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Our Government is also committed to expanding trade with emerging markets in Asia § and the Americas through our engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and active negotiations with Japan, South Korea, and India.
To further promote the success of Canadian exporters, our Government will launch a § comprehensive new plan to assist Canadian businesses as they expand abroad.
The United States remains Canada’s biggest and best customer. Our Government will § continue implementing the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Action Plans to speed the flow of people, goods and services between our two countries.
Here at home, our Government will continue to work to remove barriers to trade § between provinces and territories that cost jobs, inconvenience Canadians, and defy common sense. For instance, our Government will work with British Columbia and Ontario, and other willing jurisdictions, to set up a cooperative regulatory system for securities and capital markets.
And our Government will amend the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act to allow § Canadians to take beer and spirits across provincial boundaries for their own use.
Resource Development Since Canada’s earliest days, our economy has been built on our abundant natural resources.
Directly and indirectly, the natural resource sector employs 1.8 million Canadians, many in skilled, high-paying jobs. Resource development generates 30 billion dollars annually in revenue that supports health care, education and programs Canadians cherish.
Canada’s energy reserves are vast—sufficient to fuel our growing economy and supply international customers for generations to come. However, for Canadians to benefit fully from our natural resources we must be able to sell them. A lack of key infrastructure threatens to strand these resources at a time when global demand for Canadian energy is soaring.
We must seize this moment. The window for gaining access to new markets will not remain open indefinitely. Now more than ever, our future prosperity depends on responsible development of these resources. At the same time, our Government has taken action to ensure that Canada’s resources do not fall under foreign government control.
Canada’s natural wealth is our national inheritance and our Government will ensure § that the jobs and opportunities it brings are available to all Canadians. In particular, Canada’s Aboriginal peoples must have every opportunity to benefit.
Our Government believes, and Canadians expect, that resource development must respect the environment. Our Government’s plan for responsible resource development includes measures to protect against spills and other risks to the environment and local communities. Our
Set higher safety standards for companies operating offshore as well as those operating § pipelines, and increase the required liability insurance;
Farms, Fisheries, Forestry Canada was built on the work of farmers, fishermen, and foresters. They work hard to feed our families and sustain rural communities.
Our Government will continue to protect and promote Canada’s traditional industries.
Our Government has given farmers marketing freedom and is helping them adapt § and innovate. It will continue to develop new markets around the world for Canadian products, while supporting supply management.
Our Government has supported fishermen by ensuring proper management of fish § stocks and by opening new markets worldwide. It will continue to be open to solutions, supported by fishermen, that strengthen the economic competitiveness of this traditional pillar of our coastal economy.
Forestry remains essential to Canada’s rural economy, supporting almost 200,000 § jobs across the country. Our Government secured and extended the softwood lumber agreement with the United States. And our Government will continue to support innovation and pursue new export opportunities for Canadian companies.
8 Infrastructure Infrastructure investment creates jobs, supports trade, drives productivity and contributes in a fundamental way to growth and long-term prosperity.
For Canadians balancing the pressures of work and daily life, investment in our roads, bridges and transportation networks means less congestion, shorter commutes and more time with family. That’s why, in Economic Action Plan 2013, our Government launched the new Building Canada Plan, the largest long-term federal commitment to infrastructure in Canadian history.
Over the next decade, our Government will invest 70 billion dollars in federal, § provincial, territorial and community infrastructure. Projects such as building subways in the Greater Toronto Area, replacing Montréal’s Champlain Bridge, building a new Windsor-Detroit crossing and constructing Vancouver’s Evergreen Line will create jobs across our country.
Shipbuilding and Manufacturing
Our Government will work in partnership with industry to ensure that all major § military purchases create high-quality jobs for Canadian workers. Our Government’s National Shipbuilding Plan will create 15,000 well-paying, skilled jobs over 30 years for Canadians and produce much-needed new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Canada’s automotive and aerospace industries are also key parts of our economy.
§ That’s why our Government renewed the Automotive Innovation Fund and improved the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative. Both have a proven track record of generating results for Canadians—jobs, prosperity and increased foreign investment.
To foster Canadian productivity and global competitiveness, our Government provided §
1.4 billion dollars in tax relief to manufacturing companies investing in modern machinery and equipment. And our new Advanced Manufacturing Fund will support new products and production methods.
Science and Technology Our Government’s leadership in science and technology helps Canadian business remain competitive while creating high-paying jobs. Since 2006, our Government has invested more than 9 billion dollars to support science, technology and innovative companies operating at the outer limits of knowledge.
Canada now leads G-7 countries in post-secondary research investment.
Small Business and Tourism Canada’s spectacular beauty attracts visitors from across the globe to every region of our country.
These visitors create jobs and sustain local economies. Our Government will continue to work with industry partners to promote Canada as a top destination for tourism.
Our Government has reduced the red tape burden on small and medium-sized businesses.
There are now fewer regulations and the cost of red tape has been reduced by nearly 20 million dollars annually.
And, following our Government’s return to balanced budgets, it will look at ways to § provide further tax relief to job-creating small businesses.
2. Supporting and Protecting Canadian Families Keeping Taxes Low Canadians work hard for their money. And we know families are better placed to make spending decisions than governments. That is why our Government has lowered taxes, year after year—for families, for businesses, for each and every Canadian.
For example, our Government:
Created Tax Free Savings Accounts, which now benefit more than § eight million Canadians;
Established a 5,000-dollar tax credit for first-time home buyers;
§ Reduced the lowest personal income tax rate and increased the basic personal § exemption;
Introduced income splitting for seniors;
§ Brought in arts and fitness tax credits for our children; and § Froze Employment Insurance premiums for the next three years, meaning that § employees and employers will save 660 million dollars next year alone.
Overall, the federal tax burden is at its lowest level in half a century. As a result of our Government’s low-tax plan, the average Canadian family now pays 3,200 dollars less in taxes every year. Our Government has a proven record of cutting taxes for Canadian families.
We have delivered on our promises. And, once the budget is balanced, our Government is committed to greater tax relief for Canadian families.
Defending Canadian Consumers Canadian families work hard to make ends meet, and every dollar counts. While companies will look out for their bottom line, our Government is looking out for everyday Canadians.
When Canadians make decisions about how to spend their money, they must be assured of a voice, a choice, and fair treatment. For example, although Canadians are among the most digitally connected in the world, we also pay some of the highest wireless rates in the developed world. As families know—especially families with teenagers—the monthly bills add up.
And our Government will take additional action to protect Canadian consumers. Canadians are tired of hidden fees. They deserve to know the real cost of paying by debit or credit card.
And they should not be charged more in Canada for identical goods that sell for less in the United States.
Our Government will:
Take further action to end geographic price discrimination against Canadians.
§ Supporting Victims and Punishing Criminals Our Government believes that the justice system exists to protect law-abiding citizens and our communities. For too long, the voices of victims have been silenced, while the system coddled criminals. Our Government has worked to re-establish Canada as a country where those who break the law are punished for their actions; where penalties match the severity of crimes committed; where the rights of victims come before the rights of criminals.
Our Government will introduce a Victims Bill of Rights to restore victims to their § rightful place at the heart of our justice system.
12 Our Government will focus on protecting the most vulnerable of all victims, our § children. Recent tragic deaths, including those of Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, and Todd Loik, have shocked Canadians. Our Government will introduce legislation giving police and prosecutors new tools to effectively address cyberbullying that involves criminal invasion of privacy, intimidation and personal abuse. This legislation would create a new criminal offence prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
Canadians are rightfully alarmed when violent offenders found not criminally § responsible for their actions are released into our communities. Our Government will re-introduce legislation to ensure that public safety comes first.
But we must do even more to protect our children. Child predators should never be let § off with only a single sentence for multiple crimes against children. Canadians demand that those who prey on our children pay the full price for every devastated life. Our Government will end sentencing discounts for child sex offenders.
It is also unacceptable that dangerous and violent offenders are released into our § communities before serving their full sentences. Our Government will end the practice of automatic early release for serious repeat offenders.
But for the worst of all criminals, even this is not enough. Canadians do not understand § why the most dangerous criminals would ever be released from prison. For them, our Government will change the law so that a life sentence means a sentence for life.
Aboriginal women are disproportionately the victims of violent crime. Our Government § will renew its efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Canadians also know that prostitution victimizes women and threatens the safety of our § communities. Our Government will vigorously defend the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws.
Finally, our Government recognizes the daily risks taken by police officers and their § service animals. It will bring forward Quanto’s law in honour of them.
Safeguarding Families and Communities Families are the cornerstone of our society. Families raise our children and build our communities. As our families succeed, Canada succeeds.
Our Government understands the daily pressures ordinary Canadian families face. And it is working to strengthen families, not replace them. That’s why our Government took money from bureaucrats and lobbyists and gave it to the real experts on child care—mom and dad. Our Government’s Universal Child Care Benefit provides 1,200 dollars a year to parents to help with the costs of raising kids.
Every day, parents make choices about what goes on the dinner table. Our Safe Food for § Canadians Act was a significant milestone in strengthening Canada’s world-class food safety system. Our Government will work with the provinces and territories to further strengthen food inspection regimes.
Our Government is also committed to ensuring that drug labels are written in plain § language, and that the potential side effects of medication are accurately indicated. To help identify potentially dangerous drugs, and ensure the quick recall of unsafe drugs, it will introduce new patient safety legislation. This will include new powers to require reporting of adverse drug reactions.
Our Government will also:
Work with the provinces and territories and with the private and not-for-profit sectors to § encourage young Canadians to be more physically active.
Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children.
They want to address poverty and other persistent social problems, access safe and reliable infrastructure, and enjoy a clean and healthy environment.
Our Government will:
Re-introduce and pass the Respect for Communities Act to ensure that parents have a say § before drug injection sites open in their communities;