Ottawa – The federal budget was announced in Ottawa today.  The budget is shuffling money around with no new investments in our communities.

“This budget is not what Canadians need right now” said Irene Mathyssen, MP for London-Fanshawe.  “We need investments in our communities and in our families. Stephen Harper promised to focus on jobs, but instead he's pushing ahead with job-killing austerity cuts, introducing no new measures to create jobs and playing a shell game with skills training money.”

The budget includes provisions to eliminate all tariffs on imported machinery and equipment and manufacturing inputs to make Canada a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers.  This puts our regional manufacturing sector at greater risk.

“The Conservatives are focused on corporations and helping the rich get richer, not working Canadians” said Mathyssen. “This measure allows off-shore companies like Caterpillar Inc. to import machinery back into Canada with fewer restrictions instead of fighting to keep manufacturing and well-paid work in our communities, and fueling our local economy.”

“We need to strengthen EI and make it fair to the people who pay into the fund. We need investments in infrastructure and public transit” said Mathyssen.  “We need to invest in our seniors and ensure they have the money to pay for housing, food and medical expenses.  We need more support for small and medium businesses to create more jobs.  It is this kind of investment and strategy that will grow jobs and our communities.  By investing in people we are investing in Canada.”

I am pleased that the budget included doubling the funeral benefits for our veterans.  We need to care for our veterans while their still alive, ensure they have access to long term care beds and pensions. 

“The budget had nothing that will directly benefit our local economy, and the reduction in infrastructure investment will actually hurt London” said Mathyssen.  “We desperately need a job retention and creation strategy for Ontario’s struggling manufacturing sector.  There is nothing here to protect those well-paying jobs.”