Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to be able to stand here today and speak to Canada's economic action plan 2013.
I think in the House we can all agree that there are a multitude of elements involved when a person, business or family works towards a common set of goals of success and prosperity. Of course, the individual has a lot to do with the outcomes in terms of the choices we make, our determination and how hard we are willing to work toward the objective.
Admittedly, we share responsibility. The government and all members here share responsibility in helping our citizens achieve those goals. We can provide either stepping stones or barriers. I am very proud to say that our government is providing the stepping stones by putting Canadians and the economy first. It is certainly evident in our latest budget, economic action plan 2013.
Undeniably, a firm base for any healthy economy is a thriving manufacturing and small business environment coupled with job-creating initiatives. Economic action plan 2013 includes our government's plan to make the largest federal investment in job-creating infrastructure in Canadian history, totalling $70 billion over a decade. This investment would help build and repair roads, bridges, subways, rail and more, certainly in communities in Prince Edward—Hastings and across this wonderful country.
There would be a new tax break for new manufacturing machinery and equipment with the accelerated capital cost write-off, which would provide the manufacturing and processing businesses in Ontario alone approximately $560 million in tax relief to grow their companies and create jobs.
Our government has extended and expanded the hiring credit for small businesses for another year, which would see many small businesses in Ontario and across Canada save another $225 million in 2013. I can tell the House that as a small businessman myself with 38 years of experience, in my riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, small businesses are one of the key components of the local economic engine. I can assure the House that this particular initiative would go a long way to helping those businesses grow, prosper and ultimately create more jobs.
We are increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $800,000 from $750,000 and indexing it going forward. We are indexing it the same way we indexed the gas tax. This would provide small businesses in Ontario approximately an additional $39 million in tax relief to grow their companies and create more jobs.
I live right next to Trenton Air Base, one of the most significant air transport capitals, not only in Canada, but in the world. We are investing almost $1 billion in the strategic aerospace and defence initiative to enhance the competitiveness of Canada's economically important aerospace and defence industry. We have created the aerospace technology demonstration programs, which would support large-scale technology projects with commercial potential in Ontario and across Canada. We have CAE in Montreal, now with simulators around the world.
The northern regions of my riding had a very active forestry industry, which certainly suffered some severe challenges when the economic downturn hit and the housing boom in the States went off. Therefore, I am pleased that we would be providing $92 million to help the forestry sector in Ontario and across Canada to continue to innovate new products and to expand into new markets.
We would provide $920 million to renew the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Since its creation in 2009, FedDev has supported over 340 projects and has played an important role in building a stronger economy in southern Ontario. FedDev has been instrumental in the success of so many projects in Prince Edward—Hastings and across the regions of southern Ontario.
I am very pleased as well to support the eastern Ontario development program, which would be renewed as well. It would continue to promote job creation and business development in all the rural areas of eastern Ontario. As part of the renewal of FedDev, I am very pleased that $200 million would be invested in a new advanced manufacturing fund to help Ontario's manufacturing industry innovate and become much more competitive.
Another ingredient required to maintain economic health is ensuring Canadians get the skills training and the employment-seeking assistance they need. I am fortunate. I have Loyalist College, the brand new skills development centre, which will play a pivotal role in developing skills in my area. Job-seekers know that if they have the right skills and education, they are well on their way to finding a good job. I am proud to say that our government firmly recognizes that, too.
As such, we are providing up to $15,000 per person, in Ontario, with combined federal-provincial-territorial and employer funding to help them get the skills they need for in-demand jobs. That is right; we are helping them to develop the skills for a job that is waiting for them. We know how important education is, especially, in high-demand fields. We will be encouraging students to undertake education in these high-demand fields, including the skilled trades, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Our government is also investing $70 million to support an additional 5,000 paid internships for recent post-secondary graduates in Ontario and across Canada. These young people are our future. We are helping them along and providing the initiative for them to get a job.
My riding of Prince Edward—Hastings includes a first nations reserve, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte—Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, a very proud and successful local aboriginal group.
I am proud that we are helping first nations students with post-secondary education, by providing $10 million to grant scholarships and bursaries to help them attend a post-secondary education. We realize the importance of engaging first nations youth. They are going to play a tremendous role in our country.
Finally, another very important key to having a robust economy is to limit government's interference in Canadians' wallets.
Winston Churchill once said:
For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
It just does not happen.
Our government gets that, unlike the opposition, unfortunately, the tax-and-spend Liberals and the “speNDP”. There is just no end of spending. The solution is very simple with them. Just spend more, spend more, spend more. Unfortunately, we have to find a balance, and we have done that.
Right from the get-go, our government has been dedicated to freeing up Canadians' paycheques by lowering taxes. In economic action plan 2013, our government eliminated tariffs on important items for families, including baby clothing, sports equipment, skates, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and more.
In fact, our Conservative government has cut taxes over 150 times and is saving the average family over $3,000 a year. That can buy a lot of groceries or clothes for the kids, or even allow families that vacation that they have waited for and that they have deserved for so long.
Our government does not put obstacles in the way of Canadians, obstacles like red tape or increased taxes. Our red tape commission said every time we bring in a regulation, we have to get rid of one. That is common sense.
So, yes, we are providing stepping stones to help Canadians achieve the happy and successful lives they want to have.
I am thankful for the opportunity today to talk on economic action plan 2013. I am proud of the initiatives in it. I have had many extensive pre-budget consultations across our riding, with so many different groups. I know our government worked closely with recommendations from the stakeholders, the businesses, the community leaders, the experts in so many fields, to achieve the best use of taxpayer dollars. We have created a budget that will strengthen our economy and solidify our economic recovery.