MP Nathaniel Erskine Smith hosts federal budget meeting with East-York Beaches constituents.

Published On March 5, 2018 | By mdeeder | News

Molly MacTaggart

March 4 2018. Federal Member of parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith meets with his constituents in the Beaches-East York riding to answer questions and hear concerns of the community he represents. (Molly MacTaggart)

Beaches-East York Liberal Party MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, met with his constituents on Sunday to answer their questions about the budget and federal spending.

Seniors’ care, child care, innovation, Indigenous issues and youth homelessness were among the questions raised during the over two-hour meeting.

Around twenty people were enjoying coffee, muffins, cookies and asking a wide variety of questions in an open-house format.

Smith started with an optimistic note on the budget despite Conservative Party criticism.

“We see deficits that remain modest in relation to the size of the overall [Canadian] economy… the deficit will go down by $500 million”, Smith told the audience.

Smith said that the debt to GDP ratios are decreasing and the overall deficit over the next year will be $15 billion which matched the official budget projections.

The parliamentary budget office released a 2017 a report that states federal budgeting finances remain sustainable.

Asked about government funding for Indigenous Affairs, Smith renewed government’s plans to allocate more funds.

“We see funding for Indigenous communities specifically to address the human rights tribunal case,” Erskine-Smith said.  He added some new money will be funding clean water initiatives and improved housing conditions in Aboriginal communities. He said that “over fifty percent of children in foster care are Indigenous and in Manitoba specifically the rate is at 90 percent.”

Erskine-Smith said that there will be some changes implemented with regards to health care. The federal government announced a committee to “not discuss pharmacare, but to lay out a roadmap for it,” said Smith. He anticipates the Tories having a dissenting report on the subject matter. It will be a major platform point in the 2019 federal election.

March 4 2018. East-York Beaches MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith informally chats with his constituents after a meeting to explain the budget. (Molly MacTaggart)

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