MP Gord Brown reacts to Federal Budget – “Budget measures include promise for Thalidomide survivors”

February 28, 2018 by

The following reaction to the Federal Budget was submitted by the office of Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes

LGTIRL - Gord Brown PC copyGord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes is pleased that his extended hard work on the Thalidomide issue has resulted in an expansion of the program to include the forgotten survivors as announced in today’s budget.

“I am thrilled that the government is finally moving forward on this issue so that all the people who were harmed by Thalidomide will be able to live their lives with some dignity,” he says.

Brown brought the issue to Parliament Hill in the fall of 2016 when Gananoque resident Terry Bolton explained how the current program disqualified him and others because they couldn’t produce paperwork that proved their mothers took Thalidomide.

“I am flabbergasted and ecstatic all at the same time,” says Bolton. “Gord has been helping us all the way in this fight and we have to give him the credit for bringing this to the government’s attention and making them move forward with this. It has been a long hard fight.”

Details of the new program will be announced in the coming months, according to the budget document.

“I will be pressing the government to release these details as soon as possible,” says Brown.

Brown also notes that his, and other parliamentarians work has resulted in a $20 million boost over five years for new initiatives to support the needs of Canadians experiencing autism spectrum disorder and their families.

“The budget has few other highlights,” says Brown.

“I am concerned that the current government is ignoring the danger signals in the economy and continuing to grow the deficit with no plan to return to balanced budgets,” he notes.

The budget will add $18.1 billion to the debt bringing the total debt to $669.6 billion.

“There is also no recognition that the corporate tax rate in the United States is now 21 per cent compared to Canada’s combined federal and provincial rates of close to 27 per cent,” he explains.

“We are at a competitive disadvantage now,” he says.

The budget outlines the changes in the small business tax regime. Current passive investments including future income earned from it are protected.

Going forward, a $50,000 threshold on passive income in a year will be available.

The Small Business Tax Rate will be limited to small businesses and adjusted downward for those businesses with increasing passive income. It is proposed that the small business deduction limit be reduced by $5 for every dollar held above the $50,000 threshold.

There are other items of interest in the budget, notes Brown, but they are spread over a number of years and don’t do a lot to help Canadian families of the economy.

Brown notes that despite billions in deficits created by the current government, there has been little for families over the past three years.

“In fact, with the government cutting tax credits and increasing payroll and other taxes the average family is paying $800 more today in taxes than they did three years ago.”