Conservative Party of Canada candidate John Hirst addresses supporters Saturday at the official opening of his campaign office on Commercial Street. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates will critique budget on byelection campaign trail

Voters in the riding will elect a new member of Parliament on May 6

First came the budget, now a byelection.

With the federal budget released five days before a byelection was announced for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, candidates expect it will be a talking point on the campaign trail.

Voters in the riding will elect a member of Parliament on May 6.

Michelle Corfield, Liberal Party of Canada candidate, suggested the 2019 budget is one she can campaign on.

“This is a good budget,” she said. “This enables Canada, British Columbia, Nanaimo to be able to do the work in the communities that needs to be done.”

Corfield said “the investments are solid,” pointing in particular to infrastructure spending in communities, including First Nations communities.

“There is so much that this government has done that impacts Nanaimo-Ladysmith to date and this new budget, if we mobilize it, it’s going to continue to impact positively on the lives of those living in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding,” she said.

Opposition parties will talk about what they don’t like in the budget, including the projected $19.8-billion deficit for 2019-20.

RELATED: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

“The way we’re going with the current government, my two-year-old daughter won’t see a balanced budget till she’s done university and that’s not the legacy I want to leave my kids,” said John Hirst, Conservative Party candidate. “I come from a financial background and I’m pretty passionate about that subject, so it’s definitely something we’ll be talking about.”

Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada candidate, noted that the deficit exceeds the $10-billion deficits the prime minister had promised, and said the PPC would do things differently.

“We won’t have that kind of deficit going on,” she said. “A $20-billion deficit that they’ve written into the budget … Who knows where it’s going to end up?”

She favours a re-formulation of federal equalization payments, which said would mean “more money for British Columbians and right in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.”

RELATED: Candidates hit the campaign trail as Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection called

Green Party leader Elizabeth May, campaigning in Nanaimo earlier this week, said there’s a lot she likes in the federal budget including adjustments to student loan interest rates, income supplements for seniors in poverty and a crackdown on money laundering, but said the government waited too long to act.

“We’re not going to get it through the House and Senate before the elections,” May said. “So that’s a very large concern I have, that people are going to get hopeful and excited about things. They waited so long. They could have brought these measures in in 2015 and then they’d be in place.”

Bob Chamberlin, NDP candidate, had a similar take, saying a lot of the spending is for three to five years down the road and adding that he puts a lot more stock in a post-election budget than a pre-election budget.

“To have any faith in that budget, I would look for the very near-term deliverables, because that would have some merit to it,” he said. “Anything that’s going to be planned after the election is just posturing.”

-with files from Karl Yu/The News Bulletin



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ladysmith Little Theatre now showing The Dining Room

Opening night is Thursday, September 19 and the final performance is Sunday, October 6

Long-awaited Crofton road improvements finally happening

Paved shoulders on both sides will be a welcome addition

New ratepayers association forming in Area H

Organization will advocate for North Oyster, Yellowpoint and Diamond District residents

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read