Low-tax Plan for Jobs and Growth
June 6, 2011 -- The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today reintroduced Budget 2011, the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan—A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.
“Implementing the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan will preserve Canada’s advantage in the global economy; strengthen the financial security of Canadian workers, seniors and families; and provide the stability necessary to secure our recovery in an uncertain world,” said Minister Flaherty.
On March 22, 2011, the Government tabled Budget 2011, the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan—A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth, in the House of Commons. However, that budget was not adopted prior to the dissolution of Parliament on March 26, 2011.
“On Election Day, Canadians expressed their support for the Government’s economic record and its plan to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of economic growth and job creation,” said Minister Flaherty.
As a result, this budget includes all of the measures that were part of the March 22nd budget. In addition, in this budget:
- Provision has been made in 2011–12 for $2.2 billion in support of the conclusion of a satisfactory agreement between Canada and Quebec on sales tax harmonization, consistent with the Government’s commitment in this regard.
- The Government is announcing the phase-out of quarterly allowances for political parties.
Building on the sustainable, low-tax environment and growth-friendly policies put in place since 2006, the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan will focus on supporting job creation, supporting families and communities, investing in innovation, education and training, and preserving Canada’s fiscal advantage.
Supporting Job Creation
The Government will support job creation by helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed, keeping taxes low, investing in projects of national importance, and maintaining Canada’s brand as one of the best places to invest. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan advances these priorities by:
- Providing a temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business to encourage additional hiring by this vital sector.
- Extending the work-sharing program and the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers to help Canadians stay in the workforce.
- Supporting the manufacturing and processing sector by extending the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance treatment for investment in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment for two years.
- Legislating a permanent annual investment of $2 billion in the Gas Tax Fund to provide predictable, long-term infrastructure funding for municipalities.
- Investing to promote innovation in Canada’s important agriculture, forestry and mining sectors.
Supporting Families and Communities
The Government will support families and communities so that all Canadians enjoy a high standard of living and our communities stay vibrant and safe. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan invests in these goals by:
- Enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for those seniors who rely almost exclusively on their Old Age Security and the GIS and may be at risk of experiencing financial difficulties. This measure will provide a new top-up benefit of up to $600 per year for single seniors and $840 per year for couples. This measure represents an investment of more than $300 million per year, and will improve the financial security of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.
- Attracting more health care workers to underserved rural and remote communities by forgiving up to $40,000 of the federal component of Canada Student Loans for new family physicians and up to $20,000 for nurse practitioners and nurses.
- Introducing a new $2,000 Family Caregiver Tax Credit amount that will provide tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependent relatives including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children.
- Introducing a new Children’s Arts Tax Credit on up to $500 per child of eligible fees associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities.
- Introducing a $3,000 Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit amount for volunteer firefighters who perform at least 200 hours of service in their communities.
- Providing nearly $870 million over two years to address climate change and air quality, including the extension of the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program that will help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.
Investing in Innovation, Education and Training
The Government will promote research in leading-edge technologies and will provide Canadians with the opportunity and incentives to acquire the skills needed for jobs in today’s labour market. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan makes important progress on these priorities by:
- Providing $80 million in new funding over three years through the Industrial Research Assistance Program to help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their adoption of key information and communications technologies through collaborative projects with colleges.
- Establishing 10 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs, some of which will be active in fields relevant to Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy.
- Increasing the budgets of all three federal granting councils by $47 million annually, including support for indirect costs.
- Improving commercialization and supporting demonstration of new technologies in the marketplace by supporting research links among colleges, universities and businesses.
- Enhancing and expanding Canada Student Loans and Grants for part-time and full-time post-secondary students.
- Encouraging skills certification by making all occupational, trade and professional examination fees eligible for tax relief.
Preserving Canada’s Fiscal Advantage
The Government’s three-point plan set out in Budget 2010 to return to budget balance is on track to generate savings of $17.6 billion over five years. The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on these actions with measures to achieve additional savings over five years by:
- Delivering more than $500 million in new ongoing savings from the 2010 round of strategic reviews.
- Protecting the integrity and fairness of the Canadian tax system by closing tax loopholes.
- Launching a comprehensive one-year Strategic and Operating Review of departmental spending across all of government in 2011–12.
Once completed, this Strategic and Operating Review will achieve $4 billion in annual savings and allow the Government to return to balance by 2014–15, one year earlier than previously planned, Minister Flaherty said. Savings from the review are not recorded in Budget 2011, but will be reported on and recorded in Budget 2012 when the review is completed and savings identified.
Afghanistan Training Role
May 30, 2011 -- PM Stephen Harper today confirmed that up to 950 military Canadian Armed Forces trainers and support personnel will be deployed to Afghanistan to take part in Operation ATTENTION, the Canadian component of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.
“Well-trained, well-led and well-equipped Afghanistan Security Forces are an essential part of the Afghan government assuming full responsibility for national and provincial security and enabling governance and development,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Canadians have been an integral part of the training of Afghanistan Security Forces for five years and we intend to continue this important work.”
By addressing existing gaps in leadership, literacy development and medical, army, and police training, the mission supports the long-term objective of helping to build a more secure, stable and self-sufficient Afghanistan. Although Canadian Forces personnel will be centered in the Kabul area, they will also fill critical gaps in two key satellite locations at Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat, meeting critical command and training requirements within the NATO mission. It is vital for Canada and its allies to ensure that Afghanistan becomes sufficiently secure to ensure that it will not be a base for international terrorism.
Operation ATTENTION supports the Afghan government and international community’s objective of transferring responsibility for Afghan security to Afghans by 2014 and Canada’s military will continue the training mission until March of that year.
Also, to strengthen institutional capacity and support anti-corruption efforts, Canada will work to provide mentoring and civilian policing skills to the Ministry of the Interior and Afghan National Police by deploying up to 45 members of civilian police forces to the region as part of Canada’s overall engagement in Afghanistan.
For additional information on the Government of Canada’s new role in Afghanistan visit: http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada-afghanistan/2011-2014.aspx?lang=en (http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada-afghanistan/2011-2014.aspx?lang=en) ">http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada-afghanistan/2011-2014.aspx?lang=en (http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada-afghanistan/2011-2014.aspx?lang=en)
For additional information on the Canadian Forces Training Mission-Afghanistan visit: http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/attention/index-eng.asp) ">http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/attention/index-eng.asp (http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/pa-ap/ops/attention/index-eng.asp)
June 3, 2011 -- Today, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, delivered the Speech from the Throne to open the 1st session of the 41st Parliament and outlined the Government’s agenda.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Government will deliver on its commitments and be there for all Canadians – for individuals, for families and for all regions of the country – working together to move Canada forward.
Specifically, the Government will focus on:
- Supporting jobs and growth by implementing the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which will include further steps to promote a stable, low-tax environment; develop a highly skilled and flexible workforce; support innovation and the adoption of new technologies, and expand access to markets abroad.
- Eliminating the deficit one year earlier by making responsible choices and reducing the cost of government, ensuring that the economy can continue to grow and create jobs.
- Supporting hard-working families by helping seniors make ends meet and continuing to help Canadians save for their retirement; by supporting family caregivers; by helping parents who want to provide their children with opportunities to discover their creative passions; and by working with the provinces and territories to ensure that the health care system is sustainable and delivers results for Canadians.
- Standing on guard for Canada by celebrating our heritage; by developing Canada’s extraordinary resource wealth in a way that protects the environment; and by continuing to stand for what is right on the world stage, including through our missions in Afghanistan and Libya.
- Supporting law-abiding Canadians by reintroducing comprehensive law-and-order legislation to combat crime and terrorism; by protecting the most vulnerable and working to prevent crime; by addressing the problem of violence against women and girls; and by reintroducing legislation to clarify and strengthen laws on self-defence, defence of property and citizen’s arrest.
- Helping communities and industries by ending the long-gun registry; by continuing to support Canada’s traditional industries; and by addressing the barriers to social and economic participation faced by many Aboriginal Canadians.
- Promoting integrity and accountability by reintroducing legislation to reform the Senate and restore fair representation in the House of Commons; by taking steps to phase out direct taxpayer subsidies to federal political parties; and by ensuring that citizens, the private sector and other partners have improved access to the workings of government.
The economy remains the Government’s top priority. On Monday, June 6, 2011, the Government will introduce the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to build on the progress already made and to ensure Canada remains one of the world’s top-performing advanced economies.
National Stratgey to Fight Cancer
March 10, 2011 -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the Government’s plan to renew support for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Prime Minister Harper made the announcement alongside Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Heath, during a visit to MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.
“Every year, millions of Canadians are affected by cancer, either through personal struggle, or by supporting a family member, friend or neighbour who suffers from this devastating disease,” Prime Minister Harper said. “The funding announced today is part of our Government’s commitment to keep Canadians and their families healthy, to help doctors detect cancer sooner and give health-care workers, support groups and survivors the help they need to fight back.”
In November 2006, the Government announced the creation of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer – an independent, not-for-profit organization whose goal is to help save Canadian lives from this tragic disease. The Strategy was developed in cooperation with more than 700 cancer survivors and experts.
Today, the Government announced its plan to renew funding to the Partnership over five years – 2012 to 2017 – to help it continue its invaluable work. This includes reducing the expected number of new cases of cancer among Canadians; enhancing the quality of life for those living with cancer; and increasing the likelihood of Canadians surviving from cancer.
“As I said in 2006, every day health professionals at home and abroad are winning small victories in the long battle against cancer,” noted Prime Minister Harper. “We’re making progress on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and hope. And in tracking our progress closely, the Partnership is leading us on the path to a cure.”
CANADIAN PARTNERSHIP AGAINST CANCER
In 2006, the Harper Government created the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer as part of its long-term commitment to fight the disease. The Partnership is an independent, not-for-profit organization which works to reduce the number of cancer cases, minimize cancer-related deaths, and improve patient quality of life.
The Government provided the Partnership with $250 million in funding over five years (2007 to 2012) and tasked it with implementing the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control – a pan-Canadian plan developed in cooperation with more than 700 cancer survivors and experts. The Strategy enables cancer experts and health professionals in communities across Canada to collaborate with the federal and provincial governments, non-government organizations, Aboriginal communities and various support groups to help reduce and prevent cancer among Canadians.
The Harper Government is renewing its commitment to the Partnership by providing $250 million over five years, beginning in April 2012.
Since it began operating in April 2007, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer has:
- Armed cancer patients and physicians across Canada with state of the art knowledge about what works best to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer;
- Improved the quality of our national cancer system by monitoring its performance and identifying gaps;
- Provided online cancer training for over 700 medical providers serving more than 215 First Nations communities and organizations. The @YourSide Colleague® Cancer Care Course was developed for (and with) health-care workers in remote and rural First Nations communities, and is credited with helping community health workers identify people at risk of cancer;
- Improved the quality of life for cancer victims by providing information that addressed their social, emotional and financial needs;
- Implemented a large-scale effort to raise awareness of the common risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases;
- Initiated the country’s largest population health study of risk factors – the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project which will enroll 300,000 Canadians in a project to explore why some people develop cancer and others do not;
- Expanded cancer screening programs in all provinces and encouraged hard-to-reach populations, such as women living with cervical cancer, to undergo screening – which helped doctors catch cancer earlier; and
- Developed programs to help survivors through the tremendous uncertainty following treatment.
To continue building upon these past accomplishments, over the next five years, the Partnership will also:
- Continue to prioritize cancer knowledge gathering and sharing;
- Continue to increase access to high-quality cancer screening;
- Broaden population health research to include chronic disease risk factors, specifically those for cardio-vascular disease, and collect data on populations living in the Territories;
- Examine the unique health characteristics of Canadians living in rural and remote areas; and
- Implement a cancer action plan and improve culturally relevant cancer initiatives for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, which will be developed in collaboration with community partners.