Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko has some issues with Tuesday's federal budget

Southern Interior MP weighs in on budget

Atamanenko pleased with some parts but overall questions where cuts land

The Conservative government’s 2014 budget falls short of taking any real significant action, according to Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget, tabled on Tuesday, looks to erase the federal deficit ahead of schedule by keeping spending low. Flaherty forecasts a $2.9-billion deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, which is only because Ottawa is setting aside $3-billion in case of unexpected emergencies.

In an interview with the Trail Times from his Ottawa office, Atamanenko acknowledged the government’s efforts but said “it’s important that we don’t do this on the backs of people who are struggling.”

Though the New Democrat’s party is calling it a “do nothing budget,” Atamanenko wouldn’t go that far.

But he is taking issue with the lack of attention to real challenges most Canadians face.

“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,” he said.

“It appears that the Conservatives are delaying any new ideas until 2015, the election year.

“That’s kind of cynical but that’s sort of what I feel and the analysis of my party says.”

He is pleased, however, to see 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.

The MP acknowledged the investment in infrastructure but is concerned with the lack of specific support for rural areas.

“There is money earmarked for infrastructure but according to our analysis there’s no real commitment to the smaller communities component, which was a key ask of municipal leaders,” he added.

He also noted the effort to even the playing field for Canadian shoppers but questioned at whose expense.

“It’s one thing just to say you’ll lower the cost of your goods but if it’s costing somebody in Trail more to buy wholesale than it is for someone across the border, how are we going to address that?” he asked.

“We want our people to make money; we don’t them to be priced out of business.”

It will be interesting to see how quickly the shopping list of plans will roll out, he said, and what sort of concrete toll it will have on the Southern Interior.

“It’s one thing to put all of these things into a flashy book and give a speech, it’s another thing to see when we are going to see all of these things take place,” he added.

 

Just Posted

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Extensive road repair nears completion in Fruitvale

The scope of work includes new water and sewer service connections as well as road resurfacing

Community invited to check out mining trade show in Trail

Trade show free and open public on Wednesday and Thursday in the Trail Memorial Centre

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Christmas blooms in downtown Trail

The Artisan Craft Co-op recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in downtown Trail

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry, ride-hailing group says

Ridesharing Now for BC says it had hoped the bill would be more customer-driven like in other cities

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Most Read