Elimination of regional funding latest blow for Eastern provinces
HALIFAX – The most recent cuts to ACOA will further harm Atlantic Canada’s economy, say New Democrat MPs. The Conservative government announced yesterday that it will eliminate regional development funding for all four Atlantic provinces. A move which the NDP says will result in further job losses and economic stagnation.
“ACOA’s regional development funding has been crucial for business development. This is the wrong thing to cut at the wrong time. We need to be supporting the economy, not putting up road blocks,” said NDP ACOA critic Ryan Cleary. “Stephen Harper claimed years ago that Atlantic Canada has a culture of defeat but it is the Conservatives who have a defeatist attitude toward our region.”
The cuts come after weeks of bad news for Atlantic Canada with cuts to some of eastern Canada’s most crucial industries and services.
“It’s getting to the point where I don’t see what they have left to cut from the East Coast,” said Dartmouth MP and NDP Fisheries critic Robert Chisholm. “They cut search and rescue, they cut fisheries and oceans and they are gutting ACOA which has been so crucial to the development of the Atlantic economy. It’s disheartening to see how little regard the Conservatives have for Atlantic Canadians.”
The cuts to regional development funding will take effect next year, affecting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador.