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We can’t help agreeing with economist Richard Saillant today. This government has lost what
precious little credibility it still had concerning its projections and, therefore, its budget. All signs
indicate that revenues will again be substantially higher than forecast, leading to another large
surplus. We are certainly anticipating that they will have built up a nice little nest egg to make
massive spending promises in the months leading up to the 2024 election.

In the meantime, we are sorely disappointed with the lack of meaningful steps to address the cost
of living, affordable housing, or housing supply. While a boost to social assistance was long-
overdue, we see little in the way of reform to that program.

Money for facilities and resources in education is greatly needed and appreciated; however, while
this will help address resource shortages and population increases – we missed seeing much in the
way of a focus on improved programming and outcomes, earlier exposure, and easier access to the
trades and care services, and a focus on workforce needs.

Healthcare needed to be the number one focus of this government, and we are pleased to see
funding increases for recruitment and retention, as well as wages and expenses for caregivers,
PSWs, and group homes. Given that the natural inflationary cost of healthcare can be expected to
increase greater than 5% alone, we’re not sure there’s enough meat left on the bone here to truly
address structural deficits in the system, improve wait times and access, continuity of care, and
address community and mental health services.

When budgetary spending fails to match inflationary increases in costs, we are concerned. Asking
that public services maintain the same level, let alone improve, with less additional funding than
even the cost of inflation, is simply asking for trouble.

While there are few gems in today’s budget, the opportunities far outweigh the wins on this one.

Once again, it’s the average worker and the most vulnerable people who will ultimately suffer.