The federal budget
The housing crunch is the main focus of the federal government’s new budget.
Ten billion dollars is being set aside over the next five years to help create new housing, and fund a special savings plan for first-time home buyers.
There will be a two-year ban on foreigners purchasing homes, and house-flippers who haven’t owned their property for at least a year will see the transaction taxed as business income.
Another eight billion dollars is being spent on initiatives to boost the Canadian military and our cyber security.
And more than a billion dollars a year is being allocated to a national dental care plan, which will start with care for children under 12 in families earning less than 90-thousand dollars a year.
To help pay for all that, a special one-time tax is being introduced on banks for profits of over one-billion dollars.
The federal deficit for the fiscal year just ended is expected to be 113-billion dollars, down from 144-billion and falling to 8.4-billion by 2027.
Reactions to the federal budget
The federal New Democrats are concerned that the budget isn’t sharply increasing spending on medical
Care, but they say the dental plan and other measures are enough to gain their support.
The party has agreed to back the minority Liberals until the next federal election if certain conditions are met.
The Conservatives say it’s really an NDP budget and didn’t give Canadians the break they need as inflation continues to escalate.
Bring masks back
Opposition leaders at Queens Park are calling on the Ford government to re-impose the compulsory use of face masks in public places, including schools, as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to shoot up.
More than 11-hundred people are now in hospital, a 40 percent jump over the past week.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it’s clear the mask mandate was lifted too soon and hospital staff is becoming over-stretched once again.
Liberal leader Steven Del Duca adds that proposals to lift mask mandates in hospitals and on public transit as of April 27th should be pushed back.
Russia stepping up the offensive
Ukrainian officials are stepping up their warnings to residents in the eastern part of the country to flee as soon as possible.
They’re expecting the Russian military to launch a major offensive in the region soon.
This morning, a missile attack on a crowded train station has left at least 30 people dead and more than 100 others wounded.
The Donbas area has been under the partial control of Russian-backed separatists for the past eight years, and the Ukrainian government fears they want to seize the entire region.
Britain says Russia has completed its withdrawal from northern regions around the capital of Kyiv and will redeploy those troops to the Donbas over the next week.