OTTAWA, ONT.: Darrell Samson doesn’t see the recently released federal Budget on March 19 as an “election year” budget, but rather one that continues to help Canadians.
The Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook Liberal MP said there are even a couple things not in the budget that he would have liked to have seen, but otherwise he is on board with the budget and the direction it gives his government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as it heads towards an October federal election.
“People often say the last budget before an election is an election year budget,” said Samson. “I don’t feel it’s an election budget. I feel this is a fair budget that continues on the growth and strategies we’ve used to stimulate the economy over the past four years.
“It’s a budget that has a lot of good stuff for everyone,” said Samson.
He said it’s the small, medium and large sized companies creating the jobs because of the countries economic conditions, not the government itself. Samson noted it’s the lowest unemployment rate in 40 years.
Samson, who had but a few hours of sleep as a marathon voting session took place as the Conservative Party made a plethora of motions, was impressed to see there is $26 million in the budget earmarked for infrastructure spending for HRM alone.
“It’s a one year shot where we’re doubling the federal gas tax fund and that equates to $26 million to HRM, and then it will be focused on short-term infrastructure priorities for the municipality,” said Samson.”It’s our job to get in contact with HRM and see how we can fit some projects in there.
“I encourage my constituents to come forward with their suggestions so we can make sure that we’re asking for our fair share.”
Samson said affordable housing is one thing he would like to see that infrastructure money be used towards in HRM and area. As well, he would like the money to go towards bringing transportation to Fall River.
He said a pilot project is in the works involving East Hants Community Rider coming into Fall River and HRM areas, aimed at seniors in Sackville, Waverley, Fall River, and Chezzetcook.
Samson said the funding and priorities of a municipal government is what “nation building” is all about.
“This is a big boost and I think will help move forward a lot of projects forward now for HRM,” said Samson.
He is excited that there is funding for a new Veterans survival fund for those in the past and future, something he has worked on since being elected; and the investment into a transition plan for those leaving the forces, even the non-injured members so they can go from active to retired.
Samson made a point to talk about the investment into Broadband internet for all Nova Scotians, businesses and residents.
“We’re investing heavily into that,” said Samson. “Our focus plan is that 95 per cent of Canadians in homes and business will be connected by 2026 and by 2030 that would be 100 per cent. It would be amazing given the type of country we have geographically with the challenges.
“We know if communities are going to be vibrant, if businesses are going to survive in small communities we need to make sure they’re able to do their jobs, and this is one tool that enables that to happen.