Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Fredericton.
It is my honour to be here today to speak to the budget and budget implementation. It is something that is actually very easy to speak to, because it makes so much sense and it actually sets Canada up for a future that will be very strong.
We will not raise taxes. We will not be balancing our books on the backs of the provinces. We actually have a game plan that will create a Canada that we will love into the future, a Canada that will be prosperous into the future and a Canada that we all can be proud of.
We will have low taxes, growth and proper prudent fiscal management, which will, as I said, bring about strong economic growth. I see a bright future not just for us sitting here today, but for our kids, our grandkids and our great-grandkids. It will be a great time to be a Canadian, and we should all be proud of it. We should compliment the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State for Finance on how great a job they have done on the budget.
In the past two years, our government has already cut Canada's temporary planned deficit from the recession in half, a deficit that all members of Parliament agreed was necessary to stimulate the economy through investment in infrastructure. Since then, our economy has created some 700,000 net new jobs, placing Canada in one of the strongest fiscal positions in the G7.
Thanks to the government's strong fiscal management, Canada's budgetary balance will not be reached through the type of harsh fiscal and economic shocks now being implemented in parts of Europe, but through a building of Canada's successes by implementing moderate restraint in government spending. The majority of savings in spending will come from eliminating waste in internal government operations. We will make government leaner and more efficient. By doing this, we will be able to stay on track to balance Canada's budget by 2015.
The economic action plan 2012 will also not cut transfers to the provinces or senior levels of government. We will not balance our books on the backs of seniors and we will not balance our books on the backs of the municipalities or the provinces. We will balance the books through a combination of growth and finding efficiencies within the federal government that are there right now and that we can find with the departments. Unlike the Liberal government, which balanced its books on the backs of seniors and the provinces and created incredibly long wait-lists for medical attention and doctors' treatments, we will actually be increasing the transfers for health care and education. This budget is doing something that the Liberals never could do: it is taking responsibility for its own spending and ensuring that the use of taxpayer money is done in a proper fashion.
My province, Saskatchewan, will receive close to $1.3 billion in transfers in 2012-13. This long-term, growing support helps ensure that Saskatchewan will have the resources required to provide essential public services and contributes to the shared national objectives, including health care, post-secondary education and other key components of Canada's social programs.
Saskatchewan will also benefit from continued direct targeted support in 2012-13. It includes $14 million for labour market training as part of a commitment of $500 million a year in new funding to the provinces and territories, which began in 2008-09, and $8 million for the wait times reduction funds, part of the 10-year plan to strengthen health care across Canada.
We are working to strengthen the financial strength of workers, businesses and families to help create good jobs and long-term prosperity from coast to coast to coast. To help do this, for instance, we will extend by one year the hiring credit for small businesses, a measure we already know works to encourage employers to hire more workers. Furthermore, we will increase our funding for skills training for students, older workers and those Canadians with disabilities.
In Saskatchewan, our unemployment has been staying around that 4% to 5% range. It is actually a province that is doing very well. It is a province that came from an NDP background where we were shipping our kids to Alberta and everywhere else across Canada to get jobs. All of a sudden, we changed to a government that actually knew how to embrace the economy and let business do what business does, which is create jobs. This budget also does that.
When we look at the results in Saskatchewan, with a 4% to 5% unemployment rate, there is growth. We are looking for trades, skills and people. It is such an amazing success story. That is something we want to see continue right across Canada. We can never let the NDP get a foothold here in Ottawa because it would do what it did in Saskatchewan and it would actually break the country.
Another part of our plans for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity includes investing in innovation and world-class research. In response to the Jenkins report, economic action plan 2012 includes substantial funding to help create value-added jobs through innovation. We will better support the National Research Council and the industrial research and development internship program. We are also committed to additional funding to support advanced research at universities and other research institutions. We are making Canada the best place to invest.
We need to ensure that Canada is the place in which businesses want to invest in the long term. In the next 10 years, more than 500 economic projects representing $500 billion in new investments are planned across our country. In Saskatchewan, natural resources, from potash to oil, gold, coal, diamonds and uranium, offer huge potential and create even more jobs and growth.
To reach our country's full economic potential, we will implement reasonable, responsible development and smart regulations for major economic projects, respecting provincial jurisdictions and maintaining the highest standards of environmental protection. We will also streamline the review process for such projects according to the following principles: one project, one review, completed in a clearly defined time period, which will ensure that Canada has the infrastructure we need to move our exports to new markets.
That is very important for the province of Saskatchewan, because we have so many resources that are in the process of being developed. These guys go out, stake their claim, develop a mine and prove that it is financially viable, and then they sit there and wait, and it is not one year, not two years, not three years, not four years: they are waiting five or six years in order to get the environmental process completed, an environmental process that is stacked upon province and federal.
If we look at the situation now, these projects will get completed in two years, or three years at the most. They will have some bankability and know that when they invest big dollars, millions and millions of dollars, it will have a huge impact in ensuring the project is viable and can become a mine. However, what is very important, and something that we have stressed throughout, is that we will not shortchange or short-cheat the environment. We are ensuring that all the environmental requirements are met and we are working with the provinces to ensure those environmental standards are up to a standard that Canadians expect and deserve. We are not taking any shortcuts. Again, we are just getting rid of duplication, waste and bureaucracy.
One thing this government has done very well over the last few years is on international trade, and I congratulate the Minister of International Trade for the work he has done on this file. We will have a low corporate tax rate of around 15%. We have a market already through NAFTA that has roughly 300 million consumers, and then, with the Canadian-European trade agreement that we are working on, we will have another 500 million consumers.
Canada will be the only country in the world that will have market access to not only of the U.S., Mexico and other trading partners that we have agreements with already, but we will have market access to the European Union once the Canadian-European trade agreement is done. I cannot tell members how huge this is will be for Canada. It will create so many jobs it is unreal. We will have access to 500 million more consumers. We will have access for companies that would have low tax rates to locate here in Canada. They will know that just by locating here, they will have 800 million consumers they can trade with, and that is not counting the other trade agreements we have with Chile and Peru and the possibility of the Trans-Pacific partnership that we are working on and hopefully will be involved with in the future. Canada gets it. The Minister of International Tradegets it. We are an exporting country.
I come from a province of agriculture producers. We make our money from trading. We need to ensure we have market access. Our minister understands that and is doing everything he can to ensure that we have it. That is one of the things that will make this country a bright country in the future.
There are so many things we can talk about in the budget and how it will impact families, pensioners and long-term prosperity. However, I cannot stress enough that when we combine low tax rates, we create jobs.
When companies have a low tax rate, they create jobs. I know the NDP thinks that companies are these huge multinationals, but there are companies like Ted Matheson Men’s Wear in Prince Albert. When his tax rate is a little lower, he can hire another employee to work in his store. It is the manufacturers that we see out in St. Brieux, like Bourgault Industries, which is not a small manufacturer by any means, but when they have low tax rates, they are reinvesting in that small town of St. Brieux and in the areas of Melfort, Tisdale and Humboldt. That is what happens when we have low tax rates. It is better to leave that money with the companies and have them invest it in their communities than to send it to Ottawa and have it wasted somewhere else.
I think that if businesses are wondering where they should set up a business to manufacture and grow, it is right here in Canada. This budget helps implement and put in place the solid rooting for proper businesses to grow in the future throughout the world.
It is an amazing budget and one that I am proud to support. I cannot imagine how somebody could not support this budget. If they do not support this budget, then they do not have Canada's long-term interests at heart.