Budget Reaction

“It all comes down to priorities,” noted Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. “The Harper administration is set to spend more money on the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday than on the crisis of First Nations education. It is remarkable that in a budget tabled seven months before the negotiation deadline for a comprehensive climate treaty, the words ‘climate change’ are nowhere even mentioned.
Elizabeth May continued, “Having put all their eggs in the bitumen basket for so long, the Harper administration reacted to low oil prices like a bunny in the headlights – delaying the budget by months, while ignoring economic opportunities. In the Green Party’s pre-budget submission, we had urged the minister to move quickly to provide needed boosts for those sectors of our economy that benefit from the low dollar – specifically tourism, film and television production, and manufacturing. While the budget acknowledges that tourism is a significant sector of our economy, no funding is committed. It was this prime minister who cancelled all advertising in the U.S. market to promote Canada as a tourism destination, yet we have missed the chance to boost our visibility as a destination in advance of the 2015 summer season.”
Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, expressed disappointment that there is lots of money for the war in Syria, cyber-snooping on Canadian citizens, more subsidies for Big Oil, carmakers and Atlantic fisheries, but nothing for the forestry and tourism industries in northern Ontario.
Green Finance Critic Ken Melamed, candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky-Country, commented, “What is curious about this budget is the amount of text devoted to departments and programmes that receive no new funding. With two pages on Parks Canada, it was surprising to find no funding announced; ditto for credit unions, digital infrastructure, consumer protection framework for banks, and mental health. Meanwhile, much of the new funding, such as for municipal infrastructure, is not slated to even begin for another two years. Budget commitments starting in 2017 are a bit rich from a government on the eve of an election.

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