News Provincial Budget ‘Hits Northerners Hardest’ Says MPP Bourgouin SHARE ON: Nick Birnie, contributor, Friday, Apr. 12th, 2019 Photo of Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivering the Ontario budget on April 11th, 2019 The first provincial budget has been delivered by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli on behalf of the Doug Ford Conservative government, and it’s not helping the north. That is NDP Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin, who did not agree with Fedeli’s viewpoint that the budget is seeing money spent smarter and being reinvested in the people. Fedeli spoke on the fact that the budget includes no new taxes for residents or businesses. Photo of Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin at Queen’s Park Photo Supplied by NDP Media Contact Steve Piazza Bourgouin instead sees a budget full of cuts for Northern Ontarians, including cuts to northern development of $566 million, agriculture $283 million and natural resources $25 million in cuts. He says Indigenous affairs had $147.7 million; they are now down $74.4 million, cutting their funds directly in half. Bourgouin says then look at health care and education, where the PC’s have tried to hide their cuts. “Budget allocates 1.6 per cent annual increase when inflation is about 5.3 for healthcare and then when you look at education its 1.2 per cent increase, inflation is 1.9 per cent, and there making this look like there giving alot of money, but no health and education are taking a big hit.” He says promises have not been fulfilled and Francophones have been forgotten. “Of course the Francophones, well there’s nothing in the budget for the Francophones, so we are being hit on all sides, and even just to mention the Northlander now that’s a promise the Conservatives did that they would bring it back, there’s nothing in the budget.” Bourgouin says there is a lot of investment being made for the Toronto area. Bourgouin says this government is currently only governing for the GTHA and Premier Ford has to realize that he has to govern for the rest of the province as well, giving the north more consideration rather than simply cutting their resources and funding. Simply put, Bourgouin feels the north is being impacted the most here.