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Results: 1 - 6 of 6
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2015-04-28 16:39 [p.13151]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on the 2015 budget.
Our government is responding to the needs of my constituents. We are helping young families, seniors, veterans, and small business owners. We are putting more money into the pockets of residents, so they can raise their families and save for retirement.
Under our leadership, Canada has created more than 1.2 million new jobs since the recession, but we live in uncertain times and the global economy remains fragile. That is why economic action plan 2015 would continue our government's focus on creating more jobs and growing the economy in Surrey and across Canada.
Importantly, at the same time, this is a balanced budget. This means more tax cuts for Canadian families and individuals and less debt for future generations. It would ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support important social services, such as health care and education.
Economic action plan 2015 includes key measures to support Surrey families and the B.C. economy, including cutting taxes for small businesses. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to further reduce the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019. Due to measures taken since we formed government, we have reduced taxes for small businesses by almost 50%.
On tax-free savings accounts, economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000, effective for the 2015 taxation year. There are now 11 million Canadians who have opened accounts, and of those who contributed the maximum amount, 60% have incomes below $60,000.
On supporting job-creating businesses, economic action plan 2015 proposes to provide tax relief to the LNG industry and new funding for the forestry sector to help diversify their markets to emerging economies. These initiatives would help create jobs and economic growth for British Columbia.
On national security, we would ensure that our armed forces continue to have what they need to accomplish the dangerous tasks Canadians ask of them. Economic action plan 2015 proposes to increase the National Defence budget by $11.8 billion over 10 years. We would now provide new funding to help counter violent extremism and terrorism.
In my riding of Fleetwood—Port Kells, there are more than 12,000 households with young children. In total, there are more than 25,000 children living in those homes. Economic action plan 2015 would benefit 100% of those families and children. It would do so by lowering taxes and increasing benefits.
We have recently introduced new tax relief and benefits to help make life more affordable for Canadian families, including increasing the universal child care benefit. For each child under the age of six, parents would receive a benefit of $160 per month, which is up from $100 per month. The universal child care benefit would be expanded to children age 6 through 17, allowing parents to receive a benefit of $60 per month, or $720 per year. There are 18,000 children in my riding who would be eligible for this benefit.
We are also introducing the family tax cut, which is a federal tax credit that would allow a higher income spouse to effectively transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket, providing up to $2,000 in tax relief.
Since 2006, our government has introduced more than180 tax relief measures, which will provide tax relief and benefits of up to $6,600 dollars for a typical Canadian two-earner family of four in 2015.
There are also nearly 12,000 seniors in my riding. Our government recognizes that Canada's seniors have helped build and make our country great. That is why, since taking office, we have provided over $2.3 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners, including removing over 85,000 seniors from the tax rolls, introducing pension income splitting, doubling the pension income tax credit to $2,000, increasing the age credit amount by $2,000, and establishing the landmark tax-free savings account.
Budget 2015 builds on this impressive record of support for seniors by reducing the minimum withdrawal requirement from registered retirement income funds, introducing the home accessibility tax credit to help with renovation costs so seniors can remain in their homes and, as I mentioned before, increasing the tax-free savings account annual contribution limit to $10,000.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention infrastructure. Canada has led the G7 in public investment growth over the last decade. Our government's unprecedented investments in infrastructure, the most significant in our country's history, have already yielded significant results for hard-working Canadians and their families, ensuring the resilience of our economy and creating jobs. These investments will ensure Canada's future economic growth for years to come.
Budget 2015 adds to this record by continuing to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the new building Canada plan, the largest, longest-running federal infrastructure commitment in our country's history. The budget also provides an additional $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, and $1 billion per year ongoing thereafter for a new and innovative public transit fund to promote public transit infrastructure investment in a manner that is affordable for taxpayers and efficient for commuters. The ability to invest this substantial amount in targeted infrastructure is a direct result of the government's responsible actions to return to a fiscal balance.
Already there has been unprecedented federal investment in B.C.'s Lower Mainland and Surrey under this Conservative government, impacting nearly every aspect of the lives of hard-working families. Since taking office, we have invested billions of dollars into British Columbian communities. We are making a real difference in the everyday lives of Surrey residents. In total, our government has spent $1.5 billion on local projects since 2006. This includes the new RCMP headquarters in Green Timbers, the South Fraser Perimeter Road and the new Surrey Library.
I have personally made over 50 announcements, totalling more than $40 million. All were in Surrey and most in Fleetwood—Port Kells. These investments are resulting in local jobs, local opportunities and local facilities for Surrey residents.
It is all about helping hard-working families, the unemployed, seniors and youth and it is also about improving our communities, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.
While the opposition parties support high taxes and high debt that will threaten jobs and set working families back, our Conservative government can be trusted to manage Canada's economy and keep taxes low for the people of Surrey. The province of British Columbia will receive record-high transfer payments to support health care, education and social programs. Specifically, B.C. will receive $6.1 billion in federal transfers this year, a 34% increase from under the Liberals.
Our government is acting prudently and decisively to ensure that Canada's economy creates good jobs and sustains a high quality of life for Canadian families.
We are proud of our plan that is lowering taxes and providing benefits directly to families in Surrey for them to reinvest in the Canadian economy. It is a plan that I will be happy to take to the doorsteps of the people in my riding.
With economic action plan 2015, our government remains squarely focused on the number one priority of Canadians, with a forward-looking plan to create jobs and grow the economy in British Columbia and across Canada. It is a good budget for Canada, for British Columbia and for Surrey.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2014-04-08 11:06 [p.4396]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-31, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.
Our government has worked tirelessly to deliver effective change for Canadians and to put Canada back on the road to balanced budgets.
After consultations across the country, we have produced a plan that not only works for Canadians but that will also make sure that Canada is financially sustainable. Our hon. colleague, the former finance minister, tabled a budget just weeks ago. Since then, my office has seen an outpouring of support from constituents who value trade, security, and prudent economic management.
The world has been hit by repeated crises over the past few years. It is becoming harder for governments to maintain the trust of markets. We are no longer allowed to believe that we can escape the costs of financial recklessness and ineptitude. The budget implementation act before us holds many measures that will markedly improve the lives of Canadians.
Our government is working to ensure that Canadians can fill the skills gap to both provide vital services and ensure viable livelihoods. By increasing paid internships for young Canadians, the government will commit $55 million to help recent graduates find work in their fields. By getting graduates to work, Canada can make the most of its skilled labour force and provide opportunities for young Canadians to flourish.
At the same time, the government will ensure that older workers have opportunities to find new employment. As Canadians are living longer, we must face the unexpected challenges posed by longevity beyond one's financial plan. By investing $75 million in training for older workers, our government will make sure that all Canadians can find good, skilled jobs.
Help is not limited to the young and the old. Through the job-matching service, this Conservative government will grease the wheels of commerce and ensure that employers and employees can find their perfect matches.
With Canada's ever-increasing integration, not only into the world economy but between provinces, it is vital for the federal government to play a role in smoothing labour markets across the country. Never before have we seen the kind of mobility we see today, nor have we realized the promise that such mobility creates for families and communities. It is not enough to be looking for a job. We need to support those who are currently training for jobs that will fill much needed positions through the Canada job grant and the Canada apprentice loan. The federal government is investing in high-skill jobs that are currently going unfilled in many parts of the country. By ensuring that Canada has the skilled tradespeople it needs, our government is making sure that the economy can function smoothly. This budget is about embracing the future with skilled jobs, a thriving economy, and a balanced budget.
Through this budget, rural communities will stand to benefit from improved broadband access in rural and remote areas of the country. It is important that Canadians in rural areas, like parts of the British Columbia interior and northern B.C., have an acceptable degree of access to the Internet. Failing to update Canada's digital infrastructure could doom those outside of well-covered areas to technological backwardness and put them at a perpetual disadvantage.
Investments in science and technology, such as the government's $222 million grant to the TRIUMF physics laboratory at the University of British Columbia, promises to pay dividends not just in commercial terms but in academic, intellectual, and technological advances.
British Columbians and Canadians stand to profit immensely from the measures presented in this budget.
The budget implementation act goes further by continuing the good work of the red tape reduction action plan. This budget will make life easier for small and medium-sized business owners.
In too many areas of Canadian life and work, excessive red tape holds us back. The Conservatives have demonstrated a commitment to making Canada work in a way that benefits consumers, workers, and citizens by removing arbitrary and wasteful barriers to businesses.
There are also significant changes to the tax code. The tax code is not a subject that gets many people excited, but by eliminating over 800,000 payroll deduction remittances to the Canada Revenue Agency every year, this government will be helping over 50,000 small businesses lower costs imposed by bureaucracy.
Our government is always concerned about the security of Canadians. For any number of reasons, the lives and well-being of Canadians can be in danger, and it is a key role of government to offer solutions. By investing a further $25 million, we are aiming to reduce violence against aboriginal women and girls. This sector of our community is often the target of abuse above and beyond that faced by others,. They deserve a government that comes to their protection.
Our government will invest $11 million to upgrade the earthquake monitoring systems that protect the homes of my constituents in the Lower Mainland and in high-risk areas across the country.
Over one million net new jobs have been created since the recession ended in July 2009. During the crisis and afterward, our government has provided a steady hand at the tiller, ensuring that Canada's policies work toward stability, growth, and prosperity.
Our banking system has been ranked the most stable in the world for the sixth year running by the World Economic Forum. The numbers do not lie. The deficit will be a meagre $2.9 billion this year, with a $6.4 billion surplus coming next year. This is a momentous achievement. When the previous government balanced the books, it did so by raising taxes and slashing transfers to the provinces. Our government has none neither. In fact, we have done the compete opposite. Next year, our government will provide British Columbia with $4.17 billion through the Canada health transfer, an all-time high. Not only that, this is $1.3 billion more than under the previous Liberal government. That is a 49% increase.
As well, we have reduced the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years. Our strong record of tax relief has meant savings of nearly $3,400 for a typical family of four in 2014. Without raising taxes on Canadians or simply moving costs to other levels of government, the Conservatives have a credible plan for long-term fiscal success. The opposition has made it clear that it will raise taxes and then increase spending beyond even that. Therefore, I commend our Conservative government for such a thoughtful and solid document.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 16:58 [p.4679]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-25.
Bill C-25 proposes to establish pooled registered pension plans, extending pension coverage to the self-employed and those who work for small companies. It is geared at those small businesses and entrepreneurs, who do not have access to affordable pension plans and will help them secure financial freedom in their retirement.
Speaking with residents in my riding, especially those approaching retirement age, there is grave concern for their future. More and more I am hearing worries over whether they have enough money for their retirement.
The next generation of retirees includes a large number of workers without pensions who are left to their own devices and facing an uncertain financial future. As formal pension plans become increasingly less common, many Canadians face a savings burden that many are unable to shoulder.
For a big chunk of the population, for the self-employed, for those who work at small businesses, for professionals, for immigrants, a secure, comfortable lifestyle after working for years is now in question. At a time when our population is aging, more than six out of ten Canadians have no formal pension plan. That is more than eight million Canadians.
Statistics Canada finds the percentage of the population with some sort of pension has been dropping steadily for three decades, to 38% of Canadian workers in 2007 from 46% in 1977.
The problem is most acute at smaller businesses. There are about 5.1 million Canadians, or 48% of the private sector workforce, at small companies.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, only about 15% of small and medium-sized businesses offer some form of retirement savings plan for their employees.
A joint federal-provincial working group, established in May 2009, undertook an in-depth examination of retirement income adequacy in Canada. The working group concluded that while overall the Canadian retirement income system was performing well, some modest and middle-income households were at risk of not saving enough for retirement. From the working group's exhaustive research came a plan to pursue a framework for a new type of pension plan.
Our government aims to help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. There will be an innovative new pension plan designed to address the lack of low cost, large-scale retirement savings options available to many Canadians.
Pooled registered pension plans, or PRPPs, are defined contribution pension plans that will be available to employers, employees and the self-employed.
The design features of PRPPs will remove a lot of the traditional barriers that might have kept some employers in the past from offering pension plans to their employees. The design of these plans will also be straightforward to allow for simple enrolment and management.
A third party PRPP administrator will take on most of the responsibilities that employers bear in existing pension plans, including the administrative and legal duties associated with administering a pension plan.
By pooling pension savings, PRPPs will offer Canadians greater purchasing power. Basically, Canadians will be able to buy in bulk. Achieving lower prices than would otherwise be available means they will get greater returns on their savings and more money will be left in their pockets when they retire.
PRPPs are also intended to be largely harmonized from province to province, which also lowers administrative costs. In short, PRPPs would be efficiently managed, privately administered pension arrangements that would provide greater choice to employers and individuals, thereby promoting pension coverage and retirement savings.
Reaction to Bill C-25 has been overwhelmingly positive. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce believes that pooled registered pension plans would give businesses the flexibility and tools they need to help their employees save for retirement. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation feels the legislation is a very good legislation, both for Canadians planning for retirement and for taxpayers. All the provinces are on board with the idea. British Columbia finance minister, Kevin Falcon, believes that our government has “responded to a real need out there in providing pension opportunities for small business people and those that don't have access to their own private pension plans”.
Pooled registered pension plans are the latest in a series of important steps our government has taken to strengthen Canada's retirement income system. This system is already seen around the world by experts like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as a model that succeeds in reducing poverty among seniors and in providing high levels of income replacement to seniors.
We recognize, however, that we can always do more. That is why we have already made a number of targeted improvements to the system. Bill C-25 is just one more step our government has taken to assist Canadians as they age and enter their retirement years.
Since first coming to office, we have offered more than $2.3 billion in annual targeted tax relief specifically for our seniors. We have also provided over $2 billion in annual tax relief for seniors and pensioners. We have completely removed 85,000 seniors from the tax roles. We have raised the GIS exemption from $500 to $3,500. We have introduced pension income splitting. We have introduced an automatic renewal of the GIS, meaning that our seniors no longer have to reapply each year. We have made significant investments in affordable housing for low-income seniors. We have raised the age credit amount twice. We have doubled the pension income credit. We have provided a top-up benefit to the guaranteed income supplement that will provide up to $600 extra per year for single seniors and up to $840 per year for senior couples. We have introduced the tax-free savings account. We have modernized and streamlined the application process for the Canada pension plan and old age security, making it easier for seniors to apply and receive their benefits. We have allocated $220 million over five years to the targeted initiative for older workers, which has thus far assisted over 10,000 unemployed older workers.
In addition, we have appointed a Minister of State for Seniors, someone who can bring the concerns of older Canadians to the cabinet table and stand up on their behalf. We also created the National Seniors Council to provide advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of seniors.
Our government is supporting older Canadians and we are committed to ensuring that they have the opportunity to enjoy their retirement in comfort with an improved quality of life.
Bill C-25 is important legislation that deserves the support of all members in the House. We would be helping millions of Canadians save for retirement and more easily meet their retirement goals.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:09 [p.4680]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to let opposition members know there is a lot of confusion regarding this plan. I will make it very clear once again, as did the members who spoke before me on the Conservative side. This plan would help millions of Canadians save for retirement more easily by introducing pooled registered pension plans. This new, low cost and accessible option would help more Canadians meet their goals.
This is especially important for those working for smaller businesses and the self-employed. The PRPPs are a new kind of defined contribution pension plan that would be available to employers, employees and the self-employed. The PRPPs would improve the range of retirement savings options for Canadians. They would provide an accessible, straightforward and administratively low cost retirement option for employers to offer their employees, allowing individuals who currently may not participate in a pension plan, such as—
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:11 [p.4681]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about this plan in answering the member's question. This is a good plan. We are standing up for Canadian families, businesses, employers, employees and small businesses. They will really benefit from this plan. As I have said before, this is a good plan.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2012-01-31 17:13 [p.4681]
Mr. Speaker, the member should know that about eight million low- and middle-income Canadians have no workplace pension plans. This includes nearly 2.7 million self-employed workers, one-third of whom are women. Pooled registered pension plans are geared at small businesses and entrepreneurs who have had no access to affordable pension plans. This is a good plan and he should understand that.
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