Softwood lumber not a priority for federal government: Nathan Cullen
The 2018 federal budget has been released with a big emphasis on equality and growth.
Over the next number of years, money will go into things such as Indigenous support and gender equality in science and research.
On the Indigenous front, $1.4-billion over six years will be going towards supporting Indigenous children in foster care and promoting family reunification.
Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is pleased with the commitment but would have liked to see more done to help First Nations.
“We know First Nations kids on reserves face a funding gap 30-32% compared to children in Canada going to school off reserves, having some money towards that would be good,” says Cullen.
“I’m a bit surprised there was very little done around housing in general but certainly First Nations housing, we have a housing crisis in this country.”
One thing not mentioned in the budget, however, is the softwood lumber industry, much to the dismay of the NDP Member of Parliament.
“It shows that it’s not a priority for the government,” he explains.
“They’ve been trying to wrap softwood lumber up into the larger [North American Free Trade Agreement] negotiations but while we wait for [U.S. President Donald] Trump to make up his mind as to whether there is a trade deficit or whether he wants to sign a deal or not, our softwood lumber communities continue to suffer under the tariffs.”
Another hot topic for any budget is taxes; this year’s does not include any hikes or cuts.