Arnold slams federal budget

Federal Conservative North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold didn't hold back any punches when asked his thoughts on the federal liberal 2018 budget.

"Another failure by this Liberal minister to bring a budget together and control this out-of-control spending."

The North Okanagan—Shuswap Member of Parliment says the Liberals could have worked towards a balanced budget but instead decided to plunge the country a further $18 billion into debt.

"If you break that down, that works out be $514 per every man, woman and child. So for a family of four, it is another $2,000 increase of debt load this year alone."

Arnold says the debt load, coupled with the debt loads of previous budgets, mean every Canadian is saddled with a massive bill that will have to be paid back at some point down the road.

The Liberals said their budget puts people first by investing in what Canadians want. 

The budget was heavy on talk of gender equality with measures to boost the number of women entrepreneurs, as well women in trades, science, technology, engineering and math.

The budget also looked at breaking the pattern of stay-at-home mothers by providing new fathers up to five weeks of leave, with benefits at a cost of $1.2 billion over five years. 

"Equality and fairness in the workplace should be a priority of any government," said Arnold, not giving a pass to the Liberals. "Equality of everyone in the workforce, or any place in society should be paramount for everyone." Adding, "I'm curious to know why this government felt it was something they needed to highlight. It is something that should be worked towards."

While gender equality was a major theme in the budget, the Liberals also announced more than $230 million over five years to aid in opiate crisis fight.

"I see they have pledged funding towards the opioid crisis," says Arnold. "I'm glad to see there is some funding there, and I'll be following up to make sure that we get some of that funding out to the communities and on the ground where it is needed."

The next step, says Arnold, is to go through the budget and connect the community needs with the actual budget.

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