Federal Budget 2021: Reflections by Bill Sundhu
As the devastating third wave of the pandemic hits Canadians, Trudeau Liberals have yet to recognize that many Canadians struggle between anxiety to make ends meet and the health of the people they love. Over the course of the pandemic, inequalities have increased and the exposed huge gaps in the health and social safety net.
This budget should have helped more people. Instead it continues to give a free ride to the wealthy and places the burden on workers and families. Trudeau fails to show the leadership that we need:
- An all-hands-on-deck approach for the vaccine roll out;
- More on paid sick days;
- Real student debt relief, not the Liberals drop in a bucket.
In the last few years we’ve learned that Justin Trudeau often makes promises with no intention of acting on them. The Liberals have been promising Childcare since 1993, Pharmacare since 1997, a federal minimum wage for a few years. “The Liberals have had plenty of time to do these things — if they really wanted to,” said Sundhu. “Canadian voters don’t appreciate being fooled by promises that sound good on the campaign trail but are abandoned as soon as Liberals are elected.”
This crisis has highlighted the need for government to fix the broken social safety net that Canadians rely on. But this budget has nothing on increasing health transfers, nothing on Pharmacare, nothing on dental care. We in the NDP believe these should be priorities.
The wealthy need to pitch in and pay their fair share. But Trudeau chooses to give his rich friends a free ride: No wealth tax, no excess profits tax, no action on tax havens reform, only consultation.
When the first wave hit, it was pressure from Jagmeet Singh and the New Democrats that pushed the Liberals to take meaningful action. (CEWS, CERB, rent relief, seniors, etc). O’Toole and the Conservatives did little to help Canadian families. They opposed paid sick leave, the $15 minimum wage, a wealth tax, and Pharmacare. But they’ve never missed a chance to cut taxes for wealthy corporations and the rich.
Sundhu said, “Jagmeet Singh and the NDP have fought every day for Canadians, and they’re not done.”
“It’s important for Canadians to know that neither Trudeau nor O’Toole have the courage to make the wealthy and the pandemic profiteers pay their fair share; nor do they have the courage to cancel student debt rather than have student debt payments further enrich the CEO’s of financial institutions,” said Sundhu. “While they continue to choose the wealthy, Jagmeet and New Democrats choose you”.