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28 September 2009
• After the sharpest global recession since the Second World War, there are encouraging signs that Canada is returning to economic growth.• Confidence is returning and Canada’s economic recovery is forecast to be among the strongest in the Group of Seven (G7).
• However, many Canadian communities, businesses and workers continue to be seriously affected by the downturn. Recovery is fragile. With this in mind, the Harper Government is staying on course with Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
• This Plan is now expected to create or maintain 220,000 jobs by the end of 2010, significantly more than the 190,000 jobs projected in Budget 2009, mostly reflecting the Government’s additional investments to protect jobs in Canada’s automotive sector.
• Tax relief for Canadians – Canadians have seen the benefits of income tax reductions on their pay stubs since April 2009. Increased child benefits started to flow in July 2009, providing up to $436 a year for a family with two children. Low- and middle-income seniors are receiving up to an additional $150 in annual tax savings. The temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit will provide up to $1,350 in tax assistance per family in support of home renovations and improvements.
• Tax relief for Canadian businesses – Canadian companies are now taking advantage of an accelerated capital cost allowance rate on new equipment and a $500,000 increase in the amount of small business income eligible for the reduced federal income tax rate.
• Helping the unemployed – The Employment Insurance program is providing an additional $5.8 billion in EI benefits this year. More than 300,000 workers have received up to five extra weeks of benefits. Enhanced EI work-sharing agreements are now supporting more than 164,000 individuals.
• Training and EI Support for More Canadian Workers – 44,000 Canadians are receiving training through funds flowing to provinces and territories. Funding through the Canada Summer Jobs Program helped to hire 40,000 Canadian students. Investments are flowing for 38 projects aimed at supporting older workers. The $2,000 Apprenticeship Completion Grant is helping 4,329 Canadians learn valuable trades.
• Building Infrastructure – More than $7.6 billion in federal funds have been committed to more than 4,700 provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects worth over $21 billion, creating and preserving jobs in communities across Canada. This includes over $3 billion of the $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that has been committed to more than 2,900 shovel-ready projects.
• First Nations Infrastructure – Over 97 per cent of the funding for infrastructure in First Nations communities has been committed for 2009-10. Projects for schools, safe water systems and health services infrastructure have begun.
• Recreational Infrastructure – About $138 million of Recreational Infrastructure Canada’s 2009-10 funding has been committed to build and refurbish recreational infrastructure facilities across Canada.
• Federal Infrastructure – About 89 per cent of funding has been already committed.
• Supporting Home Ownership – The Economic Action Plan is helping Canadians invest in their homes through the temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit, the first-time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, greater access to the Registered Retirement Savings Plan to purchase a first home and the enhanced ecoENERGY Retrofit program.
• Investments in Social Housing – Agreements have been reached to deliver $650 million for renovation and retrofits of social housing, housing for low-income seniors and the housing needs of persons with disabilities. About 153 projects have begun to build or renovate social housing in First Nation communities and communities in the North.
• Creating the Economy of Tomorrow – Of the $5.1 billion set aside for science and technology initiatives over five years, $929 million has been committed for college and university infrastructure across Canada in 2009-10, with 381 projects having begun. About $35 million has also been committed for Arctic research.
• Supporting Industries and Communities – About $350 million has been committed to approximately 600 projects under the Community Adjustment Fund and unprecedented support provided to the automotive industry. The Government has also launched the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
• Improving Access to Financing – the Government has provided $131 billion in broad-based financing support to lenders – all of it on a commercial basis to protect the taxpayer.
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