Ottawa Journal (February 02 – February 06, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.
Truly these are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. In Budget 2009 – Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the federal government has laid out its plan to stimulate the economy, protect Canadians hit hardest, and to secure Canada’s 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, Canada is weathering the storm.
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.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan responds to this reality by providing significant stimulus to the economy to help protect and create jobs, to support families by cutting taxes, and to prepare our country for success in the years ahead with meaningful investments.
The Economic Action Plan includes initiatives to stimulate the economy:
- Income and payroll tax cuts to boost income and get the economy working again;
- A home renovation program to spur construction, create jobs, and help Canadians improve their homes;
- Roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure to boost the economy, create jobs and make Canada stronger for the long-term;
- Post secondary education funding and broadband expansion to prepare for the jobs of the future.
The Action Plan also includes initiatives to protect the economy:
- Increases in the support under Employment Insurance for Canadians who have lost their jobs;
- Skills training to help people get back into the workforce; and,
- Significant money to help communities hardest hit by the downturn.
Our government is addressing the reduced availability of financing in Canada that has resulted from the global credit crisis. Budget 2009 includes measures to help Canadians and businesses get the financing they need, including car loans and mortgages. Our government is also making up to $200 billion in financing available to credit-worthy borrowers. This initiative will provide support to the small and medium sized businesses that drive our economy, so they can invest in their operations to help grow, create, and maintain jobs.
Our government recognizes that unique challenges across the country have resulted from this recession, which will require region-specific solutions. This is why we are providing short-term support for key sectors across the country. In Ontario, Budget 2009 includes:
- Action to Stimulate Consumer Spending. Providing $8.3 billion for the Canadian Skills and Transition Strategy and delivering $20 billion in personal tax relief over 2008-09 and the next five fiscal years.
- Immediate Action to Build Infrastructure. Accelerating and expanding recent historic investments in infrastructure with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure spending over five years.
- Action to Stimulate Housing Construction. Providing $8.4 billion to build quality housing, to stimulate construction and enhance energy efficiency. Measures include a renovation tax credit providing up to $1,350 to an estimated 4.6 million Canadian homeowners.
- Action to Support Businesses and Communities. Addressing short-term economic challenges facing sectors, regions, and communities as a result of the global economic crisis.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides the stimulus and tax relief required to help Canadians weather the global recession and allow us to emerge a stronger country once the storm passes.