Budget 2018 leaves Saskatchewan behind

March 6, 2018

The Trudeau Liberals’ recent budget was not good news for Saskatchewan families, farmers, and business owners. Instead of getting their spending under control, the Liberals plan to borrow more money from hardworking Canadians, adding billions more to the national debt.

The Liberal budget has left Saskatchewan behind, which is disheartening at a time when our province faces losing $62 million in federal funding for refusing to be bullied into joining the Liberals' carbon tax scheme.  The budget also gives $109 Million to the Canada Revenue Agency and to Environment and Climate Change Canada for “Carbon Cops” to enforce the Liberal carbon pricing system. Instead of championing the Trans Mountain pipeline project and promoting the benefits that it would bring to Saskatchewan, Justin Trudeau has chosen to pile on new regulations and taxes, creating additional obstacles for our energy sector. Just imagine how much rail capacity this pipeline would create for increased grain shipments.

On that note, there also was no support for our grain farmers announced in the Liberal budget, who right now are unable to get their grain to market because of issues with the railways. In fact, agriculture was hardly mentioned in the budget at all.  The Prime Minister must not realize that agriculture and agri-food contribute over 100 billion ‎dollars a year to our GDP.   If he did, he'd be doing a lot more to ensure that rail service is reliable for our farmers.  He would also take his Agriculture Minister along on a trade mission or two.

Further, there was no support for our small business owners who are facing uncertain tax changes while losing competitiveness in the North American market thanks to tax cuts south of the border.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and this Liberal budget didn’t have anything in it to help our entrepreneurs cope with Liberal payroll tax hikes.

Rural Saskatchewanians were almost entirely left out of the budget in particular.  There was an entire section in the budget called “Supporting the Rural Economy”, but only two of the four spending measures in this section could by any stretch benefit Saskatchewan, and even then they are a meagre offering to our folks who live outside of cities.  A total of $100 million for innovation in internet satellites that could maybe one-day bring internet to our remote communities and a one year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit  doesn’t add up to much when you compare it to the $1.7 billion allotted for Canadian researchers and $128.5 million for marijuana public education.

The numbers in Justin Trudeau’s latest budget are alarming.  Over 90% of Canadian families are paying more in taxes, and after this budget they will be paying even more.  At the same time, the deficit for this fiscal year is $18 billion, which is three times higher than what the Liberals promised during the 2015 election. With the budget not projected to be in balance again until 2045, these additional deficits will add $450 billion to Canada’s national debt over the next 27 years.

Saskatchewanians deserve better than what this Liberal government presented in its 2018 Budget.

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