WITH their do-nothing budget, Conservatives have failed to stand up for British Columbians, say NDP MPs Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) and Jasbir Sandhu (Surrey North).
“This budget was an opportunity for the government to invest in jobs – to create better ones, help sustain good ones, and to strategize around lowering the youth unemployment rate in this province and across the country,” said Sims. “Instead, they’ve chosen to do nothing.”
Also absent from Budget 2014 the MPs noted, were several other practical, low-cost solutions proposed by the NDP, including reining in credit card rates; capping ATM fees; restoring the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes tax credit; and providing job creation tax credits for youth and small businesses. There was nothing about BC’s suggested compromise for the Canada Jobs Grant, in essence a message that the federal government will go it alone if the province doesn’t concede to its plan.
“This budget does nothing to address rising crime rates here in Surrey – their promise in 2006 for more police on our streets was obviously nothing more than cheap talk,” said Sandhu. “Once again the Conservatives have taken our province and its communities for granted. Canadians deserve better.”
The NDP is also decrying the Conservatives’ decision to not only push through a program that will snatch $300 million from the provinces’ skills training budget but to now impose a deadline for the provinces to get onboard or get left behind.
“Instead of sitting down with their provincial counterparts to negotiate and find a compromise that will actually help unemployed Canadians find work , the Conservatives are trying to bully the provinces,” said Sims. “This do-nothing budget fails families in need.”
Last year, without consulting the provinces, the Conservatives announced the Canada Jobs Grant program which will claw back money already allocated to the provinces. They also spent $2.5 million advertising the grant before it even existed.
“The Conservatives’ failure to negotiate in good faith with the provinces leaves Canadian job-seekers in worse shape,” said NDP Deputy Employment and Social Development Critic Sadia Groguhe. “The Conservatives must go back to the drawing board and find a plan that puts Canadians first.”