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Canadians understand the extraordinary potential of their country. Canada is a place where people can realize their dreams; where families can enjoy a quality of life that is second to none, and where businesses and organizations can achieve excellence on a global scale.
All of us can be proud of what Canada stands for in today's world. We are a successful, independent nation that believes in tolerance, justice and providing a helping hand to the less fortunate. As the world changes, Canadians need to work together to make Canada even more prosperous and strong.
That's why Canada's New Government has developed Advantage Canada: Building a Strong Economy for Canadians. Advantage Canada is a strategic, long-term economic plan designed to improve our country's economic prosperity both today and in the future. It will strengthen our nation, and show a modern, ambitious and dynamic Canada to the world.
Advantage Canada is optimistic, but realistic. It is visionary, but pragmatic and results-oriented. It is ambitious, but grounded in the realities of world markets, and of Canada's existing economic and social realities.
Canadians are a proud, hard-working, ambitious people who want better lives for themselves, their children and future generations.
That's why this plan is focused on helping people and businesses strive for excellence. It will help all Canadians improve their quality of life and achieve their dreams. It will create jobs, help entrepreneurs start businesses, and provide the wealth Canada needs to invest in health care and strong communities. It will shape Canada's future through principles and policies that will help us to reach our full potential.
Advantage Canada is a plan that will help Canadians to build a strong economy. Government has an important role to play in creating the right conditions for Canadians-and Canadian businesses and organizations-to thrive. This plan will create new opportunities and choices for Canadians.
Canada is back: we are fully assuming our role in world affairs and we stand on the best economic footing of any of the Group of Seven (G7) economies. We are an emerging energy superpower that is taking action to make concrete improvements to our environmental sustainability. This economic plan will make a strong Canada even stronger, by building a country that is a formidable economic player in the world.
The world economy is changing. New players are emerging as major economic powers. Competition in world markets is fierce. Meanwhile, Canada's baby boomers are set to retire in record numbers, testing our capacity to maintain our improved standard of living. These are challenges we will meet head-on. And as we adapt, these global changes will bring tremendous new opportunities for Canadians.
To that end, Canada's New Government committed in Budget 2006 to develop this plan.
Other countries-from Ireland to Singapore to the United Kingdom-are developing competitive advantages based on their own strengths. Given Canada's social, demographic and economic circumstances, we have the opportunity to create competitive advantages of our own.
Advantage Canada is focused on creating five Canadian advantages that will help us improve our quality of life and succeed on the world stage. These are:
Advantage Canada is based on four core principles. These principles are prisms that will guide policy decisions to improve our quality of life and make Canada a world leader for today and future generations.
The principles are:
When government policies and plans are complementary, their positive impact is multiplied. That is why Advantage Canada's policies and plans build upon one another, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The following is a summary of Advantage Canada's policies and plans.
When governments are good at the things they need to do, everyone benefits. Making governments more focused on the things they need to do well will improve services and help build a climate for the overall economy to perform better. Advantage Canada will:
Talented, creative people are the most critical contributor to a successful national economy over the long term. At a time when Canada's population is aging and labour shortages are very real, governments must do what they can to help people enter the labour market and reach their full potential. Advantage Canada will:
The world economy's ground rules have changed in recent years. Government has an important role to ensure that Canadian people, businesses and organizations have the advantages they need to succeed on a global scale. Advantage Canada will:
Excessive tax and regulatory burdens are holding Canadian businesses back. These burdens have harmed our country's productivity performance for too long. The time has come for action. Advantage Canada will:
Long-term economic success requires the discipline to focus on the principles and policies of this plan. It also requires sticking with the plan. That's why Advantage Canada is a multi-year strategy that will require commitment. Achieving the economic and societal benefits of this plan will take time. For this plan to truly be successful, it will take strong leadership from governments across Canada, commitment by the private sector and the dedication and energy of the Canadian people.
Advantage Canada will grow our standard of living and improve our quality of life. It will create good jobs, prosperity and new opportunities for Canadian families. Working together-governments, businesses, organizations and people-there is nothing we cannot achieve.
Through this plan, working towards this common purpose, we will remain a shining example to the rest of the world of what a truly great, prosperous and compassionate nation can be.
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