Government focuses on jobs and growthdécembre 6, 2011
As 2011 draws to a close and the new year quickly approaches, I would like to reflect on Canada’s achievements to date, and update you on new measures being taken in the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan that will further support the Canadian economy.
Your federal government remains focused on what matters most— job creation and economic growth.
Canada has now created nearly 600,000 net new jobs since the recession ended in July 2009— the strongest job growth record in the G-7. We are also the only G-7 country that has regained all the jobs lost during the global economic downturn. This is because of our government’s job-creating measures, in the first phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which promoted hiring and boosted Canada’s economy.
Reports indicate that we are on the right track. Multiple research firms, including Standard & Poors, recently re-affirmed Canada’s Triple-A credit rating due to what they called our “superior political and economic profile”. Canada’s international reputation for sound economic policy was further strengthened when Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney was appointed as Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, an international body dedicated to overseeing the global financial system.
However, Canada is not an island and we are not immune from the continuing economic crisis in Europe and the United States.
That is why your federal government is taking additional steps to create jobs and growth. We are creating the Hiring Credit for Small Business, to encourage small businesses to hire new employees. We are reducing the proposed increases to 2012 Employment Insurance premiums from 10 cents to 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings, thus reducing the payroll tax burden on employers. We are protecting jobs by extending Employment Insurance Work-Sharing Agreements for up to 16 weeks. We are introducing legislating to create Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), a new pension option for employers to offer employees that will make retirement saving easier for Canadians without a pension. PRPPs will be administratively low-cost and straightforward and will allow accumulated benefits to move with people from job to job, enabling people to benefit from lower management costs in a large, pooled pension plan.
We are also focused on reducing the deficit by achieving at least $4 billion in ongoing annual savings by 2014-15. However, the continuing global economic crisis has meant that we have had to lower our growth assumptions for Canada, and we do not expect to return to surplus until 2015-16, one year later than predicted during the election campaign.
Your federal government remains focused on the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan in order to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians. Our approach to managing the economy will be guided by flexibility and pragmatism, allowing us to respond to the evolving economic crisis in Europe and the United States in a way that protects Canadian jobs and the economy.