Health, housing and environmental relocation: states and organizations react

Montreal — Disappointment with Health Transfers and Employment Insurance, Welcome to Housing Assistance, Lack of Environmental Leadership: Treasury Minister Chrystia Freeland’s federal budget presented Thursday with some reaction from states and organizations of varying backgrounds. Caused.

Quebec’s finance minister, Eric Girard, said Freeland’s budget addresses several key issues. But “we regret that there is no increase in health transfer. Our recurring demands are clear and the federal government must respond as soon as possible,” he told Twitter. wrote.

Some Quebec organizations are also lamenting less than expected increases in medical transfers paid to states and territories.

In the case of the Quebec Labor Union (FTQ), Ottawa’s forecast of growth is solely due to GDP growth, with federal contributions below the 35% needed to adequately cover health care costs.

The National Trade Union Federation (CSN) lamented that the government supported certain health programs rather than increasing federal transfers to the state.

“Once again, the federal government, like Quebec, ignores the unanimous appeal of states that have seen the cost of their health system explode while Ottawa remains lazy,” CSN said. I mentioned in the president’s press release. , Caroline Seneville.

The Central Union has also specified that it wants to monitor measures related to drug insurance, and the CSN welcomes the development of dental insurance.

For FTQ, this is “a step in the right direction for pharmaceutical insurance,” but we remain cautious about implementing it.

“We need to ensure that the state government sits down and negotiates with Ottawa to implement a system equal to or better than the one proposed by the federal government,” said FTQ Secretary-General Dennis Borduk. I did.

stay

The Quebec City Union (UMQ) welcomed several steps in Mr. Freeland’s budget, especially to address housing shortages.

The Canada Rapid Housing Initiative (CLRI) will be extended for two years with an investment of $ 1.5 billion, with $ 4 billion over five years creating a new fund to accelerate housing construction, especially satisfying UMQ.

“Housing shortages affect all parts of Quebec without exception. That’s why we can only welcome the aid announced today by the federal government, which allows us to quickly invest in new, social and affordable housing. We hope we will be able to convert to, “said Daniel Kote, President of UMQ and Mayor of Gaspe.

Nevertheless, UMQ is disappointed that the budget plan does not provide specific priority files for the municipal sector, especially recreation and sports infrastructure and additional investment for air transport.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) also recognizes that affordable housing is a top priority.

“As local leaders, we are ready to play our role in improving Canadian housing opportunities. This budget will help us keep moving forward,” said Strathroy, Ontario. -Joan Vanderhayden, FCM Chairman and Mayor of the City of Karadok, commented.

The Mayor of Montreal’s Valerie Plante welcomed a federal budget focused on housing and affordability.

“Housing measures address the urgent needs that Montreal has experienced. We needed measures to limit affordable housing support and’house inside out’,” she wrote on Twitter.

It would be wise for the Institute of Social and Economic Research (IRIS) to target all investors who dominate the real estate market, rather than just blocking purchases by foreign investors.

“Canada has never recovered from the reduction of social housing programs in the 1990s, and so far the national housing strategy has largely favored the construction of rental housing that is not available to low-income households. Given this delay. So-called affordable homes disappear faster than homes under construction. The government wants to help build 100,000 homes in five years, but to meet current needs, We need 250,000 to 350,000 new units, “explained IRIS researcher Guillaume Hébert.

environment

Some players lament the lack of federal leadership in environmental issues.

For the David Suzuki Foundation, the federal budget submitted Thursday missed an important opportunity to fulfill the government’s campaign promise to phase out public funding for fossil fuels.

“A new investment tax credit for carbon recovery and storage will put $ 2.6 billion annually into the pockets of oil and gas companies,” the organization lamented in a press release.

“While today’s budget includes very positive investment in climate change, there is an essential contradiction in providing huge tax credits to companies that are fueling the climate crisis,” he said. Saber Khan, head of the climate change team and general manager of Quebec and the Atlantic, said. At the David Suzuki Foundation.

Nonetheless, the Foundation welcomed certain investments in environmental protection, such as $ 900 million for clean electricity and the amount spent on electric vehicles.

Equitere felt that the federal budget did not reflect a climate emergency as its emission reduction plan ambitions were canceled by the development of the Bay du Nord Oil Project.

“We have confirmed the intent of the emission reduction plan, but the reduction in fossil fuel subsidies is negligible,” said Mark Andre Biau, head of government relations at Equitel.

The organization also emphasized the lack of effective and financially responsible financing methods for incentive programs for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.

“The subsidy for the purchase of an electric vehicle will be a hefty $ 1.7 billion over five years, but the bill will be paid again by all taxpayers,” said Andre, an equity mobility analyst. Umbrazo says.

If the mayor of Montreal welcomed the housing initiative, she said she would have hoped that the transition of the ecosystem would be given the same importance.

“We welcome financial support for the arrival of the ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) office in Montreal. More specific to combat climate change, despite investments to accelerate the electrification of transportation. I wanted to see a lot of work, “she wrote in a Twitter message.

In the case of IRIS, the federal budget was unable to present a coherent and realistic plan for energy conversion and ignored scientists’ recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“The lack of structuring measures to reduce Canada’s reliance on fossil fuels risks increasing public ridicule of parliamentary bodies,” added IRIS researcher Guillaume Eberle.

Employment and economy

When it comes to unemployment insurance, CSN is very disappointed. The Central Labor Group said Minister Freeland “sent a very bad message to the unemployed by not updating the temporary measures to improve the eligibility of the unemployment insurance system introduced since the beginning of the pandemic.” Thought.

Both CSN and FTQ have said they are looking forward to the promised reforms in employment insurance, and the talks have been prolonged.

“We seem to be pushing for unemployment insurance reform again. As I said several times, the unemployment insurance program has been heavily abused in recent decades and the crisis is keenly exposed.” Pierre Sele, a spokesman for the National Council of Unemployed Men and Women (CNC), added.

The Quebec Employers Council (CPQ) welcomed the budget as part of it and observed some interesting initiatives in terms of innovation and investment.

“We also welcome the long-sought reduction of tax burden on SMEs. CPQ President and CEO Carl Blackburn has experience with other construction sites, especially. The fact remains that incentives for abundant workers and expansion of support programs in specific areas of difficult activities deserve.

The Trade Commission of Metropolitan Montreal welcomed the focus on innovation.

“We especially welcome the decision to invest $ 750 million over six years to pursue a strategy to develop a global innovation cluster, which will allow companies in the city and elsewhere in Canada to invest. , You can benefit from artificial intelligence expertise. Their productivity. ”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce states that some measures are professional, such as phasing out access to SMEs’ tax rates and investing in important mineral industries.

Nonetheless, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty is concerned about the lack of debt relief for companies that have relied on government support programs and their interest in cybersecurity support measures aimed directly at the private sector. Lamented the lack of.

The Canadian Independent Business Federation (CFIB) wanted steps to help small businesses recover after a pandemic, as the federal budget has announced the end of all COVID-19 relief programs.

“CFIB has fought for years to lower the tax rate on SMEs. (…) For many years, raising this cap (taxable capital) to $ 50 million to drive the growth of more SMEs. We commend Ottawa for adopting the recommendations, “points Vice President Jasmine Genet. Of national affairs.

Although the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) is positively welcoming some budgetary measures, the federal and state support given to Quebec farmers is on earth in proportion to the value of agricultural production. Recalled that it is one of the lowest in.

The $ 329.4 million investment in clean technology in agricultural programs and the $ 469.5 million investment in expanding farm solutions for the Climate Program’s Farm Climate Fund are indicators of interest for UPA to focus on. There is one.

The Canadian Dairy Farmers (DFC) welcomed the explanation presented in the budget on the Government Timeline to announce full and fair compensation for the effects of the Canada-US Agreement-Mexico (CUSMA).

However, dairy representatives expressed concern about the lack of indemnity conditions, while production needed predictability.

In addition, the abolition of excise taxes on non-alcoholic beer was emphasized by Beer Canada, which proved to be in harmony with the treatment given to Canadian beer and non-alcoholic spirits.