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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
2011-09-26 17:24 [p.1470]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.
I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood--Port Kells to speak to the motion before the House, which seeks an extension of Canada's military engagement in Libya.
Canada has been at the forefront of international efforts in Libya, and from the outset has pushed for swift and decisive action. We are proud of the role Canada has played to support the Libyan people in their struggle to realize a new Libya. After 42 years of brutal dictatorship and one-man rule, the Libyan people have taken important steps to secure for themselves a brighter future.
The unanimous passing of United Nations Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 sent a very clear message: the murder of its own citizens by the Libyan regime and the gross violation of the population's human rights would not be tolerated by the international community and would carry serious consequences.
Canada's armed forces have played a leading role in preventing attacks and the threat of attacks against civilians. We have played a vital role in ensuring a positive outcome, but members opposite have lacked the will to see the mission to a successful conclusion.
In August the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which I am a member, met to discuss the ongoing situation in Libya. We heard from officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of National Defence.
At that time members discussed and debated the progress of the Canadian mission and ways in which Canada and the international community could improve the protection of civilians in the near and long terms. At that time the NDP walked out of the meeting and declared the mission to be at a standstill.
Just over a week after that meeting, most of the Libyan people, including those in Tripoli, were freed from the control of the Gadhafi regime. The NDP could not have been more wrong.
Despite the progress that has been made, Libya and its people still need our help. The job is not yet done. The reasons Parliament voted to endorse military action still exist, and so it is our position that Canada's role in Libya must continue.
We must remain committed to protecting civlians under threat of attack in Libya and continue to work with NATO allies and partners until the goal of the mission has been met. We must continue protecting civilians and civilian-populated areas. We must maintain the no-fly zone and we must enforce the arms embargo.
As it did in many countries swept up in the Arab awakening, change in Libya came suddenly. Mild, peaceful protests were met with overwhelming force and violence by an autocracy that had long maintained its control through fear and its monopoly of power through the use of violence.
The Gadhafis, first the father and then the son, promised “rivers of blood”. They promised to make the people of Libya pay in blood. They called anti-Gadhafi protestors “rats” and mercenaries who deserved the death penalty. They called upon forces to cleanse Libya house by house.
The Gadhafi regime chose to wage war on its own people and included acts of sexual violence to further the regime's military goals. Canada has been at the forefront of those demanding that the regime halt attacks against its own people and ensure that perpetrators of crimes are brought to justice.
Canada was among the first to call for the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court and strongly supported the creation by the human rights council of an international commission of inquiry into violations of human rights.
When used as a weapon of war, rape is a war crime. When used to systematically attack, suppress and terrorize, rape can be a crime against humanity. We condemn these attacks without reservation. These despicable acts underscore why Canada is, and should continue to be, part of the NATO mission.
Libya is a country in the grip of fundamental change. International consensus for action has come in the form of clear and very effective UN Security Council resolutions.
The Canadian and international response that followed the passage of resolutions 1970 and 1973 is one of which we can all be justly proud, and we must stay the course, not only in finishing our military mission but also in helping to assure the final outcome.
Libya's success will establish examples for the entire Arab world about how the traditions and values of the Arab world, an ancient and honoured culture, can make the transition to freedom, democracy, genuine rule of law and human security. These are the foundation stones of economic and social development.
As the Prime Minister has stated, “We presume no right to tell the Libyans how they should govern themselves, nor do we have unrealistic expectations”. It is not our place to tell the Libyans how to rebuild their country. We now expect the new government of Libya to fulfill its commitments to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
We remain committed to supporting these next steps to assist the Libyan people in their determination to rebuild a peaceful and prosperous society.
In Libya today, as the old regime is justly swept into the dustbin of history, the people are coming face to face with these very challenges. The role of Canada and the international community is to help Libyans meet them and find Libyan solutions for a Libyan future.
Members across the way have been saying that Canada's military role in Libya is finished. They say that we have done our part.
As I said previously, the reasons for which Parliament overwhelmingly supported our mission still exist, and so do the conditions that prompted the UN and NATO to act. Civilians in some parts of Libya still face the threat of Colonel Gadhafi and his regime. They still need our protection. Our part is not done yet. For this reason, I urge all members to support the motion.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:33 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, I want to let the hon. member know why we are in Libya. The reason for being in Libya is to protect the human rights of the Libyan people, and our job is not finished yet.
It is all about helping the Libyan people and the wonderful society there, the women out there, the children out there. Besides doing our part to ensure a new government, we have also acted swiftly to support those affected by the violence in Libya.
I would like to let the hon. member know what Canada has done there to date. Canada's total humanitarian response to the crisis in Libya is over $10 million. Canada is helping to address urgent medical requirements, basic humanitarian needs and the repatriation of those people who are displaced into neighbouring countries and who need our help urgently.
We are working toward that, and I would--
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:35 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, that is the very same reason we are in Libya: security. That is what is needed there.
If this mission is not extended, how are we going to help? For various reasons, we need to extend the mission so that we can help the Libyan people in Libya.
View Nina Grewal Profile
View Nina Grewal Profile
2011-09-26 17:36 [p.1471]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to let the hon. member know that I am very proud of the work our government is doing.
Our government is proud of the role Canada has played in supporting the Libyan people in their struggle to realize a new Libya. After 42 years of brutal dictatorship and one-man rule in that country, the Libyan people have taken important steps to secure for themselves a brighter future. While the job is not done yet, the Libyan-led efforts to realize their country's potential still continue to advance.
We now expect the new government of Libya to fulfill its commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. That is what I would like to let the hon. member know.
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