Mr. Speaker, thank you for reminding hon. members that we are debating Bill C-10. I am pleased to participate in the debate on this.
Bill C-10 is an act to provide borrowing authority for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 1996. Under the borrowing authority act the Minister of Finance with the approval of the Governor in Council may raise money under the Financial Administration Act by way of a loan or by the issue and/or sale of securities of Canada.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his outstanding effort, not just with this budget, but for the previous two budgets as well.
For the first time in a decade we have a finance minister who not only sets objectives but he meets them. As well, he often exceeds them. In the platform book we promised to reduce the deficit to 3 per cent of the GDP by the end of our mandate. We started at almost 6 per cent when we took office and at the end of four years it will be down to 2 per cent.
Those efforts have allowed the Canadian government to restore its credibility, credibility not only among those in financial circles but among Canadian taxpayers as well. Canadians now feel they are getting value for the money they send to Ottawa every year.
Not since the 1980s have Canadians been able to see the light at the end of the deficit tunnel. We all agree on the need to eliminate the deficit. Now that objective can be clearly seen on the horizon. When we arrive there we can start paying down the public debt, as the spokesman for the Reform was saying in his speech, which otherwise would be a burden on our children. I agree with him.
Both the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party have been asking what is in this budget in job creation. The simple answer is: plenty. However, we cannot look at just one budget; we have to look at the government's entire program. Interest rates are consistently low and have been for quite some time. The spread between Canadian and American rates has almost been eliminated. The dollar is stable at a level that encourages exports and low interest rates. The deficit has been brought under control and on target. These things together have set the foundation and financial environment for a solid economy capable of creating jobs now and into the future.
In the month of February alone, 44,000 jobs were created. There are 170,000 more jobs in Canada today than there were in July last year. Critics on the other side ignore these significant accomplishments and have adopted the attitude of: What have you done for me lately?
This government does not want to sit on its laurels when it comes to job creation for Canadians. In the high tech field the government is creating Technology Partnership Canada, a $250 million program to facilitate the economic development of new technologies, technologies such as environmental management, advanced materials and manufacturing processes and the growing biotechnology field. As well, Technology Partnership Canada will solidify and build on the gains we have made in the aerospace sector.
We are continuing our efforts to help businesses of all sizes. Additional funding will be provided to both the Business Development Bank and Export Development Corporation to create new opportunities for business.
Team Canada trade missions have been an outstanding success. The delegations led by the Prime Minister have secured $20 billion in contracts and deals for Canadian companies. Ours is an export economy and every billion dollars in exports is worth over 11,000 jobs here in Canada.
The Minister of Human Resources Development is taking a lead in changing the Canadian focus from unemployment to employment. We are increasing the earned income tax credit to encourage people to re-enter the labour market. Both the educational expenses deduction and the transfer of tuition and education credits will be increased by 25 per cent. As well, more people will be eligible for the child care expenses deduction, including high school students. Single people will now be able to claim credits currently available to couples. In two years these efforts will put almost $300 million into the pockets of Canadians and will allow them to meet the challenges of today's job market.
For the young people of Canada, the government is working hard on employment opportunities. For many years young people were told that if they worked hard to get an education there would be a better job for them later. The economy has been slow in fulfilling that bargain so the federal government is stepping up its efforts. The government is doubling its funding for summer job creation for students. An additional $315 million over three years will be set aside to create employment opportunities for youth.
One of the Canada employment offices for youth is usually set up each summer in my riding of Parkdale-High Park. I know this additional funding will be welcomed by the young people looking for jobs this summer.
The Team Canada approach that has been successful overseas will be directed at home to co-operate with businesses to create entry level jobs for young people.
It is easy to see the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois are wrong when they say that this budget does nothing about jobs. Employment is the number one priority of this government and the facts and initiatives speak for themselves. The March 6 budget is about more than jobs. It is about promoting fairness and securing futures for Canadians.
The government has listened to the concerns of parents about the taxation of child support payments. Divorces granted after May 1, 1997 will require that parents who receive support payments will not have to pay taxes on that money. The total amount will go to support the children. As well, the government will introduce changes to the child support guidelines under the Divorce Act to ensure equitable support payments.
In recent months there has been much talk about how Canada's pension system is collapsing. Nothing could be further from the truth and the government is acting now to restore confidence. Starting in the year 2001, senior citizens will receive a new seniors benefit directed to those in need that will combine the old age security, the government income supplement, age and pension income tax credits. Seventy per cent of all seniors will be as well or better off under the new system. Indeed 90 per cent of single senior women will benefit under the new seniors benefit. A senior couple with outside income totalling $40,000 a year will receive over $7,500 in tax free benefits under the new system.
In an effort to help all Canadians, particularly younger Canadians, the government is eliminating the seven year carry over rule on RRSP contributions. In the future Canadians will be able to carry forward unused RRSP contributions for life so that young people, young families making sacrifices now to pay mortgages and educate their children will be able to make up for lost contributions in the future. This measure will help people better prepare for their retirement.
Canada's banking system has benefited greatly over the last couple of years enjoying record profits while most Canadians have been tightening their belts. The Minister of Finance has indicated that the special tax on banks will continue. As well, to maintain the present diversity of financial institutions, the government will uphold the ban on banks in the direct selling of insurance profits.
The budget is about hope and opportunity for the future. Measures taken will enable young people to get jobs they have been trained to perform. Seniors and those preparing to retire will be able to plan with confidence for their future incomes. Canadians in all walks of life will feel more secure and hopeful as they see the economy progressing forward with jobs and opportunities.
Most important, this budget is about trust. In 1993 the people of Canada put their trust in the Liberal Party to do things right and to get the economy moving again. I believe we have earned that trust and we will continue to earn it under the sound leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.
In conclusion I invite the government members, the official opposition and members of the third party to give speedy passage to Bill C-10 so that job creation can continue as promised in the budget.