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View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2014-04-03 16:05 [p.4255]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hard-working member for Don Valley West.
I rise today to show my support for Bill C-31, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1. I am pleased to see our government continue to focus so squarely on the economic challenges facing our citizens, our communities, and our country as a whole.
Bill C-31 will implement key measures of the economic action plan 2014 to help create jobs and opportunities for Canadians, and to return our nation's finances to balanced budgets.
Through the steady leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada's economy has seen the best economic performance among all G7 countries in recent years, both during the global recession and throughout the recovery.
Here are the facts. Over one million net new jobs have been created in Canada since the end of the recession in July 2009, of which 85% are full-time and nearly 80% in the private sector. Over that period, that has been the strongest job growth in the entire G7 by far. Canadians have also enjoyed the strongest income growth in the G7. Canada is the only G7 country to have more than fully recovered its business investment lost during the recession.
Both the independent International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are projecting that Canada will have the strongest economic growth in the G7 in the years ahead.
For the sixth straight year, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world. Moreover, Canada leapt from sixth to second place in the Bloomberg ranking of the most attractive countries for businesses to grow.
Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7. Canada is the only G7 country to have a rock solid AAA rating and a stable outlook from all major credit rating agencies, Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's. Canada's net debt to GDP ratio remains the lowest in the G7 by far. It is an impressive track record.
Throughout the year, I am always having discussions and consultations in my riding, the City of Barrie, talking to stakeholders about what they believe is in the best interests of Canada and what we can do to continue to spur economic growth.
I feel that the concerns in Barrie are pretty similar to those we see across the country in small communities. What is important in Barrie is that we focus on ensuring that good jobs are available, that taxes are kept low, and that sensible investments continue to be made to achieve our common goals of long-term growth and prosperity.
There have been many positive investments in communities across Canada in previous budgets. This budget does just that and continues that track record of strategic, smart investments.
I would like to give a few local examples. Federal investments in companies like IBM, with their university partnership, created over 100 jobs in my community; TNR Industrial Doors had a major expansion because of the support of the regional economic development agency; and Wolf Steel, which builds high-efficiency furnaces, doubled in size because of a partnership with the federal government, creating high-tech, high-paying jobs. Furthermore, my favourite local story, Southmedic, was able to move their factory from China back to Barrie. That was certainly a positive sign.
We have learned from these success stories that we must continue to work towards generating more manufacturing jobs in Barrie and across Canada, and that is achievable. Economic action plan 2014 is keeping us on that path to success.
Our Minister of International Trade attended as the keynote guest and spoke about how expanding our trade relationships can create a greater audience for manufacturers to sell their products and create jobs locally. It was a great summit. I know there was a lot of support at the summit for the economic action plan we have built because they recognize that it helps businesses in a meaningful way.
Many of the businesses at this manufacturing summit were small to medium-size businesses. They appreciated the government's commitment to further cut red tape for operations by eliminating the requirement for payroll remittances, and to support made-in-Canada products.
Companies, big and small, were all elated that we were reducing trade barriers within Canada and across the globe for the sale of their products. These stakeholders understand that these measures grow their businesses and allow them to hire more Canadians.
It is not just the manufacturing community that was pleased with our budget, but young people as well.
I am pleased to see that economic action plan 2014 confirmed our government's support for youth employment by investing $40 million for up to 3,000 internships in high-demand fields and $15 million for up to 1,000 internships in small and medium-size businesses. We are once again demonstrating our commitment to help our youth make a successful transition from school to work.
Each year, Barrie welcomes thousands of new students at Georgian College. I know they were very pleased with this budget and what it would do to help students.
Economic action plan also continues to support our seniors with an additional $5 million for the new horizons for seniors program so that more seniors can actively participate in their communities. I have seen firsthand how well this program works. I know about 30 new horizons grants that have occurred in Barrie over the last eight years and they are huge successes.
I think of the Tollendale seniors home where new horizons grants helped to finance a computer lab to connect seniors with relatives all over the world and actually trained seniors at Tollendale on computers. It was an absolute hit. At the IOOF seniors home, there was an art for the ages program. There were people who were struggling with early onset dementia, and having an active lifestyle, including things like painting, actually helps delay the onset. That was another fantastic new horizons investment. To see this program grow, I think, is a wonderful thing for Canadian seniors.
Economic action plan 2014 did something else, since I just touched upon Alzheimer's, that I want to highlight.
The economic action plan included a $15 million commitment to a neurodegeneration consortium on aging. This reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my constituents, Ed Harper, who was actually a member of Parliament from 1993–97.
Just a few months ago, Ed lost his wife, Rosemary, and I attended the funeral. He told me that he was writing a letter to our Prime Minister. He tremendously believed in our Prime Minister and knows what a great job he is doing for the country. However, he wrote a letter to talk about the need for more coordination on Alzheimer's funding and neurodegenerative research.
I know that he was one of the many Canadians who were so pleased to see that $15 million allocated. I think Mr. Ed Harper's comments highlight a feeling that many Canadians have.
There are so many positive initiatives in this budget that it is difficult to touch upon all of them in the short time we have allotted to us. This is a budget that supports our commercial sectors. It supports our workers, seniors, and families across Canada.
I want to stress what I think is most important about this budget, and something that is tremendously appreciated in Barrie, which is that it puts us on an immediate track for balanced budgets. That is very impressive, given the global economic recession that took every country in the world off course. I think it is really a feather in the cap for our former Minister of Finance who did such an incredible job of shepherding the Canadian economy. I know that our new Minister of Finance and his team are going to do an incredible job in laying out the vision that was put forward in Bill C-31.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2013-05-02 13:12 [p.16204]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to show my support for economic action plan 2013, the budget implementation act. I am pleased to see our government continue to invest in the programs and services that are most important to Canadians.
The impact of Canada's economic health is vital to all Canadians. The economic action plan was initially designed to lead Canada out of the worst recession in generations. The temporary stimulus measures of the economic action plan had their intended effect. The projects created jobs at a time of recession while making investments in local infrastructure that would benefit our communities for years to come, leaving a lasting legacy.
Our agenda has kept Canada's economy on the right path. For instance, we are increasing skills and training support by introducing the new Canada job grant to help more Canadians get high-quality, well-paying jobs. We are also helping businesses succeed by extending the accelerated capital cost allowance to encourage manufacturers to invest in new equipment, extending the hiring credit for small businesses, and making strategic investments in world-class research and innovation.
Through the strong leadership of our Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, Canada has created over 950,000 net new jobs since July 2009. I am pleased to report that the vast majority are full-time, private sector jobs. That is the best record in the G7.
We have seen Canada maintain its Triple-A credit rating through this period of difficult economic instability and uncertainty. We continue to see Canada with the lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7. Moreover, the IMF and the OECD have forecast that Canada is on track to stay near the top of the G7 in economic growth in the years ahead.
I would like to take a closer look at some of the initiatives in the budget and share with the House some information on how this budget would benefit the people of the city of Barrie, whom I have the honour to represent.
Set around Lake Simcoe, Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie's waterfront is one of the most beautiful natural assets we have. It is a major boost to tourism across Simcoe County and all around the province. There is no doubt that the health of Lake Simcoe is vital to our region and to the people who live in the city of Barrie. Unfortunately, in recent years, the presence of zebra mussels has become an increasingly large threat to the lake's well-being. The growing presence of invasive species has continually posed a problem in Lake Simcoe's waters.
Our government has been very committed to making sure that the lake is as healthy as possible. It all started in 2007 when we announced a historic $30 million cleanup fund, which is a five-year fund from 2007 to 2012. It was going to deal with some of the concerns over rising phosphorus levels, which result in excessive weed growth and a reduction of marine habitat. This fund was very successful in working with stakeholders at reducing the phosphorus levels. In 2013, this fund was extended for another five years with an additional $29 million.
I would note that, historically, the health of Lake Simcoe has been left to local governments. It took a Conservative government to finally invest in cleaning up the lake. I have to say that it was very well received in our region. The fact that we continue to fund that cleanup has been absolutely terrific.
However, it is not just cleaning up the lake; this budget also deals with the concern of invasive species, as I mentioned. It allocates an additional $4 million over three years to continue this battle against zebra mussels through the continued enforcement and monitoring of ballast water regulations.
Our government's commitment to protect our natural environment is commendable on many levels. I am pleased to note that younger generations in our region can be confident that they will be able to enjoy Lake Simcoe for years to come.
In furthering this commitment to protect and sustain our precious waters, our government has paid close attention to the depleting water levels, particularly in the upper Great Lakes, including Georgian Bay. I have heard from many of my constituents in and around Barrie that this is a major concern, especially for cottagers. It is not just people living along Georgian Bay; an incredible number of people use the water area. Therefore, I was pleased to see this budget address the concern of lower water levels.
In March 2012 the International Joint Commission received the results of the water levels study. It is great to see that this budget commits to working with the IJC on resolutions and recommendations to deal with this growing concern.
There are also a few more highlights for Barrie in the budget.
We have seen the importance of infrastructure, such as transportation, community centres and water treatment facilities, in our communities. Our government's investment in infrastructure in the Barrie area alone has totalled well over $100 million since we were elected in 2006. It makes the city much stronger, a much better place to attract business and a healthier place to live. It is great to see that this current economic action plan would enhance that commitment to infrastructure.
The budget would deliver the new building Canada plan, which is a combination of other measures in the budget. It actually is the largest infrastructure program in Canadian history. The building Canada plan would provide stable funding for 10 years and help keep our communities moving with investments in roads, bridges, commuter rail and other aspects of transit. Over the next two years alone we would be investing close to $10 billion. That is more than the previous government's entire 13 years in office. This plan's three main components include the community improvement fund, the new building Canada fund and the renewed P3 Canada fund to include in total over $70 billion in federal infrastructure funding, which is just incredible.
The gas tax, a temporary program by the previous government that we have enhanced and made permanent, has a tangible benefit for every community in the country. It means $7.8 million on an annual basis to the city of Barrie.
Let me speak of some other positive aspects of the budget.
In order to promote the culture of giving in Canada, the 2013 economic action plan proudly increases the federal charitable donations tax credit and introduces a new temporary first-time donor super credit for first-time claimants. I am particularly impressed with this aspect of the budget as it creates an appeal for young Canadians to donate to charity. There are many huge capital campaigns in my community where that is exactly what they are working on, finding new first-time donors, whether it is the hospital expansion, the Georgian College expansion, the new Gilda's building or Hospice Simcoe. This is another great initiative that our Minister of Finance has illustrated.
As Barrie is a growing community, one of our ongoing concerns is jobs, and I think this is pretty common across the country. I very much recognize that this is a budget that focuses on jobs.
Economic action plan 2013 continues to support education and training, helping Canadians be prepared for good, high quality jobs. That is why our government is introducing the Canada job grant. This grant aims to transform the labour market by providing funds for the skills training that many Canadians need. In doing so, it encourages employers to recognize these skills and qualifications in order to fill the jobs of Canada's high demand fields.
In building upon this commitment to job growth, economic action plan 2013 also focuses on creating opportunities for apprentices. Canada is currently facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople that is expected to grow in the future as the population ages. Georgian College in Barrie offers 10 valuable apprenticeship programs alone. Our government responded to the shortage of new tradespeople by creating important new opportunities for apprentices. This would be done through the implementation of various grants and tax credits that would open the doors for apprentices at every stage in their career. I am confident this plan would promote accessibility to the training that Canadians need to find employment.
I realize I am running short on time. I just want to highlight two other aspects of the budget, the first being the importance of the Southern Ontario Economic Development Agency. This agency alone has been absolutely fantastic for job creation; IBM located in Barrie because of it. We have seen expansions to Southmedic Inc., the moving of the plant from China to Barrie, the expansion of TNR Doors and the expansion of Wolf Steel Ltd.
In my final 30 seconds there is another aspect of the budget that I want to emphasize. We continue to keep our ironclad investment to universal health care in support for the provinces for health care. We are reaching record levels in funding of the Canada health transfer. It will be nearing $40 billion by the end of the decade, which is just an astronomical commitment to something that Canadians tremendously value.
Overall, this is a terrific budget for Canadians. I applaud our Minister of Finance for such a fine job.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-10-30 12:13 [p.11650]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to show my support for Bill C-45, Jobs and Growth Act, 2012 and I am pleased to see our government continue to focus so squarely on the economic challenges facing our citizens, our communities and our country. Bill C-45 would implement key measures from the economic action plan 2012, to help grow Canada's economy, fuel job creation and secure Canada's long-term prosperity.
Throughout the year, I had the pleasure of hosting budget consultations in Barrie with a variety of stakeholders. The one common theme throughout has always been a focus on job creation and economic growth as being something fundamentally important to people from all different sectors in my community.
Each stakeholder has provided insightful contributions from the different aspects of our city, but they all shared the same concerns, as do most Canadians: ensuring good jobs are available, keeping taxes low and continuing the sensible investments being made to achieve our common goals of long-term growth and prosperity.
Through the steady leadership of our Prime Minister and our Minister of Finance, we have seen Canada's economy expand in 11 of the last 12 quarters, since mid-2009. We have seen Canada create more than 820,000 net new jobs over the same period, and Canada has had by far the best rate of job creation in the entire G7 since 2006. We have seen Canada maintain its triple A credit rating through the period of economic downturn and uncertainty, and we continue to see Canada with the lowest net debt to GDP ratio and the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7.
Both the independent International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast that Canada will be at the head of the pack for economic growth in the G7 in the years ahead. I am particularly proud to share with the House what the head of the International Monetary Fund thinks of our government's handling of the economy since the global economic crisis hit in 2008. These comments came out just this week.
The IMF's Christine Lagarde declares that Canada's economy should be a model for the countries trying to fix their own financial systems. Just last week she said that Canada has been a leader in creating policies intended to rein in the buildup of household debt. She went on to say that Canada is identified around the globe by our values of coordination and consensus building, which have given our country what she called “influence beyond its years”.
Ms. Lagarde also applauded the decision of our finance minister to boost down payments on new mortgages for home buyers, as an example of household debt restraint that others should follow. She said:
All of these new reforms comprise the tools so far that will help us shape the future financial system. We must shape the system so it cannot again hold us ransom to the consequences of its failings.
A well-capitalized financial sector and a sound regulatory and supervisory system meant that financial institutions in Canada were better able to weather the 2008 global financial crisis than those in other countries. Indeed, the World Economic Forum has ranked Canada's banking system as the soundest in the world for five straight years. Our government is committed to maintaining this Canadian advantage.
Canada has made significant progress in implementing the G20 financial sector reform agenda and will continue to play a leadership role in promoting sound financial sector regulation internationally. Our government appreciates the IMF recognizing these important achievements.
However, in all this good news, the global economy remains fragile. Canada is not immune to the renewed weakness in the global economy, especially in Europe. In particular, Canada has been affected by the lower commodity prices that are dampening government revenue growth. We need to focus even more on jobs and promoting economic growth and realizing savings within government operations to ensure Canada's economic advantage remains strong into the long term.
At the same time, it is just as important that we continue making key investments in innovation and education to help make sure Canada continues to create good jobs and that Canadians are ready to fill them. We are supporting Canadian universities and researchers with a strengthened emphasis on projects that have a commercial potential.
Economic action plan 2012 took significant steps to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and world-class research, with over $1.1 billion in significant investments for research and development, $500 million for venture capital, support for increased public and private research collaboration and much more.
Just last month, I was proud to see this have an effect in my own riding of Barrie, Ontario. I was proud to be on hand officially to open the IBM data and research centre in the south end of Barrie. This new data centre is part of a much larger project.
The federal government's $20 million investment was a catalyst for IBM's $213 million initiative to create a southern Ontario smart computing and innovation platform. Our government's investment targeted the creation of 145 full-time positions, high-skilled, high-paying, in three different cities in southern Ontario, including 45 positions at the Barrie site. These are not job transfers; they are new hires.
Our government's investment is also creating a research and development centre within the IBM site that is going to do research on clean energy, environmental systems and neural mapping. It is state-of-the-art research and it is exciting to see what a private and public partnership can do to create jobs in southern Ontario.
I would like to tell the House of another example of this focus on innovation by our government, which I have seen work first-hand in my riding. This summer, in August, I was on hand to see a company transfer its manufacturing from China back to Barrie. This company had outsourced its production of 18 jobs to China and decided to bring them back. This summer it opened up its manufacturing in Barrie again and with a $900,000 repayable loan from FedDev Ontario it was able to repatriate those jobs. This is an important sector. Southmedic is in the medical device sector, and right now this sector is valued at $6.4 billion in Canada. That is just the tip of the iceberg of what Canada is capable of, to see this sector grow.
These are two great examples of the types of partnerships that government is forging. These are the kinds of partnerships that will create a better future for all Canadians and, most important, new jobs.
Another great partnership that the economic action plan pledged to carry on was that of the continued cleanup of Lake Simcoe. In 2008, members may remember that this government made an unprecedented $30 million investment into the cleanup of Lake Simcoe. It was an extremely welcome initiative because Lake Simcoe and Kempenfelt Bay are certainly jewels that we treasure in Simcoe County. Phosphorous levels were at an all-time high, and we needed action to help reverse that trend because high phosphorous levels mean excessive weed growth. In Lake Simcoe it meant reduced marine habitat. We could not have this happen to what really was a jewel in our community.
The health of our lake is paramount to the future of the city of Barrie and all of Simcoe County and the surrounding areas. Tourism is vital to our local economy, and Lake Simcoe is certainly at the heart of the tourism market. I am happy to report that, since that investment of $30 million, phosphorous levels have gone down every year. We are making tremendous strides on the cleanup of Lake Simcoe, to make sure that future generations in Barrie and Simcoe County will have the same pristine lake that we have been able to enjoy over so many decades.
Economic action plan 2012 continues the commitment to cleanup Lake Simcoe. The five-year cleanup fund had expired, but the budget expressed a commitment to renew this fund and to continue the cleanup of Lake Simcoe. That is tremendously appreciated in our community, and I am so glad that our Minister of Finance had the wisdom to recognize that this was a fund and a partnership that was working. The federal dollars, leveraged with funds from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and all the municipalities in Simcoe County, have made a profound impact on our local environment.
I am also pleased to see that Bill C-45 would extend the hiring credit for small businesses for another year. The credit of up to $1,000 against EI premiums is a great help to encourage more small businesses. Small businesses are the engine for job creation in Canada and are indispensable in their role as job creators. I see that every day in Barrie. Small businesses are at the heart of our community and it is great to see a budget that would help small businesses.
I realize I am limited in time. I want to commend my colleague, the Minister of Finance, on the jobs and growth act, 2012. The bill builds on terrific work laid out in the economic action plan and it meets the economic challenges facing our country head-on. On behalf of my constituents and the various stakeholders in Barrie, I want to sincerely thank the minister and his team for their hard work on what will be an excellent investment and understanding of the Canadian economy.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-05-10 10:57 [p.7848]
Madam Speaker, in advance of March's budget, I had the opportunity earlier this year to discuss creating job opportunities and economic growth in Canada with a wide variety of stakeholders in my riding of Barrie, Ontario. Included in these consultations were a number senior staff in the city of Barrie: cultural leaders, such as real estate brokers, hospital administrators, health care professionals, YMCA executives, outreach staff members, seniors issues advocates, faith leaders, lawyers, tourism representatives, grassroots media and business people from a wide variety of areas, including manufacturing, financial services, transportation, construction and home heating.
Each of those participants provided insightful contributions from different aspects of our city. Many shared the same concerns as all Canadians: ensuring good jobs are available, keeping taxes low, investing in long-term growth and ensuring sustainability for generations of retirees.
With over $63 billion in targeted stimulus, Canada's economic action plan helped protect Canada from the worst of the global recession and the city of Barrie had tremendous support from the federal government during these tough times.
Through the steady leadership of our Prime Minister and our Minister of Finance, we have seen Canada's economy expand for nine of the last ten quarters. We have seen Canada create close to 700,000 net new jobs just since July 2009. Canada's unemployment rate is significantly lower than that of the U.S., a phenomenon that has not been seen in nearly three decades.
Overall, since we have formed government in 2006, over 1.2 million net new jobs have been created. Even better, Canada has had, by far, the best rate of job growth in the entire G7 since 2006.
Canada has the lowest overall tax rate and new business investment in the G7. Our net debt to GDP ratio remains the lowest in the G7 by far and we have the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G7. Both the independent International Monetary Fund, IMF, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, forecast that Canada will be ahead of the pack for economic growth in the G7 for the years ahead.
I am particularly proud to say that Canada has maintained its AAA credit rating through the period of economic downturn and uncertainty, something that has rocked nations from around the world.
However, the global recovery remains fragile, especially in Europe and the United States, and too many Canadians are still looking for work. That is why I am so pleased to see that budget 2012 is clearly focused on jobs, economic growth and ensuring Canada's economic advantage remains strong today and into the long term.
One of the most important exercises in ensuring future success is for us to return to balanced budgets. Before the global recession hit, our Conservative government paid down over $37 billion of debt, bringing Canada's debt to its lowest level in an astonishing 25 years. Our fiscal responsibility and aggressive debt reduction plan placed Canada in the best possible position to weather the global recession when the global recession hit. We made a deliberate decision to run a temporary deficit to protect our economy and jobs, and all parties in Parliament agreed.
Reducing debt frees up tax dollars that would otherwise be used to cover interest costs, keep interest rates low and, most important, ensure lower taxes for Canadian families.
Our plan to get back to balanced budgets is working. In the past two years we have already cut the deficit in half.
In 2010, we started down the road to balanced budgets by winding down temporary stimulus spending, putting into place targeted spending restraint measures and reviewing government administrative and overhead costs. In 2011, we continued to return to balanced budgets by delivering over half a billion dollars in new ongoing savings.
In 2012, we are building on our existing efforts by refocussing government, making it easier to deal with and streamlining back-office administration to achieve $5.2 billion in ongoing savings for taxpayers. Almost 70% of the savings will come from eliminating waste in internal operations of government, making it leaner and more efficient. These modest savings, less than 2% of federal program spending, will help ensure that Canada returns to balance over the medium term, while also respecting taxpayer dollars.
Unlike what other parties in the House would do if they had the chance, our Conservative government will not raise taxes and, unlike the former Liberal government, we will not slash health, education and support for seniors through provincial transfers.
Economic action plan 2012 demonstrates our Conservative government's strong support for my home province of Ontario through record federal transfer support for hospitals, schools and other critical services. Totalling $19.2 billion in the 2012-13 fiscal year, the transfer support represents an increase of nearly $8.4 billion, or 77%, since the former Liberal government was removed from office by the voters of Canada. We are continuing the long-term stable funding arrangement with the provinces for health care social services that will see transfers reach historic levels of $40 billion by the end of the decade.
As indicated by the recent Canadian Institutes of Health Research information data, federal transfers are projected to grow faster than average provincial spending in health care. We are leading in health care investment.
Federal support for health care will keep growing every year beyond the record levels the federal government already invested since 2006 and in a way that is both predictable and, most important, sustainable. This will help ensure Canada's health care system, including doctors and nurses, will be there when Canadians and their families need them most. This is very good news for all Canadians.
Balancing the budget and reducing debt interest costs help keep interest rates low and instills confidence in the Canadian economy, allowing families and businesses to plan for the future. It will also ensure sustainability of Canada's social programs, like health care, for future generations. I applaud our Minister of Finance for the responsible, realistic and common sense approach contained in this budget.
Another key area of prudent fiscal management is to stop unnecessary spending. There is probably no better example of this than the elimination of the penny. By stopping the production of the penny this fall, our government will do what should have been done years ago. An independent study estimated that the economic cost of maintaining the penny amounted to $150 million. The penny has lost its purchasing power over the years and now most are hoarded, resulting in a useless expense for Canadian taxpayers. In fact, taxpayers pay 1.6¢ for each new penny made. This costs taxpayers $11 million every year.
After hearing strong support from consumers, retailers and small businesses, a recent public study by the Senate committee recommended the elimination of the penny. I am pleased to tell Canadians that this government absolutely concurs. Eliminating the penny is a lot like the penny itself. Producing pennies may not seem like much in the context of the entirety of the federal budget, but every penny makes a difference. However small things may seem, they can certainly add up to something significant over time. Former U.S. president Ronald Reagan once said that government was the people's business and that every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the very first penny of tax paid. We have a responsibility to our Canadian shareholders. No amount of cost is insignificant, no amount of waste is acceptable.
Canadian families deserve the cleanest air, water and environment possible. That is why, since 2006, our Conservative government has made major investments to preserve our environment and to protect the health and well-being of Canadian families for today and tomorrow. Economic action plan 2012 builds on our Conservative government's impressive record for supporting a cleaner and more sustainable environment. The budget proposes $50 million over two years for the protection of wildlife species at risk. The Species at Risk Act is one of the government's main conservation tools to protect wildlife species, maintain healthy ecosystems and preserve Canada's natural heritage.
We are also committing to the creation of a new near-urban national park in Rouge Valley, Ontario, only 40 minutes south of beautiful Barrie, Ontario. I am particularly pleased with our commitment to the continued support of Canada's lakes, including Lake Winnipeg and Lake Simcoe. In 2008, the federal government's unprecedented $30 million funding for the Lake Simcoe cleanup was an extremely welcomed initiative for the residents of Simcoe county and Barrie. To see included in this year's budget a commitment to continue the cleanup of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Simcoe is a wonderful thing.
The cleanup of the lake has had dramatic effects. For four decades, phosphorous levels have gone up. High phosphorous levels mean a reduction of marine habitat. It means excessive weed growth. For the last four years, because of this federal funding, we have seen the lake become cleaner. We have seen phosphorous go down for the first time. It is a remarkable achievement in cleaning up our lake.
We are improving conditions for businesses, for environment and for Canadian families.
I want to commend the Minister of Finance for a prudent, responsible budget that I believe protects and enhances the best interests of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2011-10-04 14:46 [p.1839]
Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters to Canadians, jobs and economic growth.
We are on the right track with Canada's economy growing in July and nearly 600,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. It is certainly an encouraging sign.
We all know the global economy's recovery is fragile, especially in the U.S. and in Europe. That is why we are working hard to implement the next phase of Canada's economic action plan.
Would the Minister of State for Finance please update the House on the implementation of the next phase of Canada's economic action plan?
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2011-06-22 15:01 [p.613]
Mr. Speaker, on May 2, Canadians voted to give our government a strong mandate to continue our support for economic growth and job creation through innovation, research and development.
Would the parliamentary secretary for FedDev Ontario update the House on the results of our government's support for research in southern Ontario?
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