Ramsey believes federal budget falls short in several areas

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by Adam Gault

In the wake of the release of the 2018 federal budget last month, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey is disappointed in what she believes are several shortcomings in areas of the budget, both locally and federally.

“We need support for our seniors. Our seniors in the county are really in precarious positions,” Ramsey said. “That’s across the board in trying to afford their housing, trying to afford any form of transportation, their cost of drugs.”

Ramsey said that push towards Pharmacare, subsidized prescription medications, would go a long way in alleviating not just seniors, but the concerns of many who struggle to afford their prescriptions.

“We hear from seniors on a constant basis, that they are making really difficult decisions about taking their prescription medication, or paying their bills,” Ramsey commented. “There was nothing in this budget to address the really serious gap that exists for seniors.”

Ramsey added seniors face additional challenges in more rural communities that aren’t faced in larger cities, such as transportation and support issues.

“Because we’re in a rural community, it’s especially hard for our seniors because they don’t have those supports around them that maybe are available in Windsor or some of the larger cities,” Ramsey said. “So, it was glaring to me that there was a lack of addressing issues for seniors.”

In addition to senior issues, pressing issues facing youth are also a subject Ramsey believes the current budget failed to address in a meaningful way.

“There really is still a serious struggle for young people facing the cost of tuition, looking at jobs that are available to them,” Ramsey said. “These things we didn’t see addressed either.”

Ramsey also critiqued what she considered a lack of significance, of the budget as a whole, including what she describes as some “lofty promises” that have fallen short in the budget’s implementation, especially with concerns to Pharmacare.

“People thought when they heard Pharmacare that we were going to implement a Pharmacare program, and that’s not the case. Again, we’re going to have another study,” Ramsey said, noting that the Liberals had a similar study done on the issue more than 20 years ago. “We’ve been there and done this. We know what needs to happen in Canada around Pharmacare, and what we need is action. We don’t need another study, which means this will become an election issue once again.”