April 9th, 2021
Blaney sends local budget priorities to Finance Minister
Today North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney provided Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland with a list of budget priorities based on the top issues being raised by constituents in our riding. Blaney’s letter to the Minister focused on six areas that require tangible measures in the upcoming budget: connectivity, climate change, housing, childcare, an aquaculture jobs transition plan, and poverty among seniors.
The pandemic has highlighted and increased the need for high-speed internet for all Canadians, which continues to be lacking in parts of the region. Blaney noted that significant investment is still needed to bring adequate speeds as well as cell coverage to smaller communities.
On both housing and childcare, Blaney challenged the Liberal record.
“Frankly, the Liberal Government has not given enough attention to addressing the housing crisis. None of the measures announced since you were first elected in 2015 have had any impact on housing affordability in my riding”
“Your party has a record of promising childcare all the way back to 1993 and yet Liberals have failed to deliver on this promise each and every time you have been in power. I beseech you to prove me wrong and finally deliver quality, affordable childcare so parents can get back to work." -MP Blaney letter to Minister Freeland
Blaney called for investments in projects and programs that will reduce GhG emissions and transition away from fossil fuel projects. She pointed to her recent private member’s motion “Principles for a Sustainable and Equitable Future” as a tool to inform funding priorities.
Blaney repeated her message to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan calling for a locally driven transition plan and resources for aquaculture workers effected by the decision to close salmon farms in the Discovery Islands, and further investments in conservation, protection and restoration of wild salmon habitats stating “it is possible to protect both jobs and wild salmon if your government adopts a transition jobs plan for workers in the aquaculture sector.”
Lastly, Blaney’s letter called for increases to both the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Old Age Security (OAS), noting that the NDP fought to achieve a onetime COVID-19 benefit of $500 for seniors, but that permanent rate increases are needed in order to lift vulnerable seniors out of poverty.
Link to Budget priorities letter: budget letter