Parliament: The large delays in spending announced in the 2017 budget

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, the rhetoric and the language in the budget are so encouraging. There are wonderful commitments on child care and there is language on climate change. The concern I have is that roughly nine-tenths of the spending is to be done after the next election. With respect to public transit, about $1 billion of the $20 billion will be spent before 2019. Funding for child care spaces will not begin until 2018.

When it comes to fiscal responsibility, I do not know why we cannot have a budget for a year that clearly states what the government is going to spend in that particular year. I do not know why it cannot be stated clearly so that people can understand it.

I find that much of the good spending that is being promised is for after the next election. Climate change is an urgent matter, and we need to be doing the work now.

Alexandra Mendes – Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we did start last year in the 2016 budget.

As politicians, we are often accused of only thinking of the electoral cycle that we are in and not caring about a vision for the future. Right now our government is proving exactly the contrary. As a government, we want to see how we can provide leadership for the next 10 and 20 years with respect to where we need to go in climate change and the changes in our economy, and the innovation we need to bring to all sectors of the economy to face the challenges of the next 10 and 20 years.