For Immediate Release
Budget 2017 Brings a Real and Fair Chance at Success to Thunder Bay—Rainy River
March 23rd, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON
The 2017 Federal Budget is good news for Northwestern Ontario, according to Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River. Rusnak highlighted an allocated $25 million dollar increase in FedNor funding over 5 years as proof of this government’s commitment to Northern Ontario.
In addition to increases to FedNor, $2 billion over 11 years will be invested in infrastructure projects in northern and rural communities in Canada. This measure takes into account the unique needs of regions like Northwestern Ontario. This funding builds on the investments made in Budget 2016 and is aimed towards a wide range of projects including road access, expanding internet access, and the replacement of energy systems.
The newly released budget also outlines significant increases for healthcare in the province: $14.3 billion will go to Ontario for the Canada Health Transfer, which is an increase of $433.8 million from last year, and $5.3 billion through the Canada Social Transfer, up $160.5 million from the previous year with a particular focus on increasing homecare and mental health supports for Canadians.
Rusnak believes Budget 2017’s commitment to building an inclusive National Housing Strategy will have a positive impact on our region as well. An additional $11.2 billion over 11 years will be invested in initiatives designed to improve access to affordable housing across the country. The new strategy will include efforts to support northern housing, combat homelessness, and make more federal lands available for building affordable housing stock.
Rusnak also pointed to the new Strategic Innovation Fund, an investment of 1.26 billion over 5 years, which aims to attract and grow businesses in new and innovative sectors such as agri-food, digital, clean-tech and advanced manufacturing as part of a large scale plan to grow Canada’s economy.
Budget 2017 also makes a significant increase of $3.4 billion in funding towards improving conditions for Indigenous People in Canada. Notably, the government made good on its campaign promise to increase funding for the Post-Secondary Student Success Program. The additional $90 billion dollars for post-secondary education supports is good news for Indigenous students, and for the educational institutes that service them in Northwestern Ontario.
“I’m proud to see the investments that Budget 2017 is making in Northern Ontario. Increased funding for FedNor and targeted infrastructure funding are vital to the economic growth of our region and demonstrates an understanding of the unique challenges we face. The budget builds on our government’s on-going commitment to growing Canada’s economy and strengthening the middle-class by providing access to social supports, improving infrastructure, and creating jobs for Canadians.”
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River
“Budget 2017 is about jobs. It’s about creating good middle class jobs today, while preparing Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow. The next step in our plan for Canada’s economy is making the smart, responsible investments we need to be innovative and competitive, while improving the health of our communities, and ensuring a better future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
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