Brison, MacDonell not happy with stimulus spending split
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
HANTS EAST: Out of $322 million in stimulus money that was given to Nova Scotian projects, East Hants received a little more than $2 million for two water projects, with the East Hants Sportsplex expansion project still waiting for support.
Liberal MP Scott Brison’s entire riding of Kings Hants received support for 19 projects, totalling $15,653,857. He admits while he is happy that certain projects got approval, he cannot believe the split of the federal government’s stimulus money that has been announced to date.
“I want to see a fair distribution across Nova Scotia, across Canada and across Kings Hants,” he said. “The way (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper is treating tax dollars; it’s almost like a third world banana republic.”
Two engineering projects being undertaken by the Municipality of East Hants, the water withdrawal intake for the Regional Water Utility from Grand Lake and the new Shubenacadie Water Treatment, have both received the funding awarded in East Hants.
Compared to other opposition federal ridings in the province, Brison admits Kings-Hants did well, but compared to ridings such as Central Nova, held by Conservative Peter MacKay which received more than $101 million, its pittance.
“I have never seen such partisan treatment of public money,” he said. “Why are they hiding the facts? These are hard-earned tax dollars.”
And there’s one project Brison says is noticeably missing from the list that disappoints him greatly. He thinks the East Hants Sportsplex expansion project should be at the top of the list.
“It’s the one project that comes to mind. It’s a great project that deserves the support,” he said. “It’s appalling that it’s still waiting (for approval).”
The Sportsplex expansion board has applied for more than $5 million in federal stimulus dollars, but have yet to receive word on whether or not they will be awarded funding. For Brison, he says the project is a no-brainer.
“It’s a terrific project,” he said. “It benefits the entire community.”
John MacDonell, the NDP MLA for Hants East and Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources admits he’s shocked the Sportsplex has yet to see support as well. “We haven’t heard a no, yet,” he said. “I think we have every reason to be optimistic. The plan for the Sportsplex is a good one.”
Brison hopes the funding for the Sportsplex will be announced in the near future. MacDonell shares that hope, but adds the project is worthwhile and should make it through the application process on top.
“At the end of the day, I think its merit will carry it,” he said.
Brison admits with the stimulus money so unevenly split, it’s hard to be excited about the funding he did receive.
“These are good projects, but the way Stephen Harper is dealing with stimulus money is a third world dictatorship and not modern accountable democracy,” he said.
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