Mr. Speaker, I am honoured and pleased to take part in this debate on Bill C-31.
Almost three years ago, the people of Mississauga East—Cooksville provided me with the privilege of representing them here in our nation's Parliament. We have heard something very loud and clear. Canadians gave our government a mandate to provide a strong economic environment, keep taxes low, and help make our streets and communities safe. As we are in the second half of our mandate, I am very proud of our Conservative federal government and our commitment to promoting those fundamental values.
Canada has the strongest job creation record among all G7 countries, with more than one million new jobs created since the depth of the global recession. Canada has become an example for other nations and the envy of other nations. This is why our economic action plan 2014 continues to focus on creating more jobs and supporting the local economy in Mississauga and across our great country.
Economic action plan 2014 keeps Canada on track to a balanced budget in 2015. Canadians can be pleased that this budget contains no new taxes on families and businesses while also continuing to ensure that government spending is as efficient and effective as possible. We are continuing to deliver support for small business employers and keeping taxes at a 50-year low for the hard-working families across our great country.
Unlike the previous Liberal government, which balanced budgets on the backs of provinces, our Conservative government has continued to grow provincial transfers to record levels. For Ontario, my home province, the federal budget confirms transfers will total $19.2 billion in 2014-15, a 76% increase from the previous Liberal government. These funds were instrumental in building large infrastructure projects, upgrading facilities, and ensuring that regions across the country are receiving the necessary investment in their communities.
Locally in Mississauga, we are seeing job growth and infrastructure investment in our community, thanks to our government's focus on reducing red tape while increasing investment in skills and training. For example, economic action plan 2014 would help our skilled trades apprentices registered in eligible trades, who would be eligible for loans that would be interest free until their training ends.
I would like to thank the hard-working people in our community who run small businesses. As we all know, small businesses are the great engine of our economy. Despite the economic challenges, these business owners are committed to providing jobs and spurring our economy.
I am proud of the federal commitment to economic growth through supporting local infrastructure priorities in Mississauga through programs such as the federal gas tax fund. The City of Mississauga has received almost $126 million of federal funding through the gas tax fund since 2006. I will add that the Region of Peel gas tax fund is nearly $213 million since 2006. Just over $3.8 billion, or almost $4 billion, in federal gas tax funding will flow to Ontario municipalities between the years of 2014 to 2019. This is a long-term, predictable, and environmentally stable source of funding that has helped with major projects, including Mississauga's accessible transit fleet and the transit campus.
The cost of raising a family adds up quickly, and our Conservative government understands these challenges.
It is tax return season, and in the past number of weeks I have hosted income tax clinics in my riding, and there is one coming up next week. This is where people come to have their taxes filed by professionals at no cost to them. Those who participated in our tax clinics know that, thanks to this government, their taxes are lower. The average family of four now saves nearly $3,400 per year in tax savings.
We are not stopping there when it comes to helping families.
This budget would expand on the list of expenses eligible for the medical expense tax credit to include the cost of the design of individualized therapy plans and costs associated with service animals for people with severe diabetes.
Economic action plan 2014 would expand the GST-HST exemptions for training that are specifically designed to assist individuals with a disorder or disability to include the service of designing such training. It would also expand on the GST-HST exemption for services rendered to individuals by certain health care practitioners to include professional services rendered by acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors.
We would put in place the allowance of the Minister of National Revenue to automatically determine if an individual is eligible to receive a GST-HST tax credit, which would eliminate the need for individuals to apply for it.
We will continue to protect Canadian families by supporting victims of crime and punishing criminals. I am very proud to say that our Prime Minister was in my community of Mississauga just last Thursday when he introduced Canada's first ever victims bill of rights.
We are also putting Canada first by providing further support to help meet the needs of our veterans. This is important for those who bravely serve our nation, to provide support not only while they wear a uniform but also in their transition to civilian life. The consolidated veterans hiring act would build on previous government commitments as well as new ones outlined in the economic action plan 2014 to help veterans find meaningful employment after their time in uniform is complete.
In recognition of their service to Canada, Canadian Armed Forces personnel and honourably released veterans would be given more access to federal public service job opportunities.
In conclusion, our government's economic action plan 2014 is excellent news for people and families in my riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville and throughout our country.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague, the Minister of Finance, on his new role. I am confident that he will display excellent leadership by ensuring we stay on track and not waiver from balancing our budget and keep Canada on course for long-term economic prosperity.
We will continue to stimulate our local economies by providing support for small businesses and we will assist Canadians to get the training they need to meet the labour market demands.
We are helping and supporting families by providing a series of tax incentives.
We will always put Canada first, celebrating and defending our country and working to keep Canadians safe in their communities.