Local MP ‘not impressed’ with federal budget released this week

Marilyn Gladu says cut of $5 billion in infrastructure and cuts to palliative care, mental health are baffling

MP Marilyn Gladu said there may yet be hope for federal help to fix the ice-damaged Sombra ferry, but legislation for the funding will need to be passed.

For MP Marilyn Gladu, the Conservative member who sits in the shadow cabinet focused on health issues, this week’s federal budget document “missed the mark” as far as a number of issues related to her portfolio.

“I’m disappointed overall beginning with the fact that palliative care was removed from the budget and the $11 billion that was pledged for home, palliative and mental health care over five years has now been cut to just home and mental health care over 10 years,” said Gladu. “So the funding has been cut in half and the palliative care has been eliminated.”

In a telephone interview with Lambton Shield, Gladu said mental health and palliative care “are totally underfunded” by the government.

Gladu also criticized the government’s lack of priorities in other health-related areas, such as support for smoking cessation ($80 million) versus the $800 million to legalize cannabis.

Referring to local issues, Gladu said she is hoping there may still be some funding to get the Sombra ferry crossing reopened, due to a pocket of funding announced for Small Craft Harbours under the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“But we will have to wait for this funding to be allocated in upcoming Ways and Means legislation,” she added.

Gladu said she sees no return to balanced budgets in the foreseeable future. “Considering how much they are spending, there is very little to show for it.”

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