What the federal budget 2016 means for Revelstoke

Published by Emily Kemp, Revelstoke Mountaineer

 

In six months time from now, we should ask ourselves, are our lives better, worse or unchanged? That’s the recommendation from member for Kootenay-Columbia Wayne Stetski in response to the federal budget 2016, released this week.

“When you look at these budgets, they’re very global in nature,” Stetski said. “We get a book and the book says we’re going to spend, you know, x number of billion dollars on infrastructure, for example.

“We do not know at this point whether the infrastructure dollars will all be focused on big cities or whether we will get our fair share in our communities including Revelstoke.”

Infrastructure funds received a boost in the budget, with $120 billion committed over 10 years and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has stated that the federal budget 2016 is a big win for communities such as Revelstoke.

“Local governments will be able to move ahead quickly with shovel-worthy projects thanks to Budget 2016,” the FCM’s media statement said. “The commitment to repair and maintenance of municipal infrastructure will result in immediate benefits for Canadians by improving roads, bridges, transit, clean water, and wastewater facilities in their local communities while also allowing local governments to plan for future projects.”

Stetski said the timeline of funds in the budget stretches beyond the next election.

“The Liberals have talked about a $10 billion deficit for at least the first couple of years,” he said. “That’s just under $30 billion for the next couple of years. And when you look at how they’ve structured the budget… some of the identified money doesn’t happen until year five, which is after the next election...

As Parks Critic, Stetksi said there is good news for those who travel through Yoho National Park to Alberta, with $85.9 million allocated to build a divided highway. “The disappointing part is that there nothing is in there for Revelstoke or Glacier parks,” he said.

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