Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise this afternoon to speak in support of our government's economic action plan 2014.
I am very pleased that our government is on track to a balanced budget in 2015, as we committed to in 2011. We are doing so responsibly, unlike the previous Liberal government, which balanced the budget on the backs of the provinces and hard-working Canadians. Our government, under the leadership of our Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, will balance the budget while continuing to grow provincial transfers to record levels. For my province of Manitoba, federal transfers will total almost $3.4 billion in 2014-15. That is an increase of 24% from what it was under the previous Liberal government.
Under this government, we have cut taxes nearly 160 times, reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in 50 years. That will save the average Canadian family nearly $3,400 on its tax bill this year. We have also invested in job creation and training, business, innovation, and trade and have provided support for families and communities from coast to coast to coast. This government is dedicated to jobs and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.
I would like to highlight how economic action plan 2014 will continue with our government's strong performance in job creation. As we all know, Canada has led the G7 in job growth, with over one million net new jobs since the economic recession in 2007, with over 85% of those jobs being full time. Simply put, Canada has outperformed every other G7 country and has experienced the strongest real per capita growth in the G7. This is because our government is serious about creating jobs and long-term prosperity for Canadians. This is why economic action plan 2014 focuses on initiatives to support job creation, investments in innovation and trade, and support for families and communities.
I am pleased to highlight the creation of the Canada apprentice loan through the expansion of the Canada student loan program. Costs associated with completing an apprenticeship can be significant, from tools to educational fees to living expenses. The financial strain on Canadians in apprenticeship programs, especially those with young families, can be challenging. This program would provide apprentices in Red Seal trades access to over $100 million in interest-free loans each year. Our government is making it easier for Canadians to acquire the skills and abilities needed for a career in high-skill and in-demand jobs.
Through economic action plan 2014, this government also proposes to renew the targeted initiative for older workers program, investing $75 million over three years to assist older workers in vulnerable communities who have been affected by significant downsizing, closures, or high unemployment to reintegrate into the workforce. This would provide employers with experienced and talented staff, would benefit the economy, and would provide support and security for older Canadians who have experienced job loss.
Not only has our government invested in connecting older workers with jobs but we are also enhancing the job matching service and are modernizing the national job bank. Our government is committed to helping unemployed Canadians get back to work, giving them the first chance at available jobs. That is why the enhanced job matching service would provide modern and reliable tools for job seekers that would match their skill sets to available jobs. It would provide employers with the tools needed to look for qualified Canadian workers through timely access to job postings and consolidated labour market information.
Additionally, these initiatives would provide information to inform young people about fields of study that are relevant to the existing and forecasted demand for labour in particular occupations. This would help students make better choices about their education. Ensuring that students have the tools needed to better plan their routes to future employment is critical for a strong Canada.
A disability does not mean an inability. Unfortunately, Canadians with disabilities are too often under-represented in the workforce. Our government recognizes that employers accommodating persons with disabilities in the workplace is good for business and empowering to individuals, and it stimulates the economy. However, education and training are often required to overcome barriers, dispel stigmas and/or myths, and put action to words.
I would like to specifically highlight our government's $15 million contribution over three years to the ready, willing and able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living. Persons with intellectual disabilities and those with autism spectrum disorder face added and unique barriers to employment, yet we know that these individuals are not only eager to participate in the workforce but are capable of participation. This contribution to the Canadian Association for Community Living would expand existing activities to 20 community-based locations across Canada, which would support new jobs for Canadians with developmental disabilities.
In addition to connecting Canadians with jobs and training, our government has once again proven that support for business, innovation, and trade are top priorities. Canada has become an increasingly attractive place to invest and to grow a business. Recently, Canada moved to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive countries for business investment. This is as a direct result of our government's sound economic policies under our Prime Minister.
In economic action plan 2014, we continue to strengthen the Canadian economy by cutting red tape for small and medium-sized businesses. This will save valuable time and money. For example, we have eliminated the requirement for 800,000 payroll remittances to CRA every year for 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses. These eliminations would help business expand and thrive.
In addition to cutting the regulatory burden on small and medium-sized businesses, we have made landmark investments in research and innovation by investing $1.5 billion in post-secondary research through the Canada first research excellence fund and by investing $46 million in new funding for the granting councils to support research and scientific advances in Canada.
Strong families and communities are the foundation of a prosperous and safe country. Our government recognizes this and in economic action plan 2014 continues our strong record of strengthening families and communities.
Families incur unique costs when they adopt a child, such as adoption agency fees and other legal costs. Our government recognizes these challenges. Therefore, we have enhanced tax relief by increasing the adoption expense tax credit to $15,000.
We are standing up for the victims of crime by giving victims a voice. We are giving hope by implementing the victims bill of rights and providing funding for a DNA-based missing persons data index. We have also renewed $25 million over five years to continue efforts to reduce violence against aboriginal women and girls.
Seniors do and will continue to have a very important role in communities across Canada. Through the enhancements to the new horizons for seniors program, the government will provide an additional $5 million in annual funding to organizations that raise awareness of elder abuse and that provide means for seniors to benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through social activities and active living.
Our government has also recognized that many Canadians make sacrifices to care for their family members. Therefore, we have launched the Canadian employers for caregivers action plan to engage with employers on cost-effective workplace solutions to help maximize caregivers' labour market participation.
Although Canada has experienced the highest economic growth in the G7 since the economic recession in 2007, the government recognizes that low-income families face constraints or have distinct housing needs that impede their participation in the housing market. Our government is committed to working with the provinces, territories, municipalities, and other stakeholders at the community level to ensure that low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to quality, affordable housing.
Additionally, this government has committed to ensuring that vulnerable Canadians who experience extended or repeated periods of homelessness have access to quality housing. Therefore, we have renewed the homelessness partnering strategy, as announced in last year's budget. We will continue to work with communities, provinces, territories, and the private and not-for-profit sectors to implement the housing first approach to homelessness.
I want to highlight how the budget and our government honours and respects the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. This budget introduces new measures to the existing measures in previous budgets to support the men and women who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. We have expanded the funeral and burial program by providing over $800 million over three years to ensure that a veteran of modest means can have a dignified funeral and burial.
Finding meaningful work after leaving the Canadian Forces is a key factor in the successful transition back to civilian life. That is why this budget will make changes to the Public Service Employment Act and regulations to prioritize the hiring of veterans for federal public service employment opportunities.
To conclude, on this side of the House, our government is for all Canadians. From our youth to the elderly, business owners to apprentices, and young families to veterans, this government has invested in the prosperity, safety, and growth of all Canadians and their families. Through economic action plan 2014, we will continue to do so. I can only hope that the NDP and the Liberals will finally recognize this and support this budget.