Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.
Let me begin by reminding the hon. member that the new small business job credit is only the latest of our government's actions to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity. We have been taking numerous measures to lower the tax burden on small businesses since we came to office. By leaving more money in the hands of entrepreneurs and businesses, they can hire more Canadians and expand their operations. We understand that lower taxes make Canada's economy stronger and create good long-term jobs for Canadians.
According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters:
Reducing business taxes creates jobs, boosts investment, makes Canada more competitive and puts more money in the pockets of the Canadians....
...business tax cuts are critical drivers of the Canadian economy.
As a result of our Conservative government's low-tax plan, a small business earning $500,000 now saves over $28,000 in taxes. That includes tax cuts such as reducing the small business tax rate from 12% to 11%, increasing the amount of income eligible for the small business tax rate, and increasing and indexing the lifetime capital gains exemption.
Every time our government lowers taxes, the Canadian small business community and the workers they employ receive concrete benefits, and they benefit greatly from our fantastic small business job credit. However, no one has to take my word for it. Let me quote Monique Moreau of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, who stated, “Small businesses in Canada should be thrilled with this announcement because they told us time and time again that payroll taxes are the biggest disincentive to hiring”.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business also estimates that the new credit would create 25,000 person years of employment over the next few years alone. Indeed, job creation is one of the many reasons that our government is committed to keeping payroll taxes and all other taxes low for Canadians.
However, we know that more needs to be done. We are well aware that Canada must continue to generate the highly skilled individuals and new ideas that will help our businesses innovate, secure new markets, and create well-paying jobs. That is why I would like to devote my time today to our government's commitment to strengthen education, skills training, and innovation in Canada.
For example, it is important for young Canadians to have access to information on a variety of careers in order to make informed choices about their education early in life. Good choices early on can help to ensure that young Canadians obtain the skills and experience necessary to find work quickly, avoid unnecessary debt, and get a better start on their careers. For instance, if young Canadians are interested in lifelong careers as skilled tradespeople, they need to know when, where, and how they can obtain the training that will secure them the real jobs that are in demand.
I would like to refer hon. members in the House to an article in the August 23 edition of The Economist. It is the Schumpeter article entitled “Got Skills?”, and it refers to the issue of vocational training at length. I would encourage members to take a look at it.
Of course, there are many different career options in Canada. Our government will continue to promote education in high-demand fields, including the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We take youth employment very seriously. Since coming to office, we have helped over two million youth obtain skills, training, and jobs.
In economic action plan 2013, we reallocated $19 million, over two years, to inform young people about fields of study that are relevant to existing and forecasted demand for labour in particular occupations. As well, our government is providing more information on the job prospects and benefits of working in various occupations. It is developing new outreach efforts to promote careers in such high-demand fields as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the skilled trades.
Although Canada boasts high levels of post-secondary achievement, the transition to a first job can be challenging. To ease this transition, the career focus program supports paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates, ensuring they get valuable hands-on work experience. Economic action plan 2012 provided funding for an expected 3,000 additional paid internships in high-demand fields. Economic action plan 2013 announced an additional investment of $70 million over three years to support an additional 5,000 paid internships.
Building on these measures, economic action plan 2014 introduced the flexibility and innovation in apprenticeship technical training pilot project to expand the use of innovative approaches to apprenticeship technical training. With this initiative, we are continuing to work with provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship systems and reduce barriers to certification in the skilled trades so that apprentices can more easily work and train where the jobs are. To further support apprentices, economic action plan 2014 takes steps to increase awareness of the existing financial supports available to apprentices through the employment insurance program while they are on technical training.
It also announced that our government will improve the youth employment strategy to align it with the evolving realities of the job market, and to ensure federal investments in youth employment provide young Canadians with real-life work experience in high-demand fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the skilled trades. Our future certainly depends on these high-demand fields to create the well-paying jobs of the future. This is especially the case when it comes to research and innovation. The government plays an important role in Canada's science, technology and innovation system. Since 2006, the government has provided more than $11 billion in new resources to support basic and applied research, talent development, research infrastructure and innovative activities in the private sector, including more effectively aligning federal support for research with business needs.
To be successful in the highly competitive global economy, Canada must continue to improve its ability to develop high-quality talented people performing world-leading research and generating new breakthrough ideas. In 2013, our government's support exceeded $3 billion for research in the post-secondary education sector alone. Economic action plan 2014 builds on these commitments with the creation of the new Canada first research excellence fund. The fund will provide significant flexible resources to further drive Canadian post-secondary research institutions to become the world's best.
Our government's investments in science, technology and innovation have helped ensure Canada leads the G7 in post-secondary research expenditures as a share of the economy, and our commitment remains strong. In economic action plan 2014 alone we announced the largest annual increase in funding for research through the granting councils in over a decade. This includes $46 million per year on an ongoing basis to be allotted as follows: $15 million per year to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the expansion of the strategy for patient-oriented research, the creation of the Canadian consortium on neurodegeneration in aging, and other health research priorities; $15 million per year to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to support advanced research in the natural sciences and engineering; $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support advanced research in the social sciences and humanities; and $9 million per year for the indirect costs program.
If I had more time today, I could easily continue highlighting our government's many initiatives to position Canada at the forefront of innovation and excellence in education. Unfortunately, I must conclude.