OTTAWA – Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, responded to today’s tabling of the Budget with deep concerns regarding the continued reckless spending by the Liberal government, while also noting some positive new initiatives.
“The Liberal government broke their campaign promise about deficit spending long ago,” said Mr. Zimmer. “What is most concerning to me is there continues to be no clear path back to a balanced budget. Instead the Liberal government has added even more debt onto the backs of the next generation of taxpayers.”
The deficit for this fiscal year is $18 billion, which is triple what the Prime Minister promised during the 2015 election. As the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has noted, with this Budget the Liberal government’s debt will rise a further $80 billion by 2022, which adds up to a total increase of $110 billion in debt since they came into office.
“This Budget also does not address the possibility of an economic downturn that may occur as a result of over-regulation in our energy sector,” said Mr. Zimmer. “It is not good governance to cross your fingers and hope for the best with regards to the global economy, especially if they continue to stifle natural resource development.”
The Liberal government is also introducing new taxes on local business including changes to the small business passive investment income and the new income sprinkling rules. There also is little evidence of much-needed infrastructure dollars for Northeastern BC.
“The impacts of these new taxes will be felt by our local businesses long into the future,” said Mr. Zimmer. “These businesses employ the vast majority of Canadians and it is unfortunate that the Liberal government continues to fail our local business owners.”
Mr. Zimmer also expressed concern over changes to the way major projects are reviewed.
“While I support an independent, scientific, evidence-based decision-making process, I am concerned that this over-regulation will have a negative effect on the energy sector,” said Mr. Zimmer.
Mr. Zimmer did note some positives in the Budget, including new funding for First Nations Child and Family Services, additional funding for clean and safe drinking water on reserves, investing in the creation of a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, and funding to help keep Indigenous families healthy in their communities.
In addition, Mr. Zimmer was pleased to see funding allocated to address the opioid crisis.
“This is a serious public health issue, especially here in British Columbia which has seen the most opioid-related deaths out of any province,” said Mr. Zimmer. “It is important that the government step up and look into how we as Canadians can respond effectively and compassionately to this crisis.”
As a father of a young daughter, Mr. Zimmer was also pleased to see funding for programs like promoting women and girls in sport.
Overall, however, Mr. Zimmer’s concerns over increased deficit spending overshadowed any positives that have come out of this Budget.
“Today’s Budget continues the Liberal government trend of more spending without any real effect on our economy,” said Mr. Zimmer. “With a balanced budget not projected until 2045, these additional deficits will add $450 billion to Canada’s national debt over the next 27 years. My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to put forward ideas that will reduce this deficit and I will continue to fight to bring much-needed infrastructure spending to Northern BC.”
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