Freeland delivered an election budget, Liberal and Conservative MPs agree

·2 min read
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented her first budget on Monday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented her first budget on Monday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Liberal MP Sean Casey and Conservative MP Rob Moore agree Monday's federal budget was an election budget, but they do not agree on the implications of that.

Casey, the MP for Charlottetown, did not hesitate to label Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's plan an election budget, saying he fully expects an election in the fall because the behaviour of the opposition will make an election necessary.

"When you look at the obstructionist tactics that are being used by the opposition to thwart the government's agenda from going forward, and when you look at this budget, in my view it's quite clearly an election budget," he said.

While it is a budget Casey would be happy to campaign on, Moore, the MP for Fundy-Royal in New Brunswick, who has Conservative caucus responsibility for P.E.I., characterized it in a different way.

The federal government will be there to help the tourism industry if it's needed, promised Liberal MP Sean Casey.
The federal government will be there to help the tourism industry if it's needed, promised Liberal MP Sean Casey.(Steve Bruce/CBC)

"This is a budget that is all about an election and not about actual results," said Moore.

Moore expressed concern about the money set aside to support the tourism industry, which is perhaps the hardest hit sector in the COVID-19 pandemic. That support tapers off through the summer and into the fall.

"Whether you're talking about the tourism sector or small business, people are in need of help in Atlantic Canada right now," he said.

"Some of the funding for the tourism sector is earmarked for next year, when I know that the many tourism operators in my riding, they need help this year."

Casey said there is no need for alarm.

MP Rob Moore wanted to hear more about health care in the budget.
MP Rob Moore wanted to hear more about health care in the budget.(Pawel Dwulit/Canadian Press)

"It isn't a concern at all. The prime minister has been clear from the get go that we will be there for as long as it takes. So, although the plan is to scale these measures back, if they need to be increased they will be," he said.

"The plan laid out in the budget anticipates that the vaccines will catch up to the variants, that the economy will start to come back."

Moore also attacked the lack of focus on health care during the pandemic.

"There's nothing in it about health care. Our health-care systems are strained to the max right now," he said.

"The premiers were calling for help in that regard. Instead, we see this new program about child care that's going to cost $30 billion."

Moore said the child care program is set out as something that will be developed over the coming years, and expressed doubts about whether it would actually happen, saying the Liberals have promised national child care programs before.

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