Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Accuses Ottawa of Sitting on Money Earmarked for Economic Development

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

NDP Accuses Ottawa of Sitting on Money Earmarked for Economic Development

Article excerpt

NDP accuses Ottawa of sitting on money

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MONTREAL - Three NDP MPs accused the Harper government on Tuesday of not spending tens of millions of dollars that are earmarked for economic development in outlying regions.

The government is withholding the funds to lower the federal deficit, they told a news conference.

They said $131.6 million -- for Quebec alone -- is sitting in the coffers of the Economic Development Agency of Canada when it could be used to support projects and create jobs.

The unused sums totalled $57.3 million in 2010-2011, $17.55 million in 2011-2012, $18.1 million in 2012-2013 and $38.6 million in 2013-2014, they added.

The Quebec-based MPs accused the Conservatives of hypocrisy, saying they make funding announcements while knowing full well that part of the money will remain in government coffers.

"They're putting on shows of smoke and mirrors, announcing investments for the regions of Quebec, for the creation of jobs, for the social economy and, at the end of the day, the money is still lying around in Ottawa, while there's a crying need for it -- be it in Montreal or the regions," said Alexandre Boulerice. …

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