April 03, 2008
MP REPORT – April 2008
Our government recognizes that maintaining a healthy and sustainable environment is directly related to the health and prosperity of communities and their residents. Supporting this project in Carleton – Mississippi Mills is one of the ways we are delivering results.
I was also pleased to announce that the federal government will invest an estimated $240,000 for repairs to the Small Craft Harbour facilities at Fitzroy Harbour and Constance Bay. These repairs will provide increased safety for all users.
On Tuesday, February 26th, 2008, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered our government’s third budget since being elected in January 2006 and it is balanced, focused, and prudent. Budget 2008 builds on decisive, pre-emptive action taken in the 2007 Fall Economic Update and during Winter 2008 to lower taxes for people and businesses, pay down our national debt, and provide targeted support to troubled industries.
This year alone the government is injecting $21 billion of stimulus into the Canadian economy as a result of all of our tax relief measures. As a share of the economy this is significantly greater than the stimulus package recently offered by the United States.
Budget 2008 provides funds for more frontline police officers, invests in improving the safety systems for food, consumer and health products, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It also takes action to help troubled industries by extending the capital cost allowance for new manufacturing equipment, establishes a $250 million Automotive Innovation Fund to help automakers meet the challenges of the future, and extends support for older workers.
Tax-Free Savings Account
The Conservative Government wants to make it easier for Canadians to plan for the future with confidence. That is why Budget 2008 is allowing more Canadians to keep more of what they save through the creation of Tax Free Savings Accounts. Now all Canadians will have the opportunity to save money in these accounts and all of the investment income they earn in these accounts will be tax free.
Every Canadian resident aged 18 or older will be able to contribute up to $5,000 per year to a personal Tax-Free Savings Account, with unused contributions being carried over for use in future years. Canadians will be able to withdraw these savings, tax-free, at any time, without penalizing themselves or limiting how much more they can contribute in the future.
Through the Tax-Free Savings Account Canadians now have one more tool they can use to save for their retirement. However, these accounts are for more than just retirement savings, as any Canadian will be able to access these savings at any point in their lives for whatever priority they choose.
For the third year in a row, the Conservative Government has introduced a balanced budget that is both focused and prudent. With the Tax-Free Savings Account it is now easier than ever for Canadians to plan for the future.
Investment for Ontario
Ontario will also benefit from continued targeted support in 2008-09, including:
- $515 million for infrastructure initiatives in Ontario. A further $117 million is being made available through the Public Transit Capital Trust from Budget 2006.
- Budget 2008 extends the Gas Tax Fund at $2 billion per year nationally beyond the current deadline of 2013-14 and makes it a permanent measure.
- $195 million for labour market training as part of a commitment of $500 million a year in new funding to provinces and territories, which begins this year.
- $303 million as its share of the following: the $1.5 billion Clean Air and Climate Change Trust, the $300 million HPV Immunization Trust (an immunization given to girls to protect them against the Human Papillomavirus which is associated with the development cervical cancer and certain STDs) and the $612 million Patient Wait Times Guarantee Trust.
- $8.6 billion through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of almost $523 million from last year, for a total of $22.6 billion for all provinces and territories. This funding will grow annually through a 6% escalator.
- $4.1 billion through the Canada Social Transfer. This funding will grow annually through a 3% escalator, which takes effect this year. For Ontario, this payment represents an increase of $931 million since 2005-06 – an increase of 29% – due mainly to the move to an equal per capita cash allocation of the CST.