Ottawa, June 18, 2012
2012-069

Archived - Canada Positioned for Long-term Success With Passage of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act by the House of Commons

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, applauded the House of Commons’ endorsement of Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act, which contains key measures from Economic Action Plan 2012.

“While our economy has performed relatively well during recent global economic turmoil, with the strongest record of job growth in the entire Group of Seven (G-7), Canada cannot be complacent,” said Minister Flaherty. “The global economy remains extremely fragile and challenges remain, as we see in ongoing events in Europe.”

The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act positions Canada for long-term success by:

Improving Conditions for Business Investment

  • Making the review process for major economic projects more timely and transparent while protecting the environment, and helping realize the objective of “one project, one review” in a clearly defined time period.
  • Improving access to modern, reliable seismic data for offshore resource development.
  • Extending the temporary 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors for an additional year to support junior mineral exploration.
  • Increasing travellers’ exemptions to modernize existing rules and facilitate border processes for Canadians bringing goods home from abroad.
  • Eliminating foreign investment restrictions for certain telecommunications companies.
  • Enhancing the governance and oversight framework for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to ensure its commercial activities are managed in a manner that promotes the stability of the financial system, contributing to the stability of the housing market and benefitting all Canadians.
  • Moving forward with a legislative framework for covered bonds to support financial stability by helping lenders find new sources of funding.

Investing in Training, Infrastructure and Opportunity

  • Making Employment Insurance (EI) a more efficient program that is focused on job creation and opportunities by removing disincentives to work and supporting unemployed Canadians.
  • Ensuring stable, predictable EI premium rates by limiting premium rate increases to 5 cents each year until the EI Operating Account is in balance, and then moving to a seven-year break-even rate.
  • Helping build a fast and flexible economic immigration system to meet Canada’s labour market needs by reducing the backlog in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, returning applications and refunding fees to certain federal skilled worker applicants who applied prior to February 27, 2008.

Supporting Families and Communities

  • Expanding health-related tax relief under the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) and income tax systems to better meet the health care needs of Canadians.
  • Helping Canadians with severe disabilities and their families by improving the Registered Disability Savings Plan.
  • Requiring federally regulated private sector employers to insure, on a go-forward basis, any long-term disability plans they offer to their employees.
  • Assisting provincial front-line delivery of health care and social programs by extending the temporary total transfer protection to 2012–13, representing $680 million in support to affected provinces.
  • Supporting major exhibitions at Canadian museums and galleries by modernizing the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program.
  • Promoting literacy by allowing certain charities and qualifying non-profit literacy organizations to claim a rebate of the GST they pay to acquire printed books to be given away.
  • Ensuring that charities devote their resources primarily to charitable, rather than political, activities, and enhancing public transparency and accountability in this area.

Ensuring Sustainable Social Programs and a Secure Retirement

  • Legislating the Government’s commitment to sustainable and predictable transfers to provinces and territories in support of health care, education and other programs and services.
  • Gradually increasing from 65 to 67 the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) starting in April 2023, and also allowing for the voluntary deferral of the basic OAS for up to five years starting on July 1, 2013, resulting in an actuarially adjusted higher OAS.
  • Putting in place a proactive enrolment regime for OAS and the GIS.

Responsible Management to Return to Balanced Budgets

  • Modernizing Canada’s currency by gradually eliminating the penny from Canada’s coinage system.
  • Refocusing government and programs.
  • Making it easier for Canadians and businesses to deal with their government.
  • Modernizing and reducing the back office.

“In a rapidly changing and turbulent global economy, where Canada faces increasing competition from emerging economies, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act takes the necessary, responsible action to tackle Canada’s long-term economic and financial challenges head on,” concluded Minister Flaherty. “I applaud the House of Commons for its support of a plan that will bolster Canada’s long-term economic strength and create more high-quality jobs for today and tomorrow.”

The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act now moves to the Senate for review and debate.

For further information, media may contact:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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