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Liberal MP says federal budget fails to address small business' needs

Joyce Murray, the Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, says the 2012 Federal Budget released Thursday lacks measures to support entrepreneurship, small business and tourism—areas of need within the the Thompson Okanagan's aboriginal communities.

“The Federal Tourism Strategy and Canada Tourism Commission are not adequately supporting the growth opportunities for tourism revenues and jobs in this region, particularly for aboriginal tourism," said Murray.

"Now the Budget has cut the CTC by 20 per cent so there will be even less available for marketing and expanding the incredible tourism experiences offered in and around Osoyoos, Penticton and Kelowna."

On the small business and entrepreneurship front, the federal government is increasing EI payroll taxes and cutting $30 million out of Western Economic Development’s support for rural job creation.

“Business leaders in the region said that the federal government is not doing enough to support local partnerships that expand and diversify the regional economy, and some are deeply concerned that cuts to environmental protection measures have gone too far," said Murray.

Murray was in the area to speak at the National Aboriginal Tourism Conference held in Osoyoos. During her time in the Interior, she consulted with South and Central Okanagan leaders from local business, tourism, and government to discuss community priorities. Her portfolio includes Small Business and Tourism, and Western Economic Diversification and the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

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