From Parliament Hill: Government focused on jobs and long-term prosperity

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The Harper government recently introduced Economic Action Plan 2012 — a positive plan to grow Canada’s economy for today and into the future.

Unlike other places in the world, especially the United States and Europe, Canada’s economy has emerged from the global recession much better than other industrialized countries. With the help of the government’s low-tax agenda and Canada’s economic action plan, since July 2009, Canada has created over 610,000 net new jobs.

What’s more, independent international observers like the International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development predict Canada will be at the head of the G-7 pack in economic growth for the years ahead. But we cannot become complacent as the global economy remains fragile and too many Canadians are still looking for work. That’s why the economic action plan takes advantage of today’s opportunity to position Canada for jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Since taking office in 2006, the government has been lowering taxes (over 140 tax cuts altogether), helping hard-working families get ahead (average family is paying $3,100 less in taxes under our government), supporting entrepreneurs (lowering taxes on job-creating businesses) and creating an environment to help create long-term jobs (Forbes magazine ranks Canada as the best place in the world for businesses to grow and create jobs).

Building on that record, the economic action plan moves forward with a positive and ambitious agenda. For instance, to ensure Canada remains competitive, the economic action plan will make major new investments in advanced research, science and technology, and more. These investments will encourage innovation and position Canada to succeed in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.

Our plan also lays a strong foundation for continued job creation and economic growth with more support for training, extending the hiring credit for small business, and providing new opportunities for Canadians to gain access to the labour market. It also keeps taxes low for small- and medium-sized business, and facilitates the responsible development of Canada’s energy and natural resource sectors.

Another key part of the plan is making sure to secure Canada’s strong fiscal position. Watching the situation in many European countries, Canadians know the importance of responsible spending by governments. That’s why we’re streamlining government operations, ending wasteful spending, and more to move Canada to balanced budgets over the medium term. We will do this without raising taxes and without cutting transfers to the provinces for services families rely on like health care and education.

Looking forward, our government is also ensuring the sustainability of our retirement income system, so it’s there when Canadians need it. This includes making gradual adjustments to the Old Age Security system down the road, and moving government employee and parliamentarian pension plans more inline with the private sector.

Our government sees Canada for what it is — a great country on top of the world. The economic action plan wants to keep it that way for today and for generations of Canadians to follow!

David Wilks is the member of Parliament for the Kootenay-Columbia federal riding.