FEDERAL BUDGET FULL OF MISSED OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOUTH OKANAGAN — WEST KOOTENAY
March 22nd, 2016 - 7:01pm
OTTAWA – Canadians had high expectations for change but instead of help, this budget is marked by the Liberals backtracking on their promises to tackle inequality. In particular, breaking promises to First Nation children, just like so many previous Liberal and Conservative governments
“Residents of South Okanagan — West Kootenay were hoping to find measures to reduce inequality in today’s budget but they are finding missed opportunities instead,” said NDP MP Richard Cannings. “Canadian families are being told to wait for years because the Liberals chose to delay completely fulfilling their campaign promises into the future but families here in our region are still struggling to make ends meet.”
The budget fell short on fulfilling many Liberal campaign promises including:
• After clearly promising to restore home mail delivery, the budget doesn’t even mention Canada Post
• No mention in the budget of funding for homecare after promising $3 billion over the next four years
• After promising to invest $500 million in rural broadband services, the budget only delivers $6 million this fiscal year
The budget also raids the Employment Insurance fund once again, taking $6.9 billion out of the fund over three years without meaningfully increasing access for the people in South Okanagan — West Kootenay who have paid into the fund. Despite promising not to repeat the actions of past Liberal governments, which took $50 billion out of the EI fund during their last reign, Prime Minister Trudeau’s first budget delivers more of the same.
“There are more than 1.4 million Canadians out of work and the unemployment rate has risen for three months in a row. Meanwhile, access to employment insurance is at historic lows with fewer than 4 in 10 unemployed Canadians able to access benefits when they need them” added Cannings. “Budgets are about choices and while the Liberals have made some good choices, they have made some poor choices that will hurt hard working families here in our region.