The 2018/19 367 page budget was presented to the House of Commons, which no doubt will bring follow up speeches and debates about what was in the budget as well as what was lacking.
Local M.P. Wayne Stetski had a few concerns about what was missing in the recently presented budget, and one of those items was the lack of universal childcare. During the last election, the NDP were adamant about providing a subsidized version of childcare for families in Canada, however the Liberal Government had their concerns as Quebec has this program in place, and it was not working the way that they hoped.
“One of the major ways to support families and woman was having universal daycare. We proposed nationally a fifteen dollar a day universal daycare program, but there was no money in the budget to provide daycare at all.”
With that said, the Canada Child Benefit will be going up to match inflation, however no amount was given nor a time frame as to when parents can expect to see a bump in their monthly cheques.
Stetski has a serious issue with the billions of dollars that are tucked away in tax savings in stock option for the top 75 corporate leaders in Canada.
“There are billions of dollars in off shore tax savings that could help to support the economy and help deliver some of the programs that without that being in place to recover some of that money, the deficit for this coming year will add another 18.1 million dollars to out deficit.”
There is an affordable housing crisis going on in Canada right now, however the budget does not address this huge issue. The Liberal Government have allocated money for affordable housing to begin in 2019, which Stetski feels it is strategic planning to fit the timing of an election year.
One a positive note, recognition of Pharmacare is on the top of mind. There will be committee to travel Canada to listen to concerns or interest surrounding Pharmacare to establish what is best for Canadians and what the Universal Pharmacare plan could look like. The Health Committee which consists of members of all political parties, have been studying Pharmacare for several months now in terms in what the plan could or should like.
“The committee is about to release that report and yet there is no money in the budget at all for Pharmacare or money to support this committee that is going across Canada to talk about Pharmacare.”
Canada Summer Jobs Program will see a bump in dollars as the Federal Government plan to add a $448.5 million over the next five years which will support student jobs. Last year this area received roughly $613K that helped out the riding. These dollars allow for small businesses and Not for Profits and community organizations to hire students at a subsidized rate and help the community.
Border Service Agency has been without a contract pushing four years now, however the Government proposes to invest 85.5 million dollars to enable Canada Border Service Agency to continue the operations.
One concern that Stetski had was the budget allocation towards Infrastructure.
“The budget allocation last year was $3.3 Billion now it is $2.28 Billion, so almost a billion dollars cut from the infrastructure program, so we will have to see how that plays out.”
On a local note, those that would like to visit the National Parks, it will now be free for those 17 and under, however the adults will have to pay to enter.