MP Richard Cannings. (Betsy Kline/Castlegar News)

Cannings says federal budget falls short for those struggling

South Okanagan - West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings comments on federal budget

South Okanagan – West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings said the federal budget missed another opportunity to assist those struggling to make ends meet.

“In this budget, the Liberals had an opportunity to build an economy where everyone benefits, not just the few at the top,” said Cannings in a news release. “The government continues to tell Canadians the economy is strong, but most people are not feeling the benefits. While I welcome the new funding some initiatives such as university research and for the protection of land and water, I cannot overlook some of the important initiatives that are missing.”

Related: Liberals champion their values in 2018 budget aimed at long-term vision

Cannings said while the proposed budget does contain some measures and ideas that are welcomed, many are half-measures that have no money attached that do not alleviate the problems they are proposed to take care of.

According to Cannings the budget fell short on many measures including:

• There is not enough funding to address the mental health crisis across Canada.

• There are no concrete measures to prevent bankrupt companies from paying their shareholders and creditors before paying workers’ benefits and pensions

• Instead of immediately introducing a pharmacare program, the Liberals chose to launch yet another study.

Related: Federal budget fosters pharmacare, pot-based drugs

• While there is lip service to rural broadband, it is unclear as to how much funding will be available to local groups to develop broadband service delivery

“Budgets are all about making choices. With this budget the Liberals have chosen to continue giving huge tax breaks to rich CEOs and corporations, while asking everyday Canadians to wait their turn and have faith that the government will keep their promises,” said Cannings. “A budget of half measures for projects that won’t be delivered for years shows that the government doesn’t quite get it yet. I look forward to working with my colleagues to suggest improvements to this budget and try to make these half-measures whole solutions.”

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