Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to speak today to Canada's economic action plan 2012.
Canada has one of the strongest fiscal positions in the G7. Fitch Ratings, Moody's, and Standard & Poor's have all renewed Canada's AAA credit rating. Canada has, by far, the lowest net to GDP ratio in the entire G7. Due in part to the government's low tax plan, Forbes Magazine ranked Canada number one in the world for business to grow and create jobs.
Indeed, with the help of Canada's economic action plan, Canada has emerged as one of the world's top performing industrialized countries.
However, too many Canadians are still looking for work and the global recovery remains fragile. That is why economic action plan 2012 moves ahead to secure jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canada by promoting job creation and helping small businesses thrive through reducing red tape, strategic investments, supporting seniors, families and communities, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability through investing in green technology, keeping taxes low and leading the global economic recovery.
My focus today will be on the impact of budget 2012 on small businesses, families and seniors.
With regard to small businesses, our Conservative government recognizes the vital role small businesses play in the economy and job creation. That is why we are committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed.
As someone who started working in my father's wholesale hardware business at the age of 12 on Saturdays and in the summertime, I understood at a very young age the importance of small business to the big picture of Canada and jobs, and ensuring that our economy is strong.
Budget 2012 includes a number of key measures to support the growth of small businesses, like my father's business, and to promote job creation, such as extending the hiring credit for small business. This is a temporary credit of up to $1,000 against a small firm's increase in its 2011 EI premiums over those paid in 2012. This temporary credit will help approximately 536 employers defray the costs of additional hiring. These employers will take into account these savings when hiring and, in some cases, it may even make the difference between whether to hire a new employee.
For small businesses, we are also reducing red tape, implementing the one-for-one rule and committing to develop a red tape reduction action plan to reduce unnecessary and ineffective regulations. This would small businesses to focus on what they do best, which is grow and create jobs. Ultimately, reducing the administrative tax burden on small businesses does help them create jobs.
Our government is also supporting entrepreneurs, innovators and world-class research. An excellent example of how strategic investment by government in a solid, local company can make a major contribution to our economy is Electrovaya Inc. located in Mississauga South. Electrovaya is an innovative company that designs and builds the next generation of environmentally friendly lithium ion battery energy storage systems for commercial and industrial use. Our government invested $3.6 million through Sustainable Development Technology Canada to this company to help it develop and provide clean energy technology and create high-quality jobs in Mississauga.
Members may have heard about Electrovaya recently because they were part of the Prime Minister's trade mission to India. Electrovaya signed a deal to provide an Indian company with its lithium ion batteries for electric bicycles that are being sold in North America and Europe. Companies like these create good, high-paying jobs for our community, as well as innovative products to export to other nations, and they do it in an environmentally sound way to protect the future for all of us.