Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to stand today to speak on Bill C-59, the implementation of budget 2015. It is a budget that benefits all Canadians by creating jobs, giving benefits to families, and providing funding for communities.
In the time that I have today, I would like to focus on the benefits that this budget would bring to Kootenay—Columbia.
Small business is a significant driver in the Kootenays. Tourism forms an important part of the riding. World-class ski resorts in Revelstoke, Golden, Panorama, Kimberley, and Fernie employ thousands of people each year so that people from around the world can come and enjoy great snow.
Every coffee outlet, every gift shop, and many more would benefit from the reduction in the small business tax rate from 11% to 9%. This would put an estimated $2.3 billion back into the pockets of those people who are the engine of the Canadian economy. It would provide small business owners with the opportunity to invest and to continue to grow their businesses, which in turn would benefit the communities where they live.
Our Conservative government has also reaffirmed the small business job credit, which would lower business payroll taxes by 15% for the next two years.
Unlike the Liberals and the NDP, we believe that lowering taxes for business is beneficial for all, as it drives the economy. In fact, the NDP has voted against every small business tax cut since 2006. The NDP would implement the $15 minimum wage, which would be devastating for small business. To top it off, the NDP would implement a job-killing payroll tax increase. The Liberals' answer: well, budgets just balance themselves. Tell that to any business owner.
Companies like Canfor and Louisiana-Pacific and the Interior Lumber Manufacturers Association would benefit from the forest innovation fund and the expanding market opportunities program. A lot can be learned from those in the forestry industry. They were able to manage a renewable resource and keep it viable for centuries. However, they also need to be able to market their timber, and programs like these allow them to stay with the times in an ever-evolving global market.
What is the answer from the Liberals and NDP? Raise corporate taxes and let them spend that money, because they know best.
Companies like Teck Resources, Joy Global, Finning, and many others will benefit from the reformed skills training system, which will align the curricula of post-secondary education institutions with the needs of employers through an investment of $65 million over four years. Post-secondary institutes such as the College of the Rockies and Selkirk College will be able to work with companies to provide courses that will open up opportunities for students in many fields, such as heavy-duty mechanics, welders, electricians, wood forest operations, and many more.
Our Conservative government will continue to work with the provinces to break down internal trade so that goods within Canada can flow freely. In my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, the wine industry and other businesses will benefit. Recently the Minister of Industry announced that he had met with all 13 provincial and territorial counterparts to have an internal trade agreement in place by 2016.
When it comes to families, our government believes that moms and dads should be able to decide what they do with their money and how they save it. That is why we increased the allowable annual contribution to a tax-free savings account to $10,000 annually. One-third of Canadians, approximately 11 million Canadians, have contributed to tax-free savings accounts.
Let us think about that for a minute. There are 11 million Canadians contributing to a TFSA, and what is the answer from the opposition parties? They will get rid of it.
That would mean that one-third of Canadians would have to find a different way to invest their money because what the opposition really wants to do is raise taxes on hard-working Canadian families.
Another opportunity our government is providing is reducing the minimum withdrawal factors for RRIFS for those over the age of 71. It would provide them with the opportunity to extend their retirement savings.
Moms and dads across our country work hard to provide for their families, and that is why such things as income splitting and the universal child care benefit, which were introduced by our government, are so beneficial. The opposition parties have said they would get rid of these two benefits. Perhaps they would like to tell that to those who hold down the most underrated and lowest-paid positions in all of Canada. Who are they? They are the parents who choose to stay home and raise their children.
I personally do not think there is enough money that could be paid for this position. However, I know income splitting and the UCCB put a little more money into the pockets of those families to save or spend as they choose, and that is the way it should be.
Kootenay—Columbia boasts four of the most magnificent national parks in Canada. Yoho National Park has 28 mountain peaks over 3,000 metres in height. It has Takakkaw Falls, with a free fall of 254 metres, the third-highest waterfall in Canada. There are over 400 kilometres of hiking trails there, spiral tunnels that are an engineering marvel, and much more.
Kootenay National Park has vast valleys and rock formations such Marble Canyon, Numa Falls, and Sinclair Canyon. The world-famous Radium Hot Springs are found there as well..
Glacier National Park has awe-inspiring mountain peaks and glaciers. A stop at Rogers Pass is jaw-dropping. Of course, there is the final link in our national rail line that connected Canada as a nation.
Finally, Mount Revelstoke National Park comes alive in late August when wildflowers abound.
The staff at Parks Canada do an amazing job at providing a great visitor experience. I was very pleased to see that budget 2015 dedicated $2.8 billion to national parks and national historic sites. Improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway, hiking trails, and camping facilities, to name a few, will continue to draw people from around the world to our Canadian treasures.
The security of Canada is paramount, and I am proud of our military and police for their ability to promote and protect our values at home or wherever they may be deployed. Our Conservative government will continue to provide our military and police with the tools they need to combat terrorism and aid countries like Ukraine in fighting for their sovereignty.
Also, let us not forget about the valuable contributions of our DART teams, which deploy all over the world to aid after disaster has struck. The most recent example is deployment of DART to Nepal, for which I would like commend Lieutenant-Commander Kelly Williamson, RCN, the spouse of the member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, for her leadership role in the recent deployment.
Whether it is in combat, peacekeeping, or disaster relief, our military is regarded as one of the best in the world.
Now let us look at the record of the Liberals. First they cut funding to the military to the point of non-existence. Then, when they decided to deploy our men and women to Afghanistan, they had the great idea of sending them in green combat fatigues for a brown environment.
The NDP votes against any military action that Canada is involved in, believing that other countries should protect our values while we sit idly by. While the NDP has decided its fight is with CSIS, our focus will be on ISIS and the real terror that exists not only on our home soil but abroad as well.
Our Conservative government, led by Prime Minister Harper, is the only party that can be trusted to lead Canada into the future. We will stay focused upon jobs, the economy, family, and security of our nation, because that is what Canadians want.