Federal budget wastes money on Grey Cup, Stampede centennials, lone Green MP says

Saanich’s MPs say the federal budget doesn’t do enough to focus the needs of residents living in Greater Victoria.

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May (Green) says the budget, which passed Monday, is full of “frivolous spending.”

“There’s nothing really in it for Saanich-Gulf Islands. It’s unchanged from what we saw during the election,” she said. “But looking at our deficit, there’s a lot in the budget that is unnecessary.”

She said $5 million assigned to celebrate the 100th anniversaries of the Calgary Stampede and the Grey Cup in 2012 could be better spent.

Victoria MP Denise Savoie (NDP) said the Conservatives’ vague plan to curtail growth in the Department of National Defence is worrisome.

“I remain concerned about cuts to civilian personnel,” Savoie said, citing the possible elimination of more than 2,000 civilian jobs at Canadian military bases through attrition over the next three years.

Savoie is also worried that although an extra $300 million will be added to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors in this budget, it won’t be enough.

“Basically, they’re refusing to lift all the seniors out of poverty … which I think is unfortunate,” Savoie said.

May did take positives out of the budget, citing continued support for the distribution of gas tax funds, the extension of the EcoEnergy Retrofit Program and commitment to the development of national parks.

Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison (NDP) could not be reached for comment .

– with files from Erin McCracken

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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