While the 2023 federal budget takes some good first steps, Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says it mostly misses the mark when it comes to making life more affordable for the average Canadian.
“This isn’t an NDP budget,” Johns emphasized on Tuesday, March 28 after the federal government announced $59.5 billion of new spending over the next five years. “This isn’t what our budget would look like.”
The Liberal government has three main focuses for its budget: the clean economic transition, health care and cost-of-living relief. One of the big ticket items is a dental-care insurance program, at a cost of $13 billion over five years beginning in fiscal year 2023-24. Program eligibility will be opened this year to people under the age of 18, seniors and people with disabilities who meet the income criteria and don’t have insurance.
“Our office is flooded with calls from people with disabilities and seniors that can’t wait to be eligible for this dental care plan,” he explained. “To see the road map and the commitment from the government on this…it’s really great. It significantly impacts people in Port Alberni, because we have a lot of people that meet that income bracket that need help.”