Calgary, November 8, 2011

Archived - Harper Government Takes Action to Support Jobs and Growth

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the Harper Government is taking targeted action to support jobs and economic growth. The Minister made the announcement as he released an update of the Government’s economic and fiscal projections, which shows Canada remains on track to eliminate the federal deficit over the medium term.

“Our Government intends to stick to our low-tax plan for jobs and growth, which includes returning to fiscal balance in the medium term, continuing with our deficit reduction action plan to find savings within government spending, and taking targeted actions to encourage economic growth and job creation,” said Minister Flaherty.

Canada weathered the global recession better than most other industrialized countries, and is the only Group of Seven (G-7) country to have more than recovered all of the jobs and economic output lost during the recession. Almost 600,000 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended, and the unemployment rate has declined to 7.3 per cent, down significantly from a peak of 8.7 per cent during the recession.

To continue to support jobs and growth, the update also announces:

  • A reduction in the maximum potential increase in Employment Insurance premium rates in 2012 to 5 cents from 10 cents to further help Canadian workers and employers.
  • Temporary extension of an enhancement to the Work-Sharing Program, which has helped stabilize Canada’s job market, by providing an additional extension of up to 16 weeks for active, recently terminated or new work-sharing agreements until October 2012.

In presenting the updated fiscal projections, Minister Flaherty noted that the global economic outlook is marked by an unusually high degree of uncertainty. In light of this uncertainty, the fiscal planning assumptions include an increased adjustment for risk in the near term that lowers the revenue projections. “These projections reflect the Government’s prudent approach to fiscal management,” the Minister added.

Minister Flaherty also said that the Government will continue to monitor closely the global and Canadian economic situation, and if necessary the Government has the capacity to respond in a flexible and measured manner to continue to support Canadian jobs and economic growth.

“This plan is reasonable and realistic,” said Minister Flaherty. “Our deficit reduction goal is not for deficit reduction in and of itself; the motive is good fiscal stewardship. Just as families practise good household management by balancing their books, so must the Government.”

Minister Flaherty also announced that the Government of Canada and the Bank of Canada have agreed to renew Canada’s flexible inflation-target regime for another five years to the end of 2016. Under the renewed agreement, the inflation target will continue to be the 2 per cent mid-point of the 1 to 3 per cent inflation-control range.

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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