Centrist Party of Canada believes that childcare support in 2021 federal budget is a good initiative. Like Quebec, support for early childcare has been long desired in Canada. However, we do have concerns about the delivery of this program in terms of negotiations with the provinces. Provinces may not be ready to participate in the federal government designed program. If implemented, this program may help in economic recovery.
Although support for early childcare is a good step but Centrist Party prefers an approach that would allow parents to make their own childcare choices. Increasing the Canada Child Benefit would have given parents more flexibility, rather than investing in childcare.
We also support new taxes on foreign owned houses, and vaping products.
We do have serious concerns on how spending will be sustainable over time. There is no fiscal anchor in this budget and taxes will need to be increased. Due to huge and reckless overspending of $101 Billions on top of $354 Billion deficit for fiscal year of 2020-2021, as planned by liberal government, there may be overstimulation of economy; and, inflation, ballooning of housing market, and increasing interest rates may cause problems.
We see this budget as divisive in that there is no clear path forward addressing the challenges of people in Western Canada, particularly in Alberta. Alberta has consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates, not only during, but even before the pandemic. This seems to be an election budget to win votes in Ontario, Quebec, and rest of the Eastern Canada, while Alberta workers in the energy and agriculture sectors, as well as other sectors, have been left behind. This budget lacks the acknowledgement that Alberta energy industry can be part of any environmental plan. There is no support for training or retraining of skilled workers who have been unemployed from Alberta’s energy sector crises.
This budget also lacks a review of the current equalization program, which was devised by Harper conservatives to favor Quebec at the cost of Alberta to win seats in federal election in Quebec.
After preliminary review of budget, we would like to see following amendments,
- Support for training or retraining of skilled workers who have been unemployed from Alberta’s energy sector crises.
- Increasing the Canada Child Benefit, rather than investing in early childcare to give parents their own choices.
- More stringent transparency on the overspending in this budget and a more robust plan to balance the budget
- We also suggest a plan to revise the equalization formula
However, we encourage all opposition parties to support this budget since having an election during the pandemic is not something Canadians are looking for.