Tuesday, February 27, 2018

OTTAWA – British Columbians who might have hoped to find measures in today’s federal budget to make their life easier have every right to be disappointed. Instead of closing down on loopholes for the super-rich and making real investments in affordable housing and in the environment, the Liberals chose to further delay implementing those measures.
“Budgets are about choices and unfortunately the Liberals have chosen tax breaks for wealthy CEOs and giveaways to large corporations over helping our seniors, our families and Indigenous children,” said NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian. “The housing crisis is happening now, and it’s very real in British Columbia. British Columbians aren’t looking for measures that only take place after the next election or in the next ten years; they’re looking for measures to address this crisis today. Unfortunately, they weren’t present in the Liberals’ budget.”
In the federal budget, there is very little to address the opioid crisis that has reached a severe level in British Columbia. Donald Trump called the opioid crisis a National Health Emergency, and even though 4,000 people died of opioid overdoses last year in Canada, the Trudeau Liberals refuse to do the same. The budget included no real plan for universal pharmacare and no answer to climate change. In fact, the majority of funding to address climate change is delayed until after the next election.
“Despite the emergency at hand and the fact that the Liberals are already far behind Stephen Harper’s weak targets, they cut the funding for environmental protection measures by $1 billion,” said NDP BC Liaison Nathan Cullen. “The Liberals like to talk a good game, but when it comes to implementing real measures and standing up to the wealthy and well-connected, they’re showing they don’t have the courage to act and make a real difference in British Columbians’ lives.”
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