OTTAWA — Quick reactions to the 2019 federal budget:

The opposition would like to see us make cuts very rapidly — their idea is balance the budget at any cost. Well, if we had taken that approach in 2015 we would not be where we are today with a better outcome for middle-class Canadians. We’d be in a more difficult spot. — Finance Minister Bill Morneau, explaining the decision to spend all the government’s unexpectedly higher revenues and continue running a deficit

With Budget 2019, Justin Trudeau is covering up his corruption under $41 billion of brand-new spending paid for by tax hikes if he’s re-elected. It is the most expensive coverup in the history of coverups. Mr. Trudeau’s plan is obvious. Massive deficits to distract Canadians from his corruption before the election. Massive tax hikes to pay for them after the election. —Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

Canadians were counting on this Liberal government to meet their basic needs, and sadly, they were let down. We will have the courage to make different choices. — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

If we are going to have true reconciliation in Canada, we have to close the gap. We have to maintain the momentum for that. — Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, approving of plans to add $4.5 billion in spending on Indigenous services

The federal government recognizes the impact of trade agreements on our sector and is following through on its commitment to support our domestic dairy industry. — Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, on $3.9 billion in compensation for farmers affected by new free-trade deals

That’s a safer way to try and deliver support for a younger demographic … without disproportionately accelerating demand in a way that just encourages people to borrow more, that drives up demand and then that drives up the overall purchase price. — Paul Kershaw of Generation Squeeze, on the plan to have the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. share down-payment costs with first-time homebuyers

We think there are a lot of design issues with that and we would much rather see a training credit focused on the needs of the working world rather than what an employee may wish to study. — Dan Kelly of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, on plans to have the employment-insurance system support workers while they take time off to train in new skills

The proposed rules could lead to no Canadian-headquartered large technology companies, which would have a negative impact on our prosperity and competitiveness for decades to come … Our members are anxious to ensure these changes do not hinder a high-growth company’s ability to access and retain skilled talent and Canada’s long-term economic prosperity. — Ben Bergen of the Council of Canadian Innovators, on Liberal plans to limit the favourable tax treatment of stock options in executive pay packages

Capping the stock-option deduction is a welcome surprise in this budget to partially close one of the most regressive tax loopholes. However, it should be the start, and not the end, of addressing and capping regressive tax expenditures. — David Macdonald, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press