Families, older people and workers are once again hit the hardest in the Conservative budget released today according to Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca). Cuts announced for the Old Age Security program and healthcare funding were confirmed in the budget plan tabled by the Minister of Finance.
Despite public opposition, the budget confirmed that the Conservatives will raise the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67, forcing seniors to work two years longer to make ends meet. It also unilaterally changes the funding formula for federal health transfers, cutting funding to provinces by $31 billion and opening the door to privatization and two-tier health care.
“One of the biggest concerns I have about this budget is its impact on fishing in my riding” Garrison said. “Cutting $96.5 million from the DFO is disastrous for the fishing industry on Vancouver Island” he continued. “These cuts will further reduce the ability of DFO to manage and enhance fish stocks and put at risk not also the sustainability of the salmon and halibut fishery, but also thousands of jobs in the sport fishing industry in my riding” Garrison said.
After months of delay waiting for a response from the Conservatives to finally commit to fund their share of rail-bed repair for the E&N Railway Garrison was hopeful that he would see that commitment today in the budget. “It seems the Conservatives are waiting even longer before making a crucial decision and risk total gridlock outside the Dockyard gate when the new shipbuilding jobs come on stream” Garrison said. “I will continue to push the government to commit to the $7.5 million needed to repair the railway as soon as possible” Garrison concluded.
“I am also alarmed to see further cuts to Veterans Affairs in the Conservatives budget,” Garrison continued. “We have heard over and over again that veterans are not getting the services they need and deserve. It is a fiction to suggest, as the Conservatives are doing, that these cuts can be made without having any impact on services to veterans. Those who have served our county deserve better” Garrison argued.
The Official Opposition also highlighted the lack of a real job creation plan in the Conservatives budget.
MP Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca