These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. With Budget 2009 – Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the federal government has laid out its plan to stimulate the economy, protect Canadians hit hardest and secure Canada’s long-term prosperity.
These times are unprecedented. A global recession that began in the United States with a crisis in their financial institutions has spread. It is more serious than anything we have experienced in generations. Thankfully, Canada is weathering the storm.
Around the world we have seen banks fail and stock markets decline dramatically. In less than four months since the last election, the global economy has weakened beyond what anyone predicted.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan responds to this reality by providing significant stimulus to the economy to help protect and create jobs, to support families by cutting taxes, and to prepare our country for success in the years ahead with meaningful investments.
The Economic Action Plan includes initiatives to stimulate the economy:
- Support for farmers through a $500 million agricultural flexibility program;
- Income and payroll tax cuts to boost income and get the economy working again;
- A home renovation program to spur construction, create jobs, and help Canadians improve their homes;
- Roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure to boost the economy, create jobs and make Canada stronger for the long-term;
- Post secondary education funding and broadband expansion to prepare for the jobs of the future.
- Increases in the support under Employment Insurance for Canadians who have lost their jobs;
- Skills training to help people get back into the workforce; and,
- Significant money to help communities hardest hit by the downturn.
Our Conservative Government is addressing the reduced availability of financing in Canada that has resulted from the global credit crisis. Budget 2009 includes measures to help Canadians and businesses get the financing they need, including car loans and mortgages. Our Conservative government is making up to $200 billion in financing available to credit worthy borrowers. This initiative will provide support to the small and medium sized businesses that drive our economy, so they can invest in their operations to help grow, create and maintain jobs.
Our Government recognizes that unique challenges across the country have resulted from this recession, which will require region-specific solutions. This is why we are providing short-term support for key sectors across the country. In particular, Saskatchewan benefits from several measures:
Immediate Action to Support Agriculture. Supporting farmers with a $500 million agricultural flexibility program that will facilitate the implementation of new initiatives, both federally and in partnership with provinces, territories and industry.
- Investing $50 million over the next three years to strengthen slaughterhouse capacity across Canada.
- Amending the Farm Improvement and Marketing Loans Act to help make credit available to new farmers, support inter-generational farm transfers, and modify eligibility criteria for agricultural co-operatives.
Immediate Action to Build Infrastructure. Accelerating and expanding recent historic investments in infrastructure with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure spending over five years.
- Provides Saskatchewan with its share of $4.5 billion over two years for infrastructure projects.
- Accelerates payments up to $75 million over two years for infrastructure projects in Saskatchewan.
Action to Stimulate Housing Construction. Providing $8.4 billion to build quality housing, to stimulate construction and enhance energy efficiency. Measures include a renovation tax credit providing up to $1,350 to an estimated 4.6 million Canadian homeowners.
- Saskatchewan will receive its share of the investments in social housing.
- Implements a temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC), which will benefit homeowners in Saskatchewan up to $89 million over two years.
Action to Support Families. Helping families by raising the income thresholds at which the National Child Benefit supplement and the base benefit of the Canada Child Tax Benefit are phased out.
- Provides $49.6 million to raise the income threshold, translating into up to $436 for a family with two children.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides the stimulus and tax relief required to help Canadians weather the global recession and allow us to emerge a stronger country once the storm passes.