Open Letter to Finance Minister

January 31, 2019

Dear Minister Morneau,

Over recent weeks, I have hosted a series of pre-budget consultations – hearing from constituents at roundtable sessions – and gathered feedback online and through mail. To inform your decisions as you prepare the 2019 budget, I am pleased to share the feedback, concerns, and questions of constituents eager to see their concerns addressed in your budget. Many constituents have weighed in.

Albertans are frustrated and angry, and are looking to your budget to see how you will respond to their grave concerns. To be good for all Canadians, your budget must be good for Albertans.

Constituents want to see a federal budget that:

  • Facilitates the construction of major energy infrastructure, such as pipelines, putting people back to work
  • Cuts taxes such as the carbon tax and increases tax breaks
  • Creates a stable quality of life and guarantees pension security for seniors and veterans
  • Balances the budget immediately, not decades from now
  • And, restores Canadian competitiveness through smaller government, reduced government regulation, and fewer inter-provincial barriers

It is clear to me, and I hope to you, that constituents overwhelmingly agree that they feel financially vulnerable and worry for the future. With ongoing budget deficit, pipelines unbuilt, and Albertans unemployed, people everywhere are suffering and agree that your government is not doing enough.

Many feel that our national unity is threatened. In the words of one constituent, “we hear the Prime Minister say he is listening but from there his words are lost as no action is taken.” Your government plays fast and loose with its commitments. People feel unable to sustain their livelihoods due to the tax increases you’ve imposed and the divisions you’ve festered. Constituents agree that these divisions and taxes have made life unaffordable and they no longer feel secure with their futures.

Constituents frequently voiced their support of small businesses and they questioned why your government is intent on putting them out of business. One constituent wrote, “[small businesses] have been the hub of our country for years [but] they are being taxed to death.”

The 2019 budget must include Albertans. Minister, I implore you to use this feedback to deliver a 2019 budget that enables the success of industries, workers, small businesses, and families. The budget cannot be more of the same. To show that you care, your budget will enable private sector job creation, end the pain in Alberta, and provide financial security. I hope you won’t ignore them; or worse, continue to do more of the same.

Sincerely,

Blake Richards, Member of Parliament – Banff-Airdrie