MP MacKenzie’s Speech on Bill C-45

Mr. Speaker our Government is focused on what matters to Canadians-jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Since 2006, our Government has supported the security and prosperity of all Canadians, promoted Canadian businesses and made investments in job creation. When the global economic crisis hit, the previous actions by our government helped Canada avoid a deep and long-lasting recession. Our government’s response to the crisis was both timely and targeted and was one of the strongest responses to the global recession among the G-7.

However, the recovery process is not complete and there are many challenges and uncertainties that are still confronting our economy today. Bill C-45 takes important and strategic steps to address these challenges and ensure the sustainability of public finances and social programs for both the current and future generations. In Bill C-45, our government is focusing on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity through investments in business, infrastructure, trade, families, and communities. All Canadians are sure to benefit from the provisions in Bill C-45, as I will outline in my time remaining.

Mr. Speaker, our government believes it is important to assist Canadian small businesses so they can focus on what matters, growth and job creation. We are doing this by extending the hiring credit for small business. This is a temporary credit of up to 1000 dollars that will help alleviate the costs of additional hiring for approximately 536 000 employers. This will reduce small business’ 2012 payroll costs by approximately 205 million dollars. An astonishing saving that I know small businesses in my riding of Oxford will appreciate! This initiative is in addition to our commitment to small business owners to reduce the red tape by implementing the ‘one-for-one’ rule, reducing the administrative tax burden on small businesses by enhancing Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account Portal, doubling the threshold for eligibility to use the GST/HST streamlined accounting methods and enhancing the predictability of the Scientific Research & Experimental Development tax incentive program. Good news all around for small business owners!

Mr. Speaker our Government understands the important role that Canadian farmers play in our country. They not only provide nutritious and delicious food for Canadians and people around the world, but they also provide numerous job opportunities for the Canadian economy.

The importance of farmers and their contributions to society can be seen in my riding of Oxford. Every season we are lucky to enjoy the various fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products that our Oxford farmers produce.

Oxford and Canadian farmers will be happy to hear that in Budget 2012 we are assisting hardworking farmers by investing 50 million dollars to help Canadian farmers remain on the cutting edge of agriculture innovations. We are also providing tax relief to reduce costs for new investments in processing machinery and equipment and 24 million dollars to fund national bio-security and best practices initiatives to combat hog diseases.

In Bill C-45, our government is also making amendments to the Canada Grain Act in order to streamline and update the operation of the Canadian Grain Commission by reducing costs and aligning it better with the needs of the grain sector. This includes a 44 million dollar investment as the commission continues to transition to a more sustainable funding model. This will create a more competitive environment for our farmers, which will improve their bottom-line. No matter what type of farming Canadians are employed in, they are sure to benefit from the support of our government!

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian manufacturing industry and its workers are one of the key engines of Canada’s economy as it represents a vital source of jobs and economic growth for many communities, including my riding of Oxford.  Since 2006, our government has proudly supported the manufacturing sector by lowering business taxes to 15 percent, eliminating the job-killing “corporate surtax” and introducing the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance tax relief to help manufacturers become more competitive when upgrading their machinery and equipment.

The manufacturing sector has seen strong results due to our government’s support and this can be seen in my riding of Oxford. Mr. Speaker, in March of this year Toyota announced that it would be increasing the RAV4 production at its Woodstock plant from 150 000 annual capacity to 200 000. This increase will result in 400 new jobs! That’s great news for the people of Oxford and the Canadian economy as a whole!

On this side of the house we want to continue with these types of results with the implementation of Budget 2012. That is why we are investing 500 million dollars to support venture capital activities, extending the domestic powers of Export Development Canada to provide financing to support Canadian manufacturers and other exporters and 110 million dollars to double support to manufacturers and other entrepreneurs through the Industrial Research Assistance Program. Mr. Speaker I look forward to hearing many more success stories that are sure to come as we continue support our manufacturers with Budget 2012!

In addition to our government’s investments in key industries, we are also facilitating increased trade by strengthening the Trade Act. Bill C-45 will facilitate the construction of the urgently needed bridge along Canada’s most important trade artery, the Windsor-Detroit corridor. Our government will continue to work closely with the State of Michigan, the US government and the Province of Ontario on the Detroit River International Crossing project. This project is consistent with the Government of Canada’s economic agenda given its importance for Canada’s long-term economic prosperity, growing international trade and investment, and the creation of jobs.

The new border crossing will facilitate the movement of people and goods between Canada and the US by ensuring that there is sufficient border crossing capacity to handle projected growth in cross border trade and traffic in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. It will also provide a much-needed crossing alternative at the busiest Canada-US commercial border crossing and create thousands of jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border and at the same time ensure border security and safety. Canadians can be sure that our government will always support beneficial trade opportunities for the Canadian economy.

Mr. Speaker, our government is also ensuring the safety of all Canadians by updating the Customs Act. As part of the Beyond the Border Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, the Government of Canada is working to better screen travellers so that security threats can be stopped ahead of time. The changes to the Customs Act will support the Interactive Advance Passenger Information initiative outlined in the Action Plan. This initiative will allow the Canada Border Security Agency to take steps to prevent high-risk or improperly documented travellers from bordering a plane destined for Canada, which will also reduce costs associated with removing inadmissible individuals to Canada.

We are also implementing the integrated cargo security initiative, which will harmonize the security requirements for cargo between Canada and the US. The pre-screening of cargo will help save time for both businesses and the government by significantly reducing the need for re-inspection of cargo between the Canada and the US border and will ensure that high risk cargo does not reach Canada. Our government is protecting Canadians both at home and abroad!

Mr. Speaker families are the cornerstone of Canadian society. Our government believes in supporting families and that is why we have made huge investments since 2006 to help families save money and live healthier and happier lives. We have done this through the introduction of various initiatives including the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, the Children’s Arts Tax Credit, the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Working Income Tax Benefit, and the Child Tax Credit.

Mr. Speaker, due to our government’s strong record of tax relief, a typical Canadian family is now saving over 3 100 dollars! A truly amazing savings that families can use savings towards investments, vacations, education or recreation. The possibilities are endless!

In Bill C-45 we are helping families by improving the Registered Disability Savings Plans, helping Canadians save for retirement by implementing a tax framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans, improving the administration of the Canada Pension Plans and strengthening the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012.

We are also respecting taxes paid by our hardworking Canadian families by taking landmark action to ensure that the pension plans for Members of Parliament, Senators and federal public sector employees are financially responsible and broadly consistent with the pension products offered by other jurisdictions as well as fair relative to those offered in the private sectors. Mr. Speaker we are closing tax loopholes that have been open for far too long and eliminating duplication to ensure that Canadian taxpayers’ dollars are put to good use!

Mr. Speaker I am proud of the investments and initiatives that our government is putting in place in Bill C-45. We are getting things done for Canadians as we focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and I encourage all members to join us as we support Canadians by voting in favour of Bill C-45. Thank you Mr. Speaker.