With the recent wave of jobs losses in Quebec and the province’s uncertain economic outlook, the NDP is troubled to learn that the Conservative government decided to leave millions of dollars intended for job creation in government coffers, rather than invest the money. 

The NDP has learned that from 2010 to 2014, the Minister for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, Denis Lebel, left a total of $130 million in available funds untouched. 

“The Development Agency’s purpose is to promote job creation but in 2013-2014, $38.5 million from their budget went unused,” said NDP Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions critic François Lapointe (Montmagny – L’Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup). “I’m asking the minister to invest the funds that Parliament allocated for Quebec in the current fiscal year immediately—not use the money to embellish their fiscal outlook for April. Our regional economies need it.”

Local organizations such as Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC), Corporations de développement économique communautaire (CDEC) and Business Development Centres (BDC) rely on these funds to help boost economic development and improve the standard of living in Quebec.

“We know that each year, the Conservatives have been leaving funds that Parliament voted on, just sitting in the bank. This sneaky austerity is hurting young entrepreneurs and stalling job creation in Canada,” said NDP Labour critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie).

“The minister has abdicated his responsibility to Quebeckers and the economy. Why? To fight the deficit at any cost and fund policies that help only the richest Canadians. The Minister needs to commit to releasing all the available funds to promote economic development,” added MP Hélène Laverdière (Laurier – Sainte-Marie).