May 23rd, 2024

Politicians weigh in after federal budget tabled

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on April 18, 2024.


The federal budget has been tabled and provincial politicians are reacting.

In a statement to media on Tuesday afternoon, mayor Blaine Hyggen said it will take time, including discussions with city treasurer Darrell Mathews, to review the full scope of the budget and see its impacts.

“As always, city council will continue to advocate for the supports we need in our city to best serve our residents. We look forward to working with the Federal Government in the coming weeks and months to learn more about what this budget means specifically for Lethbridge,” said Hyggen.

Conservative MP for Lethbridge Rachael Thomas stated bluntly in response “as Canadians grapple with the crushing financial burdens imposed by the Liberal government’s wasteful and inflationary spending, it is clear the Prime Minister is not worth the cost.”

Thomas noted the budget is the ninth deficit “after the Prime Minister promised the budget would balance itself. Trudeau continues to claim families will be better off with more government spending-but we know that is not true.”

Thomas said Canadians are dealing with massive debt-servicing costs with record deficits pushing interest rates to what she calls “absurd heights” with rent, mortgage and down payments all doubling.

The Lethbridge Food Bank, Thomas noted, has seen an increase of 75 per cent by individuals who are employed.

“This year, an astronomical $54.1 billion will be spent to service the national debt Trudeau threw on the backs of Canadians. This is more than the government sends to provinces for healthcare. We could be building hospitals, but instead, we are paying for out-of-control Liberal spending,” added Thomas.

The MP said she hears monthly from many Lethbridge families who are struggling financially with the costs of rent groceries and gas, much of which she says has to do with the carbon tax which was increased by 23 per cent on April 1.

“The Liberals’ budget will only make things worse,” said Thomas.

“The misery currently experienced by Canadians will only be exasperated by the Liberals’ budget. For this reason, I will be voting against this desperate and destructive disservice to Canadians,” the MP added.

Conservatives had proposed the government drop the carbon tax on farmers and food, build homes and cap spending, she said. And they made clear they wouldn’t support the budget unless it made life more affordable for Canadians, she said.

” Our plea fell on deaf ears.”

News Media Canada, however, welcomed the budget’s support for the Local Journalism Initiative program which has provided job placements to hundreds of journalists at media outlets across the Canada, including The Herald.

“The Local Journalism Initiative is a world-leading program that is vital in funding original local civic journalism in underserved communities across Canada, and we commend Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage, for ensuring it continues,” said Paul Deegan, president and chief executive officer of News Media Canada, in a statement.

“One of its unique features is that content produced is made available to other media organizations through a Creative Commons license, so that Canadians can be better informed,” said Deegan, adding he hopes Canada’s provinces and territories will consider introducing similar programs.

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