BUDGET 2017: ABITIBI-TÉMISCAMINGUE STILL WAITING FOR CONCRETE ACTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 22, 2017

 

ROUYN-NORANDA – The Trudeau government’s second budget did not impress NDP MP Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue), who said that the region has yet to see any benefits for its economy.

“Budgets are opportunities to make choices, but it looks like Justin Trudeau’s government has chosen to shift its responsibilities onto others,” said Christine Moore. “For instance, significant amounts for affordable housing were announced, but this funding is being spread out over more than 10 years, when we have needs now, and there is nothing to suggest that this time small rural communities will qualify.”

Christine Moore is disappointed to see that the new budget has once again forgotten major sectors of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue economy, such as forestry, mining and farming. “The government still has nothing to help logging companies once again facing new protectionist policies from the U.S., and there is no compensation being considered for dairy producers dealing with free trade with the European Union,” said Ms. Moore. “Small mining exploration companies must be able to plan for the long term, and despite our repeated calls for the 15% tax credit for exploration expenses to be made permanent, it is once again extended for just one year.”

As the NDP critic for Rural Affairs and the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Ms. Moore is calling for a plan to restore adequate federal services in rural areas. “The residents of Abitibi-Témiscamingue are being treated as second-class citizens as federal agencies have abandoned the region. My offices are swamped with calls for help from people who can’t get adequate service and are having to spend hours on hold,” said the MP.

Christine Moore has long been calling for investments in cellular networks and mobile internet. She slammed the Liberal budget for neglecting this area, given that adequate cell service is essential to regional development. “It’s one of the fundamental needs for families and businesses, not only for prosperity, but also for safety,” said the Abitibi-Témiscamingue MP. “Each day that the government goes without an action plan is one more day that it is compromising the safety of communities in unserved areas.”

 

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