In 2015, after years of austerity and cuts, the economy was slowing down. People were feeling it, especially those whose real needs didn't line up with aggressive plans to eliminate the deficit, such as people living in poverty, indigenous peoples, women, young people, racialized people and our most vulnerable seniors. In the face of increasing global uncertainty, Canada's economy remains strong. Since 2015, we have invested in Canadians, helping raise 900,000 people out of poverty and adding a million new jobs to the economy.
As our first order of business, we are lowering taxes for the middle class and people working hard to join it. We also want to make sure that, by continuing to govern, we maintain four key principles for the implementation of our fiscal plan. We'll continue to reduce the government's debt as a function of our economy, continue to build confidence in Canada's economy by preserving a AAA credit rating, and continue to invest in people and things that give people a better quality of life. For the fourth guiding principle, we will preserve fiscal firepower in the event that we need to respond to an economic downturn.