WINNIPEG – “This status quo budget ensures the rich keep getting rich with tax credits and incentives that generally do not help First Nations individuals or communities. A status quo budget for First Nations people means a continuation of escalating poverty and a continuing failure to meet the basic needs of families in the communities. Announcements on re-allocated funding for skills and trade development tied to compulsory program changes is nothing short of coercion and racialized policy implementation”, stated Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Unimpressed
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is extremely disappointed with the Harper Regime’s 2013 budget. There is no new money in this budget for First Nations people and the extent to which existing program and service dollars will be maintained or secure is uncertain. Considering all Manitoba First Nations are underfunded in the delivery of essential programs and services, serious investments must be made to save a deteriorating housing stock and ensure safe drinking water. Today’s budget announcement does nothing for First Nations people.
Included in this budget is the implementation of a new mandatory requirement on income assistance recipients. The impacts of the new mandatory requirements are not exactly known at this time, but there is a suggestion that in order for communities to deliver the income assistance program, they are going to have to agree to the new rules and implement work and/or training programs on income assistance recipients. Information we have heard from Ottawa has suggested that there is more money in the enforcement of new standards in the program than there is for actual development of training opportunities for income assistance recipients.
Technical staff at the AMC will continue to analyze the budget and provide updates when available and where appropriate.