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Local MP feels federal budget falls short

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison says the federal budget misses out on key points, but speaks somewhat positively of several aspects.

Morrison said he wanted to see more funding to support addiction services.

“If we want to talk about where we could spend money, I think that would be the opioid crisis,” said Morrison. 

“It would have been one area where we look at solutions, not giving people more drugs, but getting people help so they don’t rely on crystal meth, so they can become part of their communities, they contribute, they start working and become taxpayers to help pay off the debt.”

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Morrison said the Liberal-NDP agreement on phased-in universal dental coverage was ill-conceived, and should be left in the hands of the free market.

“What I see with that is another state-run company that’s going to be doing dental. We have said all along that government has to get out of business like that and let private enterprise get to it because government can’t seem to do a very good job,” said Morrison.

The budget starts a phased-in universal dental care plan with coverage for children 12 and under in families earning $90,000 a year or less.

“We seem to have lost our way with seniors. Seniors right now, especially with inflation and their limited budget. How did we lose our way in helping them just survive?”Morrison asks. 

“They [seniors] have to rely on what the government will help them with. We just are not addressing that in a way that could be a No. 1 priority with inflation the way it is right now.”

He feels a hands-off, small government approach would be more productive than government-funded services.

“It’s hard for governments to run a really effective business because it’s not their money. I think we just need to be there for policy and direction and [let] corporate run their businesses,” said Morrison.

However, the MP applauded the federal government’s steps toward carbon capture technology.

“We do need to work towards renewable energy, I’m all for that, but for right now, we have an opportunity to have a cleaner, greener energy sector and provide oil and gas around the world,” said Morrison.

He is hopeful that the government’s proposed military spending of an additional $8-billion for defence will grow in the future.

“Let’s see where that goes. The Liberals have lapsed money all the way through. The Conservatives did cut back, but that was seven years ago and things have changed now to where you see an aggressive nation, like Russia,” said Morrison. 

“I think it’s time we start setting up and protecting our northern sovereignty, which is really weak. So, I do agree that we need to step up spending in those areas.”

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