Harper Government Announces Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan
Will Keep Canada's Economy Growing And Create Jobs
March 2, 2011 | Department of Finance Canada | Link
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today that the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, to be introduced in Parliament on March 22, will focus on keeping Canada’s economy growing and creating better jobs for Canadians.
“As we transition to the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, measures in this budget will focus on the Harper Government’s key priority of the economy,” said Minister Flaherty. “We will continue to encourage growth and carefully manage government spending in order to balance the budget in the medium term.”
All of the economic output and jobs lost during the recession have been recouped. In fact, over 465,000 jobs have been created since July 2009, more than offsetting all of the jobs lost during the recession. With the global economic recovery still fragile, the Government remains focused on creating jobs and economic growth for Canadians.
“With a recovery now taking hold across the country, the next phase of the Economic Action Plan will focus on strengthening the economy and creating good jobs for Canadians,” said Minister Flaherty.
Harper Government Launches the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan
A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth
March 22, 2011 | Finance Canada | Link
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today tabled a budget plan that launches the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, a low-tax plan for jobs and growth, which keeps the Government on track to return to balanced budgets in the medium term.
“Our Government will build on the success of our stimulus plan,” said Minister Flaherty. “As the private sector moves ahead as the engine of growth and job creation, our Government will foster the right conditions for long-term economic prosperity, while staying on track to return to balance in the medium term.”
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 accelerated capital cost allowance rate 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 under-served 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.
The deficit in 2010–11 is projected to be more than 25 per cent lower than it was in 2009–10, and it is projected to shrink by more than 25 per cent again in 2011–12. Without including any targeted savings from the Strategic and Operating Review, the Government is expected to record a surplus of $4.2 billion by 2015–16.
“Going forward, the Harper Government will maintain its focus on the priorities set out in the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the cornerstone of which will be returning to budgetary balance,” said Minister Flaherty. “By focusing on investments that promote sustainable economic growth, our Government will seek to improve the quality of life for all Canadians, while preserving the public services and culture that define us as a nation.”
References to Waterloo Region
Page 121: Ensuring a Strong and Effective Charitable Sector
The charitable sector plays an essential role in the Canadian economy and society through the valuable services provided to Canadians, including to the most vulnerable in society. The Government recognizes that charities rely on the generosity of Canadians and has taken action to encourage it. Tax support for registered charities in Canada is considered to be among the most generous in the world, providing almost $2.7 billion in tax assistance in 2010. The Government also supported Motion 559, sponsored by the Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and adopted by the House of Commons on March 2, 2011, which called for the House Standing Committee on Finance to study charitable donation incentives. The Government looks forward to the results of the study.
Page 147: Supporting the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, is an independent resident-based centre devoted to foundational research in theoretical physics. Since its creation in 1999, the Perimeter Institute has built a global reputation for its exceptional research environment and has demonstrated outstanding scientific merit, which has helped to attract top-tier researchers to Canada. The Institute also hosts hundreds of international researchers each year, trains promising new researchers, and undertakes outreach activities with students, teachers and members of the general public.
Moving forward, the Perimeter Institute aims to strengthen its position as a world-leading research centre for theoretical physics. The Institute is constructing the 55,000-square-foot Stephen Hawking Centre on its campus, continuing its efforts to bring world-leading faculty and researchers to Canada, and strengthening its partnerships with other exceptional research communities.
Budget 2011 proposes to provide $50 million over five years, beginning in 2012–13, to the Perimeter Institute to support its leading research, education and public outreach activities. Federal funding for this initiative will be matched by resources raised from the Institute’s other partners.
Page 149: Accelerating Commercialization by Small Businesses
Announced in Budget 2010, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program provides $40 million over three years to help Canadian businesses demonstrate their innovative products and services by meeting needs identified by federal departments and agencies.
Following the evaluation of proposals submitted under the program’s first Call for Proposals, 19 innovations have been pre-qualified. Public Works and Government Services Canada is now working with the selected companies to match their innovations with federal government departments and to put contracts in place to test their innovations.
Examples of Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program Projects
2G Robotics (Waterloo, Ontario)
Founded in 2007, 2G Robotics Inc. offers mechanical, electrical and software products and services for the mobile robotic industry, with particular emphasis on underwater robotic systems.
Federal funding will allow 2G Robotics to commercialize an underwater laser scanner capable of generating digital three dimensional re-creations of underwater environments.
Minister of Finance Will Deliver the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan
May 25, 2011 | Finance Canada | Link
The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan: A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth will be delivered in Parliament on June 6.
“A little over two months ago, our Government introduced Budget 2011—the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan: A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth—a plan that will continue to ensure Canada remains at the forefront of economic growth and job creation,” said Minister Flaherty. “Our Government is focused on completing the economic recovery. Canada has created nearly 540,000 jobs since July 2009, and our economy has grown for six straight quarters. But too many Canadians are still looking for work and the global economic recovery remains fragile.”
Minister Flaherty said the Government will stay the course with its prudent, low-tax plan for Canadian families, which will:
- Keep taxes low.
- Make targeted investments to support jobs and growth.
- Maintain growing transfer payments for crucial services like health care and education.
- Control government spending and eliminate the deficit.
Minister Flaherty said he will deliver the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, but never passed because an election was called before Members of Parliament could vote on its contents.
“On Election Day, Canadians strongly endorsed our focus on the economy, jobs and the next phase of our plan. We thank Canadians for their trust, and they can be assured that we will meet our commitments to them,” said Minister Flaherty.
Minister Flaherty said the new budget will restate all the same commitments from the March 22 budget, including support for our country’s most vulnerable seniors and family caregivers, help for small businesses to create new jobs, and assistance for Canadians to make their homes more energy efficient.
“The budget will also show that we are on track to eliminate the deficit and return to balance,” he said. “We restate our commitment to Canadians to ensure the spending of taxpayers’ money is as efficient as possible and this will be accomplished through the Strategic and Operating Review.
“Once completed, this will achieve $4 billion in annual savings and allow the Government to return to balance by 2014–15, one year earlier than previously planned. As I stated two months ago, the savings from the review will not be recorded in Budget 2011, but will be reported on and recorded in Budget 2012 when the review is completed.”