Ottawa Journal (March 15 – March 19, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)
On March 04, 2010, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, presented Budget 2010 in the House of Commons. This Budget works towards solidifying Canada’s economic recovery, while creating and protecting jobs. It also recognizes this recovery isn’t complete or certain. By taking a closer look at Budget 2010, we see that it focuses on the priorities of Canadians – jobs and growth, and continues to chart our way forward to restoring budgetary balance.
Budget 2010 has three broad aims. The first aim is to implement Year 2 of our Government’s Economic Action Plan, which includes $19 billion in new federal stimulus to create and maintain jobs, and to help Canadian workers and families during these uncertain times by providing:
- $3.2 billion in personal income tax relief;
- improving the taxation of the Universal Child Care Benefit so single parents receive comparable tax treatment to single-earner two-parent families;
- $10 million for the New Horizons for Seniors Program to support projects that focus on volunteering among seniors;
- over $4 billion in actions to create and protect jobs (including additional Employment Insurance benefits and more training opportunities to help unemployed Canadians);
- $7.7 billion in infrastructure stimulus to create jobs (to modernize infrastructure, support home ownership, and improve social housing across Canada);
- $1.9 billion to create the economy of tomorrow (to help develop and attract talented people, strengthen Canada’s capacity for world-leading research, improve commercialization, accelerate private sector investment, enhance the ability of Canadian firms to participate in global markets, and create a more competitive business environment); and
- $2.2. billion to support industries and communities (to support adjustment and provide job opportunities in all parts of Canada that have been hit hardest by the economic downturn and support for affected sectors).
Secondly, Budget 2010 invests in a limited number of new, targeted initiatives to create jobs and growth for the economy of tomorrow, while strengthening Canadian innovation, and establishing Canada as an investment and trade-friendly country. The Budget will do this by:
- temporarily extending the maximum length of work-sharing agreements to protect jobs;
- supporting the next generation of business leaders with $10 million in new funding for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation;
- providing $60 million in 2010-11 to assist more young Canadians while the labour market recovers;
- providing $45 million over five years to establish a post-doctoral fellowship program to help attract the research leaders of tomorrow;
- increasing the combined annual budgets of Canada’s research granting councils by an additional $32 million per year, plus an additional $8 million per year to the Indirect Costs of Research Program
- providing $48 million over two years for research, development, and application of medical isotopes;
- launching a new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program with $40 million over two years; and
- renewing an ongoing $49 million in annual funding for the regional development agencies to support innovation across Canada.
Furthermore, Budget 2010 takes decisive action to attract investment, enhance competition and reduces barriers for businesses by:
- making Canada a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers by eliminating all tariffs on machinery, equipment, and goods imported for further manufacturing;
- improving Canada’s system of international taxation to facilitate investment, cut red tape, and streamline the compliance process associated with the taxation of cross-border activity; and
- establishing a new Red Tape Reduction Commission
Thirdly, Budget 2010 aims to set out a clear plan to bring Canada’s finances back to balance over the medium term and well before any other Group of Seven (G7) country. It proposes to do this by first following through with the exit strategy built into the Economic Action Plan. The temporary measures introduced in the Plan will be wound down as originally planned. Our Government will also restrain spending through targeted measures by proposing $17.6 billion in savings over five years. Finally, our Government will undertake a comprehensive review of government administrative functions and overhead costs, in order to identify opportunities for additional savings and improve service delivery.
Budget 2010 is a focused plan which represents the needs of Canadians now and into the future. It recognizes the challenges Canada still currently faces as a result of the global economic recession, but also plans for the road ahead by ensuring the right conditions are in place for long-term and sustainable growth.