It should come as no surprise, but Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin is not happy with the federal budget. He argues the Peace country has been left out completely.
“We are seeing next to nothing in this budget and Albertans will pay far more in tax increases than they will see benefits that come back from this. The government of Canada, under this Liberal government, is taking far more from Alberta and from the Peace country than they will return.”
Among those tax increases are higher duties on alcohol and tobacco, charging Uber users a sales tax, and killing a tax break for public transit users. The budget raises $1.4 billion dollars in new annual tax revenue, as well as another $1.4 billion over five years by hiking Employment Insurance premiums.
While $30 million will be sent to the provincial government to help stimulate the economy, Warkentin says he had hoped to see Ottawa help kick start industry in Alberta through things like an infrastructure plan.
“That would support municipalities to help build infrastructure and create jobs in our communities at a time when we know this infrastructure could be built at a reasonable price. There was no announcement for that; as a matter of fact we saw really no sizeable contributions to rural infrastructure across the country.”
Warkentin has also criticized the Liberals for diving further into debt, with the deficit expected to reach $28.5 billion 2017/2018.