The unveiling of the federal budget on Tuesday afternoon also laid the groundwork for a possible federal election call in the very near future.
Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day, who announced he will not be running for re-election recently, said Canada’s economy is No.1 amongst the G20 countries and Canada is reporting month-to-month job growth. He said calling an election now would be misguided.
“I think it’s irresponsible for the opposition parties to say they are going to plunge the country into an election that most Canadians don’t want. We are only two and a half years into our constitutional mandate,” said Day. “We need to stay focused on the economy, we need to stay focused on jobs and in our view we don’t need this election. Im hoping that the opposition parties come to their senses over the next couple of days. Go ahead and challenges us on the budget or talk about ways to improve things but to go to an election just doesn’t make sense.”
NDP leader Jack Layton said he met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and put forward a set of affordable measures to help Canadians. He said the budget did not address those proposals and the NDP will not support the budget as presented.
“The budget is a great disappointment for Canadians looking for the Conservatives to stop playing political games and get something done for them,” said Layton. “Stephen Harper had an opportunity to address the needs of the hard-working, middle-class families — sadly he chose to provoke an election, instead.”
Layton went on to say the budget fails to strengthen CPP, provides no relief for heating bills and leaves millions of Canadians without access to a family doctor.
Titled; The next phase of Canada’s economic action plan — a low-tax plan for jobs and growth, the budget document boasts how Canada’s economic performance during the recovery stands out among advanced countries.
The 233-page document also indicates there still remains a considerable risk and uncertainty in the global economy and too many Canadians still remain out of work which is why the government remains focused on the economy.
MP Day said the budget has many initiatives beneficial to B.C. residents.
“Now the average family of four with this budget will be paying $3,100 less in federal tax than they were in 2006. It is just a very strong package especially considering it moves us, accelerates us on the path to a balanced budget. I think this is good. I am very encouraged by what we got here,” he said.
The next phase turns its attention to investing in the key drivers of economic growth: innovation, investment, education and training. Budget 2011 set priorities include supporting job creation by providing temporary hiring credit for small business and enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors who rely almost exclusively on their old age security and GIS.
This measure will provide a new top-up benefit of up to $600 annually for single seniors and $840 for couples.