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Budget 2018 — Good news for wealthy, bad news for climate change says Kootenay Columbia MP

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
February 28th, 2018

As with the case with most federal budgets, not everyone is impressed with how the ruling government plans to spend Canadian’s taxes in the upcoming year.

Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski said Tuesday’s budget by Finance Minister Bill Morneau does not crack down on tax loopholes for the super-rich, it fails to make real progress on affordable housing, studies universal Pharmacare rather than implementing it, and  does not  take strong enough action to address climate change.

“Today the Finance Minister spoke at length about helping the middle class, but my first impression of the budget plan, is it does little to address the growing inequality in our country,” Stetski said.

“People in our region are rightfully asking, ‘if the economy is doing so well, why am I not feeling those benefits?’”

In a media release, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said despite increasingly urgent warnings from climate scientists that the window to achieve the Paris target is rapidly closing, the federal budget tabled today does nothing to accelerate climate action and nothing to prepare for the impact of catastrophic climate events.

She said Tuesday’s announcement that the government’s carbon pricing scheme, promised for this year, will not be implemented “in whole or in part” until January 1 next year, means that the whole plan is being weakened.

“The Paris target of holding global average temperature at no more than 1.5 degrees C above Industrial Revolution levels is a fundamental goal that should involve a whole-of-government approach,” May, MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands, said. “Yet Budget 2018 does not touch subsidies to fossil fuels in the oil patch and for fracked natural gas.

“I had hoped to see some of the climate measures that were introduced in the 2005 budget. In that era, a minority Liberal government brought in Eco-Energy retrofits for homeowners, rebates for hybrids and EVs, an initiative to expand our east-west electricity grid, and many other programmes to move us towards climate goals.”

Stetski echoed May’s concerns regarding climate change. 

“There seems to be gasp between the plans laid out in the budget, and the money to make them happen,” he said.

“Action on climate change is one example, and pay equity is another,” Stetski added.

“The legislation on pay equity is long overdue, but there is actually no funding or estimate in the Liberals’ budget allocated to the implementation of pay equity legislation for Federal government employees.”

Stetski, pleased with the move to lift in funding to support Parks and conservation, continues to be concerned about the continuing trend of deficit spending; this budget will add another $18.1 billion dollars to Canada’s deficit.

“The Liberals continue to spend much more then they promised in the election,” said Stetski.  “I am not sure that the people of Kootenay-Columbia are benefiting today in a way that justifies leaving that burden to the next generation.”

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