Mr. Speaker, thanks to the efforts of all Canadians, our country has entered a new era, an era of budget surpluses.
Canadians from all regions of the country will benefit from a budget that will ensure them of a great future. Our education system is unsurpassed, our social effort is continuing and our taxes will drop over the next five years. In addition to that, our researchers are innovating.
There are over 250 community futures development corporations in our small towns and villages. These corporations promote local economies. They also help small businesses.
Budget 2000 includes a $54 million envelope, over a three year period, to provide increased funding to existing CFDCs and to create new ones.
The CFDCs take various initiatives to develop and diversify local economies. They support small businesses by providing them with financial assistance, to a maximum of $125,000. They draft and implement strategic plans, in co-operation with other stakeholders.