Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to the 2010 throne speech.
This government has been leading the way on jobs and growth. The Speech from the Throne has outlined the priorities that matter very much to the people in my riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound. It has outlined a strong agenda for year two of our economic action plan to deal with the current global economic crisis. This government is focused on the economy and ensuring a strong recovery. This was certainly evident throughout the Speech from the Throne.
Today I want to talk mainly about what this government is doing for our economy, for our farmers, and to rein in government spending. First, we have frozen government spending in many areas. We are reducing the growth of government spending, and I fully support this.
We are also eliminating waste, and the throne speech outlines one key item where we all know there has been a lot of waste and that is the long gun registry, which it proposes to eliminate. The people of Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound cannot wait to see the House of Commons finally approve the elimination of that wasteful Liberal program from another era.
Budget 2010 and the throne speech are delivering for our beef sector, which has faced many challenges since BSE, such as the added cost of handling specified risk materials, known as SRMs. SRMs have cut into the profitability of our beef industry and we are now spending additional money on top of what has been spent in previous years to address the issue. Budget 2010 has committed $75 million to defray the cost of dealing with SRMs, to help develop and implement new technologies to process them and reduce the impact on the industry of the costs involved in removing the SRMs. This is very important to the people in my riding, the second largest beef producing riding in the country.
Another important endeavour this government is undertaking in this new session of Parliament is the announced red tape reduction commission. The elimination of red tape, that is, the unnecessary regulations and other bureaucratic barriers that Canadians and businesses have to face, is a very popular idea in Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound. It is one activity that I think we need to be vigilant about to prevent the government from getting too big and overbearing on Canadians.
I want to talk about something else that is very important to the people in my riding, and that is jobs and growing the economy. Canada's economic action plan is working and helping to keep Canadians working. Our plan is expected to create or maintain 220,000 jobs by the end of this year, with an estimated 130,000 created or maintained to this date. This does not include the 225,000 jobs that were saved through our expanded work-sharing program.
We are in the middle of the largest federal infrastructure investment in over 60 years. We are putting Canadians to work in some 16,000 projects across Canada to build better roads, bridges, public transit, colleges and universities and much more. I have two very important regional recreation centres in my riding that will also benefit from this.
We are providing extra help and training to Canadians who are out of work and are helping businesses to avoid lay-offs and keep Canadians working.
Statistics Canada has recently announced that Canada's economy grew for the second straight quarter, at a 5% annualized rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. This represents the strongest quarterly rate of economic growth in almost a decade. Household spending has increased, thanks to our tax cuts to Canadian families. Spending on homes continued to rebound with help from the temporary home renovation tax credit. Infrastructure spending increased, supported by the stimulus projects well under way across Canada.
Our plan is ensuring that we will lead the global recovery. Not only was Canada at the head of the G7 pack of countries in quarterly economic growth, but we also had the strongest growth in domestic demand. What is more, in the coming year the IMF predicts that Canada's economic growth will be at the head of the G7 pack.
Budget 2010 injects $19 billion more in new stimulus money to create and protect jobs, secure Canada's economic recovery and sustain our economic advantage in a number of ways. It creates jobs and helps Canadian manufacturers, which matter to the people in my riding. It provides personal income tax relief of $3.2 billion, including adjustments to federal tax brackets, enhancing the working income tax benefit, higher child benefits for parents, and lower taxes for low and middle income seniors. The tax measures also include lowering the corporate tax rate to 15% in 2012, moving toward the goal of having the lowest tax rate on new investment in the G7, and a 25% combined federal-provincial corporate tax rate.
Madam Speaker, I should have said earlier that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
We are also going to be improving the taxation of the universal child care benefit by allowing single parents to choose to include it in their own income or to spend it, thereby providing them and single earner, two parent families with similar treatment. This government knows that parents are the best people to care for and know what their children need, not government.
The budget includes continued support for the housing market through the first-time homebuyers' tax credit and access to additional savings in a registered retirement savings plan to purchase or build a home.
The enhanced working income tax benefit will reduce the welfare wall by making work pay more for many low income Canadians.
Budget 2010 also contains $340 million in targeted tax relief for seniors.
Retraining and worker support of over $4 billion is included in the budget to enhance EI benefits and training opportunities to transition workers from current challenges toward future prosperity. This includes an extra five weeks of EI regular benefits for all EI eligible claimants. Long-tenured workers will have greater access to EI regular benefits, as well, and the government is also temporarily extending the maximum length of work-sharing agreements by 14 weeks to avoid layoffs. Workers will be able to work a reduced work week while their employer recovers. This is an investment of $100 million.
We are also providing $1 billion to enhance training opportunities for all Canadian workers. This includes additional support for the provinces and territories to expand training and skills development.
Our government is maintaining the freeze on the EI premium rate at $1.73 per $100 of insurable earnings to the end of 2010.
This budget contains $7.7 billion for infrastructure to create jobs, modernize infrastructure, support home ownership, stimulate the housing sector and improve housing across Canada. This includes $4 billion in provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure, and $2 billion to renew Canada's social housing stock. I have a very important project in my riding that qualified for this. Also included is $780 million for priority federal projects, as well as $285 million for first nations community infrastructure.
With respect to research and development, this government is providing almost $2 billion to develop and attract talent, strengthen research capacity, improve commercialization, accelerate private sector investment and expand market access and competitiveness to build the economy of tomorrow. This includes $1 billion to support deferred maintenance, repair and construction at Canada's colleges and universities. We are also increasing the annual budgets of the three research granting councils to sustain overall support for research, which will lead to increased commercialization in Canada.
Moreover, budget 2010 contains $126 million over five years for TRIUMF, Canada's premier national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics. This is a great item for the people of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, as many of my constituents work at Bruce Power. Our nuclear industry provides many high quality jobs in the riding. This kind of research funding will ensure that Canada continues to have a strong and safe nuclear power resource.
There is also over $450 million over five years in the budget to establish a post-doctoral fellowship program to help attract the research leaders of tomorrow to Canada.
There is targeted support to industries and communities of $2.2 billion, helping to create and maintain jobs in sectors like forestry, agriculture, small business, tourism and culture. This includes $900 million invested in communities that have been particularly hard hit by the economic recession, including $500 million through the community adjustment fund to help communities with fewer than 250,000 people deal with industrial restructuring by investing in new economic opportunities. That includes important infrastructure like broadband. Most members, especially those from rural ridings, will know where I am coming from here.
Another big item in the budget is that the government will eliminate all remaining tariffs on manufacturing inputs and machinery and equipment. We are also providing additional support for small business, forestry, agriculture and fisheries.
Budget 2010 will help protect jobs today and create the jobs and economy of tomorrow, by supporting workers, young workers in particular, and by investing in research and development and strengthening manufacturers and supporting businesses.
Let us take a look at these investments in Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and how year two of the economic action plan will benefit our economy. Under agriculture--