Burnaby, New Westminster MPs blast budget

NDP federal finance critic Peter Julian, MP for Burnaby-New Westminster slammed the budget introduced by the Conservatives on Thursday for cutting vital services like old age security (OAS) and health care.

The budget called for a plan to raise OAS eligibility from age 65 to 67, and change the funding formula for federal health transfers which would short change provinces by $31 billion and open the door to privatization and a two-tier health care system, said Julian.

"Instead of choosing flawed F-35s, costly mega-prisons while the crime rate is going down, and breaking their electoral promise with reckless and unnecessary cuts to OAS, the Harper government should focus instead on the real priorities of Canadian families and work to improve public services, develop a jobs plan, strengthen pensions, and make life a little more affordable," said Julian in a press release.

New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody MP Fin Donnelly said the government has turned their backs on the retirement security of Canadians and putting healthcare at risk.

"Once again, cities have been left out with nothing for transit, housing or immigrant settlement services. The budget also takes aim at environmental assessment and reviews," said Donnelly.

Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart attacked the budget for streamlining environmental regulatory processes to stimulate the economy.

"It's clear the Conservatives are putting the interests of the oil, gas and extractive industries about the genuine concerns of landowners, First Nationals, and local residence," said Stewart, associate critic for natural resources. "By forcing set timelines on projects like Northern Gateway they're saying that 'expediency' matters more than genuine consultation. This budget outlines the blueprint for rapid development of oil pipelines through Burnaby and British Columbia, and the massive increase of tanker traffic off our coastline."

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