During the past month, I have been engaging in consultations across the riding as our Government develops Budget 2020. This year’s budget will be focused on scaling up our action on fighting climate change, continuing to grow the economy, keeping Canadians safe and healthy, and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
I travelled across the riding to meet with local governments, Indigenous groups, chambers of commerce and other organizations and individuals to discuss their priorities and to highlight areas where the budget can have the most impact for you. The following are some of the local priorities we have relayed in our letter to Finance Minister Morneau that are relevant to the Sunshine
Infrastructure investments are critical to ensuring municipalities can continue to deliver the services we expect. I advocate for increased funding for rural communities, which are hard pressed to deliver such services, given their size and population density. Funding for upgrades for local reservoirs and other water infrastructure stands out as particular needs for the Coast.
Improvements to our transportation systems are needed to set our economy and rural communities up for success as we move forward. For the Coast, this can be achieved through increased federal investments in ferries, zero-emissions transit and transportation infrastructure.
Residents of the Sunshine Coast have a special relationship with our marine environment. Increased funding for fisheries enforcement, Indigenous guardians, and enhancement programs to address, among other issues, the wild salmon crisis, is needed to maintain and restore our oceans and the species that call them home.
Harbours on the Coast, including Pender Harbour, are being polluted by human activity. Expanding the Derelict Boats Program to support communities in removing polluting vessels, and focusing on addressing the fate of marine plastics and other waste before it ends up in our oceans, is key to cleaning up our coastal environments.
The National Housing Strategy provides a strong framework for addressing housing affordability, but there are important gaps that need to be remedied. Funding for Indigenous housing and seniors housing are both needs for the Sunshine Coast. The federal government is supporting seniors with increases to old age security, grants through the New Horizons Program and new funding for home and palliative care. We are excited to host the Honourable Deb Shulte, our Minister of Seniors, in the first week of March to discuss how we can continue to work hard for our seniors. I invite you to contact our office for further details.
Thank you to everyone for engaging your time and thoughtful input in this process, which I have proudly relayed to our Minister of Finance.
We welcome your feedback: 6367 Bruce Street, West Vancouver, V7W2G5 604-913-2660 Patrick.Weiler@parl.gc.ca