Budget 2017 Ignores Priorities of BC Coastal Communities

OTTAWA – Coastal communities in British Columbia are being let down by the Liberal’s 2017 budget, which fails to include any measures to clean up abandoned vessels, protect salmon, or support forestry jobs.

“It’s a missed opportunity for the Liberals to take action on issues that matter to coastal British Columbians,” said Nanaimo—Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson, who says coastal communities have been left waiting for more than a decade.

Malcolmson is concerned that the 2017 budget doesn’t include any money to implement the Cohen Commission’s recommendations to protect wild salmon. It also cuts funding for the Pan-Canadian Clean Growth and Climate Change framework by more than a billion dollars over the next two years.

“It is beyond disappointing,” said Malcolmson. “After promising real change, Justin Trudeau adopted Stephen Harper’s same environmental assessment process and climate change targets.”

And yet again, Malcolmson says seniors, women and Indigenous children are being told to wait, while the wealthy and well-connected are being rewarded.

By failing to follow through on Trudeau’s promise to close CEO stock option loopholes, the federal budget is handing over another $725 million to the wealthiest CEOs every year. At the same time, it fails to provide the $155 million needed to end the systemic discrimination in the provision of welfare services to Indigenous children.

“Budgets are about choices,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, “Unfortunately, the Liberals have chosen tax breaks for wealthy CEOs and giveaways to large corporations over helping the unemployed, veterans, and Indigenous children.”