Lib­eral good news is that deficit’s not as high as ex­pected

The Daily Courier - - OPINION - DAN ALBAS

Last week in Ot­tawa be­gan with Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau un­der fire for fail­ing to place his in­vest­ments into a blind trust and also re­fus­ing to dis­close them in the House of Com­mons.

As a re­sult, the Lib­er­als made the po­lit­i­cally wise de­ci­sion to move up the fall fis­cal up­date. Select me­dia in Ot­tawa were leaked cer­tain de­tails sug­gest­ing that this would be a “good news” fis­cal up­date with in­creased rev­enues and a prom­ise to fur­ther in­crease the child ben­e­fit pro­gram.

In the end, we learned that the “good news” was the fact that the Lib­er­als’ re­vised deficit was go­ing to be just un­der $20 bil­lion this year.

For the Lib­er­als, this was good news as they had thought the deficit would be even higher.

For the Op­po­si­tion, this deficit is ba­si­cally dou­ble the size of the mod­est deficits the Lib­er­als promised. In fact, the Lib­er­als are now on a path to add $100 bil­lion in debt over the next seven years with no plan to re­turn to bal­ance.

I par­tic­i­pated in a press con­fer­ence with Di­a­betes Canada last Sun­day where it came to light that many vul­ner­a­ble ci­ti­zens with Type 1 Di­a­betes are be­ing de­nied the Dis­abil­ity Tax Credit from the Canada Rev­enue Agency.

This has shocked both the peo­ple ap­ply­ing and physi­cians, as many have qual­i­fied in pre­vi­ous years, but have been re­jected with no clear ex­pla­na­tion as to what has changed.

Sub­se­quently, I have raised this in ques­tion pe­riod with some ur­gency. The gov­ern­ment has de­nied this is an of­fi­cial change of pol­icy and is work­ing on this is­sue. If you are some­one you know with type 1 di­a­betes is hav­ing any dif­fi­culty with CRA, please con­tact my of­fice at 1800-665-8711 for as­sis­tance.

On a fi­nal note, I would like to pass on a sin­cere thank you to the many ci­ti­zens who re­sponded to my pre­vi­ous MP re­ports re­gard­ing the en­force­ment of the Bank Act.

For those of you un­fa­mil­iar, Ot­tawa had an­nounced it in­tended to pro­hibit credit unions from us­ing the terms “bank’ “bank­ing” and “banker”. Many ci­ti­zens shared with me strong op­po­si­tion to th­ese heavy­handed tac­tics that will add cost and cre­ate con­fu­sion to con­sumers and un­fairly im­pact credit unions.

As a re­sult, last week I tabled my pri­vate mem­ber’s bill C-379 that pro­poses to amend the Bank Act and al­low credit unions to con­tinue us­ing the terms “bank” “bank­ing” and “banker.”

Dan Albas is the Con­ser­va­tive mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Cen­tral Okana­gan-Sim­ilka­meen-Ni­cola.

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