MP Gary Vidal unsure of Liberal COVID relief proposal
Taken from: meadowlakeNOW
MP Gary Vidal believes the federal government’s approach to handling COVID-19 will do more harm than good to the future of Canada’s economy.
On Monday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced “the largest economic relief package for [the] country since the second world war,” totaling $100 billion. While the proposal would hypothetically provide relief to hard-hit business sectors, invest in long-term care homes and assist in the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, the spending would push the national debt close to almost $400 billion.
The representative for the riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River stated his disapproval with the government’s finance saying he believes this is a method to push their ‘ideological agenda of introducing and promoting more government programs.’
“We’re creating a structural debt that can’t go on forever,” Vidal said.
“We’re doing it on a year after year commitment, and the ultimate end of that is the government gets to a place where it can’t borrow more money. You can’t have a deficit every year without hitting the wall at what banks and other folks loan the government. The end result of that is we have to raise taxes or cut services at some point.”
Vidal and other members of the federal Conservative party have also expressed their concern with a lack of details surrounding a vaccine rollout. Vidal said without specific details, the proposal falls short of being a viable solution.
”We need answers on the how, the when and the who of the vaccine plan because what that does is provide people with the hope, energy and commitment they need to get through the rest of this pandemic. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel, and it gives people the opportunity to see the end of this pandemic so they get their lives back in order. They can get back to work, and businesses can get back to producing prosperity and success for our economy,” Vidal said.
”We’ve done enough asking people to sacrifice, we’ve done enough asking people to put aside their lives. We need to get on with our lives, our jobs and doing business.”
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly stated he expects a vaccine to become available to Canadians in the early part of the new year, a vaccine still has not been approved for public distribution. Health Canada is currently reviewing four potential vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jannsen.
If the House of Commons brings the COVID relief proposal to a vote, there would be more at stake than an increase in the deficit and pandemic solution. As a minority government, bills that involve government spending trigger a vote of confidence. If the proposal is rejected by parliament, the government will enter a federal election.
While Trudeau has stated his party does not want to see another election, Vidal believes the Prime Minister is leveraging the circumstances to shift the focus to other parties in the House.
“When Trudeau says he doesn’t want to be defeated and says he doesn’t want to go to an election, I think in all honesty there’s a sense that they would actually like to do that and be able to blame it on someone else,” Vidal said.
“I don’t think we want to be in an election during the holiday season, and I don’t think we want to be in an election during a pandemic. I think at the end of the day, the government is actually playing some political game to try and get what they want out of this rather than what the people want.”
Currently, there isn’t a clear timeline for the COVID relief proposal to be tabled. The Trudeau government will need to convince another party to support the new legislation before then if they plan on avoiding a winter election.