A nationwide skills training program, a number of infrastructure initiatives, and the elimination of import tariffs on sports equipment are some of the key items in the 2013 federal budget, according to Palliser MP Ray Boughen.
A number of new funds geared at infrastructure development and repair were at the forefront of Boughen’s list.
“These are all big items that are for community infrastructure, upgrading things like roads, sidewalks, public transit and recreational facilities,” he said. “Municipal dollars are earmarked for roads and transit, and communities will also have those dollars available for other infrastructure costs that they may incur.”
All told, the government has committed almost $50 billion to various infrastructure programs, including the Community Improvement Fund, the Building Canada Fund, and the renewed P3 Canada Fund.
Boughen also singled out the new Job Grant program, which he said “connects people out of work with training programs so that they can fill a job that’s waiting for them at the end of that program.”
A $5,000 grant is available from the federal government, with a planned price-matching partnership with provincial governments and private companies yet to be firmly established, in order to send unemployed individuals back to school to develop marketable job skills.
As of April 1, Boughen said, the federal government is also lifting import tariffs on sporting goods and baby clothing, which will result in “more money for families.”
“The overall budget, I think, is very fiscally responsible. It looks at needs and the dollars to satisfy those needs, but at the same time is sensitive to the fact that by 2015 we’re looking to balance the budget,” said Boughen. “The brakes are on in terms of spending with a lot of careful consideration about what we’re spending the money on.”