Burlington, Ontario, July 26, 2011

Archived - Minister of Finance Consults with Small-Business Leaders on Strengthening Canada’s Economy

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, accompanied by Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, today hosted a roundtable with a number of local small-business people to seek their views and suggestions concerning the general economic direction of the country.

This will be the first of several similar meetings this summer to prepare for the return of Parliament and the continued implementation of the Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the Government’s Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.

Minister Flaherty stated, “Our dialogue today occurs at a time when the Canadian economy is the envy of much of the developed world.  We have experienced seven straight quarters of economic growth.  About 590,000 more Canadians are working today than in July 2009.  Indeed, since mid-2009, Canada has had the strongest employment growth among the G7.  We have much to be proud of, but we must not forget that Canada is not an island and therefore, not immune to the challenges that come from elsewhere.”

The Minister praised small businesses as a vital part of Canada’s economy, creating jobs and economic activity in communities across the country.  He noted that they are key engines of wealth generation and play a critical role in sustaining the economic recovery.

Minister Flaherty highlighted a number of key Government initiatives to improve the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs.  This includes introducing a temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business, lowering the small business tax rate to 11 per cent from 12 per cent, and increasing the amount of small business income eligible for this reduced rate to $500,000 from $300,000.

In addition, the Government has declared 2011 the Year of the Entrepreneur, in order to help increase public awareness of the important role played by small businesses.

Among other Government actions to support a stronger Canadian economy, Minister Flaherty cited providing assistance to Canada’s manufacturing and processing sector by extending the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance rate for investment in machinery and equipment for two additional years, supporting business innovation, and opening new international markets for Canadian exporters through an ambitious trade agenda, including negotiating trade agreements with the European Union and India.

The Minister noted that, “All of these initiatives – and more – are designed to support economic growth and job creation in this country.  Canadians can be assured that, in our new mandate, we will continue to keep our focus on the economy – and keeping it on the right track.”

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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