Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says he was less than impressed with last Monday’s “groundhog day” budget that offered little change from the budget that was defeated to spark the last election, and he says people should be concerned about what could be coming in the weeks and months ahead.
“There is going to be $4 billion in cuts and what is worrying is that the government acknowledges those cuts but won’t tell us what is being cut…I think they have a pretty good idea of where those cuts will be made, but they’re not wanting to tell Canadians what they are,” he said, noting that he was also dismayed that the budget from the last session saw minimal revisions.
“I still find it very disappointing and a very poor vision for what Canada could be…There is no boldness to it, except the bold cuts coming to government programs.”
One new idea from the budget was cutting per-vote subsidies to federal parties, something Cullen said takes direct aim at the Canadian system of government.
“We as New Democrats are confident in our ability to fundraise, but there is a very undemocratic tone to this. Every evolved democracy in the world, including the United States, has party subsidies,” he said.
“This is targeted clearly at the Liberal Party. It is designed to wipe them off the map both politically and financially.”
Most of Cullen’s comments on the budget were negative ones, but he did give some credit to the government when it came to listening to concerns of the NDP from the last federal budget.
“We were worried about pensions, and the government did come halfway through on that despite the change in Parliament,” he said.
And while there is no question the budget will pass, given the Conservative majority in the House of Commons, Cullen said ignoring input and feedback from other parties would be a potentially fatal mistake for the Harper government.
“It would be a real mistake of this government to think that they have the backing of all Canadians and can do whatever they want. That is the recipe for a one-term majority. History has shown that and Mr. Harper is supposedly a historian so he will know that as well,” he said.