Madam Speaker, everybody is thanking everybody and I would like to do that as well. I certainly congratulate you for repeating your position. I always admired your work in the last session, and I know I will admire your work in this session. Also, I have admired your work as chair of the all party arts caucus. I hope you will find the time to take that on again. You did a great job and we need that caucus.
I thank the people of Dufferin—Caledon for electing me for the fourth time. Of course it was four elections in seven years, but it seems like it has been forever. Certainly we need workers to get elected. We cannot do it ourselves. I thank all those people who have helped me. I thank my wife and family for the help they gave me as well.
Today, we are debating Bill C-3, which is the budget-implementation bill and which was proposed by the Minister of Finance. It is titled “Supporting Vulnerable Seniors and Strengthening Canada's Economy Act”, which will allow the government to support seniors in need and help provinces during the economic recovery, encourage young entrepreneurs in business and enhance federal assistance for part-time students, among other measures.
As the member of Parliament representing Dufferin—Caledon, I have an important role in ensuring our government delivers to the residents of my riding, as we all do for all our ridings. In the opinion of my constituents, certainly after going through an recent election, it is absolutely necessary for the government to help Canada recover from the recession. Bill C-3 and the budget we have introduced will make this happen.
The government remains committed to the economy, as it attempts to deliver on Canada's economic action plan. This economic action plan is working, as evidenced by the fact that in the first year alone almost $32 billion in stimulus spending and tax relief was delivered. With this budget, the government intends to deliver another $28 billion in support for recovery from this recession.
The implementation of budget 2011, through the supporting vulnerable seniors and strengthening Canada's economy act, will, I believe, make this happen.
The investments made over the last two years have been successful in shielding Canadians from the worst economic downturn we have had in years. The carefully researched and focused 2009 budget was prepared to respond the challenges of our time. As a result, over 28,500 projects have been completed or are under way, which has created over 480,000 jobs across the country. I believe it is now up to 560,000 jobs since 2009.
Of these projects, over 8,100 revolved around provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects. This includes over 4,100 infrastructure stimulus fund projects and over 2,000 recreational infrastructure Canada projects. Many of these projects, I am pleased to say, occurred in my own riding of Dufferin—Caledon. I think every member here could talk about the projects that occurred in all of their ridings.
Residents of Dufferin—Caledon are benefiting from this plan, as a result of the significant federal investment in projects, which range from road and water infrastructure to recreational facilities throughout the riding. Perhaps the largest the venture was the continuation of the Caledon community complex in the town of Caledon for which the town received $7 million. Other projects include the construction of a sewage treatment plant in East Luther Grand Valley and the renovation of the Dufferin County courthouse in Orangeville. Additionally, federal grants have been spent on water infrastructure in Shelburne, Orangeville and Peel, with road infrastructure occurring in Caledon, East Garafraxa, Orangeville, Mulmur and Peel.
Federal contributions also supported recreational facilities, such as the construction of a skate park in Bolton and the upgrading of trails at the Albion Hills Conservation Area.
In an effort to invest in a cleaner energy economy, federal support was given to the Mayfield recreational project to upgrade accessibility and energy initiatives. Over the course of the last two years, our riding of Dufferin—Caledon has received federal assistance in over 30 projects, reaching a grand total of $31,888,372.
The construction and renovations that occurred in Dufferin—Caledon helped to deliver an immediate boost to local jobs and incomes within the area and the completion of these projects will deliver benefits to the citizens of the riding for many years to come. These projects have all occurred as a result of the last budget. It is clear that the government has created an economic plan in which Canadians will feel secure.
The next phase is critically important. The next phase of Canada's economic action plan is intended to build on the success of the stimulus plan and create conditions for long-term economic prosperity throughout the country. It will support job creation, families and communities, invest in innovation, education and training and preserve Canada's fiscal advantage.
Our government has listened to the citizens of Canada and the residents of my riding of Dufferin—Caledon. The budget and the bill before us reflect the comments, suggestions, concerns, wants and needs of Canadian citizens, including those of my riding.
Budget 2011 and Bill C-3 will continue to support jobs and growth within provinces and territories throughout the country. The legacy of modernized infrastructure, enhanced skills training and lower taxes will continue to benefit Canadians.
The proposed bill will keep taxes low, which is a concern for Canadians throughout the nation, and it will control government spending, which will help to eliminate the deficit by 2015.
The bill reflects the priorities of the residents of my riding with an emphasis on the economy and the reduction of the deficit. The interests of our citizens are reflected as our government has remained focused on our citizens and on securing the economic recovery of our country.
We have a plan to achieve the goals of improving the financial security of Canadian workers, families and seniors and we must continue to focus upon this plan.
The next phase of Canada's economic action plan is dedicated to the continuation of this plan. The budget and the bill are dedicated to the creation of jobs. As we continue to recover from the recession, it is vital for the government to help our citizens find work. Our government has realized this and we have worked to ensure that job creation occurs throughout the next two years.
With the budget and Bill C-3, the Conservative government is ensuring that our citizens will find work that will help them support their families. Specific measures include providing a one-time hiring credit for small businesses, which will encourage hiring. Bill C-3 would provide $20 million over the next two years to help Canadian Youth Business Foundation in its support of young entrepreneurs.
Dufferin—Caledon is the home of a thriving business community, with many start-up businesses in various industries. These initiatives will help all those involved in the business sector in the area. It is vital that we support job creation as presented by the next phase of Canada's economic action plan and the bill before us.
The well-being of Canadians is important to the government and the budget and the bill will continue to support seniors, children and students. This budget is especially important to our country's seniors who have worked to build a great country for future generations and who deserve a dignified retirement.
The senior community represents a large portion of Dufferin—Caledon and I have had the privilege of hosting several seniors' expos held in the riding for numerous years. Through these events, I have had the opportunity to meet many of my senior constituents and listen to their concerns.
Budget 2011 and this bill protect our seniors and will increase their financial support. Through the enhanced guaranteed income supplement as stated in the supporting vulnerable seniors and strengthening Canada's economy act, eligible seniors would receive annual benefits of up to $600 for a single senior and $840 to couples. This action will improve the financial security of more than 680,000 seniors throughout Canada, including those residing in my riding.
I had a bit more to say, but my time is up.