Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan's statement on the 2008 federal budget

    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The federal government missed the opportunity to
partner with Ontario to strengthen economic growth. We wish they had listened
more to what Ontario has been asking for.
    The federal government missed the opportunity to provide substantive
investment in Ontario's auto industry. The new national initiative is not
nearly enough and we are concerned that, spread over five years, this
contribution has an annual limit of only $50 million, which is trivial for an
industry of this size.
    The federal government missed the opportunity to make strategic
investments in infrastructure. Our province is facing massive infrastructure
challenges every day - deteriorating roads, bridges, sewers and water systems.
This puts enormous burdens on our municipalities that we asked Ottawa to
address in a meaningful way.
    We are disappointed with the lack of changes to Employment Insurance (EI)
that would have made it more fair for Ontario workers. Even after this budget,
Ontario's unemployed workers will still receive $4,000 less in EI benefits
than unemployed Canadians in other provinces.
    Minister Flaherty has noted a concern for Ontario's economy but missed
the opportunity to make needed investments to strengthen Ontario's place in

    Disponible en français

                 For more information visit www.fin.gov.on.ca

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For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 325-3645;
Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, (416) 325-0324

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