Budget 2021: More promises but everyday Canadians are left holding the bill for the pandemic while the ultra-rich enjoy a free ride
Many struggling Canadians hoped that today’s budget would offer meaningful supports and steps towards recovery. But more than that, they hoped that it would be the ultra-wealthy who have profited from the pandemic who would be paying for these supports, not the workers who have been hit so hard.
According to local MP, Richard Cannings, “Instead, everyday Canadians have been left holding the bag while the Liberals are letting the top one-percent dodge their share. This budget has no wealth tax, no excess profit tax, and consultation instead of action on tax havens reform. The Liberals say the right things about progressive policy and substantive change, but then revert to protecting the interests of wealthy Canadians.”
“On the other hand, I was very happy to see $10/day childcare in the budget. That’s something that the NDP has campaigned on for years and will make a huge difference to working couples across the country,“ Cannings said. The Liberals have been promising that for decades as well, but the Finance Minister did say clearly in her speech that “This time we’ll actually do it.” Cannings pointed out that the Liberals have promised pharmacare for 24 years but there was essentially no mention of it in the budget. Cannings was also disappointed that there was no commitment to taking the profits out of long-term care or providing meaningful paid sick leave.
For the local wine industry, Cannings noted that NDP pressure to provide support following the end of theexcise exemption has resulted in $101 million over two years starting next year.
Cannings was happy to see budget changes to disaster relief programs that allow smaller projects between 1 and 20 million dollars to apply for funding. Cannings has long advocated for this change though he noted it unfortunately comes too late for the town of Oliver and their irrigation canal repairs.
As NDP Critic for Natural Resources, Cannings was critical of Liberal choices to continue to spend billions on a pipeline and fossil fuel subsidies while using loans rather than grants for low-income home energy retrofits.
“Still, today was actually a good day–every support the Liberals so proudly listed as an accomplishment over the past year was one for which the NDP forced them to do better. During the pandemic, Justin Trudeau offered Canadians the minimum. Today’s budget is no different. We will keep fighting to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share so we can deliver universal public pharmacare, dental care and take the profit out of the long-term care sector.”
Cannings said the NDP would cancel student debt, improve supports for small businesses, and take urgent steps to tackle climate change.
“If we want different results, we need to make different choices. Canadians should not have to keep settling for less. We know there’s more to do,” added Cannings. “The last year has proven that when Canadians send New Democrats to Ottawa, we may not get credit, but we get results.”