Liberal budget is a do nothing budget for Alberta: Calkins

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The federal Liberals have promised $22.8 billion in new spending over the next five years as part of Budget 2019, but Red Deer-Lacombe and Conservative MP Blaine Calkins says there’s not much there for Alberta.

“The Trudeau budget is another do nothing budget for Alberta,” he said in a statement emailed to media Tuesday evening.

“For example, in 2018, the Liberals purchased the Keystone Pipeline for $4.5 billion. Budget 2019 provides millions of dollars over the next two years for consultation, but provides zero dollars for pipeline construction.”

The budget includes $1.7 billion over five years – and $586 million a year after that for the Canada Training Benefit aimed at helping workers upgrade and develop new skills, including a $250 per year tax credit to pay for training programs and access to employment insurance to cover living expenses while they train. Calkins says the measure is of “no comfort” to the over 100,000 unemployed energy sector workers in the province right now, including those losing their homes and savings.

“It’s ludicrous,” he said. “Justin Trudeau plans to spend an additional $2 billion outside Canada’s borders, but does little more than pay lip service to Albertans.”

He referred to Rural Crime Task Force put together by the Conservative MPs in Alberta. A report with recommendations was presented to the Justice Committee, and at this point, no funds have been allocated towards rural crime solutions or recommendations put forward.

Calkins also slammed Trudeau over the continued debt, despite the prime minister’s promise to run modest deficits and have the budget balanced by 2019.

“Justin Trudeau has broken his promise to Canadians that he would run modest deficits. He is running a $20-billion deficit this year, which means every man, woman and child in this province owes in the realm of $19,000,” he said.

“Very clearly, the Liberals believe that debt is a problem to be dealt with tomorrow. Our children and grandchildren will be paying for Trudeau’s mismanagement of our country for years to come.”

The Lacombe Globe reached out to Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins for more on Budget 2019, but were unable to reach him before our press deadline. Story will be updated.