OTTAWA – Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Brian Murphy said he is “quite disappointed” with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s throne speech, which gave no clear indication that Moncton projects in need of funding will be addressed.

Murphy said Harper’s new mandate, which contained big ticket items like continuing Canada’s role in Afghanistan until 2011, did nothing to address important issues that will help Metro grow.

“There was no specific mention of things important to my riding like the Petitcodiac River restoration, nowhere in the wording of the speech did I see wording where a full restoration would fit in,” he said.

There was also little mention of much-needed infrastructure money for the city’s convention centre project.

The Tories announced a $33-billion infrastructure fund last year, but much of the money has yet to be allocated.

The speech points out that the government has created a fund to help cities in the long-term, but no specific mention of how the government plans to address the need.

“Their commitments to infrastructure are sufficiently flimsy and things like big highway infrastructure investments that we need in New Brunswick will be hard to achieve,” said Beauséjour MP Dominic LeBlanc.

In an e-mail statement, regional minister Greg Thompson called the speech one that “reflects the priorities of New Brunswick.”

“New Brunswickers want the federal government focused on the economy and our struggling traditional industries like forestry, the fisheries and tourism,” he said. “They want investments in our infrastructure, the Atlantic Gateway, the environment and the health of our children. They want safer communities and tax relief.

“This speech from the throne addresses all of these things.”

While the speech lacks specifics on how the federal government will meet its objectives, the speech did outline key sectors that the province could stand to gain in.

New Brunswick’s struggling resource-based industries may be in for a major federal boost.

The 16-page speech points to the country’s “key” sectors, forestry, fisheries, manufacturing and tourism, as areas facing challenges and in need of renewed commitments.

The government will also look at bolstering mining and resource sectors, providing a single window for major project approvals.

Last year, the value of mineral production in New Brunswick hit $1.5 billion, the highest value in history, and for the first time since 1996 production exceeded $1 billion.

But Anthony Knight, general manager of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce said the province’s resource industries need guaranteed investments.

“Forestry is critical to our economy and at a time when the sector has gone through such significant changes like facility closures, we need commit from government like investments in new technology,” he said.

What is clear from the speech is that tax cuts will be on the way for individuals and businesses, although how deep the cuts go is still unknown.

Harper will also stick to his promise of further reducing the GST by one per cent.

Donald Savoie, a professor at l’Universit√© de Moncton and a specialist in regional development, said the move needs to be applauded.

The province’s manufacturers could also be in for a boost with the Tories’ plan to open trade borders within the country.

Savoie said he is pleased with Harper’s desire to promote and encourage easier trade between provinces, something New Brunswick manufacturers could take advantage of.

“Tax cuts make sense to us and that emphasis on promoting free trade between provinces is important to a province like New Brunswick.”

The government will now consider how to use federal trade laws better to give provincial manufacturers a boost with the surging Canadian dollar creating problems for them stateside.

What is worrying many political and business leaders in the province is Harper’s mention of spending limits in provinces.

The speech said the government will place formal limits on the use of federal spending power, allowing provinces to opt out if they offer compatible programs.

Savoie said the message is “vague,” and the province will have to wait and see what Harper plans to limit.

Fredericton MP Andy Scott said New Brunswick could stand to lose if Harper cuts ties.

“They might be hinting at moving away from the kind of activities where their involvement is encouraged and welcomed,” he said. “That’s the kind of government we encourage.”

Charles Cirtwill, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, said the Tories’ massive $14-billion surplus can only help Shawn Graham’s self-sufficiency agenda and that now’s the time to ask.

“If I was Shawn Graham sitting in New Brunswick needed cash from Ottawa, I’d pick up the phone tomorrow,” he said.

The Liberal Opposition would not react to the speech last night and will release its official reaction to the speech today.