Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus says the north will still have to wait on the $1 billion to develop the Ring of Fire. This comes as the federal budget came down from the House of Commons yesterday. He says northern Ontario’s unique needs weren’t addressed aside from retaining the mineral exploration tax.

Angus, who  is also the Critic for Northern and Indigenous Affairs, says the new federal budget helps First Nations in some areas but is sceptical about the money, or lack thereof, going to health. He says with the crises in Kashechewan and other First Nations in Canada he was shocked to see so many plusses and minuses on their side of the ledger. Angus says the money going to housing, education and water is a start but healthcare needs have to be a priority for government, not just for First Nations, but for Canadians as well.

Angus also says healthcare for northerners was clearly not a priority in the new federal budget. Angus says while the retirement age returning to 65 is a big plus, many issues of health in the north and within aboriginal communities was not addressed to the degree it should have. He says he’ll keep pushing Parliament for more Aboriginal support and more support for healthcare needs in the north.

(Written by: Greg Rosser)