MP Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) has announced his expectations for the 2021 federal budget in the midst of the ongoing pandemic and with Canadians struggling with precarious employment, the rising costs of living and a lack of access to COVID-19 support structures.
“One-in-three Canadians say they are worse off now than they were 12 months ago,” stated MacGregor. “While millions of people are struggling to make ends meet and are anxious about their economic situation, a small minority of the wealthiest in our society continue to take advantage of the pandemic to further enrich themselves. It is my hope that the Liberal Government will agree with New Democrats that this situation must end.”
In addition to a tax on excessive corporate profits during the pandemic, MacGregor is looking to the budget for increased supports for Canada’s workers, including increased access to EI, paid sick leave, and a moratorium on student loan payments.
COVID-19 has also highlighted the role and responsibility of the federal government in delivering health care to Canadians. Despite repeated Liberal promises, MacGregor is looking for a strong commitment to a national plan for pharmacare, dental care and childcare which, in the long term, will significantly reduce costs and provide options for working families.
MacGregor is also expressing hope for an increased and urgent commitment in addressing the climate change crisis. The Liberal government is being urged to support the NDP proposal to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs through home and building retrofits, clean transportation and renewable energy as well as an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
MacGregor also expects the federal government to offer the provinces and territories the assistance of the military to set up federal vaccination clinics to help the most affected industries and sectors. New Democrats are pushing for the creation of a Crown corporation to allow the manufacturing of vaccines here in Canada.
With housing prices continuing to rise, MacGregor will be looking for measures in the budget aimed at creating more affordable housing. In addition, he will be seeking a solid investment in an Indigenous housing strategy and a firm commitment to tackle the affordable housing crisis.
“Canadian voters aren’t looking for more empty promises,” noted MacGregor. “Trudeau’s Liberal government has had two years to put together a bold strategy that will not only support those who need help now but elevate and prepare our country for the challenges that lie ahead. I look forward to holding them accountable to that standard.”
The federal budget will be delivered at 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, April 19.