Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand today in support of Bill C-13, Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act. The passage of this bill is very important to my riding of Newmarket—Aurora, as it is to all Canadians.
Bill C-13 would complete the passage of budget 2011. It contains measures that are critically important for Canada's long-term prosperity by boosting research and development, innovation and productivity. It speaks to what Canadians elected us to do, focusing on economic growth, job creation and stability.
I will direct most of my comments today on how Bill C-13 supports job creation in my riding. Over the past months, I have met with thousands of residents in my community, whether at the door, on the street, or in my office, and, by far, the top of mind priorities above all others were jobs and the economy. They made it very clear to me that they wanted their government to focus squarely on these priorities, jobs and economic growth. Why is this? It is because a stable, growing economy creates job opportunities. It supports families and it creates confidence. It is the fundamental backbone of what vibrant communities and a prosperous nation are all about.
Newmarket--Aurora is comprised of thousands of entrepreneurs, most of them small and medium sized businesses. They will all benefit from the one time hiring credit for small business of up to $1,000 contained in budget 2011 and formalized in Bill C-13. Through this measure, over 525,000 employers across Canada will be helped with the costs of additional hiring. This is an average of almost 1,400 businesses in each of the 308 ridings across the country. With this initiative, a small business can hire one additional worker at a salary of up to $40,000 or two part-time workers at a salary of up to $20,000 each without having to pay additional EI premiums.
Entrepreneurs in my riding would benefit from budget 2011 measures to support the development of clean energy technologies through a $97 million investment over two years to renew funding for technology and innovation in the areas of clean energy and energy efficiency. Measures, such as the new children's arts tax credit and the extension of the eco-energy retrofit homes program, are boosting economic activity in hardware shops, contracting companies, music and art stores across my riding, just as they are throughout the country.
Manufacturing and processing businesses would benefit from the extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance rate that encourages investments in machinery and equipment. This measure builds squarely upon our previous support for the manufacturing sector.
Last week, Statistics Canada released a report showing that manufacturing sales rose 1.4% to $47.6 billion in August, the highest level since October 2008. In fact, last Friday, a news release from AirBoss of America crossed my desk. AirBoss has its head office in my hometown of Newmarket with manufacturing plants in Kitchener, Ontario; Acton-Vale, Quebec; and North Carolina. The news release announced the securement of two contracts worth $20 million with the U.S. department of defense in supplying that company's rubber based products. So we know that strategic investments, like the accelerated capital cost allowance rate, the hiring tax credit for small business and the expansion of tax support for clean energy generation, are working to create jobs for Canadians.
Indeed, earlier this month, Forbes magazine rated Canada as the best place in the world for businesses to grow and create jobs.
I am very excited that budget 2011 provides $20 million to support young entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, resources and start-up financing through the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Many business icons today began their careers as budding entrepreneurs and this investment would help create the business leaders of tomorrow.
I would like to share a few examples from my riding of Newmarket—Aurora of how these initiatives create jobs.
Earlier this year, I announced a contribution of $115,000 for the National Research Council of Canada industrial research assistance program, or IRAP, to Treefrog Interactive Inc.
Treefrog is an award-winning Newmarket graphic design and web development agency and a shining example of a leading-edge small business. The IRAP funds, made possible through Canada's economic action plan, allowed Treefrog to fund an innovative research and development project and create new products for local and international markets. Sean Stephens, the CEO of Treefrog Interactive, said in February of this year:
These last few years, help from the federal government stimulus has been a clear and inspiring drive for us at Treefrog. Where many talk about a period of “recession”, we at Treefrog talk about a period of “innovation”. Thanks to IRAP, we have greatly increased our staff, doubled our revenue, significantly matured our products and helped many other businesses grow through web initiatives in the region--mostly through innovations in our products. This period of incredible growth has been through that extra little “shot in the arm” from IRAP--and we have Canada, through IRAP and the federal government, to thank for it.
Here is another success story in my riding.
Last year, a collaborative project led by the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce involving the Newmarket Public Library, South Lake Regional Health Centre, town of Newmarket and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution received $2.1 million from Canada's action plan for a shared digital infrastructure project. The project created new community partnerships and received national recognition.
The Newmarket Chamber of Commerce was able to parlay this investment into an asset now benefiting hundreds of entrepreneurs, businesses, community organizations and residents through this information-sharing infrastructure. The past president of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, Jim Gragtmans, regarding the success of this project said last year, “Dozens of jobs have been created. New creative and effective partnerships have been established and we are only beginning”.
Canada's economic action plan has assisted many businesses in my riding to expand, innovate and create jobs. In the town of Aurora, for example, Axiom Group Inc. was able to extend its product line and open new markets through support from the southern Ontario development fund and industrial research assistance program.
In fact, last year I was honoured to present, on behalf of the minister of state, a Canadian innovation leader certificate to Axiom President, Perry Rizzo, in recognition of that company's success. On the assistance that Mr. Rizzo received from Canada's action plan, he said:
We appreciate the SODP and its contribution to helping small to medium sized businesses like Axiom create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the local community of Aurora and abroad.
We know that small business owners and entrepreneurs create jobs and generate wealth in communities across Canada. Our government declared 2011 the official year of the entrepreneur to help increase public awareness of the important role played by small businesses.
It is most fitting that we are debating Bill C-13, keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act, during small business week. By supporting our small and medium-sized businesses we support all Canadians by facilitating the conditions for investment and job creation.
It is important to note that Bill C-13 supports the creation of jobs and economic growth by allowing the continuation of work done by the red tape reduction commission to root out and cut business red tape. We know that red tape ties up Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs, reduces their competitiveness, and forces them to spend time and money that could be better spent strengthening Canada's economic recovery.
In January 2011, our government fulfilled its budget 2010 commitment by establishing the red tape reduction commission, to which I am honoured to have been appointed. Bill C-13 allows the means to continue this important work and the commission will present its final recommendations for lasting reforms in the coming months based on the “What Was Heard” report released last month.
I also want to note that among the many significant measures contained in Bill C-13, of great importance to my riding and all municipalities across the country is the legislation to make permanent gas tax funding for municipalities. It is why Bill C-13 and its key job creating measures, like the hiring credit for small businesses, are critically important as we continue to solidify our recovery and position Canada for a prosperous future. That is what Canadians want.