Photo: Ben Powless

Ask Conservatives: “Where are we in your budget?”

Ottawa, ON – Concerned people from various walks of life disrupted the Minister of Finance’s reading of the Conservative budget today. The group stood up in the House of Commons gallery and identified themselves one by one, then chanting, “This is not our budget, where are we in your budget.”

“We are bringing the voices of people in Canada whose needs and priorities have been excluded from this budget,” said Hannah Vlaar. “Instead of a budget for the people this is a budget for polluters, prisons and the Conservatives pals.”

The group, who also revealed shirts that read, “Where Are We In Your Budget?” were removed from the gallery after standing up. Their action aimed to send a message to the government and the people of Canada that the Harper government could choose to put forward a very different budget that corresponds to Canadians’ needs.

“The Conservative government touts its economic record, yet the services and programs we value and need are being cut,” said Alice-Rose Mick, one of the Canadians that stood up in the House today. “Instead the government is choosing to spend on jets, jails and subsidies for fossil fuels, while cutting corporate taxes.”

Media reports in the lead up to this budget painted a picture of austerity, jobs cuts, gutting environmental legislation and a rollback in essential social services like Old Age Security, women’s services, services for First Nations education and health, and much more.

“The people and Harper have very different visions for Canada and for what people in Canada need,” said Jo Wood. “People need a vision that builds stronger communities with job security, stronger public services, and better education and for that we need a budget that makes Corporations pay their fair share and stops putting the burden onto the shoulders of ordinary people.”

To show support for those who stood up in the House today, people are encouraged to visit and upload short videos or statements about what kind of budget they want. To follow and comment on the story, supporters can use the Twitter hashtag #NotOurBudget.

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Photo: Ben Powless