THE LIBERAL PARTY
The Liberal party criticized the 2010 budget for lacking ambition. Said party leader Michael Ignatieff, “This budget leaves too many Canadians to fend for themselves, and can’t hide the laissez-faire approach of a government that doesn’t believe in government.”
Said Mr. Ignatieff, “We will vote against it, but we’re not going to cause an election. Since Canadians don’t want an election and it’s not in the national interest, we’ll register our opposition responsibly.”
On jobs and innovation, the Liberals said the budget came up short with plans for more job losses:
The Liberals said the 2010 budget was stacked with “gimmicks,” including:
Liberals also cited cuts to research, innovation and clean energy:
They expressed disappointment with freezes:
Finally Liberals argued the budget offered no action on Canadian’s most pressing concerns:
THE BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS
The Bloc Québécois argued that the Conservative budget failed to deliver for Québec. “In presenting a budget this empty, the Conservative government gives us another illustration that federalism is simply not profitable for Québec. The Conservatives once again missed an opportunity to respond adequately to the economic, social, environmental and financial needs of Québec. They show again that for Canada, it is as if Québec does not exist. Unless substantial amendments are made, the Bloc Québécois will vote against this budget,” said the spokesman for the Bloc Québécois, Daniel Paille.
The Bloc argued that this budget had policies geared toward the needs of Ontario and Alberta, while forecasters agree that economic recovery will proceed more slowly in Québec than in the rest of Canada. In particular, the Conservatives’ silence on the environment was roundly criticized, compared to the billions of dollars the budget plans to spend on the nuclear and oil industries. The lack of funding for the cultural sector was also criticized.
Deputy spokesman Robert Carrier noted a variety of other concerns:
Paille further criticized:
Said Daniel Paille: ““Overall, we cannot help noting that this budget in its current form completely misses the economic reality of Québecers.”
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
The New Democratic Party was critical of the federal budget, saying it did nothing for the victims of the recession. Instead, the NDP argued that the 2010 budget contained hidden taxes, particularly in the area of E.I. from which will come $19 billion in new taxes. They compared this to $5 billion in corporate tax cuts.
The NDP cited disturbing trends in the doubling of seniors’ poverty and the failure of workplace pension plans—specifically, the failure to raise the Guaranteed Income Supplement for Canada’s poorest seniors and measures to protect workers’ benefits and pensions in the event of employer bankruptcy.
They criticized the federal budget as further weakening environmental protection by:
Public safety was also targeted by this budget, the NDP argued. Said NDP Public Safety Critic Don David, “The Conservative plan is to spend 43% more on building prisons. They are pushing a U.S.-style approach that is expensive and totally ineffective at bringing down the crime rate.” The NDP called for preventative over punitive measures.
Finally, the NDP’s Olivia Chow criticized this budget for doing nothing to change Canada’s last place ranking in investment in child care. Of particular note was the challenge of childhood obesity in Canada, which the budget did not address.
I'm inclined to be optimistic. Religion, the very thing that threatens to inflame passions and radicalize politics, is also part of the force...