Those working in the trenches offer their take on a Tory federal budget that they say shortchanges the arts, the environment, child care and the poor.
"It's not just big spending that counts, it's smart spending to build a strong, healthy and equitable economy. For the 3 million precariously housed, today's federal budget delivers far less than the $5 billion-plus being offered in tax cuts to wealthier Canadians who already own homes and cottages and want to build a new deck or pave their driveway."
Rick Blickstead, CEO, the Wellesley Institute
"This budget ignores child poverty. The entire world knows that we need to put our children first. UNICEF and the OECD have both issued reports placing Canada dead last in its contributions to working families and children. Why isn't the Conservative government -getting the message?"
"This budget was a serious disappointment and I think Canada is missing an opportunity that virtually every other industrialized country is picking up on."
Aaron Freeman, Environmental Defence
"The fact that the most vulnerable haven't been protected with appropriate changes to the E.I. program is very problematic for all cities. There's real challenges in the infrastructure funding."
David Miller, Mayor, City of Toronto
"Tax cuts are not the answer for families who need affordable child care; tax cuts don't create spaces and they don't help families who struggle to pay for child care."
Cheryl DeGras, President, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
"The federal government missed an important opportunity to help students and their families."
Katherine Giroux-Bougard, Canadian Federation of Students
"The lack of investments dedicated to public transit will make it a challenge for transit to meet the growing needs of Canadian communities."
Michael Roschlau, Canadian Urban Transit Association
"It's pretty clear from their decisions on employment insurance, infrastructure spending, and tax cuts, that the Harper Conservatives are just not up to the job."
Wayne Samuelson, Ontario Federation of Labour
"We held our budget watch in the Meeting Place drop-in, watching on a TV with rabbit ears. Many people who use the centre stayed to watch. It was a pretty dismal scene. Given the recession, very disappointing EI news. A measly increase in five weeks but no other changes that would improve access and thus help prevent further homelessness. Two billion for social housing sounds like so much but when you break this budget down it is clear that it is a numbers game. No housing allowances to accompany the money. Lots of provincial agreements to negotiate to get the money - and we know where that goes - nowhere fast. Absolutely impossible to find relief in these promises. Not much to make a difference on homelessness."