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Minister Peter Van Loan Highlights Benefits of Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to Ontario

Harper government committed to low-tax plan for jobs and growth

(No. 117 - March 23, 2011- 2:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today highlighted the benefits of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to families and businesses in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The low-tax plan for jobs and growth will keep the federal government on track to return to balanced budgets in the medium term.

“Our government is focused on the economy, on supporting hard-working Canadians and their families and on completing and securing the economic recovery,” said Minister Van Loan. “Our plan will keep taxes low for Ontario families, invest in jobs and growth, and control government spending to eliminate the deficit.”

Building on the sustainable, low-tax environment and growth-friendly policies put in place since 2006, the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan will focus on supporting job creation, supporting families and communities, investing in innovation, education and training, and preserving Canada’s fiscal advantage.

The Harper government highlighted important initiatives in the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan that will support Canadian families and businesses, including:

  • Providing a temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business to encourage additional hiring by this vital sector.
  • Supporting the manufacturing and processing sector by extending the accelerated capital cost allowance rate for investment in manufacturing or processing machinery and equipment for two years.
  • Enhancing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for those seniors who rely almost exclusively on their Old Age Security and the GIS and may be at risk of experiencing financial difficulty. This will improve the financial security of more than 680,000 seniors across Canada.
  • Introducing a new $2,000 Family Caregiver Tax Credit amount that will provide tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependent relatives including, for the first time, spouses, common-law partners and minor children.
  • Introducing a new Children’s Arts Tax Credit of up to $500 per child for eligible fees associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities.
  • Providing nearly $870 million over two years to address climate change and air quality, including the extension of the ecoENERGY Retrofit—Homes program that will help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs.
  • Enhancing and expanding Canada Student Loans and Grants for part-time and full-time post-secondary students.
  • Encouraging skills certification by making all occupational, trade and professional examination fees eligible for tax relief.
  • Establishing 10 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs, some of which will be active in fields relevant to Canada’s Digital Economy Strategy.
  • Delivering more than $500 million in new ongoing savings from the 2010 round of strategic reviews.
  • Protecting the integrity and fairness of the Canadian tax system by closing tax loopholes.

The government is focused on securing Canada’s economic recovery and on improving the financial security of Canadian workers, seniors and families.

“Our government’s Plan is helping Canadian families and seniors, and we are committed to continue helping them during this fragile global economic recovery,” said Minister Van Loan. “By focusing on investments that promote sustainable economic growth, our government will seek to improve the quality of life for all Canadians, while preserving the public services and culture that define us as a nation.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada