Tuesday’s Federal Budget was “a big disappointment” for Conservative South Surrey/White Rock MP Dianne Watts, who says there was not enough attention paid to infrastructure needs across the country.
When the Liberals said that they were going to go into a $10 billion deficit, it was because they were going to do all these investments into infrastructure…and clearly that’s not what we’re seeing in this budget. For the first number of years it’s all about road repairs and rehabilitation and data collection.
Watts shared her displeasure with the budget in a press release Wednesday which stated “Canadian communities are not going to see the vast majority of the promised $60 billion until after 2019. Yesterday’s budget included only $3.7 billion in new public transit investments over 3 years – with only $460 million of that allocated for BC. That is not the promise Liberals made to Canadians during the election.”
She has been an advocate for infrastructure funding for over a decade, and says she aims to hold the government accountable for providing necessary transit options – especially in Surrey where she served as mayor for nine years.
This budget specifically states that it’s based on ridership, well you’ve got over half a million people in Surrey and if you don’t have the infrastructure, you’re not getting the ridership. But I think the part that gets caught up is that Metro Vancouver and Translink have to put money in as well, and that’s where the issue comes.
The money that Watts hoped to see used right away will not come into play until after the next election, but she won’t stop campaigning for a better transit plan.
South of the Fraser, into the rural communities that need it as well…I mean there’s northern communities that need buses, right across Canada in fact, there’s infrastructure that’s needed, so you know like I said before, that was the whole premise of going into debt was to invest it in infrastructure and we’re not going to see those dollars until a number of years ahead.