Jobs and Growth Act Speech
December 3, 2012
It is an honour to rise today in support of Bill C-45, the Jobs and Growth Act, which includes measures to deliver job creation and economic growth.
The impact of Canada’s economic health is vital for all Canadians. We must ensure both immediate and long-term economic growth. In introducing this Bill, the Government is taking a pragmatic approach to strengthen Canada’s economy amid global economic peril.
Opposition Members have opposed the Jobs and Growth Act with procedural arguments, suggesting that there has been insufficient debate on the legislation. Mr. Speaker, in actuality, this bill will have been debated in the House and in Committee for many, many hours. The Government invited 11 different Committees to study and provide feedback to the House on the Act. The Government is committed to open and timely debate on legislation. The measures in the Jobs and Growth Act are reasonable in light of the economic challenges that Canada faces as a result of the global economy. The procedural arguments proposed by the Opposition are necessary only because they can’t find much, if anything, to oppose in the very reasonable content of this Act.
Rather, than considering Opposition exaggerations, let us consider some facts. The fact is that in these unsteady economic times, Canada has proven to be a global economic leader. We have consistently been ranked with very high marks by international standards. Since July of 2009, there have been over 820,000 net new jobs created in Canada, the highest level of job creation in all G7 nations. The World Economic Forum has rated our banking system the world’s best. The IMF and the OECD have both projected that Canadian economic growth will be among the strongest in the G7. Canada also has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7 and the major credit rating agencies have affirmed Canada’s triple-AAA credit rating.
Such international acclaim is a clear demonstration that the Government is on the right track for economic success. It is clear that global economic uncertainty continues. Collectively, we have the responsibility to ensure that Canada stays on track, ensuring economic success for future generations. We must support economic growth and job creation. The Jobs and Growth Act prioritizes these two goals with targeted measures to ensure a strong economic outcome for Canada.
For example, the Hiring Credit for Small Businesses is a targeted measure that will have a huge impact on job creation. In extending the Hiring Credit for Small Businesses, this Act aids Canadian Small Businesses, which drive the Canadian economy and are vital to stability.
The Hiring Credit for Small Businesses stimulates job growth because it alleviates the costs of hiring new employees. This creates greater economic opportunity. Last year alone 534,000 employers took advantage of the up to $1,000 payroll credit, including many small businesses in my riding of Kitchener Centre. Mr. Speaker, the Hiring Credit for Small Businesses works for Canadian business and works for all Canadians. And I’m proud that our Government introduced it and is now extending it.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, who represent small businesses across the country including Kitchener, has praised the Hiring Credit for Small Businesses. The CFIB has told us that the credit makes it “easier for small business to continue to support Canada’s economic recovery by creating jobs.” This tax credit is a significant incentive for small Canadian businesses to create new jobs. The extension of this initiative will be equally successful.
Another example in the Jobs and Growth Act are the active steps taken to ensure that pension plans for federal public sector employees are fiscally responsible.
The solution to economic instability will not be found in raising taxes. Higher taxes will hinder the Canadian economy and kill jobs; this is not the avenue to pursue. Unfortunately, opposition members, who oppose this Bill, repeatedly propose tax increases rather than job creation and economic growth. Economic prosperity for years to come will only happen through a low tax approach.
Mr. Speaker, this Act takes the current economic climate into consideration but it is also forward thinking. It provides opportunities for Canadians to invest in their future. For example, the Government introduced the Registered Disability Savings Plan in 2007 to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save money for long-term financial security. After many consultations, the Jobs and Growth Act improves upon the existing Registered Disability Savings Plan. The changes allow more Canadians with disabilities to take advantage of the RDSP by allowing qualifying family members to open up an account for those who do not have a legal representative. As it stands, regardless of the amount, a beneficiary is penalized for making a withdrawal from an RDSP account; Canada Disability Savings Grants or Canada Disability Savings Bond received in the preceding ten years are clawed back. This is unfair and this Act will provide for proportional repayments based on the amount withdrawn.
This Act ensures the efficient implementation of the policies and measures introduced in the Economic Action Plan to support the economic future of all Canadians. Much of the content found in this Act simply bring technical clarification to existing measures that have already passed in this House. For instance, this bill delivers the necessary tax framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans, which create an opportunity for all Canadians to participate in a structured pension plan. This is another way that the Jobs and Growth Act effectively supports families and communities to provide for their long term economic future.
Responsible Resource Development measures are yet another way the Act is responding to our very real economic peril. Responsible Resource Development maximizes the potential of our resource sector, thus creating high-valued jobs, while enhancing environmental protection. Tighter, more effective, regulation of development necessary to sustain a growing population is essential for a growing economy. Environmental regulation should provide a clean framework to ensure measurable environmental outcomes, not requirements which have the effect of obstructing development without improving environmental outcomes. That is one of the goals of this Act.
It has been observed that “a wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” During these times of economic uncertainty, it is important to be aggressive in creating initiatives to strengthen the economy. In the Jobs and Growth Act, the Government is being proactive about creating economic opportunities. The Act’s promotion of interprovincial trade, improvements of the legislative framework governing Canada’s financial institutions, facilitating cross-border travel, removal of red tape and reduction of fees for Canadian grain farmers are just a few more examples of pro-active measures which have the potential to stimulate economic growth.
Mr. Speaker I, very confidently, support the Jobs and Growth Act, which delivers job creation and economic growth. The targeted measures included in the Act will ensure long term economic strength to the benefit of my constituents of Kitchener Centre and all Canadians.
I call on all Members of the House to join together in supporting these measures. Join in leading Canadians safely through the stormy seas of global economic uncertainty that surround us.