Budget 2009 is Canada’s Economic Action Plan for a time of global economic uncertainty

Georgetown/Fergus – Yesterday the Conservative government announced Budget 2009 – Canada’s Economic Action Plan – a bold multi-year approach to stimulate the economy and protect the country during the current global recession.

“While Canada is coping with a global economic downturn better than most industrialized countries, our government has tabled a plan to help Canadians through this downturn,” said Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills. He added, “These targeted measures will build on Canada’s long-term strengths, while helping address short-term challenges. Even with the projected deficits, Canada will still be well ahead of other OECD countries in terms of our debt to GDP ratio.”

The plan will provide almost $30 billion in support, equivalent to 1.9% of GDP, to the Canadian economy this year. Wellington -Halton Hills will especially benefit from the plan, through:

A Plan to Build Infrastructure by providing Ontario with its share of $4.5 billion over two years for infrastructure projects such as road, water and sewer system upgrades across the province. It also accelerates payments up to $75 million over two years for additional infrastructure projects.

A Plan to Reduce Taxes and Freeze Employment Insurance Rates by providing the people and businesses of Ontario with tax relief of $9.1 billion over the next five years and providing billions to keep Employment Insurance rates low for 2009-10.

A Plan to Stimulate Housing Construction by providing billions to build quality social housing, stimulate construction and enhance energy efficiency. The new renovation tax credit will provide up to $1,350 per homeowner, which will benefit Ontario homeowners by up to $1.3 billion over two years.

A Plan to Improve Access to Financing for businesses to obtain the resources they need to invest, grow and create new jobs and give consumers the adequate financing they need.

A Plan to Help Canadians Hit Hardest by the Economic Downturn including enhancements to Employment Insurance and more funding for skills and training.

Support for Businesses and Communities by protecting jobs and supporting sectoral adjustments during this extraordinary crisis with $7.5 billion in extra support for sectors, regions and communities such as the forestry and manufacturing sectors.

Ontario will also benefit from specific initiatives including more than $1 billion over five years for a Southern Ontario Development Agency (SODA) program to help workers, communities and business in the region; $50 million to the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo for the construction of a new world-class research facility; an additional $407 million to VIA Rail Canada to support improvements to the Quebec City to Windsor corridor; and a share of $2 billion to support deferred maintenance and repair projects at post-secondary institutions.

In addition to these measures, Ontario will continue to receive historically high and growing federal transfers in 2009-10 that will total $15.8 billion – an increase of $1.5 billion from last year and a $4.3 billion increase over the former Liberal government. In addition, Ontario will see growing health ($9.6 billion) and social ($4.2 billion) transfers to help the province pay for vital health care, educational and social services on which families depend.

“With this plan, Canada will emerge from this global recession with better infrastructure, a more skilled labour force, lower taxes and a more competitive economy,” said Chong. “We are listening to Canadians. This is the plan Canadians wanted, and this is the plan that will help Canadians through this downturn.”

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Budget 2009:  our Economic Action Plan for Canada

On January 26th, our government released Budget 2009, which details our Economic Action Plan for Canada. We are living through an extraordinary downturn in the global economy. These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. That is why we created a plan that stimulates the economy, protects Canadians hit hardest and secures our long-term prosperity.

These times are unprecedented. A global recession that began in the United States with a crisis in their financial institutions has spread. It is more serious than anything we have experienced in generations. Thankfully, we are weathering the storm best than most other economies.

Around the world we have seen banks fail and stock markets decline dramatically. In less than four months since the last election, the global economy has weakened beyond what anyone predicted.

Our Economic Action Plan responds to this reality by providing significant stimulus to the economy, protects those most vulnerable and increases the availability of financing in Canada.

The Economic Action Plan includes initiatives to stimulate the economy:
– A plan to reduce income taxes and freeze payroll taxes to boost income;
– A plan to create a new renovation tax credit to help homeowners with home improvement and stimulate construction;
– A plan to construct roads, bridges, buildings and public transit to boost the economy, create jobs and secure our long-term prosperity;
– A plan to expand post-secondary education funding to prepare for the jobs of the future.

The Action Plan includes initiatives to protect the economy:
– A plan to increase Employment Insurance benefits for the unemployed
– A plan to increase funding for skills training for the unemployed.

The Action Plan includes initiatives to increase the availability of financing:
– A plan to make up to $200 billion in financing available to credit worthy borrowers to help Canadians and businesses get the financing they need, including car loans and mortgages. This will help small and medium sized businesses, so they can grow, create and maintain jobs.

Our government recognizes that unique challenges face southern Ontario. This is why we are assisting our region with:
– $1 billion over five years for a new Southern Ontario Development Agency (SODA) to help workers, communities and business in the region;
– $50 million for the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo for the construction of a new world-class research facility;
– $407 million for VIA Rail Canada to improve the Quebec City-Windsor corridor; and,
– A share of $2 billion to maintain and repair buildings at colleges and universities

As a result of these extraordinary measures, the government is projecting deficits of $64 billion over the next two years. In spite of these significant deficits, we will emerge out of this recession in very good shape, especially when compared to other G7 economies, as the chart below shows.

If you wish to find out more about our Economic Action Plan for Canada, please contact me at chongm@parl.gc.ca or at (866) 878 5556.