Budget Misses The Mark On Important Issues For The North


Ottawa – The last federal budget before this October’s election short-changed Northern Ontario, and mostly missed the mark, according to the NDP’s Northern Ontario MPs, Carol Hughes and Charlie Angus.

“This is a disappointing budget for Canadians who need help right now to make ends meet,” said Hughes. “This budget is disconnected from most people’s reality and the challenges we are facing together.”

“A paltry $6 million for FedNor when the Atlantic and Northern agencies got $67 million and $95 million shows that this government doesn’t have any vision when it comes to developing Northern Ontario’s economy,” said Angus. “The money for forestry is welcome, but it remains to be seen exactly how much Northern Ontario will see.”

Hughes and Angus feel the budget was full of items that won’t help immediately and were designed to look as if the government is tackling problems that need much more attention than they were given.

“There are lots of half-measures and nice words, but the money being spent isn’t enough,” said Hughes. “The money going into broadband is a good example. The dollar amount sounds great until you realize it’s being rolled out over the next thirteen years. The north needs that infrastructure now!”

Angus said the same thing goes for issues important to First Nations who are seeing no new money for education, housing and other important needs.

“There’s no new core funding for on-reserve primary and secondary education and there isn’t nearly enough to implement Jordan’s Principle,” said Angus.  “There’s no new funding for on-reserve housing, despite urgent needs and enormous backlogs for repair. These are real needs and they’re not being met. Canadians saw the realities of Cat Lake, and too many communities across the north are facing similar conditions.”

Hughes notes the government’s timid steps towards pharmacare are meant to sound like progress but won’t change things for Canadians who can’t afford the medication they need.

“This budget shows that pharmacare has been pushed off to future years,” said Hughes. “The budget does not include funding for it in its fiscal framework and the recommendations that preceded this made it clear this government is protecting insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies.”



Ottawa – Le dernier budget fédéral avant les élections en octobre a manqué le coup pour le nord de l’Ontario, et les députés néodémocrates du nord, Carol Hughes et Charlie Angus, disent qu’il est loin du compte.

« Ceci est un budget décevant pour les Canadiens qui ont besoin de l’aide maintenant pour joindre les deux bouts, » a dit Hughes. « Ce budget ne reflète pas les réalités et les défis auxquels la plupart des Canadiens font face. »

« Un budget qui rajoute seulement $6 millions pour FedNor quand les agences de développement régional pour le Canada atlantique et pour le Grand Nord ont reçu $67 millions et $95 millions est un budget qui ne démontre aucune vision pour le développement économique du nord de l’Ontario, » a dit Angus. « L’argent pour le secteur forestier est bienvenu, mais il reste à voir exactement ce que recevra le nord de l’Ontario. »

Hughes et Angus disent que le budget était plein de saupoudrage qui n’aidera pas immédiatement et étaient inclus pour donner l’impression que le gouvernement s’attaque à des problèmes qui en vérité méritent beaucoup plus d’attention qu’ils reçoivent dans ce budget.

« Il y a beaucoup de demi-mesure et de beaux sentiments, mais ils ne mettent pas le paquet ou il le faut, » a dit Hughes. « L’argent pour l’internet à large bande est un bon exemple. Le montant semble impressionnant, mais l’y devient beaucoup moins quand vous réalisez qu’il est dépensé au fil des treize prochaines années. Le nord a besoin de cette infrastructure maintenant! »

Angus a dit la même chose à propos des enjeux des Premières nations, qui ne verront aucun argent pour l’éducation, le logement, et autres besoins importants.

« Il n’y a pas un sou pour le financement de base d’éducation primaire et secondaire et il n’y a pas assez pour le principe de Jordan, » a dit Angus. « Il n’y a pas de nouveau financement pour le logement même si les besoins et les arriérés sont sérieux. Ils sont des besoins très réels et ce budget ne fait rien pour y répondre. Les Canadiens ont vu les réalités pour les communautés comme Cat Lake, et il y a trop de communautés à travers le nord qui font face à de telles conditions. »

Hughes a noté que les étapes timides vers l’assurance-médicaments sont censées d’être du progrès, mais ils ne feront rien pour les Canadiens qui ne peuvent aborder les médicaments dont ils ont besoin.

« Ce budget démontre que l’assurance-médicaments a été repoussée au futur, » a dit Hughes, « Le budget n’inclut aucun argent dans son cadre financier et les recommandations qui l’ont précédé ont rendu clair le fait que ce gouvernement protège les compagnies d’assurance et de médicaments. »

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Carol is a three-term MP who has worked hard for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing since being elected in 2008. In addition to her role as MP, Carol serves as Assistant Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole in Canada’s 42nd Parliament. A tireless advocate for the communities she serves, Carol was a leading figure in the fight to preserve ten federal constituencies for Northern Ontario. She has been a prominent spokesperson for passenger rail service, preserving postal service outlets, and good jobs in the region. Carol has worked with First Nations on local and national issues and served as the New Democrat critic for First Nations Health prior to assuming the responsibilities of Assistant Deputy Speaker. With decades of labour experience, Carol understands the priorities of hardworking families. She has introduced legislation to expand access to Employment Insurance benefits and to require mandatory reporting of workplace accidents and occupational diseases. She has also worked with veterans on legislation that will create a Defence of Canada Medal to honour those who served domestically to protect Canada during the Cold War. Committed to serving all her constituents, Carol maintains full constituency offices in both Kapuskasing and Elliot Lake. She also holds regular clinics in communities throughout the riding. Before entering politics, Carol was a regional representative for the Canadian Labour Congress. Earlier, she worked for Probation and Parole Services in Elliot Lake and Youth Justice Services in Sudbury. A long-time community volunteer and activist, Carol lived in Elliot Lake for nearly three decades with her husband Kieth. And as a proud mother and grandmother, Carol is committed to building a better Canada for future generations.


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