Mr. Speaker, I heard my colleague reference northern Ontario, the Maritimes, ACOA, and the western economic diversification fund. He may have mentioned FedDev Ontario, but I missed that if he did. It is another very important economic development agency. I have seen first hand the incredible difference that is made by one of these regional groups. Their ears are close to the ground. They can hear what the needs are at the regional level.
It is obvious that the Liberals are handing over significant power to unelected civil servants, who are making these decisions, and also one very overworked minister from Mississauga. Even the Liberal task force itself admitted it, and I want to read from it directly:
Four to five months can be a lifetime for a business, especially for a startup. Following the approval of an application, finalizing the related contribution agreement may take anywhere from two to 12 months, further impeding a business’ opportunity to execute successfully.
It is obvious that the centralized approach that the government is taking is impeding the ability of the regions to have their unique needs taken into consideration, and at the same time, it is unnecessarily slowing down the ability to get these funds into the hands of start-ups and businesses, which really need them.
I wonder why my colleague and his party are insisting on this kind of slowing down of the process.