Moe not impressed with federal budget

In the end Premier Scott Moe didn’t get either of his two wishes regarding the 2024 federal budget delivered Tuesday.

At a speech to delegates Monday at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention in Regina, Moe had called for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to be reloaded and funded, and also called for the removal of the consumer carbon tax. 

Neither of those transpired.

On municipal infrastructure funding, “we see none of that,” said Moe. Moe said he had wanted the government to “take these strings off the housing funding that they spent the last two weeks announcing, and returns out into municipal infrastructure funding so that we can actually have municipalities that can invest in the priorities that are important to them for the true growth of our communities. We understand housing as a priority, but not at the cost of municipal infrastructure funding.”

As for the carbon tax, “we see that actually increasing. So a swing and a miss on both of those fronts I would say.”

Moe was also not thrilled with a $39.8 billion federal deficit.

“A $40 billion federal deficit would equate to a $1.2 billion deficit for Saskatchewan residents,” Moe said. “It’s a little bit more than what we’re willing to bear, and very unfortunate that this is a government that won’t even try, won’t even attempt to curtail some of the spending our investments that they’re making and try to get at least close to balancing the books federally.”

But Moe did point to one positive to come out of the budget:

“After five years of collecting small business carbon taxation, and holding onto that for five years and not applying any interest to it, they’re finally going to return it to the small businesses,” said Moe. 

“So, finally, after they taketh away from Saskatchewan small business, they’re going to giveth some of their money back, essentially taken over the course of not only the last five years but all the time during a global pandemic when those businesses certainly could’ve used those dollars. But as I said a positive. Today, they’re coming up with a program where the last five years of carbon taxation that small businesses in Saskatchewan are going to pay, is going to finally be returned to them, so credit to them.

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