MP says federal budget falls short
Budget 2014 falls short of taking significant action on many of the challenges facing Canadians today, according to Alex Atamanenko, MP for BC Southern Interior.
“There are 300,000 more unemployed today than before the recession, many seniors are struggling and families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet,” Atamanenko said. “It appears that the Conservatives are delaying any new ideas until 2015, the election year.”
The Leader of the Official Opposition, Tom Mulcair, had strong words on the budget, “Budgets are about priorities and choices. It’s very telling that the Conservatives would rather attack public servants, environmental groups, unions and anyone who dares criticize their short-sighted policies, than help Canadians.”
Atamanenko, did however, acknowledge some positive points found in Budget 2014.
“There are provisions to expand high-speed broadband in rural areas, $390 million for food safety and the creation of the Canada Apprenticeship Loans Program which provides interest free loans of up to $4,000 per person of technical training. That is a good thing.”
Atamanenko has some concerns, however, about the lack of specific support for rural infrastructure.
“There is no commitment to a small communities component which was a key ask of Canada’s municipal leaders. Also, I am worried that the Building Canada Fund has no real criteria which could leave municipalities at risk of missing this year’s construction season,” he said.
In the words of NDP National Revenue critic, Murray Rankin of Victoria, the Conservatives have failed to stand up for British Columbians.
“This budget was an opportunity for the government to invest in jobs, to tackle the housing crisis, and to reverse reckless decisions like gutting the coast guard and closing the oil spill response centre. Instead they’ve chosen to do nothing,” said Rankin.