The Federal government is set to present its budget on Thursday, and the local MP will be looking for a number of key investments that could have an effect on the North Island-Powell River riding.
One of MP Rachel Blaney’s key priorities is to see funding for the commitments made in the confidence and supply agreement made between her party (NDP) and the Liberal Party earlier this month. Those commitments include a national dental care plan, as well as significant investments in housing and to address the climate crisis.
“This is the first opportunity for the Liberals to show that they are serious about the commitments they made in the agreement,” said Blaney. “We’ll be watching that very closely.”
Blaney will also be looking to funding for the files she covers as NDP critic: Veterans Affairs, Seniors, and Rural Economic Development. She would like to see confirmation of funding that would make temporary hires at Veterans Affairs permanent, which would help address the backlog of disability claims by veterans.
“She’d also like to see commitments to support women in the military in order to meet the 25 per cent recruitment goal, increased support to address the growing number of homeless veterans, and budgeting for the elimination of the marriage after 60 clause that impacts survivor pension benefits,” says a press release from Blaney’s office.
On the Seniors file, Blaney would like to see increases to OAS (Old Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) for all seniors, not just those over 25. She’s also hoping for the implementation of a National Seniors Strategy, as well as a care guarantee for seniors in long term care and their families. For rural economic development, focusing on equitable funding for smaller communities — which would include support for workers in transitioning industries (including aquaculture).
“This budget should also include allocations for opening the previously announced PacifiCan office in Campbell River, which Blaney pushed for last year,” the release says.
“The budget is where we see what the priorities really are. There are a number of things I’ll be looking for that would make a difference in peoples lives,” said Blaney. “I want to see the government following through on their commitments, and putting people first.”