Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas.—Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Albas: Budget falls short of promises

Conservative MP Dan Albas questions the Liberal budget

By Dan Albas

This week the Liberal Government introduced the 2018 budget. As is customary in Canadian democracy, it is the role of the Liberal government to promote what it views as the merits of their budget.

As the Official Opposition, it is our job to illustrate the concerns we have with the budget.

On that note, I have a few.

It has become clear over this mandate, that the Prime Minister excels in making promises but often falls short on the delivery of said promises. For example, we were promised Electoral Reform, a National Housing Strategy, Infrastructure Investment, new fighter jets for our military…the list goes on.

This budget is no exception. Mr. Trudeau distinctly promised Canadians that after a series of small deficits, his Government would return to a balanced budget in 2019. This budget demonstrates that the Liberals have no intention whatsoever of returning to balance in 2019. Budget 2018 calls for yet another deficit of $18 Billion this year. Based on the current pace, Mr. Trudeau will add $450 billion to Canada’s national debt over the next 27 years. Why is this a concern? In short: because you and I, pay interest on that debt. By the year 2022, which is only four short years away, it’s estimated that Canadians will be making annual interest payments of 33 Billion dollars on that outstanding debt! To put that number in context, the amount of the annual transfer, that the Government of Canada provides the Provinces to deliver health care to Canadians, is currently $36 Billion.

Another promise in this budget relates to a National Pharmacare Program, an idea that has long been championed by the NDP. What’s interesting is there is no actual money allocated to pay for a National Pharmacare Program. Rather, the Liberals announced that they will create an advisory panel to further study the idea. This idea has already been studied in Ottawa for close to a decade. When it came to legalizing marijuana, the Liberals made a commitment to do so by July 1st of 2018. In my view, if the Liberals were serious about creating a National Pharmacare Program, they would have made similar timeline commitment and attached dollars in this budget to make it happen. Regarding marijuana legalization, a seldom discussed proposal in this budget is a commitment to spend $546M over five years to enforce Federal pot legislation. This appears to be an admission that the Liberals now realize that illegal marijuana may well be a serious threat to undercutting legal marijuana. I mention this because one of the arguments for legalization from Mr. Trudeau was that there would be less need for law enforcement.

While the budget proposes to spend $546 Million to enforce marijuana legalization, it also proposes to spend less than half of that amount to fight opioid addiction. The budget calls for $231 Million to be spent over the next five years to fight the opioid crisis. That said, it is unclear how this money will be divided up between the provinces and territories.

Things not in the budget? For the most part infrastructure, military, daycare, housing affordability and poverty reduction were items that received no significant upgrades or mention. The Liberals promoted this as a gender based budget and in fact used the word “gender” 359 times in a budget document that is 367 pages long.

My question this week:

Will this budget do anything to help you or your family?

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Lake levels stay steady but snowpack is growing: officials

Whether or not the tributaries and creeks flood depends on how suddenly the snowpack begins to melt,

Kelowna council approves rental housing project

Plan for former packinghouse site calls for 148 rental units

Kelowna crew knocks down attic fire in Rutland

No one home at the time as Kelowna Fire Department extinguishes small blaze on Cactus Road

Okanagan realtors add voices to anti-speculation tax coalition

This speculation tax is likely to harm the very people the government is trying to protect

Bolt cutters and bear spray used in Kelowna break-in

“Both suspects were taken into police custody…”

Sunshine and above-average temperatures all week

We can expect to enjoy this warm sunshine all week long

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Penticton robbery trial starts days before accused’s murder trial

Narcotics, cash stolen from pharmacy; accused scheduled for murder trial next week in Abbotsford

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

Toronto songstress shares indie vibes with Okanagan

Emma Cook will rock Penticton’s The Elite April 28 before she hits Vernon’s Record City April 29

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Student produces gun at Princeton Secondary School

Starter pistol confiscated, RCMP are investigating

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Most Read