Thoughts on the federal budget
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Since Justin Trudeau became the prime minister of Canada, the Liberal Party fulfilled some of the promises that they made during the federal election last year. Now, the rest of those promises are a reality in a highly anticipated federal budget speech that a lot of people have been waiting to hear. The federal budget speech this year is Minister of Finance Bill Morneau’s first.
The speech began with Morneau introducing the Canada Child Benefit, which will help parents pay for anything that will help their child. Depending on income and the age of the children, parents will receive up to $6,400 tax-free per child every year beginning in July. Morneau said that the benefit “will lift hundreds of thousands of children up from poverty.” The benefit is great because it will give more money to parents to help them pay for the essentials.
Next, Morneau announced that they will fund $120 billion in infrastructure projects, including providing affordable housing, building green infrastructure systems, and improving public transit. This means that there will be more funding for the transit system in the Lower Mainland, and there will be more bus services in the future. Also, Canada Student Grants is being increased by 50 per cent to help students prepare for the future, and 35,000 summer jobs are being given to youth.
The biggest announcement in the speech is that they will fund $1.9 billion into the arts, including more funding for CBC, which is important in Canadian arts. With more funding for CBC, hopefully, they will bring back Royal Canadian Air Farce and Hockey Night in Canada.
Also, Morneau announced that there will be more funding in the health care system. They also reversed the changes that were made to veteran services by the previous Conservative government led by Stephen Harper, including the reopening of various veteran services offices, which will allow veterans to get help when they need it.
Finally, Morneau announced that they will invest $8.4 billion to improve the lives of indigenous people and end the boil water advisories in some cities. This will improve their neighbourhoods and help them be part of the rest of the country.
Throughout the speech, Morneau was very positive when he announced the things they will do. The phrases “middle class” and “real change” were used, because Trudeau’s government is focused on helping the middle class.
After the speech, the opposition parties reacted. Lisa Rait, a Conservative MP, said that the budget will not help the middle class. This is not true, because it will give more money to the middle class. The NDP said that the funding of the budget is not the same as the funding in the Liberal Party’s election platform, which was likely to happen because Morneau did pre-budget consultations before the speech, and the amount of money that will be funded in the budget will likely change. The federal budget speech has a lot of great things that prove that: “better is always possible.”