Findlay meets with chamber on federal budget
Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay met with members of the Delta Chamber of Commerce board at a pre-budget consultation meeting last week to listen to concerns from local businesses.
Findlay said infrastructure issues were top of mind, particularly in areas of transportation on the existing roads, the Massey Tunnel replacement, and the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR).
"Improvements and modernization are necessary in order to accommodate what is likely coming our way in terms of our positioning with the Port and with TFN and their plans," said Findlay.
Businesses along River Road have been upset over the gridlock that seizes Tilbury Industrial Park each day, anxiously waiting for the completion of the SFPR that transportation experts say will ease congestion.
The road is expected to increase the container capacity for Deltaport and spur regional economic growth.
Findlay said she's spoken to Mayor Lois Jackson about the Massey Tunnel replacement but not with the province.
"When the premier made her announcement she did not involve us directly. We had fairly short notice of the announcement she made. However, we will be directly involved moving forward because nothing of that size and impact could be done without a joint effort."
Findlay also talked about Delta's aging workforce and the tensions between wanting Canadians to fill available jobs and finding those who meet the skills required.
She also listened to concerns about sustainable neighbourhoods and the need for housing for people working in Delta.
"It's one thing for a business to do well and want to expand and hire people but it then would be nice if those workers could live somewhere in proximity to the business so that they don't have huge commutes," said Findlay, adding that when those workers retire they can stay in Delta.
The discussion also revolved around health care issues and benefits for aging workers in preparation for the 2014 Health Accord.
"It's all part of the budget process because the budget comes out of where priorities are identified," she said.
Findlay will deliver the information she collects from consultations to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty when she returns to Ottawa next week. Conservative MPs across Canada are being asked to prepare input for the 2013 federal budget, which is presented to the House of Commons in April.