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Local reaction to federal budget mixed as Canada’s deficit expands

More local fallout as it pertains to the 2024 federal budget tabled by the Liberals yesterday (Tuesday).

Organizations such as the Prince George Chamber of Commerce believe this year’s budget is very complex in nature and some of the benefits may be difficult for people to access.

President Cathy Mackay told there was one positive takeaway that they can stroke off their wish list.

“We see that the Indigenous Loan Guarantee is addressed, which is something that the Prince George Chamber of Commerce has supported through the BC Chamber to advocate for that piece.”

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Mackay is also a little surprised Ottawa has refused to tap into our natural resources, which by all accounts would have softened the blow on our near 40-billion dollar deficit.

“I am a bit surprised at this time that in Canada we have an immense opportunity I think to contribute to the need for critical minerals, produce with clean energy so it is surprising to me we are running a deficit of that level.”

Meanwhile, UNBC Senior Political Science Instructor Jason Morris believes Ottawa’s move to tax our wealthier residents could end up backfiring.

“They could decide not to invest or an entrepreneur could decide not to start a business and we have had situations way back with the Paul Martin government where we had the situation of brain drain where the bright minds that can bring jobs and economic promise to the country decided to go elsewhere.”

Morris added the way budgets are being presented these days by government almost resembles a badly organized movie.
“Technically and historically, government budgets were pretty straightforward descriptions of revenues and expenses – but these days for all the parties including this one (Liberals) budgets are like being in the movie theatre when you are confused by the plot and you have to whisper over your friend, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.”
“The budget today spends more than plans and we are also told it is fiscally prudent and the budget is said to make life easier for everyone but of course, we know there is always trade-off in politics where some are going to pay more into it while others tend to get more back.”

Despite taking heat from both the NDP and Conservatives, the budget provides funding for new housing, a national school lunch program, expanded child care, and an increase in defence spending.

Files by Brendan Pawliw, My Prince George Now

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