PEI economist says biggest budget challenge for Atl. Cda is not being ignored

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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CHARLOTTETOWN The biggest challenge for Atlantic Canada this week as the federal government prepares to roll out its budget is to avoid being ignored, says an economics professor from P.E.I.

Jim Sentance was among eight economists asked by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council to contribute to a report that would serve as advice for federal Finance Minister Jim Flahertys widely anticipated budget.

The budget, to be released Tuesday, is being designed as an economic stimulus package for a sagging economy.

Sentance, a professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, said he worries the Atlantic region could more or less be left out.

Theres a real fear that I have that that is largely going to be the case, he said in an interview with the Charlottetown Guardian.

We might get thrown a few infrastructure projects (but) we wont be taken into consideration for special or specific measures.

Sentance said he fears the federal government will focus on other issues such as the banks, the auto industry, the Alberta tar sands or forestry in British Columbia.

There is nothing specific from Atlantic Canada, he said.

What have we heard of down here? Theres been the odd story about lobster fishermen (but) Flaherty is not going to be concerned about something like small potatoes.

Sentance said hes hopeful Flaherty will take an approach that doesnt focus on specific industries, but rather attempts to get money moving.

Organizations: Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, University of Prince Edward Island

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, CHARLOTTETOWN, Alberta British Columbia

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