Canadian families and the military shut out of the budget, says Liberal MP Joyce Murray

“THE Harper Government’s 2014 Budget fails Canadians families trying to make ends meet, and continues to starve our military of the equipment and support it needs,” said Joyce Murray, Liberal Critic for National Defence and MP for Vancouver Quadra.

“The Conservative shell game fools no-one—Canadian families know they are being short-changed by this government and they expect more than a failed job creation programme and increased tariffs on necessities,” said Murray.

To pay off the debt created by the Conservative government—beginning even before the 2008 economic downturn—this budget cuts $3.1 billion from the military equipment budget. This is in addition to $7 billion in spending that had already been allowed to lapse. “That’s money announced, approved by Parliament, but not spent. That’s tens of thousands of jobs lost due to mismanagement by the Conservatives,” said Murray.

Murray added: “This government is choosing to balance the budget at the expense of injured soldiers and veterans. They have broken the covenant to support Canadian soldiers, made by Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden in 1917, ironically during this 100th anniversary of World War I. The Conservatives have closed Veterans support centres across Canada and have failed to provide adequate support for injured soldiers, particularly those suffering from mental injuries,” said Murray.

Murray also noted that, through incompetence, the Conservatives have delivered hardly any replacement military equipment since they took office. “This budget really makes swiss cheese out of the government’s so-called Defence Strategy,” said Murray.

“Every day of delay and every day of budget trickery puts members of the Canadian Armed Forces at risk,” said Murray. “Our men and women in uniform deserve better.”