Saskatchewan Conservative MP’s criticize federal budget

Found On: LarongeNOW

Conservative Members of Parliament did not hold back in the days following the release of the Government of Canada’s 2022 budget.

Gary Vidal of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, told meadowlakeNOW this has been a pattern for seven years, with government growing and spending increasing. He noted that in 2015, the debt of the country was about $612 billion and currently sits at $1.16 trillion this year. Total expenditures in 2015, around $280 billion, are expected to be expected to be 60 per cent greater.

“We can’t run our houses that way, we can’t run our businesses that way,” Vidal said. “Why would we think we can run our government that way?”

When asked of arguments that these investments are necessary for the future, Vidal responded with a question to voters, “What are we getting for all of this increased spending?” He noted that comes as the cost of living continues to grow out of control.

“That’s impacting people’s day to day ability to live their lives, feed their kids, get them to their sporting activities, to things they need to do,” he said. “That’s what we’re getting for this.”

Another feature of the budget was $5.3 billion in health care funding, a portion of which is to go towards a new plan for dental care for low-to-medium-income families, which was a part of the reasoning for the NDP signing an agreement to keep the government in power till 2025. Vidal said he feels that money is better used by putting that money into existing plans, as well fulfill a campaign promise to invest in hiring for long term health care, mental health and adding doctors and nurse-practitioners.

“The province already has programs in place to cover low income families for many of the health services we are talking about,” he said. “We constantly have requests for people looking for more help in those health care fields and those were all commitments that are missing from this budget.”

Vidal did credit the government for the military funding that will help support Ukraine and a small investment in the mining sector for Northern Saskatchewan.

“That’s really a good thing, that there’s a recognition and understanding that there will need to be investment in developing those critical minerals,” he said.

However, he also lamented the lack of framework for an opportunities fund to provide support communities and entrepreneurs, particularly Indigenous communities, to invest in equity projects that would allow for the creation of long term streams of dividends.

“I don’t see that in any thought process of any part of this budget,” Vidal said.

Out of touch

Following the release of the budget, MP Rosemarie Falk of the Battlefords–Lloydminster sent a statement to media outlets, stating that citizens didn’t get the break they needed.

“Canadians today are worse off than when this Liberal government first took office six years ago,” she said. “This is particularly true for my constituents in Battlefords-Lloydminster.”

Falk also mentioned that support for rural communities dealing with retroactive wages on policing costs was noticeably missing.

“Federal support is needed to address these one-time costs as our municipalities face greater financial constraints,” she said. “The Liberals have dismissed these concerns every time myself or any of my Conservative colleagues have raised it and the absence of support in the budget shows how out-of-step this NDP-Liberal government is with our rural communities.”

Falk added Canadians need a plan to deal with cost-of-living and bolster economic prosperity and competitiveness.