Conservatives Whack Fednor: Big Cuts Coming To Northern Economic Development
April 2nd, 2013 - 2:25pm
The Harper government is slashing economic development investment in Northern Ontario. The latest budget shows that regional development agency FedNor is facing a 22% cut to its services. Charlie Angus says this cut is yet another sign that backbench Conservatives from Northern Ontario are failing to stand up for the region.
“Economic investment is essential for moving our region forward. And yet we have seen this government undermine investments and cutting back services. These cuts to FedNor will have a major impact. Where were the northern Conservatives when it came time to pushing back against this attack on the north?”
In the 2013 budget, economic development is facing a 22% cut dropping from $73 million in 2012 to just $60.3 million in 2013-14. The new spending cuts at FedNor come on the heels of the cancellation of the Local Initiative Contribution program in last year’s federal budget, and will result in the loss of 20 full-time jobs at Fed Nor, or 16% of the staff.
New Democrat FedNor Critic John Rafferty (Thunder Bay Rainy River) says the Conservatives are turning their backs on business and small communities in Northern Ontario.
“They are taking an axe to important programs and services, like the Local Initiative Contribution grants and the Community Economic Development program. They are selfishly looking out for their own political interests while ignoring the economic needs of Northern Ontario. We think that’s completely unacceptable.”