The federal Liberal government shared its plans for the budget recently, and Portage-Lisgar Conservative MP, Branden Leslie, provided his thoughts on the issues presented.

Leslie shared that he believes the budget leaves families in his riding little, if any, relief from the current rise in costs of housing, food and fuel.

"This is the ninth-straight deficit budget from this Liberal government at a time they've never collected more tax revenue yet have found a way to spend another $53 billion in new spending and rack up another $40 billion in deficits. These big numbers might sound concerning, but why they really matter to people is, right now, we are going to pay $54 billion to service the interest on our debt in this country."

According to Leslie, that figure equates to the entirety of the GST collected in the country.

He also added that he feels the budget doesn't tackle what it was advertised to do.

"As a fairly young person during the time of this current liberal government, we've seen the price of rent double across Canada. We've seen the price necessary for a down payment on a house double. We've seen massive increases in the cost of groceries and the cost of fuel for home-heating and to fuel vehicles, everything costs more, and that's the most common thing that I hear from everybody all the time. So, it might be an effort to try to appease young voters. I think many people are rightfully more concerned about the fact that they can barely afford rent, never mind savings or buying a house. and are forced to eat less quality food, less healthy food, and are making more difficult decisions in how they spend their money, and that's not the Canada that I am here to work for. I don't think that's the Canada that any of us want to see. So, you could put any spin on it you want, but ultimately this is just going to continue to increase the cost of living for Canadians and keep our interest rates higher."

Leslie also expressed his disappointment at the federal government's lack of attention for the agricultural and rural community across Canada.

"I always want to look with a positive lens to see if there's anything in the budget that's going to be good for our area. And one of the most disappointing things is just a continued lack of focus on agriculture and, really, any policies or investments that are going to support our rural communities. There are a few pieces working around the edges, planning to consult on a few issues, but really nothing tangible for some of the core industries that support our region and that's what's frustrating to me. It seems once again that rural Canada is just left out as a priority for this government."