The 2010 federal budget was just announced for the fiscal year that starts April 1, 2010.

What will this mean for you, your family and your community? In short, it means that the Government of Canada will be delivering year two of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Last year’s 2009 federal budget created Canada’s Economic Action Plan, a two-year plan of extraordinary measures to combat the worst global recession in over 60 years.

We are now entering year two of this Economic Action Plan and our economy is turning around. But more needs to be done, and the number one priority in the 2010 federal budget is jobs, jobs, and more jobs. More than 135,000 new jobs have been created since July; our job creation in Canada stands in stark contrast to the continuing job losses in the United States. More than 15,000 infrastructure projects have been started, including many here in Wellington-Halton Hills. The 2010 federal budget will invest another $19 billion to stimulate our economy and complete the rapid rollout of job creation and stimulus projects.

But many Canadians still find themselves out of work, or underemployed. That is why the federal budget also has specific new initiatives, including new money to help unemployed Canadians find jobs, a continuation of the five extra weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, a furtherance of enhanced EI benefits for long-tenured workers, an extension of work-sharing agreements to a maximum of 78 weeks, and new money to help young Canadians find jobs.

In addition, the federal budget also takes action to help our manufacturing sector by eliminating all remaining tariffs on machinery, equipment and goods imported by our manufacturers. This will attract investment, enhance competition, and reduce barriers for Canadian manufacturers. It will also make Canada one of the first tariff-free zones for industrial manufacturers. When fully implemented, the elimination of these tariffs will provide $300 million in annual duty savings for Canadian manufacturers, which in turn, will spur investment and growth. This investment and growth will create new manufacturing jobs.

All these extraordinary measures in our two-year Economic Action Plan have meant incurring deficits. Despite these deficits, Canada continues to be the envy of the international community, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the G7. However, once the economic recovery is solidly entrenched, our government will enact a plan to reduce the deficit and move back toward a balanced budget.

Our deficit reduction plan has three key points. First, we will wind down stimulus spending as planned and on schedule at the end of the upcoming fiscal year (which ends March 31, 2011). Second, we will restrain growth in government spending in specific areas. Third, we will undertake a comprehensive review of government spending on overhead and administration. By these measures, we will cut the deficit in half in two years and by two-thirds in three years. Shortly after that, the budget will be brought back to balance.

While deficits are a long-term concern, our immediate focus and priority is on jobs and growth. It is in difficult economic times like this that the Government of Canada is called on to help Canadians who need the help most. That is my priority and our government’s plan.

If you would like more information on how the 2010 federal budget will affect you, or how you can take advantage of some of the programs in the 2010 federal budget, please call me at (866) 878 5556, or email me at