Finance Minister makes stop in Surrey as part of nation-wide budget consultations

Finance Minister Bill Morneau made Surrey his last stop in his pre-budget consultations with Canadians today.

Morneau spoke at the Surrey Board of Trade on Saturday morning, at the end of a week traveling across the country to discuss the upcoming federal budget.

“The Canadian economy is going through a difficult period, but in the face of this real challenge, we can see there is real opportunity to put in place the conditions to create better long-term growth,” said Morneau.

He said British Columbia’s concerns are similar to those he’s heard from across the country, but said there were a few unique items he kept hearing on the west coast.

“I heard about optimism about the opportunities in this province,” he said.

“I heard about the need to attract great talent, to educate and help people be more innovative in business. I heard a sense of optimism if we can have the right tools at our disposal, that we can continue on a pace of really strong growth in this province.”

One of the issues discussed was the $20 billion in transit funding Justin Trudeau has promised to invest over the next 10 years – but Morneau made no promises for Surrey’s light-rail ambitions.

“We committed to spending an additional $20 billion in transit, and that means we’ll need to think about important investment in places like Surrey,” he said.

Monreau also visited Vancouver the day before to meet with representatives from the clean technology sector.

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