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'Same old, same old': Barrie MPs disappointed with federal budget

'It’s the same old story (with) more deficits and close to $40 billion in deficits this year are projected in the budget,' says Barrie-Innisfil MP
2021-09-21 John Brassard Doug Shipley
Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard (left) and Barrie-Springwater-Oro Medonte MP Doug Shipley.

Barrie politicians have a mixed bag of reactions to this year's federal budget.

The federal budget, which was tabled Tuesday in Ottawa, sees a proposed $52.9-billion boost in new spending over the next five years, including $8.5 billion for housing.

Among the big-ticket items, the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it plans to cover some of its multi-billion-dollar commitments with a tax hike on capital gains — which is the profit individuals make when assets, such as stocks and second properties, are sold.

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard told BarrieToday his first reaction to the budget is it’s “the same old, same old."

“It’s the same old story (with) more deficits and close to $40 billion in deficits this year are projected in the budget,” he said.

Brassard said he's “still assessing what, if anything, can be salvaged from this budget for the people I represent here in Barrie and Innisfil.”

Mayor Alex Nuttall. image supplied

In a reaction posted to X (the social-media platform formerly known as Twitter), Barrie Mayor Alex Nuttall, who's also a former Conservative MP representing Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, said he's “happy with (the) investment in housing and overall housing reform.”

In a joint statement with Brassard issued this morning, current Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Doug Shipley was blunt in his criticism of yesterday’s budget in respect to housing.

"The housing crisis is a direct result of policy and leadership failures by the federal government," Shipley stated in the release.

"After eight years in power, the Liberal government has done little to address this critical issue," added the former Barrie city councillor. "Photo opportunities won't build the 5.8 million homes necessary to restore housing affordability for Canadians."

Meanwhile, Brassard told BarrrieToday he would have liked to have seen the carbon tax scrapped.

"I see the disproportionate effect it's having on people I represent," said the three-term MP and former Barrie city councillor.

Brassard said he also wanted to see the government do more to bring down interest rates for mortgage holders, adding a dollar-for-dollar rule should be implemented, where for every dollar of new spending by the government, a dollar of savings should be found.

"Without implementing that dollar-for-dollar rule, and all of that injection of more liquidity into the system, it is going to add to an affordability and inflation crisis," he added.

Last year, parliament passed the Canada Disability Benefit Act, which promised to send a direct benefit to low-income, working-age people with disabilities. Yesterday, the feds announced a $200-per-month amount, adding up to $2,400 per year for low-income people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 64.

Brassard believes it’s too little.

“It’s been a failed process when it comes to increasing disability benefits,” he said. “We are still waiting for the government to implement the benefit to the extent they were going to do in previous legislation.”

Based on what Brassard said he's hearing from disability advocates who have emailed him since the budget was presented, they are “extremely disappointed” with disability payments.

He said he was also disappointed to not see anything in the budget on other local issues, such as Lake Simcoe.

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Kevin Lamb

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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