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Federal budget ‘poured gas on inflation’: Horner

Government of Alberta responds to federal budget
Finance Minister Nate Horner responded to the federal budget on April 16. Alberta Finance Minister Nate Horner arrives to speak to the media at a news conference in Calgary, Thursday, June 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Government of Alberta has issued a response to the federal budget.

According to Drumheller-Stettler MLA, and Alberta finance minister, Nate Horner, the budget the federal Liberals tabled earlier on April 16 “poured gasoline on inflation.”

“The federal finances are deteriorating,” said Horner, in an afternoon media conference.

“There is a complete lack of plan to return to balance … it overspends, over taxes, over regulates and will harm productivity, affordability, and economic growth.”

Horner criticized the 2024 federal budget for having no plan to address the affordability crisis, increasing the carbon tax and increasing Canada’s debt to $1.2 trillion.

With the debt at that level, debt servicing alone will cost around $40 billion in 2024 and $60 billion within five years.

“There is a stark contrast in priorities between the federal government and most Canadians,” said Horner.

“The budget represents another missed opportunity for economic growth.”

According to Horner, with changes made to the tax code, the new budget will “stifle” economic growth and the increase in the carbon tax will increase costs for everything from home heating to groceries and services.

“There’s nothing here to spur investment … (there needs) less regulation.”

Horner also criticized federal-provincial funding, noting that “there’s not enough money in this budget to be chasing every dollar” and that funds coming to the provinces come with too many strings attached.

“Maybe just the opposite,” said Horner.

“Instead of tying our hands for years, maybe we go our own way.”

One high point of the budget that Horner approved of was $5 billion in federal loan guarantees for Indigenous-led resource projects.

Overall though, Horner believes the budget doesn’t live up to what Canadians want.

“People’s priorities are affordability, housing costs, and pharmacare.”

According to Horner, by the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s (PBO) own estimates, the $1.5 billion allocated to pharmacare is a far cry from the $40 billion needed for true “universal pharmacare.”

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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