As we approach the midway point of the Fall Session of Parliament, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, has introduced in the House of Commons Bill C-45, the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012. The Act implements key initiatives from Economic Action Plan 2012 – Budget 2012 – that was debated and passed by Parliament last spring. Bill C-45 completes the work of Budget 2012.
It is a large document because our Conservative government is doing a great deal with federal government policy to help grow Canada’s economy, fuel job creation and secure Canada’s long-term prosperity. I am speaking in the debate on Tuesday and I am arguing that the large amount of work that Budget 2012 calls for is the direct response of our Conservative government to the toughest economic times Canadian workers and their families have faced in recent memory.
Canada has one of the strongest economic performances in the G-7 and over 820,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. However, the global economy remains fragile, especially in Europe and the United States. That’s why we remain focused on supporting the economy with a pro-growth Budget.
We are focused on bolstering Canada’s economy to help improve communities with initiatives that: create jobs; support families; promote clean energy and improve the tax system for the energy sector; and respect taxpayers’ dollars.
We are extending for one year the job-creating Hiring Credit for Small Business, which benefitted nearly 534,000 employers last year; promoting interprovincial trade; improving the legislative framework governing Canada’s financial institutions; facilitating cross-border travel; and, removing red tape for Canadian businesses.
For families and communities, Budget 2012: improves Registered Disability Savings Plans; helps Canadians save for retirement by implementing the tax framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans; improves the administration of the Canada Pension Plan; and strengthens the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
To promote clean energy and enhance the tax system for energy sector companies we are expanding tax relief for investment in clean energy generation equipment and phasing out tax preferences for the mining and oil and gas sectors. This will serve to treat the three more equally across the energy sector.
Most of you will have already heard that last week, the House of Commons passed the part of Budget 2012 that changes the pension plans for Members of Parliament, Senators and federal public sector employees. We severed those measures from Bill C-45 and by unanimous consent passed them through all stages of debate in the House. This ensures that these pensions are sustainable, financially responsible, and broadly consistent with the pension products offered by other jurisdictions as well as fair relative to those offered in the private sector.
“Ongoing global economic turbulence and competition from emerging economies mean the Government must act now to build a stronger economy,” says Minister Flaherty. “Delaying needed economic and fiscal reforms would only serve to lead Canada down the same road as the troubled European and U.S. economies.”