt got little in the Federal Liberal budget to make Canada’s economy work for them, while the wealthy and well-connected were rewarded.
By failing to follow through on Trudeau’s promise to close CEO stock option loopholes, the federal budget hands over another $725 million to the wealthiest CEOs every year. At the same time the budget fails to provide the $155 million needed to end the systemic discrimination in the provision of welfare services to indigenous children.
“Budgets are about choices and unfortunately Liberals have chosen tax breaks for wealthy CEOs and giveaways to large corporations over helping the unemployed, veterans, and Indigenous children,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.
Budget 2017 also pushes forward the Liberal’s plans to privatize public infrastructure that will leave Canadians paying higher prices for generations through new and increased user fees and tolls while private investors get rich. At the same time the budget fails to provide any new measures for protection of our coast, environment or enhance West Coast fisheries.
“After promising real change, Justin Trudeau adopted Stephen Harper’s environmental assessment process and climate change targets - this budget shows British Columbians the Liberal government is more of the same,” said Kennedy Stewart, the NDP’s BC Caucus Chair. “Even worse, the Liberals are cutting funding for the Pan-Canadian Clean Growth and Climate Change framework by more than a billion dollars over the next two years.”
In addition to confirming Stephen Harper’s health care funding plan, the federal budget is also a missed opportunity to make the cost of medicine more affordable for Canadians and to save billions by implementing a pharmacare plan. Canada is the only country with universal health care that doesn’t include prescription drug coverage.