REACTION To 2019 Federal Budget

Ottawa – Various reaction to the Federal Budget. Some pleasantries and some expected voices.

Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Hope issued the following statement on the 2019 Liberal Budget:

“With Budget 2019, Justin Trudeau is covering up his corruption under $41 billion of brand new spending paid for by tax hikes if he’s re-elected.”
“Justin Trudeau’s plan is obvious. Massive deficits to distract Canadians from his corruption before the election. Massive tax hikes to pay for them after the election.”
“Canadians will not be distracted by Mr. Trudeau’s cover-up deficits. They demand answers on the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal and Conservatives will do everything we can to get them.”
“In the days ahead, Canada’s Conservatives will continue to oppose Justin Trudeau’s cover-up agenda. Tomorrow, we will debate a Conservative motion calling on him to waive privilege and allow Jody Wilson-Raybould to speak.“Conservatives will not accept a cover-up of Justin Trudeau’s interference in a criminal prosecution, and we will continue to hold him accountable on his acts of corruption.”

Aran Armutlu, Chairperson of the BC Federation of Students (BCFS) :

“This announcement will not only help current and future students but also those who have completed their studies and are struggling to make loan payments.”

Budget 2019 limits interest charged on student loans to the prime rate of interest; the existing interest rate ranges from prime plus 2.5% to prime plus 5%. Additionally, it removes interest charged on student loans during the six-month grace period following the end of studies. Government estimates suggest this change will save borrowers an average of $2,000 over the loan repayment period.

Student debt in Canada has increased 78% since 1999, and the average student loan balance upon graduation is over $30,000. A recent study showed that student debt holds young people back not only professionally, but also in other important ways: because of rising debt, recent graduates in Canada are delaying major life events like getting married, buying a home, or starting a family.

The British Columbia government announced the elimination of interest on its provincial loans in its 2019 Budget. This follows the lead of four other provinces which also do not charge interest on provincial student loans.

“With tuition fees at an all-time high, student debt in BC continues to grow as students and their families struggle to afford the education they need to enter the workforce,” said Armutlu. “Eliminating interest on student loans relieves some of the pressure faced by those who have to borrow to access education.”

Though students are pleased with the government’s action on interest rates, the move falls short of what is needed. The BCFS’ Knock Out Interest campaign advocates for the complete elimination of interest charged on federal student loans. Learn more about the campaign at www.KnockOutInterest.ca.

The British Columbia Federation of Students represents over 130,000 college and university students from across all regions of the province. The Federation represents full- and part-time students at the college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Together these students advocate for a well-funded system of post-secondary education in BC that is affordable and accessible for all.

CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy organization for older adults, is applauding the federal government for investing in the financial security of our seniors in Tuesday’s budget.

“CARP has been calling for significant changes to safeguard Canadians as we age.  The government has listened,” said Laura Tamblyn Watts, CARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer. “CARP applauds the federal government for taking decisive action in reducing the GIS claw-back, increasing federal pension protections, supporting deferred annuities for seniors, a new EI caregiving benefit and housing supports for low income seniors.”

Surrey Board of Trade Says Federal Budget 2019 Presents Opportunities for Business – but Needed a Focus on Tax Reforms.

Businesses need to reduce their costs, need skilled talent to drive innovation and maximize the potential of trade deals. The costs that are hurting our businesses the most are taxes, both the rates and the cost and time to file them in addition to regulatory compliance.

“Surrey, a small and medium sized business community, creates a sizable portion of private sector jobs. Surrey is a destination of entrepreneurialism and innovation through diverse industry sectors including health technology and manufacturing,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“In order for Surrey’s economy to thrive, it takes all three levels of government working together to ensure that programs, policies, and taxes are not onerous for business. To that end, we looked to the Federal Budget to reduce red-tape, ensure tax fairness, and to provide the funding supports for necessary social and transportation infrastructure.”

“The concern in relation to the projected $19.8-billion deficit for the 2019-20 fiscal year remains, with limited revenue innovation and growth, and continued investments in transportation infrastructure.”

“The Surrey Board of Trade also wanted to see a clear strategy to move the Trans Mountain pipeline forward, given the significant investment made by Canadian taxpayers.”

“The Surrey Board of Trade did see new program spending though that would help businesses deal with today’s local and global economic challenges, coming during a period of economic uncertainty and as growth cools.”

The Surrey Board of Trade observed that the Federal Government is:

·       Investing in moving the pharmacare agenda forward
·       Helping workers learn new job skills
·       Easing the burden on first-time home buyers
·       Investing in increasing housing supply
·       Investing in training programs
·       Investing in an international education strategy
·       Enhancing CPP
·       Expanding the Global Talent Stream to access global talent
·       Eliminating the income threshold for accessing the enhanced Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program to encourage business innovation by providing an investment tax credit for businesses of all sizes
·       Investing in the forestry sector
·       Supporting the Strategic Innovation Fund for the Clean Resource Innovation Network
·       Directing more funding towards Western Economic Diversification Canada.
·       Supporting tourism investments into a Canadian Experiences Fund to create, improve or expand tourism related infrastructure
·       Reducing red tape through Regulatory Roadmaps
·       Supporting the production, promotion and distribution of Canadian music
·       Investing in Canada’s critical cyber systems – business needs to be included  
·       Investing in improving emergency management in Canada – floods, fires, wildfires, earthquakes pre- and -post
·       Supporting supply managed farmers
·       Addressing CRA challenges

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