Liberal Budget is highly concerning for Bow River communities

March 24, 2016

I was in the House of Commons on March 22nd for the Government Budget. The Budget Book was 269 pages long, but the Minister verbally presented the highlights. M.P.s speed read to review the details.

What was obvious was the Government plans to borrow and spend almost $30 billion more than the revenue it receives this year only. Over five years the plan is borrow / spend $113 Billion more than it receives in revenue. There is no plan to repay any of this borrowed money. The interest also just keeps adding up as well. The end result of the borrowed amount after interest costs in 5 years will mean a bill of $160-170 billion dollars from Canadians.

Other than a tax hike, there is very little in this Budget for our energy sector. There are a 100,000 people in the energy sector looking for work, not just a 5 week extension of EI. These workers are looking for permanent jobs, and Budget 2016 is not a job-creating budget.

From the point of view of agriculture, there is very little in Budget 2016. There is a suggestion that the agriculture sector develop wind and solar energy. Otherwise, it comprises no measures to assist agriculture or agri-food.

Details of programs that could possibly benefit rural and rural urban areas that are part of the Bow River constituency are very scarce. Broadband internet support for rural communities may be one of those areas, but money for infrastructure projects is for major urban centres, not rural communities. There are resources being devoted to water and wastewater, so hopefully some of this funding finds its way to rural communities. The lack of a tax decrease for small businesses as was promised in the Liberal platform is concerning to the vast majority of businesses in the Bow River riding. The addition of a carbon tax for the energy sector causes extreme concern. 

The elimination of the middle class tax decreases like income splitting and tax credits like the Children’s Fitness Credit introduced by the previous government is going to have negative effects on Canadian families.

I must emphasize yet again that the next generations are on the hook for all this debt, which is unfortunate.

I am honoured to continue being your representative in the House of Commons. Should you have any questions or comments about federal government issues, I welcome your correspondence. You can reach my Ottawa office at 613-992-0761 or martin.shields@parl.gc.ca