NEWS
03/22/2016 18:45 EDT | Updated 03/23/2017 01:12 EDT

Stakeholders laud, critics assail free-spending Liberal maiden budget

OTTAWA — Some of what was said Tuesday about the federal budget tabled in the House of Commons by Finance Minister Bill Morneau:

"Today, we begin to restore hope for the middle class." — Opening line of Morneau's speech.

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"The fate of the middle class and the fate of the country as a whole are one. Canada will not prosper if the middle class doesn't prosper." — Morneau.

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"This budget is a nightmare scenario for taxpayers who will be forced to pick up the tab for today's Liberal spending spree." — interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose.

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"This budget puts taxpayers on the hook for out-of-control Liberal spending that will lead to more waste and mismanagement."— Ambrose.

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"Families across Canada are worried about their jobs and struggling to make ends meet — but today's budget told them they would have to wait longer for help." — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

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"The government missed an opportunity today to really deliver change." — Mulcair.

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"We are disappointed that there were no changes made to the Automotive Investment Fund, beyond extending it another three years, and no mention of the vital aerospace industry beyond the space program." — Jerry Dias, national president, Unifor.

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"The government must focus on the projects that will benefit Canada's economy the most: trade-enabling infrastructure, urban infrastructure and measures to support our resource and manufacturing sectors." — Perrin Beatty, president, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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"In its platform, in a written letter to CFIB members and in campaign stops across the country, the new government promised to reduce the small business corporate tax rate to nine per cent by 2019. That promise was broken today as it announced the rate will remain at 10.5 per cent after 2016." — Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

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"We are pleased the government has taken a careful and measured approach to infrastructure spending. Spending will be staggered over ten years, with the lion's share of spending back-ended to allow sufficient time for planning and consultation." — Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada.

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"The increase of $256 million over two years to the international assistance envelope is a step in the right direction. The government must ensure that every dollar committed truly is spent." — Gillian Barth, president and CEO, CARE Canada.

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"Now come the next big steps. Replacing the Conservative-appointed CBC board that presided over the devastating cuts to our public broadcaster, and developing a new vision that sees the CBC as a public trust, not just a business." — Martin O'Hanlon, president of media union CWA Canada.

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"Students became a powerful political force during the last election, and the promises made and delivered to us in this budget are proof of that." — Bilan Arte, national chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students.

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"I want to congratulate our federal partners for their bold vision for the future of our country. Working together, we will create jobs, give people affordable housing, improve transit, and protect the air we breathe and the water we drink." — Raymond Louie, president, Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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"The government has clearly recognized the need to make substantial investments in the conservation of special areas on land and in the ocean. We welcome the significant funding of $123.7 million for new national parks and marine protected areas." — Eric Hebert-Daly, national executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

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"If this government held a contest to pick a title for this budget, the winner would probably be 'Spendy McDebtface.'" —Aaron Wudrick, federal director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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The Canadian Press