Ottawa, April 26, 2012

Archived - Harper Government Focused on the Economy with the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today introduced the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act. The Act proposes to legislate key elements of Economic Action Plan 2012, as well as other previously announced measures.

“While Canada has created almost 700,000 net new jobs since July 2009, we recognize global economic turbulence remains and too many Canadians are still looking for work,” said Minister Flaherty. “That’s why Economic Action Plan 2012 takes responsible action to support the economy now and over the long term, while keeping taxes low and returning to balanced budgets.”

The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act helps bolster Canada’s economic strengths and address the important challenges confronting the economy over the long term 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 those 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.

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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