Madam Speaker, it has been a very interesting debate today and, I think, a very productive one.
The numbers have been very clear. Our government was elected in 2015 on a plan to grow the economy, and what we have heard here today is that this is happening. The economy has been growing. Unemployment is at all-time record lows.
The opposition really wants to talk about the deficits and the debt and their fiscal picture. In the last 10 years, the Conservatives left us with a 7.1% unemployment rate. We have now brought it down to 5.6%. Does that sound like an economy that is not growing? All the businesses in my area have been having a hard time meeting the needs and demands and hiring more people because of the growth that they have been sharing.
I forgot to mention at the beginning of my speech that I will be sharing my time with the member for Winnipeg North, and we all know that the member for Winnipeg North will add much-needed facts and figures to this debate to shed more light on the debt issue.
Our debt-to-GDP ratio is continuing to decline. That is our plan, and it is a plan that has been working, as we have seen since 2015 through the investments we have been making. The member for Durham mentioned investments several times, and that has been our key focus. Every budget that we as a government have put out has been thinking about what investments we can make in our country, what investments we can make in Canadians, and that is exactly what Canadians in my area, Bramptonians, want to see.
They have been devastated by the cuts of the Doug Ford government. Every time I have a meeting in my constituency, I see an angry commuter because of the cuts to GO transit or an angry student from my youth council because of the cuts to OSAP. That is probably what we can expect from the Conservatives if they come to power, because that is what they like to talk about. They want to try to balance the budget at any cost on the backs of Canadians. They will do it by taking away from health care or by taking away from students.
What have we done as a government? As we have heard, the average Canadian has $2,000 more in their pocket because of the middle-class tax cut that we have provided and because of the Canada child benefit, which is tax-free. The former Conservative government taxed that benefit. We have made it tax-free.
That is not to mention 50% more in student grants and making sure that students do not have to repay their loans until they make at least $25,000. These are measures that help and benefit the average Canadian, the middle class and those who are working hard to join it. If we want to talk in particular of those who are working hard to join it, our Canada workers benefit will benefit those people who have a job and will incentivize them to keep working by giving them a little bit more so that they can make ends meet.
Those are the types of plans that we have put in place and those are the plans that have been benefiting this country from coast to coast to coast. That is why we are seeing record-breaking job numbers. We are seeing 800,000 jobs created by Canadians in this country. That does not happen without investments. We made the right investments at the right time, and Canadians have been taking that opportunity to grow their businesses.
Do members know what else helps Canadians grow their business? It is the tax cuts that we have provided to small businesses. We have provided many measures that have been helping to alleviate the burdens that have been placed on small businesses.
Along with the tax cuts are the services that have been provided by this government. Innovation Canada has provided an excellent tool to serve small business so that they can find grants. They can find money through various levels of government and through various different programs. We are making sure that we are listening to people, not just debating them every step of the way. We are listening to their needs.
What I am hearing from businesses is that they find it very hard to navigate government. That is why we put those types of measures in place, so that they can access the capital and the help that they need to continue to grow. I believe that is why we are seeing the success that we are seeing in our economy.
Canadians do not have to take my word for it. Our federal debt-to-GDP ratio is amongst the lowest in the G7 countries. That is what keeps our economy growing. The International Monetary Fund commended Canada last year for our AAA rating and for our debt-to-GDP ratio. We are looking good. We are in a good financial situation. Despite the Conservatives painting a fake gloom-and-doom picture, it is quite the contrary. We are seeing that in the actual numbers.
In Brampton North alone, the CCB has helped 14,470 families. Over 14,000 families. They are better off under our government. I know the Conservatives like to talk about their boutique tax cuts, but that is not the best way to help all Canadians. With these measures, making the Canada child benefit accessible to anybody and making it tax free, we are allowing families to be able to save for university, to pay for those sporting activities and to pay for tutoring and extracurriculars.
The city of Brampton also saw a major investment in transit by our government. Over $32 million was invested in transit projects, like replacing and fixing buses and having storage facilities for these buses. That has been a tremendous help to the city of Brampton. Our transit system, for those who do not know, is one of the fastest growing at 18%. On average, in the country, we see a 1% growth. It is remarkable. We have one of the youngest cities in the country, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and because of that we have a fast-growing transit system.
These investments are needed more than ever. My fear is that the plan the Conservatives have been tossing around would take away a lot of those measures that Bramptonians so desperately need. Bramptonians have seen major benefits through all of the trade agreements that have been signed by our government.
Through the hard work of the foreign affairs minister and her team, and the trade minister, we have now secured access to over 1.5 billion people through CETA, CPTPP and the USMCA. All of that gives us larger market shares, and that helps grow our economy and helps businesses to be able to export more efficiently. That is a plan that cares about Canadians and cares about growing the economy.
I have visited many businesses in my area, and I would like to talk about one. HRWARE is a local, family-owned business that sells innovative technology services and HR software across the globe.
It is agreements like these that have opened up markets for them, so that they can hire on more young students coming out of Sheridan College. Hopefully, one day, Brampton will be able to say that it has its very own university, but unfortunately, very recently we just heard from the Doug Ford government that this was a cut it was going to put in place. It cut a Brampton university from our city, a city that, as I just mentioned, has one of the youngest populations and has a great need. It is the ninth largest city in the country.
That is what worries me about the Conservatives. They try to hide their plan but we know what it really is. It is austerity. It is going to be cuts, just like Doug Ford. That is going to hurt Bramptonians. It is going to hurt Canadians. We will not see the type growth that is needed in this country when those cuts are made.
In conclusion, I would like to say this. We need to make sure that we continue investing, that we keep down this path and that we re-elect this government so we can see even more growth for years to come.