Conservative MP, Liberal candidate differ on federal budget news

After the federal government announced a balanced budget, local MP Ron Cannan defends and Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr attacks

  • Apr. 28, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Kelowna-Lake Country Conservative MP Ron Cannan calls last week’s federal budget a visionary document put together under the strong, intelligent leadership of Stephen Harper.

Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr says the budget is a smoke-and-mirrors document designed to fool the electorate ahead of this October’s federal election.

And at least one senior economist says the Conservative announcement of a balanced budget came only after playing with the numbers and moving money from a contingency fund and the Employment Insurance account.

Whoever is to be believed, last week’s federal budget appears to have opened the doors to a summer and fall of election posturing.

“The goal was to balance the budget and we accomplished that goal,” said Cannan last week while in Kelowna to make appearances at several events. “Considering the focus is on long term prosperity, providing a balanced budget is part of what Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Joe Oliver set out to do.”

Cannan defended the moving of $2 billion from the contingency fund—historically used only for emergency—as necessary with sudden and record drop in oil prices.

But Queen’s University economist Don Drummond told the Globe and Mail newspaper that the government is playing with numbers. And Fuhr, who is running for the Liberal party in Kelowna-Lake Country, said the budget is not balanced and its true cost will only be found out next year, well after the 2015 election.

“It’s smoke and mirrors, these guys haven’t been able to balance the budget in seven years,” said Fuhr. “If you look at what some of the experts are saying they are all saying the same thing: They’ve borrowed money from the contingency reserve and treated employment insurance like a revenue centre. They were going to balance the budget no matter what it took. I think this was just done to pacify or deceive people in an election year.”

For his part, Cannan called the budget very positive for the community and the country, saying they are creating jobs, providing stable funding options for local government with a new infrastructure program and have the lowest level of taxation in 50 years.

Some programs or funding announcements made by the Conservatives do not come into effect for several years but Cannan said that’s part of the planning process.

“That’s part of budget planning,” said Canada. “Your capital plans are not just for one year. Even in business, the largest corporations look down the road and have a vision for where you want to go.”

A former fighter pilot and now Liberal candidate, Fuhr said many of the announcements in the budget only serve the top income earners and do little to help the middle class or low income earners.

“There is income splitting for high income earners that can transfer money to their spouse,” he said. “That’s going to be benefiting the 15 per cent of Canadians that need it the least. That’s ludicrous.”

The federal election is Monday Oct. 19.

Just Posted

Okanagan can learn from Washington’s wine industry growth

Winery owner cites importance of industry collaboration

Okanagan wineries shine in global chardonnay competition

Recognition for Kalala and Liquidity wineries at 2018 Chardonnay du Monde competition

Kelowna’s South Perimeter Road project to go ahead

Project to extend Gordon Drive doesn’t get enough signatures to keep it from moving ahead

Fleeing driver leaves behind severely damaged car

West Kelowna crash occurred at Highway 97 South junction

Dozens of impaired Kelowna drivers ticketed on St. Patrick’s Day

Kelowna RCMP stopped many vehicles for impaired driving during a one day blitz

Rainy week ahead for Okanagan and Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecast rain for the next three days, starting Tuesday afternoon

Attempted gun smuggler across the Osoyoos border sentenced

Alex Louie, who prefers the name Senk’lip, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Search and rescue help injured sledders off Owlhead

Volunteer searchers also locate two hikers near Little Shuswap Lake

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read