Hyer- Nothing but ‘Lip Service’ in Budget


Bruce Hyer MPOTTAWA – “The Harper Government’s 2011 Budget has little to make life more affordable for Canadian families, deal effectively with the pensions crisis, and provide substantial support for health care”, says Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer.

“I’ve studied the Budget carefully since it was introduced yesterday,” said Hyer “I’ve looked at the entire thing, and watched for key measures that my constituents have told me they wanted to see in it. I’m disappointed that most are either missing entirely, or replaced only with lip service and half-measures. I can’t support this Budget as it stands. It’s really up to Harper whether he will be open to amendments.”

“Stephen Harper had an opportunity with this Budget to change his ways,” said Hyer. “I was looking for it to address the needs of Northwest constituents …but sadly, Mr Harper chose fig leaves and seems to be choosing election instead. Just some of the gaps include:

  • Nothing to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan;
  • Nothing to reduce the HST off growing home heating costs;
  • No tax reductions for small business;
  • Increased payroll taxes (employment insurance premiums);
  • Nothing for passenger rail;
  • No costing of fighter jets, no costing of megaprisons;
  • Nothing to end massive fossil fuel industry subsidies;
  • Nothing to hire new doctors & nurses – just small incentives to move them around;
  • Nothing on exorbitant bank & credit card charges;
  • Only $60 million for forestry across Canada, an industry which has asked for $1 billion in support.”

“There are some relatively small items in this Budget that I can support,” continued Hyer. “But no single line item made up my mind on it. It was the whole document, and overall the Budget doesn’t address the real solutions constituents want to see on health care, on pensions, on seniors’ poverty, and on the massive tax shift from big corporations onto the backs of our middle class, small businesses and our working poor.”

Harper’s refusal to produce key documents, and misleading Parliament on altered documents, has led to contempt of Parliament charges and a Liberal non-confidence motion to be voted on Friday. The first Budget vote may come as early as Thursday. If the government is defeated on any of these confidence votes this week, an election will be be triggered and Canadians will likely head to the polls on May 2nd.

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