Armstrong says region continues to come out of recession
Canada's economy is emerging from the recession in fine shape and Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong feels that's good economic news for his riding as it heads into 2014.
TRURO – As the recession loosens its grip on northern Nova Scotia, the area’s member of parliament is confident business will grow and more jobs will be created.
Speaking to the Amherst News in a year-end interview, Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit MP Scott Armstrong is confident 2014 will be a strong year in all parts of the federal riding.
“After seeing numerous business closing the previous few years we started to see some new initiatives in 2013. We also saw the new civic centre opening in Truro and the completion of the YMCA project in Amherst,” Armstrong said. “We’re starting to see of the projects that we participated in as a federal government come to their completion and their ribbons cut.”
Those projects, he said, we’re funded through the federal stimulus program when there wasn’t a lot of private investment available. The projects are of tremendous benefit to their communities and helped keep people working during the recession.
Armstrong said Canada fared well through the recession and was able to use stimulus dollars on infrastructure. Now with economic growth in Europe and the United States, he said, there will be added growth in Canada.
He also said the free trade agreement with Europe will prove beneficial to eastern Canada for many years to come. The agreement is expected to be ratified over the next two years.
“As we move toward ratification of that deal we need to make sure we work with our small and medium-sized businesses to make sure they can take advantage of the opportunities it will present,” Armstrong added. “We hope to help them become exporters into Europe.”
Companies like LED Roadway Lighting in Amherst have become successful exporters to the international market. Armstrong said he hopes to see more companies in northern Nova Scotia follow that company’s lead into Europe and other markets.
Looking ahead, Armstrong said the 2013 budget included the largest infrastructure program ever with $70 billion over 10 years. He said the program will be set up so that municipalities will be better able to participate.
The MP said he tries to separate what goes on in Ottawa from the riding, but added he is not in favour of how the Senate is run. He supports an elected Senate with fixed term limits.
He’s hoping the federal government will get permission from the Supreme Court of Canada to make some changes to the upper house.
Also, he’s aware of poll numbers showing the Liberals surging. While he understands the increased popularity in new leader Justin Trudeau, partially because of name recognition, he doesn’t expect that support will hold.
“If you look at what’s happening economically Canada is pretty stable and the economy is the thing most Canadians care about,” he said.