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Gravelle echoes criticism of Tories' 'do-nothing' budget

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Feb 12, 2014 - 12:03 PM |

Puts off action until after 2015, MP says

Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle said he awarded the "gold medal for illusion" to the Conservative government for a “do-nothing” budget that delays action until next year’s election and fails Northeastern Ontario.

“This was a terrible budget for Northern Ontario,” Gravelle said. “There is no plan to create jobs for youth or adults who are struggling, there is no help for tourism and forestry sectors, and there is no reversal of the bad policies introduced in past budgets.

“The budget section on Tackling Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia is a perfect example of the Conservatives illusion. All they did was flow the research money they announced a year ago while saying no to the modest $3 million asked for by the Alzheimer Society of Canada to begin building a true national strategy.”

Gravelle has a private member’s bill calling for a national dementia strategy to deal with the 1.4 million Canadians who will have dementia by 2031 and the expected $300-billion bill facing the country.

Gravelle said he was happy the government extended the flow-through shares credit for junior mining companies struggling in difficult economic and mining sector times. New Democrats are encouraged by the modest extension of rural broadband Internet coverage and the protection of some commercial fisheries and money for small coastal harbours that might benefit Great Lakes communities.

Searching through the budget document, there is no mention of the following words and phrases: Northern Ontario, FedNor, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, or Ring of Fire.

“For these Conservatives, it’s as if Northern Ontario doesn’t even exist,” Gravelle said. “I am very worried that their balanced budget commitment will be done on the backs of further cuts to federal civil services and government offices. We already have a government missing in action in the North.”

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