Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in the House to speak to Bill C-60, the budget implementation act, 2013.
I am proud of our government's fiscal record and how well we have come through the worst recession in a generation. Canada continues to be number one among all G7 countries in economic performance and job growth and, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, will continue to focus on what is important to Canadians: creating jobs and economic growth, while keeping taxes low, balancing budgets and balancing the budget by 2015.
The economic action plan for 2013 was well received in my riding of Blackstrap. Saskatoon is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, and this legislation would provide much needed infrastructure support to the city and surrounding rural areas.
Bill C-60, the budget implementation act, proposes to legislate key elements of economic action plan 2013, including indexing the gas tax fund to offer stable, predictable funding for municipal infrastructure. Canada's gas tax fund provides long-term funding for Canadian municipalities that can help build and revitalize their public infrastructure and their assets. Communities choose projects locally and prioritize them according to their needs. The gas tax fund is making a difference in communities, in my riding of Blackstrap and throughout the province of Saskatchewan.
Today, more than 3,600 municipalities have benefited from the financial support of economic growth and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country. Our government's record on infrastructure investments in economic action plan 2013 exceeds the amount of investment required to cover the cost of federal infrastructure for the next decade.
In fact, our Conservative government has introduced the largest long-term federal commitment to Canadian infrastructure in our nation's history, $70 billion over the next 10 years. In the next two years, we are investing close to $10 billion in infrastructure. That is more than the previous Liberal governments spent during their entire 13 long years in power.
Since 2006, we have invested more than $40 billion, supporting more than 43,000 infrastructure projects from coast to coast to coast. As a result of our investments, we have brought down the average age of Canada's core public infrastructure from a peak of 17 years in 2001 to an estimated 14.4 years in 2011. We can see what a significant contribution that is to our public infrastructure. It is now lower than the historical average age over the last 50 years.
Bill C-60 would also see the introduction of a new first-time donor's super credit for the first-time claimants of the charitable donations tax credit, to encourage all young Canadians to donate to charity. Canadians recognize that the charitable sector plays a vital role in our society and provides valuable services to Canadians, including the most vulnerable.
Canadians also provide generous support to the sector in recognition of its important work. Recent data from Statistics Canada shows that more than 5.7 million Canadians donated almost $8.5 billion to registered charities in 2011. Canada's incentives for charitable donations have been described as the most generous in the world. Registered charities are exempt from tax on their income and may issue official donation receipts for gifts received, which donors may use to reduce their taxes by claiming the charitable donation tax credit.
In 2012, federal tax assistance for charitable donations exceeded $2.9 billion. The standing committee on finance reported that there is a need to foster and to promote a culture of giving and that tax incentives can play a role, both in increasing the number of new donors and encouraging existing donors to give more.
Our government has responded to the committee's report by proposing the new temporary first-time donor's super credit, designed to encourage new donors to give to charity.
The first-time donor super credit supplements the charitable donations tax credit by providing an additional 25% tax credit for a first-time donor on up to $1,000 in monetary donations. An individual would be considered a first-time donor if neither the individual nor the individual's spouse or common-law partner have claimed the CDTC or the FTDSC in any taxation year after 2007. The FTDSC may be claimed only once and may be claimed in any of the 2013 to 2017 taxation years.
I see, Mr. Speaker, that you would like me to sit down.