$300M for regional development over 4 years, Harper says
A Conservative government would restore $300 million in regional funding, party Leader Stephen Harper said Saturday in Yarmouth, N.S.
Harper said the money would restore funding cut by the Liberals.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said it wasn't the Liberals who cut the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) budget, but the Conservatives. If the promised money were made available, the Tories would be restoring their own cuts, he said.
According to the ACOA website, the agency's "financial resources" fell from $380 million in fiscal 2006-07 to about $328 million in the current fiscal year, ending next March 31.
Harper said the money would flow over four years to federal development agencies: the department of Western Economic Diversification, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and ACOA.
The government would also include rural and low-employment communities in southern Ontario, allocating them $10 million a year.
The Conservatives have made previous regional funding promises.
Campaigning in Iqaluit in September, Harper said the Conservatives would establish a stand-alone regional development agency for Northern Canada.
And Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said the government would provide $24 million over two years for port projects on the St. Lawrence River.