Budget 2022: Quotes from the finance minister and others on the Liberal fiscal plan

OTTAWA – Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has tabled the 2022 budget in the House of Commons. Here are key quotes about the fiscal plan.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland:

“The money that rescued Canadians and the Canadian economy — eight out of every 10 dollars invested — was deployed chiefly and rightly by the federal government. But our ability to spend is not infinite.

“The time for extraordinary COVID support is over. And we will review and reduce government spending, because that is the responsible thing to do.”

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“We need to face up to the sins of our past and ensure that Indigenous Peoples in this country are able to live dignified and prosperous lives.”

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“We will prevent foreign investors from parking their money in Canada by buying up homes. We will make sure that houses are being used as homes for Canadian families, rather than as a speculative financial asset class.”

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“This is the most profound economic transition since the Industrial Revolution. The world economy is going green. Canada can be in the vanguard, or we can be left behind.”

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“Our third pillar for growth is a plan to tackle the Achilles heel of the Canadian economy: productivity and innovation.”

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“When Putin opened fire on the people of Ukraine, he also turned his guns on the unprecedented era of prosperity that the world’s democracies had worked so diligently to build over more than 76 years.”

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“In this budget the very highest spending area is the green transition. I think no one can disagree with that. The second highest area of spending is reconciliation.”

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“The landmark commitment, the landmark ambition in this budget is to double over the next 10 years the number of new homes that are being built every year.”

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“Increasing Canada’s productivity, increasing Canada’s per capita GDP growth is about what I think is one of the most fundamental aspirations of every Canadian, which is that our children will have better, more prosperous lives than we do.”

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Conservative Leader Candice Bergen

“There were three things that Conservatives were looking for in the budget today. First of all, we were looking for controlled spending, which would in turn control inflation. Secondly, we were looking for tax breaks for Canadians. Canadians have been suffering greatly because of inflation and the high cost of everything, and they deserve a break. And so we’ve been asking for tax breaks for Canadians. Thirdly, we wanted to see some substantial programs, or solutions to address the housing inflation crisis, specifically housing stock.”

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“We are seeing out-of-control spending, no plan for long-term growth or productivity. We are seeing taxes go up, which in the end, Canadians, everyday Canadians will be paying for. And we’re seeing a housing program announced, as in typical Liberal fashion, that will actually result in not one house built or one house purchased this year.”

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“It’s not a good budget, it’s an irresponsible budget. Conservatives will not be supporting it.”

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“We liked the announcement of more money for defence — we have to see if that will actually happen. We already have a government that has announced about $10 billion in defence spending, but they actually haven’t spent.”

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

“The budget reflects the priorities that we laid out and the agreement that we have. So it honoured that agreement, and it has really important things that are going to make a big difference in people’s lives.”

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“We used our power and in this budget we’ve delivered on dental care, starting with children under 12. I’m proud of that. We know that so many Canadians don’t have coverage.”

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“Another priority of ours in the agreement, we used our power to get more help to Canadians to find a home they can afford. And we see that reflected in the budget with concrete steps that would not have been there if not for the fact that we forced the government to deliver.”

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“We’re concerned, deeply concerned, about the approach on the environment.”

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“The idea of giving more subsidies to fossil fuel companies that are profitable is the wrong approach. We should use public dollars to invest in workers, and in just transition, real jobs for workers as well as investing in clean energy, and that’s not there.”

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Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet

“We do like the fact that for lodging there will be some important investments. This was part of one of our conditions. We have four other conditions. The most important one, of course, is having some transfers in health care without conditions. We got the conditions without the transfers. Of course it’s a no-go for us.”

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“I believe this government intends to be the instrument of the oil and gas industry. The difference between this government and the Conservatives, is the Conservatives would admit it.”

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Green Party Leader Amita Kuttner

“It was a fascinating juxtaposition of things that I’m very happy to see and things that we are very disappointed to see.”

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“Lots of action on housing, I would especially say co-op housing. Very happy to see the promise of 6,000 units.”

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“We’re looking for measures across the board, saying every single area of policy should have something addressing climate, and this is why I’m really disappointed about public transit. Something like that is a policy that’s necessary.”

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“As we’ve said many times, net zero is not sufficient.”

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022.

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