Apr. 19, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarnia, ON—MP Marilyn Gladu responds to Budget 2021
The federal Liberals released their first budget in more than two years on Monday afternoon, marking a new and unfortunate record in Canadian history.
“We were told last year that we would not be getting a budget in 2020 because the costs of the pandemic programs were difficult to estimate, as they were ongoing. So we have waited, anxiously, until today to see the actual current and projected totals of the Liberals’ out-of-control pandemic spending—and their plans for the future, which bring more anxiety than hope,” says MP Gladu.
Under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, Canada has had a record economic decline, the highest unemployment in the G7, and the worst economic growth per capita since the Great Depression. Canada spent more per capita during this pandemic and yet achieved the worst outcomes in the G7 when it comes to employment, vaccine rollout, and business confidence.
“What I wanted to see was a plan to get Canada and Canadians out of the pandemic. Instead, we got $100B in vague “stimulus spending” promises from Minister Freeland, and $12B for ongoing pandemic support, alongside multiple new taxes and a plea to raise the debt ceiling to $1.8 trillion!” says MP Gladu.
However, there were some highlights for residents in Sarnia-Lambton. “I am committed to ensuring our vulnerable groups receive the assistance they need. The proposed $3B for nation-wide standards for long-term care homes will aid in protecting against the atrocities committed against seniors in long-term care homes during the pandemic. The budget also finally commits to increase OAS for Canadians aged 75 and older, which is set to provide up to $766 more for eligible seniors in the first year, and will allegedly grow with indexation.[i] The budget states that this is only a partial re-payment, and I will hold the government to account for that fact—we owe our seniors so much more,” says MP Gladu.
Another highlight for Sarnia-Lambton is the proposed spending in the budget for affordable housing. Budget 2021 has earmarked $2.5 billion and the reallocation of $1.3 billion in existing funding in order to help build, repair, or support 35,000 housing units. Also proposed is support for the conversion to affordable housing of empty office space that has appeared in downtowns, by reallocating $300 million from the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.[ii]
MP Gladu says she was also pleased to see the mental health funding support measures included, with the proposal to create national service standards for mental health care and COVID-19 related trauma. In addition, ‘Budget 2021 proposes to provide $100 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized and Black Canadians’[iii], all sorely needed.
“While it is critical that parents retain control over their childcare decisions, I am happy to see additional childcare options being put forward—this will help many of the thousands of women ousted from the workforce by COVID to resume their careers,” says MP Gladu.
But MP Gladu says these measures only go so far. “We are still passing on eye-watering amounts of debt to our children, grandchildren, and future generations of Canadians—and, we remain firmly stuck in the pandemic. This is unacceptable. We cannot let Justin Trudeau’s spending burden our country for decades into the future and leave our economy in an insecure position,” says MP Gladu.
[i] Budget 2021, p. 14
[ii] Budget 2021, p. 22
[iii] Budget 2021, p. 69